An Account of some of the eminent men of this epoch.

I WILL now describe some of the most eminent and learned men, whom I saw at Isphahan during my early youth, and who, within that period, passed to a better life. Among them was the excellent Mawla, Mohammed Bakir Majlisi of Isphahan, who was Sheikh Al Islam,* and one of the famous theologians and Shia Lawyers. There are some well known writings of his. Three or four times only I saw him. At the age of seventy-two, in one thousand one hundred and ten of the Hejra, he departed this life. Another, a distin­guished Seyyid, Mirza Aladdin Mohammed, known by the surname of Gulistani, was a very learned and pious man, and perfectly intimate with my father. In pious exercises and study he was incessant, and has left notes of reference on the common law books. His life was past in tran­quillity and honour, and about this time he died. His sons became defiled* by holding offices at court, and lost the honour and reverence, which had been paid to their father. Another pious and learned man was the Sheikh Jafar Cadzi, who was one of the doctors of the town called Kamerah, and of the best scholars of that prince of teachers, Aga Hossein of Khonsar. He was possessed of the whole circle of arts and sciences, and his lectures were attended by a great crowd of the highest rank of literati. He lived in great honour and splendour, and having attained the office of Sheikh Al Islam, he discharged its important duties in a laudable manner. On account of his superior ability in state affairs, and in the forms of conversation and society, he received intimation of his intended appointment to the dignity of Grand Vezir; but some of the lords of the king's court, who aspired to that high office, used their endeavours to frustrate his good fortune, and diverted the Shah from his intention. The Sheikh died at an advanced age, and was buried near Hossein,* on whom be peace. As he lived on terms of perfect friendship and intimacy with my father, I several times had the opportunity of approaching him. Another, a younger brother of his, was Sheikh Ali, who also ranked among the eminent men, and died a few years after him. Another, the Messiah of his time, was Akhond Messihayi of Kashan, a man who pos­sessed every ornament of learning and accom­plishments, had been a pupil and son in-law of Aga Hossein of Khonsar, and gained the admira­tion of all mankind by his good qualities and agreeable society. He composed much in verse, and has left elegant compositions in prose. His poetical name was Sahib. These few couplets are from him:*

The tie of your friendship is as the line of vision;
You but wink your eye, and the thread is broken.
The nightingale describes to the rose thy beauty and sweet­ness:
The butterfly seeks thee by the torch-light.
That I may have a pretence for turning back,
I left my heart behind me, when I retired from thy street.

He was employed in Isphahan till the hour of his death, in teaching and doing good. Another, Mawlana Hajji Abo Torâb, was of the excellent men of that period. He was an intimate friend of Mawlana Mohammed Bakir Majlisi. He employed himself in teaching divinity and law, and his legal decisions are depended on as authoritative. His life was spent in tranquillity, and he died in the same year as Mawlana Mohammed Bakir. I had the happiness to see him several times. His son Hajji Abo Talib was also a theo­logian, and died within a few years after his father. Another eminent man was Aga Razi Eddin Moham­med , son of the intelligent professor, Aga Hossein of Khonsar. He was a chaste scholar, possessing a most subtle genius, and great sublimity of thought. Under him a great number of the most eminent men had pursued their studies. He died in his youth. It was in my father's house that I had the advantage of beholding him. Another dis­tinguished scholar was Mirza Bakir Cadzi Zadeh, one of the scientific men of his time, and possessed of a genius for poetry. As he dwelt in the district of Isphahan called Abbas Abad, he was known by the name of the Cadzi Zadeh, or Cadi's Son, of Abbas Abad. He was skilled in most of the sciences, and devoting himself to study, he regu­lated his time with precision. Till the hour of his death, he was bound in friendship to my father. He took delight in the composition of poetry, and these verses are his:*

It is the season of the rose and of spring:
The rose-garden has the beauty and sweetness of my beloved.
Without thee, the moon-light night of melancholy lovers
Becomes dark, as the white blind eye.

Another was Mawlana Shems Eddin Mohammed, son of the excellent chief priest* Mawlana Mohammed Saaid of Gilan, who was an able man, and an acquirer* of accomplishments both apparent and ideal.* Having obtained a knowledge of most of the arts and sciences, he was overcome by a desire to follow the method* and a sober life; and being subdued and held down by a singular agitation of mind and a deep seriousness of thought, he aban­doned the apparent sciences, and placed himself under the guidance* of Hajji Abd Alcadir, of Ashik Abad in Isphahan, who esteemed himself one of the spiritual fathers of that time, and had a number of disciples. He died in the vigour of his youth in the life time of his father, who was one of the greatest scholars, and survived him but a short time. They were attached by ancient friendship to my father. Another son of the above-mentioned Mawlana Mohammed Saaid, was Aga Mehdi, a very learned man and possessed of great ability in mathematical science. I have heard, that he is still alive and dwelling at Lahi­jan. Another collector of accomplishments, was Mawlana Hajji Mohammed of Gilan. He was one of the famous enquirers after science and truth, and possessed most praise-worthy qualities. Having fixed his abode at Isphahan, he studied under the late Mojtahid, Mawlana Mohammed Bakir of Khorasan, one of the greatest of the learned. He had a true taste for poetry, and his verses are known to the public. Every month he used to come once or twice to my father's house, and staid some days with us. His disposi­tion was modest and equable; his conduct chaste and sober in the extreme. He died at Isphahan. These few couplets are his:*

From the melting of the wax comes subsistence to the torch's flame:
The oppressor lives by the side of the oppressed.
I am of no use to myself or to others:
Life consumes me vainly, as a torch is burnt in the day-time.
By the amorous desire of my beloved, my heart is lighted up with brightness:
If water would be fire, it must first become air.
So, if my soul has a longing for the point of my love's dart,
After death let my dust become stone, and that stone a magnet.
In the morning, on my approach to the wine-jar my flask fell upon a stone:
At such a time, no person's foot even should meet a stone.