The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night/Volume 4

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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night' , translated by Richard Francis Burton
Volume 4
The Book of the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة‎ - kitāb 'alf layla wa-layla; Persian: هزار و یک شب - Hezār-o yek šab) is a collection of stories collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars in various countries.


To Foster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot.

My Dear Arbuthnot,

I have no fear that a friend, whose friendship has lasted nearly a third of a century, will misunderstand my reasons for inscribing his name upon these pages. You have lived long enough in the East and, as your writings show, observantly enough, to detect the pearl which lurks in the kitchen-midden, and to note that its lustre is not dimmed nor its value diminished by its unclean surroundings.

Ever yours sincerely,
                    Richard F. Burton.
Athenæum Club, October 1, 1885 Contents of the Fourth Volume

Tale of Kamar Al-Zaman (continued) a. Ni'amar Bin Al-Rabi'a and Naomi His Slave-girl b. Conclusion of the Tale of Kamar Al-Zaman 22. Ala Al-Din Abu Al-Shamat 23. Hatim of the Trive of Tayy 24. Ma'an the Son of Zaidah 25. Ma'an the Son of Zaidah and the Badawi 26. The City of Labtayt 27. The Caliph Hisham and the Arab Youth 28. Ibrahim Bin Al-Mahdi and the Barber-Surgeon 29. The City of Many-Columned Iram and Abdullah Son of Abi Kilabah 30. Isaac of Mosul 31. The Sweep and the Noble Lady 32. The Mock Caliph 33. Ali the Persian 34. Haru Al-Rashid and the Slave-Girl and the Iman Abu Yusuf 35. The Lover Who Feigned Himself A Thief 36. Ja'afar the Barmecide and the Bean-Seller 37. Abu Mohammed Hight Lazybones 38. Generous Dealing of Yahya Bin Khálid The Barmecide with Mansur 39. Generous Dealing of Yahya Son of Khálid with a Man Who Forged a Letter in his Name 40. Caliph Al-Maamum and the Strange Scholar 41. Ali Shar and Zumurrud 42. The Loves of Jubayr Bin Umayr and the Lady Budur 43. The Man of Al-Yaman and His Six Slave-Girls 44. Harun Al-Rashid and the Damsel and Abu Nowas 45. The Man Who Stole the Dish of Gold Wherein The Dog Ate 46. The Sharper of Alexandria and the Chief of Police 47. Al-Malik Al-Nasir and the Three Chiefs of Police a. Story of the Chief of Police of Cairo b. Story of the Chief of the Bulak Police c. Story of the Chief of the Old Cairo Police 48. The Thief and the Shroff 49. The Chief of the Kus Police and the Sharper 50. Ibrahim Bin Al-Mahdi and the Merchant's Sister 51. The Woman Whose Hands were Cut Off For Giving Alms to the Poor 52. The Devout Israelite 53. Abu Hassan Al-Ziyadi and the Khorasan 54. The Poor Man and His Friend in Need 55. The Ruined Man Who became Rich Again Through A Dream 56. Caliph Al-Mutawakkil and His Concubine Mahbubah 57. Wardan the Butcher; His Adventure With the Lady and the Bear 58. The King's Daughter and the Ape

The Book of the Thousand Nights and A Night Ni'amah bin al-Rabi'a and Naomi his Slave-girl.

There lived once in the city of Cufa[1] a man called Al-Rabí'a bin Hátim, who was one of the chief men of the town, a wealthy and a healthy, and Heaven had vouchsafed him a son, whom he named Ni'amah Allah.[2] One day, being in the slave-brokers' mart, he saw a woman exposed for sale with a little maid of wonderful beauty and grace on her arm. So he beckoned to the broker and asked him, "How much for this woman and her daughter?" He answered "Fifty dinars." Quoth Al-Rabi'a "Write the contract of sale and take the money and give it to her owner." Then he gave the broker the price and his brokerage and taking the woman and her child, carried them to his house. Now when the daughter of his uncle who was his wife saw the slave, she said to her husband, "O my cousin, what is this damsel?" He replied, "Of a truth, I bought her for the sake of the little one on her arm; for know that, when she groweth up, there will not be her like for beauty, either in the land of the Arabs or the Ajams." His wife remarked, "Right was thy rede", and said to the woman "What is thy name?" She replied, "O my lady, my name is Tauflík.[3]" "And what is thy daughter's name?" asked she? Answered the slave, "Sa'ad, the happy." Rejoined her mistress; "Thou sayst sooth, thou art indeed happy, and happy is he who hath bought thee." Then quoth she to her husband, "O my cousin, what wilt thou call her?"; and quoth he, "Whatso thou chooses"; so she said, "Then let us call her Naomi," and he rejoined "Good is thy device." The little Naomi was reared with Al-Rabi'a's son Ni'amah in one cradle, so to speak, till the twain reached the age of ten and each grew handsomer than the other; and the boy used to address her, "O my sister!" and she, "O my brother!", till they came to that age when Al-Rabi'a said to Ni'amah, "O my son, Naomi is not thy sister but thy slave. I bought her in thy name whilst thou wast yet in the cradle; so call her no more sister from this day forth." Quoth Ni'amah, "If that be so, I will take her to wife." Then he went to his mother and told her of this, and she said to him, "O my son, she is thy handmaid." So he wedded and went in unto Naomi and loved her; and two[4] years passed over them whilst in this condition, nor was there in all Cufa a fairer girl than Naomi, or a sweeter or a more graceful. As she grew up she learnt the Koran and read works of science and excelled in music and playing upon all kinds of instruments; and in the beauty of her singing she surpassed all the folk of her time. Now one day as she sat with her husband in the wine chamber, she took the lute, tightened the strings, and sang these two couplets,

"While thou'rt my lord whose bounty's my estate, * A sword
     whereby my woes to annihilate,
Recourse I never need to Amru or Zayd,[5] * Nor aught save
     thee if way to me grow strait!"

Ni'amah was charmed with these verses and said to her, "By my life, O Naomi, sing to us with the tambourine and other instruments!" So she sang these couplets to a lively measure,

"By His life who holds my guiding rein, I swear * I'll meet on
     love ground parlous foe nor care:
Good sooth I'll vex revilers, thee obey * And quit my slumbers
     and all joy forswear:
And for thy love I'll dig in vitals mine * A grave, nor shall my
     vitals weet 'tis there!"

And Ni'amah exclaimed, "Heaven favoured art thou, O Naomi!" But whilst they led thus the most joyous life, behold! Al-Hajjáj,[6] the Viceroy of Cufa said to himself, "Needs must I contrive to take this girl named Naomi and send her to the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwán, for he hath not in his palace her like for beauty and sweet singing." So he summoned an old woman of the duennas of his wives and said to her, "Go to the house of Al-Rabi'a and foregather with the girl Naomi and combine means to carry her off; for her like is not to be found on the face of the earth." She promised to do his bidding; the next morning she donned the woollen clothes of a devotee and hung around her neck a rosary of beads by the thousand; and, henting in hand a staff and a leather water bottle of Yamani manufacture.— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman promised to do the bidding of Al-Hajjaj, and whenas it was morning she donned the woollen clothes of a devotee[7] and hung around her neck a rosary of beads by the thousand and hent in hand a staff and a leather water bottle of Yamani manufacture and fared forth crying, "Glory be to Allah! Praised be Allah! There is no god but the God! Allah is Most Great! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Nor did she leave off her lauds and her groaning in prayer whilst her heart was full of guile and wiles, till she came to the house of Ni'amah bin al-Rabi'a at the hour of noon prayer, and knocked at the door. The doorkeeper opened and said to her, "What dost thou want?" Quoth she, "I am a poor pious woman, whom the time of noon prayer hath overtaken, and fief would I pray in this blessed place." Answered the porter, "O old woman, this is no mosque nor oratory, but the house of Ni'amah son of al Rabi'a." She replied, "I know there is neither cathedral-mosque nor oratory like the house of Ni'amah bin al-Rabi'a. I am a chamberwoman of the palace of the Prince of True Believers and am come out for worship and the visitation of Holy Places." But the porter rejoined, "Thou canst not enter;" and many words passed between them, till at last she caught hold and hung to him saying, "Shall the like of me be denied admission to the house of Ni'amah bin al-Rabi'a, I who have free access to the houses of Emirs and Grandees?" Anon, out came Ni'amah and, hearing their loud language, laughed and bade the old woman enter after him. So she followed him into the presence of Naomi, whom she saluted after the godliest and goodliest fashion, and, when she looked on her, she was confounded at her exceeding seemliness and said to her, "O my lady, I commend thee to the safeguard of Allah, who made thee and thy lord fellows in beauty and loveliness!" Then she stood up in the prayer niche and betook herself to inclination and prostration and prayer, till day departed and night darkened and starkened, when Naomi said to her, "O my mother, rest thy legs and feet awhile." Replied the old woman "O my lady, whoso seeketh the world to come let him weary him in this world, and whoso wearieth not himself in this world shall not attain the dwellings of the just in the world to come." Then Naomi brought her food and said to her, "Eat of my bread and pray Heaven to accept my penitence and to have mercy on me." But she cried, "O my lady, I am fasting. As for thee, thou art but a girl and it befitteth thee to eat and drink and make merry; Allah be indulgent to thee!; for the Almighty saith: All shall be punished except him who shall repent and believe and shall work a righteous work."[8] So Naomi continued sitting with the old woman in talk and presently said to Ni'amah, "O my lord, conjure this ancient dame to sojourn with us awhile, for piety and devotion are imprinted on her countenance." Quoth he, "Set apart for her a chamber where she may say her prayers; and suffer no one to go in to her: peradventure, Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) shall prosper us by the blessing of her presence and never separate us." So the old woman passed her night in praying and reciting the Koran; and when Allah caused the morn to dawn, she went in to Ni'amah and Naomi and, giving them good morning, said to them, "I pray Allah have you in His holy keeping!" Quoth Naomi, "Whither away, O my mother? My lord hath bidden me set apart for thee a chamber, where thou mayst seclude thee for thy devotions." Replied the old woman, "Allah give him long life, and continue His favour to you both! But I would have you charge the doorkeeper not to stay my coming in to you; and, Inshallah! I will go the round of the Holy Places and pray for you two at the end of my devotions every day and night." Then she went out (whilst Naomi wept for parting with her knowing not the cause of her coming), and returned to Al-Hajjaj who said to her, "As thou do my bidding soon, thou shalt have of me abundant good." Quoth she, "I ask of thee a full month;" and quoth he "Take the month." Thereupon the old hag fell to daily visiting Ni'amah's house and frequented his slave-wife, Naomi.— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old hag fell to visiting daily Ni'amah's house and frequenting his slave wife, Naomi; and both ceased not to honour her, and she used to go in to them morning and evening and all in the house respected her till, one day, being alone with Naomi, she said to her, "O my lady! by Allah, when I go to the Holy Places, I will pray for thee; and I only wish thou wert with me, that thou mightest look on the Elders of the Faith who resort thither, and they should pray for thee, according to thy desire." Naomi cried, "I conjure thee by Allah take me with thee!"; and she replied, "Ask leave of thy mother in law, and I will take thee." So Naomi said to her husband's mother, "O my lady, ask my master to let us go forth, me and thee, one day with this my old mother, to prayer and worship with the Fakirs in the Holy Places." Now when Ni'amah came in and sat down, the old woman went up to him and would have kissed his hand, but he forbade her; so she invoked blessings[9] on him and left the house. Next day she came again, in the absence of Ni'amah, and she addressed Naomi, saying, "We prayed for thee yesterday; but arise now and divert thyself and return ere thy lord come home." So Naomi said to her mother-in-law, "I beseech thee, for Allah's sake, give me leave to go with this pious woman, that I may sight the saints of Allah in the Holy Places, and return speedily ere my lord come back." Quoth Ni'amah's mother, "I fear lest thy lord know;" but said the old woman, "By Allah, I will not let her take seat on the floor; no, she shall look, standing on her feet, and not tarry." So she took the damsel by guile and, carrying her to Al-Hajjaj's palace, told him of her coming, after placing her in a lonely chamber; whereupon he went in to her and, looking upon her, saw her to be the loveliest of the people of the day, never had he beheld her like. Now when Naomi caught sight of him she veiled her face from him; but he left her not till he had called his Chamberlain, whom he commanded to take fifty horsemen; and he bade him mount the damsel on a swift dromedary, and bear her to Damascus and there deliver her to the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan. Moreover, he gave him a letter for the Caliph, saying, "Bear him this letter and bring me his answer and hasten thy return to me." So the Chamberlain, without losing time, took the damsel (and she tearful for separation from her lord) and, setting out with her on a dromedary, gave not over journeying till he reached Damascus. There he sought audience of the Commander of the Faithful and, when it was granted, the Chamberlain delivered the damsel and reported the circumstance. The Caliph appointed her a separate apartment and going into his Harim, said to his wife, "Al Hajjaj hath bought me a slave-girl of the daughters of the Kings of Cufa[10] for ten thousand dinars, and hath sent me this letter."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph acquainted his wife with the story of the slave-girl, she said to him, "Allah increase to thee His favour!" Then the Caliph's sister went in to the supposed slave-girl and, when she saw her, she said, "By Allah, not unlucky is the man who hath thee in his house, were thy cost an hundred thousand dinars!" And Naomi replied, "O fair of face, what King's palace is this, and what is the city?" She answered, "This is the city of Damascus, and this is the palace of my brother, the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan.[11]" Then she resumed, "Didst thou not know all this?" Naomi said, "By Allah, O my lady, I had no knowledge of it!"; when the other asked, "And he who sold thee and took thy price did he not tell thee that the Caliph had bought thee?" Now when Naomi heard these words, she shed tears and said to herself, "Verily, I have been tricked and the trick hath succeeded," adding to herself, "If I speak, none will credit me; so I will hold my peace and take patience, for I know that the relief of Allah is near." Then she bent her head for shame, and indeed her cheeks were tanned by the journey and the sun. So the Caliph's sister left her that day and returned to her on the morrow with clothes and necklaces of jewels, and dressed her; after which the Caliph came in to her and sat down by her side, and his sister said to him, "Look on this handmaid in whom Allah hath conjoined every perfection of beauty and loveliness." So he said to Naomi, "Draw back the veil from thy face;" but she would not unveil, and he beheld not her face. However, he saw her wrists and love of her entered his heart; and he said to his sister, "I will not go in unto her for three days, till she be cheered by thy converse." Then he arose and left her, but Naomi ceased not to brood over her case and sigh for her separation from her master, Ni'amah, till she fell sick of a fever during the night and ate not nor drank; and her favour faded and her charms were changed. They told the Caliph of this and her condition grieved him; so he visited her with physicians and men of skill, but none could come at a cure for her. This is how it fared with her; but as regards Ni'amah, when he returned home he sat down on his bed and cried, "Ho, Naomi!" But she answered not; so he rose in haste and called out, yet none came to him, as all the women in the house had hidden themselves for fear of him. Then he went out to his mother, whom he found sitting with her cheek on her hand, and said to her, "O my mother, where is Naomi?" She answered, "O my son, she is with one who is worthier than I to be trusted with her, namely, the devout old woman; she went forth with her to visit devotionally the Fakirs and return." Quoth Ni'amah, "Since when hath this been her habit and at what hour went she forth?" Quoth his mother, "She went out early in the morning." He asked, "And how camest thou to give her leave for this?"; and she answered, "O my son, 'twas she persuaded me." "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" exclaimed Ni'amah and, going forth from his home in a state of distraction, he repaired to the Captain of the Watch to whom said he, "Doss thou play tricks upon me and steal-my slave-girl away from my house? I will assuredly complain of thee to the Commander of the Faithful." Said the Chief of Police, " Who hath taken her?" and Ni'amah replied, "An old woman of such and such a mien, clad in woollen raiment and carrying a rosary of beads numbered by thousands." Rejoined the other, "Find me the old woman and I will get thee back thy slave-girl." "And who knows the old woman?" retorted Ni'amah. "And who knows the hidden things save Allah (may He be extolled and exalted!)?" cried the Chief, who knew her for Al-Hajjaj's procuress. Cried Ni'amah, "I look to thee for my slave-girl, and Al-Hajjaj shall judge between thee and me;" and the Master of Police answered, "Go to whom thou wilt." So Ni'amah went to the palace of Al-Hajjaj, for his father was one of the chief men of Cufa; and, when he arrived there, the Chamberlain went in to the Governor and told him the case; whereupon Al-Hajjaj said, "Hither with him!" and when he stood before him enquired, "What be thy business?" Said Ni'amah, "Such and such things have befallen me;" and the Governor said, "Bring me the Chief of Police, and we will commend him to seek for the old woman." Now he knew that the Chief of Police was acquainted with her; so, when he came, he said to him, "I wish thee to make search for the slave-girl of Ni'amah son of Al-Rabi'a." And he answered, "None knoweth the hidden things save Almighty Allah." Rejoined Al-Hajjaj, "There is no help for it but thou send out horsemen and look for the damsel in all the roads, and seek for her in the towns."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Al-Hajjaj said to the Captain of the Watch, "There is no help for it but thou send out horsemen, and look for the damsel on all the roads and seek for her in the towns." Then he turned to Ni'amah and said to him, "And thy slave-girl return not, I will give thee ten slave-girls from my house and ten from that of the Chief of Police." And he again bade the Captain of the Watch, "Go and seek for the girl." So he went out, and Ni'amah returned home full of trouble and despairing of life; for he had now reached the age of fourteen and there was yet no hair on his side cheeks. So he wept and lamented and shut himself up from his household; and ceased not to weep and lament, he and his mother, till the morning, when his father came in to him and said, "O my son, of a truth, Al-Hajjaj hath put a cheat upon the damsel and hath taken her; but from hour to hour Allah giveth relief." However grief redoubled on Ni'amah, so that he knew not what he said nor knew he who came in to him, and he fell sick for three months his charms were changed, his father despaired of him and the physicians visited him and said, "There is no remedy for him save the damsel." Now as his father was sitting one day, behold he heard tell of a skillful Persian physician, whom the folk gave out for perfect in medicine and astrology and geomancy. So Al-Rabi'a sent for him and, seating him by his side, entreated him with honour and said to him, "Look into my son's case." Thereupon quoth he to Ni'amah, "Give me thy hand." The young man gave him his hand and he felt his pulse and his joints and looked in his face; then he laughed and, turning to his father, said, "Thy son's sole ailment is one of the heart."[12] He replied, Thou sayest sooth, O sage, but apply thy skill to his state and case, and acquaint me with the whole thereof and hide naught from me of his condition." Quoth the Persian, "Of a truth he is enamoured of a slave-girl and this slave-girl is either in Bassorah or Damascus; and there is no remedy for him but reunion with her." Said Al-Rabi'a, "An thou bring them together, thou shalt live all thy life in wealth and delight." Answered the Persian, "In good sooth this be an easy matter and soon brought about," and he turned to Ni'amah and said to him, "No hurt shall befall thee; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear." Then quoth he to Al-Rabi'a, "Bring me out four thousand dinars of your money;" so he gave them to him, and he added, "I wish to carry thy son with me to Damascus; and Almighty Allah willing, I will not return thence but with the damsel." Then he turned to the youth and asked, "What is thy name?"; and he answered "Ni'amah." Quoth the Persian, "O Ni'amah, sit up and be of good heart, for Allah will reunite thee with the damsel." And when he sat up the leach continued, "Be of good cheer for we set out for Damascus this very day: put thy trust in the Lord and eat and drink and be cheerful so as to fortify thyself for travel." Upon this the Persian began making preparation of all things needed, such as presents and rarities; and he took of Al- Rabi'a in all the sum of ten thousand dinars, together with horses and camels and beasts of burden and other requisites. Then Ni'amah farewelled his father and mother and journeyed with the physician to Aleppo. They could find no news of Naomi there so they fared on to Damascus, where they abode three days, after which the Persian took a shop and he adorned even the shelves with vessels of costly porcelain, with covers of silver, and with gildings and stuffs of price. Moreover, he set before himself vases and flagons of glass full of all manner of ointments and ups, and he surrounded them with cups of crystal—and, placing astrolabe and geomantic tablet facing him, he donned a physician's habit and took his seat in the shop. Then he set Ni'amah standing before him clad in a shirt and gown of silk and, girding his middle with a silken kerchief gold-embroidered, said to him, "O Ni'amah, henceforth thou art my son; so call me naught but sire, and I will call thee naught but son." And he replied, "I hear and I obey." Thereupon the people of Damascus flocked to the Persian's shop that they might gaze on the youth's goodliness and the beauty of the shop and its contents, whilst the physician spoke to Ni'amah in Persian and he answered him in the same tongue, for he knew the language, after the wont of the sons of the notables. So that Persian doctor soon became known among the townsfolk and they began to acquaint him with their ailments, and he to prescribe for them remedies. Moreover, they brought him the water of the sick in phials,[13] and he would test it and say, "He, whose water this is, is suffering from such and such a disease," and the patient would declare, "Verily this physician sayeth sooth." So he continued to do the occasions of the folk and they to flock to him, till his fame spread throughout the city and into the houses of the great. Now, one day as he sat in his-shop, behold, there came up an old woman riding on an ass with a stuffed saddle of brocade embroidered with jewels; and, stopping before the Persian's shop, drew rein and beckoned him, saying, "Take my hand." He took her hand, and she alighted and asked him "Art thou the Persian physician from Irak?" "Yes," answered he, and she said, "Know that I have a sick daughter." Then she brought out to him a phial—and the Persian looked at it and said to her, "O my mistress, tell me thy daughter' s name, that I may calculate her horoscope and learn the hour in which it will befit her to drink medicine." She replied, "O my brother the Persian,[14] her name is Naomi."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Persian heard the name of Naomi, he fell to calculating and writing on his hand and presently said, "O my lady, I cannot prescribe a medicine for her till I know what country woman she is, because of the difference of climate: so tell me in what land she was brought up and what is her age." The old woman replied "She is fourteen years old and she was brought up in Cufa of Irak." He asked, "And how long hath she sojourned in this country?" "But a few months," answered she. Now when Ni'amah heard the old woman's words and recognised the name of his slave- girl, his heart fluttered and he was like to faint. Then said the Persian, "Such and such medicines will suit her case;" and the old woman rejoined, "Then make them up and give me what thou hast mentioned, with the blessing of Almighty Allah." So saying, she threw upon the shop board ten gold pieces, and he looked at Ni'amah and bade him prepare the necessary drugs; whereupon she also looked at the youth and exclaimed, "Allah have thee in his keeping, O my son! Verily, she favoureth thee in age and mien." Then said she to the physician, "O my brother the Persian, is this thy slave or thy son?" "He is my son," answered he. So Ni'amah put up the medicine and, placing it in a little box, took a piece of paper and wrote thereon these two couplets,[15]

"If Naomi bless me with a single glance, * Let Su'adá sue and
     Juml joy to
They said, "Forget her: twenty such thou'lt find." * But none is
     like her—I will not forget!"

He pressed the paper into the box and, sealing it up, wrote upon the cover the following words in Cufic characters, "I am Ni'amah of al-Rabi'a of Cufa." Then he set it before the old woman who took it and bade them farewell and returned to the Caliph's palace, and when she went up with the drugs to the damsel she placed the little box of medicine at her feet, saying, "O my lady, know that there is lately come to our town a Persian physician, than whom I never saw a more skilful nor a better versed in matters of malady. I told him thy name, after showing him the water-bottle, and forthwith he knew thine ailment and prescribed a remedy. Then he bade his son make thee up this medicine; and there is not in Damascus a comelier or a seemlier youth than this lad of his, nor hath anyone a shop the like of his shop." So Naomi took the box and, seeing the names of her lord and his father written on the cover, changed colour and said to herself, "Doubtless, the owner of this shop is come in search of me." So she said to the old woman, "Describe to me this youth." Answered the old woman, "His name is Ni'amah, he hath a mole on his right eyebrow, is richly clad and is perfectly handsome." Cried Naomi, "Give me the medicine, whereon be the blessing and help of Almighty Allah!" So she drank off the potion (and she laughing) and said, "Indeed, it is a blessed medicine!" Then she sought in the box and, finding the paper, opened it, read it, understood it and knew that this was indeed her lord, whereas her heart was solaced and she rejoiced. Now when the old woman saw her laughing, she exclaimed, "This is indeed a blessed day!"; and Naomi said, "O nurse, I have a mind for something to eat and drink." The old woman said to the serving women, "Bring a tray of dainty viands for your mistress;" whereupon they set food before her and she sat down to eat. And behold in came the Caliph who, seeing her sitting at meat, rejoiced; and the old woman said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, I give thee joy of thy hand maid Naomi's recovery! And the cause is that there is lately come to this our city a physician than whom I never saw a better versed in diseases and their remedies. I fetched her medicine from him and she hath drunken of it but once and is restored to health." Quoth he, "Take a thousand dinars and apply thyself to her treatment, till she be completely recovered." And he went away, rejoicing in the damsel's recovery, whilst the old woman betook herself to the Persian's house and delivered the thousand dinars, giving him to know that she was become the Caliph's slave and also handing him a letter which Naomi had written. He took it and gave the letter to Ni'amah, who at first sight knew her hand and fell down in a swoon. When he revived he opened the letter and found these words written therein: "From the slave despoiled of her Ni'amah, her delight; her whose reason hath been beguiled and who is parted from the core of her heart. But afterwards of a truth thy letter hath reached me and hath broadened my breast, and solaced my soul, even as saith the poet,

"Thy note came: long lost hungers wrote that note, * Till drop
     they sweetest scents for what they wrote:
Twas Moses to his mother's arms restored; * 'Twas Jacob's eye-
     sight cured by Joseph's coat!"[16]

When Ni'amah read these verses, his eyes ran over with tears and the old woman said to him, "What maketh thee to weep, O my son? Allah never cause thine eye to shed tears!" Cried the Persian, "O my lady, how should my son not weep, seeing that this is his slave-girl and he her lord, Ni'amah son of al-Rabi'a of Cufa; and her health dependeth on her seeing him, for naught aileth her but loving him.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian cried out to the old woman, "How shall my son not weep, seeing that this is his slave-girl and he her lord, Ni'amah son of al-Rabi'a of Cufa; and the health of this damsel dependeth on her seeing him and naught aileth her but loving him. So, do thou, O my lady, take these thousand dinars to thyself and thou shalt have of me yet more than this; only look on us with eyes of rush; for we know not how to bring this affair to a happy end save through thee." Then she said to Ni'amah, "Say, art thou indeed her lord?" He replied, "Yes," and she rejoined, "Thou sayest sooth; for she ceaseth not continually to name thee." Then he told her all that had passed from first to last, and she said, "O youth, thou shalt owe thy reunion with her to none but myself." So she mounted and, at once returning to Naomi, looked in her face and laughed saying, "It is just, O my daughter, that thou weep and fall sick for thy separation from thy master, Ni'amah, son of Al-Rabi'a of Cufa." Quoth Naomi, "Verily, the veil hath been withdrawn for thee and the truth revealed to thee." Rejoined the old woman, "Be of good cheer and take heart, for I will assuredly bring you together, though it cost me my life." Then she returned to Ni'amah and said to him, "I went to thy slave- girl and conversed with her, and I find that she longeth for thee yet more than thou for her; for although the Commander of the Faithful is minded to become intimate with her, she refuseth herself to him. But if thou be stout of purpose and firm of heart, I will bring you together and venture my life for you, and play some trick and make shift to carry thee into the Caliph's palace, where thou shalt meet her, for she cannot come forth." And Ni'amah answered, "Allah requite thee with good!" Then she took leave of him and went back to Naomi and said, "Thy lord is indeed dying of love for thee and would fain see thee and foregather with thee. What sayest thou?" Naomi replied, "And I too am longing for his sight and dying for his love." Whereupon the old woman took a parcel of women's clothes and ornaments and, repairing to Ni'amah, said to him, "Come with me into some place apart." So he brought her into the room behind the shop where she stained his hands and decked his wrists and plaited his hair, after which she clad him in a slave-girl's habit and adorned him after the fairest fashion of woman's adornment, till he was as one of the Houris of the Garden of Heaven, and when she saw him thus she exclaimed, "Blessed be Allah, best of Creators! By Allah, thou art handsomer than the damsel.[17] Now, walk with thy left shoulder forwards and thy right well behind, and sway thy hips from side to side."[18] So he walked before her, as she bade him; and, when she saw he had caught the trick of woman's gait, she said to him, "Expect me tomorrow night, and Allah willing, I will take and carry thee to the palace. But when thou seest the Chamberlains and the Eunuchs be bold, and bow thy head and speak not with any, for I will prevent their speech; and with Allah is success!" Accordingly, when the morning dawned, she returned and, carrying him to the palace, entered before him and he after her step by step. The Chamberlain would have stopped his entering, but the old woman said to him, "O most ill omened of slaves, this is the handmaid of Naomi, the Caliph's favourite. How durst thou stay her when she would enter?" Then said she, "Come in, O damsel!"; and the old woman went in and they ceased not faring on, till they drew near the door leading to the inner piazza of the palace, when she said to him, "O Ni'amah, hearten thyself and take courage and enter and turn to the left: then count five doors and pass through the sixth, for it is that of the place prepared for thee. Fear nothing, and if any speak to thee, answer not, neither stop." Then she went up with him to the door, and the Chamberlain there on guard accosted her, saying "What damsel is this?"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Chamberlain accosted the old woman, saying, "What damsel is this?"; quoth the ancient dame, "Our lady hath a mind to buy her;" and he rejoined, "None may enter save by leave of the Commander of the Faithful; so do thou go back with her. I can not let her pass for thus am I commanded." Replied the old woman, "O Chief Chamberlain, use thy reason. Thou knowest that Naomi, the Caliph's slave-girl, of whom he is enamoured, is but now restored to health and the Commander of the Faithful hardly yet crediteth her recovery. She is minded to buy this hand maid; so oppose thou not her entrance, lest haply it come to Naomi's knowledge and she be wroth with thee and suffer a relapse and this cause thy head to be cut off." Then said she to Ni'amah, "Enter, O damsel; pay no heed to what he saith and tell not the Queen-consort that her Chamberlain opposed thine entrance." So Ni'amah bowed his head and entered the palace, and would have turned to the left, but mistook the direction and walked to his right; and, meaning to count five doors and enter the sixth, he counted six and entering the seventh, found himself in a place whose floor was carpeted with brocade and whose walls were hung with curtains of gold- embroidered silk. And therein stood censers of aloes-wood and ambergris and strong-scented musk, and at the upper end was a couch bespread with cloth of gold on which he seated himself, marvelling at the magnificence he saw and knowing not what was written for him in the Secret Purpose. As he sat musing on his case, the Caliph's sister, followed by her handmaid, came in upon him; and, seeing the youth seated there took him for a slave-girl and accosted him and said, "Who art thou O damsel? and what is thy case and who brought thee hither?" He made no reply, and was silent, when she continued, "O damsel! if thou be one of my brother's concubines and he be wroth with thee, I will intercede with him for thee and get thee grace." But he answered her not a word; so she said to her slave-girl, "Stand at the door and let none enter." Then she went up to Ni'amah and looking at him was amazed at his beauty and said to him, "O lady, tell me who thou art and what is thy name and how thou camest here; for I have never seen thee in our palace." Still he answered not, whereat she was angered and, putting her hand to his bosom, found no breasts and would have unveiled him, that she might know who he was; but he said to her, "O my lady, I am thy slave and I cast myself on thy protection: do thou protect me." She said, "No harm shall come to thee, but tell me who thou art and who brought thee into this my apartment." Answered he, "O Princess, I am known as Ni'amah bin al-Rabi'a of Cufa and I have ventured my life for the sake of my slave-girl, Naomi, whom Al-Hajjaj took by sleight and sent hither." Said she, "Fear not: no harm shall befall thee;" then, calling her maid, she said to her, "Go to Naomi's chamber and send her to me." Meanwhile the old woman went to Naomi's bedroom and said to her, "Hath thy lord come to thee?" "No, by Allah!" answered Naomi, and the other said, "Belike he hath gone astray and entered some chamber other than thine and lost himself." So Naomi cried, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Our last hour is come and we are all lost." And while they were sitting and sadly enough pondering their case, in came the Princess's handmaid and saluting Naomi said to her, "My lady biddeth thee to her banquet." "I hear and I obey," answered the damsel and the old woman said, "Belike thy lord is with the Caliph's sister and the veil of secrecy hath been rent." So Naomi at once sprang up and betook herself to the Princess, who said to her, "Here is thy lord sitting with me; it seemeth he hath mistaken the place; but, please Allah, neither thou nor he has any cause for fear." When Naomi heard these words, she took heart of grace and went up to Ni'amah; and her lord when he saw her.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ni'amah saw his handmaid Naomi, he rose to meet her and strained her to his bosom and both fell to the ground fainting. As soon as they came to themselves, the Caliph's sister said to them, "Sit ye down and take we counsel for your deliverance from this your strait." And they answered, "O our lady, we hear and obey: it is thine to command." Quoth she, "By Allah, no harm shall befall you from us!" Then she bade her handmaids bring meat and drink which was done, and they sat down and ate till they had enough, after which they sat drinking. Then the cup went round amongst them and their cares ceased from them; but Ni'amah said, "Would I knew how this will end." The Princess asked, "O Ni'amah, dost thou love thy slave Naomi?"; and he answered, "Of a truth it is my passion for her which hath brought me to this state of peril for my life." Then said she to the damsel, "O Naomi, dost thou love thy lord Ni'amah?"; and she replied, "O my lady, it is the love of him which hath wasted my body and brought me to evil case." Rejoined the Princess, "By Allah, since ye love each other thus, may he not be who would part you! Be of good cheer and keep your eyes cool and clear." At this they both rejoiced and Naomi called for a lute and, when they brought it, she took it and tuned it and played a lively measure which enchanted the hearers, and after the prelude sang these couplets,

"When the slanderers cared but to part us twain, * We owed no
     blood-debt could raise their ire
And they poured in our ears all the din of war, * And aid failed
     and friends, when my want was dire:
I fought them hard with mine eyes and tears; * With breath and
     sword, with the stream and fire!"

Then Naomi gave the lute to her master, Ni'amah, saying, "Sing thou to us some verse." So he took it and playing a lively measure, intoned these couplets,

"Full Moon if unfreckled would favour thee, * And Sun uneclipsed
     would reflect thy blee:
I wonder (but love is of wonders full * And ardour and passion
     and ecstasy)
How short the way to my love I fare, * Which, from her faring, so
     long I see."

Now when he had made an end of his song, Naomi filled the cup and gave it to him, and he took it and drank it off; then she filled again and gave the cup to the Caliph's sister who also emptied it; after which the Princess in her turn took the lute and tightened the strings and tuned it and sang these two couplets,

"Grief, cark and care in my heart reside, * And the fires of love
     in my breast
My wasted form to all eyes shows clear; * For Desire my body hath
     mortified."

Then she filled the cup and gave it to Naomi, who drank it off and taking the lute, sang these two couplets,

"O to whom I gave soul which thou tortures", * And in vain I'd
     recover from fair Unfaith
Do grant thy favours my care to cure * Ere I die, for this be my
     latest breath."

And they ceased not to sing verses and drink to the sweet sound of the strings, full of mirth and merriment and joy and jollity till behold! in came the Commander of the Faithful. Now when they saw him, they rose and kissed the ground before him; and he, seeing Naomi with the lute in her hand, said to her, "O Naomi, praised be Allah who hath done away from thee sickness and suffering!" Then he looked at Ni'amah (who was still disguised as a woman), and said to the Princess, "O my sister, what damsel is this by Naomi's side?" She replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, thou hast here a handmaid, one of thy concubines and the bosom friend of Naomi who will neither eat nor drink without her." And she repeated the words of the poet,

"Two contraries, and both concur in opposite charms, * And charms so contraried by contrast lovelier show."

Quoth the Caliph, "By Allah Omnipotent, verily she is as handsome as Naomi, and to-morrow I will appoint her a separate chamber beside that of her friend and send her furniture and stuffs and all that befitteth her, in honour of Naomi." Then the Princess called for food and set it before her brother, who ate and made himself at home in their place and company. Then filling a cup he signed to Naomi to sing; so she took the lute, after draining two of them and sang these two couplets,

"Since my toper-friend in my hand hath given * Three cups that
     brim and bubble, e'er since
I've trailed my skirts throughout night for pride * As tho',
     Prince of the Faithful, I were thy Prince!"

The Prince of True Believers was delighted and filling another cup, gave it to Naomi and bade her sing again; so after draining the cup and sweeping the strings, she sang as follows:—

"O most noble of men in this time and stound, * Of whom none may
     boast he is equal-found!
O matchless in greatness of soul and gifts, * O thou Chief, O
     thou King amongst all renowned:
Lord, who dealest large boons to the Lords of Earth, * Whom thou
     vexest not nor dost hold them bound
The Lord preserve thee, and spoil thy foes, * And ne'er cease thy
     lot with good Fortune crowned!"

Now when the Caliph heard these couplets, he exclaimed, "By Allah, good! By Allah, excellent! Verily the Lord hath been copious[19] to thee, O Naomi! How clever is thy tongue and how dear is thy speech!" And they ceased not their mirth and good cheer till midnight, when the Caliph's sister said to him, "Give ear, O Commander of the Faithful to a tale I have read in books of a certain man of rank." "And what is this tale?" quoth he. Quoth she "Know, O Prince of the Faithful that there lived once in the city of Cufa a youth called Ni'amah, son of Al-Rabi'a, and he had a slave-girl whom he loved and who loved him. They had been reared in one bed; but when they grew up and mutual-love get hold of them, Fortune smote them with her calamities and Time, the tyrant, brought upon them his adversity and decreed separation unto them. Thereupon designing and slanderous folk enticed her by sleight forth of his house and, stealing her away from his home, sold her to one of the Kings for ten thousand dinars. Now the girl loved her lord even as he loved her, so he left kith and kin and house and home and the gifts of fortune, and set out to search for her and when she was found he devised means to gain access to her".—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph's sister said, "And Ni'amah ceased not absenting himself from his kith and kin and patrial-stead, that he might gain access to his handmaid, and he incurred every peril and lavished his life till he gained access to her, and her name was Naomi, like this slave-girl. But the interview was short; they had not been long in company when in came the King, who had bought her of her kidnapper, and hastily ordered them to be slain, without doing justice by his own soul and delaying to enquire into the matter before the command was carried out. Now what sayest thou, O Commander of the Faithful, of this King's wrongous conduct?" Answered the Caliph; "This was indeed a strange thing: it behoved that King to pardon when he had the power to punish; and he ought to have regarded three things in their favour. The first was that they loved each other; the second that they were in his house and in his grasp; and the third that it befitteth a King to be deliberate in judging and ordering between folk, and how much more so in cases where he himself is concerned! Wherefore this King thus did an unkingly deed." Then said his sister, "O my brother, by the King of the heavens and the earth, I conjure thee, bid Naomi sing and hearken to that she shall sing!" So he said "O Naomi, sing to me;" whereupon she played a lively measure and sang these couplets,

"Beguiled us Fortune who her guile displays, * Smiting the heart,
     bequeathing thoughts that craze
And parting lovers whom she made to meet, * Till tears in torrent
     either cheek displays:
They were and I was and my life was glad, * While Fortune often
     joyed to join our ways;
I will pour tear flood, will rain gouts of blood, * Thy loss
     bemoaning through the nights and days!"

Now when the Commander of the Faithful heard this verse, he was moved to great delight and his sister said to him, "O my brother, whoso decideth in aught against himself, him it behoveth to abide by it and do according to his word; and thou hast judged against thyself by this judgement." Then said she, "O Ni'amah, stand up and do thou likewise up stand, O Naomi!" So they stood up and she continued, "O Prince of True Believers, she who standeth before thee is Naomi the stolen, whom Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Sakafi kidnapped and sent to thee, falsely pretending in his letter to thee that he had bought her for ten thousand gold pieces. And this other who standeth before thee is her lord, Ni'amah, son of Al-Rabi'a; and I beseech thee, by the honour of thy pious forebears and by Hamzah and Ukayl and Abbas,[20] to pardon them both and overlook their offence and bestow them one on the other, that thou mayst win rich reward in the next world of thy just dealing with them; for they are under thy hand and verily they have eaten of thy meat and drunken of thy drink; and behold, I make intercession for them and beg of thee the boon of their blood." Thereupon quoth the Caliph, "Thou speakest sooth: I did indeed give judgement as thou sayst, and I am not one to pass sentence and to revoke it." Then said he, "O Naomi, say, be this thy lord?" And she answered "Even so, O Commander of the Faithful." Then quoth he, "No harm shall befall you, I give you each to other;" adding to the young man, "O Ni'amah, who told thee where she was and taught thee how to get at this place?" He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, hearken to my tale and give ear to my history; for, by the virtue of thy pious forefathers, I will hide nothing from thee!" And he told him all that had passed between himself and the Persian physician and the old nurse, and how she had brought him into the palace and he had mistaken the doors; whereat the Caliph wondered with exceeding wonder and said, "Fetch me the Persian." So they brought him into the presence and he was made one of his chief officers. Moreover the King bestowed on him robes of honour and ordered him a handsome present, saying, "When a man hath shown like this man such artful management, it behoveth us to make him one of our chief officers." The Caliph also loaded Ni'amah and Naomi with gifts and honours and rewarded the old nurse; and they abode with him seven days in joy and content and all delight of life, when Ni'amah craved leave to return to Cufa with his slave-girl. The Caliph gave them permission and they departed and arrived in due course at Cufa, where Ni'amah was restored to his father and mother, and they abode in all the joys and jollities of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. Now when Amjad and As'ad heard from Bahram this story, they marvelled with extreme marvel and said, "By Allah, this is indeed a rare tale!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad and As'ad heard this story from Bahram the Magian who had become a Moslem, they marvelled with extreme marvel and thus passed that night; and when the next morning dawned, they mounted and riding to the palace, sought an audience of the King who granted it and received them with high honour. Now as they were sitting together talking, of a sudden they heard the towns folk crying aloud and shouting to one another and calling for help; and the Chamberlain came in to the King and said to him, "Some King hath encamped before the city, he and his host, with arms and weapons displayed, and we know not their object and aim." The King took counsel with his Wazir Amjad and his brother As'ad; and Amjad said, "I will go out to him and learn the cause of his coming." So he took horse and, riding forth from the city, repaired to the stranger's camp, where he found the King and with him a mighty many and mounted Mamelukes. When the guards saw him, they knew him for an envoy from the King of the city; so they took him and brought him before their Sultan. Then Amjad kissed the ground before him; but lo! the King was a Queen, who was veiled with a mouth-veil, and she said to Amjad, "Know that I have no design on this your city and that I am come hither only in quest of a beardless slave of mine, whom if I find with you, I will do you no harm, but if I find him not, then shall there befall sore onslaught between me and you." Asked Amjad, "O Queen, what like is thy slave and what is his story and what may be his name?" Said she, "His name is As'ad and my name is Marjanah, and this slave came to my town in company of Bahram, a Magian, who refused to sell him to me; so I took him by force, but his master fell upon him by night and bore him away by stealth and he is of such and such a favour." When Amjad heard that, he knew it was indeed his brother As'ad whom she sought and said to her, "O Queen of the age, Alhamdolillah, praised be Allah, who hath brought us relief! Verily this slave whom thou seekest is my brother." Then he told her their story and all that had befallen them in the land of exile, and acquainted her with the cause of their departure from the Islands of Ebony, whereat she marvelled and rejoiced to have found As'ad. So she bestowed a dress of honour upon Amjad and he returned forthright to the King and told him what had passed, at which they all rejoiced and the King went forth with Amjad and As'ad to meet Queen Marjanah. When they were admitted to her presence and sat down to converse with her and were thus pleasantly engaged, behold, a dust cloud rose and flew and grew, till it walled the view. And after a while it lifted and showed beneath it an army dight for victory, in numbers like the swelling sea, armed and armoured cap-à-pie who, making for the city, encompassed it around as the ring encompasseth the little finger;[21] and a bared brand was in every hand. When Amjad and As'ad saw this, they exclaimed, "Verily to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return! What is this mighty host? Doubtless, these are enemies, and except we agree with this Queen Marjanah to fight them, they will take the town from us and slay us. There is no resource for us but to go out to them and see who they are." So Amjad arose and took horse and passed through the city gate to Queen Marjanah's camp; but when he reached the approaching army he found it to be that of his grand sire, King Ghayur, father of his mother Queen Budur.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad reached the approaching host, he found it to be that of his grandsire, Lord of the Isles and the Seas and the Seven Castles; and when he went into the presence, he kissed the ground between his hands and delivered to him the message. Quoth the King, "My name is King Ghayur and I come wayfaring in quest of my daughter Budur whom fortune hath taken from me, for she left me and returned not to me, nor have I heard any tidings of her or of her husband Kamar al-Zaman. Have ye any news of them?" When Amjad heard this, he hung his head towards the ground for a while in thought till he felt assured that this King was none other than his grandfather, his mother's father; where upon he raised his head and, kissing ground before him, told him that he was the son of his daughter Budur; on hearing which Ghayur threw himself upon him and they both fell a weeping.[22] Then said Ghayur, "Praised be Allah, O my son, for safety, since I have foregathered with thee," and Amjad told him that his daughter Budur was safe and sound, and her husband Kamar al-Zaman likewise, and acquainted him that both abode in a city called the City of Ebony. Moreover, he related to him how his father, being wroth with him and his brother, had commended that both be put to death, but that his treasurer had taken pity on them and let them go with their lives. Quoth King Ghayur, "I will go back with thee and thy brother to your father and make your peace with him." So Amjad kissed the ground before him in huge delight and the King bestowed a dress of honour upon him, after which he returned, smiling, to the King of the City of the Magians and told him what he had learnt from King Ghayur, whereat he wondered with exceeding wonder. Then he despatched guest-gifts of sheep and horses and camels and forage and so forth to King Ghayur, and did the like by Queen Marjanah; and both of them told her what chanced; whereupon quoth she, "I too will accompany you with my troops and will do my endeavour to make this peace." Meanwhile behold, there arose another dust cloud and flew and grew till it walled the view and blackened the day's bright hue; and under it they heard shouts and cries and neighing of steeds and beheld sword glance and the glint of levelled lance. When this new host drew near the city and saw the two other armies, they beat their drums and the King of the Magians exclaimed, "This is indeed naught but a blessed day. Praised be Allah who hath made us of accord with these two armies; and if it be His will, He shall give us peace with yon other as well." Then said he to Amjad and As'ad, "Fare forth and fetch us news of these troops, for they are a mighty host, never saw I a mightier." So they opened the city gates, which the King had shut for fear of the beleaguering armies, and Amjad and As'ad went forth and, coming to the new host, found that it was indeed a mighty many. But as soon as they came to it behold, they knew that it was the army of the King of the Ebony Islands, wherein was their father, King Kamar al-Zaman in person. Now when they looked upon him, they kissed ground and wept; but, when he beheld them, he threw himself upon them weeping, with sore weeping, and strained them to his breast for a full hour. Then he excused himself to them and told them what desolation he had suffered for their loss and exile; and they acquainted him with King Ghayur's arrival, whereupon he mounted with his chief officers and taking with him his two sons, proceeded to that King's camp. As they drew near, one of the Princes rode forward and informed King Ghayur of Kamar al-Zaman's coming, whereupon he came out to meet him and they joined company, marvelling at these things and how they had chanced to foregather in that place. Then the townsfolk made them banquets of all manner of meats and sweetmeats and presented to them horses and camels and fodder and other guest-gifts and all that the troops needed. And while this was doing, behold, yet another cloud of dust arose and flew till it walled the view, whilst earth trembled with the tramp of steed and tabors sounded like stormy winds. After a while, the dust lifted and discovered an army clad in coats of mail and armed cap-à-pie; but all were in black garb, and in their midst rode a very old man whose beard flowed down over his breast and he also was clad in black. When the King of the city and the city folk saw this great host, he said to the other Kings, "Praised be Allah by whose omnipotent command ye are met here, all in one day, and have proved all known one to the other! But what vast and victorious army is this which hemmeth in the whole land like a wall?" They answered, "Have no fear of them; we are three Kings, each with a great army, and if they be enemies, we will join thee in doing battle with them, were they three times as many as they now are." Meanwhile, up came an envoy from the approaching host, making for the city. So they brought him before Kamar al-Zaman, King Ghayur, Queen Marjanah and the King of the city; and he kissed the ground and said, "My liege lord cometh from Persia-land; for many years ago he lost his son and he is seeking him in all countries. If he find him with you, well and good; but if he find him not, there will be war between him and you and he will waste your city." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "It shall not come to that; but how is thy master called in Ajam land?" Answered the envoy, "He is called King Shahriman, lord of the Khálidan Islands; and he hath levied these troops in the lands traversed by him, whilst seeking his son." No-vv when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he cried out with a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit which lasted a long while; and anon coming to himself he wept bitter tears and said to Amjad and As'ad, "Go ye, O my sons, with the herald, salute your grandfather and my father, King Shahriman and give him glad tidings of me, for he mourneth my loss and even to the present time he weareth black raiment for my sake." Then he told the other Kings all that had befallen him in the days of his youth, at which they wondered and, going down with him from the city, repaired to his father, whom he saluted, and they embraced and fell to the ground senseless for excess of joy. And when they revived after a while, Kamar al-Zaman acquainted his father with all his adventures and the other Kings saluted Shahriman. Then, after having married Marjanah to As'ad, they sent her back to her kingdom, charging her not to cease correspondence with them; so she took leave and went her way. Moreover they married Amjad to Bostan, Bahram's daughter, and they all set out for the City of Ebony. And when they arrived there, Kamar al-Zaman went in to his father-in-law, King Armanus, and told him all that had befallen him and how he had found his sons; whereat Armanus rejoiced and gave him joy of his safe return. Then King Ghayur went in to his daughter, Queen Budur,[23] and saluted her and quenched his longing for her company, and they all abode a full month's space in the City of Ebony; after which the King and his daughter returned to their own country.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Ghayur set out with his daughter and his host for his own land, and they took with them Amjad and returned home by easy marches. And when Ghayur was settled again in his kingdom, he made his grandson King in his stead; and as to Kamar al-Zaman he also made As'ad king in his room over the capital of the Ebony Islands, with the consent of his grandfather, King Armanus and set out himself, with his father, King Shahriman, till the two made the Islands of Khálidan. Then the lieges decorated the city in their honour and they ceased not to beat the drums for glad tidings a whole month; nor did Kamar al-Zaman leave to govern in his father's place, till there overtook them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and Allah knoweth all things! Quoth King Shahryar, "O Shahrazad, this is indeed a most wonderful tale!" And she answered, "O King, it is not more wonderful than that of

ALA AL-DIN ABU AL-SHAMAT.[24][edit]

"What is that?" asked he, and she said, It hath reached me that there lived, in times of yore and years and ages long gone before, a merchant of Cairo[25] named Shams al-Din, who was of the best and truest spoken of the traders of the city; and he had eunuchs and servants and negro-slaves and handmaids and Mame lukes and great store of money. Moreover, he was Consul[26] of the Merchants of Cairo and owned a wife, whom he loved and who loved him; except that he had lived with her forty years, yet had not been blessed with a son or even a daughter. One day, as he sat in his shop, he noted that the merchants, each and every, had a son or two sons or more sitting in their shops like their sires. Now the day being Friday, he entered the Hammam-bath and made the total-ablution: after which he came out and took the barber's glass and looked in it, saying, "I testify that there is no god but the God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God!" Then he considered his beard and, seeing that the white hairs in it covered the black, bethought himself that hoariness is the harbinger of death. Now his wife knew the time of his coming home and had washed and made herself ready for him, so when he came in to her, she said, "Good evening," but he replied "I see no good." Then she called to the handmaid, "Spread the supper-tray;" and when this was done quoth she to her husband "Sup, O my lord." Quoth he, "I will eat nothing," and pushing the tray away with his foot, turned his back upon her. She asked, "Why dost thou thus? and what hath vexed thee?"; and he answered, "Thou art the cause of my vexation."—And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams al-Din said to his wife, "Thou art the cause of my vexation." She asked, "Wherefore?" and he answered, "When I opened my shop this morning, I saw that each and every of the merchants had with him a son or two sons or more, sitting in their shops like their fathers; and I said to myself:—He who took thy sire will not spare thee. Now the night I first visited thee,[27] thou madest me swear that I would never take a second wife over thee nor a concubine, Abyssinian or Greek or handmaid of other race; nor would lie a single night away from thee: and behold, thou art barren, and having thee is like boring into the rock." Rejoined she, "Allah is my witness that the fault lies with thee, for that thy seed is thin." He asked, "And what showeth the man whose semen is thin?" And she answered, "He cannot get women with child, nor beget children." Quoth he, "What thickeneth the seed? tell me and I will buy it: haply, it will thicken mine." Quoth she, "Enquire for it of the druggists." So he slept with her that night and arose on the morrow, repenting of having spoken angrily to her; and she also regretted her cross words. Then he went to the market and, finding a druggist, saluted him; and when his salutation was returned said to him, "Say, hast thou with thee a seed-thickener?" He replied, "I had it, but am out of it: enquire thou of my neighbour." Then Shams al-Din made the round till he had asked every one, but they all laughed at him, and presently he returned to his shop and sat down, sore troubled. Now there was in the bazar a man who was Deputy Syndic of the brokers and was given to the use of opium and electuary and green hashish.[28] He was called Shaykh Mohammed Samsam and being poor he used to wish Shams al-Din good morrow every day. So he came to him according to his custom and saluted him. The merchant returned his salute, but in ill-temper, and the other, seeing him vexed, said, "O my lord, what hath crossed thee?" Thereupon Shams al-Din told him all that occurred between himself and his wife, adding, "These forty years have I been married to her yet hath she borne me neither son nor daughter; and they say:—The cause of thy failure to get her with child is the thinness of thy seed; so I have been seeking a some thing wherewith to thicken my semen but found it not." Quoth Shaykh Mohammed, "O my lord, I have a seed-thickener, but what wilt thou say to him who causeth thy wife to conceive by thee after these forty years have passed?" Answered the merchant, " If thou do this, I will work thy weal—and reward thee." "Then give me a dinar," rejoined the broker, and Shams al-Din said, "Take these two dinars." He took them and said, "Give me also yonder big bowl of porcelain." So he gave it to him and the broker betook himself to a hashish-seller, of whom he bought two ounces of concentrated Roumi opium and equal-parts of Chinese cubebs, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, ginger, white pepper and mountain skink[29]; and, pounding them all together, boiled them in sweet olive-oil; after which he added three ounces of male frankincense in fragments and a cupful of coriander-seed; and, macerating the whole, made it into an electuary with Roumi bee honey. Then he put the confection in the bowl and carried it to the merchant, to whom he delivered it, saying, "Here is the seed-thickener, and the manner of using it is this. Take of my electuary with a spoon after supping, and wash it down with a sherbet made of rose conserve; but first sup off mutton and house pigeon plentifully seasoned and hotly spiced." So the merchant bought all this and sent the meat and pigeons to his wife, saying, "Dress them deftly and lay up the seed-thickener until I want it and call for it." She did his bidding and, when she served up the meats, he ate the evening meal, after which he called for the bowl and ate of the electuary. It pleased him well, so he ate the rest and knew his wife. That very night she conceived by him and, after three months, her courses ceased, no blood came from her and she knew that she was with child. When the days of her pregnancy were accomplished, the pangs of labour took her and they raised loud lullilooings and cries of joy. The midwife delivered her with difficulty, by pronouncing over the boy at his birth the names of Mohammed and Ali, and said, "Allah is Most Great!"; and she called in his ear the call to prayer. Then she wrapped him up and passed him to his mother, who took him and gave him the breast; and he sucked and was full and slept. The midwife abode with them three days, till they had made the mothering-cakes of sugared bread and sweetmeats; and they distributed them on the seventh day. Then they sprinkled salt against the evil eye and the merchant, going in to his wife, gave her joy of her safe delivery, and said, "Where is Allah's deposit?" So they brought him a babe of surpassing beauty, the handiwork of the Orderer who is ever present and, though he was but seven days old, those who saw him would have deemed him a yearling child. So the merchant looked on his face and, seeing it like a shining full moon, with moles on either cheek, said he to his wife, "What hast thou named him?" Answered she, "If it were a girl I had named her; but this is a boy, so none shall name him but thou." Now the people of that time used to name their children by omens; and, whilst the merchant and his wife were taking counsel of the name, behold, one said to his friend, "Ho my lord, Ala al-Din!" So the merchant said, "We will call him Ala al-Din Abú al-Shámát."[30] Then he committed the child to the nurse, and he drank milk two years, after which they weaned him and he grew up and throve and walked upon the floor. When he came to seven years old, they put him in a chamber under a trap-door, for fear of the evil eye, and his father said, "He shall not come out, till his beard grow." So he gave him in charge to a handmaid and a blackamoor; the girl dressed him his meals and the slave carried them to him. Then his father circumcised him and made him a great feast; after which he brought him a doctor of the law, who taught him to write and read and repeat the Koran, and other arts and sciences, till he became a good scholar and an accomplished. One day it so came to pass that the slave, after bringing him the tray of food went away and left the trap door open: so Ala al-Din came forth from the vault and went in to his mother, with whom was a company of women of rank. As they sat talking, behold, in came upon them the youth as he were a white slave drunken[31] for the excess of his beauty; and when they saw him, they veiled their faces and said to his mother, "Allah requite thee, O such an one! How canst thou let this strange Mameluke in upon us? Knowest thou not that modesty is a point of the Faith?" She replied, "Pronounce Allah's name[32] and cry Bismillah! this is my son, the fruit of my vitals and the heir of Consul Shams al-Din, the child of the nurse and the collar and the crust and the crumb."[33] Quoth they, "Never in our days knew we that thou hadst a son"; and quoth she, "Verily his father feared for him the evil eye and reared him in an under-ground chamber;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din's mother said to her lady-friends, "Verily his father feared for him the evil eye and reared him in an underground chamber; and haply the slave forgot to shut the door and he fared forth; but we did not mean that he should come out, before his beard was grown." The women gave her joy of him, and the youth went out from them into the court yard where he seated himself in the open sitting room; and behold, in came the slaves with his father's she mule, and he said to them, "Whence cometh this mule?" Quoth they, "We escorted thy father when riding her to the shop, and we have brought her back." He asked, "What may be my father's trade?"; and they answered, "Thy father is Consul of the merchants in the land of Egypt and Sultan of the Sons of the Arabs." Then he went in to his mother and said to her, "O my mother, what is my father's trade?" Said she, "O my son, thy sire is a merchant and Consul of the merchants in the land of Egypt and Sultan of the Sons of the Arabs. His slaves consult him not in selling aught whose price is less than one thousand gold pieces, but merchandise worth him an hundred and less they sell at their own discretion; nor cloth any merchandise whatever, little or much, leave the country without passing through his hands and he disposeth of it as he pleaseth; nor is a bale packed and sent abroad amongst folk but what is under his disposal. And "Almighty Allah, O my son, hath given thy father monies past compt." He rejoined, "O my mother, praised be Allah, that I am son of the Sultan of the Sons of the Arabs and that my father is Consul of the merchants! But why, O my mother, do ye put me in the underground chamber and leave me prisoner there?" Quoth she, "O my son, we imprisoned thee not save for fear of folks' eyes: 'the evil eye is a truth,'[34] and most of those in their long homes are its victims." Quoth he, "O my mother, and where is a refuge-place against Fate? Verily care never made Destiny forbear; nor is there flight from what is written for every wight. He who took my grandfather will not spare myself nor my father; for, though he live to day he shall not live tomorrow. And when my father dieth and I come forth and say, 'I am Ala al-Din, son of Shams al-Din the merchant', none of the people will believe me, but men of years and standing will say, 'In our lives never saw we a son or a daughter of Shams al-Din.' Then the public Treasury will come down and take my father's estate, and Allah have mercy on him who said, 'The noble dieth and his wealth passeth away, and the meanest of men take his women.' Therefore, O my mother, speak thou to my father, that he carry me with him to the bazar and open for me a shop; so may I sit there with my merchandise, and teach me to buy and sell and take and give." Answered his mother, "O my son, as soon as thy sire returneth I will tell him this." So when the merchant came home, he found his son Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat sitting with his mother and said to her, "Why hast thou brought him forth of the underground chamber?" She replied, "O son of my uncle, it was not I that brought him out; but the servants forgot to shut the door and left it open; so, as I sat with a company of women of rank, behold, he came forth and walked in to me." Then she went on to repeat to him his son's words; so he said, "O my son, to-morrow, Inshallah! I will take thee with me to the bazar; but, my boy, sitting in markets and shops demandeth good manners and courteous carriage in all conditions." Ala al-Din passed the night rejoicing in his father's promise and, when the morrow came, the merchant carried him to the Hammam and clad him in a suit worth a mint of money. As soon as they had broken their fast and drunk their sherbets, Shams al-Din mounted his she mule and putting his son upon another, rode to the market, followed by his boy. But when the market folk saw their Consul making towards them, foregoing a youth as he were a slice of the full moon on the fourteenth night, they said, one to other, "See thou yonder boy behind the Consul of the merchants; verily, we thought well of him, but he is, like the leek, gray of head and green at heart."[35] And Shaykh Mohammed Samsam, Deputy Syndic of the market, the man before mentioned, said to the dealers, "O merchants, we will not keep the like of him for our Shaykh; no, never!" Now it was the custom anent the Consul when he came from his house of a morning and sat down in his shop, for the Deputy Syndic of the market to go and recite to him and to all the merchants assembled around him the Fátihah or opening chapter of the Koran,[36] after which they accosted him one by one and wished him good morrow and went away, each to his business place. But when Shams al-Din seated himself in his shop that day as usual, the traders came not to him as accustomed; so he called the Deputy and said to him, "Why come not the merchants together as usual?" Answered Mohammed Samsam, "I know not how to tell thee these troubles, for they have agreed to depose thee from the Shaykh ship of the market and to recite the Fatihah to thee no more." Asked Shams al-Din, "What may be their reason?"; and asked the Deputy, "What boy is this that sitteth by thy side and thou a man of years and chief of the merchants? Is this lad a Mameluke or akin to thy wife? Verily, I think thou lovest him and inclines lewdly to the boy." Thereupon the Consul cried out at him, saying, "Silence, Allah curse thee, genus and species! This is my son." Rejoined the Deputy, "Never in our born days have we seen thee with a son," and Shams al-Din answered, "When thou gavest me the seed-thickener, my wife conceived and bare this youth; but I reared him in a souterrain for fear of the evil eye, nor was it my purpose that he should come forth, till he could take his beard in his hand.[37] However, his mother would not agree to this, and he on his part begged I would stock him a shop and teach him to sell and buy." So the Deputy Syndic returned to the other traders and acquainted them with the truth of the case, whereupon they all arose to accompany him; and, going in a body to Shams al-Din's shop, stood before him and recited the "Opener" of the Koran; after which they gave him joy of his son and said to him, "The Lord prosper root and branch! But even the poorest of us, when son or daughter is born to him, needs must cook a pan-full of custard[38] and bid his friends and kith and kin; yet hast thou not done this." Quoth he, "This I owe you; be our meeting in the garden."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

Her sister Dunyazad said to her, "Pray continue thy story for us, as thou be awake and not inclined to sleep." Quoth she:—With pleasure and goodwill: it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Consul of the merchants promised them a banquet and said "Be our meeting in the garden." So when morning dawned he despatched the carpet layer to the saloon of the garden-pavilion and bade him furnish the two. Moreover, he sent thither all that was needful for cooking, such as sheep and clarified butter and so forth, according to the requirements of the case; and spread two tables, one in the pavilion and another in the saloon. Then Shams al-Din and his boy girded themselves, and he said to Ala al-Din "O my son, whenas a greybeard entereth, I will meet him and seat him at the table in the pavilion; and do thou, in like manner, receive the beardless youths and seat them at the table in the saloon." He asked, "O my father, why dost thou spread two tables, one for men and another for youths?"; and he answered, "O my son, the beardless is ashamed to eat with the bearded." And his son thought this his answer full and sufficient. So when the merchants arrived, Shams al-Din received the men and seated them in the pavilion, whilst Ala al-Din received the youths and seated them in the saloon. Then the food was set on and the guests ate and drank and made merry and sat over their wine, whilst the attendants perfumed them with the smoke of scented woods, and the elders fell to conversing of matters of science and traditions of the Prophet. Now there was amongst them a merchant called Mahmúd of Balkh, a professing Moslem but at heart a Magian, a man of lewd and mischievous life who loved boys. And when he saw Ala al-Din from whose father he used to buy stuffs and merchandise, one sight of his face sent him a thousand sighs and Satan dangled the jewel before his eyes, so that he was taken with love-longing and desire and affection and his heart was filled with mad passion for him. Presently he arose and made for the youths, who stood up to receive him; and at this moment Ala Al-Din being taken with an urgent call of Nature, withdrew to make water; whereupon Mahmud turned to the other youths and said to them, "If ye will incline Ala al-Din's mind to journeying with me, I will give each of you a dress worth a power of money." Then he returned from them to the men's party; and, as the youths were sitting, Ala al-Din suddenly came back, when all rose to receive him and seated him in the place of highest honour. Presently, one of them said to his neighbour, "O my lord Hasan, tell me whence came to thee the capital—whereon thou trades"." He replied, "When I grew up and came to man's estate, I said to my sire, 'O my father, give me merchandise.' Quoth he, 'O my son, I have none by me; but go thou to some merchant and take of him money and traffic with it; and so learn to buy and sell, give and take.' So I went to one of the traders and borrowed of him a thousand dinars, wherewith I bought stuffs and carrying them to Damascus, sold them there at a profit of two for one. Then I bought Syrian stuffs and carrying them to Aleppo, made a similar gain of them; after which I bought stuffs of Aleppo and repaired with them to Baghdad, where I sold them with like result, two for one; nor did I cease trading upon my capital till I was worth nigh ten thousand ducats." Then each of the others told his friend some such tale, till it came to Ala al-Din's turn to speak, when they said to him, "And thou, O my lord Ala al-Din?" Quoth he, "I was brought up in a chamber underground and came forth from it only this week; and I do but go to the shop and return home from the shop." They remarked, "Thou art used to wone at home and wottest not the joys of travel, for travel is for men only." He replied, "I reck not of voyaging and wayfaring cloth not tempt me." Whereupon quoth one to the other, "This one is like the fish: when he leaveth the water he dieth." Then they said to him, "O Ala al Din, the glory of the sons of the merchants is not but in travel for the sake of gain." Their talk angered him; so he left them weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted and mounting his mule returned home. Now his mother saw him in tears and in bad temper and asked him, "What hath made thee weep, O my son?"; and he answered, "Of a truth, all the sons of the merchants put me to shame and said, 'Naught is more glorious for a merchant's son than travel for gain and to get him gold.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din said to his mother, "Of a truth all the sons of the merchants put me to shame and said, 'Naught is more honourable for a merchant's son than travel for gain.'" "O my son, hast thou a mind to travel?" "Even so!" "And whither wilt thou go?" "To the city of Baghdad; for there folk make double the cost price on their goods." "O my son, thy father is a very rich man and, if he provide thee not with merchandise, I will supply it out of my own monies." "The best favour is that which is soonest bestowed; if this kindness is to be, now is the time." So she called the slaves and sent them for cloth packers, then, opening a store house, brought out ten loads of stuffs, which they made up into bales for him. Such was his case; but as regards his father, Shams al-Din, he looked about and failed to find Ala al-Din in the garden and enquiring after him, was told that he had mounted mule and gone home; so he too mounted and followed him. Now when he entered the house, he saw the bales ready bound and asked what they were; whereupon his wife told him what had chanced between Ala al-Din and the sons of the merchants; and he cried, "O my son, Allah's malison on travel and stranger-hood! Verily Allah's Apostle (whom the Lord bless and preserve!) hath said, 'It is of a man's happy fortune that he eat his daily bread in his own land', and it was said of the ancients, 'Leave travel, though but for a mile.'" Then quoth he to his son, "Say, art thou indeed resolved to travel and wilt thou not turn back from it?" Quoth the other, "There is no help for it but that I journey to Baghdad with merchandise, else will I doff clothes and don dervish gear and fare a-wandering over the world." Shams al-Din rejoined, "I am no penniless pauper but have great plenty of wealth;" then he showed him all he owned of monies and stuffs and stock-in-trade and observed, "With me are stuffs and merchandise befitting every country in the world." Then he showed him among the rest, forty bales ready bound, with the price, a thousand dinars, written on each, and said, "O my son take these forty loads, together with the ten which thy mother gave thee, and set out under the safeguard of Almighty Allah. But, O my child, I fear for thee a certain wood in thy way, called the Lion's Copse,[39] and a valley highs the Vale of Dogs, for there lives are lost without mercy." He said, "How so, O my father?"; and he replied, "Because of a Badawi bandit named Ajlan." Quoth Ala al-Din, "Such is Allah's luck; if any share of it be mine, no harm shall hap to me." Then they rode to the cattle bazar, where behold, a cameleer[40] alighted from his she mule and kissing the Consul's hand, said to him, "O my lord, it is long, by Allah, since thou hast employed us in the way of business." He replied, "Every time hath its fortune and its men,[41] and Allah have truth on him who said,

'And the old man crept o'er the worldly ways * So bowed, his
     beard o'er his knees down flow'th:
Quoth I, 'What gars thee so doubled go?' * Quoth he (as to me his
     hands he show'th)
'My youth is lost, in the dust it lieth; * And see, I bend me to
     find my youth.'"[42]

Now when he had ended his verses, he said, "O chief of the caravan, it is not I who am minded to travel, but this my son." Quoth the cameleer, "Allah save him for thee." Then the Consul made a contract between Ala al-Din and the man, appointing that the youth should be to him as a son, and gave him into his charge, saying, "Take these hundred gold pieces for thy people." More-over he bought his son threescore mules and a lamp and a tomb-covering for the Sayyid Abd al-Kadir of Gílán[43] and said to him, "O my son, while I am absent, this is thy sire in my stead: whatsoever he biddeth thee, do thou obey him." So saying, he returned home with the mules and servants and that night they made a Khitmah or perfection of the Koran and held a festival—in honour of the Shaykh Abd al-Kadir al-Jiláni. And when the morrow dawned, the Consul gave his son ten thousand dinars, saying, "O my son, when thou comest to Baghdad, if thou find stuffs easy of sale, sell them; but if they be dull, spend of these dinars." Then they loaded the mules and, taking leave of one another, all the wayfarers setting out on their journey, marched forth from the city. Now Mahmud of Balkh had made ready his own venture for Baghdad and had moved his bales and set up his tents without the walls, saying to himself, "Thou shalt not enjoy this youth but in the desert, where there is neither spy nor marplot to trouble thee." It chanced that he had in hand a thousand dinars which he owed to the youth's father, the balance of a business-transaction between them; so he went and bade farewell to the Consul, who charged him, "Give the thousand dinars to my son Ala al-Din;" and commended the lad to his care, saying, "He is as it were thy son." Accordingly, Ala al-Din joined company with Mahmud of Balkh.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din joined company with Mahmud of Balkh who, before beginning the march, charged the youth's cook to dress nothing for him, but himself provided him and his company with meat and drink. Now he had four houses, one in Cairo, another in Damascus, a third in Aleppo and a fourth in Baghdad. So they set out and ceased not journeying over waste and wold till they drew near Damascus when Mahmud sent his slave to Ala al-Din, whom he found sitting and reading. He went up to him and kissed his hands, and Ala al-Din having asked him what he wanted, he answered, "My master saluteth thee and craveth thy company to a banquet at his place." Quoth the youth, "Not till I consult my father Kamal al-Din, the captain of the caravan." So he asked advice of the Makaddam,[44] who said, "Do not go." Then they left Damascus and journeyed on till they came to Aleppo, where Mahmud made a second entertainment and sent to invite Ala al-Din; but he consulted the Chief Cameleer who again forbade him. Then they marched from Aleppo and fared on, till there remained between them and Baghdad only a single stage. Here Mahmud prepared a third feast and sent to bid Ala al-Din to it: Kamal-al-Din once more forbade his accepting it, but he said, "I must needs go." So he rose and, slinging a sword over his shoulder, under his clothes, repaired to the tent of Mahmud of Balkh, who came to meet him and saluted him. Then he set before him a sumptuous repast and they ate and drank and washed hands. At last Mahmud bent towards Ala al-Din to snatch a kiss from him, but the youth received the kiss on the palm of his hand and said to him, "What wouldest thou be at?" Quoth Mahmud, "In very sooth I brought thee hither that I might take my pleasure with thee in this jousting ground, and we will comment upon the words of him who saith,

'Say, canst not come to us one momentling, * Like milk of ewekin
     or aught glistening
And eat what liketh thee of dainty cake, * And take thy due of
     fee in silverling,
And bear whatso thou wilt, without mislike, * Of spanling,
     fistling or a span long thing?'"

Then Mahmud of Balkh would have laid hands on Ala al-Din to ravish him; but he rose and baring his brand, said to him, "Shame on thy gray hairs! Hast thou no fear of Allah, and He of exceeding awe?[45] May He have mercy on him who saith,

'Preserve thy hoary hairs from soil and stain, * For whitest colours are the easiest stained!'"

