THIS is a good history of the Mughal Empire from the close of Aurangzeb's reign to the commencement of Farrukh Siyar's. It has been well translated by Captain Jonathan Scott. It first appeared in a separate volume, and was subsequently incorpo­rated in the second volume of his “History of the Deccan,” of which the first portion was translated from Firishta.

We are told in the Ma-ásiru-l umará that the author, Mír Mubáraku-llah Irádat Khán Wáza, was the son of Is'hák Khán, son of 'Azím Khán. Both his grandfather and father were noblemen of high rank. The former was Mír-bakhshí to the Emperor Jahángír, and the latter held various offices of im­portance under Sháh Jahán and Aurangzeb. He died soon after his appointment to the government of Oudh. His title was also Irádat Khán. One of his sons (our author) had his title con­ferred on him, and in the thirty-third year of Aurangzeb was appointed Faujdár of Jagna, and at other periods of Aurangábád and Mándú. In the reign of Sháh 'Álam Bahádur Sháh he was governor of the Doáb, and the intimate friend of Mu'azzam Khán wazír. He died in the time of Farrukh Siyar. His abilities as a poet were great, and he left a volume of poems behind him.*

[The author opens his work with a statement of his removal from the command of the fort of Imtiyáz-garh (Adoni), and of his subsequent appointment to the government of Ahsanábád (Kulbarga), and afterwards to the kila'dárí and faujdárí of Mándú. He left the latter place to follow the fortunes of Prince Bedár Bakht as detailed in the following pages.

In his Preface the author says, “During the short period of my age, which has this day arrived at the sixty-fourth year, and the 1126th of the holy Hijra (1714 A.D.), such vicissitudes in worldly affairs, the destruction of empires, the deaths of many princes, the ruin of ancient houses and noble families, the fall of worthy men and the rise of the unworthy, have been beheld by me, as have not been mentioned by history to have occurred in such number or succession for a thousand years.

“As, on account of my office, and being engaged in these transactions, I have obtained a perfect knowledge of the sources of most events, and what to others even information of must be difficult, was planned and executed in my sight; and as I was a sharer as well as spectator of all the dangers and troubles, I have therefore recorded them.

“My intention, however, not being to compile a history of kings or a flowery work, but only to relate such events as happened in my own knowledge, I have therefore, preferably to a display of learning in lofty phrases and pompous metaphors, chosen a plain style, such as a friend writing to a friend would use, for the purpose of information. Indeed, if propriety is con­sulted, loftiness of style is unfit for plain truth, which, pure in itself, requires only a simple delineation.”

The author's account of his work is fair and accurate. The book is written in a plain straightforward style, and it never wanders beyond the sphere of the author's own observation; but it is full of spirit, and has all the vigour and vividness of a per­sonal narrative. Irádat Khán was a good soldier, and was much trusted; and not without reason, for he evidently was clear­sighted, prompt, and energetic, and he possessed great common sense and unusual veracity. In his account of the battle between Jahándár Sháh and Farrukh Siyar he observes, “Every one knows that, after an engagement is once begun, it is impossible for a single person to see more of the operations than those on the immediate spot of his own post; how then, can I say, I distinctly viewed every change of two lines covering ground of miles in extent? An author once read to Aurangzeb a long account of one of his battles. The Emperor observed at the conclusion, that he must certainly have been upon a high moun­tain during the engagement, which he had seen so minutely, as he himself, though commanding the line, and mounted on an elephant, did not perceive one-third of the particulars he had described.”

The following Extracts are taken from Scott's translation, with only a slight change here and there of the wording. The original work is divided into many short chapters, but Scott did not maintain the divisions in his translation. At the end will be found two letters written by Aurangzeb. They were translated by Scott, and added as notes to his translation. It is not said from whence they were obtained, but they are very characteristic, and, no doubt, authentic.]