It is customary for Muslim authors to place at the beginning of all their compositions the Arabic invocation—

bi 'smi 'llāhi 'r-rahmānī 'r-rahīmī

which Sale renders: “In the name of the most merciful God!” but which is more correctly translated: “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!” The ‘Ulama, or professors of religion and law, interpret “the merciful” to signify “merci­ful in small things,” and “the compassionate,” as “merciful in great things.” This invocation, which is placed at the head of each chapter of the Kur'ān, except the ninth, is not only also prefixed to every Muhammadan book or writing, but is pro­nounced by Muslims on their undertaking every lawful act. It is said that Muhammad borrowed it from a similar practice of the Magians and Rabbins. Following the invocation are usually praise and blessings on the Prophet, his Family, and his Com­panions. In Sir William Ouseley's printed text only the custom­ary invocation appears, which he does not give in his English version. The following is a translation of the introduction as given in the lithographed text:


Thanksgiving and praise without end, and salutation and eulo­gium without stint, to the Supreme Benefactor, who is above all commendation—the Holy-One, beyond our imagination! May He be ever exalted on high, the well-furnished table of whose generosity is spread over the surface of the earth, and on the table of whose bounty every ant finds its food in safety! And salutation and praise to all the prophets, and, above all, to our Prophet, who is the Apostle, and the Director of the Path [of God], and the Prince of Creation, and the purest of created beings—Muhammad, the Elect! May God be propitious and vouchsafe salvation to him, his Family, and Companions, one and all!—After this introduction [be it known], this work and composition is divided into ten chapters [gates], and each chapter affords to the intelligent moral examples, and to the wise recog­nised forewarnings.”

Page 3. “The country of Sīstān,” or Sijistān (the ancient Drangiana), lies to the east of Farsistān, or Persia proper. The Governor is entitled Shah-i-nīmrūz (Sa‘dī’s Gulistān, iii, 27). The famous Rustam, the Hercules of Persia, held this country as a fief under the Kings of Persia (see Ranking's Wars and Sports of the Mongols, p. 93).

Page 3. Āzād-bakht: “Free-Fortune”—“Fortunate.”

Page 3. Sipah-sālār, here employed as a proper name, signifies a general, a commander of an army, especially a chief of cavalry: from asp, a horse, and sālār, a leader. Sālār-i-jung, a leader in war, is one of the titles given by Eastern princes to their nobles.

Page 3. “The rose of the garden and the moon of the heavenly spheres were confounded at the superior lustre of her cheeks.”— The comparison of a beautiful woman's face to the moon, how­ever absurd it may appear to some readers, is a very favourite one with Orientals, from Solomon downwards; it is, moreover, employed by several of our own admired English poets, as Spenser, Shakspeare, and Pope. In the Notes to my Arabian Poetry for English Readers many parallel passages on this simili­tude are cited from Eastern and Western poets.

Page 4. “A litter was provided.”—Several kinds of litters are used in Persia and India. Garcin de Tassy, in a note to his French translation of the Persian romance of Kāmarupa (chap. xxiii), quotes the following interesting account of the palanquins and carriages of India, from the Arāish-i-Mahfil:

“It is known that the gāri is an invention of the people of India. They who use them are sheltered from heat, cold, wind, or rain. The Bayadīres [or dancing-girls], who employ these carriages drawn by oxen, put silver ornaments on their horns, hang small bells on the axle-tree, and place negroes on the pole. In this sumptuous carriage they frequent fairs, the shrines visited by pilgrims, and public gardens. The astonished lookers-on are inclined to regard them as strolling fairies, travelling on thrones to the sound of cymbals; … but the carriages of discreet females, named rath, are covered with awnings, so closely fas­tened that the opening of the breadth of a hair cannot be seen. Unfortunately the wheeled carriages jolt, yet in other respects are comfortable. Three or four men seated can travel without fatigue, chatting the meanwhile, and perform the journey, en­joying the advantage of repose. Some of the gāri have curtains, some are without. The small and light are called manjhalī, the very light and diminutive, gainī, and the oxen drawing them are of a peculiarly small breed, and are distinguished by the name of gaina. These small carriages are preferable to the rath, which has four wheels. In fact, they jolt but little, and are of sufficient importance to carry the Amīr. There are some so well constructed, and adorned with such beautiful paintings, that they throw into a frenzy those who behold them; and the blinds are to such a degree pleasing and elegant that, if the Sun shone as they were passing along, he would descend from his car and mount thereon; and if the god Indra [King of Heaven] should see them, he would quit his throne and place himself therein. So that persons of high rank, who do not dis­dain to use them, vary the furniture according to the seasons: during hot weather the blinds are made of veti-ver;* in the rainy season, of oiled silk; and in winter, of wool. Those, however, who use them most frequently are traders, bankers, govern­ment servants, and Muslim and Hindū women.—Besides the carriages just described there is a kind of throne, called nālkī, for sovereigns; and for the Amīr, palanquins with trimmings of fringe, termed pālkī. The palanquins of ladies are the mahādol, chāndol, sukhpūl, and miāna; and for the female poor, dolī. So that a lady, comme il faut, need never walk, and no indi­vidual who is not mahram [who is not privileged to visit the harem] can ever see her figure.”

