Abd Al Ghani Khan governor of Jahrom is besieged and made war on by the Commander-in-Chief of Fars.— Assassi­nation of the governor of Lâr, and disturbance in that coun­try.— Arrival in Lâr of the Commander-in-Chief Mohammed Khan; his war upon the inhabitants and their defence.— Mohammed Khan exhausted in strength retires from Lâr.— The inhabitants of Lâr withdraw from the city.

ABD Al Ghani Khan, governor of that town, who was a good man and one of my friends, who during that long period by superior management and bravery had preserved the place from the malignity of the Afghans and maintained its popu­lation in wealth and prosperity, however much he wished, after he had served these troops with all the warlike apparatus that lay within his power, to make them pass on from those borders, was unable to persuade them; and carrying their demands beyond the possibility of being satisfied, they opened wide the hand of violence. Abd Al Ghani Khan, who possessed all the qualities of justice, moderation, and bravery, had no alterna­tive but to fortify the ramparts of the town and to apply himself with the military he held under his command to the defence and guard of the place. Fierce hostility arose in consequence between the two parties, and the Commander-in-chief bound up his loins to the blockade and extirpation of the governor, who with all his soothing messages of civility and of a return to concord, could produce on him no effect.

Amidst these circumstances, the inhabitants of Lâr, whose temperament is not void of intrepidity and courage, found themselves destitute of all means of remedying their condition, were reduced to straits by the conduct of the governor and reve­nue officers, and felt moreover the greatest horror at the approach of the Commander-in-chief and at the cruel oppression of his army. The governor of Lâr, on his side, was uneasy and filled with dread of them, on account of his own intolerable conduct, and having assembled together his troops and dependents and given them a place in his own palace, he maintained the most vigilant watch and ward; inattentive to the poet's warning, that

Arabic Verse.*
Victory is not by troops collected in array,
But it is by the blessings of virtue and fortune, and the assistance of the Almighty.

It happened one day that the governor fell into a passion on some pretence with the mayor of the city, and having ordered him to be dragged out and thrown on the ground, he caused him to be severely bastinadoed; after which he cast him into prison. To some of the Ayâns, who had pre­sented themselves to pay him their respects, he used the most opprobrious threats; and they, with the citizens and dependents of the mayor, came to me, and began to vent their lamentations and to shew the most violent emotions. All my endeavours, however strenuous, to console them and to persuade them to forbearance and patient endurance, were of no avail. Despairing of the life of the mayor, who was imprisoned in the governor's house, they could not repress their uneasiness and terror. I recommended to the governor to set the mayor at liberty; but he made excuses for not complying; and the grandees of the city repeatedly went to him, and displaying their inno­cence and helplessness laboured for the release of their magistrate; but in vain.

The governor came one day to my house. I held much discourse to him in a tendency to peace and concord, and having pointed out to him the line of conduct which in his circumstances was most advisable, and led him to understand that the imprisonment of the mayor was the motive of the sedi­tion, and the cause of all the tumult, I prevailed on him to release him from confinement; but it was on condition, that he should quit the country, and set out on his way to Hijâz. This proposal being assented to, the mayor was bent upon retiring. When two days were gone by, the governor repented and shewed a desire to seize him again. The people of the town, taking the alarm, sat together in council during the night, and made up their minds to rid themselves of the governor. At day-break, accompanied by the mayor, they poured all together into the governor's house, and raising shouts with a loud report of musquetry killed the governor and some of his attendants. His troopers hid themselves as each was able in some corner, and a body of them sought refuge in my apart­ments. As soon as the business of the governor was dispatched, the mayor and others with all that crowd and invasion of the populace came to me, and desired to avenge themselves of the troopers, from whom they had experienced much oppres­sion. But I insisted on protecting them, and both the mayor and the populace yielding to decency and compelling themselves to the obser­vance of civility and good manners, desisted from molesting them. The very same day, making my excuses for the haste, I conducted them on their retreat with their horses and luggage in safety out of the city; and to the mayor and Ayans I made many reproaches for venturing on such an act at a time when they had no preparation or means to carry it to a conclusion; when it would probably be the cause of their extirpation and ruin in a mass. But it had been so ruled by providence, and was a thing past controul.

The deposed governor who was an old friend of mine, obtaining his release from the accusation against him of rapine and concussion, withdrew from the city with all his people. The guards of the citadel of Lâr, with an hypocritical affectation, refusing to go hand in hand with the rest of the citizens, settled themselves in the fort; and in the space of a few days a most extraordinary mutiny and disturbance prevailed in that town. Several persons, who had ancient enmities against each other, were killed on both sides, and it came very near to such a pass, that tyrannical power and usurpation were to be exercised indiscrimi­nately. By discreet management I allayed the fire of this sedition, and encountered difficulties and distresses during this novel state of things which it is impossible for me to describe. How­ever much I endeavoured to retire from amongst them, my efforts were ineffectual, as they all united in detaining me by their prayers and importunities. The best of all was that on every side a report had been spread, that their proceed­ings in this affair were by my direction. As one thousand persons amongst them were inhabitants of the surrounding villages and districts, whom the governor had forcibly collected together, the greatest part of that body now took their own lead and returned to their several habitations.

When the Commander-in-chief, who was besieging Jahrom, became acquainted with these circumstances, he left the governor of Shiraz with a corps of his army to the siege and blockade of that town, and marched away himself with an immense body of troops in the greatest haste for Lâr. As soon as he arrived in the neigh­bourhood of that city, the whole population flocked together into one of the districts of the town, and applied their minds to the management of their affairs. The Commander-in-chief having sta­tioned his troops within the walls, prepared him­self to slaughter and pillage the citizens, and made an attack from all sides on the district where they were collected. The citizens, on their part, strove in their own defence and endeavoured to repel him with all their might; and the war was protracted for a whole week. When he saw that it would be difficult for him to make the speedy conquest of that district, at the same time that the important affair of Jahrom was still on his hands, he reluctantly made advances of lenity and affability, and after some parley it was settled, that leaving a lieutenant in the castle of Lâr he should retire, and that after some days, when the citizens had regained their tranquillity, each of them should return to his house, and the lieutenant also, removing from the castle to the city, should take up his residence in the government palace. The Commander-in-chief performed his part of this agreement, and the mayor, having made him a trifling present, returned to his people. The lieutenant, being with his body of troops in the fort, used all his instances that the people should come forth from their fortified district; but neither had he any trust in them, nor they in him. At length it so fell out, that the Ayâns and for the most part the populace, abandoning the city, withdrew in a mass, and in extreme vigilance and circumspection with their domestics and children, their arms and ammu­nition, repaired to inhabit their villages and the surrounding country.