CHAPTER 44 -- The punishment of Adham Khan by the justice of the Shahinshah.

    [[269]] The account of this affair is that Adham Khan, the younger son of the cupola of chastity Maham Anaga, had neither understanding nor good conditions. He was intoxicated by youth and prosperity and was continually envious of Shamsu-d-din Muhammad the Ataga Khan. Mum'in Khan, the Khan-Khan, also suffered much from this malady and used to throw out dark hints such as the generality could not comprehend and instigate Adham Khan to strife and intrigue. At length on the day of Isfandiyar 5 Khurdad, Divine month, corresponding to Saturday, 12 Ramazan, 969 [16th May 1562], when the equability of Ardibihisht was still prevailing, an extraordinary occurrence, which was far from equability, took place.

On a court-day [roz-i-diwan] Mun'im Khan, Ataga Khan, Shihabud-din Ahmad Khan, and other magnates were sitting in the royal hall and transacting public business, when Adham Khan suddenly entered in a riotous manner and attended by others more riotous than himself. The members of the assembly rose up to do him honour and the Ataga Khan rose half-up. Immediately upon entering Adham Khan put his hand to his dagger and went towards the Ataga Khan. Then he angrily signed to his servant Khusham Uzbeg and the other desperadoes who had come with their loins girt up for strife, saying: "Why do you stand still?" The wicked Khusham drew his dagger and inflicted a dangerous wound on the breast of that chief-sitter on the pillow of auspiciousness. The Ataga Khan was thoroughly amazed and ran towards the door of the hall. Immediately thereon Khuda Bardi came and struck him twice with a sword. That great man was martyred in the court-yard of [[270]] the hall of audience. A loud cry arose in the palace on account of this outrage, and general horror was exhibited in that glorious abode.

That doomed one in spite of his past audacity presumptuously advanced towards the sacred harem-- to which may there be no access for the wicked-- with evil intentions. His Majesty the Shahinshah had gone to sleep in the auspicious palace, but his fortune was awake. That black-fated one went up, sword in hand, from the hall to the terrace which went round the palace on all four sides, and was of the height of a man and a half. He tried to go inside, but Ni'mat the eunuch, who was standing near the entrance [darbar], immediately shut the door and bolted it....

    In short, His Majesty was awakened by the dreadful clamour and called for an explanation. As none of the women knew of the affair, he put his head outside of the palace-wall and asked what was the matter. Rafiq Sahib-i-char-mansab, who was one of the old servants of the palace, mentioned the [[271]] facts. When His Majesty heard the horrible tale he was amazed and made further inquiries. Rafiq pointed to the blood-stained corpse and repeated his statement. When His Majesty the Shahinshah saw the body he became nobly indignant. From a Divine inspiration he did not come out by the door where that demented wretch was standing and meditating evil, but by another way.... When he had passed over one side of the terrace and had turned into another, he saw that villain, and there issued from his holy lips the words "Son of a fool/bitch [bacha-i-lada], why have you killed our Ataga?" That presumptuous wretch hastened to seize His Majesty's hands and to say "Inquire and deign not deliberate! There has been (only) a little inquiry."...

    [[372]] At last His Majesty the Shahinshah withdrew his hands from his own sword and freed them from the grasp of that wicked one, and stretched out his arm to take Adham Khan's sword. Just then that outcast for all eternity withdrew his hand from His Majesty and turned it to his own sword. His Majesty withdrew his hand therefrom and struck him such a blow on the face with his fist that that wicked monster turned a somersault and fell down and insensible. Farhat Khan and Sangram Husnak had the good fortune to be present. His Majesty angrily said to them, "Why do you stand gaping there? Bind this madman." They two and a number of others obeyed the order and bound him.

The righteous order was given that the fellow who had outstepped his place should be flung headlong from the top of the terrace. Those shortsighted men out of consideration (for Adham), than which inconsideration would have been a thousand times better, did not throw him down properly, and he remained half-alive. The order was given to bring him up again and this time they dragged him up by the hair and in accordance with orders flung him headlong so that his neck was broken, and his brains destroyed. In this way that blood-thirsty profligate underwent retribution for his actions. The fist of the Divine athlete of the world had made such a mark that those who did not know the facts thought that it was a mace-wound....

    [[274]] In fine, His Majesty retired into the harem after performing such an act of justice. Maham Anaga, who was lying in bed ill in her own house, came to hear that Adham Khan committed so great an act of violence, and.... had been put to death; she by virtue of her wisdom preserved her respect for His Majesty and did not complain or lament, but she became inwardly wounded by a thousand fatal blows. The colour left her face, and she wanted to visit the body. His Majesty the Shahinshah in regard to her long service spoke comforting words to her and consoled her somewhat, but did not allow her to go there in order that she might not behold her son in such a condition.... The wise mourner went and expressed her resignation, and submitted to the Divine decree. Then she came to her own house and... indulged in lamenting and weeping. The illness from [[275]] which she was suffering grew worse, and the pillars of health were shaken. Forty days after this occurrence... she went to the sacred abode of non-existence. His Majesty's loving heart was much affected by the fate of this cupola of chastity, and he expressed great sorrow. The body also was sent with much respect to Delhi, and his Majesty personally escorted it for some paces. All the state officers and the great ones of the sublime family paid the dues of respect and regret. In accordance with orders a lofty building [now known as the Bhul Bhuliyan] was erected over the tombs of Maham Anaga and Adham Khan.

*full text of this chapter*

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