The Bābur-nāma in English, by Babur, Emperor of Hindustan, Translated by Annette Susannah Beveridge

The Bābur-nāma in English

(Memoirs of Bābur)
Translated from the original Turki Text
Z̤ahiru’d-dīn Muḥammad Bābur Pādshāh Ghāzī


First Printed 1922

This work
is dedicate to

Preface: Introductory.—Cap. I. Babur’s exemplars in the Arts of peace, p. xxvii.—Cap. II. Problems of the mutilated Babur-nama, p. xxxi.—Cap. III. The Turki MSS. and work connecting with them, p. xxxviii.—Cap. IV. The Leyden and Erskine “Memoirs of Baber”, p. lvii.—Postscript of Thanks, p. lx.

899 ah.—Oct. 12th 1493 to Oct. 2nd 1494 ad.—Bābur’s age at the date of his accession—Description of Farghāna (pp. 1 to 12)—Death and biography of ‘Umar Shaikh (13 to 19 and 24 to 28)—Biography of Yūnas Chaghatāī (18 to 24)—Bābur’s uncles Aḥmad Mīrān-shāhī and Maḥmūd Chaghatāī (The Khān) invade Farghāna—Death and biography of Aḥmad—Misdoings of his successor, his brother Maḥmūd 1-42

900 ah.—Oct. 2nd 1494 to Sep. 21st 1495 ad.—Invasion of Farghāna continued—Bābur’s adoption of orthodox observance—Death and biography of Maḥmūd Mīrān-shāhī—Samarkand affairs—revolt of Ibrāhīm Sārū defeated—Bābur visits The Khān in Tāshkīnt—tribute collected from the Jīgrak tribe—expedition into Aūrātīpā 43-56

901 ah.—Sep. 21st 1495 to Sep. 9th 1496 ad.—Ḥusain Bāī-qarā’s campaign against Khusrau Shāh—Bābur receives Aūzbeg sult̤āns—Revolt of the Tarkhāns in Samarkand—Bābur’s first move for Samarkand 57-64

902 ah.—Sep. 9th 1496 to Aug. 30th 1497 ad.—Bābur’s second move for Samarkand—Dissensions of Ḥusain Bāī-qarā and his sons—Dissensions between Khusrau Shāh and Mas‘ūd Mīrān-shāhī 65-71

903 ah.—Aug. 30th 1497 to Aug. 19th 1498 ad.—Bābur’s second attempt on Samarkand is successful—Description of Samarkand (pp. 74 to 86)—his action there—Mughūls demand and besiege Andijān for Bābur’s half-brother Jahāngīr—his mother and friends entreat his help—he leaves Samarkand in his cousin ‘Alī’s hands—has a relapse of illness on the road and is believed dying—on the news Andijān is surrendered by a Mughūl to the Mughūl faction—Having lost Samarkand and Andijān, Bābur is hospitably entertained by the Khujandīs—he is forced to dismiss Khalīfa—The Khān (his uncle) moves to help him but is [Pg viii]persuaded to retire—many followers go to Andijān where were their families—he is left with 200-300 men—his mother and grandmother and the families of his men sent to him in Khujand—he is distressed to tears—The Khān gives help against Samarkand but his troops turn back on news of Shaibānī—Bābur returns to Khujand—speaks of his ambition to rule—goes in person to ask The Khān’s help to regain Andijān—his force being insufficient, he goes back to Khujand—Affairs of Khusrau Shāh and the Tīmūrid Mīrzās—Affairs of Ḥusain Bāī-qarā and his sons—Khusrau Shāh blinds Bābur’s cousin Mas‘ūd—Bābur curses the criminal 72-96

904 ah.—Aug. 19th 1498 to Aug. 8th 1499 ad.—Bābur borrows Pashāghar for the winter and leaves Khujand—rides 70-80 miles with fever—a winter’s tug-of-war with Samarkand—his force insufficient, he goes back to Khujand—unwilling to burthen it longer, goes into the summer-pastures of Aūrātīpā—invited to Marghīnān by his mother’s uncle ‘Alī-dost—a joyful rush over some 145 miles—near Marghīnān prudent anxieties arise and are stilled—he is admitted to Marghīnān on terms—is attacked vainly by the Mughūl faction—accretions to his force—helped by The Khān—the Mughūls defeated near Akhsī—Andijān recovered—Mughūls renew revolt—Bābur’s troops beaten by Mughūls—Taṃbal attempts Andijān 97-107

905 ah.—Aug. 8th 1499 to July 28th 1500 ad.—Bābur’s campaign against Ahṃad Taṃbal and the Mughūl faction—he takes Māzū—Khusrau Shāh murders Bāī-sunghar Mīrānshāhī—Biography of the Mīrzā—Bābur wins his first ranged battle, from Taṃbal supporting Jahāngīr, at Khūbān—winter-quarters—minor successes—the winter-camp broken up by Qaṃbar-i-‘alī’s taking leave—Bābur returns to Andijān—The Khān persuaded by Taṃbal’s kinsmen in his service to support Jahāngīr—his troops retire before Bābur—Bābur and Taṃbal again opposed—Qaṃbar-i-‘alī again gives trouble—minor action and an accommodation made without Bābur’s wish—terms of the accommodation—The self-aggrandizement of ‘Alī-dost Mughūl—Bābur’s first marriage—a personal episode—Samarkand affairs—‘Alī quarrels with the Tarkhāns—The Khān sends troops against Samarkand—Mīrzā Khān invited there by a Tarkhān—‘Alī defeats The Khān’s Mughūls—Bābur invited to Samarkand—prepares to start and gives Jahāngīr rendezvous for the [Pg ix]attempt—Taṃbal’s brother takes Aūsh—Bābur leaves this lesser matter aside and marches for Samarkand—Qaṃbar-i-‘alī punishes himself—Shaibānī reported to be moving on Bukhārā—Samarkand begs wait on Bābur—the end of ‘Alī-dost—Bābur has news of Shaibānī’s approach to Samarkand and goes to Kesh—hears there that ‘Alī’s Aūzbeg mother had given Samarkand to Shaibānī on condition of his marriage with herself 108-126

906 ah.—July 28th 1500 to July 17th 1501 ad.—Shaibānī murders ‘Alī—a son and two grandsons of Aḥrārī’s murdered—Bābur leaves Kesh with a number of the Samarkand begs—is landless and isolated—takes a perilous mountain journey back into Aūrātīpā—comments on the stinginess shewn to himself by Khusrau Shāh and another—consultation and resolve to attempt Samarkand—Bābur’s dream-vision of success—he takes the town by a surprise attack—compares this capture with Ḥusain Bāī-qarā’s of Herī—his affairs in good position—birth of his first child—his summons for help to keep the Aūzbeg down—literary matters—his force of 240 grows to allow him to face Shaibānī at Sar-i-pul—the battle and his defeat—Mughūls help his losses—he is besieged in Samarkand—a long blockade—great privation—no help from any quarter—Futile proceedings of Taṃbal and The Khān 127-145

907 ah.—July 17th 1501 to July 7th 1502 ad.—Bābur surrenders Samarkand—his sister Khān-zāda is married by Shaibānī—incidents of his escape to Dīzak—his 4 or 5 escapes from peril to safety and ease—goes to Dikh-kat in Aūrātīpā—incidents of his stay there—his wanderings bare-head, bare-foot—sends gifts to Jahāngīr, and to Taṃbal a sword which later wounds himself—arrival from Samarkand of the families and a few hungry followers—Shaibānī Khān raids in The Khān’s country—Bābur rides after him fruitlessly—Death of Nuyān Kūkūldāsh—Bābur’s grief for his friend—he retires to the Zar-afshān valley before Shaibānī—reflects on the futility of his wanderings and goes to The Khān in Tāshkīnt—Mughūl conspiracy against Taṃbal Mughūl—Bābur submits verses to The Khān and comments on his uncle’s scant study of poetic idiom—The Khān rides out against Taṃbal—his standards acclaimed and his army numbered—of the Chīngīz-tūrā—quarrel of Chīrās and Begchīk chiefs for the post of danger—Hunting—Khujand-river reached 146-156
[Pg x]

908 ah.—July 7th 1502 to June 26th 1503 ad.—Bābur comments on The Khān’s unprofitable move—his poverty and despair in Tāshkīnt—his resolve to go to Khitāī and ruse for getting away—his thought for his mother—his plan not accepted by The Khān and Shāh Begīm—The Younger Khān (Aḥmad) arrives from Kāshghar—is met by Bābur—a half-night’s family talk—gifts to Bābur—the meeting of the two Khāns—Aḥmad’s characteristics and his opinion of various weapons—The Khāns march into Farghāna against Jahāngīr’s supporter Taṃbal—they number their force—Bābur detached against Aūsh, takes it and has great accretions of following—An attempt to take Andijān frustrated by mistake in a pass-word—Author’s Note on pass-words—a second attempt foiled by the over-caution of experienced begs—is surprised in his bivouac by Taṃbal—face to face with Taṃbal—his new gosha-gīr—his dwindling company—wounded—left alone, is struck by his gift-sword—escapes to Aūsh—The Khān moves from Kāsān against Andijān—his disposition of Bābur’s lands—Qaṃbar-i-‘alī’s counsel to Bābur rejected—Bābur is treated by the Younger Khān’s surgeon—tales of Mughūl surgery—Qaṃbar-i-‘alī flees to Taṃbal in fear through his unacceptable counsel—Bābur moves for Akhsī—a lost chance—minor actions—an episode of Pāp—The Khāns do not take Andijān—Bābur invited into Akhsī—Taṃbal’s brother Bāyazīd joins him with Nāṣir Mīrān-shāhī—Taṃbal asks help from Shaibānī—On news of Shaibānī’s consent the Khāns retire from Andijān—Bābur’s affairs in Akhsī—he attempts to defend it—incidents of the defence—Bābur wounded—unequal strength of the opponents—he flees with 20-30 men—incidents of the flight—Bābur left alone—is overtaken by two foes—his perilous position—a messenger arrives from Taṃbal’s brother Bāyazīd—Bābur expecting death, quotes Niz̤āmī—(the narrative breaks off in the middle of the verse) 157-182

Translator’s Note.—908 to 909 ah.—1503 to 1504 ad.—Bābur will have been rescued—is with The Khāns in the battle and defeat by Shaibānī at Archīān—takes refuge in the Asfara hills—there spends a year in misery and poverty—events in Farghāna and Tāshkīnt—Shaibānī sends the Mughūl horde back to Kāshghar—his disposition of the women of The Khān’s family—Bābur plans to go to Ḥusain Bāī-qarā in Khurāsān—changes his aim for Kābul 182-185
[End of Translator’s Note.]

910 ah.—June 14th 1504 to June 4th 1505 ad.—Bābur halts on an alp of Ḥiṣār—enters his 22nd (lunar) year—delays his march in hope of adherents—writes a second time of the stinginess of Khusrau Shāh to himself—recalls Sherīm T̤ T̤aghāī Mughūl’s earlier waverings in support—is joined by Khusrau Shāh’s brother Bāqī Beg—they start for Kābul—Accretions of force—their families left in Fort Ajar (Kāhmard)—Jahāngīr marries a cousin—Bāqī advises his dismissal to Khurāsān—Bābur is loyal to his half-brother—Jahāngīr is seduced, later, by disloyal Begchīk chiefs—Ḥusain Bāī-qarā summons help against Shaibānī—Despair in Bābur’s party at Ḥusain’s plan of “defence, not attack”—Qaṃbar-i-‘alī dismissed to please Bāqī—Khusrau makes abject submission to Bābur—Mīrzā Khān demands vengeance on him—Khusrau’s submission having been on terms, he is let go free—Bābur resumes his march—first sees Canopus—is joined by tribesmen—Khusrau’s brother Walī flees to the Aūzbegs and is executed—Risks run by the families now fetched from Kāhmard—Kābul surrendered to Bābur by Muqīm Arghūn—Muqīm’s family protected—Description of Kābul (pp. 199 to 277)—Muqīm leaves for Qandahār—Allotment of fiefs—Excess levy in grain—Foray on the Sult̤ān Mas‘ūdī Hazāra—Bābur’s first move for Hindūstān—Khaibar traversed—Bīgrām visited—Bāqī Beg prevents crossing the Sind—and persuades for Kohāt—A plan for Bangash, Bannū and thence return to Kābul—Yār-i-ḥusain Daryā-khānī asks for permission to raise a force for Bābur, east of the Sind—Move to Thāl, Bannū, and the Dasht—return route varied without consulting Bābur—Pīr Kānū’s tomb visited—through the Pawat-pass into Dūkī—horse-food fails—baggage left behind—men of all conditions walk to Ghaznī—spectacle of the Āb-istāda—mirage and birds—Jahāngīr is Bābur’s host in Ghaznī—heavy floods—Kābul reached after a disastrous expedition of four months—Nāṣir’s misconduct abetted by two Begchīk chiefs—he and they flee into Badakhshān—Khusrau Shāh’s schemes fail in Herāt—imbroglio between him and Nāṣir—Shaibānī attempts Ḥiṣār but abandons the siege on his brother’s death—Khusrau attempts Ḥiṣār and is there killed—his followers revolt against Bābur—his death quenches the fire of sedition 188-245
[Pg xii]

911 ah.—June 4th 1505 to May 24th 1506 ad.—Death of Bābur’s mother—Bābur’s illness stops a move for Qandahār—an earth-quake—campaign against and capture of Qalāt-i-ghilzāī—Bāqī Beg dismissed towards Hindūstān—murdered in the Khaibar—Turkmān Hazāra raided—Nijr-aū tribute collected—Jahāngīr misbehaves and runs away—Bābur summoned by Ḥusain Bāī-qarā against Shaibānī—Shaibānī takes Khwārizm and Chīn Ṣūfī is killed—Death and biography of Ḥusain Bāī-qarā (256 to 292)—his burial and joint-successors 246-293

912 ah.—May 24th 1506 to May 13th 1507 ad.—Bābur, without news of Ḥusain Bāī-qarā’s death, obeys his summons and leaves Kābul—Jahāngīr flees from Bābur’s route—Nāṣir defeats Shaibānī’s men in Badakhshān—Bābur, while in Kāhmard, hears of Ḥusain’s death—continues his march with anxious thought for the Tīmūrid dynasty—Jahāngīr waits on him and accompanies him to Herāt—Co-alition of Khurāsān Mīrzās against Shaibānī—their meeting with Bābur—etiquette of Bābur’s reception—an entertainment to him—of the Chīngīz-tūrā—Bābur claims the ceremonial observance due to his military achievements—entertainments and Bābur’s obedience to Muḥammadan Law against wine—his reflections on the Mīrzās—difficulties of winter-plans (300, 307)—he sees the sights of Herī—visits the Begīms—the ceremonies observed—tells of his hitherto abstention from wine and of his present inclination to drink it—Qasīm Beg’s interference with those pressing Bābur to break the Law—Bābur’s poor carving—engages Ma‘ṣūma in marriage—leaves for Kābul—certain retainers stay behind—a perilous journey through snow to a wrong pass out of the Herīrud valley—arrival of the party in Yakaaūlāng—joy in their safety and comfort—Shibr-tū traversed into Ghūr-bunḍ—Turkmān Hazāra raided—News reaches Bābur of conspiracy in Kābul to put Mīrzā Khān in his place—Bābur concerts plans with the loyal Kābul garrison—moves on through snow and in terrible cold—attacks and defeats the rebels—narrowly escaped death—attributes his safety to prayer—-deals mercifully, from family considerations, with the rebel chiefs—reflects on their behaviour to him who has protected them—asserts that his only aim is to write the truth—letters-of-victory sent out—Muḥ. Ḥusain Dūghlāt and Mīrzā Khān banished—Spring excursion to Koh-dāman—Nāṣir, driven from Badakhshān, takes refuge with Bābur 294-322
[Pg xiii]

913 ah.—May 13th 1507 to May 2nd 1508 ad.—Raid on the Ghiljī Afghāns—separation of the Fifth (Khams)—wild-ass, hunting—Shaibānī moves against Khurāsān—Irresolution of the Tīmūrid Mīrzās—Infatuation of Ẕū’n-nūn Arghūn—Shaibānī takes Herī—his doings there—Defeat and death of two Bāī-qarās—The Arghūns in Qandahār make overtures to Bābur—he starts to join them against Shaibānī—meets Ma‘ṣūma in Ghaznī on her way to Kābul—spares Hindūstān traders—meets Jahāngīr’s widow and infant-son coming from Herāt—The Arghūn chiefs provoke attack on Qandahār—Bābur’s army—organization and terminology—wins the battle of Qandahār and enters the fort—its spoils—Nāṣir put in command—Bābur returns to Kābul rich in goods and fame—marries Ma‘ṣūma—Shaibānī lays siege to Qandahār—Alarm in Kābul at his approach—Mīrzā Khān and Shāh Begīm betake themselves to Badakhshān—Bābur sets out for Hindūstān leaving ‘Abdu’r-razzāq in Kābul—Afghān highwaymen—A raid for food—Māhchuchak’s marriage—Hindūstān plan abandoned—Nūr-gal and Kūnār visited—News of Shaibānī’s withdrawal from Qandahār—Bābur returns to Kābul—gives Ghaznī to Nāṣir—assumes the title of Pādshāh—Birth of Humāyūn, feast and chronogram 323-344

914 ah.—May 2nd 1508 to April 21st 1509 ad.—Raid on the Mahmand Afghāns—Seditious offenders reprieved—Khusrau Shāh’s former retainers march off from Kābul—‘Abdu’r-razzāq comes from his district to near Kābul—not known to have joined the rebels—earlier hints to Bābur of this “incredible” rebellion—later warnings of an immediate rising 345-346

Translator’s Note.—914 to 925 ah.—1508 to 1519 ad.—Date of composition of preceding narrative—Loss of matter here seems partly or wholly due to Bābur’s death—Sources helping to fill the Gap—Events of the remainder of 914 ah.—The mutiny swiftly quelled—Bābur’s five-fold victory over hostile champions—Sa‘īd Chaghatāī takes refuge with him in a quiet Kābul—Shaibānī’s murders of Chaghatāī and Dūghlāt chiefs 347-366

915 ah.—April 21st 1509 to April 11th 1510 ad.—Beginning of hostilities between Ismā‘īl Ṣafawī and Shaibānī—Ḥaidar Dūghlāt takes refuge with Bābur.

916 ah.—April 11th 1510 to March 31st 1511 ad.—Ismā‘īl defeats the Aūzbegs near Merv—Shaibānī is killed—20,000 [Pg xiv]Mughūls he had migrated to Khurāsān, return to near Qūndūz—Mīrzā Khān invites Bābur to join him against the Aūzbegs—Bābur goes to Qūndūz—The 20,000 Mughūls proffer allegiance to their hereditary Khān Sa‘īd—they propose to set Bābur aside—Sa‘īd’s worthy rejection of the proposal—Bābur makes Sa‘īd The Khān of the Mughūls and sends him and his Mughūls into Farghāna—significance of Bābur’s words, “I made him Khān”—Bābur’s first attempt on Ḥiṣār where were Ḥamza and Mahdī Aūzbeg—beginning of his disastrous intercourse with Ismā‘īl Ṣafawī—Ismā‘īl sends Khān-zāda Begīm back to him—with thanks for the courtesy, Bābur asks help against the Aūzbeg—it is promised under dangerous conditions.

917 ah.—March 31st 1511 to March 19th 1512 ad.—Bābur’s second attempt on Ḥiṣār—wins the Battle of Pul-i-sangīn—puts Ḥamza and Mahdī to death—his Persian reinforcement and its perilous cost—The Aūzbegs are swept across the Zar-afshān—The Persians are dismissed from Bukhārā—Bābur occupies Samarkand after a nine-year’s absence—he gives Kābul to Nāṣir—his difficult position in relation to the Shī‘a Ismā‘īl—Ismā‘īl sends Najm S̤ānī to bring him to order.

918 ah.—March 19th 1512 to March 9th 1513 ad.—The Aūzbegs return to the attack—‘Ubaid’s vow—his defeat of Bābur at Kūl-i-malik—Bābur flees from Samarkand to Ḥiṣār—his pursuers retire—Najm S̤ānī from Balkh gives him rendezvous at Tīrmīẕ—the two move for Bukhārā—Najm perpetrates the massacre of Qarshī—Bābur is helpless to prevent it—Najm crosses the Zar-afshān to a disadvantageous position—is defeated and slain—Bābur, his reserve, does not fight—his abstention made a reproach at the Persian Court against his son Humāyūn (1544 ad.?)—his arrow-sped message to the Aūzbeg camp—in Ḥiṣār, he is attacked suddenly by Mughūls—he escapes to Qūndūz—the retributive misfortunes of Ḥiṣār—Ḥaidar on Mughūls—Ayūb Begchīk’s death-bed repentance for his treachery to Bābur—Ḥaidar returns to his kinsfolk in Kāshghar.

919 ah.—March 9th 1513 to Feb. 26th 1514 ad.—Bābur may have spent the year in Khishm—Ismā‘īl takes Balkh from the Aūzbegs—surmised bearing of the capture on his later action.

920 ah.—Feb. 26th 1514 to Feb. 15th 1515 ad.—Ḥaidar’s account of Bābur’s misery, patience and courtesy this year [Pg xv]in Qūndūz—Bābur returns to Kābul—his daughter Gulrang is born in Khwāst—he is welcomed by Nāṣir who goes back to Ghaznī.

921 ah.—Feb. 15th 1515 to Feb. 5th 1516 ad.—Death of Nāṣir—Riot in Ghaznī led by Sherīm T̤aghāī Mughūl—quiet restored—many rebels flee to Kāshghar—Sherīm refused harbourage by Sa‘īd Khān and seeks Bābur’s protection—Ḥaidar’s comment on Bābur’s benevolence.

ah.—Feb. 5th 1516 to Jan. 24th 1517 ad.—A quiet year in Kābul apparently—Birth of ‘Askarī.

923 ah.—Jan. 24th 1517 to Jan. 13th 1518 ad.—Bābur visits Balkh—Khwānd-amīr’s account of the affairs of Muhammad-i-zamān Mīrza Bāī-qarā—Bābur pursues the Mīrzā—has him brought to Kābul—gives him his daughter Ma‘ṣūma in marriage—An expedition to Qandahār returns fruitless, on account of his illness—Shāh Beg’s views on Bābur’s persistent attempts on Qandahār—Shāh Beg’s imprisonment and release by his slave Saṃbal’s means.

924 ah.—Jan. 13th 1518 to Jan. 3rd 1519 ad.—Shāh Beg’s son Ḥasan flees to Bābur—stays two years—date of his return to his father—Bābur begins a campaign in Bajaur against Ḥaidar-i-‘alī Bajaurī—takes two forts.
[End of Translator’s Note.]

925 ah.—Jan. 3rd to Dec. 23rd 1519 ad.—Bābur takes the Fort of Bajaur—massacres its people as false to Islām—Khwāja Kalān made its Commandant—an excessive impost in grain—a raid for corn—Māhīm’s adoption of Dil-dār’s unborn child—Bābur marries Bībī Mubārika—Repopulation of the Fort of Bajaur—Expedition against Afghān tribesmen—Destruction of the tomb of a heretic qalandar—Bābur first crosses the Sind—his long-cherished desire for Hindūstān—the ford of the Sind—the Koh-i-jūd (Salt-range)—his regard for Bhīra, Khūsh-āb, Chīn-ab and Chīnīūt as earlier possessions of the Turk, now therefore his own—the Kalda-kahār lake and subsequent location on it of the Bāgh-i-ṣafā—Assurance of safety sent to Bhīra as a Turk possession—History of Bhīra etc. as Turk possessions—Author’s Note on Tātār Khān Yūsuf-khail—envoys sent to Balūchīs in Bhīra—heavy floods in camp—Offenders against Bhīra people punished—Agreed tribute collected—Envoy sent to ask from Ibrāhīm Lūdī the lands once dependent on the Turk—Daulat Khān arrests and keeps [Pg xvi]the envoy who goes back later to Bābur re infectâ—news of Hind-āl’s birth and cause of his name—description of a drinking-party—Tātār Khān Kakar compels Minūchihr Khān Turk, going to wait on Bābur, to become his son-in-law—Account of the Kakars—excursions and drinking-parties—Bhīra appointments—action taken against Hātī Khān Kakar—Description and capture of Parhāla—Bābur sees the saṃbal plant—a tiger killed—Gūr-khattrī visited—Loss of a clever hawk—Khaibar traversed—mid-day halt in the Bāgh-i-wafā—Qarā-tū garden visited—News of Shāh Beg’s capture of Kāhān—Bābur’s boys carried out in haste to meet him—wine-parties—Death and biography of Dost Beg—Arrival of Sult̤ānīm Bāī-qarā and ceremonies observed on meeting her—A long-imprisoned traitor released—Excursion to Koh-dāman—Hindū Beg abandons Bhīra—Bābur has (intermittent) fever—Visitors from Khwāst—Yūsuf-zāī chiefs wait on Bābur—Khalīfa’s son sends a wedding-gift—Bābur’s amusement when illness keeps him from an entertainment—treatment of his illness—A Thursday reading of theology (see Add. Note p. 401)—Swimming—Envoy from Mīrzā Khān—Tribesmen allowed to leave Kābul for wider grazing-grounds—Bābur sends his first Dīwān to Pūlād Aūzbeg in Samarkand—Arrivals and departures—Punitive expedition against the ‘Abdu’r-rahman Afghāns—punishment threatened and inflicted (p. 405) on defaulters in help to an out-matched man—Description of the Rustam-maidān—return to Kābul—Excursion to Koh-dāman—snake incident—Tramontane begs warned for service—fish-drugging—Bābur’s non-pressure to drink, on an abstainer—wine-party—misadventure on a raft—toothpicks gathered—A new retainer—Bābur shaves his head—Hind-āl’s guardian appointed—Aūzbeg raiders defeated in Badakhshān—Various arrivals—Yūsuf-zāī campaign—Bābur dislocates his wrist—Varia—Dilah-zāk chiefs wait on him—Plan to store corn in Hash-nagar—Incidents of the road—Khaibar traversed—Bārā urged on Bābur as a place for corn—Kābul river forded at Bārā—little corn found and the Hash-nagar plan foiled—Plan to store Pashāwar Fort—return to ‘Alī-masjid—News of an invasion of Badakhshān hurries Bābur back through the Khaibar—The Khiẓr-khail Afghāns punished—Bābur first writes since dislocating his wrist—The beauty and fruits of the Bāgh-i-wafā—incidents of the return march to Kābul—Excursion to the Koh-dāman—beauty of its harvest crops and autumnal [Pg xvii]trees—a line offensive to Khalīfa (see Add. Note p. 416)—Humāyūn makes a good shot—Beauty of the harvest near Istālīf and in the Bāgh-i-pādshāhī—Return to Kābul—Bābur receives a white falcon in gift—pays a visit of consolation to an ashamed drinker—Arrivals various—he finishes copying ‘Alī-sher’s four Dīwāns—An order to exclude from future parties those who become drunk—Bābur starts for Lāmghān 367-419

926 ah.—Dec. 23rd 1519 to Dec. 12th 1520 ad.—Excursion to Koh-dāman and Kohistān—incidents of the road—Bābur shoots with an easy bow, for the first time after the dislocation of his wrist—Nijr-aū tribute fixed—Excursions in Lāmghān—Kāfir head-men bring goat-skins of wine—Halt in the Bāgh-i-wafā—its oranges, beauty and charm—Bābur records his wish and intention to return to obedience in his 40th year and his consequent excess in wine as the end approached—composes an air—visits Nūr-valley—relieves Kwāja Kalān in Bajaur—teaches a talisman to stop rain—his opinion of the ill-taste and disgusting intoxication of beer—his reason for summoning Khwāja Kalān, and trenchant words to Shāh Ḥasan relieving him—an old beggar loaded with gifts—the raft strikes a rock—Description of the Kīndīr spring—Fish taken from fish-ponds—Hunting—Accident to a tooth—Fishing with a net—A murderer made over to the avengers of blood—A Qoran chapter read and start made for Kābul—(here the diary breaks off) 420-425

Translator’s Note.—926 to 932 ah.—1520 to 1525 ad.—Bābur’s activities in the Gap—missing matter less interesting than that lost in the previous one—its distinctive mark is biographical—Dramatis personæ—Sources of information 426-444

926 ah.—Dec. 23rd 1519 to Dec. 12th 1520 ad.—Bābur’s five expeditions into Hindūstān—this year’s cut short by menace from Qandahār—Shāh Beg’s position—particulars of his menace not ascertained—Description of Qandahār-fort—Bābur’s various sieges—this year’s raised because of pestilence within the walls—Shāh Beg pushes out into Sind.

927 ah.—Dec. 12th 1520 to Dec. 1st 1521 ad.—Two accounts of this year’s siege of Qandahār—(i) that of the Ḥabību’s-siyar—(ii) that of the Tārīkh-i-sind—concerning the dates involved—Mīrzā Khān’s death.
[Pg xviii]

928 ah.—Dec. 1st 1521 to Nov. 20th 1522 ad.—Bābur and Māhīm visit Humāyūn in Badakhshān—Expedition to Qandahār—of the duel between Bābur and Shāh Beg—the Chihil-zīna monument of victory—Death of Shāh Beg and its date—Bābur’s literary work down to this year.

929 ah.—Nov. 20th 1522 to Nov. 10th 1523 ad.—Hindūstān affairs—Daulat Khān Lūdī, Ibrāhīm Lūdī and Bābur—Dilawār (son of Daulat Khān) goes to Kābul and asks help against Ibrāhīm—Bābur prays for a sign of victory—prepares for the expedition—‘Ālam Khān Lūdī (apparently in this year) goes to Kābul and asks Bābur’s help against his nephew Ibrāhīm—Birth of Gul-badan.

930 ah.—Nov. 10th 1523 to Oct. 27th 1524 ad.—Bābur’s fourth expedition into Hindūstān—differs from earlier ones by its concert with malcontents in the country—Bābur defeats Bihār Khān Lūdī near Lāhor—Lāhor occupied—Dībalpūr stormed, plundered and its people massacred—Bābur moves onward from Sihrind but returns on news of Daulat Khān’s doings—there may have been also news of Aūzbeg threat to Balkh—The Panj-āb garrison—Death of Ismā‘īl Ṣafawī and of Shāh Beg—Bābur turns for Kābul—plants bananas in the Bāgh-i-wafā.

931 ah.—Oct. 29th 1524 to Oct. 18th 1525 ad.—Daulat Khān’s large resources—he defeats ‘Ālam Khān at Dībalpūr—‘Ālam Khān flees to Kābul and again asks help—Bābur’s conditions of reinforcement—‘Ālam Khān’s subsequent proceedings detailed s.a. 932 ah.—Bābur promises to follow him speedily—is summoned to Balkh by its Aūzbeg menace—his arrival raises the siege—he returns to Kābul in time for his start to Hindūstān in 932 426-444
[End of Translator’s Note.]

