Feeling now secure in the possession of the Muneearpoor estate, Hurpaul and Seoumber Sing left a small guard to secure the lady, and went off, with the rest of their forces, to seize upon the estate of Birsingpoor, in the purgunnah of Dehra, belonging to the widow of Mahdoo Sing, the tallookdar. She summoned to her aid Roostum Sa and other Rajkomar landholders, friends of her late husband. A fight ensued, in which Seoumber Sing and his brother, Hobdar Sing were killed. Hurpaul Sing fled and returned to his fort of Kupragow. The Lady Sogura escaped, and presented herself again to the Court of Lucknow, under better auspices; and orders were sent to Maun Sing, and all the military authorities, to restore her to the possession of her estate, and seize or destroy Hurpaul Sing. In alarm Hurpaul Sing then released the mother of the Lady Sogura, and prepared to fly.
Maun Sing sent confidential persons to him to say, that he had been ordered by the Court of Lucknow to confer upon him a dress of honour or condolence, on the death of his two lamented brothers, and should do so in person the next day. Hurpaul Sing was considered one of the bravest men in Oude, but he was then sick on his bed, and unable to move. He received the message without suspicion, being anxious for some small interval of repose; and willing to believe that common interests and pursuits had united him and Maun Sing in something like bonds of friendship.
Maun Sing came in the afternoon, and rested under a banyan-tree, which stood opposite the gateway of the fort. He apologized for not entering the fort, on the ground, that it might lead to some collision between their followers, or that his friend might not wish any of the King's servants, who attended with the dress of honour, to enter his fortress. Hurpaul Sing left all his followers inside the gate, and was brought out to Maun Sing in a litter, unable to sit up without support. The two friends embraced and conversed together with seeming cordiality till long after sunset, when Maun Sing, after investing his friend with the dress of honour, took leave and mounted his horse. This was the concerted signal for his followers to despatch his sick friend, Hurpaul. As he cantered off, at the sound of his kettle-drum and the other instruments of music, used by the Nazims of districts, his armed followers, who had by degrees gathered round the tree, without awakening any suspicion, seized the sick man, dragged him on the ground, a distance of about thirty paces, and then put him to death. He was first shot through the chest, and then stabbed with spears, cut to pieces with swords, and left on the ground. They were fired upon from the fort, while engaged in this foul murder, but all escaped unhurt. Maun Sing had sworn by the holy Ganges, and still more holy head of Mahadeo, that his friend should suffer no personal hurt in this interview; and the credulous and no less cruel and rapacious Gurgbunsies were lulled into security. The three persons who murdered Hurpaul, were Nujeeb Khan, who has left Mann Sing's service, Benee Sing, who still serves him, and Jeskurun Sing, who has since died. Sadik Hoseyn and many others aided them in dragging their victim to the place where he was murdered, but the wounds which killed him were inflicted by the above-named persons.
The family fled, the fort was seized and plundered of all that could be found, and the estate seized and put under the management of Government officers. Maun Sing had collected half the revenues of 1847, when he was superseded in the contract by Wajid Allee Khan, who re-established the Lady Sogura in the possession of all that remained of her estate. He, at the same time, reinstated the family of Hurpaul Sing, in the possession of their now large estate—that is, the widow of Nihal Sing, to Seheepoor, comprising one-half; and Ramsurroop Sing, the son of Seoumber Sing, to Kupragow, comprising the other half.* The rent-roll of the whole is now estimated at 1,29,000 a- year; and the nankar, or recognized allowance for the holders, is 73,000, leaving the Government demand at 56,000, of which they hardly ever pay one-half, or one-quarter, being inveterate robbers and rebels. Wajid Allee Khan had been commissioned, by the Durbar, to restore the Lady Sogura to her patrimonial estate, and he brought her with him from Lucknow for the purpose; but he soon after made over a part of the estate to his friend, Bakir Allee, of Esoulee, and another part to Ramsurroop, the son of Seoumber Sing, for a suitable consideration, and left only one-half to the Lady Sogura. This she at first refused to take, but he promised to restore the whole the next year, when he saw she was resolved to return again to her friends at Lucknow, and she consented to take the offered half on condition of a large remission of the Government demand upon it. When the season of collections came, however, he would make no remission for the half he had permitted her to retain, or give her any share in the perquisites of the half he had made over to others; nor would he give her credit for any portion of the collections, which had been anticipated by Maun Sing. He made her pledge the whole rents of her estate to Hoseyn Allee Khan, the commandant of a squadron of cavalry, on detached duty, under him. Unable to conduct the management under all these outrages and exactions, she begged to have the estate put under Government officers. Her friends at Court got an order issued for her being restored to the possession of the whole estate, having credit for the whole amount collected by Maun Sing, and a remission in the revenue equal to all that Government allowed to the proprietors of such estates.
[* In May 1851, the Nazim besieged Ramsurroop, in Kupragow, with a very large force, including Bunbury's and Magness's Regiments and Artillery. After the loss of many lives from fighting, and more from cholera, on both sides, Ramsurroop marched out with all his garrison and guns at night, and passed, unmolested, through that part of the line where the non-fighting corps were posted.]
Wajid Allee Khan disregarded the order, and made over or sold Naraenpoor and other villages belonging to the estate, to Rughbur Sing, the atrocious brother of Maun Sing, who sent his myrmidons to take possession. They killed the Lady Sogura's two agents in the management, plundered her of all she had of property, and all the rents which she had up to that time collected, for payment to Government; and took possession of Naraenpoor and the other villages, sold to their master by Wajid Allee. Wajid Allee soon after came with a large force, seized the lady and carried her off to his camp, put all her officers and attendants into confinement, and refused all access to her. When she became ill, and appeared likely to sink under the treatment she received, he made her enter into written engagements to pay to the troops, in liquidation of their arrears of pay, all that he pretended that she owed to the State. He prevailed upon Ghuffoor Beg, who commanded the artillery, to take these her pledges, and give him, Wajid Allee, corresponding receipts for the amount, for transmission to the Treasury; and then made her over a prisoner to him. Ghuffoor Beg took possession of the lady and the estate, kept her in close confinement, and employed his artillery-men in making the collections in their own way, by appropriating all the harvests to themselves.
Wajid Allee was superseded in October 1849, by Aga Allee, who, on entering on his charge, directed that martial-law should cease in Muneearpoor; but Ghuffoor Beg and his artillery-men were too strong for the governor, and refused to give up the possession of so nice an estate. When I approached the estate in my tour, Ghuffoor Beg took the lady off to Chundoly, where she was treated with all manner of indignity and cruelty by the artillery. The estate was going to utter ruin under their ignorant and reckless management, and the Nazim, Aga Allee, prayed me to interpose and save it, and protect the poor Lady Sogura. I represented the hardship of the case to the Durbar, but with little hope of any success, under the present government, who say, that if the troops are not allowed to pay themselves in this way, they shall have to pay them all the arrears for which the estate is pledged, not one rupee of which is reduced by the collections they make. If they were to hold the estate for twenty years, they would not allow it to appear that any portion of the arrears had been paid off. The estate is a noble one, and, in spite of all the usurpations and disorders from which it has lately suffered, was capable last year of yielding to Government a revenue of fifty thousand rupees a- year, after providing liberally for all the requirements of the poor Lady Sogura and her family, or a rent-roll of one hundred thousand rupees a-year.
December 19, 1849.—Shahgunge, distance twelve miles. This town is surrounded by a mud wall, forty feet thick, and a ditch three miles round, built thirty years ago, and now much out of repair. It belongs to the family of Rajah Bukhtawar Sing. The wall, thirty feet high, was built of the mud taken from the ditch, in which there is now some six or seven feet of water. The wall has twenty-four bastions for guns, but there is no platform, or road for guns, round it on the inside. A number of respectable merchants and tradesmen reside in this town, where they are better protected than in any other town in Oude. It contains a population of between twenty and thirty thousand persons. They put thatch over the mud walls during the rains to preserve them. The fortifications and dwelling-houses together are said to have cost the family above ten lacs of rupees. There are some fourteen old guns in the fort. Though it would be difficult to shell a garrison out of a fort of this extent, it would not be difficult to take it. No garrison, sufficient to defend all parts of so extended a wall, could be maintained by the holder; and it would be easy to fill the ditch and scale the walls. Besides, the family is so very unpopular among the military classes around, whose lands they have seized upon, that thousands would come to the aid of any government force brought to crush them, and overwhelm the garrison. They keep their position only by the purchase of Court favour, and have the respect and attachment of only the better sort of cultivators, who are not of the military classes, and could be of little use to them in a collision with their sovereign. The family by which it is held has long been very influential at Court, where it has been represented by Bukhtawar Sing, whose brother, Dursun Sing, was the most powerful subject that Oude has had since the time of Almas Allee Khan. They live, however, in the midst of hundreds of sturdy Rajpoots, whom they have deprived of their lands, and who would, as I have said, rise against them were they to be at any time opposed to the Government The country over which we have passed this morning is well studded with groves, and well cultivated; and the peasantry seemed contented and prosperous. The greater part of the road lay through the lands acquired, as already described, by this family. Though they have acquired the property in the land by abuse of authority, collusion and violence, from its rightful owners, they keep their faith with the cultivators, effectually protect them from thieves, robbers, the violence of their neighbours, and, above all, from the ravages of the King's troops; and they encourage the settlement of the better or more skilful and industrious classes of cultivators in their villages, such as Kachies, Koormies, and Lodhies. They came out from numerous villages, and in considerable bodies, to salute me, and expressed themselves well satisfied with their condition, and the security they enjoyed under their present landholders. We came through the village of Puleea, and Rajah Bukhtawar Sing seemed to have great pleasure in showing me the house in which he was born, seventy-five years ago, under a fine tamarind- tree that is still in vigour. The history of this family is that of many others in the Oude territory.
