The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night/Volume 9

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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night , translated by Richard Francis Burton
Volume 9
The Book of the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة‎ - kitāb 'alf layla wa-layla; Persian: هزار و یک شب - Hezār-o yek šab) is a collection of stories collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars in various countries.

To Alexander Baird of Urie.

My Dear Baird,
I avail myself of a privilege of authorship, not yet utterly obsolete, to place your name at the head of this volume. Your long residence in Egypt and your extensive acquaintance with its "politic," private and public, make you a thoroughly competent judge of the merits and demerits of this volume; and encourage me to hope that in reading it you will take something of the pleasure I have had in writing it.
Ever yours sincerely,
Richard F. Burton.

Tangier,
December 31, 1885.


Ali Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-Girl (continued)


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur al-Din heard the voice singing these verses he said in himself, "Verily this be the Lady Miriam chanting without hesitation or doubt or suspicion of one from without. [FN#1] Would Heaven I knew an my thought be true and if it be indeed she herself or other self!" And regrets redoubled upon him and he bemoaned himself and recited these couplets,

"When my blamer saw me beside my love * Whom I met in a site that lay open wide, I spake not at meeting a word of reproach * Though oft it comfort sad heart to chide; Quoth the blamer, 'What means this silence that bars * Thy making answer that hits his pride?' And quoth I, 'O thou who as fool dost wake, * To misdoubt of lovers and Love deride; The sign of lover whose love is true * When he meets his beloved is mum to bide.'"

When he had made an end of these verses, the Lady Miriam fetched inkcase and paper and wrote therein: "After honour due to the Basmalah, [FN#2] may the peace of Allah be upon thee and His mercy and blessings be! I would have thee know that thy slavegirl Miriam saluteth thee, who longeth sore for thee; and this is her message to thee. As soon as this letter shall fall into thy hands, do thou arise without stay and delay and apply thyself to that we would have of thee with all diligence and beware with all wariness of transgressing her commandment and of sleeping. When the first third of the night is past, (for that hour is of the most favourable of times) apply thee only to saddling the two stallions and fare forth with them both to the Sultan's Gate. [FN#3] If any ask thee whither thou wend, answer, 'I am going to exercise the steeds,' and none will hinder thee; for the folk of this city trust to the locking of the gates." Then she folded the letter in a silken kerchief and threw it out of the latticed window to Nur al-Din, who took it and reading it, knew it for the handwriting of the Lady Miriam and comprehended all its contents. So he kissed the letter and laid it between his eyes; then, calling to mind that which had betided him with her of the sweets of love-liesse, he poured forth his tears whilst he recited these couplets,

"Came your writ to me in the dead of the night * And desire for you stirred heart and sprite; And, remembered joys we in union joyed, * Praised the Lord who placed us in parting plight."

