Page:Arabiannightsent07burtiala.djvu/24

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8
Alf Laylah wa Laylah.

 Now when it was the Six Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Sahim had aroused Ajib, whom he had made insensible with henbane and had brought to his brother Gharib, the captive opened his eyes and, feeling himself bound and shackled, hung down his head earthwards. Thereupon cried Sahim, "O Accursed, lift thy head!" So he raised his eyes and found himself amongst Arabs and Ajams, and saw his brother seated on the throne of his estate and the place of his power, wherefore he was silent and spake not. Then Gharib cried out and said, "Strip me this hound!" So they stripped him and came down upon him with whips, till they weakened his body and subdued his pride, after which Gharib set over him a guard of an hundred knights. And when this fraternal correction had been administered they heard shouts of, "There is no God but the God!" and "God is Most Great!" from the camp of the Kafirs. Now the cause of this was that, ten days after his nephew King Al-Damigh, Gharib's uncle, had set out from Al-Jazirah, with twenty thousand horse, and on nearing the field of battle, had despatched one of his scouts to get news. The man was absent a whole day, at the end of which time he returned and told Al-Damigh all that had happened to Gharib with his brother. So he waited till the night, when he fell upon the Infidels, crying out, "Allaho Akbar!" and put them to the edge of the biting scymitar. When Gharib heard the Takbir,[1] he said to Sahim, "Go find out the cause of these shouts and war-cries." So Sahim repaired to the field of battle and questioned the slaves and camp followers, who told him that King Al-Damigh had come up with twenty thousand men and had fallen upon the idolaters by night, saying, "By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will not forsake my brother's son, but will play a brave man's part and beat back the host of Miscreants and please the Omnipotent King!" So Sahim returned and told his uncle's derring-do to Gharib, who cried out to his men, saying, "Don your arms and mount your steeds and let us succour my father's brother!" So they took horse and fell upon the Infidels and put them to the edge of the sharp sword. By the morning they had killed nigh fifty thousand

  1. i.e. the slogan-cry of "Allaho Akbar," which M. C. Barbier de Meynard compares with the Christian "Te Deum."