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such of my companions as were fond of wine began to contrive another drinking-bout. Although I had taken a maajûn, yet, as the crops were uncommonly fine, we sat down under some trees that had yielded a plentiful load of fruit, and began to drink. We kept up the party in the same place till bed-time prayers. Møll Mahmud Khalifeh having arrived, we invited him to join us. Abdalla, who had got very drunk, made an observation which affected Khalifeh. Without recollecting that Mülla Mahmud was present, he repeated the verse,
(Persian.) Examine whom you will, you will find him suffering from the same
Múlla Mahmud, who did not drink, reproved Abdalla for repeating this verse with levity.* Abdalla, recovering his judgment, was in terrible perturbation, and conversed in a wonderfully smooth and sweet strain all the rest of the evening.”
In a year or two after this, when he seems to be in a course of unusual indulgence, we meet with the following edifying remark : “ As I intend, when forty years old, to abstain from wine; and as I now want somewhat less than one year of being forty, I drink wine most copiously!” When forty comes, however, we hear nothing of this sage resolution—but have a regular record of the wine and maajûn parties as before, up to the year 1527. In that year, however, he is seized with rather a sudden fit of penitence, and has the resolution to begin a course of rigorous reform. There is something rather picturesque in his very solemn and remarkable account of this great revolution in his habits:
“ On Monday the 23d of the first Jemadi, I had mounted to survey my posts, and, in the course of my ride, was seriously struck with the reflection that I had always resolved, one time or another, to make an effectual repentance, and that some traces of a hankering after the renunciation of forbidden works had ever remained in my heart. Having sent for the gold and silver goblets and cups, with all the other utensils used for drinking parties, I directed them to be broken, and renounced the use of wine, purifying my mind. The fragments of the goblets, and other utensils of gold and silver, I directed to be divided among Derwishes and the poor. The first person who followed me in my repentance was Asas, who also accompanied me in my resolution of ceasing to cut the beard, and of allowing it to grow. That night and the following, numbers of Amîrs and courtiers, soldiers
*This verse, I presume, is from a religious poem, and has a mystical meaning. The profane application of it is the ground of offence.” :+ « This vow was sometimes made by persons who set out on a war against the Infidels. They did not trim the beard till they returned victorious. Some vows of a similar nature may be found in Scripture." and persons not in the service, to the number of nearly three hundred men, made vows of reformation. The wine which we had with us we poured on the ground! I ordered that the wine brought by Baba Dost should have salt thrown into it, that it might be made into vinegar. On the spot where the wine had been poured out, I directed a wâîn to be sunk and built of stone, and close by the wâîn an alms-house to be erected."
He then issued a magnificent Firman, announcing his reformation, and recommending its example to all his subjects. But he still persists, we find, in the use of a mild maajûn. We are sorry to be obliged to add, that though he had the firmness to persevere to the last in his abstinence from wine, the sacrifice seems to have cost him very dear; and he continued to the very end of his life to hanker after his broken wine-cups, and to look back with fond regret to the delights he had abjured for ever. There is something absolutely pathetic, as well as amiable, in the following candid avowal in a letter written the very year before his death, to one of his old drinking companions :
“ In a letter which I wrote to Abdalla, I mentioned that I had much difficulty in reconciling myself to the desert of penitence; but that I had resolution enough to persevere,
(Turki verse.) I am distressed since I renounced wine;
I am confounded and unfit for business,
Indeed, last year, my desire and longing for wine and social parties were beyond measure excessive. It even came to such a length that I have found myself shedding tears from vexation and disappointment. In the present year, praise be to God, these troubles are over, and I ascribe them chiefly to the occupation afforded to my mind by a poetical translation, on which I have employed myself. Let me advise you too, to adopt a life of abstinence. Social parties and wine are pleasant, in company with our jolly friends and old boon companions. But with whom can you enjoy the social cup ? With whom can you indulge in the pleasures of wine ? If you have only Shir Ahmed, and Haider Külli, for the companions of your gay hours and jovial goblet, you can surely find no great difficulty in consenting to the sacrifice. I conclude with every good wish."