932 ah.—Oct. 18th 1525 to Oct. 8th 1526 ad.—Bābur starts on his fifth expedition into Hindūstān—is attacked by illness at Gandamak—Humāyūn is late in coming in from Badakh-shān—Verse-making on the Kābul-river—Bābur makes a satirical verse such as he had forsworn when writing the Mubīn—attributes a relapse of illness to his breach of vow—renews his oath—Fine spectacle of the lighted camp at Alī-masjid—Hunting near Bīgrām—Preparations for ferrying the Sind—Order to make a list of all with the army, [Pg xix]and to count them up—continuation of illness—Orders sent to the Lāhor begs to delay engagement till Bābur arrived—The Sind ferried (for the first time) and the army tale declared as 12,000 good and bad—The eastward march—unexpected ice—Rendezvous made with the Lāhor begs—Jat and Gūjūr thieves—a courier sent again to the begs—News that ‘Ālam Khān had let Ibrāhīm Lūdī defeat him near Dihlī—particulars of the engagement—he takes refuge with Bābur—The Lāhor begs announce their arrival close at hand—Ibrāhīm’s troops retire before Bābur’s march—Daulat Khān Lūdī surrenders Milwat (Malot)—waits on Bābur and is reproached—Ghāzī Khān’s abandonment of his family censured—Jaswān-valley—Ghāzī Khān pursued—Bābur advances against Ibrāhīm Lūdī—his estimate of his adversary’s strength—‘Ālam Khān’s return destitute to Bābur—Bābur’s march leads towards Pānīpat—Humāyūn’s first affair succeeds—reiterated news of Ibrāhīm’s approach—Bābur’s success in a minor encounter—he arrays and counts his effective force—finds it under the estimate—orders that every man in the army shall collect carts towards Rūmī defence—700 carts brought in—account of the defences of the camp close to the village of Pānīpat—Bābur on the futility of fear; his excuses for the fearful in his army—his estimate of Ibrāhīm’s army and of its higher possible numbers—Author’s Note on the Aūzbeg chiefs in Ḥiṣār (918 ah.1512 ad.)—Preliminary encounters—Battle and victory of Pānīpat—Ibrāhīm’s body found—Dihlī and Āgra occupied by Bābur—he makes the circuit of a Farghāna-born ruler in Dihlī—visits other tombs and sees sights—halts opposite Tūghlūqābād—the khut̤ba read for him in Dihlī—he goes to Āgra—Author’s Note on rulers in Gūālīār—The (Koh-i-nūr) diamond given by the Gūālīār family to Humāyūn—Bābur’s dealings with Ibrāhīm’s mother and her entourage—Description of Hindūstān (pp. 478 to 521)—Revenues of Hind (p. 521)—Āgra treasure distributed—local disaffection to Bābur—discontent in his army at remaining in Hindūstān—he sets the position forth to his Council—Khwāja Kalān decides to leave—his and Bābur’s verses on his desertion—Bābur’s force grows locally—action begun against rebels to Ibrāhīm in the East—Gifts made to officers, and postings various—Bīban Jalwānī revolts and is beaten—The Mīr of Bīāna warned—Mention of Rānā Sangā’s failure in his promise to act with Bābur—Sangā’s present action—Decision in Council to leave Sangā [Pg xx]aside and to march to the East—Humāyūn leads out the army—Bābur makes garden, well and mosque near Āgra—Progress of Humāyūn’s campaign—News of the Aūzbegs in Balkh and Khurāsān—Affairs of Gujrāt 445-535

933 ah.—Oct. 8th 1526 to Sep. 27th 1527 ad.—Birth announced of Bābur’s son Fārūq—incomplete success in casting a large mortar—Varia—Humāyūn summoned from the East to act against Sangā—Plundering expedition towards Bīāna—Tahangar, Gūālīār and Dūlpūr obtained—Ḥamīd Khān Sārang-khānī defeated—Arrival of a Persian embassy—Ibrāhīm’s mother tries to poison Bābur—Copy of Bābur’s letter detailing the affair—his dealings with the poisoner and her agents—Humāyūn’s return to Āgra—Khw. Dost-i-khawānd’s arrival from Kābul—Reiterated news of the approach of Rānā Sangā—Bābur sends an advance force to Bīāna—Ḥasan Khān Miwātī—Tramontane matters disloyal to Bābur—Trial-test of the large mortar (p. 536)—Bābur leaves Āgra to oppose Sangā—adverse encounter with Sangā by Bīāna garrison—Alarming reports of Rājpūt prowess—Spadesmen sent ahead to dig wells in Madhākūr pargana—Bābur halts there—arrays and moves to Sīkrī—various joinings and scoutings—discomfiture of a party reconnoitring from Sīkrī—the reinforcement also overcome—The enemy retires at sight of a larger troop from Bābur—defence of the Sīkrī camp Rūmī fashion, with ditch besides—Continued praise of Rājpūt prowess—Further defence of the camp made to hearten Bābur’s men—20-25 days spent in the above preparations—arrival of 500 men from Kābul—also of Muḥ. Sharīf an astrologer who augurs ill for Bābur’s success—Archers collected and Mīwāt over-run—Bābur reflects that he had always wished to cease from the sin of wine—verses about his then position—resolves to renounce wine—details of the destruction of wine and precious vessels, and of the building of a commemorative well and alms-house—his oath to remit a tax if victorious is recalled to him—he remits the tamghā—Shaikh Zain writes the farmān announcing the two acts—Copy of the farmān—Great fear in Bābur’s army—he adjures the Ghāzī spirit in his men who vow to stand fast—his perilous position—he moves forward in considerable array—his camp is laid out and protected by ditch and carts—An omen is taken and gives hope—Khalīfa advising, the camp is moved—While tents were being set up, the [Pg xxi]enemy appears—The battle and victory of Kānwa—described in a copy of the Letter-of-victory—Bābur inserts this because of its full particulars (pp. 559 to 574)—assumes the title of Ghāzī—Chronograms of the victory and also of that in Dībalpūr (930 ah.)—pursuit of the fugitive foe—escape of Sangā—the falsely-auguring astrologer banished with a gift—a small revolt crushed—a pillar of heads set up—Bābur visits Bīāna—Little water and much heat set aside plan to invade Sangā’s territory—Bābur visits Mīwāt—give some historical account of it—Commanders rewarded—Alwār visited—Humāyūn and others allowed to leave Hindūstān—Despatch of the Letter-of-victory—Various excursions—Humāyūn bidden farewell—Chandwār and Rāprī recovered—Apportionment of fiefs—Bīban flees before Bābur’s men—Dispersion of troops for the Rains—Misconduct of Humāyūn and Bābur’s grief—Embassy to ‘Irāq—Tardī Beg khāksār allowed to return to the darwesh-life—Bābur’s lines to departing friends—The Ramẓān-feast—Playing-cards—Bābur ill (seemingly with fever)—visits Dūlpūr and orders a house excavated—visits Bārī and sees the ebony-tree—has doubt of Bāyazīd Farmūlī’s loyalty—his remedial and metrical exercises—his Treatise on Prosody composed—a relapse of illness—starts on an excursion to Kūl and Saṃbal 536-586

934 ah.—Sep. 27th 1527 to Sep. 15th 1528 ad.—Bābur visits Kūl and Saṃbal and returns to Āgra—has fever and ague intermittently for 20-25 days—goes out to welcome kinswomen—a large mortar bursts with fatal result—he visits Sīkrī—starts for Holy War against Chandīrī—sends troops against Bāyazīd Farmūlī—incidents of the march to Chandīrī—account of Kachwa—account of Chandīrī—its siege—Meantime bad news arrives from the East—Bābur keeping this quiet, accomplishes the work in hand—Chandīrī taken—change of plans enforced by defeat in the East—return northwards—Further losses in the East—Rebels take post to dispute Bābur’s passage of the Ganges—he orders a pontoon-bridge—his artillery is used with effect, the bridge finished and crossed and the Afghāns worsted—Tukhta-būghā Chaghatāī arrives from Kāshgar—Bābur visits Lakhnau—suffers from ear-ache—reinforces Chīn-tīmūr against the rebels—Chīn-tīmūr gets the better of Bāyazīd Farmūlī—Bābur settles the affairs of Aūd (Oude) and plans to hunt near 587-602
[Pg xxii]

Translator’s Note. (part of 934 ah.)—On the cir. half-year’s missing matter—known events of the Gap:—Continued campaign against Bīban and Bāyazīd—Bābur at Jūnpūr, Chausa and Baksara—swims the Ganges—bestows Sarūn on a Farmūlī—orders a Chār-bāgh made—is ill for 40 days—is inferred to have visited Dūlpūr, recalled ‘Askarī from Multān, sent Khw. Dost-i-khāwand to Kābul on family affairs which were causing him much concern—Remarks on the Gap and, incidentally, on the Rāmpūr Dīwān and verses in it suiting Bābur’s illnesses of 934 ah.
[End of Translator’s Note.]

935 ah.Sep. 15th 1528 to Sep. 5th 1529 ad.—‘Askarī reaches Āgra from Multān—Khwānd-amīr and others arrive from Khurāsān—Bābur prepares to visit Gūālīār—bids farewell to kinswomen who are returning to Kābul—marches out—is given an unsavoury medicament—inspects construction-work in Dūlpūr—reaches Gūālīār—Description of Gūālīār (p. 607 to p. 614)—returns to Dūlpūr—suffers from ear-ache—inspects work in Sīkrī and reaches Āgra—visit and welcomes to kinswomen—sends an envoy to take charge of Rantanbhūr—makes a levy on stipendiaries—sends letters to kinsfolk in Khurāsān—News arrives of Kāmrān and Dost-i-khāwand in Kābul—of T̤ahmāsp Safawī’s defeat at Jām of ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh Aūzbeg—of the birth of a son to Humāyūn, and of a marriage by Kāmrān—he rewards an artificer—is strongly attacked by fever—for his healing translates Aḥrārī’s Wālidiyyah-risāla—account of the task—Troops warned for service—A long-detained messenger returns from Humāyūn—Accredited messengers-of-good-tidings bring the news of Humāyūn’s son’s birth—an instance of rapid travel—Further particulars of the Battle of Jām—Letters written and summarized—Copy of one to Humāyūn inserted here—Plans for an eastern campaign under ‘Askarī—royal insignia given to him—Orders for the measurement, stations and up-keep of the Āgra-Kābul road—the Mubīn quoted—A feast described—‘Askarī bids his Father farewell—Bābur visits Dūlpūr and inspects his constructions—Persian account of the Battle of Jām—Bābur decides contingently to go to the East—Balūchī incursions—News reaches Dūlpūr of the loss of Bihār (town) and decides Bābur to go East—News of Humāyūn’s action in Badakhshān—Bābur starts from Āgra—honoured arrivals [Pg xxiii]in the assembly-camp—incidents of the march—congratulations and gifts sent to Kāmrān, Humāyūn and others—also specimens of the Bāburī-script, and copies of the translation of the Wālidiyyah-risāla and the Hindūstān Poems—commends his building-work to his workmen—makes a new ruler for the better copying of the Wālidiyyah-risāla translation—letters written—Copy of one to Khwāja Kalān inserted here—Complaints from Kītīn-qarā Aūzbeg of Bābur’s begs on the Balkh frontier—Bābur shaves his head—Māhīm using his style, orders her own escort from Kābul to Āgra—Bābur watches wrestling—leaves the Jumna, disembarks his guns, and goes across country to Dugdugī on the Ganges—travels by litter—‘Askarī and other Commanders meet him—News of Bīban, Bāyazīd and other Afghāns—Letters despatched to meet Māhīm on her road—Bābur sends a copy of his writings to Samarkand—watches wrestling—hears news of the Afghāns—(here a surmised survival of record displaced from 934 ah.)—fall of a river-bank under his horse—swims the Ganges—crosses the Jumna at Allahābād (Piag) and re-embarks his guns—wrestling watched—the evil Tons—he is attacked by boils—a Rūmī remedy applied—a futile attempt to hunt—he sends money-drafts to the travellers from Kābul—visits places on the Ganges he had seen last year—receives various letters below Ghāzīpūr—has news that the Ladies are actually on their way from Kābul—last year’s eclipse recalled—Hindu dread of the Karmā-nāśā river—wrestling watched—Rūmī remedy for boils used again with much discomfort—fall of last year’s landing-steps at Baksara—wrestling—Negociations with an envoy of Naṣrat Shāh of Bengal—Examination into Muḥammad-i-zāman’s objections to a Bihār appointment—despatch of troops to Bihār (town)—Muḥammad-i-zamān submits requests which are granted—a small success against Afghāns—Royal insignia given to Muḥammad-i-zamān, with leave to start for Bihār—Bābur’s boats—News of the Bengal army—Muḥammad-i-zāman recalled because fighting was probable—Dūdū Bībī and her son Jalāl escape from Bengal to come to Bābur—Further discussions with the Bengal envoy—Favourable news from Bihār—Bābur in Arrah—Position of the Bengal army near the confluence of Gang and Sārū (Ganges and Gogrā)—Bābur making further effort for peace, sends an envoy to Naṣrat Shāh—gives Naṣrat’s envoy leave to go conveying an ultimatum—Arrival of a servant from Māhīm west of the Bāgh-i-ṣafā—Bābur visits lotus-beds near Arrah—also [Pg xxiv]Munīr and the Son—Distance measured by counting a horse’s paces—care for tired horses—Bābur angered by Junaid Barlās’ belated arrival—Consultation and plans made for the coming battle—the Ganges crossed (by the Burh-ganga channel) and move made to near the confluence—Bābur watches ‘Alī-qulī’s stone-discharge—his boat entered by night—Battle and victory of the Gogrā—Bābur praises and thanks his Chaghatāī cousins for their great services—crosses into the Nirhun pargana—his favours to a Farmūlī—News of Bīban and Bāyazīd—and of the strange deaths in Saṃbal—Chīn-tīmūr sends news from the west of inconveniences caused by the Ladies’ delay to leave Kābul—and of success against the Balūchī—he is ordered to Āgra—Settlement made with the Nuḥānī Afghāns—Peace made with Naṣrat Shāh—Submissions and various guerdon—Bīban and Bāyazīd pursued—Bābur’s papers damaged in a storm—News of the rebel pair as taking Luknūr(?)—Disposition of Bābur’s boats—move along the Sārū—(a surmised survival of the record of 934 ah.)—Account of the capture of Luknūr(?)—Dispositions against the rebel pair—fish caught by help of a lamp—incidents of the march to Adampūr on the Jumna—Bīban and Bāyazīd flee to Mahūba—Eastern Campaign wound up—Bābur’s rapid ride to Āgra (p. 686)—visits kinswomen—is pleased with Indian-grown fruits—Māhīm arrives—her gifts and Humāyūn’s set before Bābur—porters sent off for Kābul to fetch fruits—Account of the deaths in Saṃbal brought in—sedition in Lāhor—wrestling watched—sedition of Raḥīm-dād in Gūālīār—Mahdī Khwāja comes to Āgra 605-689

936 ah.—Sep. 5th 1529 to Aug. 25th 1530 ad.—Shaikh Ghaus comes from Gūālīār to intercede for Raḥīm-dād—Gūālīār taken over 690

Translator’s Note.—936 and 937 ah.—1529 and 1530 ad.—Sources from which to fill the Gap down to Bābur’s death (December 26th 1530)—Humāyūn’s proceedings in Badakhshān—Ḥaidar Dūghlāt’s narrative of them—Humāyūn deserts his post, goes to Kābul, and, arranging with Kāmrān, sends Hind-āl to Badakhshān—goes on to Āgra and there arrives unexpected by his Father—as he is unwilling to return, Sulaimān Mīrān-shāhī is appointed under Bābur’s suzerainty—Sa‘īd Khān is warned to leave Sulaimān in possession—Bābur moves westward to support him and visits Lāhor—waited on in [Pg xxv]Sihrind by the Rāja of Kahlūr—received in Lāhor by Kāmrān and there visited from Kābul by Hind-āl—leaves Lāhor (March 4th 1530 ad.)—from Sihrind sends a punitive force against Mundāhir Rājpūts—hunts near Dihlī—appears to have started off an expedition to Kashmīr—family matters fill the rest of the year—Humāyūn falls ill in Saṃbal and is brought to Āgra—his disease not yielding to treatment, Bābur resolves to practise the rite of intercession and self-surrender to save his life—is urged rather to devote the great diamond (Koh-i-nūr) to pious uses—refuses the substitution of the jewel for his own life—performs the rite—Humāyūn recovers—Bābur falls ill and is bedridden till death—his faith in the rite unquestionable, belief in its efficacy general in the East—Plan to set Bābur’s sons aside from the succession—The T̤abaqāt-i-akbarī story discussed (p. 702 to 708)—suggested basis of the story (p. 705)—Bābur’s death (Jūmāda I. 5th 937 ah.—Dec. 26th 1530 ad.) and burial first, near Āgra, later near Kābul—Shāh-jahān’s epitaph inscribed on a tablet near the grave—Bābur’s wives and children—Mr. Erskine’s estimate of his character 691-716.
[End of Translator’s Note.]


A. Site and disappearance of old Akhsī.
B. The birds Qīl-qūyīrūgh and Bāghrī-qarā.
C. On the gosha-gīr.
D. The Rescue-passage.
E. Nagarahār and Nīng-nahār.
F. The name Dara-i-nūr.
G. On the names of two Dara-i-nūr wines.
H. On the counter-mark Bih-būd of coins.
I. The weeping-willows of f. 190b.
J. Bābur’s excavated chamber at Qandahār.
K. An Afghān Legend.
L. Māhīm’s adoption of Hind-āl.
M. On the term Bahrī-qut̤ās.
N. Notes on a few birds.
O. Notes by Humāyūn on some Hindūstān fruits.
P. Remarks on Bābur’s Revenue List.
Q. On the Rāmpūr Dīwān.
R. Plans of Chandīrī and Gūālīār.
S. The Bābur-nāma dating of 935 ah.
[Pg xxvi]T. On L:knū (Lakhnau) and L:knūr(Lakhnur i.e. Shahābād in Rāmpūr).
U. The Inscriptions in Bābur’s Mosque at Ajodhya (Oude).
V. Bābur’s Gardens in and near Kābul.

Indices:—I. Personal, II. Geographical, III. General, p. 717 et seq.
Omissions, Corrigenda, Additional Notes.
List of Illustrations.
Plane-tree Avenue in Babur’s (later) Burial-garden1 facing p. xxvii
View from above his grave and Shah-jahan’s Mosque1 facing p. 367
His Grave2 facing p. 445
Babur in Prayer3 facing p. 702
His Signature App. Q, lxi
Plans of Chandiri and Gualiar App. R, lxvii

Plane-tree Avenue in Babur’s (later) Burial-garden.

[Pg xxvii]
O Spring of work! O Source of power to Be!
Each line, each thought I dedicate to Thee;
Each time I fail, the failure is my own,
But each success, a jewel in Thy Throne.
Jessie E. Cadell.

This book is a translation of Babur Padshah’s Autobiography, made from the original Turki text. It was undertaken after a purely-Turki manuscript had become accessible in England, the Haidarabad Codex (1915) which, being in Babur’s ipsissima verba, left to him the control of his translator’s diction—a control that had been impracticable from the time when, under Akbar (1589), his book was translated into Persian. What has come down to us of pure text is, in its shrunken amount, what was translated in 1589. It is difficult, here and there, to interpret owing to its numerous and in some places extensive lacunæ, and presents more problems than one the solution of which has real importance because they have favoured suggestions of malfeasance by Babur.

My translation has been produced under considerable drawback, having been issued in four fasciculi, at long intervals, respectively in June 1912, May 1914, October 1917, and September 1921. I have put with it of supplementary matter what may be of service to those readers whom Babur’s personality attracts and to those who study Turki as a linguistic entertainment, but owing to delays in production am unable to include the desiderata of maps.
Chapter I.

Babur’s civilian aptitudes, whether of the author and penman, the maker of gardens, the artist, craftsman or sportsman, were nourished in a fertile soil of family tradition and example. Little about his teaching and training is now with his mutilated book, little indeed of[Pg xxviii] any kind about his præ-accession years, not the date of his birth even, having escaped destruction.4 Happily Haidar Mirza (q.v.) possessed a more complete Codex than has come down to us through the Timurid libraries, and from it he translated many episodes of Baburiana that help to bridge gaps and are of special service here where the personalities of Bābur’s early environment are being named.

Babur’s home-milieu favoured excellence in the quiet Arts and set before its children high standard and example of proficiency. Moreover, by schooling him in obedience to the Law, it planted in him some of Art’s essentials, self-restraint and close attention. Amongst primal influences on him, his mother Qut-luq-nigar’s ranked high; she, well-born and a scholar’s daughter, would certainly be educated in Turki and Persian and in the home-accomplishments her governess possessed (ātūn q.v.). From her and her mother Aisan-daulat, the child would learn respect for the attainments of his wise old grandfather Yunas Khan. Aisan-daulat herself brought to her grandson much that goes to the making of a man; nomad-born and sternly-bred, she was brave to obey her opinion of right, and was practically the boy’s ruling counsellor through his early struggle to hold Farghana. With these two in fine influence must be counted Khan-zada, his five-years elder sister who from his birth to his death proved her devotion to him. Her life-story tempts, but is too long to tell; her girlish promise is seen fulfilled in Gul-badan’s pages. ‘Umar Shaikh’s own mother Shah Sultan Begim brought in a type of merit widely differing from that of Aisan-daulat Begim; as a town-lady of high Tarkhan birth, used to the amenities of life in a wealthy house of Samarkand, she was, doubtless, an accomplished and cultured woman.

‘Umar Shaikh’s environment was dominated for many years by two great men, the scholar and lover of town-life Yunas Khan and the saintly Ahrari (i.e. Khwaja ‘Ubaidu’l-lah) who were frequently with him in company, came at Babur’s birth and assisted at his [Pg xxix]naming. Ahrari died in 895-1491 when the child was about seven years old but his influence was life-long; in 935-1529 he was invoked as a spiritual helper by the fever-stricken Babur and his mediation believed efficacious for recovery (pp. 619, 648). For the babe or boy to be where the three friends held social session in high converse, would be thought to draw blessing on him; his hushed silence in the presence would sow the seed of reverence for wisdom and virtue, such, for example, as he felt for Jami (q.v.). It is worth while to tell some part at least of Yunas’ attainments in the gentler Arts, because the biography from which they are quoted may well have been written on the information of his wife Aisan-daulat, and it indicates the breadth of his exemplary influence. Yunas was many things—penman, painter, singer, instrumentalist, and a past master in the crafts. He was an expert in good companionship, having even temper and perfect manners, quick perception and conversational charm. His intellectual distinction was attributed to his twelve years of wardship under the learned and highly honoured Yazdi (Sharafu’d-din ’Ali), the author of the Zafar-nama [Timur’s Book of Victory]. That book was in hand during four years of Yunas’ education; he will thus have known it and its main basis Timur’s Turki Malfūzāt (annals). What he learned of either book he would carry with him into ‘Umar Shaikh’s environment, thus magnifying the family stock of Timuriya influence. He lived to be some 74 years old, a length of days which fairly bridged the gap between Timur’s death [807-1404] and Babur’s birth (888-1483). It is said that no previous Khan of his (Chaghatai) line had survived his 40th year; his exceptional age earned him great respect and would deepen his influence on his restless young son-in-law ‘Umar Shaikh. It appears to have been in ‘Umar’s 20th year (cir.) that Yunas Khan began the friendly association with him that lasted till Yunas’ death (892-1483), a friendship which, as disparate ages would dictate, was rather that of father and son than of equal companionship. One matter mentioned in the Khan’s biography would come to Babur’s remembrance in the future days when he, like Yunas, broke the Law against intoxicants and, like him, repented and returned.[Pg xxx]

That two men of the calibre and high repute of Ahrari and Yunas maintained friendly guidance so long over ‘Umar cannot but be held an accreditment and give fragrance of goodness to his name. Apart from the high justice and generosity his son ascribes to him, he could set other example, for he was a reader of great books, the Qoran and the Masnawi being amongst his favourites. This choice, it may be, led Abu’l-faẓl to say he had the darwesh-mind. Babur was old enough before ‘Umar’s death to profit by the sight of his father enjoying the perusal of such books. As with other parents and other children, there would follow the happy stilling to a quiet mood, the piquing of curiosity as to what was in the book, the sight of refuge taken as in a haven from self and care, and perhaps, Babur being intelligent and of inquiring mind and ‘Umar a skilled reciter, the boy would marvel at the perennial miracle that a lifeless page can become eloquent—gentle hints all, pointers of the way to literary creation.

Few who are at home in Baburiana but will take Timur as Babur’s great exemplar not only as a soldier but as a chronicler. Timur cannot have seemed remote from that group of people so well-informed about him and his civilian doings; his Shahrukhi grandchildren in Samarkand had carried on his author-tradition; the 74 years of Yunas Khan’s life had bridged the gap between Timur’s death in 807-1405 and Babur’s birth in 888-1483. To Babur Timur will have been exemplary through his grandson Aulugh Beg who has two productions to his credit, the Char-ulus (Four Hordes) and the Kurkani Astronomical Tables. His sons, again, Babur (qalandar) and Ibrahim carried on the family torch of letters, the first in verse and the second by initiating and fostering Yazdi’s labours on the Zafar-nama. Wide-radiating and potent influence for the Arts of Peace came forth from Herat during the reign of that Sultan Husain Mirza whose Court Babur describes in one of the best supplements to his autobiography. Husain was a Timurid of the elder branch of Bai-qara, an author himself but far more effective as a Macænas; one man of the shining galaxy of competence that gave him fame, set pertinent example for Babur the author, namely, the Andijani[Pg xxxi] of noble Chaghatai family, ’Ali-sher Nawa’i who, in classic Turki verse was the master Babur was to become in its prose. That the standard of effort was high in Herat is clear from Babur’s dictum (p. 233) that whatever work a man took up, he aspired to bring it to perfection. Elphinstone varies the same theme to the tune of equality of excellence apart from social status, writing to Erskine (August, 1826), that “it gives a high notion of the time to find” (in Babur’s account of Husain’s Court) “artists, musicians and others, described along with the learned and great of the Age”.

My meagre summary of Babur’s exemplars would be noticeably incomplete if it omitted mention of two of his life-long helpers in the gentler Arts, his love of Nature and his admiration for great architectural creations. The first makes joyous accompaniment throughout his book; the second is specially called forth by Timur’s ennoblement of Samarkand. Timur had built magnificently and laid out stately gardens; Babur made many a fruitful pleasaunce and gladdened many an arid halting-place; he built a little, but had small chance to test his capacity for building greatly; never rich, he was poor in Kabul and several times destitute in his home-lands. But his sword won what gave wealth to his Indian Dynasty, and he passed on to it the builder’s unused dower, so that Samarkand was surpassed in Hindustan and the spiritual conception Timur’s creations embodied took perfect form at Sikandra where Akbar lies entombed.
Chapter II.

Losses from the text of Babur’s book are the more disastrous because it truly embodies his career. For it has the rare distinction of being contemporary with the events it describes, is boyish in his boyhood, grows with his growth, matures as he matured. Undulled by retrospect, it is a fresh and spontaneous recital of things just seen, heard or done. It has the further rare distinction of shewing a boy who, setting a future task before him—in his case the revival of Timurid power,—began to chronicle his adventure in the book which[Pg xxxii] through some 37 years was his twinned comrade, which by its special distinctions has attracted readers for nearly a half-millennium, still attracts and still is a thing apart from autobiographies which look back to recall dead years.

Much circumstance makes for the opinion that Babur left his life-record complete, perhaps repaired in places and recently supplemented, but continuous, orderly and lucid; this it is not now, nor has been since it was translated into Persian in 1589, for it is fissured by lacunæ, has neither Preface nor Epilogue,5 opens in an oddly abrupt and incongruous fashion, and consists of a series of fragments so disconnected as to demand considerable preliminary explanation. Needless to say, its dwindled condition notwithstanding, it has place amongst great autobiographies, still revealing its author playing a man’s part in a drama of much historic and personal interest. Its revelation is however now like a portrait out of drawing, because it has not kept the record of certain years of his manhood in which he took momentous decisions,(1) those of 1511-12 [918] in which he accepted reinforcement—at a great price—from Isma‘il the Shi‘a Shah of Persia, and in which, if my reading be correct, he first (1512) broke the Law against the use of wine,6 (2) those of 1519-1525 [926-932], in which his literary occupations with orthodox Law (see Mubin) associated with cognate matters of 932 ah. indicate that his return to obedience had begun, in which too was taken the decision that worked out for his fifth expedition across the Indus with its sequel of the conquest of Hind.—The loss of matter so weighty cannot but destroy the balance of his record and falsify the drawing of his portrait.

a. Problem of Titles.

As nothing survives to decide what was Babur’s chosen title for his autobiography, a modern assignment of names to distinguish it [Pg xxxiii]from its various descendants is desirable, particularly so since the revival of interest in it towards which the Facsimile of its Haidarabad Codex has contributed.7

Babur-nama (History of Babur) is a well-warranted name by which to distinguish the original Turki text, because long associated with this and rarely if ever applied to its Persian translation.8 It is not comprehensive because not covering supplementary matter of biography and description but it has use for modern readers of classing Babur’s with other Timuriya and Timurid histories such as the Zafar-Humayun-Akbar-namas.

Waqi‘āt-i-baburi (Babur’s Acts), being descriptive of the book and in common use for naming both the Turki and Persian texts, might usefully be reserved as a title for the latter alone.

Amongst European versions of the book Memoirs of Baber is Erskine’s peculium for the Leyden and Erskine Perso-English translation—Mémoires de Baber is Pavet de Courteille’s title for his French version of the Bukhara [Persified-Turki] compilation—Babur-nama in English links the translation these volumes contain with its purely-Turki source.

b. Problems of the Constituents of the Books.

Intact or mutilated, Babur’s material falls naturally into three territorial divisions, those of the lands of his successive rule, Farghana (with Samarkand), Kabul and Hindustan. With these are distinct sub-sections of description of places and of obituaries of kinsmen.

The book might be described as consisting of annals and diary, which once met within what is now the gap of 1508-19 (914-925). Round this gap, amongst others, bristle problems of which this change of literary style is one; some are small and concern the mutilation alone, others are larger, but all are too intricate for terse [Pg xxxiv]statement and all might be resolved by the help of a second MS. e.g. one of the same strain as Haidar’s.

Without fantasy another constituent might be counted in with the three territorial divisions, namely, the grouped lacunæ which by their engulfment of text are an untoward factor in an estimate either of Babur or of his book. They are actually the cardinal difficulty of the book as it now is; they foreshorten purview of his career and character and detract from its merits; they lose it perspective and distort its proportions. That this must be so is clear both from the value and the preponderating amount of the lost text. It is no exaggeration to say that while working on what survives, what is lost becomes like a haunting presence warning that it must be remembered always as an integral and the dominant part of the book.

The relative proportions of saved and lost text are highly significant:—Babur’s commemorable years are about 47 and 10 months, i.e. from his birth on Feb. 14th 1483 to near his death on Dec. 26th 1530; but the aggregate of surviving text records some 18 years only, and this not continuously but broken through by numerous gaps. That these gaps result from loss of pages is frequently shewn by a broken sentence, an unfinished episode. The fragments—as they truly may be called—are divided by gaps sometimes seeming to remove a few pages only (cf. s.a. 935 ah.), sometimes losing the record of 6 and cir. 18 months, sometimes of 6 and 11 years; besides these actual clefts in the narrative there are losses of some 12 years from its beginning and some 16 months from its end. Briefly put we now have the record of cir. 18 years where that of over 47 could have been.9

c. Causes of the gaps.

Various causes have been surmised to explain the lacunæ; on the plea of long intimacy with Babur’s and Haidar’s writings, I venture to say that one and all appear to me the result of accident. This opinion rests on observed correlations between the surviving and the [Pg xxxv]lost record, which demand complement—on the testimony of Haidar’s extracts, and firmly on Babur’s orderly and persistent bias of mind and on the prideful character of much of the lost record. Moreover occasions of risk to Babur’s papers are known.

Of these occasions the first was the destruction of his camp near Hisar in 1512 (918; p. 357) but no information about his papers survives; they may not have been in his tent but in the fort. The second was a case of recorded damage to “book and sections” (p. 679) occurring in 1529 (935). From signs of work done to the Farghana section in Hindustan, the damage may be understood made good at the later date. To the third exposure to damage, namely, the attrition of hard travel and unsettled life during Humayun’s 14 years of exile from rule in Hindustan (1441-1555) it is reasonable to attribute even the whole loss of text. For, assuming—as may well be done—that Babur left (1530) a complete autobiography, its volume would be safe so long as Humayun was in power but after the Timurid exodus (1441) his library would be exposed to the risks detailed in the admirable chronicles of Gul-badan, Jauhar and Bayazid (q.v.). He is known to have annotated his father’s book in 1555 (p. 466 n. 1) just before marching from Kabul to attempt the re-conquest of Hindustan. His Codex would return to Dihli which he entered in July 1555, and there would be safe from risk of further mutilation. Its condition in 1555 is likely to have remained what it was found when ‘Abdu’r-rahim translated it into Persian by Akbar’s orders (1589) for Abu’l-faẓl’s use in the Akbar-nama. That Persian translation with its descendant the Memoirs of Baber, and the purely-Turki Haidarabad Codex with its descendant the Babur-nama in English, contain identical contents and, so doing, carry the date of the mutilation of Babur’s Turki text back through its years of safety, 1589 to 1555, to the period of Humayun’s exile and its dangers for camel-borne or deserted libraries.

d. Two misinterpretations of lacunæ.

Not unnaturally the frequent interruptions of narrative caused by lacunæ have been misinterpreted occasionally, and sometimes[Pg xxxvi] detractory comment has followed on Babur, ranking him below the accomplished and lettered, steadfast and honest man he was. I select two examples of this comment neither of which has a casual origin.

The first is from the B.M. Cat. of Coins of the Shahs of Persia p. xxiv, where after identifying a certain gold coin as shewing vassalage by Babur to Isma‘il Safawi, the compiler of the Catalogue notes, “We can now understand the omission from Babar’s ‘Memoirs’ of the occurrences between 914 H. and 925 H.” Can these words imply other than that Babur suppressed mention of minting of the coins shewing acknowledgment of Shi‘a suzerainty? Leaving aside the delicate topic of the detraction the quoted words imply, much negatives the surmise that the gap is a deliberate “omission” of text:—(1) the duration of the Shi‘a alliance was 19-20 months of 917-918 ah. (p. 355), why omit the peaceful or prideful and victorious record of some 9-10 years on its either verge? (2) Babur’s Transoxus campaign was an episode in the struggle between Shaibaq Khan (Shaibani) Auzbeg and Shah Isma‘il—between Sunni and Shi‘a; how could “omission” from his book, always a rare one, hide what multitudes knew already? “Omission” would have proved a fiasco in another region than Central Asia, because the Babur-Haidar story of the campaign, vassal-coinage included,10 has been brought into English literature by the English translation of the Tarikh-i rashidi. Babur’s frank and self-judging habit of mind would, I think, lead him to write fully of the difficulties which compelled the hated alliance and certainly he would tell of his own anger at the conduct of the campaign by Isma‘il’s Commanders. The alliance was a tactical mistake; it would have served Babur better to narrate its failure.

The second misinterpretation, perhaps a mere surmising gloss, is Erskine’s (Memoirs Supp. p. 289) who, in connection with ‘Alam Khan’s request to Babur for reinforcement in order to oust his nephew Ibrahim, observes that “Babur probably flattered ‘Alam Khan with the hope of succession to the empire of Hindustan.” This idea does not fit the record of either man. Elphinstone was angered by Erskine’s remark which, he wrote (Aug. 26th 1826) “had a bad [Pg xxxvii]effect on the narrative by weakening the implicit confidence in Babur’s candour and veracity which his frank way of writing is so well-calculated to command.” Elphinstone’s opinion of Babur is not that of a reader but of a student of his book; he was also one of Erskine’s staunchest helpers in its production. From Erskine’s surmise others have advanced on the detractor’s path saying that Babur used and threw over ‘Alam Khan (q.v.).

e. Reconstruction.

