Of the arrival of the Prince Kamran, the division of the country, and of the King’s return to Kabul. A. H. 955.—A. D. 1548.

When the King was informed of the intentions of Kamran he was much pleased, and gave orders that the chains should be taken off Myrza Askery, who had remained in confinement since the indis­position of his Majesty. When the Prince Kamran approached, orders were given to all the chiefs to go out and meet him; tents were also pitched for his reception, and the bands of music stationed at the proper plaçes to give notice of his arrival. On his first entering the camp, he was carried to the tent of Prince Hindal; but without giving him time to sit down, he was informed he might proceed to the tent of audience, as the King was ready to receive him. As soon as he stepped on the carpet of the royal pavilion, he took a handkerchief from one of the attendants and tied it round his own neck (as an acknowledgement of his crimes); his Majesty, on seeing this, said, “oh my dear brother, there is no necessity for this, throw off the handkerchief.” The Prince then made three salutations, after which the King embraced him, and caused him to sit down on his right hand. After he had made some excuses the King arose, and said, “what has taken place was a ceremonious meeting, now let us meet as brothers;” they then reciprocally embraced each other: upon which the trumpets sounded, and the whole assembly were much delighted: a cup of sherbet was then brought, half of which was drank by the King, the other half by the Prince; they then entered into familiar conversation. After which the Princes Hindal and Askery were seated on the same carpet with them, and the four brothers eat salt together;* they then offered up prayers for his Majesty’s prosperity. The feast was prolonged for two days, which were passed in every kind of rejoicing.

On the following day the King marched from Talican, with his three brothers, to the fountains of Ashek Meshek, where they remained for a week; during which time the king made a division of the country between them and the other chiefs. The districts of Kulab he assigned to the Princes Kamran and Askery, burthened with a pension to Chaker Beg, one of the generals of Kamran. The forts of Talican and Zuffer, with their depen­dencies, were given to Myrza Soliman, and that of Candahar to the Prince Hindal. After this division they all took the vow of fealty, and were dismissed to their respective governments; and the king, having first taken the fort of Purian, which belonged to the Syahposhans, gave it in charge of Mulk Aly, and then returned to Kabul.

Some time after this it was reported to the king that a dispute had taken place between the Prince Kamran and Chaker Beg; that the former had left the country of Kulab,* but had previously inflicted a severe chastisement on the latter. In consequence of this information, his Majesty sent Myrza Shah Sultan to reprimand Chaker Beg, but forwarded a letter to the Prince, inviting him to come to Kabul, and that he would bestow on him a more valuable district. The Myrza went and delivered the letter, but the Prince said, “I have now abandoned the affairs of this world, and have no wish for any further employment in it.” Although this was his verbal answer, his heart was still full of deceit, and he meditated some other schemes.

The King, ignorant of his brother’s plans, resolved upon conquering the province of Balkh, with an intention of making it over to Kamran. With this view he marched, accompanied by the Prince Hindal, Myrza Soliman, and a number of other chiefs towards Balkh, expecting that his brother would join him on the route, but in this hope he was disappointed.

When the army reached the fort of Aybek, which was garrisoned by the troops of Pyr Khan, the Uzbeg chiefs, the king laid siege to it; in a few days took it; and having found there the family of the Prince Kamran, sent them to Kabul: of the Uzbeg prisoners, some he released, and some of them he kept in the camp: one of the chiefs, named Atabeg Beg, he took into his own service, who strongly advised him not to proceed against Balkh, as he would thereby rouse the whole tribe of Uzbegs against him; but the king would not listen to his advice, and marched on. When the army arrived in the neighbourhood of Balkh, some of the Uzbegs came out of the fort, and engaged us, but in a short time were driven back. On this occasion the Prince Hindal followed them as far as the stone bridge, and sent a message to his Majesty, “that if he would support him, they might then take the city by storm;” but the king refused, saying, “he would attack the place next morning.”

During the night intelligence was brought that the faithless Kamran had made a sudden march with an intention of again surprising Kabul. On hearing of this news, the chiefs and soldiers, whose families had been left in that fortress, were quite dismayed, which circumstance compelled the king to retreat in great haste; and being pursued by the Uzbegs, we were thrown into great disorder, and the troops suffered exceedingly, but reached Kabul in time to avert Kamran’s evil intentions.*