THE WORLD AS IT GOES
Among the genii who preside over the empires of the earth, Ithuriel
held one of the first ranks, and had the department of Upper Asia.
He one morning descended into the abode of Babouc, the Scythian, who
dwelt on the banks of the Oxus, and said to him:
"Babouc, the follies and vices of the Persians have drawn upon them our
indignation. Yesterday an assembly of the genii of Upper Asia was held,
to consider whether we would chastise Persepolis or destroy it entirely.
Go to that city; examine everything; return and give me a faithful
account; and, according to thy report, I will then determine whether to
correct or extirpate the inhabitants."
"But, my lord," said Babouc with great humility, "I have never been in
Persia, nor do I know a single person in that country."
"So much the better," said the angel, "thou wilt be the more impartial:
thou hast received from heaven the spirit of discernment, to which I now
add the power of inspiring confidence. Go, see, hear, observe, and fear
nothing. Thou shalt everywhere meet with a favorable reception."
Babouc mounted his camel, and set out with his servants. After having
traveled some days, he met, near the plains of Senaar, the Persian
army, which was going to attack the forces of India. He first addressed
himself to a soldier, whom he found at a distance from the main army,
and asked him what was the occasion of the war?
"By all the gods," said the soldier, "I know nothing of the matter. It
is none of my business. My trade is to kill and to be killed, to get
a livelihood. It is of no consequence to me whom I serve. To-morrow,
perhaps, I may go over to the Indian camp; for it is said that they
give their soldiers nearly half a copper drachma a day more than we
have in this cursed service of Persia. If thou desirest to know why
we fight, speak to my captain."
Babouc, having given the soldier a small present, entered the camp.
He soon became acquainted with the captain, and asked him the cause
of the war.
"How canst thou imagine that I should know it?" said the captain, "or
of what importance is it to me? I live about two hundred leagues from
Persepolis: I hear that war is declared. I instantly leave my family,
and, having nothing else to do, go, according to our custom, to make
my fortune, or to fall by a glorious death."
"But are not thy companions," said Babouc, "a little better informed
"No," said the officer, "there are none but our principal satraps that
know the true cause of our cutting one another's throats."
Babouc, struck with astonishment, introduced himself to the generals,
and soon became familiarly acquainted with them. At last one of them
"The cause of this war, which for twenty years past hath desolated Asia,
sprang originally from a quarrel between a eunuch belonging to one of
the concubines of the great king of Persia, and the clerk of a factory
belonging to the great king of India. The dispute was about a claim
which amounted nearly to the thirtieth part of a daric. Our first
minister, and the representative of India, maintained the rights of
their respective masters with becoming dignity. The dispute grew warm.
Both parties sent into the field an army of a million of soldiers. This
army must be recruited every year with upwards of four hundred thousand
men. Massacres, burning of houses, ruin and devastation, are daily
multiplied; the universe suffers; and their mutual animosity still
continues. The first ministers of the two nations frequently protest
that they have nothing in view but the happiness of mankind; and every
protestation is attended with the destruction of a town, or the
desolation of a province."
Next day, on a report being spread that peace was going to be concluded,
the Persian and Indian generals made haste to come to an engagement.
The battle was long and bloody. Babouc beheld every crime, and every
abomination. He was witness to the arts and stratagems of the principal
satraps, who did all that lay in their power to expose their general to
the disgrace of a defeat. He saw officers killed by their own troops,
and soldiers stabbing their already expiring comrades in order to strip
them of a few bloody garments torn and covered with dirt. He entered the
hospitals to which they were conveying the wounded, most of whom died
through the inhuman negligence of those who were well paid by the king
of Persia to assist these unhappy men.
"Are these men," cried Babouc, "or are they wild beasts? Ah! I plainly
see that Persepolis will be destroyed."
Full of this thought, he went over to the camp of the Indians, where,
according to the prediction of the genii, he was as well received as
in that of the Persians; but he saw there the same crimes which had
already filled him with horror.
"Oh!" said he to himself, "if the angel Ithuriel should exterminate
the Persians, the angel of India must certainly destroy the Indians."
But being afterward more particularly informed of all that passed in
both armies, he heard of such acts of generosity, humanity, and
greatness of soul, as at once surprised and charmed him:
"Unaccountable mortals! as ye are," cried he, "how can you thus
unite so much baseness and so much grandeur, so many virtues and
so many vices?"