As soon as it was dark Nur al-Din busied himself with making ready the stallions and patiented till the first watch of the night was past; when, without a moment delay, Nur al-Din the lover full of teen, saddled them with saddles of the goodliest, and leading them forth of the stable, locked the door after him and repaired with them to the city-gate, where he sat down to await the coming of the Princess. Meanwhile, Miriam returned forthright to her private apartment, where she found the one-eyed Wazir seated, elbow-propt upon a cushion stuffed with ostrich-down; but he was ashamed to put forth his hand to her or to bespeak her. When she saw him, she appealed to her Lord in heart, saying, "Allahumma-O my God-bring him not to his will of me nor to me defilement decree after purity!" Then she went up to him and made a show of fondness for him and sat down by his side and coaxed him, saying, "O my lord, what is this aversion thou displayest to me? Is it pride or coquetry on thy part? But the current byword saith, 'An the salam-salutation be little in demand, the sitters salute those who stand." [FN#4] So if, O my lord, thou come not to me neither accost me, I will go to thee and accost thee." Said he, "To thee belong favour and kindness, O Queen of the earth in its length and breadth; and what am I but one of thy slaves and the least of thy servants. Indeed, I was ashamed to intrude upon thine illustrious presence, O unique pearl, and my face is on the earth at thy feet." She rejoined, "Leave this talk and bring us to eat and drink." Accordingly he shouted to his eunuchs and women an order to serve food, and they set before them a tray containing birds of every king that walk and fly and in nests increase and multiply, such as sand-grouse and quails and pigeon-poults and lambs and fatted geese and fried poultry and other dishes of all sorts and colours. The Princess put out her hand to the tray and began to eat and feed the Wazir with her fair finger-tips and kiss him on the mouth. They ate till they had enough and washed their hands, after which the handmaidens removed the table of food and set on the service of wine. So Princess Miriam filled the cup and drank and gave the Wazir to drink and served him with assiduous service, so that he was like to fly for joy and his breast broadened and he was of the gladdest. When she saw that the wine had gotten the better of his senses, she thrust her hand into her bosom and brought out a pastil of virgin Cretan-Bhang, which she had provided against such an hour, whereof if an elephant smelt a dirham's weight, he would sleep from year to year. She distracted his attention and crumbled the drug into the cup: then, filling it up, handed it to the Wazir, who could hardly credit his senses for delight. So he took it and kissing her hand, drank it off, but hardly had it settled in his stomach when he fell head foremost to the ground. Then she rose and filling two great pairs of saddle-bags with what was light of weight and weighty of worth of jewels and jacinths and precious stones, together with somewhat of meat and drink, donned harness of war and armed herself for fight. She also took with her for Nur al-Din what should rejoice him of rich and royal apparel and splendid arms and armour, and shouldering the bags (for indeed her strength equalled her valiancy), hastened forth from the new palace to join her lover. On this wise fared it with the Lady Miriam; but as regards Nur al-Din,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Lady Miriam left the new palace, she went straightways to meet her lover for indeed she was as valiant as she was strong; but Nur al-Din the distracted, the full of teen, sat at the city-gate hending the horses' halters in hand, till Allah (to whom belong Majesty and Might) sent a sleep upon him and he slept-glory be to Him who sleepeth not! Now at that time the Kings of the Islands had spent much treasure in bribing folk to steal the two steeds or one of them; and in those days there was a black slave, who had been reared in the islands skilled in horse-lifting; wherefore the Kings of the Franks seduced him with wealth galore to steal one of the stallions and promisted him, if he could avail to lift the two, that they would give him a whole island and endue him with a splendid robe of honour. He had long gone about the city of France in disguise, but succeeded not in taking the horses, whilst they were with the King; but, when he gave them in free gift to the Wazir and the monocular one carried them to his own stable, the blackamoor thief rejoiced with joy exceeding and made sure of success, saying in himself, "By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, I will certainly steal the twain of them!" Now he had gone out that very night, intending for the stable, to lift them; but, as he walked along, behold, he caught sight of Nur al-Din lying asleep, with the halters in his hands. So he went up to the horses and loosing the halters from their heads, was about to mount one of them and drive the other before him, when suddenly up came the Princess Miriam, carrying on her shoulders the couple of saddle-bags. She mistook the black for Nur al-Din and handed him one pair of bags, which he laid on one of the stallions: after which she gave him the other and he set it on the second steed, without word said to discover that it was not her lover. Then they mounted and rode out of the gate [FN#5] in silence till presently she asked, "O my lord Nur al-Din, what aileth thee to be silent?" Whereupon the black turned to her and cried angrily, "What sayst thou, O damsel?" When she heard the slave's barbarous accents, she knew that the speech was not of Nur al-Din; so raising her eyes she looked at him and saw that he was a black chattel, snub-nosed and wide-mouthed, with nostrils like ewers; whereupon the light in her eyes became night and she asked him, "Who art thou, O Shaykh of the sons of Ham and what among men is thy name?" He answered, "O daughter of the base, my name is Mas'úd, the lifter of horses, when folk slumber and sleep." She made him no reply, but straightway baring her blade, smote him on the nape and the blade came out gleaming from his throat-tendons, whereupon he fell earthwards, weltering in his blood, and Allah hurried his soul to the Fire and abiding-place dire. Then she took the other horse by the bridle and retraced her steps in search of Nur al-Din, whom she found lying, asleep and snoring, in the place where she had appointed him to meet her, hending the halters in hand, yet knowing not his fingers from his feet. So she dismounted and gave him a cuff, [FN#6] whereupon he awoke in affright and said to her, "O m lady, praised be Allah for thy safe coming!" Said she "Rise and back this steed and hold thy tongue!" So he rose and mounted one of the stallions, whilst she bestrode the other, and they went forth the city and rode on awhile in silence. Then said she to him, "Did I not bid thee beware of sleeping? Verily, he prospereth not who sleepeth." He rejoined, "O my lady, I slept not but because of the cooling of my heart by reason of thy promise. But what hath happened, O my lady?" So she told him her adventure with the black, first and last, and he said, "Praised be Allah for safety!" Then they fared on at full speed, committing their affair to the Subtle, the All-wise and conversing as they went, till they came to the place where the black lay prostrate in the dust, as he were an Ifrit, and Miriam said to Nur al-Din, "Dismount; strip him of his clothes and take his arms." He answered, "By Allah, O my lady, I dare not dismount nor approach him." And indeed he marvelled at the blackamoor's stature and praised the Princess for her deed, wondering the while at her valour and stout-heartedness. They fared on lustily and ceased not so doing all that night and halted not till the day broke with its shine and sheen and the sun shone bright upon plain and height when they came to a wide riverino lea wherein the gazelles were frisking gracefully. Its surface was clothed with green and on all sides fruit trees of every kind were seen: its slopes for flowers like serpents' bellies showed, and birds sang on boughs aloud and its rills in manifold runnels flowed. And indeed it was as saith the poet and saith well and accomplisheth the hearer's desire,

