Omar, the son of Hassan, had passed seventy-five years in honor and prosperity.
The favor of three successive caliphs had filled his house with gold and silver;
and whenever he appeared, the benedictions of the people proclaimed his passage.
Terrestrial happiness is of short continuance.
The brightness of the flame is wasting its fuel; the fragrant flower is passing away in its own odors.
The vigor of Omar began to fail; the curls of beauty fell from his head; strength departed from his hands, and agility from his feet.
He gave back to the caliph the keys of trust, and the seals of secrecy;
and sought no other pleasure for the remainder of life than the converse of the wise and the gratitude of the good.
The powers of his mind were yet unimpaired.
His chamber was filled by visitants, eager to catch the dictates of experience, and officious to pay the tribute of admiration.
Caleb, the son of the viceroy of Egypt, entered every day early, and retired late.
He was beautiful and eloquent; Omar admired his wit, and loved his docility.