Bar`macides, a Persian family celebrated for their magnificence, and
that in the end met with the cruellest fate. Yâhyá, one of them, eminent
for ability and virtue, was chosen by the world-famous Haroun-Al-Raschid
on his accession to the caliphate to be his vizier; and his four sons
rose along with him to such influence in the government, as to excite the
jealousy of the caliph so much, that he had the whole family invited to a
banquet, and every man, woman, and child of them massacred at midnight in
cold blood. The caliph, it is gratifying to learn, never forgave himself
for this cruelty, and was visited with a gnawing remorse to the end of
his days; and it had fatal issues to his kingdom as well as himself.
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