Page 33. “Expressed many apprehensions.”—The text gives the address of the Third Vizier as follows: “I am apprehensive lest the affair of Bakhtyār should be known in the out-lying provinces of the world [kingdom], and reaching the ears of sovereigns, occasion scandal, and evil repute arise therefrom. Before this story of Bakhtyār become the common talk, it is ex­pedient to put him to death.”

Page 33. “He petitioned for mercy:” he cried, al-amān! —quarter!—pardon! Byron's couplet in the Giaour has ren­dered this word familiar to English readers:

Resigned carbine or ataghān,
Nor ever raised the craven cry, Amaun!

Page 33. “If a king punish without due investigation.”— A Hindū dramatist says:

Though the commands of royalty pervade
The world, yet sovereigns should remember,
The light of justice must direct their path.

And Sa'dī, in his Bustān, b. 1, regarding the duties of a king, says: “If thou sheddest blood, it must not be done without a decree.” But there is too much reason to believe that Eastern monarchs have seldom been guided by the law in administering punishment. Many of the Muslim princes of Northern Africa, in particular, have slain even favourite attendants, from sheer wantonness and love of bloodshed.

Page 34. Aleppo.—The Berica of the Greeks; Aleppo is the Italian form of Hālab, the native name. On the fall of Palmyra, Hālabu-'s-Shabha (Hālab the ash-coloured) became the grand emporium for the productions of Persia and India, conveyed by caravans from Bagdād and Basra to be shipped at Iskenderūn, or Latakia, for the different ports of Europe. Under the Greek sovereigns of Syria, Aleppo acquired great wealth and consequence, and flourished still more under the Roman Emperors. An aqueduct, constructed before the time of Constantine, conveys a plentiful supply of water from the springs; and the mosques Jāmī, Zacharī, and Halawé, originally Christian churches, are fine specimens of the ancient Roman style, the latter built by the Empress Helena. To the peculiar quality of the water of the Kuwayk (ancient Chalus), which irrigates its far-famed gardens, is ascribed the ring-worm (hābala-'s-sina) , which attacks the natives once in their lives, and leaves an indelible scar, which distinguishes an Aleppine throughout the East. In 1797 Aleppo was the victim of the plague, and of earthquakes in 1822 and 1830.

Page 34. “Protected strangers.”—The text reads: “A friend of the stranger; who never at any time injured any person, deemed all injustice improper, and never deprived any one of aught.”

Page 34. “A son named Bih-zād,” meaning “well-born,” “legitimate.”

Page 35. “A magnificent litter”—the text adds, “and the curtains of the litter were thrown back;”—thus the youth was able to obtain a view of the lady's beauty.

Page 35. “When the young man had advanced thus far in his narrative;” the lithographed text says, “when the boon companion had described the lady.”—Readers familiar with Oriental fictions will probably recollect many instances of princes and others becoming enamoured, not only at sight of the portrait of a beautiful woman, but at the mere description of her charms: in such celebrated collections of tales as the Arabian Nights, the Persian Tales ascribed to the Dervish Mokles of Isfahān, and the Bahār-i-Danish (Spring of Knowledge) of ‘Ināyatu-’llah of Dihli. In the Bedawī Romance of 'Antar, anoble 'Absian named Amara, “a conceited coxcomb, very particular in his dress, fond of perfumes, and always keeping company with women and young girls,” having heard of the beauty of Abla, sends a female slave to the tents of her family to discover whether the damsel was as beautiful as was reported of her; and the girl returning with a glowing account of Abla's charms, the Bedawī exquisite immediately conceives a violent passion for her—“his ears fell in love before his eyes.”—There is at least one instance on record of a European becoming enamoured from imagination; in the case of Geoffrey Rudel, the gallant troubadour, who fell desperately in love with the Countess of Tripoli, from a description of her beauty and accomplishments: but see the story in Warton's History of English Poetry.

