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´╗┐Title: Genghis Khan, Makers of History Series
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Genghis Khan, Makers of History Series" ***

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produced from scanned images of public domain material

 Makers of History

 Genghis Khan







 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
 hundred and sixty, by


 in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of
 New York.

       *       *       *       *       *




The word khan is not a name, but a title. It means chieftain or king.
It is a word used in various forms by the different tribes and nations
that from time immemorial have inhabited Central Asia, and has been
applied to a great number of potentates and rulers that have from time
to time arisen among them. Genghis Khan was the greatest of these
princes. He was, in fact, one of the most renowned conquerors whose
exploits history records.

As in all other cases occurring in the series of histories to which
this work belongs, where the events narrated took place at such a
period or in such a part of the world that positively reliable and
authentic information in respect to them can now no longer be
obtained, the author is not responsible for the actual truth of the
narrative which he offers, but only for the honesty and fidelity with
which he has compiled it from the best sources of information now
within reach.


 Chapter                                                    Page

     I. PASTORAL LIFE IN ASIA                                13

    II. THE MONGULS                                          23

   III. YEZONKAI KHAN                                        41

    IV. THE FIRST BATTLE                                     52

     V. VANG KHAN                                            68

    VI. TEMUJIN IN EXILE                                     76

   VII. RUPTURE WITH VANG KHAN                               86

  VIII. PROGRESS OF THE QUARREL                             100

    IX. THE  DEATH OF VANG KHAN                             114

     X. THE DEATH OF YEMUKA                                 123

    XI. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EMPIRE                         136

   XII. DOMINIONS OF GENGHIS KHAN                           150


   XIV. IDIKUT                                              175

    XV. THE STORY OF HUJAKU                                 184

   XVI. CONQUESTS IN CHINA                                  198

  XVII. THE SULTAN MOHAMMED                                 213

 XVIII. THE WAR WITH THE SULTAN                             236

   XIX. THE FALL OF BOKHARA                                 244

    XX. BATTLES AND SIEGES                                  264

   XXI. DEATH OF THE SULTAN                                 281

  XXII. VICTORIOUS CAMPAIGNS                                297

 XXIII. GRAND CELEBRATIONS                                  318

  XXIV. CONCLUSION                                          330



 THE INAUGURATION OF GENGHIS KHAN                _Frontispiece._

 ENCAMPMENT OF A PATRIARCH                                   20

 SHOOTING AT PURSUERS                                        35

 MAP--EMPIRE OF GENGHIS KHAN                                 44

 PURTA IN THE TENT OF VANG KHAN                              62

 DRINKING THE BITTER WATER                                  107

 PRESENTATION OF THE SHONGAR                                173

 THE MERCHANTS OFFERING THEIR GOODS                         222

 THE GOVERNOR ON THE TERRACE                                261

 THE BATTLE OF THE BOATS                                    277




Four different modes of life enumerated.--Northern and southern
climes.--Animal food in arctic regions.--Tropical regions.--Appetite
changes with climate.--First steps toward civilization.--Interior of
Asia.--Pastoral habits of the people.--Picture of pastoral life.--Large
families accumulated.--Rise of patriarchal governments.--Origin of the
towns.--Great chieftains.--Genghis Khan.

There are four several methods by which the various communities into
which the human race is divided obtain their subsistence from the
productions of the earth, each of which leads to its own peculiar
system of social organization, distinct in its leading characteristics
from those of all the rest. Each tends to its own peculiar form of
government, gives rise to its own manners and customs, and forms, in
a word, a distinctive and characteristic type of life.

These methods are the following:

     1. By hunting wild animals in a state of nature.

     2. By rearing tame animals in pasturages.

     3. By gathering fruits and vegetables which grow
     spontaneously in a state of nature.

     4. By rearing fruits and grains and other vegetables by
     artificial tillage in cultivated ground.

By the two former methods man subsists on animal food. By the two
latter on vegetable food.

As we go north, from the temperate regions toward the poles, man is
found to subsist more and more on animal food. This seems to be the
intention of Providence. In the arctic regions scarcely any vegetables
grow that are fit for human food, but animals whose flesh is
nutritious and adapted to the use of man are abundant.

As we go south, from temperate regions toward the equator, man is
found to subsist more and more on vegetable food. This, too, seems to
be the intention of nature. Within the tropics scarcely any animals
live that are fit for human food; while fruits, roots, and other
vegetable productions which are nutritious and adapted to the use of
man are abundant.

In accordance with this difference in the productions of the different
regions of the earth, there seems to be a difference in the
constitutions of the races of men formed to inhabit them. The tribes
that inhabit Greenland and Kamtschatka can not preserve their
accustomed health and vigor on any other than animal food. If put upon
a diet of vegetables they soon begin to pine away. The reverse is true
of the vegetable-eaters of the tropics. They preserve their health
and strength well on a diet of rice, or bread-fruit, or bananas, and
would undoubtedly be made sick by being fed on the flesh of walruses,
seals, and white bears.

In the temperate regions the productions of the above-mentioned
extremes are mingled. Here many animals whose flesh is fit for human
food live and thrive, and here grows, too, a vast variety of
nutritious fruits, and roots, and seeds. The physical constitution of
the various races of men that inhabit these regions is modified
accordingly. In the temperate climes men can live on vegetable food,
or on animal food, or on both. The constitution differs, too, in
different individuals, and it changes at different periods of the
year. Some persons require more of animal, and others more of
vegetable food, to preserve their bodily and mental powers in the best
condition, and each one observes a change in himself in passing from
winter to summer. In the summer the desire for a diet of fruits and
vegetables seems to come northward with the sun, and in the winter the
appetite for flesh comes southward from the arctic regions with the

When we consider the different conditions in which the different
regions of the earth are placed in respect to their capacity of
production for animal and vegetable food, we shall see that this
adjustment of the constitution of man, both to the differences of
climate and to the changes of the seasons, is a very wise and
beneficent arrangement of Divine Providence. To confine man absolutely
either to animal or vegetable food would be to depopulate a large part
of the earth.

It results from these general facts in respect to the distribution of
the supplies of animal and vegetable food for man in different
latitudes that, in all northern climes in our hemisphere, men living
in a savage state must be hunters, while those that live near the
equator must depend for their subsistence on fruits and roots growing
wild. When, moreover, any tribe or race of men in either of these
localities take the first steps toward civilization, they begin, in
the one case, by taming animals, and rearing them in flocks and herds;
and, in the other case, by saving the seeds of food-producing plants,
and cultivating them by artificial tillage in inclosed and private
fields. This last is the condition of all the half-civilized tribes of
the tropical regions of the earth, whereas the former prevails in all
the northern temperate and arctic regions, as far to the northward as
domesticated animals can live.

From time immemorial, the whole interior of the continent of Asia has
been inhabited by tribes and nations that have taken this one step in
the advance toward civilization, but have gone no farther. They live,
not, like the Indians in North America, by hunting wild beasts, but by
rearing and pasturing flocks and herds of animals that they have
tamed. These animals feed, of course, on grass and herbage; and, as
grass and herbage can only grow on open ground, the forests have
gradually disappeared, and the country has for ages consisted of great
grassy plains, or of smooth hill-sides covered with verdure. Over
these plains, or along the river valleys, wander the different tribes
of which these pastoral nations are composed, living in tents, or in
frail huts almost equally movable, and driving their flocks and herds
before them from one pasture-ground to another, according as the
condition of the grass, or that of the springs and streams of water,
may require.

We obtain a pretty distinct idea of the nature of this pastoral life,
and of the manners and customs, and the domestic constitution to which
it gives rise, in the accounts given us in the Old Testament of
Abraham and Lot, and of their wanderings with their flocks and herds
over the country lying between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean
Sea. They lived in tents, in order that they might remove their
habitations the more easily from place to place in following their
flocks and herds to different pasture-grounds. Their wealth consisted
almost wholly in these flocks and herds, the land being almost every
where common. Sometimes, when two parties traveling together came to a
fertile and well-watered district, their herdsmen and followers were
disposed to contend for the privilege of feeding their flocks upon it,
and the contention would often lead to a quarrel and combat, if it had
not been settled by an amicable agreement on the part of the


The father of a family was the legislator and ruler of it, and his
sons, with their wives, and his son's sons, remained with him,
sometimes for many years, sharing his means of subsistence, submitting
to his authority, and going with him from place to place, with all his
flocks and herds. They employed, too, so many herdsmen, and other
servants and followers, as to form, in many cases, quite an extended
community, and sometimes, in case of hostilities with any other
wandering tribe, a single patriarch could send forth from his own
domestic circle a force of several hundred armed men. Such a company
as this, when moving across the country on its way from one region
of pasturage to another, appeared like an immense caravan on its
march, and when settled at an encampment the tents formed quite a
little town.

Whenever the head of one of these wandering families died, the
tendency was not for the members of the community to separate, but to
keep together, and allow the oldest son to take the father's place as
chieftain and ruler. This was necessary for defense, as, of course,
such communities as these were in perpetual danger of coming into
collision with other communities roaming about like themselves over
the same regions. It would necessarily result, too, from the
circumstances of the case, that a strong and well-managed party, with
an able and sagacious chieftain at the head of it, would attract other
and weaker parties to join it; or, on the arising of some pretext for
a quarrel, would make war upon it and conquer it. Thus, in process of
time, small nations, as it were, would be formed, which would continue
united and strong as long as the able leadership continued; and then
they would separate into their original elements, which elements would
be formed again into other combinations.

Such, substantially, was pastoral life in the beginning. In process of
time, of course, the tribes banded together became larger and larger.
Some few towns and cities were built as places for the manufacture of
implements and arms, or as resting-places for the caravans of
merchants in conveying from place to place such articles as were
bought and sold. But these places were comparatively few and
unimportant. A pastoral and roaming life continued to be the destiny
of the great mass of the people. And this state of things, which was
commenced on the banks of the Euphrates before the time of Abraham,
spread through the whole breadth of Asia, from the Mediterranean Sea
to the Pacific Ocean, and has continued with very little change from
those early periods to the present time.

Of the various chieftains that have from time to time risen to command
among these shepherd nations but little is known, for very few and
very scanty records have been kept of the history of any of them. Some
of them have been famous as conquerors, and have acquired very
extended dominions. The most celebrated of all is perhaps Genghis
Khan, the hero of this history. He came upon the stage more than three
thousand years after the time of the great prototype of his class, the
Patriarch Abraham.



Monguls.--Origin of the name.--A Mongul family.--Their
occupations.--Animals of the Monguls.--Their towns and villages.--Mode
of building their tents.--Bad fuel.--Comfortless homes.--Movable
houses built at last.--The painting.--Account of a large movable
house.--The traveling chests.--Necessity of such an arrangement.--Houses
in the towns.--Roads over the plains.--Tribes and families.--Influence
of diversity of pursuits.--Tribes and clans.--Mode of making
war.--Horsemen.--The bow and arrow.--The flying horseman.--Nature
of the bow and arrow.--Superiority of fire-arms.--Sources of
information.--Gog and Magog.--Salam.--Adventures of Salam and
his party.--The wonderful mountain.--Great bolts and bars.--The
prisoners.--Travelers' tales.--Progress of intelligence.

Three thousand years is a period of time long enough to produce great
changes, and in the course of that time a great many different nations
and congeries of nations were formed in the regions of Central Asia.
The term Tartars has been employed generically to denote almost the
whole race. The Monguls are a portion of this people, who are said to
derive their name from Mongol Khan, one of their earliest and most
powerful chieftains. The descendants of this khan called themselves by
his name, just as the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob called
themselves Israelites, or children of Israel, from the name Israel,
which was one of the designations of the great patriarch from whose
twelve sons the twelve tribes of the Jews descended. The country
inhabited by the Monguls was called Mongolia.

To obtain a clear conception of a single Mongul family, you must
imagine, first, a rather small, short, thick-set man, with long black
hair, a flat face, and a dark olive complexion. His wife, if her face
were not so flat and her nose so broad, would be quite a brilliant
little beauty, her eyes are so black and sparkling. The children have
much the appearance of young Indians as they run shouting among the
cattle on the hill-sides, or, if young, playing half-naked about the
door of the hut, their long black hair streaming in the wind.

Like all the rest of the inhabitants of Central Asia, these people
depended almost entirely for their subsistence on the products of
their flocks and herds. Of course, their great occupation consisted in
watching their animals while feeding by day, and in putting them in
places of security by night, in taking care of and rearing the young,
in making butter and cheese from the milk, and clothing from the
skins, in driving the cattle to and fro in search of pasturage, and,
finally, in making war on the people of other tribes to settle
disputes arising out of conflicting claims to territory, or to
replenish their stock of sheep and oxen by seizing and driving off the
flocks of their neighbors.

The animals which the Monguls most prized were camels, oxen and cows,
sheep, goats, and horses. They were very proud of their horses, and
they rode them with great courage and spirit. They always went
mounted in going to war. Their arms were bows and arrows, pikes or
spears, and a sort of sword or sabre, which was manufactured in some
of the towns toward the west, and supplied to them in the course of
trade by great traveling caravans.

Although the mass of the people lived in the open country with their
flocks and herds, there were, notwithstanding, a great many towns and
villages, though such centres of population were much fewer and less
important among them than they are in countries the inhabitants of
which live by tilling the ground. Some of these towns were the
residences of the khans and of the heads of tribes. Others were places
of manufacture or centres of commerce, and many of them were fortified
with embankments of earth or walls of stone.

The habitations of the common people, even those built in the towns,
were rude huts made so as to be easily taken down and removed. The
tents were made by means of poles set in a circle in the ground, and
brought nearly together at the top, so as to form a frame similar to
that of an Indian wigwam. A hoop was placed near the top of these
poles, so as to preserve a round opening there for the smoke to go
out. The frame was then covered with sheets of a sort of thick gray
felt, so placed as to leave the opening within the hoop free. The
felt, too, was arranged below in such a manner that the corner of one
of the sheets could be raised and let down again to form a sort of
door. The edges of the sheets in other places were fastened together
very carefully, especially in winter, to keep out the cold air.

Within the tent, on the ground in the centre, the family built their
fire, which was made of sticks, leaves, grass, and dried droppings of
all sorts, gathered from the ground, for the country produced scarcely
any wood. Countries roamed over by herds of animals that gain their
living by pasturing on the grass and herbage are almost always
destitute of trees. Trees in such a case have no opportunity to grow.

The tents of the Monguls thus made were, of course, very comfortless
homes. They could not be kept warm, there was so much cold air coming
continually in through the crevices, notwithstanding all the people's
contrivances to make them tight. The smoke, too, did not all escape
through the hoop-hole above. Much of it remained in the tent and
mingled with the atmosphere. This evil was aggravated by the kind of
fuel which they used, which was of such a nature that it made only a
sort of smouldering fire instead of burning, like good dry wood, with
a bright and clear flame.

The discomforts of these huts and tents were increased by the custom
which prevailed among the people of allowing the animals to come into
them, especially those that were young and feeble, and to live there
with the family.

In process of time, as the people increased in riches and in
mechanical skill, some of the more wealthy chieftains began to build
houses so large and so handsome that they could not be conveniently
taken down to be removed, and then they contrived a way of mounting
them upon trucks placed at the four corners, and moving them bodily in
this way across the plains, as a table is moved across a floor upon
its castors. It was necessary, of course, that the houses should be
made very light in order to be managed in this way. They were, in
fact, still tents rather than houses, being made of the same
materials, only they were put together in a more substantial and
ornamental manner. The frame was made of very light poles, though
these poles were fitted together in permanent joinings. The covering
was, like that of the tents, made of felt, but the sheets were joined
together by close and strong seams, and the whole was coated with a
species of paint, which not only closed all the pores and interstices
and made the structure very tight, but also served to ornament it; for
they were accustomed, in painting these houses, to adorn the covering
with pictures of birds, beasts, and trees, represented in such a
manner as doubtless, in their eyes, produced a very beautiful effect.

These movable houses were sometimes very large. A certain traveler who
visited the country not far from the time of Genghis Khan says that he
saw one of these structures in motion which was thirty feet in
diameter. It was drawn by twenty-two oxen. It was so large that it
extended five feet on each side beyond the wheels. The oxen, in
drawing it, were not attached, as with us, to the centre of the
forward axle-tree, but to the ends of the axle-trees, which projected
beyond the wheels on each side. There were eleven oxen on each side
drawing upon the axle-trees. There were, of course, many drivers. The
one who was chief in command stood in the door of the tent or house
which looked forward, and there, with many loud shouts and flourishing
gesticulations, issued his orders to the oxen and to the other men.

The household goods of this traveling chieftain were packed in chests
made for the purpose, the house itself, of course, in order to be made
as light as possible, having been emptied of all its contents. These
chests were large, and were made of wicker or basket-work, covered,
like the house, with felt. The covers were made of a rounded form, so
as to throw off the rain, and the felt was painted over with a certain
composition which made it impervious to the water. These chests were
not intended to be unpacked at the end of the journey, but to remain
as they were, as permanent storehouses of utensils, clothing, and
provisions. They were placed in rows, each on its own cart, near the
tent, where they could be resorted to conveniently from time to time
by the servants and attendants, as occasion might require. The tent
placed in the centre, with these great chests on their carts near it,
formed, as it were, a house with one great room standing by itself,
and all the little rooms and closets arranged in rows by the side of

Some such arrangement as this is obviously necessary in case of a
great deal of furniture or baggage belonging to a man who lives in a
tent, and who desires to be at liberty to remove his whole
establishment from place to place at short notice; for a tent, from
the very principle of its construction, is incapable of being divided
into rooms, or of accommodating extensive stores of furniture or
goods. Of course, a special contrivance is required for the
accommodation of this species of property. This was especially the
case with the Monguls, among whom there were many rich and great men
who often accumulated a large amount of movable property. There was
one rich Mongul, it was said, who had two hundred such chest-carts,
which were arranged in two rows around and behind his tent, so that
his establishment, when he was encamped, looked like quite a little

The style of building adopted among the Monguls for tents and movable
houses seemed to set the fashion for all their houses, even for those
that were built in the towns, and were meant to stand permanently
where they were first set up. These permanent houses were little
better than tents. They consisted each of one single room without any
subdivisions whatever. They were made round, too, like the tents, only
the top, instead of running up to a point, was rounded like a dome.
There were no floors above that formed on the ground, and no windows.

Such was the general character of the dwellings of the Monguls in the
days of Genghis Khan. They took their character evidently from the
wandering and pastoral life that the people led. One would have
thought that very excellent roads would have been necessary to have
enabled them to draw the ponderous carts containing their dwellings
and household goods. But this was less necessary than might have been
supposed on account of the nature of the country, which consisted
chiefly of immense grassy plains and smooth river valleys, over which,
in many places, wheels would travel tolerably well in any direction
without much making of roadway. Then, again, in all such countries,
the people who journey from place to place, and the herds of cattle
that move to and fro, naturally fall into the same lines of travel,
and thus, in time, wear great trails, as cows make paths in a pasture.
These, with a little artificial improvement at certain points, make
very good summer roads, and in the winter it is not necessary to use
them at all.

The Monguls, like the ancient Jews, were divided into tribes, and
these were subdivided into families; a family meaning in this
connection not one household, but a large congeries of households,
including all those that were of known relationship to each other.
These groups of relatives had each its head, and the tribe to which
they pertained had also its general head. There were, it is said,
three sets of these tribes, forming three grand divisions of the
Mongul people, each of which was ruled by its own khan; and then, to
complete the system, there was the grand khan, who ruled over all.

A constitution of society like this almost always prevails in pastoral
countries, and we shall see, on a little reflection, that it is
natural that it should do so. In a country like ours, where the
pursuits of men are so infinitely diversified, the descendants of
different families become mingled together in the most promiscuous
manner. The son of a farmer in one state goes off, as soon as he is of
age, to some other state, to find a place among merchants or
manufacturers, because he wishes to be a merchant or a manufacturer
himself, while his father supplies his place on the farm perhaps by
hiring a man who likes farming, and has come hundreds of miles in
search of work. Thus the descendants of one American grandfather and
grandmother will be found, after a lapse of a few years, scattered in
every direction all over the land, and, indeed, sometimes all over the

It is the diversity of pursuits which prevails in such a country as
ours, taken in connection with the diversity of capacity and of taste
in different individuals, that produces this dispersion.

Among a people devoted wholly to pastoral pursuits, all this is
different. The young men, as they grow up, can have generally no
inducement to leave their homes. They continue to live with their
parents and relatives, sharing the care of the flocks and herds, and
making common cause with them in every thing that is of common
interest. It is thus that those great family groups are formed which
exist in all pastoral countries under the name of tribes or clans, and
form the constituent elements of the whole social and political
organization of the people.

In case of general war, each tribe of the Monguls furnished, of
course, a certain quota of armed men, in proportion to its numbers and
strength. These men always went to war, as has already been said, on
horseback, and the spectacle which these troops presented in galloping
in squadrons over the plains was sometimes very imposing. The shock of
the onset when they charged in this way upon the enemy was tremendous.
They were armed with bows and arrows, and also with sabres. As they
approached the enemy, they discharged first a shower of arrows upon
him, while they were in the act of advancing at the top of their
speed. Then, dropping their bows by their side, they would draw their
sabres, and be ready, as soon as the horses fell upon the enemy, to
cut down all opposed to them with the most furious and deadly blows.

If they were repulsed, and compelled by a superior force to retreat,
they would gallop at full speed over the plains, turning at the same
time in their saddles, and shooting at their pursuers with their
arrows as coolly, and with as correct an aim, almost, as if they were
still. While thus retreating the trooper would guide and control his
horse by his voice, and by the pressure of his heels upon his sides,
so as to have both his arms free for fighting his pursuers.

These arrows were very formidable weapons, it is said. One of the
travelers who visited the country in those days says that they could
be shot with so much force as to pierce the body of a man entirely


It must be remembered, however, in respect to all such statements
relating to the efficiency of the bow and arrow, that the force with
which an arrow can be thrown depends not upon any independent action
of the bow, but altogether upon the strength of the man who draws it.
The bow, in straightening itself for the propulsion of the arrow,
expends only the force which the man has imparted to it by bending it;
so that the real power by which the arrow is propelled is, after all,
the muscular strength of the archer. It is true, a great deal depends
on the qualities of the bow, and also on the skill of the man in using
it, to make all this muscular strength effective. With a poor bow, or
with unskillful management, a great deal of it would be wasted. But
with the best possible bow, and with the most consummate skill of the
archer, it is the strength of the archer's arm which throws the arrow,
after all.

It is very different in this respect with a bullet thrown by the force
of gunpowder from the barrel of a gun. The force in this case is the
explosive force of the powder, and the bullet is thrown to the same
distance whether it is a very weak man or a very strong man that pulls
the trigger.

But to return to the Monguls. All the information which we can obtain
in respect to the condition of the people before the time of Genghis
Khan comes to us from the reports of travelers who, either as
merchants, or as embassadors from caliphs or kings, made long journeys
into these distant regions, and have left records, more or less
complete, of their adventures, and accounts of what they saw, in
writings which have been preserved by the learned men of the East. It
is very doubtful how far these accounts are to be believed. One of
these travelers, a learned man named Salam, who made a journey far
into the interior of Asia by order of the Calif Mohammed Amin
Billah, some time before the reign of Genghis Khan, says that, among
other objects of research and investigation which occupied his mind,
he was directed to ascertain the truth in respect to the two famous
nations Gog and Magog, or, as they are designated in his account,
Yagog and Magog. The story that had been told of these two nations by
the Arabian writers, and which was extensively believed, was, that the
people of Yagog were of the ordinary size of men, but those of Magog
were only about two feet high. These people had made war upon the
neighboring nations, and had destroyed many cities and towns, but had
at last been overpowered and shut up in prison.

Salam, the traveler whom the calif sent to ascertain whether their
accounts were true, traveled at the head of a caravan containing fifty
men, and with camels bearing stores and provisions for a year. He was
gone a long time. When he came back he gave an account of his travels;
and in respect to Gog and Magog, he said that he had found that the
accounts which had been heard respecting them were true. He traveled
on, he said, from the country of one chieftain to another till he
reached the Caspian Sea, and then went on beyond that sea for thirty
or forty days more. In one place the party came to a tract of low
black land, which exhaled an odor so offensive that they were obliged
to use perfumes all the way to overpower the noxious smells. They were
ten days in crossing this fetid territory. After this they went on a
month longer through a desert country, and at length came to a fertile
land which was covered with the ruins of cities that the people of Gog
and Magog had destroyed.

In six days more they reached the country of the nation by which the
people of Gog and Magog had been conquered and shut up in prison. Here
they found a great many strong castles. There was a large city here
too, containing temples and academies of learning, and also the
residence of the king.

The travelers took up their abode in this city for a time, and while
they were there they made an excursion of two days' journey into the
country to see the place where the people of Gog and Magog were
confined. When they arrived at the place they found a lofty mountain.
There was a great opening made in the face of this mountain two or
three hundred feet wide. The opening was protected on each side by
enormous buttresses, between which was placed an immense double gate,
the buttresses and the gate being all of iron. The buttresses were
surmounted with an iron bulwark, and with lofty towers also of iron,
which were carried up as high as to the top of the mountain itself.
The gates were of the width of the opening cut in the mountain, and
were seventy-five feet high; and the valves, lintels, and threshold,
and also the bolts, the lock, and the key, were all of proportional

Salam, on arriving at the place, saw all these wonderful structures
with his own eyes, and he was told by the people there that it was the
custom of the governor of the castles already mentioned to take horse
every Friday with ten others, and, coming to the gate, to strike the
great bolt three times with a ponderous hammer weighing five pounds,
when there would be heard a murmuring noise within, which were the
groans of the Yagog and Magog people confined in the mountain. Indeed,
Salam was told that the poor captives often appeared on the
battlements above. Thus the real existence of this people was, in his
opinion, fully proved; and even the story in respect to the diminutive
size of the Magogs was substantiated, for Salam was told that once, in
a high wind, three of them were blown off from the battlements to the
ground, and that, on being measured, they were found but three spans

This is a specimen of the tales brought home from remote countries by
the most learned and accomplished travelers of those times. In
comparing these absurd and ridiculous tales with the reports which are
brought back from distant regions in our days by such travelers as
Humboldt, Livingstone, and Kane, we shall perceive what an immense
progress in intelligence and information the human mind has made since
those days.




Yezonkai Behadr.--Orthography of Mongul names.--Great
diversities.--Yezonkai's power.--A successful warrior.--Katay.--The
Khan of Temujin.--Mongol custom.--Birth of Genghis Khan.--Predictions of
the astrologer.--Explanation of the predictions.--Karasher.--Education
of Temujin.--His precocity.--His early marriage.--Plans of Temujin's
father.--Karizu.--Tayian.--Death of Yezonkai.

The name of the father of Genghis Khan is a word which can not be
pronounced exactly in English. It sounded something like this,
_Yezonkai Behadr_, with the accent on the last syllable, Behadr, and
the _a_ sounded like _a_ in _hark_. This is as near as we can come to
it; but the name, as it was really pronounced by the Mongul people,
can not be written in English letters nor spoken with English sounds.

Indeed, in all languages so entirely distinct from each other as the
Mongul language was from ours, the sounds are different, and the
letters by which the sounds are represented are different too. Some of
the sounds are so utterly unlike any sounds that we have in English
that it is as impossible to write them in English characters as it is
for us to write in English letters the sound that a man makes when he
chirps to his horse or his dog, or when he whistles. Sometimes writers
attempt to represent the latter sound by the word _whew_; and when,
in reading a dialogue, we come to the word whew, inserted to express a
part of what one of the speakers uttered, we understand by it that he
whistled; but how different, after all, is the sound of the spoken
word _whew_ from the whistling sound that it is intended to represent!

Now, in all the languages of Asia, there are many sounds as impossible
to be rendered by the European letters as this, and in making the
attempt every different writer falls into a different mode. Thus the
first name of Genghis Khan's father is spelled by different travelers
and historians, Yezonkai, Yesukay, Yessuki, Yesughi, Bissukay,
Bisukay, Pisukay, and in several other ways. The real sound was
undoubtedly as different from any of these as they were all different
from each other. In this narrative I shall adopt the first of these
methods, and call him Yezonkai Behadr.

[Illustration: Map of the Empire of Genghis Khan.]

Yezonkai was a great khan, and he descended in a direct line through
ten generations, so it was said, from a deity. Great sovereigns in
those countries and times were very fond of tracing back their descent
to some divine origin, by way of establishing more fully in the minds
of the people their divine right to the throne. Yezonkai's residence
was at a great palace in the country, called by a name, the sound of
which, as nearly as it can be represented in English letters, was
_Diloneldak_. From this, his capital, he used to make warlike
excursions at the head of hordes of Monguls into the surrounding
countries, in the prosecution of quarrels which he made with them
under various pretexts; and as he was a skillful commander, and had
great influence in inducing all the inferior khans to bring large
troops of men from their various tribes to add to his army, he was
usually victorious, and in this way he extended his empire very
considerably while he lived, and thus made a very good preparation for
the subsequent exploits of his son.

The northern part of China was at that time entirely separated from
the southern part, and was under a different government. It
constituted an entirely distinct country, and was called Katay.[A]
This country was under the dominion of a chieftain called the Khan of
Katay. This khan was very jealous of the increasing power of Yezonkai,
and took part against him in all his wars with the tribes around him,
and assisted them in their attempts to resist him; but he did not
succeed. Yezonkai was too powerful for them, and went on extending
his conquests far and wide.

[Footnote A: Spelled variously Kathay, Katay, Kitay, and in other

At last, under the pretense of some affront which he had received from
them, Yezonkai made war upon a powerful tribe of Tartars that lived in
his neighborhood. He invaded their territories at the head of an
immense horde of Mongul troops, and began seizing and driving off
their cattle.

The name of the khan who ruled over these people was Temujin. Temujin
assembled his forces as soon as he could, and went to meet the
invaders. A great battle was fought, and Yezonkai was victorious.
Temujin was defeated and put to flight. Yezonkai encamped after the
battle on the banks of the River Amoor, near a mountain. He had all
his family with him, for it was often the custom, in these
enterprises, for the chieftain to take with him not only all his
household, but a large portion of his household goods. Yezonkai had
several wives, and almost immediately after the battle, one of them,
named Olan Ayka, gave birth to a son. Yezonkai, fresh from the battle,
determined to commemorate his victory by giving his new-born son the
name of his vanquished enemy. So he named him Temujin.[B] His birth
took place, as nearly as can now be ascertained, in the year of our
Lord 1163.

[Footnote B: The name is intended to be pronounced _Tim-oo-zhin_.]

Such were the circumstances of our hero's birth, for it was this
Temujin who afterward became renowned throughout all Asia under the
name of Genghis Khan. Through all the early part of his life, however,
he was always known by the name which his father gave him in the tent
by the river side where he was born.

Among the other grand personages in Yezonkai's train at this time,
there was a certain old astrologer named Sugujin. He was a relative of
Yezonkai, and also his principal minister of state. This man, by his
skill in astrology, which he applied to the peculiar circumstances of
the child, foretold for him at once a wonderful career. He would grow
up, the astrologer said, to be a great warrior. He would conquer all
his enemies, and extend his conquests so far that he would, in the
end, become the Khan of all Tartary. Young Temujin's parents were, of
course, greatly pleased with these predictions, and when, not long
after this time, the astrologer died, they appointed his son, whose
name was Karasher, to be the guardian and instructor of the boy. They
trusted, it seems, to the son to give the young prince such a
training in early life as should prepare him to realize the grand
destiny which the father had foretold for him.

There would be something remarkable in the fact that these predictions
were uttered at the birth of Genghis Khan, since they were afterward
so completely fulfilled, were it not that similar prognostications of
greatness and glory were almost always offered to the fathers and
mothers of young princes in those days by the astrologers and
soothsayers of their courts. Such promises were, of course, very
flattering to these parents at the time, and brought those who made
them into great favor. Then, in the end, if the result verified them,
they were remembered and recorded as something wonderful; if not, they
were forgotten.

Karasher, the astrologer's son, who had been appointed young Temujin's
tutor, took his pupil under his charge, and began to form plans for
educating him. Karasher was a man of great talents and of considerable
attainments in learning, so far as there could be any thing like
learning in such a country and among such a people. He taught him the
names of the various tribes that lived in the countries around, and
the names of the principal chieftains that ruled over them. He also
gave him such information as he possessed in respect to the countries
themselves, describing the situation of the mountains, the lakes, and
the rivers, and the great deserts which here and there intervened
between the fertile regions. He taught him, moreover, to ride, and
trained him in all such athletic exercises as were practiced by the
youth of those times. He instructed him also in the use of arms,
teaching him how to shoot with a bow and arrow, and how to hold and
handle his sabre, both when on horseback and when on foot. He
particularly instructed him in the art of shooting his arrow in any
direction when riding at a gallop upon his horse, behind as well as
before, and to the right side as well as to the left. To do this
coolly, skillfully, and with a true aim, required great practice as
well as much courage and presence of mind.

Young Temujin entered into all these things with great spirit. Indeed,
he very soon ceased to feel any interest in any thing else, so that by
the time that he was nine years of age it was said that he thought of
nothing but exercising himself in the use of arms.

Nine years of age, however, with him was more than it would be with a
young man among us, for the Asiatics arrive at maturity much earlier
than the nations of Western Europe and America. Indeed, by the time
that Temujin was thirteen years old, his father considered him a
man--at least he considered him old enough to be married. He was
married, in fact, and had two children before he was fifteen, if the
accounts which the historians have given us respecting him are true.

Just before Temujin was thirteen, his father, in one of his campaigns
in Katay, was defeated in a battle, and, although a great many of his
followers escaped, he himself was surrounded and overpowered by the
horsemen of the enemy, and was made prisoner. He was put under the
care of a guard; for, of course, among people living almost altogether
on horseback and in tents, there could be very few prisons. Yezonkai
followed the camp of his conqueror for some time under the custody of
his guard; but at length he succeeded in bribing his keeper to let him
escape, and so contrived, after encountering many difficulties and
suffering many hardships, to make his way back to his own country.

He was determined now to make a new incursion into Katay, and that
with a larger force than he had had before. So he made an alliance
with the chieftain of a neighboring tribe, called the Naymans; and, in
order to seal and establish this alliance, he contracted that his son
should marry the daughter of his ally. This was the time when Temujin
was but thirteen years old. The name of this his first wife was
Karizu--at least that was one of her names. Her father's name was

Before Yezonkai had time to mature his plans for his new invasion of
Katay, he fell sick and died. He left five sons and a daughter, it is
said; but Temujin seems to have been the oldest of them all, for by
his will his father left his kingdom, if the command of the group of
tribes which were under his sway can be called a kingdom, to him,
notwithstanding that he was yet only thirteen years old.




Temujin's accession.--Discontent.--Taychot and Chamuka.--Arrangements
for the battle.--Temujin's ardor.--Porgie.--Exaggerated
statements.--The battle.--Bravery of Temujin and Porgie.--Influence
of Temujin's example.--Taychot slain.--The victory.--Rewards and
honors.--Temujin's rising fame.--His second wife.--Purta carried
away captive.--Customary present.--Purta and Vang Khan.--Purta's
return.--Birth of her child.--Jughi.--Temujin's wonderful
dream.--Disaffection among his subjects.--A rebellion.--Temujin
discouraged.--Temujin plans a temporary abdication.--Arrangement
of a regency.--Temujin's departure.

In the language of the Monguls and of their neighbors the Tartars, a
collection of tribes banded together under one chieftain was
designated by a name which sounded like the word _orda_. This is the
origin, it is said, of the English word _horde_.

The orda over which Yezonkai had ruled, and the command of which, at
his death, he left to his son, consisted of a great number of separate
tribes, each of which had its own particular chieftain. All these
subordinate chieftains were content to be under Yezonkai's rule and
leadership while he lived. He was competent, they thought, to direct
their movements and to lead them into battle against their enemies.
But when he died, leaving only a young man thirteen years of age to
succeed him, several of them were disposed to rebel. There were two of
them, in particular, who thought that they were themselves better
qualified to reign over the nation than such a boy; so they formed an
alliance with each other, and with such other tribes as were disposed
to join them, and advanced to make war upon Temujin at the head of a
great number of squadrons of troops, amounting in all to thirty
thousand men.

