Page images
[ocr errors]

and if that is spurious, doubt is also thrown on the evidence derived from Akbar's seal of 981.

There is, however, a possible explanation, and it is supported by the Shīrāzī's imprint, which is founded on a manuscript in Udarpur Rajputana. As remarked by Mrs. Beveridge in her article, the passage in the Shīrāzī's or Bombay edition is confused and defective; but as it stands the meaning of it seems to me to be that the age of fortysix years refers to Bābar, and not to Humayun: "On that date he" (Humāyūn) “was eighteen, I” (Bābar) “might be in my forty-sixth year." Humāyūn, as is well known, wrote the passage in his father's name. He did not intend it-at all events, not the first clause-to be a marginal note, but to be an integral part of the text. He wrote, therefore, of himself in the third person, and added a note to explain why he did so. May not, then, the last clause, where the first person is used, refer to Bābar? If so, the statement is not absolutely correct, for Bābar, who was born in the first month of 888, was at the time of the entry in his fortyfifth, and not in his forty-sixth, year. But it is conceivable that Humayun might make a mistake of a year in calcuHumāyūn lating his father's age. The phrase būda bāsham* seems a curious mode of expressing the meaning "I am," and one would expect rather to find manam, or simply bāsham. Buda basham belongs to what Platts (p. 179) calls the future perfect, and what Lumsden (ii. 308) calls the doubtful preterite. However, I do not wish to lay stress on this point, for the Persian Memoirs are a translation from the Turki, and the Persian, according to Erskine, is not always idiomatic. The tense in question occurs in other passages, and seems to be indifferently used for past and present tense. Thus, at p. 178, line 4, of the Bombay edition we have būda bāshim used in the past tense. "When we came to Bhira we were (būda bāshīm), at most, 1,500 or 2,000 strong.' Again, at p. 202, line 3, we have


* Possibly he used the phrase "as a mark of doubtful predication (Lumsden, loc. cit.).

[ocr errors]

the sentence," Its acidity is (or may be) (būda bāshad) equal to that of the orange or lime." See also p. 204, line 9: "A nychthemeron is (būda bāshad) 3,600 pals." There are some curious differences in the manuscript versions of the shaving passage, which lead one to suppose that the passage is corrupt. Perhaps it is a translation. from Humayun's Turki. Thus, the important word alḥāl, JJ, which undoubtedly indicates Humāyūn, is wanting in several manuscripts, and has the appearance of having been inserted by a copyist in order to make the meaning clear. It does not occur in the old and splendid MS. Or. 3714, No. 75, of Rieu's Supplement, nor in the Shīrāzi or Bombay edition, nor in the Alwar manuscript, if my copy be correct. On the other hand, it occurs in the old MSS. B. M., Add. 26,200, and 16,623. It will be observed that the Bombay edition has Makhdūmi instead of Marhūmī as the epithet of Bābar, which might almost imply that Humayun wrote the note while his father was still alive. The form Makhdumi, however, does not occur in any manuscript that I am acquainted with, though Erskine's translation, "honoured father," would seem to imply that he had read the word as Makhdūmī, but it is Marḥūmī in his Add. 26,200. There is one slight difference in the manuscripts near the beginning of the passage. Most read ustura ya miqraz, but the Bombay edition and one or two manuscripts have ba instead of ya, and this I believe to be the correct reading. The meaning is that Humayun applied both the razor and the scissors to his face. It does not appear that migraz is ever used as a synonym for ustura. In Ilminsky's Turki edition (p. 340), and in Pavet de Courteille's translation therefrom (II. 159), nothing is said about Humayun's being forty-six, and the date of writing is given. as 961. The passage in Ilminsky is marked with asterisks, implying, apparently, that Kehr's manuscript was defective or doubtful.

I have applied to the authorities at Udaipur and Alwar for correct copies of the shaving passage. Should they not

[ocr errors]

confirm the Bombay reading, I think we must conclude
that the Alwar manuscript was not written in 937, and that
the colophon has been taken from some older manuscript.
But even if this is so, the colophon is still interesting, and
is a fact that has to be explained away if we accept the
story of 'Abdu-r-rahim's being the translator. Possibly the
fact may be that 'Ali al Kātib made the Persian copy in
937, and that some unknown copyist afterwards transcribed
his copy in the reign of Humayun or Akbar. It has been
suggested to me that 'Ali al Kātib copied the Turki, and
that the colophon refers to this. But we do not know that
'Ali al Katib knew Turki, and as he was a Shia and a
native of Mashhad, it does not appear likely that he did.

