The Turkish war.

THE A.D.1732. Nad. 45. Ministers of the Sultan, who sought every occasion to humiliate Naderkuli, per­suaded the credulous prince to take advantage of his absence in Khorasan, and to assume the command of the Persian army: they extolled the valour of the Monarch, extenuated the merits of his General, and pressed him to bear a part at least in the glory of delivering Persia; by which suggestions he was at length induced to take the field, and marched towards Erivan, the Capital of Armenia. A body of Turks, who opposed his passage, were put to flight; and this first success so elated him, that he sat down before the City, thinking to strike a panick into the inhabitants by the terrour of his name. His method of attack was extremely new: he remained near three months on the banks of the Aras, in a constant course of diversions and feasts, until, finding his provisions almost spent, he re­treated to Tabriz; where he took a City already taken, deposed the governor, whom Nader had appointed, and advanced in triumph to Sulta­nia, with a determined resolution to destroy all the Turkish armies, who should dare to obstruct him.

Whilst he was amusing himself with these splendid projects, he was unfortunately met by an army of Turks under the command of Ahmed Pasha, a consummate General, and an admirable Statesman; A.D.1732. Nad. 45. who, for many years, had cluded the intrigues of his rivals at the Porte, and, having preserved his government of Bagdad with uncommon reputation, had outlived most of the Bashas of the Turkish empire. Tahmasp, once in his life, acted wisely; and attempted to decline a battle; but, finding himself under the necessity of engaging with Ahmed, he gave the chief command of his army to one of his Generals, Mohammed Khan, and reserved the left wing to himself. Mohammed began the fight with great intrepidity; but, after a short engage­ment, the left wing, which the Sultan com­manded, was seen to give way; and the Turks, animated by the example and exhortations of Ahmed, pursued their advantage so vigorously, that the rout of the Persians became general: five thousand of them were slain on the field, and those, who could not save themselves by flight, were made prisoners: the Persian camp was seized, with the ammunition and artillery, and Tahmasp returned to Ispahan, attended only by a few of his officers.

In a short time after this, Ahmed retook Hamadan and Tabriz; so that the glorious actions of Nader were reduced to nothing by the vanity, obstinacy, and cowardice of a Prince, whom he had restored to the throne of his ancesters. Ahmed, acquainted equally with the superiour abilities of Nader, and with the weak­ness of Tahmasp, made an offer of peace to the Shah, and proposed, in the name of the Sultan Mahmúd, that the Persians should keep the cities which Nader had taken, together with all the ter­ritories lying to the east of the Aras: the Persian ministers readily accepted the proposals, and signed A.D.1732. Nad. 45. the articles of peace, which were sent to Constantinople to be ratified. A publick rejoicing was ordered on this occasion in the Turkish Capi­tal; and Ahmed, whose valour and address were universally applauded, was confirmed in his government of Bagdad.

NADER KULI was rejoicing at the total reduction of the Afgans, and preparing to renew the war against the Turks, when he received an account of the Shah’s expedition, and, with it, a copy of the articles which he had signed. His indignation was excessive: he dispatched an officer to Constantinople, with this short message to Mahmud, Either restore the whole province of Azarbigian, or expect nothing but a desperate war: another was sent to Ahmed Pasha, bidding him prepare for a sudden visit from the Deliverer of Persia: and a third set out for Ispahan with an expostulatory letter to the Emperor, requesting him to dismiss his pernicious counsellors, to cancel their dishonourable treaty, and to meet him at Kom with all his forces, that they might march together into Armenia and Parthia. At the same time he published a spirited manifesto, in every province and city of Persia, protesting against the peace, and threatening with his displeasure all those, who should refuse to concur with him in recovering Media from the Turks: he declared, “that, after the festival of the new year, he would leave Meshed, and march against the Turkish hereticks; that the same providence, which had enabled him to expel the Barbarians from his country, would now protect him against the opposers of the true sect; that the very angels, who encircled the tomb of Ali, called aloud for the deliverance of those A.D.1732. Nad. 45. brave Persians, who had lost their liberty in defending the rights of their prophet, and who were not so much as named in the Emperor’s treaty; that it was an ignoble bar­gain, to accept only the territories on the one side of the Aras, when those on the other side of it also might have been wrested from the enemy by force; that it was the highest dis­honour to conclude a peace after a defeat, which the haughty sons of Othman would affect to consider as an act of lenity on their side, and of subjection on the side of the Persians:” he concluded by denouncing perpetual infamy on all those, who should be remiss in pursuing the Turkish war, and declaring, that he would punish as rebels, those, who in any sense should oppose his designs.