Among the other kinds of litters or carriages used in the East are: the imari, carried by elephants and camels, so named from Imar, the inventor, also called hodaj, or hawdaj (howdah), made of wood, or cloth stretched over a frame, and either open or covered at the top; and the takht-i-ravan, usually carried by mules within shafts before and behind: it is the Armamaxa, in which the children of Darius and their attendants were carried. (Quintus Curtius, b. iii, c. 3.)

Page 4. “The King … was at that moment returning from the chase.”—Hunting the antelope, wild-ass, &c., has been the favourite pastime of the kings and nobles of Persia from the most ancient times. The modern kings of Persia have palaces in many parts of their dominions, whither they resort for the climate or for the chase. To these palaces are attached villages, in which provisions are collected for the use of the court as soon as the motions of the King are decided.* —For a graphic description of the Persian mode of hunting the antelope, with hawks as well as dogs, see Sir John Malcolm's Sketches of Persia.

Page 4. “Kissed the ground of respectful obedience.”—The Persians in their salutations and acts of submission so prostrate themselves as almost to place their faces on the ground. This prostration, called rūy zamīn (“the face on the ground”), is made by bowing the body at right angles, the hands placed on the knees, and the legs a little apart.—In allusion to this mode of salutation, the Persian poet Hāfiz declares that, in the presence of his fair enslaver, he would make besoms of his eyelashes; as Richardson paraphrases it:

O for one heavenly glance of that dear maid,
How would my raptured heart with joy rebound!
Down to her feet I'd lowly bend my head,
And with my eyebrows sweep the hallowed ground.*

Lane, in the Notes to his translation of the Thousand and One Nights, thus describes the Arabian (or modern Egyptian) mode of paying respect to superiors: touching the ground, and then the lips and forehead, or turban, with the right hand.—The Khalif Hakim Biamri 'llah (11th century) issued an order that no one in future should kiss the ground in his presence, or salute him in the highway, or kiss his hand or stirrup; because to pro­strate oneself before a human being was an act of worship introduced by the Greeks; and the only formula of salutation should be: “May protection be vouchsafed to the Prince of the Faithful! May the mercy and blessings of God rest upon him!”

Page 5. “Fixed by the fascinating beauty of the damsel,” &c.—The lithographed text says: “From the effect of her glance the heart became lost, and the bird of his soul began to take flight in the atmosphere of love… He pushed forward his courser, and recited this gazal [or ode]:

My heart has fallen into the hand
of a sprightly lover, of marvellous beauty;
This intelligent countenance, bright as the moon,
has stolen my heart from the hand of the Creator;
So that when I beheld the cypress form
my unhappy heart began to bleed.
Her rose-like countenance has placed
in a sorrowful soul a rankling thorn!”

Page 5. “Ruler of the world.” The text gives the address of the litter-attendants to the King as follows:

“Whatever may be the advice of the Pādishāh who adorns the world, it is the eye [i.e. the essence] of correct judgment.


O mighty King of the chief city,
Thy counsel is always good;
How can any one oppose thy command—
Who would dare to express himself otherwise?

Thy command [will be] the support of the life and the happiness of the father and the daughter. If they had seen in a dream this happiness, they would not be able to contain themselves in this world, especially in a state of wakefulness. But for every transaction there is custom and propriety, [so that] if they [i.e. the litter attendants] escort at this moment the daughter to the city, people will raise doubts, and foster a suspicion touching the King, [on the score] of undue haste and impatience, and will assert that the King had carried off this lady by force and abuse of power, and [thus] would arise [tittle-tattle respecting] the question and answer of the lovers, and the exulting triumph* of the enemies. This is the right course to pursue: if the King grant permission, we will convoy the daughter to Sipahsālār, that he may do for this discharge of duty whatever is the custom; and, having provided suitable paraphernalia, send back the daughter to the Pādishāh; and thus both the vizier's dignity would be maintained, and also the [love] affair of the Pādishāh be accomplished in a becoming manner.”

The giving of a dowry is indispensable, and without it no mar­riage is legal. According to the rank in life of the bride, it consists of a wardrobe, jewels, furniture, slaves, eunuchs, and a sum of money varying in amount. No portion of the dowry can be taken away by the husband against the wife's wish. She remains absolute mistress of the whole of her own property, inherited, or otherwise acquired. (Voyages de M. Chardin en Perse, &c.; Lane's Modern Egyptians.)

