This work derives its name from the person to whom it was dedicated, and by whose advice it was undertaken: Sháh Kásim Khán, son of Amír Saiyid Kásim Beg-Lár. We learn nothing of the author—not even his name—either from the preface or the body of the history. We can only tell, from the tone in which he speaks of his patron, that he must have been a most abject dependant.

The name of Beg-Lár, we are told, belonged to his patron's family by hereditary descent, and is not therefore to be confounded with the Beglerbegs of Turkey and Persia, who are the viceroys or governors of the Provinces.* The Beg-Lár family after residing for some generations at Turmuz, came to reside at Samarkand, whence we had them emigrating to Sind. They pretend to derive their origin from 'Ali, the son-in-law and cousin-german of the Prophet. The genealogy is given in the Beg-Lár-náma and Tuhfatu-l Kirám. Their intimate con­nection with the Arghúns is attributed to one of their remote ancestors having taken up his abode in Khitá, where he and his descendants continued in friendly communication with the Turks. This connection, indeed, frequently gives rise to the Beg-Lár family's being called Arghún, as at pp. 263, 287, in the extract from the Táríkh-i Táhirí, where the patron of our author is styled an Arghún.

Amír Sháh Kásim came from Samarkand to Sind in the time of Sháh Husain Arghún, and was received with distinction. He married the niece of the Wairsí Ráná of 'Umarkot, and as her father was a Bhattí Rájpút, Sháh Kásim, the produce of this marriage, was half a Bhattí, and amongst that tribe he was brought up. It is to him, under the title of Khán-i Zamán, that this book is chiefly devoted, and as he acted an important part in the affairs of the kingdom, we are treated with tedious reports of the most trifling exploits performed by him and his sons, con­sisting chiefly of provincial contests, border feuds and cattle raids. This minute history, however, compels the author to mention the names of streams, forts, villages and tribes, which in themselves sometimes possess considerable interest. Even the local hostili­ties and intermarriages of clans afford matter of speculation to the curious enquirer, and on all these points some information is to be gleaned from the Beg-Lár-náma.*

As the little that there is of general interest centres in the connection which Khán-i Zamán had with public characters, it may as well be mentioned that he first rose to some distinction under Sháh Husain, the Arghún ruler of Sind. He then served successively Mirzá Ísá Tarkhán, Ján Bábá, Mirzá Muhammad Bákí, and Mirzá Jání Beg. When this chief went to render his submission to the Emperor Akbar, Khán-i Zamán accompanied him, and was received with favour. He was afterwards nominated to an appointment in Sind under Mirzá Ghází Beg, and lived to an old age in that country, surrounded by a large and thriving family. His son, Mír Abú-l Kásim Sultán, was celebrated for his gallant conduct in the field, as well as for his literary talents. After rebelling against the constituted authorities, he was par­doned through the intercession of his father; but was sub­sequently blinded to prevent his exciting further disturbances.

The exact date of the composition of this work cannot be fixed with precision within twenty years—1017 and 1036 H.—because the intimations we have on that point are altogether contradictory and irreconcilable. We are told (p. 256) that the author's patron has “at this period, (aknún)” that is 1017 “reached the age of seventy.” About this there can be no doubt, because we have already been informed (p. 36) that he was born in 947— moreover the date is given not only in numerals but in text. But we are informed (p. 27) of Mirzá Ghází Beg's death, which occurred in 1021; about which, also, there can be no doubt, as it is substantiated by a chronogram in the Tuhfatu-l Kirám (p. 72). Again, in enumerating the children of his patron, (pp. 260, 261) we have the dates of 1032 and 1033, both in text and numerals. It could not have been composed at any period more than three years beyond this, because Jahángír is mentioned as the reigning monarch. Taking all these points into consideration, we may consider, either that the rough draft was written in 1017, and that a second was made about 1035, when the subsequent dates gained admission; or that aknún, as at p. 41, is used with reference to the event which the author is describing, not with reference to the period at which he is writing—in short, in the sense of “at that time,” not “at this present.” If so, the date of 1017 relates only to the time when Khán-i Zamán had completely peopled and settled the country round the fort of Saiyid-garh, of which he finished the building in 1011; and we can fix with tolerable certainty upon the year 1034, or 1035—say 1625 A.D.—as that in which the Beg-Lár-náma was brought to a conclusion; but I have no great confidence in this interpretation, and it must be confessed that the matter is not worth further enquiry.

The Beg-Lár-náma, after the preface, opens with a general abstract history of Sind and the Arab invasion, in twenty-two pages: we then have a very slight notice of the Arghúns, with a biography of Amír Kásim Beg, extending altogether to eighteen pages: and from that to the end we have detailed accounts of the squabbles amongst the various members of the Tarkhán family, with the insertion of every expedition of robbery and plunder in which the noble Khan-i Zamán himself was in the remotest degree concerned.

This work is not found in India, except in the provinces of Sind, where I know of three copies. There is one in the Imperial Library at Paris. Fonds Gentil, No. 17.* Size Quarto, (12 × 9 inches). 275 pages of 17 lines each.


Aboriginal Inhabitants of Sind.

Sind derives its name from Sind, the son of Ham the son of Núh (God's peace be with him!) and the province remained in possession of his descendants; but their names cannot be found in any books of history, nor have I heard them in legendary stories, and I am there­fore compelled to omit them. That which I have heard from common report is this, that in olden time the Province of Sind was held by the tribes of Bína, Ták, and Nabúmiya; but the period of their govern­ment is not known. After a time, Sahasí Ráí reigned in the fort of Alór,* and all Sind and Hind was under his rule. When he died, Chach Brahman became master of Sind and Hind. His capital was the fort of Brahmanábád, and his dominions extended to the confines of Kashmír. His son Dáhir succeeded him and became master of the whole kingdom. In his days the armies of Islám arrived under the command of Muhammad Kásim, and after many battles Dáhir was slain.