Read CHAPTER VIII of The Life of Yakoob Beg Athalik Ghazi‚ and Badaulet Ameer of Kashgar, free online book, by Demetrius Boulger, on


Yakoob Beg, having deposed Buzurg Khan and suppressed all resistance on the part either of the Tungani or of the Chinese in Western Kashgar, had some leisure to make a careful survey of his exact position. The result of the desultory fighting of the previous twelve months had been eminently satisfactory to himself; but, to say the least, it was dubious how long this state of things might last. Former adventurers had accomplished as much as he had, but the Chinese had always returned with renewed vigour. How was Yakoob Beg to know that the rumours were well founded which asserted that that empire had been sore stricken in other fields than against the Tungani, and that even the victories over the Taepings were not considered a complete set-off to the disasters in every other quarter of the empire? European critics predicted that the last hour of the Chinese Empire was fast approaching; but Yakoob Beg, with far more imperfect means of intelligence at his disposal, feared still, even when the citadel of Kashgar surrendered, that the Khitay would return for revenge. His fears were not groundless, as we now know, but he anticipated events by more than ten years. Yakoob Beg was not so sanguine in his own resources or good fortune that he believed that he should not have to encounter the danger that had overwhelmed all his predecessors, and his first object accordingly was to gather all his strength together in a compact mass to resist the Chinese when they should come. But the dissensions that had, during the conquest of Altyshahr, manifested themselves so palpably in the ill-assorted conglomeration which had gathered round the standard of Buzurg Khan brought home to the mind of Yakoob Beg the disadvantages of a divided people. He accordingly determined that, whatever else he might fail or succeed in achieving, his most resolute effort should be to weld into one cohesive and effective whole Andijani and Tungani, Kashgari and Khitay. It was no mean ambition; but to cement such discordant elements a policy of “blood and iron” was required. Yakoob Beg did not shrink certainly in its application; but when he had accomplished the task he had set himself to bring about he discovered that the cost had been so great that the state, both in population and in wealth, was at a lower point than it had ever been before. But in the earlier days of 1866 no doubt crossed his mind on this latter point. It must be remembered that, strange to say, the great success of Yakoob Beg in Kashgar had alienated the sympathy of the government of Khokand from his cause; and, although this may be explained by the antipathy of Khudayar Khan, now firmly seated on the throne, who could not entertain any amity for a subject who had on several occasions deserted his cause, it is impossible to attribute to that sentiment alone a fact which must have had some deeper and less personal explanation. At all stages of the history of these petty princes of Asia are we met by the spectacle of mutual jealousy and recrimination, whenever any one of themselves seemed about to exalt himself above his fellows, either by the success of his arms or by the beneficence of his rule. Rarely, indeed, had any of them shown that he possessed more than ordinary ability or courage; but, whenever the phenomenon did appear, he was at once proclaimed by his neighbours to be a dangerous innovation, and as such to be thwarted and opposed. The practice has come down to our own day, and during the long wars that Russia has waged in Asia we have never beheld two states, no matter how insignificant, combine to oppose the common foe. The Khokandians have never aided the Bokhariots or the Khivans, nor have the Afghans or the Kashgari the Khokandians. They have kept the ring, so to speak, as each of them has gone down singly before the prowess of the Muscovite, in a manner that ought to excite the admiration of all those who preserve the memories of the traditional honours of the prize ring; but, as their own existence has been the penalty, it is questionable whether their conduct, inspired by regard for no law of chivalry, but simply by mutual antipathy, has been very prudent. Over such petty jealousies had Yakoob Beg to triumph before he could hope to complete his dream of an united Kashgaria. His path was beset with difficulties. In satisfying himself with too little he might imperil what he had secured, but in attempting too much he might jeopardize everything he had won. Under such circumstances the boldest man might have stood uncertain, and the most resolute inactive until hurried into action by the progress of events. For some months Yakoob Beg seems to have remained uncertain what should be his next move.

