“Bahá’u’lláh loved the beauty and verdure of the country. One day He passed the remark: ‘I have not gazed on verdure for nine years. The country is the world of the soul, the city is the world of bodies.’ When I heard indirectly of this saying I realized that He was longing for the country, and I was sure that whatever I could do towards the carrying out of His wish would be successful. There was in ‘Akká at that time a man called Muhammad Pásh
á Safwat, who was very much opposed to us. He had a palace called Mazra‘ih, about four miles north of the city, a lovely place, surrounded by gardens and with a stream of running water. . . . I got the house at a very low rent, about five pounds per annum, paid him for five years and made a contract. I sent labourers to repair the place and put the garden in order and had a bath built. I also had a carriage prepared for the use of the Blessed Beauty. . . .”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted by J. E. Esslemont in Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1998), p. 35.