He spent the next three months in recruiting his army, and encouraging his officers and sol­diers, by the most striking acts of liberality*. In this interval also he visited Kelat and Abiurd, the scenes of his youthful exploits, for which he retained to his last hour peculiar fondness; and, observing the ruins of some old castles in a plain about thirty-six miles from Meshed, which was watered A.D.1732. Nad. 45. with beautiful rivulets, and had like­wise the advantage of an excellent air, he ordered those edifices to be rebuilt, and the whole country around them to be cultivated, with a design, no doubt, of passing the decline of his life in that part of his dominions.

On his return to Meshed the twenty-sixth of May, an Ambassador arrived from the Russian court, who declared that, in com­pliance with his request, the Empress was willing to resign the province of Ghilan, and the other conquests of Peter I. on the coasts of the Caspian sea. He dismissed the Ambassador; and sent with him two approved officers, to see his orders punctually executed. At the begin­ning of July, intelligence was brought, that the Russians had departed peaceably from the frontiers of Persia; upon which Nader appointed a governor of Ghilan, who set out immediately for the place of his residence.

While Naderkuli was thus employed in pre­paring a powerful army against the Turks, the Shah, directed by his ministers, was concerting pacifick measures in Ispahan, and confirming his treaty with Ahmed.

On hearing this, the General left Khorasan, and bent his course towards Ispahan, marching all night with great expedition, and halting each day at noon by reason of the intense heat. On the sixteenth of August he encamped in a plain, called The garden of Hezargeríb, close to the walls of Ispahan: his arrival was equally unex­pected to the court, and to the populace, but it had a very different effect on them; since the first A.D.1732. Nad. 45. considered him as a powerful and incensed enemy, the second, as the guardian of their liberties: the courtiers showed him those marks of respect, which they could not safely refuse, but the inhabitants in general celebrated his presence with the most grateful and undissembled joy.

After a day spent in mirth and festivity, the emperor supped with Nader in his tent, together with the principal officers of his army. It was the design of his Highness, says the Persian author, to drown all causes of animosity between the Shah and himself, in the flowing cups of the banquet, and to procure his approbation of the Turkish war; at the conclusion of which, he meaned to leave the reins of empire with Tahmasp, and to retire into his own territories: but, whether this were his real intention or not, it is certain, that he could not prevail with the Emperor to break the peace, which his ministers had concluded, but was mor­tified to see him sit with a sullen reserve, during the whole entertainment.

The next day he called a Council of all his officers, and, having related to them what had passed in the preceding night, insinuated, that he could not be answerable for the dangers, which might ensue, if the Sultan should persist in his dislike to the war; and that he seemed rather an associate of their enemies, than a father of his people: upon which the whole assembly exclaimed with one voice, that the Sultan was unworthy of a throne, which he could neither defend by his valour, nor dignify by his wisdom; and that the diadem justly belonged to Him, whose courage A.D.1732. Nad. 45. and conduct had restored it to its original splendour.

It is not easy to say, whether Nader had thoughts of assuming the regal dignity at this time; but, whether he waited for a more favourable juncture, or was not sufficiently secure of his strength, he declined the flattering offer of the Council, yet consented, that Tahmasp should be dethroned, and his place supplied by his son Abbas, an infant only eight months old. Upon this, Abbas, the third of that name, was crowned king of Persia with great solemnity; and Nader was proclaimed Regent during his infancy: his unfortunate father was sent in a litter to Khorasan, where a magnificent prison was prepared for him and his seraglio, in which he passed the remainder of his life, and, no doubt, found his retirement, however disgraceful, more suitable to the indolence of his temper, and the weakness of his understanding, than the per­petual anxieties of a throne.

