Father Krusinski.

The history of the late revolutions of Persia: taken from the memoirs of Father Krusinski, Procurator of the Jesuits at Ispahan.. (Volume 1) online

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his own Confcience, it was not in his MajeC-
ty's Power to reftore him to that Sight, of
which he had been deprived by too rafti a
Sentence ; adding, that Life was only a Bur-
den to him now ; and that he ihould take ic

R 4 as

as a Favour, if the King would facrifice even
that to the Paflion of his Enemies who thirft-
ed infatiably for his Blood. Then, with the
utmoft Modefty, though with a noble Con-
fidence, he reckoned up the Services which
his Anceftors and he had performed to the
Crown } and, after having bemoan'd himfelf
on the unhappy Situation to which he was
reduced by Way of Reward, and on the In-
fignificancy of a Defence, which was required
of him too late, he descended into the Par-
ticulars of the Grievances, and anfwered
every Thing that had been alledged againft
him, Article by Article.

As to the Firft, therefore, he faid, " That
" the Evidence of a rafcally Footman, hir'd
a for ready Money to ruin his Mafter, was
a not to be admitted againft fuch a Man
" as he ; efpecially in a Facl to which he
u was the only Witnefs fworn, and of which
" he could not give any Proof/' Then he re-
quired that the Wretch might be put to the
Torture to compel him to declare, who had
fet him at Work to raife that Calumny.

As to the Second he owned, " That the
<c Stamp of his Seal which was found upon

c the pretended Ordei fent to the Comman-
" der of the Kurdes^ might be of fome Weight

' againit him, if it was not very manifeft that
<c there wcie Forgers in Terjia > but that it
* c l>eing notorious that there was a great Num-


( 237 )

ic ber of them fo well vers'd in their Calling,
" that of two Pieces, one of which lawful, and
a the other counterfeit, it was a hard Matter
" to diitinguifh which was the Right ; fo filent
" a Teftimony as that could be of no Weight,
" if it was not accompanied and corroborated
c< with other Tokens." He was not content
with this general Anfwer ; and as this was
the only Grievance that was really material
to his Caufe, and that which had been the
unhappy Pretext of his Condemnation and
Calamity, he entered into fuch particular
Difcufiions of it, as plainly difcovered the
Falfhood and Folly of the Artifice that was
contriv'd to ruin him.

c< For, faid he, if the pretended' Confpira-
<c cy was to break out that very fame Night
" that T was arrefted, the Letter fent to call
" the three thoufand Kurdes muft have been
<c difpatched feveral Days before. It requir-
" ed twelve Days March for the three thou-
<c fand Men to come hither ; and had the
" Courier made never fo much Hafte, it
" would have taken him up feveral Days
a to carry it : Where, then,was this fatal Letter
" all theTimc, of which the King himfelf knew
" nothing till the Moment that 'twas fuppofed
" the Kurdes were to arrive ? Where was this
" Letter found ? and when was it intercepted ?
u Was it intercepted upon the Road be-
* fore it reached the K#rd ? In this Cafe it

" muft

(( rnuft have been in Cuftody feveral Days be-
<c fore that which was fixM on for the Exe~
" cution of the Project. Who was it found
u upon ? from whom was it taken ? and who
" was the Bearer of it ? If it came to the
" Hands of the Kurde, how did it find its
" Way back again ? did he fend it back ? Let
" him fay fo then. Why don't they pro-
* c duce his Evidence c For in an Affair of fuch
<c Confequence, wherein the Life of the King
" was at Stake, fuch a Diicovery cannot but
" redound to his Honour. But why Ihould
<c I make my Application to a Foreigner of
" a treacherous Nation, who is not to be de-
<c pended upon, when my own Brother-in-
" Law was at the Head of an Army twenty
<c Days March from hence, efpecially fince
" 'tis pretended that he was my Accomplice ?
" The Kurde was to bring me but three
Ci thoufand Men, and my Brother- in- Law
" was able to bring or fend meTen thoufand.
<c What ftrid Engagement was I ever known
u to have with this Foreigner, that I fhould
cc truft to him, rather than to my Brother- in-
^ Law ? What Precautions have I taken not to
" be betrayed ? What Meafures for my own
" Safety? What is ourTreaty? what our Con-
" vcntions ? And if he was able to furprize
" the'King with his three thoufand Men,why
tc fhould he do it more for my Profit than his
<c own ? What Forces had I to give Law to
" him ? But how can it be pretended that I

