A. D. 1358.

During this year, several complaints were received by Amyr Kūr­gen, against Melk Hussyn Ghoury, Ruler of Herat,* who had exceeded his authority, and oppressed the people, on which account the principal personages of that city, wrote a petition, requesting the Amyr to come thither, and redress their wrongs. The Prince however thought it better to write a letter of exhortation to Melk Hussyn, commanding him to refrain from oppressing the people of Khorasān, and to alter his conduct, otherwise he should be under the necessity of marching against him, and depriving him of his government and dignity.

But as Melk Hussyn would not take warning, nor alter his conduct, nay for a long time did not acknowledge the receipt of the Prince’s letter; the anger of the Amyr was roused, and he gave orders for assembling the army, with the in­tention of invading Khorasān; but when he shewed his chiefs the letters from Herat, and asked their advice, they replied, “that they did not consider the persons who had signed the petition as sufficient authority for proceeding to harsh measures, and that it would be better again to ascertain the disposition of the other inhabitants;” this reply vexed the Amyr, he began to hesitate, and asked my opinion, I said frankly to him, “you should not have assembled the army, till you had determined this point, but having done so, you should not now procrastinate, lest the enemy impute it to weakness, but let us manfully attack them, if victorious, we shall gain the object, and at all events fill the bellies of our hungry soldiers, for ‘in exertion there is prosperity.’”

Amyr Kūrgen approved of my advice, and instantly gave me the command of a thousand horsemen. I fed these thousand cavaliers daily, and never sat down to a meal without (some of) them; on this account they all became much attached to me: we formed the advanced guard, and marched forward with great confidence; many of the tribes and clans having assembled in hopes of plunder, I induced them also to join me. When I had got my army well equipped and arranged, they were quite unanimous in acknowledging my authority, so that I began to have a prospect of the gate of sovereignty; I wrote a list of the names of the cavaliers, and kept it folded up in my pocket; I also resolved in my own mind, that when I should have dispossessed Melk Hussyn, I would keep the country of Khorasān for myself.

Having thus determined, we moved forward, we crossed the Moorghāb river, and marching by the route of Bashtan, we encamped on the mountains, in the vicinity of Herat.

The next day I mounted and rode to a bleach-green, which was situated on a hill, from whence I determined on the field of battle; I then waited on Amyr Kūrgen, and pointed out the field of battle to him.

Amyr Kūrgen having arranged the army, rode up to the bleach-green, and having minutely examined the field of battle, highly extolled my judgment, as we had our backs to the sun, it was consequently in the face of the enemy; the Prince said, “the rays of the sun will blind our foes, and give us an easy conquest.”

Soon after this, the first line of army of Melk Hussyn, which was drawn up behind a low wall, advanced boldly into the plain, but they were unskilfully drawn up. At this time Amyr Kūrgen called me, and said, “my boy, see how ill their army is arranged, we shall soon defeat them;” I replied, “have a little patience till they advance further from the wall;” I then sent orders to our front line to retire gently, upon which the enemy growing bold, advanced further into the field, and drew out in order of battle.

I drew up our line in right wing, left wing, and centre; I then gave orders for the centre to advance; when the two lines met, and were engaged hand to hand, I ordered the wings to charge at full gallop, and pushed on myself; but on the first and second attack, the enemy abandoned the field, and took refuge behind the wall.

At this time Amyr Kūrgen came up, and gave orders that we should dis­mount, and force the wall, we did so, and were successful; the Prince then divided the troops, and sent a division to erect batteries against each of the gates of the city; he then gave me the command of the attack, and returned to his camp.