And when he ended his verses he said to Mahmud of Balkh, "Verily this merchandise[46] is a trust from Allah and may not be sold. If I sold this property to other than thee for gold, I would sell it to thee for silver; but by Allah, O filthy villain, I will never again company with thee; no, never!" Then he returned to Kamal-Al-Din the guide and said to him, "Yonder man is a lewd fellow, and I will no longer consort with him nor suffer his company by the way." He replied, "O my son, did I not say to thee, 'Go not near him'? But if we part company with him, I fear destruction for ourselves; so let us still make one caravan." But Ala al-Din cried, "It may not be that I ever again travel with him." So he loaded his beasts and journeyed onwards, he and his company, till they came to a valley, where Ala al-Din would have halted, but the Cameleer said to him, "Do not halt here; rather let us fare forwards and press our pace, so haply we make Baghdad before the gates are closed, for they open and shut them with the sun, in fear lest the Rejectors[47] should take the city and throw the books of religious learning into the Tigris." But Ala al Din replied to him, "O my father, I came not forth from home with this merchandise, or travelled hither for the sake of traffic, but to divert myself with the sight of foreign lands and folks;" and he rejoined, "O my son, we fear for thee and for thy goods from the wild Arabs." Whereupon the youth answered "Harkye, fellow, art thou master or man? I will not enter Baghdad till the morning, that the sons of the city may see my merchandise and know me." "Do as thou wilt," said the other "I have given thee the wisest advice, but thou art the best judge of thine own case." Then Ala al-Din bade them unload the mule; and pitch the tent; so they did his bidding and abode there till the middle of the night, when he went out to obey a call of nature and suddenly saw something gleaming afar off. So he said to Kamal-al-Din, "O captain, what is yonder glittering?" The Cameleer sat up and, considering it straitly, knew it for the glint of spear heads and the steel of Badawi weapons and swords. And lo and behold! this was a troop of wild Arabs under a chief called Ajlán Abú Náib, Shaykh of the Arabs, and when they neared the camp and saw the bales and baggage, they said one to another, "O night of loot!" Now when Kamal-al-Din heard these their words he cried, "Avaunt, O vilest of Arabs!" But Abu Naib so smote him with his throw spear in the breast, that the point came out gleaming from his back, and he fell down dead at the tent door. Then cried the water carrier,[48]

looking on.) Then the Badawin surrounded and charged the caravan from every side and slew all Ala al-Din's company without sparing a man: after which they loaded the mules with the spoil and made off. Quoth Ala al-Din to himself, "Nothing will slay thee save thy mule and thy dress!"; so he arose and put off his gown and threw it over the back of a mule, remaining in his shirt and bag trousers only; after which he looked towards the tent door and, seeing there a pool of gore flowing from the slaughtered, wallowed in it with his remaining clothes till he was as a slain man drowned in his own blood. Thus it fared with him; but as regards the Shaykh of the wild Arabs, Ajlan, he said to his banditti, "O Arabs, was this caravan bound from Egypt for Baghdad or from Baghdad for Egypt?"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Badawi asked his banditti, "O Arabs, was this caravan bound from Egypt for Baghdad or from Baghdad for Egypt?"; they answered, "'Twas bound from Egypt for Baghdad;" and he said, "Return ye to the slain, for methinks the owner of this caravan is not dead." So they turned back to the slain and fell to prodding and slashing them with lance and sword till they came to Ala al-Din, who had thrown himself down among the corpses. And when they came to him, quoth they, "Thou dost but feign thyself dead, but we will make an end of thee," and one of the Badawin levelled his javelin and would have plunged it into his breast when he cried out, "Save me, O my lord Abd al-Kadir, O Saint of Gilan!" and behold, he saw a hand turn the lance away from his breast to that of Kamal-al-Din the cameleer, so that it pierced him and spared himself.[49] Then the Arabs made off; and, when Ala al-Din saw that the birds were flown with their god send, he sat up and finding no one, rose and set off running; but, behold! Abu Náib the Badawi looked back and said to his troop, "I see somewhat moving afar off, O Arabs!" So one of the bandits turned back and, spying Ala al-Din running, called out to him, saying, "Flight shall not forward thee and we after thee;" and he smote his mare with his heel and she hastened after him. Then Ala al-Din seeing before him a watering tank and a cistern beside it, climbed up into a niche in the cistern and, stretching himself at full length, feigned to be asleep and said, "O gracious Protector, cover me with the veil of Thy protection which may not be torn away!" And lo! the Badawi came up to the cistern and, standing in his stirrup irons put out his hand to lay hold of Ala al-Din; but he said, "O my lady Nafísah[50]! Now is thy time!" And behold, a scorpion stung the Badawi in the palm and he cried out, saying, "Help, O Arabs! I am stung;" and he alighted from his mare's back. So his comrades came up to him and mounted him again, asking, "What hath befallen thee?" whereto he answered, "A young scorpion[51] stung me." So they departed, with the caravan. Such was their case; but as regards Ala al-Din, he tarried in the niche, and Mahmud of Balkh bade load his beasts and fared forwards till he came to the Lion's Copse where he found Ala al-Din's attendants all lying slain. At this he rejoiced and went on till he reached the cistern and the reservoir. Now his mule was athirst and turned aside to drink, but she saw Ala al-Din's shadow in the water and shied and started; whereupon Mahmud raised his eyes and, seeing Ala al-Din lying in the niche, stripped to his shirt and bag trousers, said to him, "What man this deed to thee hath dight and left thee in this evil plight?" Answered Ala alDin, "The Arabs," and Mahmud said, "O my son, the mules and the baggage were thy ransom; so do thou comfort thyself with his saying who said,

'If thereby man can save his head from death, * His good is worth him but a slice of nail!'

But now, O my son, come down and fear no hurt." Thereupon he descended from the cistern-niche and Mahmud mounted him on a mule, and they fared on till they reached Baghdad, where he brought him to his own house and carried him to the bath, saying to him, "The goods and money were the ransom of thy life, O my son; but, if thou wilt hearken to me, I will give thee the worth of that thou hast lost, twice told." When he came out of the bath, Mahmud carried him into a saloon decorated with gold with four raised floors, and bade them bring a tray with all manner of meats. So they ate and drank and Mahmud bent towards Ala al-Din to snatch a kiss from him; but he received it upon the palm of his hand and said, "What, dost thou persist in thy evil designs upon me? Did I not tell thee that, were I wont to sell this merchandise to other than thee for gold, I would sell it thee for silver?" Quoth Mahmud, "I will give thee neither merchandise nor mule nor clothes save at this price; for I am gone mad for love of thee, and bless him who said,

'Told us, ascribing to his Shaykhs, our Shaykh * Abú Bilál, these
     words they wont to utter:[52]
Unhealed the lover wones of love desire, * By kiss and clip, his
     only cure's to futter!'"

Ala al-Din replied, "Of a truth this may never be, take back thy dress and thy mule and open the door that I may go out." So he opened the door, and Ala al-Din fared forth and walked on, with the dogs barking at his heels, and he went forwards through the dark when behold, he saw the door of a mosque standing open and, entering the vestibule, there took shelter and concealment; and suddenly a light approached him and on examining it he saw that it came from a pair of lanthorns borne by two slaves before two merchants. Now one was an old man of comely face and the other a youth; and he heard the younger say to the elder, "O my uncle,, I conjure thee by Allah, give me back my cousin!" The old man replied, "Did I not forbid thee, many a time, when the oath of divorce was always in thy mouth, as it were Holy Writ?" Then he turned to his right and, seeing Ala al-Din as he were a slice of the full moon, said to him, "Peace be with thee! who art thou, O my son?" Quoth he, returning the salutation of peace, "I am Ala al-Din, son of Shams al-Din, Consul of the merchants for Egypt. I besought my father for merchandise; so he packed me fifty loads of stuffs and goods."—And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din continued, "So he packed me fifty loads of goods and gave me ten thousand dinars, wherewith I set out for Baghdad; but when I reached the Lion's Copse, the wild Arabs came out against me and took all my goods and monies. So I entered the city knowing not where to pass the night and, seeing this place, I took shelter here." Quoth the old man, "O my son, what sayest thou to my giving thee a thousand dinars and a suit of clothes and a mule worth other two thousand?" Ala al-Din asked, "To what end wilt thou give me these things, O my uncle?" and the other answered, 'This young man who accompanieth me is the son of my brother and an only son; and I have a daughter called Zubaydah[53] the lutist, an only child who is a model of beauty and loveliness, so I married her to him. Now he loveth her, but she loatheth him; and when he chanced to take an oath of triple divorcement and broke it, forthright she left him. Whereupon he egged on all the folk to intercede with me to restore her to him; but I told him that this could not lawfully be save by an intermediate marriage, and we have agreed to make some stranger the intermediary[54] in order that none may taunt and shame him with this affair. So, as thou art a stranger, come with us and we will marry thee to her; thou shalt lie with her to-night and on the morrow divorce her and we will give thee what I said." Quoth Ala al-Din to himself, "By Allah, to bide the night with a bride on a bed in a house is far better than sleeping in the streets and vestibules!" So he went with them to the Kazi whose heart, as soon as he saw Ala al-Din, was moved to love him, and who said to the old man, "What is your will?" He replied, "We wish to make this young man an intermediary husband for my daughter; but we will write a bond against him binding him to pay down by way of marriage-settlement ten thousand gold pieces. Now if after passing the night with her he divorce her in the morning, we will give him a mule and dress each worth a thousand dinars, and a third thousand of ready money; but if he divorce her not, he shall pay down the ten thousand dinars according to contract." So they agreed to the agreement and the father of the bride-to-be received his bond for the marriage-settlement. Then he took Ala al-Din and, clothing him anew, carried him to his daughter's house and there he left him standing at the door, whilst he himself went in to the young lady and said, "Take the bond of thy marriage-settlement, for I have wedded thee to a handsome youth by name Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat: so do thou use him with the best of usage." Then he put the bond into her hands and left her and went to his own lodging. Now the lady's cousin had an old duenna who used to visit Zubaydah, and he had done many a kindness to this woman, so he said to her, "O my mother, if my cousin Zubaydah see this handsome young man, she will never after accept my offer; so I would fain have thee contrive some trick to keep her and him apart." She answered, "By the life of thy youth,[55] I will not suffer him to approach her!" Then she went to Ala al-Din and said to him, "O my son, I have a word of advice to give thee, for the love of Almighty Allah and do thou accept my counsel, as I fear for thee from this young woman: better thou let her lie alone and feel not her person nor draw thee near to her." He asked, "Why so?"; and she answered, "Because her body is full of leprosy and I dread lest she infect thy fair and seemly youth." Quoth he, "I have no need of her." Thereupon she went to the lady and said the like to her of Ala al-Din, and she replied, "I have no need of him, but will let him lie alone, and on the morrow he shall gang his gait." Then she called a slave-girl and said to her, "Take the tray of food and set it before him that he may sup." So the handmaid carried him the tray of food and set it before him and he ate his fill: after which he sat down and raised his charming voice and fell to reciting the chapter called Y. S.[56] The lady listened to him and found his voice as melodious as the psalms of David sung by David himself,[57] which when she heard, she exclaimed, "Allah disappoint the old hag who told me that he was affected with leprosy! Surely this is not the voice of one who hath such a disease; and all was a lie against him."[58] Then she took a lute of India-land workmanship and, tuning the strings, sang to it in a voice so sweet its music would stay the birds in the heart of heaven; and began these two couplets,

"I love a fawn with gentle white black eyes, * Whose walk the
     willow-wand with envy kills:
Forbidding me he bids for rival-mine, * 'Tis Allah's grace who
     grants to whom He wills!"

And when he heard her chant these lines he ended his recitation of the chapter, and began also to sing and repeated the following couplet,

"My Salám to the Fawn in the garments concealed, * And to roses in gardens of cheek revealed."

The lady rose up when she heard this, her inclination for him redoubled and she lifted the curtain; and Ala al-Din, seeing her, recited these two couplets,

"She shineth forth, a moon, and bends, a willow wand, * And
     breathes out ambergris, and gazes, a gazelle.
Meseems as if grief loved my heart and when from her *
     Estrangement I abide possession to it fell."[59]

Thereupon she came forward, swinging her haunches and gracefully swaying a shape the handiwork of Him whose boons are hidden; and each of them stole one glance of the eyes that cost them a thousand sighs. And when the shafts of the two regards which met rankled in his heart, he repeated these two couplets,

"She 'spied the moon of Heaven, reminding me * Of nights when met
     we in the meadows li'en:
True, both saw moons, but sooth to say, it was * Her very eyes I
     saw, and she my eyne."

And when she drew near him, and there remained but two paces between them, he recited these two couplets,

"She spread three tresses of unplaited hair * One night, and
     showed me nights not one but four;
And faced the moon of Heaven with her brow, * And showed me two-
    fold moons in single hour."

And as she was hard by him he said to her, "Keep away from me, lest thou infect me." Whereupon she uncovered her wrist[60] to him, and he saw that it was cleft, as it were in two halves, by its veins and sinews and its whiteness was as the whiteness of virgin silver. Then said she, "Keep away from me, thou! for thou art stricken with leprosy, and maybe thou wilt infect me." He asked, "Who told thee I was a leper?" and she answered, "The old woman so told me." Quoth he, "'Twas she told me also that thou wast afflicted with white scurvy;" and so saying, he bared his forearms and showed her that his skin was also like virgin silver. Thereupon she pressed him to her bosom and he pressed her to his bosom and the twain embraced with closest embrace, then she took him and, lying down on her back, let down her petticoat trousers, and in an instant that which his father had left him rose up in rebellion against him and he said, "Go it, O Shayth Zachary[61] of shaggery, O father of veins!"; and putting both hands to her flanks, he set the sugar-stick[62] to the mouth of the cleft and thrust on till he came to the wicket called "Pecten." His passage was by the Gate of Victories[63] and therefrom he entered the Monday market, and those of Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday,[64] and, finding the carpet after the measure of the dais floor,[65] he plied the box within its cover till he came to the end of it. And when morning dawned he cried to her, "Alas for delight which is not fulfilled! The raven[66] taketh it and flieth away!" She asked, "What meaneth this saying?"; and he answered, "O my lady, I have but this hour to abide with thee." Quoth she "Who saith so?" and quoth he, "Thy father made me give him a written bond to pay ten thousand dinars to thy wedding-settlement; and, except I pay it this very day, they will imprison me for debt in the Kazi's house; and now my hand lacketh one-half dirham of the sum." She asked, "O my lord, is the marriage-bond in thy hand or in theirs?"; and he answered, "O my lady, in mine, but I have nothing." She rejoined, "The matter is easy; fear thou nothing. Take these hundred dinars: an I had more, I would give thee what thou lackest; but of a truth my father, of his love for my cousin, hath transported all his goods, even to my jewellery from my lodging to his. But when they send thee a serjeant of the Ecclesiastical Court,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young lady rejoined to Ala al-Din, "And when they send thee at an early hour a serjeant of the Ecclesiastical-Court, and the Kazi and my father bid thee divorce me, do thou reply, By what law is it lawful and right that I should marry at nightfall and divorce in the morning? Then kiss the Kazi's hand and give him a present, and in like manner kiss the Assessors' hands and give each of them ten gold pieces. So they will all speak with thee, and if they ask thee, 'Why dost thou not divorce her and take the thousand dinars and the mule and suit of clothes, according to contract duly contracted?' do thou answer, 'Every hair of her head is worth a thousand ducats to me and I will never put her away, neither will I take a suit of clothes nor aught else.' And if the Kazi say to thee, 'Then pay down the marriage-settlement,' do thou reply, 'I am short of cash at this present;' whereupon he and the Assessors will deal in friendly fashion with thee and allow thee time to pay." Now whilst they were talking, behold, the Kazi's officer knocked at the door; so Ala al-Din went down and the man said to him, "Come, speak the Efendi,[67] for thy fatherinlaw summoneth thee." So Ala al-Din gave him five dinars and said to him, "O Summoner, by what law am I bound to marry at nightfall and divorce next morning?" The serjeant answered, "By no law of ours at all, at all; and if thou be ignorant of the religious law, I will act as thine advocate." Then they went to the divorce court and the Kazi said to Ala al-Din, "Why dost thou not put away the woman and take what falleth to thee by the contract?" Hearing this he went up to the Kazi; and, kissing his hand, put fifty dinars in it and said, "O our lord the Kazi, by what law is it lawful and right that I should marry at nightfall and divorce in the morning in my own despite?" The Kazi, answered, "Divorce as a compulsion and by force is sanctioned by no school of the Moslems." Then said the young lady's father, "If thou wilt not divorce, pay me the ten thousand dinars, her marriage-settlement." Quoth Ala al-Din, "Give me a delay of three days;" but the Kazi, said, "Three days is not time enough; he shall give thee ten." So they agreed to this and bound him after ten days either to pay the dowry or to divorce her. And after consenting he left them and taking meat and rice and clarified butter[68] and what else of food he needed, returned to the house and told the young woman all that had passed; whereupon she said, "'Twixt night and day, wonders may display; and Allah bless him for his say:—

'Be mild when rage shall come to afflict thy soul; * Be patient
     when calamity breeds ire;
Lookye, the Nights are big with child by Time, * Whose pregnancy
     bears wondrous things and dire.'"

Then she rose and made ready food and brought the tray, and they two ate and drank and were merry and mirthful. Presently Ala al-Din besought her to let him hear a little music; so she took the lute and played a melody that had made the hardest stone dance for glee, and the strings cried out in present ecstacy, "O Loving One!";[69] after which she passed from the adagio into the presto and a livelier measure. As they thus spent their leisure in joy and jollity and mirth and merriment, behold, there came a knocking at the door and she said to him; "Go see who is at the door." So he went down and opened it and finding four Dervishes standing without, said to them, "What want ye?" They replied, "O my lord, we are foreign and wandering religious mendicants, the viands of whose souls are music and dainty verse, and we would fain take our pleasure with thee this night till morning cloth appear, when we will wend our way, and with Almighty Allah be thy reward; for we adore music and there is not one of us but knoweth by heart store of odes and songs and ritornellos."[70] He answered, "There is one I must consult;" and he returned and told Zubaydah who said, "Open the door to them." So he brought them up and made them sit down and welcomed them; then he fetched them food, but they would not eat and said, "O our lord, our meat is to repeat Allah's name in our hearts and to hear music with our ears: and bless him who saith,

'Our aim is only converse to enjoy, * And eating joyeth only cattle-kind.'[71]

And just now we heard pleasant music in thy house, but when we entered, it ceased; and fain would we know whether the player was a slave-girl, white or black, or a maiden of good family." He answered, "It was this my wife," and told them all that had befallen him, adding, "Verily my father-in-law hath bound me to pay a marriage-settlement of ten thousand dinars for her, and they have given me ten days' time." Said one of the Dervishes, "Have no care and think of naught but good; for I am Shaykh of the Convent and have forty Dervishes under my orders. I will presently collect from them the ten thousand dinars and thou shalt pay thy father-in-law the wedding settlement. But now bid thy wife make us music that we may be gladdened and pleasured; for to some folk music is meat, to others medicine and to others refreshing as a fan." Now these four Dervishes were none other than the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, his Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide, Abu al-Nowás al-Hasan son of Háni[72] and Masrur the sworder; and the reason of their coming to the house was that the Caliph, being heavy at heart, had summoned his Minister and said, "O Wazir! it is our will to go down to the city and pace its streets, for my breast is sore straitened." So they all four donned dervish dress and went down and walked about, till they came to that house where, hearing music, they were minded to know the cause. They spent the night in joyance and harmony and telling tale after tale until morning dawned, when the Caliph laid an hundred gold pieces under the prayer-carpet and all taking leave of Ala al-Din, went their way. Now when Zubaydah lifted the carpet she found beneath it the hundred dinars and she said to her husband, "Take these hundred dinars which I have found under the prayer-carpet; assuredly the Dervishes when about to leave us laid them there, without our knowledge." So Ala al-Din took the money and, repairing to the market, bought therewith meat and rice and clarified butter and all they required. And when it was night, he lit the wax-candles and said to his wife, "The mendicants, it is true, have not brought the ten thousand dinars which they promised me; but indeed they are poor men." As they were talking, behold, the Dervishes knocked at the door and she said, "Go down and open to them." So he did her bidding and bringing them up, said to them, "Have you brought me the ten thousand dinars you promised me?" They answered, "We have not been able to collect aught thereof as yet; but fear nothing: Inshallah, tomorrow we will compound for thee some alchemical-cookery. But now bid thy wife play us her very best pieces and gladden our hearts for we love music." So she took her lute and made them such melody that had caused the hardest rocks to dance with glee; and they passed the night in mirth and merriment, converse and good cheer, till morn appeared with its sheen and shone, when the Caliph laid an hundred gold pieces under the prayer-carpet and all, after taking leave of Ala al-Din, went their way. And they ceased not to visit him thus every night for nine nights; and each morning the Caliph put an hundred dinars under the prayer carpet, till the tenth night, when they came not. Now the reason of their failure to come was that the Caliph had sent to a great merchant, saying to him, "Bring me fifty loads of stuffs, such as come from Cairo,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince of True Believers said to that merchant, "Bring me fifty loads of stuffs such as come from Cairo, and let each one be worth a thousand dinars, and write on each bale its price; and bring me also a male Abyssinian slave." The merchant did the bidding of the Caliph who committed to the slave a basin and ewer of gold and other presents, together with the fifty loads; and wrote a letter to Ala al-Din as from his father Shams al-Din and said to him, "Take these bales and what else is with them, and go to such and such a quarter wherein dwelleth the Provost of the merchants and say, 'Where be Ala al-Din Abu al Shamat?' till folk direct thee to his quarter and his house." So the slave took the letter and the goods and what else and fared forth on his errand. Such was his case; but as regards Zubaydah's cousin and first husband, he went to her father and said to him, "Come let us go to Ala al-Din and make him divorce the daughter of my uncle." So they set out both together and, when they came to the street in which the house stood, they found fifty he mules laden with bales of stuffs, and a blackamoor riding on a she mule. So they said to him, "Whose loads are these?" He replied, "They belong to my lord Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat; for his father equipped him with merchandise and sent him on a journey to Baghdad-city; but the wild Arabs came forth against him and took his money and goods and all he had. So when the ill news reached his father, he despatched me to him with these loads, in lieu of those he had lost; besides a mule laden with fifty thousand dinars, a parcel of clothes worth a power of money, a robe of sables[73] and a basin and ewer of gold." Whereupon the lady's father said, "He whom thou seekest is my son-in-law and I will show thee his house." Meanwhile Ala al-Din was sitting at home in huge concern, when lo! one knocked at the door and he said, "O Zubaydah, Allah is all-knowing! but I fear thy father hath sent me an officer from the Kazi or the Chief of Police." Quoth she, "Go down and see what it is." So he went down; and, opening the door, found his father-in-law, the Provost of the merchants with an Abyssinian slave, dusky complexioned and pleasant of favour, riding on a mule. When the slave saw him he dismounted and kissed his hands, and Ala al-Din said, "What dost thou want?" He replied, "I am the slave of my lord Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, son of Shams al-Din, Consul of the merchants for the land of Egypt, who hath sent me to him with this charge." Then he gave him the letter and Ala al-Din opening it found written what followeth:[74]

"Ho thou my letter! when my friend shall see thee, * Kiss thou
     the ground and buss his sandal-shoon:
Look thou hie softly and thou hasten not, * My life and rest are
     in those hands so boon.

"After hearty salutations and congratulations and high estimation from Shams al-Din to his son, Abu al-Shamat. Know, O my son, that news hath reached me of the slaughter of thy men and the plunder of thy monies and goods; so I send thee herewith fifty loads of Egyptian stuffs, together with a suit of clothes and a robe of sables and a basin and ewer of gold. Fear thou no evil, and the goods thou hast lost were the ransom of thy life; so regret them not and may no further grief befall thee. Thy mother and the people of the house are doing well in health and happiness and all greet thee with abundant greetings. Moreover, O my son, it hath reached me that they have married thee, by way of intermediary, to the lady Zubaydah the lutist and they have imposed on thee a marriage-settlement of ten thousand dinars; wherefore I send thee also fifty thousand dinars by the slave Salím."[75] Now when Ala al-Din had made an end of reading the letter, he took possession of the loads and, turning to the Provost, said to him, "O my father-in-law, take the ten thousand dinars, the marriage-settlement of thy daughter Zubaydah, and take also the loads of goods and dispose of them, and thine be the profit; only return me the cost price." He answered, "Nay, by Allah, I will take nothing; and, as for thy wife's settlement, do thou settle the matter with her." Then, after the goods had been brought in, they went to Zuhaydah and she said to her sire, "O my father, whose loads be these?" He said, "These belong to thy husband, Ala al-Din: his father hath sent them to him instead of those whereof the wild Arabs spoiled him. Moreover, he hath sent him fifty thousand dinars with a parcel of clothes, a robe of sables, a she mule for riding and a basin and ewer of gold. As for the marriage-settlement that is for thy recking." Thereupon Ala al-Din rose and, opening the money box, gave her her settlement and the lady's cousin said, "O my uncle, let him divorce to me my wife;" but the old man replied, "This may never be now; for the marriage tie is in his hand." Thereupon the young man went out, sore afflicted and sadly vexed and, returning home, fell sick, for his heart had received its death blow; so he presently died. But as for Ala al-Din, after receiving his goods he went to the bazar and buying what meats and drinks he needed, made a banquet as usual—against the night, saying to Zubaydah, "See these lying Dervishes; they promised us and broke their promises." Quoth she, "Thou art the son of a Consul of the merchants, yet was thy hand short of half a dirham; how then should it be with poor Dervishes?" Quoth he, "Almighty Allah hath enabled us to do without them; but if they come to us never again will I open the door to them." She asked, "Why so, whenas their coming footsteps brought us good luck; and, moreover, they put an hundred dinars under the prayer carpet for us every night? Perforce must thou open the door to them an they come." So when day departed with its light and in gloom came night, they lighted the wax candles and he said to her, "Rise, Zubaydah, make us music;" and behold, at this moment some one knocked at the door, and she said, "Go and look who is at the door." So he went down and opened it and seeing the Dervishes, said, "Oh, fair welcome to the liars! Come up." Accordingly they went up with him and he seated them and brought them the tray of food; and they ate and drank and became merry and mirthful, and presently said to him, "O my lord, our hearts have been troubled for thee: what hath passed between thee and thy father-in-law?" He answered, "Allah compensated us beyond and above our desire." Rejoined they, "By Allah, we were in fear for thee".—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and and Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Dervishes thus addressed Ala al-Din, "By Allah, we were in fear for thee and naught kept us from thee but our lack of cash and coin." Quoth he, "Speedy relief hath come to me from my Lord; for my father hath sent me fifty thousand dinars and fifty loads of stuffs, each load worth a thousand dinars; besides a riding-mule, a robe of sables, an Abyssinian slave and a basin and ewer of gold. Moreover, I have made my peace with my father-in-law and my wife hath become my lawful wife by my paying her settlement; so laud to Allah for that!" Presently the Caliph rose to do a necessity; whereupon Ja'afar bent him towards Ala al-Din and said, "Look to thy manners, for thou art in the presence of the Commander of the Faithful " Asked he, "How have I failed in good breeding before the Commander of the Faithful, and which of you is he?" Quoth Ja'afar, "He who went out but now to make water is the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and I am the Wazir Ja'afar; and this is Masrur the executioner and this other is Abu Nowas Hasan bin Hani.. And now, O Ala al-Din, use thy reason and bethink thee how many days' journey it is between Cairo and Baghdad." He replied, "Five and forty days' journey;" and Ja'afar rejoined, "Thy baggage was stolen only ten days ago; so how could the news have reached thy father, and how could he pack thee up other goods and send them to thee five-and-forty days' journey in ten days' time?" Quoth Ala al-Din, "O my lord and whence then came they?" "From the Commander of the Faithful," replied Ja'afar, "of his great affection for thee." As they were speaking, lo! the Caliph entered and Ala al-Din rising, kissed the ground before him and said, "Allah keep thee, O Prince of the Faithful, and give thee long life; and may the lieges never lack thy bounty and beneficence!" Replied the Caliph, "O Ala al-Din, let Zubaydah play us an air, by way of house-warming[76] for thy deliverance." Thereupon she played him on the lute so rare a melody that the very stones shook for glee, and the strings cried out for present ecstasy, "O Loving One!" They spent the night after the merriest fashion, and in the morning the Caliph said to Ala al-Din, "Come to the Divan to-morrow." He answered, "Hearkening and obedience, O Commander of the Faithful; so Allah will and thou be well and in good case!" On the morrow he took ten trays and, putting on each a costly present, went up with them to the palace; and the Caliph was sitting on the throne when, behold, Ala al-Din appeared at the door of the Divan, repeating these two couplets,

"Honour and Glory wait on thee each morn! * Thine enviers' noses
     in the dust be set!
Ne'er cease thy days to be as white as snow; * Thy foeman's days
     to be as black as jet!"

"Welcome, O Ala Al-Din!" said the Caliph, and he replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, the Prophet (whom Allah bless and assain!)[77] was wont to accept presents; and these ten trays, with what is on them, are my offering to thee." The Caliph accepted his gift and, ordering him a robe of honour, made him Provost of the merchants and gave him a seat in the Divan. And as he was sitting behold, his father-in-law came in and, seeing Ala al-Din seated in his place and clad in a robe of honour, said to the Caliph, "O King of the age, why is this man sitting in my place and wearing this robe of honour?" Quoth the Caliph, "I have made him Provost of the merchants, for offices are by investiture and not in perpetuity, and thou art deposed." Answered the merchant, "Thou hast done well, O Commander of the Faithful, for he is ours and one of us. Allah make the best of us the managers of our affairs! How many a little one hath become great!" Then the Caliph wrote Ala al-Din a Firman[78] of investiture and gave it to the Governor who gave it to the crier,[79] and the crier made proclamation in the Divan saying, "None is Provost of the merchants but Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, and his word is to be heard, and he must be obeyed with due respect paid, and he meriteth homage and honour and high degree!" Moreover, when the Divan broke up, the Governor went down with the crier before Ala Al-Din!" and the crier repeated the proclamation and they carried Ala al-Din through the thoroughfares of Baghdad, making proclamation of his dignity. Next day, Ala al-Din opened a shop for his slave Salim and set him therein, to buy and sell, whilst he himself rode to the palace and took his place in the Caliph's Divan.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din rode to the palace and took his place in the Caliph's Divan. Now it came to pass one day, when he sat in his stead as was his wont, behold, one said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, may thy head survive such an one the cup-companion!; for he is gone to the mercy of Almighty Allah, but be thy life prolonged!"[80] Quoth the Caliph, "Where is Ala al-Din Abu al-al-Shamat?" So he went up to the Commander of the Faithful, who at once clad him in a splendid dress of honour and made him his boon-companion; appointing him a monthly pay and allowance of a thousand dinars. He continued to keep him company till, one day, as he sat in the Divan, according to his custom attending upon the Caliph, lo and behold! an Emir came up with sword and shield in hand and said, "O Commander of the Faithful, may thy head long outlive the Head of the Sixty, for he is dead this day;" whereupon the Caliph ordered Ala al-Din a dress of honour and made him Chief of the Sixty, in place of the other who had neither wife nor son nor daughter. So Ala al-Din laid hands on his estate and the Caliph said to him, "Bury him in the earth and take all he hath left of wealth and slaves and handmaids."[81] Then he shook the handkerchief[82] and dismissed the Divan, whereupon Ala al-Din went forth, attended by Ahmad al-Danaf, captain of the right, and Hasan Shúmán, captain of the left, riding at his either stirrup, each with his forty men.[83] Presently, he turned to Hasan Shuman and his men and said to them, "Plead ye for me with the Captain Ahmad al-Danaf that he please to accept me as his son by covenant before Allah." And Ahmad assented, saying, "I and my forty men will go before thee to the Divan every morning." Now after this Ala al-Din continued in the Caliph's service many days; till one day it chanced that he left the Divan and returning home, dismissed Ahmad al-Danaf and his men and sat down with his wife Zubaydab, the lute-player, who lighted the wax candles and went out of the room upon an occasion. Suddenly he heard a loud shriek; so he rose up and running in haste to see what was the matter, found that it was his wife who had cried out. She was lying at full length on the ground and, when he put his hand to her breast, he found her dead. Now her father's house faced that of Ala al-Din, and he, hearing the shriek, came in and said, "What is the matter, O my lord Ala al-Din?" He replied, "O my father, may thy head outlive thy daughter Zubaydah! But, O my father, honour to the dead is burying them." So when the morning dawned, they buried her in the earth and her husband and father condoled with and mutually consoled each other. Thus far concerning her; but as regards Ala al-Din he donned mourning dress and declined the Divan, abiding tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted at home. After a while, the Caliph said to Ja'afar, "O Watir, what is the cause of Ala al-Din's absence from the Divan?" The Minister answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, he is in mourning for his wife Zubaydah; and is occupied in receiving those who come to console him;" and the Caliph said, "It behoveth us to pay him a visit of condolence." "I hear and I obey," replied Ja'afar. So they took horse, the Caliph and the Minister and a few attendants, and rode to Ala al-Din's house and, as he was sitting at home, behold, the party came in upon him; whereupon he rose to receive them and kissed the ground before the Caliph, who said to him, "Allah make good thy loss to thee!" Answered Ala Al-Din, "May Allah preserve thee to us, O Commander of the Faithful!" Then said the Caliph, "O Ala al-Din, why hast thou absented thyself from the Divan?" And he replied, "Because of my mourning for my wife, Zubaydah, O Commander of the Faithful." The Caliph rejoined, "Put away grief from thee: verily she is dead and gone to the mercy of Almighty Allah and mourning will avail thee nothing; no, nothing." But Ala al-Din said "O Commander of the Faithful, I shall never leave mourning for her till I die and they bury me by her side." Quoth the Caliph, "In Allah is compensation for every decease, and neither device nor riches can deliver from death; and divinely gifted was he who said,

'All sons of woman, albe long preserved, * Are borne upon the
     bulging bier some day.[84]
How then shall 'joy man joy or taste delight, * Upon whose cheeks
     shall rest the dust and clay?'"

When the Caliph had made an end of condoling with him, he charged him not to absent himself from the Divan and returned to his palace. And Ala Al-Din, after a last sorrowful night, mounted early in the morning and, riding to the court, kissed the ground before the Commander of the Faithful who made a movement if rising from the throne[85] to greet and welcome him; and bade him take his appointed place in the Divan, saying, "O Ala al-Din, thou art my guest to-night." So presently he carried him into his serraglio and calling a slave-girl named Kút al-Kulúb, said to her, "Ala al-Din had a wife called Zubaydah, who used to sing to him and solace him of cark and care; but she is gone to the mercy of Almighty Allah, and now I would have thee play him an air upon the lute,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph said to the damsel Kut al-Kulub, "I would have thee play him upon the lute an air, of fashion sweet and rare, that he may be solaced of his cark and care." So she rose and made sweet music; and the Caliph said to Ala al-Din, "What sayst thou of this damsel's voice?" He replied, "Verily, O Commander of the Faithful, Zubaydah's voice was the finer; but she is skilled in touching the lute cunningly and her playing would make a rock dance with glee." The Caliph asked, "Doth she please thee?" and he answered, "She doth, O Commander of the Faithful;" whereupon the King said, "By the life of my head and the tombs of my forefathers, she is a gift from me to thee, she and her waiting- women!" Ala al-Din fancied that the Caliph was jesting with him; but, on the morrow, the King went in to Kut al-Kulub and said to her, "I have given thee to Ala Al-Din, whereat she rejoiced, for she had seen and loved him. Then the Caliph returned from his serraglio palace to the Divan; and, calling porters, said to them, "Set all the goods of Kut al-Kulub and her waiting-women in a litter, and carry them to Ala al-Din's home." So they conducted her to the house and showed her into the pavilion, whilst the Caliph sat in the hall of audience till the dose of day, when the Divan broke up and he retired to his harem. Such was his case; but as regards Kut al-Kulub, when she had taken up her lodging in Ala al-Din's mansion, she and her women, forty in all, besides the eunuchry, she called two of these caponised slaves and said to them, "Sit ye on stools, one on the right and another on the left hand of the door; and, when Ala al-Din cometh home, both of you kiss his hands and say to him, "Our mistress Kut al-Kulub requesteth thy presence in the pavilion, for the Caliph hath given her to thee, her and her women." They answered, "We hear and obey;" and did as she bade them. So, when Ala al-Din returned, he found two of the Caliph's eunuchs sitting at the door and was amazed at the matter and said to himself, "Surely, this is not my own house; or else what can have happened?" Now when the eunuchs saw him, they rose to him and, kissing his hands, said to him, "We are of the Caliph's household and slaves to Kut al-Kulub, who saluteth thee, giving thee to know that the Caliph hath bestowed her on thee, her and her women, and requesteth thy presence." Quoth Ala al-Din, "Say ye to her, 'Thou art welcome; but so long as thou shalt abide with me, I will not enter the pavilion wherein thou art, for what was the master's should not become the man's;' and furthermore ask her, 'What was the sum of thy day's expenditure in the Caliph's palace?'" So they went in and did his errand to her, and she answered, "An hundred dinars a day;" whereupon quoth he to himself, "There was no need for the Caliph to give me Kut al-Kulub, that I should be put to such expense for her; but there is no help for it." So she abode with him awhile and he assigned her daily an hundred dinars for her maintenance; till, one day, he absented himself from the Divan and the Caliph said to Ja'afar, "O Watir, I gave not Kut al-Kulub unto Ala al-Din but that she might console him for his wife; why, then, doth he still hold aloof from us?" Answered Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, he spake sooth who said, 'Whoso findeth his fere, forgetteth his friends.'" Rejoined the Caliph, "Haply he hath not absented himself without excuse, but we will pay him a visit." Now some days before this, Ala al-Din had said to Ja'afar, "I complained to the Caliph of my grief and mourning for the loss of my wife Zubaydah and he gave me Kut al-Kulub;" and the Minister replied, "Except he loved thee, he had not given her to thee. Say hast thou gone in unto her, O Ala al-Din?" He rejoined, "No, by Allah! I know not her length from her breadth." He asked "And why?" and he answered, "O Wazir, what befitteth the lord befitteth not the liege." Then the Caliph and Ja'afar disguised themselves and went privily to visit Ala al-Din; but he knew them and rising to them kissed the hands of the Caliph, who looked at him and saw signs of sorrow in his face. So he said to him, "O Al-Din, whence cometh this sorrow wherein I see thee? Hast thou not gone in unto Kut al-Kulub?" He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, what befitteth the lord befitteth not the thrall. No, as yet I have not gone in to visit her nor do I know her length from her breadth; so pray quit me of her." Quoth the Caliph, "I would fain see her and question her of her case;" and quoth Ala al-Din, "I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful." So the Caliph went in,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph went in to Kut al-Kulub, who rose to him on sighting him and kissed the ground between his hands; when he said to her, "Hath Ala al-Din gone in unto thee?" and she answered, "No, O Commander of the Faithful, I sent to bid him come, but he would not." So the Caliph bade carry her back to the Harim and saying to Ala Al-Din, "Do not absent thyself from us," returned to his palace. Accordingly, next morning, Ala Al-Din, mounted and rode to the Divan, where he took his seat as Chief of the Sixty. Presently the Caliph ordered his treasurer to give the Wazir Ja'afar ten thousand dinars and said when his order was obeyed, "I charge thee to go down to the bazar where handmaidens are sold and buy Ala Al-Din, a slave-girl with this sum." So in obedience to the King, Ja'afar took Ala al-Din and went down with him to the bazar. Now as chance would have it, that very day, the Emir Khálid, whom the Caliph had made Governor of Baghdad, went down to the market to buy a slave-girl for his son and the cause of his going was that his wife, Khátún by name, had borne him a son called Habzalam Bazázah,[86] and the same was foul of favour and had reached the age of twenty, without learning to mount horse; albeit his father was brave and bold, a doughty rider ready to plunge into the Sea of Darkness.[87] And it happened that on a certain night he had a dream which caused nocturnal-pollution whereof he told his mother, who rejoiced and said to his father, "I want to find him a wife, as he is now ripe for wedlock." Quoth Khálid, "The fellow is so foul of favour and withal-so rank of odour, so sordid and beastly that no woman would take him as a gift." And she answered, "We will buy him a slave-girl." So it befell, for the accomplishing of what Allah Almighty had decreed, that on the same day, Ja'afar and Ala al-Din, the Governor Khálid and his son went down to the market and behold, they saw in the hands of a broker a beautiful girl, lovely faced and of perfect shape, and the Wazir said to him, "O broker, ask her owner if he will take a thousand dinars for her." And as the broker passed by the Governor with the slave, Hahzalam Bazazah cast at her one glance of the eyes which entailed for himself one thousand sighs; and he fell in love with her and passion got hold of him and he said, "O my father, buy me yonder slave-girl." So the Emir called the broker, who brought the girl to him, and asked her her name. She replied, "My name is Jessamine;" and he said to Hahzalam Bazazah, "O my son, as she please thee, do thou bid higher for her." Then he asked the broker, "What hath been bidden for her?" and he replied, "A thousand dinars." Said the Governor's son, "She is mine for a thousand pieces of gold and one more;" and the broker passed on to Ala al-Din who bid two thousand dinars for her; and as often as the Emir's son bid another dinar, Ala al-Din bid a thousand. The ugly youth was vexed at this and said, "O broker! who is it that outbiddeth me for the slave-girl?" Answered the broker, "It is the Wazir Ja'afar who is minded to buy her for Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat." And Ala al-Din continued till he brought her price up to ten thousand dinars, and her owner was satisfied to sell her for that sum. Then he took the girl and said to her, "I give thee thy freedom for the love of Almighty Allah;" and forthwith wrote his contract of marriage with her and carried her to his house. Now when the broker returned, after having received his brokerage, the Emir's son summoned him and said to him, "Where is the girl?" Quoth he, "She was bought for ten thousand dinars by Ala al-Din, who hath set her free and married her." At this the young man was greatly vexed and cast down and, sighing many a sigh, returned home, sick for love of the damsel; and he threw himself on his bed and refused food, for love and longing were sore upon him. Now when his mother saw him in this plight, she said to him, "Heaven assain thee, O my son! What aileth thee?" And he answered, "Buy me Jessamine, O my mother." Quoth she, "When the flower-seller passeth I will buy thee a basketful of jessamine." Quoth he, "It is not the jessamine one smells, but a slave-girl named Jessamine, whom my father would not buy for me." So she said to her husband, "Why and wherefore didest thou not buy him the girl?" and he replied, "What is fit for the lord is not fit for the liege and I have no power to take her: no less a man bought her than Ala Al-Din, Chief of the Sixty." Then the youth's weakness redoubled upon him, till he gave up sleeping and eating, and his mother bound her head with the fillets of mourning. And while in her sadness she sat at home, lamenting over her son, behold, came in to her an old woman, known as the mother of Ahmad Kamákim[88] the arch-thief, a knave who would bore through a middle wall and scale the tallest of the tall and steal the very kohl off the eye-ball.[89] From his earliest years he had been given to these malpractices, till they made him Captain of the Watch, when he stole a sum of money; and the Chief of Police, coming upon him in the act, carried him to the Caliph, who bade put him to death on the common execution-ground.[90] But he implored protection of the Wazir whose intercession the Caliph never rejected, so he pleaded for him with the Commander of the Faithful who said, "How canst thou intercede for this pest of the human race?" Ja'afar answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, do thou imprison him; whoso built the first jail was a sage, seeing that a jail is the grave of the living and a joy for the foe." So the Caliph bade lay him in bilboes and write thereon, "Appointed to remain here until death and not to be loosed but on the corpse washer's bench;" and they cast him fettered into limbo. Now his mother was a frequent visitor to the house of the Emir Khálid, who was Governor and Chief of Police; and she used to go in to her son in jail and say to him, "Did I not warn thee to turn from thy wicked ways?"[91] And he would always answer her, "Allah decreed this to me; but, O my mother, when thou visitest the Emir's wife make her intercede for me with her husband." So when the old woman came into the Lady Khatun, she found her bound with the fillets of mourning and said to her, "Wherefore dost thou mourn?" She replied, "For my son Habzalam Bazazah;" and the old woman exclaimed, "Heaven assain thy son!; what hath befallen him?" So the mother told her the whole story, and she said, "What thou say of him who should achieve such a feat as would save thy son?" Asked the lady, "And what feat wilt thou do?" Quoth the old woman, "I have a son called Ahmad Kamakim, the arch-thief, who lieth chained in jail and on his bilboes is written, 'Appointed to remain till death'; so do thou don thy richest clothes and trick thee out with thy finest jewels and present thyself to thy husband with an open face and smiling mien; and when he seeketh of thee what men seek of women, put him off and baulk him of his will and say, 'By Allah, 'tis a strange thing! When a man desireth aught of his wife he dunneth her till she doeth it; but if a wife desire aught of her husband, he will not grant it to her.' Then he will say, 'What dost thou want?'; and do thou answer, 'First swear to grant my request.' If he swear to thee by his head or by Allah, say to him, 'Swear to me the oath of divorce', and do not yield to him, except he do this. And whenas he hath sworn to thee the oath of divorce, say to him, 'Thou keepest in prison a man called Ahmad Kamakim, and he hath a poor old mother, who hath set upon me and who urgeth me in the matter and who saith, 'Let thy husband intercede for him with the Caliph, that my son may repent and thou gain heavenly guerdon.'" And the Lady Khatun replied, "I hear and obey." So when her husband came into her—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Governor came in to his wife, who spoke to him as she had been taught and made him swear the divorce-oath before she would yield to his wishes. He lay with her that night and, when morning dawned, after he had made the Ghusl-ablution and prayed the dawn- prayer, he repaired to the prison and said, "O Ahmad Kamakim, O thou arch-thief, dost thou repent of thy works?"; whereto he replied, "I do indeed repent and turn to Allah and say with heart and tongue, 'I ask pardon of Allah.'" So the Governor took him out of jail and carried him to the Court (he being still in bilboes) and, approaching the Caliph, kissed ground before him. Quoth the King, "O Emir Khálid, what seekest thou?"; whereupon he brought forward Ahmad Kamakim, shuffling and tripping in his fetters, and the Caliph said to him, "What! art thou yet alive, O Kamakim?" He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, the miserable are long-lived." Quoth the Caliph to the Emir, "Why hast thou brought him hither?"; and quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful, he hath a poor old mother cut off from the world who hath none but this son and she hath had recourse to thy slave, imploring him to intercede with thee to strike off his chains, for he repenteth of his evil courses; and to make him Captain of the Watch as before." The Caliph asked Ahmad Kamakim, "Doss thou repent of thy sins?" "I do indeed repent me to Allah, O Commander of the Faithful," answered he; whereupon the Caliph called for the blacksmith and made him strike off his irons on the corpse- washer's bench.[92] Moreover, he restored him to his former office and charged him to walk in the ways of godliness and righteousness. So he kissed the Caliph's hands and, being invested with the uniform of Captain of the Watch, he went forth, whilst they made proclamation of his appointment. Now for a long time he abode in the exercise of his office, till one day his mother went in to the Governor's wife, who said to her, "Praised be Allah who hath delivered thy son from prison and restored him to health and safety! But why dost thou not bid him contrive some trick to get the girl Jessamine for my son Hahzalam Bazazah?" "That will I," answered she and, going out from her, repaired to her son. She found him drunk with wine and said to him, "O my son, no one caused thy release from jail but the wife of the Governor, and she would have thee find some means to slay Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat and get his slave-girl Jessamine for her son Habzalam Bazazah." He answered, " That will be the easiest of things; and I must needs set about it this very night." Now this was the first night of the new month, and it was the custom of the Caliph to spend that night with the Lady Zubaydah, for the setting free of a slave-girl or a Mameluke or something of the sort. Moreover, on such occasions he used to doff his royal-habit, together with his rosary and dagger-sword and royal-signet, and set them all upon a chair in the sitting- saloon: and he had also a golden lanthorn, adorned with three jewels strung on a wire of gold, by which he set great store; and he would commit all these things to the charge of the eunuchry, whilst he went into the Lady Zubaydah's apartment. So arch-thief Ahmad Kamakin waited till midnight, when Canopus shone bright, and all creatures to sleep were dight whilst the Creator veiled them with the veil of night. Then he took his drawn sword in his right and his grappling hook in his left and, repairing to the Caliph's sitting-saloon planted his scaling ladder and cast his grapnel on to the side of the terrace-roof; then, raising the trap-door, let himself down into the saloon, where he found the eunuchs asleep. He drugged them with hemp-fumes;[93] and, taking the Caliph's dress; dagger, rosary, kerchief, signet-ring and the lanthorn whereupon were the pearls, returned whence he came and betook himself to the house of Ala al-Din, who had that night celebrated his wedding festivities with Jessamine and had gone in unto her and gotten her with child. So arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim climbed over into his saloon and, raising one of the marble slabs from the sunken part of the floor,[94] dug a hole under it and laid the stolen things therein, all save the lanthorn, which he kept for himself. Then he plastered down the marble slab as it before was, and returning whence he came, went back to his own house, saying, "I will now tackle my drink and set this lanthorn before me and quaff the cup to its light."[95] Now as soon as it was dawn of day, the Caliph went out into the sitting-chamber; and, seeing the eunuchs drugged with hemp, aroused them. Then he put his hand to the chair and found neither dress nor signet nor rosary nor dagger-sword nor kerchief nor lanthorn; whereat he was exceeding wroth and donning the dress of anger, which was a scarlet suit,[96] sat down in the Divan. So the Wazir Ja'afar came forward and kissing the ground before him, said, "Allah avert all evil from the Commander of the Faithful!" Answered the Caliph, "O Wazir, the evil is passing great!" Ja'afar asked, "What has happened?" so he told him what had occurred; and, behold, the Chief of Police appeared with Ahmad Kamakim the robber at his stirrup, when he found the Commander of the Faithful sore enraged. As soon as the Caliph saw him, he said to him, "O Emir Khálid, how goes Baghdad?" And he answered, "Safe and secure." Cried he "Thou liest!" "How so, O Prince of True Believers?" asked the Emir. So he told him the case and added, "I charge thee to bring me back all the stolen things." Replied the Emir, "O Commander of the Faithful, the vinegar worm is of and in the vinegar, and no stranger can get at this place."[97] But the Caliph said, "Except thou bring me these things, I will put thee to death." Quoth he, "Ere thou slay me, slay Ahmad Kamakim, for none should know the robber and the traitor but the Captain of the Watch." Then came forward Ahmad Kamakim and said to the Caliph, "Accept my intercession for the Chief of Police, and I will be responsible to thee for the thief and will track his trail till I find him; but give me two Kazis and two Assessors for he who did this thing feareth thee not, nor cloth he fear the Governor nor any other." Answered the Caliph, "Thou shalt have what thou wantest; but let search be made first in my palace and then in those of the Wazir and the Chief of the Sixty." Rejoined Ahmad Kamakim, "Thou sayest well, O Commander of the Faith ful; belike the man that did this ill deed be one who hath been reared in the King's household or in that of one of his officers." Cried the Caliph, "As my head liveth, whosoever shall have done the deed I will assuredly put him to death, be it mine own son!" Then Ahmad Kamakim received a written warrant to enter and perforce search the houses;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ahmad Kamakim got what he wanted, and received a written warrant to enter and perforce search the houses; so he fared forth, taking in his hand a rod[98] made of bronze and copper, iron and steel, of each three equal-parts. He first searched the palace of the Caliph, then that of the Wazir Ja'afar; after which he went the round of the houses of the Chamberlains and the Viceroys till he came to that of Ala al-Din. Now when the Chief of the Sixty heard the clamour before his house, he left his wife Jessamine and went down and, opening the door, found the Master of Police without in the midst of a tumultuous crowd. So he said, "What is the matter, O Emir Khálid?" Thereupon the Chief told him the case and Ala al-Din said, "Enter my house and search it." The Governor replied, "Pardon, O my lord; thou art a man in whom trust is reposed and Allah forfend that the trusty turn traitor!" Quoth Ala al-Din, "There is no help for it but that my house be searched." So the Chief of Police entered, attended by the Kazi and his Assessors; whereupon Ahmad Kamakim went straight to the depressed floor of the saloon and came to the slab, under which he had buried the stolen goods and let the rod fall upon it with such violence that the marble broke in sunder and behold something glittered underneath. Then said he, "Bismillah; in the name of Allah! Mashallah; whatso Allah willeth! By the blessing of our coming a hoard hath been hit upon, wait while we go down into this hiding-place and see what is therein." So the Kazi and Assessors looked into the hole and finding there the stolen goods, drew up a statement[99] of how they had discovered them in Ala al-Din's house, to which they set their seals. Then, they bade seize upon Ala al-Din and took his turban from his head, and officially registered all his monies and effects which were in the mansion. Meanwhile, arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim laid hands on Jessamine, who was with child by Ala al-Din, and committed her to his mother, saying, "Deliver her to Khatun, the Governor's lady:" so the old woman took her and carried her to the wife of the Master of Police. Now as soon as Habzalam Bazazah saw her, health and heart returned to him and he arose without stay or delay and joyed with exceeding joy and would have drawn near her; but she plucks a dagger from her girdle and said, "Keep off from me, or I will kill thee and kill myself after." Exclaimed his mother, "O strumpet, let my son have his will of thee!" But Jessamine answered "O bitch, by what law is it lawful for a woman to marry two men; and how shall the dog be admitted to the place of the lion?" With this, the ugly youth's love-longing redoubled and he sickened for yearning and unfulfilled desire; and refusing food returned to his pillow. Then said his mother to her, "O harlot, how canst thou make me thus to sorrow for my son? Needs must I punish thee with torture, and as for Ala al-Din, he will assuredly be hanged." "And I will die for love of him," answered Jessamine. Then the Governor's wife arose and stripped her of her jewels and silken raiment and, clothing her in petticoat-trousers of sack-cloth and a shift of hair-cloth, sent her down into the kitchen and made her a scullery-wench, saying, "The reward for thy constancy shall be to break up fire-wood and peel onions and set fire under the cooking-pots." Quoth she, "I am willing to suffer all manner of hardships and servitude, but I will not suffer the sight of thy son." However, Allah inclined the hearts of the slave-girls to her and they used to do her service in the kitchen. Such was the case with Jessamine; but as regards Ala al-Din they carried him, together with the stolen goods, to the Divan where the Caliph still sat upon his throne. And behold, the King looked upon his effects and said, "Where did ye find them?" They replied, "In the very middle of the house belonging to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat;" whereat the Caliph was filled with wrath and took the things, but found not the lanthorn among them and said, "O Ala al-Din, where is the lanthorn?" He answered "I stole it not, I know naught of it; I never saw it; I can give no information about it!" Said the Caliph, "O traitor, how cometh it that I brought thee near unto me and thou hast cast me out afar, and I trusted in thee and thou betrayest me?" And he commanded to hang him. So the Chief of Police took him and went down with him into the city, whilst the crier preceded them proclaiming aloud and saying, "This is the reward and the least of the reward he shall receive who doth treason against the Caliphs of True Belief!" And the folk flocked to the place where the gallows stood. Thus far concerning him; but as regards Ahmad al-Danaf, Ala al-Din's adopted father, he was sitting making merry with his followers in a garden, and carousing and pleasuring when lo! in came one of the water-carriers of the Divan and, kissing the hand of Ahmad al-Danaf, said to him, "O Captain Ahmad, O Danaf! thou sittest at thine ease with water flowing at thy feet,[100] and thou knowest not what hath happened." Asked Ahmad, "What is it?" and the other answered, "They have gone down to the gallows with thy son Ala al-Din, adopted by a covenant before Allah!" Quoth Ahmad, "What is the remedy here, O Hasan Shuuman, and what sayst thou of this?" He replied, "Assuredly Ala al-Din is innocent and this blame hath come to him from some one enemy."[101] Quoth Ahmad, "What counsellest thou?" and Hasan said, "We must rescue him, Inshallah!" Then he went to the jail and said to the gaolor, "Give us some one who deserveth death." So he gave him one that was likest of men to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat; and they covered his head and carried him to the place of execution between Ahmad al-Danaf and Ali al-Zaybak of Cairo.[102] Now they had brought Ala al-Din to the gibbet, to hang him, but Ahmad al-Danaf came forward and set his foot on that of the hangman, who said, "Give me room to do my duty." He replied, "O accursed, take this man and hang him in Ala al-Din's stead; for he is innocent and we will ransom him with this fellow, even as Abraham ransomed Ishmael with the ram."[103] So the hangman seized the man and hanged him in lieu of Ala al-Din; whereupon Ahmad and Ali took Ala al-Din and carried him to Ahmad's quarters and, when there, Ala al-Din turned to him and said, "O my sire and chief, Allah requite thee with the best of good!" Quoth he, "O Ala al-Din"— And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Calamity Ahmad cried, "O Ala al-Din, what is this deed thou hast done? The mercy of Allah be on him who said, 'Whoso trusteth thee betray him not, e'en if thou be a traitor.' Now the Caliph set thee in high place about him and styled thee 'Trusty' and 'Faithful'; how then couldst thou deal thus with him and steal his goods?" "By the Most Great Name, O my father and chief," replied Ala al-Din, "I had no hand in this, nor did I such deed, nor know I who did it." Quoth Ahmad, "Of a surety none did this but a manifest enemy and whoso doth aught shall be requited for his deed; but, O Ala al-Din, thou canst sojourn no longer in Baghdad, for Kings, O my son, may not pass from one thing to another, and when they go in quest of a man, ah! longsome is his travail." "Whither shall I go, O my chief?" asked Ala al-Din; and he answered, "O my son, I will bring thee to Alexandria, for it is a blessed place; its threshold is green and its sojourn is agreeable." And Ala al-Din rejoined, "I hear and I obey, O my chief." So Ahmad said to Hasan Shuuman, "Be mindful and, when the Caliph asketh for me, say, 'He is gone touring about the provinces'." Then, taking Ala al-Din, he went forth of Baghdad and stayed not going till they came to the outlying vineyards and gardens, where they met two Jews of the Caliph's tax-gatherers, riding on mules. Quoth Ahmad Al-Danaf to these, "Give me the black-mail."[104] and quoth they, "Why should we pay thee black mail?" whereto he replied, "Because I am the watchman of this valley." So they gave him each an hundred gold pieces, after which he slew them and took their mules, one of which he mounted, whilst Ala al-Din bestrode the other. Then they rode on till they came to the city of Ayás[105] and put up their beasts for the night at the Khan. And when morning dawned, Ala al-Din sold his own mule and committed that of Ahmad to the charge of the door-keeper of the caravanserai, after which they took ship from Ayas port and sailed to Alexandria. Here they landed and walked up to the bazar and behold, there was a broker crying a shop and a chamber behind it for nine hundred and fifty dinars. Upon this Ala al-Din bid a thousand which the broker accepted, for the premises belonged to the Treasury; and the seller handed over to him the keys and the buyer opened the shop and found the inner parlour furnished with carpets and cushions. Moreover, he found there a store-room full of sails and masts, cordage and seamen's chests, bags of beads and cowrie[106]- shells, stirrups, battle-axes, maces, knives, scissors and such matters, for the last owner of the shop had been a dealer in second-hand goods.[107]ook his seat in the shop and Ahmad al-Danaf said to him, "O my son, the shop and the room and that which is therein are become thine; so tarry thou here and buy and sell; and repine not at thy lot for Almighty Allah blesseth trade." After this he abode with him three days and on the fourth he took leave of him, saying, "Abide here till I go back and bring thee the Caliph's pardon and learn who hath played thee this trick." Then he shipped for Ayas, where he took the mule from the inn and, returning to Baghdad met Pestilence Hasan and his followers, to whom said he, "Hath the Caliph asked after me?"; and he replied, "No, nor hast thou come to his thought." So he resumed his service about the Caliph's person and set himself to sniff about for news of Ala al-Din's case, till one day he heard the Caliph say to the Watir, "See, O Ja'afar, how Ala al-Din dealt with me!" Replied the Minister, "O Commander of the Faithful, thou hast requited him with hanging and hath he not met with his reward?" Quoth he, "O Wazir, I have a mind to go down and see him hanging;" and the Wazir answered, "Do what thou wilt, O Commander of the Faithful." So the Caliph, accompanied by Ja'afar, went down to the place of execution and, raising his eyes, saw the hanged man to be other than Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, surnamed the Trusty, and said, "O Wazir, this is not Ala al-Din!" "How knowest thou that it is not he?" asked the Minister, and the Caliph answered, "Ala al-Din was short and this one is tall " Quoth Ja'afar, "Hanging stretcheth." Quoth the Caliph, "Ala al-Din was fair and this one's face is black." Said Ja'afar "Knowest thou not, O Commander of the Faithful, that death is followed by blackness?" Then the Caliph bade take down the body from the gallows tree and they found the names of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Omar, written on its heels[108] whereupon cried the Caliph, "O Wazir, Ala al Din was a Sunnite, and this fellow is a Rejecter, a Shi'ah." He answered, "Glory be to Allah who knoweth the hidden things, while we know not whether this was Ala al-Din or other than he." Then the Caliph bade bury the body and they buried it; and Ala al-Din was forgotten as though he never had been. Such was his case; but as regards Habzalam Bazazah, the Emir Khálid's son, he ceased not to languish for love and longing till he died and they joined him to the dust. And as for the young wife Jessamine, she accomplished the months of her pregnancy and, being taken with labour-pains, gave birth to a boy-child like unto the moon. And when her fellow slave-girls said to her, "What wilt thou name him?" she answered, "Were his father well he had named him; but now I will name him Aslán."[109] She gave him suck for two successive years, then weaned him, and he crawled and walked. Now it so came to pass that one day, whilst his mother was busied with the service of the kitchen, the boy went out and, seeing the stairs, mounted to the guest-chamber.[110] And the Emir Khálid who was sitting there took him upon his lap and glorified his Lord for that which he had created and fashioned then closely eyeing his face, the Governor saw that he was the likest of all creatures to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat. Presently, his mother Jessamine sought for him and finding him not, mounted to the guest-chamber, where she saw the Emir seated, with the child playing in his lap, for Allah had inclined his heart to the boy. And when the child espied his mother, he would have thrown himself upon her; but the Emir held him tight to his bosom and said to Jessamine, "Come hither, O damsel." So she came to him, when he said to her, "Whose son is this?"; and she replied, "He is my son and the fruit of my vitals." "And who is his father?" asked the Emir; and she answered, "His father was Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, but now he is become thy son." Quoth Khálid, "In very sooth Ala al-Din was a traitor." Quoth she, "Allah deliver him from treason! the Heavens forfend and forbid that the 'Trusty' should be a traitor!" Then said he, "When this boy shall grow up and reach man's estate and say to thee, 'Who is my father?' say to him, 'Thou art the son of the Emir Khálid, Governor and Chief of Police.'" And she answered, "I hear and I obey." Then he circumcised the boy and reared him with the goodliest rearing, and engaged for him a professor of law and religious science, and an expert penman who taught him to read and write; so he read the Koran twice and learnt it by heart and he grew up, saying to the Emir, "O my father!" Moreover, the Governor used to go down with him to the tilting-ground and assemble horsemen and teach the lad the fashion of fight and fray, and the place to plant lance-thrust and sabre-stroke; so that by the time he was fourteen years old, he became a valiant wight and accomplished knight and gained the rank of Emir. Now it chanced one day that Aslan fell in with Ahmad Kamakim, the arch-thief, and accompanied him as cup- companion to the tavern[111] and behold, Ahmad took out the jewelled lanthorn he had stolen from the Caliph and, setting it before him, pledged the wine cup to its light, till he became drunken. So Aslan said to him, "O Captain, give me this lanthorn;" but he replied, "I cannot give it to thee." Asked Aslan, "Why not?"; and Ahmad answered, "Because lives have been lost for it." "Whose life?" enquired Aslan; and Ahmad rejoined, "There came hither a man who was made Chief of the Sixty; he was named Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat and he lost his life through this lanthorn." Quoth Aslan, "And what was that story, and what brought about his death?" Quoth Ahmad Kamakim, "Thou hadst an elder brother by name Hahzalam Bazazah, and when he reached the age of sixteen and was ripe for marriage, thy father would have bought him a slave-girl named Jessamine." And he went on to tell him the whole story from first to last of Habzalam Bazazah's illness and what befell Ala al-Din in his innocence. When Aslan heard this, he said in thought, "Haply this slave-girl was my mother Jessamine, and my father was none other than Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat." So the boy went out from him sorrowful, and met Calamity Ahmad, who at sight of him exclaimed, "Glory be to Him unto whom none is like!" Asked Hasan the Pestilence, "Whereat dost thou marvel, O my chief?" and Ahmad the Calamity replied, "At the make of yonder boy Aslan, for he is the likest of human creatures to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat." Then he called the lad and said to him, "O Aslan what is thy mother's name?"; to which he replied, "She is called the damsel Jessamine;" and the other said, "Harkye, Aslan, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear; for thy father was none other than Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat: but, O my son, go thou in to thy mother and question her of thy father." He said, "Hearkening and obedience," and, going in to his mother put the question; whereupon quoth she, "Thy sire is the Emir Khálid!" "Not so," rejoined he, "my father was none other than Ala al-Din Abu al Shamat." At this the mother wept and said, "Who acquainted thee with this, O my son?" And he answered "Ahmad al-Danaf, Captain of the Guard." So she told him the whole story, saying, "O my son, the True hath prevailed and the False hath failed:[112] know that Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat was indeed thy sire, but it was none save the Emir Khálid who reared thee and adopted thee as his son. And now, O my child, when thou seest Ahmad al-Danaf the captain, do thou say to him, 'I conjure thee, by Allah, O my chief, take my blood-revenge on the murderer of my father Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat!'" So he went out from his mother,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Aslan went out from his mother and, betaking himself to Calamity Ahmad, kissed his hand. Quoth the captain, "What aileth thee, O Aslan?" and quoth he, "I know now for certain that my father was Ali al-Din Abu al-Shamat and I would have thee take my blood-revenge on his murderer." He asked, "And who was thy father's murderer?" whereto Aslan answered, "Ahmad Kamakim the arch-thief." "Who told thee this?" enquired he, and Aslan rejoined, "I saw in his hand the jewelled lanthorn which was lost with the rest of the Caliph's gear, and I said to him, 'Give me this lanthorn!' but he refused, saying, 'Lives have been lost on account of this'; and told me it was he who had broken into the palace and stolen the articles and deposited them in my father's house." Then said Ahmad al-Danaf, "When thou seest the Emir Khálid don his harness of war, say to him, 'Equip me like thyself and take me with thee.' Then do thou go forth and perform some feat of prowess before the Commander of the Faithful, and he will say to thee, 'Ask a boon of me, O Aslan!' And do thou make answer, 'I ask of thee this boon, that thou take my blood-revenge on my father's murderer.' If he say, 'Thy father is yet alive and is the Emir Khálid, the Chief of the Police'; answer thou, 'My father was Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, and the Emir Khálid hath a claim upon me only as the foster-father who adopted me.' Then tell him all that passed between thee and Ahmad Kamakim and say, 'O Prince of True Believers, order him to be searched and I will bring the lanthorn forth from his bosom.'" Thereupon said Aslan to him, "I hear and obey;" and, returning to the Emir Khálid, found him making ready to repair to the Caliph's court and said to him, "I would fain have thee arm and harness me like thyself and take me with thee to the Divan." So he equipped him and carried him thither. Then the Caliph sallied forth of Baghdad with his troops and they pitched tents and pavilions without the city; whereupon the host divided into two parties and forming ranks fell to playing Polo, one striking the ball with the mall, and another striking it back to him. Now there was among the troops a spy, who had been hired to slay the Caliph; so he took the ball and smiting it with the bat drove it straight at the Caliph's face, when behold, Aslan fended it off and catching it drove it back at him who smote it, so that it struck him between the shoulders and he fell to the ground. The Caliph exclaimed, "Allah bless thee, O Aslan!" and they all dismounted and sat on chairs. Then the Caliph bade them bring the smiter of the ball before him and said, "Who tempted thee to do this thing and art thou friend or foe?" Quoth he, "I am thy foe and it was my purpose to kill thee." Asked the Caliph "And wherefore? Art not a Moslem?" Replied the spy; "No' I am a Rejecter."[113] So the Caliph bade them put him to death and said to Aslan, "Ask a boon of me." Quoth he, "I ask of thee this boon, that thou take my blood-revenge on my father's murderer." He said, "Thy father is alive and there he stands on his two feet." "And who is he?" asked Aslan, and the Caliph answered, "He is the Emir Khálid, Chief of Police." Rejoined Aslan, "O Commander of the Faithful, he is no father of mine, save by right of fosterage; my father was none other than Ala al-Din Abu al Shamat." "Then thy father was a traitor," cried the Caliph. "Allah forbid, O Commander of the Faithful," rejoined Aslan, "that the 'Trusty' should be a traitor! But how did he betray thee?" Quoth the Caliph, "He stole my habit and what was therewith." Aslan retorted, "O Commander of the Faithful, Allah forfend that my father should be a traitor! But, O my lord, when thy habit was lost and found didst thou likewise recover the lanthorn which was stolen from thee?" Answered the Caliph, "We never got it back," and Aslan said, "I saw it in the hands of Ahmad Kamakim and begged it of him; but he refused to give it me, saying, 'Lives have been lost on account of this.' Then he told me of the sickness of Habzalam Bazazah, son of the Emir Khálid, by reason of his passion for the damsel Jessamine, and how he himself was released from bonds and that it was he who stole the habit and the lamp: so do thou, O Commander of the Faithful, take my blood-revenge for my father on him who murdered him." At once the Caliph cried, "Seize ye Ahmad Kamakim!" and they seized him, whereupon he asked, "Where be the Captain, Ahmad al-Danaf?" And when he was summoned the Caliph bade him search Kamakim; so he put his hand into the thief's bosom and pulled out the lanthorn. Said the Caliph, "Come hither, thou traitor: whence hadst thou this lanthorn?" and Kamakim replied, "I bought it, O Commander of the Faithful!" The Caliph rejoined, "Where didst thou buy it?" Then they beat him till he owned that he had stolen the lanthorn, the habit and the rest, and the Caliph said "What moved thee to do this thing O traitor, and ruin Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty and Faithful?" Then he bade them lay hands on him and on the Chief of Police, but the Chief said, "O Commander of the Faithful, indeed I am unjustly treated thou badest me hang him, and I had no knowledge of this trick, for the plot was contrived between the old woman and Ahmad Kamakim and my wife. I crave thine intercession,[114] O Aslan." So Aslan interceded for him with the Caliph, who said, "What hath Allah done with this youngster's mother?" Answered Khálid, "She is with me," and the Caliph continued, "I command that thou order thy wife to dress her in her own clothes and ornaments and restore her to her former degree, a lady of rank; and do thou remove the seals from Ala al-Din's house and give his son possession of his estate." "I hear and obey," answered Khálid; and, going forth, gave the order to his wife who clad Jessamine in her own apparel; whilst he himself removed the seals from Ala al-Din's house and gave Aslan the keys. Then said the Caliph, "Ask a boon of me, O Aslan;" and he replied, "I beg of thee the boon to unite me with my father." Whereat the Caliph wept and said, "Most like thy sire was he that was hanged and is dead; but by the life of my forefathers, whoso bringeth me the glad news that he is yet in the bondage of this life, I will give him all he seeketh!" Then came forward Ahmad al-Danaf and, kissing the ground between his hands, said, "Grant me indemnity, O Commander of the Faithful!" "Thou hast it," answered the Caliph; and Calamity Ahmad said, "I give thee the good news that Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty, the Faithful, is alive and well." Quoth the Caliph "What is this thou sayest?" Quoth Al-Danaf, "As thy head liveth I say sooth; for I ransomed him with another, of those who deserved death; and carried him to Alexandria, where I opened for him a shop and set him up as a dealer in second hand goods." Then said the Prince of True Believers,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph ordered Calamity Ahmad, saying, "I charge thee fetch him to me;" and the other replied, "To hear is to obey;" whereupon the Caliph bade them give him ten thousand gold pieces and he fared forth for Alexandria. On this wise it happed with Aslan; but as regards his father, Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, he sold in course of time all that was in his shop excepting a few things and amongst them a long bag of leather. And happening to shake the bag there fell out a jewel which filled the palm of the hand, hanging to a chain of gold and having many facets but especially five, whereon were names and talismanic characters, as they were ant-tracks. So he rubbed each face; but none answered him[115] and he said to himself, "Doubtless it is a piece of variegated onyx;" and then hung it up in the shop. And behold, a Consul[116] passed along the street; and, raising his eyes, saw the jewel hanging up; so he seated himself over against the shop and said to Ala al-Din, "O my lord, is the jewel for sale?" He answered, "All I have is for sale." Thereupon the Frank said, "Wilt thou sell me that same for eighty thousand dinars?" "Allah open!" replied Ala al-Din. The Frank asked, "Wilt thou sell it for an hundred thousand dinars?", and he answered, "I sell it to thee for a hundred thousand dinars; pay me down the monies." Quoth the Consul, "I cannot carry about such sum as its price, for there be robbers and sharpers in Alexandria; but come with me to my ship and I will pay thee the price and give thee to boot a bale of Angora wool, a bale of satin, a bale of velvet and a bale of broadcloth." So Ala al-Din rose and locked up his shop, after giving the jewel to the Frank, and committed the keys to his neighbour, saying, "Keep these keys in trust for me, whilst I go with this Consul to his ship and return with the price of my jewel. If I be long absent and there come to thee Ahmad al-Danaf, the Captain who stablished me in this shop, give him the keys and tell him where I am." Then he went with the Consul to his ship and no sooner had he boarded it than the Prank set him a stool and, making him sit down, said to his men, "Bring the money." So they brought it and he paid him the price of the jewel and gave him the four bales he had promised him and one over; after which he said to him, "O my lord, honour me by accepting a bite or a sup." And Ala al-Din answered, "If thou have any water, give me to drink." So the Frank called for sherbets and they brought drink drugged with Bhang, of which no sooner had Ala al-Din drunk, than he fell over on his back; whereupon they stowed away the chairs and shipped the shoving-poles and made sail. Now the wind blew fair for them till it drove them into blue water, and when they were beyond sight of land the Kaptán[117] bade bring Ala al-Din up out of the hold and made him smell the counter-drug of Bhang; whereupon he opened his eyes and said, "Where am I?" He replied, "Thou art bound and in my power and if thou hadst said, Allah open! to an hundred thousand dinars for the jewel, I would have bidden thee more." "What art thou?" asked Ala al-Din, and the other answered, "I am a sea-captain and mean to carry thee to my sweetheart." Now as they were talking, behold, a strip hove in sight carrying forty Moslem merchants; so the Frank captain attacked the vessel and made fast to it with grappling-irons; then he boarded it with his men and took it and plundered it; after which he sailed on with his prize, till he reached the city of Genoa. There the Kaptan, who was carrying off Ala al-Din, landed and repaired to a palace whose pastern gave upon the sea, and behold, there came down to him a damsel in a chin-veil who said, "Hast thou brought the jewel and the owner?" "I have brought them both," answered he; and she said, "Then give me the jewel." So he gave it to her; and, returning to the port, fired his cannon to announce his safe return; whereupon the King of the city, being notified of that Kaptan's arrival, came down to receive him and asked him, "How hath been this voyage?" He answered, "A right prosperous one, and while voyaging I have made prize of a ship with one-and-forty Moslem merchants." Said the King, "Land them at the port:" so he landed the merchants in irons and Ala al-Din among the rest; and the King and the Kaptan mounted and made the captives walk before them till they reached the audience-chamber, when the Franks seated themselves and caused the prisoners to pass in parade order, one by one before the King who said to the first, "O Moslem, whence comest thou?" He answered, "From Alexandria;" whereupon the King said, "O headsman, put him to death." So the sworder smote him with the sword and cut off his head: and thus it fared with the second and the third, till forty were dead and there remained but Ala al-Din, who drank the cup of his comrades' sighs and agony and said to himself, "Allah have mercy on thee, O Ala al-Din Thou art a dead man." Then said the King to him, "And thou, what countryman art thou?" He answered, "I am of Alexandria," and the King said, "O headsman, strike off his head." So the sworder raised arm and sword, and was about to strike when behold, an old woman of venerable aspect presented herself before the King, who rose to do her honour, and said to him, "O King, did I not bid thee remember, when the Captain came back with captives, to keep one or two for the convent, to serve in the church?" The King replied, "O my mother, would thou hadst come a while earlier! But take this one that is left." So she turned to Ala al-Din and said to him, "Say, wilt thou serve in the church, or shall I let the King slay thee?" Quoth he, "I will serve in the church." So she took him and carried him forth of the court and went to the church, where he said to her, "What service must I do?" She replied, "Thou must rise with the dawn and take five mules and go with them to the forest and there cut dry fire-wood and saw it short and bring it to the convent-kitchen. Then must thou take up the carpets and sweep and wipe the stone and marble pavements and lay the carpets down again, as they were; after which thou must take two bushels and a half of wheat and bolt it and grind it and knead it and make it into cracknels[118] for the convent; and thou must take also a bushel of lentils[119] and sift and crush and cook them. Then must thou fetch water in barrels and fill the four fountains; after which thou must take three hundred and threescore and six wooden bowls and crumble the cracknels therein and pour of the lentil-pottage over each and carry every monk and patriarch his bowl." Said Ala al-Din,[120] "Take me back to the King and let him kill me, it were easier to me than this service." Replied the old woman, "If thou do truly and rightly the service that is due from thee thou shalt escape death; but, if thou do it not, I will let the King kill thee." And with these words Ala al-Din was left sitting heavy at heart. Now there were in the church ten blind cripples, and one of them said to him, "Bring me a pot." So he brought it him and he cacked and eased himself therein and said, "Throw away the ordure." He did so, and the blind man said, "The Messiah's blessing be upon thee, O servant of the church!" Presently behold, the old woman came in and said to him, "Why hast thou not done thy service in the church?" Answered he, "How many hands have I, that I should suffice for all this work?" She rejoined, 'Thou fool, I brought thee not hither except to work;" and she added, "Take, O my son, this rod (which was of copper capped with a cross) and go forth into the highway and, when thou meetest the governor of the city, say to him, 'I summon thee to the service of the church, in the name of our Lord the Messiah.' And he will not disobey thee. Then make him take the wheat, sift, grind, bolt, knead, and bake it into cracknels; and if any gainsay thee, beat him and fear none." "To hear is to obey," answered he and did as she said, and never ceased pressing great and small into his service; nor did he leave to do thus for the space of seventeen years. Now one day as he sat in church, lo! the old woman came to him and said, "Go forth of the convent." He asked, "Whither shall I go?" and she answered, "Thou canst pass the night in a tavern or with one of thy comrades." Quoth he, "Why dost thou send me forth of the church?" and quote she, "The Princess Husn Maryam, daughter of Yohanná,[121] King of this city, purposeth to visit the church and it befitteth not that any abide in her way." So he made a show of obeying her orders and rose up and pretended that he was leaving the church; but he said in his mind, "I wonder whether the Princess is like our women or fairer than they! At any rate I will not go till I have had a look at her." So he hid himself in a closet with a window looking into the church and, as he watched, behold, in came the King's daughter. He cast at her one glance of eyes that cost him a thousand sighs, for he found her like the full moon when it cometh swimming out of the clouds; and he saw with her a young lady,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ala al-Din looked at the King's daughter, he saw with her a young lady to whom he heard her say, "Thy company hath cheered me, O Zubaydah." So he looked straitly at the damsel and found her to be none other than his dead wife, Zubaydah the Lutist. Then the Princess said to Zubaydah, "Come, play us an air on the lute." But she answered, "I will make no music for thee, till thou grant my wish and keep thy word to me." Asked the Princess, "And what did I promise thee?"; and Zubaydah answered, "That thou wouldst reunite me with my husband Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty, the Faithful." Rejoined the Princess, "O Zubaydah, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear; play us a piece as a thank-offering and an ear-feast for reunion with thy husband Ala al-Din." "Where is he?" asked Zubaydah, and Maryam answered, "He is in yonder closet listening to our words." So Zubaydah played on the lute a melody which had made a rock dance for glee; and when Ala al-Din heard it, his bowels yearned towards her and he came forth from the closet and, throwing himself upon his wife Zubaydah, strained her to his bosom. She also knew him and the twain embraced and fell to the ground in a swoon. Then came forward the Princess Husn Maryam and sprinkled rose water on them, till they revived when she said to them, "Allah hath reunited you." Replied Ala al-Din, "By thy kind of offices, O lady." Then, turning to his wife, he said to her, "O Zubaydah, thou didst surely die and we tombed thee in the tomb: how then returnedst thou to life and camest thou to this place?" She answered, "O my lord, I did not die; but an Aun[122] of the Jinn snatched me up and dew with me hither. She whom thou buriedst was a Jinniyah, who shaped herself to my shape and feigned herself dead; but when you entombed her she broke open the tomb and came forth from it and returned to the service of this her mistress, the Princess Husn Maryam. As for me I was possessed[123] and, when I opened my eyes, I found myself with this Princess thou seest; so I said to her, 'Why hast thou brought me hither?' Replied she, 'I am predestined to marry thy husband, Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat: wilt thou then, O Zubaydah, accept me to co-consort, a night for me and a night for thee?' Rejoined I, 'To hear is to obey, O my lady, but where is my husband?' Quoth she, 'Upon his forehead is written what Allah hath decreed to him; as soon as the writing which is there writ is fulfilled to him, there is no help for it but he come hither, and we will beguile the time of our separation from him with songs and playing upon instruments of music, till it please Allah to unite us with him.' So I abode all these days with her till Allah brought us together in this church." Then Husn Maryam turned to him and said, "O my lord, Ala al-Din, wilt thou be to me baron and I be to thee femme?" Quoth he, "O my lady, I am a Moslem and thou art a Nazarene; so how can I intermarry with thee?" Quoth she, "Allah forbid that I should be an infidel! Nay, I am a Moslemah; for these eighteen years I have held fast the Faith of Al-Islam and I am pure of any creed other than that of the Islamite." Then said he, "O my lady, I desire a return to my native land;" and she replied, "Know that I see written on thy forehead things which thou must needs accomplish, and then thou shalt win to thy will. Moreover, be fief and fain, O Ala al-Din, that there hath been born to thee a son named Aslan; who now being arrived at age of discretion, sitteth in thy place with the Caliph. Know also that Truth hath prevailed and that Falsehood naught availed; and that the Lord hath withdrawn the curtain of secrecy from him who stole the Caliph's goods, that is, Ahmad Kamakim the arch-thief and traitor; and he now lieth bound and in jail. And know further 'twas I who sent thee the jewel and had it put in the bag where thou foundest it, and 'twas I who sent the captain that brought thee and the jewel; for thou must know that the man is enamoured of me and seeketh my favours and would possess me; but I refused to yield to his wishes or let him have his will of me; and I said him, 'Thou shalt never have me till thou bring me the jewel and its owner.' So I gave him an hundred purses and despatched him to thee, in the habit of a merchant, whereas he is a captain and a war-man; and when they led thee to thy death after slaying the forty captives, I also sent thee this old woman to save thee from slaughter." Said he, "Allah requite thee for us with all good! Indeed thou hast done well." Then Husn Maryam renewed at his hands her profession of Al-Islam; and, when he was assured of the truth of her speech, he said to her, O my lady, tell me what are the virtues of this jewel and whence cometh it?" She answered, "This jewel came from an enchanted hoard, and it hath five virtues which will profit us in time of need. Now my lady grandmother, the mother of my father, was an enchantress and skilled in solving secrets and finding hidden treasures from one of which came the jewel into her hands. And as I grew up and reached the age of fourteen, I read the Evangel and other books and I found the name of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!) in the four books, namely the Evangel, the Pentateuch, the Psalms and the Koran;[124] so I believed in Mohammed and became a Moslemah, being certain and assured that none is worship worth save Allah Almighty, and that to the Lord of all mankind no faith is acceptable save that of Al-Islam. Now when my lady-grandmother fell sick, she gave me this jewel and taught me its five virtues. Moreover, before she died, my father said to her, 'Take thy tablets of geomancy and throw a figure, and tell us the issue of my affair and what will befal-me.' And she foretold him that the far off one[125] should die, slain by the hand of a captive from Alexandria. So he swore to kill every prisoner from that place and told the Kaptan of this, saying, 'There is no help for it but thou fall on the ships of the Moslems and seize them and whomsoever thou findest of Alexandria, kill him or bring him to me.' The Captain did his bidding until he had slain as many in number as the hairs of his head. Then my grandmother died and I took a geomantic tablet, being minded and determined to know the future, and I said to myself, 'Let me see who will wed me!' Whereupon I threw a figure and found that none should be my husband save one called Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty, the Faithful. At this I marvelled and waited till the times were accomplished and I foregathered with thee." So Ala al-Din took her to wife and said to her, "I desire to return to my own country." Quoth she, "If it be so, rise up and come with me." Then she took him and, hiding him in a closet of her palace, went in to her father, who said to her, "O my daughter, my heart is exceeding heavy this day; sit down and let us make merry with wine, I and thou." So she sat down with him and he called for a table of wine; and she plied him till he lost his wits, when she drugged a cup with Bhang and he drank it off and fell upon his back. Then she brought Ala al-Din out of the closet and said to him, "Come; verily thine enemy lieth prostrate, for I made him drunk and drugged him; so do thou with him as thou wilt." Accordingly Ala al-Din went to the King and, finding him lying drugged and helpless, pinioned him fast and manacled and fettered him with chains. Then he gave him the counter-drug and he came to himself,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din gave the antidote of Bhang to King Yohanna, father of Husn Maryam, and he came to himself and found Ala al-Din and his daughter sitting on his breast. So he said to her, "O my daughter, dost thou deal thus with me?" She answered "If I be indeed thy daughter, become a Moslem, even as I became a Moslemah, for the truth was shown to me and I attested it; and the false, and I deserted it. I have submitted myself unto Allah, The Lord of the Three Worlds, and am pure of all faiths contrary to that of Al-Islam in this world and in the next world. Wherefore, if thou wilt become a Moslem, well and good; if not, thy death were better than thy life." Ala al-Din also exhorted him to embrace the True Faith; but he refused and was contumacious; so Ala al-Din drew a dagger and cut his throat from ear to ear.[126] Then he wrote a scroll, setting forth what had happened and laid it on the brow of the dead, after which they took what was light of load and weighty of worth and turned from the palace and returned to the church. Here the Princess drew forth the jewel and, placing her hand upon the facet where was figured a couch, rubbed it; and behold, a couch appeared before her and she mounted upon it with Ala al-Din and his wife Zubaydah, the lutist, saying, "I conjure thee by the virtue of the names and talismans and characts engraver on this jewel, rise up with us, O Couch!" And it rose with them into the air and flew, till it came to a Wady wholly bare of growth, when the Princess turned earthwards the facet on which the couch was figured, and it sank with them to the ground. Then she turned up the face where on was fashioned a pavilion and tapping it said, "Let a pavilion be pitched in this valley;" and there appeared a pavilion, wherein they seated themselves. Now this Wady was a desert waste, without grass or water; so she turned a third face of the jewel towards the sky, and said, "By the virtue of the names of Allah, let trees upgrow here and a river flow beside them!" And forthwith trees sprang up and by their side ran a river plashing and dashing. They made the ablution and prayed and drank of the stream; after which the Princess turned up the three other facets till she came to the fourth, whereon was portrayed a table of good, and said, "By the virtue of the names of Allah, let the table be spread!" And behold, there appeared before them a table, spread with all manner of rich meats, and they ate and drank and made merry and were full of joy. Such was their case; but as regards Husn Maryam's father, his son went in to waken him and found him slain; and, seeing Ala al-Din's scroll, took it and read it, and readily understood it. Then he sought his sister and finding her not, betook himself to the old woman in the church, of whom he enquired for her, but she said, "Since yesterday I have not seen her." So he returned to the troops and cried out, saying, "To horse, ye horsemen!" Then he told them what had happened, so they mounted and rode after the fugitives, till they drew near the pavilion. Presently Husn Maryam arose and looked up and saw a cloud of dust which spread till it walled the view, then it lifted and flew, and lo! stood disclosed her brother and his troops, crying aloud, "Whither will ye fly, and we on your track!" Then said she to Ala al-Din, "Are thy feet firm in fight?" He replied, "Even as the stake in bran, I know not war nor battle, nor swords nor spears." So she pulled out the jewel and rubbed the fifth face, that on which were graven a horse and his rider, and behold, straightway a cavalier appeared out of the desert and ceased not to do battle with the pursuing host and smite them with the sword, till he routed them and put them to flight. Then the Princess asked Ala al-Din, "Wilt thou go to Cairo or to Alexandria?"; and he answered, "To Alexandria." So they mounted the couch and she pronounced over it the conjuration, whereupon it set off with them and, in the twinkling of an eye, brought them to Alexandria. They alighted without the city and Ala al-Din hid the women in a cavern, whilst he went into Alexandria and fetched them outer clothing, wherewith he covered them. Then he carried them to his shop and, leaving them in the "ben"[127] walked forth to fetch them the morning-meal, and behold he met Calamity Ahmad who chanced to be coming from Baghdad. He saw him in the street and received him with open arms, saluting him and welcoming him. Whereupon Ahmad al-Danaf gave him the good news of his son Aslan and how he was now come to the age of twenty: and Ala al-Din, in his turn, told the Captain of the Guard all that had befallen him from first to last, whereat he marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then he brought him to his shop and sitting room where they passed the night; and next day he sold his place of business and laid its price with other monies. Now Ahmad al-Danaf had told him that the Caliph sought him; but he said, "I am bound first for Cairo, to salute my father and mother and the people of my house." So they all mounted the couch and it carried them to Cairo the God-guarded; and here they alighted in the street called Yellow,[128] where stood the house of Shams al-Din. Then Ala al-Din knocked at the door, and his mother said, "Who is at the door, now that we have lost our beloved for evermore?" He replied, " 'Tis I! Ala al-Din!" whereupon they came down and embraced him. Then he sent his wives and baggage into the house and entering himself with Ahmad al-Danaf, rested there three days, after which he was minded to set out for Baghdad. His father said, "Abide with me, O my son;" but he answered; "I cannot bear to be parted from my child Aslan." So he took his father and mother and fared forth for Baghdad. Now when they came thither, Ahmad al-Danaf went in to the Caliph and gave him the glad tidings of Ala al-Din's arrival—and told him his story whereupon the King went forth to greet him taking the youth Aslan, and they met and embraced each other. Then the Commander of the Faithful summoned the arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim and said to Ala al-Din, "Up and at thy foe!" So he drew his sword and smote off Ahmad Kamakim's head. Then the Caliph held festival for Ala al-Din and, summoning the Kazis and witnesses, wrote the contract and married him to the Princess Husn Maryam; and he went in unto her and found her an unpierced pearl. Moreover, the Caliph made Aslan Chief of the Sixty and bestowed upon him and his father sumptuous dresses of honour; and they abode in the enjoyment of all joys and joyance of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. But the tales of generous men are manifold and amongst them is the story of

