Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/36

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29
PERSIA.

he would sacrifice the life of Oozra at the shrine of thy perfections. If Yoosoof beheld thy charms, he would think no more of Zuleekha. Come to me, and comply with my wishes; give me no farther promises of to-morrow. When the mistress of Khaqan[1] approached him with a hundred graces, one glance captivated his heart."

The second is as follows:—"When I yielded my heart, she began her cruelty, yet she terms this tyranny faithfulness. Call not thine eyes by their name, for truly they are the source of affliction; the loftiness of thy stature betrays thy pride. I shall never complain of thee, my love; for however great thy cruelty, it must be proper. Destroy me at once, for the height of my ambition is to die by the hand of my mistress. Khaqan has watched near thy dwelling until he has fallen into old age, and still thou maliciously callest him faithless."

In the library of the king of France, there is a collection of the poems of the Persian monarch. It is a handsome thick octavo volume, most beautifully written, which M. Joannin, interpreter to the French embassy to Persia, received from Feth Ali Shah himself, and presented to the noble establishment, to which it now belongs.


SECTION III.

OF THE ROYAL FAMILY.

Under this head, we comprehend the king's sons only. We know not the precise number of the royal offspring at present; but in 1814, Feth Ali Shah had sixty-five sons, and about the like number of daughters. It has sometimes happened, that several women have made him a father in one and the same night. One day, while Mr. Morier was at Teheran, in his first visit to Persia, six of his women produced his majesty six children, four boys and two girls: hence the only wonder is, that his family is not still more numerous.

It has been customary with some of the Persian monarchs, to deprive their children of sight, lest they should prove rebellious subjects, leaving but one unmutilated, as heir to the throne: while others have been content with dooming them to perpetual imprisonment in the seraglio. Feth Ali has not imitated the barbarity of the former practice, or the injustice of the latter: several of his sons who have arrived at manhood occupy high posts in the empire, and are training in the art of government under experienced ministers, to whose guidance the king consigns them.


  1. A title equivalent to Great Emperor.