Return to Isphahan.— Mention of some of the excellent and learned Authorities.

AFTER my father had seen his friends and made his arrangements regarding the lands of his hereditary possessions, he set forth on his return to Isphahan, and I had the honour to accompany him. Along the road he gave me instruction in a treatise on the Demonstration of the Heavens,* and in an epitome or two on Astronomy. Arrived at Isphahan, I resumed with fresh ardour and increased dili­gence my accustomed pursuits of conferences and disputations, and passed my time in tranquil­lity and contentment. In the lecture-room of that intelligent scholar Mirza Kemâl Eddin Hossein of Fasa* I studied the Explication of Beidâwi, The Jamia Eljawamia of Tabrasi, and The Political Economy* of the Sharh Tajrid. With the learned Mawla, Hajji Mohammed Tahir, of Isphahan, who was one of the great lawyers of his time, I read The Istibsar of Sheikh Tosi, and the Sharh Lumaa of the Damascan. At this period, the fame of the knowledge of that model of philosophers, Sheikh Inayat Allah, of Gilan, God have mercy on his soul! who was occupied in teaching at Isphahan, and was a friend of my father's, gave me a desire to profit by his instruction. With him, I began and finished the perusal of the Logical part of the Tajrid, which is one of the valuable books on Logic, and the book called Najat of Sheikh Avi­sena.* As long as this scientific philosopher con­tinued in Isphahan, we maintained our relations of study and instruction. Afterwards, retiring to Gilan, he died at Cazvin. He had been a pupil of Mir Cavâm Eddin, the celebrated philosopher, and was in all the wisdom of the schools, and the whole circle of the sciences, a perfect master; of the oral traditions of the learned, a diligent col­lector. Having undergone great austerities, in the attainment of high degrees, he was possessed of admirable taste, and of a strongly furnished memory. The common and ordinary lawyers,* being no object of his attention, or respect, accused him, as is their custom, of holding the religious doctrines of the philosophers, and of deviating from the holy law. God forbid, that he should have been guilty of such deviation!

Next, I attended the prince of profound sophists, Amir Seyyid Hasan, of Talcan, God have mercy on his soul! who was one of the greatest doctors, and most noble craftsmen.* He lectured with me on the Fisos El Hikam, or Gems of Science, of Sheikh Arabi, and I employed myself in that study. I also read with him a Commentary on the Heyakil En Nôr,* or Temples of Light. He had a very great affection for me. In no department of science was there any branch in which his ready knowledge was not perfect. Coupling questions of philosophy with speculations of Sofyism, he owned a vast sublimity in the revelation of the three degrees of Unity. Strength of exposition and dis­putation he possessed to so high a pitch, that no disputant had any power of speech beside him. My affection for him and love of his instruction, and his kindness to me, were firm and constant, till the time of his death in Isphahan. Some of his vulgar* students accused him also, behind his back, with holding doctrines not drawn from the most holy revelation; for Men are enemies of what they are ignorant of.*

One of the eminent men of the time, in that city, was the late Aga Jemâl Eddin Mohammed of Khonsâr, eldest son of the learned Aga Hossein, light be the earth on his remains! whose reputa­tion is too great to allow any necessity of his description. Though I obtained not the happiness of receiving instruction from him, I repeatedly had the honour to be present at his assemblies. He died at an advanced age, in Isphahan, and was buried near his father. His life had been passed in teaching, amidst honour and magnificence. He was a very holy man, and of laudable habits and manners.

Another of the exalted doctors was, Akhond Mawla Mohammed, of Gilan, well known by the name of Serâb. He was one of the Mojtahids, or Chief Priests of the age, and, through the fear of God, perfectly temperate and continent. He had been long an inhabitant of Isphahan, was employed in teaching, and was provided with all the conve­niences and enjoyments of life. With my father he was particularly united in familiarity and friend­ship, and I many times waited on him to investi­gate questions of science. He died at a great age, and was buried in that town.

At this time, I took an inclination to the study of Medicine, and learnt a portion of the Kolliat of the Canon,* making myself acquainted with some of the objects of that science, under the Galen of the age, the celebrated Physician, Mirza Mesih, who was a man of accomplished skill in medicine, and devoted his whole time to the cure of diseases, and the instruction of most of the medical practi­tioners in the city. One night I sat up to read, and, in the morning early, my learned father, God have mercy on his soul! came near, and took a seat by me. I was surrounded and busied with books of medicine. Having asked me, and being satisfied, that I was employed on that science, he forbad me to pay so much attention to it, or to enter so deeply into it. If a person, said he, has confidence, that he shall have leisure to obtain what he seeks, his search is right: but, to you, whence can such belief and confidence in length of life come? I see that your mind is devouring and consuming your body, as a sharp sword eats its scabbard. Such a person cannot be long-lived. Labour, then, in what is most important. So saying he caressed me, and having said a prayer for me, he arose.

Soon afterwards, I went to attend that eminent Sophist, Mirza Mohammed Tahir, son and suces­sor of Mirza Abo'l Hasan of Cayin, who in mathe­matical sciences, and the middle classes of philosophy, was the phœnix of the age. For a length of time, I studied and investigated some treatises on Astronomy, the Sharh Tedzkereh,* the Tahrir Eucleides, the Tahrir Megisti,* and the Cavanin Hisabieh.* This eminent man lived till about ten years ago, when I heard of his death.