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CHAPTER VI.

N the following day the sixth Vizier, having paid his respects to the King, represented the

danger of letting an enemy live when in one's

power, and, by many artful speeches, induced his Majesty to order the execution of Bakhtyär, who was immediately brought from the prison. When he came before the King, he persisted in declaring his innocence, and advised him not to be precipitate, like King Dādīn, in putting to death a person on the malicious accusation of an enemy. The King, desirous of hearing the story to which Bakhtyar alluded, ordered him to relate it; and he began as follows :

STORY OF KING DĀDĪN AND HIS TWO VIZIERS.

THERE was a certain King named Dādin, who had two viziers, Kārdār and Kāmgār; and the daughter of Kāmgār was the most lovely creature of the age. It

happened that the King, proceeding on a hunting excursion, took along with him the father of this beautiful damsel, and left the charge of government in the hands of Kārdār.

One day, during the warm season, Kārdār, passing near the palace of Kāmgār, beheld this fair damsel walking in the garden, and became enamoured of her beauty; but having reason to believe that her father would not consent to bestow her on him, he resolved to devise some stratagem whereby he might obtain the object of his desires. "At the King's return from the chase," said he, "I'll represent the charms of this damsel in such glowing colours, that he will not fail to demand her in marriage; and I'll then contrive to excite his anger against her, in consequence of which he shall deliver her to me for punishment; and thus my designs shall be accomplished."

One day after the King's return from the hunting party, he desired Kārdār to inform him of the principal events which had occurred during his absence. Kārdār replied that his Majesty's subjects had all been solicitous for his prosperity; but that he had himself seen one of the most astonishing objects of

the universe. The King's curiosity being thus excited, he ordered Kārdār to describe what he had seen; and Kārdār dwelt with such praises on the fascinating charms of Kāmgār's daughter, that the King became enamoured of her, and said: "But how is this damsel to be obtained ?"-Kārdār replied: "There is not any difficulty in this business; it is not necessary to employ either money or messengers: your Majesty needs only to acquaint her father with your wishes."

The King approved of this counsel, and having sent for Kāmgār, mentioned the affair to him accordingly. Kāmgār, with due submission, declared that if he possessed a hundred daughters they should all be at his Majesty's command; but begged permission to retire and inform the damsel of the honour designed for her. Having obtained leave, he hastened to his daughter, and related to her all that had passed between the King and him. The damsel expressed her dislike to the proposed connection; and her father, dreading the King's anger in case of a refusal, knew not how to act. "Contrive some delay," said she; "solicit leave of absence for a few days, and let us fly from this country!" Kāmgār approved of this advice; and having waited on the King, obtained leave to absent

himself from court for ten days, under pretence of making the preparations necessary for a female on the eve of matrimony; and when night came on, he fled from the city with his daughter.

Next day the King was informed of their flight; in consequence of which he sent off two hundred servants to seek them in various directions, and the officious Kārdār set out also in pursuit of them. After ten days they were surprised by the side of a well, taken and bound, and brought before the King, who, in his danger, dashed out the brains of Kāmgār; then looking on the daughter of the unfortunate man, her beauty so much affected him, that he sent her to his palace, and appointed servants to attend her, besides a cook, who, at his own request, was added to her establishment. After some time Kārdār became impatient, and enraged at the failure of his project; but he resolved to try the success of another scheme.

It happened that the encroachments of a powerful enemy rendered the King's presence necessary among the troops; and on setting out to join the army, he committed the management of affairs and the government of the city to Kārdār, whose mind was wholly

F

filled with stratagems for getting the daughter of Kāmgār into his power.

One day he was passing near the palace, and discovered her sitting alone on the balcony; to attract her attention, he threw up a piece of brick or tile, and on her looking down to see from whence it came she beheld Kārdār. He addressed her with the usual salutation, which she returned. He then began to declare his admiration of her beauty, and the violence of his love, which deprived him of repose both day and night; and concluded by urging her to elope with him, saying that he would take as much money as they could possibly want; or, if she would consent, he was ready to destroy the King by poison, and seize upon the throne himself.

The daughter of Kāmgār replied to this proposal by upbraiding Kārdār with his baseness and perfidy. When he asked her how she could ever fix her affections on the man who had killed her father, she answered, that such had been the will of God, and she was resolved to submit accordingly. Having spoken thus, she 'retired. Kārdār, fearing lest she should relate to the King what had passed between them,

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