" had

( 239)

ft had any Hopes of being able to furpiifcc
" the King with three thoufand Men, when
" I faw that he was attended with a Guard
" five Times ftronger ? From whence comes
" it that I fhould defer the Enterprize till the
" King was fecure in a Town, which, diffe-
<c rent from moft of the other 'Perjian Towns,
" is inclofed with ftrong Walls , and which
" muft necefiarily have been befieged with
" an Army of three thoufand Men againft
tc a Garrifon of fifteen thoufand ? In Ihort,
" if I had been fuch a Wretch, as to have
" formed the foul and horrid Conipiracy with
" which I am charged, how could I be
" ib filly, fo blind, as to keep at home
cc without any Guard but my common Ser-
u vants, that very Night too that I was juft
" ready to put it in Execution ? The Solitude
cc and Security in which I was found in my
" own Apartment at fo critical a Jun&ure as
" that muft be, is the beft Thing I can offer
" in my Vindication upon this material Ar-

As to the Third Head, he called the King
himfelf to witnefs, whether it was not true,
that his Majefty had not totally referr'd the
Difpatch of his ordinary Affairs to hL> Con-
dud , that as to extraordinary Affairs, fuch
as Negotiations and Things of this Nature,
he never meddled with them, but when his
Majefty was pleas'd to refer them to him by
a particular Conimiffion j that befidcs, as to
I his

his minifterial Conduct, if he did not give
himfelf much Trouble to take the Advice of
the Eunuchs, or of the other Courtiers, who
complain'd of him, he was in the right not
to do it, and that he did not think it" expe-
dient to confult People that he knew were
too much his Enemies to give him good Coun-
lei, and too much wedded to their own pri-
vate Intereft to give any that was conducive
to the Welfare of the Publick.

As to the Fourth Article he {aid, that if
his Orders were better executed in the Coun-
try than thole that proceeded immediately
from the King himfelf, he was not to blame
for it, but the Eunuchs and the other Cour-
tiers, who were always ready to proted the
vileft of Caufes, and who by revoking the
King's Orders when they pleas'd, as often as
they were bribM by Prefents, had enervated
all the Force of them j whereas it was other-
wife with his Orders, which it was well
known, no Confederation of Credit or Inte-
reft could ever prevail with him to revoke.

As to the Fifth he laid, that if he had
married his Daughters and Neices into great
Families, he had done no more than what be-
came his Birth and Rank j and that he did not
believe it was criminal for a Man of his Quali-
ty, who was of one of the oldeft Families of the
Kingdom, and originally defcended from the
Lefgian Kings, to be cautious of degrading


( M

himfelf, by contra&ing an Alliance with the
Tools and Footmen of Eunuchs.

As to the fixth Article he laid, that fince he
was detcended, as above, from the Lefgian
Kings, it was no extraordinary Thing that he
fhould be of the fame Se& with his Country-
men, and all his Anceftors,as well as theTiwvkr;
that he never duTembled it ; and that as there
were entire Provinces in 'Perjia who were to-
lerated in that Religion by the Kings, he
did not fee upon what Foundation they
could make it a Crime in him, fo long as it
did not put him upon any Meafures contra-
ry to the King's Service Then he demanded,
" Whether the Incurfions which the Lefgi-
" ans had lately made into the Provinces
" of the Kingdom was fuch a ftrange Thing
<c that they ought to be imputed to him ? and
a whether they were People Ib pacifick, and
" fuch Friends toTranquility, that they flood
" in need of Solicitations to come and plun-
u der their Neighbours. Is it pretended,
<c continues he, that they never made any
" Incurfions upon our Lands, but fince I came
u into the Miniftry, when they have fbrmer-
" ly been fo troublefome, that his Majefty's
" Predeceflbrs have been under the Necelfi-
" ty of having Handing Armies upon their
u Frontier to keep them in Awe ? If any one,
" fays he, is to blame for thefe Ravages, 'tis
" not I, but 'tis owing to the Avarice of fuch