Amongst the problems mutilation has created an important one is that of the condition of the beginning of the book (p. 1 to p. 30) with its plunge into Babur’s doings in his 12th year without previous mention of even his day and place of birth, the names and status of his parents, or any occurrences of his præ-accession years. Within those years should be entered the death of Yunas Khan (1487) with its sequent obituary notice, and the death of [Khwaja ‘Ubaidu’l-lah] Ahrari (1491). Not only are these customary entries absent but the very introductions of the two great men are wanting, probably with the also missing account of their naming of the babe Babur. That these routine matters are a part of an autobiography planned as Babur’s was, makes for assured opinion that the record of more than his first decade of life has been lost, perhaps by the attrition to which its position in the volume exposed it.

Useful reconstruction if merely in tabulated form, might be effected in a future edition. It would save at least two surprises for readers, one the oddly abrupt first sentence telling of Babur’s age when he became ruler in Farghana (p. 1), which is a misfit in time and order, another that of the sudden interruption of ‘Umar Shaikh’s obituary by a fragment of Yunas Khan’s (p. 19) which there hangs on a mere name-peg, whereas its place according to Babur’s elsewhere unbroken practice is directly following the death. The record of the missing præ-accession years will have included at the least as follows:—Day of birth and its place—names and status of parents—naming and the ceremonial observances proper for Muhammadan children—visits to kinsfolk in Tashkint, and to Samarkand (æt. 5, p. 35) where he[Pg xxxviii] was betrothed—his initiation in school subjects, in sport, the use of arms—names of teachers—education in the rules of his Faith (p. 44), appointment to the Andijan Command etc., etc.

There is now no fit beginning to the book; the present first sentence and its pendent description of Farghana should be removed to the position Babur’s practice dictates of entering the description of a territory at once on obtaining it (cf. Samarkand, Kabul, Hindustan). It might come in on p. 30 at the end of the topic (partly omitted on p. 29 where no ground is given for the manifest anxiety about Babur’s safety) of the disputed succession (Haidar, trs. p. 135) Babur’s partisan begs having the better of Jahangir’s (q.v.), and having testified obeisance, he became ruler in Farghana; his statement of age (12 years), comes in naturally and the description of his newly acquired territory follows according to rule. This removal of text to a later position has the advantage of allowing the accession to follow and not precede Babur’s father’s death.

By the removal there is left to consider the historical matter of pp. 12-13. The first paragraph concerns matter of much earlier date than ‘Umar’s death in 1494 (p. 13); it may be part of an obituary notice, perhaps that of Yunas Khan. What follows of the advance of displeased kinsmen against ‘Umar Shaikh would fall into place as part of Babur’s record of his boyhood, and lead on to that of his father’s death.

The above is a bald sketch of what might be effected in the interests of the book and to facilitate its pleasant perusal.
Chapter III.

This chapter is a literary counterpart of “Babur Padshah’s Stone-heap,” the roadside cairn tradition says was piled by his army, each man laying his stone when passing down from Kabul for Hindustan in the year of victory 1525 (932).11

[Pg xxxix]

For a title suiting its contents is “Babur Padshah’s Book-pile,” because it is fashioned of item after item of pen-work done by many men in obedience to the dictates given by his book. Unlike the cairn, however, the pile of books is not of a single occasion but of many, not of a single year but of many, irregularly spacing the 500 years through which he and his autobiography have had Earth’s immortality.

Part I. The MSS. themselves.

Preliminary.—Much of the information given below was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1900 onwards, as it came into my possession during a search for reliable Turki text of the Babur-nama. My notes were progressive; some MSS. were in distant places, some not traceable, but in the end I was able to examine in England all of whose continued existence I had become aware. It was inevitable that some of my earlier statements should be superseded later; my Notes (see s.n. JRAS.) need clearing of transitory matter and summarizing, in particular those on the Elphinstone Codex and Klaproth’s articles. Neither they nor what is placed here makes claim to be complete. Other workers will supplement them when the World has renewed opportunity to stroll in the bye-paths of literature.

Few copies of the Babur-nama seem to have been made; of the few I have traced as existing, not one contains the complete autobiography, and one alone has the maximum of dwindled text shewn in the Persian translation (1589). Two books have been reputed to contain Babur’s authentic text, one preserved in Hindustan by his descendants, the other issuing from Bukhara. They differ in total contents, arrangement and textual worth; moreover the Bukhara book compiles items of divers diction and origin and date, manifestly not from one pen.

The Hindustan book is a record—now mutilated—of the Acts of Babur alone; the Bukhara book as exhibited in its fullest accessible example, Kehr’s Codex, is in two parts, each having its preface, the first reciting Babur’s Acts, the second Humayun’s.[Pg xl]

The Bukhara book is a compilation of oddments, mostly translated from compositions written after Babur’s death. Textual and circumstantial grounds warrant the opinion that it is a distinct work mistakenly believed to be Babur’s own; to these grounds was added in 1903 the authoritative verdict of collation with the Haidarabad Codex, and in 1921 of the colophon of its original MS. in which its author gives his name, with the title and date of his compilation (JRAS. 1900, p. 474). What it is and what are its contents and history are told in Part III of this chapter.

Part II. Work on the Hindustan MSS.

Babur’s Original Codex.

My latest definite information about Babur’s autograph MS. comes from the Padshah-nama (Bib. Ind. ed. ii, 4), whose author saw it in Shah-i-jahan’s private library between 1628 and 1638. Inference is justified, however, that it was the archetype of the Haidarabad Codex which has been estimated from the quality of its paper as dating cir. 1700 (JRAS. 1906, p. 97). But two subsequent historic disasters complicate all questions of MSS. missing from Indian libraries, namely, Nadir Shah’s vengeance on Dihli in 1739 and the dispersions and fires of the Mutiny. Faint hope is kept alive that the original Codex may have drifted into private hands, by what has occurred with the Rampur MS. of Babur’s Hindustan verses (App. J), which also appears once to have belonged to Shah-i-jahan.


Amongst items of work done during Babur’s life are copies of his book (or of the Hindustan section of it) he mentions sending to sons and friends.


The Tabaqat-i-baburi was written during Babur’s life by his Persian secretary Shaikh Zainu’d-din of Khawaf; it paraphrases in rhetorical Persian the record of a few months of Hindustan campaigning, including the battle of Panipat.[Pg xli]

Table of the Hindustan MSS. of the Babur-nama.12
Names. Date of
completion. Folio-standard
382.13 Archetype. Scribe. Latest known
location. Remarks.
1. Babur’s Codex. 1530. Originally much
over 382. — Babur. Royal Library
between 1628-38. Has disappeared.
2. Khwaja Kalan
_Ahraris_ Codex. 1529. Undefined 363(?),
p. 652. No. 1. Unknown. Sent to Samarkand
1529. Possibly still in
Khwaja Kalan’s
3. Humayun’s Codex
= (commanded
and annotate?).14 1531(?). Originally = No. 1
(unmutilated). No. 1. ‘Ali’u-’l-katib(?). Royal Library
between 1556-1567. Seems the archetype
of No. 5.
4. Muhammad Haidar
_Dughlat’s_ Codex. Between 1536
and 40(?). No. 1 (unmutilated). No. 1 or No. 2. Haidar(?) Kashmir 1540-47. Possibly now in
5. Elphinstone Codex. Between 1556
and 1567. In 1816 and 1907,
286 ff. No. 3. Unknown. Advocates’ Library
(1816 to 1921). Bought in
Peshawar 1810.
6. British Museum MS. 1629. 97 (fragments). Unknown. ‘Ali’u’l-_kashmiri_. British Museum. —
7. Bib. Lindesiana MS.
[now John Rylands] Scribe living in
1625. 71 (an extract). Unknown. Nur-muhammad
(nephew of ‘Abu’l-faẓl). John Rylands
Library. —
8. Haidarabad Codex. Paper indicates
_cir._ 1700. 382. (No. 1) mutilated. No colophon. The late Sir Salar-jang’s
Library. Centupled in
facsimile, 1905.

[Pg xlii]


During the first decade of Humayun’s reign (1530-40) at least two important codices seem to have been copied.

The earlier (see Table, No. 2) has varied circumstantial warrant. It meets the need of an archetype, one marginally annotated by Humayun, for the Elphinstone Codex in which a few notes are marginal and signed, others are pell-mell, interpolated in the text but attested by a scrutineer as having been marginal in its archetype and mistakenly copied into its text. This second set has been ineffectually sponged over. Thus double collation is indicated (i) with Babur’s autograph MS. to clear out extra Babur matter, and (ii) with its archetype, to justify the statement that in this the interpolations were marginal.—No colophon survives with the much dwindled Elph. Codex, but one, suiting the situation, has been observed, where it is a complete misfit, appended to the Alwar Codex of the second Persian translation, (estimated as copied in 1589). Into the incongruities of that colophon it is not necessary to examine here, they are too obvious to aim at deceit; it appears fitly to be an imperfect translation from a Turki original, this especially through its odd fashion of entitling “Humayun Padshah.” It can be explained as translating the colophon of the Codex (No. 2) which, as his possession, Humayun allowably annotated and which makes it known that he had ordered ‘Ali’u-’l-katib to copy his father’s Turki book, and that it was finished in February, 1531, some six weeks after Babur’s death.15

The later copy made in Humayun’s first decade is Haidar Mirza’s (infra).


Muhammad Haidar Mirza Dughlat’s possession of a copy of the Autobiography is known both from his mention of it and through numerous extracts translated from it in his Tarikh-i-rashidi. As a good boy-penman (p. 22) he may have copied down to 1512 (918) while with Babur (p. 350), but for obtaining a transcript of it his [Pg xliii]opportunity was while with Humayun before the Timurid exodus of 1541. He died in 1551; his Codex is likely to have found its way back from Kashmir to his ancestral home in the Kashghar region and there it may still be. (See T.R. trs. Ney Elias’ biography of him).


The Elphinstone Codex16 has had an adventurous career. The enigma of its archetype is posed above; it may have been copied during Akbar’s first decade (1556-67); its, perhaps first, owner was a Bai-qara rebel (d. 1567) from amongst whose possessions it passed into the Royal Library, where it was cleared of foreign matter by the expunction of Humayun’s marginal notes which its scribe had interpolated into its text. At a date I do not know, it must have left the Royal Library for its fly-leaves bear entries of prices and in 1810 it was found and purchased in Peshawar by Elphinstone. It went with him to Calcutta, and there may have been seen by Leyden during the short time between its arrival and the autumn month of the same year (1810) when he sailed for Java. In 1813 Elphinstone in Poona sent it to Erskine in Bombay, saying that he had fancied it gone to Java and had been writing to ‘Izzatu’l-lah to procure another MS. for Erskine in Bukhara, but that all the time it was on his own shelves. Received after Erskine had dolefully compared his finished work with Leyden’s (tentative) translation, Erskine sadly recommenced the review of his own work. The Codex had suffered much defacement down to 908 (1502) at the hands of “a Persian Turk of Ganj” who had interlined it with explanations. It came to Scotland (with Erskine?) who in 1826 sent it with a covering letter (Dec. 12th, 1826), at its owner’s desire, to the Advocates’ Library where it now is. In 1907 it was fully described by me in the JRAS.


Of two Waqi’at-i-baburi (Pers. trs.) made in Akbar’s reign, the earlier was begun in 1583, at private instance, by two Mughuls [Pg xliv]Payanda-hasan of Ghazni and Muhammad-quli of Hisar. The Bodleian and British Museum Libraries have copies of it, very fragmentary unfortunately, for it is careful, likeable, and helpful by its small explanatory glosses. It has the great defect of not preserving autobiographic quality in its diction.


The later Waqi’at-i-baburi translated by ‘Abdu’r-rahim Mirza is one of the most important items in Baburiana, both by its special characteristics as the work of a Turkman and not of a Persian, and by the great service it has done. Its origin is well-known; it was made at Akbar’s order to help Abu’l-faẓl in the Akbar-nāma account of Babur and also to facilitate perusal of the Babur-nama in Hindustan. It was presented to Akbar, by its translator who had come up from Gujrat, in the last week of November, 1589, on an occasion and at a place of admirable fitness. For Akbar had gone to Kabul to visit Babur’s tomb, and was halting on his return journey at Barik-ab where Babur had halted on his march down to Hindustan in the year of victory 1525, at no great distance from “Babur Padshah’s Stone-heap”. Abu’l-faẓl’s account of the presentation will rest on ‘Abdu’r-rahim’s information (A.N. trs. cap. ci). The diction of this translation is noticeable; it gave much trouble to Erskine who thus writes of it (Memoirs Preface, lx), “Though simple and precise, a close adherence to the idioms and forms of expression of the Turki original joined to a want of distinctness in the use of the relatives, often renders the meaning extremely obscure, and makes it difficult to discover the connexion of the different members of the sentence.17 The style is frequently not Persian.... Many of the Turki words are untranslated.”

Difficult as these characteristics made Erskine’s interpretation, it appears to me likely that they indirectly were useful to him by restraining his diction to some extent in their Turki fettering.—This Turki fettering has another aspect, apart from Erskine’s difficulties, [Pg xlv]viz. it would greatly facilitate re-translation into Turki, such as has been effected, I think, in the Farghana section of the Bukhara compilation.18


This item of work, a harmless attempt of Salim (i.e. Jahangir Padshah; 1605-28) to provide the ancestral autobiography with certain stop-gaps, has caused much needless trouble and discussion without effecting any useful result. It is this:—In his own autobiography, the Tuzuk-i-jahangiri s.a. 1607, he writes of a Babur-nama Codex he examined, that it was all in Babur’s “blessed handwriting” except four portions which were in his own and each of which he attested in Turki as so being. Unfortunately he did not specify his topics; unfortunately also no attestation has been found to passages reasonably enough attributable to his activities. His portions may consist of the “Rescue-passage” (App. D) and a length of translation from the Akbar-nāma, a continuous part of its Babur chapter but broken up where only I have seen it, i.e. the Bukhara compilation, into (1) a plain tale of Kanwa (1527), (2) episodes of Babur’s latter months (1529)—both transferred to the first person—and (3) an account of Babur’s death (December 26th, 1530) and Court.

Jahangir’s occupation, harmless in itself, led to an imbroglio of Langlés with Erskine, for the former stating in the Biographie Universelle art. Babour, that Babour’s Commentaries “augmentés par Jahangir” were translated into Persian by ‘Abdu’r-rahim. Erskine made answer, “I know not on what authority the learned Langlés hazarded this assertion, which is certainly incorrect” (Memoirs, Preface, p. ix). Had Langlés somewhere met with Jahangir’s attestations? He had authority if he had seen merely the statement of 1607, but Erskine was right also, because the Persian translation contains no more than the unaugmented Turki text. The royal stop-gaps are in Kehr’s MS. and through Ilminski reached De Courteille, whence the biting and thorough analysis of the three “Fragments” by Teufel. Both episodes—the Langlés and the [Pg xlvi]Teufel ones—are time-wasters but they are comprehensible in the circumstances that Jahangir could not foresee the consequences of his doubtless good intentions.

If the question arise of how writings that had had place in Jahangir’s library reached Bukhara, their open road is through the Padshah’s correspondence (App. Q and references), with a descendant of Ahrari in whose hands they were close to Bukhara.19

It groups scattered information to recall that Salim (Jahangir) was ‘Abdu’r-rahim’s ward, that then, as now, Babur’s Autobiography was the best example of classic Turki, and that it would appeal on grounds of piety—as it did appeal on some sufficient ground—to have its broken story made good. Also that for three of the four “portions” Abu’l-fazl’s concise matter was to hand.


My information concerning Baburiana under Shah-i-jahan Padshah (1628-58) is very meagre. It consists of (1) his attestation of a signature of Babur (App. Q and photo), (2) his possession of Babur’s autograph Codex (Padshah-nama, Bib. Ind. ed., ii, 4), and (3) his acceptance, and that by his literary entourage, of Mir Abu-talib Husaini’s Persian translation of Timur’s Annals, the Malfuzat whose preparation the Zafar-nama describes and whose link with Babur’s writings is that of the exemplar to the emulator.20


The Haidarabad Codex may have been inscribed under Aurang-zib Padshah (1655-1707). So many particulars about it have been given already that little needs saying here.21 It was the grande trouvaille of my search for Turki text wherewith to revive Babur’s autobiography both in Turki and English. My husband in 1900 saw it in Haidarabad; through the kind offices of the late Sayyid [Pg xlvii]Ali Bilgrami it was lent to me; it proved to surpass, both in volume and quality, all other Babur-nama MSS. I had traced; I made its merits known to Professor Edward Granville Browne, just when the E. J. Wilkinson Gibb Trust was in formation, with the happy and accordant result that the best prose book in classic Turki became the first item in the Memorial—matris ad filium—of literary work done in the name of the Turkish scholar, and Babur’s very words were safeguarded in hundred-fold facsimile. An event so important for autobiography and for Turki literature may claim more than the bald mention of its occurrence, because sincere autobiography, however ancient, is human and social and undying, so that this was no mere case of multiplying copies of a book, but was one of preserving a man’s life in his words. There were, therefore, joyful red-letter days in the English story of the Codex—outstanding from others being those on which its merits revealed themselves (on Surrey uplands)—the one which brought Professor Browne’s acceptance of it for reproduction by the Trust—and the day of pause from work marked by the accomplished fact of the safety of the Babur-nama.


The period from cir. 1700, the date of the Haidarabad Codex, and 1810, when the Elphinstone Codex was purchased by its sponsor at Peshawar, appears to have been unfruitful in work on the Hindustan MSS. Causes for this may connect with historic events, e.g. Nadir Shah’s desolation of Dihli and the rise of the East India Company, and, in Baburiana, with the disappearance of Babur’s autograph Codex (it was unknown to the Scots of 1800-26), and the transfer of the Elphinstone Codex from royal possession—this, possibly however, an accident of royal travel to and from Kabul at earlier dates.

The first quarter of the nineteenth century was, on the contrary, most fruitful in valuable work, useful impulse to which was given by Dr. John Leyden who in about 1805 began to look into Turki. Like his contemporary Julius Klaproth (q.v.), he was avid of tongues and attracted by Turki and by Babur’s writings of which he[Pg xlviii] had some knowledge through the ‘Abdu’r-rahim (Persian) translation. His Turki text-book would be the MS. of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,22 a part-copy of the Bukhara compilation, from which he had the India Office MS. copied. He took up Turki again in 1810, after his return from Malay and whilst awaiting orders in Calcutta for departure to Java. He sailed in the autumn of the year and died in August 1811. Much can be learned about him and his Turki occupations from letters (infra xiii) written to Erskine by him and by others of the Scottish band which now achieved such fine results for Babur’s Autobiography.

It is necessary to say something of Leyden’s part in producing the Memoirs, because Erskine, desiring to “lose nothing that might add to Leyden’s reputation”, has assigned to him an undue position of collaboration in it both by giving him premier place on its title-page and by attributing to him the beginning the translation. What one gleans of Leyden’s character makes an impression of unassumption that would forbid his acceptance of the posthumous position given to him, and, as his translation shews the tyro in Turki, there can be no ground for supposing he would wish his competence in it over-estimated. He had, as dates show, nothing to do with the actual work of the Memoirs which was finished before Erskine had seen in 1813 what Leyden had set down before he died in 1811. As the Memoirs is now a rare book, I quote from it what Erskine says (Preface, p. ix) of Leyden’s rough translation:—“This acquisition (i.e. of Leyden’s trs.) reduced me to rather an awkward dilemma. The two translations (his own and Leyden’s) differed in many important particulars; but as Dr. Leyden had the advantage of translating from the original, I resolved to adopt his translation as far as it went, changing only such expressions in it as seemed evidently to be inconsistent with the context, or with other parts of the Memoirs, or such as seemed evidently to originate in the oversights that are unavoidable in an unfinished work.23 This labour I had completed [Pg xlix]with some difficulty, when Mr. Elphinstone sent me the copy of the Memoirs of Baber in the original Tūrkī (i.e. The Elphinstone Codex) which he had procured when he went to Peshawar on his embassy to Kabul. This copy, which he had supposed to have been sent with Dr. Leyden’s manuscripts from Calcutta, he was now fortunate enough to recover (in his own library at Poona). “The discovery of this valuable manuscript reduced me, though heartily sick of the task, to the necessity of commencing my work once more.”

Erskine’s Preface (pp. x, xi) contains various other references to Leyden’s work which indicate its quality as tentative and unrevised. It is now in the British Museum Library.


Little need be said here about the Memoirs of Baber.24 Erskine worked on a basis of considerable earlier acquaintance with his Persian original, for, as his Preface tells, he had (after Leyden’s death) begun to translate this some years before he definitely accepted the counsel of Elphinstone and Malcolm to undertake the Memoirs. He finished his translation in 1813, and by 1816 was able to dedicate his complete volume to Elphinstone, but publication was delayed till 1826. His was difficult pioneer-work, and carried through with the drawback of working on a secondary source. It has done yeoman service, of which the crowning merit is its introduction of Babur’s autobiography to the Western world.


Amongst Erskine’s literary remains are several bound volumes of letters from Elphinstone, Malcolm, Leyden, and others of that distinguished group of Scots who promoted the revival of Babur’s writings. Erskine’s grandson, the late Mr. Lestocq Erskine, placed these, with other papers, at our disposal, and they are now located where they have been welcomed as appropriate additions:—Elphinstone’s are in the Advocates’ Library, where already (1826) he, through Erskine, had deposited his own Codex—and with his [Pg l]letters are those of Malcolm and more occasional correspondents; Leyden’s letters (and various papers) are in the Memorial Cottage maintained in his birthplace Denholm (Hawick) by the Edinburgh Border Counties Association; something fitting went to the Bombay Asiatic Society and a volume of diary to the British Museum. Leyden’s papers will help his fuller biography; Elphinstone’s letters have special value as recording his co-operation with Erskine by much friendly criticism, remonstrance against delay, counsels and encouragement. They, moreover, shew the estimate an accomplished man of modern affairs formed of Babur Padshah’s character and conduct; some have been quoted in Colebrooke’s Life of Elphinstone, but there they suffer by detachment from the rest of his Baburiana letters; bound together as they now are, and with brief explanatory interpolations, they would make a welcome item for “Babur Padshah’s Book-pile”.


In May 1921 the contents of these volumes were completed, namely, the Babur-nama in English and its supplements, the aims of which are to make Babur known in English diction answering to his ipsissima verba, and to be serviceable to readers and students of his book and of classic Turki.


Of writings based upon or relating to Babur’s the following have appeared:—

Denkwurdigkeiten des Zahir-uddin Muhammad Babar—A. Kaiser (Leipzig, 1828). This consists of extracts translated from the Memoirs.

An abridgement of the Memoirs—R. M. Caldecott (London, 1844).

History of India—Baber and Humayun—W. Erskine (Longmans, 1854).

Babar—Rulers of India series—Stanley Lane-Poole (Oxford, 1899).

Tuzuk-i-babari or Waqi‘at-i-babari (i.e. the Persian trs.)—Elliot and Dowson’s History of India, 1872, vol. iv.

[Pg li]

Babur Padshah Ghazi—H. Beveridge (Calcutta Review, 1899).

Babur’s diamond, was it the Koh-i-nur?—H. Beveridge, Asiatic Quarterly Review, April, 1899.

Was ‘Abdu’r-rahim the translator of Babur’s Memoirs? (i.e. the Babur-nama)—H. Beveridge, AQR., July and October, 1900.

An Empire-builder of the 16th century, Babur—Laurence F. L. Williams (Allahabad, 1918).

Notes on the MSS. of the Turki text (Babur-nāma)—A. S. Beveridge, JRAS. 1900, 1902, 1921, 1905, and Part II 1906, 1907, 1908, p. 52 and p. 828, 1909 p. 452 (see Index, s.n. A. S. B. for topics).

[For other articles and notes by H. B. see Index s.n.]

Part III. The “Bukhara Babur-nama”.

This is a singular book and has had a career as singular as its characteristics, a very comedy of (blameless) errors and mischance. For it is a compilation of items diverse in origin, diction, and age, planned to be a record of the Acts of Babur and Humayun, dependent through its Babur portion on the ‘Abdu’r-rahim Persian translation for re-translation, or verbatim quotation, or dove-tailing effected on the tattered fragments of what had once been Kamran’s Codex of the Babur-nama proper, the whole interspersed by stop-gaps attributable to Jahangir. These and other specialities notwithstanding, it ranked for nearly 200 years as a reproduction of Babur’s authentic text, as such was sent abroad, as such was reconstructed and printed in Kasan (1857), translated in Paris (1871), catalogued for the Petrograd Oriental School (1894), and for the India Office (1903).25

Manifest causes for the confusion of identity are, (1) lack of the guidance in Bukhara and Petrograd of collation with the true text, (2) want of information, in the Petrograd of 1700-25, about Babur’s career, coupled with the difficulties of communication with Bukhara, (3) the misleading feature in the compiled book of its author’s retention of the autobiographic form of his sources, without explanation as to whether he entered surviving fragments of Kamran’s [Pg lii]Codex, patchings or extracts from ‘Abdu’r-rahim’s Persian translation, or quotations of Jahangir’s stop-gaps. Of these three causes for error the first is dominant, entailing as it does the drawbacks besetting work on an inadequate basis.

It is necessary to enumerate the items of the Compilation here as they are arranged in Kehr’s autograph Codex, because that codex (still in London) may not always be accessible,26 and because the imprint does not obey its model, but aims at closer agreement of the Bukhara Compilation with Ilminski’s gratefully acknowledged guide—The Memoirs of Baber. Distinction in commenting on the Bukhara and the Kasan versions is necessary; their discrepancy is a scene in the comedy of errors.

[Pg liii]

Outline of the History of the Compilation.

An impelling cause for the production of the Bukhara compilation is suggested by the date 1709 at which was finished the earliest example known to me. For in the first decade of the eighteenth century Peter the Great gave attention to Russian relations with foreign states of Central Asia and negociated with the Khan of Bukhara for the reception of a Russian mission.31 Political aims would be forwarded if envoys were familiar with Turki; books in that tongue for use in the School of Oriental Languages would be desired; thus the Compilation may have been prompted and, as will be shown later, it appears to have been produced, and not merely copied, in 1709. The Mission’s despatch was delayed till 1719;32 it arrived in Bukhara in 1721; during its stay a member of its secretariat bought a Compilation MS. noted as finished in 1714 and on a fly-leaf of it made the following note:—

[Pg liv]

“I, Timur-pulad son of Mirza Rajab son of Pay-chin, bought this book Babur-nama after coming to Bukhara with [the] Russian Florio Beg Beneveni, envoy of the Padshah ... whose army is numerous as the stars.... May it be well received! Amen! O Lord of both Worlds!”

Timur-pulad’s hope for a good reception indicates a definite recipient, perhaps a commissioned purchase. The vendor may have been asked for a history of Babur; he sold one, but “Babur-nama” is not necessarily a title, and is not suitable for the Compilation; by conversational mischance it may have seemed so to the purchaser and thus have initiated the mistake of confusing the “Bukhara Babur-nama” with the true one.

Thus endorsed, the book in 1725 reached the Foreign Office; there in 1737 it was obtained by George Jacob Kehr, a teacher of Turki, amongst other languages, in the Oriental School, who copied it with meticulous care, understanding its meaning imperfectly, in order to produce a Latin version of it. His Latin rendering was a fiasco, but his reproduction of the Arabic forms of his archetype was so obedient that on its sole basis Ilminski edited the Kasan Imprint (1857). A collateral copy of the Timur-pulad Codex was made in 1742 (as has been said).

In 1824 Klaproth (who in 1810 had made a less valuable extract perhaps from Kehr’s Codex) copied from the Timur-pulad MS. its purchaser’s note, the Auzbeg?(?) endorsement as to the transfer of the “Kamran-docket” and Babur’s letter to Kamran (Mémoires relatifs à l’Asie Paris).

In 1857 Ilminski, working in Kasan, produced his imprint, which became de Courteille’s source for Les Mémoires de Baber in 1871. No worker in the above series shews doubt about accepting the Compilation as containing Babur’s authentic text. Ilminski was in the difficult position of not having entire reliance on Kehr’s transcription, a natural apprehension in face of the quality of the Latin version, his doubts sum up into his words that a reliable text could not be made from his source (Kehr’s MS.), but that a Turki reading-book could—and was. As has been said, he did not[Pg lv] obey the dual plan of the Compilation Kehr’s transcript reveals, this, perhaps, because of the misnomer Babur-nama under which Timur-pulad’s Codex had come to Petrograd; this, certainly, because he thought a better history of Babur could be produced by following Erskine than by obeying Kehr—a series of errors following the verbal mischance of 1725. Ilminski’s transformation of the items of his source had the ill result of misleading Pavet de Courteille to over-estimate his Turki source at the expense of Erskine’s Persian one which, as has been said, was Ilminski’s guide—another scene in the comedy. A mischance hampering the French work was its falling to be done at a time when, in Paris 1871, there can have been no opportunity available for learning the contents of Ilminski’s Russian Preface or for quiet research and the examination of collateral aids from abroad.33

The Author of the Compilation.

The Haidarabad Codex having destroyed acquiescence in the phantasmal view of the Bukhara book, the question may be considered, who was its author?

This question a convergence of details about the Turki MSS. reputed to contain the Babur-nama, now allows me to answer with some semblance of truth. Those details have thrown new light upon a colophon which I received in 1900 from Mr. C. Salemann with other particulars concerning the “Senkovski Babur-nama,” this being an extract from the Compilation; its archetype reached Petrograd from Bukhara a century after Kehr’s [viz. the Timur-pulad Codex]; it can be taken as a direct copy of the Mulla’s original because it bears his colophon.34 In 1900 I accepted it as merely that of a scribe who had copied Senkovski’s archetype, but in 1921 reviewing the colophon for this Preface, it seems to me to be that of the original autograph MS. of the Compilation and to tell its author’s name, his title for his book, and the year (1709) in which he completed it.

[Pg lvi]

Table of Bukhara reputed-Babur-nama MSS. (Waqi‘nama-i-padshahi?).
Names. Date of completion. Scribe. Last known location. Archetype. Remarks.
1. Waqi‘nama-i-padshahi
_alias_ Babur-nama. 1121-1709. Date
of colophon of
earliest known
example. ‘Ābdu’l-wahhab
_q.v._ Taken to be also
the author. Bukhara. Believed to be the
original compilation. _See_ Part III.
2. Nazar Bai Turkistani’s
MS. Unknown. Unknown. In owner’s charge in
Petrograd, 1824. No. 1, the colophon of
which it reproduces. Senkovski’s archetype
who copied its
(transferred) colophon.
3. F. O. Codex
(Timurpulad’s MS.). 1126-1714. Unknown. F.O. Petrograd,
where copied in 1742. Not stated, an indirect
copy of No. 1. Bought in Bukhara,
brought to Petro. 1725.
4. Kehr’s Autograph 1737. George Jacob Pet. Or. School, 1894.
London T.O. 1921. No. 3. _See_ Part III.
5. Name not learned. 1155-1742. Unknown. Unknown. No. 3. Archetype of 9.
6. (Mysore) A.S.B. Codex. Unknown. JRAS.
1900, Nos. vii
and viii. Unknown. Asiatic Society of
Bengal. Unknown. —
7. India Office Codex
(Bib. Leydeniana). Cir. 1810. Unknown. India Office, 1921. No. 6. Copied for Leyden.
“The Senkovski Babur-nama.” 1824. J. Senkovski. Pet. Asiatic Museum,
1900. No. 2. Bears a copy of the
colophon of No. 1.
9. Pet. University Codex. 1839? Mulla Faizkhanov? Pet. Univ. Library. No. 5 (?). —

[Pg lvii]

Senkovski brought it over from his archetype; Mr. Salemann sent it to me in its original Turki form. (JRAS. 1900, p. 474). Senkovski’s own colophon is as follows:—

“J’ai achevé cette copie le 4 Mai, 1824, à St. Petersburg; elle a éte faite d’àpres un exemplaire appartenant à Nazar Bai Turkistani, négociant Boukhari, qui etait venu cette année à St. Petersburg. J. Senkovski.”

The colophon Senkovski copied from his archetype is to the following purport:—

“Known and entitled Waqi‘nama-i-padshahi (Record of Royal Acts), [this] autograph and composition (bayad u navisht) of Mulla ‘Abdu’l-wahhāb the Teacher, of Ghaj-davan in Bukhara—God pardon his mistakes and the weakness of his endeavour!—was finished on Monday, Rajab 5, 1121 (Aug. 31st, 1709).—Thank God!”

It will be observed that the title Waqi‘nama-i-padshahi suits the plan of dual histories (of Babur and Humayun) better than does the “Babur-nama” of Timur-pulad’s note, that the colophon does not claim for the Mulla to have copied the elder book (1494-1530) but to have written down and composed one under a differing title suiting its varied contents; that the Mulla’s deprecation and thanks tone better with perplexing work, such as his was, than with the steadfast patience of a good scribe; and that it exonerates the Mulla from suspicion of having caused his compilation to be accepted as Babur’s authentic text. Taken with its circumstanding matters, it may be the dénoument of the play.
Chapter IV.

The fame and long literary services of the Memoirs of Baber compel me to explain why these volumes of mine contain a verbally new English translation of the Babur-nama instead of a second edition of the Memoirs. My explanation is the simple one of textual values, of the advantage a primary source has over its derivative,[Pg lviii] Babur’s original text over its Persian translation which alone was accessible to Erskine.