The first act of the Regent was, to send Ambassadors to the Empress of Russia, and the Great Mogul, informing them of the accession of Shah Abbas, and requesting the Indian monarch, in the most pressing terms, to prevent the Afgan fugitives from taking shelter in his territories.

He then prepared for his grand project of driving the Turks from the Persian frontiers; and accordingly, having marched by Carmanshah, he encamped in a plain, called Mahidesht, intending to advance the next day against the strong hold of Zohab, where the enemy had reposited a considerable store of ammunition, and A.D.1732. Nad. 45. the taking of which would contribute greatly to his success in the siege of Bagdad: but, hearing that a large body of Turks had left the castle, and were advancing to oppose him, Nader, whose prudence was equal to his valour, chose to decline a battle, at a time, when the loss of his men would have been a great obstacle to his designs, and determined to reach Zoháb by another route, which lay over a vast mountain, called Carvan: he therefore set out at break of day, in opposition to the remon­strances of his Generals, who represented the defiles as impassable. He convinced them, how­ever, that few things were impossible to perseverance and activity; and leading his army, sometimes on foot, sometimes on horseback, through narrow passes covered with snow, and on the borders of precipices, he brought them by sunset to a valley on the other side, where, after a short interval of rest, he left his main body, and advanced in person at the head of only six hundred men: he rode all night without intermission, and, in the morning, found himself close to the fortress, which, although his army had not yet joined him, he prepared to attack, as he knew it to be almost defenceless. The Turks, awakened by the trampling of the Persian horse, appeared on the battlements, and, alarmed at their sudden approach, dropped their arms on the first summons, and surrendered. Nader found a rich booty in the castle, and treated the Turkish garrison with great lenity: he had ridden an hundred and three miles without stopping, and, by this vigorous step, struck his enemies with terrour whilst he secured to him­self a most advantageous situation. Some days after this, the army arrived, astonished at their leader’s A.D.1732. Nad. 45. intrepidity, and encouraged by his example: he built several forts near Zohab, and was soon joined by the forces of Azarbigian, commanded by the governor of Tauris.

The A.D.1733. Nad. 46. city of Bagdad had every possible advantage. It was situated in a large plain on the banks of the Tigris: its circuit was perfectly round, and it was enclosed by a double wall, flanked with strong bastions: its suburbs, built on the western side of the river, resembled a smaller city, and were joined to the greater by an elegant bridge; but its surest defence was in the prudence and resolution of its governor, Ahmed, who determined to maintain it to the last extremity.

The Regent wished to put the whole cam­paign to the hazard of a decisive battle, and made a show of marching towards the city of Kercúk, in hopes of drawing Ahmed into the field, but, finding that he remained within the walls, he returned by another route towards Bagdad. He was met in his return by twelve thousand Turks, commanded by Fateh, governor of Diarbecr, who was taken prisoner at the first onset, and his misfortune was soon followed by a total rout of his army.

Nader was equally successful on the next morning; and defeated a Basha, named Moham­med, whom Ahmed had sent to reconnoitre the Persians. In this last action, a Persian soldier pursued a Turk so far, that, before he could kill him, he was overtaken by the night, and forced to wander about the plains till break of day, when he was greatly surprised to find himself under A.D.1733. Nad. 46. the walls of Bagdad: he no sooner per­ceived his danger, than, by a singular presence of mind, he advanced boldly to the Turkish sentinels, and demanded an audience of the governor, as a messenger from the Regent of Persia; upon which he was treated with respect, and introduced to Ahmed, to whom he said, as from Nader, “The Persians have long desired to give you battle: if you have any spirit, meet them in the field; if not, open the gates of the city.” Ahmed replied, that it was not in his power to act in opposition to the positive orders of his court, and sent him back with an escort of Janissaries. When the regent heard this adven­ture, he smiled at the address of the man, but ordered his prisoner Fateh, whom he generously set at liberty, to assure the governor, that no such message came from Him.