In 1865, before his last advance on Yarkand, he had seized Maralbashi or Bartchuk, and by so doing not only had he secured communication between Aksu and Yarkand, but also between Aksu and Khoten. This position, lying 200 miles to the east of Yangy Hissar, has always been and is still very important, and Yakoob Beg is supposed to have fortified it very strongly. This success was the permanent result of his great victory over the Tungani from Aksu and Kucha in the neighbourhood of Yangy Hissar, and it effectually secured his flank during further operations. It was not, however, until he turned his attention to the southern city of Khoten, that the importance of this acquisition was made incontestable. Then it enabled him to devote his attention exclusively to the extension of his sway southward to the mountains of Karakoram and Kuen Lun, beyond which he might expect no enemy. In Khoten the Mufti Habitulla had been invested with supreme control, after the deposition of the Chinese authorities; and during his government of the city and district, order appears to have been maintained without unnecessary exactions. When Yakoob Beg made his first appearance in Yarkand, after his earlier successes round Kashgar, it will be remembered that the Yarkandi acknowledged the supremacy of the new Khoja king. Their example was speedily followed by Habitulla of Khoten, and it is not stated that, even during the progress of hostilities with Yarkand, this ruler repudiated the arrangement into which he had entered. It is true that he was far removed from the immediate sphere of action, but that will not alone account for an indifference to the progress of events in Kashgar, which Khoten had never manifested on any previous occasion. Khoten may, therefore, be considered to have been exceptionally well behaved towards the new Khoja dynasty located at Kashgar; and when Yakoob Beg advanced to the south of Yarkand, Habitulla hastened to send representatives to the camp of the conqueror. They were received with consideration, but deep down in the breast of Yakoob Beg there lurked either an inveterate distrust of, or dislike to, the Mufti Habitulla. Dissembling his true feelings, Yakoob Beg sent a message requesting the presence of the Mufti in his camp. The Mufti, deluded by the friendly treatment bestowed on his emissaries, came with many of his relations and followers into the camp of the Kashgarian general. At first, we are told, they were treated with every mark of respect and kindness; they were feasted and clothed in precious garments, but all these honours were but the preliminaries to the concluding ceremony. During the progress of the evening meal they were disarmed, and led out to execution, while an attack was made from several quarters on the town. Even then the resistance was prolonged, and the slaughter by the infuriated soldiery of the Athalik Ghazi continued long after all serious opposition had ceased. It is impossible to exonerate Yakoob Beg from the chief blame on this occasion, and if he had been a civilized European general, we should have made use of the phrase, that “It must ever remain a blot on his career;” but it would be the height of irony to apply such a phrase to this unscrupulous Asiatic, who, if not worse than the school in which he was brought up, was certainly not much better in a moral sense. As the fact stands, the seizure of Khoten, and the massacre of the unarmed leaders of that city, appear to have been acts as unnecessary as they were unjustifiable. Khoten may have seemed to the Athalik Ghazi of exceptional importance for several reasons, and he may have felt doubtful of the fidelity of Habitulla and his followers; but, so far as we are aware, the reasons for this action are shadowy in the extreme, even regarded from the point of view of political expediency. Down to the present day, too, the memory of this massacre, needless even in the eyes of a people accustomed to the shortest cuts to power by wholesale slaughter, has rankled in the minds of the inhabitants of Khoten and Sanju, and the Athalik Ghazi was least popular in that part of his state in which, according to the traditions of his predecessors, his action had been most sweeping, and accordingly most safe. This was early in the year 1867, and the Athalik Ghazi had now an opportunity for settling his relationship with his eastern neighbours, the Tungani.