The father of Bukhtawar Sing, Porunder, was the son of Mungul, a Brahmin, who resided in Bhojpoor, on the right bank of the Ganges, a little below Buxar. The son, Porunder, was united in marriage to the daughter of Sudhae Misser, a respectable Brahmin, who resided in Puleea, and held a share of the lands. He persuaded his son-in-law to take up his residence in the same village. Prouder had five sons born to him in this village:— 1. Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, my Quartermaster- General. 2. Pursun Sing, died without issue. 3. Rajah Dursun Sing, died 1844, leaving three sons. 4. Incha Sing lives, and has two sons. 5. Davey Sing died, leaving two sons.
The eldest son was a trooper in the Honourable Company's 8th Regiment of Light Cavalry; and while still a very young man, and home on furlough, he attracted the attention of Saadnt Allee Khan, the sovereign of Oude, whom he attended on a sporting excursion. He was very tall, and exceedingly handsome; and, on one occasion, saved his sovereign's life from the sword of an assassin. He became one of Saadut Alee's favourite orderlies, and rose to the command of a squadron. In a fine picture of Saadut Allee and his Court on the occasion of a Durbar, at which the Resident, Colonel Scott, and his suite were present, Bukhtawar Sing is represented in the dress he wore as an orderly cavalry officer. This picture is still preserved at Lucknow. His brothers, Dursun, Incha, and Davey Sing became, one after the other, orderlies in the same manner, under the influence of Bukhtawar Sing, during the reign of Saadnt Allee, and his son, Ghazee-od Deen. Dursan Sing got the command of a regiment of Nujeebs in 1814, and Incha Sing and Davey Sing rose in favour and rank, both civil and military.
Bhudursa and five other villages were held in proprietary right by the members of a family of Syuds. They enjoyed Bhudursa rent free, and still hold it; but the other five villages (Kyl, Mahdono, Tindooa, Teroo, and Pursun) were bestowed, in jagheer, upon another Syud, a Court favourite, Khoda Buksh, in 1814. He fell into disfavour in 1816, and all these and other villages were let, in 1817, to Dursun Sing, in farm, at 60,000 rupees a-year. The bestowal of an estate in jagheer, or farm, ought not to interfere with the rights of the proprietors of the lands comprised in it, as the sovereign transfers merely his own territorial rights, not theirs; but Dursun Sing, before the year 1820, had, by rack-renting, lending on mortgage, and other fraudulent or violent means, deprived all the Syud proprietors of their lands in the other five villages. They were, however, still left in possession of Bhudursa. He pursued the same system, as far as possible, in the other districts, which were, from time to time, placed under him, as contractor for the revenue. He held the contract for Sultanpoor and other districts, altogether yielding fifty-nine lacs of rupees a-year, in 1827; and it was then that he first bethought himself of securing his family permanently in the possession of the lands he had seized, or might seize upon, by bynamahs, or deeds of sale, from the old proprietors.
He imposed upon the lands he coveted, rates which he knew they could never pay; took all the property of the proprietors for rent, or for the wages of the mounted and foot soldiers, whom he placed over them, or quartered upon their villages, to enforce his demands; seized any neighbouring banker or capitalist whom he could lay hold of, and by confinement and harsh treatment, made him stand security for the suffering proprietors, for sums they never owed; and when these proprietors were made to appear to be irretrievably involved in debt to the State and to individuals, and had no hope of release from prison by any other means, they consented to sign the bynamahs, or sale deeds for lands, which their families had possessed for centuries. Those of the capitalists who had no friends at Court were made to pay the money, for which they had been forced to pledge themselves; and those who had such friends, got the sums which they had engaged to pay, represented as irrecoverable balances due by proprietors, and struck off. The proprietors themselves, plundered of all they had in the world, and without any hope of redress, left the country, or took service under our Government, or that of Oude, or descended to the rank of day-labourers or cultivators in other estates.*
[* Estates held by the family under bynamahs or sale deeds:
1. Puchumrath . . . . . . . . . 1,13,000 2. Howelee . . . . . . . . . . 45,000 3. Mogulsee, including Hindoo Sing's estate of Shapoor, obtained by fraud and violence . . . . . . 28,000 4. Bhurteepoor and Laltapoor . . . . 30,000 5. Rudowlee . . . . . . . . . 12,000 Turolee in Huldeemow. . . . . . 17,000 6. Bahraetch in Sagonputtee . . . . 4,000 7. Gosaengunge . . . . . . . . 3,000
Total Company's Rupees . . . 2,52,000
Dursun Sing's contracts, for the land revenue, of districts, amounted from 1827 to 1830, to 59,00,000 rupees a year. From 1830 to 1836, to 58,00,000. In 1836 to 46,100,000. In 1837 to 47,00,000. He continued to hold the whole or greater part of these districts up to September 1843.]
There were four brothers, the sons of a Canoongo, of Fyzabad; first, Birj Lal; second, Lala; third, Humeer Sing, a corporal in one of our Regiments of Native Infantry; fourth, Hunooman Persaud; fifth, Gunga Persaud. The family held-eight villages, in hereditary right, with a rent-roll of 6,000, of which they paid 3,000 to Government, and took 3,000 for themselves. While Dursun Sing was dying, in 1844, his eldest son, Ramadeen, tried to get possession of this estate. He seized and confined, in the usual way, Gunga Persaud, the Canoongo, and kept him with harsh treatment, for 1844; and when his brother the corporal complained, in the usual way, through the Resident, Gunga Persaud was released, and he attended the Residents Court, as his brother's attorney, till 1847, when the family recovered possession of the estate. But in 1846, when Dursun Sing's son saw that the case was going against him, he made their local agent, Davey Persaud, plunder all the eight villages of all the stock in cattle, grain, &c., that they contained, and all the people, of whatever property they possessed.
Dursun Sing's family now pay to the Oude Government, a revenue of 1,88,000 rupees a-year, for their bynamah estates, which were acquired by them in the manner described. The rent-roll, recognized in the Exchequer, is 2,56,000; and the nankar 68,000; but the real rent-roll is much greater-perhaps double. The village of Tendooa, in Mehdona, belonged, in hereditary right, to Soorujbulee Sing and Rugonauth Sing, Rajpoots, whom the family of Dursun Sing wished to coerce, in the usual mode, into signing a bynamah, or deed of sale. They refused, and some of the family are said to have been in confinement in consequence, since the year A.D. 1844. When Gunga Persaud, the Canoongo, was confined by Dursun Sing's family, on account of his own estate, they extorted from him, on the pretence of his being security for the punctual payment of what might be demanded from these two men, Soorujbulee' and Rugonauth, the sum of 4,000 rupees. One of the eight villages, held by the Canoongoes, named Aboo Surae, Ghalib Jung, alias Dursun Sing, another Court favourite, is now trying to take by violence, for himself, following the practice of his namesake. He has possessed himself of many by the same means, keeping the troops he commands upon them at exercise and target- practice, till he drives both cultivators and proprietors out, or shoots them.
This Rajah, Ghalib Jung, is now a great favourite with the minister, and no man manifests a stronger disposition to make his influence subservient to his own interest and that of his family. By fraud and violence, and collusion with the officers who have charge of districts and require his aid at Court, he seizes upon the best lands of his weaker neighbours, in the same manner as his namesake, Rajah Dursun Sing, used to do; and of the money which he receives for contracts of various kinds, he appropriates by far the greater part to himself. He is often sent out, with a considerable force, to adjust disputes between landholders and local authorities, and he decides in favour of the party most able and willing to pay, under the assurance that, if called to account, he will be able to clear himself, by giving a share of what he gets to those who send and support him. He commands a large body of mounted and foot police, and he is often ordered to go and send detachments in pursuit of daring offenders, particularly those who have given offence to the British authorities. In such cases he generally succeeds in arresting and bringing in some of the offenders; but he as often seizes the landholders and others who may have given them shelter, intentionally or otherwise; and, after extorting from them as much as they can be made to pay, lets them go. He is not, of course, very particular as to the quantity or quality of the evidence forthcoming to prove that a person able to pay has intentionally screened the offenders from justice.
Rajah Ghalib Jung was the superintendent of the City Police, and commandant of a Brigade of Infantry, and a prime favourite of the King, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, for two years, up to November 1835. He had many other employments, was always in attendance upon the King, and was much liked by him, because he saw his orders carried into immediate effect, without any regard to the rank or sufferings of the persons whom they were to affect. For these two years he was one of the most intimate companions of his sovereign, in his festivities and most private debaucheries. He became cordially detested throughout the city for his reckless severity, and still more throughout the Court, for the fearless manner in which he spoke to the King of the malversation and peculations of the minister and all the Court favourites who were not in his interest. He thwarted the imbecile old minister, Roshun-od Dowlah, in everything; and never lost an opportunity of turning him into ridicule, and showing his contempt for him.