On the eighth of February, the Persians pre­pared to pass the Tigris on a raft or float, con­trived by an European engineer: it was formed of large beams of palm-tree wood, fastened together with cables, and made less liable to sink, by having a number of camel’s skins tied to it, which were sewed up, and filled with air. Nader first went over with two thousand five hundred men, and, having left orders for the rest of his troops to follow him, marched on with great rapidity. On the next morning fifteen thousand men passed on the float; after which it fell to pieces, and much time was lost in repairing it. In the mean while, the Regent was in a country little known to him, surrounded with a multitude of enemies, at the head of a small part only of his army, and separated from his camp by a broad river.

It A.D.1733. Nad. 46. was his intention, to fall suddenly upon the Turks, who were stationed opposite to the Persian camp; but, a body of Janissaries having discovered him, they fled with precipitation, and carried the alarm into the city. Ahmed, who had diligently observed his motions, and was now apprised of his situation, sent against him thirty thousand men, commanded by Mustafa Pasha, with a formidable train of artillery; upon which the Regent, perceiving an engage­ment to be inevitable, detached a body of Curds and Afgans against the enemy; the former of whom retreated after a short skirmish, but the latter, with a fierceness, that ever characterized their nation, supported the fight vigorously against a very superiour force. The Regent strove, as far as he was able, to raise the spirits of his troops; but, knowing the danger of engaging, and fearing the infamy of appearing to retreat, he was penetrated with the deepest affliction: all his glory, acquired by so many desperate enterprises, was likely to be obscured, and his magnificent projects were on the point of being reduced to nothing, by his own impatience and rashness. Whilst he was fighting more through despair, than with any well-grounded hope of victory, he discovered a cloud of dust, which he soon found to be raised by the fifteen thou­sand Persians, who had passed the river on the float: as soon as they reached the plain, Nader led them to the attack with a furious joy, and sustained the battle with such advantage, that the Turkish army was thrown into disorder; and each squadron, consulting their own safety, fled at random towards the city whence they had sallied. In this action five thousand Turks were slain; all their sield-pieces were seized, and A.D.1733. Nad. 46. the Persians took possession of a town, called Old Bagdad, with a strong bridge over the Tigris: the night was spent by the conquerors in mirth and exultation, and on the next morning, the Regent amply rewarded the Afgans, to whose valour the success was chiefly owing, but sternly reprimanded the Curdish officers, whose detach­ment had so shamefully left the field. This defeat of Mustafa Pasha was a severe blow to the Turks: in a short time after it they lost five adjacent cities, which were ill defended, and the Regent was enabled to push the siege of Bagdad with every advantage imaginable. He invested the city on all sides, and enclosed it with round towers, built at equal distances from each other, in which he stationed a company of men, who prevented the garrison from making a sally; he repaired the first raft, and ordered others to be made, which were continually passing and repassing the river with ammunition and stores; besides which, a number of barges were, by his orders, launched in the Tigris, for the conve­nience of transporting his men and artillery. His want of large cannon put it out of his power to batter in breach; nor had he a suf­ficient store of shells to support a regular bom­bardment; so that he dropped all thoughts of storming the city, and determined to reduce it by a blockade. In about two months the gar­rison began to be distressed for want of provi­sions; and soon after, a famine ensued, which drove the inhabitants to such an excess of despair, that many of them threw themselves over the ramparts; and they, who outlived the fall, came in a suppliant manner to the Persian camp, where they were received with great liberality.

