When I had entered my eighteenth year, I became vain of my abilities, and thought no person superior to myself, or any thing too difficult for my under­taking; I was at this time very fond of riding and hunting, one day having pursued a deer, while at full gallop, I came suddenly to the brink of a ditch, more than five guz (ten or fifteen feet) in breadth, and four guz in depth, I attempted to turn my horse, but he was obstinate; I therefore tried to make him jump over the ditch, he reached the opposite bank with his fore feet, but not being able to clear it, fell, while he was struggling, I had slipped my feet out of the stirrups, sprang from the saddle, and reached the bank, the horse tumbled into the ditch, and was disabled; my companions soon after came up, and congratulated me on my good fortune and happy escape; I said, “it was God who had preserved me, who is also the bestower of fortune;” my friends not being able to jump the ditch, I went round to them, and having mounted a led horse, proceeded homewards. When we had gone some distance, it became dark, and began to rain, in consequence of which, we lost the road, and as the night was extremely cold, we thought we should have perished (in the desert).

About this time we saw some black (felt) tents or huts, upon which my com­panions said, “these are hillocks of sand and dust,” so we gave ourselves up for lost; I therefore threw the reins on my horses neck, and took hold of the mane, the horse raised his head and began to neigh, and stretched his neck. When we arrived near the tents, we saw a light shining through one of the doors, which gave us courage; I therefore alighted from my horse, and entered the tent, the inhabitants of which supposing I was a thief, hallooed out and pre­pared to attack me; but when I told them all the circumstances, they were ashamed, and having cleared out a room which was constructed under ground, lighted a fire for us, on which my companions entered, and we took possession of the room; the good people shortly brought us some Temakh Keruny soup, of which I eat a great quantity, and was quite refreshed; they also brought us some blankets, upon which we lay down, but they were so full of fleas, that I could not sleep a wink all night. After I had mounted the Imperial throne, I recollected all the circumstances of my hunting excursion, of the cold and frost of the night, and of our society in the cellar, in consequence of which I sent for the family, (and made them Terkhan), i. e. amply rewarded them.

During this year, I was very ill for four months, and they could not find out any cure for my disorder, I therefore gave up all hopes of life; for a week I could eat nothing, but on the seventh day, they gave me a pomegranate; soon after I became quite languid and insensible, and while in the swoon, I fancied that they had bound me on a wheel, and were bearing me towards heaven, and afterwards descending to the earth; I did not recover from the fit, till they had burned me between the fore finger and the thumb, when I felt the heat of the iron, I opened my eyes, and saw the servants and my father and mother standing around me crying aloud, I also joined in lamentation; soon after this I became hungry, and the physicians having asked me what I would like, and they would bring it, I called for Yekhny, and some of the Temakh broth; I eat a whole plate full of the latter, and during the night fell into a deep perspiration, and from that time recovered.

Another of the auspicious omens predicting my sovereignty, was this; one day during this year, I was seated in my father’s monastery, and was reading the 67th Chapter of the Korān;* when a gray-haired Syed entered the monastery, and having looked attentively at me, demanded my name, (having told him) he compared it with the chapter I was reading, and said, “God Almighty has given the sovereignty of the earth to this boy and his posterity;” I looked upon this circumstance as a mere dream, but when it reached the ears of my father, he encouraged my hopes, and shewed my Horoscope to one of the Astrologers of Tūrkestān, who said, “he will be superior in his own dominions, in dignity, and authority, to any of his predecessors, and he will add other countries to his own dominions, and will be an ornament to religion:” he then said to me, “your descendants and posterity shall rise to the very highest dignity:” when I had heard these words, I gave him a handsome present.

At this period, I passed much of my time in reading the Korān, and playing at chess; I was also much employed in charitable actions, and soliciting the blessings of the hermits and dervishes.

I was also fond of horsemanship, and I employed a celebrated riding master to teach me the art, and also to instruct me in the science of manœuvering an army; I frequently assembled my companions, and having taken upon myself the title of Commander, made them all obedient to me; and whenever we rode out, I used to divide them into two armies, and taught them how to advance, and how to retreat in the field of battle.