"Rosy red Wady hot with summer-glow, * Where twofold tale of common growth was piled. In copse we halted wherein bent to us * Branches, as bendeth nurse o'er weanling-child. And pure cold water quenching thirst we sipped: * To cup-mate sweeter than old wine and mild: From every side it shut out sheen of sun * Screen-like, but wooed the breeze to cool the wild: And pebbles, sweet as maidens deckt and dight * And soft as threaded pearls, the touch beguiled."

And as saith another,

"And when birdies o'er warble its lakelet, it gars * Longing [FN#7] lover to seek it where morning glows; For likest to Paradise lie its banks * With shade and fruitage and fount that flows."

Presently Princess Miriam and Nur al-Din alighted to rest in this Wady,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hat reached me, O auspicious King, that when Princess Miriam and Nur al-Din alighted in that valley, they ate of its fruits and frank of its streams, after turning the stallions loose to pasture: then they sat talking and recalling their past and all that had befallen them and complaining one to other of the pangs of parting and of the hardships suffered for estrangement and love-longing. As they were thus engaged, behold, there arose in the distance a dust-cloud which spread till it walled the world, and they heard the neighing of horses and clank of arms and armour. Now the reason of this was, that after the Princess had been bestowed in wedlock upon the Wazir who had gone in to her that night, the King went forth at daybreak, to give the couple good morrow, taking with him, after the custom of Kings with their daughters, a gift of silken stuffs and scattering gold and silver among the eunuchs and tire-women, that they might snatch at and scramble for it. And he fared on escorted by one of his pages; but when he came to the new palace, he found the Wazir prostrate on the carpet, knowing not his head from his heels; so he searched the place right and left for his daughter, but found her not; whereat he was troubled sore with concern galore and his wits forlore. Then he bade bring hot water and virgin vinegar and frankincense [FN#8] and mingling them together, blew the mixture into the Wazir's nostrils and shook him, whereupon he cast the Bhang forth of his stomach, as it were a bit of cheese. He repeated the process, whereupon the Minister came to himself and the King questioned him of his case and that of his daughter. He replied, "O mighty King, I have no knowledge of her save that she poured me out a cup of wine with her own hand; and from that tide to this I have no recollection of aught nor know I what is come of her." When the King heard this, the light in his eyes became night, and he drew his scymitar and smote the Wazir on the head, then the steel came out gleaming from between his grinder teeth. Then, without an instant delay, he called the groom sand syces and demanded of them the two stallions: but they said, "O King, the two steeds were lost in the night and together with them our chief, the Master of Horse; for, when we awoke in the morning, we found all the doors wide open." Cried the King, "By the faith of me and by all wherein my belief is stablished on certainty, none but my daughter hath taken the steeds, she and the Moslem captive which used to tend the Church and which took her aforetime! Indeed I knew him right well and none delivered him from my hand save this one-eyed Wazir; but now he is requited his deed." Then the King called his three sons, who were three doughty champions, each of whom could withstand a thousand horse in the field of strife and the stead where cut and thrust are rife; and bade them mount. So they took horse forthwith and the King and the flower of his knights and nobles and officers mounted with them and followed on the trail of the fugitives till Miriam saw them, when she mounted her charger and baldrick'd her blade and took her arms. Then she said to Nur al-Din, "How is it with thee and how is thy heart for fight and strife and fray?" Said he, "Verily, my steadfastness in battle-van is as the steadfastness of the stake in bran." [FN#9] And he improvised and said,

"O Miriam thy chiding I pray, forego; * Nor drive me to death or injurious blow: How e'er can I hope to bear fray and fight * Who quake at the croak of the corby-crow? I who shiver for fear when I see the mouse * And for very funk I bepiss my clo'! I loveno foin but the poke in bed, * When coynte well knoweth my prickle's prow; This is rightful rede, and none other shows * Righteous as this in my sight, I trow."

