Bābur sets
out for

IN the month of Muharrem,* I set out from the vicinity of Ferghāna, intending to proceed to Khorasān, and halted at the summer-cots of Ilāk,* one of the summer pasturing districts belonging to the country of Hissār. I here entered my twenty-third year, and began to apply the razor to my face.* The followers who still adhered to my fortunes, great and small, exceeded two hundred, and fell short of three hundred. The greater part of them were on foot, with brogues on their feet, clubs in their hands, and long frocks* over their shoulders. Such was our dis­tress, that among us all we had only two tents. My own tent was pitched for my mother, and they erected for me at each stage a felt-tent of cross-poles,* in which I used to take up my quarters. Although I was on my way for Khorasān, yet, in the present state of things, I was not quite without hopes of still effecting something here among the territories and servants of Khosrou Shah. Scarce a day passed in which somebody did not join me, bringing such reports regarding the country and wandering tribes as served to feed my expectation.

At this very time, Mulla Baba Peshāgheri, whom I had sent on a mission to Khosrou Shah, came back. From Khosrou Shah he brought me no message that could cheer my mind; but he brought me favourable accounts of the disposition of the Īls and Ulūses (the wandering Tūrki and Moghul tribes of the country).

From Ilāk, in three or four journeys, I reached Khwājeh Imād, a place in the territory of Hissār. In this station, Muhibb Ali Korchi waited on me as ambassador from Khosrou Shah. Twice did my course lie through the country of this Khosrou Shah, so far-famed for his liberal conduct and generosity; and that humanity which he displayed to the meanest of men, he never showed to me. As I had expectations from the Īls and Ulūses of these districts, I halted a day at each stage. Shīrīm Taghai, than whom I had not with me a man of more eminence, from a dislike to the plan of going to Khorasān, began to think of leaving me. At the time when I had been defeated at Sir-e-pul,* and was forced to retire, he had sent away the whole of his family, and had remained with me in the fort (of Samarkand) alone, and without any encumbrance to impede his going off. He was rather unmanly, and had several times played the same game.

Joined by Bāki

When I arrived at Kabādiān,* Bāki Cheghāniāni, the younger brother of Khosrou Shah, who held Cheghāniān,* with the towns of Safa and Termez, sent the Khatīb* of Karshi, to express to me his wishes for my prosperity, and his desire to be permitted to join and accompany me as his prince; and, as I crossed the Amu, at the ferry of Ubāj, he himself came and paid his respects to me. At the desire of Bāki Cheghāniāni, I moved down towards Termez, when he brought his whole family and effects across the river and joined me, after which we proceeded towards Kahmerd and Bamiān (places at this time held by the son of Ahmed Kāsim,* the sister’s son of Khosrou Shah), intending to place our families in the fortress of Ajer, one of the towns of Kahmerd,* and, after having put it in a posture of defence, to follow whatever plan seemed best to promise success. When we reached Aibek,* Yār Ali Belāl, who had formerly been in my service, and had conducted himself with bravery, but who had been separated from me during the commotions, and was now in the employment of Khosrou Shah, deserted with several young cavaliers, and came and joined me, bringing assur­ances from the Moghuls in Khosrou Shah’s service that they were all attached to my interests. On reaching the valley of Zindān,* Kamber Ali Beg, surnamed Salākh (or the skinner), fled and came to me. In three or four marches Reaches
we reached Kahmerd, having left our wives and families in the fortress of Ajer.

While we remained in the fort of Ajer, the marriage of Jehāngīr Mirza with the daughter of Sultan Mahmūd Mirza by Khanzādeh Begum was consummated. They had been engaged during the lifetime of the Mirzas, their fathers.

Bāki ad-
vises him
to send
away Je-

At this same period, Bāki Beg repeatedly, and with much earnestness, urged his sentiments, that to have two sovereigns in one country, and two generals in one army, was an unfailing source of confusion and ruin, and inevitably productive of rebellion, mutiny, and finally of dissolution; as the poet says,

(Persian)—Ten dervīshes may repose on one cloak,
But two sovereigns cannot be contained in the same climate.
The man of God, when he eats half a loaf,
Divides the other half among the poor and needy.
If a king subdues a whole kingdom, nay a climate,
Still, as before, he covets yet another.*

That there was every reason to expect that, in a few days, all the chiefs and servants of Khosrou Shah would come in and make their submission to the King; that among them there were many seditious and turbulent men, such as the sons of Ayūb Beg and some others, who had always been the movers and exciters of discord and enmity among the Mirzas; that it was best, at the present moment, to send away Jehāngīr Mirza for Khorasān on good and friendly terms, that he might not, by and by, occasion me regret and repentance. As it was not in my nature to treat my brothers or any of my relations with disrespect or harshness, however instant he was in his representations, He refuses. I could not be prevailed on to assent to them. For although great heart-burning and difference had formerly existed between Jehāngīr Mirza and me, arising from our rivalry in authority, and from our both aiming at the possession of the sovereignty,* yet, at this time, he had left his country to accompany me, he was my brother and my dependant, and, in addition to this, had not at this time done anything which could be the ground of dissatisfaction. Afterwards, however, these very exciters of sedition who had been pointed out, Yūsef Ayūb and Behlūl Ayūb, deserted from me, went over to Jehāngīr Mirza, and were so successful in their seditious schemes and machinations, that they alienated his mind from me, and carried him into Khorasān, exactly as Bāki Beg had predicted.

Sultan Hus-
sain Mirza’s

At this time there came strange long-winded letters from Sultan Hussain Mirza to Badīa-ez-zemān, to me, to Khosrou Shah, and to Zūlnūn Beg. These letters are still by me. The purport of them was as follows: When the three brothers, Sultan Ahmed Mirza, Sultan Mahmūd Mirza, and Ulugh Beg Mirza, united their forces and advanced against me, I guarded the banks of the river Murghāb,* and the Mirzas, after having come close up to me, were compelled to retreat, without effecting anything. Should the Uzbeks now advance, I will again defend the banks of the Murghāb. Badīa-ez-zemān Mirza, after having put the fortresses of Balkh, Shaberghān, and Andekhūd,* in a state of defence, and confided them to trusty officers, must himself proceed to Garzewān, the Dareh-e-Zang,* and the rest of that hill-country. He also wrote to me to this effect*: Do you defend Kahmerd, Ajer, and the tract of hill-country in that neighbourhood. Khosrou Shah, after leaving trusty men in Hissār and Kunduz, is to proceed, accompanied by his brother Wali, to the defence of the hilly tracts of Badakhshān and Khutlān, so that the Uzbeks will be forced to retreat without effecting anything.


These letters of Sultan Hussain Mirza threw us into despair; for, at that time, of the whole house of Taimūr Beg, there was no sovereign so respectable, either in regard to age, dominions, or military force; and it was expected that envoys and agents would have been treading hard on each other’s heels, and assiduously giving orders to collect so many vessels at the passes of Termez, Kilif, and Kirki,* and so many materials for constructing bridges; and that commands would have been issued for guarding carefully the upper passes* of Togūzūlūm, that the inhabitants, whose spirit for some years had been quite broken down by the incursions of the Uzbeks, might have time to recover heart. But when a mighty prince, like Sultan Hussain Mirza, who occupied the throne of Taimūr Beg, instead of proposing to march against the enemy, only issued directions to strengthen a few posts, what hopes could people entertain?