The King had become very fond of a smart young lad, by name Duljeet, who had been brought up from his infancy by the minister, but now served the King as his most confidential personal attendant. He was paid handsomely by the minister for all the services he rendered him, and deeply interested in keeping him in power and unfettered, and he watched eagerly for an opportunity to remove the man who thwarted him. Mucka, the King's head tailor, was equally anxious, for his own interests, to get rid of the favourite, and so was Gunga Khowas, a boatman, another personal servant and favourite of the King. These three men soon interested in their cause some of the most influential ladies of the palace, and all sought with avidity the opportunity to effect their object. Ghalib Jung was the person, or one of the persons, through whom the King invited females, noted for either their beauty or their accomplishments, and he was told to bring a celebrated dancing-girl, named Mogaree. She did not appear, and the King became impatient, and at last asked Dhuneea Mehree the reason. She had often been employed in a similar office, and was jealous of Ghalib Jung's rivalry. She told his Majesty, that he had obstructed his pleasures on this as on many other occasions, and taken the lady into his own keeping. All the other favourites told him the same thing, and it is generally believed that the charge was true; indeed the girl herself afterwards confessed it. The King, however, "bided his time," in the hope of finding some other ground of revenging himself upon the favourite, without the necessity of making him appear in public as his rival.
On the 7th of October, 1835, the King was conversing with Ghalib Jung, in one of his private apartments, on affairs of state. Several crowns stood on the table for the King's inspection. They had been prepared under Mucka, the tailor's, inspection, from materials purchased by him. He always charged the King ten times the price of the articles which he was ordered to provide, and Ghalib Jung thought the occasion favourable to expose his misconduct to his master. He took up one of the crowns, put his left hand into it, and, turning it round on his finger, pointed out the flimsy nature of the materials with which it had been made. His left finger slipped through the silk on the crown, whether accidentally, or designedly, to prove the flimsy nature of the silk and exasperate the King, is not known; but on seeing the finger pass through the crown, his Majesty left the room without saying a word. Soon after several attendants came in, surrounded Ghalib Jung, and commanded him to remain till further orders. In this state they remained for about two hours, when other attendants came in, struck off his turban on the floor, and had it kicked out of the room by sweepers.
They then dragged out Ghalib Jung, and thrust him into prison. The next day heavy iron fetters were put upon his legs, and upon those of three of his principal followers, who were imprisoned along with him; and his mother, father, wife, and daughters were made prisoners in their own houses; and all the property of the family that could be found was confiscated. On the third day, while still in irons, Ghalib Jung and his three followers were tied up and flogged severely, to make them point out any hidden treasure that they might have. That night the King got drunk, and, before many persons, ordered the minister to have Ghalib Jung's right hand and nose cut off forthwith. The minister, who prayed forgiveness and forbearance, was abused and again commanded, but again entreated his Majesty to pause, and prayed for a private audience. It was granted, and the minister told his Majesty that the British Government would probably interpose if the order were carried into effect.
The King then retired to rest, but the next morning had Ghalib Jung and his three followers again tied up and flogged. Six or seven days after, all Ghalib Jung's attendants were taken from him, and no person was permitted to enter the room where he lay in irons, and he could in consequence get neither food nor drink of any kind. On the 19th of October, the King ordered all the females of Ghalib Jung's family to be brought on foot from their houses to the palace by force, and publicly declared that they should all on the next day have their hair shaved off, be stripped naked, and in that state turned out into the street. After giving these orders, the King went to bed, and the females were all brought, as ordered, to the palace; but the sympathies of the King's own servants were excited by the sufferings of these unoffending females, and they disobeyed the order for their being made to walk on foot through the streets, and brought them in covered litters.
The Resident, apprehending that these poor females might be further disgraced, and Ghalib Jung starved to death, determined to interpose, and demanded an interview, while the King was still in bed. The King was sorely vexed, and sent the minister to the Resident to request that he would not give himself the trouble to come, if his object was to relieve Ghalib Jung's family, as he would forthwith order the females to be taken to their homes. The minister had not been to the Resident for ten or twelve days, or from the first or second day after the fall of the favourite. He prayed that the Resident would not speak harshly to the King on the subject of the treatment Ghalib Jung and his family had received, lest he, the minister, should himself suffer. The Resident insisted upon an audience. He found the King sullen and doggedly silent. The minister was present, and spoke for his master. He denied, what was known to be true, that the prisoner had been kept for two days and two nights' without food or drink; but admitted that he had been tied up and flogged severely, and that the females of his family were still there, but he promised to send them back. He said that it was necessary to confiscate the property of the prisoner, since he owed large sums to the State. The females were all sent back to their homes, and Ghalib Jung was permitted, to have four of his own servants in attendance upon him.
The Resident reported all these things to Government, who entirely approved of his proceedings; and desired that he would tell his Majesty that such savage and atrocious proceedings would ruin his reputation, and, if persisted in, bring on consequences most injurious to himself. When the Resident, at the audience above described, remonstrated with the King for not calling upon his officers periodically to render their accounts, instead of letting them run on for indefinite periods, and then confining them and confiscating their property, he replied—"What you state is most true, and you may be assured that I will in future make every one account to me every three months for the money he has received, and never again show favour to any one."
Rajah Dursun Sing, the great revenue contractor, and at that time the most powerful of the King's subjects beyond the precincts of the Court, had, like the minister himself, been often thwarted by Ghalib Jung when in power; and, after the interposition of the Resident, he applied to have him put into his power. The King and minister were pleased at the thought of making their victim suffer beyond the immediate supervision of a vigilant Resident, and the minister made him over to the Rajah for a consideration, it is said, of three lacs of rupees; and at the same time assured the Resident that this was the only safe way to rescue him from the further vengeance of an exasperated King; that Rajah Dursun Sing was a friend of his, and would provide him and his family and attendants with ample accommodation and comfort. The Rajah had him put into an iron cage, and sent to his fort at Shahgunge, where, report says, he had snakes and scorpions put into the cage to torment and destroy him, but that Ghalib Jung had "a charmed life," and escaped their poison. The object is said to have been to torment and destroy him without leaving upon his body any marks of violence.
On the death of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, Ghalib Jung was released from confinement, on the payment, it is said, of four lacs of rupees, in Government securities, and a promise of three lacs more if restored to office. He went to reside at Cawnpore, in British territory; but, on the dismissal of the minister, Roshun-od Dowlah, three months after, and the appointment of Hakeem Mehndee to his place, Ghalib Jung was restored to his place. The promise of the three lacs was communicated to the new King, Mahommed Allee Shah, by Roshun-od Dowlah himself, while in confinement; and it is said that Ghalib Jung paid one-half, or one hundred and fifty thousand.
Ghalib Jung had, in many other ways, abused the privileges of intimate companionship which he enjoyed with his master, as better servants under better and more guarded masters will do; and the King, having discovered this, had for some time resolved to take advantage of the first fair occasion to discharge him. The people of Lucknow liked their King, with all his faults—and they were many—and hated the favourite as much for the injury which he did to his master's reputation, as for the insults and injuries inflicted by him on themselves. But when the unoffending females of the favourite were dragged from their privacy to the palace, to be disgraced, the feelings of the whole city were shocked, and expressed in tones which alarmed the minister as much as the Resident's interposition alarmed the King. They had no sympathy for the fallen favourite, but a very deep one for the ladies and children of his family, who could have no share in his guilt, whatever it might be.
Ghalib Jung was raised, from a very humble grade, by Ghazee-od Deen Hyder, and about the year 1825 he had become as great a favourite with him as he afterwards became with his son, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, and he abused his master's favour in the same manner. The minister, Aga Meer, finding his interference and vulgar insolence intolerable, took advantage one day of the King's anger against him, had him degraded, seized, and sent off forthwith to one of his creatures, Taj-od Deen Hoseyn, then in charge of the Sultanpoor district, where he was soon reduced almost to death's door by harsh treatment and want of food, and made to disgorge all the wealth he had accumulated. Four years after the death of Ghazee-od Deen and the accession of his son, Nuseer-od Deen, Ghalib Jung was, in the year 1831, again appointed to a place of trust at Court by the minister, Hakeem Mehndee, who managed to keep him in order during the two years that he held the reins of government.*
[* Ghalib Jung died on the 1st of May 1851, at Lucknow, aged about 80 years.]
December 20, 1849.—Saleepoor, ten miles. The country, on both sides of the road, well studded with trees, hamlets, and villages, and well cultivated and peopled. The landholders and peasantry seem all happy and secure under their present masters, the brother and son of the late Dursun Sing. They are protected by them from thieves and robbers, the attacks of refractory barons, and, above all, from the ravages of the King's troops; and the whole face of the country, at this season, is like that of a rich garden. The whole is under cultivation, and covered with the greatest possible variety of crops. The people showed us, as we passed, six kinds of sugar-cane, and told us that they had many more, one soil agreeing best with one kind, another with another. The main fault in the cultivation of sugar-cane is here, as in every other part of India that I have seen, the want of room and the disregard of cleanliness. They crowd the cane too much, and never remove the decayed leaves, and sufficient air is never admitted.
Bukhtawar Sing has always been considered as the head of the family to whom Shahgunge belongs, but he has always remained at Court, and left the local management of the estate and the government of the districts, placed under their charge in contract or in trust, to his brothers and nephews. Bukhtawar Sing has no child of his own, but he has adopted Maun Sing, the youngest son of his brother, Dursun Sing, and he leaves all local duties and responsibilities to him. He is a small, slight man, but shrewd, active, and energetic, and as unscrupulous as a man can be. Indeed old Bukhtawar Sing himself is the only member of the family that was ever troubled with scruples of any kind whatever; for he is the only one whose boyhood was not passed in the society of men in the every-day habit of committing with impunity all kinds of cruelties, atrocities, and outrages. There is, perhaps, no school in the world better adapted for training thoroughbred ruffians (men without any scruple of conscience, sense of honour, or feeling of humanity) than the camp of a revenue- contractor in Oude. It has been the same for the last thirty years that I have known it, and must continue to be the same as long as we maintain, in absolute sway over the people, a sovereign who never bestows a thought upon them, has no feeling in common with them, and can never be persuaded that his high office imposes upon him the obligation to labour to promote their good, or even to protect them against the outrage and oppression of his own soldiers and civil officers. All Rajah Bukhtawar Sing's brothers and nephews were bred up in such camps, and are thorough-bred ruffians.