The next day he gave orders for the whole army, cavalry and infantry, to attack the city; in consequence of which, we entirely surrounded the place, and cut off all supplies: when the inhabitants of Herat began to be distressed, the principal people assembled, and agreed to make overtures for peace; they then sent to Amyr Kūrgen various curiosities and presents, and promised that if he would withdraw his army, Melk Hussyn should wait upon him at Samerkund, in the course of one month, and pay his devoirs. The Amyr having consulted his chiefs, accepted the tribute, which he divided equally amongst them, agreed to make peace, and returned to Maveralnaher. He however left me at Herat, with a thousand cavalry, and the advanced guard, to intimidate Melk Hussyn, and oblige him to keep his promise of coming to Samerkund in one month.

In consequence of these instructions, I encamped on the esplanade of Herat; but whilst waiting the expiration of the appointed time for Melk Hussyn to fulfil his promise, I proceeded to Bakhter, and took possession of all that part of Khorasān.

I also took this opportunity of again paying my respects to the Kutb al Aktab Shaikh Zyn Addeen Abu Beker, and when admitted to his presence, forgot all my cares and disappointments, and felt the greatest comfort; on the first day the Shaikh received me with the greatest kindness, and clothed me in his own robe; I therefore unburthened my mind to him, respecting my views on the kingdom of Khorasān: he ordered me to be punctual in my prayers, and that whenever any difficulty occurred to me, to offer up my supplications to Muham­med, and to his descendants, so that all my difficulties would be rendered easy.

The second day, the Shaikh said to me, “you will now be supported, the Commander of the faithful (Aly) has ordered one of his agents to attend you, you will not know him at first, but will finally become acquainted with him;” I was much rejoiced by this intelligence, and felt the greatest confidence in the Saint’s prediction, and looked forward with patience to the sovereignty and conquest of the whole country of Khorasān. Having taken leave of the Shaikh, I returned to Herat, and encamped in the vicinity; but I shortly after received a confiden­tial message from Melk Hussyn, that his army was in a state of insurrection, had threatened to murder him, and set up Melk Bāker in his place, that if I would advance with my troops towards the city, he would come out and join me, and proceed with me to Amyr Kūrgen: I thought to myself, that if Melk Hussyn spoke the truth, and that his officers were in a state of mutiny, it will be easy for me to get hold of the city of Herat, and to keep possession of it without any associate; I therefore drew out my forces, and having mounted, proceeded towards the city.

Melk Hussyn also mounted his horse, and pretending to his people that he meant to fight with me, came out of the fortress and advanced against me in battle array; as I thought he was deceiving me, I put on my armour, and my officers prepared for an engagement; while we were in this state of suspense, Melk Hussyn, accompanied by his own attendants, came over to me, bringing much of his wealth and property; we met, and embraced each other on horse­back; many of his officers also came over, and laid aside all animosity. I then took Melk Hussyn to my own tent, and gave orders for marching immediately.

When the Amyr learned that I was bringing Melk Hussyn to court, he sent his son Abdullah to meet him personally, received him in the most gracious manner, and accepted his presents.

The Amyr also received me in the most flattering manner, kissed my forehead, and offered up prayers for my prosperity (literally, may your face be white.)

The Amyr assigned one of his own special tents for the residence of his guest; but after a few days, the cupidity of the tribes and clans was roused, and they were very anxious to plunder and destroy him; but as the Prince would not give his consent to this measure, he sent for me in the middle of the night, and said, “as you were the means of bringing this hostage here, you must convey him safe home again.”

I therefore carried Melk Hussyn (privately) to my own tent, and shut him up close; he was dreadfully frightened, and thought I was going to murder him; seeing him so alarmed, I told him all the circumstances, upon which he offered up prayers both for me and for the Prince.

The next day I (publicly) obtained permission to make a hunting excursion, and as the Prince was very fond of the field sports, he agreed to accompany me with a few of his most confidential servants; and taking Melk Hussyn with us, we went to the banks of the Moorghāb: whilst amusing ourselves in the field, the Prince called his guest to him, and having spoken to him very graciously, they renewed their promises of friendship; on taking leave, Hussyn presented a large ruby armlet, after which, Melk Hussyn and I set off, crossed the river, and encamped on the opposite bank.

