The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night/Volume 8

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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night , translated by Richard Francis Burton
Volume 8
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.

THE BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT

A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

Translated and Annotated by Richard F. Burton

VOLUME EIGHT


A Message To


Frederick Hankey,


Formerly of No. 2, Rue Laffitte, Paris.


My Dear Fred, If there be such a thing as "continuation," you will see these lines in the far Spirit-land and you will find that your old friend has not forgotten you and Annie. Richard F. Burton.

King Mohammed Bin Sabaik and the Merchant Hasan

 Story of Prince Sayf Al-Muluk and the Princess Badi'a Al-Jamal (continued)

When it was the Seven Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old Queen heard the handmaid's words she was wroth with sore wrath because of her and cried, "How shall there be accord between man and Jinn?" But Safy al-Muluk replied, "Indeed, I will conform to thy will and be thy page and die in thy love and will keep with thee covenant and regard non but thee: so right soon shalt thou see my truth and lack of falsehood and the excellence of my manly dealing with thee, Inshallah!" The old woman pondered for a full hour with brow earthwards bent; after which she raised her head and said to him, "O thou beautiful youth, wilt thou indeed keep compact and covenant?" He replied, "Yes, by Him who raised the heavens and dispread the earth upon the waters, I will indeed keep faith and troth!" Thereupon quoth she, "I will win for thee thy wish, Inshallah! but for the present go thou into the garden and take thy pleasure therein and eat of its fruits, that have neither like in the world nor equal, whilst I send for my son Shahyal and confabulate with him of the matter. Nothing but good shall come of it, so Allah please, for he will not gainsay me nor disobey my commandment and I will marry thee with his daughter Badi'a al-Jamal. So be of good heart for she shall assuredly be thy wife, O Sayf al-Muluk." The Prince thanked her for those words and kissing her hands and feet, went forth from her into the garden; whilst she turned to Marjanah and said to her, "Go seek my son Shahyal wherever he is and bring him to me." So Maranah went out in quest of King Shahyal and found him and set him before his mother. On such wise fared it with them; but as regards Sayf al-Muluk, whilst he walked in the garden, lo and behold! five Jinn of the people of the Blue King espied him and said to one another, "Whence cometh yonder wight and who brought him hither? Haply 'tis he who slew the son and heir of our lord and master the Blue King;" presently adding, 'But we will go about with him and question him and find out all from him." So they walked gently and softly up to him, as he sat in a corner of the garden, and sitting down by him, said to him, "O beauteous youth, thou didst right well in slaying the son of the Blue King and delivering from him Daulat Khatun; for he was a treacherous hound and had tricked her, and had not Allah appointed thee to her, she had never won free; no, never! But how diddest thou slay him?" Sayf al-Muluk looked at them and deeming them of the gardenfolk, answered, "I slew him by means of this ring which is on my finger." Therewith they were assured that it was he who had slain him; so they seized him, two of them holding his hands, whilst other two held his feet and the fifth his mouth, lest he should cry out and King Shahyal's people should hear him and rescue him from their hands. Then they lifted him up and flying away with him ceased not their flight till they came to their King and set him down before him, saying, "O King of the Age, we bring thee the murderer of thy son." "Where is he?" asked the King and they answered, "This is he." So the Blue King said to Sayf al-Muluk, "How slewest thou my son, the core of my heart and the light of my sight, without aught of right, for all he had done thee no ill deed?" Quoth the Prince, "Yea, verily! I slew him because of his violence and frowardness, in that he used to seize Kings' daughters and sever them from their families and carry them to the Ruined Well and the High-builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah and entreat them lewdly by debauching them. I slew him by means of this ring on my finger, and Allah hurried his soul to the fire and the abiding-place dire." Therewithal the King was assured that this was indeed he who slew his son; so presently he called his Wazirs and said to them, "This is the murtherer of my son sans shadow of doubt: so how do you counsel me to deal with him? Shall I slay him with the foulest slaughter or torture him with the terriblest torments or how?" Quoth the Chief Minister, "Cut off his limbs, one a day." Another, "Beat him with a grievous beating every day till he die." A third, "Cut him across the middle." A fourth, "Chop off all his fingers and burn him with fire." A fifth, "Crucify him;" and so on, each speaking according to his rede. Now there was with the Blue King an old Emir, versed in the vicissitudes and experienced in the exchanges of the times, and he said, "O King of the Age, verily I would say to thee somewhat, and thine is the rede whether thou wilt hearken or not to my say." Now he was the King's privy Councillor and the Chief Officer of his empire, and the Sovran was wont to give ear to his word and conduct himself by his counsel and gainsay him not in aught. So he rose and kissing ground before his liege lord, said to him, "O King of the Age, if I advise thee in this matter, wilt thou follow my advice and grant me indemnity?" Quoth the King, "Set forth thine opinion, and thou shalt have immunity." Then quoth he, "O King of the Age, an thou slay this one nor accept my advice nor hearken to my word, in very sooth I say that his death were now inexpedient, for that he his thy prisoner and in thy power, and under thy protection; so whenas thou wilt, thou mayst lay hand on him and do with him what thou desirest. Have patience, then, O King of the Age, for he hath entered the garden of Iram and is become the betrothed of Badi'a al-Jamal, daughter of King Shahyal, and one of them. Thy people seized him there and brought him hither and he did not hide his case from them or from thee. So an thou slay him, assuredly King Shahyal will seek blood-revenge and lead his host against thee for his daughter's sake, and thou canst not cope with him nor make head against his power." So the King hearkened to his counsel and commanded to imprison the captive. Thus fared it with Sayf al-Muluk; but as regards the old Queen, grandmother of Badi'a al-Jamal, when her son Shahyal came to her she despatched Marjanah in search of Sayf al-Muluk; but she found him not and returning to her mistress, said, "I found him not in the garden." So the ancient dame sent for the gardeners and questioned them of the Prince. Quoth they, "We saw him sitting under a tree when behold, five of the Blue King's folk alighted by him and spoke with him, after which they took him up and having gagged him flew away with him." When the old Queen heard the damsel's words it was no light matter to her and she was wroth with exceeding wrath: so she rose to her feet and said to her son, King Shahyal, "Thou art a King and shall the Blue King's people come to our garden and carry off our guests unhindered, and thou alive?" And she proceeded to provoke him, saying, "It behoveth not that any transgress against us during thy lifetime." [FN#1] Answered he, "O mother of me, this man slew the Blue King's son, who was a Jinni and Allah threw him into his hand. He is a Jinni and I am a Jinni: how then shall I go to him and make war on him for the sake of a mortal?" But she rejoined, "Go to him and demand our guest of him, and if he be still alive and the Blue King deliver him to thee, take him and return; but an he have slain him, take the King and all his children and Harim and household depending on him; then bring them to me alive that I may cut their throats with my own hand and lay in ruins his reign. Except thou go to him and do my bidding, I will not acquit thee of my milk and my rearing of thee shall be counted unlawful."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the grandmother of Badi'a al-Jamal said to Shahyal, "Fare thee to the Blue King and look after Sayf al-Muluk: if he be still in life come with him hither; but an he have slain him take that King and all his children and Harim and the whole of his dependents an protégés and bring them here alive that I may cut their throats with my own hand and ruin his realm. Except thou go to him and do my bidding, I will not acquit thee of my milk and my rearing of thee shall be accounted unlawful." Thereupon Shahyal rose and assembling his troops, set out, in deference to his mother, desiring to content her and her friends, and in accordance with whatso had been fore-ordained from eternity without beginning; nor did they leave journeying till they came to the land of the Blue King, who met them with his army and gave them battle. The Blue King's host was put to the rout and the conquerors having taken him and all his sons, great and small, and Grandees and officers bound and brought them before King Shahyal, who said to the captive, "O Azrak, [FN#2] where is the mortal Sayf al-Muluk who whilome was my guest?" Answered the Blue King, "O Shahyal, thou art a Jinni and I am a Jinni and is't on account of a mortal who slew my son that thou hast done this deed; yea, the murtherer of my son, the core of my liver and solace of my soul. How couldest thou work such work and spill the blood of so many thousand Jinn?" He replied, "Leave this talk! Knowest thou not that a single mortal is better, in Allah's sight, than a thousand Jinn? [FN#3] If he be alive, bring him to me, and I will set thee free and all whom I have taken of thy sons and people; but an thou have slain him, I will slaughter thee and thy sons." Quoth the Malik al-Azrak, "O King, is this man of more account with thee than my son?"; and quoth Shahyal, "Verily, thy son was an evildoer who kidnapped Kings' daughters and shut them up in the Ruined Well and the High-builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah and entreated them lewdly." Then said the Blue King, "He is with me; but make thy peace between us." So he delivered the Prince to Shahyal, who made peace between him and the Blue King, and Al-Azrak gave him a bond of absolution for the death of his son. Then Shahyal conferred robes of honour on them and entertained the Blue King and his troops hospitably for three days, after which he took Sayf al-Muluk and carried him back to the old Queen, his own mother, who rejoiced in him with an exceeding joy, and Shahyal marvelled at the beauty of the Prince and his loveliness and his perfection. Then the Prince related to him his story from beginning to end, especially what did befal him with Badi'a al-Jamal and Shahyal said, "O my mother, since 'tis thy pleasure that this should be, I hear and I obey all that to command it pleaseth thee; wherefore do thou take him and bear him to Sarandib and there celebrate his wedding and marry him to her in all state, for he is a goodly youth and hath endured horrors for her sake." So she and her maidens set out with Sayf al-Muluk for Sarandib and, entering the Garden belonging to the Queen of Hind, foregathered with Daulat Khatun and Badi'a al-Jamal. Then the lovers met, and the old Queen acquainted the two Princesses with all that had passed between Sayf al-Muluk and the Blue King and how the Prince had been nearhand to a captive's death; but in repetition is no fruition. Then King Taj al-Muluk father of Daulat Khatun assembled the lords of his land and drew up the contract of marriage between Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal; and he conferred costly robes of honour and gave banquets to the lieges. Then Sayf al-Muluk rose and, kissing ground before the King, said to him, "O King, pardon! I would fain ask of thee somewhat but I fear lest thou refuse it to my disappointment." Taj al-Muluk replied, "By Allah, though thou soughtest my soul of me, I would not refuse it to thee, after all the kindness thou hast done me!" Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, "I wish thee to marry the Princess Daulat Khatun to my brother Sa'id, and we will both be thy pages." "I hear and obey," answered Taj al-Muluk, and assembling his Grandees a second time, let draw up the contract of marriage between his daughter and Sa'id; after which they scattered gold and silver and the King bade decorate the city. So they held high festival and Sayf al-Muluk went in unto Badi'a al-Jamal and Sa'id went in unto Daulat Khatun on the same night. Moreover Sayf al-Muluk abode forty days with Badi'a al-Jamal, at the end of which she said to him, "O King's son, say me, is there left in thy heart any regret for aught?" And he replied, "Allah forfend! I have accomplished my quest and there abideth no regret in my heart at all: but I would fain meet my father and my mother in the land of Egypt and see if they continue in welfare or not." So she commanded a company of her slaves to convey them to Egypt, and they carried them to Cairo, where Sayf al-Muluk and Sa'id foregathered with their parents and abode with them a week; after which they took leave of them and returned to Sarandib-city; and from this time forwards, whenever they longed for their folk, they used to go to them and return. Then Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal abode in all solace of life and its joyance as did Sa'id and Daulat Khatun, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies; and they all died good Moslems. So glory be to the Living One who dieth not, who createth all creatures and decreeth to them death and who is the First, without beginning, and the Last, without end! This is all that hath come down to us of the story of Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal. And Allah alone wotteth the truth. [FN#4] But not less excellent than this tale is the History of HASAN OF BASSORAH. [FN#5]