Now when Miriam heard his speech and the verse he made, she laughed and smilingly said, "O my lord Nur al-Din, abide in thy place and I will keep thee from their ill grace, though they be as the sea-sands in number. But mount and ride in rear of me, and if we be defeated and put to flight, beware of falling, for none can overtake thy steed." So saying, she turned her lance-head towards foe in plain and gave her horse the rein, whereupon he darted off under her, like the stormy gale or like waters that from straitness of pipes outrail. Now Miriam was the doughtiest of the folk of her time and the unique pearl of her age and tide; for her father had taught her, whilst she was yet little, on steeds to ride and dive deep during the darkness of the night in the battle tide. When the King saw her charging down upon them, he knew her but too well and turning to his eldest son, said, "O Bartaut, [FN#10] thou who art surnamed Ras al-Killaut [FN#11] this is assuredly thy sister Miriam who chargeth upon us, and she seeketh to wage war and fight fray with us. So go thou out to give her battle: and I enjoin thee by the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, an thou get the better of her, kill her not till thou have propounded to her the Nazarene faith. An she return to her old creed, bring her to me prisoner; but an she refuse, do her die by the foulest death and make of her the vilest of examples, as well as the accursed which is with her." Quoth Bartaut, "Hearkening obedience"; and, rushing out forthright to meet his sister, said to her, "O Miriam, doth not what hath already befallen us on thine account suffice thee, but thou must leave the faith of thy fathers and forefathers and follow after the faith of the Vagrants in the lands, that is to say, the faith of Al-Islam? By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, except thou return to the creed of the Kings thy Forebears and walk therein after the goodliest fashion, I will put thee to an ill death and make of thee the most shameful of ensamples!" But Miriam laughed at his speech and replied, "Well-away! Far be it that the past should present stay or that he who is dead should again see day! I will make thee drink the sourest of regrets! By Allah, I will not turn back upon the faith of Mohammed son of Abdullah, who made salvation general; for his is the True Faith; nor will I leave the right road though I drain the cup of ruin!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam exclaimed to her brother, "Well-away! Heaven forfend that I turn back from the faith of Mohammed Abdullah-son who made salvation general; for his is the Right Road nor will I leave it although I drain the cup of ruin." When the accursed Bartaut heard this, the light in his eyes became night, the matter was great and grievous to him and between them there befel a sore fight. The twain swayed to and fro battling throughout the length and breadth of the valley and manfully enduring the stress of combat singular, whilst all eyes upon them were fixed in admiring surprise: after which they wheeled about and foined and feinted for a long bout and as often as Bartaut opened on his sister Miriam a gate of war, [FN#12] she closed it to and put it to naught, of the goodliness of her skill and her art in the use of arms and her cunning of cavalarice. Nor ceased they so doing till the dust overhung their heads vault-wise and they were hidden from men's eyes; and she ceased not to baffle Bartaut and stop the way upon him, till he was weary and his courage wavered and his resolution was worsted and his strength weakened; whereupon she smote him on the nape, that the sword came out gleaming from his throat tendons and Allah hurried his soul to the Fire and the abiding-place which is dire. Then Miriam wheeled about in the battleplain and the stead where cut and thrust are fain; and championed it and offered battle, crying out and saying, "Who is for fighting? Who is for jousting? Let come forth to me to-day no weakling or niderling; ay, let none come forth to me but the champions who the enemies of The Faith represent, that I may give them to drink the cup of ignominious punishment. O worshippers of idols, O miscreants, O rebellious folk, this day verily shall the faces of the people of the True Faith be whitened and theirs who deny the Compassionate be blackened!" Now when the King saw his eldest son slain, he smote his face and rent his dress and cried out to his second son, saying, "O Batrús, thou who art surnamed Khara al-Sús, [FN#13] go forth, O my son, in haste and do battle with thy sister Miriam; avenge me the death of thy brother Bartaut and bring her to me a prisoner, abject and humiliated!" He answered, "Hearkening and obedience, O my sire, and charging down drave at his sister, who met him in mid-career, and they fought, he and she, a sore fight, yet sorer than the first. Bartus right soon found himself unable to cope with her might and would have sought safety in flight, but of the greatness of her prowess could not avail unto this sleight; for, as often as he turned to flee, she drave after him and still clave to him and pressed him hard, till presently she smote him with the sword in his throat, that it issued gleaming from his nape, and sent him after his brother. Then she wheeled about in the mid-field and plain where cut and thrust are dealed, crying out and saying, "Where be the Knights? Where be the Braves? Where is the one-eyed Wazir, the lameter, of the crooked faith [FN#14] the worthy believer?" Thereupon the King her father cried out with heart in bleeding guise and tear-ulcerated eyes, saying, "She hath slain my second son, by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar!" And he called aloud to his youngest son, saying, "O Fasyán, surnamed Salh al-Subyán, [FN#15] go forth, O my son, to do battle with thy sister and take of her the blood-wreak for thy brothers and fall on her, come what may; and whether thou gain or thou lose the day; [FN#16] and if thou conquer her, slay her with foulest slaughter!" So he drave out to Miriam, who ran at him with the best of her skill and charged him with the goodliness of her cleverness and her courage and her cunning in fence and cavalarice, crying to him, "O accursed, O enemy of Allah and the Moslems, I will assuredly send thee