Engagements of the King with the faction of Dargazîn and the Turkish armies in Azerbâïjân, and his victory over them.— He lays siege to the castle of Iravân, and makes peace with the Turks.— The Author travels by sea from Bender Abbâsi to Bender Sôrat, and thence to Mecca, the Revered.— Has the honour of making his procession round the Kaaba, and of performing the sacrificial rites of the Hijjat Ol Islâm.— Returns from his pilgrimage to Bender Abbâsi.— Arrival of the Khan at Isphahan.— Shah Tahmâsb is deposed from the sovereignty, and his son Abbâs Mirza is made King.— Oppo­sition and war of the Bakhtiâri Tribe against the Great Khan, and their subsequent submission.— March of the Great Khan to Bagdad.— Defeat of Ahmed Pasha, and siege of Bagdad.

THE King, having marched from Isphahan, and fought several battles with the rebels of Dargazîn, destroyed their fort, and having reduced to obedi­ence the few who were of a remnant of the sword, he turned his face towards Azerbâïjân. There he crossed the river Araxes. A body of Turkish troops also had been preparing on their side for the conflict, and in the neighbourhood of the town of Iravân the meeting of the two armies took place. The King gained the victory; and from persons who were present on the field of battle I have heard, that nine thousand of the Turks were killed in the action; and that a rich booty fell into the hands of the Kizil Bâsh. In truth it was a signal triumph; and as the Turks who were in the Castle of Iravân had endeavoured to fortify themselves in that place, the King applied his efforts to besiege it.

In consequence of these events great agitation prevailed throughout the Turkish empire, and the princes of the Othman government having con­certed measures dispatched Ahmed Pasha of Bag­dad with a copious army in the direction of Irâk, that by this means the King and the forces of the Kizil Bâsh might be induced to abandon the siege of Iravân. And so it happened; for when the news reached the King of the arrival of the Turk­ish army in Irâk, which province at that time was unprovided with any governor possessing power and bravery, he retired from the siege of Iravân, thinking the repulsion of that army to be an affair of more importance, and directed his march to Irâk. The hostile parties met in the environs of Hamadân, and halted near to each other. Ahmed Pasha, the aforesaid, practising deceit, repeatedly sent messages of peace and put forth frequent entreaties to lay aside contention and enmity, so that the army of the Kizil Bâsh soon became neglectful of their warlike preparations.

And still the negotiations for peace continued; but as the two quarrelsome armies were stationed very close to each other, and as it were hand to collar, a number of the most eager to fight entered the field on both sides, and engaged a combat with each other. To hinder hostilities on either party now became difficult, and suddenly a general action took place. The Turks having made an entry into a ruined fort, which stood close to the lines of the Kizil Bâsh, strengthened their position, and opened a fire of musquetry. The lines of the Kizil Bâsh began to disappear, and in an hour's time were entirely dispersed. An universal flight ensued, and however much the King exerted himself to arrest it, his efforts were unavailing. Some of his Omarâs, hanging by the reins of his horse, at length con­ducted him out of the field. The Turks on their side proceeded on no further, but returning to Bagdad in perfect satisfaction with the victory they had gained, they sent some persons acquainted with the language to the King, to sue for peace and to arrange the terms of an amicable adjustment, making many apologies for their former conduct. The King on his part gave his consent, and a peace was concluded between the two nations. The King returned to Isphahan, and on the very same day that I was about to go on board a ship at Bender Abbâsi, and to set sail on my journey to Hijâz, a letter came to me from the King with others from a number of my friends in the camp, conveying to me the true statement of these occurrences.

Having embarked I sailed to Bender Sôrat, where I staid near two months, and then departed for the place of my destination. The Europeans during the voyage were very respectful and atten­tive in their kind services towards me, until I arrived at the port of Jidda, where the near attain­ment of the wished for happiness quickly made me forget the endless disquietudes of a sea-voyage. From that place I afterwards accomplished my pilgrimage to the venerable House of God and to Mount Minâ, and by the grace and guidance of the Lord of Glory obtained the desire I had so long been cherishing. In Mecca the Revered, by reason of an intimation made to me in a dream, I wrote a treatise on The Imâmat,* and was inclined to remain in that holy spot. But on several accounts it was impossible, and in the month Moharram, one thousand one hundred and forty-five (latter end of June, 1732) joining a caravan of pilgrims bound to Lahsâ, I traversed the desert in the heat of summer and arrived at that town. From that country I sailed to the island of Bah­rein, and thence to Bender Abbâsi.

