Page 62. “Represented the danger of letting an enemy live when in one's power.”—This unmerciful suggestion* ill accords with the humane precept of Hūshung, an early King of Persia, surnamed Pīshdād (the First Distributor of Justice), and dictated by him to Tahmuras, the heir apparent: “The sovereign ex­tends the skirt of pardon and the robe of clemency over those who have erred; … acting according to this injunction: When thou hast prevailed over thy foe, pardon him, in gratitude for the power obtained over him. ‘Bind him,’ says the poet, ‘with the chains of forgiveness, that he may become your slave.’”

Page 62. “Advised him not to be precipitate.”—With more eloquence does a falsely accused lady plead to her husband in the Anvār-i Suhailī (p. 243 of Eastwick's translation): “The wise think deliberation requisite in all affairs, especially in shedding blood, since if it be necessary to take life, the oppor­tunity of doing so is left; and if—which God forbid!—they should, through precipitation, put an innocent person to death, and it should afterwards be known that he did not deserve to be slain, the remedy would be beyond the circle of possibility, and the punishment thereof would hang to all eternity on the neck of the guilty party.” And elsewhere in the same charming work we are told that “the heart of a King ought to be like the billowy sea, so as not to be discoloured by the dirt and rubbish of calumny; and the centre of his clemency should be like the stately mountain, firm in a position of stability, so that the furious wind of anger cannot move it.”

Page 62. King Dādīn, or Dādiyān—a title formerly given to the Persian Kings of the first, or Pīshdādian, dynasty, and in a later age assumed also by the Princes of Mingrelia. (Chardin, vol. i, p. 82.)

Page 62. Kārdār signifies busy, a money lender, a prime minister, and is a compound of kār, work, occupation, and dãr, possessing, lord, master.—Kāmgār is composed of kām, desire, wish, and gār, a particle which, subjoined to a word, denotes agency.

Page 63. “Having reason to believe her father would not consent to bestow her on him.”—The text runs thus: “He said to himself, ‘Kāmgār is an ascetic (zāhid) and a religious man (pārsā), and would not give me his daughter.’”

Page 64. “Begged permission to inform his daughter”—the text adds, “and, in conformity with the law of Muhammad (sharī'at), obtain her consent.”—This is a proof that the lady had attained marriageable age, as the consent of a girl not arrived at the age of puberty is not required.

Page 64. “Related to her all that had passed.”—The text: “The daughter said, ‘I am not worthy of the King; besides, once in the King's service, I cannot [devote myself to the] wor­ship [of] God the Most High; and for the least fault the King would punish me.’”

Page 65. “Sent her to his palace (sarāy-harem), and appointed servants—besides a cook.” Here there is a very remarkable difference between Ouseley's and the lithographed texts, and between these again and Lescallier and Habicht. This is what the lithographed text says: “And in the service i.e. [of the late vizier Kāmgār] there was a good man (khayyir) who had acted as a spiritual guide (buzurg), whom the King did not admit in the harem. This holy person, who had been constantly at the side of the daughter, wrote a letter [to this effect]: ‘Do thou confirm the reward of service, and speak to the King about my wish [in order] that he may admit me into thy service, [seeing] that I should perish from dis­appointment.’ … (the King gave his consent) … and the daughter continued her devotions in peace and tran­quillity.” Thus, in place of a cook, as in our version, the lithographed text has, more appropriately, a holy man: but in Lescallier and in Habicht, this person is, strange to say, a jester, or merry-andrew—bouffon—lustigmacher!—while in Cazotte's rendering of the Arabic version, and in the Turkī version of this story (a translation of which is appended to the present notes), he is simply described as a slave.

Page 66. Discovered her sitting alone on the balcony (bāl-khāna) , viz. a latticed window on the upper storey of the harem —hence our word “balcony.”

Page 66. “Kārdār, fearing lest she should relate to the King what had passed,” &c.—Although many Oriental stories— Indian, Persian, Arabian—are designed to show the malice and craft of women, there are yet some, and the present tale is an example, in which men, when foiled in their attempts upon the chastity of women, are exhibited as equally adroit and unscrupulous. Another instance occurs in the Anvar - i -Suhailī , ii, 10, where a beautiful and virtuous wife is described in verses which are also applicable to the Vizier's daughter of our story:

To wordly matters she had closed her eye,
Sate curtained by the veil of chastity;
E'en to the glass her form would not display,
And from her shadow sank, alarmed, away.