Page 6. “He caused the necessary ceremonies to be per­formed.”—Here again the text is fuller than our translation:

“And the marriage-knot was tied in strict conformity with the law. And when the ceremony was concluded, all the secretaries of the government wrote letters of congratulation, and apprised Sipahsālār of the submission to this insult. When Sipahsālār read the letters a flood of tears poured down from his eyes, and the fire of enmity kindled a flame in his heart. And although the King had settled the matter religiously and according to the law, yet when all that had transpired reached his ears, his heart bled to overflowing, by reason of the excess of affection for his daughter. Sipahsālār, considering it good policy, wrote a letter of thanks to his Excellency the Pādishāh, replete with all kinds of expressions, evincing joy and felicity: ‘This is indeed happiness, that such powerful support should be extended towards me! I am utterly unable to quit myself of the obligation I am under for this high honour, now that his Majesty has placed this crown of glory on the head of his slave. As soon as I arrive in the royal presence, I will kiss the ground of felicity.’

“Dissembling, he penned these phrases, and concealed the [evil] intention of his wrath, and day and night was devising deceit and stratagem.”

The Vizier of Āzādbakht could ill brook his rights as a father being set at naught. The parent, or nearest adult relation, is always the deputy of the future bride to effect the marriage contract. Moreover, Sipahsālār considered this tyrannical pro­ceeding as an ungrateful return for his services with the army. Notwithstanding the King's rather brusque manner of wooing, however, the lady is represented as being devotedly attached to him, and she braved the perils of the desert for his sake.

Page 8. “To seek an asylum from the King of Kirmān.”— The text has also the following quatrain:

The King of Kirmān is a great dispenser of justice
On our behalf he will bestow a look of indulgence;

He will furnish troops, gold, and silver:
Unless this course be pursued, there is no other remedy.

Kirmān (Carmania) is a province of Persia (the ancient Ge-drasia), having to the north Khurasan, to the east Afghanistān and Bilūchistān, to the south the Persian Gulf, to the west Fars and Luristān. Carmanicus Sinus: the Gulf of Ormuz. Kirmān is the plural of kirm, a worm, and the province where silk­worms were originally bred. It is celebrated for the cultivation of the white rose, from which ‘itr-i-gul (attar of roses) is distilled; and also for a peculiar breed of sheep, called dumbadār, small, short-legged, with a long bushy tail.

Page 9. “Directed their course towards the desert,” i.e. of Kirmān.—The text has this quatrain:

Behold to what misery misfortune has thrown me!
Owing to breach of good faith, she has cast me into a sea of troubles;
For adverse Fortune has devised an evil design against me,
Inasmuch as she has separated friends from each other.

Page 9. “A hundred thousand lives such as mine are not in value equal to a single hair of the King's head.”—In less extrava­gant terms does a distressed damsel in another romance express herself: “Of a truth, noble man, you have displayed your com­passionate nature; but I cannot consent to save my body at the cost of yours: for who ought to save a common stone by the sacrifice of a gem?”—Vetāla Panchavinsati, or Twenty-five Tales of a Demon.

Page 10. “The Queen brought forth a son; in beauty he was lovely as the moon,” &c.—The Orientals compare beau­tiful youths, as well as damsels, to the moon: Hāfiz styles Joseph the Hebrew patriarch—who is throughout the Muham­madan world regarded as the type of youthful beauty—“the Moon of Canaan.” Morier remarks, in his Second Journey to Persia, &c.: “The Eastern women suffer little from parturition, for the better sort of them are frequently on foot the day after delivery, and out of all confinement on the third day [this on the authority of Harmer, vol. iv, p. 434]. They are sometimes ‘delivered ere the midwives come in unto them’: Exodus, i, 19; and the lower orders often deliver themselves. I knew an in­stance where a peasant's wife, in Turkey, who was at work in a vineyard, stepped behind the hedge, delivered herself, and carried the child home slung behind her back.”

Page 10. “They wrapped up the child in a cloak embroi­dered with gold, and fastened a bracelet of large pearls,” &c.—In the legend of Pope Gregory, the child is exposed with gold at his head and silver at his feet (see the English Gesta Romanorum, chapter 51; edited by Herrtage); and in one of the Tales of the Vetāla, a child is similarly exposed, with a sum of gold, at the gate of a royal palace, and the King adopts him as his son and successor (Kathā Sarit Sāgara, Ocean of the Rivers of Narrative).

Page 10. “He sent his servants to welcome them, and received them with the greatest respect and hospitality;” that is, by a deputation (istikbāl), one of the principal modes among the Persians of doing honour to their guests. Those sent in advance to meet the guests are called pīsh vāz, “openers of the way.” In the ninth chapter we find the approaching guests met at the distance of two days' journey* from the city. “On the day of our entry,” says Morier, in his Second Journey, “we were met by the youngest son of the Amīnu-'d-Dawla, a boy of about thirteen years of age, who received the ambassador [Sir Gore Ouseley] with all the ease of an old courtier.” So, too, the King of Kirmān “sent his own son and two attendants to wait on Āzādbakht.”