after thy brothers and woeful is the abiding-place of the Miscreants!" So saying, she unsheathed her sword and smote him and cut off his head and arms and sent him after his brothers and Allah hurried his soul to the Fire and the abiding-place dire. Now when the Knights and riders who rode with her sire saw his three sons slain, who were the doughtiest of the folk of their day, there fell on their hearts terror of the Princess Miriam, awe of her overpowered them; they bowed their heads earthwards and they made sure of ruin and confusion, disgrace and destruction. So with the flames of hate blazing in heart they turned their backs forthright and addressed themselves to flight. When the King saw his sons slain and on his flying troops cast sight, there fell on him bewilderment and affright, whilst his heart also was a-fire for despight. Then quoth he to himself, "In very sooth Princess Miriam hath belittled us; and if I venture myself and go out against her alone, haply she will gar me succumb and slay me without ruth, even as she slew her brothers and make of me the foulest of examples, for she hath no longer any desire for us nor have we of her return any hope. Wherefore it were the better rede that I guard mine honour and return to my capital." So he gave reins to his charger and rode back to his city. But when he found himself in his palace, fire was loosed in his heart for rage and chagrin at the death of his three gallant sons and the defeat of his troops and the disgrace to his honour; nor did he abide half an hour ere he summoned his Grandees and Officers of state and complained to them of that his daughter Miriam had done with him of the slaughter of her brothers and all he suffered therefrom of passion and chagrin, and sought advice of them. They all counselled him to write to the Vicar of Allah in His earth, the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and acquaint him with his circumstance. So he wrote a letter to the Caliph, containing, after the usual salutations, the following words. "We have a daughter, Miriam the Girdle-girl hight, who hath been seduced and debauched from us by a Moslem captive, named Nur al-Din Ali, son of the merchant Taj al-Din of Cairo, and he hath taken her by night and went forth with her to his own country; wherefore I beg of the favour of our lord the Commander of the Faithful that he write to all the lands of the Moslems to seize her and send her back to us by a trusty messenger."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King of France wrote to the Caliph and Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid, a writ humbling himself by asking for his daughter Miriam and begging of his favour that he write to all the Moslems, enjoining her seizure and sending back to him by a trusty messenger of the servants of his Highness the Commander of the Faithful; adding, "And in requital of your help and aidance in this matter, we will appoint to you half of the city of Rome the Great, that thou mayst build therein mosques for the Moslems, and the tribute thereof shall be forwarded to you." And after writing this writ, by rede of his Grandees and Lords of the land, he folded the scroll and calling his Wazir, whom he had appointed in the stead of the monocular Minister, bade him seal it with the seal of the kingdom, and the Officers of state also set hands and seals thereto; after which the King bade the Wazir bear the letter to Baghdad, [FN#17] the Palace of Peace, and hand it into the Caliph's own hand, saying, "An thou bring her back, thou shalt have of me the fiefs of two Emirs and I will bestow on thee a robe of honour with two-fold fringes of gold." The Wazir set out with the letter and fared on over hill and dale, till he came to the city of Baghdad, where he abode three days, till he was rested from the way, when he sought the Palace of the Commander of the Faithful and when guided thereto he entered it and craved audience. The Caliph bade admit him; so he went in and kissing ground before him, handed to him the letter of the King of France, together with rich gifts and rare presents beseeming the Commander of the Faithful. When the Caliph read the writ and apprehended its significance, he commanded his Wazir to write, without stay or delay, despatches to all the lands of the Moslems, setting out the name and favour of Princess Miriam and of Nur al-Din, stating how they had eloped and bidding all who found them lay hands on them and send them to the Commander of the Faithful, and warning them on no wise in that matter to use delay or indifference. So the Wazir wrote the letters and sealing them, despatched them by couriers to the different Governors, who hastened to obey the Caliph's commandment and addressed themselves to make search in all the lands for persons of such name and favour. On this wise it fared with the Governors and their subjects; but as regards Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-girl, they fared on without delay after defeating the King of France and his force and the Protector protected them, till they came to the land of Syria and entered Damascus-city. Now the couriers of the Caliph had foregone them thither by a day and the Emir of Damascus knew that he was commanded to arrest the twain as soon as found, that he might send them to the Caliph. Accordingly, when they entered the city, the secret police [FN#18] accosted them and asked them their names. They told them the truth and acquainted them with their adventure and all that had betided them; whereupon they knew them for those of whom they were in search and seizing them, carried them before the Governor of the city. He despatched them to the city of Baghdad under escort of his officers who, when they came thither, craved audience of the Caliph which he graciously granted; so they came into the presence; and, kissing ground before him, said, "O Commander of the Faithful, this is Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of France, and this is the captive Nur al-Din, son of the merchant Taj al-Din of Cairo, who debauched her from her sire and stealing her from his kingdom and country fled with her to Damascus, where we found the twain as they entered the city, and questioned them. They told us the truth of their case: so we laid hands on them and brought them before