There was once of days of yore and in ages and times long gone before, a merchant, who dwelt in the land of Bassorah and who owned two sons and wealth galore. But in due time Allah, the All-hearing the All-knowing, decreed that he should be admitted to the mercy of the Most High; so he died, and his two sons laid him out and buried him, after which they divided his gardens and estates equally between them and of his portion each one opened a shop. [FN#6] Presently the elder son, Hasan hight, a youth of passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, betook himself to the company of lewd folk, women and low boys, frolicking with them in gardens and feasting them with meat and wine for months together and occupying himself not with his business like as his father had done, for that he exulted in the abundance of his good. After some time he had wasted all his ready money, so he sold all his father's lands and houses and played the wastrel until there remained in his hand nothing, neither little nor muchel, nor was one of his comrades left who knew him. He abode thus anhungred, he and his widowed mother, three days, and on the fourth day, as he walked along, unknowing whither to wend, there met him a man of his father's friends, who questioned him of his case. He told him what had befallen him and the other said, "O my son, I have a brother who is a goldsmith; an thou wilt, thou shalt be with him and learn his craft and become skilled therein." Hasan consented and accompanied him to his brother, to whom he commended him, saying, "In very sooth this is my son; do thou teach him for my sake." So Hasan abode with the goldsmith and busied himself with the craft; and Allah opened to him the door of gain and in due course he set up shop for himself. One day, as he sat in his booth in the bazar, there came up to him an Ajamí, a foreigner, a Persian, with a great white beard and a white turband [FN#7] on his head, having the semblance of a merchant who, after saluting him, looked at his handiwork and examined it knowingly. It pleased him and he shook his head, saying, "By Allah, thou art a cunning goldsmith! What may be thy name?" "Hasan," replied the other, shortly. [FN#8] The Persian continued to look at his wares, whilst Hasan read in an old book [FN#9] he hent in hand and the folk were taken up with his beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, till the hour of midafternoon prayer, when the shop became clear of people and the Persian accosted the young man, saying, "O my son, thou art a comely youth! What book is that? Thou hast no sire and I have no son, and I know an art, than which there is no goodlier in the world."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian accosted the young man saying, "O my son, thou art a comely youth! Thou hast no sire and I have no son, and I know an art than which there is no goodlier in the world. Many have sought of me instruction therein, but I consented not to instruct any of them in it; yet hath my soul consented that I teach it to thee, for thy love hath gotten hold upon my heart and I will make thee my son and set up between thee and poverty a barrier, so shalt thou be quit of this handicraft and toil no more with hammer and anvil, [FN#10] charcoal and fire." Hasan asked, "O my lord and when wilt thou teach me this?"; and the Persian answered, "To-morrow, Inshallah, I will come to thee betimes and make thee in thy presence fine gold of this copper." Whereupon Hasan rejoiced and sat talking with the Persian till nightfall, when he took leave of him and going in to his mother, saluted her with the salam and ate with her; but he was dazed, without memory or reason, for that the stranger's words had gotten hold upon his heart. So she questioned him and he told her what had passed between himself and the Persian, which when she heard, her heart fluttered and she strained him to her bosom, saying, "O my son, beware of hearkening to the talk of the folk, and especially of the Persians, and obey them not in aught; for they are sharpers and tricksters, who profess the art of alchemy [FN#11] and swindle people and take their money and devour it in vain." Replied Hasan, "O my mother, we are paupers and have nothing he may covet, that he should put a cheat on us. Indeed, this Persian is a right worthy Shaykh and the signs of virtue are manifest on him; Allah hath inclined his heart to me and he hath adopted me to son." She was silent in her chagrin, and he passed the night without sleep, his heart being full of what the Persian had said to him; nor did slumber visit him for the excess of his joy therein. But when morning morrowed, he rose and taking the keys, opened the shop, whereupon behold, the Persian accosted him. Hasan stood up to him and would have kissed his hands; but he forbade him from this and suffered it not, saying, "O Hasan, set on the crucible and apply the bellows." [FN#12] So he did as the stranger bade him and lighted the charcoal. Then said the Persian, "O my son, hast thou any copper?" and he replied, "I have a broken platter." So he bade him work the shears [FN#13] and cut it into bittocks and cast it into the crucible and blow up the fire with the bellows, till the copper became liquid, when he put hand to turband and took therefrom a folded paper and opening it, sprinkled thereout into the pot about half a drachm of somewhat like yellow Kohl or eyepowder. [FN#14] Then he bade Hasan blow upon it with the bellows, and he did so, till the contents of the crucible became a lump of gold. [FN#15] When the youth saw this, he was stupefied and at his wits' end for the joy he felt and taking the ingot from the crucible handled it and tried it with the file and found it pure gold of the finest quality: whereupon his reason fled and he was dazed with excess of delight and bent over the Persian's hand to kiss it. But he forbade him, saying, "Art thou married?" and when the youth replied "No!" he said, "Carry this ingot to the market and sell it and take the price in haste and speak not." So Hasan went down into the market and gave the bar to the broker, who took it and rubbed it upon the touchstone and found it pure gold. So they opened the biddings at ten thousand dirhams and the merchants bid against one another for it up to fifteen thousand dirhams, [FN#16] at which price he sold it and taking the money, went home and told his mother all that had passed, saying, "O my mother, I have learnt this art and mystery." But she laughed at him, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eightieth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan the goldsmith told his mother what he had done with the Ajami and cried, "I have learnt this art and mystery," she laughed at him, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and she was silent for vexation. Then of his ignorance, he took a metal mortar and returning to the shop, laid it before the Persian, who was still sitting there and asked him, "O my son, what wilt thou do with this mortar?" Hasan answered, "Let us put it in the fire, and make of it lumps of gold." The Persian laughed and rejoined, "O my son, art thou Jinn-mad that thou wouldst go down into the market with two ingots of gold in one day? Knowest thou not that the folk would suspect us and our lives would be lost? Now, O my son, an I teach thee this craft, thou must practise it but once in each twelvemonth; for that will suffice thee from year to year." Cried Hasan, "True, O my lord," and sitting down in his open shop, set on the crucible and cast more charcoal on the fire. Quoth the Persian, "What wilt thou, O my son?"; and quoth Hasan, "Teach me this craft." "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" exclaimed the Persian, laughing; "Verily, O my son, thou art little of wit and in nowise fitted for this noble craft. Did ever any during all his life learn this art on the beaten way or in the bazars? If we busy ourselves with it here, the folk will say of us, These practise alchemy; and the magistrates will hear of us, and we shall lose our lives. [FN#17] Wherefore, O my son, an thou desire to learn this mystery forthright, come thou with me to my house." So Hasan barred his shop and went with that Ajamí; but by the way he remembered his mother's words and thinking in himself a thousand thoughts he stood still, with bowed head. The Persian turned and seeing him thus standing laughed and said to him, "Art thou mad? What! I in my heart purpose thee good and thou misdoubtest I will harm thee!" presently adding, "But, if thou fear to go with me to my house, I will go with thee to thine and teach thee there." Hasan replied, "'Tis well, O uncle," and the Persian rejoined, "Go thou before me." So Hasan led the way to his own house, and entering, told his mother of the Persian's coming, for he had left him standing at the door. She ordered the house for them and when she had made an end of furnishing and adorning it, her son bade her go to one of the neighbours' lodgings. So she left her home to them and wended her way, whereupon Hasan brought in the Persian, who entered after asking leave. Then he took in hand a dish and going to the market, returned with food, which he set before the Persian, saying, "Eat, O my lord, that between us there may be bread and salt and may Almighty Allah do vengeance upon the traitor to bread and salt!" The Persian replied with a smile, "True, O my son! Who knoweth the virtue and worth of bread and salt?" [FN#18] Then he came forward and ate with Hasan, till they were satisfied; after which the Ajami said, "O my son Hasan, bring us somewhat of sweetmeats." So Hasan went to the market, rejoicing in his words, and returned with ten saucers [FN#19] of sweetmeats, of which they both ate and the Persian said, "May Allah abundantly requite thee, O my son! It is the like of thee with whom folk company and to whom they discover their secrets and teach what may profit him!" [FN#20] Then said he, "O Hasan bring the gear." But hardly did Hasan hear these words than he went forth like a colt let out to grass in spring-tide, and hastening to the shop, fetched the apparatus and set it before the Persian, who pulled out a piece of paper and said, "O Hasan, by the bond of bread and salt, wert thou not dearer to me than my son, I would not let thee into the mysteries of this art, for I have none of the Elixir [FN#21] left save what is in this paper; but by and by I will compound the simples whereof it is composed and will make it before thee. Know, O my son Hasan, that to every ten pounds of copper thou must set half a drachm of that which is in this paper, and the whole ten will presently become unalloyed virgin gold;" presently adding, "O my son, O Hasan, there are in this paper three ounces, [FN#22] Egyptian measure, and when it is spent, I will make thee other and more." Hasan took the packet and finding therein a yellow powder, finer than the first, said to the Persian, "O my lord, what is the name of this substance and where is it found and how is it made?" But he laughed, longing to get hold of the youth, and replied, "Of what dost thou question? Indeed thou art a froward boy! Do thy work and hold thy peace." So Hasan arose and fetching a brass platter from the house, shore it in shreds and threw it into the melting-pot; then he scattered on it a little of the powder from the paper and it became a lump of pure gold. When he saw this, he joyed with exceeding joy and was filled with amazement and could think of nothing save the gold; but, whilst he was occupied with taking up the lumps of metal from the melting-pot, the Persian pulled out of his turband in haste a packet of Cretan Bhang, which if an elephant smelt, he would sleep from night to night, and cutting off a little thereof, put it in a piece of the sweetmeat. Then said he, "O Hasan, thou art become my very son and dearer to me than soul and wealth, and I have a daughter whose like never have eyes beheld for beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace. Now I see that thou befittest none but her and she none but thee; wherefore, if it be Allah's will, I will marry thee to her." Replied Hasan, "I am thy servant and whatso good thou dost with me will be a deposit with the Almighty!" and the Persian rejoined, "O my son, have fair patience and fair shall betide thee." Therewith he gave him the piece of sweetmeat and he took it and kissing his hand, put it in his mouth, knowing not what was hidden for him in the after time for only the Lord of Futurity knoweth the Future. But hardly had he swallowed it, when he fell down, head foregoing heels, and was lost to the world; whereupon the Persian, seeing him in such calamitous case, rejoiced exceedingly and cried, "Thou hast fallen into my snares, O gallows-carrion, O dog of the Arabs! This many a year have I sought thee and now I have found thee, O Hasan!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-first Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan the goldsmith ate the bit of sweetmeat given to him by the Ajami and fell fainting to the ground, the Persian rejoiced exceedingly and cried, "This many a year have I sought thee and now I have found thee!" Then he girt himself and pinioned Hasan's arms and binding his feet to his hands laid him in a chest, which he emptied to that end and locked it upon him. Moreover, he cleared another chest and laying therein all Hasan's valuables, together with the piece of the first gold-lump and the second ingot which he had made locked it with a padlock. Then he ran to the market and fetching a porter, took up the two chests and made off with them to a place within sight of the city, where he set them down on the sea-shore, hard by a vessel at anchor there. Now this craft had been freighted and fitted out by the Persian and her master was awaiting him; so, when the crew saw him, they came to him and bore the two chests on board. Then the Persian called out to the Rais or Captain, saying, "Up and let us be off, for I have done my desire and won my wish." So the skipper sang out to the sailors, saying, "Weigh anchor and set sail!" And the ship put out to sea with a fair wind. So far concerning the Persian; but as regards Hasan's mother, she awaited him till supper-time but heard neither sound nor news of him; so she went to the house and finding it thrown open, entered and saw none therein and missed the two chests and their valuables; wherefore she knew that her son was lost and that doom had overtaken him; and she buffeted her face and rent her raiment crying out and wailing and saying, "Alas, my son, ah! Alas, the fruit of my vitals, ah!" And she recited these couplets, "My patience fails me and grows anxiety; * And with your absence growth of grief I see. By Allah, Patience went what time ye went! * Loss of all Hope how suffer patiently? When lost my loved one how can' joy I sleep? * Who shall enjoy such life of low degree? Thou 'rt gone and, desolating house and home, * Hast fouled the fount erst flowed from foulness free: Thou wast my fame, my grace 'mid folk, my stay; * Mine aid wast thou in all adversity! Perish the day, when from mine eyes they bore * My friend, till sight I thy return to me!" And she ceased not to weep and wail till the dawn, when the neighbours came in to her and asked her of her son, and she told them what had befallen him with the Persian, assured that she should never, never see him again. Then she went round about the house, weeping, and wending she espied two lines written upon the wall; so she sent for a scholar, who read them to her; and they were these, "Leyla's phantom came by night, when drowsiness had overcome me, towards morning while my companions were sleeping in the desert, But when we awoke to behold the nightly phantom, I saw the air vacant and the place of visitation was distant." [FN#23] When Hasan's mother heard these lines, she shrieked and said, "Yes, O my son! Indeed, the house is desolate and the visitation-place is distant!" Then the neighbours took leave of her and after they had prayed that she might be vouchsafed patience and speedy reunion with her son, went away; but she ceased not to weep all watches of the night and tides of the day and she built amiddlemost the house a tomb whereon she let write Hasan's name and the date of his loss, and thenceforward she quitted it not, but made a habit of incessantly biding thereby night and day. Such was her case; but touching her son Hasan and the Ajami, this Persian was a Magian, who hated Moslems with exceeding hatred and destroyed all who fell into his power. He was a lewd and filthy villain, a hankerer after alchemy, an astrologer and a hunter of hidden hoards, such an one as he of whom quoth the poet, "A dog, dog-fathered, by dog-grandsire bred; * No good in dog from dog race issued: E'en for a gnat no resting-place gives he * Who is composed of seed by all men shed." [FN#24] The name of this accursed was Bahrám the Guebre, and he was wont, every year, to take a Moslem and cut his throat for his own purposes. So, when he had carried out his plot against Hasan the goldsmith, they sailed on from dawn till dark, when the ship made fast to the shore for the night, and at sunrise, when they set sail again, Bahram bade his black slaves and white servants bring him the chest wherein were Hasan. They did so, and he opened it and taking out the young man, made him sniff up vinegar and blew a powder into his nostrils. Hasan sneezed and vomited the Bhang; then, opening his eyes, he looked about him right and left and found himself amiddleward the sea on aboard a ship in full sail, and saw the Persian sitting by him; wherefore he knew that the accursed Magian had put a cheat on him and that he had fallen into the very peril against which his mother had warned him. So he spake the saying which shall never shame the sayer, to wit, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verity, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning! O my God, be Thou gracious to me in Thine appointment and give me patience to endure this Thine affliction, O Lord of the three Worlds!" Then he turned to the Persian and bespoke him softly, saying, "O my father, what fashion is this and where is the covenant of bread and salt and the oath thou swarest to me?" [FN#25] But Bahram stared at him and replied, "O dog, knoweth the like of me bond of bread and salt? I have slain of youths like thee a thousand, save one, and thou shalt make up the thousand." And he cried out at him and Hasan was silent, knowing that the Fate-shaft had shot him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-second Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan beheld himself fallen into the hands of the damned Persian he bespoke him softly but gained naught thereby for the Ajami cried out at him in wrath, so he was silent, knowing that the Fate-shaft had shot him. Then the accursed bade loose his pinion-bonds and they gave him a little water to drink, whilst the Magian laughed and said, "By the virtue of the Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat, methought not thou wouldst fall into my nets! But the Fire empowered me over thee and helped me to lay hold upon thee, that I might win my wish and return and make thee a sacrifice, to her [FN#26] so she may accept of me." Quoth Hasan, "Thou hast foully betrayed bread and salt"; whereupon the Magus raised his hand and dealt him such a buffet that he fell and, biting the deck with his fore-teeth, swooned away, whilst the tears trickled down his cheeks. Then the Guebre bade his servants light him a fire and Hasan said, "What wilt thou do with it?" Replied the Magian, "This is the Fire, lady of light and sparkles bright! This it is I worship, and if thou wilt worship her even as I, verily I will give thee half my monies and marry thee to my maiden daughter." Thereupon Hasan cried angrily at him, "Woe to thee! Thou art a miscreant Magian who to Fire dost pray in lieu of the King of Omnipotent sway, Creator of Night and Day; and this is naught but a calamity among creeds!" At this the Magian was wroth and said to him, "Wilt thou not then conform with me, O dog of the Arabs, and enter my faith?" But Hasan consented not to this: so the accursed Guebre arose and prostrating himself to the fire, bade his pages throw him flat on his face. They did so, and he beat him with a hide whip of plaited thongs [FN#27] till his flanks were laid open, whilst he cried aloud for aid but none aided him, and besought protection, but none protected him. Then he raised his eyes to the All-powerful King and sought of Him succour in the name of the Chosen Prophet. And indeed patience failed him; his tears ran down his cheeks, like rain, and he repeated these couplets twain, "In patience, O my God, Thy doom forecast * I'll bear, an thereby come Thy grace at last: They've dealt us wrong, transgressed and ordered ill; * Haply Thy Grace shall pardon what is past." Then the Magian bade his negro-slaves raise him to a sitting posture and bring him somewhat of meat and drink. So they sat food before him; but he consented not to eat or drink; and Bahram ceased not to torment him day and night during the whole voyage, whilst Hasan took patience and humbled himself in supplication before Almighty Allah to whom belong Honour and Glory; whereby the Guebre's heart was hardened against him. They ceased not to sail the sea three months, during which time Hasan was continually tortured till Allah Almighty sent forth upon them a foul wind and the sea grew black and rose against the ship, by reason of the fierce gale; whereupon quoth the captain and crew, [FN#28] "By Allah, this is all on account of yonder youth, who hath been these three months in torture with this Magian. Indeed, this is not allowed of God the Most High." Then they rose against the Magian and slew his servants and all who were with him; which when he saw, he made sure of death and feared for himself. So he loosed Hasan from his bonds and pulling off the ragged clothes the youth had on, clad him in others; and made excuses to him and promised to teach him the craft and restore him to his native land, saying, "O my son, return me not evil for that I have done with thee." Quoth Hasan, "How can I ever rely upon thee again?"; and quoth Bahram, "O my son, but for sin, there were no pardon. Indeed, I did all these doings with thee, but to try thy patience, and thou knowest that the case is altogether in the hands of Allah." So the crew and captain rejoiced in Hasan's release, and he called down blessings on them and praised the Almighty and thanked Him. With this the wind was stilled and the sky cleared and with a fair breeze they continued their voyage. Then said Hasan to Bahram, "O Master, [FN#29] whither wendest thou?" Replied the Magian, "O, my son, I am bound for the Mountain of Clouds, where is the Elixir which we use in alchemy." And the Guebre swore to him by the Fire and the Light that he had no longer any cause to fear him. So Hasan's heart was set at ease and rejoicing at the Persian's words, he continued to eat and drink and sleep with the Magian, who clad him in his own raiment. They ceased not sailing on other three months, when the ship came to anchor off a long shoreline of many coloured pebbles, white and yellow and sky-blue and black and every other hue, and the Magian sprang up and said, "O Hasan, come, let us go ashore for we have reached the place of our wish and will." So Hasan rose and landed with Bahram, after the Persian had commended his goods to the captain's care. They walked on inland, till they were far enough from the ship to be out of sight, when Bahram sat down and taking from his pocket a kettle-drum [FN#30] of copper and a silken strap, worked in gold with characts, beat the drum with the strap, until there arose a cloud of dust from the further side of the waste. Hasan marvelled at the Magian's doings and was afraid of him: he repented of having come ashore with him and his colour changed. But Bahram looked at him and said, "What aileth thee, O my son? By the truth of the Fire and the Light, thou hast naught to fear from me; and, were it not that my wish may never be won save by thy means, I had not brought thee ashore. So rejoice in all good; for yonder cloud of dust is the dust of somewhat we will mount and which will aid us to cut across this wold and make easy to us the hardships thereof."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-third Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian said to Hasan, "In very sooth yonder dust-cloud is the cloud of something we will mount and which will aid us to cut across this wold and will make easy to us the hardships thereof." Presently the dust lifted off three she-dromedaries, one of which Bahram mounted and Hasan another. Then they loaded their victual on the third and fared on seven days, till they came to a wide champaign and, descending into its midst, they saw a dome vaulted upon four pilasters of red gold; so they alighted and entering thereunder, ate and drank and took their rest. Anon Hasan chanced to glance aside and seeing from afar a something lofty said to the Magian, "What is that, O nuncle?" Bahram replied, "'Tis a palace," and quoth Hasan, "Wilt thou not go thither, that we may enter and there repose ourselves and solace ourselves with inspecting it?" But the Persian was wroth and said, "Name not to me yonder palace; for therein dwelleth a foe, with whom there befel me somewhat whereof this is no time to tell thee." Then he beat the kettle-drum and up came the dromedaries, and they mounted and fared on other seven days. On the eighth day, the Magian said, "O Hasan, what seest thou?" Hasan replied, "I see clouds and mists twixt east and west." Quoth Bahram, "That is neither clouds nor mists, but a vast mountain and a lofty whereon the clouds split, [FN#31] and there are no clouds above it, for its exceeding height and surpassing elevation. Yon mount is my goal and thereon is the need we seek. 'Tis for that I brought thee hither, for my wish may not be won save at thy hands. Hasan hearing this gave his life up for lost and said to the Magian, "By the right of that thou worshippest and by the faith wherein thou believest, I conjure thee to tell me what is the object wherefor thou hast brought me!" Bahram replied, "The art of alchemy may not be accomplished save by means of a herb which groweth in the place where the clouds pass and whereon they split. Such a site is yonder mountain upon whose head the herb groweth and I purpose to send thee up thither to fetch it; and when we have it, I will show thee the secret of this craft which thou desirest to learn." Hasan answered, in his fear, "'Tis well, O my master;" and indeed he despaired of life and wept for his parting from his parent and people and patrial stead, repenting him of having gainsaid his mother and reciting these two couplets, "Consider but thy Lord, His work shall bring * Comfort to thee, with quick relief and near: Despair not when thou sufferest sorest bane: * In bane how many blessed boons appear!" They ceased not faring on till they came to the foothills of that mountain where they halted; and Hasan saw thereon a palace and asked Bahram, "What be yonder palace?"; whereto he answered, "'Tis the abode of the Jann and Ghuls and Satans." Then the Magian alighted and making Hasan also dismount from his dromedary kissed his head and said to him, "Bear me no ill will anent that I did with thee, for I will keep guard over thee in thine ascent to the palace; and I conjure thee not to trick and cheat me of aught thou shalt bring therefrom; and I and thou will share equally therein." And Hasan replied, "To hear is to obey." Then Bahram opened a bag and taking out a handmill and a sufficiency of wheat, ground the grain and kneaded three round cakes of the flour; after which he lighted a fire and baked the bannocks. Then he took out the copper kettledrum and beat it with the broidered strap, whereupon up came the dromedaries. He chose out one and said, "Hearken, O my son, O Hasan, to what I am about to enjoin on thee;" and Hasan replied, "'Tis well." Bahram continued, "Lie down on this skin and I will sew thee up therein and lay thee on the ground; whereupon the Rakham birds [FN#32] will come to thee and carry thee up to the mountain-top. Take this knife with thee; and, when thou feelest that the birds have done flying and have set thee down, slit open therewith the skin and come forth. The vultures will then take fright at thee and fly away; whereupon do thou look down from the mountain head and speak to me, and I will tell thee what to do." So he sewed him up in the skin, placing therein three cakes and a leathern bottle full of water, and withdrew to a distance. Presently a vulture pounced upon him and taking him up, flew away with him to the mountain-top and there set him down. As soon as Hasan felt himself on the ground, he slit the skin and coming forth, called out to the Magian, who hearing his speech rejoiced and danced for excess of joy, saying to him, "Look behind thee and tell me what thou seest." Hasan looked and seeing many rotten bones and much wood, told Bahram, who said to him, "This be what we need and seek. Make six bundles of the wood and throw them down to me, for this is wherewithal we do alchemy." So he threw him the six bundles and when he had gotten them into his power he said to Hasan, "O gallows bird, I have won my wish of thee; and now, if thou wilt, thou mayst abide on this mountain, or cast thyself down to the earth and perish. So saying, he left him [FN#33] and went away, and Hasan exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This hound hath played the traitor with me." And he sat bemoaning himself and reciting these couplets, "When God upon a man possessed of reasoning, Hearing and sight His will in aught to pass would bring, He stops his ears and blinds his eyes and draws his wit, From him, as one draws out the hairs to paste that cling; Till, His decrees fulfilled, He gives him back His wit, That therewithal he may receive admonishing. So say thou not of aught that haps, 'How happened it?' For Fate and fortune fixed do order everything. [FN#34]" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Magian sent Hasan to the mountain-top and made him throw down all he required he presently reviled him and left him and wended his ways and the youth exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This damned hound hath played the traitor." Then he rose to his feet and looked right and left, after which he walked on along the mountain top, in mind making certain of death. He fared on thus till he came to the counterslope of the mountain, along which he saw a dark-blue sea, dashing with billows clashing and yeasting waves each as it were a lofty mount. So he sat down and repeated what he might of the Koran and besought Allah the Most High to ease him of his troubles, or by death or by deliverance from such strait. Then he recited for himself the funeral-prayer [FN#35] and cast himself down into the main; but, the waves bore him up by Allah's grace, so that he reached the water unhurt, and the angel in whose charge is the sea watched over him, so that the billows bore him safe to land, by the decree of the Most High. Thereupon he rejoiced and praised Almighty Allah and thanked Him; after which he walked on in quest of something to eat, for stress of hunger, and came presently to the place where he had halted with the Magian, Bahram. Then he fared on awhile, till behold, he caught sight of a great palace, rising high in air, and knew it for that of which he had questioned the Persian and he had replied, "Therein dwelleth a foe, of mine." Hasan said to himself, "By Allah, needs must I enter yonder palace; perchance relief awaiteth me there." So coming to it and finding the gate open, he entered the vestibule, where he saw seated on a bench two girls like twin moons with a chess-cloth before them and they were at play. One of them raised her head to him and cried out for joy saying, "By Allah, here is a son of Adam, and methinks 'tis he whom Bahram the Magian brought hither this year!" So Hasan hearing her words cast himself at their feet and wept with sore weeping and said, "Yes, O my ladies, by Allah, I am indeed that unhappy." Then said the younger damsel to her elder sister, "Bear witness against me, [FN#36] O my sister, that this is my brother by covenant of Allah and that I will die for his death and live for his life and joy for his joy and mourn for his mourning." So saying, she rose and embraced him and kissed him and presently taking him by the hand and her sister with her, led him into the palace, where she did off his ragged clothes and brought him a suit of King's raiment wherewith she arrayed him. Moreover, she made ready all manner viands [FN#37] and set them before him, and sat and ate with him, she and her sister. Then said they to him, "Tell us thy tale with yonder dog, the wicked, the wizard, from the time of thy falling into his hands to that of thy freeing thee from him; and after we will tell thee all that hath passed between us and him, so thou mayst be on thy guard against him an thou see him again." Hearing these words and finding himself thus kindly received, Hasan took heart of grace and reason returned to him and he related to them all that had befallen him with the Magian from first to last. Then they asked, "Didst thou ask him of this palace?"; and he answered, "Yes, but he said, 'Name it not to me; for it belongeth to Ghuls and Satans.'" At this, the two damsels waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and said, "Did that miscreant style us Ghuls and Satans?" And Hasan answered, "Yes." Cried the younger sister, "By Allah, I will assuredly do him die with the foulest death and make him to lack the wind of the world!" Quoth Hasan, "And how wilt thou get at him, to kill him, for he is a crafty magician?"; and quoth she, "He is in a garden by name Al-Mushayyad, [FN#38] and there is no help but that I slay him before long." Then said her sister, "Sooth spake Hasan in everything he hath recounted to us of this cur; but now tell him our tale, that all of it may abide in his memory." So the younger said to him, "Know, O my brother, that we are the daughters of a King of the mightiest Kings of the Jann, having Marids for troops and guards and servants, and Almighty Allah blessed him with seven daughters by one wife; but of his folly such jealousy and stiff-neckedness and pride beyond compare gat hold upon him that he would not give us in marriage to any one and, summoning his Wazirs and Emirs, he said to them, 'Can ye tell me of any place untrodden by the tread of men and Jinn and abounding in trees and fruits and rills?' And quoth they, 'What wilt thou therewith, O King of the Age?' And quoth he, 'I desire there to lodge my seven daughters.' Answered they, 'O King, the place for them is the Castle of the Mountain of Clouds, built by an Ifrit of the rebellious Jinn, who revolted from the covenant of our lord Solomon, on whom be the peace! Since his destruction, none hath dwelt there, nor man nor Jinni, for 'tis cut off [FN#39] and none may win to it. And the Castle is girt about with trees and fruits and rills, and the water running around it is sweeter than honey and colder than snow: none who is afflicted with leprosy or elephantiasis [FN#40] or what not else drinketh thereof but he is healed forthright. Hearing this our father sent us hither, with an escort of his troops and guards and provided us with all that we need here. When he is minded to ride to us he beateth a kettle-drum, whereupon all his hosts present themselves before him and he chooseth whom he shall ride and dismisseth the rest; but, when he desireth that we shall visit him, he commandeth his followers, the enchanters, to fetch us and carry us to the presence; so he may solace himself with our society and we accomplish our desire of him; after which they again carry us back hither. Our five other sisters are gone a-hunting in our desert, wherein are wild beasts past compt or calculation and, it being our turn to do this we two abode at home, to make ready for them food. Indeed, we had besought Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) to vouchsafe us a son of Adam to cheer us with his company and praised be He who hath brought thee to us! So be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for no harm shall befal thee." Hasan rejoiced and said, "Alhamdolillah, laud to the Lord who guideth us into the path of deliverance and inclineth hearts to us!" Then his sister [FN#41] rose and taking him by the hand, led him into a private chamber, where she brought out to him linen and furniture that no mortal can avail unto. Presently, the other damsels returned from hunting and birding and their sisters acquainted them with Hasan's case; whereupon they rejoiced in him and going into him in his chamber, saluted him with the salam and gave him joy of his safety. Then he abode with them in all the solace of life and its joyance, riding out with them to the chase and taking his pleasure with them whilst they entreated him courteously and cheered him with converse, till his sadness ceased from him and he recovered health and strength and his body waxed stout and fat, by dint of fair treatment and pleasant time among the seven moons in that fair palace with its gardens and flowers; for indeed he led the delightsomest of lives with the damsels who delighted in him and he yet more in them. And they used to give him drink of the honey-dew of their lips [FN#42] these beauties with the high bosoms, adorned with grace and loveliness, the perfection of brilliancy and in shape very symmetry. Moreover the youngest Princess told her sisters how Bahram the Magian had made them of the Ghuls and Demons and Satans, [FN#43] and they sware that they would surely slay him. Next year the accursed Guebre again made his appearance, having with him a handsome young Moslem, as he were the moon, bound hand and foot and tormented with grievous tortures, and alighted with him below the palace-walls. Now Hasan was sitting under the trees by the side of the stream; and when he espied Bahram, his heart fluttered, [FN#44] his hue changed and he smote hand upon hand.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan the goldsmith saw the Magian, his heart fluttered, his hue changed and he smote hand upon hand. Then he said to the Princesses, "O my sisters, help me to the slaughter of this accursed, for here he is come back and in your grasp, and he leadeth with him captive a young Moslem of the sons of the notables, whom he is torturing with all manner grievous torments. Lief would I kill him and console my heart of him; and, by delivering the young Moslem from his mischief and restoring him to his country and kith and kin and friends, fain would I lay up merit for the world to come, by taking my wreak of him. [FN#45] This will be an almsdeed from you and ye will reap the reward thereof from Almighty Allah." "We hear and we obey Allah and thee, O our brother, O Hasan," replied they and binding chin-veils, armed themselves and slung on their swords: after which they brought Hasan a steed of the best and equipped him in panoply and weaponed him with goodly weapons. Then they all sallied out and found the Magian who had slaughtered and skinned a camel, ill-using the young Moslem, and saying to him, "Sit thee in this hide." So Hasan came behind him, without his knowledge, and cried out at him till he was dazed and amazed. Then he came up to him, saying, "Hold thy hand, O accursed! O enemy of Allah and foe of the Moslems! O dog! O traitor! O thou that flame dost obey! O thou that walkest in the wicked ones' ways, worshipping the fire and the light and swearing by the shade and the heat!" Herewith the Magian turned and seeing Hasan, thought to wheedle him and said to him, "O my son, how diddest thou escape and who brought thee down to earth?" Hasan replied, "He delivered me, who hath appointed the taking of thy life to be at my hand, and I will torture thee even as thou torturedst me the whole way long. O miscreant, O atheist, [FN#46] thou hast fallen into the twist and the way thou hast missed; and neither mother shall avail thee nor brother, nor friend nor solemn covenant shall assist thee; for thou saidst, O accursed, Whoso betrayeth bread and salt, may Allah do vengeance upon him! And thou hast broken the bond of bread and salt; wherefore the Almighty hath thrown thee into my grasp, and far is thy chance of escape from me." Rejoined Bahram, "By Allah, O my son, O Hasan, thou art dearer to me than my sprite and the light of mine eyes!" But Hasan stepped up to him and hastily smote him between the shoulders, that the sword issued gleaming from his throat-tendons and Allah hurried his soul to the fire, and abiding-place dire. Then Hasan took the Magian's bag and opened it, then having taken out the kettle-drum he struck it with the strap, whereupon up came the dromedaries like lightning. So he unbound the youth from his bonds and setting him on one of the camels, loaded him another with victual and water, [FN#47] saying, "Wend whither thou wilt." So he departed, after Almighty Allah had thus delivered him from his strait at the hands of Hasan. When the damsels saw their brother slay the Magian they joyed in him with exceeding joy and gat round him, marvelling at his valour and prowess, [FN#48] and thanked him for his deed and gave him joy of his safety, saying, "O Hasan thou hast done a deed, whereby thou hast healed the burning of him that thirsteth for vengeance and pleased the King of Omnipotence!" Then they returned to the palace, and he abode with them, eating and drinking and laughing and making merry; and indeed his sojourn with them was joyous to him and he forgot his mother; [FN#49] but while he led with them this goodly life one day, behold, there arose from the further side of the desert a great cloud of dust that darkened the welkin and made towards them. When the Princess saw this, they said to him, "Rise, O Hasan, run to thy chamber and conceal thyself; or an thou wilt, go down into the garden and hide thyself among the trees and vines; but fear not, for no harm shall befal thee." So he arose and entering his chamber, locked the door upon himself, and lay lurking in the palace. Presently the dust opened out and showed beneath it a great conquering host, as it were a surging sea, coming from the King, the father of the damsels. Now when the troops reached the castle, the Princesses received them with all honour and hospitably entertained them three days; after which they questioned them of their case and tidings and they replied saying, "We come from the King in quest of you." They asked, "And what would the King with us?"; and the officers answered, "One of the Kings maketh a marriage festival, and your father would have you be present thereat and take your pleasure therewith." The damsels enquired, "And how long shall we be absent from our place?"; and they rejoined, "The time to come and go, and to sojourn may be two months." So the Princesses arose and going in to the palace sought Hasan, acquainted him with the case and said to him, "Verily this place is thy place and our house is thy house; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear and feel nor grief nor fear, for none can come at thee here; but keep a good heart and a glad mind, till we return to thee. The keys of our chambers we leave with thee; but, O our brother, we beseech thee, by the bond of brotherhood, in very deed not to open such a door, for thou hast no need thereto." Then they farewelled him and fared forth with the troops, leaving Hasan alone in the palace. It was not long before his breast grew straitened and his patience shortened: solitude and sadness were heavy on him and he sorrowed for his severance from them with passing chagrin. The palace for all its vastness, waxed small to him and finding himself sad and solitary, he bethought him of the damsels and their pleasant converse and recited these couplets, "The wide plain is narrowed before these eyes * And the landscape troubles this heart of mine. Since my friends went forth, by the loss of them * Joy fled and these eyelids rail floods of brine: Sleep shunned these eyeballs for parting woe * And my mind is worn with sore pain and pine: Would I wot an Time shall rejoin our lots * And the joys of love with night-talk combine." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night, She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the departure of the damsels, Hasan sat in the palace sad and solitary and his breast was straitened by severance. He used to ride forth a-hunting by himself in the wold and bring back the game and slaughter it and eat thereof alone: but melancholy and disquiet redoubled on him, by reason of his loneliness. So he arose and went round about the palace and explored its every part; he opened the Princesses' apartments and found therein riches and treasures fit to ravish the beholder's reason; but he delighted not in aught thereof, by reason of their absence. His heart was fired by thinking of the door they had charged him not to approach or open on any account and he said in himself, "My sister had never enjoined me not to open this door, except there were behind it somewhat whereof she would have none to know; but, by Allah, I will arise and open it and see what is within, though within it were sudden death!" Then he took the key and, opening the door, [FN#50] saw therein no treasure but he espied a vaulted and winding staircase of Yamani onyx at the upper end of the chamber. So he mounted the stair, which brought him out upon the terrace- roof of the palace, whence he looked down upon the gardens and vergiers, full of trees and fruits and beasts and birds warbling praises of Allah, the One, the All-powerful; and said in himself "This is that they forbade to me." He gazed upon these pleasaunces and saw beyond a surging sea, dashing with clashing billows, and he ceased not to explore the palace right and left, till he ended at a pavilion builded with alternate courses, two bricks of gold and one of silver and jacinth and emerald and supported by four columns. And in the centre he saw a sitting- room paved and lined with a mosaic of all manner precious stones such as rubies and emeralds and balasses and other jewels of sorts; and in its midst stood a basin [FN#51] brimful of water, over which was a trellis-work of sandalwood and aloes-wood reticulated with rods of red gold and wands of emerald and set with various kinds of jewels and fine pearls, each sized as a pigeon's egg. The trellis was covered with a climbing vine, bearing grapes like rubies, and beside the basin stood a throne of lign-aloes latticed with red gold, inlaid with great pearls and comprising vari-coloured gems of every sort and precious minerals each kind fronting each and symmetrically disposed. About it the birds warbled with sweet tongues and various voices celebrating the praises of Allah the Most High: brief, it was a palace such as nor Cæsar nor Chosroës ever owned; but Hasan saw therein none of the creatures of Allah, whereat he marvelled and said in himself, "I wonder to which of the Kings this place pertaineth, or is it Many-Columned Iram whereof they tell, for who among mortals can avail to the like of this?" And indeed he was amazed at the spectacle and sat down in the pavilion and cast glances around him marvelling at the beauty of its ordinance and at the lustre of the pearls and jewels and the curious works which therein were, no less than at the gardens and orchards aforesaid and at the birds that hymned the praises of Allah, the One, the Almighty; and he abode pondering the traces of him whom the Most High had enabled to rear that structure, for indeed He is muchel of might. [FN#52] And presently, behold, he espied ten birds [FN#53] flying towards the pavilion from the heart of the desert and knew that they were making the palace and bound for the basin, to drink of its waters: so he hid himself, for fear they should see him and take flight. They lighted on a great tree and a goodly and circled round about it; and he saw amongst them a bird of marvel-beauty, the goodliest of them all, and the nine stood around it and did it service; and Hasan marvelled to see it peck them with its bill and lord it over them while they fled from it. He stood gazing at them from afar as they entered the pavilion and perched on the couch; after which each bird rent open its neck-skin with its claws and issued out of it; and lo! it was but a garment of feathers, and there came forth therefrom ten virgins, maids whose beauty shamed the brilliancy of the moon. They all doffed their clothes and plunging into the basin, washed and fell to playing and sporting one with other; whilst the chief bird of them lifted up the rest and ducked them down and they fled from her and dared not put forth their hands to her. When Hasan beheld her thus he took leave of his right reason and his sense was enslaved, so he knew that the Princesses had not forbidden him to open the door save because of this; for he fell passionately in love with her, for what he saw of her beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, as she played and sported and splashed the others with the water. He stood looking upon them whilst they saw him not, with eye gazing and heart burning and soul [FN#54] to evil prompting; and he sighed to be with them and wept for longing, because of the beauty and loveliness of the chief damsel. His mind was amazed at her charms and his heart taken in the net of her love; lowe was loosed in his heart for her sake and there waxed on him a flame, whose sparks might not be quenched, and desire, whose signs might not be hidden. Presently, they came up out of that basin, whilst Hasan marvelled at their beauty and loveliness and the tokens of inner gifts in the elegance of their movements. Then he cast a glance at the chief damsel who stood mother- naked and there was manifest to him what was between her thighs a goodly rounded dome on pillars borne, like a bowl of silver or crystal, which recalled to him the saying of the poet, [FN#55] "When I took up her shift and discovered the terrace-roof of her kaze, I found it as strait as my humour or eke my worldly ways: So I thrust it, incontinent, in, halfway, and she heaved a sigh. 'For what dost thou sigh?' quoth I. 'For the rest of it sure,' she says." Then coming out of the water they all put on their dresses and ornaments, and the chief maiden donned a green dress, [FN#56] wherein she surpassed for loveliness all the fair ones of the world and the lustre of her face outshone the resplendent full moons: she excelled the branches with the grace of her bending gait and confounded the wit with apprehension of disdain; and indeed she was as saith the poet, [FN#57] "A maiden 'twas, the dresser's art had decked with cunning sleight; The sun thou 'd'st say had robbed her cheek and shone with borrowed light. She came to us apparelled fair in under vest of green, Like as the ripe pomegranate hides beneath its leafy screen; And when we asked her what might be the name of what she wore, She answered in a quaint reply that double meaning bore: The desert's heart we penetrate in such apparel dressed, And Pierce-heart therefore is the name by which we call the vest." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan saw the damsels issue forth the basin, the chief maiden robbed his reason with her beauty and loveliness compelling him to recite the couplets forequoted. And after dressing they sat talking and laughing, whilst he stood gazing on them, drowned in the sea of his love, burning in the flames of passion and wandering in the Wady of his melancholy thought. And he said to himself, "By Allah, my sister forbade me not to open the door, but for cause of these maidens and for fear lest I should fall in love with one of them! How, O Hasan shalt thou woo and win them? How bring down a bird flying in the vasty firmament? By Allah thou hast cast thyself into a bottomless sea and snared thyself in a net whence there is no escape! I shall die desolate and none shall wot of my death." And he continued to gaze on the charms of the chief damsel, who was the loveliest creature Allah had made in her day, and indeed she outdid in beauty all human beings. She had a mouth magical as Solomon's seal and hair blacker than the night of estrangement to the love-despairing man; her brow was bright as the crescent moon of the Feast of Ramazán [FN#58] and her eyes were like eyes wherewith gazelles scan; she had a polished nose straight as a cane and cheeks like blood-red anemones of Nu'uman, lips like coralline and teeth like strung pearls in carcanets of gold virgin to man, and a neck like an ingot of silver, above a shape like a wand of Bán: her middle was full of folds, a dimpled plain such as enforceth the distracted lover to magnify Allah and extol His might and main, and her navel [FN#59] an ounce of musk, sweetest of savour could contain: she had thighs great and plump, like marble columns twain or bolsters stuffed with down from ostrich ta'en, and between them a somewhat, as it were a hummock great of span or a hare with ears back lain while terrace-roof and pilasters completed the plan; and indeed she surpassed the bough of the myrobalan with her beauty and symmetry, and the Indian rattan, for she was even as saith of them the poet whom love did unman, [FN#60] "Her lip-dews rival honey-sweets, that sweet virginity; * Keener than Hindi scymitar the glance she casts at thee: She shames the bending bough of Bán with graceful movement slow * And as she smiles her teeth appear with leven's brilliancy: When I compared with rose a-bloom the tintage of her cheeks, * She laughed in scorn and cried, 'Whoso compares with rosery My hue and breasts, granados terms, is there no shame in him? * How should pomegranates bear on bough such fruit in form or blee? Now by my beauty and mine eyes and heart and eke by Heaven * Of favours mine and by the Hell of my unclemency, They say 'She is a garden-rose in very pride of bloom'; * And yet no rose can ape my cheek nor branch my symmetry! If any garden own a thing which unto me is like, * What then is that he comes to crave of me and only me?"' They ceased not to laugh and play, whilst Hasan stood still a-watching them, forgetting meat and drink, till near the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when the beauty, the chief damsel, said to her mates, "O Kings' daughters, it waxeth late and our land is afar and we are weary of this stead. Come, therefore, let us depart to our own place." So they all arose and donned their feather vests, and becoming birds as they were before, flew away all together, with the chief lady in their midst. Then, Hasan, despairing of their return, would have arisen and gone down into the palace but could not move or even stand; wherefore the tears ran down his cheeks and passion was sore on him and he recited these couplets, "May God deny me boon of troth if I * After your absence sweets of slumber know: Yea; since that sev'rance never close mine eyes, * Nor rest repose me since departed you! 'Twould seem as though you saw me in your sleep; * Would Heaven the dreams of sleep were real-true! Indeed I dote on sleep though needed not, * For sleep may bring me that dear form to view." Then Hasan walked on, little by little, heeding not the way he went, till he reached the foot of the stairs, whence he dragged himself to his own chamber; then he entered and shutting the door, lay sick eating not nor drinking and drowned in the sea of his solitude. He spent the night thus, weeping and bemoaning himself, till the morning, and when it morrowed he repeated these couplets, "The birds took flight at eve and winged their way; * And sinless he who died of Love's death-blow. I'll keep my love-tale secret while I can * But, an desire prevail, its needs must show: Night brought me nightly vision, bright as dawn; * While nights of my desire lack morning-glow. I mourn for them [FN#61] while they heart-freest sleep * And winds of love on me their plaything blow: Free I bestow my tears, my wealth, my heart * My wit, my sprite:--most gain who most bestow! The worst of woes and banes is enmity * Beautiful maidens deal us to our woe. Favour they say's forbidden to the fair * And shedding lovers' blood their laws allow; That naught can love-sicks do but lavish soul, * And stake in love-play life on single throw: [FN#62] I cry in longing ardour for my love: * Lover can only weep and wail Love-lowe." When the sun rose he opened the door, went forth of the chamber and mounted to the stead where he was before: then he sat down facing the pavilion and awaited the return of the birds till nightfall; but they returned not; wherefore he wept till he fell to the ground in a fainting-fit. When he came to after his swoon, he dragged himself down the stairs to his chamber; and indeed, the darkness was come and straitened upon him was the whole world and he ceased not to weep and wail himself through the livelong night, till the day broke and the sun rained over hill and dale its rays serene. He ate not nor drank nor slept, nor was there any rest for him; but by day he was distracted and by night distressed, with sleeplessness delirious and drunken with melancholy thought and excess of love-longing. And he repeated the verses of the love-distraught poet, "O thou who shamest sun in morning sheen * The branch confounding, yet with nescience blest; Would Heaven I wot an Time shall bring return * And quench the fires which flame unmanifest,-- Bring us together in a close embrace, * Thy cheek upon my cheek, thy breast abreast! Who saith, In Love dwells sweetness? when in Love * Are bitterer days than Aloës [FN#63] bitterest." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-eighty Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan the goldsmith felt love redouble upon him, he recited those lines; and, as he abode thus in the stress of his love-distraction, alone and finding none to cheer him with company, behold, there arose a dust-cloud from the desert, wherefore he ran down and hid himself knowing that the Princesses who owned the castle had returned. Before long, the troops halted and dismounted round the palace and the seven damsels alighted and entering, put off their arms and armour of war. As for the youngest, she stayed not to doff her weapons and gear, but went straight to Hasan's chamber, where finding him not, she sought for him, till she lighted on him in one of the sleeping closets hidden, feeble and thin, with shrunken body and wasted bones and indeed his colour was changed and his eyes sunken in his face for lack of food and drink and for much weeping, by reason of his love and longing for the young lady. When she saw him in this plight, she was confounded and lost her wits; but presently she questioned him of his case and what had befallen him, saying, "Tell me what aileth thee, O my brother, that I may contrive to do away thine affliction, and I will be thy ransom!" [FN#64] Whereupon he wept with sore weeping and by way of reply he began reciting, "Lover, when parted from the thing he loves, * Has naught save weary woe and bane to bear. Inside is sickness, outside living lowe, * His first is fancy and his last despair." When his sister heard this, she marvelled at his eloquence and loquent speech and his readiness at answering her in verse and said to him, "O my brother, when didst thou fall into this thy case and what hath betided thee, that I find thee speaking in song and shedding tears that throng? Allah upon thee, O my brother, and by the honest love which is between us, tell me what aileth thee and discover to me thy secret, nor conceal from me aught of that which hath befallen thee in our absence; for my breast is straitened and my life is troubled because of thee." He sighed and railed tears like rain, after which he said, "I fear, O my sister, if I tell thee, that thou wilt not aid me to win my wish but wilt leave me to die wretchedly in mine anguish." She replied, "No, by Allah, O my brother, I will not abandon thee, though it cost me my life!" So he told her all that had befallen him, and that the cause of his distress and affliction was the passion he had conceived for the young lady whom he had seen when he opened the forbidden door; and how he had not tasted meat nor drink for ten days past. Then he wept with sore weeping and recited these couplets, "Restore my heart as 'twas within my breast, * Let mine eyes sleep again, then fly fro' me. Deem ye the nights have had the might to change * Love's vow? Who changeth may he never be!" His sister wept for his weeping and was moved to ruth for his case and pitied his strangerhood; so she said to him, "O my brother, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for I will venture being and risk existence to content thee and devise thee a device wherewith, though it cost me my dear life and all I hold dear, thou mayst get possession of her and accomplish thy desire, if such be the will of Allah Almighty. But I charge thee, O my brother, keep the matter secret from my sisterhood and discover not thy case to any one of them, lest my life be lost with thy life. An they question thee of opening the forbidden door, reply to them, 'I opened it not; no, never; but I was troubled at heart for your absence and by my loneliness here and yearning for you.'" [FN#65] And he answered, "Yes: this is the right rede." So he kissed her head and his heart was comforted and his bosom broadened. He had been nigh upon death for excess of affright, for he had gone in fear of her by reason of his having opened the door; but now his life and soul returned to him. Then he sought of her somewhat of food and after serving it she left him, and went in to her sisters, weeping and mourning for him. They questioned her of her case and she told them how she was heavy at heart for her brother, because he was sick and for ten days no food had found way into his stomach. So they asked the cause of his sickness and she answered, "The reason was our severance from him and our leaving him desolate; for these days we have been absent from him were longer to him than a thousand years and scant blame to him, seeing he is a stranger, and solitary and we left him alone, with none to company with him or hearten his heart; more by token that he is but a youth and may be he called to mind his family and his mother, who is a woman in years, and bethought him that she weepeth for him all whiles of the day and watches of the night, ever mourning his loss; and we used to solace him with our society and divert him from thinking of her." When her sisters heard these words they wept in the stress of their distress for him and said, "Wa'lláhi--'fore Allah, he is not to blame!" Then they went out to the army and dismissed it, after which they went into Hasan and saluted him with the salam. When they saw his charms changed with yellow colour and shrunken body, they wept for very pity and sat by his side and comforted him and cheered him with converse, relating to him all they had seen by the way of wonders and rarities and what had befallen the bridegroom with the bride. They abode with him thus a whole month, tendering him and caressing him with words sweeter than syrup; but every day sickness was added to his sickness, which when they saw, they bewept him with sore weeping, and the youngest wept even more than the rest. At the end of this time, the Princesses having made up their minds to ride forth a-hunting and a-birding invited their sister to accompany them, but she said, "By Allah, O my sisters, I cannot go forth with you whilst my brother is in this plight, nor indeed till he be restored to health and there cease from him that which is with him of affliction. Rather will I sit with him and comfort him." They thanked her for her kindness and said to her, "Allah will requite thee all thou dost with this stranger." Then they left her with him in the palace and rode forth taking with them twenty days' victual;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Princesses mounted and rode forth a-hunting and a-birding, after leaving in the palace their youngest sister sitting by Hasan's side; and as soon as the damsel knew that they had covered a long distance from home, she went in to him and said, "O my brother, come, show me the place where thou sawest the maidens." He rejoiced in her words, making sure of winning his wish, and replied, "Bismillah! On my head!" Then he essayed to rise and show her the place, but could not walk; so she took him up in her arms, holding him to her bosom between her breasts; and, opening the staircase-door, carried him to the top of the palace, and he showed her the pavilion where he had seen the girls and the basin of water, wherein they had bathed. Then she said to him, "Set forth to me, O my brother, their case and how they came." So he described to her whatso he had seen of them and especially the girl of whom he was enamoured; but hearing these words she knew her and her cheeks paled and her case changed. Quoth he, "O my sister, what aileth thee to wax wan and be troubled?"; and quoth she, "O my brother, know thou that this young lady is the daughter of a Sovran of the Jann, of one of the most puissant of their Kings, and her father had dominion over men and Jinn and wizards and Cohens and tribal chiefs and guards and countries and cities and islands galore and hath immense wealth in store. Our father is a Viceroy and one of his vassals and none can avail against him, for the multitude of his many and the extent of his empire and the muchness of his monies. He hath assigned to his offspring, the daughters thou sawest, a tract of country, a whole year's journey in length and breadth, a region girt about with a great river and a deep; and thereto none may attain, nor man nor Jann. He hath an army of women, smiters with swords and lungers with lances, five-and-twenty thousand in number, each of whom, whenas she mounteth steed and donneth battle-gear, eveneth a thousand knights of the bravest. Moreover, he hath seven daughters, who in valour and prowess equal and even excel their sisters, [FN#66] and he hath made the eldest of them, the damsel whom thou sawest, [FN#67] queen over the country aforesaid and who is the wisest of her sisters and in valour and horsemanship and craft and skill and magic excels all the folk of her dominions. The girls who companied with her are the ladies of her court and guards and grandees of her empire, and the plumed skins wherewith they fly are the handiwork of enchanters of the Jann. Now an thou wouldst get possession of this queen and wed this jewel seld-seen and enjoy her beauty and loveliness and grace, do thou pay heed to my words and keep them in thy memory. They resort to this place on the first day of every month; and thou must take seat here and watch for them; and when thou seest them coming hide thee near the pavilion sitting where thou mayst see them, without being seen of them, and beware, again beware lest thou show thyself, or we shall all lose our lives. When they doff their dress note which is the feather-suit of her whom thou lovest and take it, and it only, for this it is that carrieth her to her country, and when thou hast mastered it, thou hast mastered her. And beware lest she wile thee, saying, 'O thou who hast robbed my raiment, restore it to me, because here am I in thine hands and at thy mercy!' For, an thou give it her, she will kill thee and break down over us palace and pavilion and slay our sire: know, then, thy case and how thou shalt act. When her companions see that her feather-suit is stolen, they will take flight and leave her to thee, and beware lest thou show thyself to them, but wait till they have flown away and she despaireth of them: whereupon do thou go in to her and hale her by the hair of her head [FN#68] and drag her to thee; which being done, she will be at thy mercy. And I rede thee discover not to her that thou hast taken the feather-suit, but keep it with care; for, so long as thou hast it in hold, she is thy prisoner and in thy power, seeing that she cannot fly to her country save with it. And lastly carry her down to thy chamber where she will be thine." When Hasan heard her words his heart became at ease, his trouble ceased and affliction left him; so he rose to his feet and kissing his sister's head, went down from the terrace with her into the palace, where they slept that night. He medicined himself till morning morrowed; and when the sun rose, he sprang up and opened the staircase-door and ascending to the flat roof sat there till supper-tide when his sister brought him up somewhat of meat and drink and a change of clothes and he slept. And thus they continued doing, day by day until the end of the month. When he saw the new moon, he rejoiced and began to watch for the birds, and while he was thus, behold, up they came, like lightning. As soon as he espied them, he hid himself where he could watch them, unwatched by them, and they lighted down one and all of them, and putting off their clothes, descended into the basin. All this took place near the stead where Hasan lay concealed, and as soon as he caught sight of the girl he loved, he arose and crept under cover, little by little, towards the dresses, and Allah veiled him so that none marked his approach for they were laughing and playing with one another, till he laid hand on the dress. Now when they had made an end of their diversion, they came forth of the basin and each of them slipped on her feather-suit. But the damsel he loved sought for her plumage that she might put it on, but found it not; whereupon she shrieked and beat her cheeks and rent her raiment. Her sisterhood [FN#69] came to her and asked what ailed her, and she told them that her feather-suit was missing; wherefore they wept and shrieked and buffeted their faces: and they were confounded, wotting not the cause of this, and knew not what to do. Presently the night overtook them and they feared to abide with her lest that which had befallen her should befal them also; so they farewelled her and flying away left her alone upon the terrace-roof of the palace, by the pavilion basin.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninetieth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan had carried off the girl's plumery, she sought it but found it not and her sisterhood flew away leaving her alone. When they were out of sight, Hasan gave ear to her and heard her say, "O who hast taken my dress and stripped me, I beseech thee to restore it to me and cover my shame, so may Allah never make thee taste of my tribulation!" But when Hasan heard her speak thus, with speech sweeter than syrup, his love for her redoubled, passion got the mastery of his reason and he had not patience to endure from her. So springing up from his hiding-place, he rushed upon her and laying hold of her by the hair dragged her to him and carried her down to the basement of the palace and set her in his own chamber, where he threw over her a silken cloak [FN#70] and left her weeping and biting her hands. Then he shut the door upon her and going to his sister, informed her how he had made prize of his lover and carried her to his sleeping-closet, "And there," quoth he, "she is now sitting, weeping and biting her hands." When his sister heard this, she rose forthright and betook herself to the chamber, where she found the captive weeping and mourning. So she kissed ground before her and saluted her with the salam and the young lady said to her, "O King's daughter, do folk like you do such foul deed with the daughters of Kings? Thou knowest that my father is a mighty Sovran and that all the liege lords of the Jinn stand in awe of him and fear his majesty: for that there are with him magicians and sages and Cohens and Satans and Marids, such as none may cope withal, and under his hand are folk whose number none knoweth save Allah. How then doth it become you, O daughters of Kings, to harbour mortal men with you and disclose to them our case and yours? Else how should this man, a stranger, come at us?" Hasan's sister made reply, "O King's daughter, in very sooth this human is perfect in nobleness and purposeth thee no villainy; but he loveth thee, and women were not made save for men. Did he not love thee, he had not fallen sick for thy sake and well-nigh given up the ghost for desire of thee." And she told her the whole tale how Hasan had seen her bathing in the basin with her attendants, and fallen in love with her, and none had pleased him but she, for the rest were all her handmaids, and none had availed to put forth a hand to her. When the Princess heard this, she despaired of deliverance and presently Hasan's sister went forth and brought her a costly dress, wherein she robed her. Then she set before her somewhat of meat and drink and ate with her and heartened her heart and soothed her sorrows. And she ceased not to speak her fair with soft and pleasant words, saying, "Have pity on him who saw thee once and became as one slain by thy love;" and continued to console her and caress her, quoting fair says and pleasant instances. But she wept till daybreak, when her trouble subsided and she left shedding tears, knowing that she had fallen into the net and that there was no deliverance for her. Then said she to Hasan's sister, "O King's daughter, with this my strangerhood and severance from my country and sisterhood which Allah wrote upon my brow, patience becometh me to support what my Lord hath foreordained." Therewith the youngest Princess assigned her a chamber in the palace, than which there was none goodlier and ceased not to sit with her and console her and solace her heart, till she was satisfied with her lot and her bosom was broadened and she laughed and there ceased from her what trouble and oppression possessed her, by reason of her separation from her people and country and sisterhood and parents. Thereupon Hasan's sister repaired to him, and said, "Arise, go in to her in her chamber and kiss her hands and feet." [FN#71] So he went in to her and did this and bussed her between the eyes, saying, "O Princess of fair ones and life of sprites and beholder's delight, be easy of heart, for I took thee only that I might be thy bondsman till the Day of Doom, and this my sister will be thy servant; for I, O my lady, desire naught but to take thee to wife, after the law of Allah and the practice of His Apostle, and whenas thou wilt, I will journey with thee to my country and carry thee to Baghdad-city and abide with thee there: moreover, I will buy thee handmaidens and negro chattels; and I have a mother, of the best of women, who will do thee service. There is no goodlier land than our land; everything therein is better than elsewhere and its folk are a pleasant people and bright of face." Now as he bespake her thus and strave to comfort her, what while she answered him not a syllable, lo! there came a knocking at the palace-gate. So Hasan went out to see who was at the door and found there the six Princesses, who had returned from hunting and birding, whereat he rejoiced and went to meet them and welcomed them. They wished him safety and health and he wished them the like; after which they dismounted and going each to her chamber doffed their soiled clothes and donned fine linen. Then they came forth and demanded the game, for they had taken a store of gazelles and wild cows, hares and lions, hyaenas, and others; so their suite brought out some thereof for butchering, keeping the rest by them in the palace, and Hasan girt himself and fell to slaughtering for them in due form, [FN#72] whilst they sported and made merry, joying with great joy to see him standing amongst them hale and hearty once more. When they had made an end of slaughtering, they sat down and addressed themselves to get ready somewhat for breaking their fast, and Hasan, coming up to the eldest Princess, kissed her head and on like wise did he with the rest, one after other. Whereupon said they to him, "Indeed, thou humblest thyself to us passing measure, O our brother, and we marvel at the excess of the affection thou showest us. But Allah forfend that thou shouldst do this thing, which it behoveth us rather to do with thee, seeing thou art a man and therefor worthier than we, who are of the Jinn." [FN#73] Thereupon his eyes brimmed with tears and he wept sore; so they said to him, "What causeth thee to weep? Indeed, thou troublest our pleasant lives with thy weeping this day. 'Twould seem thou longest after thy mother and native land. An things be so, we will equip thee and carry thee to thy home and thy friends." He replied, "By Allah, I desire not to part from you!" Then they asked, "Which of us hath vexed thee, that thou art thus troubled?" But he was ashamed to say, "Naught troubleth me save love of a damsel," lest they should deny and disavow him: so he was silent and would tell them nothing of his case. Then his sister came forward and said to them, "He hath caught a bird from the air and would have you help him to tame her." Whereupon they all turned to him and cried, "We are at thy service every one of us and whatsoever thou seekest that will we do: but tell us thy tale and conceal from us naught of thy case." So he said to his sister, "Do thou tell them, for I am ashamed before them nor can I face them with these words."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-first Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan said to his sister, "Do thou tell them my tale, for before them I stand abashed nor can I face them with these words." So she said to them, "O my sisters, when we went away and left alone this unhappy one, the palace was straitened upon him and he feared lest some one should come in to him, for ye know that the sons of Adam are light of wits. So, he opened the door of the staircase leading to the roof, of his loneliness and trouble, and sat there, looking upon the Wady and watching the gate, in his fear lest any should come thither. One day, as he sat thus, suddenly he saw ten birds approach him, making for the palace, and they lighted down on the brink of the basin which is in the pavilion-terrace. He watched these birds and saw, amongst them, one goodlier than the rest, which pecked the others and flouted them, whilst none of them dared put out a claw to it. Presently, they set their nails to their neck-collars and, rending their feather-suits, came forth therefrom and became damsels, each and every, like the moon on fullest night. Then they doffed their dress and plunging into the water, fell to playing with one another, whilst the chief damsel ducked the others, who dared not lay a finger on her and she was fairest of favour and most famous of form and most feateous of finery. They ceased not to be in this case till near the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when they came forth of the basin and, donning their feather-shifts, flew away home. Thereupon he waxed distracted, with a heart afire for love of the chief damsel and repenting him that he had not stolen her plumery. Wherefore he fell sick and abode on the palace-roof expecting her return and abstaining from meat and drink and sleep, and he ceased not to be so till the new moon showed, when behold, they again made their appearance according to custom and doffing their dresses went down into the basin. So he stole the chief damsel's feather-suit, knowing that she could not fly save therewith, hiding himself carefully lest they sight him and slay him. Then he waited till the rest had flown away, when he arose and seizing the damsel, carried her down from the terrace into the castle." Her sisters asked, "Where is she?"; and she answered, "She is with him in such a chamber." Quoth they, "Describe her to us, O our sister:" so quoth she, "She is fairer than the moon on the night of fullness and her face is sheenier than the sun; the dew of her lips is sweeter than honey and her shape is straighter and slenderer than the cane; one with eyes black as night and brow flower-white; a bosom jewel-bright, breasts like pomegranates twain and cheeks like apples twain, a waist with dimples overlain, a navel like a casket of ivory full of musk in grain, and legs like columns of alabastrine vein. She ravisheth all hearts with Nature-kohl'd eyne, and a waist slender-fine and hips of heaviest design and speech that heals all pain and pine: she is goodly of shape and sweet of smile, as she were the moon in fullest sheen and shine." When the Princesses heard these praises, they turned to Hasan and said to him, "Show her to us." So he arose with them, all love-distraught, and carrying them to the chamber wherein was the captive damsel, opened the door and entered, preceding the seven Princesses. Now when they saw her and noted her loveliness, they kissed the ground between her hands, marvelling at the fairness of her favour and the significance which showed her inner gifts, and said to her, "By Allah, O daughter of the Sovran Supreme, this is indeed a mighty matter: and haddest thou heard tell of this mortal among women thou haddest marvelled at him all thy days. Indeed, he loveth thee with passionate love; yet, O King's daughter, he seeketh not lewdness, but desireth thee only in the way of lawful wedlock. Had we known that maids can do without men, we had impeached him from his intent, albeit he sent thee no messenger, but came to thee in person; and he telleth us he hath burnt the feather dress; else had we taken it from him." Then one of them agreed with the Princess and becoming her deputy in the matter of the wedding contract, performed the marriage ceremony between them, whilst Hasan clapped palms with her, laying his hand in hers, and she wedded him to the damsel by consent; after which they celebrated her bridal feast, as beseemeth Kings' daughters, and brought Hasan in to her. So he rose and rent the veil and oped the gate and pierced the forge [FN#74] and brake the seal, whereupon affection for her waxed in him and he redoubled in love and longing for her. Then, since he had gotten that which he sought, he gave himself joy and improvised these couplets, "Thy shape's temptation, eyes as Houri's fain * And sheddeth Beauty's sheen [FN#75] that radiance rare: My glance portrayed thy glorious portraiture: * Rubies one-half and gems the third part were: Musk made a fifth: a sixth was ambergris * The sixth a pearl but pearl without compare. Eve never bare a daughter evening thee * Nor breathes thy like in Khuld's [FN#76] celestial air. An thou would torture me 'tis wont of Love * And if thou pardon 'tis thy choice I swear: Then, O world bright'ner and O end of wish! * Loss of thy charms who could in patience bear?" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-second Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan went in unto the King's daughter and did away her maidenhead, he enjoyed her with exceeding joy and affection for her waxed in him and he redoubled in love-longing for her; so he recited the lines aforesaid. Now the Princesses were standing at the door and when they heard his verses, they said to her, "O King's daughter, hearest thou the words of this mortal? How canst thou blame us, seeing that he maketh poetry for love of thee and indeed he hath so done a thousand times." [FN#77] When she heard this she rejoiced and was glad and felt happy and Hasan abode with her forty [FN#78] days in all solace and delight, joyance and happiest plight, whilst the damsels renewed festivities for him every day and overwhelmed him with bounty and presents and rarities; and the King's daughter became reconciled to her sojourn amongst them and forgot her kith and kin. At the end of the forty days, Hasan saw in a dream, one night, his mother mourning for him and indeed her bones were wasted and her body had waxed shrunken and her complexion had yellowed and her favour had changed the while he was in excellent case. When she saw him in this state, she said to him, "O my son, O Hasan, how is it that thou livest thy worldly life at thine ease and forgettest me? Look at my plight since thy loss! I do not forget thee, nor will my tongue cease to name thy name till I die; and I have made thee a tomb in my house, that I may never forget thee. Would Heaven I knew [FN#79] if I shall live, O my son, to see thee by my side and if we shall ever again foregather as we were." Thereupon Hasan awoke from sleep, weeping and wailing, the tears railed down his cheeks like rain and he became mournful and melancholy; his tears dried not nor did sleep visit him, but he had no rest, and no patience was left to him. When he arose, the Princesses came in to him and gave him good-morrow and made merry with him as was their wont; but he paid no heed to them; so they asked his wife concerning his case and she said, "I ken not." Quoth they, "Question him of his condition." So she went up to him and said, "What aileth thee, O my lord?" Whereupon he moaned and groaned and told her what he had seen in his dream and repeated these two couplets, "Indeed afflicted sore are we and all distraught, * Seeking for union; yet we find no way: And Love's calamities upon us grow * And Love though light with heaviest weight doth weigh." His wife repeated to the Princesses what he said and they, hearing the verses, had pity on him and said to him, "In Allah's name, do as thou wilt, for we may not hinder thee from visiting thy mother; nay, we will help thee to thy wish by what means we may. But it behoveth that thou desert us not, but visit us, though it be only once a year." And he answered, "To hear is to obey: be your behest on my head and eyes!" Then they arose forthright and making him ready victual for the voyage, equipped the bride for him with raiment and ornaments and everything of price, such as defy description, and they bestowed on him gifts and presents which pens of ready writers lack power to set forth. Then they beat the magical kettle-drum and up came the dromedaries from all sides. They chose of them such as could carry all the gear they had prepared; amongst the rest five-and-twenty chests of gold and fifty of silver; and, mounting Hasan and his bride on others, rode with them three days, wherein they accomplished a march of three months. Then they bade them farewell and addressed themselves to return; whereupon his sister, the youngest damsel, threw herself on Hasan's neck and wept till she fainted. When she came to herself, she repeated these two couplets, "Ne'er dawn the severance-day on any wise * That robs of sleep these heavy-lidded eyes. From us and thee it hath fair union torn * It wastes our force and makes our forms its prize." Her verses finished she farewelled him, straitly charging him, whenas he should have come to his native land and have foregathered with his mother and set his heart at ease, to fail not of visiting her once in every six months and saying, "If aught grieve thee or thou fear aught of vexation, beat the Magian's kettle-drum, whereupon the dromedaries shall come to thee; and do thou mount and return to us and persist not in staying away." He swore thus to do and conjured them to go home. So they returned to the palace, mourning for their separation from him, especially the youngest, with whom no rest would stay nor would Patience her call obey, but she wept night and day. Thus it was with them; but as regards Hasan and his wife, they fared on by day and night over plain and desert site and valley and stony heights through noon-tide glare and dawn's soft light; and Allah decreed them safety, so that they reached Bassorah-city without hindrance and made their camels kneel at the door of his house. Hasan then dismissed the dromedaries and, going up to the door to open it, heard his mother weeping and in a faint strain, from a heart worn with parting-pain and on fire with consuming bane, reciting these couplets, "How shall he taste of sleep who lacks repose * Who wakes a-night when all in slumber wone? He owned wealth and family and fame * Yet fared from house and home an exile lone: Live coal beneath his [FN#80] ribs he bears for bane, * And mighty longing, mightier ne'er was known: Passion hath seized him, Passion mastered him; * Yet is he constant while he maketh moan: His case for Love proclaimeth aye that he, * (As prove his tears) is wretched, woebegone." When Hasan heard his mother weeping and wailing he wept also and knocked at the door a loud knock. Quoth she, "Who is at the door?"; and quoth he, "Open!" Whereupon she opened the door and knowing him at first sight fell down in a fainting fit; but he ceased not to tend her till she came to herself, when he embraced her and she embraced him and kissed him, whilst his wife looked on mother and son. Then he carried his goods and gear into the house, whilst his mother, for that her heart was comforted and Allah had reunited her with her son versified with these couplets, "Fortune had ruth upon my plight * Pitied my long long bane and blight; Gave me what I would liefest sight; * And set me free from all afright. So pardon I the sin that sin * nèd she in days evanisht quite; E'en to the sin she sinned when she * Bleached my hair-parting silvern white." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-third Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan with his mother then sat talking and she asked him, "How faredst thou, O my son, with the Persian?" whereto he answered, "O my mother, he was no Persian, but a Magian, who worshipped the fire, not the All-powerful Sire." Then he told her how he dealt with him, in that he had journeyed with him to the Mountain of Clouds and sewed him up in the camel's skin, and how the vultures had taken him up and set him down on the summit and what he had seen there of dead folk, whom the Magian had deluded and left to die on the crest after they had done his desire. And he told her how he had cast himself from the mountain-top into the sea and Allah the Most High had preserved him and brought him to the palace of the seven Princesses and how the youngest of them had taken him to brother and he had sojourned with them till the Almighty brought the Magian to the place where he was and he slew him. Moreover, he told her of his passion for the King's daughter and how he had made prize of her and of his seeing her [FN#81] in sleep and all else that had befallen him up to the time when Allah vouchsafed them reunion. She wondered at his story and praised the Lord who had restored him to her in health and safety. Then she arose and examined the baggage and loads and questioned him of them. So he told her what was in them, whereat she joyed with exceeding joy. Then she went up to the King's daughter, to talk with her and bear her company; but, when her eyes fell on her, her wits were confounded at her brilliancy and she rejoiced and marvelled at her beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace: and she sat down beside her, cheering her and comforting her heart while she never ceased to repeat "Alhamdolillah, O my son, for thy return to me safe and sound!" Next morning early she went down into the market and bought mighty fine furniture and ten suits of the richest raiment in the city, and clad the young wife and adorned her with everything seemiy. Then said she to Hasan, "O my son, we cannot tarry in this town with all this wealth; for thou knowest that we are poor folk and the people will suspect us of practising alchemy. So come, let us depart to Baghdad, the House [FN#82] of Peace, where we may dwell in the Caliph's Sanctuary, and thou shalt sit in a shop to buy and sell, in the fear of Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) and He shall open to thee the door of blessings with this wealth." Hasan approved her counsel and going forth straightway, sold the house and summoned the dromedaries, which he loaded with all his goods and gear, together with his mother and wife. Then he went down to the Tigris, where he hired him a craft to carry them to Baghdad and embarked therein all his possessions and his mother and wife. They sailed up the river with a fair wind for ten days till they drew in sight of Baghdad, at which they all rejoiced, and the ship landed them in the city, where without stay or delay Hasan hired a storehouse in one of the caravanserais and transported his goods thither. He lodged that night in the Khan, and on the morrow he changed his clothes and going down into the city, enquired for a broker. The folk directed him to one, and when the broker saw him, he asked him what he lacked. Quoth he, "I want a house, a handsome one and a spacious." So the broker showed him the houses at his disposal and he chose one that belonged to one of the Wazirs and buying it of him for an hundred thousand golden dinars, gave him the price. Then he returned to his caravanserai and removed all his goods and monies to the house; after which he went down to the market and bought all the mansion needed of vessels and carpets and other household stuff, besides servants and eunuchs, including a little black boy for the house. He abode with his wife in all solace and delight of life three years, during which time he was vouchsafed by her two sons, one of whom he named Násir and the other Mansúr: but, at the end of this time he bethought him of his sisters, the Princesses, and called to mind all their goodness to him and how they had helped him to his desire. So he longed after them and going out to the marketstreets of the city, bought trinkets and costly stuffs and fruit-confections, such as they had never seen or known. His mother asked him the reason of his buying these rarities and he answered, "I purpose to visit my sisters, who showed me every kind of kindness and all the wealth that I at present enjoy is due to their goodness and munificence: wherefore I will journey to them and return soon, Inshallah!" Quoth she, "O my son, be not long absent from me;" and quoth he, "Know, O my mother, how thou shalt do with my wife. Here is her feather-dress in a chest, buried under ground in such a place; do thou watch over it, lest haply she hap on it and take it, for she would fly away, she and her children, and I should never hear of them again and should die of grieving for them; wherefore take heed, O my mother, while I warn thee that thou name this not to her. Thou must know that she is the daughter of a King of the Jinn, than whom there is not a greater among the Sovrans of the Jann nor a richer in troops and treasure, and she is mistress of her people and dearest to her father of all he hath. Moreover, she is passing high-spirited, so do thou serve her thyself and suffer her not to go forth the door neither look out of window nor over the wall, for I fear the air for her when it bloweth, [FN#83] and if aught befel her of the calamities of this world, I should slay myself for her sake." She replied, "O my son, I take refuge with Allah [FN#84] from gainsaying thee! Am I mad that thou shouldst lay this charge on me and I disobey thee therein? Depart, O my son, with heart at ease, and please Allah, soon thou shalt return in safety and see her and she shall tell thee how I have dealt with her: but tarry not, O my son, beyond the time of travel."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan had determined to visit the Princesses, he gave his mother the orders we have mentioned. [FN#85] Now, as Fate would have it, his wife heard what he said to his mother and neither of them knew it. Then Hasan went without the city and beat the kettle-drum, whereupon up came the dromedaries and he loaded twenty of them with rarities of Al-Irak; after which he returned to his mother and repeated his charge to her and took leave of her and his wife and children, one of whom was a yearling babe and the other two years old. Then he mounted and fared on, without stopping night or day, over hills and valleys and plains and wastes for a term of ten days till, on the eleventh, he reached the palace and went in to his sisters, with the gifts he had brought them. The Princesses rejoiced at his sight and gave him joy of his safety, whilst his sister decorated the palace within and without. Then they took the presents and, lodging him in a chamber as before, asked him of his mother and his wife, and he told them that she had borne him two sons. And the youngest Princess, seeing him well and in good case, joyed with exceeding joy and repeated this couplet, "I ever ask for news of you from whatso breezes pass * And never any but yourselves can pass across my mind." Then he abode with them in all honour and hospitality, for three months, spending his time in feasting and merrymaking, joy and delight, hunting and sporting. So fared it with him; but as regards his wife, she abode with his mother two days after her husband's departure, and on the third day, she said to her, "Glory be to God! Have I lived with him three years and shall I never go to the bath?" Then she wept and Hasan's mother had pity on her condition and said to her, "O my daughter, here we are strangers and thy husband is abroad. Were he at home, he would serve thee himself, but, as for me, I know no one. However, O my daughter, I will heat thee water and wash thy head in the Hammam-bath which is in the house." Answered the King's daughter, "O my lady, hadst thou spoken thus to one of the slave-girls, she had demanded to be sold in the Sultan's open market and had not abode with thee. [FN#86] Men are excusable, because they are jealous and their reason telleth them that, if a woman go forth the house, haply she will do frowardness. But women, O my lady, are not all equal and alike and thou knowest that, if woman have a mind to aught, whether it be the Hammam or what not else, none hath power over her to guard her or keep her chaste or debar her from her desire; for she will do whatso she willeth and naught restraineth her but her reason and her religion." [FN#87] Then she wept and cursed fate and bemoaned herself and her strangerhood, till Hasan's mother was moved to ruth for her case and knew that all she said was but truth and that there was nothing for it but to let her have her way. So she committed the affair to Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and making ready all that they needed for the bath, took her and went with her to the Hammam. She carried her two little sons with her, and when they entered, they put off their clothes and all the women fell to gazing on the Princess and glorifying God (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) for that He had created so fair a form. The women of the city, even those who were passing by, flocked to gaze upon her, and the report of her was noised abroad in Baghdad till the bath was crowded that there was no passing through it. Now it chanced there was present on that day and on that rare occasion with the rest of the women in the Hammam, one of the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, by name Tohfah [FN#88] the Lutanist, and she, finding the Hammam over crowded and no passing for the throng of women and girls, asked what was to do; and they told her of the young lady. So she walked up to her and, considering her closely, was amazed at her grace and loveliness and glorified God (magnified be His majesty!) for the fair forms He hath created. The sight hindered her from her bath, so that she went not farther in nor washed, but sat staring at the Princess, till she had made an end of bathing and coming forth of the caldarium donned her raiment, whereupon beauty was added to her beauty. She sat down on the divan, [FN#89] whilst the women gazed upon her; then she looked at them and veiling herself, went out. Tohfah went out with her and followed her, till she saw where she dwelt, when she left her and returned to the Caliph's palace; and ceased not wending till she went in to the Lady Zubaydah and kissed ground between her hands; whereupon quoth her mistress, "O Tohfah, why hast thou tarried in the Hammam?" She replied, "O my lady, I have seen a marvel, never saw I its like amongst men or women, and this it was that distracted me and dazed my wit and amazed me, so that I forgot even to wash my head." Asked Zubaydah, "And what was that?" ; and Tohfah answered, "O my lady, I saw a damsel in the bath, having with her two little boys like moons, eye never espied her like, nor before her nor after her, neither is there the fellow of her form in the whole world nor her peer amongst Ajams or Turks or Arabs. By the munificence, O my lady, an thou toldest the Commander of the Faithful of her, he would slay her husband and take her from him, for her like is not to be found among women. I asked of her mate and they told me that he is a merchant Hasan of Bassorah hight. Moreover, I followed her from the bath to her own house and found it to be that of the Wazir, with the two gates, one opening on the river and the other on the land. [FN#90] Indeed, O my lady, I fear lest the Prince of True Believers hear of her and break the law and slay her husband and take love-liesse with her."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Tohfah, after seeing the King's daughter, described her beauty to the Lady Zubaydah ending with, "Indeed, O my mistress, I fear lest the Prince of True Believers hear of her and break the law and slay her mate and take her to wife," Zubaydah cried, "Woe to thee, O Tohfah, say me, doth this damsel display such passing beauty and loveliness that the Commander of the Faithful should, on her account, barter his soul's good for his worldly lust and break the Holy Law! By Allah, needs must I look on her, and if she be not as thou sayest, I will bid strike off thy head! O strumpet, there are in the Caliph's Serraglio three hundred and three score slave girls, after the number of the days of the year, yet is there none amongst them so excellent as thou describest!" Tohfah replied, "No, by Allah, O my lady!: nor is there her like in all Baghdad; no, nor amongst the Arabs or the Daylamites nor hath Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) created the like of her!" Thereupon Zuhaydah called for Masrur, the eunuch, who came and kissed the ground before her, and she said to him, "O Masrur, go to the Wazir's house, that with the two gates, one giving on the water and the other on the land, and bring me the damsel who dwelleth there, also her two children and the old woman who is with her, and haste thou and tarry not." Said Masrur, "I hear and I obey," and repairing to Hasan's house, knocked at the door. Quoth the old woman, "Who is at the door?" and quoth he, "Masrur, the eunuch of the Commander of the Faithful." So she opened the door and he entered and saluted her with the salam; whereupon she returned his salute and asked his need; and he replied, "The Lady Zubaydah, daughter of Al-Kasim [FN#91] and queen-spouse of the Commander of the Faithful Harun al-Rashid sixth [FN#92] of the sons of Al-Abbas, paternal uncle of the Prophet (whom Allah bless and keep!) summoneth thee to her, thee and thy son's wife and her children; for the women have told her anent her and her beauty." Rejoined the old woman, "O my lord Masrur, we are foreigner folk and the girl's husband (my son) who is abroad and far from home hath strictly charged me not to go forth nor let her go forth in his absence, neither show her to any of the creatures of Allah Almighty; and I fear me, if aught befal her and he come back, he will slay himself; wherefore of thy favour I beseech thee, O Masrur, require us not of that whereof we are unable." Masrur retorted, "O my lady, if I knew aught to be feared for you in this, I would not require you to go; the Lady Zubaydah desireth but to see her and then she may return. So disobey not or thou wilt repent; and like as I take you, I will bring you both back in safety, Inshallah!" Hasan's mother could not gainsay him; so she went in and making the damsel ready, brought her and her children forth and they all followed Masrur to the palace of the Caliphate where he carried them in and seated them on the floor before the Lady Zubaydah. They kissed ground before her and called down blessings upon her; and Zubaydah said to the young lady (who was veiled), "Wilt thou not uncover thy face, that I may look on it?" So she kissed the ground between her hands and discovered a face which put to shame the full moon in the height of heaven. Zubaydah fixed her eyes on her and let their glances wander over her, whilst the palace was illumined by the light of her countenance; whereupon the Queen and the whole company were amazed at her beauty and all who looked on her became Jinn-mad and unable to bespeak one another. As for Zubaydah, she rose and making the damsel stand up, strained her to her bosom and seated her by herself on the couch. Moreover, she bade decorate the palace in her honour and calling for a suit of the richest raiment and a necklace of the rarest ornaments put them upon her. Then said she to her, "O liege lady of fair ones, verily thou astoundest me and fillest mine eyes. [FN#93] What arts knowest thou?" She replied, "O my lady, I have a dress of feathers, and could I but put it on before thee, thou wouldst see one of the fairest of fashions and marvel thereat, and all who saw it would talk of its goodliness, generation after generation." Zubaydah asked, "And where is this dress of thine?"; and the damsel answered, "'Tis with my husband's mother. Do thou seek it for me of her." So Zubaydah said to the old woman, "O my lady the pilgrimess, O my mother, go forth and fetch us her feather-dress, that we may solace ourselves by looking on what she will do, and after take it back again." Replied the old woman, "O my lady, this damsel is a liar. Hast thou ever seen any of womankind with a dress of feathers? Indeed, this belongeth only to birds." But the damsel said to the Lady Zubaydah, "As thou livest, O my lady, she hath a feather-dress of mine and it is in a chest, which is buried in such a store-closet in the house." So Zubaydah took off her neck a rivière of jewels, worth all the treasures of Chosroe and Cæsar, and gave it to the old woman, saying, "O my mother, I conjure thee by my life, take this necklace and go and fetch us this dress, that we may divert ourselves with the sight thereof, and after take it again!" But she sware to her that she had never seen any such dress and wist not what the damsel meant by her speech. Then the Lady Zubaydah cried out at her and taking the key from her, called Masrur and said to him as soon as her came, "Take this key and go to the house; then open it and enter a store-closet there whose door is such and such and amiddlemost of it thou wilt find a chest buried. Take it out and break it open and bring me the feather-dress which is therein and set it before me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Lady Zubaydah, having taken the key from Hasan's mother, handed it to Masrur, saying, "Take this key and open such a closet; then bring forth of it the chest; break it open; bring me the feather-dress which is therein and set it before me." "Hearkening and obedience," replied he and taking the key went forth, whereupon the old woman arose and followed him, weeping-eyed and repenting her of having given ear to the damsel and gone with her to the bath, for her desire to go thither was but a device. So she went with him to the house and opened the door of the closet, and he entered and brought out the chest. Then he took therefrom the feather,dress and wrapping it in a napkin, carried it to the Lady Zubaydah, who took it and turned it about, marvelling at the beauty of its make; after which she gave it to the damsel, saying, "Is this thy dress of feathers?" She replied, "Yes, O my lady," and at once putting forth her hand, took it joyfully. Then she examined it and rejoiced to find it whole as it was, not a feather gone. So she rose and came down from beside the Lady Zubaydah and taking her sons in her bosom, wrapped herself in the feather-dress and became a bird, by the ordinance of Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!), whereat Zubaydah marvelled as did all who were present. Then she walked with a swaying and graceful gait and danced and sported and flapped her wings, whilst all eyes were fixed on her and all marvelled at what she did. Then said she with fluent tongue, "Is this goodly, O my ladies?"; and they replied, "Yes, O Princess of the fair! All thou dost is goodly." Said she, "And this, O my mistresses, that I am about to do is better yet." Then she spread her wings and flying up with her children to the dome of the palace, perched on the saloon-roof whilst they all looked at her, wide-eyed and said, "By Allah, this is indeed a rare and peregrine fashion! Never saw we its like." Then, as she was about to take flight for her own land, she bethought her of Hasan and said, "Hark ye, my mistresses!" and she improvised these couplets, [FN#94] "O who bast quitted these abodes and faredst lief and light * To other objects of thy love with fain and fastest flight! Deem'st thou that 'bided I with you in solace and in joy * Or that my days amid you all were clear of bane and blight? When I was captive ta'en of Love and snarèd in his snare, * He made of Love my prison and he fared fro' me forthright: So when my fear was hidden, he made sure that ne'er should I * Pray to the One, th' Omnipotent to render me my right: He charged his mother keep the secret with all the care she could, * In closet shut and treated me with enemy's despight: But I o'erheard their words and held them fast in memory * And hoped for fortune fair and weal and blessings infinite: My faring to the Hammam-bath then proved to me the means * Of making minds of folk to be confounded at my sight: Wondered the Bride of Al-Rashid to see my brilliancy * When she beheld me right and left with all of beauty dight: Then quoth I, 'O our Caliph's wife, I once was wont to own * A dress of feathers rich and rare that did the eyes delight: An it were now on me thou shouldst indeed see wondrous things * That would efface all sorrows and disperse all sores of sprite:' Then deigned our Caliph's Bride to cry, 'Where is that dress of thine?' * And I replied, 'In house of him kept darkling as the night.' So down upon it pounced Masrúr and brought it unto her, * And when 'twas there each feather cast a ray of beaming light: Therewith I took it from his hand and opened it straightway * And saw its plumèd bosom and its buttons pleased my sight: And so I clad myself therein and took with me my babes; * And spread my wings and flew away with all my main and might; Saying, 'O husband's mother mine tell him when cometh he * An ever wouldest meet her thou from house and home must flee."' When she had made an end of her verses, the Lady Zubaydah said to her, "Wilt thou not come down to us, that we may take our fill of thy beauty, O fairest of the fair? Glory be to Him who hath given thee eloquence and brilliance!" But she said, "Far be from me that the Past return should see!" Then said she to the mother of the hapless, wretched Hasan, "By Allah, O my lady, O mother of my husband, it irketh me to part from thee; but, whenas thy son cometh to thee and upon him the nights of severance longsome shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see and whenas breezes of love and longing shake him dolefully, let him come in the islands of Wák [FN#95] to me." Then she took flight with her children and sought her own country, whilst the old woman wept and beat her face and moaned and groaned till she swooned away. When she came to herself, she said to the Lady Zubaydah, "O my lady, what is this thou hast done?" And Zubaydah said to her, "O my lady the pilgrimess, I knew not that this would happen and hadst thou told me of the case and acquainted me with her condition, I had not gainsaid thee. Nor did I know until now that she was of the Flying Jinn; else had I not suffered her to don the dress nor permitted her to take her children: but now, O my lady, words profit nothing; so do thou acquit me of offence against thee." And the old woman could do no otherwise than shortly answer, "Thou art acquitted.!" Then she went forth the palace of the Caliphate and returned to her own house, where she buffeted her face till she swooned away, When she came to herself, she pined for her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren and for the sight of her son and versified with these couplets, "Your faring on the parting-day drew many a tear fro' me, * Who must your flying from the home long mourn in misery: And cried I for the parting pang in anguish likest fire * And tear-floods chafed mine eyelids sore that ne'er of tears were free; 'Yes, this is Severance, Ah, shall we e'er oy return of you? * For your departure hath deprived my power of privacy!' Ah, would they had returned to me in covenant of faith * An they return perhaps restore of past these eyne may see." Then arising she dug in the house three graves and betook herself to them with weeping all whiles of the day and watches of the night; and when her son's absence was longsome upon her and grief and yearning and unquiet waxed upon her, she recited these couplets, "Deep in mine eye-balls ever dwells the phantom-form of thee * My heart when throbbing or at rest holds fast thy memory: And love of thee doth never cease to course within my breast, * As course the juices in the fruits which deck the branchy tree: And every day I see thee not my bosom straightened is * And even censurers excuse the woes in me they see: O thou whose love hath gotten hold the foremost in the heart * Of me whose fondness is excelled by mine insanity: Fear the Compassionate in my case and some compassion show! * Love of thee makes me taste of death in bitterest pungency." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan's mother bewept through the watches of the night and the whiles of the day her separation from her son and his wife and children. On this wise it fared with her; but as regards Hasan, when he came to the Princesses, they conjured him to tarry with them three months, after which long sojourn they gave him five loads of gold and the like of silver and one load of victual and accompanied him on his homeward way till he conjured them to return, whereupon they farewelled him with an embrace; but the youngest came up to him, to bid him adieu and clasping his neck wept till she fainted. Then she recited these two couplets, "When shall the severance-fire be quenched by union, love, with you? * When shall I win my wish of you and days that were renew? The parting-day affrighted me and wrought me dire dismay * And doubleth woe, O master mine, by the sad word 'Adieu.'" Anon came forward the second Princess and embraced him and recited these two couplets, "Farewelling thee indeed is like to bidding life farewell * And like the loss of Zephyr [FN#96] 'tis to lose thee far our sight: Thine absence is a flaming fire which burneth up my heart * And in thy presence I enjoy the Gardens of Delight." [FN#97] Presently came forward the third and embraced him and recited these two couplets, "We left not taking leave of thee (when bound to other goal) * From aught of ill intention or from weariness and dole: Thou art my soul, my very soul, the only soul of me: * And how shall I farewell myself and say, 'Adieu my Soul?'" [FN#98] After her came forward the fourth and embraced him and recited these two couplets, "Nought garred me weep save where and when of severance spake he, * Persisting in his cruel will with sore persistency: Look at this pearl-like ornament I've hung upon mine ear: * 'Tis of the tears of me compact, this choicest jewelry!" In her turn came forward the fifth and embraced him and recited these two couplets, "Ah, fare thee not; for I've no force thy faring to endure, * Nor e'en to say the word farewell before my friend is sped: Nor any patience to support the days of severance, * Nor any tears on ruined house and wasted home to shed." Next came the sixth and embraced him and recited these two couplets, "I cried, as the camels went off with them, * And Love pained my vitals with sorest pain: Had I a King who would lend me rule * I'd seize every ship that dares sail the Main." Lastly came forward the seventh and embraced him and recited these couplets, "When thou seest parting, be patient still, * Nor let foreign parts deal thy soul affright: But abide, expecting a swift return, * For all hearts hold parting in sore despight." And eke these two couplets, "Indeed I'm heartbroken to see thee start, * Nor can I farewell thee ere thou depart; Allah wotteth I left not to say adieu * Save for fear that saying would melt your heart." Hasan also wept for parting from them, till he swooned, and repeated these couplets, "Indeed, ran my tears on the severance-day * Like pearls I threaded in necklace-way The cameleer drove his camels with song * But I lost heart, patience and strength and stay: I bade them farewell and retired in grief * From tryst-place and camp where my dearlings lay: I turned me unknowing the way nor joyed * My soul, but in hopes to return some day. Oh listen, my friend, to the words of love * God forbid thy heart forget all I say! O my soul when thou partest wi' them, part too * With all joys of life nor for living pray!" Then he farewelled them and fared on diligently night and day, till he came to Baghdad, the House of Peace and Sanctuary of the Abbaside Caliphs, unknowing what had passed during his wayfare. At once entering his house he went in to his mother to salute her, but found her worn of body and wasted of bones, for excess of mourning and watching, weeping and wailing, till she was grown thin as a toothpick and could not answer him a word. So he dismissed the dromedaries then asked her of his wife and children and she wept till she fainted, and he seeing her in this state searched the house for them, but found no trace of them. Then he went to the store-closet and finding it open and the chest broken and the feather-dress missing, knew forthright that his wife had possessed herself thereof and flown away with her children. Then he returned to his mother and, finding her recovered from her fit, questioned her of his spouse and babes, whereupon she wept and said, "O my son, may Allah amply requite thee their loss! These are their three tombs." [FN#99] When Hasan heard these words of his mother, he shrieked a loud shriek and fell down in a fainting-fit in which he lay from the first of the day till noon-tide; whereupon anguish was added to his mother's anguish and she despaired of his life. However, after a-while, he came to himself and wept and buffeted his face and rent his raiment and went about the house clean distraught, reciting these two couplets, [FN#100] "Folk have made moan of passion before me, of past years, * And live and dead for absence have suffered pains and fears; But that within my bosom I harbour, with mine eyes * I've never seen the like of nor heard with mine ears." Then finishing his verses he bared his brand and coming up to his mother, said to her, "Except thou tell me the truth of the case, I will strike off thy head and kill myself." She replied, "O my son, do not such deed: put up thy sword and sit down, till I tell thee what hath passed." So he sheathed his scymitar and sat by her side, whilst she recounted to him all that had happened in his absence from first to last, adding, "O my son, but that I saw her weep in her longing for the bath and feared that she would go and complain to thee on thy return, and thou wouldst be wroth with me. I had never carried her thither; and were it not that the Lady Zubaydah was wroth with me and took the key from me by force, I had never brought out the feather-dress, though I died for it. But thou knowest, O my son, that no hand may measure length with that of the Caliphate. When they brought her the dress, she took it and turned it over, fancying that somewhat might be lost thereof, but she found it uninjured; wherefore she rejoiced and making her children fast to her waist, donned the feather-vest, after the Lady Zubaydah had pulled off to her all that was upon herself and clad her therein, in honour of her and because of her beauty. No sooner had she donned the dress than she shook and becoming a bird, promenaded about the palace, whilst all who were present gazed at her and marvelled at her beauty and loveliness. Then she flew up to the palace roof and perching thereon, looked at me and said: 'Whenas thy son cometh to thee and the nights of separation upon him longsome shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see and whenas the breezes of love and longing shake him dolefully let him leave his native land and journey to the Islands of Wak and seek me.' This, then, is her story and what befel in thine absence."