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do you intend going, that you flee in this manner? Jehangir Mirza has been taken, and brought in; Nasir Mirza, too, has been seized." I was greatly alarmed at these words; because, if all of us1 fell into their hands, we had everything to dread. I made no reply, but kept on for the hill. When we had gone a certain way farther, they again called out to me. This time they spoke to me in a more gracious style than at first. They dismounted from their horses, and began to address me. I did not attend to what they said, but proceeded in my course, and, entering a glen, I began to ascend it, and went on till about bedtime prayers, when I reached a large rock about the size of a house. I went behind it, and came to an ascent of steep ledges, where the horse could not keep his feet. They also dismounted and began to address me in a still more courteous and respectful style, expostulating with me, and saying, " What end can it serve to go on in this manner, in a dark night, and where there is no road? Where can you possibly go?" Both of them, with a solemn oath, asserted, " Sultan Ahmed Beg wishes to place you on the throne." "I cannot," I replied, "confide in anything of the sort; and to join him is for me impossible. If you are serious in your wish to do me an important service, you have now such an opportunity as may not occur for years. Point out to me a road by which I may rejoin the Khans, and I will show you kindness and favour even beyond your highest wishes. If you refuse this, return by the way you came, and leave me to fulfil my destiny—even that will be no mean service." "Would to God," they replied, " that we had never come; but, since we have come, how can we desert you in this desolate situation? Since you will not accompany us, we shall follow you and serve you, go where you will."' I answered, "Swear then unto me by the Holy Book that you are sincere in your offer." And they swore They swear the heavy and awful oath. • t0 *>e true
I now began to have a certain degree of confidence in them, and said to them, "An open road was formerly pointed out to me near this same valley; do you proceed by it." Though they had sworn to me, yet still I could not perfectly confide in them; I therefore made them go on before and followed them. We had advanced a kos or two, when we reached a rivulet. I said, " This cannot be the road by the open valley that I spoke of." They hesitated, and said, "That road is still a considerable way forward." The truth is, that we then really were on the very road of the open valley, and they were deceiving me and concealing the truth. We went on till midnight, when we again came to a stream. They now said, "We have not been sufficiently attentive, and have certainly left behind the road in the open valley." I said, "What then is to be done?" They said, "The road to Ghiva lies a little farther on, and by it you may go to Ferket." We kept on in our way, therefore, and continued travelling forward till the end of the third watch of the night,2 when we reached the river of Karnan, which comes down from Ghiva. Baba Seirami then said, "Stop here, while I go on before, and I will return after reconnoitring the road to Ghiva." He did return in a short time, and told us, " A good many men are passing over the plain along the road; it will be impossible for us to go this way." I was alarmed at this information. I was in the
1 Jehangir and Nasir Mirza were Baber's only two brothers.
2 Three o'clock in the morning.
midst of an enemy's country, the morning was near at hand, and I was far from the place to which I had wished to go. "Show me, then," I said, " some spot where we may remain concealed during the day, and, when it is night, we can get something for our horses, pass the river of Khojend, and then proceed straight for Khojend by the other side of the river." They answered, "Hard by there is a hillock, in which we may hide ourselves." Bandeh Ali was the Darogha of Karnan. He said, "Neither we nor our horses can long stand out, unless we get something to eat. I will go to Karnan, and will bring out whatever I can procure." We therefore passed on, and took the road for Karnan. We stopped about a kos from Karnan, while Bandeh Ali went on, and staid away for a long time. The morning had dawned, yet there was no appearance of our man. I began to be greatly alarmed. Just as it was day, Bandeh Ali came cantering back, bringing three loaves, but no grain for the horses. Each of us taking a loaf under his arm, we went off without loss of time, reached the hillock
Baber com. where we wished to remain in concealment, and, having tied our horses in the low
pelled to ...
conceal marshy broken grounds, we all mounted the eminence, and sat keeping watch on dif
himself. ferent sides.
It was now near mid-day, when we spied Ahmed Koshehi (the falconer), with four horsemen, coming from Ghiva towards Akhsi. I once thought of sending for the falconer, and getting possession of their horses by fair words and promises; for our horses were quite worn out, having been in constant exercise and on the stretch for a day and night, without having got a grain of anything to cat. But my heart immediately began to waver again, and I could not make up my mind to put confidence in them. I and my companions arranged, however, that as these people were likely to stay all night at Karnan, we should secretly enter the town, carry off their horses, and so make our escape to some place of safety.
It was about noon, when, as far off as the sight could reach, we perceived something that glittered on a horse. For some time we could not distinguish what it was. It was, in truth, Muhammed Bakir Beg. He had been in Akhsi along with me; and in the dispersion that followed our leaving the place, when every one was scattered here and there, Muhammed Bakir Beg had come in this direction, and was now wandering about and concealing himself. Bandeh Ali and Baba Seirami said, " For two days past our horses have had neither grain nor fodder. Let us go down into the valley, and suffer them to graze." We accordingly mounted, and, having descended into the valley set them a-grazing. It was about the time of afternoon prayers, when we descried a horseman passing along over the very height on which we had been hiding. I recognised him to be Kadir Berdi, the head-man1 of Ghiva. I said to them, "Let us call Kadir Berdi." We called him, and he came and joined us. Having greeted him, asked him some questions, spoken obligingly and with kindness to him, made him promises, and disposed him favourably towards me by every means in my power, I sent him to bring a rope, a grass-hook, an axe, apparatus for crossing a river, provender for the horses and food for ourselves, and, if possible, a horse likewise; and we made an appointment to meet him on this same spot, at bedtime prayers.