thee." The Caliph looked at Miriam and saw that she was slender and shapely of form and stature, the handsomest of the folk of her tide and the unique pearl of her age and her time; sweet of speech [FN#19] and fluent of tongue, stable of soul and hearty of heart. Thereupon she kissed the ground between his hands and wished him permanence of glory and prosperity and surcease of evil and enmity. He admired the beauty of her figure and the sweetness of her voice and the readiness of her replies and said to her, "Art thou Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of France?" Answered she, "Yes, O Prince of True Believers and Priest of those who the Unity of Allah receive and Defender of the Faith and cousin of the Primate of the Apostles!" Then the Caliph turned to Nur al-Din Ali and seeing him to be a shapely youth, as he were the shining full moon on fourteenth night, said to him, "And thou, art thou Ali Nur al-Din, son of the merchant Taj al-Din of Cairo?" Said he, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful and stay of those who for righteousness are care-full!" The Caliph asked, "How cometh it that thou hast taken this damsel and fled forth with her of her father's kingdom?" So Nur al-Din proceeded to relate to the Commander of the Faithful all his past, first and last; whereat the Caliph was astonied with extreme astonishment and diverted and exclaimed, "How manifold are the sufferings that men suffer!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid asked Nur al-Din of his adventure and was told of all that had passed, first and last, he was astonied with extreme astonishment and exclaimed, "How manifold are the sufferings that men suffer!" Then he turned to the Princess and said to her, "Know, O Miriam, that thy father, the King of France, hath written to me anent thee. What sayst thou?" She replied, "O Vicar of Allah on His earth and Executor of the precepts of His prophet and commands to man's unworth, [FN#20] may He vouchsafe thee eternal prosperity and ward thee from evil and enmity! Thou art Viceregent of Allah in His earth and I have entered thy Faith, for that it is the creed which Truth and Righteousness inspire; and I have left the religion of the Miscreants who make the Messiah a liar, [FN#21] and I am become a True Believer in Allah the Bountiful and in the revelation of His compassionate Apostle. I worship Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and acknowledge Him to be the One God and prostrate myself humbly before Him and glorify Him; and I say before the Caliph, 'Verily , I testify that there is no god but the God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God, whom He sent with the Guidance and the True Faith, that He might make it victorious over every other religion, albeit they who assign partners to God be averse from it.' [FN#22] Is it therefore in thy competence, O Commander of the Faithful, to comply with the letter of the King of the heretics and send me back to the land of the schismatics who deny The Faith and give partners to the All-wise King, who magnify the Cross and bow down before idols and believe in the divinity of Jesus, for all he was only a creature? An thou deal with me thus, O Viceregent of Allah, I will lay hold upon thy skirts on the Day of Muster before the Lord and make my complaint of thee to thy cousin the Apostle of Allah (whom God assain and preserve!) on the Day when wealth availeth not neither children save one come unto Allah wholehearted!" [FN#23] Answered the Caliph, "O Miriam, Allah forfend that I should do this ever! How can I send back a Moslemah believer in the one God and in His Apostle to that which Allah hath forbidden and eke His Messenger hath forbidden?" Quoth she, "I testify that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is the Apostle of God!" Rejoined the Caliph, "O Miriam, Allah bless and direct thee in the way of righteousness! Since thou art a Moslemah and a believer in Allah the One, I owe thee a duty of obligation and it is that I should never transgress against thee nor forsake thee, though be lavished unto me on thine account the world full of gold and gems. So be of good cheer and eyes clear of tear; and be thy breast broadened and thy case naught save easy. Art thou willing that this youth Ali of Cairo be to thee man and thou to him wife?" Replied Miriam, "O Prince of True Believers, how should I be other than willing to take him to husband, seeing that he bought me with his money and hath entreated me with the utmost kindness and, for crown of his good offices, he hath ventured his life for my sake many times?" So the Caliph summoned the Kazi and the witneses and married her to him assigning her a dowry and causing the Grandees of his realm be present and the marriage day was a notable. Then he turned to the Wazir of the French King, who was present, and said to him, "Hast thou heard her words? How can I her send back to her father the Infidel, seeing that she is a Moslemah and a believer in the Unity? Belike he will evil entreat her and deal harshly with her, more by token that she hath slain his sons, and I shall bear blame for her on Resurrection-day. And indeed quoth the Almighty 'Allah will by no means make a way for the Infidels over the True Believers.' [FN#24] So return to thy King and say to him, 'Turn from this thing and hope not to come at thy desire thereof.'" Now this Wazir was a Zany: so he said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, were Miriam forty times a Moslemah and forty times thereto, I may not depart from thee without that same Miriam! And if thou send her not back with me of free will, I will hie me to her sire and cause him despatch thee an host, wherewith I will come upon you from the landward and the seaward; and the van whereof shall be at your capital city whilst the rear is yet on the Euphrates [FN#25] and they shall lay waste thy realms." When the Caliph heard these words from the accursed Wazir of the King of France, the light in his face became night and he was wroth at his speech with exceeding wrath and said to him, "O damned one, O dog of the Nazarenes, art thou come to such power that thou durst assail me with the King of the Franks?" Then quoth he to his guards, "Take this accursed and do him die"; and he repeated this couplet, [FN#26]

