He Told Me The North Of Persia, And
Assured Me, At The Same Time, That His Other Wives, Of Whom He Had
Four In Baghdad And Four In Teheran With His Mother, Very Much
Excelled This One In Beauty.
When I would have taken my leave of the prince to return home, he
proposed to me that I should remain a little while longer and hear
some Persian music.
Two minstrels presently appeared, one of whom
had a kind of mandolin with five strings; the other was a singer.
The musician preluded very well, played European as well as Persian
melodies, and handled his instrument with great facility; the singer
executed roulades, and, unfortunately, his voice was neither
cultivated nor pure; but he seldom gave false notes, and they both
kept good time. The Persian music and songs had considerable range
of notes and variations in the melody; I had not heard anything like
them for a long time.
I reached home safely before sunset, and did not feel very much
fatigued, either by the ride of thirty-six miles, the terrible heat,
or the wandering about on foot. Only two days afterwards, I set out
on my road to the ruins of the city of Babylon. The district in
which these ruins lie is called Isak-Arabia, and is the seat of the
ancient Babylonia and Chaldea.
I rode, the same evening, twenty miles, as far as the Chan Assad.
The palms and fruit-trees gradually decreased in number, the
cultivated ground grew less and less, and the desert spread itself
before me, deadening all pleasure and animation.
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