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and north-east, as well as in completion of the blanks left in the map before us, yet enough bas been done to give distinct. ness to many portions of history which were before confused for want of a similar elucidation. With respect to the country round Bokhara, greater accuracy might have been obtained by consulting the work of Meyendorff, lately reviewed by us.
The highly interesting Memoirs before us presented a favourable opportunity for investigations of this kind. The singular vicissitudes of Baber's life, led him, by turns chieftain, exile, freebooter, dependent, emperor, over various and extensive ranges of country, of which his descriptions are frequently minute and important. Much, however, was to be done before the knowledge thus communicated could be rendered specifically available. It was necessary to collect and to compare details of all kinds; to question the native travel. ler ; to accumulate statistical illustrations as well as itineraries of every description; and from these materials, commonly vague, and sometimes discordant, to frame a system that should accord with the narrative of Baber, and with the general course of history. Of information obtained in this way, Mr. Elphinstone possesses an abundant stock; and he may be considered as the main, if not the sole authority for the extensive geographical illustrations supplied in the introductory portion of the present work. These relate principally to Ferghana, Bokhara, and Badakshan, though they coniprise incidentally a much larger extent of country, and it seems greatly to be regretted that, with such copious materials at command, the map was not constructed on a more comprehensive scale. It would have been imperfect, no doubt, but it would have made a nearer approximation to correctness than the charts we are now compelled to trust; and it would have furnished a surer basis for successive improvements.
Baber is one among the many illustrious names which the historian of the East delights to commemorate, and with a better title to celebrity than either of the more noted conquerors, Jenghiz Khan or Tamerlane, from both of whom he was lineally descended. He was of Tartar race, and appears to have been an able and intrepid commander, liberal to his friends, and, on the whole, forbearing towards his enemies. He was an accomplished person; a poet, a man of taste and reading, delighting in literature and the arts, and encouraging them both, not only by questionable example and empty commendation, but by efficient patronage. His vices, gross and disgusting, admit only of the palliation, that they were not deemed infamous among his countrymen. He was an ostentatious drunkard ; and it excites unutterable loathing to find
him describing his passion for å youth of his own sex, in the same glowing terms that are usually employed in expressing the feelings of legitimate affection. The authenticity of his Memoirs is beyond all question. They were carefully preserved by his descendants, and translated, at the desire of the 'illustrious Akber, into the Persian language, from the original Turki, by Mirza Abdal-Rahim. We hazard something in describing them as uncommonly interesting, for they require more attention than readers in general are disposed to give, and a slight inspection may present somewhat of a sterile and forbidding aspect ; but those who may feel inclined to trace the progress of a Tartar chief through nearly all the possible vicissitudes of fortune, will tind in the present volume a singularly instructive narrative, enriched with much valuable illustration of character and manners, combined with a graphic exhibition of movements and enterprises, that, to us at least, gives a very powerful interest to the work. It is not often that we gain access to the true motives and springs of action, still less to the first impulses that give origin to great and influential transactions; but we seem, in the present instance, to be fairly admitted behind the scenes, and to witness the whole system of intrigue and action, in the rehearsal as well as in the dressed performance. A more explanatory comment on Eastern history can hardly be desired. The restlessness, the capricious versatility, the selfishness, the ambition, and the complete absence of good faith that distinguish the characters and communications of public men in Asia-European statesmen are happily exempt from all such failures in moral and political integrity-are here nakedly set forth. Baber bimself, for a Tartar, was an honourable person, and, bating the gross indulgencies to which the manners of the time gave licence, must have been a very pleasant companion and an excellent master. Mr. Erskine suis up his character in the following terms.
• Zahir-ed-din Muhammed Baber was undoubtedly one of the most illustrious men of his age, and one of the most eminent and accomplished princes that ever adorned an Asiatic throne. He is represented as having been above the middle size, of great vigour of body, fond of all field and warlike sports, an excellent swordsman, and a skilful archer. As a proof of his bodily strength, it is mentioned, that he used to leap from one pinnacle to another of the pinnated ramparts used in the East, in his double-soled boots; and that he even frequently took a man under each arm, and went leaping along the rampart from one of the pointed pinnacles to another. Having been early trained to the conduct of business, and tutored in the school of adver. sity, the powers of his mind received their full development. He ascended the throne at the age of twelve; and before he had attained his twentieth year, the young prince had shared every variety of fortune: he had not only been the ruler of subject provinces, but had been in thraldom to his own ambitious nobles, and obliged to conceal every sentiment of his heart; he had been alternately hailed and obeyed as a conqueror and deliverer by rich and extensive kingdoms, and forced to lurk in the deserts and mountains of his own native kingdom as a houseless wanderer. Down to the last dregs of life, we perceive in him the strong feelings of an affection for his early friends and early enjoyments, rarely seen among princes. Perhaps the free manners of the Tûrki tribes had combined with the events of his early life, in cherishing these amiable feelings. He had betimes been taught, by the voice of events that could not lie, that he was a man dependent on the kindness and fidelity of other men; and, in his dangers and escapes with his followers, had learned that he was only one of an association, whose general safety and success depended on the result of their mutual exertions in a common cause. The native benevolence and gayety of his disposition seems ever to overflow on all around him ; and he talks of his mothers, his grandmothers, and sisters with some garrulity indeed, but the garrulity of a good son and a good brother. Of his companions in arms, he always speaks with the frank gayety of a soldier; and it is a relief to the reader, in the midst of the pompous coldness of Asiatic history, to find a king who can weep for days, and tell us that he wept, for the playmate of his boyhood. Indeed, an uncommon portion of good nature and good humour runs through all his character; and, even to political offences, he will be found, in a remarkable degree, indulgent and forgiving.'
