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The Tale of Pearl-Harvest

IT is related in the writings of the wise past that the Commander of the Faithful, al-Mutasid Billah, sixth Khalifah in the line of Abbas, grandson of al-Mutawakkil, grandson of Harun al-Rashid, was a prince of lofty soul and fearless heart. He was noble and beautiful, royal and intelligent, he had the courage and strength of lions, and a genius which made him the greatest poet of his time. He kept sixty zealous wazirs about him in Baghdad to watch day and night over the welfare of his people; so that no trifle escaped him in all his mighty empire, from the desert of Sham to the Moorish confines, from the mountains of Khurasan and the western sea to the furthest bounds of India and Afghanistan.