From A.D.1733. Nad. 46. this time to the beginning of July, the governor of Bagdad amused the Regent with pretended negotiations, sometimes expressing a desire to surrender the city, and sometimes requesting a month’s delay to consider of it; till a spy, who, under the disguise of a Persian, had approached near enough to the walls to throw a letter over them, gave notice, that Osman Pasha was making forced marches to his relief at the head of a numerous army; on which Ahmed broke all his engagements, and declared, that he would defend the city to extremity. Nader, having also received information of Osman’s approach, re­solved to give him battle, and marched against him on the seventeenth of July, leaving twelve thousand men at Bagdad to continue the block­ade. He met the Turkish army in a plain, divided by the Tigris, and immediately attacked their van with undaunted courage: in a short time the action became general, and both sides fought with intrepidity; till the intense heat of the sun took away their strength and spirits. In the midst of the combat, Nader, who shared the toil and danger of it with the meanest of his soldiers, had mortally wounded two Turks, who were fallen under him; but one of them, in the agony of death, struck his horse in the belly, who fell down with great force, and exposed the Regent to extreme peril: he soon recovered the shock, and mounted another horse, who was presently shot under him, as he was galloping between the lines. He vaulted with agility on a third horse; but the intolerable heat, the vast number of the enemies, who were said to fall little short of an hundred thousand men, and the imminent danger to which the Regent had been twice exposed, entirely disheartened his A.D.1733. Nad. 46. troops; and he, perceiving them inclined to give way, commanded a retreat to be sounded, and sent orders for the twelve thousand men, whom he had left before Bagdad, to raise the siege, and to follow him with all possible expedition. The Persians, who were stationed on the eastern side of the Tigris, joined the main body without much difficulty; but those on the opposite side, seeing that Ahmed had demolished the bridge, and set fire to the boats, were obliged to take another route, conducted through forests and over moun­tains by some wandering Arabs, who are always glad to testify their abhorrence of the Turkish nation. On this day two thousand Persians were slain, and more than twice that number of Turks: Osman entered Bagdad in triumph, and was considered by the inhabitants as a guardian angel.

The Regent, only more animated by this dis­grace, was turning all his thoughts upon the means of retrieving his honour; with which view he summoned the governors of all his provinces, to meet him, at the head of their best troops, in a plain near Hamadan, whither he arrived on the second of August: here he reviewed his army, and, as if his late defeat had been a signal victory, distributed a large sum among his soldiers, to each of whom he gave double the value of the arms or horses, which they had lost in the battle of Bagdad.

On the thirtieth of September he led his troops into the field, which were now considerably reinforced by the arrival of the Persian gover­nours: he took the road of Carmanshah, where hearing, that Mohammed Pasha and other Turkish commanders A.D.1733. Nad. 46. were waiting to oppose his passage, he advanced with incredible celerity, in hopes of surprising them by night; but, having met with unexpected delays, he could not reach their camp till daybreak. His sudden appearance, at the head of a large army, so confounded the Turks, that they fled in disorder without striking a blow, and left their ammunition to the Per­sians, who, being wearied with their long march, reposed for several days in the plain. On the twenty-second of October, the Regent advanced towards Kercúk, and halted in a place, called Elmidaran: here he reviewed his army, and exhibited a feigned battle with all the evolutions and operations of a real engagement.

Osman, in the mean time, having left Bagdad, was encamped near Kercúk: his tents were enclosed with strong intrenchments; and he was so elevated with his late success, that, on hearing of Nader’s approach, he disdained to meet him in person, and sent a small detachment against him, commanded by one of his officers. These were soon defeated, and fled promiscuously towards Erzerúm; which disaster, joined to the intelligence, continually brought, of Nader’s strength, alarmed the Turkish general, and determined him to act with greater caution; so that the Regent, having in vain attempted to draw him into the field, and having sent him a most reproachful challenge without receiving an answer, returned to Bagdad; where having easily recovered his former stations on the Tigris, he renewed the siege with greater vigour than before: his troops were considerably reinforced, and his camp abounded with provisions; whilst Ahmed, who, relying upon Osman’s support, had neglected A.D.1733. Nad. 46. to prepare for a second siege, was again reduced to a distressful situation.