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as Hasan's mother had made an end of her story, he gave a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit which continued till the end of day, when he revived and fell to buffeting his face and writhing on the floor like a scotched snake. His mother sat weeping by his head until midnight, when he came to himself and wept sore and recited these couplets', [FN#101] "Pause ye and see his sorry state since when ye fain withdrew; * Haply, when wrought your cruelty, you'll have the grace to rue: For an ye look on him, you'll doubt of him by sickness-stress * As though, by Allah, he were one before ye never knew. He dies for nothing save for love of you, and he would be * Numbered amid the dead did not he moan and groan for you. And deem not pangs of severance sit all lightly on his soul; * 'Tis heavy load on lover-wight; 'twere lighter an ye slew." Then having ended his verse he rose and went round about the house, weeping and wailing, groaning and bemoaning himself, five days, during which he tasted nor meat nor drink. His mother came to him and conjured him, till he broke his fast, and besought him to leave weeping; but he hearkened not to her and continued to shed tears and lament, whilst she strove to comfort him and he heeded her not. Then he recited these couplets, [FN#102] "Beareth for love a burden sore this soul of me, * Could break a mortal's back however strong that be; I am distraught to see my case and languor grows * Making my day and night indifferent in degree: I own to having dreaded Death before this day: * This day I hold my death mine only remedy." And Hasan ceased not to do thus till daybreak, when his eyes closed and he saw in a dream his wife grief-full and repentant for that which she had done. So he started up from sleep crying out and reciting these two couplets, "Their image bides with me, ne'er quits me, ne'er shall fly; * But holds within my heart most honourable stead; But for reunion-hope, I'd see me die forthright, * And but for phantom-form of thee my sleep had fled." And as morning morrowed he redoubled his lamentations. He abode weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, wakeful by night and eating little, for a whole month, at the end of which he bethought him to repair to his sisters and take counsel with them in the matter of his wife, so haply they might help him to regain her. Accordingly he summoned the dromedaries and loading fifty of them with rarities of Al-Irak, committed the house to his mother's care and deposited all his goods in safe keeping, except some few he left at home. Then he mounted one of the beasts and set out on his journey single handed, intent upon obtaining aidance from the Princesses, and he stayed not till he reached the Palace of the Mountain of Clouds, when he went in to the damsels and gave them the presents in which they rejoiced. Then they wished him joy of his safety and said to him, "O our brother, what can ail thee to come again so soon, seeing thou wast with us but two months since?" Whereupon he wept and improvised these couplets, "My soul for loss of lover sped I sight; * Nor life enjoying neither life's delight: My case is one whose cure is all unknown; * Can any cure the sick but doctor wight? O who hast reft my sleep-joys, leaving me * To ask the breeze that blew from that fair site,-- Blew from my lover's land (the land that owns * Those charms so sore a grief in soul excite), 'O breeze, that visitest her land, perhaps * Breathing her scent, thou mayst revive my sprite!'" And when he ended his verse he gave a great cry and fell down in a fainting-fit. The Princesses sat round him, weeping over him, till he recovered and repeated these two couplets, "Haply and happily may Fortune bend her rein * Bringing my love, for Time's a freke of jealous strain; [FN#103] Fortune may prosper me, supply mine every want, * And bring a blessing where before were ban and bane." Then he wept till he fainted again, and presently coming to himself recited the two following couplets, "My wish, mine illness, mine unease! by Allah, own * Art thou content? then I in love contented wone! Dost thou forsake me thus sans crime or sin * Meet me in ruth, I pray, and be our parting gone." Then he wept till he swooned away once more and when he revived he repeated these couplets, "Sleep fled me, by my side wake ever shows * And hoard of tear-drops from these eyne aye flows; For love they weep with beads cornelian-like * And growth of distance greater dolence grows: Lit up my longing, O my love, in me * Flames burning 'neath my ribs with fiery throes! Remembering thee a tear I never shed * But in it thunder roars and leven glows." Then he wept till he fainted away a fourth time, and presently recovering, recited these couplets, "Ah! for lowe of love and longing suffer ye as suffer we? * Say, as pine we and as yearn we for you are pining ye? Allah do the death of Love, what a bitter draught is his! * Would I wot of Love what plans and what projects nurseth he! Your faces radiant-fair though afar from me they shine, * Are mirrored in our eyes whatsoever the distance be; My heart must ever dwell on the memories of your tribe; * And the turtle-dove reneweth all as oft as moaneth she: Ho thou dove, who passest night-tide in calling on thy fere, * Thou doublest my repine, bringing grief for company; And leavest thou mine eyelids with weeping unfulfilled * For the dearlings who departed, whom we never more may see: I melt for the thought of you at every time and hour, * And I long for you when Night showeth cheek of blackest blee." Now when his sister heard these words and saw his condition and how he lay fainting on the floor, she screamed and beat her face and the other Princesses hearing her scream came out and learning his misfortune and the transport of love and longing and the passion and distraction that possessed him they questioned him of his case. He wept and told them what had befallen in his absence and how his wife had taken flight with her children, wherefore they grieved for him and asked him what she said at leave-taking. Answered he, "O my sisters, she said to my mother, 'Tell thy son, whenas he cometh to thee and the nights of sever- ance upon him longsome shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see, and whenas the winds of love and longing shake him dolefully, let him fare in the Islands of Wak to me." When they heard his words they signed one to other with their eyes and shook their heads, and each looked at her sister, whilst Hasan looked at them all. Then they bowed their heads groundwards and bethought themselves awhile; after which they raised their heads and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; presently adding, "Put forth thy hand to heaven and when thou reach thither, then shalt thou win to thy wife.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Princesses said to Hasan, "Put forth thy hand to Heaven and when thou reach thither, then shalt thou win to wife and children," thereat the tears ran down his cheeks like rain and wet his clothes, and he recited these couplets, "Pink cheeks and eyes enpupil'd black have dealt me sore despight; * And whenas wake overpowered sleep my patience fled in fright: The fair and sleek-limbed maidens hard of heart withal laid waste * My very bones till not a breath is left for man to sight: Houris, who fare with gait of grace as roes o'er sandy-mound: * Did Allah's saints behold their charms they'd doat thereon forthright; Faring as fares the garden breeze that bloweth in the dawn. * For love of them a sore unrest and troubles rack my sprite: I hung my hopes upon a maid, a loveling fair of them, * For whom my heart still burns with lowe in Lazá-hell they light;-- A dearling soft of sides and haught and graceful in her gait, * Her grace is white as morning, but her hair is black as night: She stirreth me! But ah, how many heroes have her cheeks * Upstirred for love, and eke her eyes that mingle black and white." Then he wept, whilst the Princesses wept for his weeping, and they were moved to compassion and jealousy for him. So they fell to comforting him and exhorting him to patience and offering up prayers for his reunion with his wife; whilst his sister said to him, "O my brother, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear and be patient; so shalt thou win thy will; for whoso hath patience and waiteth, that he seeketh attaineth. Patience holdeth the keys of relief and indeed the poet saith, 'Let destiny with slackened rein its course appointed fare! And lie thou down to sleep by night, with heart devoid of care; For 'twixt the closing of an eye and th' opening thereof, God hath it in His power to change a case from foul to fair." [FN#104] So hearten thy heart and brace up thy resolve, for the son of ten years dieth not in the ninth. [FN#105] Weeping and grief and mourning gender sickness and disease; wherefore do thou abide with us till thou be rested, and I will devise some device for thy winning to thy wife and children, Inshallah--so it please Allah the Most High!" And he wept sore and recited these verses, "An I be healed of disease in frame, * I'm unhealed of illness in heart and sprite: There is no healing disease of love, * Save lover and loved one to re-unite." Then he sat down beside her and she proceeded to talk with him and comfort him and question him of the cause and the manner of his wife's departure. So he told her and she said, "By Allah, O my brother, I was minded to bid thee burn the feather-dress, but Satan made me forget it." She ceased not to converse with him and caress him and company with him other ten days, whilst sleep visited him not and he delighted not in food; and when the case was longsome upon him and unrest waxed in him, he versified with these couplets, "A beloved familiar o'erreigns my heart * And Allah's ruling reigns evermore: She hath all the Arab's united charms * This gazelle who feeds on my bosom's core. Though my skill and patience for love of her fail, * I weep whilst I wot that 'tis vain to deplore. The dearling hath twice seven years, as though * She were moon of five nights and of five plus four." [FN#106] When the youngest Princess saw him thus distracted for love and longing for passion and the fever-heat of desire, she went in to her sisterhood weeping-eyed and woeful-hearted, and shedding copious tears threw herself upon them, kissed their feet and besought them to devise some device for bringing Hasan to the Islands of Wak and effecting his reunion with his wife and wees. She ceased not to conjure them to further her brother in the accomplishment of his desire and to weep before them, till she made them weep and they said to her, "Hearten thy heart: we will do our best endeavour to bring about his reunion with his family, Inshallah!" And he abode with them a whole year, during which his eyes never could retain their tears. Now the sisterhood had an uncle, brother-german to their sire and his name was Abd al-Kaddús, or Slave of the Most Holy; and he loved the eldest with exceeding love and was wont to visit her once a year and do all she desired. They had told him of Hasan's adventure with the Magian and how he had been able to slay him; whereat he rejoiced and gave the eldest Princess a pouch [FN#107] which contained certain perfumes, saying, "O daughter of my brother, an thou be in concern for aught, or if aught irk thee, or thou stand in any need, cast of these perfumes upon fire naming my name and I will be with thee forthright and will do thy desire." This speech was spoken on the first of Moharram [FN#108]; and the eldest Princess said to one of the sisterhood, "Lo, the year is wholly past and my uncle is not come. Rise, bring me the fire-sticks and the box of perfumes." So the damsel arose rejoicing and, fetching what she sought, laid it before her sister, who opened the box and taking thence a little of the perfume, cast it into the fire naming her unde's name; nor was it burnt out ere appeared a dust-cloud at the farther end of the Wady; and presently lifting, it discovered a Shaykh riding on an elephant, which moved at a swift and easy pace, and trumpeted under the rider. As soon as he came within sight of the Princesses, he began making signs to them with his hands and feet; nor was it long ere he reached the castle and, alighting from the elephant, came in to them, whereupon they embraced him and kissed his hands and saluted him with the salam. Then he sat down, whilst the girls talked with him and questioned him of his absence. Quoth he, "I was sitting but now with my wife, your aunt, when I smelt the perfumes and hastened to you on this elephant. What wouldst thou, O daughter of my brother?" Quoth she, "O uncle, indeed we longed for thee, as the year is past and 'tis not thy wont to be absent from us more than a twelvemonth." Answered he, "I was busy, but I purposed to come to you to-morrow." Wherefore they thanked him and blessed him and sat talking with him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundredth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the girls sat down to chat with their uncle the eldest said to him "O my uncle, we told thee the tale of Hasan of Bassorah, whom Bahram the Magian brought and how he slew the wizard and how, after enduring all manner of hardships and horrors, he made prize of the Supreme King's daughter and took her to wife and journeyed with her to his native land?" Replied he, "Yes, and what befel him after that?" Quoth the Princess, "She played him false after he was blest with two sons by her; for she took them in his absence and fled with them to her own country, saying to his mother: 'Whenas thy son returneth to thee and asketh for me and upon him the nights of severance longsome shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see and whenas the breezes of love and longing shake him dolefully, let him come in the Islands of Wak to me.'" When Abd al-Kaddus heard this, he shook his head and bit his forefinger; then, bowing his brow groundwards he began to make marks on the earth with his finger-tips; [FN#109] after which he again shook his head and looked right and left and shook his head a third time, whilst Hasan watched him from a place where he was hidden from him. Then said the Princesses to their uncle, "Return us some answer, for our hearts are rent in sunder." But he shook his head at them, saying, "O my daughters, verily hath this man wearied himself in vain and cast himself into grievous predicament and sore peril; for he may not gain access to the Islands of Wak." With this the Princesses called Hasan, who came forth and, advancing to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, kissed his hand and saluted him. The old man rejoiced in him and seated him by his side; whereupon quoth the damsels, "O uncle, acquaint our brother Hasan with that thou hast told us." So he said to Hasan, "O my son, put away from thee this peine forte et dure; for thou canst never gain access to the Islands of Wak, though the Flying Jinn and the Wandering Stars were with thee; for that betwixt thee and these islands are seven Wadys and seven seas and seven mighty mountains. How then canst thou come at this stead and who shall bring thee thither? Wherefore, Allah upon thee, O my son, do thou reckon thy spouse and sons as dead and turn back forthright and weary not thy sprite! Indeed, I give thee good counsel, an thou wilt but accept it." Hearing these words from the Shaykh, Hasan wept till he fainted, and the Princesses sat round him, weeping for his weeping, whilst the youngest sister rent her raiment and buffeted her face, till she swooned away. When Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus saw them in this transport of grief and trouble and mourning, he was moved to ruth for them and cried, "Be ye silent!" Then said he to Hasan, "O my son, hearten thy heart and rejoice in the winning of thy wish, an it be the will of Allah the Most High;" presently adding, "Rise, O my son, take courage and follow me." So Hasan arose forthright and after he had taken leave of the Princesses followed him, rejoicing in the fulfilment of his wish. Then the Shaykh called the elephant and mounting, took Hasan up behind him and fared on three days with their nights, like the blinding leven, till he came to a vast blue mountain, whose stones were all of azure hue and amiddlemost of which was a cavern, with a door of Chinese iron. Here he took Hasan's hand and let him down and alighting dismissed the elephant. Then he went up to the door and knocked, whereupon it opened and there came out to him a black slave, hairless, as he were an Ifrit, with brand in right hand and targe of steel in left. When he saw Abd al-Kaddus, he threw sword and buckler from his grip and coming up to the Shaykh kissed his hand. Thereupon the old man took Hasan by the hand and entered with him, whilst the slave shut the door behind them; when Hasan found himself in a vast cavern and a spacious, through which ran an arched corridor and they ceased not faring on therein a mile or so, till it abutted upon a great open space and thence they made for an angle of the mountain wherein were two huge doors cast of solid brass. The old man opened one of them and said to Hasan, "Sit at the door, whilst I go within and come back to thee in haste, and beware lest thou open it and enter." Then he fared inside and, shutting the door after him, was absent during a full sidereal hour, after which he returned, leading a black stallion, thin of flank and short of nose, which was ready bridled and saddled, with velvet housings; and when it ran it flew, and when it flew, the very dust in vain would pursue; and brought it to Hasan, saying, "Mount!" So he mounted and Abd al-Kaddus opened the second door, beyond which appeared a vast desert. Then the twain passed through the door into that desert and the old man said to him, "O my son, take this scroll and wend thou whither this steed will carry thee. When thou seest him stop at the door of a cavern like this, alight and throw the reins over the saddle-bow and let him go. He will enter the cavern, which do thou not enter with him, but tarry at the door five days, without being weary of waiting. On the sixth day there will come forth to thee a black Shaykh, clad all in sable, with a long white beard, flowing down to his navel. As soon as thou seest him, kiss his hands and seize his skirt and lay it on thy head and weep before him, till he take pity on thee and he will ask thee what thou wouldst have. When he saith to thee, 'What is thy want?' give him this scroll which he will take without speaking and go in and leave thee. Wait at the door other five days, without wearying, and on the sixth day expect him; and if he come out to thee himself, know that thy wish will be won, but, if one of his pages come forth to thee, know that he who cometh forth to thee, purposeth to kill thee; and--the Peace! [FN#110] For know, O my son, that whoso self imperilleth doeth himself to death;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and First Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after handing the scroll to Hasan, Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus told him what would befal him and said, "Whoso self imperilleth doeth himself to death; but also who ventureth naught advantageth naught. However an thou fear for thy life, cast it not into danger of destruction; but, an thou fear not, up and do thy will, for I have expounded to thee the whole case. Yet shouldest thou be minded to return to thy friends, the elephant is still here and he will carry thee to my nieces, who will restore thee to thy country and return thee to thy home, and Allah will vouchsafe thee a better than this girl, of whom thou art enamoured." Hasan answered the Shaykh, saying, "And how shall life be sweet to me, except I win my wish? By Allah, I will never turn back, till I regain my beloved or my death overtake me!" And he wept and recited these couplets, "For loss of lover mine and stress of love I dree, * I stood bewailing self in deep despondency. Longing for him, the Spring-camp's dust I kissed and kissed, * But this bred more of grief and galling reverie. God guard the gone, who in our hearts must e'er abide * With nearing woes and joys which still the farther flee. They say me, 'Patience!' But they bore it all away: * On parting-day, and left me naught save tormentry. And naught affrighted me except the word he said, * 'Forget me not when gone nor drive from memory.' To whom shall turn I? hope in whom when you are lost? * Who were my only hopes and joys and woes of me? But ah, the pang of home-return when parting thus! * How joyed at seeing me return mine enemy. Then well-away! this 'twas I guarded me against! * And ah, thou lowe of Love double thine ardency![FN#111] An fled for aye my friends I'll not survive the flight; * Yet an they deign return, Oh joy! Oh ecstacy! Never, by Allah tears and weeping I'll contain * For loss of you, but tears on tears and tears will rain." When Abd al-Kaddus heard his verse he knew that he would not turn back from his desire nor would words have effect on him, and was certified that naught would serve him but he must imperil himself, though it lose him his life. So he said to him, "Know, O my son, that the Islands of Wak are seven islands, wherein is a mighty host, all virgin girls, and the Inner Isles are peopled by Satans and Marids and warlocks and various tribesmen of the Jinn; and whoso entereth their land never returneth thence; at least none hath done so to this day. So, Allah upon thee, return presently to thy people, for know that she whom thou seekest is the King's daughter of all these islands: and how canst thou attain to her? Hearken to me, O my son, and haply Allah will vouchsafe thee in her stead a better than she." "O my lord," answered Hasan, though for the love of her I were cut in pieces yet should I but redouble in love and transport! There is no help but that I enter the Wak Islands and come to the sight of my wife and children; and Inshallah, I will not return save with her and with them." Said the Shaykh, "Then nothing will serve thee but thou must make the journey?" Hasan replied "Nothing! and I only ask of thee thy prayers for help and aidance; so haply Allah will reunite me with my wife and children right soon." Then he wept for stress of longing and recited these couplets, "You are my wish, of creatures brightest-light * I deem you lief as hearing, fain as sight: You hold my heart which hath become your home * And since you left me, lords, right sore's my plight: Then think not I have yielded up your love, * Your love which set this wretch in fierce affright: You went and went my joy whenas you went; * And waned and wax'ed wan the brightest light: You left me lone to watch the stars in woe: * Railing tears likest rain-drops infinite. Thou'rt longsome to the wight, who pining lies * On wake, moon-gazing through the night, O Night! Wind! an thou pass the tribe where they abide * Give them my greeting, life is fain of flight. And tell them somewhat of the pangs I bear: * The loved one kenneth not my case aright." Then he wept with sore weeping till he fainted away; and when he came to himself, Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus said to him, "O my son, thou hast a mother; make her not taste the torment of thy loss." Hasan replied, "By Allah, O my lord, I will never return except with my wife, or my death shall overtake me." And he wept and wailed and recited these couplets, "By Love's right! naught of farness thy slave can estrange * Nor am I one to fail in my fealty: I suffer such pains did I tell my case * To folk, they'd cry, 'Madness! clean witless is he!' Then ecstasy, love-longing, transport and lowe! * Whose case is such case how shall ever he be?" With this the old man knew that he would not turn from his purpose, though it cost him his life; so he handed him the scroll and prayed for him and charged him how he should do, saying "I have in this letter given a strict charge concerning thee to Abú al-Ruwaysh, [FN#112] son of Bilkís, daughter of Mu'in, for he is my Shaykh and my teacher, and all, men and Jinn, humble themselves to him and stand in awe of him. And now go with the blessing of God." Hasan forthright set out giving the horse the rein, and it flew off with him swiftlier than lightning, and stayed not in its course ten days, when he saw before him a vast loom black as night, walling the world from East to West. As he neared it, the stallion neighed under him, whereupon there flocked to it horses in number as the drops of rain, none could tell their tale or against them prevail, and fell to rubbing themselves against it. Hasan was affrighted at them and fared forwards surrounded by the horses, without drawing rein till he came to the cavern which Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus had described to him. The steed stood still at the door and Hasan alighted and bridged the bridle over the saddle-bow [FN#113]; whereupon the steed entered the cavern, whilst the rider abode without, as the old man had charged him, pondering the issue of his case in perplexity and distraction and unknowing what would befal him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Second Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan, dismounting from the steed, stood at the cavern-mouth pondering the issue of his case and unknowing what might befal him. He abode standing on the same spot five days with their nights, sleepless, mournful, tearful-eyed; distracted, perplexed, pondering his severance from home and family, comrades and friends, with weeping eye-lids and heavy heart. Then he bethought him of his mother and of what might yet happen to him and of his separation from his wife and children and of all that he had suffered, and he recited these couplets, "With you is my heart-cure a heart that goes; * And from hill-foot of eyelids the tear-rill flows: And parting and sorrow and exile and dole * And farness from country and throe that o'erthrows: Naught am I save a lover distracted by love, * Far parted from loved one and wilted by woes. And 'tis Love that hath brought me such sorrow, say where * Is the noble of soul who such sorrow unknows?" Hardly had Hasan made an end of his verses, when out came the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh, a blackamoor and clad in black raiment, and at first sight he knew him by the description that Abd al-Kaddus had given him. He threw himself at his feet and rubbed his cheeks on them and seizing his skirt, laid it on his head and wept before him. Quoth the old man, "What wantest thou, O my son?" Whereupon he put out his hand to him with the letter, and Abu al-Ruwaysh took it and reentered the cavern, without making him any answer. So Hasan sat down at the cave-mouth in his place other five days as he had been bidden, whilst concern grew upon him and terror redoubled on him and restlessness gat hold of him, and he fell to weeping and bemoaning himself for the anguish of estrangement and much watching. And he recited these couplets, "Glory to Him who guides the skies! * The lover sore in sorrow lies. Who hath not tasted of Love's food * Knows not what mean its miseries. Did I attempt to stem my tears * Rivers of blood would fount and rise. How many an intimate is hard * Of heart, and pains in sorest wise! An she with me her word would keep, * Of tears and sighs I'd fain devise, But I'm forgone, rejected quite * Ruin on me hath cast her eyes. At my fell pangs fell wildlings weep * And not a bird for me but cries." Hasan ceased not to weep till dawn of the sixth day, when Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh came forth to him, clad in white raiment, and with his hand signed [FN#114] to him to enter. So he went in, rejoicing and assured of the winning of his wish, and the old man took him by the hand and leading him into the cavern, fared on with him half a day's journey, till they reached an arched doorway with a door of steel. The Shaykh opened the door and they two entered a vestibule vaulted with onyx stones and arabesqued with gold, and they stayed not walking till they came to a great hall and a wide, paved and walled with marble. In its midst was a flower-garden containing all manner trees and flowers and fruits, with birds warbling on the boughs and singing the praises of Allah the Almighty Sovran; and there were four daises, each facing other, and in each dais a jetting fountain, at whose corners stood lions of red gold, spouting gerbes from their mouths into the basin. On each dais stood a chair, whereon sat an elder, with exceeding store of books before him [FN#115] and censers of gold, containing fire and perfumes, and before each elder were students, who read the books to him. Now when the twain entered, the elders rose to them and did them honour; whereupon Abu al-Ruwaysh signed to them to dismiss their scholars and they did so. Then the four arose and seating themselves before that Shaykh, asked him of the case of Hasan to whom he said, "Tell the company thy tale and all that hath betided thee from the beginning of thine adventure to the end." So Hasan wept with sore weeping and related to them his story with Bahram; whereupon all the Shaykhs cried out and said, "Is this indeed he whom the Magian caused to climb the Mountain of Clouds by means of the vultures, sewn up in the camel-hide?" And Hasan said, "Yes." So they turned to the Shaykh, Abu al-Ruwaysh and said to him, "O our Shaykh, of a truth Bahram contrived his mounting to the mountaintop; but how came he down and what marvels saw he there?" And Abu al-Ruwaysh said, "O Hasan, tell them how thou camest down and acquaint them with what thou sawest of marvels." So he told them all that had befallen him, first and last; how he had gotten the Magian into his power and slain him, how he had delivered the youth from him and sent him back to his own country, and how he had captured the King's daughter of the Jinn and married her; yet had she played him false and taken the two boys she had borne him and flown away; brief, he related to them all the hardships and horrors he had undergone; whereat they marvelled, each and every, and said to Abu al-Ruwaysh, "O elder of elders, verily by Allah, this youth is to be pitied! But belike thou wilt aid him to recover his wife and wees."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Third Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan told his tale to the elders, they said to Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh, "This youth is to be pitied and haply thou wilt aid him to recover his wife and wees." He replied, "O my brothers, in very sooth this is a grave matter and a perilous; and never saw I any loathe his life save this youth. You know that the Islands of Wak are hard of access and that none may come to them but at risk of life; and ye know also the strength of their people and their guards. Moreover I have sworn an oath not to tread their soil nor transgress against them in aught; so how shall this man come at the daughter of the Great King, and who hath power to bring him to her or help him in this matter?" Replied the other, "O Shaykh of Shaykhs, verily this man is consumed with desire and he hath endangered himself to bring thee a scroll from thy brother Abd al-Kaddus; wherefore it behoveth thee to help him." And Hasan arose and kissed Abu al-Ruwaysh's feet and raising the hem of his garment laid it on his head, weeping and crying. "I beseech thee, by Allah, to reunite me with my wife and children, though it cost me my life and my soul!" The four elders all wept for his weeping and said to Abu al-Ruwaysh, "Deal generously with this unhappy and show him kindness for the sake of thy brother Abd al-Kaddus and profit by this occasion to earn reward from Allah for helping him." Quoth he, "This wilful youth weeteth not what he undertaketh; but Inshallah! we will help him after the measure of our means, nor leave aught feasible undone." When Hasan heard the Shaykh's word he rejoiced and kissed the hands of the five elders, one after other, imploring their aidance. Thereupon Abd al-Ruwaysh took inkcase and a sheet of paper and wrote a letter, which he sealed and gave to Hasan, together with a pouch of perfumed leather, [FN#116] containing incense and fire-sticks [FN#117] and other needs, and said to him, "Take strictest care of this pouch, and whenas thou fallest into any strait, burn a little of the incense therein and name my name, whereupon I will be with thee forthright and save thee from thy stress." Moreover, he bade one of those present fetch him an Ifrit of the Flying Jinn; and he did so incontinently; whereupon quoth Abu al-Ruwaysh to the fire-drake, "What is thy name!" Replied the Ifrit, "Thy thrall is hight Dahnash bin Faktash." And the Shaykh said "Draw near to me!" So Dahnash drew near to him and he put his mouth to his ear and said somewhat to him, whereat the Ifrit shook his head and answered, "I accept, O elder of elders!" Then said Abu al-Ruwaysh to Hasan, "Arise, O my son, mount the shoulders of this Ifrit, Dahnash the Flyer; but, when he heaveth thee heavenwards and thou hearest the angels glorifying God a-welkin with 'Subhána Iláh,' have a care lest thou do the like; else wilt thou perish and he too." Hasan replied, "I will not say a word; no, never;" and the old man continued, "O Hasan, after faring with thee all this day, to-morrow at peep of dawn he will set thee down in a land cleanly white, like unto camphor, whereupon do thou walk on ten days by thyself, till thou come to the gate of a city. Then enter and enquire for the King of the city; and when thou comest to his presence, salute him with the salam and kiss his hand: then give him this scroll and consider well whatso he shall counsel thee," Hasan replied, "Hearing and obeying," and rose up and mounted the Ifrit's shoulders, whilst the elders rose and offered up prayers for him and commended him to the care of Dahnash the Firedrake. And when he had perched on the Flyer's back the Ifrit soared with him to the very confines of the sky, till he heard the angels glorifying God in Heaven, and flew on with him a day and a night till at dawn of the next day he set him down in a land white as camphor, and went his way, leaving him there. When Hasan found himself in the land aforesaid with none by his side he fared on night and day for ten days, till he came to the gate of the city in question and entering, enquired for the King. They directed him to him and told him that his name was King Hassún, [FN#118] Lord of the Land of Camphor, and that he had troops and soldiers enough to fill the earth in its length and breadth. So he sought audience of him and, being admitted to his presence, found him a mighty King and kissed ground between his hands. Quoth the King, "What is thy want?" Whereupon Hasan kissed the letter and gave it to him. The King read it and shook his head awhile, then said to one of his officers, "Take this youth and lodge him in the house of hospitality." So he took him and stablished him in the guest-house, where he tarried three days, eating and drinking and seeing none but the eunuch who waited on him and who entertained him with discourse and cheered him with his company, questioning him of his case and how he came to that city; whereupon he told him his whole story, and the perilous condition wherein he was. On the fourth day, that eunuch carried him before the King, who said to him, "O Hasan, thou comest to me, seeking to enter the Islands of Wak, as the Shaykh of Shaykhs adviseth me. O my son, I would send thee thither this very day, but that by the way are many perils and thirsty wolds full of terrors; yet do thou have patience and naught save fair shall befal thee, for needs must I devise to bring thee to thy desire, Inshallah! Know, O my son, that here is a mighty host, [FN#119] equipped with arms and steeds and warlike gear, who long to enter the Wak Islands and lack power thereto. But, O my son, for the sake of the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh, son of Bilkis, [FN#120] the daughter of Mu'in, I may not send thee back to him unfulfilled of thine affair. Presently there will come to us ships from the Islands of Wak and the first that shall arrive I will send thee on board of her and give thee in charge to the sailors, so they may take care of thee and carry thee to the Islands. If any question thee of thy case and condition, answer him saying, 'I am kinsman to King Hassun, Lord of the Land of Camphor;' and when the ship shall make fast to the shore of the Islands of Wak and the master shall bid thee land, do thou land. Now as soon as thou comest ashore, thou wilt see a multitude of wooden settles all about the beach, of which do thou choose thee one and crouch under it and stir not. And when dark night sets in, thou wilt see an army of women appear and flock about the goods landed from the ship, and one of them will sit down on the settle, under which thou hast hidden thyself, whereupon do thou put forth thy hand to her and take hold of her and implore her protection. And know thou, O my son, that an she accord thee protection, thou wilt win thy wish and regain thy wife and children; but, if she refuse to protect thee, make thy mourning for thyself and give up all hope of life, and make sure of death for indeed thou art a dead man. Understand, O my son, that thou adventurest thy life and this is all I can do for thee, and--the peace!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fourth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Hassun spake these words to Hasan and charged him as we have related, ending with, "This is all I can do for thee and know that except the Lord of Heaven had aided thee, thou hadst not come hither!" The youth wept till he swooned away, and when he recovered, he recited these two couplets, "A term decreed my lot I 'spy; * And, when its days shall end, I die. Though lions fought with me in lair * If Time be mine I'd beat them, I!" Then having ended his verse he kissed the ground before the Sovran and said to him, "O mighty King, how many days remain till the coming of the ships?" Replied the other, "In a month's time they will come and will tarry here, selling their cargueson, other two months, after which they will return to their own country; so hope not to set out save after three whole months." Then the King bade him return to the house of hospitality and bade supply him with all that he needed of meat and drink and raiment fit for Kings. Hasan abode in the guest-house a month, at the end of which the vessels arrived and the King and the merchants went forth to them, taking Hasan with them. Amongst them he saw a ship with much people therein, like the shingles for number; none knew their tale save He who created them. She was anchored in mid-harbour and had cocks which transported her lading to the shore. So Hasan abode till the crew had landed all the goods and sold and bought and to the time of departure there wanted but three days; whereupon the King sent for him and equipped him with all he required and gave him great gifts: after which he summoned the captain of the great ship and said to him, "Take this youth with thee in the vessel, so none may know of him save thou, and carry him to the Islands of Wak and leave him there; and bring him not back." And the Rais said, "To hear is to obey: with love and gladness!" Then quoth the King to Hasan, "Look thou tell none of those who are with thee in the ship thine errand nor discover to them aught of thy case; else thou art a lost man;" and quoth he, "Hearing and obedience!" With this he farewelled the King, after he had wished him long life and victory over his enviers and his enemies; wherefore the King thanked him and wished him safety and the winning of his wish. Then he committed him to the captain, who laid him in a chest which he embarked in a dinghy, and bore him aboard, whilst the folk were busy in breaking bulk and no man doubted but the chest contained somewhat of merchandise. After this, the vessels set sail and fared on without ceasing ten days, and on the eleventh day they made the land. So the Rais set Hasan ashore and, as he walked up the beach, he saw wooden settles [FN#121] without number, none knew their count save Allah, even as the King had told him. He went on, till he came to one that had no fellow and hid under it till nightfall, when there came up a mighty many of women, as they were locusts over-swarming the land and they marched afoot and armed cap-à-pie in hauberks and strait-knit coats of mail hending drawn swords in their hands, who, seeing the merchandise landed from the ships, busied themselves therewith. Presently they sat down to rest themselves, and one of them seated herself on the settle under which Hasan had crouched: whereupon he took hold of the hem of her garment and laid it on his head and throwing himself before her, fell to kissing her hands and feet and weeping and crying, "Thy protection! thy good-will!" Quoth she, "Ho, thou! Arise and stand up, ere any see thee and slay thee." So he came forth and springing up kissed her hands and wept and said to her, "O my mistress, I am under thy protection!"; adding, "Have ruth on one who is parted from his people and wife and children, one who hath haste to rejoin them and one who adventureth life and soul for their sake! Take pity on me and be assured that therefor Paradise will be thy reward; or, an thou wilt not receive me, I beseech thee, by Allah the Great, the Concealer, to conceal my case!" The merchants stared to see him talking with her; and she, hearing his words and beholding his humility, was moved to ruth for him; her heart inclined to him and she knew that he had not ventured himself and come to that place, save for a grave matter. So she said to him, "O my son, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, hearten thy heart and take courage and return to thy hiding-place till the coming night, and Allah shall do as He will." Then she took leave of him and Hasan crept under the wooden settle as before, whilst the troops lighted flambeaux of wax mixed with aloes-wood and Nadd-perfume and crude ambergris [FN#122] and passed the night in sport and delight till the morning. At daybreak, the boats returned to the shore and the merchants busied themselves with buying and selling and the transport of the goods and gear till nightfall, whilst Hasan lay hidden beneath the settle, weeping-eyed and woeful-hearted, knowing not what was decreed to him in the secret preordainment of Allah. As he was thus, behold, the merchant-woman with whom he had taken refuge came up to him and giving him a habergeon and a helmet, a spear, a sword and a gilded girdle, bade him don them and seat himself on the settle after which she left him, for fear of the troops. So he arose and donned the mail-coat and helmet and clasped the girdle about his middle; then he slung the sword over his shoulder till it hung under his armpit, and taking the spear in his hand, sat down on that settle, whilst his tongue neglected not to name Allah Almighty and call on Him for protection.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan received the weapons which the merchant-woman had given to him, saying, "Sit thee upon the settle and let none wot thy case," he armed himself and took his seat, whilst his tongue neglected not to name Allah Almighty and to call upon Him for protection. And behold, there appeared cressets and lanthorns and flambeaux and up came the army of women. So he arose and mingling with them, became as one of them. A little before daybreak, they set out, and Hasan with them, and fared on till they came to their camp, where they dispersed each to her tent, and Hasan followed one of them and lo! it was hers for whose protection he had prayed. When she entered, she threw down her arms and doffed her hauberk and veil. So Hasan did the like and looking at his companion, saw her to be a grizzled old woman blue-eyed and big-nosed, a calamity of calamities, the foulest of all created things, with face pock-marked and eyebrows bald, gap-toothed and chap-fallen, with hair hoary, nose running and mouth slavering; [FN#123] even as saith the like of her the poet, "In her cheek-corners nine calamities * Wone, and when shown, each one Jehannam is: Hideous the face and favour foulest foul * As cheek of hog; yea, 'tis a cesspool phiz." And indeed she was like a pied snake or a scald she-wolf. Now when the old woman looked at Hasan, she marvelled and said, "How came this one to these lands and in which of the ships was he and how arrived he hither in safety?" And she fell to questioning him of his case and admiring at his arrival, whereupon he fell at her feet and rubbed his face on them and wept till he fainted; and, when he recovered himself, he recited these couplets, "When will Time grant we meet, when shall we be * Again united after severance stark? And I shall win my choicest wish and view? * Blame end and Love abide without remark? Were Nile to flow as freely as my tears, * 'Twould leave no region but with water-mark: 'Twould overthrow Hijaz and Egypt-land * 'Twould deluge Syria and 'twould drown Irák. This, O my love, is caused by thy disdain, * Be kind and promise meeting fair and fain!" Then he took the crone's skirt and laid it on his head and fell to weeping and craving her protection. When she saw his ardency and transport and anguish and distress, her heart softened to him and she promised him her safeguard, saying, "Have no fear whatsoever." Then she questioned him of his case and he told her the manner of his coming thither and all that had befallen him from beginning to end, whereat she marvelled and said, "This that hath betide thee, methinks, never betided any save thyself and except thou hadst been vouchsafed the especial protection of Allah, thou hadst not been saved: but now, O my son, take comfort and be of good courage; thou hast nothing more to fear, for indeed thou hast won thy wish and attained thy desire, if it please the Most High!" Thereat Hasan rejoiced with joy exceeding and she sent to summon the captains of the army to her presence, and it was the last day of the month. So they presented themselves and the old woman said to them, "Go out and proclaim to all the troops that they come forth to-morrow at daybreak and let none tarry behind, for whoso tarryeth shall be slain." They replied, "We hear and we obey," and going forth, made proclamation to all the host anent a review next morning, even as she bade them, after which they returned and told her of this; whereby Hasan knew that she was the Commander-in-chief of the army and the Viceregent in authority over them; and her name was Shawahí the Fascinator, entituled Umm al-Dawáhi, or Mother of Calamities. [FN#124] She ceased not to bid and forbid and Hasan doffed not off his arms from his body that day. Now when the morning broke, all the troops fared forth from their places, but the old woman came not out with them, and as soon as they were sped and the stead was clear of them, she said to Hasan, "Draw near unto me, O my son [FN#125]." So he drew near unto her and stood between her hands. Quoth she, "Why and wherefore hast thou adventured thyself so boldly as to enter this land, and how came thy soul to consent to its own undoing? Tell me the truth and the whole truth and fear aught of ill come of it, for thou hast my plighted word and I am moved to compassion for thy case and pity thee and have taken thee under my protection. So, if thou tell me the truth, I will help thee to win thy wish, though it involve the undoing of souls and the destruction of bodies; and since thou hast come to seek me, no hurt shall betide thee from me, nor will I suffer any to have at thee with harm of all who be in the Islands of Wak." So he told her his tale from first to last, acquainting her with the matter of his wife and of the birds; how he had captured her as his prize from amongst the ten and married her and abode with her, till she had borne him two sons, and how she had taken her children and flown away with them, whenas she knew the way to the feather-dress. Brief, he concealed from her no whit of his case, from the beginning to that day. But when Shawahi heard his relation, she shook her head and said to him, "Glory be to God who hath brought thee hither in safety and made thee hap upon me! For, hadst thou happened on any but myself, thou hadst lost thy life without winning thy wish; but the truth of thine intent and thy fond affection and the excess of thy love-longing for thy wife and yearning for thy children, these it was that have brought thee to the attainment of thine aim. Didst thou not love her and love her to distraction, thou hadst not thus imperilled thyself, and Alhamdolillah--Praised be Allah--for thy safety! Wherefore it behoveth us to do thy desire and conduce to thy quest, so thou mayst presently attain that thou seekest, if it be the will of Almighty Allah. But know, O my son, that thy wife is not here, but in the seventh of the Islands of Wak and between us and it is seven months' journey, night and day. From here we go to an island called the Land of Birds, wherein, for the loud crying of the birds and the flapping of their wings, one cannot hear other speak."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman said to Hasan, "Indeed thy wife is in the Seventh Island, [FN#126] the greatest amongst the Islands of Wak and betwixt us and it is a seven-months' journey. From here we fare for the Land of Birds, whereon for the force of their flying and the flapping of their wings, we cannot hear one other speak. Over that country we journey night and day, eleven days, after which we come forth of it to another called the Land of Ferals where, for stress of roaring of lions and howling of wolves and laughing of hyaenas and the crying of other beasts of prey we shall hear naught, and therein we travel twenty days' journey. Then we issue therefrom and come to a third country, called the Land of the Jánn, where, for stress of the crying of the Jinn and the flaming of fires and the flight of sparks and smoke from their mouths and the noise of their groaning and their arrogance in blocking up the road before us, our ears will be deafened and our eyes blinded, so that we shall neither hear nor see, nor dare any look behind him, or he perisheth: but there horseman boweth head on saddle-bow and raiseth it not for three days. After this, we abut upon a mighty mountain and a running river contiguous with the Isles of Wak, which are seven in number and the extent whereof is a whole year's journey for a well-girt horseman. And thou must know, O my son, that these troops are all virgin girls, and that the ruler over us is a woman of the Archipelago of Wak. On the bank of the river aforesaid is another mountain, called Mount Wak, and it is thus named by reason of a tree which beareth fruits like heads of the Sons of Adam. [FN#127] When the sun riseth on them, the heads cry out all, saying in their cries:-- 'Wak! Wak! Glory be to the Creating King, Al-Khallák!' And when we hear their crying, we know that the sun is risen. In like manner, at sundown, the heads set up the same cry, 'Wak! Wak! Glory to Al-Khallak!' and so we know that the sun hath set. No man may abide with us or reach to us or tread our earth: and betwixt us and the abiding-place of the Queen who ruleth over us is a month's journey from this shore, all the lieges whereof are under her hand, as are also the tribes of the Jinn, Marids and Satans, while of the warlocks none kenneth the number save He who created them. Wherefore, an thou be afraid, I will send with thee one who will convey thee to the coast and there bring one who will embark thee on board a ship that bear thee to thine own land. But an thou be content to tarry with us, I will not forbid thee and thou shalt be with me in mine eye, [FN#128] till thou win thy wish, Inshallah!" Quoth he, "O my lady, I will never quit thee till I foregather with my wife or lose my life!"; and quoth she, "This is a light matter; be of good heart, for soon shalt thou come to thy desire, Allah willing; and there is no help but that I let the Queen know of thee, that she may help thee to attain thine aim." Hasan blessed her and kissed her head and hands, thanking her for her good deed and exceeding kindness and firm will. Then he set out with her, pondering the issue of his case and the horrors of his strangerhood; wherefore he fell a-weeping and a-wailing and recited these couplets, "A Zephyr bloweth from the lover's site; * And thou canst view me in the saddest plight: The Night of Union is as brilliant morn; * And black the Severance-day as blackest night: Farewelling friend is sorrow sorest sore * Parting from lover's merest undelight. I will not blame her harshness save to her, * And 'mid mankind nor friend nor fere I sight: How can I be consoled for loss of you? * Base censor's blame shall not console my sprite! O thou in charms unique, unique's my love; * O peerless thou, my heart hath peerless might! Who maketh semblance that be loveth you * And dreadeth blame is most blame-worthy wight." Then the old woman bade beat the kettle-drums for departure and the army set out. Hasan fared with her, drowned in the sea of solicitude and reciting verses like those above, whilst she strave to comfort him and exhorted him to patience; but he awoke not from his tristesse and heeded not her exhortations. They journeyed thus till they came to the boundaries of the Land of Birds [FN#129] and when they entered it, it seemed to Hasan as if the world were turned topsy-turvy for the exceeding clamour. His head ached and his mind was dazed, his eyes were blinded and his ears deafened, and he feared with exceeding fear and made certain of deaths saying to himself, "If this be the Land of Birds, how will be the Land of Beasts?" But, when the crone hight Shawahi saw him in this plight, she laughed at him, saying, "O my son, if this be thy case in the first island, how will it fare with thee, when thou comest to the others?" So he prayed to Allah and humbled himself before the Lord, beseeching Him to assist him against that wherewith He had afflicted him and bring him to his wishes; and they ceased not going till they passed out of the Land of Birds and, traversing the Land of Beasts, came to the Land of the Jann which when Hasan saw, he was sore affrighted and repented him of having entered it with them. But he sought aid of Allah the Most High and fared on with them, till they were quit of the Land of the Jann and came to the river and set down their loads at the foot of a vast mountain and a lofty, and pitched their tents by the stream-bank. Then they rested and ate and drank and slept in security, for they were come to their own country. On the morrow the old woman set Hasan a couch of alabaster, inlaid with pearls and jewels and nuggets of red gold, by the river-side, and he sat down thereon, having first bound his face with a chin-kerchief, that discovered naught of him but his eyes. Then she bade proclaim among the troops that they should all assemble before her tent and put off their clothes and go down into the stream and wash; and this she did that she might parade before him all the girls, so haply his wife should be amongst them and he know her. So the whole army mustered before her and putting off their clothes, went down into the stream, and Hasan seated on his couch watched them washing their white skins and frolicking and making merry, whilst they took no heed of his inspecting them, deeming him to be of the daughters of the Kings. When he beheld them stripped of their clothes, his chord stiffened for that looking at them mother-naked he saw what was between their thighs, and that of all kinds, soft and rounded, plump and cushioned; large-lipped, perfect, redundant and ample, [FN#130] and their faces were as moons and their hair as night upon day, for that they were of the daughters of the Kings. When they were clean, they came up out of the water, stark naked, as the moon on the night of fullness and the old woman questioned Hasan of them, company by company, if his wife were among them; but, as often as she asked him of a troop, he made answer, "She is not among these, O my lady."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventh Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman questioned Hasan of the girls, company after company, if haply his wife were among them; but as often as she asked him of a troop, he made answer, "She is not among these, O my lady!" Last of all, there came up a damsel, attended by ten slave-girls and thirty waiting-women, all of them high-bosomed maidens. They put off their clothes and went down into the river, where the damsel fell to riding the high horse over her women, throwing them down and ducking them. On this wise she continued for a full hour, after which all came up out of the water and sat down; and they brought her napkins [FN#131] of gold-purfled silk, with which she dried herself. Then they brought her clothes and jewels and ornaments of the handiwork of the Jinn, and she donned them and rose and walked with graceful pace among the troops, she and her maidens. When Hasan saw her, his heart was ready to fly from his breast and he said, "Verily this girl is the likest of all folk to the bird I saw in the basin atop of the palace of my sisters the Princesses, and she lorded it over her lieges even as doth this one." The old woman asked, "O Hasan, is this thy wife?"; and he answered, "No, by thy life, O my lady; this is not my wife, nor ever in my life have I set eyes on her; neither among all the girls I have seen in these islands is there the like of my wife nor her match for symmetry and grace and beauty and loveliness!" Then said Shawaki, "Describe her to me and acquaint me with all her attributes, that I may have her in my mind; for I know every girl in the Islands of Wak, being commander of the army of maids and governor over them; wherefore, an thou describe her to me, I shall know her and will contrive for thee to take her." Quoth he, "My wife hath the fairest face and a form all grace; smooth is she of cheeks and high of breasts with eyes of liquid light, calves and thighs plump to sight, teeth snowy white, with dulcet speech dight; in speech soft and bland as she were a willow-wand; her gifts are a moral and lips are red as coral; her eyes wear natural Kohl-dye and her lower labia [FN#132] in softness lie. On her right cheek is a mole and on her waist, under her navel, is a sign; her face shines as the rondure of the moon in sheen, her waist is slight, her hips a heavy weight, and the water of her mouth the sick doth heal, as it were Kausar or Salsabil." [FN#133] Said the old woman, "Give me an increased account of her, Allah increase thee of passion for her!" Quoth he, "My wife hath a face the fairest fair and oval cheeks the rarest rare; neck long and spare and eyes that Kohl wear; her side face shows the Anemones of Nu'uman, her mouth is like a seal of cornelian and flashing teeth that lure and stand one in stead of cup and ewer. She is cast in the mould of pleasantness and between her thighs is the throne of the Caliphate, there is no such sanctuary among the Holy Places; as saith in its praise the poet, "The name of what drave me distraught * Hath letters renowned among men: A four into five multiplied * And a multiplied six into ten. [FN#134]" Then Hasan wept and chanted the following Mawwál, [FN#135] "O heart, an lover false thee, shun the parting bane * Nor to forgetfulness thy thoughts constrain: Be patient; thou shalt bury all thy foes; * Allah ne'er falseth man of patience fain." And this also, "An wouldst be life,long safe, vaunt not delight; * Never despair, nor wone o'erjoyed in sprite! Forbear, rejoice not, mourn not o'er thy plight * And in ill day 'Have not we oped?'--recite." [FN#136] Thereupon the old woman bowed her head groundwards awhile, then, raising it, said, "Laud be to the Lord, the Mighty of Award! Indeed I am afflicted with thee, O Hasan! Would Heaven I had never known thee! This woman, whom thou describest to me as thy wife, I know by description and I know her to be none other than the eldest daughter of the Supreme King, she who ruleth over all the Islands of Wak. So open both eyes and consider thy case; and if thou be asleep, awake; for, if this woman be indeed thy wife, it is impossible for thee ever to obtain her, and though thou come to her, yet couldst thou not avail to her possession, since between thee and her the distance is as that between earth and Heaven. Wherefore, O my son, return presently and cast not thyself into destruction nor cast me with thee; for meseemeth thou hast no lot in her; so return whence thou camest lest our lives be lost." And she feared for herself and for him. When Hasan heard her words, he wept till he fainted and she left not sprinkling water on his face, till he came to himself, when he continued to weep, so that he drenched his dress with tears, for the much cark and care and chagrin which betided him by reason of her words. And indeed he despaired of life and said to the old woman, "O my lady, and how shall I go back, after having come hither? Verily, I thought not thou wouldst forsake me nor fail of the winning of my wish, especially as thou art the Commander-in-chief of the army of the girls." Answered Shawahl, "O my son, I doubted not but thy wife was a maid of the maids, and had I known she was the King's daughter, I had not suffered thee to come hither nor had I shown the troops to thee, for all the love I bear thee. But now, O my son, thou hast seen all the girls naked; so tell me which of them pleaseth thee and I will give her to thee, in lieu of thy wife, and do thou put it that thy wife and children are dead and take her and return to thine own country in safety, ere thou fall into the King's hand and I have no means of delivering thee. So, Allah upon thee, O my son, hearken unto me. Choose thyself one of these damsels, in the stead of yonder woman, and return presently to thy country in safety and cause me not quaff the cup of thine anguish! For, by Allah, thou hast cast thyself into affliction sore and peril galore, wherefrom none may avail to deliver thee evermore!" But Hasan hung down his head and wept with long weeping and recited these couplets, "'Blame not!' said I to all who blamèd me; * 'Mine eye-lids naught but tears were made to dree:' The tears that brim these orbs have overflowed * My checks, for lovers and love's cruelty. Leave me to love though waste this form of me! * For I of Love adore the insanity: And, Oh my dearling, passion grows on me * For you--and you, why grudge me clemency? You wronged me after swearing troth and plight, * Falsed my companionship and turned to flee: And cup of humbling for your rigours sore * Ye made me drain what day departed ye: Then melt, O heart, with longing for their sight * And, O mine eyes, with crowns of tears be dight." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman said to Hasan, "By Allah, O my son, hearken to my words! Choose thee one of these girls in lieu of thy wife and presently return to thy country in safety," he hung down his head and recited the couplets quoted above. Then he wept till he swooned away and Shawahl sprinkled water on his face till he revived, when she addressed him, "O my lord, I have no shift left; because if I carry thee to the city thy life is lost and mine also: for, when the Queen cometh to know of this, she will blame me for admitting thee into her lands and islands, whereto none of Adam's sons hath access, and will slay me for bringing thee with me and for suffering mortal to look upon the virgins seen by thee in the sea, whom ne'er touched male, neither approached mate." And Hasan sware that he had never looked on them with evil of eye. She resumed, "O my son, hearken to me and return to thy country and I will give thee wealth and treasures and things of price, such as shall suffice thee for all the women in the world. Moreover, I will give thee a girl of the best of them, so lend an ear to my words and return presently and imperil not thyself; indeed I counsel thee with good counsel." But he wept and rubbed both cheeks against her feet, saying, "O my lady and mistress and coolth of mine eyes, how can I turn back now that I have made my way hither, without the sight of those I desire, and now that I have come near the beloved's site, hoping for meeting forthright, so haply there may be a portion in reunion to my plight?" And he improvised these couplets, "O Kings of beauty, grace to prisoner ta'en * Of eyelids fit to rule the Chosroës' reign: Ye pass the wafts of musk in perfumed breath; * Your cheeks the charms of blooming rose disdain. The softest Zephyr breathes where pitch ye camp * And thence far-scattered sweetness fills the plain: Censor of me, leave blame and stint advice! * Thou bringest wearying words and wisdom vain: Why heat my passion with this flame and up- * braid me when naught thou knowest of its bane? Captured me eyes with passion maladifs, * And overthrew me with Love's might and main: I scatter tears the while I scatter verse; * You are my theme for rhyme and prosy strain. Melted my vitals glow of rosy cheeks * And in the Lazá-lowe my heart is lain: Tell me, an I leave to discourse of you, * What speech my breast shall broaden? Tell me deign! Life-long I loved the lovelings fair, but ah, * To grant my wish eke Allah must be fain!" Hearing his verses the old woman was moved to ruth for him and Allah planted the seed of affection for him in her heart; so coming up to him she consoled him, saying, "Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear and put away trouble from thy thought, for, by Allah, I will venture my life with thee, till thou attain thine aim or death undo me!" With this, Hasan's heart was comforted and his bosom broadened and he sat talking with the old woman till the end of the day, when all the girls dispersed, some entering their town-mansions and others nighting in the tents. Then the old woman carried him into the city and lodged him in a place apart, lest any should come to know of him and tell the Queen of him and she should slay him and slay her who had brought him thither. Moreover, she served him herself and strave to put him in fear of the awful majesty of the Supreme King, his wife's father; whilst he wept before her and said, "O my fady, I choose death for myself and loathe this worldly life, if I foregather not with my wife and children: I have set my existence on the venture and will either attain my aim or die." So the old woman fell to pondering the means of bringing him and his wife together and casting about how to do in the case of this unhappy one, who had thrown himself into destruction and would not be diverted from his purpose by fear or aught else; for, indeed he reeked not of his life and the sayer of bywords saith, "Lover in nowise hearkeneth he to the speech of the man who is fancy-free." Now the name of the Queen of the island wherein they were was Núr al-Hudà, [FN#137] eldest daughter of the Supreme King, and she had six virgin sisters, abiding with their father, whose capital and court were in the chief city of that region and who had made her ruler over all the lands and islands of Wak. So when the ancient dame saw Hasan on fire with yearning after his wife and children, she rose up and repaired to the palace and going in to Queen Nur al-Huda kissed ground before her; for she had a claim on her favour because she had reared the King's daughters one and all and had authority over each and every of them and was high in honour and consideration with them and with the King. Nur al-Huda rose to her as she entered and embracing her, seated her by her side and asked her of her journey. She answered, "By Allah, O my lady 'twas a blessed journey and I have brought thee a gift which I will presently present to thee," adding, "O my daughter, O Queen of the age and the time, I have a favour to crave of thee and I fain would discover it to thee, that thou mayst help me to accomplish it, and but for my confidence that thou wilt not gainsay me therein, I would not expose it to thee." Asked the Queen, "And what is thy need? Expound it to me, and I will accomplish it to thee, for I and my kingdom and troops are all at thy commandment and disposition." Therewithal the old woman quivered as quivereth the reed on a day when the storm-wind is abroad and saying in herself, "O [FN#138] Protector, protect me from the Queen's mischief!" [FN#139] fell down before her and acquainted her with Hasan's case, saying, "O my lady, a man, who had hidden himself under my wooden settle on the seashore, sought my protection; so I took him under my safeguard and carried him with me among the army of girls armed and accoutred so that none might know him, and brought him into the city; and indeed I have striven to affright him with thy fierceness, giving him to know of thy power and prowess; but, as often as I threatened him, he weepeth and reciteth verses and sayeth, 'Needs must I have my wife and children or die, and I will not return to my country without them.' And indeed he hath adventured himself and come to the Islands of Wak, and never in all my days saw I mortal heartier of heart than he or doughtier of derring-do, save that love hath mastered him to the utmost of mastery."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman related to Queen Nur al-Huda the adventure of Hasan, ending with, "Never I saw any one heartier of heart than he save that love hath mastered him to the utmost of mastery," the Queen, after lending an attentive ear and comprehending the case, waxed wroth at her with exceeding wrath and bowed her head awhile groundwards; then, raising it, she looked at Shawahi and said to her, "O ill-omened beldam, art thou come to such a pass of lewdness that thou carriest males, men, with thee into the Islands of Wak and bringest them into me, unfearing of my mischief? Who hath foregone thee with this fashion, that thou shouldst do thus? By the head of the King, but for thy claim on me for fosterage and service, I would forthwith do both him and thee to die the foulest of deaths, that travellers might take warning by thee, O accursed, lest any other do the like of this outrageous deed thou hast done, which none durst hitherto! But go and bring him hither forthright, that I may see him; or I will strike off thy head, O accursed." So the old woman went out from her, confounded, unknowing whither she went and saying, "All this calamity hath Allah driven upon me from this Queen because of Hasan!" and going in to him, said, "Rise, speak with the Queen, O wight whose last hour is at hand!" So he rose and went with her, whilst his tongue ceased not to call upon Almighty Allah and say, "O my God, be gracious to me in Thy decrees and deliver me from this Thine affliction!" [FN#140] And Shawahi went with him charging him by the way how he should speak with the Queen. When he stood before Nur al-Huda, he found that she had donned the chinveil [FN#141]; so he kissed ground before her and saluted her with the salam, improvising these two couplets, "God make thy glory last in joy of life; * Allah confirm the boons he deigned bestow: Thy grace and grandeur may our Lord increase * And aye Th' Almighty aid thee o'er thy foe!" When he ended his verse Nur al-Huda bade the old woman ask him questions before her, that she might hear his answers: so she said to him, "The Queen returneth thy salam-greeting and saith to thee, 'What is thy name and that of thy country, and what are the names of thy wife and children, on whose account thou art come hither?"' Quoth he, and indeed he had made firm his heart and destiny aided him, "O Queen of the age and tide and peerless jewel of the epoch and the time, my name is Hasan the fullfilled of sorrow, and my native city is Bassorah. I know not the name of my wife [FN#142] but my children's names are Násir and Mansúr." When the Queen heard his reply and his provenance, she bespoke him herself and said, "And whence took she her children?" He replied, "O Queen, she took them from the city of Baghdad and the palace of the Caliphate." Quoth Nur al-Huda, "And did she say naught to thee at the time she flew away?;" and quoth he, "Yes; she said to my mother, 'Whenas thy son cometh to thee and the nights of severance upon him longsome shall be and he craveth meeting and reunion to see, and whenas the breezes of love and longing shake him dolefully let him come in the Islands of Wak to me.'" Whereupon Queen Nur al-Huda shook her head and said to him, "Had she not desired thee she had not said to thy mother this say, and had she not yearned for reunion with thee, never had she bidden thee to her stead nor acquainted thee with her abiding-place." Rejoined Hasan, "O mistress of Kings and asylum of prince and pauper, whatso happened I have told thee and have concealed naught thereof, and I take refuge from evil with Allah and with thee; wherefore oppress me not, but have compassion on me and earn recompense and requital for me in the world to come, and aid me to regain my wife and children. Grant me my urgent need and cool mine eyes with my children and help me to the sight of them." Then he wept and wailed and lamenting his lot recited these two couplets, "Yea, I will laud thee while the ring-dove moans, * Though fail my wish of due and lawful scope: Ne'er was I whirled in bliss and joys gone by * Wherein I found thee not both root and rope." [FN#143] The Queen shook her head and bowed it in thought a long time; then, raising it, she said to Hasan (and indeed she was wroth), "I have ruth on thee and am resolved to show thee in review all the girls in the city and in the provinces of my island; and in case thou know thy wife, I will deliver her to thee; but, an thou know her not and know not her place, I will put thee to death and crucify thee over the old woman's door." Replied Hasan, "I accept this from thee, O Queen of the Age, and am content to submit to this thy condition. There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" And he recited these couplets, "You've roused my desire and remain at rest,-- * Waked my wounded lids while you slept with zest. And ye made me a vow ye would not hang back * But your guile when you chained me waxt manifest. I loved you in childhood unknowing Love; * Then slay me not who am sore opprest. Fear ye not from Allah when slaying a friend * Who gazeth on stars when folk sleep their best? By Allah, my kinsmen, indite on my tomb * 'This man was the slave of Love's harshest best!' Haps a noble youth, like me Love's own thrall, * When he sees my grave on my name shall call." Then Queen Nur al-Huda commanded that not a girl should abide in the city but should come up to the palace and pass in review before Hasan and moreover she bade Shawahi go down in person and bring them up herself. Accordingly all the maidens in the city presented themselves before the Queen, who caused them to go in to Hasan, hundred after hundred, till there was no girl left in the place, but she had shown her to him; yet he saw not his wife amongst them. Then said she to him, "Seest thou her amongst these?"; and he replied, "By thy life, O Queen, she is not amongst them." With this she was sore enraged against him and said to the old woman, "Go in and bring out all who are in the palace and show them to him." So she displayed to him every one of the palace-girls, but he saw not his wife among them and said to the Queen, "By the life of thy head, O Queen, she is not among these." Whereat the Queen was wroth and cried out at those around her, saying, "Take him and hale him along, face to earth, and cut off his head, least any adventure himself after him and intrude upon us in our country and spy out our estate by thus treading the soil of our islands." So they threw him down on his face and dragged him along; then, covering his eyes with his skirt, stood at his head with bared brands awaiting royal permission. Thereupon Shawahi came forward and kissing the ground before the Queen, took the hem of her garment and laid it on her head, saying, "O Queen, by my claim for fosterage, be not hasty with him, more by token of thy knowledge that this poor wretch is a stranger, who hath adventured himself and suffered what none ever suffered before him, and Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty,) preserved him from death, for that his life was ordained to be long. He heard of thine equity and entered thy city and guarded site; [FN#144] wherefore, if thou put him to death, the report will dispread abroad of thee, by means of the travellers, that thou hatest strangers and slayest them. He is in any case at thy mercy and the slain of thy sword, if his wife be not found in thy dominions; and whensoever thou desireth his presence, I can bring him back to thee. Moreover, in very sooth I took him under my protection only of my trust in thy magnanimity through my claim on thee for fosterage, so that I engaged to him that thou wouldst bring him to his desire, for my knowledge of thy justice and quality of mercy. But for this, I had not brought him into thy kingdom; for I said to myself: 'The Queen will take pleasure in looking upon him, and hearing him speak his verses and his sweet discourse and eloquent which is like unto pearls strung on string.' Moreover, he hath entered our land and eaten of our meat; wherefore he hath a claim upon us."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Tenth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen Nur al-Huda bade her pages seize Hasan and smite his neck, the old woman, Shawahi, began to reason with her and say, "Verily he hath entered our land and eaten of our meat, wherefore he hath a claim upon us, the more especially since I promised him to bring him in company with thee; and thou knowest that, parting is a grievous ill and severance hath power to kill, especially separation from children. Now he hath seen all our women, save only thyself; so do thou show him thy face?" The Queen smiled and said, "How can he be my husband and have had children by me, that I should show him my face?" Then she made them bring Hasan before her and when he stood in the presence, she unveiled her face, which when he saw, he cried out with a great cry and fell down fainting. The old woman ceased not to tend him, till he came to himself and as soon as he revived he recited these couplets, "O breeze that blowest from the land Irak * And from their corners whoso cry 'Wak! Wak!' Bear news of me to friends and say for me * I've tasted passion-food of bitter smack. O dearlings of my love, show grace and ruth * My heart is melted for this severance-rack." When he ended his verse he rose and looking on the Queen's face, cried out with a great cry, for stress whereof the palace was like to fall upon all therein. Then he swooned away again and the old woman ceased not to tend him till he revived, when she asked him what ailed him and he answered, "In very sooth this Queen is either my wife or else the likest of all folk to my wife."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eleventh Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman asked Hasan what ailed him, he answered, "In very sooth this Queen is either my wife or else the likest of all folk to my wife." Quoth Nur al-Huda to the old woman, "Woe to thee, O nurse! This stranger is either Jinn-mad or out of his mind, for he stareth me in the face with wide eyes and saith I am his wife." Quoth the old woman, "O Queen, indeed he is excusable; so blame him not, for the saying saith, 'For the lovesick is no remedy and alike are the madman and he.'" And Hasan wept with sore weeping and recited these two couplets, "I sight their track and pine for longing love; * And o'er their homesteads weep I and I yearn: And I pray Heaven who will'ed we should part, * Will deign to grant us boon of safe return." Then said Hasan to the Queen once more, "By Allah, thou art not my wife, but thou art the likest of all folk to her!" Hereupon Nur al-Huda laughed till she fell backwards and rolled round on her side. [FN#145] Then she said to him, "O my friend, take thy time and observe me attentively: answer me at thy leisure what I shall ask thee and put away from thee insanity and perplexity and inadvertency for relief is at hand." Answered Hasan, "O mistress of Kings and asylum of all princes and paupers, when I looked upon thee, I was distracted, seeing thee to be either my wife or the likest of all folk to her; but now ask me whatso thou wilt." Quoth she, "What is it in thy wife that resembleth me?"; and quoth he, "O my lady, all that is in thee of beauty and loveliness, elegance and amorous grace, such as the symmetry of thy shape and the sweetness of thy speech and the blushing of thy cheeks and the jutting of thy breasts and so forth, all resembleth her and thou art her very self in thy faculty of parlance and the fairness of thy favour and the brilliancy of thy brow." [FN#146] When the Queen heard this, she smiled and gloried in her beauty and loveliness and her cheeks reddened and her eyes wantoned; then she turned to Shawahi Umm Dawahi and said to her, "O my mother, carry him back to the place where he tarried with thee and tend him thyself, till I examine into his affair; for, an he be indeed a man of manliness and mindful of friendship and love and affection, it behoveth we help him to win his wish, more by token that he hath sojourned in our country and eaten of our victual, not to speak of the hardships of travel he hath suffered and the travail and horrors he hath undergone. But, when thou hast brought him to thy house, commend him to the care of thy dependents and return to me in all haste; and Allah Almighty willing! [FN#147] all shall be well." Thereupon Shawahi carried him back to her lodging and charged her handmaids and servants and suite wait upon him and bring him all he needed nor fail in what was his due. Then she returned to Queen Nur al-Huda, who bade her don her arms and set out, taking with her a thousand doughty horsemen. So she obeyed and donned her war-gear and having collected the thousand riders reported them ready to the Queen, who bade her march upon the city of the Supreme King, her father, there to alight at the abode of her youngest sister, Manár al-Saná [FN#148] and say to her, "Clothe thy two sons in the coats of mail which their aunt hath made them and send them to her; for she longeth for them." Moreover the Queen charged her keep Hasan's affair secret and say to Manar al-Sana, after securing her children, "Thy sister inviteth thee to visit her." "Then," she continued, "bring the children to me in haste and let her follow at her leisure. Do thou come by a road other than her road and journey night and day and beware of discovering this matter to any. And I swear by all manner oaths that, if my sister prove to be his wife and it appear that her children are his, I will not hinder him from taking her and them and departing with them to his own country."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twelfth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Oueen said, "I swear by Allah and by all manner of oaths that if she prove to be his wife, I will not hinder him from taking her but will aid him thereto and eke to departing with them to his mother-land." And the old woman put faith in her words, knowing not what she purposed in her mind, for the wicked Jezebel had resolved that if she were not his wife she would slay him; but if the children resembled him, she would believe him. The Queen resumed, "O my mother, an my thought tell me true, my sister Manar al-Sana is his wife, but Allah alone is All-knowing! seeing that these traits of surpassing beauty and excelling grace, of which he spoke, are found in none except my sisters and especially in the youngest." The old woman kissed her hand and returning to Hasan, told him what the Queen had said, whereat he was like to fly for joy and coming up to her, kissed her head. Quoth she, "O my son, kiss not my head, but kiss me on the mouth and be this kiss by way of sweetmeat for thy salvation. [FN#149] Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear and grudge not to kiss my mouth, for I and only I was the means of thy foregathering with her. So take comfort, and hearten thy heart and broaden thy breast and gladden thy glance and console thy soul for, Allah willing, thy desire shall be accomplished at my hand." So saying, she bade him farewell and departed, whilst he recited these two couplets, "Witnesses unto love of thee I've four; * And wants each case two witnesses; no more! A heart aye fluttering, limbs that ever quake, * A wasted frame and tongue that speech forswore." And also these two, "Two things there be, an blood-tears thereover * Wept eyes till not one trace thou couldst discover, Eyes ne'er could pay the tithe to them is due * The prime of youth and severance from lover." Then the old woman armed herself and, taking with her a thousand weaponed horsemen, set out and journeyed till she came to the island and the city where dwelt the Lady Manar al-Sana and between which and that of her sister Queen Nur al-Huda was three days' journey. When Shawahi reached the city, she went in to the Princess and saluting her, gave her her sister's salam and acquainted her with the Queen's longing for her and her children and that she reproached her for not visiting her. Quoth Manar al-Sana, "Verily, I am beholden to my sister and have failed of my duty to her in not visiting her, but I will do so forthright." Then she bade pitch her tents without the city and took with her for her sister a suitable present of rare things. Presently, the King her father looked out of a window of his palace, and seeing the tents pitched by the road, asked of them, and they answered him, "The Princess Manar al-Sana hath pitched her tents by the way-side, being minded to visit her sister Queen Nur al-Huda." When the King heard this, he equipped troops to escort her to her sister and brought out to her from his treasuries meat and drink and monies and jewels and rarities which beggar description. Now the King had seven daughters, all sisters-german by one mother and father except the youngest: the eldest was called Núr al-Hudà, the second Najm al-Sabáh, the third Shams al-Zuhà, the fourth Shajarat al-Durr, the fifth Kút al-Kulúb, the sixth Sharaf al-Banát and the youngest Manar al-Sana, Hasan's wife, who was their sister by the father's side only. [FN#150] Anon the old woman again presented herself and kissed ground before the Princess, who said to her, "Hast thou any need, O my mother?" Quoth Shawahi, "Thy sister, Queen Nur al-Huda, biddeth thee clothe thy sons in the two habergeons which she fashioned for them and send them to her by me, and I will take them and forego thee with them and be the harbinger of glad tidings and the announcer of thy coming to her." When the Princess heard these words, her colour changed and she bowed her head a long while, after which she shook it and looking up, said to the old woman, "O my mother, my vitals tremble and my heart fluttereth when thou namest my children; for, from the time of their birth none hath looked on their faces either Jinn or man, male or female, and I am jealous for them of the zephyr when it breatheth in the night." Exclaimed the old woman, "What words are these, O my lady? Dost thou fear for them from thy sister?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirteenth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman said to the Princess Manar al-Sana, "What words be these, O my lady? Dost thou fear for them from thy sister? Allah safeguard thy reason! Thou mayst not cross the Queen's majesty in this matter, for she would be wroth with thee. However, O my lady, the children are young, and thou art excusable in fearing for them, for those that love well are wont to deem ill: but, O my daughter, thou knowest my tenderness and mine affection for thee and thy children, for indeed I reared thee before them. I will take them in my charge and make my cheek their pillow and open my heart and set them within, nor is it needful to charge me with care of them in the like of this case; so be of cheerful heart and tearless eye and send them to her, for, at the most, I shall but precede thee with them a day or at most two days." And she ceased not to urge her, till she gave way, fearing her sister's fury and unknowing what lurked for her in the dark future, and consented to send them with the old woman. So she called them and bathed them and equipped them and changed their apparel. Then she clad them in the two little coats of mail and delivered them to Shawahi, who took them and sped on with them like a bird, by another road than that by which their mother should travel, even as the Queen had charged her; nor did she cease to fare on with all diligence, being fearful for them, till she came in sight of Nur al-Huda's city, when she crossed the river and entering the town, carried them in to their aunt. The Queen rejoiced at their sight and embraced them, and pressed them to her breast; after which she seated them, one upon the right thigh and the other upon the left; and turning round said to the old woman, "Fetch me Hasan forthright, for I have granted him my safeguard and have spared him from my sabre and he hath sought asylum in my house and taken up his abode in my courts, after having endured hardships and horrors and passed through all manner mortal risks, each terribler than other; yet hitherto is he not safe from drinking the cup of death and from cutting off his breath." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fourteenth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen Nur al-Huda bade the old woman bring Hasan she said, "Verily he hath endured hardships and horrors and passed through all manner mortal risks each terribler than other; yet hitherto he is not safe from death and from the cutting off of his breath." Replied Shawahi, "An I bring him to thee, wilt thou reunite him with these his children? Or, if they prove not his, wilt thou pardon him and restore him to his own country?" Hearing these her words the Queen waxed exceeding wroth and cried to her, "Fie upon thee, O ill-omened old woman! How long wilt thou false us in the matter of this strange man who hath dared to intrude himself upon us and hath lifted our veil and pried into our conditions? Say me: thinkest thou that he shall come to our land and look upon our faces and betray our honour, and after return in safety to his own country and expose our affairs to his people, wherefore our report will be bruited abroad among all the Kings of the quarters of the earth and the merchants will journey bearing tidings of us in all directions, saying, 'A mortal entered the Isles of Wak and traversed the Land of the Jinn and the lands of the Wild Beasts and the Islands of Birds and set foot in the country of the Warlocks and the Enchanters and returned in safety?' This shall never be; no, never; and I swear by Him who made the Heavens and builded them; yea, by Him who dispread the earth and smoothed it, and who created all creatures and counted them, that, an they be not his children, I will assuredly slay him and strike his neck with mine own hand!" Then she cried out at the old woman, who fell down for fear; and set upon her the Chamberlain and twenty Mamelukes, saying, "Go with this crone and fetch me in haste the youth who is in her house." So they dragged Shawahi along, yellow with fright and with side-muscles quivering, till they came to her house, where she went in to Hasan, who rose to her and kissed her hands and saluted her. She returned not his salam, but said to him, "Come; speak the Queen. Did I not say to thee: 'Return presently to thine own country and I will give thee that to which no mortal may avail?' And did I forbid thee from all this? But thou wouldst not obey me nor listen to my words; nay, thou rejectedst my counsel and chosest to bring destruction on me and on thyself. Up, then, and take that which thou hast chosen; for death is near hand. Arise: speak with yonder vile harlot [FN#151] and tyrant that she is!" So Hasan arose, broken-spirited, heavy, hearted, and full of fear, and crying, "O Preserver, preserve Thou me! O my God, be gracious to me in that which Thou hast decreed to me of Thine affliction and protect me, O Thou the most Merciful of the Mercifuls!" Then, despairing of his life, he followed the twenty Mamelukes, the Chamberlain and the crone to the Queen's presence, where he found his two sons Nasir and Mansur sitting in her lap, whilst she played and made merry with them. As soon as his eyes fell on them, he knew them and crying a great cry fell down a-fainting for excess of joy at the sight of his children.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifteenth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan's eyes fell upon his two sons, he knew them both and crying a great cry fell down a-fainting. They also knew him [FN#152] and natural affection moved them so that they freed themselves from the Queen's lap and fell upon Hasan, and Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty,) made them speak and say to him, "O our father!" Whereupon the old woman and all who were present wept for pity and tenderness over them and said, "Praised be Allah, who hath reunited you with your Sire!" Presently, Hasan came to himself and embracing his children, wept till again he swooned away, and when he revived, he recited these verses, "By rights of you, this heart of mine could ne'er aby * Severance from you albeit Union death imply! Your phantom saith to me, 'A-morrow we shall meet!' * Shall I despite the foe the morrow-day espy? By rights of you I swear, my lords, that since the day * Of severance ne'er the sweets of lips enjoyèd I! An Allah bade me perish for the love of you, * Mid greatest martyrs for your love I lief will die. Oft a gazelle doth make my heart her browsing stead * The while her form of flesh like sleep eludes mine eye: If in the lists of Law my bloodshed she deny, * Prove it two witnesses those cheeks of ruddy dye." When Nur al-Huda was assured that the little ones were indeed Hasan's children and that her sister, the Princess Manar al-Sana, was his wife, of whom he was come in quest, she was wroth against her with wrath beyond measure.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixteenth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur al-Huda was certified that the little ones were Hasan's children and that her sister Manar al-Sana was his wife of whom he had come in quest, she raged with exceeding rage, too great to be assuaged and screamed in Hasan's face and reviled him and kicked him in the breast, so that he fell on his back in a swoon. Then she cried out at him, saying, "Arise! fly for thy life. But that I swore that no evil should betide thee from me, should thy tale prove true, I would slay thee with mine own hand forthright!" And she cried out at the old woman, who fell on her face for fear, and said to her, "By Allah, but that I am loath to break the oath that I swore, I would put both thee and him to death after the foulest fashion!"; presently adding, "Arise, go out from before me in safety and return to thine own country, for I swear by my fortune, if ever mine eye espy thee or if any bring thee in to me after this, I will smite off thy head and that of whoso bringeth thee!" Then she cried out to her officers, saying, "Put him out from before me!" So they thrust him out, and when he came to himself, he recited these couplets, "You're far, yet to my heart you're nearest near; * Absent yet present in my sprite you appear: By Allah, ne'er to other I've inclined * But tyranny of Time in patience bear! Nights pass while still I love you and they end, * And burns my breast with flames of fell Sa'ir; [FN#153] I was a youth who parting for an hour * Bore not, then what of months that make a year? Jealous am I of breeze-breath fanning thee; * Yea jealous-mad of fair soft-sided fere!" Then he once more fell down in a swoon, and when he came to himself, he found himself without the palace whither they had dragged him on his face; so he rose, stumbling over his skirts and hardly crediting his escape from Nur al-Huda. Now this was grievous to Shawahi; but she dared not remonstrate with the Queen by reason of the violence of her wrath. And forthright Hasan went forth, distracted and knowing not whence to come or whither to go; the world, for all its wideness, was straitened upon him and he found none to speak a kind word with him and comfort him, nor any to whom he might resort for counsel or to apply for refuge; wherefore he made sure of death for that he could not journey to his own country and knew none to travel with him, neither wist he the way thither nor might he pass through the Wady of the Jann and the Land of Beasts and the Islands of Birds. So giving himself up for lost he bewept himself, till he fainted, and when he revived, he bethought him of his children and his wife and of that might befal her with her sister, repenting him of having come to those countries and of having hearkened to none, and recited these couplets, "Suffer mine eye-babes weep lost of love and tears express: * Rare is my solace and increases my distress: The cup of Severance-chances to the dregs I've drained; * Who is the man to bear love-loss with manliness? Ye spread the Carpet of Disgrace [FN#154] betwixt us twain; * Ah, when shalt be uprolled, O Carpet of Disgrace? I watched the while you slept; and if you deemed that I * Forgot your love I but forget forgetfulness: Woe's me! indeed my heart is pining for the love * Of you, the only leaches who can cure my case: See ye not what befel me from your fell disdain? * Debased am I before the low and high no less. I hid my love of you but longing laid it bare, * And burns my heart wi' fire of passion's sorest stress: Ah! deign have pity on my piteous case, for I * Have kept our troth in secresy and patent place! Would Heaven I wot shall Time e'er deign us twain rejoin! * You are my heart's desire, my sprite's sole happiness: My vitals bear the Severance-wound: would Heaven that you * With tidings from your camp would deign my soul to bless!" Then he went on, till he came without the city, where he found the river, and walked along its bank, knowing not whither he went. Such was Hasan's case; but as regards his wife Manar al-Sana, as she was about to carry out her purpose and to set out, on the second day after the departure of the old woman with her children, behold, there came in to her one of the chamberlains of the King her sire, and kissed ground between his hands,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventeenth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Manar al-Sana was about to set out upon the journey, behold, a chamberlain of the King, her sire, came in to her and kissing the ground before her, said, "O Princess, the Supreme King, thy father saluteth thee and biddeth thee to him." So she rose and accompanied the chamberlain to learn what was required by her father, who seated her by his side on the couch, and said to her, "O my daughter, know that I have this night had a dream which maketh me fear for thee and that long sorrow will betide thee from this thy journey." Quoth she, "How so, O my father, and what didst thou see in thy dream?" and quoth he, "I dreamt that I entered a hidden hoard, wherein was great store of monies, of jewels, of jacinths and of other riches; but 'twas as if naught pleased me of all this treasure and jewelry save seven bezels, which were the finest things there. I chose out one of the seven jewels, for it was the smallest, finest and most lustrous of them and its water pleased me; so I took it in my hand-palm and fared forth of the treasury. When I came without the door, I opened my hand, rejoicing, and turned over the jewel, when, behold, there swooped down on me out of the welkin a strange bird from a far land (for it was not of the birds of our country) and, snatching it from my hand, returned with it whence it came. [FN#155] Whereupon sorrow and concern and sore vexation overcame me and my exceeding chagrin so troubled me that I awoke, mourning and lamenting for the loss of the jewel. At once on awaking I summoned the interpreters and expounders of dreams and declared to them my dream, [FN#156] and they said to me: 'Thou hast seven daughters, the youngest of whom thou wilt lose, and she will be taken from thee perforce, without thy will.' Now thou, O my girl, art the youngest and dearest of my daughters and the most affectionate of them to me, and look'ye thou art about to journey to thy sister, and I know not what may befal thee from her; so go thou not; but return to thy palace." But when the Princess heard her father's words, her heart fluttered and she feared for her children and bent earthwards her head awhile: then she raised it and said to her sire, "O King, Queen Nur al-Huda hath made ready for me an entertainment and awaiteth my coming to her, hour by hour. These four years she hath not seen me and if I delay to visit her, she will be wroth with me. The utmost of my stay with her shall be a month and then I will return to thee. Besides, who is the mortal who can travel our land and make his way to the Islands of Wak? Who can gain access to the White Country and the Black Mountain and come to the Land of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal, and how shall he traverse the Island of Birds and the Wady of Wild Beasts and the Valley of the Jann and enter our Islands? If any stranger came hither, he would be drowned in the seas of destruction: so be of good cheer and eyes without a tear anent my journey; for none may avail to tread our earth." And she ceased not to persuade him, till he deigned give her leave to depart.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighteenth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Princess ceased not to persuade him till he deigned give her leave to depart, and bade a thousand horse escort her to the river and abide there, till she entered her sister's city and palace and returned to them, when they should take her and carry her back to him. Moreover, he charged her tarry with her sister but two days and return to him in haste; and she answered, "Hearing and obedience." Then rising up she went forth and he with her and farewelled her. Now his words had sunken deep into her heart and she feared for her children; but it availeth not to fortify herself by any device against the onset of Destiny. So she set out and fared on diligently three days, till she came to the river and pitched her tents on its bank. Then she crossed the stream, with some of her counsellors, pages and suite and, going up to the city and the palace, went in to Queen Nur al-Huda, with whom she found her children who ran to her weeping and crying out, "O our father!" At this, the tears railed from her eyes and she wept; then she strained them to her bosom, saying, "What! Have you seen your sire at this time? Would the hour had never been, in which I left him! If I knew him to be in the house of the world, I would carry you to him." Then she bemoaned herself and her husband and her children weeping and reciting these couplets, "My friends, despight this distance and this cruelty, * I pine for you, incline to you where'er you be. My glance for ever turns toward your hearth and home * And mourns my heart the bygone days you woned with me, How many a night foregathered we withouten fear * One loving, other faithful ever, fain and free!" When her sister saw her fold her children to her bosom, saying, "'Tis I who have done thus with myself and my children and have ruined my own house!" she saluted her not, but said to her, "O whore, whence haddest thou these children? Say, hast thou married unbeknown to thy sire or hast thou committed fornication? [FN#157] An thou have played the piece, it behoveth thou be exemplarily punished; and if thou have married sans our knowledge, why didst thou abandon thy husband and separate thy sons from thy sire and bring them hither?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Nineteenth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Nur al-Huda, the Queen, to her sister Manar al-Sana, the Princess, "An thou have married sans our knowledge, why didst thou abandon thy husband and separate thy sons from their sire and bring them to our land? Thou hast hidden thy children from us. Thinkest thou we know not of this? Allah Almighty, He who is cognisant of the concealed, hath made known to us thy case and revealed thy condition and bared thy nakedness." Then she bade her guards seize her and pinion her elbows and shackle her with shackles of iron. So they did as she commanded and she beat her with a grievous beating, so that her skin was torn, and hanged her up by the hair; after which she cast her in prison and wrote the King her father a writ acquainting him with her case and saying, "There hath appeared in our land a man, a mortal, by name Hasan, and our sister Manar al-Sana avoucheth that she is lawfully married to him and bare him two sons, whom she hath hidden from us and thee; nor did she discover aught of herself till there came to us this man and informed us that he wedded her and she tarried with him a long while; after which she took her children and departed, without his knowledge, bidding as she went his mother tell her son, whenas longing began to rack to come to her in the Islands of Wak. So we laid hands on the man and sent the old woman Shawahi to fetch her and her offspring, enjoining her to bring us the children in advance of her. And she did so, whilst Manar al-Sana equipped herself and set out to visit me. When the boys were brought to me and ere the mother came, I sent for Hasan the mortal who claimeth her to wife, and he on entering and at first sight knew them and they knew him; whereby was I certified that the children were indeed his children and that she was his wife and I learned that the man's story was true and he was not to blame, but that the reproach and the infamy rested with my sister. Now I feared the rending of our honour-veil before the folk of our Isles; so when this wanton, this traitress, came in to me, I was incensed against her and cast her into prison and bastinado'd her grievously and hanged her up by the hair. Behold, I have acquainted thee with her case and it is thine to command, and whatso thou orderest us that we will do. Thou knowest that in this affair is dishonour and disgrace to our name and to thine, and haply the islanders will hear of it, and we shall become amongst them a byword; wherefore it befitteth thou return us an answer with all speed." Then she delivered the letter to a courier and he carried it to the King, who, when he read it, was wroth with exceeding wrath with his daughter Manar al-Sana and wrote to Nur al-Huda, saying, "I commit her case to thee and give thee command over her life; so, if the matter be as thou sayest, kill her without consulting me." When the Queen had received and read her father's letter, she sent for Manar al-Sana and they set before her the prisoner drowned in her blood and pinioned with her hair, shackled with heavy iron shackles and clad in hair-cloth; and they made her stand in the presence abject and abashed. When she saw herself in this condition of passing humiliation and exceeding abjection, she called to mind her former high estate and wept with sore weeping and recited these two couplets, "O Lord my foes are fain to slay me in despight * Nor deem I anywise to find escape by flight: I have recourse to Thee t' annul what they have done; * Thou art th' asylum, Lord, of fearful suppliant wight." Then wept she grievously, till she fell down in a swoon, and presently coming to herself, repeated these two couplets, [FN#158] "Troubles familiar with my heart are grown and I with them, * Erst shunning; for the generous are sociable still. Not one mere kind alone of woe doth lieger with me lie; * Praised be God! There are with me thousands of kinds of ill." And also these, "Oft times Mischance shall straiten noble breast * With grief, whence issue is for Him to shape: But when the meshes straitest, tightest, seem * They loose, though deemed I ne'er to find escape." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twentieth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen Nur al-Huda ordered into the presence her sister Princess Manar al-Sana, they set her between her hands and she, pinioned as she was recited the verses aforesaid. Then the Queen [FN#159] sent for a ladder of wood and made the eunuchs lay her on her back, with her arms spread out and bind her with cords thereto; after which she bared her head and wound her hair about the ladder-rungs and indeed all pity for her was rooted out from her heart. When Manar al-Sana saw herself in this state of abjection and humiliation, she cried out and wept; but none succoured her. Then said she to the Queen, "O my sister, how is thy heart hardened against me? Hast thou no mercy on me nor pity on these little children?" But her words only hardened her sister's heart and she insulted her, saying, "O Wanton! O harlot! Allah have no ruth on whoso sueth for thee! How should I have compassion on thee, O traitress?" Replied Manar al-Sana who lay stretched on the ladder, "I appeal from thee to the Lord of the Heavens, concerning that wherewith thou revilest me and whereof I am innocent! By Allah, I have done no whoredom, but am lawfully married to him, and my Lord knoweth an I speak sooth or not! Indeed, my heart is wroth with thee, by reason of thine excessive hardheartedness against me! How canst thou cast at me the charge of harlotry, without knowledge? But my Lord will deliver me from thee and if that whoredom whereof thou accusest me be true, may He presently punish me for it!" Quoth Nur al-Huda after a few moments of reflection "How durst thou bespeak me thus?" and rose and beat her till she fainted away; [FN#160] whereupon they sprinkled water on her face till she revived; and in truth her charms were wasted for excess of beating and the straitness of her bonds and the sore insults she had suffered. Then she recited these two couplets, "If aught I've sinned in sinful way, * Or done ill deed and gone astray, The past repent I and I come * To you and for your pardon pray!" When Nur al-Huda heard these lines, her wrath redoubled and she said to her, "Wilt speak before me in verse, O whore, and seek to excuse thyself for the mortal sins thou hast sinned? 'Twas my desire that thou shouldst return to thy husband, that I might witness thy wickedness and matchless brazenfacedness; for thou gloriest in thy lewdness and wantonness and mortal heinousness." Then she called for a palm-stick and, whenas they brought the Jaríd, she arose and baring arms to elbows, beat her sister from head to foot; after which she called for a whip of plaited thongs, wherewith if one smote an elephant, he would start off at full speed, and came down therewith on her back and her stomach and every part of her body, till she fainted. When the old woman Shawahi saw this, she fled forth from the Queen's presence, weeping and cursing her; but Nur al-Huda cried out to her eunuchs, saying, "Fetch her to me!" So they ran after her and seizing her, brought her back to the Queen, who bade throw her on the ground and making them lay hold of her, rose and took the whip, with which she beat her, till she swooned away, when she said to her waiting-women, "Drag this ill-omened beldam forth on her face and put her out." And they did as she bade them. So far concerning them; but as regards Hasan, he walked on beside the river, in the direction of the desert, distracted, troubled, and despairing of life; and indeed he was dazed and knew not night from day for stress of affliction. He ceased not faring on thus, till he came to a tree whereto he saw a scroll hanging: so he took it and found written thereon these couplets, "When in thy mother's womb thou wast, * I cast thy case the bestest best; And turned her heart to thee, so she * Fosterèd thee on fondest breast. We will suffice thee in whate'er * Shall cause thee trouble or unrest; We'll aid thee in thine enterprise * So rise and bow to our behest." When he had ended reading this scroll, he made sure of deliverance from trouble and of winning reunion with those he loved. Then he walked forward a few steps and found himself alone in a wild and perilous wold wherein there was none to company with him; upon which his heart sank within him for horror and loneliness and his side-muscles trembled, for that fearsome place, and he recited these couplets, "O Zephyr of Morn, an thou pass where the dear ones dwell, * Bear greeting of lover who ever in love-longing wones! And tell them I'm pledged to yearning and pawned to pine * And the might of my passion all passion of lovers unthrones. Their sympathies haply shall breathe in a Breeze like thee * And quicken forthright this framework of rotting bones." [FN#161] --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-first Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan read the scroll he was certified of deliverance from his trouble and made sure of winning reunion with those he loved. Then he walked forward a couple of steps and stopped finding himself alone in a wild and perilous wold wherein was none to company with him, so he wept sore and recited the verses before mentioned. Then he walked on a few steps farther beside the river, till he came upon two little boys of the sons of the sorcerers, before whom lay a rod of copper graven with talismans, and beside it a skull-cap [FN#162] of leather, made of three gores and wroughten in steel with names and characts. The cap and rod were upon the ground and the boys were disputing and beating each other, till the blood ran down between them; whilst each cried, "None shall take the wand but I." So Hasan interposed and parted them, saying, "What is the cause of your contention?" and they replied, "O uncle, be thou judge of our case, for Allah the Most High hath surely sent thee to do justice between us." Quoth Hasan, "Tell me your case, and I will judge between you;" and quoth one of them, "We twain are brothers-german and our sire was a mighty magician, who dwelt in a cave on yonder mountain. He died and left us this cap and rod; and my brother saith, 'None shall have the rod but I,' whilst I say the like; so be thou judge between us and deliver us each from other." Hasan asked, "What is the difference between the rod and the cap and what is their value? The rod appears to be worth six coppers [FN#163] and the cap three;" whereto they answered, "Thou knowest not their properties." "And what are their properties?" "Each of them hath a wonderful secret virtue, wherefore the rod is worth the revenue of all the Islands of Wak and their provinces and dependencies, and the cap the like!" "By Allah, O my sons, discover to me their secret virtues." So they said, "O uncle, they are extraordinary; for our father wrought an hundred and thirty and five years at their contrivance, till he brought them to perfection and ingrafted them with secret attributes which might serve him extraordinary services and engraved them after the likeness of the revolving sphere, and by their aid he dissolved all spells; and when he had made an end of their fashion, Death, which all needs must suffer, overtook him. Now the hidden virtue of the cap is, that whoso setteth it on his head is concealed from all folks' eyes, nor can any see him, whilst it remaineth on his head; and that of the rod is that whoso owneth it hath authority over seven tribes of the Jinn, who all serve the order and ordinance of the rod; and whenever he who possesseth it smiteth therewith on the ground, their Kings come to do him homage, and all the Jinn are at his service." Now when Hasan heard these words, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then said in himself, "By Allah, I shall conquer every foe by means of this rod and cap, Inshallah! and I am worthier of them both than these two boys. So I will go about forthright to get them from the twain by craft, that I may use them to free myself and my wife and children from yonder tyrannical Queen, and then we will depart from this dismal stead, whence there is no deliverance for mortal man nor flight. Doubtless, Allah caused me not to fall in with these two lads, but that I might get the rod and cap from them." Then he raised his head and said to the two boys, "If ye would have me decide the case, I will make trial of you and see what each of you deserveth. He who overcometh his brother shall have the rod and he who faileth shall have the cap." They replied,"'O uncle, we depute thee to make trial of us and do thou decide between us as thou deems fit." Hasan asked, "Will ye hearken to me and have regard to my words?"; and they answered, "Yes." Then said he, "I will take a stone and throw it and he who outrunneth his brother thereto and picketh it up shall take the rod, and the other who is outraced shall take the cap." And they said, "We accept and consent to this thy proposal." Then Hasan took a stone and threw it with his might, so that it disappeared from sight. The two boys ran under and after it and when they were at a distance, he donned the cap and hending the rod in hand, removed from his place that he might prove the truth of that which the boys had said, with regard to their scant properties. The younger outran the elder and coming first to the stone, took it and returned with it to the place where they had left Hasan, but found no signs of him. So he called to his brother, saying, "Where is the man who was to be umpire between us?" Quoth the other, "I espy him not neither wot I whether he hath flown up to heaven above or sunk into earth beneath." Then they sought for him, but saw him not, though all the while he was standing in his stead hard by them. So they abused each other, saying, "Rod and Cap are both gone; they are neither mine nor thine: and indeed our father warned us of this very thing; but we forgot whatso he said." Then they retraced their steps and Hasan also entered the city, wearing the cap and bearing the rod; and none saw him. Now when he was thus certified of the truth of their speech, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and making the palace, went up into the lodging of Shawahi, who saw him not, because of the cap. Then he walked up to a shelf [FN#164] over her head upon which were vessels of glass and chinaware, and shook it with his hand, so that what was thereon fell to the ground. The old woman cried out and beat her face; then she rose and restored the fallen things to their places, [FN#165] saying in herself, "By Allah, methinks Queen Nur al-Huda hath sent a Satan to torment me, and he hath tricked me this trick! I beg Allah Almighty, deliver me from her and preserve me from her wrath, for, O Lord, if she deal thus abominably with her half-sister, beating and hanging her, dear as she is to her sire, how will she do with a stranger like myself, against whom she is incensed?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-second Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the ancient Lady of Calamities cried, "When Queen Nur al-Huda doeth such misdeed to her sister, what will she do to a stranger like myself, against whom she is incensed?" Then said she, "I conjure thee, O devil, by the Most Compassionate, the Bountiful-great, the High of Estate, of Dominion Elate who man and Jinn did create, and by the writing upon the seal of Solomon David-son (on both be the Peace!) speak to me and answer me;" Quoth Hasan, "I am no devil; I am Hasan, the afflicted, the distraught." Then he raised the cap from his head and appeared to the old woman, who knew him and taking him apart, said to him, "What is come to thy reason, that thou returnest hither? Go hide thee; for, if this wicked woman have tormented thy wife with such torments, and she her sister, what will she do, an she light on thee?" Then she told him all that had befallen his spouse and that wherein she was of travail and torment and tribulation, and straitly described all the pains she endured adding, "And indeed the Queen repenteth her of having let thee go and hath sent one after thee, promising him an hundred-weight of gold and my rank in her service; and she hath sworn that, if he bring thee back, she will do thee and thy wife and children dead." And she shed tears and discovered to Hasan what the Queen had done with herself, whereat he wept and said, "O my lady, how shall I do to escape from this land and deliver myself and my wife and children from this tyrannical Queen and how devise to return with them in safety to my own country?" Replied the old woman, "Woe to thee! Save thyself." Quoth he, "There is no help but I deliver her and my children from the Queen perforce and in her despite;" and quoth Shawahi, "How canst thou forcibly rescue them from her? Go and hide thyself, O my son, till Allah Almighty empower thee." Then Hasan showed her the rod and the cap, whereat she rejoiced with joy exceeding and cried, "Glory be to Him who quickeneth the bones, though they be rotten! By Allah, O my son, thou and thy wife were but of lost folk; now, however, thou art saved, thou and thy wife and children! For I know the rod and I know its maker, who was my Shaykh in the science of Gramarye. He was a mighty magician and spent an hundred and thirty and five years working at this rod and cap, till he brought them to perfection, when Death the Inevitable overtook him. And I have heard him say to his two boys, 'O my sons, these two things are not of your lot, for there will come a stranger from a far country, who will take them from you by force, and ye shall not know how he taketh them.' Said they, 'O our father, tell us how he will avail to take them.' But he answered, 'I wot not.' And O my son," added she, "how availedst thou to take them?" So he told her how he had taken them from the two boys, whereat she rejoiced and said, "O my son, since thou hast gotten the whereby to free thy wife and children, give ear to what I shall say to thee. For me there is no woning with this wicked woman, after the foul fashion in which she durst use me; so I am minded to depart from her to the caves of the Magicians and there abide with them until I die. But do thou, O my son, don the cap and hend the rod in hand and enter the place where thy wife and children are. Unbind her bonds and smite the earth with the rod saying, 'Be ye present, O servants of these names!' whereupon the servants of the rod will appear; and if there present himself one of the Chiefs of the Tribes, command him whatso thou shalt wish and will." So he farewelled her and went forth, donning the cap and hending the rod, and entered the place where his wife was. He found her well-nigh lifeless, bound to the ladder by her hair, tearful-eyed and woeful-hearted, in the sorriest of plights, knowing no way to deliver herself. Her children were playing under the ladder, whilst she looked at them and wept for them and herself, because of the barbarities and sore treatings and bitter penalties which had befallen her; and he heard her repeat these couplets [FN#166], "There remained not aught save a fluttering, breath and an eye whose owner is confounded. And a desirous lover whose bowels are burned with fire notwithstanding which she is silent. The exulting foe pitieth her at the sight of her. Alas for her whom the exulting foe pitieth!" When Hasan saw her in this state of torment and misery and ignominy and infamy, he wept till he fainted; and when he recovered he saw his children playing and their mother aswoon for excess of pain; so he took the cap from his head and the children saw him and cried out, "O our father!" Then he covered his head again and the Princess came to herself, hearing their cry, but saw only her children weeping and shrieking, "O our father!" When she heard them name their sire and weep, her heart was broken and her vitals rent asunder and she said to them, "What maketh you in mind of your father at this time?" And she wept sore and cried out, from a bursten liver and an aching bosom, "Where are ye and where is your father?" Then she recalled the days of her union with Hasan and what had befallen her since her desertion of him and wept with sore weeping till her cheeks were seared and furrowed and her face was drowned in a briny flood. Her tears ran down and wetted the ground and she had not a hand loose to wipe them from her cheeks, whilst the flies fed their fill on her skin, and she found no helper but weeping and no solace but improvising verses. Then she repeated these couplets, "I call to mind the parting-day that rent our loves in twain, When, as I turned away, the tears in very streams did rain. The cameleer urged on his beasts with them, what while I found Nor strength nor fortitude, nor did my heart with me remain. Yea, back I turned, unknowing of the road nor might shake off The trance of grief and longing love that numbed my heart and brain; And worst of all betided me, on my return, was one Who came to me, in lowly guise, to glory in my pain. Since the belovèd's gone, O soul, forswear the sweet of life Nor covet its continuance, for, wanting him, 'twere vain. List, O my friend, unto the tale of love, and God forbid That I should speak and that thy heart to hearken should not deign! As 'twere El Asmaï himself, of passion I discourse Fancies rare and marvellous, linked in an endless chain." [FN#167] --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-third Night, She continued, When Hasan went in to his wife he saw his children and heard her repeating the verses afore mentioned. [FN#168] Then she turned right and left, seeking the cause of her children's crying out, "O our father!" but saw no one and marvelled that her sons should name their sire at that time and call upon him. But when Hasan heard her verses, he wept till he swooned away and the tears railed down his cheeks like rain. Then he drew near the children and raised the cap from his head unseen of his wife, whereupon they saw him and they knew him and cried out, saying, "O our father!" Their mother fell a-weeping again, when she heard them name their sire's name and said, "There is no avoiding the doom which Almighty Allah hath decreed!" adding, "O Strange! What garreth them think of their father at this time and call upon him, albeit it is not of their wont?" Then she wept and recited these couplets, "The land of lamping moon is bare and drear; * O eyne of me pour forth the brimming tear! They marched: how shall I now be patient? * That I nor heart nor patience own I swear! O ye, who marched yet bide in heart of me, * Will you, O lords of me, return to that we were? What harm if they return and I enjoy * Meeting, and they had ruth on tears of care? Upon the parting-day they dimmed these eyne, * For sad surprise, and lit the flames that flare. Sore longed I for their stay, but Fortune stayed * Longings and turned my hope to mere despair. Return to us (O love!) by Allah, deign! * Enow of tears have flowed for absence-bane." Then Hasan could no longer contain himself, but took the cap from his head; whereupon his wife saw him and recognising him screamed a scream which startled all in the palace, and said to him, "How camest thou hither? From the sky hast thou dropped or through the earth hast thou come up?" And her eyes brimmed with tears and Hasan also wept. Quoth she, "O man, this be no time for tears or blame. Fate hath had its course and the sight was blinded and the Pen hath run with what was ordained of Allah when Time was begun: so, Allah upon thee, whencesoever thou comest, go hide, lest any espy thee and tell my sister and she do thee and me die!" Answered he, "O my lady and lady of all Queens, I have adventured myself and come hither, and either I will die or I will deliver thee from this strait and travel with thee and my children to my country, despite the nose of this thy wickedest sister." But as she heard his words she smiled and for awhile fell to shaking her head and said, "Far, O my fife, far is it from the power of any except Allah Almighty to deliver me from this my strait! Save thyself by flight and wend thy ways and cast not thyself into destruction; for she hath conquering hosts none may withstand. Given that thou tookest me and wentest forth, how canst thou make thy country and escape from these islands and the perils of these awesome places? Verily, thou hast seen on thy way hither, the wonders, the marvels, the dangers and the terrors of the road, such as none may escape, not even one of the rebel Jinns. Depart, therefore, forthright and add not cark to my cark and care to my care, neither do thou pretend to rescue me from this my plight; for who shall carry me to thy country through all these vales and thirsty wolds and fatal steads?" Rejoined Hasan, "By thy life, O light of mine eyes, I will not depart this place nor fare but with thee!" Quoth she, "O man! How canst thou avail unto this thing and what manner of man art thou? Thou knowest not what thou sayest! None can escape from these realms, even had he command over Jinns, Ifrits, magicians, chiefs of tribes and Marids. Save thyself and leave me; perchance Allah will bring about good after ill." Answered Hasan, "O lady of fair ones, I came not save to deliver thee with this rod and with this cap." And he told her what had befallen him with the two boys; but, whilst he was speaking, behold, up came the Queen and heard their speech. Now when he was ware of her, he donned the cap and was hidden from sight, and she entered and said to the Princess, "O wanton, who is he with whom thou wast talking?" Answered Manar al-Sanar, "Who is with me that should talk with me, except these children?" Then the Quee took the whip and beat her, whilst Hasan stood by and looked on, nor did she leave beating her till she fainted; whereupon she bade transport her to another place. So they loosed her and carried her to another chamber whilst Hasan followed unseen. There they cast her down, senseless, and stood gazing upon her, till she revived and recited these couplets, [FN#169] "I have sorrowed on account of our disunion with a sorrow that made the tears to overflow from my eyelids; And I vowed that if Fortune reunite us, I would never again mention our separation; And I would say to the envious, Die ye with regret; By Allah I have now attained my desire! Joy hath overwhelmed me to such a degree that by its excess it hath made me weep. O eye, how hath weeping become thy habit? Thou weepest in joy as well, as in sorrows." When she ceased her verse the slave-girls went out from her and Hasan took off the cap; whereupon his wife said to him, "See, O man, all this befel me not save by reason of my having rebelled against thee and transgressed thy commandment and gone forth without thy leave. [FN#170] So, Allah upon thee blame me not for my sins and know that women never wot a man's worth till they have lost him. Indeed, I have offended and done evil; but I crave pardon of Allah Almighty for whatso I did, and if He reunite us, I will never again gainsay thee in aught, no, never!