HATIM OF THE TRIBE OF TAYY.[edit]

It is told of Hátim of the tribe of Tayy,[129] that when he died, they buried him on the top of a mountain and set over his grave two troughs hewn out of two rocks and stone girls with dishevelled hair. At the foot of the hill was a stream of running water, and when wayfarers camped there, they heard loud crying and keening in the night, from dark till daybreak; but when they arose in the morning, they found nothing but the girls carved in stone. Now when Zú 'l-Kurá'a,[130] King of Himyar, going forth of his tribe, came to that valley, he halted to pass the night there,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zu 'l- Kura'a passed by the valley he righted there, and, when he drew near the mountain, he heard the keening and said, "What lamenting is that on yonder hill?" They answered him, saying, "Verily this be the tomb of Hatim al-Táyy, over which are two troughs of stone and stone figures of girls with dishevelled hair; and all who camp in this place by night hear this crying and keening." So he said jestingly, "O Hatim of Tayy! we are thy guests this night, and we are lank with hunger." Then sleep overcame him, but presently he awoke in affright and cried out, saying, "Help, O Arabs! Look to my beast!" So they came to him, and finding his she-camel struggling and struck down, they stabbed her in the throat and roasted her flesh and ate. Then they asked him what had happened and he said, "When I closed my eyes, I saw in my sleep Hatim of Tayy who came to me sword in hand and cried, 'Thou comest to us and we have nothing by us.' Then he smote my she- camel with his sword, and she had surely died even though ye had not come to her and slaughtered her."[131] Now when morning dawned the King mounted the beast of one of his companions and, taking the owner up behind him, set out and fared on till midday, when they saw a man coming towards them, mounted on a camel and leading another, and said to him, "Who art thou?" He answered, "I am Adi,[132] son of Hatim of Tayy; where is Zu 'l-Kura'a, Emir of Himyar?" Replied they, "This is he;" and he said to the prince, "Take this she-camel in place of thy beast which my father slaughtered for thee." Asked Zu 'l Kura'a, "Who told thee of this?" and Adi answered, "My father appeared to me in a dream last night and said to me, 'Harkye, Adi; Zu 'l Kura'a King of Himyar, sought the guest-rite of me and I, having naught to give him, slaughtered his she-camel, that he might eat: so do thou carry him a she-camel to ride, for I have nothing.'" And Zu 'l-Kura'a took her, marvelling at the generosity of Hatim of Tayy alive and dead. And amongst instances of generosity is the

TALE OF MA'AN THE SON OF ZAIDAH.[133][edit]

It is told of Ma'an bin Záidah that, being out one day a-chasing and a-hunting, he became athirst but his men had no water with them; and while thus suffering behold, three damsels met him bearing three skins of water;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-first Night,[134]

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that three girls met him bearing three skins of water; so he begged drink of them, and they gave him to drink. Then he sought of his men somewhat to give the damsels but they had no money; so he presented to each girl ten golden piled arrows from his quiver. Whereupon quoth one of them to her friend, "Well-a-day! These fashions pertain to none but Ma'an bin Zaidah! so let each one of us say somewhat of verse in his praise." Then quoth the first,

"He heads his arrows with piles of gold, * And while shooting his
     foes is his bounty doled:
Affording the wounded a means of cure, * And a sheet for the
     bider beneath the mould!"

And quoth the second,

"A warrior showing such open hand, * His boons all friends and
     all foes enfold:
The piles of his arrows of or are made, * So that battle his
     bounty may not withhold!"

And quoth the third,

"From that liberal-hand on his foes he rains * Shafts aureate-
    headed and manifold:
Wherewith the hurt shall chirurgeon pay, * And for slain the
     shrouds round their corpses roll'd."[135]

And there is also told a tale of

MA'AN SON OF ZAIDAH AND THE BADAWI.[edit]

Now Ma'an bin Záidah went forth one day to the chase with his company, and they came upon a herd of gazelles; so they separated in pursuit and Ma'an was left alone to chase one of them. When he had made prize of it he alighted and slaughtered it; and as he was thus engaged, he espied a person[136] coming forth out of the desert on an ass. So he remounted and riding up to the new- comer, saluted him and asked him, "Whence comest thou?" Quoth he, "I come from the land of Kuzá'ah, where we have had a two years' dearth; but this year it was a season of plenty and I sowed early cucumbers.[137] They came up before their time, so I gathered what seemed the best of them and set out to carry them to the Emir Ma'an bin Zaidah, because of his well-known beneficence and notorious munificence." Asked Ma'an, "How much dost thou hope to get of him?"; and the Badawi answered, "A thousand dinars." Quoth the Emir, "What if he say this is too much?" Said the Badawi, "Then I will ask five hundred dinars." "And if he say, too much?" "Then three hundred!" "And if he say yet, too much?" "Then two hundred!" "And if he say yet, too much?" "Then one hundred!" "And if he say yet, too much?" "Then, fifty!" "And if he say yet, too much?" "Then thirty!" "And if he say still, too much?" asked Ma'an bin Zaidah. Answered the Badawi, "I will make my ass set his four feet in his Honour's home[138] and return to my people, disappointed and empty- handed." So Ma'an laughed at him and urged his steed till he came up with his suite and returned to his place, when he said to his chamberlain, "An there come to thee a man with cucumbers and riding on an ass admit him to me." Presently up came the Badawi and was admitted to Ma'an's presence; but knew not the Emir for the man he had met in the desert, by reason of the gravity and majesty of his semblance and the multitude of his eunuchs and attendants, for he was seated on his chair of state with his officers ranged in lines before him and on either side. So he saluted him and Ma'an said to him "What bringeth thee, O brother of the Arabs?" Answered the Badawi, "I hoped in the Emir, and have brought him curly cucumbers out of season." Asked Ma'an, "And how much dost thou expect of us?" "A thousand dinars," answered the Badawi. "This is far too much," quoth Ma'an. Quoth he, "Five hundred." "Too much!" "Then three hundred." "Too much!" "Two hundred." "Too much!" "One hundred." "Too much!" "Fifty." "Too much!" At last the Badawi came down to thirty dinars; but Ma'an still replied, "Too much!" So the Badawi cried, "By Allah, the man who met me in the desert brought me bad luck! But I will not go lower than thirty dinars." The Emir laughed and said nothing; whereupon the wild Arab knew that it was he whom he had met and said, "O my lord, except thou bring the thirty dinars, see ye, there is the ass tied ready at the door and here sits Ma'an, his honour, at home." So Ma'an laughed, till he fell on his back; and, calling his steward, said to him, "Give him a thousand dinars and five hundred and three hundred and two hundred and one hundred and fifty and thirty; and leave the ass tied up where he is." So the Arab to his amazement, received two thousand one hundred and eighty dinars, and Allah have mercy on them both and on all generous men! And I have also heard, O auspicious King, a tale of

THE CITY OF LABTAYT.[139][edit]

There was once a royal-city in the land of Roum, called the City of Labtayt wherein stood a tower which was always shut. And whenever a King died and another King of the Greeks took the Kingship after him, he set on the tower a new and strong lock, till there were four-and-twenty locks upon the gate, according to the number of the Kings. After this time, there came to the throne a man who was not of the old royal-house, and he had a mind to open these locks, that he might see what was within the tower. The grandees of his kingdom forbade him this and pressed him to desist and reproved him and blamed him; but he persisted saying, "Needs must this place be opened." Then they offered him all that their hands possessed of monies and treasures and things of price, if he would but refrain; still he would not be baulked,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the grandees offered that King all their hands possessed of monies and treasures if he would but refrain; still he would not be baulked and said "There is no help for it but I open this tower." So he pulled off the locks and entering, found within the tower figures of Arabs on their horses and camels, habited in turbands[140] hanging down at the ends, with swords in baldrick-belts thrown over their shoulders and bearing long lances in their hands. He found there also a scroll which he greedily took and read, and these words were written therein, "Whenas this door is opened will conquer this country a raid of the Arabs, after the likeness of the figures here depicted; wherefore beware, and again beware of opening it." Now this city was in Andalusia; and that very year Tárik ibn Ziyád conquered it, during the Caliphate of Al-Walíd son of Abd al-Malik[141] of the sons of Umayyah; and slew this King after the sorriest fashion and sacked the city and made prisoners of the women and boys therein and got great loot. Moreover, he found there immense treasures; amongst the rest more than an hundred and seventy crowns of pearls and jacinths and other gems of price; and he found a saloon, wherein horsemen might throw the spears, full of vessels of gold and silver, such as no description can comprise. Moreover, he found there the table of food for the Prophet of Allah, Solomon, son of David (peace with both of them!), which is extant even now in a city of the Greeks, it is told that it was of grass-green emerald with vessels of gold and platters of jasper. Likewise he found the Psalms written in the old Ionian[142] characters on leaves of gold bezel'd with jewels; together with a book setting forth the properties of stones and herbs and minerals, as well as the use of characts and talismans and the canons of the art of alchymy; and he found a third volume which treated of the art of cutting and setting rubies and other precious stones and of the preparation of poisons and theriacks. There found he also a mappa mundi figuring the earth and the seas and the different cities and countries and villages of the world; and he found a vast saloon full of hermetic powder, one drachm of which elixir would turn a thousand drachms of silver into fine gold; likewise a marvellous mirror, great and round, of mixed metals, which had been made for Solomon, son of David (on the twain be peace!) wherein whoso looked might see the counterfeit presentment of the seven climates of the world; and he beheld a chamber full of Brahmini[143] jacinths for which no words can suffice. So he despatched all these things to Walid bin Abd al-Malik, and the Arabs spread all over the cities of Andalusia which is one of the finest of lands. This is the end of the story of the City of Labtayt. And a tale is also told of

THE CALIPH HISHAM AND THE ARAB YOUTH.[edit]

The Caliph Hishám bin Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, was hunting one day, when he sighted an antelope and pursued it with his dogs. As he was following the quarry, he saw an Arab youth pasturing sheep and said to him, "Ho boy, up and after yonder antelope, for it escapeth me!" The youth raised his head to him and replied, "O ignorant of what to the deserving is due, thou lookest on me with disdain and speakest to me with contempt; thy speaking is that of a tyrant true and thy doing what an ass would do." Quoth Hisham, "Woe to thee, dost thou not know me?" Rejoined the youth, "Verily thine unmannerliness hath made thee known to me, in that thou spakest to me, without beginning by the salutation."[144] Repeated the Caliph, "Fie upon thee! I am Hisham bin Abd al-Malik." "May Allah not favour thy dwelling-place," replied the Arab, "nor guard thine abiding place! How many are thy words and how few thy generous deeds!" Hardly had he ended speaking, when up came the troop from all sides and surrounded him as the white encircleth the black of the eye, all and each saying, "Peace be with thee, O Commander of the Faithful!" Quoth Hisham, "Cut short this talk and seize me yonder boy." So they laid hands on him; and when he saw the multitude of Chamberlains and Wazirs and Lords of State, he was in nowise concerned and questioned not of them, but let his chin drop on his breast and looked where his feet fell, till they brought him to the Caliph[145] when he stood before him, with head bowed groundwards and saluted him not and spoke him not. So one of the eunuchs said to him, "O dog of the Arabs, what hindereth thy saluting the Commander of the Faithful?" The youth turned to him angrily and replied, "O packsaddle of an ass, it was the length of the way that hindered me from this and the steepness of the steps and the profuseness of my sweat." Then said Hisham (and indeed he was exceeding wroth), "O boy, verily thy days are come to their latest hour; thy hope is gone from thee and thy life is past out of thee." He answered, "By Allah, O Hisham, verily an my life-term be prolonged and Fate ordain not its cutting short, thy words irk me not, be they long or short." Then said the Chief Chamberlain to him, "Doth it befit thy degree, O vilest of the Arabs, to bandy words with the Commander of the Faithful?" He answered promptly, "Mayest thou meet with adversity and may woe and wailing never leave thee! Hast thou not heard the saying of Almighty Allah?, 'One day, every soul shall come to defend itself.'"[146] Hereupon Hisham rose, in great wrath, and said, "O headsman, bring me the head of this lad; for indeed he exceedeth in talk, such as passeth conception." So the sworder took him and, making him kneel on the carpet of blood, drew his sword above him and said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, this thy slave is misguided and is on the way to his grave; shall I smite off his head and be quit of his blood?" "Yes," replied Hisham. He repeated his question and the Caliph again answered in the affirmative. Then he asked leave a third time; and the youth, knowing that, if the Caliph assented yet once more, it would be the signal of his death, laughed till his wisdom-teeth showed; whereupon Hisham's wrath redoubled and he said to him, "O boy, meseems thou art mad; seest thou not that thou art about to depart the world? Why then dost thou laugh in mockery of thyself?" He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, if a larger life-term befell me, none can hurt me, great or small; but I have bethought me of some couplets, which do thou hear, for my death cannot escape thee." Quoth Hisham, "Say on and be brief;" so the Arab repeated these couplets,

"It happed one day a hawk pounced on a bird, * A wildling sparrow
     driven by destiny;
And held in pounces spake the sparrow thus, * E'en as the hawk
     rose ready home to hie:—
'Scant flesh have I to fill the maw of thee * And for thy lordly
     food poor morsel I.
Then smiled the hawk in flattered vanity * And pride, so set the
     sparrow free to fly.

At this Hisham smiled and said, "By the truth of my kinship to the Apostle of Allah (whom Allah bless and keep!), had he spoken this speech at first and asked for aught except the Caliphase, verily I would have given it to him. Stuff his mouth with jewels,[147] O eunuch and entreat him courteously;" so they did as he bade them and the Arab went his way. And amongst pleasant tales is that of

IBRAHIM BIN AL-MAHDI AND THE BARBER- SURGEON.[edit]

They relate that Ibrahím, son of al-Mahdí,[148] brother of Harun al-Rashid, when the Caliphate devolved to Al-Maamun, the son of his brother Harun, refused to acknowledge his nephew and betook himself to Rayy[149]; where he claimed the throne and abode thus a year and eleven months and twelve days. Meanwhile his nephew, Al-Maamun, awaited his return to allegiance and his accepting a dependent position till, at last, despairing of this, he mounted with his horsemen and footmen and repaired to Rayy in quest of him. Now when the news came to Ibrahim, he found nothing for it but to flee to Baghdad and hide there, fearing for his life; and Maamun set a price of a hundred thousand gold pieces upon his head, to be paid to whoso might betray him. (Quoth Ibrahim) "When I heard of this price I feared for my head"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim continued, "Now when I heard of this price I feared for my head and knew not what to do: so I went forth of my house in disguise at mid-day, knowing not whither I should go. Presently I entered a broad street which was no thoroughfare and said in my mind, 'Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning! I have exposed my life to destruction. If I retrace my steps, I shall arouse suspicion.' Then, being still in disguise I espied, at the upper end of the street, a negro-slave standing at his door; so I went up to him and said to him, 'Hast thou a place where I may abide for an hour of the day?' 'Yes,' answered he, and opening the door admitted me into a decent house, furnished with carpets and mats and cushions of leather. Then he shut the door on me and went away; and I misdoubted me he had heard of the reward offered for me, and said to myself, 'He hath gone to inform against me.' But, as I sat pondering my case and boiling like cauldron over fire, behold, my host came back, accompanied by a porter loaded with bread and meat and new cooking-pots and gear and a new jar and new gugglets and other needfuls. He made the porter set them down and, dismissing him, said to me, 'I offer my life for thy ransom! I am a barber-surgeon, and I know it would disgust thee to eat with me' because of the way in which I get my livelihood;[150] so do thou shift for thyself and do what thou please with these things whereon no hand hath fallen.' (Quoth Ibrahim), Now I was in sore need of food so I cooked me a pot of meat whose like I remember not ever to have eaten; and, when I had satisfied my want, he said to me, 'O my lord, Allah make me thy ransom! Art thou for wine?; for indeed it gladdeneth the soul and doeth away care.' 'I have no dislike to it,' replied I, being desirous of the barber's company; so he brought me new flagons of glass which no hand had touched and a jar of excellent wine, and said to me, 'Strain for thyself, to thy liking;' whereupon I cleared the wine and mixed me a most delectable draught. Then he brought me a new cup and fruits and flowers in new vessels of earthenware; after which he said to me, 'Wilt thou give me leave to sit apart and drink of my own wine by myself, of my joy in thee and for thee?' 'Do so,' answered I. So I drank and he drank till the wine began to take effect upon us, when the barber rose and, going to a closet, took out a lute of polished wood and said to me, 'O my lord, it is not for the like of me to ask the like of thee to sing, but it behoveth thine exceeding generosity to render my respect its due; so, if thou see fit to honour thy slave, thine is the high decision.' Quoth I (and indeed I thought not that he knew me), 'How knowest thou that I excel in song?' He replied, 'Glory be to Allah, our lord is too well renowned for that! Thou art my lord Ibrahim, son of Al-Mahdi, our Caliph of yesterday, he on whose head Al-Maamun hath set a price of an hundred thousand dinars to be paid to thy betrayer: but thou art in safety with me.' (Quoth Ibrahim), When I heard him say this, he was magnified in my eyes and his loyalty and noble nature were certified to me; so I complied with his wish and took the lute and tuned it, and sang. Then I bethought me of my severance from my children and my family and I began to say,

'Belike Who Yúsuf to his kin restored * And honoured him in goal,
     a captive wight,
May grant our prayer to reunite our lots, * For Allah, Lord of
     Worlds, hath all of might.'

When the barber heard this, exceeding joy took possession of him. and he was of great good cheer; for it is said that when Ibrahim's neighbours heard him only sing out, 'Ho, boy, saddle the mule!' they were filled with delight. Then, being overborne by mirth, he said to me, 'O my lord, wilt thou give me leave to say what is come to my mind, albeit I am not of the folk of this craft?' I answered, 'Do so; this is of thy great courtesy and kindness.' So he took the lute and sang these verses,

'To our beloveds we moaned our length of night; * Quoth they,
     'How short the nights that us benight!'
'Tis for that sleep like hood enveils their eyes * Right soon,
     but from our eyes is fair of flight:
When night-falls, dread and drear to those who love, * We mourn;
     they joy to see departing light:
Had they but dree'd the weird, the bitter dole * We dree, their
     beds like ours had bred them blight.'

(Quoth Ibrahim), So I said to him, 'By Allah, thou hast shown me a kindness, O my friend, and hast done away from me the pangs of sorrow. Let me hear more trifles of thy fashion.' So he sang these couplets,

'When man keeps honour bright without a stain, * Pair sits
     whatever robe to robe he's fain!
She jeered at me because so few we are; * Quoth I:—'There's ever
     dearth of noble men!'
Naught irks us we are few, while neighbour tribes * Count many;
     neighbours oft are base-born strain:
We are a clan which holds not Death reproach, * Which A'mir and
     Samúl[151] hold illest bane:
Leads us our love of death to fated end; * They hate that ending
     and delay would gain:
We to our neighbours' speech aye give the lie, * But when we
     speak none dare give lie again.'

(Quoth Ibrahim), When I heard these lines, I was filled with huge delight and marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then I slept and awoke not till past night-fall, when I washed my face, with a mind full of the high worth of this barber-surgeon and his passing courtesy; after which I wakened him and, taking out a purse I had by me containing a number of gold pieces, threw it to him, saying, 'I commend thee to Allah, for I am about to go forth from thee, and pray thee to expend what is in this purse on thine requirements; and thou shalt have an abounding reward of me, when I am quit of my fear.' (Quoth Ibrahim), But he resumed the bag to me, saying, 'O my lord, paupers like myself are of no value in thine eyes; but how, with due respect to my own generosity, can I take a price for the boon which fortune hath vouchsafed me of thy favour and thy visit to my poor abode? Nay, if thou repeat thy words and throw the purse to me again I will slay myself.' So I put in my sleeve[152] the purse whose weight was irksome to me."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim son of Al-Mahdi continued, "So I put in my sleeve the purse whose weight was irksome to me; and turned to depart, but when I came to the house door he said, 'O my lord, of a truth this is a safer hiding-place for thee than any other, and thy keep is no burden to me; so do thou abide with me, till Allah be pleased grant thee relief.' Accordingly, I turned back, saying, 'On condition that thou spend of the money in this purse.' He made me think that he consented to this arrangement, and I abode with him some days in the utmost comfort; but, perceiving that he spent none of the contents of the purse, I revolted at the idea of abiding at his charge and thought it shame to be a burthen on him; so I left the house disguised in women's apparel, donning short yellow walking- boots[153] and veil. Now as soon as I found myself in the street, I was seized with excessive fear, and going to pass the bridge behold, I came to a place sprinkled with water,[154] where a trooper, who been in my service, looked at me and knowing me, cried out, saying, 'This is he whom Al-Maamun wanteth.' Then he laid hold of me but the love of sweet life lent me strength and I gave him and his horse a push which threw them down in that slippery place, so that he became an example to those who will take example; and the folk hastened to him. Meanwhile, I hurried my pace over the bridge and entered a main street, where I saw the door of a house open and a woman standing upon the threshold. So I said to her, 'O my lady, have pity on me and save my life; for I am a man in fear.' Quoth she, 'Enter and welcome;' and carried me into an upper dining-room, where she spread me a bed and brought me food, saying 'Calm thy fear, for not a soul shall know of thee.' As she spoke lo! there came a loud knocking at the door; so she went and opened, and suddenly, my friend, whom I had thrown down on the bridge, appeared with his head bound up, the blood running down upon his clothes and without his horse. She asked, 'O so and so, what accident hath befallen thee?'; and he answered, 'I made prize of the young man whom the Caliph seeketh and he escaped from me;' whereupon he told her the whole story. So she brought out tinder[155] and, putting it into a piece of rag bandaged his head; after which she spread him a bed and he lay sick. Then she came up to me and said, 'Methinks thou art the man in question?' 'Even so,' answered I, and she said, 'Fear not: no harm shall befall thee,' and redoubled in kindness to me. So I tarried with her three days, at the end of which time she said to me, 'I am in fear for thee, lest yonder man happen upon thee and betray thee to what thou dreadest; so save thyself by flight.' I besought her to let me stay till nightfall, and she said, 'There is no harm in that.' So, when the night came, I put on my woman's gear and betook me to the house of a freed-woman who had once been our slave. When she saw me she wept and made a show of affliction and praised Almighty Allah for my safety. Then she went forth, as if she would go to market intent on hospitable thoughts, and I fancied all was right; but, ere long, suddenly I espied Ibrahim al-Mosili[156] for the house amongst his troopers and servants, and led by a woman on foot; and looking narrowly at her behold, she was the freed-woman, the mistress of the house, wherein I had taken refuge. So she delivered me into their hands, and I saw death face to face. They carried me, in my woman's attire, to Al-Maamun who called a general-council and had me brought before him. When I entered I saluted him by the title of Caliph, saying, 'Peace be on thee, O Commander of the Faithful!' and he replied, 'Allah give thee neither peace nor long life.' I rejoined, 'According to thy good pleasure, O Commander of the Faithful!; it is for the claimant of blood- revenge[157] to decree punishment or pardon; but mercy is nigher to piety; and Allah hath set thy pardon above all other pardon, even as He made my sin to excel all other sin. So, if thou punish, it is of thine equity, and if thou pardon, it is of thy bounty.' And I repeated these couplets,

'My sin to thee is great, * But greater thy degree:
So take revenge, or else * Remit in clemency:
An I in deeds have not* Been generous, generous be!

(Quoth Ibrahim), At this Al-Maamun raised his head to me and I hastened to add these two couplets,

'I've sinned enormous sin, * But pardon in thee lies:
If pardon thou, 'tis grace; * Justice an thou chastise!'

Then Al-Maamun bowed his head and repeated,

'I am (when friend would raise a rage that mote * Make spittle
     choke me, sticking in my throat)
His pardoner, and pardon his offense, * Fearing lest I should
     live a friend without.'

(Quoth Ibrahim), Now when I heard these words I scented mercy, knowing his disposition to clemency.[158] Then he turned to his son Al Abbas and his brother Abu Ishak and all his chief officers there present and said to them, 'What deem ye of his case?' They all counselled him to do me dead, but they differed as to the manner of my death. Then said he to his Wazir Ahmad bin al-Khálid, 'And what sayest thou, O Ahmad?' He answered, 'O Commander of the Faithful, an thou slay him, we find the like of thee who hath slain the like of him; but an thou pardon him, we find not the like of thee that hath pardoned the like of him.'"— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al Maamun, Prince of the Faithful, heard the words of Ahmad bin al-Khálid, he bowed his head and began repeating,

"My tribe have slain that brother mine, Umaym, * Yet would shoot
     back what shafts at them I aim:
If I deal-pardon, noble pardon 'tis; * And if I shoot, my bones
     'twill only maim."[159]

And he also recited,

"Be mild to brother mingling * What is wrong with what is right:

Kindness to him continue * Whether good or graceless wight:
Abstain from all reproaching, * An he joy or vex thy sprite:
Seest not that what thou lovest * And what hatest go unite?
That joys of longer life-tide * Ever fade with hair turned
     white?
That thorns on branches growing * For the plucks fruit catch thy
     sight?
Who never hath done evil,* Doing good for sole delight?
When tried the sons of worldli-* ness they mostly work upright."

Quoth Ibrahim, "Now when I heard these couplets, I withdrew my woman's veil from my head and cried out, with my loudest voice, 'Allah is Most Great! By Allah, the Commander of the Faithful pardoneth me!' Quoth he, 'No harm shall come to thee, O uncle;' and I rejoined, 'O Commander of the Faithful, my sin is too sore for me to excuse it and thy mercy is too much for me to speak thanks for it.' And I chanted these couplets to a lively motive,

'Who made all graces all collected He * In Adam's loins, our
     Seventh Imam, for thee,[160]
Thou hast the hearts of men with reverence filled, * Enguarding
     all with heart-humility
Rebelled I never by delusion whelmed * For object other than thy
     clemency ;[161]
And thou hast pardoned me whose like was ne'er * Pardoned before,
     though no man pled my plea:
Hast pitied little ones like Katá's[162] young, * And mother's
     yearning heart a son to see.'

Quoth Maamun, 'I say, following our lord Joseph (on whom and on our Prophet be blessing and peace!) let there be no reproach cast on you this day. Allah forgiveth you; for He is the most merciful of those who show mercy.[163] Indeed I pardon thee, and restore to thee thy goods and lands, O uncle, and no harm shall befall thee.' So I offered up devout prayers for him and repeated these couplets,

'Thou hast restored my wealth sans greed, and ere * So didst,
     thou deignèdest my blood to spare:
Then if I shed my blood and wealth, to gain * Thy grace, till
     even shoon from foot I tear,
Twere but repaying what thou lentest me, * And what unloaned no
     man to blame would care:
Were I ungrateful for thy lavish boons, * Baser than thou'rt
     beneficent I were!'

Then Al-Maamun showed me honour and favour and said to me, ' O uncle, Abu Ishak and Al-Abbas counselled me to put thee to death.' So I answered, 'And they both counselled thee right, O Commander of the Faithful, but thou hast done after thine own nature and hast put away what I feared with what I hoped.' Rejoined Al Maamun, 'O uncle, thou didst extinguish my rancour with the modesty of thine excuse, and I have pardoned thee without making thee drink the bitterness of obligation to intercessors.' Then he prostrated himself in prayer a long while, after which he raised his head and said to me, 'O uncle, knowest thou why I prostrated myself?' Answered I, 'Haply thou didst this in thanksgiving to Allah, for that He hath given thee the mastery over thine enemy.' He replied, 'Such was not my design, but rather to thank Allah for having inspired me to pardon thee and for having cleared my mind towards thee. Now tell me thy tale.' So I told him all that had befallen me with the barber, the trooper and his wife and with my freed-woman who had betrayed me. So he summoned the freed-woman, who was in her house, expecting the reward to be sent to her, and when she came before him he said to her, 'What moved thee to deal thus with thy lord?' Quoth she, 'Lust of money.' Asked the Caliph 'Hast thou a child or a husband?'; and she answered 'No;' whereupon he bade them give her an hundred stripes with a whip and imprisoned her for life. Then he sent for the trooper and his wife and the barber-surgeon and asked the soldier what had moved him to do thus. 'Lust of money,' quoth he; whereupon quoth the Caliph, 'It befitteth thee to be a barber-cupper,'[164] and committed him to one whom he charged to place him in a barber-cupper's shop, where he might learn the craft. But he showed honour to the trooper's wife and lodged her in his palace, saying, 'This is a woman of sound sense and fit for matters of moment.' Then said he to the barber-cupper, 'Verily, thou hast shown worth and generosity which call for extraordinary honour.' So he commanded the trooper's house and all that was therein to be given him and bestowed on him a dress of honour and in addition fifteen thousand dinars to be paid annually. And men tell the following tale concerning

THE CITY OF MANY COLUMNED IRAM AND ABDULLAH SON OF ABI KILABAH.[165][edit]

It is related that Abdullah bin Abi Kilábah went forth in quest of a she-camel which had strayed from him; and, as he was wandering in the deserts of Al-Yaman and the district of Sabá,[166] behold, he came upon a great city girt by a vast castle around which were palaces and pavilions that rose high into middle air. He made for the place thinking to find there folk of whom he might ask concerning his she-camel; but, when he reached it, he found it desolate, without a living soul in it. So (quoth he) "I alighted and, hobbling my dromedary,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Abi Kilabah continued, "I dismounted and hobbling my dromedary, and composing my mind, entered into the city. Now when I came to the castle, I found it had two vast gates (never in the world was seen their like for size height) inlaid with all manner of jewels and jacinths, white and red, yellow and green. Beholding this I marvelled with great marvel and thought the case mighty wondrous; then entering the citadel in a flutter of fear and dazed with surprise and affright, I found it long and wide, about equalling Al-Medinah[167] in point of size; and therein were lofty palaces laid out in pavilions all built of gold and silver and inlaid with many-coloured jewels and jacinths and chrysolites and pearls. And the door-leaves in the pavilions were like those of the castle for beauty; and their floors were strewn with great pearls and balls, no smaller than hazel nuts, of musk and ambergris and saffron. Now when I came within the heart of the city and saw therein no created beings of the Sons of Adam I was near swooning and dying for fear. Moreover, I looked down from the great roofs of the pavilion-chambers and their balconies and saw rivers running under them; and in the main streets were fruit-laden trees and tall palms; and the manner of their building was one brick of gold and one of silver. So I said in myself, 'Doubtless this is the Paradise promised for the world to come.' Then I loaded me with the jewels of its gravel and the musk of its dust as much as I could carry and returned to my own country, where I told the folk what I had seen. After a time the news reached Mu'áwiyah, son of Abu Sufyán, who was then Caliph in Al-Hijaz; so he wrote to his lieutenant in San'á of Al-Yaman to send for the teller of the story and question him of the truth of the case. Accordingly the lieutenant summoned me and questioned me of my adventure and of all appertaining to it; and I told him what I had seen, whereupon he despatched me to Mu'awiyah, before whom I repeated the story of the strange sights; but he would not credit it. So I brought out to him some of the pearls and balls of musk and ambergris and saffron, in which latter there was still some sweet savour; but the pearls were grown yellow and had lost pearly colour."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah son of Abu Kilabah continued, "But the pearls were grown yellow and had lost pearly colour. Now Mu'awiyah wondered at this and, sending for Ka'ab al-Ahbar[168] said to him, 'O Ka'ab, I have sent for thee to ascertain the truth of a certain matter and hope that thou wilt be able to certify me thereof.' Asked Ka'ab, 'What is it, O Commander of the Faithful?'; and Mu'awiyah answered, 'Wottest thou of any city founded by man which is builded of gold and silver, the pillars whereof are of chrysolite and rubies and its gravel pearls and balls of musk and ambergris and saffron?' He replied, 'Yes, O Commander of the Faithful, this is 'Iram with pillars decked and dight, the like of which was never made in the lands,'[169] and the builder was Shaddad son of Ad the Greater.' Quoth the Caliph, 'Tell us something of its history,' and Ka'ab said, 'Ad the Greater[170] had two sons, Shadíd and Shaddád who, when their father died, ruled conjointly in his stead, and there was no King of the Kings of the earth but was subject to them. After awhile Shadid died and his brother Shaddad reigned over the earth alone. Now he was fond of reading in antique books; and, happening upon the description of the world to come and of Paradise, with its pavilions and galleries and trees and fruits and so forth, his soul moved him to build the like thereof in this world, after the fashion aforesaid. Now under his hand were an hundred thousand Kings, each ruling over an hundred thousand chiefs, commanding each an hundred thousand warriors; so he called these all before him and said to them, 'I find in ancient books and annals a description of Paradise, as it is to be in the next world, and I desire to build me its like in this world. Go ye forth therefore to the goodliest tract on earth and the most spacious and build me there a city of gold and silver, whose gravel shall be chrysolite and rubies and pearls; and for support of its vaults make pillars of jasper. Fill it with palaces, whereon ye shall set galleries and balconies and plant its lanes and thoroughfares with all manner trees bearing yellow-ripe fruits and make rivers to run through it in channels of gold and silver.' Whereat said one and all, 'How are we able to do this thing thou hast commanded, and whence shall we get the chrysolites and rubies and pearls whereof thou speakest?' Quoth he, 'What! weet ye not that the Kings of the world are subject to me and under my hand and that none therein dare gainsay my word?' Answered they, 'Yes, we know that.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lieges answered, "Yes, we know that;" whereupon the King rejoined, "Fare ye then to the mines of chrysolites and rubies and pearls and gold and silver and collect their produce and gather together all of value that is in the world and spare no pains and leave naught; and take also for me such of these things as be in men's hands and let nothing escape you: be diligent and beware of disobedience." And thereupon he wrote letters to all the Kings of the world and bade them gather together whatso of these things was in their subjects' hands, and get them to the mines of precious stones and metals, and bring forth all that was therein, even from the abysses of the seas. This they accomplished in the space of 20 years, for the number of rulers then reigning over the earth was three hundred and sixty Kings, and Shaddad presently assembled from all lands and countries architects and engineers and men of art and labourers and handicraftsmen, who dispersed over the world and explored all the wastes and words and tracts and holds. At last they came to an uninhabited spot, a vast and fair open plain clear of sand-hills and mountains, with founts flushing and rivers rushing, and they said, "This is the manner of place the King commanded us to seek and ordered us to find." So they busied themselves in building the city even as bade them Shaddad, King of the whole earth in its length and breadth; leading the fountains in channels and laying the foundations after the prescribed fashion. Moreover, all the Kings of earth's several-reigns sent thither jewels and precious stones and pearls large and small and carnelian and refined gold and virgin silver upon camels by land, and in great ships over the waters, and there came to the builders' hands of all these materials so great a quantity as may neither be told nor counted nor conceived. So they laboured at the work three hundred years; and, when they had brought it to end, they went to King Shaddad and acquainted him therewith. Then said he, "Depart and make thereon an impregnable castle, rising and towering high in air, and build around it a thousand pavilions, each upon a thousand columns of chrysolite and ruby and vaulted with gold, that in each pavilion a Wazir may dwell." So they returned forthwith and did this in other twenty years; after which they again presented themselves before King Shaddad and informed him of the accomplishment of his will. Then he commanded his Wazirs, who were a thousand in number, and his Chief Officers and such of his troops and others as he put trust in, to prepare for departure and removal to Many-columned Iram, in the suite and at the stirrup of Shaddad, son of Ad, King of the World; and he bade also such as he would of his women and his Harim and of his handmaids and eunuchs make them ready for the journey. They spent twenty years in preparing for departure, at the end of which time Shaddad set out with his host.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shaddad bin Ad fared forth, he and his host, rejoicing in the attainment of his desire till there remained but one day's journey between him and Iram of the Pillars. Then Allah sent down on him and on the stubborn unbelievers with him a mighty rushing sound from the Heavens of His power, which destroyed them all with its vehement clamour, and neither Shaddad nor any of his company set eyes on the city.[171] Moreover, Allah blotted out the road which led to the city, and it stands in its stead unchanged until the Resurrection Day and the Hour of Judgement." So Mu'awiyah wondered greatly at Ka'ab al-Ahbar's story and said to him, "Hath any mortal ever made his way to that city?" He replied, "Yes; one of the companions of Mohammed (on whom be blessing and peace!) reached it, doubtless and forsure after the same fashion as this man here seated." "And (quoth Al-Sha'abi[172]) it is related, on the authority of learned men of Himyar in Al-Yaman that Shaddad, when destroyed with all his host by the sound, was succeeded in his Kingship by his son Shaddad the Less, whom he left vice-regent in Hazramaut[173] and Saba, when he and his marched upon Many-columned Iram. Now as soon as he heard of his father's death on the road, he caused his body to be brought back from the desert to Hazramaut and bade them hew him out a tomb in a cave, where he laid the body on a throne of gold and threw over the corpse threescore and ten robes of cloth of gold, purfled with precious stones. Lastly at his sire's head he set up a tablet of gold whereon were graven these verses,

'Take warning O proud, * And in length o' life vain!
     I'm Shaddád son of Ad, * Of the forts castellain;
     Lord of pillars and power,* Lord of tried might and main,
     Whom all earth-sons obeyed* For my mischief and bane
     And who held East and West* In mine awfullest reign.
     He preached me salvation * Whom God did assain,[174]
     But we crossed him and asked * 'Can no refuge be ta'en?'
     When a Cry on us cried * From th' horizon plain,
     And we fell on the field * Like the harvested grain,
     And the Fixt Day await * We, in earth's bosom lain!'"

Al-Sa'alibi also relateth, "It chanced that two men once entered this cave and found steps at its upper end; so they descended and came to an underground chamber, an hundred cubits long by forty wide and an hundred high. In the midst stood a throne of gold, whereon lay a man of huge bulk, filling the whole length and breadth of the throne. He was covered with jewels and raiment gold-and-silver wrought, and at his head was a tablet of gold bearing an inscription. So they took the tablet and carried it off, together with as many bars of gold and silver and so forth as they could bear away." And men also relate the tale of

ISAAC OF MOSUL.[edit]

Quoth Isaac of Mosul,[175] "I went out one night from Al Maamun's presence, on my way to my house; and, being taken with a pressing need to make water, I turned aside into a by-street and stood in the middle fearing lest something might hurt me, if I squatted against a wall.[176] Presently, I espied something hanging down from one of the houses; so I felt it to find out what it might be and found that it was a great four-handled basket,[177] covered with brocade. Said I to myself, 'There must be some reason for this,' and knew not what to think; then drunkenness led me to seat myself in the basket, and behold, the people of the house pulled me up, thinking me to be the person they expected. Now when I came to the top of the wall; lo! four damsels were there, who said to me, 'Descend and welcome and joy to thee!' Then one of them went before me with a wax candle and brought me down into a mansion, wherein were furnished sitting- chambers, whose like I had never seen save in the palace of the Caliphate. So I sat down and, after a while, the curtains were suddenly drawn from one side of the room and, behold, in came damsels walking in procession and hending hand lighted flambeaux of wax and censers full of Sumatran aloes-wood, and amongst them a young lady as she were the rising full moon. So I stood up to her and she said, 'Welcome to thee for a visitor!' and then she made me sit down again and asked me how I came thither. Quoth I, 'I was returning home from the house of an intimate friend and went astray in the dark; then, being taken in the street with an urgent call to make water, I turned aside into this lane, where I found a basket let down. The strong wine which I had drunk led me to seat myself in it and it was drawn up with me into this house, and this is my story.' She rejoined, 'No harm shall befall thee, and I hope thou wilt have cause to praise the issue of thine adventure.' Then she added, 'But what is thy condition?' I said, 'A merchant in the Baghdad bazar' and she, 'Canst thou repeat any verses?' 'Some small matter,' quoth I. Quoth she 'Then call a few to mind and let us hear some of them.' But I said, 'A visitor is bashful and timid; do thou begin.' 'True,' replied she and recited some verses of the poets, past and present, choosing their choicest pieces; and I listened not knowing whether more to marvel at her beauty and loveliness or at the charm of her style of declamation. Then said she, 'Is that bashfulness of thine gone?' and I said, 'Yes, by Allah!' so she rejoined, 'Then, if thou wilt, recite us somewhat.' So I repeated to her a number of poems by old writers, and she applauded, saying, 'By Allah, I did not think to find such culture among the trade folk, the sons of the bazar!' Then she called for food" Whereupon quoth Shahrazad's sister Dunyazad, "How pleasant is this tale and enjoyable and sweet to the ear and sound to the sense!" But she answered, "And what is this story compared with that which thou shalt hear on the morrow's night, if I be alive and the King deign spare me!" Then Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Isaac of Mosul continued, "Then the damsel called for food and, when it was served to her, she fell to eating it and setting it before me; and the sitting room was full of all manner sweet-scented flowers and rare fruits, such as are never found save in Kings' houses. Presently, she called for wine and drank a cup, after which she filled another and gave it to me, saying, 'Now is the time for converse and story-telling.' So I bethought myself and began to say, 'It hath reached me that such and such things happened and there was a man who said so and so,' till I had told her a number of pleasing tales and adventures with which she was delighted and cried, "Tis marvellous that a merchant should bear in memory such store of stories like these, for they are fit for Kings.' Quoth I, 'I had a neighbour who used to consort with Kings and carouse with them; so, when he was at leisure, I visited his house and he hath often told me what thou hast heard.' Thereupon she exclaimed 'By my life, but thou hast a good memory!' So we continued to converse thus, and as often as I was silent, she would begin, till in this way we passed the most part of the night, whilst the burning aloes-wood diffused its fragrance and I was in such case that if Al-Maamun had suspected it, he would have flown like a bird with longing for it. Then said she to me, 'Verily, thou art one of the most pleasant of men, polished, passing well-bred and polite; but there lacketh one thing.' 'What is that?' asked I, and she answered, If thou only knew how to sing verses to the lute!' I answered, 'I was passionately fond of this art aforetime, but finding I had no taste for it, I abandoned it, though at times my heart yearneth after it. Indeed, I should love to sing somewhat well at this moment and fulfil my night's enjoyment.' Then said she, 'Meseemeth thou hintest a wish for the lute to be brought?' and I, 'It is thine to decide, if thou wilt so far favour me, and to thee be the thanks.' So she called for a lute and sang a song in a voice whose like I never heard, both for sweetness of tone and skill in playing, and perfection of art. Then said she, Knowest thou who composed this air and whose are the words of this song?'"No," answered I; and she said, The words are so and so's and the air is Isaac's.' I asked 'And hath Isaac then (may I be thy sacrifice!) such a talent?' She replied, 'Bravo![178] Bravo, Isaac! indeed, he excelleth in this art.' I rejoined, 'Glory be to Allah who hath given this man what he hath vouchsafed unto none other!' Then she said 'And how would it be, an thou heard this song from himself?' This wise we went on till break of day dawn, when there came to her an old woman, as she were her nurse, and said to her, 'Verily, the time is come.' So she rose in haste and said to me, 'Keep what hath passed between us to thyself; for such meetings are in confidence;'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel whispered, "'Keep what hath passed between us to thyself, for such meetings are in confidence;' and I replied, 'May I be thy ransom! I needed no charge to this.' Then I took leave of her and she sent a handmaid to show me the way and open the house door; so I went forth and returned to my own place, where I prayed the morning prayer and slept. Now after a time there came to me a messenger from Al-Maamun, so I went to him and passed the day in his company. And when the night fell I called to mind my yesternight's pleasure, a thing from which none but an ignoramus would abstain, and betook myself to the street, where I found the basket, and seating myself therein, was drawn up to the place in which I had passed the previous night. When the lady saw me, she said, 'Indeed, thou hast been assiduous;' and I answered, 'Meseemeth rather that I am neglectful.' Then we fell to discoursing and passed the night as before in general-conversation and reciting verses and telling rare tales, each in turn, till daybreak, when I wended me home; and I prayed the dawn prayer and slept. Presently there came to me a messenger from Al-Maamun; so I went to him and spent my day with him till nightfall, when the Commander of the Faithful said to me, 'I conjure thee to sit here, whilst I go out for a want and come back.' As soon as the Caliph was gone, and quite gone, my thoughts began to tempt and try me and, calling to mind my late delight, I recked little what might befal me from the Prince of True Believers. So I sprang up and turning my back upon the sitting-room, ran to the street aforesaid, where I sat down in the basket and was drawn up as before. When the lady saw me, she said, 'I begin to think thou art a sincere friend to us.' Quoth I, 'Yea, by Allah!' and quoth she, 'Hast thou made our house thine abiding-place?' I replied, 'May I be thy ransom! A guest claimeth guest right for three days and if I return after this, ye are free to spill my blood.' Then we passed the night as before; and when the time of departure drew near, I bethought me that Al Maamun would assuredly question me nor would ever be content save with a full explanation: so I said to her, 'I see thee to be of those who delight in singing. Now I have a cousin, the son of my father's brother, who is fairer than I in face and higher of rank and better of breeding; and he is the most intimate of Allah's creatures with Isaac.' Quoth she, 'Art thou a parasite[179] and an importunate one?' Quoth I, 'It is for thee to decide in this matter;' and she, 'If thy cousin be as thou hast described him, it would not mislike us to make acquaintance with him.' Then, as the time was come, I left her and returned to my house, but hardly had I reached it, ere the Caliph's runners came down on me and carried me before him by main force and roughly enough."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Isaac of Mosul continued, "And hardly had I reached my house ere the Caliph's runners came down upon me and carried me before him by main force and roughly enough. I found him seated on a chair, wroth with me, and he said to me, 'O Isaac, art thou a traitor to thine allegiance?' replied I, 'No, by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful!' and he rejoined, 'What hast thou then to say? tell me the whole truth;' and I, 'Yes, I will, but in private.' So he signed to his attendants, who withdrew to a distance, and I told him the case, adding, 'I promised her to bring thee,' and he said, 'Thou didst well.' Then we spent the day in our usual-pleasures, but Al-Maamun's heart was taken up with her, and hardly was the appointed time come, when we set out. As we went along, I cautioned him, saying, 'Look that thou call me not by my name before her; and I will demean myself like thine attendant.' And having agreed upon this, we fared forth till we came to the place, where we found two baskets hanging ready. So we sat down in them and were drawn up to the usual-place, where the damsel came forward and saluted us. Now when Al Maamun saw her, he was amazed at her beauty and loveliness; and she began to entertain him with stories and verses. Presently, she called for wine and we fell to drinking she paying him special attention and he repaying her in kind. Then she took the lute and sang these verses,

'My lover came in at the close of night, * I rose till he sat and
     remained upright;
And said 'Sweet heart, hast thou come this hour? * Nor feared on
     the watch and ward to 'light:'
Quoth he 'The lover had cause to fear, * But Love deprived him of
     wits and fright.'

And when she ended her song she said to me, 'And is thy cousin also a merchant?' I answered, 'Yes,' and she said, 'Indeed, ye resemble each other nearly.' But when Al-Maamun had drunk three pints,[180] he grew merry with wine and called out, saying, 'Ho, Isaac!' And I replied, 'Labbayk, Adsum, O Commander of the Faithful,' whereupon quoth he, 'Sing me this air.' Now when the young lady learned that he was the Caliph, she withdrew to another place and disappeared; and, as I had made an end of my song, Al-Maamun said to me, 'See who is the master of this house', whereupon an old woman hastened to make answer, saying, 'It belongs to Hasan bin Sahl.'[181] 'Fetch him to me,' said the Caliph. So she went away and after a while behold, in came Hasan, to whom said Al-Maamun 'Hast thou a daughter?' He said, 'Yes, and her name is Khadijah.' Asked the Caliph, 'Is she married?' Answered Hasan, 'No, by Allah!' Said Al-Maamun, Then I ask her of thee in marriage.' Replied her father, 'O Commander of the Faithful, she is thy handmaid and at thy commandment.' Quoth Al-Maamun, 'I take her to wife at a present settlement of thirty thousand dinars, which thou shalt receive this very morning, and, when the money has been paid thee, do thou bring her to us this night.' And Hasan answered, 'I hear and I obey.' Thereupon we went forth and the Caliph said to me, 'O Isaac, tell this story to no one.' So I kept it secret till Al-Maamun's death. Surely never did man's life gather such pleasures as were mine these four days' time, whenas I companied with Al-Maamun by day and Khadijah by night; and, by Allah, never saw I among men the like of Al-Maamun nor among women have I ever set eyes on the like of Khadijah; no, nor on any that came near her in lively wit and pleasant speech! And Allah is All knowing. But amongst stories is that of

THE SWEEP AND THE NOBLE LADY.[edit]

During the season of the Meccan pilgrimage, whilst the people were making circuit about the Holy House and the place of compassing was crowded, behold, a man laid hold of the covering of the Ka'abah[182] and cried out, from the bottom of his heart, saying, 'I beseech thee, O Allah, that she may once again be wroth with her husband and that I may know her!' A company of the pilgrims heard him and seized him and carried him to the Emir of the pilgrims, after a sufficiency of blows; and, said they, 'O Emir, we found this fellow in the Holy Places, saying thus and thus.' So the Emir commanded to hang him; but he cried, 'O Emir, I conjure thee, by the virtue of the Apostle (whom Allah bless and preserve!), hear my story and then do with me as thou wilt.' Quoth the Emir, 'Tell thy tale forthright.' 'Know then, O Emir,' quoth the man, 'that I am a sweep who works in the sheep- slaughterhouses and carries off the blood and the offal to the rubbish-heaps outside the gates. And it came to pass as I went along one day with my ass loaded, I saw the people running away and one of them said to me, 'Enter this alley, lest haply they slay thee.' Quoth I, 'What aileth the folk running away?' and one of the eunuchs, who were passing, said to me, 'This is the Harim[183] of one of the notables and her eunuchs drive the people out of her way and beat them all, without respect to persons.' So I turned aside with the donkey'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the man, "So I turned aside with the donkey and stood still awaiting the dispersal of the crowd; and I saw a number of eunuchs with staves in their hands, followed by nigh thirty women slaves, and amongst them a lady as she were a willow-wand or a thirsty gazelle, perfect in beauty and grace and amorous languor, and all were attending upon her. Now when she came to the mouth of the passage where I stood, she turned right and left and, calling one of the Castratos, whispered in his ear; and behold, he came up to me and laid hold of me, whilst another eunuch took my ass and made off with it. And when the spectators fled, the first eunuch bound me with a rope and dragged me after him till I knew not what to do; and the people followed us and cried out, saying, 'This is not allowed of Allah! What hath this poor scavenger done that he should be bound with ropes?' and praying the eunuchs, 'Have pity on him and let him go, so Allah have pity on you!' And I the while said in my mind, 'Doubtless the eunuchry seized me, because their mistress smelt the stink of the offal and it sickened her. Belike she is with child or ailing; but there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!' So I continued walking on behind them, till they stopped at the door of a great house; and, entering before me, brought me into a big hall—I know not how I shall describe its magnificence—furnished with the finest furniture. And the women also entered the hall; and I bound and held by the eunuch and saying to myself, 'Doubtless they will torture me here till I die and none know of my death.' However, after a while, they carried me into a neat bath-room leading out of the hall; and as I sat there, behold, in came three slave-girls who seated themselves round me and said to me, 'Strip off thy rags and tatters.' So I pulled off my threadbare clothes and one of them fell a-rubbing my legs and feet whilst another scrubbed my head and a third shampooed my body. When they had made an end of washing me, they brought me a parcel of clothes and said to me, 'Put these on'; and I answered, 'By Allah, I know not how!' So they came up to me and dressed me, laughing together at me the while; after which they brought casting-bottles full of rose-water, and sprinkled me therewith. Then I went out with them into another saloon; by Allah, I know not how to praise its splendour for the wealth of paintings and furniture therein; and entering it, I saw a person seated on a couch of Indian rattan"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the sweep continued, "When I entered that saloon I saw a person seated on a couch of Indian rattan, with ivory feet and before her a number of damsels. When she saw me she rose to me and called me; so I went up to her and she seated me by her side. Then she bade her slave-girls bring food, and they brought all manner of rich meats, such as I never saw in all my life; I do not even know the names of the dishes, much less their nature. So I ate my fill and when the dishes had been taken away and we had washed our hands, she called for fruits which came without stay or delay and ordered me eat of them; and when we had ended eating she bade one of the waiting-women bring the wine furniture. So they set on flagons of divers kinds of wine and burned perfumes in all the censers, what while a damsel like the moon rose and served us with wine to the sound of the smitten strings; and I drank, and the lady drank, till we were seized with wine and the whole time I doubted not but that all this was an illusion of sleep. Presently, she signed to one of the damsels to spread us a bed in such a place, which being done, she rose and took me by the hand and led me thither, and lay down and I lay with her till the morning, and as often as I pressed her to my breast I smelt the delicious fragrance of musk and other perfumes that exhaled from her and could not think otherwise but that I was in Paradise or in the vain phantasies of a dream. Now when it was day, she asked me where I lodged and I told her, 'In such a place;' whereupon she gave me leave to depart, handing to me a kerchief worked with gold and silver and containing somewhat tied in it, and took leave of me, saying, 'Go to the bath with this.' I rejoiced and said to myself, 'If there be but five coppers here, it will buy me this day my morning meal.' Then I left her, as though I were leaving Paradise, and returned to my poor crib where I opened the kerchief and found in it fifty miskals of gold. So I buried them in the ground and, buying two farthings' worth of bread and 'kitchen,'[184] seated me at the door and broke my fast; after which I sat pondering my case and continued so doing till the time of afternoon, prayer, when lo! a slave-girl accosted me saying, 'My mistress calleth for thee.' I followed her to the house aforesaid and, after asking permission, she carried me into the lady, before whom I kissed the ground, and she commanded me to sit and called for meat and wine as on the previous day; after which I again lay with her all night. On the morrow, she gave me a second kerchief, with other fifty dinars therein, and I took it and going home, buried this also. In such pleasant condition I continued eight days running, going in to her at the hour of afternoon prayer and leaving her at daybreak; but, on the eighth night, as I lay with her, behold, one of her slave-girls came running in and said to me, 'Arise, go up into yonder closet.' So I rose and went into the closet, which was over the gate, and presently I heard a great clamour and tramp of horse; and, looking out of the window which gave on the street in front of the house, I saw a young man as he were the rising moon on the night of fulness come riding up attended by a number of servants and soldiers who were about him on foot. He alighted at the door and entering the saloon found the lady seated on the couch; so he kissed the ground between her hands then came up to her and kissed her hands; but she would not speak to him. However, he continued patiently to humble himself, and soothe her and speak her fair, till he made his peace with her, and they lay together that night."—And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the scavenger continued, "Now when her husband had made his peace with the young lady, he lay with her that night; and next morning, the soldiers came for him and he mounted and rode away; whereupon she drew near to me and said, 'Sawst thou yonder man?' I answered, 'Yes;' and she said, 'He is my husband, and I will tell thee what befell me with him. It came to pass one day that we were sitting, he and I, in the garden within the house, and behold, he rose from my side and was absent a long while, till I grew tired of waiting and said to myself: Most like, he is in the privy. So I arose and went to the water-closet, but not finding him there, went down to the kitchen, where I saw a slave-girl; and when I enquired for him, she showed him to me lying with one of the cookmaids. Hereupon, I swore a great oath that I assuredly would do adultery with the foulest and filthiest man in Baghdad; and the day the eunuch laid hands on thee, I had been four days going round about the city in quest of one who should answer to this description, but found none fouler nor filthier than thy good self. So I took thee and there passed between us that which Allah fore ordained to us; and now I am quit of my oath.' Then she added, 'If, however, my husband return yet again to the cookmaid and lie with her, I will restore thee to thy lost place in my favours.' Now when I heard these words from her lips, what while she pierced my heart with the shafts of her glances, my tears streamed forth, till my eyelids were chafed sore with weeping, and I repeated the saying of the poet,

'Grant me the kiss of that left hand ten times; * And learn it
hath than right hand higher grade;[185]
For 'tis but little since that same left hand * Washed off Sir
Reverence when ablution made.'

Then she made them give me other fifty dinars (making in all four hundred gold pieces I had of her) and bade me depart. So I went out from her and came hither, that I might pray Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) to make her husband return to the cookmaid, that haply I might be again admitted to her favours.' When the Emir of the pilgrims heard the man's story, he set him free and said to the bystanders, 'Allah upon you, pray for him, for indeed he is excusable.'" And men also tell the tale of

THE MOCK CALIPH.[edit]

It is related that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, was one night restless with extreme restlessness, so he summoned his Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide, and said to him, "My breast is straitened and I have a desire to divert myself to-night by walking about the streets of Baghdad and looking into folks' affairs; but with this precaution that we disguise ourselves in merchants' gear, so none shall know us." He answered, "Hearkening and obedience." They rose at once and doffing the rich raiment they wore, donned merchants' habits and sallied forth three in number, the Caliph, Ja'afar and Masrur the sworder. Then they walked from place to place, till they came to the Tigris and saw an old man sitting in a boat; so they went up to him and saluting him, said, "O Shaykh, we desire thee of thy kindness and favour to carry us a- pleasuring down the river, in this thy boat, and take this dinar to thy hire."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they said to the old man, "We desire thee to carry us a-pleasuring in this thy boat and take this dinar;" he answered, "Who may go a- pleasuring on the Tigris? The Caliph Harun al-Rashid every night cometh down Tigris stream in his state-barge[186] and with him one crying aloud: 'Ho, ye people all, great and small, gentle and simple, men and boys, whoso is found in a boat on the Tigris by night, I will strike off his head or hang him to the mast of his craft!' And ye had well nigh met him; for here cometh his carrack." But the Caliph and Ja'afar said, "O Shaykh, take these two dinars, and run us under one of yonder arches, that we may hide there till the Caliph's barge have passed." The old man replied, "Hand over your gold and rely we on Allah, the Almighty!" So he took the two dinars and embarked them in the boat; and he put off and rowed about with them awhile, when behold, the barge came down the river in mid-stream, with lighted flambeaux and cressets flaming therein. Quoth the old man, "Did not I tell you that the Caliph passed along the river every night?"; and ceased not muttering, "O Protector, remove not the veils of Thy protection!" Then he ran the boat under an arch and threw a piece of black cloth over the Caliph and his companions, who looked out from under the covering and saw, in the bows of the barge, a man holding in hand a cresset of red gold which he fed with Sumatran lign-aloes and the figure was clad in a robe of red satin, with a narrow turband of Mosul shape round on his head, and over one of his shoulders hung a sleeved cloak[187] of cramoisy satin, and on the other was a green silk bag full of the aloes-wood, with which he fed the cresset by way of firewood. And they sighted in the stern another man, clad like the first and bearing a like cresset, and in the barge were two hundred white slaves, standing ranged to the right and left; and in the middle a throne of red gold, whereon sat a handsome young man, like the moon, clad in a dress of black, embroidered with yellow gold. Before him they beheld a man, as he were the Wazir Ja'afar, and at his head stood an eunuch, as he were Masrur, with a drawn sword in his hand; besides a score of cup-companions. Now when the Caliph saw this, he turned and said, "O Ja'afar," and the Minister replied, "At thy service, O Prince of True Believers." Then quoth the Caliph, "Belike this is one of my sons, Al Amin or Al-Maamun." Then he examined the young man who sat on the throne and finding him perfect in beauty and loveliness and stature and symmetric grace, said to Ja'afar, "Verily, this young man abateth nor jot nor tittle of the state of the Caliphate! See, there standeth before him one as he were thyself, O Ja'afar; yonder eunuch who standeth at his head is as he were Masrur and those courtiers as they were my own. By Allah, O Ja'afar, my reason is confounded and I am filled with amazement this matter!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph saw this spectacle his reason was confounded and he cried, "By Allah, I am filled with amazement at this matter!" and Ja'afar replied, "And I also, by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful." Then the barge passed on and disappeared from sight whereupon the boatman pushed out again into the stream, saying, "Praised be Allah for safety, since none hath fallen in with us!" Quoth the Caliph, "O old man, doth the Caliph come down the Tigris-river every night?" The boatman answered, "Yes, O my lord; and on such wise hath he done every night this year past." "O Shaykh," rejoined Al-Rashid, "we wish thee of thy favour to await us here to-morrow night and we will give thee five golden dinars, for we are stranger folk, lodging in the quarter Al-Khandak, and we have a mind to divert ourselves." Said the oldster, "With joy and good will!" Then the Caliph and Ja'afar and Masrur left the boatman and returned to the palace; where they doffed their merchants' habits and, donning their apparel of state, sat down each in his several-stead; and came the Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Officers, and the Divan assembled and was crowded as of custom. But when day ended and all the folk had dispersed and wended each his own way, the Caliph said to his Wazir, "Rise, O Ja'afar, let us go and amuse ourselves by looking on the second Caliph." At this, Ja'afar and Masrur laughed, and the three, donning merchants' habits, went forth by a secret pastern and made their way through the city, in great glee, till they came to the Tigris, where they found the graybeard sitting and awaiting them. They embarked with him in the boat and hardly had they sat down before up came the mock Caliph's barge; and, when they looked at it attentively, they saw therein two hundred Mamelukes other than those of the previous night, while the link- bearers cried aloud as of wont. Quoth the Caliph, "O Wazir, had I heard tell of this, I had not believed it; but I have seen it with my own sight." Then said he to the boatman, "Take, O Shaykh' these ten dinars and row us along abreast of them, for they are in the light and we in the shade, and we can see them and amuse ourselves by looking on them, but they cannot see us." So the man took the money and pushing off ran abreast of them in the shadow of the barge,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid said to the old man, "Take these ten dinars and row us abreast of them;" to which he replied, "I hear and I obey." And he fared with them and ceased not going in the blackness of the barge, till they came amongst the gardens that lay alongside of them and sighted a large walled enclosure; and presently, the barge cast anchor before a postern door, where they saw servants standing with a she mule saddled and bridled. Here the mock Caliph landed and, mounting the mule, rode away with his courtiers and his cup-companions preceded by the cresset-bearers crying aloud, and followed by his household which busied itself in his service. Then Harun al-Rashid, Ja'afar and Masrur landed also and, making their way through the press of servants, walked on before them. Presently, the cresset-bearers espied them and seeing three persons in merchants' habits, and strangers to the country, took offense at them; so they pointed them out and brought them before the other Caliph, who looked at them and asked, "How came ye to this place and who brought you at this tide?" They answered, "O our lord, we are foreign merchants and far from our homes, who arrived here this day and were out a- walking to-night, and behold, ye came up and these men laid hands on us and brought us to thy presence; and this is all our story." Quoth the mock Caliph, "Since ye be stranger folk no harm shall befall you; but had ye been of Baghdad, I had struck off your heads." Then he turned to his Wazir and said to him, "Take these men with thee; for they are our guests to-night." "To hear is to obey, O our lord," answered he; and they companied him till they came to a lofty and splendid palace set upon the firmest base; no Sultan possesseth such a place; rising from the dusty mould and upon the merges of the clouds laying hold. Its door was of Indian teak-wood inlaid with gold that glowed; and through it one passed into a royal-hall in whose midst was a jetting fount girt by a raised estrade. It was provided with carpets and cushions of brocade and small pillows and long settees and hanging curtains; it was furnished with a splendour that dazed the mind and dumbed the tongue, and upon the door were written these two couplets,

"A Palace whereon be blessings and praise! * Which with all their
     beauty have robed the Days:
Where marvels and miracle-sights abound, * And to write its
     honours the pen affrays."

