Images de page
PDF
ePub

e

Having acted against insurgents in Bundelcund and The talents, it is said, of his general Zafar Khân Malwa, and gained booty and collected troops, he secured him the victory; but the services of this set out (1294) at the head of only 8000 men from able man had already drawn on him the jealousy Karrah (between the Jumnah and Ganges), the of the king and his brother Alif Khân; and, the seat of his government, and traversing the great latter leaving him unsupported in the pursuit, a forest which spreads thence into the Deckan”, he party of the Moguls turned and cut to pieces him reached Elichpûr in Berâr unopposed; for he pre- and the small detachment that attended him. tended that he had quitted the service of his uncle During the following seven years Mogul invasions in disgust, and was going to enter that of a Hindoo were renewed at various intervals, but without rajah. He then turned westwards, and soon ap- success; they then ceased to occur for many peared before Deôgîri (now Douletabâd), the capital years. of the Maratta country, which was the main object Though harassed with these Mogul invasions, of the expedition. He found the rajah Kâmdeô Alâ-ud-dîn had still his thoughts turned toward the nearly unprepared for defence. The town was Deckan ; and when at last they had ceased he taken and pillaged, the rajah having retired, after a sent a force against the rajah of Deôgîri, who had brief resistance, with what men he could collect, to withheld his tribute (1306). The commander of the adjoining nearly impregnable hill-fort. Here this army was a eunuch named Malik Kâfûr, who he was besieged by Ald-ud-dîn, who gave out that having been taken from his master, a merchant in his troops were only the advance guard of the army Güzerât, had come into the possession of the king, of the king ; and the timid rajah had actually con- whose favour he speedily won, and he, of course, rose cluded a treaty for surrender, when his son to the highest offices, with also, of course, the averturned with an army which he had hastily collected, sion and hatred of the nobles. On this expedition and attacked the besiegers, in reliance on his su- he acted with vigour, and the rajah was forced to periority of numbers. Victory, however, remained submit and accompany him to Delhi, where, howwith Alâ-ud-dîn, who now raised his terms; but ever, he was received with favour and dismissed the rajah resolved to hold out, expecting his allies with honours. to come to his aid. Just then, however, it was The following incident occurred on this occasion. discovered that, in their haste to victual the fort, At the time of the invasion of Güzerât the rajah they had taken sacks of salt in mistake for sacks having fled, his wife, named Câula Dêvi, had been of grain, and that, in consequence, their provisions made a prisoner and placed in the harêm of Alawere nearly run out. An immediate surrender ud-dîn, with whom she speedily became a great was the result, with the delivery of an immense favourite. Hearing of this expedition, she requested quantity of money and jewels, and the resignation that every effort might be made to obtain possesof Elichpûr and its dependencies. Alâ-ud-dîn sion of her daughter, Dewal Dêvi, who was with her then retired through Candêsh to Mâlwa.

father, the exiled rajah. Alp Khân, the governor of This expedition, when the smallness of the force Gûzerât, was accordingly directed to attend to and the difficulties of the route through mountains this affair, and, having tried in vain the effect and forests are considered, places the military of negotiation, he marched his troops against talents of Alâ-ud-dîn in a high rank. It is much, the rajah. Dêwal Dêvi had been sought in martherefore, to be regretted that treason to his excel- riage by the son of Ram Deô of Deôgiri, but the lent uncle should have been united with them. Rajpût prince had disdained to bestow the hand of By feigning fear of the king's resentment for having his daughter on a Maratta. Now, however, deemthus acted without his orders, he induced the un- ing it the lesser evil, he gave his consent, and sent suspicious old man to come almost alone to Karrah. her off under escort to Deôgîri. His troops were Alå-ud-dîn fell at his feet; the king raised him, defeated by Alp Khân, but that availed nothing, and was patting him on the cheek and affectionately as the princess was gone ; and he had arrived reproaching him for having distrusted an uncle within a day's march of Deôgîri, where he was to who had reared him and who loved him as his own join Kâfûr, when a party of his men, having gone child, when, on a signal, assassins posted for the to view the wonderful caverns of Ellora, fell in purpose rushed forth and stabbed him to the heart. with the princess's escort, and captured her withHis head was then stuck on a spear and carried out knowing who she was. Alp Khân lost no time through the camp and city (1295). Alâ-ud-dîn in conveying her to Delhi, and the king's eldest forth with assumed the royal dignity, and, having son, struck with her uncommon beauty, made her gotten the late king's family into his hands, he put ere long his wife. This incident, Mr. Elphinstone his two sons to death.

