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Murder of Seyavash: Unknown artist, Shiraz style 1630-40.
Courtesy British Library

Fathers against sons
In the Shahnameh, shahs are almost always in the wrong

September 15, 2000
The Iranian

Excerpt from Fathers and Sons: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol II, translated by Dick Davis (2000, Mage Publishers). Volume II opens and closes with tales of tragic conflict between a king and his son: Prince Seyavash and Prince Esfandiyar are both driven from the court by their foolish fathers to confront destiny and death in distant lands. It includes more than 180 illustrations, mostly taken from miniatures in the great Shahnameh made in the 1520's and 30's for the Safavid monarch, Shah Tahmasp. See excerpt from introduction to Volume II here. Also see excerpt from Volume I here.

A Turkish Princess Is Discovered

One day at cockcrow Tus, Giv, and a number of other knights rode out from their king's court; taking along cheetahs and hawks, they set off for the plain of Daghui to hunt for wild asses. After they'd brought down a great quantity of game, enough for forty days, they saw that the land before them was black with Turkish tents. In the distance, close to the border between the Persian and Turkish peoples, a thicket was visible, and Tus and Giv, followed by a few others, rode over to it. To their astonishment, they discovered a beautiful young woman hiding there, and Tus said to her, "How is it a girl as radiant as the moon is in this thicket?" She answered, "Last night my father beat me; he came back drunk from a feast and, as soon as he saw me, he drew a dagger and began shouting that he would cut my head off, and so I fled from our home."

The knights asked her about her family, and she explained that she was related to Garsivaz who traced his lineage back to Feraydun. Then they asked how it was that she was on foot. She said that her horse had collapsed in exhaustion, that the quantity of gold and jewels she'd brought with her, together with her crown, had been stolen from her by bandits on a nearby hill, and that one of them had beaten her with the scabbard of his sword. She added, "When my father realizes what's happened, he'll send horsemen out to find me, and my mother too is sure to hurry here to stop me going any further."

The knights could not help but be interested in her, and Tus said quite shamelessly, "I found this Turkish girl, I rode on ahead of the rest of the group, she's mine." Giv responded, "My lord, didn't you and I arrive here together, without the others? It's not fitting for a knight to get so argumentative about a slave girl." Their words became so heated that they were ready to cut the girl's head off, but to resolve the matter one of the company suggested they take her to the Persian king's court, and that both should agree to whatever the king decided. And so they set out for the court, but when Kavus saw the girl he laughed and bit his lip and said to the pair of them, "I see the hardships of the journey were well worth it, and we can spend a day telling stories about how our heroes went hunting with cheetahs and snared the sun. She's a delicate young doe, and prey like that's reserved for the very best." He turned then to the girl and said, "What family are you from, because your face is like an angel's?" She answered, "My mother's nobly born, and my father's descended from Feraydun; my grandfather is Garsivaz, and his tent is always at the center of our encampment." Kavus said, "And you wanted to throw to the winds such a fine lineage, not to speak of your lovely face and hair? No, you must sit on a golden throne in my harem and I'll make you the first of all my women." She answered, "My lord, when I saw you, of all heroes I chose you for my own."

Enthroned within his harem now-arrayed
With rubies, turquoise, lapis, gold brocade-
She was herself an unpierced, precious gem,
A princess worthy of a diadem.

The Birth of Seyavash

When spring with all its glorious colors came, Kavus was told that his encounter with this radiant beauty had resulted in the birth of a splendid son. The loveliness of the boy's face and hair was rumored throughout the world; the king, his father, named him Seyavash and had his horoscope cast. But the horoscope was not auspicious; taking refuge in the will of God, Kavus was saddened to see that the stars did not augur well for the boy's future.

Shortly afterwards Rostam came to the court and addressed the sovereign: "It's I who should undertake the education of this lion cub; no courtier of yours is more suited to the task; in all the world you won't find a better nurse for him than I shall be." The king pondered the suggestion for a while and, seeing that his heart had no objection to it, he handed into Rostam's arms his pride and joy, the noble infant warrior. Rostam took the boy to Zavolestan and there constructed a dwelling for him in an orchard. He taught him how to ride and all the skills appropriate for a horseman; how to manage bridle and stirrups, the use of bow and lariat; how to preside at banquets where the wine goes round; how to hunt with hawks and cheetahs; what justice and injustice are; all that pertains to the crown and throne; what wise speech is; what warfare is and how to lead his troops. He passed on to him all the arts a prince must know, toiling to teach the boy, and his labors bore good fruit. Seyavash became a prince without a peer in all the world.