Here I found that the affairs of Irân were again thrown into confusion, the change of its Sovereign having occurred in the beginning of the year. The summary of that transaction is as follows: Tahmâsb Colî Khân was occupied in the siege of Herât, when the King fought the battle of Hamadân and afterwards made peace with the Turks. The Great Khân, attributing this business to want of prudent conduct, disapproved of the treaty; and after eight months storming and blockade having forced his entrance into Herât and sub­dued and slaughtered the Abdâli Afghans, and on the few who escaped the sword having imposed the obligation of perpetual service in the army, he returned to the Holy Meshed. There he summoned to him some of the nearest atten­dants and most confidential ministers of the King, and having gained their acquiescence to his opinion of affairs, and fixed his design of attacking Ahmed Pasha and making the conquest of Bag­dad, he said: “I shall first wait on the King, and having taken leave of him I will then go to Bag­dad.” The courtiers having repaired to the King, who judging by appearances was suspicious of the Khan's design to declare himself independent, tranquillized his mind by the demonstration of his devotedness and sincere affection, and the Great Khan, arriving in Isphahan with a copious army, waited on the Shah and spoke of the permission which he was desirous of to march against the Turks. Being empowered to conduct the expedi­tion he was preparing to set his troops in motion, when, one day, the courtiers promoted a wish that the King should go to the apartments of the Khan, which were in one of the royal gardens; and the King, in consequence, mounted his horse privately, and rode to the garden. The Khan advanced to meet him on foot, paid to him his dutiful obei­sances, and having spread the carpet of convivial entertainment, intreated him to remain there that day. When the King had abandoned himself to sleep, the Khan sent for some of the chiefs of his army and made a speech to them on the exercise of the sovereign power. “In the present circum­stances,” said he, “the advisable measure is, that, on account of the weakness of his fortunes, the King should withdraw some time from sovereign power into retirement. We will then raise his son to the sovereignty, and dispatch our business with the Turks.” As this purpose had been pre­viously concerted, they gave their approval on their part, and informed the King of the issue of their deliberations. Unable to help himself he submitted to his fate, and his son, an infant but two months old, was carried into the royal tribunal, the prone was said and the coin struck in his name, and he was styled by the title of Shah Abbâs. Having sent away Shah Tahmâsb under a strong guard into Khorâsân, the Khan, who had himself previously married one of the royal females, then gave another of them in marriage to his eldest son: and whatever was stored up in the treasuries and magazines belonging to the King now fell into the possession of the Great Khân. He next appointed governors of his own over the whole kingdom of Irân, and having assigned some attendants to the above-mentioned Shah Abbâs he sent him to Cazvin. A body of the Bakhtiâri tribe revolting at this transaction made a dis­turbance and murdered their new governor. To chide their petulance the Khan marched from Isphahan, and after a fierce altercation reduced them to submission.

Having set out on his march to Bagdad, the Great Khan fought a battle on the road with an army of Turks, and proving victorious drove the enemy before him to that city. Ahmed Pasha, governor of that court of peace, marched out with an immense army, and ventured an engagement. Being routed he fled to the citadel. The Great Khan boldly advanced to the siege of that place, and having thrown a strong bridge of boats over the Tigris and occupied both sides of the bank and citadel, he applied himself to the close blockade of the besieged. The appurtenances and dependencies of Bagdad were all gained posses­sion of by the Kizil Bâsh, and were subjected to contingent hardships. Ahmed Pasha certainly shewed great valour and firmness in the mainte­nance of the citadel; but as he had no means of escape and founded no security on a surrender to the Kizil Bâsh, his only alternative was in an obstinate resistance; so that being encompassed by an overflowing army during a siege of protracted length, that immense city fell a prey to famine, and the inhabitants fed on almost every kind of animal, whether eatable or uneatable, even dogs and cats; and the condition of the besieged became one of the severest hardship.

Having described a portion of these occur­rences, I will now revert to the history of my own adventures.