Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/40

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revenues of his province are squandered in silly expenses, in magnificent hunting equipages, splendid dresses, and the purchase of beautiful women. This prodigality pleases the Persians, and those people, who love to find defects in their superiors and to reveal them, speak of this prince with commendation only. He has none of those sanguinary inclinations inherent in despotism: he has never caused ears or noses to be cut off or eyes to be put out: the bastinado is the only punishment inflicted by his command.

There are other princes besides these three, who are invested with high dignities in the empire. Hassan Aii Mirza is governor of Teheran; and Mohammed Takee Mirza has for his appanage the town of Beroodyerd, situated near Nehavend, and cotaining 12,000 inhabitants. Each of these princes has a visir, who is devoted to the interest of the king, who closely watches the conduct of his master, reports it to the court, and thus thwarts any, plans of rebellion which he might entertain.



It is a very ancient custom with the monarchs of the East, to assume such titles as are most flattering to pride; and it must be confessed that very often their power has resided in these titles only. The reader will doubtless recollect the pompous epithets which the Parthian sovereigns appended to their names: the title of king of kings, did not always satisfy their vanity, and some of them assumed the appellation of god. Their successors, the Sassanides, imitated this practice. An epistle, addressed by a prince of this dynasty to Behram Tshoubin, opens as follows:—"Cosroes, king of kings, master of potentates, lord of nations, prince of peace, with relation to the gods a most excellent and eternal man, but with regard to men a most illustrious god, glorious conqueror, brilliant as the sun, who enlightens the darkness of night, noble by his ancestors," &c. In another epistle, preserved by Ammianus Marcellinus, Sapor entitles himself: "King of kings, companion of the stars, brother of the sun and moon."

In the treaty concluded with the emperor Justin, and inserted in the Embassies of Menander, the great Anushirvan is styled:—"The divine, the good, the pacific, the sovereign Cosroes, king of kings, the happy, the pious, the beneficent, to whom the gods have given a great kingdom and unbounded power; the giant of giants, made in the image of the gods."

As these pompous epithets are but the figurative expression of pride, and pride is inherent in the heart of man, it may natur-