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END OF A.H. 908, AND IN AH. 909.«

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. 150«. 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 Turlri 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 Khan. ber was delivered into the hands of Sheikh Bayezld, or whether he effected his escape sheibanj 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

» From the end of A. D. 1502, to June 1504.

8 Leaving a blank from the end of A. D. 1502, to June 1504.

5 In the account of Baber's reign in the 1st vol. of the Akbernama. MS.

ever, from the brief account of Ferishta,1 and of Khan Khan,2 that Baber had succeeded in rejoining his maternal uncles the two Khans; but, if this was the case, the advantage derived from this junction was of short continuance. Sheibani Khan, whom Ahmed Tambol had invited to his assistance, arrived soon after with an army more in number than the rain-drops, says Mir Khawend Shah,3 attacked the Moghuls, defeated them in a bloody battle, made both the brothers prisoners, and compelled Baber to fly into Moghulistan. Immediately after the battle, Sheibani Khan dispatched a messenger to Tashkend, to communicate information that the two Khans were in his hands, and that Baber had been obliged to abandon the country; and with instructions to add that, if the inhabitants had any wish to save their princes, they must prevent the escape of Khwajeh Abul Mokaram, and detain him in custody. Sheibani Khan, after having kept the Khans a few days as his prisoners, dismissed them to go where they would; "and they came by their end," continues Mir Khawend Shah, " in the way mentioned in the Account of the Family of Jaghatai Khan." The particulars of their death I have not been able to ascertain, and there is some disagreement among historians on the subject. By some, Sheibani Khan4 is represented as having used his victory with considerable lenity. He is said to have set the brothers at liberty, prompted by the recollection that he had formerly been in their service, and that he had been received and kindly treated by Yunis Khan, their father. We are told by Ferishta, that Sultan Mahmud Khan, the elder brother, fell into a deep melancholy; when advised by one of his friends to use a famous antidote brought from China, for the purpose of averting the effects of poison, which it was suggested might have been administered by Sheibani Khan, he is said to have replied, "Yes; Sheibani has indeed poisoned me! He has taken away my kingdom, which your antidote cannot restore."5 But these accounts are not very consistent with the narrative of Baber himself, who informs us that Sheibani Khan put Sultan Mahmud Khan to death in Khojend, with his son Baba Khan, and many other princes of his family. It is not improbable that Sheibani Khan affected to set the Khan at liberty a few days after the battle, as is mentioned by Mir Khawend Shah, and that he gave orders to pursue, and put him to death privately, along with his family; a policy which he appears to have followed on other occasions, in order to avoid part of the odium likely to arise from an unpopular act. Fate of Khwajeh Abul Mokaram was thrown into prison at Tashkend, but in two or three

\bWh ^ays en°ecte(l n1s escape, and set out from that city on foot. That he might not be' reknram. cognised, he- submitted to the mortification of cutting off his beard: but being unable, from his age and infirmities, to reach any place of safety, he was compelled to take refuge with a man who lived in a neighbouring village. This person concealed him for a day or two, but having afterwards informed against him, he was seized and carried before Sheibani Khan. The Khan, on seeing him, inquired, H What have you done

1 See his General History of Hindustan, Dow's Translation, vol. II. p. 182.

- In his valuable and amusing MS. History of the House of Taimur in India.

3 Tarikhe Rozet-es-Sefa, vol. VII. folio MS. containing the History of Sultan Hussain Mirza.

* See Tarikhe Khan Khan, vol. I. and the Akbernameh of Abul-fazcl, vol. I. MS.

5 See Dow's History of Hindustan, as above.

with your beard?" to which the Khwajeh answered in two Persian verses, the sense of which is, that he who puffs at the lamp which God has lighted, singes his beard. But the felicity of this allusion did not avail him, and he1 was put to death. Sheibani Khan following up the advantages which he had gained, took possession of Tashkend, Shahrokhia, and all the dominions of Sultan Mahmud Khan, as well probably as of the territories of his younger brother Ilacheh Khan, so that his territories now extended along both sides of the Sirr or Jaxartes, and stretched southward to the banks of the Amu. He fixed the seat of his government at Samarkand, and gave his brother Mahmud Sultan the charge of Bokhara. Tashkend, with the dominions of the two Khans, he gave to his paternal uncles, Gujenjeh Khan, and Sunjek Sultan, whose mother was the daughter of the celebrated Mirza Ulugh Beg Gurgan. The office of Darogha of Shahrokhia, he bestowed on Amir Yakub, who was one of the chief of his nobles.

Baber is said to have taken refuge after this disaster in Moghulistan, an incident to Baber flit* which he himself never refers. This at least is certain, that he was soon after fortu- ^. D. 1503. nate enough to escape from the north side of the Sirr, and to gain the hill country of Siikh and Hushiar, villages which lie in the district of Asfera, among the mountains that separate Ferghana from Hissar and Karatigin, where he wandered for nearly a year as a fugitive, often reduced to the greatest difficulties.2 Finding his partizans A. D.1503completely dispersed, however, and all hopes gone of recovering his hereditary kingdom, after consulting with his few remaining adherents, he resolved to try his fortune in Khorasan, which was at that time held by Sultan Hussain Mirza, a sovereign of great power and reputation, and beyond comparison the most distinguished prince then living of the family of Taimur.

