Departure of the Author from Persia, and his sea-voyage from Bender Abbâsi to Tatah.— He goes from Tatah to Khodâ Abâd.— Arrives at Bhakorr.— Goes to Moltân, and resides there.— His apology for writing these pages.— Incident of the plague spreading in Moltân.— The Author removes from Moltân and comes to Lâhôr.— Removes from Lâhôr and arrives at Shahjehân Abâd.— Retreats to Lâhôr.

IN Bender Abbâsi were some revenue officers of the Great Khân, and at that time some also came from Mohammed Khan; and each party exercised both insolence and oppression. One day a severe act of tyranny was practised on some of the wretched inhabitants, and my dis­tressed heart lost all patience at the sight of it. I was unable to remain quiet, and determined to quit the country. At that very time there was a vessel bound for the coast of Sind, and my reso­lution was fixed to go in it. This was the tenth day of Ramadzân the blessed, one thousand one hundred and forty-six. A captain of the English European Company, being informed of my intention, came to my lodging, and began to dis­suade me from going to India. He enumerated some of the deformities in the qualities of that empire, and endeavoured to prevail upon me to go to Europe. Though he importuned me very much on this subject, I would not consent; and on that very day leaving every thing with an adieu behind me, I went alone on board the ship and sailed for Sind, or India, where I landed in one of the harbours of Tatah.

It was the beginning of the month Shavvâl when I arrived in that town. I did not wish that any person should know me in that country. But it was almost impossible for it to be so; and the very same day that I arrived at Tatah, a company of merchants of that town, who had seen me in Fars, became informed of my visit. A number of Persians also were residing there, most of whom were among my acquaintance. In short, this idea of remain­ing incognito was not realized in any city of that empire. Had it been possible, it would have been the means of removing much of my inconve­niences and afflictions, and many of my innumerable griefs; and to the degree that I am, I should not be distressed with various anxiety and anguish, and with the feeling of utter helpless­ness. For in reality the hardship and pain of being alone and without friends have always been the companions and engrossers of my time from the day of my arrival here until the moment of writing this, which is the latter end of the year one thousand one hundred and fifty-four (A. D. 1742); yet in consequence of my celebrity, my body and soul have been worn out with the occasional visits and hourly conversations of the various classes of worldly persons, who have become fre­quenters of my house. To explain the nature of their character and business and the multiplied features of their occasions and arguments would not be worth the labour. To me, who do not reckon the time of my residence in this country as a portion of my real life, the beginning of my arrival on the shores of this empire appears as it were the end of my age and vitality. During this period of eight years I have seen the whole coun­try from Tatah to the town of Dehli, known also by the name of Shâh Jehân Abâd; and whatever I had heard or found in books of the qualities, circumstances, and situations of this empire and its inhabitants, all has passed under my view; and I have moreover witnessed and been made acquainted with that which I had not heard, and which had never occurred to my mind or imagi­nation.

After a residence of more than two months in Tatah I reproached myself with my want of patience, and for my departure out of Persia, and repented of not choosing to travel to the kingdoms of Europe. But now the season of sea-voyages was past, and summer was come on; and to turn back to Persia or any other place it was necessary to wait for the next season. However in that town, from its want of water, its bad atmosphere, and the ugliness of its situation, qualities that form the common appearance of this whole empire, I found it impossible to rest. The people told me, ‘You must go to the city of Khodâ Abâd, which is one of the most populous of India, and is but a few days' journey hence. Much prepara­tion is not required. You can go in a boat by the channel of the river which is made navigable from the neighbourhood of Tatah to the ridge of that city.’ And so it was decreed that I should act.

Having embarked in a boat I arrived at Khodâ Abâd. Here from the violence of the heat and the unpleasantness of the air, the attacks of sorrow and my struggles with hardship and adversity, I was seized with a variety of severe diseases, and for the space of seven months I lay ill and abandoned to destitution of every friend. When some of my disorders abated, and I found it impossible for diverse reasons to remain any longer in that place, a strange perplexity presented itself to my mind.

Finally, by the imperious decree of fate, I again embarked in a passage-boat and arrived in the city of Bhakorr, which is distant only a few days' journey on the bank of the same river Sind, or Indus. Altogether my nature had no agreement with the fashions and manners of this country, nor any power of patiently enduring them; and my friendlessness, want of means, and defi­ciency of ability were an additional source of deso­lation and grief. After a stay here of near a month, weakness and an alteration in my bodily consti­tution reduced me to an extreme, and having no other alternative I took my seat in a litter and departed in the direction of Moltân. Having performed the stages of that journey with excessive trouble, I arrived at a village near to the fortifications of that city and there halted.

The sight of these dominions became more and more hateful to me, and being continually in hope of my escape from them, I reconciled my mind to the incidents in the affairs of Persia, and bent my thoughts on my return thither. Its possibility however was not realized, and the length of my residence in this village, in soli­tude and want, approached to a term of two years, during which, amidst the anguish of my sufferings and the sourness of my humours, I sometimes employed myself in writing. To my scared wits and scattered senses this was the bur­then I gave my song:

Musician, strike up a tune, and Cup-bearer, give wine;
To Fortune give a fillip, and to the Sphere a repulsive answer.

During that residence I also composed a Treatise, called Kando 'L Marâm, on the Explanation of Fate and Destiny and the Creation of Acts, with some other treatises.

And let it not be concealed, that the incidents and circumstances of the days of my stay in this country come not within the possibility of detail, and I should be ashamed to apply myself to the mention of even a summary of them, for they are absolutely unfit to be exposed and narrated; and were I to turn the reins of my pen to the description of the remaining adventures of my own life, I should inevitably be led to depict some of the crimes and shameful things in the circumstances and qualities of this country, traced as it is with foulness, and trained to turpitude and brutality; and I should grieve for my pen and paper. It is better that my readers should be left to picture to themselves the end and termination of my life, after the manner that I have described the beginning of my arrival in these regions.