Short history of the Author's father.— His wonderful powers of penmanship.— His admirable rectitude of conduct and sur­prising assiduity in divine worship.

MY father, at the age of twenty, having obtained a knowledge of most of the objects of science under the learned Mawla (Judge) Molla Hasan, Sheikh Al Islam (Chief Judge) of Gilan, was seized with a desire to visit the learned men of Irak, and repaired to Isphahan. Here, in the college of that master of the learned, Aga Hossein of Khonsar,* on whom be mercy! the memory of whose excellences and virtues is so well known that it requires no revelation, he applied to his studies; and having become a pro­ficient in mathematics under the tuition of the Ptolemy of his age, the learned Mawla Moham­med Rafia, known by the title of Rafiai Yezdi, he advanced so deeply in reading and disputation, as but few students have the facility of doing, and till the end of his life continued steadily in the same course. A numerous crowd of his contem­poraries arrived at a high degree of knowledge by the blessing of his instruction. In his library were more than five thousand volumes, and not a single book of science passed under his eye, which he did not correct and verify from beginning to end, illustrating the greatest part of them with marginal notes. About eighty volumes, among them, The Explanation of Beidawi,* The Camos Elloghat,* The Sharh Lumaah,* the whole of the Tahzib Hadis,* and similar books, he copied out with his own hand. He used to say, that repeatedly in a day and a night he would pen a thousand couplets and more. His writing was exceeding beautiful and clear. I have heard him say, that his father was still living, when he went to Isphahan, and fearing he should fix his abode in that city he sent him no more money than was sufficient for his necessary expenditure, and that at different times in the course of the year, so that he had not the means which he wanted for the purchase of books, and copied many of them himself. At his father's death, which occurred not long after, he banished all thoughts of returning to Lahijan, and having bought a house at Ispha­han, he added to its size and conveniences. Set­ting out for Hijaz by the way of Syria, he had the honour to make his procession round the holy House of God (the temple of Mecca). On his journey homewards through Bagdad he spent some time in visiting the holy sepulchres of Irak. Returned to Isphahan, he was favoured with the friendship and intimacy of one of the native inhabitants of that town, Hajji Inayat Allah, a religious and most excellent man, who gave him his daughter in marriage. His offspring was limited to four sons, the eldest of whom is this humble individual. Of my three brothers one died in his infancy; the other two in the vigour of their youth.

Should I enter into a description of the admira­ble qualities, the perfect morals, the sublimity of mind and disposition, the strength of genius, and the accomplishment of the wisdom and knowledge of my venerable father, my discourse would be drawn to prolixity, and I might be exposed not improbably to the charge of exaggeration and insincerity. Of the whole circle of sciences there was not one, wherein his subtlety was not perfect; and yet he had none of the pride of knowledge, which is usual among the learned, but shewed politeness and affability towards the lowest and humblest of his students. Though the length of his life was passed in disputation and instruction, he ever most cautiously shunned the smallest literary contention, holding the habit in abhor­rence; and I have never seen any learned man, that was equal to him in fairness of exposition and florid openness of temper. The sublimity of his soul was such, that in the sight of his intention the world was not of the value of a hand­ful of dust. He never turned his thoughts to the acquisition of wealth or worldly rank, though their full possession was a matter of facility even to the negligent pursuit of the humblest of his pupils. In his temperament there was no anxiety for aggrandizement or bodily ease. I have some­times heard him say, that the morsel of lawful bread, which the supplier of sustenance to his servants had apportioned to his lot, sufficed for him, and that even should the motive for worldly gain be the support of others and its distribution to the needy, yet it is seldom if ever obtained without debasing a believing soul. According to him, the height of generosity was to renounce and turn away the eyes from every thing, that is in the hands of other men. He never shewed any eager­ness for the friendship of the lords of fortune; but rather maintained a haughty deportment towards the princes and great men in power, who were united to him in affection and treated him with the utmost attention to politeness. His devotion to God and his religious scrupulousness were carried to such a degree, that in the course of five-and-twenty years which I passed with him, I never saw a single act of his that was hateful in the eye of the law.* After the midnight hour, in whatever state of body he might be, whether of health or sickness, I never found him on the bed of repose. Six or seven years before his death, overcome by his inclination to solitude and retirement, he broke off his public lectures and conversations. No longer walking the circuit of domestic duties, but abandoning all authority and management to me, he would sometimes be employed in reading, most frequently in weeping and lamenta­tion. His nights he passed mostly in prayer; and speaking to no one more than was necessary, he was displeased that any one should idly speak to him.

In the year one thousand one hundred and twenty-seven of the Hejra, (A.D. 1715.) at the age of nine-and-sixty, his maladies became violent, and weakness prevailed over him. On the morn­ing of the day, in the forenoon of which he died, sending for me, he committed to me the charge of his survivors, and recommended them to my kindness and beneficence. In like manner as you have given satisfaction to me, said my father, may God be satisfied with you. My last commandment to you is this, that, however much the postures of the world be unsuited to the eye of your desire, or the times fall discordant on your ear, you never resign your will to meanness, nor consent to follow in the tail of slavish obedience. This short life is not worth such debasement. If you have the choice, make no longer stay in Isphahan. It were meet, that some one of our race should survive. At that time I did not comprehend this part of his address, nor till after some years, when the dis­turbance and ruin of Isphahan took place. He added: On holy days and nights, as far as your means will allow you, and you have the facility of doing, forget me not.* A few hours afterwards, he departed to the world of perpetuity, and was interred in the cemetery called Mazār* Baba Rukn Eddin, close to the tomb of the learned divine Mawlana Hasan of Gilan, God pour upon him the streams of his mercy and forgiveness, and place him an inhabitant of the gardens of para­dise! I here transcribe a few couplets of an elegy which I wrote at his decease:*

The Sphere, Bright Truth! is deprived by thy death of its purity:
Its transparent quality no longer remains to the empty glass.
Adorner of the meadow of life! thy cherishing hand is no sooner withdrawn from me,
Than I am become, like the willow of Majnoon, a parable for the distracted mourner.
Thou art departed in the fullness of age, and I through grief for thee am old;
But my woe bears me back every moment to the remem­brance of my infancy fostered by thy care.
Whilst I beheld thee, Throne of Sublimity! towering unhid­den on the earth,
I knew not that the humble soil could close up a high mountain.
Since thou hast broken asunder the bands of the bodily volume,
There remains in the world no model for the incomparable.
From a body of inward fire I have a heart inflated with sighs;
My mind no longer yields to the task of composing empty verses.