"This be his recompense who will * Oppose and thwart his betters' will."

Then he commanded to cut off the Wazir's head and burn his body; but Princess Miriam cried, "O Commander of the Faithful, soil not thy sword with the blood of this accursed." So saying, she barred her brand and smote him and made his head fly from his corpse, and he went to the house of ungrace; his abode was Gehenna, and evil is the abiding-place. The Caliph marvelled at the force of her fore-arm and the strength of her mind, and they carried the dead Wazir forth of the pavilion and burnt him. Then the Commander of the Faithful bestowed upon Nur al-Din a splendid robe of honour and assigned to him and her a lodging in his palace. Moreover, he appointed them solde and rations, and commanded to transport to their quarters all they needed of raiment and furniture and vessels of price. They sojourned awhile in Baghdad in all delight of life and solace thereof till Nur al-Din longed for his mother and father. So he submitted the matter to the Caliph and sought his leave to revisit his native land and visit his kinsfolk, and he granted him the permission he sought and calling Miriam, commended them each to other. He also loaded them with costly presents and rarities and bade write letters to the Emirs and Olema and notables of Cairo the God-guarded, commending Nur al-Din and his wife and parents to their care and charging them honour them with the highmost honour. When the news reached Cairo, the merchant Taj al-Din joyed at the return of his son and Nur al-Din's mother likewise rejoiced therein with passing joy. The Emirs and the notables of the city went forth to meet him, in obedience to the Caliph's injunctions, and indeed it was for them a right note-worthy day, wherein foregathered the lover and the beloved and the seeker attained the sought. Moreover, alit he Emirs made them bride-feasts, each on his own day, and joyed in them with joy exceeding and vied in doing them honour, one the other succeeding. When Nur al-Din foregathered with his mother and father, they were gladdened in each other with the utmost gladness and care and affliction ceased from them, whilst his parents joyed no less in the Princess Miriam and honoured her with the highmost honour. Every day, there came to them presents from all the Emirs and great merchants, and they were in new delight and gladness exceeding the gladness of festival. Then they ceased not abiding in solace and pleasance and good cheer and abounding prosperity, eating and drinking with mirth and merriment, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and Sunderer of societies, Waster of houses and palace-domes and Peopler of the bellies of the tombs. So they were removed from worldly stead and became of the number of the dead; and glory be to the Living One, who dieth not and in whose hand are the keys of the Seen and the Unseen! And a tale was also told by the Emir Shujá al-Dín, [FN#27] Prefect of Cairo anent