We have mentioned already that Baber appears to have been of a frank and generous character—and there are throughout the memoirs, various traits of singular clemency and tenderness of heart, for an Eastern monarch and professional warrior. He weeps ten whole days for the loss of a friend who fell over a precipice after one of their drinking parties, and spares the lives, and even restores the domains of various chieftains, who had betrayed his confidence, and afterwards fallen into his power. Yet there are traces of Asiatic ferocity, and of a hard
hearted wastefulness of life, which remind us that we are beyond the pale of European gallantry and Christian compassion. In his wars in Afghân and India, the prisoners are commonly butchered in cold blood after the action and pretty uniformly a triumphal pyramid is erected of their skulls. These horrible executions, too, are performed with much solemnity before the royal pavilion; and on one occasion, it is incidentally recorded, that such was the number of prisoners brought forward for this infamous butchery, that the sovereign's tent had three times to be removed to a different station—the ground before it being so drenched with blood and encumbered with quivering carcases ! On one occasion, and on one only, an attempt was made to poison him—the mother of one of the sovereigns whom he had dethroned having bribed his cooks and tasters to mix death in his repast. Upon the detection of the plot, the taster was cut in pieces, the cook flayed alive, and the scullions trampled to death by elephants. Such, however, was the respect paid to rank, or the indulgence to maternal resentment, that the prime mover of the whole conspiracy, the queen dowager, is merely put under restraint, and has a contribution levied on her private fortune. The following brief anecdote speaks volumes as to the difference of European and Asiatic manners and tempers :
« Another of his wives was Katak Begum, who was the fostersister of this same Terkhân Begum. Sultan Ahmed Mirza married her for love. He was prodigiously attached to her, and she governed him with absolute sway. She drank wine. During her life, the Sultan durst not venture to frequent any other of his ladies. At last, however, he put her to death, and delivered himself from his reproach.”
In several of the passages we have cited, there are indications of this ambitious warrior's ardent love for fine flowers, beautiful gardens, and bright waters. But the work abounds with traits of this amiable and apparently ill-sorted propensity. In one place he says
~ In the warm season they are covered with the chekin-taleh grass in a very beautiful manner, and the Aimâks and Tûrks resort to them. In the skirts of these mountains the ground is richly diversified by various kinds of tulips. I once directed them to be counted, and they brought in thirty-two or thirty-three different sorts of tulips. There is one species which has a scent in some degree like the rose, and which I termed laleh-gul-bûi (the rose-scented tulip). This species is found only in the Desht-e-Sheikh (the Sheikh's plain), in a small spot of ground, and nowhere else. In the skirts of the same hills, below Perwân, is produced the laleh-sed-berg (or hundred-leaved tulip), which is likewise found only in one narrow spot of ground, as we emerge from the straits of Ghürbend.”
And a little after“ Few quarters possess a district that can rival Istâlîf. A large river runs through it, and on either side of it are gardens, green, gay, and beautiful. Its water is so cold, that there is no need of icing it ; and it is particularly pure. In this district is a garden, called Baghe-Kilân (or the Great Garden), which Ulugh Beg Mirza seized upon. I paid the price of the garden to the proprietors, and received from them a grant of it. On the outside of the garden are large and beautiful spreading plane trees, under the shade of which there are agreeable spots finely sheltered. A perennial stream, large enough to turn a mill, runs through the garden ; and on its banks are planted planes and other trees. Formerly this stream flowed in a winding and crooked course, but I ordered its course to be altered according to a regular plan, which added greatly to the beauty of the place. Lower down than these villages, and about a koss or a koss and a half above the level plain, on the lower skirts of the hills, is a fountain, named Khwajeh-sen-yårân (Kwâjeh three friends), around which there are three species of trees; above the fountain are many beautiful planetrees, which yield a pleasant shade. On the two sides of the fountain, on small eminences at the bottom of the hills, there are a number of oak-trees; except on these two spots where there are groves of oak, there is not an oak to be met with on the hills to the west of Kâbul. In front of this fountain, towards the plain, there are many spots covered with the flowery Arghwân* tree, and besides these Arghwân plots, there are none else in the whole country.”