Time passed and now the youth was hunting lions with his lariat. He turned to Rostam and said, "I need to see my king; you've taken great pains in teaching me the ways of princes, and now my father must see the skills that Rostam's taught me." Rostam gathered presents for him-horses, slaves, gold, silver, seal-rings, crowns, thrones, cloth, carpets-and whatever his own treasury could not supply he sent for from elsewhere. He had Seyavash splendidly equipped, since the army would be observing him, and to keep the boy's spirits up, he accompanied him part of the way. His people decked the road in splendor, mixing gold and ambergris and sprinkling the mixture on him as he passed. Every house and street was decorated and the world was filled with joy, gold coins were scattered beneath the horses' hooves, their manes were smeared with saffron, wine, and musk; in all Iran there was not one sad soul.

Seyavash was welcomed at the court with great pomp and ceremony; festivities were held and Kavus lavished gifts on his son, reserving only the royal crown, saying that the boy was as yet too young for such an honor. But after eight years had passed he made him lord of Kavarestan, the land beyond the Oxus, and the royal mandate was inscribed on silk according to ancient royal custom.

Sudabeh's Love for Seyavash

Now when the king's wife, Sudabeh, saw Seyavash, she grew strangely pensive and her heart beat faster; she began to waste away like ice before fire, worn thin as a silken thread. She sent someone to him saying, "If you were to appear in the royal harem one day it would cause no alarm or surprise." Seyavash replied:

"I don't like harems and I won't agree
To plots and intrigues, so don't bother me."

At dawn the following day Sudabeh hurried to the king and said, "Great lord, whose like the sun and moon have never seen, whose son's a matchless paragon, dispatch this youth to your harem where his sisters and your women can set eyes on him; we'll do him homage and give him presents, and the tree of loyalty will bear sweet fruit." Kavus replied, "Your words are wise, your love is equal to a hundred mothers' love." He called Seyavash to him and said, "Blood ties and love will not stay hidden long; you've sisters in my harem, and Sudabeh loves you like a mother. God has created you in such a way that everyone who sees you loves you, and those who are your kin should not have to be content with glimpsing you from a distance. Pay a visit to my womenfolk, stay with them for a while and let them honor you." But when Seyavash heard the king's words, he stared at him in astonishment:

He strove to keep his heart unstained and clean And pondered what it was the king might mean:

Perhaps Kavus felt some uncertainty
And meant to test his faith, or honesty.
He knew the king was sly and eloquent,
Watchful and warily intelligent.
He thought, "And if I go there, Sudabeh
Will corner me and pester me to stay."
He said, "Send me to men of proven sense,
To councilors of deep experience,
To those who'll teach me how to fight, who know
How I should wield a sword, or shoot a bow,
Who know how kings hold court, how courtiers dine,
The rules that govern music, feasts, and wine:
What will I gather from your women's quarters?
Since when has wisdom lived with wives and daughters?
But if these are your orders, I will do
Whatever seems appropriate to you."

The king replied, "Rejoice, my son, and may wisdom always guide you; I've heard few speeches so eloquent and it does a man good to hear you talk like this. But don't be so suspicious; be cheerful, drive away such gloomy thoughts. Now, your loving sisters and Sudabeh, who loves you like a mother, are all waiting for you in the harem." Seyavash said, "I shall come at dawn and do as you command." There was a man, whose heart was cleansed of all evil, called Hirbad, and he had charge of the king's harem. To this wise man Kavus said, "When the sun unsheathes its sword, pay attention to what Seyavash tells you." Then he told Sudabeh to prepare jewels and musk to scatter before his son. When the sun rose above the mountains, Seyavash came to his father and made his obeisance before him; Kavus talked to the boy for a while then summoned Hirbad and gave him his orders. He said to Seyavash, "Go with him, and prepare your heart for new delights."