The Turkish commander in chief, hearing of Nader’s return to Bagdad, detached against him a body of twelve thousand men, under a Basha named Memesh; who, after a rapid march, pitched his tents in a valley, at a small distance from a very extensive plain. Nader was extremely rejoiced at a prospect of regaining his honour, and, having selected the flower of his troops, advanced at their head by a road little frequented, and was close to the Turkish camp early in the morning; when, observing the enemy to be in great disorder, he attacked them with uncommon violence, and drove them from their station. Mean while Osman, fearing lest Memesh should gain the credit of the second vic­tory, led his whole army into the plain, just as the detachment of the Basha had broken their ranks, and were flying with precipitate speed. The Persians pursued them with eagerness, and penetrated into the heart of the Turkish army, who were thunderstruck with a blow so little expected. Osman was seated in a splendid litter, his age and infirmities rendering him incapable of much fatigue, and his principal officers were receiving his orders, when the flight of Memesh struck terrour into his men: in a short time their consternation was so great, that he was persuaded to mount his horse, and save himself by a swift retreat; but, the Regent having sent two bodies of Persians round the mountains to intercept him, he found himself suddenly attacked in front, while the impetuous Nader har­rassed him in the rear. His anxiety was soon at an end: a Persian soldier, who distinguished him A.D.1733. Nad. 46. by the richness of his dress, thrust him furiously from his horse, and, having first stabbed him to the heart, carried his head to the Regent on the point of a spear. Ten thousand Turks were slain, before the Persians were clearly masters of the field: the camp and military stores of the enemy were seized, and a number of Turkish officers were made prisoners, most of whom the Regent set at liberty, and dismissed them with the head and corse of Osman, that they might be honourably interred by his rela­tions. After this victory, the Persians returned to Bagdad, with a full assurance of a successful siege.

On the second of December, Ahmed sent a mes­senger to the Regent, with proposals of accom­modation, for which his court had given him full powers: the chief articles of the proposed convention were, that all the provinces, which had been wrested from the Persians, during the troubles in 1723, should be restored to them; that the limits of the two Empires should be fixed at the ancient boundaries; and that all the Persian prisoners should be released; on condition that the Regent would raise the siege of Bagdad, and with­draw his army from the Turkish frontiers. Nader accepted this offer; the articles were signed; and sent to Constantinople to be ratified by the Sultan and his Vizir: Ahmed, having released all the Persians, who had been taken in the last war, and having distributed some rich presents among the Regent’s officers, dispatched a peremptory order to the Bashas of Georgia, Armenia, Shirvan, Azarbigian, and Irak, to evacuate their provinces as soon as possible. After this important victory, Nader spent several weeks in A.D.1733 Nad. 46. visiting the tomb of Ali, and other Mahomedan saints, who were buried in the neighbourhood of Bagdád.

At A.D.1734. Nad. 47. the beginning of the year the Regent marched to Shiraz, where he passed three months, and in April advanced to Ispahan; where he was informed that the Princess, married to Rizakuli Mirza, had been delivered of a son just before his arrival, whom they had named Shahrokh: on this occasion, as well as on account of his late victories, the inhabitants of Ispahan were enter­tained with a sumptuous jubilee, and many weeks were spent in pageants and rejoicings.

In the month of May, a Turkish messenger arrived with a letter from the Grand Vizir, inform­ing the Regent, that Sultan Mahmud could not consider his convention with the governour of Bagdad as definitive; but that his Highness had appointed Abdalla, the son of Kiupruli, his plenipotentiary and commander in chief; that Abdalla was in Diarbecr with his army, where he waited for a Persian minister, that the articles of peace might be ratified in form. This proceeding of the Vizir was in compliance with the ancient maxim of the Turks, which enjoins them to make peace at the head of an army on the frontiers, that a ces­sation of hostilities may seem an act of condescension only on their side; for that high-minded nation cannot support the idea of leaving the field through necessity. As the Othman court are strangers to that delicacy of sentiment, which Europeans call the point of honour, it is probable that Ahmed’s treaty, how solemnly soever it was signed, was no more than a pretext to induce the Regent to decamp; and that he had privately A.D.1734. Nad. 47. advised the vizir to send an army into Mesopotamia: it is also very reasonable to con­jecture, that he had secretly instructed the gover­nours of Shirvan, and other dismembered provinces of Persia, to delay the restitution of their governments by all the arts they could devise. We must confess, that Nader was highly blame­able in raising the siege of Bagdad, and that, in the whole negotiation he was fairly over­reached by the abilities of Ahmed: it is reported, that he frequently used to acknowledge his errour, and always expressed an high veneration for the talents of that able governour, who, baffling the intrigues of his own court, and resisting the attacks of the Persian, had kept himself in great measure independent of both.