The false Caliph entered with his company, and sat down on a throne of gold set with jewels and covered with a prayer carpet of yellow silk; whilst the boon-companions took their seats and the sword bearer of high works stood before him. Then the tables were laid and they ate; after which the dishes were removed and they washed their hands and the wine-service was set on with flagons and bowls in due order. The cup went round till it came to the Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who refused the draught, and the mock Caliph said to Ja'afar, "What mattereth thy friend that he drinketh not?" He replied, "O my lord, indeed 'tis a long while he hath drunk naught of this." Quoth the sham Caliph, "I have drink other than this, a kind of apple-wine,[188] that will suit thy companion." So he bade them bring the cider which they did forthright; when the false Caliph, coming up to Harun al-Rashid, said to him, "As often as it cometh to thy turn drink thou of this." Then they continued to drink and make merry and pass the cup till the wine rose to their brains and mastered their wits;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the false Caliph and his co sitters sat at their cups and gave not over drinking till the wine rose to their brains and mastered their wits; and Harun al-Rashid said to the Minister, "O Ja'afar, by Allah, we have no such vessels as these. Would to Heaven I knew what manner of man this youth is!" But while they were talking privily the young man cast a glance upon them and seeing the Wazir whisper the Caliph said, "'Tis rude to whisper." He replied, "No rudeness was meant: this my friend did but say to me, 'Verily I have travelled in most countries and have caroused with the greatest of Kings and I have companied with noble captains; yet never saw I a goodlier ordering than this entertainment nor passed a more delightful night; save that the people of Baghdad are wont to say, Wine without music often leaves you sick.'"When the second Caliph heard this, he smiled pleasantly and struck with a rod he had in his hand a round gong;[189] and behold, a door opened and out came a eunuch, bearing a chair of ivory, inlaid with gold glittering fiery red and followed by a damsel of passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and grace. He set down the chair and the damsel seated herself on it, as she were the sun shining sheen in a sky serene. In her hand she had a lute of Hindu make, which she laid in her lap and bent down over it as a mother bendeth over her little one, and sang to it, after a prelude in four-and-twenty modes, amazing all wits. Then she returned to the first mode and to a lively measure chanted these couplets,

"Love's tongue within my heart speaks plain to thee, * Telling
     thee clearly I am fain of thee
Witness the fevers of a tortured heart, * And ulcered eyelid
     tear-flood rains for thee
God's fate o'ertaketh all created things! * I knew not love till
     learnt Love's pain of thee."

Now when the mock Caliph heard these lines sung by the damsel, he cried with a great cry and rent his raiment to the very skirt, whereupon they let down a curtain over him and brought him a fresh robe, handsomer than the first. He put it on and sat as before, till the cup came round to him, when he struck the gong a second time and lo! a door opened and out of it came a eunuch with a chair of gold, followed by a damsel fairer than the first, bearing a lute, such as would strike the envious mute. She sat down on the chair and sang to her instrument these two couplets,

"How patient bide, with love in sprite of me, * And tears in
     tempest[190] blinding sight of me?
By Allah, life has no delight of me! * How gladden heart whose
     core is blight of me?"

No sooner had the youth heard this poetry than he cried out with a loud cry and rent his raiment to the skirt: whereupon they let down the curtain over him and brought him another suit of clothes. He put it on and, sitting up as before, fell again to cheerful talk, till the cup came round to him, when he smote once more upon the gong and out came a eunuch with a chair, followed by a damsel fairer than she who forewent her. So she sat down on the chair, with a lute in her hand, and sang thereto these couplets,

"Cease ye this farness; 'bate this pride of you, * To whom my
     heart clings, by life-tide of you!
Have ruth on hapless, mourning, lover-wretch, * Desire-full,
     pining, passion-tried of you:
Sickness hath wasted him, whose ecstasy * Prays Heaven it may be
     satisfied of you:
Oh fullest moons[191] that dwell in deepest heart! * How can I
     think of aught by side of you?"

Now when the young man heard these couplets, he cried out with a great cry and rent his raiment, whereupon they let fall the curtain over him and brought him other robes. Then he returned to his former case with his boon-companions and the bowl went round as before, till the cup came to him, when he struck the gong a fourth time and the door opening, out came a page-boy bearing a chair followed by a damsel. He set the chair for her and she sat down thereon and taking the lute, tuned it and sang to it these couplets,

"When shall disunion and estrangement end? * When shall my bygone
     joys again be kenned?
Yesterday we were joined in same abode; * Conversing heedless of
     each envious friend:[192]
Trickt us that traitor Time, disjoined our lot * And our waste
     home to desert fate condemned:
Wouldst have me, Grumbler! from my dearling fly? * I find my
     vitals blame will not perpend:
Cease thou to censure; leave me to repine; * My mind e'er findeth
     thoughts that pleasure lend.
O Lords[193] of me who brake our troth and plight, * Deem not
     to lose your hold of heart and sprite!"

When the false Caliph heard the girl's song, he cried out with a loud outcry and rent his raiment,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, When the false Caliph heard the girl's song, he cried with a loud outcry and rent his raiment and fell to the ground fainting; whereupon they would have let down the curtain over him, as of custom; but its cords stuck fast and Harun al-Rashid, after considering him carefully, saw on his body the marks of beating with palm-rods and said to Ja'afar, "By Allah, he is a handsome youth, but a foul thief!" "Whence knowest thou that, O Commander of the Faithful?" asked Ja'afar, and the Caliph answered, "Sawest thou not the whip-scars on his ribs?" Then they let fall the curtain over him and brought him a fresh dress, which he put on and sat up as before with his courtiers and cup- companions. Presently he saw the Caliph and Ja'afar whispering together and said to them, "What is the matter, fair sirs?" Quoth Ja'afar, "O my lord, all is well,[194] save that this my comrade, who (as is not unknown to thee) is of the merchant company and hath visited all the great cities and countries of the world and hath consorted with kings and men of highest consideration, saith to me: 'Verily, that which our lord the Caliph hath done this night is beyond measure extravagant, never saw I any do the like doings in any country; for he hath rent such and such dresses, each worth a thousand dinars and this is surely excessive unthriftiness.'" Replied the second Caliph, "Ho thou, the money is my money and the stuff my stuff, and this is by way of largesse to my suite and servants; for each suit that is rent belongeth to one of my cup-companions here present, and I assign to them with each suit of clothes the sum of five hundred dinars." The Wazir Ja'afar replied, "Well is whatso thou doest, O our lord," and recited these two couplets,

"Virtue in hand of thee hath built a house, * And to mankind thou
     dost thy wealth expose:
If an the virtues ever close their doors, * That hand would be a
     key the lock to unclose."

Now when the young man heard these verses recited by the Minister Ja'afar, he ordered him to be gifted with a thousand dinars and a dress of honour. Then the cup went round among them and the wine was sweet to them; but, after a while quoth the Caliph to Ja'afar, "Ask him of the marks on his sides, that we may see what he will say by way of reply." Answered Ja'afar, "Softly, O my lord, be not hasty and soothe thy mind, for patience is more becoming." Rejoined the Caliph, "By the life of my head and by the revered tomb of Al Abbas,[195] except thou ask him, I will assuredly stop thy breath!" With this the young man turned towards the Minister and said to him, "What aileth thee and thy friend to be whispering together? Tell me what is the matter with you." "It is nothing save good," replied Ja'afar; but the mock Caliph rejoined, "I conjure thee, by Allah, tell me what aileth you and hide from me nothing of your case." Answered the Wazir "O my lord, verily this one here saw on thy sides the marks of beating with whips and palm-fronds and marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel, saying, 'How came the Caliph to be beaten?'; and he would fain know the cause of this." Now when the youth heard this, he smiled and said, "Know ye that my story is wondrous and my case marvellous; were it graven with needles on the eye corners, it would serve as a warner to whoso would be warned." And he sighed and repeated these couplets,

"Strange is my story, passing prodigy; * By Love I swear, my ways
     wax strait on me!
An ye desire to hear me, listen, and * Let all in this assembly
     silent be.
Heed ye my words which are of meaning deep, * Nor lies my speech;
     'tis truest verity.
I'm slain[196] by longing and by ardent love; * My slayer's
     the pearl of fair virginity.
She hath a jet black eye like Hindi blade, * And bowèd eyebrows
     shoot her archery
My heart assures me our Imam is here, * This age's Caliph, old
     nobility:
Your second, Ja'afar highs, is his Wazir; * A Sahib,[197]
     Sahib-son of high degree:
The third is called Masrur who wields the sword: * Now, if in
     words of mine some truth you see
I have won every wish by this event * Which fills my heart with
     joy and gladdest greet"

When they heard these words Ja'afar swore to him an ambiguous oath that they were not those he named, whereupon he laughed and said: "Know, O my lords, that I am not the Commander of the Faithful and that I do but style myself thus, to win my will of the sons of the city. My true name is Mohammed Ali, son of Ali the Jeweller, and my father was one of the notables of Baghdad, who left me great store of gold and silver and pearls and coral and rubies and chrysolites and other jewels, besides messuages and lands, Hammam-baths and brickeries, orchards and flower- gardens. Now as I sat in my shop one day surrounded by my eunuchs and dependents, behold, there came up a young lady, mounted on a she- mule and attended by three damsels like moons. Riding up to my shop she alighted and seated herself by my side and said 'Art thou Mohammed the Jeweller?' Replied I, 'Even so! I am he, thy Mameluke, thy chattel.' She asked, 'Hast thou a necklace of jewels fit for me?' and I answered, 'O my lady, I will show thee what I have; and lay all before thee and, if any please thee, it will be of thy slave's good luck; if they please thee not, of his ill fortune.' Now I had by me an hundred necklaces and showed them all to her; but none of them pleased her and she said, 'I want a better than those I have seen.' I had a small necklace which my father had bought at an hundred thousand dinars and whose like was not to be found with any of the great kings; so I said to her, 'O my lady, I have yet one necklace of fine stones fit for bezels, the like of which none possesseth, great or small. Said she, Show it to me,' so I showed it to her, and she said, 'This is what I wanted and what I have wished for all my life;' adding, 'What is its price?' Quoth I, 'It cost my father an hundred thousand dinars;' and she said, 'I will give thee five thousand dinars to thy profit.' I answered, 'O my lady, the necklace and its owner are at thy service and I cannot gainsay thee.' But she rejoined, 'Needs must thou have the profit, and I am still most grateful to thee.' Then she rose without stay or delay; and, mounting the mule in haste, said to me, 'O my lord, in Allah's name, favour us with thy company to receive the money; for this thy day with us is white as milk.'[198] So I shut the shop and accompanied her, in all security, till we came to a house, on which were manifest the signs of wealth and rank; for its door was wrought with gold and silver and ultramarine, and thereon were written these two couplets,

'Hole, thou mansion! woe ne'er enter thee; * Nor be thine owner
     e'er misused of Fate
Excellent mansion to all guests art thou, * When other mansions
     to the guest are strait.'

The young lady dismounted and entered the house, bidding me sit down on the bench at the gate, till the money-changer should arrive. So I sat awhile, when behold, a damsel came out to me and said, 'O my lord, enter the vestibule; for it is a dishonour that thou shouldst sit at the gate.' Thereupon I arose and entered the vestibule and sat down on the settle there, and, as I sat, lo! another damsel came out and said to me, 'O my lord my mistress biddeth thee enter and sit down at the door of the saloon, to receive thy money.' I entered and sat down, nor had I sat a moment when behold, a curtain of silk which concealed a throne of gold was drawn aside, and I saw seated thereon the lady who had made the purchase, and round her neck she wore the necklace which looked pale and wan by the side of a face as it were the rounded moon; At her sight, my wit was troubled and my mind confounded, by reason of her exceeding beauty and loveliness, but when she saw me she rose from her throne and coming close up to me, said, 'O light of mine eyes, is every handsome one like thee pitiless to his mistress?' I answered, 'O my lady, beauty, all of it, is in thee and is but one of thy hidden charms.' And she rejoined, 'O Jeweller, know that I love thee and can hardly credit that I have brought thee hither.' Then she bent towards me and I kissed her and she kissed me and, as she caressed me, drew me towards her and to her breast she pressed me."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jeweller continued: "Then she bent towards me and kissed and caressed me; and, as she caressed me, drew me towards her and to her breast she pressed me. Now she knew by my condition that I had a mind to enjoy her; so she said to me, 'O my lord, wouldst thou foregather with me unlawfully? By Allah, may he not live who would do the like of this sin and who takes pleasure in talk unclean! I am a maid, a virgin whom no man hath approached, nor am I unknown in the city. Knowest thou who I am?' Quoth I, 'No, by Allah, O my lady!'; and quoth she, 'I am the Lady Dunyá, daughter of Yáhyá bin Khálid the Barmecide and sister of Ja'afar, Wazir to the Caliph.' Now as I heard this, I drew back from her, saying, 'O my lady, it is no fault of mine if I have been over- bold with thee; it was thou didst encourage me to aspire to thy love, by giving me access to thee.' She answered, 'No harm shall befal-thee, and needs must thou attain thy desire in the only way pleasing to Allah. I am my own mistress and the Kazi shall act as my guardian in consenting to the marriage contract; for it is my will that I be to thee wife and thou be to me man.' Then she sent for the Kazi and the witnesses and busied herself with making ready; and, when they came, she said to them, 'Mohammed Ali, bin Ali the Jeweller, seeketh me in wedlock and hath given me the necklace to my marriage-settlement; and I accept and consent.' So they wrote out the contract of marriage between us; and ere I went in to her the servants brought the wine-furniture and the cups passed round after the fairest fashion and the goodliest ordering; and, when the wine mounted to our heads, she ordered a damsel, a lute-player,[199] to sing. So she took the lute and sang to a pleasing and stirring motive these couplets,

'He comes; and fawn and branch and moon delight these eyne *
     Fie[200] on his heart who sleeps o' nights without repine
Pair youth, for whom Heaven willed to quench in cheek one light,
     * And left another light on other cheek bright li'en:
I fain finesse my chiders when they mention him, * As though the
     hearing of his name I would decline;
And willing ear I lend when they of other speak; * Yet would my
     soul within outflow in foods of brine:
Beauty's own prophet, he is all a miracle * Of heavenly grace,
     and greatest shows his face for sign.[201]
To prayer Bilál-like cries that Mole upon his cheek * To ward
     from pearly brow all eyes of ill design:[202]
The censors of their ignorance would my love dispel * But after
     Faith I can't at once turn Infidel.'

We were ravished by the sweet music she made striking the strings, and the beauty of the verses she sang; and the other damsels went on to sing and to recite one after another, till ten had so done; when the Lady Dunya took the lute and playing a lively measure, chanted these couplets,

'I swear by swayings of that form so fair, * Aye from thy parting
     fiery
Pity a heart which burneth in thy love, * O bright as fullest
     moon in blackest air!
Vouchsafe thy boons to him who ne'er will cease * In light of
     wine-cup all thy charms declare,
Amid the roses which with varied hues * Are to the myrtle-
    bush[203] a mere despair.'

When she had finished her verse I took the lute from her hands and, playing a quaint and not vulgar prelude sang the following verses,

'Laud to my Lord who gave thee all of loveliness; * Myself amid
     thy thralls I willingly confess:
O thou, whose eyes and glances captivate mankind, * Pray that I
     'scape those arrows shot with all thy stress!
Two hostile rivals water and enflaming fire * Thy cheek hath
     married, which for marvel I profess:
Thou art Sa'ír in heart of me and eke Na'ím;[204] * Thou agro-
    dolce, eke heart's sweetest bitterness.'

When she heard this my song she rejoiced with exceeding joy; then, dismissing her slave women, she brought me to a most goodly place, where they had spread us a bed of various colours. She did off her clothes and I had a lover's privacy of her and found her a pearl unpierced and a filly unridden. So I rejoiced in her and never in my born days spent I a more delicious night."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mohammed bin Ali the Jeweller continued: "So I went in unto the Lady Dunya, daughter of Yahya bin Khálid the Barmecide, and I found her a pearl unthridden and a filly unridden. So I rejoiced in her and repeated these couplets,

'O Night here stay! I want no morning light; * My lover's face to
     me is lamp and light:[205]
As ring of ring-dove round his necks my arm; * And made my palm
     his mouth-veil, and, twas right.
This be the crown of bliss, and ne'er we'll cease * To clip, nor
     care to be in other plight.'

And I abode with her a whole month, forsaking shop and family and home, till one day she said to me, 'O light of my eyes, O my lord Mohammed, I have determined to go to the Hammam to day; so sit thou on this couch and rise not from thy place, till I return to thee.' 'I hear and I obey,' answered I, and she made me swear to this; after which she took her women and went off to the bath. But by Allah, O my brothers, she had not reached the head of the street ere the door opened and in came an old woman, who said to me, 'O my lord Mohammed, the Lady Zubaydah biddeth thee to her, for she hath heard of thy fine manners and accomplishments and skill in singing.' I answered, 'By Allah, I will not rise from my place till the Lady Dunya come back.' Rejoined the old woman, 'O my lord, do not anger the Lady Zubaydah with thee and vex her so as to make her thy foe: nay, rise up and speak with her and return to thy place.' So I rose at once and followed her into the presence of the Lady Zubaydah and, when I entered her presence she said to me, 'O light of the eye, art thou the Lady Dunya's beloved?' 'I am thy Mameluke, thy chattel,' replied I. Quoth she, 'Sooth spake he who reported thee possessed of beauty and grace and good breeding and every fine quality; indeed, thou surpassest all praise and all report. But now sing to me, that I may hear thee.' Quoth I, 'Hearkening and obedience;' so she brought me a lute, and I sang to it these couplets,

'The hapless lover's heart is of his wooing weary grown, * And
     hand of sickness wasted him till naught but skin and bone
Who should be amid the riders which the haltered camels urge, *
     But that same lover whose beloved cloth in the litters wone:
To Allah's charge I leave that moon-like Beauty in your tents *
     Whom my heart loves, albe my glance on her may ne'er be
     thrown.
Now she is fain; then she is fierce: how sweet her coyness shows;
     * Yea sweet whatever cloth or saith to lover loved one!'

When I had finished my song she said to me, 'Allah assain thy body and thy voice! Verily, thou art perfect in beauty and good breeding and singing. But now rise and return to thy place, ere the Lady Dunya come back, lest she find thee not and be wroth with thee.' Then I kissed the ground before her and the old woman forewent me till I reached the door whence I came. So I entered and, going up to the couch, found that my wife had come back from the bath and was lying asleep there. Seeing this I sat down at her feet and rubbed them; whereupon she opened her eyes and seeing me, drew up both her feet and gave me a kick that threw me off the couch,[206] saying, 'O traitor, thou hast been false to thine oath and hast perjured thyself. Thou swarest to me that thou wouldst not rise from thy place; yet didst thou break thy promise and go to the Lady Zubaydah. By Allah, but that I fear public scandal, I would pull down her palace over her head!' Then said she to her black slave, 'O Sawáb, arise and strike off this lying traitor's head, for we have no further need of him.' So the slave came up to me and, tearing a strip from his skirt, bandaged with it my eyes[207] and would have struck off my head;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mohammed the Jeweller continued: "So the slave came up to me and, tearing a strip from his skirt, bandaged with it my eyes and would have struck off my head, but all her women, great and small, rose and came up to her and said to her, 'O our lady, this is not the first who hath erred: indeed, he knew not thy humour and hath done thee no offence deserving death.' Replied she, 'By Allah, I must needs set my mark on him.' And she bade them bash me; so they beat me on my ribs and the marks ye saw are the scars of that fustigation. Then she ordered them to cast me out, and they carried me to a distance from the house and threw me down like a log. After a time I rose and dragged myself little by little to my own place, where I sent for a surgeon and showed him my hurts; and he comforted me and did his best to cure me. As soon as I was recovered I went to the Hammam and, as my pains and sickness had left me, I repaired to my shop and took and sold all that was therein. With the proceeds, I bought me four hundred white slaves, such as no King ever got together, and caused two hundred of them to ride out with me every day. Then I made me yonder barge whereon I spent five thousand gold pieces; and styled myself Caliph and appointed each of my servants to the charge of some one of the Caliph's officers and clad him in official habit. Moreover, I made proclamation, 'Whoso goeth a-pleasuring on the Tigris by night, I will strike off his head, without ruth or delay;' and on such wise have I done this whole year past, during which time I have heard no news of the lady neither happened upon any trace of her." Then wept he copiously and repeated these couplets,

"By Allah! while the days endure ne'er shall forget her I, * Nor
     draw to any nigh save those who draw her to me nigh
Like to the fullest moon her form and favour show to me, * Laud
     to her All-creating Lord, laud to the Lord on high,
She left me full of mourning, sleepless, sick with pine and pain
     * And ceaseth not my heart to yearn her mystery[208] to
     espy."

Now when Harun al-Rashid heard the young man's story and knew the passion and transport and love lowe that afflicted him, he was moved to compassion and wonder and said, "Glory be to Allah, who hath appointed to every effect a cause!" Then they craved the young man's permission to depart; which being granted, they took leave of him, the Caliph purposing to do him justice meet, and him with the utmost munificence entreat; and they returned to the palace of the Caliphate, where they changed clothes for others befitting their state and sat down, whilst Masrur the Sworder of High Justice stood before them. After awhile, quoth the Caliph to Ja'afar, "O Wazir, bring me the young man'—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the Caliph to his Minister, "Bring me the young man with whom we were last night." "I hear and obey," answered Ja'afar and, going to the youth, saluted him, saying, "Obey the summons of the Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph Harun al-Rashid." So he returned with him to the palace, in great anxiety by reason of the summons; and, going in to the King, kissed ground before him; and offered up a prayer for the endurance of his glory and prosperity, for the accomplishment of his desires, for the continuance of his beneficence and for the cessation of evil and punishment; ordering his speech as best he might and ending by saying, "Peace be on thee, O Prince of True Believers and Protector of the folk of the Faith!" Then he repeated these two couplets,

"Kiss thou his fingers which no fingers are; * Keys of our daily
     bread those fingers ken:
And praise his actions which no actions are, * But precious
     necklaces round necks of men."

So the Caliph smiled in his face and returned his salute, looking on him with the eye of favour; then he bade him draw near and sit down before him and said to him, "O Mohammed Ali, I wish thee to tell me what befel thee last night, for it was strange and passing strange." Quoth the youth, "Pardon, O Commander of the Faithful, give me the kerchief of immunity, that my dread may be appeased and my heart eased." Replied the Caliph, "I promise thee safety from fear and woes." So the young man told him his story from first to last, whereby the Caliph knew him to be a lover and severed from his beloved and said to him, "Desirest thou that I restore her to thee?" "This were of the bounty of the Commander of the Faithful," answered the youth and repeated these two couplets.

"Ne'er cease thy gate be Ka'abah to mankind; * Long may its
     threshold dust man's brow beseem!
That o'er all countries it may be proclaimed, * This is the Place
     and thou art Ibrahim."[209]

Thereupon the Caliph turned to his Minister and said to him, "O Ja'afar, bring me thy sister, the Lady Dunya, daughter of the Wazir Yahya bin Khálid!" "I hear and I obey," answered he and fetched her without let or delay. Now when she stood before the Caliph he said to her, "Doss thou know who this is?"; and she replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, how should women have knowledge of men?"[210] So the Caliph smiled and said, "O Dunya this is thy beloved, Mohammed bin Ali the Jeweller. We are acquainted with his case, for we have heard the whole story from beginning to end, and have apprehended its inward and its outward; and it is no more hidden from me, for all it was kept in secrecy." Replied she, "O Commander of the Faithful, this was written in the Book of Destiny; I crave the forgiveness of Almighty Allah for the wrong I have wrought, and pray thee to pardon me of thy favour." At this the Caliph laughed and, summoning the Kazi and witnesses, renewed the marriage-contract between the Lady Dunya and her husband, Mohammed Ali son of the Jeweller, whereby there betided them, both her and him the utmost felicity, and to their enviers mortification and misery. Moreover, he made Mohammed Ali one of his boon-companions, and they abode in joy and cheer and gladness, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. And men also relate the pleasant tale of

ALI THE PERSIAN.[edit]

It is said that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, being restless one night, sent for his Wazir and said to him, "O Ja'afar, I am sore wakeful and heavy-hearted this night, and I desire of thee what may solace my spirit and cause my breast to broaden with amuse meet." Quoth Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, I have a friend, by name Ali the Persian, who hath store of tales and plea sent stories, such as lighten the heart and make care depart." Quoth the Caliph, "Fetch him to me," and quoth Ja'afar, "Hearkening and obedience;" and, going out from before him, sent to seek Ali the Persian and when he came said to him, "Answer the summons of the Commander of the Faithful." "To hear is to obey," answered Ali;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian replied, "To hear is to obey;" and at once followed the Wazir into the presence of the Caliph who bade him be seated and said to him, "O Ali, my heart is heavy within me this night and it hath come to my ear that thou hast great store of tales and anecdotes; so I desire of thee that thou let me hear what will relieve my despondency and brighten my melancholy." Said he, "O Commander of the Faithful, shall I tell thee what I have seen with my eyes or what I have heard with my ears?" He replied, "An thou have seen aught worth the telling, let me hear that." Replied Ali: "Hearkening and obedience. Know thou, O Commander of the Faithful, that some years ago I left this my native city of Baghdad on a journey, having with me a lad who carried a light leathern bag. Presently we came to a certain city, where, as I was buying and selling, behold, a rascally Kurd fell on me and seized my wallet perforce, saying, 'This is my bag, and all which is in it is my property.' Thereupon, I cried aloud 'Ho Moslems,[211] one and all, deliver me from the hand of the vilest of oppressors!' But the folk said, 'Come, both of you, to the Kazi and abide ye by his judgment with joint consent.' So I agreed to submit myself to such decision and we both presented ourselves before the Kazi, who said, 'What bringeth you hither and what is your case and your quarrel?' Quoth I, 'We are men at difference, who appeal to thee and make complaint and submit ourselves to thy judgment.' Asked the Kazi, 'Which of you is the complainant?'; so the Kurd came forward[212] and said, 'Allah preserve our lord the Kazi! Verily, this bag is my bag and all that is in it is my swag. It was lost from me and I found it with this man mine enemy.' The Kazi asked, 'When didst thou lose it?'; and the Kurd answered, 'But yesterday, and I passed a sleepless night by reason of its loss.' 'An it be thy bag,' quoth the Kazi, 'tell me what is in it.' Quoth the Kurd, 'There were in my bag two silver styles for eye-powder and antimony for the eyes and a kerchief for the hands, wherein I had laid two gilt cups and two candlesticks. Moreover it contained two tents and two platters and two spoons and a cushion and two leather rugs and two ewers and a brass tray and two basins and a cooking-pot and two water- jars and a ladle and a sacking-needle and a she-cat and two bitches and a wooden trencher and two sacks and two saddles and a gown and two fur pelisses and a cow and two calves and a she-goat and two sheep and an ewe and two lambs and two green pavilions and a camel and two she-camels and a lioness and two lions and a she-bear and two jackals and a mattress and two sofas and an upper chamber and two saloons and a portico and two sitting-rooms and a kitchen with two doors and a company of Kurds who will bear witness that the bag is my bag.' Then said the Kazi to me, 'And thou, sirrah, what sayest thou?' So I came forward, O Commander of the Faithful (and indeed the Kurd's speech had bewildered me) and said, 'Allah advance our lord the Kazi! Verily, there was naught in this my wallet, save a little ruined tenement and another without a door and a dog house and a boys' school and youths playing dice and tents and tent-ropes and the cities of Bassorah and Baghdad and the palace of Shaddad bin Ad and an ironsmith's forge and a fishing-net and cudgels and pickets and girls and boys and a thousand pimps who will testify that the bag is my bag.' Now when the Kurd heard my words, he wept and wailed and said, 'O my lord the Kazi, this my bag is known and what is in it is a matter of renown; for in this bag there be castles and citadels and cranes and beasts of prey and men playing chess and draughts. Furthermore, in this my bag is a brood-mare and two colts and a stallion and two blood-steeds and two long lances; and it containeth eke a lion and two hares and a city and two villages and a whore and two sharking panders and an hermaphrodite and two gallows birds and a blind man and two wights with good sight and a limping cripple and two lameters and a Christian ecclesiastic and two deacons and a patriarch and two monks and a Kazi and two assessors, who will be evidence that the bag is my bag.' Quoth the Kazi to me, 'And what sayst thou, O Ali?' So, O Commander of the Faithful, being filled with rage, I came forward and said, 'Allah keep our lord the Kazi!'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian continued: "So being filled with rage, O Commander of the Faithful, I came forward and said, 'Allah keep our lord the Kazi I had in this my wallet a coat of mail and a broadsword and armouries and a thousand fighting rams and a sheep-fold with its pasturage and a thousand barking dogs and gardens and vines and flowers and sweet smelling herbs and figs and apples and statues and pictures and flagons and goblets and fair-faced slave-girls and singing-women and marriage-feasts and tumult and clamour and great tracts of land and brothers of success, which were robbers, and a company of daybreak-raiders with swords and spears and bows and arrows and true friends and dear ones and Intimates and comrades and men imprisoned for punishment and cup-companions and a drum and flutes and flags and banners and boys and girls and brides (in all their wedding bravery), and singing-girls and five Abyssinian women and three Hindi maidens and four damsels of Al-Medinah and a score of Greek girls and eighty Kurdish dames and seventy Georgian ladies and Tigris and Euphrates and a fowling net and a flint and steel and Many-columned Iram and a thousand rogues and pimps and horse-courses and stables and mosques and baths and a builder and a carpenter and a plank and a nail and a black slave with his flageolet and a captain and a caravan leader and towns and cities and an hundred thousand dinars and Cufa and Anbár[213] and twenty chests full of stuffs and twenty storehouses for victuals and Gaza and Askalon and from Damietta to Al-Sawán[214]; and the palace of Kisra Anushirwan and the kingdom of Solomon and from Wadi Nu'umán to the land of Khorasán and Balkh and Ispahán and from India to the Sudán. Therein also (may Allah prolong the life of our lord the Kazi!) are doublets and cloths and a thousand sharp razors to shave off the Kazi's beard, except he fear my resentment and adjudge the bag to be my bag.' Now when the Kazi heard what I and the Kurd avouched, he was confounded and said, 'I see ye twain be none other than two pestilent fellows, atheistical-villains who make sport of Kazis and magistrates and stand not in fear of reproach. Never did tongue tell nor ear hear aught more extraordinary than that which ye pretend. By Allah, from China to Shajarat Umm Ghaylán, nor from Fars to Sudan nor from Wadi Nu'uman to Khorasan, was ever heard the like of what ye avouch or credited the like of what ye affirm. Say, fellows, be this bag a bottomless sea or the Day of Resurrection that shall gather together the just and unjust?' Then the Kazi bade them open the bag; so I opened it and behold, there was in it bread and a lemon and cheese and olives. So I threw the bag down before the Kurd and ganged my gait." Now when the Caliph heard this tale from Ali the Persian, he laughed till he fell on his back and made him a handsome present.[215] And men also relate a

TALE OF HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE SLAVE-GIRL AND THE IMAM ABU YUSUF.[edit]

It is said that Ja'afar the Barmecide was one night carousing with Al Rashid, who said, "O Ja'afar, it hath reached me that thou hast bought such and such a slave-girl. Now I have long sought her for she is passing fair; and my heart is taken up with love of her, so do thou sell her to me." He replied, "I will not sell her, O Commander of the Faithful." Quoth he, "Then give her to me." Quoth the other, "Nor will I give her." Then Al-Rashid exclaimed, "Be Zubaydah triply divorced an thou shall not either sell or give her to me!" Then Ja'afar exclaimed, "Be my wife triply divorced an I either sell or give her to thee!" After awhile they recovered from their tipsiness and were aware of having fallen into a grave dilemma, but knew not by what device to extricate themselves. Then said Al-Rashid, "None can help us in this strait but Abú Yúsuf."[216] So they sent for him, and this was in the middle of the night; and when the messenger reached him, he arose in alarm, saying to himself, "I should not be sent for at this tide and time, save by reason of some question of moment to Al-Islam." So he went out in haste and mounted his she-mule, saying to his servant, "Take the mule's nose-bag with thee; it may be she hath not finished her feed; and when we come to the Caliph's palace, put the bag on her, that she may eat what is left of her fodder, during the last of the night." And the man replied, "I hear and obey." Now when the Imam was admitted to the presence, Al-Rashid rose to receive him and seated him on the couch beside himself (where he was wont to seat none save the Kazi), and said to him, "We have not sent for thee at this untimely time and tide save to advise us upon a grave matter, which is such and such and wherewith we know not how to deal." And he expounded to him the case. Abu Yusuf answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, this is the easiest of things." Then he turned to Ja'afar and said, "O Ja'afar, sell half of her to the Commander of the Faithful and give him the other half; so shall ye both be quit of your oaths." The Caliph was delighted with this and both did as he prescribed. Then said Al-Rashid, "Bring me the girl at once,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid commanded, "Bring me the girl at once, for I long for her exceedingly." So they brought her and the Caliph said to Abu Yusuf, I have a mind to have her forthright, for I cannot bear to abstain from her during the prescribed period of purification; now how is this to be done?" Abu Yusuf replied, "Bring me one of thine own male slaves who hath never been manumitted." So they brought one and Abu Yusuf said, "Give me leave to marry her to him; then let him divorce her before consummation; and thus shall it be lawful for thee to lie with her before purification." This second expedient pleased the Caliph yet more than the first; he sent for the Mameluke and, whenas he came, said to the Kazi "I authorise thee to marry her to him." So the Imam proposed the marriage to the slave, who accepted it, and performed the ceremony; after which he said to the slave, "Divorce her, and thou shalt have an hundred dinars." But he replied, "I won't do this;" and the Imam went on to increase his offer, and the slave to refuse till he bid him a thousand dinars. Then the man asked him, "Doth it rest with me to divorce her, or with thee or with the Commander of the Faithful?" He answered, "It is in thy hand." "Then by Allah," quoth the slave, "I will never do it; no, never!" Hearing these words the Caliph was exceeding wroth and said to the Imam, "What is to be done, O Abu Yusuf?" Replied he, "Be not concerned, O Commander of the Faithful; the thing is easy. Make this slave the damsel's chattel." Quoth Al-Rashid, "I give him to her;" and the Imam said to the girl, "Say: I accept." So she said, I accept;" whereon quoth Abu Yusuf, "I pronounce separation from bed and board and divorce between them, for that he hath become her property, and so the marriage is annulled." With this, Al-Rashid rose to his feet and exclaimed, "It is the like of thee that shall be Kazi in my time." Then he called for sundry trays of gold and emptied them before Abu Yusuf, to whom he said, "Hast thou wherein to put this?" The Imam bethought him of the mule's nose-bag; so he sent for it and, filling it with gold, took it and went home. And on the morrow, he said to his friends, "There is no easier nor shorter road to the goods of this world and the next, than that of religious learning; for, see, I have gotten all this money by answering two or three questions." So consider thou, O polite reader,[217] the pleasantness of this anecdote, for it compriseth divers goodly features, amongst which are the complaisance of Ja'afar to Al Rashid, and the wisdom of the Caliph who chose such a Kazi and the excellent learning of Abu Yusuf, may Almighty Allah have mercy on their souls one and all! And they also tell the

TALE OF THE LOVER WHO FEIGNED HIMSELF A THIEF.[edit]

When Khálid bin Abdallah al-Kasri[218] was Emir of Bassorah, there came to him one day a company of men dragging a youth of exceeding beauty and lofty bearing and perfumed attire; whose aspect expressed good breeding, abundant wit and dignity of the gravest. They brought him before the Governor, who asked what it was and they replied, "This fellow is a thief, whom we caught last night in our dwelling-house." Whereupon Khálid looked at him and was pleased with his well-favouredness and elegant aspect; so he said to the others, "Loose him," and going up to the young man, asked what he had to say for himself. He replied, "Verily the folk have spoken truly and the case is as they have said." Quoth Khálid, "And what moved thee to this and thou so noble of port and comely of mien?" Quoth the other " The lust after worldly goods, and the ordinance of Allah (extolled exalted be He!)." Rejoined Khálid, "Be thy mother bereaved of thee![219] Hadst thou not, in thy fair face and sound sense and good breeding, what should restrain thee from thieving?" Answered the young man, "O Emir, leave this talk and proceed to what Almighty Allah hath ordained; this is what my hands have earned, and, 'God is not unjust towards mankind.'"[220] So Khálid was silent awhile considering the matter then he bade the young man draw near him and said, "Verily, thy confession before witnesses perplexeth me, for I cannot believe thee to be a thief: haply thou hast some story that is other than one of theft; and if so tell it me." Replied the youth "O Emir, imagine naught other than what I have confessed to in thy presence; for I have no tale to tell save that verily I entered these folks' house and stole what I could lay hands on and they caught me and took the stuff from me and carried me before thee." Then Khalid bade clap him in gaol and commended a crier to cry throughout Bassorah, "O yes! O yes! Whoso be minded to look upon the punishment of such an one, the thief, and the cutting-off of his hand, let him be present to- morrow morning at such a place!" Now when the young man found himself in prison, with irons on his feet, he sighed heavily and with tears streaming from his eyes extemporized these couplets,

"When Khálid menaced off to strike my hand * If I refuse to tell
     him of her case;
Quoth I, 'Far, far fro' me that I should tell * A love, which
     ever shall my heart engrace;
Loss of my hand for sin I have confessed * To me were easier than
     to shame her face.'"

The warders heard him and went and told Khálid who, when it was dark night, sent for the youth and conversed with him. He found him clever and well-bred, intelligent, lively and a pleasant companion; so he ordered him food and he ate. Then after an hour's talk said Khálid, "I know indeed thou hast a story to tell that is no thief's; so when the Kazi shall come to-morrow morning and shall question thee about this robbery, do thou deny the charge of theft and avouch what may avert the pain and penalty of cutting off thy hand; for the Apostle (whom Allah bless and keep!) saith, 'In cases of doubt, eschew punishment.'" Then he sent him back to prison,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khálid, after conversing with the youth, sent him back to prison, where he passed the night. And when morning dawned the folk assembled to see his hand cut off, nor was there a soul in Bassorah, man or woman, but was present to look upon the punishment of that handsome youth. Then Khálid mounted in company of the notables of the city and others; and, summoning all four Kazis, sent for the young man, who came hobbling and stumbling in his fetters. There was none saw him but wept over him and the women all lifted up their voices in lamentation as for the dead. Then the Kazi bade silence the women and said to the prisoner, "These folk avouch that thou didst enter their dwelling-house and steal their goods: belike thou stolest less than a quarter dinar[221]?" Replied he, "Nay, I stole that and more." "Peradventure," rejoined the Kazi "thou art partner with the folk in some of the goods?" Quoth the young man; "Not so: it was all theirs, and I had no right in it." At this the Khálid was wroth and rose and smote him on the face with his whip, applying to his own case this couplet,

"Man wills his wish to him accorded be; * But Allah naught accords save what He wills."

Then he called for the butcher to do the work, who came and drew forth his knife and taking the prisoner's hand set the blade to it, when, behold, a damsel pressed through the crowd of women, clad in tattered clothes,[222] and cried out and threw herself on the young man. Then she unveiled and showed a face like the moon whereupon the people raised a mighty clamour and there was like to have been a riot amongst them and a violent scene. But she cried out her loudest, saying, "I conjure thee, by Allah, O Emir, hasten not to cut off this man's hand, till thou have read what is in this scroll!" So saying, she gave him a scroll, and Khálid took it and opened it and read therein these couplets,

"Ah Khálid! this one is a slave of love distraught, * And these
     bowed eye-lashes sent shaft that caused his grief:
Shot him an arrow sped by eyes of mine, for he, * Wedded to
     burning love of ills hath no relief:
He hath avowed a deed he never did, the while * Deeming this
     better than disgrace of lover fief:
Bear then, I pray, with this distracted lover mine * Whose noble
     nature falsely calls himself a thief!"

When Khálid had read these lines he withdrew himself from the people and summoned the girl and questioned her; and she told him that the young man was her lover and she his mistress; and that thinking to visit her he came to the dwelling of her people and threw a stone into the house, to warn her of his coming. Her father and brothers heard the noise of the stone and sallied out on him; but he, hearing them coming, caught up all the household stuff and made himself appear a robber to cover his mistress's honour. "Now when they saw him they seized him (continued she), crying:—A thief! and brought him before thee, whereupon he confessed to the robbery and persisted in his confession, that he might spare me disgrace; and this he did, making himself a thief, of the exceeding nobility and generosity of his nature." Khálid answered, "He is indeed worthy to have his desire;" and, calling the young man to him, kissed him between the eyes. Then he sent for the girl's father and bespoke him, saying, "O Shaykh, we thought to carry out the law of mutilation in the case of this young man; but Allah (to whom be Honour and Glory!) hath preserved us from this, and I now adjudge him the sum of ten thousand dirhams, for that he would have given his hand for the preservation of thine honour and that of thy daughter and for the sparing of shame to you both. Moreover, I adjudge other ten thousand dirhams to thy daughter, for that she made known to me the truth of the case; and I ask thy leave to marry her to him." Rejoined the old man, "O Emir, thou hast my consent." So Khálid praised Allah and thanked Him and improved the occasion by preaching a goodly sermon and a prayerful;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khálid praised Allah and thanked Him and improved the occasion by preaching a goodly sermon and a prayerful; after which he said to the young man, "I give thee to wife the damsel, such an one here present, with her own permission and her father's consent; and her wedding settlement shall be this money, to wit, ten thousand dirhams." "I accept this marriage at thy hands," replied the youth; and Khálid bade them carry the money on brass trays in procession to the young man's house, whilst the people dispersed, fully satisfied. "And surely (quoth he who tells the tale[223]) never saw I a rarer day than this, for that it began with tears and annoy; and it ended with smiles and joy." And in contrast of this story is this piteous tale of

JA'AFAR THE BARMECIDE AND THE BEAN SELLER.[edit]

When Harun al-Rashid crucified Ja'afar the Barmecide[224] he commended that all who wept or made moan for him should also be crucified; so the folk abstained from that. Now it chanced that a wild Arab, who dwelt in a distant word, used every year to bring to the aforesaid Ja'afar an ode[225] in his honour, for which he rewarded him with a thousand dinars; and the Badawi took them and, returning to his own country, lived upon them, he and his family, for the rest of the year. Accordingly, he came with his ode at the wonted time and, finding that Ja'afar had been crucified, betook himself to the place where his body was hanging, and there made his camel kneel down and wept with sore weeping and mourned with grievous mourning; and he recited his ode and fell asleep. Presently Ja'afar the Barmecide appeared to him in a vision and said, "Verily thou hast wearied thyself to come to us and findest us as thou seest; but go to Bassorah and ask for a man there whose name is such and such, one of the merchants of the town, and say to him, 'Ja'afar, the Barmecide, saluteth thee and biddeth thee give me a thousand dinars, by the token of the bean.'" Now when the wild Arab awoke, he repaired to Bassorah, where he sought out the merchant and found him and repeated to him what Ja'afar had said in the dream; whereupon he wept with weeping so sore that he was like to depart the world. Then he welcomed the Badawi and seated him by his side and made his stay pleasant and entertained him three days as an honoured guest; and when he was minded to depart he gave him a thousand and five hundred dinars, saying, "The thousand are what is commanded to thee, and the five hundred are a gift from me to thee; and every year thou shalt have of me a thousand gold pieces." Now when the Arab was about to take leave, he said to the merchant, "Allah upon thee, tell me the story of the bean, that I may know the origin of all this." He answered: "In the early part of my life I was poor and hawked hot beans[226] about the streets of Baghdad to keep me alive. So I went out one raw and rainy day, without clothes enough on my body to protect me from the weather; now shivering for excess of cold and now stumbling into the pools of rain-water, and altogether in so piteous a plight as would make one shudder with goose-skin to look upon. But it chanced that Ja'afar that day was seated with his officers and his concubines, in an upper chamber overlooking the street when his eyes fell on me; so he took pity on my case and, sending one of his dependents to fetch me to him, said as soon as he saw me, 'Sell thy beans to my people.' So I began to mete out the beans with a measure I had by me; and each who took a measure of beans filled the measure with gold pieces till all my store was gone and my basket was clean empty. Then I gathered together the gold I had gotten, and Ja'afar said to me, 'Hast thou any beans left?' 'I know not,' answered I, and then sought in the basket, but found only one bean. So Ja'afar took from me the single bean and, splitting it in twain, kept one half himself and gave the other to one of his concubines, saying, 'For how much wilt thou buy this half bean?' She replied, 'For the tale of all this gold twice-told;' whereat I was confounded and said to myself, 'This is impossible.' But, as I stood wondering, behold, she gave an order to one of her hand-maids and the girl brought me the sum of the collected monies twice-told. Then said Ja'afar, 'And I will buy the half I have by me for double the sum of the whole,' presently adding, 'Now take the price of thy bean.' And he gave an order to one of his servants, who gathered together the whole of the money and laid it in my basket; and I took it and went my ways. Then I betook myself to Bassorah, where I traded with the monies and Allah prospered me amply, to Him be the praise and the thanks! So, if I give thee every year a thousand dinars of the bounty of Ja'afar, it will in no wise injure me. Consider then the munificence of Ja'afar's nature and how he was praised both alive and dead, the mercy of Allah Almighty be upon him! And men also recount the tale of

ABU MOHAMMED HIGHT LAZYBONES.[edit]

It is told that Harun al-Rashid was sitting one day on the throne of the Caliphate, when there came in to him a youth of his eunuchry, bearing a crown of red gold, set with pearls and rubies and all manner of other gems and jewels, such as money might not buy; and, bussing the ground between his hands, said, "O Commander of the Faithful, the Lady Zubaydah kisseth the earth before thee"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. Whereupon quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How pleasant is thy tale and profitable; and how sweet is thy speech and how delectable!" "And where is this," replied Shahrazad, "compared with what I shall tell you next night an I live and the King grant me leave!" Thereupon quoth the King to himself, "By Allah, I will not slay her until I hear the end of her tale."

When it was the Three Hundredth Night,

Quoth Dunyazad, "favour us, O my sister, with thy tale," and she replied, 'With joy and good will, if the King accord me leave;" whereupon the King said, "Tell thy tale, O Shahrazad." So she pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth said to the Caliph, "The Lady Zubaydah kisseth the earth before thee and saith to thee, Thou knowest she hath bidden make this crown, which lacketh a great jewel for its dome-top; and she hath made search among her treasures, but cannot find a jewel of size to suit her mind." Quoth the Caliph to his Chamberlains and Viceregents, Make search for a great jewel, such as Zubaydah desireth." So they sought, but found nothing befitting her and told the Caliph who, vexed and annoyed thereat, exclaimed, "How am I Caliph and King of the Kings of the earth and cannot find so small a matter as a jewel? Woe to you! Ask of the merchants." So they enquired of the traders, who replied, "Our lord the Caliph will not find a jewel such as he requireth save with a man of Bassorah, by name Abú Mohammed highs Lazybones." Thereupon they acquainted the Caliph with this and he bade his Wazir Ja'afar send a note to the Emir Mohammed al-Zubaydí, Governor of Bassorah, commanding him to equip Abu Mohammed Lazybones and bring him into the presence of the Commander of the Faithful. The Minister accordingly wrote a note to that effect and despatched it by Masrur, who set out forthright for the city of Bassorah, and went in to the Emir Mohammed al-Zubaydi, who rejoiced in him and treated him with the high-most honour. Then Masrur read him the mandate of the Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid, to which he replied, "I hear and I obey," and forthwith despatched him, with a company of his followers, to Abu Mohammed's house. When they reached it, they knocked at the door, whereupon a page came out and Masrur said to him, "Tell thy lord, The Commander of the Faithful summoneth thee." The servant went in and told his master, who came out and found Masrur, the Caliph's Chamberlain, and a company of the Governor's men at the door. So he kissed ground before Masrur and said, "I hear and obey the summons of the Commander of the Faithful; but first enter ye my house." They replied, "We cannot do that, save in haste; even as the Prince of True Believers commanded us, for he awaiteth thy coming." But he said, "Have patience with me a little, till I set my affairs in order." So after much pressure and abundant persuasion, they entered the house with him and found the vestibule hung with curtains of azure brocade, purfled with red gold, and Abu Mohammed Lazybones bade one of his servants carry Masrur to the private Hammam. Now this bath was in the house and Masrur found its walls and floors of rare and precious marbles, wrought with gold and silver, and its waters mingled with rose-water. Then the servants served Masrur and his company with the perfection of service; and, on their going forth of the Hammam, clad them in robes of honour, brocade-work interwoven with gold. And after leaving the bath Masrur and his men went in to Abu Mohammed Lazybones and found him seated in his upper chamber; and over his head hung curtains of gold-brocade, wrought with pearls and jewels, and the pavilion was spread with cushions, embroidered in red gold. Now the owner was sitting softly upon a quilted cloth covering a settee inlaid with stones of price; and, when he saw Masrur, he went forward to meet him and bidding him welcome, seated him by his side. Then he called for the food-trays; so they brought them, and when Masrur saw the tables, he exclaimed, "By Allah, never did I behold the like of these appointments in the palace of the Commander of the Faithful!" For indeed the trays contained every manner of meat all served in dishes of gilded porcelain.[227] "So we ate and drank and made merry till the end of the day (quoth Masrur) when the host gave to each and every of us five thousand dinars, and on the morrow he clad us in dresses of honour of green and gold and entreated us with the utmost worship." Then said Masrur to him, "We can tarry no longer for fear of the Caliph's displeasure." Answered Abu Mohammed Lazybones, "O my lord, have patience with us till the morrow, that we may equip ourselves, and we will then depart with you." So they tarried with him that day and slept the night; and next morning Abu Mohammed's servants saddled him a she mule with selle and trappings of gold, set with all manner of pearls and stones of price; whereupon quoth Masrur to himself, "I wonder, when Abu Mohammed shall present himself in such equipage, if the Caliph will ask him how he came by all this wealth." Thereupon they took leave of Al-Zubaydi and, setting out from Bassorah, fared on, without ceasing to fare till they reached Baghdad-city and presented themselves before the Caliph, who bade Abu Mohammed be seated. He sat down and addressed the Caliph in courtly phrase, saying, "O Commander of the Faithful, I have brought with me an humble offering by way of homage: have I thy gracious permission to produce it?" Al-Rashid replied, "There is no harm in that,"[228] whereupon Abu Mohammed bade his men bring in a chest, from which he took a number of rarities, and amongst the rest, trees of gold with leaves of white emeraid,[229] and fruits of pigeon blood rubies and topazes and new pearls and bright. And as the Caliph was struck with admiration he fetched a second chest and brought out of it a tent of brocade, crowned with pearls and jacinths and emeralds and jaspers and other precious stones; its poles were of freshly cut Hindi aloes-wood, and its skirts were set with the greenest smaragds. Thereon were depicted all manner of animals such as beasts and birds, spangled with precious stones, rubies, emeralds, chrysolites and balasses and every kind of precious metal. Now when Al-Rashid saw these things, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and Abu Mohammed Lazybones said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, deem not that I have brought these to thee, fearing aught or coveting anything; but I knew myself to be but a man of the people and that such things befitted none save the Commander of the Faithful. And now, with thy leave, I will show thee, for thy diversion, something of what I can do." Al-Rashid replied, "Do what thou wilt, that we may see." "To hear is to obey," said Abu Mohammed and, moving his lips, beckoned the palace battlements,[230] whereupon they inclined to him; then he made another sign to them, and they returned to their place. Presently he made a sign with his eye, and there appeared before him closets with closed doors, to which he spoke, and lo! the voices of birds answered him from within. The Caliph marvelled with passing marvel at this and said to him, "How camest thou by all this, seeing that thou art known only as Abu Mohammed Lazybones, and they tell me that thy father was a cupper serving in a public Hammam, who left thee nothing?" Whereupon he answered, "Listen to my story" And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Mohammed Lazybones thus spake to the Caliph: "O Prince of True Believers, listen to my story, for it is a marvellous and its particulars are wondrous; were it graven with graver-needles upon the eye-corners it were a warner to whose would be warned." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Let us hear all thou hast to say, O Abu Mohammed!" So he began "Know then, O Commander of the Faithful (Allah prolong to thee glory and dominion!), the report of the folk; that I am known as the Lazybones and that my father left me nothing, is true; for he was, as thou hast said, nothing but a barber-cupper in a Hammam. And I throughout my youth was the idlest wight on the face of the earth; indeed, so great was my sluggishness that, if I lay at full length in the sultry season and the sun came round upon me, I was too lazy to rise and remove from the sun to the shade. And thus I abode till I reached my fifteenth year, when my father deceased in the mercy of Allah Almighty and left me nothing. However, my mother used to go out a-charing and feed me and give me to drink, whilst I lay on my side. Now it came to pass that one day she came in to me with five silver dirhams, and said to me, 'O my son, I hear that Shaykh Abú al-Muzaffar[231] is about to go a voyage to China.' (Now this Shaykh was a good and charitable man who loved the poor.) 'So come, my son, take these five silver bits; and let us both carry them to him and beg him to buy thee therewith somewhat from the land of China; so haply thou mayst make a profit of it by the bounty of Allah, whose name be exalted!' I was too idle to move for her; but she swore by the Almighty that, except I rose and went with her, she would bring me neither meat nor drink nor come in to me, but would leave me to die of hunger and thirst. Now when I heard her words, O Commander of the Faithful, I knew she would do as she threatened for her knowledge of my sluggishness; so I said to her, 'Help me to sit up.' She did so, and I wept the while and said to her, 'Bring me my shoes.' Accordingly, she brought them and I said, 'Put them on my feet.' She put them on my feet and I said, 'Lift me up off the ground.' So she lifted me up and I said, 'Support me, that I may walk.' So she supported me and I continued to fare a foot, at times stumbling over my skirts, till we came to the river bank, where we saluted the Shaykh and I said to him, 'O my uncle, art thou Abu al-Muzaffar?' 'At thy service,' answered he, and I, 'Take these dirhams and with them buy me somewhat from the land of China: haply Allah may vouchsafe me a profit of it.' Quoth the Shaykh to his companions, 'Do ye know this youth?' They answered, 'Yes, he is known as Abu Mohammed Lazybones, and we never saw him stir from his house till this moment.' Then said he to me, 'O my son, give me the silver with the blessing of Almighty Allah!' So he took the money, saying, 'Bismillah in the name of Allah!' and I returned home with my mother. Presently Shaykh Abu al-Muzaffar set sail, with a company of merchants, and stayed not till they reached the land of China, where he and his bought and sold; and, having won what they wished, set out on their homeward voyage. When they had been three days at sea, the Shaykh said to his company, 'Stay the vessel!' They asked, 'What dost thou want?' and he answered, 'Know that I have forgotten the commission wherewith Abu Mohammed Lazybones charged me; so let us turn back that we may lay out his money on somewhat whereby he may profit.' They cried, 'We conjure thee, by Allah Almighty turn not back with us; for we have traversed a long distance and a sore, and while so doing we have endured sad hardship and many terrors.' Quoth he, 'There is no help for it but we return;' and they said, 'Take from us double the profit of the five dirhams, and turn us not back.' He agreed to this and they collected for him an ample sum of money. Thereupon they sailed on, till they came to an island wherein was much people; when they moored thereto and the merchants went ashore, to buy thence a stock of precious metals and pearls and jewels and so forth. Presently Abu al-Muzaffar saw a man seated, with many apes before him, and amongst them one whose hair had been plucked off; and as often as their owner's attention was diverted from them, the other apes fell upon the plucked one and beat him and threw him on their master; whereupon the man rose and bashed them and bound them and punished them for this; and all the apes were wroth with the plucked ape on this account and funded him the more. When Shaykh Abu al-Muzaffar saw this, he felt for and took compassion upon the plucked ape and said to his master, 'Wilt thou sell me yonder monkey?' Replied the man, 'Buy,' and Abu al-Muzaffar rejoined, 'I have with me five dirhams, belonging to an orphan lad. Wilt thou sell it me for that sum?' Answered the monkey-merchant, 'It is a bargain; and Allah give thee a blessing of him!' So he made over the beast and received his money; and the Shaykh's slaves took the ape and tied him up in the ship. Then they loosed sail and made for another island, where they cast anchor; and there came down divers, who plunged for precious stones, pearls and other gems; so the merchants hired them to dive for money and they dived. Now when the ape saw them doing this, he loosed himself from his bonds and, jumping off the ship's side, plunged with them, whereupon quoth Abu al-Muzaffar, 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! The monkey is lost to us with the luck of the poor fellow for whom we bought him.' And they despaired of him; but, after a while, the company of divers rose to the surface, and behold, among them was the ape, with his hands full of jewels of price, which he threw down before Abu al-Muzaffar. The Shaykh marvelled at this and said, 'There is much mystery in this monkey!' Then they cast off and sailed till they came to a third island, called the Isle of the Zunúj,[232] who are a people of the blacks, which eat the flesh of the sons of Adam. When the blacks saw them, they boarded them in dug-outs[233] and, taking all in the vessel, pinioned them and carried them to their King, who bade slaughter certain of the merchants. So they slaughtered them by cutting their throats and ate their flesh; and the rest of the traders passed the night in bonds and were in sore concern. But when it was midnight, the ape arose and going up to Abu al-Muzaffar, loosed his bonds; and, as the others saw him free, they said, 'Allah grant our deliverance may be at thy hands, O Abu al-Muzaffar!' But he replied, 'Know that he who delivered me, by leave of Allah Almighty, was none other than this monkey'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al-Muzaffar declared, "None loosed me, by leave of Allah Al-mighty, save this monkey and I buy my release of him at a thousand dinars!" whereupon the merchants rejoined, 'And we likewise, each and every, will pay him a thousand dinars if he release us.' With this the ape arose and went up to them and loosed their bonds one by one, till he had freed them all, when they made for the vessel and boarding her, found all safe and nothing missing from her. So they cast off and set sail; and presently Abu al-Muzaffar said to them, 'O merchants, fulfil your promise to the monkey.' 'We hear and we obey,' answered they; and each one paid him one thousand dinars, whilst Abu al-Muzaffar brought out to him the like sum of his own monies, so that a great heap of coin was collected for the ape. Then they fared on till they reached Bassorah-city where their friends came out to meet them; and when they had landed, the Shaykh said, 'Where is Abu Mohammed Lazybones?' The news reached my mother, who came to me as I lay asleep and said to me, 'O my son, verily the Shaykh Abu al-Muzaffar hath come back and is now in the city; so rise and go thou to him and salute him and enquire what he hath brought thee; it may be Allah Almighty have opened to thee the door of fortune with somewhat.' Quoth I, 'Lift me from the ground and prop me up, whilst I go forth and walk to the river bank.' After which I went out and walked on, stumbling over my skirts, till I met the Shaykh, who exclaimed at sight of me, 'Welcome to him whose money hath been the means of my release and that of these merchants, by the will of Almighty Allah.' Then he continued, 'Take this monkey I bought for thee and carry him home and wait till I come to thee.' So I took the ape and went off, saying in my mind, 'By Allah, this is naught but rare merchandise!' and led it home, where I said to my mother, 'Whenever I lie down to sleep, thou biddest me rise and trade; see now this merchandise with thine own eyes.' Then I sat me down and as I sat, up came the slaves of Abu al-Muzaffar and said to me, 'Art thou Abu Mohammed Lazybones?' 'Yes' answered I; and behold, Abu al-Muzaffar appeared behind them. So I rose up to him and kissed his hands: and he said, 'Come with me to my home.' 'Hearkening and obedience,' answered I and accompanied him to his house, where he bade his servants bring me what money the monkey had earned for me. So they brought it and he said to me, 'O my son, Allah hath blessed thee with this wealth, by way of profit on thy five dirhams.' Then the slaves set down the treasure in chests, which they had carried on their heads, and Abu al-Muzaffar gave me the keys saying, 'Go before the slaves to thy house; for in sooth all this wealth is thine.' So I returned to my mother, who rejoiced in this and said to me, 'O my son, Allah hath blessed thee with all these riches; so put off thy laziness and go down to the bazar and sell and buy.' At once I shook off my dull sloth, and opened a shop in the bazar, where the ape used to sit on the same divan with me eating with me when I ate and drinking when I drank. But, every day, he was absent from dawn till noon, when he came back bringing with him a purse of a thousand dinars, which he laid by my side, and sat down; and he ceased not so doing for a great while, till I amassed much wealth, wherewith, O Commander of the Faithful, I purchased houses and lands, and I planted gardens and I bought me white slaves and negroes and concubines. Now it came to pass one day, as I sat in my shop, with the ape sitting at my side on the same carpet, behold, he began to turn right and left, and I said to myself, 'What aileth the beast?' Then Allah made the ape speak with a ready tongue, and he said to me, 'O Abu Mohammed!' Now when I heard him speak, I was sore afraid; but he said to me, 'Fear not; I will tell thee my case. I am a Marid of the Jinn and came to thee because of thy poor estate; but today thou knowest not the amount of thy wealth; and now I have need of thee and if thou do my will, it shall be well for thee.' I asked, 'What is it?' and he answered, 'I have a mind to marry thee to a girl like the full moon.' Quoth I, 'How so?'; and quoth he, 'Tomorrow don thou thy richest dress and mount thy mule, with the saddle of gold and ride to the Haymarket. There enquire for the shop of the Sharif[234] and sit down beside him and say to him, 'I come to thee as a suitor craving thy daughter's hand.' 'If he say to thee, 'Thou hast neither cash nor rank nor family'; pull out a thousand dinars and give them to him, and if he ask more, give him more and tempt him with money.' Whereto I replied, 'To hear is to obey; I will do thy bidding, Inshallah!' So on the next morning I donned my richest clothes, mounted my she mule with trappings of gold and rode to the Haymarket where I asked for the Sharif's shop, and finding him there seated, alighted and saluted him and seated myself beside him"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Mohammed Lazybones continued: "So I alighted and, saluting him, seated myself beside him, and my Mamelukes and negro-slaves stood before me. Said the Sharif, 'Haply, thou hast some business with us which we may have pleasure of transacting?' Replied I, 'Yes, I have business with thee.' Asked he, 'And what is it?'; and I answered, 'I come to thee as a suitor for thy daughter's hand.' So he said, 'Thou hast neither cash nor rank nor family;' whereupon I pulled him out a purse of a thousand dinars, red gold, and said to him, 'This is my rank[235] and my family; and he (whom Allah bless and keep!) hath said, The best of ranks is wealth. And how well quoth the poet,

'Whoso two dithams hath, his lips have learnt * Speech of all
     kinds with eloquence bedight:
Draw near[236] his brethren and crave ear of him, * And him
     thou seest haught in pride-full height:
Were 't not for dirhams wherein glories he, * Hadst found him
     'mid man kind in sorry plight.
When richard errs in words they all reply, * "Sooth thou hast
     spoken and hast said aright!"
When pauper speaketh truly all reply * 'Thou liest;' and they
     hold his sayings light.[237]
Verily dirhams in earth's every stead * Clothe men with rank and
     make them fair to sight
Gold is the very tongue of eloquence; * Gold is the best of arms
     for might who'd fight!'

Now when the Sharif heard these my words and understood my verse, he bowed his head awhile groundwards then raising it, said, 'If it must be so, I will have of thee other three thousand gold pieces.' 'I hear and I obey,' answered I, and sent one of my Mamelukes home for the money. As soon as he came back with it, I handed it to the Sharif who, when he saw it in his hands, rose, and bidding his servants shut his shop, invited his brother merchants of the bazar the wedding; after which he carried me to his house and wrote out my contract of marriage with his daughter saying to me, 'After ten days, I will bring thee to pay her the first visit.' So I went home rejoicing and, shutting myself up with the ape, told him what had passed; and he said 'Thou hast done well.' Now when the time appointed by the Sharif drew near, the ape said to me, 'There is a thing I would have thee do for me; and thou shalt have of me (when it is done) whatso thou wilt.' I asked, 'What is that?' and he answered, 'At the upper end of the chamber wherein thou shalt meet thy bride, the Sharif's daughter, stands a cabinet, on whose door is a ring-padlock of copper and the keys under it. Take the keys and open the cabinet in which thou shalt find a coffer of iron with four flags, which are talismans, at its corners; and in its midst stands a brazen basin full of money, wherein is tied a white cock with a cleft comb; while on one side of the coffer are eleven serpents and on the other a knife. Take the knife and slaughter the cock; cut away the flags and upset the chest, then go back to the bride and do away her maidenhead. This is what I have to ask of thee.' 'Hearkening and obedience,' answered I, and betook myself to the house of the Sharif. So as soon as I entered the bride-chamber, I looked for the cabinet and found it even as the ape had described it. Then I went in unto the bride and marvelled at her beauty and loveliness and stature and symmetrical-grace, for indeed they were such as no tongue can set forth. I rejoiced in her with exceeding joy; and in the middle of the night, when my bride slept, I rose and, taking the keys, opened the cabinet. Then I seized the knife and slew the cock and threw down the flags and upset the coffer, whereupon the girl awoke and, seeing the closet open and the cock with cut throat, exclaimed, 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! The Marid hath got hold of me!' Hardly had she made an end of speaking, when the Marid swooped down upon the house and, snatching up the bride, flew away with her; whereupon there arose a mighty clamour and behold, in came the Sharif, buffetting his face and crying, 'O Abu Mohammed, what is this deed thou hast done? Is it thus thou requiitest us? I made this talisman in the cabinet fearing for my daughter from this accursed one who, for these six years, hath sought to steal-away the girl, but could not. But now there is no more abiding for thee with us, so wend thy ways.' Thereupon I went forth and returned to my own house, where I made search for the ape but could not find him nor any trace of him; whereby I knew that it was he who was the Marid, and that he had carried off my wife and had tricked me into destroying the talisman and the cock, the two things which hindered him from taking her, and I repented, rending my raiment and cuffing my face. And there was no land but was straitened upon me; so I made for the desert forthright and ceased not wandering on till night overtook me, for I knew not whither I was going. And whilst I was deep in sad thought behold, I met two serpents, one tawny and the other white, and they were fighting to kill each other. So I took up a stone and with one cast slew the tawny serpent, which was the aggressor; whereupon the white serpent glided away and was absent for a while, but presently she returned accompanied by ten other white serpents which glided up to the dead serpent and tore her in pieces, so that only the head was left. Then they went their ways and I fell prostrate for weariness on the ground where I stood; but as I lay, pondering my case lo! I heard a Voice though I saw no one and the Voice versified with these two couplets,

'Let Fate with slackened bridle fare her pace, * Nor pass the
     night with mind which cares an ace
Between eye-closing and its opening, * Allah can foulest change
     to fairest case.'