observes, is remarkable, as showing the interFrom the vigorous character of Alâ-ud-dîn, it mixture which had already taken place between may easily be inferred that his reign was glorious the Hindoos and Mohammedans, and also as leadin war; but his internal administration was also ing to the first mention of the caves of Ellora. beneficial, and general prosperity prevailed among Kâfûr afterwards (1309) invaded Telingana, took his subjects. His first expedition was against the strong fort of Warangôl, before which an expeGüzerât, which now for the first time was perma- dition sent by way of Bengal had failed, and made nently conquered. For some years then he was the rajah tributary. The following year le marched harassed with Mogul invasions. One of these, against the rajah of Carnâta, whom he defeated and apparently aiming at conquest rather than plunder made a prisoner. He reduced the whole eastern as hitherto, reached Delhi, driving the Indian part of this territory as far south as the spot army and the people of the country into that city named Adam's-bridge, opposite the isle of Ceylon. before it (1298). The pressure of famine caused In the year 1312, Kâfûr again entered the Deckan, thereby made Alâ-ud-dîn give up his plan of acting where he put the reigning rajah of Deôgîri to death, on the defensive, and lead out his troops to action. and reduced the country to more complete subjec7 See above, p. 2.

tion.

A. D. 1316-24.

HOUSE OF TÔGHLAK-SHÂH MOHAMMED.

15

The constitution of Ala-ud-dîn had now been An expedition into the Deckan, led by the king's worn out by intemperance and luxury, and the in- eldest son Jûna Khân, proved unsuccessful. He fluence of Kâfûr over him was unbounded. This was unable to take the fort of Warangôl; disease able but unprincipled man now ventured to raise broke out in his camp; some of his officers with his eyes to the throne. With this view he sought their men deserted; he was pursued on his retreat to alienate the mind of the king from his children to Deôgîri with great slaughter by the Hindoos, by representing them as plotting against his life ; and he reached Delhi with only 3000 men. The he also laboured to remove or destroy every man next year he was more successful, for he took of rank or influence who he thought might stand Warangôl and made the rajah a prisoner. in his way. He had succeeded in causing the The king himself now proceeded in person to queen and the two eldest princes to be cast into Bengal (1324), where Bakarra Khan, the son of prison, and he had obtained an order to make away Bulbun, still held the government, and the use of with Alp Khân, when, rebellions having broken out royal ornaments was conceded to him by the son in Güzerât and the Deckan, the tidings threw the of his father's former slave. As Tôghlak approached king into such paroxysms of rage as brought him to the capital on his return, he was received by his the brink of the grave, and Kåfûr is said to have eldest son in a splendid wooden pavilion erected accelerated his end by poison (1316). Alâ-ud-dîn for the occasion. During the ceremonies, the buildhad reigned twenty-one years.

ing happened to give way, and the king and his One of the acts of this monarch was the massacre second and favourite son were killed by the fall ; of the Mogul converts. At various times bodies of the eidest son, chancing to be absent at the time, these men had been induced to embrace the Mo- escaped. It is certainly possible that the casualty hammedan faith, and to enter the imperial service. may have been accidental, but the probability is so At all times they have proved turbulent and inso- strongly on the other side as, in our opinion, to lent. Alâ-ud-dîn, aware of their character, suddenly amount almost to certainty, discharged the whole of them from his service, but Jûna, on mounting the throne, took the name of without any apparent cause. Driven to despera- Shâh Mohammed. He celebrated his accession tion at seeing themselves thus deprived of the with great magnificence, distributing gifts in the means of living, some of them conspired to assassi- utmost profusion to his friends and to men of nate him. The plot, however, was discovered, and letters. He was himself the most learned and the king, without making any inquiry, ordered the eloquent prince of his time ; versed in languages, whole of them (15,000, it is said), guilty and inno- literature, and philosophy ; regular, and even auscent alike, to be massacred and their families to be tere in his religious observances ; abstinent from sold for slaves.

