« AnteriorContinua »
As to the personal qualifications of this prince, he is celebrated, by oriental writers, as the Solomon of Perfia, one who made it his whole study to govern his people in fuch a manner, as that they might enjoy greater felicity thanif they had lived in a state of freedom. He extended his dominions, with a view of extending happiness to those, whom he reduced under his obedience. He was a zealous worshiper of the true God, and took such care to repress Zabiism, that some Mohammedan authors have not scrupled to assert, that he was a muskulman. It is also recorded of him, that he left this advice with his succeffor : Believe, my son, that the days of your reign are so many leaves of a book; be careful therefore to write nothing in any page thereof, that you would not have seen by posterity. Many other wife sayings of this great prince are scattered in various authors, which we have neither time nor opportunity to infert here. Some Perfian writers think, that Phridun was cotemporary with Abraham. On the other hand, the learned Dr. Hyde has entertained a notion, that this Phridun is the Phraortes of Herodotus f. It would take up too much time to difcuss this controversy here; and, besides, we shall have occafion to resume this subject hereafter, and to consider the opinions of the critics on oriental history all at once. In the mean time, let us pursue the thread of our narration, and proceed to the reign of Phridun's grandson (F).
Ma• D'HERBELOT. art Feridoun. * Hyde relig. vet. Perf. c. 8. ing originally from the quarrel Tarquesian had its name from the of their ancestors, it was natural prince we fpeak of. It would enough for them to call their be needless, and at the fame time dominions after thofe in whose improper for us, to enter into a right they held them. The whole prolix discusion of that point empire belonged to Phridun ; the here, since it must be examined descendants of Tur or Tour kept when we come to write the up the claim of their ancestor to history of the Turks; however, the whole; the kings of Persia we think it not amiss to remark, fucceeding Manugjahr asserted that there is nothing stranger, or the right of Phridun to divide his more perplexed, in this double dominions as he pleased ; and derivation of the name of the therefore it is likely, that Iran Turks, than there is in that of and Touran were words first used the Hebrews, whom fome affirm in Perfia, and by degrees spread to have been fo called from He. themselves throughout the east. ber the fon of Salab, and others Whether Tur was the undoubted from the surname of Abraham, father of the Turks, will admit of who was ftiled the Hebrew from fome question, fince almost alt his coming from the other fide the oriental writers affirm, that the river, ...e. the Euphrates. Japhet had a fon called Turk; (F) The reader will eafly perand yet many of them admit that ceive, from the characters he
MANUGJAHR, or Manugeher, according to some authors, Manugewas not the son of Irege, but his grandson by a daughter. It is her, not very material to us which of these opinions is true 8. Certain it is, that he was a wise prince, and of a mild disposition; and had a minifter, viz. the vizir Saham before-mentioned,
whose fame is still great throughout all the east. Manugeher, i probably by his advice, made several just regulations in the : government of Persia : he ascertained, more exactly than any
of his predeceffors had done, the boundaries of the provinces, into each of which he sent a president or governor, independent of whom he established, in every great town or borough, a mayor or provoft ; so that the governors had no opportunity of setting up for themselves; and the provosts were obliged to behave prudently, for fear the governor should write against them to court. Observing the infertility of Persia to be chiefly owing to the want of water, Monugeber considered every way of fupplying this defect: he caused fine canals to be cut from the mighty rivers Tigris and Euphrates, to refrefh the barren
8 D'HERBELOT, biblioth. orient. art. Manugeher. has already seen drawn in this The varying frailness of this flathistory, that, among the orien t'ring world, tal nations, wisdom, as well as And the true excellence of heav'n's valour, is thought necessary in a bigh Lord; hero. Pbridun is as famous Then would be this despise, and among them as any of the he trust in bim. roes of Greece or Rome amongft The world deceives us all. - In us; and for the same reason, be God is truth. cause he was a man great in all Let not thy riches or thy pow'r things, in war, and in peace, at prevail the head of armies, and on the Te swell thy befom with conceits throne. On this account, ori
of pride ; ental writers preserve, with as Look back, remember those thou great care, the wife sayings of has seen high, their princes, as the accounts of And mark, if thou hast never seen their conquests. We have excufed ourselves above from the Let this teach thee. One end arepetition of all that has been re waits us all: corded of this fort, in relation to And when inevitable drath com. Phridun ; but the reader will, in mands, all probability, be pleafed with That we should follow to his the following specimens of his dreary realm, wisdom, because they contain Matters it much, if from a royal rules easily applied, and which couch, concern mankind in general. Or from a mattress thrown upon Man foguld weigh well the nature
We rise to take our journey ? (5) of bimself,
(5) D'Horbelot, bibliotb orient, art. Feridouna
countries in their neighbourhood ; he took care to collect all the streams iffuing from the little springs on the tops of mountains, that their waters might be made as ufeful as pofsible. To encourage his subjects to cultivate their lands with care, he employed much time in gardening, and took great pains to discover the virtues of herbs and flowers, caufing fuch as were most valuable to be transplanted from mountains, and uncouth places, into his own gardens, or those of his courtiers. But, while he was thus cultivating the arts of peace, Apberafab, the descendant of Tur or Tour, invaded his dominions with a great army of Turks, in order, as he gave out, to avenge the death of his ancestor. Manugeher, finding himself too weak to resist so formidable an enemy, retired towards the country of Tabreftan. Some authors fay, that there happened a battle between Kim and Aphera fiab, and that Manugeher was routed, However that matter was, all are agreed, that the king of Perfia withdrew into a fortress, and prepared to defend himfelf there against the attempts of his enemy. Apherafiab besieged him with all his army; but to no purpose ; and the winter drawing on, the Turk, being afraid left his own men should defert him, began to think of peace. Upon this, commissioners were dispatched on both sides, and a treaty concluded on these terms: That Apherasiab should possess all the country