Now when I heard this, O Commander of the Faithful, great concern get hold of me and I was beyond measure troubled, and behold, I heard a Voice from behind me extemporise these couplets,

'O Moslem! thou whose guide is Alcorán, * Joy in what brought
     safe peace to thee, O man.
Fear not what Satan haply whispered thee, * And in us see a
     Truth-believing

Then said I, 'I conjure thee, by the truth of Him thou wore shippest, let me know who thou art!' Thereupon the Invisible Speaker assumed the form of a man and said, 'Fear not; for the report of thy good deed hath reached us, and we are a people of the true-believing Jinn. So, if thou lack aught, let us know it that we may have the pleasure of fulfilling thy want.' Quoth I, 'Indeed I am in sore need, for I am afflicted with a grievous affliction and no one was ever afflicted as I am!' Quoth he, 'Perchance thou art Abu Mohammed Lazybones?' and I replied, 'Yes.' He rejoined, 'I, O Abu Mohammed, am the brother of the white serpent, whose foe thou slewest, we are four brothers by one father and mother, and we are all indebted to thee for thy kindness. And know thou that he who played this trick on thee in the likeness of an ape, is a Marid of the Marids of the Jinn; and had he not used this artifice, he had never been able to get the girl; for he hath loved her and had a mind to take her this long while, but he was hindered of that talisman; and had it remained as it was, he could never have found access to her. However, fret not thyself for that; we will bring thee to her and kill the Marid; for thy kindness is not lost upon us.' Then he cried out with a terrible outcry"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit continued, "'Verily thy kindness is not lost upon us.' Then he cried out with a terrible outcry in a horrible voice, and behold, there appeared a troop of the Jinn, of whom he enquired concerning the ape; and one of them said, 'I know his abiding- place;' and the other asked 'Where abideth he?' Said the speaker 'He is in the City of Brass whereon sun riseth not.' Then said the first Jinni to me, 'O Abu Mohammed, take one of these our slaves, and he will carry thee on his back and teach thee how thou shalt get back the girl; but know that this slave is a Marid of the Marids and beware, whilst he is carrying thee, lest thou utter the name of Allah, or he will flee from thee and thou wilt fall and be destroyed.' 'I hear and obey,' answered I and chose out one of the slaves, who bent down and said to me, 'Mount.' So I mounted on his back, and he flew up with me into the firmament, till I lost sight of the earth and saw the stars as they were the mountains of earth fixed and firm[238] and heard the angels crying, ' Praise be to Allah,' in heaven while the Marid held me in converse, diverting me and hindering me from pronouncing the name of Almighty Allah.[239] But, as we flew, behold, One clad in green raiment,[240] with streaming tresses and radiant face, holding in his hand a javelin whence flew sparks of fire, accosted me, saying, 'O Abu Mohammed, say:—There is no god but the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God; or I will smite thee with this javelin.' Now already I felt heart-broken by my forced silence as regards calling on the name of Allah; so I said, 'There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is the Apostle of God. Whereupon the shining One smote the Marid with his javelin and he melted away and became ashes; whilst I was thrown from his back and fell headlong towards the earth, till I dropped into the midst of a dashing sea, swollen with clashing surge. And behold I fell hard by a ship with five sailors therein, who seeing me, made for me and took me up into the vessel; and they began to speak to me in some speech I knew not; but I signed to them that I understood not their speech. So they fared on till the last of the day, when they cast out a net and caught a great fish and they broiled it and gave me to eat; after which they ceased not sailing on till they reached their city and carried me to their King and set me in his presence. So I kissed ground before him, and he bestowed on me a dress of honour and said to me in Arabic (which he knew well), 'I appoint thee one of my officers.' Thereupon I asked him the name of the city, and he replied, 'It is called Hanád[241] and is in the land of China.' Then he committed me to his Wazir, bidding him show me the city, which was formerly peopled by Infidels, till Almighty Allah turned them into stones; and there I abode a month's space, diverting myself with viewing the place, nor saw I ever greater plenty of trees and fruits than there. And when this time had past, one day, as I sat on the bank of a river, behold, there accosted me a horseman, who said to me, 'Art thou not Abu Mohammed Lazybones?' 'Yes,' answered I; whereupon, he said, 'Fear not, for the report of thy good deed hath reached us.' Asked I, 'Who art thou?' and he answered, 'I am a brother of the white serpent, and thou art hard by the place where is the damsel whom thou seekest.' So saying, he took off his clothes and clad me therein, saying, 'Fear not, for the slave who perished under thee was one of our slaves.' Then the horseman took me up behind him and rode on with me to a desert place, when he said, 'Dismount now and walk on between these two mountains, till thou seest the City of Brass;[242] then halt afar off and enter it not, ere I return to thee and tell thee how thou shalt do.' 'To hear is to obey,' replied I and, dismounting from behind him, walked on till I came to the city, the walls whereof I found of brass. Then I began to pace round about it, hoping to find a gate, but found none; and presently as I persevered, behold, the serpent's brother rejoined me and gave me a charmed sword which should hinder any from seeing me,[243] then went his way. Now he had been gone but a little while, when lo! I heard a noise of cries and found myself in the midst of a multitude of folk whose eyes were in their breasts; and seeing me quoth they, 'Who art thou and what cast thee into this place?' So I told them my story, and they said, 'The girl thou seekest is in this city with the Marid; but we know not what he hath done with her. Now we are brethren of the white serpent,' adding, 'Go thou to yonder spring and note where the water entereth, and enter thou with it; for it will bring thee into the city.' I did as they bade me, and followed the water-course, till it brought me to a Sardab, a vaulted room under the earth, from which I ascended and found myself in the midst of the city. Here I saw the damsel seated upon a throne of gold, under a canopy of brocade, girt round by a garden full of trees of gold, whose fruits were jewels of price, such as rubies and chrysolites, pearls and coral. And the moment she saw me, she knew me and accosted me with the Moslem salutation, saying, 'O my lord, who guided thee hither?' So I told her all that had passed, and she said, 'Know, that the accursed Marid, of the greatness of his love for me, hath told me what bringeth him bane and what bringeth him gain; and that there is here a talisman by means whereof he could, an he would, destroy the city and all that are therein; and whoso possesseth it, the Ifrits will do his commandment in everything. It standeth upon a pillar'—Whereat I asked her, 'And where is the pillar?' and she answered, 'It is in such a place.' 'And what manner of thing may the talisman be?' said I: said she, 'It is in the semblance of a vulture[244] and upon it is a writing which I cannot read. So go thou thither and seize it, and set it before thee and, taking a chafing dish, throw into it a little musk, whereupon there will arise a smoke which will draw the Ifrits to thee, and they will all present themselves before thee, nor shall one be absent; also they shall be subject to thy word and, whatsoever thou biddest them, that will they do. Arise therefore and fall to this thing, with the blessing of Almighty Allah.' I answered, 'Hearkening and obedience' and, going to the column, did as she bade me, where- upon the Ifrits all presented themselves before me saying, 'Here are we, O our lord! Whatsoever thou biddest us, that will we do.' Quoth I, 'Bind the Marid who brought the damsel hither from her home.' Quoth they, 'We hear and obey,' and off they flew and bound that Marid in straitest bonds and returned after a while, saying, 'We have done thy bidding.' Then I dismissed them and, repairing to my wife, told her what had happened and said to her, 'O my bride, wilt thou go with me?' 'Yes,' answered she. So I carried her forth of the vaulted chamber whereby I had entered the city and we fared on, till we fell in with the folk who had shown me the way to find her." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that he continued on this wise: "And we fared on till we fell in with the folk who had shown me the way to her. So I said to them, 'Point me out a path which shall lead me to my home,' and they did accordingly, and brought us a-foot to the sea-shore and set us aboard a vessel which sailed on before us with a fair wind, till we reached Bassorah-city. And when we entered the house of my father-in-law and her people saw my wife, they rejoiced with exceeding joy. Then I fumigated the vulture with musk and lo! the Ifrits flocked to me from all sides, saying, 'At thy service what wilt thou have us do?' So I bade them transport all that was in the City of Brass of monies and noble metals and stones of price to my house in Bassorah, which they did; and I then ordered them to bring me the ape. They brought him before me, abject and contemptible, and I said to him, 'O accursed, why hast thou dealt thus perfidiously with me?' Then I com mended the Ifrits to shut him in a brazen vessel[245] so they put him in a brazen cucurbite and sealed it with lead. But I abode with my wife in joy and delight; and now, O Commander of the Faithful, I have under my hand precious things in such measure and rare jewels and other treasure and monies on such wise as neither reckoning may express nor may limits comprise; and, if thou lust after wealth or aught else, I will command the Jinn at once to do thy desire. But all this is of the bounty of Almighty Allah." Thereupon the Commander of the Faithful wondered greatly and bestowed on him imperial gifts, in exchange for his presents, and entreated him with the favour he deserved. And men also tell the tale of the

GENEROUS DEALING OF YAHYA BIN KHALID THE BARMECIDE WITH MANSUR.[edit]

It is told that Harun al-Rashid, in the days before he became jealous of the Barmecides, sent once for one of his guards, Salih by name, and said to him, "O Sálih, go to Mansúr[246] and say to him: 'Thou owest us a thousand thousand dirhams and we require of thee immediate payment of this amount.' And I command thee, O Salih, unless he pay it between this hour and sundown, sever his head from his body and bring it to me." "To hear is to obey," answered Salih and, going to Mansur, acquainted him with what the Caliph had said, whereupon quoth he, "I am a lost man, by Allah; for all my estate and all my hand owneth, if sold for their utmost value, would not fetch a price of more than an hundred thousand dirhams. Whence then, O Salih, shall I get the other nine hundred thousand?" Salih replied, "Contrive how thou mayst speedily acquit thyself, else thou art a dead man; for I cannot grant thee an eye-twinkling of delay after the time appointed me by the Caliph; nor can I fail of aught which the Prince of True Believers hath enjoined on me. Hasten, therefore, to devise some means of saving thyself ere the time expire." Quoth Mansur, "O Salih, I beg thee of thy favour to bring me to my house, that I may take leave of my children and family and give my kinsfolk my last injunctions." Now Salih relateth: "So I went with him to his house where he fell to bidding his family farewell, and the house was filled with a clamour of weeping and lamentations and calling for help on Almighty Allah. Thereupon I said to him, 'I have bethought me that Allah may haply vouchsafe thee relief at the hands of the Barmecides. Come, let us go to the house of Yáhyá bin Khálid.' So we went to Yahya's house, and Mansur told him his case, whereat he was sore concerned and bowed him groundwards for a while, then raising his head, he called his treasurer and said to him, 'How much have we in our treasury?' 'A matter of five thousand dirhams,' answered the treasurer, and Yahya bade him bring them and sent a messenger to his son, Al-Fazl, saying, 'I am offered for sale a splendid estate which may never be laid waste; so send me somewhat of money.' Al-Fazl sent him a thousand thousand dirhams, and he despatched a mes senger with a like message to his son Ja'afar, saying, 'We have a matter of much moment and for it we want money;' whereupon Ja'afar at once sent him a thousand thousand dirhams; nor did Yahya leave sending to his kinsmen of the Barmecides, till he had collected from them a great sum of money for Mansur. But Salih and the debtor knew not of this; and Mansur said to Yahya, 'O my lord, I have laid hold upon thy skirt, for I know not whither to look for the money but to thee, in accordance with thy wonted generosity; so discharge thou the rest of my debt for me and make me thy freed slave.' Thereupon Yahya hung down his head and wept; then he said to a page, 'Harkye, boy, the Commander of the Faithful gave our slave- girl Danánír a jewel of great price: go thou to her and bid her send it to us.' The page went out and presently returned with the jewel, whereupon quoth Yahya, 'O Mansur, I bought this jewel of the merchant for the Commander of the Faithful, at a price of two hundred thousand dinars,[247] and he gave it to our slave-girl Dananir, the lute-player; and when he sees it with thee, he will know it and spare thy blood and do thee honour for our sake; and now, O Mansur, verily thy money is complete.' (Salih continued) So I took the money and the jewel and carried them to al-Rashid together with Mansur, but on the way I heard him repeat this couplet, applying it to his own case,

'Twas not of love that fared my feet to them; * 'Twas that I feared me lest they shoot their shafts!'

Now when I heard this, I marvelled at his evil nature and his depravity and mischief-making and his ignoble birth and provenance and, turning upon him, I said, 'There is none on the face of the earth better or more righteous than the Barmecides, nor any baser nor more wrongous than thou; for they bought thee off from death and delivered thee from destruction, giving thee what should save thee; yet thou thankest them not nor praises" them, neither acquittest thee after the manner of the noble; nay, thou meetest their benevolence with this speech.' Then I went to Al-Rashid and acquainted him with all that had passed" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Salih con tinued: "So I acquainted the Commander of the Faithful with all that passed and Al-Rashid marvelled at the generosity and benevolence of Yahya and the vileness and ingratitude of Mansur, and bade restore the jewel to Yahya, saying, 'Whatso we have given it befitteth us not to take again.' After that Salih returned to Yahya and acquainted him with the tale of Mansur and his ill-conduct; whereupon replied he, 'O Salih, when a man is in want, sick at heart and sad of thought, he is not to be blamed for aught that falleth from him; for it cometh not from the heart;' and on this wise he took to seeking excuse for Mansur. But Salih wept and exclaimed, 'Never shall the revolving heavens bring forth into being the like of thee, O Yahya! Alas, and well- away, that one of such noble nature and generosity should be laid in the dust!' And he repeated these two couplets,

'Haste to do kindness thou cost intend; * Thou canst not always
     on boons expend:
How many from bounty themselves withheld, * Till means of bounty
     had come to end!'"

And men tell another tale of the

GENEROUS DEALING OF YAHYA SON OF KHÁLID WITH A MAN WHO FORGED A LETTER IN HIS NAME.[edit]

There was between Yáhyá bin Khálid and Abdullah bin Málik al- Khuzá'i,[248] an enmity which they kept secret; the reason of the hatred being that Harun al-Rashid loved Abdullah with exceeding love, so that Yahya and his sons were wont to say that he had bewitched the Commander of the Faithful. And thus they abode a long while, with rancour in their hearts, till it fell out that the Caliph invested Abdullah with the government of Armenia[249] and despatched him thither. Now soon after he had settled himself in his seat of government, there came to him one of the people of Irak, a man of good breeding and excellent parts and abundant cleverness; but he had lost his money and wasted his wealth and his estate was come to ill case; so he forged a letter to Abdullah bin Malik in the name of Yahya bin Khálid and set out therewith for Armenia. Now when he came to the Governor's gate, he gave the letter to one of the Chamberlains, who took it and carried it to his master. Abdullah opened it and read it and, considering it attentively, knew it to be forged; so he sent for the man, who presented himself before him and called down blessings upon him and praised him and those of his court. Quoth Abdullah to him, "What moved thee to weary thyself on this wise and bring me a forged letter? But be of good heart; for we will not disappoint thy travail." Replied the other, "Allah prolong the life of our lord the Wazir! If my coming annoy thee, cast not about for a pretext to repel me, for Allah's earth is wide and He who giveth daily bread still liveth. Indeed, the letter I bring thee from Yahya bin Khalid is true and no forgery." Quoth Abdullah, "I will write a letter to my agent[250] at Baghdad and command him enquire concerning this same letter. If it be true, as thou sayest, and genuine and not forged by thee, I will bestow on thee the Emirship of one of my cities; or, if thou prefer a present, I will give thee two hundred thousand dirhams, besides horses and camels of price and a robe of honour. But, if the letter prove a forgery, I will order thou be beaten with two hundred blows of a stick and thy beard be shaven." So Abdullah bade confine him in a chamber and furnish him therein with all he needed, till his case should be made manifest. Then he despatched a letter to his agent at Baghdad, to the following effect: "There is come to me a man with a letter purporting to be from Yahya bin Khálid. Now I have my suspicions of this letter: therefore delay thou not in the matter, but go thyself and look carefully into the case and let me have an answer with all speed, in order that we may know what is true and what is untrue." When the letter reached Baghdad, the agent mounted at once,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the agent of Abdullah, son of Malik al-Khuza'i, on receipt of the letter at Baghdad, mounted at once and repaired to the house of Yahya bin Khálid, whom he found sitting with his officers and boon- companions. After the usual salute he gave him the letter and Yahya read it and said to the agent, "Come back to me tomorrow for my written answer." Now when the agent had gone away, Yahya turned to his companions and said, "What doth he deserve who forgeth a letter in my name and carrieth it to my foe?" They answered all and each, saying this and that, and every one proposing some kind of punishment; but Yahya said, "Ye err in that ye say and this your counsel is of the baseness of your spirits and the meanness of your minds. Ye all know the close favour of Abdullah with the Caliph and ye weet of what is between him and us of anger and enmity; and now Almighty Allah hath made this man the means of reconciliation between us; and hath fitted him for such purpose and hath appointed him to quench the fire of ire in our hearts, which hath been growing these twenty years; and by his means our differences shall be adjusted. Wherefore it behoveth me to requite such man by verifying his assertion and amending his estate; so I will write him a letter to Abdullah son of Malik, praying that he may use him with increase of honour and continue to him his liberality." Now when his companions heard what he said, they called down blessings on him and marvelled at his generosity and the greatness of his magnanimity. Then he called for paper and ink and wrote Abdullah a letter in his own hand, to the following effect: "In the name of Allah, the Compassionating' the Compassionate! Of a truth thy letter hath reached me (Allah give thee long life!) and I am glad to hear of thy safety and am pleased to be assured of thine immunity and prosperity. It was thy thought that a certain worthy man had forged a letter in my name and that he was not the bearer of any message from the same; but the case is not so, for the letter I myself wrote, and it was no forgery; and I hope, of thy courtesy and consideration and the nobility of thy nature, that thou wilt gratify this generous and excellent man of his hope and wish, and honour him with the honour he deserveth and bring him to his desire and make him the special-object of thy favour and munificence. Whatso thou dost with him, it is to me that thou dost the kindness, and I am thankful to thee accordingly." Then he superscribed the letter and after sealing it, delivered it to the agent, who despatched it to Abdullah. Now when the Governor read it, he was charmed with its contents, and sending for the man, said to him, "Whichever of the two promised boons is the more acceptable to thee that will I give thee." The man replied, "The money gift were more acceptable to me than aught else," whereupon Abdullah ordered him two hundred thousand dirhams and ten Arab horses, five with housings of silk and other five with richly ornamented saddles, used in state processions; besides twenty chests of clothes and ten mounted white slaves and a proportionate quantity of jewels of price. Moreover, he bestowed on him a dress of honour and sent him to Baghdad in great splendour. So when he came thither, he repaired to the door of Yahya's house, before he went to his own folk, and craved permission to enter and have audience. The Chamberlain went in to Yahya and said to him, "O my lord, there is one at the door who craveth speech of thee; and he is a man of apparent wealth, courteous in manner, comely of aspect and attended by many servants." Then Yahya bade admit him; and, when he entered and kissed the ground before him, Yahya asked him, "Who art thou?" He answered, "Hear me, O my lord, I am he who was done dead by the tyranny of fortune, but thou didst raise me to life again from the grave of calamities and exalt me to the paradise of my desires. I am the man who forged a letter in thy name and carried it to Abdullah bin Malik al-Khuza'i." Yahya asked, "How hath he dealt with thee and what did he give thee?"; and the man answered, "He hath given me, thanks to thy hand and thy great liberality and benevolence and to thy comprehensive kindness and lofty magnanimity and thine all-embracing generosity, that which hath made me a wealthy man and he hath distinguished me with his gifts and favours. And now I have brought all that he gave me and here it is at thy door; for it is thine to decide and the command is in thy hand." Rejoined Yahya, " Thou hast done me better service than I did thee and I owe thee a heavy debt of gratitude and every gift the white hand[251] can give, for that thou hast changed into love and amity the hate and enmity that were between me and a man whom I respect and esteem. Wherefore I will give thee the like of what Abdullah bin Malik gave thee." Then he ordered him money and horses and chests of apparel, such as Abdullah had given him; and thus that man's fortune was restored to him by the munificence of these two generous ones. And folk also relate the tale of the

CALIPH AL-MAAMUN AND THE STRANGE SCHOLAR.[edit]

It is said of Al-Maamun that, among the Caliphs of the house of Abbas, there was none more accomplished in all branches of knowledge than he. Now on two days in each week, he was wont to preside at conferences of the learned, when the lawyers and theologians disputed in his presence, each sitting in his several-rank and room. One day as he sat thus, there came into the assembly a stranger, clad in ragged white clothes, who took seat in an obscure place behind the doctors of the law. Then the assembly began to speak and debate difficult questions, it being the custom that the various propositions should be submitted to each in turn, and that whoso bethought him of some subtle addition or rare conceit, should make mention of it. So the question went round till it came to the strange man, who spake in his turn and made a goodlier answer than any of the doctors' replies; and the Caliph approved his speech.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph Al-Maamun approved his speech and ordered him to come up from his low place to a high stead. Now when the second question came to him, he made a still more notable answer, and Al-Maamun ordered him to be preferred to a yet higher seat; and when the third question reached him, he made answer more justly and appropriately than on the two previous occasions, and Al-Maamun bade him come up and sit near himself. Presently the discussion ended when water was brought and they washed their hands after which food was set on and they ate; and the doctors arose and withdrew; but Al-Maamun forbade the stranger to depart with them and, calling him to himself, treated him with especial-favour and promised him honour and profit. Thereupon they made ready the séance of wassail; the fair-faced cup-companions came and the pure wine[252] went round amongst them, till the cup came to the stranger, who rose to his feet and spake thus, "If the Commander of the Faithful permit me, I will say one word." Answered the Caliph, "Say what thou wilt." Quoth the man "Verily the Exalted Intelligence (whose eminence Allah increase!) knoweth that his slave was this day, in the august assembly, one of the unknown folk and of the meanest of the company; and the Commander of the Faithful raised his rank and brought him near to himself, little as were the wit and wisdom he displayed, preferring him above the rest and advancing him to a station and a degree where to his thought aspired not. But now he is minded to part him from that small portion of intellect which raised him high from his lowness and made him great after his littleness. Heaven forfend and forbid that the Commander of the Faithful should envy his slave what little he hath of understanding and worth and renown! Now, if his slave should drink wine, his reason would depart far from him and ignorance draw near to him and steal-away his good breeding, so would he revert to that low and contemptible degree, whence he sprang, and become ridiculous and despicable in the eyes of the folk. I hope, therefore, that the August Intelligence, of his power and bounty and royal-generosity and magnanimity, will not despoil his slave of this jewel." When the Caliph Al-Maamun heard his speech, he praised him and thanked him and making him sit down again in his place, showed him high honour and ordered him a present of an hundred thousand silver pieces. Moreover he mounted him upon a horse and gave him rich apparel; and in every assembly he was wont to exalt him and show him favour over all the other doctors of law and religion till he became the highest of them all in rank. And Allah is All knowing.[253] Men also tell a tale of

ALI SHAR[254] AND ZUMURRUD.[edit]

There lived once in the days of yore and the good old times long gone before, in the land of Khorasan, a merchant called Majd al-Dín, who had great wealth and many slaves and servants, white and black, young and old; but he had not been blessed with a child until he reached the age of threescore, when Almighty Allah vouchsafed him a son, whom he named Alí Shár. The boy grew up like the moon on the night of fulness; and when he came to man's estate and was endowed with all kinds of perfections, his father fell sick of a death-malady and, calling his son to him, said, "O my son, the fated hour of my decease is at hand, and I desire to give thee my last injunctions." He asked, "And what are they, O my father?"; and he answered, "O my son, I charge thee, be not over-familiar with any[255] and eschew what leadeth to evil and mischief. Beware lest thou sit in company with the wicked; for he is like the blacksmith; if his fire burn thee not, his smoke shall bother thee: and how excellent is the saying of the poet,[256]

'In thy whole world there is not one,
Whose friendship thou may'st count upon,
Nor plighted faith that will stand true,
When times go hard, and hopes are few.
Then live apart and dwell alone,
Nor make a prop of any one,
I've given a gift in that I've said,
Will stand thy friend in every stead:'

And what another saith,

'Men are a hidden malady; * Rely not on the sham in them:
For perfidy and treachery * Thou'lt find, if thou examine them.'

And yet a third saith,

'Converse with men hath scanty weal, except * To while away the
     time in chat and prate:
Then shun their intimacy, save it be * To win thee lore, or
     better thine estate.'

And a fourth saith,

'If a sharp-witted wight e'er tried mankind, * I've eaten that
     which only tasted he:[257]
Their amity proved naught but wile and guile, * Their faith I
     found was but hypocrisy.'"

Quoth Ali, "O my father, I have heard thee and I will obey thee what more shall I do?" Quoth he, "Do good whereas thou art able; be ever kind and courteous to men and regard as riches every occasion of doing a good turn; for a design is not always easily carried out; and how well saith the poet,

"Tis not at every time and tide unstable, * We can do kindly acts
     and charitable:
When thou art able hasten thee to act, * Lest thine endeavour
     prove anon unable!'"

Said Ali, "I have heard thee and I will obey thee."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth replied, "I have heard thee and I will obey thee; what more?" And his sire continued, "Be thou, O my son, mindful of Allah, so shall He be mindful of thee. Ward thy wealth and waste it not; for an thou do, thou wilt come to want the least of mankind. Know that the measure of a man's worth is according to that which his right hand hendeth: and how well saith the poet,[258]

'When fails my wealth no friend will deign befriend, * And when
     it waxeth all men friendship show:
How many a foe for wealth became my friend, * Wealth lost, how
     many a friend became a foe!'"

Asked Ali, "What more?" And Majd al-Din answered, "O my son, take counsel of those who are older than thou and hasten not to do thy heart's desire. Have compassion on those who are below thee, so shall those who are above thee have compassion on thee; and oppress none, lest Allah empower one who shall oppress thee. How well saith the poet,

'Add other wit to thy wit, counsel craving, * For man's true
     course hides not from minds of two
Man is a mirror which but shows his face, * And by two mirrors he
     his back shall view.'

And as saith another,[259]

'Act on sure grounds, nor hurry fast,
To gain the purpose that thou hast
And be thou kindly to all men
So kindly thou'lt be called again;
For not a deed the hand can try,
Save 'neath the hand of God on high,
Nor tyrant harsh work tyranny,
Uncrushed by tyrant harsh as he.'

And as saith yet another,[260]

'Tyrannize not, if thou hast the power to do so; for the
     tyrannical-is in danger of revenges.
Thine eye will sleep while the oppressed, wakeful, will call down
     curses on thee, and God's eye sleepeth not.'

Beware of wine-bibbing, for drink is the root of all evil: it doeth away the reason and bringeth to contempt whoso useth it; and how well saith the poet,

'By Allah, wine shall not disturb me, while my soul * Join body,
     nor while speech the words of me explain:
No day will I be thralled to wine-skin cooled by breeze[261] *
     Nor choose a friend save those who are of cups unfair.'

This, then, is my charge to thee; bear it before thine eyes, and Allah stand to thee in my stead." Then he swooned away and kept silent awhile; and, when he came to himself, he besought pardon of Allah and pronounced the profession of the Faith, and was admitted to the mercy of the Almighty. So his son wept and lamented for him and presently made proper preparation for his burial; great and small walked in his funeral-procession and Koran readers recited Holy Writ about his bier; nor did Ali Shar omit aught of what was due to the dead. Then they prayed over him and committed him to the dust and wrote these two couplets upon his tomb,

'Thou west create of dust and cam'st to life, * And learned'st in
     eloquence to place thy trust;
Anon, to dust returning, thou becamest * A corpse, as though
     ne'er taken from the dust."

Now his son Ali Shar grieved for him with sore grief and mourned him with the ceremonies usual among men of note; nor did he cease to weep the loss of his father till his mother died also, not long afterwards, when he did with her as he had done with his sire. Then he sat in the shop, selling and buying and consorting with none of Almighty Allah's creatures, in accordance with his father's injunction. This wise he continued to do for a year, at the end of which time there came in to him by craft certain whoreson fellows and consorted with him, till he turned after their example to lewdness and swerved from the way of righteousness, drinking wine in flowing bowls and frequenting fair women night and day; for he said to himself, "Of a truth my father amassed this wealth for me, and if I spend it not, to whom shall I leave it? By Allah, I will not do save as saith the poet,

'An through the whole of life * Thou gett'st and gain'st for
     self;
Say, when shalt thou enjoy * Thy gains and gotten pelf?'"

And Ali Shar ceased not to waste his wealth all whiles of the day and all watches of the night, till he had made away with the whole of his riches and abode in pauper case and troubled at heart. So he sold his shop and lands and so forth, and after this he sold the clothes off his body, leaving himself but one suit; and, as drunkenness quitted him and thoughtfulness came to him, he fell into grief and sore care. One day, when he had sat from day-break to mid-afternoon without breaking his fast, he said in his mind, "I will go round to those on whom I spent my monies: perchance one of them will feed me this day." So he went the round of them all; but, as often as he knocked at any one's door of them, the man denied himself and hid from him, till his stomach ached with hunger. Then he betook himself to the bazar of the merchants,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar feeling his stomach ache with hunger, betook himself to the merchants' bazar where he found a crowd of people assembled in ring, and said to himself, "I wonder what causeth these folk to crowd together thus? By Allah, I will not budge hence till I see what is within yonder ring!" So he made his way into the ring and found therein a damsel exposed for sale who was five feet tall,[262] beautifully proportioned, rosy of cheek and high of breast; and who surpassed all the people of her time in beauty and loveliness and elegance and grace; even as saith one, describing her,

"As she willèd she was made, and in such a way that when * She
     was cast in Nature's mould neither short nor long was she:
Beauty woke to fall in love with the beauties of her form, *
     Where combine with all her coyness her pride and pudency:
The full moon is her face[263]and the branchlet is her shape,
     * And the musk-pod is her scent—what like her can there be?
'Tis as though she were moulded from water of the pearl, * And in
     every lovely limblet another moon we see!"

And her name was Zumurrud—the Smaragdine. So when Ali Shar saw her, he marvelled at her beauty and grace and said, "By Allah, I will not stir hence till I see how much this girl fetcheth, and know who buyeth her!" So he took standing-place amongst the merchants, and they thought he had a mind to buy her, knowing the wealth he had inherited from his parents. Then the broker stood at the damsel's head and said, "Ho, merchants! Ho, ye men of money! Who will open the gate of biddings for this damsel, the mistress of moons, the union pearl, Zumurrud the curtain-maker, the sought of the seeker and the delight of the desirous? Open the biddings' door and on the opener be nor blame nor reproach for evermore." Thereupon quoth one merchant, "Mine for five hundred dinars;" "And ten," quoth another. "Six hundred," cried an old man named Rashíd al-Din, blue of eye[264] and foul of face. "And ten," cried another. "I bid a thousand," rejoined Rashid al-Din; whereupon the rival merchants were tongue-tied, and held their peace and the broker took counsel with the girl's owner, who said, "I have sworn not to sell her save to whom she shall choose: so consult her." Thereupon the broker went up to Zumurrud and said to her, "O mistress of moons this merchant hath a mind to buy thee." She looked at Rashid al-Din and finding him as we have said, replied, "I will not be sold to a gray-beard, whom decrepitude hath brought to such evil plight. Allah inspired his saying who saith,

'I craved of her a kiss one day; but soon as she beheld * My
     hoary hairs, though I my luxuries and wealth display'd;
She proudly turned away from me, showed shoulders, cried aloud:—
     * 'No! no! by Him, whose hest mankind from nothingness hath
     made
For hoary head and grizzled chin I've no especial-love: * What!
     stuff my mouth with cotton[265] ere in sepulchre I'm
     laid?'"

Now when the broker heard her words he said, "By Allah, thou art excusable, and thy price is ten thousand gold pieces!" So he told her owner that she would not accept of old man Rashid al-Din, and he said, "Consult her concerning another." Thereupon a second man came forward and said, "Be she mine for what price was offered by the oldster she would have none of;" but she looked at him and seeing that his beard was dyed, said "What be this fashion lewd and base and the blackening of the hoary face?" And she made a great show of wonderment and repeated these couplets,

"Showed me Sir Such-an-one a sight and what a frightful sight! *
     A neck by Allah, only made for slipper-sole to smite[266]
A beard the meetest racing ground where gnats and lice contend, *
     A brow fit only for the ropes thy temples chafe and
     bite.[267]
O thou enravish" by my cheek and beauties of my form, * Why so
     translate thyself to youth and think I deem it right?
Dyeing disgracefully that white of reverend aged hairs, * And
     hiding for foul purposes their venerable white!
Thou goest with one beard and comest back with quite another, *
     Like Punch-and-Judy man who works the Chinese shades by
     night.[268]

And how well saith another'

Quoth she, 'I see thee dye thy hoariness:'[269] * 'To hide, O
     ears and eyes! from thee,' quoth I:
She roared with laugh and said, 'Right funny this; * Thou art so
     lying e'en

Now when the broker heard her verse he exclaimed, "By Allah thou hast spoken sooth!" The merchant asked what she said: so the broker repeated the verses to him; and he knew that she was in the right while he was wrong and desisted from buying her. Then another came forward and said, "Ask her if she will be mine at the same price;" but, when he did so, she looked at him and seeing that he had but one eye, said, "This man is one-eyed; and it is of such as he that the poet saith,[270]

'Consort not with the Cyclops e'en a day; * Beware his falsehood
     and his mischief fly:
Had this monocular a jot of good, * Allah had ne'er brought
     blindness to his eye!'"

Then said the broker, pointing to another bidder, "Wilt thou be sold to this man?" She looked at him and seeing that he was short of stature[271] and had a beard that reached to his navel, cried, "This is he of whom the poet speaketh,

'I have a friend who hath a beard * Allah to useless length
     unroll'd:
'Tis like a certain[272] winter night, * Longsome and
     darksome, drear and cold.'"

Said the broker, "O my lady, look who pleaseth thee of these that are present, and point him out, that I may sell thee to him." So she looked round the ring of merchants, examining one by one their physiognomies, till her glance fell on Ali Shar,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the girl's glance fell on Ali Shar, she cast at him a look with longing eyes, which cost her a thousand sighs, and her heart was taken with him; for that he was of favour passing fair and pleasanter than zephyr or northern air; and she said, "O broker, I will be sold to none but to this my lord, owner of the handsome face and slender form whom the poet thus describeth,

'Displaying that fair face * The tempted they assailed
Who, had they wished me safe * That lovely face had veiled!'

For none shall own me but he, because his cheek is smooth and the water of his mouth sweet as Salsabil;[273] his spittle is a cure for the sick and his charms daze and dazzle poet and proser, even as saith one of him,

'His honey dew of lips is wine; his breath * Musk and those
     teeth, smile shown, are camphor's hue:
Rizwán[274] hath turned him out o' doors, for fear * The
     Houris lapse from virtue at the view
Men blame his bearing for its pride, but when * In pride the full
     moon sails, excuse is due.'

Lord of the curling locks and rose red cheeks and ravishing look of whom saith the poet,

'The fawn-like one a meeting promised me * And eye expectant
     waxed and heart unstirred:
His eyelids bade me hold his word as true; * But, in their
     languish,[275] can he keep his word?'

And as saith another,

'Quoth they, 'Black letters on his cheek are writ! * How canst
     thou love him and a side-beard see?'
Quoth I, 'Cease blame and cut your chiding short; * If those be
     letters 'tis a forgery:'
Gather his charms all growths of Eden garth * Whereto those
     Kausar[276]-lips bear testimony.'"

When the broker heard the verses she repeated on the charms of Ali Shar, he marvelled at her eloquence, no less than at the brightness of her beauty; but her owner said to him, "Marvel not at her splendour which shameth the noonday sun, nor that her memory is stored with the choicest verses of the poets; for besides this, she can repeat the glorious Koran, according to the seven readings,[277] and the august Traditions, after ascription and authentic transmission; and she writeth the seven modes of handwriting[278] and she knoweth more learning and knowledge than the most learned. Moreover, her hands are better than gold and silver; for she maketh silken curtains and selleth them for fifty gold pieces each; and it taketh her but eight days to make a curtain." Exclaimed the broker, "O happy the man who hath her in his house and maketh her of his choicest treasures!"; and her owner said to him, "Sell her to whom she will." So the broker went up to Ali Shar and, kissing his hands, said to him, "O my lord, buy thou this damsel, for she hath made choice of thee."[279] Then he set forth to him all her charms and accomplishments, and added, "I give thee joy if thou buy her, for this be a gift from Him who is no niggard of His giving." Whereupon Ali bowed his head groundwards awhile, laughing at himself and secretly saying, "Up to this hour I have not broken my fast; yet I am ashamed before the merchants to own that I have no money wherewith to buy her." The damsel, seeing him hang down his head, said to the broker, "Take my hand and lead me to him, that I may show my beauty to him and tempt him to buy me; for I will not be sold to any but to him." So the broker took her hand and stationed her before Ali Shar, saying, " What is thy good pleasure, O my lord?" But he made him no answer, and the girl said to him, "O my lord and darling of my heart, what aileth thee that thou wilt not bid for me? Buy me for what thou wilt and I will bring thee good fortune." So he raised his eyes to her and said, "Is buying perforce? Thou art dear at a thousand dinars." Said she, "Then buy me, O my lord, for nine hundred." He cried, "No," and she rejoined, "Then for eight hundred;" and though he again said, "Nay," she ceased not to abate the price, till she came to an hundred dinars. Quoth he, "I have not by me a full hundred." So she laughed and asked, "How much dost thou lack of an hundred?" He answered, "By Allah, I have neither an hundred dinars, nor any other sum; for I own neither white coin nor red cash, neither dinar nor dirham. So look out thou for another and a better customer." And when she knew that he had nothing, she said to him, "Take me by the hand and carry me aside into a by- lane, as if thou wouldst examine me privily." He did so and she drew from her bosom a purse containing a thousand dinars, which she gave him, saying, "Pay down nine hundred to my price and let the hundred remain with thee by way of provision." He did as she bid him and, buying her for nine hundred dinars, paid down the price from her own purse and carried her to his house. When she entered it, she found a dreary desolate saloon without carpets or vessels; so she gave him other thousand dinars, saying, "Go to the bazar and buy three hundred dinars' worth of furniture and vessels for the house and three dinars' worth of meat and drink."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that quoth the slave-girl, "Bring us meat and drink for three dinars, furthermore a piece of silk, the size of a curtain, and bring golden and silvern thread and sewing silk of seven colours." Thus he did, and she furnished the house and they sat down to eat and drink; after which they went to bed and took their pleasure one of the other. And they lay the night embraced behind the curtain and were even as saith the poet,[280]

"Cleave fast to her thou lovestand let the envious rail amain,
     For calumny and envy ne'er to favour love were fain.
Lo, whilst I slept, in dreams I saw thee lying by my side And,
     from thy lips the sweetest, sure, of limpid springs did
     drain.
Yea, true and certain all I saw is, as I will avouch, And 'spite
     the envier, thereto I surely will attain.
There is no goodlier sight, indeed, for eyes to look upon, Than
     when one couch in its embrace enfoldeth lovers twain.
Each to the other's bosom clasped, clad in their twinned delight,
     Whilst hand with hand and arm with arm about their necks
     enchain
Lo, when two hearts are straitly knit in passion and desire, But
     on cold iron smite the folk who chide at them in vain.
Thou, that for loving censurest the votaries of love, Canst thou
     assain a heart diseased or heal-a cankered brain?
If in thy time thou kind but one to love thee and be true, I rede
     thee cast the world away and with that one remain."

So they lay together till the morning and love for the other waxed firmly fixed in the heart of each. And on rising, Zumurrud took the curtain and embroidered it with coloured silks and purpled it with silver and gold thread and she added thereto a border depicting round about it all manner of birds and beasts; nor is there in the world a feral but she wrought his semblance. This she worked in eight days, till she had made an end of it, when she trimmed it and glazed and ironed it and gave it to her lord, saying, "Carry it to the bazar and sell it to one of the merchants at fifty dinars; but beware lest thou sell it to a passer-by, as this would cause a separation between me and thee, for we have foes who are not unthoughtful of us." "I hear and I obey," answered he and, repairing to the bazar, sold the curtain to a merchant, as she bade him; after which he bought a piece of silk for another curtain and gold and silver and silken thread as before and what they needed of food, and brought all this to her, giving her the rest of the money. Now every eight days she made a curtain, which he sold for fifty dinars, and on this wise passed a whole year. At the end of that time, he went as usual to the bazar with a curtain, which he gave to the broker; and there came up to him a Nazarene who bid him sixty dinars for it; but he refused, and the Christian continued bidding higher and higher, till he came to an hundred dinars and bribed the broker with ten ducats. So the man returned to Ali Shar and told him of the proffered price and urged him to accept the offer and sell the article at the Nazarene's valuation, saying, "O my lord, be not afraid of this Christian for that he can do thee no hurt." The merchants also were urgent with him; so he sold the curtain to the Christian, albeit his heart misgave him; and, taking the money, set off to return home. Presently, as he walked, he found the Christian walking behind him; so he said to him, "O Nazarene,[281] why dost thou follow in my footsteps?" Answered the other "O my lord, I want a something at the end of the street, Allah never bring thee to want!"; but Ali Shar had barely reached his place before the Christian overtook him; so he said to him, "O accursed, what aileth thee to follow me wherever I go?" Replied the other, "O my lord, give me a draught of water, for I am athirst; and with Allah be thy reward!"[282] Quoth Ali Shar to himself, "Verily, this man is an Infidel who payeth tribute and claimeth our protection[283] and he asketh me for a draught of water; by Allah, I will not baulk him!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Ali Shar to himself, "This man is a tributary Unbeliever and he asked me for a draught of water; by Allah, I will not baulk him!" So he entered the house and took a gugglet of water; but the slave-girl Zumurrud saw him and said to him, "O my love, hast thou sold the curtain?" He replied, "Yes;" and she asked, "To a merchant or to a passer-by? for my heart presageth a parting." And he answered, "To whom but to a merchant?" Thereupon she rejoined, "Tell me the truth of the case, that I may order my affair; and why take the gugglet of water?" And he, To give the broker to drink," upon which she exclaimed, There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and she repeated these two couplets,[284]

"O thou who seekest separation, act leisurely, and let not the
     embrace of the beloved deceive thee!
Act leisurely; for the nature of fortune is treacherous, and the
     end of every union is disjunction.

Then he took the gugglet and, going out, found the Christian within the vestibule and said to him, "How comest thou here and how darest thou, O dog, enter my house without my leave?" Answered he, "O my lord, there is no difference between the door and the vestibule, and I never intended to stir hence, save to go out; and my thanks are due to thee for thy kindness and favour, thy bounty and generosity." Then he took the mug and emptying it, returned it to Ali Shar, who received it and waited for him to rise up and to go; but he did not move. So Ali said to him, "Why dost thou not rise and wend thy way?"; and he answered, "O my lord, be not of those who do a kindness and then make it a reproach, nor of those of whom saith the poet,[285]

'They're gone who when thou stoodest at their door * Would for
     thy wants so generously cater:
But stand at door of churls who followed them, * They'd make high
     favour of a draught of water!'"

And he continued, "O my lord, I have drunk, and now I would have thee give me to eat of whatever is in the house, though it be but a bit of bread or a biscuit with an onion." Replied Ali Shar, "Begone, without more chaffer and chatter; there is nothing in the house." He persisted, "O my lord, if there be nothing in the house, take these hundred dinars and bring us something from the market, if but a single scone, that bread and salt may pass between us."[286] With this, quoth Ali Shar to himself, "This Christian is surely mad; I will take his hundred dinars and bring him somewhat worth a couple of dirhams and laugh at him." And the Nazarene added, "O my lord, I want but a small matter to stay my hunger, were it but a dry scone and an onion; for the best food is that which doeth away appetite, not rich viands; and how well saith the poet,

'Hunger is sated with a bone-dry scone, * How is it then[287]
     in woes of want I wone?
Death is all-justest, lacking aught regard * For Caliph-king and
     beggar woe-begone.'"

Then quoth Ali Shar, "Wait here, while I lock the saloon and fetch thee somewhat from the market;" and quoth the Christian, "To hear is to obey." So Ali Shar shut up the saloon and, locking the door with a padlock, put the key in his pocket: after which he went to market and bought fried cheese and virgin honey and bananas[288] and bread, with which he returned to the house. Now when the Christian saw the provision, he said, "O my lord, this is overmuch; 'tis enough for half a score of men and I am alone; but belike thou wilt eat with me." Replied Ali, "Eat by thyself, I am full;" and the Christian rejoined, "O my lord, the wise say, Whoso eateth not with his guest is a son of a whore." Now when Ali Shar heard these words from the Nazarene, he sat down and ate a little with him, after which he would have held his hand;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar sat down and ate a little with him, after which he would have held his hand; but the Nazarene privily took a banana and peeled it; then, splitting it in twain, put into one half concentrated Bhang, mixed with opium, a drachm whereof would over throw an elephant; and he dipped it in the honey and gave it to Ali Shar, saying, "O my lord, by the truth of thy religion, I adjure thee to take this." So Ali Shar, being ashamed to make him forsworn, took it and swallowed it; but hardly had it settled well in his stomach, when his head forwent both his feet and he was as though he had been a year asleep. As soon as the Nazarene saw this, rose to his feet as he had been a scald wolf or a cat-o'-mount[289] at bay and, taking the saloon key, left Ali Shar prostrate and ran off to rejoin his brother. And the cause of his so doing was that the Nazarene's brother was the same decrepit old man who purposed to buy Zumurrud for a thousand dinars, but she would none of him and jeered him in verse. He was an Unbeliever inwardly, though a Moslem outwardly, and had called himself Rashid al-Din;[290] and when Zumurrud mocked him and would not accept of him, he complained to his brother the aforesaid Christian who played this sleight to take her from her master Ali Shar; whereupon his brother, Barsum by name said to him, "Fret not thyself about the business, for I will make shift to seize her for thee, without expending either diner or dirham. Now he was a skilful wizard, crafty and wicked; so he watched his time and ceased not his practices till he played Ali Shar the trick before related; then, taking the key, he went to his brother and acquainted him with what had passed. Thereupon Rashid al-Din mounted his she mule and repaired with his brother and his servants to the house of Ali Shar, taking with him a purse of a thousand dinars, wherewith to bribe the Chief of Police, should he meet him. He opened the saloon door and the men who were with him rushed in upon Zumurrud and forcibly seized her, threatening her with death, if she spoke, but they left the place as it was and took nothing therefrom. Lastly they left Ali Shar lying in the vestibule after they had shut the door on him and laid the saloon key by his side. Then the Christian carried the girl to his own house and setting her amongst his handmaids and concubines, said to her, "O strumpet, I am the old man whom thou didst reject and lampoon; but now I have thee, without paying diner or dirham." Replied she (and her eyes streamed with tears), "Allah requite thee, O wicked old man, for sundering me and my lord!" He rejoined, "Wanton minx and whore that thou art, thou shalt see how I will punish thee! By the truth of the Messiah and the Virgin, except thou obey me and embrace my faith, I will torture thee with all manner of torture!" She replied, "By Allah, though thou cut my flesh to bits I will not forswear the faith of Al-Islam! It may be Almighty Allah will bring me speedy relief, for He cloth even as He is fief, and the wise say: 'Better body to scathe than a flaw in faith.'" Thereupon the old man called his eunuchs and women, saying, "Throw her down!" So they threw her down and he ceased not to beat her with grievous beating, whilst she cried for help and no help came; then she no longer implored aid but fell to saying, "Allah is my sufficiency, and He is indeed all-sufficient!" till her groans ceased and her breath failed her and she fell into a fainting-fit. Now when his heart was soothed by bashing her, he said to the eunuchs, "Drag her forth by the feet and cast her down in the kitchen, and give her nothing to eat." And after quietly sleeping that night, on the morrow the accursed old man sent for her and beat her again, after which he bade the Castrato return her to her place. When the burning of the blows had cooled, she said, "There is no god but the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God! Allah is my sufficiency and excellent is my Guardian!" And she called for succour upon our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!)—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zumurrud called for succour upon our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!). Such was her case; but as regards Ali Shar, he ceased not sleeping till next day, when the Bhang quitted his brain and he opened his eyes and cried out, "O Zumurrud"; but no one answered him. So he entered the saloon and found the empty air and the fane afar;[291] whereby he knew that it was the Nazarene who had played him this trick. And he groaned and wept and lamented and again shed tears, repeating these couplets,

"O Love thou'rt instant in thy cruellest guise; * Here is my
     heart 'twixt fears and miseries:
Pity, O lords, a thrall who, felled on way * Of Love, erst
     wealthy now a beggar lies:
What profits archer's art if, when the foe * Draw near, his
     bowstring snap ere arrow {lies:
And when griefs multiply on generous man * And urge, what fort
     can fend from destinies?
How much and much I warded parting, but * 'When Destiny descends
     she blinds our eyes?'"

And when he had ended his verse, he sobbed with loud sobs and repeated also these couplets,

"Enrobes with honour sands of camp her foot step wandering lone,
     * Pines the poor mourner as she wins the stead where wont to
     wane
She turns to resting-place of tribe, and yearns thereon to view *
     The spring-camp lying desolate with ruins overstrown
She stands and questions of the site, but with the tongue of case
     * The mount replies, 'There is no path that leads to union,
     none!
'Tis as the lightning flash erewhile bright glittered o'er the
     camp * And died in darkling air no more to be for ever
     shown.'"

And he repented when repentance availed him naught, and wept and rent his raiment. Then he hent in hand two stones and went round about the city, beating his breast with the stones and crying "O Zumurrud!" whilst the small boys flocked round him, calling out, "A madman! A madman!" and all who knew him wept for him, saying, "This is such an one: what evil hath befallen him?" Thus he continued doing all that day and, when night darkened on him, he lay down in one of the city lanes and sleet till morning On the morrow, he went round about town with the stones till eventide, when he returned to his saloon to pass therein the night. Presently, one of his neighbours saw him, and this worthy old woman said to him, "O my son, Heaven give thee healing! How long hast thou been mad?" And he answered her with these two couplets,[292]

"They said, Thou revest upon the person thou lovest. * And I
     replied, The sweets of life are only for the mad.
Drop the subject of my madness, and bring her upon whom I rave *
     If she cure my madness do not blame me."

So his old neighbour knew him for a lover who had lost his beloved and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! O my son, I wish thou wouldest acquaint me with the tale of thine affliction. Peradventure Allah may enable me to help thee against it, if it so please Him." So he told her all that had befallen him with Barsum the Nazarene and his brother the wizard who had named himself Rashid al-Din and, when she understood the whole case, she said, "O my son, indeed thou hast excuse." And her eyes railed tears and she repeated these two couplets,

"Enough for lovers in this world their ban and bane: * By Allah,
     lover ne'er in fire of Sakar fries:
For, sure, they died of love-desire they never told * Chastely,
     and to this truth tradition testifies."[293]

And after she had finished her verse, she said, "O my son, rise at once and buy me a crate, such as the jewel-pedlars carry; buy also bangles and seal-rings and bracelets and ear-rings and other gewgaws wherein women delight and grudge not the cash. Put all the stock into the crate and bring it to me and I will set it on my head and go round about, in the guise of a huckstress and make search for her in all the houses, till I happen on news of her— Inshallah!" So Ali Shar rejoiced in her words and kissed her hands, then, going out, speedily brought her all she required; whereupon she rose and donned a patched gown and threw over her head a honey-yellow veil, and took staff in hand and, with the basket on her head, began wandering about the passages and the houses. She ceased not to go from house to house and street to street and quarter to quarter, till Allah Almighty led her to the house of the accursed Rashid al-Din the Nazarene where, hearing groans within, she knocked at the door,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman heard groans within the house, she knocked at the door, whereupon a slave-girl came down and opening to her, saluted her. Quoth the old woman, "I have these trifles for sale: is there any one with you who will buy aught of them?" "Yes," answered the damsel and, carrying her indoors, made her sit down; whereupon all the slave-girls came round her and each bought something of her. And as the old woman spoke them fair and was easy with them as to price, all rejoiced in her, because of her kind ways and pleasant speech. Meanwhile, she looked narrowly at the ins and outs of the place to see who it was she had heard groaning, till her glance fell on Zumurrud, when she knew her and she began to show her customers yet more kindness. At last she made sure that Zumurrud was laid prostrate; so she wept and said to the girls, "O my children, how cometh yonder young lady in this plight?" Then the slave-girls told her all what had passed, adding, "Indeed this matter is not of our choice; but our master commanded us to do thus, and he is now on a journey." She said, "O my children, I have a favour to ask of you, and it is that you loose this unhappy damsel of her bonds, till you know of your lord's return, when do ye bind her again as she was; and you shall earn a reward from the Lord of all creatures." "We hear and obey," answered they and at once loosing Zumurrud, gave her to eat and drink. Thereupon quoth the old woman, "Would my leg had been broken, ere I entered your house!" And she went up to Zumurrud and said to her, "O my daughter, Heaven keep thee safe; soon shall Allah bring thee relief." Then she privily told her that she came from her lord, Ali Shar, and agreed with her to be on the watch for sounds that night, saying, "Thy lord will come and stand by the pavilion-bench and whistle[294] to thee; and when thou hearest him, do thou whistle back to him and let thyself down to him by a rope from the window, and he will take thee and go away with thee." So Zumurrud thanked the old woman, who went forth and returned to Ali Shar and told him what she had done, saying, "Go this night, at midnight, to such a quarter, for the accursed carle's house is there and its fashion is thus and thus. Stand under the window of the upper chamber and whistle; whereupon she will let herself down to thee; then do thou take her and carry her whither thou wilt." He thanked her for her good offices and with flowing tears repeated these couplets,

"Now with their says and saids[295] no more vex me the chiding
     race; * My heart is weary and I'm worn to bone by their
     disgrace:
And tears a truthful legend[296] with a long ascription-chain
     * Of my desertion and distress the lineage can trace.
O thou heart-whole and free from dole and dolours I endure, * Cut
     short thy long persistency nor question of my case:
A sweet-lipped one and soft of sides and cast in shapeliest mould
     * Hath stormed my heart with honied lure and honied words of
     grace.
No rest my heart hath known since thou art gone, nor ever close *
     These eyes, nor patience aloe scape the hopes I dare to
     trace:
Ye have abandoned me to be the pawn of vain desire, * In squalid
     state 'twixt enviers and they who blame to face:
As for forgetting you or love 'tis thing I never knew; * Nor in
     my thought shall ever pass a living thing but you."

And when he ended his verses, he sighed and shed tears and repeated also these couplets,

"Divinely were inspired his words who brought me news of you; *
     For brought he unto me a gift was music in mine ear:
Take he for gift, if him content, this worn-out threadbare robe,
     * My heart, which was in pieces torn when parting from my
     fete."

He waited till night darkened and, when came the appointed time, he went to the quarter she had described to him and saw and recognised the Christian's house; so he sat down on the bench under the gallery. Presently drowsiness overcame him and he slept (Glory be to Him who sleepeth not!?, for it was long since he had tasted sleep, by reason of the violence of his passion, and he became as one drunken with slumber. And while he was on this wise,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that while he lay asleep, behold, a certain thief, who had come out that night and prowled about the skirts of the city to steal-somewhat, happened by the decree of Destiny, on the Nazarene's house. He went round about it, but found no way of climbing up into it, and presently on his circuit he came to the bench, where he saw Ali Shar asleep and stole his turband; and, as he was taking it suddenly Zumurrud looked out and seeing the thief standing in the darkness, took him for her lord; whereupon she let herself down to him by the rope with a pair of saddle-bags full of gold. Now when the robber saw that, he said to himself, "This is a wondrous thing, and there must needs be some marvellous cause to it." Then he snatched up the saddle-bags, and threw Zumurrud over his shoulders and made off with both like the blinding lightening. Quoth she, "Verily, the old woman told me that thou west weak with illness on my account; and here thou art, stronger than a horse." He made her no reply; so she put her hand to his face and felt a beard like the broom of palm-frond used for the Hammam,[297] as if he were a hog which had swallowed feathers and they had come out of his gullet; whereat she took fright and said to him, "What art thou?" "O strumpet," answered he, "I am the sharper Jawán[298] the Kurd, of the band of Ahmad al-Danaf; we are forty sharpers, who will all piss our tallow into thy womb this night, from dusk to dawn." When she heard his words, she wept and beat her face, knowing that Fate had gotten the better of her and that she had no resource but resignation and to put her trust in Allah Almighty. So she took patience and submitted herself to the ordinance of the Lord, saying, "There is no god but the God! As often as we escape from one woe, we fall into a worse." Now the cause of Jawan's coming thither was this: he had said to Calamity-Ahmad, "O Sharper-captain,[299] I have been in this city before and know a cavern without the walls which will hold forty souls; so I will go before you thither and set my mother therein. Then will I return to the city and steal-somewhat for the luck of all of you and keep it till you come; so shall you be my guests and I will show you hospitality this day." Replied Ahmad al-Danaf, "Do what thou wilt." So Jawan went forth to the place before them and set his mother in the cave; but, as he came out he found a trooper lying asleep, with his horse picketed beside him; so he cut his throat and, taking his clothes and his charger and his arms, hid them with his mother in the cave, where also he tethered the horse. Then he betook himself to the city and prowled about, till he happened on the Christian's house and did with Ali Shar's turband and Zumurrud and her saddle-bags as we have said. He ceased not to run, with Zumurrud on his back, till he came to the cavern, where he gave her in charge of his mother, saying, "Keep thou watch over her till I return to thee at first dawn of day," and went his ways.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Kurdish Jawan to his mother, "Keep thou watch over her till I come back to thee at first dawn of day," and went his ways. Now Zumurrud said to herself, "Why am I so heedless about saving my life and wherefore await till these forty men come?: they will take their turns to board me, till they make me like a water- logged ship at sea." Then she turned to the old woman, Jawan's mother, and said to her, "O my aunt, wilt thou not rise up and come without the cave, that I may louse thee in the sun?"[300] Replied the old woman, "Ay, by Allah, O my daughter: this long time have I been out of reach of the bath; for these hogs cease not to carry me from place to place." So they went without the cavern, and Zumurrud combed out her head hair and killed the lice on her locks, till the tickling soothed her and she fell asleep; whereupon Zumurrud arose and, donning the clothes of the murdered trooper, girt her waist with his sword and covered her head with his turband, so that she became as she were a man. Then, mounting the horse after she had taken the saddle-bags full of gold, she breathed a prayer, "O good Protector, protect me I adjure thee by the glory of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!)," adding these words in thought, "If I return to the city belike one of the trooper's folk will see me, and no good will befal me." So she turned her back on the town and rode forth into the wild and the waste. And she ceased not faring forth with her saddle-bags and the steed, eating of the growth of the earth and drinking of its waters, she and her horse, for ten days and, on the eleventh, she came in sight of a city pleasant and secure from dread, and established in happy stead. Winter had gone from it with his cold showers, and Prime had come to it with his roses and orange- blossoms and varied flowers; and its blooms were brightly blowing; its streams were merrily flowing and its birds warbled coming and going. And she drew near the dwellings and would have entered the gate when she saw the troops and Emirs and Grandees of the place drawn up, whereat she marvelled seeing them in such unusual-case and said to herself, "The people of the city are all gathered at its gate: needs must there be a reason for this." Then she made towards them; but, as she drew near, the soldiery dashed forward to meet her and, dismounting all, kissed the ground between her hands and said, "Aid thee Allah, O our lord the Sultan!" Then the notables and dignitaries ranged themselves before her in double line, whilst the troops ordered the people in, saying, "Allah aid thee and make thy coming a blessing to the Moslems, O Sultan of all creatures! Allah establish thee, O King of the time and union-pearl of the day and the tide!" Asked Zumurrud, "What aileth you, O people of this city?" And the Head Chamberlain answered, "Verily, He hath given to thee who is no niggard in His giving; and He hath been bountiful to thee and hath made thee Sultan of this city and ruler over the necks of all who are therein; for know thou it is the custom of the citizens, when their King deceaseth leaving no son, that the troops should sally forth to the suburbs and sojourn there three days: and whoever cometh from the quarter whence thou hast come, him they make King over them. So praised be Allah who hath sent us of the sons of the Turks a well-favoured man; for had a lesser than thou presented himself, he had been Sultan." Now Zumurrud was clever and well-advised in all she did: so she said, "Think not that I am of the common folk of the Turks! nay, I am of the sons of the great, a man of condition; but I was wroth with my family, so I went forth and left them. See these saddle-bags full of gold which I have brought under me that, by the way, I might give alms thereof to the poor and the needy." So they called down blessings upon her and rejoiced in her with exceeding joy and she also joyed in them and said in herself, "Now that I have attained to this"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Zumurrud to herself, "Now that I have attained to this case, haply Allah will reunite me with my lord in this place, for He can do whatso He willeth." Then the troops escorted her to the city and, all dismounting, walked before her to the palace. Here she alighted and the Emirs and Grandees, taking her under both armpits,[301] carried her into the palace and seated her on the throne; after which they all kissed ground before her. And when duly enthroned she bade them open the treasuries and gave largesse to all the troops, who offered up prayers for the continuance of her reign, and all the townsfolk accepted her rule and all the lieges of the realm. Thus she abode awhile bidding and forbidding, and all the people came to hold her in exceeding reverence and heartily to love her, by reason of her continence and generosity; for taxes she remitted and prisoners she released and grievances she redressed; but, as often as she bethought her of her lord, she wept and besought Allah to reunite her and him; and one night, as she chanced to be thinking of him and calling to mind the days she had passed with him, her eyes ran over with tears and she versified in these two couplets,

"My yearning for thee though long is fresh, * And the tears which
     chafe these eyelids increase
When I weep, I weep from the burn of love, * For to lover
     severance is decease."[302]

And when she had ended her verse, she wiped away her tears and repairing to the palace, betook herself to the Harim, where she appointed to the slave-girls and concubines separate lodgings and assigned them pensions and allowances, giving out that she was minded to live apart and devote herself to works of piety. So she applied herself to fasting and praying, till the Emirs said, "Verily this Sultan is eminently devout;" nor would she suffer any male attendants about her, save two little eunuchs to serve her. And on this wise she held the throne a whole year, during which time she heard no news of her lord, and failed to hit upon his traces, which was exceeding grievous to her; so, when her distress became excessive, she summoned her Wazirs and Chamberlains and bid them fetch architects and builders and make her in front of the palace a horse-course, one parasang long and the like broad. They hastened to do her bidding, and lay out the place to her liking; and, when it was completed, she went down into it and they pitched her there a great pavilion, wherein the chairs of the Emirs were ranged in due order. Moreover, she bade them spread on the racing-plain tables with all manners of rich meats and when this was done she ordered the Grandees to eat. So they ate and she said to them, "It is my will that, on seeing the new moon of each month, ye do on this wise and proclaim in the city that no man shall open his shop, but that all our lieges shall come and eat of the King's banquet, and that whoso disobeyeth shall be hanged over his own door."[303] So they did as she bade them, and ceased not so to do till the first new moon of the second year appeared; when Zumurrud went down into the horse-course and the crier proclaimed aloud, saying, "Ho, ye lieges and people one and all, whoso openeth store or shop or house shall straight way be hanged over his own door; for it behoveth you to come in a body and eat of the King's banquet." And when the proclamation became known, they laid the tables and the subjects came in hosts; so she bade them sit down at the trays and eat their fill of all the dishes. Accordingly they sat down and she took place on her chair of state, watching them, whilst each who was at meat said to himself, "Verily the King looketh at none save me." Then they fell to eating and the Emirs said to them, "Eat and be not ashamed; for this pleaseth the King." So they ate their fill and went away, blessing the Sovereign and saying, one to the other, "Never in our days saw we a Sultan who loved the poor as doth this Sultan." And they wished him length of life. Upon this Zumurrud returned to her palace,— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Queen Zumurrud returned to her palace, rejoicing in her device and saying to herself, "Inshallah, I shall surely by this means happen on news of my lord Ali Shar." When the first day of the second month came round, she did as before and when they had spread the tables she came down from her palace and took place on her throne and commanded the lieges to sit down and fall to. Now as she sat on her throne, at the head of the tables, watching the people take their places company by company and one by one, behold her eye fell on Barsum, the Nazarene who had bought the curtain of her lord; and she knew him and said in her mind, "This is the first of my joy and the winning of my wish." Then Barsum came up to the table and, sitting down with the rest to eat, espied a dish of sweet rice, sprinkled with sugar; but it was far from him, so he pushed up to it through the crowd and, putting out his hand to it, seized it and set it before himself. His next neighbour said to him, "Why dost thou not eat of what is before thee? Is not this a disgrace to thee? How canst thou reach over for a dish which is distant from thee? Art thou not ashamed?" Quoth Barsum, "I will eat of none save this same." Rejoined the other, "Eat then, and Allah give thee no good of it!" But another man, a Hashish-eater, said, "Let him eat of it, that I may eat with him." Replied his neighbour, "O unluckiest of Hashish- eaters, this is no meat for thee; it is eating for Emirs. Let it be, that it may return to those for whom it is meant and they eat it." But Barsum heeded him not and took a mouthful of the rice and put it in his mouth; and was about to take a second mouthful when the Queen, who was watching him, cried out to certain of her guards, saying, "Bring me yonder man with the dish of Sweet rice before him and let him not eat the mouthful he hath read but throw it from his hand."[304] So four of the guards went up to Barsum and haled him along on his face, after throwing the mouthful of rice from his hand, and set him standing before Zumurrud, whilst all the people left eating and said to one another, By Allah, he did wrong in not eating of the food meant for the likes of him." Quoth one, "For me I was content with this porridge[305] which is before me." And the Hashish-eater said, "Praised be Allah who hindered me from eating of the dish of sugared rice for I expected it to stand before him and was waiting only for him to have his enjoyment of it, to eat with him, when there befel him what we see." And the general said, one to other, "Wait till we see what shall befal him." Now as they brought him before Queen Zumurrud she cried, "Woe to thee, O blue eyes! What is thy name and why comest thou to our country?" But the accursed called himself out of his name having a white turband[306] on, and answered, "O King, my name is Ali; I work as a weaver and I came hither to trade." Quoth Zumurrud, "Bring me a table of sand and a pen of brass," and when they brought her what she sought, she took the sand and the pen, and struck a geomantic figure in the likeness of a baboon; then, raising her head, she looked hard at Barsum for an hour or so and said to him, "O dog, how darest thou lie to Kings? Art thou not a Nazarene, Barsum by name, and comest thou not hither in quest of somewhat? Speak the truth, or by the glory of the Godhead, I will strike off thy head!" At this Barsum was confounded and the Emirs and bystanders said, "Verily, this King understandeth geomancy: blessed be He who hath gifted him!" Then she cried out upon the Christian and said, 'Tell me the truth, or I will make an end of thee!" Barsum replied, "Pardon, O King of the age; thou art right as regards the table, for the far one[307] is indeed a Nazarene,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Barsum replied, "Pardon, O King of the age; thou art right as regards the table, for thy slave is indeed a Nazarene." Whereupon all present, gentle and simple, wondered at the King's skill in hitting upon the truth by geomancy, and said, "Verily this King is a diviner, whose like there is not in the world." Thereupon Queen Zumurrud bade flay the Nazarene and stuff his skin with straw and hang it over the gate of the race-course. Moreover, she commended to dig a pit without the city and burn therein his flesh and bones and throw over his ashes offal and ordure. "We hear and obey," answered they, and did with him all she bade; and, when the folk saw what had befallen the Christian, they said, "Serve him right; but what an unlucky mouthful was that for him!" And another said, "Be the far one's wife divorced if this vow be broken: never again to the end of my days will I eat of sugared rice!"; and the Hashish-eater cried "Praised be Allah, who spared me this fellow's fate by saving me from eating of that same rice!" Then they all went out, holding it thenceforth unlawful to sit over against the dish of sweet rice as the Nazarene had sat. Now when the first day of the third month came, they laid the tables according to custom, and covered them with dishes and chargers, and Queen Zumurrud came down and sat on her throne, with her guards in attendance, as of wont, in awe of her dignity and majesty. Then the townsfolk entered as before and went round about the tables, looking for the place of the dish of sweet rice, and quoth one to another, "Hark ye, O Hájí[308] Khalaf!"; and the other answered, "At thy service, O Hájí Khálid." Said Khálid, "Avoid the dish of sweet rice and look thou eat not thereof; for, if thou do, by early morning thou will be hanged."[309] Then they sat down to meat around the table; and, as they were eating, Queen Zumurrud chanced to look from her throne and saw a man come running in through the gate of the horse-course; and having considered him attentively, she knew him for Jawan the Kurdish thief who murdered the trooper. Now the cause of his coming was this: when he left his mother, he went to his comrades and said to them, "I did good business yesterday; for I slew a trooper and took his horse. Moreover there fell to me last night a pair of saddle-bags, full of gold, and a young lady worth more than the money in pouch; and I have left all that with my mother in the cave." At this they rejoiced and repaired to the cavern at night-fall, whilst Jawan the Kurd walked in front and the rest behind; he wishing to bring them the booty of which he had boasted. But he found the place clean empty and questioned his mother, who told him all that had befallen her; whereupon he bit his hands for regret and exclaimed, "By Allah, I will assuredly make search for the harlot and take her, wherever she is, though it be in the shell of a pistachio-nut,[310] and quench my malice on her!" So he went forth in quest of her and ceased not journeying from place to place, till he came to Queen Zumurrud's city. On entering he found the town deserted and, enquiring of some women whom he saw looking from the windows, they told him that it was the Sultan's custom to make a banquet for the people on the first of each month and that all the lieges were bound to go and eat of it. Furthermore the women directed him to the racing-ground, where the feast was spread. So he entered at a shuffling trot; and, finding no place empty, save that before the dish of sweet rice already noticed, took his seat right opposite it and stretched out his hand towards the dish; whereupon the folk cried out to him, saying, "O our brother, what wouldst thou do?" Quoth he, "I would eat my fill of this dish." Rejoined one of the people, "If thou eat of it thou wilt assuredly find thyself hanged to-morrow morning." But Jawan said, "Hold thy tongue and talk not so unpleasantly." Then he stretched out his hand to the dish and drew it to him; but it so chanced that the Hashish-eater of whom we have spoken, was sitting by him; and when he saw him take the dish, the fumes of the Hashish left his head and he fled from his place and sat down afar off, saying, "I will have nothing to do with yonder dish." Then Jawan the Kurd put out his hand (which was very like a raven's claws,[311] scooped up therewith half the dishful and drew out his neave as it were a camel's hoof,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jawan the Kurd drew his neave from the dish as it were a camel's hoof and rolled the lump of rice in the palm of his hand, till it was like a big orange, and threw it ravenously into his mouth; and it rolled down his gullet, with a rumble like thunder and the bottom of the deep dish appeared where said mouthful had been. Thereupon quoth to him one sitting by his side, "Praised be Allah for not making me meat between thy hands; for thou hast cleared the dish at a single mouthful;" and quoth the Hashish-eater, "Let him eat; methinks he hath a hanging face." Then, turning to Jawan he added, "Eat and Allah give thee small good of it." So Jawan put out his hand again and taking another mouthful, was rolling it in his palm like the first, when behold, the Queen cried out to the guards saying, "Bring me yonder man in haste and let him not eat the mouthful in his hand." So they ran and seizing him as he hung over the dish, brought him to her, and set him in her presence, whilst the people exulted over his mishap and said one to the other, "Serve him right, for we warned him, but he would not take warning. Verily, this place is bound to be the death of whoso sitteth therein, and yonder rice bringeth doom to all who eat of it." Then said Queen Zumurrud to Jawan, "What is thy name and trade and wherefore comest thou to our city?" Answered he, "O our lord the Sultan, my name is Othman; I work as a gardener and am come hither in quest of somewhat I have lost." Quoth Zumurrud, "Here with a table of sand!" So they brought it, and she took the pen and drawing a geomantic scheme, considered it awhile, then raising her head, exclaimed, "Woe to thee, thou loser! How darest thou lie to Kings? This sand telleth me that of a truth thy name is Jawan the Kurd and that thou art by trade a robber, taking men's goods in the way of unright and slaying those whom Allah hath forbidden to slay save for just cause." And she cried out upon him, saying, "O hog, tell me the truth of thy case or I will cut off thy head on the spot." Now when he heard these words, he turned yellow and his teeth chattered; then, deeming that he might save himself by truth-telling, he replied, "O King, thou sayest sooth; but I repent at thy hands henceforth and turn to Allah Almighty!" She answered, "It were not lawful for me to leave a pest in the way of Moslems;" and cried to her guards, "Take him and skin him and do with him as last month ye did by his like." They obeyed her commandment; and, when the Hashish- eater saw the soldiers seize the man, he turned his back upon the dish of rice, saying, "'Tis a sin to present my face to thee!" And after they had made an end of eating, they dispersed to their several homes and Zumurrud returned to her palace and dismissed her attendants. Now when the fourth month came round, they went to the race-course and made the banquet, according to custom, and the folk sat awaiting leave to begin. Presently Queen Zumurrud entered and, sitting down on her throne, looked at the tables and saw that room for four people was left void before the dish of rice, at which she wondered. Now as she was looking around, behold, she saw a man come trotting in at the gate of the horse- course; and he stayed not till he stood over the food-trays; and, finding no room save before the dish of rice, took his seat there. She looked at him and knowing him for the accursed Christian who called himself Rashid al-Din, said in her mind, "How blessed is this device of the food,[312] into whose toils this infidel hath fallen" Now the cause of his coming was extraordinary, and it was on this wise. When he returned from his travels,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the accursed, who had called himself Rashid al-Din, returned from travel, his household informed him that Zumurrud was missing and with her a pair of saddle-bags full of money; on hearing which ill tidings he rent his raiment and buffeted his face and plucked out his beard. Then he despatched his brother Barsum in quest of her to lands adjoining and, when he was weary of awaiting news of him, he went forth himself, to seek for him and for the girl, whenas fate led him to the city of Zumurrud. He entered it on the first day of the month and finding the streets deserted and the shops shut and women idling at the windows, he asked them the reason why, and they told him that the King made a banquet on the first of each month for the people, all of whom were bound to attend it, nor might any abide in his house or shop that day; and they directed him to the racing-plain. So he betook himself thither and found the people crowding about the food, and there was never a place for him save in front of the rice-dish now well-known. Here then he sat and put forth his hand to eat thereof, whereupon Zumurrud cried out to her guards, saying, "Bring me him who sitteth over against the dish of rice." So they knew him by what had before happened and laid hands on him and brought him before Queen Zumurrud, who said to him, "Out on thee! What is thy name and trade, and what bringeth thee to our city?" Answered he, "O King of the age, my name is Rustam[313] and I have no occupation, for I am a poor dervish." Then said she to her attendants, "Bring me table of sand and pen of brass." So they brought her what she sought, as of wont; and she took the pen and made the dots which formed the figure and considered it awhile, then raising her head to Rashid al-Din, she said, "O dog, how darest thou lie to Kings? Thy name is Rashid al-Din the Nazarene, thou art outwardly a Moslem, but a Christian at heart, and thine occupation is to lay snares for the slave-girls of the Moslems and make them captives. Speak the truth, or I will smite off thy head." He hesitated and stammered, then replied, "Thou sayest sooth, O King of the age!" Whereupon she commanded to throw him down and give him an hundred blows with a stick on each sole and a thousand stripes with a whip on his body; after which she bade flay him and stuff his skin with herds of flax and dig a pit without the city, wherein they should burn his corpse and cast on his ashes offal-and ordure. They did as she bade them and she gave the people leave to eat. So they ate and when they had eaten their fill they went their ways, while Queen Zumurrud returned to her palace, saying, "I thank Allah for solacing my heart of those who wronged me." Then she praised the Creator of the earth and the heavens and repeated these couplets,

"They ruled awhile and theirs was harsh tyrannic rule, * But soon
     that rule went by as though it never were:
If just they had won justice; but they sinned, and so * The world
     collected all its bane for them to bear:
So died they and their case's tongue declares aloud * This is for
     that so of the world your blaming spare."

And when her verse was ended she called to mind her lord Ali Shar and wept flowing tears; but presently recovered herself and said, "Haply Allah, who hath given mine enemies into my hand, will vouchsafe me the speedy return of my beloved;" and she begged forgiveness of Allah (be He extolled and exalted')—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen begged forgiveness of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!), and said, "Haply He will vouchsafe me speedy reunion with my beloved Ali Shar for He can do what He willeth and to His servants showeth grace, ever mindful of their case!" Then she praised Allah and again besought forgiveness of Him, submitting herself to the decrees of destiny, assured that each beginning hath his end, and repeating the saying of the poet,

"Take all things easy; for all worldly things * In Allah's hand
     are ruled by Destiny:
Ne'er shall befal thee aught of things forbidden, * Nor what is
     bidden e'er shall fail to thee!"

And what another saith.

"Roll up thy days[314] and easy shall they roll * Through
     life, nor haunt the house of grief and dole:
Full many a thing, which is o'er hard to find,* Next hour shall
     bring thee to delight thy soul."

And what a third saith,[315]

"Be mild what time thou'rt ta'en with anger and despite * And
     patient, if there fall misfortune on thy head.
Indeed, the nights are quick and great with child by Time * And
     of all wondrous things are hourly brought to bed."

And what a fourth saith,

"Take patience which breeds good if patience thou can learn; * Be
     calm soured, scaping anguish-draughts that gripe and bren:
Know, that if patience with good grace thou dare refuse, * With
     ill-graced patience thou shalt bear what wrote the Pen."

After which she abode thus another whole month's space, judging the folk and bidding and forbidding by day, and by night weeping and bewailing her separation from her lord Ali Shar. On the first day of the fifth month, she bade them spread the banquet on the race-plain, according to custom, and sat down at the head of the tables, whilst the lieges awaited the signal to fall to, leaving the place before the dish of rice vacant. She sat with eyes fixed upon the gate of the horse-course, noting all who entered and saying in her soul, "O Thou who restoredest Joseph to Jacob and diddest away the sorrows of Job,[316] vouchsafe of Thy might and Thy majesty to restore me my lord Ali Shar; for Thou over all things art Omnipotent, O Lord of the Worlds! O Guide of those who go astray! O Hearer of those that cry! O Answerer of those who pray, answer Thou my prayer, O Lord of all creatures." Now hardly had she made an end of her prayer and supplication when behold, she saw entering the gate of the horse-plain a young man, in shape like a willow branch, the comeliest of youths and the most accomplished, save that his face was wan and his form wasted by weariness. Now as he entered and came up to the tables, he found no seat vacant save that over against the dish of sweet rice so he sat down there; and, when Zumurrud looked upon him, her heart fluttered and, observing him narrowly, she knew him for her lord Ali Shar, and was like to have cried out for joy, but restrained herself, fearing disgrace before the folk and, albeit her bowels yearned over him and her heart beat wildly, she hid what she felt. Now the cause of his coming thither was on this wise. After he fell asleep upon the bench and Zumurrud let herself down to him and Jawan the Kurd seized her, he presently awoke and found himself lying with his head bare, so he knew that some one had come upon him and had robbed him of his turband whilst he slept. So he spoke the saying which shall never shame its sayer and, which is, "Verily, we are Allah's and to Him are we returning!" and, going back to the old woman's house, knocked at the door. She came out and he wept before her, till he fell down in a fainting fit. Now when he came to himself, he told her all that had passed, and she blamed him and chid him for his foolish doings saying, "Verily thine affliction and calamity come from thyself." And she gave not over reproaching him, till the blood streamed from his nostrils and he again fainted away. When he recovered from his swoon,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali Shar recovered from his swoon he saw the old woman bewailing his griefs and weeping over him; so he complained of his hard lot and repeated these two couplets,

"How bitter to friends is a parting, * And a meeting how sweet to
     the lover!
Allah join all the lovers He parteth, * And save me who of love
     ne'er recover."[317]

The old woman mourned over him and said to him, "Sit here, whilst I go in quest of news for thee and return to thee in haste." "To hear is to obey," answered he. So she left him on her good errand and was absent till midday, when she returned and said to him, "O Ali, I fear me thou must die in thy grief; thou wilt never see thy beloved again save on the bridge Al-Sirát;[318] for the people of the Christian's house, when they arose in the morning, found the window giving on the garden torn from its hinges and Zumurrud missing, and with her a pair of saddle-bags full of the Christian's money. And when I came thither, I saw the Chief of Police standing at the door, he and his many, and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Now, as Ali Shar heard these words, the light in his sight was changed to the darkness of night and he despaired of life and made sure of death; nor did he leave weeping, till he lost his senses. When he revived, love and longing were sore upon him; there befel him a grievous sickness and he kept his house a whole year; during which the old woman ceased not to bring him doctors and ply him with ptisanes and diet-drinks and make him savoury broths till, after the twelve-month ended, his life returned to him. Then he recalled what had passed and repeated these couplets,

"Severance-grief nighmost, Union done to death, * Down-railing
     tear-drops, heart fire tortureth!
Redoubleth pine in one that hath no peace * For love and wake and
     woe he suffereth:
O Lord, if there be thing to joy my soul * Deign Thou bestow it
     while I breathe my breath."

