A man had a beautiful wife, who died; but the mother, a decrepit old dotard, remained a fixture in his house, because of the dowry. He was teased to death by her company; but, from the circumstance of the dower, he had no remedy. In the meantime some of his friends having come to comfort him, one of them asked: “How is it with you, since the loss of that dear friend?” He answered: “The absence of my wife is not so intolerable as the presence of her mother:—They plucked the rose, and left me the thorn; they plundered the treasure, and let the snake remain. To have our eye pierced with a spear were more tolerable than to see the face of an enemy. It were better to break with a thousand friends than to put up with one rival.”
In my youth I recollect I was passing through a street, and caught a glimpse of a moon-like charmer during the dog-days, when their heat was drying up the moisture of the mouth, and the samurn, or desert hot-wind, melting the marrow of the bones. From the weakness of human nature I was unable to withstand the darting rays of a noon-tide sun, and took refuge under the shadow of a wall, hopeful that somebody would relieve me from the oppressive heat of summer, and quench the fire of my thirst with a draught of water. All at once I beheld a luminary in the shadowed portico of a mansion, so splendid an object that the tongue of eloquence falls short in summing up its loveliness; such as the day dawning upon a dark night, or the fountain of immortality issuing from chaos. She held in her hand a goblet of snow-cooled water, into which she dropped some sugar, and tempered it with spirit of wine; but I know not whether she scented it with attar, or sprinkled it with a few blossoms from her own rosy cheek. In short, I received the beverage from her idol-fair hand; and, having drunk it off, found myself restored to a new life. “Such is not my parching thirst that it is to be quenched with the limpid element of water, were I to swallow it in oceans:—Joy to that happy aspect whose eye can every morning contemplate such a countenance as thine. A person intoxicated with wine lies giddy and awake half the night; but if intoxicated with the cup-bearer (God), the day of judgment must be his dawn or morning.”
In the year that Sultan Mohammed Khowarazm-Shah had for some political reason chosen to make peace with the king of Khota, I entered the metropolitan mosque at Kashghar, and met a youth incomparably lovely, and exquisitely handsome; such as they have mentioned in resemblance of him:—“Thy master instructed thee in every bold and captivating grace; he taught thee coquetry and confidence, tyranny and violence.” I have seen no mortal with such a form and temper, stateliness and manner; perhaps he learned these fascinating ways from an angel.