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147
IN ARABIA.

clared the purpose of his embassy, represented the state of his country, which was suffering under the tyranny of the Abyssinians, shewed the advantage which the Persians would derive by the recovery of Yaman from the Christians, and called on their relationship, the relationship that always exists between people of the same colour and of much the same religion, in opposition to a race of dark Ethiopian Christians, as a sufficient claim on his assistance. But the king, deterred by the distance of Hamyar from Persia, and having his attention occupied by a series of continual wars in other parts, expressed his unwillingness to undertake any enterprise of which the resulting advantages might be doubtful. He declared that he would not risk a Persian army for a barren country, whose only riches were sheep and camels, and dismissed the Arabian prince with a present of ten thousand pieces of gold. No sooner had Seif left the royal presence, than he distributed the whole of the king's present among the crowd of slaves and other people whom he met in the street. The Khosroës, when informed of this transaction, ordered Seif to be brought before him, and demanded the reason of his strange conduct. The answer was at once calculated to excite the cupidity and compassion of Noushirwan. "What need," said he, "have I of the riches of Khosroës, when the very mountains of my own country are nothing

    was removed, but none were allowed to look on him till they had fallen down and worshipped him." Tabeir, p. 128.