Account of the Conquest of Bahátíh.

When the Sultán had concluded the settlement of the affairs of Sístán, and stilled the droppings of dispute which flowed in those regions, and had dispersed all the incidents of that emergency, he determined to bring to fixed conclusion his design respecting the conquest of Bahátíh. He drew then a full army under his protected standards and brave captains to those parts. He passed over the Sihún* and the province of Múltán, and encamped before Bahátíh. This city had a wall whose height could be reached only by eagles. Its sentinel, if he wished, might hold converse with the stars, and its watchman, if he desired, might give kisses upon the lip of the planet Venus. Its top was equal in loftiness to Heaven’s height and was parallel to Pisces. It had a moat like the girdling sea, with a deep and wide abyss, and a broad border was drawn around it; and they were supported by men of energy and war elephants for the defence of its territory and country. And the Prince of these accursed ones, according to the well-known course of rebel­lious obstinacy, relying on his lofty hill and drunk with the pride of his numerous followers, came out of the city and, trusting in the might of his heroes and the majesty of his fortune, stood to the the engagement. For three days, successively, the Sultán, with the splendour of the lightning of his swords and the flashes of his well-aimed spears, baked them in the fireplace of ruin and the oven of destruction, and, on the fourth, by means of his galling arrows and hair splitting spears and scimi­tars, he darkened and blackened the pages of the life of these despicable wretches, and, when the ship of the sun arrived at the midst of the ocean of the sky, the cry of “God is great!” raised by the possessors of the faith, reached the ears of the family on high (and the family of Alí) and, in the name of truth and verity, and with a resolve to win victory for their religion, they made a charge, such that the blackness of those infidels was wiped off from the white page of that time, and on the scene of those onsets and attacks not a vestige of those cursed ones remained. And the Sultán, like an enraged male (elephant) and a tossing sea, wielded a two-handled scimitar and cut a man in half, together with his casque and coat-of-mail, and seized several elephants, which were the body­guard of the infidels. Thus the gale of victory, from the kind care of Providence, began to flow, and the standards of the Sultán and the ensigns of the faith attained satisfaction in exaltation and elevation; and the means of gratification and satisfaction were thus prepared. But most of the enemy fled into the fortress, and sought protection and security in the walls of their castle. Then the champions of religion withdrew the reins of volition from their hand, and seized upon the passages to the fort. And the young men of the army filled up the moat, and assisted each other in widening the narrow passages and opening the bolts; and Bijera, during the heat of the battle and the lightning and eye-striking fire of the spears (whilst his followers were suffering their punishment before his very eyesight) by means of a rope from his harness, betook himself to an intervening (chasm) of the mountain, and sought a refuge in a certain wood. The Sultán sent a star of the stars of his army to track his footsteps, that they might environ him like a collar, and fix a scimitar in him. But he, in alarm at that lightning death, and terror at what had happened, drew his piercing khanjar, and falling, resigned his fearless life and impure soul, and went to receive the retribution of denying ones and the portion of inhuman infidels for all eternity, and amidst the ranks of hell and the orders of Gehenna was punished with the scalding water and miserable pain of the verse, “This is the portion of the infidels.” As for the rest of the army the greater part passed through the sword. A hundred and sixty elephants augmented, in this victory the stables of the royal stud, with an enor­mous booty in money and weapons. And the Sultán made that place a station, that the country might be cleansed from the odiousness of that idolatrous people; and he spread the carpet of the Muhammadan religion and law, and drew the people of those provinces into the bond of Islám, and arranged the construction of mosques and pulpits, and appointed imáms, for the purpose of instructing them in the precepts of religion and the laws of Islám, and in the method of distinguishing and seeing what is lawful and forbidden. And, with his victorious flags and prosperous banners, he turned his face to Ghazna. And thus began the season of his rain (of glory and multiplied perils) and a long road of mischances lay before him, when men and baggage were destroyed. And many of his servants and armies perished in disgrace and fear (although) Heaven guarded the noble being and precious life of the Sultán from the misfortune, reproach, and ruin of that thread of events. “He is the friend of the guileless good.” Abúl-Fath-Bosti, his confidant, gave him excellent counsel and refused (his approval) to his passion, which led him to such aims and directed him to such resolves, and with decorated mind and firm solidity directed his words, according to Heaven-decreed justice, and by the shuttle (or loom) of equity. However, having turned his face to a point worthy of his mighty sword, of the fury of Mars and of the imagination of a lion, he inclined not to deceiving words, advice that blamed, and the full pages from pens. Abúl-Fath, in confirmation and corroboration of this hint, says (Verse)

“The most faithful advice from men hath been fully imparted to the Sultán;
“Love and an experienced judgment hath (invited him to) follow it.
“Thou hast passed, in rank and glory, the sun’s altitude;
“Thou hast in violence humiliated all who have reigned.
“Thy (onward) motions will no longer continue to follow,
“For when the sun is at his altitude he moves not.”

For this question had been a matter of dispute with the first men of science. Some said, “There is no motion in the point of the ascendant altitude of the sun;” the truth of which position they endeavoured to establish by proofs from the schools; and some in establishing its motion dwelt upon the measure of other altitudes. Heaven however knows.