Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/181

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kallioun within it, he descended, made the ambassador a very handsome acknowledgment for so magnificent a present, ordered the Ameen-ad-Dowlah to purchase six large horses to draw it. Instead, however, of being used, it was put into a warehouse, where it was bricked up, and where it is likely to remain.

Pietro della Valle relates, that when he was at lspahan, the English gave a superb carriage to Shah Abbas, who looked at it once: it was then put away, and never seen afterwards.



Djemshid, one of the most illustrious of the ancient monarchs of Persia, instituted a festival in celebration of the entrance Of the sun into the sign of Aries, the moment at which the solar year commences.

This festival, called Nowroose, or new day, the ancient Persians held on the first of the month of Ferverdyn, corresponding with March, with which their year began. The rejoicings on this occasion lasted six days. On the morning of the first day of the Nowroose, a youth of handsome person, representing the new year, entered the king's chamber, at the moment of the sun's appearance above the horizon. "Who art thou?" asked the king. "Whence comest thou? Whither geest thou? What is thy name?"—" I am the happy, the blessed," replied the youth: "God hath sent me hither, and I bring with me the new year."—He was followed by another youth, who presented to the monarch a silver salver, upon which were wheat, barley, sesamum, rice, (seven ears and seven grains of each) sugar, and two pieces of gold. The ministers, the officers of the empire, and even the private subjects, were admitted to the foot of the throne. When the grain presented to the sovereign was made into bread, _some of it was carried to the king, who ate a piece himself, and divided the remainder among the surrounding assemblage, saying:—" This is the first day of a new epoch; it is right to renew what time produces." With these words, he gave robes of honour to his officers.

On the first of the six days of this festival, the king was wholly engaged with the welfare of his people and the means of rendering them happy. The second he devoted to the astrologers and the learned; the third, to the priests and to his counsellors; the fourth, to the princes of the blood and the grandees; the fifth, to the children of the royal family; and the sixth, to hissub-