The Tungan movement proper originated, as explained in the last chapter, in the Chinese provinces of Kansuh and Shensi, and then extended with scarcely a check to Turfan south of the Tian Shan and to Urumtsi north of that range. The flame soon spread from Turfan to Karashar, Kucha, and Aksu, and at all of these towns it was fomented by the appearance of the new element of the Mahomedan Khokandian, and native settlers, acting in combination with the Chinese Tungani. North of the Tian Shan the movement received a temporary repulse; and it is necessary to say something in explanation of the course of the Mahomedan revival in Ili before we proceed to discuss the earlier wars of Yakoob Beg with the Tungani. As early as 1860 serious complications had arisen in that province, although the Chinese had always been more firmly situated there than in Kashgar. In that year a plot was concocted to murder the Chinese viceroy and to upset the existing government. It was discovered, however, and fell through. There appear to have been more causes at work in Ili to produce discontent than in the southern state, and it was not so much a question here between Khitay and Tungani, as it was between a people clamouring for work, for less taxation, and for payment for what they had done, and an administration that was unable to satisfy the demands made upon it from all sides. That last resource of a government at its wits’ ends for money, the depreciation of the current coin and the issue of fictitious paper, was adopted by the Viceroy of Ili. The measure, which it had been expected would lessen the difficulty, only added fuel to the flame. The situation of affairs was becoming desperate; the people were encouraged by the disasters of the Chinese in the neighbouring states to increase the number of their demands; and the Chinese officials appear to have lost their heads in the storm that was gathering from all sides around them. They were but the effete representatives of a system which in its vigorous days had claims to general admiration, and they are only saved from incurring our contempt by the possession of courage, the sole virtue left them. When the Chinese first conquered Eastern Turkestan they brought from Kashgar a large number of settlers, and placed them in the country round Ili. They became known as Tarantchis, and, in the course of two or three generations, had increased into a very numerous community. These were always at heart disaffected to the Chinese, but, as they occupied a very subordinate position, would probably never have thought of revolt had not a large division of the conquerors set them the example of insubordination. So soon as the discontent among the working classes had assumed formidable proportions by the pecuniary embarrassment of the Chinese, and the Tungan successes in the east of Jungaria had raised a fanatical feeling to swell the hatred against a declining and Buddhist rule, the Tarantchis were not backward for their part in reviving their almost forgotten grievances, and in joining in a defensive and offensive alliance with the Tungani. Each party collected such forces as they could, out in the encounter that ensued the disciplined soldiers of the Viceroy overcame the far more numerous mob by which they were opposed. The fortress of Bazandai, however, within the next few days, fell into the power of the insurgents, and that achievement more than compensated for the disaster in the open field. Ili itself surrendered in January, 1866, and a Tungani-Tarantchi government was formed. The Chinese viceroy had in the meanwhile destroyed himself and many of his followers and assailants by setting fire to a mine of gunpowder under his palace. The Tungan element gradually superseded the Tarantchi in the administration of the state, and the five years of independence, which continued until the Russians came in 1871, were chiefly marked by petty disagreements which had no influence on the progress of events in this part of Asia. The trade with Ili fell off, and many other valid reasons for Russian intervention were accumulated during those few years of national existence.

With the beginning of 1867, Yakoob Beg, secure on the south and on the west from aggression, found himself in a position to cope with the disjointed but allied Tungan states on his north and east. The hostility of the Tungani and Khojas of Aksu and Kucha had been already demonstrated, and it was to be surmised that they were only waiting to recover from the disastrous campaign of 1865 to renew their efforts to drive the Khokandian adventurers out of Kashgar. The facts that they acknowledged the same religious tenets, and that they had overcome, to some extent, a common enemy in the Chinese, and that they certainly had each to fear most from their return, seem to have weighed little with either the Tungani or the Athalik Ghazi. To do the latter simple justice, it must be remembered that the Tungani had been the aggressors, and that their attitude never ceased to be unfriendly towards himself. It is certain