The names of the two leaders of this rebellion were Taychot and

Young Temujin depended chiefly on his mother for guidance and
direction in this emergency. He was himself very brave and spirited;
but bravery and spirit, though they are of such vital importance in a
commander on the field of battle, when the contest actually comes on,
are by no means the principal qualities that are required in making
the preliminary arrangements.

Accordingly, Temujin left the forming of the plans to his mother,
while he thought only of his horses, of his arms and equipments, and
of the fury with which he would gallop in among the enemy when the
time should arrive for the battle to begin. His mother, in connection
with the chief officers of the army and counselors of state who were
around her, and on whom her husband Yezonkai, during his lifetime, had
been most accustomed to rely, arranged all the plans. They sent off
messengers to the heads of all the tribes that they supposed would be
friendly to Temujin, and appointed places of rendezvous for the
troops that they were to send. They made arrangements for the stores
of provisions which would be required, settled questions of precedence
among the different clans, regulated the order of march, and attended
to all other necessary details.

In the mean time, Temujin thought only of the approaching battle. He
was engaged continually in riding up and down upon spirited horses,
and shooting in all directions, backward and forward, and both to the
right side and to the left, with his bow and arrow. Nor was all this
exhibition of ardor on his part a mere useless display. It had great
influence in awakening a corresponding ardor among the chieftains of
the troops, and among the troops themselves. They felt proud of the
spirit and energy which their young prince displayed, and were more
and more resolved to exert themselves to the utmost in defending his

There was another young prince, of the name of Porgie, of about
Temujin's age, who was also full of ardor for the fight. He was the
chieftain of one of the tribes that remained faithful to Temujin, and
he was equally earnest with Temujin for the battle to begin.

At length the troops were ready, and, with Temujin and his mother at
the head of them, they went forth to attack the rebels. The rebels
were ready to receive them. They were thirty thousand strong,
according to the statements of the historians. This number is probably
exaggerated, as all numbers were in those days, when there was no
regular enrollment of troops and no strict system of enumeration.

At any rate, there was a very great battle. Immense troops of horsemen
coming at full speed in opposite directions shot showers of arrows at
each other when they arrived at the proper distance for the arrows to
take effect, and then, throwing down their bows and drawing their
sabres, rushed madly on, until they came together with an awful shock,
the dreadful confusion and terror of which no person can describe. The
air was filled with the most terrific outcries, in which yells of
fury, shrieks of agony, and shouts of triumph were equally mingled.
Some of the troops maintained their position through the shock, and
rode on, bearing down all before them. Others were overthrown and
trampled in the dust; while all, both those who were up and those who
were down, were cutting in every direction with their sabres, killing
men and inciting the horses to redoubled fury by the wounds which
they gave them.

In the midst of such scenes as these Temujin and Porgie fought
furiously with the rest. Temujin distinguished himself greatly. It is
probable that those who were immediately around him felt that he was
under their charge, and that they must do all in their power to
protect him from danger. This they could do much more easily and
effectually under the mode of fighting which prevailed in those days
than would be possible now, when gunpowder is the principal agent of
destruction. Temujin's attendants and followers could gather around
him and defend him from assailants. They could prevent him from
charging any squadron which was likely to be strong enough to
overpower him, and they could keep his enemies so much at bay that
they could not reach him with their sabres. But upon a modern field of
battle there is much less opportunity to protect a young prince or
general's son, or other personage whose life may be considered as
peculiarly valuable. No precautions of his attendants can prevent a
bomb's bursting at his feet, or shield him from the rifle balls that
come whistling from such great distances through the air.

At any rate, whether protected by his attendants or only by the
fortune of war, Temujin passed through the battle without being hurt,
and the courage and energy which he displayed were greatly commended
by all who witnessed them. His mother was in the battle too, though,
perhaps, not personally involved in the actual conflicts of it. She
directed the manoeuvres, however, and by her presence and her
activity greatly encouraged and animated the men. In consequence of
the spirit and energy infused into the troops by her presence, and by
the extraordinary ardor and bravery of Temujin, the battle was gained.
The army of the enemy was put to flight. One of the leaders, Taychot,
was slain. The other made his escape, and Temujin and his mother were
left in possession of the field.

Of course, after having fought with so much energy and effect on such
a field, Temujin was now no longer considered as a boy, but took his
place at once as a man among men, and was immediately recognized by
all the army as their prince and sovereign, and as fully entitled, by
his capacity if not by his years, to rule in his own name. He assumed
and exercised his powers with as much calmness and self-possession as
if he had been accustomed to them for many years. He made addresses
to his officers and soldiers, and distributed honors and rewards to
them with a combined majesty and grace which, in their opinion,
denoted much grandeur of soul. The rewards and honors were
characteristic of the customs of the country and the times. They
consisted of horses, arms, splendid articles of dress, and personal
ornaments. Of course, among a people who lived, as it were, always on
horseback, such objects as these were the ones most highly prized.

The consequence of this victory was, that nearly the whole country
occupied by the rebels submitted without any farther resistance to
Temujin's sway. Other tribes, who lived on the borders of his
dominions, sent in to propose treaties of alliance. The khan of one of
these tribes demanded of Temujin the hand of his sister in marriage to
seal and confirm the alliance which he proposed to make. In a word,
the fame of Temujin's prowess spread rapidly after the battle over all
the surrounding countries, and high anticipations began to be formed
of the greatness and glory of his reign.

In the course of the next year Temujin was married to his second wife,
although he was at this time only fourteen years old. The name of his
bride was Purta Kugin. By this wife, who was probably of about his own
age, he had a daughter, who was born before the close of the year
after the marriage.

In his journeys about the country Temujin sometimes took his wives
with him, and sometimes he left them temporarily in some place of
supposed security. Toward the end of the second year Purta was again
about to become a mother, and Temujin, who at that time had occasion
to go off on some military expedition, fearing that the fatigue and
exposure would be more than she could well bear, left her at home.
While he was gone a troop of horsemen, from a tribe of his enemies,
came suddenly into the district on a marauding expedition. They
overpowered the troops Temujin had left to guard the place, and seized
and carried off every thing that they could find that was valuable.
They made prisoner of Purta, too, and carried her away a captive. The
plunder they divided among themselves, but Purta they sent as a
present to a certain khan who reigned over a neighboring country, and
whose favor they wished to secure. The name of this chieftain was Vang
Khan. As this Vang Khan figures somewhat conspicuously in the
subsequent history of Temujin, a full account of him will be given in
the next chapter. All that is necessary to say here is, that the
intention of the captors of Purta, in sending her to him as a present,
was that he should make her his wife. It was the custom of these khans
to have as many wives as they could obtain, so that when prisoners of
high rank were taken in war, if there were any young and beautiful
women among them, they were considered as charming presents to send to
any great prince or potentate near, whom the captors were desirous of
pleasing. It made no difference, in such cases, whether the person who
was to receive the present were young or old. Sometimes the older he
was the more highly he would prize such a gift.

Vang Khan, it happened, was old. He was old enough to be Temujin's
father. Indeed, he had been in the habit of calling Temujin his son.
He had been in alliance with Yezonkai, Temujin's father, some years
before, when Temujin was quite a boy, and it was at that time that he
began to call him his son.


Accordingly, when Purta was brought to him by the messengers who had
been sent in charge of her, and presented to him in his tent, he said,

"She is very beautiful, but I can not take her for my wife, for she is
the wife of my son. I can not marry the wife of my son."

Vang Khan, however, received Purta under his charge, gave her a place
in his household, and took good care of her.

When Temujin returned home from his expedition, and learned what had
happened during his absence, he was greatly distressed at the loss of
his wife. Not long afterward he ascertained where she was, and he
immediately sent a deputation to Vang Khan asking him to send her
home. With this request Vang Khan immediately complied, and Purta set
out on her return. She was stopped on the way, however, by the birth
of her child. It was a son. As soon as the child was born it was
determined to continue the journey, for there was danger, if they
delayed, that some new troop of enemies might come up, in which case
Purta would perhaps be made captive again. So Purta, it is said,
wrapped up the tender limbs of the infant in some sort of paste or
dough, to save them from the effects of the jolting produced by the
rough sort of cart in which she was compelled to ride, and in that
condition she held the babe in her lap all the way home.

She arrived at her husband's residence in safety. Temujin was
overjoyed at seeing her again; and he was particularly pleased with
his little son, who came out of his packing safe and sound. In
commemoration of his safe arrival after so strange and dangerous a
journey, his father named him Safe-arrived; that is, he gave him for a
name the word in their language that means that. The word itself was

The commencement of Temujin's career was thus, on the whole, quite
prosperous, and every thing seemed to promise well. He was himself
full of ambition and of hope, and began to feel dissatisfied with the
empire which his father had left him, and to form plans for extending
it. He dreamed one night that his arms grew out to an enormous length,
and that he took a sword in each of them, and stretched them out to
see how far they would reach, pointing one to the eastward and the
other to the westward. In the morning he related his dream to his
mother. She interpreted it to him. She told him it meant undoubtedly
that he was destined to become a great conqueror, and that the
directions in which his kingdom would be extended were toward the
eastward and toward the westward.

Temujin continued for about two years after this in prosperity, and
then his good fortune began to wane. There came a reaction. Some of
the tribes under his dominion began to grow discontented. The
subordinate khans began to form plots and conspiracies. Even his own
tribe turned against him. Rebellions broke out in various parts of his
dominions; and he was obliged to make many hurried expeditions here
and there, and to fight many desperate battles to suppress them. In
one of these contests he was taken prisoner. He, however, contrived to
make his escape. He then made proposals to the disaffected khans,
which he hoped would satisfy them, and bring them once more to submit
to him, since what he thus offered to do in these proposals was pretty
much all that they had professed to require. But the proposals did not
satisfy them. What they really intended to do was to depose Temujin
altogether, and then either divide his dominions among themselves, or
select some one of their number to reign in his stead.

At last, Temujin, finding that he could not pacify his enemies, and
that they were, moreover, growing stronger every day, while those that
adhered to him were growing fewer in numbers and diminishing in
strength, became discouraged. He began to think that perhaps he really
was too young to rule over a kingdom composed of wandering hordes of
men so warlike and wild, and he concluded for a time to give up the
attempt, and wait until times should change, or, at least, until he
should be grown somewhat older. Accordingly, in conjunction with his
mother, he formed a plan for retiring temporarily from the field;
unless, indeed, as we might reasonably suspect, his mother formed the
plan herself, and by her influence over him induced him to adopt it.

The plan was this: that Temujin should send an embassador to the court
of Vang Khan to ask Vang Khan to receive him, and protect him for a
time in his dominions, until the affairs of his own kingdom should
become settled. Then, if Vang Khan should accede to this proposal,
Temujin was to appoint his uncle to act as regent during his absence.
His mother, too, was to be married to a certain emir, or prince, named
Menglik, who was to be made prime minister under the regent, and was
to take precedence of all the other princes or khans in the kingdom.
The government was to be managed by the regent and the minister until
such time as it should be deemed expedient for Temujin to return.

This plan was carried into effect. Vang Khan readily consented to
receive Temujin into his dominions, and to protect him there. He was
very ready to do this, he said, on account of the friendship which he
had borne for Temujin's father. Temujin's mother was married to the
emir, and the emir was made the first prince of the realm. Finally,
Temujin's uncle was proclaimed regent, and duly invested with all
necessary authority for governing the country until Temujin's return.
These things being all satisfactorily arranged, Temujin set out for
the country of Vang Khan at the head of an armed escort, to protect
him on the way, of six thousand men. He took with him all his family,
and a considerable suite of servants and attendants. Among them was
his old tutor and guardian Karasher, the person who had been appointed
by his father to take charge of him, and to teach and train him when
he was a boy.

Being protected by so powerful an escort, Temujin's party were not
molested on their journey, and they all arrived safely at the court of
Vang Khan.




Karakatay.--Vang Khan's dominions.--The cruel fate of Mergus.--His
wife's stratagem.--Nawr.--He falls into the snare.--Armed men in
ambuscade.--Death of Nawr.--Credibility of these tales.--Early life
of Vang Khan.--Reception of Temujin.--Prester John.--His letter to
the King of France.--Other letters.--The probable truth.--Temujin
and Vang Khan.

The country over which Vang Khan ruled was called Karakatay. It
bordered upon the country of Katay, which has already been mentioned
as forming the northern part of what is now China. Indeed, as its name
imports, it was considered in some sense as a portion of the same
general district of country. It was that part of Katay which was
inhabited by Tartars.

Vang Khan's name at first was Togrul. The name Vang Khan, which was,
in fact, a title rather than a name, was given him long afterward,
when he had attained to the height of his power. To avoid confusion,
however, we shall drop the name Togrul, and call him Vang Khan from
the beginning.

Vang Khan was descended from a powerful line of khans who had reigned
over Karakatay for many generations. These khans were a wild and
lawless race of men, continually fighting with each other, both for
mastery, and also for the plunder of each other's flocks and herds.
In this way most furious and cruel wars were often fought between near
relatives. Vang Khan's grandfather, whose name was Mergus, was taken
prisoner in one of these quarrels by another khan, who, though he was
a relative, was so much exasperated by something that Mergus had done
that he sent him away to a great distance to the king of a certain
country which is called Kurga, to be disposed of there. The King of
Kurga put him into a sack, sewed up the mouth of it, and then laid him
across the wooden image of an ass, and left him there to die of hunger
and suffocation.

The wife of Mergus was greatly enraged when she heard of the cruel
fate of her husband. She determined to be revenged. It seems that the
relative of her husband who had taken him prisoner, and had sent him
to the King of Kurga, had been her lover in former times before her
marriage; so she sent him a message, in which she dissembled her grief
for the loss of her husband, and only blamed the King of Kurga for his
cruel death, and then said that she had long felt an affection for
him, and that, if he continued of the same mind as when he had
formally addressed her, she was now willing to become his wife, and
offered, if he would come to a certain place, which she specified, to
meet her, she would join him there.

Nawr, for that was the chieftain's name, fell at once into the snare
which the beautiful widow thus laid for him. He immediately accepted
her proposals, and proceeded to the place of rendezvous. He went, of
course, attended by a suitable guard, though his guard was small, and
consisted chiefly of friends and personal attendants. The princess was
attended also by a guard, not large enough, however, to excite any
suspicion. She also took with her in her train a large number of
carts, which were to be drawn by bullocks, and which were laden with
stores of provisions, clothing, and other such valuables, intended as
a present for her new husband. Among these, however, there were a
large number of great barrels, or rounded receptacles of some sort, in
which she had concealed a considerable force of armed men. These
receptacles were so arranged that the men concealed in them could open
them from within in an instant, at a given signal, and issue forth
suddenly all armed and ready for action.

Among the other stores which the princess had provided, there was a
large supply of a certain intoxicating drink which the Monguls and
Tartars were accustomed to make in those days. As soon as the two
parties met at the place of rendezvous the princess gave Nawr a very
cordial greeting, and invited him and all his party to a feast, to be
partaken on the spot. The invitation was accepted, the stores of
provisions were opened, and many of the presents were unpacked and
displayed. At the feast Nawr and his party were all supplied
abundantly with the intoxicating liquor, which, as is usual in such
cases, they were easily led to drink to excess; while, on the other
hand, the princess's party, who knew what was coming, took good care
to keep themselves sober. At length, when the proper moment arrived,
the princess made the signal. In an instant the men who had been
placed in ambuscade in the barrels burst forth from their concealment
and rushed upon the guests at the feast. The princess herself, who was
all ready for action, drew a dagger from her girdle and stabbed Nawr
to the heart. Her guards, assisted by the re-enforcement which had so
suddenly appeared, slew or secured all his attendants, who were so
totally incapacitated, partly by the drink which they had taken, and
partly by their astonishment at the sudden appearance of so
overwhelming a force, that they were incapable of making any

The princess, having thus accomplished her revenge, marshaled her men,
packed up her pretended presents, and returned in triumph home.

Such stories as these, related by the Asiatic writers, though they
were probably often much embellished in the narration, had doubtless
all some foundation in fact, and they give us some faint idea of the
modes of life and action which prevailed among these half-savage
chieftains in those times. Vang Khan himself was the grandson of
Mergus, who was sewed up in the sack. His father was the oldest son of
the princess who contrived the above-narrated stratagem to revenge her
husband's death. It is said that he used to accompany his father to
the wars when he was only ten years old. The way in which he formed
his friendship for Yezonkai, and the alliance with him which led him
to call Temujin his son and to refuse to take his wife away from him,
as already related, was this: When his father died he succeeded to the
command, being the oldest son; but the others were jealous of him, and
after many and long quarrels with them and with other relatives,
especially with his uncle, who seemed to take the lead against him, he
was at last overpowered or outmanoeuvred, and was obliged to fly.
He took refuge, in his distress, in the country of Yezonkai. Yezonkai
received him in a very friendly manner, and gave him effectual
protection. After a time he furnished him with troops, and helped him
to recover his kingdom, and to drive his uncle away into banishment in
his turn. It was while he was thus in Yezonkai's dominions that he
became acquainted with Temujin, who was then very small, and it was
there that he learned to call him his son. Of course, now that Temujin
was obliged to fly himself from his native country and abandon his
hereditary dominions, as he had done before, he was glad of the
opportunity of requiting to the son the favor which he had received,
in precisely similar circumstances, from the father, and so he gave
Temujin a very kind reception.

There is another circumstance which is somewhat curious in respect to
Vang Khan, and that is, that he is generally supposed to be the prince
whose fame was about this period spread all over Europe, under the
name of Prester John, by the Christian missionaries in Asia. These
missionaries sent to the Pope, and to various Christian kings in
Europe, very exaggerated accounts of the success of their missions
among the Persians, Turks, and Tartars; and at last they wrote word
that the great Khan of the Tartars had become a convert, and had even
become a preacher of the Gospel, and had taken the name of Prester
John. The word _prester_ was understood to be a corruption of
presbyter. A great deal was accordingly written and said all through
Christendom about the great Tartar convert, Prester John. There were
several letters forwarded by the missionaries, professedly from him,
and addressed to the Pope and to the different kings of Europe. Some
of these letters, it is said, are still in existence. One of them was
to the King of France. In this letter the writer tells the King of
France of his great wealth and of the vastness of his dominions. He
says he has seventy kings to serve and wait upon him. He invites the
King of France to come and see him, promising to bestow a great
kingdom upon him if he will, and also to make him his heir and leave
all his dominions to him when he dies; with a great deal more of the
same general character.

The other letters were much the same, and the interest which they
naturally excited was increased by the accounts which the missionaries
gave of the greatness and renown of this more than royal convert, and
of the progress which Christianity had made and was still making in
his dominions through their instrumentality.

It is supposed, in modern times, that these stories were pretty much
all inventions on the part of the missionaries, or, at least, that the
accounts which they sent were greatly exaggerated and embellished; and
there is but little doubt that they had much more to do with the
authorship of the letters than any khan. Still, however, it is
supposed that there was a great prince who at least encouraged the
missionaries in their work, and allowed them to preach Christianity in
his dominions, and, if so, there is little doubt that Vang Khan was
the man.

At all events, he was a very great and powerful prince, and he reigned
over a wide extent of country. The name of his capital was Karakorom.
The distance which Temujin had to travel to reach this city was about
ten days' journey.

He was received by Vang Khan with great marks of kindness and
consideration. Vang Khan promised to protect him, and, in due time, to
assist him in recovering his kingdom. In the mean while Temujin
promised to enter at once into Vang Khan's service, and to devote
himself faithfully to promoting the interests of his kind protector by
every means in his power.




Temujin's popularity.--Rivals and enemies
appear.--Plots.--Yemuka--Wisulujine.--Yemuka's disappointment.--His
rage.--Conspiracy formed.--Progress of the league.--Oath of the
conspirators.--The oath.--Karakorom.--Plan formed by Temujin.--The
campaign.--Unexpected arrival of Vang Khan.--His story.--Temujin's
promises.--Result of the battle.--Temujin victorious.--State of things
at Karakorom.--Erkekara.--Preparations for the final conflict.--Erkekara
vanquished.--Vang Khan restored.--Temujin's popularity.

Vang Khan gave Temujin a very honorable position in his court. It was
natural that he should do so, for Temujin was a prince in the prime of
his youth, and of very attractive person and manners; and, though he
was for the present an exile, as it were, from his native land, he was
not by any means in a destitute or hopeless condition. His family and
friends were still in the ascendency at home, and he himself, in
coming to the kingdom of Vang Khan, had brought with him quite an
important body of troops. Being, at the same time, personally
possessed of great courage and of much military skill, he was prepared
to render his protector good service in return for his protection. In
a word, the arrival of Temujin at the court of Vang Khan was an event
calculated to make quite a sensation.

At first every body was very much pleased with him, and he was very
popular; but before long the other young princes of the court, and
the chieftains of the neighboring tribes, began to be jealous of him.
Vang Khan gave him precedence over them all, partly on account of his
personal attachment to him, and partly on account of the rank which he
held in his own country, which, being that of a sovereign prince,
naturally entitled him to the very highest position among the
subordinate chieftains in the retinue of Vang Khan. But these
subordinate chieftains were not satisfied. They murmured, at first
secretly, and afterward more openly, and soon began to form
combinations and plots against the new favorite, as they called him.

An incident soon occurred which greatly increased this animosity, and
gave to Temujin's enemies, all at once, a very powerful leader and
head. This leader was a very influential chieftain named Yemuka. This
Yemuka, it seems, was in love with the daughter of Vang Khan, the
Princess Wisulujine. He asked her in marriage of her father. To
precisely what state of forwardness the negotiations had advanced does
not appear, but, at any rate, when Temujin arrived, Wisulujine soon
began to turn her thoughts toward him. He was undoubtedly younger,
handsomer, and more accomplished than her old lover, and before long
she gave her father to understand that she would much rather have him
for her husband than Yemuka. It is true, Temujin had one or two wives
already; but this made no difference, for it was the custom then, as,
indeed, it is still, for the Asiatic princes and chieftains to take as
many wives as their wealth and position would enable them to maintain.
Yemuka was accordingly refused, and Wisulujine was given in marriage
to Temujin.

Yemuka was, of course, dreadfully enraged. He vowed that he would be
revenged. He immediately began to intrigue with all the discontented
persons and parties in the kingdom, not only with those who were
envious and jealous of Temujin, but also with all those who, for any
reason, were disposed to put themselves in opposition to Vang Khan's
government. Thus a formidable conspiracy was formed for the purpose of
compassing Temujin's ruin.

The conspirators first tried the effect of private remonstrances with
Vang Khan, in which they made all sorts of evil representations
against Temujin, but to no effect. Temujin rallied about him so many
old friends, and made so many new friends by his courage and energy,
that his party at court proved stronger than that of his enemies, and,
for a time, they seemed likely to fail entirely of their design.

At length the conspirators opened communication with the foreign
enemies of Vang Khan, and formed a league with them to make war
against and destroy both Vang Khan and Temujin together. The accounts
of the progress of this league, and of the different nations and
tribes which took part in it, is imperfect and confused; but at
length, after various preliminary contests and manoeuvres,
arrangements were made for assembling a large army with a view of
invading Vang Khan's dominions and deciding the question by a battle.
The different chieftains and khans whose troops were united to form
this army bound themselves together by a solemn oath, according to the
customs of those times, not to rest until both Vang Khan and Temujin
should be destroyed.

The manner in which they took the oath was this: They brought out into
an open space on the plain where they had assembled to take the oath,
a horse, a wild ox, and a dog. At a given signal they fell upon these
animals with their swords, and cut them all to pieces in the most
furious manner. When they had finished, they stood together and called
out aloud in the following words:

"Hear! O God! O heaven! O earth! the oath that we swear against Vang
Khan and Temujin. If any one of us spares them when we have them in
our power, or if we fail to keep the promise that we have made to
destroy them, may we meet with the same fate that has befallen these
beasts that we have now cut to pieces."

They uttered this imprecation in a very solemn manner, standing among
the mangled and bloody remains of the beasts which lay strewed all
about the ground.

These preparations had been made thus far very secretly; but tidings
of what was going on came, before a great while, to Karakorom, Vang
Khan's capital. Temujin was greatly excited when he heard the news. He
immediately proposed that he should take his own troops, and join with
them as many of Vang Khan's soldiers as could be conveniently spared,
and go forth to meet the enemy. To this Vang Khan consented. Temujin
took one half of Vang Khan's troops to join his own, leaving the other
half to protect the capital, and so set forth on his expedition. He
went off in the direction toward the frontier where he had understood
the principal part of the hostile forces were assembling. After a long
march, probably one of many days, he arrived there before the enemy
was quite prepared for him. Then followed a series of manoeuvres
and counter-manoeuvres, in which Temujin was all the time
endeavoring to bring the rebels to battle, while they were doing all
in their power to avoid it. Their object in this delay was to gain
time for re-enforcements to come in, consisting of bodies of troops
belonging to certain members of the league who had not yet arrived.

At length, when these manoeuvres were brought to an end, and the
battle was about to be fought, Temujin and his whole army were one day
greatly surprised to see his father-in-law, Vang Khan himself, coming
into the camp at the head of a small and forlorn-looking band of
followers, who had all the appearance of fugitives escaped from a
battle. They looked anxious, way-worn, and exhausted, and the horses
that they rode seemed wholly spent with fatigue and privation. On
explanation, Temujin learned that, as soon as it was known that he had
left the capital, and taken with him a large part of the army, a
certain tribe of Vang Khan's enemies, living in another direction, had
determined to seize the opportunity to invade his dominions, and had
accordingly come suddenly in, with an immense horde, to attack the
capital. Vang Khan had done all that he could to defend the city, but
he had been overpowered. The greater part of his soldiers had been
killed or wounded. The city had been taken and pillaged. His son, with
those of the troops that had been able to save themselves, had escaped
to the mountains. As to Vang Khan himself, he had thought it best to
make his way, as soon as possible, to the camp of Temujin, where he
had now arrived, after enduring great hardships and sufferings on the

Temujin was at first much amazed at hearing this story. He, however,
bade his father-in-law not to be cast down or discouraged, and
promised him full revenge, and a complete triumph over all his enemies
at the coming battle. So he proceeded at once to complete his
arrangements for the coming fight. He resigned to Vang Khan the
command of the main body of the army, while he placed himself at the
head of one of the wings, assigning the other to the chieftain next in
rank in his army. In this order he went into battle.

The battle was a very obstinate and bloody one, but, in the end,
Temujin's party was victorious. The troops opposed to him were
defeated and driven off the field. The victory appeared to be due
altogether to Temujin himself; for, after the struggle had continued a
long time, and the result still appeared doubtful, the troops of
Temujin's wing finally made a desperate charge, and forced their way
with such fury into the midst of the forces of the enemy that nothing
could withstand them. This encouraged and animated the other troops to
such a degree that very soon the enemy were entirely routed and driven
from off the field.

The effect of this victory was to raise the reputation of Temujin as a
military commander higher than ever, and greatly to increase the
confidence which Vang Khan was inclined to repose in him. The victory,
too, seemed at first to have well-nigh broken up the party of the
rebels. Still, the way was not yet open for Vang Khan to return and
take possession of his throne and of his capital, for he learned that
one of his brothers had assumed the government, and was reigning in
Karakorom in his place. It would seem that this brother, whose name
was Erkekara, had been one of the leaders of the party opposed to
Temujin. It was natural that he should be so; for, being the brother
of the king, he would, of course, occupy a very high position in the
court, and would be one of the first to experience the ill effects
produced by the coming in of any new favorite. He had accordingly
joined in the plots that were formed against Temujin and Vang Khan.
Indeed, he was considered, in some respects, as the head of their
party, and when Vang Khan was driven away from his capital, this
brother assumed the throne in his stead. The question was, how could
he now be dispossessed and Vang Khan restored.

Temujin began immediately to form his plans for the accomplishment of
this purpose. He concentrated his forces after the battle, and soon
afterward opened negotiations with other tribes, who had before been
uncertain which side to espouse, but were now assisted a great deal in
coming to a decision by the victory which Temujin had obtained. In the
mean time the rebels were not idle. They banded themselves together
anew, and made great exertions to procure re-enforcements. Erkekara
fortified himself as strongly as possible in Karakorom, and collected
ample supplies of ammunition and military stores. It was not until the
following year that the parties had completed their preparations and
were prepared for the final struggle. Then, however, another great
battle was fought, and again Temujin was victorious. Erkekara was
killed or driven away in his turn. Karakorom was retaken, and Vang
Khan entered it in triumph at the head of his troops, and was once
more established on his throne.

Of course, the rank and influence of Temujin at his court was now
higher than ever before. He was now about twenty-two or twenty-three
years of age. He had already three wives, though it is not certain
that all of them were with him at Vang Khan's court. He was extremely
popular in the army, as young commanders of great courage and spirit
almost always are. Vang Khan placed great reliance upon him, and
lavished upon him all possible honors.

He does not seem, however, yet to have begun to form any plans for
returning to his native land.




Erkekara.--State of the country.--Wandering
habits.--Yemuka.--Sankum.--Yemuka's intrigues with
Sankum.--Deceit.--Temujin's situation.--His military
expeditions.--Popular commanders.--Stories of Temujin's
cruelty.--Probably fictions.--Vang Khan's uneasiness.--Temujin.--Vang
Khan's suspicions.--A reconciliation.--Fresh suspicions.--Plans
laid.--Treachery.--Menglik.--Menglik gives Temujin warning.--The
double marriage.--Plans frustrated.--Temujin's camp.--Karasher.--Vang
Khan's plans.--His plans betrayed by two slaves.--How the slaves
overheard.--A council called.--Temujin plans a stratagem.

Temujin remained at the court, or in the dominions of Vang Khan, for a
great many years. During the greater portion of this time he continued
in the service of Vang Khan, and on good terms with him, though, in
the end, as we shall presently see, their friendship was turned into a
bitter enmity.

Erkekara, Vang Khan's brother, who had usurped his throne during the
rebellion, was killed, it was said, at the time when Vang Khan
recovered his throne. Several of the other rebel chieftains were also
killed, but some of them succeeded in saving themselves from utter
ruin, and in gradually recovering their former power over the hordes
which they respectively commanded. It must be remembered that the
country was not divided at this time into regular territorial states
and kingdoms, but was rather one vast undivided region, occupied by
immense hordes, each of which was more or less stationary, it is true,
in its own district or range, but was nevertheless without any
permanent settlement. The various clans drifted slowly this way and
that among the plains and mountains, as the prospects of pasturage,
the fortune of war, or the pressure of conterminous hordes might
incline them. In cases, too, where a number of hordes were united
under one general chieftain, as was the case with those over whom Vang
Khan claimed to have sway, the tie by which they were bound together
was very feeble, and the distinction between a state of submission and
of rebellion, except in case of actual war, was very slightly defined.

Yemuka, the chieftain who had been so exasperated against Temujin on
account of his being supplanted by him in the affections of the young
princess, Vang Khan's daughter, whom Temujin had married for his third
wife, succeeded in making his escape at the time when Vang Khan
conquered his enemies and recovered his throne. For a time he
concealed himself, or at least kept out of Vang Khan's reach, by
dwelling with hordes whose range was at some distance from Karakorom.
He soon, however, contrived to open secret negotiations with one of
Vang Khan's sons, whose name was something that sounded like Sankum.
Some authors, in attempting to represent his name in our letters,
spelled it _Sunghim_.

Yemuka easily persuaded this young Sankum to take sides with him in
the quarrel. It was natural that he should do so, for, being the son
of Vang Khan, he was in some measure displaced from his own legitimate
and proper position at his father's court by the great and constantly
increasing influence which Temujin exercised.

"And besides," said Yemuka, in the secret representations which he
made to Sankum, "this new-comer is not only interfering with and
curtailing your proper influence and consideration now, but his design
is by-and-by to circumvent and supplant you altogether. He is forming
plans for making himself your father's heir, and so robbing you of
your rightful inheritance."

Sankum listened very eagerly to these suggestions, and finally it was
agreed between him and Yemuka that Sankum should exert his influence
with his father to obtain permission for Yemuka to come back to court,
and to be received again into his father's service, under pretense of
having repented of his rebellion, and of being now disposed to return
to his allegiance. Sankum did this, and, after a time, Vang Khan was
persuaded to allow Yemuka to return.

Thus a sort of outward peace was made, but it was no real peace.
Yemuka was as envious and jealous of Temujin as ever, and now,
moreover, in addition to this envy and jealousy, he felt the stimulus
of revenge. Things, however, seem to have gone on very quietly for a
time, or at least without any open outbreak in the court. During this
time Vang Khan was, as usual with such princes, frequently engaged in
wars with the neighboring hordes. In these wars he relied a great deal
on Temujin. Temujin was in command of a large body of troops, which
consisted in part of his own guard, the troops that had come with him
from his own country, and in part of other bands of men whom Vang Khan
had placed under his orders, or who had joined him of their own
accord. He was assisted in the command of this body by four
subordinate generals or khans, whom he called his four intrepids. They
were all very brave and skillful commanders. At the head of this troop
Temujin was accustomed to scour the country, hunting out Vang Khan's
enemies, or making long expeditions over distant plains or among the
mountains, in the prosecution of Vang Khan's warlike projects,
whether those of invasion and plunder, or of retaliation and

Temujin was extremely popular with the soldiers who served under him.
Soldiers always love a dashing, fearless, and energetic leader, who
has the genius to devise brilliant schemes, and the spirit to execute
them in a brilliant manner. They care very little how dangerous the
situations are into which he may lead them. Those that get killed in
performing the exploits which he undertakes can not speak to complain,
and those who survive are only so much the better pleased that the
dangers that they have been brought safely through were so desperate,
and that the harvest of glory which they have thereby acquired is so

Temujin, though a great favorite with his own men, was, like almost
all half-savage warriors of his class, utterly merciless, when he was
angry, in his treatment of his enemies. It is said that after one of
his battles, in which he had gained a complete victory over an immense
horde of rebels and other foes, and had taken great numbers of them
prisoners, he ordered fires to be built and seventy large caldrons of
water to be put over them, and then, when the water was boiling hot,
he caused the principal leaders of the vanquished army to be thrown
in headlong and thus scalded to death. Then he marched at once into
the country of the enemy, and there took all the women and children,
and sent them off to be sold as slaves, and seized the cattle and
other property which he found, and carried it off as plunder. In thus
taking possession of the enemy's property and making it his own, and
selling the poor captives into slavery, there was nothing remarkable.
Such was the custom of the times. But the act of scalding his
prisoners to death seems to denote or reveal in his character a vein
of peculiar and atrocious cruelty. It is possible, however, that the
story may not be true. It may have been invented by Yemuka and Sankum,
or by some of his other enemies.

For Yemuka and Sankum, and others who were combined with them, were
continually endeavoring to undermine Temujin's influence with Vang
Khan, and thus deprive him of his power. But he was too strong for
them. His great success in all his military undertakings kept him up
in spite of all that his rivals could do to pull him down. As for Vang
Khan himself, he was in part pleased with him and proud of him, and in
part he feared him. He was very unwilling to be so dependent upon a
subordinate chieftain, and yet he could not do without him. A king
never desires that any one of his subjects should become too
conspicuous or too great, and Vang Khan would have been very glad to
have diminished, in some way, the power and prestige which Temujin had
acquired, and which seemed to be increasing every day. He, however,
found no means of effecting this in any quiet and peaceful manner.
Temujin was at the head of his troops, generally away from Karakorom,
where Vang Khan resided, and he was, in a great measure, independent.
He raised his own recruits to keep the numbers of his army good, and
it was always easy to subsist if there chanced to be any failure in
the ordinary and regular supplies.

Besides, occasions were continually occurring in which Vang Khan
wished for Temujin's aid, and could not dispense with it. At one time,
while engaged in some important campaigns, far away among the
mountains, Yemuka contrived to awaken so much distrust of Temujin in
Vang Khan's mind, that Vang Khan secretly decamped in the night, and
marched away to a distant place to save himself from a plot which
Yemuka had told him that Temujin was contriving. Here, however, he was
attacked by a large body of his enemies, and was reduced to such
straits that he was obliged to send couriers off at once to Temujin to
come with his intrepids and save him. Temujin came. He rescued Vang
Khan from his danger, and drove his enemies away. Vang Khan was very
grateful for this service, so that the two friends became entirely
reconciled to each other, and were united more closely than ever,
greatly to Yemuka's disappointment and chagrin. They made a new league
of amity, and, to seal and confirm it, they agreed upon a double
marriage between their two families. A son of Temujin was to be
married to a daughter of Vang Khan, and a son of Vang Khan to a
daughter of Temujin.