When the second year began, the old woman said to him, "O my son, all this thy weeping and wailing will not bring thee back thy mistress. Rise, therefore, gird the loins of resolution and seek for her in the lands: peradventure thou shalt light on some news of her." And she ceased not to exhort and hearten him, till he took courage and she carried him to the Hammam. Then she made him drink strong wine and eat white meats, and thus she did with him for a whole month, till he regained strength; and setting out journeyed without ceasing till he arrived at Zumurrud's city where he went to the horse-course, and sat down before the dish of sweet rice and put out his hand to eat of it. Now when the folk saw this, they were concerned for him and said to him, "O young man, eat not of that dish, for whoso eateth thereof, misfortune befalleth him." Answered he, "Leave me to eat of it, and let them do with me what they will, so haply shall I be at rest from this wearying life." Accordingly he ate a first mouthful, and Zumurrud was minded to have him brought before her, but then she bethought her that belike he was an hungered and said to herself, "It were properer to let him eat his fill." So he went on eating, whilst the folk looked at him in astonishment, waiting to see what would betide him; and, when he had satisfied himself, Zumurrud said to certain of her eunuchry, "Go to yonder youth who eateth of the rice and bring him to me in courteous guise, saying: 'Answer the summons of the King who would have a word with thee on some slight matter.'" They replied, "We hear and obey," and going straightways up to Ali Shar, said to him, "O my lord, be pleased to answer the summons of the King and let thy heart be at ease." Quoth he, "Hearkening and obedience;" and followed the eunuchs,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar rejoined, "Hearkening and obedience;" and followed the eunuchs, whilst the people said to one another, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I wonder what the King will do with him!" And others said, "He will do him naught but good: for had he intended to harm him, he had not suffered him to eat his fill." Now when the Castratos set him in presence of Zumurrud he saluted and kissed the earth before her, whilst she returned his salutation and received him with honour. Then she asked him, "What may be thy name and trade, and what brought thee to our city?"; and he answered, "O King my name is Ali Shar; I am of the sons of the merchants of Khorasan; and the cause of my coming hither is to seek for a slave-girl whom I have lost for she was dearer to me than my hearing and my seeing, and indeed my soul cleaveth to her, since I lost her; and such is my tale." So saying he wept, till he swooned away; whereupon she bade them sprinkle rose-water on his face, which they did till he revived, when she said, "Here with the table of sand and the brass pen." So they brought them and she took the pen and struck a geomantic scheme which she considered awhile; and then cried, "Thou hast spoken sooth, Allah will grant thee speedy reunion with her; so be not troubled." Upon this she commanded her head- chamberlain to carry him to the bath and afterwards to clothe him in a handsome suit of royal-apparel, and mount him on one of the best of the King's horses and finally bring him to the palace at the last of the day. So the Chamberlain, after saying "I hear and I obey," took him away, whilst the folk began to say to one another, "What maketh the King deal thus courteously with yonder youth?" And quoth one, "Did I not tell you that he would do him no hurt?; for he is fair of aspect; and this I knew, ever since the King suffered him to eat his fill." And each said his say; after which they all dispersed and went their ways. As for Zumurrud, she thought the night would never come, that she might be alone with the beloved of her heart. As soon as it was dark, she withdrew to her sleeping-chamber and made her attendants think her overcome with sleep; and it was her wont to suffer none to pass the night with her save those two little eunuchs who waited upon her. After a while when she had composed herself, she sent for her dear Ali Shar and sat down upon the bed, with candles burning over her head and feet, and hanging lamps of gold lighting up the place like the rising sun. When the people heard of her sending for Ali Shar, they marvelled thereat and each man thought his thought and said his say; but one of them declared, "At all events the King is in love with this young man, and to- morrow he will make him generalissimo of the army."[319] Now when they brought him into her, he kissed the ground between her hands and called down blessings her, and she said in her mind, "There is no help for it but that I jest with him awhile, before I make myself known to him."[320] Then she asked him, "O Ali, say me, hast thou been to the Hammam?"[321] and he answered, "Yes, O my lord." Quoth she, "Come, eat of this chicken and meat, and drink of this wine and sherbet of sugar; for thou art weary; and after that come thou hither." "I hear and I obey," replied he and did as she commanded him do. Now when he had made an end of eating and drinking, she said to him, "Come up with me on the couch and shampoo[322] my feet." So he fell to rubbing feet and kneading calves, and found them softer than silk. Then said she, "Go higher with the massage;" and he, "Pardon me, O my lord, to the knee but no farther!" Whereupon quoth she, "Durst thou disobey me?: it shall be an ill-omened night for thee!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zumurrud cried to her lord, Ali Shar, "Durst thou disobey me?: it shall be an ill-omened night for thee! Nay, but it behoveth thee to do my bidding and I will make thee my minion and appoint thee one of my Emirs." Asked Ali Shar, "And in what must I do thy bidding, O King of the age?" and she answered, "Doff thy trousers and lie down on thy face." Quoth he, "That is a thing in my life I never did; and if thou force me thereto, verily I will accuse thee thereof before Allah on Resurrection-day. Take everything thou hast given me and let me go from thy city." And he wept and lamented; but she said, "Doff thy trousers and lie down on thy face, or I will strike off thy head." So he did as she bade him and she mounted upon his back; and he felt what was softer than silk and smoother than cream and said in himself, "Of a truth, this King is nicer than all the women!" Now for a time she abode on his back, then she turned over on the bed, and he said to himself, "Praised be Allah! It seemeth his yard is not standing." Then said she, "O Ali, it is of the wont of my prickle that it standeth not, except they rub it with their hands; so, come, rub it with thy hand, till it be at stand, else will I slay thee." So saying, she lay down on her back and taking his hand, set it to her parts, and he found these same parts softer than silk; white, plumply-rounded, protuberant, resembling for heat the hot room of the bath or the heart of a lover whom love-longing hath wasted. Quoth Ali in himself, "Verily, our King hath a coynte; this is indeed a wonder of wonders!" And lust get hold on him and his yard rose and stood upright to the utmost of its height; which when Zumurrud saw, she burst out laughing and said to him, "O my lord, all this happeneth and yet thou knowest me not!" He asked "And who art thou, O King?"; and she answered, "I am thy slave- girl Zumurrud." Now whenas he knew this and was certified that she was indeed his very slave-girl, Zumurrud, he kissed her and embraced her and threw himself upon her as the lion upon the lamb. Then he sheathed his steel rod in her scabbard and ceased not to play the porter at her door and the preacher in her pulpit and the priest[323] at her prayer niche, whilst she with him ceased not from inclination and prostration and rising up and sitting down, accompanying her ejaculations of praise and of "Glory to Allah!" with passionate movements and wrigglings and claspings of his member[324] and other amorous gestures, till the two little eunuchs heard the noise. So they came and peeping from behind the curtains saw the King lying on his back and upon him Ali Shar, thrusting and slashing whilst she puffed and blew and wriggled. Quoth they, "Verily, this be no man's wriggle: belike this King is a woman."[325] But they concealed their affair and discovered it to none. And when the morrow came, Zumurrud summoned all the troops and the lords of the realm and said to them, "I am minded to journey to this man's country; so choose you a viceroy, who shall rule over you till I return to you." And they answered, "We hear and we obey." Then she applied herself to making ready the wants of the way, to wit provaunt and provender, monies and rarities for presents, camels and mules and so forth; after which she set out from her city with Ali Shar, and they ceased not faring on, till they arrived at his native place, where he entered his house and gave many gifts to his friends and alms and largesse to the poor. And Allah vouchsafed him children by her, and they both lived the gladdest and happiest of lives, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies and the Garnerer of graves. And glorified be He the Eternal without cease, and praised be He in every case! And amongst other tales they tell one of

THE LOVES OF JUBAYR BIN UMAYR AND THE LADY BUDUR.[edit]

It is related that the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid was uneasy[326] one night and could not sleep; so that he ceased not to toss from side to side for very restlessness, till, growing weary of this, he called Masrur and said to him, "Ho, Masrur, find me some one who may solace me in this my wakefulness." He answered, "O Prince of True Believers, wilt thou walk in the palace-garden and divert thyself with the sight of its blooms and gaze upon the stars and constellations and note the beauty of their ordinance and the moon among them rising in sheen over the water?" Quoth the Caliph, "O Masrur, my heart inclineth not to aught of this." Quoth he, "O my lord, there are in thy palace three hundred concubines, each of whom hath her separate chamber. Do thou bid all and every retire into her own apartment and then do thou go thy rounds and amuse thyself with gazing on them without their knowledge." The Caliph replied, "O Masrur, the palace is my palace and the girls are my property: furthermore my soul inclineth not to aught of this." Then Masrur rejoined, "O my lord, summon the doctors of law and religion and the sages of science and poets, and bid them contend before thee in argument and disputation and recite to thee songs and verses and tell thee tales and anecdotes." Replied the Caliph, "My soul inclineth not to aught of this;" and Masrur rejoined, "O my lord, bid pretty boys and the wits and the cup-companions attend thee and solace thee with witty sallies." "O Masrur," ejaculated the Caliph, "indeed my soul inclineth not to aught of this." "Then, O my lord," cried Masrur, "strike off my head;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Masrur cried out to the Caliph, "O my lord, strike off my head; haply that will dispel thine unease and do away the restlessness that is upon thee." So Al-Rashid laughed at his saying and said, "See which of the boon-companions is at the door." Thereupon he went out and returning, said, "O my lord, he who sits without is Ali bin Mansur of Damascus, the Wag."[327] "Bring him to me," quoth Harun: and Masrur went out and returned with Ibn Mansur, who said, on entering, "Peace be with thee, O Commander of the Faithful!" The Caliph returned his salutation and said to him, "O Ibn Mansur, tell us some of thy stories." Said the other, "O Commander of the Faithful, shall I tell thee what I have seen with my eyes or what I have only heard tell?" Replied the Caliph, "If thou have seen aught worth telling, let us hear it; for hearing is not like seeing." Said Ibn Mansur, "O Commander of the Faithful, lend me thine ear and thy heart;" and he answered, "O Ibn Mansur, behold, I am listening to thee with mine ears and looking at thee with mine eyes and attending to thee with my heart." So Ibn Mansur began: "Know then, O Commander of the Faithful, that I receive a yearly allowance from Mohammed bin Sulaymán al-Háshimi, Sultan of Bassorah; so I went to him once upon a time, as usual, and found him ready to ride out hunting and birding. I saluted him and he returned my salute, and said, 'O son of Mansur, mount and come with us to the chase:' but I said, 'O my lord, I can no longer ride; so do thou station me in the guest-house and give thy chamberlains and lieutenants charge over me.' And he did so and departed for his sport. His people entreated me with the utmost honour and entertained me with the greatest hospitality; but said I to myself, 'By Allah, it is a strange thing that for so long I have been in the habit of coming from Baghdad to Bassorah, yet know no more of this town than from palace to garden and from garden to palace. When shall I find an occasion like this to view the different parts and quarters of Bassorah? I will rise forthwith and walk forth alone and divert myself and digest what I have eaten.' Accordingly I donned my richest dress and went out a walking about Bassorah. Now it is known to thee, O Commander of the Faithful, that it hath seventy streets, each seventy leagues[328] long, the measure of Irak; and I lost myself in its by-streets and thirst overcame me. Presently, as I went along, O Prince of True Believers, behold, I came to a great door, whereon were two rings of brass,[329] with curtains of red brocade drawn before it. And on either side of the door was a stone bench and over it was a trellis, covered with a creeping vine that hung down and shaded the door way. I stood still to gaze upon the place, and presently heard a sorrowful voice, proceeding from a heart which did not rejoice, singing melodiously and chanting these cinquains,

'My body bides the sad abode of grief and malady, * Caused by a
     fawn whose land and home are in a far countrie:
O ye two Zephyrs of the wold which caused such pain in me * By
     Allah, Lord of you! to him my heart's desire, go ye
           And chide him so perchance ye soften him I pray.

And tell us all his words if he to hear your speech shall deign,
     * And unto him the tidings bear of lovers 'twixt you twain:
And both vouchsafe to render me a service free and fain, * And
     lay my case before him showing how I e'er complain:
          And say, 'What ails thy bounder thrall this wise to
               drive away,

Without a fault committed and without a sin to show; * Or heart
     that leans to other wight or would thy love forego:
Or treason to our plighted troth or causing thee a throe?' * And
     if he smile then say ye twain in accents soft and slow,
          'An thou to him a meeting grant 'twould be the kindest
               way!

For he is gone distraught for thee, as well indeed, he might *
     His eyes are wakeful and he weeps and wails the livelong
     night :'
If seem he satisfied by this why then 'tis well and right, * But
     if he show an angry face and treat ye with despite,
          Trick him and 'Naught we know of him!' I beg you both
               to say.'

Quoth I to myself, 'Verily, if the owner of this voice be fair, she conjoineth beauty of person and eloquence and sweetness of voice.' Then I drew near the door, and began raising the curtain little by little, when lo! I beheld a damsel, white as a full moon when it mooneth on its fourteenth night, with joined eyebrows twain and languorous lids of eyne, breasts like pomegranates twin and dainty, lips like double carnelian, a mouth as it were the seal-of Solomon, and teeth ranged in a line that played with the reason of proser and rhymer, even as saith the poet,

'O pearly mouth of friend, who set those pretty pearls in line, *
     And filled thee full of whitest chamomile and reddest wine?
Who lent the morning-glory in thy smile to shimmer and shine *
     Who with that ruby-padlock dared thy lips to seal-and sign!
Who looks on thee at early morn with stress of joy and bliss *
     Goes mad for aye, what then of him who wins a kiss of
     thine?'[330]

And as saith another,

'O pearl-set mouth of friend * Pity poor Ruby's cheek
     Boast not o'er one who owns * Thee, union and unique.'

In brief she comprised all varieties of loveliness and was a seduction to men and women, nor could the gazer satisfy himself with the sight of her charms; for she was as the poet hath said of her,

'When comes she, slays she; and when back he turns, * She makes
     all men regard with loving eyes:
A very sun! a very moon! but still * Prom hurt and harmful ills
     her nature flies.
Opes Eden's garden when she shows herself, * And full moon see we
     o'er her necklace rise.'

How as I was looking at her through an opening of the curtain, behold, she turned; and, seeing me standing at the door, said to her handmaid, 'See who is at the door.' So the slave-girl came up to me and said, 'O Shaykh, hast thou no shame, or do impudent airs suit hoary hairs?' Quoth I, 'O my mistress, I confess to the hoary hairs, but as for impudent airs, I think not to be guilty of unmannerliness.' Then the mistress broke in, 'And what can be more unmannerly than to intrude thyself upon a house other than thy house and gaze on a Harim other than thy Harim?' I pleaded, 'O my lady, I have an excuse;' and when she asked, 'And what is thine excuse?' I answered, 'I am a stranger and so thirsty that I am well nigh dead of thirst.' She rejoined, 'We accept thine excuse,' —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When It was the Three Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young lady rejoined, 'We accept thine excuse,' and calling one of her slave maids, said to her, 'O Lutf,[331] give him to drink in the golden tankard.' So she brought me a tankard of red gold, set with pearls and gems of price, full of water mingled with virgin musk and covered with a napkin of green silk, and I addressed myself to drink and was long about my drinking, for I stole glances at her the while, till I could prolong my stay no longer. Then I returned the tankard to the girl, but did not offer to go; and she said to me, 'O Shaykh, wend thy way.' But I said, 'O my lady, I am troubled in mind.' She asked me 'for what?' and I answered, 'For the turns of Time and the change of things.' Replied she, 'Well mayst thou be troubled thereat for Time breedeth wonders. But what hast thou seen of such surprises that thou shouldst muse upon them?' Quoth I, 'I was thinking of the whilom owner of this house, for he was my intimate in his lifetime.' Asked she, 'What was his name?'; and I answered, 'Mohammed bin Ali the Jeweller and he was a man of great wealth. Tell me did he leave any children?' Said she, 'Yes, he left a daughter, Budur by name, who inherited all his wealth?' Quoth I, 'Meseemeth thou art his daughter?' 'Yes,' answered she, laughing; then added, 'O Shaykh, thou best talked long enough; now wend thy ways.' Replied I, 'Needst must I go, but I see thy charms are changed by being out of health; so tell me thy case; it may be Allah will give thee comfort at my hands.' Rejoined she, 'O Shayth, if thou be a man of discretion, I will discover to thee my secret; but first tell me who thou art, that I may know whether thou art worthy of confidence or not; for the poet saith,[332]

'None keepeth a secret but a faithful person: with the best of
     mankind remaineth concealed.
I have kept my secret in a house with a lock, whose key is lost
     and whose door is sealed.'

Thereto I replied, 'O my lady, an thou wouldest know who I am, I am Ali bin Mansúr of Damascus, the Wag, cup-companion to the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid.' Now when she heard my name, she came down from her seat and saluting me, said, 'Welcome, O Ibn Mansur! Now will I tell thee my case and entrust thee with my secret. I am a lover separated from her beloved.' I answered, 'O my lady, thou art fair and shouldest be on love terms with none but the fair. Whom then dost thou love?' Quoth she, 'I love Jubayr bin Umayr al-Shaybáni, Emir of the Banú Shaybán;[333]' and she described to me a young man than whom there was no prettier fellow in Bassorah. I asked, 'O my lady, have interviews or letters passed between you?' and she answered 'Yes, but our love was tongue-love souls, not heart and souls- love; for he kept not his trust nor was he faithful to his troth.' Said I, 'O my lady, and what was the cause of your separation?', and she replied, 'I was sitting one day whilst my handmaid here combed my hair. When she had made an end of combing it, she plaited my tresses, and my beauty and loveliness charmed her; so she bent over me and kissed my cheek.[334] At that moment he came in unawares, and, seeing the girl kiss my cheek, straightways turned away in anger, vowing eternal-separation and repeating these two couplets,

'If another share in the thing I love, * I abandon my love and
     live lorn of love.
My beloved is worthless if aught she will, * Save that which her
     lover doth most approve.

And from the time he left me to this present hour, O Ibn Mansur, he hath neither written to me nor answered my letters.' Quoth I, 'And what purposes" thou to do?' Quoth she, 'I have a mind to send him a letter by thee. If thou bring me back an answer, thou shalt have of me five hundred gold pieces; and if not, then an hundred for thy trouble in going and coming.' I answered, 'Do what seemeth good to thee; I hear and I obey thee.' Whereupon she called to one of her slave-girls, 'Bring me ink case and paper,' and she wrote thereon these couplets,

'Beloved, why this strangeness, why this hate? * When shall thy
     pardon reunite us two?
Why dost thou turn from me in severance? * Thy face is not the
     face I am wont to know.
Yes, slanderers falsed my words, and thou to them * Inclining,
     madest spite and envy grow.
An hast believed their tale, the Heavens forbid * Now thou
     believe it when dost better bow!
By thy life tell what hath reached thine ear, * Thou know'st what
     said they and so justice show.
An it be true I spoke the words, my words * Admit interpreting
     and change allow:
Given that the words of Allah were revealed, * Folk changed the
     Torah[335] and still changing go:
What slanders told they of mankind before! * Jacob heard Joseph
     blamed by tongue of foe.
Yea, for myself and slanderer and thee * An awful day of
     reckoning there shall be.'

Then she sealed the letter and gave it to me; and I took it and carried it to the house of Jubayr bin Umayr, whom I found absent a hunting. So I sat down to wait for him; and behold, he returned from the chase; and when I saw him, O Prince of True Believers, come riding up, my wit was confounded by his beauty and grace. As soon as he sighted me sitting at the house-door, he dismounted and coming up to me embraced me and saluted me; and meseemed I embraced the world and all therein. Then he carried me into his house and, seating me on his own couch, called for food. They brought a table of Khalanj-wood of Khorasan with feet of gold, whereon were all manners of meats, fried and roasted and the like. So I seated myself at the table and examining it with care found these couplets engraved upon it:"[336]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali son of
Mansur continued: "So I seated myself at the table of Jubayr bin
Umayr al-Shaybani and, examining it with care, found these
couplets engraved upon it,

'On these which once were-chicks,
          Your mourning glances fix,
Late dwellers in the mansion of the cup,
          Now nearly eaten up!
               Let tears bedew
          The memory of that stew,
          Those partridges, once roast,
               Now lost!

The daughters of the grouse in plaintive strain
Bemourn, and still bemourn, and mourn again!
          The children of the fry,
               We lately saw
          Half smothered in pilau
With buttery mutton fritters smoking by!
          Alas! my heart, the fish!
               Who filled his dish,

With flaky form in varying colours spread
On the round pastry cake of household bread!
          Heaven sent us that kabob!
               For no one could
          (Save heaven he should rob)
Produce a thing so excellently good,
          Or give us roasted meat
With basting oil so savourily replete!

But, oh! mine appetite, alas! for thee!
          Who on that furmeaty
So sharpset west a little while ago—
That furmeaty, which mashed by hands of snow,
          A light reflection bore,
Of the bright bracelets that those fair hands wore;
          Again remembrance glads my sense
          With visions of its excellence!

Again I see the cloth unrolled
          Rich worked in many a varied fold!
          Be patient, oh! my soul, they say
          Fortune rules all that's new and strange,
          And though she pinches us to day,
To-morrow brings full rations, and a change!'[337]

Then said Jubayr, 'Put forth thy hand to our food and ease our heart by eating of our victual.' Answered I, 'By Allah, I will not eat a mouthful, till thou grant me my desire.' He asked, 'What is thy desire?'; so I brought out the letter and gave it to him; but, when he had read it and mastered its contents, he tore it in pieces and throwing it on the floor, said to me, 'O Ibn Mansur, I will grant thee whatever thou askest save thy desire which concerneth the writer of this letter, for I have no answer to her.' At this I rose in anger; but he caught hold of my skirts, saying, 'O Ibn Mansur, I will tell thee what she said to thee, albeit I was not present with you.' I asked, 'And what did she say to me?'; and he answered, 'Did not the writer of this letter say to thee, If thou bring me back an answer, thou shalt have of me five hundred ducats; and if not, an hundred for thy pains?' 'Yes,' replied I; and he rejoined, 'Abide with me this day and eat and drink and enjoy thyself and make merry, and thou shalt have thy five hundred ducats.' So I sat with him and ate and drank and made merry and enjoyed myself and entertained him with talk deep in to the night;[338] after which I said to him, 'O my master, is there no music in thy house.' He answered, 'Verily for many a day we have drunk without music.' Then he called out, saying, 'Ho, Shajarat al-Durr?' Whereupon a slave- girl answered him from her chamber and came in to us, with a lute of Hindu make, wrapped in a silken bag. And she sat down and, laying the lute in her lap, preluded in one and twenty modes; then, returning to the first, she sang to a lively measure these couplets,

'We have ne'er tasted of Love's sweets and bitter draught, * No
     difference kens 'twixt presence-bliss and absence-stress;
And so, who hath declined from Love's true road, * No diference
     kens 'twixt smooth and ruggedness:
I ceased not to oppose the votaries of love, * Till I had tried
     its sweets and bitters not the less:
How many a night my pretty friend conversed with me * And sipped
     I from his lips honey of love liesse:
Now have I drunk its cup of bitterness, until * To bondman and to
     freedman I have proved me base.
How short-aged was the night together we enjoyed, * When seemed
     it daybreak came on nightfall's heel to press!
But Fate had vowed to disunite us lovers twain, * And she too
     well hath kept her vow, that votaress.
Fate so decreed it! None her sentence can withstand: * Where is
     the wight who dares oppose his Lord's command?'

Hardly had she finished her verses, when her lord cried out with a great cry and fell down in a fit; whereupon exclaimed the damsel, 'May Allah not punish thee, O old man! This long time have we drunk without music, for fear the like of this falling sickness befal our lord. But now go thou to yonder chamber and there sleep.' So I went to the chamber which she showed me and slept till the morning, when behold, a page brought me a purse of five hundred dinars and said to me, 'This is what my master promised thee; but return thou not to the damsel who sent thee, god let it be as though neither thou nor we had ever heard of this matter.' 'Hearkening and obedience,' answered I and taking the purse, went my way. Still I said to myself, 'The lady must have expected me since yesterday; and by Allah there is no help but I return to her and tell her what passed between me and him: otherwise she will revile me and revile all who come from my country.' So I went to her and found her standing behind the door; and when she saw me she said, 'O Ibn Mansur, thou hast done nothing for me?' I asked, 'Who told thee of this?'; and she answered, 'O Ibn Mansur, yet another thing hath been revealed to me;[339] and it is that, when thou handedst him the letter, he tore it in pieces. and throwing it on the floor, said to thee: 'O Ibn Mansur, I will grant thee whatever thou askest save thy desire which concerneth the writer of this letter; for I have no answer to her missive.' Then didst thou rise from beside him in anger; but he laid hold of thy skirts, saying: 'O son of Mansur, abide with me to day, for thou art my guest, and eat and drink and make merry; and thou shalt have thy five hundred ducats.' So thou didst sit with him, eating and drinking and making merry, and entertainedst him with talk deep into the night and a slave- girl sang such an air and such verses, whereupon he fell down in a fit.' So, O Commander of the Faithful, I asked her 'West thou then with us?'; and she answered, 'O Ibn Mansur, hast thou not heard the saying of the poet,

'The hearts of lovers have eyes I ken, * Which see the unseen by vulgar men.'

However, O Ibn Mansur, the night and day shift not upon anything but they bring to it change.'—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lady exclaimed, 'O Ibn Mansur, the night and the day shift not upon anything but they bring to it change!' Then she raised her glance to heaven and said, 'O my God and my Leader and my Lord, like as Thou hast afflicted me with love of Jubayr bin Umayr, even so do Thou afflict him with love of me, and transfer the passion from my heart to his heart!'[340] Then she gave me an hundred sequins for my trouble in going and coming and I took it and returned to the palace, where I found the Sultan come home from the chase; so I got my pension of him and fared back to Baghdad. And when next year came, I repaired to Bassorah, as usual, to seek my pension, and the Sultan paid it to me; but, as I was about to return to Baghdad, I bethought me of the Lady Budur and said to myself, 'By Allah, I must needs go to her and see what hath befallen between her and her lover!' So I went to her house and finding the street before her door swept and sprinkled and eunuchs and servants and pages standing before the entrance, said to myself, 'Most like grief hath broken the lady's heart and she is dead, and some Emir or other hath taken up his abode in her house.' So I left it and went on to the house of Jubayr, son of Umayr the Shaybani, where I found the benches of the porch broken down and ne'er a page at the door, as of wont and said to myself, 'Haply he too is dead.' Then I stood still before the door of his house and with my eyes running over with tears, bemoaned it in these couplets,

'O Lords of me, who fared but whom my heart e'er followeth, *
     Return and so my festal-days with you shall be renewed!
I stand before the home of you, bewailing your abode; * Quiver
     mine eyelids and my eyes with tears are ever dewed:
I ask the house and its remains that seem to weep and wail, *
     'Where is the man who whilom wont to lavish goods and
good?"
It saith, 'Go, wend thy way; those friends like travellers have
     fared * From Springtide-camp, and buried lie of earth and
     worms the food!'
Allah ne'er desolate us so we lose their virtues' light * In
     length and breadth, but ever be the light in spirit viewed!'

As I, O Prince of True Believers, was thus keening over the folk of the house,[341] behold, out came a black slave therefrom and said to me, 'Hold thy peace, O Shaykh! May thy mother be reft of thee! Why do I see thee bemoaning the house in this wise?' Quoth I, 'I frequented it of yore, when it belonged to a good friend of mine.' Asked the slave, 'What was his name?'; and I answered, 'Jubayr bin Umayr the Shaybani.' Rejoined he, And what hath befallen him? Praised be Allah, he is yet here with us in the enjoyment of property and rank and prosperity, except that Allah hath stricken him with love of a damsel called the Lady Budur;, and he is so whelmed by his love of her and his longing for her, that he is like a great rock cumbering the ground. If he hunger, he saith not, 'Give me meat;' nor, if he thirst, doth he say, 'Give me drink.' Quoth I, 'Ask leave for me to go in to him.' Said the slave, 'O my lord, wilt thou go in to one who understandeth or to one who understandeth not?'; and I said 'There is no help for it but I see him whatever be the case.' Accordingly he went in to ask and presently returned with permission for me to enter, whereupon I went in to Jubayr and found him like a rock that cumbereth the ground, understanding neither sign nor speech; and when I spoke to him he answered me not. Then said one of his servants, 'O my lord, if thou remember aught of verse, repeat it and raise thy voice; and he will be aroused by this and speak with thee.' So I versified in these two couplets,

'Hast quit the love of Moons[342] or dost persist? * Dost wake
     o' nights or close in sleep thine eyes?
If aye thy tears in torrents flow, then learn * Eternal-thou
     shalt dwell in Paradise.'[343]

When he heard these verses he opened his eyes and said; 'Welcome, O son of Mansur! Verily, the jest is become earnest.' Quoth I, 'O my lord, is there aught thou wouldst have me do for thee?' Answered he, 'Yes, I would fain write her a letter and send it to her by thee. If thou bring me back her answer, thou shalt have of me a thousand dinars; and if not, two hundred for thy pains.' So I said, 'Do what seemeth good to thee;'—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibn Mansur continued: "So I said, 'Do what seemeth good to thee;' whereupon he called to one of his slave-girls, 'Bring me ink case and paper;' and wrote these couplets,

'I pray in Allah's name, O Princess mine, be light * On me, for
     Love hath robbed me of my reason's sight'
'Slaved me this longing and enthralled me love of you; * And clad
     in sickness garb, a poor and abject wight.
I wont ere this to think small things of Love and hold, * O
     Princess mine, 'twas silly thing and over-slight.
But when it showed me swelling surges of its sea, * To Allah's
     hest I bowed and pitied lover's plight.
An will you, pity show and deign a meeting grant, * An will you
     kill me still forget not good requite.'[344]

Then he sealed the letter and gave it to me. So I took it and, repairing to Budur's house, raised the door-curtain little by little, as before, and looking in behold, I saw ten damsels, high-bosomed virgins, like moons, and the Lady Budur as she were the full moon among the stars, sitting in their midst, or the sun, when it is clear of clouds and mist; nor was there on her any trace of pain or care. And as I looked and marvelled at her case, she turned her glance upon me and, seeing me standing at the door, said to me, 'Well come, and welcome and all hail to thee, O Ibn Mansur! Come in.' So I entered and saluting her gave her the letter; and she read it and when she understood it, she said laughingly to me, 'O Ibn Mansur, the poet lied not when he sang,

'Indeed I'll bear my love for thee with firmest soul, * Until from thee to me shall come a messenger.

'Look'ye, O Ibn Mansur, I will write thee an answer, that he may give thee what he promised thee.' And I answered, 'Allah requite thee with good!' So she called out to a handmaid, 'Bring inkcase and paper,' and wrote these couplets,

'How comes it I fulfilled my vow the while that vow broke you? *
     And, seen me lean to equity, iniquity wrought you?
'Twas you initiated wrongous dealing and despite: * You were the
     treachetour and treason came from only you!
I never ceased to cherish mid the sons of men my troth, * And
     keep your honour brightest bright and swear by name of you
Until I saw with eyes of me what evil you had done; * Until I
     heard with ears of me what foul report spread you.
Shall I bring low my proper worth while raising yours so high? *
     By Allah had you me eke I had honoured you!
But now uprooting severance I will fain console my heart, * And
     wring my fingers clean of you for evermore to part!'

Quoth I, 'By Allah, O my lady, between him and death there is but the reading of this letter!' So I tore it in pieces and said to her, 'Write him other than these lines.' 'I hear and obey answered she and wrote the following couplets,

'Indeed I am consolèd now and sleep without a tear, * And all
     that happened slandering tongues have whispered in mine ear:
My heart obeyed my hest and soon forgot thy memory, * And learnt
     mine eyelids 'twas the best to live in severance sheer:
He lied who said that severance is a bitterer thing than gall: *
     It never disappointed me, like wine I find it cheer:
I learnt to hate all news of thee, e'en mention of thy name, *
     And turn away and look thereon with loathing pure and mere:
Lookye! I cast thee out of heart and far from vitals mine; * Then
     let the slanderer wot this truth and see I am sincere.'

Quoth I, 'By Allah, O my lady, when he shall read these verses, his soul will depart his body!' Quoth she, 'O Ibn Mansur, is passion indeed come to such a pass with him that thou sayest this saying?' Quoth I, 'Had I said more than this verily it were but the truth: but mercy is of the nature of the noble.' Now when she heard this her eyes brimmed over with tears and she wrote him a note, I swear by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, there is none in thy Chancery could write the like of it; and therein were these couplets,

'How long shall I thy coyness and thy great aversion see? * Thou
     hast satisfied my censurers and pleased their enmity:
I did amiss and wot it not; so deign to tell me now * Whatso they
     told thee, haply 'twas the merest calumny.
I wish to welcome thee, dear love, even as welcome I * Sleep to
     these eyes and eyelids in the place of sleep to be.
And since 'tis thou hast made me drain th' unmixèd cup of love, *
     If me thou see with wine bemused heap not thy blame on me!'

And when she had written the missive,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Budur had written the missive, she sealed it and gave it to me; and I said, 'O my lady, in good sooth this thy letter will make the sick man whole and ease the thirsting soul.' Then I took it and went from her, when she called me back and said to me, 'O son of Mansur, say to him: 'She will be thy guest this night.' At this I joyed with exceeding great joy and carried the letter to Jubayr, whom I found with his eyes fixed intently on the door, expecting the reply and as soon as I gave him the letter and he opened and read it and understood it, he uttered a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit. When he came to himself, he said to me, 'O Ibn Mansur, did she indeed write this note with her hand and feel it with her fingers?' Answered I, 'O my lord, do folk write with their feet?' And by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I had not done speaking these words, when we heard the tinkle-tinkle of her anklets in the vestibule and she entered. And seeing her he sprang to his feet as though nothing pained or ailed him and embraced her like the letter L embraceth the letter A;[345] and the infirmity, that erst would not depart at once left him.[346] Then he sat down, but she abode standing and I said to her, 'O my lady, why dost thou not sit?' Said she, 'O Ibn Mansur, save on a condition that is between us, I will not sit.' I asked, 'And what is that?'; and she answered, 'None may know lovers' secrets,' and putting her mouth to Jubayr's ear whispered to him; where upon he replied, 'I hear and I obey.' Then he rose and said somewhat in a whisper to one of his slaves, who went out and returned in a little while with a Kazi and two witnesses. Thereupon Jubayr stood up and taking a bag containing an hundred thousand dinars, said, O Kazi, marry me to this young lady and write this sum to her marriage-settlement.' Quoth the Kazi to her, 'Say thou, I consent to this.' 'I consent to this,' quoth she, whereupon he drew up the contract of marriage and she opened the bag; and, taking out a handful of gold, gave it to the Kazi and the witnesses and handed the rest to Jubayr. Thereupon the Kazi and the witnesses withdrew, and I sat with them, in mirth and merriment, till the most part of the night was past, when I said in my mind, 'These are lovers and they have been this long while separated. I will now arise and go sleep in some place afar from them and leave them to their privacy, one with other.' So I rose, but she caught hold of my skirts, saying, 'What thinkest thou to do?' 'Nothing but so and so,' answered I; upon which she rejoined, 'Sit thee down; and when we would be rid of thee, we will send thee away.' So I sat down with them till near daybreak, when she said to me, 'O Ibn Mansur, go to yonder chamber; for we have furnished it for thee and it is thy sleeping-place.' Thereupon I arose and went thither and slept till morning, when a page brought me basin and ewer, and I made the ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer. Then I sat down and presently, behold, Jubayr and his beloved came out of the bath in the house, and I saw them both wringing their locks.[347] So I wished them good morning and gave them joy of their safety and reunion, saying to Jubayr, 'That which began with constraint and conditions hath ended in cordial-contentment.' He answered, 'Thou sayest well, and indeed thou deservest thy honorarium;' and he called his treasurer, and said, 'Bring hither three thousand dinars.' So he brought a purse containing the gold pieces and Jubayr gave it to me, saying, 'Favour us by accepting this.' But I replied, 'I will not accept it till thou tell me the manner of the transfer of love from her to thee, after so huge an aversion.' Quoth he, 'Hearkening and obedience! Know that we have a festival-called New Year's day,[348] when all the people fare forth and take boat and go a-pleasuring on the river. So I went out with my comrades, and saw a skiff, wherein were ten damsels like moons and amongst them, the Lady Budur lute in hand. She preluded in eleven modes, then, returning to the first, sang these two couplets,

'Fire is cooler than fires in my breast, * Rock is softer than
     heart of my lord
Marvel I that he's formèd to hold * In water soft frame heart
     rock-hard!'

Said I to her, 'Repeat the couplets and the air!' But she would not:'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Jubayr continued, 'So cried I to her, Repeat the couplets and the air!' But she would not; whereupon I bade the boatmen pelt her with oranges, and they pelted her till we feared her boat would founder Then she went her way, and this is how the love was transferred from her heart to mine.' So I wished them joy of their union and, taking the purse with its contents, I returned to Baghdad." Now when the Caliph heard Ibn Mansur's story his heart was lightened and the restlessness and oppression from which he suffered forsook him. And they also tell the tale of

THE MAN OF AI-YAMAN AND HIS SIX SlAVE-GIRLS.

The Caliph Al-Maamun was sitting one day in his palace, surrounded by his Lords of the realm and Officers of state, and there were present also before him all his poets and cup- companions amongst the rest one named Mohammed of Bassorah. Presently the Caliph turned and said to him, "O Mohammed, I wish thee forthwith to tell me something that I have never before heard." He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, dost thou wish me to tell thee a thing I have heard with my ears or a thing I have seen with my eyes?" Quoth Al-Maamun, "Tell me whichever is the rarer; so Mohammed al-Basri began: "Know, then, O Commander of the Faithful that there lived once upon a time wealthy man, who was a native of Al-Yaman;but he emigrated from his native land and came to this city of Baghdad, whose sojourn so pleased him that he transported hither his family and possessions. Now he had six slave-girls, like moons one and all; the first white, the second brown, the third fat, the fourth lean, the fifth yellow and the sixth lamp-black; and all six were comely of countenance and perfect in accomplishments and skilled in the arts of singing and playing upon musical-instruments. Now it so chanced that, one day, he sent for the girls and called for meat and wine; and they ate and drank and were mirthful and made merry Then he filled the cup and, taking it in his hand, said to the blonde girl, 'O new moon face, let us hear somewhat of thy pleasant songs.' So she took the lute and tuning it, made music thereon with such sweet melody that the place danced with glee; after which she played a lively measure and sang these couplets,

'I have a friend, whose form is fixed within mine eyes,[349] *
     Whose name deep buried in my very vitals lies:
Whenas remembers him my mind all heart am I, * And when on him my
     gaze is turned I am all eyes.
My censor saith, 'Forswear, forget, the love of him,' * 'Whatso
     is not to be, how shall's be?' My reply is.
Quoth I, 'O Censor mine, go forth from me, avaunt! * And make not
     light of that on humans heavy lies.'

Hereat their master rejoiced and, drinking off his cup, gave the damsels to drink, after which he said to the berry-brown girl, 'O brasier-light[350] and joy of the sprite, let us hear thy lovely voice, whereby all that hearken are ravished with delight.' So she took the lute and thereon made harmony till the place was moved to glee; then, captivating all hearts with her graceful swaying, she sang these couplets,

'I swear by that fair face's life, I'll love but thee * Till
     death us part, nor other love but thine I'll see:
O full moon, with thy loveliness mantilla'd o'er, * The loveliest
     of our earth beneath thy banner be:
Thou, who surpassest all the fair in pleasantness * May Allah,
     Lord of worlds, be everywhere with thee!'

The master rejoiced and drank off his cup and gave the girls to drink; after which he filled again; and, taking the goblet in his hand, signed to the fat girl and bade her sing and play a different motive. So she took the lute and striking a grief- dispelling measure, sang these couplets,

'An thou but deign consent, O wish to heart affied! * I care not
     wrath and rage to all mankind betide.
And if thou show that fairest face which gives me life, * I reck
     not an dimimshed heads the Kings go hide.
I seek thy favours only from this 'versal-world: * O thou in whom
     all beauty cloth firm-fixt abide!'

The man rejoiced and, emptying his cup, gave the girls to drink. Then he signed to the thin girl and said to her, 'O Houri of Paradise, feed thou our ears with sweet words and sounds.' So she took the lute; and, tuning it, preluded and sang these two couplets,

'Say me, on Allah's path[351] hast death not dealt to me, *
     Turning from me while I to thee turn patiently:
Say me, is there no judge of Love to judge us twain, * And do me
     justice wronged, mine enemy, by thee?'

Their lord rejoiced and, emptying the cup, gave the girls to drink. Then filling another he signed to the yellow girl and said to her, O sun of the day, let us hear some nice verses.' So she took the lute and, preluding after the goodliest fashion, sang these couplets,

'I have a lover and when drawing him, * He draws on me a sword-
    blade glancing grim:
Allah avenge some little of his wrongs, * Who holds my heart yet
     wreaks o erbearing whim
Oft though I say, 'Renounce him, heart!' yet heart * Will to none
     other turn excepting him.
He is my wish and will of all men, but * Fate's envious hand to
     me's aye grudging him.'

The master rejoiced and drank and gave the girls to drink; then he filled the cup and taking it in hand, signed to the black girl, saying, 'O pupil of the eye, let us have a taste of thy quality, though it be but two words.' So she took the lute and tuning it and tightening the strings, preluded in various modes, then returned to the first and sang to a lively air these couplets,

'Ho ye, mine eyes, let prodigal-tears go free; * This ecstasy
     would see my being unbe:[352]
All ecstasies I dreefor sake of friend * I fondle, maugre
     enviers' jealousy:
Censors forbid me from his rosy cheek, * Yet e'er inclines my
     heart to rosery:
Cups of pure wine, time was, went circuiting * In joy, what time
     the lute sang melody,
While kept his troth the friend who madded me, * Yet made me
     rising star of bliss to see:
But—with Time, turned he not by sin of mine; * Than such a turn
     can aught more bitter be?
Upon his cheek there grows and glows a rose, * Nay two, whereof
     grant Allah one to me!
An were prostration[353] by our law allowed * To aught but
     Allah, at his feet I had bowed.'

Thereupon rose the six girls and, kissing the ground before their lord, said to him, 'Do thou justice between us, O our lord!' So he looked at their beauty and loveliness and the contrast of their colours and praised Almighty Allah and glorified Him. Then said he, 'There is none of you but hath learnt the Koran by heart, and mastered the musical-art and is versed in the chronicles' of yore and the doings of peoples which have gone before; so it is my desire that each one of you rise and, pointing finger at her opposite, praise herself and dispraise her co-concubine; that is to: say, let the blonde point to the brunette, the plump to the slenderer and the yellow to the black girl; after which the rivals, each in her turn, shall do the like with the former; and be this illustrated with citations from Holy Writ and somewhat of anecdotes and,; verse, so as to show forth your fine breeding and elegance of your pleading.' And they answered him, 'We hear and we obey!;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the handmaids answered the man of Al-Yaman, "'We hear and we obey!' Accordingly the blonde rose first and, pointing at the black girl, said to her: 'Out on thee, blackamoor! It is told by tradition that whiteness saith, 'I am the shining light, I am the rising moon of the fourteenth night. My hue is patent and my brow is resplendent and of my beauty quoth the poet,'

'White girl with softly rounded polished cheeks * As if a pearl
     concealed by Beauty's boon:
Her stature Alif-like;[354] her smile like Mím[355] * And
     o'er her eyes two brows that bend like Nún.[356]
'Tis as her glance were arrow, and her brows * Bows ever bent to
     shoot Death-dart eftsoon:
If cheek and shape thou view, there shalt thou find * Rose,
     myrtle, basil and Narcissus wone.
Men wont in gardens plant and set the branch, * How many garths
     thy stature-branch cloth own!'

'So my colour is like the hale and healthy day and the newly culled orange spray and the star of sparkling ray;[357] and indeed quoth Almighty Allah, in His precious Book, to his prophet Moses (on whom be peace!), Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, without hurt.'[358] And again He saith, But they whose faces shall become white, shall be in the mercy of Allah; therein shall they remain forever.'[359] My colour is a sign, a miracle, and my loveliness supreme and my beauty a term extreme. It is on the like of me that raiment showeth fair and fine and to the like of me that hearts incline. Moreover, in whiteness are many excellences; for instance, the snow falleth white from heaven, and it is traditional-that the beautifullest of a colours white. The Moslems also glory in white turbands, but I should be tedious, were I to tell all that may be told in praise of white; little and enough is better than too much of unfilling stuff. So now I will begin with thy dispraise, O black, O colour of ink and blacksmith's dust, thou whose face is like the raven which bringeth about the parting of lovers. Verily, the poet saith in praise of white and blame of black,

'Seest not that pearls are prized for milky hue, * But with a
     dirham buy we coals in load?
And while white faces enter Paradise, * Black faces crowd
     Gehenna's black abode.'

And indeed it is told in certain histories, related on the authority of devout men, that Noah (on whom be peace!) was sleeping one day, with his sons Cham and Shem seated at his head, when a wind sprang up and, lifting his clothes, uncovered his nakedness; whereat Cham looked and laughed and did not cover him: but Shem arose and covered him. Presently, their sire awoke and learning, what had been done by his sons, blessed Shem and cursed Cham. So Shem's face was whitened and from him sprang the prophets and the orthodox Caliphs and Kings; whilst Cham's face was blackened and he fled forth to the land of Abyssinia, and of his lineage came the blacks.[360] All people are of one mind in affirming the lack of understanding of the blacks, even as saith the adage, 'How shall one find a black with a mind?' Quoth her master, 'Sit thee down, thou hast given us sufficient and even excess.' Thereupon he signed to the negress, who rose and, pointing her finger at the blonde, said: Dost thou not know that in the Koran sent down to His prophet and apostle, is transmitted the saying of God the Most High, 'By the night when it covereth all things with darkness; by the day when it shineth forth!'[361] If the night were not the more illustrious, verily Allah had not sworn by it nor had given it precedence of the day. And indeed all men of wit and wisdom accept this. Knowest thou not that black is the ornament of youth and that, when hoariness descendeth upon the head, delights pass away and the hour of death draweth in sight? Were not black the most illustrious of things, Allah had not set it in the core of the heart[362] and the pupil of the eye; and how excellent is the saying of the poet,

'I love not black girls but because they show * Youth's colour,
     tinct of eye and heartcore's hue;
Nor are in error who unlove the white, * And hoary hairs and
     winding-sheet eschew.'

And that said of another,

'Black[363] girls, not white, are they * All worthy love I
     see:
Black girls wear dark-brown lips;[364] * Whites, blotch of
     leprosy.'

And of a third,

'Black girls in acts are white, and 'tis as though * Like eyes,
     with purest shine and sheen they show;
If I go daft for her, be not amazed; * Black bile[365] drives
     melancholic-mad we know
'Tis as my colour were the noon of night; * For all no moon it
     be, its splendours glow.

Moreover, is the foregathering of lovers good but in the night? Let this quality and profit suffice thee. What protecteth lovers from spies and censors like the blackness of night's darkness; and what causeth them to fear discovery like the whiteness of the dawn' s brightness? So, how many claims to honour are there not in blackness and how excellent is the saying of the poet,

'I visit them, and night-black lendeth aid to me * Seconding love, but dawn-white is mine enemy.'

And that of another,

'How many a night I've passed with the beloved of me, * While
     gloom with dusky tresses veilèd our desires:
But when the morn-light showed it caused me sad affright; * And I
     to Morning said, 'Who worship light are liars!'[366]

And saith a third,

'He came to see me, hiding neath the skirt of night, * Hasting
     his steps as wended he in cautious plight.
I rose and spread my cheek upon his path like rug, * Abject, and
     trailed my skirt to hide it from his sight;
But rose the crescent moon and strave its best to show * The
     world our loves like nail-slice raying radiant
     light:[367]
Then what befel befel: I need not aught describe; * But think thy
     best, and ask me naught of wrong or right.
Meet not thy lover save at night for fear of slander * The Sun's
     a tittle-tattler and the Moon's a pander.'

And a fifth,

'I love not white girls blown with fat who puff and pant; * The
     maid for me is young brunette embonpoint-scant.
I'd rather ride a colt that's darn upon the day * Of race, and
     set my friends upon the elephant.'

And a sixth,

My lover came to me one night, * And clips we both with fond
     embrace;
And lay together till we saw * The morning come with swiftest
     pace.
Now I pray Allah and my Lord * To reunite us of His grace
And make night last me long as he * Lies in the arms that tightly
     lace.'

Were I to set forth all the praises of blackness, my tale would be tedious; but little and enough is better than too much of unfilling stuff. As for thee, O blonde, thy colour is that of leprosy and thine embrace is suffocation;[368] and it is of report that hoar-frost and icy cold[369] are in Gehenna for the torment of the wicked. Again, of things black and excellent is ink, wherewith is written Allah's word; and were it not for black ambergris and black musk, there would be no perfumes to carry to Kings. How many glories I may not mention dwell in blackness, and how well saith the poet,

'Seest not that musk, the nut brown musk, e'er claims the highest
     price * Whilst for a load of whitest lime none more than
     dirham bids?
And while white speck upon the eye deforms the loveliest youth, *
     Black eyes discharge the sharpest shafts in lashes from
     their lids.'

Quoth her master, 'Sit thee down: this much sufficeth.' So she sat down and he signed to the fat girl, who rose"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the man of Al-Yaman, the master of the handmaids, signed to the fat girl who rose and, pointing her finger at the slim girl, bared her calves and wrists and uncovered her stomach, showing its dimples and the plump rondure of her navel. Then she donned a shift of fine stuff, that exposed her whole body, and said: 'Praised be Allah who created me, for that He beautified my face and made me fat and fair of the fattest and fairest; and likened me to branches laden with fruit, and bestowed upon me abounding beauty and brightness: and praised be He no less, for that He hath given me the precedence and honoured me, when He mentioneth me in His holy Book! Quoth the Most High, 'And he brought a fatted calf.'[370] And He hath made me like unto a vergier full of peaches and pomegranates. In very sooth even as the townsfolk long for fat birds and eat of them and love not lean birds, so do the sons of Adam desire fat meat and eat of it. How many vauntful attributes are there not in fatness, and how well saith the poet,

'Farewell thy love, for see, the Cafilah's[371] on the move: *
     O man, canst bear to say adieu and leave thy love?
'Tis as her going were to seek her neighbour's tent, * The gait
     of fat fair maid, whom hearts shall all approve.'

Sawest thou ever one stand before a flesher's stall but sought of him fat flesh? The wise say, 'Joyance is in three things, eating meat and riding meat and putting meat into meat.'[372] As for thee, O thin one, thy calves are like the shanks of sparrows or the pokers of furnaces; and thou art a cruciform plank of a piece of flesh poor and rank; there is naught in thee to gladden the heart; even as saith the poet,

'With Allah take I refuge from whatever driveth me * To bed with
     one like footrasp[373] or the roughest ropery:
In every limb she hath a horn that butteth me whene'er * I fain
     would rest, so morn and eve I wend me wearily.'

Quoth her master, 'Sit thee down: this much sufficeth.' So she sat down and he signed to the slender girl, who rose, as she were a willow-wand, or a rattan-frond or a stalk of sweet basil, and said: 'Praised be Allah who created me and beautified me and made my embraces the end of all desire and likened me to the branch, whereto all hearts incline. If I rise, I rise lightly; if I sit, I sit prettily; I am nimble-witted at a jest and merrier-souled than mirth itself. Never heard I one describe his mistress, saying, 'My beloved is the bigness of an elephant or like a mountain long and broad;' but rather, 'My lady hath a slender waist and a slim shape.'[374] Furthermore a little food filleth me and a little water quencheth my thirst; my sport is agile and my habit active; for I am sprightlier than the sparrow and lighter-skipping than the starling. My favours are the longing of the lover and the delight of the desirer; for I am goodly of shape, sweet of smile and graceful as the bending willow-wand or the rattan-cane[375] or the stalk of the basil- plant; nor is there any can compare with me in loveliness, even as saith one of me,

'Thy shape with willow branch I dare compare, * And hold thy
     figure as my fortunes fair:
I wake each morn distraught, and follow thee, * And from the
     rival's eye in fear I fare.'

It is for the like of me that amourists run mad and that those who desire me wax distracted. If my lover would draw me to him, I am drawn to him; and if he would have me incline to him, I incline to him and not against him. But now, as for thee, O fat of body, thine eating is the feeding of an elephant, and neither much nor little filleth thee. When thou liest with a man who is lean, he hath no ease of thee; nor can he anyways take his pleasure of thee; for the bigness of thy belly holdeth him off from going in unto thee and the fatness of thy thighs hindereth him from coming at thy slit. What goodness is there in thy grossness, and what courtesy or pleasantness in thy coarseness? Fat flesh is fit for naught but the flasher, nor is there one point therein that pleadeth for praise. If one joke with thee, thou art angry; if one sport with thee, thou art sulky; if thou sleep, thou snorest if thou walk, thou lollest out thy tongue! if thou eat, thou art never filled. Thou art heavier than mountains and fouler than corruption and crime. Thou hast in thee nor agility nor benedicite nor thinkest thou of aught save meat and sleep. When thou pissest thou swishes"; if thou turd thou gruntest like a bursten wine skin or an elephant transmogrified. If thou go to the water closet, thou needest one to wash thy gap and pluck out the hairs which overgrow it; and this is the extreme of sluggish ness and the sign, outward and visible, of stupidity[376] In short, there is no good thing about thee, and indeed the poet Title of thee,

'Heavy and swollen like an urine-bladder blown, * With hips and
     thighs like mountain propping piles of stone;
Whene'er she walks in Western hemisphere, her tread * Makes the
     far Eastern world with weight to moan and groan.'

Quoth her master, 'Sit thee down, this sufficeth;' so she sat down and he signed to the yellow girl, who rose to her feet and praised Allah Almighty and magnified His name, calling down peace and blessing on Mohammed the best of His creatures; after which she pointed her finger at the brunette and said to her," And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the yellow girl stood up and praised Almighty Allah and magnified His name; after which she pointed her finger at the brown girl and said to her: 'I am the one praised in the Koran, and the Compassionate hath described my complexion and its excellence over all other hues in His manifest Book, where Allah saith, 'A yellow, pure yellow, whose colour gladdeneth the beholders.'[377] Wherefore my colour is a sign and portent and my grace is supreme and my beauty a term extreme; for that my tint is the tint of a ducat and the colour of the planets and moons and the hue of ripe apples. My fashion is the fashion of the fair, and the dye of saffron outvieth all other dyes; so my semblance is wondrous and my colour marvellous. I am soft of body and of high price, comprising all qualities of beauty. My colour is essentially precious as virgin gold, and how many boasts and glories cloth it not unfold! Of the like of me quoth the poet,

'Her golden yellow is the sheeny sun's; * And like gold sequins
     she delights the sight:
Saffron small portion of her glance can show; * Nay,[378] she
     outvies the moon when brightest bright.'

And I shall at once begin in thy dispraise, O berry-brown girl! Thy tincture is that of the buffalo, and all souls shudder at thy sight. If thy colour be in any created thing, it is blamed; if it be in food, it is poisoned; for thy hue is the hue of the dung- fly; it is a mark of ugliness even in dogs; and among the colours it is one which strikes with amazement and is of the signs of mourning. Never heard I of brown gold or brown pearls or brown gems. If thou enter the privy, thy colour changeth, and when thou comest out, thou addest ugliness to ugliness. Thou art a non- descript; neither black, that thou mayst be recognised, nor white, that thou mayst be described; and in thee there is no good quality, even as saith the poet,

'The hue of dusty motes is hers; that dull brown hue of hers * Is
     mouldy like the dust and mud by Cossid's foot
     upthrown:[379]
 I never look upon her brow, e'en for eye-twinkling's space, *
     But in brown study fall I and my thoughts take browner
     tone.'

Quoth her master, 'Sit thee down; this much sufficeth;' so she sat down and he signed to the brunette. Now she was a model of beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace; soft of skin, slim of shape, of stature rare, and coal-black hair; with cheeks rosy-pink, eyes black rimmed by nature's hand, face fair, and eloquent tongue; moreover slender-waisted and heavy-hipped. So she rose and said: 'Praise be to Allah who hath created me neither leper-white nor bile-yellow nor charcoal-black, but hath made my colour to be beloved of men of wit and wisdom, for all the poets extol berry-brown maids in every tongue and exalt their colour over all other colours. To 'brown of hue (they say) praise is due;' and Allah bless him who singeth,

'And in brunettes is mystery, could'st" thou but read it right, *
     Thy sight would never dwell on others, be they red or white:
Free-flowing conversation, amorous coquettishness * Would teach
     Hárut himself a mightier spell of magic might.'

And saith another,

'Give me brunettes, so limber, lissom, lithe of sway, * Brunettes
     tall, slender straight like Samhar's nut-brown
     lance;[380]
Languid of eyelids and with silky down on either cheek, * Who
     fixed in lover's heart work to his life mischance.'

And yet another,

'Now, by my life, brown hue hath point of comeliness * Leaves
     whiteness nowhere and high o'er the Moon takes place;
But an of whiteness aught it borrowed self to deck, * 'Twould
     change its graces and would pale for its disgrace:
Not with his must[381] I'm drunken, but his locks of musk *
     Are wine inebriating all of human race.
His charms are jealous each of each, and all desire * To be the
     down that creepeth up his lovely face.'

And again another,

'Why not incline me to that show of silky down, * On cheeks of
     dark brunette, like bamboo spiring brown?
Whenas high rank in beauty poets sing, they say * Brown ant-like
     specklet worn by nenuphar in crown.
And see I sundry lovers tear out others' eyne * For the brown
     mole beneath that jetty pupil shown,
Then why do censors blame me for one all a mole? * Allah I pray
     demolish each molesting clown!'[382]

My form is all grace and my shape is built on heavy base; Kings desire my colour which all adore, rich and poor. I am pleasant, active, handsome, elegant, soft of skin and prized for price: eke I am perfect in seemlibead and breeding and eloquence; my aspect is comely and my tongue witty; my temper is bright and my play a pretty sight. As for thee, thou art like unto a mallow growing about the Lúk Gate;[383] in hue sallow and streaked-yellow and made all of sulphur. Aroynt thee, O copper-worth of jaundiced sorrel, O rust of brass-pot, O face of owl in gloom, and fruit of the Hell-tree Zakkúm;[384] whose bedfellow, for heart-break, is buried in the tomb. And there is no good thing in thee, even as saith the poet of the like of thee,

'Yellowness, tincturing her tho' nowise sick or sorry, *
     Straitens my hapless heart and makes my head sore ache;
An thou repent not, Soul! I'll punish thee with kissing[385] *
     Her lower face that shall mine every grinder break!'

And when she ended her lines, quoth her master, 'Sit thee down, this much sufficeth!'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when the yellow girl ended her recitation, quoth her master, 'Sit thee down; this much sufficeth!' Then he made peace between them and clad them all in sumptuous robes of honour and hanselled them with precious jewels of land and sea. And never have I seen, O Commander of the Faithful, any when or any where, aught fairer than these six damsels fair." Now when Al-Maamun heard this story from Mohammed of Bassorah, he turned to him and said, " O Mohammed, knowest thou the abiding-place of these damsels and their master, and canst thou contrive to buy them of him for us?" He answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, indeed I have heard that their lord is wrapped up in them and cannot bear to be parted from them." Rejoined the Caliph, "Take thee ten thousand gold pieces for each girl, that is sixty thousand for the whole purchase; and carry the coin to his house and buy them of him." So Mohammed of Bassorah took the money and, betaking himself to the Man of Al-Yaman, acquainted him with the wish of the Prince of True Believers. He consented to part with them at that price to pleasure the Caliph; and despatched them to Al-Maamun, who assigned them an elegant abode and therein used to sit with them as cup-companions; marvelling at their beauty and loveliness, at their varied colours and at the excellence of their conversation. Thus matters stood for many a day; but, after awhile, when their former owner could no longer bear to be parted from them, he sent a letter to the Commander of the Faithful complaining to him of his own ardent love-longing for them and containing, amongst other contents, these couplets,

"Captured me six, all bright with youthful blee; * Then on all
     six be best salams from me!
They are my hearing, seeing, very life; * My meat, my drink, my
     joy, my jollity:
I'll ne'er forget the favours erst so charmed * Whose loss hath
     turned my sleep to insomny:
Alack, O longsome pining and O tears! * Would I had farewelled
     all humanity:
Those eyes, with bowed and well arched eyebrows[386] dight, *
     Like bows have struck me with their archery."

Now when the letter came to the hands of Al-Maamun, he robed the six damsels in rich raiment; and, giving them threescore thousand dinars, sent them back to their lord who joyed in them with exceeding joy[387] (more especially for the monies they brought him), and abode with them in all the comfort and pleasance of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies. And men also recount the tale of

HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE DAMSEL AND ABU NOWAS.[edit]

The Caliph, Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, being one night exceedingly restless and thoughtful with sad thought, rose from his couch and walked about the by-ways of his palace, till he came to a chamber, over whose doorway hung a curtain. He raised that curtain and saw, at the upper end of the room, a bedstead whereon lay something black, as it were a man asleep, with a wax taper on his right hand and another on his left; and as the Caliph stood wondering at the sight, behold, he remarked a flagon full of old wine whose mouth was covered by the cup. The Caliph wondered even more at this, saying, "How came this black by such wine-service?" Then, drawing near the bedstead, he found that it was a girl lying asleep there, curtained by her hair; so he uncovered her face and saw that it was like the moon, on the night of his fulness.[388] So the Caliph filled himself a cup of wine and drank it to the roses of her cheeks; and, feeling inclined to enjoy her, kissed a mole on her face, whereupon she started up from sleep, and cried out, "O Trusted of Allah,[389] what may this be?" Replied he, " A guest who knocketh at thy door, hoping that thou wilt give him hospitality till the dawn;" and she answered; "Even so! I will serve him with my hearing and my sight." So she brought forward the wine and they drank together, after which she took the lute and tuning the strings, preluded in one-and-twenty modes, then returning to the first, played a lively measure and sang these couplets,

"The tongue of love from heart bespeaks my sprite, * Telling I
     love thee with love infinite:
I have an eye bears witness to my pain, * And fluttering heart
     sore hurt by parting-plight.
I cannot hide the love that harms my life; * Tears ever roll and
     growth of pine I sight:
I knew not what love was ere loving thee; * But Allah's destiny
     to all is dight."

And when her verses were ended she said, "O Commander of the Faithful, I have been wronged!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel cried, "O Commander of the Faithful, I have been wronged!" Quoth he, "How so, and who hath wronged thee?" Quoth she "Thy son bought me awhile ago, for ten thousand dirhams, meaning to give me to thee; but thy wife, the daughter of thine uncle, sent him the said price and bade him shut me up from thee in this chamber." Whereupon said the Caliph, "Ask a boon of me," and she, "I ask thee to lie with me to-morrow night." Replied the Caliph, "Inshallah!" and leaving her, went away. Now as soon as it was morning, he repaired to his sitting-room and called for Abu Nowas, but found him not and sent his chamberlain to ask after him. The chamberlain found him in a tavern, pawned and pledged for a score of a thousand dirhams, which he had spent on a certain beardless youth, and questioned him of his case. So he told him what had betided him with the comely boy and how he had spent upon him a thousand silver pieces; whereupon quoth the chamberlain, "Show him to me; and if he be worth this, thou art excused." He answered, "Patience, and thou shalt see him presently.' As they were talking together, up came the lad, clad in a white tunic, under which was another of red and under this yet another black. Now when Abu Nowas saw him, he sighed a loud sigh and improvised these couplets,

"He showed himself in shirt of white, * With eyes and eyelids
     languor-digit.
Quoth I, 'Doss pass and greet me not? * Though were thy greeting
     a delight?
Blest He who clothed in rose thy cheeks, * Creates what wills He
     by His might!'
Quoth he, 'Leave prate, forsure my Lord * Of works is wondrous
     infinite:
My garment's like my face and luck; * All three are white on
     white on white.'"

When the beardless one heard these words, he doffed the white tunic and appeared in the red; and when Abu Nowas saw him he redoubled in expressions of admiration and repeated these couplets,

"He showed in garb anemone-red, * A foeman 'friend' entitulèd:
Quoth I in marvel, 'Thou'rt full moon * Whose weed shames rose
     however red:
Hath thy cheek stained it red, or hast * Dyed it in blood by
     lovers bled?'
Quoth he, 'Sol gave me this for shirt * When hasting down the
     West to bed
So garb and wine and hue of cheek * All three are red on red on
     red.'"

And when the verses came to an end, the beardless one doffed the red tunic and stood in the black; and, when Abu Nowas saw him, he redoubled in attention to him and versified in these couplets,

"He came in sable-huèd sacque * And shone in dark men's heart to
     rack:
Quoth I, 'Doss pass and greet me not? * Joying the hateful
     envious pack?
Thy garment's like thy locks and like * My lot, three blacks on
     black on black.'"

Seeing this state of things and understanding the case of Abu Nowas and his love-longing, the Chamberlain returned to the Caliph and acquainted him therewith; so he bade him pouch a thousand dirhams and go and take him out of pawn. Thereupon the Chamberlain returned to Abu Nowas and, paying his score, carried him to the Caliph, who said, "Make me some verses containing the words, O Trusted of Allah, what may this be?" Answered he, "I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Nowas answered, "I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful!" and forthwith he improvised these couplets,

"Long was my night for sleepless misery; * Weary of body and of
     thought ne'er free:
I rose and in my palace walked awhile, * Then wandered thro' the
     halls of Haremry:
Till chanced I on a blackness, which I found * A white girl hid
     in hair for napery:
Here to her for a moon of brightest sheen! * Like willow-wand and
     veiled in pudency:
I quaffed a cup to her; then drew I near, * And kissed the
     beauty-spot on cheek had she:
She woke astart, and in her sleep's amaze, * Swayed as the
     swaying branch in rain we see;
Then rose and said to me, 'O Trusted One * Of Allah, O Amin, what
     may this be?
Quoth I, 'A guest that cometh to thy tents * And craves till morn
     thy hospitality.'
She answered, 'Gladly I, my lord, will grace * And honour such a
     guest with ear and eye.'"

Cried the Caliph, "Allah strike thee dead! it is as if thou hadst been present with us."[390] Then he took him by the hand and carried him to the damsel and, when Abu Nowas saw her clad in a dress and veil of blue, he expressed abundant admiration and improvised these couplets,

"Say to the pretty one in veil of blue, * 'By Allah, O my life,
     have ruth on dole!
For, when the fair entreats her lover foul, * Sighs rend his
     bosom and bespeak his soul
By charms of thee and whitest cheek I swear thee, * Pity a heart
     for love lost all control
Bend to him, be his stay 'gainst stress of love, * Nor aught
     accept what saith the ribald fool.'"

Now when he ended his verse, the damsel set wine before the Caliph; and, taking the lute, played a lively measure and sang these couplets,

"Wilt thou be just to others in thy love, and do * Unright, and
     put me off, and take new friend in lieu?
Had lovers Kazi unto whom I might complain * Of thee, he'd
     peradventure grant the due I sue:
If thou forbid me pass your door, yet I afar * Will stand, and
     viewing you waft my salams to you!"

The Caliph bade her ply Abu Nowas with wine, till he lost his right senses, thereupon he gave him a full cup, and he drank a draught of it and held the cup in his hand till he slept. Then the Commander of the Faithful bade the girl take the cup from his grasp and hide it; so she took it and set it between her thighs, moreover he drew his scymitar and, standing at the head of Abu Nowas, pricked him with the point; whereupon he awoke and saw the drawn sword and the Caliph standing over him. At this sight the fumes of the wine fled from his head and the Caliph said to him, "Make me some verses and tell me therein what is become of thy cup; or I will cut off thy head." So he improvised these couplets,

"My tale, indeed, is tale unlief; * 'Twas yonder fawn who play'd
     the thief!
She stole my cup of wine, before * The sips and sups had dealt
     relief,
And hid it in a certain place, * My heart's desire and longing
     grief.
I name it not, for dread of him * Who hath of it command-in-
    chief."

Quoth the Caliph, "Allah strike thee dead![391] How knewest thou that? But we accept what thou sayst." Then he ordered him a dress of honour and a thousand dinars, and he went away rejoicing. And among tales they tell is one of

THE MAN WHO STOLE THE DISH OF GOLD WHEREIN THE DOG ATE.[edit]

Sometime erst there was a man, who had accumulated debts, and his case was straitened upon him, so that he left his people and family and went forth in distraction; and he ceased not wandering on at random till he came after a time to a city tall of walls and firm of foundations. He entered it in a state of despondency and despair, harried by hunger and worn with the weariness of his way. As he passed through one of the main streets, he saw a company of the great going along; so he followed them till they reached a house like to a royal-palace. He entered with them, and they stayed not faring forwards till they came in presence of a person seated at the upper end of a saloon, a man of the most dignified and majestic aspect, surrounded by pages and eunuchs, as he were of the sons of the Wazirs.When he saw the visitors, he rose to greet them and received them with honour; but the poor man aforesaid was confounded at his own boldness, when beholding——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the poor man aforesaid was confounded at his own boldness, when beholding the goodliness of the place and the crowd of servants and attendants; so drawing back, in perplexity and fear for his life sat down apart in a place afar off. where none should see him. Now it chanced that whilst he was sitting, behold, in came a man with four sporting-dogs, whereon were various kinds of raw silk and brocade[392] and wearing round their necks collars of gold with chains of silver, and tied up each dog in a place set privy for him; after which he went out and presently returned with four dishes of gold, full of rich meats, which he set severally before the dogs, one for each. Then he went away and left them, whilst the poor man began to eye the food, for stress of hunger, and longed to go up to one of the dogs and eat with him, but fear of them withheld him. Presently, one of the dogs looked at him and Allah Almighty inspired the dog with a knowledge of his case; so he drew back from the platter and signed to the man, who came and ate till he was filled. Then he would have withdrawn, but the dog again signed to him to take for himself the dish and what food was left in it, and pushed it towards him with his fore-paw. So the man took the dish and leaving the house, went his way, and none followed him. Then he journeyed to another city where he sold the dish and buying with the price a stock-in-trade, returned to his own town. There he sold his goods and paid his debts; and he throve and became affluent and rose to perfect prosperity. He abode in his own land; but after some years had passed he said to himself, "Needs must I repair to the city of the owner of the dish, and, carry him a fit and handsome present and pay him the money-value of that which his dog bestowed upon me." So he took the price of the dish and a suitable gift; and, setting out, journeyed day and night, till he came to that city; he entered it and sought the place where the man lived; but he found there naught save ruins mouldering in row and croak of crow, and house and home desolate and all conditions in changed state. At this, his heart and soul were troubled, and he repeated the saying of him who saith,

"Void are the private rooms of treasury: * As void were hearts of
     fear and piety:
Changed is the Wady nor are its gazelles * Those fawns, nor sand-
    hills those I wont to see."

And that of another,

"In sleep came Su'adá's[393] shade and wakened me * Near dawn,
     when comrades all a-sleeping lay:
But waking found I that the shade was fled, * And saw air empty
     and shrine far away."

Now when the man saw these mouldering ruins and witnessed what the hand of time had manifestly done with the place, leaving but traces of the substantial-things that erewhiles had been, a little reflection made it needless for him to enquire of the case; so he turned away. Presently, seeing a wretched man, in a plight which made him shudder and feel goose-skin, and which would have moved the very rock to rush, he said to him, "Ho thou! What have time and fortune done with the lord of this place? Where are his lovely faces, his shining full moons and splendid stars; and what is the cause of the ruin that is come upon his abode, so that nothing save the walls thereof remain?" Quoth the other, "He is the miserable thou seest mourning that which hath left him naked. But knowest thou not the words of the Apostle (whom Allah bless and keep!), wherein is a lesson to him who will learn by it and a warning to whoso will be warned thereby and guided in the right way, 'Verily it is the way of Allah Almighty to raise up nothing of this world, except He cast it down again?'[394] If thou question of the cause of this accident, indeed it is no wonder, considering the chances and changes of Fortune. I was the lord of this place and I builded it and founded it and owned it; and I was the proud possessor of its full moons lucent and its circumstance resplendent and its damsels radiant and its garniture magnificent, but Time turned and did away from me wealth and servants and took from me what it had lent (not given); and brought upon me calamities which it held in store hidden. But there must needs be some reason for this thy question: so tell it me and leave wondering." Thereupon, the man who had waxed wealthy being sore concerned, told him the whole story, and added, "I have brought thee a present, such as souls desire, and the price of thy dish of gold which I took; for it was the cause of my affluence after poverty, and of the replenishment of my dwelling-place, after desolation, and of the dispersion of my trouble and straitness." But the man shook his head, and weeping and groaning and complaining of his lot answered, "Ho thou! methinks thou art mad; for this is not the way of a man of sense. How should a dog of mine make generous gift to thee of a dish of gold and I meanly take back the price of what a dog gave? This were indeed a strange thing! Were I in extremest unease and misery, by Allah, I would not accept of thee aught; no, not the worth of a nail-paring! So return whence thou camest in health and safety."[395] Whereupon the merchant kissed his feet and taking leave of him, returned whence he came, praising him and reciting this couplet,

"Men and dogs together are all gone by, * So peace be with all of them! dogs and men!'

