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tinued war against infidels, and for amiability of disposition followed in the footsteps of his upright predecessors. On the decease of this caliph, the avaricious unbelievers, thinking it a good moment to make an attack upon the faithful, collected all their forces, and took council upon their future operations. Great divisions,' said they, • exist among the Islamites; and as they are each engaged in their own pleasures and amusements, now is a good occasion to attack them.'
With this idea they resolved upon hostilities. Now one of the chiefs of the unbelievers was an aged man, of great intelligence and experience, who, from being their elder, directed them in their undertaking. His co-religionists arose and proceeded to the dwel. ling of this individual, who, when they asked counsel, answered them : 'Your enterprise is neither just nor worthy, and would be rejected by sensible people, for it has been seen in numerous works that, notwithstanding the people of Islam are apparently divided, when opposed they unite and act together. Therefore you had better attend to your own affairs, and give over this wild undertaking.'
They followed the old man's good advice, and were governed by his counsels.
One of the Abasside Caliphs, Memoon, was celebrated for his superior knowledge of sciences, the excellence of his moral qualities, his eloquence, and for his profound sense of justice and equity. He was accustomed to travel about his provinces, and by inquiry learn the condition and state of his people.
In the 20th of the Hegireh, he took his seat upon the throne of the Caliphat. It is written in the work of that very correct historian, Ibin el Juzee, that Yąhiza bin Ektem, relates as follows:. 'I was once with the Caliph Mamoon, in Damascus; it was near the time of paying the troops their monthly pay; and he, the Caliph, desired to make war; but upon examining his treasury, he, finding that it did not contain sufficient money for that purpose, was greatly distressed. One day he was seated near a reservoir of water with his brother Mutasim Billah, and several of the most notable gentlemen of Damascus, engaged in conversation, when the two'money.cases arrived, and were brought into his presence. The Caliph turning to Yahiya bin Ektem and the others, said : Come let us have a look at the cases, and make merry the hearts of those who have brought them.' With these words he arose, and followed by his companions, proceeded to a high seat, where he reposed himself. Many other individuals also followed the Caliph, to see the money.cases, which were opened before him with much state and ceremony.
The Caliph turned to Mohammed bin Daoud and said : Since our treasure has arrived, and so many persons are assembled to see it, it would be a pity were we to take it and enjoy ourselves in secret; particularly, since, it having been the object of their attention and cupidity, they would return dissatisfied. So he commanded that
every indivi. dual, each one according to his condition and grade, should be presented with from one hundred thousand pieces of gold, down to five thousand and two hundred, as a royal gift. Now when all those around him had each received this amount, and their number was noted, it was found that they had received in all one hundred and fiftyeight thousand pieces of gold. With the remainder the Caliph ordered the soldiers to be paid, after which, saluting the people assembled, he returned to his royal abode.
Now, from this incident, judge of the power and majesty and the grandeur of the house of Abbas.
One of the Abbassides, Mustaeen Billah, was considered as one of the most noble and generous among men, and one of the most just and valiant of that house. One of the great men of the state, named Ahmed bin Hemdoon, relates that Mustaeen Billah erected a most beautiful palace on the banks of the Tigris at Bagdad, and that his respected mother had a carpet woven for it, on the silk of which she had worked in gold and silver thread the figures of all kinds of animals and birds. The figures were all of the purest metals, their eyes rubies and turquoises and other precious stones ; indeed, so rich was the carpet, that she had spent the sum of one hundred and thirty thousand dinars upon it, and the instruments and other articles, necessary for its construction, were registered, the whole costing twenty thousand dinars.
When the palace was finished, his mother made it known to him, saying : I have a request to make of you ; come some day with your suite and inspect the palace, amuse yourself, and afterward do as you like best.' Mustaeen Billah neglected to go that day. Ahmed bin Hemdoon narrates : That one of the Caliph's suite named Atargee Hashemee, told him, that the palace was actually strewed with jewelry, and that they ought to go to see it. So, adds he, Atargee and myself went and the door-keeper let us in. We had never seen any palace so ornamented before. Among other remarkable things was a gazelle of gold; its eyes were red rubies. This I took and put into my sleeve, and thus left the palace. We went before the Caliph, and commencing to praise the palace and its incomparable carpet, and the other strange things that we had seen, begged him before giving any part of it away to pay it a visit. While yet praising it, Atargee remarked, that I had captured a gazelle ; so, I took it out from my sleeve, and shewed it to all present.
