To USUD ALI KHÂN,* from ALI RIZÂ and BÂL MUKN Doss; dated
15th JAAFURY.* (18th June.)

WE mentioned verbally to you four articles,* which were submitted for your acceptance; and we now wish you to come and say, which of those four articles you will agree to, in order that we may make a suit­able representation [to our master], and get the business finally settled. The honour of a world [alluding to the female part of Mohâbut Jung’s family] is in the fort, and numberless people are collected therein. To be instrumental, with your eyes open,* to the ruin of people’s honour, is contrary to discretion;* while any further procrastination of the matter is pregnant with the most serious mischief, and must lead to the destruc­tion of the inhabitants of the place. As to [the arrival of] succours, and the swoln state of the rivers, the case is abundantly manifest. [i. e. you are cut off from all hopes of relief]. Under these circumstances, it is clearly proper and most advisable, that you should set about an [imme­diate] adjustment, whereby you will secure the ease and prosperity of God’s creatures.


It does not appear from the correspondence, on what day the Sultan arrived before Adoni; but as it is probable, that he would lose no time in summoning the place, the commencement of the siege by Tippoo, in person, may be safely reckoned from the 15th June. It had, perhaps, been previously invested by Moaayenûddeen: but this is uncertain.

If the Usud Ali Khân, here addressed, be not the same person who has since made some figure (as well under that name, as by the title of Mûzufferûlmûlk) at the court of Hyderabad, I am unable to say who he was. However this may be, the present negociator would appear to have acquitted himself in a very able man­ner; since he succeeded in amusing Tippoo with expectations of the early submis­sion of his master, Mohâbut Jung, and by this means, while he induced the Sultan to abstain from vigorous operations against Adoni, gave time to the Nizâm to send a considerable force, under Mûsheer ûl Mûlk and Syfe ûl Mûlk, to its relief; or rather, for the purpose of removing the ladies of Mohâbut Jung’s family, who were shut up in it, to Hyderabad. This object, which Tippoo either did not suspect, or could not effectually oppose, being accomplished, those commanders left the fort* to its fate, which was, ere long, decided: for not being in a condition to maintain a siege, the Sultan soon became master of it.

The conduct of Tippoo, upon this occasion, has been said to have excited con­siderable surprise among his commanders, and has since given rise to some specu­lation, as to the causes of it, among his biographers. It has been affirmed, that the fort might have been easily carried at the same time with the Paith, or town; upon the storm and capture of which the garrison and inhabitants retired in great disorder to the fort, the gates of which were found wide open, and even, as pre­tended, unguarded. Intelligence, thereof, being conveyed to the Sultan, and accompanied by a request from Lally, and others, to be permitted to profit by the opportunity, thus unexpectedly offered, he forbad the attempt, observing, in effect, “that he was sure those within the fort would, in very good time, spon­taneously place themselves in his power.” The writer, from whom I take this account, and who is a very intelligent Musulman,* in the employ of Colonel Colin M‘Kenzie, appears to infer, from this circumstance, that the Sultan never had any serious intention of reducing Adoni; and that his movement against it had no other object than that of alarming the Nizâm for the safety of the females of his family residing there, and of detaching him, by that means, from his connexion with the Mahrattahs. But the solitary fact, upon which this opinion seems to rest, is not, I think (admitting its authenticity) sufficiently strong, to support it against the evi­dence leading to a different conclusion. That fact is perhaps susceptible of a more satisfactory, and less improbable explanation. The Sultan might have doubted the correctness of the information, upon which the expediency of attempting the fort had been rested: he might have thought the undertaking too hazardous; or he might even have been averse to exposing the women within the place to the dangers of an assault. That he hoped, by his present enterprize, to oblige the Nizâm to forsake the Mahrattahs, is very likely: but this purpose would not have been effected by any proceeding, which might, in its consequences, have cast a stain upon the honor of his Highness’s family; whereas, by getting them into his power, by virtue of a capitulation, he would have been sure of attaining that object. On the whole, therefore, there would not appear to be any sufficient reason for doubting, that the end which he really had in view, from the beginning, was not the mere reduction of Adoni, which would have been an inadequate compensation for the exertion he had made, but the capture, in honor and safety, of the Haram contained within its walls.