They have got the lands which they hold by much fraud and violence no doubt, but they have done much good to them. They have invited and established in comfort great numbers of the best classes of cultivators from other districts, in which they had ceased to feel secure, and they have protected and encouraged those whom they found on the land. To establish a new cultivator of the better class, they require to give him about twenty-five rupees for a pair of bullocks; for subsistence for himself and family till his crops ripen, thirty- six more, for a house, wells, &c., thirty more, or about ninety rupees, which he pays back with or without interest by degrees. Every village and hamlet is now surrounded by fine garden cultivation, conducted by the cultivators of the gardener caste, whom the family has thus established.
The greatest benefit conferred upon the lands which they hold has been in the suppression of the fearful contests which used to be perpetual between the small proprietors of the military classes, among whom the lands had become minutely subdivided by the law of inheritance, about boundaries and rights to water for irrigation. Many persons used to be killed every year in these contests, and their widows and orphans had to be maintained by the survivors. Now no such dispute leads to any serious conflict. They are all settled at once by arbitrators, who are guided in their decisions by the accounts of the Putwaries of villages and Canoongoes of districts. These men have the detailed accounts of every tenement for the last hundred years; and, with their assistance, village traditions, and the advice of their elders, all such boundary disputes and misunderstandings about rights to water are quickly and amicably adjusted; and the landlords are strong, and able to enforce whatever decision is pronounced. They are wealthy, and pay the Government demand punctually, and have influence at Court to prevent any attempt at oppression on the part of Government officers on themselves or their tenants. Not a thief or a robber can live or depredate among their tenants. The hamlets are, in consequence, numerous and peopled by peasantry, who seem to live without fear. They adhere strictly to the terms of their engagements with their tenants of all grades; and their tenants all pay their rents punctually, unless calamities of season deprive them of the means, when due consideration is made by landlords, who live among them, and know what they suffer and require.
The climate must be good, for the people are strong and well-made, and without any appearance of disease. Hardly a beggar of any kind is to be seen along the road. The residence of religious mendicants seems to be especially discouraged, and we see no others. It is very pleasing to pass over such lands after going through such districts as Bahraetch and Gonda, where the signs of the effects of bad air and water upon men, women, and children are so sad and numerous; and those of the abuse of power and the neglect of duty on the part of the Government and its officers are still more so.
Last evening I sent for the two men above named, who had been confined for six or seven years, and were said to have been so because they would not sign the bynamahs required from them by Mann Sing: their names are Soorujbulee Sing and Rugonath Sing. They came with the King's wakeel, accompanied by their cousin, Hunooman Sing, on whose charge they were declared to have been confined. I found that the village of Tendooa had been held by their family, in proprietary right, for many generations, and that they were Chouhan Rajpoots by caste. When Dursun Sing was securing to himself the lands of the district, those of Tendooa were held in three equal shares by Soorujbulee and his brothers, Narind and Rugonath; Hunooman Sing, their cousin; and Seoruttun, their cousin.
Maun Sing took advantage of a desperate quarrel between them, and secured Soorujbulee and Rugonath. Narind escaped and joined a refractory tallookdar, and Seoruttun and Hunooman did the same. Hunooman Sing was, however, invited back, and intrusted, by Maun Sing, with the management of the whole estate, on favourable terms. In revenge for his giving in to the terms of Maun Sing, and serving him, the absconded co-sharers attacked his house several times, killed three of his brothers, and many other persons of his family, and robbed him of almost all he had. This was four years ago. He complained, and the two brothers were kept more strictly confined than ever, to save him and the village. Hunooman Sing looked upon the two prisoners as the murderers of his brothers, though they were in confinement when they were killed, and had been so for more than two years, and was very violent against them in my presence. They were no less violent against him, as the cause of their continued confinement They protested to me, that they had no communication whatever with Seoruttun or Narind Sing, but thought it very likely, that they really did lead the gangs in the attacks upon the village, to recover their rights. They offered to give security for their future good behaviour if released; but declared, that they would rather die than consent to sign a bynamah, or deed of sale, or any relinquishment whatever of their hereditary rights as landholders.
Bukhtawar and Maun Sing said,—"That the people of the village would not be safe, for a moment, if these two brothers were released, which they would be, on the first occasion of thanksgiving, if sent to Lucknow; that people who ventured to seize a thief or robber in Oude must keep him, if they wished to save themselves from his future depredations, as the Government authorities would have nothing to do with them."
I ordered the King's wakeel to take these two brothers to the Chuckladar, and request him to see them released on their furnishing sufficient security for their future good behaviour, which they promised to produce.* They were all fine-looking men, with limbs that would do honour to any climate in the world. These are the families from which our native regiments are recruited; and hardly a young recruit offers himself for enlistment, on whose body marks will not be found of wounds received in these contests, between landlords themselves, and between them and the officers and troops of the sovereign. I have never seen enmity more strong and deadly than that exhibited by contending co-sharers and landholders of all kinds in Oude. The Rajah of Bulrampoor mentioned a curious instance of this spirit in a village, now called the Kolowar village, in the Gonda district, held in copartnership by a family of the Buchulgotee tribe of Rajpoots. One of them said he should plant sugar-cane in one of his fields. All consented to this. But when he pointed out the place where he should have his mill, the community became divided. A contest ensued, in which all the able-bodied men were killed, though not single cane had been planted. The widows and children survived, and still hold the village, but have been so subdued by poverty that they are the quietest village community in the district. The village from that time has gone by the name of Kolowar village, from Koloo, the sugar-mill, though no sugar-mill was ever worked in the village, he believed. He says, the villagers cherish the recollection of this fight; and get very angry when their neighbours twit them with the folly of it.
[* They were released, and have been ever since at large on security. One of them visited me in April 1851, and said, that as a point of honour, they should abstain from joining in the fight for their rights, but felt it very hard to be bound to do so.]
In our own districts in Upper India, they often kill each other in such contests; but more frequently ruin each other in litigation in our Civil Courts, to the benefit of the native attorneys and law- officers, who fatten on the misery they create or produce. In Oude they always decide such questions by recourse to arms, and the loss of life is no doubt fearful. Still the people generally, or a great part of them, would prefer to reside in Oude, under all the risks to which these contests expose them, than in our own districts, under the evils the people are exposed to from the uncertainties of our law, the multiplicity and formality of our Courts, the pride and negligence of those who preside over them, and the corruption and insolence of those who must be employed to prosecute or defend a cause in them, and enforce the fulfilment of a decree when passed.
The members of the landed aristocracy of Oude always speak with respect of the administration in our territories, but generally end with remarking on the cost and uncertainty of the law in civil cases, and the gradual decay, under its operation, of all the ancient families. A less and less proportion of the annual produce of their lands is left to them in our periodical settlements of the land revenue, while family pride makes them expend the same sums in the marriage of their children, in religious and other festivals, personal servants, and hereditary retainers. They fall into balance, incur heavy debts, and estate after estate is put up to auction, and the proprietors are reduced to poverty. They say, that four times more of these families have gone to decay in the half of the territory made over to us in 1801, than in the half reserved by the Oude sovereign; and this is, I fear, true. They named the families—I cannot remember them.
In Oude, the law of primogeniture prevails among all the tallookdars, or principal landholders; and, to a certain extent, among the middle class of landholders, of the Rajpoot or any other military class. If one co-sharer of this class has several sons, his eldest often inherits all the share he leaves, with all the obligations incident upon it, of maintaining the rest of the family.
The brothers of Soorujbulee, above named, do not pretend to have any right of inheritance in the share of the lands he holds; but they have a prescriptive right to support from him, for themselves and families, when they require it. This rule of primogeniture is, however, often broken through during the lifetime of the father, who, having more of natural affection than family pride, divides the lands between his sons. After his death they submit to this division, and take their respective shares, to descend to their children, by the law of primogeniture, or be again subdivided as may seem to them best; or they fight it out among themselves, till the strongest gets all. Among landholders of the smallest class, whether Hindoos or Mahommedans, the lands are subdivided according to the ordinary law of inheritance.
Our army and other public establishments form a great "safety-valve" for Oude, and save it from a vast deal of fighting for shares in land, and the disorders that always attend it. Younger brothers enlist in our regiments, or find employment in our civil establishments, and leave their wives and children under the protection of the elder brother, who manages the family estate for the common good. They send the greater part of their pay to him for their subsistence, and feel assured that he will see that they are provided for, should they lose their lives in our service. From the single district of Byswara in Oude, sixteen thousand men were, it is said, found to be so serving in our army and other establishments; and from Bunoda, which adjoins it to the east, fifteen thousand, on an inquiry ordered to be made by Ghazee-od Deen Hyder some twenty- five years ago.
The family of Dursun Sing, like good landholders in all parts of Oude, assigned small patches of land to substantial cultivators, merchants, shopkeepers, and others, whom it is useful to retain in their estates, for the purpose of planting small groves of mango and other trees, as local ties. They prepare the well and plant the trees, and then make over the land to a gardener or other good cultivator, to be tilled for his own profit, on condition that he water the trees, and take care to preserve them from frost during the cold season, and from rats, white ants, and other enemies; and form terraces round them, where the water lies much on the surface during the rains, so that it may not reach and injure the bark. The land yields crops till the trees grow large and cover it with their shade, by which time they are independent of irrigation, and begin to bear fruit. The crops do not thrive under the shade of the trees, and the lands they cover cease to be of any value for tillage. The stems and foliage of the trees, no doubt, deprive the crops of the moisture, carbonic gas and ammonia, they require from the atmosphere. They are, generally, watered from six to ten years. These groves form a valuable local tie for the cultivators and other useful tenants. No man dare to molest them or their descendants, in the possession of their well and grove, without incurring, at least, the odium of society; and, according to their notion, the anger of their gods.