Page 11. “The musicians singing and playing, and the guests drinking.”—Music contributes as much as wine to the pleasures of an Eastern carousal. “Wine,” they say, “is as the body, music is the soul, and joy is their offspring.” The gamut, or scale of musical notes, is called in the East, durr-i-mafassal , “separate pearls.” The musical instruments com­monly employed are: the Kānūn, the dulcimer or harp; the sitār, a three-stringed instrument (from si, three, and tār, string), whence cithara and guitar; and the arghān or orghanūn, the organ. Old Persian writers describe the arghān as invented by Iflatūn (Plato), and as superior to all psalteries (mazamīr), and used in Yūnan (Ionia or Greece) and in Rūm (Iconium). Also the chang (Arabic, junk), the harp; the rabāb, rebeck; the tambūr, tambourine; and the barbat, or barbitan.—Morier, in his Second Journey (p. 92), was treated with a concert of four musicians; “one of whom played on the Kamāncha [viol]; a second sang, fanning his mouth with a piece of paper to aid the undulations of his voice; the third was a tambourine-player; and the last beat two little drums placed on the ground before him.” Gentius, in a note to the Gulistān of Sa'dī, says that “music is in such consideration [in Persia], that it is a maxim of their sages, that when a king is about to die, if he leaves for his successor a very young son, his aptitude for reigning should be proved by some agreeable songs; and if the child is pleasurably affected, then it is a sign of his capacity and genius, but if the contrary, he should be declared unfit.”—It would appear that the old Persian musicians, like Timotheus, knew the secret art of swaying the passions. The celebrated philosopher Alfarabi (who died about the middle of the tenth century), among his other accomplishments, excelled in music, in proof of which a curious anecdote is told. Returning from the pilgrimage to Mecca, he introduced himself, though a stranger, at the court of Sayfu-'d-Dawla, Sultan of Syria, when a party of musicians chanced to be performing, and he joined them. The prince admired his skill, and desiring to hear something of his own, Alfarabi un­folded a composition, and distributed the parts among the band. The first movement threw the prince and his courtiers into violent and inextinguishable laughter, the next melted all into tears, and the last lulled even the performers to sleep.—At the retaking of Bagdād by the Turks, in 1638, when the springing of a mine, whereby eight hundred janissaries perished, was the signal for a general massacre, and thirty thousand Persians were put to the sword, “a Persian musician, named Shāh Kūlī, who was brought before Murād, played and sang so sweetly, first a song of tri­umph, and then a dirge, that the Sultan, moved to pity by his music, gave orders to stop the massacre.”*

Page 11. “His eyes were filled with tears.”—Although Muslims are remarkably calm and resigned under the heaviest afflictions, yet they do not consider the shedding of tears as either evidence of effeminacy or inconsistent with a heroic mind. —Lane. In the old Badawī Romance of 'Antar (of which an epitome is given in my Arabian Poetry for English Readers) the hero is frequently represented as weeping.

Page 11. “The King of Kirmān then inquired into the par­ticulars of Āzādbakht's misfortunes.”—It thus appears that, in accordance with the time-honoured rules of Eastern hospitality, the King received Āzādbakht as his guest without subjecting him to any preliminary questioning; and only diffidently “inquired into the particulars” ater the unhappy monarch had informed him that he was a fugitive from his kingdom. The old Arabs, like the old Scottish Highlanders, were scrupulous in abstaining from inquiring the name and tribe of a chance guest, lest he should prove an enemy; and if, after the guest had eaten of their bread and salt, he was found to belong to a hostile tribe or clan, he would be entertained during three days, should he so desire, and then be dismissed unharmed.

Page 12. Farrukhsuwār: from farrukh, fortunate, happy, and suwār, a cavalier, a horseman; especially a Persian chief, as being skilled in horsemanship and archery. Suwār-i-Sīstān: Rustam, the famous Persian hero.

Page 13. “He resolved to adopt the infant as his own.”— The Muhammadan law (says Lane) allows the adoption of sons, provided that the person to be adopted consents to the act, if of age to judge for himself; also that he has been deprived of his parents by death or other means; and that there be such a dif­ference of age between the two parties as might subsist between a natural father and son. The adopted son enjoys the same right of inheritance as the natural son.—Farrukhsuwār, we see, though a chief of banditti, yet took care that his adopted son should be “instructed in all the necessary accomplishments.” The adop­tion of sons is universal throughout the East—in Persia, India, Japan; in the latter country, “the principle of adoption,” says Mr. Mitford, in his Tales of Old Japan, “prevails among all classes, from the Emperor down to his meanest subject; nor is the family line considered to have been broken because an adopted son has succeeded to the estate.”

Page 13. Khudā-dād, i.e., “granted by God”: Deodatus; Theodore.