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan's wife besought pardon of him saying, "Blame me not for my sin; and indeed I crave mercy of Allah Almighty." Quoth Hasan (and indeed his heart ached for her), "'Twas not thou that wast in fault; nay, the fault was mine and mine only, for I fared forth and left thee with one who knew not thy rank, neither thy worth nor thy degree. But know, O beloved of my heart and fruit of my vitals and light of mine eyes, that Allah (blessed be He!) hath ordained to me power of releasing thee; so, say me, wouldst thou have me carry thee to thy father's home, there to accomplish what Allah decreeth unto thee, or wilt thou forthright depart with me to mine own country, now that relief is come to thee?" Quoth she, "Who can deliver me save the Lord of the Heavens? Go to thy motherland and put away from thee false hope; for thou knowest not the perils of these parts which, an thou obey me not, soon shalt thou sight." And she improvised these couplets, "On me and with me bides thy volunty; * Why then such anger such despite to me? Whate'er befel us Heaven forbid that love * Fade for long time or e'er forgotten be! Ceased not the spy to haunt our sides, till seen * Our love estranged and then estranged was he: In truth I trusted to fair thoughts of thine * Though spake the wicked spy maliciously. We'll keep the secret 'twixt us twain and bold * Although the brand of blame unsheathed we see. The livelong day in longing love I spend * Hoping acceptance-message from my friend." Then wept she and her children, and the handmaidens heard them: so they came in to them and found them weeping, but saw not Hasan with them; wherefore they wept for ruth of them and damned Queen Nur al-Huda. Then Hasan took patience till night came on and her guards had gone to their sleeping-places, when he arose and girded his waist; then went up to her and, loosing her, kissed her on the head and between the eyes and pressed her to his bosom, saying, "How long have we wearied for our mother-land and for reunion there! Is this our meeting in sleep, or on wake?" Then he took up the elder boy and she took up the younger and they went forth the palace; and Allah veiled them with the veil of His protection, so that they came safe to the outer gate which closed the entrance to the Queen's Serraglio. But finding it locked from without, Hasan said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily we are Allah's and unto Him shall we return!" With this they despaired of escape and Hasan beat hand upon hand, saying, "O Dispeller of dolours! Indeed, I had bethought me of every thing and considered its conclusion but this; and now, when it is daybreak, they will take us, and what device have we in this case?" And he recited the following two couplets, [FN#171] "Thou madest fair thy thought of Fate, whenas the days were fair, And fearedst not the unknown ills that they to thee might bring. The nights were fair and calm to thee; thou wast deceived by them, For in the peace of night is born full many a troublous thing." Then Hasan wept and his wife wept for his weeping and for the abasement she had suffered and the cruelties of Time and Fortune, "Baulks me my Fate as tho' she were my foe; * Each day she showeth me new cark and care: Fate, when I aim at good, brings clear reverse, * And lets foul morrow wait on day that's fair." And also these, "Irks me my Fate and clean unknows that I * Of my high worth her shifts and shafts despise. She nights parading what ill-will she works: * I night parading Patience to her eyes." Then his wife said to him, "By Allah, there is no relief for us but to kill ourselves and be at rest from this great and weary travail; else we shall suffer grievous torment on the morrow." At this moment, behold, they heard a voice from without the door say, "By Allah, O my lady Manar al-Sana, I will not open to thee and thy husband Hasan, except ye obey me in whatso I shall say to you!" When they heard these words they were silent for excess of fright and would have returned whence they came; when lo! the voice spake again saying, "What aileth you both to be silent and answer me not?" Therewith they knew the speaker for the old woman Shawahi, Lady of Calamities, and said to her, "Whatsoever thou biddest us, that will we do; but first open the door to us; this being no time for talk." Replied she, "By Allah, I will not open to you until ye both swear to me that you will take me with you and not leave me with yonder whore: so, whatever befalleth you shall befal me and if ye escape, I shall escape, and if ye perish, I shall perish: for yonder abominable woman, tribade [FN#172] that she is! entreateth me with indignity and still tormenteth me on your account; and thou, O my daughter, knowest my worth." Now recognising her they trusted in her and sware to her an oath such as contented her, whereupon she opened the door to them and they fared forth and found her riding on a Greek jar of red earthenware with a rope of palm-fibres about its neck, [FN#173] which rolled under her and ran faster than a Najdi colt, and she came up to them, and said, "Follow me and fear naught, for I know forty modes of magic by the least of which I could make this city a dashing sea, swollen with clashing billows, and ensorcel each damsel therein to a fish, and all before dawn. But I was not able to work aught of my mischief, for fear of the King her father and of regard to her sisters, for that they are formidable, by reason of their many guards and tribesmen and servants. However, soon will I show you wonders of my skill in witchcraft; and now let us on, relying upon the blessing of Allah and His good aid." Now Hasan and his wife rejoiced in this, making sure of escape, --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan and his wife, accompanied by the ancient dame Shawahi, fared forth from the palace, they made sure of deliverance and they walked on till they came without the city, when he fortified his heart and, smiting the earth with the rod, cried, "Ho, ye servants of these names, appear to me and acquaint me with your conditions!" Thereupon the earth clave asunder and out came ten [FN#174] Ifrits, with their feet in the bowels of the earth and their heads in the clouds. They kissed the earth three times before Hasan and said as with one voice, "Adsumus! Here are we at thy service, O our lord and ruler over us! What dost thou bid us do? For we hear and obey thy commandment. An thou wilt, we will dry thee up seas and remove mountains from their places." So Hasan rejoiced in their words and at their speedy answer to his evocation then taking courage and bracing up his resolution, he said to them, "Who are ye and what be your names and your races, and to what tribes and clans and companies appertain ye?" They kissed the earth once more and answered as with one voice, saying, "We are seven Kings, each ruling over seven tribes of the Jinn of all conditions, and Satans and Marids, flyers and divers, dwellers in mountains and wastes and wolds and haunters of the seas: so bid us do whatso thou wilt; for we are thy servants and thy slaves, and whoso possesseth this rod hath dominion over an our necks and we owe him obedience." Now when Hasan heard this, he rejoiced with joy exceeding, as did his wife and the old woman, and presently he said to the Kings of the Jinn, "I desire of you that ye show me your tribes and hosts and guards." "O our lord," answered they, "if we show thee our tribes, we fear for thee and these who are with thee, for their name is legion and they are various in form and fashion, figure and favour. Some of us are heads sans bodies and others bodies sans heads, and others again are in the likeness of wild beasts and ravening lions. However, if this be thy will, there is no help but we first show thee those of us who are like unto wild beasts. But, O our lord, what wouldst thou of us at this present?" Quoth Hasan, "I would have you carry me forthwith to the city of Baghdad, me and my wife and this honest woman." But, hearing his words they hung down their heads and were silent, whereupon Hasan asked them, "Why do ye not reply?" And they answered as with one voice, "O our lord and ruler over us, we are of the covenant of Solomon son of David (on the twain be Peace!) and he sware us in that we would bear none of the sons of Adam on our backs; since which time we have borne no mortal on back or shoulder: but we will straightway harness thee horses of the Jinn, that shall carry thee and thy company to thy country." Hasan enquired, "How far are we from Baghdad?" and they, "Seven years' journey for a diligent horseman." Hasan marvelled at this and said to them, "Then how came I hither in less than a year?"; and they said, "Allah softened to thee the hearts of His pious servants else hadst thou never come to this country nor hadst thou set eyes on these regions; no, never! For the Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, who mounted thee on the elephant and the magical horse, traversed with thee, in ten days, three years' journey for a well-girt rider, and the Ifrit Dahnash, to whom the Shaykh committed thee, carried thee a three years' march in a day and a night; all which was of the blessing of Allah Almighty, for that the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh is of the seed of Asaf bin Barkhiyá [FN#175] and knoweth the Most Great name of Allah. [FN#176] Moreover, from Baghdad to the palace of the damsels is a year's journey, and this maketh up the seven years." When Hasan heard this, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and cried, "Glory be to God, Facilitator of the hard, Fortifier of the weak heart, Approximator of the far and Humbler of every froward tyrant, Who hath eased us of every accident and carried me to these countries and subjected to me these creatures and reunited me with my wife and children! I know not whether I am asleep or awake or if I be sober or drunken!" Then he turned to the Jinn and asked, "When ye have mounted me upon your steeds, in how many days will they bring us to Baghdad?"; and they answered, "They will carry you thither under the year, but not till after ye have endured terrible perils and hardships and horrors and ye have traversed thirsty Wadys and frightful wastes and horrible steads without number; and we cannot promise thee safety, O our lord, from the people of these islands,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jann said to Hasan, "We cannot promise thee safety, O our lord, from this Islandry, nor from the mischief of the Supreme King and his enchanters and warlocks. It may be they will overcome us and take you from us and we fall into affliction with them, and all to whom the tidings shall come after this will say to us: 'Ye are wrong-doers! How could ye go against the Supreme King and carry a mortal out of his dominions, and eke the King's daughter with him?' adding, 'Wert thou alone with us the thing were light; but He who conveyed thee hither is capable to carry thee back to thy country and reunite thee with thine own people forthright and in readiest plight. So take heart and put thy trust in Allah and fear not; for we are at thy service, to convey thee to thy country." Hasan thanked them therefor and said, "Allah requite you with good! but now make haste with the horses;" they replied, "We hear and we obey," and struck the ground with their feet, whereupon it opened and they disappeared within it and were absent awhile, after which they suddenly reappeared with three horses, saddled and bridled, and on each saddle-bow a pair of saddle-bags, with a leathern bottle of water in one pocket and the other full of provaunt. So Hasan mounted one steed and took a child before him, whilst his wife mounted a second and took the other child before her. Then the old woman alighted from the jar and bestrode the third horse and they rode on, without ceasing, all night. At break of day, they turned aside from the road and made for the mountain, whilst their tongues ceased not to name Allah. Then they fared on under the highland all that day, till Hasan caught sight of a black object afar as it were a tall column of smoke a-twisting skywards; so he recited somewhat of the Koran and Holy Writ, and sought refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned. The black thing grew plainer as they drew near, and when hard by it, they saw that it was an Ifrit, with a head like a huge dome and tusks like grapnels and jaws like a lane and nostrils like ewers and ears like leathern targes and mouth like a cave and teeth like pillars of stone and hands like winnowing forks and legs like masts: his head was in the cloud and his feet in the bowels of the earth had plowed. Whenas Hasan gazed upon him he bowed himself and kissed the ground before him, saying, "O Hasan, have no fear of me; for I am the chief of the dwellers in this land, which is the first of the Isles of Wak, and I am a Moslem and an adorer of the One God. I have heard of you and your coming and when I knew of your case, I desired to depart from the land of the magicians to another land, void of inhabitants and far from men and Jinn, that I might dwell there alone and worship Allah till my fated end came upon me. So I wish to accompany you and be your guide, till ye fare forth of the Wak Islands; and I will not appear save at night; and do ye hearten your hearts on my account; for I am a Moslem, even as ye are Moslems." When Hasan heard the Ifrit's words, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and made sure of deliverance; and he said to him, "Allah requite thee weal! Go with us relying upon the blessing of Allah!" So the Ifrit forewent them and they followed, talking and making merry, for their hearts were pleased and their breasts were eased and Hasan fell to telling his wife all that had befallen him and all the hardships he had undergone, whilst she excused herself to him and told him, in turn, all she had seen and suffered. They ceased not faring all that night.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they ceased not faring all that night and the horses bore them like the blinding leven, and when the day rose all put their hands to the saddle-bags and took forth provaunt which they ate and water which they drank. Then they sped diligently on their way, preceded by the Ifrit, who turned aside with them from the beaten track into another road, till then untrodden, along the seashores and they ceased not faring on, without stopping, across Wadys and wolds a whole month, till on the thirty-first day there arose before them a dust-cloud, that walled the world and darkened the day; and when Hasan saw this, he was confused and turned pale; and more so when a frightful crying and clamour struck their ears. There, upon the old woman said to him, "O my son, this is the army of the Wak Islands, that hath overtaken us; and presently they will lay violent hands on us." Hasan asked, "What shall I do, O my mother?"; and she answered, "Strike the earth with the rod." He did so whereupon the Seven Kings presented themselves and saluted him with the salam, kissing ground before him and saying, "Fear not neither grieve." Hasan rejoiced at these words and answered them, saying, "Well said, O Princes of the Jinn and the Ifrits! This is your time!" Quoth they, "Get ye up to the mountain-top, thou and thy wife and children and she who is with thee and leave us to deal with them, for we know that you all are in the right and they in the wrong and Allah will aid us against them." So Hasan and his wife and children and the old woman dismounted and dismissing the horses, ascended the flank of the mountain.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan with his wife, his children and the ancient dame ascended the mountain-flank after they had dismissed the coursers. Presently, up came Queen Nur al-Huda, with the troops right and left, and the captains went round about among the host and ranged them rank by rank in battle array. Then the hosts charged down upon each other and clashed together the twain with a mighty strain, the brave pressed on amain and the coward to fly was fain and the Jinn cast flames of fire from their mouths, whilst the smoke of them rose up to the confines of the sky and the two armies appeared and disappeared. The champions fought and heads flew from trunks and the blood ran in rills; nor did brand leave to play and blood to flow and battle fire to flow, till the murk o' night came, when the two hosts drew apart and, alighting from their steeds rested upon the field by the fires they had kindled. Therewith the Seven Kings went up to Hasan and kissed the earth before him. He pressed forwards to meet them and thanked them and prayed Allah to give them the victory and asked them how they had fared with the Queen's troops. Quoth they, "They will not withstand us more than three days, for we had the better of them to-day, taking some two thousand of them prisoners and slaying of them much folk whose compt may not be told. So be of good cheer and broad of breast." Then they farewelled him and went down to look after the safety of their troops; and they ceased not to keep up the fires till the morning rose with its sheen and shone, when the fighting-men mounted their horses of noble strain and smote one another with thin-edged skean and with brawn of bill they thrust amain nor did they cease that day battle to darraign. Moreover, they passed the night on horseback clashing together like dashing seas; raged among them the fires of war and they stinted not from battle and jar, till the armies of Wak were defeated and their power broken and their courage quelled; their feet slipped and whither they fled soever defeat was before them; wherefore they turned tail and of flight began to avail: but the most part of them were slain and their Queen and her chief officers and the grandees of her realm were captive ta'en. When the morning morrowed, the Seven Kings presented themselves before Hasan and set for him a throne of alabaster inlaid with pearls and jewels, and he sat down thereon. They also set thereby a throne of ivory, plated with glittering gold, for the Princess Manar al-Sana and another for the ancient dame Shawahi Zat al-Dawahi. Then they brought before them the prisoners and among the rest, Queen Nur al-Huda with elbows pinioned and feet fettered, whom when Shawahi saw, she said to her, "Thy recompense, O harlot, O tyrant, shall be that two bitches be starved and two mares stinted of water, till they be athirst: then shalt thou be bound to the mares' tails and these driven to the river, with the bitches following thee that they may rend thy skin; and after, thy flesh shall be cut off and given them to eat. How couldst thou do with thy sister such deed, O strumpet, seeing that she was lawfully married, after the ordinance of Allah and of His Apostle? For there is no monkery in Al-Islam and marriage is one of the institutions of the Apostles (on whom be the Peace!) [FN#177] nor were women created but for men." Then Hasan commanded to put all the captives to the sword and the old woman cried out, saying, "Slay them all and spare none [FN#178]!" But, when Princess Manar al-Sana saw her sister in this plight, a bondswoman and in fetters, she wept over her and said, "O my sister, who is this hath conquered us and made us captives in our own country?" Quoth Nur al-Huda, "Verily, this is a mighty matter. Indeed this man Hasan hath gotten the mastery over us and Allah hath given him dominion over us and over all our realm and he hath overcome us, us and the Kings of the Jinn." And quoth her sister, "Indeed, Allah aided him not against you nor did he overcome you nor capture you save by means of this cap and rod." So Nur al-Huda was certified and assured that he had conquered her by means thereof and humbled herself to her sister, till she was moved to ruth for her and said to her husband, "What wilt thou do with my sister? Behold, she is in thy hands and she hath done thee no misdeed that thou shouldest punish her." Replied Hasan, "Her torturing of thee was misdeed enow." But she answered, saying, "She hath excuse for all she did with me. As for thee, thou hast set my father's heart on fire for the loss of me, and what will be his case, if he lose my sister also?" And he said to her, "'Tis thine to decide; do whatso thou wilt." So she bade loose her sister and the rest of the captives, and they did her bidding. Then she went up to Queen Nur al-Huda and embraced her, and they wept together a long while; after which quoth the Queen, "O my sister, bear me not malice for that I did with thee;" and quoth Manar al-Sana, "O my sister, this was foreordained to me by Fate." Then they sat on the couch talking and Manar al-Sana made peace between the old woman and her sister, after the goodliest fashion, and their hearts were set at ease. Thereupon Hasan dismissed the servants of the rod thanking them for the succour which they had afforded him against his foes, and Manar al-Sana related to her sister all that had befallen her with Hasan her husband and every thing he had suffered for her sake, saying, "O my sister, since he hath done these deeds and is possessed of this might and Allah Almighty hath gifted him with such exceeding prowess, that he hath entered our country and beaten thine army and taken thee prisoner and defied our father, the Supreme King, who hath dominion over all the Princes of the Jinn, it behoveth us to fail not of what is due to him." Replied Nur al-Huda, "By Allah, O my sister, thou sayest sooth in whatso thou tellest me of the marvels which this man hath seen and suffered; and none may fail of respect to him. But was all this on thine account, O my sister?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Princess Manar al-Sana repeated to her sister these praises of Hasan, the other replied, "By Allah, this man can claim all respect more by token of his generosity. But was all this on thine account?" "Yes," answered Manar al-Sana, and they passed the night in converse till the morning morrowed and the sun rose and they were minded to depart. So they farewelled one another and Manar al-Sana gave God-speed to the ancient dame after the reconciling her with Queen Nur al-Huda. Thereupon Hasan smote the earth with the rod and its servants the Jinn appeared and saluted him, saying, "Praised be Allah, who hath set thy soul at rest! Command us what thou wilt, and we will do it for thee in less than the twinking of an eye." He thanked them for their saying and said to them "Allah requite you with good! Saddle me two steeds of the best." So they brought him forthwith two saddled coursers, one of which he mounted, taking his elder son before him, and his wife rode the other, taking the younger son in front of her. Then the Queen and the old woman also backed horse and departed, Hasan and his wife following the right and Nur al-Huda and Shawahi the left hand road. The spouses fared on with their children, without stopping, for a whole month, till they drew in sight of a city, which they found compassed about with trees and streams and, making the trees, dismounted beneath them thinking to rest there. As they sat talking, behold, they saw many horsemen coming towards them, whereupon Hasan rose and going to meet them, saw that it was King Hassun, lord of the Land of Camphor and Castle of Crystal, with his attendants. So Hasan went up to the King and kissed his hands and saluted him; and when Hassun saw him, he dismounted and seating himself with Hasan upon carpets under the trees returned his salam and gave him joy of his safety and rejoiced in him with exceeding joy, saying to him, "O Hasan, tell me all that hath befallen thee, first and last." So he told him all of that, whereupon the King marvelled and said to him, "O my son, none ever reached the Islands of Wak and returned thence but thou, and indeed thy case is wondrous; but Alhamdolillah--praised be God--for safety!" Then he mounted and bade Hasan ride with his wife and children into the city, where he lodged them in the guest-house of his palace; and they abode with him three days, eating and drinking in mirth and merriment, after which Hasan sought Hassun's leave to depart to his own country and the King granted it. Accordingly they took horse and the King rode with them ten days, after which he farewelled them and turned back, whilst Hasan and his wife and children fared on a whole month, at the end of which time they came to a great cavern, whose floor was of brass. Quoth Hasan to his wife, "Kennest thou yonder cave?"; and quoth she, "No." Said he, "Therein dwelleth a Shaykh, Abu al-Ruwaysh hight, to whom I am greatly beholden, for that he was the means of my becoming acquainted with King Hassun." Then he went on to tell her all that had passed between him and Abu al-Ruwaysh, and as he was thus engaged, behold, the Shaykh himself issued from the cavernmouth. When Hasan saw him, he dismounted from his steed and kissed his hands, and the old man saluted him and gave him joy of his safety and rejoiced in him. Then he carried him into the antre and sat down with him, whilst Hasan related to him what had befallen him in the Islands of Wak; whereat the Elder marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, "O Hasan, how didst thou deliver thy wife and children?" So he told them the tale of the cap and the rod, hearing which he wondered and said, "O Hasan, O my son, but for this rod and the cap, thou hadst never delivered thy wife and children." And he replied, "Even so, O my lord." As they were talking, there came a knocking at the door and Abu al-Ruwaysh went out and found Abd al-Kaddus mounted on his elephant. So he saluted him and brought him into the cavern, where he embraced Hasan and congratulated him on his safety, rejoicing greatly in his return. Then said Abu al-Ruwaysh to Hasan, "Tell the Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus all that hath befallen thee, O Hasan." He repeated to him every thing that had passed, first and last, till he came to the tale of the rod and cap,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirtieth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan began relating to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus and Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh (who sat chattting in the cave) all that had passed, first and last, till he came to the tale of the rod and cap; where, upon quoth Abd al-Kaddus, "O my son, thou hast delivered thy wife and thy children and hast no further need of the two. Now we were the means of thy winning to the Islands of Wak, and I have done thee kindness for the sake of my nieces, the daughters of my brother; wherefore I beg thee, of thy bounty and favour, to give me the rod and the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh the cap." When Hasan heard this, he hung down his head, being ashamed to reply, "I will not give them to you," and said in his mind, "Indeed these two Shaykhs have done me great kindness and were the means of my winning to the Islands of Wak, and but for them I had never made the place, nor delivered my children, nor had I gotten me this rod and cap." So he raised his head and answered, "Yes, I will give them to you: but, O my lords, I fear lest the Supreme King, my wife's father, come upon me with his commando and combat with me in my own country, and I be unable to repel them, for want of the rod and the cap." Replied Abd al-Kaddus, "Fear not, O my son; we will continually succour thee and keep watch and ward for thee in this place; and whosoever shall come against thee from thy wife's father or any other, him we will fend off from thee; wherefore be thou of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear, and hearten thy heart and broaden thy breast and feel naught whatsoever of fear, for no harm shall come to thee." When Hasan heard this he was abashed and gave the cap to Abu al-Ruwaysh, saying to Abd al-Kaddus, "Accompany me to my own country and I will give thee the rod." At this the two elders rejoiced with exceeding joy and made him ready riches and treasures which beggar all description. He abode with them three days, at the end of which he set out again and the Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus made ready to depart with him. So he and his wife mounted their beasts and Abd al-Kaddus whistled, when, behold, a mighty big elephant trotted up with fore hand and feet on amble from the heart of the desert and he took it and mounted it. Then they farewelled Abu al-Ruwaysh who disappeared within his cavern; and they fared on across country, traversing the land in its length and breadth wherever Abd al-Kaddus guided them by a short cut and an easy way, till they drew near the land of the Princesses; whereupon Hasan rejoiced at finding himself once more near his mother, and praised Allah for his safe return and reunion with his wife and children after so many hardships and perils; and thanked Him for His favours and bounties, reciting these couplets, "Haply shall Allah deign us twain unite * And lockt in strict embrace we'll hail the light: And wonders that befel me I'll recount, * And all I suffered from the Severance-blight: And fain I'll cure mine eyes by viewing you * For ever yearned my heart to see your sight: I hid a tale for you my heart within * Which when we meet o' morn I'll fain recite: I'll blame you for the deeds by you were done * But while blame endeth love shall stay in site." Hardly had he made an end of these verses, when he looked and behold, there rose to view the Green Dome [FN#179] and the jetting Fount and the Emerald Palace, and the Mountain of Clouds showed to them from afar; whereupon quoth Abd al-Kaddus, "Rejoice, O Hasan, in good tidings: to-night shalt thou be the guest of my nieces!" At this he joyed with exceeding joy and as also did his wife, and they alighted at the domed pavilion, where they took their rest [FN#180] and ate and drank; after which they mounted horse again and rode on till they came upon the palace. As they drew near, the Princesses who were daughters of the King, brother to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, came forth to meet them and saluted them and their uncle who said to them, "O daughters of my brother, behold, I have accomplished the need of this your brother Hasan and have helped him to regain his wife and children." So they embraced him and gave him joy of his return in safety and health and of his reunion with his wife and children, and it was a day of festival [FN#181] with them. Then came forward Hasan's sister, the youngest Princess, and embraced him, weeping with sore weeping, whilst he also wept for his long desolation: after which she complained to him of that which she had suffered for the pangs of separation and weariness of spirit in his absence and recited these two couplets, "After thy faring never chanced I'spy * A shape, but did thy form therein descry: Nor closed mine eyes in sleep but thee I saw, * E'en as though dwelling 'twixt the lid and eye." When she had made an end of her verses, she rejoiced with joy exceeding and Hasan said to her, "O my sister, I thank none in this matter save thyself over all thy sisters, and may Allah Almighty vouchsafe thee aidance and countenance!" Then he related to her all that had past in his journey, from first to last, and all that he had undergone, telling her what had betided him with his wife's sister and how he had delivered his wife and wees and he also described to her all that he had seen of marvels and grievous perils, even to how Queen Nur al-Huda would have slain him and his spouse and children and none saved them from her but the Lord the Most High. Moreover, he related to her the adventure of the cap and the rod and how Abd al-Kaddus and Abu al-Ruwaysh had asked for them and he had not agreed to give them to the twain save for her sake; wherefore she thanked him and blessed him wishing him long life; and he cried, "By Allah, I shall never forget all the kindness thou hast done me from incept to conclusion."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-first Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan foregathered with the Princesses, he related to his sister all that he had endured and said to her, "Never will I forget what thou hast done for me from incept to conclusion." Then she turned to his wife Manar al-Sana and embraced her and pressed her children to her breast, saying to her, "O daughter of the Supreme King, was there no pity in thy bosom, that thou partedst him and his children and settedst his heart on fire for them? Say me, didst thou desire by this deed that he should die?" The Princess laughed and answered, "Thus was it ordained of Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and whoso beguileth folk, him shall Allah begule." [FN#182] Then they set on somewhat of meat and drink, and they all ate and drank and made merry. They abode thus ten days in feast and festival, mirth and merry-making, at the end of which time Hasan prepared to continue his journey. So his sister rose and made him ready riches and rarities, such as defy description. Then she strained him to her bosom, because of leavetaking, and threw her arms round his neck whilst he recited on her account these couplets, "The solace of lovers is naught but far, * And parting is naught save grief singular: And ill-will and absence are naught but woe, * And the victims of Love naught but martyrs are; And how tedious is night to the loving wight * From his true love parted 'neath evening star! His tears course over his cheeks and so * He cries, 'O tears be there more to flow?'" With this Hasan gave the rod to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, who joyed therein with exceeding joy and thanking him and securing it mounted and returned to his own place. Then Hasan took horse with his wife and children and departed from the Palace of the Princesses, who went forth [FN#183] with him, to farewell him. Then they turned back and Hasan fared on, over wild and wold, two months and ten days, till he came to the city of Baghdad, the House of Peace, and repairing to his home by the private postern which gave upon the open country, knocked at the door. Now his mother, for long absence, had forsworn sleep and given herself to mourning and weeping and wailing, till she fell sick and ate no meat, neither took delight in slumber but shed tears night and day. She ceased not to call upon her son's name albeit she despaired of his returning to her; and as he stood at the door, he heard her weeping and reciting these couplets, "By Allah, heal, O my lords, the unwhole * Of wasted frame and heart worn with dole: An you grant her a meeting 'tis but your grace * Shall whelm in the boons of the friend her soul: I despair not of Union the Lord can grant * And to weal of meeting our woes control!" When she had ended her verses, she heard her son's voice at the door, calling out, "O mother, mother ah! fortune hath been kind and hath vouchsafed our reunion!" Hearing his cry she knew his voice and went to the door, between belief and misbelief; but, when she opened it she saw him standing there and with him his wife and children; so she shrieked aloud, for excess of joy, and fell to the earth in a fainting-fit. Hasan ceased not soothing her, till she recovered and embraced him; then she wept with joy, and presently she called his slaves and servants and bade them carry all his baggage into the house. [FN#184] So they brought in every one of the loads, and his wife and children entered also, whereupon Hasan's mother went up to the Princess and kissed her head and bussed her feet, saying, "O daughter of the Supreme King, if I have failed of thy due, behold, I crave pardon of Almighty Allah." Then she turned to Hasan and said to him, "O my son, what was the cause of this long strangerhood?" He related to her all his adventures from beginning to end; and when she heard tell of all that had befallen him, she cried a great cry and fell down a-fainting at the very mention of his mishaps. He solaced her, till she came to herself and said, "By Allah, O my son, thou hast done unwisely in parting with the rod and the cap for, hadst thou kept them with the care due to them, thou wert master of the whole earth, in its breadth and length; but praised be Allah, for thy safety, O my son, and that of thy wife and children!" They passed the night in all pleasance and happiness, and on the morrow Hasan changed his clothes and donning a suit of the richest apparel, went down into the bazar and bought black slaves and slave-girls and the richest stuffs and ornaments and furniture such as carpets and costly vessels and all manner other precious things, whose like is not found with Kings. Moreover, he purchased houses and gardens and estates and so forth and abode with his wife and his children and his mother, eating and drinking and pleasuring: nor did they cease from all joy of life and its solace till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies. And Glory be to Him who hath dominion over the Seen and the Unseen, [FN#185] who is the Living, the Eternal, Who dieth not at all! And men also recount the adventures of Khalifah the Fisherman of Baghdad There was once in tides of yore and in ages and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad, a fisherman, Khalífah hight, a pauper wight, who had never once been married in all his days.  [FN#186] It chanced one morning, that he took his net and went with it to the river, as was his wont, with the view of fishing before the others came. When he reached the bank, he girt himself and tucked up his skirts; then stepping into the water, he spread his net and cast it a first cast and a second but it brought up naught. He ceased not to throw it, till he had made ten casts, and still naught came up therein; wherefore his breast was straitened and his mind perplexed concerning his case and he said, "I crave pardon of God the Great, there is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal, and unto Him I repent. There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Whatso He willeth is and whatso He nilleth is not! Upon Allah (to whom belong Honour and Glory!) dependeth daily bread! Whenas He giveth to His servant, none denieth him; and whenas He denieth a servant, none giveth to him." And of the excess of his distress, he recited these two couplets, "An Fate afflict thee, with grief manifest, * Prepare thy patience and make broad thy breast; For of His grace the Lord of all the worlds * Shall send to wait upon unrest sweet Rest." Then he sat awhile pondering his case, and with his head bowed down recited also these couplets, "Patience with sweet and with bitter Fate! * And weet that His will He shall consummate: Night oft upon woe as on abscess acts * And brings it up to the bursting state: And Chance and Change shall pass o'er the youth * And fleet from his thoughts and no more shall bait." Then he said in his mind, "I will make this one more cast, trusting in Allah, so haply He may not disappoint my hope;" and he rose and casting into the river the net as far as his arm availed, gathered the cords in his hands and waited a full hour, after which he pulled at it and, finding it heavy,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-second Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Khalifah the Fisherman had cast his net sundry times into the stream, yet had it brought up naught, he pondered his case and improvised the verses afore quoted. Then he said in his mind, "I will make this one more cast, trusting in Allah who haply will not disappoint my hope." So he rose and threw the net and waited a full hour, after which time he pulled at it and, finding it heavy, handled it gently and drew it in, little by little, till he got it ashore, when lo and behold! he saw in it a one-eyed, lame-legged ape. Seeing this quoth Khalifah, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! verily, we are Allah's and to Him we are returning! What meaneth this heart-breaking, miserable ill-luck and hapless fortune? What is come to me this blessed day? But all this is of the destinies of Almighty Allah!" Then he took the ape and tied him with a cord to a tree which grew on the river-bank, and grasping a whip he had with him, raised his arm in the air, thinking to bring down the scourge upon the quarry, when Allah made the ape speak with a fluent tongue, saying, "O Khalifah, hold thy hand and beat me not, but leave me bounden to this tree and go down to the river and cast thy net, confiding in Allah; for He will give thee thy daily bread." Hearing this Khalifah went down to the river and casting his net, let the cords run out. Then he pulled it in and found it heavier than before; so he ceased not to tug at it, till he brought it to land, when, behold, there was another ape in it, with front teeth wide apart,  [FN#187] Kohl-darkened eyes and hands stained with Henna-dyes; and he was laughing and wore a tattered waistcloth about his middle. Quoth Khalifah, "Praised be Allah who hath changed the fish of the river into apes!"  [FN#188] then, going up to the first ape, who was still tied to the tree, he said to him, "See, O unlucky, how fulsome was the counsel thou gavest me! None but thou made me light on this second ape: and for that thou gavest me good-morrow with thy one eye and thy lameness,  [FN#189] I am become distressed and weary, without dirham or dinar." So saying, he hent in hand a stick  [FN#190] and flourishing it thrice in the air, was about to come down with it upon the lame ape, when the creature cried out for mercy and said to him, "I conjure thee, by Allah, spare me for the sake of this my fellow and seek of him thy need; for he will guide thee to thy desire!" So he held his hand from him and throwing down the stick, went up to and stood by the second ape, who said to him, "O Khalifah, this my speech  [FN#191] will profit thee naught, except thou hearken to what I say to thee; but, an thou do my bidding and cross me not, I will be the cause of thine enrichment." Asked Khalifah, "And what hast thou to say to me that I may obey there therein?" The Ape answered, "Leave me bound on the bank and hie thee down to the river; then cast thy net a third time, and after I will tell thee what to do." So he took his net and going down to the river, cast it once more and waited awhile. Then he drew it in and finding it heavy, laboured at it and ceased not his travail till he got it ashore, when he found in it yet another ape; but this one was red, with a blue waistcloth about his middle; his hands and feet were stained with Henna and his eyes blackened with Kohl. When Khalifah saw this, he exclaimed, "Glory to God the Great! Extolled be the perfection of the Lord of Dominion! Verily, this is a blessed day from first to last: its ascendant was fortunate in the countenance of the first ape, and the scroll  [FN#192] is known by its superscription! Verily, to-day is a day of apes: there is not a single fish left in the river, and we are come out to-day but to catch monkeys!" Then he turned to the third ape and said, "And what thing art thou also, O unlucky?" Quoth the ape, "Dost thou not know me, O Khalifah!"; and quoth he, "Not I!" The ape cried, "I am the ape of Abu al-Sa'ádát  [FN#193] the Jew, the shroff." Asked Khalifah, "And what dost thou for him?"; and the ape answered, "I give him good-morrow at the first of the day, and he gaineth five ducats; and again at the end of the day, I give him good-even and he gaineth other five ducats." Whereupon Khalifah turned to the first ape and said to him, "See, O unlucky, what fine apes other folks have! As for thee, thou givest me good-morrow with thy one eye and thy lameness and thy ill-omened phiz and I become poor and bankrupt and hungry!" So saying, he took the cattle-stick and flourishing it thrice in the air, was about to come down with it on the first ape, when Abu al-Sa'adat's ape said to him, "Let him be, O Khalifah, hold thy hand and come hither to me, that I may tell thee what to do." So Khalifah threw down the stick and walking up to him cried, "And what hast thou to say to me, O monarch of all monkeys?" Replied the ape, "Leave me and the other two apes here, and take thy net and cast it into the river; and whatever cometh up, bring it to me, and I will tell thee what shall gladden thee."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-third Night She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the ape of Abu al-Sa'adat said to Khalifah, "Take thy net and cast it into the river; and whatever cometh up, bring it to me, and I will tell thee what shall gladden thee." He replied, "I hear and obey," and took the net and gathered it on his shoulder, reciting these couplets, "When straitened is my breast I will of my Creator pray, * Who may and can the heaviest weight lighten in easiest way; For ere man's glance can turn or close his eye by God His grace * Waxeth the broken whole and yieldeth jail its prison-prey. Therefore with Allah one and all of thy concerns commit * Whose grace and favour men of wit shall nevermore gainsay." And also these twain, "Thou art the cause that castest men in ban and bane; * Sorrow e'en so and sorrow's cause Thou canst assain: Make me not covet aught that lies beyond my reach; * How many a greedy wight his wish hath failed to gain!" Now when Khalifah had made an end of his verse, he went down to the river and casting his net, waited awhile; after which he drew it up and found therein a fine young fish,  [FN#194] with a big head, a tail like a ladle and eyes like two gold pieces. When Khalifah saw this fish, he rejoiced, for he had never in his life caught its like, so he took it, marvelling, and carried it to the ape of Abu al-Sa'adat the Jew, as 'twere he had gotten possession of the universal world. Quoth the ape, "O Khalifah, what wilt thou do with his and with thine ape?"; and quoth the Fisherman, "I will tell thee, O monarch of monkeys all I am about to do. Know then that first, I will cast about to make away with yonder accursed, my ape, and take thee in his stead and give thee every day to eat of whatso thou wilt." Rejoined the ape, "Since thou hast made choice of me, I will tell thee how thou shalt do wherein, if it please Allah Almighty, shall be the mending of thy fortune. Lend thy mind, then, to what I say to thee and 'tis this!: Take another cord and tie me also to a tree, where leave me and go to the midst of The Dyke  [FN#195] and cast thy net into the Tigris.  [FN#196] Then after waiting awhile, draw it up and thou shalt find therein a fish, than which thou never sawest a finer in thy whole life. Bring it to me and I will tell thee how thou shalt do after this." So Khalifah rose forthright and casting his net into the Tigris, drew up a great cat-fish  [FN#197] the bigness of a lamb; never had he set eyes on its like, for it was larger than the first fish. He carried it to the ape, who said to him, "Gather thee some green grass and set half of it in a basket; lay the fish therein and cover it with the other moiety. Then, leaving us here tied, shoulder the basket and betake thee to Baghdad. If any bespeak thee or question thee by the way, answer him not, but fare on till thou comest to the market-street of the money-changers, at the upper end of whereof thou wilt find the shop of Master  [FN#198] Abu al-Sa'adat the Jew, Shaykh of the shroffs, and wilt see him sitting on a mattress, with a cushion behind him and two coffers, one for gold and one for silver, before him, while around him stand his Mamelukes and negro-slaves and servant-lads. Go up to him and set the basket before him, saying 'O Abu al-Sa'adat, verily I went out to-day to fish and cast my net in thy name and Allah Almighty sent me this fish.' He will ask, 'Hast thou shown it to any but me?;' and do thou answer, "No, by Allah!' then will he take it of thee and give thee a dinar. Give it back to him and he will give thee two dinars; but do thou return them also and so do with everything he may offer thee; and take naught from him, though he give thee the fish's weight in gold. Then will he say to thee, 'Tell me what thou wouldst have,' and do thou reply, "By Allah, I will not sell the fish save for two words!' He will ask, 'What are they?' and do thou answer, 'Stand up and say, 'Bear witness, O ye who are present in the market, that I give Khalifah the fisherman my ape in exchange for his ape, and that I barter for his lot my lot and luck for his luck.' This is the price of the fish, and I have no need of gold.' If he do this, I will every day give thee good-morrow and good-even, and every day thou shalt gain ten dinars of good gold; whilst this one-eyed, lame-legged ape shall daily give the Jew good-morrow, and Allah shall afflict him every day with an avanie  [FN#199] which he must needs pay, nor will he cease to be thus afflicted till he is reduced to beggary and hath naught. Hearken then to my words; so shalt thou prosper and be guided aright." Quoth Khalifah, "I accept thy counsel, O monarch of all the monkeys! But, as for this unlucky, may Allah never bless him! I know not what to do with him." Quoth the ape, "Let him go  [FN#200] into the water, and let me go also." "I hear and obey," answered Khalifah and unbound the three apes, and they went down into the river. Then he took up the cat-fish  [FN#201] which he washed then laid it in the basket upon some green grass, and covered it with other; and lastly shouldering his load, set out chanting the following Mawwál,  [FN#202] "Thy case commit to a Heavenly Lord and thou shalt safety see; * Act kindly through thy worldly life and live repentance-free. Mate not with folk suspected, lest eke thou shouldst suspected be * And from reviling keep thy tongue lest men revile at thee!" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalifah the fisherman, after ending his song, set out with the basket upon his shoulder and ceased not faring till he entered the city of Baghdad. And as he threaded the streets the folk knew him and cried out to him, saying, "What hast thou there, O Khalifah?" but he paid no heed to them and passed on till he came to the market-street of the money-changers and fared between the shops, as the ape had charged him, till he found the Jew seated at the upper end, with his servants in attendance upon him, as he were a King of the Kings of Khorason. He knew him at first sight; so he went up to him and stood before him, whereupon Abu al-Sa'adat raised his eyes and recognising him, said, "Welcome, O Khalifah! What wantest thou and what is thy need? If any have missaid thee or spited thee, tell me and I will go with thee to the Chief of Police, who shall do thee justice on him." Replied Khalifah, "Nay, as thy head liveth, O chief of the Jews, none hath missaid me. But I went forth this morning to the river and, casting my net into the Tigris on thy luck, brought up this fish." Therewith he opened the basket and threw the fish before the Jew who admired it and said, "By the Pentateuch and the Ten Commandments,  [FN#203] I dreamt last night that the Virgin came to me and said, 'Know, O Abu al-Sa'adat, that I have sent thee a pretty present!' and doubtless 'tis this fish." Then he turned to Khalifah and said to him, "By thy faith, hath any seen it but I?" Khalifah replied, "No by Allah and by Abu Bakr the Viridical,  [FN#204] none hath seen it save thou, O chief of the Jews!" Whereupon the Jew turned to one of his lads and said to him, "Come, carry this fish to my house and bid Sa'ádah  [FN#205] dress it and fry and broil it, against I make an end of my business and hie me home." And Khalifah said, "Go, O my lad; let the master's wife fry some of it and broil the rest." Answered the boy, "I hear and I obey, O my lord" and, taking the fish, went away with it to the house. Then the Jew put out his hand and gave Khalifah the fisherman a dinar, saying, "Take this for thyself, O Khalifah, and spend it on thy family." When Khalifah saw the dinar on his palm, he took it, saying, "Laud to the Lord of Dominion!" as if he had never seen aught of gold in his life; and went somewhat away; but, before he had gone far, he was minded of the ape's charge and turning back threw down the ducat, saying, "Take thy gold and give folk back their fish! Dost thou make a laughing stock of folk? The Jew hearing this thought he was jesting and offered him two dinars upon the other, but Khalifah said, "Give me the fish and no nonsense. How knewest thou I would sell it at this price?" Whereupon the Jew gave him two more dinars and said, "Take these five ducats for thy fish and leave greed." So Khalifah hent the five dinars in hand and went away, rejoicing, and gazing and marvelling at the gold and saying, "Glory be to God! There is not with the Caliph of Baghdad what is with me this day!" Then he ceased not faring on till he came to the end of the market-street, when he remembered the words of the ape and his charge, and returning to the Jew, threw him back the gold. Quoth he, "What aileth thee, O Khalifah? Dost thou want silver in exchange for gold?" Khalifah replied, "I want nor dirhams nor dinars. I only want thee to give me back folk's fish." With this the Jew waxed wroth and shouted out at him, saying, "O fisherman, thou bringest me a fish not worth a sequin and I give thee five for it; yet art thou not content! Art thou Jinn-mad? Tell me for how much thou wilt sell it." Answered Khalifah, "I will not sell it for silver nor for gold, only for two sayings  [FN#206] thou shalt say me." When the Jew heard speak of the "Two Sayings," his eyes sank into his head, he breathed hard and ground his teeth for rage and said to him, "O nail-paring of the Moslems, wilt thou have me throw off my faith for the sake of thy fish, and wilt thou debauch me from my religion and stultify my belief and my conviction which I inherited of old from my forbears?" Then he cried out to the servants who were in waiting and said, "Out on you! Bash me this unlucky rogue's neck and bastinado him soundly!" So they came down upon him with blows and ceased not beating him till he fell beneath the shop, and the Jew said to them, "Leave him and let him rise." Whereupon Khalifah jumped up, as if naught ailed him, and the Jew said to him, "Tell me what price thou asketh for this fish and I will give it thee: for thou hast gotten but scant good of us this day." Answered the Fisherman, "Have no fear for me, O master, because of the beating; for I can eat ten donkeys' rations of stick." The Jew laughed at his words and said, "Allah upon thee, tell me what thou wilt have and by the right of my Faith, I will give it thee!" The Fisherman replied, "Naught from thee will remunerate me for this fish save the two words whereof I spake." And the Jew said, "Meseemeth thou wouldst have me become a Moslem?"  [FN#207] Khalifah rejoined, "By Allah, O Jew, an thou islamise 'twill nor advantage the Moslems nor damage the Jews; and in like manner, an thou hold to thy misbelief 'twill nor damage the Moslems nor advantage the Jews. But what I desire of thee is that thou rise to thy feet and say, 'Bear witness against me, O people of the market, that I barter my ape for the ape of Khalifah the Fisherman and my lot in the world for his lot and my luck for his luck.'" Quoth the Jew, "If this be all thou desirest 'twill sit lightly upon me." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jew said to Khalifah the Fisherman, "If this be all thou desirest, 'twill sit lightly upon me." So he rose without stay or delay and standing on his feet, repeated the required words; after which he turned to the Fisherman and asked him, "Hast thou aught else to ask of me?" "No," answered he, and the Jew said, "Go in peace!" Hearing this Khalifah sprung to his feet forthright; took up his basket and net and returned straight to the Tigris, where he threw his net and pulled it in. He found it heavy and brought it not ashore but with travail, when he found it full of fish of all kinds. Presently, up came a woman with a dish, who gave me a dinar, and he gave her fish for it; and after her an eunuch, who also bought a dinar's worth of fish, and so forth till he had sold ten dinars' worth. And he continued to sell ten dinars' worth of fish daily for ten days, till he had gotten an hundred dinars. Now Khalifah the Fisherman had quarters in the Passage of the Merchants,  [FN#208] and, as he lay one night in his lodging much bemused with Hashish, he said to himself, "O Khalifah, the folk all know thee for a poor fisherman, and now thou hast gotten an hundred golden dinars. Needs must the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, hear of this from some one, and haply he will be wanting money and will send for thee and say to thee, 'I need a sum of money and it hath reached me that thou hast an hundred dinars: so do thou lend them to me those same.' I shall answer, 'O Commander of the Faithful, I am a poor man, and whoso told thee that I had an hundred dinars lied against me; for I have naught of this.' Thereupon he will commit me to the Chief of Police, saying, "Strip him of his clothes and torment him with the bastinado till he confess and give up the hundred dinars in his possession. Wherefore, meseemeth to provide against this predicament, the best thing I can do, is to rise forthright and bash myself with the whip, so to use myself to beating." And his Hashish  [FN#209] said to him, "Rise, doff thy dress." So he stood up and putting off his clothes, took a whip he had by him and set handy a leathern pillow; then he fell to lashing himself, laying every other blow upon the pillow and roaring out the while, "Alas! Alas! By Allah, 'tis a false saying, O my lord, and they have lied against me; for I am a poor fisherman and have naught of the goods of the world!" The noise of the whip falling on the pillow and on his person resounded in the still of night and the folk heard it, and amongst others the merchants, and they said, "Whatever can ail the poor fellow, that he crieth and we hear the noise of blows falling on him?" 'Twould seem robbers have broken in upon him and are tormenting him." Presently they all came forth of their lodgings, at the noise of the blows and the crying, and repaired to Khalifah's room, but they found the door locked and said one to other, "Belike the robbers have come in upon him from the back of the adjoining saloon. It behoveth us to climb over by the roofs." So they clomb over the roofs and coming down through the sky-light,  [FN#210] saw him naked and flogging himself and asked him, "What aileth thee, O Khalifah?" He answered, "Know, O folk, that I have gained some dinars and fear lest my case be carried up to the Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid, and he send for me and demand of me those same gold pieces; where upon I should deny, and I fear that, if I deny, he will torture me, so I am torturing myself, by way of accustoming me to what may come." The merchants laughed at him and said, "Leave this fooling, may Allah not bless thee and the dinars thou hast gotten! Verily thou hast disturbed us this night and hast troubled our hearts." So Khalifah left flogging himself and slept till the morning, when he rose and would have gone about his business, but bethought him of his hundred dinars and said in his mind, "An I leave them at home, thieves will steal them, and if I put them in a belt  [FN#211] about my waist, peradventure some one will see me and lay in wait for me till he come upon me in some lonely place and slay me and take the money: but I have a device that should serve me well, right well." So he jumped up forthright and made him a pocket in the collar of his gaberdine and tying the hundred dinars up in a purse, laid them in the collar-pocket. Then he took his net and basket and staff and went down to the Tigris, --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalifah the Fisherman, having set his hundred dinars in the collar-pocket took basket, staff and net and went down to the Tigris, where he made a cast but brought up naught. So he removed from that place to another and threw again, but once more the net came up empty; and he went on removing from place to place till he had gone half a day's journey from the city, ever casting the net which kept bringing up naught. So he said to himself, "By Allah, I will throw my net a-stream but his once more, whether ill come of it or weal!"  [FN#212] Then he hurled the net with all his force, of the excess and his wrath and the purse with the hundred dinars flew out of his collar-pocket and, lighting in mid-stream, was carried away by the strong current; whereupon he threw down the net and plunged into the water after the purse. He dived for it nigh a hundred times, till his strength was exhausted and he came up for sheer fatigue without chancing on it. When he despaired of finding the purse, he returned to the shore, where he was nothing but staff, net and basket and sought for his clothes, but could light on no trace of them: so he said in himself, "O vilest of those wherefor was made the byword, 'The pilgrimage is not perfected save by copulation with the camel!"  [FN#213] Then he wrapped the net about him and taking staff in one hand and basket in other, went trotting about like a camel in rut, running right and left and backwards and forwards, dishevelled and dusty, as he were a rebel Marid let loose from Solomon's prison.  [FN#214] So far for what concerns the Fisherman Khalifah; but as regards the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, he had a friend, a jeweller called Ibn al-Kirnás,  [FN#215] and all the traders, brokers and middle-men knew him for the Caliph's merchant; wherefore there was naught sold in Baghdad, by way of rarities and things of price or Mamelukes or handmaidens, but was first shown to him. As he sat one day in his shop, behold, there came up to him the Shaykh of the brokers, with a slave-girl, whose like seers never saw, for she was of passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, and among her gifts was that she knew all arts and sciences and could make verses and play upon all manner musical instruments. So Ibn al-Kirnas bought her for five thousand golden dinars and clothed her with other thousand; after which he carried her to the Prince of True Believers, with whom she lay the night and who made trial of her in every kind of knowledge and accomplishment and found her versed in all sorts of arts and sciences, having no equal in her time. Her name was Kút al-Kulúb  [FN#216] and she was even as saith the poet, "I fix my glance on her, whene'er she wends; * And non-acceptance of my glance breeds pain: She favours graceful-necked gazelle at gaze; * And 'Graceful as gazelle' to say we're fain." And where is this  [FN#217] beside the saying of another? "Give me brunettes; the Syrian spears, so limber and so straight, Tell of the slender dusky maids, so lithe and proud of gait. Languid of eyelids, with a down like silk upon her cheek, Within her wasting lover's heart she queens it still in state." On the morrow the Caliph sent for Ibn al-Kirnas the Jeweller, and bade him receive ten thousand dinars as to her price. And his heart was taken up with the slave-girl Kut al-Kulub and he forsook the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, for all she was the daughter of his father's brother  [FN#218] and he abandoned all his favorite concubines and abode a whole month without stirring from Kut al-Kulub's side save to go to the Friday prayers and return to her in all haste. This was grievous to the Lords of the Realm and they complained thereof to the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide, who bore with the Commander of the Faithful and waited till the next Friday, when he entered the cathedral-mosque and, foregathering with the Caliph, related to him all that occurred to him of extra-ordinary stories anent seld-seen love and lovers, with intent to draw out what was in his mind. Quoth the Caliph, "By Allah, O Ja'afar, this is not of my choice; but my heart is caught in the snare of love and wot I not what is to be done!" The Wazir Ja'afar replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, thou knowest how this girl Kut al-Kulub is become at thy disposal and of the number of thy servants, and that which hand possesseth soul coveteth not. Moreover, I will tell thee another thing which is that the highest boast of Kings and Princes is in hunting and the pursuit of sport and victory; and if thou apply thyself to this, perchance it will divert thee from her, and it may be thou wilt forget her." Rejoined the Caliph, "Thou sayest well, O Ja'afar; come let us go a-hunting forthright, without stay or delay." So soon as Friday prayers were prayed, they left the mosque and at once mounting their she-mules rode forth to the chase. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid and the Wazir Ja'afar would go forth a-hunting and a-chasing, they mounted two she-mules and fared on into the open country, occupied with talk, and their attendants outwent them. Presently the heat became overhot and Al-Rashid said to his Wazir, "O Ja'afar, I am sore athirst." Then he looked around and espying a figure in the distance on a high mound, asked Ja'afar, "Seest thou what I see?" Answered the Wazir, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful; I see a dim figure on a high mound; belike he is the keeper of a garden or of a cucumber-plot, and in whatso wise water will not be lacking in his neighborhood;" presently adding, "I will go to him and fetch thee some." But Al-Rashid said, "My mule is swifter than thy mule; so do thou abide here, on account of the troops, whilst I go myself to him and get of this person  [FN#219] drink and return." So saying, he urged his she-mule, which started off like racing wind or railing-water and, in the twinkling of an eye, made the mound, where he found the figure he had seen to be none other than Khalifah the Fisherman, naked and wrapped in the net; and indeed he was horrible to behold, as to and fro he rolled with eyes for very redness like cresset-gleam and dusty hair in dishevelled trim, as he were an Ifrit or a lion grim. Al-Rashid saluted him and he returned his salutation; but he was wroth and fires might have been lit at his breath. Quoth the Caliph, "O man, hast thou any water?"; and quoth Khalifah, "Ho thou, art thou blind, or Jinn-mad? Get thee to the river Tigris, for 'tis behind this mound." So Al-Rashid went around the mound and going down to the river, drank and watered his mule: then without a moment's delay he returned to Khalifah and said to him, "What aileth thee, O man, to stand here, and what is thy calling?" The Fisherman cried, "This is a stranger and sillier question than that about the water! Seest thou not the gear of my craft on my shoulder?" Said the Caliph, "Belike thou art a fisherman?"; and he replied, "Yes." Asked Al-Rashid, "Where is thy gaberdine,  [FN#220] and where are thy waistcloth and girdle and where be the rest of thy raiment?" Now these were the very things which had been taken from Khalifah, like for like; so, when he heard the Caliph name them, he got into his head that it was he who had stolen his clothes from the river-bank and coming down from the top of the mound, swiftlier than the blinding leven, laid hold of the mule's bridle, saying, "Harkye, man, bring me back my things and leave jesting and joking." Al-Rashid replied, "By Allah, I have not seen thy clothes nor know aught of them!" Now the Caliph had large cheeks and a small mouth;  [FN#221] so Khalifah said to him, "Belike, thou art by trade a singer or a piper on pipes? But bring me back my clothes fairly and without more ado, or I will bash thee with this my staff till thou bepiss thyself and befoul they clothes." When Al-Rashid saw the staff in the Fisherman's hand and that he had the vantage of him, he said to himself, "By Allah, I cannot brook from this mad beggar half a blow of that staff!" Now he had on a satin gown; so he pulled it off and gave it to Khalifah, saying, "O man, take this in place of thy clothes." The Fisherman took it and turned it about and said, "My clothes are worth ten of this painted 'Abá-cloak;" and rejoined the Caliph, "Put it on till I bring thee thy gear." So Khalifah donned the gown, but finding it too long for him, took a knife he had with him, tied to the handle of his basket,  [FN#222] and cut off nigh a third of the skirt, so that it fell only beneath his knees. Then he turned to Al-Rashid and said to him, "Allah upon thee, O piper, tell me what wage thou gettest every month from thy master, for thy craft of piping." Replied the Caliph, "My wage is ten dinars a month," and Khalifah continued, "By Allah, my poor fellow, thou makest me sorry for thee! Why, I make thy ten dinars every day! hast thou a mind to take service with me and I will teach thee the art of fishing and share my gain with thee? So shalt thou make five dinars a day and be my slavey and I will protect thee against thy master with this staff." Quoth Al-Rashid, "I will well"; and quoth Khalifah, "Then get off thy she-ass and tie her up, so she may serve us to carry the fish hereafter, and come hither, that I may teach thee to fish forthright." So Al-Rashid alighted and hobbling his mule, tucked his skirts into his girdle, and Khalifah said to him, "O piper, lay hold of the net thus and put it over thy forearm thus and cast it into the Tigris thus." Accordingly, the Caliph took heart of grace and, doing as the fisherman showed him, threw the net and pulled at it, but could not draw it up. So Khalifah came to his aid and tugged at it with him; but the two together could not hale it up: where upon said the fisherman, "O piper of ill-omen, for the first time I took thy gown in place of my clothes; but this second time I will have thine ass and will beat thee to boot, till thou bepiss and beskite thyself! An I find my net torn." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Let the twain of us pull at once." So they both pulled together and succeeded with difficulty in hauling that net ashore, when they found it full of fish of all kinds and colours;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Khalifah the Fisherman and the Caliph hauled that net ashore, they found it full of fish of all kinds; and Khalifah said to Al-Rashid, "By Allah, O piper, thou art foul of favor but, an thou apply thyself to fishing, thou wilt make a mighty fine fisherman. But now 'twere best thou bestraddle thine ass and make for the market and fetch me a pair of frails,  [FN#223] and I will look after the fish till thou return, when I and thou will load it on thine ass's back. I have scales and weights and all we want, so we can take them with us and thou wilt have nothing to do but to hold the scales and pouch the price; for here we have fish worth twenty dinars. So be fast with the frails and loiter not." Answered the Caliph, "I hear and obey" and mounting, left him with his fish, and spurred his mule, in high good humour, and ceased not laughing over his adventures with the Fisherman, till he came up to Ja'afar, who said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, belike, when thou wentest down to drink, thou found a pleasant flower-garden and enteredst and tookest thy pleasure therein alone?" At this Al-Rashid fell a laughing again and all the Barmecides rose and kissed the ground before him, saying, "O Commander of the Faithful, Allah make joy to endure for thee and do away annoy from thee! What was the cause of thy delaying when thou faredst to drink and what hath befallen thee?" Quoth the Caliph, "Verily, a right wonderous tale and a joyous adventure and a wonderous hath befallen me." And he repeated to them what had passed between himself and the Fisherman and his words, "Thou stolest my clothes!" and how he had given him his gown and how he had cut off a part of it, finding it too long for him. Said Ja'afar, "By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I had it in mind to beg the gown of thee; but now I will go straight to the Fisherman and buy it of him." The Caliph replied, "By Allah, he hath cut off a third part of the skirt and spoilt it! But, O Ja'afar, I am tired with fishing in the river, for I have caught great store of fish which I left on the bank with my master Khalifah, and he is watching them and waiting for me to return to him with a couple of frails and a matchet.  [FN#224] Then we are to go, I and he, to the market and sell the fish and share the price." Ja'afar rejoined, "O Commander of the Faithful, I will bring you a purchaser for your fish." And Al-Rashid retorted, "O Ja'afar, by the virtue of my holy forefathers, whoso bringeth me one of the fish that are before Khalifah, who taught me angling, I will give him for it a gold dinar." So the crier proclaimed among the troops that they should go forth and buy fish for the Caliph, and they all arose and made for the river-side. Now, while Khalifah was expecting the Caliph's return with the two frails, behold, the Mamelukes swooped down upon him like vultures and took the fish and wrapped them in gold-embroidered kerchiefs, beating one another in their eagerness to get at the Fisherman. Whereupon quoth Khalifah, "Doubtless these are of the fish of Paradise!"  [FN#225] and hending two fish in right hand and left, plunged into the water up to his neck and fell a-saying, "O Allah, by the virtue of these fish, let Thy servant the piper, my partner, come to me at this very moment." And suddenly up to him came a black slave which was the chief of the Caliph's negro eunuchs. He had tarried behind the rest, by reason of his horse having stopped to make water by the way, and finding that naught remained of the fish, little or much, looked right and left, till he espied Khalifah standing in the stream, with a fish in either hand, and said to him, "Come hither, O Fisherman!" But Khalifah replied, "Begone and none of your impudence!"  [FN#226] So the eunuch went up to him and said, "Give me the fish and I will pay thee their price." Replied the Fisherman, "Art thou little of wit? I will not sell them." Therewith the eunuch drew his mace upon him, and Khalifah cried out, saying, "Strike not, O loon! Better largesse than the mace."  [FN#227] So saying, he threw the two fishes to the eunuch, who took them and laid them in his kerchief. Then he put hand in pouch, but found not a single dirham and said to Khalifah, "O Fisherman, verily thou art out of luck for, by Allah, I have not a silver about me! But come to-morrow to the Palace of the Caliphate and ask for the eunuch Sandal; whereupon the castratos will direct thee to me and by coming thither thou shalt get what falleth to thy lot and therewith wend thy ways." Quoth Khalifah, "Indeed, this is a blessed day and its blessedness was manifest from the first of it!" [FN#228] Then he shouldered his net and returned to Baghdad; and as he passed through the streets, the folk saw the Caliph's gown on him and stared at him till he came to the gate of his quarter, by which was the shop of the Caliph's tailor. When the man saw him wearing a dress of the apparel of the Caliph, worth a thousand dinars, he said to him, "O Khalifah, whence hadst thou that gown?" Replied the Fisherman, "What aileth thee to be impudent? I had it of one whom I taught to fish and who is become my apprentice. O forgave him the cutting off of his hand  [FN#229] for that he stole my clothes and gave me this cape in their place." So the tailor knew that the Caliph had come upon him as he was fishing and jested with him and given him the gown;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night, She resume, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph came upon Khalifah the Fisherman and gave him his own gown in jest wherewith the man fared home. Such was his case; but as regards Harun al-Rashid, he had gone out a-hunting and a-fishing only to divert his thoughts from the damsel, Kut al-Kulub. But when Zubaydah heard of her and of the Caliph's devotion to her, the Lady was fired with the jealousy which the more especially fireth women, so that she refused meat and drink and rejected the delights of sleep and awaited the Caliph's going forth on a journey or what not, that she might set a snare for the damsel. So when she learnt that he was gone hunting and fishing, she bade her women furnish the Palace fairly and decorate it splendidly and serve up viands and confections; and amongst the rest she made a China dish of the daintiest sweetmeats that can be made wherein she had put Bhang. Then she ordered one of her eunuchs go to the damsel Kut al-Kulub and bid her to the banquet, saying, "The Lady Zubaydah bint Al-Kasim, the wife of the Commander of the Faithful, hath drunken medicine to-day and, having heard tell of the sweetness of thy singing, longeth to divert herself somewhat of thine art." Kut al-Kulub replied, "Hearing and obedience are due to Allah and the Lady Zubaydah," and rose without stay or delay, unknowing what was hidden for her in the Secret Purpose. Then she took with her what instruments she needed and, accompanying the eunuch, ceased not fairing till she stood in the presence of the Princess. When she entered she kissed ground before her again and again, then rising to her feet, said, "Peace be on the Lady of the exalted house Abbasi and scion of the Prophet's family! May Allah fulfil thee of peace and prosperity in the days and the years!"  [FN#230] Then she stood with the rest of the women and eunuchs, and presently the Lady Zubaydah raised her eyes and considered her beauty and loveliness. She saw a damsel with cheeks smooth as rose and breasts like granado, a face moon-bright, a brow flower-white and great eyes black as night; her eyelids were langour-dight and her face beamed with light, as if the sun from her forehead arose and the murks of the night from the locks of her brow; and the fragrance of musk from her breath strayed and flowers bloomed in her lovely face inlaid; the moon beamed from her forehead and in her slender shape the branches swayed. She was like the full moon shining in the nightly shade; her eyes wantoned, her eyebrows were like a bow arched and her lips of coral moulded. Her beauty amazed all who espied her and her glances amated all who eyed her. Glory be to Him who formed her and fashioned her and perfected her! Brief, she was even as saith the poet of one who favoured her, "When she's incensed thou seest folk like slain, * And when she's pleased, their souls are quick again: Her eyne are armed with glances magical * Wherewith she kills and quickens as she's fain. The Worlds she leadeth captive with her eyes * As tho' the Worlds were all her slavish train." Quoth the Lady Zubaydah, "Well come, and welcome and fair cheer to thee, O Kut al-Kulub! Sit and divert us with thine art and the goodliness of thine accomplishments." Quoth the damsel, "I hear and I obey"; and, putting out her hand, took the tambourine, whereof one of its praisers speaketh in the following verses, "Ho thou o' the tabret, my heart takes flight * And love-smit cries while thy fingers smite! Thou takest naught but a wounded heart, * The while for acceptance longs the wight: So say thou word or heavy or light; * Play whate'er thou please it will charm the sprite. Sois bonne, unveil thy cheek, ma belle * Rise, deftly dance and all hearts delight." Then she smote the tambourine briskly and so sang thereto, that she stopped the birds in the sky and the place danced with them blithely; after which she laid down the tambourine and took the pipe  [FN#231] whereof it is said, "She hath eyes whose babes wi' their fingers sign * To sweet tunes without a discordant line." And as the poet also said in this couplet, "And, when she announceth the will to sing, * For Union-joy 'tis a time divine!" Then she laid down the pipe, after she had charmed therewith all who were present, and took up the lute, whereof saith the poet, "How many a blooming bough in the glee-girl's hand is fain * as lute to 'witch great souls by charm of cunning strain! She sweeps tormenting lute strings by her artful touch * Wi' finger-tips that surely chain with endless chain." Then she tightened its pegs and tuned its strings and laying it in her lap, bended over it as mother bendeth over child; and it seemed as it were of her and her lute that the poet spoke in these couplets, "Sweetly discourses she on Persian string * And Unintelligence makes understand. And teaches she that Love's a murtherer, * Who oft the reasoning Moslem hath unmann'd. A maid, by Allah, in whose palm a thing * Of painted wood like mouth can speech command. With lute she stauncheth flow of Love; and so * Stops flow of blood the cunning leach's hand." Then she preluded in fourteen different modes and sang to the lute an entire piece, so as to confound the gazers and delight her hearers. After which she recited these two couplets, "The coming unto thee is blest: * Therein new joys for aye attend: Its blisses are continuous * Its blessings never end." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fortieth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the maiden, Kut al-Kulub, after singing these songs and sweeping the strings in presence of the Lady Zubaydah, rose and exhibited tricks of sleight of hand and legerdemain and all manner pleasing arts, till the Princess came near to fall in love with her and said to herself, "Verily, my cousin Al-Rashid is not to blame for loving her!" Then the damsel kissed ground before Zubaydah and sat down, whereupon they set food before her. Presently they brought her the drugged dish of sweetmeats and she ate thereof; and hardly had it settled in her stomach when her head fell backward and she sank on the ground sleeping. With this, the Lady said to her women, "Carry her up to one of the chambers, till I summon her"; and they replied, "We hear and we obey." Then said she to one of her eunuchs, "Fashion me a chest and bring it hitherto to me!", and shortly afterwards she bade make the semblance of a tomb and spread the report that Kut al-Kulub had choked and died, threatening her familiars that she would smite the neck of whoever should say, "She is alive." Now, behold, the Caliph suddenly returned from the chase, and the first enquiry he made was for the damsel. So there came to him one of his eunuchs, whom the Lady Zubaydah had charged to declare she was dead, if the Caliph should ask for her and, kissing ground before him, said, "May thy head live, O my lord! Be certified that Kut al-Kulub choked in eating and is dead." Whereupon cried Al-Rashid, "God never gladden thee with good news, O thou bad slave!" and entered the Palace, where he heard of her death from every one and asked, "Where is her tomb?" So they brought him to the sepulchre and showed him the pretended tomb, saying, "This is her burial-place." When he saw it, he cried out and wept and embraced it, quoting these two couplets,  [FN#232] "By Allah, O tomb, have her beauties ceased and disappeared from sight * And is the countenance changed and wan, that shone so wonder-bright? O tomb, O tomb, thou art neither heaven nor garden, verily: * How comes it then that swaying branch and moon in thee unite? The Caliph, weeping sore for her, abode by the tomb a full hour, after which he arose and went away, in the utmost distress and the deepest melancholy. So the Lady Zubaydah saw that her plot had succeeded and forthright sent for the eunuch and said, "Hither with the chest!" He set it before her, when she bade bring the damsel and locking her up therein, said to the Eunuch, "Take all pains to sell this chest and make it a condition with the purchaser that he buy it locked; then give alms with its price."  [FN#233] So he took it and went forth, to do her bidding. Thus fared it with these; but as for Khalifah the Fisherman, when morning morrowed and shone with its light and sheen, he said to himself, "I cannot do aught better to-day than visit the Eunuch who bought the fish of me, for he appointed me to come to him in the Palace of the Caliphate." So he went forth of his lodging, intending for the palace, and when he came thither, he found Mamelukes, negro-slaves and eunuchs standing and sitting; and looking at them, behold, seated amongst them was the Eunuch who had taken the fish of him, with the white slaves waiting on him. Presently, one of the Mameluke-lads called out to him; whereupon the Eunuch turned to see who he was an lo! it was the Fisherman. Now when Khalifah was ware that he saw him and recognized him, he said to him, "I have not failed thee, O my little Tulip!  [FN#234] On this wise are men of their word." Hearing his address, Sandal the Eunuch  [FN#235] laughed and replied, "By Allah, thou art right, O Fisherman," and put his hand to his pouch, to give him somewhat; but at that moment there arose a great clamour. So he raised his head to see what was to do and finding that it was the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide coming forth from the Caliph's presence, he rose to him and forewent him, and they walked about, conversing for a longsome time. Khalifah the Fisherman waited awhile; then, growing weary of standing and finding that the Eunuch took no heed of him, he set himself in his way and beckoned to him from afar, saying, "O my lord Tulip, give me my due and let me go!" The Eunuch heard him, but was ashamed to answer him because of the minister's presence; so he went on talking with Ja'afar and took no notice whatever of the Fisherman. Whereupon quoth Khalifah, "O Slow o' Pay!  [FN#236] May Allah put to shame all churls and all who take folks's goods and are niggardly with them! I put myself under thy protection, O my lord Bran-belly,  [FN#237] to give me my due and let me go!" The Eunuch heard him, but was ashamed to answer him before Ja'afar; and the Minister saw the Fisherman beckoning and talking to him, though he knew not what he was saying; so he said to Sandal, misliking his behaviour, "O Eunuch, what would yonder beggar with thee?" Sandal replied, "Dost thou not know him, O my lord the Wazir?"; and Ja'afar answered, "By Allah, I know him not! How should I know a man I have never seen but at this moment?" Rejoined the Eunuch, "O my lord, this is the Fisherman whose fish we seized on the banks of the Tigris. I came too late to get any and was ashamed to return to the Prince of True Believers, empty-handed, when all the Mamelukes had some. Presently I espied the Fisherman standing in mid-stream, calling on Allah, with four fishes in his hands, and said to him, 'Give me what thou hast there and take their worth.' He handed me the fish and I put my hand into my pocket, purposing to gift him with somewhat, but found naught therein and said, 'Come to me in the Palace, and I will give thee wherewithal to aid thee in thy poverty. So he came to me to-day and I was putting hand to pouch, that I might give him somewhat, when thou camest forth and I rose to wait on thee and was diverted with thee from him, till he grew tired of waiting and this is the whole story, how he cometh to be standing here." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-first Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sandal the Eunuch related to Ja'afar the Barmecide the tale of Khalifah the Fisherman, ending with, "This is the whole story and how he cometh to be standing here!" the Wazir, hearing this account, smiled and said, "O Eunuch, how is it that this Fisherman cometh in his hour of need and thou satisfiest him not? Dost thou not know him, O Chief of the Eunuchs?" "No," answered Sandal and Ja'afar said, "This is the Master of the Commander of the Faithful, and his partner and our lord the Caliph has arisen this morning, strait of breast, heavy of heart and troubled of thought, nor is there aught will broaden his breast save this fisherman. So let him not go, till I crave the Caliph's pleasure concerning him and bring him before him; perchance Allah will relieve him of his oppression and console him for the loss of Kut al-Kulub, by means of the Fisherman's presence, and he will give him wherewithal to better himself; and thou wilt be the cause of this." Replied Sandal, "O my lord, do as thou wilt and may Allah Almighty long continue thee a pillar of the dynasty of the Commander of the Faithful, whose shadow Allah perpetuate  [FN#238] and prosper it, root and branch!" Then the Wazir Ja'afar rose up and went in to the Caliph, and Sandal ordered the Mamelukes not to leave the Fisherman; whereupon Khalifah cried, "How goodly is thy bounty, O Tulip! The seeker is become the sought. I come to seek my due, and they imprison me for debts in arrears!"  [FN#239] When Ja'afar came in to the presence of the Caliph, he found him sitting with his head bowed earthwards, breast straitened and mind melancholy, humming the verses of the poet, "My blamers instant bid that I for her become consoled; * But I, what can I do, whose heart declines to be controlled? And how can I in patience bear the loss of lovely maid, * When fails me patience for a love that holds with firmest hold! Ne'er I'll forget her nor the bowl that 'twixt us both went round * And wine of glances maddened me with drunkenness ensoul'd." Whenas Ja'afar stood in the presence, he said, "Peace be upon thee, O Commander of the Faithful, Defender of the honour of the Faith and descendant of the uncle of the Prince of the Apostles, Allah assain him and save him and his family one and all!" The Caliph raised his head and answered, "And on thee be peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings!" Quoth Ja'afar; "With leave of the Prince of True Believers, his servant would speak without restraint." Asked the Caliph, "And when was restraint put upon thee in speech and thou the Prince of Wazirs? Say what thou wilt." Answered Ja'afar, "When I went out, O my lord, from before thee, intending for my house, I saw standing at the door thy master and teacher and partner, Khalifah the Fisherman, who was aggrieved at thee and complained of thee saying, 'Glory be to God! I taught him to fish and he went away to fetch me a pair of frails, but never came back: and this is not the way of a good partner or of a good apprentice.' So, if thou hast a mind to partnership, well and good; and if not, tell him, that he may take to partner another." Now when the Caliph heard these words he smiled and his straitness of breast was done away with and he said, "My life on thee, is this the truth thou sayest, that the Fisherman standeth at the door?" and Ja'afar replied, "By thy life, O Commander of the Faithful, he standeth at the door." Quoth the Caliph, "O Ja'afar, by Allah, I will assuredly do my best to give him his due! If Allah at my hands send him misery, he shall have it; and if prosperity he shall have it." Then he took a piece of paper and cutting it in pieces, said to the Wazir, "O Ja'afar, write down with thine own hand twenty sums of money, from one dinar to a thousand, and the names of all kinds of offices and dignitaries from the least appointment to the Caliphate; also twenty kinds of punishment from the lightest beating to death."  [FN#240] "I hear and obey, O Commander of the Faithful," answered Ja'afar, and did as he was bidden. Then said the Caliph, "O Ja'afar, I swear by my holy forefathers and by my kinship to Hamzah  [FN#241] and Akil,  [FN#242] that I mean to summon the fisherman and bid him take one of these papers, whose contents none knowesth save thou and I; and whatsoever is written in the paper which he shall choose, I will give it to him; though it be the Caliphate I will divest myself thereof and invest him therewith and grudge it not to him; and, on the other hand, if there be written therein hanging or mutilation or death, I will execute it upon him. Now go and fetch him to me." When Ja'afar heard this, he said to himself, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! It may be somewhat will fall to this poor wretch's lot that will bring about his destruction, and I shall be the cause. But the Caliph hath sworn; so nothing remains now but to bring him in, and naught will happen save whatso Allah willeth." Accordingly he went out to Khalifah the Fisherman and laid hold of his hand to carry him in to the Caliph, whereupon his reason fled and he said in himself, "What a stupid I was to come after yonder ill-omened slave, Tulip, whereby he hath brought me in company with Bran-belly!" Ja'afar fared on with him, with Mamelukes before and behind, whilst he said, "Doth not arrest suffice, but these must go behind and before me, to hinder my making off?" till they had traversed seven vestibules, when the Wazir said to him, "Mark my words, O Fisherman! Thou standest before the Commander of the Faithful and Defender of the Faith!" Then he raised the great curtain and Khalifah's eyes fell on the Caliph, who was seated on his couch, with the Lords of the realm standing in attendance upon him. As soon as he knew him, he went up to him and said, "Well come, and welcome to thee, O piper! 'Twas not right of thee to make thyself a Fisherman and go away, leaving me sitting to guard the fish, and never to return! For, before I was aware, there came up Mamelukes on beasts of all manner colours, and snatched away the fish from me, I standing alone, and this was all of thy fault; for, hadst thou returned with the frails forthright, we had sold an hundred dinars' worth of fish. And now I come to seek my due, and they have arrested me but thou, who hath imprisoned thee also in this place?" The Caliph smiled and raising a corner of the curtain, put forth his head and said to the Fisherman, "Come hither and take thee one of these papers." Quoth Khalifah the Fisherman, "Yesterday thou wast a fisherman, and to-day thou hast become an astrologer; but the more trades a man hath, the poorer he waxeth." Thereupon, Ja'afar, said, "Take the paper at once, and do as the Commander of the Faithful biddeth thee without prating." So he came forward and put forth his hand saying, "Far be it from me that this piper should ever again be my knave and fish with me!" Then taking the paper he handed it to the Caliph, saying, "O piper, what hath come out for me therein? Hide naught thereof."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-second Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Khalifah the Fisherman took up one of the papers and handed it to the Caliph he said, "O piper, what have come out to me therein? Hide naught thereof." So Al-Rashid received it and passed it on to Ja'afar and said to him, "Read what is therein." He looked at it and said, "There is no Majesty there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Said the Caliph, "Good news,  [FN#243] O Ja'afar? What seest thou therein?" Answered the Wazir, "O Commander of the Faithful, there came up from the paper, 'Let the Fisherman receive an hundred blows with a stick.'" So the Caliph commanded to beat the Fisherman and they gave him an hundred sticks: after which he arose, saying, "Allah damn this, O Bran-belly! Are jail and sticks part of the game?" Then said Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, this poor devil is come to the river, and how shall he go away thirsting? We hope that among the alms-deeds of the Commander of the Faithful, he may have leave to take another paper, so haply somewhat may come out wherewithal he may succor his poverty." Said the Caliph, "By Allah, O Ja'afar, if he take another paper and death be written therein, I will assuredly kill him, and thou wilt be the cause." Answered Ja'afar, "If he die he will be at rest." But Khalifah the Fisherman said to him, "Allah ne'er gladden thee with good news! Have I made Baghdad strait upon you, that ye seek to slay me?" Quoth Ja'afar, "Take thee a paper and crave the blessing of Allah Almighty!" So he put out his hand and taking a paper, gave it to Ja'afar, who read it and was silent. The Caliph asked, "Why art thou silent, O son of Yahya?"; and he answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, there hath come out on this paper, 'Naught shall be given to the Fisherman.'" Then said the Caliph, "His daily bread will not come from us: bid him fare forth from before our face." Quoth Ja'afar, "By the claims of thy pious forefathers, let him take a third paper, it may be it will bring him alimony;" and quoth the Caliph, "Let him take one and no more." So he put out his hand and took a third paper, and behold, therein was written, "Let the Fisherman be given one dinar." Ja'afar cried to him, "I sought good fortune for thee, but Allah willed not to thee aught save this dinar." And Khalifah answered, "Verily, a dinar for every hundred sticks were rare good luck, may Allah not send thy body health!" The Caliph laughed at him and Ja'afar took him by the hand and led him out. When he reached the door, Sandal the eunuch saw him and said to him, "Hither, O Fisherman! Give us portion of that which the Commander of the Faithful hath bestowed on thee, whilst jesting with thee." Replied Khalifah, "By Allah, O Tulip, thou art right! Wilt share with me, O nigger? Indeed I have eaten stick to the tune of an hundred blows and have earned one dinar, and thou art but too welcome to it." So saying, he threw him the dinar and went out, with the tears flowing down the plain of his cheeks. When the eunuch saw him in this plight, he knew that he had spoken sooth and called to the lads to fetch him back: so they brought him back and Sandal, putting his hand to his pouch, pulled out a red purse, whence he emptied an hundred golden dinars into the Fisherman's hand, saying, "Take this gold in payment of thy fish and wend thy ways." So Khalifah, in high good humor, took the hundred ducats and the Caliph's one dinar and went his way, and forgot the beating. Now, as Allah willed it for the furthering of that which He had decreed, he passed by the mart of the hand-maidens and seeing there a mighty ring where many folks were foregathering, said to himself, "What is this crowd?" So he brake through the merchants and others, who said, "Make wide for the Skipper Rapscallion,  [FN#244] and let him pass." Then he looked and behold, he saw a chest, with an eunuch seated thereon and an old man standing by it, and the Shaykh was crying, "O merchants, O men of money, who will hasten and hazard his coin for this chest of unknown contents from the Palace of the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, wife of the Commander of the Faithful? How much shall I say for you, Allah bless you all!" Quoth one of the merchants, "By Allah, this is a risk! But I will say one word and no blame to me. Be it mine for twenty dinars." Quoth another, "Fifty," and they went on bidding, one against other, till the price reached an hundred ducats. Then said the crier, "Will any of you bid more, O merchants?" And Khalifah the Fisherman said, "Be it mine for an hundred ducats and one dinar." The merchants, hearing these words, thought he was jesting and laughed at him, saying, "O eunuch sell it to Khalifah for an hundred ducats and one dinar!" Quoth the eunuch, "By Allah, I will sell it to none but him! Take it, O Fisherman, the Lord bless thee in it, and here with thy gold." So Khalifah pulled out the ducats and gave them to the eunuch, who, the bargain being duly made, delivered to him the chest and bestowed the price in alms on the spot; after which he returned to the Palace and acquainted the Lady Zubaydah with what he had done, whereat she rejoiced. Meanwhile the Fisherman hove the chest on shoulder, but could not carry it on this wise for the excess of its weight; so he lifted it on to his head and thus bore it to the quarter where he lived. Here he set it down and being weary, sat awhile, bemusing what had befallen him and saying in himself, "Would Heaven I knew what is in this chest!" Then he opened the door of his lodging and haled the chest until he got it into his closet; after which he strove to open it, but failed. Quoth he, "What folly possessed me to buy this chest? There is no help for it but to break it open and see what is herein." So he applied himself to the lock, but could not open it, and said to himself, "I will leave it till to-morrow." Then he would have stretched him out to sleep, but could find no room; for the chest filled the whole closet. So he got upon it and lay him down; but, when he had lain awhile, behold, he felt something stir under him whereat sleep forsook him and his reason fled.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-third Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Khalifah the Fisherman lay down upon the chest and thus tarried awhile, behold, something stirred beneath him; whereat he was affrighted and his reason fled. So he arose and cried, "Meseems there be Jinns in the chest. Praise to Allah who suffered me not to open it! For, had I done so, they had risen against me in the dark and slain me, and from them would have befallen me naught of good." Then he lay down again when, lo! The chest moved a second time, more than before; whereupon he sprang to his feet and said, "There it goes again: but this is terrible!" And he hastened to look for the lamp, but could not find it and had not the wherewithal to buy another. So he went forth and cried out, "Ho, people of the quarter!" Now the most part of the folk were asleep; but they awoke at his crying and asked, "What aileth thee, O Khalifah?" He answered, "Bring me a lamp, for the Jinn are upon me." They laughed at him and gave him a lamp, wherewith he returned to his closet. Then he smote the lock of the chest with a stone and broke it and opening it, saw a damsel like a Houri lying asleep within. Now she had been drugged with Bhang, but at that moment she threw up the stuff and awoke; then she opened her eyes and feeling herself confined and cramped, moved. At this sight quoth Khalifah, "By Allah, O my lady, whence art thou?"; and quoth she, "Bring me Jessamine, and Narcissus."  [FN#245] and Khalifah answered, "There is naught here but Henna-flowers."  [FN#246] thereupon she came to herself and considering Khalifah, said to him, "What art thou?" presently adding, "And where am I?" He said, "Thou art in my lodging." Asked she, "Am I not in the Palace of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid?" And quoth he, "What manner of thing is Al-Rashid?  [FN#247] O madwoman, Thou art naught but my slave-girl: I bought thee this very day for an hundred dinars and one dinar, and brought thee home, and thou wast asleep in this here chest." When she had heard these words she said to him, "What is thy name?" Said he, "My name is Khalifah. How comes my star to have grown propitious, when I know my ascendant to have been otherwise?" She laughed and cried, "Spare me this talk! Hast thou anything to eat?" Replied he, "No, by Allah, nor yet to drink! I have not eaten these two days, and am now in want of a morsel." She asked, "Hast thou no money?"; and he said, "Allah keep this chest which hath beggared me: I gave all I had for it and am become bankrupt." The damsel laughed at him and said, "Up with thee and seek of thy neighbours somewhat for me to eat, for I am hungry." So he went forth and cried out, "Ho, people of the quarter!" Now the folk were asleep; but they awoke and asked, "What aileth thee, O Khalifah?" Answered he, O my neighbours, I am hungry and have nothing to eat." So one came down to him with a bannock and another with broken meats and third with a bittock of cheese and a fourth with a cucumber; and so on till he lap was full and he returned to his closet and laid the whole between her hands, saying, "Eat." But she laughed at him, saying, "How can I eat of this, when I have not a mug of water whereof to drink? I fear to choke with a mouthful and die." Quoth he, "I will fill thee this pitcher."  [FN#248] so he took the pitcher and going forth, stood in the midst of the street and cried out, saying, "Ho, people of the quarter!" Quoth they, "What calamity is upon thee to-night,  [FN#249] O Khalifah!" And he said, "Ye gave me food and I ate; but now I am a-thirst; so give me to drink." Thereupon one came down to him with a mug and another with an ewer and a third with a gugglet; and he filled his pitcher and, bearing it back, said to the damsel, "O my lady, thou lackest nothing now." Answered she, "True, I want nothing more at this present." Quoth he, "Speak to me and say me thy story." And quoth she, "Fie upon thee! An thou knowest me not, I will tell thee who I am. I am Kut al-Kulub, the Caliph's handmaiden, and the Lady Zubaydah was jealous of me; so she drugged me with Bhang and set me in this chest," presently adding, "Alham-dolillah -- praised be God -- for that the matter hath come to easy issue and no worse! But this befel me not save for thy good luck, for thou wilt certainly get of the Caliph Al-Rashid money galore, that will be the means of thine enrichment." Quoth Khalifah, "I not Al-Rashid he in whose Palace I was imprisoned?" "Yes," answered she; and he said, "By Allah, never saw I more niggardly wight than he, that piper little of good and wit! He gave me an hundred blows with a stick yesterday and but one dinar, for all I taught him to fish and made him my partner; but he played me false." Replied she, "Leave this unseemly talk, and open thine eyes and look thou bear thyself respectfully, whenas thou seest him after this, and thou shalt win thy wish." When he heard her words, it was if he had been asleep and awoke; and Allah removed the veil from his judgment, because of his good luck,  [FN#250] and he answered, "On my head and eyes!" Then said he to her, "Sleep, in the name of Allah."  [FN#251] so she lay down and fell asleep (and he afar from her) till the morning, when she sought of him inkcase  [FN#252] and paper and, when they were brought wrote to Ibn al-Kirnas, the Caliph's friend, acquainting him with her case and how at the end of all that had befallen her she was with Khalifah the Fisherman, who had bought her. Then she gave him the scroll, saying, "Take this and hie thee to the jewel-market and ask for the shop of Ibn al-Kirnas the Jeweller and give him this paper and speak not." "I hear and I obey," answered Khalifah and going with the scroll to the market, enquired for the shop of Ibn al-Kirnas. They directed him to thither and on entering it he saluted the merchant, who returned his salim with contempt and said to him, "What dost thou want?" Thereupon he gave him the letter and he took it, but read it not, thinking the Fisherman a beggar, who sought an alms of him, and said to one of his lads, "Give him half a dirham." Quoth Khalifah, "I want to alms; read the paper." So Ibn al-Kirnas took the letter and read it; and no sooner knew its import than he kissed it and laying it on his head--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-fourth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ibn al-Kirnas read the letter and knew its import, he kissed it and laid it on his head; then he arose and said to Khalifah, "O my brother, where is thy house?" Asked Khalifah, "What wantest thou with my house? Wilt thou go thither and steal my slave-girl?" Then Ibn al-Kirnas answered, "No so: on the contrary, I will buy thee somewhat whereof you may eat, thou and she." So he said, "My house is in such a quarter;" and the merchant rejoined, "Thou hast done well. May Allah not give thee health, O unlucky one!"  [FN#253] Then he called out to two of his slaves and said to them, "Carry this man to the shop of Mohsin the Shroff and say to him, 'O Mohsin, give this man a thousand dinars of gold;' then bring him back to me in haste." So they carried him to the money-changer, who paid him the money, and returned with him to their master, whom they found mounted on a dapple she-mule worth a thousand dinars, with Mamelukes and pages about him, and by his side another mule like his own, saddled and bridled. Quoth the jeweller to Khalifah, "Bismillah, mount this mule." Replied he, "I won't; for by Allah, I fear she throw me;" and quoth Ibn al-Kirnas, "By God, needs must thou mount." So he came up and mounting her, face to crupper, caught hold of her tail and cried out; whereupon she threw him on the ground and they laughed at him; but he rose and said, "Did I not tell thee I would not mount this great jenny-ass?" Thereupon Ibn al-Kirnas left him in the market and repairing to the Caliph, told him of the damsel; after which he returned and removed her to his own house. Meanwhile, Khalifah went home to look after the handmaid and found the people of the quarter foregathering and saying, "Verily, Khalifah is to-day in a terrible pickle!  [FN#254] Would we knew whence he can have gotten this damsel?" Quoth one of them, "He is a mad pimp; haply he found her lying on the road drunken, and carried her to his own house, and his absence showeth his offence." As they were talking, behold, up came Khalifah, and they said to him, "What a plight is thine, O unhappy! Knowest thou not what is come for thee?" He replied, "No, by Allah!" and they said, "But just now there came Mamelukes and took away thy slave-girl whom thou stolest, and sought for thee, but found thee not." Asked Khalifah, "And how came they to take my slave-girl?"; and quoth one, "Had he falled in their way, they had slain him." But he, so far from heeding them, returned running to the shop of Ibn al-Kirnas, whom he met riding, and said to him, "By Allah, 'twas not right of thee to wheedle me and meanwhile send thy Mamelukes to take my slave-girl!" Replied the jeweller, "O idiot, come with me and hold thy tongue." So he took him and carried him into a house handsomely builded, where he found the damsel seated on a couch of gold, with ten slave-girls like moons round her. Sighting her Ibn al-Kirnas kissed ground before her and she said, "What hast thou done with my new master, who bought me with all he owned?" He replied, "O my lady, I gave him a thousand gold dinars;" and related to her Khalifah's history from first to last, whereat she laughed and said, "Blame him not; for he is but a common wight. These other thousand dinars are a gift from me to him and Almighty Allah willing, he shall win of the Caliph what shall enrich him." As they were talking, there came an eunuch from the Commander of the Faithful, in quest of Kut al-Kulub, for, when he knew that she was in the house of Ibn al-Kirnas, he could not endure the severance, but bade bring her forthwith. So she repaired to the Palace, taking Khalifah with her, and going into the presence, kissed ground before the Caliph, who rose to her, saluting and welcoming her, and asked her how she had fared with him who had bought her. She replied, "He is a man, Khalifah the Fisherman hight, and there he standeth at the door. He telleth me that he hath an account to settle with the Commander of the Faithful, by reason of a partnership between him and the Caliph in fishing." Asked al-Rashid, "Is he at the door?" and she answered, "Yes." So the Caliph sent for him and he kissed ground before him and wished him endurance of glory and prosperity. The Caliph marvelled at him and laughed at him and said to him, "O Fisherman, wast thou in very deed my partner  [FN#255] yesterday?" Khalifah took his meaning and heartening his heart and summoning spirit replied, "By Him who bestowed upon thee the succession to thy cousin,  [FN#256] I know her not in anywise and have had no commerce with her save by way of sight and speech!" Then he repeated to him all that had befallen him, since he last saw him,  [FN#257] whereat the Caliph laughed and his breast broadened and he said to Khalifah, "Ask of us what thou wilt, O thou to bringest to owners their own!" But he was silent; so the Caliph ordered him fifty thousand dinars of gold and a costly dress of honour such as great Sovrans don, and a she-mule, and gave him black slaves of the Súdán to serve him, so that he became as he were one of the Kings of that time. The Caliph was rejoiced at the recovery of his favourite and knew that all this was the doing of his cousin-wife, the Lady Zubaydah,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-fifth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph rejoiced at the recovery of Kut al-Kulub and knew that all this was the doing of the Lady Zubaydah, his cousin-wife; wherefore he was sore enraged against her and held aloof from her a great while, visiting her not neither inclining to pardon her. When she was certified of this, she was sore concerned for his wrath and her face, that was wont to be rosy, waxed pale and wan till, when her patience was exhausted, she sent a letter to her cousin, the Commander of the Faithful making her excuses to him and confessing her offences, and ending with these verses "I long once more the love that was between us to regain, * That I may quench the fire of grief and bate the force of bane. O lords of me, have ruth upon the stress my passion deals * Enough to me is what you doled of sorrow and of pain. 'Tis life to me an deign you keep the troth you deigned to plight * 'Tis death to me an troth you break and fondest vows profane: Given I've sinned a sorry sin, ye grant me ruth, for naught * By Allah, sweeter is than friend who is of pardon fain." When the Lady Zubaydah's letter reached the Caliph, and reading it he saw that she confessed her offence and sent her excuses to him therefor, he said to himself, "Verily, all sins doth Allah forgive; aye, Gracious, Merciful is He!"  [FN#258] And he returned her an answer, expressing satisfaction and pardon and forgiveness for what was past, whereat she rejoiced greatly. As for Khalifah, the Fisherman, the Caliph assigned him a monthly solde of fifty dinars and took him into especial favour, which would lead to rank and dignity, honour and worship. Then he kissed ground before the Commander of the Faithful and went forth with stately gait. When he came to the door, the Eunuch Sandal, who had given him the hundred dinars, saw him and knowing him, said to him, "O Fisherman, whence all this?" So he told him all that had befallen him, first and last, whereat Sandal rejoiced, because he had been the cause of his enrichment, and said to him, "Wilt thou not give me largess of this wealth which is now become thine?" So Khalifah put hand to pouch and taking out a purse containing a thousand dinars, gave it to the Eunuch, who said, "Keep thy coins and Allah bless thee therein!" and marvelled at his manliness and at the liberality of his soul, for all his late poverty.  [FN#259] Then leaving the eunuch, Khalifah mounted his she-mule and rode, with the slaves' hands on her crupper, till he came to his lodging at the Khan, whilst the folk stared at him in surprise for that which had betided him of advancement. When he alighted from his beast they accosted him and enquired the cause of his change from poverty to prosperity, and he told them all that had happened to him from incept to conclusion. Then he bought a fine mansion and laid out thereon much money, till it was perfect in all points. And he took up his abode therein and was wont to recite thereon these two couplets, "Behold a house that's like the Dwelling of Delight;  [FN#260] * Its aspect heals the sick and banishes despite. Its sojourn for the great and wise appointed it, * And Fortune fair therein abideth day and night." Then, as soon as he was settled in his house, he sought him in marriage the daughter of one of the chief men of the city, a handsome girl, and went in unto her and led a life of solace and satisfaction, joyaunce and enjoyment; and he rose to passing affluence and exceeding prosperity. So, when he found himself in this fortunate condition, he offered up thanks to Allah (extolled and excelled be He!) for what He had bestowed on him of wealth exceeding and of favours ever succeeding, praising his Lord with the praise of the grateful and chanting the words of the poet, "To Thee be praise, O Thou who showest unremitting grace; * O Thou whose universal bounties high and low embrace! To Thee be praise from me! Then deign accept my praise for I * Accept Thy boons and gifts with grateful soul in every case. Thou hast with favours overwhelmed me, benefits and largesse * And gracious doles my memory ne'er ceaseth to retrace. All men from mighty main, Thy grace and goodness, drain and drink; * And in their need Thou, only Thou, to them art refuge-place! So for the sake of him who came to teach mankind in ruth * Prophet, pure, truthful-worded scion of the noblest race; Ever be Allah's blessing and His peace on him and all * His aids  [FN#261] and kin while pilgrims fare his noble tomb to face! And on his helpmeets  [FN#262] one and all, Companions great and good, * Though time Eternal while the bird shall sing in shady wood!" And thereafter Khalifah continued to pay frequent visits to the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, with whom he found acceptance and who ceased not to overwhelm him with boons and bounty: and he abode in the enjoyment of the utmost honour and happiness and joy and gladness and in riches more than sufficing and in rank ever rising; brief, a sweet life and a savoury, pure as pleasurable, till there came to him the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and extolled be the perfection of Him to whom belong glory and permanence and He is the Living, the Eternal, who shall never die!   NOTE. I have followed the example of Mr. Payne and have translated in its entirety the Tale of Khalifah the Fisherman from the Breslau Edit. (Vol. iv. Pp. 315-365, Night ccxxi-ccxxxii.) in preference to the unsatisfactory process of amalgamating it with that of the Mac. Edit. given above.

