NADIR SHAH marches to Sind, desolates that Country, and takes the Soobahdar prisoner.

NADIR SHAH had sent orders to Khodayear Khan, the Soobahdar of Sind, to meet him at Cabul; but he having neglected to obey the summons, the Shah was enraged at his insolence, and resolved to punish him. Accordingly, on the 8th of Ramzan, or 27th of November, 1739, he marched from Cabul through the Bungishat. For­tunately there was not any fall of snow during this expedition, although from the season of the year, it might reasonably have been expected. But the men suffered great inconvenience, from the cold blasts of wind from the moun­tains; and among the passes they had to encounter a very rapid river, in which was lost near a fourth of the plunder of Hindostan; and a great deal of baggage belonging to the officers and soldiers. This destructive river winds in its course like a deadly snake, so that they were obliged to cross it twenty-two times. Num­bers of camels and mules perished therein, and to add to this calamity, there was a scarcity of provisions for the cattle. Had it happened to snow, the whole army must inevitably have perished. After a most fatiguing march of twenty-four days, the army entered the territory of Sind, on the first of the month of Shawal, or 20th of December, 1739. When we had got about half a cose out of the pass, there was a very sen­sible change in the climate; and we saw fields cultivated with wheat and barley. We had now a double cause for rejoicing, for the conclusion of the fast of Ramzan, and our deliverance from the calamities above described. The next day it rained so violently, and such torrents issued from the mountains, that numbers of the people who had fallen behind perished. The Zemindars shut themselves up in their forts, and instead of tribute, promised nothing but cannon-balls; but the army halting, they were soon obliged to surrender. Not only their lives were spared, but they were exempted from plunder, upon engaging to transport the artillery to Khoda-abad. For want of a sufficient number of cattle, men were compelled to be yoked; many died through fatigue, and ill treatment, whilst others were starved to death: the surviving few were permitted to return to their own homes.

The jungle of Tabrestan, or Mazen­deran, is nothing when compared with what we had to pass on the borders of Sind. Even Nadir Shah and the army missed their way and separated; and the camp followers were in the utmost confu­sion and distress. In one part the reeds took fire, which so frightened the camels, that many who had valuable loads, ran off with their riders, and were never more heard of. To add to these distresses, the inhabitants, by the direction of Khoda­year Khan, had buried all the grain which they were not able to burn, and then took to flight The army was in danger of perishing by famine, when the scouts discovered some grain buried in the distant villages, which was divided amongst the troops according to the muster-rolls. For the cattle there was plenty of green wheat and barley, the country being highly cultivated. When we got through the jungle, we arrived at Larkaneh, where Nadir Shah resolved to leave the baggage.

During the whole of this march, all the villages through which we passed were entirely deserted; and the only person that I saw was a fat Brahmin sitting upon the highway begging alms in the names of Ram and Mahadeo. I did all I could to persuade him to save himself by flight from the fury of the soldiers, who were near at hand, but he was so infatuated, that he would not stir, and even asked me, if I envied him the alms which he should obtain? During our conversation, a party of Bukhtyearees came up, and binding the poor wretch hand and foot, they cut him in pieces, to try the sharpness of their swords.