Evening prayers were over, when a horseman was seen passing from Karnan towards Ghiva. We called out, "Who goes there?" He answered us. This was, in truth, the same Muhammed Bakir Beg, whom we had observed at noon. He had, in the course of the day,1 moved from the place in which he had lain concealed, to another %
lurking-place; and now so thoroughly changed his voice, that, although he had lived for years with me, I did not discover him. Had I known him, and kept him with me, it had been well for me. I was rendered very uneasy by this man's passing us; and durst not adhere to the assignation we had made with Kadir Berdi of Ghiva, by waiting till the specified time. Bandeh Ali said, "There are many retired gardens among the suburbs of Karnan, where nobody will suspect us of lurking. Let us go thither, and send a person to conduct Kadir Berdi to us." With this intention, we mounted, and proceeded to the suburbs of Karnan. It was winter, and excessively Hideshimcold. They brought me an old mantle of year-old lambskin, with the wool on the ^nTM"' inside, and of coarse woven cloth without, which I put on. They also procured and brought me a dish of pottage of boiled millet-flour, which I eat, and found wonderfully comfortable. I asked Bandeh Ali, " Have you sent anybody to Kadir Berdi?" He answered, "Yes, I have." These unlucky perfidious clowns had in reality met Kadir Berdi, and had dispatched him to Tambol at Akhsi.
Having gone into a house that had stone walls, and kindled a fire, I closed my eyes for a moment in sleep. These crafty fellows, pretending an extreme anxiety to serve me, "We must not stir from this neighbourhood," said they, "till we have news of Kadir Berdi. The house where we are, however, is in the very middle of the suburbs. There is a place in the outskirts of the suburbs where we might be quite unsuspected, could we but reach it." We mounted our horses, therefore, about midnight, and proceeded to a garden on the outskirts of the suburbs. Baba Seirami watched on the terrace-roof of the house, keeping a sharp look-out in every direction. It was near noon when he came down from the terrace, and said to me, " Here comes Yusef, the Darogha." I was seized with prodigious alarm, and said, " Learn if he comes in consequence of knowing that I am here." Baba went out, and, after some conversation, returned and said, "Yusef, the Darogha, says, that, at the gate of Akhsi, he met a man on foot, who told him that the King was in Karnan, at such a place; that, without communicating this intelligence to any one, he had put the man into close custody, along with Wali, the treasurer, who had fallen into his hands in the action; after which, he hastened to you full speed; and that the Begs are not informed of the circumstance." I asked him, "What do you think of the matter?" He answered, "They are all your servants; there is nothing left for it but to join them. They will undoubtedly make you king." "But after such wars and quarrels," I replied, "with what confidence can I place myself in their power?" I was still speaking, when Yusef suddenly presented himself, and throwing himself on both his knees before me, exclaimed, " Why should I conceal anything from you? Sultan Ahmed Beg knows nothing of the matter; but Sheikh Bayezid Beg has got information where you are, and has sent me hither."
1 Literally yesterday, a new day commencing from sunset.
Babcr in On hearing these words, I was thrown into a dreadful state of agitation. There is imminent notuing in the world which affects a man with more painful feelings than the near prospect of death. "Tell me the truth," I exclaimed, " if indeed things are about to go with me contrary to my wishes, that I may at least perform my last ablutions." Yusef swore again and again, but I did not heed his oaths. I felt my strength gone. I rose and went to a corner of the garden. I meditated with myself, and said, "Should a man live a hundred, nay a thousand years, yet at last he"
[The copyist adds, "The remaining transactions of this year, viz. 908, may God grant that they come to hand." In this wish I most heartily join.—Leyden.']
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A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE
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,. ,!•:, •.'': .' .!'!>••'-.-i • ''i; •, ' j ••!•■[ r :if The narrative of Baber is here broken off, at one of the most interesting moments of his history. Whether this defect be owing to the imperfection of the copies, or to design in the author, it is not easy to decide; though, from a similar interruption at the beginning of the year 914 of the Hejira, when Baber appears to be on the point of A. D. 1508. falling into the hands of a desperate band of conspirators, it seems probable that it was intentional; and, we may be almost tempted to believe, that the Imperial author derived a sort of dramatic pleasure from working up to a very high pitch the curiosity of his reader or hearer, and leaving the mind in a state of awakened suspense by a sudden break in the narrative. All the three copies which I have had an opportunity of comparing, break off precisely at the same period, in both instances. This holds in the original Turki as well as in the translation; and it is hardly conceivable that a translator would have deserted his hero in the most memorable passages of his life. The copy which Dr Leyden followed, was evidently, in this respect, exactly like the others. The blank which Baber has left in his own Memoirs, it is difficult to supply, in spite of the great number of authors who have written the details of his reign; as they have in general confined themselves to the grand military and political actions of his times, and give us little assistance where Baber, who is his own best biographer, happens to fail in detailing the earlier, which are by no means the least interesting events of his life.
The Memoirs break off in A. H. 908, and are resumed in A. H. 910.2 Whether Ba- The Khans ber was delivered into the hands of Sheikh Bayezid, or whether he effected his escape shdbani y from the painful custody in which he was held at Karnan, I have not been able to Khan. discover. The narrative of Abul-Fazel3 is here very imperfect. It would appear, how
1 From the end of A. D. 1502, to June ISO*.
2 Leaving a blank from the end of A. D. 1502, to June 1504.
3 In the account of Baber's reign in the 1st vol. of the Akbernama. MS.