and on the side there is a vent; at the upper holes they let down the dead bodies, to the estimation of about fifty feet down. In this place I saw two bodies new or very lately let down, and looking down, (for by reason of the three great holes above, where the dead bodies lie, it is very light) I received such a savour into my head, that it made me very sick, so that I was glad to entreat the friars to go no farther, but to return home to the city.
132. Mostansir Billah.
Mostansir Billah murdered his father and succeeded to the Caliphate. One day a carpet was spread before him, wherin was woven the likeness of a horseman having a diadem on his head, and a great circle round, inscribed with Persian characters. He called for a Persian to interpret the writing; the man changed colour, and when Mostansir asked what it was, he replied, it was only Persian trif-