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387"He wrote: 'I, Ramaz the king, write a letter to thee Tariel. I marvelled at what was written in the letter penned by thee. How dost thou summon thither me who am lord over many peoples! I will look at no other letter which comes from thee.'

388"I commanded the soldiers to be summoned; I sent forth the Lord of the Marches. They gathered together the armies of India more numerous than the stars, from near and far all hastened towards me, plain, rock and waste were altogether filled with soldiers.

389"They came swiftly; they made no tarrying at home. I held a review; the good order of the troops pleased me--their alertness and valour, beautifully drawn up in squadrons, the speed of their steeds, their Khvarazmian armour.

390"I raised the royal standard with flag of red and black. I commanded the countless troops to set out in the morning. I myself wept, I mourned exceedingly my evil fate: 'If I see not the sun I know not how I can ever depart.'

391"I went in. The sadness of my pensive heart was increased unto me; burning tears welled forth from mine eyes like a pool. 'My luckless fate,' said I, 'has never yet ruled. Why did my hand lay hold of the rose since thus it could not cull it!'

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392A slave entered; a wondrous thing befell me. He gave to me in my exceeding grief a letter from Asmat’h; she wrote: 'Thy sun for whom thou longest calls thee. Come! ’Tis better than to weep there and moan at the deed of Fate.'

393"So much did I rejoice as was fitting. It was twilight, I went forth, I entered the garden gate; where Asmat’h had first met me, there she appeared standing; she said with a smile: 'Enter; the moon awaits thee, the lion.'

394"I entered the house reared beautiful with terrace upon terrace, the moon shone forth surrounded with rays of light at the full; within the curtain she sat clad in green raiment, majestic and rare, wondrous of face and form.

395"I went in and stood on the edge of the carpet; the fire in me began to be quenched, the darkness of my heart was lightened, joy rose up like a column. She rested upon a cushion--she was far fairer than the sun's rays--she hid her face from me, she looked up a moment to see me.

396"She commanded: 'Asmat’h, beg the Amirbar to be seated!' She placed a cushion opposite her to be praised as the sun; I sat down, I gave up to joy my heart abused by Fate. I marvel that my life stays in me (while) I speak the words she said.

397"She said to me: 'Last time thou wert ill pleased that thou wert sent away without being spoken to. I, at parting, as the sun withered thee up like a flower of the field. Thou wert doomed to shed tears from the narcissus-pool; but for me, bashfulness and reserve are necessary towards the Amirbar.

398"'Though great modesty befits a woman towards a man, yet is it much worse not to speak and to hide woes; if I smile outwardly I felt inwardly secret grief; last time I sent the maid I gave her a true message.

399"'What we two have hitherto known of each other,

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even now know me thine by these firm promises; I assure thee of this by great vows and oaths; if I deceive thee may God make me earth, may I not sit in the nine heavens!

400"'Go, attack the Khatavians, fight and make raids; may God grant that thou be victorious, come (back) to me of good cheer. But what shall I do until it falls to my lot to look upon thee again! Give me thy heart undivided; take mine for thyself.'

401"'Now, that of which thou hast deemed me worthy no human being deserves; this grace is unexpected, from God this does not surprise me; thy rays have flooded my dark heart and made it translucent; thine shall I be till the earth cover my face.'

402"Upon the book of oaths I swore and she swore to me; thus she confirmed her love to me: 'If any save thee give pleasure to my heart may God slay me, henceforth thus will I speak to myself, thus will I train myself.'

403"I stayed some time before her, we spoke sweet words, we ate some pleasant fruit, talking one to the other; then weeping and shedding tears I rose to depart, the beauties of her rays were spread like light in my heart.

404"It irked me to go far from her crystal and ruby and glass. The world was renewed to me, I had an abundance of joy; that light appearing in ether as sun seemed to be mine; now I am surprised that being separated from her I have (still) a heart like a steep rock.

405"In the morning I mounted, I commanded the trumpet and bugle to be sounded; I cannot tell thee of all the armies nor of their readiness to mount; I, a lion, set forth for Khataet’hi, none can accuse me of cowardice; the soldiers marched without a road, they followed no track (?).

406"I crossed the boundaries of India, I went on a

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considerable time; a man met me from Ramaz, the khan over Khataet’hi; he repeated to me a message conciliatory to the heart: 'Your Indian goats are able to eat even our wolves.'

407"He presented me with astounding treasures as a gift from Ramaz; he said: 'He entreats thee, destroy us; not, it is not a thing thou shouldst do; put us on our oath, thereby are our necks bound with twigs, without devastation we shall deliver over to thee ourselves, our children and possessions.