The cultivators always point out to them, in asserting their rights to the lands they hold; and reside and cultivate in the village, under circumstances that would drive them away, had they no such ties to retain them. They feel a-great pride in them; and all good landlords feel the same in having their villages filled with tenants who have such ties.
December 21, 1849.—Bhurteepoor, ten miles, almost all the way through the estate of Maun Sing. No lands could be better cultivated than they are all the way, or better studded with groves and beautiful single trees. The villages and hamlets along the road are numerous, and filled with cultivators of the gardener and other good classes, who seem happy and contented. The season has been favourable, and the crops are all fine, and of great variety. Sugar- cane abounds, but no mills are, as yet, at work. We passed through, and by three or four villages, that have been lately taken from Maun Sing, and made over to farmers by the local authorities, under instructions from Court; but they are not so well cultivated, as those which he retains. The cultivators and inhabitants generally do not appear to enjoy the same protection or security in the engagements they make. The soil is everywhere good, the water near the surface, and the climate excellent. The soil is here called doomuteea, and adapted to all kinds of tillage.
I should mention, with regard to the subdivision of landed property, that the Rajahs and tallookdars, among whom the law of primogeniture prevails, consider their estates as principalities, or reeasuts. When any Rajah, or tallookdar, during his lifetime, assigns portions of the land to his sons, brothers, or other members of the family, they are separated from the reeasut, or principality, and are subdivided as they descend from generation to generation, by the ordinary Hindoo or Mahommedan law of inheritance. This is the case with portions of the estate of the Rajah of Korwar, in the Sultanpoor district, one of the oldest Hindoo principalities in Oude, which are now held by his cousins, nephews, &c., near this place, Bhurteepoor.*
[* Sunkur Sing, of Korwar, had four sons: first, Dooneeaput died without issue; second, Sookraj Sing, whose grandson, Madhoo Persaud, is now the Rajah; third, Bureear Sing, who got from his brother lands yielding forty thousand rupees a-year out of the principality. They are now held by his son, Jydut; fourth, Znbar Sing, who got from his brother lands yielding nineteen thousand rupees a-year, which are now held by his son, Moheser Persaud. Sunkir Sing was the second brother, but his elder brother died without issue.]
Dooneeaput succeeded to the reeasut on the death of his uncle, the Rajah, who died without issue; and he bestowed portions of the estate on his brothers, Burear and Zubur Sing, which their descendants enjoy, but which do not go to the eldest son, by the law of primogeniture. He was succeeded by his brother, Sookraj, whose grandson, Madhoo Persaud, now reigns as Rajah, and has the undivided possession of the lands belonging to this branch. All the descendants of his grandfather, Sookraj, and their widows and orphans, have a right to protection and support from him, and to nothing more. Jydut, who now holds the lands, yielding forty thousand rupees a-year, called upon me, this morning, and gave me this history of his family. The Rajah himself is in camp, and came to visit me this afternoon.
It is interesting and pleasing to see a large, well-controlled camp, moving in a long line through a narrow road or pathway, over plains, covered with so rich a variety of crops, and studded with such magnificent evergreen trees. The solitary mango-tree, in a field of corn, seems to exult in its position-to grow taller and spread wider its branches and rich foliage, in situations where they can be seen to so much advantage. The peepul and bargut trees, which, when entire, are still more ornamental, are everywhere torn to pieces and disfigured by the camels and elephants, buffaloes and bullocks, that feed upon their foliage and tender branches. There are a great many mhowa, tamarind, and other fine trees, upon which they do not feed, to assist the mango in giving beauty to the landscape.
The Korwar Rajah, Madhoo Persaud, a young man of about twenty-two years of age, came in the evening, and confirmed what his relative, Jydut, had told me of the rule which required that his lands should remain undivided with his eldest son, while those which are held by Jydut, and his other relatives, should be subdivided among all the sons of the holder. This rule is more necessary in Oude than elsewhere, to preserve a family and its estate from the grasp of its neighbours and Government officers. When there happens to be no heir left to the portion of the estate which has been cut off, it is re- annexed to the estate; and the head of the family frequently anticipates the event, by murdering or imprisoning the heir or incumbent, and seizing upon the lands. Another Rajah, of the same name, Mahdoo Persaud, of Amethee, in Salone, has lately seized upon the estate of Shahgur, worth twenty thousand rupees a-year, which had been cut off from the Amethee estate, and enjoyed by a collateral branch of the family for several generations. He holds the proprietor, Bulwunt Sing, in prison, in irons, and would soon make away with him were the Oude Government to think it worth while to inquire after him. He has seized upon another portion, Ramgur, held by another branch of the family, worth six thousand rupees a-year, and crushed all the proprietors. This is the way in which estates, once broken up, are reconsolidated in Oude, under energetic and unscrupulous men. Of course when they think it worth while to do so, they purchase the collusion of the local authorities of the day, by promising to pay the revenues, which the old proprietors paid during their tenure of office. The other barons do not interfere, unless they happen to be connected by marriage with the ousted proprietors, or otherwise specially bound, by interest and honour, to defend them against the grasp of the head of their family. Many struggles of this kind are taking place every season in Oude.
Recross the Goomtee river—Sultanpoor Cantonments—Number of persons begging redress of wrongs, and difficulty of obtaining it in Oude— Apathy of the Sovereign—Incompetence and unfitness of his Officers— Sultanpoor, healthy and well suited for Troops—Chandour, twelve miles distant, no less so—lands of their weaker neighbours absorbed by the family of Rajah Dursun Sing, by fraud, violence, and collusion; but greatly improved—Difficulty attending attempt to restore old Proprietors—Same absorptions have been going on in all parts of Oude—and the same difficulty to be everywhere encountered— Soils in the district, _mutteear_, _doomutteea_, _bhoor_, _oosur— Risk at which lands are tilled under Landlords opposed to their Government—Climate of Oude more invigorating than that of Malwa— Captain Magness's Regiment—Repair of artillery guns—Supply of grain to its bullocks—Civil establishment of the Nazim—Wolves—Dread of killing them among Hindoos—Children preserved by them in their dens, and nurtured.
December 22, 1849.—Sultanpoor, eight miles. Recrossed the Goomtee river, close under the Cantonments, over a bridge of boats prepared for the purpose, and encamped on the parade-ground. The country over which we came was fertile and well cultivated. For some days we have seen and heard a good many religions mendicants, both Mahommedans and Hindoos, but still very few lame, blind, and otherwise helpless persons, asking charity. The most numerous and distressing class of beggars that importune me, are those who beg redress for their wrongs, and a remedy for their grievances,—"their name, indeed, is Legion," and their wrongs and grievances are altogether without remedy, under the present government and inveterately vicious system of administration. It is painful to listen to all these complaints, and to have to refer the sufferers for redress to authorities who want both the power and the will to afford it; especially when one knows that a remedy for almost every evil is hoped for from a visit such as the poor people are now receiving from the Resident. He is expected "to wipe the tears from off all faces;" and feels that he can wipe them from hardly any. The reckless disregard shown by the depredators of all classes and degrees to the sufferings of their victims, whatever be the cause of discontent or object of pursuit, is lamentable. I have every day scores of petitions delivered to me "with quivering lip and tearful eye," by persons who have been plundered of all they possessed, had their dearest relatives murdered or tortured to death, and their habitations burnt to the ground, by gangs of ruffians, under landlords of high birth and pretensions, whom they had never wronged or offended; some, merely because they happened to have property, which the ruffians wished to take—others, because they presumed to live and labour upon lands which they coveted, or deserted, and wished to have left waste. In these attacks, neither age, nor sex, nor condition are spared. The greater part of the leaders of these gangs of ruffians are Rajpoot landholders, boasting descent from the sun and moon, or from the demigods, who figure in the Hindoo religious fictions of the Poorans. There are, however, a great many Mahommedans at the head of similar gangs. A landholder of whatever degree, who is opposed to his government from whatever cause, considers himself in a state of war', and he considers a state of war to authorize his doing all those things which he is forbidden to do in a state of peace.
Unless the sufferer happens to be a native officer or sipahee of our army, who enjoys the privilege of urging his claims through the Resident, it is a cruel mockery to refer him for redress to any existing local authority. One not only feels that it is so, but sees, that the sufferer thinks that he must know it to be so. No such authority considers it to be any part of his duty to arrest evil- doers, and inquire into and redress wrongs suffered by individuals, or families, or village communities. Should he arrest such people, he would have to subsist and accommodate them at his own cost, or to send them to Lucknow, with the assurance that they would in a few days or a few weeks purchase their way out again, in spite of the clearest proofs of the murders, robberies, torturings, dishonourings, house-burning, &c., which they have committed. No sentence, which any one local authority could pass on such offenders, would be recognised by any other authority in the State, as valid or sufficient to justify him in receiving and holding them in confinement for a single day. The local authorities, therefore, either leave the wrong-doers unmolested, with the understanding that they are to abstain from doing any such wrong within their jurisdictions as may endanger or impede the collection of revenues during their period of office, or release them with that understanding after they have squeezed all they can out of them. The wrong-doers can so abstain, and still be able to murder, rob, torture, dishonour, and burn, upon a pretty large scale; and where they are so numerous, and so ready to unite for purposes "offensive and defensive," and the local authorities so generally connive at or quietly acquiesce all their misdeeds, any attempt on the part of an honest or overzealous individual to put them down would be sure to result in his speedy and utter ruin!
