Bagh O Bahar, or Tales of the Four Darweshes eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about Bagh O Bahar, or Tales of the Four Darweshes.

INTRODUCTION.

I now commence my tale; pay attention to it, and be just to its merits.  In the “Adventures of the Four Darwesh, [43]” it is thus written, and the narrator has related, that formerly in the Empire of Rum [44] there reigned a great king, in whom were innate justice equal to that of Naushirwan, [45] and generosity like that of Hatim. [46] His name was Azad-Bakht, and his imperial residence was at Constantinople, [47] (which they call Istambol.) In his reign the peasant was happy, the treasury full, the army satisied, and the poor at ease.  They lived in such peace and plenty, that in their homes the day was a festival, and the night was a shabi barat [48].  Thieves, robbers, pickpockets, swindlers, and all such as were vicious and dishonest, he utterly exterminated, and no vestige of them allowed he to remain in his kingdom. [49] The doors of the houses were unshut all night, and the shops of the bazar remained open.  The travellers and wayfarers chinked gold as they went along, over plains and through woods; and no one asked them, “How many teeth have you in your mouth,” [50] or “Where are you going?”

There were thousands of cities in that king’s dominions, and many princes paid him tribute.  Though he was so great a king, he never for a moment neglected his duties or his prayers to God.  He possessed all the necessary comforts of this world; but male issue, which is the fruit of life, was not in the garden of his destiny, for which reason he was often pensive and sorrowful, and after the five [51] regulated periods of prayer, he used to address himself to his Creator and say, “O God! thou hast, through thy infinite goodness blest thy weak creature with every comfort, but thou hast given no light to this dark abode. [52] This desire alone is unaccomplished, that I have no one to transmit my name and support my old age. [53] Thou hast everything in thy hidden treasury; give me a living and thriving son, that my name and the vestiges of this kingdom may remain.”

In this hope the king reached his fortieth year; when one day he had finished his prayers in the Mirror Saloon, [54] and while telling his beads, he happened to cast his eyes towards one of the mirrors, and perceived a white hair in his whiskers, which glittered like a silver wire; on seeing it, the king’s eyes filled with tears, and he heaved a deep sigh, and then said to himself, “Alas! thou hast wasted thy years to no purpose, and for earthly advantages thou hast overturned the world.  And all the countries thou hast conquered, what advantage are they to thee?  Some other race will in the end squander these riches.

Death hath already sent thee a messenger; [55] and even if thou livest a few years, the strength of thy body will be less.  Hence, it appears clearly from this circumstance, that it is not my destiny to have an heir to my canopy and throne.  I must one day die, and leave everything behind me; so it is better for me to quit them now, and dedicate the rest of my days to the adoration of my Maker.”

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Project Gutenberg
Bagh O Bahar, or Tales of the Four Darweshes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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