rr as,


(i as, by putting in their own Pockets the Pen-
<c iions formerly paid to thofe People to keep
<c them in their Allegiance, have forced them
<c to be their own Pay-Mafters, by plunder-
" ing the Provinces, and to make up by their
" Incurlions the Deficiency of the Subsidies,
a of which they have been difappointed. 3
After this he took Notice, " That when the
" King gave him a fpecial Commiffion to pro-
<c vide a Remedy for this Difbrder, he had
c< put at the Head of the Troops he fent
" againft the Lefgians the only one of ail
" his Nephews whom he had moft Con-
" fidence in, and whom he had even named
u in his Will for his Succeflbr in his Office,
" and Heir to his Eflate ; that every Body
knew the melancholy Iflue of that Expe-
" dition, wherein his Nephew fell a Sacri-
<c fice to the Lefgtans?" Whereupon he de-
manded, u Whether his Enemies had not
" alib fome Letter of his to produce, where-
<c by he had follicited thofe Barbarians to
" murder that Nephew who was Ib dear to
" him."

WHAT the Minifter had faid of thofe di-
verted Subfidies, which had given Occafion
to the Incurfions^ of the Lefgtans, was of the
more Weight, becaufe an Embaffy was new-
ly arrived at Court from one of the petty
Kings of that Nation, to whom the others had
applied to mediate an Accommodation be-
tween them and Terfia. He was the more


( M3 )

proper Perfbn for it, becaufe he had no Hand
in their Excurfions, but had always kept up a
good Underilanding with the 'Perjians*
For their own Part, the Thing which obli-
ged them to have Recourfe to pacifick Mea-
fures, was the Fear of an Incurfion from the
Prince of Georgia, of which we lhall take
Notice in its Place. The Ambaffador of
Szam Kal, which was the Name of the petty
King that was concerned for them, made ufe
of no other Argument to excufe their Incur-
fions, but the NeceiTity they were under of
making them for their Subfiftance, after their
Subfidies were flopped ; for it was under the
Name and Title of auxiliary Troops that the
Kings of Terjia had ufed to pay them cer-
tain Penfions, though in Truth they only
pay 'd them as a fort of Tribute, by which they
purchafed the Peace, and -Security of their
Subjects againft the Enterprizes of thofe
Barbarians. Thefe Subfidies which amount-
ed to 1700 Tomans, or 8500 Pounds Sterling,
had not been paid for many Years, the Funds
thereof being alienated by the Avarice of fome
Favourites or Governors of Provinces, who
had laid their Hands on them. They de-
manded, therefore, that the Payment of them
might be renewed for the future, and that an
Amnelty might be granted them for what
had pafft:d ; on which Condition they not on-
ly promiied to abftain from their ordinary Ex-
curfions, and to live in Terms of inviolable


(M4) ^

Fidelity, but they alfo offered to employ
their Arms in Favour of f Perfia againft the
Jlghvans. We lhall havf an Opportunity
to give an Account hereafter of what was the
EfFed of this Negotiation ; 'twas fufficient
for the Prefent to mention io much of it on-
ly as was neccifary tojuftify what the Athe-
mat- < Doulet had offered in his Defence.

As to the Seventh Article he owns, that the
King at his Reqiieft had given the Govern-
ments of the Province to two of his Nephews,
who were as yet but Children ; that he was
entirely obliged to the Royal Goodnels for it ;
but that his Majefty having done others the
fame Favour, he did not fee why they ihould
charge it as a Crime upon him more than
them ; that befides they knew well enough
that fuch Precaution was taken to plant about
thofe young Governors wife and able Men,
who under the Name of Lieutenants or In-
tend ants, ordered all Affairs, that the Provin-
ces received no Prejudice by them.

