King Rostevan Hears of Avt'handil's Secret Flight
- WHEN he saw the vizier arrived with reverence
in the hall
- of audience, Rostevan said: "I recall not
what thou saidst
- yesterday; thou didst annoy and enrage me,
for a long time
- I could not compose my soul, therefore did I
- vizier, heart of hearts.
- "I REMEMBER not what Avt'handil wanted, nor
- I treated thee so ill! Truly say the sages:
'Spite is net of
- woes!' Never act in such a way! Consider the
- carefully. Now, tell me what thou saidst!
Speak and repeat
- thy discourse!"
- AGAIN the vizier submitted his speech of
- Rostevan heard it, he made no lengthy answer:
"If I think
- thee not mad may I be the Jew Levi! Let me
hear no more
- of this, else I wholly give thee up!"
- WHEN the vizier went forth to seek, he could
not find the
- enamel one, Avt'handil; only the slaves with
- told of his flight. The vizier said : "I
cannot go to court;
- I should remember former days. Whoever is
daring let him
- dare; I repent what I have already said."
- WHEN the vizier came not, the king again sent
a man; the
- man learned the news and stood outside, none
- the departure. Rostevan began to suspect,
- increased tenfold. He said: "Doubtless he who
- overpowers hundreds has stolen away!"
- . WITH bent head he meditated; in his heart
- gloom. He sighed and looked up; he commanded
- "Go, let that villain come hither and tell me
- him enter." When the vizier came back his
colour paled and he
- was careful.
- AGAIN the vizier entered the audience
- not gaily. The king inquired: "Is the sun
- become inconstant like the moon?" The vizier
told him all,
- how Avt'handil had gone away secretly: "The
- longer shines on us; the weather is not
- WHEN the king heard this, he cried out with
- great cry, he lamented, he said: "Alas, my
- dazed eyes shall see thee no more!" He made
- to marvel by scratching his face and tearing
- "Whither art thou gone, and where hast thou
- pillars of light ?
- "IF thou hast thyself, none will think thee a
- but as for me, what can I do, 0 foster-son ?
Now cells befit
- me as an abode; thou hast left me orphaned,
- wretched heart longs for thee. Till I am
reunited to thee,
- tongues cannot tell my sufferings!
- "WHEN shall I see thee joyous returning from
- I shall no longer see thee after the game of
ball, graceful in
- form, a faultless gem! No more shall I hear
- voice. Now without thee, alas! what shall I
do with the
- throne and the whole palace ?
- "I KNOW that hunger will not kill thee,
however far thou
- roamest thy bow will provide thee, and thine
- Perchance God in His mercy will again lighten
- but if I die, 0 foster-son, by whom shall I
- A NOISE was heard, a great host of men had
- there is a crowd of courtiers at the palace,
- beards with their hands; all rend and strike
- sound of their slapping is heard. They said:
- upon us, accursed, since our sun is gone from
- WHEN the king saw his lords, he complained to
- tears and groaning. He said: "'You see our
sun has made his
- rays quite rare to us! In what have we
- wherein have we sinned, why has he parted
from us, why
- forsaken us! How can any take for us the
leadership of the
- hosts he maintained!"
- ALL wept, lamented; then at length they grew
- king commanded: "Ask! is he alone, or with a
- The vassal Shermadin came fearfully,
- gave the testament, he wept, life seemed to
him but loss.
- . HE said: "I found this written by him in
- weeping slaves stood there, they tore hair
and beard; he is?
- stolen away alone, neither youth nor
greybeard is near him;
- if you slay me it will be just, an unseemly
life irks me.
- WHEN they read the testament, again they wept
- time. Then the king commanded: "Let not my
- gay colours. Let us make the downtrodden, the
- widows, to pray; let us help them that God
may give him
- paths of peace!"