Though the Regent began to suspect the sin­cerity of the Porte, yet he was unwilling to drop the negotiation; and sent a plenipotentiary to Abdalla, giving him this alternative: either to ratify the convention, made at Bagdad, or to meet him in the field, and decide their difference by the longest sword. In the mean time he left Ispahan, and marched towards Hamadan, which he reached on the fourteenth of June; and, learn­ing that the Bashas of Shirvan and Daghestan were greatly averse to the convention, and had refused to evacuate their cities, he advanced by forced marches to their provinces, and spent the four next months in reducing them to obedience, which he effected with no great loss, and with no variety of incidents: perceiving at length that Abdalla detained his ambassador, and meaned to amuse him with specious offers, he deter­mined to renew the war with greater spirit than ever.

Armenia A.D.1734. Nad. 47. was chosen to be the scene of his exploits; and, having caused a large bridge to be raised over the Aras, a river, which has been represented by some writers as too impetuous to support such a work*, he passed it at the head of his army, and encamped on the third of November before the city of Ganja. A Basha, named Ali, who then governed this city, answered his summons with haughtiness, and pre­pared to make a resolute defence: he therefore deserted the suburbs, and retired to the Citadel, which was very strongly fortified, and contained a numerous garrison. Nader on the other side resolved to make a regular siege; and, having rid­den around the walls, and examined their strength, gave orders for the works to be begun, which were carried on with uncommon expedition.

When the trenches were opened, the Persians battered the walls; and the Regent, observing a very high mosque in the suburbs, which com­manded great part of the city, and which Ali had neglected or forgotten to destroy, placed some large cannon in it, which played for several days with no small success, but it was at last demolished by the fire from the ramparts. The besiegers bombarded the city day and night, and brought to the ground most of its mosques and other conspicuous buildings; but, not satisfied with this vehement attack, they had recourse also to the more secret, but not less formidable, expedient of sapping, and sprung several mines with great effect, in one of which a son of the Governour A.D.1734. Nad. 47. lost his life together with seven hundred Turks.

The Regent visited the trenches every day to direct and encourage his engineers; and one morning, as he was looking over a breastwork, without a sufficient regard to his safety, a cannon ball passed by his face, and struck off the head of a Persian officer, who stood so near him that his robe was sprinkled with the blood: another day a shell, fired from a mortar in the city, fell into a pavilion, where he was sitting, and burst close by his side, but killed only one of his attendants.

During A.D.1735. Nad. 48. the siege, Abdalla was advancing towards Ganja; and Ali, having notice of his approach, resolved to persist to extremity; which Nader also discovering, sent a strong detach­ment, under an able commander, with some battering cannon, and mortars, to invest Teflis, the Capital of Georgia, hoping to distract the mind of the Turkish General between the defence of two important cities: in the mean while he continued the siege of Ganja, but was greatly impeded by the very heavy falls of snow, which obstructed his engineers, and hindered the effect of his bombardment by stifling the explosions of the shells; the walls also were so thick and strong, that no practicable breach had yet been made in them.

At this time intelligence was received, that Ilbars, prince of Kharezm, having had the assurance to make an incursion into Khorasan, had met with a very rough reception from the Persian A.D.1735. Nad. 48. governour, and been forced to repass the Oxus with great loss.

Just after the festival of Nurúz, the Regent began to be impatient at the dilatory motions of Abdalla; and, having left one of his Generals to continue the siege, he departed from Ganja about the middle of April. As he drew near Teflis, he heard that Timur, the Governour of Van, was hovering about the city with a numerous army: he therefore marched with great speed in hopes of intercepting him; but could not prevent his reinforcing the garrison, and supplying them with plentiful stores. Upon this disappointment he advanced towards the city of Cárs, where Abdalla was encamped, and surrounded with strong intrenchments: here he waited for some time in hopes of enticing the Turkish general into the field; but, finding him determined to avoid a battle, and not thinking it prudent to attack his camp, he led his troops to Erivan, and pre­pared to besiege it, not doubting but that the danger of three principal cities would rouse Abdalla from his inactivity.

