There is no connected account of this officer in any of these Afghán histories. Those who treat of him separately fill their statements with what to us are the most uninteresting events of his life. Thus, in the Táríkh-i Khán-Jahán (MS., pp. 187-190), there is a long eulogy upon his great Muhammadan virtues, and especially his lavish pro­digality * in behalf of lazy fakírs. The Wáki'át-i Mushtákí (MS., pp. 112-17) gives these and other particulars; but, notwithstanding its prolixity, is not complete even in these five long pages, as an hiatus occurs before we come to the time of his death. The Táríkh-i Dáúdí (MS., pp. 291-7) also celebrates his indiscriminate liberality to these sanctimonious vagabonds, and gives as an illustration that he had no less than 2500 apartments in his palace, in each of which 100 of these obese vermin were pampered at the rate of two sírs of corn per diem, great and small. Doubtless, the exaggeration of numbers is enormous; but admitting even one hundredth part to be true, it again leads to the reflection which similar laudations have excited— What misery must have been entailed upon the wretched plundered people to supply the extravagances and establish the piety and benevolence of these ostentatious patrons of professed devotees.

With respect to his death, this work simply tells us that he was killed without having committed any fault. In short, all these authors dwell more upon the excellence and liberality of his cuisine, than upon his tragic end, and the deliberate perfidy and knavery of the base king at whose instigation he was murdered. There is no occasion to notice any of the political events of his life, for they will be found frequently mentioned in the reigns of Sher Sháh and Islám Sháh; but it is curious to remark that, on his first introduction to public life, when he succeeded to the title of Khawás Khán, upon the occasion of his elder brother's being drowned in the ditch of the fort of Gaur, he came into slight collision with his future murderer Islám Sháh, then Prince Jalál Khán. Khawás Khán urged an immediate attack, to which Jalál Khán gave his reluctant consent; but generously attributed the victory, when gained, to the courage and energy of Khawás Khán.*

It has been remarked at p. 485, how confused is the record of his career at the beginning of Islám Sháh's reign. It may, therefore, be necessary to mention that, after flying from Mewát with all his artillery, in which he was strong, he remained some time in Sirhind, whither 'Azam Humáyún advanced against him by Islám Sháh's orders, with 40,000 men; but they had a secret understanding with each other, and Khawás Khán retired leisurely on his advance, and entered Rohilkhand, where, after for a long time desolating the royal parganas at the foot of the Kamáún hills, he joined the Níázís before the battle of Ambála, and on the day of action deserted them on the plea of their wishing to exclude any man of the Súr family from the succession to the empire. His movements here appear to have been very extraordinary, for instead of joining Islám Sháh, to whom he had communicated his intentions, and from whom he might have ex­pected to receive the immediate reward of his perfidy, he again returned to his haunts under the hills, and finally sought the pro­tection of the Rájá of Kamáún, who conducted himself with great magnanimity during the events we shall now have to record. He entered the Rájá's country by the pass of Dabar, and fixed his re­sidence at Alhahí. Ahmad Yádgár is the author who gives by far the fullest and most consistent account of his death in a passage extending from pp. 336 to 342 of his history, which I here proceed to abstract.

After the Rájá of Rájaurí had presented a white elephant, and so ingratiated himself with the King that he was reinstated in his territories, Islám Sháh returned from those parts, and remained some time at Ágra.

Here intelligence was brought him by his spies, that Khawás Khán had established himself upon a lofty mountain in the dominions of the Rájá of Kamáún, who had assigned him some villages for his support, as well as a daily allowance of cash. Upon this, Táj Khán Kirání, who held the Súba of Sambhal,* was directed to use every possible means to get the refugee into his power. “If his hand could not reach there, he was to do it by messages, promising royal benefactions—such as the imperial districts at the foot of the hills, which would be made over to him. By holding out hopes such as these, Táj Khán might be able to send him in chains to Court.”

Several messages were despatched at the same time to the Rájá, who indignantly replied, “How can I throw into fetters a man who has sought my protection? As long as I have breath in my body, I never can be guilty of such baseness.” Islám Sháh himself then wrote to Khawás Khán, to say that he forgave him, and wished that what had passed should all be forgotten between them; that the Ráná of Údipúr had again raised his head, and plundered several of the royal possessions, and carried off the wives and children of Musulmáns; that none of the nobles had succeeded in their measures against him; and that all their hopes were now centred in Khawás Khán. “All this is asserted with all the sincerity than can attach to an oath before God; and after that, an engagement and guarantee was engrossed on saffron-coloured cloth, and despatched. And Táj Khán was at the same time instructed to use every kind of cajolery and flattery, in order to lull that bird into security, and entice him into the net; for the wounds which his conduct had implanted in the King's breast could not be healed but by the salve of his murder.”

On the receipt of these missives, Khawás Khán's immediate im­pulse was to obey them, but he was strongly dissuaded by his adherents and the Rájá, who represented that the King was per­fidious, that he had destroyed most of his nobles, and how then could he allow Khawás Khán to escape, who had been ten times opposed to him in battle? These remonstrances were, however, of no avail.

When Táj Khán wrote to inform His Majesty that Khawás Khán had arrived within twenty kos of Sambhal, “The king, who enter­tained in his heart the most inveterate hatred, forgot his sacred promises and his oath before God, and wrote, saying, ‘The moment he arrives slay him, and having stuffed his body with straw, despatch it to Dehlí.’”

When Khawás Khán arrived at the town of Sirsí, Táj Khán advanced with his army to meet him, and at night sent his* myrmidons to assassinate him. “On the morrow, when preparing to execute the royal commands, they found, on the removal of the sheet from his body, that it was covered with about ten sírs of flowers. Táj Khán was alarmed at what he had done. Never­theless, under the peremptory instructions he had received, he cut off that head, which was the ornament of prostration in prayer, and bound it on a spear-head, like that of a common malefactor or murderer, and sent it on to its destination accompanied by the body stuffed with straw.”* “On its arrival, Islám Sháh ordered that it should be im­paled in the front of the Red Gate; and it is said, that when this was done, a black wind arose which darkened the whole world, and such an earthquake was felt that the loftiest buildings fell to the ground. From that date, moreover, calamities befell the reign of Islám Sháh.”

He seems to have been buried in Dehlí; for the Mahkzan-i Afghání informs us that when, after exposure for three successive nights, a load of roses, notwithstanding the doubling of the guard, was found to have been thrown over the body, Islám Sháh was inspired with remorse, and ordered that he should be solemnly interred. Firishta also says that his corpse was interred at Dehlí after his assassina­tion by Táj Khán; that his tomb is frequented even at the present day; and that the common people, esteeming him to be a saint, go there to offer prayers for success in their undertakings.

But I have also had his tomb pointed out to me at Khawáspúr in the Upper Panjáb, between the Jelam and the Chináb. He is in that neighbourhood also held in high repute for his piety and courage; and there are several popular songs sung in his praise, under the appellation of “Sakhí” or “generous.”