Ameer Ismaeel succeeds Subooktugeen during the absence of his elder brother Mahmood. — Mahmood proceeds to Ghizny to assert his claim. — Ismaeel is defeated and taken prisoner.
SUBOOKTUGEEN dying suddenly, and his eldest son Mahmood being at Nyshapoor, his second son Ismaeel prevailed on his father, in his last moments, to appoint him his successor. Ismaeel was accordingly crowned with great solemnity at Bulkh. In order to acquire popularity, he opened the treasury, and distributed great part of his father's wealth in presents to the nobility, and in expensive shows and entertainments to the people. He also augmented the pay of the troops, and rewarded small services with unusual profusion. The soldiers, however, perceived that this generosity arose out of apprehension of his brother, and they accordingly raised their demands, and became mutinous and disorderly.
When intelligence was brought to Mahmood of the death of his father, and the accession of his younger brother, he wrote to Ismaeel a letter, which he sent by the hand of Abool Hussun Jumvy, stating, that since the death of his royal father, he held no one upon earth so dear as his beloved brother, but that the art of government required the maturity of experience, wisdom, and age. That if Ismaeel were competent to so great a charge, it might have induced him not to interfere; but it must be evident that their father Subooktugeen, in vesting him with the control of the kingdom, was influenced alone by a consideration of the great distance at which his eldest son then was. He advised Ismaeel, therefore, seriously to reflect on his situation, to distinguish right from wrong, and to give up at once all pretensions to the crown; in which case (Mahmood said) he was willing to cede to him the government of the provinces of Bulkh and Khorassan.
Ismaeel rejected these proposals, and Mahmood
saw no remedy but war. Having gained over to his
interests both his uncle Boghraz and his own younger
brother, Ameer Nuseer-ood-Deen Yoosoof, Mah-