Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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CONCERNING HINDOUSTAN                231

revenue, must find the means of making valuable presents,
every year, to a Visir, a Eunuch, a lady of the Seraglio,
and to any other person whose influence at court he con¬
siders indispensable. The Governor must also enforce the
payment of the regular tribute to the King; and although
he was originally a wretched slave, involved in debt, and
without the smallest patrimony, he yet becomes a great
and opulent lord.

Thus do ruin and desolation overspread the land. The (
provincial governors, as before observed, are so many petty
tyrants, possessing a boundless authority; and as there is
no one to whom the oppressed subject may appeal, he
cannot hope for redress, let his injuries be ever so grievous
or ever so frequently repeated.

It is true that the Great Mogol sends a Vakea-Nevis ^ to
the various provinces ; that is, persons whose business it is
to communicate every event that takes place ; but there
is generally a disgraceful collusion between these officers
and the governor, so that their presence seldom restrains
the tyranny exercised over the unhappy people.

Governments also are not so often and so openly sold
in Hindoustan as in Turkey. I say 'so openly,' because the
costly presents, made occasionally by the governors, are
nearly equivalent to purchase-money. The same persons,
too, generally remain longer in their respective govern¬
ments than in Turkey, and the people are gradually less
oppressed by governors of some standing than when, in¬
digent and greedy, they first take possession of their
province.    The  tyranny of these  men  is also  somewhat

^ A corruption of the Persian word Wdki'ahnawis, a newswriter, an
institution of the Emperor Akbar's. Fryer partly attributed Aurang¬
zeb's non-success in the Deccan, although he had large armies there,
to the false reports sent by his newswriters, stating :—' Notwithstand¬
ing all these formidable Numbers, while the Gerrerals and Vocanovices
consult to deceive the Emperor, on whom he depends for a true state
of things, it can never be otherwise but that they must be mis¬
represented, when the Judgment he makes must be by a false Per¬
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