The great troubles which have embroiled the affairs of this empire, putting a stop to the justice and righteousness there formerly practised, and interrupting the ordinary navigation from Siraff to China, was occasioned by the revolt of an officer named Baichu, in high employment, though not of the royal family. He began by gathering together a number of vagabonds, and disorderly people, whom he won to his party by his liberalities, and formed into a considerable body of troops. With these he committed hostilities in many parts of the country, to the great loss of the inhabitants; and having greatly increased his army, and put himself into a condition to attempt greater things, he began to entertain a design of subduing the whole empire, and marched direct for Canfu, one of the most noted cities in China, and at that time the great port for our Arabian commerce. This city stands upon a great river, some days sail from the sea, so that the water there is fresh. The citizens shut their gates against him, and he was obliged to besiege it a great while; but at length he became master of the city, and put all the inhabitants to the sword. There are persons fully acquainted with the affairs of China, who assure us, that besides the Chinese who were massacred upon this occasion, there perished one hundred and twenty thousand Mahomedans, Jews, Christians, and Parsees, who were there on account of traffic; and as the Chinese are exceedingly nice in the registers they keep of foreigners dwelling among them, this number may be considered as authentic. This took place in the year of the hegira 264, or of Christ 877. He also cut down the mulberry trees, which are carefully cultivated by the Chinese for their leaves, on which the silk worms are fed; and owing to this, the trade of silk has tailed, and that manufacture, which used to be much prosecuted in all the countries under the Arabian government, is quite at a stand.
Having sacked and destroyed Canfu, he possessed himself of many other cities, which he demolished, having first slain most of the inhabitants, in the hope that he might involve all the members of the royal family in this general massacre, that no one might remain to dispute with him for the empire. He then advanced to Cumdan, the capital city, whence the emperor was obliged to make a precipitate retreat to the city of Hamdu, on the frontiers towards Thibet. Puffed up with these great successes, Baichu made himself master of almost the whole country, there being no one able to dispute his authority. At length the emperor wrote to the king of the Tagazgaz in Turkestan, with whom he was in some degree allied by marriage, imploring his assistance to subdue the rebellion. The king of the Tagazgaz dispatched his son, at the head of a very numerous army, into China, and after a long and arduous contest, and many battles, Baichu was utterly defeated, and it was never known afterwards what became of him; some believing that he fell in