It is to be wished, that the four articles, referred to in the preceding letter, had been preserved. They would, no doubt, have thrown considerable light on the present subject: yet we are not entirely destitute of other information respecting it, since the following extract from the Sultan’s Memoirs will be found to contain, not only some notice of his expedition against Adoni, but also his statement of the origin of the war, subsisting at this time between him and the confederated powers.

Occurrences of the year Busd, or year of Mahommed 1214.

“I had just completed the arrangements which have been mentioned,* when “intelligence arrived that the Mahrattahs* and Nizâm Ali Khân, forgetting their “ancient obligations [to us], whereof an account has been already written,* and “becoming ungrateful, had assembled together a large army, with the intention “of making a joint attack on the Ahmedy dominions.

“At that time, [or hereupon] several of those holding offices* under the “Usud Ilhye government humbly represented, that after providing for the “defence of the fortresses, and putting the armies in a state of preparation, it “would be proper to set about confronting [or opposing] them [i. e. the Mahrat­tahs and the Nizâm]. To this I answered: ‘Six months ago, when the “Vakeels of both the chieftains were about to receive their dismission [from “me], I said to them [the Vakeels], that I had heard that their masters, “forgetting ancient obligations [or my ancient claims] upon them, meditated “upon making such a return to them, as was the practice only of the most “despicable of men. This [said I] is not a right thing. Fear God [and “know], that good should not be requited with evil. A proceeding of this “kind will [assuredly] draw on your masters the vengeance of the divine “tribunal.* [For my part] these are my intentions. The good which has “been rendered to you by the Usud Ilhye Sircar is clear and evident to the “whole world.* Moved by the humble supplications, as well as by the tender “age of your master,* who had avowed himself to be our son, we* took upon “ourselves [or willingly incurred] the evils [or dangers] which [menaced] your “house and your life: and [hence] it is more manifest, even than the sun, that “it was we who secured the duration of your master’s house. With all this [or “notwithstanding this] I am desirous that your misdoings [or the wrongs you “have done me] should become still more apparent to all mankind, and “[therefore] I will never move from hence, with hostile designs, until both “the chieftains in question shall have entered my dominions, have ravaged “countries to the value of ten or twenty lacks of rupees, and have laid siege to “one or two fortified places. They should [or let them], therefore, act in “conformity with their engagements.’*

“But what does it signify? With the blessing of the [divine] Helper, after “they shall have entered our dominions, we will move from hence.

“Accordingly, two months after this, the two confederated armies (on whom, “and on their parents also, be the curse of God!) laid siege to the fort of “Bâdâmy, and committed depredations, between the two rivers Kishna and “Toongbhudra,* to the amount of fifteen or twenty lacks of rupees. Hereupon “I* marched to Bangalore, where I remained ten or twelve days, and [from “hence] dispatched a respectable person, together with an intelligent officer of “spies, to Mâdhojee Bhonsillah, the chief of Nâgpoor,* to whom I addressed a “letter to the following effect:

“‘What is the reason that you* have forgotten [your] ancient obligations “[to us] and taken [or learned] the lesson of the whoreson?* Fear God, “otherwise your shameful actions will [assuredly] draw upon you their due “punishment.’*

“I also wrote and dispatched [letters], to the same purport, to Hurry Pundit “Phurkia and to Râo Râsta, commanders of the army of the infidels.

“I moreover interrogated the Sirdars [or chief officers] of the army, respect­ing the [best] mode of conducting the war, and the attack* [most proper] to “be made [in the first instance]; when they all, according to their [respective] “abilities [or powers], delivered their opinions: none of which, however, were “agreeable to my mind. At this time [or hereupon] calling upon God the “Bountiful, and imploring his aid, I said, ‘Please the Almighty God, I will “proceed against Adoni, which is at a distance from the boundary of the Sircar, “and is a strong place, where the honor* of Nizâm Ali Khân is lodged. “Attacking this place, we must obtain possession of it. If, for the sake [or “preservation] of their honor, the two Sirdars* should come [to its relief], “we shall see [the extent of] their strength and power.’ This opinion [or “plan] was apparently assented to by all those in attendance [upon me]; but “God [only] knows what they inwardly [or really] thought [on the occasion].