This new compact did not, however, last long. As soon as Vang Khan
found that the danger from which Temujin had rescued him was passed,
he began again to listen to the representations of Yemuka and Sankum,
who still insisted that Temujin was a very dangerous man, and was by
no means to be trusted. They said that he was ambitious and
unprincipled, and that he was only waiting for a favorable opportunity
to rebel himself against Vang Khan and depose him from his throne.
They made a great many statements to the khan in confirmation of their
opinion, some of which were true doubtless, but many were
exaggerated, and others probably false. They, however, succeeded at
last in making such an impression upon the khan's mind that he finally
determined to take measures for putting Temujin out of the way.

Accordingly, on some pretext or other, he contrived to send Temujin
away from Karakorom, his capital, for Temujin was so great a favorite
with the royal guards and with all the garrison of the town, that he
did not dare to undertake any thing openly against him there. Vang
Khan also sent a messenger to Temujin's own country to persuade the
chief persons there to join him in his plot. It will be recollected
that, at the time that Temujin left his own country, when he was about
fourteen years old, his mother had married a great chieftain there,
named Menglik, and that this Menglik, in conjunction doubtless with
Temujin's mother, had been made regent during his absence. Vang Khan
now sent to Menglik to propose that he should unite with him to
destroy Temujin.

"You have no interest," said Vang Khan in the message that he sent to
Menglik, "in taking his part. It is true that you have married his
mother, but, personally, he is nothing to you. And, if he is once out
of the way, you will be acknowledged as the Grand Khan of the Monguls
in your own right, whereas you now hold your place in subordination to
him, and he may at any time return and set you aside altogether."

Vang Khan hoped by these arguments to induce Menglik to come and
assist him in his plan of putting Temujin to death, or, at least, if
Menglik would not assist him in perpetrating the deed, he thought
that, by these arguments, he should induce him to be willing that it
should be committed, so that he should himself have nothing to fear
afterward from his resentment. But Menglik received the proposal in a
very different way from what Vang Khan had expected. He said nothing,
but he determined immediately to let Temujin know of the danger that
he was in. He accordingly at once set out to go to Temujin's camp to
inform him of Vang Khan's designs.

In the mean time, Vang Khan, having matured his plans, made an
appointment for Temujin to meet him at a certain place designated for
the purpose of consummating the double marriage between their
children, which had been before agreed upon. Temujin, not suspecting
any treachery, received and entertained the messenger in a very
honorable manner, and said that he would come. After making the
necessary preparations, he set out, in company with the messenger and
with a grand retinue of his own attendants, to go to the place
appointed. On his way he was met or overtaken by Menglik, who had come
to warn him of his danger. As soon as Temujin had heard what his
stepfather had to say, he made some excuse for postponing the journey,
and, sending a civil answer to Vang Khan by the embassador, he ordered
him to go forward, and went back himself to his own camp.

This camp was at some distance from Karakorom. Vang Khan, as has
already been stated, had sent Temujin away from the capital on account
of his being so great a favorite that he was afraid of some tumult if
he were to attempt any thing against him there. Temujin was, however,
pretty strong in his camp. The troops that usually attended him were
there, with the four intrepids as commanders of the four principal
divisions of them. His old instructor and guardian, Karasher, was with
him too. Karasher, it seems, had continued in Temujin's service up to
this time, and was accustomed to accompany him in all his expeditions
as his counselor and friend.

When Vang Khan learned, by the return of his messenger, that Temujin
declined to come to the place of rendezvous which he had appointed, he
concluded at once that he suspected treachery, and he immediately
decided that he must now strike a decisive blow without any delay,
otherwise Temujin would put himself more and more on his guard. He was
not mistaken, it seems, however, in thinking how great a favorite
Temujin was at Karakorom, for his secret design was betrayed to
Temujin by two of his servants, who overheard him speak of it to one
of his wives. Vang Khan's plan was to go out secretly to Temujin's
camp at the head of an armed force superior to his, and there come
upon him and his whole troop suddenly, by surprise, in the night, by
which means, he thought, he should easily overpower the whole
encampment, and either kill Temujin and his generals, or else make
them prisoners. The two men who betrayed this plan were slaves, who
were employed to take care of the horses of some person connected with
Vang Khan's household, and to render various other services. Their
names were Badu and Kishlik. It seems that these men were one day
carrying some milk to Vang Khan's house or tent, and there they
overheard a conversation between Vang Khan and his wife, by which
they learned the particulars of the plan formed for Temujin's
destruction. The expedition was to set out, they heard, on the
following morning.

It is not at all surprising that they overheard this conversation, for
not only the tents, but even the houses used by these Asiatic nations
were built of very frail and thin materials, and the partitions were
often made of canvas and felt, and other such substances as could have
very little power to intercept sound.

The two slaves determined to proceed at once to Temujin's camp and
warn him of his danger. So they stole away from their quarters at
nightfall, and, after traveling diligently all night, in the morning
they reached the camp and told Temujin what they had learned. Temujin
was surprised; but he had been, in some measure, prepared for such
intelligence by the communication which his stepfather had made him in
respect to Vang Khan's treacherous designs a few days before. He
immediately summoned Karasher and some of his other friends, in order
to consult in respect to what it was best to do.

It was resolved to elude Vang Khan's design by means of a stratagem.
He was to come upon them, according to the account of the slaves,
that night. The preparations for receiving him were consequently to be
made at once. The plan was for Temujin and all his troops to withdraw
from the camp and conceal themselves in a place of ambuscade near by.
They were to leave a number of men behind, who, when night came on,
were to set the lights and replenish the fires, and put every thing in
such a condition as to make it appear that the troops were all there.
Their expectation was that, when Vang Khan should arrive, he would
make his assault according to his original design, and then, while his
forces were in the midst of the confusion incident to such an onset,
Temujin was to come forth from his ambuscade and fall upon them. In
this way he hoped to conquer them and put them to flight, although he
had every reason to suppose that the force which Vang Khan would bring
out against him would be considerably stronger in numbers than his




The ambuscade.--The wood and the brook.--The guard left
behind.--Arrival of Vang Khan's army.--False hopes.--Assault
upon the vacant camp.--Advance of the assailants.--The
ambuscade.--Temujin's victory.--Preparations for open
war.--Temujin makes alliances.--Turkili.--Solemn league and
covenant.--Bitter water.--Recollection of the ceremony.--Temujin's
strength.--His letter to Vang Khan.--Effect of the letter.--Sankum's
anger.--Great accessions to Temujin's army.--Mongolistan.--Final
attempt at negotiation.--Sankum's answer.--Skirmishes.

Temujin's stratagem succeeded admirably. As soon as he had decided
upon it he began to put it into execution. He caused every thing of
value to be taken out of his tent and carried away to a place of
safety. He sent away the women and children, too, to the same place.
He then marshaled all his men, excepting the small guard that he was
going to leave behind until evening, and led them off to the ambuscade
which he had chosen for them. The place was about two leagues distant
from his camp. Temujin concealed himself here in a narrow dell among
the mountains, not far from the road where Vang Khan would have to
pass along. The dell was narrow, and was protected by precipitous
rocks on each side. There was a wood at the entrance to it also, which
concealed those that were hidden in it from view, and a brook which
flowed by near the entrance, so that, in going in or coming out, it
was necessary to ford the brook.

Temujin, on arriving at the spot, went with all his troops into the
dell, and concealed himself there.

In the mean time, the guard that had been left behind in the camp had
been instructed to kindle up the camp-fires as soon as the evening
came on, according to the usual custom, and to set lights in the
tents, so as to give the camp the appearance, when seen from a little
distance in the night, of being occupied, as usual, by the army. They
were to wait, and watch the fires and lights until they perceived
signs of the approach of the enemy to attack the camp, when they were
secretly to retire on the farther side, and so make their escape.

These preparations, and the march of Temujin's troops to the place of
ambuscade, occupied almost the whole of the day, and it was near
evening before the last of the troops had entered the dell.

They had scarce accomplished this manoeuvre before Vang Khan's army
arrived. Vang Khan himself was not with them. He had intrusted the
expedition to the command of Sankum and Yemuka. Indeed, it is probable
that they were the real originators and contrivers of it, and that
Vang Khan had only been induced to give his consent to it--and that
perhaps reluctantly--by their persuasions. Sankum and Yemuka advanced
cautiously at the head of their columns, and when they saw the
illumination of the camp produced by the lights and the camp-fires,
they thought at once that all was right, and that their old enemy and
rival was now, at last, within their reach and at their mercy.

They brought up the men as near to the camp as they could come without
being observed, and then, drawing their bows and making their arrows
ready, they advanced furiously to the onset, and discharged an immense
shower of arrows in among the tents. They expected to see thousands of
men come rushing out from the tents, or starting up from the ground at
this sudden assault, but, to their utter astonishment, all was as
silent and motionless after the falling of the arrows as before. They
then discharged more arrows, and, finding that they could not awaken
any signs of life, they began to advance cautiously and enter the
camp. They found, of course, that it had been entirely evacuated. They
then rode round and round the inclosure, examining the ground with
flambeaux and torches to find the tracks which Temujin's army had made
in going away. The tracks were soon discovered. Those who first saw
them immediately set off in pursuit of the fugitives, as they supposed
them, shouting, at the same time, for the rest to follow. Some did
follow immediately. Others, who had strayed away to greater or less
distances on either side of the camp in search of the tracks, fell in
by degrees as they received the order, while others still remained
among the tents, where they were to be seen riding to and fro,
endeavoring to make discoveries, or gathering together in groups to
express to one another their astonishment, or to inquire what was next
to be done. They, however, all gradually fell into the ranks of those
who were following the track which had been found, and the whole body
went on as fast as they could go, and in great confusion. They all
supposed that Temujin and his troops were making a precipitate
retreat, and were expecting every moment to come up to him in his
rear, in which case he would be taken at great disadvantage, and would
be easily overwhelmed.

Instead of this, Temujin was just coming forward from his
hiding-place, with his squadrons all in perfect order, and advancing
in a firm, steady, and compact column, all being ready at the word of
command to charge in good order, but with terrible impetuosity, upon
the advancing enemy. In this way the two armies came together. The
shock of the encounter was terrific. Temujin, as might have been
expected, was completely victorious. The confused masses of Vang
Khan's army were overborne, thrown into dreadful confusion, and
trampled under foot. Great numbers were killed. Those that escaped
being killed at once turned and fled. Sankum was wounded in the face
by an arrow, but he still was able to keep his seat upon his horse,
and so galloped away. Those that succeeded in saving themselves got
back as soon as they could into the road by which they came, and so
made their way, in detached and open parties, home to Karakorom.

Of course, after this, Vang Khan could no longer dissimulate his
hostility to Temujin, and both parties prepared for open war.

The different historians through whom we derive our information in
respect to the life and adventures of Genghis Khan have related the
transactions which occurred after this open outbreak between Temujin
and Vang Khan somewhat differently. Combining their accounts, we learn
that both parties, after the battle, opened negotiations with such
neighboring tribes as they supposed likely to take sides in the
conflict, each endeavoring to gain as many adherents as possible to
his own cause. Temujin obtained the alliance and co-operation of a
great number of Tartar princes who ruled over hordes that dwelt in
that part of the country, or among the mountains around. Some of these
chieftains were his relatives. Others were induced to join him by
being convinced that he would, in the end, prove to be stronger than
Vang Khan, and being, in some sense, politicians as well as warriors,
they wished to be sure of coming out at the close of the contest on
the victorious side.

There was a certain khan, named Turkili, who was a relative of
Temujin, and who commanded a very powerful tribe. On approaching the
confines of his territory, Temujin, not being certain of Turkili's
disposition toward him, sent forward an embassador to announce his
approach, and to ask if Turkili still retained the friendship which
had long subsisted between them. Turkili might, perhaps, have
hesitated which side to join, but the presence of Temujin with his
whole troop upon his frontier seems to have determined him, so he sent
a favorable answer, and at once espoused Temujin's cause.

Many other chieftains joined Temujin in much the same way, and thus
the forces under his command were constantly increased. At length, in
his progress across the country, he came with his troop of followers
to a place where there was a stream of salt or bitter water which was
unfit to drink. Temujin encamped on the shores of this stream, and
performed a grand ceremony, in which he himself and his allies banded
themselves together in the most solemn manner. In the course of the
ceremony a horse was sacrificed on the shores of the stream. Temujin
also took up some of the water from the brook and drank it, invoking
heaven, at the same time, to witness a solemn vow which he made, that,
as long as he lived, he would share with his officers and soldiers the
bitter as well as the sweet, and imprecating curses upon himself if he
should ever violate his oath. All his allies and officers did the same
after him.


This ceremony was long remembered in the army, all those who had been
present and had taken part in it cherishing the recollection of it
with pride and pleasure; and long afterward, when Temujin had attained
to the height of his power and glory, his generals considered their
having been present at this first solemn league and covenant as
conferring upon them a sort of title of nobility, by which they and
their descendants were to be distinguished forever above all those
whose adhesion to the cause of the conqueror dated from a later time.

By this time Temujin began to feel quite strong. He moved on with his
army till he came to the borders of a lake which was not a great way
from Vang Khan's dominions. Here he encamped, and, before proceeding
any farther, he determined to try the effect, upon the mind of Vang
Khan, of a letter of expostulation and remonstrance; so he wrote to
him, substantially, as follows:

     "A great many years ago, in the time of my father, when you
     were driven from your throne by your enemies, my father came
     to your aid, defeated your enemies, and restored you.

     "At a later time, after I had come into your dominions, your
     brother conspired against you with the Markats and the
     Naymans. I defeated them, and helped you to recover your
     power. When you were reduced to great distress, I shared
     with you my flocks and every thing that I had.

     "At another time, when you were in circumstances of great
     danger and distress, you sent to me to ask that my four
     intrepids might go and rescue you. I sent them according to
     your request, and they delivered you from a most imminent
     danger. They helped you to conquer your enemies, and to
     recover an immense booty from them.

     "In many other instances, when the khans have combined
     against you, I have given you most effectual aid in subduing

     "How is it, then, after receiving all these benefits from me
     for a period of so many years, that you form plans to
     destroy me in so base and treacherous a manner?"

This letter seems to have produced some impression upon Vang Khan's
mind; but he was now, it seems, so much under the influence of Sankum
and Yemuka that he could decide nothing for himself. He sent the
letter to Sankum to ask him what answer should be returned. But
Sankum, in addition to his former feelings of envy and jealousy
against Temujin, was now irritated and angry in consequence of the
wound that he had received, and determined to have his revenge. He
would not hear of any accommodation.

In the mean time, the khans of all the Tartar and Mongul tribes that
lived in the countries bordering on Vang Khan's dominions, hearing of
the rupture between Vang Khan and Temujin, and aware of the great
struggle for the mastery between these two potentates that was about
to take place, became more and more interested in the quarrel. Temujin
was very active in opening negotiations with them, and in endeavoring
to induce them to take his side. He was a comparatively young and
rising man, while Vang Khan was becoming advanced in years, and was
now almost wholly under the influence of Sankum and Yemuka. Temujin,
moreover, had already acquired great fame and great popularity as a
commander, and his reputation was increasing every day, while Vang
Khan's glory was evidently on the wane. A great number of the khans
were, of course, predisposed to take Temujin's side. Others he
compelled to join him by force, and others he persuaded by promising
to release them from the exactions and the tyranny which Vang Khan had
exercised over them, and declaring that he was a messenger especially
sent from heaven to accomplish their deliverance. Those Asiatic tribes
were always ready to believe in military messengers sent from heaven
to make conquests for their benefit.

Among other nations who joined Temujin at this time were the people of
his own country of Mongolistan Proper. He was received very joyfully
by his stepfather, who was in command there, and by all his former
subjects, and they all promised to sustain him in the coming war.

After a time, when Temujin had by these and similar means greatly
increased the number of his adherents, and proportionately
strengthened his position, he sent an embassador again to Vang Khan to
propose some accommodation. Vang Khan called a council to consider the
proposal. But Sankum and Yemuka persisted in refusing to allow any
accommodation to be made. They declared that they would not listen to
proposals of peace on any other condition than that of the absolute
surrender of Temujin, and of all who were confederate with him, to
Vang Khan as their lawful sovereign. Sankum himself delivered the
message to the embassador.

"Tell the rebel Monguls," said he, "that they are to expect no peace
but by submitting absolutely to the khan's will; and as for Temujin, I
will never see him again till I come to him sword in hand to kill

Immediately after this Sankum and Yemuka sent off some small
plundering expeditions into the Mongul country, but they were driven
back by Temujin's troops without effecting their purpose. The result
of these skirmishes was, however, greatly to exasperate both parties,
and to lead them to prepare in earnest for open war.




A council called.--Mankerule.--Debates.--Temujin made
general-in-chief.--He distributes rewards.--Reward of the two
slaves.--His reasons.--Organization of the army.--Mode of
attack.--The two armies.--The baggage.--Meeting of the two
armies.--The battle.--Vang Khan defeated.--His flight.--His
relations with the Naymans.--Debates among the Naymans.--Tayian.--Plan
of the chieftains.--Vang Khan beheaded.--Tayian's deceit.--Disposal
made of his head.--Sankum slain.

A grand council was now called of all the confederates who were
leagued with Temujin, at a place called Mankerule, to make
arrangements for a vigorous prosecution of the war. At this council
were convened all the chieftains and khans that had been induced to
declare against Vang Khan. Each one came attended by a considerable
body of troops as his escort, and a grand deliberation was held. Some
were in favor of trying once more to come to some terms of
accommodation with Vang Khan, but Temujin convinced them that there
was nothing to be hoped for except on condition of absolute
submission, and that, in that case, Vang Khan would never be content
until he had effected the utter ruin of every one who had been engaged
in the rebellion. So it was, at last, decided that every man should
return to his own tribe, and there raise as large a force as he could,
with a view to carrying on the war with the utmost vigor.

Temujin was formally appointed general-in-chief of the army to be
raised. There was a sort of truncheon or ornamented club, called the
topaz, which it was customary on such occasions to bestow, with great
solemnity, on the general thus chosen, as his badge of command. The
topaz was, in this instance, conferred upon Temujin with all the usual
ceremonies. He accepted it on the express condition that every man
would punctually and implicitly obey all his orders, and that he
should have absolute power to punish any one who should disobey him in
the way that he judged best, and that they should submit without
question to all his decisions. To these conditions they all solemnly

Being thus regularly placed in command, Temujin began by giving places
of honor and authority to those who left Vang Khan's service to follow
him. He took this occasion to remember and reward the two slaves who
had come to him in the night at his camp, some time before, to give
him warning of the design of Sankum and Yemuka to come and surprise
him there. He gave the slaves their freedom, and made provision for
their maintenance as long as they should live. He also put them on the
list of _exempts_. The exempts were a class of persons upon whom, as
a reward for great public services, were conferred certain exclusive
rights and privileges. They had no taxes to pay. In case of plunder
taken from the enemy, they received their full share without any
deduction, while all the others were obliged to contribute a portion
of their shares for the khan. The exempts, too, were allowed various
other privileges. They had the right to go into the presence of the
khan at any time, without waiting, as others were obliged to do, till
they obtained permission, and, what was more singular still, they were
entitled to _nine_ pardons for any offenses that they might commit, so
that it was only when they had committed ten misdemeanors or crimes
that they were in danger of punishment The privileges which Temujin
thus bestowed upon the slaves were to be continued to their
descendants to the seventh generation.

Temujin rewarded the slaves in this bountiful manner, partly, no
doubt, out of sincere gratitude to them for having been the means,
probably, of saving him and his army from destruction, and partly for
effect, in order to impress upon his followers a strong conviction
that any great services rendered to him or to his cause were certain
to be well rewarded.

Temujin now found himself at the head of a very large body of men,
and his first care was to establish a settled system of discipline
among them, so that they could act with regularity and order when
coming into battle. He divided his army into three separate bodies.
The centre was composed of his own guards, and was commanded by
himself. The wings were formed of the squadrons of his confederates
and allies. His plan in coming into battle was to send forward the two
wings, retaining the centre as a reserve, and hold them prepared to
rush in with irresistible power whenever the time should arrive at
which their coming would produce the greatest effect.

When every thing was thus arranged, Temujin set his army in motion,
and began to advance toward the country of Vang Khan. The squadrons
which composed his immense horde were so numerous that they covered
all the plain.

In the mean time Vang Khan had not been idle. He, or rather Sankum and
Yemuka, acting in his name, had assembled a great army, and he had set
out on his march from Karakorom to meet his enemy. His forces,
however, though more numerous, were by no means so well disciplined
and arranged as those of Temujin. They were greatly encumbered, too,
with baggage, the army being followed in its march by endless trains
of wagons conveying provisions, arms, and military stores of all
kinds. Its progress was, therefore, necessarily slow, for the troops
of horsemen were obliged to regulate their speed by the movement of
the wagons, which, on account of the heavy burdens that they
contained, and the want of finished roads, was necessarily slow.

The two armies met upon a plain between two rivers, and a most
desperate and bloody battle ensued. Karasher, Temujin's former tutor,
led one of the divisions of Temujin's army, and was opposed by Yemuka,
who headed the wing of Vang Khan's army which confronted his division.
The other wings attacked each other, too, in the most furious manner,
and for three hours it was doubtful which party would be successful.
At length Temujin, who had all this time remained in the background
with his reserve, saw that the favorable moment had arrived for him to
intervene, and he gave the order for his guards to charge, which they
did with such impetuosity as to carry all before them. One after
another of Vang Khan's squadrons was overpowered, thrown into
confusion, and driven from the field. It was not long before Vang Khan
saw that all was lost. He gave up the contest and fled. A small troop
of horsemen, consisting of his immediate attendants and guards, went
with him. At first the fugitives took the road toward Karakorom. They
were, however, so hotly pursued that they were obliged to turn off in
another direction, and, finally, Vang Khan resolved to fly from his
own country altogether, and appeal for protection to a certain
chieftain, named Tayian Khan, who ruled over a great horde called the
Naymans, one of the most powerful tribes in the country of Karakatay.
This Tayian was the father of Temujin's first wife, the young princess
to whom he was married during the lifetime of his father, when he was
only about fourteen years old.

It was thought strange that Vang Khan should thus seek refuge among
the Naymans, for he had not, for some time past, been on friendly
terms either with Tayian, the khan, or with the tribe. There were, in
particular, a considerable number of the subordinate chieftains who
cherished a deep-seated resentment against him for injuries which he
had inflicted upon them and upon their country in former wars. But all
these Tartar tribes entertained very high ideas of the obligations of
hospitality, and Vang Khan thought that when the Naymans saw him
coming among them, a fugitive and in distress, they would lay aside
their animosity, and give him a kind reception.

Indeed, Tayian himself, on whom, as the head of the tribe, the chief
discredit would attach of any evil befalling a visitor and a guest who
had come in his distress to seek hospitality, was inclined, at first,
to receive his enemy kindly, and to offer him a refuge. He debated the
matter with the other chieftains after Vang Khan had entered his
dominions and was approaching his camp; but they were extremely
unwilling that any mercy should be shown to their fallen enemy. They
represented to Tayian how great an enemy he had always been to them.
They exaggerated the injuries which he had done them, and represented
them in their worst light. They said, moreover, that, by harboring
Vang Khan, they should only involve themselves in a war with Temujin,
who would undoubtedly follow his enemy into their country, and would
greatly resent any attempt on their part to protect him.

These considerations had great effect on the mind of Tayian, but still
he could not bring himself to give his formal consent to any act of
hostility against Vang Khan. So the other chieftains held a council
among themselves to consider what they should do. They resolved to
take upon themselves the responsibility of slaying Vang Khan.

"We can not induce Tayian openly to authorize it," they said, "but he
secretly desires it, and he will be glad when it is done."

Tayian knew very well what course things were taking, though he
pretended not to know, and so allowed the other chiefs to go on in
their own way.

They accordingly fitted out a troop, and two of the chieftains--the
two who felt the most bitter and determined hatred against Vang
Khan--placing themselves at the head of it, set off to intercept him.
He had lingered on the way, it seems, after entering the Nayman
territory, in order to learn, before he advanced too far, what
reception he was likely to meet with. The troop of Naymans came
suddenly upon him in his encampment, slew all his attendants, and,
seizing Vang Khan, they cut off his head. They left the body where it
lay, and carried off the head to show it to Tayian.

Tayian was secretly pleased, and he could not quite conceal the
gratification which the death of his old enemy afforded him. He even
addressed the head in words of scorn and spite, which revealed the
exultation that he felt at the downfall of his rival. Then, however,
checking himself, he blamed the chieftains for killing him.

"Considering his venerable age," said he, "and his past greatness and
renown as a prince and commander, you would have done much better to
have acted as his guards than as his executioners."

Tayian ordered the head to be treated with the utmost respect. After
properly preparing it, by some process of drying and preserving, he
caused it to be inclosed in a case of silver, and set in a place of

While the preparations for this sort of entombment were making, the
head was an object of a very solemn and mysterious interest for all
the horde. They said that the tongue thrust itself several times out
of the mouth, and the soothsayers, who watched the changes with great
attention, drew from them important presages in respect to the coming
events of the war. These presages were strongly in favor of the
increasing prosperity and power of Temujin.

Sankum, the son of Vang Khan, was killed in the battle, but Yemuka




The victory complete.--Exaggeration.--The plunder.--Great
accession.--The khans submit.--Sankum and Yemuka.--Hakembu and his
daughter.--Hakembu's fears.--Temujin's gratitude.--His reply.--Yemuka
makes his escape.--Arrives in Tayian's dominions.--Tayian's
conversations with Yemuka.--Yemuka's representations of Temujin's
character.--Plots formed.--Alakus.--The plots revealed to Temujin.--He
is deceived.--The young Prince Jughi.--Council of war.--Yemuka and
Tayian.--Temujin crosses the frontier.--His advance.--Preparations
for battle.--Kushluk and Jughi.--Great battle.--Temujin again
victorious.--Tayian killed.--Yemuka is beheaded.

In the mean time, while these events had been occurring in the country
of the Naymans, whither Vang Khan had fled, Temujin was carrying all
before him in the country of Vang Khan. His victory in the battle was
complete; and it must have been a very great battle, if any reliance
is to be placed on the accounts given of the number slain, which it
was said amounted to forty thousand. These numbers are, however,
greatly exaggerated. And then, besides, the number slain in such
barbarian conflicts was always much greater, in proportion to the
numbers engaged, than it is in the better-regulated warfare of
civilized nations in modern times.

At all events, Temujin gained a very grand and decisive victory. He
took a great many prisoners and a great deal of plunder. All those
trains of wagons fell into his hands, and the contents of many of them
were extremely valuable. He took also a great number of horses. Most
of these were horses that had belonged to the men who were killed or
who had been made prisoners. All the best troops that remained of Vang
Khan's army after the battle also went over to his side. They
considered that Vang Khan's power was now entirely overthrown, and
that thenceforth Temujin would be the acknowledged ruler of the whole
country. They were accordingly ready at once to transfer their
allegiance to him.

Very soon Temujin received the news of Vang Khan's death from his
father-in-law Tayian, and then proceeded with more vigor than before
to take possession of all his dominions. The khans who had formerly
served under Vang Khan sent in their adhesion to him one after
another. They not only knew that all farther resistance would be
useless, but they were, in fact, well pleased to transfer their
allegiance to their old friend and favorite. Temujin made a sort of
triumphal march through the country, being received every where with
rejoicings and acclamations of welcome. His old enemies, Sankum and
Yemuka, had disappeared. Yemuka, who had been, after all, the leading
spirit in the opposition to Temujin, still held a body of armed men
together, consisting of all the troops that he had been able to rally
after the battle, but it was not known exactly where he had gone.

The other relatives and friends of Vang Khan went over to Temujin's
side without any delay. Indeed, they vied with each other to see who
should most recommend themselves to his favor. A brother of Vang Khan,
who was an influential and powerful chieftain, came among the rest to
tender his services, and, by way of a present to conciliate Temujin's
good will, he brought him his daughter, whom he offered to Temujin as
an addition to the number of his wives.

Temujin received the brother very kindly. He accepted the present
which he brought him of his daughter, but, as he had already plenty of
wives, and as one of his principal officers, the captain of his
guards, seemed to take a special fancy to her, he very generously, as
was thought, passed over the young lady to him. Of course, the young
lady herself had nothing to say in the case. She was obliged to
acquiesce submissively in any arrangement which her father and the
other khans thought proper to make in respect to the disposal of her.

The name of the prince her father was Hakembu. He came into Temujin's
camp with many misgivings, fearing that, as he was a brother of Vang
Khan, Temujin might feel a special resentment against him, and,
perhaps, refuse to accept his submission and his proffered presents.
When, therefore, he found how kindly he was received, his mind was
greatly relieved, and he asked Temujin to appoint him to some command
in his army.

Temujin replied that he would do it with great pleasure, and the more
readily because it was the brother of Vang Khan who asked it.
"Indeed," said he to Hakembu, "I owe you all the kind treatment in my
power for your brother's sake, in return for the succor and protection
for which I was indebted to him, in my misfortunes, in former times,
when he received me, a fugitive and an exile, at his court, and
bestowed upon me so many favors. I have never forgotten, and never
shall forget, the great obligations I am under to him; and although in
later years he turned against me, still I have never blamed either him
or his son Sankum for this, but have constantly attributed it to the
false representations and evil influence of Yemuka, who has always
been my implacable enemy. I do not, therefore, feel any resentment
against Vang Khan for having thus turned against me, nor do I any the
less respect his memory on that account; and I am very glad that an
opportunity now occurs for me to make, through you, his brother, some
small acknowledgment of the debt of gratitude which I owe him."

So Temujin gave Hakembu an honorable post in his army, and treated him
in all respects with great consideration. If he acted usually in this
generous manner, it is not at all surprising that he acquired that
boundless influence over the minds of his followers which aided him so
essentially in attaining his subsequent greatness and renown.

In the mean time, although Sankum was killed, Yemuka had succeeded in
making his escape, and, after meeting with various adventures, he
finally reached the country of Tayian. He led with him there all that
portion of Vang Khan's army that had saved themselves from being
killed or made prisoners, and also a great number of officers. These
broken troops Yemuka had reorganized, as well as he could, by
collecting the scattered remnants and rearranging the broken
squadrons, and in this manner, accompanied by such of the sick and
wounded as were able to ride, had arrived in Tayian's dominions. He
was known to be a general of great abilities, and he was very
favorably received in Tayian's court. Indeed, Tayian, having heard
rumors of the rapid manner in which Temujin was extending his
conquests and his power, began to be somewhat jealous of him, and to
think that it was time for him to take measures to prevent this
aggrandizement of his son-in-law from going too far.

Of course, Tayian held a great many conversations with Yemuka in
respect to Temujin's character and schemes. These Yemuka took care to
represent in the most unfavorable light, in order to increase as much
as possible Tayian's feelings of suspicion and jealousy. He
represented Temujin as a very ambitious man, full of schemes for his
own aggrandizement, and without any sentiments of gratitude or of
honor to restrain him in the execution of them. He threw wholly upon
him the responsibility of the war with Vang Khan. It grew, he said,
out of plots which Temujin had formed to destroy both Vang Khan and
his son, notwithstanding the great obligations he had been under to
them for their kindness to him in his misfortunes. Yemuka urged Tayian
also to arouse himself, before it was too late, to guard himself from
the danger.

"He is your son, it is true," said he, "and he professes to be your
friend, but he is so treacherous and unprincipled that you can place
no reliance upon him whatever, and, notwithstanding all your past
kindness to him, and the tie of relationship which ought to bind him
to you, he will as readily form plans to compass your destruction as
he would that of any other man the moment he imagines that you stand
in the way of the accomplishment of his ambitious schemes."

These representations, acting upon Tayian's natural apprehensions and
fears, produced a very sensible effect, and at length Tayian was
induced to take some measures for defending himself from the
threatened danger. So he opened negotiations with the khans of various
tribes which he thought likely to join him, and soon formed quite a
powerful league of the enemies of Temujin, and of all who were willing
to join in an attempt to restrict his power.

These steps were all taken with great secrecy, for Yemuka and Tayian
were very desirous that Temujin should know nothing of the league
which they were forming against him until their arrangements were
fully matured, and they were ready for action. They did not, however,
succeed in keeping the secret as long as they intended. They were
generally careful not to propose to any khan or chieftain to join
them in their league until they had first fully ascertained that he
was favorable to the object of it. But, growing less cautious as they
went on, they at last made a mistake. Tayian sent proposals to a
certain prince or khan, named Alakus, inviting him to join the league.
These proposals were contained in a letter which was sent by a special
messenger. The letter specified all the particulars of the league,
with a statement of the plans which the allies were intending to
pursue, and an enumeration of the principal khans or tribes that were
already engaged.

Now it happened that this Alakus, who reigned over a nation of
numerous and powerful tribes on the confines of China, was, for some
reason or other, inclined to take Temujin's side in the quarrel. So he
detained the messenger who brought the letter as a prisoner, and sent
the letter itself, containing all the particulars of the conspiracy,
at once to Temujin. Temujin was greatly surprised at receiving the
intelligence, for, up to that moment, he had considered his
father-in-law Tayian as one of his best and most trustworthy friends.
He immediately called a grand council of war to consider what was to
be done.

Temujin had a son named Jughi, who had now grown up to be a young man.
Jughi's father thought it was now time for his son to begin to take
his place and act his part among the other princes and chieftains of
his court, and he accordingly gave him a seat at this council, and
thus publicly recognized him, for the first time, as one of the chief
personages of the state.

The council, after hearing a statement of the case in respect to the
league which Tayian and the others were forming, were strongly
inclined to combine their forces and march at once to attack the enemy
before their plans should be more fully matured. But there was a
difficulty in respect to horses. The horses of the different hordes
that belonged to Temujin's army had become so much exhausted by the
long marches and other fatigues that they had undergone in the late
campaigns, that they would not be in a fit condition to commence a new
expedition until they had had some time to rest and recruit. But a
certain khan, named Bulay, an uncle of Temujin's, at once removed this
objection by offering to furnish a full supply of fresh horses for the
whole army from his own herds. This circumstance shows on what an
immense scale the pastoral occupations of the great Asiatic
chieftains were conducted in those days.

Temujin accepted this offer on the part of his uncle, and preparations
were immediately made for the marching of the expedition. As soon as
the news of these preparations reached Yemuka, he urged Tayian to
assemble the allied troops immediately, and go out to meet Temujin and
his army before they should cross the frontier.

"It is better," said he, addressing Tayian, "that you should meet and
fight him on his own ground, rather than to wait until he has crossed
the frontier and commenced his ravages in yours."

"No," said Tayian, in reply, "it is better to wait. The farther he
advances on his march, the more his horses and his men will be spent
with fatigue, the scantier will be their supplies, and the more
difficult will he find it to effect his retreat after we shall have
gained a victory over him in battle."

So Tayian, though he began to assemble his forces, did not advance;
and when Temujin, at the head of his host, reached the Nayman
frontier--for the country over which Tayian reigned was called the
country of the Naymans--he was surprised to find no enemy there to
defend it. He was the more surprised at this from the circumstance
that the frontier, being formed by a river, might have been very
easily defended. But when he arrived at the bank of the river the way
was clear. He immediately crossed the stream with all his forces, and
then marched on into the Nayman territory.

Temujin took good care, as he advanced, to guard against the danger
into which Tayian had predicted that he would fall--that of exhausting
the strength of his men and of his animals, and also his stores of
food. He took good care to provide and to take with him abundant
supplies, and also to advance so carefully and by such easy stages as
to keep both the men and the horses fresh and in full strength all the
way. In this order and condition he at last arrived at the spot where
Tayian had formed his camp and assembled his armies.

Both sides immediately marshaled their troops in order of battle.
Yemuka was chief in command on Tayian's side. He was assisted by a
young prince, the son of Tayian, whose name was Kushluk. On the other
hand, Jughi, the young son of Temujin, who had been brought forward at
the council, was appointed to a very prominent position on his
father's side. Indeed, these two young princes, who were animated by
an intense feeling of rivalry and emulation toward each other, were
appointed to lead the van on their respective sides in commencing the
battle; Jughi advancing first to the attack, and being met by Kushluk,
to whom was committed the charge of repelling him. The two princes
fought throughout the battle with the utmost bravery, and both of them
acquired great renown.