Meanwhile the peace was proclaimed; and the generals of the two
armies, neither of whom had gained a complete victory, but who,
for their own private interest, had shed the blood of so many of
their fellow-creatures, went to solicit their courts for rewards.
The peace was celebrated in public writings which announced the
return of virtue and happiness to the earth.
"God be praised," said Babouc, "Persepolis will now be the abode of
spotless innocence, and will not be destroyed, as the cruel genii
intended. Let us haste without delay to the capital of Asia."
He entered that immense city by the ancient gate, which was entirely
barbarous, and offended the eye by its disagreeable rusticity. All
that part of the town savored of the time when it was built; for,
notwithstanding the obstinacy of men in praising ancient at the
expense of modern times, it must be owned that the first essays in
every art are rude and unfinished.
Babouc mingled in a crowd of people composed of the most ignorant, dirty
and deformed of both sexes, who were thronging with a stupid air into a
large and gloomy inclosure. By the constant hum; by the gestures of the
people; by the money which some persons gave to others for the liberty
of sitting down, he imagined that he was in a market, where chairs were
sold; but observing several women fall down on their knees with an
appearance of looking directly before them, while in reality they were
leering at the men by their sides, he was soon convinced that he was in
a temple. Shrill, hoarse, savage and discordant voices made the vault
re-echo with ill articulated sounds, that produced the same effect as
the braying of asses, when, in the plains of Pictavia, they answer the
cornet that calls them together. He stopped his ears; but he was ready
to shut his mouth and hold his nose, when he saw several laborers enter
into the temple with picks and spades, who removed a large stone, and
threw up the earth on both sides, from whence exhaled a pestilential
vapor. At last some others approached, deposited a dead body in the
opening, and replaced the stone upon it.
"What!" cried Babouc, "do these people bury their dead in the place
where they adore the deity? What! are their temples paved with
carcasses? I am no longer surprised at those pestilential diseases
that frequently depopulate Persepolis. The putrefaction of the dead,
and the infected breath of such numbers of the living, assembled and
crowded together in the same place, are sufficient to poison the whole
terrestial globe. Oh! what an abominable city is Persepolis! The angels
probably intend to destroy it in order to build a more beautiful one
in its place, and to people it with inhabitants who are more virtuous
and better singers. Providence may have its reasons for so doing; to
its disposal let us leave all future events."
Meanwhile the sun approached his meridian height. Babouc was to dine at
the other end of the city with a lady for whom her husband, an officer
in the army, had given him some letters: but he first took several turns
in Persepolis, where he saw other temples, better built and more richly
adorned, filled with a polite audience, and resounding with harmonious
music. He beheld public fountains, which, though ill-placed, struck the
eye by their beauty; squares where the best kings that had governed
Persia seemed to breathe in bronze, and others where he heard the
people crying out:
"When shall we see our beloved master?"
He admired the magnificent bridges built over the river; the superb
and commodious quay; the palaces raised on both sides; and an immense
house, where thousands of old soldiers, covered with scars and crowned
with victory, offered their daily praises to the god of armies. At last
he entered the house of the lady, who, with a set of fashionable people,
waited his company to dinner. The house was neat and elegant; the repast
delicious; the lady, young, beautiful, witty, and engaging; and the
company worthy of her; and Babouc every moment said to himself:
"The angel Ithuriel has little regard for the world, or he would never
think of destroying such a charming city."
In the meantime he observed that the lady, who had begun by tenderly
asking news about her husband, spoke more tenderly to a young magi,
toward the conclusion of the repast. He saw a magistrate, who, in
presence of his wife, paid his court with great vivacity to a widow,
while the indulgent widow held out her hand to a young citizen,
remarkable for his modesty and graceful appearance.
Babouc then began to fear that the genius Ithuriel had but too much
reason for destroying Persepolis. The talent he possessed of gaining
confidence let him that same day into all the secrets of the lady. She
confessed to him her affection for the young magi, and assured him that
in all the houses in Persepolis he would meet with similar examples of
attachment. Babouc concluded that such a society could not possibly
survive: that jealousy, discord, and vengeance must desolate every
house; that tears and blood must be daily shed; and, in fine, that
Ithuriel would do well to destroy immediately a city abandoned to
Such were the gloomy ideas that possessed his mind, when a grave man
in a black gown appeared at the gate and humbly begged to speak to the
young magistrate. This stripling, without rising or taking the least
notice of the old gentleman, gave him some papers with a haughty and
careless air, and then dismissed him. Babouc asked who this man was.