408"'Forgive us in that we have sinned against thee, we ourselves repent; by God, if thou wouldst have mercy on us, bring not thine armies hither, destroy not our land, let not the heavens fall upon us in wrath; we give thee our castles and cities, let a few knights come with thee.'

409"I placed my viziers at my side, we discussed and counselled; they said: 'Thou art young, therefore we sages venture to say to thee, alas! they are exceeding treacherous; we have seen it indeed once already; may they not slay thee treacherously, may they not bring on us, woe?

410"'We counsel thus: Let us go forth with brave heroes only, let the soldiers follow close behind us, let them be apprised of the tidings by a man; if they be true-hearted, trust them, make them swear by God and heaven; if they submit not to thee, pour forth thy wrath and moreover the wrath of heaven upon them.'

411"This advice counselled by the viziers pleased me: I returned a message: 'O king Ramaz, I know thy decision; life is better than death to thee. We put not our trust in stone walls. I will leave the soldiers, I will come with a few, towards thee will I march.'

412"I took with me three hundred of the soldiers, good

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brave knights, I went forth and left all the army; I said: Wherever I shall go, march over the same fields, follow me closely, help me, I shall call you if I need help.'

413"I travelled three days; another man of the same khan met me, again he presented me with many beautiful robes; he (on behalf of the khan) said: 'I wish thee to be near me, proud and mighty one; when I meet thee then shalt thou know (many) such gifts.'

414"Yet more he said: 'What I have told thee is true. I myself come forward to meet thee, I haste to see thee.' (I said, says Tariel): 'Tell (the Khan): Certainly, by God, I shall do your commandment, tenderly shall we meet each other, we shall be like father and son.'

415"Departed thence I alighted on the bounds of a certain deep forest; again messengers came, they were not shy to salute me, they brought fair steeds as a present to me, they said: 'Of a truth kings would desire to see thee.'

416"They said to me: 'The king informs thee: I myself also come towards thee; having left my house, early to-morrow I shall meet thee.' I kept the messengers, I put up a felt tent, with no patrols; I received them very amiably, they lay down together like groomsmen.

417"No good deed done to a man can pass away thus (i.e., unrewarded). A certain man (one of the messengers of the khan) returned; he came to me and said secretly: I owe you a great debt hard for me to pay; I cannot for sake and forget thee.

418"'I was to some extent (or, for a short time) brought up by your father. I heard the treachery planned for you; I ran to let you know of it. It would grieve me to see thy; elegant-formed, the rose-faced, a corpse. I will tell thee all; hearken to me, be calm.

419"'That thou be not vainly deceived, these men are traitors to thee; in one place are hidden for thee one

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hundred thousand troops, then in another place are thirty thousand; that is why they call upon thee to hasten; if thou take not measures at once mischance will come upon thee.

420"'The king will come a little way to meet thee whose admirers can never cease; secretly they will be clad in armour; thou trusting them while they cajole thee the soldiers will make smoke, on all sides they will surround, as it is when ten thousands strike one so must they overwhelm thee.'

421"I spoke pleasantly to the man and gave him thanks: 'If I am not slain I shall repay thee for this according to thy desires. Now let not thy comrades suspect; go, be with them. If I forget thee may I be surely lost.'

422"I told no human being; I kept it secret like gossip. What is to be will be; all advice is equal. But I sent men towards the armies though the way was long; I gave the message: 'Come quickly, hasten over mountain and hill.'

423"In the morning I gave a sweet message to the messengers. They were to tell King Ramaz: 'I am coming to meet thee; come, I also come soon.' Another half-day I journeyed on; I took no heed of trouble; there is a providence, if I am to be killed to-day where below can I hide myself!

424"I mounted a certain peak; I saw dust in the plain. I said to myself: 'King Ramaz is coming; though he has spread a net for me, my sharp sword, my straight lance, will pierce their flesh.' Then I spoke to my troops; I set forth a great plan.

425"I said: 'Brothers, these men are traitors to us; why should the power of your arms be weakened on that account? Those who die for their kings, upwards their spirits fly! Now let us engage the Khatavians. Why should we gird on the sword in vain!'

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426"Proudly, with fierce words, I commanded them to don armour; we clad ourselves for fight in chain coats of mail with shoulder-pieces; I formed squadrons, I set out, I went in great haste; that day my sword cut in pieces mine adversary.

