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became doubtful whether my life would last the accomplishment of this design, and whether I should proceed on this sacred expedition, or relinquish it; I dreamt that I had climbed a high tree, and that I was sitting on one of its numerous branches, when the branch broke, and I fell to the ground; I also thought that I was carrying a pitcher of wine on my head, and was going along the road, suddenly the pitcher fell from my head and was broken, and the wine spilt; I then thought that my Father Teragay took me by the hand, and led me into a meadow, and having left me there, went away; the interpreters expounded this dream in a manner that was not satisfactory, I, therefore, resigned myself to the decrees of Providence.
Also about this time, I dreamt that I was in a frightful desert, and that I was quite alone, but that after travelling some distance, I came to a green plain, in the midst of which was a garden; I entered the garden and found it delightful, it contained fountains and rivulets of pure water, and trees inhabited by sweet singing birds; in the middle of the garden I saw a lofty palace, and a stately looking man was seated on a throne in the hall of the palace, and on his right and left hands stood numerous attendants, and they had in their hands, papers and pens, and several volumes were lying before them; I asked what is this man writing, I was answered, in these volumes the destiny and period of life of all mankind is written; I wished to inquire how long I had to live, and what was to be my destiny, but I awoke from my dream.
At the time I invaded the province of Fars, the people of Shiraz took part with Shah Munsūr, and having joined him, put my Governor (Hakim) to death, I therefore gave orders for a general massacre of the inhabitants of Shiraz, on which, the very religious Syed Abul Ishak waited on me, and requested that I would cancel the cruel order, I however would not listen to the request of the Syed; that very night I dreamt that I saw the Prophet, (upon whom be the grace of God), who frowned on me and said, " one of my posterity came to your court and interceded for a number of culprits, why did you not attend to his petition, that I might have interceded for you at the court of the Almighty;" when I awoke, I perceived my error, and immediately mounting my horse, I rode to the residence of the Syed, and begged his pardon; I also put an immediate stop to the slaughter, and ordered that Shiraz should in future be annexed to the royal exchequer, and an annual allowance made to several of the inhabitants; and I also bestowed on Khuajē Mahmud, the district of Mehrjān, and conferred a title on him; I then made a vow that I would never again reject the petition of a Syed, that I would never be deficient in respect to them, but that I would always do honour to the descendants of Muhammed, and the companions of his
Holiness; that being convinced of the obligation of aiding and befriending them, I would more and more extend my favour towards them.
I communicated all these circumstances to my Peer, who immediately wrote on the margin of my letter," may God grant all thy desires, and may this lesson prove auspicious to the posterity of the Prophet, through the intercession of "Muhammed and the Divine grace; in obedience to the orders of God, and " for his sake, you must befriend this class; do you not see that by honouring "and respecting them, you draw down blessings on your own posterity, and as "long as the conduct of the latter shall be proper, they may hope for aid in "this world and the next; let your kindness to them increase and increase; sal"vation to him who follows the true guidance."
But of all the presages of my future greatness, that which gave me the most pleasure, and confidence in the Divine aid, was a circumstance that my Father Teragay told me, he said, "sometime previous to your birth, I dreamt that a person of a luminous countenance, resembling, in figure and dress, an Arabian, presented me with a naked scymitar, with which when I began to fence, there issued from it numerous sparks which illuminated the whole earth, after which there spouted from my hand a jet d'eau, which threw the water into the air, and which fell in large drops on the ground; the interpreters being consulted, thus expounded my dream; of your sons, one will be a world-subduing sword, who will purify the earth from the defilement (of idolatry), and spread the true religion over the face of the globe, and will generally benefit mankind, and his descendants and posterity shall be numerous."
This omen rejoiced me extremely; I was convinced that Sovereignty was written in the page of my destiny, but resolved to be contented with whatever of good or evil might occur to me, and to be satisfied with the decrees of Providence.
MEMOIRS OF TIMUR.
COMMENCEMENT OF THE HISTORY.
My Father Teragay related to me the following circumstance relative to my name, soon after your birth, I took your virtuous mother to pay our respects "to the celebrated Saint Shaikh Shems Addeen, when we entered his apartment, "he was reading aloud the 67th Chapter of the Koran, and was repeating this 66 verse; 'Are you sure that he who dwelleth in heaven, will not cause the earth "to swallow you up, and behold it shall shake," (Tamurū). The Shaikh then stopt and said, " we have named your son, Timūr.” *
I was much delighted by this anecdote, and returned thanks to God that my name was taken from the sacred volume; it was also a great inducement for me to learn that chapter by heart.
When I had attained my seventh year, my father took me by the hand, and led me to the school, where he placed me under charge of Mulla Aly Beg, the Mulla having written the Arabic alphabet on a plank, placed it before me, I was much delighted with it, and considered the copying of it as an amusement. When I reached my ninth year, they taught me the daily service of the Mosque, during which I always read the 91st Chapter, denominated the Sun.
