(14th June.)

IT is fifteen days since you arrived at Furrûkh-yâb Hisâr [Chittle­doorg]. By your stopping in this manner fifteen days in every place, you burthen us with your own pay and that of your retinue. Then it would further appear, by the circumstance of your bringing on with you the Hurkârehs of the enemy, that you had no fear [or regard] for your lives and honor. It is not well. Send back the enemy’s Hurkârehs, and hasten your arrival at the Presence.


Here ends the Sultan’s correspondence with his late ministers at the court of Poonah, who had probably received their dismission from thence some time in April 1786. Whatever may be thought of the diplomatic qualifications of those agents, from the faint sketches of their proceedings occasionally afforded by these letters, there would not appear to be any reason for imputing the failure of their negociations to any deficiency of talents or address on their part: for the Mahrattahs being bent on a rupture, and the Sultan being equally determined not to compromise his dignity, or what he deemed to be his rights, it is probable, that neither party had, from the beginning, any expectation, or indeed any desire, of accommodating their mutual differences; so that, in fact, all the envoys had to do, was to endeavour to amuse the Mahrattah government, by vague and illusory professions; to obtain intelligence of its designs; and, perhaps, to tamper with the fidelity of some of its servants. The first of these objects must have been always an hopeless one; and when the notorious parsimony of their master is considered, their success, to any material extent, in the other two, may be reasonably doubted, without derogating, in the least, from their general zeal and capacity.

The most prominent feature in the Sultan’s correspondence with these envoys, next to the memorable manœuvre recorded in Letter LIII, is the fluctuating character of his instructions to them. There seems to have been a perpetual conflict, on this occasion, between his pride and his interest; in the course of which, sometimes one, and sometimes the other, prevailed. He appears to have been steady, only, in his ungracious treatment of his unhappy agents, whom, to the very last moment, he addresses in a style of unmitigated asperity.

Of Noor Mahommed Khân no more is heard. Mahommed Ghyâs* seems to have been subsequently confined to the humble sphere of superintendant of a provincial Tosheh-khâneh. Whether they lived to witness the annihilation of the Khodâdâd Sircar, I know not; but it is probable they did not, as the Sultan reflects on their “great age,” fourteen years prior to that event.*