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6                          AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
head is rather round, the outlines are softened, the black
eyes large, thoughtful, almost dreamy, and only very
slightly slanting, the brows full and bushy, the lips some-
what prominent and the nose a tiny bit hooked. The lace
is beardless except for the rather thin closely cut moustache
which falls down over the curve of the mouth in soft waves.
According to the description of his son, the Emperor Je-
hangir, Akbar's complexion is said to have been the yellow
of wheat; the Portuguese Jesuits who came to his court
called it plainly white. Although not exactly beautiful,
Akbar seemed beautiful to many of his contemporaries,
including Europeans, probably because of the august and
at the same time kind and winsome expression which his
countenance bore. Akbar was rather tall broad-shoul-
dered, strongly built and had long arms and hands.
Akbar, the son of the dethroned Emperor ITumfiyun,
was born on October 14, 1542, at Amarkot in Simlh, two
years after his father had been deprived of his kingdom
by the usurper Slier Chan. After an exile of fifteen years,
or rather after an aimless wandering- and flight of that
length, the indolent pleasure- and opium-loving Humayun
was again permitted to return to his capital in 1555,ónot
through his own merit but that of his energetic general
Bairam Chan, a Turk who in one decisive battle had over-
come the Afghans, at that time in possession of the domin-
ion. But Humayun was not long to enjoy his regained
throne; half a year later he fell down a stairway in his
palace and died. In January 1556 Akbar, then thirteen
years of age, ascended the throne. Because of his youthful
years Bairam Chan assumed the regency as guardian of
the realm or "prince-father" as it is expressed in Hindi,
and guided the wavering ship of state with a strong hand
He overthrew various insurgents and disposed of them
with cold cruelty. But after a few years he so aroused the