IN the foregoing pages I have endeavoured to steer a middle path between obliterating all trace of my materials and encumbering the margin with references that appeared superfluous. Wherever I have decided a disputed point, I have endeavoured to indicate the chief sources of information — at least throughout the portions which form the actual history — and to give my reasons for following one authority rather than another.
Besides the authorities — English and Persian — which have been thus cited, the following works have been occasionally consulted:—
- Amad us-Saudat. — A history of the Viceroys of Lucknow from the death of Farokhsiar to the accession of Saadat Ali II., in 1797.
- Jam-i-Jum. — Genealogical tables of the House of Timur.
- Tasallat-i-Sahiban Anqriz. — An account of the rise of British power in Hindustan and Bengal. By Munshi Dhonkal Singh; originally written for the information of Ranjit Singh, Thakur of Bhartpur, about the end of the last century.
- Hal-i-Begam Sahiba. — A little Persian memoir of Begam Sumroo, full of vagueness and error, written four years after her death, and from traditional sources.
Much information as to the views of the British chiefs of those days lies at present inaccessible at the Calcutta Foreign Office; and it is to be hoped that the Record Commission will ultimately make public many useful and interesting papers.
Other information perhaps exists, very difficult to be got at, in the private archives of old native families at Dehli. But the events of 1857 broke up many of these collections. A continuation of the Tarikh-i-Mozafari, down to the taking of Dehli by Sir A. Wilson, would be a most valuable work, if there be any native author possessed of the three requisites of leisure, knowledge, and a fearless love of truth.
Some account of the Siar-ul-Mutakharin has been already given (vide Note to Part II. Chap. i.). The author was a Saiyid of the noble stock of Taba-Taba, whose father had been employed by Safdar Jang, in Rohilkand, during that minister's temporary predominance. The family afterwards migrated to Patna. This celebrated history — which has been twice translated into English, and of which an edition in the original Persian has been likewise printed — is a work of suprising industry, and contains many just reflections on the position of the English and the feelings of the people towards them, which are almost as true now as they were when written. The translation of the S. u. M.. which has been mentioned in the text, was made by a French creole, styling himself Mustafa, but whose true name, it is relieved, was Raymond. The notes are often interesting.
But my chief guide, where no other authority is cited, has been the Tarikh-i-Mozafari, the work of an Ansari of good family, some of whose descendants are still living at Panipat. He was the grandson of Latfula Sadik, a nobleman who had held high office under the Emperor Mohammad Shah. The historian himself was in civil employ in Bihar, under the Nawab Mohammad Raza Khan, so famous in the history of Bengal during the last century. To him the work was dedicated, and its name is derived from his title of "Mozafar Jang." The work is laborious, free from party bias, and much thought of by the educated natives of Hindustan. For access to Persian MSS. I was indebted to the late Colonel Hamilton, formerly Commissioner of Dehli, and of his friendly assistance and encouragement I take this opportunity to make thankful acknowledgment.