Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 3.djvu/28

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


first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Shahriman thus addressed the Wazir and Aziz, "Salute your King from me and inform him of what ye have heard, namely that my daughter misliketh marriage." So they turned away unsuccessful and ceased not faring on till they rejoined the King and told him what had passed; whereupon he commanded the chief officers to summon the troops and get them ready for marching and campaigning. But the Wazir said to him, "O my liege Lord, do not thus: the King is not at fault because, when his daughter learnt our business, she sent a message saying, 'If my father force me to wed, whomsoever I wed I will slay and myself after him.' So the refusal cometh from her." When the King heard his Minister's words he feared for Taj al-Muluk and said, "Verily if I make war on the King of the Camphor Islands and carry off his daughter, she will kill herself and it will avail me naught." Then he told his son how the case stood, who hearing it said, "O my father, I cannot live without her; so I will go to her and contrive to get at her, even though I die in the attempt, and this only will I do and nothing else." Asked his father, "How wilt thou go to her?" and he answered, "I will go in the guise of a merchant." [1] Then said the King, "If thou need must go and there is no help for it, take with thee the Wazir and Aziz." Then he brought out money from his treasuries and made ready for his son merchandise to the value of an hundred thousand dinars. The two had settled upon this action; and when the dark hours came Taj al-Muluk and Aziz went to Aziz's lodgings and there passed that night, and the Prince was heart smitten, taking no pleasure in food or in sleep; for melancholy was heavy upon him and he was agitated with longing for his beloved. So he besought the Creator that he would vouch safe to unite him with her and he wept and groaned and wailed and began versifying,

"Union, this severance ended, shall I see some day? * Then shall my tears this love lorn lot of me portray. While night all care forgets I only minded thee, * And thou didst gar me wake while all forgetful lay."

  1. Not the first time that royalty has played this prank, nor the last, perhaps.