[The Arrival of Parveiz at Agrah and Khossrou's Release From Prison]

Having now taken up my abode at Agrah for a permanence, I despatched a message to Allahabad, requiring the presence of my son Sûltan Parveiz, whose head-quarters were at that station. Accordingly, when information reached me that he was arrived within a day’s journey of Agrah, I commanded the whole of the ameirs and dignitaries of the empire to quit the city, and proceed to meet him, in order to form his escort to my presence. The instructions of ceremony which I gave them on this occasion were as follows:—when they came within the distance of a bow-shot of the prince and his retinue, they were to dismount from their horses and to salute him on foot, and so continue until they had his permission to remount: but from this an exemption was made in favour of Ettamaud-ud-Doulah, who, after paying his respects on foot, was to remount without further ceremony. Thus not much less than twenty thousand of the most distinguished individuals of my court and army were sent to conduct the prince to my presence, with orders to lodge him on the evening of his arrival in the Gûlafshaun garden (the rose-shedding).

On the ensuing day I gave directions, that between the castle of Agrah and the garden where the prince had taken up his residence for the night, and which is at the distance of half a farsang from the castle, there should be stationed at regular intervals twenty nuggarahs or bands of music, to sound the strains of triumph at his approach. At the same time the greater part of the inhabitants of the city, both male and female, in their gayest apparel, proceeded to meet the Shahzadah. Three thousand of my finest elephants, in their richest caparisons of pearl and gold, were drawn out on the road by which he was to approach. Lastly, I sent him a dress of honour from my own wardrobe, with the cincture set with diamonds from my own waist, of the value of four laks of rupees; the diamond jeigha, or aigrette, from my own turban, of the value of one lak, and a chaplet of pearl of the value of five laks of rupees. But this was not all: I intimated that every individual person of my court, of whatever degree, desirous of evincing his attachment to me, each according to his ability, should make a present of some value to the Shahzadah; and by an account subsequently laid before me, it appeared that he received on this occasion, in consequence of such intimation, in gold and jewels, horses and elephants, what amounted in the whole to the value of two hundred laks of rupees.*

In the course of the day they conducted Parveiz across the Jumnah into the castle of Agrah, where he was led immediately into my presence. The moment he came in sight of me, and yet at some distance off, he laid his forehead to the floor, and thus seven times repeated his prostrations until he nearly approached my person. After the seventh he stood erect before me, with his hands crossed upon his bosom. It was now that I directed Saadek Mahommed Khaun and Khojah Abûl Hussun, one of my Bukhshies, to support him, one at each shoulder, up the throne, in order to kiss my feet; and this done, I desired him to take his seat at my right hand, my son Khoorum being on this occa­sion seated on my left. I then gave orders that the palace of Mohaubet Khaun should be cleared for his reception: that chief being absent at the time, employed in quelling some disturbances on the frontiers of Kabûl, and his family being by my directions removed to another place of residence.

On the day following Parveiz came to pay the ceremonial visit of homage, on which occasion the following enumeration will exhibit a tolerable view of the nature of the articles which composed his superb present to me. Eighty trained elephants of the highest value; two hundred horses of the best breed of Irâk, with their caparisons wrought in gold; one thousand camels of the dromedary sort, chosen for their speed; a number of the large white oxen of Gûjerat; four hun­dred trays of gold brocade, velvet, satin, and other pieces of manufacture of the rarest fabric; and twelve trays of jewels, consisting of diamonds, rubies, pearls, and turquoises; altogether, according to the schedule, being equivalent to the magnificent sum of four hundred laks of rupees.* On my part, throwing round his neck a chaplet of pearl of the value of ten laks of rupees, I raised him at once from the order of ten thousand to that of thirty thousand horse.

About a month subsequent to his arrival at Agrah on this occasion, Parveiz surprised me one day, by appearing before me with a napkin fastened round his neck, and casting himself at my feet, breaking out into the bitterest expressions of sorrow. Something astonished, I demanded with paternal solici­tude what it was that he would ask—what was the cause of this paroxysm of grief, and what it was that he had to complain of? He replied, that it was beyond his endurance longer to reflect, that himself and his three brothers should be passing their lives in hunting, and in every species of amusement, indulgence, and ease, while one brother, the eldest of all, was condemned now for the fifteenth year to drag on a wretched existence in the solitude of a prison: it was not the lot of humanity to be entirely blameless; but in all circumstances, clemency was the peculiar and most becoming attribute of kings. His humble prayer therefore was, that I would at length grant to this brother my full pardon, release him from his melancholy confinement, and restore him to an exalted place in my royal favour. I found it no easy matter to parry this very urgent supplication, and I therefore demanded if he was prepared to be responsible that the unhappy Khossrou would never again commit himself by the same disloyal and refractory conduct; in which case alone I might, perhaps, be persuaded to set him once more at large. Parveiz immediately committed to paper a few lines, in the nature of a surety bond, and I accordingly signified my assent to the release of Khossrou.