The mistress of the house said to him in a low voice:
"He is one of the best advocates in the city, and hath studied the law
these fifty years. The other, who is but twenty-five years of age, and
has only been a satrap of the law for two days, hath ordered him to make
an extract of a process he is going to determine, though he has not as
yet examined it."
"This giddy youth acts wisely," said Babouc, "in asking counsel of an
old man. But why is not the old man himself the judge?"
"Thou art surely in jest," said they; "those who have grown old in
laborious and inferior posts are never raised to places of dignity.
This young man has a great post, because his father is rich; and the
right of dispensing justice is purchased here like a farm."
"O unhappy city!" cried Babouc, "this is surely the height of anarchy
and confusion. Those who have thus purchased the right of judging will
doubtless sell their judgments; nothing do I see here but an abyss of
While he was thus expressing his grief and surprise, a young warrior,
who that very day had returned from the army, said to him:
"Why wouldst thou not have seats in the courts of justice offered for
sale? I myself purchased the right of braving death at the head of two
thousand men who are under my command. It has this year cost me forty
darics of gold to lie on the earth thirty nights successively in a red
dress, and at last to receive two wounds with an arrow, of which I still
feel the smart. If I ruin myself to serve the emperor of Persia, whom
I never saw, the satrap of the law may well pay something for enjoying
the pleasure of giving audience to pleaders."
Babouc was filled with indignation, and could not help condemning a
country, where the highest posts in the army and the law were exposed
for sale. He at once concluded that the inhabitants must be entirely
ignorant of the art of war, and the laws of equity; and that, though
Ithuriel should not destroy them, they must soon be ruined by their
He was still further confirmed in his bad opinion by the arrival of a
fat man, who, after saluting all the company with great familiarity,
went up to the young officer and said:
"I can only lend thee fifty thousand darics of gold; for indeed the
taxes of the empire have this year brought me in but three hundred
Babouc inquired into the character of this man who complained of having
gained so little, and was informed that in Persepolis there were forty
plebian kings who held the empire of Persia by lease, and paid a small
tribute to the monarch.
After dinner he went into one of the most superb temples in the city,
and seated himself amidst a crowd of men and women, who had come thither
to pass away the time. A magi appeared in a machine elevated above the
heads of the people, and talked a long time of vice and virtue. He
divided into several parts what needed no division at all: he proved
methodically what was sufficiently clear, and he taught what everybody
knew. He threw himself into a passion with great composure, and went
away perspiring and out of breath. The assembly then awoke and imagined
they had been present at a very instructive discourse. Babouc said:
"This man had done his best to tire two or three hundred of his
fellow-citizens; but his intention was good, and there is nothing in
this that should occasion the destruction of Persepolis."
Upon leaving the assembly he was conducted to a public entertainment,
which was exhibited every day in the year. It was in a kind of great
hall, at the end of which appeared a palace. The most beautiful women of
Persepolis and the most considerable satraps were ranged in order, and
formed so fine a spectacle that Babouc at first believed that this was
all the entertainment. Two or three persons, who seemed to be kings and
queens, soon appeared in the vestibule of their palace. Their language
was very different from that of their people; it was measured, harmonious,
and sublime. Nobody slept. The audience kept a profound silence which
was only interrupted by expressions of sensibility and admiration.
The duty of kings, the love of virtue, and the dangers arising from
unbridled passions, were all described by such lively and affecting
strokes, that Babouc shed tears. He doubted not but that these heroes
and heroines, these kings and queens whom he had just heard, were the
preachers of the empire; he even purposed to engage Ithuriel to come
and hear them, being confident that such a spectacle would forever
reconcile him to the city.
As soon as the entertainment was finished, he resolved to visit the
principal queen, who had recommended such pure and noble morals in
the palace. He desired to be introduced to her majesty, and was led
up a narrow staircase to an ill-furnished apartment in the second
story, where he found a woman in a mean dress, who said to him with
a noble and pathetic air:
"This employment does not afford me a sufficient maintenance. I want
money, and without money there is no comfort."
Babouc gave her an hundred darics of gold, saying:
"Had there been no other evil in the city but this, Ithuriel would have
been to blame for being so much offended."