wine and from pleasure ; brave and generous in Kâfûr produced a real or fictitious will of the the field and in the court. But all these noble late monarch, appointing his infant son Omar to be qualities, which made him the subject of admiraking, with Kåfør for his guardian ; and he imme- tion, were rendered of no value by a perversity of diately caused the eyes of the two eldest princes to mind bordering on insanity, and an utter disregard be put out, and sent assassins to murder Mobârik, the for human suffering in the pursuit of his wild third son. But they were induced to spare his life, schemes of ambition. and, Kâfûr being shortly after put to death by a In the commencement of his reign, he comconspiracy of the royal guards, Mobârik ascended pleted the conquest of the Deckan. Seeing then the throne without opposition. He proved a sensual, no object for his ambition in India, he resolved to bloody tyrant, devoted to the lowest debaucheries, become the conqueror of Persia, and even of China. and placing the whole of his confidence in a con

For the first he assembled a large army, which, verted Hindoo named Khûsrû Khân. This man, after it had consumed his treasures, dispersed for after effecting the conquest of Malabar, against want of pay, and plundered and wasted the counwhich he had been sent, and bringing thence a try. In order to the invasion of China, a body of large treasure, proceeded to destroy the nobles or 100,000 horse were sent through the Himalaya drive them from court, and he filled the capital mountains to prepare the way for the main army. with Hindoo troops of his own caste. He then This force, we are told, reached the frontiers of (1321) ventured on the deed he had long projected ; China, but found there awaiting it so large an he murdered his master and all the members of army, that, fearing to encounter it, it turned and the royal family, and mounted the throne himself 8. commenced its retreat. It endured even more than But Ghazi Khân Tôghlak, the governor of the

the calamities incident to such a course.

It was Punjâb, refused to yield obedience to him, and, fallen on by the mountaineers, slaughtered by the marching to Delhi with his disciplined troops, he pursuing enemy, exhausted by want of provisions, put an end to his life and reign. As there was no drenched by tremendous rains, and entangled in surviving member of the house of Khilji, Tôghlak impervious jungles. At the end of fifteen days himself, with the general consent of the people, hardly a man survived, and thus terminated the assumed the royal dignity.

magnificent project of the conquest of China. The new monarch was the son of one of Bulbun's To recruit his shattered finances, Mohammed Turkish slaves by an Indian mother. His reign had now recourse to a novel expedient. He had commenced without blame, and during its short heard of the paper money of China (to which counperiod proved vigorous and beneficent.

try the invention is due), and he resolved to imitate

it, for which purpose he issued copper tokens as 8 “The army," says Ferishta, “now remained to be

But bribed, who loved nothing better than a revolution ; for they

representatives of particular sums of money. had always, upon such an occasion, a donation of six months'

Mohammed was not aware that, for the success of pay, immediately divided from the treasury." Mill notices

project of this kind, there must be confidence in the similar conduct of the prætorian guards at Rome, as an the good faith and solvency of the government, instance of the similarity of military despotisms.

and he found that, with all his power, he could not

force his tokens into general circulation. He did | The title by which he mounted the throne was abundance of mischief, and caused considerable Alâ-ud-dîn Hussun Gungoo Bahmanee, from which distress by the experiment, but his finances re- last his dynasty was denominated. mained as embarrassed as ever. He then in- Shâh Mohammed was succeeded by his nephew creased the taxes, and the husbandmen, driven Fîrûz-ud-dîn. This monarch acknowledged the to desperation, left their lands and fled to the independence of the kingdoms of Bengal and the woods. The infuriated monarch, resolved to Deckan; he made excellent financial and legal have at least revenge, used then to order out his regulations ; he constructed a great number of troops as if for a grand hunt, surround a tract of public works, such as bridges, baths, inns, hoscountry with them, gradually narrow the circle, pitals, mosks, tanks, etc. The most considerable and finally slaughter all the peasants within it like of these was the canal, named after him, from the beasts of game or prey. The natural consequence river Jumnah to the Gâgur, a portion of which has was famine and its attendant evils.