The battle was commenced early in the morning and continued all day.
In the end, Temujin was completely victorious. Tayian was mortally
wounded early in the day. He was immediately taken off the field, and
every possible effort was made to save his life, but he soon ceased to
breathe. His son, the Prince Kushluk, fought valiantly during the
whole day, but toward night, finding that all was lost, he fled,
taking with him as many of the troops as he could succeed in getting
together in the confusion, and at the head of this band made the best
of his way into the dominions of one of his uncles, his father's
brother, where he hoped to find a temporary shelter until he should
have time to determine what was to be done.

As for Yemuka, after fighting with desperate fury all day, he was at
last, toward night, surrounded and overpowered, and so made prisoner.
Temujin ordered his head to be cut off immediately after the battle
was over. He considered him, not as an honorable and open foe, but
rather as a rebel and traitor, and, consequently, undeserving of any




Plans for the formation of a government.--His court at
Karakorom.--Embassadors.--Temujin forms a constitution.--Election
of khans.--Division of the country.--Organization of the
army.--Arms and ammunition.--Hunting.--Slaves.--Polygamy and
slavery.--Concubines.--Posthumous marriages.--Punishment for
theft.--Religion.--Freedom of choice.--Assembly of the khans.--Dilon
Ildak.--Their encampment.--Tents and herds of cattle.--Temujin's
address.--Temujin is elected grand khan.--He is enthroned and
honored.--The old prophet Kokza.--Probably insane.--His
predictions.--The title Genghis Khan.--Homage of the khans.--Inaugural
address.--Rejoicings.--Departure of the khans.

There was now a vast extent of country, comprising a very large
portion of the interior of the Asiatic Continent, and, indeed, an
immense number of wealthy, powerful hordes, under Temujin's dominion,
and he at once resolved to consolidate his dominion by organizing a
regular imperial government over the whole. There were a few more
battles to be fought in order to subdue certain khans who still
resisted, and some cities to be taken. But these victories were soon
obtained, and, in a very short time after the great battle with
Tayian, Temujin found himself the undisputed master of what to him was
almost the whole known world. All open opposition to his rule had
wholly disappeared, and nothing now remained for him to do but to
perfect the organization of his army, to enact his code of laws, to
determine upon his capital, and to inaugurate generally a system of
civil government such as is required for the management of the
internal affairs of a great empire.

Temujin determined upon making Karakorom his capital. He accordingly
proceeded to that city at the head of his troops, and entered it in
great state. Here he established a very brilliant court, and during
all the following winter, while he was occupied with the preliminary
arrangements for the organization and consolidation of his empire,
there came to him there a continual succession of embassadors from the
various nations and tribes of Central Asia to congratulate him on his
victories, and to offer the allegiance or the alliance of the khans
which they respectively represented. These embassadors all came
attended by troops of horsemen splendidly dressed and fully armed, and
the gayety and magnificence of the scenes which were witnessed in
Karakorom during the winter surpassed all that had ever been seen
there before.

In the mean time, while the attention of the masses of the people was
occupied and amused by these parades, Temujin was revolving in his
mind the form of constitution which he should establish for his
empire, and the system of laws by which his people should be governed.
He conferred privately with some of his ablest counselors on this
subject, and caused a system of government and a code of laws to be
drawn up by secretaries. The details of these proposed enactments
were discussed in the privy council, and, when the whole had been well
digested and matured, Temujin, early in the spring, sent out a
summons, calling upon all the great princes and khans throughout his
dominions to assemble at an appointed day, in order that he might lay
his proposed system before them.

Temujin determined to make his government a sort of elective monarchy.
The grand khan was to be chosen by the votes of all the other khans,
who were to be assembled in a general convocation for this purpose
whenever a new khan was to be installed. Any person who should cause
himself to be proclaimed grand khan, or who should in any other way
attempt to assume the supreme authority without having been duly
elected by the other khans, was to suffer death.

The country was divided into provinces, over each of which a
subordinate khan ruled as governor. These governors were, however, to
be strictly responsible to the grand khan. Whenever summoned by the
grand khan they were required to repair at once to the capital, there
to render an account of their administration, and to answer any
charges which had been made against them. Whenever any serious case
of disobedience or maladministration was proved against them they were
to suffer death.

Temujin remodeled and reorganized the army on the same or similar
principles. The men were divided into companies of about one hundred
men each, and every ten of these companies was formed into a regiment,
which, of course, contained about a thousand men. The regiments were
formed into larger bodies of about ten thousand each. Officers were
appointed, of all the various necessary grades, to command these
troops, and arrangements were made for having supplies of arms and
ammunition provided and stored in magazines under the care of the
officers, ready to be distributed to the men whenever they should

Temujin also made provision for the building of cities and palaces,
the making of roads, and the construction of fortifications, by
ordaining that all the people should work one day in every week on
these public works whenever required.

Although the country over which this new government was to be
established was now at peace, Temujin was very desirous that the
people should not lose the martial spirit which had thus far
characterized them. He made laws to encourage and regulate hunting,
especially the hunting of wild beasts among the mountains; and
subsequently he organized many hunting excursions himself, in
connection with the lords of his court and the other great chieftains,
in order to awaken an interest in the dangers and excitements of the
chase among all the khans. He also often employed bodies of troops in
these expeditions, which he considered as a sort of substitute for

He required that none of the natives of the country should be employed
as servants, or allowed to perform any menial duties whatever. For
these purposes the people were required to depend on captives taken in
war and enslaved. One reason why he made this rule was to stimulate
the people on the frontiers to make hostile excursions among their
neighbors, in order to supply themselves and the country generally
with slaves.

The right of property in the slaves thus taken was very strictly
guarded, and very severe laws were made to enforce it. It was
forbidden, on pain of death, to harbor a slave, or give him meat or
drink, clothing or shelter, without permission from his master. The
penalty was death, too, if a person meeting a fugitive slave
neglected to seize and secure him, and deliver him to his master.

Every man could marry as many wives as he pleased, and his female
slaves were all, by law, entirely at his disposal to be made

There was one very curious arrangement, which grew out of the great
importance which, as we have already seen, was attached to the ties of
relationship and family connection among these pastoral nations. Two
families could bind themselves together and make themselves legally
one, in respect to their connection, by a fictitious marriage arranged
between children no longer living. In such a case the contracts were
regularly made, just as if the children were still alive, and the
ceremonies were all duly performed. After this the two families were
held to be legally allied, and they were bound to each other by all
the obligations which would have arisen in the case of a real
marriage. This custom is said to be continued among some of the Tartar
nations to the present day. The people think, it is said, that such a
wedding ceremony, duly solemnized by the parents of children who are
dead, takes effect upon the subjects of it in the world of spirits,
and that thus their union, though arranged and consecrated on earth,
is confirmed and consummated in heaven.

Besides these peculiar and special enactments, there were the ordinary
laws against robbery, theft, murder, adultery, and false witness. The
penalties for these offenses were generally severe. The punishment for
stealing cattle was death. For petty thefts the criminal was to be
beaten with a stick, the number of the blows being proportioned to the
nature and aggravation of the offense. He could, however, if he had
the means, buy himself off from this punishment by paying nine times
the value of the thing stolen.

In respect to religion, the constitution which Temujin made declared
that there was but one God, the creator of heaven and earth, and it
acknowledged him as the supreme ruler and governor of all mankind, the
being "who alone gives life and death, riches and poverty, who grants
and denies whatever he pleases, and exercises over all things an
absolute power." This one fundamental article of faith was all that
was required. For the rest, Temujin left the various nations and
tribes throughout his dominions to adopt such modes of worship and to
celebrate such religious rites as they severally preferred, and
forbade that any one should be disturbed or molested in any way on
account of his religion, whatever form it might assume.

At length the time arrived for the grand assembly of the khans to be
convened. The meeting was called, not at Karakorom, the capital, but
at a central spot in the interior of the country, called Dilon Ildak.
Such a spot was much more convenient than any town or city would have
been for the place of meeting, on account of the great troops of
horses and the herds of animals by which the khans were always
accompanied in all their expeditions, and which made it necessary
that, whenever any considerable number of them were to be convened,
the place chosen should be suitable for a grand encampment, with
extensive and fertile pasture-grounds extending all around.

As the several khans came in, each at the head of his own troop of
retainers and followers, they severally chose their ground, pitched
their tents, and turned their herds of horses, sheep, and oxen out to
pasture on the plains. Thus, in the course of a few days, the whole
country in every direction became dotted with villages of tents, among
which groups of horsemen were now and then to be seen galloping to and
fro, and small herds of cattle, each under the care of herdsmen and
slaves, moved slowly, cropping the grass as they advanced along the
hill-sides and through the valleys.

At length, when all had assembled, a spot was selected in the centre
of the encampment for the performance of the ceremonies. A raised seat
was prepared for Temujin in a situation suitable to enable him to
address the assembly from it.[C] Before and around this the various
khans and their attendants and followers gathered, and Temujin made
them an oration, in which he explained the circumstances under which
they had come together, and announced to them his plans and intentions
in respect to the future. He stated to them that, in consequence of
the victories which he had gained through their co-operation and
assistance, the foundation of a great empire had been laid, and that
he had now called them together in order that they might join with him
in organizing the requisite government for such a dominion, and in
electing a prince or sovereign to rule over it. He called upon them
first to proceed to the election of this ruler.

[Footnote C: See Frontispiece.]

The khans accordingly proceeded to the election. This was, in fact,
only a form, for Temujin himself was, of course, to be chosen. The
election was, however, made, and one of the oldest and most venerable
of the khans was commissioned to announce the result. He came forward
with great solemnity, and, in the presence of the whole assembly,
declared that the choice had fallen upon Temujin. He then made an
address to Temujin himself, who was seated during this part of the
ceremony upon a carpet of black felt spread upon the ground. In the
address the khan reminded Temujin that the exalted authority with
which he was now invested came from God, and that to God he was
responsible for the right exercise of his power. If he governed his
subjects well, God, he said, would render his reign prosperous and
happy; but if, on the other hand, he abused his power, he would come
to a miserable end.

After the conclusion of the address, seven of the khans, who had been
designated for this purpose, came and lifted Temujin up and bore him
away to a throne which had been set up for him in the midst of the
assembly, where all the khans, and their various bodies of attendants,
came and offered him their homage.

Among others there came a certain old prophet, named Kokza, who was
held in great veneration by all the people on account of his supposed
inspiration and the austere life which he led. He used to go very
thinly clad, and with his feet bare summer and winter, and it was
supposed that his power of enduring the exposures to which he was thus
subject was something miraculous and divine. He had received
accordingly from the people a name which signified _the image of God_,
and he was every where looked upon as inspired. He said, moreover,
that a white horse came to him from time to time and carried him up to
heaven, where he conversed face to face with God, and received the
revelations which he was commissioned to make to men. All this the
people fully believed. The man may have been an impostor, or he may
have been insane. Oftentimes, in such cases, the inspiration which the
person supposes he is the subject of arises from a certain spiritual
exaltation, which, though it does not wholly unfit him for the
ordinary avocations and duties of life, still verges upon insanity,
and often finally lapses into it entirely.

This old prophet advanced toward Temujin while he was seated on his
carpet of felt, and made a solemn address to him in the hearing of all
the assembled khans. He was charged, he said, with a message from
heaven in respect to the kingdom and dominion of Temujin, which had
been, he declared, ordained of God, and had now been established in
fulfillment of the Divine will. He was commissioned, moreover, he
said, to give to Temujin the style and title of Genghis Khan,[D] and
to declare that his kingdom should not only endure while he lived, but
should descend to his posterity, from generation to generation, to the
remotest times.

[Footnote D: The signification of these words, in the language of the
Monguls, was _great khan of khans_.]

The people, on hearing this address, at once adopted the name which
the prophet had given to their new ruler, and saluted Temujin with it
in long and loud acclamations. It was thus that our hero received the
name of Genghis Khan, which soon extended its fame through every part
of Asia, and has since become so greatly renowned through all the

       *       *       *       *       *

Temujin, or Genghis Khan, as we must now henceforth call him, having
thus been proclaimed by the acclamations of the people under the new
title with which the old prophet had invested him, sat upon his throne
while his subjects came to render him their homage. First the khans
themselves came up, and kneeled nine times before him, in token of
their absolute and complete submission to his authority. After they
had retired the people themselves came, and made their obeisance in
the same manner. As they rose from their knees after the last
prostration, they made the air resound once more with their shouts,
crying "Long live great Genghis Khan!" in repeated and prolonged

After this the new emperor made what might be called his inaugural
address. The khans and their followers gathered once more before his
throne while he delivered an oration to them, in which he thanked them
for the honor which they had done him in raising him to the supreme
power, and announced to them the principles by which he should be
guided in the government of his empire. He promised to be just in his
dealings with his subjects, and also to be merciful. He would defend
them, he said, against all their enemies. He would do every thing in
his power to promote their comfort and happiness. He would lead them
to honor and glory, and would make their names known throughout the
earth. He would deal impartially, too, with all the different tribes
and hordes, and would treat the Monguls and the Tartars, the two great
classes of his subjects, with equal favor.

When the speech was concluded Genghis Khan distributed presents to
all the subordinate khans, both great and small. He also made
magnificent entertainments, which were continued for several days.
After thus spending some time in feasting and rejoicings, the khans
one after another took their leave of the emperor, the great
encampment was broken up, and the different tribes set out on their
return to their several homes.




Karakorom.--Insignificance of cities and towns.--Account of
Karakorom.--The buildings.--The grand encampments.--Construction
of the tents.--Dwellings of the women.--Mountains and wild
beasts.--Hunting.--The danger of hunting in those days.--Modern
weapons.--Carabines.--Fulminating balls.--Devisme's establishment
in Paris.--Specimens.--Great danger.--Wild beasts more formidable
than men.--Grand huntsman.--Timid animals.--Stratagems.--Mode of
taking deer.--Training of the horses.--Great desert.--Cold.--No
forests.--Pasturage.--Burning the grass on the plains.

After the ceremonies of the inauguration were concluded, Genghis Khan
returned, with the officers of his court and his immediate followers,
to Karakorom. This town, though nominally the capital of the empire,
was, after all, quite an insignificant place. Indeed, but little
importance was attached to any villages or towns in those days, and
there were very few fixed places of residence that were of any
considerable account. The reason is, that towns are the seats of
commerce and manufactures, and they derive their chief importance from
those pursuits; whereas the Monguls and Tartars led almost exclusively
a wandering and pastoral life, and all their ideas of wealth and
grandeur were associated with great flocks and herds of cattle, and
handsome tents, and long trains of wagons loaded with stores of
clothing, arms, and other movables, and vast encampments in the
neighborhood of rich and extended pasture-grounds. Those who lived
permanently in fixed houses they looked down upon as an inferior
class, confined to one spot by their poverty or their toil, while they
themselves could roam at liberty with their flocks and herds over the
plains, riding fleet horses or dromedaries, and encamping where they
pleased in the green valleys or on the banks of the meandering

Karakorom was accordingly by no means a great and splendid city. It
was surrounded by what was called a mud wall--that is, a wall made of
blocks of clay dried in the sun. The houses of the inhabitants were
mere hovels, and even the palace of the king, and all the other public
buildings, were of very frail construction; for all the architecture
of the Monguls in those days took its character from the tent, which
was the type and model, so to speak, of all other buildings.

The new emperor, however, did not spend a great deal of his time at
Karakorom. He was occupied for some years in making excursions at the
head of his troops to various parts of his dominions, for the purpose
of putting down insurrections, overawing discontented and
insubordinate khans, and settling disputes of various kinds arising
between the different hordes. In these expeditions he was accustomed
to move by easy marches across the plains at the head of his army,
and sometimes would establish himself in a sort of permanent camp,
where he would remain, perhaps, as in a fixed residence, for weeks or
months at a time.

Not only Genghis Khan himself, but many of the other great chieftains,
were accustomed to live in this manner, and one of their encampments,
if we could have seen it, would have been regarded by us as a great
curiosity. The ground was regularly laid out, like a town, into
quarters, squares, and streets, and the space which it covered was
sometimes so large as to extend nearly a mile in each direction. The
tent of the khan himself was in the centre. A space was reserved for
it there large enough not only for the grand tent itself, but also for
the rows of smaller tents near, for the wives and for other women
belonging to the khan's family, and also for the rows of carts or
wagons containing the stores of provisions, the supplies of clothing
and arms, and the other valuables which these wandering chieftains
always took with them in all their peregrinations.

The tent of the khan in summer was made of a sort of calico, and in
winter of felt, which was much warmer. It was raised very high, so as
to be seen above all the rest of the encampment, and it was painted
in gay colors, and adorned with other barbaric decorations.

The dwellings in which the women were lodged, which were around or
near the great tent, were sometimes tents, and sometimes little huts
made of wood. When they were of wood they were made very light, and
were constructed in such a manner that they could be taken to pieces
at the shortest notice, and packed on carts or wagons, in order to be
transported to the next place of encampment, whenever, for any reason,
it became necessary for their lord and master to remove his domicil to
a different ground.

A large portion of the country which was included within the limits of
Genghis Khan's dominions was fertile ground, which produced abundance
of grass for the pasturage of the flocks and herds, and many springs
and streams of water. There were, however, several districts of
mountainous country, which were the refuge of tigers, leopards,
wolves, and other ferocious beasts of prey. It was among these
mountains that the great hunting parties which Genghis Khan organized
from time to time went in search of their game. There was a great
officer of the kingdom, called the grand huntsman, who had the
superintendence and charge of every thing relating to hunting and to
game throughout the empire. The grand huntsman was an officer of the
very highest rank. He even took precedence of the first ministers of
state. Genghis Khan appointed his son Jughi, who has already been
mentioned in connection with the great council of war called by his
father, and with the battle which was subsequently fought, and in
which he gained great renown, to the office of grand huntsman, and, at
the same time, made two of the older and more experienced khans his
ministers of state.

The hunting of wild beasts as ferocious as those that infested the
mountains of Asia is a very dangerous amusement even at the present
day, notwithstanding the advantage which the huntsman derives from the
use of gunpowder, and rifled barrels, and fulminating bullets. But in
those days, when the huntsman had no better weapons than bows and
arrows, javelins, and spears, the undertaking was dangerous in the
extreme. An African lion of full size used to be considered as a match
for _forty_ men in the days when only ordinary weapons were used
against him, and it was considered almost hopeless to attack him with
less than that number. And even with that number to waylay and assail
him he was not usually conquered until he had killed or disabled two
or three of his foes.

Now, however, with the terrible artillery invented in modern times, a
single man, if he has the requisite courage, coolness, and steadiness
of nerve, is a match for such a lion. The weapon used is a
double-barreled carabine, both barrels being _rifled_, that is,
provided with spiral grooves within, that operate to give the bullets
a rotary motion as they issue from the muzzle, by which they bore
their way through the air, as it were, to their destination, with a
surprising directness and precision. The bullets discharged by these
carabines are not balls, but cylinders, pointed with a cone at the
forward end. They are hollow, and are filled with a fulminating
composition which is capable of exploding with a force vastly greater
than that of gunpowder. The conical point at the end is made separate
from the body of the cylinder, and slides into it by a sort of shank,
which, when the bullet strikes the body of the lion or other wild
beast, acts like a sort of percussion cap to explode the fulminating
powder, and thus the instant that the missile enters the animal's body
it bursts with a terrible explosion, and scatters the iron fragments
of the cylinder among his vitals. Thus, while an ordinary musket ball
might lodge in his flesh, or even pass entirely through some parts of
his body, without producing any other effect than to arouse him to a
phrensy, and redouble the force with which he would spring upon his
foe, the bursting of one of these fulminating bullets almost any where
within his body brings him down in an instant, and leaves him writhing
and rolling upon the ground in the agonies of death.

On the Boulevard des Italiens, in Paris, is the manufactory of
Devisme, who makes these carabines for the lion-hunters of Algiers.
Promenaders, in passing by his windows, stop to look at specimens of
these bullets exhibited there. They are of various sizes, adapted to
barrels of different bores. Some are entire; others are rent and torn
in pieces, having been fired into a bank of earth, that they might
burst there as they would do in the body of a wild beast, and then be
recovered and preserved to show the effect of the explosion.

Even with such terrible weapons as these, it requires at the present
day great courage, great coolness, and very extraordinary steadiness
of nerve to face a lion or a tiger in his mountain fastness, with any
hope of coming off victorious in the contest. But the danger was, of
course, infinitely greater in the days of Genghis Khan, when pikes
and spears, and bows and arrows, were the only weapons with which the
body of huntsmen could arm themselves for the combat. Indeed, in those
days wild beasts were even in some respects more formidable enemies
than men. For men, however excited by angry passions, are, in some
degree, under the influence of fear. They will not rush headlong upon
absolute and certain destruction, but may be driven back by a mere
display of force, if it is obvious that it is a force which they are
wholly incapable of resisting. Thus a party of men, however desperate,
may be attacked without much danger to the assailants, provided that
the force which the assailants bring against them is overwhelming.

But it is not so with wild beasts. A lion, a tiger, or a panther, once
aroused, is wholly insensible to fear. He will rush headlong upon his
foes, however numerous they may be, and however formidably armed. He
makes his own destruction sure, it is true, but, at the same time, he
renders almost inevitable the destruction of some one or more of his
enemies, and, in going out to attack him, no one can be sure of not
becoming himself one of the victims of his fury.

Thus the hunting of wild beasts in the mountains was very dangerous
work, and it is not surprising that the office of grand huntsman was
one of great consideration and honor.

The hunting was, however, not all of the dangerous character above
described. Some animals are timid and inoffensive by nature, and
attempt to save themselves only by flight. Such animals as these were
to be pursued and overtaken by the superior speed of horses and dogs,
or to be circumvented by stratagem. There was a species of deer, in
certain parts of the Mongul country, that the huntsmen were accustomed
to take in this way, namely:

The huntsmen, when they began to draw near to a place where a herd of
deer were feeding, would divide themselves into two parties. One party
would provide themselves with the antlers of stags, which they
arranged in such a manner that they could hold them up over their
heads in the thickets, as if real stags were there. The others, armed
with bows and arrows, javelins, spears, and other such weapons, would
place themselves in ambush near by. Those who had the antlers would
then make a sort of cry, imitating that uttered by the hinds. The
stags of the herd, hearing the cry, would immediately come toward the
spot. The men in the thicket then would raise the antlers and move
them about, so as to deceive the stags, and excite their feelings of
rivalry and ire, while those who were appointed to that office
continued to counterfeit the cry of the hind. The stags immediately
would begin to paw the ground and to prepare for a conflict, and then,
while their attention was thus wholly taken up by the tossing of the
false antlers in the thicket, the men in ambush would creep up as near
as they could, take good aim, and shoot their poor deluded victims
through the heart.

Of course, it required a great deal of practice and much skill to
perform successfully such feats as these; and there were many other
branches of the huntsman's art, as practiced in those days, which
could only be acquired by a systematic and special course of training.
One of the most difficult things was to train the horses so that they
would advance to meet tigers and other wild beasts without fear.
Horses have naturally a strong and instinctive terror for such beasts,
and this terror it was very difficult to overcome. The Mongul
huntsmen, however, contrived means to inspire the horses with so much
courage in this respect that they would advance to the encounter of
these terrible foes with as much ardor as a trained charger shows in
advancing to meet other horses and horsemen on the field of battle.

Besides the mountainous regions above described, there were several
deserts in the country of the Monguls. The greatest of these deserts
extends through the very heart of Asia, and is one of the most
extensive districts of barren land in the world. Unlike most other
great deserts, however, the land is very elevated, and it is to this
elevation that its barrenness is, in a great measure, due. A large
part of this desert consists of rocks and barren sands, and, in the
time of which we are writing, was totally uninhabitable. It was so
cold, too, on account of the great elevation of the land, that it was
almost impossible to traverse it except in the warmest season of the

Other parts of this district, which were not so elevated, and where
the land was not quite so barren, produced grass and herbage on which
the flocks and herds could feed, and thus, in certain seasons of the
year, people resorted to them for pasturage.

Throughout the whole country there were no extensive forests. There
were a few tangled thickets among the mountains, where the wild beasts
concealed themselves and made their lairs, but this was all. One
reason why forests did not spring up was, as is supposed, the custom
of the people to burn over the plains every spring, as the Indians
were accustomed to do on the American prairies. In the spring the dead
grass of the preceding year lay dry and withered, and sometimes
closely matted together, on the ground, thus hindering, as the people
thought, the fresh grass from growing up. So the people were
accustomed, on some spring morning when there was a good breeze
blowing, to set it on fire. The fire would run rapidly over the
plains, burning up every thing in its way that was above the ground.
But the roots of the grass, being below, were safe from it. Very soon
afterward the new grass would spring up with great luxuriance. The
people thought that the rich verdure which the new grass displayed,
and its subsequent rapid growth, were owing simply to the fact that
the old dead grass was out of the way. It is now known, however, that
the burning of the old grass leaves an ash upon the ground which acts
powerfully as a fertilizer, and that the richness of the fresh
vegetation is due, in a great measure, to this cause.

Such was the country which was inhabited by the wandering pastoral
tribes that were now under the sway of Genghis Khan. His dominion had
no settled boundaries, for it was a dominion over certain tribes
rather than over a certain district of country. Nearly all the tribes
composing both the Mongul and the Tartar nations had now submitted to
him, though he still had some small wars to wage from time to time
with some of the more distant tribes before his authority was fully
and finally acknowledged. The history of some of these conflicts will
be narrated in the next chapter.




Kushluk's escape.--Tukta Bey.--Kashin.--Temujin pursues Tukta Bey
and Kushluk.--Retreat to Boyrak's country.----The various
tribes submit.--Fall and destruction of Kashin.--Proclamation.--Temujin
returns to Karakorom.--Boyrak's precautions.--Great battle.--Boyrak is
taken and slain.--Flight of Kushluk and Tukta Bey.--Ardish.--River
Irtish.--Tukta Bey's adherents.--Genghis Khan pursues them in
winter.--Difficulties of the country.--Death of Tukta Bey.--Kushluk
escapes again.--Turkestan.--He is received by Gurkhan.--Presentation
of the _shongar_.--Urus Inal.

Prince Kushluk, as the reader will perhaps recollect, was the son of
Tayian, the khan of the Naymans, who organized the grand league of
khans against Temujin at the instigation of Yemuka, as related in a
preceding chapter. He was the young prince who was opposed to Jughi,
the son of Temujin, in the great final battle. The reader will
recollect that in that battle Tayian himself was slain, as was also
Yemuka, but the young prince succeeded in making his escape.

He was accompanied in his flight by a certain general or chieftain
named Tukta Bey. This Tukta Bey was the khan of a powerful tribe. The
name of the town or village which he considered his capital was
Kashin. It was situated toward the southwest, not far from the borders
of China. Tukta Bey, taking Kushluk with him, retreated to this place,
and there began to make preparations to collect a new army to act
against Temujin. I say Temujin, for these circumstances took place
immediately after the battle, and before Temujin had received his new
title of Genghis Khan.

Temujin, having learned that Tukta Bey and the young prince had gone
to Kashin, determined at once to follow them there. As soon as Tukta
Bey heard that he was coming, he began to strengthen the
fortifications of his town and to increase the garrison. He also laid
in supplies of food and military stores of all kinds. While he was
making these preparations, he received the news that Temujin was
advancing into his country at the head of an immense force. The force
was so large that he was convinced that his town could not long stand
out against it. He was greatly perplexed to know what to do.

Now it happened that there was a brother of Tayian Khan's, named
Boyrak, the chief of a powerful horde that occupied a district of
country not very far distant from Tukta Bey's dominions. Tukta Bey
thought that this Boyrak would be easily induced to aid him in the
war, as it was a war waged against the mortal enemy of his brother. He
determined to leave his capital to be defended by the garrison which
he had placed in it, and to proceed himself to Boyrak's country to
obtain re-enforcements. He first sent off the Prince Kushluk, so that
he might be as soon as possible in a place of safety. Then, after
completing the necessary arrangements and dispositions for the defense
of his town, in case it should be attacked during his absence, he took
his oldest son, for whose safety he was also greatly concerned, and
set out at the head of a small troop of horsemen to go to Boyrak.

Accordingly, when Temujin, at the head of his forces, arrived at the
town of Kashin, he found that the fugitives whom he was pursuing were
no longer there. However, he determined to take the town. He
accordingly at once invested it, and commenced the siege. The garrison
made a very determined resistance. But the forces under Temujin's
command were too strong for them. The town was soon taken. Temujin
ordered his soldiers to slay without mercy all who were found in arms
against him within the walls, and the walls themselves, and all the
other defenses of the place, he caused to be leveled with the ground.

He then issued his proclamation, offering peace and pardon to all the
rest of the tribe on condition that they would take the oath of
allegiance to him. This they readily agreed to do. There were a great
many subordinate khans, both of this tribe and of some others that
were near, who thus yielded to Temujin, and promised to obey him.

All this took place, as has already been said, immediately after the
great battle with Tayian, and before Temujin had been enthroned as
emperor, or had received his new title of Genghis Khan. Indeed,
Temujin, while making this expedition to Kashin in pursuit of Kushluk
and Tukta Bey, had been somewhat uneasy at the loss of time which the
campaign occasioned him, as he was anxious to go as soon as possible
to Karakorom, in order to take the necessary measures there for
arranging and consolidating his government. He accordingly now
determined not to pursue the fugitives any farther, but to proceed at
once to Karakorom, and postpone all farther operations against Kushluk
and Tukta until the next season. So he went to Karakorom, and there,
during the course of the winter, formed the constitution of his new
empire, and made arrangements for convening a grand assembly of the
khans the next spring, as related in the last chapter.

In the mean time, Tukta Bey and the Prince Kushluk were very kindly
received by Boyrak, Tayian's brother. For a time they all had reason
to expect that Temujin, after having taken and destroyed Kashin, would
continue his pursuit of the prince, and Boyrak began accordingly to
make preparations for defense. But when, at length, they learned that
Temujin had given up the pursuit, and had returned to Karakorom, their
apprehensions were, for the moment, relieved. They were, however, well
aware that the danger was only postponed; and Boyrak, being determined
to defend the cause of his nephew, and to avenge, if possible, his
brother's death, occupied himself diligently with increasing his army,
strengthening his fortifications, and providing himself with all
possible means of defense against the attack which he expected would
be made upon him in the coming season.

Boyrak's expectations of an attack were fully realized. Temujin, after
having settled the affairs of his government, and having now become
Genghis Khan, took the first opportunity in the following season to
fit out an expedition against Tukta Bey and Boyrak. He marched into
Boyrak's dominions at the head of a strong force. Boyrak came forth to
meet him. A great battle was fought. Boyrak was entirely defeated.
When he found that the battle was lost he attempted to fly. He was,
however, pursued and taken, and was then brought back to the camp of
Genghis Khan, where he was put to death. The conqueror undoubtedly
justified this act of cruelty toward his helpless prisoner on the plea
that, like Yemuka, he was not an open and honorable foe, but a rebel
and traitor, and, consequently, that the act of putting him to death
was the execution of a criminal, and not the murder of a prisoner.

But, although Boyrak himself was thus taken and slain, Kushluk and
Tukta Bey succeeded in making their escape. They fled to the northward
and westward, scarcely knowing, it would seem, where they were to go.
They at last found a place of refuge on the banks of the River Irtish.
This river rises not far from the centre of the Asiatic continent, and
flows northward into the Northern Ocean. The country through which it
flows lay to the northwestward of Genghis Khan's dominions, and beyond
the confines of it. Through this country Prince Kushluk and Tukta Bey
wandered on, accompanied by the small troop of followers that still
adhered to them, until they reached a certain fortress called Ardish,
where they determined to make a stand.

They were among friends here, for Ardish, it seems, was on the
confines of territory that belonged to Tukta Bey. The people of the
neighborhood immediately flocked to Tukta's standard, and thus the
fugitive khan soon found himself at the head of a considerable force.
This force was farther increased by the coming in of broken bands that
had made their escape from the battle at which Boyrak had been slain
at the same time with Tukta Bey, but had become separated from him in
their flight.

It would seem that, at first, Genghis Khan did not know what was
become of the fugitives. At any rate, it was not until the next year
that he attempted to pursue them. Then, hearing where they were and
what they were doing, he prepared an expedition to penetrate into the
country of the Irtish and attack them. It was in the dead of winter
when he arrived in the country. He had hurried on at that season of
the year in order to prevent Tukta Bey from having time to finish his
fortifications. Tukta Bey and those who were with him were amazed when
they heard that their enemy was coming at that season of the year. The
defenses which they were preparing for their fortress were not fully
completed, but they were at once convinced that they could not hold
their ground against the body of troops that Genghis Khan was bringing
against them in the open field, and so they all took shelter in and
near the fortress, and awaited their enemy there.

The winters in that latitude are very cold, and the country through
which Genghis Khan had to march was full of difficulty. The branches
of the river which he had to cross were obstructed with ice, and the
roads were in many places rendered almost impassable by snow. The
emperor did not even know the way to the fortress where Tukta Bey and
his followers were concealed, and it would have been almost impossible
for him to find it had it not been for certain tribes, through whose
territories he passed on the way, who furnished him with guides. These
tribes, perceiving how overwhelming was the force which Genghis Khan
commanded, knew that it would be useless for them to resist him. So
they yielded submission to him at once, and detached parties of
horsemen to go with him down the river to show him the way.

Under the conduct of these guides Genghis Khan passed on. In due time
he arrived at the fortress of Ardish, and immediately forced Tukta Bey
and his allies to come to an engagement. Tukta's army was very soon
defeated and put to flight. Tukta himself, and many other khans and
chieftains who had joined him, were killed; but the Prince Kushluk was
once more fortunate enough to make his escape.

He fled with a small troop of followers, all mounted on fleet horses,
and after various wanderings, in the course of which he and they who
were with him endured a great deal of privation and suffering, the
unhappy fugitive at last reached the dominions of a powerful prince
named Gurkhan, who reigned over a country which is situated in the
western part of Asia, toward the Caspian Sea, and is named Turkestan.
This is the country from which the people called the Turks, who
afterward spread themselves so widely over the western part of Asia
and the eastern part of Europe, originally sprung.

Gurkhan received Kushluk and his party in a very friendly manner, and
Genghis Khan did not follow them. Whether he thought that the distance
was too great, or that the power of Gurkhan was too formidable to make
it prudent for him to advance into his dominions without a stronger
force, does not appear. At any rate, for the time being he gave up the
pursuit, and after fully securing the fruits of the victory which he
had gained at Ardish, and receiving the submission of all the tribes
and khans that inhabited that region of country, he set out on his
return home.

It is related that one of the khans who gave in his submission to
Genghis Khan at this time made him a present of a certain bird called
a _shongar_, according to a custom often observed among the people of
that region. The shongar was a very large and fierce bird of prey,
which, however, could be trained like the falcons which were so much
prized in the Middle Ages by the princes and nobles of Europe. It
seems it was customary for an inferior khan to present one of these
birds to his superior on great occasions, as an emblem and token of
his submission to his superior's authority. The bird in such a case
was very richly decorated with gold and precious stones, so that the
present was sometimes of a very costly and magnificent character.

Genghis Khan received such a present as this from a chieftain named
Urus Inal, who was among those that yielded to his sway in the country
of the Irtish, after the battle at which Tukta Bey was defeated and
killed. The bird was presented to Genghis Khan by Urus with great
ceremony, as an act of submission and homage.

What, in the end, was the fate of Prince Kushluk, will appear in the
next chapter.





Idikut.--The old system of farming revenues.--Evils of farming the
revenue.--Modern system.--Disinterested collectors.--Independent and
impartial courts.--Waste of the public money.--Shuwakem.--Idikut's
quarrel with Gurkhan's tax-gatherers.--Rebellion.--He sends to
Genghis Khan.--His reception of the embassy.--Idikut's visit to
Genghis Khan.--Gurkhan in a rage.--Jena.--Subsequent history of
Kushluk.--Kushluk's final defeat and flight.--Hotly pursued by
Jena.--Kushluk's death.--Genghis Khan's triumph.

