The King marches to meet the enemy and is defeated. Rebellion of the Prince Kamrãn. A. H. 947. A. D. 1540.

The following day the King, attended by the whole army, left the city and encamped on the plains of Abhypûr; he then reviewed and mus­tered the troops, the number of which amounted to 90,000 cavalry, but as some of them were not properly equipped his Majesty ordered them to be well supplied from the arsenal.* He also conferred honorary dresses and other marks of distinction on all the principal officers, and omitted nothing to rouse the spirits and encourage the soldiers for the ensuing campaign. After a few days’ march, the army reached Canouge, which is situated on the western bank of the Ganges, and here learned that Shyr Khãn was encamped on the other side of the river; at this time an express arrived from Raja Perbehãn of Aroul offering to join him with his troops, provided the King would meet him at Pute. His Majesty, however, would not agree to this measure, but gave orders for the army to cross the river at Canouge.

It was on the 10th day of the month Muharrem that the army clothed in armour, with kettle drums beating and trumpets sounding, passed the Ganges, the right was commanded by the Prince Hindal, and was opposed to Jelal the son of Shyr Khãn; the left was led by the Prince Askery, and was opposed by Khuas Khân, and the centre under the orders of his Majesty advanced against the main body of the Afghâns, when a fierce battle ensued beyond the powers of description.

Here follow some Persian verses.

After the battle had raged for some time, information was brought to his Majesty that the Prince Hindal had discomfited the Afghâns opposed to him, but that the left under Askery was compelled to retreat; Myrza Hyder represented that in order to let the fugitives pass, it was requisite to loose the chains of the carriages which formed a barricade in front of the centre, his Majesty unfortunately complied with this advice, and the chains, being unloosed, the runaways passed through the line of carriages in files.

During this time an Afghân clothed in black, advanced and struck the King’s horse on the forehead with a spear, on which the animal turned round and became unmanageable.

Here follow several verses of the Korãn, to prove we cannot contend with fate.

His Majesty afterwards related, that as soon as he could control his horse he saw the Afghâns employed in plundering the carriages, and wished to have charged them, but some person caught the reins of the steed, and led him to the bank of the river. Here, while undetermined how to act, he saw an old elephant which had belonged to the late Emperor, he called to the driver to bring the elephant to him, who did so, he then mounted, and asked a eunuch who was in the Howdah, what was his name, he replied “Kafûr,” his Majesty then ordered the driver to carry him across the river, but the fellow refused, and said the elephant would be drowned, on which the eunuch whispered, that he suspected the driver wished to carry them over to the enemy, it would therefore be advisable to take off the fellow’s head; the King said, “how shall we then make the elephant cross the river;” the eunuch replied, “that he understood something of driving an elephant,”* upon hearing this, his Majesty drew his sword and so wounded the driver that he fell off into the water, and the eunuch stepped down from the Howdah on the neck of the animal, and caused him to pass the river; his Majesty further related, that when he arrived near the bank, it was so steep that he could not find a place to ascend, at length some of the camp colour men, who were on the look out for him, tied their turbans together, and throwing an end of the cloth to him, he with some difficulty climbed up, they then brought him a horse on which he mounted and proceeded towards Agra, the King further added, “that the persons who commanded the colour-men were two brothers who seemed so affectionate to each other, that it aroused a sympathy in my breast, and I became very anxious for the safety of my brother Hindal and my other connections. In about an hour, the arrow of my prayer hit the butt of consent, for my dear brother came and paid his respects, on which I returned thanks to the Almighty God, by whose single command of Be! the whole universe was instantly produced.”*

O my friends, although his Majesty was in some respects unfortunate, as who can contend against fate; still you see his prayers were accepted.

Here follows a verse of the Korãn, which is followed by three anecdotes taken from the ecclesiastical (Muhammedan) history, to prove that good fortune and adversity, depend upon times and seasons.

In short the King having been joined by the Princes Hindal and Askery and the Myrzãs Yadgãr Nasir, &c. proceeded joyfully towards Agra, when they reached the village of Bhyngãng, the peasants who were in the habit of plundering a defeated army, stopped up the road, and one of them wounded Myrzã Yadgâr with an arrow, on which the Myrzâ* said to the Prince Askery, “do you go on and punish these villagers, while I stop to dress my wound.” The Prince was displeased at this request, and gave the Myrzâ some abuse, on which the other retorted in harsher language, and the Prince struck him three times with his horsewhip, which was returned with interest on the other side.

When intelligence of this unpleasant fracas reached the King, he said, “they had better have vented their spite on the robbers than on each other, what has happened cannot be recalled, but let us hear no more of it.”

In short the King reached Agra in safety, and alighted at the house of Syed Rafia Addyn (a religious person), who immediately brought forward bread and melons, and whatever else was ready for his Majesty’s breakfast, but the King ordered the Prince Hindal and all the servants to go into the Fort and bring out his mother and family, and their domestics, also the treasures and stores.

It now becomes requisite to mention the strange conduct of the Prince Kamrân. It has been stated that when the King marched, from Agra, he left his brother in charge of the city and commander of the province; a short time after the departure of the army, the Prince was taken ill, and supposing that the climate disagreed with him, he prevailed on several of the officers of government to accompany him to Lahore, where he recommenced his insidious conduct, which shall be further explained.

