The change, however, came too late; Firdousi, now a broken and decrepit old man, had in the meanwhile returned to Tus, and, while wandering through the streets of his native town, heard a child lisping a verse from his own satire in which he taunts Mahmud with his slavish birth: "Had Mahmud's father been what he is now A crown of gold had decked this aged brow; Had Mahmud's mother been of gentle blood, In heaps of silver knee-deep had I stood."
Only crude brick ruins and rubbish heaps remain on the site, but a few relics conveyed to Alexandria and Europe in the Roman age have come down to our day, notably the inscribed statue of a priest of Neith who was high in favour with Psammetichus III., Cambyses and Darius.
The city is also one of the filthiest in the East, as there are no means of drainage or sewerage, and garbage of every description lies in heaps in the open streets.
These foliaceous heaps lie along the bank like the slag of a furnace, showing that Nature is "in full blast" within.
The unhealthiness of the city is chiefly due to want of proper drainage, impure drinkingwater, miasma from the disturbed rubbish heaps, and contaminated dust from the uncleansed roads and streets.