To refer such sufferers to the authorities at Lucknow would be a still more cruel mockery. The present sovereign never hears a complaint or reads a petition or report of any kind. He is entirely taken up in the pursuit of his personal gratifications. He has no desire to be thought to take any interest whatever in public affairs; and is altogether regardless of the duties and responsibilities of his high office. He lives, exclusively, in the society of fiddlers, eunuchs, and women: he has done so since his childhood, and is likely to do so to the last. His disrelish for any other society has become inveterate: he cannot keep awake in any other. In spite of average natural capacity, and more than average facility in the cultivation of light literature, or at least "de faire des petits vers de sa focon," his understanding has become so emasculated, that he is altogether unfit for the conduct of his domestic, much less his public, affairs. He sees occasionally his prime minister, who takes care to persuade him that he does all that a King ought to do; and nothing whatever of any other minister. He holds no communication whatever with brothers, uncles, cousins, or any of the native gentlemen at Lucknow, or the landed or official aristocracy of the country. He sometimes admits a few poets or poetasters to hear and praise his verses, and commands the unwilling attendance of some of his relations, to witness and applaud the acting of some of his own silly comedies, on the penalty of forfeiting their stipends; but any one who presumes to approach him, even in his rides or drives, with a petition for justice, is instantly clapped into prison, or otherwise severely punished.
His father and grandfather, while on the throne, used to see the members of the royal family and aristocracy of the city in Durbar once a-day, or three or four times a-week, and have all petitions and reports read over in their own presence. They dictated the orders, and their seal was affixed to them in their own presence, bearing the inscription molahiza shud, "it has been seen." The seal was then replaced in the casket, which was kept by one confidential servant, Muzd-od Dowlah, while the key was confided to another. Documents were thus read and orders passed upon them twice a-day-once in the morning, and once again in the evening; and, on such occasions, all heads of departments were present. The present King continued this system for a short time, but he soon got tired of it, and made over seal and all to the minister, to do what he liked with them; and discontinued altogether the short Durbar, or levees, which his father, grandfather, and all former sovereigns had held—before they entered on the business of the day—with the heads of departments and secretaries, and at which all the members of the royal family and aristocracy of the city attended, to pay their respects to their sovereign; and soon ceased altogether to see the heads of departments and secretaries, to hear orders read, and to ask questions about state affairs.
The minister has become by degrees almost as inaccessible as his sovereign, to all but his deputies, heads of departments, secretaries, and Court favourites, whom it is his interest to conciliate. Though the minister has his own confidential deputies and secretaries, the same heads of departments are in office as under the present King's father and grandfather; and, though no longer permitted to attend upon or see the King, they are still supposed to submit to the minister, for orders, all reports from local authorities, intelligence-writers, &c., and all petitions from sufferers; but, in reality, he sees and hears read very few, and passes orders upon still less. Any head of a department, deputy, secretary, or favourite, may receive petitions, to be submitted to the minister for orders; but it is the special duty of no one to receive them, nor is any one held responsible for submitting them for orders. Those only who are in the special confidence of the minister, or of those about Court, from whom he has something to hope or something to fear, venture to receive and submit petitions; and they drive a profitable trade in doing so. A large portion of those submitted are thrown aside, without any orders at all; a portion have orders so written as to show that they are never intended to be carried into effect; a third portion receive orders that are really intended to be acted upon. But they are taken to one of the minister's deputies, with whose views or interests some of them may not square well; and he may detain them for weeks, months, or years, till the petitioners are worn out with "hope deferred," or utterly ruined, in vain efforts to purchase the attention they require. Nothing is more common than for a peremptory order to be passed for the immediate payment of the arrears of pension due to a stipendiary member of the royal family, and for the payment to be deferred for eight, ten, and twelve months, till he or she consents to give from ten to twenty per cent., according to his or her necessities, to the deputy, who has to see the order carried out. A sufferer often, instead of getting his petition smuggled on to the minister in the mode above described, bribes a news-writer to insert his case in his report, to be submitted through the head of the department.
At present the head of the intelligence department assumes the same latitude, in submitting reports for orders to the minister, that his subordinates in distant districts assume in framing and sending them to him; that is, he submits only such as may suit his views and interests to submit! Where grave charges are sent to him against substantial men, or men high in office, he comes to an understanding with their representatives in Lucknow, and submits the report to the minister only as a derniere resort, when such representatives cannot be brought to submit to his terms. If found out, at any time, and threatened, he has his feed patrons or patronesses "behind the throne, and greater than the throne itself," to protect him.
The unmeaning orders passed by the minister on reports and petitions are commonly that so and so is to inquire into the matter complained of; to see that the offenders are seized and punished; that the stolen property and usurped lands be restored; that razeenamas, or acquittances, be sent in by the friends of persons who have been murdered by the King's officers; that the men, women, and children, confined and tortured by King's officers, or by robbers and ruffians, be set at liberty and satisfied; the said so and so being the infant commander-in-chief, the King's chamberlain, footman, coachman, chief fiddler, eunuch, barber, or person uppermost in his thoughts at the time. Similar orders are passed in his name by his deputies, secretaries, and favourites upon all the other numerous petitions and reports, which he sends to them unperused. Not, perhaps, upon one in five does the minister himself pass any order; and of the orders passed by him, not one in five, perhaps, is intended to be taken notice of. His deputies and favourites carry on a profitable trade in all such reports and petitions: they extort money alike from the wrong-doer and the wrong-sufferer; and from all local authorities, or their representatives, for all neglect of duty or abuses, of authority charged against them.
As to any investigation into the real merits of any case described in these reports from the news-writers and local authorities, no such thing has been heard of for several reigns. The real merits of all such cases are, however, well and generally known to the people of the districts in which they occur, and freely discussed by them with suitable remarks on the "darkness which prevails under the lamp of royalty;" and no less suitable execrations against the intolerable system which deprives the King of all feeling of interest in the well-being of his subjects, all sense of duty towards them, all feeling of responsibility to any higher power for the manner in which he discharges his high trust over the millions committed to his care.
As I have said, the King never sees any petition or report: he hardly ever sees even official notes addressed to him by the British Resident, and the replies to almost all are written without his knowledge.* The minister never puts either his seal or signature to any order that passes, or any document whatsoever, with his own hand: he merely puts in the date, as the 1st, 5th, or 10th; the month, year, and the order itself are inserted by the deputies, secretaries, or favourites, to whom the duty is confided. The reports and petitions submitted for orders often accumulate so fast in times of great festivity or ceremony, that the minister has them tied up in bundles, without any orders whatever having been passed on them, and sent to his deputies for such as they may think proper to pass, merely inserting his figure 1, 5, or 10, to indicate the date, on the outermost document of each bundle. If any orders are inserted by his deputies on the rest, they have only to insert the same date. There is nothing but the figure to attest the authenticity of the order; and it would be often impossible for the minister himself to say whether the figure was inserted by himself or by any other person. These deputies are the men who adjust all the nuzuranas, or unauthorized gratuities, to be paid to the minister.
[* On the 17th of October, 1850, Hassan Khan, one of the khowas, or pages, whose special duty it is to deliver all papers to the King, fell under his Majesty's displeasure, and his house was seized and searched. Several of the Resident's official notes were found unopened among his papers. They had been sent to the palace as emergent many months before, but never shown to the King. Such official notes from the Resident are hardly every shown to the King, nor is he consulted about the orders to be passed upon them.]
They share largely in all that he gets; and take a great deal, for which they render him no account. Knowing all that he takes, and ought not to take, he dares not punish them for their transgressions; and knowing this, sufferers are afraid to complain against them. In ordinary times, or under ordinary sovereigns, the sums paid by revenue authorities in nazuranas, or gratuities, before they were permitted to enter on their charges, amounted to, perhaps, ten or fifteen per cent.: under the present sovereign they amount, I believe, to more than twenty-five per cent. upon the revenue they are to collect. Of these the minister and his deputies take the largest part. A portion is paid in advance, and good bonds are taken for the rest, to be paid within the year. Of the money collected, more than twenty-five per cent., on an average, is appropriated by those intrusted with the disbursements, and by their patrons and patronesses. The sovereign gets, perhaps, three-fourths of what is collected; and of what is collected, perhaps two-thirds, on an average, reaches its legitimate destination; so that one-half of the revenues of Oude may be considered as taken by officers and Court favourites in unauthorized gratuities and perquisites. The pay of the troops and establishments, on duty with the revenue collectors, is deducted by them, and the surplus only is sent to the Treasury at Lucknow. In his accounts he receives credit for all sums paid to the troops and establishments on duty under him. Though the artillery-bullocks get none of the grain, for which he pays and charges Government, a greater portion of the whole of what he pays and charges in his accounts reaches its legitimate destination, perhaps, than of the whole of what is paid from the Treasury at the capital. On an average, however, I do not think that more than two- thirds of what is paid and charged to Government reaches that destination.
I may instance the two regiments, under Thakur Sing, Tirbaydee; which are always on duty at the palace. It is known that the officers and sipahees of those regiments do not get more than one-half of the pay which is issued for them every month from the Treasury; the other half is absorbed by the commandant and his patrons at Court. On everything sold in the palace, the vender is obliged to add one-third to the price, to be paid to the person through whom it is passed in. Without this, nothing can be sold in the palace by European or native. Not a single animal in the King's establishments gets one- third of the food allowed for it, and charged for; not a building is erected or repaired at less than three times the actual outlay, two- thirds at least of the money charged going to the superintendent and his patrons.