Khalifah The Fisherman of Baghdad. There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad, a fisherman, by name Khalíf, a man of muckle talk and little luck. One day, as he sat in his cell, [FN#263] he bethought himself and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Would Heaven I knew what is my offence in the sight of my Lord and what caused the blackness of my fortune and my littleness of luck among the fishermen, albeit (and I say it who should not) in the city of Baghdad there is never a fisherman like myself." Now he lodged in a ruined place called a Khan, to wit, an inn, [FN#264] without a door, and when he went forth to fish, he would shoulder the net, without basket or fish-slicers, [FN#265] and when the folk would stare at him and say to him, "O Khalif, why not take with thee a basket, to hold the fish thou catchest?"; he would reply, "Even as I carry it forth empty, so would it come back, for I never manage to catch aught." One night he arose, in the darkness before dawn, and taking his net on his shoulder, raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Allah mine, O Thou who subjectedst the sea to Moses son of Imrán, give me this day my daily bread, for Thou art the best of bread-givers!" Then he went down to the Tigris and spreading his net, cast it into the river and waited till it had settled down, when he haled it in and drew it ashore, but behold, it held naught save a dead dog. So he cast away the carcase, saying, "O morning of ill doom! What a handsel is this dead hound, after I had rejoiced in its weight [FN#266]!" Then he mended the rents in the net, saying, "Needs must there after this carrion be fish in plenty, attracted by the smell," and made a second cast. After awhile, he drew up and found in the net the hough [FN#267] of a camel, that had caught in the meshes and rent them right and left. When Khalif saw his net in this state, he wept and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I wonder what is my offence and the cause of the blackness of my fortune and the littleness of my luck, of all folk, so that I catch neither cat-fish nor sprat, [FN#268] that I may broil on the embers and eat, for all I dare say there is not in the city of Baghdad a fisherman like me." Then with a Bismillah he cast his net a third time, and presently drawing it ashore found therein an ape scurvy and one-eyed, mangy, and limping, hending an ivory rod in forehand. When Khalif saw this, he said, "This is indeed a blessed opening! What art thou, O ape?" "Dost thou not know me?" "No, by Allah, I have no knowledge of thee!" "I am thine ape!" "What use is there in thee, O my ape?" "Every day I give thee good-morrow, so Allah may not open to thee the door of daily bread." "Thou failest not of this, O one-eye [FN#269] of ill-omen! May Allah never bless thee! Needs must I pluck out thy sound eye and cut off thy whole leg, so thou mayst become a blind cripple and I be quit of thee. But what is the use of that rod thou hendest in hand?" "O Khalif, I scare the fish therewith, so they may not enter thy net." "Is it so?: then this very day will I punish thee with a grievous punishment and devise thee all manner torments and strip thy flesh from thy bones and be at rest from thee, sorry bit of goods that thou art!" So saying, Khalif the Fisherman unwound from his middle a strand of rope and binding him to a tree by his side, said, "Lookee, O dog of an ape! I mean to cast the net again and if aught come up therein, well and good; but, if it come up empty, I will verily and assuredly make an end of thee, with the cruellest tortures and be quit of thee, thou stinking lot." So he cast the net and drawing it ashore, found in it another ape and said, "Glory be to God the Great! I was wont to pull naught but fish out of this Tigris, but now it yieldeth nothing but apes." Then he looked at the second ape and saw him fair of form and round of face with pendants of gold in his ears and a blue waistcloth about his middle, and he was like unto a lighted taper. So he asked him, "What art thou, thou also, O ape?"; and he answered, saying, "O Khalif, I am the ape of Abú al-Sa'ádát the Jew, the Caliph's Shroff. Every day, I give him good-morrow, and he maketh a profit of ten gold pieces." Cried the Fisherman, "By Allah, thou art a fine ape, not like this ill-omened monkey o' mine!" So saying, he took a stick [FN#270] and came down upon the sides of the ape, till he broke his ribs and he jumped up and down. And the other ape, the handsome one, answered him, saying, "O Khalif, what will it profit thee to beat him, though thou belabour him till he die?" Khalif replied, "How shall I do? Shall I let him wend his ways that he may scare me the fish with his hang-dog face and give me good-even and good-morrow every day, so Allah may not open to me the door of daily bread? Nay, I will kill him and be quit of him and I will take thee in his stead; so shalt thou give me good-morrow and I shall gain ten golden dinars a day." Thereupon the comely ape made answer, "I will tell thee a better way than that, and if thou hearken to me, thou shalt be at rest and I will become thine ape in lieu of him." Asked the Fisherman, "And what dost thou counsel me?"; and the ape answered, saying, "Cast thy net and thou shalt bring up a noble fish, never saw any its like, and I will tell thee how thou shalt do with it." Replied Khalif, "Lookee, thou too! An I throw my net and there come up therein a third ape, be assured that I will cut the three of you into six bits." And the second ape rejoined, "So be it, O Khalif. I agree to this thy condition." Then Khalif spread the net and cast it and drew it up, when behold, in it was a fine young barbel [FN#271] with a round head, as it were a milking-pail, which when he saw, his wits fled for joy and he said, "Glory be to God! What is this noble creature? Were yonder apes in the river, I had not brought up this fish." Quoth the seemly ape, "O Khalif, an thou give ear to my rede, 'twill bring thee good fortune"; and quoth the Fisherman, "May God damn him who would gainsay thee henceforth!" Thereupon the ape said, "O Khalif, take some grass and lay the fish thereon in the basket [FN#272] and cover it with more grass and take also somewhat of basil [FN#273] from the green grocer's and set it in the fish's mouth. Cover it with a kerchief and push thee through the bazar of Baghdad. Whoever bespeaketh thee of selling it, sell it not but fare on, till thou come to the market street of the jewellers and money-changers. Then count five shops on the right-hand side and the sixth shop is that of Abu al-Sa'adat the Jew, the Caliph's Shroff. When thou standest before him, he will say to thee, 'What seekest thou?'; and do thou make answer, 'I am a fisherwight, I threw my net in thy name and took this noble barbel, which I have brought thee as a present.' If he give thee aught of silver, take it not, be it little or mickle, for it will spoil that which thou wouldst do, but say to him, 'I want of thee naught save one word, that thou say to me, 'I sell thee my ape for thine ape and my luck for thy luck.' An the Jew say this, give him the fish and I shall become thine ape and this crippled, mangy and one-eyed ape will be his ape." Khalif replied, "Well said, O ape," nor did he cease faring Baghdad-wards and observing that which the ape had said to him, till he came to the Jew's shop and saw the Shroff seated, with eunuchs and pages about him, bidding and forbidding and giving and taking. So he set down his basket, saying, "O Sultan of the Jews, I am a fisher-wight and went forth to-day to the Tigris and casting my net in thy name, cried, 'This is for the luck of Abu al-Sa'adat;' and there came up to me this Banni which I have brought thee by way of present." Then he lifted the grass and discovered the fish to the Jew, who marvelled at its make and said, "Extolled be the perfection of the Most Excellent Creator!" Then he gave the fisherman a dinar, but he refused it and he gave him two. This also he refused and the Jew stayed not adding to his offer, till he made it ten dinars; but he still refused and Abu al-Sa'adat said to him, "By Allah, thou art a greedy one. Tell me what thou wouldst have, O Moslem!" Quoth Khalif, "I would have of thee but a single word.  [FN#274]" When the Jew heard this , he changed colour and said, "Wouldst thou oust me from my faith? Wend thy ways;" and Khalif said to him, "By Allah, O Jew, naught mattereth an thou become a Moslem or a Nazarene!" Asked the Jew, "Then what wouldst thou have me say?"; and the fisherman answered, "Say, I sell thee my ape for thy ape and my luck for thy luck." The Jew laughed, deeming him little of wit, and said by way of jest, "I sell thee my ape for thy ape and my luck for thy luck. Bear witness against him, O merchants! By Allah, O unhappy, thou art debarred from further claim on me!" So Khalif turned back, blaming himself and saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Alas that I did not take the gold!" and fared on blaming himself in the matter of the money till he came to the Tigris, but found not the two apes, whereupon he wept and slapped his face and strewed dust on his head, saying, "But that the second ape wheedled me and put a cheat on me, the one-eyed ape had not escaped." And he gave not over wailing and weeping, till heat and hunger grew sore on him: so he took the net, saying, "Come, let us make a cast, trusting in Allah's blessing; belike I may catch a cat-fish or a barbel which I may boil and eat." So he threw the net and waiting till it had settled, drew it ashore and found it full of fish, whereat he was consoled and rejoiced and busied himself with unmeshing the fish and casting them on the earth. Presently, up came a woman seeking fish and crying out, "Fish is not to be found in the town." She caught sight of Khalif, and said to him, "Wilt thou sell this fish, O Master?" Answered Khalif, "I am going to turn it into clothes, 'tis all for sale, even to my beard. [FN#275] Take what thou wilt." So she gave him a dinar and he filled her basket. Then she went away and behold, up came another servant, seeking a dinar's worth of fish; nor did the folk cease till it was the hour of mid-afternoon prayer and Khalif had sold ten golden dinars' worth of fish. Then, being faint and famisht, he folded and shouldered his net and, repairing to the market, bought himself a woollen gown, a calotte with a plaited border and a honey-coloured turband for a dinar receiving two dirhams by way of change, wherewith he purchased fried cheese and a fat sheep's tail and honey and setting them in the oilman's platter, ate till he was full and his ribs felt cold [FN#276] from the mighty stuffing. Then he marched off to his lodgings in the magazine, clad in the gown and the honey-coloured turband and with the nine golden dinars in his mouth, rejoicing in what he had never in his life seen. He entered and lay down, but could not sleep for anxious thoughts and abode playing with the money half the night. Then said he in himself, "Haply the Caliph may hear that I have gold and say to Ja'afar, 'Go to Khalif the Fisherman and borrow us some money of him.' If I give it him, it will be no light matter to me, and if I give it not, he will torment me; but torture is easier to me than the giving up of the cash. [FN#277] However, I will arise and make trial of myself if I have a skin proof against stick or not." So he put off his clothes and taking a sailor's plaited whip, of an hundred and sixty strands, ceased not beating himself, till his sides and body were all bloody, crying out at every stroke he dealt himself and saying "O Moslems! I am a poor man! O Moslems, I am a poor man! O Moslems, whence should I have gold, whence should I have coin?" till the neighbours, who dwelt with him in that place, hearing him crying and saying, "Go to men of wealth and take of them," thought that thieves were torturing him, to get money from him, and that he was praying for aidance. Accordingly they flocked to him each armed with some weapon and finding the door of his lodging locked and hearing him roaring out for help, deemed that the thieves had come down upon him from the terrace-roof; so they fell upon the door and burst it open. Then they entered and found him mother-naked and bareheaded with body dripping blood, and altogether in a sad pickle; so they asked him, "What is this case in which we find thee? Hast thou lost thy wits and hath Jinn-madness betided thee this night?" And he answered them, "Nay; but I have gold with me and I feared lest the Caliph send to borrow of me and it were no light matter to give him aught; yet, an I gave not to him 'tis only too sure that he would put me to the torture; wherefore I arose to see if my skin were stick-proof or not." When they heard these words they said to him, "May Allah not assain thy body, unlucky madman that thou art! Of a surety thou art fallen mad to-night! Lie down to sleep, may Allah never bless thee! How many thousand dinars hast thou, that the Caliph should come and borrow of thee?" He replied, "By Allah, I have naught but nine dinars." And they all said, "By Allah, he is not otherwise than passing rich!" Then they left him wondering at his want of wit, and Khalif took his cash and wrapped it in a rag, saying to himself, "Where shall I hide all this gold? An I bury it, they will take it, and if I put it out on deposit, they will deny that I did so, and if I carry it on my head, [FN#278] they will snatch it, and if I tie it to my sleeve, they will cut it away." Presently, he espied a little breast-pocket in the gown and said, "By Allah, this is fine! 'Tis under my throat and hard by my mouth: if any put out his hand to hend it, I can come down on it with my mouth and hide it in my throttle." So he set the rag containing the gold in the pocket and lay down, but slept not that night for suspicion and trouble and anxious thought. On the morrow, he fared forth of his lodging on fishing intent and, betaking himself to the river, went down into the water, up to his knees. Then he threw the net and shook it with might and main; whereupon the purse fell down into the stream. So he tore off gown and turband and plunged in after it, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Nor did he give over diving and searching the stream-bed, till the day was half spent, but found not the purse. Now one saw him from afar diving and plunging and his gown and turband lying in the sun at a distance from him, with no one by them; so he watched him, till he dived again when he dashed at the clothes and made off with them. Presently, Khalif came ashore and, missing his gown and turband, was chagrined for their loss with passing cark and care and ascended a mound, to look for some passer-by, of whom he might enquire concerning them, but found none. Now the Caliph Harun al-Rashid had gone a-hunting and chasing that day; and, returning at the time of the noon heat, was oppressed thereby and thirsted; so he looked for water from afar and seeing a naked man standing on the mound said to Ja'afar, "Seest thou what I see?" Replied the Wazir, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful; I see a man standing on a hillock." Al-Rashid asked, "What is he?"; and Ja'afar answered, "Haply he is the guardian of a cucumber-plot." Quoth the Caliph, "Perhaps he is a pious man [FN#279]; I would fain go to him, alone, and desire of him his prayers; and abide ye where you are." So he went up to Khalif and saluting him with the salam said to him, "What art thou, O man?" Replied the fisherman, "Dost thou not know me? I am Khalif the Fisherman;" and the Caliph rejoined, "What? The Fisherman with the woollen gown and the honey-coloured turband [FN#280]?" When Khalif heard him name the clothes he had lost, he said in himself, "This is he who took my duds: belike he did but jest with me." So he came down from the knoll and said, "Can I not take a noontide nap [FN#281] but thou must trick me this trick? I saw thee take my gear and knew that thou wast joking with me." At this, laughter got the better of the Caliph and he said; "What clothes hast thou lost? I know nothing of that whereof thou speakest, O Khalif." Cried the Fisherman, "By God the Great, except thou bring me back the gear, I will smash thy ribs with this staff!" (For he always carried a quarterstaff.) Quoth the Caliph, "By Allah, I have not seen the things whereof thou speakest!"; and quoth Khalif "I will go with thee and take note of thy dwelling-place and complain of thee to the Chief of Police, so thou mayst not trick me this trick again. By Allah, none took my gown and turband but thou, and except thou give them back to me at once, I will throw thee off the back of that she-ass thou ridest and come down on thy pate with this quarterstaff, till thou canst not stir!" Thereupon he tugged at the bridle of the mule so that she reared up on her hind legs and the Caliph said to himself, "What calamity is this I have fallen into with this madman?" Then he pulled off a gown he had on, worth an hundred dinars, and said to Khalif, "Take this gown in lieu of thine own." He took it and donning it saw it was too long; so he cut it short at the knees and turbanded his head with the cut-off piece; then said to the Caliph, "What art thou and what is thy craft? But why ask? Thou art none other than a trumpeter." Al-Rashid asked, "What showed thee that I was a trumpeter by trade?"; and Khalif answered, "Thy big nostrils and little mouth." Cried the Caliph, "Well guessed! Yes, I am of that craft." Then said Khalif, "An thou wilt hearken to me, I will teach thee the art of fishing: 'twill be better for thee than trumpeting and thou wilt eat lawfully [FN#282]." Replied the Caliph, "Teach it me so that I may see whether I am capable of learning it." And Khalif said, "Come with me, O trumpeter." So the Caliph followed him down to the river and took the net from him, whilst he taught him how to throw it. Then he cast it and drew it up, when, behold, it was heavy, and the fisherman said, "O trumpeter, an the net be caught on one of the rocks, drag it not too hard, or I twill break and by Allah, I will take thy she-ass in payment thereof!" The Caliph laughed at his words and drew up the net, little by little, till he brought it ashore and found it full of fish; which when Khalif saw, his reason fled for joy and presently he cried, "By Allah, O trumpeter, thy luck is good in fishing! Never in my life will I part with thee! But now I mean to send thee to the fish-bazar, where do thou enquire for the shop of Humayd the fisherman and say to him, 'My master Khalif saluteth thee and biddeth thee send him a pair of frails and a knife, so he may bring thee more fish than yesterday.' Run and return to me forthright!" The Caliph replied (and indeed he was laughing), "On my head, O master!" and, mounting his mule, rode back to Ja'afar, who said to. him, "Tell me what hath betided thee." So the Caliph told him all that had passed between Khalif the Fisherman and himself, from first to last, adding, "I left him awaiting my return to him with the baskets and I am resolved that he shall teach me how to scale fish and clean them." Quoth Ja'afar, "And I will go with thee to sweep up the scales and clean out the shop." And the affair abode thus, till presently the Caliph cried, "O Ja'afar, I desire of thee that thou despatch the young Mamelukes, saying to them, 'Whoso bringeth me a fish from before yonder fisherman, I will give him a dinar;' for I love to eat of my own fishing." Accordingly Ja'afar repeated to the young white slaves what the Caliph had said and directed them where to find the man. They came down upon Khalif and snatched the fish from him; and when he saw them and noted their goodliness, he doubted not but that they were of the black-eyed Houris of Paradise: so he caught up a couple of fish and ran into the river, saying, "O Allah mine, by the secret virtue of these fish, forgive me!" Suddenly, up came the chief eunuch, questing fish, but he found none; so seeing Khalif ducking and rising in the water, with the two fish in his hands, called out to him, saying, "O Khalif, what hast thou there?" Replied the fisherman, "Two fish," and the eunuch said, "Give them to me and take an hundred dinars for them." Now when Khalif heard speak of an hundred dinars, he came up out of the water and cried, "Hand over the hundred dinars." Said the eunuch, "Follow me to the house of Al-Rashid and receive thy gold, O Khalif; and, taking the fish, made off to the Palace of the Caliphate. Meanwhile Khalif betook himself to Baghdad, clad as he was in the Caliph's gown, which reached only to above his knees, [FN#283] turbanded with the piece he had cut off therefrom and girt about his middle with a rope, and he pushed through the centre of the city. The folk fell a-laughing and marvelling at him and saying, "Whence hadst thou that robe of honour?" But he went on, asking, "Where is the house of Al-Rashád [FN#284]?;" and they answered, "Say, 'The house of Al-Rashíd';" and he rejoined, "'Tis all the same," and fared on, till he came to the Palace of the Caliphate. Now he was seen by the tailor, who had made the gown and who was standing at the door, and when he noticed it upon the Fisherman, he said to him, "For how many years hast thou had admission to the palace?" Khalif replied "Ever since I was a little one;" and the tailor asked, "Whence hadest thou that gown thou hast spoilt on this wise?" Khalif answered, "I had it of my apprentice the trumpeter." Then he went up to the door, where he found the Chief Eunuch sitting with the two fishes by his side: and seeing him sable-black of hue, said to him, "Wilt thou not bring the hundred dinars, O uncle Tulip?" Quoth he, "On my head, O Khalif," when, behold, out came Ja'afar from the presence of the Caliph and seeing the fisherman talking with the Eunuch and saying to him, "This is the reward of goodness, O nuncle Tulip," went in to Al-Rashid and said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, thy master the Fisherman is with the Chief Eunuch, dunning him for an hundred dinars." Cried the Caliph, "Bring him to me, O Ja'afar;" and the Minister answered, "Hearing and obeying." So he went out to the Fisherman and said to him, "O Khalif, thine apprentice the trumpeter biddeth thee to him;" then he walked on, followed by the other till they reached the presence-chamber, where he saw the Caliph seated, with a canopy over his head. When he entered, Al-Rashid wrote three scrolls and set them before him, and the Fisherman said to him, "So thou hast given up trumpeting and turned astrologer!" Quoth the Caliph to him, "Take thee a scroll." Now in the first he had written, "Let him be given a gold piece," in the second, "An hundred dinars," and in the third, "Let him be given an hundred blows with a whip." So Khalif put out his hand and by the decree of the Predestinator, it lighted on the scroll wherein was written, "Let him receive an hundred lashes," and Kings, whenas they ordain aught, go not back therefrom. So they threw him prone on the ground and beat him an hundred blows, whilst he wept and roared for succour, but none succoured him, and said, "By Allah, this is a good joke O trumpeter! I teach thee fishing and thou turnest astrologer and drawest me an unlucky lot. Fie upon thee, [FN#285] in thee is naught of good!" When the Caliph heard his speech, he fell fainting in a fit of laughter and said, "O Khalif, no harm shall betide thee: fear not. Give him an hundred gold pieces." So they gave him an hundred dinars, and he went out, and ceased not faring forth till he came to the trunk-market, where he found the folk assembled in a ring about a broker, who was crying out and saying, "At an hundred dinars, less one dinar! A locked chest!" So he pressed on and pushed through the crowd and said to the broker, "Mine for an hundred dinars!" The broker closed with him and took his money, whereupon there was left him nor little nor much. The porters disputed awhile about who should carry the chest and presently all said, "By Allah, none shall carry this chest but Zurayk!" [FN#286] And the folk said, "Blue-eyes hath the best right to it." So Zurayk shouldered the chest, after the goodliest fashion, and walked a-rear of Khalif. As they went along, the Fisherman said in himself, "I have nothing left to give the porter; how shall I rid myself of him? Now I will traverse the main streets with him and lead him about, till he be weary and set it down and leave it, when I will take it up and carry it to my lodging." Accordingly, he went round about the city with the porter from noontide to sundown, till the man began to grumble and said, "O my lord, where is thy house?" Quoth Khalif, "Yesterday I knew it, but to-day I have forgotten it." And the porter said, "Give me my hire and take thy chest." But Khalif said, "Go on at thy leisure, till I bethink me where my house is," presently adding, "O Zurayk, I have no money with me. 'Tis all in my house and I have forgotten where it is." As they were talking, there passed by them one who knew the Fisherman and said to him, "O Khalif, what bringeth thee hither?" Quoth the porter, "O uncle, where is Khalif's house?" and quoth he, "'Tis in the ruined Khan in the Rawásín Quarter." [FN#287] Then said Zurayk to Khalif, "Go to; would Heaven thou hadst never lived nor been!" And the Fisherman trudged on, followed by the porter, till they came to the place when the Hammal said, "O thou whose daily bread Allah cut off in this world, have we not passed this place a score of times? Hadst thou said to me, 'Tis in such a stead, thou hadst spared me this great toil; but now give me my wage and let me wend my way." Khalif replied "Thou shalt have silver, if not gold. Stay here, till I bring thee the same." So he entered his lodging and taking a mallet he had there, studded with forty nails (wherewith an he smote a camel, he had made an end of it), rushed upon the porter and raised his forearm to strike him therewith; but Zurayk cried out at him, saying, "Hold thy hand! I have no claim on thee," and fled. Now having got rid of the Hammal, Khalif carried the chest into the Khan, whereupon the neighbours came down and flocked about him, saying, "O Khalif, whence hadst thou this robe and this chest?" Quoth he, "From my apprentice Al-Rashid who gave them to me," and they said, "The pimp is mad! Al-Rashid will assuredly hear of his talk and hang him over the door of his lodging and hang all in the Khan on account of the droll. This is a fine farce!" Then they helped him to carry the chest into his lodging and it filled the whole closet. [FN#288] Thus far concerning Khalif; but as for the history of the chest, it was as follows: The Caliph had a Turkish slave-girl, by name Kut al-Kulúb, whom he loved with love exceeding and the Lady Zubaydah came to know of this from himself and was passing jealous of her and secretly plotted mischief against her. So, whilst the Commander of the Faithful was absent a-sporting and a-hunting, she sent for Kut al-Kulub and, inviting her to a banquet, set before her meat and wine, and she ate and drank. Now the wine was drugged with Bhang; so she slept and Zubaydah sent for her Chief Eunuch and putting her in a great chest, locked it and gave it to him, saying, "Take this chest and cast it into the river." Thereupon he took it up before him on a he-mule and set out with it for the sea, but found it unfit to carry; so, as he passed by the trunk-market, he saw the Shaykh of the brokers and salesmen and said to him, "Wilt thou sell me this chest, O uncle?" The broker replied, "Yes, we will do this much." "But," said the Eunuch, "look thou sell it not except locked;" and the other, "'Tis well; we will do that also." [FN#289] So he set down the chest, and they cried it for sale, saying, "Who will buy this chest for an hundred dinars?"; and behold, up came Khalif the Fisherman and bought the chest after turning it over right and left; and there passed between him and the porter that which hath been before set out. Now as regards Khalif the Fisherman; he lay down on the chest to sleep, and presently Kut al-Kulub awoke from her Bhang and finding herself in the chest, cried out and said, "Alas!" Whereupon Khalif sprang off the chest-lid and cried out and said, "Ho, Moslems! Come to my help! There are Ifrits in the chest." So the neighbours awoke from sleep and said to him, "What mattereth thee, O madman?" Quoth he, "The chest is full of Ifrits;" and quoth they, "Go to sleep; thou hast troubled our rest this night may Allah not bless thee! Go in and sleep, without madness." He ejaculated, "I cannot sleep;" but they abused him and he went in and lay down once more. And behold, Kut al-Kulub spoke and said, "Where am I?" Upon which Khalif fled forth the closet and said, "O neighbours of the hostelry, come to my aid!" Quoth they, "What hath befallen thee? Thou troublest the neighbours' rest." "O folk, there be Ifrits in the chest, moving and speaking." "Thou liest: what do they say?" "They say, 'Where am I?'" "Would Heaven thou wert in Hell! Thou disturbest the neighbours and hinderest them of sleep. Go to sleep, would thou hadst never lived nor been!" So Khalif went in fearful because he had no place wherein to sleep save upon the chest-lid when lo! as he stood, with ears listening for speech, Kut al-Kulub spake again and said, "I'm hungry." So in sore affright he fled forth and cried out, "Ho neighbours! ho dwellers in the Khan, come aid me!" Said they, "What is thy calamity now?" [FN#290] And he answered, "The Ifrits in the chest say, 'We are hungry.'" Quoth the neighbours one to other, "'Twould seem Khalif is hungry; let us feed him and give him the supper-orts; else he will not let us sleep to-night." So they brought him bread and meat and broken victuals and radishes and gave him a basket full of all kinds of things, saying, "Eat till thou be full and go to sleep and talk not, else will we break thy ribs and beat thee to death this very night." So he took the basket with the provaunt and entered his lodging. Now it was a moonlight night and the moon shone in full sheen upon the chest and lit up the closet with its light, seeing this he sat down on his purchase and fell to eating of the food with both hands. Presently Kut al-Kulub spake again and said, "Open to me and have mercy upon me, O Moslems!" So Khalif arose and taking a stone he had by him, broke the chest open and behold, therein lay a young lady as she were the sun's shining light with brow flower-white, face moonbright, cheeks of rose-hue exquisite and speech sweeter than sugar-bite, and in dress worth a thousand dinars and more bedight. Seeing this his wits flew from his head for joy and he said, "By Allah, thou art of the fair!" She asked him, "What art thou, O fellow?" and he answered, "O my lady, I am Khalif the Fisherman." Quoth she, "Who brought me hither?"; and quoth he, "I bought thee, and thou art my slave-girl." Thereupon said she, "I see on thee a robe of the raiment of the Caliph." So he told her all that had betided him, from first to last, and how he had bought the chest; wherefore she knew that the Lady Zubaydah had played her false; and she ceased not talking with him till the morning, when she said to him, "O Khalif, seek me from some one inkcase and reed-pen and paper and bring them to me." So he found with one of the neighbours what she sought and brought it to her, whereupon she wrote a letter and folded it and gave it to him, saying, "O Khalif, take this paper and carry it to the jewel-market, where do thou enquire for the shop of Abu al-Hasan the jeweller and give it to him." Answered the Fisherman, "O my lady, this name is difficult to me; I cannot remember it." And she rejoined, "Then ask for the shop of Ibn al-'Ukáb." [FN#291] Quoth he, "O my lady, what is an 'Ukab?"; and quoth she, "'Tis a bird which folk carry on fist with eyes hooded." And he exclaimed, "O my lady, I know it." Then he went forth from her and fared on, repeating the name, lest it fade from his memory; but, by the time he reached the jewel-market, he had forgotten it. So he accosted one of the merchants and said to him, "Is there any here named after a bird?" Replied the merchant, "Yes, thou meanest Ibn al-Ukab." Khalif cried, "That's the man I want," and making his way to him, gave him the letter, which when he read and knew the purport thereof, he fell to kissing it and laying it on his head; for it is said that Abu al-Hasan was the agent of the Lady Kut al-Kulub and her intendant over all her property in lands and houses. Now she had written to him, saying, "From Her Highness the Lady Kut al-Kulub to Sir Abu al-Hasan the jeweller. The instant this letter reacheth thee, set apart for us a saloon completely equipped with furniture and vessels and negro-slaves and slave-girls and what not else is needful for our residence and seemly, and take the bearer of the missive and carry him to the bath. Then clothe him in costly apparel and do with him thus and thus." So he said "Hearing and obeying," and locking up his shop, took the Fisherman and bore him to the bath, where he committed him to one of the bathmen, that he might serve him, according to custom. Then he went forth to carry out the Lady Kut al-Kulub's orders. As for Khalif, he concluded, of his lack of wit and stupidity, that the bath was a prison and said to the bathman, "What crime have I committed that ye should lay me in limbo?" They laughed at him and made him sit on the side of the tank, whilst the bathman took hold of his legs, that he might shampoo them. Khalif thought he meant to wrestle with him and said to himself, "This is a wrestling-place [FN#292] and I knew naught of it." Then he arose and seizing the bathman's legs, lifted him up and threw him on the ground and broke his ribs. The man cried out for help, whereupon the other bathmen came in a crowd and fell upon Khalif and overcoming him by dint of numbers, delivered their comrade from his clutches and tunded him till he came to himself. Then they knew that the Fisherman was a simpleton and served him till Abu al-Hasan came back with a dress of rich stuff and clad him therein; after which he brought him a handsome she-mule, ready saddled, and taking him by the hand, carried him forth of the bath and said to him, "Mount." Quoth he, "How shall I mount? I fear lest she throw me and break my ribs into my belly." Nor would he back the mule, save after much travail and trouble, and they stinted not faring on, till they came to the place which Abu al-Hasan had set apart for the Lady Kut al-Kulub. Thereupon Khalif entered and found her sitting, with slaves and eunuchs about her and the porter at the door, staff in hand, who when he saw the Fisherman sprang up and kissing his hand, went before him, till he brought him within the saloon. Here the Fisherman saw what amazed his wit, and his eye was dazzled by that which he beheld of riches past count and slaves and servants, who kissed his hand and said, "May the bath be a blessing to thee!" [FN#293] When he entered the saloon and drew near unto Kut al-Kulub, she sprang up to him and taking him by the hand, seated him on a high-mattrassed divan. Then she brought him a vase of sherbet of sugar, mingled with rosewater and willow-water, and he took it and drank it off and left not a single drop. Moreover, he ran his finger round the inside of the vessel [FN#294] and would have licked it, but she forbade him, saying, "That is foul." Quoth he, "Silence; this is naught but good honey;" and she laughed at him and set before him a tray of meats, whereof he ate his sufficiency. Then they brought an ewer and basin of gold, and he washed his right hand and abode in the gladdest of life and the most honourable. Now hear what befel the Commander of the Faithful. When he came back from his journey and found not Kut al-Kulub, he questioned the Lady Zubaydah of her and she said, "She is verily dead, may thy head live, O Prince of True Believers!" But she had bidden dig a grave amiddlemost the Palace and had built over it a mock tomb, for her knowledge of the love the Caliph bore to Kut al-Kulub: so she said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, I made her a tomb amiddlemost the Palace and buried her there." Then she donned black, [FN#295] a mere sham and pure pretence; and feigned mourning a great while. Now Kut al-Kulub knew that the Caliph was come back from his hunting excursion; so she turned to Khalif and said to him, "Arise; hie thee to the bath and come back." So he rose and went to the Hammam-bath, and when he returned, she clad him in a dress worth a thousand dinars and taught him manners and respectful bearing to superiors. Then said she to him, "Go hence to the Caliph and say to him, 'O Commander of the Faithful, 'tis my desire that this night thou deign be my guest.'" So Khalif arose and mounting his she-mule, rode, with pages and black slaves before him, till he came to the Palace of the Caliphate. Quoth the wise, "Dress up a stick and 'twill look chique." [FN#296] And indeed his comeliness was manifest and his goodliness and the folk marvelled at this. Presently, the Chief Eunuch saw him, the same who had given him the hundred dinars that had been the cause of his good fortune; so he went in to the Caliph and said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, Khalif the Fisherman is become a King, and on him is a robe of honour worth a thousand dinars." The Prince of True Believers bade admit him; so he entered and said, "Peace be with thee, O Commander of the Faithful and Vice-regent of the Lord of the three Worlds and Defender of the folk of the Faith! Allah Almighty prolong thy days and honour thy dominion and exalt thy degree to the highmost height!" The Caliph looked at him and marvelled at him and how fortune had come to him at unawares; then he said to him, "O Khalif, whence hadst thou that robe which is upon thee?" He replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, it cometh from my house." Quoth the Caliph, "Hast thou then a house?"; and quoth Khalif, "Yea, verily! and thou, O Commander of the Faithful, art my guest this day." Al-Rashid said, "I alone, O Khalif, or I and those who are with me?"; and he replied, "Thou and whom thou wilt." So Ja'afar turned to him and said, "We will be thy guests this night;" whereupon he kissed ground again and withdrawing, mounted his mule and rode off, attended by his servants and suite of Mamelukes leaving the Caliph marvelling at this and saying to Ja'afar, "Sawest thou Khalif, with his mule and dress, his white slaves and his dignity? But yesterday I knew him for a buffoon and a jester." And they marvelled at this much. Then they mounted and rode, till they drew near Khalif's house, when the Fisherman alighted and, taking a bundle from one of his attendants, opened it and pulled out therefrom a piece of tabby silk [FN#297] and spread it under the hoofs of the Caliph's she-mule; then he brought out a piece of velvet-Kimcob [FN#298] and a third of fine satin and did with them likewise; and thus he spread well nigh twenty pieces of rich stuffs, till Al-Rashid and his suite had reached the house; when he came forward and said, "Bismillah, [FN#299] O Commander of the Faithful!" Quoth Al-Rashid to Ja'afar, "I wonder to whom this house may belong," and quoth he, "It belongeth to a man hight Ibn al-Ukab, Syndic of the jewellers." So the Caliph dismounted and entering, with his courtiers, saw a high-builded saloon, spacious and boon, with couches on daïs and carpets and divans strown in place. So he went up to the couch that was set for himself on four legs of ivory, plated with glittering gold and covered with seven carpets. This pleased him and behold, up came Khalif, with eunuchs and little white slaves, bearing all manner sherbets, compounded with sugar and lemon and perfumed with rose and willow-water and the purest musk. The Fisherman advanced and drank and gave the Caliph to drink, and the cup-bearers came forward and served the rest of the company with the sherbets. Then Khalif brought a table spread with meats of various colours and geese and fowls and other birds, saying, "In the name of Allah!" So they ate their fill; after which he bade remove the tables and kissing the ground three times before the Caliph craved his royal leave to bring wine and music. [FN#300] He granted him permission for this and turning to Ja'afar, said to him, "As my head liveth, the house and that which is therein is Khalif's; for that he is ruler over it and I am in admiration at him, whence there came to him this passing prosperity and exceeding felicity! However, this is no great matter to Him who saith to a thing, 'Be!' and it becometh; what I most wonder at is his understanding, how it hath increased, and whence he hath gotten this loftiness and this lordliness; but, when Allah willeth weal unto a man, He amendeth his intelligence before bringing him to worldly affluence." As they were talking, behold, up came Khalif, followed by cup-bearer lads like moons, belted with zones of gold, who spread a cloth of siglaton [FN#301] and set thereon flagons of chinaware and tall flasks of glass and cups of crystal and bottles and hanaps [FN#302] of all colours; and those flagons they filled with pure clear and old wine, whose scent was as the fragrance of virgin musk and it was even as saith the poet, "Ply me and also my mate be plied * With pure wine prest in the olden tide. [FN#303] Daughter of nobles [FN#304] they lead her forth [FN#305] * In raiment of goblets beautified. They belt her round with the brightest gems, * And pearls and unions, the Ocean's pride; So I by these signs and signets know * Wherefore the Wine is entitled 'Bride.' [FN#306]" And round about these vessels were confections and flowers, such as may not be surpassed. When Al-Rashid saw this from Khalif, he inclined to him and smiled upon him and invested him with an office; so Khalif wished him continuance of honour and endurance of days and said, "Will the Commander of the Faithful deign give me leave to bring him a singer, a lute-player her like was never heard among mortals ever?" Quoth the Caliph, "Thou art permitted!" So he kissed ground before him and going to a secret closet, called Kut al-Kulub, who came after she had disguised and falsed and veiled herself, tripping in her robes and trinkets; and she kissed ground before the Commander of the Faithful. Then she sat down and tuning the lute, touched its strings and played upon it, till all present were like to faint for excess of delight; after which she improvised these verses, "Would Heaven I wot, will ever Time bring our beloveds back again? * And, ah! will Union and its bliss to bless two lovers deign? Will Time assure to us united days and joinèd joy, * While from the storms and stowres of life in safety we remain? Then O Who bade this pleasure be, our parting past and gone, * And made one house our meeting-stead throughout the Nights contain; By him, draw near me, love, and closest cling to side of me * Else were my wearied wasted life, a vanity, a bane." When the Caliph heard this, he could not master himself, but rent his raiment and fell down a-swoon; whereupon all who were present hastened to doff their dress and throw it over him, whilst Kut al-Kulub signed to Khalif and said to him, "Hie to yonder chest and bring us what is therein;" for she had made ready therein a suit of the Caliph's wear against the like of such hour as this. So Khalif brought it to her and she threw it over the Commander of the Faithful, who came to himself and knowing her for Kut al-Kulub, said, "Is this the Day of Resurrection and hath Allah quickened those who are in the tombs; or am I asleep and is this an imbroglio of dreams?" Quoth Kut al-Kulub, "We are on wake, not on sleep, and I am alive, nor have I drained the cup of death." Then she told him all that had befallen her, and indeed, since he lost her, life had not been light to him nor had sleep been sweet, and he abode now wondering, then weeping and anon afire for longing. When she had made an end of her story, the Caliph rose and took her by the hand, intending for her palace, after he had kissed her inner lips, and had strained her to his bosom; whereupon Khalif rose and said, "By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful! Thou hast already wronged me once, and now thou wrongest me again." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Indeed thou speakest sooth, O Khalif," and bade the Wazir Ja'afar give him what should satisfy him. So he straightway gifted him with all for which he wished and assigned him a village, the yearly revenues whereof were twenty thousand dinars. Moreover Kut al-Kulub generously presented him the house and all that was therein of furniture and hangings and white slaves and slave-girls and eunuchs great and small. So Khalif became possessed of this passing affluence and exceeding wealth and took him a wife, and prosperity taught him gravity and dignity, and good fortune overwhelmed him. The Caliph enrolled him among his equerries and he abode in all solace of life and its delights till he deceased and was admitted to the mercy of Allah. Furthermore they relate a tale anent [FN#307] MASRUR AND ZAYN AL-MAWASIF. [FN#308] There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before a man and a merchant Masrúr hight, who was of the comeliest of the folk of his tide, a wight of wealth galore and in easiest case; but he loved to take his pleasure in vergiers and flower-gardens and to divert himself with the love of the fair. Now it fortuned one night, as he lay asleep, he dreamt that he was in a garth of the loveliest, wherein were four birds, and amongst them a dove, white as polished silver. That dove pleased him and for her grew up in his heart an exceeding love. Presently, he beheld a great bird swoop down on him and snatch the dove from his hand, and this was grievous to him. After which he awoke and not finding the bird strave with his yearnings till morning, when he said in himself, "There is no help but that I go to-day to some one who will expound to me this vision."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-sixth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the merchant awoke, he strave with his yearnings till morning when he said to himself, "There is no help but that I go this day to some one who will expound to me this vision." So he went forth and walked right and left, till he was far from his dwelling-place, but found none to interpret the dream to him. Then he would have returned, but on his way behold, the fancy took him to turn aside to the house of a certain trader, a man of the wealthiest, and when he drew near to it, suddenly he heard from within a plaintive voice from a sorrowful heart reciting these couplets, "The breeze o' Morn blows uswards from her trace * Fragrant, and heals the love-sick lover's case. I stand like captive on the mounds and ask * While tears make answer for the ruined place: Quoth I, 'By Allah, Breeze o' Morning, say * Shall Time and Fortune aye this stead regrace? Shall I enjoy a fawn whose form bewitched * And langourous eyelids wasted frame and face?'" When Masrur heard this, he looked in through the doorway and saw a garden of the goodliest of gardens, and at its farther end a curtain of red brocade, purfled with pearls and gems, behind which sat four damsels, and amongst them a young lady over four feet and under five in height, as she were the rondure of the lune and the full moon shining boon: she had eyes Kohl'd with nature's dye and joined eyebrows, a mouth as it were Solomon's seal and lips and teeth bright with pearls and coral's light; and indeed she ravished all wits with her beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace. When Masrur espied her, he entered the porch and went on entering till he came to the curtain: whereupon she raised her head and glanced at him. So he saluted her and she returned his salam with sweetest speech; and, when he considered her more straitly, his reason was dazed and his heart amazed. Then he looked at the garden and saw that it was full of jessamine and gilly flowers and violets and roses and orange blossoms and all manner sweet-scented blooms and herbs. Every tree was girt about with fruits and there coursed down water from four daïses, which faced one another and occupied the four corners of the garden. He looked at the first Líwán and found written around it with vermilion these two couplets, "Ho thou the House! Grief never home in thee; * Nor Time work treason on thine owner's head: All good betide the House which every guest * Harbours, when sore distrest for way and stead!" Then he looked at the second daïs and found written thereon in red gold these couplets, "Robe thee, O House, in richest raiment Time, * Long as the birdies on the branchlets chime! And sweetest perfumes breathe within thy walls * And lover meet beloved in bliss sublime. And dwell thy dwellers all in joy and pride * Long as the wandering stars Heaven-hill shall climb." Then he looked at the third, whereon he found written in ultramarine these two couplets, "Ever thy pomp and pride, O House! display * While starkeneth Night and shineth sheeny Day! Boon Fortune bless all entering thy walls, * And whomso dwell in thee, for ever and aye!" Then he looked at the fourth and saw painted in yellow characters this couplet, "This garden and this lake in truth * Are fair sitting-steads, by the Lord of Ruth!" Moreover, in that garden were birds of all breeds, ring-dove and cushat and nightingale and culver, each singing his several song, and amongst them the lady, swaying gracefully to and fro in her beauty and grace and symmetry and loveliness and ravishing all who saw her. Presently quoth she to Masrur, "Hola man! what bringeth thee into a house other than thy house and wherefore comest thou in unto women other than thy women, without leave of their owner?" Quoth he, "O my lady, I saw this garden, and the goodliness of its greenery pleased me and the fragrance of its flowers and the carolling of its birds; so I entered, thinking to gaze on it awhile and wend my way." Said she, "With love and gladness!"; and Masrur was amazed at the sweetness of her speech and the coquetry of her glances and the straightness of her shape, and transported by her beauty and seemlihead and the pleasantness of the garden and the birds. So in the disorder of his spirits he recited these couplets, "As a crescent-moon in the garth her form * 'Mid Basil and jasmine and Rose I scan; And Violet faced by the Myrtle-spray * And Nu'umán's bloom and Myrobalan: By her perfume the Zephyrs perfumèd breathe * And with scented sighings the branches fan. O Garden, thou perfect of beauty art * All charms comprising in perfect plan; And melodious birdies sing madrigals * And the Full Moon [FN#309] shineth in branchshade wan; Its ring-dove, its culver, its mocking-bird * And its Philomel sing my soul t' unman; And the longing of love all my wits confuseth * For her charms, as the man whom his wine bemuseth." Now when Zayn al-Mawásif heard his verse, she glanced at him with eyes which bequeathed a thousand sighs and utterly ravished his wisdom and wits and replied to him in these lines, "Hope not of our favours to make thy prey * And of what thou wishest thy greed allay: And cease thy longing; thou canst not win * The love of the Fair thou'rt fain t' essay, My glances to lovers are baleful and naught * I reek of thy speech: I have said my say!" "Ho, thou! Begone about thy business, for we are none of the woman-tribe who are neither thine nor another's. [FN#310]" And he answered, "O my lady, I said nothing ill." Quoth she, "Thou soughtest to divert thyself [FN#311] and thou hast had thy diversion; so wend thy ways." Quoth he, "O my lady, belike thou wilt give me a draught of water, for I am athirst." Whereupon she cried, "How canst thou drink of a Jew's water, and thou a Nazarene?" But he replied, "O my lady, your water is not forbidden to us nor ours unlawful to you, for we are all as one creation." So she said to her slave-girl, "Give him to drink;" and she did as she was bidden. Then she called for the table of food, and there came four damsels, high-bosomed maids, bearing four trays of meats and four gilt flagons full of strong old-wine, as it were the tears of a slave of love for clearness, and a table around whose edge were graven these couplets, "For eaters a table they brought and set * In the banquet-hall and 'twas dight with gold: Like th' Eternal Garden that gathers all * Man wants of meat and wines manifold." And when the high-breasted maids had set all this before him, quoth she, "Thou soughtest to drink of our drink; so up and at our meat and drink!" He could hardly credit what his ears had heard and sat down at the table forthright; whereupon she bade her nurse [FN#312] give him a cup, that he might drink. Now her slave-girls were called, one Hubúb, another Khutúb and the third Sukúb, [FN#313] and she who gave him the cup was Hubub. So he took the cup and looking at the outside there saw written these couplets, "Drain not the howl but with lovely wight * Who loves thee and wine makes brighter bright. And 'ware her Scorpions [FN#314] that o'er thee creep * And guard thy tongue lest thou vex her sprite." Then the cup went round and when he emptied it he looked inside and saw written, "And 'ware her Scorpions when pressing them, * And hide her secrets from foes' despight." Whereupon Masrur laughed her-wards and she asked him, "What causeth thee to laugh?" "For the fulness of my joy," quoth he. Presently, the breeze blew on her and the scarf [FN#315] fell from her head and discovered a fillet [FN#316] of glittering gold, set with pearls and gems and jacinths; and on her breast was a necklace of all manner ring-jewels and precious stones, to the centre of which hung a sparrow of red gold, with feet of red coral and bill of white silver and body full of Nadd-powder and pure ambergris and odoriferous musk. And upon its back was engraved, "The Nadd is my wine-scented powder, my bread; * And the bosom's my bed and the breasts my stead: And my neck-nape complains of the weight of love, * Of my pain, of my pine, of my drearihead." Then Masrur looked at the breast of her shift and behold, thereon lay wroughten in red gold this verse, "The fragrance of musk from the breasts of the fair * Zephyr borrows, to sweeten the morning air." Masrur marvelled at this with exceeding wonder and was dazed by her charms and amazement gat hold upon him. Then said Zayn al-Mawásif to him, "Begone from us and go about thy business, lest the neighbours hear of us and even us with the lewd." He replied, "By Allah, O my lady, suffer my sight to enjoy the view of thy beauty and loveliness." With this she was wroth with him and leaving him, walked in the garden, and he looked at her shift-sleeve and saw upon it embroidered these lines, "The weaver-wight wrote with gold-ore bright * And her wrists on brocade rained a brighter light: Her palms are adorned with a silvern sheen; * And favour her fingers the ivory's white: For their tips are rounded like priceless pearl; * And her charms would enlighten the nightiest night." And, as she paced the garth, Masrur gazed at her slippers and saw written upon them these pleasant lines, "The slippers that carry these fair young feet * Cause her form to bend in its gracious bloom: When she paces and waves in the breeze she owns, * She shines fullest moon in the murkiest gloom." She was followed by her women leaving Hubub with Masrur by the curtain, upon whose edge were embroidered these couplets, "Behind the veil a damsel sits with gracious beauty dight, * Praise to the Lord who decked her with these inner gifts of sprite! Guards her the garden and the bird fain bears her company; * Gladden her wine-draughts and the bowl but makes her brighter-bright. Apple and Cassia-blossom show their envy of her cheeks; * And borrows Pearl resplendency from her resplendent light; As though the sperm that gendered her were drop of marguerite [FN#317] * Happy who kisses her and spends in her embrace the night." So Masrur entered into a long discourse with Hubub and presently said to her, "O Hubub, hath thy mistress a husband or not?" She replied, "My lady hath a husband; but he is actually abroad on a journey with merchandise of his." Now whenas he heard that her husband was abroad on a journey, his heart lusted after her and he said, "O Hubub, glorified be He who created this damsel and fashioned her! How sweet is her beauty and her loveliness and her symmetry and perfect grace! Verily, into my heart is fallen sore travail for her. O Hubub, so do that I come to enjoy her, and thou shalt have of me what thou wilt of wealth and what not else." Replied Hubub, "O Nazarene, if she heard thee speak thus, she would slay thee, or else she would kill herself, for she is the daughter of a Zealot [FN#318] of the Jews nor is there her like amongst them: she hath no need of money and she keepeth herself ever cloistered, discovering not her case to any." Quoth Masrur, "O Hubub, an thou wilt but bring me to enjoy her, I will be to thee slave and foot page and will serve thee all my life and give thee whatsoever thou seekest of me." But quoth she, "O Masrur, in very sooth this woman hath no lust for money nor yet for men, because my lady Zayn al-Mawasif is of the cloistered, going not forth her house-door in fear lest folk see her; and but that she bore with thee by reason of thy strangerhood, she had not permitted thee to pass her threshold; no, not though thou wert her brother." He replied, "O Hubub, be thou our go-between and thou shalt have of me an hundred gold dinars and a dress worth as much more, for that the love of her hath gotten hold of my heart." Hearing this she said, "O man, let me go about with her in talk and I will return thee and answer and acquaint thee with what she saith. Indeed, she loveth those who berhyme her and she affecteth those who set forth her charms and beauty and loveliness in verse, and we may not prevail over her save by wiles and soft speech and beguilement." Thereupon Hubub rose and going up to her mistress, accosted her with privy talk of this and that and presently said to her, "O my lady, look at yonder young man, the Nazarene; how sweet is his speech and how shapely his shape!" When Zayn al-Mawasif heard this, she turned to her and said, "An thou like his comeliness love him thyself. Art thou not ashamed to address the like of me with these words? Go, bid him begone about his business; or I will make it the worse for him." So Hubub returned to Masrur, but acquainted him not with that which her mistress had said. Then the lady bade her hie to the door and look if she saw any of the folk, lest foul befal them. So she went and returning, said, "O my lady, without are folk in plenty and we cannot let him go forth this night." Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "I am in dole because of a dream I have seen and am fearful therefrom." And Masrur said, "What sawest thou? Allah never trouble thy heart!" She replied, "I was asleep in the middle of the night, when suddenly an eagle swooped down upon me from the highest of the clouds and would have carried me off from behind the curtain, wherefore I was affrighted at him. Then I awoke from sleep and bade my women bring me meat and drink, so haply, when I had drunken, the dolour of the dream would cease from me." Hearing this, Masrur smiled and told her his dream from first to last and how he had caught the dove, whereat she marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then he went on to talk with her at great length and said, "I am now certified of the truth of my dream, for thou art the dove and I the eagle, and there is no hope but that this must be, for, the moment I set eyes on thee, thou tookest possession of my vitals and settest my heart a-fire for love of thee!" Thereupon Zayn al-Mawasif became wroth with exceeding wrath and said to him, "I take refuge with Allah from this! Allah upon thee, begone about thy business ere the neighbours espy thee and there betide us sore reproach," adding, "Harkye, man! Let not thy soul covet that it shall not obtain. Thou weariest thyself in vain; for I am a merchant's wife and a merchant's daughter and thou art a druggist; and when sawest thou a druggist and a merchant's daughter conjoined by such sentiment?" He replied, "O my lady, never lacked love-liesse between folk [FN#319]; so cut thou not off from me hope of this and whatsoever thou seekest of me of money and raiment and ornaments and what not else, I will give thee." Then he abode with her in discourse and mutual blaming whilst she still redoubled in anger, till it was black night, when he said to her, "O my lady, take this gold piece and fetch me a little wine, for I am athirst and heavy hearted." So she said to the slave-girl Hubub, "Fetch him wine and take naught from him, for we have no need of his dinar." So she went whilst Masrur held his peace and bespake not the lady, who suddenly improvised these lines, "Leave this thy design and depart, O man! * Nor tread paths where lewdness and crime trepan! Love is a net shall enmesh thy sprite, * Make thee rise a-morning sad, weary and wan: For our spy thou shalt eke be the cause of talk; * And for thee shall blame me my tribe and clan: Yet scant I marvel thou lovest a Fair:-- * Gazelles hunting lions we aye shall scan!" And he answered her with these, "Joy of boughs, bright branch of Myrobalan! * Have ruth on the heart all thy charms unman: Death-cup to the dregs thou garrest me drain * And don weed of Love with its bane and ban: How can soothe I a heart which for stress of pine * Burns with living coals which my longings fan?" Hearing these lines she exclaimed, "Away from me! Quoth the saw 'Whoso looseth his sight wearieth his sprite.' By Allah, I am tired of discourse with thee and chiding, and indeed thy soul coveteth that shall never become thine; nay, though thou gave me my weight in gold, thou shouldst not get thy wicked will of me; for, I know naught of the things of the world, save pleasant life, by the boon of Allah Almighty!" He answered, "O my lady Zayn al-Mawasif, ask of me what thou wilt of the goods of the world." Quoth she, "What shall I ask of thee? For sure thou wilt fare forth and prate of me in the highway and I shall become a laughing-stock among the folk and they will make a byword of me in verse, me who am the daughter of the chief of the merchants and whose father is known of the notables of the tribe. I have no need of money or raiment and such love will not be hidden from the people and I shall be brought to shame, I and my kith and kin." With this Masrur was confounded and could make her no answer; but presently she said, "Indeed, the master-thief, if he steal, stealeth not but what is worth his neck, and every woman who doth lewdness with other than her husband is styled a thief; so, if it must be thus and no help [FN#320], thou shalt give me whatsoever my heart desireth of money and raiment and ornaments and what not." Quoth he, "An thou sought of me the world and all its regions contain from its East to its West, 'twere but a little thing, compared with thy favour;" and quoth she, "I will have of thee three suits, each worth a thousand Egyptian dinars, and adorned with gold and fairly purfled with pearls and jewels and jacinths, the best of their kind. Furthermore I require that thou swear to me thou wilt keep my secret nor discover it to any and that thou wilt company with none but me; and I in turn will swear to thee a true oath that I will never false thee in love." So he sware to her the oath she required and she sware to him, and they agreed upon this; after which she said to her nurse Hubub, "To-morrow go thou with Masrur to his lodging and seek somewhat of musk and ambergris and Nadd and rose-water and see what he hath. If he be a man of condition, we will take him into favour; but an he be otherwise we will leave him." Then said she to him, "O Masrur, I desire somewhat of musk and ambergris and aloes-wood and Nadd; so do thou send it me by Hubub;" and he answered, "With love and gladness; my shop is at thy disposal!" Then the wine went round between them and their séance was sweet: but Masrur's heart was troubled for the passion and pining which possessed him; and when Zayn alMawasif saw him in this plight, she said to her slave-girl Sukub, "Arouse Masrur from his stupor; mayhap he will recover." Answered Sukub, "Hearkening and obedience," and sang these couplets, "Bring gold and gear an a lover thou, * And hymn thy love so success shalt row; Joy the smiling fawn with the black-edged eyne * And the bending lines of the Cassiabough: On her look, and a marvel therein shalt sight, * And pour out thy life ere thy life-term show: Love's affect be this, an thou weet the same; * But, an gold deceive thee, leave gold and go!" Hereupon Masrur understood her and said, "I hear and apprehend. Never was grief but after came relief, and after affliction dealing He will order the healing." Then Zayn al-Mawasif recited these couplets, "From Love-stupor awake, O Masrur, 'twere best; * For this day I dread my love rend thy breast; And to-morrow I fear me folks' marvel-tale * Shall make us a byword from East to West: Leave love of my like or thou'lt gain thee blame; * Why turn thee us-wards? Such love's unblest! For one strange of lineage whose kin repel * Thou shalt wake ill-famed, of friends dispossest: I'm a Zealot's child and affright the folk: * Would my life were ended and I at rest!" Then Masrur answered her improvisation and began to say these lines, "To grief leave a heart that to love ne'er ceased; * Nor blame, for your blame ever love increased: You misrule my vitals in tyrant-guise; * Morn and Eve I wend not or West or East; Love's law forbids me to do me die; * They say Love's victim is ne'er released: Well-away! Could I find in Love's Court a judge * I'd 'plain and win to my rights at least." They ceased not from mutual chiding till morning morrowed, when Zayn al-Mawasif said, "O Masrur 'tis time for thee to depart, lest one of the folk see thee and foul befal us twain." So he arose and accompanied by nurse Hubub fared on, till they came to his lodging, where he talked with her and said to her, "All thou seekest of me is ready for thee, so but thou wilt bring me to enjoy her." Hubub replied, "Hearten thy heart;" whereupon he rose and gave her an hundred dinars, saying "O Hubub, I have by me a dress worth an hundred gold pieces." Answered she, "O Masrur, make haste with the trinkets and other things promised her, ere she change her mind, for we may not take her, save with wile and guile, and she loveth the saying of verse." Quoth he, "Hearing and obeying," and bringing her the musk and ambergris and lign-aloes and rosewater, returned with her to Zayn al-Mawasif and saluted her. She returned his salam with the sweetest speech, and he was dazed by her beauty and improvised these lines, "O thou sheeniest Sun who in night dost shine! * O who stole my soul with those large black eyne! O slim-shaped fair with the graceful neck! * O who shamest Rose wi' those checks o' thine! Blind not our sight wi' thy fell disdain, * Disdain, that shall load us with pain and pine; Passion homes in our inmost, nor will be quenched * The fire of yearning in vitals li'en: Your love has housèd in heart of me * And of issue but you see I ne'er a sign: Then haply you'll pity this hapless wight * Thy sad lover and then--O the Morn divine!" When Zayn al-Mawasif heard his verses, she cast at him a glance of eyes, that bequeathed him a thousand regrets and sighs and his wits and soul were ravished in such wise, and answered him with these couplets [FN#321], "Think not from her, of whom thou art enamoured aye * To win delight; so put desire from thee away. Leave that thou hop'st, for 'gainst her rigours whom thou lov'st * Among the fair, in vain is all thou canst essay. My looks to lovers bring discomfiture and woe: Indeed, * I make no count of that which thou dost say." When Masrur heard this, he hardened his heart and took patience, concealing his case and saying in himself, "There is nothing for it against calamity save longsuffering;" and after this fashion they abode till nightfall when Zayn al-Mawasif called for food and they set before her a tray wherein were all manner of dishes, quails and pigeons and mutton and so forth, whereof they ate their sufficiency. Then she bade take away the tables and they did so and fetched the lavatory gear; and they washed their hands, after which she ordered her women to bring the candlesticks, and they set on candelabra and candles therein of camphorated wax. Thereupon quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "By Allah, my breast is straitened this night and I am afevered;" and quoth Masrur, "Allah broaden thy breast and banish thy bane!" Then she said, "O Masrur, I am used to play at chess: say me, knowest aught of the game?" He replied, "Yes; I am skilled therein;" whereupon she commanded her handmaid Hubub fetch her the chessboard. So she went away and presently returning with the board, set it before her, and behold, it was of ivory-marquetried ebony with squares marked in glittering gold, and its pieces of pearl and ruby.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-seventh Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif bade the chessboard be brought, they set it between her hands; and Masrur was amazed at this, when she turned to him and said, "Wilt have red or white?" He replied, "O Princess of the fair and adornment of morning air, do thou take the red for they formous are and fitter for the like of thee to bear and leave the white to my care." Answered she, "So be it;" and, taking the red pieces, ranged them opposite the white, then put out her hand to a piece purposing the first pass into the battle-plain. Masrur considered her fingers, which were white as paste, and was confounded at their beauty and shapely shape; whereupon she turned to him and said, "O Masrur, be not bedazed, but take patience and calm thyself." He rejoined, "O thou whose beauty shameth the moon, how shall a lover look on thee and have patience-boon?" And while this was doing she cried, "Checkmate [FN#322]!" and beat him; wherefore she knew that he was Jinn-mad for love of her and said to him, "O Masrur, I will not play with thee save for a set stake." He replied, "I hear and obey," and she rejoined, "Swear to me and I will swear to thee that neither of us will cheat [FN#323] the adversary." So both sware this and she said, "O Masrur, an I beat thee, I will have ten dinars of thee, but an thou beat me, I will give thee a mere nothing." He expected to win, so he said, "O my lady, be not false to thine oath, for I see thou art an overmatch for me at this game!" "Agreed," said she and they ranged their men and fell again to playing and pushing on their pawns and catching them up with the queens and aligning and matching them with the castles and solacing them with the onslaught of the knights. Now the "Adornment of Qualities" wore on head a kerchief of blue brocade so she loosed it off and tucking up her sleeve, showed a wrist like a shaft of light and passed her palm over the red pieces, saying to him, "Look to thyself." But he was dazzled at her beauty, and the sight of her graces bereft him of reason, so that he became dazed and amazed and put out his hand to the white men, but it alit upon the red. Said she, "O Masrur, where be thy wits? The red are mine and the white thine;" and he replied, "Whoso looketh at thee perforce loseth all his senses." Then, seeing how it was with him, she took the white from him and gave him the red, and they played and she beat him. He ceased not to play with her and she to beat him, whilst he paid her each time ten dinars, till, knowing him to be distraught for love of her, she said, "O Masrur, thou wilt never win to thy wish, except thou beat me, for such was our understanding; and henceforth, I will not play with thee save for a stake of an hundred dinars a game." "With love and gladness," answered he and she went on playing and ever beating him and he paid her an hundred dinars each time; and on this wise they abode till the morning, without his having won a single game, when he suddenly sprang to his feet. Quoth she, "What wilt thou do, O Masrur?"; and quoth he, "I mean to go to my lodging and fetch somewhat of money: it may be I shall come to my desire." "Do whatso seemeth good to thee," said she; so he went home and taking all the money he had, returned to her improvising these two couplets, "In dream I saw a bird o'er speed (meseem'd), * Love's garden decked with blooms that smiled and gleamed: But I shall ken, when won my wish and will * Of thee, the truthful sense of what I dreamed." Now when Masrur returned to her with all his monies they fell a-playing again; but she still beat him and he could not beat her once; and in such case they abode three days, till she had gotten of him the whole of his coin; whereupon said she, "O Masrur, what wilt thou do now?"; and he replied, "I will stake thee a druggist's shop." "What is its worth?" asked she; and he answered, "Five hundred dinars." So they played five bouts and she won the shop of him. Then he betted his slave-girls, lands, houses, gardens, and she won the whole of them, till she had gotten of him all he had; whereupon she turned to him and said, "Hast thou aught left to lay down?" Cried he, "By Him who made me fall into the snare of thy love, I have neither money to touch nor aught else left, little or much!" She rejoined, "O Masrur, the end of whatso began in content shall not drive man to repent; wherefore, an thou regret aught, take back thy good and begone from us about thy business and I will hold thee quit towards me." Masrur rejoined, "By Him who decreed these things to us, though thou sought to take my life 'twere a wee thing to stake for thine approof, because I love none but thee!" Then said she, "O Masrur, fare forthright and fetch the Kazi and the witnesses and make over to me by deed all thy lands and possessions." "Willingly," replied he and, going forth without stay or delay, brought the Kazi and the witnesses and set them before her. When the judge saw her, his wits fled and his mind was amazed and his reason was dazed for the beauty of her fingers, and he said to her, "O my lady, I will not write out the writ of conveyance, save upon condition that thou buy the lands and mansions and slave-girls and that they all pass under thy control and into thy possession." She rejoined, "We're agreed upon that. Write me a deed, whereby all Masrur's houses and lands and slave-girls and whatso his right hand possesseth shall pass to Zayn al-Mawasif and become her property at such a price." So the Kazi wrote out the writ and the witnesses set hands thereto; whereupon she took it.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-eighth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif took from the Kazi the deed which made over her lover's property to her, she said to him, "O Masrur, now gang thy gait." But her slave-girl Hubub turned to him and said, "Recite us some verses." So he improvised upon that game of chess these couplets, "Of Time and what befel me I complain, * Mourning my loss by chess and eyes of bane. For love of gentlest, softest-sided fair * Whose like is not of maids or mortal strain: The shafts of glances from those eyne who shot * And led her conquering host to battle-plain Red men and white men and the clashing Knights * And, crying 'Look to thee!' came forth amain: And, when down charging, finger-tips she showed * That gloomed like blackest night for sable stain, The Whites I could not rescue, could not save * While ecstasy made tear, floods rail and rain: The Pawns and Castles with their Queens fell low * And fled the Whites nor could the brunt sustain: Yea, with her shaft of glance at me she shot * And soon that shaft had pierced my heart and brain: She gave me choice between her hosts, and I * The Whites like moonlight first to choose was fain, Saying, 'This argent folk best fitteth me * I love them, but the Red by thee be ta'en!' She playèd me for free accepted stake * Yet amorous mercy I could ne'er obtain: O fire of heart, O pine and woe of me, * Wooing a fair like moon mid starry train: Burns not my heart O no! nor aught regrets * Of good or land, but ah! her eyes' disdain! Amazed I'm grown and dazed for drearihead * And blame I Time who brought such pine and pain. Quoth she, 'Why art thou so bedazed!' quoth I * 'Wine-drunken wight shall more of wine assain?' That mortal stole my sense by silk-soft shape, * Which doth for heart-core hardest rock contain. I nervèd self and cried, 'This day she's mine' * By bet, nor fear I prove she unhumàne: My heart ne'er ceased to seek possession, till * Beggared I found me for conditions twain: Will youth you loveth shun the Love-dealt blow, * Tho' were he whelmed in Love's high-surging main? So woke the slave sans e'en a coin to turn, * Thralled to repine for what he ne'er shall gain!" Zayn al-Mawasif hearing these words marvelled at the eloquence of his tongue and said to him, "O Masrur, leave this madness and return to thy right reason and wend thy ways; for thou hast wasted all thy moveables and immoveables at the chessgame, yet hast not won thy wish, nor hast thou any resource or device whereby thou mayst attain to it." But he turned to her and said, "O my lady, ask of me whatso thou wilt and thou shalt have it; for I will bring it to thee and lay it at thy feet." Answered she, "O Masrur, thou hast no money left." "O goal of all hopes, if I have no money, the folk will help me." "Shall the giver turn asker?" "I have friends and kinsfolk, and whatsoever I seek of them, they will give me." "O Masrur, I will have of thee four pods of musk and four vases of civet [FN#324] and four pounds of ambergris and four thousand dinars and four hundred pieces of royal brocade, purfled with gold. An thou bring me these things, O Masrur, I will grant thee my favours." "This is a light matter to me, O thou that puttest the moons to shame," replied he and went forth to fetch her what she sought. She sent her maid Hubub after him, to see what worth he had with the folk of whom he had spoken to her; but, as he walked along the highways he turned and seeing her afar off, waited till she came up to him and said to her, "Whither away, O Hubub?" So she said to him, "My mistress sent me to follow for this and that," and he replied, "By Allah, O Hubub, I have nothing to hand!" She asked, "Then why didst thou promise her?"; and he answered, "How many a promise made is unkept of its maker! Fine words in love-matters needs must be." When she heard this from him, she said, "O Masrur, be of good cheer and eyes clear for, by Allah, most assuredly I will be the means of thy coming to enjoy her!" Then she left him nor ceased walking till she stood before her mistress weeping with sore weeping, and said, "O my lady, indeed he is a man of great consideration, and good repute among the folk." Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "There is no device against the destiny of Almighty Allah! Verily, this man found not in me a pitiful heart, for that I despoiled him of his substance and he got of me neither affection nor complaisance in granting him amorous joy; but, if I incline to his inclination, I fear lest the thing be bruited abroad." Quoth Hubub, "O my lady, verily, grievous upon us is his present plight and the loss of his good and thou hast with thee none save thyself and thy slave-girl Sukub; so which of us two would dare prate of thee, and we thy handmaids?" With this, she bowed her head for a while ground-wards and the damsels said to her, "O my lady, it is our rede that thou send after him and show him grace and suffer him not ask of the sordid; for how bitter is such begging!" So she accepted their counsel and calling for inkcase and paper, wrote him these couplets, "Joy is nigh, O Masrúr, so rejoice in true rede; * Whenas night shall fall thou shalt do kind-deed: Crave not of the sordid a loan, fair youth, * Wine stole my wits but they now take heed: All thy good I reft shall return to thee, * O Masrúr, and I'll add to them amorous meed; For indeed th' art patient, and sweet of soul * When wronged by thy lover's tyrannic greed. So haste to enjoy us and luck to thee! * Lest my folk come between us speed, love, all speed! Hurry uswards thou, nor delay, and while * My mate is far, on Love's fruit come feed." Then she folded the paper and gave it to Hubub the handmaid, who carried it to Masrur and found him weeping and reciting in a transport of passion and love-longing these lines, "A breeze of love on my soul did blow * That consumed my liver for stress of lowe; When my sweetheart went all my longings grew; * And with tears in torrent mine eyelids flow: Such my doubt and fears, did I tell their tale * To deaf rocks and pebbles they'd melt for woe. Would Heaven I wot shall I sight delight, * And shall win my wish and my friend shall know! Shall be folded up nights that doomed us part * And I be healed of what harms my heart?" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Forty-ninth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that while Masrur, transported by passion and love-longing, was repeating his couplets in sing-song tone Hubub knocked at his door; so he rose and opened to her, and she entered and gave him the letter. He read it and said to her, "O Hubub, what is behind thee of thy lady's news [FN#325]?" She answered, "O my lord, verily, in this letter is that dispenseth me from reply, for thou art of those who readily descry!" Thereat he rejoiced with joy exceeding and repeated these two couplets, "Came the writ whose contents a new joy revealed, * Which in vitals mine I would keep ensealed: And my longings grew when I kissed that writ, * As were pearl of passion therein concealed." Then he wrote a letter answering hers and gave it to Hubub, who took it and returned with it to her mistress and forthright fell to extolling his charms to her and expiating on his good gifts and generosity; for she was become a helper to him, to bring about his union with her lady. Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "O Hubub, indeed he tarrieth to come to us;" and quoth Hubub, "He will certainly come soon." Hardly had she made an end of speaking when behold, he knocked at the door, and she opened to him and brought him in to her mistress, who saluted him with the salam [FN#326] and welcomed him and seated him by her side. Then she said to Hubub, "Bring me a suit of brocade;" so she brought a robe broidered with gold and Zayn al-Mawasif threw it over him, whilst she herself donned one of the richest dresses and crowned her head with a net of pearls of the freshest water. About this she bound a fillet of brocade, purfled with pearls, jacinths and other jewels, from beneath which she let down two tresses [FN#327] each looped with a pendant of ruby, charactered with glittering gold, and she loosed her hair, as it were the sombrest night; and lastly she incensed herself with aloes-wood and scented herself with musk and ambergris, and Hubub said to her, "Allah save thee from the evil eye!" Then she began to walk, swaying from side to side with gracefullest gait, whilst Hubub who excelled in verse-making, recited in her honour these couplets, "Shamed is the bough of Bán by pace of her; * And harmed are lovers by the gaze of her. A moon she rose from murks, the hair of her, * A sun from locks the brow encase of her: Blest he she nights with by the grace of her, * Who dies in her with oath by days of her!" So Zayn al-Mawasif thanked her and went up to Masrur, as she were full moon displayed. But when he saw her, he rose to his feet and exclaimed, "An my thought deceive me not, she is no human, but one of the brides of Heaven!" Then she called for food and they brought a table, about whose marge were written these couplets, [FN#328] "Dip thou with spoons in saucers four and gladden heart and eye * With many a various kind of stew and fricassee and fry. Thereon fat quails (ne'er shall I cease to love and tender them) * And rails and fowls and dainty birds of all the kinds that fly. Glory to God for the Kabobs, for redness all aglow, * And potherbs, steeped in vinegar, in porringers thereby! Fair fall the rice with sweet milk dressed, wherein the hands did plunge * And eke the forearms of the fair were buried, bracelet-high! How my heart yearneth with regret over two plates of fish * That by two manchet-cakes of bread of Tewarij [FN#329] did lie!" Then they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment, after which the servants removed the table of food and set on the wine service; so cup and tasse [FN#330] passed round between them and they were gladdened in soul. Then Masrur filled the cup and saying, "O whose thrall am I and who is my mistress!" [FN#331] chanted these improvised couplets, "Mine eyes I admire that can feed their fill * On charms of a girl rising worlds to light: In her time she hath none to compare for gifts * Of spirit and body a mere delight. Her shape breeds envy in Cassia-tree * When fares she forth in her symmetry dight: With luminous brow shaming moon of dark * And crown-like crescent the brightest bright. When treads she earth's surface her fragrance scents * The Zephyr that breathes over plain and height." When he ended his extempore song she said, "O Masrur, whoso religiously keepeth his faith and hath eaten our bread and salt, it behoveth us to give him his due; so put away from thee all thought of what hath been and I will restore thee thy lands and houses and all we have taken from thee." He replied, "O my lady, I acquit thee of that whereof thou speakest, though thou hadst been false to the oath and covenant between us; for I will go and become a Moslem." Zayn al-Mawasif protested that she would follow suit [FN#332] when Hubub cried to her, "O my lady, thou art young of years and knowest many things, and I claim the intercession of Almighty Allah with thee for, except thou do my bidding and heal my heart, I will not lie the night with thee in the house." And she replied, "O Hubub, it shall be as thou wilt. Rise and make us ready another sitting-room." So she sprang to her feet and gat ready a room and adorned and perfumed it after fairest fashion even as her lady loved and preferred; after which she again set on food and wine, and the cup went round between them and their hearts were glad.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fiftieth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif bade her maid Hubub make ready a private sitting-room she arose and did her bidding, after which she again set food and wine before them and cup and tasse went round gladdening their hearts. Presently quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "O Masrur, come is the time of Union and favour; so, as thou studiest my love to savour recite us some verses surpassing of flavour. " Upon this he recited the following ode [FN#333], "I am taken: my heart bums with living flame For Union shorn whenas Severance came, In the love of a damsel who forced my soul And with delicate cheeklet my reason stole. She hath eyebrows united and eyes black-white And her teeth are leven that smiles in light: The tale of her years is but ten plus four; Tears like Dragon's blood [FN#334] for her love I pour. First I saw that face 'mid parterre and rill, Outshining full Lune on horizon-hill; And stood like a captive for awe, and cried, 'Allah's Peace, O who in demesne [FN#335] doth hide!' She returned my salam, gaily answering With the sweetest speech likest pearls a-string. But when heard my words, she right soon had known My want and her heart waxed hard as stone, And quoth she, 'Be not this a word silly-bold?' But quoth I, 'Refrain thee nor flyte and scold! An to-day thou consent such affair were light; They like is the loved, mine the lover-wight!' When she knew my mind she but smiled in mirth And cried, 'Now, by the Maker of Heaven and Earth! I'm a Jewess of Jewry's driest e'er seen And thou art naught save a Nazarene. Why seek my favours? Thine's other caste; An this deed thou do thou'lt repent the past. Say, does Love allow with two Faiths to play? Men shall blame thee like me, at each break of day! Wilt thou laugh at beliefs and deride their rite, And in thine and mine prove thee sinful sprite? An thou lovedest me thou hadst turnèd Jew, Losing worlds for love and my favours due; And by the Evangel strong oath hadst sworn To keep our secret intact from scorn!' So I took the Torah and sware strong oath I would hold to the covenant made by both. Then by law, religion and creed I sware, And bound her by oaths that most binding were; And asked her, 'Thy name, O my dear delight?' And she, 'Zayn al-Mawásif at home I'm hight!' 'O Zayn al-Mawasif!' (cried I) 'Hear my call: Thy love hath made me thy veriest thrall!' Then I peeped 'neath her chin-veil and 'spied such charms That the longing of love filled my heart with qualms. 'Neath the curtain I ceased not to humble me, And complain of my heart-felt misery; But when she saw me by Love beguiled She raised her face-veil and sweetly smiled: And when breeze of Union our faces kiss'd With musk-pod she scented fair neck and wrist; And the house with her essences seemed to drip, And I kissed pure wine from each smiling lip: Then like branch of Bán 'neath her robe she swayed And joys erst unlawful [FN#336] she lawful made: And joined, conjoined through our night we lay With clip, kiss of inner lip, langue fourrée. The world hath no grace but the one loved fere In thine arms to clasp with possession sheer! With the morn she rose and she bade Good-bye While her brow shone brighter than moon a-sky; Reciting at parting (while tear-drops hung On her cheeks, these scattered and other strung), [FN#337] 'Allah's pact in mind all my life I'll bear And the lovely nights and strong oath I sware.'" Zayn al-Mawasif was delighted and said to him, "O Masrur, how goodly are thy inner gifts! May he live not who would harm thy heart!" Then she entered her boudoir and called him: so he went in to her and taking her in his arms, embraced her and hugged her and kissed her and got of her that which he had deemed impossible and rejoiced in winning the sweet of amorous will. Then said she, "O Masrur, thy good is unlawful to me and is lawfully thine again now that we are become lovers." So she returned to him all she had taken of him and asked him, "O Masrur, hast thou a flower-garden whither we may wend and take our pleasure?"; whereto he answered, "Yes, O my lady, I have a garden that hath not its like." Then he returned to his lodgings and bade his slave-girls make ready a splendid banquet and a handsome room; after which he summoned Zayn al-Mawasif who came surrounded by her damsels, and they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment, whilst the cup passed round between them and their spirits rose high. Then lover withdrew with beloved and Zayn al-Mawasif said to Masrur, "I have bethought me of some dainty verses, which I would fain sing to the lute." He replied, "Do sing them"; so she took the lute and tuning it, sang to a pleasant air these couplets, "Joy from stroke of string doth to me incline, * And sweet is a-morning our early wine; Whenas Love unveileth the amourist's heart, * And by rending the veil he displays his sign, With a draught so pure, so dear, so bright, * As in hand of Moons [FN#338] the Sun's sheeny shine O' nights it cometh with joy to 'rase * The hoar of sorrow by boon divine." Then ending her verse, she said to him, "O Masrur, recite us somewhat of thy poetry and favour us with the fruit of thy thought." So he recited these two couplets, "We joy in full Moon who the wine bears round, * And in concert of lutes that from gardens sound; Where the dove moans at dawn and where bends the bough * To Morn, and all pathways of pleasure are found." When he had finished his recitation she said to him, "Make us some verses on that which hath passed between us an thou be occupied with love of me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-first Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif said to Masrur, "An thou be occupied with love of me, make us some verses on that hath passed between us," "With love and gladness," he replied and improvised the following Kasídah [FN#339], "Stand thou and hear what fell to me * For love of you gazelle to dree! Shot me a white doe with her shaft * O' glances wounding woundily. Love was my ruin, for was I * Straitened by longing ecstasy: I loved and woo'd a young coquette * Girded by strong artillery, Whom in a garth I first beheld * A form whose sight was symmetry. I greeted her and when she deigned * Greeting return, 'Salám,' quoth she 'What be thy name?' said I, she said, * 'My name declares my quality! [FN#340]' 'Zayn al-Mawásif I am hight.' * Cried I, 'Oh deign I mercy see,' 'Such is the longing in my heart * No lover claimeth rivalry!' Quoth she, 'With me an thou 'rt in love * And to enjoy me pleadest plea, I want of thee oh! muchel wealth; * Beyond all compt my wants o' thee! I want o' thee full many a robe * Of sendal, silk and damaskry; A quarter quintal eke of musk: * These of one night shall pay the fee. Pearls, unions and carnelian [FN#341]-stones * The bestest best of jewelry!' Of fairest patience showed I show * In contrariety albe: At last she favoured me one night * When rose the moon a crescent wee; An stranger blame me for her sake * I say, 'O blamers listen ye! She showeth locks of goodly length * And black as blackest night its blee; While on her cheeks the roses glow * Like Lazá-flame incendiary: In every eyelash is a sword * And every glance hath archery: Her liplets twain old wine contain, * And dews of fount-like purity: Her teeth resemble strings o' pearls, * Arrayed in line and fresh from sea: Her neck is like the neck of doe, * Pretty and carven perfectly: Her bosom is a marble slab * Whence rise two breasts like towers on lea: And on her stomach shows a crease * Perfumed with rich perfumery; Beneath which same there lurks a Thing * Limit of mine expectancy. A something rounded, cushioned-high * And plump, my lords, to high degree: To me 'tis likest royal throne * Whither my longings wander free; There 'twixt two pillars man shall find * Benches of high-built tracery. It hath specific qualities * Drive sanest men t' insanity; Full mouth it hath like mouth of neck * Or well begirt by stony key; Firm lips with camelry's compare * And shows it eye of cramoisie. An draw thou nigh with doughty will * To do thy doing lustily, Thou'll find it fain to face thy bout * And strong and fierce in valiancy. It bendeth backwards every brave * Shorn of his battle-bravery. At times imberbe, but full of spunk * To battle with the Paynimry. 'T will show thee liveliness galore * And perfect in its raillery: Zayn al-Mawasif it is like * Complete in charms and courtesy. To her dear arms one night I came * And won meed given lawfully: I passed with her that self-same night * (Best of my nights!) in gladdest glee; And when the morning rose, she rose * And crescent like her visnomy: Then swayed her supple form as sway * The lances lopt from limber tree; And when farewelling me she cried, * 'When shall such nights return to me?' Then I replied, 'O eyen-light, * When He vouchsafeth His decree!' " [FN#342] Zayn al-Mawasif was delighted with this Ode and the utmost gladness gat hold of her. Then said she, "O Masrur day-dawn draweth nigh and there is naught for it save to fly for fear of scandal and spy!" He replied, "I hear and obey," and rising led her to her lodging, after which he returned to his quarters [FN#343] and passed the rest of the night pondering on her charms. When the morning morrowed with its sheen and shone, he made ready a splendid present and carried it to her and sat by her side. And thus they abode awhile, in all solace of life and its delight, till one day there came to Zayn al-Mawasif a letter from her husband reporting to her his speedy return. Thereupon she said in herself, "May Allah not keep him nor quicken him! If he come hither, our life will be troubled: would Heaven I might despair of him!" Presently entered Masrur and sat with her at chat, as was his wont, whereupon she said to him, "O Masrur, I have received a missive from my mate, announcing his speedy return from his wayfaring. What is to be done, since neither of us without other can live?" He replied, "I know not; but thou art better able to judge, being acquainted with the ways of thy man, more by token that thou art one of the sharpest-witted of women and past mistress of devices such as devise that whereof fail the wise." Quoth she, "He is a hard man and jealous of his household: but, when he shall come home and thou hearest of his coming, do thou repair to him and salute him and sit down by his side, saying, 'O my brother, I am a druggist.' Then buy of him somewhat of drugs and spices of sorts and call upon him frequently and prolong thy talks with him and gainsay him not in whatsoever he shall bid thee; so haply that I would contrive may betide, as it were by chance." "I hear and I obey," quoth Masrur and fared forth from her, with heart a-fire for love. When her husband came home, she rejoiced in meeting him and after saluting him bade him welcome; but he looked in her face and seeing it pale and sallow (for she bad washed it with saffron, using one of women's arts), asked her of her case. She answered that she had been sick, she and her women, from the time of his wayfaring, adding, "Verily, our hearts have been engrossed with thoughts of thee because of the length of thine absence." And she went on to complain to him of the misery of separation and to pour forth copious tears, saying, "Hadst thou but a companion with thee, my heart had not borne all this cark and care for thee. So, Allah upon thee, O my lord, travel not again without a comrade and cut me not off from news of thee, that my heart and mind may be at rest concerning thee!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-second Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif said to her mate, "Travel not without comrade and cut me not off from news of thee, that my heart and mind may be at rest concerning thee," he replied, "With love and gladness! By Allah thy bede is good indeed and right is thy rede! By thy life, it shall be as thou dost heed." Then he unpacked some of his stock-in-trade and carrying the goods to his shop, opened it and sat down to sell in the Soko. [FN#344] No sooner had he taken his place than lo and behold! up came Masrur and saluting him, sat down by his side and began talking and talked with him awhile. Then he pulled out a purse and taking forth gold, handed it to Zayn al-Mawasif's man and said, "Give me the worth of these dinars in drugs and spices of sorts, that I may sell them in my shop." The Jew replied, "I hear and I obey," and gave him what he sought. And Masrur continued to pay him frequent visits till, one day, the merchant said to him, "I have a mind to take me a man to partner in trade." Quoth Masrur, "And I also, desire to take a partner; for my father was a merchant in the land of Al-Yaman and left me great store of money and I fear lest it fare from me." Quoth the Jew, turning towards him, "Wilt thou be my partner, and I will be thy partner and a true friend and comrade to thee at home and abroad; and I will teach thee selling and buying, giving and taking?" And Masrur rejoined, "With all my heart." So the merchant carried him to his place and seated him in the vestibule, whilst he went in to his wife and said to her, "I have provided me with a partner and have bidden him hither as a guest; so do thou get us ready good guest-cheer." Whenas she heard this, she rejoiced divining that it was Masrur, and made ready a magnificent banquet, [FN#345] of her delight in the success of her device. Then, when the guest drew nigh, her husband said to her, "Come out with me to him and bid him welcome and say, 'Thou gladdenest us [FN#346]!'" But Zayn al-Mawasif made a show of anger, crying, "Wilt thou have me display myself before a strange man? I take refuge with Allah! Though thou cut me to bits, I will not appear before him!" Rejoined he, "Why shouldst thou be abashed at him, seeing that he is a Nazarene and we are Jews and, to boot, we are become chums, he and I?" Quoth she, "I am not minded to present myself before a strange man, on whom I have never once set eyes and whom I know not any wise." Her husband thought she spoke sooth and ceased not to importune her, till she rose and veiling herself, took the food and went out to Masrur and welcomed him; whereupon he bowed his head groundwards, as he were ashamed, and the Jew, seeing such dejection said in himself, "Doubtless, this man is a devotee." They ate their fill and the table being removed, wine was set on. As for Zayn al-Mawasif, she sat over against Masrur and gazed on him and he gazed on her till ended day, when he went home, with a heart to fire a prey. But the Jew abode pondering the grace and the comeliness of him; and, as soon as it was night, his wife according to custom served him with supper and they seated themselves before it. Now he had a mockingbird which was wont, whenever he sat down to meat, to come and eat with him and hover over his head; but in his absence the fowl was grown familiar with Masrur and used to flutter about him as he sat at meals. Now when Masrur disappeared and the master returned, it knew him not and would not draw near him, and this made him thoughtful concerning his case and the fowl's withdrawing from him. As for Zayn al-Mawasif, she could not sleep with her heart thinking of Masrur, and thus it was with her a second and even a third night, till the Jew became aware of her condition and, watching her while she sat distraught, began to suspect somewhat wrong. On the fourth night, he awoke in the middle thereof and heard his wife babbling in her sleep and naming Masrur, what while she lay on her husband's bosom, wherefore he misdoubted her; but he dissembled his suspicions and when morning morrowed he repaired to his shop and sat therein. Presently, up came Masrur and saluted him. He returned his salam and said to him, "Welcome, O my brother!" adding anon, "I have wished for thee;" and he sat talking with him for an hour or so, after which he said to him, "Rise, O my brother, and hie with me to my house, that we may enter into the pact of brotherhood." [FN#347] Replied Masrur, "With joy and goodly gree," and they repaired to the Jew's house, where the master went in and told his wife of Masrur's visit, for the purpose of conditioning their partnership, and said, "Make us ready a goodly entertainment, and needs must thou be present and witness our brotherhood." But she replied, "Allah upon thee, cause me not show myself to this strange man, for I have no mind to company with him." So he held his peace and forbore to press her and bade the waiting-women bring food and drink. Then he called the mocking-bird but it knew not its lord and settled upon Masrur's lap; and the Jew said to him, "O my master, what is thy name?" He answered, "My name is Masrur;" whereupon the Jew remembered that this was the name which his wife had repeated all night long in her sleep. Presently, he raised his head and saw her making signs [FN#348] with her forefingers to Masrur and motioning to him with her eyes, wherefore he knew that he had been completely cozened and cuckolded and said, "O my lord, excuse me awhile, till I fetch my kinsmen, so they may be present at our swearing brotherhood." Quoth Masrur, "Do what seemeth good to thee;" whereupon the Jew went forth the house and returning privily by a back way.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-third Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn al-Mawasif's husband said to Masrur, "Excuse me awhile, till I fetch my cousins to witness the brother-bond between me and thee." Then he went forth and, privily returning behind the sitting-room, there took his station hard by a window which gave upon the saloon and whence he could watch them without their seeing him. Suddenly quoth Zayn al-Mawasif to her maid Sukub, "Whither is thy master gone?"; and quoth she, "He is gone without the house." Cried the mistress, "Lock the door and bar it with iron and open thou not till he knock, after thou hast told me." Answered Sukub, "So shall it be done." Then, while her husband watched them, she rose and filling a cup with wine, flavoured with powdered musk and rose-water, went close to Masrur, who sprang up to meet her, saying, "By Allah, the water of thy mouth is sweeter than this wine!" "Here it is for thee," said she and filling her mouth with wine, gave him to drink thereof, whilst he gave her the like to drink; after which she sprinkled him with rose-water from front to foot, till the perfume scented the whole place. All this while, the Jew was looking on and marvelling at the stress of love that was between them and his heart was filled with fury for what he saw and he was not only wroth, but jealous with exceeding jealousy. Then he went out again and coming to the door found it locked and knocked a loud knock of the excess of his rage; whereupon quoth Sukub, "O my lady, here is my master;" and quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "Open to him; would that Allah had not brought him back in safety!" So Sukub went and opened the door to the Jew, who said to her, "What ailed thee to lock the door?" Quoth she, "It hath never ceased to be locked thus during thine absence; nor hath it been opened night nor day;" and cried he, "Thou hast done well; this pleaseth me." Then he went in to Masrur, laughing and dissembling his chagrin, and said to him, "O Masrur, let us put off the conclusion of our pact of brotherhood this day and defer it to another." Replied Masrur, "As thou wilt," and hied him home, leaving the Jew pondering his case and knowing not what to do; for his heart was sore troubled and he said in himself, "Even the mocking-bird disowneth me and the slave-girls shut the door in my face and favour another." And of his exceeding chagrin, he fell to reciting these couplets, "Masrur joys life made fair by all delight of days, * Fulfilled of boons, while mine the sorest grief displays. The Days have falsed me in the breast of her I love * And in my heart are fires which all-consuming blaze: Yea, Time was clear for thee, but now 'tis past and gone * While yet her lovely charms thy wit and senses daze: Espied these eyes of mine her gifts of loveliness: * Oh, hard my case and sore my woe on spirit weighs! I saw the maiden of the tribe deal rich old wine * Of lips like Salsabíl to friend my love betrays: E'en so, O mocking-bird, thou dost betray my breast * And to a rival teachest Love and lover-ways: Strange things indeed and wondrous saw these eyne of me * Which were they sleepdrowned still from Sleep's abyss would raise: I see my best belovèd hath forsworn my love * And eke like my mocking-bird fro' me a-startled strays. By truth of Allah, Lord of Worlds who, whatso wills * His Fate, for creatures works and none His hest gainsays, Forsure I'll deal to that ungodly wight his due * Who but to sate his wicked will her heart withdrew!" When Zayn al-Mawasif heard this, her side-muscles trembled and quoth she to her handmaid, "Heardest thou those lines?"; whereupon quoth the girl, "I never heard him in my born days recite the like of these verses; but let him say what he will." Then having assured himself of the truth of his suspicions, the Jew began to sell all his property, saying to himself, "Unless I part them by removing her from her mother land the twain will not turn back from this that they are engaged in, no, never!" So, when he had converted all his possessions into coin, he forged a letter and read it to Zayn al-Mawasif, declaring that it had come from his kinsmen, who invited him to visit them, him and his wife. She asked, "How long shall we tarry with them?" and he answered, "Twelve days." Accordingly she consented to this and said, "Shall I take any of my maids with me?"; whereto he replied, "Take Hubub and Sukub and leave Khutub here." Then he made ready a handsome camel-litter [FN#349] for his spouse and her women and prepared to set out with them; whilst she sent to her leman, telling him what had betided her and saying, "O Masrur, an the trysting-time [FN#350] that is between us pass and I come not back, know that he hath cheated and cozened us and planned a plot to separate us each from other, so forget thou not the plighted faith betwixt us, for I fear that he hath found out our love and I dread his craft and perfidy." Then, whilst her man was busy about his march she fell a-weeping and lamenting and no peace was left her, night or day. Her husband saw this, but took no note thereof; and when she saw there was scant help for it, she gathered together her clothes and gear and deposited them with her sister, telling her what had befallen her. Then she farewelled her and going out from her, drowned in tears, returned to her own house, where she found her husband had brought the camels and was busy loading them, having set apart the handsomest dromedary for her riding, and when she saw this and knew that needs must she be separated from Masrur, she waxt clean distraught. Presently it chanced that the Jew went out on some business of his; so she fared forth to the first or outer door and wrote thereon these couplets,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif saw her spouse summon the camels and knew that the march needs must be, she waxt clean distraught. Presently it chanced that the Jew went out on some business so she fared forth to the first door and wrote thereon these couplets, "Bear our salams, O Dove, from this our stead * From lover to beloved far severèd! Bid him fro' me ne'er cease to yearn and mourn * O'er happy days and hours for ever fled: Eke I in grief shall ever mourn and yearn, * Dwelling on days of love and lustihead; Long was our joyance, seeming aye to last, * When night and morning to reunion led; Till croaked the Raven [FN#351] of the Wold one day * His cursed croak and did our union dead. We sped and left the homestead dark and void * Its gates unpeopled and its dwellers sped." Then she went to the second door and wrote thereon these couplets, "O who passest this doorway, by Allah, see * The charms of my fere in the glooms and make plea For me, saying, 'I think of the Past and weep * Yet boot me no tears flowing full and free.' Say, 'An fail thee patience for what befel * Scatter earth and dust on the head of thee! And o'er travel lands East and West, and deem * God sufficeth thy case, so bear patiently!'" Then she went to the third door and wept sore and thereon wrote these couplets, "Fare softly, Masrúr! an her sanctuary * Thou seek, and read what a-door writ she. Ne'er forget Love-plight, if true man; how oft * Hast savoured Nights' bitter and sweetest gree! O Masrúr! forget not her neighbourhood * For wi' thee must her gladness and joyance flee! But beweep those dearest united days * When thou camest veilèd in secresy; Wend for sake of us over farthest wone; * Span the wold for us, for us dive in sea; Allah bless the past days! Ah, how glad they were * When in Gardens of Fancy the flowers pluckt we! The nights of Union from us are fled * And parting-glooms dim their radiancy; Ah! had this lasted as hopèd we, but * He left only our breasts and the rosery. Will revolving days on Re-union dawn? * Then our vow to the Lord shall accomplisht be. Learn thou our lots are in hand of Him * Who on lines of skull [FN#352] writes our destiny!" Then she wept with sore weeping and returned to the house, wailing and remembering what had passed and saying, "Glory be to God who hath decreed to us this!" And her affliction redoubled for severance from her beloved and her departure from her mother-land, and she recited these couplets, "Allah's peace on thee, House of Vacancy! * Ceased in thee all our joys, all our jubilee. O thou Dove of the homestead, ne'er cease to bemoan * Whose moons and full moons [FN#353]sorest severance dree: Masrúr, fare softly and mourn our loss; * Loving thee our eyes lose their brilliancy: Would thy sight had seen, on our marching day, * Tears shed by a heart in Hell's flagrancy! Forget not the plight in the garth-shade pledged * When we sat enveiléd in privacy:" Then she presented herself before her husband, who lifted her into the litter he had let make for her; and, when she found herself on the camel's back, she recited these couplets, "The Lord, empty House! to thee peace decree * Long we bore therein growth of misery: Would my life-thread were shorn in that safe abode * And o' night I had died in mine ecstasy! Home-sickness I mourn, and my strangerhood * Irks my soul, nor the riddle of future I ree. Would I wot shall I ever that house resee * And find it, as erst, home of joy and glee!" Said her husband, "O Zayn al-Mawasif grieve not for thy departure from thy dwelling; for thou shalt return to it ere long Inshallah!" And he went on to comfort her heart and soothe her sorrow. Then all set out and fared on till they came without the town and struck into the high road, whereupon she knew that separation was certain and this was very grievous to her. And while such things happened Masrur sat in his quarters, pondering his case and that of his mistress, and his heart forewarned him of severance. So he rose without stay and delay and repairing to her house, found the outer door padlocked and read the couplets she had written thereon; upon which he fell down in a fainting fit. When he came to himself, he opened the first door and entering, read what was written upon the second and likewise upon the third doors; wherefore passion and love-longing and distraction grew on him. So he went forth and hastened in her track, till he came up with the light caravan [FN#354] and found her at the rear, whilst her husband rode in the van, because of his merchandise. When he saw her, he clung to the litter, weeping and wailing for the anguish of parting, and recited these couplets, "Would I wot for what crime shot and pierced are we * Thro' the days with Estrangement's archery! O my heart's desire, to thy door I came * One day, when high waxt mine expectancy: But I found the home waste as the wold and void * And I 'plained my pine and groaned wretchedly: And I asked the walls of my friends who fared * With my heart in pawn and in pendency; And they said, 'All marched from the camp and left *An ambushed sorrow on hill and lea;' And a writ on the walls did they write, as write * Folk who keep their faith while the Worlds are three." Now when Zayn al-Mawasif heard these lines, she knew that it was Masrur.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif heard these lines she knew that it was Masrur and wept, she and her handmaids, and said to him, "O Masrur, I conjure thee by Allah, turn back, lest my husband see us twain together!" At her words he swooned away; and when he revived, they took leave each of other and he recited the following couplets, "The Caravan-chief calleth loud o' night * Ere the Breeze bear his cry in the morninglight: They girded their loads and prepared to fare, * And hurried while murmured the leader-wight. They scent the scene on its every side, * As their march through the valley they expedite. After winning my heart by their love they went * O' morn when their track could deceive my sight. O my neighbour fair, I reckt ne'er to part, * Or the ground bedewed with my tears to sight! Woe betide my heart, now hath Severance hand * To heart and vitals dealt bane and blight." Then he clung to the litter, weeping and wailing, whilst she besought him to turn back ere morn for fear of scorn. So he came up to her Haudaj and farewelling her a second time, fell down in a swoon. He lay an hour or so without life, and when he revived he found the caravan had fared forth of sight. So he turned in the direction of their wayfare and scenting the breeze which blew from their quarter, chanted these improvised lines, "No breeze of Union to the lover blows * But moan he maketh burnt with fiery woes: The Zephyr fans him at the dawn o' day; * But when he wakes the horizon lonely shows: On bed of sickness strewn in pain he lies, * And weeps he bloody tears in burning throes, For the fair neighbour with my heart they bore * 'Mid travellers urging beasts with cries and blows. By Allah from their stead no Zephyr blew * But sniffed I as the wight on eyeballs goes; [FN#355] And snuff the sweetest South as musk it breathes * And on the longing lover scent bestows." Then Masrur returned, mad with love-longing, to her house, and finding it lone from end to end [FN#356] and forlorn of friend, wept till he wet his clothes; after which he swooned away and his soul was like to leave his body. When he revived, he recited these two couplets, "O Spring-camp have ruth on mine overthrowing * My abjection, my leanness, my tears aye flowing, Waft the scented powder [FN#357] of breezes they breathe * In hope it cure heart of a grief e'er growing." Then he returned to his own lodging confounded and tearful-eyed, and abode there for the space of ten days. Such was his case; but as regards the Jew, he journeyed on with Zayn al-Mawasif half a score days, at the end of which he halted at a certain city and she, being by that time assured that her husband had played her false, wrote to Masrur a letter and gave it to Hubub, saying, "Send this to Masrur, so he may know how foully and fully we have been tricked and how the Jew hath cheated us." So Hubub took it and despatched it to Masrur, and when it reached, its news was grievous to him and he wept till he watered the ground. Then he wrote a reply and sent it to his mistress, subscribing it with these two couplets, "Where is the way to Consolation's door * How shall console him flames burn evermore? How pleasant were the days of yore all gone: * Would we had somewhat of those days of yore!" When the missive reached Zayn al-Mawasif, she read it and again gave it to her handmaid Hubub, saying to her, "Keep it secret!" However, the husband came to know of their correspondence and removed with her and her two women to another city, at a distance of twenty days' march. Thus it befel Zayn al-Mawasif; but as regards Masrur, sleep was not sweet to him nor was peace peaceful to him or patience left to him, and he ceased not to be thus till, one night, his eyes closed for weariness and he dreamt that he saw Zayn al-Mawasif come to him in the garden and embrace him; but presently he awoke and found her not: whereupon his reason fled and his wits wandered and his eyes ran over with tears; love-longing to the utterest gat hold of his heart and he recited these couplets, "Peace be to her, who visits me in sleeping phantasy * Stirring desire and growing love to uttermost degree: Verily from that dream I rose with passion maddenèd * For sight of fairest phantom come in peace to visit me: Say me, can dreams declare the truth anent the maid I love, * And quench the fires of thirst and heal my love-sick malady? Anon to me she is liberal and she strains me to her breast; * Anon she soothes mine anxious heart with sweetest pleasantry: From off her dark-red damask lips the dew I wont to sip * The fine old wine that seemed to reek of musk's perfumery. I wondered at the wondrous things between us done in dreams, * And won my wish and all my will of things I hoped to see; And from that dreamery I rose, yet ne'er could hope to find * Trace of my phantom save my pain and fiery misery: And when I looked on her a-morn, 'twas as a lover mad * And every eve was drunken yet no wine brought jollity. O breathings of the northern breeze, by Allah fro' me bear * Them-wards the greetings of my love and best salams that be: Say them, 'The wight with whom ye made that plight of fealty * Time with his changes made him drain Death's cup and slain is he!'" Then he went out and ceased not to weep till he came to her house and looking on it, saw it empty and void. Presently, it seemed to him he beheld her form before him, whereupon fires flamed in him and his griefs redoubled and he fell down aswoon;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Masrur saw the vision of Zayn al-Mawasif and felt her embrace, he joyed with passing joy. As soon as he awoke he sought her house, but finding it empty and void he fell down a-swoon; and when he came to himself, he recited these couplets, "Fro' them inhale I scent of Ottar and of Bán; * So fare with heart which ecstasies of love unman: I'd heal thy longings (love-sick lover!) by return * To site of beauty void sans friend or mate to scan: But still it sickeneth me with parting's ban and bane * Minding mine olden plight with friend and partisan." When he had made an end of these verses, he heard a raven croak beside the house and wept, saying, "Glory be to God! The raven croaketh not save over a ruined homestead." Then he moaned and groaned and recited these couplets, "What ails the Raven that he croaks my lover's house hard by, * And in my vitals lights a fire that flameth fierce and high? For times now past and gone I spent in joyance of their love * With love my heart hath gone to waste and I sore pain aby: I die of longing love and lowe still in my liver raging * And wrote to her but none there is who with the writ may hie: Ah well-away for wasted frame! Hath farèd forth my friend * And if she will o' nights return Oh would that thing wot I! Then, Ho thou Breeze of East, and thou by morn e'er visit her; * Greet her from me and stand where doth her tribe encampèd lie!" Now Zayn al-Mawasif had a sister, by name Nasím--the Zephyr--who stood espying him from a high place; and when she saw him in this plight, she wept and sighed and recited these couplets, "How oft bewailing the place shall be this coming and going, * While the House bemoaneth its builder with tear-flood ever a-flowing? Here was bestest joy ere fared my friend with the caravan hieing * And its dwellers and brightest-suns [FN#358] ne'er ceased in its walls a-glowing: Where be those fullest moons that here were always arising? * Bedimmed them the Shafts of Days their charms of spirit unknowing: Leave then what is past of the Fair thou wast ever with love espying * And look; for haply the days may restore them without foreshowing: For hadst thou not been, its dwellers had never departed flying * Nor haddest thou seen the Crow with ill-omened croak a-crying." Masrur wept sore hearing these verses and apprehending their significance. Now Nasim knew that which was between him and her sister of love and longing, ecstasy and passion; so she said to him, "Allah upon thee, O Masrur, away from this house, lest any see thee and deem thou comest on my account! Indeed thou hast caused my sister quit it and now thou wouldst drive me also away. Thou knowest that, but for thee, the house would not now be void of its dwellers: so be consoled for her loss and leave her: what is past is past." When he heard this, he wept bitterly and said to her, "O Nasim, if I could, I should fly for longing after her; so how can I be comforted for her?" Quoth she, "Thou hast no device save patience;" and quoth he, "I beseech thee, for Allah's sake, write me a writ to her, as from thyself, and get me an answer from her, to comfort my heart and quench the fire in my vitals." She replied, "With love and gladness," and took inkcase and paper, whilst Masrur began to set out to her the violence of his longing and what tortures he suffered for the anguish of severance, saying, "This letter is from the lover despairing and sorrowful * the bereaved, the woeful * with whom no peace can stay * nor by night nor by day * but he weepeth copious tears alway. * Indeed, tears his eyelids have ulcerated and his sorrows have kindled in his liver a fire unsated. His lamentation is lengthened and restlessness is strengthened and he is as he were a bird unmated * While for sudden death he awaiteth * Alas, my desolation for the loss of thee * and alas, my yearning affliction for the companionship of thee! * Indeed, emaciation hath wasted my frame * and my tears a torrent became * mountains and plains are straitened upon me for grame * and of the excess of my distress, I go saying, "Still cleaves to this homestead mine ecstasy, * And redoubled pine for its dwellers I dree; And I send to your quarters the tale of my love * And the cup of your love gave the Cup-boy to me. And for faring of you and your farness from home * My wounded lids are from tears ne'er free: O thou leader of litters, turn back with my love * For my heart redoubleth its ardency: Greet my love and say him that naught except * Those brown-red lips deals me remedy: They bore him away and our union rent * And my vitals with Severance-shaft shot he: My love, my lowe and my longing to him * Convey, for of parting no cure I see: I swear an oath by your love that I * Will keep pact and covenant faithfully, To none I'll incline or forget your love * How shall love-sick lover forgetful be? So with you be the peace and my greeting fair * In letters that perfume of musk-pod bear." Her sister Nasim admired his eloquence of tongue and the goodliness of his speech and the elegance of the verses he sang, and was moved to ruth for him. So she sealed the letter with virgin musk and incensed it with Nadd-scent and ambergris, after which she committed it to a certain of the merchants saying, "Deliver it not to any save to Zayn al-Mawasif or to her handmaid Hubub." Now when the letter reached her sister, she knew it for Masrur's dictation and recognised himself in the grace of its expression. So she kissed it and laid it on her eyes, whilst the tears streamed from her lids and she gave not over weeping, till she fainted. As soon as she came to herself, she called for pencase and paper and wrote him the following answer; complaining the while of her desire and love-longing and ecstasy and what was hers to endure of pining for her lover and yearning to him and the passion she had conceived for him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn al-Mawasif wrote the following reply to Masrur's missive: "This letter to my lord and master I indite * the king of my heart and my secret sprite * Indeed, wakefulness agitateth me * and melancholy increaseth on me * and I have no patience to endure the absence of thee * O thou who excellest sun and moon in brilliancy * Desire of repose despoileth me * and passion destroyeth me * and how should it be otherwise with me, seeing that I am of the number of the dying? *O glory of the world and Ornament of life, she whose vital spirits are cut off shall her cup be sweet to quaff? * For that she is neither with the quick nor with the dead." And she improvised these couplets and said, "Thy writ, O Masrúr, stirred my sprite to pine * For by Allah, all patience and solace I tyne: When I read thy scripture, my vitals yearned * And watered the herbs of the wold these eyne. On Night's wings I'd fly an a bird * And sans thee I weet not the sweets of wine: Life's unlawful to me since thou faredst far * To bear parting-lowe is no force of mine." Then she sprinkled the letter with powder of musk and ambergris and, having sealed it with her signet, committed it to a merchant, saying, "Deliver it to none save to my sister." When it reached Nasim she sent it to Masrur, who kissed it and laid it on his eyes and wept till he fell into a trance. Such was their case; but as regards the Jew, he presently heard of their correspondence and began again to travel from place to place with Zayn al-Mawasif and her damsels, till she said to him, "Glory to God! How long wilt thou fare with us and bear us afar from our homes?" Quoth he, "I will fare on with you a year's journey, so no more letters may reach you from Masrur. I see how you take all my monies and give them to him; so all that I miss I shall recover from you: and I shall see if Masrur will profit you or have power to deliver you from my hand." Then he repaired to a blacksmith, after stripping her and her damsels of their silken apparel and clothing them in raiment of hair-cloth, and bade him make three pairs of iron shackles. When they were ready, he brought the smith in to his wife, having said to him, "Put the shackles on the legs of these three slave-girls." The first that came forward was Zayn al-Mawasif, and when the blacksmith saw her, his sense forsook him and he bit his finger tips and his wit fled forth his head and his transport grew sore upon him. So he said to the Jew, "What is the crime of these damsels?" Replied the other, "They are my slave-girls, and have stolen my good and fled from me." Cried the smith, "Allah disappoint thy jealous whims! By the Almighty, were this girl before the Kazi of Kazis, [FN#359] he would not even reprove her, though she committed a thousand crimes a day. Indeed, she showeth not thief's favour and she cannot brook the laying of irons on her legs." And he asked him as a boon not to fetter her, interceding with him to forbear the shackles. When she saw the blacksmith taking her part in this wise she said to her husband, "I conjure thee, by Allah, bring me not forth before yonder strange man!" Said he, "Why then camest thou forth before Masrur?"; and she made him no reply. Then he accepted the smith's intercession, so far as to allow him to put a light pair of irons on her legs, for that she had a delicate body, which might not brook harsh usage, whilst he laid her handmaids in heavy bilboes, and they ceased not, all three, to wear hair-cloth night and day till their bodies became wasted and their colour changed. As for the blacksmith, exceeding love had fallen on his heart for Zayn al-Mawasif; so he returned home in great concern and he fell to reciting extempore these couplets, "Wither thy right, O smith, which made her bear * Those iron chains her hands and feet to wear! Thou hast ensoiled a lady soft and bright, * Marvel of marvels, fairest of the fair: Hadst thou been just, those anklets ne'er had been * Of iron: nay of purest gold they were: By Allah! did the Kázis' Kázi sight * Her charms, he'd seat her in the highest chair." Now it chanced that the Kazi of Kazis passed by the smith's house and heard him improvise these lines; so he sent for him and as soon as he saw him said to him, "O blacksmith, who is she on whom thou callest so instantly and eloquently and with whose love thy heart is full filled?" The smith sprang to his feet and kissing the Judge's hand, answered, "Allah prolong the days of our lord the Kazi and ample his life!" Then he described to him Zayn al-Mawasif's beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and perfection, and symmetry and grace and how she was lovely faced and had a slender waist and heavily based; and acquainted him with the sorry plight wherein she was for abasement and durance vile and lack of victual. When the Kazi heard this, he said, "O blacksmith, send her to us and show her that we may do her justice, for thou art become accountable for the damsel and unless thou guide her to us, Allah will punish thee at the Day of Doom." "I hear and obey," replied the smith and betook himself without stay and delay to Zayn al-Mawasif's lodging, but found the door barred and heard a voice of plaintive tone that came from heart forlorn and lone; and it was Zayn al-Mawasif reciting these couplets, "I and my love in union were unite; * And filled my friend to me cups clearly bright Between us reigned high mirth and jollity, * Nor Eve nor Morn brought 'noyance or affright Indeed we spent most joyous time, with cup * And lute and dulcimer to add delight, Till Time estranged our fair companionship; * My lover went and blessing turned to blight. Ah would the Severance-raven's croak were stilled * And Union-dawn of Love show blessèd light!" When the blacksmith heard this, he wept like the weeping of the clouds. Then he knocked at the door and the women said, "Who is at the door?" Answered he, "'Tis I, the blacksmith," and told them what the Kazi had said and how he would have them appear before him and make their complaint to him, that he might do them justice on their adversary.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say, When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the blacksmith told Zayn al-Mawasif what the Kazi had said, and how he summoned them that he might apply the Lex Talionis to their adversary, she rejoined, "How can we go to him, seeing the door is locked on us and our feet shackled and the Jew hath the keys?" The smith replied, "I will make the keys for the padlocks and therewith open door and shackles." Asked she, "But who will show us the Kazi's house?"; and he answered, "I will describe it to you." She enquired, "But how can we appear before him, clad as we are in haircloth reeking with sulphur?" And the smith rejoined, "The Kazi will not reproach this to you, considering your case." So saying, he went forthright and made keys for the padlocks, wherewith he opened the door and the shackles, and loosing the irons from their legs, carried them forth and guided them to the Kazi's mansion. Then Hubub did off the hair-cloth garments from her lady's body and carried her to the Hammam, where she bathed her and attired her in silken raiment, and her colour returned to her. Now it happened, by exceeding good fortune, that her husband was abroad at a bride-feast in the house of one of the merchants; so Zayn al-Mawasif, the Adornment of Qualities, adorned herself with the fairest ornaments and repaired to the Kazi, who at once on espying her rose to receive her. She saluted him with softest speech and winsomest words, shooting him through the vitals the while with the shafts of her glances, and said, "May Allah prolong the life of our lord the Kazi and strengthen him to judge between man and man!" Then she acquainted him with the affair of the blacksmith and how he had done nobly by them, whenas the Jew had inflicted on her and her women heart-confounding torments; and how his victims deathwards he drave, nor was there any found to save. "O damsel," quoth the Kazi, "what is thy name?" "My name is Zayn al Mawasif,--Adomment of Qualities--and this my handmaid's name is Hubub." "Thy name accordeth with the named and its sound conformeth with its sense." Whereupon she smiled and veiled her face, and he said to her, "O Zayn al-Mawasif, hast thou a husband or not?" "I have no husband"; "And what Is thy Faith?" "That of Al-Islam, and the religion of the Best Of Men." "Swear to me by Holy Law replete with signs and instances that thou ownest the creed of the Best of Mankind." So she swore to him and pronounced the profession of the Faith. Then asked the Kazi, "How cometh it that thou wastest thy youth with this Jew?" And she answered, "Know, O Kazi (may Allah prolong thy days in contentment and bring thee to thy will and thine acts with benefits seal!), that my father left me, after his death, fifteen thousand dinars, which he placed in the hands of this Jew, that he might trade therewith and share his gains with me, the head of the property [FN#360] being secured by legal acknowledgment. When my father died, the Jew coveted me and sought me in marriage of my mother, who said, 'How shall I drive her from her Faith and cause to become a Jewess? By Allah, I will denounce thee to the rulers!' He was affrighted at her words and taking the money, fled to the town of Adan. [FN#361] When we heard where he was, we came to Adan in search of him, and when we foregathered with him there, he told us that he was trading in stuffs with the monies and buying goods upon goods. So we believed him and he ceased not to cozen us till he cast us into jail and fettered us and tortured us with exceeding sore torments; and we are strangers in the land and have no helper save Almighty Allah and our lord the Kazi." When the judge heard this tale he asked Hubub the nurse, "Is this indeed thy lady and are ye strangers and is she unmarried?", and she answered, "Yes." Quoth he, "Marry her to me and on me be incumbent manumission of my slaves and fasting and pilgrimage and almsgiving of all my good an I do you not justice on this dog and punish him for that he hath done!" And quoth she, "I hear and obey." Then said the Kazi, "Go, hearten thy heart and that of thy lady; and to-morrow, Inshallah, I will send for this miscreant and do you justice on him and ye shall see prodigies of his punishment." So Hubub called down blessings upon him and went forth from him with her mistress, leaving him with passion and love-longing fraught and with distress and desire distraught. Then they enquired for the house of the second Kazi and presenting themselves before him, told him the same tale. On like wise did the twain, mistress and maid with the third and the fourth, till Zayn al-Mawasif had made her complaint to all the four Kazis, each of whom fell in love with her and besought her to wed him, to which she consented with a "Yes"; nor wist any one of the four that which had happened to the others. All this passed without the knowledge of the Jew, who spent the night in the house of the bridefeast. And when morning morrowed, Hubub arose and gat ready her lady's richest raiment; then she clad her therewith and presented herself with her before the four Kazis in the court of justice. As soon as she entered, she veiled her face and saluted the judges, who returned her salam and each and every of them recognised her. One was writing, and the reed-pen dropped from his hand, another was talking, and his tongue became tied, and a third was reckoning and blundered in his reckoning; and they said to her, "O admirable of attributes and singular among beauties! be not thy heart other than hearty, for we will assuredly do thee justice and bring thee to thy desire." So she called down blessings on them and farewelled them and went her ways.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazis said to Zayn al-Mawasif, "O admirable of attributes and singular among beauties! Be not thy heart other than hearty for our doing thy desire and thy winning to thy will." So she called down blessings on them and farewelled them and went her ways, the while her husband abode with his friends at the marriage-banquet and knew naught of her doings. Then she proceeded to beseech the notaries and scribes and the notables and the Chiefs of Police to succour her against that unbelieving miscreant and deliver her from the torment she suffered from him. Then she wept with sore weeping and improvised these couplets, "Rain showers of torrent tears, O Eyne and see * An they will quench the fires that flame in me: After my robes of gold-embroidered silk * I wake to wear the frieze of monkery: And all my raiment reeks of sulphur-fumes * When erst my shift shed musky fragrancy: And hadst thou, O Masrúr, my case descried, * Ne'er hadst thou borne my shame and ignomy. And eke Hubúb in iron chains is laid * By Miscreant who unknows God's Unity. The creed of Jewry I renounce and home, * The Moslem's Faith accepting faithfully Eastwards [FN#362] I prostrate self in fairest guise * Holding the only True Belief that be: Masrúr! forget not love between us twain * And keep our vows and troth with goodly gree: I've changed my faith for sake of thee, and I * For stress of love will cleave to secrecy: So haste to us, an us in heart thou bear, * As noble spirit, nor as laggard fare." After this she wrote a letter to Masrur, describing to him all that the Jew had done with her from first to last and enclosed the verses aforesaid. Then she folded the scroll and gave it to her maid Hubub, saying, "Keep this in thy pocket, till we send it to Masrur." Upon these doings lo and behold! in came the Jew and seeing them joyous, said to them, "How cometh it that I find you merry? Say me, hath a letter reached you from your bosom friend Masrur?" Replied Zayn al-Mawasif, "We have no helper against thee save Allah, extolled and exalted be He! He will deliver us from thy tyranny, and except thou restore us to our birth-place and homestead, we will complain of thee tomorrow to the Governor of this town and to the Kazi." Quoth he, "Who struck off the shackles from your legs? But needs must I let make for each of you fetters ten pounds in weight and go round about the city with you." Replied Hubub, "All that thou purposest against us thou shall fall into thyself, so it please Allah the Most High, by token that thou hast exiled us from our homes, and to-morrow we shall stand, we and thou, before the Governor of the city." They nighted on this wise and next morning the Jew rose up in haste and went out to order new shackles, whereupon Zayn al-Mawasif arose and repaired with her women to the court-house, where she found the four Kazis and saluted them. They all returned her salutation and the Kazi of Kazis said to those about him, "Verily this damsel is lovely as the Venus-star [FN#363] and all who see her love her and bow before her beauty and loveliness." Then he despatched four sergeants, who were Sharífs, [FN#364] saying, "Bring ye the criminal after abjectest fashion." So, when the Jew returned with the shackles and found none in the house, he was confounded; but, as he abode in perplexity, suddenly up came the officers and laying hold of him beat him with a sore beating and dragged him face downwards before the Kazi. When the judge saw him, he cried out in his face and said to him, "Woe to thee, O foe of God, is it come to such a pass with thee that thou doest the deed thou hast done and bringest these women far from their country and stealest their monies and wouldst make them Jews? How durst thou seek to make miscreants of Moslems?" Answered the Jew, "O my lord this woman is my wife." Now when the Kazis heard this, they all cried out, saying, "Throw this hound on the ground and come down on his face with your sandals and beat him with sore blows, for his offence is unpardonable." So they pulled off his silken gear and clad him in his wife's raiment of hair-cloth, after which they threw him down and plucked out his beard and belaboured him about the face with sandals. Then they sat him on an ass, face to crupper, arsi-versy, and making him take its tail in his hand, paraded him round about the city, ringing the bell before him in every street; after which they brought him back to the judges in sorriest plight; and the four Kazis with one voice condemned him to have his feet and hands cut off and lastly to be crucified. When the accursed heard this sentence his sense forsook him and he was confounded and said, "O my lords the Kazis, what would ye of me?" They replied, "Say thou, 'This damsel is not my wife and the monies are her monies, and I have transgressed against her and brought her far from her country.'" So he confessed to this and the Kazis recorded his confession in legal form and taking the money from him, gave it to Zayn al-Mawasif, together with the document. Then she went away and all who saw her were confounded at her beauty and loveliness, whilst each of the Kazis looked for her committing herself to him. But, when she came to her lodging, she made ready all matters she needed and waited till night. Then she took what was light of load and weighty of worth, and setting out with her maids under cover of the murks three days with their nights fared on without stopping. Thus it was with her; but as regards the Kazis they ordered the Jew to prison.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixtieth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazis ordered the Jew to prison and on the morrow they looked for Zayn al-Mawasif coming to them, they and their assessors; but she presented herself not to any of them. Then said the Chief Kazi, "I wish to-day to make an excursion without the town on business there." So he mounted his she-mule and taking his page with him, went winding about the streets of the town, searching its length and width for Zayn al-Mawasif, but never finding her. On this errand he came upon the other three Kazis, going about on the same, each deeming himself the only one to whom she had given tryst. He asked them whither they were riding and why they were going about the streets; when they told him their business, whereby he saw that their plight was as his plight and their quest as his quest. So they all four rode throughout the city, seeking her, but could hit on no trace of her and returned to their houses, sick for love, and lay down on the bed of langour. Presently the Chief Kazi bethought himself of the blacksmith; so he sent for him and said to him, "O blacksmith, knowest thou aught of the damsel whom thou didst direct to me? By Allah, an thou discover her not to me, I will whack thee with whips." Now when the smith heard this, he recited these couplets [FN#365], "She who my all of love by love of her hath won * Owns every Beauty and for others leaves she none: She gazes, a gazelle; she breathes, fresh ambergris * She waves, a lake; she sways, a bough; she shines, a Sun." Then said the blacksmith, "By Allah, O my lord, since she fared forth from thy worshipful presence, [FN#366] I have not set eyes on her; no, not once. Indeed she took possession of my heart and wits and all my talk and thoughts are of her. I went to her lodging but found her not, nor found I any who could give me news of her, and it is as if she had dived into the depths of the sea or had ascended to the sky." Now when the Kazi heard this, he groaned a groan, that his soul was like to depart therefor, and he said, "By Allah, well it were had we never seen her!" Then the smith went away, whilst the Kazi fell down on his bed and became sick of langour for her sake, and on like wise fared it with the other three Kazis and assessors. The mediciners paid them frequent calls, but found in them no ailment requiring a leach: so the city-notables went in to the Chief Kazi and saluting him, questioned him of his case; whereupon he sighed and showed them that was in his heart, reciting these couplets, "Stint ye this blame; enough I suffer from Love's malady * Nor chide the Kazi frail who fain must deal to folk decree! Who doth accuse my love let him for me find some excuse: * Nor blame; for lovers blameless are in lover-slavery! I was a Kázi whom my Fate deigned aid with choicest aid * By writ and reed and raisèd me to wealth and high degree; Till I was shot by sharpest shaft that knows nor leach nor cure * By Damsel's glance who came to spill my blood and murther me. To me came she, a Moslemah and of her wrongs she 'plained * With lips that oped on Orient-pearls ranged fair and orderly: I looked beneath her veil and saw a wending moon at full * Rising below the wings of Night engloomed with blackest blee: A brightest favour and a mouth bedight with wondrous smiles; * Beauty had brought the loveliest garb and robed her cap-à-pie. By Allah, ne'er beheld my eyes a face so ferly fair * Amid mankind whoever are, Arab or Ajamí. My Fair! What promise didst thou make what time to me thou said'st * 'Whenas I promise I perform, O Kazi, faithfully.' Such is my stead and such my case calamitous and dire * And ask me not, ye men of spunk, what dreadful teen I dree." When he ended his verse he wept with sore weeping and sobbed one sob and his spirit departed his body, which seeing they washed him and shrouded him and prayed over him and buried him graving on his tomb these couplets, "Perfect were lover's qualities in him was brought a-morn, * Slain by his love and his beloved, to this untimely grave: Kázi was he amid the folk, and aye 'twas his delight * To foster all the folk and keep a-sheath the Justice-glaive: Love caused his doom and ne'er we saw among mankind before * The lord and master louting low before his thrallèd slave." Then they committed him to the mercy of Allah and went away to the second Kazi, in company with the physician, but found in him nor injury nor ailment needing a leach. Accordingly they questioned him of his case and what preoccupied him; so he told them what ailed him, whereupon they blamed him and chid him for his predicament and he answered them with these couplets, "Blighted by her yet am I not to blame; * Struck by the dart at me her fair hand threw. Unto me came a woman called Hubúb * Chiding the world from year to year anew: And brought a damsel showing face that shamed * Full moon that sails through Night-tide's blackest hue, She showed her beauties and she 'plained her plain * Which tears in torrents from her eyelids drew: I to her words gave ear and gazed on her * Whenas with smiling lips she made me rue. Then with my heart she fared where'er she fared * And left me pledged to sorrows soul subdue. Such is my tale! So pity ye my case * And this my page with Kazi's gear indue." Then he sobbed one sob and his soul fled his flesh; whereupon they gat ready his funeral and buried him commending him to the mercy of Allah; after which they repaired to the third Kazi and the fourth, and there befel them the like of what befel their brethren. [FN#367] Furthermore, they found the Assessors also sick for love of her, and indeed all who saw her died of her love or, an they died not, lived on tortured with the lowe of passion.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-first Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the city folk found all the Kazis and the Assessors sick for love of her, and all who saw her died lovesick or, an they died not, lived on tortured with the lowe of passion for stress of pining to no purpose--Allah have mercy on them one and all! Meanwhile Zayn al-Mawasif and her women drave on with all diligence till they were far distant from the city and it so fortuned that they came to a convent by the way, wherein dwelt a Prior called Danis and forty monks. [FN#368] When the Prior saw her beauty, he went out to her and invited her to alight, saying, "Rest with us ten days and after wend your ways." So she and her damsels alighted and entered the convent; and when Danis saw her beauty and loveliness, she debauched his belief and he was seduced by her: wherefore he fell to sending the monks, one after other with love-messages; but each who saw her fell in love with her and sought her favours for himself, whilst she excused and denied herself to them. But Danis ceased not his importunities till he had dispatched all the forty, each one of whom fell love-sick at first sight and plied her with blandishments never even naming Danis; whilst she refused and rebuffed them with harsh replies. At last when Danis's patience was at an end and his passion was sore on him, he said in himself, "Verily, the sooth-sayer saith, 'Naught scratcheth my skin but my own nail and naught like my own feet for mine errand may avail.'" So up he rose and made ready rich meats, and it was the ninth day of her sojourn in the convent where she had purposed only to rest. Then he carried them in to her and set them before her, saying, "Bismillah, favour us by tasting the best of the food at our command." So she put forth her hand, saying, "For the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate!" and ate, she and her handmaidens. When she had made an end of eating, he said to her, "O my lady, I wish to recite to thee some verses." Quoth she, "Say on," and he recited these couplets, "Thou hast won my heart by cheek and eye of thee, * I'll praise for love in prose and poesy. Wilt fly a lover, love-sick, love-distraught * Who strives in dreams some cure of love to see? Leave me not fallen, passion-fooled, since I * For pine have left uncared the Monast'ry: O Fairest, 'tis thy right to shed my blood, * So rue my case and hear the cry of me!" When Zayn al-Mawasif heard his verses, she answered him with these two couplets, "O who suest Union, ne'er hope such delight * Nor solicit my favours, O hapless wight! Cease to hanker for what thou canst never have: * Next door are the greedy to sore despight." Hearing this he returned to his place, pondering in himself and knowing not how he should do in her affair, and passed the night in the sorriest plight. But, as soon as the darkness was darkest Zayn al-Mawasif arose and said to her handmaids, "Come, let us away, for we cannot avail against forty men, monks, each of whom requireth me for himself." Quoth they, "Right willingly!" So they mounted their beasts and issued forth the convent gate,--Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-second Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn al-Mawasif and her handmaids issued forth the convent gate and, under favour of the night, rode on till they overtook a caravan, with which they mingled and found it came from the city of 'Adan wherein the lady had dwelt. Presently, Zayn al-Mawasif heard the people of the caravan discoursing of her own case and telling how the Kazis and Assessors were dead of love for her and how the townsfolk had appointed in their stead others who released her husband from prison. Whereupon she turned to her maids and asked them, "Heard ye that?"; and Hubub answered, "If the monks were ravished with love of thee, whose belief it is that shunning women is worship, how should it be with the Kazis, who hold that there is no monkery in Al-Islam? But let us make our way to our own country, whilst our affair is yet hidden." So they drave on with all diligence. Such was their case; but as regards the monks, on the morrow, as soon as it was day they repaired to Zayn al-Mawasif's lodging, to salute her, but found the place empty, and their hearts sickened within them. So the first monk rent his raiment and improvised these couplets, "Ho ye, my friends, draw near, for I forthright * From you depart, since parting is my lot: My vitals suffer pangs o' fiery love; * Flames of desire in heart burn high and hot, For sake of fairest girl who sought our land * Whose charms th' horizon's full moon evens not. She fared and left me victimed by her love * And slain by shaft those lids death-dealing shot." Then another monk recited the following couplets, "O ye who with my vitals fled, have ruth * On this unhappy: haste ye homeward-bound: They fared, and fared fair Peace on farthest track * Yet lingers in mine ear that sweetest sound: Fared far, and far their fane; would Heaven I saw Their shade in vision float my couch around: And when they went wi' them they bore my heart * And in my tear-floods all of me left drowned." A third monk followed with these extempore lines, "Throne you on highmost stead, heart, ears and sight * Your wone's my heart; mine all's your dwelling-site: Sweeter than honey is your name a-lip, * Running, as 'neath my ribs runs vital sprite: For Love hath made me as a tooth-pick [FN#368] lean * And drowned in tears of sorrow and despight: Let me but see you in my sleep, belike * Shall clear my cheeks of tears that lovely sight." Then a fourth recited the following couplets, "Dumb is my tongue and scant my speech for thee * And Love the direst torture gars me dree: O thou full Moon, whose place is highest Heaven, * For thee but double pine and pain in me." And a fifth these, [FN#370] "I love a moon of comely shapely form * Whose slender waist hath title to complain: Whose lip-dews rival must and long-kept wine; * Whose heavy haunches haunt the minds of men: My heart each morning burns with pain and pine * And the night-talkers note I'm passion-slain; While down my cheeks carnelian-like the tears * Of rosy red shower down like railing rain." And a sixth the following, "O thou who shunnest him thy love misled! * O Branch of Bán, O star of highmost stead! To thee of pine and passion I complain, * O thou who fired me with cheeks rosyred. Did e'er such lover lose his soul for thee, * Or from prostration and from prayers fled?" And a seventh these, "He seized my heart and freed my tears to flow * Brought strength to Love and bade my Patience go. His charms are sweet as bitter his disdain; * And shafts of love his suitors overthrow. Stint blame, O blamer, and for past repent * None will believe thee who dost Love unknow!" And on like wise all the rest of the monks shed tears and repeated verses. As for Danis, the Prior, weeping and wailing redoubled on him, for that he found no way to her enjoyment, and he chanted the following couplets [FN#371], "My patience failed me when my lover went * And fled that day mine aim and best intent. O Guide o' litters lead their camels fair, * Haply some day they'll deign with me to tent! On parting-day Sleep parted from my lids * And grew my grieving and my joy was shent. I moan to Allah what for Love I dree'd * My wasted body and my forces spent." Then, despairing of her, they took counsel together and with one mind agreed to fashion her image and set it up with them, and applied themselves to this till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies. Meanwhile, Zayn al-Mawasif fared on, without ceasing, to find her lover Masrur, till she reached her own house. She opened the doors, and entered; then she sent to her sister Nasim, who rejoiced with exceeding joy at the news of her return and brought her the furniture and precious stuffs left in her charge. So she furnished the house and dressed it, hanging the curtains over the doors and burning aloes-wood and musk and ambergris and other essences till the whole place recked with the most delightful perfumes: after which the Adornment of Qualities donned her finest dress and decorations and sat talking with her maids, whom she had left behind when journeying, and related to them all that had befallen her first and last. Then she turned to Hubub and giving her dirhams, bade her fetch them something to eat. So she brought meat and drink and when they had made an end of eating and drinking, [FN#372] Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub go and see where Masrur was and how it fared with him. Now he knew not of her return; but abode with concern overcast and sorrow might not be overpast;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-third Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn al-Mawasif entered her house she was met by her sister Nasim who brought her the furniture and stuffs wherewith she furnished the place; and then she donned her finest dress. But Masrur knew naught of her return and abode with concern overcast and sorrow might not be overpast; no peace prevailed with him nor was patience possible to him. Whenas pine and passion, desire and distraction waxed on him, he would solace himself by reciting verse and go to the house and set him its walls to buss. It chanced that he went out that day to the place where he had parted from his mistress and repeated this rare song, "My wrongs hide I, withal they show to sight; * And now mine eyes from sleep to wake are dight. I cry when melancholy tries my sprite * Last not, O world nor work more despight; Lo hangs my soul 'twixt hardship and affright. Were the Sultan hight Love but fair to me, * Slumber mine eyes' companion were to me, My Lords, some little mercy spare to me, * Chief of my tribe: be debonnair to me, Whom Love cast down, erst rich now pauper-wight!