From thence he went to spend the evening at the house of a tradesman
who dealt in magnificent trifles. He was conducted thither by a man of
sense, with whom he had contracted an acquaintance. He bought whatever
pleased his fancy; and the toy man with great politeness sold him
everything for more than it was worth. On his return home his friends
showed him how much he had been cheated. Babouc set down the name of
the tradesman in his pocket-book, in order to point him out to Ithuriel
as an object of peculiar vengeance on the day when the city should be
punished. As he was writing, he heard somebody knock at the door: this
was the toy man himself, who came to restore him his purse, which he
had left by mistake on the counter.
"How canst thou," cried Babouc, "be so generous and faithful, when
thou hast had the assurance to sell me these trifles for four times
"There is not a tradesman," replied the merchant, "of ever so little
note in the city, that would not have returned thee thy purse; but
whoever said that I sold thee these trifles for four times their value
is greatly mistaken: I sold them for ten times their value; and this
is so true, that wert thou to sell them again in a month hence, thou
wouldst not get even this tenth part. But nothing is more just. It is
the variable fancies of men that set a value on these baubles; it is
this fancy that maintains an hundred workmen whom I employ; it is this
that gives me a fine house and a handsome chariot and horses; it is
this, in fine, that excites industry, encourages taste, promotes
circulation, and produces abundance.
"I sell the same trifles to the neighboring nation at a much higher
rate than I have sold them to thee, and by these means I am useful
to the empire."
Babouc, after having reflected a moment, erased the tradesman's name
from his tablets.
Babouc, not knowing as yet what to think of Persepolis, resolved to
visit the magi and the men of letters; for, as the one studied wisdom
and the other religion, he hoped that they in conjunction would obtain
mercy for the rest of the people. Accordingly, he went next morning
into a college of magi. The archimandrite confessed to him, that he
had an hundred thousand crowns a year for having taken the vow of
poverty, and that he enjoyed a very extensive empire in virtue of
his vow of humility; after which he left him with an inferior brother,
who did him the honors of the place.
While the brother was showing him the magnificence of this house of
penitence, a report was spread abroad that Babouc was come to reform
all these houses. He immediately received petitions from each of them,
the substance of which was, "Preserve us and destroy all the rest." On
hearing their apologies, all these societies were absolutely necessary:
on hearing their mutual accusations, they all deserved to be abolished.
He was surprised to find that all the members of these societies were
so extremely desirous of edifying the world, that they wished to have
it entirely under their dominion.
Soon after a little man appeared, who was a demi-magi, and who said to
"I plainly see that the work is going to be accomplished: for Zerdust
is returned to earth; and the little girls prophecy, pinching and
whipping themselves. We therefore implore thy protection against the
"What!" said Babouc, "against the royal pontiff, who resides at Tibet?"
"Yes, against him, himself."
"What! you are then making war upon him, and raising armies!"
"No, but he says that man is a free agent, and we deny it. We have
written several pamphlets against him, which he never read. Hardly has
he heard our name mentioned. He has only condemned us in the same manner
as a man orders the trees in his garden to be cleared from caterpillars."
Babouc was incensed at the folly of these men who made profession of
wisdom; and at the intrigues of those who had renounced the world;
and at the ambition, pride and avarice of such as taught humility and
a disinterested spirit: from all which he concluded that Ithuriel had
good reason to destroy the whole race.
On his return home, he sent for some new books to alleviate his grief,
and in order to exhilarate his spirits, invited some men of letters
to dine with him; when, like wasps attracted by a pot of honey, there
came twice as many as he desired. These parasites were equally eager
to eat and to speak; they praised two sorts of persons, the dead and
themselves; but none of their contemporaries, except the master of the
house. If any of them happened to drop a smart and witty expression, the
rest cast down their eyes and bit their lips out of mere vexation that
it had not been said by themselves. They had less dissimulation than the
magi, because they had not such grand objects of ambition. Each of them
behaved at once with all the meanness of a valet and all the dignity of
a great man. They said to each other's face the most insulting things,
which they took for strokes of wit. They had some knowledge of the
design of Babouc's commission; one of them entreated him in a low voice
to extirpate an author who had not praised him sufficiently about five
years before; another requested the ruin of a citizen who had never
laughed at his comedies; and the third demanded the destruction of the
academy because he had not been able to get admitted into it. The repast
being ended, each of them departed by himself; for in the whole crowd
there were not two men that could endure the company or conversation of
each other, except at the houses of the rich, who invited them to their
tables. Babouc thought that it would be no great loss to the public if
all these vermin were destroyed in the general catastrophe.
