Counsel Between Tariel and 
Nestan-Daredjan and Its Results
"EXCESSIVE melancholy approached my heart as if to
strike with a knife, but when Asmat'h's slave entered I sat
proud and strong. He gave me a letter; in it was written:
'She who is like an aloe-tree in form commands thee to
come hither soon without putting off time.'
"I MOUNTED, went forth, entered the little garden, as
thou canst imagine, with a full measure of joy; I passed
through the little garden and arrived at the tower; I saw
Asmat'h standing at the foot; I looked and saw that she
had been weeping, tear stains could be seen on her cheeks;
I was sad, and did not ask; she was troubled by desire for
my coming.
"I SAW her frowning; this oppressed me exceedingly, She
no longer smiled on me as she had formerly smiled: She
said no word to me, only her tears showered down: thereby
she wounded me the more, she healed not mv wounds.
"SHE carried my thoughts very far away. She led me into
the tower and raised the curtain. I went in, I saw that moon,
every woe forsook me, the ray fell on my heart, but my heart
was not melted.
"THE light falling upon the curtain was not light; her
face was carelessly covered by the golden veil I had given
her; the peerless one, apparelled in that same green garment,
was seated in a reclining position on the couch; a shower of
tears fell on her face flashing with radiance.
"SHE crouched, like a tiger on the edge of a rock, her
face flashing fury; no longer was she like the sun, the moon
an aloe-tree planted in Eden. Asmat'h seated me far off"; my
heart was struck as by a lance. Then she sat erect with
frowning brows, angry, enraged.
"SHE said to me: 'I marvel why thou art come, thou
breaker of thy binding oath, fickle and faithless, thou
forsworn; but high Heaven will give thee guerdon and
answer for this!' I said: 'How can I reply to what I know
"I SAID: 'I cannot answer thee if I know not the truth.
Wherein have I sinned, what have I done, I senseless and
pale?' Again she said to me: 'What shall I say to thee, false and treacherous one! Why did I let myself be deceived,
woman-like! For this I burn with flame.
"KNOWEST thou not of the bringing of Khvarazmsha
to wed me? Thou wert sitting as counsellor, thy consent to
this was given, thou hast broken thine oath to me, the
firmness and bindingness thereof. Would to God I might bring thy cunning to nought!
"REMEMBEREST thou when thou didst sigh "Ah! Ah!"
when thy tears bathed the fields, and the physicians and
surgeons brought thee medicines ? What else is there that
resembles a man's falsehood ? Since thou hast denied me,
I, too, will renounce thee. Let us see who will be the more
"I TELL thee this: Whosoever shall rule India I have
the rule also, whether they go trackless or by the road! It
may not be thus! Now thou hast fallen into error. Thine
opinions are like thee—even so untrue!
"WHILE I live, by God, thou shalt no more dwell in
India. If thou seekest to tarry, the soul shall be parted
from thy body! None other shalt thou find like me, even
though thou stretch thy hand unto heaven!'" When the
knight had ended these words he wept, moaned, and said:
"Ah me!"
HE said: "When I heard this from her, hope revived in me
exceedingly; once more mine eyes had power to look upon
her light; now I have lost it, why art thou not surprised tha
dazed I live ? Woe to thee, fleeting world! Why seekest thou
to drain my blood ?
"I LOOKED, and saw on the lectern the Koran lying open:
I raised it, I stood up, and, praising God and afterwards
her, said: '0 sun, thou burnedst me, and in truth my sun
is set; since thou slayest me not, I will venture to make
thee some answer:
"IF what I tell thee, these words, be falsely cunning,
may Heaven itself be wrathful with me, may all the sun ‘s rays be turned against me! If thou considerest me worthy
to be judged, I have done no ill.' She said: 'What thou
knowest, speak!' She nodded to me.
"THEN again I ventured to say: 'If I, 0 sun, have broken
my vow to thee, may God now forthwith show His anger b
hurling a thunderbolt from heaven upon me! Who save
thee has for me a face like a sun, a form like a tree ? So how
can I remain alive if a lance strike my heart!
'"THE sovereigns summoned me to court, they held a
solemn council, beforehand they had appointed that youth
as thy husband; even if I had opposed it I could not prevent
it, I should have been a fool for my pains; I said to myself:
"Agree with them for the nonce; it is better for thee to
fortify thy heart."
"HOW could I dare to forbid it, since P'harsadan
understands not, knows not that India shall not remain
masterless! It is 1 alone who am India's owner; none other
has any right. I know not him whom he will bring hither,
nor who is mistaken in this matter.
"I SAID: "I can do nothing in this; I shall contrive
some other means." I said: "Be not assailed by a multitude
of thoughts." My heart was like a wild beast; a thousand
times I was ready to fly to the fields. To whom can I give
thee ? Why shouldst thou not take me ?'
"I SOLD soul for heart's sake; thus the tower became
for me a market.' That rain which at first had frozen the
rose became milder; I saw pearl in the coral, round about
the pearl the coral was tenderly enfolded; she said: 'Why do
I, too, judge this to be right?
"I DO not believe thee to be treacherous and faithless,
a denier of God, not thankful to Him; entreat of him myself
and lordship in gladness over India; I and thou shall be
sovereigns - that is the best of all matches!'
"THE wrathful, enraged one became tender to me; either
the sun was on earth or the full-faced moon; she set me
near her, she caressed me, hitherto unworthy of this, she
conversed with me; thus she extinguished the fire kindled
in me.
"SHE said to me: 'The prudent should never hasten, he
will contrive whatever is best, he will be calm under the
passing world. If thou suffer not the suitor to come in to
India, woe if the king be wroth with thee, thou and he will
quarrel, India will be laid waste.
"ON the other hand, if thou allow the bridegroom to
come in, if he wed me, if it so fall out, we shall be
sundered each from other, our gay garb will be turned to
mourning, they will be happy and glorious, our sufferings
will be magnified a hundredfold. This shall not be said, that
the Persians1 hold sway in our court."
' Khvarazma was a province of Persia.
"I SAID: 'May God avert the wedding of thee by that
youth! When they come into India and I discover their
quality, I shall show forth to them my strong-heartedness
and prowess; I shall so slay them that they become of no account!'
"SHE spoke to me saying: 'A woman should act in a
womanly way as befits her sex; I cannot have thee shed
much blood, I cannot become a wall of division. When they
come, slay the bridegroom without killing his armies. To
do true justice makes even a dry tree green.
"THUS do, my lion, most excellent of all heroes; slay
the bridegroom stealthily, take not soldiers, slaughter not
his armies like cattle or asses; how can a man bear the
burden of much innocent blood!
"WHEN thou hast killed him, tell thy lord, my father,
say to him "I could never let India be food for the
Persians; it is mine own heritage, never will I give up even
a drachm of it; if thou wilt not leave me in peace I will
make a wilderness of thy city!"
"SAY not that thou wantest my love or desirest me, so
will the righteousness of thy deed seem the greater; the
king will then entreat thee in the most desperate and
abject manner; I shall give myself into thy hands, reigning
together will suit us.'
"THIS counsel and advice pleased me exceedingly; I
boasted that I would wield my sword for the slaying of my
foes. Then I rose to depart. She began to entreat me to sit
down; I longed to do so, but could not bring myself to
clasp and embrace her.
"I TARRIED some time, then I left her, but I became like
one mad, Asmat'h went in front of me; I shed hot tears;
my grief increased a thousandfold, my joy was reduced to
one; then I went unwillingly away, and so I went slowly."