From a literary point of view, indeed, it cannot compare with the dignified Hebrew narrative, but considering the misfortunes which have befallen the collection of Zoroastrian traditions now represented by the Bundahish (the Parsee Genesis) we cannot reasonably be surprised.
They number only some 46,000 all told, but most of the great business houses are owned by Parsee millionaires and most of the large charities are founded by them.
In recent years many have taken to the professions of law and medicine, and a Parsee barrister was appointed a judge of the High Court at Bombay in 1906.
The merit of achieving this belongs to the enthusiastic orientalist Anquetil Duperron, the fruit of whose prolonged stay in India (1755-1761) and his acquaintance with the Parsee priests was a translation (certainly very defective) of the Zend-Avesta.
And Ahab chanced so to stand, that the Parsee occupied his shadow; while, if the Parsee's shadow was there at all it seemed only to blend with, and lengthen Ahab's.
At the base of the mainmast, full beneath the doubloon and the flame, the Parsee was kneeling in Ahab's front, but with his head bowed away from him; while near by, from the arched and overhanging rigging, where they had just been engaged securing a spar, a number of the seamen, arrested by the glare, now cohered together, and hung pendulous, like a knot of numbed wasps from a drooping, orchard twig.
As, then, with regular, gasping hems, he hammered on the anvil, Perth passing to him the glowing rods, one after the other, and the hard pressed forge shooting up its intense straight flame, the Parsee passed silently, and bowing over his head towards the fire, seemed invoking some curse or some blessing on the toil.
The wedding day having been fixed by an astrologer, who consults the stars for a happy season, a Parsee priest goes.
The Mahratta race is the dominant element next to the European rulers, but in addition to them are a great and influential section of Parsee merchants, Arab traders from the Gulf, Afghans and Sikhs from northern India, Bengalis, Rajputs, Chinese, Japanese, Malays, negroes, Tibetans, Sinhalese and Siamese.
Towards the northern end of Malabar hill lie the Parsee Towers of Silence, where the Parsecs expose their dead till the flesh is devoured by vultures, and then cast the bones into a well where they crumble into dust.