If the Babur-nama owed its perennial interest to its valuable multifarious matter, the Memoirs could suffice to represent it, but this it does not; what has kept interest in it alive through some four centuries is the autobiographic presentment of an arresting personality its whole manner, style and diction produce. It is characteristic throughout, from first to last making known the personal quality of its author. Obviously that quality has the better chance of surviving a transfer of Babur’s words to a foreign tongue when this can be effected by imitation of them. To effect this was impracticable to Erskine who did not see any example of the Turki text during the progress of his translation work and had little acquaintance with Turki. No blame attaches to his results; they have been the one introduction of Babur’s writings to English readers for almost a century; but it would be as sensible to expect a potter to shape a vessel for a specific purpose without a model as a translator of autobiography to shape the new verbal container for Babur’s quality without seeing his own. Erskine was the pioneer amongst European workers on Baburiana—Leyden’s fragment of unrevised attempt to translate the Bukhara Compilation being a negligible matter, notwithstanding friendship’s deference to it; he had ready to his hand no such valuable collateral help as he bequeathed to his successors in the Memoirs volume. To have been able to help in the renewal of his book by preparing a second edition of it, revised under the authority of the Haidarabad Codex, would have been to me an act of literary piety to an old book-friend; I experimented and failed in the attempt; the wording of the Memoirs would not press back into the Turki mould. Being what it is, sound in its matter and partly representative of Babur himself, the all-round safer plan, one doing it the greater honour, was to leave it unshorn of its redundance and unchanged in its wording, in the place of worth and dignity it has held so long.

Brought to this point by experiment and failure, the way lay open to make bee-line over intermediaries back to the fountain-head of[Pg lix] re-discovered Turki text preserved in the Haidarabad Codex. Thus I have enjoyed an advantage no translator has had since ‘Abdu’r-rahim in 1589.

Concerning matters of style and diction, I may mention that three distinct impressions of Babur’s personality are set by his own, Erskine’s and de Courteille’s words and manner. These divergencies, while partly due to differing textual bases, may result mainly from the use by the two Europeans of unsifted, current English and French. Their portrayal might have been truer, there can be no doubt, if each had restricted himself to such under-lying component of his mother-tongue as approximates in linguistic stature to classic Turki. This probability Erskine could not foresee for, having no access during his work to a Turki source and no familiarity with Turki, he missed their lessoning.

Turki, as Babur writes it—terse, word-thrifty, restrained and lucid,—comes over neatly into Anglo-Saxon English, perhaps through primal affinities. Studying Babur’s writings in verbal detail taught me that its structure, idiom and vocabulary dictate a certain mechanism for a translator’s imitation. Such are the simple sentence, devoid of relative phrasing, copied in the form found, whether abrupt and brief or, ranging higher with the topic, gracious and dignified—the retention of Babur’s use of “we” and “I” and of his frequent impersonal statement—the matching of words by their root-notion—the strict observance of Babur’s limits of vocabulary, effected by allotting to one Turki word one English equivalent, thus excluding synonyms for which Turki has little use because not shrinking from the repeated word; lastly, as preserving relations of diction, the replacing of Babur’s Arabic and Persian aliens by Greek and Latin ones naturalized in English. Some of these aids towards shaping a counterpart of Turki may be thought small, but they obey a model and their aggregate has power to make or mar a portrait.

(1) Of the uses of pronouns it may be said that Babur’s “we” is neither regal nor self-magnifying but is co-operative, as beseems the chief whose volunteer and nomad following makes or unmakes his power, and who can lead and command only by remittent consent[Pg lx] accorded to him. His “I” is individual. The Memoirs varies much from these uses.

(2) The value of reproducing impersonal statements is seen by the following example, one of many similar:—When Babur and a body of men, making a long saddle-journey, halted for rest and refreshment by the road-side; “There was drinking,” he writes, but Erskine, “I drank”; what is likely being that all or all but a few shared the local vin du pays.

(3) The importance of observing Babur’s limits of vocabulary needs no stress, since any man of few words differs from any man of many. Measured by the Babur-nama standard, the diction of the Memoirs is redundant throughout, and frequently over-coloured. Of this a pertinent example is provided by a statement of which a minimum of seven occurrences forms my example, namely, that such or such a man whose life Babur sketches was vicious or a vicious person (fisq, fāsiq). Erskine once renders the word by “vicious” but elsewhere enlarges to “debauched, excess of sensual enjoyment, lascivious, libidinous, profligate, voluptuous”. The instances are scattered and certainly Erskine could not feel their collective effect, but even scattered, each does its ill-part in distorting the Memoirs portraiture of the man of the one word.35
Postscript of Thanks.

I take with gratitude the long-delayed opportunity of finishing my book to express the obligation I feel to the Council of the Royal Asiatic Society for allowing me to record in the Journal my Notes on the Turki Codices of the Babur-nama begun in 1900 and occasionally appearing till 1921. In minor convenience of work, to be able to gather those progressive notes together and review them, has been of [Pg lxi]value to me in noticeable matters, two of which are the finding and multiplying of the Haidarabad Codex, and the definite clearance of the confusion which had made the Bukhara (reputed) Babur-nama be mistaken for a reproduction of Babur’s true text.

Immeasurable indeed is the obligation laid on me by the happy community of interests which brought under our roof the translation of the biographies of Babur, Humayun, and Akbar. What this has meant to my own work may be surmised by those who know my husband’s wide reading in many tongues of East and West, his retentive memory and his generous communism in knowledge. One signal cause for gratitude to him from those caring for Baburiana, is that it was he made known the presence of the Haidarabad Codex in its home library (1899) and thus led to its preservation in facsimile.

It would be impracticable to enumerate all whose help I keep in grateful memory and realize as the fruit of the genial camaraderie of letters.

Annette S. Beveridge.

Pitfold, Shottermill, Haslemere.
August, 1921.

[Pg 1]

ah.—oct. 12th 1493 to oct. 2nd 1494 ad.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

In36 the month of Ramẓān of the year 899 (June 1494) andḤaidarābād
MS. fol.
1b. in the twelfth year of my age,37 I became ruler38 in the country of Farghāna.

(a. Description of Farghāna.)

Farghāna is situated in the fifth climate39 and at the limit of settled habitation. On the east it has Kāshghar; on the west, Samarkand; on the south, the mountains of the Badakhshān border; on the north, though in former times there must have been towns such as Ālmālīgh, Ālmātū and [Pg 2]Yāngī which in books they write Tarāz,40 at the present time all is desolate, no settled population whatever remaining, because of the Mughūls and the Aūzbegs.41

Farghāna is a small country,42 abounding in grain and fruits. It is girt round by mountains except on the west, i.e. towards Khujand and Samarkand, and in winter43 an enemy can enter only on that side.

Fol. 2.The Saiḥūn River (daryā) commonly known as the Water of Khujand, comes into the country from the north-east, flows westward through it and after passing along the north of Khujand and the south of Fanākat,44 now known as Shāhrukhiya, turns directly north and goes to Turkistān. It does not [Pg 3]join any sea45 but sinks into the sands, a considerable distance below [the town of] Turkistān.

Farghāna has seven separate townships,46 five on the south and two on the north of the Saiḥūn.

Of those on the south, one is Andijān. It has a central position and is the capital of the Farghāna country. It produces much grain, fruits in abundance, excellent grapes and melons. In the melon season, it is not customary to sell them out at the beds.47 Better than the Andijān nāshpātī,48 there is none. After Samarkand and Kesh, the fort49 of Andijān is the largest in Mawārā’u’n-nahr (Transoxiana). It has three gates. Its citadel (ark) is on its south side. Into it water goes by nine channels; out of it, it is strange that none comes at even a single place.50 Round the outer edge of the ditch51 runs a gravelled highway; the width of this highway divides the fort from the suburbs surrounding it.

Andijān has good hunting and fowling; its pheasants grow [Pg 4]so surprisingly fat that rumour has it four people could not Fol. 2b.finish one they were eating with its stew.52

Andijānīs are all Turks, not a man in town or bāzār but knows Turkī. The speech of the people is correct for the pen; hence the writings of Mīr ‘Alī-shīr Nawā’ī,53 though he was bred and grew up in Hīrī (Harāt), are one with their dialect. Good looks are common amongst them. The famous musician, Khwāja Yūsuf, was an Andijānī.54 The climate is malarious; in autumn people generally get fever.55

Again, there is Aūsh (Ūsh), to the south-east, inclining to east, of Andijān and distant from it four yīghāch by road.56 It has a fine climate, an abundance of running waters57 and a most beautiful spring season. Many traditions have their rise [Pg 5]in its excellencies.58 To the south-east of the walled town (qūrghān) lies a symmetrical mountain, known as the Barā Koh;59 on the top of this, Sl. Maḥmūd Khān built a retreat (ḥajra) and lower down, on its shoulder, I, in 902ah. (1496ad.) built another, having a porch. Though his lies the higher, mine is the better placed, the whole of the town and the suburbs being at its foot.

The Andijān torrent60 goes to Andijān after having traversedFol. 3. the suburbs of Aūsh. Orchards (bāghāt)61 lie along both its banks; all the Aūsh gardens (bāghlār) overlook it; their violets are very fine; they have running waters and in spring are most beautiful with the blossoming of many tulips and roses.

On the skirt of the Barā-koh is a mosque called the Jauza [Pg 6]Masjid (Twin Mosque).62 Between this mosque and the town, a great main canal flows from the direction of the hill. Below the outer court of the mosque lies a shady and delightful clover-meadow where every passing traveller takes a rest. It is the joke of the ragamuffins of Aūsh to let out water from the canal63 on anyone happening to fall asleep in the meadow. A very beautiful stone, waved red and white64 was found in the Barā Koh in ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s latter days; of it are made knife handles, and clasps for belts and many other things. For climate and for pleasantness, no township in all Farghāna equals Aūsh.

Again there is Marghīnān; seven yīghāch65 by road to the west of Andijān,—a fine township full of good things. Its apricots (aūrūk) and pomegranates are most excellent. One sort of pomegranate, they call the Great Seed (Dāna-i-kalān); its sweetness has a little of the pleasant flavour of the small apricot (zard-alū) and it may be thought better than the Semnān pomegranate. Fol. 3b.Another kind of apricot (aūrūk) they dry after stoning it and putting back the kernel;66 they then call it subḥānī; it is very palatable. The hunting and fowling of Marghīnān are good; āq kīyīk67 are had close by. Its people are Sārts,68 boxers, [Pg 7]noisy and turbulent. Most of the noted bullies (jangralār) of Samarkand and Bukhārā are Marghīnānīs. The author of the Hidāyat69 was from Rashdān, one of the villages of Marghīnān.

Again there is Asfara, in the hill-country and nine yīghāch70 by road south-west of Marghīnān. It has running waters, beautiful little gardens (bāghcha) and many fruit-trees but almonds for the most part in its orchards. Its people are all Persian-speaking71 Sārts. In the hills some two miles (bīrshar‘ī) to the south of the town, is a piece of rock, known as the Mirror Stone.72 It is some 10 arm-lengths (qārī) long, as high as a man in parts, up to his waist in others. Everything is reflected by it as by a mirror. The Asfara district (wilāyat) is in four subdivisions (balūk) in the hill-country, one Asfara, one Warūkh, one Sūkh and one Hushyār. When Muḥammad Shaibānī Khān defeated Sl. Maḥmūd Khān and Alacha Khān and took Tāshkīnt and Shāhrukhiya,73 I went into the Sūkh and HushyārFol. 4. hill-country and from there, after about a year spent in great misery, I set out (‘azīmat) for Kābul.74

Again there is Khujand,75 twenty-five yīghāch by road to the [Pg 8]west of Andijān and twenty-five yīghāch east of Samarkand.76 Khujand is one of the ancient towns; of it were Shaikh Maṣlaḥat and Khwāja Kamāl.77 Fruit grows well there; its pomegranates are renowned for their excellence; people talk of a Khujand pomegranate as they do of a Samarkand apple; just now however, Marghīnān pomegranates are much met with.78 The walled town (qūrghān) of Khujand stands on high ground; the Saiḥūn River flows past it on the north at the distance, may be, of an arrow’s flight.79 To the north of both the town and the river lies a mountain range called Munūghul;80 people say there are turquoise and other mines in it and there are many snakes. The hunting and fowling-grounds of Khujand are first-rate; āq kīyīk,81 būghū-marāl,82 pheasant and hare are all had in great plenty. The climate is very malarious; in autumn there is much fever;83 people rumour it about that the very sparrows get fever and say that the cause of the malaria is the mountain range on the north (i.e. Munūghul).

Kand-i-badām (Village of the Almond) is a dependency of Khujand; though it is not a township (qaṣba) it is rather a good [Pg 9]approach to one (qaṣbacha). Its almonds are excellent, hence its name; they all go to Hormuz or to Hindūstān. It is five orFol. 4b. six yīghāch84 east of Khujand.

Between Kand-i-badām and Khujand lies the waste known as Hā Darwesh. In this there is always (hamesha) wind; from it wind goes always (hameshā) to Marghīnān on its east; from it wind comes continually (dā’im) to Khujand on its west.85 It has violent, whirling winds. People say that some darweshes, encountering a whirlwind in this desert,86 lost one another and kept crying, “Hāy Darwesh! Hāy Darwesh!” till all had perished, and that the waste has been called Hā Darwesh ever since.

Of the townships on the north of the Saiḥūn River one is Akhsī. In books they write it Akhsīkīt87 and for this reason the [Pg 10]poet As̤iru-d-dīn is known as Akhsīkītī. After Andijān no township in Farghāna is larger than Akhsī. It is nine yīghāch88 by road to the west of Andijān. ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā made it his capital.89 The Saiḥūn River flows below its walled town (qūrghān). This stands above a great ravine (buland jar) and it has deep ravines (‘uṃiq jarlār) in place of a moat. When ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā made it his capital, he once or twice cut other ravines from the outer ones. In all Farghāna no fort is so strong as Akhsī. *Its suburbs extend some two miles further Fol. 5.than the walled town.* People seem to have made of Akhsī the saying (mis̤al), “Where is the village? Where are the trees?” (Dih kujā? Dirakhtān kujā?) Its melons are excellent; they call one kind Mīr Tīmūrī; whether in the world there is another to equal it is not known. The melons of Bukhārā are famous; when I took Samarkand, I had some brought from there and some from Akhsī; they were cut up at an entertainment and nothing from Bukhārā compared with those from Akhsī. The fowling and hunting of Akhsī are very good indeed; āq kīyīk abound in the waste on the Akhsī side of the Saihūn; in the jungle on the Andijān side būghū-marāl,90 pheasant and hare are had, all in very good condition.

Again there is Kāsān, rather a small township to the north of Akhsī. From Kāsān the Akhsī water comes in the same way as the Andijān water comes from Aūsh. Kāsān has excellent air and beautiful little gardens (bāghcha). As these gardens all lie along the bed of the torrent (sā’ī) people call them the “fine front of the coat.”91 Between Kāsānīs and Aūshīs there is rivalry about the beauty and climate of their townships.

[Pg 11]

In the mountains round Farghāna are excellent summer-pastures (yīlāq). There, and nowhere else, the tabalghū92grows, a tree (yīghāch) with red bark; they make staves of it; theyFol. 5b. make bird-cages of it; they scrape it into arrows;93 it is an excellent wood (yīghāch) and is carried as a rarity94 to distant places. Some books write that the mandrake95 is found in these mountains but for this long time past nothing has been heard of it. A plant called Āyīq aūtī96 and having the qualities of the mandrake (mihr-giyāh), is heard of in Yītī-kīnt;97 it seems to be [Pg 12]the mandrake (mihr-giyāh) the people there call by this name (i.e. āyīq aūtī). There are turquoise and iron mines in these mountains.

If people do justly, three or four thousand men98 may be maintained by the revenues of Farghāna.

(b. Historical narrative resumed.)99

As ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā was a ruler of high ambition and great pretension, he was always bent on conquest. On several occasions he led an army against Samarkand; sometimes he was beaten, sometimes retired against his will.100 More than once he asked his father-in-law into the country, that is to say, my grandfather, Yūnas Khān, the then Khān of the Mughūls in the camping ground (yūrt) of his ancestor, Chaghatāī Khān, the second son of Chīngīz Khān. Each time the Mīrzā brought The Khān into the Farghāna country he gave him lands, but, partly owing to his misconduct, partly to the thwarting of the Fol. 6.Mughūls,101 things did not go as he wished and Yūnas Khān, not being able to remain, went out again into Mughūlistān. When the Mīrzā last brought The Khān in, he was in possession of

[Pg 13]

Tāshkīnt, which in books they write Shash, and sometimes Chāch, whence the term, a Chāchī, bow.102 He gave it to The Khān, and from that date (890ah.-1485ad.) down to 908ah. (1503ad.) it and the Shāhrukhiya country were held by the Chaghatāī Khāns.

At this date (i.e., 899ah.-1494ad.) the Mughūl Khānship was in Sl. Maḥ=mūd Khān, Yūnas Khān’s younger son and a half-brother of my mother. As he and ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s elder brother, the then ruler of Samarkand, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā were offended by the Mīrzā’s behaviour, they came to an agreement together; Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā had already given a daughter to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān;103 both now led their armies against ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā, the first advancing along the south of the Khujand Water, the second along its north.

Meantime a strange event occurred. It has been mentionedFol. 6b that the fort of Akhsī is situated above a deep ravine;104 along this ravine stand the palace buildings, and from it, on Monday, Ramẓān 4, (June 8th.) ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā flew, with his pigeons and their house, and became a falcon.105

He was 39 (lunar) years old, having been born in Samarkand, in 860ah. (1456ad.) He was Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s fourth son,106 being younger than Sl. Aḥmad M. and Sl. Muḥammad [Pg 14]M. and Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā. His father, Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā, was the son of Sl. Muḥammad Mīrzā, son of Tīmūr Beg’s third son, Mīrān-shāh M. and was younger than ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā, (the elder) and Jahāngīr M. but older than Shāhrukh Mīrzā.

c. ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s country.

His father first gave him Kābul and, with Bābā-i-Kābulī107 for his guardian, had allowed him to set out, but recalled him from the Tamarisk Valley108 to Samarkand, on account of the Mīrzās’ Circumcision Feast. When the Feast was over, he gave him Andijān with the appropriateness that Tīmūr Beg had given Farghāna (Andijān) to his son, the elder ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā. This done, he sent him off with Khudāī-bīrdī Tūghchī Tīmūr-tāsh109 for his guardian.

d. His appearance and characteristics.

He was a short and stout, round-bearded and fleshy-faced Fol. 7.person.110 He used to wear his tunic so very tight that to fasten the strings he had to draw his belly in and, if he let himself out after tying them, they often tore away. He was not choice in dress or food. He wound his turban in a fold (dastar-pech); all turbans were in four folds (chār-pech) in those days; people [Pg 15]wore them without twisting and let the ends hang down.111 In the heats and except in his Court, he generally wore the Mughūl cap.

e. His qualities and habits.

He was a true believer (Ḥanafī maẕhablīk) and pure in the Faith, not neglecting the Five Prayers and, his life through, making up his Omissions.112 He read the Qur’ān very frequently and was a disciple of his Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh (Aḥrārī) who honoured him by visits and even called him son. His current readings113 were the two Quintets and the Mas̤nawī;114 of histories he read chiefly the Shāh-nāma. He had a poetic nature, but no taste for composing verses. He was so just that when he heard of a caravan returning from Khitāī as overwhelmed by snow in the mountains of Eastern Andijān,115 and that of its thousand heads of houses (awīlūq) two only had escaped, he sent his overseers to take charge of all goods and, though no heirs wereFol. 7b. near and though he was in want himself, summoned the heirs from Khurāsān and Samarkand, and in the course of a year or two had made over to them all their property safe and sound.

He was very generous; in truth, his character rose altogether to the height of generosity. He was affable, eloquent and sweet-spoken, daring and bold. Twice out-distancing all his [Pg 16]braves,116 he got to work with his own sword, once at the Gate of Akhsī, once at the Gate of Shāhrukhiya. A middling archer, he was strong in the fist,—not a man but fell to his blow. Through his ambition, peace was exchanged often for war, friendliness for hostility.

In his early days he was a great drinker, later on used to have a party once or twice a week. He was good company, on occasions reciting verses admirably. Towards the last he rather preferred intoxicating confects117 and, under their sway, used to lose his head. His disposition118 was amorous, and he bore many a lover’s mark.119 He played draughts a good deal, sometimes even threw the dice.

f. His battles and encounters.

He fought three ranged battles, the first with Yūnas Khān, Fol. 8.on the Saiḥūn, north of Andijān, at the Goat-leap,120 a village so-called because near it the foot-hills so narrow the flow of the water that people say goats leap across.121 There he was beaten and made prisoner. Yūnas Khān for his part did well by him and gave him leave to go to his own district (Andijān). This fight having been at that place, the Battle of the Goat-leap became a date in those parts.

His second battle was fought on the Urūs,122 in Turkistān, with Aūzbegs returning from a raid near Samarkand. He crossed the river on the ice, gave them a good beating, separated off all their prisoners and booty and, without coveting a single thing for himself, gave everything back to its owners.

[Pg 17]

His third battle he fought with (his brother) Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā at a place between Shāhrukhiya and Aūrā-tīpā, named Khwāṣ.123 Here he was beaten.

g. His country.

The Farghāna country his father had given him; Tāshkīnt and Sairām, his elder brother, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā gave, and they were in his possession for a time; Shāhrukhiya he took by a ruse and held awhile. Later on, Tāshkīnt and Shāhrukhiya passed out of his hands; there then remained the Farghāna country and Khujand,—some do not include Khujand inFol. 8b. Farghāna,—and Aūrā-tīpā, of which the original name was Aūrūshnā and which some call Aūrūsh. In Aūrā-tīpā, at the time Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā went to Tāshkīnt against the Mughūls, and was beaten on the Chīr124 (893ah.-1488ad.) was Ḥafiẓ Beg Dūldāī; he made it over to ‘Umar Shaikh M. and the Mīrzā held it from that time forth.

h. His children.

Three of his sons and five of his daughters grew up. I, Z̤ahīru’d-dīn Muḥammad Bābur,125 was his eldest son; my mother was Qūtlūq-nigār Khānīm. Jahāngīr Mīrzā was his second son, two years younger than I; his mother, Fāt̤ima-sult̤ān by name, was of the Mughūl tūmān-begs.126 Nāṣir Mīrzā was his third son; his mother was an Andijānī, a mistress,127 named Umīd. He was four years younger than I.

‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s eldest daughter was Khān-zāda Begīm,128 my full sister, five years older than I. The second [Pg 18]time I took Samarkand (905ah.-1500ad.), spite of defeat at Sar-i-pul,129 I went back and held it through a five months’ siege, but as no sort of help or reinforcement came from any beg or ruler thereabouts, I left it in despair and got away; in that throneless time (fatrat) Khān-zāda Begīm fell130 to Muḥammad Shaibānī Khān. She had one child by him, a pleasant boy,131 Fol. 9.named Khurram Shāh. The Balkh country was given to him; he went to God’s mercy a few years after the death of his father (916ah.-1510ad.). Khān-zāda Begīm was in Merv when Shāh Ismā‘īl (Ṣafawī) defeated the Aūzbegs near that town (916ah.-1510ad.); for my sake he treated her well, giving her a sufficient escort to Qūndūz where she rejoined me. We had been apart for some ten years; when Muḥammadī kūkūldāsh and I went to see her, neither she nor those about her knew us, although I spoke. They recognized us after a time.

Mihr-bānū Begīm was another daughter, Nāṣir Mīrzā’s full-sister, two years younger than I. Shahr-bānū Begīm was another, also Nāṣir Mīrzā’s full-sister, eight years younger than I. Yādgār-sult̤ān Begīm was another, her mother was a mistress, called Āghā-sult̤ān. Ruqaiya-sult̤ān Begīm was another; her mother, Makhdūm-sult̤ān Begīm, people used to call the Dark-eyed Begīm. The last-named two were born after the Mīrzā’s death. Yādgār-sult̤ān Begīm was brought up by my grandmother, Aīsān-daulat Begīm; she fell to ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Sl., a son of Ḥamza Sl. when Shaibānī Khān took Andijān and Akhsī (908ah.-1503ad.). She rejoined me when (917ah.-1511ad.) in Khutlān I defeated Ḥamza Sl. and Fol. 9b.other sult̤āns and took Ḥiṣār. Ruqaiya-sult̤ān Begīm fell in that same throneless time (fatrat) to Jānī Beg Sl. (Aūzbeg). By him she had one or two children who did not live. In these days [Pg 19]of our leisure (furṣatlār)132 has come news that she has gone to God’s mercy.

i. His ladies and mistresses.

Qūtlūq-nigār Khānīm was the second daughter of Yūnas Khān and the eldest (half-) sister of Sl. Maḥmūd Khān and Sl. Aḥmad Khān.

(j. Interpolated account of Bābur’s mother’s family.)

Yūnas Khān descended from Chaghatāī Khān, the second son of Chīngīz Khān (as follows,) Yūnas Khān, son of Wais Khān, son of Sher-‘alī Aūghlān, son of Muḥammad Khān, son of Khiẓr Khwāja Khān, son of Tūghlūq-tīmūr Khān, son of Aīsān-būghā Khān, son of Dāwā Khān, son of Barāq Khān, son of Yīsūntawā Khān, son of Mūātūkān, son of Chaghatāī Khān, son of Chīngīz Khān.

Since such a chance has come, set thou down133 now a summary of the history of the Khāns.

Yūnas Khān (d. 892 ah.-1487 ad.) and Aīsān-būghā Khān (d. 866 ah.-1462 ad.) were sons of Wais Khān (d. 832 ah.-1428 ad.).134 Yūnas Khān’s mother was either a daughter or a grand-daughter of Shaikh Nūru’d-dīn Beg, a Turkistānī Qīpchāq favoured by Tīmūr Beg. When Wais Khān died, the Mughūl horde split in two, one portion being for Yūnas Khān, the greater for Aīsān-būghā Khān. For help in getting the upper hand in the horde, Aīrzīn (var. Aīrāzān) one of the Bārīn tūmān-begs and Beg Mīrik Turkmān, one of the Chīrās tūmān-begs, took Yūnas Khān (aet. 13) and with himFol. 10. three or four thousand Mughūl heads of houses (awīlūq), to Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā (Shāhrukhī) with the fittingness that Aūlūgh Beg M. had taken Yūnas Khān’s elder sister for his son, ‘Abdu’l-[Pg 20]‘azīz Mīrzā. Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā did not do well by them; some he imprisoned, some scattered over the country135 one by one. The Dispersion of Aīrzīn became a date in the Mughūl horde.

Yūnas Khān himself was made to go towards ‘Irāq; one year he spent in Tabrīz where Jahān Shāh Barānī of the Black Sheep Turkmāns was ruling. From Tabrīz he went to Shīrāz where was Shāhrukh Mīrzā’s second son, Ibrāhīm Sult̤ān Mīrzā.136 He having died five or six months later (Shawwal 4, 838 ah.-May 3rd, 1435 ad.), his son, ‘Abdu’l-lāh Mīrzā sat in his place. Of this ‘Abdu’l-lāh Mīrzā Yūnas Khān became a retainer and to him used to pay his respects. The Khān was in those parts for 17 or 18 years.

In the disturbances between Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā and his sons, Aīsān-būghā Khān found a chance to invade Farghāna; he plundered as far as Kand-i-badām, came on and, having plundered Andijān, led all its people into captivity.137 Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā, after seizing the throne of Samarkand, led an army out to beyond Yāngī (Tarāz) to Aspara in Mughūlistān, Fol. 10b.there gave Aīsān-būghā a good beating and then, to spare himself further trouble from him and with the fittingness that he had just taken to wife138 Yūnas Khān’s elder sister, the former wife of ‘Abdu’l-‘azīz Mīrzā (Shāhrukhī), he invited Yūnas Khān from Khurāsān and ‘Irāq, made a feast, became friends and proclaimed him Khān of the Mughūls. Just when he was speeding him forth, the Sāghārīchī tūmān-begs had all come into Mughūlistān, in anger with Aīsān-būghā Khān.139 Yūnas Khān went amongst them and took to wife Aīsān-daulat Begīm, the daughter of their chief, ‘Alī-shīr [Pg 21]Beg. They then seated him and her on one and the same white felt and raised him to the Khānship.140

By this Aīsān-daulat Begīm, Yūnas Khān had three daughters. Mihr-nigār Khānīm was the eldest; Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā set her aside141 for his eldest son, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā; she had no child. In a throneless time (905 ah.) she fell to Shaibānī Khān; she left Samarkand142 with Shāh Begīm for Khurāsān (907 ah.) and both came on to me in Kābul (911 ah.). At the time Shaibānī Khān was besieging Nāṣir Mīrzā in Qandahār and I set out for Lamghān143 (913 ah.) they went to Badakhshān with Khān Mīrzā (Wais).144 When Mubārak Shāh invited Khān Mīrzā into Fort Victory,145 they wereFol. 11. captured, together with the wives and families of all their people, by marauders of Ābā-bikr Kāshgharī and, as captives to that ill-doing miscreant, bade farewell to this transitory world (circa 913 ah.-1507 ad.).

Qūtlūq-nigār Khānīm, my mother, was Yūnas Khān’s second daughter. She was with me in most of my guerilla expeditions and throneless times. She went to God’s mercy in Muḥarram 911 ah. (June 1505 ad.) five or six months after the capture of Kābul.

Khūb-nigār Khānīm was his third daughter. Her they gave to Muḥammad Ḥusain Kūrkān Dūghlāt (899 ah.). She had one son and one daughter by him. ‘Ubaid Khān (Aūzbeg) took the daughter (Ḥabība).146 When I captured Samarkand and [Pg 22]Bukhārā (917 ah.-1511 ad.), she stayed behind,147 and when her paternal uncle, Sayyid Muḥammad Dūghlāt came as Sl. Sa‘īd Khān’s envoy to me in Samarkand, she joined him and with him went to Kāshghar where (her cousin), Sl. Sa‘īd Khān took her. Khūb-nigār’s son was Ḥaidar Mīrzā.148 He was in my service for three or four years after the Aūzbegs slew his father, then (918 ah.-1512 ad.) asked leave to go to Kāshghar to the presence of Sl. Sa‘īd Khān.
“Everything goes back to its source.
Pure gold, or silver or tin.”149

People say he now lives lawfully (tā’ib) and has found the right way (t̤arīqā).150 He has a hand deft in everything, penmanship and painting, and in making arrows and arrow-barbs Fol. 11b.and string-grips; moreover he is a born poet and in a petition written to me, even his style is not bad.151

Shāh Begīm was another of Yūnas Khān’s ladies. Though he had more, she and Aīsān-daulat Begīm were the mothers of his children. She was one of the (six) daughters of Shāh Sult̤ān Muḥammad, Shāh of Badakhshān.152 His line, they say, runs back to Iskandar Fīlkūs.153 Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā took another daughter and by her had Ābā-bikr Mīrzā.154 By this [Pg 23]Shāh Begīm Yūnas Khān had two sons and two daughters. Her first-born but younger than all Aīsān-daulat Begīm’s daughters, was Sl. Maḥmūd Khān, called Khānika Khān155 by many in and about Samarkand. Next younger than he was Sl. Aḥmad Khān, known as Alacha Khān. People say he was called this because he killed many Qālmāqs on the several occasions he beat them. In the Mughūl and Qālmāq tongues, one who will kill (aūltūrgūchī) is called ālāchī; Alāchī they called him therefore and this by repetition, became Alacha.156 As occasion arises, the acts and circumstances of these two Khāns will find mention in this history (tārīkh).

Sult̤ān-nigār Khānīm was the youngest but one of Yūnas Khān’s children. Her they made go forth (chīqārīb īdīlār)Fol. 12. to Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā; by him she had one child, Sl. Wais (Khān Mīrzā), mention of whom will come into this history. When Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā died (900 ah.-1495 ad.), she took her son off to her brothers in Tāshkīnt without a word to any single person. They, a few years later, gave her to Adik (Aūng) Sult̤ān,157 a Qāzāq sult̤ān of the line of Jūjī Khān, Chīngīz Khān’s eldest son. When Shaibānī Khān defeated the Khāns (her brothers), and took Tāshkīnt and Shāhrukhiya (908 ah.), she got away with 10 or 12 of her Mughūl servants, to (her husband), Adik Sult̤ān. She had two daughters by Adik Sult̤ān; one she gave to a Shaibān sult̤ān, the other to Rashīd Sult̤ān, the son of (her cousin) Sl. Sa‘īd Khān. After Adik Sult̤ān’s death, (his brother), Qāsim Khān, Khān of the Qāzāq horde, took her.158 Of all the Qāzāq khāns and sult̤āns, no one, they say, ever kept the horde in such good order as he; [Pg 24]his army was reckoned at 300,000 men. On his death the Khānīm went to Sl. Sa‘īd Khān’s presence in Kāshghar. Daulat-sult̤ān Khānīm was Yūnas Khān’s youngest child. Fol. 12b.In the Tāshkīnt disaster (908 ah.) she fell to Tīmūr Sult̤ān, the son of Shaibānī Khān. By him she had one daughter; they got out of Samarkand with me (918 ah.-1512 ad.), spent three or four years in the Badakhshān country, then went (923 ah.-1420 ad.) to Sl. Sa‘īd Khān’s presence in Kāshghar.159

(k. Account resumed of Bābur’s father’s family.)

In ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s ḥaram was also Aūlūs Āghā, a daughter of Khwāja Ḥusain Beg; her one daughter died in infancy and they sent her out of the ḥaram a year or eighteen months later. Fāt̤ima-sult̤ān Āghā was another; she was of the Mughūl tūmān-begs and the first taken of his wives. Qarāgūz (Makhdūm sult̤ān) Begīm was another; the Mīrzā took her towards the end of his life; she was much beloved, so to please him, they made her out descended from (his uncle) Minūchihr Mīrzā, the elder brother of Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā. He had many mistresses and concubines; one, Umīd Āghāchā died before him. Latterly there were also Tūn-sult̤ān (var. Yun) of the Mughūls and Āghā Sult̤ān.

l. ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s Amīrs.

There was Khudāī-bīrdī Tūghchī Tīmūr-tāsh, a descendant of the brother of Āq-būghā Beg, the Governor of Hīrī (Herāt, for Tīmūr Beg.) When Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā, after besieging Jūkī Mīrzā (Shāhrukhī) in Shāhrukhiya (868ah.-1464ad.) gave the Fol. 13.Farghāna country to ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā, he put this Khudāī-bīrdī Beg at the head of the Mīrzā’s Gate.160 Khudāī-bīrdī was [Pg 25]then 25 but youth notwithstanding, his rules and management were very good indeed. A few years later when Ibrāhīm Begchīk was plundering near Aūsh, he followed him up, fought him, was beaten and became a martyr. At the time, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā was in the summer pastures of Āq Qāchghāī, in Aūrā-tīpā, 18 yīghāch east of Samarkand, and Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā was at Bābā Khākī, 12 yīghāch east of Hīrī. People sent the news post-haste to the Mīrzā(s),161 having humbly represented it through ‘Abdu’l-wahhāb Shaghāwal. In four days it was carried those 120 yīghāch of road.162

Ḥāfiẓ Muḥammad Beg Dūldāī was another, Sl. Malik Kāshgharī’s son and a younger brother of Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg. After the death of Khudāī-bīrdī Beg, they sent him to control ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s Gate, but he did not get on well with the Andijān begs and therefore, when Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā died, went to Samarkand and took service with Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā. At the time of the disaster on the Chīr, he was in Aūrā-tīpā and made it over to ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā when the Mīrzā Fol. 13b.passed through on his way to Samarkand, himself taking service with him. The Mīrzā, for his part, gave him the Andijān Command. Later on he went to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān [Pg 26]in Tāshkīnt and was there entrusted with the guardianship of Khān Mīrzā (Wais) and given Dīzak. He had started for Makka by way of Hind before I took Kābul (910ah. Oct. 1504ad.), but he went to God’s mercy on the road. He was a simple person, of few words and not clever.

Khwāja Ḥusain Beg was another, a good-natured and simple person. It is said that, after the fashion of those days, he used to improvise very well at drinking parties.163

Shaikh Mazīd Beg was another, my first guardian, excellent in rule and method. He must have served (khidmat qīlghān dūr) under Bābur Mīrzā (Shāhrukhī). There was no greater beg in ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s presence. He was a vicious person and kept catamites.

‘Alī-mazīd Qūchīn was another;164 he rebelled twice, once at Akhsī, once at Tāshkīnt. He was disloyal, untrue to his salt, vicious and good-for-nothing.

Ḥasan (son of) Yaq‘ūb was another, a small-minded, good-tempered, smart and active man. This verse is his:—
“Return, O Huma, for without the parrot-down of thy lip,
The crow will assuredly soon carry off my bones.”165

Fol. 14.He was brave, a good archer, played polo (chaughān) well and leapt well at leap-frog.166 He had the control of my Gate after ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s accident. He had not much sense, was narrow-minded and somewhat of a strife-stirrer.

Qāsim Beg Qūchīn, of the ancient army-begs of Andijān, was another. He had the control of my Gate after Ḥasan Yaq‘ūb Beg. His life through, his authority and consequence waxed without decline. He was a brave man; once he gave some Aūzbegs a good beating when he overtook them raiding near Kāsān; his sword hewed away in ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s [Pg 27]presence; and in the fight at the Broad Ford (Yāsī-kījīt circa 904ah.-July, 1499ad.) he hewed away with the rest. In the guerilla days he went to Khusrau Shāh (907ah.) at the time I was planning to go from the Macha hill-country167 to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān, but he came back to me in 910ah. (1504ad.) and I shewed him all my old favour and affection. When I attacked the Turkmān Hazāra raiders in Dara-i-khwush (911ah.) he made better advance, spite of his age, than the younger men; I gave him Bangash as a reward and later on, after returning to Kābul, made him Humāyūn’s guardian. He went to God’s mercyFol. 14b. about the time Zamīn-dāwar was taken (circa 928ah.-1522ad.). He was a pious, God-fearing Musalmān, an abstainer from doubtful aliments; excellent in judgment and counsel, very facetious and, though he could neither read nor write (ummiy), used to make entertaining jokes.

Bābā Beg’s Bābā Qulī (‘Alī) was another, a descendant of Shaikh ‘Alī Bahādur.168 They made him my guardian when Shaikh Mazīd Beg died. He went over to Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā when the Mīrzā led his army against Andijān (899ah.), and gave him Aūrā-tīpā. After Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s death, he left Samarkand and was on his way to join me (900ah.) when Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā, issuing out of Aūrā-tīpā, fought, defeated and slew him. His management and equipment were excellent and he took good care of his men. He prayed not; he kept no fasts; he was like a heathen and he was a tyrant.

‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī169 was another, one of the Sāghārīchī tumān-begs and a relation of my mother’s mother, Aīsān-daulat Begīm. I favoured him more than he had been favoured in ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s time. People said, “Work will come from his hand.” But in the many years he was in my presence, no Fol. to speak of170 came to sight. He must have served Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā. He claimed to have power to bring on rain with the jade-stone. He was the Falconer (qūshchī),worthless [Pg 28]by nature and habit, a stingy, severe, strife-stirring person, false, self-pleasing, rough of tongue and cold-of-face.

Wais Lāgharī,171 one of the Samarkand Tūghchī people, was another. Latterly he was much in ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s confidence; in the guerilla times he was with me. Though somewhat factious, he was a man of good judgment and counsel.

Mīr Ghiyās̤ T̤aghāi was another, a younger brother of ‘Ali-dost T̤aghāī. No man amongst the leaders in Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s Gate was more to the front than he; he had charge of the Mīrzā’s square seal172 and was much in his confidence latterly. He was a friend of Wais Lāgharī. When Kāsān had been given to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān (899ah.-1494ad. ), he was continuously in The Khān’s service and was in high favour. He was a laugher, a joker and fearless in vice.

‘Ali-darwesh Khurāsānī was another. He had served in the Khurāsān Cadet Corps, one of two special corps of serviceable young men formed by Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā when he first began Fol. arrange the government of Khurāsān and Samarkand, and, presumably, called by him the Khurāsān Corps and the Samarkand Corps. ‘Alī-darwesh was a brave man; he did well in my presence at the Gate of Bīshkārān.173 He wrote the naskh ta‘līq hand clearly.174 His was the flatterer’s tongue and in his character avarice was supreme.

Qaṃbar-‘alī Mughūl of the Equerries (akhtachī) was another. People called him The Skinner because his father, on first coming into the (Farghāna) country, worked as a skinner. Qaṃbar-‘alī had been Yūnas Khān’s water-bottle bearer,175 later on he became a beg. Till he was a made man, his conduct was excellent; once arrived, he was slack. He was full of talk and of foolish talk,—a great talker is sure to be a foolish one,—his capacity was limited and his brain muddy.

[Pg 29]

(l. Historical narrative.)

At the time of ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s accident, I was in the Four Gardens (Chār-bāgh) of Andijān.176 The news reached Andijān on Tuesday, Ramẓan 5 (June 9th); I mounted at once, with my followers and retainers, intending to go into the fort but, on our getting near the Mīrzā’s Gate, Shīrīm T̤aghāī177 took hold of my bridle and moved off towards the Praying Place.178 It had crossed his mind that if a great ruler like Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā came in force, the Andijān begs would make over to himFol. 16. me and the country,179 but that if he took me to Aūzkīnt and the foothills thereabouts, I, at any rate, should not be made over and could go to one of my mother’s (half-) brothers, Sl. Maḥmūd Khān or Sl. Aḥmad Khān.180 When Khwāja Maulānā-i-qāẓī181 [Pg 30]and the begs in the fort heard of (the intended departure), they sent after us Khwāja Muḥammad, the tailor,184 an old servant (bāyrī) of my father and the foster-father of one of his daughters. He dispelled our fears and, turning back from near the Praying Fol. 16b.Place, took me with him into the citadel (ark) where I dismounted. Khwāja Maulānā-i-qāẓī and the begs came to my presence there and after bringing their counsels to a head,185 busied themselves in making good the towers and ramparts of the fort.186 A few days later, Ḥasan, son of Yaq‘ūb, and Qāsim Qūchīn, arrived, together with other begs who had been sent to reconnoitre in Marghīnān and those parts.187 They also, after waiting on me, set themselves with one heart and mind and with zeal and energy, to hold the fort.

(Author’s note on Khwāja Maulānā-i-qāẓī.) He was the son of Sl. Aḥmad Qāẓī, of the line of Burhānu’d-dīn ‘Alī Qīlīch182 and through his mother, traced back to Sl. Aīlīk Māẓī.183 By hereditary right (yūsūnlūq) his high family (khānwādalār) must have come to be the Refuge (marji‘) and Pontiffs (Shaikhu’l-islām) of the (Farghāna) country.

Meantime Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā took Aūrā-tīpā, Khujand and Marghīnān, came on to Qabā,188 4 yīghāch from Andijān and there made halt. At this crisis, Darwesh Gau, one of the Andijān notables, was put to death on account of his improper proposals; his punishment crushed the rest.

Khwāja Qāẓī and Aūzūn (Long) Ḥasan,189 (brother) of Khwāja Ḥusain, were then sent to Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā to say in effect that, as he himself would place one of his servants in the country and as I was myself both a servant and (as) a son, he would attain his end most readily and easily if he entrusted the service to me. He was a mild, weak man, of few words who, without his begs, decided no opinion or compact (aun), action [Pg 31]or move; they paid attention to our proposal, gave it a harsh answer and moved forward.

But the Almighty God, who, of His perfect power and without mortal aid, has ever brought my affairs to their right issue, made such things happen here that they became disgusted at having advanced (i.e. from Qabā), repented indeed that they had ever set out on this expedition and turned back with nothing done.

One of those things was this: Qabā has a stagnant, morass-like Water,190 passable only by the bridge. As they were many, there was crowding on the bridge and numbers of horses andFol. 17. camels were pushed off to perish in the water. This disaster recalling the one they had had three or four years earlier when they were badly beaten at the passage of the Chīr, they gave way to fear. Another thing was that such a murrain broke out amongst their horses that, massed together, they began to die off in bands.191 Another was that they found in our soldiers and peasants a resolution and single-mindedness such as would not let them flinch from making offering of their lives192 so long as there was breath and power in their bodies. Need being therefore, when one yīghāch from Andijān, they sent Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān193 to us; Ḥasan of Yaq’ūb went out from those in the fort; the two had an interview near the Praying Place and a sort of peace was made. This done, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s force retired.

Meantime Sl. Maḥmūd Khān had come along the north of the Khujand Water and laid siege to Akhsī.194 In Akhsī was [Pg 32]Jahāngīr Mīrzā (aet. 9) and of begs, ‘Alī-darwesh Beg, Mīrzā Qulī Kūkūldāsh, Muḥ. Bāqir Beg and Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh, Lord of the Gate. Wais Lāgharī and Mīr Ghiyās̤ T̤aghāī had been there too, but being afraid of the (Akhsī) begs had gone off to Kāsān, Wais Lāgharī’s district, where, he being Nāṣir Mīrzā’s guardian, the Mīrzā was.195 They went over to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān when he got near Akhsī; Mīr Ghiyās̤ entered his service; Fol. 17b.Wais Lāgharī took Nāṣir Mīrzā to Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā, who entrusted him to Muh. Mazīd Tarkhān’s charge. The Khān, though he fought several times near Akhsī, could not effect anything because the Akhsī begs and braves made such splendid offering of their lives. Falling sick, being tired of fighting too, he returned to his own country (i.e. Tāshkīnt).

For some years, Ābā-bikr Kāshgharī Dūghlāt,196 bowing the head to none, had been supreme in Kāshgar and Khutan. He now, moved like the rest by desire for my country, came to the neighbourhood of Aūzkīnt, built a fort and began to lay the land waste. Khwāja Qāzī and several begs were appointed to drive him out. When they came near, he saw himself no match for such a force, made the Khwāja his mediator and, by a hundred wiles and tricks, got himself safely free.

Throughout these great events, ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s former begs and braves had held resolutely together and made daring offer of their lives. The Mīrzā’s mother, Shāh Sult̤ān Begīm,197 and Jaḥāngīr Mīrzā and the ḥaram household and the begs came from Akhsī to Andijān; the customary mourning was fulfilled and food and victuals spread for the poor and destitute.198

Fol. 18.In the leisure from these important matters, attention was given to the administration of the country and the ordering of the army. The Andijān Government and control of my Gate were settled (mukarrar) for Ḥasan (son) of Yaq’ūb; Aūsh was decided on (qarār) for Qāsim Qūchīn; Akhsī and Marghīnān assigned (ta’īn) to Aūzun Ḥasan and ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī. For the rest of ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s begs and braves, to each according [Pg 33]to his circumstances, were settled and assigned district (wilāyat) or land (yīr) or office (mauja) or charge (jīrga) or stipend (wajh).

When Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā had gone two or three stages on his return-march, his health changed for the worse and high fever appeared. On his reaching the Āq Sū near Aūrā-tīpā, he bade farewell to this transitory world, in the middle of Shawwāl of the date 899 (mid July 1494 ad.) being then 44 (lunar) years old.

m. Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s birth and descent.

He was born in 855 ah. (1451 ad.) the year in which his father took the throne (i.e. Samarkand). He was Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s eldest son; his mother was a daughter of Aūrdū-būghā Tarkhān (Arghūn), the elder sister of Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān, and the most honoured of the Mīrzā’s wives.

n. His appearance and habits.

He was a tall, stout, brown-bearded and red-faced man. He had beard on his chin but none on his cheeks. He had veryFol. 18b. pleasing manners. As was the fashion in those days, he wound his turban in four folds and brought the end forward over his brows.

o. His characteristics and manners.

He was a True Believer, pure in the Faith; five times daily, without fail, he recited the Prayers, not omitting them even on drinking-days. He was a disciple of his Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh (Aḥrārī), his instructor in religion and the strengthener of his Faith. He was very ceremonious, particularly when sitting with the Khwāja. People say he never drew one knee over the other199 at any entertainment of the Khwāja. On one occasion contrary to his custom, he sat with his feet together. When he had risen, the Khwāja ordered the place he had sat in to be searched; there they found, it may have been, a bone.200 He had read nothing whatever and was ignorant [Pg 34](‘amī), and though town-bred, unmannered and homely. Of genius he had no share. He was just and as his Highness the Khwāja was there, accompanying him step by step,201 most of his affairs found lawful settlement. He was true and faithful to his vow and word; nothing was ever seen to the contrary. He had courage, and though he never happened to get in his own hand to work, gave sign of it, they say, in some of his encounters. Fol. 19.He drew a good bow, generally hitting the duck202 both with his arrows (aūq) and his forked-arrows (tīr-giz), and, as a rule, hit the gourd203 in riding across the lists (maidān). Latterly, when he had grown stout, he used to take quail and pheasant with the goshawks,204 rarely failing. A sportsman he was, hawking mostly and hawking well; since Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā, such a sporting pādshāh had not been seen. He was extremely decorous; people say he used to hide his feet even in the privacy of his family and amongst his intimates. Once settled down to drink, he would drink for 20 or 30 days at a stretch; once risen, would not drink again for another 20 or 30 days. He was a good drinker;205 on non-drinking days he ate without conviviality (basīt̤). Avarice was dominant in his character. He was kindly, a man of few words whose will was in the hands of his begs.

p. His battles.

He fought four battles. The first was with Ni’mat Arghūn, Shaikh Jamāl Arghūn’s younger brother, at Āqār-tūzī, near Zamīn. This he won. The second was with ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā at Khwaṣ; this also he won. The third affair was when he encountered Sl. Maḥmūd Khān on the Chīr, near Tāshkīnt Fol. 19b.(895 ah.-1469 ad.). There was no real fighting, but some Mughūl plunderers coming up, by ones and twos, in his rear and laying hands on his baggage, his great army, spite of its numbers,[Pg 35] broke up without a blow struck, without an effort made, without a coming face to face, and its main body was drowned in the Chīr.206 His fourth affair was with Ḥaidar Kūkūldāsh (Mughūl), near Yār-yīlāq; here he won.

q. His country.

Samarkand and Bukhārā his father gave him; Tāshkīnt and Sairām he took and held for a time but gave them to his younger brother, ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā, after ‘Abdu’l-qadūs (Dūghlāt) slew Shaikh Jamāl (Arghūn); Khujand and Aūrātīpā were also for a time in his possession.

r. His children.

His two sons did not live beyond infancy. He had five daughters, four by Qātāq Begīm.207

Rābi‘a-sult̤ān Begīm, known as the Dark-eyed Begīm, was his eldest. The Mīrzā himself made her go forth to Sl. Maḥmūd Khān;208 she had one child, a nice little boy, called Bābā Khān. The Aūzbegs killed him and several others of age as unripe as his when they martyred (his father) The Khān, in Khujand, (914 ah.-1508 ad.). At that time she fell to Jānī Beg Sult̤ān (Aūzbeg).Fol. 20.

Ṣāliḥa-sult̤ān (Ṣalīqa) Begīm was his second daughter; people called her the Fair Begīm. Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā, after her father’s death, took her for his eldest son, Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā and made the wedding feast (900 ah.). Later on she fell to the Kāshgharī with Shāh Begīm and Mihr-nigār Khānim.

‘Āyisha-sult̤ān Begīm was the third. When I was five and went to Samarkand, they set her aside for me; in the guerilla times209 she came to Khujand and I took her (905 ah.); her one little daughter, born after the second taking of Samarkand, [Pg 36]went in a few days to God’s mercy and she herself left me at the instigation of an older sister.

Sult̤ānīm Begīm was the fourth daughter; Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā took her; then Tīmūr Sult̤ān (Aūzbeg) took her and after him, Mahdī Sult̤ān (Aūzbeg).

Ma‘sūma-sult̤ān Begīm was the youngest of Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s daughters. Her mother, Ḥabība-sult̤ān Begīm, was of the Arghūns, a daughter of Sl. Ḥusain Arghūn’s brother. I saw her when I went to Khurāsān (912 ah.-1506 ad.), liked her, asked for her, had her brought to Kābul and took her (913 ah.-1507 ad.). She had one daughter and there and then, went to God’s mercy, through the pains of the birth. Her name was at once given to her child.

s. His ladies and mistresses.

Mihr-nigār Khānīm was his first wife, set aside for him by his father, Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā. She was Yūnas Khān’s eldest Fol. 20b.daughter and my mother’s full-sister.

Tarkhān Begīm of the Tarkhāns was another of his wives.

Qātāq Begīm was another, the foster-sister of the Tarkhān Begīm just mentioned. Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā took her par amours (‘āshiqlār bīlā): she was loved with passion and was very dominant. She drank wine. During the days of her ascendancy (tīrīklīk), he went to no other of his ḥaram; at last he took up a proper position (aūlnūrdī) and freed himself from his reproach.210

[Pg 37]

Khān-zāda Begīm, of the Tīrmīẕ Khāns, was another. He had just taken her when I went, at five years old, to Samarkand; her face was still veiled and, as is the Turkī custom, they told me to uncover it.211

Lat̤īf Begīm was another, a daughter’s child of Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg Dūldāī (Barlās). After the Mīrzā’s death, Ḥamza Sl. took her and she had three sons by him. They with other sult̤āns’ children, fell into my hands when I took Ḥiṣār (916 ah.-1510 ad.) after defeating Ḥamza Sult̤ān and Tīmūr Sult̤ān. I set all free.

Ḥabība-sult̤ān Begīm was another, a daughter of the brother of Sl. Ḥusain Arghūn.

t. His amīrs.

Jānī Beg Dūldāī (Barlās) was a younger brother of Sl. Malik Kāshgharī. Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā gave him the Government of Samarkand and Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā gave him the control of his own Gate.212 He must have had singular habits andFol. 21. manners;213 many strange stories are told about him. One is this:—While he was Governor in Samarkand, an envoy came to him from the Aūzbegs renowned, as it would seem, for his strength. An Aūzbeg, is said to call a strong man a bull (būkuh). “Are you a būkuh?” said Jānī Beg to the envoy, “If you are, come, let’s have a friendly wrestle together (kūrāshālīng).” Whatever objections the envoy raised, he refused to accept. They wrestled and Jānī Beg gave the fall. He was a brave man.

Aḥmad Ḥājī (Dūldāī Barlās) was another, a son of Sl. Malik Kāshgharī. Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā gave him the Government of Hīrī (Harāt) for a time but sent him when his uncle, Jānī Beg [Pg 38]died, to Samarkand with his uncle’s appointments. He was pleasant-natured and brave. Wafā’ī was his pen-name and he put together a dīwān in verse not bad. This couplet is his:
“I am drunk, Inspector, to-day keep your hand off me,
“Inspect me on the day you catch me sober.”

Mīr ‘Alī-sher Nāwā’ī when he went from Hīrī to Samarkand, was with Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg but he went back to Hīrī when Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā (Bāī-qarā) became supreme (873 ah.-1460 ad.) and he there received exceeding favour.

Fol. 21b.Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg kept and rode excellent tīpūchāqs,214 mostly of his own breeding. Brave he was but his power to command did not match his courage; he was careless and what was necessary in his affairs, his retainers and followers put through. He fell into Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā’s hands when the Mīrzā defeated Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā in Bukhārā (901 ah.), and was then put to a dishonourable death on the charge of the blood of Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān.215

Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān (Arghūn) was another, the son of Aūrdū-būghā Tarkhān and full-brother of the mother of Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā and Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā.216 Of all begs in Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s presence, he was the greatest and most honoured. He was an orthodox Believer, kindly and darwesh-like, and was a constant transcriber of the Qu’rān.217 He played chess often and well, thoroughly understood the science of fowling and flew his birds admirably. He died in the height of his greatness, with a bad name, during the troubles between Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā and Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā.218

‘Abdu’l-‘alī Tarkhān was another, a near relation of Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān, possessor also of his younger sister,219 that is to say, Bāqī Tarkhān’s mother. Though both by the Mughūl rule (tūrā) and by his rank, Darwesh Muḥammad [Pg 39]Tarkhān was the superior of ‘Abdu’l-‘alī Tarkhān, this Pharoah regarded him not at all. For some years he had the Government of Bukhārā. His retainers were reckoned atFol. 22. 3,000 and he kept them well and handsomely. His gifts (bakhshīsh), his visits of enquiry (purshīsh), his public audience (dīwān), his work-shops (dast-gāh), his open-table (shīlān) and his assemblies (majlis) were all like a king’s. He was a strict disciplinarian, a tyrannical, vicious, self-infatuated person. Shaibānī Khān, though not his retainer, was with him for a time; most of the lesser (Shaibān) sult̤āns did themselves take service with him. This same ‘Abdu’l-‘alī Tarkhān was the cause of Shaibānī Khān’s rise to such a height and of the downfall of such ancient dynasties.220

Sayyid Yūsuf, the Grey Wolfer221 was another; his grandfather will have come from the Mughūl horde; his father was favoured by Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā (Shāhrukhī). His judgment and counsel were excellent; he had courage too. He played well on the guitar (qūbuz). He was with me when I first went to Kābul; I shewed him great favour and in truth he was worthy of favour. I left him in Kābul the first year the army rode out for Hindūstān; at that time he went to God’s mercy.222

Darwesh Beg was another; he was of the line of Aīku-tīmūr Beg,223 a favourite of Tīmūr Beg. He was a disciple of his Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh (Aḥrārī), had knowledge of the science of music, played several instruments and was naturallyFol. 22b. disposed to poetry. He was drowned in the Chīr at the time of Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s discomfiture.

Muḥammad Mazīd Tarkhān was another, a younger full-brother of Darwesh Muḥ. Tarkhān. He was Governor in Turkistān for some years till Shaibānī Khān took it from him. His judgment and counsel were excellent; he was an unscrupulous and vicious person. The second and third times [Pg 40]I took Samarkand, he came to my presence and each time I shewed him very great favour. He died in the fight at Kūl-i-malik (918 ah.-1512 ad.).

Bāqī Tarkhān was another, the son of ‘Abdu’l-‘alī Tarkhān and Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s aunt. When his father died, they gave him Bukhārā. He grew in greatness under Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā, his retainers numbering 5 or 6,000. He was neither obedient nor very submissive to Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā. He fought Shaibānī Khān at Dabūsī (905 ah.) and was crushed; by the help of this defeat, Shaibānī Khān went and took Bukhārā. He was very fond of hawking; they say he kept 700 birds. His manners and habits were not such as may be told;224 he grew up with a Mīrzā’s state and splendour. Because his father had shewn favour to Shaibānī Khān, he went to the Khān’s presence, but that inhuman ingrate made him no sort of return in favour and kindness. Fol. 23.He left the world at Akhsī, in misery and wretchedness.

Sl. Ḥusain Arghūn was another. He was known as Qarā-kūlī because he had held the Qarā-kūl government for a time. His judgment and counsel were excellent; he was long in my presence also.

Qulī Muḥammad Būghdā225 was another, a qūchīn; he must have been a brave man.

‘Abdu’l-karīm Ishrit226 was another; he was an Aūīghūr, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s Lord of the Gate, a brave and generous man.

(u. Historical narrative resumed.)

After Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s death, his begs in agreement, sent a courier by the mountain-road to invite Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā.227

Malik-i-Muḥammad Mīrzā, the son of Minūchihr Mīrzā, Sl. [Pg 41]Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s eldest brother, aspired for his own part to rule. Having drawn a few adventurers and desperadoes to himself, they dribbled away228 from (Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s) camp and went to Samarkand. He was not able to effect anything, but he brought about his own death and that of several innocent persons of the ruling House.

At once on hearing of his brother’s death, Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā went off to Samarkand and there seated himself on the throne, without difficulty. Some of his doings soon disgusted and alienated high and low, soldier and peasant. The first of these was that he sent the above-named Malik-i-Muḥammad to theFol. 23b. Kūk-sarāī,229 although he was his father’s brother’s son and his own son-in-law.230 With him he sent others, four Mīrzās in all. Two of these he set aside; Malik-i-Muḥammad and one other he martyred. Some of the four were not even of ruling rank and had not the smallest aspiration to rule; though Malik-i-Muḥammad Mīrzā was a little in fault, in the rest there was no blame whatever. A second thing was that though his methods and regulations were excellent, and though he was expert in revenue matters and in the art of administration, his nature inclined to tyranny and vice. Directly he reached Samarkand, he began to make new regulations and arrangements and to rate and tax on a new basis. Moreover the dependants of his (late) Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaid’l-lāh, under whose protection formerly many poor and destitute persons had lived free from the burden of dues and imposts, were now themselves treated with harshness and oppression. On what ground should hardship have touched them? Nevertheless oppressive exactions were made from them, indeed from the Khwāja’s very children. Yet another thing was that just as he was vicious and tyrannical, so were his begs, small and great, and his retainers and followers. The Ḥiṣārīs and in particular the followers of Khusrau Shāh [Pg 42]engaged themselves unceasingly with wine and fornication. Once one of them enticed and took away a certain man’s wife. Fol. 24.When her husband went to Khusrau Shāh and asked for justice, he received for answer: “She has been with you for several years; let her be a few days with him.” Another thing was that the young sons of the townsmen and shopkeepers, nay! even of Turks and soldiers could not go out from their houses from fear of being taken for catamites. The Samarakandīs, having passed 20 or 25 years under Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā in ease and tranquillity, most matters carried through lawfully and with justice by his Highness the Khwāja, were wounded and troubled in heart and soul, by this oppression and this vice. Low and high, the poor, the destitute, all opened the mouth to curse, all lifted the hand for redress.
“Beware the steaming up of inward wounds,
For an inward wound at the last makes head;
Avoid while thou canst, distress to one heart,
For a single sigh will convulse a world.”231

By reason of his infamous violence and vice Sl. Maḥmud Mīrzā did not rule in Samarkand more than five or six months.

[Pg 43]
900 AH.-OCT. 2nd. 1494 to SEP. 21st. 1495 AD.232

This year Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā sent an envoy, named ‘Abdu’l-qadūs Beg,233 to bring me a gift from the wedding he had made with splendid festivity for his eldest son, Mas‘ūd Mīrzā with (Ṣāliḥa-sult̤ān), the Fair Begīm, the second daughter of his elder brother, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā. They had sent gold and silver almonds and pistachios.

There must have been relationship between this envoy and Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb, and on its account he will have been the man sent to make Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb, by fair promises, look towards Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā. Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb returned him a smooth answer, made indeed as though won over to his side, and gave him leave to go. Five or six months later, his manners changed entirely; he began to behave ill to those about me and to others, and he carried matters so far that he would have dismissed me in order to put Jahāngīr Mīrzā in my place. Moreover his conversation with the whole body of begs and soldiers was not what should be; every-one came to know what was in his mind. Khwāja-i-Qāzī and (Sayyid) Qāsim Qūchīn and ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī met other well-wishers of mine in the presence of my grandmother, Āīsān-daulat Begīm and decided to give quietus to Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb’s disloyalty by his deposition.

Few amongst women will have been my grandmother’s equals for judgment and counsel; she was very wise and far-sighted and most affairs of mine were carried through under her advice. She and my mother were (living) in the Gate-house of the outer fort;234 Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb was in the citadel.

[Pg 44]

When I went to the citadel, in pursuance of our decision, he had ridden out, presumably for hawking, and as soon as he had Fol. 25.our news, went off from where he was towards Samarkand. The begs and others in sympathy with him,235 were arrested; one was Muḥammad Bāqir Beg; Sl. Maḥmud Dūldāī, Sl. Muḥammad Dūldāī’s father, was another; there were several more; to some leave was given to go for Samarkand. The Andijān Government and control of my Gate were settled on (Sayyid) Qāsim Qūchīn.

A few days after Ḥasan-i-yaq‘ūb reached Kand-i-badām on the Samarkand road, he went to near the Khūqān sub-division (aūrchīn) with ill-intent on Akhsī. Hearing of it, we sent several begs and braves to oppose him; they, as they went, detached a scouting party ahead; he, hearing this, moved against the detachment, surrounded it in its night-quarters236 and poured flights of arrows (shība) in on it. In the darkness of the night an arrow (aūq), shot by one of his own men, hit him just (aūq) in the vent (qāchār) and before he could take vent (qāchār),237 he became the captive of his own act.
“If you have done ill, keep not an easy mind,
For retribution is Nature’s law.”238

This year I began to abstain from all doubtful food, my obedience extended even to the knife, the spoon and the table-cloth;239 also the after-midnight Prayer (taḥajjud) was Fol. 25b.less neglected.

[Pg 45]

(a. Death of Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā.)

In the month of the latter Rabī‘ (January 1495 AD.), Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā was confronted by violent illness and in six days, passed from the world. He was 43 (lunar) years old.

b. His birth and lineage.

He was born in 857 ah. (1453 ad.), was Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s third son and the full-brother of Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā.240

c. His appearance and characteristics.

He was a short, stout, sparse-bearded and somewhat ill-shaped person. His manners and his qualities were good, his rules and methods of business excellent; he was well-versed in accounts, not a dinār or a dirhām241 of revenue was spent without his knowledge. The pay of his servants was never disallowed. His assemblies, his gifts, his open table, were all good. Everything of his was orderly and well-arranged;242 no soldier or peasant could deviate in the slightest from any plan of his. Formerly he must have been hard set (qātīrār) on hawking but latterly he very frequently hunted driven game.243 He carried violence and vice to frantic excess, was a constant wine-bibber and kept many catamites. If anywhere in his territory, there was a handsome boy, he used, by whatever means, to have him brought for a catamite; of his begs’ sons and of his sons’ begs’ sons he made catamites; and laid command for this service onFol. 26. his very foster brothers and on their own brothers. So common in his day was that vile practice, that no person was without his catamite; to keep one was thought a merit, not to keep one, a defect. Through his infamous violence and vice, his sons died in the day of their strength (tamām juwān).

[Pg 46]

He had a taste for poetry and put a dīwān244 together but his verse is flat and insipid,—not to compose is better than to compose verse such as his. He was not firm in the Faith and held his Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh (Aḥrārī) in slight esteem. He had no heart (yūruk) and was somewhat scant in modesty,—several of his impudent buffoons used to do their filthy and abominable acts in his full Court, in all men’s sight. He spoke badly, there was no understanding him at first.

d. His battles.

He fought two battles, both with Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā (Bāīqarā). The first was in Astarābād; here he was defeated. The second was at Chīkman (Sarāī),245 near Andikhūd; here also he was defeated. He went twice to Kāfiristān, on the Fol. 26b.south of Badakhshān, and made Holy War; for this reason they wrote him Sl. Maḥmūd Ghāzī in the headings of his public papers.

e. His countries.

Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā gave him Astarābād.246 After the ‘Irāq disaster (i.e., his father’s death,) he went into Khurāsān. At that time, Qaṃbar-‘alī Beg, the governor of Ḥiṣār, by Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s orders, had mobilized the Hindūstān247 army and was following him into ‘Irāq; he joined Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā in Khurāsān but the Khurāsānīs, hearing of Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā’s approach, rose suddenly and drove them out of the country. On this Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā went to his elder brother, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā in Samarkand. A few months later Sayyid Badr and Khusrau Shāh and some braves under Aḥmad

[Pg 47]

Mushtāq248 took him and fled to Qaṃbar-‘alī in Ḥiṣār. From that time forth, Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā possessed the countries lying south of Quhqa (Quhlugha) and the Kohtin Range as far as the Hindū-kush Mountains, such as Tīrmīẕ, Chaghānīān, Ḥiṣār, Khutlān, Qūndūz and Badakhshān. He also held Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā’s lands, after his brother’s death.

f. His children.

He had five sons and eleven daughters.

Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā was his eldest son; his mother was Khān-zādaFol 27. Begīm, a daughter of the Great Mīr of Tīrmīẕ. Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā was another; his mother was Pasha (or Pāshā) Begīm. Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā was another; his mother was an Aūzbeg, a concubine called Zuhra Begī Āghā. Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā was another; his mother was Khān-zāda Begīm, a grand-daughter of the Great Mīr of Tīrmīẕ; he went to God’s mercy in his father’s life-time, at the age of 13. Sl. Wais Mīrzā (Mīrzā Khān) was another; his mother, Sult̤ān-nigār Khānīm was a daughter of Yūnas Khān and was a younger (half-) sister of my mother. The affairs of these four Mīrzās will be written of in this history under the years of their occurrence.

Of Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s daughters, three were by the same mother as Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā. One of these, Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s senior, Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā made to go out to Malik-i-muḥammad Mīrzā, the son of his paternal uncle, Minūchihr Mīrzā.249

* * * * * *

Five other daughters were by Khān-zāda Begīm, the grand-daughter of the Great Mīr of Tīrmīẕ. The oldest of these, [Pg 48](Khān-zāda Begīm)250 was given, after her father’s death, to Abā-bikr Fol. 27b.(Dūghlāt) Kāshgharī. The second was Bega Begīm. When Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā besieged Ḥiṣār (901 ah.), he took her for Ḥaidar Mīrzā, his son by Pāyanda Begīm, Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s daughter, and having done so, rose from before the place.251 The third daughter was Āq (Fair) Begīm; the fourth252—,was betrothed to Jahāngīr Mīrzā (aet. 5, circa 895 ah.) at the time his father, ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā sent him to help Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā with the Andijān army, against Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā, then attacking Qūndūz.253 In 910 ah. (1504 ad.) when Bāqī Chaghānīānī254 waited on me on the bank of the Amū (Oxus), these (last-named two) Begīms were with their mothers in Tīrmīẕ and joined me then with Bāqī’s family. When we reached Kahmard, Jahāngīr Mīrzā took —— Begīm; one little daughter was born; she now255 is in the Badakhshān country with her grandmother. The fifth daughter was Zainab-sult̤ān Begīm; under my mother’s insistence, I took her at the time of the capture of Kābul (910 ah.-Oct. 1504 ad.). She did not become very congenial; two or three years later, she left the world, through small-pox. Another daughter was Makhdūm-sult̤ān Begīm, Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā’s full-sister; she is now in the Badakhshān country. Two others of his daughters, Rajab-sult̤ān and Muḥibb-sult̤ān, were by mistresses (ghūnchachī).

g. His ladies (khwātīnlār) and concubines (sarārī).

His chief wife, Khān-zāda Begīm, was a daughter of the Fol. 28.Great Mīr of Tirmīẕ; he had great affection for her and must have mourned her bitterly; she was the mother of Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā. Later on, he took her brother’s daughter, also called Khān-zāda Begīm, a grand-daughter of the Great Mīr of Tīrmīẕ. [Pg 49]She became the mother of five of his daughters and one of his sons. Pasha (or Pāshā) Begīm was another wife, a daughter of ‘Alī-shukr Beg, a Turkmān Beg of the Black Sheep Bahārlū Aīmāq.256 She had been the wife of Jahān-shāh (Barānī) of the Black Sheep Turkmāns. After Aūzūn (Long) Ḥasan Beg of the White Sheep had taken Āẕar-bāījān and ‘Irāq from the sons of this Jahān-shāh Mīrzā (872 ah.-1467 ad.), ‘Alī-shukr Beg’s sons went with four or five thousand heads-of-houses of the Black Sheep Turkmāns to serve Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā and after the Mīrzā’s defeat (873 ah. by Aūzūn Ḥasan), came down to these countries and took service with Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā. This happened after Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā came to Ḥiṣār from Samarkand, and then it was he took Pasha Begīm. She became the mother of one of his sons and three of his daughters. Sult̤ān-nigār Khānīm was another of his ladies; her descent has been mentioned already in the account of the (Chaghatāī) Khāns.Fol. 28b.

He had many concubines and mistresses. His most honoured concubine (mu‘atabar ghūma) was Zuhra Begī Āghā; she was taken in his father’s life-time and became the mother of one son and one daughter. He had many mistresses and, as has been said, two of his daughters were by two of them.

h. His amirs.

Khusrau Shāh was of the Turkistānī Qīpchāqs. He had been in the intimate service of the Tarkhān begs, indeed had been a catamite. Later on he became a retainer of Mazīd Beg (Tarkhān) Arghūn who favoured him in all things. He was favoured by Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā on account of services done by him when, after the ‘Irāq disaster, he joined the Mīrzā on his way to Khurāsān. He waxed very great in his latter days; his retainers, under Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā, were a clear five or six thousand. Not only Badakhshān but the whole country from the Amū to the Hindū-kush Mountains depended on him and he devoured its whole revenue (darobast yīr īdī). His open table was good, so too his open hand; though he was a rough getter,257 [Pg 50]what he got, he spent liberally. He waxed exceeding great after Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s death, in whose sons’ time his retainers approached 20,000. Although he prayed and abstained from forbidden aliments, yet was he black-souled and vicious, Fol. 29.dunder-headed and senseless, disloyal and a traitor to his salt. For the sake of this fleeting, five-days world,258 he blinded one of his benefactor’s sons and murdered another. A sinner before God, reprobate to His creatures, he has earned curse and execration till the very verge of Resurrection. For this world’s sake he did his evil deeds and yet, with lands so broad and with such hosts of armed retainers, he had not pluck to stand up to a hen. An account of him will come into this history.

Pīr-i-muḥammad Aīlchī-būghā259 Qūchīn was another. In Hazārāspī’s fight260 he got in one challenge with his fists in Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s presence at the Gate of Balkh. He was a brave man, continuously serving the Mīrzā (Maḥmūd) and guiding him by his counsel. Out of rivalry to Khusrau Shāh, he made a night-attack when the Mīrzā was besieging Qūndūz, on Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā, with few men, without arming261 and without plan; he could do nothing; what was there he could do against such and so large a force? He was pursued, threw himself into the river and was drowned.

Ayūb (Begchīk Mughūl)262 was another. He had served in Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā’s Khurāsān Cadet Corps, a brave man, Bāīsunghar Mīrzā’s guardian. He was choice in dress and food; [Pg 51]a jester and talkative, nicknamed Impudence, perhaps because the Mīrzā called him so.Fol. 29b.

Walī was another, the younger, full-brother of Khusrau Shāh. He kept his retainers well. He it was brought about the blinding of Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā and the murder of Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā. He had an ill-word for every-one and was an evil-tongued, foul-mouthed, self-pleasing and dull-witted mannikin. He approved of no-one but himself. When I went from the Qūndūz country to near Dūshī (910 ah.-1503 ad.), separated Khusrau Shāh from his following and dismissed him, this person (i.e., Walī) had come to Andar-āb and Sīr-āb, also in fear of the Aūzbegs. The Aīmāqs of those parts beat and robbed him263 then, having let me know, came on to Kābul. Walī went to Shaibānī Khān who had his head struck off in the town of Samarkand.

Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh Barlās264 was another; he had to wife one of the daughters of Shāh Sult̤ān Muḥammad (Badakhshī) i.e., the maternal aunt of Abā-bikr Mīrzā (Mīrān-shāhī) and of Sl. Maḥmūd Khān. He wore his tunic narrow and pur shaqq265; he was a kindly well-bred man.

Maḥmūd Barlās of the Barlāses of Nūndāk (Badakhshān) was another. He had been a beg also of Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā and had surrendered Karmān to him when the Mīrzā took the ‘Irāq countries. When Abā-bikr Mīrzā (Mīrān-shāhī) cameFol. 30. against Ḥiṣār with Mazīd Beg Tarkhān and the Black Sheep Turkmāns, and Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā went off to his elder brother, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā in Samarkand, Maḥmūd Barlās did not surrender Ḥiṣār but held out manfully.266 He was a poet and put a dīwān together.

(i. Historical narrative resumed).

When Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā died, Khusrau Shāh kept the event concealed and laid a long hand on the treasure. But [Pg 52]how could such news be hidden? It spread through the town at once. That was a festive day for the Samarkand families; soldier and peasant, they uprose in tumult against Khusrau Shāh. Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg and the Tarkhānī begs put the rising down and turned Khusrau Shāh out of the town with an escort for Ḥiṣār.

As Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā himself after giving Ḥiṣār to Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā and Bukhārā to Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā, had dismissed both to their governments, neither was present when he died. The Ḥiṣār and Samarkand begs, after turning Khusrau Shāh out, agreed to send for Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā from Bukhārā, brought him to Samarkand and seated him on the throne. When he thus became supreme (pādshāh), he was 18 (lunar) years old.

At this crisis, Sl. Maḥmūd Khān (Chaghatāī), acting on the Fol. 30b.word of Junaid Barlās and of some of the notables of Samarkand, led his army out to near Kān-bāī with desire to take that town. Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā, on his side, marched out in force. They fought near Kān-bāī. Ḥaidar Kūkūldāsh, the main pillar of the Mughūl army, led the Mughūl van. He and all his men dismounted and were pouring in flights of arrows (shība) when a large body of the mailed braves of Ḥiṣār and Samarkand made an impetuous charge and straightway laid them under their horses’ feet. Their leader taken, the Mughūl army was put to rout without more fighting. Masses (qālīn) of Mughūls were wiped out; so many were beheaded in Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s presence that his tent was three times shifted because of the number of the dead.

At this same crisis, Ibrāhīm Sārū entered the fort of Asfara, there read Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s name in the Khut̤ba and took up a position of hostility to me.

(Author’s note.) Ibrāhīm Sārū is of the Mīnglīgh people;267 he had served my father in various ways from his childhood but later on had been dismissed for some fault.

Fol. 31.The army rode out to crush this rebellion in the month of Sha’bān (May) and by the end of it, had dismounted round Asfara. Our braves in the wantonness of enterprise, on the very [Pg 53]day of arrival, took the new wall268 that was in building outside the fort. That day Sayyid Qāsim, Lord of my Gate, out-stripped the rest and got in with his sword; Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal and Muḥammad-dost T̤aghāī got theirs in also but Sayyid Qāsim won the Champion’s Portion. He took it in Shāhrukhiya when I went to see my mother’s brother, Sl. Maḥmūd Khān.

(Author’s note.) The Championship Portion269 is an ancient usage of the Mughūl horde. Whoever outdistanced his tribe and got in with his own sword, took the portion at every feast and entertainment.

My guardian, Khudāī-bīrdī Beg died in that first day’s fighting, struck by a cross-bow arrow. As the assault was made without armour, several bare braves (yīkīt yīlāng)270 perished and many were wounded. One of Ibrāhīm Sārū’s cross-bowmen was an excellent shot; his equal had never been seen; he it was hit most of those wounded. When Asfara had been taken, he entered my service.

As the siege drew on, orders were given to construct head-strikes271 in two or three places, to run mines and to make everyFol. 31b. effort to prepare appliances for taking the fort. The siege lasted 40 days; at last Ibrāhīm Sārū had no resource but, through the mediation of Khwāja Moulānā-i-qāẓī, to elect to serve me. In the month of Shawwāl (June 1495 A.D.) he came out, with his sword and quiver hanging from his neck, waited on me and surrendered the fort.

Khujand for a considerable time had been dependent on ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā’s Court (dīwān) but of late had looked towards Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā on account of the disturbance in the Farghāna government during the interregnum.272 As the [Pg 54]opportunity offered, a move against it also was now made. Mīr Mughūl’s father, ‘Abdu’l-wahhāb Shaghāwal273 was in it; he surrendered without making any difficulty at once on our arrival.

Just then Sl. Maḥmūd Khān was in Shāhrukhiya. It has been said already that when Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā came into Andijān (899 ah.), he also came and that he laid siege to Akhsī. It occurred to me that if since I was so close, I went and waited on him, he being, as it were, my father and my elder brother, and if bye-gone resentments were laid aside, it would be good hearing and seeing for far and near. So said, I went.

I waited on The Khān in the garden Ḥaidar Kūkūldāsh had made outside Shāhrukhiya. He was seated in a large four-doored Fol. 32.tent set up in the middle of it. Having entered the tent, I knelt three times,274 he for his part, rising to do me honour. We looked one another in the eyes;275 and he returned to his seat. After I had kneeled, he called me to his side and shewed me much affection and friendliness. Two or three days later, I set off for Akhsī and Andijān by the Kīndīrlīk Pass.276 At Akhsī I made the circuit of my Father’s [Pg 55]tomb. I left at the hour of the Friday Prayer (i.e., about midday) and reached Andijān, by the Band-i-sālār Road between the Evening and Bedtime Prayers. This road i.e. the Band-i-sālār, people call a nine yīghāch road.277

One of the tribes of the wilds of Andijān is the Jīgrāk278 a numerous people of five or six thousand households, dwelling in the mountains between Kāshghar and Farghāna. They have many horses and sheep and also numbers of yāks (qūtās), these hill-people keeping yāks instead of common cattle. As their mountains are border-fastnesses, they have a fashion of not paying tribute. An army was now sent against them under (Sayyid) Qāsim Beg in order that out of the tribute taken from them something might reach the soldiers. He took about 20,000 of their sheep and between 1000 and 1500 of their horses and shared all out to the men.

After its return from the Jīgrāk, the army set out for Aūrā-tīpā.Fol. 34. Formerly this was held by ‘Umar Shaikh Mīrzā but it had gone out of hand in the year of his death and Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā was now in it on behalf of his elder brother, Bāīsunghar Mīrzā. When Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā heard of our coming, he went off himself to the Macha hill-country, leaving his guardian, Shaikh Ẕū’n-nūn Arghūn behind. From half-way between Khujand and Aūrā-tīpā, Khalīfa279 was sent as envoy to Shaikh Ẕū’n-nūn but that senseless mannikin, instead of giving him a plain answer, laid hands on him and ordered him to death. For Khalīfa to die cannot have been the Divine will; he escaped and came to me two or three days later, stripped bare and having suffered a hundred tūmāns (1,000,000) of hardships and fatigues. We went almost to Aūrā-tīpā but as, winter being near, people had carried away their corn and forage, after a few days we turned back for Andijān. After our retirement, The Khān’s men moved on the place when the Aūrā-tīpā [Pg 56]person280 unable to make a stand, surrendered and came out. The Khān then gave it to Muḥammad Ḥusain Kūrkān Dūghlāt and in his hands it remained till 908 ah. (1503).281

[Pg 57]
901 AH.—SEP. 21st. 1495 to SEP. 9th. 1496 AD.282

(a. Sult̤ān Ḥusain Mīrzā’s campaign against Khusrau Shāh).

In the winter of this year, Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā led his army out of Khurāsān against Ḥiṣār and went to opposite Tīrmīẕ. Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, for his part, brought an army (from Ḥiṣār) and sat down over against him in Tīrmīẕ. Khusrau Shāh strengthened himself in Qūndūz and to help Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā sent his younger brother, Walī. They (i.e., the opposed forces) spent most of that winter on the river’s banks, no crossing being effected. Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā was a shrewd and experienced commander; he marched up the river,283 his face set for Qūndūz and by this having put Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā off his guard, sent ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Bakhshī (pay-master) with 5 or 600 serviceable men, down the river to the Kilīf ferry. These crossed and had entrenched themselves on the other bank before Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā had heard of their movement. When he did hear of it, whether because of pressure put upon him by Bāqī Chaghānīānī to spite (his half-brother) Walī, or whether from his own want of heart, he did not march against those who had crossed but disregarding Walī’s urgency, at once broke up his camp and turned for Ḥiṣār.284

Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā crossed the river and then sent, (1) against Khusrau Shāh, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and Ibrāhīm Ḥusain Mīrzā with Muḥammad Walī Beg and Ẕū’n-nūn Arghūn, andFol. 33b. [Pg 58](2) against Khutlān, Muz̤affar Ḥusain Mīrzā with Muḥammad Barandūq Barlās. He himself moved for Ḥiṣār.

When those in Ḥiṣār heard of his approach, they took their precautions; Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā did not judge it well to stay in the fort but went off up the Kām Rūd valley285 and by way of Sara-tāq to his younger brother, Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā in Samarkand. Walī, for his part drew off to (his own district) Khutlān. Bāqī Chaghānīānī, Maḥmūd Barlās and Qūch Beg’s father, Sl. Aḥmad strengthened the fort of Ḥiṣār. Ḥamza Sl. and Mahdī Sl. (Aūzbeg) who some years earlier had left Shaibānī Khān for (the late) Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s service, now, in this dispersion, drew off with all their Aūzbegs, for Qarā-tīgīn. With them went Muḥammad Dūghlāt286 and Sl. Ḥusain Dūghlāt and all the Mughūls located in the Ḥiṣār country.

Upon this Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā sent Abū’l-muḥsin Mīrzā after Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā up the Kām Rūd valley. They were not strong enough for such work when they reached the defile.287 There Mīrzā Beg Fīringī-bāz288 got in his sword. In pursuit of Ḥamza Sl. into Qarā-tīgīn, Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā sent Ibrāhīm Tarkhān and Yaq‘ūb-i-ayūb. They overtook the sult̤āns and Fol. 33.fought. The Mīrzā’s detachment was defeated; most of his begs were unhorsed but all were allowed to go free.

(b. Bābur’s reception of the Aūzbeg sult̤āns.)

As a result of this exodus, Ḥamza Sl. with his son, Mamāq Sl., and Mahdī Sl. and Muḥammad Dūghlāt, later known as Ḥiṣārī and his brother, Sl. Ḥusain Dūghlāt with the Aūzbegs dependent on the sult̤āns and the Mughūls who had been located in Ḥiṣār as (the late) Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s retainers, came, after letting me know (their intention), and waited upon me in Ramẓān (May-June) at Andijān. According to the [Pg 59]custom of Tīmūriya sult̤āns on such occasions, I had seated myself on a raised seat (tūshāk); when Ḥamza Sl. and Mamāq Sl. and Mahdī Sl. entered, I rose and went down to do them honour; we looked one another in the eyes and I placed them on my right, bāghīsh dā.289 A number of Mughūls also came, under Muḥammad Ḥiṣārī; all elected for my service.

(c. Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā’s affairs resumed).

Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā, on reaching Ḥiṣār, settled down at once to besiege it. There was no rest, day nor night, from the labours of mining and attack, of working catapults and mortars. Mines were run in four or five places. When one had gone well forward towards the Gate, the townsmen, countermining, struck it and forced smoke down on the Mīrzā’s men; they, in turn,Fol. 34b. closed the hole, thus sent the smoke straight back and made the townsmen flee as from the very maw of death. In the end, the townsmen drove the besiegers out by pouring jar after jar of water in on them. Another day, a party dashed out from the town and drove off the Mīrzā’s men from their own mine’s mouth. Once the discharges from catapults and mortars in the Mīrzā’s quarters on the north cracked a tower of the fort; it fell at the Bed-time Prayer; some of the Mīrzā’s braves begged to assault at once but he refused, saying, “It is night.” Before the shoot of the next day’s dawn, the besieged had rebuilt the whole tower. That day too there was no assault; in fact, for the two to two and a half months of the siege, no attack was made except by keeping up the blockade,290 by mining, rearing head-strikes,291 and discharging stones.

[Pg 60]

When Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and whatever (nī kīm) troops had been sent with him against Khusrau Shāh, dismounted some 16 m. (3 to 4 yīghāch) below Qūndūz,292 Khusrau Shāh arrayed whatever men (nī kīm) he had, marched out, halted one night on the way, formed up to fight and came down upon the Mīrzā and his men. The Khurāsānīs may not have been twice as many as his men but what question is there they were half Fol. many more? None the less did such Mīrzās and such Commander-begs elect for prudence and remain in their entrenchments! Good and bad, small and great, Khusrau Shāh’s force may have been of 4 or 5,000 men!

This was the one exploit of his life,—of this man who for the sake of this fleeting and unstable world and for the sake of shifting and faithless followers, chose such evil and such ill-repute, practised such tyranny and injustice, seized such wide lands, kept such hosts of retainers and followers,—latterly he led out between 20 and 30,000 and his countries and his districts (parganāt) exceeded those of his own ruler and that ruler’s sons,293—for an exploit such as this his name and the names of his adherents were noised abroad for generalship and for this they were counted brave, while those timorous laggards, in the trenches, won the resounding fame of cowards.

Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā marched out from that camp and after a few stages reached the Alghū Mountain of Tāliqān294 and there made halt. Khusrau Shāh, in Qūndūz, sent his brother, Walī, with serviceable men, to Ishkīmīsh, Fulūl and the hill-skirts thereabouts to annoy and harass the Mīrzā from outside also. Muḥibb-‘alī, the armourer, (qūrchī) for his part, came down Fol. 35b.(from Walī’s Khutlān) to the bank of the Khutlān Water, met in with some of the Mīrzā’s men there, unhorsed some, cut off a few heads and got away. In emulation of this, Sayyidīm ‘Alī295 the door-keeper, and his younger brother, Qulī Beg and [Pg 61]Bihlūl-i-ayūb and a body of their men got to grips with the Khurāsānīs on the skirt of ‘Aṃbar Koh, near Khwāja Changāl but, many Khurāsānīs coming up, Sayyidīm ‘Alī and Bābā Beg’s (son) Qulī Beg and others were unhorsed.

At the time these various news reached Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā, his army was not without distress through the spring rains of Ḥiṣār; he therefore brought about a peace; Maḥmūd Barlās came out from those in the fort; Ḥājī Pīr the Taster went from those outside; the great commanders and what there was (nī kīm) of musicians and singers assembled and the Mīrzā took (Bega Begīm), the eldest296 daughter of Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā by Khān-zāda Begīm, for Ḥaidar Mīrzā, his son by Pāyanda Begīm and through her the grandson of Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā. This done, he rose from before Ḥiṣār and set his face for Qūndūz.

At Qūndūz also Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā made a few trenches and took up the besieger’s position but by Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā’s intervention peace at length was made, prisoners were exchanged and the Khurāsānīs retired. The twice-repeated297 attacks made by Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā on Khusrau Shāh and his unsuccessful retirements were the cause of Khusrau Shāh’sFol. 36. great rise and of action of his so much beyond his province.

When the Mīrzā reached Balkh, he, in the interests of Ṃāwarā’u’n-nahr gave it to Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā, gave Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā’s district of Astarābād to (a younger son), Muz̤affar Ḥusain Mīrzā and made both kneel at the same assembly, one for Balkh, the other for Astarābād. This offended Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and led to years of rebellion and disturbance.298

(d. Revolt of the Tarkhānīs in Samarkand).

In Ramẓān of this same year, the Tarkhānīs revolted in Samarkand. Here is the story:—Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā was not so friendly and familiar with the begs and soldiers of Samarkand as he was with those of Ḥiṣār.299 His favourite beg was Shaikh [Pg 62]‘Abdu’l-lāh Barlās300 whose sons were so intimate with the Mīrzā that it made a relation as of Lover and Beloved. These things displeased the Tarkhāns and the Samarkandī begs; Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān went from Bukhārā to Qarshī, brought Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā to Samarkand and raised him to be supreme. People then went to the New Garden where Bāī-sunghar Fol. 36b.Mīrzā was, treated him like a prisoner, parted him from his following and took him to the citadel. There they seated both mīrzās in one place, thinking to send Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā to the Gūk Sarāī close to the Other Prayer. The Mīrzā, however, on plea of necessity, went into one of the palace-buildings on the east side of the Bū-stān Sarāī. Tarkhānīs stood outside the door and with him went in Muḥammad Qulī Qūchīn and Ḥasan, the sherbet-server. To be brief:—A gateway, leading out to the back, must have been bricked up for they broke down the obstacle at once. The Mīrzā got out of the citadel on the Kafshīr side, through the water-conduit (āb-mūrī), dropped himself from the rampart of the water-way (dū-tahī), and went to Khwājakī Khwāja’s301 house in Khwāja Kafshīr. When the Tarkhānīs, in waiting at the door, took the precaution of looking in, they found him gone. Next day the Tarkhānīs went in a large body to Khwājakī Khwāja’s gate but the Khwāja said, “No!”302 and did not give him up. Even they could not take him by force, the Khwāja’s dignity was too great for them to be able to use force. A few days later, Khwāja Abu’l-makāram303 and Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg and other begs, great and Fol. 37.small, and soldiers and townsmen rose in a mass, fetched the Mīrzā away from the Khwāja’s house and besieged Sl. ‘Ali Mīrzā and the Tarkhāns in the citadel. They could not hold out for even a day; Muḥ. Mazīd Tarkhān went off through the Gate of the Four Roads for Bukhārā; [Pg 63]Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā and Darwesh Muḥ. Tarkhān were made prisoner.

Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā was in Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg’s house when people brought Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān in. He put him a few questions but got no good answer. In truth Darwesh Muḥammad’s was a deed for which good answer could not be made. He was ordered to death. In his helplessness he clung to a pillar304 of the house; would they let him go because he clung to a pillar? They made him reach his doom (siyāsat) and ordered Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā to the Gūk Sarāī there to have the fire-pencil drawn across his eyes.

(Author’s note.) The Gūk Sarāī is one of Tīmūr Beg’s great buildings in the citadel of Samarkand. It has this singular and special characteristic, if a Tīmūrid is to be seated on the throne, here he takes his seat; if one lose his head, coveting the throne, here he loses it; therefore the name Gūk Sarāī has a metaphorical sense (kināyat) and to say of any ruler’s son, “They have taken him to the Gūk Sarāī,” means, to death.305

To the Gūk Sarāī accordingly Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā was taken but when the fire-pencil was drawn across his eyes, whether by the surgeon’s choice or by his inadvertence, no harm was done.Fol. 37b. This the Mīrzā did not reveal at once but went to Khwāja Yahya’s house and a few days later, to the Tarkhāns in Bukhārā.

Through these occurrences, the sons of his Highness Khwāja ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh became settled partisans, the elder (Muḥammad ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh, Khwājakī Khwāja) becoming the spiritual guide of the elder prince, the younger (Yahya) of the younger. In a few days, Khwāja Yahya followed Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā to Bukhārā.

Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā led out his army against Bukhārā. On his approach, Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā came out of the town, arrayed for battle. There was little fighting; Victory being on the side of Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā, Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā sustained defeat. Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg and a number of good soldiers were taken; most of the men were put to death. Aḥmad Ḥājī Beg himself the slaves and slave-women of Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān, issuing out [Pg 64]of Bukhārā, put to a dishonourable death on the charge of their master’s blood.

(e. Bābur moves against Samarkand.)

These news reached us in Andijān in the month of Shawwāl (mid-June to mid-July) and as we (act. 14) coveted Samarkand, we got our men to horse. Moved by a like desire, Sl. Mas’ūd Mīrzā, his mind and Khusrau Shāh’s mind set at ease by Sl. Fol. 38.Ḥusain Mīrzā’s retirement, came over by way of Shahr-i-sabz.306 To reinforce him, Khusrau Shāh laid hands (qāptī) on his younger brother, Walī. We (three mīrzās) beleaguered the town from three sides during three or four months; then Khwāja Yahya came to me from Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā to mediate an agreement with a common aim. The matter was left at an interview arranged (kūrūshmak); I moved my force from Soghd to some 8m. below the town; Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā from his side, brought his own; from one bank, he, from the other, I crossed to the middle of307 the Kohik water, each with four or five men; we just saw one another (kūrūshūb), asked each the other’s welfare and went, he his way, I mine.

I there saw, in Khwāja Yahya’s service, Mullā Binā’ī and Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ;308 the latter I saw this once, the former was long in my service later on. After the interview (kūrūshkān) with Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā, as winter was near and as there was no great scarcity amongst the Samarkandīs, we retired, he to Bukhārā, I to Andijān.

Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā had a penchant for a daughter of Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh Barlās, she indeed was his object in coming to Samarkand. He took her, laid world-gripping ambition aside Fol. 38b.and went back to Ḥiṣār.

When I was near Shīrāz and Kān-bāī, Mahdī Sl. deserted to Samarkand; Ḥamza Sl. went also from near Zamīn but with leave granted.

[Pg 65]
902 AH.—SEP. 9th. 1496 to AUG. 30th. 1497 AD.309

(a. Bābur’s second attempt on Samarkand.)

This winter, Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s affairs were altogether in a good way. When ‘Abdu’l-karīm Ushrit came on Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā’s part to near Kūfīn, Mahdī Sl. led out a body of Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s troops against him. The two commanders meeting exactly face to face, Mahdī Sl. pricked ‘Abdu’l-karīm’s horse with his Chirkas310 sword so that it fell, and as ‘Abdu’l-karīm was getting to his feet, struck off his hand at the wrist. Having taken him, they gave his men a good beating.

These (Aūzbeg) sult̤āns, seeing the affairs of Samarkand and the Gates of the (Tīmūrid) Mīrzās tottering to their fall, went off in good time (āīrtā) into the open country (?)311 for Shaibānī.

Pleased312 with their small success (over ‘Abdu’l-karīm), the Samarkandīs drew an army out against Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā; Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā went to Sar-i-pul (Bridge-head), Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā to Khwāja Kārzūn. Meantime, Khwāja Abū’l-makāram, at the instigation of Khwāja Munīr of Aūsh, rode light againstFol. 39. Bukhārā with Wais Lāgharī and Muḥammad Bāqir of the Andijān begs, and Qāsim Dūldāī and some of the Mīrzā’s household. As the Bukhāriots took precautions when the invaders got near the town, they could make no progress. They therefore retired.

[Pg 66]

At the time when (last year) Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā and I had our interview, it had been settled313 that this summer he should come from Bukhārā and I from Andijān to beleaguer Samarkand. To keep this tryst, I rode out in Ramẓān (May) from Andijān. Hearing when close to Yār Yīlāq, that the (two) Mīrzās were lying front to front, we sent Tūlūn Khwāja Mūghūl314 ahead, with 2 or 300 scouting braves (qāzāq yīkītlār). Their approach giving Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā news of our advance, he at once broke up and retired in confusion. That same night our detachment overtook his rear, shot a mass (qālīn) of his men and brought in masses of spoil.

Two days later we reached Shīrāz. It belonged to Qāsim Beg Dūldāī; his dārogha (Sub-governor) could not hold it and surrendered.315 It was given into Ibrāhīm Sārū’s charge. After making there, next day, the Prayer of the Breaking of the Fast (‘Īdu’l-fit̤r), we moved for Samarkand and dismounted in the reserve (qūrūgh) of Āb-i-yār (Water of Might). That day waited on me with 3 or 400 men, Qāsim Dūldāī, Fol. 39b.Wais Lāgharī, Muḥammad Sīghal’s grandson, Ḥasan,316 and Sl. Muḥammad Wais. What they said was this: ‘Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā came out and has gone back; we have left him therefore and are here for the pādshāh’s service,’ but it was known later that they must have left the Mīrzā at his request to defend Shīrāz, and that the Shīrāz affair having become what it was, they had nothing for it but to come to us.

When we dismounted at Qarā-būlāq, they brought in several Mughūls arrested because of senseless conduct to humble village elders coming in to us.317 Qāsim Beg Qūchīn for discipline’s [Pg 67]sake (siyāsat) had two or three of them cut to pieces. It was on this account he left me and went to Ḥiṣār four or five years later, in the guerilla times, (907 ah.) when I was going from the Macha country to The Khān.318

Marching from Qarā-būlāq, we crossed the river (i.e. the Zar-afshān) and dismounted near Yām.319 On that same day, our men got to grips with Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s at the head of the Avenue. Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal was struck in the neck by a spear but not unhorsed. Khwājakī Mullā-i-ṣadr, Khwāja-i-kalān’s eldest brother, was pierced in the nape of the neck320 by an arrow and went straightway to God’s mercy. An excellent soldier, my father before me had favoured him, making him Keeper of the Seal; he was a student of theology, had greatFol. 40. acquaintance with words and a good style; moreover he undertook hawking and rain-making with the jade-stone.

While we were at Yām, people, dealers and other, came out in crowds so that the camp became a bazar for buying and selling. One day, at the Other Prayer, suddenly, a general hubbub arose and all those Musalmān (traders) were plundered. Such however was the discipline of our army that an order to restore everything having been given, the first watch (pahār) of the next day had not passed before nothing, not a tag of cotton, not a broken needle’s point, remained in the possession of any man of the force, all was back with its owners.

Marching from Yām, it was dismounted in Khān Yūrtī (The Khān’s Camping Ground),321 some 6 m. (3 kuroh) east of Samarkand. We lay there for 40 or 50 days. During the time, men from their side and from ours chopped at one another (chāpqū-lāshtīlār) several times in the Avenue. One day when Ibrāhīm Begchīk was chopping away there, he was cut on the face; [Pg 68]thereafter people called him Chāpūk (Balafré). Another time, this also in the Avenue, at the Maghāk (Fosse) Bridge322 Abū’l-qāsim (Kohbur Chaghatāī) got in with his mace. Once, again Fol. the Avenue, near the Mill-sluice, when Mīr Shāh Qūchīn also got in with his mace, they cut his neck almost half-through; most fortunately the great artery was not severed.

