Wood, in 1838, found the whole country between Talikan and Faizabad nearly as depopulated as Marco found that between Kishm and Badakhshan. The modern depopulation was due—in part, at least—to the recent oppressions and razzias of the Uzbeks of Kunduz. On their decline, between 1840 and 1850, the family of the native Mirs was reinstated, and these now rule at Faizabad, under an acknowledgment, since 1859, of Afghan supremacy.
 Since published in J. K. G. S. vol. xlii.
 Wilford, in the end of the 18th century, speaks
of Faizabad as “the
new capital of Badakhshan, built near the site of the old one.” The
Chinese map (vide J. R. G. S. vol. xlii.) represents the city of
Badakhshan to the east of Faizabad. Faiz Bakhsh, in an unpublished
paper, mentions a tradition that the Lady Zobeidah, dear to English
children, the daughter of Al-Mansur and wife of Ar-Rashid, delighted
to pass the spring at Jauzgun, and built a palace there, “the ruins of
which are still visible.”
OF THE PROVINCE OF BADASHAN.
Badashan is a Province inhabited by people who worship Mahommet, and have a peculiar language. It forms a very great kingdom, and the royalty is hereditary. All those of the royal blood are descended from King Alexander and the daughter of King Darius, who was Lord of the vast Empire of Persia. And all these kings call themselves in the Saracen tongue ZULCARNIAIN, which is as much as to say Alexander; and this out of regard for Alexander the Great.[NOTE 1]
It is in this province that those fine and valuable gems the Balas Rubies are found. They are got in certain rocks among the mountains, and in the search for them the people dig great caves underground, just as is done by miners for silver. There is but one special mountain that produces them, and it is called SYGHINAN. The stones are dug on the king’s account, and no one else dares dig in that mountain on pain of forfeiture of life as well as goods; nor may any one carry the stones out of the kingdom. But the king amasses them all, and sends them to other kings when he has tribute to render, or when he desires to offer a friendly present; and such only as he pleases he causes to be sold. Thus he acts in order to keep the Balas at a high value; for if he were to allow everybody to dig, they would extract so many that the world would be glutted with them, and they would cease to bear any value. Hence it is that he allows so few to be taken out, and is so strict in the matter.[NOTE 2]