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“ it. But the day before the blow was to be given, a discovery “ was made of the design, which altogether ruined the affairs of “ Sultan Shujah, and involved in it the destruction of his family.
For, after this failure, having no further hope of retrieving his
fortune, he endeavoured to escape into Pegu ; a purpose, in a “ manner impossible to be effected, by reason of the vast moun“ tains and forests that lay in the way ; besides, they pursued him “ fo closely, that he was overtaken, the same day on which he “ fled. It may be well imagined, that Sultan Shujah defended “ himself, with the most obstinate courage. The number of Bar« barians that fell under his sword will scarcely be credited but
at length, overpowered by the multitude of his enemies, he
was forced to quit the combat. Sultan Banque, who had not " advanced as far as his father, fought like a lion, until covered " with the blood of the wounds he received from the stones, that “ had been showered upon him from all sides, he was seized on, “ and carried away, with his mother, two young brothers, and « his sisters, All that could be learned of the fate of Sultan Shu
jah, himself, was, that, accompanied by one woman, an eunuch, " and two other persons, he ascended the top of a mountain ; " that he was wounded on the head with a stone, which struck “ him down ; but that the eunuch having bound up the wound, « with his own turban, he arose again, and escaped into the midst " of the woods. This relation I have heard recounted in
many « different ways, by those even that were on the spot, which gave
“ rise to a variety of reports of this Prince, and spread frequent « alarms at the court of Dehli,”
This writer, after giving a detail of the many conjectures, that were formed of the fate of Sultan Shujah, mentions, that he travelled from Bengal to Masulipatam, with an eunuch of that Prince, and his former commandant of artillery, who told him that Sultan Shujah was dead, but observed a strict reserve in communicating any farther information. Mr. Bernier supposes, that if Sultan Shujah was not Nain, on the place of action, he must have died, soon after ; falling either into the hands of robbers, or a prey to the wild beasts, with which the forests of that country abound.
SUBSEQUENTLY to this event, the remaining branches of the family were thrown into prison, where they were treated with much rudeness; but after some time, Bernier says, they received a milder treatment, which was chiefly caused by the marriage of the eldest daughter of Sultan Shujah, with the King of Racan. The sequel of this event sets forth, that the servants of the Sultan Banque were discovered in forming another conspiracy, with those Mahometans, who have been already noticed, and that the King being now violently exasperated against this unfortunate family, ordered it to be extirpated ; nor did any branch remain, excepting the Princefs, whom he had espoused. *
* I have been the more iuduced to insert this relation of the fate of Sultan Shujah, as it places the conclusion of a curious historical passage, in a point of view, different
Cassum Ali Khan, in the last years of his government, retired to the fort of Mongheer, and actuated by a keen resentment against the English, for their extensive encroachments on his authority, and the commerce of his country, he formed the plan of throwing off their yoke, and annihilating their influence in Bengal. In ad. dition to these motives, he was urgently incited to the attempt by the officers of his court and army, who were necessarily alarmed at the diminution of their power and lucrative appointments. Amongst, the foremost of these, we find the Armenian Khojah Gregore, who, contrary to the usage of his country-men, had afsumed the profession of arms, and had risen to high rank and confidence, in the service of Caffum Ali. He seems, with Sumroo, to have borne a principal part in the war against the English, which ultimately involved, as is well known, the ruin of Cassum, and the destruction of the Mahometan dominion in Bengal. Gregore also lost his life, for on a suspicion of intriguing with the Armenians of Calcutta he was cut off, previously to the expulsion of his master. ' With Cassum Ali * ended, virtually, the power of the
from that described by a late writer (Col. Dow) on the Empire of Hindooftan ; who, however well-founded his claims to accuracy, could not have attained the possession of more authentic documents, than a person, who was himself brought forward into the action of the day, and whose writings for the space of more than 100 years, have borne the test of truth.
* Cassum Ali Khan, after wandering about the upper provinces, and soliciting the aid of various chicfs against the English, fought protection at the Court of Dehli. He evinced the same intriguing and fanguinary disposition in domestic life, as had marked
fubahdars of Bengal. Meer Jaffier, in his last administration, made a feeble attempt to resume his authority, but it soon terminated in his death, and in leaving the English the supreme rulers of an extensive and valuable territory.
I should be ill intitled to a place, even amongst the most trite observers, did I not, before I quitted this
re I quitted this part of the country, throw my mite into the fund of general applause which has been bestowed on Mr. Cleveland. This gentleman, whom I never saw, but whose works loudly proclaim his merit, and diffuse his praise, has by an equitable and judicious management of the Rajah Mhal and Bauglepour districts, considerably increased the number of inhabitants, and improved, as well as facilitated, the collection of the revenue. The increase of population is conspicuously seen in the dependency of Mongheer, and in the extensive mercats of that place, which are resorted to by a concourse of various traders. He hath also made strenuous exertions, in drawing the adjacent, Mountaineers, from their fastnesses to the plains. Nor have his labours failed of success, Twelve hundred of these men have entered into our service, and are embodied in a corps, which bears the appearance of becoming useful to the state. The indulgent
his public character. He endeavoured, it is said, to supplant the Minister at Dehli, by an offer of a large donation to the King; and he is accused of murdering, at different times, the women he carried with him from Bengal. At his death, which happened at the village of Kutwall, in 1777, the Court seized on his estate, the value of which was computed at one thousand pounds ; -a small residue of the plunder of Bengal and Bahar!
treatment shewn them with the superior advantages, which they derive, must operate as powerful inducements to their brethren, in following fo profitable an example. The depredations of these people had, at former periods, rendered the passage of the roads in that quarter so unsafe, that escorts were stationed at certain posts, for the protection of travellers; and detachments of two and three battalions, have occasionally been sent against the savage inhabitants of the Bauglepour hills; who are now become the guardians of a country, which they had long wasted, by rapine and bloodshed.
Mr. Cleveland has established small buildings, at most of the halting places within his districts, for the accommodation of travellers ; and the natives of those parts, who seem to have profited by the conduct of their chief, are peculiarly attentive to strangers. Such have been the advantages, which the state, and a body of people have derived, from the public spirit, and the benevolent efforts of one man ! But his reward hath been bounteous and complete. He hath enjoyed the honour of exalting, in a distant land, the character of his nation, and felt sensations which transport the mind beyond the reach of fortune.
On the 3d of July, I left Mongheer; and arrived, on the 5th, at Patna, by water. This city is spacious and populous, though much fallen from the importance it held, during the residence of the Subahdar of Bahar. The great quantity of poppies cultivated in the contiguous districts, from which opium of an excellent