Page 35. “The city of Rūm, the capital and residence of the Kaisar, or Greek Emperor”: Constantinople.—The signi­fication of “Rūm” is very vague, as it may denote Rome, the Turkish Empire, Greece, or Rumelia (Rūm Eyli). The Persians called the chief of the Seljukī dynasty at Konia (i.e. Iconium), Kaisar-i-Rūm. D'Herbelot defines the term Rūm as applicable to the countries which the Romans, and afterwards the Greeks and Turks, subdued under their domination. “Roumy [Rūmī],” observes Burckhardt, “is a word applied by the Arabs to the Greeks of the Lower Empire, and afterwards to all Christians.” (Travels in Nubia, App. n. iii.) The Persian proverb, Ez Rūm ta Shām, “from Rūm to Syria,” is quoted to indicate an extent of territory. Kaisar (Cæsar, whence Czar) was the general title of the sovereigns of the Lower Empire, as Khusrū was that of the Persian Kings of the Sassanian dynasty.

Page 36. “Prince Bihzād immediately arose, and hastened to the house of the Vizier, and said,” &c.—The following is a close translation of this passage as given in the lithographed text:

“You must go this moment and tell my father, Bihzād says thus: ‘Thou dost not turn thine eye upon me and hast not any care for me. There is no mortal in the world to whom a wife should not be given; if thou carest for me, you would bestow on me a help-mate.’” The Vizier replied: “Your order I obey;” then rose up and went to the King's palace, asked for an audience, and reported to the King all that Bihzād had said. The King said: “Bihzād has fallen in love; say to him, ‘This wish is in my thoughts; but I have paused until I could discover some companion for thy sake; but if there be a longing for any one, speak out that I may give it my attention— that I may effect a settlement, and bring this thy desire within thy embrace.’”—The Vizier returned, and repeated to Bihzād what the King had said, to which Bihzād replied: “Go and tell my father that the Kaisar of Rūm has a daughter, Nigārīn* by name; he must send ambassadors and demand the daughter on my behalf.” The Vizier returned and told the King, who became unhappy.

Page 37. “The Vizier returned to Bihzād, and delivered him this message from his father.”—The lithographed text says:

When Bihzād perceived that the King showed no eagerness in asking for the lady, he said to the Vizier: “If the King will not demand the daughter for me, I will leave the country.” The Vizier said: “I will go and speak to the King to that effect.” He went, and repeated according to Bihzād's words. The King loved his son to excess, and seeing no resource, sent ambassa­dors to the Kaisar of Rūm. When the ambassadors arrived at the capital of Rūm, and the news reached the King, he commanded an istikbāl, and that they should enter the city with all due honours and respect. The next day the Kaisar invited the ambassadors to a durbar. When they came before the King and had bowed their faces to the ground, they delivered the message of the Shāh of Aleppo. The King said: “Maybe the wealth [dominion, power?] of the Kaisar does not enter into your [mind's] eye;—you must be brief and laconic, and utter this reply: ‘One hundred lacs of dīnars is the covenant of my daughter's hand; whoever will give one hundred lacs of dīnars, to him will I give my daughter.’ Thus he spake; then rising up, dismissed the ambassadors.

Page 37. “One hundred lacs of dīnars.”—The value of the dīnar (originally din-ār, “brought into circulation by the law”) varied considerably at different periods, but the average value is about ten shillings. As a lac is one hundred thousand, and the Kaisar demanded a hundred lacs; taking the value of the dīnar at ten shillings, this would amount to five million pounds of our money: but Oriental romancers are fond of dealing with immense sums of money—on paper! “The Persians,” says Chardin, “express silver money by the term dirhem, or dragme, and that of gold by that of dīnar, or denier. They reckon by dīnar-bisty and tomāns, although they have not any pieces of money so called. There is the common dīnar, and the legal dīnar (or chemy) and the dīnar-chemy signify the weight and the value of a dīnar of gold, or of a gold crown. A bisty makes ten dīnars, or deniers, and a tomān ten thousand dīnars.” (Voyage en Perse, &c., ii, 91-2.)

Page 38. “They produced twenty lacs.”—Bihzād said: “Make a forced contribution throughout the land, and [demand] one-eighth of the garden [produce].” The Pādishāh replied: “This I will never do, for the city is small and the people have not the means; every one would take flight and be ruined.” Bihzād said: “A portion of the sum [required] exact by a forced contribution; after that, about the remainder let us not concern ourselves” [lit. eat anxiety]. The Pādishāh was incapable [of further opposition]; he commanded that the land [owners] should make a present of twenty lacs of dīnars.