This lady's husband had a slave, who cast the eye of desire upon her, and “when he despaired of success, as is the wont of evil men, he determined to assail her reputation, and employ a stratagem to secure her disgrace.” So he buys two parrots, and teaches them to say that the lady had been unfaithful to her husband; but he fails in his diabolical scheme.

Page 67. “He addressed her with the usual salutation, which she returned.”—That is: Es-salāmu 'alaykum, “Peace be on you!” to which she replied: 'Alaykum es-salām. But the lady devotee would probably “salute with a better salu­tation,” in accordance with the Kur'ān, iv, 88: “When ye are saluted with a salutation, salute the person with a better salutation, or at least, return the same.” “A better salutation” —that is, by adding rahmatu-'llāhi wa barakātuh, “and the mercy of God and His blessings!” In saluting a co-religionist, this addition is obligatory.

Page 67. “It was a maxim of the wise men: When you have killed the serpent, you should also kill its young.”—Can this “maxim” have been borrowed from Sa'dī, who says (Gulistan, i, 4): “To extinguish a fire and leave the embers, or to kill a viper and preserve its young, is not the act of wise men?” If so, this work, in its present form, must have been composed after the 13th century.

Page 68. “Ordered the unfortunate cook to be instantly cut in two.”—A horrible mode of putting a culprit to death, and peculiar, it is said, to the criminal law of Persia.

Page 69. “Being dissuaded by an attendant from killing a woman.”—The Persians seldom put women to death, as the shedding of their blood is supposed to bring misfortune on the country. But when found guilty and condemned, the injunction prescribed by the law, of another man's wife never being seen unveiled, is strictly respected, by conducting the culprit, enveloped in the veil habitually worn by her, to the summit of a lofty tower, and throwing her thence headlong.

Page 68. “Was turned into the dreary wilderness.”—In Indian Fairy Tales daughters who offend their fathers are frequently sent into the desert. For instance, in the Romance of the Four Dervishes (the Hindū version, Bāgh o Bahār), a king has seven daughters, and one day he impiously tells them that all their good fortune depends upon his life. Six of them profess to agree with him in this sentiment; but the seventh, and youngest, who has more sense and judgment than the others, dissents, saying that the destinies of every one are with oneself. The king, on hearing this, became angry. The reply displeased him highly, and he said in wrath: “What great words issue from a little mouth! Now let this be your punishment, that you strip off whatever jewels she has on her hands and feet, and let her be placed in a litter and set down in a wilderness, where no human traces are found; then shall we see what is written in her destinies.” She is accordingly carried into the desert, where she offers up fervent prayers to Heaven, and falls asleep. In this way, praying and sleeping, she passed three days without food or water, until on the fourth day a hermit appears, who relieves her wants, and, to be brief, she discovers a hidden treasure, causes a magnificent palace to be erected, and sends for her parents and sisters, who are naturally confounded at her good fortune. In like manner, Husn Bānū, in the Romance of Hatim Ta'ī, having justly accused a Dervish, who was a favourite of the King, of robbing her house, is expelled from the city, and in the desert she discovers, through a dream, the hidden treasure of the Seven Regions, under­neath a tree.

Page 68. “Resigned herself to the will of Providence, con­scious of her own innocence.”—The text states that she said this prayer: “O God! Creator! thou knowest I am innocent; if Thou hast foreordained* that I should die, vouchsafe at least a little water [inflow] in my mouth, that my tongue may testify to thine incomparable unity.” The text also says that when the fountain of water sprang up, she “performed the ablution” (prescribed by the Kur'ān), and “stood up in prayer.” This seems to imply that she turned her face towards the Kibla (that is, Mecca), and went through the different postures of prayer.—See Lane's Modern Egyptians, chapter iii.

