The Death of Absalom.

Was it not the King David whom thy wife cited as an example? But had not that King David more sons than thou? And yet did he not pardon them their faults? When he fled with Joab, said he not to him before his people, “Behave with gentleness towards young Absalom?” Did he not weep over him when he was killed? “Alas!” he cried, “my son, Absalom! O my son, my son!” And if it had been in his power would he not have killed Joab? He spared him only to put him into the power of his son Solomon, whom he ordered to put him to death. Yet heaven and earth had been witnesses of the crimes of Absalom, whilst thy son has committed no fault against thee. Canst thou determine to make him die? Canst thou resolve to exterminate thy name, and the posterity issued from thee, and the house of thy ancestors? Then thou wilt remain without children, whilst David had several sons, and notwithstanding the loss of two of whom, there still remained others; and then David at this time was still young, but thou—thou art old. God has favoured thee with a son in thy old age, and thou wishest to banish him for ever from thine eyes.

The Seventh Vazīr's first story is of