Whilst in this situation, intelligence arrived that the chiefs of Ghour, and the army of Khorasān, had raised Melk Bāker to the government, and that he had taken possession of the city of Herat; on receipt of this news, Melk Hussyn was much distressed, and sunk in the whirlpool of consternation.

After some time he asked my advice in this affair, I said to him, “you have no alternative, but to place on your head the helmet of courage, and put on the armour of determination, bind on the sword of resolution, and like an alligator dive at once into the river of blood; if victorious, you will gain renown, if sub­dued, you need not be ashamed.” Melk Hussyn bidding adieu to life, resolved to do his duty, begged me to accompany him, and offered me a year’s revenue of the province of Herat; I would not agree to this proposal, but said, “if you and I conjointly recover the province, the city shall be mine;” to this he consented. At this time there was a stewed leg of mutton before us, the bone of which was sticking out; I took it, and having stripped it of all the meat, I resolved within myself to draw from it an omen, whether Melk Hussyn would be success­ful in his enterprize. I performed the usual ceremonies,* and the result was favourable; I therefore determined to brave the adventure, and after four forced marches, we arrived before daylight at the bleach-green; as we entered the bazar of the suburbs, the day broke, which enabled me to see a cook in his shop taking up a hot dish of broth; when he saw me, he cried out, “welcome, wel­come,” and brought me a bowl of the soup; I looked upon this as a fortunate omen, and pushed on; when we arrived at the gate of Herat, the guard had just opened it, I gave the horse of Melk Hussyn, a blow with my whip, and we bounded over the planks of the drawbridge, and entered the fortress; I kept possession of the gate, to give entrance to our people, whilst Melk Hussyn proceeded to the apartments of his rival Melk Bāker; the garrison seeing the number of my troops, were confounded, and quietly submitted; thus Melk Hussyn recovered his capital victoriously, and without any loss.

It then entered my mind, that I might as well take possession of the govern­ment of Herat myself, but upon further reflecting, that possibly the troops would not support me, I relinquished the idea; and I afterwards found by experience, that I had judged rightly, and that they would not have joined me, which convinced me that one sincere friend is better than a thousand pretended friends. In consequence of this reflection, I placed Melk Hussyn on the throne of govern­ment, and exacted some promises from him; he very honourably paid me the money he had agreed to give for my assistance; he also sent with me, by the hands of his own agents, numerous presents to Amyr Kūrgen.

When I returned to Samerkund, the Amyr embraced me, and kissed my fore­head and cheeks; but when the chiefs of the tribe heard what I had done, they were much irritated, and bound up their loins for my destruction; they also re­belled against Amyr Kūrgen. On this occasion, the Prince again consulted me; I advised him, as it was he who had raised Danishmundchē Aghlān to the Khānship, he should induce the Khān to issue the imperial order, summoning the refractory officers to court, that such of them as obeyed, should be treated with kindness, but those that disobeyed, should have their heads struck off.

A. D. 1359.

In the year 758, I reached twenty-two years of age, and began to put in practice some of my speculations regarding the sovereignty, for several of the chiefs of the tribes and clans being dissatisfied with Amyr Kūrgen, conspired together, and wrote to me, that if I would encourage them, they would be my friends, and would displace both the Amyr and the Khān, after which we might divide the country between us; but I having reflected that it would be much easier at some future time to dispossess one person, than to have to contend with ten rivals, and recollecting the friendly connection that existed between the Amyr and me, I determined to inform him of the circumstance.

But the chiefs having discovered my intentions, wrote to the Amyr, (in the Tūrky language); “be it known to your enlightened mind, that every body “selects some (powerful) personage to be his patron, through whose mediation “he may obtain the object of his desires and wishes; we, in order to obtain our “desires and wishes, have chosen your benevolence and kindness to be our “intermediators; we have taken the liberty of representing this, may your pros­“perity endure for ever.”