While we were in Khān Yūrtī, some in the fort sent the deceiving message,323 ‘Come you to-night to the Lovers’ Cave side and we will give you the fort.’ Under this idea, we went that night to the Maghāk Bridge and from there sent a party of good horse and foot to the rendezvous. Four or five of the household foot-soldiers had gone forward when the matter got wind. They were very active men; one, known as Ḥājī, had served me from my childhood; another people called Maḥmūd Kūndūr-sangak.324 They were all killed.

While we lay in Khān Yūrtī, so many Samarkandīs came out that the camp became a town where everything looked for in a town was to be had. Meantime all the forts, Samarkand excepted, and the Highlands and the Lowlands were coming in to us. As in Aūrgūt, however, a fort on the skirt of the Shavdār (var. Shādwār) range, a party of men held fast325, of necessity we moved out from Khān Yūrtī against them. They could not maintain themselves, and surrendered, making Fol. 41.Khwāja-i-qāẓī their mediator. Having pardoned their offences against ourselves, we went back to beleaguer Samarkand.

(b. Affairs of Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā and his son, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā.)326

This year the mutual recriminations of Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā and Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā led on to fighting; here are the particulars:—Last [Pg 69]year, as has been mentioned, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and Muz̤affar Ḥusain Mīrzā had been made to kneel for Balkh and Astarābād. From that time till this, many envoys had come and gone, at last even ‘Alī-sher Beg had gone but urge it as all did, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā would not consent to give up Astarābād. ‘The Mīrzā,’ he said, ‘assigned327 it to my son, Muḥammad Mū‘min Mīrzā at the time of his circumcision.’ A conversation had one day between him and ‘Alī-sher Beg testifies to his acuteness and to the sensibility of ‘Alī-sher Beg’s feelings. After saying many things of a private nature in the Mīrzā’s ear, ‘Alī-sher Beg added, ‘Forget these matters.’328 ‘What matters?’ rejoined the Mīrzā instantly. ‘Alī-sher Beg was much affected and cried a good deal.

At length the jarring words of this fatherly and filial discussion went so far that his father against his father, and his son against his son drew armies out for Balkh and Astarābād.329

Up (from Harāt) to the Pul-i-chirāgh meadow, below Garzawān,330 went Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā; down (from Balkh) cameFol. 41b. Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā. On the first day of Ramẓān (May 2nd.) Abū’l-muḥsin Mīrzā advanced, leading some of his father’s light troops. There was nothing to call a battle; Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā was routed and of his braves masses were made prisoner. Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā ordered that all prisoners should [Pg 70]be beheaded; this not here only but wherever he defeated a rebel son, he ordered the heads of all prisoners to be struck off. And why not? Right was with him. The (rebel) Mīrzās were so given over to vice and social pleasure that even when a general so skilful and experienced as their father was within half-a-day’s journey of them, and when before the blessed month of Ramẓān, one night only remained, they busied themselves with wine and pleasure, without fear of their father, without dread of God. Certain it is that those so lost (yūtkān) will perish and that any hand can deal a blow at those thus going to perdition (aūtkān). During the several years of Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā’s rule in Astarābād, his coterie and his following, his bare (yālāng) braves even, were in full splendour331 and adornment. He had many gold and silver drinking cups Fol. 42.and utensils, much silken plenishing and countless tīpūchāq horses. He now lost everything. He hurled himself in his flight down a mountain track, leading to a precipitous fall. He himself got down the fall, with great difficulty, but many of his men perished there.331

After defeating Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā, Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā moved on to Balkh. It was in charge of Shaikh ‘Alī T̤aghāī; he, not able to defend it, surrendered and made his submission. The Mīrzā gave Balkh to Ibrāhīm Ḥusain Mīrzā, left Muḥammad Walī Beg and Shāh Ḥusain, the page, with him and went back to Khurāsān.

Defeated and destitute, with his braves bare and his bare foot-soldiers332, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā drew off to Khusrau Shāh in Qūndūz. Khusrau Shāh, for his part, did him good service, such service indeed, such kindness with horses and camels, tents and pavilions and warlike equipment of all sorts, both for himself and those with him, that eye-witnesses said between this and his former equipment the only difference might be in the gold and silver vessels.

[Pg 71]

(c. Dissension between Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā and Khusrau Shāh.)

Ill-feeling and squabbles had arisen between Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā and Khusrau Shāh because of the injustices of the one and the self-magnifyings of the other. Now therefore Khusrau Shāh joined his brothers, Walī and Bāqī to Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and sent the three against Ḥiṣār. They could not evenFol. 42b. get near the fort, in the outskirts swords were crossed once or twice; one day at the Bird-house333 on the north of Ḥiṣār, Muḥibb-‘alī, the armourer (qūrchī), outstripped his people and struck in well; he fell from his horse but at the moment of his capture, his men attacked and freed him. A few days later a somewhat compulsory peace was made and Khusrau Shāh’s army retired.

Shortly after this, Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā drew off by the mountain-road to Ẕū’n-nūn Arghūn and his son, Shujā‘ Arghūn in Qandahār and Zamīn-dāwar. Stingy and miserly as Ẕū’n-nūn was, he served the Mīrzā well, in one single present offering 40,000 sheep.

Amongst curious happenings of the time one was this: Wednesday was the day Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā beat Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā; Wednesday was the day Muz̤affar Ḥusain Mīrzā beat Muḥammad Mū‘min Mīrzā; Wednesday, more curious still, was the name of the man who unhorsed and took prisoner, Muḥammad Mū‘min Mīrzā.334

[Pg 72]
903 AH.—AUG. 30th. 1497 to AUG. 19th. 1498 AD.335

(a. Resumed account of Bābur’s second attempt on Samarkand.)

When we had dismounted in the Qulba (Plough) meadow,336 behind the Bāgh-i-maidān (Garden of the plain), the Samarkandīs came out in great numbers to near Muḥammad Chap’s Fol. 43.Bridge. Our men were unprepared; and before they were ready, Bābā ‘Alī’s (son) Bābā Qulī had been unhorsed and taken into the fort. A few days later we moved to the top of Qulba, at the back of Kohik.337 That day Sayyid Yūsuf,338 having been sent out of the town, came to our camp and did me obeisance.

The Samarkandīs, fancying that our move from the one ground to the other meant, ‘He has given it up,’ came out, soldiers and townsmen in alliance (through the Turquoise Gate), as far as the Mīrzā’s Bridge and, through the Shaikh-zāda’s Gate, as far as Muḥammad Chap’s. We ordered our braves to arm and ride out; they were strongly attacked from both sides, from Muḥammad Chap’s Bridge and from the Mīrzā’s, but God brought it right! our foes were beaten. Begs of the best and the boldest of braves our men unhorsed and brought in. Amongst them Ḥāfiẓ Dūldāī’s (son) Muḥammad Mīskin339 was taken, after his index-finger had been struck off; Muḥammad Qāsim Nabīra also was unhorsed and brought in by his own younger brother, Ḥasan Nabīra.340 There were many other such soldiers and known men. Of the town-[Pg 73]rabble, were brought in Diwāna, the tunic-weaver and Kālqāshūq,341 headlong leaders both, in brawl and tumult; theyFol. 43b. were ordered to death with torture in blood-retaliation for our foot-soldiers, killed at the Lovers’ Cave.342 This was a complete reverse for the Samarkandīs; they came out no more even when our men used to go to the very edge of the ditch and bring back their slaves and slave-women.

The Sun entered the Balance and cold descended on us.343 I therefore summoned the begs admitted to counsel and it was decided, after discussion, that although the towns-people were so enfeebled that, by God’s grace, we should take Samarkand, it might be to-day, it might be to-morrow, still, rather than suffer from cold in the open, we ought to rise from near it and go for winter-quarters into some fort, and that, even if we had to leave those quarters later on, this would be done without further trouble. As Khwāja Dīdār seemed a suitable fort, we marched there and having dismounted in the meadow lying before it, went in, fixed on sites for the winter-houses and covered shelters,344 left overseers and inspectors of the work and returned to our camp in the meadow. There we lay during the few days before the winter-houses were finished.

Meantime Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā had sent again and again to ask help from Shaibānī Khān. On the morning of the very day on which, our quarters being ready, we had moved into Khwāja Dīdār, the Khān, having ridden light from Turkistān,Fol. 44. stood over against our camping-ground. Our men were not all at hand; some, for winter-quarters, had gone to Khwāja Rabāt̤ī, some to Kabud, some to Shīrāz. None-the-less, we formed up those there were and rode out. Shaibānī Khān made no stand but drew off towards Samarkand. He went right up to the fort but because the affair had not gone as

[Pg 74]

Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā wished, did not get a good reception. He therefore turned back for Turkistān a few days later, in disappointment, with nothing done.

Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā had sustained a seven months’ siege; his one hope had been in Shaibānī Khān; this he had lost and he now with 2 or 300 of his hungry suite, drew off from Samarkand, for Khusrau Shāh in Qūndūz.

When he was near Tīrmīẕ, at the Amū ferry, the Governor of Tīrmīẕ, Sayyid Ḥusain Akbar, kinsman and confidant both of Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, heard of him and went out against him. The Mīrzā himself got across the river but Mīrīm Tarkhān was drowned and all the rest of his people were captured, together with his baggage and the camels loaded with his personal effects; even his page, Muḥammad T̤āhir, falling into Sayyid Ḥusain Akbar’s hands. Khusrau Shāh, for his part, looked kindly on the Mīrzā.

Fol. 44b.When the news of his departure reached us, we got to horse and started from Khwāja Dīdār for Samarkand. To give us honourable meeting on the road, were nobles and braves, one after another. It was on one of the last ten days of the first Rabī‘ (end of November 1497 ad.), that we entered the citadel and dismounted at the Bū-stān Sarāī. Thus, by God’s favour, were the town and the country of Samarkand taken and occupied.

(b. Description of Samarkand.)345

Few towns in the whole habitable world are so pleasant as Samarkand. It is of the Fifth Climate and situated in lat. 40° 6’ and long. 99°.346 The name of the town is Samarkand; its country people used to call Mā warā’u’n-nahr (Transoxania).

[Pg 75]

They used to call it Baldat-i-maḥfūẓa because no foe laid hands on it with storm and sack.347 It must have become348 Musalmān in the time of the Commander of the Faithful, his Highness ‘Usmān. Qus̤am ibn ‘Abbās, one of the Companions349 must have gone there; his burial-place, known as the Tomb of Shāh-i-zinda (The Living Shāh, i.e., Fāqīr) is outside the Iron Gate. Iskandar must have founded Samarkand. The Turk and Mughūl hordes call it Sīmīz-kīnt.350 Tīmūr Beg made it his capital; no ruler so great will ever have made it a capital before (qīlghān aīmās dūr). I ordered people to pace round the ramparts of the walled-town; it came out at 10,000 steps.351 Samarkandīs are all orthodox (sunnī), pure-in-the Faith, law-abiding and religious. The number of LeadersFol. 45. of Islām said to have arisen in Mā warā’u’n-nahr, since the days of his Highness the Prophet, are not known to have arisen in any other country.352 From the Mātarīd suburb of Samarkand came Shaikh Abū’l-manṣūr, one of the Expositors of the Word.353 Of the two sects of Expositors, the Mātarīdiyah [Pg 76]and the Ash‘ariyah,354 the first is named from this Shaikh Abū’l-manṣūr. Of Mā warā’u’n-nahr also was Khwāja Ismā‘īl Khartank, the author of the Ṣāḥiḥ-i-bukhārī.355 From the Farghāna district, Marghīnān—Farghāna, though at the limit of settled habitation, is included in Mā warā’u’n-nahr,—came the author of the Hidāyat,356 a book than which few on Jurisprudence are more honoured in the sect of Abū Ḥanīfa.

On the east of Samarkand are Farghāna and Kāshghar; on the west, Bukhārā and Khwārizm; on the north, Tāshkīnt and Shāhrukhiya,—in books written Shāsh and Banākat; and on the south, Balkh and Tīrmīẕ.

The Kohik Water flows along the north of Samarkand, at the distance of some 4 miles (2 kuroh); it is so-called because it comes out from under the upland of the Little Hill (Kohik)357 lying between it and the town. The Dar-i-gham Water (canal) flows along the south, at the distance of some two miles (1 sharī‘). This is a large and swift torrent,358 indeed it is like a large river, cut off from the Kohik Water. All the gardens and suburbs and some of the tūmāns of Samarkand are cultivated by it. By the Kohik Water a stretch of from 30 to 40 yīghāch,359 by road, is made habitable and cultivated, as far as Bukhārā [Pg 77]and Qarā-kūl. Large as the river is, it is not too large for its dwellings and its culture; during three or four months of theFol. 45b. year, indeed, its waters do not reach Bukhārā.360 Grapes, melons, apples and pomegranates, all fruits indeed, are good in Samarkand; two are famous, its apple and its ṣāḥibī (grape).361 Its winter is mightily cold; snow falls but not so much as in Kābul; in the heats its climate is good but not so good as Kābul’s.

In the town and suburbs of Samarkand are many fine buildings and gardens of Tīmur Beg and Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā.362

In the citadel,363 Tīmūr Beg erected a very fine building, the great four-storeyed kiosque, known as the Gūk Sarāī.364 In the walled-town, again, near the Iron Gate, he built a Friday Mosque365 of stone (sangīn); on this worked many stone-cutters, brought from Hindūstān. Round its frontal arch is inscribed in letters large enough to be read two miles away, the Qu’rān verse, Wa az yerfa‘ Ibrāhīm al Qawā‘id alī akhara.366 This also is a very fine building. Again, he laid out two gardens, on the [Pg 78]east of the town, one, the more distant, the Bāgh-i-bulandī,367 the other and nearer, the Bāgh-i-dilkushā.368 From Dilkushā to the Turquoise Gate, he planted an Avenue of White Poplar,369 and in the garden itself erected a great kiosque, painted inside Fol. 46.with pictures of his battles in Hindūstān. He made another garden, known as the Naqsh-i-jahān (World’s Picture), on the skirt of Kohik, above the Qarā-sū or, as people also call it, the Āb-i-raḥmat (Water-of-mercy) of Kān-i-gil.370 It had gone to ruin when I saw it, nothing remaining of it except its name. His also are the Bāgh-i-chanār,371 near the walls and below the town on the south,372 also the Bāgh-i-shamāl (North Garden) and the Bāgh-i-bihisht (Garden of Paradise). His own tomb and those of his descendants who have ruled in Samarkand, are in a College, built at the exit (chāqār) of the walled-town, by Muḥammad Sult̤ān Mīrzā, the son of Tīmūr Beg’s son, Jahāngīr Mīrzā.373

Amongst Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā’s buildings inside the town are a College and a monastery (Khānqāh). The dome of the monastery is very large, few so large are shown in the world. Near these two buildings, he constructed an excellent Hot Bath (ḥammām) known as the Mīrzā’s Bath; he had the pavements in this made of all sorts of stone (? mosaic); such [Pg 79]another bath is not known in Khurāsān or in Samarkand.374 Again;—to the south of the College is his mosque, known as the Fol. 46b.Masjid-i-maqat̤a‘ (Carved Mosque) because its ceiling and its walls are all covered with islīmī375 and Chinese pictures formed of segments of wood.376 There is great discrepancy between the qibla of this mosque and that of the College; that of the mosque seems to have been fixed by astronomical observation.

Another of Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā’s fine buildings is an observatory, that is, an instrument for writing Astronomical Tables.377 This stands three storeys high, on the skirt of the Kohik upland. By its means the Mīrzā worked out the Kūrkānī Tables, now used all over the world. Less work is done with any others. Before these were made, people used the Aīl-khānī Tables, put together at Marāgha, by Khwāja Naṣīr Tūsī,378 in the time of Hulākū Khān. Hulākū Khān it is, people call Aīl-khānī.379

(Author’s note.) Not more than seven or eight observatories seem to have been constructed in the world. Māmūm Khalīfa380 (Caliph) made one with which the Mamūmī Tables were written. Batalmūs (Ptolemy) constructed another. Another was made, in Hindūstān, in the time of Rājā Vikramāditya Hīndū, in Ujjain and Dhar, that is, the Mālwa country, now known as Māndū. The Hindūs of Hindūstān use the Tables of this Observatory. They were put together 1,584 years ago.381Fol. 47. Compared with others, they are somewhat defective.

[Pg 80]

Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā again, made the garden known as the Bāgh-i-maidān (Garden of the Plain), on the skirt of the Kohik upland. In the middle of it he erected a fine building they call Chihil Sitūn (Forty Pillars). On both storeys are pillars, all of stone (tāshdīn).382 Four turrets, like minarets, stand on its four corner-towers, the way up into them being through the towers. Everywhere there are stone pillars, some fluted, some twisted, some many-sided. On the four sides of the upper storey are open galleries enclosing a four-doored hall (chār-dara); their pillars also are all of stone. The raised floor of the building is all paved with stone.

He made a smaller garden, out beyond Chihil Sitūn and towards Kohik, also having a building in it. In the open gallery of this building he placed a great stone throne, some 14 or 15 yards (qārī) long, some 8 yards wide and perhaps 1 yard high. They brought a stone so large by a very long road.383 There is a crack in the middle of it which people say must have come after it was brought here. In the same Fol. he also built a four-doored hall, know as the Chīnī-khāna (Porcelain House) because its īzāra384 are all of porcelain; he sent to China for the porcelain used in it. Inside the walls again, is an old building of his, known as the Masjid-i-laqlaqa (Mosque of the Echo). If anyone stamps on the ground under the middle of the dome of this mosque, the sound echoes back from the whole dome; it is a curious matter of which none know the secret.

In the time also of Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā the great and lesser begs laid out many gardens, large and small.385 For beauty, and air, and view, few will have equalled Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān’s Chār-bāgh (Four Gardens).386 It lies overlooking the whole of Qulba Meadow, on the slope below the Bāgh-i-[Pg 81]maidān. Moreover it is arranged symmetrically, terrace above terrace, and is planted with beautiful nārwān387 and cypresses and white poplar. A most agreeable sojourning place, its one defect is the want of a large stream.

Samarkand is a wonderfully beautified town. One of its specialities, perhaps found in few other places,388 is that the different trades are not mixed up together in it but each has its own bāzār, a good sort of plan. Its bakers and its cooks are good. The best paper in the world is made there; the water for the paper-mortars389 all comes from Kān-i-gil,390 a meadow on the banks of the Qarā-sū (Blackwater) or Āb-i-raḥmat (WaterFol. 48. of Mercy). Another article of Samarkand trade, carried to all sides and quarters, is cramoisy velvet.

Excellent meadows lie round Samarkand. One is the famous Kān-i-gil, some 2 miles east and a little north of the town. The Qarā-sū or Āb-i-raḥmat flows through it, a stream (with driving power) for perhaps seven or eight mills. Some say the original name of the meadow must have been Kān-i-ābgīr (Mine of Quagmire) because the river is bordered by quagmire, but the histories all write Kān-i-gil (Mine of clay). It is an excellent meadow. The Samarkand sult̤ans always made it their reserve,391 going out to camp in it each year for a month or two.

[Pg 82]

Higher up (on the river) than Kān-i-gil and to the s.e. of it is a meadow some 4 miles east of the town, known as Khān Yūrtī (Khān’s Camping-ground). The Qarā-sū flows through this meadow before entering Kān-i-gil. When it comes to Khān Yūrtī it curves back so far that it encloses, with a very narrow outlet, enough ground for a camp. Having noticed these advantages, we camped there for a time during Fol. 48b.the siege of Samarkand.392

Another meadow is the Būdana Qūrūgh (Quail Reserve), lying between Dil-kushā and the town. Another is the Kūl-i-maghāk (Meadow of the deep pool) at some 4 miles from the town. This also is a round393 meadow. People call it Kul-i-maghāk meadow because there is a large pool on one side of it. Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā lay here during the siege, when I was in Khān Yūrtī. Another and smaller meadow is Qulba (Plough); it has Qulba Village and the Kohik Water on the north, the Bāgh-i-maidān and Darwesh Muḥammad Tarkhān’s Chār-bāgh on the south, and the Kohik upland on the west.

Samarkand has good districts and tūmāns. Its largest district, and one that is its equal, is Bukhārā, 25 yīghāch394 to the west. Bukhārā in its turn, has several tūmāns; it is a fine town; its fruits are many and good, its melons excellent; none in Mā warā’u’n-nahr matching them for quality and quantity. Although the Mīr Tīmūrī melon of Akhsī395 is sweeter and more delicate than any Bukhārā melon, still in Bukhārā many kinds of melon are good and plentiful. The Bukhārā plum is famous; no other equals it. They skin it,396 dry it and Fol. 49.carry it from land to land with rarities (tabarrūklār bīla); it is an excellent laxative medicine. Fowls and geese are much [Pg 83]looked after (parwārī) in Bukhārā. Bukhārā wine is the strongest made in Mā warā’u’n-nahr; it was what I drank when drinking in those countries at Samarkand.397

Kesh is another district of Samarkand, 9 yīghāch398 by road to the south of the town. A range called the Aītmāk Pass (Dābān)399 lies between Samarkand and Kesh; from this are taken all the stones for building. Kesh is called also Shahr-i-sabz (Green-town) because its barren waste (ṣahr) and roofs and walls become beautifully green in spring. As it was Tīmūr Beg’s birth-place, he tried hard to make it his capital. He erected noble buildings in it. To seat his own Court, he built a great arched hall and in this seated his Commander-begs and his Dīwān-begs, on his right and on his left. For those attending the Court, he built two smaller halls, and to seat petitioners to his Court, built quite small recesses on the four sides of the Court-house.400 Few arches so fine can be shown in the world. It is said to be higher than the Kisrī Arch.401 Tīmūr Beg also built in Kesh a college and a mausoleum, in which are the tombs of Jahāngīr Mīrzā and others of his descendants.402 As Kesh did not offer the same facilities asFol. 49b. [Pg 84]Samarkand for becoming a town and a capital, he at last made clear choice of Samarkand.

Another district is Qarshī, known also as Nashaf and Nakhshab.403 Qarshī is a Mughūl name. In the Mughūl tongue they call a kūr-khāna Qarshī.404 The name must have come in after the rule of Chīngīz Khān. Qarshī is somewhat scantily supplied with water; in spring it is very beautiful and its grain and melons are good. It lies 18 yīghāch405 by road south and a little inclined to west of Samarkand. In the district a small bird, known as the qīl-qūyīrūgh and resembling the bāghrī qarā, is found in such countless numbers that it goes by the name of the Qarshī birdie (murghak).406

Khozār is another district; Karmīna another, lying between Samarkand and Bukhārā; Qarā-kūl another, 7 yīghāch407 n.w. of Bukhārā and at the furthest limit of the water.

Samarkand has good tūmāns. One is Soghd with its dependencies. Its head Yār-yīlāq, its foot Bukhārā, there may be not one single yīghāch of earth without its village and its cultivated lands. So famous is it that the saying attributed to Tīmūr Beg, ‘I have a garden 30 yīghāch long,408 must have been spoken of Soghd. Another tūmān is Shāvdār (var. Shādwār), an excellent one adjoining the town-suburbs. On one side it has the range (Aītmāk Dābān), lying between Samarkand and Fol. 50.Shahr-i-sabz, on the skirts of which are many of its villages. On the other side is the Kohik Water (i.e. the Dar-i-gham canal). There it lies! an excellent tūmān, with fine air, full of beauty, abounding in waters, its good things cheap. Observers of Egypt and Syria have not pointed out its match.

[Pg 85]

Though Samarkand has other tūmāns, none rank with those enumerated; with so much, enough has been said.

Tīmūr Beg gave the government of Samarkand to his eldest son, Jahāngīr Mīrzā (in 776 ah.-1375 ad.); when Jahāngīr Mīrzā died (805 ah.-1403 ad.), he gave it to the Mīrzā’s eldest son, Muḥammad Sult̤ān-i-jahāngīr; when Muḥammad Sult̤ān Mīrzā died, it went to Shāh-rukh Mīrzā, Tīmūr Beg’s youngest son. Shāh-rukh Mīrzā gave the whole of Mā warā’u’n-nahr (in 872 ah.-1467 ad.) to his eldest son, Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā. From him his own son, ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Mīrzā took it, (853 ah.-1449 ad.), for the sake of this five days’ fleeting world martyring a father so full of years and knowledge.

The following chronogram gives the date of Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā’s death:—
Aūlūgh Beg, an ocean of wisdom and science,
The pillar of realm and religion,
Sipped from the hand of ‘Abbās, the mead of martyrdom,
And the date of the death is ‘Abbās kasht (‘Abbās slew).409

Though ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Mīrzā did not rule more than five or six months, the following couplet was current about him:—
Ill does sovereignty befit the parricide;
Should he rule, be it for no more than six months.410

This chronogram of the death of ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Mīrzā is also well done:—
‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf, in glory a Khusrau and Jamshīd,Fol. 50b.
In his train a Farīdūn and Zardusht,
Bābā Ḥusain slew on the Friday Eve,
With an arrow. Write as its date, Bābā Ḥusain kasht (Bābā Ḥusain slew).411

After ‘Abdu’l-lat̤īf Mīrzā’s death, (Jumāda I, 22, 855 ah.-June 22nd. 1450 ad.), (his cousin) ‘Abdu’l-lāh Mīrzā, the grandson of Shāh-rukh Mīrzā through Ibrāhīm Mīrzā, seated himself [Pg 86]on the throne and ruled for 18 months to two years.412 From him Sl. Abū-sa‘īd Mīrzā took it (855 ah.-1451 ad.). He in his life-time gave it to his eldest son, Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā; Sl. Aḥmad Mīrzā continued to rule it after his father’s death (873 ah.-1469 ad.). On his death (899 ah.-1494 ad.) Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā was seated on the throne and on his death (900 ah.-1495 ad.) Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā. Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā was made prisoner for a few days, during the Tarkhān rebellion (901 ah.-1496 ad.), and his younger brother, Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā was seated on the throne, but Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā, as has been related in this history, took it again directly. From Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā I took it (903 ah.-1497 ad.). Further details will be learned from the ensuing history.

(c. Bābur’s rule in Samarkand.)

When I was seated on the throne, I shewed the Samarkand begs precisely the same favour and kindness they had had before. I bestowed rank and favour also on the begs with me, Fol. each according to his circumstances, the largest share falling to Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal; he had been in the household begs’ circle; I now raised him to that of the great begs.

We had taken the town after a seven months’ hard siege. Things of one sort or other fell to our men when we got in. The whole country, with exception of Samarkand itself, had come in earlier either to me or to Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā and consequently had not been over-run. In any case however, what could have been taken from districts so long subjected to raid and rapine? The booty our men had taken, such as it was, came to an end. When we entered the town, it was in such distress that it needed seed-corn and money-advances; what place was this to take anything from? On these accounts our men suffered great privation. We ourselves could give them nothing. Moreover they yearned for their homes and, by ones and twos, set their faces for flight. The first to go was Bayān Qulī’s (son) Khān Qulī; Ibrāhīm Begchīk was another; all the Mughūls went off and, a little later, Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal.

Aūzūn Ḥasan counted himself a very sincere and faithful [Pg 87]friend of Khwāja-i-qāẓī; we therefore, to put a stop to these desertions, sent the Khwāja to him (in Andijān) so that they,Fol. 51b. in agreement, might punish some of the deserters and send others back to us. But that very Aūzūn Ḥasan, that traitor to his salt, may have been the stirrer-up of the whole trouble and the spur-to-evil of the deserters from Samarkand. Directly Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal had gone, all the rest took up a wrong position.

(d. Andijān demanded of Bābur by The Khān, and also for Jahāngīr Mīrzā.)

Although, during the years in which, coveting Samarkand, I had persistently led my army out, Sl. Maḥmūd Khān413 had provided me with no help whatever, yet, now it had been taken, he wanted Andijān. Moreover, Aūzūn Ḥasan and Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal, just when soldiers of ours and all the Mughūls had deserted to Andijān and Akhsī, wanted those two districts for Jahāngīr Mīrzā. For several reasons, those districts could not be given to them. One was, that though not promised to The Khān, yet he had asked for them and, as he persisted in asking, an agreement with him was necessary, if they were to be given to Jahāngīr Mīrzā. A further reason was that to ask for them just when deserters from us had fled to them, was very like a command. If the matter had been brought forward earlier, some way of tolerating a command might have been found. AtFol. 52. the moment, as the Mughūls and the Andijān army and several even of my household had gone to Andijān, I had with me in Samarkand, beg for beg, good and bad, somewhere about 1000 men.

When Aūzūn Ḥasan and Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal did not get what they wanted, they invited all those timid fugitives to join them. Just such a happening, those timid people, for their own sakes, had been asking of God in their terror. Hereupon, Aūzūn Ḥasan and Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal, becoming openly hostile and rebellious, led their army from Akhsī against Andijān.

Tūlūn Khwāja was a bold, dashing, eager brave of the Bārīn (Mughūls). My father had favoured him and he was still in favour, I myself having raised him to the rank of beg. In [Pg 88]truth he deserved favour, a wonderfully bold and dashing brave! He, as being the man I favoured amongst the Mughūls, was sent (after them) when they began to desert from Samarkand, to counsel the clans and to chase fear from their hearts so that Fol. 52b.they might not turn their heads to the wind.414 Those two traitors however, those false guides, had so wrought on the clans that nothing availed, promise or entreaty, counsel or threat. Tūlūn Khwāja’s march lay through Aīkī-sū-ārāsī,415 known also as Rabāt̤ik-aūrchīnī. Aūzūn Ḥasan sent a skirmishing party against him; it found him off his guard, seized and killed him. This done, they took Jahāngīr Mīrzā and went to besiege Andijān.

(e. Bābur loses Andijān.)

In Andijān when my army rode out for Samarkand, I had left Aūzūn Ḥasan and ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī (Ramẓān 902 ah.-May 1497 ad.). Khwāja-i-qāẓī had gone there later on, and there too were many of my men from Samarkand. During the siege, the Khwāja, out of good-will to me, apportioned 18,000 of his own sheep to the garrison and to the families of the men still with me. While the siege was going on, letters kept coming to me from my mothers416 and from the Khwāja, saying in effect, ‘They are besieging us in this way; if at our cry of distress you do not come, things will go all to ruin. Samarkand was taken Fol. the strength of Andijān; if Andijān is in your hands, God willing, Samarkand can be had again.’ One after another came letters to this purport. Just then I was recovering from illness but, not having been able to take due care in the days of convalescence, I went all to pieces again and this time, became so very ill that for four days my speech was impeded and they [Pg 89]used to drop water into my mouth with cotton. Those with me, begs and bare braves alike, despairing of my life, began each to take thought for himself. While I was in this condition, the begs, by an error of judgment, shewed me to a servant of Aūzūn Ḥasan’s, a messenger come with wild proposals, and then dismissed him. In four or five days, I became somewhat better but still could not speak, in another few days, was myself again.

Such letters! so anxious, so beseeching, coming from my mothers, that is from my own and hers, Aīsān-daulat Begīm, and from my teacher and spiritual guide, that is, Khwāja-i-maulānā-i-qāẓī, with what heart would a man not move? We left Samarkand for Andijān on a Saturday in Rajab (Feb.-March), when I had ruled 100 days in the town. It wasFol. 53b. Saturday again when we reached Khujand and on that day a person brought news from Andijān, that seven days before, that is on the very day we had left Samarkand, ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī had surrendered Andijān.

These are the particulars;—The servant of Aūzūn Ḥasan who, after seeing me, was allowed to leave, had gone to Andijān and there said, ‘The pādshāh cannot speak and they are dropping water into his mouth with cotton.’ Having gone and made these assertions in the ordinary way, he took oath in ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī’s presence. ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī was in the Khākān Gate. Becoming without footing through this matter, he invited the opposite party into the fort, made covenant and treaty with them, and surrendered Andijān. Of provisions and of fighting men, there was no lack whatever; the starting point of the surrender was the cowardice of that false and faithless manikin; what was told him, he made a pretext to put himself in the right.

When the enemy, after taking possession of Andijān, heard of my arrival in Khujand, they martyred Khwāja-i-maulānā-i-qāẓī by hanging him, with dishonour, in the Gate of the citadel.Fol. 54. He had come to be known as Khwāja-maulānā-i-qāẓī but his own name was ‘Abdu’l-lāh. On his father’s side, his line went back to Shaikh Burhānu’d-dīn ‘Alī Qīlīch, on his mother’s to Sl. Aīlīk Māẓī. This family had come to be the Religious[Pg 90] Guides (muqtadā) and pontiff (Shaikhu’l-islām) and Judge (qāẓī) in the Farghāna country.417 He was a disciple of his Highness ‘Ubaidu’l-lāh (Aḥrārī) and from him had his upbringing. I have no doubt he was a saint (walī); what better witnesses to his sanctity than the fact that within a short time, no sign or trace remained of those active for his death? He was a wonderful man; it was not in him to be afraid; in no other man was seen such courage as his. This quality is a further witness to his sanctity. Other men, however bold, have anxieties and tremours; he had none. When they had killed him, they seized and plundered those connected with him, retainers and servants, tribesmen and followers.

In anxiety for Andijān, we had given Samarkand out of our hands; then heard we had lost Andijān. It was like the saying, ‘In ignorance, made to leave this place, shut out from that’ (Ghafil az īn jā rānda, az ān jā mānda). It was very hard and vexing to me; for why? never since I had ruled, had I been cut Fol. like this from my retainers and my country; never since I had known myself, had I known such annoyance and such hardship.

(f. Bābur’s action from Khujand as his base.)