Page 13. “Able to fight, alone, five hundred men.” This is one of the few instances of Oriental hyperbole which occur in the work; and since we do not find our hero represented subsequently as distinguishing himself by his prowess, except on the occasion which led to his capture, it must be considered as introduced by the author conventionally, or by way of embellish­ment. The heroes of Eastern romance, for the most part, are not only beautiful as the moon, and accomplished in all the arts and sciences, but also strong and courageous as a lion. In the romance of Dūshwanta and Sakūntalā, an episode of the great Indian epic poem, Mahābharata, the son of the beautiful heroine is thus described: “Sakūntalā was delivered of a son, of inconceivable strength, bright as the God of Fire, the image of Dūshwanta, endowed with personal beauty and generosity of soul… This mighty child seemed as if he could destroy lions with the points of his white teeth. He bore on his hand the mark of a wheel, which is the sign of sovereignty. His person was beautiful, his head capacious, he possessed great bodily strength, and his appearance was that of a celestial. During the short time that he remained under the care of Kanwa, he grew exceedingly; and when he was only six years old, his strength was so great that he was wont to bind such beasts as lions, tigers, elephants, wild boars, and buffaloes to the trees about the hermitage. He would even mount them, ride them about, and play with them to tame them; whence the inhabitants of Kanwa's hermitage gave him a name: ‘Let him,’ said they, ‘be called Sarva-damana, because he tameth all;’ and thus the child obtained the name of Sarva-damana.”—And the Arabian hero 'Antar, while yet a mere stripling, slew a wolf, and carried home its paws to his slave-mother as a trophy. (Compare with this the youthful exploit of David with a lion and a bear, 1 Sam. xvii, 34, 35.) So, too, in the Early English Romance of Sir Bevis of Hampton;—when only seven years old, Bevis knocked down two stout men with his cudgel; and while still in his “teens” he slew single-handed sixty Saracen knights.

Page 14. “The chief of the caravan.”—The Mihtar Kārwān, or Kārwān Bash, held a position of responsibility and import­ance. By the payment of armed attendants he took precautions against the attack of brigands, as the merchants who formed a caravan were, it is said, on most occasions, so devoid of courage that they cried “quarter” at the mere sight of a drawn sword.

Page 15. “He also put on him his own robe” (Kabā-i Khāss).—The Kabā is a tunic, or long cloth coat, of any colour, quite open in front, and worn over the shirt, and is the special garment of the rich, and so distinguished by Sa'dī (Gulistān, ch. ii, story 17) from the aba, or abaya, a kind of woollen cloak, either black or striped brown and white, the garment of the poor.

Page 15. “The name of Bakhtyār,” that is, “he whom Fortune assists,” or, “Fortune-befriended.”

Page 16. “The keys of the treasury” were of gold.

Page 16. “A splendid robe of honour.”—A Khil'at, or dress of honour, is bestowed by Eastern monarchs on men of learning and genius, as well as on tributary princes on their accession to their principalities, and on viceroys and governors of provinces. The custom is very ancient; see Esther vi, 8, 9. 'A common Khil'at,” says Morier, “consists of a Kāba, or coat; a Kemerbend, or zone; a gūch pīch, or shawl for the head: when it is intended to be more distinguishing, a sword or a dagger is superadded. To persons of distinction rich furs are given, such as a Katabī, or a Koordī; but when the Khal'at is complete it consists exactly of the same articles as the present which Cyrus made to Syennesis, namely: a horse with a golden bridle; a golden chain; a golden sword*; besides the dress, which is complete in all its parts.”* —In India an elephant and a palanquin splendidly decorated are added to the dress, sword, &c. Dr. Forbes, in a note to his translation of the Bāgh o Bahār (Garden and Spring), the Hindustani version of the entertaining Persian romance, Kissa Chehar Dervish, or Tale of the Four Dervishes, remarks that “in the zenith of the Mogul empire Khil'ats were expensive honours, as the receivers were obliged to make presents for the Khil'ats they received. The perfection of these Oriental dresses,” he adds, “is to be so stiff with em­broidery as to stand on the floor unsupported.”—After Rustam's Seven Adventures in releasing Kai Kaus from the power of the White Giant, we read in Firdausī's Shāh Nāma (or Book of Kings) that he received from Kaus a splendid Khil'at besides other magnificent presents. And in the Romance of 'Antar, King Zuhayr causes a great feast to be prepared to celebrate the defeat of the tribe of Taï, which was chiefly due to the hero; at which he presents 'Antar with a robe worked with gold, girds on him a trusty sword, and placing in his hand a pike of Khāta, and mounting him on a fine Arab horse, proclaims him champion of the tribes of 'Abs and 'Adnān.