And Allah is All knowing! Again men tell the tale of

THE SHARPER OF ALEXANDRIA AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE.[edit]

There was once in the coast-fortress of Alexandria, a Chief of Police, Husám al-Din highs, the sharp Scymitar of the Faith. Now one night as he sat in his seat of office, behold, there came in to him a trooper-wight who said, "Know, O my lord the Chief, that I entered your city this night and alighted at such a khan and slept there till a third part of the night was past when I awoke and found my saddle-bags sliced open and a purse of a thousand gold pieces stolen from them." No sooner had he done speaking than the Chief summoned his chief officials and bade them lay hands on all in the khan and clap them in limbo till the morning; and on the morrow, he caused bring the rods and whips used in punishment, and, sending for the prisoners, was about to flog them till they confessed in the presence of the owner of the stolen money when, lo! a man broke through the crowd till he came up to the Chief of Police,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Chief was about to flog them when lo! a man broke through the crowd till he came up to the Chief of Police and the trooper and said; "Ho! Emir, let these folk go, for they are wrongously accused. It was I who robbed this trooper, and see, here is the purse I stole from his saddle-bags." So saying, he pulled out the purse from his sleeve and laid it before Husam al-Din, who said to the soldier, "Take thy money and pouch it; thou now hast no ground of complaint against the people of the khan." Thereupon these folk and all who were present fell to praising the thief and blessing him; but he said, "Ho! Emir, the skill is not in that I came to thee in person and brought thee the purse; the cleverness was in taking it a second time from this trooper." Asked the Chief, "And how didst thou do to take it, O sharper?"; and the robber replied, "O Emir, I was standing in the Shroff's[396] bazar at Cairo, when I saw this soldier receive the gold in change and put it in yonder purse; so I followed him from by-street to by- street, but found no occasion of stealing it. Then he travelled from Cairo and I followed him from town to town, plotting and planning by the way to rob him, but without avail, till he entered this city and I dogged him to the khan. I took up my lodging beside him and watched him till he fell asleep and I heard him sleeping; when I went up to him softly, softly; and I slit open his saddle-bags with this knife, and took the purse in the way I am now taking it." So saying, he put out his hand and took the purse from before the Chief of Police and the trooper, both of whom, together with the folk, drew back watching him and thinking he would show them how he took the purse from the saddle-bags. But, behold! he suddenly broke into a run and threw himself into a pool of standing water[397] hard by. So the Chief of the Police shouted to his officers, "Stop thief!" and many made after him; but before they could doff their clothes and descend the steps, he had made off; and they sought for him, but found him not; for that the by-streets and lanes of Alexandria all communicate. So they came back without bringing the purse; and the Chief of Police said to the trooper, "Thou hast no demand upon the folk; for thou fondest him who robbed thee and receivedst back thy money, but didst not keep it." So the trooper went away, having lost his money, whilst the folk were delivered from his hands and those of the Chief of Police, and all this was of the favour of Almighty Allah.[398] And they also tell the tale of

AL-MALIK AL-NASIR AND THE THREE CHIEFS OF POLICE.[edit]

Once upon a time Al-Malik al-Násir[399] sent for the Wális or Chiefs of Police of Cairo, Bulak, and Fostat[400] and said to them, "I desire each of you to recount me the marvellousest thing that hath befallen him during his term of office."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Al-Malik al-Nasir to the three Walis, "I desire each of you to recount me the marvellousest thing which hath befallen him during his term of office." So they answered, "We hear and we obey." Then said the Chief of the Police of Cairo, "Know thou, O our lord the Sultan, the most wonderful thing that befel me, during my term of office, was on this wise:" and he began

The Story of the Chief of Police of Cairo.

"There were in this city two men of good repute fit to bear witness[401] in matters of murder and wounds; but they were both secretly addicted to intrigues with low women and to wine- bibbing and to dissolute doings, nor could I succeed (do what I would) in bringing them to book, and I began to despair of success. So I charged the taverners and confectioners and fruiterers and candle-chandlers and the keepers of brothels and bawdy houses to acquaint me of these two good men whenever they should anywhere be engaged in drinking or other debauchery, or together or apart; and ordered that, if they both or if either of them bought at their shops aught for the purpose of wassail and carousel, the vendors should not conceal-it from me. And they replied, 'We hear and obey.' Presently it chanced that one night, a man came to me and said, 'O my master, know that the two just men, the two witnesses, are in such a street in such a house, engaged in abominable wickedness.' So I disguised myself, I and my body-servant, and ceased not trudging till I came to the house and knocked at the door, whereupon a slave-girl came out and opened to me, saying, 'Who art thou?' I entered without answering her and saw the two legal-witnesses and the house-master sitting, and lewd women by their side and before them great plenty of wine. When they saw me, they rose to receive me, and made much of me, seating me in the place of honour and saying to me, 'Welcome for an illustrious guest and well come for a pleasant cup- companion!' And on this wise they met me without showing a sign of alarm or trouble. Presently, the master of the house arose from amongst us and went out and returned after a while with three hundred dinars, when the men said to me, without the least fear, 'Know, O our lord the Wali, it is in thy power to do even more than disgrace and punish us; but this will bring thee in return nothing but weariness: so we reck thou wouldest do better to take this much money and protect us; for Almighty Allah is named the Protector and loveth those of His servants who protect their Moslem neighbours; and thou shalt have thy reward in this world and due recompense in the world to come.' So I said to myself, 'I will take the money and protect them this once, but, if ever again I have them in my power, I will take my wreak of them;' for, you see, the money had tempted me. Thereupon I took it and went away thinking that no one would know it; but, next day, on a sudden one of the Kazi's messengers came to me and said to me, 'O Wali, be good enough to answer the summons of the Kazi who wanteth thee.' So I arose and accompanied him, knowing not the meaning of all this; and when I came into the judge's presence, I saw the two witnesses and the master of the house, who had given me the money, sitting by his side. Thereupon this man rose and sued me for three hundred dinars, nor was it in my power to deny the debt; for he produced a written obligation and his two companions, the legal witnesses, testified against me that I owed the amount. Their evidence satisfied the Kazi and he ordered me to pay the sum, nor did I leave the Court till they had of me the three hundred gold pieces. So I went away, in the utmost wrath and shame, vowing mischief and vengeance against them and repenting that I had not punished them. Such, then is the most remarkable event which befel me during my term of office." Thereupon rose the Chief of the Bulak Police and said, "As for me, O our lord the Sultan, the most marvellous thing that happened to me, since I became Wali, was as follows:" and he began

The Story of the Chief of the Bulak Police.

"I was once in debt to the full amount of three hundred thousand gold pieces;[402] and, being distressed thereby, I sold all that was behind me and what was before me and all I hent in hand, but I could collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali of Bulak continued: "So I sold all that was behind and before me, but could collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars and remained in great perplexity. Now one night, as I sat at home in this state, behold, there came a knocking; so I said to one of my servants, 'See who is at the door.' He went out and returned, wan of face, changed in countenance and with his side-muscles a- quivering; so I asked him, 'What aileth thee?'; and he answered, 'There is a man at the door; he is half naked, clad in skins, with sword in hand and knife in girdle, and with him are a company of the same fashion and he asketh for thee.' So I took my sword and going out to see who these were, behold, I found them as the boy had reported and said to them, 'What is your business?' They replied, 'Of a truth we be thieves and have done fine work this night; so we appointed the swag to thy use, that thou mayst pay therewith the debts which sadden thee and deliver thee from thy distress.' Quoth I, 'Where is the plunder?'; and they brought me a great chest, full of vessels of gold and silver; which when I saw, I rejoiced and said to myself, 'Herewith I will settle all claims upon me and there will remain as much again.' So I took the money and going inside said in my mind, 'It were ignoble to let them fare away empty-handed.' Whereupon I brought out the hundred thousand dinars I had by me and gave it to them, thanking them for their kindness; and they pouched the monies and went their way, under cover of the night so that none might know of them. But when morning dawned I examined the contents of the chest, and found them copper and tin[403] washed with gold worth five hundred dirhams at the most; and this was grievous to me, for I had lost what monies I had and trouble was added to my trouble. Such, then, is the most remarkable event which befel me during my term of office." Then rose the Chief of the Police of Old Cairo and said, "O our lord the Sultan, the most marvellous thing that happened to me, since I became Wali, was on this wise;" and he began

The Story of the Chief of the Old Cairo Police.

"I once hanged ten thieves each on his own gibbet, and especially charged the guards to watch them and hinder the folk from taking any one of them down. Next morning when I came to look at them, I found two bodies hanging from one gallows and said to the guards, 'Who did this, and where is the tenth gibbet?' But they denied all knowledge of it, and I was about to beat them till they owned the truth, when they said, 'Know, O Emir, that we fell asleep last night, and when we awoke, we found that some one had stolen one of the bodies, gibbet and all; so we were alarmed and feared thy wrath. But, behold, up came a peasant-fellow driving his ass; whereupon we laid hands on him and killed him and hanged his body upon this gallows, in the stead of the thief who had been stolen.'[404] Now when I heard this, I marvelled and asked them, 'What had he with him?'; and they answered, 'He had a pair of saddle-bags on the ass.' Quoth I, 'What was in them?'; quoth they, 'We know not.' So I said, 'Bring them hither;' and when they brought them to me I bade open them, behold, therein was the body of a murdered man, cut in pieces. Now as soon as I saw this, I marvelled at the case and said in myself, 'Glory to God! The cause of the hanging of this peasant was none other but his crime against this murdered man; and thy Lord is not unjust towards His servants.'"[405] And men also tell the tale of

THE THIEF AND THE SHROFF.[edit]

A certain Shroff, bearing a bag of gold pieces, once passed by a company of thieves, and one of these sharpers said to the others, "I, and I only, have the power to steal yonder purse." So they asked, "How wilt thou do it?"; and he answered, "Look ye all!"; and followed the money-changer, till he entered his house, when he threw the bag on a shelf[406] and, being affected with diabetes, went into the chapel of ease to do his want, calling to the slave-girl, "Bring me an ewer of water." She took the ewer and followed him to the privy, leaving the door open, whereupon the thief entered and, seizing the money-bag, made off with it to his companions, to whom he told what had passed.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the thief took the money-bag and made off with it to his companions to whom he told what had passed. Said they, "By Allah, thou hast played a clever trick! "tis not every one could do it; but, presently the money-changer will come out of the privy; and missing the bag of money, he will beat the slave-girl and torture her with grievous torture. 'Tis as though thou hast at present done nothing worthy of praise; so, if thou be indeed a sharper, return and save the girl from being beaten and questioned." Quoth he, ' Inshallah! I will save both girl and purse." Then the prig went back to the Shroff's house and found him punishing the girl because of the purse; so he knocked at the door and the man said, "Who is there?" Cried the thief, "I am the servant of thy neighbour in the Exchange;" whereupon he came out to him and said, "What is thy business?" The thief replied, "My master saluteth thee and saith to thee: 'Surely thou art deranged and thoroughly so, to cast the like of this bag of money down at the door of thy shop and go away and leave it.' Had a stranger hit upon it he had made off with it and, except my master had seen it and taken care of it, it had assuredly been lost to thee." So saying, he pulled out the purse and showed it to the Shroff who on seeing it said, "That is my very purse," and put out his hand to take it; but the thief said, "By Allah, I will not give thee this same, till thou write me a receipt declaring that thou hast received it! for indeed I fear my master will not believe that thou hast recovered the purse, unless I bring him thy writing to that effect, and sealed with thy signet-seal." The money changer went in to write the paper required; and in the meantime the thief made off with the bag of money and thus was the slave-girl saved her beating. And men also tell a tale of

THE CHIEF OF THE KUS POLICE AND THE SHARPER.[edit]

It is related that Alá al-Dín, Chief of Police at Kús,[407] was sitting one night in his house, when behold, a personage of handsome appearance and dignified aspect came to the door, accompanied by a servant bearing a chest upon his head and, standing there said to one of the Wali's young men, "Go in and tell the Emir that I would have audience of him on some privy business." So the servant went in and told his master, who bade admit the visitor. When he entered, the Emir saw him to be a man of handsome semblance and portly presence; so he received him with honour and high distinction, seating him beside himself, and said to him, "What is thy wish?" Replied the stranger, "I am a highwayman and am minded to repent at thy hands and turn to Almighty Allah; but I would have thee help me to this, for that I am in thy district and under thine inspection. Now I have here a chest, wherein are matters worth some forty thousand dinars; and none hath so good a right to it as thou; so do thou take it and give me in exchange a thousand dinars, of thine own monies lawfully gotten, that I may have a little capital, to aid me in my repentance,[408] and save me from resorting to sin for my subsistence; and with Allah Almighty be thy reward!" Speaking thus he opened the chest and showed the Wali that it was full of trinkets and jewels and bullion and ring-gems and pearls, whereat he was amazed and rejoiced with great joy. So he cried out to his treasurer, saying, "Bring hither a certain purse containing a thousand dinars,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali cried out to his treasurer, saying "Bring hither a certain purse containing a thousand dinars; and gave it to the highwayman, who took it and thanking him, went his way under cover of the night. Now when it was the morrow, the Emir sent for the chief of the goldsmiths and showed him the chest and what was therein; but the goldsmith found it nothing but tin and brass, and the jewels and bezel stones and pearls all of glass; whereat the Wali was sore chagrined and sent in quest of the highwayman; but none could come at him. And men also tell the tale of

IBRAHIM BIN AL-MAHDI AND THE MERCHANT'S SISTER.[edit]

The Caliph Al-Maamún once said to his uncle Ibrahim bin Al-Mahdí, "Tell us the most remarkable thing that thou hast ever seen." Answered he: "I hear and obey, O Commander of the Faithful. Know that I rode out one day, a-pleasuring, and my ride brought me to a place where I smelt the reek of food. So my soul longed for it and I halted, O Prince of True Believers, perplexed and unable either to go on or to go in. Presently, I raised my eyes and lo! I espied a lattice-window and behind it a wrist, than which I never beheld aught lovelier. The sight turned my brain and I forgot the smell of the food and began to plan and plot how I should get access to the house. After awhile, I observed a tailor hard by and going up to him, saluted him. He returned my salam and I asked him, 'Whose house is that?' And he answered, 'It belongeth to a merchant called such an one, son of such an one, who consorteth with none save merchants.' As we were talking, behold, up came two men, of comely aspect with intelligent countenances, riding on horseback; and the tailor told me that they were the merchant's most intimate friends and acquainted me with their names. So I urged my beast towards them and said to them, 'Be I your ransom! Abu Fulán[409] awaiteth you!'; and I rode with them both to the gate, where I entered and they also. Now when the master of the house saw me with them he doubted not but I was their friend; so he welcomed me and seated me in the highest stead. Then they brought the table of food and I said in myself, 'Allah hath granted me my desire of the food; and now there remain the hand and the wrist.' After awhile, we removed for carousel to another room, which I found tricked out with all manner of rarities; and the host paid me particular attention, addressing his talk to me, for that he took me to be a guest of his guests; whilst in like manner these two made much of me, taking me for a friend of their friend the house-master. Thus I was the object of politest attentions till we had drunk several cups of wine and there came into us a damsel as she were a willow wand of the utmost beauty and elegance, who took a lute and playing a lively measure, sang these couplets,

'Is it not strange one house us two contain * And still thou
     draw'st not near, or talk we twain?
Only our eyes tell secrets of our souls, * And broken hearts by
     lovers' fiery pain;
Winks with the eyelids, signs the eyebrow knows; * Languishing
     looks and hand saluting fain.'

When I heard these words my vitals were stirred, O Commander of the Faithful, and I was moved to delight, for her excessive loveliness and the beauty of the verses she sang; and I envied her her skill and said, 'There lacketh somewhat to thee, O damsel!' Whereupon she threw the lute from her hand in anger, and cried, 'Since when are ye wont to bring ill-mannered louts into your assemblies?' Then I repented of what I had done, seeing the company vexed with me, and I said in my mind, 'My hopes are lost by me'; and I weeted no way of escaping blame but to call for a lute, saying, 'I will show you what escaped her in the air she played.' Quoth the folk, 'We hear and obey'; so they brought me a lute and I tuned the strings and sang these verses,

'This is thy friend perplexed for pain and pine, * Th' enamoured,
     down whose breast course drops of brine:
He hath this hand to the Compassionate raised * For winning wish,
     and that on hearts is lien:
O thou who seest one love-perishing, * His death is caused by
     those hands and eyne!'[410]

Whereupon the damsel sprang up and throwing herself at my feet, kissed them and said, 'It is thine to excuse, O my Master! By Allah, I knew not thy quality nor heard I ever the like of this performance!' And all began extolling me and making much of me, being beyond measure delighted' and at last they besought me to sing again. So I sang a merry air, whereupon they all became drunken with music and wine, their wits left them and they were carried off to their homes, while I abode alone with the host and the girl. He drank some cups with me and then said, 'O my lord, my life hath been lived in vain for that I have not known the like of thee till the present. Now, by Allah, tell me who thou art, that I may ken who is the cup-companion whom Allah hath bestowed on me this night.' At first I returned him evasive answers and would not tell him my name; but he conjured me till I told him who I was, whereupon he sprang to his feet"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim son of Al-Mahdi continued: "Now when the housemaster heard my name he sprang to his feet and said, 'Indeed I wondered that such gifts should belong to any but the like of thee; and Fortune hath done me a good turn for which I cannot thank her too much. But, haply, this is a dream; for how could I hope that one of the Caliphate house should visit my humble home and carouse with me this night?' I conjured him to be seated; so he sat down and began to question me as to the cause of my visit in the most courteous terms. So I told him the whole affair, first and last, hiding naught, and said to him, 'Now as to the food I have had my will, but of the hand and wrist I have still to win my wish.' Quoth he, 'Thou shalt have thy desire of the hand and wrist also, Inshallah!' Then said he to the slave-girl, 'Ho, such an one, bid such an one come down.' And he called his slave-girls down, one by one and showed them to me; but I saw not my mistress among them, and he said, 'O my lord, there is none left save my mother and sister; but, by Allah, I must needs have them also down and show them to thee.' So I marvelled at his courtesy and large heartedness and said, 'May I be thy sacrifice! Begin with the sister;' and he answered, 'With joy and goodwill.' So she came down and he showed me her hand and behold, she was the owner of the hand and wrist. Quoth I, 'Allah make me thy ransom! this is the damsel whose hand and wrist I saw at the lattice.' Then he sent his servants without stay or delay for witnesses and bringing out two myriads[411] of gold pieces, said to the witnesses, 'This our lord and master, Ibrahim son of Al-Mahdi, paternal-uncle of the Commander of the Faithful, seeketh in marriage my sister such an one; and I call you to witness that I give her in wedlock to him and that he hath settled upon her ten thousand dinars.' And he said to me, 'I give thee my sister in marriage, at the portion aforesaid.' 'I consent,' answered I, 'and am herewith content.' Whereupon he gave one of the bags to her and the other to the witnesses, and said to me, 'O our lord, I desire to adorn a chamber for thee, where thou mayst sleep with thy wife.' But I was abashed at his generosity and was ashamed to lie with her in his house; so I said, 'Equip her and send her to my place.' And by thy being, O Commander of the Faithful, he sent me with her such an equipage that my house, for all its greatness, was too strait to hold it! And I begot on her this boy that standeth in thy presence." Then Al-Maamun marvelled at the man's generosity and said, "Gifted of Allah is he! Never heard I of his like." And he bade Ibrahim bin al-Mahdi bring him to court, that he might see him. He brought him and the Caliph conversed with him; and his wit and good breeding so pleased him that he made him one of his chief officers. And Allah is the Giver, the Bestower! Men also relate the tale of

THE WOMAN WHOSE HANDS WERE CUT OFF FOR GIVING ALMS TO THE POOR.[edit]

A certain King once made proclamation to the people of his realm saying, "If any of you give alms of aught, I will verily and assuredly cut off his hand;" wherefore all the people abstained from alms-deed, and none could give anything to any one. Now it chanced that one day a beggar accosted a certain woman (and indeed hunger was sore upon him), and said to her, "Give me an alms"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was Three Hundred and Forty-eighth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that, quoth the beggar to the woman, "Give me an alms however small." But she answered him, "How can I give thee aught, when the King cutteth off the hands of all who give alms?" Then he said, "I conjure thee by Allah Almighty, give me an alms;" so when he adjured her by the Holy Name of Allah, she had ruth on him and gave him two scones. The King heard of this; whereupon he called her before him and cut off her hands, after which she returned to her house. Now it chanced after a while that the King said to his mother, "I have a mind to take a wife; so do thou marry me to a fair woman." Quoth she, "There is among our female slaves one who is unsurpassed in beauty; but she hath a grievous blemish." The King asked, "What is that?" and his mother answered, "She hath had both her hands cut off." Said he, "Let me see her." So she brought her to him, and he was ravished by her and married her and went in unto her; and begat upon her a son. Now this was the woman who had given two scones as an alms to the asker, and whose hands had been cut off therefor; and when the King married her, her fellow-wives envied her and wrote to the common husband that she was an unchaste, having just given birth to the boy; so he wrote to his mother, bidding her carry the woman into the desert and leave her there. The old Queen obeyed his commandment and abandoned the woman and her son in the desert; whereupon she fell to weeping for that which had befallen her and wailing with exceeding sore wail. As she went along, she came to a river and knelt down to drink, being overcome with excess of thirst, for fatigue of walking and for grief; but, as she bent her head, the child which was at her neck fell into the water. Then she sat weeping bitter tears for her child, and as she wept, behold came up two men, who said to her, "What maketh thee weep?" Quoth she, "I had a child at my neck, and he hath fallen into the water." They asked, "Wilt thou that we bring him out to thee?" and she answered, "Yes." So they prayed to Almighty Allah, and the child came forth of the water to her, safe and sound. Then said they, "Wilt thou that Allah restore thee thy hands as they were?" "Yes," replied she: whereupon they prayed to Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and her hands were restored to her, goodlier than before. Then said they, "Knowest thou who we are?"; and she replied, "Allah is all knowing;"[412] and they said, "We are thy two Scones of Bread, which thou gayest in alms to the asker and which were the cause of the cutting off of thy hands.[413] So praise thou Allah Almighty for that He hath restored to thee thy hands and thy child." Then she praised Almighty Allah and glorified Him. And men relate a tale of

THE DEVOUT ISRAELITE.[edit]

There was once a devout man of the Children of Israel,[414] whose family span cotton-thread; and he used every day to sell the yarn and buy fresh cotton, and with the profit he laid in daily bread for his household. One morning he went out and sold the day's yarn as wont, when there met him one of his brethren, who complained to him of need; so he gave him the price of the thread and returned, empty-handed, to his family, who said to him, "Where is the cotton and the food?" Quoth he, "Such an one met me and complained to me of want; whereupon I gave him the price of the yarn." And they said, "How shall we do? We have nothing to sell." Now they had a cracked trencher[415] and a jar; so he took them to the bazar but none would buy them of him. However presently, as he stood in the market, there passed by a man with a fish,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man took the trencher and jar to the bazar, but none would buy them of him. However there presently passed by a man with a fish which was so stinking and so swollen that no one would buy it of him, and he said to the Jew, "Wilt thou sell me thine unsaleable ware for mine?" "Yes," answered the Jew; and, giving him the wooden trencher and jar, took the fish and carried it home to his family, who said, "What shall we do with this fish?" Quoth he, "We will broil it and eat it, till it please Allah to provide bread for us." So they took it and ripping open its belly, found therein a great pearl and told the head of the household who said, "See ye if it be pierced: if so, it belongeth to some one of the folk; if not, 'tis a provision of Allah for us." So they examined it and found it unpierced. Now when it was the morrow, the Jew carried it to one of his brethren which was an expert in jewels, and the man asked, "O such an one! whence haddest thou this pearl?"; whereto the Jew answered, "It was a gift of Almighty Allah to us," and the other said, "It is worth a thousand dirhams and I will give thee that; but take it to such an one, for he hath more money and skill than I." So the Jew took it to the jeweller, who said, "It is worth seventy thousand dirhams and no more." Then he paid him that sum and the Jew hired two porters to carry the money to his house. As he came to his door, a beggar accosted him, saying, "Give me of that which Allah hath given thee." Quoth the Jew to the asker, "But yesterday we were even as thou; take thee half this money:" so he made two parts of it, and each took his half. Then said the beggar, "Take back thy money and Allah bless and prosper thee in it; I am a Messenger,[416] whom thy Lord hath sent to try thee." Quoth the whom thy Lord hath sent to try thee." Quoth the Jew, "To Allah be the praise and the thanks!" and abode in all delight of life he and his household till death. And men recount this story of

ABU HASSAN AL-ZIYADI AND THE KHORASAN.[edit]

Quoth Abú Hassán al-Ziyádi[417]: "I was once in straitened case and so needy that the grocer, the baker and other tradesmen dunned and importuned me; and my misery became extreme, for I knew of no resource nor what to do. Things being on this wise there came to me one day certain of my servants and said to me, 'At the door is a pilgrim wight, who seeketh admission to thee.' Quoth I, 'Admit him.' So he came in and behold, he was a Khorasání. We exchanged salutations and he said to me, 'Tell me, art thou Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi?'; and I replied, 'Yes, what is thy wish?' Quoth he, 'I am a stranger and am minded to make the pilgrimage; but I have with me a great sum of money, which is burdensome to bear: so I wish to deposit these ten thousand dirhams with thee whilst I make my pilgrimage and return. If the caravan march back and thou see me not, then know that I am dead, in which case the money is a gift from me to thee; but if I come back, it shall be mine.' I answered, 'Be it as thou wilt, an thus please Allah Almighty.' So he brought out a leather bag and I said to the servant, 'Fetch the scales;' and when he brought them the man weighed out the money and handed it to me, after which he went his way. Then I called the purveyors and paid them my liabilities"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi: "I called the purveyors and paid them my liabilities and spent freely and amply, saying to myself, 'By the time he returns, Allah will have relieved me with one or other of the bounties He hath by Him.' However, on the very next day, the servant came in to me and said, 'Thy friend the Khorasan man is at the door.' 'Admit him,' answered I. So he came in and said to me, 'I had purposed to make the pilgrimage; but news hath reached me of the decease of my father, and I have resolved to return; so give me the monies I deposited with thee yesterday.' When I heard this, I was troubled and perplexed beyond measure of perplexity known to man and wotted not what reply to make him; for, if I denied it, he would put me on my oath, and I should be disgraced in the world to come; whilst, if I told him that I had spent the money, he would make an outcry and dishonour me before men. So I said to him, 'Allah give thee health! This my house is no stronghold nor site of safe custody for this money. When I received thy leather bag, I sent it to one with whom it now is; so do thou return to us to-morrow and take thy money, Inshallah!'[418] So he went away and I passed the night in great concern, because of his return to me; sleep visited me not nor could I close my eyes; so I rose and bade the boy saddle me the she-mule. Answered he, 'O my lord, it is yet but the first third of the night and indeed we have hardly had time to rest.' I returned to my bed, but sleep was forbidden to me and I ceased not to awaken the boy, and he to put me off, till break of day, when he saddled me the mule, and I mounted and rode out, not knowing whither to go. I threw the reins on the mule's shoulders and gave myself up to regrets and melancholy thoughts, whilst she fared on with me to the eastward of Baghdad. Presently, as I went along, behold, I saw a number of people approaching me and turned aside into another path to avoid them; but seeing that I wore a turband in preacher-fashion,[419] they followed me and hastening up to me, said, 'Knowest thou the lodging of Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi?' 'I am he,' answered I; and they rejoined, 'Obey the summons of the Commander of the Faithful.' Then they carried me before Al-Maamun, who said to me, 'Who art thou?' Quoth I, 'An associate of the Kazi Abu Yúsuf and a doctor of the law and traditions.' Asked the Caliph, 'By what surname art thou known?'[420] and I answered, 'Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi;' whereupon quoth he, 'Expound to me thy case.' So I recounted to him my case and he wept sore and said to me, 'Out on thee! The Apostle of Allah (whom Allah bless and assain!) would not let me sleep this night, because of thee; for in early darkness[421] he appeared to me and said, 'Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi.' Whereupon I awoke and, knowing thee not, went to sleep again; but he came to me a second time and said to me, 'Woe to thee! Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi.' I awoke a second time, but knowing thee not I went to sleep again; and he came to me a third time and still I knew thee not and went to sleep again. Then he came to me once more and said, 'Out on thee! Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi!' After that I dared not sleep any more, but watched the rest of the night and aroused my people and sent them on all sides in quest of thee.' Then he gave me one myriad of dirhams, saying, 'This is for the Khorasani,' and other ten thousand, saying, 'Spend freely of this and amend thy case therewith, and set thine affairs in order.' Moreover, he presented me with thirty thousand dirhams, saying, 'Furnish thyself with this, and when the Procession-day[422] is being kept, come thou to me, that I may invest thee with some office.' So I went forth from him with the money and returned home, where I prayed the dawn-prayer; and behold, presently came the Khorasani, so I carried him into the house and brought out to him one myriad of dirhams, saying, 'Here is thy money.' Quoth he, 'It is not my very money; how cometh this?' So I told him the whole story, and he wept and said, 'By Allah, haddest thou told me the fact at first, I had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah, I will not accept aught of this money'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the Khorasani to Al-Ziyadi, "'By Allah, haddest thou told me the fact at first, I had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah, I will not accept aught of this money and thou art lawfully quit of it.' So saying, he went away and I set my affairs in order and repaired on the Procession-day to Al-Maamun's Gate, where I found him seated. When he saw me present myself he called me to him and, bringing forth to me a paper from under his prayer-carpet, said to me, 'This is a patent, conferring on thee the office of Kazi of the western division of Al-Medinah, the Holy City, from the Bab al-Salám[423] to the furthest limit of the township; and I appoint thee such and such monthly allowances. So fear Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) end be mindful of the solicitude of His Apostle (whom may He bless and keep!) on thine account.' Then the folk marvelled at the Caliph's words and asked me their meaning; whereupon I told them the story from beginning to end and it spread abroad amongst the people." "And" (quoth he who telleth the tale) "Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi ceased not to be Kazi of Al-Medinah, the Holy City, till he died in the days of Al-Maamun the mercy of Allah be on him!" And among the tales men tell is one of

THE POOR MAN AND HIS FRIEND IN NEED.[edit]

There was once a rich man who lost all he had and became destitute, whereupon his wife advised him to ask aid and assistance of one of his intimates. So he betook himself to a certain friend of his and acquainted him with his necessities; and he lent him five hundred dinars to trade withal. Now in early life he had been a jeweller; so he took the gold and went to the jewel-bazar, where he opened a shop to buy and sell. Presently, as he sat in his shop three men accosted him and asked for his father, and when he told them that he was deceased, they said, "Say, did he leave issue?" Quoth the jeweller, "He left the slave who is before you." They asked, "And who knoweth thee for his son?"; and he answered, "The people of the bazar whereupon they said, "Call them together, that they may testify to us that thou art his very son." So he called them and they bore witness of this; whereupon the three men delivered to him a pair of saddle- bags, containing thirty thousand dinars, besides jewels and bullion of high value, saying, "This was deposited with us in trust by thy father." Then they went away; and presently there came to him a woman, who sought of him certain of the jewels, worth five hundred dinars which she bought and paid him three thousand for them. Upon this he arose and took five hundred dinars and carrying them to his friend who had lent him the money, said to him, "Take the five hundred dinars I borrowed of thee; for Allah hath opened to me the gate of prosperity." Quoth the other, "Nay; I gave them to thee outright, for the love of Allah; so do thou keep them. And take this paper, but read it not till thou be at home, and do according to that which is therein." So he took the money and the paper and returned home, where he opened the scroll and found therein inscribed these couplets,

"Kinsmen of mine were those three men who came to thee; * My sire
     and uncles twain and Sálih bin Ali.
So what for cash thou coldest, to my mother 'twas * Thou soldest
     it, and coin and gems were sent by me.
Thus doing I desired not any harm to thee * But in my presence
     spare thee and thy modesty."

And they also recount the story of

THE RUINED MAN WHO BECAME RICH AGAIN THROUGH A DREAM.[424][edit]

There lived once in Baghdad a wealthy man and made of money, who lost all his substance and became so destitute that he could earn his living only by hard labour. One night, he lay down to sleep, dejected and heavy hearted, and saw in a dream a Speaker[425] who said to him, "Verily thy fortune is in Cairo; go thither and seek it." So he set out for Cairo; but when he arrived there evening overtook him and he lay down to sleep in a mosque Presently, by decree of Allah Almighty, a band of bandits entered the mosque and made their way thence into an adjoining house; but the owners, being aroused by the noise of the thieves, awoke and cried out; whereupon the Chief of Police came to their aid with his officers. The robbers made off; but the Wali entered the mosque and, finding the man from Baghdad asleep there, laid hold of him and beat him with palm-rods so grievous a beating that he was well-nigh dead. Then they cast him into jail, where he abode three days; after which the Chief of Police sent for him and asked him, "Whence art thou?"; and he answered, "From Baghdad." Quoth the Wali, "And what brought thee to Cairo?"; and quoth the Baghdadi, "I saw in a dream One who said to me, Thy fortune is in Cairo; go thither to it. But when I came to Cairo the fortune which he promised me proved to be the palm-rods thou so generously gavest to me." The Wali laughed till he showed his wisdom-teeth and said, "O man of little wit, thrice have I seen in a dream one who said to me: 'There is in Baghdad a house in such a district and of such a fashion and its courtyard is laid out garden-wise, at the lower end whereof is a jetting-fountain and under the same a great sum of money lieth buried. Go thither and take it.' Yet I went not; but thou, of the briefness of thy wit, hast journeyed from place to place, on the faith of a dream, which was but an idle galimatias of sleep." Then he gave him money saying, "Help thee back herewith to thine own country;"— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When It was the Three Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali gave the Baghdad man some silver, saying, "Help thee back herewith to thine own country;" and he took the money and set out upon his homewards march. Now the house the Wali had described was the man's own house in Baghdad; so the wayfarer returned thither and, digging underneath the fountain in his garden, discovered a great treasure. And thus Allah gave him abundant fortune; and a marvellous coincidence occurred. And a story is also current of

CALIPH AL-MUTAWAKKIL AND HIS CONCUBINE MAHBUBAH.[edit]

There were in the palace of the Caliph al-Mutawakkil ala'llah[426] four thousand concubines, whereof two thousand were Greeks and other two thousand slave born Arabians[427] and Abyssinians; and 'Obayd ibn Táhir[428] had given him two hundred white girls and a like number of Abyssinian and native girls. Among these slave-borns was a girl of Bassorah, hight Mahbúbah, the Beloved, who was of surpassing beauty and loveliness, elegance and voluptuous grace. Moreover, she played upon the lute and was skilled in singing and making verses and wrote a beautiful hand; so that Al-Mutawakkil fell passionately in love with her and could not endure from her a single hour. But when she saw this affection, she presumed upon his favour to use him arrogantly, wherefore he waxed exceeding wroth with her and forsook her, forbidding the people of the palace to speak with her. She abode on this wise some days, but the Caliph still inclined to her; and he arose one morning and said to his courtiers, "I dreamt, last night, that I was reconciled to Mahhubah." They answered, "Would Allah this might be on wake!"; and as they were talking, behold, in came one of the Caliph's maidservants and whispered him; so he rose from his throne and entered the Serraglio; for the whisper had said, "Of a truth we heard singing and lute-playing in Mahbubah's chamber and we knew not what this meant." So he went straight to her apartment, where he heard her playing upon the lute and singing the following verses,

"I wander through the palace, but I sight there not a soul * To
     whom I may complain or will 'change a word with me.
It is as though I'd done so grievous rebel-deed * Wherefrom can
     no contrition e'er avail to set me free.
Have we no intercessor here to plead with King, who came * In
     sleep to me and took me back to grace and amity;
But when the break of day arose and showed itself again, * Then
     he departing sent me back to dree my privacy?"

Now when the Caliph heard her voice, he marvelled at the verse and yet more at the strange coincidence of their dreams and entered the chamber. As soon as she perceived him, she hastened to rise and throw herself at his feet, and kissing them, said, "By Allah, O my lord, this hap is what I dreamt last night; and, when I awoke, I made the couplets thou hast heard." Replied Al- Mutawakkil, "By Allah, I also dreamt the like!" Then they embraced and made friends and he abode with her seven days with their nights. Now Mahbubah had written upon her cheek, in musk, the Caliph's name, which was Ja'afar: and when he saw this, he improvised the following,

"One wrote upon her cheek with musk, his name was Ja'afar highs;
     * My soul for hers who wrote upon her cheek the name I
     sight!
If an her fingers have inscribed one line upon her cheek, * Full
     many a line in heart of mine those fingers did indite:
O thou, whom Ja'afar sole of men possesseth for himself, * Allah
     fill Ja'afar[429] stream full draught, the wine of thy
     delight!"

When Al-Mutawakkil died, his host of women forgot him, all save Mahhubah,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al-Mutawakkil died, his host of women forgot him all save Mahbubah who ceased not to mourn for him, till she deceased and was buried by his side, the mercy of Allah be on them both! And men also tell the tale of

WARDAN[430] THE BUTCHER; HIS ADVENTURE WITH THE LADY AND THE BEAR.

There lived once in Cairo, in the days of the Caliph Al-Hákim bi' Amri'llah, a butcher named Wardán, who dealt in sheep's flesh; and there came to him every day a lady and gave him a dinar, whose weight was nigh two and a half Egyptian dinars, saying, "Give me a lamb." So he took the money and gave her the lamb, which she delivered to a porter she had with her; and he put it in his crate and she went away with him to her own place. Next day she came in the forenoon and this went on for a long time, the butcher gaining a dinar by her every day, till at last he began to be curious about her case and said to himself, "This woman buyeth of me a ducat-worth of meat every morning, paying ready money, and never misseth a single day. Verily, this is a strange thing!" So he took an occasion of questioning the porter, in her absence, and asked him, "Whither goest thou every day with yonder woman?"; and he answered, "I know not what to make of her for surprise; inasmuch as every day, after she hath taken the lamb of thee, she buyeth necessaries of the table, fresh and dried fruits and wax-candles a dinar's worth, and taketh of a certain person, which is a Nazarene, two flagons of wine, worth another dinar; and then she leadeth me with the whole and I go with her to the Wazir's Gardens, where she blindfoldeth me, so that I cannot see on what part of earth I set my feet; and, taking me by the hand, she leadeth me I know not whither. Presently, she sayeth, 'Set down here;' and when I have done so, she giveth me an empty crate she hath ready and, taking my hand, leadeth me back to the Wazir's Gardens, the place where she bound my eyes, and there removeth the bandage and giveth me ten silver bits." "Allah be her helper!" quoth Wardan; but he redoubled in curiosity about her case; disquietude increased upon him and he passed the night in exceeding restlessness. And quoth the butcher, "Next morning she came to me as of custom and taking the lamb, for which she paid the dinar, delivered it to the porter and went away. So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and followed her without her seeing me;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Wardan the butcher continued: "So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and followed her without her seeing me; nor did I cease to keep her in sight, hiding behind her, till she left Cairo and came to the Wazir's Gardens. Then I hid myself whilst she bandaged the porter's eyes and followed her again from place to place till she came to the mountain[431] and stopped at a spot where there was a great stone. Here she made the porter set down his crate, and I waited whilst she conducted him back to the Wazir's Gardens, after which she returned and, taking out the contents of the basket, instantly disappeared. Then I went up to that stone and wrenching it up entered the hole and found behind the stone an open trap-door of brass and a flight of steps leading downwards. So I descended, little by little, till I came to a long corridor, brilliantly lighted and followed it, till I made a closed door, as it were the door of a saloon. I looked about the wall sides near the doorway till I discovered a recess, with steps therein; then climbed up and found a little niche with a bulls-eye giving upon a saloon. Thence I looked inside and saw the lady cut off the choicest parts of the lamb and laying them in a saucepan, throw the rest to a great big bear, who ate it all to the last bite. Now when she had made an end of cooking, she ate her fill, after which she set on the fruits and confections and brought out the wine and fell to drinking a cup herself and giving the bear to drink in a basin of gold. And as soon as she was heated with wine, she put off her petticoat-trousers and lay down on her back; whereupon the bear arose and came up to her and stroked her, whilst she gave him the best of what belongeth to the sons of Adam till he had made an end, when he sat down and rested. Presently, he sprang upon her and rogered her again; and when he ended he again sat down to rest, and he ceased not so doing till he had futtered her ten times and they both fell to the ground in a fainting-fit and lay without motion. Then quoth I to myself, ' Now is my opportunity,' and taking a knife I had with me, that would cut bones before flesh,[432] went down to them and found them motionless, not a muscle of them moving for their hard swinking and swiving. So I put my knife to the bear's gullet and pressed upon it, till I finished him by severing his head from his body, and he gave a great snort like thunder, whereat the lady started up in alarm; and, seeing the bear slain and me standing whittle in hand, she shrieked so loud a shriek that I thought the soul had left her body. Then she asked, 'O Wardan, is this how thou requites me my favours?' And I answered, 'O enemy of thine own soul, is there a famine of men[433] that thou must do this damnable thing?' She made no answer but bent down over the bear, and looked fondly upon him; then finding his head divided from his body, said to me, 'O Wardan, which of the two courses wouldst thou take; either obey me in what I shall say and be the means of thine own safety'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the lady, " 'O Wardan, which of the two courses wouldst thou take; either obey me in what I shall say and be the means of thine own safety and competency to the end of thy days, or gainsay me and so cause thine own destruction?'[434] Answered I, 'I choose rather to hearken unto thee: say what thou wilt.' Quoth she, 'Then slay me, as thou hast slain this bear, and take thy need of this hoard and wend thy ways.' Quoth I, 'I am better than this bear: so return thou to Allah Almighty and repent, and I will marry thee, and we will live on this treasure the rest of our lives.' She rejoined, 'O Wardan, far be it from me! How shall I live after him? By Allah, an thou slay me not I will assuredly do away thy life! So leave bandying words with me, or thou art a lost man: this is all I have to say to thee and peace be with thee!' Then said I, 'I will kill thee, and thou shalt go to the curse of Allah.' So saying, I caught her by the hair and cut her throat; and she went to the curse of Allah and of the angels and of all mankind. And after so doing I examined the place and found there gold and bezel-stones and pearls, such as no one king could bring together. So I filled the porter's crate with as much as I could carry and covered it with the clothes I had on me. Then I shouldered it and, going up out of the underground treasure- chamber, fared homewards and ceased not faring on, till I came to the gate of Cairo, where behold, I fell in with ten of the bodyguard of Al-Hakim bi' Amri'llah[435] followed by the Prince himself who said to me, 'Ho, Wardan!' 'At thy service, O King,' replied I; when he asked, 'Hast thou killed the bear and the lady?' and I answered, 'Yes.' Quoth he, 'Set down the basket from thy head and fear naught, for all the treasure thou hast with thee is thine, and none shall dispute it with thee.' So I set down the crate before him, and he uncovered it and looked at it; then said to me, 'Tell me their case, albe I know it, as if I had been present with you.' So I told him all that had passed and he said, 'Thou hast spoken the truth,' adding, 'O Wardan, come now with me to the treasure.' So I returned with him to the cavern, where he found the trap-door closed and said to me, 'O Wardan, lift it; none but thou can open the treasure, for it is enchanted in thy name and nature.'[436] Said I, 'By Allah, I cannot open it,' but he said, 'Go up to it, trusting in the blessing of Allah.' So I called upon the name of Almighty Allah and, advancing to the trap-door, put my hand to it; whereupon it came up as it had been of the lightest. Then said the Caliph, 'Go down and bring hither what is there; for none but one of thy name and semblance and nature hath gone down thither since the place was made, and the slaying of the bear and the woman was appointed to be at thy hand. This was chronicled with me and I was awaiting its fulfilment.'[437] Accordingly (quoth Wardan) I went down and brought up all the treasure, whereupon the Caliph sent for beasts of burden and carried it away, after giving me my crate, with what was therein. So I bore it home and opened me a shop in the market." And (saith he who telleth the tale) "this market is still extant and is known as Wardan's Market." And I have heard recount another story of

THE KING'S DAUGHTER AND THE APE.[edit]

There was once a Sultan's daughter, whose heart was taken with love of a black slave: he abated her maidenhead and she became passionately addicted to futtering, so that she could not do without it a single hour and complained of her case to one of her body women, who told her that no thing poketh and stroketh more abundantly than the baboon.[438] Now it so chanced one day, that an ape-leader passed under her lattice, with a great ape; so she unveiled her face and looking upon the ape, signed to him with her eyes, whereupon he broke his bonds and chain and climbed up to the Princess, who hid him in a place with her, and night and day he abode there, eating and drinking and copulating. Her father heard of this and would have killed her;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Sultan heard of this work he would have slain his daughter; but she smoked his design; and, disguising herself in Mameluke's dress, mounted horse after loading a mule with gold and bullion, and precious stuffs past all account; then carrying with her the ape, she fled to Cairo, where she took up her abode in one of the houses without the city and upon the verge of the Suez-desert. Now, every day, she used to buy meat of a young man, a butcher, but she came not to him till after noonday; and then she was so yellow and disordered in face that he said in his mind, "There must indeed hang some mystery by this slave." "Accordingly (quoth the butcher) one day when she came to me as usual, I went out after her secretly, and ceased not to follow her from place to place, so as she saw me not, till she came to her lodging on the edge of her waste and entered; and I looked in upon her through a cranny, and saw her as soon as she was at home, kindle a fire and cook the meat, of which she ate enough and served up the rest to a baboon she had by her and he did the same. Then she put off the slave's habit and donned the richest of women's apparel; and so I knew that she was a lady. After this she set on wine and drank and gave the ape to drink; and he stroked her nigh half a score times without drawing till she swooned away, when he spread over her a silken coverlet and returned to his place. Then I went down in the midst of the place and the ape, becoming aware of me, would have torn me in pieces; but I made haste to pull out my knife and slit his paunch and his bowels fell out. The noise aroused the young lady, who awoke terrified and trembling; and, when she saw the ape in this case, she shrieked such a shriek that her soul well nigh fled her body. Then she fell down in a fainting-fit and when she came to herself, she said to me, 'What moved thee to do thus? Now Allah upon thee, send me after him!' But I spoke her fair for a while and pledged myself to stand in the ape's stead in the matter of much poking, till her trouble subsided and I took her to wife. But when I came to perform my promise I proved a failure and I fell short in this matter and could not endure such hard labour: so I complained of my case and mentioned her exorbitant requirements to a certain old woman who engaged to manage the affair and said to me, 'Needs must thou bring me a cooking-pot full of virgin vinegar and a pound of the herb pellitory called wound-wort.'[439] So I brought her what she sought, and she laid the pellitory in the pot with the vinegar and set it on the fire, till it was thoroughly boiled. Then she bade me futter the girl, and I futtered her till she fainted away, when the old woman took her up (and she unconscious), and set her parts to the mouth of the cooking-pot. The steam of the pot entered her slit and there fell from it somewhat which I examined; and behold, it was two small worms, one black and the other yellow. Quoth the old, woman, "The black was bred of the strokings of the negro and the yellow of stroking with the baboon.' Now when she recovered from her swoon she abode with me, in all delight and solace of life, and sought not swiving as before, for Allah had done away from her this appetite; whereat I marvelled"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man continued: "In truth Allah had done away from her this appetite; whereat I marvelled and acquainted her with the case. Thereupon I lived with her and she took the old woman to be to her in the stead of her mother." "And" (said he who told me the tale) "the old woman and the young man and his wife abode in joy and cheer till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to the Ever-living One, who dieth not and in whose hand is Dominion of the world visible and invisible!"[440]


  1. The name is indifferently derived from the red sand about the town or the reeds and mud with which it was originally built. It was founded by the Caliph Omar, when the old Capital-Madáin (Ctesiphon) opposite was held unwholesome, on the West bank of the Euphrates, four days' march from Baghdad and has now disappeared. Al-Saffáh, the first Abbaside, made it his Capital—and it became a famous seat of Moslem learning; the Kufi school of Arab Grammarians being as renowned as their opponents, the Basri (of Bassorah). It gave a name to the "Cufic" characters which are, however, of much older date.
  2. "Ni'amat" = a blessing, and the word is perpetually occurring in Moslem conversation, "Ni'amatu'lláh" (as pronounced) is also a favourite P.N. and few Anglo-Indians of the Mutiny date will forget the scandalous disclosures of Munshi Ni'amatu 'llah, who had been sent to England by Nana Sahib. Nu'm = prosperity, good fortune, and a P. N. like the Heb. "Naomi."
  3. i.e. "causing to be prosperous", the name, corrupted by the Turks to "Tevfik," is given to either sex, e.g. Taufik Pasha of Egypt, to whose unprosperous rule and miserable career the signification certainly does not apply.
  4. Lane (ii. 187) alters the two to four years.
  5. i.e. "to Tom, Dick or Harry:" the names like John Doe and Richard Roe are used indefinitely in Arab. Grammar and Syntax. I have noted that Amru is written and pronounced Amr: hence Amru, the Conqueror of Egypt, when told by an astrologer that Jerusalem would be taken only by a trium literarum homo, with three letters in his name sent for the Caliph Omar (Omr), to whom the so-called Holy City at once capitulated. Hence also most probably, the tale of Bhurtpore and the Lord Alligator (Kumbhir), who however did not change from Cotton to Combermore for some time after the successful siege.
  6. BinYúsuf al-Sakafi, a statesman and soldier of the seventh and eighth centuries (A.D.). He was Governor of Al-Hij az and Al-Irak under the fifth and sixth Ommiades, and I have noticed his vigorous rule of the Moslems' Holy Land in my Pilgrimage (iii. 194, etc.). He pulled down the Ka'abah and restored it to the condition in which it now is. Al-Siyuti (p. 219) accuses him of having suborned a man to murder Ibn Omar with a poisoned javelin, and of humiliating the Prophet's companions by "sealing them in the necks and hands," that is he tied a thong upon the neck of each and sealed the knot with lead. In Irak he showed himself equally masterful, but an iron hand was required by the revolutionists of Kufah and Basrah. He behaved like a good Knight in rescuing the Moslem women who called upon his name when taken prisoners by Dahir of Debal (Tathá in Sind). Al-Hajjaj was not the kind of man the Caliph would have chosen for a pander; but the Shi'ahs hates him and have given him a lasting bad name. In the East men respect manly measures, not the hysterical, philanthropic pseudo-humanitarianism of our modern government which is really the cruellest of all. When Ziyád bin Abihi was sent by Caliph Mu'awiyah to reform Bassorah, a den of thieves, he informed the lieges that he intended to rule by the sword and advised all evil-doers to quit the city. The people were forbidden, under pain of teeth, to walk the streets after prayers, on the first night two hundred suffered; on the second five and none afterwards. Compare this with our civilised rule in Egypt where even bands of brigands, a phenomenon perfectly new and unknown to this century, have started up, where crime has doubled in quantity and quality, and where "Christian rule" has thoroughly scandalised a Moslem land.
  7. The old bawd's portrait is admirably drawn: all we dwellers in the East have known her well: she is so and so. Her dress and manners are the same amongst the Hindus (see the hypocritical-female ascetic in the Katha, p. 287) as amongst the Moslems; men of the world at once recognise her and the prudent keep out of her way. She is found in the cities of Southern Europe, ever pious, ever prayerful; and she seems to do her work not so much for profit as for pure or impure enjoyment. In the text her task was easy, as she had to do with a pair of innocents.
  8. Koran, xxv. 70. I give Sale's version.
  9. Easterns, I have observed, have no way of saying "Thank you;" they express it by a blessing or a short prayer. They have a right to your surplus: daily bread is divided, they say and, eating yours, they consider it their own. I have discussed this matter in Pilgrimage i. 75-77, in opposition to those who declare that "gratitude" is unknown to Moslems.
  10. Cufa (Kufah) being a modern place never had a "King,"
    but as the Hindu says, " Delhi is far" it is a far cry to Loch
    Awe. Here we can hardly understand "Malik" as Governor or
    Viceroy: can it be syn. with Zú-mál-(moneyed)?
  11. Abd al-Malik has been before mentioned as the "Sweat of a Stone," etc. He died recommending Al-Hajjaj to his son, Al-Walid, and one of his sayings is still remembered. "He who desireth to take a female slave for carnal-enjoyment, let him take a native of Barbary; if he need one for the sake of children, let him have a Persian; and whoso desireth one for service, let him take a Greek." Moderns say, "If you want a brother (in arms) try a Nubian; one to get you wealth an Abyssinian and if you want an ass (for labour) a Sáwahíli, or Zanzibar negroid."
  12. Probably suggested by the history of Antiochus and
    Stratonice, with an addition of Eastern mystery such as geomancy.
  13. Arab, "Kárúrah": the "water-doctor" has always been an institution in the east and he has lately revived in Europe especially at the German baths and in London.
  14. Lane makes this phrase "O brother of the Persians!" synonymous with "O Persian!" I think it means more, a Persian being generally considered "too clever by half."
  15. The verses deal in untranslatable word-plays upon women's names, Naomi (the blessing) Su'adá or Su'ád (the happy, which Mr. Redhouse, in Ka'ab's Mantle-poem, happily renders Beatrice); and Juml (a sum or total) the two latter, moreover, being here fictitious.
  16. "And he (Jacob) turned from them, and said, 'O how I am grieved for Joseph' And his eyes became white with mourning. … (Quoth Joseph to his brethren), 'Take this my inner garment and throw it on my father's face and he shall recover his sight.' . . . So, when the messenger of good tidings came (to Jacob) he threw it (the shirt) over his face and he recovered his eye-sight." Koran, xii. 84, 93, 96. The commentators, by way of improvement, assure us that the shirt was that worn by Abraham when thrown into the fire (Koran, chaps. xvi.) by Nimrod (!). We know little concerning "Jacob's daughters" who named the only bridge spanning the upper Jordan, and who have a curious shrine tomb near Jewish "Safe" (North of Tiberias), one of the four "Holy Cities." The Jews ignore these "daughters of Jacob" and travellers neglect them.
  17. Easterns, I have remarked, mostly recognise the artistic truth that the animal-man is handsomer than woman and that "fair sex" is truly only of skin-colour. The same is the general-rule throughout creation, for instance the stallion compared with the mare, the cock with the hen; while there are sundry exceptions such as the Falconidae.
  18. The Badawi (who is nothing if not horsey) compares the gait of a woman who walks well (in Europe rarely seen out of Spain) with the slightly swinging walk of a thoroughbred mare, bending her graceful neck and looking from side to side at objects as she passes.
  19. Li'lláhi (darr') al-káil, a characteristic idiom. "Darr"=giving (rich) milk copiously and the phrase expresses admiration, "To Allah be ascribed (or Allah be praised for) his rich eloquence who said etc. Some Hebraists would render it, "Divinely (well) did he speak who said," etc., holding "Allah" to express a superlative like "Yah" Jah) in Gen. iv. 1; x. 9. Nimrod was a hunter to the person (or presence) of Yah, i.e. mighty hunter.
  20. Hamzah and Abbás were the famous uncles of Mohammed often noticed: Ukayl is not known; possibly it may be Akíl, a son of the fourth Caliph, Ali.
  21. The Eastern ring is rarely plain; and, its use being that of a signet, it is always in intaglio: the Egyptians invented engraving hieroglyphics on wooden stamps for marking bricks and applied the process to the ring. Moses B. C. 1491 (Exod. xxviii. 9) took two onyx-stones, and graved on them the names of the children of Israel. From this the signet ring was but a step. Herodotus mentions an emerald seal-set in gold, that of Polycrates, the work of Theodorus, son of Telecles the Samian (iii. 141). The Egyptians also were perfectly acquainted with working in cameo (anaglyph) and rilievo, as may be seen in the cavo rilievo of the finest of their hieroglyphs. The Greeks borrowed from them the cameo and applied it to gems (e.g. Tryphon's in the Marlborough collection), and they bequeathed the art to the Romans. We read in a modern book "Cameo means an onyx, and the most famous cameo in the world is the onyx containing the Apotheosis of Augustus." The ring is given in marriage because it was a seal—by which orders were signed (Gen. xxxviii. 18 and Esther iii. 10-12). I may note that the seal-ring of Cheops (Khufu), found in the Greatest Pyramid, was in the possession of my old friend, Doctor Abbott, of Auburn (U.S.), and was sold with his collection. It is the oldest ring in the world, and settles the Cheops-question.
  22. This habit of weeping when friends meet after long parting is customary, I have noted, amongst the American "Indians," the Badawin of the New World; they shed tears thinking of the friends they have lost. Like most primitive people they are ever ready to weep as was Æneas or Shakespeare's saline personage,
    "This would make a man, a man of salt
                To use his eyes for garden waterpots."
                                               (King Lear, iv. 6.)
  23. Here poetical-justice is not done; in most Arab tales the two adulterous Queens would have been put to death.
  24. Pronounce Aladdin Abush-Shámát.
  25. Arab. "Misr," vulg. Masr: a close connection of Misraim the "two Misrs," Egypt, upper and lower.
  26. The Persians still call their Consuls "Shah-bander," lit. king of the Bandar or port.
  27. Arab. "Dukhúl," the night of going in, of seeing the bride unveiled for the first time, etcaetera.
  28. Arab. "Barsh" or "Bars," the commonest kind. In India it is called Ma'jún (=electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or young leaves, buds, capsules and florets of hemp (C. saliva), poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (daiura) with milk and auger-candy, nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the consistency of treacle which hardens when cold. Several-recipes are given by Herklots (Glossary s.v. Majoon). These electuaries are usually prepared with "Charas," or gum of hemp, collected by hand or by passing a blanket over the plant in early morning, and it is highly intoxicating. Another intoxicant is "Sabzi," dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber heed, black pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc. The Hashish of Arabia is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made as follows. Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams black pepper 45 grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each 12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is a preparation of hemp florets, opium and honey, much affected by the lower orders, whence the proverb: "Temper thy sorrow with Zabibah. In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked in the water-pipe. (Burck hardt No. 73.) Besides these there is (1) "Post" poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in sugared sherbets; (2) Datura (stramonium) seed, the produce of the thorn-apple breached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing spectral-visions, delirium tremens, etc., and (3) various preparations of opium especially the "Madad," pills made up with toasted betel-leaf and smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk in the shape of "Kusumba," a pill placed in wet cotton and squeezed in order to strain and clean it of the cowdung and other filth with which it is adulterated.
  29. Arab. "Sikankúr" (Gr. {Greek letters}, Lat. Scincus) a lizard (S. officinalis) which, held in the hand, still acts as an aphrodisiac in the East, and which in the Middle Ages was considered a universal-medicine. In the "Adja'ib al-Hind" (Les Merveilles de l'Inde) we find a notice of a bald-headed old man who was compelled to know his wife twice a day and twice a night in consequence of having eaten a certain fish. (Chaps. Ixxviii. of the translation by M. L. Marcel Devic, from a manuscript of the tenth century, Paris Lemaire, 1878.) Europeans deride these prescriptions, but Easterns know better: they affect the fancy, that is the brain, and often succeed in temporarily relieving impotence. The recipes for this evil, which is incurable only when it comes from heart-affections, are innumerable in the East; and about half of every medical-work is devoted to them. Many a quack has made his fortune with a few bottles of tincture of cantharides, and a man who could discover a specific would become a millionaire in India only. The curious reader will consult for specimens the Ananga-Ranga Shastra by Koka Pandit; or the "Rujú 'al-Shaykh ila 'l-Sabáh fi Kuwwati 'l-Báh" (the Return of the Old Man to Youth in power of Procreation) by Ahmad bin Sulaymán known as Ibn Kamál-Báshá, in 139 chapters lithographed at Cairo. Of these aphrodisiacs I shall have more to say.
  30. Alá al-Din (our old friend Aladdin) = Glory of the Faith, a name of which Mohammed who preferred the simplest, like his own, would have highly disapproved. The most grateful names to Allah are Abdallah (Allah's Slave) and Abd al-Rahman (Slave of the Compassionate); the truest are Al-Hárith (the gainer, "bread winner") and Al-Hammám (the griever); and the hatefullest are Al-Harb (witch) and Al-Murrah (bitterness, Abu Murrah being a kunyat or by-name of the Devil). Abu al-Shámát (pronounced Abushshámát)=Father of Moles, concerning which I have already given details. These names ending in -Din (faith) began with the Caliph Al-Muktadi bi-Amri 'llah (regn. A.H. 467= 1075), who entitled his Wazir "Zahír al-Din (Backer or Defender of the Faith) and this gave rise to the practice. It may be observed that the superstition of naming by omens is in no way obsolete.
  31. Meaning that he appeared intoxicated by the pride of his beauty as though it had been strong wine.
  32. i.e. against the evil eye.
  33. Meaning that he had been delicately reared.
  34. A traditional-saying of Mohammed.
  35. So Boccaccio's "Capo bianco" and "Coda verde." (Day iv.,
    Introduct.)
  36. The opening chapter is known as the "Mother of the Book" (as opposed to Yá Sín, the "heart of the Koran"), the "Surat (chapter) of Praise," and the "Surat of repetition" (because twice revealed?) or thanksgiving, or laudation (Ai-Masáni) and by a host of other names for which see Mr. Rodwell who, however, should not write "Fatthah" (p. xxv.) nor "Fathah" (xxvii.). The Fátihah, which is to Al-Islam much what the "Paternoster" is to Christendom, consists of seven verses, in the usual-Saj'a or rhymed prose, and I have rendered it as follows:
    In the name of the Compassionating, the Compassionate! * Praise be to Allah who all the Worlds made * The Compassionating, the Compassionate * King of the Day of Faith! * Thee only do we adore and of Thee only do we crave aid * Guide us to the path which is straight * The path of those for whom Thy love is great, not those on whom is hate, nor they that deviate * Amen! O Lord of the World's trine.
    My Pilgrimage (i. 285; ii. 78 and passim) will supply instances of its application; how it is recited with open hands to catch the blessing from Heaven and the palms are drawn down the face (Ibid. i. 286), and other details,
  37. i.e. when the evil eye has less effect than upon children. Strangers in Cairo often wonder to see a woman richly dressed leading by the hand a filthy little boy (rarely a girl) in rags, which at home will be changed to cloth of gold.
  38. Arab. "Asídah" flour made consistent by boiling in water with the addition of "Same" clarified butter) and honey: more like pap than custard.
  39. Arab. "Ghábah" = I have explained as a low-lying place where the growth is thickest and consequently animals haunt it during the noon-heats
  40. Arab. "Akkám," one who loads camels and has charge of the luggage. He also corresponds with the modern Mukharrij or camel-hirer (Pilgrimage i. 339), and hence the word Moucre (Moucres) which, first used by La Brocquière (A.D. 1432), is still the only term known to the French.
  41. i.e. I am old and can no longer travel.
  42. Taken from Al-Asma'i, the "Romance of Antar," and the episode of the Asafir Camels.
  43. A Mystic of the twelfth century A.D. who founded the Kádirí order (the oldest and chiefest of the four universally recognised), to which I have the honour to belong, teste my diploma (Pilgrimage, Appendix i.). Visitation is still made to his tomb at Baghdad. The Arabs (who have no hard g-letter) alter to "Jílán" the name of his birth-place "Gilan," a tract between the Caspian and the Black Seas.
  44. The well-known Anglo-Indian "Mucuddum;" lit. "one placed before (or over) others"
  45. Koran xiii. 14.
  46. i.e.. his chastity: this fashion of objecting to infamous proposals is very characteristic: ruder races would use their fists.
  47. Arab. "Ráfizí"=the Shi'ah (tribe, sect) or Persian schismatics who curse the first three Caliphs: the name is taken from their own saying "Inná rafizná-hum"=verily we have rejected them. The feeling between Sunni (the so-called orthodox) and Shi'ah is much like the Christian love between a Catholic of Cork and a Protestant from the Black North. As Al-Siyuti or any historian will show, this sect became exceedingly powerful under the later Abbaside Caliphs, many of whom conformed to it and adopted its tractices and innovations (as in the Azan or prayer-call), greatly to the scandal-of their co-religionists. Even in the present day the hatred between these representatives of Arab monotheism and Persian Guebrism continues unabated. I have given sundry instances m my Pilgrimage, e.g. how the Persians attempt to pollute the tombs of the Caliphs they abhor.
  48. Arab. "Sakká," the Indian "Bihishtí" (man from Heaven): Each party in a caravan has one or more.
  49. These "Kirámát" or Saints' miracles, which Spiritualists will readily accept, are recorded in vast numbers. Most men have half a dozen to tell, each of his "Pír" or patron, including the Istidráj or prodigy of chastisement. (Dabistan, iii. 274.)
  50. Great granddaughter of the Imam Hasan buried in Cairo and famed for "Kirámát." Her father, governor of Al-Medinah, was imprisoned by Al-Mansur and restored to power by Al-Mahdi. She was married to a son of the Imam Ja'afar al-Sadik and lived a life of devotion in Cairo, dying in A.H. 218=824. The corpse of the Imam al-Shafi'i was carried to her house, now her mosque and mausoleum: it stood in the Darb al-Sabúa which formerly divided Old from New Cairo and is now one of the latter's suburbs. Lane (M. E. chaps. x.) gives her name but little more. The mention of her shows that the writer of the tale or the copyist was a Cairene : Abd al-Kadir is world-known : not so the "Sitt."
  51. Arab. "Farkh akrab" for Ukayrib, a vulgarism.
  52. The usual Egyptian irreverence: he relates his abomination as if it were a Hadis or Tradition of the Prophet with due ascription.
  53. A popular name, dim. of Zubdah cream, fresh butter, "creamkin."
  54. Arab. "Mustahall," "Mustahill' and vulg. "Muhallil" (=one who renders lawful). It means a man hired for the purpose who marries pro forma and after wedding, and bedding with actual-consummation, at once divorces the woman. He is held the reverse of respectable and no wonder. Hence, probably, Mandeville's story of the Islanders who, on the marriage-night, "make another man to lie by their wives, to have their maidenhead, for which they give great hire and much thanks. And there are certain men in every town that serve for no other thing; and they call them cadeberiz, that is to say, the fools of despair, because they believe their occupation is a dangerous one." Burckhardt gives the proverb (No. 79), "A thousand lovers rather than one Mustahall," the latter being generally some ugly fellow picked up in the streets and disgusting to the wife who must permit his embraces.
  55. This is a woman's oath. not used by men.
  56. Pronounced "Yá Sín" (chaps. xxxvi.) the "heart of the
    Koran" much used for edifying recitation. Some pious Moslems in
    Egypt repeat it as a Wazifah, or religious task, or as masses for
    the dead, and all educated men know its 83 versets by rote.
  57. Arab. "Ál-Dáúd"=the family of David, i.e. David himself, a popular idiom. The prophet's recitation of the "Mazámir" (Psalter) worked miracles.
  58. There is a peculiar thickening of the voice in leprosy which at once betrays the hideous disease.
  59. These lines have occurred in Night clxxxiii. I quote
    Mr. Payne (in loco) by way of variety.
  60. Where the "Juzám" (leprosy, elephantiasis, morbus sacrum, etc. etc.) is supposed first to show: the swelling would alter the shape. Lane (ii. 267) translates "her wrist which was bipartite."
  61. Arab. "Zakariyá" (Zacharias): a play upon the term "Zakar"=the sign of "masculinity." Zacharias, mentioned in the Koran as the educator of the Virgin Mary (chaps. iii.) and repeatedly referred to (chaps. xix. etc.), is a well-known personage amongst Moslems and his church is now the great Cathedral-Mosque of Aleppo.
  62. Arab. " Ark al-Haláwat " = vein of sweetness.
  63. Arab. "Futúh," which may also mean openings, has before occurred.
  64. i.e. four times without withdrawing.
  65. i.e. a correspondence of size, concerning which many rules are given in the Ananga-Rangha Shastra which justly declares that discrepancy breeds matrimonial-troubles.
  66. Arab. "Ghuráb al-Bayn"= raven of the waste or the parting: hence the bird of Odin symbolises separation (which is also called Al-bayn). The Raven (Ghurab = Heb. Oreb and Lat. Corvus, one of the prehistoric words) is supposed to be seen abroad earlier than any other bird; and it is entitled "Abu Zajir," father of omens, because lucky when flying towards the right and v.v. It is opposed in poetry to the (white) pigeon, the emblem of union, peace and happiness. The vulgar declare that when Mohammed hid in the cave the crow kept calling to his pursuers, "Ghár! Ghár!" (cavern, cavern): hence the Prophet condemned him to wear eternal-mourning and ever to repeat the traitorous words. This is the old tale of Coronis and Apollo (Ovid, lib. ii.).
    —————" who blacked the raven o'er And bid him prate in his white plumes no more."
  67. This use of a Turkish title "Efendi" being=our esquire, and inferior to a Bey, is a rank anachronism, probably of the copyist.
  68. Arab. "Samn"=Hind. "Ghi" butter melted, skimmed and allowed to cool.
  69. Arab. "Ya Wadúd," a title of the Almighty: the Mac.
    Edit. has "O David!"
  70. Arab. "Muwashshahah;" a complicated stanza of which specimens have occurred. Mr. Payne calls it a "ballad," which would be a "Kunyat al-Zidd."
  71. Arab. "Baháim" (plur. of Bahímah=Heb. Behemoth), applied in Egypt especially to cattle. A friend of the "Oppenheim" house, a name the Arabs cannot pronounce was known throughout Cairo as "Jack al-baháim" (of the cows).
  72. Lit. "The father of side-locks," a nickname of one of the Tobba Kings. This "Hasan of: the ringlets" who wore two long pig-tails hanging to his shoulders was the Rochester or Piron of his age: his name is still famous for brilliant wit, extempore verse and the wildest debauchery. D'Herbelot's sketch of his life is very meagre. His poetry has survived to the present day and (unhappily) we shall] hear more of "Abu Nowás." On the subject of these patronymics Lane (Mod. Egypt, chaps. iv.) has a strange remark that "Abu Dáúd i' not the Father of Dáúd or Abu Ali the Father of Ali, but whose Father is (or was) Dáúd or Ali." Here, however, he simply confounds Abu = father of (followed by a genitive), with Abu-h (for Abu-hu) = he, whose father.
  73. Arab. "Samúr," applied in slang language to cats and dogs, hence the witty Egyptians converted Admiral-Seymour (Lord Alcester) into "Samúr."
  74. The home-student of Arabic may take this letter as a model even in the present day; somewhat stiff and old-fashioned, but gentlemanly and courteous.
  75. Arab. "Salím" (not Sé-lim) meaning the "Safe and sound."
  76. Arab. "Haláwah"=sweetmeat, meaning an entertainment such as men give to their friends after sickness or a journey. it is technically called as above, "The Sweetmeat of Safety."
  77. Arab. "Salát" which from Allah means mercy, from the
    Angels intercession and pardon; and from mankind blessing.
    Concerning the specific effects of blessing the Prophet, see
    Pilgrimage (ii. 70). The formula is often slurred over when a man
    is in a hurry to speak: an interrupting friend will say " Bless the
    Prophet!" and he does so by ejaculating "Sa'am."
  78. Persian, meaning originally a command: it is now applied to a Wazirial-order as opposed to the " Irádah," the Sultan's order.
  79. Arab. " Mashá'ilí" lit. the cresses-bearer who has before appeared as hangman.
  80. Another polite formula for announcing a death.
  81. As he died heirless the property lapsed to the Treasury.
  82. This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the action suggests its meaning. Thus it is used in an opposite sense to "throwing the kerchief," a pseudo-Oriental practice whose significance is generally understood in Europe.
  83. The body-guard being of two divisions.
  84. Arab. "Hadbá," lit. "hump-backed;" alluding to the Badawi bier; a pole to which the corpse is slung (Lane). It seems to denote the protuberance of the corpse when placed upon the bier which before was flat. The quotation is from Ka'ab's Mantle-Poem (Burdah v . 37), "Every son of a female, long though his safety may be, is a day borne upon a ridged implement," says Mr. Redhouse, explaining the latter as a "bier with a ridged lid." Here we differ: the Janázah with a lid is not a Badawi article: the wildlings use the simplest stretcher; and I would translate the lines,
    "The son of woman, whatso his career
               One day is borne upon the gibbous bier."
  85. This is a high honour to any courtier.
  86. "Khatun" in Turk. means any lady: mistress, etc., and follows the name, e.g. Fátimah Khatun. Habzalam Bazazah is supposed to be a fanciful compound, uncouth as the named; the first word consisting of "Habb" seed, grain; and "Zalam" of Zulm=seed of tyranny. Can it be a travesty of "Absalom" (Ab Salám, father of peace)? Lane (ii. 284) and Payne (iii. 286) prefer Habazlam and Hebezlem.
  87. Or night. A metaphor for rushing into peril.
  88. Plur. of kumkum, cucurbite, gourd-shaped vessel, jar.
  89. A popular exaggeration for a very expert thief.
  90. Arab. "Buka'at Ad-bum": lit. the "low place of blood" (where it stagnates): so Al-Buká'ah = Clesyria.
  91. That common and very unpleasant phrase, full of egotism and self-esteem, "I told you so," is even more common in the naïve East than in the West. In this case the son's answer is far superior to the mother's question.
  92. In order to keep his oath to the letter.
  93. "Tabannuj; " literally "hemping" (drugging with hemp or henbane) is the equivalent in Arab medicine of our "anæsthetics." These have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and chloroform became the fashion in the civilised West.
  94. Arab. "Durká'ah," the lower part of the floor, opposed to the "liwán" or daïs. Liwán =Al-Aywán (Arab. and Pers.) the hall (including the daïs and the sunken parts)
  95. i.e. he would toast it as he would a mistress.
  96. This till very late years was the custom in Persia, and Fath Ali Shah never appeared in scarlet without ordering some horrible cruelties. In Dar-For wearing a red cashmere turban was a sign of wrath and sending a blood red dress to a subject meant that he would be slain.
  97. That is, this robbery was committed in the palace by some one belonging to it. References to vinegar are frequent; that of Egypt being famous in those days. "Optimum et laudatissimum acetum a Romanis habebatur Ægyptum" (Facciolati); and possibly it was sweetened: the Gesta (Tale xvii.) mentions "must and vinegar." In Arab Proverbs, One mind by vinegar and another by wine"=each mind goes its own way, (Arab. Prov. . 628); or, "with good and bad," vinegar being spoilt wine.
  98. We have not heard the last of this old "dowsing rod": the latest form of rhabdomancy is an electrical-rod invented in the United States.
  99. This is the procès verbal always drawn up on such occasions.
  100. The sight of running water makes a Persian long for strong drink as the sight of a fine view makes the Turk feel hungry.
  101. Arab. "Min wahid aduww " a peculiarly Egyptian or rather
    Cairene phrase.
  102. Al-Danaf=the Distressing Sickness: the title would be Ahmad the Calamity. Al-Zaybak (the Quicksilver)=Mercury Ali Hasan "Shuuman"=a pestilent fellow. We shall meet all these worthies again and again: see the Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo, Night dccviii., a sequel to The Rogueries of Dalilah, Night dcxcviii.
  103. For the "Sacrifice-place of Ishmael" (not Isaac) see my Pilgrimage (iii. 306). According to all Arab ideas Ishmael, being the eldest son, was the chief of the family after his father. I have noted that this is the old old quarrel between the Arabs and their cousins the Hebrews.
  104. This black-mail was still paid to the Badawin of Ramlah
    (Alexandria) till the bombardment in 1881.
  105. The famous Issus of Cilicia, now a port-village on the
    Gulf of Scanderoon.
  106. Arab. " Wada'á" = the concha veneris, then used as small change.
  107. Arab. "Sakati"=a dealer in "castaway" articles, such es old metal,damaged goods, the pluck and feet of animals, etc.
  108. The popular tale of Burckhardt's death in Cairo was that the names of the three first Caliphs were found written upon his slipper-soles and that he was put to death by decree of the Olema. It is the merest nonsense, as the great traveller died of dysentery in the house of my old friend John Thurburn and was buried outside the Bab al-Nasr of Cairo where his tomb was restored by the late Rogers Bey (Pilgrimage i. 123).
  109. Prob. a mis-spelling for Arslán, in Turk. a lion, and in slang a piastre.
  110. Arab. "Maka'ad;" lit. = sitting-room.
  111. Arab. "Khammárah"; still the popular term throughout Egypt for a European Hotel. It is not always intended to be insulting but it is, meaning the place where Franks meet to drink forbidden drinks.
  112. A reminiscence of Mohammed who cleansed the Ka'abah of its 360 idols (of which 73 names are given by Freytag, Einleitung, etc. pp. 270, 342-57) by touching them with his staff, whereupon all fell to the ground; and the Prophet cried (Koran xvii. 84), "Truth is come, and falsehood is vanished: verily, falsehood is a thing that vanisheth" (magna est veritas, etc.). Amongst the "idols" are said to have been a statue of Abraham and the horns of the ram sacrificed in lieu of Ishmael, which (if true) would prove conclusively that the Abrahamic legend at Meccah is of ancient date and not a fiction of Al-Islam. Hence, possibly, the respect of the Judaising Tobbas of Hiwyarland for the Ka'abah. (Pilgrimage, iii. 295.)
  113. This was evidently written by a Sunni as the Shí'ahs claim to be the only true Moslems. Lane tells an opposite story (ii. 329). It suggests the common question in the South of Europe, "Are you a Christian or a Protestant?"
  114. Arab. "Ana fí jírat-ak!" a phrase to be remembered as useful in time of danger.
  115. i.e. No Jinni, or Slave of the Jewel, was there to answer.
  116. Arab. "Kunsúl" (pron. "Gunsul") which here means a well-to-do Frank, and shows the modern date of the tale as it stands.
  117. From the Ital. "Capitano." The mention of cannon and other terms in this tale shows that either it was written during the last century or it has been mishandled by copyists.
  118. Arab. "Minínah"; a biscuit of flour and clarified butter.
  119. Arab. "Waybah"; the sixth part of the Ardabb=6 to 7
    English gallons.
  120. He speaks in half-jest à la fellah; and reminds us of
    "Hangman, drive on the cart!"
  121. Yochanan (whom Jehovah has blessed) Jewish for John, is probably a copy of the Chaldean Euahanes, the Oannes of Berosus=Ea Khan, Hea the fish. The Greeks made it Joannes; the Arabs "Yohanná" (contracted to "Hanná," Christian) and "Yábyá" (Moslem). Prester (Priest) John is probably Ung Khan, the historian prince conquered and slain by Janghiz Khan in A.D. 1202. The modern history of "John" is very extensive: there may be a full hundred varieties and derivation' of the name. "Husn Maryam" the beauty (spiritual. etc.) of the B.V.
  122. Primarily being middle-aged; then aid, a patron, servant, etc. Also a tribe of the Jinn usually made synonymous with "Márid," evil controuls, hostile to men: modern spiritualists would regard them as polluted souls not yet purged of their malignity. The text insinuates that they were at home amongst Christians and in Genoa.
  123. Arab. "Sar'a" = epilepsy, falling sickness, of old always confounded with "possession" (by evil spirits) or "obsession."
  124. Again the true old charge of falsifying the so-called "Sacred books." Here the Koran is called "Furkán." Sale (sect. iii.) would assimilate this to the Hebr. "Perek" or "Pirka," denoting a section or portion of Scripture; but Moslems understand it to be the "Book which distinguisheth (faraka, divided) the true from the false." Thus Caliph Omar was entitled "Fárúk" = the Distinguisher (between right and wrong). Lastly, "Furkán," meanings as in Syr. and Ethiop. deliverance, revelation, is applied alike to the Pentateuch and Koran.
  125. Euphemistic for "thou shalt die."
  126. Lit. "From (jugular) vein to vein" (Arab. "Waríd"). Our old friend Lucretius again: "Tantane relligio," etc.
  127. As opposed to the "but" or outer room.
  128. Arab. "Darb al-Asfar" in the old Jamalíyah or Northern part of Cairo.
  129. A noble tribe of Badawin that migrated from Al-Yaman and settled in Al-Najd Their Chief, who died a few years before Mohammed's birth, was Al-Hatim (the "black crow"), a model of Arab manliness and munificence; and although born in the Ignorance he will enter Heaven with the Moslems. Hatim was buried on the hill called Owárid: I have already noted this favourite practice of the wilder Arabs and the affecting idea that the Dead may still look upon his kith and kin. There is not an Arab book nor, indeed, a book upon Arabia which does not contain the name of Hatim: he is mentioned as unpleasantly often as Aristides.
  130. Lord of "Cattle-feet," this King's name is unknown; but the Kámús mentions two Kings called Zu 'l Kalá'a, the Greater and the Less. Lane's Shaykh (ii. 333) opined that the man who demanded Hatim's hospitality was one Abu'l-Khaybari.
  131. The camel's throat, I repeat, is not cut as in the case of other animals, the muscles being too strong: it is slaughtered by the "nahr," i.e. thrusting a knife into the hollow at the commissure of the chest. (Pilgrimage iii. 303.)
  132. Adi became a Moslem and was one of the companions of the
    Prophet.
  133. A rival-in generosity to Hatim: a Persian poet praising his patron's generosity says that it buried that of Hatim and dimmed that of Ma'an (D'Herbelot). He was a high official-under the last Ommiade, Marwán al-Himár (the "Ass," or the "Century," the duration of Ommiade rule) who was routed and slain in A.H. 132=750. Ma'an continued to serve under the Abbasides and was a favourite with Al-Mansúr. "More generous or bountiful than Ka'ab" is another saying (A. P., i. 325); Ka'ab ibn Mámah was a man who, somewhat like Sir Philip Sidney at Zutphen, gave his own portion of drink while he was dying of thirst to a man who looked wistfully at him, whence the saying "Give drink to thy brother the Námiri" (A. P., i. 608). Ka'ab could not mount, so they put garments over him to scare away the wild beasts and left him in the desert to die. "Scatterer of blessings" (Náshir al-Ni'am) was a title of King Malik of Al-Yaman, son of Sharhabíl, eminent for his liberality. He set up the statue in the Western Desert, inscribed "Nothing behind me," as a warner to others.
  134. Lane (ii. 352) here introduces, between Nights cclxxi. and ccxc., a tale entitled in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 134) "The Sleeper and the Waker," i.e. the sleeper awakened; and he calls it: The Story of Abu-l-Hasan the Wag. It is interesting and founded upon historical-fact; but it can hardly be introduced here without breaking the sequence of The Nights. I regret this the more as Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal-of New York has most obligingly sent me an addition to the Breslau text (iv. 137) from his MS. But I hope eventually to make use of it.
  135. The first girl calls gold "Titer" (pure, unalloyed metal); the second "Asjad" (gold generally) and the third "Ibríz" (virgin ore, the Greek {Greek letters}. This is a law of Arab rhetoric never to repeat the word except for a purpose and, as the language can produce 1,200,000 (to 100,000 in English) the copiousness is somewhat painful to readers.
  136. Arab. "Shakes" before noticed.
  137. Arab. "Kussá'á"=the curling cucumber: the vegetable is of the cheapest and the poorer classes eat it as "kitchen" with bread.
  138. Arab. "Haram-hu," a double entendre. Here the Barlawi means his Harem the inviolate part of the house; but afterwards he makes it mean the presence of His Honour.
  139. Toledo? this tale was probably known to Washington Irving. The "Land of Roum " here means simply Frank-land as we are afterwards told that its name was Andalusia the old Vandal-land, a term still applied by Arabs to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.
  140. Arab. "Amáim" (plur. of Imámah) the common word for turband which I prefer to write in the old unclipt fashion. We got it through the Port. Turbante and the old French Tolliban from the (now obsolete) Persian term Dolband=a turband or a sash.
  141. Sixth Ommiade Caliph, A.D. 705-716, from "Tárik" we have
    "Gibraltar"=Jabal-al-Tárik.
  142. Arab. "Yunán" = Ionia, applied to ancient Greece as
    "Roum" is to the Græco-Roman Empire.
  143. Arab. "Bahramáni ;" prob. alluding to the well-known
    legend of the capture of Somanath (Somnauth) from the Hindus by
    Mahmud of Ghazni. In the Ajá'ib al-Hind (before quoted) the
    Brahmins are called Abrahamah.
  144. i.e. "Peace be with thee!"
  145. i.e. in the palace when the hunt was over. The bluntness and plain-speaking of the Badawi, which caused the revelation of the Koranic chapter "Inner Apartments" (No. xlix.) have always been favourite themes with Arab tale-tellers as a contrast with citizen suavity and servility. Moreover the Badawi, besides saying what he thinks, always tells the truth (unless corrupted by commerce with foreigners); and this is a startling contrast with the townsfolk. To ride out of Damascus and have a chat with the Ruwalá is much like being suddenly transferred from amongst the trickiest of Mediterranean people to the bluff society of the Scandinavian North. And the reason why the Turk will never govern the Arab in peace is that the former is always trying to finesse and to succeed by falsehood, when the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is wanted.
  146. Koran. xvi. 112.
  147. A common and expressive way of rewarding the tongue which "spoke poetry." The Jewels are often pearls.
  148. Ibrahim Abu Ishák bin al-Mahdi, a pretender to the Caliphate of well known wit and a famed musician surnamed from his corpulence "Al-Tannín"=the Dragon or, according to others (Lane ii. 336), "Al-Tin"= the fig. His adventurous history will be found in Ibn Khallikan D'Herbelot and Al-Siyuti.
  149. The Ragha of the Zendavesta, and Rages of the Apocrypha (Tobit, Judith, etc.), the old capital-of Media Proper, and seat of government of Daylam, now a ruin some miles south of Teheran which was built out of its remains. Rayy was founded by Hoshang the primeval-king who first sawed wood, made doors and dug metal. It is called Rayy al-Mahdiyyah because Al-Mahdi held his court there. Harun al-Rashid was also born in it (A.H. 145). It is mentioned by a host of authors and names one of the Makamat of Al-Hariri.
  150. Human blood being especially impure.
  151. Jones, Brown and Robinson.
  152. Arab. "Kumm ," the Moslem sleeve is mostly (like his trousers) of ample dimensions and easily converted into a kind of carpet-bag by depositing small articles in the middle and gathering up the edge in the hand. In this way carried the weight would be less irksome than hanging to the waist. The English of Queen Anne's day had regular sleeve-pockets for memoranda, etc., hence the saying, to have in one's sleeve.
  153. Arab. "Khuff" worn under the "Bábúg" (a corruption of the Persian pá-push=feet-covers, papooshes, slippers). [Lane M. E. chaps. i.]
  154. Done in hot weather throughout the city, a dry line for camels being left in mid-street to prevent the awkward beasts slipping. The watering of the Cairo streets of late years has been excessive; they are now lines of mud in summer as well as in winter and the effluvia from the droppings of animals have, combined with other causes, seriously deteriorated the once charming climate. The only place in Lower Egypt, which has preserved the atmosphere of 1850, is Suez.
  155. Arab. "Hurák:" burnt rag, serving as tinder for flint and steel, is a common styptic.
  156. Of this worthy, something has been said and there will be more in a future page.
  157. i.e. the person entitled to exact the blood-wite.
  158. Al-Maamum was a man of sense with all his fanaticism One of his sayings is preserved "Odious is contentiousness in Kings, more odious vexation in judges uncomprehending a case; yet more odious is shallowness of doctors in religions and most odious are avarice in the rich, idleness in youth, jesting in age and cowardice in the soldier."
  159. The second couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. but Lane's
    Shaykh has supplied it (ii. 339)
  160. Adam's loins, the "Day of Alast," and the Imam (who stands before the people in prayer) have been explained. The "Seventh Imam" here is Al-Maamun, the seventh Abbaside the Ommiades being, as usual, ignored.
  161. He sinned only for the pleasure of being pardoned, which is poetical-and hardly practical-or probable.
  162. The Katá (sand-grouse) always enters into Arab poetry because it is essentially a desert bird, and here the comparison is good because it lays its eggs in the waste far from water which it must drink morning and evening. Its cry is interpreted "man sakat, salam" (silent and safe), but it does not practice that precept, for it is usually betrayed by its piping " Kata! Kata!" Hence the proverb, "More veracious than the sand-grouse," and "speak not falsely, for the Kata sayeth sooth," is Komayt's saying. It is an emblem of swiftness: when the brigand poet Shanfara boasts, "The ash-coloured Katas can drink only my leavings, after hastening all night to slake their thirst in the morning," it is a hyperbole boasting of his speed. In Sind it is called the "rock pigeon" and it is not unlike a grey partridge when on the wing.
  163. Joseph to his brethren, Koran, xii. 92, when he gives them his "inner garment" to throw over his father's face.
  164. Arab. "Hajjám"=a cupper who scarifies forehead and legs, a bleeder, a (blood-) sucker. The slang use of the term is to thrash, lick, wallop. (Burckhardt. Prov. 34.)
  165. The Bresl. Edit. (vii. 171-174) entitles this tale, "Story of Shaddád bin Ad and the City of Iram the Columned ;" but it relates chiefly to the building by the King of the First Adites who, being promised a future Paradise by Prophet Húd, impiously said that he would lay out one in this world. It also quotes Ka'ab al-Ahbár as an authority for declaring that the tale is in the "Pentateuch of Moses." Iram was in al-Yaman near Adan (our Aden) a square of ten parasangs (or leagues each= 18,000 feet) every way, the walls were of red (baked) brick 500 cubits high and 20 broad, with four gates of corresponding grandeur. It contained 300,000 Kasr (palaces) each with a thousand pillars of gold-bound jasper, etc. (whence its title). The whole was finished in five hundred years, and, when Shaddad prepared to enter it, the "Cry of Wrath" from the Angel of Death slew him and all his many. It is mentioned in the Koran (chaps. Ixxxix. 6-7) as "Irem adorned with lofty buildings (or pillars)." But Ibn Khaldun declares that commentators have embroidered the passage; Iram being the name of a powerful clan of the ancient Adites and "imád" being a tent-pole: hence "Iram with the numerous tents or tent-poles." Al-Bayzawi tells the story of Abdullah ibn Kilabah (D'Herbelot's Colabah). At Aden I met an Arab who had seen the mysterious city on the borders of Al-Ahkáf, the waste of deep sands, west of Hadramaut; and probably he had, the mirage or sun-reek taking its place. Compare with this tale "The City of Brass" (Night dlxv.).
  166. The biblical-"Sheba," named from the great-grandson of Joctan, whence the Queen (Bilkis) visited Solomon It was destroyed by the Flood of Márib.
  167. The full title of the Holy City is "Madinat al-Nab)" = the City of the Prophet, of old Yasrib (Yathrib) the Iatrippa of the Greeks (Pilgrimage, ii. 119). The reader will remember that there are two "Yasribs:" that of lesser note being near Hujr in the Yamámah province.
  168. "Ka'ab of the Scribes," a well-known traditionist and religious poet who died (A.H. 32) in the Caliphate of Osman. He was a Jew who islamised; hence his name (Ahbár, plur. of Hibr, a Jewish scribe, doctor of science, etc. Jarrett's El-Siyuti, p. 123). He must not be confounded with another Ka'ab al-Ahbár the Poet of the (first) Cloak-poem or "Burdah," a noble Arab who was a distant cousin of Mohammed, and whose tomb at Hums (Emesa) is a place of pious visitation. According to the best authorities (no Christian being allowed to see them) the cloak given to the bard by Mohammed is still preserved together with the Khirkah or Sanjak Sherif ("Holy Coat" or Banner, the national oriflamme) at Stambul in the Upper Seraglio. (Pilgrimage, i. 213.) Many authors repeat this story of Mu'awiyah, the Caliph, and Ka'ab of the Burdah, but it is an evident anachronism, the poet having been dead nine years before the ruler's accession (A.H. 41).
  169. Koran, lxxxix. 6-7.
  170. Arab. "Kahramán" from Pers., braves, heroes.
  171. The Deity in the East is as whimsical-a despot as any of his "shadows" or "vice regents." In the text Shaddád is killed for mere jealousy a base passion utterly unworthy of a godhead; but one to which Allah was greatly addicted.
  172. Some traditionist, but whether Sha'abi, Shi'abi or
    Shu'abi we cannot decide.
  173. The Hazarmaveth of Genesis (x. 26) in South Eastern Arabia. Its people are the Adramitae (mod. Hazrami) of Ptolemy who places in their land the Arabiæ Emporium, as Pliny does his Massola. They border upon the Homeritæ or men of Himyar, often mentioned in The Nights. Hazramaut is still practically unknown to us, despite the excursions of many travellers; and the hard nature of the people, the Swiss of Arabia, offers peculiar obstacles to exploration.
  174. i.e. the prophet Hud generally identified (?) with Heber. He was commissioned (Koran, chaps. vii.) to preach Al-Islam to his tribe the Adites who worshipped four goddesses, Sákiyah (the rain-giver), Rázikah (food-giver), Háfizah (the saviouress) and Sálimah (who healed sickness). As has been seen he failed, so it was useless to send him.
  175. Son of Ibraham al-Mosili, a musician poet and favourite with the Caliphs Harun al-Rashid and Al-Maamun. He made his name immortal-by being the first who reduced Arab harmony to systematic rules, and he wrote a biography of musicians referred to by Al-Hariri in the Séance of Singar.
  176. This must not be confounded with the "pissing against the wall" of I Kings, xiv. 10, where watering against a wall denotes a man as opposed to a woman.
  177. Arab. "Zambíl" or "Zimbíl," a limp basket made of plaited palm-leaves and generally two handled. It is used for many purposes, from carrying poultry to carrying earth.
  178. Here we have again the Syriac "Bakhkh -un-Bakhkh-un-"=well done! It is the Pers Áferín and means "all praise be to him."
  179. Arab. "A Tufayli?" So the Arab. Prov. (ii. 838) "More intrusive than Tufayl" (prob. the P.N. of a notorious sponger). The Badawin call "Wárish" a man who sits down to meat unbidden and to drink Wághil; but townsfolk apply the latter to the "Wárish."
  180. Arab. "Artál"=rotoli, pounds; and
    "A pint is a pound
                    All the world round;"