Having now got rid of these men of letters, he began to read some new
books, where he discovered the true spirit by which his guests had
been actuated. He observed with particular indignation those slanderous
gazettes, those archives of bad taste, dictated by envy, baseness,
and hunger; those ungenerous satires, where the vulture is treated with
lenity, and the dove torn in pieces; and those dry and insipid romances,
filled with characters of women to whom the author was an utter stranger.
All these detestable writings he committed to the flames, and went to
pass the evening in walking. In this excursion he was introduced to an
old man possessed of great learning, who had not come to increase the
number of his parasites. This man of letters always fled from crowds; he
understood human nature, availed himself of his knowledge, and imparted
it to others with great discretion. Babouc told him how much he was
grieved at what he had seen and read.
"Thou hast read very despicable performances," said the man of letters;
"but in all times, in all countries, and in all kinds of literature, the
bad swarm and the good are rare. Thou hast received into thy house the
very dregs of pedantry. In all professions, those who are least worthy
of appearing are always sure to present themselves with the greatest
impudence. The truly wise live among themselves in retirement and
tranquillity; and we have still some men and some books worthy of thy
While he was thus speaking, they were joined by another man of letters;
and the conversation became so entertaining and instructive, so elevated
above vulgar prejudices, and so conformable to virtue, that Babouc
acknowledged he had never heard the like.
"These are men," said he to himself, "whom the angel Ithuriel will
not presume to touch, or he must be a merciless being indeed."
Though reconciled to men of letters, he was still enraged against the
rest of the nation.
"Thou art a stranger," said the judicious person who was talking to
him; "abuses present themselves to thy eyes in crowds, while the good,
which lies concealed, and which is even sometimes the result of these
very abuses, escapes thy observation."
He then learned that among men of letters there were some who were
free from envy; and that even among the magi themselves there were
some men of virtue. In fine, he concluded that these great bodies,
which by their mutual shocks seemed to threaten their common ruin,
were at bottom very salutary institutions; that each society of magi
was a check upon its rivals; and that though these rivals might
differ in some speculative points, they all taught the same morals,
instructed the people, and lived in subjection to the laws; not
unlike to those preceptors who watch over the heir of a family
while the master of the house watches over them. He conversed with
several of these magi, and found them possessed of exalted souls.
He likewise learned that even among the fools who pretended to make
war on the great lama there had been some men of distinguished
merit; and from all these particulars he conjectured that it might
be with the manners of Persepolis as it was with the buildings;
some of which moved his pity, while others filled him with
He said to the man of letters:
"I plainly see that these magi, whom I at first imagined to be so
dangerous, are in reality extremely useful; especially when a wise
government hinders them from rendering themselves too necessary;
but thou wilt at least acknowledge that your young magistrates, who
purchase the office of a judge as soon as they can mount a horse,
must display in their tribunals the most ridiculous impertinence
and the most iniquitous perverseness. It would doubtless be better
to give these places gratuitously to those old civilians who have
spent their lives in the study of the law."
The man of letters replied:
"Thou hast seen our army before thy arrival at Persepolis; thou
knowest that our young officers fight with great bravery, though
they buy their posts; perhaps thou wilt find that our young
magistrates do not give wrong decisions, though they purchase the
right of dispensing justice."
He led him next day to the grand tribunal, where an affair of great
importance was to be decided. The cause was known to all the world.
All the old advocates that spoke on the subject were wavering and
unsettled in their opinions. They quoted an hundred laws, none of
which were applicable to the question. They considered the matter
in a hundred different lights, but never in its true point of view.
The judges were more quick in their decisions than the advocates
in raising doubts. They were unanimous in their sentiments. They
decided justly, because they followed the light of reason. The
others reasoned falsely because they only consulted their books.
Babouc concluded that the best things frequently arose from abuses.
He saw the same day that the riches of the receivers of the public
revenue, at which he had been so much offended, were capable of
producing an excellent effect; for the emperor having occasion
for money, he found in an hour by their means what he could not
have procured in six months by the ordinary methods. He saw that
those great clouds, swelled with the dews of the earth, restored
in plentiful showers what they had thence derived. Besides, the
children of these new gentlemen, who were frequently better educated
than those of the most ancient families, were sometimes more useful
members of society; for he whose father hath been a good accountant
may easily become a good judge, a brave warrior, and an able
Babouc was insensibly brought to excuse the avarice of the farmer
of the revenues, who in reality was not more avaricious than other
men, and besides was extremely necessary. He overlooked the folly
of those who ruined themselves in order to obtain a post in the
law or army; a folly that produces great magistrates and heroes.