We shall add but one other notice of this elegant tastethough on the occasion there mentioned, the flowers were aided by a less delicate sort of excitement.
“ This day I eat a maajûn. While under its influence, I visited some beautiful gardens. In different beds, the ground was covered with purple and yellow Arghwân flowers. On one hand were beds of yellow flowers, in bloom; on the other hand, red flowers were in blossom. In many places they sprung up in the same bed, mingled together as if they had been flung and scattered abroad. I took my seat on a rising ground near the camp, to enjoy the view of all the flower-plots. On the six sides of this eminence they were formed as into regular beds. On one side were yellow flowers ; on another the purple, laid out in triangular beds. On two other sides, there were fewer flowers ; but, as far as the eye could reach, there were flowergardens of a similar kind. In the neighbourhood of Pershâwer, churing the spring, the flower-plots are exquisitely beautiful.”
We have now enabled our readers, we think, to judge pretty fairly of the nature of this very curious volume; and shall only present them with a few passages from two letters written
* “ The name Arghwân is generally applied to the anemone; but in Afghanistan it is given to a beautiful flowering shrub, which grows nearly to the size of a tree."
by the valiant author in the last year of his life. The first is addressed to his favourite son and successor Hûmâiûn, whom he had settled in the government of Samarcand, and who was at this time a sovereign of approved valour and prudence. There is a very diverting mixture of sound political counsel and minute criticism on writing and composition, in this paternal effusion. We can give but a small part of it.
“ In many of your letters you complain of separation from your friends. It is wrong for a prince to indulge in such a complaint.
“ There is no greater bondage than that in which a king is placed ; but it ill becomes him to complain of inevitable separation.
“ In compliance with my wishes, you have indeed written me letters, but you certainly never read them over; for had you attempted to read them, you must have found it absolutely impossible, and would then undoubtedly have put them by. I contrived indeed to decipher and comprehend the meaning of your last letter, but with much difficulty. It is excessively confused and crabbed. Who ever saw a Moamma (a riddle or a charade) in prose? Your spelling is not bad, yet not quite correct. You have written iltafat with a toe (instead of a te), and kuling with a be (instead of a kaf). Your letter may indeed be read; but in consequence of the far-fetched words you have employed, the meaning is by no means very intelligible. You certainly do not excel in letter-writing, and fail chiefly because you have too great a desire to show your acquirements. For the future, you should write unaffectedly, with clearness, using plain words, which would cost less trouble both to the writer and reader.”
The other letter is to one of his old companions in arms; and considering that it is written by an ardent and ambitious conqueror, from the capital of his new empire of Hindustan, it seems to us a very striking proof, not only of the nothingness of high fortune, but of the native simplicity and amiableness of this Eastern highlander.
“My solicitude to visit my western dominions is boundless, and great beyond expression. The affairs of Hindustan have at length, however, been reduced into a certain degree of order; and I trust in Almighty God that the time is near at hand, when, through the grace of the Most High, everything will be completely settled in this country. As soon as matters are brought into that state, I shall, God willing, set out for your quarter, without losing a moment's time. How is it possible that the delights of those lands should ever be erased from the heart? Above all, how is it possible for one like me, who have made a vow of abstinence from wine, and of purity of life, to forget the delicious melons and grapes of that pleasant region ? They very recently brought me a single musk-melon. While cutting it up, I felt myself affected with a strong feeling of loneliness, and a sense of my exile from my nalive country, and I could not help shedding tears while I was eating it !"
On the whole, we cannot help having a liking for “ the Tiger"--and the romantic, though somewhat apocryphal account