Page 16. “There were Ten Viziers.”—“Wezeer,” says Lane, “is an Arabic word, and is pronounced by the Arabs as I have written it, but the Turks and Persians pronounce the first letter V. There are three opinions respecting the etymology of this word. Some derive it from wizr (a burden), because the Wezeer bears the burden of the King; others, from wezer (a refuge), because the King has recourse to the counsels of his Wezeer, and his knowledge and prudence; others, again, from azr (back, or strength), because the King is strengthened by his Wezeer, as the human frame is strengthened by the back. The proper and chief duties of a Wezeer are explained by the above, and by a saying of the Prophet: ‘Whosoever is in authority over Mus­lims, if God would prosper him, He giveth him a virtuous Wezeer, who when he forgetteth his duty remindeth him, and when he remembereth assisteth him; but if He would do other­wise, He giveth him an evil Wezeer, who when he forgetteth doth not remind him, and when he remembereth doth not assist him.’”—The Kur'ān and the Sūnna (or Traditions) both dis­tinctly authorise a sovereign to select a Vizier to assist him in the government. The Prophet makes Moses say (Kur. xx, 30): “Give me a counsellor [Ar. Wezeer] of my family, namely Aaron my brother;” and again, in ch. xxv, 37: “We appointed him [Moses] Aaron his brother for a counsellor.” Wahidi, in his commentary on the Kur'ān, says: “Wezeer signifies refuge and assistance.” In the fourth year of his mission Muhammad assumed the prophetic office, when “he prepared a banquet, a lamb, as it is said, and a bowl of milk, for the entertainment of forty guests of the race of Hashem. ‘Friends and kinsmen,’ said Muhammad to the assembly, ‘I offer you, and I alone can offer, the most precious of gifts, the treasures of this world and of the world to come. God has commanded me to call you to His service. Who among you will support my burthen? Who among you will be my companion and my vizier?’” —Gibbon, chap. 1.

King Āzādbakht, we see, had no fewer than ten of such “burden-bearers”; in chapter ix there is another King with ten viziers; and in an ancient Indian romance referred to by El-Mas'ūdī in his Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems, the same number of viziers is given to a king: “Shelkand and Shimas, or the Story of an Indian King and his Ten Viziers”; in what is probably a modernised version of the same romance, included in the Thousand and One Nights, under the title of “King Jilāa, the Vizier Shimas, and their Sons,” there are however but Seven Viziers—the number in most of the romances of the Sind-ibād cycle. According to the learned Imam El-Jara'ī, cited by Lane, ten is the proper number of counsellors for any man: “It is desirable,” says he, “for a man, before he enters upon any important undertaking, to consult ten intelligent persons among his particular friends; or if he have not more than five such friends, let him consult each of them twice; or if he have not more than one friend, he should consult him ten times, at ten different visits*; —if he have not one to consult, let him return to his wife and consult her, and whatever she advises him to do, let him do the contrary, so shall he proceed rightly in his affair and attain his object.”—This reminds me of a story told of Khōja Nasru-'d-Dīn Efendī, the Turkish joker, who, wishing to make Timūr a present of some fruit, consulted his wife as to whether he should take him figs or quinces, and on her answer­ing, “Oh, quinces, of course,” the Khōja, reflecting that a woman's advice is never good, took Timūr a basket of figs; and when the emperor ordered his attendants to pelt the Khōja on his bald pate with the ripe, juicy figs, he thanked Heaven that he had not taken his wife's advice: “for had I, as she advised, brought quinces instead of figs, my head had surely been broken!”* This most unjust estimate of women, so generally held by Muslims and giving rise to such proverbial sayings as “women have long hair and short wits,” is in accordance with the atrocious saying ascribed (falsely, let us hope) to the Prophet: “I stood at the gate of Paradise, and lo! most of its inmates were poor; and I stood at the gate of Hell, and lo! most of its inmates were women!” Contrast this with the following pas­sage from the Mahābharata: “The wife is half the man; a wife is man's dearest friend; a wife is the source of his religion, his worldly profit, and his love. He who hath a wife maketh offer­ings in his house. Those who have wives are blest with good fortune. Wives are friends, who by their gentle speech soothe ye in your retirement. In the performance of religious duties they are as fathers; in your distresses they are as mothers*; and they are a refreshment to those who are travellers in the rugged paths of life.”

Page 16. “Indulged in the pleasures of wine.”—The Kur'ān prohibits the use of wine and all other intoxicating liquors: “They will ask thee concerning wine and lots; answer, in both there is great sin” (ch. ii, 216). Some of the early followers of the Prophet held this text as doubtful, and continued to indulge in wine; but another text enjoins them not to come to prayer while they are drunk, until they know what they would say (ch. iv, 46). From this it would appear that Muhammad “meant merely to restrain his followers from unbecoming behaviour, and other evil effects of intoxication;” serious quarrels, however, resulting from drinking wine, a text in condemnation of the practice was issued: “Ye who have become believers! verily wine, and lots, and images, and divining arrows are an abomina­tion of the work of the Devil; therefore avoid them that ye may prosper” (ch. v, 92).—Mills was certainly in error in stating that “for ages before the preaching of the Prophet of Mecca, wine was but little drunk either in Egypt or Arabia.”* In the Mu'allaqāt, or Seven Poems suspended in the Temple at Mecca, which present true pictures of Arabian manners and customs during the century immediately preceding the time of Muham­mad, wine-drinking is frequently mentioned. Thus the poet 'Amru calls for his morning draught of rich hoarded wine, saying that it is the liquor which diverts the lover from his passion, and even causes the miser to forget his pelf; Lebeid says that he often goes to the shop of the wine-merchant, when he spreads his flag in the air, and sells his wine at a high price; and the poet-hero 'Antar quaffs old wine when the noontide heat is abated. However this may be, the law of the Kur'ān is clear— believers are not allowed to drink intoxicating liquors. Yet it would appear, from the tales of the Thousand and One Nights, that wine was extensively drunk by the higher classes of Muslims in all countries until a comparatively recent date; and assuredly the wine there mentioned was not the harmless beverage which the Prophet indulged in and permitted to his followers— “prepared by putting grapes or dry dates in water to extract their sweetness, and suffering the liquor to ferment slightly until it acquired a little sharpness or pungency”—since we read in the story, for instance, of “The Three Ladies of Bagdād and the Porter,” that wine was drunk to intoxication. The modern Persians justify their occasional excessive wine-drinking by the remark: “there is as much sin in a flagon as in a glass;”* and the Turks despise the small glasses commonly used by Europeans in their potations.* Cantemir, in his History of the Othman Empire, relates a curious story of how Murād IV, the seventeenth Turkish Sultan (1622-1639), became a drunkard:

Not content to drink wine in private, Murād compelled even the Muftis and other ministers to drink with him, and also, by a public edict, allowed wine to be sold and drunk by men of all ranks. It is said Murād was led into this degrading vice by a man named Bakrī Mustafa. As the Sultan was one day going about the market-place in disguise, he chanced to see this man wallowing in the mud, almost dead drunk. Wondering at the novelty of the thing, he inquired of his attendants what was the matter with the man, who seemed to him a lunatic. Being told that the fellow was drunk with wine, he wanted to know what sort of liquor that was, of whose effects he was yet ignorant. Meanwhile Mustafa gets up, and with opprobious words bids the Sultan stand off. Astonished at the man's boldness, “Rascal!” he exclaimed, “dost thou bid me, who am the Sultan Murād, be gone?”—“And I,” answered the fellow, “am Bakrī [i.e. the Drunkard] Mustafa, and if thou wilt sell me this city, I will buy it, and then I shall be Sultan Murād, and thou Bakrī Mustafa.” —Murād demanding where he would get the money to purchase such a city, Mustafa replied: “Don't trouble thyself about that; for, what is more, I will buy, too, the son of a bond-woman.”* Murād agreed to this, and ordered Mustafa to be taken to the palace. After some hours, the fumes of the wine being dispersed, Mustafa came to his senses, and finding himself in a gilded and sumptuous room, he inquired of those who attended him: “What does this mean?—am I dreaming?—or do I taste of the pleasures of Paradise?” They told him of what had passed, and of his bargain with the Sultan. Upon this he fell into a great fright, well knowing Murād's fierce disposition. But necessity abetting his invention, he declared himself on the point of death, unless he could have some wine to restore his spirits. The keepers, that he might not die before being brought into the Sultan's presence, gave him a pot full of wine, which he concealed in his bosom. On being ushered into the audience-chamber, the Sultan commanded him to pay so many millions as the price of the city. Taking the pot of wine from his bosom, Mustafa said: “This, O Sultan, is what would yesterday have purchased Istambol. And were you likewise possessed of this wealth, you would think it preferable to the sovereignty of the universe.” Murād asked how that could be. “By drinking of this divine liquor,” answered Mustafa, offering the cup to the Sultan, who, from curiosity, took a large draught, which, as he was unused to wine, immediately made him so drunk that he fancied the whole world could not contain him. Afterwards growing giddy, he was seized with sleep, and in a few hours waking with a head­ache, sent for Mustafa, in a great passion. Mustafa instantly appeared, and perceiving the case, “Here,” said he, “is your remedy,” and gave him a cup of wine, by which his headache was presently removed, and his former gladness restored. When this had been repeated two or three times, Murād was by degrees so addicted to wine that he was drunk almost every day. Bakrī Mustafa, his tutor in drunkenness, was admitted among the privy-counsellors, and was always near the Sultan. At his death Murād ordered the whole court to go into mourning, but caused his body to be buried with great pomp in a tavern among the wine-casks. After his decease the Sultan declared he never enjoyed one merry day; and when Mustafa chanced to be men­tioned he was often seen to burst into tears, and to sigh from the bottom of his heart. “Seldom, if ever,” moralises Cantemir, “has so much favour been obtained by the precepts of virtue as Mustafa acquired by the dictates of vice.”

To return to the quotation at the beginning of this long note; that the wine in which our young hero Bakhtyār indulged to such an extent as to deprive him of his senses was not a mild beverage, admits of no question: again, in chapter viii, page 93, we find a King and his favourite companion carousing together, until the former falls into a drunken sleep.

