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invader to patch up a peace. A fatal disease had attacked the horses of his army; added to which, the troops were already dispirited by the loss of many ani. mals in crossing the Kaba river, and by finding themselves opposed by a resolute enemy. Sultan Ahmed died on his way back to Samarcand. Mahmood Khan, at the same time, after an ineffectual attempt to take Akhsi, fell sick, and disgusted with the war, returned to his own country. The King of Kashgar and Khoten, seized, like the rest, with the desire of conquest, shortly after entered the territories of Baber ; but he, too, was glad to extricate himself from his situation, by an amicable negotiation.
Ferghana (the modern Kokaun), is a country of small extent, consisting of a valley or plain, surrounded with hills on all sides, except on the west, (towards Khojend and Samarcand,) and intersected by the river Sirr or Seihoon (the ancient Jaxartes). On the east, it has Kashgar; on the south, the hill-country bordering on Badakshân ; and on the north, a desolate tract, at that time overun by the Uzbegs. This his hereditary territory, Baber did not, however, long retain. In 1497, he gained possession of Samarcand, but was compelled to evacuate it soon after, by rebellion in his own kingdom. His army deserted him; and he was left without territory, at the head of a mere handful of devoted followers. A severe illness, at this crisis, had nearly terminated his career, and he speaks of his distress and suffering as extreme. A counter revolution restored him to the possession of Andejân in the following year ; and a second time, he made himself master of Samarcand by surprise, and lost his heredi. tary states while engaged in the enterprise. invader, Sheibani Khan, a powerful Uzbeg chieftain, after defeating Baber in the field, blockaded him in
The Samarcand ; and he was again compelled to evacuate it with a few attendants. Assisted by two of his maternal uncles, he subsequently endeavoured to recover Ferghâna, but he was completely defeated, the two Khans being taken prisoners ; and during nearly a year, he was a fugitive, concealing himself in the hillcountry to the south of his native kingdom, and often reduced to the greatest exigencies. At length, finding his partisans completely dispersed, and all hopes gone of recovering his hereditary possessions, after con. sulting with his few remaining adherents, he resolved to try his fortune in Khorasan. With this view, in the summer of 1504, he descended from the hills of Ferghâna, at the head of between two and three hun. dred ragged and ill armed followers. Badakshan was, at that time, under the dominion of Khosrou Shah, an unpopular chief ; and Baber avows, that he was not without hopes of effecting something there among his territories. On crossing the Amu, he found him. self joined by fresh adherents, who assured him that the Moguls in Khosrou Shah's service, were all attached to his interests; and he seems to have regarded it as an act of fair hostility, to avail himself of this state of things for the purpose of dethroning and expelling Khosrou, and seating himself in his stead. This was accomplished without drawing a sword, the Shah, on finding himself deserted by all the Mogul clans, tendering to Baber his own submission.*
At this period, the territory of Caubul was in a state of anarchy, and the capital in the hands of a usurper. Baber resolved to march against it ; and by
* Ferishta accuses Baber of bringing about this revolution by his intrigues, notwithstanding that he had been treated by Khosrou Shah with great hospitality ; but Baber himself expressly disavows any such obligation to the Shah. PART II.
66 I had
the latter end of October, he had gained possession of Caubul and Ghizni, with the dependent territories, without battle or contest. He was now in a condition to extend his conquests in a new direction. Having mustered his army and assembled the persons best acquainted with the situation of the country, he made particular inquiries, he tells us, regarding the state of the different districts on every hand. Some were for marching against Damaun; others preferred Bangash; while others proposed to advance against Hindostan; and it was at last determined in council to make an irruption into the latter country. never before,” says Baber, seen the warm countries, nor the country of Hindostan. Immediately on reach. ing them, I beheld a new world. The grass was different, the trees different, the wild animals of a different sort, the birds of a different plumage, the manners and customs of the wandering tribes (ils or eels and uluses) of a different kind. I was struck with astonishment; and, indeed, there was room for won.