When Baber bade adieu for the last time to his native country, which he appears to B»ber have regarded during all the future years of his life with the fondness which a man of y^ "*" warm attachments feels for the scenes of his early affections, he crossed the high range of hills to the south of Ferghana, and came down west of Karatigin on the country of Cheghanian and Hissar, territories at that time belonging to Khosrou Shah, to whom His conduit Baber always professes a deep-rooted hatred. The murder of Baiesanghar Mirza, and shah.°,r°u the blinding of Sultan Masaud Mirza, both cousins of Baber, and the latter the full brother of one of his wives, were certainly sufficient to justify the terms of strong detestation in which that prince always speaks of him; but Ferishta seems to insinuate, that he hated the man whom he had injured; and that Baber, though treated by Khosrou Shah with great hospitality, stirred up a faction in his court, seduced the affections of his army, and by his intrigues, forced him to abandon his troops, his treasure, and his dominions. Whether or not Baber was aware that such charges had been made, or were likely to be brought against him, is uncertain; but the narrative in his Memoirs is certainly fitted to meet accusations of this nature; and he appears throughout to show uncommon solicitude to justify himself in regard to Khosrou Shah, whose general character for hospitality and generosity to others he acknowledges, while he pointedly accuses him of niggardliness, and want of common civility to himself, in the

1 See Tarikhe Rozet-es-Sefa, vol. VII. MS. * See Baber 'a Memoirs, near the beginning.


two different instances in which he was obliged to pass through the country of that chieftain. That he intrigued with the army of Khosrou Shah, particularly with the Moghul troops, Baber boldly avows, but appears to regard his conduct in that respect as only an act of fair hostility towards an inveterate foe. Ulugh Beg Ulugh Beg Mirza, Baber's paternal uncle, the King of Kabul and Ghazni, had died d1ie8 u in the year A. H. 907, leaving his territories to his son Abdal Rizak Mirza, who was A. 0.1501. etill young. The whole power was usurped by one of his ministers, Shirim Ziker, who soon rendered him odious to the chief men of the country. A conspiracy, headed by Muhammed Kasim Beg and Yunis Ali, was formed against the minister, in consetonfused quence of which, the conspirators entering Kabul with a formidable band of adherents, kingdom."1 put Ziker to death while sitting in state at a grand festival, which was held for celebrating the Id.1 The kingdom for some time was a prey to disorder and tumult. Muhammed Mokim Beg, the son of Zulniin Arghun and brother of Shah Beg, names A. H. 908. which often occur in the following pages, availing himself of this situation of things, .{.' "marched without orders from the Germsir,2 which he held for his father, and appear

ed suddenly before Kabul, which opened its gates. Zulnun Beg, without professing to approve of the proceedings of Mokim, sanctioned his retaining possession of his con

A. H. 910. quest. Abdul Rizak Mirza had retired among the hills, and was still making inefA D. 1504.

'fectual efforts for the recovery of his capital, when Baber entered the territories of

Khosrou Shah.3

It is necessary then to recollect that, at this period, when Baber resumes the history of his own adventures, Sheibani Khan had conquered Samarkand and Bokhara, Ferghana and Uratippa, Tashkend and Shahrokhia; Sultan Hussain Mirza governed Khorasan ; Khosrou Shah still held Hissar, Khutlan, Kundez, and Badakhshan; and Zulnun Beg, though he acknowledged Sultan llussain Mirza, had the chief and almost independent power in Kandahar and Zemin-Dawer, the country of the Hazaras and Nukderis, the Germsir, and great part of Sistan, and the country south of Kandahar.

1 The feast on the conclusion of Ranrzan; probably either the 9th April 1508, or 30th March 1503. * The Germsir, as afterwards mentioned by Baber, is the country east of the Pass of Badara-chesh. meh. 3 See Khafi Khan, Ferishta, &c.




In the month of Moharrem,1 I set out from the vicinity of Ferghana, intending to Baber s«» proceed to Khorasan, and halted at the summer-cots of Ilak,2 one of the summer pas- ^0^nturing districts belonging to the country of Hissar. I here entered my twenty-third year, and began to apply the razor to my face.3 The followers who still adhered to my fortunes, great and small, exceeded two hundred, and fell short of three hundred. The greater part of them were on foot, with brogues on their feet, clubs in their hands, and long frocks4 over their shoulders. Such was our distress, that among us all we had only two tents. My own tent was pitched for my mother, and they erected for me at each stage a felt-tent of cross-poles,5 in which I used to take up my quarters. Although I was on my way for Khorasan, yet, in the present state of things, I was not quite without hopes of still effecting something here among the territories and servants of Khosrou Shah. Scarce a day passed in which somebody did not join me, bringing such reports regarding the country and wandering tribes as served to feed my expectation.

At this very time, Mulla Baba Beshagheri, whom I had sent on a mission to Khosrou Shah, came back. From Khosrou Shah he brought me no message that could cheer my mind; but he brought me favourable accounts of the disposition of the Ils and Uluses (the wandering Turki and Moghul tribes of the country).

From Ilak, in three or four journeys, I reached Khwajeh-Emad, a place in the territory of Hissar. In this station, Mohib Ali Kurchi waited on me as ambassador from Khosrou Shah. Twice did my course lie through the country of this Khosrou

1 Moharrem, 910, began on the 14th June I50*, the year when Ferdinand, the Catholic, drove the French out of Naples.

2 There is still a place called Ilak to the north-west of Derbend, which may be in the district here alluded to.

3 Among the Turki tribes, the time of first applying the razor to the face is celebrated by a great entertainment, fiaber's miserable circumstances did not admit of this.

* Chapan.

5 The ilachack is a sort of tent formed of flexible poles, covered with felt, and easily folded up.

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