that he made some efforts to effect an amicable arrangement with the ruling party in Aksu, but his advances were received with coldness, and both the Khojas and the Tungani of that city held aloof from all intercourse with the new-comer. Both parties remained watching each other for some time, each waiting for the other to take the initiative. The Tungani had experienced the weight of the military power of Yakoob Beg, when they had taken the offensive in the earlier days of his appearance at Kashgar. It was, therefore, not very probable that they would repeat the experiment when he presented a far more formidable and united presence to their attack. Practically speaking, Yakoob Beg was safe from invasion from the east so long as he maintained order within his own frontier; and the Tungani in Ili on his north had manifested no special hostility against his state. Secure from any aggression on the part of the Tungani, Yakoob Beg might with some reason have declined to push to extremities his relations with them. It was certainly inconvenient that an antagonistic state should exist on his very borders, but, as he was in a very strong position for defence, the disadvantages of abandoning it to assume an offensive policy were all the more apparent. What necessity could be alleged to justify a scarcely excusable attack in a moral sense, and a quite unnecessary in a political? The proximity of Aksu was in a strategic sense more than neutralized by the possession of Maralbashi, and, with the lapse of time and the return of peace, the trade route from Kashgar to Aksu might be expected to revive once more. But such temporizing measures as these, involving the endurance of Tungan indifference, could not be brooked by the Athalik Ghazi. The orthodoxy of these Mahomedans was not above suspicion, and to so devout and energetic a Sunni as Yakoob Beg these differences were scarcely less offensive than if they had been believers in a rival religion. Dictatorial announcements were made to the Khoja-Tungan rulers of Aksu; and, on their persisting in defiance, Yakoob Beg collected his forces to chastise them. The doctrines of the Tungani were impeached as not being in strict accordance with the Shariat, and the religious fervour of the Sunnis was appealed to, to bring these recalcitrant people to an acknowledgment of the error of their ways. In addition to the semi-religious element thus imported into the question, Yakoob Beg also laid claim to the country up to Kucha as part of the old territory of the Khoja kings.

In the spring of 1867 his army set out in two divisions for Aksu. The Tungani appear to have been paralyzed when the danger that had for many months appeared menacing came upon them. The resistance encountered at Aksu, naturally and artificially a very strong place, was not prolonged, and Yakoob Beg swept on against Kucha. Here the Tungani, having somewhat recovered from their trepidation, made a desperate stand, and with the reinforcements that had arrived from Turfan presented a sufficiently formidable appearance. The ruling authorities in Kucha were Khojas, who in the time of the Chinese had the custody of a shrine sacred to the memory of a Mahomedan saint, but who at the outbreak of disturbances left the temple for the council chamber, and the offering up of prayers to the memory of the saint for the more difficult task of issuing edicts for the management of a people. Unhappily for their reputation in our eyes, they had specially distinguished themselves in the massacres of the Khitay. Their brief tenure of power seems to have been fairly beneficent, and, in the lull that succeeded the deposition of the Chinese and preceded the invasion of Yakoob Beg, they obtained without doing anything very noteworthy the approval and affection of their subjects. At Kucha, therefore, more than 500 miles distant from his own capital, with a long line of hostile country in his rear, Yakoob Beg found himself opposed by the full power of the Tungani. Previous to advancing beyond Aksu he had sent back officers to Kashgar to bring up fresh levies, and he had resorted to that doubtful expedient of drafting into his army many of the Tungani captured at Aksu. Arrived in front of Kucha he was unable to prosecute the siege with any vigour until the arrival of his reinforcements. The moment of delay was attempted to be turned to account by Yakoob Beg and some of the more prudent of his counsellors; but the Tungani, whether unwilling to acknowledge their inferiority or incredulous of the good faith of the Athalik Ghazi, refused to enter into negotiations that they asserted were unnecessary. Yakoob Beg had invaded them in their possessions, and he had annexed Aksu; the only condition in which they could acquiesce was a withdrawal of his army. All the efforts of the more peaceful and the more prudent on either side were unavailing, and each party used every exertion to bring up fresh troops to decide the question of superiority between Tungani and Kashgari. For several weeks the two armies stood facing each