The Caliph, addressing the courtiers around him, said: “Those of you who love me are at liberty to go and take from the palace whatever you please.' So we all arose and proceeded to the palace, where we filled our pockets and breasts with the most costly things it contained, after which we returned to the Caliph, who was in excellent spirits and evinced his gayety. The other persons present now said : What is our crime, 0! Émir of the Faithful ?' on which he answered them: “Go, you are all at liberty to do the same;' at which they all arose and plundered the palace; the delighted Caliph at the same time observing them from a window. The courtiers and
other persons present became rich, and the Caliph noticing that one of them, named Ibin Mihleb, bore away a package of odoriferous musk, and another of amber, exclaimed; Where are you going ?' to which being answered: To the bath,' he was greatly pleased, and ordered all his servants to go also, and dividing the carpet among themselves, be merry.
In this interval, his mother arrived and said : Could I have only seen you once on that carpet, my labor and pains would have been amply requited.' The Caliph, touched with her tenderness, ordered the whole expense to be paid her out of his treasury, and that another carpet, just like the former, should be made, for which he allotted one hundred and thirty thousand dinars. A richer one than the first was therefore made for the new palace, with other furniture correspond. ingly valuable. After this the Caliph, attended by all his courtiers, spent some time at the palace in merry enjoyment, and there gave permission to them to take that carpet likewise, adding: Our portion is health, without which, wealth and riches are worthless : let our friends and followers partake of whatever is ours.'
So great and generous a prince was Mustaeen Billah.
It is related in the history called the Mirror of the Age,' that there was in the government of the Abbassides a man among the ranks of the Princes of Arabia, who was famous for his hospitality, generosity and liberality, and one whose door was ever open to the needy. This person's name was Maan bin Zaid. His jurisdiction was extended, and his courage was renowned from the region of Damascus to Bagdad.
This Ameer was once amusing himself with a few friends in a most incomparably beautiful garden, when a poet of much celebrity and talent came in search of an opportunity to make known to the Ameer an injustice which he had suffered. None offered, or even when any one was found who could present him to the Ameer, a pretext was wanting to excuse his visit. Finally, as there was a reservoir in the garden, the source of which was beyond the walls, the poet, taking a smooth piece of board, wrote on it the following lines explicative of his feelings, and putting the board into the stream, let it be borne down to the reservoir. It so happened that the Ameer was seated near the reservoir, and when the board reached him, seizing it in his hand, he read : Oh, generosity of Mâân, make my necessities be heard; for I have no other intermediate than thee between me and Mâân.'
The worthy Mâân exclaimed : ' Hasten ; go and see who is beyond the enclosure, and bring him before me.'
Immediately some of those near him sprang to their feet, and finding the poet, brought him before the Ameer, who treated him kindly and civilly. The Ameer inquired after his health, etc., and after quiet. ing his mind, asked him how many days since he had come to the city.
• It is three days,' answered the poet, that I have been endeavoring to speak with you.' VOL. XXXIV.
* Please pardon our negligence,' continued the Ameer; at the same time, endeavoring to conciliate his good will, he ordered the sum of three hundred thousand aktchas to be presented to him, as an indemnity for the delay.
That day the Ameer spent in merriment, and at night returned to his residence. On the following day he caused his guest the poet to be inquired after, and invited him to accompany him to his garden, where he feasted him, and after evincing his respect for him, presented him with the sum of one hundred thousand aktchas more.
Finally, for three days the poet received the same treatment, each day being presented with a like sum, greatly to his astonishment. At length he wrote Mâân a letter full of thanks and good wishes, and on the following day set out for his own country; 80 that when Mâân sent again to invite him to his presence, he had disappeared, leaving only the said letter; from which it was evident his modesty had constrained him to depart
. At this Mâân was grieved, and made an oath, swearing that if the poet had not departed he would daily have given him a hundred thousand aktchas until not a coin remained in his treasury. Strange,' added he, 'that he should go away before informing us of it.'