December 23, 1849.—Halted at Sultanpoor, which is one of the healthiest stations in India, on the right bank of the Goomtee river, upon a dry soil, among deep ravines, which drain off the water rapidly. The bungalows are on the verge, looking down into the river, upon the level patches of land, dividing the ravines. The water in the wells is some fifty feet below the surface, on a level with the stream below. There are no groves within a mile of the cantonments; and no lakes, marshes, or jungles within a great many; and the single trees in and near the cantonments are few. The gardens are small and few; and the water is sparingly used in irrigating them, as the expense of drawing it is very great.
There is another good site for a cantonment at Chandour, some twelve miles up the river, on the opposite bank, and looking down upon the stream, from the verge, in the same manner. Chandour was chosen for his cantonments by Rajah Dursun Sing when he had the contract for the district; and it would be the best place for the head-quarters of any establishments, that any new arrangements might require for the administration of the Sultanpoor and surrounding districts. Secrora would be the best position for the head-quarters of those required for the administration of the Gonda-Bahraetch, and other surrounding districts. It is central, and has always been considered one of the healthiest places in Oude. It was long a cantonment for one of our regiments of infantry and some guns, which were, in 1835, withdrawn, and sent to increase the force at Lucknow, from two to three regiments of infantry. The regiment and guns at Sultanpoor were taken away in 1837. Secrora was, for some years after our regiment and guns had been withdrawn, occupied by a regiment and guns under Captain Barlow, one of the King of Oude's officers; but it is now altogether deserted. Sultanpoor has been, ever since 1837, occupied by one of the two regiments of Oude local Infantry, without any guns or cavalry of any kind. There was also a regiment of our regular infantry at Pertabghur, three marches from Sultanpoor, on the road to Allahabad, with a regiment of our light cavalry. The latter was withdrawn in 1815 for the Nepaul war, and employed again under us during the Mahratta war in 1817 and 1818. It was sent back again in 1820; but soon after, in 1821, withdrawn altogether, and we have since had no cavalry of any kind in Oude. Seetapoor was also occupied by one of our regular regiments of infantry and some guns till 1837, when they were withdrawn, and their place supplied by the second regiment of Oude Local Infantry. Our Government now pays the two regiments of Oude Local Infantry stationed at Sultanpoor and Seetapoor; but the places of those stationed at Secrora and Pertabghur have never been supplied. One additional regiment of infantry is kept at Lucknow, so that our force in Oude has only been diminished by one regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and eight guns, with a company and half of artillery. To do our duty honestly by Oude, we ought to restore the regiment of infantry; and in the place of the corps of light, send one of irregular cavalry. We ought also to restore the company and half of artillery and eight guns which have been withdrawn. We draw annually from the lands ceded to as in 1801, for the protection which we promised to the King and his people from "all internal and external enemies," no less than two crores and twelve lacs of rupees, or two millions sterling a-year; while the Oude Government draws from the half of its territories which it reserved only one-half that sum, or one crore of rupees.
Maun Sing is to leave my camp to-day, and return to Shahgunge. Of the fraud and violence, abuse of power, and collusion with local authorities, by which he and his father seized upon the lands of so many hundreds of old proprietors, there can be no doubt; but to attempt to make the family restore them now, under such a government, would create great disorder, drive off all the better classes of cultivators, and desolate the face of the country, which they have rendered so beautiful by an efficient system of administration. Many of the most powerful of the landed aristocracy of Oude have acquired, or augmented, their estates in the same manner and within the same time; and the same difficulty would attend the attempt to restore the old proprietors in all parts. A strong and honest government might overcome all these difficulties, and restore to every rightful proprietor the land unjustly taken from him, within a limited period; but it should not attempt to enforce any adjustment of the accounts of receipts and disbursements for the intervening period. The old proprietor would receive back his land in an improved condition, and the usurper might fairly be considered to have reimbursed himself for all his outlay. The old proprietor should be required to pledge himself to respect the rights of all new tenants.
December 24, 1849.—Meranpoor, twelve miles. Soil between this and Sultanpoor neither so fertile nor so well cultivated, as we found it on the other side of the Goomtee river, though it is of the same denomination—generally doomut, but here and there mutear. The term mutear embraces all good argillaceous earth, from the light brown to the black, humic or ulmic deposit, found in the beds of tanks and lakes in Oude. The natives of Oude call the black soil of Malwa and southern India, and Bundlekund, muteear. This black soil has in its exhausted state abundance of silicates, sulphates, phosphates, and carbonates of alumina, potassa, lime, &c., and of organic acids, combined with the same unorganic substances, to attract and fix ammonia, and collect and store up moisture, and is exceedingly fertile and strong.
Both saltpetre and common salt are made by lixiviation from some of the poor oosur soils; but, from the most barren in Oude, carbonates of soda, used in making glass and soap, are taken. The earth is collected from the surface of the most barren spots and formed into small, shallow, round tanks, a yard in diameter. Water is then poured in, and the tank filled to the surface, with an additional supply of the earth, and smoothed over. This tank is then left exposed to the sun for two days, during the hottest and driest months of the year. March, April, and May, and part of June, when the crust, formed on the surface, is taken off. The process is repeated once; but in the second operation the tank is formed around and below by the debris of the first tank, which is filled to the surface, after the water has been poured in, with the first crust obtained. The second crust is called the reha, which is carbonate or bicarbonate of soda. This is formed into small cakes, which are baked to redness in an oven, or crucible, to expel the moisture and carbonic acid which it contains. They are then powdered to fine dust, which is placed in another crucible, and fused to liquid glass, the reha containing in itself sufficient silica to form the coarse glass used in making bracelets, &c.
A superabundance of nitrates seem also to impair or destroy fertility in the soil, and they may arise from the decomposition of animal or vegetable matter, in a soil containing a superabundance of porous lime. The atmospheric air and water, contained in the moist and porous soil, are decomposed. The hydrogen of the water combines with the nitrogen of the air, and that given off by the decomposing organic bodies, and forms ammonia. The nitrogen of the ammonia then takes up the oxygen of the air and water, and becoming nitric acid, forms nitrates with the lime, potash, soda, &c., contained in the soil. Without any superabundance of lime in the soil, however, the same effects may be produced, when there is a deficiency of decaying vegetable and animal matter, as the oxygen of the decomposed air and water, having no organic substances to unite with, may combine with the nitrogen of the ammonia, and form nitric acid; which, uniting with the lime, potash, soda, &c., may form the superabounding nitrates destructive of fertility.
This superabundance of reha, or carbonate of soda, which renders so much of the surface barren, must, I conclude, arise from deposits of common salt, or chloride of sodium. The water, as it percolates through these deposits towards the surface, becomes saturated with their alkaline salts; and, as it reaches the surface and becomes evaporated in the pure state, it leaves them behind at or near the surface. On its way to the surface, or at the surface, the chloride of sodium becomes decomposed by contact with carbonates of ammonia and potassa—sulphuric and nitric acids. In a soil well supplied with decaying animal or vegetable matter, these carbonates or sulphates of soda, as they rise to the surface, might be formed into nutriment for plants, and taken up by their roots; or in one well flooded occasionally with fresh water, any superabundance of the salts or their bases might be taken up in solution and carried off. The people say, that the soil in which these carbonates of soda (reha) abound, are more unmanageable than those in which nitrates abound: they tell me that, with flooding, irrigating, manuring, and well ploughing, they can manage to get crops from all but the soils in which this reha abounds.
The process above described, by which the bracelet makers extract the carbonates of soda and potash from the earth of the small, shallow tanks, is precisely the same as that by which they are brought from the deep bed of earth below and deposited on or near the surface. In both processes, the water which brings them near the surface goes off into the atmosphere in a pure state, and leaves the salts behind. To make soap from the reha, they must first remove the silex which it contains.
There are no rocks in Oude, and the only form in which lime is found for building purposes and road-pavements is that of kunkur, which is a carbonate of lime containing silica, and oxide of iron. In proportion as it contains the last, the kunkur is more or less red. That which contains none is of a dirty-white. It is found in many parts of India in thin layers, or amorphous masses, formed by compression, upon a stiff clay substratum; but in Oude I have seen it only in nodules, usually formed on nuclei of flint or other hard substances. The kingdom of Oude must have once been the bed, or part of the bed, of a large lake, formed by the diluvial detritus of the hills of the Himmalaya chain, and, as limestone abounds in that chain, the bed contains abundance of lime, which is taken up by the water that percolates through it from the rivers and from the rains and floods above. The lime thus taken up and held in solution with carbonic add gas, is deposited around the small fragments of flint or other hard substances which the waters find in their way. Where the floods which cover the surface during the rains come in rivers, flowing from the Himmalaya or other hills abounding in limestone rocks, they of course contain lime and carbonic-acid gas, which add to the kunkur nodules formed in the bed below; but in Oude the rivers seldom overflow to any extent, and the kunkur is, I believe, formed chiefly from the lime already existing in the bed.
Doctor O'Shaughnessy, the most eminent chemist now in India, tells me that there are two marked varieties of kunkur in India—the red and the white; that the red differs from the white solely in containing a larger proportion of peroxide of iron; that the white consists of carbonate of lime, silica, alumina, and sometimes magnesia and protoxide of iron. He states that he considers the kunkur to be deposited by calcareous waters, abounding in infusorial animalculae; that the waters of the annual inundation are rich in lime, and that all the facts that have come under his observation appear to him to indicate that this is the source of the kunkur deposit, which is seen in a different form in the Italian travertine, and the crescent nodules of the Isle of Sheppey and of Bologne.
