To SHUMSÛDDEEN KHÂN; dated 29th TÛLOOEY. (26th December.)

YOU represent, “that the people of the jewel office and of the “goldsmith’s workshop have applied to you to be supplied with the gold “and silver necessary for making up the Puduks, and other articles of “jewellery, which have been ordered, but that no receipts coming in at “this time, either on account of the collections, or from the Surrâfs [or “money-changers] superintending the Dûkâns [or retail warehouses] “of the Sircar,* you do not possess the means of answering the de­mand: besides which, twelve hundred pagodas weight of gold has “been already furnished for this service by the mint, which has not yet “been replaced.”

It is known. In the Tosheh-khâneh [or treasury], and in the apartment where the elephants’ teeth* are kept, there is gold and silver, to the amount of several lacks* weight of pagodas, appropriated [some time since] to the coinage of gold mohrs, pagodas, &c. Is not, then, that gold and silver still in the same place; or do you imagine it to be something else? This is, truly, a subject for wonder! You must take from this apartment whatever gold and silver may be required for the purpose in question; and after seeing that it is carefully assayed, deliver the same to the workmen.


Notwithstanding the wonder here expressed by the Sultan, at his treasurer’s not having taken upon him to break in upon a hoard of bullion, distinctly stated to have been appropriated to a specific purpose, it may be fairly doubted, whether if that officer had presumed to do so, his conduct would have escaped animadver­sion. It is true, that if we were to judge by the occasional intimations of the kind here conveyed, and which occur in the course of the correspondence, we might infer, that the public functionaries under Tippoo Sultan were invested with considerable discretionary powers: but, on the other hand, how many are the instances, in which the slightest exercise of such a power has brought upon them the severest reproofs of the Sultan, who was for ever directing them “to mind “their instructions, and to abstain from pursuing their own conceits.” The trust reposed in Shumsûddeen Khân was of a peculiarly delicate nature; and if he had ventured to act in the manner which his master affects to insinuate he should have done, and had so acted with impunity, it must be admitted, that such a fact would have materially altered our view of the Sultan’s character, in one important particular, at least; since it would have shown him to have been of a far more confiding and unsuspicious disposition than the general tenor of his actions imply. The safest guide, however, to our judgment, on the present occasion, is the evi­dent backwardness of the treasurer to exceed the letter of his orders. No doubt, he had very sufficient reasons for this cautious conduct.

The Sultan appears to have distributed, about this time, various marks of his favour among his principal commanders. These tokens of approbation consisted chiefly of gold chains, rings, and what are called in the original Puduks or Pu­dugs. To some he gave seal-rings, with the names of the persons thus distin­guished engraved upon them. Among these was a cornelian, with the inscription “Budrûz Zumân Khân Behâdûr;” being the first instance, if I am not mistaken, in which the title of Behâdûr is applied by Tippoo to any of his servants. He presented, at the same time, to certain Kuchurries, or divisions of the army, of­ficial seals, some made of gold and others of silver, and having inscriptions en­graved on them, alluding to their services in the cause of Islâm. The Kushoons composing these Kuchurries (namely, the second and third Kuchurries of regular infantry, and the second and third Kuchurries of Bârgeer cavalry) had probably particularly distinguished themselves in the late actions with the Mahrattahs.