As to the Eighth relating to his great Ef-
tate, he anfwered, that Part of it was Patri-
mony, Part of it what fell to him from his
Brothers, Part of it the Forfeitures which the
King had granted him, and Part of it was
owing alib to his good Conduct and Oeco-
nomy, without wronging any Body. Then
falling unmercifully upon the infatiable Ava-
rice of the Eunuchs., u However, faid he,fup-
ct pofing I had amafled all this Wealth, I

" had


" had Nephews and Daughters to take Care
u of; but I would fain know who thole Eu-
" nuchs lay up Treafures for, that have fuch
<c immenfe Eftates ? unlefs they don't care to
<( be told of thofe Camels laden with Gold and
" Silver, which they fend every Year to Mec-
" ca and Medina j which is contrary to the
" Laws and Conftitutiotis of the Kingdom,
" where the fame has been cxpreflly prohibi-
" ted fince the Time of Schah-Abas the
" Great, as they cannot be ignorant.

AFTER having thus vindicated himfelf, as
to what concerned him perfonally, he fays,
c< That every one being chargeable with his
<c own Actions, he might be excufed from
cc entering into a Difcuflion of Facts relating
" to his Brother- in- Law, whofe Conduct had
" been not only fo unblameable, but alfo fo
" wife, happy, and advantageous to the King-
" dom, that he was ready to be his Surety :
a That as to Mafcate he would refer himfelf
a to what the Commiflioner of the JPorttt-
ic U f e Fleet ftiould fay, who was actually
c< at his Court ; and that he would inform
" them, that the Fleet only retired without
" tranfporting the Troops at Mafcate^ be-
" caufe the Sum which the King had pro-
" mifed by his Ambaffador at Goa was not

FOR the Underftanding of this Fact, the
Reader ftiould know, that when Schah-Abas
the Great took Ormus from the Tortiiguefe^

S by

by the Help of an English Fleet, he made
Peace with the ^Portugutfe^ who confented
to leave him in Pofleffion of that Ifland for
Half the Produce of the Cuftoms, which was
afterwards valued at a certain Sum per Ann,
But, by the Diforder that happened in Affairs
during the whole Reign of Schah-HuJJein,
when the Finances were at the Difcretion of
the Eunuch? and Favourites, thofe Sums had
not been paid ; the Confequence of which
was, that the Tortuguefe taking Advantage
of the Neceffity the tyerfians were under for
their Fleet in the Expedition to Mafcate^
flipulated with the AmbafTador whom the
King of Terjla had at Goa, that before the
Troops were tranfported to Mafcate, a cer-
tain Sum Ihould be paid them, in Part of
the Arrears due to them ; which Sum having
fail'd in the Manner that we have faid, the
Fleet retir'd in Difguft, not without Complaint
of the Diftionefty of the Minifters of the Court
of Terjia. But what could not but exafpe-
rate all honeft Men more than all, was, to
fee that the very Man, who to ruin the
Expedition to Maftate, out of Ipite to the
Prime Minifter and his Brother-in-Law, had
flopped the Payment of the Money, ihould
have the Front to charge the Mifcarriage of
the Enterprise on them two.

HE owned, that it was through his Ad-
vice that the General, after the Defeat of
Maghmudy returned with his Troops towards


c 247 ;

the Terjian Gulph; that, as to the Spoil
which lie had made on the Lands of feyeral
of the Nobility, 'tis pofllble that he was pro-
voked becaufe he miffed the taking of Mafcate
for want of the Sums promifed to the 'Pvrtu-
guefe ; but ^tis certain that he was com pel I'd
to it on the other hand, by the Necetlity of
the War, and to keep the other Provinces
in Awe. As to the March of the Army to-
wards Cbiras, he laid, " That his Brother did
" no more in that than what became a Skil-
" fui General, who was willing to make lure
" of the Succefs of his Expedition : That
" having confidered that Koftrow-Kan, the
<c Prince of Georgia^ only miicarried in his,
" becaufe he came too late to Candahar^
" and not till Harveit was gathered in, he
" was not willing to be fubjed: to the fame
" Inconveniency : That, as the Harveft did
" not come on at Candahar till towards the
" End of May> he had concerted his Mea-
" fures to be there before that Time ; that he
u had therefore propofed to furprize the
c Rebels by pafling over the Deferts between
u .C6/r^.rand Qandahar ; that it was his View
cc alib, by this painful March, and by the
" Severity of a more rigorous Climate, to
" inure the foft and effeminate 'Perjians to
* Fatigue : But that to the End that the Ar-
** ^my might want no Provifions, neither in the
ct March, nor during the Campaign, he had
" amafled a yaft Store, with which he had
S 2 " laden


