Continuation of the Author's adventures.— He removes from Bender Abbâsi and arrives at the town of Lâr.— Cruelty of the governor and officers of the revenue in that country.— Command of Mohammed Khan of the Balôch tribe in the province of Fârs.

WHEN I arrived at Bender Abbâsi I found that in consequence of the severe distresses I had undergone in my journey to Hijâz, and of the numerous debts which had fallen on my shoulders, it was entirely out of my power to stir from that place. During the two months that I remained in that port I employed all the means I could to release my obligations, and settled to the best of my power the distracted affairs of myself and dependents. At that period, by reason of the revolution in the government, the change in the laws and regulations of the empire, and the heavy and excessive taxes laid on every class of the people, the province of Lâristân was in a disturbed condition, and utter confusion reigned. The inhabitants, who had been afflicted by all kinds of accidents and misfortunes, and for so many years had been trampled on by such a cruel enemy as the Afghans, were now in bad circumstances of life, and possessed no power or ability for the further endurance of financial burthens, oppres­sion, and tyranny. Yet the commissioners of the Divân and the tax-gatherers, under different pre­texts, advanced in the imposition and collection of various sums of money, and the excuses and supplications and prayers of none were listened to. And as each person fell back on his own estate and means, and no protection or help was found in common, the consequence was that a strange condition of things appeared. For myself, my nature is so framed that I cannot countenance any folly or iniquity, and for cruelty and oppres­sion have no endurance. To succour the afflicted, to relieve the oppressed, and to protect the weak I am irresistibly impelled, and should I be unequal to the performance, rest to me is impossible and life a prohibition. Amidst this disorder the miserable wretches were driven to implore my help; but no remedy was to be found, and the Great Knower of Secrets is alone acquainted with what passed over me. To the men in office I per­severingly used both sternness and asperity, both raillery and reproaches for the protection of the helpless; but my efforts were vain, as the very basis of their operations was unrelenting exaction, which was designed to know neither end nor bounds.

Leaving Bender Abbâsi I directed my travels to Isphahan, and at every fort or village that I came to, the inhabitants gathered round me and vented their complaints and lamentations. As I was known over the whole of that country, there was not a single place where the people were not able to recognize me, so that it was impossible for me to hold back in concealment. At length I came to the town of Lâr. It was now the depth of winter and the rainy season, and I was overcome with weakness and infirmity and in no condition to perform a journey, particularly through a cold country.* I halted therefore some days. The circumstances of this ruined city were in the low­est destitution. The former governor had been seized for concussion in his office, and the new governor had brought with him four hundred troopers, besides a crowd of other servants and dependents; and what was extraordinary was, that by the regulation then established they were to take their daily expenses day by day from the town's people, at the same time that on account of the desertion and unsafety of the roads no goods of any kind were brought to the city, and not only did the prices of food rise, but scarcely a sufficient quantity of provisions was to be found. Yet, towards a multitude of the helpless wretches, who having survived all the preceding calamities were dragging on their existence in absolute misery, the governor and his troopers used the greatest severity in the exaction of their daily wants. Another chief officer also came for the purpose of taking the number of the palm-trees in the country, and seeking to double the amount o?? the customary duties, employed his utmost dili­gence to that effect. On trees likewise of every other kind he invented a tax which had never had existence in that province, and having established for himself a court in his own peculiarity, he fell like a hurricane on the heads of the people. More­over, from all the districts within their reach, by appointing to each of them rigorous collectors, they gathered in the taxes and contributions of the forthcoming year also; and from every peasant's family they required one trooper, furnished with arms and accoutrements, who was to attend the governor's stirrup, and to serve the whole time he should be wanted without pay or allowance. As many as one thousand men had been brought together after this fashion out of those districts; and three thousand more were demanded, but could not be found. To the wretched peasant who had neither clothing, nor arms, nor ammu­nition for service, who on his own strip of soil, in misery and hired slavery, was compelled to seek food for himself and family, how could such a journey be practicable? The heads of the vil­lages, in consequence, were exposed to chastise­ment and reproaches on the one side, and to the charge of tyranny and insolence on the other. With all this they wanted also ammunition and large supplies of provisions for storing.

And this line of conduct was exclusively pursued towards the Shia peasantry of Lâr, who were in obedience to the government; for some parts of the province, which are of the Shafaïa sect, and during the Afghan usurpation had enjoyed per­fect tranquillity, were not up to this time yet returned to their submission towards the gover­nor, and being strongly established in their habi­tations they kept themselves aloof from these heavy impositions. But the Great Khân, having given the command of the province of Fârs to Mohammed Khan of the Balôch Tribe, had issued his orders to him to rouse them from their slum­bers; and he in conjunction with the governor of Shiraz, and with an immense assemblage of followers, set out on his march in that direction. The wretched peasants, wherever he appeared, fled in terror from the manifold oppression and violence of his troops; and he soon arrived before the town of Jahrom.