Removal of the Author from Isphahan to the Court of Excel­lence, Shiraz.— Mention of some other pillars of distinction, and learned men of rank.

AFTERWARDS, on occasion of the departure of some persons among my friends and acquaintances, who were free to follow their inclinations, towards the Court of Excellence, Shiraz, I also was seized with a desire to visit that country; and after asking leave of my parents, I set out in that direction. On my arrival in that town, I was admitted to the society of its eminent chiefs, and clever men, and I took so great a liking to the place, that, as long as I staid there, my time was spent most agreeably.

The Court of Empire, Shiraz, is one of the most considerable towns of Persia, and as long as it has existed, both since the establishment of Islamism, and before it, has ever been the meeting, and dwelling place, of philosophers, and of chief priests. Though there is not much vigour, or agreeable­ness, in its air, or waters; yet there is salubrity; and the town is well peopled, and abundantly supplied with all manner of provisions. Mosques, and Colleges, and fine houses, are numerous; and many of the streets are handsome and pleasing. Sheikh Saadi Shirazi has said;*

For all Egypt and Syria, for all land and sea;
Every place is a village, or hamlet; Shiraz, a city.

Here was residing that great master of the learned, Mawlana Shah Mohammed Shirazi, God have mercy on his soul! and I employed my time in attending his lectures on the book called Osol Kâfi. During most of the hours of both night and day, I was studying by his side; and his affec­tion for me was great. This eminent man was one of the prodigies of his age, for vastness of research, strength of memory, and length of life. He had enjoyed the society of most of the learned men and great philosophers of his time, and had visited the greater part of the kingdoms of the world. In the attainment of high degrees, and the complete preparation of his soul, he had undergone many and great austerities, and had gained the sincere friendship of the saints and spiritual doctors. His morals were deserving of the highest praise, and his disposition was one of the most generous. His life extended to near one hundred and thirty years, all of which he spent in diffusing knowledge, seeking truth, and labouring to do good to his fellow servants of God. Some treatises on Traditions, Judgements, and Sofyism, are among his compositions. A short time after my arrival in Shiraz, he breathed his last.

Another of the eminent men of that town was Mawlana, the Asserter of Truth,* the Collector of the Intelligible and Traditional, Akhond Mesihai, of Fasa, on him be mercy! whose occupation was giving lectures. He was the greatest of all the scholars of Aga Hossein of Khonsâr, and the model of the eminent men of his time. In strength of genius, fairness of method, and profundity of learning in all the sciences, he obtained celebrity; and the dignity of Sheikh Al Islam of Fars, was committed to his charge and possession. His lecture-room was the place of assembly for students from all parts of the universe, and I passed a con­siderable time in repetition and disputation under him. I read with him The Physics of the Shefa, The Divinity of the Sharh Ishârât, The Old and New Commentaries, and so forth, until he retired to the town of Fasa, and repaired to the mercy of God. He was, in truth, among the most intelli­gent of the learned of high degree, and possessed great reach of thought, true taste, and cheerful­ness of temper and disposition. In Persian and Arabic poetry, he was eloquent to the utmost; and he has left some splendid couplets in praise of the Commander of the Faithful, on whom be peace! which are most eloquently written. His Persian poems are well composed, and are spirited and charming. Maani is his Takhallos, or poetical title.

That petulant wine-seller has become fierce in inflaming my heart;
Her wantonness has led her to turn a vender of Kabab:
Cherished by the quickening dew of her rosy cheek,
To morrow, or next day, the apple of her chin will be ripe as the mellow pear.

Another of the celebrated dignitaries of that town, was Mawlana Lotf Ollah Shirazi, one of the solid scholars, and a pupil of the eminent Aarif, Mawlana Mohammed Mahsan Kashani. I attended him a length of time in the study of the Hadis and other sciences; and after I had read with him the book called Wâfi, one of the compo­sitions of the late Molla Mahsan, he granted me, in writing, an ample licence.* He died soon after at an advanced age.

Another of the eminent men of that country, was the learned Mawla Mohammed Bâkir, known by the title of Sofi, a very able and accomplished scholar. With him, I read the book called The Talvihât of Sheikh Ashrak, and a portion of the Canon. He also, in that town, took his departure to the world of perpetuity.

Another of the dignities of that place, was Sheikh Mohammed Amin Shirazi, a man adorned with learning and uprightness, with whom I fre­quently associated. He survived the afore-mentioned dignitaries some time; but is since dead.

Another of the great and learned men of that city, and a collector of excellences, was Mawlana Mohammed Ali, known by the addition of Sakâki. Being unrivalled in knowledge, he was attended as a lecturer in all the lecture-rooms of Shiraz. He was skilful and acute in every branch of science, and had been a pupil of Mawlana Shah Mohammed Akhond Mesihai of Fasa, and others. Having formed the connexion of Irâdat,* or Will­ingness, in the line of Spiritual doctors, he wore their dress. He was of a very exalted nature, of pure intention, and happy disposition; and was greatly approved of in the hearts of men. He maintained a constant friendship and intimacy with me, till, at the conquest of the Afghans, he attained the degree of Martyrdom in Shiraz. He wrote very good verses, of which I here transcribe these few couplets:*

Grant, O my God! the two worlds as a reward to my mur­derer:
This delightful taste of martyrdom is a sufficient fine for my blood.
My body is Egypt, my ambition Pharaoh, my soul is Haman, and I am Moses:
My fancies and imaginations are my magic, and my guide is my staff.
As the negation of a negative is affirmation, I fear not to die:
My duration, like that of the extinguished torch, is in my mortality.
Is there any need of gathering up the skirt to pass through the Sarâb of the world?
The top of my foot would not become wet from the passage of the seven seas.

In his poetical compositions, Shakib is his Takhal­los, or title as a poet.

Another prince of princes and eminent men, was Mirza Mehdi Nesabeh, who attained the dig­nity of Sheikh Al Islam, and was of high respectability. His family is of repute in that town for splendour of rank and lineage. For me he had a perfect friendship and affection. The sons and nephews of that race were all worthy men, and were intimate companions of mine. This noble Seyyid, also, attained the degree of martyrdom in the revolution at Shiraz.