There was another great and powerful khan, named Idikut, whose tribe
had hitherto been under the dominion of Gurkhan, the Prince of
Turkestan, where Kushluk had sought refuge, but who about this time
revolted from Gurkhan and went over to Genghis Khan, under
circumstances which illustrate, in some degree, the peculiar nature of
the political ties by which these different tribes and nations were
bound to each other. It seems that the tribe over which Idikut ruled
was tributary to Turkestan, and that Gurkhan had an officer stationed
in Idikut's country whose business it was to collect and remit the
tribute. The name of this collector was Shuwakem. He was accustomed,
it seems, like almost all tax-gatherers in those days, to exact more
than was his due. The system generally adopted by governments in that
age of the world for collecting their revenues from tributary or
conquered provinces was to _farm them_, as the phrase was. That is,
they sold the whole revenue of a particular district in the gross to
some rich man, who paid for it a specific sum, considerably less, of
course, than the tax itself would really yield, and then he reimbursed
himself for his outlay and for his trouble by collecting the tax in
detail from the people. Of course, it was for the interest of the
tax-gatherer, in such a case, after having paid the round sum to the
government, to extort as much as possible from the people, since all
that he obtained over and above the sum that he had paid was his
profit on the transaction. Then, if the people complained to the
government of his exactions, they could seldom obtain any redress, for
the government knew that if they rebuked or punished the farmer of the
revenue, or interfered with him in any way, they would not be able to
make so favorable terms with him for the next year.

The plan of farming the revenues thus led to a great deal of extortion
and oppression, which the people were compelled patiently to endure,
as there was generally no remedy. In modern times and among civilized
nations this system has been almost universally abandoned. The taxes
are now always collected for the government directly by officers who
have to pay over not a fixed sum, but simply what they collect. Thus
the tax-gatherers are, in some sense, impartial, since, if they
collect more than the law entitles them to demand, the benefit inures
almost wholly to the government, they themselves gaining little or no
advantage by their extortion. Besides this, there are courts
established which are, in a great measure, independent of the
government, to which the tax-payer can appeal at once in a case where
he thinks he is aggrieved. This, it is true, often puts him to a great
deal of trouble and expense, but, in the end, he is pretty sure to
have justice done him, while under the old system there was ordinarily
no remedy at all. There was nothing to be done but to appeal to the
king or chieftain himself, and these complaints seldom received any
attention. For, besides the natural unwillingness of the sovereign to
trouble himself about such disputes, he had a direct interest in not
requiring the extorted money to be paid back, or, rather, in not
having it proved that it was extorted. Thus the poor tax-payer found
that the officer who collected the money, and the umpire who was to
decide in case of disputes, were both directly interested against him,
and he was continually wronged; whereas, at the present day, by means
of a system which provides disinterested officers to determine and
collect the tax, and independent judges to decide all cases of
dispute, the evils are almost wholly avoided. The only difficulty now
is the extravagance and waste with which the public money is expended,
making it necessary to collect a much larger amount than would
otherwise be required. Perhaps some future generation will discover
some plain and simple remedy for this evil too.

       *       *       *       *       *

The name of the officer who had the general charge of the collection
of the taxes in Idikut's territory for Gurkhan, King of Turkestan,
was, as has already been said, Shuwakem. He oppressed the people,
exacting more from them than was really due. Whether he had farmed the
revenue, and was thus enriching himself by his extortions, or whether
he was acting directly in Gurkhan's name, and made the people pay more
than he ought from zeal in his master's service, and a desire to
recommend himself to favor by sending home to Turkestan as large a
revenue from the provinces as possible, does not appear. At all
events, the people complained bitterly. They had, however, no access
to Gurkhan, Shuwakem's master, and so they carried their complaints
to Idikut, their own khan.

Idikut remonstrated with Shuwakem, but he, instead of taking the
remonstrance in good part and relaxing the severity of his
proceedings, resented the interference of Idikut, and answered him in
a haughty and threatening manner. This made Idikut very angry. Indeed,
he was angry before, as it might naturally be supposed that he would
have been, at having a person owing allegiance to a foreign prince
exercising authority in a proud and domineering manner within his
dominions, and the reply which Shuwakem made when he remonstrated with
him on account of his extortions exasperated him beyond all bounds. He
immediately caused Shuwakem to be assassinated. He also slew all the
other officers of Gurkhan within his country--those, probably, who
were employed to assist Shuwakem in collecting the taxes.

The murder of these officers was, of course, an act of open rebellion
against Gurkhan, and Idikut, in order to shield himself from the
consequences of it, determined to join himself and his tribe at once
to the empire of Genghis Khan; so he immediately dispatched two
embassadors to the Mongul emperor with his proposals.

The envoys, accompanied by a suitable troop of guards and attendants,
went into the Mongul country and presently came up with Genghis Khan,
while he was on a march toward the country of some tribe or horde that
had revolted from him. They were very kindly received; for, although
Genghis Khan was not prepared at present to make open war upon
Gurkhan, or to invade his dominions in pursuit of Prince Kushluk, he
was intending to do this at some future day, and, in the mean time, he
was very glad to weaken his enemy by drawing off from his empire any
tributary tribes that were at all disposed to revolt from him.

He accordingly received the embassadors of Idikut in a very cordial
and friendly manner. He readily acceded to the proposals which Idikut
made through them, and, in order to give full proof to Idikut of the
readiness and sincerity with which he accepted his proposals, he sent
back two embassadors of his own to accompany Idikut's embassadors on
their return, and to join them in assuring that prince of the
cordiality with which Genghis Khan accepted his offers of friendship,
and to promise his protection.

Idikut was very much pleased, when his messengers returned, to learn
that his mission had been so successful. He immediately determined to
go himself and visit Genghis Khan in his camp, in order to confirm the
new alliance by making a personal tender to the emperor of his homage
and his services. He accordingly prepared some splendid presents, and,
placing himself at the head of his troop of guards, he proceeded to
the camp of Genghis Khan. The emperor received him in a very kind and
friendly manner. He accepted his presents, and, in the end, was so
much pleased with Idikut himself that he gave him one of his daughters
in marriage.

As for Gurkhan, when he first heard of the murder of Shuwakem and the
other officers, he was in a terrible rage. He declared that he would
revenge his servant by laying waste Idikut's territories with fire and
sword. But when he heard that Idikut had placed himself under the
protection of Genghis Khan, and especially when he learned that he had
married the emperor's daughter, he thought it more prudent to postpone
his vengeance, not being quite willing to draw upon himself the
hostility of so great a power.

Prince Kushluk remained for many years in Turkestan and in the
countries adjoining it. He married a daughter of Gurkhan, his
protector. Partly in consequence of this connection and of the high
rank which he had held in his own native land, and partly, perhaps, in
consequence of his personal courage and other military qualities, he
rapidly acquired great influence among the khans of Western Asia, and
at last he organized a sort of rebellion against Gurkhan, made war
against him, and deprived him of more than half his dominions. He then
collected a large army, and prepared to make war upon Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan sent one of his best generals, at the head of a small but
very compact and well-disciplined force, against him. The name of this
general was Jena. Kushluk was not at all intimidated by the danger
which now threatened him. His own army was much larger than that of
Jena, and he accordingly advanced to meet his enemy without fear. He
was, however, beaten in the battle, and, when he saw that the day was
lost, he fled, followed by a small party of horsemen, who succeeded in
saving themselves with him.

Jena set out immediately in pursuit of the fugitive, accompanied by a
small body of men mounted on the fleetest horses. The party who were
with Kushluk, being exhausted by the fatigue of the battle and
bewildered by the excitement and terror of their flight, could not
keep together, but were overtaken one by one and slain by their
pursuers until only three were left. These three kept close to
Kushluk, and with him went on until Jena's party lost the track of

At length, coming to a place where two roads met, Jena asked a peasant
if he had seen any strange horsemen pass that way. The peasant said
that four horsemen had passed a short time before, and he told Jena
which road they had taken.

Jena and his party rode on in the direction which the peasant had
indicated, and, pushing forward with redoubled speed, they soon
overtook the unhappy fugitives. They fell upon Kushluk without mercy,
and killed him on the spot. They then cut off his head, and turned
back to carry it to Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan rewarded Jena in the most magnificent manner for his
successful performance of this exploit, and then, putting Kushluk's
head upon a pole, he displayed it in all the camps and villages
through which he passed, where it served at once as a token and a
trophy of his victory against an enemy, and, at the same time, as a
warning to all other persons of the terrible danger which they would
incur in attempting to resist his power.




China.--The Chinese wall.--The frontier.--Outside the wall.--Origin
of the quarrel with the Chinese.--Yong-tsi.--Genghis Khan's contempt
for him.--Armies raised.--Hujaku.--Many of the khans come over on
Genghis's side.--Victory over Hujaku.--Genghis Khan is wounded.--Hujaku
disgraced.--Restored again.--Dissensions among the Chinese.--Advance
of the Monguls.--Hujaku's rebellion.--Death of Yong-tsi.--Hujaku
advances.--The battle.--Hujaku's victory.--Kan-ki's expedition.--Hujaku
enraged.--Failure.--Kan-ki's second trial.--The sand-storm.--Kan-ki's
desperate resolution.--The attack.--Hujaku's flight.--He is killed in
the gardens.--Kan-ki is pardoned and promoted.

The accounts given us of the events and transactions of Genghis Khan's
reign after he acquired the supreme power over the Mongul and Tartar
nations are imperfect, and, in many respects, confused. It appears,
however, from them that in the year 1211, that is, about five years
after his election as grand khan, he became involved in a war with the
Chinese, which led, in the end, to very important consequences. The
kingdom of China lay to the southward of the Mongul territories, and
the frontier was defended by the famous Chinese wall, which extended
from east to west, over hills and valleys, from the great desert to
the sea, for many hundred miles. The wall was defended by towers,
built here and there in commanding positions along the whole extent of
it, and at certain distances there were fortified towns where powerful
garrisons were stationed, and reserves of troops were held ready to be
marched to different points along the wall, wherever there might be
occasion for their services.

The wall was not strictly the Chinese frontier, for the territory on
the outside of it to a considerable distance was held by the Chinese
government, and there were many large towns and some very strong
fortresses in this outlying region, all of which were held and
garrisoned by Chinese troops.

The inhabitants, however, of the countries outside the wall were
generally of the Tartar or Mongul race. They were of a nation or tribe
called _the Kitan_, and were somewhat inclined to rebel against the
Chinese rule. In order to assist in keeping them in subjection, one of
the Chinese emperors issued a decree which ordained that the governors
of those provinces should place in all the large towns, and other
strongholds outside the wall, twice as many families of the Chinese as
there were of the Kitan. This regulation greatly increased the
discontent of the Kitan, and made them more inclined to rebellion than
they were before.

Besides this, there had been for some time a growing difficulty
between the Chinese government and Genghis Khan. It seems that the
Monguls had been for a long time accustomed to pay some sort of
tribute to the Emperor of China, and many years before, while Genghis
Khan, under the name of Temujin, was living at Karakorom, a subject of
Vang Khan, the emperor sent a certain royal prince, named Yong-tsi, to
receive what was due. While Yong-tsi was in the Mongul territory he
and Temujin met, but they did not agree together at all. The Chinese
prince put some slight upon Temujin, which Temujin resented. Very
likely Temujin, whose character at that time, as well as afterward,
was marked with a great deal of pride and spirit, opposed the payment
of the tribute. At any rate, Yong-tsi became very much incensed
against him, and, on his return, made serious charges against him to
the emperor, and urged that he should be seized and put to death. But
the emperor declined engaging in so dangerous an undertaking.
Yong-tsi's proposal, however, became known to Temujin, and he secretly
resolved that he would one day have his revenge.

At length, about three or four years after Temujin was raised to the
throne, the emperor of the Chinese died, and Yong-tsi succeeded him.
The very next year he sent an officer to Genghis Khan to demand the
usual tribute. When the officer came into the presence of Genghis Khan
in his camp, and made his demand, Genghis Khan asked him who was the
emperor that had sent him with such a message.

The officer replied that Yong-tsi was at that time emperor of the

"Yong-tsi!" repeated Genghis Khan, in a tone of great contempt. "The
Chinese have a proverb," he added, "that such a people as they ought
to have a god for their emperor; but it seems they do not know how to
choose even a decent man."

It was true that they had such a proverb. They were as remarkable, it
seems, in those days as they are now for their national
self-importance and vanity.

"Go and tell your emperor," added Genghis Khan, "that I am a sovereign
ruler, and that I will never acknowledge him as my master."

When the messenger returned with this defiant answer, Yong-tsi was
very much enraged, and immediately began to prepare for war. Genghis
Khan also at once commenced his preparations. He sent envoys to the
leading khans who occupied the territories outside the wall inviting
them to join him. He raised a great army, and put the several
divisions of it under the charge of his ablest generals. Yong-tsi
raised a great army too. The historians say that it amounted to three
hundred thousand men. He put this army under the command of a great
general named Hujaku, and ordered him to advance with it to the
northward, so as to intercept the army of Genghis Khan on its way, and
to defend the wall and the fortresses on the outside of it from his

In the campaign which ensued Genghis Khan was most successful. The
Monguls took possession of a great many towns and fortresses beyond
the wall, and every victory that they gained made the tribes and
nations that inhabited those provinces more and more disposed to join
them. Many of them revolted against the Chinese authority, and turned
to their side. One of these was a chieftain so powerful that he
commanded an army of one hundred thousand men. In order to bind
himself solemnly to the covenant which he was to make with Genghis
Khan, he ascended a mountain in company with the envoy and with others
who were to witness the proceedings, and there performed the ceremony
customary on such occasions. The ceremony consisted of sacrificing a
white horse and a black ox, and then breaking an arrow, at the same
time pronouncing an oath by which he bound himself under the most
solemn sanctions to be faithful to Genghis Khan.

To reward the prince for this act of adhesion to his cause, Genghis
Khan made him king over all that portion of the country, and caused
him to be every where so proclaimed. This encouraged a great many
other khans and chieftains to come over to his side; and at length one
who had the command of one of the gates of the great wall, and of the
fortress which defended it, joined him. By this means Genghis Khan
obtained access to the interior of the Chinese dominions, and Yong-tsi
and his great general Hujaku became seriously alarmed.

At length, after various marchings and counter-marchings, Genghis Khan
learned that Hujaku was encamped with the whole of his army in a very
strong position at the foot of a mountain, and he determined to
proceed thither and attack him. He did so; and the result of the
battle was that Hujaku was beaten and was forced to retreat. He
retired to a great fortified town, and Genghis Khan followed him and
laid siege to the town. Hujaku, finding himself in imminent danger,
fled; and Genghis Khan was on the point of taking the town, when he
was suddenly stopped in his career by being one day wounded severely
by an arrow which was shot at him from the wall.

The wound was so severe that, while suffering under it, Genghis Khan
found that he could not successfully direct the operations of his
army, and so he withdrew his troops and retired into his own country,
to wait there until his wound should be healed. In a few months he was
entirely recovered, and the next year he fitted out a new expedition,
and advanced again into China.

In the mean time, Hujaku, who had been repeatedly defeated and driven
back the year before by Genghis Khan, had fallen into disgrace. His
rivals and enemies among the other generals of the army, and among the
officers of the court, conspired against him, and represented to the
emperor that he was unfit to command, and that his having failed to
defend the towns and the country that had been committed to him was
owing to his cowardice and incapacity. In consequence of these
representations Hujaku was cashiered, that is, dismissed from his
command in disgrace.

This made him very angry, and he determined that he would have his
revenge. There was a large party in his favor at court, as well as a
party against him; and after a long and bitter contention, the former
once more prevailed, and induced the emperor to restore Hujaku to his
command again.

The quarrel, however, was not ended, and so, when Genghis Khan came
the next year to renew the invasion, the councils of the Chinese were
so distracted, and their operations so paralyzed by this feud, that he
gained very easy victories over them. The Chinese generals, instead of
acting together in a harmonious manner against the common enemy, were
intent only on the quarrel which they were waging against each other.

At length the animosity proceeded to such an extreme that Hujaku
resolved to depose the emperor, who seemed inclined rather to take
part against him, assassinate all the chiefs of the opposite party,
and then finally to put the emperor to death, and cause himself to be
proclaimed in his stead.

In order to prepare the way for the execution of this scheme, he
forbore to act vigorously against Genghis Khan and the Monguls, but
allowed them to advance farther and farther into the country. This, of
course, increased the general discontent and excitement, and prepared
the way for the revolt which Hujaku was plotting.

At length the time for action arrived. Hujaku suddenly appeared at the
head of a large force at the gates of the capital, and gave the alarm
that the Monguls were coming. He pressed forward into the city to the
palace, and gave the alarm there. At the same time, files of soldiers,
whom he had ordered to this service, went to all parts of the city,
arresting and putting to death all the leaders of the party opposed to
him, under pretense that he had discovered a plot or conspiracy in
which they were engaged to betray the city to the enemy. The
excitement and confusion which was produced by this charge, and by the
alarm occasioned by the supposed coming of the Monguls, so paralyzed
the authorities of the town that nobody resisted Hujaku, or attempted
to save the persons whom he arrested. Some of them he caused to be
killed on the spot. Others he shut up in prison. Finding himself thus
undisputed master of the city, he next took possession of the palace,
seized the emperor, deposed him from his office, and shut him up in a
dungeon. Soon afterward he put him to death.

This was the end of Yong-tsi; but Hujaku did not succeed, after all,
in his design of causing himself to be proclaimed emperor in his
stead. He found that there would be very great opposition to this, and
so he gave up this part of his plan, and finally raised a certain
prince of the royal family to the throne, while he retained his
office of commander-in-chief of the forces. Having thus, as he
thought, effectually destroyed the influence and power of his enemies
at the capital, he put himself once more at the head of his troops,
and went forth to meet Genghis Khan.

Some accident happened to him about this time by which his foot was
hurt, so that he was, in some degree, disabled, but still he went on.
At length he met the vanguard of Genghis Khan's army at a place where
they were attempting to cross a river by a bridge. Hujaku determined
immediately to attack them. The state of his foot was such that he
could not walk nor even mount a horse, but he caused himself to be put
upon a sort of car, and was by this means carried into the battle.

The Monguls were completely defeated and driven back. Perhaps this was
because Genghis Khan was not there to command them. He was at some
distance in the rear with the main body of the army.

Hujaku was very desirous of following up his victory by pursuing and
attacking the Mongul vanguard the next day. He could not, however, do
this personally, for, on account of the excitement and exposure which
he had endured in the battle, and the rough movements and joltings
which, notwithstanding all his care, he had to bear in being conveyed
to and fro about the field, his foot grew much worse. Inflammation set
in during the night, and the next day the wound opened afresh; so he
was obliged to give up the idea of going out himself against the
enemy, and to send one of his generals instead. The general to whom he
gave the command was named Kan-ki.

Kan-ki went out against the enemy, but, after a time, returned
unsuccessful. Hujaku was very angry with him when he came to hear his
report. Perhaps the wound in his foot made him impatient and
unreasonable. At any rate, he declared that the cause of Kan-ki's
failure was his dilatoriness in pursuing the enemy, which was
cowardice or treachery, and, in either case, he deserved to suffer
death for it. He immediately sent to the emperor a report of the case,
asking that the sentence of death which he had pronounced against
Kan-ki might be confirmed, and that he might be authorized to put it
into execution.

But the emperor, knowing that Kan-ki was a courageous and faithful
officer, would not consent.

In the mean while, before the emperor's answer came back, the wrath
of Hujaku had had time to cool a little. Accordingly, when he received
the answer, he said to Kan-ki that he would, after all, try him once

"Take the command of the troops again," said he, "and go out against
the enemy. If you beat them, I will overlook your first offense and
spare your life; but if you are beaten yourself a second time, you
shall die."

So Kan-ki placed himself at the head of his detachment, and went out
again to attack the Monguls. They were to the northward, and were
posted, it seems, upon or near a sandy plain. At any rate, a strong
north wind began to blow at the time when the attack commenced, and
blew the sand and dust into the eyes of his soldiers so that they
could not see, while their enemies the Monguls, having their backs to
the wind, were very little incommoded. The result was that Kan-ki was
repulsed with considerable loss, and was obliged to make the best of
his way back to Hujaku's quarters to save the remainder of his men.

He was now desperate. Hujaku had declared that if he came back without
having gained a victory he should die, and he had no doubt that the
man was violent and reckless enough to keep his word. He determined
not to submit. He might as well die fighting, he thought, at the head
of his troops, as to be ignobly put to death by Hujaku's executioner.
So he arranged it with his troops, who probably hated Hujaku as much
as he did, that, on returning to the town, they should march in under
arms, take possession of the place, surround the palace, and seize the
general and make him prisoner, or kill him if he should attempt any

The troops accordingly, when they arrived at the gates of the town,
seized and disarmed the guards, and then marched in, brandishing their
weapons, and uttering loud shouts and outcries, which excited first a
feeling of astonishment and then of terror among the inhabitants. The
alarm soon spread to the palace. Indeed, the troops themselves soon
reached and surrounded the palace, and began thundering at the gates
to gain admission. They soon forced their way in. Hujaku, in the mean
time, terrified and panic-stricken, had fled from the palace into the
gardens, in hopes to make his escape by the garden walls. The soldiers
pursued him. In his excitement and agitation he leaped down from a
wall too high for such a descent, and, in his fall, broke his leg. He
lay writhing helplessly on the ground when the soldiers came up. They
were wild and furious with the excitement of pursuit, and they killed
him with their spears where he lay.

Kan-ki took the head of his old enemy and carried it to the capital,
with the intention of offering it to the emperor, and also of
surrendering himself to the officers of justice, in order, as he said,
that he might be put to death for the crime of which he had been
guilty in heading a military revolt and killing his superior officer.
By all the laws of war this was a most heinous and a wholly
unpardonable offense.

But the emperor was heartily glad that the turbulent and unmanageable
old general was put out of the way, for a man so unprincipled, so
ambitious, and so reckless as Hujaku was is always an object of
aversion and terror to all who have any thing to do with him. The
emperor accordingly issued a proclamation, in which he declared that
Hujaku had been justly put to death in punishment for many crimes
which he had committed, and soon afterward he appointed Kan-ki
commander-in-chief of the forces in his stead.




War continued.--Rich and fertile country.--Grand invasion.--Simultaneous
attack by four armies.--Enthusiasm of the troops.--Captives.--Immense
plunder.--Dreadful ravages.--Base use made of the captives.--Extent
of Mongul conquests.--The siege of Yen-king.--Proposed terms of
arrangement.--Difference of opinion.--Consultation on the subject.--The
conditions accepted.--Terms of peace agreed upon.--Consultations.--The
emperor's uneasiness.--Abandonment of the capital.--Revolt of the
guards.--The siege of the capital renewed.--Wan-yen and Mon-yen.--Their
perplexity.--Suicide proposed.--Wan-yen in despair.--His
suicide.--Mon-yen's plan.--Petition of the wives.--Sacking of the city
by Mingan.--Massacres.--Fate of Mon-yen.--Treasures.--Conquests
extended.--Governors appointed.

After the death of Hujaku, the Emperor of China endeavored to defend
his dominions against Genghis Khan by means of his other generals, and
the war was continued for several years, during which time Genghis
Khan made himself master of all the northern part of China, and
ravaged the whole country in the most reckless and cruel manner. The
country was very populous and very rich. The people, unlike the
Monguls and Tartars, lived by tilling the ground, and they practiced,
in great perfection, many manufacturing and mechanic arts. The country
was very fertile, and, in the place of the boundless pasturages of the
Mongul territories, it was covered in all directions with cultivated
fields, gardens, orchards, and mulberry-groves, while thriving
villages and busy towns were scattered over the whole face of it. It
was to protect this busy hive of wealth and industry that the great
wall had been built ages before; for the Chinese had always been
stationary, industrious, and peaceful, while the territories of
Central Asia, lying to the north of them, had been filled from time
immemorial with wild, roaming, and unscrupulous troops of marauders,
like those who were now united under the banner of Genghis Khan. The
wall had afforded for some hundreds of years an adequate protection,
for no commander had appeared of sufficient power to organize and
combine the various hordes on a scale great enough to enable them to
force so strong a barrier. But, now that Genghis Khan had come upon
the stage, the barrier was broken through, and the terrible and
reckless hordes poured in with all the force and fury of an
inundation. In the year 1214, which was the year following that in
which Hujaku was killed, Genghis Khan organized a force so large, for
the invasion of China, that he divided it into four different
battalions, which were to enter by different roads, and ravage
different portions of the country. Each of these divisions was by
itself a great and powerful army, and the simultaneous invasion of
four such masses of reckless and merciless enemies filled the whole
land with terror and dismay.

The Chinese emperor sent the best bodies of troops under his command
to guard the passes in the mountains, and the bridges and
fording-places on the rivers, hoping in this way to do something
toward stemming the tide of these torrents of invasion. But it was all
in vain. Genghis Khan had raised and equipped his forces by means, in
a great measure, of the plunder which he had obtained in China the
year before, and he had made great promises and glowing
representations to his men in respect to the booty to be obtained in
this new campaign. The troops were consequently full of ardor and
enthusiasm, and they pressed on with such impetuosity as to carry all
before them.

The Emperor of China, in pursuing his measures of defense, had ordered
all the men capable of bearing arms in the villages and in the open
country to repair to the nearest large city or fortress, there to be
enrolled and equipped for service. The consequence was that the
Monguls found in many places, as they advanced through the country,
nobody but infirm old men, and women and children in the hamlets and
villages. A great many of these, especially such as seemed to be of
most consequence, the handsomest and best of the women, and the oldest
children, they seized and took with them in continuing their march,
intending to make slaves of them. They also took possession of all
the gold and silver, and also of all the silks and other rich and
valuable merchandise which they found, and distributed it as plunder.
The spoil which they obtained, too, in sheep and cattle, was enormous.
From it they made up immense flocks and herds, which were driven off
into the Mongul country. The rest were slaughtered, and used to supply
the army with food.

It was the custom of the invaders, after having pillaged a town and
its environs, and taken away all which they could convert to any
useful purpose for themselves, to burn the town itself, and then to
march on, leaving in the place only a smoking heap of ruins, with the
miserable remnant of the population which they had spared wandering
about the scene of desolation in misery and despair.

They made a most cowardly and atrocious use, too, of the prisoners
whom they conveyed away. When they arrived at a fortified town where
there was a garrison or any other armed force prepared to resist them,
they would bring forward these helpless captives, and put them in the
fore-front of the battle in such a manner that the men on the walls
could not shoot their arrows at their savage assailants without
killing their own wives and children. The officers commanded the men
to fire notwithstanding. But they were so moved by the piteous cries
which the women and children made that they could not bear to do it,
and so they refused to obey, and in the excitement and confusion thus
produced the Monguls easily obtained possession of the town.

There are two great rivers in China, both of which flow from west
to east, and they are at such a distance from each other and from
the frontiers that they divide the territory into three nearly equal
parts. The northernmost of these rivers is the Hoang Ho. The Monguls
in the course of two years overran and made themselves masters of
almost the whole country lying north of this river, that is, of
about one third of China proper. There were, however, some
strongly-fortified towns which they found it very difficult to

Among other places, there was the imperial city of Yen-king, where the
emperor himself resided, which was so strongly defended that for some
time the Monguls did not venture to attack it. At length, however,
Genghis Khan came himself to the place, and concentrated there a very
large force. The emperor and his court were very much alarmed,
expecting an immediate assault. Still Genghis Khan hesitated. Some of
his generals urged him to scale the walls, and so force his way into
the city. But he thought it more politic to adopt a different plan.

So he sent an officer into the town with proposals of peace to be
communicated to the emperor. In these proposals Genghis Khan said that
he himself was inclined to spare the town, but that to appease his
soldiers, who were furious to attack and pillage the city, it would be
necessary to make them considerable presents, and that, if the emperor
would agree to such terms with him as should enable him to satisfy his
men in this respect, he would spare the city and would retire.

The emperor and his advisers were much perplexed at the receipt of
this proposal. There was great difference of opinion among the
counselors in respect to the reply which was to be made to it. Some
were in favor of rejecting it at once. One general, not content with a
simple rejection of it, proposed that, to show the indignation and
resentment which they felt in receiving it, the garrison should march
out of the gates and attack the Monguls in their camp.

There were other ministers, however, who urged the emperor to submit
to the necessity of the case, and make peace with the conqueror. They
said that the idea of going out to attack the enemy in their camp was
too desperate to be entertained for a moment, and if they waited
within the walls and attempted to defend themselves there, they
exposed themselves to a terrible danger, without any countervailing
hope of advantage at all commensurate with it; for if they failed to
save the city they were all utterly and irretrievably ruined; and if,
on the other hand, they succeeded in repelling the assault, it was
only a brief respite that they could hope to gain, for the Monguls
would soon return in greater numbers and in a higher state of
excitement and fury than ever. Besides, they said, the garrison was
discontented and depressed in spirit, and would make but a feeble
resistance. It was composed mainly of troops brought in from the
country, away from their families and homes, and all that they desired
was to be released from duty, in order that they might go and see what
had become of their wives and children.

The emperor, in the end, adopted this counsel, and he sent a
commissioner to the camp of Genghis Khan to ask on what terms peace
could be made. Genghis Khan stated the conditions. They were very
hard, but the emperor was compelled to submit to them. One of the
stipulations was that Genghis Khan was to receive one of the Chinese
princesses, a daughter of the late emperor Yong-tsi, to add to the
number of his wives. There were also to be delivered to him for slaves
five hundred young boys and as many girls, three thousand horses, a
large quantity of silk, and an immense sum of money. As soon as these
conditions were fulfilled, after dividing the slaves and the booty
among the officers and soldiers of his army, Genghis Khan raised the
siege and moved off to the northward.

In respect to the captives that his soldiers had taken in the towns
and villages--the women and children spoken of above--the army carried
off with them all that were old enough to be of any value as slaves.
The little children, who would only, they thought, be in the way, they

The emperor was by no means easy after the Mongul army had gone. A
marauding enemy like that, bought off by the payment of a ransom, is
exceedingly apt to find some pretext for returning, and the emperor
did not feel that he was safe. Very soon after the Monguls had
withdrawn, he proposed to his council the plan of removing his court
southward to the other side of the Hoang Ho, to a large city in the
province of Henan. Some of his counselors made great objections to
this proposal. They said that if the emperor withdrew in that manner
from the northern provinces that portion of his empire would be
irretrievably lost. Genghis Khan would soon obtain complete and
undisputed possession of the whole of it. The proper course to be
adopted, they said, was to remain and make a firm stand in defense of
the capital and of the country. They must levy new troops, repair the
fortifications, recruit the garrison, and lay in supplies of food and
of other military stores, and thus prepare themselves for a vigorous
and efficient resistance in case the enemy should return.

But the emperor could not be persuaded. He said that the treasury was
exhausted, the troops were discouraged, the cities around the capital
were destroyed, and the whole country was so depopulated by the
devastations of the Monguls that no considerable number of fresh
levies could be obtained; and that, consequently, the only safe course
for the government to pursue was to retire to the southward, beyond
the river. He would, however, he added, leave his son, with a strong
garrison, to defend the capital.

He accordingly took with him a few favorites of his immediate family
and a small body of troops, and commenced his journey--a journey
which was considered by all the people as a base and ignoble flight.
He involved himself in endless troubles by this step. A revolt broke
out on the way among the guards who accompanied him. One of the
generals who headed the revolt sent a messenger to Genghis Khan
informing him of the emperor's abandonment of his capital, and
offering to go over, with all the troops under his command, to the
service of Genghis Khan if Genghis Khan would receive him.

When Genghis Khan heard thus of the retreat of the emperor from his
capital, he was, or pretended to be, much incensed. He considered the
proceeding as in some sense an act of hostility against himself, and,
as such, an infraction of the treaty and a renewal of the war. So he
immediately ordered one of his leading generals--a certain chieftain
named Mingan--to proceed southward at the head of a large army and lay
siege to Yen-king again.

The old emperor, who seems now to have lost all spirit, and to have
given himself up entirely to despondency and fear, was greatly alarmed
for the safety of his son the prince, whom he had left in command at
Yen-king. He immediately sent orders to his son to leave the city and
come to him. The departure of the prince, in obedience to these
orders, of course threw an additional gloom over the city, and excited
still more the general discontent which the emperor's conduct had

The prince, on his departure, left two generals in command of the
garrison. Their names were Wan-yen and Mon-yen. They were left to
defend the city as well as they could from the army of Monguls under
Mingan, which was now rapidly drawing near. The generals were greatly
embarrassed and perplexed with the difficulties of their situation.
The means of defense at their disposal were wholly inadequate, and
they knew not what to do.

At length one of them, Wan-yen, proposed to the other that they should
kill themselves. This Mon-yen refused to do. Mon-yen was the commander
on whom the troops chiefly relied, and he considered suicide a mode of
deserting one's post scarcely less dishonorable than any other. He
said that his duty was to stand by his troops, and, if he could not
defend them where they were, to endeavor to draw them away, while
there was an opportunity, to a place of safety.

So Wan-yen, finding his proposal rejected, went away in a rage. He
retired to his apartment, and wrote a dispatch to the emperor, in
which he explained the desperate condition of affairs, and the
impossibility of saving the city, and in the end declared himself
deserving of death for not being able to accomplish the work which his
majesty had assigned to him.

He enveloped and sealed this dispatch, and then, calling his domestics
together, he divided among them, in a very calm and composed manner,
all his personal effects, and then took leave of them and dismissed

A single officer only now remained with him. In the presence of this
officer he wrote a few words, and then sent him away. As soon as the
officer had gone, he drank a cup of poison which he had previously
ordered to be prepared for him, and in a few minutes was a lifeless

In the mean time, the other general, Mon-yen, had been making
preparations to leave the city. His plan was to take with him such
troops as might be serviceable to the emperor, but to leave all the
inmates of the palace, as well as the inhabitants of the city, to
their fate. Among the people of the palace were, it seems, a number of
the emperor's wives, whom he had left behind at the time of his own
flight, he having taken with him at that time only a few of the more
favored ones. These women who were left, when they heard that Mon-yen
was intending to abandon the city with a view of joining the emperor
in the south, came to him in a body, and begged him to take them with

In order to relieve himself of their solicitations, he said that he
would do so, but he added that he must leave the city himself with the
guards to prepare the way, and that he would return immediately for
them. They were satisfied with this promise, and returned to the
palace to prepare for the journey. Mon-yen at once left the city, and
very soon after he had gone, Mingan, the Mongul general, arrived at
the gates, and, meeting with no effectual resistance, he easily forced
his way in, and a scene of universal terror and confusion ensued. The
soldiers spread themselves over the city in search of plunder, and
killed all who came in their way. They plundered the palace and then
set it on fire. So extensive was the edifice, and so vast were the
stores of clothing and other valuables which it contained, even after
all the treasures which could be made available to the conquerors had
been taken away, that the fire continued to burn among the ruins for a
month or more.

What became of the unhappy women who were so cruelly deceived by
Mon-yen in respect to their hopes of escape does not directly appear.
They doubtless perished with the other inhabitants of the city in the
general massacre. Soldiers at such a time, while engaged in the sack
and plunder of a city, are always excited to a species of insane fury,
and take a savage delight in thrusting their pikes into all that come
in their way.

Mon-yen excused himself, when he arrived at the quarters of the
emperor, for having thus abandoned the women to their fate by the
alleged impossibility of saving them. He could not have succeeded, he
said, in effecting his own retreat and that of the troops who went
with him if he had been encumbered in his movements by such a company
of women. The emperor accepted this excuse, and seemed to be satisfied
with it, though, not long afterward, Mon-yen was accused of conspiracy
against the emperor and was put to death.

Mingan took possession of the imperial treasury, where he found great
stores of silk, and also of gold and silver plate. All these things he
sent to Genghis Khan, who remained still at the north at a grand
encampment which he had made in Tartary.

After this, other campaigns were fought by Genghis Khan in China, in
the course of which he extended his conquests still farther to the
southward, and made himself master of a very great extent of country.
After confirming these conquests, he selected from among such Chinese
officers as were disposed to enter into his service suitable persons
to be appointed governors of the provinces, and in this way annexed
them to his dominions; these officers thus transferring their
allegiance from the emperor to him, and covenanting to send to him the
tribute which they should annually collect from their respective
dominions. Every thing being thus settled in this quarter, Genghis
Khan next turned his attention to the western frontiers of his empire,
where the Tartar and Mongul territory bordered on Turkestan and the
dominions of the Mohammedans.