He forgave the envy of men of letters, among whom there were some
that enlightened the world; and he was reconciled to the ambitious
and intriguing magi, who were possessed of more great virtues than
little vices. But he had still many causes of complaint. The
gallantries of the ladies especially, and the fatal effects which
these must necessarily produce, filled him with fear and terror.
As he was desirous of prying into the characters of men of every
condition, he went to wait on a minister of state; but trembled
all the way, lest some wife should be assassinated by her husband
in his presence. Having arrived at the statesman's, he was obliged
to remain two hours in the ante-chamber before his name was sent
in, and two hours more after that was done. In this interval, he
resolved to recommend to the angel Ithuriel both the minister and
his insolent porters. The ante-chamber was filled with ladies of
every rank, magi of all colors, judges, merchants, officers, and
pedants, and all of them complained of the minister. The miser
and the usurer said:
"Doubtless this man plunders the provinces."
The capricious reproached him with fickleness; the voluptuary
"He thinks of nothing but his pleasure."
The factious hoped to see him soon ruined by a cabal; and the women
flattered themselves that they should soon have a younger minister.
Babouc heard their conversation, and could not help saying:
"This is surely a happy man; he hath all his enemies in his
ante-chamber; he crushes with his power those that envy his grandeur;
he beholds those who detest him groveling at his feet."
At length he was admitted into the presence-chamber, where he saw
a little old man bending under the weight of years and business,
but still lively and full of spirits.
The minister was pleased with Babouc, and to Babouc he appeared a
man of great merit. The conversation became interesting. The minister
confessed that he was very unhappy; that he passed for rich, while
in reality he was poor; that he was believed to be all-powerful,
and yet was constantly contradicted; that he had obliged none but
a parcel of ungrateful wretches; and that, in the course of forty
years labor, he had hardly enjoyed a moment's rest. Babouc was
moved with his misfortunes; and thought that if this man had been
guilty of some faults, and Ithuriel had a mind to banish him, he
ought not to cut him off, but to leave him in possession of his
While Babouc was talking to the minister, the beautiful lady with
whom he had dined entered hastily, her eyes and countenance showing
all the symptoms of grief and indignation. She burst into reproaches
against the statesman; she shed tears; she complained bitterly that
her husband had been refused a place to which his birth allowed
him to aspire, and which he had fully merited by his wounds and
his service. She expressed herself with such force; she uttered
her complaints with such a graceful air; she overthrew objections
with so much address, and enforced her arguments with so much
eloquence, that she did not leave the chamber till she had made
her husband's fortune.
Babouc gave her his hand, and said: "Is it possible, madam, that
thou canst take so much pains to serve a man whom thou dost not
love, and from whom thou hast everything to fear?"
"A man whom I do not love!" cried she; "know, sir, that my husband
is the best friend I have in the world; and there is nothing I
would not sacrifice for him, except my own inclinations."
The lady conducted Babouc to her own house. The husband, who had
at last arrived overwhelmed with grief, received his wife with
transports of joy and gratitude. He embraced by turns his wife,
the little magi, and Babouc. Wit, harmony, cheerfulness, and all
the graces, embellished the repast.
Babouc, though a Scythian, and sent by a geni, found, that should
he continue much longer in Persepolis, he would forget even the
angel Ithuriel. He began to grow fond of a city, the inhabitants
of which were polite, affable, and beneficent, though fickle,
slanderous, and vain. He was much afraid that Persepolis would
be condemned. He was even afraid to give in his account.
This, however, he did in the following manner. He caused a little
statue, composed of different metals, of earth, and stones, the
most precious and the most vile, to be cast by one of the best
founders in the city, and carried it to Ithuriel.
"Wilt thou break," said he, "this pretty statue, because it is
not wholly composed of gold and diamonds?"
Ithuriel immediately understood his meaning, and resolved to think
no more of punishing Persepolis, but to leave "The world as it
"For," said he, "if all is not well, all is passable."
Thus Persepolis was suffered to remain; nor did Babouc complain
like Jonas, who, [according to the scriptures] was highly incensed
at the preservation of Nineveh.