The two went off together lightheartedly enough, but when Hirbad drew back the curtain from the harem's entrance, Seyavash felt a presentiment of evil. The womenfolk came forward with music to welcome him; he saw bowls of musk, gold coins, and saffron on every side, and as he entered gold, rubies, and emeralds were scattered before his feet. He trod on Chinese brocade worked with pearls and saw facing him a golden throne studded with turquoise and draped in gorgeous cloth; there sat the moon-faced Sudabeh, a paradise of tints and scents, splendid as Canopus, a tall crown set on the thick black curls that fell clustering to her feet. Beside her stood a slave, her head humbly bowed, her mistress's gold-worked slippers in her hands.

As soon as she saw Seyavash enter, Sudabeh descended from the throne; She walked coquettishly forward, bowed before him, and then held him in a lengthy embrace. Slowly she kissed his eyes and face, gazing as if she could never grow weary of him. She murmured, "Throughout the day and for three watches of the night I thank God a hundred times for your existence. No one has ever had a son like you, no king has ever had a prince like you." Seyavash knew what all this kindness meant, and that such friendship was improper; he hurried over to his sisters, who greeted him respectfully and sat him on a golden throne. After spending some time with them he returned to the king's audience hall, and the harem buzzed with chatter: "That's what I call a real prince, so noble and so cultivated S," "He seems an angel, not a man at all S," "And his soul just radiates wisdom S."

Seyavash went to his father and said, "I have seen your harem; all the splendor of the world is yours, and you can have no quarrel with God. In treasure and power and glory you surpass Jamshid, Feraydun, and Hushang." The king was overjoyed at his words and had the castle decorated like a spring garden; father and son passed the time with wine and music, giving no thought to the workings of Fate. At nightfall Kavus made his way to the harem and questioned Sudabeh: "No secrets from me now, tell me what you thought of Seyavash, of his behavior, of how he looks, of his conversation. Did you like him? D'you think he's wise? Is he better from report or when you see him face to face?" Sudabeh replied, "The sun and moon have never seen your equal, and who in all the world is like your son? This is not something to be secretive about! Now, if you agree, I'll marry him to one of his own kin; I have daughters from you and one of them would surely bear him a noble son." Kavus replied, "This is my desire exactly; the greatness of our name depends on it."

When Seyavash came to his father the following morning Kavus cleared the court and said: "I have one, secret, unfulfilled request of God: that my name should live through a son of yours, and just as I was rejuvenated by your birth, so you will know delight in seeing him. Astrologers have said you will father a great son, to keep our name alive in the world. Now, choose some noble girl as your consort; look in King Pashin's harem, or there is King Arash's clan; look about for someone suitable." Seyavash said, "I am the king's slave, obedient to his wishes; but Sudabeh shouldn't hear of this, she won't like it. And I'm having no more to do with her harem." The king laughed at Seyavash's words; he thought all was firm ground and had no notion of swampy water lurking beneath the straw. "You worry about choosing a wife," he said, "and don't give Sudabeh a thought. She speaks well of you and only wants what's best for you." Seyavash showed pleasure at his father's words and bowed before the throne, but inwardly he still brooded over Sudabeh's intentions.

Sudabeh Tries Again

The next day Sudabeh sent Hirbad to Seyavash, saying, "Tell him to put himself to the trouble of honoring us with his noble presence." Seyavash came to the harem and saw her seated on her throne, her crown set on her bejeweled hair, her beautiful womenfolk standing by, as if the palace were a paradise. She descended from her throne and sat him there, then stood before him submissively, her arms folded across her chest, like a serving girl. She motioned to the young women, lovely as uncut jewels, and said, "Look on this place, and on these gold-crowned virgin girls whose characters are compounded of coyness and modesty. If one of them pleases you, tell me: go forward and examine her face and stature." Seyavash glanced at the girls, but they were all too shy to return his gaze. One by one they passed before his throne, each silently reckoning her chances of being chosen. When the last had gone by, Sudabeh said, "How long will you stay silent? Won't you tell me which one you like? Your face is like an angel's, and anyone who glimpses you in the distance wishes you were hers. Look carefully at these girls, and choose whichever's suitable for you." But Seyavash sat there silent, thinking that it would be wrong to choose a wife from among his enemies; the story of what the king of Hamaveran had done to Kavus came to his mind, and the fact that Sudabeh was this man's daughter and, like him, was full of wiles and hatred for the Persian people. As he opened his mouth to answer, Sudabeh removed her veil and said:

"The moon's of no account beside the sun,
And now you see the sun. Come now, choose one
Of these young virgins, and I'll have her stand
Before you as your servant to command.
But first, swear me an oath you'll never try
To wriggle out of: King Kavus will die,
And when that happens I will turn to you:
Value me then as he was wont to do.
I stand here now, your servant girl, I give
My flesh to you, the soul by which I live;
Take anything you want from me, I swear
I won't attempt to slip free from your snare."
She clutched his head and ripped her dress, as though
All fear and shame had left her long ago.
But Seyavash's cheeks blushed rosy red,
Tears filled his eyes, and to himself he said,
"May God who rules the planets succor me
And save me from this witch's sorcery.
If I speak coldly to her she'll devise
Some spell to make the king believe her lies.
My best course is to flatter her; to calm
Her heart with glozing chat and gentle charm."

And so he said to Sudabeh: "Who in all the world is your equal, who is fit for you except the king? Your daughter is enough for me, no better bride for me exists. Suggest this to the king and see what he replies. I swear I'll look at no one else until she's grown as tall as I am. As for this liking you've conceived for my face, well, God has made me as you see me; but keep this as our secret, tell no one, and I too will keep the matter dark. You are the first of all our womenfolk, and I think of you as my mother." Then he left, with sorrow in his heart.

When Kavus arrived in the harem, Sudabeh told him of Seyavash's visit, saying that he had seen all the young women there but only her own daughter had pleased him. Overjoyed, the king had the treasury doors flung open and a great treasure prepared, while Sudabeh watched in wonder. She was determined to bend Seyavash to her will by any means possible, or, if she could not, to destroy his reputation. Once more she sat upon her throne arrayed in all her splendor and summoned Seyavash. She said, "The king has prepared treasures for you, crowns and thrones such as no man has ever seen, immeasurable quantities of goods, enough to weigh down two hundred elephants. And he's going to give you my daughter as a bride. But look at me now; what excuse can you have to reject my love, why do you turn away from my body and beauty? I have been your slave ever since I set eyes on you, weeping and longing for you; pain darkens all my days, I feel the sun itself is dimmed. Come, in secret, just once, make me happy again, give me back my youth for a moment. I'll reward you with far more than the king has offered- bracelets, crowns, thrones. But if you refuse me and hold your heart back from my desires, I'll destroy you with the king and make him look on you with loathing."

Seyavash replied, "God forbid I should lose my head for the sake of my heart, or ever be so disloyal to my father as to forget all manliness and wisdom. You are the king's consort, the sun of his palace; such a sin is unworthy of you." Then Sudabeh sprang from her throne and stretched out her claws at him, crying, "I told you all the secrets of my heart and now you want to ruin me, to make me a laughingstock?" She tore her clothes, clawed at her cheeks, and screamed so loudly the sound was heard in the streets. A tumult of wailing went up from the palace and its gardens, and hearing it, Kavus sprang from his throne and hurried to the harem. When he saw Sudabeh's scratched face and the palace abuzz with rumors, he asked everyone what had happened, never suspecting that his hard-hearted wife was the cause of all this. Sudabeh stood wailing and weeping in front of him, tearing at her hair, and said, "Seyavash came to my throne room and clasped me tightly in his arms, saying he had never wanted anyone but me; he flung my crown aside and tore my clothes from my breasts."

Kavus questioned her closely, and in his heart he said, "If she is telling the truth, and is not simply trying to stir up trouble, the only possible solution is for Seyavash to be executed. The wise say that, in cases like this, honor demands blood." He cleared the harem of everyone but Sudabeh and Seyavash, and then, turning first to Seyavash, calmly said, "You must hide nothing from me. You didn't do this evil, I did, and now I must bear the consequences of my own foolish talk; why ever did I order you to go to the harem? Now I must suffer while you tell me what happened. Keep your eye on the truth now, and tell me exactly what occurred."

Seyavash told him the story and of how wild with passion Sudabeh had been, but Sudabeh broke in, "This is not true, he wanted no one in the harem except me. I reminded him of all the king had given him, of our daughter and all the treasure that was to be his, and I said I'd add more in gifts to the bride; but he said he wanted only me, and that without me girls and treasure were nothing to him. He flung his arms about me, his embrace was unyielding as a rock, and when I wouldn't do what he wanted, he yanked at my hair and scratched my face. I'm pregnant with a child of yours, my lord, and I suffered so much I thought I would lose our baby there and then; the world turned dark before my eyes."

