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-mood advanced to Ghizny; while Ismaeel hastened also from Bulkh to the same point. As the armies approached, Mahmood endeavoured to avoid com­ing to extremities, and having in vain tried to effect a reconciliation, was at length induced to form his troops in order of battle. Ismaeel also drew up his army, supported by a number of elephants. Both parties engaged with vigour; the action was bloody, and the victory long doubtful; Mahmood at last charged the centre of the enemy in person, and wholly discomfited it, compelling the fugitives to seek refuge in the citadel of Ghizny. Ismaeel was shortly after reduced to surrender, and to deliver up the keys of the garrison and treasury to his brother. Mahmood, having appointed a new ministry, pro­ceeded with his army towards Bulkh. It is said, that a few days after the submission of Ismaeel, he was asked by his brother what he intended to have done with him had his better fortune prevailed. To which Ismaeel replied, he would have imprisoned him for life, granting to him, at the same time, every indulgence but his liberty, Mahmood made no remark at the time, but subsequently confined Ismaeel in a fort in Joorjan, where he remained till his death.*