It has been generally reported that Sultán Mahmúd, after capturing Somnáth, wished to remain several years in that quarter; as the country, being open and extensive, pleased him. There were then wonderful mines in that part, yielding pure gold;* and all the precious stones of Hindústán were the produce of the mines of Sirándíb, (Ceylon) which was then a dependancy of that country.* The nobles, however, repre­sented, that if Somnáth was made his capital, it would be too distant from Khorásán; and the Sultán, now adopting the resolution of return­ing, said it would be necessary to appoint some one who would regulate and retain the country for him. The king's ministers told him that the only option left was to give it in charge to some one among the people of the country: and, as the Sultán had at this time consulted his inti­mates and friends, some of them said that none of the royal tribe of this country equalled Dábishlím* in his ancestry, both by the father and mother's side: and, as one of that family was yet remaining who had been employed in study­ing philosophy and mortifying the flesh, it would be well that the Sultán gave the government to him. Others, who were averse to this proposal, made it appear that Dábishlím, the anchorite, was an evil-disposed person, who had fallen under the displeasure of God; and that his seclu­sion from the world and devotion came not of his own choice, as he had taken refuge in a soli­tary retreat, with a view of saving his life, after his brothers had several before times confined him. They also informed him that there was another Dábishlím, related to the former; and, as he was very wise and learned, all the Bráhmans had great faith in his wisdom. The same was now reigning over a certain country; and it would be therefore better that the Sultán, appointing him to the government, ordered a fir­man to be written in his name, permitting him to rule over this country, according to the right he would be thereby invested with. It was also said that this Dábishlím was so upright and trust­worthy, that, having once taken upon himself the payment of tribute, he would, notwithstand­ing the length of the way, send the same annu­ally to Ghazní. To this the Sultán replied, that, would this Dábishlím come and make such a request, he might consent to grant it: but where­fore should he confer so large a territory on one who, if he wished to be named to the sovereignty, had not even done a service, or paid him so much courtesy. Dábishlím the anchorite was then sent for; and, having obtained the govern­ment of the country, became bound to pay tribute: saying, at the same time, “Whatever your Highness commands, I will obey, and will send to Ghazní all the gold and jewels obtained from the mines of Hindústán. There is one of my kinsmen, however, another Dábishlím, who is very hostile to me; and, as several battles have taken place between us, he will, doubtless, advance against me on knowing your Highness has departed; and, as I am not yet firmly seated in my power, or have confidence in myself, I must be subdued, and he gain possession of my country. But if the Sultán,” said he, “would now march against him, and defend me against his evil designs, I will send to Ghazní a yearly tribute, equivalent to that of Khorásán and Kábúl.” The Sultán consented to his proposal; and, when he turned his arms against that country, the people of Somnáth upbraided Dábishlím the anchorite, saying, “You have done wrong to instigate the Sultán to a religious war; yet the Almighty delights in preserving the honour of the good whom he favours; and such a one will not be injured by your designs or calumnies.”

On these words being reported to the Sultán, he was much annoyed; but, having marched to that quarter, was pleased not to forget or for­give them. In fine, having taken Dábishlím the king, he gave him in charge to Dábishlím the anchorite, who represented “that it was custom­ary for the kings of this country, when there is an enemy in their power, to prepare for him a dark dwelling below their own royal seat; where, causing him to be seated on a throne, and kept closely confined, only a hole is to be left open, through which he may receive his daily food. In this manner,” said he, “the king, who is in possession of the throne, treats his adversary during such time as he may reign. But, as I cannot just now confine him, it would be better and more convenient if your Highness would carry him to Ghazní, and send him back to me, after I have taken possession of and arranged the country, so as to become quite settled. I can then imprison him, in the manner just mentioned; and to have my requests granted is nothing wonderful or uncommon from your Highness.”

The Sultán now resolved on departure, and sounded the march for returning home. Suc­ceeding this, Dábishlím the anchorite seated himself on the throne of Somnáth; and, by for­warding rich gifts and presents, continued to please the nobles of Ghazní by all manner of good offices, till the time came for making a request that his enemy might be delivered up. The Sultán hesitated delivering a blameless person into the hands of his enemy: but, as Dábishlím the anchorite, through liberal distribu­tion of presents to the courtiers, had gained their support, all of them represented it was not necessary to have compassion on a Pagan idolater. They also said that the Sultán, having entered into a compact, ought not to break his promise; since by such opposition Dábishlím the anchorite would lose the country. The Sultán at length delivered up Dábishlím the king to the servants of the other Dábishlím, writing at the same time to the kings* of Hind, that they must escort him to the neighbourhood of Somnáth. On the former approaching Somnáth, Dábishlím the anchorite gave orders to get ready the prison which had been made for him under the throne. As it was, moreover, a custom with the kings of this country to advance one stage and meet an enemy, when approaching the royal residence, in order that they might make him run before their horses, carrying on his head the royal gob­let and ewer to the precincts of the palace, the anchorite Dábishlím therefore came forth: and, there being some delay in the other's approach, determined on following the chase. After having pursued the sport in every direction, till the heat of the day became very great, the whole army received an order to halt; when Dábishlím the anchorite, having taken up his station under a tree, covered his face with a red handkerchief and went to sleep. There hap­pened to be many beasts of prey in that jungle, who had both sharp claws and beaks; and one of these, while on the wing, having mistaken the red cloth for a piece of flesh, descended and carried it away in its claws. Dábishlím, from the blow of its beak, became blind of an eye on this occasion; and hence arose a great tumult in the army. In the mean time, the other Dábishlím arrived. When the royal attendants saw that the anchorite of that name had a per­sonal blemish, and that there was no one worthy or fit for the sovereignty but the former, all of them agreed he must be king; and made their obeisance to him accordingly. Having also advised his opponents to submit, they placed the goblet and ewer, which had been prepared for him, on the head of Dábishlím the anchorite; and, after making him run before them to the palace, confined him in the prison he had himself made.*