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night were employed in devising stratagems by means of which he might obtain it.

After two or three months spent in this manner, Sipahsālār assembled all the chief officers of the army, and informed them that, confiding in their secrecy and fidelity, he would communicate to them an affair of considerable importance. They all assured him of their attachment and regard; and declared that the flourishing state of the empire was the result of his wisdom, prudent management, and bravery. To this Sipahsālār replied: "You all know what actions I have performed, and what troubles I have undergone, to raise the empire to its present state of glory and prosperity but what has been my recompense? You have seen how the ungrateful monarch carried off my daughter." Having thus spoken, a shower of tears fell from his eyes; and the chiefs who were assembled about him said: "We have been acquainted with this matter for some time, and it has given us great concern. But now the moment is arrived when we may depose this king."

Then Sipahsālār threw open the doors of his treasury, and distributed considerable sums of money amongst

the soldiers; so that in a little time he assembled a multitude of troops, almost innumerable. He then resolved to attack the King, and, with that intention, seized, during the night, upon all the avenues of the city, both on the right hand and on the left.

The King, astonished and alarmed at the tumult, consulted with the Queen, saying: "What can we do in this misfortune? For it is a night to which no morning shall succeed, and a war in which there is not any hope of peace."-The Queen replied: "Our only remedy for this evil is to fly and seek protection in the dominions of some other prince, and solicit his assistance.”—Āzādbakht approved of this counsel, and resolved to seek an asylum from the King of Kirman, who was renowned for his generosity throughout the world.

In the palace there was a certain door which opened into a subterraneous passage leading towards the desert. The King gave orders that two horses should be instantly saddled; and having put on his armour, and taken from the royal treasury many precious jewels and fastened them in his girdle, he placed the Queen on one of the horses, and mounting the other himself,

they went forth privately through the door abovementioned, and directed their course towards the desert.

Now it happened that the Queen had been for nine months in a state of pregnancy; and, after travelling during a whole day and night in the desert, they arrived at the side of a well, whose waters were more bitter than poison, and unpleasant as the revolutions of inconstant Fortune. by the pains of labour; whilst heat and thirst reduced both the King and her to despair: their mouths were parched up for want of water, and they had no hopes of saving their lives; for the sword of the enemy was behind them, and before them the sand of the desert. In this forlorn situation the Queen said: "As it is impossible for me to proceed any farther, I entreat you to save your own life, and find out some place where water may be obtained. Though I must perish here, you may be saved; and a hundred thousand lives such as mine are not in value equal to a single hair of the King's head."—Āzādbakht replied: "Soul of the world! I can relinquish riches and resign a throne; but it is impossible to abandon my beloved: her who is dearer to me than existence itself."

Here the Queen was affected

B*

Thus were they engaged in conversation, when suddenly the Queen brought forth a son; in beauty he was lovely as the moon, and from the lustre of his eyes the dreary desert was illumined. The Queen, pressing the infant to her bosom, began to perform the duties of a mother, when the King told her that she must not fix her affections on the child, as it would be impossible to take him with them: “We must, therefore," added the King, "leave the infant on the brink of this well, and commit him to the providence of the Almighty, whose infinite kindness. will save him from destruction."-They accordingly wrapped up the child in a cloak embroidered with gold and fastened a bracelet of ten large pearls round his shoulders; then, leaving him on the brink of the well, they both proceeded on their journey to Kirman, whilst their hearts were afflicted with anguish on account of their helpless infant. When they ap proached the capital of Kirman, the King of that place was informed of their arrival. He sent his servants to welcome them, and received them with the greatest respect and hospitality; he provided a princely banquet, and assembled all the minstrels, and sent his own son and two attendants to wait on Āzādbakht.

During the feast, whilst the musicians were employed in singing and playing, and the guests in drinking, whenever the wine came round to Azadbakht, his eyes were filled with tears. The King of Kirman, perceiving this, desired him to banish sorrow, and to entertain a hope that Heaven might yet be propitious to him. Āzādbakht replied: "O King of the world! how can I be cheerful, whilst thus an exile from my home, and whilst my kingdom and my treasures are in the possession of my enemies ?”

The King of Kirman then inquired into the particulars of Āzādbakht's misfortunes, which he related from beginning to end. The heart of the King of Kirman was moved with compassion; and during that whole day he endeavoured, by every sort of amusement, to divert the mind of his guest from dwelling on the past misfortunes. The next day he ordered a powerful army to be led forth, and placed it under the command of Azadbakht, who marched immediately towards the capital of his own dominions. On the King's approach, Sipahsālār, who had usurped his authority, fled in confusion, and all the troops, the peasants, and other inhabitants paid homage to Azadbakht, and entreated his forgiveness. He par

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