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AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.                             7
illwill of Akbar by deeds of partiality, selfishness and vio-
lence that in March 1560 Akbar, then 17 years of age, de-
cided to take the reins of government into his own hand.
Deprived of his office and influence Bairam Chan hastened
to the Punjab and took arms against his Imperial Master.
Akbar led his troops in person against the rebel and over-
came him. When barefooted, his turban thrown around
his neck, Bairam Chan appeared before Akbar and pros-
trated himself before the throne, Akbar did not do the
thing which was customary under such circumstances in
the Orient in all ages. The magnanimous youth did not
sentence the humiliated rebel to a painful death but bade
him ari^e in memory of the great services which Bairam
Chan had rendered to his father and later to himself, and
again assume his old place of honor at the right of the
throne. Before the assembled nobility he gave him the
choice whether he would take the governorship of a prov-
ince, or would enjoy the favor of his master at court as a
benefactor of the imperial family, or whether, accom-
panied by an escort befitting his rank, he would prefer to
undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca.5 Bairam Chan was
wise enough to choose the last, but on the way to Mecca
he was killed by an Afghan and the news caused Akbar
sincere grief and led him to take the four year old son of
Bairam Chan under his special protection.
Mahum Anaga, the Emperor's nurse, for whom he
felt a warm attachment and gratitude, a woman revenge-
ful and ambitious but loyal and devoted to Akbar, had con-
tributed in bringing about the fall of the regent. She had
cared for the Emperor from his birth to his accession and
amid the confusion of his youth had guarded him from
danger; but for this service she expected her reward. She
sought nothing less than in the role of an intimate con-
6 Noer, I, 131.