Page:Historyofpersiaf00watsrich.djvu/139

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119
CLEMENCY OF FETTEH ALI SHAH.

them, at which the prince set forth that the revenues of the province of Fars were insufficient for his expenditure, and demanded to be appointed governor of Kerman also. The Shah did not refuse this request, and the prince on returning to his camp made the further stipulation that he should be invested with the government of the whole of Irak, and in addition that he should share the royal dignity with his brother. To these extravagant demands no answer was returned, and the prince proceeded to draw up his forces in order of battle. The Shah, while preparing to oppose his brother, sent repeated messages exhorting him to return to his duty. These, however, were disregarded, and the two hosts met face to face. But there was one privileged person whose influence was at the last moment sufficient to prevent the bloodshed that had been about to ensue. This was the mother of the two youths, who rushed between the opposing ranks, and with tears and cries forbade the soldiers to be participators in this unnatural strife. The prince by this time had had leisure to perceive that his forces were not sufficient to enable him to contend successfully with the army of the Shah, and he therefore sent to implore the royal clemency. This was granted upon the sole condition that the traitor, Mahomed Veli Khan, should be given over for the purpose of being put to death; a stipulation to which the prince acceded.

Suleiman Khan, who had been awaiting on the borders of Azerbaeejan the news of the result of the expected engagement between the Shah and the prince, was completely disconcerted at the turn events had taken, and, being in fear for his own life, he came on to Tehran and took sanctuary in the royal stable. From thence he