Account of the Capture of the Province of Bost.

It originated in the following circumstances: One named Tufán was prince of this territory, and another, whose name was Báítúz, wrested the country from him by force, and expelled him, Túfán, incapable of resistance, possessed no resource except to retire from the land, and fled for refuge, in his distress, to the protection of Násir-ad-dín. Of him Tufán requested troops, to recover his estate from his enemy, proffering his services and engaging him­self to the distinguished Government, by a promise that he would every year send a fixed tribute to the Treasury, and, in case of need, would assist the Amír with his army of chiefs and nobles, and would fulfil the customs of service, and settle his son with Násir-ad-dín, as an hostage for his obedi­ence. The Amír, being of a kind and generous nature, assented to this petition, and sat down before Bost with a complete army. In this war great efforts were made on both sides, and the Amír Násir-ad-dín charged with the centre body of his troops and scattered the enemy’s army into the narrow abodes of the city. Many were wounded and the rest fled. Tufán was restored to his kingdom and expressed his thanks for the generous and fortunate aid of Násir-ad-dín, yet he began to delay and evade the services to which he had agreed, meditating a falling short in and a retreat from the full completion of his treaty, until the proofs of his treachery and deceit became daily more evident; and one day, when together in the field, Násir-ad-dín addressed to him some bitter reproaches; he returned an unbecoming answer, which drew on a dispute; and this went so far that Tufán put his hand to his sword and wounded Násir-ad-dín; and the Amír, witnessing this graceless act, clapped his hand upon his sword and inflicted upon Tufán a great wound. He wished to repeat it, but was forcibly restrained by the soldiers Násir-ad-dín hereon commanded his troops to march forth upon that plain and cleanse the tablet (of life) from their odious existence. In the space of one hour of the day all that country was conquered. Túfán and Báítúz took the path of Kirmán and never saw that country again, even in their dreams, nor admitted a thought of that subject into their minds. But of all the advan­tages which resulted to the Amír Násir-ad-dín, from that victory (one of the most important) was the acquisition of the services of the Shaikh Abúl-Fath-Bustí , who was without an equal in virtue, acquirements, understanding, and eloquence. He was Secretary to Báítúz, and when the two Amírs betook themselves away from that country Abúl-Fath remained behind and concealed himself within the city. They made known unto Násir-ad-dín his excellent qualifications, who intimated a wish for his presence. When he offered his respects the Amír received him generously and honourably, confirming his former rank and giving him good promises, and commanding that so respectable an individual should be inscribed in the books of accounts, for the same amount of allowances as he had received in the service of Báítúz. He gave him the same place and com­mitted to his guidance the same business as he had before directed. The Shaikh Abúl-Fath-Bustí thus relates:— “When the Amír Násir-ad-dín valued me as worthy of such good fortune and honoured me with such special favour, committing to me the portfolio of requests, which is the trea­sury of secrets, I began to think, This king cannot have full confidence in my deeds or words: he has but recently given me pardon and protection, whilst he in whose service I have been was his marked enemy and opponent. If, therefore, some envious or ill-wishing person distort and confuse my conduct it is possible that the arrow of malig­nity may reach the mark. I therefore went to pay my respects to him and said, There can exist no higher office or mark than that with which the Sovereign has been graciously pleased to distin­guish this servant; yet this servant deems it fitting that he should for a while find His Majesty’s permission (to retire) and to remain under the shadow of the King’s protection, in some place appointed for that purpose, until the Sovereign have fully arranged all affairs relating to this dishonourable Páítúz,* and the kingdom be at rest from disturbances and changes, and the centre-point of affairs revolve with stability; then this servant will kiss the distinguished hand and will look this office in the face, when he shall have become justi­fied from and cured of this mark of disgrace, and note of suspicion, and shall be fixed and settled in the high road of confidence and the way of reputa­tion.”

The Amír Násir-ad-dín approved this remark and thus signified his commands:— “You must depart unto the land of Rukháj and there remain an expectant of favour, until the summons shall proceed from our presence, when you shall without delay enter upon our service.” “The Amír accord­ingly sent a royal rescript, and transmitted direc­tions respecting me to the officers of the country. I began to journey towards the place, and enjoyed myself in the highest degree in traversing that plain.”