Page 69. “The camel placed himself so as to afford her a shade from the sunbeams.”—Although our author was, no doubt, a pious believer in this miracle, including the part that was played in it by the camel, yet it can only appear ludicrous to Europeans, and those who have had the good fortune to read, either in the original Telūgū, or in Babington's translation, the Adventures of the Gūrū Paramartan, will probably be reminded by this of the story of the Gūrū, who, having hired an ox to ride upon, reposed under the shade of the animal during the heat of the day, and the owner demanded additional pay, alleging that he did not lend his ox as an umbrella against the sun's rays. The case was referred to the head-man of a village, who, after relating a somewhat similar case within his own experience, decided as follows: “For journeying hither on the ox, the proper hire is money; and for remaining in the ox's shadow, the shadow of the hire-money is sufficient.”*

Page 69. “It happened that one of the King's camel-keepers,” &c.—According to the text, “had lost a katar of camels,” that is, several linked together, and following one another.

Page 69. “At his request she prayed for the recovery of the camels.”—The text says: “The daughter, having raised her face towards heaven, said, ‘O God! Creator! thou knowest that these camels are not his own, and that he is a hired labourer (muzdar), but now is without resource and afflicted, through thy loving kindness and bounty, [be pleased to] restore to him the camels.’” Muhammadans often implore the inter­cession of saints (and the cameleer, of course, believed the lady to be nothing short of a saint), both living and dead, on their behalf. To be worthy of the dignity of a true saint requires self-denial, mortification, a perfect reliance on Provi­dence, and the keeping aloof from the habitations of men; above all, that, while professing the unity of God (lā ilāha illa-'llāh), no living creature should see their lips move. Lane, in a note to his translation of the Thousand and One Nights (ch. xi, n. 37), states that “the Sayyida Nafīsa, the great-grandaughter of the Imām El-Hasan, was a very celebrated saint; and many miracles are related to have been performed by her. Her tomb, which is greatly venerated, is in a mosque in the southern suburb of Cairo.”

Page 70. “He would provide for her a retired apartment,” &c.—The text reads: “I will prepare an oratory (sawma'ā), and make ready for thy sake the means (asbāb: furniture) for devotion (asbāb-i-'ībāda);” such as a prayer-carpet (sajjāda), having a mark upon it pointing towards Mecca, the Kibla of Muslims, or point to which they direct their faces in saying their prayers, as Jerusalem is that of the Jews and Christians: within the mosque it is shown by a niche, and is called El-Mihrāb . The hypocritical saint is thus described by Sa'dī (Gulistān ii, 17):

Devotees who fix their eyes on the world,
Say their prayers with their backs to the Kibla.

There should also be a fountain of running water (for ceremonial ablution) and a copy of the Kur'ān.

Page 70. “Arrived at the city at the time of evening prayer.”—It is incumbent on every good Muslim (says Dr Forbes, in a note to his translation of Bāgh o Bahār) to pray five times in the 24 hours. The stated periods are rather capriciously settled: (1) The morning prayer is to be repeated between daybreak and sunrise; (2) The prayer of noon, when the sun shows a sensible declination from the meridian; (3) afternoon prayer, when the sun is so near the horizon that the shadow of a perpendicular object is twice its length; (4) evening prayer, between sunset and close on twilight; (5) the prayer of night, any time during darkness.

Page 71. “She begged that he would conceal himself in the apartment whilst she should converse with Kārdār.”—This, it seems to me, is quite after the manner of a modern European play or novel—when the “villain” is made to unmask him­self, by a pious ruse of “injured innocence.” I cannot call to mind a similar scene in any other Eastern romance which I have read.

Page 72. “Concealed behind the hangings” (see also p. 67, line 8 from foot).—The use of hangings, pictured tapestry, and various coloured carpets has been from the earliest ages prevalent in the East. We read in the Book of Esther, chapter i, &c., of the magnificence of a Persian monarch, who made a feast unto his nobles of Persia and Media, and in his palace had hangings, white, green, and red, fastened with purple cords to silver rings, with beds of gold and silver; and Plutarch, in Themistocles, speaks of the rich Persian carpets, with highly-coloured figures; and in his life of Cato the Censor, he mentions some Babylonian tapestry sent to Rome as a present. The manufacture passed in very early times from Asia into Greece, part of which, indeed, was itself Asiatic. Iris found Helen employed on figured tapestry, and the web of Penelope is sufficiently known (Iliad iii).— Sir William Ouseley's Persian Miscellanies.