427"We approached. They perceived that our forms were clad in armour. A man came with a message from the king; he said: 'We look upon your treachery as untimely, now we see your armour, this causes us displeasure.'

428"I sent back a message: 'I too know what thou hast contrived for me; you have made certain plans, but they will not come to pass; give orders, come and fight me as is the law and custom, I have taken my sword in my hand to slay you.'

429"When the messenger came, why did they send yet another? They made smoke for the soldiers, they made plain what was hid, they came forth from ambush, they advanced from both sides, they formed into many ranks, though, thank God, they could not harm me.

430"I took a lance, I applied my hand to helming myself, I was eager for the fray to break them, I extended a stadium's length, I made ranks and advanced in a long line. They drew up innumerable cohorts, they stood calm and undisturbed.

431"When I came near they looked at me: 'He is a madman,' said they. I, strong-armed, made my way thither where the main body of the army stood; I pierced a man with my lance, his horse I overturned, they both departed from the sun (i.e., life), the lance broke, my hand seized (the sword); I praise, O sword, him who whetted thee.

432"I swooped in like a falcon among a covey of grey partridges, I threw man upon man, I made a hill of men and horses; the man thrown down by me spins like a

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dragon-fly; I completely destroyed at one onslaught the two front squadrons.

433"Crowding they surrounded me, about me was a great fight; when once I struck none could stand, I made blood spurt forth as from a fountain, he whom I clove-hung on his horse like a saddle-bag, wherever I was they fled from me, they were wary of me.

434"At the evening hour their watchman cried forth from the summit: 'Stand no longer, let us go, heaven looks again on us in wrath, a terrible dust is coming, wee should beware of this, let not their countless tens of thousands of soldiers completely destroy us.'

435"My soldiers whom I had not brought with me, when they heard of it, set out, they travelled day and night without stopping, neither plain nor mountain could contain them; they appeared, they beat the kettledrum, the trumpet sounded aloud.

436"(The enemy) saw them, they started to flee, we raised a shout, we pursued over the fields in which we had fought our battle. I unhorsed King Ramaz; we found each other with swords. We captured all his armies; we slew them not.

437"Those who fled were overtaken by the rearguard, they began to seize them, to throw down the terrified, the vanquished; they (Tariel's troops) had a reward for their sleeplessness and night-watching; the prisoners, even those that were unwounded, ceased not to wail like sick men.

438"We dismounted to rest on the battle-field. I had wounded my arm with the sword; it seemed to me a mere scratch. My armies came to see me and praise me, they could not speak, they knew not how to express their admiration.

439"The glories which they thrust upon me were sufficient

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for one man; some blessed me from afar, some tried to kiss me; those nobles who had trained me wept over me, they saw that which had been cut by my sword, they marvelled exceedingly.

440"I sent soldiers everywhere to bring in booty; they came together loaded. I was proud of myself; I had dyed the plain with the blood of those who had sought to slay me. I did not fight at the gate of the cities; I seized them without a battle.

441"I said to Ramaz: 'I have learned of thy treacherous deed; now that thou art captured justify thyself; fortify not strongholds, count them all into thy hand; else, why should I overlook thy guilt towards me?'

442"Ramaz said to me: 'I have no more power left; give me one of my magnates over whom I may have lordship; I will send him to the guardians of the castles; let me speak with them; I will give all into thine hands, since I make it thy property.'

443"I gave him a magnate, I sent knights with him, I caused all the governors of fortresses to be brought before me, they gave the strongholds into my hands; thus I made them repent the war. With what can I compare the abundance of treasure!

444"Then I went in to travel through and inspect Khataet’hi; publicly they presented me with the keys of the treasuries; I settled the country, I commanded: 'Be ye without fear, the sun shall not burn you, be assured you will be left unburned.'

445"I examined the treasuries one by one from end to end; I should be weary if I mentioned all the wondrous kinds of treasures. I saw together a marvellous mantle and veil; if thou didst see it thou wouldst desire to know its name.

446"I could not learn what (stuff) it was nor what kind

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of work; everyone to whom .1 showed it marvelled. (and) said it was a divine miracle; neither was the basis of the tissue like that of brocade nor carpet, its strength was as if it had been wrought like iron--I might say tempered in, fire.

447"I put them aside as a present for her whose ray enlightened me; I chose as a gift for the king whatever was best: a thousand mules and camels, all strong-limbed, I sent them loaded; he also learned the good news.

Next: XI. Letter of Tariel to the King of the Indians When He Triumphed Over the Khatavians