Page:Arabiannightsent07burtiala.djvu/17

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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.

 Now when it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

Shahrazad continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa'’adan having broken into the palace of King Jamak and pounded to pieces those therein, the survivors cried out, "“Quarter! Quarter!”"; and Sa’'adan said to them, “"Pinion your King!”" So they bound Jamak and took him up, and Sa’'adan drove them before him like sheep and brought them to Gharib’'s presence, after the most part of the citizens had perished by the enemy’'s swords. When the King of Babel came to himself, he found himself bound and heard Sa’'adan say, "“I will sup to-night off this King Jamak:"” whereupon he turned to Gharib and cried to him, "“I throw myself on thy mercy."” Replied Gharib, “"Become a Moslem, and thou shalt be safe from the Ghul and from the vengeance of the Living One who ceaseth not."” So Jamak professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue and Gharib bade loose his bonds. Then he expounded The Faith to his people and they all became True Believers; after which Jamak returned to the city and despatched thence provaunt land henchmen to Gharib; and wine to the camp before Babel where they passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib gave the signal for the march and they fared on till they came to Mayyáfárikín,[1] which they found empty, for its people had heard what had befallen Babel and had fled to Cufa-city and told Ajib. When he heard the news, his Doom-day appeared to him and he assembled his braves and informing them of the enemy’'s approach ordered them make ready to do battle with his brother’s host; after which he numbered them and found them thirty-thousand horse and ten thousand foot.[2] So, needing more, he levied other fifty-thousand men, cavalry and infantry, and taking horse amid a mighty host, rode forwards, till he came upon his brother’'s army encamped before Mosul and pitched his tents in face of their lines. Then Gharib wrote a writ and said to his officers, “"Which of you will carry this letter to Ajib?”" Whereupon Sahim sprang to his feet and cried, “"O King of the Age, I will bear thy missive and bring thee back an answer."” So Gharib gave him the epistle

VOL. VII.
 
  1. Mayyafarikin, whose adjective for shortness is "Fárikí": the place is often mentioned in the Nights as the then capitcal of Diyár Bakr, thirty parasangs from Násibín, the classical Nisibis, between the upper Euphrates and Tigris.
  2. This proportion is singular to moderns but characterised Arab and more especially Turcoman armies.