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the death-blow to astrology by his celebrated squib, entitled "Prediction for the year 1718, by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.," in which he ridiculed the prophetic almanac-makers of the day. Astrology having permeated all science and literature, it is not surprising that many of its peculiar terms should have become embodied in our language, as, for example, in the words consider and contemplate, disaster and disastrous; and we still speak of jovial, mercurial, and saturnine men.—Kepler, in the preface to his Rudolphine tables, observes that Astrology, though a fool, was the daughter of a wise mother, to whose support and life the foolish daughter was indispensable.*

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Page 109. "In the meantime he caused a subterraneous dwelling to be constructed, to which he sent the boy, with a nurse. -Sir William Ouseley has omitted to mention that the boy was born on the following day, according to Lescallier. -Many instances of a father trying to belie the predictions of soothsayers occur in Eastern fiction, and also in classical and European legends. The story of Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos, by Eurydice, who was confined in a brazen tower by her father, who had been told by an oracle that his daughter's son should put him to death, is well known. The underground dwelling of our present tale may be compared with that described in chapter 79 of the English Gesta Romanorum; also that in the Arabian Nights (Story of the Second Kalender); and in the Bagh o Bahār (Tale of the Second Dervish), a young prince, in consequence of the prediction of astrologers that he is menaced with great danger until his fourteenth year, is confined in a vault, lined with felt, so that he should not behold the sun or moon. In Mr Ralston's Tibetan Tales,

* Should the reader feel any curiosity to ascertain the sentiments entertained by Muhammadans regarding the influence of the planets upon men's dispositions and fortunes, he will find the fullest information on the subject in Qanoon-e-Islam, or the Customs of the Moosulmans of India. By Jaffer Shureef. Translated by G. A. Herklots, M.D. London, 1832.

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under the title of "The Fulfilled Prophecy," the diviners declare that "a son should be born who should take the King's life and usurp the royal power, setting the diadem on his own head." In the Norse story of "Rich Peter the Pedlar,' a prediction that his daughter should one day wed a poor man's son is fulfilled in spite of many efforts to defeat it – - a story which seems to have been adapted from the Gesta Romanorum, Tale xx of Swan's translation. And in the Netherlandish Legend of "St Julian the Ferryman," it is predicted that Julian shall one day put his own father and mother to death; and although the unhappy youth flies into a far distant country, he cannot flee from his terrible destiny, for many years afterwards the prediction proves only too true. +

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Page 110. "Keeper [of pen and ink] to the secretary (dav dari).-The Orientals are great admirers of caligraphy. Jamshid, the Pīshdādian king, in respect to scribes and writers, thus expressed himself: "As the monarch's sword establishes the foundation of his kingdom, so the tongue of the scribe's pen transacts the concerns of the faith:

"The sharp-edged sword and pen are twins; the reigning monarch,

By reliance on these two supporters, elevates his neck on high." And the Persian Vizier Nizām declared that his cap and inkhorn, the badges of his office, were connected by the divine decree with the throne and diadem of the Sultan (Gibbon, ch. Ivii). It is worthy of remark that Mirzā placed before a person's name means "a man of the pen;" but if it follow, it means Shāh-Zāda, a prince. For different styles of writing see A.F.S. Herbin's Essai de Calligraphie Orientale, Paris, 1803, 4to; Chardin's Voyages en Perse, et autres lieux de l'Orient, t. ii, ch. iv, pp. 107-110; and Lane's Modern Egyptians, vol. i, ch. ix. (See also second Note, page 202.)

* Dr Dasent's Popular Tales from the Norse.

Thorpe's Northern Mythology, vol. iii.

Page 113. "His hair stand on end."-Thus Job, iv, 15: "The hair of my flesh stood up ;" and Homer, speaking of Priam, when terrified at the appearance of Mercury: "His hair stood upright on his bending limbs ;" and the Ghost, addressing Hamlet, i, 4:

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Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.