    except in highly civilised lands where the pint has a curious power of shrinking.
  181. One of Al-Maamun's Wazirs. The Caliph married his daughter whose true name was Búrán; but this tale of girl's freak and courtship was invented (?) by Ishak. For the splendour of the wedding and the munificence of the Minister see Lane, ii. 350-352.
  182. I have described this scene, the wretch clinging to the curtain and sighing and crying as if his heart would break (Pilgrimage iii. 216 and 220). The same is done at the place Al-Multazam'"the attached to;" (ibid. 156) and various spots called Al-Mustajáb, "where prayer is granted" (ibid. 162). At Jerusalem the Wailing place of the Jews" shows queer scenes; the worshippers embrace the wall with a peculiar wriggle crying out in Hebrew, "O build Thy House, soon, without delay," etc.
  183. i.e. The wife. The scene in the text was common at Cairo twenty years ago; and no one complained of the stick. See Pilgrimage i., 120.
  184. Arab. "Udm, Udum" (plur. of Idám) = "relish," olives, cheese, pickled cucumbers, etc.
  185. I have noticed how the left hand is used in the East. In the second couplet we have "Istinjá"=washing the fundament after stool. The lines are highly appropriate for a nightman. Easterns have many foul but most emphatic expressions like those in the text I have heard a mother say to her brat, "I would eat thy merde!" (i.e. how I love thee!).
  186. Arab. "Harrák," whence probably our "Carack" and
    "Carrack" (large ship), in dictionaries derived from Carrus
    Marinus.
  187. Arab. "Gháshiyah"=lit. an étui, a cover; and often a saddle-cover carried by the groom.
  188. Arab. "Sharáb al-tuffáh" = melapio or cider.
  189. Arab. "Mudawwarah," which generally means a small round cushion, of the Marocco-work well known in England. But one does not strike a cushion for a signal, so we must revert to the original-sense of the word "something round," as a circular plate of wood or metal, a gong, a "bell" like that of the Eastern Christians.
  190. Arab. "Túfán" (from the root tauf, going round) a storm, a circular gale, a cyclone the term universally applied in Al-lslam to the "Deluge," the "Flood" of Noah. The word is purely Arabic; with a quaint likeness to the Gr. {Greek letters}, in Pliny typhon, whirlwind, a giant (Typhus) whence "Typhon" applied to the great Egyptian god "Set." The Arab word extended to China and was given to the hurricanes which the people call "Tee foong," great winds, a second whimsical-resemblance. But Sir John Davis (ii. 383) is hardly correct when he says, "the name typhoon, in itself a corruption of the Chinese term, bears a singular (though we must suppose an accidental) resemblance to the Greek {Greek letters}. "
  191. Plurale majestatis acting superlative; not as Lane supposes (ii. 224) "a number of full moons, not only one." Eastern tongues abound in instances beginning with Genesis (i. 1), "Gods (he) created the heaven," etc. It is still preserved in Badawi language and a wildling greatly to the astonishment of the citizens will address his friend "Yá Rijál"= O men!
  192. Arab. "Hásid" = an envier: in the fourth couplet "Azúl" (Azzál, etc.) = a chider, blamer; elsewhere "Lawwám" = accuser, censor, slanderer; "Wáshí,"=whisperer, informer; "Rakib"=spying, envious rival; "Ghábit"=one emulous without envy; and "Shámit"= a "blue" (fierce) enemy who rejoices over another's calamities. Arabic literature abounds in allusions to this unpleasant category of "damned ill-natured friends;" and Spanish and Portuguese letters, including Brazilian, have thoroughly caught the trick. In the Eastern mind the "blamer" would be aided by the "evil eye."
  193. Another plural for a singular, "O my beloved!"
  194. Arab. "Khayr"=good news, a euphemistic reply even if the tidings be of the worst.
  195. Abbás (from 'Abs, being austere; and meaning the "grim faced") son of Abd al-Muttalib; uncle to Mohammed and eponym of the Abbaside Khalifahs. A.D. 749=1258.
  196. Katíl = the Irish "kilt."
  197. This hat been explained as a wazirial title of the time.
  198. The phrase is intelligible in all tongues: in Arabic it is opposed to "dark as night," "black as mud" and a host of unsavoury antitheses.
  199. Arab. "Awwádah," the popular word; not Udíyyah as in Night cclvi. "Ud" liter.= rood and "Al-Ud"=the wood is, I have noted, the origin of our 'lute." The Span. 'laud" is larger and deeper than the guitar, and its seven strings are played upon with a plectrum of buffalo-horn.
  200. Arab. "Tabban lahu!"=loss (or ruin) to him. So "bu'dan lahu"=away with him, abeat in malam rem; and "Suhkan lahu"=Allah and mercy be far from him, no hope for him I
  201. Arab. "Áyah"=Koranic verses, sign, miracle.
  202. The mole on cheek calls to prayers for his preservation; and it is black as Bilal the Abyssinian. Fajran may here mean either "A.-morning" or "departing from grace."
  203. i.e. the young beard (myrtle) can never hope to excel tile beauties of his cheeks (roses).
  204. i.e. Hell and Heaven.
  205. The first couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. (ii. 171)
    which gives only a single couplet but it is found in the Bres.
    Edit. which entitles this tale "Story of the lying (or false kázib)
    Khalífah." Lane (ii. 392) of course does not translate it.
  206. In the East cloth of frieze that mates with cloth of gold must expect this treatment. Fath Ali Shah's daughters always made their husbands enter the nuptial-bed by the foot end.
  207. This is always done and for two reasons; the first humanity, that the blow may fall unawares; and, secondly, to prevent the sufferer wincing, which would throw out the headsman.
  208. Arab. "Ma'áni-há," lit. her meanings, i.e. her inner woman opposed to the formal-seen by every one.
  209. Described in my Pilgrimage (iii. 168, 174 and 175): it is the stone upon which the Patriarch stood when he built the Ka'abah and is said to show the impress of the feet but unfortunately I could not afford five dollars entrance-fee. Caliph Omar placed the station where it now is; before his time it adjoined the Ka'abah. The meaning of the text is, Be thy court a place of pious visitation, etc. At the "Station of Abraham" prayer is especially blessed and expects to be granted. "This is the place where Abraham stood; and whoever entereth therein shall be safe" (Koran ii. 119). For the other fifteen places where petitions are favourably heard by Heaven see ibid. iii. 211-12.
  210. As in the West, so in the East, women answer an unpleasant question by a counter question.
  211. This "Cry of Haro" often occurs throughout The Nights. In real-life it is sure to colece a crowd. especially if an Infidel (non Moslem) be its cause.
  212. In the East a cunning fellow always makes himself the claimant or complainant.
  213. On the Euphrates some 40 miles west of Baghdad The word is written "Anbár" and pronounced "Ambár" as usual with the "n" before "b"; the case of the Greek double Gamma.
  214. Syene on the Nile.
  215. The tale is in the richest Rabelaisian humour; and the requisitions of the "Saj'a" (rhymed prose) in places explain the grotesque combinations. It is difficult to divine why Lane omits it: probably he held a hearty laugh not respectable.
  216. A lawyer of the eighth century, one of the chief pupils of the Imam Abu Hanifah, and Kazi of Baghdad under the third, fourth and fifth Abbasides. The tale is told in the quasi- historical-Persian work "Nigáristán" (The Picture gallery), and is repeated by Richardson, Diss. 7, xiii. None seem to have remarked that the distinguished legist, Abu Yusuf, was on this occasion a law-breaker; the Kazi's duty being to carry out the code not to break it by the tricks of a cunning attorney. In Harun's day, however, some regard was paid to justice, not under his successors, one of whom, Al-Muktadir bi 'lláh (A.H. 295=907), made the damsel Yamika President of the Diwán al-Mazálim (Court of the Wronged), a tribunal which took cognizance of tyranny and oppression in high places.
  217. Here the writer evidently forgets that Shahrazad is telling the story to the king, as Boccaccio (ii. 7) forgets that Pamfilo is speaking. Such inconsequences are common in Eastern story-books and a goody-goody sentiment is always heartily received as in an English theatre.
  218. In the Mac. Edit. (ii. 182) "Al-Kushayri." Al-Kasri was
    Governor of the two Iraks (I.e. Bassorah and Cufa) in the reign of
    Al-Hisham, tenth Ommiade (A.D. 723-741)
  219. Arab. "Thakalata k Ummak!" This is not so much a curse as a playful phrase, like "Confound the fellow." So "Kátala k Allah" (Allah slay thee) and "Lá abá lak" (thou hast no father or mother). These words are even complimentary on occasions, as a good shot or a fine recitation, meaning that the praised far excels the rest of his tribe.
  220. Koran, iii. 178.
  221. Arab. "Al-Nisáb"=the minimum sum (about half-a crown) for which mutilation of the hand is prescribed by religious law. The punishment was truly barbarous, it chastised a rogue by means which prevented hard honest labour for the rest of his life.
  222. To show her grief.
  223. Abú Sa'íd Abd al-Malik bin Kurayb, surnamed Al-Asma'i from his grandfather, flor. A.H. 122-306 (=739-830) and wrote amongst a host of compositions the well-known Romance of Antar. See in D'Herbelot the right royal-directions given to him by Harun al-Rashid.
  224. There are many accounts of his death, but it is generally held that he was first beheaded. The story in the text is also variously told and the Persian "Nigáristán" adds some unpleasant comments upon the House of Abbas. The Persians, for reasons which will be explained in the terminal-Essay, show the greatest sympathy with the Barmecides; and abominate the Abbasides even more than the latter detested the Ommiades.
  225. Not written, as the European reader would suppose.
  226. Arab. "Fúl al-hárr" = beans like horsebeans soaked and boiled as opposed to the "Fúl Mudammas" (esp. of Egypt)=unshelled beans steamed and boiled all night and eaten with linseed oil as "kitchen" or relish. Lane (M.E., chaps. v.) calls them after the debased Cairene pronunciation, Mudemmes. A legend says that, before the days of Pharaoh (always he of Moses), the Egyptians lived on pistachios which made them a witty, lively race. But the tyrant remarking that the domestic ass, which eats beans, is degenerate from the wild ass, uprooted the pistachio-trees and compelled the lieges to feed on beans which made them a heavy, gross, cowardly people fit only for burdens. Badawis deride "beaneaters" although they do not loathe the pulse like onions. The principal-result of a bean diet is an extraordinary development of flatulence both in stomach and intestines: hence possibly, Pythagoras who had studied ceremonial-purity in Egypt, forbade the use, unless he referred to venery or political-business. I was once sitting in the Greek quarter of Cairo dressed as a Moslem when arose a prodigious hubbub of lads and boys, surrounding, a couple of Fellahs. These men had been working in the fields about a mile east of Cairo and, when returning home, one had said to the other, "If thou wilt carry the hoes I will break wind once for every step we take." He was as good as his word and when they were to part he cried, "And now for thy bakhshish!" which consisted of a volley of fifty, greatly to the delight of the boys.
  227. No porcelain was ever, as far as we can discover, made in Egypt or Syria of the olden day; but, as has been said, there was a regular caravan-intercourse with China At Damascus I dug into the huge rubbish-heaps and found quantities of pottery, but no China. The same has lately been done at Clysma, the artificial-mound near Suez, and the glass and pottery prove it to have been a Roman work which defended the mouth of the old classical-sweet-water canal.
  228. Arab. "Lá baas ba-zálik," conversational-for "Lá jaram"= there is no harm in it, no objection to it, and, sometimes, "it is a matter of course."
  229. A white emerald is yet unknown; but this adds only to the Oriental-extravagance of the picture. I do not think with Lane (ii. 426) that "abyaz" here can mean "bright." Dr. Steingass suggests a clerical-error for "khazar" (green).
  230. Arab. "Sharárif" plur. of Shurráfah=crenelles or battlements; mostly trefoil-shaped; remparts coquets which a six-pounder would crumble.
  231. Pronounce Abul-Muzaffar=Father of the Conqueror.
  232. I have explained the word in my "Zanzibar, City, Island and Coast," vol. i. chaps. v There is still a tribe, the Wadoe, reputed cannibal-on the opposite low East African shore These blacks would hardly be held " sons of Adam." "Zanj " corrupted to "Zinj " (plur Zunúj) is the Persian "Zany" or "Zangi," a black, altered by the Arabs, who ignore the hard g; and, with the suffixion of the Persian -bár (region, as in Malabar) we have Zang- bar which the Arabs have converted to "Zanjibar," in poetry "Murk al-Zunúj"=Land of the Zang. The term is old; it is the Zingis or Zingisa of Ptolemy and the Zingium of Cosmas Indicopleustes; and it shows the influence of Persian navigation in pre-Islamitic ages. For further details readers will consult "The Lake Regions of Central-Africa" vol. i. chaps. ii
  233. Arab. "Kawárib" plur. of "Kárib" prop. a dinghy, a small boat belonging to a ship Here it refers to the canoe (a Carib word) pop. "dug-out" and classically "monoxyle," a boat made of a single tree-trunk hollowed by fire and trimmed with axe and adze. Some of these rude craft which, when manned, remind one of saturnine Caliph Omar's "worms floating on a log of wood," measure 60 feet long and more.
  234. i.e. A descendant of Mohammed in general-and especially through Husayn Ali-son. Here the text notes that the chief of the bazar was of this now innumerable stock, who inherit the title through the mother as well as through the father.
  235. Arab. "Hasab" (=quaneity), the honour a man acquires for himself; opposed to "Nasab" (genealogy) honours inherited from ancestry: the Arabic well expresses my old motto (adopted by Chinese Gordon), "Honour, not Honours."
  236. Note the difference between "Takaddum" ( = standing in presence of, also superiority in excellence) and "Takádum" (priority in time).
  237. Lane (ii. 427) gives a pleasant Eastern illustration of this saying.
  238. A Koranic fancy; the mountains being the pegs which keep the earth in place. "And he hath thrown before the earth, mountains firmly rooted, lest it should move with you." (Koran, chaps. xvi.) The earth when first created was smooth and thereby liable to a circular motion, like the celestial-orbs; and, when the Angels asked who could stand on so tottering a frame, Allah fixed it the next morning by throwing the mountains in it and pegging them down. A fair prolepsis of the Neptunian theory.
  239. Easy enough for an Englishman to avoid saying "by God," but this common incident in Moslem folk-lore appeals to the peoples who are constantly using the word Allah Wallah, Billah, etc. The Koran expressly says, "Make not Allah the scope (object, lit. arrow-butt) of your oaths" (chaps. ii. 224), yet the command is broken every minute.
  240. This must be the ubiquitous Khizr, the Green Prophet; when Ali appears, as a rule he is on horseback.
  241. The name is apparently imaginary; and a little below we find that it was close to Jinn land. China was very convenient for this purpose: the medieval-Moslems, who settled in considerable numbers at Canton and elsewhere, knew just enough of it to know their own ignorance of the vast empire. Hence the Druzes of the Libanus still hold that part of their nation is in the depths of the Celestial-Empire.
  242. I am unwilling to alter the old title to "City of Copper" as it should be; the pure metal having been technologically used long before the alloy of copper and zinc. But the Maroccan City (Night dlxvi. et seq.) was of brass (not copper). The Hindus of Upper India have an Iram which they call Hari Chand's city (Colonel Tod); and I need hardly mention the Fata Morgana, Island of Saint Borondon; Cape Fly-away; the Flying Dutchman, etc. etc., all the effect of "looming."
  243. This sword which makes men invisible and which takes place of Siegfried's Tarnkappe (invisible cloak) and of "Fortunatus' cap" is common in Moslem folk-lore. The idea probably arose from the venerable practice of inscribing the blades with sentences, verses and magic figures.
  244. Arab. "'Ukáb," in books an eagle (especially black) and P. N. of constellation but in Pop. usage= a vulture. In Egypt it is the Neophron Percnopterus (Jerdon) or N. Gingianus (Latham), the Dijájat Far'aun or Pharaoh's hen. This bird has been known to kill the Báshah sparrow-hawk (Jerdon i. 60); yet, curious to say, the reviewers of my "Falconry in the Valley of the Indus" questioned the fact, known to so many travellers, that the falcon is also killed by this "tiger of the air," despite the latter's feeble bill (pp. 35-38). I was faring badly at their hands when the late Mr. Burckhardt Barker came to the rescue. Falconicide is popularly attributed, not only to the vulture, but also to the crestless hawk-eagle (Nisætus Bonelli) which the Hindus call Morángá=peacock slayer.
  245. Here I translate "Nahás"=brass, as the "kumkum" (cucurbite) is made of mixed metal, not of copper.
  246. Mansur al-Nimrí, a poet of the time and a protégé of
    Yahya's son, Al-Fazl.
  247. This was at least four times Mansur's debt.
  248. Intendant of the Palace to Harun al-Rashid. The Bres. Edit. (vii. 254) begins They tell that there arose full enmity between Ja'afar Barmecide and a Sahib of Misr" (Wazir or Governor of Egypt). Lane (ii. 429) quotes to this purpose amongst Arab; historians Fakhr al-Din. (De Sacy's Chrestomathie Arabe i., p. 26, edit. ii.)
  249. Arab. "Armaníyah" which Egyptians call after their mincing fashion "Irminiyeh" hence "Ermine" (Mus Ponticus). Armaniyah was much more extensive than our Armenia, now degraded to a mere province of Turkey, and the term is understood to include the whole of the old Parthian Empire.
  250. Even now each Pasha-governor must keep a "Wakíl" in
    Constantinople to intrigue and bribe for him at head-quarters.
  251. The symbol of generosity, of unasked liberality, the "black hand" being that of niggardness.
  252. Arab. Ráh =pure (and old) wine. Arabs, like our classics, usually drank their wine tempered. So Imr al-Keys in his Mu'allakah says, "Bring the well tempered wine that seems to be saffron-tinctured; and, when water-mixed, o'erbrims the cup." (v. 2.)
  253. There is nothing that Orientals relish more than these "goody-goody" preachments; but they read and forget them as readily as Westerns.
  254. Lane (ii. 435) ill-advisedly writes "Sher," as "the word is evidently Persian signifying a Lion." But this is only in the debased Indian dialect, a Persian, especially a Shirazi, pronounces "Shír." And this is how it is written in the Bresl. Edit., vii. 262. "Shár" is evidently a fancy name, possibly suggested by the dynastic name of the Ghurjistan or Georgian Princes.
  255. Again old experience, which has learned at a heavy cost how many a goodly apple is rotten at the core.
  256. This couplet has occurred in Night xxi. I give Torrens (p. 206) by way of specimen.
  257. Arab. "Záka" = merely tasting a thing which may be sweet with a bitter after-flavour
  258. This tetraseich was in Night xxx. with a difference.
  259. The lines have occurred in Night xxx. I quote Torrens, p. 311.
  260. This tetrastich is in Night clxix. I borrow from Lane (ii. 62).
  261. The rude but effective refrigerator of the desert Arab who hangs his water-skin to the branch of a tree and allows it to swing in the wind.
  262. Arab "Khumásiyah" which Lane (ii. 438) renders "of quinary stature." Usually it means five spans, but here five feet, showing that the girl was young and still growing. The invoice with a slave always notes her height in spans measured from ankle-bone to ear and above seven she loses value as being full grown. Hence Sudási (fem. Sudásiyah) is a slave six spans high, the Shibr or full span (9 inches) not the Fitr or short span from thumb to index. Faut is the interval-between every finger, Ratab between index and medius, and Atab between medius and annularis.
  263. "Moon faced" now sounds sufficiently absurd to us, but it was not always so. Solomon (Cant. vi. 10) does not disdain the image "fair as the moon, clear as the sun," and those who have seen a moon in the sky of Arabia will thoroughly appreciate it. We find it amongst the Hindus, the Persians, the Afghans, the Turks and all the nations of Europe. We have, finally, the grand example of Spenser,
    "Her spacious forehead, like the clearest moon, etc."
  264. Blue eyes have a bad name in Arabia as in India: the witch Zarká of Al-Yamamah was noted for them; and "blue eyed" often means "fierce-eyed," alluding to the Greeks and Daylamites, mortal-enemies to Ishmael. The Arabs say "ruddy of mustachio, blue of eye and black of heart."
  265. Before explained as used with camphor to fill the dead man's mouth.
  266. As has been seen, slapping on the neck is equivalent to our "boxing ears," but much less barbarous and likely to injure the child. The most insulting blow is that with shoe sandal-or slipper because it brings foot in contact with head. Of this I have spoken before.
  267. Arab. "Hibál" (= ropes) alluding to the A'akál-fillet which binds the Kúfiyah-kerchief on the Badawi's head. (Pilgrimage, i. 346.)
  268. Arab. "Khiyál"; afterwards called Kara Gyuz (= "black eyes," from the celebrated Turkish Wazir). The mise-en-scène was like that of Punch, but of transparent cloth, lamp lit inside and showing silhouettes worked by hand. Nothing could be more Fescenntne than Kara Gyuz, who appeared with a phallus longer than himself and made all the Consuls-General-periodically complain of its abuse, while the dialogue, mostly in Turkish, as even more obscene. Most ingenious were Kara Gyuz's little ways of driving on an Obstinate donkey and of tackling a huge Anatolian pilgrim. He mounted the Neddy's back face to tail, and inserting his left thumb like a clyster, hammered it with his right when the donkey started at speed. For the huge pilgrim he used a ladder. These shows now obsolete, used to enliven the Ezbekiyah Gardens every evening and explain Ovid's Words,
    "Delicias videam, Nile jocose, tuas!"
  269. Mohammed (Mishkát al-Masábih ii. 360-62) says, "Change the whiteness of your hair but not with anything black." Abu Bakr, who was two years and some months older than the Prophet, used tincture of Henna and Katam. Old Turkish officers justify black dyes because these make them look younger and fiercer. Henna stains white hair orange red; and the Persians apply after it a paste of indigo leaves, the result is successively leek-green, emerald-green, bottle-green and lastly lamp-black. There is a stage in life (the youth of old age) when man uses dyes: presently he finds that the whole face wants dye; that the contrast between juvenile coloured hair and ancient skin is ridiculous and that it is time to wear white.
  270. This prejudice extends all over the East: the Sanskrit saying is "Kvachit káná bhaveta sádhus" now and then a monocular is honest. The left eye is the worst and the popular idea is, I have said, that the damage will come by the injured member
  271. The Arabs say like us, "Short and thick is never quick" and "Long and thin has little in."
  272. Arab. "Ba'azu layáli," some night when his mistress failed him.
  273. The fountain in Paradise before noticed.
  274. Before noticed as the Moslem St. Peter (as far as the keys go).
  275. Arab. "Munkasir" = broken, frail, languishing the only form of the maladive allowed. Here again we have masculine for feminine: the eyelids show love-desire, but, etc.
  276. The river of Paradise.
  277. See Night xii. "The Second Kalandar's Tale " vol. i. 113.
  278. Lane (ii. 472) refers for specimens of calligraphy to Herbin's "Développements, etc." There are many more than seven styles of writing as I have shown in Night xiii.; vol. i. 129.
  279. Amongst good Moslems this would be a claim upon a man.
  280. These lines have occurred twice already: and first appear in Night xxii. I have borrowed from Mr. Payne (iv. 46).
  281. Arab. "Ya Nasráni", the address is not intrinsically slighting but it may easily be made so. I have elsewhere noted that when Julian (is said to have) exclaimed "Vicisti Nazarene!" he was probably thinking in Eastern phrase "Nasarta, yá Nasráni!"
  282. Thirst is the strongest of all pleas to an Eastern, especially to a Persian who never forgets the sufferings of his Imam, Husayn, at Kerbela: he would hardly withhold it from the murderer of his father. There is also a Hadis, "Thou shalt not refuse water to him who thirsteth in the desert."
  283. Arab. "Zimmi" which Lane (ii. 474) aptly translates a "tributary." The Koran (chaps. ix.) orders Unbelievers to Islamize or to "pay tribute by right of subjection" (lit. an yadin=out of hand, an expression much debated). The least tribute is one dinar per annum which goes to the poor-rate. and for this the Kafir enjoys protection and almost all the civil rights of Moslems. As it is a question of "loaves and fishes" there is much to say on the subject; "loaves and fishes" being the main base and foundation of all religious establishments.
  284. This tetrastich has before occurred, so I quote Lane (ii. 444).
  285. In Night xxxv. the same occurs with a difference.
  286. The old rite, I repeat, has lost amongst all but the noblest of Arab tribes the whole of its significance; and the traveller must be careful how he trusts to the phrase "Nahnu málihin" we are bound together by the salt.
  287. Arab. "Aláma" = Alá-má = upon what ? wherefore ?
  288. Arab. "Mauz"; hence the Linnean name Musa (paradisiaca, etc.). The word is explained by Sale (Koran, chaps. xxxvii. 146) as "a small tree or shrub;" and he would identify it with Jonah's gourd.
  289. Lane (ii. 446) "bald wolf or empowered fate," reading (with Mac.) Kazá for Kattan (cat).
  290. i.e. "the Orthodox in the Faith." Ráshid is a proper name, witness that scourge of Syria, Ráshid Pasha. Born in 1830, of the Haji Nazir Agha family, Darrah-Beys of Macedonian Draina, he was educated in Paris where he learned the usual-hatred of Europeans: he entered the Egyptian service in 1851, and, presently exchanging it for the Turkish, became in due time Wali (Governor-General) of Syria which he plundered most shamelessly. Recalled in 1872, he eventually entered the Ministry and on June 15 1876, he was shot down, with other villains like himself, by gallant Captain Hasan, the Circassian (Yarham-hu 'lláh !).
  291. Quoted from a piece of verse, of which more presently.
  292. This tetrastich has occurred before (Night cxciii.). I quote Lane (ii. 449), who quotes Dryden's Spanish Friar,
    "There is a pleasure sure in being mad
               Which none but madmen know."
  293. Lane (ii. 449) gives a tradition of the Prophet, "Whoso is in love, and acteth chastely, and concealeth (his passion) and dieth, dieth a martyr." Sakar is No. 5 Hell for Magi Guebres, Parsis, etc., it is used in the comic Persian curse, "Fi'n-nári wa Sakar al-jadd w'al-pidar"=ln Hell and Sakar his grandfather and his father.
  294. Arab. "Sifr": I have warned readers that whistling is considered a kind of devilish speech by the Arabs, especially the Badawin, and that the traveller must avoid it. It savours of idolatry: in the Koran we find (chaps. viii. 35), "Their prayer at the House of God (Ka'abah) is none other than whistling and hand-clapping;" and tradition says that they whistled through their fingers. Besides many of the Jinn have only round holes by way of mouths and their speech is whistling a kind of bird language like sibilant English.
  295. Arab. 'Kíl wa kál"=lit. "it was said and he said;" a popular phrase for chit chat, tittle-tattle, prattle and prate, etc.
  296. Arab. "Hadis." comparing it with a tradition of the
    Prophet.
  297. Arab. "Mikashshah," the thick part of a midrib of a palm-frond soaked for some days in water and beaten out till the fibres separate. It makes an exceedingly hard, although not a lasting broom.
  298. Persian, "the youth, the brave;" Sansk. Yuván: and Lat. Juvenis. The Kurd, in tales, is generally a sturdy thief; and in real-life is little better.
  299. Arab. "Yá Shatir ;" lit. O clever one (in a bad sense).
  300. Lane (ii. 453) has it. "that I may dress thy hair'" etc.
    This is Bowdlerising with a witness.
  301. The sign of respect when a personage dismounts.
    (Pilgrimage i. 77.)
  302. So the Hindus speak of "the defilement of separation" as if it were an impurity.
  303. Lane (i. 605) gives a long and instructive note on these public royal-banquets which were expected from the lieges by Moslem subjects. The hanging-penalty is, perhaps, a tattle exaggerated; but we find the same excess in the priestly Gesta Romanorum.
  304. Had he eaten it he would have become her guest. Amongst the older Badawin it was sufficient to spit upon a man (in entreaty) to claim his protection: so the horse-thieves when caught were placed in a hole in the ground covered over with matting to prevent this happening. Similarly Saladin (Saláh al-Din) the chivalrous would not order a cup of water for the robber, Reynald de Châtillon, before putting him to death
  305. Arab. "Kishk" properly "Kashk"=wheat-meal-coarsely ground and eaten with milk or broth. It is de rigueur with the Egyptian Copts on the "Friday of Sorrow" (Good Friday): and Lane gives the recipe for making it (M. E. chaps. xxvi.)
  306. In those days distinctive of Moslems.
  307. The euphemism has before been noticed: the Moslem reader would not like to pronounce the words "I am a Nazarene." The same formula occurs a little lower down to save the reciter or reader from saying "Be my wife divorced," etc.
  308. Arab, "Hájj," a favourite Egyptianism. We are wrong to write Hajji which an Eastern would pronounce Háj-jí.
  309. This is Cairene "chaff."
  310. Whose shell fits very tight.
  311. His hand was like a raven's because he ate with thumb and two fingers and it came up with the rice about it like a camel's hoof in dirty ground. This refers to the proverb (Burckhardt, 756), "He comes down a crow-claw (small) and comes up a camel-hoof (huge and round)."
  312. Easterns have a superstitious belief in the powers of food: I knew a learned man who never sat down to eat without a ceremonious salam to his meat.
  313. Lane (ii. 464), uses the vile Turkish corruption "Rustum," which, like its fellow "Rustem," would make a Persian shudder.
  314. Arab. "Darrij" i.e. let them slide (Americanicè).
  315. This tetrastich has occurred before: so I quote Mr. Payne (in loco).
  316. Shaykh of Al-Butnah and Jábiyah, therefore a Syrian of the Hauran near Damascus and grandson to Isú (Esau). Arab mystics (unlike the vulgar who see only his patience) recognise that inflexible integrity which refuses to utter "words of wind" and which would not, against his conscience, confess to wrong-doing merely to pacify the Lord who was stronger than himself. The Classics taught this noble lesson in the case of Prometheus versus Zeus. Many articles are called after Job e.g. Ra'ará' Ayyub or Ghubayrá (inula Arabica and undulata), a creeper with which he rubbed himself and got well: the Copts do the same on "Job's Wednesday," i.e. that before Whit Sunday O.S. Job's father is a nickname of the camel, etc. etc.
  317. Lane (in loco) renders "I am of their number." But "fí al-siyák" means popularly "(driven) to the point of death."
  318. Lit. = "pathway, road"; hence the bridge well known as "finer than a hair and sharper than a sword," over which all (except Khadijah and a chosen few) must pass on the Day of Doom; a Persian apparatus bodily annexed by Al-Islam. The old Guebres called it Puli Chinávar or Chinávad and the Jews borrowed it from them as they did all their fancies of a future life against which Moses had so gallantly fought. It is said that a bridge over the grisly "brook Kedron" was called Sirát (the road) and hence the idea, as that of hell-fire from Ge-Hinnom (Gehenna) where children were passed through the fire to Moloch. A doubtful Hadis says, "The Prophet declared Al-Sirát to be the name of a bridge over hell- fire, dividing Hell from Paradise" (pp. 17, 122, Reynold's trans. of Al-Siyuti's Traditions, etc.). In Koran i. 5, "Sirat" is simply a path, from sarata, he swallowed, even as the way devours (makes a lakam or mouthful of) those who travel it. The word was orig. written with Sín but changed for easier articulation to Sád, one of the four Hurúf al-Mutabbakát, "the flattened," formed by the broadened tongue in contact with the palate. This Sad also by the figure Ishmám (=conversion) turns slightly to a Zá, the intermediate between Sin and Sad.
  319. The rule in Turkey where catamites rise to the highest rank: C'est un homme de bonne famille (said a Turkish officer in Egypt) il a été acheté. Hence "Alfi" (one who costs a thousand) is a well-known cognomen. The Pasha of the Syrian caravan, with which I travelled' had been the slave of a slave and he was not a solitary instance. (Pilgrimage i. 90.)
  320. The device of the banquet is dainty enough for any old Italian novella; all that now comes is pure Egyptian polissonnerie speaking to the gallery and being answered by roars of laughter.
  321. i.e. "art thou ceremonially pure and therefore fit for handling by a great man like myself?"
  322. In past days before Egypt was "frankified" many overlanders used to wash away the traces of travel by a Turkish bath which mostly ended in the appearance of a rump wriggling little lad who offered to shampoo them. Many accepted his offices without dreaming of his usual-use or misuse.
  323. Arab. "Imám." This is (to a Moslem) a most offensive comparison between prayer and car. cop.
  324. Arab. "Fi zaman-hi," alluding to a peculiarity highly prized by Egyptians; the use of the constrictor vaginæ muscles, the sphincter for which Abyssinian women are famous. The "Kabbázah" ( = holder), as she is called, can sit astraddle upon a man and can provoke the venereal-orgasm, not by wriggling and moving but by tightening and loosing the male member with the muscles of her privities, milking it as it were. Consequently the cassenoisette costs treble the money of other concubines. (Arranga-Ranga, p. 127.)
  325. The little eunuchs had evidently studied the Harem.
  326. Lane (ii. 494) relates from Al-Makrizi, that when Khamárawayh, Governor of Egypt (ninth century), suffered from insomnia, his physician ordered a pool of quicksilver 50 by 50 cubits, to be laid out in front of his palace, now the Rumaylah square. "At the corners of the pool were silver pegs, to which were attached by silver rings strong bands of silk, and a bed of skins, inflated with air, being thrown upon the pool and secured by the bands remained in a continual-state of agreeable vacillation." We are not told that the Prince was thereby salivated like the late Colonel Sykes when boiling his mercury for thermometric experiments,
  327. The name seems now unknown. "Al-Khahí'a" is somewhat stronger than "Wag," meaning at least a "wicked wit." Properly it is the Span. "perdido," a youth cast off (Khala') by his friends; though not so strong a term as "Harfúsh"=a blackguard.
  328. Arab. "Farsakh"=parasang.
  329. Arab. "Nahás asfar"=yellow copper, brass as opposed to Nahás ahmar=copper The reader who cares to study the subject will find much about it in my "Book of The Sword," chaps. iv.
  330. Lane (ii. 479) translates one stanza of this mukhammas (pentastich) and speaks of "five more," which would make six.
  331. A servile name. Delicacy, Elegance.
  332. These verses have occurred twice (Night ix. etc.): so I give Lane's version (ii. 482).
  333. A Badawi tribe to which belonged the generous Ma'an bin
    Za'idab, often mentioned The Nights.
  334. Wealthy harems, I have said, are hot-beds of Sapphism and Tribadism. Every woman past her first youth has a girl whom she calls her "Myrtle" (in Damascus). At Agbome, capital-of Dahome, I found that a troop of women was kept for the use of the "Amazons" (Mission to Gelele, ii. 73). Amongst the wild Arabs, who ignore Socratic and Sapphic perversions, the lover is always more jealous of his beloved's girl-friends than of men rivals. In England we content ourselves with saying that women corrupt women more than men do.
  335. The Hebrew Pentateuch; Roll of the Law.
  336. I need hardly notice the brass trays, platters and table-covers with inscriptions which are familiar to every reader: those made in the East for foreign markets mostly carry imitation inscriptions lest infidel eyes fall upon Holy Writ.
  337. These six distichs are in Night xiii. I borrow Torrens (p. 125) to show his peculiar treatment of spinning out 12 lines to 38.
  338. Arab. "Musámirah"=chatting at night. Easterns are inordinately fond of the practice and the wild Arabs often sit up till dawn, talking over the affairs of the tribe, indeed a Shaykh is expected to do so. "Early to bed and early to rise" is a civilised, not a savage or a barbarous saying. Samír is a companion in night talk; Rafík of the road; Rahíb in riding horse or camel, Ká'id in sitting, Sharíb and Rafís at drink, and Nadím at table: Ahíd is an ally. and Sharík a partner all on the model of "Fa'íl."
  339. In both lover and beloved the excess of love gave them this clairvoyance.
  340. The prayer will be granted for the excess (not the purity) of her love.
  341. This wailing over the Past is one of the common-places of Badawi poetry. The traveller cannot fail, I repeat, to notice the chronic melancholy of peoples dwelling under the brightest skies.
  342. Moons=Budúr
  343. in Paradise as a martyr.
  344. i.e. to intercede for me in Heaven; as if the young woman were the prophet.
  345. The comparison is admirable as the two letters are written. It occurs in Al-Hariri (Ass. of Ramlah).
    "So I embraced him close as Lám cleaves to Alif:"
    And again;
    "She laid aside reluctance and I embraced her close
         As if I were Lam and my love Alif."

    The Lomad Olaph in Syriac is similarly colligated.
  346. Here is a double entendre "and the infirm letters (viz. a, w and y) not subject to accidence, left him." The three make up the root "Awi"=pitying, condoling.
  347. Showing that consummation had taken place. It was a sign of good breeding to avoid all "indecent hurry" when going to bed. In some Moslem countries the bridegroom does not consummate the marriage for seven nights; out of respect for (1) father (2) mother (3) brother and so forth. If he hurry matters he will be hooted as an "impatient man" and the wise will quote, "Man is created of precipitation" (Koran chaps. xxi. 38), meaning hasty and inconsiderate. I remark with pleasure that the whole of this tale is told with commendable delicacy. O si sic omnia!
  348. Pers. "Nauroz"(=nau roz, new day):here used in the Arab. plur.'Nawáriz, as it lasted six days. There are only four: universal-festivals; the solstices and the equinoxes; and every successive religion takes them from the sun and perverts them to its own private purposes. Lane (ii. 496) derives the venerable Nauroz whose birth is hid in the outer glooms of antiquity from the "Jewish Passover"(!)
  349. Again the "babes" of the eyes.
  350. i.e. whose glance is as the light of the glowing braise or (embers). The Arab. "Mikbás"=pan or pot full of small charcoal, is an article well known in Italy and Southern Europe. The word is apparently used here because it rhymes with "Anfás" (souls, spirits).
  351. i.e. martyrdom; a Koranic term "fi sabíli 'llahi" = on the way of Allah
  352. These rhymes in -y, -ee and -ie are purposely affected, to imitate the cadence of the Arabic.
  353. Arab. "Sujúd," the ceremonial-prostration, touching the ground with the forehead So in the Old Testament "he bowed (or fell down) and worshipped" (Gen. xxiv., 26 Mat. ii., 11), of which our translation gives a wrong idea.
  354. A girl is called "Alfiyyah " = A-shaped.
  355. i.e. the medial-form of m.
  356. i.e. the inverted n.
  357. It may also mean a "Sevigné of pearls."
  358. Koran xxvii. 12. This was one of the nine "signs" to wicked "Pharaoh." The "hand of Moses" is a symbol of power and ability (Koran vii. 105). The whiteness was supernatural-beauty, not leprosy of the Jews (Exod. iv. 6); but brilliancy, after being born red or black: according to some commentators, Moses was a negro.
  359. Koran iii. 103; the other faces become black. This explains I have noticed the use of the phrases in blessing and cursing.
  360. Here we have the naked legend of the negro's origin, one of those nursery tales in which the ignorant of Christendom still believe But the deduction from the fable and the testimony to the negro's lack of intelligence, though unpleasant to our ignorant negrophils, are factual-and satisfactory.
  361. Koran, xcii. 1, 2: an oath of Allah to reward and punish with Heaven and Hell.
  362. Alluding to the "black drop" in the heart: it was taken from Mohammed's by the Archangel Gabriel. The fable seems to have arisen from the verse ' Have we not opened thy breast?" (Koran, chaps. xciv. 1). The popular tale is that Halímah, the Badawi nurse of Mohammed, of the Banu Sa'ad tribe, once saw her son, also a child, running towards her and asked him what was the matter. He answered, 'My little brother was seized by two men in white who stretched him on the ground and opened his bellyl" For a full account and deductions see the Rev. Mr. Badger's article, "Muhammed" (p. 959) in vol. in. "Dictionary of Christian Biography."
  363. Arab. "Sumr," lit. brown (as it is afterwards used), but politely applied to a negro: "Yá Abu Sumrah!" O father of brownness.
  364. Arab. 'Lumá"=dark hue of the inner lips admired by the Arabs and to us suggesting most umpleasant ideas. Mr. Chenery renders it "dark red,' and "ruddy" altogether missing the idea.
  365. Arab. "Saudá," feminine of aswad (black), and meaning black bile (melancholia) as opposed to leucocholia,
  366. i.e. the Magians, Sabians, Zoroastrians.
  367. The "Unguinum fulgor" of the Latins who did not forget to celebrate the shining of the nails although they did not Henna them like Easterns. Some, however, have suggested that alludes to colouring matter.
  368. Women with white skins are supposed to be heating and unwholesome: hence the Hindu Rajahs slept with dark girls in the hot season.
  369. Moslems sensibly have a cold as well as a hot Hell, the former called Zamharir (lit. "intense cold")or AI-Barahút, after a well in Hazramaut; as Gehenna (Arab. "Jahannam") from the furnace-like ravine East of Jerusalem (Night cccxxv.). The icy Hell is necessary in terrorem for peoples who inhabit cold regions and who in a hot Hell only look forward to an eternity of "coals and candles" gratis. The sensible missionaries preached it in Iceland till foolishly forbidden by Papal-Bull.
  370. Koran ii. 26; speaking of Abraham when he entertained the angels unawares.
  371. Arab. "Rakb," usually applied to a fast-going caravan of dromedary riders (Pilgrimage ii. 329). The "Cafilah" is Arab.: "Caravan" is a corruption of the Pers. "Karwán."
  372. A popular saying. It is interesting to contrast this dispute between fat and thin with the Shakespearean humour of Falstaff and Prince Henry.
  373. Arab. "Dalak" vulg. Hajar al-Hammam (Hammam-stone). The comparison is very apt: the rasps are of baked clay artificially roughened (see illustrations in Lane M. E. chaps. xvi.). The rope is called "Masad," a bristling line of palm-fibre like the coir now familiarly known in England.
  374. Although the Arab's ideal-of beauty, as has been seen and said, corresponds with ours the Egyptians (Modern) the Maroccans and other negrofied races like "walking tun-butts" as Clapperton called his amorous widow.
  375. Arab. "Khayzar" or "Khayzarán" the rattan-palm. Those who have seen this most graceful "palmijuncus" in its native forest will recognize the neatness of the simile.
  376. This is the popular idea of a bushy "veil of nature" in women: it is always removed by depilatories and vellication. When Bilkis Queen of Sheba discovered her legs by lifting her robe (Koran xxvii.), Solomon was minded to marry her, but would not do so till the devils had by a depilatory removed the hair. The popular preparation (called Núrah) consists of quicklime 7 parts, and Zirník or orpiment, 3 parts: it is applied in the Hammam to a perspiring skin, and it must be washed off immediately the hair is loosened or it burns and discolours. The rest of the body-pile (Sha'arat opp. to Sha'ar=hair) is eradicated by applying a mixture of boiled honey with turpentine or other gum, and rolling it with the hand till the hair comes off. Men I have said remove the pubes by shaving, and pluck the hair of the arm-pits, one of the vestiges of pre-Adamite man. A good depilatory is still a desideratum, the best perfumers of London and Paris have none which they can recommend. The reason is plain: the hair bulb can be eradicated only by destroying the skin.
  377. Koran, ii. 64: referring to the heifer which the Jews were ordered to sacrifice,
  378. Arab. "kallá," a Koranic term possibly from Kull (all) and lá (not) =prorsus non-altogether not!
  379. "Habáb" or "Habá," the fine particles of dust, which we call motes. The Cossid (Arab. "Kásid") is the Anglo-Indian term for a running courier (mostly under Government), the Persian "Shátir" and the Guebre Rávand.
  380. Arab. "Sambari" a very long thin lance so called after Samhar, the maker, or the place of making. See vol. ii. p. 1. It is supposed to cast, when planted in the ground, a longer shadow in proportion to its height, than any other thing of the kind.
  381. Arab. "Suláfah ;" properly prisane which flows from the grapes before pressure. The plur. "Sawálif" also means tresses of hair and past events: thus there is a "triple entendre." And again "he" is used for "she."
  382. There is a pun in the last line, "Khálun (a mole) khallauni" (rid me), etc.
  383. Of old Fustát, afterwards part of Southern Cairo, a proverbially miserable quarter hence the saying, "They quoted Misr to Káhirah (Cairo), whereon Bab al-Luk rose with its grass," in derision of nobodies who push themselves forward. Burckhardt, Prov. 276.
  384. Its fruits are the heads of devils; a true Dantesque fancy. Koran, chaps. xvii. 62, "the tree cursed in the Koran" and in chaps. xxxvii., 60, "is this better entertainment, or the tree of Al-Zakkúm?" Commentators say that it is a thorn bearing a bitter almond which grows in the Tehamah and was therefore promoted to Hell.
  385. Arab. "Lasm" (lathm) as opposed to Bausah or boseh (a buss) and Kublah (a kiss,
  386. Arab. "Jufún" (plur. of Jafn) which may mean eyebrows or eyelashes and only the context can determine which.
  387. Very characteristic of Egyptian manners is the man who loves six girls equally well, who lends them, as it were, to the Caliph; and who takes back the goods as if in no wise damaged by the loan.
  388. The moon is masculine possibly by connection with the
    Assyrian Lune-god "Sin"; but I can find no cause for the Sun
    (Shams) being feminine.
  389. Arab. "Al-Amin," a title of the Prophet. It is usually held that this proud name "The honest man," was applied by his fellow-citizens to Mohammed in early life; and that in his twenty-fifth year, when the Eighth Ka'abah was being built, it induced the tribes to make him their umpire concerning the distinction of placing in position the "Black Stone" which Gabriel had brought from Heaven to be set up as the starting-post for the seven circuitings. He distributed the honour amongst the clans and thus gave universal satisfaction. His Christian biographers mostly omit to record an anecdote which speaks so highly in Mohammed's favour. (Pilgrimage iii. 192.)
  390. The idea is that Abu Nowas was a thought-reader such being the prerogative of inspired poets in the East. His drunkenness and debauchery only added to his power. I have already noticed that "Allah strike thee dead" (Kátala-k Allah) is like our phrase "Confound the fellow, how clever he is."
  391. Again said facetiously, "Devil take you!"
  392. In all hot-damp countries it is necessary to clothe dogs, morning and evening especially: otherwise they soon die of rheumatism and loin disease.
  393. =Beatrice. A fragment of these lines is in Night cccxv.
    See also Night dcclxxxi.
  394. The Moslems borrowed the horrible idea of a "jealous God" from their kinsmen, the Jews. Every race creates its own Deity after the fashion of itself: Jehovah is distinctly a Hebrew, the Christian Theos is originally a Judæo-Greek and Allah a half-Badawi Arab. In this tale Allah, despotic and unjust, brings a generous and noble-minded man to beggary, simply because he fed his dogs off gold plate. Wisdom and morality have their infancy and youth: the great value of such tales as these is to show and enable us to measure man's development.
  395. In Trébutien (Lane ii. 501) the merchant says to ex-Dives, "Thou art wrong in charging Destiny with injustice. If thou art ignorant of the cause of thy ruin I will acquaint thee with it. Thou feddest the dogs in dishes of gold and leftest the poor to die of hunger." A superstition, but intelligible.
  396. Arab. "Sarráf" = a money changer.
  397. Arab. "Birkah," a common feature in the landscapes of Lower Egypt: it is either a natural-pool left by the overflow of the Nile; or, as in the text, a built-up tank, like the "Táláb" for which India is famous. Sundry of these Birkahs are or were in Cairo itself; and some are mentioned in The Nights.
  398. This sneer at the "military" and the "police" might come from an English convict's lips.
  399. Lit. "The conquering King;" a dynastic title assumed by Saláh al-Dín (Saladin) and sundry of the Ayyúbi (Eyoubite) sovereigns of Egypt, whom I would call the "Soldans."
  400. "Káhirah" (i.e. City of Mars the Planet) is our Cairo: Bulak is the port suburb on the Nile, till 1858 wholly disjoined from the City; and Fostat is the outlier popularly called Old Cairo. The latter term is generally translated "town of leathern tents;" but in Arabic "fustát" is an abode of Sha'ar=hair, such as horse-hair, in fact any hair but "Wabar"=soft hair, as the camel's. See Lane, Lex.
  401. Arab. "Adl"=just: a legal-witness to whose character there is no tangible objection a prime consideration in Moslem law. Here "Adl" is evidently used ironically for a hypocritical-rascal
  402. Lane (ii. 503) considers three thousand dinars (the figure in the Bres. Edit.) "a more probable sum." Possibly: but, I repeat, exaggeration is one of the many characteristics of The Nights.
  403. Calc. Edit. "Kazir:" the word is generally written
    "Kazdír," Sansk. Kastira, born probably from the Greek .
  404. This would have passed for a peccadillo in the "good old days." As late as 1840 the Arnaut soldiers used to "pot" any peasant who dared to ride (instead of walking) past their barracks. Life is cheap in hot countries.
  405. Koran, xii. 46 — a passage expounding the doctrine of free will: "He who doth right doth it to the advantage of his own soul; and he who doth evil, doth it against the same; for thy Lord," etc.
  406. Arab. "Suffah"; whence our Sofa. In Egypt it is a raised shelf generally of stone, about four feet high and headed with one or more arches. It is an elaborate variety of the simple "Ták" or niche, a mere hollow in the thickness of the wall. Both are used for such articles as basin. ewer and soap; coffee cups, water bottles etc.
  407. In Upper Egypt (Apollinopolis Parva) pronounced "Goos," the Coptic Kos-Birbir, once an emporium of the Arabian trade.
  408. This would appeal strongly to a pious Moslem.
  409. i.e. "the father of a certain person"; here the merchant whose name may have been Abu'l Hasan, etc. The useful word (thingumbob, what d'ye call him, donchah, etc.) has been bodily transferred into Spanish and Portuguese Fulano. It is of old genealogy, found in the Heb. Fuluní which applies to a person only in Ruth iv. I, but is constantly so employed by Rabbinic writers. The Greek use {Greek letters}.
  410. Lit. "by his (i.e. her) hand," etc. Hence Lane (ii. 507) makes nonsense of the line.
  411. Arab. "Badrah," as has been said, is properly a weight of 10,000 dirhams or drachmas; but popularly used for largesse thrown to the people at festivals.
  412. Arab. "Allaho A'alam"; (God knows!) here the popular phrase for our, "I know not;" when it would be rude to say bluntly "M'adri"= "don't know."
  413. There is a picturesque Moslem idea that good deeds become incarnate and assume human shapes to cheer the doer in his grave, to greet him when he enters Paradise and so forth. It was borrowed from the highly imaginative faith of the Guebre, the Zoroastrian. On Chinavad or Chanyud-pul (Sirát), the Judgement bridge, 37 rods (rasan) long, straight and 37 fathoms broad for the good, and crooked and narrow as sword-edge for the bad, a nymph-like form will appear to the virtuous and say, "I am the personification of thy good deeds!" In Hell there will issue from a fetid gale a gloomy figure with head like a minaret, red eyeballs, hooked nose, teeth like pillars, spear-like fangs, snaky locks etc. and when asked who he is he will reply, "I am the personification of thine evil acts!" (Dabistan i. 285.) The Hindus also personify everything.
  414. Arab. "Banú Israíl;" applied to the Jews when theirs was the True Faith i.e. before the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, whose mission completed that of Moses and made it obsolete (Matrúk) even as the mission of Jesus was completed and abrogated by that of Mohammed. The term "Yahúd"=Jew is applied scornfully to the Chosen People after they rejected the Messiah, but as I have said "Israelite" is used on certain occasions, Jew on others.
  415. Arab. "Kasa'ah," a wooden bowl, a porringer; also applied to a saucer.
  416. Arab. "Rasúl"=one sent, an angel, an "apostle;" not to be translated, as by the vulgar, "prophet." Moreover Rasul is higher than Nabí (prophet), such as Abraham, Isaac, etc., depositaries of Al-Islam, but with a succession restricted to their own families. Nabi-mursil (Prophet-apostle) is the highest of all, one sent with a book: of these now only four, Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed, the writings of the rest having perished. In Al-Islam also angels rank below men, being only intermediaries (= , nuncii, messengers) between the Creator and the Created. This knowledge once did me a good turn at Harar, not a safe place in those days. (First Footsteps in East Africa, p. 349.)
  417. A doctor of law in the reign of Al-Maamun.
  418. Here the exclamation is= D.V.; and it may be assumed generally to have that sense.
  419. Arab. "Taylasán," a turban worn hood-fashion by the "Khatíb" or preacher. I have sketched it in my Pilgrimage and described it (iii. 315). Some Orientalists derive Taylasan from Atlas=satin, which is peculiarly inappropriate. The word is apparently barbarous and possibly Persian like Kalansuwah, the Dervish cap. "Thou son of a Taylasán"=a barbarian. (De Sacy, Chrest. Arab. ii. 269.)
  420. Arab. " Kinyah" vulg. "Kunyat" = patronymic or matronymic; a name beginning with "Abu" (father) or with "Umm" (mother). There are so few proper names in Al-Islam that such surnames, which, as will be seen, are of infinite variety, become necessary to distinguish individuals. Of these sobriquets I shall give specimens further on.
  421. "Whoso seeth me in his sleep, seeth me truly; for Satan cannot assume my semblance," said (or is said to have said) Mohammed. Hence the vision is true although it comes in early night and not before dawn. See Lane M. E., chaps. ix.
  422. Arab. "Al-Maukab ;" the day when the pilgrims march out of the city; it is a holiday for all, high and low.
  423. "The Gate of Salutation ;" at the South-Western corner of the Mosque where Mohammed is buried. (Pilgrimage ii. 60 and plan.) Here "Visitation" (Ziyárah) begins.
  424. The tale is told by Al-Isháki in the reign of Al-Maamun.
  425. The speaker in dreams is the Heb. "Waggid," which the learned and angry Graetz (Geschichte, etc. vol. ix.) absurdly translates "Traum souffleur."
  426. Tenth Abbaside. A.D. 849-861
  427. Arab. "Muwallad" (fem. "Muwalladah"); a rearling, a slave born in a Moslem land. The numbers may appear exaggerated, but even the petty King of Ashanti had, till the last war, 3333 "wives."
  428. The Under-prefect of Baghdad.
  429. "Ja'afar," our old Giaffar (which is painfully like "Gaffer," i.e. good father) means either a rushing river or a rivulet.
  430. A regular Fellah's name also that of a village
    (Pilgrimage i. 43) where a pleasant story is told about one Haykal.
  431. The "Mountain" means the rocky and uncultivated ground South of Cairo, such as Jabal-al-Ahmar and the geological-sea-coast flanked by the old Cairo-Suez highway.
  432. A popular phrase=our "sharp as a razor."
  433. i.e. are men so few; a favourite Persian phrase.
  434. She is a woman of rank who would cause him to be assassinated.
  435. This is not Al-Hakimbi' Amri'llah the famous or infamous founder of the Druze ((Durúz)) faith and held by them to be, not an incarnation of the Godhead, but the Godhead itself in propriâ personâ, who reigned A.D. 926-1021: our Hakim is the orthodox Abbaside Caliph of Egypt who dated from two centuries after him (A.D. 1261). Had the former been meant, it would have thrown back this part of The Nights to an earlier date than is generally accepted. But in a place still to come I shall again treat of the subject.
  436. For an account of a similar kind which was told to me during the last few years see "Midian Revisited," i. 15. These hiding-places are innumerable in lands of venerable antiquity like Egypt; and, if there were any contrivance for detecting hidden treasure, it would make the discoverer many times a millionaire.
  437. i.e. it had been given to him or his in writing, like the book left to the old woman before quoted in "Midian," etc.
  438. Arab. "Kird" (pron. in Egypt "Gird"). It is usually the hideous Abyssinian cynocephalus which is tamed by the ape-leader popularly called Kuraydati (Lane, M.E., chaps. xx.). The beast has a natural-penchant for women ; I heard of one which attempted to rape a girl in the public street and was prevented only by a sentinel's bayonet. They are powerful animals and bite like greyhounds.
  439. Easterns attribute many complaints (such as toothache) to worms, visible as well as microscopic, which may be held a fair prolepsis of the "germ-theory" the bacterium. the bacillus, the microbe. Nymphomania, the disease alluded to in these two tales is always attributed to worms in the vagina.
  440. Bestiality, very rare in Arabia is fatally common amongst those most debauched of debauched races, the Egyptian proper and the Sindis. Hence the Pentateuch, whose object was to breed a larger population of fighting men, made death the penalty for lying with a beast (Deut. xxvii. 21). C. S. Sonnini (Travels, English translation, p. 663) gives a curious account of Fellah lewdness. "The female crocodile during congress is turned upon her back ( ?) and cannot rise without difficulty. Will it be believed that there are men who take advantage of the helpless situation of the female, drive off the male, and supplant him in this frightful intercourse ? Horrible embraces, the knowledge of which was wanting to complete the disgusting history of human perversity!" The French traveller forgets to add the superstitious explanation of this congress which is the sovereignest charm for rising to rank and riches. The Ajáib al-Hind tells a tale (chaps. xxxix.) of a certain Mohammed bin Bullishad who had issue by a she-ape: the young ones were hairless of body and wore quasi-human faces; and the father's sight had become dim by his bestial-practice.