This story of King Dādīn and his Two Viziers is, perhaps, the best of the whole series; and it will doubtless interest the general reader to see a Turkī version of it, according to a unique manuscript, preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, written, in 1434, in the Uygur language and characters,* of which mention is made in the Second Section of the INTRO-DUCTION. M. Jaubert, who wrote an account of this manu­script in the Journal Asiatique, tom. x, 1827, remarks, that, “apart from the interest which the writing and phraseology of the work might possess for those who study the history of languages, it is rather curious for the history of manners to see how a Tātār translator sets to work to bring within the range of his readers stories embellished in the original with descriptions and images familiar, doubtless, to a learned and refined nation like the Persians, but foreign to shepherds.” The following rendering of M. Jaubert's translation of the Turkī version of “King Dādīn and his Two Viziers” is, I believe, the first that has yet appeared in English.


ONE of the Vezīrs advanced and said: “O King! command that they put this slave to death, for all the people murmur, indignant at his crime, and we ourselves are grieved at such a rumour.” Then the King commanded, and they made Bakht-yār approach, and he said to him: “Slave, wherefore madest thou that attempt? Of a truth I will not spare thee this day.” Bakhtyār replied: “O King, I am innocent, and I look from the Divine pity that thou deliver me from these bonds, in like manner as the guiltless bride of the King Dādīn was delivered from hers.” The King said: “What befell that woman?”

There was in Tātāristan (answered Bakhtyār), a King who had a beautiful wife and two Vezīrs.* One of these Vezīrs was called Kerdār, the other Kārdān.* Kerdār was father of a maiden of beauty so perfect that one could not find in the whole world anything to vie with it; and she was so pious that not only did she recite the Kur'ān all day, but she passed the nights in prayer. Impressed by the greatness of her devotion, King Dādīn became enamoured of this maiden without having seen her, and he demanded her of her father in marriage, and he promised to advise her. He did so, but she replied: “Passing my life in prayer, I cannot agree to become a great lady, and my ambition is limited to the service of God.” The Vezīr re­ported these words to the King, who, in the greatness of his anger, put him to death. Then he caused the maiden to be brought to the palace, and he said to her: “I desire to raise thee to the dignity of a princess; during the day thou shalt pray to God here, during the night thou shalt serve me.” Just then there arrived a courier, bearing important letters. The King ordered the maiden to pray for him; he confided the care of his city to his Vezīr Kārdān; and having mounted his horse, with a party of his nobles, went forth.

One day, when the Vezīr was repeating his prayers, his eyes fell upon the maiden. Dazzled by the splendour of her beauty, he became suddenly enamoured of her, and approached her and said: “O maiden, I am enamoured of thee; if thou fearest God have pity on my sufferings and reward my love!” The lady replied: “The King, in his trust, has left thee in his house, and thou seekest to make me betray him! Take heed that thou commit not this evil deed;—suffer not thyself to be taken in the snares of Satan for a woman, and think not that all of my sex are in nature alike. I pardon thee thy sin—beware of rushing on thy ruin.” When the Vezīr heard these words he perceived that he could not succeed in his design. Then he repented of his conduct, and said within himself: “If the King learns of this event, he will kill me; so let me invent some stratagem which will bring about the maiden's ruin instead of mine.”

Now the Vezīr, father of the lady, had brought from his nat ve country a slave who had been brought up with her, and in whose company she was accustomed to live.* When the King had finished his campaign, and returned [to his capital], he called the Vezīr before him, and asked of all that had hap­pened during his absence, and particularly about the lady. The Vezīr said: “O King! I have something to say, and yet I dare not.” “Speak,” replied the King: “I know that thou art a good and faithful minister, and that thou canst not betray the truth.” Then the Vezīr replied: “Some one told me that a slave, brought from his native country by the father of that maiden, had had guilty connection with her. At first I regarded this imputation as a slander. ‘What is that?’ said I to myself. ‘The King loves that lady, so that with her the sorrows of this world seem light to him. Besides, if the fault had been com­mitted, there would be witnesses—the thing cannot be.’ One day, however, an [other] individual sought me out, to bring me to see what was being done by the favourite of the King. I went, I listened, I recognised the maiden's voice, and that of the slave. She was saying to him: ‘In thus dishonouring me as thou hast done, thou hast put me in danger of perishing like my father, whose death I [involuntarily] caused. I must be thy portion.’ The slave replied: ‘But what is thy intention con­cerning the King?’ The maiden answered: ‘He must be killed by means of some stratagem; if we work well together we shall succeed in our design. Take thou measures concerning the King;—kill him, for he has slain my father unjustly, and I am bound to take vengeance.’ When I heard these words,” con­tinued the Vezīr, “I felt my body tremble. The reality of the fact was made clear to me, as it was to the person who had informed me. Now it is yours, O King, to know what ought to be done.”

