Moreover, the Vazir's proceedings were only directed against the usurping Protector and his actual adherents; and he was joined by Zabita and some Rohilla chiefs, while others, among whom were the sons of the late Dundi Khan, held aloof altogether, and Faizula Khan, the son of the first founder of the Rohilla power, Ali Mohammad, and in every way the most respectable of the clan, though he would not desert an old friend in his hour of need, yet strongly disapproved of his proceedings, and urged him to fulfil his compact and pay the Vazir's claim.
The Mahrattas were allowed to indemnify themselves for these services by seizing on part of the Rohilla country, and drawing chauth from the rest; consideration of which they promised their assistance to cope with the invading Afghans; but on arriving at Dehli they learned that the Emperor, in the Vazir's absence, had surrendered to Ahmad the provinces of Lahor and Multan, and thus terminated the war.
And it is on record in a trustworthy native history that such was the tenor of the Vazir's advice to the Emperor. But the latter, perhaps too sensible of the difficulties of this course from the known hostility of Safdar Jang, and the great influence of Ghazi-ud-din over the Moghul soldiery, rejected the bold counsel.
The Jats from Bhurtpore came up under Suraj Mal, their celebrated leader, and plundered the environs right and left. The Vazir's people, the Persian partly, breached a bastion of the city wall, and their victory seemed near at hand.
Not only did the chiefs of the Rohillas harbour the Nawab Vazir's family at Bareilly, but they also lent him the aid of 3,000 of their troops. Further supported by the restless Mahrattas of Malhar Rao Holkar, a chief who always maintained relations with the Musulmans, Shujaa returned to the conflict.
The bribe by which Zabita had been detached from the confederacy, was an assignment of the district in the neighbourhood of Meerut, which had cleared itself of Mahratta occupation under the late Vazir's rule. 1774. In October, 1773, the fort of Etawa fell, and the last Mahratta forces were driven from the Doab.
But a new generation of Moghul nobles was now rising, whose valour formed a short bright Indian summer in the fall of the Empire; and the invasion was rolled back by the spirit and intelligence of the heir apparent, the Vazir's son Mir Mannu, his brother-in-law Ghazi-ud-din, and the nephew of the deceased Governor of Audh, Abul-Mansur Khan, better known to Europeans by his title Safdar Jang.
Had Plassey been lost, the establishment of British rule in India would in all probability never have taken place; and although Plassey was followed in a very few years by other contests far more severe, such as Adams' fights at Gheria and at Andhanala, and Sir Hector Munro's victory over the Mogul's and the Nawab Vazir's troops at Buxar, the political importance of Plassey, which placed the ruler of the richest provinces in India in subjection to the English company, can hardly be overestimated.
It must, however, be added although the Vazir's character was not such as to render him altogether entitled to such justifications that the latter of those engagements had been better fulfilled by himself than by the Pathans.