Page 18. “How could a person bred up in a desert, and by profession a robber, be fit for the society of a king?”—Sa'dī, the celebrated Persian poet, in his Gulistān, or Rose-Garden, says: “No one whose origin is bad ever catches the reflection of the good” (ch. i, tale 4); and again: “How can we make a good sword out of bad iron? A worthless person cannot by education become a person of worth;” and yet again: “Evil habits, which have taken root in one's nature, will only be got rid of at the hour of death.” Firdausī, the Homer of Persia, in his scathing satire on the Sultan Mahmūd of Ghazni, has the follow­ing remarks on the same subject:

To exalt the head of the unworthy,
To look for anything of good from them,
Is to lose the thread which guideth your purpose,
And to nourish a serpent in your bosom.
The tree which is by nature bitter,
Though thou shouldst plant it in the Garden of Paradise,
And spread honey about its roots—yea the purest honey-comb,
And water it in its season from the Fountain of Eternity,
Would in the end betray its nature,
And would still produce bitter fruit.
If thou shouldst pass through the shop of the seller of amber
Thy garments will retain its odour;
If thou shouldst enter the forge of the blacksmith,
Thou wilt there see nothing but blackness.
That evil should come of an evil disposition is no wonder,
For thou canst not sponge out the darkness from the night.
Of the son of the impure man entertain no hope,
For the Ethiopian by washing will never become white.*

Page 19. “You have entered the recesses of my harem.”— Only husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, fathers-in-law, and very young boys are mahram, or privileged to enter the apartments of women in Muslim countries. The fact of the chief Vizier visiting the Queen in the harem (page 19) should lead us to conclude, either that the story is of Indian origin, or that the worthy minister was “a neutral personage”—not to put too fine a point on it.

Page 20. “By a false testimony.”—Among the Muslims false­hood in certain cases is not only allowed but commended. Even oaths of different kinds are more or less binding. Expiation is permitted by law for an inconsiderate oath, and, according to some, even for the violation of a deliberate oath. The expiation consists in once feeding or clothing ten poor men, liberating a slave or captive, or fasting three days. An unintentional oath requires no expiation; but the swearing to a falsehood can only be expiated by deep repentance.—Lane.

In Cazotte's French rendering—or rather, adaptation—of the Arabian version of this work, under the title of “The Story of King Bohetzad and his Ten Viziers,” the name of the young hero is not Bakhtyār, but Aladdin—properly, ‘Ala'u-’d-Dīn, “Exaltation of the Faith”; for Sipahsālār there is a prime minister whose name is Asphand, and his daughter, Baherjoa, was being conveyed, not to the Vizier, as in our version, but to the Prince of Babylon, to whom she was to be married. The order of the tales varies from that in the Persian work and two additional tales are interpolated. There is one point, however, in which this rendering, or version, is, I think, superior to the Persian, namely, that while in the Bakhtyār-story we are told that after the King recovered his throne and kingdom, he and the Queen “passed their days in tranquillity, interrupted only by the remembrance of their child, whom they had left in the desert, and whom, they were persuaded, wild beasts must have devoured the same hour in which they abandoned him,” but they do not appear to have taken any steps to ascertain his fate; —in Cazotte's version trusty messengers are despatched far and wide to learn, if possible, tidings of the child, though without success. This is but natural, and what we should expect, par­ticularly on the part of an Eastern monarch, from the well-known affection of Asiatics for their male offspring, which are considered as the light or splendour of the house; and if it be an interpolation by Cazotte—one of the “disfigurements” of which he is accused by Deslongchamps* —it is very decidedly an improvement on his original.—Bohetzād's kingdom is called Dineroux, “which comprehends all Syria, and the Isles of India lying at the mouth of the Persian Gulf;” his capital is Issessara. One or two other points of difference may also find a place here. In our transla­tion, when the royal fugitives abandoned their infant in the desert, “their hearts were afflicted with anguish;” but in Lescallier's French rendering, the King is represented as ex­claiming, on this occasion: “O my dear infant! thy father sheds rivers of tears from his eyes, because of thy absence, like the father of Joseph the Egyptian, when his son was departed from the land of Canaan!”—while according to Cazotte: “Great God!” cried the afflicted mother, bedewing her babe with her tears, “who didst watch over the safety of young Ishmael, preserve this innocent babe!” The reference to Ishmael is possibly an alteration by the Arabian translator.—It is not, as in the Persian work, the King of Kirmān of whom the fugitive pair seek protection and assistance, but Kassera, King of Persia—no doubt, meaning Khusrū (called by the Greeks Chosroes), the general title of the Persian Kings of the Sassanian dynasty, thus, Khusrū Parvīz, Khusrū Nushirvān. He furnishes Bohetzād with an immense army for the recovery of his kingdom, and the Queen (Baherjoa) remains under his protection until Bohetzād should have punished his rebellious Vizier. But meanwhile the King of Persia becomes deeply en­amoured of the beauteous Baherjoa; and when envoys arrive from Bohetzād to bring back the Queen, Khusrū's first impulse is to refuse to deliver her up, but at length better feelings pre­vail over his passion, and he restores her to the envoys in a magnificent litter, and with numerous female attendants.