Censors may blame thee but I look beyond * Mine ears I stop and leave their lies unconned And keep my pact wi' those I love so fond: * They say, 'Thou lov'st a runaway!' I respond, 'Whist! whenas Fate descends she blinds the sight!'" Then he returned to his lodging and sat there weeping, till sleep overcame him, when he saw in a dream as if Zayn al-Mawasif were come to the house, and awoke in tears. So he set off to go thither, improvising these couplets, "Shall I be consoled when Love hath mastered the secret of me * And my heart is aglow with more than the charcoal's ardency? I love her whose absence I plain before Allah for parting-stower * And the shifts of the days and doom which allotted me Destiny: When shall our meeting be, O wish O' my heart and will? * O favour of fullest Moon, when shall we Re-union see?" As he made an end of his recitation, he found himself walking adown in Zayn al-Mawasif's street and smelt the sweet savour of the pastiles wherewithal she had incensed the house; wherefore his vitals fluttered and his heart was like to leave his breast and desire flamed up in him and distraction redoubled upon him; when lo, and behold! Hubub, on her way to do her lady's errand suddenly appeared at the head of the street and he rejoiced with joy exceeding. When she saw him, she went up to him and saluting him, gave him the glad news of her mistress's return, saying, "She hath sent me to bid thee to her." Whereat he was glad indeed, with gladness naught could exceed; and she took him and returned with him to the house. When Zayn al-Mawasif saw him, she came down to him from the couch and kissed him and he kissed her and she embraced him and he embraced her; nor did they leave kissing and embracing till both swooned away for stress of affection and separation. They lay a long while senseless, and when they revived, Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub fetch her a gugglet of sherbet of sugar and another of sherbet of lemons. So she brought what she desired and they sat eating and drinking nor ceased before nightfall, when they fell to recalling all that had befallen them from commencement to conclusion. Then she acquainted him with her return to Al-Islam, whereat he rejoiced and he also became a Moslem. On like wise did her women, and they ail repented to Allah Almighty of their infidelity. On the morrow she made send for the Kazi and the witnesses and told them that she was a widow and had completed the purification period and was minded to marry Masrur. So they drew up the wedding-contract between them and they abode in all delight of life. Meanwhile, the Jew, when the people of Adan released him from prison, set out homewards and fared on nor ceased faring till he came within three days' journey of the city. Now as soon as Zayn al-Mawasif heard of his coming she called for her handmaid Hubub and said to her, "Go to the Jews' burial-place and there dig a grave and plant on it sweet basil and jessamine and sprinkle water thereabout. If the Jew come and ask thee of me, answer, 'My mistress died twenty days ago of chagrin on thine account.' If he say, show me her tomb, take him to the grave and after weeping over it and making moan and lament before him, contrive to cast him therein and bury him alive." [FN#373] And Hubub answered, "I hear and I obey." Then they laid up the furniture in the store closets, and Zayn al-Mawasif removed to Masrur's lodging, where he and she abode eating and drinking, till the three days were past; at the end of which the Jew arrived and knocked at the door of his house. Quoth Hubub, "Who's at the door?"; and quoth he, "Thy master." So she opened to him and he saw the tears railing down her cheeks and said, "What aileth thee to weep and where is thy mistress?" She replied, "My mistress is dead of chagrin on thine account." When he heard this, he was perplexed and wept with sore weeping and presently said, "O Hubub, where is her tomb?" So she carried him to the Jews' burial-ground and showed him the grave she had dug; whereupon he shed bitter tears and recited this pair of couplets, [FN#374] "Two things there are, for which if eyes wept tear on tear * Of blood, till they were like indeed to disappear, They never could fulfil the Tithe of all their due: * And these are prime of youth and loss of loveling dear." Then he wept again with bitter tears and recited these also, "Alack and Alas! Patience taketh flight: * And from parting of friend to sore death I'm dight: O how woeful this farness from dear one, and oh * How my heart is rent by mine own unright! Would Heaven my secret I erst had kept * Nor had told the pangs and my liverblight: I lived in all solace and joyance of life * Till she left and left me in piteous plight: O Zayn al-Mawasif, I would there were * No parting departing my frame and sprite: I repent me for troth-breach and blame my guilt * Of unruth to her whereon hopes I built." When he had made an end of this verse, he wept and groaned and lamented till he fell down a-swoon, whereupon Hubub made haste to drag him to the grave and throw him in, whilst he was insensible yet quick withal. Then she stopped up the grave on him and returning to her mistress acquainted her with what had passed, whereat she rejoiced with exceeding joy and recited these two couplets, "The world sware that for ever 'twould gar me grieve: *Tis false, O world, so thine oath retrieve [FN#375]! The blamer is dead and my love's in my arms: * Rise to herald of joys and tuck high thy sleeve [FN#376]!" Then she and Masrur abode each with other in eating and drinking and sport and pleasure and good cheer, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and Sunderer of societies and Slayer of sons and daughters. And I have also heard tell the following tale of ALI NUR AL-DIN AND MIRIAM THE GIRDLE-GIRL [FN#377] There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before in the parts of Cairo, a merchant named Táj al-Dín who was of the most considerable of the merchants and of the chiefs of the freeborn. But he was given to travelling everywhere and loved to fare over wild and wold, waterless lowland and stony waste, and to journey to the isles of the seas, in quest of dirhams and dinars: wherefore he had in his time encountered dangers and suffered duresse of the way such as would grizzle little children and turn their black hair grey. He was possessed of black slaves and Mamelukes, eunuchs and concubines, and was the wealthiest of the merchants of his time and the goodliest of them in speech, owning horses and mules and Bactrian camels and dromedaries; sacks great and small of size; goods and merchandise and stuffs such as muslins of Hums, silks and brocades of Ba'allak, cotton of Mery, stuffs of India, gauzes of Baghdad, burnouses of Moorland and Turkish white slaves and Abyssinian castratos and Grecian girls and Egyptian boys; and the coverings of his bales were silk with gold purfled fair, for he was wealthy beyond compare. Furthermore he was rare of comeliness, accomplished in goodliness, and gracious in his kindliness, even as one of his describers doth thus express, "A merchant I spied whose lovers * Were fighting in furious guise: Quoth he, 'Why this turmoil of people?' * Quoth I, 'Trader, for those fine eyes!'" And saith another in his praise and saith well enough to accomplish the wish of him, "Came a merchant to pay us a visit * Whose glance did my heart surprise: Quoth he, 'What surprised thee so?' * Quoth I, 'Trader, 'twas those fine eyes.'" Now that merchant had a son called Ali Nur al-Din, as he were the full moon whenas it meeteth the sight on its fourteenth night, a marvel of beauty and loveliness, a model of form and symmetrical grace, who was sitting one day as was his wont, in his father's shop, selling and buying, giving and taking, when the sons of the merchants girt him around and he was amongst them as moon among stars, with brow flower-white and cheeks of rosy light in down the tenderest dight, and body like alabaster-bright even as saith of him the poet, "'Describe me!' a fair one said. * Said I, 'Thou art Beauty's queen.' And, speaking briefest speech, * 'All charms in thee are seen.'" And as saith of him one of his describers, "His mole upon plain of cheek is like * Ambergrís-crumb on marble plate, And his glances likest the sword proclaim * To all Love's rebels 'The Lord is Great!'" [FN#378] The young merchants invited him saying, "O my lord Nur al-Din, we wish thee to go this day a-pleasuring with us in such a garden." And he answered, "Wait till I consult my parent, for I cannot go without his consent." As they were talking, behold, up came Taj al-Din, and his son looked at him and said, "O father mine, the sons of the merchants have invited me to wend a-pleasuring with them in such a garden. Dost thou grant me leave to go?" His father replied, "Yes, O my son, fare with them;" and gave him somewhat of money. So the young men mounted their mules and asses and Nur al-Din mounted a she-mule and rode with them to a garden, wherein was all that sould desireth and that eye charmeth. It was high of walls which from broad base were seen to rise; and it had a gateway vault-wise with a portico like a saloon and a door azure as the skies, as it were one of the gates of Paradise: the name of the door-keeper was Rizwán, [FN#379] and over the gate were trained an hundred trellises which grapes overran; and these were of various dyes, the red like coralline, the black like the snouts of Súdán [FN#380]-men and the white like egg of the pigeon-hen. And in it peach and pomegranate were shown and pear, apricot and pomegranate were grown and fruits with and without stone hanging in clusters or alone,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the sons of the merchants entered the vergier, they found therein all that soul desireth or eye charmeth, grapes of many hues grown, hanging in bunches or alone, even as saith of them the poet, "Grapes tasting with the taste of wine * Whose coats like blackest Raven's shine: Their sheen, amid the leafage shows, * Like women's fingers henna'd fine." And as saith another on the same theme, "Grape-bunches likest as they sway * A-stalk, my body frail and snell: Honey and water thus in jar, * When sourness past, make Hydromel." Then they entered the arbour of the garden and say there Rizwan the gate-keeper sitting, as he were Rizwan the Paradise-guardian, and on the door were written these lines, "Garth Heaven-watered wherein clusters waved * On boughs which full of sap to bend were fain: And, when the branches danced on Zephyr's palm, * The Pleiads shower'd as gifts [FN#381] fresh pearls for rain." And within the arbour were written these two couplets, "Come with us, friend, and enter thou * This garth that cleanses rust of grief: Over their skits the Zephyrs trip [FN#382] * And flowers in sleeve to laugh are lief." [FN#383] So they entered and found all manner fruits in view and birds of every kind and hue, such as ringdove, nightingale and curlew; and the turtle and the cushat sang their love lays on the sprays. Therein were rills that ran with limpid wave and flowers suave; and bloom for whose perfume we crave and it was even as saith of it the poet in these two couplets, "The Zephyr breatheth o'er its branches, like * Fair girls that trip as in fair skirts they pace: Its rills resemble swords in hands of knights * Drawn from the scabbard and containing-case." [FN#384] And again as singeth the songster, "The streamlet swings by branchy wood and aye * Joys in its breast those beauties to display; And Zephyr noting this, for jealousy * Hastens and bends the branches other way." On the trees of the garden were all manner fruits, each in two sorts, amongst them the pomegranate, as it were a ball of silver-dross, [FN#385] whereof saith the poet and saith right well, "Granados of finest skin, like the breasts * Of maid firm-standing in sight of male; When I strip the skin, they at once display * The rubies compelling all sense to quail." And even as quoth another bard, "Close prest appear to him who views th' inside * Red rubies in brocaded skirts bedight: Granado I compare with marble dome * Or virgin's breasts delighting every sight: Therein is cure for every ill as e'en * Left an Hadís the Prophet pure of sprite; And Allah (glorify His name) eke deigned * A noble say in Holy Book indite. [FN#386] The apples were the sugared and the musky and the Dámáni, amazing the beholder, whereof saith Hassan the poet, "Apple which joins hues twain, and brings to mind * The cheek of lover and beloved combined: Two wondrous opposites on branch they show * This dark [FN#387] and that with hue incarnadined The twain embraced when spied the spy and turned * This red, that yellow for the shame designed." [FN#388] There also were apricots of various kinds, almond and camphor and Jíláni and 'Antábi, [FN#389] wereof saith the poet, "And Almond-apricot suggesting swain * Whose lover's visit all his wits hath ta'en. Enough of love-sick lovers' plight it shows * Of face deep yellow and heart torn in twain." [FN#390] And saith another and saith well, "Look at that Apricot whose bloom contains * Gardens with brightness gladding all men's eyne: Like stars the blossoms sparkle when the boughs * Are clad in foliage dight with sheen and shine." There likewise were plums and cherries and grapes, that the sick of all diseases assain and do away giddiness and yellow choler from the brain; and figs the branches between, varicoloured red and green, amazing sight and sense, even as saith the poet, "'Tis as the Figs with clear white skins outthrown * By foliaged trees, athwart whose green they peep, Were sons of Roum that guard the palace-roof * When shades close in and night-long ward they keep." [FN#391] And saith another and saith well, "Welcome [FN#392] the Fig! To us it comes * Ordered in handsome plates they bring: Likest a Surfah [FN#393]-cloth we draw * To shape of bag without a ring." And how well saith a third, "Give me the Fig sweet-flavoured, beauty-clad, * Whose inner beauties rival outer sheen: And when it fruits thou tastest it to find * Chamomile's scent and Sugar's saccharine: And eke it favoureth on platters poured * Puff-balls of silken thread and sendal green." And how excellent is the saying of one of them, "Quoth they (and I had trained my taste thereto * Nor cared for other fruits whereby they swore), 'Why lovest so the Fig?' whereto quoth I * 'Some men love Fig and others Sycamore. [FN#394]'" And are yet goodlier those of another, "Pleaseth me more the fig than every fruit * When ripe and hanging from the sheeny bough; Like Devotee who, when the clouds pour rain, * Sheds tears and Allah's power doth avow." And in that garth were also pears of various kinds Sinaïtic, [FN#395] Aleppine and Grecian growing in clusters and alone, parcel green and parcel golden.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the merchants' sons went down into the garth they saw therein all the fruits we mentioned and found pears Sinaïtic, Aleppine and Grecian of every hue, which here clustering there single grew, parcel green and parcel yellow to the gazer a marvel-view, as saith of them the poet, "With thee that Pear agree, whose hue a-morn * Is hue of hapless lover yellow pale; Like virgin cloistered strait in strong Harím * Whose face like racing steed outstrips the veil." And Sultani [FN#396] peaches of shades varied, yellow and red, whereof saith the poet, "Like Peach in vergier growing * And sheen of Andam [FN#397] showing: Whose balls of yellow gold * Are dyed with blood-gouts flowing." There were also green almonds of passing sweetness, resembling the cabbage [FN#398] of the palm-tree, with their kernels within three tunics lurking of the Munificent King's handiworking, even as is said of them, "Three coats yon freshest form endue * God's work of varied shape and hue: Hardness surrounds it night and day; * Prisoning without a sin to rue." And as well saith another, "Seest not that Almond plucked by hand * Of man from bough where wont to dwell: Peeling it shows the heart within * As union-pearl in oyster-shell." And as saith a third better than he, "How good is Almond green I view! * The smallest fills the hand of you: Its nap is as the down upon * The cheeks where yet no beardlet grew: Its kernels in the shell are seen, * Or bachelors or married two, As pearls they were of lucent white * Casèd and lapped in Jasper's hue." And as saith yet another and saith well, "Mine eyes ne'er looked on aught the Almond like * For charms, when blossoms [FN#399] in the Prime show bright: Its head to hoariness of age inclines * The while its cheek by youth's fresh down is dight." And jujube-plums of various colours, grown in clusters and alone whereof saith one, describing them, "Look at the Lote-tree, note on boughs arrayed * Like goodly apricots on reed-strown floor, [FN#400] Their morning-hue to viewer's eye is like * Cascavels [FN#401] cast of purest golden ore." And as saith another and saith right well, "The Jujube-tree each Day * Robeth in bright array. As though each pome thereon * Would self to sight display. Like falcon-bell of gold * Swinging from every spray." And in that garth grew blood oranges, as they were the Khaulanján, [FN#402] whereof quoth the enamoured poet, [FN#403] "Red fruits that fill the hand, and shine with sheen * Of fire, albe the scarf-skin's white as snow. 'Tis marvel snow on fire doth never melt * And, stranger still, ne'er burns this living lowe!" And quoth another and quoth well, "And trees of Orange fruiting ferly fair * To those who straitest have their charms surveyed; Like cheeks of women who their forms have decked * For holiday in robes of gold brocade." And yet another as well, "Like are the Orange-hills [FN#404] when Zephyr breathes * Swaying the boughs and spray with airy grace, Her cheeks that glow with lovely light when met * At greeting-tide by cheeks of other face." And a fourth as fairly, "And fairest Fawn, we said to him 'Portray * This garth and oranges thine eyes survey:' And he, 'Your garden favoureth my face * Who gathereth orange gathereth fire alway.'" In that garden too grew citrons, in colour as virgin gold, hanging down from on high and dangling among the branches, as they were ingots of growing gold; [FN#405] and saith thereof the 'namoured poet, "Hast seen a Citron-copse so weighed adown * Thou fearest bending roll their fruit on mould; And seemed, when Zephyr passed athwart the tree * Its branches hung with bells of purest gold?" And shaddocks, [FN#406] that among their boughs hung laden as though each were the breast of a gazelle-like maiden, contenting the most longing wight, as saith of them the poet and saith aright, "And Shaddock mid the garden-paths, on bough * Freshest like fairest damsel met my sight; And to the blowing of the breeze it bent * Like golden ball to bat of chrysolite." And the lime sweet of scent, which resembleth a hen's egg, but its yellowness ornamenteth its ripe fruit, and its fragrance hearteneth him who plucketh it, as saith the poet who singeth it, "Seest not the Lemon, when it taketh form, * Catch rays of light and all to gaze constrain; Like egg of pullet which the huckster's hand * Adorneth dyeing with the saffron-stain?" Moreover in this garden were all manner of other fruits and sweet-scented herbs and plants and fragrant flowers, such as jessamine and henna and water-lilies [FN#407] and spikenard [FN#408] and roses of every kind and plantain [FN#409] and myrtle and so forth; and indeed it was without compare, seeming as it were a piece of Paradise to whoso beheld it. If a sick man entered it, he came forth from it like a raging lion, and tongue availeth not to its description, by reason of that which was therein of wonders and rarities which are not found but in Heaven: and how should it be otherwise when its doorkeeper's name was Rizman? Though widely different were the stations of those twain! Now when the sons of the merchants had walked about gazing at the garden after taking their pleasure therein, they say down in one of its pavilions and seated Nur al-Din in their midst.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night, She resume, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the sons of the merchants sat down in the pavilion they seated Nur al-Din in their midst on a rug of gold-purfled leather of Al-Táif, [FN#410] leaning on a pillow [FN#411] of minever, stuffed with ostrich down. And they gave him a fan of ostrich feathers, whereon were written these two couplets, "A fan whose breath is fraught with fragrant scent; * Minding of happy days and times forspent, Wafting at every time its perfumed air * O'er face of noble youth on honour bent." Then they laid by their turbands and outer clothes and sat talking and chatting and inducing one another to discourse, while they all kept their eyes fixed on Nur al-Din and gazed on his beauteous form. After the sitting had lasted an hour or so, up came a slave with a tray on his head, wherein were platters of china and crystal containing viands of all sorts (for one of the youths had so charged his people before coming to the garden); and the meats were of whatever walketh earth or wingeth air or swimmeth waters, such as Katá-grouse and fat quails and pigeon-poults and mutton and chickens and the delicatest fish. So, the tray being sat before them, they fell to and ate their fill; and when they had made an end of eating, they rose from meat and washed their hands with pure water and musk-scented soap, and dried them with napery embroidered in silk and bugles; but to Nur al-Din they brought a napkin laced with red gold whereon he wiped his hands. Then coffee [FN#412] was served up and each drank what he would, after which they sat talking, till presently the garden-keeper who was young went away and returning with a basket full of roses, said to them, "What say ye, O my masters, to flowers?" Quoth one of them, "There is no harm in them, [FN#413] especially roses, which are not to be resisted." Answered the gardener, "'Tis well, but it is of our wont not to give roses but in exchange for pleasant converse; so whoever would take aught thereof, let him recite some verses suitable to the situation." Now they were ten sons of merchants of whom one said, "Agreed: give me thereof and I will recite thee somewhat of verse apt to the case." Accordingly the gardener gave him a bunch of roses [FN#414] which he took and at once improvised these three couplets, "The Rose in highest stead I rate * For that her charms ne'er satiate; All fragrant flow'rs be troops to her * Their general of high estate: Where she is not they boast and vaunt; * But, when she comes, they stint their prate." Then the gardener gave a bunch to another and he recited these two couplets, "Take, O my lord, to thee the Rose * Recalling scent by mush be shed. Like virginette by lover eyed * Who with her sleeves [FN#415] enveileth head." Then he gave a bunch to a third who recited these two couplets, "Choice Rose that gladdens heart to see her sight; * Of Nadd recalling fragrance exquisite. The branchlets clip her in her leaves for joy, * Like kiss of lips that never spake in spite." Then he gave a bunch to a fourth and he recited these two couplets, "Seest not that rosery where Rose a-flowering displays * Mounted upon her steed of stalk those marvels manifold? As though the bud were ruby-stone and girded all around * With chrysolite and held within a little hoard of gold." Then he gave a posy to a fifth and he recited these two couplets, "Wands of green chrysolite bare issue, which * Were fruits like ingots of the growing gold. [FN#416] And drops, a dropping from its leaves, were like * The tears my languorous eyelids railed and rolled." Then he gave a sixth a bunch and he recited these two couplets, "O Rose, thou rare of charms that dost contain * All gifts and Allah's secrets singular, Thou'rt like the loved one's cheek where lover fond * And fain of Union sticks the gold dinar." [FN#417] Then he gave a bunch to a seventh and he recited these two couplets, "To Rose quoth I, 'What gars thy thorns to be put forth * For all who touch thee cruellest injury?' Quoth she, 'These flowery troops are troops of me * Who be their lord with spines for armoury.'" And he gave an eighth a bunch and he recited these two couplets, "Allah save the Rose which yellows a-morn * Florid, vivid and likest the nugget-ore; And bless the fair sprays that displayed such fowers * And mimic suns gold-begilded bore." Then he gave a bunch to a ninth and he recited these two couplets, "The bushes of golden-hued Rose excite * In the love-sick lover joys manifold: 'Tis a marvel shrub watered every day * With silvern lymph and it fruiteth gold." Then he gave a bunch of roses to the tenth and last and he recited these two couplets, "Seest not how the hosts of the Rose display * Red hues and yellow in rosy field? I compare the Rose and her arming thorn * To emerald lance piercing golden shield." And whilst each one hent bunch in hand, the gardener brought the wine-service and setting it before them, on a tray of porcelain arabesqued with red gold, recited these two couplets, "Dawn heralds day-light: so wine pass round, * Old wine, fooling sage till his wits he tyne: Wot I not for its purest clarity * An 'tis wine in cup or 'tis cup in wine." [FN#418] Then the gardener filled and drank and the cup went round, till it came to Nur al-Din's turn, whereupon the man filled and handed it to him; but he said, "This thing I wot it not nor have I ever drunken thereof, for therein is great offence and the Lord of All-might hath forbidden it in His Book." Answered the gardener, "O my Lord Nur al-Din, an thou forbear to drink only by reason of the sin, verily Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) is bountiful, of sufferance great, forgiving and compassionate and pardoneth the mortalest sins: His mercy embraceth all things, Allah's ruth be upon the poet who saith, 'Be as thou, wilt, for Allah is bountiful * And when thou sinnest feel thou naught alarm: But 'ware of twofold sins nor ever dare * To give God partner or mankind to harm.'" Then quoth one of the sons of the merchants, "My life on thee, O my lord Nur al-Din, drink of this cup!" And another conjured him by the oath of divorce and yet another stood up persistently before him, till he was ashamed and taking the cup from the gardener, drank a draught, but spat it out again, crying, "'Tis bitter." Said the young gardener, "O my lord Nur al-Din, knowest thou not that sweets taken by way of medicine are bitter? Were this not bitter, 'twould lack of the manifold virtues it possesseth; amongst which are that it digesteth food and disperseth cark and care and dispelleth flatulence and clarifieth the blood and cleareth the complexion and quickeneth the body and hearteneth the hen-hearted and fortifieth the sexual power in man; but to name all its virtues would be tedious. Quoth one of the poets, 'We'll drink and Allah pardon sinners all * And cure of ills by sucking cups I'll find: Nor aught the sin deceives me; yet said He * 'In it there be advantage [FN#419] to mankind.'" Then he sprang up without stay or delay and opened one of the cupboards in the pavilion and taking out a loaf of refined sugar, broke off a great slice which he put into Nur al-Din's cup, saying, "O my lord, an thou fear to drink wine, because of its bitterness, drink now, for 'tis sweet." So he took the cup and emptied it: whereupon one of his comrades filled him another, saying, "O my lord Nur al-Din, I am thy slave," and another did the like, saying, "I am one of thy servants," and a third said, "For my sake!" and a fourth, "Allah upon thee, O my lord Nur al-Din, heal my heart!" And so they ceased not plying him with wine, each and every of the ten sons of merchants till they had made him drink a total of ten cups. Now Nur al-Din's body was virgin of wine-bibbing, or never in all his life had he drunken vine-juice till that hour, wherefore its fumes wrought in his brain and drunkenness was stark upon him and he stood up (and indeed his tongue was thick and his speech stammering) and said, "O company, by Allah, ye are fair and your speech is goodly and your place pleasant; but there needeth hearing of sweet music; for drink without melody lacks the chief of its essentiality, even as saith the poet, 'Pass round the cup to the old and the young man, too, And take the bowl from the hand of the shining moon, [FN#420] But without music, I charge you, forbear to drink; I see even horses drink to a whistled tune.'" [FN#421] Therewith up sprang the gardener lad and mounting one of the young men's mules, was absent awhile, after which he returned with a Cairene girl, as she were a sheep's tail, fat and delicate, or an ingot of pure silvern ore or a dinar on a porcelain plate or a gazelle in the wold forlore. She had a face that put to shame the shining sun and eyes Babylonian [FN#422] and brows like bows bended and cheeks rose-painted and teeth pearly-hued and lips sugared and glances languishing and breast ivory white and body slender and slight, full of folds and with dimples dight and hips like pillows stuffed and thighs like columns of Syrian stone, and between them what was something like a sachet of spices in wrapper swathed. Quoth the poet of her in these couplets, "Had she shown her shape to idolaters' sight, * They would gaze on her face and their gods detest: And if in the East to a monk she'd show'd, * He'd quit Eastern posture and bow to West. [FN#423] An she crached in the sea and the briniest sea * Her lips would give it the sweetest zest." And quoth another in these couplets, "Brighter than Moon at full with kohl'd eyes she came * Like Doe, on chasing whelps of Lioness intent: Her night of murky locks lets fall a tent on her * A tent of hair [FN#424] that lacks no pegs to hold the tent; And roses lighting up her roseate cheeks are fed * By hearts and livers flowing fire for languishment: An 'spied her all the Age's Fair to her they'd rise * Humbly, [FN#425] and cry 'The meed belongs to precedent!'" And how well saith a third bard, [FN#426] "Three things for ever hinder her to visit us, for fear Of the intriguing spy and eke the rancorous envier; Her forehead's lustre and the sound of all her ornaments And the sweet scent her creases hold of ambergris and myrth. Grant with the border of her sleeve she hide her brow and doff Her ornaments, how shall she do her scent away from her?" She was like the moon when at fullest on its fourteenth night, and was clad in a garment of blue, with a veil of green, overbrown flower-white that all wits amazed and those of understanding amated.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying his permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the gardener brought a girl whom we have described, possessed of the utmost beauty and loveliness and fine stature and symmetrical grace as it were she the poet signified when he said, [FN#427] "She came apparelled in a vest of blue, That mocked the skies and shamed their azure hue; I thought thus clad she burst upon my sight, Like summer moonshine on a wintry night." And how goodly is the saying of another and how excellent, "She came thick veiled, and cried I, 'O display * That face like full moon bright with pure-white ray.' Quoth she, 'I fear disgrace,' quoth I, 'Cut short * This talk, no shift of days thy thoughts affray.' Whereat she raised her veil from fairest face * And crystal spray on gems began to stray: And I forsooth was fain to kiss her cheek, * Lest she complain of me on Judgment-Day. And at such tide before the Lord on High * We first of lovers were redress to pray: So 'Lord, prolong this reckoning and review' * (Prayed I) 'that longer I may sight my may.'" Then said the young gardener to her, "Know thou, O lady of the fair, brighter than any constellation which illumineth air we sought, in bringing thee hither naught but that thou shouldst entertain with converse this comely youth, my lord Nur al-Din, for he hath come to this place only this day." And the girl replied, "Would thou hadst told me, that I might have brought what I have with me!" Rejoined the gardener, "O my lady, I will go and fetch it to thee." "As thou wilt," said she: and he, "Give me a token." So she gave him a kerchief and he fared forth in haste and returned after awhile, bearing a green satin bag with slings of gold. The girl took the bag from him and opening it shook it, whereupon there fell thereout two-and-thirty pieces of wood, which she fitted one into other, male into female and female into male [FN#428] till they became a polished lute of Indian workmanship. Then she uncovered her wrists and laying the lute in her lap, bent over it with the bending of mother over babe, and swept the strings with her finger-tips; whereupon it moaned and resounded and after its olden home yearned; and it remembered the waters that gave it drink and the earth whence it sprang and wherein it grew and it minded the carpenters who made it their merchandise and the ships that shipped it; and it cried and called aloud and moaned and groaned; and it was as if she asked it of all these things and it answered her with the tongue of the case, reciting these couplets, [FN#429] "A tree whilere was I the Bulbul's home * To whom for love I bowed my grass-green head: They moaned on me, and I their moaning learnt * And in that moan my secret all men read: The woodman fell me falling sans offence, * And slender lute of me (as view ye) made: But, when the fingers smite my strings, they tell * How man despite my patience did me dead; Hence boon-companions when they hear my moan * Distracted wax as though by wine misled: And the Lord softens every heart of me, * And I am hurried to the highmost stead: All who in charms excel fain clasp my waist; * Gazelles of languid eyne and Houri maid: Allah ne'er part fond lover from his joy * Nor live the loved one who unkindly fled." Then the girl was silent awhile, but presently taking the lute in lap, again bent over it, as mother bendeth over child, and preluded in many different modes; then, returning to the first, she sang these couplets, "Would they  [FN#430] the lover seek without ado, * He to his heavy grief had bid adieu: With him had vied the Nightingale [FN#431] on bough * As one far parted from his lover's view: Rouse thee! awake! The Moon lights Union-night * As tho' such Union woke the Morn anew. This day the blamers take of us no heed * And lute-strings bid us all our joys ensue. Seest not how four-fold things conjoin in one * Rose, myrtle, scents and blooms of golden hue. [FN#432] Yea, here this day the four chief joys unite * Drink and dinars, beloved and lover true: So win thy worldly joy, for joys go past * And naught but storied tales and legends last." When Nur al-Din heard the girl sing these lines he looked on her with eyes of love and could scarce contain himself for the violence of his inclination to her; and on like wise was it with her, because she glanced at the company who were present of the sons of the merchants and she saw that Nur al-Din was amongst the rest as moon among stars; for that he was sweet of speech and replete with amorous grace, perfect in stature and symmetry, brightness and loveliness, pure of all defect, than the breeze of morn softer, than Tasnim blander, as saith of him the poet, [FN#433] "By his cheeks' unfading damask and his smiling teeth I swear, By the arros that he feathers with the witchery of his air, By his sides so soft and tender and his glances bright and keen, By the whiteness of his forehead and the blackness of his hair, By his arched imperious eyebrows, chasing slumber from my lids With their yeas and noes that hold me 'twixt rejoicing and despair, By the Scorpions that he launches from his ringlet-clustered brows, Seeking still to slay his lovers with his rigours unaware, By the myrtle of his whiskers and the roses of his cheek, By his lips' incarnate rubies and his teeth's fine pearls and rare, By the straight and tender sapling of his shape, which for its fruit Doth the twin pomegranates, shining in his snowy bosom, wear, By his heavy hips that tremble, both in motion and repose, And the slender waist above them, all too slight their weight to bear, By the silk of his apparel and his quick and sprightly wit, By all attributes of beauty that are fallen to his share; Lo, the musk exhales its fragrance from his breath, and eke the breeze From his scent the perfume borrows, that it scatters everywhere. Yea, the sun in all his splendour cannot with his brightness vie And the crescent moon's a fragment that he from his nails doth pare." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din was delighted with the girl's verses and he swayed from side to side for drunkenness and fell a-praising her and saying, "A lutanist to us inclined * And stole our wits bemused with wine: And said to us her lute, 'The Lord * Bade us discourse by voice divine.'" When she heard him thus improvise the girl gazed at him with loving eyes and redoubled in passion and desire for him increased upon her, and indeed she marvelled at his beauty and loveliness, symmetry and grace, so that she could not contain herself, but took the lute in lap again and sang these couplets, "He blames me for casting on him my sight * And parts fro' me bearing my life and sprite: He repels me but kens what my heart endures * As though Allah himself had inspired the wight: I portrayed his portrait in palm of hand * And cried to mine eyes, 'Weep your doleful plight.' For neither shall eyes of me spy his like * Nor my heart have patience to bear its blight: Wherefore, will I tear thee from breast, O Heart * As one who regards him with jealous spite. And when say I, 'O heart be consoled for pine,' * 'Tis that heart to none other shall e'er incline:" Nur al-Din wondered at the charms of her verse and the elegance of her expression and the sweetness of her voice and the eloquence of her speech and his wit fled for stress of love and longing, and ecstasy and distraction, so that he could not refrain from her a single moment, but bent to her and strained her to his bosom: and she in like manner bowed her form over his and abandoned herself to his embrace and bussed him between the eyes. Then he kissed her on the mouth and played with her at kisses, after the manner of the billing of doves; and she met him with like warmth and did with him as she was done by till the others were distracted and rose to their feet; whereupon Nur al-Din was ashamed and held his hand from her. Then she took her lute and, preluding thereon in manifold modes, lastly returned to the first and sang these couplets, "A Moon, when he bends him those eyes lay bare * A brand that gars gazing gazelle despair: A King, rarest charms are the host of him * And his lance-like shape men with cane compare: Were his softness of sides to his heart transferred * His friend had not suffered such cark and care: Ah for hardest heart and for softest sides! * Why not that to these alter, make here go there? O thou who accusest my love excuse: * Take eternal and leave me the transient share." [FN#434] When Nur al-Din heard the sweetness of her voice and the rareness of her verse, he inclined to her for delight and could not contain himself for excess of wonderment; so he recited these couplets. "Methought she was the forenoon sun until she donned the veil * But lit she fire in vitals mine still flaring fierce and high, How had it hurt her an she deigned return my poor salám * With fingertips or e'en vouchsafed one little wink of eye? The cavalier who spied her face was wholly stupefied * By charms that glorify the place and every charm outvie. 'Be this the Fair who makes thee pine and long for love liesse? * Indeed thou art excused!' 'This is my fairest she;'(quoth I) Who shot me with the shaft of looks nor deigns to rue my woes * Of strangerhood and broken heart and love I must aby: I rose a-morn with vanquished heart, to longing love a prey * And weep I through the live long day and all the night I cry." The girl marvelled at his eloquence and elegance and taking her lute, smote thereon with the goodliest of performance, repeating all the melodies, and sang these couplets, "By the life o' thy face, O thou life o' my sprite! * I'll ne'er leave thy love for despair or delight: When art cruel thy vision stands hard by my side * And the thought of thee haunts me when far from sight: O who saddenest my glance albe weeting that I * No love but thy love will for ever requite? Thy cheeks are of Rose and thy lips-dews are wine; * Say, wilt grudge them to us in this charming site?" Hereat Nur al-Din was gladdened with extreme gladness and wondered with the utmost wonder, so he answered her verse with these couplets, "The sun yellowed not in the murk gloom li'en * But lay pearl enveiled 'neath horizon-chine; Nor showed its crest to the eyes of Morn * But took refuge from parting with Morning-shine. [FN#435] Take my tear-drops that trickle as chain on chain * And they'll tell my case with the clearest sign. An my tears be likened to Nile-flood, like * Malak's [FN#436] flooded flat be this love o'mine. Quoth she, 'Bring thy riches!' Quoth I, 'Come, take!' * 'And thy sleep?' 'Yes, take it from lids of eyne!'" When the girl heard Nur al-Din's words and noted the beauty of his eloquence her senses fled and her wit was dazed and love of him gat hold upon her whole heart. So she pressed him to her bosom and fell to kissing him like the billing of doves, whilst he returned her caresses with successive kisses; but preeminence appertaineth to precedence. [FN#437] When she had made an end of kissing, she took the lute and recited these couplets, "Alas, alack and well-away for blamer's calumny! * Whether or not I make my moan or plead or show no plea: O spurner of my love I ne'er of thee so hard would deem * That I of thee should be despised, of thee my property. I wont at lovers' love to rail and for their passion chide, * But now I fain debase myself to all who rail at thee: Yea, only yesterday I wont all amourists to blame * But now I pardon hearts that pine for passion's ecstasy; And of my stress of parting-stowre on me so heavy weighs * At morning prayer to Him I'll cry, 'In thy name, O Ali!'" And also these two couplets, "His lovers said, 'Unless he deign to give us all a drink * Of wine, of fine old wine his lips deal in their purity; We to the Lord of Threefold Worlds will pray to grant our prayer' * And all exclaim with single cry 'In thy name, O Ali!'" Nur al-Din, hearing these lines and their rhyme, marvelled at the fluency of her tongue and thanked her, praising her grace and passing seductiveness; and the damsel, delighted at his praise, arose without stay or delay and doffing that was upon her of outer dress and trinkets till she was free of all encumbrance sat down on his knees and kissed him between the eyes and on his cheek-mole. Then she gave him all she had put off.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the girl gave to Nur al-Din all she had doffed, saying, "O beloved of my heart, in very sooth the gift is after the measure of the giver." So he accepted this from her and gave it back to her and kissed her on the mouth and cheeks and eyes. When this was ended and done, for naught is durable save the Living, the Eternal, Provider of the peacock and the owl, [FN#438] Nur al-Din rose from the séance and stood upon his feet, because the darkness was now fallen and the stars shone out; whereupon quoth the damsel to him, "Whither away, O my lord?"; and quoth he, "To my father's home." Then the sons of the merchants conjured him to night with them, but he refused and mounting his shemule, rode, without stopping, till he reached his parent's house, where his mother met him and said to him, "O my son, what hath kept thee away till this hour? By Allah, thou hast troubled myself and thy sire by thine absence from us, and our hearts have been occupied with thee." Then she came up to him, to kiss him on his mouth, and smelling the fumes of the wine, said, "O my wine-bibber and a rebel against Him to whom belong creation and commandment?" But Nur al-Din threw himself down on the bed and lay there. Presently in came his sire and said, "What aileth Nur al-Din to lie thus?"; and his mother answered, "'Twould seem his head acheth for the air of the garden." So Taj al-Din went up to his son, to ask him of his ailment, and salute him, and smelt the reek of wine. [FN#439] Now the merchant loved not wine-drinkers; so he said to Nur al-Din, "Woe to thee, O my son! Is folly come to such a pass with thee, that thou drinkest wine?" When Nur al-Din heard his sire say this, he raised his hand, being yet in his drunkenness, and dealt him a buffet, when by decree of the Decreer the blow lit on his father's right eye which rolled down on his cheek; whereupon he fell a-swoon and lay therein awhile. They sprinkled rose-water on him till he recovered, when he would have beaten his son; but the mother withheld him, and he swore, by the oath of divorce from his wife that, as soon as morning morrowed, he would assuredly cut off his son's right hand. [FN#440] When she heard her husband's words, her breast was straitened and she feared for he son and ceased not to soothe and appease his sire, till sleep overcame him. Then she waited till moon-rise, when she went in to her son, whose drunkenness had now departed from him, and said to him, "O Nur al-Din, what is this foul deed thou diddest with thy sire?" He asked, "And what did I with him?"; and answered she, "Thou dealtest him a buffet on the right eye and struckest it out so that it rolled down his cheek; and he hath sworn by the divorce-oath that, as soon as morning shall morrow he will without fail cut off thy right hand." Nur al-Din repented him of that he had done, whenas repentance profited him naught, and his mother sait to him, "O my son, this penitence will not profit thee; nor will aught avail thee but that thou arise forthwith and seek safety in flight: go forth the house privily and take refuge with one of thy friends and there what Allah shall do await, for he changeth case after case and state upon state." Then she opened a chest and taking out a purse of an hundred dinars said, "O my son, take these dinars and provide thy wants therewith, and when they are at an end, O my son, send and let me know thereof, that I may send thee other than these, and at the same time covey to me news of thyself privily: haply Allah will decree thee relief and thou shalt return to thy home. And she farewelled him and wept passing sore, nought could be more. Thereupon Nur al-Din took the purse of gold and was about to go forth, when he espied a great purse containing a thousand dinars, which his mother had forgotten by the side of the chest. So he took this also and binding the two purses about his middle, [FN#441] set out before dawn threading the streets in the direction of Búlák, where he arrived when day broke and all creatures arose, attesting the unity of Allah the Opener and went forth each of them upon his several business, to win that which Allah had unto him allotted. Reaching Bulak he walked on along the riverbank till he sighted a ship with her gangway out and her four anchors made fast to the land. The folk were going up into her and coming down from her, and Nur al-Din, seeing some sailors there standing, asked them whither they were bound, and they answered, "To Rosetta-city." Quoth he, "Take me with you;" and quoth they, "Well come, and welcome to thee, to thee, O goodly one!" So he betook himself forthright to the market and buying what he needed of vivers and bedding and covering, returned to the port and went on board the ship, which was ready to sail and tarried with him but a little while before she weighed anchor and fared on, without stopping, till she reached Rosetta, [FN#442] where Nur al-Din saw a small boat going to Alexandria. So he embarked in it and traversing the sea-arm of Rosetta fared on till he came to a bridge called Al-Jámí, where he landed and entered Alexandria by the gate called the Gate of the Lote-tree. Allah protected him, so that none of those who stood on guard at the gate saw him, and he walked on till he entered the city.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventieth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur al-Din entered Alexandria he found it a city goodly of pleasaunces, delightful to its inhabitants and inviting to inhabit therein. Winter had fared from it with his cold and Prime was come to it with his roses: its flowers were kindly ripe and welled forth its rills. Indeed, it was a city goodly of ordinance and disposition; its folk were of the best of men, and when the gates thereof were shut, its folk were safe. [FN#443] And it was even as is said of it in these couplets, "Quoth I to a comrade one day, * A man of good speech and rare, 'Describe Alexandria.' * Quoth he, 'Tis a march-town fair.' Quoth I, 'Is there living therein?' * And he, 'An the wind blow there.'" Or as saith one of the poets, "Alexandria's a frontier; [FN#444] Whose dews of lips are sweet and clear; How fair the coming to it is, * So one therein no raven speer!" Nur al-Din walked about the city and ceased not walking till her came to the merchants' bazar, whence he passed on to the mart of the money-changers and so on in turn to the markets of the confectioners and fruiterers and druggists, marvelling, as he went, at the city, for that the nature of its qualities accorded with its name. [FN#445] As he walked in the druggists' bazar, behold, an old man came down from his shop and saluting him, took him by the hand and carried him to his home. And Nur al-Din saw a fair bystreet, swept and sprinkled, whereon the zephyr blew and made pleasantness pervade it and the leaves of the trees overshaded it. Therein stood three houses and at the upper end a mansion, whose foundations were firm sunk in the water and its walls towered to the confines of the sky. They had swept the space before it and they had sprinkled it freshly; so it exhaled the fragrance of flowers, borne on the zephyr which breathed upon the place; and the scent met there who approached it on such wise as it were one of the gardens of Paradise. And, as they had cleaned and cooed the by-street's head, so was the end of it with marble spread. The Shaykh carried Nur al-Din into the house and setting somewhat of food before him ate with his guest. When they had made an end of eating, the druggist said to him, "When camest thou hither from Cairo?"; and Nur al-Din replied, "This very night, O my father." Quoth the old man, "What is thy name?"; and quoth he, "Ali Nur al-Din." Said the druggist, "O my son, O Nur al-Din, be the triple divorce incumbent on me, an thou leave me so long as thou abidest in this city; and I will set thee apart a place wherein thou mayst dwell." Nur al-Din asked, "O my lord the Shaykh, let me know more of thee"; and the other answered, "Know, O my son, that some years ago I went to Cairo with merchandise, which I sold there and bought other, and I had occasion for a thousand dinars. So thy sire Taj al-Din weighed them out [FN#446] for me, all unknowing me, and would take no written word of me, but had patience with me till I returned hither and sent him the amount by one of my servants, together with a gift. I saw thee, whilst thou wast little; and, if it please Allah the Most High, I will repay thee somewhat of the kindness thy father did me." When Nur al-Din heard the old man's story, he showed joy and pulling out with a smile the purse of a thousand dinars, gave it to his host the Shaykh and said to him, "Take charge of this deposit for me, against I buy me somewhat of merchandise whereon to trade." Then he abode some time in Alexandria city taking his pleasure every day in its thoroughfares, eating and drinking ad indulging himself with mirth and merriment till he had made an end of the hundred dinars he had kept by way of spending-money; whereupon he repaired to the old druggist, to take of him somewhat of the thousand dinars to spend, but found him not in his shop and took a seat therein to await his return. He sat there gazing right and left and amusing himself with watching the merchants and passers-by, and as he was thus engaged behold, there came into the bazar a Persian riding on a she-mule and carrying behind him a damsel; as she were argent of alloy free or a fish Balti [FN#447] in mimic sea or a doe-gazelle on desert lea. Her face outshone the sun in shine and she had witching eyne and breasts of ivory white, teeth of marguerite, slender waist and sides dimpled deep and calves like tails of fat sheep; [FN#448] and indeed she was perfect in beauty and loveliness, elegant stature and symmetrical grace, even as saith one, describing her, [FN#449] "'Twas as by will of her she was create * Nor short nor long, but Beauty's mould and mate: Rose blushes reddest when she sees those cheeks * And fruits the bough those marvel charms amate: Moon is her favour, Musk the scent of her * Branch is her shape:--she passeth man's estate: 'Tis e'en as were she cast in freshest pearl * And every limblet shows a moon innate." Presently the Persian lighted down from his she-mule and, making the damsel also dismount, loudly summoned the broker and said to him as soon as he came, "Take this damsel and cry her for sale in the market." So he took her and leading her to the middlemost of the bazar disappeared for a while and presently he returned with a stool of ebony, inlaid with ivory, and setting it upon the ground, seated her thereon. Then he raised her veil and discovered a face as it were a Median targe [FN#450] or a cluster of pearls: [FN#451] and indeed she was like the full moon, when it filleth on its fourteenth night, accomplished in brilliant beauty. As saith the poet, "Vied the full moon for folly with her face, * But was eclipsed [FN#452] and split for rage full sore; And if the spiring Bán with her contend * Perish her hands who load of fuel bore!" [FN#453] And how well saith another, "Say to the fair in the wroughten veil * How hast made that monk-like worshipper ail? Light of veil and light of face under it * Made the hosts of darkness to fly from bale; And, when came my glance to steal look at cheek. * With a meteor-shaft the Guard made me quail." [FN#454] Then said the broker to the merchants, [FN#455] "How much do ye bid for the union-pearl of the diver and prize-quarry of the fowler?" Quoth one, "She is mine for an hundred dinars." And another said, "Two hundred," and a third, "Three hundred"; and they ceased not to bid, one against other, till they made her price nine hundred and fifty dinars, and there the biddings stopped awaiting acceptance and consent. [FN#456]--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-first Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the merchants bid one against other till they made the price of the girl nine hundred and fifty dinars. Then the broker went up to her Persian master and said to him, "The biddings for this thy slavegirl have reached nine hundred and fifty dinars: so say me, wilt thou sell her at that price and take the money?" Asked the Persian, "Doth she consent to this? I desire to fall in with her wishes, for I sickened on my journey hither and this handmaid tended me with all possible tenderness, wherefore I sware not to sell her but to him whom she should like and approve, and I have put her sale in her own hand. So do thou consult her and if she say, 'I consent,' sell her to whom thou wilt: but an she say, 'No,' sell her not." So the broker went up to her and asked her, "O Princess of fair ones, know that thy master putteth thy sale in thine own hands, and thy price hath reached nine hundred and fifty dinars; dost thou give me leave to sell thee?" She answered, "Show me him who is minded to buy me before clinching the bargain." So he brought her up to one of the merchants a man stricken with years and decrepit; and she looked at him a long while, then turned to the broker and said to him, "O broker, art thou Jinn-mad or afflicted in thy wit?" Replied he, "Why dost thou ask me this, O Princess of fair ones?"; and said she, "Is it permitted thee of Allah to sell the like of me to yonder decrepit old man, who saith of his wife's case these couplets, 'Quoth she to me,--and sore enraged for wounded pride was she, * For she in sooth had bidden me to that which might not be,-- 'An if thou swive me not forthright, as one should swive his wife, * Thou be made a cuckold straight, reproach it not to me. Meseems thy yard is made of wax, for very flaccidness; * For when I rub it with my hand, it softens instantly.' [FN#457] And said he likewise of his yard, 'I have a yard that sleeps in base and shameful way * When grants my lover boon for which I sue and pray: But when I wake o' mornings [FN#458] all alone in bed, * 'Tis fain o' foin and fence and fierce for futter-play.' And again quoth he thereof of his yard, 'I have a froward yard of temper ill * Dishonoring him who shows it most regard: It stands when sleep I, when I stand it sleeps * Heaven pity not who pitieth that yard!'" When the old merchant heard this ill flouting from the damsel, he was wroth with wrath exceeding beyond which was no proceeding and said to the broker, "O most ill-omened of brokers, thou hast not brought into the market this ill-conditioned wench but to gibe me and make mock of me before the merchants." Then the broker took her aside and said to her, "O my lady, be not wanting in self-respect. The Shaykh at whom thou didst mock is the Syndic of the bazar and Inspector [FN#459] thereof and a committee-man of the council of the merchants." But she laughed and improvised these two couplets, "It behoveth folk who rule in our time, * And 'tis one of the duties of magistrateship, To hand up the Wali above his door * And beat with a whip the Mohtasib!" Adding, "By Allah, O my lord, I will not be sold to yonder old man; so sell me to other than him, for haply he will be abashed at me and vend me again and I shall become a mere servant [FN#460] and it beseemeth not that I sully myself with menial service; and indeed thou knowest that the matter of my sale is committed to myself." He replied, "I hear and I obey," and carried her to a man which was one of the chief merchants. And when standing hard by him the broker asked, "How sayst thou, O my lady? Shall I sell thee to my lord Sharíf al-Dín here for nine hundred and fifty gold pieces?" She looked at him and, seeing him to be an old man with a dyed beard, said to the broker, "Art thou silly, that thou wouldst sell me to this worn out Father Antic? Am I cotton refuse or threadbare rags that thou marchest me about from greybeard to greybeard, each like a wall ready to fall or an Ifrit smitten down of a fire-ball? As for the first, the poet had him in mind when he said, [FN#461] 'I sought of a fair maid to kiss her lips of coral red, But, 'No, by Him who fashioned things from nothingness!' she said. Unto the white of hoary hairs I never had a mind, And shall my mouth be stuffed, forsooth, with cotton, ere I'm dead?' And how goodly is the saying of the poet, 'The wise have said that white of hair is light that shines and robes * The face of man with majesty and light that awes the sight; Yet until hoary seal shall stamp my parting-place of hair * I hope and pray that same may be black as the blackest night. Albe Time-whitened beard of man be like the book he bears [FN#462] * When to his Lord he must return, I'd rather 'twere not white,' And yet goodlier is the saying of another, 'A guest hath stolen on my head and honour may he lack! * The sword a milder deed hath done that dared these locks to hack. Avaunt, O Whiteness, [FN#463] wherein naught of brightness gladdens sight * Thou 'rt blacker in the eyes of me than very blackest black!' As for the other, he is a model of wantonness and scurrilousness and a blackener of the face of hoariness; his dye acteth the foulest of lies: and the tongue of his case reciteth these lines, [FN#464] 'Quoth she to me, 'I see thou dy'st thy hoariness;' and I, 'I do but hide it from thy sight, O thou mine ear and eye!' She laughed out mockingly and said, 'A wonder 'tis indeed! Thou so aboundest in deceit that even thy hair's a lie.' And how excellent is the saying of the poet, 'O thou who dyest hoariness with black, * That youth wi' thee abide, at least in show; Look ye, my lot was dyèd black whilome * And (take my word!) none other hue 'twill grow.'" When the old man with dyed beard heard such words from the slave-girl, he raged with exceeding rage in fury's last stage and said to the broker, "O most ill-omened of brokers, this day thou hast brought to our market naught save this gibing baggage to flout at all who are therein, one after other, and fleer at them with flyting verse and idle jest?" And he came down from his shop and smote on the face the broker, who took her an angered and carried her away, saying to her, "By Allah, never in my life saw I a more shameless wench than thyself! [FN#465] Thou hast cut off my daily bread and thine own this day and all the merchants will bear me a grudge on thine account." Then they saw on the way a merchant called Shihab al-Din who bid ten dinars more for her, and the broker asked her leave to sell her to him. Quoth she, "Trot him out that I may see him and question him of a certain thing, which if he have in his house, I will be sold to him; and if not, then not." So the broker left her standing there and going up to Shihab al-Din, said to him, "O my lord, know that yonder damsel tells me she hath a mind to ask thee somewhat, which an thou have, she will be sold to thee. Now thou hast heard what she said to thy fellows, the merchants,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-second Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the broker said to the merchant, "Thou hast heard what this handmaid said to thy fellows, the traders, and by Allah, I fear to bring her to thee, lest she do with thee like as she did with thy neighbours and so I fall into disgrace with thee: but, an thou bid me bring her to thee, I will bring her." Quoth the merchant, "Hither with her to me." "Hearing and obeying," answered the broker and fetched for the purchaser the damsel, who looked at him and said, "O my lord, Shihab al-Din, hast thou in thy house round cushions stuffed with ermine strips?" Replied Shihab al-Din, "Yes, O Princess of fair ones, I have at home half a score such cushions; but I conjure thee by Allah, tell me, what will thou do with them?" Quoth she, "I will bear with thee till thou be asleep, when I will lay them on thy mouth and nose and press them down till thou die." Then she turned to the broker and said to him, "O thou refuse of brokers, meseemeth thou art mad, in that thou showest me this hour past, first to a pair of greybeards, in each of whom are two faults, and then thou proferrest me to my lord Shihab al-Din wherein be three defects; and thirdly, he is dwarfish, secondly, he hath a nose which is big, and thirdly, he hath a beard which is long. Of him quoth one of the poets, 'We never heard of wight nor yet espied * Who amid men three gifts hath unified: To wit, a beard one cubit long, a snout * Span-long and figure tall a finger wide:' And quoth another poet, 'From the plain of his face springs a minaret * Like a bezel of ring on his finger set: Did creation enter that vasty nose * No created thing would elsewhere be met.'" When Shihab al-Din heard this, he came down from his shop and seized the broker by the collar, saying, "O scurviest of brokers, what aileth thee to bring us a damsel to flout and make mock of us, one after other, with her verses and talk that a curse is?" So the broker took her and carried her away from before him and fared, saying, "By Allah, all my life long, since I have plied this profession never set I eyes on the like of thee for unmannerliness nor aught more curst to me than thy star, for thou hast cut off my livelihood this day and I have gained no profit by thee save cuffs on the neck-nape and catching by the collar!" Then he brought her to the shop of another merchant, owner of negro slaves and white servants, and stationing her before him, said to her, "Wilt thou be sold to this my lord 'Alá al-Dín?" She looked at him and seeing him hump-backed, said, "This is a Gobbo, and quoth the poet of him, 'Drawn in thy shoulders are and spine thrust out, * As seeking star which Satan gave the lout; [FN#466] Or as he tasted had first smack of scourge * And looked in marvel for a second bout.' And saith another on the same theme, 'As one of you who mounted mule, * A sight for me to ridicule: Is 't not a farce? Who feels surprise * An start and bolt with him the mule?' And another on a similar subject, 'Oft hunchback addeth to his bunchy back * Faults which gar folk upon his front look black: Like branch distort and dried by length of days * With citrons hanging from it loose and slack.'" With this the broker hurried up to her and, carrying her to another merchant, said to her, "Wilt thou be sold to this one?" She looked at him and said, "In very sooth this man is blue-eyed; [FN#467] how wilt thou sell me to him?" Quoth one of the poets, 'His eyelids sore and bleared * Weakness of frame denote: Arise, ye folk and see * Within his eyes the mote!'" Then the broker carried her to another and she looked at him and seeing that he had a long beard, said to the broker, "Fie upon thee! This is a ram, whose tail hath sprouted from his gullet. Wilt thou sell me to him, O unluckiest of brokers? Hast thou not heard say: 'All long of beard are little of wits? Indeed, after the measure of the length of the beard is the lack of sense; and this is a well-known thing among men of understanding.' As saith one of the poets, 'Ne'er was a man with beard grown overlong, * Tho' be he therefor reverenced and fear'd, But who the shortness noted in his wits * Added to longness noted in his beard.' And quoth another, [FN#468] 'I have a friend with a beard which God hath made to grow to a useless length, It is like unto one of the nights of winter long and dark and cold.'" With this the broker took her and turned away with her, and she asked, "Whither goest thou with me?" He answered, "Back to thy master the Persian; it sufficeth me what hath befallen me because of thee this day; for thou hast been the means of spoiling both my trade and his by thine ill manners." Then she looked about the market right and left, front and rear till, by the decree of the Decreer her eyes fell on Ali Nur al-Din the Cairene. So she gazed at him and saw him [FN#469] to be a comely youth of straight slim form and smooth of face, fourteen years old, rare in beauty and loveliness and elegance and amorous grace like the full moon on the fourteenth night with forehead flower-white, and cheeks rosy red, neck like alabaster and teeth than jewels and dews of lips sweeter than sugar, even as saith of him one of his describers, "Came to match him in beauty and loveliness rare * Full moons and gazelles but quoth I, 'Soft fare! Fare softly, gazelles, nor yourselves compare * With him and, O Moons, all your pains forbear!'" And how well saith another bard, "Slim-waisted loveling, from his hair and brow * Men wake a-morn in night and light renewed. Blame not the mole that dwelleth on his cheek * For Nu'uman's bloom aye shows spot negro-hued." When the slave-girl beheld Nur al-Din he interposed between her and her wits; she fell in love to him with a great and sudden fall and her heart was taken with affection for him;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-third Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the slave-girl beheld Nur al-Din, her heart was taken with affection for him; so she turned to the broker and said to him, "Will not yonder young merchant, who is sitting among the traders in the gown of striped broadcloth, bid somewhat more for me?" The broker replied, "O lady of fair ones, yonder young man is a stranger from Cairo, where his father is chief of the trader-guild and surpasseth all the merchants and notables of the place. He is but lately come to this our city and lodgeth with one of his father's friends; but he hath made no bid for thee nor more nor less." When the girl heard the broker's words, she drew from her finger a costly signet-ring of ruby and said to the man, "Carry me to yonder youth, and if he buy me, this ring shall be thine, in requital of thy travail with me this day." The broker rejoiced at this and brought her up to Nur al-Din, and she considered him straitly and found him like the full moon, perfect in loveliness and a model of fine stature and symmetric grace, even as saith of him one of his describers. "Waters of beauty o'er his cheeks flow bright, * And rain his glances shafts that sorely smite: Choked are his lovers an he deal disdain's * Bitterest draught denaying love-delight. His forehead and his stature and my love * Are perfect perfected perfection-dight; His raiment folds enfold a lovely neck * As crescent moon in collar buttoned tight: His eyne and twinnèd moles and tears of me * Are night that nighteth to the nightliest night. His eyebrows and his features and my frame [FN#470] * Crescents on crescents are as crescents slight: His pupils pass the wine-cup to his friends * Which, albe sweet, tastes bitter to my sprite; And to my thirsty throat pure drink he dealt * From smiling lips what day we were unite: Then is my blood to him, my death to him * His right and rightful and most righteous right." The girl gazed at Nur al-Din and said, "O my lord, Allah upon thee, am I not beautiful?"; and he replied, "O Princess of fair ones, is there in the world a comelier than thou?" She rejoined, "Then why seest thou all the other merchants bid high for me and art silent nor sayest a word neither addest one dinar to my price? 'Twould seem I please thee not, O my lord!" Quoth he, "O my lady, were I in my own land, I had bought thee with all that my hand possesseth of monies;" and quoth she, "O my lord, I said not, 'Buy me against thy will,' yet, didst thou but add somewhat to my price, it would hearten my heart, though thou buy me not, so the merchants may say, 'Were not this girl handsome, yonder merchant of Cairo had not bidden for her, for the Cairenes are connoisseurs in slave-girls.'" These words abashed Nur al-Din and he blushed and said to the broker, "How high are the biddings for her?" He replied, "Her price hath reached nine hundred and sixty dinars, [FN#471] besides brokerage, as for the Sultan's dues, they fall on the seller." Quoth Nur al-Din, "Let me have her for a thousand dinars, brokerage and price." And the damsel hastening to the fore and leaving the broker, said "I sell myself to this handsome young man for a thousand dinars." But Nur al-Din held his peace. Quoth one, "We sell to him;" and another, "He deserveth her;" and a third, "Accursed, son of accursed, is he who biddeth and doth not buy!"; and a fourth, "By Allah, they befit each other!" Then, before Nur al-Din could think, the broker fetched Kazis and witnesses, who wrote out a contract of sale and purchase; and the broker handed the paper to Nur al-Din, saying, "Take thy slave-girl and Allah bless thee in her for she beseemeth none but thee and none but thou beseemeth her." And he recited these two couplets, "Boom Fortune sought him in humblest way [FN#472] * And came to him draggle-tailed, all a-stir: And none is fittest for him but she * And none is fittest but he for her." Hereat Nur al-Din was abashed before the merchants; so he arose without stay or delay and weighed out the thousand dinars which he had left as a deposit with his father's friend the druggist, and taking the girl, carried her to the house wherein the Shaykh had lodged him. When she entered and saw nothing but ragged patched carpets and worn out rugs, she said to him, "O my lord, have I no value to thee and am I not worthy that thou shouldst bear me to thine own house and home wherein are thy goods, that thou bringest me into thy servant's lodging? Why dost thou not carry me to thy father's dwelling?" He replied, "By Allah, O Princess of fair ones, this is my house wherein I dwell; but it belongeth to an old man, a druggist of this city, who hath set it apart for me and lodged me therein. I told thee that I was a stranger and that I am of the sons of Cairo city." She rejoined, "O my lord, the least of houses sufficeth till thy return to thy native place; but, Allah upon thee, O my lord, go now and fetch us somewhat of roast meat and wine and dried fruit and dessert." Quoth Nur al-Din, "By Allah, O Princess of fair ones, I had no money with me but the thousand dinars I paid down to thy price nor possess I any other good. The few dirhams I owned were spent by me yesterday." Quoth she, "Hast thou no friend in the town, of whom thou mayst borrow fifty dirhams and bring them to me, that I may tell thee what thou shalt do therewith?" And he said, "I have no intimate but the druggist." Then he betook himself forthright to the druggist and said to him, "Peace be with thee, O uncle!" He returned his salam and said to him, "O my son, what hast thou bought for a thousand dinars this day?" Nur al-Din replied, "I have bought a slave-girl;" and the oldster rejoined, "O my son, art thou mad that thou givest a thousand dinars for one slave-girl? Would I knew what kind of slave-girl she is?" Said Nur al-Din, "She is a damsel of the children of the Franks;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din said to the ancient druggist, "The damsel is of the children of the Franks;" and the Shaykh said, "O my son, the best of the girls of the Franks are to be had in this our town for an hundred dinars, and by Allah, O my son, they have cheated thee in the matter of this damsel! However, an thou have taken a fancy to her, lie with her this night and do thy will of her and to-morrow morning go down with her to the market and sell her, though thou lose by her two hundred dinars, and reckon that thou hast lost them by shipwreck or hast been robbed of them on the road." Nur al-Din replied, "Right is thy rede, O uncle, but thou knowest that I had but the thousand dinars wherewith I purchased the damsel, and now I have not a single dirham left to spend; so I desire of thy favour and bounty that thou lend me fifty dirhams, to provide me withal, till to-morrow, when I will sell her and repay thee out of her price." Said the old man, "Willingly, O my son," and counted out to him the fifty dirhams. Then he said to him, "O my son, thou art but young in years and the damsel is fair, so belike thy heart will be taken with her and it will be grievous to thee to vend her. Now thou hast nothing to live on and these fifty dirhams will readily be spent and thou wilt come to me and I shall lend thee once and twice and thrice, and so on up to ten times; but, an thou come to me after this, I will not return thy salam [FN#473] and our friendship with thy father will end ill." Nur al-Din took the fifty dirhams and returned with them to the damsel, who said to him, "O my lord, wend thee at once to the market and fetch me twenty dirhams' worth of stained silk of five colours and with the other thirty buy meat and bread and fruit and wine and flowers." So he went to the market and purchasing for her all she sought, brought it to her, whereupon she rose and tucking up her sleeves, cooked food after the most skilful fashion, and set it before him. He ate and she ate with him, till they had enough, after which she set on the wine, and she drank and he drank, and she ceased not to ply him with drink and entertain him with discourse, till he became drunken and fell asleep. Thereupon she arose without stay or delay and taking out of her bundle a budget of Táifí leather, [FN#474] opened it and drew forth a pair of knitting needles, wherewith she fell to work and stinted not till she had made a beautiful zone, which she folded up in a wrapper after cleaning it and ironing it, and laid it under her pillow. Then she doffed her dress till she was mother-naked and lying down beside Nur al-Din shampoo'd him till he awoke from his heavy sleep. He found by his side a maiden like virgin silver, softer than silk and delicater than a tail of fatted sheep, than standard more conspicuous and goodlier than the red camel, [FN#475] in height five feet tall with breasts firm and full, brows like bended bows, eyes like gazelles' eyes and cheeks like blood-red anemones, a slender waist with dimples laced and a navel holding an ounce of the unguent benzoin, thighs like bolsters stuffed with ostrich-down, and between them what the tongue fails to set forth and at mention whereof the tears jet forth. Brief it was as it were she to whom the poet alluded in these two couplets, "From her hair is Night, from her forehead Noon * From her side-face Rose; from her lip wine boon: >From her Union Heaven, her Severance Hell: * Pearls from her teeth; from her front full Moon." And how excellent is the saying of another bard, [FN#476] "A Moon she rises, Willow-wand she waves * Breathes ambergris and gazeth a gazelle. Meseems that sorrow wooes my heart and wins * And when she wends makes haste therein to dwell. Her face is fairer than the Stars of Wealth [FN#477] * And sheeny brows the crescent Moon excel." And quoth a third also, "They shine fullest Moons, unveil Crescent-bright; * Sway tenderest Branches and turn wild kine; 'Mid which is a Dark-eyed for love of whose charms * The Sailors [FN#478] would joy to be ground low-li'en." So Nur al-Din turned to her at once and clasping her to his bosom, sucked first her upper lip and then her under lip and slid his tongue between the twain into her mouth. Then he rose to her and found her a pearl unthridden and a filly none but he had ridden. So he abated her maidenhead and had of her amorous delight and there was knitted between them a love-bond which might never know breach nor severance. [FN#479] He rained upon her cheeks kisses like the falling of pebbles into water, and struck with stroke upon stroke, like the thrusting of spears in battle brunt; for that Nur al-Din still yearned after clipping of necks and sucking of lips and letting down of tress and pressing of waist and biting of cheek and cavalcading on breast with Cairene buckings and Yamani wrigglings and Abyssinian sobbings and Hindí pamoisons and Nubian lasciviousness and Rífí leg-liftings [FN#480] and Damiettan moanings and Sa'ídí [FN#481] hotness and Alexandrian languishment [FN#482] and this damsel united in herself all these virtues, together with excess of beauty and loveliness, and indeed she was even as saith of her the poet, "This is she I will never forget till I die * Nor draw near but to those who to her draw nigh. A being for semblance like Moon at full * Praise her Maker, her Modeller glorify! Tho' be sore my sin seeking love-liesse * On esperance-day ne'er repent can I; A couplet reciting which none can know * Save the youth who in couplets and rhymes shall cry, 'None weeteth love but who bears its load * Nor passion, save pleasures and pains he aby.'" So Nur al-Din lay with the damsel through the night in solace and delight,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din lay with that damsel through the night in solace and delight, the twain garbed in the closely buttoned garments of embrace, safe and secure against the misways of nights and days, and they passed the dark hours after the goodliest fashion, fearing naught, in their joys love-fraught, from excess of talk and prate. As saith of them the right excellent poet, [FN#483] "Go, visit her thou lovest, and regard not The words detractors utter; envious churls Can never favour love. Oh! sure the merciful Ne'er make a thing more fair to look upon, Than two fond lovers in each other's arms, Speaking their passion in a mute embrace. When heart has turned to heart, the fools would part them Strike idly on cold steel. So when thou'st found One purely, wholly thine, accept her true heart, And live for her alone. Oh! thou that blamest The love-struck for their love, give o'er thy talk How canst thou minister to a mind diseased?" When the morning morrowed in sheen and shone, Nur al-Din awoke from deep sleep and found that she had brought water: [FN#484] so they made the Ghusl-ablution, he and she, and he performed that which behoved him of prayer to his Lord, after which she set before him meat and drink, and he ate and drank. Then the damsel put her hand under her pillow and pulling out the girdle which she had knitted during the night, gave it to Nur al-Din, who asked, "Whence cometh this girdle?" [FN#485] Answered she, "O my lord, 'tis the silk thou boughtest yesterday for twenty dirhams. Rise now and go to the Persian bazar and give it to the broker, to cry for sale, and sell it not for less than twenty gold pieces in ready money." Quoth Nur al-Din, "O Princess of fair ones how can a thing, that cost twenty dirhams and will sell for as many dinars, be made in a single night?"; and quoth she, "O my lord, thou knowest not the value of this thing; but go to the market therewith and give it to the broker, and when he shall cry it, its worth will be made manifest to thee." Herewith he carried the zone to the market and gave it to the broker, bidding him cry it, whilst he himself sat down on a masonry bench before a shop. The broker fared forth and returning after a while said to him, "O my lord, rise take the price of thy zone, for it hath fetched twenty dinars money down." When Nur al-Din heard this, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and shook with delight. Then he rose, between belief and misbelief, to take the money and when he had received it, he went forthright and spent it all on silk of various colours and returning home, gave his purchase to the damsel, saying, "Make this all into girdles and teach me likewise how to make them, that I may work with thee; for never in the length of my life saw I a fairer craft than this craft nor a more abounding in gain and profit. By Allah, 'tis better than the trade of a merchant a thousand times!" She laughed at his language and said, "O my lord, go to thy friend the druggist and borrow other thirty dirhams of him, and to-morrow repay him from the price of the girdle the thirty together with the fifty already loaned to thee." So he rose and repaired to the druggist and said to him, "O Uncle, lend me other thirty dirhams, and to-morrow, Almighty Allah willing, I will repay thee the whole fourscore." The old man weighed him out thirty dirhams, wherewith he went to the market and buying meat and bread, dried fruits, and flowers as before, carried them home to the damsel whose name was Miriam, [FN#486] the Girdle-girl. She rose forthright and making ready rich meats, set them before her lord Nur al-Din; after which she brought the wine-service and they drank and plied each other with drink. When the wine began to play with their wits, his pleasant address and inner grace pleased her, and she recited these two couplets, "Said I to Slim-waist who the wine engraced * Brought in musk-scented bowl and a superfine, 'Was it prest from thy cheek?' He replied 'Nay, nay! * When did man from Roses e'er press the Wine?'" And the damsel ceased not to carouse with her lord and ply him with cup and bowl and require him to fill for her and give her to drink of that which sweeteneth the spirits, and whenever he put forth hand to her, she drew back from him, out of coquetry. The wine added to her beauty and loveliness, and Nur al-Din recited these two couplets, "Slim-waist craved wine from her companeer; * Cried (in meeting of friends when he feared for his fere,) 'An thou pass not the wine thou shalt pass the night, * A-banisht my bed!' And he felt sore fear." They ceased not drinking till drunkenness overpowered Nur al-Din and he slept; whereupon she rose forthright and fell to work upon a zone, as was her wont. When she had wrought it to end, she wrapped it in paper and doffing her clothes, lay down by his side and enjoyed dalliance and delight till morn appeared.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam the Girdle-girl, having finished her zone and wrapped it in paper doffed her dress and lay down by the side of her lord; and then happened to them what happened of dalliance and delight; and he did his devoir like a man. On the morrow, she gave him the girdle and said to him, "Carry this to the market and sell it for twenty dinars, even as thou soldest its fellow yesterday." So he went to the bazar and sold the girdle for twenty dinars, after which he repaired to the druggist and paid him back the eighty dirhams, thanking him for the bounties and calling down blessings upon him. He asked, "O my son, hast thou sold the damsel?"; and Nur al-Din answered, "Wouldst thou have me sell the soul out of my body?" and he told him all that had passed, from commencement to conclusion, whereat the druggist joyed with joy galore, than which could be no more and said to him, "By Allah, O my son, thou gladdenest me! Inshallah, mayst thou ever be in prosperity! Indeed I wish thee well by reason of my affection for thy ather and the continuance of my friendship with him." Then Nur al-Din left the Shaykh and straightway going to the market, bought meat and fruit and wine and all that he needed according to his custom and returned therewith to Miriam. They abode thus a whole year in eating and drinking and mirth and merriment and love and good comradeship, and every night she made a zone and he sold it on the morrow for twenty dinars, wherewith he bought their needs and gave the rest to her, to keep against a time of necessity. After the twelvemonth she said to him one day, "O my lord, whenas thou sellest the girdle to-morrow, buy for me with its price silk of six colours, because I am minded to make thee a kerchief to wear on thy shoulders, such as never son of merchant, no, nor King's son, ever rejoiced in its like." So next day he fared forth to the bazar and after selling the zone brought her the dyed silks she sought and Miriam the Girdle-girl wrought at the kerchief a whole week, for, every night, when she had made an end of the zone, she would work awhile at the kerchief till it was finished. Then she gave it to Nur al-Din, who put it on his shoulders and went out to walk in the market-place, whilst all the merchants and folk and notables of the town crowded about him, to gaze on his beauty and that of the kerchief which was of the most beautiful. Now it chanced that one night, after this, he awoke from sleep and found Miriam weeping passing sore and reciting these couplets, "Nears my parting fro' my love, nigher draws the Severance-day * Ah well-away for parting! and again ah well-away! And in tway is torn my heart and O pine I'm doomed to bear * For the nights that erst witnessed our pleasurable play! No help for it but Envier the twain of us espy * With evil eye and win to us his lamentable way. For naught to us is sorer than the jealousy of men * And the backbiter's eyne that with calumny affray." He said, "O my lady Miriam, [FN#487] what aileth thee to weep?"; and she replied, "I weep for the anguish of parting for my heart presageth me thereof." Quoth he, "O lady of fair ones, and who shall interpose between us, seeing that I love thee above all creatures and tender thee the most?"; and quoth she, "And I love thee twice as well as thou me; but fair opinion of fortune still garreth folk fall into affliction, and right well saith the poet, [FN#488] 'Think'st thou thyself all prosperous, in days which prosp'rous be, Nor fearest thou impending ill, which comes by Heaven's decree? We see the orbs of heav'n above, how numberless they are, But sun and moon alone eclips'd, and ne'er a lesser star! And many a tree on earth we see, some bare, some leafy green, Of them, not one is hurt with stone save that has fruitful been! See'st not th' refluent ocean, bear carrion on its tide, While pearls beneath its wavy flow, fixed in the deep, abide?'" Presently she added, "O my lord Nur al-Din, an thou desire to nonsuit separation, be on thy guard against a swart-visaged oldster, blind of the right eye and lame of the left leg; for he it is who will be the cause of our severance. I saw him enter the city and I opine that he is come hither in quest of me." Replied Nur al-Din, "O lady of fair ones, if my eyes light on him, I will slay him and make an example of him." Rejoined she, "O my lord, slay him not; but talk not nor trade with him, neither buy nor sell with him nor sit nor walk with him nor speak one word to him, no, not even the answer prescribed by law, [FN#489] and I pray Allah to preserve us from his craft and his mischief." Next morning, Nur al-Din took the zone and carried it to the market, where he sat down on a shop-bench and talked with the sons of the merchants, till the drowsiness preceding slumber overcame him and he lay down on the bench and fell asleep. Presently, behold, up came the Frank whom the damsel had described to him, in company with seven others, and seeing Nur al-Din lying asleep on the bench, with his head wrapped in the kerchief which Miriam had made for him and the edge thereof in his grasp, sat down by him and hent the end of the kerchief in hand and examined it, turning it over for some time. Nur al-Din sensed that there was something and awoke; then, seeing the very man of whom Miriam had warned him sitting by his side, cried out at him with a great cry which startled him. Quoth the Frank, "What aileth thee to cry out thus at us? Have we taken from thee aught?"; and quoth Nur al-Din, "By Allah, O accursed, haddest thou taken aught from me, I would carry thee before the Chief of Police!" Then said the Frank, "O Moslem, I conjure thee by thy faith and by that wherein thou believest, inform me whence thou haddest this kerchief;" and Nur al-Din replied, "Tis the handiwork of my lady mother,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Frank asked Nur al-Din anent the maker of the kerchief, he answered, saying, "In very sooth this kerchief is the handiwork of my mother, who made it for me with her own hand." Quoth the Frank "Wilt thou sell it to me and take ready money for it?," and quoth Nur al-Din, "By Allah, I will not sell it to thee or to any else, for she made none other than it." "Sell it to me and I will give thee to its price this very moment five hundred dinars, money down; and let her who made it make thee another and a finer." "I will not sell it at all, for there is not the like of it in this city." "O my lord, wilt thou sell it for six hundred ducats of fine gold?" And the Frank went on to add to his offer hundred by hundred, till he bid nine hundred dinars; but Nur al-Din said, "Allah will open to me otherwise than by my vending it. I will never sell it, not for two thousand dinars nor more than that; no, never." The Frank ceased not to tempt him with money, till he bid him a thousand dinars, and the merchants present said, "We sell thee the kerchief at that price: [FN#490] pay down the money." Quoth Nur al-Din, "I will not sell it, I swear by Allah!" [FN#491] But one of the merchants said to him, "Know thou, O my son, that the value of this kerchief is an hundred dinars at most and that to an eager purchaser, and if this Frank pay thee down a thousand for it, thy profit will be nine hundred dinars, and what gain canst thou desire greater than this gain? Wherefore 'tis my rede that thou sell him this kerchief at that price and bid her who wrought it make thee other finer than it: so shalt thou profit nine hundred dinars by this accursed Frank, the enemy of Allah and of The Faith." Nur al-Din was abashed at the merchants and sold the kerchief to the Frank, who, in their presence, paid him down the thousand dinars, with which he would have returned to his handmaid to congratulate her on what had passed; but the stranger said, "Harkye, O company of merchants, stop my lord Nur al-Din, for you and he are my guests this night. I have a jar of old Greek wine and a fat lamb, fresh fruit, flowers and confections; wherefore do ye all cheer me with your company to-night and not one of you tarry behind." So the merchants said, "O my lord Nur al-Din, we desire that thou be with us on the like of this night, so we may talk together, we and thou, and we pray thee, of thy favour and bounty, to bear us company, so we and thou, may be the guests of this Frank, for he is a liberal man." And they conjured him by the oath of divorce [FN#492] and hindered him by main force from going home. Then they rose forthright and shutting up their shops, took Nur al-Din and fared with the Frank, who brought them to a goodly and spacious saloon, wherein were two daïses. Here he made them sit and set before them a scarlet tray-cloth of goodly workmanship and unique handiwork, wroughten in gold with figures of breaker and broken, lover and beloved, asker and asked, whereon he ranged precious vessels of porcelain and crystal, full of the costliest confections, fruits and flowers, and brought them a flagon of old Greek wine. Then he bade slaughter a fat lamb and kindling fire, proceeded to roast of its flesh and feed the merchants therewith and give them draughts of that wine, winking at them the while to ply Nur al-Din with drink. Accordingly they ceased not plying him with wine till he became drunken and took leave of his wits; so when the Frank saw that he was drowned in liquor, he said to him, "O my lord Nur al-Din, thou gladdenest us with thy company to-night: welcome, and again welcome to thee." Then he engaged him awhile in talk, till he could draw near to him, when he said, with dissembling speech, "O my lord, Nur al-Din, wilt thou sell me thy slave-girl, whom thou boughtest in presence of these merchants a year ago for a thousand dinars? I will give thee at this moment five thousand gold pieces for her and thou wilt thus make four thousand ducats profit." Nur al-Din refused, but the Frank ceased not to ply him with meat and drink and lure him with lucre, still adding to his offers, till he bid him ten thousand dinars for her; whereupon Nur al-Din, in his drunkenness, said before the merchants, "I sell her to thee for ten thousand dinars: hand over the money." At this the Frank rejoiced with joy exceeding and took the merchants to witness the sale. They passed the night in eating and drinking, mirth and merriment, till the morning, when the Frank cried out to his pages, saying, "Bring me the money." So they brought it to him and he counted out ten thousand dinars to Nur al-Din, saying, "O my lord, take the price of thy slave-girl, whom thou soldest to me last night, in the presence of these Moslem merchants." Replied Nur al-Din, "O accursed, I sold thee nothing and thou liest anent me, for I have no slave-girls." Quoth the Frank, "In very sooth thou didst sell her to me and these merchants were witnesses to the bargain." Thereupon all said, "Yes, indeed! thou soldest him thy slave-girl before us for ten thousand dinars, O Nur al-Din and we will all bear witness against thee of the sale. Come, take the money and deliver him the girl, and Allah will give thee a better than she in her stead. Doth it irk thee, O Nur al-Din, that thou boughtest the girl for a thousand dinars and hast enjoyed for a year and a half her beauty and loveliness and taken thy fill of her converse and her favours? Furthermore thou hast gained some ten thousand golden dinars by the sale of the zones which she made thee every day and thou soldest for twenty sequins, and after all this thou hast sold her again at a profit of nine thousand dinars over and above her original price. And withal thou deniest the sale and belittlest and makest difficulties about the profit! What gain is greater than this gain and what profit wouldst thou have profitabler than this profit? An thou love her thou hast had thy fill of her all this time: so take the money and buy thee another handsomer than she; at a dowry of less than half this price, and the rest of the money will remain in thy hand as capital." And the merchants ceased not to ply him with persuasion and special arguments till he took the ten thousand dinars, the price of the damsel, and the Frank straightway fetched Kazis and witnesses, who drew up the contract of sale by Nur al-Din of the handmaid hight Miriam the Girdle-girl. Such was his case; but as regards the damsel's, she sat awaiting her lord from morning till sundown and from sundown till the noon of night; and when he returned not, she was troubled and wept with sore weeping. The old druggist heard her sobbing and sent his wife, who went in to her and finding her in tears, said to her, "O my lady, what aileth her and finding her in tears, said to her, "O my lady, what aileth thee to weep?" Said she, "O my mother, I have sat waiting the return of my lord, Nur al-Din all day; but he cometh not, and I fear lest some one have played a trick on him, to make him sell me, and he have fallen into the snare and sold me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam the Girdle-girl said to the druggist's wife, "I am fearful lest some one have been playing a trick on my lord to make him sell me, and he have fallen into the snare and sold me." Said the other, "O my lady Miriam, were they to give thy lord this hall full of gold as thy price, yet would he not sell thee, for what I know of his love to thee. But, O my lady, belike there be a company come from his parents at Cairo and he hath made them an entertainment in the lodging where they alighted, being ashamed to bring them hither, for that the place is not spacious enough for them or because their condition is less than that he should bring them to his own house; or belike he preferred to conceal thine affair from them, so passed the night with them; and Inshallah! to-morrow he will come to thee safe and sound. So burden not thy soul with cark and care, O my lady, for of a certainty this is the cause of his absence from thee last night and I will abide with thee this coming night and comfort thee, until thy lord return to thee." So the druggist's wife abode with her and cheered her with talk throughout the dark hours and, when it was morning, Miriam saw her lord enter the street followed by the Frank and amiddlemost a company of merchants, at which sight her side-muscles quivered and her colour changed and she fell a-shaking, as ship shaketh in mid-ocean for the violence of the gale. When the druggist's wife saw this, she said to her, "O my lady Miriam what aileth thee that I see thy case changed and thy face grown pale and show disfeatured?" Replied she, "By Allah, O my lady, my heart forebodeth me of parting and severance of union!" And she bemoaned herself with the saddest sighs, reciting these couplets, [FN#493] "Incline not to parting, I pray; * For bitter its savour is aye. E'en the sun at his setting turns pale * To think he must part from the day; And so, at his rising, for joy * Of reunion, he's radiant and gay." Then Miriam wept passing sore wherethan naught could be more, making sure of separation, and cried to the druggist's wife, "O my mother, said I not to thee that my lord Nur al-Din had been tricked into selling me? I doubt not but he hath sold me this night to yonder Frank, albeit I bade him beware of him; but deliberation availeth not against destiny. So the truth of my words is made manifest to thee." Whilst they were talking, behold, in came Nur al-Din, and the damsel looked at him and saw that his colour was changed and that he trembled and there appeared on his face signs of grief and repentance: so she said to him, "O my lord Nur al-Din, meseemeth thou hast sold me." Whereupon he wept with sore weeping and groaned and lamented and recited these couplets, [FN#494] "When e'er the Lord 'gainst any man, Would fulminate some harsh decree, And he be wise, and skilled to hear, And used to see; He stops his ears, and blinds his heart, And from his brain ill judgment tears, And makes it bald as 'twere a scalp, Reft of its hairs; [FN#495] Until the time when the whole man Be pierced by this divine command; Then He restores him intellect To understand." Then Nur al-Din began to excuse himself to his handmaid, saying, "By Allah, O my lady Miriam, verily runneth the Reed with whatso Allah hath decreed. The folk put a cheat on me to make me sell thee, and I fell into the snare and sold thee. Indeed, I have sorely failed of my duty to thee; but haply He who decreed our disunion will vouchsafe us reunion." Quoth she, "I warned thee against this, for this it was I dreaded." Then she strained him to her bosom and kissed him between the eyes, reciting these couplets, "Now, by your love! your love I'll ne'er forget, * Though lost my life for stress of pine and fret: I weep and wail through livelong day and night * As moans the dove on sandhill-tree beset. O fairest friends, your absence spoils my life; * Nor find I meeting-place as erst we met." At this juncture, behold, the Frank came in to them and went up to Miriam, to kiss her hands; but she dealt him a buffet with her palm on the cheek, saying, "Avaunt, O accursed! Thou hast followed after me without surcease, till thou hast cozened my lord into selling me! But O accursed, all shall yet be well, Inshallah!" The Frank laughed at her speech and wondered at her deed and excused himself to her, saying, "O my lady Mirian, what is my offence? Thy lord Nur al-Din here sold thee of his full consent and of his own free will. Had he loved thee, by the right of the Messiah, he had not transgressed against thee! And had he not fulfilled his desire of thee, he had not sold thee." Quoth one of the poets, 'Whom I irk let him fly fro' me fast and faster * If I name his name I am no directer. Nor the wide wide world is to me so narrow * That I act expecter to this rejecter.'" [FN#496] Now this handmaid was the daughter of the King of France, the which is a wide an spacious city, [FN#497] abounding in manufactures and rarities and trees and flowers and other growths, and resembleth the city of Constantinople; and for her going forth of her father's city there was a wondrous cause and thereby hangeth a marvellous tale which we will set out in due order, to divert and delight the hearer. [FN#498]--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause of Miriam the Girdle-girl leaving her father and mother was a wondrous and thereby hangeth a marvellous tale. She was reared with her father and mother in honour and indulgence and learnt rhetoric and penmanship and arithmetic and cavalarice and all manner crafts, such as broidery and sewing and weaving and girdle-making and silk-cord making and damascening gold on silver and silver on gold, brief all the arts both of men and women, till she became the union-pearl of her time and the unique gem of her age and day. Moreover, Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) had endowed her with such beauty and loveliness and elegance and perfection of grace that she excelled therein all the folk of her time, and the Kings of the isles sought her in marriage of her sire, but he refused to give her to wife to any of her suitors, for that he loved her with passing love and could not bear to be parted from her a single hour. Moreover, he had no other daughter than herself, albeit he had many sons, but she was dearer to him than all of them. It fortuned one year that she fell sick of an exceeding sickness and came nigh upon death, werefore she made a vow that, if she recovered from her malady, she would make the pilgrimage to a certain monastery, situate in such an island, which was high in repute among the Franks, who used to make vows to it and look for a blessing therefrom. When Miriam recovered from her sickness, she wished to accomplish her vow anent the monastery and her sire despatched her to the convent in a little ship, with sundry daughters of the city-notables to wait upon her and patrician Knights to protect them all. As they drew near the island, there came out upon them a ship of the ships of the Moslems, champions of The Faith, warring in Allah's way, who boarded the vessel and making prize of all therein, knights and maidens, gifts and monies, sold their booty in the city of Kayrawán. [FN#499] Miriam herself fell into the hands of a Persian merchant, who was born impotent [FN#500] and for whom no woman had ever discovered her nakedness; so he set her to serve him. Presently, he fell ill and sickened well nigh unto death, and the sickness abode with him two months, during which she tended him after the goodliest fashion, till Allah made him whole of his malady, when he recalled her tenderness and loving-kindness to him and the persistent zeal with which she had nurst him and being minded to requite her the good offices she had done him, said to her, "Ask a boon of me?" She said, "O my lord, I ask of thee that thou sell me not but to the man of my choice." He answered, "So be it. I guarantee thee. By Allah, O Miriam, I will not sell thee but to him of whom thou shalt approve, and I put thy sale in thine own hand." And she rejoiced herein with joy exceeding. Now the Persian had expounded to her Al-Islam and she became a Moslemah and learnt of him the rules of worship. Furthermore during that period the Perisan had taught her the tenets of The Faith and the observances incumbent upon her: he had made her learn the Koran by heart and master somewhat of the theological sciences and the traditions of the Prophet; after which, he brought her to Alexandria-city and sold her to Nur al-Din, as we have before set out. Meanwhile, when her father, the King of France, heard what had befallen his daughter and her company, he saw Doomsday break and sent after her ships full of knights and champions, horsemen and footsmen; but they fell not in any trace of her whom they sought in the Islands [FN#501] of the Moslems; so all returned to him, crying out and saying, "Well-away!" and "Ruin!" and "Well worth the day!" The King grieved for her with exceeding grief and sent after her that one-eyed lameter, blind of the left, [FN#502] for that he was his chief Wazir, a stubborn tyrant and a froward devil, [FN#503] full of craft and guile, bidding him make search for her in all the lands of the Moslems and buy her, though with a ship-load of gold. So the accursed sought her, in all the islands of the Arabs and all the cities of the Moslems, but found no sign of her till he came to Alexandria-city where he made quest for her and presently discovered that she was with Nur al-Din Ali the Cairene, being directed to the trace of her by the kerchief aforesaid, for that none could have wrought it in such goodly guise but she. Then he bribed the merchants to help him in getting her from Nur al-Din and beguiled her lord into selling her, as hath been already related. When he had her in his possession, she ceased not to weep and wail: so he said to her, "O my lady Miriam, put away from thee this mourning and grieving and return with me to the city of thy sire, the seat of thy kingship and the place of thy power and thy home, so thou mayst be among thy servants and attendants and be quit of this abasement and this strangerhood. Enough hath betided me of travail, of travel and of disbursing monies on thine account, for thy father bade me buy thee back, though with a shipload of gold; and now I have spent nigh a year and a half in seeking thee." And he fell to kissing her hands and feet and humbling himself to her; but the more he kissed and grovelled she only redoubled in wrath against him, and said to him, "O accursed, may Almighty Allah not vouchsafe thee to win thy wish!" Presently his pages brought her a shemule with gold-embroidered housings and mounting her thereon, raised over her head a silken canopy, with staves of gold and silver, and the Franks walked round about her, till they brought her forth the city by the sea-gate, [FN#504] where they took boat with her and rowing out to a great ship in harbor embarked therein. Then the monocular Wazir cried out to the sailors, saying, "Up with the mast!" So they set it up forthright and spreading the newly bent sails and the colours manned the sweeps and put out to sea. Meanwhile Miriam continued to gaze upon Alexandria, till it disappeared from her eyes, when she fell a-weeping in her privacy with sore weeping.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eightieth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir of the Frankish King put out to sea in the ship bearing Miriam the Girdle-girl, she gazed Alexandria-wards till the city was hidden from her sight when she wailed and wept copious tears and recited these couplets, "O dwelling of my friends say is there no return * Uswards? But what ken I of matters Allah made? Still fare the ships of Severance, sailing hastily * And in my wounded eyelids tear have ta'en their stead, For parting from a friend who was my wish and will * Healed every ill and every pain and pang allay'd. Be thou, O Allah, substitute of me for him * Such charge some day the care of Thee shall not evade." Then she could not refrain from weeping and wailing. So the patrician [FN#505] knights came up to her and would have comforted her, but she heeded not their consoling words, being distracted by the claims of passion and love-longing. And she shed tears and moaned and complained and recited these couplets, "The tongue of Love within my vitals speaketh * Saying, 'This lover boon of Love aye seeketh!' And burn my liver hottest coals of passion * And parting on my heart sore suffering wreaketh. How shall I face this fiery love concealing * When fro' my wounded lids the tear aye leaketh? In this plight Miriam abode during all the voyage; no peace was left her at all nor would patience come at her call. Such was her case in company with the Wazir, the monocular, the lameter; but as regards Nur al-Din the Cairene, when the ship had sailed with Miriam, the world was straitened upon him and he had neither peace nor patience. He returned to the lodging where they twain had dwelt, and its aspect was black and gloomy in his sight. Then he saw the métier wherewith she had been wont to make the zones and her dress that had been upon her beauteous body; so he pressed them to his breast, whilst the tears gushed from his eyes and he recited these couplets, "Say me, will Union after parting e'er return to be * After long-lasting torments, after hopeless misery? Alas! Alas! what wont to be shall never more return * But grant me still return of dearest her these eyne may see. I wonder me will Allah deign our parted lives unite * And will my dear one's plighted troth preserve with constancy! Naught am I save the prey of death since parting parted us; * And will my friends consent that I am a wierd so deadly dree? Alas my sorrow! Sorrowing the lover scant avails; * Indeed I melt away in grief and passion's ecstasy: Past is the time of my delight when were we two conjoined: * Would Heaven I wot if Destiny mine esperance will degree! Redouble then, O Heart, thy pains and, O mine eyes, o'erflow * With tears till not a tear remain within these eyne of me? Again alas for loved ones lost and loss of patience eke! * For helpers fail me and my griefs are grown beyond decree. The Lord of Threefold Worlds I pray He deign to me return * My lover and we meet as wont in joy and jubilee." Then Nur al-Din wept with weeping galore than which naught could be more; and peering into ever corner of the room, recited these two couplets, "I view their traces and with pain I pine * And by their sometime home I weep and yearn; And Him I pray who parting deigned decree * Some day He deign vouchsafe me their return!" Then Nur al-Din sprang to his feet and locking the door of the house, fared forth running at speed, to the sea shore whence he fixed his eyes on the place of the ship which had carried off his Miriam whilst sighs burst from his breast and tears from his lids as he recited these couplets, "Peace be with you, sans you naught compensateth me * The near, the far, two cases only here I see: I yearn for you at every hour and tide as yearns * For water-place wayfarer plodding wearily. With you abide my hearing, heart and eyen-sight * And (sweeter than the honeycomb) your memory. Then, O my Grief when fared afar your retinue * And bore that ship away my sole expectancy." And Nur al-Din wept and wailed, bemoaned himself and complained, crying out and saying, "O Miriam! O Miriam! Was it but a vision of thee I saw in sleep or in the allusions of dreams?" And by reason of that which grew on him of regrets, he recited these couplets, [FN#506] "Mazed with thy love no more I can feign patience, This heart of mine has held none dear but thee! And if mine eye hath gazed on other's beauty, Ne'er be it joyed again with sight of thee! I've sworn an oath I'll ne'er forget to love thee, And sad's this breast that pines to meet with thee! Thou'st made me drink a love-cup full of passion, Blest time! When I may give the draught to thee! Take with thee this my form where'er thou goest, And when thou 'rt dead let me be laid near thee! Call on me in my tomb, my bones shall answer And sigh responses to a call from thee! If it were asked, 'What wouldst thou Heaven should order?' 'His will,' I answer, 'First, and then what pleases thee.'" As Nur al-Din was in this case, weeping and crying out, "O Miriam! O Miriam!" behold, an old man landed from a vessel and coming up to him, saw him shedding tears and heard him reciting these verses, "O Maryam of beauty [FN#507] return, for these eyne * Are as densest clouds railing drops in line: Ask amid mankind and my railers shall say * That mine eyelids are drowning these eyeballs of mine." Said the old man, "O my son, meseems thou weepest for the damsel who sailed yesterday with the Frank?" When Nur al-Din heard these words of the Shaykh he fell down in a swoon and lay for a long while without life; then, coming to himself, he wept with sore weeping and improvised these couplets, "Shall we e'er be unite after severance-tide * And return in the perfectest cheer to bide? In my heart indeed is a lowe of love * And I'm pained by the spies who my pain deride: My days I pass in amaze distraught, * And her image a-nights I would see by side: By Allah, no hour brings me solace of love * And how can it when makebates vex me and chide? A soft-sided damsel of slenderest waist * Her arrows of eyne on my heart hath plied? Her form is like Bán [FN#508]-tree branch in garth * Shame her charms the sun who his face most hide: Did I not fear God (be He glorified!) * 'My Fair be glorified!' Had I cried." The old man looked at him and noting his beauty and grace and symmetry and the fluency of his tongue and the seductiveness of his charms, had ruth on him and his heart mourned for his case. Now that Shaykh was the captain of a ship, bound to the damsel's city, and in this ship were a hundred Moslem merchants, men of the Saving Faith; so he said to Nur al-Din, "Have patience and all will yet be well; I will bring thee to her an it be the will of Allah, extolled and exalted be He!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-first Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old skipper said to Nur al-Din, "I will bring thee to her, Inshallah!" the youth asked, "When shall we set out?" and the other said, "Come but three days more and we will depart in peace and prosperity." Nur al-Din rejoiced at the captain's words with joy exceeding and thanked him for his bounty and benevolence. Then he recalled the days of love-liesse dear and union with his slave-girl without peer, and he shed bitter tears and recited these couplets, "Say, will to me and you the Ruthful union show * My lords! Shall e'er I win the wish of me or no? A visit-boon by you will shifty Time vouchsafe? * And seize your image eye-lids which so hungry grow? With you were Union to be sold, I fain would buy; * But ah, I see such grace doth all my means outgo!" Then Nur al-Din went forthright to the market and bought what he needed of viaticum and other necessaries for the voyage and returned to the Rais, who said to him, "O my son, what is that thou hast with thee?" said he, "My provisions and all whereof I have need for the voyage." Thereupon quoth the old man, laughing, "O my son, art thou going a-pleasuring to Pompey's Pillar? [FN#509] Verily, between thee and that thou seekest is two months' journey and the wind be fair and the weather favourable." Then he took of him somewhat of money and going to the bazar, bought him a sufficiency of all that he needed for the voyage and filled him a large earthen jar [FN#510] with fresh water. Nur al-Din abode in the ship three days until the merchants had made an end of their precautions and preparations and embarked, when they set sail and putting out to sea, fared on one-and-fifty days. After this, there came out upon them corsairs, [FN#511] pirates who sacked the ship and taking Nur al-Din and all therein prisoners, carried them to the city of France and paraded them before the King, who bade cast them into jail, Nur al-Din amongst the number. As they were being led to prison the galleon [FN#512] arrived with the Princess Miriam and the one-eyed Wazir, and when it made the harbour, the lameter landed and going up to the King gave him the glad news of his daughter's safe return: whereupon they beat the kettledrums for good tidings and decorated the city after the goodliest fashion. Then the King took horse, with all his guards and lords and notables and rode down to the sea to meet her. The moment the ship cast anchor she came ashore, and the King saluted her and embraced her and mounting her on a bloodsteed, bore her to the palace, where her mother received her with open arms, and asked her of her case and whether she was a maid as before or whether she had become a woman carnally known by man. [FN#513] She replied, "O my mother, how should a girl, who hath been sold from merchant to merchant in the land of Moslems, a slave commanded, abide a virgin? The merchant who bought me threatened me with the bastinado and violenced me and took my maidenhead, after which he sold me to another and he again to a third." When the Queen heard these her words, the light in her eyes became night and she repeated her confession to the King who was chagrined thereat and his affair was grievous to him. So he expounded her case to his Grandees and Patricians [FN#514] who said to him, "O King, she hath been defiled by the Moslems and naught will purify her save the striking off of an hundred Mohammedan heads." Whereupon the King sent for the True Believers he had imprisoned; and they decapitated them, one after another, beginning with the captain, till none was left save Nur al-Din. They tare off a strip of his skirt and binding his eyes therewith, led him to the rug of blood and were about to smite his neck, when behold, an ancient dame came up to the King at that very moment and said, "O my lord, thou didst vow to bestow upon each and every church five Moslem captives, to held us in the service thereof, so Allah would restore thee thy daughter the Princess Miriam; and now she is restored to thee, so do thou fulfil thy vow." The King replied, "O my mother, by the virtue of the Messiah and the Veritable Faith, there remaineth to me of the prisoners but this one captive, whom they are about to put to death: so take him with thee to help in the service of the church, till there come to me more prisoners of the Moslems, when I will send thee other four. Hadst thou come earlier, before they hewed off the heads of these, I had given thee as many as thou wouldest have." The old woman thanked the King for his boon and wished him continuance of life, glory and prosperity. Then without loss of time she went up to Nur al-Din, whom she raised from the rug of blood; and, looking narrowly at him saw a comely youth and a dainty, with a delicate skin and a face like the moon at her full; whereupon she carried him to the church and said to him, "O my son, doff these clothes which are upon thee, for they are fit only for the service of the Sultan." [FN#515] So saying the ancient dame brought him a gown and hood of black wool and a broad girdle, [FN#516] in which she clad and cowled him; and, after binding on his belt, bade him do the service of the church. Accordingly, he served the church seven days, at the end of which time behold, the old woman came up to him and said, "O Moslem, don thy silken dress and take these ten dirhams and go out forthright and divert thyself abroad this day, and tarry not here a single moment, lest thou lose thy life." Quoth he, "What is to do, O my mother?"; and quoth she, "Know, O my son, that the King's daughter, the Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, hath a mind to visit the church this day, to seek a blessing by pilgrimage and to make oblation thereto, a douceur [FN#517] of thank-offering for her deliverance from the land of the Moslems and in fulfilment of the vows she vowed to the Messiah, so he would save her. With her are four hundred damsels, not one of whom but is perfect in beauty and loveliness and all of them are daughters of Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees: they will be here during this very hour and if their eyes fall on thee in this church, they will hew thee in pieces with swords." Thereupon Nur al-Din took the ten dirhams from the ancient dame, and donning his own dress, went out to the bazar and walked about the city and took his pleasure therein, till he knew its highways and gates,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-second Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din, after donning his own dress and taking the ten dirhams from the ancient dame, fared forth to the market streets and wandered about a while till he knew every quarter of the city, after which he returned to the church [FN#518] and saw the Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of France come up to the fane, attended by four hundred damsels, high-bosomed maids like moons, amongst whom was the daughter of the one-eyed Wazir and those of the Emirs and Lords of the realm; and she walked in their midst as she were moon among stars. When his eyes fell upon her Nur al-Din could not contain himself, but cried out from the core of his heart, "O Miriam! O Miriam!" When the damsels heard his outcry they ran at him with swords shining bright like flashes of leven-light and would have slain him forthright. But the Princess turned and looking on him, knew him with fullest knowledge, and said to her maidens, "Leave this youth; doubtless he is mad, for the signs of madness be manifest on his face." When Nur al-Din heard this, he uncovered his head and rolled his eyes and made signs with his hands and twisted his legs, foaming the while at the mouth. Quoth the Princess, "Said I not that the poor youth was mad? Bring him to me and stand off from him, that I may hear what he saith; for I know the speech of the Arabs and will look into his case and see if his madness admit of cure or not." So they laid hold of him and brought him to her; after which they withdrew to a distance and she said to him, "Hast thou come hither on my account and ventured thy life for my sake and feignest thyself mad?" He replied, "O my lady, hast thou not heard the saying of the poet?, [FN#519] 'Quoth they, 'Thou'rt surely raving mad for her thou lov'st;' and I, 'There is no pleasantness in life but for the mad,' reply. Compare my madness with herself for whom I rave; if she Accord therewith, then blame me not for that which I aby.'" Miriam replied, "By Allah, O Nur al-Din, indeed thou hast sinned against thyself, for I warned thee of this before it befell thee: yet wouldst thou not hearken to me, but followest thine own lust: albeit that whereof I gave thee to know I learnt not by means of inspiration nor physiognomy [FN#520] nor dreams, but by eye-witness and very sight; for I saw the one-eyed Wazir and knew that he was not come to Alexandria but in quest of me." Said he, "O my lady Miriam, we seek refuge with Allah from the error of the intelligent!" [FN#521] Then his affliction redoubled on him and he recited this saying, [FN#522] "Pass o'er my fault, for 'tis the wise man's wont Of other's sins to take no harsh account; And as all crimes have made my breast their site, So thine all shapes of mercy should unite. Who from above would mercy seek to know, Should first be merciful to those below." Then Nur al-Din and Princess Miriam ceased not from lovers' chiding which to trace would be tedious, relating each to other that which had befallen them and reciting verses and making moan, one to other, of the violence of passion and the pangs of pine and desire, whilst the tears ran down their cheeks like rivers, till there was left them no strength to say a word and so they continued till day deprated and night darkened. Now the Princess was clad in a green dress, purfled with red gold and broidered with pearls and gems which enhanced her beauty and loveliness and inner grace; and right well quoth the poet of her, [FN#523] "Like the full moon she shineth in garments all of green, With loosened vest and collars and flowing hair beseen. 'What is thy name?' I asked her, and she replied, 'I'm she Who roasts the hearts of lovers on coals of love and teen. I am the pure white silver, ay, and the gold wherewith The bondsmen from strait prison and dour releasèd been.' Quoth I, 'I'm all with rigours consumed;' but 'On a rock,' Said she, 'such as my heart is, thy plaints are wasted clean.' 'Even if thy heart,' I answered, 'be rock in very deed, Yet hath God caused fair water well from the rock, I ween.'" And when night darkened on them the Lady Miriam went up to her women and asked them, "Have ye locked the door?"; and they answered, "Indeed we have locked it." So she took them and went with them to a place called the hapel of the Lady Mary the Virgin, Mother of Light, because the Nazarenes hold that there are her heart and soul. The girls betook themselves to prayer for blessings from above and circuited all the church; and when they had made an end of their visitation, the Princess turned to them and said, "I desire to pass the night alone in the Virgin's chapel and seek a blessing thereof, for that yearning after it hath betided me, by reason of my long absence in the land of the Moslems; and as for you, when ye have made an end of your visitation, do ye sleep whereso ye will." Replied they, "With love and goodly gree: be it as thou wilt!"; and leaving her alone in the chapel, dispersed about the church and slept. The Lady Miriam waited till they were out of sight and hearing, then went in search of Nur al-Din, whom she found sitting in a corner on live coals, awaiting her. He rose and kissed her hands and feet and she sat down and seated him by her side. Then she pulled off all that was upon her of raiment and ornaments and fine linen and taking Nur al-Din in her arms strained him to her bosom. And they ceased not, she and he, from kissing and clipping and strumming to the tune of "hocus-pocus," [FN#524] saying the while, "How short are the nights of Union and the nights of Disunion how long are they!" and reciting these verses, "O Night of Union, Time's virginal prized, * White star of the Nights with auroral dyes, Thou garrest Dawn after Noon to rise * Say art thou Kohl in Morning's Eyes, Or wast thou Slumber to bleared eye lief? O Night of Parting, how long thy stay * Whose latest hours aye the first portray, This endless circle that noways may * Show breach till the coming of Judgment-day, Day when dies the lover of parting-grief." [FN#525] As they were in this mighty delight and joy engrossing they heard one of the servants of the Saint [FN#526] smite the gong [FN#527] upon the roof, to call the folk to the rites of their worship, and he was even as saith the poet, "I saw him strike the gong and asked of him straightway, * Who made the Fawn [FN#528] at striking going so knowing, eh?' And to my soul, 'What smiting irketh thee the more-- * Striking the gong or striking note of going, [FN#529] say?'" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-third Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-girl rose forthwith and donned her clothes and ornaments; but this was grievous to Nur al-Din, and his gladness was troubled; the tears streamed from his eyes and he recited these couplets, "I ceasèd not to kiss that cheek with budding roses dight * And eyes down cast and bit the same with most emphatic bite; Until we were in gloria [FN#530] and lay him down the spy * And sank his eyes within his brain declining further sight: And struck the gongs as they that had the charge of them were like * Muezzin crying duty-prayers in Allah's book indite. Then rose she up right hastily and donned the dress she'd doffed * Sore fearing lest a shooting-star [FN#531] upon our heads alight. And cried, 'O wish and will of me, O end of all my hopes! * Behold the morning comes to us in brightest whitest light.' I swear if but one day of rule were given to my life * And I were made an Emperor of majesty and might, Adown I'd break the buttresses of churches one and all * And by their slaughter rid the earth of every shaveling wight." Then the Lady Miriam pressed him to her bosom and kissed his cheek and asked him, "O Nur al-Din, how long hast thou been in this town?" "Seven days." "Hast thou walked about in it, and dost thou know its ways and issues and its sea-gates and land gates?" "Yes!" "Knowest thou the way to the offertory-chest [FN#532] of the church?" "Yes!" "Since thou knowest all this, as soon as the first third [FN#533] of the coming night is over, go to the offertory-chest and take thence what thou wishest and willest. Then open the door that giveth upon the tunnel [FN#534] leading to the sea, and go down to the harbour, where thou wilt find a little ship and ten men therein, and when the Rais shall see thee, he will put out his hand to thee. Give him thy hand and he will take thee up into the ship, and do thou wait there till I come to thee. But 'ware and have a care lest sleep overtake thee this night, or thou wilt repent whenas repentance shall avail thee naught." Then the Princess farewelled him and going forth from Nur al-Din, aroused from sleep her women and the rest of the damsels, with whom she betook herself to the church door and knocked; whereupon the ancient dame opened to her and she went forth and found the knights and varlets standing without. They brought her a dapple she-mule and she mounted: whereupon they raised over her head a canopy [FN#535] with curtains of silk, and the knights took hold of the mule's halter. Then the guards [FN#536] encompassed her about, drawn brand in hand, and fared on with her, followed by her, till they brought her to the palace of the King her father. Meanwhile, Nur al-Din abode concealed behind the curtain, under cover of which Miriam and he had passed the night, till it was broad day, when the main door was opened and the church became full of people. Then he mingled with the folk and accosted the old Prioress, the guardian [FN#537] of the shrine, who said to him, "Where didst thou lie last night?" Said he, "In the town as thou badest me." Quoth she, "O my son, thou hast done the right thing; for, hadst thou nighted in the Church, she had slain thee on the foulest wise." And quoth he, "Praised be Allah who hath delivered me from the evil of this night!" Then he busied himself with the service of the church and ceased not busying till day departed and night with darkness starkened when he arose and opened the offertory-chest and took thence of jewels whatso was light of weight and weighty of worth. Then he tarried till the first watch of the night was past, when he made his way to the postern of the tunnel and opening it, went forth, calling on Allah for protection, and ceased not faring on until, after finding and opening the door, he came to the sea. Here he discovered the vessel moored to the shore near the gate; and her skipper, a tall old man of comely aspect with a long beard, standing in the waist, his ten men being ranged before him. Nur al-Din gave him his hand, as Miriam had bidden him, and the captain took it and pulling him on board of the ship cried out to his crew, saying, "Cast off the moorings and put out to sea with us, ere day break." Said one of the ten, "O my lord the Captain, how shall we put out now, when the King hath notified us that to-morrow he will embark in this ship and go round about the sea, being fearful for his daughter Miriam from the Moslem thieves?" But the Rais cried out at them saying, "Woe to you, O accursed; Dare ye gainsay me and bandy words with me?" So saying the old captain bared his blade and with it dealt the sailor who had spoken a thrust in the throat, that the steel came out gleaming from his nape; and quoth another of the sailors, "What hath our comrade done of crime, that thou shouldst cut his throat?" Thereupon the captain clapped hand to sword and smote the speaker's head, nor did he leave smiting the rest of the sailors till he had slain them all, one after other, and cast the ten bodies ashore. Then he turned to Nur al-Din and cried out at him with a terrible great cry, that made him tremble, saying, "Go down and pull up the mooring-satke." Nur al-Din feared lest he should strike him also with the sword; so he sprang up and leapt ashore and pulling up the stake jumped aboard again, swiftlier than the dazzling leven. The captain ceased not to bid him do this and do that and tack and wear hither and thither and look at the stars, and Nur al-Din did all that he bade him, with heart a-quaking for affright; whilst he himself spread the sails, and the ship fared with the twain into the dashing sea, swollen with clashing billows.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old skipper had made sail he drave the ship, aided by Nur al-Din, into the dashing sea before a favouring gale. Meanwhile, Nur al-Din held on to the tackle immersed in deep thought, and drowned in the sea of solicitude, knowing not what was hidden for him in the future; and whenever he looked at the captain, his heart quaked and he knew not whither the Rais went with him. He abode thus, preoccupied with care and doubt, till it was high day, when he looked at the skipper and saw him take hold of his long beard and pull at it, whereupon it came off in his hand and Nur al-Din, examining it, saw that it was but a false beard glued on. So he straitly considered that same Rais, and behold, it was the Princess Miriam, his mistress and the dearling of his heart, who had contrived to waylay the captain and slay him and skinned off his beard, which she had stuck on to her own face. At this Nur al-Din was transported for you, and his breast broadened and he marvelled at her prowess and the stoutness of her heart and said to her, "Welcome, O my hope and my desire and the end of mine every wish!" Then love and gladness agitated him and he made sure of winning to his hopes and his expectancy; wherefore he broke out into song and chanted these couplets, "To all who unknown my love for the May * From whom Fate disjoins me O say, I pray, 'Ask my kith and kin of my love that aye * Ensweetens my verses to lovely lay:      For the loss of the tribesmen my life o'er sway!'

