The Exaltation of AHMED SHAH ABDALLE.
He invades Hindostan.

AHMED SHAH, the son of Mohammed Zeman Khan Seldoze, a native of Herat, is one of the chiefs of his tribe; on which account, Nadir Shah always kept a watchful eye over him; but the officers of all ranks, treated him in private with great respect: and on the day that Nadir Shah was killed, they declared for Ahmed Shah. The Kezle­bashes attempted to crush him, but he eluded all their designs, and by the advice of Mohammed Sabir, a derveish, proclaimed himself king at Kandahar. Before he came to that place, Moham­med Khan Shirazy, the Beglerbeghy* of Cabul, Peishore, and Sind, accompanied by Nassir Khan, arrived in that neigh­bourhood, with thirty lacks of rupees, which they had collected from those provinces, and were carrying to Nadir Shah: but upon the intelligence of his death, Nour Mohammed Khan, and other neighbouring chiefs, divided the money amongst them. Ahmed Shah ordered them into custody, and made them refund the money, which enabled him to raise troops, and make other preparations for conquest. Ahmed Shah proclaimed himself king in Kandahar, in the same year that Nadir Shah was killed. Mohammed Tuckee Khan was one of his principal Omrahs. When he had settled the revenues of Kandahar, Cabul, and Peishore, and appointed officers to col­lect the duties and tribute, he set out upon the conquest of Hindostan, at the head of twelve thousand men. He crossed the river Attock, and plundered all the way to Lahoor.

Shahnowaz Khan threw up an intrenchment, mounted cannon on the ramparts of the fort, and prepared to make a vigorous defence. Baba* Sabir, the derveish, went into the city of Lahoor, to visit the holy shrines, and see his mother, who resided there; as well as to endeavour to prevail upon the governor to surrender: but lost his life in the attempt. I shall relate the particulars in the manner they were told me by Mohammed Yar Khan, Ahmed Shah’s mint­master, who was intimately acquainted with the derveish. Baba Sabir, a hand­some youth, was the son of a farrier of Lahoor, and having an early inclination to abandon worldly pursuits, left his own country when very young, and travelled to Cabul, Kandahar and Herat. A short time before the murder of Nadir Shah, Baba Sabir was pitching a little tent, and playing like a boy, when they asked him, “Derveish, what are you about?” He answered, “The kingdom of Nadir Shah being at an end, I am setting up the tent of Ahmed Shah.” After the death of Nadir Shah, Ahmed Shah having obtained a kingdom as the der­veish had predicted, whatever he asserted afterwards gained universal credit. By his advice, Ahmed Shah assumed the title of Doordowran, or the pearl of the age; from whence he and his Abdallees were afterwards called Dooranee. When they came to Lahoor, the derviesh insisted upon going to the city, notwith­standing all Ahmed Shah’s endeavours to dissuade him from so rash an undertaking. He accordingly set out, attended by Mohammed Yar Khan. When he entered the city of Lahoor, the spies of Shahnowaz Khan brought intelligence, that the magician of Ahmed Shah was come with intention to bewitch all the cannon: He was accordingly seized, and brought before Shahnowaz Khan, who at the intercession of Adeeneh Beg Khan, received him with civility and respect: but not consenting to the der­veish’s proposal of surrendering himself to Ahmed Shah, Sabir behaved with such insufferable insolence, that he and Mohammed Yar Khan were committed to prison. The next day Shanowaz Khan’s courtiers persuading him, that he would bring misfortune upon him­self by suffering Sabir the magician to live, he gave orders for him to be put to death, and the sentence was executed in a cruel manner. But Mohammed Yar Khan, at the interposition of some of the courtiers of Shahnowaz Khan, to whom he had formerly rendered good offices, was set at liberty. Ahmed Shah was so enraged at the death of his spiritual guide and ambassador, that he instantly crossed the Ravee to attack the enemy’s intrenchments, when the Moghuls were seized with terror, and fled. Shahnowaz Khan, in despair at the desertion of his Moghuls, on whom he had placed his chief confidence, hastened to Dehly with his jewels and all his gold. However, Kummereddeen Khan was so much enraged at his former conduct, that he ordered him into custody. The fortune of this man verified the old proverb, Whosoever digeth a pit for his brother, shall fall therein himself.

Shahnowaz Khan fled from Lahoor in the month of Moherrem 1161, (or Jan. A. D. 1747). Thus Ahmed Shah, without striking a blow, got possession of that city. For above a month after, he was continually extorting large sums of money from the inhabitants, and his army acted conformably to the words of the poet Sady, “If the king ordereth only half an egg to be taken by force; his army will stick a thousand fowls upon their spits.”

I shall leave Ahmed Shah plundering Lahoor, and proceed with my narrative.