Counsel About Nestan-Daredjan's Marriage
"EARLY in the morning they summoned me to the palace,
when day was yet at the dawn. I rose; I learned their
tidings and went at the same moment. I saw them both
sitting with three viziers. When I entered they bade me
be seated; I sat down before them on a chair.
"THEY said to me: 'God has brought old age upon us so
that we are exhausted, the time of age approaches us,
youth has passed from us. We have no son, but we have a
daughter whose rays fail us not; we care not for the lack
of a son, we are reconciled to that.
"NOW we want a husband for our daughter. Where shall
we find him to whom we may give our throne, whom we
may form in our image, make him ruler of the kingdom,
guardian of the realm, that we be not destroyed, that we
may not let our enemies whet their swords for us ?'
"I SAID: 'How can your heart not feel the want of a son!
But she who is like the sun suffices for our hope.
Whomsoever you choose as son-in-law, he will rejoice
greatly. What more can I say ? You yourselves know what
will be fitting.'
"WE began to take counsel on the matter. I tried to keep
my heart firm though it was weakened; I said to myself:
'I shall say nothing and can do nothing to hinder this.'
The king said: 'There is Khvarazmsha, King of the
Khvarazmians, if he would give us his child for ours ther
is none like him.'
"IT was clear that they had settled it beforehand; they
glanced at each other, their words also were guarded; it was not for me to venture to say anything to hinder them, only I became as earth and cinders; my heart quivered to and fro.
"THE queen said: 'Khvarazmsha is a king reigning with
power. Who could be better than his son for our son-in-law!
' How could I dare to dispute since they themselves desired
it! I added assent. The day of the overthrow of my soul
was fixed.
"THEY sent a man to Khvarazmsha asking for his son.
Their message was: 'Our whole realm is without an heir.
there is one daughter fit for childbearing. not to be wedded
abroad; if thou wilt give us thy son for her. wait not tor
aught further."
"THE man arrived loaded with short cloaks and veils.
Khvarazmsha rejoiced with great joy; he said: 'From God
has befallen us that which we desired; what other child
like unto her could we take to our arms ?"'
"AGAIN they sent other men to bring the bridegroom;
they entreated him: 'Tarry not, come at our demand.'
I was wearied after exercise at ball-playing, and went to my
chamber to rest; sadness entered into my heart, I began to
endure woes."