Their names when named heal all malady; * Cure and chase from heart every pain I dree: And my longings for love reach so high degree * That my Sprite is maddened each morn I see,       And am grown of the crowd to be saw and say.

No blame in them will I e'er espy: * No! nor aught of solace sans them descry: Your love hath shot me with pine, and I * Bear in heart a flame that shall never die,       But fire my liver with fiery ray.

All folk my sickness for marvel score * That in darkest night I wake evermore What ails them to torture this heart forlore * And deem right for loving my blood t' outpour:       And yet--how justly unjust are they!

Would I wot who 'twas could obtain of you * To wrong a youth who's so fain of you: By my life and by Him who made men of you * And the spy tell aught I complain of you       He lies, by Allah, in foulest way!

May the Lord my sickness never dispel, * Nor ever my heart of its pains be well, What day I regret that in love I fell * Or laud any land but wherein ye dwell:       Wring my heart and ye will or make glad and gay!

I have vitals shall ever be true to you * Though racked by the rigours not new to you Ere this wrong and this right I but sue to you: * Do what you will to thrall who to you       Shall ne'er grudge his life at your feet to lay." When Nur al-Din ceased to sing, the Princess Miriam marvelled at his song and thanked him therefor, saying, "Whoso's case is thus it behoveth him to walk the ways of men and never do the deed of curs and cowards." Now she was stout of heart and cunning in the sailing of ships over the salt sea, and she knew all the winds and their shiftings and every course of the main. So Nur al-Din said, "O my lady, hadst thou prolonged this case on me, [FN#538] I had surely died for stress of affright and chagrin, more by token of the fire of passion and love-longing and the cruel pangs of separation." She laughed at his speech and rising without stay or delay brought out somewhat of food and liquor; and they ate and drank and enjoyed themselves and made merry. Then she drew forth rubies and other gems and precious stones and costly trinkets of gold and silver and all manner things of price, light of weight and weighty of worth, which she had taken from the palace of her sire and his treasuries, and displayed them to Nur al-Din, who rejoiced therein with joy exceeding. All this while the wind blew fair for them and merrily sailed the ship nor ceased sailing till they drew near the city of Alexandria and sighted its landmarks, old and new, and Pompey's Pillar. When they made the port, Nur al-Din landed forthright and securing the ship to one of the Fulling-Stones, [FN#539] took somewhat of the treasures that Miriam had brought with her, and said to her, "O my lady, tarry in the ship, against I return and carry thee up into the city in such way as I should wish and will." Quoth she, "It behoveth that this be done quickly, for tardiness in affairs engendereth repentance." Quoth he, "There is no tardiness in me;" and, leaving her in the ship, went up into the city to the house of the druggist his father's old fried, to borrow of his wife for Miriam veil and mantilla, and walking boots and petticoat-trousers after the usage of the women of Alexandria, unknowing that there was appointed to betide him of the shifts of Time, the Father of Wonders, that which was far beyond his reckoning. Thus it befel Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-girl; but as regards her sire the King of France, when he arose in the morning, he missed his daughter and questioned her women and her eunuchs of her. Answered they, "O our lord, she went out last night, to go to Church and after that we have no tidings of her." But, as the King talked with them, behold, there arose so great a clamour of cries below the palace, that the place rang thereto, and he said, "What may be the news?" The folk replied, "O King, we have found ten men slain on the sea-shore, and the royal yacht is missing. Moreover we saw the postern of the Church, which giveth upon the tunnel leading to the sea, wide open; and the Moslem prisoner, who served in the Church, is missing." Quoth the King, "An my ship be lost, without doubt or dispute."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night, She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King of France missed his daughter they brought him tidings of her, saying, "Thy yacht is lost"; and he replied, "An the craft be lost, without dispute or doubt my daughter is in it." So he summoned without stay or delay the Captain of the Port and cried out at him, saying, "By the virtue [FN#540] of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, except thou and thy fighting men overtake my ship forthright and bring it back to me, with those who are therein, I will do thee die the foulest of deaths and make a terrible example of thee!" Thereupon the captain went out from before him, trembling, and betook himself to the ancient dame of the Church, to whom said he, 'Heardest thou aught from the captive, that was with thee, anent his native land and what countryman he was?" And she answered, "He used to say, I come from the town of Alexandria." When the captain heard the old woman's words he returned forthright to the port and cried out to the sailors, "Make ready and set sail." So they did his bidding and straightway putting out to sea, fared night and day till they sighted the city of Alexandria at the very time when Nur al-Din landed, leaving the Princess in the ship. They soon espied the royal yacht and knew her; so they moored their own vessel at a distance therefrom and putting off in a little frigate they had with them, which drew but two cubits of water and in which were an hundred fighting-men, amongst them the one-eyed Wazir (for that he was a stubborn tyrant and a froward devil and a wily thief, none could avail against his craft, as he were Abu Mohammed al-Battál [FN#541]), they ceased not rowing till they reached the bark and boarding her, all at once, found none therein save the Princess Miriam. So they took her and the ship, and returning to their own vessel, after they had landed and waited a long while, [FN#542] set sail forthright for the land of the Franks, having accomplished their errand, without a fight or even drawing sword. The wind blew fair for them and they sailed on, without ceasing and with all diligence, till they reached the city of France and landing with the Princess Miriam carried her to her father, who received her, seated on the throne of his Kingship. As soon as he saw her, he said to her, "Woe to thee, O traitress! What ailed thee to leave the faith of thy fathers and forefathers and the safeguard of the Messiah, on whom is our reliance, and follow after the faith of the Vagrants, [FN#543] to wit, the faith of Al-Islam, the which arose with the sword against the Cross and the Images?" Replied Miriam, "I am not at fault, I went out by night to the church, to visit the Lady Mary and seek a blessing of her, when there fell upon me unawares a band of Moslem robbers, who gagged me and bound me fast and carrying me on board the barque, set sail with me for their own country. However, I beguiled them and talked with them of their religion, till they loosed my bonds; and ere I knew it thy men overtook me and delivered me. And by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar and the Cross and the Crucified thereon, I rejoiced with joy exceeding in my release from them and my bosom broadened and I was glad for my deliverance from the bondage of the Moslems!" Rejoined the King, "Thou liest, O whore! O adultress! By the virtue of that which is revealed of prohibition and permission in the manifest Evangel, [FN#544] I will assuredly do thee die by the foulest of deaths and make thee the vilest of examples! Did it not suffice thee to do as thou didst the first time and put off thy lies upon us, but thou must return upon us with thy deceitful inventions?" Thereupon the King bade kill her and crucify her over the palace gate; but, at that moment the one-eyed Wazir, who had long been enamoured of the Princess, came in to him and said, "Ho King! saly her not, but give her to me to wife, and I will watch over her with the utmost warding, nor will I go in unto her, till I have built her a palace of solid stone, exceeding high of foundation, so no thieves may avail to climb up to its terrace-roof; and when I have made an end of building it, I will sacrifice thirty Moslems before the gate thereof, as an expiatory offering to the Messiah for myself and for her." The King granted his request and bade the priests and monks and patriarchs marry the Princess to him; so they did his bidding, whereupon he bade set about building a strong and lofty palace, befitting her rank and the workmen fell to work upon it. On this wise it betided the Princess Miriam and her sire and the one-eyed Wazir; but as regards Nur al-Din, when he came back with the petticoat-trousers and mantilla and walking boots and all the attire of Alexandrian women which he had borrowed of the druggist's wife, he "found the air void and the fane afar [FN#545]";--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night, She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur al-Din, "found the aire void [FN#546] and the fane afar," his heart sank within him and he wept floods of tears and recited these verses, [FN#547] "The phantom of Soada came by nigh to wake me towards morning while my companions were sleeping in the desert: But when we awoke to behold the nightly phantom, I saw the air vacant, and the place of visitation distant." Then Nur al-Din walked on along the sea-shore and turned right and left, till he saw folk gathered together on the beach and heard them say, "O Moslems, there remaineth no honour to Alexandria-city, since the Franks enter it and snatch away those who are therein and return to their own land, at their leisure [FN#548] nor pursued of any of the Moslems or fighters for the Faith!" Quoth Nur al-Din to them, "What is to do?"; and quoth they, "O my son, one of the ships of the Franks, full of armed men, came down but now upon the port and carried off a ship which was moored here, with her that was therein, and made unmolested for their own land." Nur al-Din fell down a-swoon, on hearing these words; and when he recovered they questioned him of his case and he told them all that had befallen him first and last; whereupon they all took to reviling him and railing at him, saying, "Why couldst thou not bring her up into the town without mantilla and muffler?" And all and each of the folk gave him some grievous word, berating him with sharp speech, and shooting at him some shaft or reproach, albeit one said, "Let him be; that which hath befallen him sufficeth him," till he again fell down in a fainting-fit. And behold, at this moment, up came the old druggist, who, seeing the folk gathered together, drew near to learn what was the matter and found Nur al-Din lying a-swoon in their midst. So he sat down at his head and arousing him, said to him as soon as he recovered, "O my son, what is this case in which I see thee?" Nur al-Din said, "O uncle, I had brought back in a barque my lost slave-girl from her father's city, suffering patiently all I suffered of perils and hardships; and when I came with her to this port, I made the vessel fast to the shore and leaving her therein, repaired to thy dwelling and took of thy consort what was needful for her, that I might bring her up into the town; but the Franks came and capturing barque and damsel made off unhindered, and returned to their own land." Now when the Shaykh, the druggist, heard this, the light in his eyes became night and he grieved with sore grieving for Nur al-Din and said to him, "O my son, why didst thou not bring her out of the ship into the city without mantilla? But speech availeth not at this season; so rise, O my son, and come up with me to the city; haply Allah will vouchsafe thee a girl fairer than she, who shall console thee for her. Alhamdolillah-praised be Allah-who hath not made thee lose aught by her! Nay, thou hast gained by her. And bethink thee, O my son, that Union and Disunion are in the hands of the Most High King.." Replied Nur al-Din, "By Allah, O uncle, I can never be consoled for her loss nor will I ever leave seeking her, though on her account I drink the cup of death!" Rejoined the druggist, "O my son, and what art thou minded to do?" Quoth Nur al-Din, "I am minded to return to the land of the Franks [FN#549] and enter the city of France and emperil myself there; come what may, loss of life or gain of life." Quoth the druggist, "O my son, there is an old saw, 'Not always doth the crock escape the shock'; and if they did thee no hurt the first time, belike they will slay thee this time, more by token that they know thee now with full knowledge." Quoth Nur al-Din, "O my uncle, let me set out and be slain for the love of her straightway and not die of despair for her loss by slow torments." Now as Fate determined there was then a ship in port ready to sail, for its passengers had made an end of their affairs [FN#550] and the sailors had pulled up the mooring-stakes, when Nur al-Din embarked in her. So they shook out their canvas and relying on the Compassionate, put out to sea and sailed many days, with fair wind and weather, till behold, they fell in with certain of the Frank cruisers, which were scouring those waters and seizing upon all ships they saw, in their fear for the King's daughter from the Moslem corsairs: and as often as they made prize of a Moslem ship, they carried all her people to the King of France, who put them to death in fulfilment of the vow he had vowed on account of his daughter Miriam. So, seeing the ship wherein was Nur al-Din they boarded her and taking him and the rest of the company prisoners, to the number of an hundred Moslems, carried them to the King and set them between his hands. He bade cut their throats. Accordingly they slaughtered them all forthwith, one after another, till there was none left but Nur al-Din, whom the headsman had left to the last, in pity of his tender age and slender shape. When the King saw him, he knew him right well and said to him, "Art thou not Nur al-Din, who was with us before?" Said he, "I was never with thee: and my name is not Nur al-Din, but Ibrahim." Rejoined the King; "Thou liest, thou art Nur al-Din, he whom I gave to the ancient dame the Prioress, to help her in the service of the church." But Nur al-Din replied, "O my lord, my name is Ibrahim." Quoth the King, "Wait a while," and bade his knights fetch the old woman forthright, saying, "When she cometh and seeth thee, she will know an thou be Nur al-Din or not." At this juncture, behold, in came the one-eyed Wazir who had married the Princess and kissing the earth before the King said to him, "Know, O King, that the palace is finished; and thou knowest how I vowed to the Messiah that, when I had made an end of building it, I would cut thirty Moslems' throats before its doors; wherefore I am come to take them of thee, that I may sacrifice them and so fulfil my vow to the Messiah. They shall be at my charge, by way of loan, and whenas there come prisoners to my hands, I will give thee other thirty in lieu of them." Replied the King, 'By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, I have but this one captive left!" And he pointed to Nur al-Din, saying, "Take him and slaughter him at this very moment and the rest I will send thee when there come to my hands other prisoners of the Moslems." Thereupon the one-eyed Wazir arose and took Nur al-Din and carried him to his palace, thinking to slaughter him on the threshold of the gate; but the painters said to him, "O my lord, we have two days' painting yet to do: so bear with us and delay to cut the throat of this captive, till we have made an end of our work; haply by that time the rest of the thirty will come, so thou mayst despatch them all at one bout and accomplish thy vow in a single day." Thereupon the Wazir bade imprison Nur al-Din.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir bade imprison Nur al-Din, they carried him to the stables and left him there in chains, hungering and thirsting and making moan for himself; for indeed he saw death face to face. Now it fortuned, by the ordinance of Destiny and fore-ordained Fate, that the King had two stallions, own brothers, [FN#551] such as the Chosroe Kings might sigh in vain to possess themselves of one of them; they were called Sábik and Láhik [FN#552] and one of them was pure silvern white while the other was black as the darksome night. And all the Kings of the isles had said, "Whoso stealeth us one of these stallions, we will give him all he seeketh of red gold and pearls and gems;" but none could avail to steal them. Now one of them fell sick of a jaundice and there came a whiteness over his eyes; [FN#553] whereupon the King gathered together all the farriers in the city to treat him; but they all failed of his cure. Presently the Wazir came into the King; and finding him troubled because of the horse, thought to do away his concern and said to him, "O King, give me the stallion and I will cure him," The King consented and caused carry the horse to the stable wherein Nur al-Din lay chained; but, when he missed his brother, he cried out with an exceeding great cry and neighed, so that he affrighted all the folk. The Wazir, seeing that he did thus but because he was parted from his brother, went to tell the King, who said, "If this, which is but a beast, cannot brook to be parted from his brother, how should it be with those that have reason?" And he bade his grooms take the other horse and put him with his brother in the Wazir's stables, saying, "Tell the Minister that the two stallions be a gift from me to him, for the sake of my daughter Miriam." Nur al-Din was lying in the stable, chained and shackled, when they brought in the two stallions and he saw that one of them had a film over his eyes. Now he had some knowledge of horses and of the doctoring of their diseases; so he said to himself, "This by Allah is my opportunity! I will go to the Wazir and lie to him, saying, 'I will heal thee this horse': then will I do with him somewhat that shall destroy his eyes, and he will slay me and I shall be at rest from this woe-full life." So he waited till the Wazir entered the stable, to look upon the steed, and said to him, "O my lord, what will be my due, an I heal this horse, and make his eyes whole again?" Replied the Wazir, "As my head liveth, an thou cure him, I will spare thy life and give thee leave to crave a boon of me!" And Nur al-Din said, "O my lord, bid my hands be unbound!" So the Wazir bade unbind him and he rose and taking virgin glass, [FN#554] brayed it and mixed it with unslaked lime and a menstruum of onion-juice. Then he applied the whole to the horse's eyes and bound them up, saying in himself, "Now will his eyes be put out and they will slay me and I shall be at rest from this woe-full life." Then he passed the night with a heart free from the uncertainty [FN#555] of cark and care, humbling himself to Allah the Most High and saying, "O Lord, in Thy knowledge is that which dispenseth with asking and craving!" Now when the morning morrowed and the sun shone, the Wazir came to the stable and, loosing the bandage from the horse's eyes considered them and found them finer than before, by the ordinance of the King who openeth evermore. So he said to Nur al-Din, "O Moslem, never in the world saw I the like of thee for the excellence of thy knowledge. By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, thou makest me with wonder to admire, for all the farriers of our land have failed to heal this horse!" Then he went up to Nur al-Din and, doing off his shackles with his own hand, clad him in a costly dress and made him his master of the Horse; and he appointed him stipends and allowances and lodged him in a story over the stables. So Nur al-Din abode awhile, eating and drinking and making merry and bidding and forbidding those who tended the horses; and whoso neglected or failed to fodder those tied up in the stable wherein was his service, he would thrown down and beat with grievous beating and lay him by the legs in bilboes of iron. Furthermore, he used every day to descend and visit the stallions and rub them down with his own hand, by reason of that which he knew of their value in the Wazir's eyes and his love for them; wherefore the Minister rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and his breast broadened and he was right glad, unknowing what was to be the issue of his case. Now in the new palace, which the one-eyed Wazir had bought for Princess Miriam, was a lattice-window overlooking his old house and the flat wherein Nur al-Din lodged. The Wazir had a daughter, a virgin of extreme loveliness, as she were a fleeing gazelle or a bending branchlet, and it chanced that she sat one day at the lattice aforesaid and behold, she heard Nur al-Din, singing and solacing himself under his sorrows by improvising these verses, "O my Censor who wakest a-morn to see * The joys of life and its jubilee! Had the fangs of Destiny bitten thee * In such bitter case thou hadst pled this plea,             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' But from Fate's despight thou art safe this day;- * From her falsest fay and her crying 'Nay!' Yet blame him not whom his woes waylay * Who distraught shall say in his agony,             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' Excuse such lovers in flight abhorr'd * Nor to Love's distreses thine aid afford: Lest thy self be bound by same binding cord * And drink of Love's bitterest injury.             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' In His service I wont as the days went by * With freest heart through the nights to lie; Nor tasted wake, nor of Love aught reckt * Ere my heart to subjection summoned he:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' None weet of Love and his humbling wrong * Save those he sickened so sore, so long, Who have lost their wits 'mid the lover-throng * Draining bitterest cup by his hard decree:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' How oft in Night's gloom he cause wake to rue * Lovers' eyne, and from eyelids their sleep withdrew; Till tears to the railing of torrents grew, * Overflowing cheeks, unconfined and free:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' How many a man he has joyed to steep * In pain, and for pine hath he plundered sleep,-- Made don garb of mourning the deepest deep * And even his dreaming forced to flee:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' How oft sufferance fails me! How bones are wasted * And down my cheeks torrent tear-drops hasted: And embittered She all the food I tasted * However sweet it was wont to be:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' Most hapless of men who like me must love, * And must watch when Night droops her wing from above, Who, swimming the main where affection drove * Must sign and sink in that gloomy sea:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' Who is he to whom Love e'er stinted spite * And who scaped his springes and easy sleight; Who free from Love lived in life's delight? * Where is he can boast of such liberty?             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!' Deign Lord such suffering wight maintain * Then best Protector, protect him deign! Establish him and his life assain * And defend him from all calamity:             'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:             My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'" And when Nur al-Din ended his say and ceased to sing his rhyming lay, the Wazir's daughter said to herself, "By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, verily this Moslem is a handsome youth! But doubtless he is a lover separated from his mistress. Would Heaven I wot an the beloved of this fair one is fair like unto him and if she pine for him as he for her! An she be seemly as he is, it behoveth him to pour forth tears and make moan of passion; but, an she be other than fair, his days are wasted in vain regrets and he is denied the taste of delights."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night, She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir's daughter said to herself, "An his beloved be fair as he, it behoveth him to pour forth tears; and, if other than fair, his heart is wasted in vain regrets!" Now Miriam the Girdle-girl, the Minister's consort, had removed to the new palace the day before and the Wazir's daughter knew that she was straitened of breast; so she was minded to seek her and talk with her and tell her the tidings of the young man and the rhymes and verses she had heard him recite; but, before she could carry out her design the Princess sent for her to cheer her with her converse. So she went to her and found her heavy at heart and her tears hurrying down her cheeks; and whilst she was weeping with sore weeping she recited these couplets, "My life is gone but love-longings remain * And my breast is straitened with pine and pain: And my heart for parting to melt is fain * Yet hoping that union will come again,             And join us in one who now are twain. Stint your blame to him who in heart's your thrall * With the wasted frame which his sorrows gall, Nor with aim of arrow his heart appal * For parted lover is saddest of all,             And Love's cup of bitters is sweet to drain!" Quoth the Wazir's daughter to her, "What aileth thee, O Princess, to be thus straitened in breast and sorrowful of thought?" Whereupon Miriam recalled the greatness of the delights that were past and recited these two couplets, "I will bear in patience estrangement of friend * And on cheeks rail tears that like torrents wend: Haply Allah will solace my sorrow, for He * Neath the ribs of unease maketh ease at end." Said the Wazir's daughter, "O Princess, let not thy breast be straitened, but come with me straightway to the lattice; for there is with us in the stable [FN#556] a comely young man, slender of shape and sweet of speech, and meseemeth he is a parted lover." Miriam asked, "And by what sign knowest thou that he is a parted lover?"; and she answered, "O Queen, I know it by his improvising odes and verses all watches of the night and tides of the day." Quoth the Princess in herself, "If what the Wazir's daughter says be true, these are assuredly the traits of the baffled, the wretched Ali Nur al-Din. Would I knew if indeed he be the youth of whom she speaketh." At this thought, love-longing and distraction of passion redoubled on her and she rose at once and walking with the maiden to the lattice, looked down upon the stables, where she saw her love and lord Nur al-Din and fixing her eyes steadfastly upon him, knew him with the bestest knowledge of love, albeit he was sick, of the greatness of his affection for her and of the fire of passion, and the anguish of separation and yearning and distraction. Sore upon him was emaciation and he was improvising and saying, "My heart is a thrall; my tears ne'er abate * And their rains the railing of clouds amate; 'Twixt my weeping and watching and wanting love; * And whining and pining for dearest mate. Ah my burning heat, my desire, my lowe! * For the plagues that torture my heart are eight; And five upon five are in suite of them; * So stand and listen to all I state: Mem'ry, madding thoughts, moaning languishment, * Stress of longing love, plight disconsolate; In travail, affliction and strangerhood, * And annoy and joy when on her I wait. Fail me patience and stay for engrossing care * And sorrows my suffering soul regrate. On my heart the possession of passion grows * O who ask of what fire in my heart's create, Why my tears in vitals should kindle flame, * Burning heart with ardours insatiate, Know, I'm drowned in Deluge [FN#557] of tears and my soul * From Lazá-lowe fares to Háwiyah-goal." [FN#558] When the Princess Miriam beheld Nur al-Din and heard his loquence and verse and speech, she made certain that it was indeed her lord Nur al-Din; but she concealed her case from the Wazir's daughter and said to her, "By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, I thought not thou knewest of my sadness!" Then she arose forthright and withdrawing from the window, returned to her own place, whilst the Wazir's daughter went to her own occupations. The Princess awaited patiently awhile, then returned to the window and sat there, gazing upon her beloved Nur al-Din and delighting her eyes with his beauty and inner and outer grace. And indeed, she saw that he was like unto moon at full on fourteenth night; but he was ever sighing with tears never drying, for that he recalled whatso he had been abying. So he recited these couplets, "I hope for Union with my love which I may ne'er obtain * At all, but bitterness of life is all the gain I gain: My tears are likest to the main for ebb and flow of tide; * But when I meet the blamer-wight to staunch my tears I'm fain. Woe to the wretch who garred us part by spelling of his spells; [FN#559] * Could I but hend his tongue in hand I'd cut his tongue in twain: Yet will I never blame the days for whatso deed they did * Mingling with merest, purest gall the cup they made me drain! To whom shall I address myself; and whom but you shall seek * A heart left hostage in your Court, by you a captive ta'en? Who shall avenge my wrongs on you, [FN#560] tyrant despotical * Whose tyranny but grows the more, the more I dare complain? I made him regnant of my soul that he the reign assain * But me he wasted wasting too the soul I gave to reign. Ho thou, the Fawn, whom I so lief erst gathered to my breast * Enow of severance tasted I to own its might and main, Thou'rt he whose favours joined in one all beauties known to man, * Yet I thereon have wasted all my Patience' fair domain. I entertained him in my heart whereto he brought unrest * But I am satisfied that I such guest could entertain. My tears for ever flow and flood, likest the surging sea * And would I wot the track to take that I thereto attain. Yet sore I fear that I shall die in depths of my chagrin * And must despair for evermore to win the wish I'd win." When Miriam heard the verses of Nur al-Din the loving-hearted, the parted; they kindled in her vitals a fire of desire, and while her eyes ran over with tears, she recited these two couplets, "I longed for him I love; but, when we met, * I was amazed nor tongue nor eyes I found. I had got ready volumes of reproach; * But when we met, could syllable no sound." When Nur al-Din heard the voice of Princess Miriam, he knew it and wept bitter tears, saying, "By Allah, this is the chanting of the Lady Miriam."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. End of Volume 8. Arabian Nights, Volume 8 Footnotes

 [FN#1] Ironicè; we are safe as long as we are defended by such a brave.


 [FN#2] Blue, azure. This is hardly the place for a protest, but I must not neglect the opportunity of cautioning my readers against rendering Bahr al-Azrak ("Blue River") by "Blue Nile." No Arab ever knew it by that name or thereby equalled it with the White Nile. The term was a pure invention of Abyssinian Bruce who was well aware of the unfact he was propagating, but his inordinate vanity and self-esteem, contrasting so curiously with many noble qualities, especially courage and self-reliance, tempted him to this and many other a traveller's tale.


 [FN#3] This is orthodox Moslem doctrine and it does something for the dignity of human nature which has been so unwisely depreciated and degraded by Christianity. The contrast of Moslem dignity and Christian abasement in the East is patent to every unblind traveller.


 [FN#4] Here ends vol. iii. of the Mac. Edit.


 [FN#5] This famous tale is a sister prose-poem to the "Arabian Odyssey" Sindbad the Seaman; only the Bassorite's travels are in Jinn-land and Japan. It has points of resemblance in "fundamental outline" with the Persian Romance of the Fairy Hasan Bánú and King Bahrám-i-Gúr. See also the Kathá (s.s.) and the two sons of the Asúra Máyá; the Tartar "Sidhi Kúr" (Tales of a Vampire or Enchanted Corpse) translated by Mr. W. J. Thoms (the Father of "Folk-lore" in 1846,) in "Lays and Legends of various Nations"; the Persian Bahár-i-Dánish (Prime of Lore). Miss Stokes' "Indian Fairy Tales"; Miss Frere's "Old Deccan Days" and Mrs. F. A. Steel's "Tale of the King and his Seven Sons," with notes by Lieutenant (now Captain) R. C. Temple (Folk-lore of the Panjab, Indian Antiquary of March, 1882).


 [FN#6] In the Mac. Edit. (vol. iv. i.) the merchant has two sons who became one a brazier ("dealer in copper-wares" says Lane iii. 385) and the other a goldsmith. The Bresl. Edit. (v. 264) mentions only one son, Hasan, the hero of the story which is entitled, "Tale of Hasan al-Basrí and the Isles of Wák Wák."


 [FN#7] Arab. "Shásh Abyaz:" this distinctive sign of the True Believer was adopted by the Persian to conceal his being a fire-worshipper, Magian or "Guebre." The latter word was introduced from the French by Lord Byron and it is certainly far superior to Moore's "Gheber."


 [FN#8] Persians being always a suspected folk.


 [FN#9] Arab. "Al-Búdikah" afterwards used (Night dcclxxix) in the sense of crucible or melting-pot, in modern parlance a pipe-bowl; and also written "Bútakah," an Arab distortion of the Persian "Bútah."


 [FN#10] Arab. "Sindán" or "Sindiyán" (Dozy). "Sandán," anvil; "Sindán," big, strong (Steingass).


 [FN#11] Arab. "Kímíya," (see vol. i. 305) properly the substance which transmutes metals, the "philosopher's stone" which, by the by, is not a stone; and comes from , a fluid, a wet drug, as opposed to Iksír (Al-) a dry drug. Those who care to see how it is still studied will consult my History of Sindh (chapt. vii) and my experience which pointed only to the use made of it in base coinage. Hence in mod. tongue Kímiyáwi, an alchemist, means a coiner, a smasher. The reader must not suppose that the transmutation of metals is a dead study: I calculate that there are about one hundred workers in London alone.


 [FN#12] Arab. "Al-Kír," a bellows also = Kúr, a furnace. For the full meaning of this sentence, see my "Book of the Sword," p. 119.


 [FN#13] Lit. "bade him lean upon it with the shears" (Al-Káz).


 [FN#14] There are many kinds of Kohls (Hindos. Surmá and Kajjal) used in medicine and magic. See Herklots, p. 227.


 [FN#15] Arab. "Sabíkah" = bar, lamina, from "Sabk" = melting, smelting: the lump in the crucible would be hammered out into an ingot in order to conceal the operation


 [FN#16] i.e. £375.


 [FN#17] Such report has cost many a life: the suspicion was and is still deadly as heresy in a "new Christian" under the Inquisition.


 [FN#18] Here there is a double entendre: openly it means, "Few men recognise as they should the bond of bread and salt:" the other sense would be (and that accounts for the smile), "What the deuce do I care for the bond?"


 [FN#19] Arab. "Kabbát" in the Bresl. Edit. "Ka'abán ": Lane (iii. 519) reads "Ka'áb plur. of Ka'ab a cup."


 [FN#20] A most palpable sneer. But Hasan is purposely represented as a "softy" till aroused and energized by the magic of Love.


 [FN#21] Arab. "Al-iksír" (see Night dcclxxix, supra p. 9): the Greek word which has returned from a trip to Arabia and reappeared in Europe as "Elixir."


 [FN#22] "Awák" plur. of "Ukíyah," the well-known "oke," or "ocque," a weight varying from 1 to 2 lbs. In Morocco it is pronounced "Wukíyah," and = the Spanish ounce (p. 279 Rudimentos del Arabe Vulgar, etc., by Fr. José de Lorchundi, Madrid, Rivadencyra, 1872).


 [FN#23] These lines have occurred in vol. iv. 267, where references to other places are given. I quote Lane by way of variety. In the text they are supposed to have been written by the Persian, a hint that Hasan would never be seen again.


 [FN#24] i.e. a superfetation of iniquity.


 [FN#25] Arab. "Kurbán" = offering, oblation to be brought to the priest's house or to the altar of the tribal God Yahveh, Jehovah (Levit. ii, 2-3 etc.). Amongst the Maronites Kurban is the host (-wafer) and amongst the Turks 'Id al-Kurban (sacrifice-feast) is the Greater Bayram, the time of Pilgrimage.


 [FN#26] Nár = fire, being feminine, like the names of the other "elements."


 [FN#27] The Egyptian Kurbáj of hippopotamus-hide (Burkh. Nubia, pp. 62,282) or elephant-hide (Turner ii. 365). Hence the Fr. Cravache (as Cravat is from Croat).


 [FN#28] In Mac. Edit. "Bahriyah": in Bresl. Edit. "Nawátíyah." See vol. vi. 242, for , navita, nauta.


 [FN#29] In Bresl. Edit. (iv. 285) "Yá Khwájah," for which see vol. vi. 46.


 [FN#30] Arab. "Tabl" (vulg. baz) = a kettle-drum about half a foot broad held in the left hand and beaten with a stick or leathern thong. Lane refers to his description (M.E. ii. chapt. v.) of the Dervish's drum of tinned copper with parchment face, and renders Zakhmah or Zukhmah (strap, stirrup-leather) by "plectrum," which gives a wrong idea. The Bresl. Edit. ignores the strap.


 [FN#31] The "Spartivento" of Italy, mostly a tall headland which divides the clouds. The most remarkable feature of the kind is the Dalmatian Island, Pelagosa.


 [FN#32] The "Rocs" (Al-Arkhákh) in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 290). The Rakham = aquiline vulture.


 [FN#33] Lane here quotes a similar incident in the romance "Sayf Zú al-Yazan," so called from the hero, whose son, Misr, is sewn up in a camel's hide by Bahrám, a treacherous Magian, and is carried by the Rukhs to a mountain-top.


 [FN#34] These lines occurred in Night xxvi. vol. i. 275: I quote Mr. Payne for variety.


 [FN#35] Thus a Moslem can not only circumcise and marry himself but can also bury canonically himself. The form of this prayer is given by Lane M. E. chapt. xv.


 [FN#36] i.e. If I fail in my self-imposed duty, thou shalt charge me therewith on the Judgment-day.


 [FN#37] Arab. "Al-Alwán," plur. of laun (colour). The latter in Egyptian Arabic means a "dish of meat." See Burckhardt No. 279. I repeat that the great traveller's "Arabic Proverbs" wants republishing for two reasons. First he had not sufficient command of English to translate with the necessary laconism and assonance: secondly in his day British Philistinism was too rampant to permit a literal translation. Consequently the book falls short of what the Oriental student requires; and I have prepared it for my friend Mr. Quaritch.


 [FN#38] i.e. Lofty, high-builded. See Night dcclxviii. vol. vii. p. 347. In the Bresl. Edit. Al-Masíd (as in Al-Kazwíni): in the Mac. Edit. Al-Mashid


 [FN#39] Arab. "Munkati" here = cut off from the rest of the world. Applied to a man, and a popular term of abuse in Al-Hijáz, it means one cut off from the blessings of Allah and the benefits of mankind; a pauvre sire. (Pilgrimage ii. 22.)


 [FN#40] Arab. "Baras au Juzám," the two common forms of leprosy. See vol. iv. 51. Popular superstition in Syria holds that coition during the menses breeds the Juzám, Dáa al-Kabír (Great Evil) or Dáa al-Fíl (Elephantine Evil), i.e. Elephantiasis and that the days between the beginning of the flow (Sabíl) to that of coition shows the age when the progeny will be attacked; for instance if it take place on the first day, the disease will appear in the tenth year, on the fourth the fortieth and so on. The only diseases really dreaded by the Badawin are leprosy and small-pox. Coition during the menses is forbidden by all Eastern faiths under the severest penalties. Al-Mas'údi relates how a man thus begotten became a determined enemy of Ali; and the ancient Jews attributed the magical powers of Joshua Nazarenus to this accident of his birth, the popular idea being that sorcerers are thus impurely engendered.


 [FN#41] By adoption - See vol. iii. 151. This sudden affection (not love) suggests the "Come to my arms, my slight acquaintance!" of the Anti-Jacobin. But it is true to Eastern nature; and nothing can be more charming than this fast friendship between the Princess and Hasan.


 [FN#42] En tout bien et en tout honneur, be it understood.


 [FN#43] He had done nothing of the kind; but the feminine mind is prone to exaggeration. Also Hasan had told them a fib, to prejudice them against the Persian.


 [FN#44] These nervous movements have been reduced to a system in the Turk. "Ihtilájnámeh" = Book of palpitations, prognosticating from the subsultus tendinum and other involuntary movements of the body from head to foot; according to Ja'afar the Just, Daniel the Prophet, Alexander the Great; the Sages of Persia and the Wise Men of Greece. In England we attend chiefly to the eye and ear.


 [FN#45] Revenge, amongst the Arabs, is a sacred duty; and, in their state of civilization, society could not be kept together without it. So the slaughter of a villain is held to be a sacrifice to Allah, who amongst Christians claims for Himself the monopoly of vengeance.


 [FN#46] Arab. "Zindík." See vol. v. 230.


 [FN#47] Lane translates this "put for him the remaining food and water;" but Ai-Akhar (Mac. Edit.) evidently refers to the Najíb (dromedary).


 [FN#48] We can hardly see the heroism of the deed, but it must be remembered that Bahram was a wicked sorcerer, whom it was every good Moslem's bounden duty to slay. Compare the treatment of witches in England two centuries ago.


 [FN#49] The mother in Arab tales is ma mère, now becoming somewhat ridiculous in France on account of the over use of that venerable personage.


 [FN#50] The forbidden closet occurs also in Sayf Zú al-Yazan, who enters it and finds the bird-girls. Trébutien ii, 208 says, "Il est assez remarquable qu'il existe en Allemagne une tradition à peu près semblable, et qui a fourni le sujet d'un des contes de Musaeus, entitulé, le voile enlevé." Here Hasan is artfully left alone in a large palace without other companions but his thoughts and the reader is left to divine the train of ideas which drove him to open the door.


 [FN#51] Arab. "Buhayrah" (Bresl. Edit. "Bahrah"), the tank or cistern in the Hosh (court-yard) of an Eastern house. Here, however, it is a rain-cistern on the flat roof of the palace (See Night dcccviii).


 [FN#52] This description of the view is one of the most gorgeous in The Nights.


 [FN#53] Here again are the "Swan-maidens" (See vol. v. 346) "one of the primitive myths, the common heritage of the whole Aryan (Iranian) race." In Persia Bahram-i-Gúr when carried off by the Dív Sapíd seizes the Peri's dove-coat: in Santháli folk-lore Torica, the Goatherd, steals the garment doffed by one of the daughters of the sun; and hence the twelve birds of Russian Story. To the same cycle belong the Seal-tales of the Faroe Islands (Thorpe's Northern Mythology) and the wise women or mermaids of Shetland (Hibbert). Wayland the smith captures a wife by seizing a mermaid's raiment and so did Sir Hagán by annexing the wardrobe of a Danubian water-nymph. Lettsom, the translator, mixes up this swan-raiment with that of the Valkyries or Choosers of the Slain. In real life stealing women's clothes is an old trick and has often induced them, after having been seen naked, to offer their persons spontaneously. Of this I knew two cases in India, where the theft is justified by divine example. The blue god Krishna, a barbarous and grotesque Hindu Apollo, robbed the raiment of the pretty Gopálís (cowherdesses) who were bathing in the Arjun River and carried them to the top of a Kunduna tree; nor would he restore them till he had reviewed the naked girls and taken one of them to wife. See also Imr al-Kays (of the Mu'allakah) with "Onaiza" at the port of Daratjuljul (Clouston's Arabian Poetry, p.4). A critic has complained of my tracing the origin of the Swan-maiden legend to the physical resemblance between the bird and a high-bred girl (vol. v. 346). I should have explained my theory which is shortly, that we must seek a material basis for all so-called supernaturalisms, and that anthropomorphism satisfactorily explains the Swan-maiden, as it does the angel and the devil. There is much to say on the subject; but this is not the place for long discussion.


 [FN#54] Arab. "Nafs Ammárah," corresponding with our canting term "The Flesh." Nafs al-Nátíkah is the intellectual soul or function; Nafs al-Ghazabíyah = the animal function and Nafs al Shahwáníyah = the vegetative property.


 [FN#55] The lines occur in vol. ii. 331: I have quoted Mr. Payne. Here they are singularly out of place.


 [FN#56] Not the "green gown" of Anglo-India i.e. a white ball-dress with blades of grass sticking to it in consequence of a "fall backwards."


 [FN#57] These lines occur in vol. i. 219: I have borrowed from Torrens (p. 219).


 [FN#58] The appearance of which ends the fast and begins the Lesser Festival. See vol. i. 84.


 [FN#59] See note, vol. i. 84, for notices of the large navel; much appreciated by Easterns.


 [FN#60] Arab. "Shá'ir Al-Walahán" = the love-distraught poet; Lane has "a distracted poet." My learned friend Professor Aloys Sprenger has consulted, upon the subject of Al-Walahán the well-known Professor of Arabic at Halle, Dr. Thorbeck, who remarks that the word (here as further on) must be an adjective, mad, love-distraught, not a "lakab" or poetical cognomen. He generally finds it written Al-Shá'ir al-Walahán (the love-demented poet) not Al-Walahán al-Shá'ir = Walahán the Poet. Note this burst of song after the sweet youth falls in love: it explains the cause of verse-quotation in The Nights, poetry being the natural language of love and battle.


 [FN#61] "Them" as usual for "her."


 [FN#62] Here Lane proposes a transposition, for "Wa-huwá (and he) fi'l-hubbi," to read "Fi 'l-hubbi wa huwa (wa-hwa);" but the latter is given in the Mac. Edit.


 [FN#63] For the pun in "Sabr"=aloe or patience. See vol. i. 138. In Herr Landberg (i. 93) we find a misunderstanding of the couplet-- "Aw'ákibu s-sabri (Kála ba'azuhum) Mahmúdah: Kultu, 'khshi an takhirriní.'" "The effects of patience" (or aloes) quoth one "are praiseworthy!" Quoth I, "Much I fear lest it make me stool." Mahmúdah is not only un laxatif, but a slang name for a confection of aloes.


 [FN#64] Arab. "Akúna fidá-ka." Fidá = ransom, self-sacrifice and Fidá'an = instead of. The phrase, which everywhere occurs in The Nights, means, "I would give my life to save thine "


 [FN#65] Thus accounting for his sickness, improbably enough but in flattering way. Like a good friend (feminine) she does not hesitate a moment in prescribing a fib.


 [FN#66] i.e. the 25,000 Amazons who in the Bresl. Edit. (ii. 308) are all made to be the King's Banát" = daughters or protégées. The Amazons of Dahome (see my "Mission") who may now number 5,000 are all officially wives of the King and are called by the lieges "our mothers."


 [FN#67] The tale-teller has made up his mind about the damsel; although in this part of the story she is the chief and eldest sister and subsequently she appears as the youngest daughter of the supreme Jinn King. The mystification is artfully explained by the extraordinary likeness of the two sisters. (See Night dcccxi.)


 [FN#68] This is a reminiscence of the old-fashioned "marriage by capture," of which many traces survive, even among the civilised who wholly ignore their origin.


 [FN#69] Meaning her companions and suite.


 [FN#70] Arab. "'Abáah" vulg. "'Abáyah." See vol. ii. 133.


 [FN#71] Feet in the East lack that development of sebaceous glands which afflicts Europeans.


 [FN#72] i.e. cutting the animals' throats after Moslem law.


 [FN#73] In Night dcclxxviii. supra p.5, we find the orthodox Moslem doctrine that "a single mortal is better in Allah's sight than a thousand Jinns." For, I repeat, Al-Islam systematically exalts human nature which Christianity takes infinite trouble to degrade and debase. The results of its ignoble teaching are only too evident in the East: the Christians of the so-called (and miscalled) "Holy Land" are a disgrace to the faith and the idiomatic Persian term for a Nazarene is "Tarsá" = funker, coward.


 [FN#74] Arab. "Sakaba Kúrahá;" the forge in which children are hammered out?


 [FN#75] Arab. "Má al-Maláhat" = water (brilliancy) of beauty.


 [FN#76] The fourth of the Seven Heavens, the "Garden of Eternity," made of yellow coral.


 [FN#77] How strange this must sound to the Young Woman of London in the nineteenth century.


 [FN#78] "Forty days" is a quasi-religious period amongst Moslem for praying, fasting and religious exercises: here it represents our "honey-moon." See vol. v. p. 62.


 [FN#79] Yá layta, still popular. Herr Carlo Landberg (Proverbes et Dictons du Peuple Arabe, vol. i. of Syria, Leyden, E. J. Brill, 1883) explains layta for rayta (=raayta) by permutation of liquids and argues that the contraction is ancient (p. 42). But the Herr is no Arabist: "Layta" means "would to Heaven," or, simply "I wish," "I pray" (for something possible or impossible); whilst "La'alla" (perhaps, it may be) prays only for the possible: and both are simply particles governing the noun in the oblique or accusative case.


 [FN#80] "His" for "her," i.e. herself, making somewhat of confusion between her state and that of her son.


 [FN#81] i.e. his mother; the words are not in the Mac. Edit.


 [FN#82] Baghdad is called House of Peace, amongst other reasons, from the Dijlah (Tigris) River and Valley "of Peace." The word was variously written Baghdád, Bághdád, (our old Bughdaud and Bagdat), Baghzáz, Baghzán, Baghdán, Baghzám and Maghdád as Makkah and Bakkah (Koran iii. 90). Religious Moslems held Bágh (idol) and Dád (gift) an ill-omened conjunction, and the Greeks changed it to Eirenopolis. (See Ouseley's Oriental Collcctions, vol. i. pp. 18-20.)


 [FN#83] This is a popular saying but hardly a "vulgar proverb." (Lane iii. 522.) It reminds rather of Shakespear's: "So loving to my mother, That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly."


 [FN#84] i.e. God forbid that I should oppose thee!


 [FN#85] Here the writer again forgets apparently, that Shahrazad is speaking: she may, however, use the plural for the singular when speaking of herself.


 [FN#86] i.e. She would have pleaded ill-treatment and lawfully demanded to be sold.


 [FN#87] The Hindus speak of "the only bond that woman knows--her heart."


 [FN#88] i.e. a rarity, a present (especially in Persian).


 [FN#89] Arab. "Al-bisát" wa'l-masnad lit. the carpet and the cushion.


 [FN#90] For "Báb al-bahr" and "Báb al-Barr" see vol. iii. 281.


 [FN#91] She was the daughter of Ja'afar bin Mansúr; but, as will be seen, The Nights again and again called her father Al-Kásim.


 [FN#92] This is an error for the fifth which occurs in the popular saying, "Is he the fifth of the sons of Al-Abbás!" i.e. Harun al-Rashid. Lane (note, in loco) thus accounts for the frequent mention of the Caliph, the greatest of the Abbasides in The Nights. But this is a causa non causa.


 [FN#93] i.e. I find thy beauty all-sufficient. So the proverb "The son of the quarter (young neighbour) filleth not the eye," which prefers a stranger.


 [FN#94] They are mere doggerel, like most of the pieces de circonstance.


 [FN#95] Afterwards called Wák Wák, and in the Bresl. Edit. Wák al-Wák. See Lane's notes upon these Islands. Arab Geographers evidently speak of two Wak Waks. Ibn al-Fakih and Al-Mas'údi (Fr. Transl., vol. iii. 6-7) locate one of them in East Africa beyond Zanzibar and Sofala. "Le territoire des Zendjes (Zanzibar-Negroids) commence au canal (Al-Khalij) dérivé du haut Nil (the Juln River?) et se prolonge jusqu'au pays de Sofalah et des Wak-Wak." It is simply the peninsula of Guardafui (Jard Hafun) occupied by the Gallas, pagans and Christians, before these were ousted by the Moslem Somal; and the former perpetually ejaculated "Wak" (God) as Moslems cry upon Allah. This identification explains a host of other myths such as the Amazons, who as Marco Polo tells us held the "Female Island" Socotra (Yule ii. 396). The fruit which resembled a woman's head (whence the puelloe Wakwakienses hanging by the hair from trees), and which when ripe called out "Wak Wak" and "Allah al-Khallák" (the Creator) refers to the Calabash-tree (Adausonia digitata), that grotesque growth, a vegetable elephant, whose gourds, something larger than a man's head, hang by a slender filament. Similarly the "cocoa" got its name, in Port. = Goblin, from the fancied face at one end. The other Wak Wak has been identified in turns with the Seychelles, Madagascar, Malacca, Sunda or Java (this by Langlès), China and Japan. The learned Prof. de Goeje (Arabishe Berichten over Japan, Amsterdam, Muller, 1880) informs us that in Canton the name of Japan is Wo-Kwok, possibly a corruption of Koku-tan, the ebony-tree (Diospyros ebenum) which Ibn Khor-dábah and others find together with gold in an island 4,500 parasangs from Suez and East of China. And we must remember that Basrah was the chief starting-place for the Celestial Empire during the rule of the Tang dynasty (seventh and ninth centuries). Colonel J. W. Watson of Bombay suggests New Guinea or the adjacent islands where the Bird of Paradise is said to cry "Wak Wak!" Mr. W. F. Kirby in the Preface (p. ix.) to his neat little book "The New Arabian Nights," says: "The Islands of Wak-Wak, seven years' journey from Bagdad, in the story of Hasan, have receded to a distance of a hundred and fifty years' journey in that of Majin (of Khorasan). There is no doubt(?) that the Cora Islands, near New Guinea, are intended; for the wonderful fruits which grow there are Birds of Paradise, which settle in flocks on the trees at sunset and sunrise, uttering this very cry." Thus, like Ophir, Wak Wak has wandered all over the world and has been found even in Peru by the Turkish work Tárikh al-Hind al-Gharbi = History of the West Indies (Orient. Coll. iii 189).


 [FN#96] I accept the emendation of Lane's Shaykh, "Nasím " (Zephyr) for "Nadím " (cup-companion).


 [FN#97] "Jannat al-Ná'im" = Garden of Delights is No. V Heaven, made of white diamond.


 [FN#98] This appears to her very prettily put.


 [FN#99] This is the "House of Sadness" of our old chivalrous Romances. See chapt. vi. of "Palmerin of England," by Francisco de Moraes (ob. 1572), translated by old Anthony Munday (dateless, 1590?) and "corrected" (read spoiled) by Robert Southey, London, Longmans, 1807.


 [FN#100] The lines have occurred in Night clix. (vol. iii. 183), I quote Mr. Payne who, like Lane, prefers "in my bosom" to "beneath my ribs."


 [FN#101] In this tale the Bresl. Edit. more than once adds "And let us and you send a blessing to the Lord of Lords" (or to "Mohammed," or to the "Prophet"); and in vol. v. p. 52 has a long prayer. This is an act of contrition in the tale-teller for romancing against the expressed warning of the Founder of Al-Islam.


 [FN#102] From Bresl. Edit. (vi. 29): the four in the Mac. Edit. are too irrelevant.


 [FN#103] Arab. "Ghayúr"--jealous, an admirable epithet which Lane dilutes to "changeable"--making a truism of a metaphor.


 [FN#104] These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#105] i.e. One fated to live ten years.


 [FN#106] This poetical way of saying "fourteen" suggests Camoens (The Lusiads) Canto v. 2.


 [FN#107] Arab. "Surrah," lit. = a purse: a few lines lower down it is called "'Ulbah" = a box which, of course, may have contained the bag.


 [FN#108] The month which begins the Moslem year.


 [FN#109] As an Arab often does when deep in thought. Lane appositely quotes John viii. 6. "Jonas stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground." Mr. Payne translates, "He fell a-drumming on the earth with his fingers," but this does not complete the sense.


 [FN#110] i.e."And the peace of Allah be upon thee! that will end thy story." The Arab formula, "Wa al-Salám" (pron. Wassalám) is used in a variety of senses.


 [FN#111] Like Camoens, one of the model lovers, he calls upon Love to torment him still more--ad majorern Dei (amoris) gloriam.


 [FN#112] Pron. Aboor-Ruwaysh. "The Father of the little Feather": he is afterwards called "Son of the daughter of the accursed Iblis"; yet, as Lane says, "he appears to be a virtuous person."


 [FN#113] Arab. "Kantara al-lijám fi Karbús (bow) sarjih."


 [FN#114] I do not translate "beckoned" because the word would give a wrong idea. Our beckoning with the finger moved towards the beckoner makes the so-beckoned Eastern depart in all haste. To call him you must wave the hand from you.


 [FN#115] The Arabs knew what large libraries were; and a learned man could not travel without camel-loads of dictionaries.


 [FN#116] Arab. "Adim;" now called Bulghár, our Moroccan leather.


 [FN#117] Arab. "Zinád," which Lane renders by "instruments for striking fire," and Mr. Payne, after the fashion of the translators of Al-Hariri, "flint and steel."