Mohammedan countries on the west.--Sultan Mohammed.--Karazm.--Proposed
embassy.--Makinut and his suite.--Speech of the embassador.--Father
and son.--The sultan not pleased.--Private interview.--Anger of the
sultan.--Conversation.--Makinut returns a soft answer.--The sultan
is appeased.--Treaty made.--Genghis Khan is pleased.--Opening of
the trade.--The exorbitant merchants.--Their punishment.--The next
company.--Their artful management.--Genghis Khan fits out a
company.--Embassadors.--Mohammedans.--Messengers from the court.--Large
party.--Roads doubly guarded.--The Calif of Bagdad.--Mohammed's demand
and the calif's reply.--The sultan calls a council.--Mohammed's
plan for revenge.--March of the army.--Failure.--The calif's
plans.--Objections to them.--Arguments of the calif.--Message to
Genghis Khan.--Artful device.--The answer of Genghis Khan.--The
caravan arrives at Otrar.--The governor's treachery.--The party
massacred.--Genghis Khan hears the tidings.--He declares

The portion of China which Genghis Khan had added to his dominions by
the conquests described in the last chapter was called Katay, and the
possession of it, added to the extensive territories which were
previously under his sway, made his empire very vast. The country
which he now held, either under his direct government, or as tributary
provinces and kingdoms, extended north and south through the whole
interior of Asia, and from the shores of the Japan and China Seas on
the east, nearly to the Caspian Sea on the west, a distance of nearly
three thousand miles.

Beyond his western limits lay Turkestan and other countries governed
by the Mohammedans. Among the other Mohammedan princes there was a
certain Sultan Mohammed, a great and very powerful sovereign, who
reigned over an extensive region in the neighborhood of the Caspian
Sea, though the principal seat of his power was a country called
Karazm. He was, in consequence, sometimes styled Mohammed Karazm.

It might perhaps have been expected that Genghis Khan, having subdued
all the rivals within his reach in the eastern part of Asia, and being
strong and secure in the possession of his power, would have found
some pretext for making war upon the sultan, with a view of conquering
his territories too, and adding the countries bordering on the Caspian
to his dominions. But, for some reason or other, he concluded, in this
instance, to adopt a different policy. Whether it was that he was
tired of war and wished for repose, or whether the sultan's dominions
were too remote, or his power too great to make it prudent to attack
him, he determined on sending an embassy instead of an army, with a
view of proposing to the sultan a treaty of friendship and alliance.

The time when this embassy was sent was in the year 1217, and the name
of the principal embassador was Makinut.

Makinut set out on his mission accompanied by a large retinue of
attendants and guards. The journey occupied several weeks, but at
length he arrived in the sultan's dominions. Soon after his arrival he
was admitted to an audience of the sultan, and there, accompanied by
his own secretaries, and in the presence of all the chief officers of
the sultan's court, he delivered his message.

He gave an account in his speech of the recent victories which his
sovereign, Genghis Khan, had won, and of the great extension which his
empire had in consequence attained. He was now become master, he said,
of all the countries of Central Asia, from the eastern extremity of
the continent up to the frontiers of the sultan's dominions, and
having thus become the sultan's neighbor, he was desirous of entering
into a treaty of amity and alliance with him, which would be obviously
for the mutual interest of both. He had accordingly been sent an
embassador to the sultan's court to propose such an alliance. In
offering it, the emperor, he said, was actuated by a feeling of the
sincerest good-will. He wished the sultan to consider him as a father,
and he would look upon the sultan as a son.

According to the patriarchal ideas of government which prevailed in
those days, the relation of father to son involved not merely the idea
of a tie of affection connecting an older with a younger person, but
it implied something of pre-eminence and authority on the one part,
and dependence and subjection on the other. Perhaps Genghis Khan did
not mean his proposition to be understood in this sense, but made it
solely in reference to the disparity between his own and the sultan's
years, for he was himself now becoming considerably advanced in life.
However this may be, the sultan was at first not at all pleased with
the proposition in the form in which the embassador made it.

He, however, listened quietly to Makinut's words, and said nothing
until the public audience was ended. He then took Makinut alone into
another apartment in order to have some quiet conversation with him.
He first asked him to tell him the exact state of the case in respect
to all the pretended victories which Genghis Khan had gained, and, in
order to propitiate him and induce him to reveal the honest truth, he
made him a present of a rich scarf, splendidly adorned with jewels.

"How is it?" said he; "has the emperor really made all those
conquests, and is his empire as extensive and powerful as he pretends?
Tell me the honest truth about it."

"What I have told your majesty is the honest truth about it," replied
Makinut. "My master the emperor is as powerful as I have represented
him, and this your majesty will soon find out in case you come to
have any difficulty with him."

This bold and defiant language on the part of the embassador greatly
increased the irritation which the sultan felt before. He seemed much
incensed, and replied in a very angry manner.

"I know not what your master means," said he, "by sending such
messages to me, telling me of the provinces that he has conquered, and
boasting of his power, or upon what ground he pretends to be greater
than I, and expects that I shall honor him as my father, and be
content to be treated by him only as his son. Is he so very great a
personage as this?"

Makinut now found that perhaps he had spoken a little too plainly, and
he began immediately to soften and modify what he had said, and to
compliment the sultan himself, who, as he was well aware, was really
superior in power and glory to Genghis Khan, notwithstanding the great
extension to which the empire of the latter had recently attained. He
also begged that the sultan would not be angry with him for delivering
the message with which he had been intrusted. He was only a servant,
he said, and he was bound to obey the orders of his master. He assured
the sultan, moreover, that if any unfavorable construction could by
possibility be put upon the language which the emperor had used, no
such meaning was designed on his part, but that in sending the
embassage, and in every thing connected with it, the emperor had acted
with the most friendly and honorable intentions.

By means of conciliating language like this the sultan was at length
appeased, and he finally was induced to agree to every thing which the
embassador proposed. A treaty of peace and commerce was drawn up and
signed, and, after every thing was concluded, Makinut returned to the
Mongul country loaded with presents, some of which were for himself
and his attendants, and others were for Genghis Khan.

He was accompanied, too, by a caravan of merchants, who, in
consequence of the new treaty, were going into the country of Genghis
Khan with their goods, to see what they could do in the new market
thus opened to them. This caravan traveled in company with Makinut on
his return, in order to avail themselves of the protection which the
guard that attended him could afford in passing through the
intervening countries. These countries being filled with hordes of
Tartars, who were very little under the dominion of law, it would have
been unsafe for a caravan of rich merchandise to pass through them
without an escort.

Genghis Khan was greatly pleased with the result of his embassy. He
was also much gratified with the presents that the sultan had sent
him, which consisted of costly stuffs for garments, beautiful and
highly-wrought arms, precious stones, and other similar articles. He
welcomed the merchants too, and opened facilities for them to travel
freely throughout his dominions and dispose of their goods.

In order that future caravans might go and come at all times in
safety, he established guards along the roads between his country and
that of the sultan. These guards occupied fortresses built at
convenient places along the way, and especially at the crossing-places
on the rivers, and in the passes of the mountains; and there orders
were given to these guards to scour the country in every direction
around their respective posts, in order to keep it clear of robbers.
Whenever a band of robbers was formed, the soldiers hunted them from
one lurking-place to another until they were exterminated. In this
way, after a short time, the country became perfectly safe, and the
caravans of merchants could go and come with the richest goods, and
even with treasures of gold and silver, without any fear.

At first, it would seem, some of the merchants from the countries of
Mohammed asked too much for their goods. At least a story is told of a
company who came very soon after the opening of the treaty, and who
offered their goods first to Genghis Khan himself, but they asked such
high prices for them that he was astonished.

"I suppose," said he, "by your asking such prices as these, you
imagine that I have never bought any goods before."

He then took them to see his treasures, and showed them over a
thousand large chests filled with valuables of every description; gold
and silver utensils, rich silks, arms and accoutrements splendidly
adorned with precious stones, and other such commodities. He told them
that he showed them these things in order that they might see that he
had had some experience in respect to dealings in merchandise of that
sort before, and knew something of its just value. And that, since
they had been so exorbitant in their demands, presuming probably upon
the ignorance of those whom they came to deal with, he should send
them back with all their goods, and not allow them to sell them any
where in his dominions, at any price.


This threat he put in execution. The merchants were obliged to go
back without selling any of their goods at all.

The next company of merchants that came, having heard of the adventure
of the others, determined to act on a different principle.
Accordingly, when they came into the presence of the khan with their
goods, and he asked them the prices of some of them, they replied that
his majesty might himself fix the price of the articles, as he was a
far better judge of the value of such things than they were. Indeed,
they added that if his majesty chose to take them without paying any
thing at all he was welcome to do so.

This answer pleased the emperor very much. He paid them double price
for the articles which he selected from their stores, and he granted
them peculiar privileges in respect to trading with his subjects while
they remained in his dominions.

The trade which was thus opened between the dominions of the sultan
and those of Genghis Khan was not, however, wholly in the hands of
merchants coming from the former country. Soon after the coming of the
caravan last mentioned, Genghis Khan fitted out a company of merchants
from his own country, who were to go into the country of the sultan,
taking with them such articles, the products of the country of the
Monguls, as they might hope to find a market for there. There were
four principal merchants, but they were attended by a great number of
assistants, servants, camel-drivers, etc., so that the whole company
formed quite a large caravan. Genghis Khan sent with them three
embassadors, who were to present to the sultan renewed assurances of
the friendly feelings which he entertained for him, and of his desire
to encourage and promote as much as possible the commercial
intercourse between the two countries which had been so happily begun.

The three embassadors whom Genghis Khan selected for this service were
themselves Mohammedans. He had several persons of this faith among the
officers of his court, although the Monguls had a national religion of
their own, which was very different from that of the Mohammedans;
still, all forms of worship were tolerated in Genghis Khan's
dominions, and the emperor was accustomed to take good officers into
his service wherever he could find them, without paying any regard to
the nature of their religious belief so far as their general duties
were concerned. But now, in sending this deputation to the sultan, he
selected the embassadors from among the Mohammedans at his court,
thinking that it would please the sultan better to receive his message
through persons of his own religious faith. Besides, the three persons
whom he appointed were natives of Turkestan, and they were, of course,
well acquainted with the language of the country and with the country

Besides the merchants and the embassadors, Genghis Khan gave
permission to each of his wives, and also to each of the great lords
of his court, to send a servant or messenger with the caravan, to
select and purchase for their masters and mistresses whatever they
might find most curious or useful in the Mohammedan cities which the
caravan might visit. The lords and ladies were all very glad to avail
themselves of the opportunity thus afforded them.

All these persons, the embassadors and their suite, the merchants and
their servants, and the special messengers sent by the lords and
ladies of the court, formed, as may well be supposed, a very numerous
company. It is said that the caravan, when ready to commence its
march, contained no less than four hundred and fifty persons.

Every thing being at last made ready, the caravan set out on its long
journey. It was accompanied by a suitable escort, and, in order to
provide still more effectually for the safety of the rich merchandise
and the valuable lives committed to it, Genghis Khan sent on orders
beforehand to all the military stations on the way, directing the
captains to double the guard on their respective sections of the road
while the caravan was passing.

By means of these and other similar precautions the expedition
accomplished the journey in safety, and arrived without any misfortune
in the Mohammedan country. Very serious misfortunes, however, awaited
them there immediately after their arrival, arising out of a train of
events which had been for some time in progress, and which I must now
go back a little to describe.

It seems that some difference had arisen some time before this between
the Sultan Mohammed and the Calif of Bagdad, who was the great head of
the Mohammedan power. Mohammed applied to the calif to grant him
certain privileges and powers which had occasionally been bestowed on
other sultans who had rendered great services to the Mohammedan
empire. He claimed that he had merited these rewards by the services
which he had rendered. He had conquered, he said, more than one
hundred princes and chieftains, and had cut off their heads and
annexed their territories to his dominions, thus greatly enlarging and
extending the Mohammedan power.

Mohammed made this demand of the calif through the medium of an
embassador whom he sent to Bagdad. The calif, after hearing what the
embassador had to say, refused to comply. He said that the services
which Mohammed had rendered were not of sufficient importance and
value to merit the honors and privileges which Mohammed demanded. But,
although he thus declined complying with Mohammed's request, he showed
a disposition to treat the sultan himself with all proper deference by
sending an embassador of his own to accompany Mohammed's embassador on
his return, with instructions to communicate the reply which the calif
felt bound to make in a respectful and courteous manner.

Mohammed received the calif's embassador very honorably, and in his
presence concealed the anger which the answer of the calif excited in
his mind. As soon as the embassador was gone, however, he convened a
grand council of all the great chieftains, and generals, and ministers
of state in his dominions, and announced to them his determination to
raise an army and march to Bagdad, with a view of deposing the calif
and reigning in his stead. The great personages assembled at the
council were very ready to enter into this scheme, for they knew that
if it was successful there would be a great many honors and a great
deal of booty that would fall to their share in the final distribution
of the spoil. So they all engaged with great zeal in aiding the sultan
to form and equip his army. In due time the expedition was ready, and
the sultan commenced his march. But, as often happens in such cases,
the preparations had been hindered by various causes of delay, and it
was too late in the season when the army began to move. The forces
moved slowly, too, after they commenced their march, so that the
winter came on while they were among the passes of the mountains. The
winter was unusually severe, and the troops suffered so much from the
frosts and the rains, and from the various hardships to which they
were in consequence exposed, that the sultan found it impossible to go
on. He was consequently obliged to return, and begin his work over
again. And the worst of it was, that the calif was now aware of his
designs, and would be able, he knew, before the next season, to take
effectual measures to defend himself.

When the calif heard of the misfortunes which had befallen the
sultan's army, and his narrow escape from the dangers of a formidable
invasion, he was at first overjoyed, and he resolved at once on making
war upon the rebellious sultan. In forming his plans for the campaign,
the idea occurred to him of endeavoring to incite Genghis Khan to
invade the sultan's dominions from the east while he himself attacked
him from the west; for Bagdad, the capital of the calif, was to the
westward of the sultan's country, as the empire of the Monguls was to
the eastward of it.

But when the calif proposed his plan to his counselors, some of them
objected to it very strenuously. The sultan and the people of his
country were, like the calif himself, Mohammedans, while the Monguls
were of another religion altogether, or, as the Mohammedans called
them, unbelievers or infidels; and the counselors who objected to the
calif's proposal said that it would be very wrong to bring the enemies
of God into the country of the faithful to guard against a present and
temporary danger, and thereby, perhaps, in the end occasion the ruin
both of their religion and their empire. It would be an impious deed,
they thought, thus to bring in a horde of barbarian infidels to wage
war with them against their brethren.

To this the calif replied that the emergency was so critical that they
were justified in availing themselves of any means that offered to
save themselves from the ruin with which they were threatened. And as
to the possibility that Genghis Khan, if admitted to the country as
their ally, would in the end turn his arms against them, he said that
they must watch, and take measures to guard against such a danger.
Besides, he would rather have an open unbeliever like Genghis Khan for
a foe, than a Mohammedan traitor and rebel like the sultan. He added,
moreover, that he did not believe that the Mongul emperor felt any
animosity or ill will against the Mohammedans or against their faith.
It was evident, indeed, that he did not, for he had a great many
Mohammedans in his dominions, and he allowed them to live there
without molestation. He even had Mohammedan officers of very high rank
in his court.

So it was finally decided to send a message and invite him to join the
calif in making war on the sultan.

The difficulty was now to contrive some means by which this message
could be conveyed through the sultan's territories, which, of course,
lay between the dominions of the calif and those of Genghis Khan. To
accomplish this purpose the calif resorted to a very singular device.
Instead of writing his communication in a letter, he caused it to be
pricked with a needle and some indigo, by a sort of tattooing process,
upon the messenger's head, in such a manner that it was concealed by
his hair. The messenger was then disguised as a countryman and sent
forth. He succeeded in accomplishing the journey in safety, and when
he arrived Genghis Khan had only to cause his head to be shaved, when
the inscription containing the calif's proposal to him at once became

This method of making the communication was considered very safe, for
even if, from any accident, the man had been intercepted on the way,
on suspicion of his being a messenger, the sultan's men would have
found nothing, in searching him, to confirm their suspicions, for it
is not at all probable that they would have thought of looking for a
letter among his hair.

Genghis Khan was well pleased to receive the proposals of the calif,
but he sent back word in reply that he could not at present engage in
any hostile movement against the sultan on account of the treaty of
peace and commerce which he had recently established with him. So
long as the sultan observed the stipulations of the treaty, he felt
bound in honor, he said, not to break it. He knew, however, he added,
that the restless spirit of the sultan would not long allow things to
remain in the posture they were then in, and that on the first
occasion given he would not fail to declare war against him.

Things were in this state when the grand caravan of merchants and
embassadors which Genghis Khan had sent arrived at the frontiers of
the sultan's dominions.

After passing the frontier, the first important place which they
reached was a city called Otrar. They were received very courteously
by the governor of this place, and were much pleased with the
opportunity afforded them to rest from the fatigues of their long
journey. It seems, however, after all, that the governor's friendship
for his guests was only pretended, for he immediately wrote to the
sultan, informing him that a party of persons had arrived at his city
from the Mongul country who pretended to be merchants and embassadors,
but that he believed that they were spies, for they were extremely
inquisitive about the strength of the garrisons and the state of the
defenses of the country generally. He had no doubt, he added, that
they were emissaries sent by Genghis Khan to find out the best way of
invading his dominions.

One account states that the motive which induced the governor to make
these representations to the sultan was some offense which he took at
the familiar manner in which he was addressed by one of the
embassadors, who was a native of Otrar, and had known the governor in
former times when he was a private person. Another says that his
object was to have the expedition broken up, in order that he might
seize for himself the rich merchandise and the valuable presents which
the merchants and embassadors had in their possession.

At any rate, he wrote to the sultan denouncing the whole party as
foreign emissaries and spies, and in a short time he received a reply
from the sultan directing him to put them all to death, or otherwise
to deal with them as he thought proper. So he invited the whole party
to a grand entertainment in his palace, and then, at a given signal,
probably after most of them had become in some measure helpless from
the influence of the wine, a body of his guards rushed in and
massacred them all.

Or, rather, they attempted to massacre them all, but one of the
merchants' men contrived in the confusion to make his escape. He
succeeded in getting back into the Mongul country, where he reported
what had happened to Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan was greatly exasperated when he heard these tidings. He
immediately called together his sons, and all the great lords and
chieftains of his court, and recited to them the story of the massacre
of the merchants in such a manner as to fill their hearts with
indignation and rage, and to inspire them all with a burning thirst
for revenge.

He also immediately sent word to the sultan that, since by so infamous
an action he had violated all the engagements which had subsisted
between them, he, from that instant, declared himself his mortal
enemy, and would take vengeance upon him for his treacherousness and
cruelty by ravaging his country with fire and sword.

This message was sent, it was said, by three embassadors, whose
persons ought to have been considered sacred, according to every
principle of international law. But the sultan, as soon as they had
delivered their message, ordered their heads to be cut off.

This new massacre excited the rage and fury of Genghis Khan to a
higher pitch than ever. For three days, it is said, he neither ate
nor slept, and seemed almost beside himself with mingled vexation,
grief, and anger. And afterward he busied himself night and day with
the arrangements for assembling his army and preparing to march, and
he allowed himself no rest until every thing was ready.




Marshaling of the army.--Arms and armor.--Provision for
contingencies.--The army commences its march.--Jughi's
division.--Preparations of the sultan.--His army.--His plan.--The
sultan meets Jughi.--Opinion of the generals.--Jughi's decision.--The
battle commenced.--Neither party victorious.--Jughi withdraws.--His
reception by his father.--The Monguls victorious.--The sultan's
plans.--Flying squadron.--Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan made his preparations for a war on an immense scale. He
sent messengers in every direction to all the princes, khans,
governors, and other chieftains throughout his empire, with letters
explaining to them the cause of the war, and ordering them to repair
to the places of rendezvous which he appointed, with all the troops
that they could raise.

He gave particular directions in respect to the manner in which the
men were to be armed and equipped. The arms required were the sabre,
the bow, with a quiver full of arrows, and the battle-axe. Each
soldier was also to carry a rope, ropes and cordage being continually
in demand among people living on horseback and in tents.

The officers were to wear armor as well as to carry arms. Those who
could afford it were to provide themselves with a complete coat of
mail. The rest were to wear helmets and breast-plates only. The
horses were also to be protected as far as possible by breast-plates,
either of iron, or of leather thick and tough enough to prevent an
arrow from penetrating.

When the troops thus called for appeared at the place of rendezvous
appointed for them, Genghis Khan found, as is said, that he had an
army of seven hundred thousand men!

The army being thus assembled, Genghis Khan caused certain rules and
regulations, or articles of war, as they might be called, to be drawn
up and promulgated to the troops. One of the rules was that no body of
troops were ever to retreat without first fighting, whatever the
imminence of the danger might be. He also ordered that where a body of
men were engaged, if any subordinate division of them, as one company
in a regiment, or one regiment in a battalion, should break ranks and
fly before the order for a retreat should have been given by the
proper authority, the rest were to leave fighting the enemy, and
attack the portion flying, and kill them all upon the spot.

The emperor also made formal provision for the event of his dying in
the course of the campaign. In this case a grand assembly of all the
khans and chieftains of the empire was to be convened, and then, in
the presence of these khans and of his sons, the constitution and
laws of the empire, as he had established them, were to be read, and
after the reading the assembly were to proceed to the election of a
new khan, according to the forms which the constitution had provided.

After all these affairs had been arranged, Genghis Khan put his army
in motion. He was obliged, of course, to separate it into several
grand divisions, and to send the several divisions forward by
different roads, and through different sections of the country. So
large a body can never be kept together on a long march, on account of
the immense quantity of food that is required, both for the horses and
the men, and which must be supplied in the main by the country itself
which they traverse, since neither horses nor men can carry food with
them for more than a very few days.

Genghis Khan put one of the largest divisions under the command of his
son Jughi, the prince who distinguished himself so much in the
conflicts by which his father raised himself to the supreme power.

Jughi was ordered to advance with his division through Turkestan, the
country where the Prince Kushluk had sought refuge, and which still
remained, in some degree, disaffected toward Genghis Khan. Genghis
Khan himself, with the main body of the army, took a more southerly
route directly toward the dominions of the sultan.

In the mean time the sultan himself had not been idle. He collected
together all the forces that he could command. When they were
mustered, the number of men was found to be four hundred thousand.
This was a large army, though much smaller than that of Genghis Khan.

The sultan set out upon his march with his troops to meet the
invaders. After advancing for some distance, he learned that the army
of Jughi, which had passed through Turkestan, was at the northward of
his position, and he found that by turning in that direction he might
hope to meet and conquer that part of the Mongul force before it could
have time to join the main body. He determined at once to adopt this

He accordingly turned his course, and marched forward into the part of
the country where he supposed Jughi to be. At length he came to a
place where his scouts found, near a river, a great many dead bodies
lying on the ground. Among the others who had fallen there was one man
who was wounded, but was not dead. This wounded man told the scouts
that the bodies were those of persons who had been slain by the army
of Jughi, which had just passed that way. The sultan accordingly
pressed forward and soon overtook them. Jughi was hastening on in
order to join his father.

Jughi consulted his generals in respect to what it was best to do.
They advised him to avoid a battle.

"We are not strong enough," said they, "to encounter alone the whole
of the sultan's army. It is better that we should retreat, which we
can do in an orderly manner, and thus join the main body before we
give the enemy battle. Or, if the sultan should attempt to pursue us,
he can not keep his army together in doing so. They will necessarily
become divided into detachments on the road, and then we can turn and
destroy them in detail, which will be a much surer mode of proceeding
than for us to attack them in the mass."

Jughi was not willing to follow this advice.

"What will my father and my brothers think," said he, "when they see
us coming to them, flying from the enemy, without having fought them,
contrary to his express commands? No. We must stand our ground,
trusting to our valor, and do our best. If we are to die at all, we
had better be slain in battle than in flight. You have done your duty
in admonishing me of the danger we are in, and now it remains for me
to do mine in trying to bring you out of it with honor."

So he ordered the army to halt, and to be drawn up in order of battle.

The battle was soon commenced, and it was continued throughout the
day. The Monguls, though fewer in numbers, were superior to their
enemies in discipline and in courage, and the advantage was obviously
on their side, though they did not gain a decisive victory. Toward
night, however, the sultan's troops evinced every where a disposition
to give way, and it was with great difficulty that the officers could
induce them to maintain their ground until the darkness came on and
put an end to the conflict. When at length the combatants could no
longer see to distinguish friend from foe, the two armies withdrew to
their respective camps, and built their fires for the night.

Jughi thought that by fighting during this day he had done all that
his father required of him to vindicate the honor of the army, and
that now it would be most prudent to retreat, without risking another
battle on the morrow. So he caused fresh supplies of fuel to be put
upon the camp-fires in order to deceive the enemy, and then marched
out of his camp in the night with all his men. The next morning, by
the time that the sultan's troops were again under arms, he had
advanced far on his march to join his father, and was beyond their

He soon rejoined his father, and was received by him with great joy.
Genghis Khan was extremely pleased with the course which his son had
pursued, and bestowed upon him many public honors and rewards.

After this other great battles were fought between the two armies. At
one of them, a great trumpet fifteen feet long is mentioned among the
other martial instruments that were used to excite the men to ardor in
making the charge.

In these battles the Monguls were victorious. The sultan, however,
still continued to make head as well as he could against the invaders,
until at length he found that he had lost one hundred and sixty
thousand of his men. This was almost half of his army, and the loss
enfeebled him so much that he was convinced that it was useless for
him any longer to resist the Monguls in the open field; so he sent off
his army in detachments to the different towns and fortresses of his
kingdom, ordering the several divisions to shut themselves up and
defend themselves as well as they could, in the places assigned to
them, until better times should return.

The sultan, however, did not seek shelter in this way for himself. He
selected from his troops a certain portion of those who were most
active and alert and were best mounted, and formed of them a sort of
flying squadron with which he could move rapidly from place to place
through the country, wherever his aid might be most required.

Genghis Khan, of course, now prepared to attack the cities where the
several divisions of the sultan's army had intrenched themselves. He
wished first to get possession of Otrar, which was the place where the
embassadors and the merchants had been massacred. But the city was not
very large, and so, instead of marching toward it himself, he gave the
charge of capturing it to two of his younger sons, whom he sent off
for the purpose at the head of a suitable detachment.

He himself, with the main body, set off upon a march toward the cities
of Samarcand and Bokhara, which were the great central cities of the
sultan's dominions.




Description of the town Bokhara.--Zarnuk.--An immediate
surrender.--Nur.--Fate of Nur.--The siege of Bokhara commenced.--The
sultan's anxiety.--Intercepted letters.--The deserter.--The outer
wall taken.--Grand sortie made by the garrison.--Evacuation of the
town.--Pursuit.--The fugitives overtaken.--Surrender.--Conditions
made.--The governor of the citadel.--Genghis Khan enters the
city.--Valuables surrendered.--The emperor in the mosque.--Desecration
of the mosque.--Genghis Khan makes a speech.--The inhabitants give up
every thing.--Conflagration.--Surrender of the citadel.--The town
utterly destroyed.--News of the fall of Otrar.--Plans for the defense
of Otrar.--Sorties.--The proposal made to Genghis Khan.--The siege
renewed.--The outer walls taken.--Desperate conflicts.--Kariakas and
the governor.--Treason.--Punishment of treason.--The Monguls enter
the town.--Citadel stormed.--Desperation of the governor.--Courage
and devotion of his wife.--The governor's fate.

Bokhara was a great and beautiful city. It was situated in the midst
of a very fine and fertile country, in a position very favorable for
the trade and commerce of those days. It was also a great seat of
learning and of the arts and sciences. It contained many institutions
in which were taught such arts and sciences as were then cultivated,
and students resorted to it from all the portions of Western Asia.

The city proper was inclosed with a strong wall. Besides this there
was an outer wall, thirty miles in circumference, which inclosed the
suburbs of the town, and also a beautiful region of parks and gardens,
which contained the public places of amusement and the villas of the
wealthy inhabitants. It was this peaceful seat of industry and wealth
that Genghis Khan, with his hordes of ruthless barbarians, was coming
now to sack and plunder.

The first city which the Monguls reached on their march toward
Bokhara was one named Zarnuk. In approaching it a large troop rode up
toward the walls, uttering terrific shouts and outcries. The people
shut the gates in great terror. Genghis Khan, however, sent an officer
to them to say that it was useless for them to attempt to resist him,
and to advise them to surrender at once. They must demolish their
citadel, he said, and send out all the young and able-bodied men to
Genghis Khan. The officer advised them, too, to send out presents to
Genghis Khan as an additional means of propitiating him and inducing
him to spare the town.

The inhabitants yielded to this advice. The gates were thrown open.
All the young men who were capable of bearing arms were marshaled and
marched out to the Mongul camp. They were accompanied by the older men
among the inhabitants, who took with them the best that the town
contained, for presents. Genghis Khan accepted the presents, ordered
the young men to be enrolled in his army, and then, dismissing the
older ones in peace, he resumed his march and went on his way.

He next came to a town named Nur. One of the men from Zarnuk served as
a guide to show the detachment which was sent to summon the city a
near way to reach it. Nur was a sort of sacred town, having many holy
places in it which were resorted to by many pilgrims and other

The people of Nur shut the gates and for some time refused to
surrender. But at last, finding that it was useless to attempt to
resist, they opened the gates and allowed the Monguls to come in.
Genghis Khan, to punish the inhabitants, as he said, for even thinking
of resisting him, set aside a supply of cattle and other provisions to
keep them from starving, and then gave up all the rest of the property
found in the town to be divided among his soldiers as plunder.

At length the army reached the great plain in which Bokhara was
situated, and encamped before the town. Bokhara was very large and
very populous, as may well be supposed from its outer wall of thirty
miles in circuit, and Genghis Khan did not expect to make himself
master of it without considerable difficulty and delay. He was,
however, very intent on besieging and taking it, not only on account
of the general wealth and importance of the place, but also because he
supposed that the sultan himself was at this time within the walls. He
had heard that the sultan had retreated there with his flying
squadron, taking with him all his treasure.

This was, however, a mistake. The sultan was not there. He had gone
there, it is true, at first, and had taken with him the most valuable
of his treasures, but before Genghis Khan arrived he had secretly
withdrawn to Samarcand, thinking that he might be safer there.

In truth, the sultan was beginning to be very much disheartened and
discouraged. Among other things which occurred to disturb his mind,
certain letters were found and brought to him, as if they had been
intercepted, which letters gave accounts of a conspiracy among his
officers to desert him and go over to the side of Genghis Khan. These
letters were not signed, and the sultan could not discover who had
written them, but the pretended conspiracy which they revealed filled
his soul with anxiety and distress.

It was only a pretended conspiracy after all, for the letters were
written by a man in Genghis Khan's camp, and with Genghis Khan's
permission or connivance. This man was a Mohammedan, and had been in
the sultan's service; but the sultan had put to death his father and
his brothers on account of some alleged offense, and he had become so
incensed at the act that he had deserted to Genghis Khan, and now he
was determined to do his former sovereign all the mischief in his
power. His intimate knowledge of persons and things connected with the
sultan's court and army enabled him to write these letters in such a
way as to deceive the sultan completely.

It was past midsummer when the army of Genghis Khan laid siege to
Bokhara, and it was not until the spring of the following year that
they succeeded in carrying the outer wall, so strongly was the city
fortified and so well was it defended. After having forced the outer
wall, the Monguls destroyed the suburbs of the town, devastated the
cultivated gardens and grounds, and pillaged the villas. They then
took up their position around the inner wall, and commenced the siege
of the city itself in due form.

The sultan had left three of his greatest generals in command of the
town. These men determined not to wait the operations of Genghis Khan
in attacking the walls, but to make a sudden sally from the gates,
with the whole force that could be spared, and attack the besiegers in
their intrenchments. They made this sally in the night, at a time when
the Monguls were least expecting it. They were, however, wholly
unsuccessful. They were driven back into the city with great loss.
The generals, it seems, had determined to risk all on this desperate
attempt, and, in case it failed, at once to abandon the city to its
fate. Accordingly, when driven into the city through the gates on one
side, they marched directly through it and passed out through the
gates on the other side, hoping to save themselves and the garrison by
this retreat, with a view of ultimately rejoining the sultan. They,
however, went first in a southerly direction from the city toward the
River Amoor. The generals took their families and those of the
principal officers of the garrison with them.

The night was dark, and they succeeded in leaving the city without
being observed. In the morning, however, all was discovered, and
Genghis Khan sent off a strong detachment of well-mounted troops in
pursuit. These troops, after about a day's chase, overtook the flying
garrison near the river. There was no escape for the poor fugitives,
and the merciless Monguls destroyed them almost every one by riding
over them, trampling them down with their horses' hoofs, and cutting
them to pieces with their sabres.

In the mean time, while this detachment had been pursuing the
garrison, Genghis Khan, knowing that there were no longer any troops
within the city to defend it, and that every thing there was in utter
confusion, determined on a grand final assault; but, while his men
were getting the engines ready to batter down the walls, a procession,
consisting of all the magistrates and clergy, and a great mass of the
principal citizens, came forth from one of the gates, bearing with
them the keys of the city. These keys they offered to Genghis Khan in
token of surrender, and begged him to spare their lives.

The emperor received the keys, and said to the citizens that he would
spare their lives on condition that, if there were any of the sultan's
soldiers concealed in the city, they would give them up, and that they
would also seize and deliver to him any of the citizens that were
suspected of being in the sultan's interest. This they took a solemn
oath that they would do.

The soldiers, however--that is, those that remained in the town--were
not delivered up. Most of them retired to the castle, which was a sort
of citadel, and put themselves under the command of the governor of
the castle, who, being a very energetic and resolute man, declared
that he never would surrender.

There were a great many of the young men of the town, sons of the
leading citizens, who also retired to the castle, determined not to
yield to the conqueror.

Genghis Khan, having thus obtained the keys of the city itself, caused
the gates to be opened, and his troops marched in and took possession.
He had promised the citizens that his soldiers should spare the lives
of the people and should not pillage the houses on condition that the
magistrates delivered up peaceably the public magazines of grain and
other food to supply his army; also that all the people who had buried
or otherwise concealed gold and silver, or other treasures, should
bring them forth again and give them up, or else make known where they
were concealed. This the people promised that they would do.

After having entered the town, Genghis Khan was riding about the
streets on horseback at the head of his troop of guards when he came
to a large and very beautiful edifice. The doors were wide, and he
drove his horse directly in. His troops, and the other soldiers who
were there, followed him in. There were also with him some of the
magistrates of the town, who were accompanying him in his progress
about the city.

After the whole party had entered the edifice, Genghis Khan looked
around, and then asked them, in a jeering manner, if that was the
sultan's palace.

"No," said they, "it is the house of God."

The building was a mosque.

On hearing this, Genghis Khan alighted from his horse, and, giving the
bridle to one of the principal magistrates to hold, he went up, in a
very irreverent manner, to a sacred place where the priests were
accustomed to sit. He seized the copy of the Koran which he found
there, and threw it down under the feet of the horses. After amusing
himself for a time in desecrating the temple by these and other
similar performances, he caused his soldiers to bring in their
provisions, and allowed them to eat and drink in the temple, in a
riotous manner, without any regard to the sacredness of the place, or
to the feelings of the people of the town which he outraged by this

A few days after this Genghis Khan assembled all the magistrates and
principal citizens of the town, and made a speech to them from an
elevated stand or pulpit which was erected for the purpose. He began
his speech by praising God, and claiming to be an object of his
special favor, in proof of which he recounted the victories which he
had obtained, as he said, through the Divine aid. He then went on to
denounce the perfidious conduct of the sultan toward him in making a
solemn treaty of peace with him and then treacherously murdering his
merchants and embassadors. He said that the sultan was a detestable
tyrant, and that God had commissioned him to rid the earth of all such
monsters. He said, in conclusion, that he would protect their lives,
and would not allow his soldiers to take away their household goods,
provided they surrendered to him fairly and honestly all their money
and other treasures; and if any of them refused to do this, or to tell
where their treasures were hid, he would put them to the torture, and
compel them to tell.

