Return to Shiraz.— Arrival at the Court of Worship, Yazd.

I WAS now returned to Shiraz, and my mind had become attached to the idea of abandoning the society of mankind and the habitation of cities, and retiring to some mountain with shelter and water, where I should content myself with what the true provider might destine for me. My heart had been at once turned away and weaned from its affection to mankind and the allurements of fortune. I found not the circumstances of the world conformable to my disposition, and wherever I heard that there was a cave in a mountain, with a spring of water and some trees, I was always desirous to go to see it, and immediately formed the design of taking up my abode there. But my friends and connexions interfered, and my attachment to my parents, and the excess of their love for me, proved a strong obstacle.

I was at Shiraz, when a letter came to me from my father, at the top of which was this qua­train: *

On my heart, I have wounds from your absence;
In my affairs, I have strictures from fortune:
Amidst all this grief, do not you also break
Your compact of fidelity; I have distresses enough without that.

In these words something was involved, which disquieted my affectionate heart. I therefore set out for Isphahan, and travelled by the road of the Court of Worship, Yazd. In that city, was a company of learned and able men; and it con­tained a population, whose qualities and conduct were good and laudable. It is one of the finest towns of Irak. There I met with Rostam, a Magus and celebrated Astrologer, who had many books, on his own religion, on philosophy, and on the religion of Mahomet, and was skilled in Astronomy, Astrology, Geomancy, Arithmetic, and in the Canons of Celestial Observation. I was much in his society, and saw in his possession an Obser­vation, which Ishmarat, a Magus, had written down four-and-thirty thousand years before. I looked summarily into it. It had many faults and deficiencies. He had laid the ground-work of the regulation of the celestial motions at the date of the creation of Keiomors,* who, in their opinion, was the father of mankind, of which the word Adam is the interpretation. According to him, thirty-four thousand and odd years are passed since that epoch. There is some strangeness in this: for the commonalty of the modern Magi do not reckon such a length of time to the creation of man.