other, the one stationed on the hills to the north and west of the city, commanding the main road from Aksu, the other in the environs and the fortifications of the city itself. The Tungani were far the more numerous, but in the quality of his main body, and in general efficiency both of weapons and of experience among the officers, the advantage was completely on the side of Yakoob Beg. The nucleus of his force comprised Afghan, Khokandian, and Badakshi troops, veterans in the wars of the two previous years. The Tungani were either the assassins of helpless Chinese, or the fugitives of Aksu or Yangy Hissar. They were imperfectly armed, without any organization, and without any competent leaders. Above all, the cause they were fighting for was vague, and many of them in their hearts sympathized more with Yakoob Beg than they did with their own chiefs. The Kashgarian army, on the other hand, was encouraged by a long series of brilliant achievements, and looked forward with eagerness to the fray as the means of exalting their own religion, and as affording them an opportunity for advancing their own personal interests by the plunder of so rich a city as Kucha. The reinforcements were consequently eagerly expected, and some of the more ardent spirits demanded that they should be led without delay against the enemy. Yakoob Beg was so far prudent that he refused to be urged into premature action by the impetuosity of his followers, and the arrival of reinforcements sooner than was anticipated enabled him not only to keep the excitement of his soldiery within due bounds, but also to commence active operations at an earlier date than had seemed possible. The Tungan leaders, deluded by the inaction of Yakoob Beg into a belief that he was unable to prosecute the enterprise he had undertaken, assumed the offensive, only to be worsted in several minor engagements. The Tungan troops were driven within the walls, and the siege was prosecuted with the closest rigour. The garrison of Kucha was not sufficiently numerous to guard in proper strength the wide-stretching suburbs and extensive fortifications of the existing Kucha, and the cities that had in olden days stood upon its site. Not many days elapsed before Yakoob Beg perceived that the defence was confined to a limited portion of the fortifications, and that several points were entirely neglected. He resolved, therefore, to put an end to the slow process of a siege by carrying the town by a general assault. With the whole of his available force he attacked the city on three sides; but the Tungani resisted strenuously, and all his direct attacks were repulsed with heavy loss. To his son Khooda Kul Beg he had entrusted an attack in the rear of the city, and on the success of that movement now entirely depended the result of the assault on Kucha. That division by great good fortune and the gallantry of its leader was victorious, and, although this promising son of Yakoob Beg, then only a little more than twenty years of age, was killed in the confusion that ensued on the entrance into the city, Kucha fell. The triumph was, perhaps, not too dearly purchased. The Tungan power had received a blow, which took the sting out of its menace, and effectually protected Kashgar from any possible confederacy among the Tungan cities. Yakoob Beg followed up the success of Kucha with all his usual promptitude, but his power was not yet sufficiently matured to justify him in carrying on extensive operations at such a distance from the base of his resources. But another reason at this time combined to recall his attention to another part of his dominions. The Russians were advancing both in Khokand and in the district of Vernoe to the west of Kuldja.

It was evident that prudence demanded a prompt return, and for the present all further triumph must be abandoned. However, before Yakoob Beg returned to regulate events in the western portion of his dominions, he had the satisfaction of receiving the submission humbly tendered by the ruling bodies of Karashar, Turfan, Hamil, and Urumtsi. After this brilliant campaign, he slowly retraced his steps through Kucha to Aksu. Then he turned into the mountains, and reduced Ush Turfan, which in his onward march he had passed by; and, after this acquisition, the Tungani of Ili expressed a desire to enter into terms of amity with one who had brought his empire into direct contact with their state. All these events occurred during the year 1867; and, although now and then uncertain rumours reached England of these changes in Eastern Turkestan, the world in general, even the Russian world, remained indifferent to the progress of events of which it is now difficult to trace the exact course. But, with the close of this first Tungan campaign, and with the extension of the new state up to the walls of Kucha, the Russian Government, as will be seen in a later chapter, endeavoured to arrive at some clear view on the exact condition of the newly formed confederacy to which they in their career of conquest were approaching so rapidly.