In this expedition, however, Baber did not cross the Indus, but confined his inroad to the coun. tries on the western side. He afterwards made incur. sions upon the Afghans and Uzbegs of Candahar and Khorasan. During one of these expeditions, the Mogul garrison of Caubul, taking advantage of his absence, revolted, and raised to the throne his cousin Ryzâk. No sooner had intelligence of this revolution reached the army, than the greater part of the troops hastened back to protect their families ; so that, out
* Erskine's Memoirs of Baber, p. 157. The road taken by Baber in this incursion, was by Adinapoor and Attok. Mr. Forster, in travelling the same road in an opposite direction, was similarly struck with the sudden change of climate immediately perceptible on crossing a small stream three miles E. of Gundamouk,
of upwards of 10,000 horse, Baber had scarcely 500 remaining in his camp. With this small force, he boldly returned to Caubul, where he was met by Ryzâk at the head of a force ten or twelve thousand strong. Riding up close to the rebel army, Baber challenged his rival to single combat ; but, as he seemed to decline it, five omrahs successively engaged him, and fell by his hand. This heroic behaviour struck the rebels with so much admiration, that they refused to fight, and the usurper fonnd himself a prisoner. Baber pardoned him ; but soon after, being detected in attempting to raise fresh disturbances, he was put to death.*
On the death of Sheibani Khan, who fell in a war which he had wantonly provoked with Shah Ismael, now sovereign of Persia, attachment to his native soil led Baber to make another attempt at recovering Samarcand. It failed, owing to the mismanagement of his Persian allies, and the unpopularity he incurred from his confederacy with the Shiahs; and from that period, he confined himself in his enterprises to an eastern direction. He made several demonstrations in thạt quarter, before he finally marched upon Hindostan with the view of permanent conquest. Soon after the death of Iskander (Secunder,) he had sent an
• It is remarkable, that we do not learn this chivalrous achievement from Baber himself, there occurring in this part of his Memoirs a hiatus, common to all the MSS., and wholly unaccountable. The account of the transactions of his life from 1508 to 1519, is supplied chiefly by Ferishta, whom we have followed. It would appear, however, from Baber's own account, that he was at Caubul when this revolt exploded, and that he was obliged to seek security by flight. See Dow, ii. 88–96. Erskine's Mem. of Baber, 236. This was the second time that the Moguls had conspired against him. On the former occasion (A.D. 1506), they had placed his cousin, Khan Mirza, on the throne of Caubul, who fled at his approach,
envoy to Sultan Ibrahim, demanding the cession of the countries of Behreh (Bhirâ), Khushab, Chanâb, and Chaniut, which, from the days of Timour, had belonged to the Toorks. No answer was returned to this civil demand ; but Baber proceeded to take possession of part of the territory. In 1524, at the invi. tation of the Afghan governors of the Punjaub, Baber entered that province, and after subduing the country of the Gakers (or Gickers), and defeating some forces in the interest of Ibrahim, plundered and burned Lahore. He then advanced to Debalpoor, which he took by storm, and a general massacre ensued. Crossing the Sutlej, he had proceeded as far as Sirhind, when the treacherous defection of one of the Punjaub chieftains rendered it expedient to fall back on Lahore, and to abandon, for that year, the further prosecution of his enterprise. In the course of this invasion, he had been joined by Sultan Allah-ud. deen,* a brother of the Emperor Ibrahim, on whom he bestowed Debalpoor ; and he probably flattered him with the hope of succeeding to the throne of Delhi. Allah afterwards entered into a separate treaty with Dowlet Lodi Khan, by which he ceded to him all the Punjaub, on condition of being put in possession of Delhi and Agra. These confederates then marched upon
Delhi ; and Allah, being joined in his advance by several ameers' of rank, found himself at the head of 40,000 horse, with which be laid siege to the capital, but without success. Soon after, in an attempt to surprise Sultan Ibrahim's camp by night, he was defeated, and his whole army dispersed.
Baber had advanced as far as Sialkot on his fifth and final invasion of India, (December 1525,) when
* This was his royal title. Baber always calls him Alim Khan.'