That this might be done with all due formality, I directed a grand entertain­ment to be prepared in the Dohrrah Bâgh, formerly mentioned; whither on a day appointed I repaired from my palace at Agrah, and from thence I despatched Assof Khaun and Khaun-e-Jahaun with instructions, after giving him some requisite admonition, to bring Khossrou out of his prison. In the mean time I sent him from my own wardrobe a complete dress, with girdle and jeighah set with diamonds, a horse with enriched caparison, and the elephant Kohpârah, for which my father had paid no less a sum than four laks of rupees, and which had hitherto always belonged to my imperial retinue, with a seat or houdah fitted to its back at the expense of nearly thirty laks of rupees,* equal to ninety thousand tomauns of Irâk.

In order to complete what was requisite to support the splendour of his rank as a prince of the blood, I conveyed to him, moreover, two hundred and three horses of the best breed in the imperial stables, and I directed that the ameirs of every rank that might be disposed to pay him their respects, should not approach him without a suitable present; and all were commanded to attend him on foot, from the place of his confinement to the Dohrrah Bâgh, the distance of a quarter of a farsang, with the exception, as in the case of Sûltan Parveiz, of Ettemaud-ud-Doulah. Such was the display of magnificence and returning royal favour with which, after he had been discarded from my presence for a period of fifteen years,* I admitted Khossrou to do homage to my person.

When he approached the audience-chamber, and appeared in sight at some distance from the throne, he burst into a flood of tears, and repeatedly prostrat­ing himself on the floor, so continued to do until he came close up, when placing his head at my feet, he there remained, without attempting to raise it up, for a full hour, although frequently importuned by me to look up. “With what face,” he exclaimed, “can I raise mine eyes to my royal father’s countenance? For an offence so heinous as that of which I have been guilty, how can I presume to ask forgiveness?” After shedding a profusion of tears, however, he at last arose, and in some verses expressive of his deep distress, implored my clemency for the past, and my indulgence for the future. Having so far testified his bitter remorse, he again bowed himself to the earth, and then, in an attitude of the utmost humility, standing before me with his hands across his bosom, he repeated, that he could never sufficiently atone or abate his sense of shame for his conduct, though night and day were consumed in endless regret in my presence.

I now ordered a jar of wine, and a goblet inlaid with precious stones, to be brought in, and directing my four sons, Khossrou, Khoorum, Parveiz, and She­heryaun to seat themselves together, called upon them to circulate the goblet one to the other, while I looked on aloof, to witness this new scene of harmony and reconciliation. My fifth and remaining son, Sûltan Bukht, was at this time absent in Bengal, employed in suppressing the turbulent and disaffected among the natives of that province. The four brothers passed the goblet round accord­ingly, and in the height of exhilaration began to embrace and kiss each other. However, in conclusion, throwing himself at my feet, Parveiz acknowledged the unspeakable gratification of the moment; but he said there was still one thing wanting to render their happiness complete. He and two of his brothers, he said, were in possession of the several dignities of forty, thirty, and twenty thousand horse, and if a corresponding dignity were bestowed upon their elder brother, every remnant of regret would be effectually removed. The fraternal intreaties of Parveiz finally prevailed, and I granted to Khossrou the patent of an ameir of twenty thousand. In this I could not but consider, that after me the imperial dignity must of right devolve upon Shahzadah Khossrou, it being a maxim in the Teymûrian family, that while the eldest born is living, the monarchy shall never pass to a junior. Under every consideration, I therefore gave him full pardon for his offences, and restored to him all his honours, allowing him the range of ten and twenty days’ journey round the metropolis, for his hunting parties and other excursions of amusement. Upon a wholesome male progeny, indeed, rest the sure permanence and stability of sovereign power; and an oppo­site treatment would have been as inconsistent with sound policy, as it would be unworthy of the authority which I hold.

About the period of which I have been speaking, the design of visiting Kash­meir and its blooming saffron meads took possession of my mind, and I issued orders for the construction of four hundred vessels such as are employed on the Ganges and Jumnah, it being my intention to proceed by water, at least to the foot of the mountains. In the course of two months these were completed, all with awnings and curtains of elegant materials and workmanship. A sum of ten laks of rupees was also advanced to Nour-ud-dein Kûly Beg, for the purpose of being applied to the clearing away the forest thickets, and to the erection of bridges across the rivers, where necessary, to facilitate the passage of the imperial armies.