March of the Great Khan to Hamadân.— His conflicts with the Turks, and victory over them.— The Author removes from Tehrân to Isphahân.— The Khan marches his army into Azerbâïjân, reconquers the court of Sovereignty, Tabriz, and puts the Turks to flight.— Expedition of the Great Khan from Azerbâïjân to Khorâsân.— Siege of the Court of Sovereignty, Herât.— The Author removes from Isphahan to Shiraz.— Arrives at Bender Abbâsi and resolves on a jour­ney to Mecca.

AFTER the fortunate termination of these affairs, Tahmâsb Coli Khan marching from Fârs by the road of Arabistân and Loristân came to Calam Row Ali Shakar, where he engaged the Pasha of Hamadân and the Turkish troops, and having gained a victory over them and slain an immense number of their men, he subdued and cleared of enemies the whole territory of Irâk. The few Turks who were a remnant of the sword fled to Bagdad. At that time, as he had obtained power and rule over the affairs, both general and particular, of all the royal provinces, the King had given to him his own diadem* and seal; but he felt sick and annoyed at his overbearance and superiority.

For my part, I came from Tehran to Isphahan, and beheld that great city, notwithstanding the presence of the king, in utter ruin and desertion. Of all that population and of my friends scarcely any one remained. At that period the excellent Mawla, Molla Mohammed Shafia, of Gilân, whom I have before mentioned, had come to Isphahan and was Sheikh Al Islâm. In that city he breathed his last. There also was that ingenious scholar Sheikh Abd Allah of Gilân, who possessed most laudable qualities, and ranked among my friends. He died a short time ago. Leading a retired life in that city was also the excellent Mawla, Molla Mohammed Jafar of Sabzavâr, who was one of the knowing and contemplative devo­tees* and had maintained with me a friendship of long standing. At that time he came once by night to my house and I had the happiness of enjoying his society. In Isphahan I staid six months, and spoke profitable words to the king, more than once pointing out to him several things which apparently would ensure the stability of his throne and fortunes: but it fell not conform­able to the decrees of fate.

Tahmâsb Coli Khân went to Azerbâïjân, and having liberated its capital, Tabriz, and fought a severe battle with the Turks, in which he com­pletely defeated them, he retook possession of all that part of the province of Azerbâïjân, which is on this side of the river Aras,* and to every place appointed a governor. The other side of that river he did not trouble himself about, but entered into a negotiation of peace with the Turkish com­manders on the frontier; and whereas at that time there was a disturbance in Khorasan, raised by a body of Turkomans and the Abdâli Afghans of Herât, who had found the field clear of all resistance, he turned the reins of his direction towards that province, and having given the Turkomans an effectual chastisement, he advanced against the castle of Herât and besieged the Afghans.

And as a set of persons, in the small town of Dargazin, one of the dependencies of Hama­dân, who during the time of the Afghans had been friendly with them and had raised seditions, being now come together held forth headstrong pretensions and had fortified the castle, the King, with a design to repress their rebellion and to effect the liberation of the rest of Azerbâïjan, set out on his march from Isphahan and insisted much on my accompanying him. But at that time I was no longer in order nor in a condition for such a journey, and retiring with an excuse* I departed from Isphahan towards Shiraz, to spend some time in that city, till something should occur.*

On my arrival at Shiraz, I found that city in ruin and confusion. Of all my great friends there, the greatest I had in the world, not one remained on foot; and I met with a crowd of their children and relatives in the most melancholy condition and without resource. Among them was Mirza Hâdi, son and successor of the late Mawla, Shah Mohammed Shirâzi, who was not void of some attraction towards God. Having abandoned the conversation and life of the world, he dwelt in the convents and cemeteries of that city, and was utterly detached from temporal affairs and eccen­tric in his thoughts and practices. As he had a friendship of long standing for me, he paid me a visit, and what is very remarkable is this, that even in the condition in which he then was he had a wonderful taste for the enigma.* Though he made no riddles himself, he was extremely forward and eager for their discussion, and in the solution of them was very ingenious. So quick indeed was he in his transitions,* that I never saw any master of the art equal in ability to him. For myself, I never had any favour for the enigma; I thought it an unprofitable study, and begrudged the employment of my thoughts upon it. But as the pliability and correct taste which the mind acquires by education are of assistance in every thing, and as genius makes its own whatever it applies itself to, I mastered this method of com­position also, in the style which suited it, and produced in the society of the masters of this art many beautiful enigmas. A great number were composed by me impromptu during a day or two that I passed in the company of the said Mirza Hâdi, and a few that occur to me at the moment of writing this I here insert, as fol­lows.

On the word Mâlik, or King.*
O recluse of withered fortunes and curled up!
The breath of thy coldness has blown away our carpet.
It turned to the season of the fall when thou camest towards the orchard:
The rose became broken-leaved and blasted with cold.
On the word Nasîr, or Defender.*
So much pain has come to our soul from thy thumb-ring,*
That the point of thy arrow now falls idly on the shaft of thy shots.
On the word Khânadân, or Household.*
If the eye of the virtuous is a stranger to the sleep of quiet,
We have at last after this mortal life a vigilant and kind for­tune awaiting us.
On the word Jamâl, or Beauty.*
Last year you opened the road of oppression over my hopes;
This year you have done the same without reason or limit.
On the word Tarsâ, or Pagan.*
The tear that starts in the eye of love— when can it rest sta­tionary,
As long as the maniac turns his face to the thorns and bram­bles of the desert?
On the word Amân, or Safety.*
The shirt of the enraged mirror became a tunic,
When thy arrow was seen transparent on my bosom.
On the word Cabâ, or Tunic.*
Whilst I seal my lips amidst my wretched existence in the world,
My heart without the night of thy union is fit only for sighs and lamentation.
On the word Nafy, or Negation.*
Metaphor and vanity are in the world so much become
Reality, that truth is departed from the midst of us.

In short, the plundered inhabitants of Shirâz gathered round me, and displaying to me their condition moved my heart from its place, so that under those circumstances it appeared to me dis­agreeable to remain among them, and I set out thence in the direction of the warm countries of Fârs. Having entered the town of Lâr I staid there through the winter. But neither in that country did I feel any desire to continue my abode; for the whole empire was in a state of ruin, and the royal ordinances and statutes during these few years of interregnum had been broken and scattered to the four winds. There was wanted a king of power, with prudence and judgment, who should occupy himself a length of time with the affairs of each town and village, and with down­right severity bring the country to amendment. But in this short space nothing of the kind had yet been effected; and, by the decrees of heaven, in these times there is not to be found on the whole surface of the earth a chief who possesses the proper qualities for governing: on the contrary at the present moment each of the Soltans, and Chiefs, and Commanders throughout the universe is, as far as my opinion goes, and to speak of them as I have found them, of meaner worth and more without rule than any or most of their subjects; except some of the rulers of the Frank kingdoms, who in the institutes and ways of life, and in the government and regulation of their states, are strong and constant. From them, however, by reason of their immense distance, little or no advantage is derived towards the condition of the people who inhabit the coasts and regions of other climates.*

Turning the reins of my direction from Lâr to Bender Abbâsi I arrived in that town, and was there attacked with a long and severe illness. As soon as I obtained relief, I again formed a plan of a journey to Hijâz. A company of Europeans residing in that port were on terms of the kindest and most friendly intimacy with me. As their ships and packets are very spacious and are fitted up with convenient apartments, and their naviga­tors also are more expert on the sea and more skilful in their art than any other nation, I chose to go by a vessel of theirs.

My word-embroidering reed, in order to con­nect my discourse, will now describe the remain­der of the King's history.