 [FN#118] A congener of Hasan and Husayn, little used except in Syria where it is a favourite name for Christians. The Muhít of Butrus Al-Bostáni (s.v.) tells us that it also means a bird called Abú Hasan and supplies various Egyptian synonyms. In Mod. Arab. Grammar the form Faúl is a diminutive as Hammúd for Ahmad, 'Ammúr for 'Amrú. So the fem. form, Faúlah, e.g. Khaddúgah = little Khadijah and Naffúsah=little Nafisah; Ar'úrah = little clitoris - whereas in Heb. it is an incrementative e.g. dabbúlah a large dablah (cake or lump of dried figs, etc.).


 [FN#119] In the Mac. Edit. "Soldiers of Al-Daylam" i.e. warlike as the Daylamites or Medes. See vol. ii. 94.


 [FN#120] Bilkís, it will be remembered, is the Arab. name of the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon. In Abyssinia she is termed Kebra zá negest or zá makadá, the latter (according to Ferdinand Werne's "African Wanderings," Longmans, 1852) being synonymous with Ityopia or Habash (Ethiopia or Abyssinia).


 [FN#121] Arab. "Dakkah," which Lane translates by "settee."


 [FN#122] Arab. "Ambar al-Khám" the latter word (raw) being pure Persian.


 [FN#123] The author neglects to mention the ugliest part of old-womanhood in the East, long empty breasts like tobacco-pouches. In youth the bosom is beautifully high, arched and rounded, firm as stone to the touch, with the nipples erect and pointing outwards. But after the girl-mother's first child (in Europe le premier embellit) all changes. Nature and bodily power have been overtasked; then comes the long suckling at the mother's expense: the extension of the skin and the enlargement of its vessels are too sudden and rapid for the diminished ability of contraction and the bad food aids in the continual consumption of vitality. Hence, among Eastern women age and ugliness are synonymous. It is only in the highest civilisation that we find the handsome old woman.


 [FN#124] The name has occurred in the Knightly tale of King Omar and his sons, Vol. ii. 269. She is here called Mother of Calamities,but in p. 123, Vol. iv. of the Mac. Edit. she becomes "Lady (Zát) al-Dawáhi." It will be remembered that the title means calamitous to the foe.


 [FN#125] By this address she assured him that she had no design upon his chastity. In Moslem lands it is always advisable to accost a strange woman, no matter how young, with, "Yá Ummí!" = O my mother. This is pledging one's word, as it were, not to make love to her.


 [FN#126] Apparently the Wakites numbered their Islands as the Anglo-Americans do their streets. For this they have been charged with "want of imagination"; but the custom is strictly classical. See at Pompeii "Reg (io) I; Ins (ula) 1, Via Prima, Secunda," etc.


 [FN#127] These are the Puellæ Wakwakienses of whom Ibn Al-Wardi relates after an ocular witness, "Here too is a tree which bears fruits like women who have fair faces and are hung by their hair. They come forth from integuments like large leathern bags (calabash-gourds?) and when they sense air and sun they cry 'Wak! Wak!' (God! God!) till their hair is cut, and when it is cut they die; and the islanders understand this cry wherefrom they augure ill." The Ajáib al-Hind (chapt. xv.) places in Wak-land the Samandal, a bird which enters the fire without being burnt evidently the Egyptian "Pi-Benni," which the Greeks metamorphised to "Phoenix." It also mentions a hare-like animal, now male then female, and the Somal behind Cape Guardafui tell the same tale of their Cynhyænas.


 [FN#128] i.e. I will keep thee as though thou wert the apple of my eye.


 [FN#129] A mere exaggeration of the "Gull-fairs" noted by travellers in sundry islands as Ascension and the rock off Brazilian Santos.


 [FN#130] Arab. "Kámil wa Basít wa Wáfir" = the names of three popular metres, for which see the Terminal Essay.


 [FN#131] Arab. "Manáshif" = drying towels, Plur. of Minshafah, and the popular term which Dr. Jonathan Swift corrupted to "Munnassaf." Lane (Nights, Introduct. p. ix.).


 [FN#132] Arab. "Shafaif" opposed to "Shafah" the mouth-lips.


 [FN#133] Fountains of Paradise. This description is a fair instance of how the Saj'a (prose-rhyme) dislocates the order; an Arab begins with hair, forehead, eyebrows and lashes and when he reaches the nose, he slips down to the toes for the sake of the assonance. If the latter be neglected the whole list of charms must be otherwise ordered; and the student will compare Mr. Payne's version of this passage with mine.


 [FN#134] A fair specimen of the Arab logogriph derived from the Abjad Alphabet which contains only the Hebrew and Syriac letters not the six Arabic. Thus 4 X 5=20 which represents the Kaf (K) and 6 X 10=60, or Sin (S). The whole word is thus "Kos", the Greek {greek letters} or {greek letters}, and the lowest word, in Persian as in Arabic, for the female pudenda, extensively used in vulgar abuse. In my youth we had at the University something of the kind, To five and five and fifty-five The first of letters add To make a thing to please a King And drive a wise man mad. Answer VVLVA. Very interesting to the anthropological student is this excursus of Hasan, who after all manner of hardships and horrors and risking his life to recover his wife and children, breaks out into song on the subject of her privities. And it can hardly be tale-teller's gag as both verse and prose show considerable art in composition. (See p. 348.) Supplementary Note To Hasan of Bassorah. Note(p.93)--There is something wondrous naïve in a lover who, when asked by his mistress to sing a song in her honour, breaks out into versical praises of her parts. But even the classical Arab authors did not disdain such themes. See in Al-Harírí (Ass. of Mayyáfarikín) where Abú Zayd laments the impotency of old age in form of a Rasy or funeral oration (Preston p. 484, and Chenery p. 221). It completely deceived Sir William Jones, who inserted it into the chapter "De Poesi Funebri," p. 527 (Poeseos Asiaticæ Commentarii), gravely noting, "Hæc Elegia non admodum dissimilis esse videtur pulcherrimi illius carminis de Sauli et Jonathani obitu; at que adeò versus iste 'ubi provocant adversarios nunquam rediit a pugnæ contentione sine spiculo sanguine imbuto, 'ex Hebræoreddi videtur, A sanguine occisorum, a fortium virorum adipe, Arcus Jonathani non rediit irritus." I need hardly say with Captain Lockett (226) that this "Sabb warrior," this Arabian Achilles, is the celebrated Bonus Deus or Hellespontiacus of the Ancients. The oration runs thus:-- O folk I have a wondrous tale, so rare Much shall it profit hearers wise and ware! I saw in salad-years a potent Brave And sharp of edge and point his warrior glaive; Who entered joust and list with hardiment Fearless of risk, of victory confident, His vigorous onset straitest places oped And easy passage through all narrows groped: He ne'er encountered foe in single fight But came from tilt with spear in blood stained bright; Nor stormed a fortress howso strong and stark-- With fencèd gates defended deep and dark-- When shown his flag without th' auspicious cry "Aidance from Allah and fair victory nigh!"‡ Thus wise full many a night his part he played In strength and youthtide's stately garb arrayed, Dealing to fair young girl delicious joy And no less welcome to the blooming boy. But Time ne'er ceased to stint his wondrous strength (Steadfast and upright as the gallow's length) Until the Nights o'erthrew him by their might And friends contemned him for a feckless wight; Nor was a wizard but who wasted skill Over his case, nor leach could heal his ill. Then he abandoned arms abandoned him Who gave and took salutes so fierce and grim; And now lies prostrate drooping haughty crest; For who lives longest him most ills molest. Then see him, here he lies on bier for bet;-- Who will a shroud bestow on stranger dead? A fair measure of the difference between Eastern and Western manners is afforded by such a theme being treated by their gravest writers and the verses being read and heard by the gravest and most worshipful men, whilst amongst us Preston and Chenery do not dare even to translate them. The latter, indeed, had all that immodest modesty for which English professional society is notable in this xixth century. He spoiled by needlessly excluding from a scientific publication (Mem. R.A.S.) all of my Proverbia Communia Syriaca (see Unexplored Sryia, i. 364) and every item which had a shade of double entendre. But Nemesis frequently found him out: during his short and obscure rule in Printing House Square, The Thunderer was distinguished by two of the foulest indecencies that ever appeared in an English paper. ‡ The well-known Koranic verse, whereby Allah is introduced into an indecent tale and "Holy Writ" is punned upon. I have noticed (iii. 206) that victory Fat'h lit.=opening everything (as e.g. a maidenhead).


 [FN#135] Egyptian and Syrian vulgar term for Mawálíyah or Mawáliyah, a short poem on subjects either classical or vulgar. It generally consists of five lines all rhyming except the penultimate. The metre is a species of the Basít which, however, admits of considerable poetical license; this being according to Lane the usual "Weight," --U-/-U-/--U-/--. The scheme is distinctly anapæstic and Mr. Lyall (Translations of Ancient Arabic Poetry) compares with a cognate metre, the Tawíl, certain lines in Abt Vogler, e.g. "Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told."


 [FN#136] i.e. repeat the chapter of the Koran termed The Opening, and beginning with these words, "Have we not opened thy breast for thee and eased thee of thy burden which galled thy back? *** Verily with the difficulty cometh ease!"--Koran xciv. vol. 1, 5.


 [FN#137] Lane renders Nur al-Hudà (Light of Salvation) by Light of Day which would be Nur al-Hadà.


 [FN#138] In the Bresl. Edit. "Yá Salám"=O safety!--a vulgar ejaculation.


 [FN#139] A favourite idiom meaning from the mischief which may (or will) come from the Queen.


 [FN#140] He is not strong-minded but his feminine persistency of purpose, likest to that of a sitting hen, is confirmed by the "Consolations of religion." The character is delicately drawn.


 [FN#141] In token that she intended to act like a man.


 [FN#142] This is not rare even in real life: Moslem women often hide and change their names for superstitious reasons, from the husband and his family.


 [FN#143] Arab. "Sabab" which also means cause. Vol. ii. 14. There is the same metaphorical use of "Habl"= cord and cause.


 [FN#144] Arab. "Himà," a word often occurring in Arab poetry, domain, a pasture or watered land forcibly kept as far as a dog's bark would sound by some masterful chief like "King Kulayb." (See vol. ii. 77.) This tenure was forbidden by Mohammed except for Allah and the Apostle (i.e. himself). Lane translates it "asylum."


 [FN#145] She was a maid and had long been of marriageable age.


 [FN#146] The young man had evidently "kissed the Blarney stone"; but the flattery is the more telling as he speaks from the heart.


 [FN#147] "Inshallah " here being= D. V.


 [FN#148] i.e. The "Place of Light" (Pharos), or of Splendour. Here we find that Hasan's wife is the youngest sister, but with an extraordinary resemblance to the eldest, a very masterful young person. The anagnorisis is admirably well managed.


 [FN#149] i.e. the sweetmeats of the feast provided for the returning traveller. The old woman (like others) cannot resist the temptation of a young man's lips. Happily for him she goes so far and no farther.


 [FN#150] The first, fourth, fifth and last names have already occurred: the others are in order, Star o' Morn, Sun of Undtirn and Honour of Maidenhood. They are not merely fanciful, but are still used in Egypt and Syria.


 [FN#151] Arab. "Fájirah" and elsewhere "Ahirah," =whore and strumpet used often in loose talk as mere abuse without special meaning.


 [FN#152] This to Westerns would seem a most improbable detail, but Easterns have their own ideas concerning "Al-Muhabbat al-ghariziyah" =natural affection, blood speaking to blood, etc.


 [FN#153] One of the Hells (see vol. iv. 143). Here it may be advisable to give the names of the Seven Heavens (which are evidently based upon Ptolemaic astronomy) and which correspond with the Seven Hells after the fashion of Arabian system-mania. (1) Dar al-Jalál (House of Glory) made of pearls; (2) Dár al-Salám (of Rest), rubies and jacinths; (3) Jannat al-Maawá (Garden of Mansions, not "of mirrors," as Herklots has it, p. 98), made of yellow copper; (4) Jannat al-Khuld (of Eternity), yellow coral; (5) Jannat al-Na'ím (of Delights), white diamond; (6) Jannat al-Firdaus (of Paradise), red gold; and (7) Jannat al-'Adn (of Eden, or Al-Karár= of everlasting abode, which some make No. 8), of red pearls or pure musk. The seven Hells are given in vol. v. 241; they are intended for Moslems (Jahannam); Christians (Lazà); Jews (Hutamah); Sabians (Sa'ir); Guebles (Sakar); Pagans or idolaters (Jahím); and Hypocrites (Háwiyah).


 [FN#154] Arab. "'Atb," more literally= "blame," "reproach."


 [FN#155] Bresl. Edit. In the Mac. "it returned to the place whence I had brought it"--an inferior reading.


 [FN#156] The dreams play an important part in the Romances of Chivalry, e.g. the dream of King Perion in Amadis de Gaul, chapt. ii. (London; Longmans, 1803).


 [FN#157] Amongst Moslems bastardy is a sore offence and a love-child is exceedingly rare. The girl is not only carefully guarded but she also guards herself knowing that otherwise she will not find a husband. Hence seduction is all but unknown. The wife is equally well guarded and lacks opportunities hence adultery is found difficult except in books. Of the Ibn (or Walad) Harám (bastard as opposed to the Ibn Halál) the proverb says, "This child is not thine, so the madder he be the more is thy glee!" Yet strange to say public prostitution has never been wholly abolished in Al-Islam. Al-Mas'údi tells us that in Arabia were public prostitutes'(Bagháyá), even before the days of the Apostle, who affected certain quarters as in our day the Tartúshah of Alexandria and the Hosh Bardak of Cairo. Here says Herr Carlo Landberg (p. 57, Syrian Proverbs) "Elles parlent une langue toute à elle." So pretentious and dogmatic a writer as the author of Proverbes et Dictons de la Province de Syrie, ought surely to have known that the Hosh Bardak is the head-quarters of the Cairene Gypsies. This author, who seems to write in order to learn, reminds me of an acute Oxonian undergraduate of my day who, when advised to take a "coach," became a "coach" himself.


 [FN#158] These lines occur in vol. vii. p. 340. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#159] She shows all the semi-maniacal rancour of a good woman, or rather a woman who has not broken the eleventh commandment, "Thou shalt not be found out," against an erring sister who has been discovered. In the East also these unco'gúid dames have had, and too often have, the power to carry into effect the cruelty and diabolical malignity which in London and Paris must vent itself in scan. mag. and anonymous letters.


 [FN#160] These faintings and trances are as common in the Romances of Chivalry e.g. Amadis of Gaul, where they unlace the garments to give more liberty, pour cold water on the face and bathe the temples and pulses with diluted vinegar (for rose water) exactly as they do in The Nights.


 [FN#161] So Hafiz, "Bád-i-Sabá chu bugzarí" etc.


 [FN#162] Arab. "Takiyah." See vol. i. 224 and for the Tarn-Kappe vol. iv. p. 176. In the Sinthásana Dwatrinsati (vulgo. Singhásan Battísí), or Thirty-two Tales of a Throne, we find a bag always full of gold, a bottomless purse; earth which rubbed on the forehead overcomes all; a rod which during the first watch of the night furnishes jewelled ornaments; in the second a beautiful girl; in the third invisibility, and in the fourth a deadly foe or death; a flower-garland which renders the possessor invisible and an unfading lotus-flower which produces a diamond every day.


 [FN#163] Arab. "Judad," plur. of Jadíd, lit.= new coin, ergo applied to those old and obsolete; 10 Judad were= one nusf or half dirham.


 [FN#164] Arab. "Raff," a shelf proper, running round the room about 7-7œ feet from the ground. During my day it was the fashion in Damascus to range in line along the Raff splendid porcelain bowls brought by the Caravans in olden days from China, whilst on the table were placed French and English specimens of white and gold "china" worth perhaps a franc each.


 [FN#165] Lane supposes that the glass and china-ware had fallen upon the divan running round the walls under the Raff and were not broken.


 [FN#166] These lines have occurred in Night dclxxxix. vol. vii. p. 119. I quote Lane.


 [FN#167] The lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#168] This formula, I repeat, especially distinguishes the Tale of Hasan of Bassorah.


 [FN#169] These lines have occurred in vol. 1. 249. I quote Lane.


 [FN#170] She speaks to the "Gallery," who would enjoy a loud laugh against Mistress Gadabout. The end of the sentence must speak to the heart of many a widow.


 [FN#171] These lines occur in vol. i. 25: so I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#172] Arab. "Musáhikah;" the more usual term for a Tribade is "Sahíkah" from "Sahk" in the sense of rubbing: both also are applied to onanists and masturbators of the gender feminine.


 [FN#173] i.e. by way of halter. This jar is like the cask in Auerbach's Keller; and has already been used by witches; Night dlxxxvii. vol. vi. 158.


 [FN#174] Here they are ten but afterwards they are reduced to seven: I see no reason for changing the text with Lane and Payne.


 [FN#175] Wazir of Solomon. See vol. i. 42; and vol. iii. 97.


 [FN#176] Arab. "Ism al-A'azam," the Ineffable Name, a superstition evidently derived from the Talmudic fancies of the Jews concerning their tribal god, Yah or Yahvah.


 [FN#177] The tradition is that Mohámmed asked Akáf al-Wadá'ah "Hast a wife?"; and when answered in the negative, "Then thou appertainest to the brotherhood of Satans! An thou wilt be one of the Christian monks then company therewithal; but an thou be of us, know that it is our custom to marry!"


 [FN#178] The old woman, in the East as in the West, being the most vindictive of her kind. I have noted (Pilgrimage iii. 70) that a Badawi will sometimes though in shame take the blood-wit; but that if it be offered to an old woman she will dash it to the ground and clutch her knife and fiercely swear by Allah that she will not eat her son's blood.


 [FN#179] Neither dome nor fount etc. are mentioned before, the normal inadvertency.


 [FN#180] In Eastern travel the rest comes before the eating and drinking.


 [FN#181] Arab. "'Id" (pron.'Eed) which I have said (vol. i. 42, 317) is applied to the two great annual festivals, the "Fête of Sacrifice," and the "Break-Fast." The word denotes restoration to favour and Moslems explain as the day on which Adam (and Eve) who had been expelled from Paradise for disobedience was re-established (Uída) by the relenting of Allah. But the name doubtless dates amongst Arabs from days long before they had heard of the "Lord Nomenclator."


 [FN#182] Alluding to Hasan seizing her feather dress and so taking her to wife.


 [FN#183] Arab. "Kharajú"=they (masc.) went forth, a vulgarism for "Kharajna" (fem.)


 [FN#184] Note the notable housewife who, at a moment when youth would forget everything, looks to the main chance.


 [FN#185] Arab. "Al-Malakút" (not "Malkút" as in Freytag) a Sufi term for the world of Spirits (De Lacy Christ, Ar. i. 451). Amongst Eastern Christians it is vulgarly used in the fem. and means the Kingdom of Heaven, also the preaching of the Gospel.

 [FN#186] This is so rare, even amongst the poorest classes in the East, that it is mentioned with some emphasis.


 [FN#187] A beauty among the Egyptians, not the Arabs.


 [FN#188] True Fellah--"chaff."


 [FN#189] Alluding to the well-known superstition, which has often appeared in The Nights, that the first object seen in the morning, such as a crow, a cripple, or a cyclops determines the fortunes of the day. Notices in Eastern literature are as old as the days of the Hitopadesa; and there is a something instinctive in the idea to a race of early risers. At an hour when the senses are most impressionable the aspect of unpleasant spectacles ahs double effect.


 [FN#190] Arab. "Masúkah," the stick used for driving cattle, bâton gourdin (Dozy). Lane applies the word to a wooden plank used for levelling the ground.


 [FN#191] i.e. the words I am about to speak to thee.


 [FN#192] Arab. "Sahifah," which may mean "page" (Lane) or "book" (Payne).


 [FN#193] Pronounce, "Abussa'ádát" = Father of Prosperities: Lane imagines that it came from the Jew's daughter being called "Sa'adat." But the latter is the Jew's wife (Night dcccxxxiii) and the word in the text is plural.


 [FN#194] Arab. "Furkh samak" lit. a fish-chick, an Egyptian vulgarism.


 [FN#195] Arab. "Al-Rasif"; usually a river-quay, levée, an embankment. Here it refers to the great dyke which distributed the Tigris-water.


 [FN#196] Arab. "Dajlah," see vol. i, p 180. It is evidently the origin of the biblical "Hiddekel" "Hid" = fierceness, swiftness.


 [FN#197] Arab. "Bayáz" a kind of Silurus (S. Bajad, Forsk.) which Sonnini calls Bayatto, Saksatt and Hébedé; also Bogar (Bakar, an ox). The skin is lubricous, the flesh is soft and insipid and the fish often grows to the size of a man. Captain Speke and I found huge specimens in the Tangany ika Lake.


 [FN#198] Arab. "Mu'allim," vulg. "M'allim," prop.= teacher, master esp. of a trade, a craft. In Egypt and Syria it is a civil address to a Jew or a Christian, as Hájj is to a Moslem.


 [FN#199] Arab. "Gharámah," an exaction, usually on the part of government like a corvée etc. The Europeo-Egyptian term is Avania (Ital.) or Avanie (French).


 [FN#200] Arab. "Sayyib-hu" an Egyptian vulgarism found also in Syria. Hence Sáibah, a woman who lets herself go (a-whoring) etc. It is syn. with "Dashar," which Dozy believes to be a softening of Jashar; and Jashsh became Dashsh.


 [FN#201] The Silurus is generally so called in English on account of its feeler-acting mustachios.


 [FN#202] See Night dcccvii, vol. viii. p. 94.


 [FN#203] This extraordinary confusion of two distinct religious mythologies cannot be the result of ignorance. Educated Moslems know at least as much as Christians do, on these subjects, but the Rawi or story-teller speaks to the "Gallery." In fact it becomes a mere 'chaff' and The Nights give some neat specimens of our modern linguistic.


 [FN#204] See vol. ii. 197. "Al-Siddíkah" (fem.) is a title of Ayishah, who, however, does not appear to have deserved it.


 [FN#205] The Jew's wife.


 [FN#206] Here is a double entendre. The fisherman meant a word or two. The Jew understood the Shibboleth of the Moslem Creed, popularly known as the "Two Words,"--I testify that there is no Ilah (god) but Allah (the God) and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah. Pronouncing this formula would make the Jew a Moslem. Some writers are surprised to see a Jew ordering a Moslem to be flogged; but the former was rich and the latter was poor. Even during the worst days of Jewish persecutions their money-bags were heavy enough to lighten the greater part, if not the whole of their disabilities. And the Moslem saying is, "The Jew is never your (Moslem or Christian) equal: he must be either above you or below you." This is high, because unintentional praise of the (self-) Chosen People.


 [FN#207] He understands the "two words" (Kalmatáni) the Moslem's double profession of belief; and Khalifah's reply embodies the popular idea that the number of Moslems (who will be saved) is preordained and that no art of man can add to it or take from it.


 [FN#208] Arab. "Mamarr al-Tujjár" (passing-place of the traders) which Lane renders "A chamber within the place through which the traders passed." At the end of the tale (Night dccxlv.) we find him living in a Khan and the Bresl. Edit. (see my terminal note) makes him dwell in a magazine (i.e. ground-floor store-room) of a ruined Khan.


 [FN#209] The text is somewhat too concise and the meaning is that the fumes of the Hashish he had eaten ("his mind under the influence of hasheesh," says Lane) suggested to him, etc.


 [FN#210] Arab. "Mamrak" either a simple aperture in ceiling or roof for light and air or a more complicated affair of lattice-work and plaster; it is often octagonal and crowned with a little dome. Lane calls it "Memrak," after the debased Cairene pronunciation, and shows its base in his sketch of a Ka'áh (M.E., Introduction).


 [FN#211] Arab. "Kamar." This is a practice especially amongst pilgrims. In Hindostan the girdle, usually a waist-shawl, is called Kammar-band our old "Cummerbund." Easterns are too sensible not to protect the pit of the stomach, that great ganglionic centre, against sun, rain and wind, and now our soldiers in India wear flannel-belts on the march.


 [FN#212] Arab. "Fa-immá 'alayhá wa-immá bihá," i.e. whether (luck go) against it or (luck go) with it.


 [FN#213] "O vilest of sinners!" alludes to the thief. "A general plunge into worldly pursuits and pleasures announced the end of the pilgrimage-ceremonies. All the devotees were now "whitewashed"--the book of their sins was a tabula rasa: too many of them lost no time in making a new departure down South and in opening a fresh account" (Pilgrimage iii. 365). I have noticed that my servant at Jeddah would carry a bottle of Raki, uncovered by a napkin, through the main streets.


 [FN#214] The copper cucurbites in which Solomon imprisoned the rebellious Jinns, often alluded to in The Nights.


 [FN#215] i.e. Son of the Chase: it is prob. a corruption of the Persian Kurnas, a pimp, a cuckold, and introduced by way of chaff, intelligible only to a select few "fast" men.


 [FN#216] For the name see vol. ii.61, in the Tale of Ghánim bin 'Ayyúb where the Caliph's concubine is also drugged by the Lady Aubaydah.


 [FN#217] We should say, "What is this?" etc. The lines have occurred before so I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#218] Zubaydah, I have said, was the daughter of Ja'afar, son of the Caliph al-Mansur, second Abbaside. The story-teller persistently calls her daughter of Al-Kásim for some reason of his own; and this he will repeat in Night dcccxxxix.


 [FN#219] Arab. "Shakhs," a word which has travelled as far as Hindostan.


 [FN#220] Arab. "Shamlah" described in dictionaries, as a cloak covering the whole body. For Hizám (girdle) the Bresl. Edit. reads "Hirám" vulg. "Ehrám," the waist-cloth, the Pilgrim's attire.


 [FN#221] He is described by Al-Siyúti (p. 309) as "very fair, tall handsome and of captivating appearance."


 [FN#222] Arab. "Uzn al-Kuffah" lit. "Ear of the basket," which vulgar Egyptians pronounce "Wizn," so "Wajh" (face) becomes "Wishsh" and so forth.


 [FN#223] Arab. "Bi-fardayn" = with two baskets, lit. "two singles," but the context shows what is meant. English Frail and French Fraile are from Arab. "Farsalah" a parcel (now esp. of coffee-beans) evidently derived from the low Lat. "Parcella" (Du Cange, Paris, firmin Didot 1845). Compare "ream," vol. v. 109.


 [FN#224] Arab. "Sátúr," a kind of chopper which here would be used for the purpose of splitting and cleaning and scaling the fish.


 [FN#225] And, consequently, that the prayer he is about to make will find ready acceptance.


 [FN#226] Arab. "Ruh bilá Fuzúl" (lit. excess, exceeding) still a popular phrase.


 [FN#227] i.e. better give the fish than have my head broken.


 [FN#228] Said ironicè, a favourite figure of speech with the Fellah: the day began badly and threatened to end unluckily.


 [FN#229] The penalty of Theft. See vol. i. 274.


 [FN#230] This is the model of a courtly compliment; and it would still be admired wherever Arabs are not "frankified."


 [FN#231] Arab. "Shibábah;" Lane makes it a kind of reed-flageolet.


 [FN#232] These lines occur in vol. i. 76: I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#233] The instinctive way of juggling with Heaven like our sanding the sugar and going to church.


 [FN#234] Arab. "Yá Shukayr," from Shakar, being red (clay, etc.): Shukár is an anemone or a tulip and Shukayr is its dim. Form. Lane's Shaykh made it a dim. of "Ashkar" = tawny, ruddy (of complexion), so the former writes, "O Shukeyr." Mr. Payne prefers "O Rosy cheeks."


 [FN#235] For "Sandal," see vol. ii. 50. Sandalí properly means an Eunuch clean rasé, but here Sandal is a P.N. = Sandal-wood.


 [FN#236] Arab. "Yá mumátil," one who retards payment.


 [FN#237] Arab. "Kirsh al-Nukhál" = guts of bran, a term too little fitted for the handsome and distinguished Persian. But Khalifah is a Fallah-grazioso of normal assurance shrewd withal; he blunders like an Irishman of the last generation and he uses the first epithet that comes to his tongue. See Night dcccxliii. for the sudden change in Khalifah.


 [FN#238] So the Persian "May your shadow never be less" means, I have said, the shadow which you throw over your servant. Shade, cold water and fresh breezes are the joys of life in arid Arabia.


 [FN#239] When a Fellah demanded money due to him by the Government of Egypt, he was a once imprisoned for arrears of taxes and thus prevented from being troublesome. I am told that matters have improved under English rule, but I "doubt the fact."


 [FN#240] This freak is of course not historical. The tale-teller introduces it to enhance the grandeur and majesty of Harun al-Rashid, and the vulgar would regard it as a right kingly diversion. Westerns only wonder that such things could be.


 [FN#241] Uncle of the Prophet: for his death see Pilgrimage ii. 248.


 [FN#242] First cousin of the Prophet, son of Abú Tálib, a brother of Al-Abbas from whom the Abbasides claimed descent.


 [FN#243] i.e. I hope thou hast or Allah grant thou have good tidings to tell me.


 [FN#244] Arab. "Nákhúzah Zulayt." The former, from the Persian Nákhodá or ship-captain which is also used in a playful sense "a godless wight," one owning no (ná) God (Khudá). Zulayt = a low fellow, blackguard.


 [FN#245] Yásamín and Narjis, names of slave-girls or eunuchs.


 [FN#246] Arab. Tamar-hanná, the cheapest of dyes used ever by the poorest classes. Its smell, I have said, is that of newly mown hay, and is prized like that of the tea-rose.


 [FN#247] The formula (meaning, "What has he to do here?") is by no means complimentary.


 [FN#248] Arab. "Jarrah" (pron. "Garrah") a "jar." See Lane (M.E. chapt. v.) who was deservedly reproached by Baron von Hammer for his superficial notices. The "Jarrah" is of pottery, whereas the "Dist" is a large copper chauldron and the Khalkinah one of lesser size.


 [FN#249] i.e. What a bother thou art, etc.


 [FN#250] This sudden transformation, which to us seems exaggerated and unnatural, appears in many Eastern stories and in the biographies of their distinguished men, especially students. A youth cannot master his lessons; he sees a spider climbing a slippery wall and after repeated falls succeeding. Allah opens the eyes of his mind, his studies become easy to him, and he ends with being an Allámah (doctissimus).


 [FN#251] Arab. "Bismillah, Námí!" here it is not a blessing, but a simple invitation, "Now please go to sleep."


 [FN#252] The modern inkcase of the Universal East is a lineal descendant of the wooden palette with writing reeds. See an illustration of that of "Amásis, the good god and lord of the two lands" (circ. B.C. 1350) in British Museum (p. 41, "The Dwellers on the Nile," by E. A. Wallis Bridge, London, 56, Paternoster Row, 1885).


 [FN#253] This is not ironical, as Lane and Payne suppose, but a specimen of inverted speech--Thou art in luck this time!


 [FN#254] Arab. "Marhúb" = terrible: Lane reads "Mar'úb" = terrified. But the former may also mean, threatened with something terrible.


 [FN#255] i.e. in Kut al-Kulúb.


 [FN#256] Lit. to the son of thy paternal uncle, i.e. Mohammed.


 [FN#257] In the text he tells of the whole story beginning with the eunuch and the hundred dinars, the chest, etc.: but -- "of no avail is a twice-told tale."


 [FN#258] Koran xxxix. 54. I have quoted Mr. Rodwell who affects the Arabic formula, omitting the normal copulatives.


 [FN#259] Easterns find it far easier to "get the chill of poverty out of their bones" than Westerns.


 [FN#260] Arab. "Dar al-Na'ím." Name of one of the seven stages of the Moslem heaven. This style of inscription dates from the days of the hieroglyphs. A papyrus describing the happy town of Raamses ends with these lines.-- Daily is there a supply of food: Within it gladness doth ever brood

  •                   *                   *                  *

Prolonged, increased; abides there Joy, etc., etc.


 [FN#261] Arab. "Ansár" = auxiliaries, the men of Al-Medinah (Pilgrimage ii. 130, etc.).


 [FN#262] Arab. "Asháb" = the companions of the Prophet who may number 500 (Pilgrimage ii. 81, etc.).


 [FN#263] Arab. "Hásilah" prob. a corner of a "Godown" in some Khan or Caravanserai.


 [FN#264] Arab. "Funduk" from the Gr. , whence the Italian Fondaco e.g. at Venice the Fondaco de' Turchi.


 [FN#265] Arab. "Astár" plur. of Satr: in the Mac. Edit. Sátúr, both (says Dozy) meaning "Couperet" (a hatchet). Habicht translates it "a measure for small fish," which seems to be a shot and a bad shot as the text talks only of means of carrying fish. Nor can we accept Dozy's emendation Astál (plur. of Satl) pails, situlæ. In Petermann's Reisen (i. 89) Satr=assiette.


 [FN#266] Which made him expect a heavy haul.


 [FN#267] Arab. "Urkúb" = tendon Achilles in man hough or pastern in beast, etc. It is held to be an incrementative form of 'Akab (heel); as Kur'úb of Ka'b (heel) and Khurtúm of Khatm (snout).


 [FN#268] Arab. "Karmút" and "Zakzúk." The former (pronounced Garmút) is one of the many Siluri (S. Carmoth Niloticus) very common and resembling the Shál. It is smooth and scaleless with fleshy lips and soft meat and as it haunts muddy bottoms it was forbidden to the Ancient Egyptians. The Zakzúk is the young of the Shál (Synodontis Schal: Seetzen); its plural form Zakázik (pronounced Zigázig) gave a name to the flourishing town which has succeeded to old Bubastis and of which I have treated in "Midian" and "Midian Revisited."


 [FN#269] "Yá A'awar"=O one-eye! i.e.. the virile member. So the vulgar insult "Ya ibn al-aur" (as the vulgar pronounce it) "O son of a yard!" When AlMas'údi writes (Fr. Trans. vii. 106), "Udkhul usbu'ak fí aynih," it must not be rendered "Il faut lui faire violence": thrust thy finger into his eye ('Ayn) means "put thy penis up his fundament!" ('Ayn being=Dubur). The French remarks, "On en trouverait l'équivalent dans les bas-fonds de notre langue," So in English "pig's eye," "blind eye," etc.


 [FN#270] Arab. "Nabbút"=a quarterstaff: see vol. i. 234.


 [FN#271] Arab. "Banní," vulg. Benni and in Lane (Lex. Bunni) the Cyprinus Bynni (Forsk.), a fish somewhat larger than a barbel with lustrous silvery scales and delicate flesh, which Sonnini believes may be the "Lepidotes" (smooth-scaled) mentioned by Athenæus. I may note that the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 332) also affects the Egyptian vulgarism "Farkh-Banni" of the Mac. Edit. (Night dcccxxxii.).


 [FN#272] The story-teller forgets that Khalif had neither basket nor knife.


 [FN#273] Arab. "Rayhán" which may here mean any scented herb.


 [FN#274] In the text "Fard Kalmah," a vulgarism. The Mac. Edit. (Night dcccxxxv.) more aptly says, "Two words" (Kalmatáni, vulg. Kalmatayn) the Twofold Testimonies to the Unity of Allah and the Mission of His Messenger.


 [FN#275] The lowest Cairene chaff which has no respect for itself or others.


 [FN#276] Arab. "Karrat azlá hú": alluding to the cool skin of healthy men when digesting a very hearty meal.


 [FN#277] This is the true Fellah idea. A peasant will go up to his proprietor with the "rint" in gold pieces behind his teeth and undergo an immense amount of flogging before he spits them out. Then he will return to his wife and boast of the number of sticks he has eaten instead of paying at once and his spouse will say, "Verily thou art a man." Europeans know nothing of the Fellah. Napoleon Buonaparte, for political reasons, affected great pity for him and horror of his oppressors, the Beys and Pashas; and this affectation gradually became public opinion. The Fellah must either tyrannise or be tyrannised over; he is never happier than under a strong-handed despotism and he has never been more miserable than under British rule, or rather, misrule. Our attempts to constitutionalise him have made us the laughing-stock of Europe.


 [FN#278] The turban is a common substitute for a purse with the lower classes of Egyptians; and an allusion to the still popular practice of turban-snatching will be found in vol. i. p. 259.


 [FN#279] Arab. "Sálih," a devotee; here, a naked Dervish.


 [FN#280] Here Khalif is made a conspicuous figure in Baghdad like Boccaccio's Calandrino and Co. He approaches in type the old Irishman now extinct, destroyed by the reflux action Of Anglo-America (U.S.) upon the miscalled "Emerald Isle." He blunders into doing and saying funny things whose models are the Hibernian "bulls" and acts purely upon the impulse of the moment, never reflecting till (possibly) after all is over.


 [FN#281] Arab. "Kaylúlah," explained in vol. i. 51.


 [FN#282] i.e. thy bread lawfully gained. The "Bawwák" (trumpeter) like the "Zammár" (piper of the Mac. Edit.) are discreditable craftsmen, associating with Almahs and loose women and often serving as their panders.


 [FN#283] i.e. he was indecently clad. Man's "shame" extends from navel to knees. See vol vi. 30.


 [FN#284] Rashid would be=garden-cresses or stones: Rashíd the heaven-directed.


 [FN#285] Arab. "Uff 'alayka"=fie upon thee! Uff=lit. Sordes Aurium and Tuff (a similar term of disgust)=Sordes unguinum. To the English reader the blows administered to Khalif appear rather hard measure. But a Fellah's back is thoroughly broken to the treatment and he would take ten times as much punishment for a few piastres.


 [FN#286] Arab. "Zurayk" dim. of Azrak=blue-eyed. See vol. iii. 104.


 [FN#287] Of Baghdad.


 [FN#288] Arab. "Hásil," i.e. cell in a Khan for storing goods: elsewhere it is called a Makhzan (magazine) with the same sense.


 [FN#289] The Bresl. text (iv. 347) abbreviates, or rather omits; so that in translation details must be supplied to make sense.


 [FN#290] Arab. "Kamán," vulgar Egyptian, a contraction from Kama' (as) + anna (since, because). So " Kamán shuwayh"=wait a bit; " Kamán marrah"=once more and "Wa Karmána-ka"=that is why.


 [FN#291] i.e. Son of the Eagle: See vol. iv. 177. Here, however, as the text shows it is hawk or falcon. The name is purely fanciful and made mnemonically singular.


 [FN#292] The Egyptian Fellah knows nothing of boxing like the Hausá man; but he is fond of wrestling after a rude and uncultivated fashion, which would cause shouts of laughter in Cumberland and Cornwall. And there are champions in this line, See vol. iii. 93.


 [FN#293] The usual formula. See vol. ii. 5.


 [FN#294] As the Fellah still does after drinking a cuplet ("fingán" he calls it) of sugared coffee.


 [FN#295] He should have said "white," the mourning colour under the Abbasides.


 [FN#296] Anglicè, "Fine feathers make fine birds"; and in Eastern parlance, "Clothe the reed and it will become a bride." (Labbis al-Búsah tabkí 'Arúsah, Spitta Bey, No. 275.) I must allow myself a few words of regret for the loss of this Savant, one of the most singleminded men known to me. He was vilely treated by the Egyptian Government, under the rule of the Jew-Moslem Riyáz; and, his health not allowing him to live in Austria, he died shortly after return home.


 [FN#297] Arab. " Saub (Tobe) 'Atábi": see vol. iii. 149.


 [FN#298] In text "Kimkhá," which Dozy also gives Kumkh=chenille, tissu de soie veloutee: Damasquète de soie or et argent de Venise, du Levant , à fleurs, etc. It comes from Kamkháb or Kimkháb, a cloth of gold, the well-known Indian "Kimcob."


 [FN#299] Here meaning=Enter in Allah's name!


 [FN#300] The Arabs have a saying, "Wine breeds gladness, music merriment and their offspring is joy."


 [FN#301] Arab. "Jokh al-Saklát," rich kind of brocade on broadcloth.


 [FN#302] Arab. "Hanabát," which Dozy derives from O. German Hnapf, Hnap now Napf: thence too the Lat. Hanapus and Hanaperium: Ital. Anappo, Nappo; Provenc. Enap and French and English "Hanap"= rich bowl, basket, bag. But this is known even to the dictionaries.


 [FN#303] Arab. " Kirám," nobles, and " Kurúm," vines, a word which appears in Carmel=Karam-El (God's vineyard).


 [FN#304] Arab. "Suláf al-Khandarísí," a contradiction. Suláf=the ptisane of wine. Khandarísí, from Greek , lit. gruel, applies to old wine.


 [FN#305] i.e. in bridal procession.


 [FN#306] Arab. "Al-'Arús, one of the innumerable tropical names given to wine by the Arabs. Mr. Payne refers to Grangeret de la Grange, Anthologie Arabe, p, 190.


 [FN#307] Here the text of the Mac. Edition is resumed.


 [FN#308] i.e. "Adornment of (good) Qualities." See the name punned on in Night dcccli. Lane omits this tale because it contains the illicit "Amours of a Christian and a Jewess who dupes her husband in various abominable ways." The text has been taken from the Mac. and the Bresl. Edits. x. 72 etc. In many parts the former is a mere Epitome.


 [FN#309] The face of her who owns the garden.


 [FN#310] i.e. I am no public woman.


 [FN#311] i.e. with the sight of the garden and its mistress--purposely left vague.


 [FN#312] Arab. "Dádat." Night dcclxxvi. vol. vii. p. 372.


 [FN#313] Meaning respectively "Awaking" (or blowing hard), "Affairs" (or Misfortunes) and "Flowing" (blood or water). They are evidently intended for the names of Jewish slave-girls.


 [FN#314] i.e. the brow-curls, or accroche-cœurs. See vol. i. 168.


 [FN#315] Arab. "Wisháh" usually applied to woman's broad belt, stomacher (Al-Hariri Ass. af Rayy).


 [FN#317] The old Greek "Stephane."


 [FN#317] Alluding to the popular fancy of the rain-drop which becomes a pearl.


 [FN#318] Arab. "Ghází"=one who fights for the faith.


 [FN#319] i.e. people of different conditions.


 [FN#320] The sudden change appears unnatural to Europeans; but an Eastern girl talking to a strange man in a garden is already half won. The beauty, however, intends to make trial of her lover's generosity before yielding.


 [FN#321] These lines have occurred in the earlier part of the Night: I quote Mr. Payne for variety.


 [FN#322] Arab. "Al-Sháh mát"=the King is dead, Pers. and Arab. grotesquely mixed: Europeans explain "Checkmate" in sundry ways, all more or less wrong.


 [FN#323] Cheating (Ghadr) is so common that Easterns who have no tincture of Western civilisation look upon it not only as venial but laudable when one can take advantage of a simpleton. No idea of "honour" enters into it. Even in England the old lady whist-player of the last generation required to be looked after pretty closely--if Mr. Charles Dickens is to be trusted.


 [FN#324] Arab. "Al-Gháliyah," whence the older English Algallia. See vol. i., 128. The Voyage of Linschoten, etc. Hakluyt Society MDCCCLXXXV., with notes by my learned friend the late Arthur Coke Burnell whose early death was so sore a loss to Oriental students.


 [FN#325] A favourite idiom, "What news bringest thou?" ("O Asám!" Arab. Prov. ii. 589) used by Háris bin Amrú, King of Kindah, to the old woman Asám whom he had sent to inspect a girl he purposed marrying.


 [FN#326] Amongst the Jews the Arab Salám becomes "Shalúm" and a Jewess would certainly not address this ceremonial greeting to a Christian. But Eastern storytellers care little for these minutiæ; and the "Adornment of Qualities," was not by birth a Jewess as the sequel will show.


 [FN#327] Arab. "Sálifah," the silken plaits used as adjuncts. See vol. iii, 313.


 [FN#328] I have translated these lines in vol. i. 131, and quoted Mr. Torrens in vol. iv. 235. Here I borrow from Mr. Payne.


 [FN#329] Mr. Payne notes:--Apparently some place celebrated for its fine bread, as Gonesse in seventeenth-century France. It occurs also in Bresl. Edit. (iv. 203) and Dozy does not understand it. But Arj the root=good odour.


 [FN#330] Arab. "Tás," from Pers. Tásah. M. Charbonneau a Professor of Arabic at Constantine and Member of the Asiatic Soc. Paris, who published the Histoire de Chams-Eddine et Nour-Eddine with Maghrabi punctuation (Paris, Hachette, 1852) remarks the similarity of this word to Tazza and a number of other whimsical coincidences as Zauj, jugum; Inkár, negare; matrah, matelas; Ishtirá, acheter, etc. To which I may add wasat, waist; zabad, civet; Bás, buss (kiss); uzrub (pron. Zrub), drub; Kat', cut; Tarík, track; etc., etc.


 [FN#331] We should say "To her (I drink)" etc.


 [FN#332] This is ad captandum. The lovers becoming Moslems would secure the sympathy of the audience. In the sequel (Night dccclviii) we learn that the wilful young woman was a born Moslemah who had married a Jew but had never Judaized.


 [FN#333] The doggerel of this Kasidah is not so phenomenal as some we have seen.


 [FN#334] Arab. "'Andam"=Brazil wood, vol. iii. 263.


 [FN#335] Arab. " Himà." See supra, p. 102.


 [FN#336] i.e. her favours were not lawful till the union was sanctified by heartwhole (if not pure) love.


 [FN#337] Arab. "Mansúr wa munazzam=oratio soluta et ligata.


 [FN#338] i.e. the cupbearers.


 [FN#339] Which is not worse than usual.


 [FN#340] i.e. "Ornament of Qualities."


 [FN#341] The 'Akík, a mean and common stone, ranks high in Moslem poetry on account of the saying of Mohammed recorded by Ali and Ayishah "Seal with seals of Carnelian." ('Akik.)


 [FN#342] See note ii. at the end of this volume.


 [FN#343] Arab. "Mahall" as opposed to the lady's "Manzil," which would be better "Makám." The Arabs had many names for their old habitations, e.g.; Kubbah, of brick; Sutrah, of sun-dried mud; Hazírah, of wood; Tiráf, a tent of leather; Khabáa, of wool; Kash'a, of skins; Nakhád, of camel's or goat's hair; Khaymah, of cotton cloth; Wabar, of soft hair as the camel's undercoat and Fustát (the well-known P.N.) a tent of horsehair or any hair (Sha'ar) but Wabar.


 [FN#344] This is the Maghribi form of the Arab. Súk=a bazar-street, known from Tanjah (Tangiers) to Timbuctoo.


 [FN#345] Arab. "Walímah" usually=a wedding-feast. According to the learned Nasíf alYazají the names of entertainments are as follows: Al-Jafalà=a general invitation, opp. to Al-Nakarà, especial; Khurs, a childbirth feast; 'Akíkah, when the boy-babe is first shaved; A'zár=circumcision-feast; Hizák, when the boy has finished his perlection of the Koran; Milák, on occasion of marriage-offer; Wazímah, a mourning entertainment; Wakírah=a "house-warming"; Nakí'ah, on returning from wayfare; 'Akírah, at beginning of the month Rajab; Kirà=a guest-feast and Maadubah, a feast for other cause; any feast.


 [FN#346] Arab. "Anistaná" the pop. phrase=thy company gladdens us.


 [FN#347] Here "Muákhát" or making mutual brotherhood would be=entering into a formal agreement for partnership. For the forms of "making brotherhood," see vol. iii. 15.


 [FN#348] Arab. "Ishárah" in classical Arab. signs with the finger (beckoning); Aumá with the hand; Ramz, with the lips; Khalaj, with the eyelids (wink); and Ghamz with the eye. Aumáz is a furtive glance, especially of women, and Ilház, a side-glance from lahaza, limis oculis intuitus est. See Preston's Al-Hariri, p. 181.


 [FN#349] Arab. "Haudaj" (Hind. Haudah, vulg. Howda=elephant-saddle), the women's camel-litter, a cloth stretched over a wooden frame. See the Prize-poem of Lebid, v. 12.


 [FN#350] i.e. the twelve days' visit.


 [FN#351] See note, vol. vii. 267. So Dryden (Virgil):-- "And the hoarse raven on the blasted bough By croaking to the left presaged the coming blow." And Gay (Fable xxxvii.), "That raven on the left-hand oak, Curse on his ill-betiding croak!" In some Persian tales two crows seen together are a good omen.


 [FN#352] Vulgar Moslems hold that each man's fate is written in the sutures of his skull but none can read the lines. See vol. iii. 123.


 [FN#353] i.e. cease not to bemoan her lot whose moon-faced beloved ones are gone.


 [FN#354] Arab. "Rukb" used of a return caravan; and also meaning travellers on camels. The vulgar however apply "Rákib" (a camel-rider) to a man on horseback who is properly Fáris plur. "Khayyálah," while "Khayyál" is a good rider. Other names are "Fayyál" (elephant-rider), Baghghál (mule-rider) and Hammár (donkeyrider).


 [FN#355] A popular exaggeration. See vol. i. 117


 [FN#356] Lit. Empty of tent-ropes (Atnáb).


 [FN#357] Arab. "'Abír," a fragrant powder sprinkled on face, body and clothes. In India it is composed of rice flower or powdered bark of the mango, Deodar (uvaria longifolia), Sandalwood, lign-aloes or curcuma (zerumbat or zedoaria) with rose-flowers, camphor, civet and anise-seed. There are many of these powders: see in Herklots Chiksá, Phul, Ood, Sundul, Uggur, and Urgujja.


 [FN#358] i.e. fair faced boys and women. These lines are from the Bresl. Edit. x. 160.


 [FN#359] i.e. the Chief Kazi. For the origin of the Office and title see vol. ii. 90, and for the Kazi al-Arab who administers justice among the Badawin see Pilgrimage iii. 45.


 [FN#360] Arab. "Raas al-Mál"=capital, as opposed to Ribá or Ribh=interest. This legal expression has been adopted by all Moslem races.


 [FN#361] Our Aden which is thus noticed by Abulfeda (A.D. 1331): "Aden in the lowlands of Tehámah * * * also called Abyana from a man (who found it?), built upon the seashore, a station (for land travellers) and a sailing-place for merchant ships India-bound, is dry and sunparcht (Kashifah, squalid, scorbutic) and sweet water must be imported. * * * It lies 86 parasangs from San'á but Ibn Haukal following the travellers makes it three stages. The city, built on the skirt of a wall-like mountain, has a watergate and a landgate known as Bab al-Sákayn. But 'Adan Lá'ah (the modest, the timid, the less known as opposed to Abyan, the better known?) is a city in the mountains of Sabir, Al-Yaman, whence issued the supporters of the Fatimite Caliphs of Egypt." 'Adan etymologically means in Arab. and Heb. pleasure (greek letters), Eden (the garden), the Heaven in which spirits will see Allah and our "Coal-hole of the East," which we can hardly believe ever to have been an Eden. Mr. Badger who supplied me with this note described the two Adens in a paper in Ocean Highways, which he cannot now find. In the 'Ajáib al-Makhlúkát, Al-Kazwíni (ob. A.D. 1275) derives the name from Ibn Sinán bin Ibrahím; and is inclined there to place the Bír al-Mu'attal (abandoned well) and the Kasr alMashíd (lofty palace) of Koran xxii. 44; and he adds "Kasr al-Misyad" to those mentioned in the tale of Sayf al-Mulúk and Badí'a al-Jamál.


 [FN#362] Meaning that she had been carried to the Westward of Meccah.


 [FN#363] Arab. "Zahrawíyah" which contains a kind of double entendre. Fátimah the Prophet's only daughter is entitled Al-Zahrá the "bright-blooming"; and this is also an epithet of Zohrah the planet Venus. For Fatimah see vol. vi. 145. Of her Mohammed said, "Love your daughters, for I too am a father of daughters" and, "Love them, they are the comforters, the dearlings." The Lady appears in Moslem history a dreary young woman (died æt. 28) who made this world, like Honorius, a hell in order to win a next-world heaven. Her titles are Zahrá and Batúl (Pilgrimage ii. 90) both signifying virgin. Burckhardt translates Zahrá by "bright blooming" (the etymological sense): it denotes literally a girl who has not menstruated, in which state of purity the Prophet's daughter is said to have lived and died. "Batúl" has the sense of a "clean maid" and is the title given by Eastern Christians to the Virgin Mary. The perpetual virginity of Fatimah even after motherhood (Hasan and Husayn) is a point of orthodoxy in Al-Islam as Juno's with the Romans and Umá's with the Hindú worshippers of Shiva. During her life Mohammed would not allow Ali a second wife, and he held her one of the four perfects, the other three being Asia wife of "Pharaoh," the Virgin Mary and Khadijah his own wife. She caused much scandal after his death by declaring that he had left her the Fadak estate (Abulfeda I, 133, 273) a castle with a fine palmorchard near Khaybar. Abu Bakr dismissed the claim quoting the Apostle's Hadis, "We prophets are folk who will away nothing: what we leave is alms-gift to the poor," and Shí'ahs greatly resent his decision. (See Dabistan iii. 51-52 for a different rendering of the words.) I have given the popular version of the Lady Fatimah's death and burial (Pilgrimage ii. 315) and have remarked that Moslem historians delight in the obscurity which hangs over her last resting-place, as if it were an honour even for the receptacle of her ashes to be concealed from the eyes of men. Her repute is a curious comment on Tom Hood's "Where woman has never a soul to save."


 [FN#364] For Sharif and Sayyid, descendants of Mohammed, see vol. iv. 170.


 [FN#365] These lines have occurred with variants in vol. iii. 257, and iv. 50.


 [FN#366] Arab. "Hazrat," esp. used in India and corresponding with our mediæval "præsentia vostra."


 [FN#367] This wholesale slaughter by the tale-teller of worshipful and reverend men would bring down the gallery like a Spanish tragedy in which all the actors are killed.


 [FN#368] They are called indifferently "Ruhbán"=monks or "Batárikah"=patriarchs. See vol. ii. 89.


 [FN#369] Arab. "Khilál." The toothpick, more esteemed by the Arabs than by us, is, I have said, often used by the poets as an emblem of attenuation without offending good taste. Nizami (Layla u Majnún) describes a lover as "thin as a toothpick." The "elegant" Hariri (Ass. of Barkaid) describes a toothpick with feminine attributes, "shapely of shape, attractive, provocative of appetite, delicate as the leanest of lovers, polished as a poinard and bending as a green bough."


 [FN#370] From Bresl. Edit. x. 194.


 [FN#371] Trébutien (vol. ii. 344 et seq.) makes the seven monks sing as many anthems, viz. (1) Congregamini; (2) Vias tuas demonstra mihi; (3) Dominus illuminatis; (4) Custodi linguam; (5) Unam petii a Domino; (6) Nec adspiciat me visus, and (7) Turbatus est a furore oculus meus. Dánis the Abbot chaunts Anima mea turbata est valdè.


 [FN#372] A neat and characteristic touch: the wilful beauty eats and drinks before she thinks of her lover. Alas for Masrur married.


 [FN#373] The unfortunate Jew, who seems to have been a model husband (Orientally speaking), would find no pity with a coffee-house audience because he had been guilty of marrying a Moslemah. The union was null and void therefore the deliberate murder was neither high nor petty treason. But, The Nights, though their object is to adorn a tale, never deliberately attempt to point a moral and this is one of their many charms.


 [FN#374] These lines have repeatedly occurred. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#375] i.e. by the usual expiation. See vol. iii. 136.


 [FN#376] Arab. "Shammirí"=up and ready!


 [FN#377] I borrow the title from the Bresl. Edit. x. 204. Mr. Payne prefers "Ali Noureddin and the Frank King's Daughter." Lane omits also this tale because it resembles Ali Shar and Zumurrud (vol. iv. 187) and Alá al-Din Abu al-Shámát (vol. iv. 29), "neither of which is among the text of the collection." But he has unconsciously omitted one of the highest interest. Dr. Bacher (Germ. Orient. Soc.) finds the original in Charlemagne's daughter Emma and his secretary Eginhardt as given in Grimm's Deutsche Sagen. I shall note the points of resemblance as the tale proceeds. The correspondence with the King of France may be a garbled account of the letters which passed between Harun al-Rashid and Nicephorus, "the Roman dog."


 [FN#378] Arab. "Allaho Akbar," the Moslem slogan or war-cry. See vol. ii. 89.


 [FN#379] The gate-keeper of Paradise. See vol. iii. 15, 20.


 [FN#380] Negroes. Vol. iii. 75.


 [FN#381] Arab. "Nakat," with the double meaning of to spot and to handsel especially dancing and singing women; and, as Mr. Payne notes in this acceptation it is practically equivalent to the English phrase "to mark (or cross) the palm with silver." I have translated "Anwá" by Pleiads; but it means the setting of one star and simultaneous rising of another foreshowing rain. There are seven Anwá (plur. of nawa) in the Solar year viz. Al-Badri (Sept.-Oct.); Al-Wasmiyy (late autumn and December); Al-Waliyy (to April); Al-Ghamír (June); Al-Busriyy (July); Bárih al-Kayz (August) and Ahrák al-Hawá extending to September 8. These are tokens of approaching rain, metaphorically used by the poets to express "bounty". See Preston's Hariri (p. 43) and Chenery upon the Ass. of the Banu Haram.


 [FN#382] i.e. They trip and stumble in their hurry to get there.


 [FN#383] Arab. "Kumm" = sleeve or petal. See vol. v. 32.


 [FN#384] Arab. "Kiráb" = sword-case of wood, the sheath being of leather.


 [FN#385] Arab. "Akr kayrawán," both rare words.


 [FN#386] A doubtful tradition in the Mishkát al-Masábih declares that every pomegranate contains a grain from Paradise. See vol. i. 134. The Koranic reference is to vi. 99.


 [FN#387] Arab. "Aswad," lit. black but used for any dark colour, here green as opposed to the lighter yellow.


 [FN#388] The idea has occurred in vol. i. 158.


 [FN#389] So called from the places where they grow.


 [FN#390] See vol. vii. for the almond-apricot whose stone is cracked to get at the kernel.


 [FN#391] For Roum see vol. iv. 100: in Morocco "Roumi" means simply a European. The tetrastich alludes to the beauty of the Greek slaves.


 [FN#392] Arab. "Ahlan" in adverb form lit. = "as one of the household": so in the greeting "Ahlan wa Sahlan" (and at thine ease), wa Marhabá (having a wide free place).


 [FN#393] For the Sufrah table-cloth see vol. i. 178.


 [FN#394] See vol. iii. 302, for the unclean allusion in fig and sycamore.


 [FN#395] In the text "of Tor": see vol. ii. 242. The pear is mentioned by Homer and grows wild in South Europe. Dr. Victor Hehn (The Wanderings of Plants, etc.) comparing the Gr. {greek letters} with the Lat. Pyrus, suggests that the latter passed over to the Kelts and Germans amongst whom the fruit was not indigenous. Our fine pears are mostly from the East. e.g. the "bergamot" is the Beg Armud, Prince of Pears, from Angora.


 [FN#396] i.e. "Royal," it may or may not come from Sultaníyah, a town near Baghdad. See vol. i. 83; where it applies to oranges and citrons.


 [FN#397] 'Andam = Dragon's blood: see vol. iii. 263.


 [FN#398] Arab. "Jamár," the palm-pith and cabbage, both eaten by Arabs with sugar.


 [FN#399] Arab. "Anwár" = lights, flowers (mostly yellow): hence the Moroccan "N'wár," with its usual abuse of Wakf or quiescence.


 [FN#400] Mr. Payne quotes Eugene Fromèntin, "Un Eté dans le Sahara," Paris, 1857, p. 194. Apricot drying can be seen upon all the roofs at Damascus where, however, the season for each fruit is unpleasantly short, ending almost as soon as it begins.


 [FN#401] Arab. "Jalájal" = small bells for falcons: in Port. cascaveis, whence our word.


 [FN#402] Khulanján. Sic all editions; but Khalanj, or Khaulanj adj. Khalanji, a tree with a strong-smelling wood which held in hand as a chaplet acts as perfume, as is probably intended. In Span. Arabic it is the Erica-wood. The "Muhit" tells us that is a tree parcel yellow and red growing in parts of India and China, its leaf is that of the Tamarisk (Tarfá); its flower is coloured red, yellow and white; it bears a grain like mustard-seed (Khardal) and of its wood they make porringers. Hence the poet sings, "Yut 'amu 'l-shahdu fí 'l-jifáni, wa yuska * Labanu 'l-Bukhti fi Kusá'i 'l-Khalanji: Honey's served to them in platters for food; * Camels' milk in bowls of the Khalanj wood."

The pl. Khalánij is used by Himyán bin Kaháfah in this "bayt", "Hattá izá má qazati 'l-Hawáijá * Wa malaat Halába-há 'l-Khalánijá: Until she had done every work of hers * And with sweet milk had filled the porringers."


 [FN#403] In text Al-Shá'ir Al-Walahán, vol. iii. 226.


 [FN#404] The orange I have said is the growth of India and the golden apples of the Hesperides were not oranges but probably golden nuggets. Captain Rolleston (Globe, Feb. 5, '84, on "Morocco-Lixus") identifies the Garden with the mouth of the Lixus River while M. Antichan would transfer it to the hideous and unwholesome Bissagos Archipelago.


 [FN#405] Arab. "Ikyán," the living gold which is supposed to grow in the ground.


 [FN#406] For the Kubbad or Captain Shaddock's fruit see vol. ii. 310, where it is misprinted Kubád.


 [FN#407] Full or Fill in Bresl. Edit. = Arabian jessamine or cork-tree (greek letters). The Bul. and Mac. Edits. read "filfil" = pepper or palm-fibre.


 [FN#408] Arab. "Sumbul al-'Anbari"; the former word having been introduced into England by patent medicines. "Sumbul" in Arab. and Pers. means the hyacinth, the spikenard or the Sign Virgo.


 [FN#409] Arab. "Lisán al-Hamal" lit. = Lamb's tongue.


 [FN#410] See in Bresl. Edit. X, 221. Taif, a well-known town in the mountain region East of Meccah, and not in the Holy Land, was once famous for scented goat's leather. It is considered to be a "fragment of Syria" (Pilgrimage ii. 207) and derives its name = the circumambulator from its having circuited pilgrim-like round Ka'abah (Ibid.).


 [FN#411] Arab. "Mikhaddah" = cheek-pillow: Ital. guanciale. In Bresl. Edit. Mudawwarah (a round cushion) Sinjabiyah (of Ermine). For "Mudawwarah" see vol. iv. 135.


 [FN#412] "Coffee" is here evidently an anachronism and was probably inserted by the copyist. See vol. v. 169, for its first metnion. But "Kahwah" may have preserved its original meaning = strong old wine (vol. ii. 261); and the amount of wine-drinking and drunkenness proves that the coffee movement had not set in.


 [FN#413] i.e. they are welcome. In Marocco "Lá baas" means, "I am pretty well" (in health).


 [FN#414] The Rose (Ward) in Arab. is masculine, sounding to us most uncouth. But there is a fem. form Wardah = a single rose.


 [FN#415] Arab. "Akmám," pl. of Kumm, a sleeve, a petal. See vol. iv. 107 and supra p. 267. The Moslem woman will show any part of her person rather than her face, instinctively knowing that the latter may be recognised whereas the former cannot. The traveller in the outer East will see ludicrous situations in which the modest one runs away with hind parts bare and head and face carefully covered.


 [FN#416] Arab. "Ikyán" which Mr. Payne translates "vegetable gold" very picturesquely but not quite preserving the idea. See supra p. 272.


 [FN#417] It is the custom for fast youths, in Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere to stick small gold pieces, mere spangles of metal on the brows, cheeks and lips of the singing and dancing girls and the perspiration and mask of cosmetics make them adhere for a time till fresh movement shakes them off.


 [FN#418] See the same idea in vol. i. 132, and 349.


 [FN#419] "They will ask thee concerning wine and casting of lots; say: 'In both are great sin and great advantages to mankind; but the sin of them both is greater than their advantage.'" See Koran ii. 216. Mohammed seems to have made up his mind about drinking by slow degrees; and the Koranic law is by no means so strict as the Mullahs have made it. The prohibitions, revealed at widely different periods and varying in import and distinction, have been discussed by Al-Bayzáwi in his commentary on the above chapter. He says that the first revelation was in chapt. xvi. 69 but, as the passage was disregarded, Omar and others consulted the Apostle who replied to them in chapt. ii. 216. Then, as this also was unnoticed, came the final decision in chapt. v. 92, making wine and lots the work of Satan. Yet excuses are never wanting to the Moslem, he can drink Champagne and Cognac, both unknown in Mohammed's day and he can use wine and spirits medicinally, like sundry of ourselves, who turn up the nose of contempt at the idea of drinking for pleasure.


 [FN#420] i.e. a fair-faced cup-bearer. The lines have occurred before: so I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#421] It is the custom of the Arabs to call their cattle to water by whistling; not to whistle to them, as Europeans do, whilst making water.


 [FN#422] i.e. bewitching. See vol. i. 85. These incompatible metaphors are brought together by the Saj'a (prose rhyme) in--"iyah."


 [FN#423] Mesopotamian Christians, who still turn towards Jerusalem, face the West, instead of the East, as with Europeans: here the monk is so dazed that he does not know what to do.


 [FN#424] Arab. "Bayt Sha'ar" = a house of hair (tent) or a couplet of verse. Watad (a tentpeg) also is prosodical, a foot when the two first letters are "moved" (vowelled) and the last is jazmated (quiescent), e.g. Lakad. It is termed Majmú'a (united), as opposed to "Mafrúk" (separated), e.g. Kabla, when the "moved" consonants are disjoined by a quiescent.


 [FN#425] Lit. standing on their heads, which sounds ludicrous enough in English, not in Arabic.


 [FN#426] These lines are in vol. iii. 251. I quote Mr. Payne who notes "The bodies of Eastern women of the higher classes by dint of continual maceration, Esther-fashion, in aromatic oils and essences, would naturally become impregnated with the sweet scents of the cosmetics used."


 [FN#427] These lines occur in vol. i. 218: I quote Torrens for variety.


 [FN#428] So we speak of a "female screw." The allusion is to the dove-tailing of the pieces. This personification of the lute has occurred before: but I solicit the reader's attention to it; it has a fulness of Oriental flavour all its own.


 [FN#429] I again solicit the reader's attention to the simplicity, the pathos and the beauty of this personification of the lute.


 [FN#430] "They" for she.


 [FN#431] The Arabs very justly make the "'Andalib" = nightingale, masculine.


 [FN#432] Anwár = lights or flowers: See Night dccclxv. supra p. 270.


 [FN#433] These couplets have occurred in vol. i. 168; so I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#434] i.e. You may have his soul but leave me his body: company with him in the next world and let me have him in this.


 [FN#435] Alluding to the Koranic (cxiii. 1.), "I take refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak from the mischief of that which He hath created, etc." This is shown by the first line wherein occurs the Koranic word "Ghásik" (cxiii. 3) which may mean the first darkness when it overspreadeth or the moon when it is eclipsed.


 [FN#436] "Malak" = level ground; also tract on the Nile sea. Lane M.E. ii. 417, and Bruckhardt Nubia 482.


 [FN#437] This sentiment has often been repeated.


 [FN#438] The owl comes in because "Búm" (pron. boom) rhymes with Kayyúm = the Eternal.


 [FN#439] For an incident like this see my Pilgrimmage (vol. i. 176). How true to nature the whole scene is; the fond mother excusing her boy and the practical father putting the excuse aside. European paternity, however, would probably exclaim, "The beast's in liquor!"


 [FN#440] In ancient times this seems to have been the universal and perhaps instinctive treatment of the hand that struck a father. By Nur al-Din's flight the divorce-oath became technically null and void for Taj al-Din had sworn to mutilate his son next morning.


 [FN#441] So Roderic Random and his companions "sewed their money between the lining and the waistband of their breeches, except some loose silver for immediate expense on the road." For a description of these purses see Pilgrimage i. 37.


 [FN#442] Arab. Rashid (our Rosetta), a corruption of the Coptic Trashit; ever famous for the Stone.


 [FN#443] For a parallel passage in praise of Alexandria see vol. i. 290, etc. The editor or scribe was evidently an Egyptian.


 [FN#444] Arab. "Saghr" (Thagr), the opening of the lips showing the teeth. See vol. i. p. 156.


 [FN#445] Iskandariyah, the city of Iskandar or Alexander the Great, whose "Soma" was attractive to the Greeks as the corpse of the Prophet Daniel afterwards was to the Moslems. The choice of site, then occupied only by the pauper village of Rhacotis, is one proof of many that the Macedonian conqueror had the inspiration of genius.


 [FN#446] i.e. paid them down. See vol. i. 281; vol. ii. 145.


 [FN#447] Arab. "Baltiyah," Sonnini's "Bolti" and Nébuleux (because it is dozid-coloured when fried), the Labrus Niloticus from its labra or large fleshy lips. It lives on the "leaves of Paradise" hence the flesh is delicate and savoury and it is caught with the épervier or sweep-net in the Nile, canals and pools.


 [FN#448] Arab. "Liyyah," not a delicate comparison, but exceedingly apt besides rhyming to "Baltiyah." The cauda of the "five-quarter sheep, whose tails are so broad and thick that there is as much flesh upon them as upon a quarter of their body," must not be confounded with the lank appendage of our English muttons. See i. 25, Dr. Burnell's Linschoten (Hakluyt Soc. 1885).


 [FN#449] A variant occurs in vol. ix. 191.


 [FN#450] Arab. "Tars Daylami," a small shield of bright metal.


 [FN#451] Arab. "Kaukab al-durri," see Pilgrimage ii. 82.


 [FN#452] Arab. "Kusúf" applied to the moon; Khusúf being the solar eclipse.


 [FN#453] May Abú Lahab's hands perish. . . and his wife be a bearer of faggots!" Korau cxi. 184. The allusion is neat.


 [FN#454] Alluding to the Angels who shoot down the Jinn. See vol. i. 224. The index misprints "Shibáh."


 [FN#455] For a similar scene see Ali Shar and Zumurrud, vol. iv. 187.


 [FN#456] i.e. of the girl whom as the sequel shows, her owner had promised not to sell without her consent. This was and is a common practice. See vol. iv. 192.


 [FN#457] These lines have occurred in vol. iii. p. 303. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#458] Alluding to the erectio et distensio penis which comes on before dawn in tropical lands and which does not denote any desire for women. Some Anglo-Indians term the symptom signum salutis, others a urine-proud pizzle.


 [FN#459] Arab. "Mohtasib," in the Maghrib "Mohtab," the officer charged with inspecting weights and measures and with punishing fraud in various ways such as nailing the cheat's ears to his shop's shutter, etc.


 [FN#460] Every where in the Moslem East the slave holds himself superior to the menial freeman, a fact which I would impress upon the several Anti-slavery Societies, honest men whose zeal mostly exceeds their knowledge, and whose energy their discretion.


 [FN#461] These lines, extended to three couplets, occur in vol. iv. 193. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#462] "At this examination (on Judgment Day) Mohammedans also believe that each person will have the book, wherein all the actions of his life are written, delivered to him; which books the righteous will receive in their right hand, and read with great pleasure and satisfaction; but the ungodly will be obliged to take them, against their wills, in their left (Koran xvii. xviii. lxix, and lxxxiv.), which will be bound behind their backs, their right hand being tied to their necks." Sale, Preliminary Discourse; Sect. iv.


 [FN#463] "Whiteness" (bayáz) also meaning lustre, honour.


 [FN#464] This again occurs in vol. iv. 194. So I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#465] Her impudence is intended to be that of a captive Princess.


 [FN#466] i.e. bent groundwards.


 [FN#467] See vol. iv. 192. In Marocco Za'ar is applied to a man with fair skin, red hair and blue eyes (Gothic blood?) and the term is not complimentary as "Sultan Yazid Za'ar."


 [FN#468] The lines have occurred before (vol. iv. 194). I quote Mr. Lane ii. 440. Both he and Mr. Payne have missed the point in "ba'zu layáli" a certain night when his mistress had left him so lonely.


 [FN#469] Arab. "Raat-hu." This apparently harmless word suggests one simlar in sound and meaning which gave some trouble in its day. Says Mohammed in the Koran (ii. 98) "O ye who believe! say not (to the Apostle) Rá'iná (look at us) but Unzurná (regard us)." "Rá'iná" as pronounced in Hebrew means "our bad one."


 [FN#470] By reason of its leanness.


 [FN#471] In the Mac. Edit. "Fifty." For a scene which illustrates this mercantile transaction see my Pilgrimage i. 88, and its deduction. "How often is it our fate, in the West as in the East, to see in bright eyes and to hear from rosy lips an implied, if not an expressed 'Why don't you buy me?' or, worse still, 'Why can't you buy me?'"


 [FN#472] See vol. ii. 165 dragging or trailing the skirts = walking without the usual strut or swagger: here it means assuming the humble manners of a slave in presence of the master.


 [FN#473] This is the Moslem form of "boycotting": so amongst early Christians they refused to give one another God-speed. Amongst Hindús it takes the form of refusing "Hukkah (pipe) and water" which practically makes a man an outcast. In the text the old man expresses the popular contempt for those who borrow and who do not repay. He had evidently not read the essay of Elia on the professional borrower.


 [FN#474] See note p. 273.


 [FN#475] i.e. the best kind of camels.


 [FN#476] This first verse has occurred three times.


 [FN#477] Arab. "Surayyá" in Dictionaries a dim. of Sarwá = moderately rich. It may either denote abundance of rain or a number of stars forming a constellation. Hence in Job (xxxviii. 31) it is called a heap (kímah).


 [FN#478] Pleiads in Gr. the Stars whereby men sail.


 [FN#479] This is the Eastern idea of the consequence of satisfactory coition which is supposed to be the very seal of love. Westerns have run to the other extreme.


 [FN#480] "Al-Ríf" simply means lowland: hence there is a Ríf in the Nile-delta. The word in Europe is applied chiefly to the Maroccan coast opposite Gibraltar (not, as is usually supposed the North-Western seaboard) where the Berber-Shilhá race, so famous as the "Rif pirates" still closes the country to travellers.


 [FN#481] i.e. Upper Egypt.


 [FN#482] These local excellencies of coition are described jocosely rather than anthropologically.


 [FN#483] See vol. i. 223: I take from Torrens, p. 223.


 [FN#484] For the complete ablution obligatory after copulation before prayers can be said. See vol. vi. 199.


 [FN#485] Arab. "Zunnár," the Greek {greek letters}, for which, see vol. ii. 215.


 [FN#486] Miriam (Arabic Maryam), is a Christian name, in Moslem lands. Abú Maryam "Mary's father" (says Motarrazi on Al-Hariri, Ass. of Alexandria) is a term of contempt, for men are called after sons (e.g. Abu Zayd), not after daughters. In more modern authors Abu Maryam is the name of ushers and lesser officials in the Kazi's court.


 [FN#487] This formality, so contrary to our Western familiarity after possession, is an especial sign of good breeding amongst Arabs and indeed all Eastern nations. It reminds us of the "grand manner" in Europe two hundred years ago, not a trace of which now remains.


 [FN#488] These lines are in Night i. ordered somewhat differently: so I quote Torrens (p. 14).


 [FN#489] i.e. to the return Salám--"And with thee be peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings!" See vol. ii. 146. The enslaved Princess had recognised her father's Wazir and knew that he could have but one object, which being a man of wit and her lord a "raw laddie," he was sure to win.


 [FN#490] It is quite in Moslem manners for the bystanders to force the sale seeing a silly lad reject a most advantageous offer for sentimental reasons. And the owner of the article would be bound by their consent.


 [FN#491] Arab. "Wa'llahi." "Bi" is the original particle of swearing, a Harf al-jarr (governing the genitive as Bi'lláhi) and suggesting the idea of adhesion: "Wa" (noting union) is its substitute in oath-formulæ and "Ta" takes the place of Wa as Ta'lláhi. The three-fold forms are combined in a great "swear."


 [FN#492] i.e. of divorcing their own wives.


 [FN#493] These lines have occurred before: I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#494] These lines are in Night xxvi., vol. i. 275: I quote Torrens (p. 277), with a correction for "when ere."


 [FN#495] This should be "draws his senses from him as one pulls hair out of paste."


 [FN#496] Rághib and Záhid: see vol. v. 141.


 [FN#497] Carolus Magnus then held court in Paris; but the text evidently alludes to one of the port-cities of Provence as Marseille which we English will miscall Marseilles.


 [FN#498] Here the writer, not the young wife, speaks; but as a tale-teller he says "hearer"not "reader."


 [FN#499] Kayrawán, the Arab. form of the Greek Cyrene which has lately been opened to travellers and has now lost the mystery which enschrouded it. In Hafiz and the Persian poets it is the embodiment of remoteness and secrecy; as we till the last quarter century spoke of the "deserts of Central Africa."


 [FN#500] Arab. "'Innín": alluding to all forms of impotence, from dislike, natural deficiency or fascination, the favourite excuse. Easterns seldom attribute it to the true cause, weak action of the heart; but the Romans knew the truth when they described one of its symptoms as cold feet. "Clino-pedalis, ad venerem invalidus, ab ea antiqua opinione, frigiditatem pedum concubituris admondum officere." Hence St. Francis and the bare-footed Friars. See Glossarium Eroticum Linguae Latinæ, Parisiis, Dondey-Dupré, MDCCCXXVI.


 [FN#501] I have noted the use of "island" for "land" in general. So in the European languages of the sixteenth century, insula was used for peninsula, e.g. Insula de Cori = the Corean peninsula.


 [FN#502] As has been noticed (vol. i. 333), the monocular is famed for mischief and men expect the mischief to come from his blinded eye.


 [FN#503] Here again we have a specimen of "inverted speech" (vol. ii. 265); abusive epithets intended for a high compliment, signifying that the man was a tyrant over rebels and a froward devil to the foe.


 [FN#504] Arab. "Bab al-Bahr," see vol. iii. 281.


 [FN#505] Arab. "Batárikah" see vol. ii. 89. The Templars, Knights of Malta and other orders half ecclesiastic, half military suggested the application of the term.


 [FN#506] These lines have occurred in vol. i. 280--I quote Torrens (p. 283).


 [FN#507] Maryam al-Husn containing a double entendre, "O place of the white doe (Rím) of beauty!" The girl's name was Maryam the Arab. form of Mary, also applied to the B.V. by Eastern Christians. Hence a common name of Syrian women is "Husn Maryam" = (one endowed with the spiritual beauties of Mary: vol. iv. 87). I do not think that the name was "manufactured by the Arab story-tellers after the pattern of their own names (e.g. Nur al-Din or Noureddin, light of the faith, Tajeddin, crown of faith, etc.) for the use of their imaginary Christian female characters."


 [FN#508] I may here remind readers that the Bán, which some Orientalists will write "Ben," is a straight and graceful species of Moringa with plentiful and intensely green foliage.


 [FN#509] Arab. "Amúd al-Sawári" = the Pillar of Masts, which is still the local name of Diocletian's column absurdly named by Europeans "Pompey's Pillar."


 [FN#510] Arab. "Batiyah," also used as a wine-jar (amphora), a flagon.


 [FN#511] Arab. "Al-Kursán," evidently from the Ital. "Corsaro," a runner. So the Port. "Cabo Corso," which we have corrupted to "Cape Coast Castle" (Gulf of Guinea), means the Cape of Tacking.


 [FN#512] Arab. "Ghuráb," which Europeans turn to "Grab."


 [FN#513] Arab. "Sayyib" (Thayyib) a rare word: it mostly applies to a woman who leaves her husband after lying once with him.


 [FN#514] Arab. "Batárikah:" here meaning knights, leaders of armed men as in Night dccclxii., supra p. 256, it means "monks."


 [FN#515] i.e. for the service of a temporal monarch.


 [FN#516] Arab. "Sayr" = a broad strip of leather still used by way of girdle amongst certain Christian religions in the East.


 [FN#517] Arab. "Haláwat al-Salámah," the sweetmeats offered to friends after returning from a journey or escaping sore peril. See vol. iv. 60.


 [FN#518] So Eginhardt was an Erzcapellan and belonged to the ghostly profession.


 [FN#519] These lines are in vols. iii. 258 and iv. 204. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#520] Arab. "Firásah," lit. = skill in judging of horse flesh (Faras) and thence applied, like "Kiyáfah," to physiognomy. One Kári was the first to divine man's future by worldly signs (Al-Maydáni, Arab. prov. ii. 132) and the knowledge was hereditary in the tribe Mashíj.


 [FN#521] Reported to be a "Hadis" or saying of Mohammed, to whom are attributed many such shrewd aphorisms, e.g. "Allah defend us from the ire of the mild (tempered)."


 [FN#522] These lines are in vol. i. 126. I quote Torrens (p. 120).


 [FN#523] These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.


 [FN#524] Arab. "Khák-bák," an onomatopœia like our flip-flap and a host of similar words. This profaning a Christian Church which contained the relics of the Virgin would hugely delight the coffee-house habitués, and the Egyptians would be equally flattered to hear that the son of a Cairene merchant had made the conquest of a Frankish Princess Royal. That he was an arrant poltroon mattered very little, as his cowardice only set of his charms.


 [FN#525] i.e. after the rising up of the dead.


 [FN#526] Arab. "Nafísah," the precious one i.e. the Virgin.


 [FN#527] Arab. "Nákús," a wooden gong used by Eastern Christians which were wisely forbidden by the early Moslems.


 [FN#528] i.e. a graceful, slender youth.


 [FN#529] There is a complicatd pun in this line: made by splitting the word after the fashion of punsters. "Zarbu 'l-Nawákísí" = the striking of the gongs, and "Zarbu 'l Nawá, Kísí = striking the departure signal: decide thou (fem. addressed to the Nafs, soul or self)" I have attempted a feeble imitation.


 [FN#530] The modern Italian term of the venereal finish.


 [FN#531] Arab. "Najm al-Munkazzi," making the envious spy one of the prying Jinns at whom is launched the Shiháb or shooting-star by the angels who prevent them listening at the gates of Heaven. See vol. i. 224.


 [FN#532] Arab. "Sandúk al-Nuzur," lit. "the box of vowed oblations." This act of sacrilege would find high favour with the auditory.


 [FN#533] The night consisting like the day of three watches. See vol. i.


 [FN#534] Arab. "Al-Khaukhah," a word now little used.


 [FN#535] Arab. "Námúsiyah," lit. mosquito curtains.


 [FN#536] Arab. "Jáwawshiyah," see vol. ii. 49.


 [FN#537] Arab. "Kayyimah," the fem. of "Kayyim," misprinted "Kayim" in vol. ii. 93.


 [FN#538] i.e. hadst thou not disclosed thyself. He has one great merit in a coward of not being ashamed for his cowardice; and this is a characteristic of the modern Egyptian, whose proverb is, "He ran away, Allah shame him! is better than, He was slain, Allah bless him!"


 [FN#539] Arab. "Ahjar al-Kassárín" nor forgotten. In those days ships anchored in the Eastern port of Alexandria which is now wholly abandoned on account of the rocky bottom and the dangerous "Levanter," which as the Gibraltar proverb says


"Makes the stones canter."


 [FN#540] Arab. "Hakk" = rights, a word much and variously used. To express the possessive "mine" a Badawi says "Hakki" (pron. Haggi) and "Lílí;" a Syrian "Shítí" for Shayyati, my little thing or "taba 'i" my dependent; an Egyptian "Bitá' i" my portion and a Maghribi "M'tá 'i" and "diyyáli" (di allazí lí = this that is to me). Thus "mine" becomes a shibboleth.


 [FN#541] i.e. The "Good for nothing," the "Bad'un;" not some forgotten ruffian of the day, but the hero of a tale antedating The Nights in their present form. See Terminal Essay, x. ii.


 [FN#542] i.e. Hoping to catch Nur al-Din.


 [FN#543] Arab. "Sawwáhún" = the Wanderers, Pilgrims, wandering Arabs, whose religion, Al-Islam, so styled by its Christain opponents. And yet the new creed was at once accepted by whole regions of Christians, and Mauritania, which had rejected Roman paganism and Gothic Christianity. This was e.g. Syria and the so-called "Holy Land," not because, as is fondly asserted by Christians, al-Islam was forced upon them by the sword, but on account of its fulfilling a need, its supplying a higher belief, unity as opposed to plurality, and its preaching a more manly attitude of mind and a more sensible rule of conduct. Arabic still preserves a host of words special to the Christian creed; and many of them have been adopted by Moslems but with changes of signification.


 [FN#544] i.e. of things commanded and things prohibited. The writer is thinking of the Koran in which there are not a few abrogated injunctions.


 [FN#545] See below for the allusion.


 [FN#546] Arab. "Kafrá" = desert place. It occurs in this couplet,             "Wa Kabrun Harbin fíi-makáanin Kafrin;             Wa laysa Kurba Kabri Harbin Kabrun." "Harb's corse is quartered in coarse wold accurst; Nor close to corse of Harb is other corse;--" words made purposely harsh because uttered by a Jinni who killed a traveller named "Harb." So Homer:-- {greek letters} and Pope:-- "O'er hills, o'er dales, o'er crags, o'er rocks they go, etc." See Preface (p. v.) to Captain A. Lockett's learned and whimsical volume, "The Muit Amil" etc. Calcutta, 1814.


 [FN#547] These lines have occurred vol. iv. 267. I quote Mr. Lane.


 [FN#548] The topethesia is here designedly made absurd. Alexandria was one of the first cities taken by the Moslems (A.H. 21 = 642) and the Christian pirates preferred attacking weaker places, Rosetta and Damietta.


 [FN#549] Arab. "Bilád al-Rúm," here and elsewhere applied to France.


 [FN#550] Here the last line of p. 324, vol. iv. in the Mac. Edit. is misplaced and belongs to the next page.


 [FN#551] Arab. "Akhawán shikíkán" = brothers german (of men and beasts) born of one father and mother, sire and dam.


 [FN#552] "The Forerunner" and "The Overtaker," terms borrowed from the Arab Epsom.


 [FN#553] Known to us as "the web and pin," it is a film which affects Arab horses in the damp hot regions of Malabar and Zanzibar and soon blinds them. This equine cataract combined with loin-disease compels men to ride Pegu and other ponies.


 [FN#554] Arab. "Zujáj bikr" whose apparent meaning would be glass in the lump and unworked. Zaj áj bears, however, the meaning of clove-nails (the ripe bud of the clove-shrub) and may possibly apply to one of the manifold "Alfáz Adwiyh" (names of drugs). Here, however, pounded glass would be all sufficient to blind a horse: it is much used in the East especially for dogs affected by intestinal vermicules.


 [FN#555] Alluding to the Arab saying "The two rests" (Al-ráhatáni) "certainty of success or failure," as opposed to "Wiswás" when the mind fluctuates in doubt.


 [FN#556] She falls in love with the groom, thus anticipating the noble self-devotion of Miss Aurora Floyd.


 [FN#557] Arab. "Túfán" see vol. v. 156: here it means the "Deluge of Noah."


 [FN#558] Two of the Hells. See vol. v. 240.


 [FN#559] Lit. "Out upon a prayer who imprecated our parting!"


 [FN#560] The use of masculine for feminine has frequently been noted. I have rarely changed the gender or the number the plural being often employed for the singular (vol. i. 98). Such change may avoid "mystification and confusion" but this is the very purpose of the substitution which must be preserved if "local colour" is to be respected.