Puslapio vaizdai
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CHAPTER FIRST.

Containing the History of Husn Banu, the daughter of Burzak, the Merchant-She is expelled from the King of Khorassan's capital, and banished from her country-Departs for the Desert, where she finds the treasures of the seven kings-Her Beneficence towards Mankind --She becomes renowned, and is beloved by Munir, an Assyrian Prince -laitim hears of the circumstance-His visit to Husn Banu on ac count of her seven remarkable questions, which he undertakes to answer. NCE upon a time there reigned over the kingdom of Khorassan a monarch named Kurdan Shah, who maintained an army of five hundred thousand horsemen, beside ten thousand archers, couriers, and musketeers. Each of his provinces he entrusted to the care of one of his nobles, and his justice and equity

were such that he made the lion and the lamb drink at the same fountain; moreover, he never oppressed his subjects.

During his reign there lived a merchant named Burzak, who possessed great wealth and estate, and whose agents travelled in all directions in pursuit of commerce. He was very intimate with the King, who had great regard for him. It came to pass that Burzak the merchant died, leaving no children beside a daughter, named Husn Banu, who inherited the whole of his wealth. When upon his death-bed, Burzak bequeathed his daughter to the care of the King, who, with much kindness, Faid, "She is now my daughter;" and he accordingly adopted her as his own, and secured to Husn Banu all the property her father died possessed of.

Husn Banu was blessed with much wisdom, and looked upon worldly goods as so much dross. When the day's of mourning were over she began to dispense her wealth and treasures in charity, and the frequently remarked "that we ought not to entangle ourselves with the contaminations of the world."

One day she called her nurse, and said to her, "Oh! my dear mother, it is not my intention to marry yet, pray tell me by what means I can protect myself from the snares of worldly men, for some plan must be devised ?"

The nurse

replied, "I have seven questions which you shall put to every man who desires to become your husband; whosoever shall answer them properly, and shali agree to the conditions they impose, him you may accept. The seven questions are these:—

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1st. What I saw once I long to see a second time.

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2nd. Do good, and cast it upon the waters.

3rd. Do no evil; if you do, evil will befall you.

“4th. He who speaks the truth has nothing to fear.
"5th. Let him bring an account of the mountain of Nida.

the size of a duck's egg.

6th.

"7th. Let him bring a description of the bath of Bad-gard."

PRICE ONE PENNY.

Husn Banu greatly approved of these questions.

One day, when seated in her balcony, and viewing the surrounding prospect, a dervise attended by forty slaves passed by, and his feet trod not on the ground.

When Husn Banu saw the pious man she said to her nurse"Oh, mother, who is this high personage that travels so magnificently, and whose foot treads not on the ground unless it be covered with carpets of gold and silver?" The nurse replied

"Life of thy mother, this dervise is the King's spiritual guide. Kurdan Shah, who visits this holy man every month, submits he is a devout man, and holds communion with the Creator." himself to him, and acts according to his advice. It is thought that

Then Husn Banu said

"My dear nurse, I have a desire to invite him to this house to an entertainment, and show him every mark of respect." To this proposal the nurse gave her assent.

Husn Banu then called one of her attendants, and said to him"Go thou to the presence of that illustrious man Azrak, and convey to his Eminence this my desire and request: Say to him that a certain lady invites his Holiness to an entertainment; if by an act of condescension so becoming to the great, and of benevolence so becoming to the pious, he should deign to visit this humble lady, it will give her much pleasure."

communicated to him her request, the pious man at once consented, When the attendant of Husn Banu waited on the dervise, and saying, "To-morrow I will assuredly come."

dervise would come next day, and the news greatly delighted her. Then the servant brought intelligence to Husn Bamu that the She also prepared as an offering to him nine suits of silken garments She then gave orders to prepare all sorts of viands for his repast. embroidered with gold, and seven trays of pure burnished gold, also several silver baskets filled with fruit.

On the following morning the dervise, with his forty attendants,

proceeded to the house of Husn Banu.

he possessed the heart of Sheytan, the fiend. When going on a Now, although this dervise had the outward aspect of a man, yet journey he would not deign to tread on the ground, for his slaves he stepped; and, marching in this style, he arrived at Husn Banu's covered his path with carpets of gold and silver, and on these only

house.

Now when Husn Banu heard that the dervise had arrived, she ordered the court-yard to be covered with carpets embroidered with gold and silver, on which the pious man might walk.

Then this dervise of high degree stepped upon the carpets, and, entering the house, was seated on a throne befitting a king.

Husn Banu brought for the acceptance of the dervise, first the trays full of gold and silver coins, which he would not accept, of saying, "These carved pieces of worldly dross, are of no use to

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me.

When they saw that the dervise would not accept the money they

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