124 THE GREAT DIAMONDS OF THE WORLD.
Taimür it descended, with the crown, to his eldest son, Shah Zamàn, who
was deposed and deprived of his sight by his next brother, Shah Shuja
ul-Mülk.* The usurper thus became possessed of the " Koh-i-Nür," which
he retained almost to his death ; but which, nevertheless, involved him
in an uninterrupted series of calamities and sufferings. After having
remained for many years concealed in the wall of a stronghold, where
Shah Zamàn had been confined, the diamond was brought to light by the
merest accident. Shah Zamàn had, as he supposed, securely embedded it
in the plaster of his prison wall. But in course of time a portion of
the plaster crumbled away, leaving one of the sharp angles of the
crystal exposed, or slightly protruding on the surface, Against this
one of the officials happening to scratch his hand, his attention was
attracted to the spot, his eye fell on the sparkling facet, and the "
Koh-i-Nür " was once more rescued from its hiding place. At all State
ceremonials Shah Shuja now wore it on his breast, where it glittered
when Elphinstone was sent by the Indian Government as Envoy to Peshawur
during that Prince's troubled reign.
his turn dethroned, deprived of his sight, and driven into exile by
Shah Mahmud, third son of Taimür, Shah Shuja had contrived, amidst all
his disasters, to retain possession of the great diamond, with which he
now withdrew to the court of the