March of the Turks to the conquest of Irân.— Descent of the Turkish army on Kermân Shah.— Mention of some of the occurrences concerning the King, and of the disturbed state of the provinces of Irân.— Arrival of another commander of the Turks with an army in Azerbâïjân.— Engagements of the King with them.

ONE of the great events, which in these times surprised the world, and caused the confusion of Irân, and indeed of most of the kingdoms of the earth, was the march of the Turkish armies. The brief account of this affair is as follows. The Soltân of Constantinople, notwithstanding a treaty for one hundred years of peace, and the ratifica­tion of articles, that had been strengthened by the most solemn oaths and promises, and were a demonstration of his agreement and union with the Sovereigns of the exalted Safavean family, now taking the opportunity of the confusion which pre­vailed in their government and empire, to which they had as yet been unable to apply a remedy, and making himself the author of unfairness, inhumanity, and treachery, appointed for Irâk, Azerbâïjân, and Gorjistân, three or four powerful commanders, with such armies as his utmost effort enabled him to raise; and commissioned* them to effect the conquest of those provinces. He of them who was destined for the conquest of Irâk, was Ahsan Pasha, Governor of Bagdad; and for that of Azer­bâïjân, Abd Allah Pasha Vezir was named.

The aforesaid Ahsan Pasha entered the confines of Irâk with above one hundred thousand men, and halted before the town of Kermân Shah,* where he died. His son Ahmed Pasha, who was a brave soldier, received the appointment to his father's place, and used his efforts to subdue that frontier. Shah Tahmâsb Safavi, whose youth was but in its commencement, and who, after ascending the throne, had been struck with horror and the utmost grief at the fatal events in Isphahan and the captivity and imprisonment of his father, was, by a foolish courtier, under the idea of freeing him from his sorrow and melancholy, led into the meshes of a luxurious and mirthful life; and in a little time, as play and laughter have a peculiar hold on the temper of young men, his bent that way passed every bound of temperance. A judicious and long-sighted poet has sung on this subject:*

O king! from heavy draughts of wine what result will ensue?
And from unceasing drunkenness what result will ensue?
With an intoxicated king, a world in confusion, and enemies before and behind—
It is evident, from this means what result will ensue.

Amidst these circumstances was the said king in the province of Azerbâïjân; and he had formed a design to undertake the subdual of the Afghans. The arrival of the Turkish general intervening as an obstacle to this suitable intention, he employed himself in expelling the Turks from that frontier. The army of the Kizil Bâsh, or Red Head Per­sians, accompanying the stirrup, which is, follow­ing the command of this prince, who in courage and heroism was really a prodigy, had repeated and severe conflicts with the Turks, and at one time were victorious, at another time were defeated. But in spite of all their efforts, the Turks main­tained their ground, being an innumerable multi­tude, who were regularly supplied with abundant provisions, were continually recruited by fresh arrivals, and had treasures which they disposed of for the furtherance of their object. Whatever dis­comfiture befell them, and howsoever frequently; whatever number of them was killed, and how­ever often the slaughter was renewed; by the side of their immeasurable force the effect was altogether unperceivable. This distress had sud­denly assailed and at once beaten down the greatest part of the Persian confines, at a time when the centre of government, and the treasures of the empire, were in the hands of the Afghans; and when the evil-doers and exciters of tumult throughout the whole country, whom fear of punishment had hitherto held in subjection, came forth in this revolution and storm of strange events, from every hole and corner, to raise, as is their custom, their insolent heads to rebellion and trans­gression, and employ themselves in working a disturbance; when, too, the Persian army, and the men of business and direction, who possessed sense and prudence, were fallen into the abyss of con­fusion; and each person, in each place, inclining to the consideration of his own affairs, confined himself to the protection of his private wealth and family, and to the safeguard of his law and religion; so that mutual assistance and agreement with each other bordered on impossibility.