This commencement of foreign interest in, nay, almost supervision of, his actions in Eastern Turkestan, imposed some restriction on the hitherto unrestrained caprice of Yakoob Beg, and the country beyond Kucha up to Turfan was saved for a short time from the depredations from which in 1871-73 it suffered so much. On his return to Kashgar after this triumphant progress, and after having annexed the three important cities, Aksu, Kucha, and Ush Turfan, the danger which had seemed to threaten the state from Russia passed off, and Yakoob Beg proceeded to consolidate his hold on what he had secured. Aksu and Kucha were fortified, and various small forts were constructed in the passes leading to Khokand and Kuldja. Every precaution was taken that he had it in his power to observe, to ensure the safety of his little kingdom from without, and for the moment all murmur within seemed to be hushed by the loud acclamations at the victories of the Athalik Ghazi. He had, indeed, accomplished no slight task, and could afford to regard his handiwork with some complacency. To erect a powerful state on the ruins of the Chinese power, and to unite in some sort of settled government turbulent races and antagonistic sects, was no mean achievement; and to all the credit due to such Yakoob Beg has indisputable claims. But for him, confusion and disunion would have settled down over Eastern Turkestan, until either the Russians or the Chinese had come to establish a respectable government; but for him Kashgar would have lapsed into a state of almost hopeless disorder, and Russian triumphs would have been facilitated. But, when Yakoob Beg returned to find that he was not seriously threatened in Kashgar, he experienced deep regret and mortification that he had abstained from prosecuting his wars with the Tungani with a greater vigour. He eagerly looked forward to an excuse for resuming his discontinued operations against them. In the interval that elapsed, he waged a small war in the mountainous region of his territory extending into Badakshan and the Chitral. Sirikul had, ever since the appearance of the Badakshi army in the service of Kashgar, acknowledged a certain kind of obedience to Yakoob Beg; but in 1868, the governor hitherto supported by the Athalik Ghazi broke out into revolt, and committed several acts of depredation in the contiguous districts of Sanju and Yarkand. Yakoob Beg without delay despatched a small force against him, and, by the help of some mountain guns and the judicious employment of a small but select body of cavalry, was successful in overcoming all resistance with very slight loss. In February, 1869, Yakoob Beg, having tried several milder alternatives, formally annexed this district, and carried the inhabitants into Yarkand. He resettled the territory with Kirghiz nomads and Yarkandis. Once more, he was able to turn his attention to the east, and in 1869 commenced those final campaigns against the Tungani which only ceased with the reappearance of the Chinese. The great blot in the career of Yakoob Beg is the resumption of hostilities against the Tungani. In 1867, when he first engaged with any vigour the Tungani, some excuse may be found for that unforeseeing action, in the fact that the Tungani were unbroken, and might have proved formidable neighbours. But in 1869, they had been hurled back on Korla, and, although it may be true that they were inconvenient neighbours, robbing caravans and molesting travellers, it is difficult to justify the later campaigns of Yakoob Beg against them, especially as they were conducted by himself and his lieutenants with exceptional ferocity. But, however weak may have been the impulse, and however disastrous in the result may have been his crusade against the Tungani, it was not difficult to discover a plausible excuse for proceeding to extreme measures with his troublesome neighbours. In the autumn of 1869, Korla fell before his triumphant arms, and it would appear that he then turned north into the valleys of the Tekes and the Yuldus, two rivers rising in the Tian Shan, and flowing through Jungaria. This movement aroused the susceptibilities of the Russians, and afforded a very simple excuse for the acquisition of Kuldja. In that state, disturbances had arisen between the Tungani and the Tarantchis, and it must have fallen an easy prey to the Athalik Ghazi had he been permitted to advance. The Russians had, however, in 1871, entered Kuldja, and explained their action by asserting that they had only done so to restore order, and to prevent its falling into the hands of Yakoob Beg. They merely held it in trust for the Chinese, so they said, and would restore it to them, its rightful owners, so soon as they should be able to keep permanent possession of it. While Yakoob Beg despatched a large detachment into the country of the Tian Shan, his main body was prosecuting with vigour the war against Karashar and Turfan. Yakoob Beg did not always conduct the war in person, for his two sons, Kuli Beg and Hacc Kuli Beg, were now growing up, and they, assisted by some of the older lieutenants, triumphed in various actions over the Tungan rulers of Turfan and Hamil, while even the princes of Urumtsi and Manas over the Tian Shan were unable to oppose the valour and energy of their adversary. The glory of these military achievements was tarnished by the ruthless manner in which the district was laid waste, and the inhabitants were massacred; and the senselessness of these proceedings only required an hour of trial, such as the Chinese invasion, to prove how fatal it would be to the enacters of these atrocities. Without any great cessation, their operations were carried on down to the end of 1873, and it does not appear that Yakoob Beg derived any benefit whatever from these costly and remote undertakings. Although the Tungan chiefs of Urumtsi and Hamil were on several occasions defeated by the armies of the Athalik Ghazi, their cities were never occupied, and they consequently escaped that desolation which stretched from the walls of Kucha to the regions north of Lake Lob. Chightam, a small town lying half way between Turfan and Hamil, was the extreme point to which the Kashgarian forces penetrated. The noble families of Urumtsi, Turfan, and Hamil were almost totally destroyed in the fall of Turfan; and their place in their own cities was seized by Tungan generals and adventurers, who began to retreat westward from Kansuh, on the rumours of Chinese preparations for invading Jungaria.

