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bable, they would have raised, by the dangerous BOOK IV situation of their affairs under the government of the Subahdar.
The enemies of Bussy, in the service and in the confidence of Salabut Jung, were both numerous and powerful; and exerted themselves in concert, and with eagerness, to change the confidence and attachment of their feeble-minded master into distrust and hatred. It was now about two years and a half since the grant of the northern Circars; when certain favourable circumstances? enabled them to make so deep an impression on the mind of this prince, that the French troops were ordered to quit his territories without delay. Bussy, in expectation, probably, that the necessities of the Subahdar would speedily make him eager to retract his command, showed no hesitation in commencing his march. It was continued for eight days without interruption : but his enemies had a very different
It is not extraordinary that there should have been a strong party in the court of the Nizam opposed to the French, who were ready to avail themselves of every opportunity to influence the mind of Salabut Jung against them. Native accounts confirm the statement of Orme that Shahnavaz Khan, the chief minister, was at their head; the circumstance of which he made present use might have been related, as it is fully detailed by Orme. The Nizam had laid siege to Savanore, the residence of a disobedient vassal, who was supported in his resistance by the Mahratta partisan, Morari Rao. The government of Pondicherry was indebted to the latter, who finding himself and his ally hard pressed, engaged to relinquish his claims upon the French on condition that Bussy, who was with the Nizam, should negotiate a peace, and the preservation of the citadel of Savanore. The condition was effected, and Shahnavaz Khan represented to the Nizam what was no more than the truth, that Bussy had preferred the interests of his countrymen to those of Salabut Jung. It was in resentment of this conduct that the French were dismissed from his service upon the strong representation, as is stated by the author of the life of Shahnavaz Khan, of that nobleman. Calcutta Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 1825.-W.
BOOK IV intention from that of allowing him to depart in
safety. When he approached the city of Hyderabad, he found his progress impeded by large bodies of troops; and the road obstructed by all the chiefs of the neighbouring countries; who had orders to intercept his march. Upon this he resolved to occupy a post of considerable strength, adjoining the city of Hyderabad; to defend himself; and try the effect of his arms, and of his intrigues among the chiefs, whom he well knew, till the reinforcements which he expected from Pondicherry should arrive. Though surrounded by the whole of the army of the Subahdar, and so feeble in pecuniary means, that his Sepoys deserted for want of pay, and he durst not venture them in sallies, for fear of their joining the enemy, he found the means of supplying himself fully with provisions, and of resisting every attack, till his succours arrived; when the Subahdar sent to demand a reconciliation, and he was restored to a still higher degree of influence and authority than he had previously enjoyed.
Among the means which had been employed to reconcile the mind of Salabut Jung to the dismissal of the French, was the prospect held up to him of replacing them by the English. No sooner therefore were the measures against Bussy devised, than an application was made for a body of troops to the Presidency of Madras.
To the Presidency of Madras, few things could have presented a more dazzling prospect of advantage; and in any ordinary situation of their affairs, the requisition of the Subahdar would have met with an eager acceptance. But events had before this time taken place in
Bengal which demanded the utmost exertions of the BOOK IV English from every quarter ; made them unable to comply with the proposal of the Subahdar; and thenceforward rendered Bengal the principal scene of the English adventures in India.
Suraja Dowla, Subahdar of Bengal—takes Cal
cutta—attacked by an army from Madras-dethroned-Meer Jaffier set up in his stead.
During the latter part of the reign of Aurungzeb, the Subahs of Bengal and Orissa, together with those of Allahabad and Bahar, were governed by his grandson Azeem-oos-Shan, the second son of Shah Aulum, who succeeded to the throne. Azeem-oosShan appointed as his deputy, in the provinces of Bengal and Orissa, Jaffier Khan, who had been for some time the dewan, or superintendent of the finances, in Bengal; a man of Tartar descent, but a native of Boorhanpore in the Deccan, who had raised himself to eminence in the wars of Aurungzeb. Upon the death of Shah Aulum, and the confusions which ensued, Jaffier Khan remained in possession
Orme, i. 429–436, and ii. 89—104; Wilks, p. 380-388. It is amusing to compare the account of Bussy's transactions on this trying occasion, in the pages of Owen Cambridge (War in India, p. 132–135,) written under half information, and fulness of national prejudice, with the well-informed and liberal narratives of Orme and of Wilks.
BOOK IV of his important government, till he was too power
ful to be removed. While yet a resident in his 1755. native city, he had married his daughter and only
child to a man of eminence in the same place, and of similar origin with himself, by name Shujah Khan. This relative had repaired with him to Bengal; and when Jaffier Khan was elevated to the Subahdarry of Bengal and Orissa, Orissa was placed under the government of Shujah Khan, as deputy or nawab of the Subahdar.
Among the adventurers who had been in the service of Azeem Shah, the second son of Aurungzeb, was a Tartar, named Mirza Mohammed. Upon the death of that prince, and the ruin of his party, Mirza Mohammed remained without employment; and was overtaken, after some years, with great poverty. His wife not only belonged to the same place from which the family of Shujah Khan was derived; but was actually of kin to that new ruler. By this wife he had two sons: the eldest named Hajee Ahmed; the youngest, Mirza Mohammed Ali. Upon the news of the elevation of their kinsman, it was determined, in this destitute family, that Mirza Mohammed, with his wife, should repair to his capital, in hopes of receiving his protection and bounty. The disposition of Shujah Khan was benevolent and generous. He received them with favour. The success of his father and mother induced Mirza Mohammed Ali, the youngest of the two sons, to hope for similar advantages. With great difficulty his poverty allowed him to
" Seer Mutakharcen, i. 17, 43, 296.
find the means of performing the journey. He BOOK IV obtained employment, and distinction. spects being now favourable, he sent for his brother Hajee Ahmed; and removed the whole of his family to Orissa. The talents of the two brothers were eminent. Hajee Ahmed was insinuating, pliant, discerning; and in business equally skilful and assiduous. Mirza Mohammed Ali to all the address and intelligence of his brother added the highest talents for war. They soon acquired a complete ascendency in the councils of Shujah Khan ; and by their abilities added greatly to the strength and splendour of his administration.
Jaffier Khan died in 1725; but destined Sereffraz Khan, his grandson, instead of Shujah Khan, the father of that prince, with whom he lived not on friendly terms, to the succession. By the address and activity of the two brothers, the schemes of Jaffier were entirely defeated; patents were procured from Delhi; and Shujah Khan, with an army, was in possession of the capital and the government before any time was given to think of opposition. The province of Bahar was added to the government of Shujah Khan in 1729; and the younger of the two brothers, on whom was bestowed the title of Aliverdi Khan, was intrusted with its administration. He exerted himself, with assiduity and skill, to give prosperity to the province, and to acquire strength in expectation of future events. In 1739, the same year
' Holwell (Interesting Historical Events, i. 70) represents his conduct as highly cruel and unjust, and gives an account of five baskets of human heads, which he saw conveying to him in a boat.