Baber (the Tiger) was born in 1483, and ascended the throne in 1494. The times in which he lived, were those of Columbus and de Gama, of Francis I., of Leo and Luther. He was a Tartar of mixed race, Tûrki by the father's side, Moghul by maternal descent, though he always considered himself as a Tûrk, and wrote his memoirs in the Jaghatai dialect of the Tûrki language. He was king of Ferghana, the modern Kokan, which Mr. Erskine designates, not, we are inclined to think, with his usual accuracy, as a powerful kingdom.' It can scarcely be, we should imagine, but that the constant wars and broils in which these regions have been involved, must have exhausted the population in every way; and it does not appear, either from the extent of its territory or from the existing state of its military institutions, that Kokan is, for the present, likely to assume a forcible supremacy over its neighbours. In fact, it should seem, that there has never been much foundation for the imputed populousness of the Tartar countries. The conquests even of Jenghiz Khan were progressive. His armies, at first, were of slender force; and it was not until he had recruited them by levies from the conquered tribes, and by the accession
of all the soldiers of fortune within the sphere of his influence, that he was at the head of an overwhelming host.
• In the month of Ramzân, in the year eight hundred and ninety nine (June 1491), and in the twelfth year of my age, I became,' says Baber, ' king of Ferghana.'
His country was of small extent, and his want of years and experience rendered him unfit to cope with the difficulties that surrounded him; yet we find him almost immediately in the field. In 1497, he took Samarkand, but was compelled to evacuate it soon after, by rebellion in his own kingdom. His army deserted him, and lie was left without territory at the head of a mere handful of devoted followers. A counter-revolution restored him in the succeeding year. He set out on a second expedition against Samarkand, and while on his way, received intelligence that his old antagonists had again taken possession of his hereditary states. He persevered, however, and made himself master of Samarkand by surprise. His opponent, in this direction, was Sheibani Khan, a chieftain of considerable
talent and courage, whoultimately succeeded in driving Baber from his paternal throne, and who, on the present occasion, was endeavouring to force him to an engagement. • I precipitated matters,' writes Baber, and hurried on the battle:
He who with impatient haste lays his hand on his sword,
Will afterwards gnaw that hand with his teeth from regret. The cause of my eagerness to engage was, that the stars called the Sahzyüldùz (or eight stars) were on that day exactly between the two armies ; and if I had suffered that day to elapse, they would have continued favourable to the enemy for the space of thirteen or fourteen days. These observances were all nonsense, and my precipitation was without the least solid excuse.'
Baber was routed and blocked up in Samarkand, which he was ultimately compelled to evacuate with a few attendants. His account of this event is characteristic, and gives a striking example of energy and light-beartedness in a youth of seventeen, who could, in such a state of danger and destitution, play pranks and make verses.
• Having entangled ourselves among the great branches of the canals of the Sogd, during the darkness of the night, we lost our way, and, after encountering many difficulties, we passed Khwajeh Dîdır about dawn. By the time of early morning prayers, we arrived at the hillock of Karbogh, and passing it on the north below the village of Kherdek, we made for Ilán-ûti. On the road I had a race with Kamber Ali and Kasim Beg. My horse got the lead. As I turned round on my seat to see how far I had left them behind, my saddleVol. XXVII. N.S.
girth being slack, the saddle turned round, and I came to the ground right on my head. Although I immediately sprang up and mounted, yet I did not recover the full possession of my faculties till the evening; and the world, and all that occurred at the time, passed before my eyes and apprehension like a dream, or a phantasy, and disappeared. The time of afternoon prayers was past ere we reached Ilân-ûtî, where we alighted, and having killed a horse, cut him up, and dressed slices of his flesh; we stayed a little time to rest our horses, then mounting again, before day-break we alighted at the vil. lage of Kalileh. From Kalileh we proceeded to Dizak....... Here we found nice fat flesh, bread of fine four well baked, sweet melons, and excellent grapes in great abundance ; thus passing from the extreme of famine to plenty, and from an estate of danger and calamity to peace and ease: .( Turki)— From famine and distress we have escaped to repose ;
We have gained fresh life and a fresh world. (Persian )—The fear of death removed from the heart;
The torments of hunger were removed away. In my whole life, I never enjoyed myself so much, nor at any period of it felt so sensibly the pleasures of peace and plenty. Enjoyment after suffering, abundance after want, come with increased relish, and afford more exquisite delight. I have four or five times in the course of my life, passed in a similar manner from distress to ease, and from a state of suffering to enjoyment: but this was the first time that I had ever been delivered from the injuries of my enemy, and the pressure of hunger, and passed from them to the ease of security, and the pleasures of plenty.'
Baber had two maternal uncles who were khans of considerable power, and, after various movements, which led to nothing decisive, he resolved on joining them, and they invaded in conjunction the kingdom of Ferghana, then in possession of a rebel named Tambol. The latter defended himself with courage and skill, and the inexperienced ardour of Baber exposed him to many hazards, from which he was extricated with much difficulty. The first division of the memoirs closes in a very unaccountable manner. Baber had attempted to defend, with inadequate means, Akhsi, a fortified city, but was compelled to dee, hotly pursued. He was, at length, overtaken, and induced to surrender ;-at this point the narrative breaks off, and a considerable biatus occurs in all the MSS. The previous details are full of interest, and just when it is carried to the highest pitch, we are left to an uncertainty on which no existing document throws the smallest light. Nothing more is known of this part of his history beyond the general fact, that he succeeded in rejoining his uncles, who seem to have intended, after availing themselves to the utmost of his services, to divide his territories between them. In this