east of the river Gihon; and that he should leave Manugeher, without molestation, in possession of Persia, and the provinces dependent on it. Such was the event of this cruel war, which threatened no less than the fubversion of the monarchy of Perfia b. As soon as Apherasiab was retired into his own country, Manugeher began to provide against such invasions for the future, and ordered all his governors to get ready their quotas of troops. These measures alarming Apheraftab, he gave orders to his forces to make inroads into Persia; but the Turk had not the same success in this as in the former war. The precautions of Manugeher perfectly answered his end; so that the enemy were not only repulsed where-ever they made their courses, but also loft a great number of soldiers, who were taken prisoners. Apherafiab therefore very willingly renewed the peace, and left Manugeber to act as he thought fit in his own dominions. That wise and good prince made the city of Sigjiltan for a time his royal seat; and when, by his presence, he had put all things on that fide in good order, he sent thither his vizir Soham to preserve them in that state; and went himself to reside in the centre of his empire, where he applied himfelf, as he had done before, to the cultivation of arts and sciences, and to every thing which might render his people MIRKHOND. hift, fect..gau
powerful and happy. Soham managed so prudently in the province of Sigjiftan, that he gained the good will of the people, as well as the favour of the court; but, in the midst of his happiness, an accident fell out, which surprised him not a little : his wife was brought to-bed of a fon with long yellow hair. Soham therefore gave him the name of Zal-zer, i. e. golden hair
. This young man, when he grew up to years of discretion, gave manifest tokens of an exalted genius, insomuch that Manugeher sent for him and his father to appear at court. Thither they went; and the sight of the young nobleman augmented the esteem and gratitude Manugeber had for his father and family. Loaded with new honours and dignities, Soham and his son returned into their own country, and lived there with the same splendor and reputation that they had done before. One day it happened, that Zal-zer went to hunt in the province of Kablustan, dependent on the kingdom of Touran, but bordering northwards on the Persian dominions. Meherab, who was at this time governor of that province, being informed of this, went out to meet him, that he might shew his respect to the father by the honours paid to his son. The conversation he had with Zal-zer charmed him so much, and made so strong an impresfion on his mind, that he could not help talking of him to his family upon his return home; which had such an effect on the mind of Roudabah his daughter, that she fell violently in love with Zal-zer on his report; and, as womens paffions are ever sudden and ungovernable, she sent immediately one of her maids into the place where Zal-zer was encamped, that she might find an opportunity of speaking with him. Her project succeeded perfectly well : the young nobleman, perceiving the maiden gathering flowers, entered into discourse with her, inquiring her condition, and with whom she lived. The girl, properly instructed, answered him, that The was the servant of Roudabah, the daughter of Meherab; and then, talking of the family, expatiated on the wit, beauty, and sweet disposition of her ladý. Zal-zer immediately conceived a great esteem for this amiable person, which, by des grees, ripened into so warm a passion, that he could neither eat nor sleep till he had concerted the means of speaking to her. An interview, as our author observes, between two perfons who equally defire it, is very quickly obtained. The lovers made the best use of their time; that is, they exchanged the most solemn vows of fidelity, and engaged to marry each other, as foon as the consent of their parents could be obtained. To cover his amour, Zal-zer made a visit at the same time to the father of his mistress, by whom he was very kindly received; and, after staying with him all night, fet out on his return to his father in the province of Sigjiftan. Almost as
soon as he came home, he acquainted Soham with all that had happened, and that it was impossible for him to live, at least in any degree of happiness, without the possession of the daughter of Meherab. Some difficulty there was in procuring the king's consent to this marriage; for it was hitherto a thing without precedent for a Persian to espouse a Turk. However, the many services of Soham, and the great merit of Zal-zer, prevailed so far over Manugeher, that he at last yielded to all they desired. The nuptials were celebrated with prodigious magnificence, the inhabitants of Sig jiftan and Kablustan vying with each other in their expressions of joy on this occasion: nor were the consequences of this match less happy, than its conclusion was splendid ; for, at the end of nine months, the lovely Roudabah was brought to bed of a son, who was named Rustan, the mighty hero of all the oriental romances. The reader will hereafter perceive how the loves of this illustrious pair came to find a place in the Persian history. Let us now return to Manugeher, who spent all his time in putting the affairs of his kingdom in the best order imaginable, with respect both to peace and war ; that is, he took care to banish luxury, to encourage virtue, and to render every man's condition so happy, as to engage him to fight for
that government, on the continuance of which it depended. The personal qualifications of this monarch have been already, in some meafure, displayed. It remains however, that we do him juftice in one particular, of greater importance than all the rest : he was a moft zealous worshiper of the true God, of which we have the most shining instances in the history of his life and reign written by Tabarik, an antient Perfian author. By him we are informed, that as soon as this prince heard of the Turks paffing the river Gjeihon, in order to drive him out of his dominions, he assembled a great council of his nobility, wherein he delivered him felf in these words : “ The most holy and « high God delivered to me this kingdom, that I might ren. « der him praise and glory by my actions as a prince, pre.
serving my people in plenty and ease, and impartially dif“ tributing jultice, that thereby the glorious gift of God "mighty in my hand, be strengthened and increased. If,
contrary to this my duty, I had acted ungratefully towards
my Creator, then I lhould juftly have deserved to lofe my “ kingdom here, and to fuffer everlasting punifhment for my " wickedness hereafter. The moft holy and high God having ç caused me to be born of royal blood, and, in right thereof
, " bestowed a kingdom upon me, let us not, my friends, bafely
i MIRKHOND. hift. fe&t. 8. D'HERBELOT. art. Manougeher. . Apud HYDE rel. vet. Pers, c. 8. p. 156.