In a work entitled “The Annals of the Generous,' it is written, and is a fact therein well narrated by that correct historian of past times, Abdallah bin Jaafeer Radavee, that one day he and Abon Dahich Ansaree and Hassan were journeying from Mecca the venerated to Medina the enlightened, when they were overtaken by a heavy fall of rain. While in search of a place of shelter, they perceived in a plain near to Damascus an Arab's tent, to which they bent their steps, hoping therein to find an asylum. An Arab coming out, he invited them in, and they spent the night there. The Arab killed a goat, his wife prepared it for her husband's guests, and spread before them a good meal. That night they ate and drank with pleasure, and slept comfortably; and on the morrow, desiring to depart, Abdallah said to the Arab: "You have been good and kind to us; we therefore request that some day when you come to Mecca you will be our guest, and allow us to do as much for you.'
This request he strengthened by entreaty, and the Arab answering • On my head and eyes be it!' they departed. .
Now some years after this incident the Arab became reduced to poverty, and the world was subtle to him. So his wife one day said to him : : If we go to Medina, perhaps the persons to whom we ever offered hospitality may succor us.'
• But we are ignorant of their names,' answered the husband.
Inquire for Ibin ed Deyar,' continued she; I saw signs of generosity in their faces, and hope your visit will not be fruitless.'
The Arab therefore mounted his female camel and proceeded to Medina, where he inquired for Ibin ed Deyar. It so happened that Imaam Hussain was just then passing; and when the Arab inquired of him for his old guests, he answered that he was his uncle's son, and inquired : How do you happen to know him ?'
The Arab answered by saying that once he had been his guest.
The Imaam, on hearing this, exclaimed : “Welcome, oh, Arab brother ! he has often spoken in praise of you;' and calling a slave, ordered him to conduct the Arab to his own dwelling, where he showed him every attention, and presented him with a hundred camels. Soon afterward the Imaam Hassan arrived, followed by a train of servants, and he added a hundred camels more to the gift. Abdallah bin Jaafeer Radavee next came in, who gave him his hands in salutation, and presented him with a hundred thousand dirhems, sending fifty thousand more to his wife. Immediately after this Abon Dahich Ansaree entered, who excused himself from doing what his friends had done, but ordering the camels given him to be brought before them, he loaded them all with dates of Medina.
Finally, the Arab left Medina rich and happy, and returned to his tribe with great state and magnificence, and was never more troubled with the inconvenience of adversity.
When the purple tinge of day
Fades amid the golden even, And like light upon our way,
Brighter, better thoughts are given ; Links that form a chain to Heaven :
When the stars with silver light
Sparkle on the brow of Night, Glancing on the waves below,
That in beauty glide along,
Into bursts of low-toned song,
Stirs amid the chestnut trees,
Eyes of violet lustre deop; Hair that floats so goldenly,
'Mid whose waves the sunbeams sleep; Mouth that wears the same sweet smile,
Like the gentle starlight beaming, And my thoughts are sad the while,
Monuments of past hours seeming.
Pure and high in its firm trust,
Lingering like a golden ray,
Passed like fading light away.
When thy shadows gather round,
Heeding neither sight nor sound; Rover on the golden wing
Of sweet Fancy's pinions bright, I, with trembling joy, can bring
Buried treasures to the light.
Those who still, a faithful band,
Gather round our household hearth,
Winning me again to earth;
That because at silent even,
Which with trembling hand was given.
Ever as the shadows fall,
And the gathering twilight throws Darker hues upon the wall,
And the sunset deeper glows, Glows the brighter ere it fades
Into calm and quiet even ; Mingled are the lights and shades
Of the thoughts to that hour given. Now that soft and gentle hand
Once again is placed in mine; Memory, with her golden wand,
Brings the love of auld lang syne,'
Earth fades quickly from my sight,
And the fair, the early dead,
Comes to me with noiseless tread.
On my sight but for a space;
Vanishes the cherub face.
I'm within the silent room,
Power to chase the gathering gloom.