been restored in our own days, to the infinite adRebellions followed. The revolts in the Punjab vantage of the adjoining districts. and in Mâlwa were easily crushed, but the gover- Fîrûz died in the year 1388 ; and in the six nor of Bengal became and remained independent following years four princes of the house of Tôghlak (1340). The Hindoo states of the Deckan mostly successively occupied the throne. In the reign of Aung off the Mohammedan yoke. A rebellion in the last of these princes, named Mahmûd, several this country being headed by his own nephew, who of the provinces assumed independence ; and, when taken was flayed alive, the king marched finally, a Mogul invasion, such as India had never thither in person, and he was so pleased with the yet witnessed, swept over and devasted the country. site of Deôgîri, that he resolved to make it his We have seen the hordes that roam the plains of capital. Forth with the whole of the inhabitants of Central Asia, united under Chingiz Khân, spread Delhi were ordered to quit their homes and hasten devastation and misery around almost to the bounds to people this town, to which he gave the name of of the earth. A similar scourge now arose to afflict Douletabâd. Twice, then, he permitted them to the world, in the person of Timûr (commonly called return to Delhi, and twice he forced them back to Tamerlane), who, though by birth a Turk and a the Deckan, once in the very midst of a famine. Mussulman by religion, was able, through his suThis plan, too, after causing misery and death to perior talents, to combine Turks and Moguls, and thousands, proved an utter failure. Such are the

run a career of conquest and spoliation nearly caprices of despotism.

equal to that of Chingiz. The number of Moguls in the service of the India, which had escaped the arms of the Mogul Indian monarchs had continually gone on increas- conqueror, was destined to be the prey of Timûr. ing, and they now formed a large portion of the In the year 1398 this prince's grandson, Peer imperial army. A body of these troops quartered Mohammed, having reduced the Afghâns of the in Gûzerât having revolted, Mohammed marched mountains of Soliman, crossed the Indus, and laid against them. They retired into the Deckan, and siege to Multân. Timûr himself, then taking the seized on Douletabâd. The king came and be- same route with Alexander, along, as we may term sieged that town, and he had nearly reduced it, it, the high-road to India, crossed the mountains of when news of disturbances in Gûzerât drew him Hindoo Cûsh, and reached Câbul. Instead, howthither, and he left the conduct of the siege to one ever, of taking, like that conqueror, the direct line of his Ômrahs. But the Moguls defeated this gene- of the river Câbul, he moved southwards through ral, and drove him into Mâlwa, and before Mo

the mountains (probably along the course of the hammed could march against them he fell sick and Kûrrum) into Bannu, crossed the Indus and the died (1351), after a reign of twenty-seven years.

Jelûm, and marched down the banks of this river to It was during the reign of Shâh Mohammed the city of Tulumba. He levied a heavy contribution that the Moorish traveller Ibn Batuta visited on this city, which then was sacked, and its inhabiIndia. Mohammed made him a judge with a most

tants massacred by his soldiers—without his orders liberal salary, and afterwards sent him on an em

we are assured ; for such was the fate of most bassy to China.

cities that he took; the troops of this most severe On the death of Mohammed, the Moguls re- and despotic of commanders, strangely on such turned to the Deckan, and there established an occasions venturing to fling off the yoke of obeindependent kingdom. Their first king was one of dience, and never being punished for it! their chiefs, named Ismael, an Afghân by birth, Being joined by his grandson, from Multân, who shortly after resigned in favour of Zuffir Khân, Timûr crossed the Garra, or Sutlej, and directed one of his ablest officers. This man, whose origi- his march across the Sandy Desert, in nearly a nal name was Hussun, was also an Afghân. He straight line for Delhi, taking in his way Adjudin had been, it is said, the slave or servant of a and Butnêr, the people of which last town were Bramin astrologer at Delhi, and one day, as he