When this letter reached the Amyr, as he was a very weak man, he in a kind and friendly manner invited the chiefs to wait on him, and paid no regard to the caution I had given him.

In consequence of this invitation, the chiefs having collected their men, and having put on their armour, came to the palace gate, between the hours of evening prayer and bed time. The Amyr immediately sent for me, when I came to the gate, I spoke to several of the chiefs, and finding that they had armour under their clothes, I suspected that they had evil intentions, bade them good evening, went into the palace and told the Amyr all the circumstances; who, on hearing of the treachery, and the mutinous state of his officers, was seized with a pain in his bowels; he therefore sent them an apology, but gave orders for their being hospitably entertained, and permitted to return to their camp.

He then consulted me, how we were to get rid of them, I advised him to deceive them by presents; he in consequence sent a large sum of money, and desired them to divide it among them according to their rank. As the sum was large, they could not agree on the division, and soon began to quarrel; after which they came singly to ask the Amyr’s pardon, and to be again admitted into favour; thus enmity was changed into friendship, and the danger was averted; on this occasion the Amyr again took me in his arms, called me his son, and bestowed on me the district of Shemerghān.

A. D. 1360.

In the year 759, I attained my twenty-third year; at this time Amyr Kūrgen being quite absolute in the kingdom of Maveralnaher, resolved to subdue the kingdom of Khuarizm, and in this affair, offered to give me the command of the expedition; I at first agreed, but after deliberation, I thought it advisable that the command should be given to some other person, who might be defeated by the Khuarizmians, after which I would then enter the country and subdue it.

I therefore spoke privately to Amyr Khizer, that he would request Byan Kuly, who was one of the lords of the council, to say to the Prince, that “Khuarizm being an easy conquest, ought to be assigned to his highness’s eldest son Ab­dullah, whose fame would be exalted thereby, and all the credit given to him instead of Timūr.”

Byan Kuly having explained these circumstances to Amyr Kūrgen, he approved of the measure, and ordered his eldest son Abdullah from Samerkund, to take command of the army against Khuarizm; Abdullah entered the country, but the Khuarizmians having strengthened their fortresses, kept him at bay, and reduced him to great distress.

The Amyr not knowing what to do, sent for me, and said, “from the first it was my wish to have given the command of the army to you, and still it is my wish that you should take it:” I reflected within myself, that the Amyr wished for my assistance to effect the conquest, but that he meant to keep all the benefit to himself; I therefore thought I might as well make the conquest for myself, and become sovereign of the country. As ambition is a very powerful passion, I resolved no longer to be subservient to any one, but to go and take Khuarizm for myself.

When Amyr Kūrgen had superseded his son, and put under my command a large force, I marched towards Khuarizm, but I ordered that the army of Ab­dullah should remain stationary till my arrival. As the Khuarizmians would not engage us in the field, but shut themselves up in their fortresses, the first thing I did was this, I made overtures to the chiefs of all the wandering tribes and clans that inhabited Khuarizm, and having united them to me, I requested them to intercede with the governors of the forts; they did so, and they (the governors) all agreed to be my servants.

I then divided amongst them the whole of the countries of Khuarizm and Our­kunje; having thus gotten possession of all the fortresses of the kingdom, I ap­pointed a confidential person of my own to be (Kūtwall) superintendant of them, and thus settled the government of the country; I also wished to have raised the standard of sovereignty, but having no dependance on the fealty of my new subjects, I returned with Abdullah to the Amyr, who in return for my successful conduct, gave me the country of Ourkunje.

A. D. 1358.

In the year 760, I attained my twenty-fourth year; about this time, Amyr Kūrgen made a grand hunting party, and came out of Samerkund; whilst we were engaged in the chase, night came on. Kutlug Timūr Khān, the son-in-law of the Prince, having a number of wicked wretches united with him, judged it a favourable opportunity to assassinate the Amyr, seeing that I and the chief huntsman were his only companions; he, therefore, made an attack on him with seven expert swordsmen; at this time it was dark, but I hearing them, called out and threatening them, threw myself between them and the Prince, who immediately alighted from his horse, and drawing his sword, got behind a large stone; the huntsman then joining us, Kutlug Timūr ran off; in reward for saving him from this peril, the Amyr bestowed on me the revenue of Hissar Shadmān.

