The Wedding of Tariel and Nestan by P'hridon
THEY placed for the maid and the youth a throne white
and coral-hued, prettily sprinkled with red and yellow gems:
for Avt'handil one of mingled yellow and black; they came,
they sat down. The spectators, I ween, were impatient for
THE minstrels came forth; the sound of sweet singing was
heard. They made the wedding; the presentation of soft silk
stuffs was multiplied by P'hridon, the good entertainer, not
an abashed host. A smile, a tooth-glimpse, beautifies
THEY brought out incomparable gifts from the wealthy
P'hridon: nine pearls in size like a goose's egg; also one
gem like to the sun with augmented ray: before it at night
a painter could have painted a picture.
LIKEWISE he presented to each a necklace to throw over
the neck, of gems cut into spheres, of whole jacinths. He
also brought a tray scarcely to be held in the hand. a gift
for the lion Avt'handil from the generous P'hridon.
THAT tray is full of plump pearls; he gave all to
Avt'handil, with not unseemly words. The house was filled
with brocade and soft cloth of gold; Tariel the proud gave
thanks with sweet words.
FOR eight days P'hridon made measureless wedding
festivities, every day they offer priceless presents prepared;
Day and night castanets and harp cease not to sound.
Behold a youth and a maiden worthy each of the other have
attained each other.
TARIEL one day spake to P'hridon words of the heart:
"Your heart is more mine than that of a born brother; my
life would not be a fitting return, nor the gift of my soul;
dying I found from you the balm for my wound.
"THOU knowest of Avt'handil's self-sacrifice for my sake;
now I would serve him in return; go, ask will reveal
what he wants; as he hath quenched my furnace, even so
hath his burned enough.
"SAY to him : 'O brother, what will repay thee for the
grief thou hast seen for my sake ? God will grant thee His
grace imaged forth from on high. If I cannot do something
desirable for thee, contrived for thy sake, I will not see my
house, nor hall, nor hut.
"NOW tell me what thou wishest of me, or in what I can
help thee. I choose that we go to Arabia; be thou my guide.
Our swords and sweet words will arrange our business. If
thou be not united to thy wife I will be not husband to
WHEN P'hridon told Avt'handil Tariel's message, he
laughed, he smiled, mirth beautified him. He said: "Why
want I a helper ? 1 am not hurt by a wound from any. The
Kadjis possess not my sun, nor doth lack of joy afflict her.
"My sun sits upon a throne, powerful by the will of God,
respected and honoured, proud, harmed by none, she is by
no means oppressed by Kadjis, nor by the sorcery of wizards.
Why should I want help with regard to her ? Expect me
not to speak flattering words.
"WHEN Providence shall come for me, heavenly being
from above, if God wills, shall visit my heart, consolations
for the furnace; then indeed the radiances of the flashing of
the sun will be my lot when I am dying; till that time be
come, vain are my runnings to and fro.
"GO and report to Tariel the answer spoken by me: 'What
thanks are needed, O king, however great is thy compassion;
even from my mother's womb am I born to be your servant,
and, by God, let me be but earth till thou be recognized
as king.
"THOU hast said: "I desire thy union to thy beloved'"
This is like your compassionate heart. There my sword cuts
not, nor breadth of tongue. It is etter for me to await the
deed of yon celestial Providence.
"THIS is my wish and my desire, that I may see thee
powerful in India, enthroned upon the thrones, the heavenly
planet, too, sitting by thy side, the face flashing lightning;
that your foes be exterminated, that no adversary appear
'"WHEN these the desires of my heart have been fulfilled
to me, then indeed shall I go to Arabia, it will befall me to
be near that sun; when she wills she shall quench the
burnings of this fire for me. Nought else do I wish from you,
I hate all kinds of flattery.'"
WHEN P'hridon reported to Tariel these words of the
knight, he said: "That will I not do; for that it needs no
wizard. As he found the cause of the existence of my life,
even so he too shall see the valour of a brother in his favour.
"GO, speak on my behalf words not of adulation; 'I will
not remain without seeing thy foster-father. I suspect I slew
many servants beloved by him. 1 will only beg forgiveness,
and so I shall return.'
"SPEAK thus: 'send me no more messages. Tomorrow I
Shall not fail to set out; I shall have no more of the word
"if"; the King of the Arabs will not make my words to be
of no avail: pleasantly shall I beg his daughter, I shall
entreat of him, I shall persuade him.'"
P'HRIDON told Avt'handil Tariel's message: "Hi will not
stay." quoth hi; "vain is it for thee to speak of waiting !"
It oppressed him: again the smoke and glow burned his
heart. Thus respect is due to kings, devotion from knights.
AVT'HANDIL went to beseech Tariel on bended knee; he
embraces his feet, he kisses them, he no longer looks up to
his waist. He says: "What I have sinned against Rostevan
this year is enough; make me not again to be a breaker,
a shatterer of loyalty.
"WHAT thou desirest God's justice will not give thee. How
can I dare do a treacherous deed to my foster-father, how
can I undertake aught against him who for my sake is
become pale, how can the servant use his sword upon his
"SUCH a deed will make discord between me and my
beloved. Woe is me if she become angry, displeased, if
wrath compel her heart! Then will she even stint me of
tidings, and make me languish for a sight of her. No man of
flesh can exact forgiveness for me."
TARIEL, that radiant sun, spake laughing. He took
Avt'handil's hand, raised him, set him on his feet: "Thy
help hath done me every good, but it is better that thou
also shouldst rejoice my joy with thine.
"I GREATLY hate too much fear, respect and ceremony
in a friend, I hate unbroken sternness, gloominess, majesty;
if one be a hearty friend let him tend towards me; if not,
I for myself, he for himself, separation is much better.
"I KNOW the heart of thy beloved with regard to thee:
the visit of me who have met thee will not displease her. Now I can venture to speak somewhat plausibly to the king: I only desire to see the desirable sight of them.
"THIS only will I say to him entreatingly and respectfully:
that he should give thee his daughter of his free will. Since
the end is union, how can you endure separation ? Beautify
each other; fade not apart."
WHEN Avt'handil knew from Tariel that he would not be
hindered from going, he ventured not to dispute, he added
thereto assent, P'hridon counted over select men as a
convoy; he set out with them, of course he travelled the
road with them.