27. Meer Mourad Ali Khan is about 55 years of age,

Character of Mír Murád Alí Khán.

of low stature and stout habit of body. His complexion is rather fair and his countenance is the index of a sullen and gloomy mind. He is cold and repulsive in his manners, seldom relaxes into a smile and never condescends to familiar conversation. His personal attachments are confined to the circle of his family. . . . Inconsistent as it may appear, this tyrant is at heart a poor hypochondriac, constantly haunted by the fear of death, and the phantoms of his own gloomy imagination. . . . . I have myself known him pass several sleepless nights from a horror of the consequences of bodily derangement of the most trivial description. The prevailing feature of Meer Mourad Ali’s character is avarice; and he is ever too ready to sacrifice, for its gratification, his own dignity, and the interests of his people. Seldom making promises, he even more rarely fulfils them; and altogether his character may be summed up as that of a selfish and gloomy despot, an Asiatic Tiberius or Philip the Second, ruling a kingdom by the energies of his mind, with none of the better feelings of the human heart.

28. The character of Meer Kurum Ali Khan forms

Character of Mír Karam Alí Khán.

a perfect contrast to that of his brother. He is a man of approved per­sonal bravery, and as far as the etiquette of the Court permits, is cheerful, condescending and even affable. Fond of dress and display, he courts popular applause, which Mourad Ali affects to despise; and till lately he was generous to profusion. Even yet he is liberal, although he now shows a disposition to follow the general policy of the Sinde Court, and to hoard money. I found the public voice at Hyderabad decidedly in his favour, as a prince who was kind to his subjects and attendants, and who was strict in the performance of his promises. In person he is below the middle size, with a pleasing countenance and engaging manners… Meer Karmali is possessed of slender talents, though his education has been good; and he is of so indecisive and easy a disposition that he has accustomed himself through life to regulate his conduct chiefly by the advice and wishes of others.

29. Meer Mourad Ali’s eldest son Meer Noor Mahomed

Character of Mír Núr Muhammad Khán.

Khan is about 30 years of age, and may be considered as nearly the counter­part of his father, with all the bad and but few of the strong parts of his character. He was very unpopular; and I never heard of any virtue he pos­sessed, except a selfish attachment to his parent. Accu­mulation of wealth is the apparent object of his life. This chief is the only one of the family who is illiterate.

30. Meer Mahomed Nusseer Khan is the second son

Character of Mír Muham­mad Nasír Khán.

of Meer Mourad Ali, and is by far the most engaging and popular of the reigning family in Sinde. He is 25 years of age, of handsome figure, though rather corpulent, with much dignity of manners, and a noble expression of countenance, undisfigured by the least resemblance to his father or brother. The dissimilarity, fortunately, is as complete in character as in personal appearance. Meer Nusseer Khan is as generous as they are sordid, and has lavished the treasures which were allotted him with profuse liberality. . . . . . Meer Nusseer Khan has ever expressed a favourable feeling towards the British Government. He has been unremitting in his civilities to our native agent at Hyderabad; and during my residence there he was even more attentive to me than the others. He is the darling of the soldiery, from excelling in all manly exercises, and the most likely of the younger branches of the family to attain that pre­eminence which some one or other will probably in the end acquire. He does not appear a very determined or aspiring character.

31. Meer Sobdar Khan is the son of Meer Futteh Ali

Mír Sóbdár Khán wd. Mír Fateh Alí Khán.

Khan, the chief to whom the Talpoor family owes its greatness; and he was born in 1801, a few hours before the death of his father, who had only time to entreat the kindness of his brother to his infant before he expired. For many years Meer Sobdar was the adopted child of Meer Kurum Ali; but being subject to epilepsy, and having one day fallen down in the durbar, Mourad Ali Khan contemptuously asked his brother what he expected to make of such an unfortunate wretch; and since then, until very lately, he has lived in obscurity on a paltry pension of 25,000 rupees per annum. The personal appearance of Meer Sobdar Khan is favourable. He is about the middle size and rather inclined to corpulency. In his manners he is formal . . . . Great pains were, I understand, taken with his education; and although he is, no doubt, a man of weak mind, and most likely the tool only of a party, he is not deficient in literary taste and attainments, if a knowledge of Persian books and poetry can be dignified by such an appellation.

32. The Nawab, Wullee Mahomed Khan Lagharee is

Nawáb Walí Muhammad Khán Lughárí.

by the Ameers themselves termed the Vazier of Sinde, and next to the principal members of the Talpur family, must be considered the most important personage under their government. Being himself the head of a powerful Beloochee tribe, which contributed in the field to the elevation of the present rulers, he has ever since been their faithful and able servant, and seems to enjoy not only the entire confidence of his masters, but, what is rare indeed in a despotic government, the esteem and respect of the people. He is the adviser of the Ameers in the management of the internal affairs of the State; and by his adroitness and mild demeanour, has it often in his power, and seldom loses an opportunity, to avert or mitigate the effects of those shocks of tyranny and oppression which emanate from their durbar. A sincere regard for the interest of his masters has taught this old and respectable individual the necessity of maintaining a friendly intercourse with the British Government, and it is to his advice I owe not only my visit to Sinde, but the wish of the Ameers to detain me. . . . . . In 1832, the Vazier Wullee Mahomed Khan Lagharee dropped into the grave full of years and honour, having retained the confidence of his masters and the love of the people to the last. To give an idea of the wealth of a Beloochee Chief of the highest rank, it may be added that the whole annual revenue of the possessions transmitted to his heir did not exceed £3,000 sterling. His death left the arena open to his suttle adversary, Meer Ismail Shah, who, aided by his sons, still pursues an active career of ambi­tion, sharing, with Mirza Khoosroo Beg, the chief influence at Court.*

