Distress of

THE blockade drawing out to a great length, provisions and supplies coming in from no quarter, and no succours or reinforcements appearing on any hand, the soldiers and inhabitants at length began to lose all hope, went off by ones and twos, escaped from the city* and deserted. Sheibāni Khan, who knew the distress of the inhabitants, came and encamped at the Lovers’ Cave. I also moved my head-quarters and came to Kūe payān (Low Street) to Malik Muhammed Mirza’s house.* At this crisis, Ūzūn Hassan, the son of Khwājeh Hussain, who had been the chief ringleader in the rebellion of Jehāngīr Mirza, by which I had formerly been obliged to leave Samarkand; and who had afterwards been the prime mover of much rebellion and sedition, as has been related, entered the town with ten or fifteen followers. The famine and distress of the town’s-people and soldiers had now reached the greatest excess. Even men who were about my person, and others high in my confidence, began to let themselves down over the walls and make their escape. Of the chiefs, Weis Sheikh and Weis Bāburi* deserted and fled. I now despaired of assistance or relief from any quarter. There was no side to which I could look with hope. Our provisions and stores, which from the first had been scanty, were now totally exhausted, and no new supplies could enter the city. In these circumstances, Sheibāni Khan proposed terms. Had I had the slightest hopes of relief, or had any stores remained within the place, never would I have listened to him. Compelled, however, by necessity, a sort of capitulation Bābur
leaves the
was agreed upon, and about midnight I left the place by Sheikh-zādeh’s gate, accompanied by my mother the Khanum. Two other ladies escaped with us, the one of them Bechega Khalīfeh, the other Mingelik Gokultāsh: my eldest sister Khanzādeh Begum was intercepted, and fell into the hands of Sheibāni Khan, as we left the place on this occasion. Having entangled ourselves among the great branches of the canals of the Soghd, during the darkness of the night, we lost our way, and after encountering many difficulties, we passed Khwājeh Dīdār about dawn. By the time of early morning prayers, we arrived at the hillock of Kārbūgh, and passing it on the north below the village of Khardek* we made for Ilān-ūtī. On the road, I had a race with Kamber Ali and Kāsim Beg. My horse got the lead. As I turned round on my seat to see how far I had left them behind, my saddle-girth being slack, the saddle turned round, and I came to the ground right on my head. Although I immediately sprang up and mounted, yet I did not recover the full possession of my faculties till the evening, and the world, and all that occurred at the time, passed before my eyes and apprehension like a dream, or a phantasy, and disappeared. The time of afternoon prayers was past ere we reached Ilān-ūtī, where we alighted, and, having killed a horse, cut him up, and dressed slices of his flesh; we stayed a little time to rest our horses, then mounting again, before daybreak we alighted at the village of Khalīleh. From reaches
Khalīleh we proceeded to Dizak.* At that time Tāher Duldāi, the son of Hāfiz Muhammed Beg Duldāi, was governor of Dizak. Here we found nice fat flesh, bread of fine flour well baked, sweet melons, and excellent grapes in great abundance; thus passing from the extreme of famine to plenty, and from an estate of danger and calamity to peace and ease:

(Tūrki)— From famine and distress we have escaped to repose
We have gained fresh life, and a fresh world.
(Persian)— The fear of death was removed from the heart
The torments of hunger were removed away.

In my whole life, I never enjoyed myself so much, nor at any period of it felt so sensibly the pleasures of peace and plenty. Enjoyment after suffering, abundance after want, come with increased relish, and afford more exquisite delight. I have four or five times,* in the course of my life, passed in a similar manner from distress to ease, and from a state of suffering to enjoyment: but this was the first time that I had ever been delivered from the injuries of my enemy, and the pressure of hunger, and passed from them to the ease of security, and the pleasures of plenty. Having rested and enjoyed ourselves two or three days in Dizak, we proceeded on to Uratippa.


Peshāgher is a little out of the road, yet as I had formerly passed some time there, I turned aside and visited it again. In the fortress of Peshāgher I unexpectedly fell in with an ātūn (or governess), who had long been in the service of the Khanum, my mother, but whom, on the present occasion, for want of horses, we had been compelled to leave behind in Samarkand. On accosting her, we found that she had travelled all the way from Samarkand on foot. My mother’s younger sister, Khub Nigār Khanum,* had departed from this transitory life; information of the event was communi­cated to my mother and me at Uratippa. My father’s mother had also paid the debt of mortality at Andejān, and the news was communicated here. My mother,* since the death of my maternal grandfather,* had never seen her mothers,* nor her younger brother and sisters, Shah Begum, Sultan Muhammed Khan, Sultan Nigār Khanum,* and Doulet Sultan Khanum,* and had been separated from them thirteen or fourteen years. She now set out for Tāshkend, Goes to
for the purpose of seeing them. After consulting with Muhammed Hussain Mirza, it was arranged that I should take up my winter-quarters in the village of Dehkat, which belongs to Uratippa. I therefore went thither with my baggage, which I deposited there, and in the course of a few days afterwards, I, too, went to Tāshkend to see Shah Begum, my maternal uncle, and my other friends and relations. I waited on Shah Begum and my uncle accord­ingly, and remained with them for some days. My mother’s eldest sister of the full-blood, Meher Nigār Khanum,* also arrived from Samarkand. My mother the Khanum fell sick, became desperately ill, and was reduced to the point of death. The reverend Khwājehka Khwājeh had left Samar­kand, and now arrived at Farket. I went to Farket and paid the Khwājeh a visit. I had entertained hopes that the Khan my uncle, from affection and regard, might give me some country or district; and he did give me Uratippa, but Mahmūd Hussain Mirza refused to deliver it up. Whether he did this of himself, or acted on a hint from higher authority, I cannot tell; however that be, in a few days Returns to
I returned to Dehkat.

of Dehkat.

Dehkat is one of the hill-districts of Uratippa.* It lies on the skirts of a very high mountain, immediately on passing which, you come on the country of Masīkha. The inhabitants, though Sarts,* have large flocks of sheep, and herds of mares, like the Tūrks. The sheep belonging to Dehkat may amount to forty thousand. We took up our lodgings in the peasants’ houses. I lived at the house of one of the head men of the place. He was an aged man, seventy or eighty years old. His mother was still alive, and had attained an extreme old age, being at this time a hundred and eleven years old. One of this lady’s relations had accompanied the army of Taimūr Beg, when it invaded Hindustān.* The circumstances remained fresh in her memory, and she often told us stories on that subject. In the district of Dehkat alone, there still were of this lady’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grand­children, to the number of ninety-six persons; and including those deceased, the whole amounted to two hundred. One of her great-grandchildren was at this time a young man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, with a fine black beard. While I remained in Dehkat, I was accustomed to walk on foot all about the hills in the neighbourhood. I generally went out barefoot, and, from this habit of walking barefoot, I soon found that our feet became so hardened that we did not mind rock or stone in the least. In one of these walks, between afternoon and evening prayers, we met a man who was going with a cow in a narrow road. I asked him the way. He answered, ‘Keep your eye fixed on the cow; and do not lose sight of her till you come to the issue of the road, when you will know your ground.’ Khwājeh Asadullah, who was with me, enjoyed the joke, observing, ‘What would become of us wise men were the cow to lose her way?’