’Saadie resisted his friend’s offer for some time, using arguments which, instead of altering his friend’s purpose, only strengthened the desire to secure this amiable man as the husband of his daughter. Saadie assured him he was sensible of the offence his friend might give to the opinions of his people, by the proposal of uniting his daughter to a man of another faith, and that their prejudices would bring innumerable evils on his good name by such an alliance. “No,” said Saadie, “I cannot consent to such a measure. I have already been a great trouble to you, if not a burden; let me depart, for I cannot consent to draw down on the head of my friend the censures of his tribe, and, perhaps, in after-time, disappointments. I have, indeed, no desire to marry; my heart and mind are otherways engaged.”
’The friends often discussed the subject ere Saadie gave way to the earnest solicitations of the Jew, to whose happiness the grateful heart of Saadie was about to be sacrificed when he reluctantly consented to become the husband of the young Jewess. The marriage ceremony was performed according to the Jewish rites, when Saadie was overpowered with the caresses and munificence of his friend and father-in-law.
’A very short season of domestic peace resulted to him from the alliance. The young lady had been spoiled by the over-indulgence of her doating parent, her errors of temper and mind having never been corrected. Proud, vindictive, and arrogant, she played the part of tyrant to her meek and faultless husband. She strove to rouse his temper by taunts, revilings, and indignities that required more than mortal nature to withstand replying to, or bear with composure.
’Still Saadie went on suffering in silence; although the trials he had to endure undermined his health, he never allowed her father to know the misery he had entailed on himself by this compliance with his well-meant wishes; nor was the secret cause of his altered appearance suspected by the kind-hearted Jew, until by common report his daughter’s base behaviour was disclosed to the wretched father, who grieved for the misfortunes he had innocently prepared for the friend of his heart.
’Saadie, it is said, entreated the good Jew to allow of a divorce from the Jewess, which, however, was not agreed to; and when his sufferings had so increased that his tranquillity was destroyed, fearing the loss of reason would follow, he fled from Aleppo in disguise and retraced his steps to Shiraaz, where in solitude his peace of mind was again restored, for there he could converse with his merciful Creator and Protector uninterrupted by the strife of tongues.’
 Hudhud, the lapwing, hoopoe. In the
Koran (xxvii. 20, with Sale’s
note) the bird is described as carrying a letter from Solomon to the
Queen of Sheba. On another occasion, when Solomon was lost in the
desert, he sent it to procure for him water for ablution.