The wars against the Tungani certainly served one useful purpose in enabling Yakoob Beg to collect a large and disciplined force round his standard; but the attractions of service in his army lost much of their value in the eyes of the hardier clans of Turkestan and the neighbouring states, when it became known that the prospect of loot and prize money in districts impoverished by several years of hostilities had diminished. The rigour of the discipline maintained, too, was irksome to nomads and irregulars accustomed to the easier service and freedom from restraint of the other Asiatic princes; and during the later years of his rule there were many desertions, and a difficulty was encountered in inducing recruits to enter his army. The old practice, employed with such success in the earlier years of his rule, of inducing the conquered to combine with the conqueror, was no longer possible, for extermination had become the order of the day. The Usbegs, Kirghiz, and other tribes, could not supply in sufficient numbers the requirements of the state, and the Tungani, who should have comprised the largest portion of the subjects of the Athalik Ghazi, were coerced into subjection with an undiscriminating severity. The result was really a paralysis through sheer want of people, and it was not known until the hour of trial came how weakened his forces had become. Every inducement was held forth to Afghan, Badakshi, and, above all, to Indian soldiers to join, but these, although they formed a nucleus of trustworthy and efficient soldiers, were far too few to constitute a formidable army. We are justified in assuming from the facts that these Tungan wars, conducted in an unsparing manner, were the greatest mistake that marked the career of Yakoob Beg. So far as his occupation of Kucha goes, he could at least say that he had secured a valuable prize. He had acquired every part of what could be considered Kashgar, and his kingdom was effectually guarded, and his revenues prospectively increased, by the possession of the great cities of Aksu and Kucha. He might exclaim with justice that he had eclipsed all his predecessors in military prowess, and if he had been wise he would then have turned his attention to the well government of his state, and by so doing have demonstrated that he was of a higher capacity for ruling a people, as well as for commanding an army, than any Khoja prince of the past. Had he abstained from prosecuting with such unflagging persistency his inveterate dislike of the Tungani, he might easily have come to terms with his neighbours, and the harm they could have done him would have been infinitesimally small. But the chief advantage of that more prudent policy would have been visible when the Chinese advanced to chastise the Tungani. Not only would the Tungani have been more capable of resisting the Khitay, not only would Manas and Urumtsi have been capable of offering a more determined defence, but the Tungani could have retired on Turfan, and held the country round that town, as well as Karashar and Korla, for a protracted period against General Kin Shun. The Athalik Ghazi with untouched resources could have awaited with just confidence the advance of the Chinese upon his strong frontier city of Kucha, and, as the Chinese accomplished the difficult task of crushing the Tungani, he would have had the satisfaction of knowing that in all probability the Chinese effort would have been spent before it reached his own borders.

It is impossible to judge men except by the results of their actions, and the result of Yakoob Beg’s incessant and unnecessary interference with the Tungani was that the Chinese army was able in a few months to dissipate the remaining Tungan communities, and to encounter in the full flush of their triumph the numerically weaker forces of Yakoob Beg. It is, therefore, impossible to exonerate the ruler from great blame in hastily undertaking operations which a little consideration ought to have shown to be unwise. Having traced Yakoob Beg’s wars with the Chinese Mahomedans, it is time to consider his rule of Kashgaria proper, and the events that during these years were transpiring in other quarters of the state.