The caliph Hâroon-oor-Rasheed went to visit the tomb of the celebrated Noosheerwân, the most famous of all the monarchs who ever governed Persia. Before the tomb was a curtain of gold cloth, which, when Hâroon touched it, fell to pieces.

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The walls of the tomb were covered with gold and jewels, whose splendour illumined its darkness. The body was placed in a sitting posture on a throne enchased with jewels, and had so much the appearance of life that, on the first impulse, the Commander of the Faithful bent to the ground, and saluted the remains of the just Noosheerwân.

Though the face of the departed monarch was like that of a living man, and the whole of the body in a state of preservation, which showed the admirable skill of those who embalmed it, yet when the caliph touched the garments they mouldered into dust. Hâroon upon this took his own rich robes and threw them over the corpse; he also hung up a new curtain richer than that he had destroyed, and perfumed the whole tomb with camphor, and other sweet scents.

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It was remarked that no change was perceptible in the body of Noosheerwân, except that the ears had become white. The whole scene affected the caliph greatly; he burst into tears, and repeated from the Koran—“What I have seen is a warning to those who have eyes.” He observed some writing upon the throne, which he ordered the Moobids (priests), who were learned in the Pehlevee language, to read and explain. They did so: it was as follows:—

“This world remains not; the man who thinks least of it is the wisest.

“Enjoy this world before thou becomest its prey.

“Bestow the same favour on those below thee as thou desirest to receive from those above thee.

“If thou shouldst conquer the whole world, death will at last conquer thee.

“Be careful that thou art not the dupe of thine own fortune.

“Thou shalt be paid exactly for what thou hast done; no more, no less.”

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The caliph observed a dark ruby-ring on the finger of Noosheerwân, on which was written—

“Avoid cruelty, study good, and never be precipitate in action.

“If thou shouldst live for a hundred years, never for one moment forget death.

“Value above all things the society of the wise.”

Around the right arm of Noosheerwân was a clasp of gold, on which was engraved—

“On a certain year, on the 10th day of the month Erdebehisht, a caliph of the race of Adean, professing the faith of Mahomed, accompanied by four good men, and one bad, shall visit my tomb.”

Below this sentence were the names of the forefathers of the caliph. Another prophecy was added concerning Hâroon’s pilgrimage to Noosheerwân’s tomb.

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“This prince will honour me, and do good unto me, though I have no claim upon him; and he will clothe me in a new vest, and besprinkle my tomb with sweet-scented essences, and then depart unto his home. But the bad man who accompanies him shall act treacherously towards me. I pray that God may send one of my race to repay the great favours of the caliph, and to take vengeance on his unworthy companion. There is, under my throne, an inscription which the caliph must read and contemplate. Its contents will remind him of me, and make him pardon my inability to give him more.”

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The caliph, on hearing this, put his hand under the throne, and found the inscription, which consisted of some lines, inscribed on a ruby as large as the palm of the hand. The Moobids read this also. It contained information where would be found concealed a treasure of gold and arms, with some caskets of rich jewels; under this was written—

“These I give to the caliph in return for the good he has done me; let him take them and be happy.”

The Tomb of Noosheerwân

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