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.