Doctor O'Shaughnessy further states, that the reha earth, which I sent to him from Oude, is identical with the sujjee muttee of Bengal, and contains carbonate of soda and sulphate of soda as its essential characteristic ingredients, with silicious clay and oxide of iron. But in Oude, the term "sujjee" is given to the carbonate and sulphate of soda which remains after the silex has been removed from the reha. The reha is fused into glass after the carbonic acid and moisture have been expelled by heat, and the sujjee is formed into soap, by the addition of lime, fat, and linseed oil, in the following proportions, I am told:—6 sujjee, 4 lime, 21/2 fat, and 11/2 ulsee oil.
The sujjee is formed from the reha by filtration. A tank is formed on a terrace of cement. In a hole at one corner is a small tube. Rows of bricks are put down from one end to the other, with intervals between for the liquor to flow through to the tube. On these rows a layer of stout reeds is first placed, and over them another layer composed of the leaves of these reeds. On this bed the coarse reha earth is placed without being refined by the process described in the text above. Some coarse common salt (kharee nimuck) is mixed up with the reha. The tank is then filled with water, which filters slowly through the earth and passes out through the tube into pans, whence it is taken to another tank upon a wider terrace of cement, where it evaporates and leaves the sujjee deposited. The second tank is commonly made close under the first, and the liquor flows into it through the tube, rendering pans unnecessary. It is only in the hot months of March, April, May, and part of June, till the rains begin to fall, that the reha and sujjee are formed. During the other nine months, the Looneas, who provide them, turn their hands to something else. The reha, deprived of its carbonic acid and moisture by heat, is fused into glass. Deprived of silex by this process of filtration, it is formed into sujjee, from which the soap is made.
On this process of filtration. Doctor O'Shaughnessy observes:-"I do not clearly understand the use of the common salt, used in the extraction of soda, in the process you described. But many of the empirical practices of the natives prove, on investigation, to square with the most scientific precepts. For example, their proportions in the manufacture of corrosive sublimate are precisely identical with those which the atomic theory leads the European chemist to follow. The filtering apparatus which you describe is really admirable, and I doubt much whether the best practical chemist could devise any simpler or cheaper way of arriving at the object in view."
The country is well provided with mango and other fine trees, single, and in clusters and groves; but the tillage is slovenly and scanty, strongly indicative of want of security to life, property, and industry. No symptom of the residence of gardeners and other cultivators of the better classes, or irrigation, or the use of manure in tillage.
December 25, 1849.—Nawabgunge, eleven miles. The soil good, as indicated by the growth of fine trees on each side of the road as far as we could see over the level plain, and by the few fields of corn in sight; but the cultivation is deficient and slovenly. A great part of the road lay through the estate of Mundone, held by Davey Persaud, the tallookdar; and the few peasants who stood by the side of the road to watch their fields as we passed, and see the cavalcade, told me that the deficient tillage and population arose from his being in opposition to Government and diligently employed in plundering the country generally, and his own estates in particular, to reduce the local authorities to his own terms. The Government demand upon him is twenty thousand rupees. He paid little last year, and has paid still less during the present year, on the ground that his estate yields nothing. This is a common and generally successful practice among tallookdars, who take to fighting against the Government whether their cause be just or unjust. These peasants and cultivators told us that they had taken to the jungles for shelter, after the last harvest, till the season for sowing again commenced; remained in the fields, still houseless, during the night, worked in their fields in fear of their lives during the day; and apprehended that they should have to take to the jungles again as soon as their crops were gathered, if they were even permitted to gather them. They attributed as much blame to their landlord as to the Nazim, Wajid Allee Khan. He, however, bears a very bad character, and is said to have designedly thrown a good deal of the districts under his charge out of tillage in the hope that no other person would venture to take the contract for it in that condition, and that he should, in consequence, be invited to retain it on more favourable terms. He was twelve lacs of rupees in balance when superseded at the end of the year, in September last, by the present governor, Aga Allee, who manages the same districts on a salary of two thousand rupees a- month, without any contract for the revenues, but with the understanding that he is to collect, or at least to pay, a certain sum.
The late contractor will no doubt relieve himself from the burthen of this balance in the usual way. He will be imprisoned for a time till he pays, or enters into engagements to pay, to the minister and the influential men at Court, as much as they think he can be made to pay, in bribes, and some half of that sum into the Treasury, and have all the rest struck out of the accounts as irrecoverable—perhaps two lacs in bribes, and one to the Treasury may secure him an acquittance, and a fair chance of employment hereafter. His real name is Wajid Allee; but as that is the name of the King, he is commonly called Ahmud Allee, that the royal ears may not take offence.
December 26, 1849.—Pertabghur, distance eight miles. In the course of fourteen years, almost all signs of one of the most healthful and most agreeable cantonments of the Bengal army have been effaced. Fine crops of corn now cover what were the parades for cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and the gardens and compounds of officers' bungalows. The grounds, which were once occupied by the old cantonments, are now let out to cultivators, immediately under Government, and they are well cultivated; but the tillage of the rest of the country we have this morning passed over is scanty and slovenly. The Rajah of Pertabghur has, for some time, been on bad terms with the contractors, greatly in arrears, and commonly in opposition to the Government, having his band of armed followers in the jungles, and doing nothing but mischief. This is the case with most of the tallookdars of the country over which I have passed. Not one in five, or I may say one in ten, attends the viceroys, because it would not be safe to do so; or pays the demands of Government punctually, because there is no certainty in them.
I passed down the line of Captain Magness's corps, which is at present stationed at Pertabghur. It is as well-dressed, and as fine a looking corps as any infantry regiment in our own native army, and has always shown itself as good on service. It has eight guns attached to it, well provided and served. The artillery-men, drivers, &c., are as well dressed and as fit for their duties as our own. Stores and ammunition are abundant, but the powder is execrable. Captain Magness is a good officer. The guns are six 6-pounders, drawn by bullocks; and two gallopers of very small calibre, drawn by horses. They are not adapted for the duties they have to perform, which is chiefly against mud-forts and strongholds; and four 9- pounders, two howitzers, and two mortars would be better. They are, however, well manned and provided with bullocks, ammunition and stores. The finest young men in Oude are glad to take service under Captain Magness; and the standard height of his men is at present five feet ten inches. He has some few men, good for nothing, called sufarishies, whom he is obliged to keep in on account of the persons by whom they are recommended, eunuchs, fiddlers, and Court favourites, of all kinds. In no country are there a body of finer looking recruits than Captain Magness now has at drill. All of the first families in the country, and of unquestionable courage and fidelity to their salt. He has four hundred Cavalry, of what is called the body guard, men well dressed, and of fine appearance. These Cavalry are, however, likely soon to be taken from him, and made over to some good-for-nothing Court favourite.* He has about seven hundred men present with his Infantry corps. His adjutant, Yosuf Khan, speaks English well, and has travelled a good deal in England, Europe generally, and Palestine. He is a sensible, unprejudiced man, and good soldier. Captain Magness attends the Nazim of the district; but, unfortunately, like all the commandants of corps and public servants of the State, he is obliged to forage for fodder and fuel. A foraging party is sent out every day, be where they will, to take these things gratis, wherever they can find them most conveniently. Bhoosa, grass and wood are the things which they are authorized to take, without payment, wherever they can find them; but they, of course, take a good many other things. The Government allows nothing to any of its troops or establishments, for these things, except when they are in Lucknow. The consequence is, that there is hardly a good cover to any man's house, or sufficient fodder for the cattle of any village, during the hot season and rains.
[* They were soon after taken from Captain Magness and given to Mr. Johannes; and soon after taken from him, and made over to an eunuch, who turned out all the good men, to sell their places to men good for nothing. They mutinied; but the King and minister supported the eunuch, and the greater part of the men were discharged and their officers ruined.]
December 27, 1849—Halted at Pertabghur. I had a visit from many of the persons who were in my service, when I was here with my regiment thirty years ago, as watchmen, gardeners, &c. They continue to hold and till the lands, which they or their fathers then tilled; and the change in them is not so great as that which has taken place within the same time among my old native friends, who survive in the Saugor and Nerbudda districts, where the air is less dry, and the climate less congenial to the human frame. The natives say that the air and water of Malwa may produce as good trees and crops as those of Oude, but can never produce such good soldiers. This, I believe, is quite true. The Sultanpoor district is included in the Banoda division of Oude; and the people speak of the water of this division for tempering soldiers, as we talk of the water of Damascus, for tempering sword blades. They certainly never seem so happy as when they are fighting in earnest with swords, spears, and matchlocks. The water of the Byswara division is considered to be very little inferior to that of Banoda, and we get our sipahees from these two divisions almost exclusively.
Captain Magness's corps is, at present, attached to the Nazim of this district, with its guns, and squadron of horse, as an auxiliary force. Over and above this force, he has nine regiments of Nujeebs, detachments of other Corps, Artillery, Pioneers, &c., amounting, in all, according to the musters and pay-drafts, to seven thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight men, for whom thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-three rupees a-month are drawn. Of these, fifteen hundred are dead or have deserted, or are absent on leave without pay. Their pay is all appropriated by the commandants of corps or Court favourites. Fifteen hundred more are in attendance on the commandants of corps, who reside at the capital, and their friends or other influential persons about the Court, or engaged in their own trades or affairs, having been put into the corps by influential persons at Court, to draw pay, but do no duty. Of the remaining four thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, one-third, or one thousand five hundred and ninety-two, are what is called sufarishies, or men who are unfit for duty, and have been put in by influential persons at Court, to appear at muster and draw pay. Of the remaining three thousand one hundred and eighty-six present, there would be no chance of getting more than two-thirds, or two thousand one hundred and twenty-four men to fight on emergency—indeed, the Nazim would think himself exceedingly lucky if he could get one-third to do so.