Account of the Capture of the Fort of Bahím by Storm.

After these two famous victories he came to his capital, Ghazna, with a view to enjoy repose and refreshment, in order to give some days’ relaxation. Then, however, when he found that the pole of his quiescence began to be in motion, and when he saw the star of his repose begin to travel, then his mind turned to the choice of expanded boundaries, in­stead of limited ones, to the deeds of swords and glory, instead of self-pleasure, and rebellion, to a repulse of every attachment to amusement, and unto God’s will, instead of a perverse disposition. And all his times being thus devoted and conse­crated unto the building up of perfect renown, and gaining an abundant recompense; he, by reason of this gracious resolution, determined upon another conquest, whereby the colours of Islám might be exalted, and the flags of idolatry and denial of religion might be subverted and overset. When, therefore, the month Rabi’al-Ackhir of that year had passed he marched forth. And when he arrived on the bank of the Wámund, Wábál-’bn-Abdbál came to confront him with a numerous army. And from the time that the falcon of morn­ing took his flight from the nest of the horizon, until the crow of darkness closed her wing, the fire of battle burnt, and the pieces of men’s bodies hacked by the sword coloured the earth as if by anemones. And it had nearly happened that the army (of the Sultán) were wounded (worsted), and that the infidels had obtained the high hand. However the promise respecting victory to the words of Islám were fulfilled, and the Sultán with his own guards made a charge, under which the feet of the infidels were unable to stand. They were therefore routed, and sixty head of elephants, which were the guard of that mountain-like temple, by the river passage of those infidels, fell into the Sultán’s hands, and they drove them amongst the black hills and deep passes. And the Sultán moved his soul in seeking those vile wretched ones, and cast to the ground many of those false felons. And then he arrived at the base of the fort of Bahin Bara (Baghra, or Naghra).* This is a castle in the midst of the water, very moist, high as a mountain, and an inaccessible pit (keep?) con­structed there. And the people of India made it a treasury for their great idols, and load upon load of precious goods and jewels had been transported there, for the purpose of obtaining salvation, and for the sake of a nearer approach to Heaven, and for oblations to the Almighty. The Sultán closely surrounded this fortress. And they began to fight in defence of this castle with devoted strength and resolute fierceness. But when those people beheld the power of those stirrers-up (lit. pokers) of war, and the majesty of those exciters of burning fuel, fear and horror grasped hold of them, and dread and terror seized the expanse of their breasts, and their enemies’ exploits bound the bandage of dis­grace over their eyes. And the Sultán threw the snaring rope of conquest over their head, so that they capitulated, and consented to serve in war under the banners of the Sultán. Then they opened the gate, and humbly offered service to the Sultán’s stirrup, and cast themselves upon the ground. And from the benefits of this possession prodigious fruits and abundant flowers accrued to the Sultán, and he found such an amount of exqui­site gems, brilliant jewels, and precious stones, and rare treasures, that the fingers of the scribe, and the account books of the calculators, would be un­equal to the task of catalogueing and numbering them, and with the Prince of Jurján and his private attendants, he went within the castle. And he committed the guardianship of the gold and silver and other (like) valuables to his two Chamberlains, Altontásh and Istargin, but determined that he would himself undertake the care of the treasure of jewels, and transport the whole on the back of men and camels. And as far as it could be brought to computation and account, the treasure consisted of 1,070 packets of royal dirhims, and 700,400 mans of gold and silver bullion. And as to the robes, and cups (or basins), silk and cloth, &c., they were so many, that the seniors of the empire and clerks of State were quite unable to arrange them, and acknowledged that they had never beheld such robes, both as regarded the beauty of the workman­ship, and its delicate excellence. And amongst other discoveries they found a large house made of silver, sixty cubits long, and fifty wide, with broad flooring, so arranged, and so contrived with ropes, that the whole could be thrown together, or could be separated into divisions; that it could be folded up or expanded, let down or raised up with ease; with curtains of Grecian brocade, and two golden statues, and two silver statues. The Sultán then left several of the gravest and most trust-worthy of the State to protect that fortress, and with the pledges of victory, and beneath the canopy of power, turned towards Ghazna. And when safely settled in his glorious abode and expanded Court, he ordered that a carpet should be spread in the midst of the serai, and that they should pour upon it, those pearls bright as stars, those jacinths coloured like flames, those fresh green emeralds, and those packets of perfect crystal stones. The chiefs of countries and deputies of provinces were there, who took the finger of astonishment into their mouth. And the envoys of Togha-Khán, King of the Turks, were present, and all confessed that a sight of this kind could not be contained within the compass of thought, and that the treasures of Karún could not have amounted to a tenth part thereof. Heaven knows, however.