33. Meer Ismail Shah is the adviser of the government

Mír (or Ághá) Ismáíl Sháh and his sons.

in his foreign, as Nawab Wullee Mahomed Khan is in its domestic policy. He is second only to the latter in the estimation of the Ameers, who in addition to their religious reverence for him as a descendant of the Prophet, entertain an exaggerated idea of his judgment and experience. He is the son of a Persian who emi­grated about 50 years ago into Sinde, where he was attached to the last Caloras as a State-physician and afterwards siding with the Talpoors, received employment in their service. Ismail Shah is well-known as the ambassador to Bombay in 1820, when it was expected war would be declared between the governments. . . . Meer Ismail Shah is a man of respectable appearance and good address, about 50 years of age, has the silly vanity to pretend ignorance of the common language of Sinde, and never speaks or allows himself to be addressed in any other language than Persian. . . . He is no doubt thoroughly skilled in the system of intrigue and chicanery so requisite in an Asiatic cabinet. He has several sons holding important situations under the government, one of whom was lately at Bombay as vakeel, and another is the representative of the Ameers at Shikarpoor. He himself receives a monthly salary of eleven hundred rupees as physician, which is the best paid appointment at Hyderabad, but his prescriptions are little attended to by the Ameers.*

34. Next in importance to these officers are a few

Mírza Khusró Beg.

courtiers who exert a personal influ­ence, from being constantly in private attendance on the Ameers or as leaders of Beloochee tribes. The first of this class worthy of notice is Mirza Khoosroo Beg, a Georgian slave, who was purchased about eighteen years ago by Meer Kurm Ali Khan,* and whom his master now treats as an adopted child. He is not a favourite of Meer Mourad Ali Khan, and possesses little political consequence, though he was envoy at Bombay in 1823. He is a man of quiet retiring character, and is known in Sinde as the author of Persian verses, the merit of which he is willing to yield to Meer Kurm Ali Khan, who has considerable vanity as a poet. I requested His Highness one day to favour me with a couplet of his own composition to engrave on a sword, and I observed that he immediately called Mirza Khoosroo Beg to him, and after some whispering, produced the following verse as his own:—“I am sharper than wisdom from the mouth of Plato; I am more blood-spilling than the eye-brow of a beautiful mistress.”

35. The Jharejahs are the aristocracy of the country

The Járejah Rajputs of Kachh.

and are all more or less connected with the family of the Rao. They trace their descent from Lacca Goraro, a prince who reigned in Sinde a thousand years ago, four of whose sons, Moor, Oner, Phool and Munya­bhaee, emigrated into Cutch on account of some family dissensions. The two last had no issue. The posterity of Moor ended in the third generation at Lacca Phoolanee, whose name is still known and celebrated throughout this province. From Oner descended the present Jam of Nuwanugur. One of his descendants four hundred years ago had four sons, Khenyar, Rhayebjee, Sayebjee, and Aleyajee. From the first of these the Rao is lineally descended; and all the present Jharejahs, with a few exceptions, who claim still higher birth, derive their origin from the other three . . . . the Jharejahs of Cutch trace the custom (infanticide) to Jarrah, one of the posterity of Oner, abovementioned, from whom they derive their name, and who first set the example by putting to death seven of his daughters some hundred years ago. His descendants, it is to be feared, have not confined this practice to females only.

36. The royal family of Cutch have never objected to

The Kalhorah invasion of Kachh, and their matri­monial connection with the royal family

form matrimonial alliances with Mahommedans, when the match was suitable, or when a political object was to be gained. Rao Gore gave one of his female relations in marriage to Meean Suru fraz Khan, a prince of the house of Calora in Sinde; and more lately, Kasser Bhye, the sister of Rao Bharmuljee, was united to the Nawab of Joonaghur. . . . . Two of the invasions of Cutch were headed by Gholam Shah Calora in person and two of them by his son Meean Surufraz Khan. The former wished to compel the Rao to give him his sister in marriage; but after a treaty had been entered into, in which this stipulation stood as an article, it was evaded, and Gholam Shah was glad, on his second invasion, to content himself with the daughter of the chief of Khanker, whose family stood next in pretensions to the throne. . . . . . On quitting Cutch, Gholam Shah left a garrison of 5000 men at Luckput Bunder, which was then a petty town. He also proceeded to build an embankment to prevent the waters of the Indus from falling into the sea through the eastern branch of the river which passes close to Luckput; and by this unjustifiable act he converted a fertile plain, which yielded from rice cultiva­tion a revenue of eight lacs of cories annually to the Bhooj durbar, into a dreary salt-marsh. When Gholam Shah died, his son Surufraz Khan re-called his troops from Luckput, but as before stated, he twice after this entered Cutch with a considerable force, and devastated a great part of the country before he quitted it.