massacred by mistake, as usual. The Indian army was ploughing a piece of land which the Bramin was defeated under the walls of Delhi, the king had given him, he turned up a treasure; he told sought refuge in Güzerât, and Tiinûr was proclaimed his master, who informed the king, by whom Hus- emperor of India. The usual course of events took sun was made commander of one hundred horse. place in Delhi. Heavy contributions were levied The Bramin predicted to him a brilliant career,

for the monarch, his troops began to plunder, some stipulating to be his minister when he should be resistance was offered, and this led to a general king of the Deckan. The prophecy, as we have massacre and conflagration. During five days seen, came to pass, and Zuffir kept his word with Timûr remained a tranquil spectator of all these the Bramin. This monarch died (1357) after a atrocities, engaged in celebrating a feast in honour reign of eleven years, during which he extended of his victory. When his troops were glutted with his dominion over the greater part of the Deckan.

blood and plunder, he gave orders for the march,

A.D, 1412-1526.

BEHLÔL LÔDI, SECUNDER, IBRAHIM.

17

and on the day preceding his departure in the Secunder Lôdi, the son and successor of Behlôl, stately mosk, erected by Shâh Fîrûz on the banks was also a man of talent, and in general, just and of the Jumnah, “he offered up to the Divine liberal. It is, however, in his reign, that we first Majesty the sincere and humble tribute of grateful meet with religious bigotry exercised against the praise.

Hindoo religion ; for it is remarkable, how tolerant Laden with plunder, and dragging myriads of the conduct of the Mohammedan rulers of India captives with him of all ranks, and of both sexes, had been hitherto. Secunder destroyed the Hinhe moved northwards to Meerut, where, as usual, doo temples, and forbade pilgrimages, and the there was a general massacre. He then crossed practice of bathing on festivals in the sacred the Ganges, and marched to where that river streams. A Bramin, in a dispute with a Moslem, leaves the mountains, near Hardwar, and then who reproached him with idolatry, having replied, westwards, along the foot of the mountains as far that “he considered the same God to be the object as Jummoo, north of Lahore; he then turned to of all worship, and therefore held the Mohammethe south, and leaving India by the usual route, dan and Hindoo religions to be equally good,” the proceeded to make preparations for marching into bigoted Moslem summoned him before the Câzi, or Anterior Asia, to encounter the Ottoman sultan judge of the city. The king hearing of it, assemBayazid. His visitation of India, which lasted bled the principal doctors of religion to consider about a year, had been like that of a destroying the matter, and they decided that the Bramin angel ; he left behind him anarchy, famine, and should have the option of conversion or death. He pestilence.

refused to abandon his own more humane creed, Mahmûd returned to Delhi, but he could recover and died a martyr to his faith. A pious Moslem no authority. After his death (1412) the govern- ventured to remonstrate with Secunder, against his ment was administered in an imperfect manner, prohibition of pilgrimages. “Wretch,” cried he, in the name of Timûr, by Khizr Khân, the gover- drawing his sword,“ do you defend idolatry?” nor of the Punjâb. As Khizr was a Syud, or “No,” replied he, “but I maintain that kings ought descendant of the Prophet, the dynasty of himself not to persecute their subjects.” The monarch and his three successors is named that of the was appeased. When Secunder, on one occasion, Syuds.

was marching against one of his brothers, a CalenThe limits of the empire, under these princes, der, or religious mendicant, prayed for his success. were reduced almost to the capital ; and Alâ-ud- Pray for victory to him,” replied he, “who will dîn, the last of them, was glad to resign the throne best promote the good of his subjects.' Secunder to Behlôl Khân Lôdi, the possessor of the Pun- died in 1509, having reigned nearly twenty years. jâb, and retire to Budâyun, a town about 100 miles His son, Ibrahim, who succeeded, possessed east of Delhi (1450).

