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

Having in his heart made this resolve, he descended to his lower garden. [56] Having dismissed his courtiers, he ordered that no one should approach him in future, but that all should attend the Public Hall of Audience, [57] and continue occupied in their respective duties.  After this speech the king retired to a private apartment, spread the carpet of prayer, [58] and began to occupy himself in devotion:  he did nothing but weep and sigh.  Thus the king, Azud Bakhht passed many days; in the evening he broke his fast with a date and three mouthfuls of water, and lay all day and night on the carpet of prayer.  Those circumstances became public, and by degrees the intelligence spread over the whole empire, that the king having withdrawn his hand from public affairs, had become a recluse.  In every quarter enemies and rebels raised their heads, and stepped beyond the bounds [of obedience]; whoever wished it, encroached on the kingdom, and rebelled; wherever there were governors, in their jurisdictions great disturbance took place; and complaints of mal-administration arrived at court from every province.  All the courtiers and nobles assembled, and began to confer and consult.

At last it was agreed, “that as his Highness the Wazir is wise and intelligent, and in the king’s intimacy and confidence, and is first in dignity, we ought to go before him, and hear what he thinks proper to say on the occasion,” All the nobles went to his Highness the Wazir, and said:  “Such is the state of the king and such the condition of the kingdom, that if more delay takes place, this empire, which has been acquired with such trouble, will be lost for nothing, and will not be easily regained.”  The Wazir was an old, faithful servant, and wise; his name was Khiradmand, a name self-significant. [59] He replied, “Though the king has forbidden us to come into his presence, yet go you:  I will also go—­may it please God that the king be inclined to call me to his presence.”  After saying this, the Wazir brought them all along with him as far as the Public Hall of Audience, and leaving them there, he went into the Private Hall of Audience, [60] and sent word by the eunuch [61] to the royal presence, saying, “this old slave is in waiting, and for many days has not beheld the royal countenance; he is in hopes that, after one look, he may kiss the royal feet, then his mind will be at ease.”  The king heard this request of his Wazir, and inasmuch as his majesty knew his length of services, his zeal, his talents, and his devotedness, and had often followed his advice, after some consideration, he said, “call in Khiradmand.”  As soon as permission was obtained, the Wazir appeared in the royal presence, made his obeisance, and stood with crossed arms. [62] He saw the king’s strange and altered appearance, that from extreme weeping and emaciation his eyes were sunk in their sockets, [63] and his visage was pale.

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