Abdalla, mistaking this motion for a retreat, and imputing it to fear, led forth his army, which consisted of seventy thousand horse, and fifty thousand foot, including a large body of janis­saries: on the eighth of June he reached a spacious plain near Erivan, called Baghavend, where he encamped. In the evening, Nader appeared on the opposite side of the plain with no more than fifteen thousand men: he was employed till mid­night in disposing his forces to the best advantage, and in procuring information of his enemies’ strength. He stationed his troops on a rising ground, A.D.1735. Nad. 48. and bade them prepare for an action at day break; after which he retired to his tent, and slept for a few hours. Early in the morning he harangued the officers, representing to them the danger to which they would be exposed, if they failed to exert their utmost valour and sagacity on this occasion; he told them, that the Turks outnumbered them eight to one, and that nothing but the most undaunted courage on their side could preserve themselves from destruction, and their country from ruin: yet he bade them be assured of victory, if they would obey his orders and follow his example; for that he dreamed in the night, that a furious beast had rushed into his tent, where, after a long struggle, he brought it to the ground and slew it. “With these omens, therefore, said he, of success to your arms, and confusion to your enemies, advance intrepidly to the field; where you will fight under the protection of that Power, who raises his weakest servants to glory, and covers his proudest opposers with dishonour.” He had scarce ended, when Abdalla marched against him in full array, with a vast train of artillery, and with a show of the most determined spirit; upon which he gave the word, and, descending from the eminence, poured into the plain with great impetuosity: he attacked in person the right wing of the Turks, whilst one of his Generals strove to break their centre, and another made a desperate attempt against their artillery-men, who soon abandoned their charge, and left their field-pieces, which were converted to their own destruction. The action was general; the Persians did incredible execution with their musketry, whilst the Turkish cavalry, galled with the smartness of their sire, began to be thrown into disorder: the Regent A.D.1735. Nad. 48. fought in the thickest ranks, animating his troops by his example, and watching every advantage that was offered: at last a Persian soldier, named Rostam, having met Abdalla, whom he knew by sight, seized the reins of his horse, and dragged him forcibly to the ground; where, having severed his head from his body, he brought it to Nader, who ordered it to be raised on a spear, and shown to the enemy. The Turks, destitute of a leader, and unable to re­cover their ranks, fled confusedly to different parts, leaving, says the Persian author, near half their army dead or wounded: the Governour of Van, who had retreated with his troops, was intercepted by a body of Armenians, who skir­mished with him, till a detachment of the Per­sian army came to their assistance, and attacked him so furiously, that near three thousand of his men were killed, and the Basha himself escaped with great difficulty. Among the Turkish officers, who were slain in this engagement, was Mustafa, Governour of Diarbecr, a relation by marriage to the Sultan Mahmud; the Regent sent his head, together with that of Abdalla, to the cities of Erivan and Cars, with a view of intimidating the garrisons with those bloody trophies of his victory: he dispatched also a number of Turkish prisoners to Ganja and Teflis, in order to inform the inhabitants of this event. Nader in the mean time encamped in the plain of Baghavend, where he distributed the treasures of the enemy among his soldiers, and signally rewarded those, who had distinguished themselves in the battle by their valour or address.

The Governours of Ganja and Teflis, alarmed at the death of Abdalla, and the defeat of his army, A.D.1735. Nad. 48. opened their gates to the Persians at the beginning of July; but Hussein, the Basha of Erivan, desired a respite of forty days to consider of the subject, and Timur, who had retreated to Cars, exhorted the commander of that city to make an obstinate defence. The Turkish court, however, now thought seriously of a peace, and gave Ahmed full powers to renew the negotiations with the Regent: his overtures were accepted; the cities of Cars and Erivan were surrendered on the twenty-second of September, and all far­ther hostilities ceased on both sides; but, as Nader had increased his demands, a number of delays intervened, and gave him leisure to regulate the affairs of the province, which he had recovered: he spent the three next months in reducing the savage nation, called Leczi’s, who infested the mountains of Caucasus: his success against these banditti was very rapid; but, as his battles with the mountaineers have nothing in them either instructive or entertaining, it will be more agreeable to the reader to omit them, and to prepare him for other events of a more extraor­dinary nature.