none of his virtues, but courage. His pride was Behlól belonged to the Afghân tribe of Lôdi. | insufferable ; one of his maxims was, that kings His grandfather, Ibrahim, was a wealthy merchant, have no relations, all are alike his slaves. The who repaired to the court of Shâh Fîrůz, by whom ômrahs, of the tribe of Lôdi, who used to have the he was appointed governor of Multân. His sons privilege of sitting in the royal presence, were now rose to power and command ; and his grandson obliged to stand by the throne, with their hands made himself master of the Punjab, when the crossed before them. This conduct of the monarch feeble Syuds attempted to destroy the Lôdi family ; naturally led to insurrections and rebellions. and the last of them, as we have seen, was obliged Ibrahim was at first successful in suppressing to resign to him the throne of Delhi. During an them, but at length (1524) Doulat Khân Lôdi, active reign of thirty-nine years, Behlôl gave to governor of the Punjâb, called to his aid Bâber, á the empire once more respectable limits. It now prince of the house of Timûr, who now was ruling reached the Himalaya on the north, the Ganges in Câbul ; and Bâber, who had already, as the reand Benares on the east.

presentative of Timûr, put forth claims to the Ferishta relates, that while Behlôl was yet a empire of India, cheerfully obeyed the call. He young man, and in a private station, his future defeated an army which opposed him, took Lahore dignity had been prophetically announced to him. and some other towns, and was on his way to As he was paying his respects one day to a re- Delhi, when commotions in Balkh recalled him to nowned Dervish, the latter, while Behlól was sit- Câbul. Having composed them, he returned to ting before him, cried out, in a fit of enthusiasm, India, and at Pânîput, on the road to Delhi (1526), “Who will give me two thousand rupees for the he encountered the army of sultan Ibrahim, said to empire of Delhi ?” Behlól replied, that he had contain 100,000 men, with 1000 elephants. As only sixteen hundred in the world, but that he Bâber's force did not exceed 12,000 men, he rewould give them; and, sending for them, he pre- solved to act on the defensive. He linked his sented them to the holy man, who, laying his hand cannon together with ropes of twisted leather, with on his head, saluted him king. Behlốl, when ridi- infantry behind, and breastworks in front; he also culed by his comrades for his folly, replied, that protected his flanks with works. Ibrahim, like“if the thing came to pass, he had made a cheap wise, fortified his position ; but, instead of awaiting purchase ; if not, the blessing of a holy man could an attack, he attempted to storm the enemy's lines. do him no harm.” When he attained the empire, The result was a repulse, then a defeat and total he divided his treasures among his friends, and rout. The earth was covered with the bodies of lived with them on terms of the greatest familiarity. the slain, among which lay that of sultan Ibrahim. He very rarely could be induced to mount his throne, With him terminated the rule of the Afghâns in saying, that "it was enough for him that the world India, and the throne fell to the house of Timûr, knew he was a king, without his making a vain the greatest and the last of the Mohammedan parade of royalty.”. Though not learned, he patro- dynasties, which have ruled in that extensive nised literature, and was liberal to men of letters. region.

с

now in the hands of the Uzbegs, he took a last CHAPTER VI.

farewell of his favourite Ferghâna, and proceeded

to try his fortune in more southern regions. He Sultân BÂBER-His Early Adventures-Conquest of India

entered Bactria with not more than between two -His Character-HUMÂYUN-His Flight from IndiaBirth of Akber-Humâyun's Adventures—He recovers

and three hundred followers, most of them only Câbul - And India - His Death-Sheer Shâh-Selîm- armed with clubs, and two tents, of which the best Mohammed.

was reserved for his mother. But the army there

declared for him, and at the head of it he entered BÂBER, the founder of the Mogul empire in India, Câbul (1504), which submitted at once, and of was sixth in descent from Timûr. His father was

which he never again lost possession. It may surOmar Sheykh Mirza, who was married to a Mogul prise those who look through the preceding sketch princess of the family of Chingiz. In the division

of Bâber's exploits and adventures, to learn that of his father's dominions, while Bokhara and

he was not yet three-and-twenty years of age ; but Samarcand fell to one of his brothers, Balkh to

such is the real fact. another, and Câbul to a third, the portion of Bâber Contests with his old enemies the Uzbegs, with was the rich and fertile Ferghana on the Upper the mountain tribes of Afghanistân, and with his Jaxartes. Bâber was only twelve years old when relations of the house of Timûr, occupied Bâber (1494) the death of his father left him a throne

for many years, and he ran risks at times equal to and a war with two of his uncles. The deaths of any he had encountered in his early days. At these princes favoured him, and in the confusion length he turned his thoughts toward India, and which ensued, this monarch of fifteen years of age became, as we have seen, the sovereign of that ventured to attempt the conquest of Samarcand, country. and though he failed more than once, he was finally After the battle of Pânîput, Delhi and Agra successful (1497):

opened their gates to the conqueror.