Kavus said to himself, "I can't trust what either of them says; this is not something to be decided quickly, crises and worry cloud a man's judgment. I have to search out carefully which of the two of them is guilty and deserves to be punished." To this end he sniffed at Seyavash's hands and at his arms and body. Next he turned to Sudabeh, and on her he smelt the scents of wine, musk, and rosewater. There was no trace of such scents on Seyavash; there was no evidence that he had touched her. Kavus grew grim, despising Sudabeh in his heart, and to himself he said, "She should be hacked to pieces with a sword." But then he thought of Hamaveran and of the outcry that would arise if Sudabeh were harmed, and also he remembered how when he had been in captivity there, alone and friendless, she had ministered to him day and night; the memory of this tormented him and he said nothing.

Thirdly, she was a loving woman and he felt she should be forgiven for her faults. And fourthly, he had young children by her, and he could not bear the thought of their grief if anything should happen to their mother. But Seyavash was innocent, and the king recognized his righteousness. He said to him, "Well, think no more of all this; follow the ways of wisdom and knowledge. Mention this matter to no one; we mustn't give gossip any kind of encouragement."

Sudabeh's Plot Against Seyavash

When Sudabeh realized that Kavus despised her, she began to plot against Seyavash, nourishing the tree of vengeance with her wiles. One of her intimates was a witch who was enduring a difficult pregnancy, and Sudabeh gave her gold, persuading her to take a drug that would abort the twins she carried. Sudabeh said she would tell Kavus the babies were hers, and that she had miscarried because of Seyavash's evil behavior. The woman agreed; when night fell she swallowed the drug, and two ugly devil's spawn were still-born from her. Sudabeh hid her and then lay groaning on her bed as if in labor. Her maidservants came running and saw the two dead devil's spawn on a golden salver, while Sudabeh screamed and tore at her clothes. Kavus woke trembling at the noise and was told what had happened to his wife. He hardly drew breath for the rest of the night and at dawn he hurried to the harem, where he saw Sudabeh stretched out, her quarters in an uproar, and the two dead babies lying pathetically on the golden salver. Her eyes awash with tears, Sudabeh said, "See the work of this paragon of yours, and like a fool you believed his lies!"

Kavus was sick at heart; he knew this was something he could not ignore and he brooded on how to resolve the situation. He had astrologers summoned; he told them of Sudabeh's history and of the war with Hamaveran, then showed them the dead babies, and asked their opinion. The men set to work with their astrolabes and charts and after a week declared that poison did not turn to wine by being placed in a goblet, and that these two babies were not Sudabeh's or the king's, but the spawn of an evil race. For a week Kavus kept his own council, but then Sudabeh appealed to him again saying, "I was the king's companion in adversity, and my heart's so wrung with grief for my murdered babies I hardly live from one moment to the next." But Kavus turned on her and said, "Be quiet, woman, enough of these sickening lies of yours." Then he ordered the palace guards to search high and low throughout the city for the babies' mother; they found her nearby and dragged her before the king. For days he questioned her kindly and made her promises, then he had her tied up and tortured, but she refused to confess. Finally he gave orders that she was to be threatened with execution and that, if she still stayed silent, she be sawn in two; but her only reply was that she was innocent and did not know what to say.

When Kavus was told of her response he went to Sudabeh and informed her of what the astrologers had said, but Sudabeh's reply was that they only said this because they were afraid of Seyavash. She added that, even if he felt no grief for their dead children, she had no other recourse than him and was content to leave the resolution of this quarrel to the world to come. She wept more water than the sun draws up from the Nile, and Kavus wept with her.

He dismissed her and summoned his priests and explained the situation. They advised that he try one of the two by fire, for the heavens would ensure that the innocent would not be harmed. He had Sudabeh and Seyavash called and said that in his heart he could trust neither of them unless fire demonstrated which of the two was guilty. Sudabeh's answer was that she had demonstrated Seyavash's guilt by producing the two miscarried babies, and that he should undergo the trial as he had acted evilly and sought to destroy her. Kavus turned to his young son and asked him his opinion. Seyavash replied that hell itself was less hateful than her words, and that if there were a mountain of fire, he would pass through it to prove his innocence. Torn between his love for Sudabeh and his regard for his son, Kavus decided to go ahead with the trial. He had a hundred caravans of camels and another hundred of red-haired dromedaries bring wood, and servants piled it into two huge hills, between which was a narrow pathway such as four horsemen might with difficulty pass through. While the populace watched from a distance,

