Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/39

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23
Concerning Praiseworthy Men

perfection. Heroes on seeing her became humble and submissive and looked down to the ground for fear of temptation, so many charms and perfections had God lavished on her. Those who looked steadily at her were troubled in their mind, and oh! how many heroes imperilled themselves for her sake. For this very reason Bahloul had always avoided meeting her for fear of succumbing to the temptation, and, apprehensive of his peace of mind, he had never, until then, been in her presence.

Bahloul began to converse with her. Now he looked at her and anon bent his eyes to the ground, fearful of not being able to command his passion. Hamdonna burnt with desire to have the robe, and he would not give it up without being paid for it.

"What price do you demand," she asked. To which he replied, "Coition, O apple of my eye."

"You know what that is, O Bahloul?" said she.

"By God," he cried; "no man knows women better than I; they are the occupation of my life. No one has studied all their concerns more than I. I know what they are fond of; for learn, oh, lady mine, that men choose different occupations according to their genius and their bent. The one takes, the other gives; this one sells, the other buys. My only thought is of love and of the possession of beautiful women. I heal those that are lovesick, and carry a solace to their thirsting vaginas."

Hamdonna was surprised at his words and the sweetness of his language. "Could you recite me some verses on this subject?" she asked.

"Certainly," he answered.

"Very well, O Bahloul, let me hear what you have to say."