But the His ambition, however, was beyond his means ;

whole of the country to the east, in which various while he was engaged in Samarcand, one of his Afghân chiefs were more or less independent, reprincipal officers, named Tambol, revolted in mained yet to be subdued. The summer, too, came Ferghana, and after a reign of only one hundred

on so excessively hot that his troops were unable days, Bâber was obliged to quit Samarcand, which

to endure it, and they clamoured to be led back to immediately cast off its obedience. A severe fit of Câbul, and some were even preparing to returu illness now brought him to the very point of death, without leave. Bâber then assembled his officers, and when he recovered, he found Ferghana lost as

and representing to them, that as India had been well as Samarcand. Still he did not despair; with

the great object of their labours, it would be a some slight aid from his Mogul uncle, he succeeded | disgrace to abandon it now, he added, that he in recovering Ferghầna (1499), and while thus oc

would remain, but that all who wished might recupied, he received invitations to return to Samar

turn to Câbul. This firmness had the desired cand, but ere he reached it, he learned that both

effect on the greater number, though some would it and Bokhara had been occupied by the Uzbegs, not remain. Most of the Afghân chiefs, then, findwere rising into power Meantime

ing from this that Bâber's was not, like Timûr's, a Tambol had recovered Ferghana, and Bâber was

mere transient invasion, but that he was resolved now obliged to seek refuge in the rugged moun

to remain in the country, now made their submistains to the south of that country. Hearing sion, and others were reduced by Bâber's son while there, that Shybânee, the Uzbeg Khân, was

Humayun. gone on an expedition, he resolved, though with

The Mussulmans having thus submitted, or been only 240 followers, to make another attempt on

reduced, Bâber had now to take the field against Samarcand. He entered it by night, mastered the the Hindoos. Sanga, rajah of Mêwâr, joined by guards, and the citizens rose in his favour. The

other rajahs and by Mahmûd, a prince of the whole country now declared for him, and Shybânee house of Lôdi, advanced with a large army to was forced to retire to Bokhara. In vain Bâber Sikri, within twenty miles of Agra. The advanced tried to prevail on the neighbouring princes to

guard of Bâber's army was driven back with great unite for their common interests against the Uzbegs. loss, but with the usual want of strategic skill chaHe was forced to give them battle alone, and owing racteristic of the Hindoos, the victors, instead of to the baseness of his Mogul troops, who quitted pushing on and completing the victory, retired, the field to plunder the baggage, he was totally and suffered him to take up a position and fortify defeated. He then shut himself up within the it. Unluckily for Bâber there just then happened walls of Samarcand, whence, after having endured

to arrive in his camp a celebrated astrologer, who siege and famine during four months, he was

from the aspect of the planet Mars announced a obliged once more to seek his safety in flight.

total defeat to the royal army. The spirits of both Bâber now spent nearly two years in poverty officers and men were depressed by this untoward and distress. So low was he brought, that he had prediction, and desertion began to prevail. Bâber, nearly determined to retire to China, and there though he despised it, saw its dangerous efficacy ; pass the remainder of his days in obscurity. He he, therefore, to counteract it, had recourse to resucceeded, however, once more in recovering Ferg- ligion ; he repented of his sins, forswore the use hâna; but Tambol called in the Uzbegs, and Bâber, of wine, vowed to let his beard grow, and to remit after maintaining an obstinate contest in the streets

taxes, and then assembling his officers, made a of the city, was forced to fly, and in his flight he was

strong appeal to their sense of honour. They swore captured. He, however, regained his liberty, but

on the Korân to conquer or die : he then drew up the whole of the country beyond the Oxus being his army in front of his camp, and galloped from

9 The Uzbegs were Turks, with a mixture of Mongols. right to left along the line, encouraging the soldiers. They still possess the country beyond the Oxus.

The Hindoos advanced to the attack, but were to

who now

« PrécédentContinuer »