HAVING failed in repeated* expeditions against Samar­kand and Andejān, I once more returned to Khojend. Khojend is but a small place; and it is difficult for one to support two hundred retainers in it. How, then, could a man, ambitious of empire, set himself down contentedly in so insignificant a place?

Bābur gets
for one

In order to forward my views against Samarkand, I now sent some persons to Muhammed Hussain Korkān Dughlet, who held Uratippa, to confer with him, and induce him to lend me for one winter Peshāgher, which is one of the villages of Yār-ailāk. It had formerly belonged to the reverend Khwājeh, but, during the confusions, had become dependent on him; and my plan now was, to take up my residence there, and attempt whatever circumstances might suggest against Samarkand. Muhammed Hussain Dughlet gave his consent, and I left Khojend, on my way to Peshāgher.

Attempt to

When I reached Zamīn, I was seized with a fever; notwithstanding which, I mounted, and, having left that place, proceeded with great speed, by the mountain-route against Rabāt-e-Khwājeh,* which is the seat of the Dārōgha, or governor of the Tumān of Shādwār, in the hope that we might have been able to come upon it and apply our scaling-ladders unobserved, and so carry the place by surprise. I reached it at daybreak; but, finding the garrison on the alert, retreated, and reached Peshāgher, without halting anywhere. In spite of my fever, I had ridden fourteen farsangs, though with great difficulty, and I suffered much from the exertion.

the forts of

In a few days, I dispatched Ibrahīm Sāru, Weis Lāghari, and Shīrīm Taghāi, with some Begs of my party, and a body of my partisans and adherents, to proceed without loss of time, and reduce, either by negotiation or by force, all the fortresses of Yār-ailāk. At this time, Syed Yūsef Beg was in command of the district of Yār-ailāk. He had remained behind in Samarkand when I abandoned it, and had been well treated by Sultan Ali Mirza.* Syed Yūsef Beg had sent his brother and younger son* for the purpose of occupying and managing Yār-ailāk. Ahmed Yūsef, who at present has the government of Siālkot,* was in charge of the for­tresses. My Begs and soldiers set out accordingly; and exerting themselves with uncommon activity during the whole winter, gained possession of the strong places, some by negotiation, some by storm, and others by artifice and stratagem. In consequence of the incursions of the Moghuls and Usbeks, there is not a village in the whole district of Yār-ailāk which is not converted into a fortress. On the occasion in question, suspicions being entertained of Syed Yūsef Beg, his younger brother, and son, on account of their known attachment to me, they were all sent away to Khorasān.

The winter passed in such efforts and attempts as these. In the spring, Sultan Ali Mirza sent Khwājeh Yahya to treat with me, while he himself marched with his army* into the neighbourhood of Shirāz and Kābad. My soldiers, though above two hundred in number, did not amount to three hundred; and the enemy was in great force. I had hovered for a while about Andejān, but my star had not prospered. butis forced
to abandon
Samarkand, too, had slipped out of my hands.* I was now compelled by necessity to make some sort of peace, and returned back from Peshāgher.

Khojend is an inconsiderable place, from which a single Beg would have found it difficult to have supported himself. There, however, I had remained with my whole family, for a year and a half, or nearly two years. The Musulmans of the place, during all that time, had strained themselves to the utmost extent of their abilities to serve me.* With what face, therefore, could I return to Khojend, and, indeed, what benefit could result from it?

(Tūrki couplet)There was no secure place for me to go to,
And no place of safety for me to stay in.
among the

In this state of irresolution and uncertainty, I went to the Ailāks,* to the south of Uratippa, and spent some time in that quarter, perplexed and distracted with the hopeless state of my affairs.*

Visited by

One day, while I remained there, Khwājeh Abul Makāram, who, like myself, was an exile and a wanderer, came to visit me. I took the opportunity of consulting him with respect to my situation and concerns—whether it was advisable for me to remain where I was, or to go elsewhere—what I should attempt, and what I should leave untried. He was so much affected with the state in which he found me, that he shed tears, and, after praying over me,* took his departure. I myself was also extremely affected.

Invited to

That very day, about afternoon prayers, a horseman was descried at the bottom of the valley. He proved to be a servant of Ali Dost Taghāi, named Yūljūk. He came with a message from his master, to inform me that he had undoubtedly offended deeply, but that he trusted to my clemency for forgiving his past offences; and that, if I would march to join him, he would deliver up Marghinān to me, and would do me such service and duty as would wipe away his past errors, and free him from his disgrace.

Instantly on hearing this news,* without delay, I that very moment (it was then about sunset) set out post for Marghinān. From the place where I then was to Marghinān may be a distance of twenty-four or twenty-five farsangs. That night till morning, and the next day till the time of noon-day prayers, I halted in no place whatsoever. About noon-day prayers, I halted at a village of Khojend, named Tunek-āb;* and, after having refreshed our horses, and fed and watered them, we again mounted at midnight, left Tunek-āb, rode all that night till morning, and all next day till sunset, and, just before sunrise the following morning, we came within one farsang of Marghinān. Weis Beg and some others, after considering matters, now represented to me, that Ali Dost Taghāi was one who had stickled at no crimes; that there had been no repeated interchange of messengers between us—no terms or conditions agreed upon; with what confidence, therefore, could we put ourselves in his power*? In truth, these reflections had reason on their side. I therefore halted a little, and held a consultation, when it was finally agreed, that, though our reflections were not without foundation, we had been too late of making them. We had now passed three days and three nights without rest; and we had come a distance of twenty-five farsangs without stopping; that neither man nor horse had any strength left; that there was no possi­bility of retreating, and, even if we could retreat, no place of safety to retire to; that, since we had come so far, we must proceed. Nothing happens but by the will of God. Re­posing ourselves on His protection, we went forward.

About the time of the sunnet* (or morning prayer), we reached the gate of the castle of Marghinān. Ali Dost Taghāi stood over* the gateway, without throwing the gate open, and desired conditions. After I had assented to terms, and given him my promise, he caused the gates to be opened, and paid his respects to me, conducting me to a suitable house within the fort. The men who had accom­panied me amounted, great and small, to two hundred and forty.

State of

Ūzūn Hassan and Sultan Ahmed Tambol had, I found, conducted themselves very ill, and behaved with great tyranny to the people of the country. The whole inhabitants now anxiously wished for my restoration. Two or three days after my arrival in Marghinān, therefore, I dispatched Kāsim Beg, with a party of my Peshāgher men, a few others who had recently entered my service, and some of Ali Dost Beg’s people, in all rather above a hundred men, with instructions to proceed to the south of Andejān, to the people of the hill country, such as the Ashparis, the Tūrūkshārs, the Jagrags, and others in that quarter, and to attempt to prevail upon them, either by negotiation or force, to make their submission. I also sent Ibrahīm Sāru, Weis Lāghari, and Sayyidī Kāra, with about a hundred men, towards Akhsi, with instructions to pass the river of Khojend, to use all means to gain possession of the forts,* and to conciliate and win over the people of the hills.

Ūzūn Has-
san and
advance to