Jamshid and Zuhak part 5

Jamshid and Zuhak part 5

Jamshid fled before him, and for a hundred years was seen by no man, till Zuhak fell upon him without warning in the confines of China and put him to death. Thus perished his pride from the earth.

For a thousand years Zuhak occupied the throne and the world sub-mitted to him, so that goodness died away and was replaced by evil. Every night during that long period two youths were slain to provide the serpents’ food. Now in the king’s country there remained two men of purity, of Persian race, the one Irmail the Pious, and the other Girmail the Clear-sighted. It happened that they met one day and talked of many matters great and small; of the unjust king, of his army, and of his horrible custom.

Preparation of the king’s meal

The one said: “We ought, by the art of the kitchen, to introduce ourselves into the king’s household and apply our wits to saving the unfortunates who lose their lives each day.” Setting to work, they learned the art of cookery, and succeeded in entering the king’s kitchen. There, after no long time, they were entrusted with the preparation of the king’s meal, and they contrived to mix the brains of a sheep with those of one of the youths who was brought for slaughter. The other one they saved alive and dismissed secretly, saying to him: “Escape in secret, beware of visiting any inhabited town; your portion in the world must be the desert ancl the mountain.”

In this manner they saved two hundred men, of whom is born the race of Kurds, who know not any fixed abode, whose houses are tents; and who have in their hearts no fear of God.

While Zuhak still had forty years to live, one night he dreamed a dream, and he saw three royal warriors emerge, two of them aged, and another, younger, who walked between them, and who had the form of a cypress and the visage of a king. His girth and his gait were those of a prince, and he carried a club with a bull’s head. He advanced straight upon Zuhak, smote him upon the forehead with his club, tied him hand and foot with thongs, and overwhelmed him with shame and torments.

Zuhak awoke with a great cry of fear, that brought his wife, Arnawaz, and his attendants running to him in alarm. Arnawaz, as she ap-proached, cried out to him: “O king, confide in me and tell me what has happened. You sleep in your palace securely; everything that is in the world obeys you; savage beasts, divs, and men are your guardians; the earth with its seven climes is your domain; all, from the firmament to the depths of the seas, is yours. Why then do you leap thus from your bed? Tell us.” Zuhak replied: “My dream must be kept secret, for were I to reveal it, you would despair of my life.”


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