On our arrival in Khujand, certain hypocrites, not enduring to see Khalīfa in my Gate, had so wrought on Muḥammad Ḥusain Mīrzā Dūghlāt and others that he was dismissed towards Tāshkīnt. To Tāshkīnt also Qāsim Beg Qūchīn had been sent earlier, in order to ask The Khān’s help for a move on Andijān. The Khān consented to give it and came himself by way of the Ahangarān Dale,418 to the foot of the Kīndīrlīk Pass.419 There I went also, from Khujand, and saw my Khān dādā.420 We then crossed the pass and halted on the Akhsī side. The enemy for their part, gathered their men and went to Akhsī.

[Pg 91]

Just at that time, the people in Pāp421 sent me word they had made fast the fort but, owing to something misleading in The Khān’s advance, the enemy stormed and took it. Though The Khān had other good qualities and was in other ways businesslike, he was much without merit as a soldier and commander. Just when matters were at the point that if he made one more march, it was most probable the country would be had without fighting, at such a time! he gave ear to what the enemy said with alloy of deceit, spoke of peace and, as his messengers, sent them Khwāja Abū’l-makāram and his ownFol. 55. Lord of the Gate, Beg Tilba (Fool), Taṃbal’s elder brother. To save themselves those others (i.e. Ḥasan and Taṃbal) mixed something true with what they fabled and agreed to give gifts and bribes either to The Khān or to his intermediaries. With this, The Khān retired.

As the families of most of my begs and household and braves were in Andijān, 7 or 800 of the great and lesser begs and bare braves, left us in despair of our taking the place. Of the begs were ‘Alī-darwesh Beg, ‘Alī-mazīd Qūchīn, Muḥammad Bāqir Beg, Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh, Lord of the Gate and Mīrīm Lāgharī. Of men choosing exile and hardship with me, there may have been, of good and bad, between 200 and 300. Of begs there were Qāsim Qūchīn Beg, Wais Lāgharī Beg, Ibrāhīm Sārū Mīnglīgh Beg, Shīrīm T̤aghāī, Sayyidī Qarā Beg; and of my household, Mīr Shāh Qūchīn, Sayyid Qāsim Jalāīr, Lord of the Gate, Qāsim-‘ajab, ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī’s (son) Muḥammad-dost, Muḥammad-‘alī Mubashir,422 Khudāī-bīrdī Tūghchī Mughūl, Yārīk T̤aghāī, Bābā ‘Alī’s (son) Bābā Qulī, Pīr Wais, Shaikh Wais,Fol. 55b. Yār-‘alī Balāl,423 Qāsim Mīr Akhwūr (Chief Equerry) and Ḥaidar Rikābdār (stirrup-holder).

It came very hard on me; I could not help crying a good deal. Back I went to Khujand and thither they sent me my [Pg 92]mother and my grandmother and the families of some of the men with me.

That Ramẓān (April-May) we spent in Khujand, then mounted for Samarkand. We had already sent to ask The Khān’s help; he assigned, to act with us against Samarkand, his son, Sl. Muḥammad (Sult̤ānīm) Khānika and (his son’s guardian) Aḥmad Beg with 4 or 5000 men and rode himself as far as Aūrā-tīpā. There I saw him and from there went on by way of Yār-yīlāq, past the Būrka-yīlāq Fort, the head-quarters of the sub-governor (dārogha) of the district. Sl. Muḥammad Sult̤ān and Aḥmad Beg, riding light and by another road, got to Yār-yīlāq first but on their hearing that Shaibānī Khān was raiding Shīrāz and thereabouts, turned back. There was no help for it! Back I too had to go. Again I went to Khujand!

As there was in me ambition for rule and desire of conquest, I did not sit at gaze when once or twice an affair had made no progress. Now I myself, thinking to make another move for Fol. 56.Andijān, went to ask The Khān’s help. Over and above this, it was seven or eight years since I had seen Shāh Begīm424 and other relations; they also were seen under the same pretext. After a few days, The Khān appointed Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusain (Dūghlāt) and Ayūb Begchīk and Jān-ḥasan Bārīn with 7 or 8000 men to help us. With this help we started, rode light, through Khujand without a halt, left Kand-i-badām on the left and so to Nasūkh, 9 or 10 yīghāch of road beyond Khujand and 3 yīghāch (12-18 m.) from Kand-i-badām, there set our ladders up and took the fort. It was the melon season; one kind grown here, known as Ismā‘īl Shaikhī, has a yellow rind, feels like shagreen leather, has seeds like an apple’s and flesh four fingers thick. It is a wonderfully delicate melon; no other such grows thereabout. Next day the Mughūl begs represented to me, ‘Our fighting men are few; to what would holding this one fort lead on?’ In truth they were right; of what use was it to make that fort fast and stay there? Back once more to Khujand!

[Pg 93]

(f. Affairs of Khusrau Shāh and the Tīmūrid Mīrzās.)425

This year Khusrau Shāh, taking Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā with him, led his army (from Qūndūz) to Chaghānīān and with false and treacherous intent, sent this message to Ḥiṣār for Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, ‘Come, betake yourself to Samarkand; ifFol. 56b. Samarkand is taken, one Mīrzā may seat himself there, the other in Ḥiṣār.’ Just at the time, the Mīrzā’s begs and household were displeased with him, because he had shewn excessive favour to his father-in-law, Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh Barlās who from Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā had gone to him. Small district though Ḥiṣār is, the Mīrzā had made the Shaikh’s allowance 1,000 tūmāns of fulūs426 and had given him the whole of Khutlān in which were the holdings of many of the Mīrzā’s begs and household. All this Shaikh ‘Abdu’l-lāh had; he and his sons took also in whole and in part, the control of the Mīrzā’s gate. Those angered began, one after the other, to desert to Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā.

By those words of false alloy, having put Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā off his guard, Khusrau Shāh and Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā moved light out of Chaghānīān, surrounded Ḥiṣār and, at beat of morning-drum, took possession of it. Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā was in Daulat Sarāī, a house his father had built in the suburbs. Not being able to get into the fort, he drew off towards Khutlān with Shaikh ‘Abu’l-lāh Barlās, parted from him half-way, crossed the river at the Aūbāj ferry and betook himself to Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā. Khusrau Shāh, having taken Ḥiṣār, set Bāī-sungharFol. 57. Mīrzā on the throne, gave Khutlān to his own younger brother, Walī and rode a few days later, to lay siege to Balkh where, with many of his father’s begs, was Ibrāhīm Ḥusain Mīrzā (Bāī-qarā). He sent Naz̤ar Bahādur, his chief retainer, on in advance with 3 or 400 men to near Balkh, and himself taking Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā with him, followed and laid the siege.

[Pg 94]

Walī he sent off with a large force to besiege Shabarghān and raid and ravage thereabouts. Walī, for his part, not being able to lay close siege, sent his men off to plunder the clans and hordes of the Zardak Chūl, and they took him back over 100,000 sheep and some 3000 camels. He then came, plundering the Sān-chīrīk country on his way, and raiding and making captive the clans fortified in the hills, to join Khusrau Shāh before Balkh.

One day during the siege, Khusrau Shāh sent the Naz̤ar Bahādur already mentioned, to destroy the water-channels427 of Fol. 57b.Balkh. Out on him sallied Tīngrī-bīrdī Samānchī,428 Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā’s favourite beg, with 70 or 80 men, struck him down, cut off his head, carried it off, and went back into the fort. A very bold sally, and he did a striking deed.

(g. Affairs of Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā and Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā.)

This same year, Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā led his army out to Bast and there encamped,429 for the purpose of putting down Ẕū’n-nūn Arghūn and his son, Shāh Shujā‘, because they had become Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā’s retainers, had given him a daughter of Ẕū’n-nūn in marriage and taken up a position hostile to himself. No corn for his army coming in from any quarter, it had begun to be distressed with hunger when the sub-governor of Bast surrendered. By help of the stores of Bast, the Mīrzā got back to Khurāsān.

Since such a great ruler as Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā had twice led a splendid and well-appointed army out and twice retired, without taking Qūndūz, or Ḥiṣār or Qandahār, his sons and his begs waxed bold in revolt and rebellion. In the spring of this year, he sent a large army under Muḥammad Walī Beg to put down (his son) Muḥammad Ḥusain Mīrzā who, supreme in Astarābād, had taken up a position hostile to himself. While Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā was still lying in the Nīshīn meadow (near [Pg 95]Harāt), he was surprised by Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and Shāh Shujā‘ Beg (Arghūn). By unexpected good-fortune, he had beenFol. 58. joined that very day by Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, a refugee after bringing about the loss of Ḥiṣār,430 and also rejoined by a force of his own returning from Astarābād. There was no question of fighting. Badī‘u’z-zamān Mīrzā and Shāh Beg, brought face to face with these armies, took to flight.

Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā looked kindly on Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, made him kneel as a son-in-law and gave him a place in his favour and affection. None-the-less Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā, at the instigation of Bāqī Chaghānīānī, who had come earlier into Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā’s service, started off on some pretext, without asking leave, and went from the presence of Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā to that of Khusrau Shāh!

Khusrau Shāh had already invited and brought from Ḥiṣār, Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā; to him had gone Aūlūgh Beg Mīrzā’s son,431 Mīrān-shāh Mīrzā who, having gone amongst the Hazāra in rebellion against his father, had been unable to remain amongst them because of his own immoderate acts. Some short-sighted persons were themselves ready to kill these three (Tīmūrid) Mīrzās and to read Khusrau Shāh’s name in the khut̤ba but he himself did not think this combination desirable. The ungratefulFol. 58b. manikin however, for the sake of gain in this five days’ fleeting world,—it was not true to him nor will it be true to any man soever,—seized that Sl. Mas‘ūd Mīrzā whom he had seen grow up in his charge from childhood, whose guardian he had been, and blinded him with the lancet.

Some of the Mīrzā’s foster-brethren and friends of affection and old servants took him to Kesh intending to convey him to his (half)-brother Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā in Samarkand but as that party also (i.e. ‘Alī’s) became threatening, they fled with him, crossed the river at the Aūbāj ferry and went to Sl. Ḥusain Mīrzā.

[Pg 96]

A hundred thousand curses light on him who planned and did a deed so horrible! Up to the very verge of Resurrection, let him who hears of this act of Khusrau Shāh, curse him; and may he who hearing, curses not, know cursing equally deserved!

This horrid deed done, Khusrau Shāh made Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā ruler in Ḥiṣār and dismissed him; Mīrān-shāh Mīrzā he despatched for Bāmīān with Sayyid Qāsim to help him.

[Pg 97]
904 AH.—AUG. 19th. 1498 to AUG. 8th. 1499 AD.432

(a. Bābur borrows Pashāghar and leaves Khujand.)

Twice we had moved out of Khujand, once for Andijān, once for Samarkand, and twice we had gone back to it because our work was not opened out.433 Khujand is a poor place; a man with 2 or 300 followers would have a hard time there; withFol. 59. what outlook would an ambitious man set himself down in it?

As it was our wish to return to Samarkand, we sent people to confer with Muḥammad Ḥusain Kūrkān Dūghlāt in Aūrā-tīpā and to ask of him the loan for the winter of Pashāghar where we might sit till it was practicable to make a move on Samarkand. He consenting, I rode out from Khujand for Pashāghar.

(Author’s note on Pashāghar.) Pashāghar is one of the villages of Yār-yīlāq; it had belonged to his Highness the Khwāja,434 but during recent interregna,435 it had become dependent on Muḥammad Ḥusain Mīrzā.

I had fever when we reached Zamīn, but spite of my fever we hurried off by the mountain road till we came over against Rabāt̤-i-khwāja, the head-quarters of the sub-governor of the Shavdār tūmān, where we hoped to take the garrison at unawares, set our ladders up and so get into the [Pg 98]fort. We reached it at dawn, found its men on guard, turned back and rode without halt to Pashāghar. The pains and misery of fever notwithstanding, I had ridden 14 or 15 yīghāch (70 to 80 miles).

After a few days in Pashāghar, we appointed Ibrāhīm Sārū, Fol. 59b.Wais Lāgharī, Sherīm T̤aghāī and some of the household and braves to make an expedition amongst the Yār-yīlāq forts and get them into our hands. Yār-yīlāq, at that time was Sayyid Yūsuf Beg’s,436 he having remained in Samarkand at the exodus and been much favoured by Sl. ‘Ali Mīrzā. To manage the forts, Sayyid Yūsuf had sent his younger brother’s son, Aḥmad-i-yūsuf, now437 Governor of Sialkot, and Aḥmad-i-yūsuf was then in occupation. In the course of that winter, our begs and braves made the round, got possession of some of the forts peacefully, fought and took others, gained some by ruse and craft. In the whole of that district there is perhaps not a single village without its defences because of the Mughūls and the Aūzbegs. Meantime Sl. ‘Alī Mīrzā became suspicious of Sayyid Yūsuf and his nephew on my account and dismissed both towards Khurāsān.

The winter passed in this sort of tug-of-war; with the oncoming heats,438 they sent Khwāja Yaḥya to treat with me, while they, urged on by the (Samarkand) army, marched out to near Shīrāz and Kabud. I may have had 200 or 300 soldiers (sipāhī); powerful foes were on my every side; Fortune had Fol. 60.not favoured me when I turned to Andijān; when I put a hand out for Samarkand, no work was opened out. Of necessity, some sort of terms were made and I went back from Pashāghar.

Khujand is a poor place; one beg would have a hard time in it; there we and our families and following had been for half a [Pg 99]year439 and during the time the Musalmāns of the place had not been backward in bearing our charges and serving us to the best of their power. With what face could we go there again? and what, for his own part, could a man do there? ‘To what home to go? For what gain to stay?’440

In the end and with the same anxieties and uncertainty, we went to the summer-pastures in the south of Aūrā-tīpā. There we spent some days in amazement at our position, not knowing where to go or where to stay, our heads in a whirl. On one of those days, Khwāja Abū’l-makāram came to see me, he like me, a wanderer, driven from his home.441 He questioned us about our goings and stayings, about what had or had not been done and about our whole position. He was touched with compassion for our state and recited the fātiḥa for me before he left. I also was much touched; I pitied him.

(b. Bābur recovers Marghīnān.)

Near the Afternoon Prayer of that same day, a horseman appeared at the foot of the valley. He was a man named Yūl-chūq, presumably ‘Ali-dost T̤aghāī’s own servant, and had been sent with this written message, ‘Although many great misdeeds have had their rise in me, yet, if you will do me theFol. 60b. favour and kindness of coming to me, I hope to purge my offences and remove my reproach, by giving you Marghīnān and by my future submission and single-minded service.’

Such news! coming on such despair and whirl-of-mind! Off we hurried, that very hour,—it was sun-set,—without reflecting, without a moment’s delay, just as if for a sudden raid, straight for Marghīnān. From where we were to Marghīnān may have been 24 or 25 yīghāch of road.442 Through that night it was rushed without delaying anywhere, and on [Pg 100]next day till at the Mid-day Prayer, halt was made at Tang-āb (Narrow-water), one of the villages of Khujand. There we cooled down our horses and gave them corn. We rode out again at beat of (twilight-) drum443 and on through that night till shoot of dawn, and through the next day till sunset, and on through that night till, just before dawn, we were one yīghāch from Marghīnān. Here Wais Beg and others represented to me with some anxiety what sort of an evil-doer ‘Ali-dost was. ‘No-one,’ they said, ‘has come and gone, time and again, between him and us; no terms and compact have been made; trusting to what are we going?’ In truth their fears were just! After waiting awhile to consult, we at last agreed that Fol. 61.reasonable as anxiety was, it ought to have been earlier; that there we were after coming three nights and two days without rest or halt; in what horse or in what man was any strength left?—from where we were, how could return be made? and, if made, where were we to go?—that, having come so far, on we must, and that nothing happens without God’s will. At this we left the matter and moved on, our trust set on Him.

At the Sunnat Prayer444 we reached Fort Marghīnān. ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī kept himself behind (arqa) the closed gate and asked for terms; these granted, he opened it. He did me obeisance between the (two) gates.445 After seeing him, we dismounted at a suitable house in the walled-town. With me, great and small, were 240 men.

As Aūzūn Ḥasan and Taṃbal had been tyrannical and oppressive, all the clans of the country were asking for me. We therefore, after two or three days spent in Marghīnān, joined to Qāsim Beg over a hundred men of the Pashāgharīs, the new retainers of Marghīnān and of ‘Alī-dost’s following, and sent them to bring over to me, by force or fair words, such [Pg 101]hill-people of the south of Andijān as the Ashpārī, Tūrūqshār,Fol. 61b. Chīkrāk and others roundabout. Ibrāhīm Sārū and Wais Lāgharī and Sayyidī Qarā were also sent out, to cross the Khujand-water and, by whatever means, to induce the people on that side to turn their eyes to me.

Aūzūn Ḥasan and Taṃbal, for their parts, gathered together what soldiers and Mughūls they had and called up the men accustomed to serve in the Andijān and Akhsī armies. Then, bringing Jahāngīr Mīrzā with them, they came to Sapān, a village 2 m. east of Marghīnān, a few days after our arrival, and dismounted there with the intention of besieging Marghīnān. They advanced a day or two later, formed up to fight, as far as the suburbs. Though after the departure of the Commanders, Qāsim Beg, Ibrāhīm Sārū and Wais Lāgharī, few men were left with me, those there were formed up, sallied out and prevented the enemy from advancing beyond the suburbs. On that day, Page Khalīl, the turban-twister, went well forward and got his hand into the work. They had come; they could do nothing; on two other days they failed to get near the fort.Fol. 62.

When Qāsim Beg went into the hills on the south of Andijān, all the Ashpārī, Tūrūqshār, Chīkrāk, and the peasants and highland and lowland clans came in for us. When the Commanders, Ibrāhīm Sārū and Wais Lāgharī, crossed the river to the Akhsī side, Pāp and several other forts came in.

Aūzūn Ḥasan and Taṃbal being the heathenish and vicious tyrants they were, had inflicted great misery on the peasantry and clansmen. One of the chief men of Akhsī, Ḥasan-dīkcha by name,446 gathered together his own following and a body of the Akhsī mob and rabble, black-bludgeoned447 Aūzūn Ḥasan’s and Taṃbal’s men in the outer fort and drubbed them into the citadel. They then invited the Commanders, Ibrāhīm Sārū, Wais Lāgharī and Sayyidī Qarā and admitted them into the fort.

Sl. Maḥmūd Khān had appointed to help us, Ḥaidar Kūkūldāsh’s (son) Banda-‘alī and Ḥājī Ghāzī Manghīt,448 the latter [Pg 102]just then a fugitive from Shaibānī Khān, and also the Bārīn tūmān with its begs. They arrived precisely at this time.

Fol. 62b.These news were altogether upsetting to Aūzūn Ḥasan; he at once started off his most favoured retainers and most serviceable braves to help his men in the citadel of Akhsī. His force reached the brow of the river at dawn. Our Commanders and the (Tāshkīnt) Mughūls had heard of its approach and had made some of their men strip their horses and cross the river (to the Andijān side). Aūzūn Ḥasan’s men, in their haste, did not draw the ferry-boat up-stream;449 they consequently went right away from the landing-place, could not cross for the fort and went down stream.450 Here-upon, our men and the (Tāshkīnt) Mughūls began to ride bare-back into the water from both banks. Those in the boat could make no fight at all. Qārlūghāch (var. Qārbūghāch) Bakhshī (Pay-master) called one of Mughūl Beg’s sons to him, took him by the hand, chopped at him and killed him. Of what use was it? The affair was past that! His act was the cause why most of those in the boat went to their death. Instantly our men seized them all (arīq) and killed all (but a few).451 Of Aūzūn Ḥasan’s confidants escaped Qārlūghāch Bakhshī and Khalīl Dīwān and Qāẓī Ghulām, the last getting off by pretending to be a slave (ghulām); and of his trusted braves, Sayyid ‘Alī, now in trust in my own service,452 and Ḥaidar-i-qulī and Qilka Kāshgharī escaped. Of his 70 or 80 men, no more than this Fol. 63.same poor five or six got free.

On hearing of this affair, Aūzūn Ḥasan and Taṃbal, not being able to remain near Marghīnān, marched in haste and disorder for Andijān. There they had left Nāṣir Beg, the husband of Aūzūn Ḥasan’s sister. He, if not Aūzūn Ḥasan’s second, what question is there he was his third?453 He was an [Pg 103]experienced man, brave too; when he heard particulars, he knew their ground was lost, made Andijān fast and sent a man to me. They broke up in disaccord when they found the fort made fast against them; Aūzūn Ḥasan drew off to his wife in Akhsī, Taṃbal to his district of Aūsh. A few of Jahāngīr Mīrzā’s household and braves fled with him from Aūzūn Ḥasan and joined Taṃbal before he had reached Aūsh.

(c. Bābur recovers Andijān.)

Directly we heard that Andijān had been made fast against them, I rode out, at sun-rise, from Marghīnān and by mid-day was in Andijān.454 There I saw Nāṣir Beg and his two sons, that is to say, Dost Beg and Mīrīm Beg, questioned them and uplifted their heads with hope of favour and kindness. In this way, by God’s grace, my father’s country, lost to me for two years, was regained and re-possessed, in the month Ẕū’l-qa‘da ofFol. 63b. the date 904 (June 1498).455

Sl. Aḥmad Taṃbal, after being joined by Jahāngīr Mīrzā, drew away for Aūsh. On his entering the town, the red rabble (qīzīl ayāq) there, as in Akhsī, black-bludgeoned (qarā tīyāq qīlīb) and drubbed his men out, blow upon blow, then kept the fort for me and sent me a man. Jahāngīr and Taṃbal went off confounded, with a few followers only, and entered Aūzkīnt Fort.

Of Aūzūn Ḥasan news came that after failing to get into Andijān, he had gone to Akhsī and, it was understood, had entered the citadel. He had been head and chief in the rebellion; we therefore, on getting this news, without more than four or five days’ delay in Andijān, set out for Akhsī. On our arrival, there was nothing for him to do but ask for peace and terms, and surrender the fort.

We stayed in Akhsī456 a few days in order to settle its affairs [Pg 104]and those of Kāsān and that country-side. We gave the Mughūls who had come in to help us, leave for return (to Tāshkīnt), then went back to Andijān, taking with us Aūzūn Ḥasan and his family and dependants. In Akhsī was left, for a time, Qāsim-i-‘ajab (Wonderful Qāsim), formerly one of the household circle, now arrived at beg’s rank.

(d. Renewed rebellion of the Mughūls.)

As terms had been made, Aūzūn Ḥasan, without hurt to life Fol. 64.or goods, was allowed to go by the Qarā-tīgīn road for Ḥiṣār. A few of his retainers went with him, the rest parted from him and stayed behind. These were the men who in the throneless times had captured and plundered various Musalmān dependants of my own and of the Khwāja. In agreement with several begs, their affair was left at this;—‘This very band have been the captors and plunderers of our faithful Musalmān dependants;457 what loyalty have they shown to their own (Mughūl) begs that they should be loyal to us? If we had them seized and stripped bare, where would be the wrong? and this especially because they might be going about, before our very eyes, riding our horses, wearing our coats, eating our sheep. Who could put up with that? If, out of humanity, they are not imprisoned and not plundered, they certainly ought to take it as a favour if they get off with the order to give back to our companions of the hard guerilla times, whatever goods of theirs are known to be here.’

In truth this seemed reasonable; our men were ordered to take what they knew to be theirs. Reasonable and just though the order was, (I now) understand that it was a little hasty. Fol. 64b.With a worry like Jahāngīr seated at my side, there was no sense in frightening people in this way. In conquest and government, though many things may have an outside appearance of reason and justice, yet 100,000 reflections are right and necessary as to the bearings of each one of them. From this single incautious order of ours,458 what troubles! what rebellions [Pg 105]arose! In the end this same ill-considered order was the cause of our second exile from Andijān. Now, through it, the Mughūls gave way to anxiety and fear, marched through Rabāt̤ik-aūrchīnī, that is, Aīkī-sū-ārāsī, for Aūzkīnt and sent a man to Taṃbal.

In my mother’s service were 1500 to 2000 Mughūls from the horde; as many more had come from Ḥiṣār with Ḥamza Sl. and Mahdī Sl. and Muḥammad Dūghlāt Ḥiṣārī.459 Mischief and devastation must always be expected from the Mughūl horde. Up to now460 they have rebelled five times against me. It must not be understood that they rebelled through not getting on with me; they have done the same thing with their own Khāns, again and again. Sl. Qulī Chūnāq461 brought me the news. His late father, Khudāī-bīrdī Būqāq462 I had favoured amongst the Mughūls; he was himself with the (rebel) MughūlsFol. 65. and he did well in thus leaving the horde and his own family to bring me the news. Well as he did then however, he, as will be told,463 did a thing so shameful later on that it would hide a hundred such good deeds as this, if he had done them. His later action was the clear product of his Mughūl nature. When this news came, the begs, gathered for counsel, represented to me, ‘This is a trifling matter; what need for the pādshāh to ride out? Let Qāsim Beg go with the begs and men assembled here.’ So it was settled; they took it lightly; to do so must have been an error of judgment. Qāsim Beg led his force out that same day; Taṃbal meantime must have joined the Mughūls. Our men crossed the Aīlāīsh river464 early next morning by the Yāsī-kījīt (Broad-crossing) and at once came face to [Pg 106]face with the rebels. Well did they chop at one another (chāpqūlāshūrlār)! Qāsim Beg himself came face to face with Muḥammad Arghūn and did not desist from chopping at him in order to cut off his head.465 Most of our braves exchanged Fol. 65b.good blows but in the end were beaten. Qāsim Beg, ‘Alī-dost T̤aghāī, Ibrāhīm Sārū, Wais Lāgharī, Sayyidī Qarā and three or four more of our begs and household got away but most of the rest fell into the hands of the rebels. Amongst them were ‘Alī-darwesh Beg and Mīrīm Lāgharī and (Sherīm?) T̤aghāī Beg’s (son) Tūqā466 and ‘Alī-dost’s son, Muḥammad-dost and Mīr Shāh Qūchīn and Mīrīm Dīwān.

Two braves chopped very well at one another; on our side, Samad, Ibrāhīm Sārū’s younger brother, and on their side, Shāh-suwār, one of the Ḥiṣārī Mughūls. Shāh-suwār struck so that his sword drove through Samad’s helm and seated itself well in his head; Samad, spite of his wound, struck so that his sword cut off Shāh-suwār’s head a piece of bone as large as the palm of a hand. Shāh-suwār must have worn no helm; they trepanned his head and it healed; there was no one to trepan Samad’s and in a few days, he departed simply through the wound.467

Amazingly unseasonable was this defeat, coming as it did just in the respite from guerilla fighting and just when we had regained the country. One of our great props, Qaṃbar-‘alī Mughūl (the Skinner) had gone to his district when Andijān Fol. 66.was occupied and therefore was not with us.

(e. Taṃbal attempts to take Andijān.)

Having effected so much, Taṃbal, bringing Jahāngīr Mīrzā with him, came to the east of Andijān and dismounted 2 miles off, in the meadow lying in front of the Hill of Pleasure (‘Aīsh).468

[Pg 107]

Once or twice he advanced in battle-array, past Chihil-dukhterān469 to the town side of the hill but, as our braves went out arrayed to fight, beyond the gardens and suburbs, he could not advance further and returned to the other side of the hill. On his first coming to those parts, he killed two of the begs he had captured, Mīrīm Lāgharī and Tūqā Beg. For nearly a month he lay round-about without effecting anything; after that he retired, his face set for Aūsh. Aūsh had been given to Ibrāhīm Sārū and his man in it now made it fast.

[Pg 108]
905 AH. AUG. 8th. 1499 to JULY 28th. 1500 AD.470

(a. Bābur’s campaign against Aḥmad Taṃbal Mughūl.)

Commissaries were sent gallopping off at once, some to call up the horse and foot of the district-armies, others to urge return on Qaṃbar-‘alī and whoever else was away in his own district, while energetic people were told off to get together mantelets (tūra), shovels, axes and the what-not of war-material and stores for the men already with us.

As soon as the horse and foot, called up from the various districts to join the army, and the soldiers and retainers who had been scattered to this and that side on their own affairs, were gathered together, I went out, on Muḥarram 18th. (August 25th.), putting my trust in God, to Ḥāfiẓ Beg’s Four-gardens Fol. 66b.and there stayed a few days in order to complete our equipment. This done, we formed up in array of right and left, centre and van, horse and foot, and started direct for Aūsh against our foe.

On approaching Aūsh, news was had that Taṃbal, unable to make stand in that neighbourhood, had drawn off to the north, to the Rabāt̤-i-sarhang sub-district, it was understood. That night we dismounted in Lāt-kīnt. Next day as we were passing through Aūsh, news came that Taṃbal was understood to have gone to Andijān. We, for our part, marched on as for Aūzkīnt, detaching raiders ahead to over-run those parts.471 Our opponents went to Andijān and at night got into the ditch but being discovered by the garrison when they set their ladders up against the ramparts, could effect no more and retired. Our raiders [Pg 109]retired also after over-running round about Aūzkīnt without getting into their hands anything worth their trouble.

Taṃbal had stationed his younger brother, Khalīl, with 200 or 300 men, in Māḏū,472 one of the forts of Aūsh, renowned in that centre (ārā) for its strength. We turned back (on theFol. 67. Aūzkīnt road) to assault it. It is exceedingly strong. Its northern face stands very high above the bed of a torrent; arrows shot from the bed might perhaps reach the ramparts. On this side is the water-thief,473 made like a lane, with ramparts on both sides carried from the fort to the water. Towards the rising ground, on the other sides of the fort, there is a ditch. The torrent being so near, those occupying the fort had carried stones in from it as large as those for large mortars.474 From no fort of its class we have ever attacked, have stones been thrown so large as those taken into Māḏū. They dropped such a large one on ‘Abdu’l-qāsim Kohbur, Kitta (Little) Beg’s elder brother,475 when he went up under the ramparts, that he spun head over heels and came rolling and rolling, without once getting to his feet, from that great height down to the foot of the glacis (khāk-rez). He did not trouble himself about it at all but just got on his horse and rode off. Again, a stone flung from the double water-way, hit Yār-‘alī Balāl so hard on the head that in the end it had to be trepanned.476 Many of our men perished by their stones. The assault began at dawn; the water-thiefFol. 67b. had been taken before breakfast-time;477 fighting went on till evening; next morning, as they could not hold out after losing the water-thief, they asked for terms and came out. We took 60 or 70 or 80 men of Khalīl’s command and sent them to Andijān for safe-keeping; as some of our begs and household were prisoners in their hands, the Māḏū affair fell out very well.478

[Pg 110]

From there we went to Unjū-tūpa, one of the villages of Aūsh, and there dismounted. When Taṃbal retired from Andijān and went into the Rabāt̤-i-sarhang sub-district, he dismounted in a village called Āb-i-khān. Between him and me may have been one yīghāch (5 m.?). At such a time as this, Qaṃbar-‘alī (the Skinner) on account of some sickness, went into Aūsh.

It was lain in Unjū-tūpa a month or forty days without a battle, but day after day our foragers and theirs got to grips. All through the time our camp was mightily well watched at night; a ditch was dug; where no ditch was, branches were set close together;479 we also made our soldiers go out in their mail Fol. 68.along the ditch. Spite of such watchfulness, a night-alarm was given every two or three days, and the cry to arms went up. One day when Sayyidī Beg T̤aghāī had gone out with the foragers, the enemy came up suddenly in greater strength and took him prisoner right out of the middle of the fight.

(b. Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā murdered by Khusrau Shāh.)

Khusrau Shāh, having planned to lead an army against Balkh, in this same year invited Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā to go with him, brought him480 to Qūndūz and rode out with him for Balkh. But when they reached the Aubāj ferry, that ungrateful infidel, Khusrau Shāh, in his aspiration to sovereignty,—and to what sort of sovereignty, pray, could such a no-body attain? a person of no merit, no birth, no lineage, no judgment, no magnanimity, no justice, no legal-mindedness,—laid hands on Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā with his begs, and bowstrung the Mīrzā. It was upon the 10th. of the month of Muḥarram (August 17th.) that he martyred that scion of sovereignty, so accomplished, so sweet-natured and so adorned by birth and lineage. He killed also a few of the Mīrzā’s begs and household.

(c. Bāī-sunghar Mīrzā’s birth and descent.)

He was born in 882 (1477 ad.), in the Ḥiṣār district. He was Sl. Maḥmūd Mīrzā’s second son, younger than Sl. Mas‘ud [Pg 111]M. and older than Sl. ‘Alī M. and Sl. Ḥusain M. and Sl. Wais M. known as Khān Mīrzā. His mother was Pasha Begīm.Fol. 68b.

(d. His appearance and characteristics.)

He had large eyes, a fleshy face481 and Turkmān features, was of middle height and altogether an elegant young man (aet. 22).

(e. His qualities and manners.)

He was just, humane, pleasant-natured and a most accomplished scion of sovereignty. His tutor, Sayyid Maḥmūd,482 presumably was a Shī‘a; through this he himself became infected by that heresy. People said that latterly, in Samarkand, he reverted from that evil belief to the pure Faith. He was much addicted to wine but on his non-drinking days, used to go through the Prayers.483 He was moderate in gifts and liberality. He wrote the naskh-ta‘līq character very well; in painting also his hand was not bad. He made ‘Ādilī his pen-name and composed good verses but not sufficient to form a dīwān. Here is the opening couplet (mat̤la‘) of one of them484;—
Like a wavering shadow I fall here and there;
If not propped by a wall, I drop flat on the ground.


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