While seated in the school-room, I always took the chief seat, and often fancied myself the commander of all the other boys. One day a subject of conversation was started, on which was the best mode of sitting, each boy gave some answer to the question, when it came to my turn, I said, the best mode of sitting is on the knees, for Muhammed has commanded, "whilst in prayer sit on your knees;" on which all the spectators praised me exceedingly. When we came out from school, we began to play as children, but I assuming the command, stood upon a high mound, and having divided them into two armies, caused them to fight a sham battle, and when I saw one of the parties worsted, I sent them assistance.
* See Appendix VI. also Sale's Translation of the Koran, page 437.
At twelve years of age, I fancied that I perceived in myself all the signs of greatness and wisdom, and whoever came to visit me, I received with great hauteur and dignity.
At this time I selected four amiable companions, with whom I constantly associated, and when I attained the sovereignty, I remembered their claims, as well as those of my other play-fellows and acquaintances, and promoted each of them according to his deserts.
By the Divine grace, from the time of being nine years old, till I had reached seventy-one years, I never dined alone, and never walked out without a friend, and whenever I put on new clothes, on taking them off,* I gave them to my companions; and whatever they asked from me, I never refused, but gave it without humiliating intreaty.
At fourteen, I had formed an intimacy with a very handsome youth, and passed great part of my time with his tribe; he was sensible of my partiality, and also shewed great affection for me, at length a blackguard of Maveralnaher, who was called Mullachē, and who under the semblance of a student, had been admitted into the circle of our acquaintance, took a liking to the youth; but as this fellow was an entertaining companion, I was pleased with him; this circumstance made him very vain, and he used to talk in a familiar and obscene way: one day having given him admission into our society, I overheard the boy say to him in a familiar manner, " I dont want your kisses;" I was quite nettled at these words, and resolved never to allow such impropriety of conduct, either in myself or others.
At sixteen, my father took me by the hand, and brought me to his own Monastery, he there addressed me; my boy, our ancestors from generation to generation, have been commanders of the armies of the Jagtay and Berlas family. The dignity of (Sepah Salar) Commander in Chief, has now descended to me, but as I am tired of this world, and consider it no better than a golden vase filled with serpents and scorpions, I mean, therefore, to resign my public office, and retire from it, in order to enjoy the delights of tranquillity and repose; but as I have founded this village, and erected this monastery in my own name, to perpetuate my fame, and that of our family, I must particularly request that you will not diminish ought of its revenues or privileges."
My father then related to me the genealogy of our family, extending to Tumuneh Khan, whose genealogy is carried back in history to Japhet, the son of Noah, he added;
"The first of our family who had the honour of conversion to the faith of Islām, * It is said that the Afghans never change their clothes till worn out. † See Introduction.
was Kerachār Nuyan, who was the Gurgan (son-in-law) of Jagtay Khan, as he was a sensible man, he of his own accord adopted the faith of Muhammed, and said to his family and people,' when I look around me in the universe, I see 'but one world, yet I am of opinion that there are other worlds besides this ;* ' but I am also convinced, that there is one only God who hath created all these 'worlds, and who is all sufficient to rule, and direct all these worlds; but as 'he has chosen this world as his special dominion, he has deemed it requisite 'to have ministers (to instruct mankind): he hath therefore chosen Muhammed 'to be his Vizier in this world, and as it was requisite that Muhammed should 'have ministers (to extend his religion), he hath appointed the holy race of 'Khalifs to this dignity."
"Now my son, as this speech of our ancestor is quite conformable to my judgment, I also have become a sincere Musselman; I request, O Timur,
1stly. That you will imitate the example of your illustrious progenitor in conforming to the sacred religion of Muhammed, (on whom, and on his posterity and companions, be the peace of God), I intreat you never to deviate from his law, but ever to respect and honour his descendants and followers in the persons of the Syeds, the learned, and the prelates of his religion; associate with them, and constantly ask the blessings of the dervishes, the hermits, and the righteous upon all your undertakings; obey the commands of God, and have compassion upon his creatures.
2dly. That you will encourage and give currency and support to the religion of the Prophet.
3rdly. That you will believe that we are all the servants of God, and appointed by his decree to inhabit this terrestial globe; that our destinies are predicted, and that whatever is written on our foreheads, must come to pass; as it is decreed that we shall all do so and so, and have not the power of quitting this world, we must be content with whatever fate determines, and be satisfied with whatever God shall give us; we should also assist our poor brethren, and constantly, by every means in our power, befriend all the creatures of God; let us always acknowledge the unity of God, and by our practice, strengthen the four pillars of the law; viz. prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and alms.
4thly. Be affectionate to your relations and connections, injure no person, nor keep any one in bonds, unless the bonds of kindness; deprive no man of his rights by fraud or tyranny; clothe yourself in the robe of justice; avoid the society of the bad and wicked; keep no man in prison more than three days, and distribute provision to the poor and hungry; and plant yourself in the hearts of * See Appendix VII.