Being now master of the countries of Khuarizm and Shadmān, I divided the revenues with my soldiers; but although I was very kind and liberal to all my servants, they would not support me in my ambitious views.

The eyes of Amyr Kūrgen being now open to the designs of his son-in-law, he left off hunting, and watched an opportunity of seizing him and his companions, with the intention of putting them to death; but Kutlug being aware of his in­tention, took refuge in the highlands of Maveralnaher, and became a public robber. At length the daughter of the Amyr, who was married to this fellow, pretended to become insane from the absence of her husband.

As the Amyr was a weak and compassionate man, he listened to the deceit of women, and believed that his daughter was really mad, and the other women joining with her led him astray, and prevailed on him to pardon Kutlug Timūr; in consequence of which, an edict was issued for him to return to court.

I opposed this measure, and said to the Amyr, “do not be led away by your women, for God hath said, ‘always act contrary to what women advise,’ if they have told you not to put him to death, undoubtedly kill him, for according to the orders of God, you should oppose them in every thing, for they are deficient in sense.” Although the Amyr knew his son-in-law to be his inveterate enemy, he would not at first follow the advice of the proverb, which I repeated to him, viz. “keep your enemy in your grasp as you would a ruby, till you come to a flinty spot, then knock his head against the stone till you dash it to pieces:” but at length he listened to my opinion, and determined to crush his enemy; he however did not find an opportunity.

In this same year, Amyr Kūrgen one day sent for me, and having repeated his complaints, said, “he was resolved to divorce his daughter and son-in-law;” but his women again rendered him subservient to their orders, and Kutlug Timūr pretending to be sorry for what he had done, the divorce was postponed.

About this time, Amyr Kūrgen took the government of Andijan from Sultān Kūly, the father of his son Abdullah’s wife, and gave it to Khuajēh Ayzdy; in consequence of which, the deposed governor bound up the loins of enmity against his master, and conspired with Kutlug Timūr, and agreed to set up the young Abdullah; I frequently cautioned the Amyr against them, and as he had been pleased to adopt me as a son, and had given me a written promise that I should be his successor in the kingdom of Maveralnaher, I watched over him as a child should over a parent, and omitted no part of my duty towards him.*

Till at length the Amyr Kūrgen who was extremely fond of hunting, one day went out (without me) attended only by a few persons without their armour, and having crossed the Oxus, (Jihūn) was deeply engaged in the chase, when Kutlug Timūr and Sultān Kūly attacked and murdered the just Prince.

When I was informed of the circumstance, I was dreadfully affected; I re­paired immediately to the spot where the body was lying, and having respectfully taken it up, I transported it to the banks of the river, and there purified it, after which we carried it to Sāly Serai,* and there buried it. Immediately after this event, Kutlug Timūr and Sultān Kūly placed Abdullah, eldest son of the mur­dered prince, in the government, but took the oath of allegiance to Bian Kūly, the Khān, whom the deceased Amyr had set up, and promised to support him in his (nominal) dignity, provided he would employ Abdullah as his Vizier: the whole party then proceeded towards Samerkund, but on their arrival there, they put the innocent and harmless Khān to death.

As the Vizier Abdullah was a miser, who took from every one, and gave to nobody, and who had thrown the eyes of cupidity on the wealth of the two mur­dered personages, (the Amyr and the Khān) the conspirators elevated Timūr Shāh Aghlān, son of Munsūr Timūr, to the Khānship, they then attacked the party of Abdullah, and fought three battles with them; but Abdullah having swam his horse across the Jihūn, took refuge in the country of Khutelan and Anderab, where he died.*