Page 40. “Set out upon his journey.”—For what purpose? Surely not to go and demand the Kaisar's daughter in marriage, without payment of the balance of the stipulated hundred lacs? Sir William Ouseley has omitted to add that loot was the object of Bihzād's expedition. The text says that, with two confidential attendants Bihzād set out upon his journey, “until he should fall in with a caravan, and make up the total sum required.” The “good old rule” of our own famous Scottish freebooter Rob Roy—

the simple plan,
That they should take, who have the power,
And they should keep, who can—

was very commonly put into practice in former times by Arabian lovers in order to procure the dowry. Thus, in the Romance of 'Antar, which Von Hammer says presents true pictures of Arabian life about the age of Nushirvān the Just, King of Persia (sixth century), Malik, the father of the beauteous Abla, requires 'Antar to procure for her dowry a thousand Asafīr camels by plundering the owner, Mundzir, King of Hīra; and when Khalid demands his cousin Jaida in marriage of her father, the heroic damsel consents, on condition that he provide for slaughter at her wedding-feast a thousand camels belonging to the “Brandisher of Spears,” which he does by plundering the tribe of 'Āmir; and when Malik the perfidious father of Abla betrothes her to the Bedawī exquisite Amara (mentioned in a previous note), he collects a party of his followers and sets out on a looting expedition to procure her dowry.—Prince Bihzād, however, appears to have “caught a Tartar” in attack­ing the caravan which he and his comrades overtook—“in the morning,” according to our translation—“at the hour of mid­day prayer,” says the lithographed text. The old Arabs always made their attacks on the tents of a hostile tribe, and on caravans, in the early morning—on the first gray streaks of dawn appearing, and this is frequently alluded to in their poetry. Thus in the Mu'allaqa of Hareth: “They assembled their forces at night, and as soon as the dawn appeared, there was nothing heard among them but a tumultuous noise, of those who called and those who answered; the neighing of horses, and, among the rest, the lowing of camels.” In the Romance of 'Antar, the heroic Prince Malik is represented as being slain in one of those morning raids, when his bridal party were attacked by Hadifa and his tribesmen: “by morning their joys were converted into sorrows, and shots were precipitated at them from arrows for which there is no surgeon.” To wish peace in the morning was therefore among the Arabs a most appropriate salutation. So 'Antar, in his famous Mu'allaqa (verse 2), exclaims: “O bower of Abla, in the valley of Jiwā, give me tidings of my love! O bower of Abla, may the morning rise on thee with prosperity and health!” And Zuhayr, also author of a Mu‘allaqa, on viewing the traces of his mistress’ former abode: “Hail, sweet bower! may thy morning be fair and auspicious!”

This story is the fourth in Cazotte's version, in which it pre­sents so few points of resemblance to the tale as given in the Persian work that we must conclude it has been thus altered by the Arabian translator. Bihzād is the son of King Cyrus, founder of the Syrian empire; and the beautiful lady with whom he falls in love from the description of her charms is the daughter of one of his father's vassals. He avows his passion to the King his father, who immediately sends messengers to his vassal, demanding his daughter in marriage to his son. The dowry of three hundred thousand pieces of gold is agreed upon, but the lady's father stipulates that the marriage should be delayed for the space of nine months. This seemed an eternity to the impatient Prince, so he mounts his best horse, and sets out to claim his bride at once. On the way he falls into the hands of a gang of robbers and is compelled to join them. They attack a caravan and are defeated, the Prince, among others, being taken prisoner. The merchants present Bihzād to their King, who recognises him from the description of his person in a circular letter which he had received from King Cyrus. This King despatches some troops along with Bihzād to the young lady's father. On his arrival preparations are made for the celebration of the marriage: only three days have now to pass; but Bihzād, impatient to behold his bride, looks through a small grated window in her pavilion; and a eunuch, placed there on guard, not knowing the Prince, struck him with the point of his scimi­tar, which ran through both his eyes.