The wretched inhabitants of the town, feeling that they were entirely
at the mercy of the terrible hordes that were in possession of the
city, did not attempt to conceal any thing. They brought forward their
hidden treasures, and even offered their household goods to the
conqueror if he was disposed to take them. They were only anxious to
save, if possible, their dwellings and their lives. Genghis Khan
appeared at first to be pleased with the submissive spirit which they
manifested, but at last, under pretense that he heard of some soldiers
being concealed somewhere, and perhaps irritated at the citadel's
holding out so long against him, he ordered the town to be set on
fire. The buildings were almost all of wood, and the fire raged among
them with great fury. Multitudes of the inhabitants perished in the
flames, and great numbers died miserably afterward from want and
exposure. The citadel immediately afterward surrendered, and it would
seem that Genghis Khan began to feel satisfied with the amount of
misery which he had caused, for it is said that he spared the lives of
the governor and of the soldiers, although we might have expected that
he would have massacred them all.

The citadel was, however, demolished, and thus the town itself, and
all that pertained to it, became a mass of smoking ruins. The property
pillaged from the inhabitants was divided among the Mongul troops,
while the people themselves went away, to roam as vagabonds and
beggars over the surrounding country, and to die of want and despair.

What difference is there between such a conqueror as this and the
captain of a band of pirates or of robbers, except in the immense
magnitude of the scale on which he perpetrates his crimes?

The satisfaction which Genghis Khan felt at the capture of Bokhara was
greatly increased by the intelligence which he received soon afterward
from the two princes whom he had sent to lay siege to Otrar, informing
him that that city had fallen into their hands, and that the governor
of it, the officer who had so treacherously put to death the
embassadors and the merchants, had been taken and slain. The name of
this governor was Gayer Khan. The sultan, knowing that Genghis Khan
would doubtless make this city one of his first objects of attack,
left the governor a force of fifty thousand men to defend it. He
afterward sent him an additional force of ten thousand men, under the
command of a general named Kariakas.

With these soldiers the governor shut himself up in the city. He knew
very well that if he surrendered or was taken he could expect no
mercy, and he went to work accordingly strengthening the
fortifications, and laying in stores of provisions, determined to
fight to the last extremity. The captain of the guard who came to
assist him had not the same reason for being so very obstinate in the
defense of the town, and this difference in the situation of the two
commanders led to difficulty in the end, as we shall presently see.

The Mongul princes began the siege of Otrar by filling up the ditches
that encircled the outer wall of the town in the places where they
wished to plant their battering-rams to make breaches in the walls.
They were hindered a great deal in their work, as is usual in such
cases, by the sallies of the besieged, who rushed upon them in the
night in great numbers, and with such desperate fury that they often
succeeded in destroying some of the engines, or setting them on fire
before they could be driven back into the town. This continued for
some time, until at last the Mongul princes began to be discouraged,
and they sent word to their father, who was then engaged in the siege
of Bokhara, informing him of the desperate defense which was made by
the garrison of Otrar, and asking his permission to turn the siege
into a blockade--that is, to withdraw from the immediate vicinity of
the walls, and to content themselves with investing the city closely
on every side, so as to prevent any one from going out or coming in,
until the provisions of the town should be exhausted, and the garrison
be starved into a surrender. In this way, they said, the lives of vast
numbers of the troops would be saved.

But their father sent back word to them that they must do no such
thing, but must go on and _fight their way_ into the town, no matter
how many of the men were killed.

So the princes began again with fresh ardor, and they pushed forward
their operations with such desperate energy that in less than a month
the outer wall, and the works of the besieged to defend it, were all
in ruins. The towers were beaten down, the ramparts were broken, and
many breaches were made through which the besiegers might be expected
at any moment to force their way into the town. The besieged were
accordingly obliged to abandon the outer walls and retire within the
inner lines.

The Monguls now had possession of the suburbs, and, after pillaging
them of all that they could convert to their own use, and burning and
destroying every thing else, they advanced to attack the inner works;
and here the contest between the besiegers and the garrison was
renewed more fiercely than ever. The besieged continued their
resistance for five months, defending themselves by every possible
means from the walls, and making desperate sallies from time to time
in order to destroy the Monguls' engines and kill the men.

At length Kariakas, the captain of the guard, who had been sent to
assist the governor in the defense of the town, began to think it was
time that the carnage should cease and that the town should be
surrendered. But the governor, who knew that he would most assuredly
be beheaded if in any way he fell into the hands of the enemy, would
not listen to any proposal of the kind. He succeeded, also, in
exciting among the people of the town, and among the soldiers of the
garrison, such a hatred of the Monguls, whom he represented as
infidels of the very worst character, the enemies alike of God and
man, that they joined him in the determination not to surrender.

Kariakas now found himself an object of suspicion and distrust in the
town and in the garrison on account of his having made the proposal to
surrender, and feeling that he was not safe, he determined to make a
separate peace for himself and his ten thousand by going out secretly
in the night and giving himself up to the princes. He thought that by
doing this, and by putting the Monguls in possession of the gate
through which his troops were to march out, so as to enable them to
gain admission to the city, his life would be spared, and that he
might perhaps be admitted into the service of Genghis Khan.

But he was mistaken in this idea. The princes said that a man who
would betray his own countrymen would betray _them_ if he ever had a
good opportunity. So they ordered him and all his officers to be
slain, and the men to be divided among the soldiers as slaves.

They nevertheless took possession of the gate by which the deserters
had come out, and by this means gained admission to the city. The
governor fled to the citadel with all the men whom he could assemble,
and shut himself up in it. Here he fought desperately for a month,
making continual sallies at the head of his men, and doing every thing
that the most resolute and reckless bravery could do to harass and
beat off the besiegers. But all was in vain. In the end the walls of
the citadel were so broken down by the engines brought to bear upon
them, that one day the Monguls, by a determined and desperate assault
made on all sides simultaneously, forced their way in, through the
most dreadful scenes of carnage and destruction, and began killing
without mercy every soldier that they could find.

The soldiers defended themselves to the last. Some took refuge in
narrow courts and lanes, and on the roofs of the houses--for the
citadel was so large that it formed of itself quite a little town--and
fought desperately till they were brought down by the arrows of the
Monguls. The governor took his position, in company with two men who
were with him, on a terrace of his palace, and refused to surrender,
but fought on furiously, determined to kill any one who attempted to
come near him. His wife was near, doing all in her power to encourage
and sustain him.

Genghis Khan had given orders to the princes not to kill the governor,
but to take him alive. He wished to have the satisfaction of disposing
of him himself. For this reason the soldiers who attempted to take him
on the terrace were very careful not to shoot their arrows at him, but
only at the men who were with him, and while they did so a great many
of them were killed by the arrows which the governor and his two
friends discharged at those who attempted to climb up to the place
where they were standing.


After a while the two men were killed, but the governor remained
alive. Yet nobody could come near him. Those that attempted it were
shot, and fell back again among their companions below. The governor's
wife supplied him with arrows as fast as he could use them. At length
all the arrows were spent, and then she brought him stones, which he
hurled down upon his assailants when they tried to climb up to him.
But at last so many ascended together that the governor could not beat
them all back, and he was at length surrounded and secured, and
immediately put in irons.

The princes wrote word at once to their father that the town was
taken, and that the governor was in their hands a prisoner. They
received orders in return to bring him with them to Bokhara. While on
the way, however, another order came requiring them to put the
prisoner to death, and this order was immediately executed.

What was the fate of his courageous and devoted wife has never been




Continuation of the war.--Saganak.--Hassan.--The murdered
embassador.--Jughi's revenge.--Jughi's general policy.--Account of
a stratagem.--The town taken.--A beautiful city.--Toukat.--Toukat
taken.--Arrangements for plundering it.--Kojend.--Timur Melek.--His
preparations for defense.--Engines and battering-rams.--The floating
batteries.--The morass.--Obstinate conflict.--The pretended
deserters.--No more stones.--Building of the jetty.--The horsemen in
the water.--Timur's boats.--The fire-proof awnings.--The fire-boats
and the bridge.--The bridge burned.--Pursuit.--Battle in the
river.--The boats aground.--Timur's adventures.--He finally
escapes.--The governor's family.--Kojend surrendered.

After the fall of Bokhara and Otrar, the war was continued for two
years with great vigor by Genghis Khan and the Monguls, and the poor
sultan was driven from place to place by his merciless enemies, until
at last his cause was wholly lost, and he himself, as will appear in
the next chapter, came to a miserable end.

During the two years while Genghis Khan continued the war against him,
a great many incidents occurred illustrating the modes of warfare
practiced in those days, and the sufferings which were endured by the
mass of the people in consequence of these terrible struggles between
rival despots contending for the privilege of governing them.

At one time Genghis Khan sent his son Jughi with a large detachment to
besiege and take a certain town named Saganak. As soon as Jughi
arrived before the place, he sent in a flag of truce to call upon the
people of the town to surrender, promising, at the same time, to
treat them kindly if they would do so.

The bearer of the flag was a Mohammedan named Hassan. Jughi probably
thought that the message would be better received by the people of the
town if brought to them by one of their own countrymen, but he made a
great mistake in this. The people, instead of being pleased with the
messenger because he was a Mohammedan, were very much exasperated
against him. They considered him a renegade and a traitor; and,
although the governor had solemnly promised that he should be allowed
to go and come in safety, so great a tumult arose that the governor
found it impossible to protect him, and the poor man was torn to
pieces by the mob.

Jughi immediately assaulted the town with all his force, and as soon
as he got possession of it he slaughtered without mercy all the
officers and soldiers of the garrison, and killed also about one half
of the inhabitants, in order to avenge the death of his murdered
messenger. He also caused a handsome monument to be erected to his
memory in the principal square of the town.

Jughi treated the inhabitants of every town that dared to resist with
extreme severity, while those that yielded at once were, in some
degree, spared and protected. The consequence of this policy was that
the people of many of the towns surrendered without attempting to
defend themselves at all. In one case the magistrates and other
principal inhabitants of a town came out to meet him a distance of two
days' journey from them, bringing with them the keys of the town, and
a great quantity of magnificent presents, all of which they laid at
the conqueror's feet, and implored his mercy.

There was one town which Jughi's force took by a kind of stratagem. A
certain engineer, whom he employed to make a reconnoissance of the
fortifications, reported that there was a place on one side of the
town where there was a ditch full of water outside of the wall, which
made the access to the wall there so difficult that the garrison would
not be at all likely to expect an attack on that side. The engineer
proposed a plan for building some light bridges, which the soldiers
were to throw over the ditch in the night, after having drawn off the
attention of the garrison to some other quarter, and then, mounting
upon the walls by means of ladders, to get into the town. This plan
was adopted. The bridges and the ladders were prepared, and then, when
the appointed night came, a feigned attack was made in the opposite
part of the town. The garrison were then all called off to repel this
pretended attack, and in this way the wall opposite to the ditch was
left undefended. The soldiers then threw the bridges over the ditch,
and planted the ladders against the wall, and before the garrison
could get intelligence of what they were doing they had made their way
into the town, and had opened one of the gates, and by this means the
whole army got in. The engineer himself, who had proposed the plan,
went up first on the first ladder that was planted against the wall.
To take the lead in such an escalade required great coolness and
courage, for it was dark, and no one knew, in going up the ladder, how
many enemies he might have to encounter at the top of it.

The next place which the army of Jughi approached was a quiet and
beautiful town, the seat of several institutions of learning, and the
residence of learned men and men of leisure. It was a very pleasant
place, full of fountains, gardens, and delightful pleasure-grounds,
with many charming public and private promenades. The name of this
place was Toukat, and the beauty and attractiveness of it were
proverbial through all the country.

Toukat was a place rather of pleasure than of strength, and yet it
was surrounded by a wall, and the governor of it determined to make an
effort to defend it. The garrison fought bravely, and they kept the
besiegers off for three days. At the end of that time the engines of
the Monguls had made so many breaches in the walls that the governor
was convinced that they would soon get in, and so he sent to Jughi to
ask for the terms on which he would allow them to surrender. Jughi
replied that he would not now make any terms with him at all. It was
too late. He ought to have surrendered at the beginning.

So the Mongul army forced its way into the town, and slaughtered the
whole garrison without mercy. Jughi then ordered all the inhabitants,
men, women, and children, to repair to a certain place on the plain
outside the walls. In obedience to this command, all the people went
to the appointed place. They went with fear and trembling, expecting
that they were all to be killed. But they found, in the end, that the
object of Jughi in bringing them thus out of the town was not to kill
them, but only to call them away from the houses, so that the soldiers
could plunder them more conveniently while the owners were away. After
being kept out of the town for a time they were allowed to return,
and when they went back to their houses they found that they had been
pillaged and stripped of every thing that the soldiers could carry

There was another large and important town named Kojend. It was
situated two or three hundred miles to the northward of Samarcand, on
the River Sir, which flows into Aral Lake. The governor of this city
was Timur Melek. He was a very powerful chieftain, and a man of great
military renown, having often been in active service under the sultan
as one of the principal generals of his army. When Timur heard of the
fall of Toukat, he presumed that his city of Kojend would be next
attacked, as it seemed to come next in the way of the Mongul army; so
he began to make vigorous preparations for defense. He broke up all
the roads leading toward the town, and destroyed the bridges. He also
laid in great supplies of food to maintain the inhabitants in case of
a protracted siege, and he ordered all the corn, fruits, and cattle of
the surrounding country, which he did not require for this purpose, to
be taken away and stowed in secret places at a distance, to prevent
their falling into the hands of the enemy.

Jughi did not himself attack this town, but sent a large detachment
under the orders of a general named Elak Nevian. Elak advanced toward
the city and commenced his operations. The first thing that was to be
done was to rebuild a bridge over the river, so as to enable him to
gain access to the town, which was on the opposite bank. Then he set
up immense engines at different points along the line, some of which
were employed to batter down the walls, and others, at the same time,
to throw stones, darts, and arrows over the parapets, in order to
drive the garrison back from them. These engines did great execution.
Those built to batter down the walls were of great size and power.
Some of them, it was said, threw stones over the wall as big as

Timur Melek was equally active in the defense of the town. He built a
number of flat-bottomed boats, which might be called floating
batteries, since they were constructed for throwing missiles of all
sorts into the camp of the enemy. These batteries, it is said, were
covered over on the top to protect the men, and they had port-holes in
the sides, like a modern man-of-war, out of which, not cannon balls
and bomb-shells indeed, but arrows, darts, javelins, and stones were
projected. The boats were sent out, some on the upper side of the
town and some on the lower, and were placed in stations where they
could most effectually reach the Mongul works. They were the means of
killing and wounding great multitudes of men, and they greatly
disturbed and hindered the besiegers' operations.

Still Elak persevered. He endeavored to shut up the city on every side
as closely as possible; but there was on one side a large morass or
jungle which he could not guard, and Timur received a great many
re-enforcements, to take the place of the men who were killed on the
walls, by that way. In the mean time, however, Elak was continually
receiving re-enforcements too from Prince Jughi, who was not at a
great distance, and thus the struggle was continued with great fury.

At last Timur contrived an ingenious stratagem, by which he hoped to
cause his enemy to fall into a snare. It seems that there was a small
island in the river, not far from the walls of the city, on which,
before the siege commenced, Timur had built a fortress, to be held as
a sort of advanced post, and had garrisoned the fortress with about
one thousand men. Timur now, in order to divert the attention of the
Monguls from the city itself, sent a number of men out from the city,
who pretended to be deserters, and went immediately to the Mongul
camp. Of course, Elak questioned them about the defenses of the city,
in order to learn where the weak points were for him to attack. The
pretended deserters advised him to attack this fortress on the island,
saying that it could very easily be taken, and that its situation was
such that, when it was taken, the city itself must surrender, for it
completely commanded the place.

So Elak caused his principal engines to be removed to the bank of the
river, opposite the island, and employed all his energies and spent
all his ammunition in shooting at the fortress; but the river was so
wide, and the walls of the fortress wore so thick and so high, that he
made very little impression. At last his whole supply of stones--for
stones served in those days instead of cannon balls--was exhausted,
and as the town was situated in an alluvial district, in which no
stones were to be found, he was obliged to send ten or twelve miles to
the upland to procure a fresh supply of ammunition. All this consumed
much time, and enabled the garrison to recruit themselves a great deal
and to strengthen their defenses.

The operations of the siege were in a great measure suspended while
the men were obtaining a new supply of stones, and the whole
disposable force of the army was employed in going back and forth to
bring them. At length an immense quantity were collected; but then the
Mongul general changed his plan. Instead of throwing the stones from
his engines toward the fortress on the island, which it had been
proved was beyond his reach, he determined to build out a jetty into
the river toward it, so as to get a stand-point for his engines nearer
the walls, where they could have some chance of doing execution. So he
set his men at work to prepare fascines, and bundles, and rafts of
timber, which were to be loaded with the stones and sunk in the river
to form the foundation for the proposed bank. The men would bring the
stones down to the bank in their hands, and then horsemen, who were
ready on the brink, would take them, and, resting them on the saddle,
would drive their horses in until they came near the place where the
stones were to go, when they would throw them down and then return for
others. In this way they could work upon the jetty in many parts at
once, some being employed in building at the end where it abutted on
the shore, while the horsemen were laying the foundations at the same
time out in the middle of the stream. The work of the horsemen was
very difficult and dangerous, on account of holes in the sandy bottom
of the river, into which they were continually sinking. Besides this,
the garrison on the walls were doing their utmost all the time to
impede the work by shooting arrows, javelins, stones, and fiery darts
among the workmen, by which means vast numbers, both of men and
horses, were killed.

The Monguls, however, persevered, and, notwithstanding all the
opposition which the garrison made, they succeeded in advancing the
mole which they were building so far that Timur was convinced that
they would soon gain so advantageous a position that it would be
impossible for him to hold out against them. So he determined to
attempt to make his escape. His plan was to embark on board his boats,
with all his men, and go down the river in the night.

In order to prepare for this undertaking, he employed his men secretly
in building more boats, until he had in all more than seventy. These
boats were kept out of sight, in hidden places in the river, until all
were ready. Each of them was covered with a sort of heavy awning or
roof, made of wet felt, which was plastered over with a coating of
clay and vinegar. This covering was intended both to defend the men
from missiles and the boats themselves from being set on fire.

There was one obstacle to the escape of the boats which it was
necessary to remove beforehand, and that was the bridge which the
Monguls had built across the river, just below the town, when they
first came to besiege it. To destroy this bridge, Timur one night made
a sally from one of the gates, and attacked the men who were stationed
to guard the bridge. At the same time he sent down the current of the
river a number of great flat-bottomed boats, filled with combustibles
of various kinds, mixed with tar and naphtha. These combustibles were
set on fire before they were launched, and, as the current of the
river bore them down one after another against the bridge, they set
the wooden piers and posts that supported it on fire, while the guard,
being engaged with the party which had sallied from the town, could
not go to extinguish the flames, and thus the bridge was consumed.

The way being thus opened, Timur Melek very soon afterward embarked
his family and the greater part of his army on board the boats in the
night; and, while the Monguls had no suspicion of what was going on,
the boats were launched, and sent off one after another swiftly down
the stream. Before morning came all traces of the party had passed

Very soon, however, the Mongul general heard how his intended prey had
escaped him, and he immediately sent off a strong detachment to follow
the southern bank of the river and pursue the fugitives. The
detachment soon overtook them, and then a furious battle ensued
between the Mongul horsemen on the banks and in the margin of the
water and the men in the boats, who kept the boats all the time as
near as possible to the northern shore.

Sometimes, however, when the stream was narrow, or when a rocky point
projected from the northern shore, so as to drive the boats nearer to
the Mongul side, the battle became very fierce and bloody. The Monguls
drove their horses far into the water, so as to be as near as possible
to the boats, and threw arrows, javelins, and fiery darts at them,
while the Mohammedans defended themselves as well as they could from
their windows or port-holes.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF THE BOATS.]

Things went on in this way for some time, until, at length, the boats
arrived at a part of the river where the water was so shallow--being
obstructed by sand-bars and shoals--that the boats fell aground. There
was nothing now for Timur to do but to abandon the boats and escape
with his men to the land. This he succeeded in doing; and, after
reaching the shore, he was able to form his men in array, on an
elevated piece of ground, before Elak could bring up a sufficient
number of men to attack him.

When the Monguls at length came to attack him, he beat them off in the
first instance, but he was obliged soon afterward to leave the field
and continue his retreat. Of course, he was hotly pursued by the
Monguls. His men became rapidly thinned in number, some being killed,
and others getting separated from the main body in the confusion of
the flight, until, at last, Timur was left almost alone. At last he
was himself on the very point of being taken. There were three Monguls
closely pursuing him. He turned round and shot an arrow at the
foremost of the pursuers. The arrow struck the Mongul in the eye. The
agony which the wounded man felt was so great that the two others
stopped to assist him, and in the mean time Timur got out of the way.
In due time, and after meeting with some other hairbreadth escapes, he
reached the camp of the sultan, who received him very joyfully, loaded
him with praises for the indomitable spirit which he had evinced, and
immediately made him governor of another city.

In the mean time, some of the boats which had been abandoned by the
soldiers were got off by the men who had been left in charge of
them--one especially, which contained the family of Timur. This boat
went quietly down the river, and conveyed the family to a place of

The city of Kojend, from which Timur and his men had fled, was, of
course, now without any means of defense, and it surrendered the very
next day to the Monguls.




Pursuit of the sultan.--The two ladies.--Character of the
queen-mother.--Khatun.--Her retirement.--Samarcand.--Fortifications
of the place.--Water-works.--Gates and towers.--Crowds of people
seeking refuge.--Encampment.--Arrival of the Monguls.--Dissensions
within the city.--A deputation.--Massacre.--Escape of the
governor.--Forlorn condition of the sultan.--The sultan sends away
his treasures.--His flight and his despondency.--Narrow escape.--Rage
of his pursuers.--Visit from his son Jalaloddin.--His dying
words.--Death and burial.--Khatun at Karazm.--Her cruelty to her
captives.--Dissension.--Khatun's escape.--Her obstinacy.--Cause of
her hatred of Jalaloddin.--The siege of the fortress.--The governor's
hopes.--Want of rain.--Great suffering.--The queen made captive.--Cruel
treatment of the queen-mother.

In the mean time, while Jughi and the other generals were ravaging the
country with their detachments, and besieging and capturing all the
secondary towns and fortresses that came in their way, as related in
the last chapter, Genghis Khan himself, with the main body of the
army, had advanced to Samarcand in pursuit of the sultan, who had, as
he supposed, taken shelter there. Samarcand was the capital of the
country, and was then, as it has been since, a great and renowned

Besides the sultan himself, whom Genghis Khan was pursuing, there were
the ladies of his family whom he wished also to capture. The two
principal ladies were the sultana and the queen-mother. The
queen-mother was a lady of very great distinction. She had been
greatly renowned during the lifetime of her husband, the former
sultan, for her learning, her piety, the kindness of her heart, and
the general excellence of her character, so far as her dealings with
her subjects and friends were concerned, and her influence throughout
the realm had been unbounded. At some periods of her life she had
exercised a great deal of political power, and at one time she bore
the very grand title of _Protectress of the faith of the world_. She
exercised the power which she then possessed, in the main, in a very
wise and beneficial manner. She administered justice impartially. She
protected the weak, and restrained the oppressions of the strong. She
listened to all the cases which were brought before her with great
attention and patience, and arrived almost always at just conclusions
respecting them. With all this, however, she was very strict and
severe, and, as has almost always been the case with women raised to
the possession of irresponsible power, she was unrelenting and cruel
in the extreme whenever, as she judged, any political necessity
required her to act with decision. Her name was Khatun.[E]

[Footnote E: Pronounced _Cah-toon_.]

Khatun was not now at Samarcand. She was at Karazm, a city which was
the chief residence of the court. She had been living there in
retirement ever since the death of her husband, the present sultan's

Samarcand itself, as has already been said, was a great and splendid
city. Like most of the other cities, it was inclosed in a double wall,
though, in this case, the outer wall surrounded the whole city, while
the inner one inclosed the mosque, the palace of the sultan, and some
other public buildings. These walls were much better built and more
strongly fortified than those of Bokhara. There were twelve iron
gates, it is said, in the outer wall. These gates were a league apart
from each other. At every two leagues along the wall was a fort
capable of containing a large body of men. The walls were likewise
strengthened with battlements and towers, in which the men could fight
under shelter, and they were surrounded by a broad and deep ditch, to
prevent an enemy from approaching too near to them, in order to
undermine them or batter them down.

The city was abundantly supplied with water by means of hydraulic
constructions as perfect and complete as could be made in those days.
The water was brought by leaden pipes from a stream which came down
from the mountains at some distance from the town. It was conveyed by
these pipes to every part of the town, and was distributed freely, so
that every great street had a little current of water running through
it, and every house a fountain in the court or garden. Besides this,
in a public square or park there was a mound where the water was made
to spout up in the centre, and then flow down in little rivulets and
cascades on every side.

The gates and towers which have been described were in the outer wall,
and beyond them, in the environs, were a great many fields, gardens,
orchards, and beautifully-cultivated grounds, which produced fruits of
all sorts, that were sent by the merchants into all the neighboring
countries. At a little distance the town was almost entirely concealed
from view by these gardens and orchards, there being nothing to be
seen but minarets, and some of the loftier roofs of the houses, rising
above the tops of the trees.

There were so many people who flocked into Samarcand from the
surrounding country for shelter and protection, when they learned that
Genghis Khan was coming, that the place would hardly contain them. In
addition to these, the sultan sent over one hundred thousand troops to
defend the town, with thirty generals to command them. There were
twenty large elephants, too, that were brought with the army, to be
employed in any service which might be required of them during the
siege. This army, however, instead of entering the city at once,
encamped about it. They strengthened the position of the camp by a
deep ditch which they dug, throwing up the earth from the ditch on the
side toward the camp so as to form a redoubt with which to defend the
ground from the Monguls. But as soon as Genghis Khan arrived they were
speedily driven from this post, and forced to take shelter within the
walls of the city. Here they defended themselves with so much vigor
and resolution that Genghis Khan would probably have found it very
difficult to take the town had it not been for dissensions within the
walls. It seems that the rich merchants and other wealthy men of the
city, being convinced that the place would sooner or later fall into
the hands of the Monguls, thought it would be better to surrender it
at once, while they were in a condition to make some terms by which
they might hope to save their lives, and perhaps their property.

But the generals would not listen to any proposition of this kind.
They had been sent by the sultan to defend the town, and they felt
bound in honor, in obedience to their orders, to fight in defense of
it to the last extremity.

The dissension within the city grew more and more violent every day,
until at length the party of the inhabitants grew so strong and
decided that they finally took possession of one of the gates, and
sent a large deputation, consisting of priests, magistrates, and some
of the principal citizens, to Genghis Khan, bearing with them the keys
of the town, and proposing to deliver them up to him if he would spare
the garrison and the inhabitants. But he said he would make no terms
except with those who were of their party and were willing to
surrender. In respect to the generals and the soldiers of the garrison
he would make no promises.

The deputation gave up the keys and Genghis Khan entered the city. The
inhabitants were spared, but the soldiers were massacred wherever they
could be found. A great many perished in the streets. A considerable
body of them, however, with the governor at their head, retreated
within the inner wall, and there defended themselves desperately for
four days. At the end of that time, finding that their case was
hopeless, and knowing that they could expect no quarter from the
Monguls in any event, they resolved to make a sally and cut their way
through the ranks of their enemies at all hazards. The governor,
accordingly, put himself at the head of a troop of one thousand horse,
and, coming out suddenly from his retreat, he dashed through the camp
at a time when the Monguls were off their guard, and so gained the
open country and made his escape. All the soldiers that remained
behind in the city were immediately put to the sword.

In the mean time, the sultan himself, finding that his affairs were
going to ruin, retreated from province to province, accompanied by as
large a force as he could keep together, and vainly seeking to find
some place of safety. He had several sons, and among them two whose
titles were Jalaloddin and Kothboddin. Jalaloddin was the oldest, and
was therefore naturally entitled to be his father's successor; but,
for some reason or other, the queen-mother, Khatun, had taken a
dislike to him, and had persuaded her son, the sultan, to execute a
sort of act or deed by which Jalaloddin was displaced, and Kothboddin,
who was a great favorite of hers, was made heir to the throne in his

The sultan had other sons who were governors of different provinces,
and he fled from one to another of these, seeking in vain for some
safe retreat. But he could find none. He was hunted from place to
place by detachments of the Monguls, and the number of his attendants
and followers was continually diminishing, until at last he began to
be completely discouraged.

At length, at one of the cities where he made a short stay, he
delivered to an officer named Omar, who was the steward of his
household, ten coffers sealed with the royal signet, with instructions
to take them secretly to a certain distant fortress and lock them up
carefully there, without allowing any one to know that he did it.

These coffers contained the royal jewels, and they were of inestimable

After this, one of his sons joined him with quite a large force, but
very soon a large body of Monguls came up, and, after a furious
battle, the sultan's troops were defeated and scattered in all
directions; and he was again obliged to fly, accompanied by a very
small body of officers, who still contrived to keep near him. With
these he succeeded, at last, in reaching a very retired town near the
Caspian Sea, where he hoped to remain concealed. His strength was now
spent, and all his courage gone. He sank down into a condition of the
greatest despondency and distress, and spent his time in going to the
mosque and offering up prayers to God to save him from total ruin. He
made confession of his sins, and promised an entire amendment of life
if the Almighty would deliver him from his enemies and restore him to
his throne.

At last the Mongul detachment that was in pursuit of him in that part
of the country were informed by a peasant where he was; and one day,
while he was at his prayers in the mosque, word was brought to him
that the Monguls were coming. He rushed out of the mosque, and, guided
by some friends, ran down to the shore and got into a boat, with a
view of escaping by sea, all retreat by land being now cut off.

He had scarce got on board the boat when the Monguls appeared on the
shore. The men in the boat immediately pushed off. The Monguls, full
of disappointment and rage, shot at them with their arrows; but the
sultan was not struck by any of them, and was soon out of the reach of
his pursuers.

The sultan lay in the boat almost helpless, being perfectly exhausted
by the terror and distress which he had endured. He soon began to
suffer, too, from an intense pain in the chest and side, which
gradually became so severe that he could scarcely breathe. The men
with him in the boat, finding that he was seriously sick, made the
best of their way to a small island named Abiskun, which is situated
near the southeastern corner of the sea. Here they pitched a tent, and
made up a bed in it, as well as they could, for the sufferer. They
also sent a messenger to the shore to bring off a physician secretly.
The physician did all that was in his power, but it was too late. The
inflammation and the pain subsided after a time, but it was evident
that the patient was sinking, and that he was about to die.

It happened that the sultan's son, Jalaloddin, the one who had been
set aside in favor of his brother Kothboddin, was at this time on the
main land not far from the island, and intelligence was communicated
to him of his father's situation. He immediately went to the island to
see him, taking with him two of his brothers. They were obliged to
manage the business very secretly, to prevent the Monguls from finding
out what was going on.

On the arrival of Jalaloddin, the sultan expressed great satisfaction
in seeing him, and he revoked the decree by which he had been
superseded in the succession.

"You, my son," said he, "are, after all, the one among all my children
who is best able to revenge me on the Monguls; therefore I revoke the
act which I formerly executed at the request of the queen, my mother,
in favor of Kothboddin."

He then solemnly appointed Jalaloddin to be his successor, and
enjoined upon the other princes to be obedient and faithful to him as
their sovereign. He also formally delivered to him his sword as the
emblem and badge of the supreme power which he thus conferred upon

Soon after this the sultan expired. The attendants buried the body
secretly on the island for fear of the Monguls. They washed it
carefully before the interment, according to custom, and then put on
again a portion of the same dress which the sultan had worn when
living, having no means of procuring or making any other shroud.

As for Khatun, the queen-mother, when she heard the tidings of her
son's death, and was informed, at the same time, that her favorite
Kothboddin had been set aside, and Jalaloddin, whom she hated, and
who, she presumed, hated her, had been made his successor, she was in
a great rage. She was at that time at Karazm, which was the capital,
and she attempted to persuade the officers and soldiers near her not
to submit to the sultan's decree, but to make Kothboddin their
sovereign after all.

While she was engaged in forming this conspiracy, the news reached the
city that the Monguls were coming. Khatun immediately determined to
flee to save her life. She had, it seems, in her custody at Karazm
twelve children, the sons of various princes that reigned in different
parts of the empire or in the environs of it. These children were
either held as hostages, or had been made captive in insurrections and
wars, and were retained in prison as a punishment to their fathers.
The queen-mother found that she could not take these children with
her, and so she ordered them all to be slain. She was afraid that the
Monguls, when they came, might set them free.

As soon as she was gone the city fell into great confusion on account
of the struggles for power between the two parties of Jalaloddin and
Kothboddin. But the sultana, who had made the mischief, did not
trouble herself to know how it would end. Her only anxiety was to save
her own life. After various wanderings and adventures, she at last
found her way into a very retired district of country lying on the
southern shore of the Caspian, between the mountains and the sea, and
here she sought refuge in a castle or fortress named Ilan, where she
thought she was secure from all pursuit. She brought with her to the
castle her jewels and all her most valuable treasures.

But Genghis Khan had spies in every part of the country, and he was
soon informed where Khatun was concealed. So he sent a messenger to a
certain Mongul general named Hubbe Nevian, who was commanding a
detachment in that part of the country, informing him that Khatun was
in the castle of Ilan, and commanding him to go and lay siege to it,
and to take it at all hazards, and to bring Khatun to him either dead
or alive.

Hubbe immediately set off for the castle. The queen-mother, however,
had notice of his approach, and the lords who were with her urged her
to fly. If she would go with them, they said, they would take her to
Jalaloddin, and he would protect her. But she would not listen to any
such proposal. She hated Jalaloddin so intensely that she would not,
even to save her life, put herself under his power. The very worst
possible treatment, she said, that she could receive from the Monguls
would be more agreeable to her than the greatest favors from the hand
of Jalaloddin.

The ground of this extreme animosity which she felt toward Jalaloddin
was not any personal animosity to _him_; it arose simply from an
ancient and long-continued dislike and hatred which she had borne
against his mother!

So Khatun refused to retire from the danger, and soon afterward the
horde of Monguls arrived, and pitched their camp before the castle

For three months Hubbe and his Monguls continued to ply the walls of
the fortress with battering-rams and other engines, in order to force
their way in, but in vain. The place was too strong for them. At
length Genghis Khan, hearing how the case stood, sent word to them to
give up the attempt to make a breach, and to invest the place closely
on all sides, so as to allow no person to go out or to come in; in
that way, he said, the garrison would soon be starved into a

When the governor of the castle saw, by the arrangements which Hubbe
made in obedience to this order, that this was the course that was to
be pursued, he said he was not uneasy, for his magazines were full of
provisions, and as to water, the rain which fell very copiously there
among the mountains always afforded an abundant supply.

But the governor was mistaken in his calculations in respect to the
rain. It usually fell very frequently in that region, but after the
blockade of the fortress commenced, for three weeks there was not the
smallest shower. The people of the country around thought this failure
of the rain was a special judgment of heaven against the queen for the
murder of the children, and for her various other crimes. It was,
indeed, remarkable, for in ordinary times the rain was so frequent
that the people of all that region depended upon it entirely for their
supply of water, and never found it necessary to search for springs or
to dig wells.

The sufferings of the people within the fortress for want of water
were very great. Many of them died in great misery, and at length the
provisions began to fail too, and Khatun was compelled to allow the
governor to surrender.

The Monguls immediately seized the queen, and took possession of all
her treasures. They also took captive all the lords and ladies who had
attended her, and the women of her household, and two or three of her
great-grandchildren, whom she had brought with her in her flight. All
these persons were sent under a strong guard to Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan retained the queen as a captive for some time, and
treated her in a very cruel and barbarous manner. He would sometimes
order her to be brought into his tent, at the end of his dinner, that
he might enjoy his triumph by insulting and deriding her. On these
occasions he would throw her scraps of food from the table as if she
had been a dog.

