ajor Dirom's 'A narrative of the Campaign in India in
1792' provided a vivid description of this scene:
'Lord Cornwallis, attended by his staff, and some of the
principal officers of the army, met the Princes at the door
of his large tent as they dismounted from the elephants;
and, after embracing them, led them in, one in each hand,
to the tent; the eldest, Abdul Kalick, was about ten, the
youngest, Mooza-ud-Deen, about eight years of age. When
they were seated on each side of Lord Cornwallis, Gullam
Ally, the head vakeel, address his Lordship as follows.
"These children were this morning the sons of the Sultan
my master; their siutation is now changed, and they must
look up to your Lordship as their father.'
Lord Cornwallis, who had received
the boys as if they had been his own sons, anxiously assured
the vakeel and the young Princes themselves, that every
attention possible would be shewn to them, and the greatest
care taken of their persons. Their little faces brightened
up; the scene became highly interesting; and not only their
attendants, but all the spectators were delighted to see
that any fears they might have harboured were removed, and
that they would soon be reconciled to their change of situation,
and to their new friends.
The Princes were dressed in long
white muslin gowns, and red turbans. They had several rows
of large pearls round their necks, from which was suspended
an ornament consisting of a ruby and an emerald of considerable
size, surrounded by large brilliants; and in their turbans,
each had a sprig of rich pearls. Bred up from their infancy
with infinite care, and instructed in their manners to imitate
the reserve and politeness of age, it astonished all present
to see the correctness and propriety of their conduct.'
It is very probable that Dirom's Narrative was among the
contemporary sources and anecdotes which Sir
Walter Scott assembled before writing his three 'Indian'
novels. 'The Surgeons's Daughter,' 'St. Ronan's Well,' and
'Guy Mannering' are all set against the backdrop of the