“After this, quitting Bangalore, I proceeded by long marches to Adoni,* “against which I opened trenches; but was [purposely] careless and dilatory in “making my approaches, in order that, hearing of the situation of Busâlut “Jung’s son, and of their women, the two infidel and renegade* armies might “advance together [to their assistance]. Having, at the end of a month, mounted “batteries near the ditch, I was employed in breaching the place, when intel­ligence came, that the two aforesaid armies, headed by Moghul Ali Khân,* “brother of Nizâm Ali Khân, Sohrâb Jung,* Taigh Jung,* Tehbur Jung,* Gun­naish Pundit, Apa Bulwunt, and others,* were arrived at the other [or opposite] “side of the river Tungbhudra. At that time I saw no good [or convenient] place “for intercepting the two armies;* and, moreover, the army of the Usud IlhyeSircar was dispersed in [prosecution of] the siege of the fort. On this account “I moved from that place* [or shifted my camp] to the distance of half a coss “on the flank [or on one side] of the road of the aforesaid armies. By this “movement the latter were thrown into the utmost dismay and confusion; and “in this state* proceeding along the skirts of the hills, [at length] reached the “aforesaid fort, near to which they remained encamped during three days. On “the fourth day they took out all the people of the fort; but were in such “distraction and alarm [at the time], that they left behind the whole of the wearing apparel of the females, and every article of household furniture [be­longing to them]. In this naked* condition, carrying the women along with them, they took at midnight the road of flight, and made a shameful retreat.*

“Immediately on receiving the intelligence [of their flight], I armed com­pletely,* and, with the design of intercepting the fugitives, pursued them “with the the utmost celerity. As, however, owing to the rain, and to the miry “state of the roads, the patroles had been on the whole* very negligent [or “tardy] in making their report [of the enemy’s retreat]; and, as, on the whole,* “the artillery, owing likewise to the same circumstance, followed very slowly, “the aforesaid armies were enabled to effect their escape across the river, “Tungbuddra; but not without leaving behind them, in their disorder and “alarm, an elephant and some..........*

“At this time [or on this occasion] the power [of God] was [wonderfully] “manifested to all the world, in the following manner. While the fugitive “army was crossing the river, the water was not higher than the waist; but in “the space of six hours, at the end of which the army of the Usud Ilhye Sircar “arrived in close pursuit [of the enemy], it had risen to a level with the banks*: “and thus was that prey, which the net had [so nearly] overspread, enabled, “by the divine pleasure [or power] to escape in safety.*

“After putting the enemy to flight, the high [or eminent] army marched [back] “to the vicinity of the fort [i. e. Adoni], where I lay encamped for five days, in “the course of which [I caused] the fort of Adoni to be entirely demolished*. “I then bestowed the country of Adoni in Jageer upon Kûtbûddeen Khân, “Bukhshy of the Bâr-kuchurry,* to whom, moreover, I gave the Nobut,* five “elephants, and a lack of rupees in money;* directing that, after fixing [his “authority] firmly in the Jageer, he should leave two thousand horse, and make “such other arrangements as might be necessary for its defence,* and then “return himself to his attendance upon our person.*

“After this, marching from thence [i. e. Adoni], I proceeded to the banks of “the Tungbuddra, &c.”

The sequel of the Sultan’s brief account of this war will be given hereafter, in its proper place.

The foregoing narrative is not, perhaps, calculated to exhibit the Sultan to any great advantage, either as a politician or a general. If (as would seem from his own account and the correspondence of Usud Ali Khân to have been the fact) his chief aim, in the present expedition, was to get the females of Mohâbut Jung’s family into his power, by means of a capitulation; it is obvious, that this end was more likely to have been attained by a vigorous and menacing attack of the place, than by the slow and feeble mode of proceeding which he adopted. In the former case, the garrison might possibly have been intimidated into an early surrender, before the allied forces could come to its relief: as it was, it had every encouragement to hold out till their arrival. The Sultan appears to have been betrayed into this first error, by the expectation of accomplishing his object through negociation: and this grand mistake was followed by another, of a military kind, which completely frustrated his views. He suffered the enemy, not only to reach Adoni without any material attempt to intercept them, but to remain in its vicinity during three or four days; and finally to remove the garrison and women in safety, without the least interruption. It is in vain that he endeavours to disguise these blunders: his endeavours, for this purpose, only prove his secret consciousness of them.