When the King heard this story he was very angry. He caused the slave's head to be cut off. He called the maiden before him, and asked what words she had used, and cruelly reproached her, for that, after being overwhelmed with honours, she had dared to conceive so guilty a design. She replied: “O King, deign to give full trust to my words, and if thou fearest God, slay me not on the report of my most cruel enemies.” But far from believing her sincerity, the King ordered his favourite to be put to death. Happily, this Prince had a faithful slave, who showed to him how the murder of a woman were a shameful deed; that it was enough to have killed her accomplice; that it were better to banish that unhappy woman to some wilderness far from the dwellings of man, where she must inevitably perish; and that at least by refraining from staining his hands with her blood, he should be doing an action pleasing to God. So the King ordered an old woman to mount the maiden upon a camel, to take her to a lonely desert and leave her there, and this was forthwith done And so that hapless one was left in the wilderness, with no other aid than the Divine compassion.

This desert lay on the boundaries of the realms of the King of Persia, one of whose cameleers* had lost a camel. He was seeking it vainly on every side, when suddenly he perceived a beautiful lady praying to God. Fearing to disturb her, the cameleer waited till she had finished her prayers, when he went up to her, saluted her, and asked her who she was. “I am,” said she, “a poor, weak handmaid of God.” “Who has brought thee here?” continued the cameleer. She replied: “God.” Then the cameleer said within himself: “This lady is indeed favoured with the grace of the Most High.” He said to her: “I am in the service of the King of Persia; if thou desirest, I shall marry thee, and have for thee the greatest regard.” “I cannot consent thereto,” replied she; “but for the love of God, lead me to some inhabited spot, where I may find water, and I will remember thee in my prayers.” The cameleer complied with her request; he mounted the maiden upon his camel, led her to a village, confided her to the care of the head - man of the village till he should return; and set out in quest of the camel he had lost, which he immediately found—a good fortune which he attributed to the maiden's prayers.

He gave thanks therefor to God, and returned to the King of Persia, to whom he spoke of the maiden's beauty, piety, and of all the perfections with which she was adorned. “Such a lady,” said the King, “would suit well to be my wife.” Thereupon he mounted his horse, and with a great number of his servants proceeded to the village. When he saw the lady he was filled with admiration, and he said to her: “Maiden, I am the King of Persia; be my bride, and I will care for thee with the greatest of care.” “O King!” replied she, “may the Divine favour increase thy prosperity! Thou possessest a great number of women; and as for me, I have no need of a husband; for the love of God appears to me more desirable than the whole world.” And she continued her prayers. Then the King gave orders that his tents should be erected in that spot, and that they should cut there channels of running water; and he remained there some days. At the end of that time, moved by the sweet words and piety of the maiden, but hurried by the affairs of state, he mounted her in a litter, led her to his capital, gave her apartments in his own kiosk, and having ordered preparations for a brilliant nuptial feast, he married her. After that he gave her great riches, beautiful clothes, many servants, and a splendid palace. One night this lady related her adventures to the King of Persia; and on the morrow that prince assembled a vast army, set out, and took prisoner the King Dādīn, the Vezīr Kārdān, and also the faithful servant to whom the lady owed her life. She called King Dādīn before her, and said to him: “Though I was innocent and true, thou sentest me into a desert to die; but God has had compassion upon me, and has brought thee hither to me, loaded with chains.” Then addressing the Vezīr Kārdān, she said: “How is it that thou hast allowed thyself to be taken in the snare which thou didst prepare for me?” The Vezīr replied: “O maiden! thou wast not guilty, and all that I said was a lie; therefore hath God punished me!” “Praise be to Him!” replied the lady, “for He has granted that I should live, and that people should know my innocence! For the rest, I desire that they who slew my father should receive their due reward.” So the King of Persia ordered the Vezīr to be taken to the same desert whither the maiden had been sent. There he died of hunger and thirst. King Dādīn was beheaded as a punishment for the murder he had com­mitted; and his dominions were given to the faithful servant [whose good advice aided the safety, the innocence, and the triumph of virtue].