After the King had refreshed himself, his host the Shyed entered into a religious discourse with him, and said, “the affairs of this world are sometimes like a running stream, and at other times like a standing pool! It is, therefore, advisable that your Majesty should now abandon this place.” He then presented a handsomely caparisoned horse, and gave the King his blessing.

The King having mounted proceeded towards the town of Futtypûr Sikry, on the march he was joined by the Prince Hindal, who, after paying his respects, presented a rich dagger and inlaid sword, which he had brought from the arsenal of Agra. The first day the King halted in the garden of the late Emperor Baber, but while he was seated there an arrow came from the hill of Sikry, two of the attendants were immediately sent up the hill to discover who was the perpetrator of this act, but they both soon returned severely wounded without seeing any body.

His Majesty, suspecting some treachery might be intended, again mounted his horse and proceeded towards the village of Chuneh; at this time, besides the domestics, there were but a few officers in attendance, one of these however, named Fakher Aly, had the insolence to precede the King, on which his Majesty became very angry, and said to him, “it was by your advice that I crossed the Ganges (previous to the late battle) I wish you had been killed there, how dare you presume to go before me;” in consequence Fakher Aly turned round his horse, made his obeisance, and fell into the rear of the troop.

When the King had safely arrived at Chuneh, and was halted on the bank of the Kenbyr river, the Prince Askery came up and informed him that he had obtained intelligence of Shyr Khãn having detached Feryd Gûr in pursuit, and that the enemy were approaching. He, therefore, advised that his Majesty should immediately proceed, while he and the few remaining troops would cover his retreat. In consequence of this advice, the King mounted his horse and set off, but the followers were thrown into the greatest alarm, not knowing what to do, no one attempted to assist another, the son paid no attention to his father, nor the father to the son, but each person endeavoured to conceal whatever valuables he had, and to make his escape; to add to their distress a very heavy rain fell, in short, God preserve us from seeing such another day.

When the King found that the people were so dispirited and in such confusion, he halted, and having assembled the Princes and Nobles that were still in attendance, said to them, “formerly I had soldiers in my army from all parts of the world, some of them were killed at the battle of Chowsar, others at the battle of Canouge, those that remained are now in a wretched state; I would rather be killed myself than be cause of such misery; I will now retreat with circumspection, and thereby hope to preserve the lives of my faithful followers;” he then ordered the troops to alight, and having divided them into three bodies, the right he gave in charge of the Prince Hindal, the left to Yadgâr Myrzâ, and retained the center under his own command, some other officers were appointed to bring up the rear, and the whole to march slowly and in regular array. He further ordered that if any person ventured to precede the royal division, or to plunder, he should be severely punished.

After some time a Moghul came and complained that an officer, named Chumputty Behãder, had taken his horse.

The King immediately sent a messenger with the complainant and ordered that Chumputty should give back the horse, but the insolent officer refused to do so, and made use of some improper expressions, on hearing this his Majesty commanded that he should be beheaded; the order was obeyed, the head was fixed on a spear, and shewn to the whole army, in order to frighten, render them obedient of command, and to restrain them from plundering the villages.

Marching from this place, at the rate of twenty or twenty-four miles per day, the army reached the town of Sirhind; here the Prince Hindal was ordered to remain some days, while his Majesty proceeded to Muchwareh, situated on the banks of the Sutlege; as the river was very full and boats were scarce, it was with much delay and difficulty that the troops were carried over, in the mean time intelligence was brought that Shyr Khãn had himself halted in Delhi, but that his troops were only eighty or one hundred miles in our rear.

The army having been joined soon after by Hindal’s division continued its march to Jallindher, here the Prince was again ordered to halt, while the King proceeded to Lahore, and took up his abode in the house of Roushen Ayshy, on the day following he sent off Muzuffir Beg, the Turkuman, with some troops, to relieve the Prince Hindal in the defence of Jallindher, in consequence Muzuffir encamped on the western bank of the Gundwal or Beyah river, and the Afghãns soon after made their appearance on the opposite bank.

In short, his Majesty having assembled all the Princes and Nobles in Lahore, consulted with them what in this exigency was proper to be done.

In the mean time news was brought that Shyr Khãn had sent an Ambassador to treat of peace, the King therefore consulted with his friends, where and how he should receive the Ambassador, at length his Majesty gave orders that the interview should take place in the garden of the Prince Kam­rãn, and directed that all the principal inhabitants of the city from seven to seventy years of age* should attend the ceremony.

The Ambassador was accordingly admitted, and brought a letter from his master to the Prince Kamrãn, who, previously to the King’s arrival, had entered into a correspondence with Shyr Khãn on the subject of peace, but as Shyr Khãn declined entering into any treaty with him, the Ambassador was dismissed. After this event the King remained inactive in the palace of Lahore not knowing what to do, or where to go; during this time he was advised by his Council to make away, in the first place, with the Prince Kamrân, whom they suspected of intriguing with the troops in order to depose his Majesty, but the King said, “No, never, for the vanities of this perishable world, will I imbrue my hands in the blood of a brother, but will for ever remember the dying words of our respected parent (Baber), who said to me, ‘O Humâyûn beware, beware, do not quarrel with your brothers, nor ever form any evil intentions towards them,’ these words are engraved on my heart for ever.”