rc la*den feveral thoufand Camels ; that he
" (the Athemat-'Doulet himfelf ) had fent him
<c three thoufand Loads of Rice at his own Ex-
" pence. Now to what Purpofe, fays he,
" could he lay up fuch vail Stores of Pro-
" viiions, which could not be done without
" raifing the Murmurs of the People, if the
" Defign had been to carry the Army to If-
" fahan, by pairing through Provinces where
" there could not fail to be Provifions in
* c Abundance^ Was it not a hopeful Way
*5 to get the Favour of the People in the Ufur-
" pation of the Crown, to exafperate them
" by Contributions, which how neccifary fo-
<c ever, are always more or lels difagreeable
" to the People, and cannot fail of inceniing
5 C them againft thofe who order them."

As to the Accufation againft his Brother-*
in-Law, that he did not march to befiege Magk~
mud in Candahar, after his Victory, " None,
** faid he, but a mere Novice and Ignoramus
" in military Affairs would caft it in his
" Teeth. Don't they know that he left the
" Bulk of his Army by the Side of the Gulph,
<c when he went to furprize the Rebels % at
" K'trman ? and would they have had him
<c gone with the leiTer Part of his Troops,
" which were already haraifed by purfuing
<c Maghmud acrofs the Dcierts, to befiege
c< him, after the Harveft was over, in a City
<c where there was plenty of every Thing,
" and twice the Number of Men to defend

a it, that he would have had to attack ft ?
u The next Crime they will lay to his Charge
" will be, that after fo many bloody Defeats,
" fo many compleat Routs, and, after the
" Lofs of fo many great Captains killed by
^ the Aghvans^ he ihould dare to be the
<c firft to beat and put them to Flight.

THUS did this unfortunate Minilter vindi-
cate himfelf and his Brother-in-Law ; and
though he did it with more Courage and
Pride, than the prefent Situation of his Af-
fairs feemed to comport with, the King, inftead
of being offended with him, could not for-
bear weeping at the Misfortune of a Man
who had been always dear to him, and to
whom he had, by his rafh Credulity, done
more Injury than he could ever repair.

THE Hearts of his very Enemies relented,
as it were in fpite of them, to lee the fad and
cruel State to which he was reduced, after
a long Series of uninterrupted Profperity j and
they could not refule to pity the great Humi-
liation and Difgrace of a firft Minifter, whofe
high Situation and Fortune they had fo long

EVERY Body did him Juftice in their
Hearts, and the King more than any : But
how could they acquit him, though they knew
him fo innocent and unblameable, without
condemning themfelves ? It was, theitfore,
unavoidable for him to be the Vidim of that
S j unhajx.

Unhappy Maxim which has too much pre<
vail'd in the Courts of Princes, and which
makes it indecent for Kings, who are impo-
ied upon every Day, to own, even after the
Injuftice is manifeft, that they were deceived.
Moreover, what other Courfe could the
King take with the Man who had the Key
of all the Secrets of State ; and who, after
the cruel Outrage committed againft him,
might think himfelf authorized to deceive
him ? How did they know but he might be
tempted to put the Plots in Execution, for
which he was punifb'd before- hand ? And
what had they not to fear fiom a Man of his
Genius, Capacity, and Courage, if once he
gave Way to his Refentments, and was at
Liberty to ac\ ?

