Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 3.djvu/24

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


And he repeated also these,

"Well Allah weets that since our severance day * I've wept till forced to ask of tears a loan: 'Patience! (the blamer cries): thou'lt have her yet!' * Quoth I, 'O blamer where may patience wone?'"

Then said he, "This, O King! is my tale: hast thou ever heard one stranger?" So Taj al-Muluk marvelled with great marvel at the young merchant's story, and fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the Lady Dunya and her loveliness.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan: Now when Taj al-Muluk heard the story of the young merchant, he marvelled with great marvel and fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the Lady Dunya who, as he knew, had embroidered the gazelles; and his love and longing hourly grew, so he said to the youth, "By Allah, that hath befallen thee whose like never befel any save thyself, but thou hast a life term appointed, which thou must fulfil; and now I would fain ask of thee a question." Quoth Aziz, "And what is it?" Quoth he, "Wilt thou tell me how thou sawest the young lady who wrought these gazelles?" Then he, "O my lord, I got me access to her by a sleight and it was this. When I entered her city with the caravan, I went forth and wandered about the garths till I came to a flower garden abounding in trees, whose keeper was a venerable old man, a Shaykh stricken in years. I addressed him, saying, 'O ancient sir, whose may be this garden?' and he replied, 'It belongs to the King's daughter, the Lady Dunya. We are now beneath her palace and, when she is minded to amuse herself, she openeth the private wicket and walketh in the garden and smelleth the fragrance of the flowers.' So I said to him, 'Favour me by allowing me to sit in this garden till she come; haply I may enjoy a sight of her as she passeth.' The Shaykh answered, 'There can be no harm in that.' Thereupon I gave him a dirham or so and said to him, Buy us something to eat.' He took the money gladly and opened door and, entering himself, admitted me into the garden, where we