Conclusion of the history of the Shah.— Fight between the Shah's army and Ashraf the Afghân; and defeat of the for­mer.— Departure of the Shah for Mâzenderân; thence for Khorâsân, and his reduction of that province.— Melik Mah­môd Khan goes to meet the Shah's troop, with the intent to offer battle.— Melik Mahmôd is besieged.— Capture of the holy Meshed.— Departure of the Author from Mâzenderân to Asterâbâd.— His arrival at Meshed.— Nadr Coli Beg comes to the Royal Camp; he arrives at power, and obtains the title of Tahmâsb Coli Khân.

Now, in order to connect my discourse, I pro­ceed to give a summary account of what passed with the illustrious monarch, Shah Tahmâsb, who for some years had maintained such a strife with the Turkish army in Azerbâïjân, that the Kizil Bâsh were become weary of combats and skir­mishes; and most of his army having perished in the fight, and the Turks having spread their con­quests over that province, and the provinces of Shirvân and Gorjistân, the field of his operations became narrow limited. In his helplessness he withdrew his hand from those confines, and indulging the idea, that perchance he might rescue the province of Irâk, out of the grasp of the Afghâns, he entered Tehrân and Rei, with the forces he still possessed. Ashraf the Afghân, having obtained full power and authority on his side, was prepared for the fight, and giving battle to the King's army in the environs of Tehrân, he came off victorious. The Commander of the troops of the Kizil Bâsh, who was of the number of my friends, was taken prisoner in the action, but after­wards found means to escape. The King, having no longer any ability for a hostile engagement, retired to Mâzenderân to meditate on future mea­sures; and the Afghâns became sovereigns of the territory as far as the confines of Khorâsân. As the plague was prevalent in Mâzenderân, a multi­tude of the King's troops died of that disorder, and scarcely a soldier remained for his service. In a fit of grief he drew the cypher of dismissal on the forehead of his Omarâs and courtiers, and expelling them all from his royal attendance, he formed the design of marching into Khorâsân with some chosen followers, and reconquering that country from the hands which had subdued it; and having joined to his stirrup a troop of warriors from the assembly of Câjârs at Asterâbâd, he entered that province. Khorâsân at that time was divided into three portions. Candahâr and its dependencies were in possession of the Kilizehi Afghâns; and the rest of Khorâsân was subject to Melik Mahmôd Khân, governor of Nîmrôz, or Sistân, who had become lord of the coin and prone, and held his residence in Meshed Tôs. He had drawn together a numerous and warlike army, and was himself a valiant man. His lineage was connected with the Safavean Soltans; and it was expected that paying regard to the obligations of so many years' service held under that illustrious house, and to the gratitude which he owed it for his mainte­nance and support, he would come forward with the step of excusation. But this grace of guidance was not granted him from God; and going out to meet the Shah's troop with intent of battle, he advanced as far as the fort of Asfarâyin. As soon as the King heard of his bold intrepidity he delayed not a moment to mount his horse, in the determination to meet and punish the Khân, and immediately headed the advanced guard against him. But Melik Mahmôd Khân, repenting of his audacity, returned in all haste to the holy Meshed, and began to labour at fortifying the castle and the ramparts; and the King having encamped before the gate of the city, applied himself to the siege. Every day Melik Mahmôd Khân, sallying forth from the intrenchments with a park of artillery and all the means and implements of war, would engage a conflict with the royal army; and persevered in this practice for several months. In the mean time the inhabitants of the other towns, and the peasantry of Khorâsân, grateful for the cherish­ment of the Safavean family, gave up their cities to the King, and flocking in troops to the royal army, they girt their loins in his service and placed their lives and persons at his disposal. The affairs of Melik Mahmôd became straitened, and that distinguished city was captured. Melik Mahmôd was thrown into prison, and there, by the officious­ness of one of the Omarâs, was put to death, with­out the knowledge of the King. Whilst Shah Tahmâsb was in Meshed, I removed from Mâzen­derân to Asterâbâd, where I met with a Seyyid of praiseworthy qualities, Seyyid Mofid of that town, who was one of the excellent men of his age. Thence I went to Meshed, and had the honour of visiting the tomb of Rizâ, on whom be peace! Here I chose to make my abode; and the King, from his proneness to the encouragement of merit and his condescension, which were the dis­tinguishing qualities of that exalted race, came to my house, and shewed me great kindness. During this time he had conflicts with the Abdâli Afghâns and with the rebels of the different districts of that province, and obtained victory over them all.

At the period of the siege of the holy Meshed, when troops of soldiers and peasantry from all parts of Khorâsân flocked to the royal camp, Nadr Coli Beg of the Afshâr tribe, and a native of Abiverd, was also of the number of those who came to the camp. By degrees he became the object on which the royal favours centered, and by the aid of fortune obtained the powerful and illustri­ous situation of Côrchi Bâshi Gari,* and the title of Tahmâsb Coli Khân. But with the Omarâs and the lords of dignities he had no lustre, and knowing them to be a thorn in his way, he began to labour for their ruin. The King, at first, had perfect regard for him, so that the manage­ment of all the important affairs of the empire became subject to his judgement and opinion, and he gained unlimited authority.

For my part, though in that blessed town I had a multitude of friends, I held little society with the people, and busied myself with my own affairs. I there wrote a great part of my book called Romôz Kashfieh, and some other treatises; and sometimes went into the company of the grandees and men of ability.