The Shaikh further relates: “One night I was returning thanks for the accomplishment of a portion of the journey and the passing of that stage, and I passed the whole night considering and observing the stars and the constellations, until the streak of the kohol (eye-lash dye) of morning appeared in the openings of the clouds of night, and the bright flash of day rose upon the destiny of darkened mankind. I descended, for the purpose of performing the appointed duty of prayer, and when I had fulfilled my devotions and the light of day had removed the dark veil from before my obscured eye, I looked upon the beauty and the delights of that wilderness, which resembled a cultivated field. It was fair as the cheek of heart-stealers and bedecked like the enchanting gardens of Paradise. Brilliant as the peacock’s feathers and as the banquet of Kaykáús were the running streams, and the upland plains, and the boundless wilds. Then this verse passed into my mind, ‘Your father Adam was one of the rebellious, but in knowledge you partake with angels.’ Hereupon it fell into my mind to cast the sacred lot, whether I should go forward or remain. I produced a book I carried with me for the purpose of divination, and the first line of the volume was this, ‘When thou hast fully arrived at thy point of safety go not beyond it.’ Hereon I said unto myself, what lot can be more sure than this? and no place can be more suitable than this. I therefore commanded that my baggage waggons and furniture should be turned towards this spot, and here, for a princely time, I remained in this country, enjoying the cool shade of repose, and on this chess-board I paraded like the queen, in the enclosure of security and refreshment, until the adorned letters arrived, with the exalted rescript to summon me. I hastened to the royal service and, amidst the confidential officers of His Highness, I attained to what I attained.”

For, after this occurrence, the Office of Requests was conferred upon this personage, until the latter period of the reign of Násir-ad-dín, and the Sultán Yamín-ad-doulah committed unto him, during the early part of his reign, the office of President of Investitures, whence all letters of victory and the contents of rescripts, volumes, and account-books, were by his elegant composition adorned, polished, promulgated, and finally re­corded. He was retained in this advantageous and lucrative office until for some cause he quitted the presence and retired into the land of the Turks. He died whilst there absent.

The Amír Násir-ad-dín having brought this country to peaceful submission appointed a vice-governor and began to meditate an attack upon Kasdar.* This place was nigh the Amír’s terri­tory. The prince of that country was hemmed in by strong fortresses and enclosed in a fruitful and plentiful land. Hence he imagined that the wheel of altered fortune could not possibly turn against him, and that the hand of the vicissitudes of life could never reach the collar of his prosperity, and knew not how utterly the King, favoured of the moonlit Heaven, despised him, and, like an eagle, could catch the winds by the arrow of might, until one night, at the hour when the bud of dawn begins to blow and the bride of morning is proudly proceeding from the darkened net-work of her couch, the Sultán came with his irresistible, encir­cling, faithful army and at one blow rendered him ruined and a prisoner (Verse)

“Lo! whilst the chief of the herd is drinking amidst the females,
“Whilst the dogs are barking and a sacrifice is to be offered on account of a child new-born,
“One in great haste roasts him for a company arriving.”

For the state of the destruction of that morning recalled the saying, “He took him as the butcher takes the sheep.” Afterwards, through his gentle and humane disposition, the Amír decided that the Prince of that land should be confirmed in the possession of his territory, appointing unto him a fixed tribute, to be paid year by year, into the Treasury, and enjoining that the coin and the public buildings should be decorated with the blessed name and the happy surname of Násir-ad-dín.

Násir-ad-dín having completed the conquest of Kasdar, directed his thoughts towards the conquest of infidels. He turned his face towards India and meditated striking a blow at those accursed, and coming on the rear of that land of unbelievers. With sincere fervour and pure design of pleasing God he undertook the hardship of that sacred war and displayed unshaken resolution in patiently prosecuting it, until he had utterly con­quered and possessed himself of many castles and strongholds of those far lands, whither the standards of Islám had never penetrated and upon which the bright signs of truth had never glanced. He, by these fortified holds and territories, augmented the boundaries of his kingdom. But when Jaipál,* King of Hindústan, observed these things and saw the line of his frontier continually diminishing, and, immeasurable fractures and losses every moment caused in his States, that grievance rendered him disturbed and inconsolable. He represented to himself that if he should allow himself to be remiss and slothful under so great a cause for anxiety, and so signal a misfortune, nor set his face to resist it, his hereditary kingdom would go to the winds, and, in such an horrible event, the world would be severe upon him. He saw no remedy, except in beginning to act and to take up arms. He assembled, therefore, all his princes, feudatories, nobles, and allies, and with a great army. approached the Musalmán territory, hoping that the awe of his force would procure him retribution, and that the chasm which by the powerful army of Islám had been so visibly made in his coasts and his country would be removed, and the wound which the gleaming sword of Násir-ad-dín had inflicted upon the iniquitous infidels would be closed up; and in him was exemplified the text, “They wish to extinguish the light of God in their hearts, but God forbid that his light should not be perfected, although the idolaters abhor it.” He left Lamghân, in full reliance upon the valour of his troops and in expectation of victory, through his conquering army and allies. In his head was the intoxication of confidence and in his heart the blackness of vain conceit (Verse)

“No one of sense gives positively until he has gotten. Draw up your robe dry from your leg, when the billows are twinkling upon the shore.”