Kavus had priests pour thick pitch on the pyre;
Two hundred men dashed out to set the fire
And such black clouds of smoke rose up you'd say
Dark night usurped the brilliance of the day.
But then quick tongues of flame shot out and soon
The plain glowed brighter than the sky at noon,
Heat scorched the burning ground, and everywhere
The noise of lamentation filled the air;
They wept to see the prince, who came alone
On a black horse before his father's throne;
His helmet was of gold, his clothes were white
And camphor-strewn, according to the rite
That's used in preparation of a shroud.
Dismounting from his horse, he stood, then bowed.
Gently his father spoke, and in his face
The prince saw conscious shame and deep disgrace.
But Seyavash said, "Do not grieve, my lord,
The heavens willed all this, and rest assured
The fire will have no strength to injure me;
My innocence ensures my victory."

When Sudabeh heard the tumult she came out on the roof of her palace and saw the fire; muttering to herself in rage, she longed for evil to befall the prince. The whole world's eyes were fixed on Kavus; men cursed him, their hearts filled with indignation. Then Seyavash wheeled, urging his horse impetuously into the fire; tongues of flame enveloped him and both his horse and helmet disappeared. Tears were in all eyes, the whole plain waited, wondering if he would re-emerge, and when they glimpsed him a shout went up, "The young prince has escaped the fire!" He was unscathed, as if he'd ridden through water and emerged bone dry, for when God wills it, he renders fire and water equally harmless. Seeing Seyavash, all the plain and city gave a great cry of gratitude, and the army's cavalry galloped forward scattering gold coins in his path; nobles and commoners alike rejoiced, passing on the news to one another that God had justified the innocent. But Sudabeh wept and tore at her hair and scored her cheeks with her nails.

Seyavash appeared before his father and there was no trace of fire or smoke or dust or dirt on him; Kavus dismounted, as did all the army, and the king clasped his son in his arms, asking his pardon for the evil that had been done. Seyavash gave thanks to God that he had escaped the flames and that his enemy's designs had been destroyed. The king heaped praise on him and the two walked in state to the palace, where a royal crown was placed on the prince's head and for three days the court gave itself up to wine and music.

But on the fourth day Kavus sat enthroned in majesty, his ox-headed mace in his hand, and peremptorily summoned Sudabeh. He went over what she had claimed, then said, "Your shameless behavior has tormented my heart for long enough; you played foul tricks against my son, thrusting him into the fire; you used magic against him, and no apology will avail you now. Leave this place and prepare yourself for the gallows; you do not deserve to live and hanging is the only fit punishment for what you have done." She answered, "If my head's to be severed from my body, I am ready, give your orders. But I want you to harbor no resentment against me in your heart, so let Seyavash tell the truth-it was Zal's magic that saved him." But the king burst out, "Still at your tricks? It's a wonder you're not hunchbacked with the weight of your impertinence!" And then he turned to the court crying, "What punishment is suitable for the crimes she has committed in secret?" All answered, "The just punishment is that she suffer death for the evil she has done." Kavus said to the executioner, "Take her and hang her in the public way, and show no mercy." When all abandoned Sudabeh in this fashion, the women of the court broke into loud lamentation, and Kavus turned pale, his heart wrung by their cries.

Seyavash said to the king, "Torment yourself no more about this matter; forgive her for my sake. Now, surely, she'll accept good guidance and reform her ways." And to himself he said, "If Sudabeh's destroyed, the king will regret it eventually, and when that happens he'll blame me for her death." Kavus, who had been looking for some excuse not to kill Sudabeh, replied, "For your sake I forgive her." Seyavash kissed his father's throne and then rose and left the court; the women of the harem flocked about Sudabeh, bowing before her one by one. And after some time had passed the king's heart once again inclined to Sudabeh, and his love was such that he could not tear his eyes from her face. Once again her evil nature reasserted itself and she began to weave her secret spells, plotting against Seyavash. And, listening to her, Kavus once again began to turn against his son; but, for the moment, he concealed his suspicions.

See excerpt from introduction to Volume II here.
Also see excerpt from Volume I here.

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