It is a curious fact that, according to the colophon to
the B. M. Add. 26,200, which is the very copy used by
Erskine for his translation, this copy appears to have been
made in 987. I say "appears," because, though the word
şamānīn is clear enough, it seems to be in a different hand-
writing from the nuhsad u haft, and one does not see
why the Arabic for 80 should follow the Persian for 900
and 7. Probably this is the reason why Dr. Rieu has not
noticed the date in his account of the manuscript (Catalogue,
i. 2446). But the latest decade after 900 and 7 is 90; and
even if we suppose that ṣamānīn was originally tasâūn, of
which there is no indication whatever, the first two syllables
of ṣamānīn being perfectly clear, the date would be 997, or
one year before 'Abdu-r-raḥīm is said to have made the
presentation copy of his translation to Akbar (see "Akbar-
nāma," Bib. Ind. ed., iii. 570). It is not likely that, if
'Abdu-r-raḥīm was the real translator, he would allow a
copy to be made by an unknown person a year before he
formally presented his translation to Akbar. Besides, if
'Abdu-r-rahim really was the translator, how comes it that
we have no colophon or preface recording the fact ?*

*The statements by Abul Fazl about 'Abdu-r-rahim being the translator occur in the "Akbarnāma,” i. 118, iii. 570, Bib. Ind. ed., and in Blochmann's "Ain," p. 105.


As stated in my first paper, there is another note to the Memoirs which is ascribed to Humayun. This is given in Erskine (p. 329), and occurs in Bābar's description of the fruits of India. The note does not occur in any of the Persian manuscripts, and apparently in only one of the Turki manuscripts, viz., that known as the Elphinstone manuscript. We have Erskine's statement, dated Christmas Day, 1848, to the effect that the manuscript is in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, and this is corroborated by a passage in a letter from Mountstuart Elphinstone to Erskine, dated September 23, 1816, and published in his life by Colebrooke, where Elphinstone says that the Advocates' Library would be a good place for the Turki manuscripts. But unfortunately the manuscript is not now forthcoming. In Shaikh Zain's paraphrase the word amrat is written amrud, i.e., the guava, and which also appears under the form amrut. I am therefore inclined to think that the fruit referred to by Bābar, and which is the subject of the note ascribed to Humayun, is the guava, more especially as the guava is not mentioned elsewhere by Bābar in his account of the Indian fruits.

In my first article I have spoken of 937 as being thirty years before 'Abdu-r-rahim was born. I should have said twenty-seven years, for he was born in 964. In the same article I appear to have underrated 'Abdu-r-raḥīm's acquirements as a Turki scholar, for in Hawkins's "Voyages," edited for the Hakluyt Society by Markham, Hawkins tells us (p. 399) that he had a three hours' interview with the Khān Khānān, i.e., 'Abdu-r-raḥīm, at Burhanpur, and “the language that we spoke was Turkish, which he spoke very well." But, of course, the ability to carry on a conversation with Hawkins, who presumably learnt his Turkish in the Levant, and the ability and inclination to translate Bābar's Memoirs, are two different things.

With regard to the note in Dr. Sprenger's catalogue of the Elliot manuscripts, noticed in my first article, I now think that what Dr. Sprenger is referring to is a note which

appears at the end of Shaikh Zain's translation of Babar's account of the productions of India. He there says that he has taken down exactly what the Emperor said. This note appears in B. M. Or. 1999, in the middle of the volume, and perhaps it may be considered that the manuscript consists of two works-one, the description of the conquest of India, Fatūḥāt-i-Hind, and the other a partial translation of the Memoirs for the years following the conquest, and to be styled the Tarikh or Tabaqāt Bābari.

It is known that there is another translation of Babar's Memoirs, and that there are copies of it in the British Museum, the India Office, and the Bodleian. The authors of this translation were Mirzā Payinda Ḥasan Ghaznavi and Muḥammad Quli Ḥiṣārī. The first-named person translated about seven years of the Memoirs in 994, and then the translation was continued by Muhammad Quli. Evidently, however, he had a very imperfect Turki manuscript to work from, for he states that only the events of seventeen years were translated, and that nineteen were left unwritten. Payinda made his translation for Bahrūz Khan, commonly known as Naurang Khan, and a son of the Qutbuddin, who was a brother of Shamsuddin Atka, and was put to death by Muzaffar of Gujrat in 1583 A.D. Muḥammad Quli apparently continued the translation at the orders of the same Naurang Khan, but I think, though his preface is hard to understand, that he describes himself as a servant of Akbar as well as of Naurang.


It may, perhaps, be objected that the famous 'Ali al Kātib is generally styled Mir 'Ali al Katib. But I do not suppose that he would call himself Mir; and, moreover, in a list of specimens of calligraphy exhibited in 1897 at the Eleventh Oriental Congress (B. M., 011899 E 2) mention is made of some by 'Ali al Katib, and belonging apparently to the sixteenth century. Mr. Blochmann was of opinion that Mir 'Ali died in 924 A.H., but this has been shown by Dr. Rieu to be a mistake. Blochmann apparently took his date from the Mirat Jahannama, which says (B. M. MS. Or. 1998, p. 250a) that Mir 'Ali was a native of Herat, though brought up in

« PreviousContinue »