STATE Policy, therefore, reqiriied that he
Ihould pafs for a criminal, both becauie he
had been already treated as fuch, and becaufc
he might become 1o. Therefore, though the
King was convinced of his Innocence, though
he was perfwaded, that blind as he was, he
faw more clearly into Affairs than all the
Minifters and Confidents that he had left ; and
that he was even better qualified than any of
them to be firft Minifter j yet as he could not
thoroughly confide for theTime to come in
the Advice of a Man, whom he had treated
too ill ever to truft him, he refolved to put
him out of his Way. But though he was


c MI

under that Neceflity to keep a ftri& Guard
upon a Man to whom it might be dange-
rous to grant his full Liberty, he endeavour-
ed, however, to make his Captivity the more
toleiabie, by giving him the Caftle of Chiras
for his Prifon with a very great Penfion. My
Memoirs do not fpecify how rich it was, but
if we may be allow'd to form a Judgment from
the Conduct of Schah-Solyman, Father of
JSchah Huffein, to the two Chief Phyficmns of
the King his Father, whom, though he
might have juftly condemned to Death, he
chofe to confine in fuch a Prilbn as this for
their Lives, and gave them 20000 Crowns
Penfion, 'tis reafonable to fuppoie that Schuh-
Huffein granted one much more confiderable
to a Prime Minifter, who had always been
his Favourite, and to whom he endeavour-
ed by all the good Ufage, which was con-
fiftent with State Policy, to make amends, as
far as poffible, for the irreparable Injury he
had done him. He alfo made it his Bufi-
nefs to comfort him by letting before his Eyes,
the unavoidable Neceflity of Deftiny which
makes, as it were, an Article of Faith in the
Mahometan Religion ; fo that it may be faid,
that at the fame that he confined him to a Pri-
fon as a Criminal, every Step he took to-
wards him, could not but convince the whole
Court, that in his Heart he thought him inno-
cent. This Minifter was, therefore, conduc-
ted to Chiras y where he lived till Magbmud

84 had

had taken IJpahan> when he was poifbned, as
ibme fay, for fear left the Ufurper Ihould car-
ry him off, and make ufe of his Counfels - or
perhaps, as others fay, he broke his Heart at
the Sight of his own Perfonal Misfortunes, and
the Defolation of his Country. Which Way
foe^er he died 'cis certain that he loft his Life
ifoon after Schah-Hujfem loft the Crown ; and
that if in the General Calamity of the King-
dom, he had any Perfonal Refentment on his
own Account, it muft be to find himfelf
fweetly revenged by the Ruin of a Mafter,
who only fell from the Throne, becaufe he
had deprived himfelf of the Affiftance of the
Minilter that was moft able to maintain him
upon it. He was the Man in all 'Perjia that
made the beft Appearance, and had the great-
eft Talents. He' loved all Europeans in
general, but particularly the French, to whom
he endeavoured to procure the Preference in
Trade to ail the other European Factories : And
this he did, not only out of an Inclination
to them, but much more from a^Reafon of State,
having a Notion that the too great Privileges
which Schah-Abas had granted to thofe Com-
panies were prejudicial to the Kingdom ; and
that the Government could only gain by the
pimirmtion and Decay of their Trade. He
was a Man of very regular Management
in his Affairs, and rather generous than
ftingy in the ufe of his great Wealth, which
he owM rather to his good Condud and Oe-

conomy 5

conomy, than to Violence and Iniufticc.
The only Reproach which he feems to de-
ferve was, for having too much exafpt ated
Myrr-Wtis againft the Pih,ce Georgi-Kan
Governor ofcCandahar, whcfe Death n.a in
one Senfe be imputed to him. The Death
of the Prince Koftrow-Kan, the lattcr's Ne-
phew, and the Defeat of his Army, may al-
fo be afcrib'd to the Meafures which this Mi-
nifter made ufe of to thwart an Expedition,
which it was his Intereft to hinder the Prince
from fuccecding in. For this, indeed, how
unjuft fbever his Condemnation and Dilgrace
were on the Part of the King his Matter, and
his Enemies, 'twas very jiift on the Part of
Providence, which in the Difpenlation of its

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Online LibraryFather KrusinskiThe history of the late revolutions of Persia: taken from the memoirs of Father Krusinski, Procurator of the Jesuits at Ispahan.. (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 18)