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<" Sultan Shujah, with his family, consisting of "three sons, daughters, and their mother, em* "barked at Dacca. On their arrival at Racan, 'they were treated with much civility, and pro"vided with such necessaries, requisite for "their subsistence, as the country afforded, '.' in the name of the King. Some months pass "away, the season of the favourable winds also w approaches, but no mention is made of the ves"sel, though the Sultan required it, on no other "terms than the payment of the hire, for he, "yet, wanted not rupees of gold and silver, or V gems. — He had, indeed, too great a plenty of "them, his wealth being, in all appearance, the "cause of his ruin, or at least, contributing "much to it, This prince might long enough "have solicited for a ship; all was in vain; he "effected nothing.—On the contrary, the King «' began to shew great coldness, and to com"plain of his not coming to see him. I know "not whether Sultan Shujah thought it un"worthy of himself, and too great a condescen"sion to visit this King; or rather, whether "he feared, that being in the power of their "chief, his person might be seized on, for the "purpose of plundering his treasure, and that "he himself might be delivered into the hands M of Amir Kumla, who had offered, in the "name of Aurungzebe, large sums of money
"with other considerable advantages, for ob"taining the possession of this unfortunate "family.
"Whatever might have been the cause, '* Sultan Shujahdid not go thither, but sent his "eldest son j who, on approaching the dwell*' ing of the King, began to display his libera"lity to the people, by throwing amongst "them a considerable quantity of rupees of "gold and silver, and when he came before "the King, he presented him with rich em"broideries, and rare pieces of goldsmith's "' work, set with precious stones of great value; "excusing at the same time, on account of "some illness, his father, in whose name he had "now to entreat, that the ship, which had been *' promised, might be held in readiness. But, "all that the Prince had done, had not advan"ced his business; on the contrary, this King, "in the course of five or six days after, made a "demand of one of the daughters of Sultan "Shujah, in marriage, in which the father re"solving never to acquiesce, the King became "highly offended.
"Sultan Shujah seeing the season for sailing "had passed away, and perceiving the situation "in which he was then placed was a desperate "one, determined on pursuing equally despe"rate measures, and undertook the performance
"of an action, which may afford a great ex
"ample of the efforts of despair. Although
"this King of Racan, in his religion, is a Pagan,
"there are many Mahometans, mixed with the
"people, who have either chosen to retire
"amongst them, or have been enslaved by the
"Portuguese before mentioned, in their ex
"peditions to the neighbouring coasts. Sultan
"Shujah secretly gained these men, whom he
"joined with two or three hundred of his
"own people, the remainder of those who fol
"lowed him from Bengal; and with this force
"he resolved to surprize the house of the Kingj
"put his family to the sword, and make him
"self sovereign of the country. This bold
"attempt, which resembled more the enterprise
"of a desperado, than that of a prudent man,
"yet, had, from the intelligence I collected
"from many Mussulmen, Portuguese, and
"Hollanders, who were then on the spot, a
*' certain feasibility in 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
M it the destruction of his family. For, after
"this failure, having no further hope of retiie
"ving his fortune, he endeavoured to escape
'' into Pegu; a purpose, in a manner impossi
"ble to be effected, by reason of the vast "mountains and forests that lay in the way; "besides, they pursued him so 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 ob"stinate courage. The number of Barbarians "that fell under his sword will scarcely be cre"dited; 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 "Shujah, 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 re"counted 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 Delhi.*'
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 slain 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 Princess, whom he had espoused. *
* I have been the more induced to insert this relation of the fate of Sultan Shujah, as it places the conclusion of a curious historical passage.