He took away the children from her too, all but one, whom he left with
her a while to comfort her, as he said; but one day an officer came
and seized this one from her very arms, while she was dressing him and
combing his hair. This last blow caused her a severer pang than any
that she had before endured, and left her utterly disconsolate and

Some accounts say that soon after this she was put to death, but
others state that Genghis Khan retained her several years as a
captive, and carried her to and fro in triumph in his train through
the countries over which she had formerly reigned with so much power
and splendor. She deserved her sufferings, it is true; but Genghis
Khan was none the less guilty, on that account, for treating her so




Continued conquests.--Efforts of Jalaloddin.--Jalaloddin
becomes discouraged.--The governor's advice.--Renewed
exertions.--Stratagem.--Fictitious soldiers.--Quarrel about a
horse.--Disaffection.--Jalaloddin's forces divided.--Great battle
in the defile.--Orders to take Jalaloddin alive.--He takes leave
of his family.--His escape across the river.--His defiance of
his pursuers.--Struggles of the horse.--Night spent in a
tree.--Jalaloddin meets with friends.--Large body of men
escaped.--Pressing wants.--Timely aid from Jamalarrazad.--Fate
of the sultan's family.--Sunken treasures.--Jalaloddin's
end.--Sieges.--Logs instead of stones for ammunition.--Modern
bombs.--Bringing stones.--Occupation of slaves.--Shields.--Protection
against fire.--Precautions.--Attempts at resistance.--Account of
Kubru.--His noble spirit.--Kubru slain.--Pusillanimity.--Sorties by
the garrisons.--Desperation of the people.--Mode of disposing of
prisoners.--Prodigious slaughter.--Atrocities.--The pearl.--Genghis
Khan's grandson killed.--His mother's revenge.--Principles of the
Mohammedan faith.--Genghis Khan's opinion.--The spirit of religious

After this Genghis Khan went on successfully for several years,
extending his conquests over all the western part of Central Asia,
while the generals whom he had left at home were extending his
dominions in the same manner in the eastern portion. He overran nearly
all of Persia, went entirely around the Caspian Sea, and even
approached the confines of India.

In this expedition toward India he was in pursuit of Jalaloddin.
Immediately after the death of his father, Jalaloddin had done all in
his power to raise an army and carry on the war against Genghis Khan.
He met with a great deal of embarrassment and difficulty at first, on
account of the plots and conspiracies which his grandmother had
organized in favor of his brother Kothboddin, and the dissensions
among his people to which they gave rise. At last, in the course of a
year, he succeeded, in some measure, in healing this breach and in
raising an army; and, though he was not strong enough to fight the
Monguls in a general battle, he hung about them in their march and
harassed them in various ways, so as to impede their operations very
essentially. Genghis Khan from time to time sent off detachments from
his army to take him. He was often defeated in the engagements which
ensued, but he always succeeded in saving himself and in keeping
together a portion of his men, and thus he maintained himself in the
field, though he was growing weaker and weaker all the time.

At last he became completely discouraged, and, after signal defeat
which he met with from a detachment which had been sent against him by
Genghis Khan, he went, with the few troops that remained together, to
a strong fortress among the mountains, and told the governor that it
seemed to him useless to continue the struggle any longer, and that he
had come to shut himself up in the fortress, and abandon the contest
in despair.

The governor, however, told him that it was not right for a prince,
the descendant of ancestors so illustrious as his, and the inheritor
of so resplendent a crown, to yield to discouragement and despondency
on account of the reverses of fortune. He advised him again to take
the field, and to raise a new army, and continue the contest to the

Jalaloddin determined to follow this advice, and, after a brief period
of repose at the castle, he again took the field.

He made great exertions, and finally succeeded in getting together
about twenty thousand men. This was a small force, it is true,
compared with the numbers of the enemy; but it was sufficient, if well
managed, to enable the prince to undertake operations of considerable
importance, and Jalaloddin began to feel somewhat encouraged again.
With his twenty thousand men he gained one or two victories too, which
encouraged him still more. In one of these cases he defeated rather a
singular stratagem which the Mongul general contrived. It seems that
the Mongul detachment which was sent out in this instance against
Jalaloddin was not strong enough, and the general, in order to make
Jalaloddin believe that his force was greater than it really was,
ordered all the felt caps and cloaks that there were in the army to be
stuffed with straw, and placed on the horses and camels of the
baggage, in order to give the appearance of a second line of reserve
in the rear of the line of real soldiers. This was to induce
Jalaloddin to surrender without fighting.

But in some way or other Jalaloddin detected the deceit, and, instead
of surrendering, fought the Monguls with great vigor, and defeated
them. He gained a very decided victory, and perhaps this might have
been the beginning of a change of fortune for him if, unfortunately,
his generals had not quarreled about the division of the spoil. There
was a beautiful Arabian horse which two of his leading generals
desired to possess, and each claimed it. The dispute became, at last,
so violent that one of the generals struck the other in his face with
the lash of his whip. Upon this the feud became a deadly one. Both
parties appealed to Jalaloddin. He did not wish to make either general
an enemy by deciding in favor of the other, and so he tried to
compromise the matter. He did not succeed in doing this; and one of
the generals, mortally offended, went off in the night, taking with
him all that portion of the troops which was under his command.

Jalaloddin did every thing in his power to bring the disaffected
general back again; but, before he could accomplish this purpose,
Genghis Khan came up with a large force between the two parties, and
prevented their effecting a junction.

Jalaloddin had now no alternative but to retreat. Genghis Khan
followed him, and it was in this way that, after a time, both the
armies reached the banks of the Indus, on the borders of India.

Jalaloddin, being closely pursued, took his position in a narrow
defile near the bank of the river, and here a great battle was fought
among the rocks and precipices. Jalaloddin, it is said, had only
thirty thousand men at his command, while Genghis Khan was at the head
of an army of three hundred thousand. The numbers in both cases are
probably greatly exaggerated, but the proportion may perhaps be true.

It was only a small portion of the Mongul army that could get into the
defile where the sultan's troops had posted themselves; and so
desperately did the latter fight, that it is said they killed twenty
thousand of the Monguls before they gave in. In fact, they fought like
wild beasts, with desperate and unremitting fury, all day long. Toward
night it became evident to Jalaloddin that it was all over with him. A
large portion of his followers were killed. Some had made their escape
across the river, though many of those who sought to do so were
drowned in the attempt. The rest of his men were completely exhausted
and discouraged, and wholly unable to renew the contest on the
following day.

Jalaloddin had exposed himself very freely in the fight, in hopes,
perhaps, that he should be killed. But Genghis Khan had given positive
orders that he should be taken alive. He had even appointed two of his
generals to watch carefully, and to see that no person should, under
any circumstances, kill him. He wished to take him alive, in order to
lead him through the country a prisoner, and exhibit him to his former
subjects as a trophy of his victory, just as he had done and was still
doing with the old queen Khatun, his grandmother.

But Jalaloddin was determined that his conqueror should not enjoy this
pleasure. He resolved to attempt to save himself by swimming the
river. He accordingly went first, breathless, and covered with dust
and blood from the fight, to take a hurried leave of his mother, his
wives, and his children, who, as was customary in those countries and
times, had accompanied him in his campaign. He found them in his tent,
full of anxiety and terror. He took leave of them with much sorrow and
many tears, trying to comfort them with the hope that they should
meet again in happier times. Then he took off his armor and his arms,
in order that he might not be impeded in crossing the river,
reserving, however, his sword and bow, and a quiver full of arrows. He
then mounted a fresh horse and rode toward the river.

When he reached the bank of the river, the horse found the current so
rapid and the agitation of the water so great that he was very
unwilling to advance; but Jalaloddin spurred him in. Indeed, there was
no time to be lost; for scarcely had he reached the shore when Genghis
Khan himself, and a party of Monguls, appeared in view, advancing to
seize him. They stopped on the bank when they saw Jalaloddin ride into
the water among the rocks and whirlpools. They did not dare to follow
him, but they remained at the water-side to see how his perilous
adventure would end.

As soon as Jalaloddin found that he was out of their reach, he stopped
at a place where his horse found a foothold, and turned round toward
his pursuers with looks of hatred and defiance. He then drew his bow,
and began to shoot at them with his arrows, and he continued to shoot
until all the arrows in his quiver were exhausted. Some of the more
daring of the Monguls proposed to Genghis Khan that they should swim
out and try to take him. But Genghis Khan would not allow them to go.
He said the attempt would be useless.

"You can do nothing at all with him," said he. "A man of such cool and
determined bravery as that will defy and defeat all your attempts. Any
father might be proud to have such a son, and any son proud to be
descended from such a father."

When his arrows were all expended, Jalaloddin took to the river again;
and his horse, after a series of most desperate struggles among the
whirlpools and eddies, and the boiling surges which swept around the
rocks, succeeded at length in carrying his master over. The progress
of the horse was watched with great interest by Genghis Khan and his
party from the shore as long as they could see him.

As soon as Jalaloddin landed, and had recovered a little from the
fatigue and excitement of the passage, he began to look around him,
and to consider what was next to be done. He found himself entirely
alone, in a wild and solitary place, which he had reason to fear was
infested with tigers and other ferocious beasts of prey, such as haunt
the jungles in India. Night was coming on too, and there were no signs
of any habitations or of any shelter. So he fastened his horse at the
foot of a tree, and climbed up himself among the branches, and in this
way passed the night.

The next morning he came down and began to walk along the bank of the
river to see what he could find. He was in a state of great anxiety
and distress. Suddenly, to his great relief and joy, he came upon a
small troop of soldiers, accompanied by some officers, who had escaped
across the river from the battle as he had done. Three of these
officers were his particular friends, and he was overjoyed to see
them. They had made their way across the river in a boat which they
had found upon the bank at the beginning of the defeat of the army.
They had spent the whole night in the boat, being in great danger from
the shoals and shelving rocks, and from the impetuosity of the
current. Finally, toward morning, they had landed, not far from the
place where Jalaloddin found them.

Not long after this he came upon a troop of three hundred horsemen,
who had escaped by swimming the river at a place where the water was
more smooth, at some distance below. These men told him that about six
miles farther down the stream there was a body of about four thousand
men who had made their escape in a similar manner. On assembling
these men, Jalaloddin found himself once more at the head of a
considerable force.

The immediate wants of the men were, however, extremely pressing, for
they were all wholly destitute of food and of every other necessary,
and Jalaloddin would have been greatly embarrassed to provide for them
had it not been for the thoughtfulness and fidelity of one of the
officers of his household on the other side of the river. This
officer's name was Jamalarrazad. As soon as he found that his master
had crossed the river, knowing, too, that a great number of the troops
had attempted to cross besides, and that, in all probability, many of
them had succeeded in reaching the other bank, who would all be
greatly in want of provisions and stores the next morning, he went to
work at once, during the night, and loaded a very large boat with
provisions, arms, money, and stuff to make clothing for the soldiers.
He succeeded in getting off in this boat before his plan was
discovered by the Monguls, and in the course of the next morning he
reached the opposite bank with it, and thus furnished to Jalaloddin an
abundant provision for his immediate necessities.

Jalaloddin was so much pleased with the conduct of Jamalarrazad in
this affair that he appointed him at once to a very high and
responsible office in his service, and gave him a new title of honor.

In the mean time, Genghis Khan, on the other side of the river, took
possession the next morning of Jalaloddin's camp. Of course, the
family of the sultan fell into his hands. The emperor ordered all the
males to be killed, but he reserved the women for a different fate.
Among the persons killed was a boy about eight years old, Jalaloddin's
oldest son.

Jalaloddin had ordered his treasure to be sunk in the river,
intending, probably, to come back and recover it at some future time.
But Genghis Khan found out in some way where it was sunk, and he sent
divers down for it, and thus obtained possession of it as a part of
his booty.

After this, Jalaloddin remained five or six years in India, where he
joined himself and his army with some of the princes of that country,
and fought many campaigns there. At length, when a favorable
opportunity occurred, he came back to his own country, and fought some
time longer against the Monguls there, but he never succeeded in
gaining possession of any substantial power.

Genghis Khan continued after this for two or three years in the
Mohammedan countries of the western part of Asia, and extended his
conquests there in every direction. It is not necessary to follow his
movements in detail. It would only be a repetition of the same tale of
rapine, plunder, murder, and devastation. Sometimes a city would
surrender at once, when the conqueror approached the gates, by sending
out a deputation of the magistrates and other principal inhabitants
with the keys of the city, and with magnificent presents, in hopes to
appease him. And they usually so far succeeded in this as to put the
Mongul soldiery in good-humor, so that they would content themselves
with ransacking and plundering the place, leaving the inhabitants
alive. At other times the town would attempt to resist. The Monguls
would then build engines to batter down the walls, and to hurl great
stones over among the besieged. In many instances there was great
difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of stones, on account of
the alluvial character of the ground on which the city stood. In such
cases, after the stones found near were exhausted, the besiegers would
cut down great trees from the avenues leading to the town, or from the
forests near, and, sawing the trunk up into short lengths, would use
the immense blocks thus formed as ammunition for the engines. These
great logs of heavy wood, when thrown over the walls, were capable of
doing almost as much execution as the stones, though, compared with a
modern bomb-shell--a monstrous ball of iron, which, after flying four
or five miles from the battery, leaving on its way a fiery train
through the air, descends into a town and bursts into a thousand
fragments, which fly like iron hail in every direction around--they
were very harmless missiles.

In sawing up the trunks of the trees into logs, and in bringing stones
for the engines, the Monguls employed the prisoners whom they had
taken in war and made slaves of. The amount of work of this kind which
was to be done at some of the sieges was very great. It is said that
at the siege of Nishabur--a town whose inhabitants greatly offended
Genghis Khan by secretly sending arms, provisions, and money to
Jalaloddin, after they had once surrendered to the Monguls and
pretended to be friendly to them--the army of the Monguls employed
twelve hundred of these engines, all of which were made at a town at
some distance from the place besieged, and were then transported, in
parts, by the slaves, and put together by them under the walls. While
the slaves were employed in works of this kind, they were sometimes
protected by wooden shields covered with raw hides, which were carried
before them by other slaves, to keep off and extinguish the fiery
darts and arrows which were shot at them from the wall.

Sometimes, too, the places where the engines were set up were
protected by wooden bulwarks, which, together with the frame-work
itself of the engines, were covered with raw hides, to prevent their
being set on fire by the enemy. The number of raw hides required for
this purpose was immense, and to obtain them the Monguls slaughtered
vast herds of horses and cattle which they plundered from the enemy.

In order to embarrass the enemy in respect to ammunition for their
engines, the people of a town, when they heard that the Monguls were
coming, used to turn out sometimes in mass, several days before, and
gather up all the stones they could find, and throw them into the
river, or otherwise put them out of the way.

In some cases, the towns that were threatened, as has already been
said, did not attempt to resist, but submitted at once, and cast
themselves on the mercy of the conqueror. In such cases the Mongul
generals usually spared the lives of the inhabitants, though they
plundered their property. It sometimes happened, too, that after
attempting to defend themselves for some time, the garrison would
become discouraged, and then would attempt to make some terms or
conditions with the conqueror before they surrendered. In these cases,
however, the terms which the Monguls insisted upon were often so hard
that, rather than yield to them, the garrison would go on fighting to
the end.

In one instance there lived in a town that was to be assailed a
certain sheikh, or prince, named Kubru, who was a man of very exalted
character, as well as of high distinction. The Mongul general whom
Genghis Khan had commissioned to take the town was his third son,
Oktay. Oktay had heard of the fame of the sheikh, and had conceived a
very high respect for him. So he sent a herald to the wall with a
passport for the sheikh, and for ten other persons such as he should
choose, giving him free permission to leave the town and go wherever
he pleased. But the sheikh declined the offer. Then Oktay sent in
another passport, with permission to the sheikh to take a thousand men
with him. But he still refused. He could not accept Oktay's bounty,
he said, unless it were extended to all the Mohammedans in the town.
He was obliged to take his lot with the rest, for he was bound to his
people by ties too strong to be easily sundered.

So the siege went on, and at the end of it, when the town was carried,
the sheikh was slain with the rest in the streets, where he stood his
ground to the last, fighting like a lion.

All the Mohammedan chieftains, however, did not possess so noble a
spirit as this. One chieftain, when he found that the Monguls were
coming, caused himself to be let down with ropes from the wall in the
night, and so made his escape, leaving the town and the garrison to
their fate.

The garrisons of the towns, knowing that they had little mercy to
expect from their terrible enemies, fought often very desperately to
the last, as they would have done against beasts of prey. They would
suddenly open the gates and rush out in large bands, provided with
combustibles of all kinds and torches, with which they would set fire
to the engines of the besiegers, and then get back again within the
walls before the Monguls could recover sufficiently from the alarm and
confusion to intercept them. In this manner they destroyed a great
many of the engines, and killed vast numbers of men.

Still the Monguls would persevere, and, sooner or later, the place was
sure to fall. Then, when the inhabitants found that all hope was over,
they had become so desperate in their hatred of their foes that they
would sometimes set the town on fire with their own hands, and throw
themselves and their wives and children into the flames, rather than
fall into the hands of their infuriated enemies.

The cruelties which the Monguls perpetrated upon their unhappy victims
when, after a long resistance, they finally gained possession of a
town, were indeed dreadful. They usually ordered all the people to
come out to an open space on the plain, and there, after taking out
all the young and able-bodied men, who could be made useful in
bringing stones and setting up engines, and other such labors, and
also all the young and beautiful women, to be divided among the army
or sold as slaves, they would put the rest together in a mass, and
kill them all by shooting at them with arrows, just as if they had
been beasts surrounded in a chase, excepting that the excitement and
pleasure of shooting into such a mass of human victims, and of hearing
the shrieks and cries of their terror, was probably infinitely
greater to their brutal murderers than if it had been a herd of lions,
tigers, and wolves that they were destroying.

It is said by the historians that in one case the number of people
ordered out upon the plain was so great that it took four days for
them to pass out and assemble at the appointed place, and that, after
those who were to be spared had been separated from the rest, the
number that were left to be slain was over one hundred thousand, as
recorded by the secretaries who made an enumeration of them.

In another case the slaughter was so great that it took twelve days to
count the number of the dead.

Some of the atrocities which were perpetrated upon the prisoners were
almost too horrible to be described. In one case a woman, quite
advanced in years, begged the Monguls to spare her life, and promised
that, if they would do so, she would give them a pearl of great value.

They asked her where the pearl was, and she said she had swallowed it.
The Monguls then immediately cut her down, and ripped her body open
with their swords to find the pearl. They found it, and then,
encouraged by this success, and thinking it probable that other women
might have attempted to hide their jewels in the same way, they
proceeded to kill and cut open a great number of women to search for
pearls in their bodies, but they found no more.

At the siege of a certain city, called Bamiyan, a young grandson of
Genghis Khan, wishing to please his grandfather by his daring,
approached so near the wall that he was reached by an arrow shot by
one of the archers, and killed. Genghis Khan was deeply affected by
this event, and he showed by the bitterness of his grief that, though
he was so utterly heartless and cruel in inflicting these woes upon
others, he could feel for himself very acutely when it came to his
turn to suffer. As for the mother of the child, she was rendered
perfectly furious by his death. She thought of nothing but revenge,
and she only waited for the town to be taken in order that she might
enjoy it. When, at last, a practicable breach was made, and the
soldiers began to pour into the city, she went in with the rest, and
insisted that every man, woman, and child should be put to death. Her
special rage was directed against the children, whom she seemed to
take special pleasure in destroying, in vengeance for the death of her
own child. The hatred and rage which she manifested against children
extended even to babes unborn, and these feelings she evinced by
atrocities too shocking to be described.

The opinions which Genghis Khan entertained on religious subjects
appear from a conversation which he held at one time during the course
of his campaigns in Western Asia with some learned Mohammedan doctors
at Bokhara, which was the great seat at that time of science and
philosophy. He asked the doctors what were the principles of their
religion. They replied that these principles consisted of five
fundamental points:

     1. In believing in one God, the creator of all things, and
     the supreme ruler and governor of the universe.

     2. In giving one fortieth part of their yearly income or
     gains to the poor.

     3. In praying to God five times every day.

     4. In setting apart one month in each year for fasting.

     5. In making a pilgrimage to the temple in Mecca, there to
     worship God.

Genghis Khan told them that he believed himself in the first of these
articles, and he approved of the three succeeding ones. It was very
well, he said, to give one fortieth of one's income to the poor, and
to pray to God five times a day, and to set apart a month in the year
for a fast. But as to the last article, he could not but dissent from
it entirely, for the whole world was God's house, and it was
ridiculous, he said, to imagine that one place could really be any
more fitting than another as a place for worshiping him.

The learned doctors were much dissatisfied with this answer. They
were, in fact, more displeased with the dissent which the emperor
expressed from this last article, the only one that was purely and
wholly ritual in its character, than they were gratified with the
concurrence which he expressed in all the other four. This is not at
all surprising, for, from the times of the Pharisees down to the
present day, the spirit of sectarianism and bigotry in religion always
plants itself most strongly on the platform of externals. It is always
contending strenuously for rites, while it places comparatively in the
background all that bears directly on the vital and spiritual
interests of the soul.




The great hunting party.--Object of the hunt.--The general plan.--The
time arrives.--Orders.--Progress of the operations.--Terror of the
animals.--The inner circle.--Condition of the beasts.--The princes
enter the ring.--Intimidation of the wild beasts.--They recover their
ferocity when attacked.--The slaughter.--Petition of the young
men.--End of the hunt.--The assembly at Toukat.--Return of Genghis
Khan's sons.--Present of horses.--The khans arrive.--Grand
entertainment.--Drinks.--Great extent of the encampment.--Laying
out the encampment.--The state tent.--The throne.--Business
transacted.--Leave-taking.--The assembly is dismissed.

When Genghis Khan found that his conquests in Western Asia were in
some good degree established and confirmed, he illustrated his victory
and the consequent extension of his empire by two very imposing
celebrations. The first was a grand hunt. The second was a solemn
convocation of all the estates of his immense realm in a sort of diet
or deliberative assembly.

The accounts given by the historians of both these celebrations are
doubtless greatly exaggerated. Their description of the hunt is as

It was after the close of the campaign in 1221 that it took place,
while the army were in winter quarters. The object of the hunt was to
keep the soldiers occupied, so as to avoid the relaxation of
discipline, and the vices and disorder which generally creep into a
camp where there are no active occupations to engage the minds of the
men. The hunt took place in a vast region of uninhabited country,
which was infested with wild beasts of every kind. The soldiers were
marched out on this expedition in order of war, as if it were a
country occupied by armed men that they were going to attack. The
different detachments were conducted to the different points in the
outskirts of the country, from which they severally extended
themselves to the right and left, so as completely to inclose the
ground. And the space was so large, it is said, which was thus
inclosed, that it took them several weeks to march in to the centre.

It is true that in such a case the men would advance very slowly,
perhaps only a few miles each day, in order that they might examine
the ground thoroughly, and leave no ravine, or thicket, or other
lurking-place, where beasts might conceal themselves, unexplored.
Still, the circle was doubtless immensely large.

When the appointed morning at length arrived, the men at the several
stations were arrayed, and they commenced their advance toward the
centre, moving to the sound of trumpets, drums, timbrels, and other
such instruments of martial music as were in use in those days.

The men were strictly forbidden to kill any animal. They were only to
start them out from their lurking-places and lairs, and drive them in
toward the centre of the field.

Great numbers of the men were provided with picks, spades, and other
similar tools, with which they were to dig out the burrows and holes
of such animals as should seek refuge under ground.

They went on in this way for some weeks. The animals ran before them,
thinking, when they were disturbed by the men, that it was only a
momentary danger, which they could easily escape from, as usual, by
running forward into the next thicket; but soon the advancing line of
the soldiers reached them there, and drove them out again, and if they
attempted to turn to the right or the left they soon found themselves
intercepted. Thus, as the circle grew narrower, and the space inclosed
diminished, the animals began to find themselves mixing with one
another in great numbers, and being now irritated and angry, they
attacked one another in many instances, the strong falling upon and
killing the weak. Thus a great many were killed, though not by the
hands of the soldiers.

At last the numbers became so great, and the excitement and terror of
the animals so intense, that the soldiers had great difficulty in
driving them forward. The poor beasts ran this way and that, half
distracted, while the soldiers pressed steadily on behind them, and
cut them off from every chance of escape by raising terrific shouts
and outcries, and by brandishing weapons before them wherever they
attempted to turn.

At length the animals were all driven in to the inner circle, a
comparatively small space, which had been previously marked out.
Around this space double and triple lines of troops were drawn up,
armed with pikes and spears, which they pointed in toward the centre,
thus forming a sort of wall by which the beasts were closely shut in.
The plan was now for the officers and khans, and all the great
personages of the court and the army, to go into the circle, and show
their courage and their prowess by attacking the beasts and slaying

But the courage required for such an exploit was not so great as it
might seem, for it was always found on these occasions that the
beasts, though they had been very wild and ferocious when first
aroused from their lairs, and had appeared excessively irritated when
they found the circle beginning to narrow around them, ended at last
in losing all their spirit, and in becoming discouraged, dejected,
and tame. This was owing partly, perhaps, to their having become, in
some degree, familiar with the sight of men, but more probably to the
exhaustion produced by long-continued fatigue and excitement, and to
their having been for so many days deprived in a great degree of their
accustomed food and rest.

Thus in this, as in a great many other similar instances, the poor
soldiers and common people incurred the danger and the toil, and then
the great men came in at the end to reap the glory.

Genghis Khan himself was the first to enter the circle for the purpose
of attacking the beasts. He was followed by the princes of his family,
and by other great chieftains and khans. As they went in, the whole
army surrounded the inclosure, and completely filled the air with the
sound of drums, timbrels, trumpets, and other such instruments, and
with the noise of the most terrific shouts and outcries which they
could make, in order to terrify and overawe the beasts as much as
possible, and to destroy in them all thought and hope of resistance.

And, indeed, so much effect was produced by these means of
intimidation, that the beasts, it is said, became completely
stupefied. "They were so affrighted that they lost all their
fierceness. The lions and tigers became as tame as lambs, and the
bears and wild boars, like the most timorous creatures, became
dejected and amazed."

Still, the going in of Genghis Khan and the princes to attack them was
not wholly without danger; for, of course, it was a point of honor
with them to select the most ferocious and fierce of the animals, and
some of these, when they found themselves actually assailed, were
aroused again, and, recovering in some degree their native ferocity,
seemed impelled to make a last desperate effort to defend themselves.
After killing a few of the lions, tigers, and bears, Genghis Khan and
his immediate suite retired to a place at one side of the inclosure,
where a throne had been set up for the emperor on an eminence which
afforded a good view of the field. Here Genghis Khan took his seat in
order to enjoy the spectacle of the slaughter, and then an immense
number of men were allowed to go in and amuse themselves with killing
and destroying the poor beasts till they were perfectly satiated with
the sight of blood and of suffering.

At last some of the khan's grandsons, attended by several other young
princes, approached the throne where the emperor was seated, and
petitioned him to order the carnage to cease, and to allow the rest of
the animals to go free. This petition the emperor granted. The lines
were broken up, the animals that had escaped being massacred made
their way back into the wilds again, and the hunt was over.

The several detachments of the army then set out on their march back
to the camp again. But so great was the scale on which this grand
hunting expedition was conducted, that four months elapsed between the
time of their setting out upon it till the time of their return.

       *       *       *       *       *

The grand diet or general assembly of the states of Genghis Khan's
empire took place two or three years later, when the conquest of
Western Asia was complete, and the sons of the emperor and all the
great generals could be called together at the emperor's head-quarters
without much danger. The place chosen for this assembly was a vast
plain in the vicinity of the city of Toukat, which has already been
mentioned as one of the great cities conquered by Genghis Khan. Toukat
lay in a central and convenient position for the purpose of this
assembly. It was, moreover, a rich and beautiful city, and could
furnish all that would be necessary for the wants of the assembly.
The meeting, however, was not to be held in the city itself, but upon
a great plain in the environs of it, where there was space for all the
khans, with their numerous retinues, to pitch their tents.

When the khans and chieftains began to assemble, there came first the
sons of the king, returning from the various expeditions on which
their father had sent them, and bringing with them magnificent
presents. These presents, of course, consisted of the treasures and
other valuables which they had taken in plunder from the various
cities which had fallen into their hands. The presents which Jughi
brought exceeded in value those of all the others. Among the rest,
there was a herd of horses one hundred thousand in number. These
horses had, of course, been seized in the pastures of the conquered
countries, and were now brought to the emperor to be used by him in
mounting his troops. They were arrayed in bands according to the
color, white, dappled gray, bay, black, and spotted, of each kind an
equal number.

The emperor received and welcomed his sons with great joy, and readily
accepted their presents. In return, he made presents to them from his
own treasuries.

After this, as other princes and khans came in, and encamped with
their troops and followers on the plain, the emperor entertained them
all with a series of grand banquets and public diversions of all
sorts. Among other things a grand hunting party was organized,
somewhat similar in the general plan to the one already described,
only on a much smaller scale, of course, in respect to the number of
persons engaged and the time occupied, while yet it greatly surpassed
that one in magnificence and splendor. Several thousand beasts were
slain, it is said, and a great number and variety of birds, which were
taken by the falcons.

At the end of the hunt a great banquet was given, which surpassed all
the other feasts in munificence. They had on the tables of this
banquet a great variety of drinks--not only rich wines from the
southern countries, but beer, and metheglin, and also sherbet, which
the army had learned to make in Persia.

In the mean time, the great space on the plain, which had been set
apart for the encampment, had been gradually becoming filled up by the
arrival of the khans, until at length, in every direction, as far as
the eye could reach, the whole plain was covered with groups of tents
and long lines of movable houses, brought on wheels. The ground which
the encampment covered was said by the historians to have been seven
leagues in extent. If the space occupied was any thing at all
approaching this magnitude, it could only be that the outer portions
of it were occupied by the herdsmen and other servants of the khans,
who had to take care of the cattle and horses of the troops, and to
provide them with suitable pasture. Indeed, the great number of
animals which these wandering tribes always took with them on their
journeys rendered it necessary to appropriate a much larger space to
their encampments than would have been otherwise required.

It is surprising to us, who are accustomed to look upon living in
tents as so exclusively an irregular and temporary expedient, to learn
how completely this mode of life was reduced to a system in those
days, and how perfect and complete all the arrangements relating to it
were made. In this case, in the centre of the encampment, a space of
two leagues in length was regularly laid out in streets, squares, and
market-places, like a town. Here were the emperor's quarters, with
magnificent tents for himself and his immediate household, and
multitudes of others of a plainer character for his servants and
retainers. The tents of the other grand khans were near. They were
made of rich materials, and ornamented in a sumptuous manner, and
silken streamers of various colors floated in the wind from the
summits of them.

Besides these there was an immense tent, built for the assembly itself
to hold its sessions in. This tent was so large, it is said, that it
would contain two thousand persons. It was covered with white, which
made it very conspicuous. There were two entrance-gates leading to the
interior. One of them was called the imperial gate, and was for the
use of Genghis Khan alone. The other was the public gate, and was used
in general for the members of the assembly and for spectators.

Within the tent was erected a magnificent throne, intended for the use
of the emperor during the sessions of the assembly.

A great amount of important business was transacted by the assembly
while it continued in session, and many important edicts were made by
the emperor. The constitution and laws of the empire were promulgated
anew, and all necessary arrangements made for the government of the
various provinces both near and remote.

At length, when these various objects had been accomplished, and the
business was concluded, the emperor gave audience individually to all
the princes, khans, generals, governors of provinces, and other grand
dignitaries who were present on the occasion, in order that they might
take their leave preparatory to returning to their several countries.
When this ceremony was concluded the encampment was broken up, and the
various khans set off, each at the head of his own caravan, on the
road leading to his own home.




Death of the khan's oldest son.--Effects of this calamity.--Plan for
the invasion of China.--The khan's sons.--His sickness.--Change for
the worse.--Farewell address.--He claims the right to name his
successor.--Other arrangements.--Death of the emperor.--His grave and
monument.--Visits of condolence to the new emperor.--Fate of the empire.

After the grand convocation described in the last chapter, Genghis
Khan lived only three years. During this time he went on extending his
conquests with the same triumphant success that had attended his
previous operations. Having at length established his dominion in
Western Asia on a permanent basis, he returned to the original seat of
his empire in the East, after seven years' absence, where he was
received with great honor by the Mongul nation. He began again to
extend his conquests in China. He was very successful. Indeed, with
the exception of one great calamity which befell him, his career was
one of continued and unexampled prosperity.

This calamity was the death of his son Jughi, his oldest, most
distinguished, and best-beloved son. The news of this event threw the
khan into a deep melancholy, so that for a time he lost all his
interest in public affairs, and even the news of victories obtained in
distant countries by his armies ceased to awaken any joyful emotions
in his mind.

The khan was now, too, becoming quite advanced in life, being about
sixty-four years old, which is an age at which the mind is slow to
recover its lost elasticity. He did, however, slowly recover from the
effects of his grief, and he then went on with his warlike
preparations. He had conquered all the northern portion of China, and
was now making arrangements for a grand invasion of the southern part,
when at length, in the spring of the year 1227, he fell sick. He
struggled against the disease during the summer, but at length, in
August, he found himself growing worse, and felt that his end was
drawing nigh.

His mind was occupied mainly, during all this interval, by arranging
the details of the coming campaign, and making known to the officers
around him all the particulars of his plans, in order that they might
carry them out successfully after his decease. He was chiefly
concerned, as well he might be, lest the generals should quarrel among
each other after he should be gone, and he continually exhorted them
to be united, and on no account to allow discord or dissensions to
creep in and divide them.

His oldest son, next to Jughi, was Jagatay, but he was of a mild and
amiable temper, and not so well qualified to govern so widely-extended
an empire as the next son, whose name was Oktay. The next son to
Oktay, whose name was Toley, was with his father at the time when his
sickness at last assumed an immediately alarming character.

This change for the worse, which convinced the emperor that his death
was drawing nigh, took place one day when he was traveling with a
portion of his army, being borne on a litter on account of his infirm
and feeble condition. A halt was ordered, a camp was formed, and the
great conqueror was borne to a tent which was pitched for him on the
spot near the borders of the forest. The physicians and the
astrologers came around him, and tried to comfort him with encouraging
predictions, but he knew by the pains that he felt, and by other
inward sensations, that his hour had come.

He accordingly ordered that all of his sons who were in the camp, and
all the princes of his family, should be called in to his bedside.
When they had all assembled, he caused himself to be raised up in his
bed, and then made a short but very solemn address to them.

"I leave you," said he, "the greatest empire in the world, but your
preserving it depends upon your remaining always united. If discord
steals in among you all will most assuredly be lost."

Then, turning to the great chieftains and khans who were standing
by--the great nobles of his court--he appealed to them, as well as to
the princes of his family, whether it was not just and reasonable that
he, who had established the empire, and built it up wholly from the
very foundations, should have the right to name a successor to inherit
it after he was gone.

They all expressed a full assent to this proposition. His sons and the
other princes of his family fell on their knees and said, "You are our
father and our emperor, and we are your slaves. It is for us to bow in
submission to all the commands with which you honor us, and to render
the most implicit obedience to them."

The khan then proceeded to announce to the assembly that he had made
choice of his son Oktay as his successor, and he declared him the khan
of khans, which was the imperial title, according to the constitution.

The whole assembly then kneeled again, and solemnly declared that they
accepted the choice which the emperor had made, and promised
allegiance and fidelity to the new sovereign so soon as he should be
invested with power.

The aged emperor then gave to his second son, Jagatay, a large country
for his kingdom, which, however, he was, of course, to hold under the
general sovereignty of his brother. He also appointed his son Toley,
who was then present, to act as regent until Oktay should return.

The assembly was then dismissed, and very soon afterward the great
conqueror died.

Toley, of course, immediately entered upon his office as regent, and
under his direction the body of his father was interred, with great
magnificence, under a venerable tree, where the khan had rested
himself with great satisfaction a few days before he was taken sick.

The spot was a very beautiful one, and in due time a magnificent
monument was erected over the grave. Trees were afterward planted
around the spot, and other improvements were made in the grounds, by
which it became, at length, it was said, one of the finest sepulchres
in the world.

As soon as Oktay, whom the emperor had designated as his successor,
returned home, he was at once proclaimed emperor, and established
himself at his father's court. The news of the old emperor's death
rapidly spread throughout Asia, and a succession of embassadors were
sent from all the provinces, principalities, and kingdoms throughout
the empire, and also from such contiguous states as desired to
maintain friendly relations with the new monarch, to bring addresses
and messages of condolence from their respective rulers. And so great
was the extent of country from which these embassadors came that a
period of six months was consumed before these melancholy ceremonies
were ended.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fate of the grand empire which Genghis Khan established was the
same with that of all others that have arisen in the world, from time
to time, by the extension of the power of great military commanders
over widely-separated and heterogeneous nations. The sons and
successors to whom the vast possessions descended soon quarreled among
themselves, and the immense fabric fell to pieces in less time than it
had taken to construct it.

                         THE END.


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