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Page 114.. "Assembled all the people by proclamation that they might take warning from the young man's fate. But the Persians require no invitation to scenes of this nature. "The curiosity," says Dr. Chodzko,* "which gathers crowds of people to witness the execution of culprits in Europe is very feeble in comparison with what can be seen in Asia on similar occasions. There many of those present are not only fond of looking at, but even take an active part in tormenting the condemned, though they never saw him before, or have any motive of revenge. stab the poor dying wretch with a knife, or at least to spit in his face, is an innocent pleasure, which even the women do not refuse themselves. Those who are moved by revenge are still more savage. Riza Kūlī Khān, the governor of Yezd, having expelled from that town one of the sons of the Shāh (in 1830), was afterwards taken prisoner and sent to Tehran. The Shāh gave the culprit up to the offended prince, who, after promising to pardon and forget all, invited him to supper in the harem, and there stabbed him with his own hands. His wives, and the maid-servants of the harem, cut to pieces the body, weltering in blood, with scissors, and pricked and tortured him till he gave up his last breath! I can see no reason for this but their brutalising education. A child begins by wringing off the heads of living sparrows. When he grows up they buy him a little sword, and exercise the boy in cutting in two halves, first living fowls, then lambs, sheep, and so on. Grown-up people consider

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it as a very fashionable pastime to snatch a ram from the flock, order two of their servants to hold it by the head and feet, and placing a bundle of straw underneath, in order to prevent the sword from striking against the ground, to cut the bleating animal to pieces while it is alive. The most famous of such swordsmen in Persia was Sulayman Mirza, son of Fatah 'Ali Shah. He has often, in the presence of the Shāh and numerous witnesses, with one blow of his huge scimitar cut in two an ass, and severed the head of a camel from its neck."


In Lescallier's version, for the King of Persia we have the King of Arabia.-In Cazotte's rendering, under the title of "The Sultan Hebraim [Ibrahīm] and his Son, or The Predestined," is found a considerably amplified but very interesting version of this story. After the young prince has been discovered and carried away from the underground palace by a huntsman (not the King's secretary, but “ man of rank and fortune"), the incidents are totally different from those of our version. Abaquir-the young prince-is carefully brought up by his master, and in course of time becomes accomplished in all the exercises befitting a noble youth. One day he accompanies his master to the chase, when they are suddenly attacked by robbers, who slay the elder of the hunters, and having severely wounded Abaquir, leave him for dead. Recovering after a long period of insensibility, he rises and walks onwards through the forest, till he meets with a dervish, who takes him to his cave and treats him with kindness and hospitality. This dervish proves to be a wicked magician, who prevails upon Abaquir to descend into the bowels of a mountain to bring up precious stones, which the false dervish having drawn safely up, the poor youth is then cruelly abandoned to his fate. From this cavern Abaquir escapes, and after a long journey he reaches a city, where a kind-hearted man receives him into his house, and he remains with him some time.

Weary at length of inaction, he resolves to go out to hunt, and meets with a party of robbers, whose real avocation he does not know, and joins them—the robbers binding him to fidelity by a solemn oath. Too late he discovers the true character of his companions, but is compelled to accompany them on their plundering expeditions. The daring outrages perpetrated by this gang of robbers become so notorious that the Sultan Hebraim marches against them at the head of some chosen troops. The robbers are utterly defeated, but the Sultan himself is grievously wounded. On returning to his capital he sends for his astrologers, and angrily asks them whether in their predictions they had foreseen that he should die by the hand of a robber. They affirm that what the stars had predicted could not prove false, and suggest that the Sultan should ascertain who it was, among the robbers, that wounded him, and then inquire into his birth and history. Abaquir, his own son, is the robber who inflicted the fatal wound; and after he has given the best account he could of his early years, and shown the scars of the lion's claws on his breast, the Sultan submits to the decree of Fate, and dies shortly after declaring Abaquir his successor.—In Habicht's Arabian text (which agrees with Cazotte in nearly all the details) it is stated that the King went once every month to the opening of the underground dwelling, let down a rope, and drew up his son, embraced and kissed and played with him awhile, then let him down again.


Page 116. "Sent an order to the Viziers," &c. The lithographed text says: "Instantly he commanded Bakhtyar to be fetched. The King with his own hands drew off the fetters, brought him before the Queen, and put on him a kabā [see Note p. 135] and a kulāh”—that is, a robe and a turban. -Certain officers of the King of Persia's household who wear gold tiaras are called Zarrin-Kullāhān, Golden Caps.

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