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Alchraf

him put to death

1:C.1735. having broken out about his body, covered him & 1138. with a leprosy almost all over.

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

crowned head to this lawful prince who claimed fucceeds the heritage of his ancestors. They chose this er, and has fame Afchraf, Mir. Mamout's lieutenant, whom

the 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 impofsible to be more ferocious than. Mir Mamout į but his fucceffor 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 Aesh wherever he could bring his teeth, Aschraf condemned those to the 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 protecion 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

obliged

those to

to the

throne.

obliged to sign his renunciation of the throne and 1.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 af- He puts sembly, where he condemned twenty Perfian lords death likeand twenty Afghvans to death, who had been the raised him first to declare him successor to Mir Mamout, We cannot conjecture the pretext of this new mafsacre, fince 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 exifted than all the rest, and whom it 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 pioposal to be made to Shah Hussein's son, to restore Aschraf him the throne of his ancestors, when himself, persecuted by Mir Mamout, was meditating to throw off the yoke that oppressed him. As soon as he was king, he sent an ambassador to Shah yours to

lurprise 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 crder to put an end in concert to the misfortunes of Persia, and settle at the same time the rights of the Afghvans

OO 2

and

defires a conference with Shah Thamas, in which he endea

VOL. IV.

L.C. 1725. and those of the house of the sophi. He like.
Heg.1137,
& 1138. wife 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 hoftility before the conference
proposed with Shah Thamas. These pacific ap-
pearances 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 suffi-
cient for his escort, since he, Aschraf, had pro-
mised 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
interview, with a barbarian, who joined perfidy
to cruelty. These letters were intercepted and
their authors put to death.

Meanwhile Shah Thamas advanced with con-
fidence towards the snare that was laid for him.
The plain which he had appointed for the inter-
view was surrounded with woods, in which the
tyrant had en-ambushed twelve thousand men
besides the escort agreed on. Anan, Shah Tha-
mas'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-

of any

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hind with a hundred men only. A young Per-L.C. 1725. sian, superbly mounted and covered with rich & 1138. armour, appeared to be Shah Thamas, as Allan had expected. Immediately Aschraf's troops came out of their ambush, and the three thousand Persians were on the point of being surrounded, when Allan Shah Thafent off a messenger full speed to his master, to mato.co blee, warn him of his danger. This prince Aed into is feparated the mountains of Mafanderan, where he remained army; concealed, because Aschraf, after having cut his foon dife e cort 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 was concluded between Ruslia and the Porte by Perka. the arrival of Mr. Romenzof, envoy extraordinary from the czar for the ratification, and commifsioner for the limits that were to be marked out. The discontent which Shah Thamas had shewn at this treaty, excused the Turks from allifting him as they had offered. They saw themselves masters of Georgia, almost all Armenia, and the government of Hamadan. The czar possessed all the west coast of the Caspian sea, Korazan, Kerman and Candahar; the governments of Ispahan and Chiraz were under the sceptre 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

ful

Division of

1

Heg.1137,

Success of

Alchraf.

5.C.1725. ful only to the shadow of their lawful sovereign, & 1138. whom they no longer saw. The citizens of Tauris

defended their town three weeks without the afthe Turks fistance of any regular troops against a hundred ufurped 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 soldier, 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 Bag-
dad, 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 Ispahan. Aschraf, frighted at the success toConstan- of the Ottoman arms, sent an ambassador to the tinople.

Porte, whose arrival flattered the presumption of
the monarch and of his vizier. Both thought
the Persian ambassador was going to humble his
pride at the foot of the throne of Conftantinople,
and to acknowledge himself a vassal tributary and
removeable at pleasure, as the khan of the Tar-
tars, and as every Sunnite Mussulman ought to
be, under the protection and sceptre of the com-
mander of the Faithful. But when they learned
that Aschraf meant to treat with the emperor

of
the Ottomans on an equality, the divan would

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