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Aschraf

1.C.1725. having broken out about his body, covered him Heg. 1137, " & 1138. with a leprosy almost all over.

Meanwhile Shah Thamas, who had found refources among his father's subjects, who had revolted against the tyranny of the Afghvans, advanced into Irac with eighteen thousand men. The Afghyans, assembled, resolved to oppose a

crowned head to this lawful, prince who claimed fucceeds the heritage of his ancestors. They chose this the usurp. er, and has fame Afchraf, Mir. Mamout's lieutenant, whom him put to death. che tyrant had a second time sent out of the way

through jealousy, and whom he still kept in prison at the time when he was elected king of Persia. Without doubt it was impoffible to be more ferocious than Mir Mamout ; but his successor could add ingratitude and perfidy to it. After having caused his wretched predeceffor to be maffacred, whose rage 'was arrived at such a pitch that he tore his own flesh wherever he 'could bring his teeth, Aschraf condemned those to che same lot who had procured him the authority ; but he had the address to go first and offer the crown to Shah Hufsein, whom he called the lawful fovereign, without doubt to get rid of him, if the unfortunate prince had accepted what was his right. The old king, taught by misfortune, contented himself with asking the new monarch to grant him protection for himself and children, whom he had saved, at the expence of his blood, from the frenzy of his predecessor. In order to obtain this favor, Shah Hussein was again

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obliged to sign his renunciation of the throne and J.C.1725. submission to king Aschraf, of which he gave the & 1138. example to his ancient subjects. The tyrant caused this act to be read aloud in the same as

u 16 Who Talc those to sembly, where he condemned twenty Perfian lords

wise who and twenty Afghvans to death, who had been the raised him first to declare him successor to Mir Mamout, throne. We cannot conjecture the pretext of this new massacre, since Aschraf himself had caused his predecessor to be put to death; but his intention was to fill the treasury with the riches of these proscribed persons, and to free himself from those who might give him umbrage. A more dangerous one existed than all the rest, and whom is would not have been prudent to attack openly.

Shah Thamas was encamped at thirty miles from Ispahan: he received reinforcements every day, and longed to revenge his family and country. Aschraf had caused sometime before a pio. posal to be made to Shah Hussein's son, to restore Aschraf him the throne of his ancestors, when himself, persecuced by Mir Mamout, was meditating to with Shaba throw off the yoke that oppressed him. As soon in which as he was king, he sent an ambassador to Shah yours to Thamas to tell him, that it was only on the refu, him. sal of his father that he had ascended the throne of Ispahan, which he had accepted with no other design than to secure it for him Shah Thamas. He proposed an interview to him, in order to put an end in concert to the misfortunes of Persia, and settle at the same time the rights of the Asghvans VOL. IV. 002

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J.C. 1725. and those of the house of the sophi. He like. Heg.1137) & 1138. wise sent circular letters to the several towns

which held out for the princé, in order to assure the commanders, that the Afghvans would not commit any act of hostility before the conference proposed with Shah Thamas. These pacific appearances deceived the sophi's son, whom Aschraf's ambassador found encamped near Casbin. This prince appointed a plain betwen Com and Theran for the place of the interview, and sent word to the usurper, that he would be there attended by three thousand men only, which would be sufficient for his escort, since he, Aschraf, had promised not to bring more troops with him. Some Persians at the court of the tyrant, by a remaining respect for the blood of their ancient master, wrote to, Shah Thamas to persuade him not to make any agreement, nor even to accept of any interview, with a barbarian, who joined perfidy to cruelty. These letters were intercepted and their authors put to death.

Meanwhile Shah Thamas advanced with confidence towards the snare that was laid for him. The plain which he had appointed for the interview was surrounded with woods, in vihich the tyrant had en-ambushed twelve thousand men besides the escort agreed on. Allan, Shah Thamas's lieutenant, greatly attached to his master, and whose affection rendered him suspicious, would fain advance at the head of the greatest part of the escort, leaving the prince at about two miles be

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hind with a hundred men only. A young Per-J.C. 1725. sian, fuperbly mounted and covered with rich & 1138. armour, appeared to be Shah Thamas, as Allan had expected. Immediately Aschraf's troops came out of their ambuih, and the three thousand Persians were on the point of being surrounded, when Allan Shah Thas sent off a messenger i Ipeed to his master, to mas, obli

to ged to flee, warn him of his danger. This prince Aled into is separated

from his the mountains of Mafanderan, where he reinained army: :

which is concealed, because Aschraf, after having cut his foon difefcort to pieces, made a march forward, which separated Shah Thamas frorn his army. These troops were soon dispersed, and the lawful sovereign found himself constrained to hide his existence from enemies who fought to put him to death.

Such was the state of Persia, when the treaty print was concluded between Ruslia and the Porte by Perkas the arrival of Mr. Romenzof, envoy extraordinary from the czar for the ratification, and commiss sioner for the limits that were to be marked out. The discontent which Shah Thamas had shewn at this treaty, excused the Turks from allisting him as they had offered. They saw themselves masters of Georgia, almost all Armenia, and the government of Hamadan. The czar pofleffed all the west coast of the Caspian sea, Korazan, Kere man and Candahar; the governments of Ispahan and Chiraz were under the scepere of Aschraf. The empire of the sophis no longer consisted but of Adirbijan, Mafanderan, and some parts of Irac; and the people of these provinces were faith

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Alchraf.

J.C. 1725. ful only to the shadow of their lawful sovereign, Heg.1137, & 1138!" whom they no longer saw. The citizens of Tauris

defended their town three weeks without the afSuccess of the Turks fistance of any regular troops against a hundred in the part vfurped by and ten thousand Turks commanded by the ba

shaw of Van. This town, which is one of the largest in Persia, was badly fortified. The valour of the besieged served only to make them lose more people. Forty thousand men, among whom there was not a single foldier, perished in arms. This conquest cost the vanquisher very dear; he was killed the day the place was reduced. His kiaia, who had the glory to make the capitulation, took Gangea a few days after, a town richer, but worse fortified, than Tauris. The bashaw of Bagdad, on whom the command of the army devolved, advanced towards the capital. He had taken se

veral small places by assault, which drew him He sends nearer Ifpahan. Aschraf, frighted at the success an embassy to Constan- of the Ottoman arms, sent an ambassador to the tinople.

Porte, whose arrival Alattered the presumption of the monarch and of his vizier. Both thought the Persian ambassador was going to huinble his pride at the foot of the throne of Conftantinople, and to acknowledge himself a vafsal tributary and removeable at pleasure, as the khan of the Tartars, and as every Sunnite Mussulman ought to be, under the protection and sceptre of the commander of the Faithful. But when they learned that Afchraf meant to treat with the emperor of the Ottomans on an equality, the divan would

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