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The King, delighted at the hopes of discovering the truth by means of this talisman, desired the old woman to fetch it. She accordingly went home, and taking a piece of paper, scrawled on it some unmeaning characters, folded it up, and tied it with a cord, and sealed it with wax; then hastened to the King, and desired him to preserve it carefully till night should afford an opportunity of trying its efficacy.

When it was night, the King watched until he found that the Queen was in bed; then gently approaching, and believing her to be asleep, he laid the talisman on her breast, and repeated the words which the old woman had taught him. The Queen, who had also received her lesson, still affecting the appearance of one asleep, immediately began to speak, and related all the circumstances of her story.

On hearing this the King was much affected, and tenderly embraced the Queen, who started from her bed as if perfectly unconscious of having revealed the secrets of her breast. He then blamed her for not having candidly acknowledged the circumstance of Farrukhzad's birth, who, he said, should have been considered as his own son.

All that night they passed in mutual condolence, and on the next morning the King sent for the person to whom he had delivered Farrukhzād, and desired him to point out the spot where his body lay, that he might perform the last duty to that unfortunate youth, and ask forgiveness from his departed spirit. The man replied: “It appears that your Majesty is ignorant of Farrukhzad's situation: he is at present in a place of safety; for although you ordered me to kill him, I ventured to disobey, and have concealed him in my house, from whence, if you permit, I shall immediately bring him." At this information the King was so delighted that he rewarded the man with a splendid robe, and sent with him several attendants to bring Farrukhzād to the palace.

On arriving in his presence, Farrukhzad threw himself at the King's feet, but he raised him in his arms and asked his forgiveness, and thus the affair ended in rejoicing and festivity.

"Now," said Bakhtyar, having concluded his story, "it appears that women are expert in stratagems; and if Farrukhzad had been put to death, according to the

King's command, what grief and sorrow would have been the consequence ! To avoid such," added he, "let not your Majesty be precipitate in ordering my execution."

The King resolved to wait another day, and Bakhtyar was sent back to prison.

66

CHAPTER VIII.

N the next morning, the Eighth Vizier, having
paid his compliments to the King, addressed

him on the subject of Bakhtyār, and said: Government resembles a tree, the root of which is legal punishment. Now, if the root of a tree become dry, the leaves will wither: why then should the punishment of Bakhtyar be any longer deferred?"

In consequence of this discourse, the King ordered the executioner to prepare himself, and Bakhtyar was brought from prison. When the unfortunate young man came before the King, he addressed him, and said: "If your Majesty will consider the consequences of haste and precipitancy, it will appear that they are invariably sorrow and repentance; as we find confirmed in the Story of the Jewel-Merchant."

The King expressed his desire of hearing the story

A

to which he alluded; and Bakhtyar began it accordingly, in the following manner :

STORY OF THE JEWEL-MERCHANT.

THERE was a certain jewel-merchant, a very wealthy man, and eminently skilled in the knowledge of precious stones. His wife, a very prudent and amiable woman, was in a state of pregnancy when it happened that the King sent a messenger to her husband, desiring his attendance at court, that he might consult him in the choice of jewels. The merchant received the King's messenger with all due respect, and immediately prepared to set out on his journey to the capital. When taking leave of his wife, he desired. her to remember him in her prayers; and, in case she should bring forth a boy, to call his name Bihrūz.

After this injunction he departed from his house, and at length arrived in the capital, where he waited on the King, and having paid his respects, was employed in selecting from a box of pearls those that were most valuable. The King was so much pleased with his skill and ingenuity, that he kept him constantly naer his own person, and entrusted to him

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