THE MAN OF UPPER EGYPT AND HIS FRANKISH WIFE.


We lay one night in the house of a man of the Sa'íd or Upper Egypt, and he entertained us and entreated us hospitably. Now he was a very old man with exceeding swarthiness, and he had little children, who were white, of a white dashed with red. So we said to him, "Harkye, such an one, how cometh it that these thy children are white, whilst thou thyself art passing swart?" and he said, "Their mother was a Frankish woman, whom I took prisoner in the days of Al-Malik al-Násir Saláh al-Dín, [FN#28] after the battle of Hattín, [FN#29] when I was a young man." We asked, "And how gottest thou her?" and he answered, "I had a rare adventure with her." Quoth we, "Favour us with it;" and quoth he, "With all my heart! You must know that I once sowed a crop of flax in these parts and pulled it and scutched it and spent on it five hundred gold pieces; after which I would have sold it, but could get no more than this therefor, and the folk said to me, 'Carry it to Acre: for there thou wilt haply make good gain by it.' Now Acre was then in the hands of the Franks; [FN#30] so I carried my flax thither and sold part of it at six months' credit. One day, as I was selling, behold, there came up a Frankish woman (now 'tis the custom of the women of the Franks to go about with market streets with unveiled faces), to buy flax of me, and I saw of her beauty what dazed my wits. So I sold her somewhat of flax and was easy with her concerning the price; and she took it and went away. Some days after, she returned and bought somewhat more flax of me and I was yet easier with her about the price; and she repeated her visits to me, seeing that I was in love with her. Now she was used to walk in company of an old woman to whom I said, "I am sore enamoured of thy mistress. Canst thou contrive for me to enjoy her?" Quoth she, 'I will contrive this for thee; but the secret must not go beyond us three, me, thee and her; and there is no help but that thou be lavish with money, to boot.' And I answered, saying, 'Though my life were the price of her favours 'twere no great matter.'" -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman said to the man, "However the secret must not go beyond us three, to wit me, thee and her; and there is no help but thou be lavish of thy money to boot." He replied, "Though my life were the price of her favours 'twere no great matter." "So it was agreed" (continued the man of Upper Egypt), "that I should pay her fifty dinars and that she should come to me; whereupon I procured the money and gave it to the old woman. She took it and said, 'Make ready a place for her in thy house, and she will come to thee this night.' Accordingly I went home and made ready what I could of meat and drink and wax candles and sweetmeats. Now my house overlooked the sea and 'twas the season of summer; so I spread the bed on the terrace roof. Presently, the Frank woman came and we ate and drank, and the night fell dark. We lay down under the sky, with the moon shining on us, and fell to watching the shimmering of the stars in the sea: and I said to myself, 'Art not ashamed before Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) and thou a stranger, under the heavens and in presence of the deep waters, to disobey Him with a Nazarene woman and merit the torment of Fire?' Then said I, 'O my God, I call Thee to witness that I abstain from this Christian woman this night, of shamefastness before Thee and fear of Thy vengeance!' So I slept till the morning, and she arose at peep of day full of anger and went away. I walked to my shop and sat there; and behold, presently she passed, as she were the moon, accompanied by the old woman who was also angry; whereat my heart sank within me and I said to myself, 'Who art thou that thou shouldst refrain from yonder damsel? Art thou Sarí al-Sakatí or Bishr Barefoot or Junayd of Baghdad or Fuzayl bin 'Iyáz?' [FN#31] then I ran after the old woman and coming up with her said to her, 'Bring her to me again;' and said she, 'By the virtue of the Messiah, she will not return to thee but for an hundred ducats!' Quoth I, 'I will give thee a hundred gold pieces.' So I paid her the money and the damsel came to me a second time; but no sooner was she with me than I returned to my whilome way of thinking and abstained from her and forbore her for the sake of Allah Almighty. Presently she went away and I walked to my shop, and shortly after the old woman came up, in a rage. Quoth I to her, 'Bring her to me again;' and quoth she, 'By the virtue of the Messiah, thou shalt never again enjoy her presence with thee, except for five hundred ducats, and thou shalt perish in thy pain!' At this I trembled and resolved to spend the whole price of my flax and therewith ransom my life. But, before I could think I heard the crier proclaiming and saying, 'Ho, all ye Moslems, the truce which was between us and you is expired, and we give all of you Mahometans who are here a week from this time to have done with your business and depart to your own country.' Thus her visits were cut off from me and I betook myself to getting in the price of the flax which men had bought upon credit, and to bartering what remained in my hands for other goods. Then I took with me fair merchandise and departed Acre with a soul full of affection and love-longing for the Frankish woman, who had taken my heart and my coin. So I journeyed until I made Damascus, where I sold the stock in trade I had brought from Acre, at the highest price, because of the cutting off of communication by reason of the term of truce having expired; and Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) vouchsafed me good gain. Then I fell to trading in captive slave-girls, thinking thus to ease my heart of its pining for the Frankish woman, and in this traffic engaged I abode three years, till there befel between Al-Malik al-Násir and the Franks what befel of the action of Hattin and other encounters and Allah gave him the victory over them, so that he took all their Kings prisoners and he opened [FN#32] the coast [FN#33] cities by His leave. Now it fortuned one day after this, that a man came to me and sought of me a slave-girl for Al-Malik al-Nasir. Having a handsome handmaid I showed her to him and he bought her of me for an hundred dinars and gave me ninety thereof, leaving ten still due me, for that there was no more found in the royal treasury that day, because he had expended all his monies in waging war against the Franks. Accordingly they took counsel with him and he said, 'Carry him to the treasury [FN#34] where are the captives' lodging and give him his choice among the damsels of the Franks, so he may take one of them for the ten dinars,'" -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that whenas Al-Malik al-Nasir said, " 'Give him his choice to take one of the girls for the ten dinars that are due to him;' they brought me to the captives' lodging and showed me all who were therein, and I saw amongst them the Frankish damsel with whom I had fallen in love at Acre and knew her right well. Now she was the wife of one of the cavaliers of the Franks. So I said, 'Give me this one,' and carrying her to my tent, asked her, 'Dost thou know me?' She answered, 'No;' and I rejoined, 'I am thy friend, the sometime flax-merchant with whom thou hadst to do at Acre and there befel between us what befel. Thou tookest money of me and saidest, 'Thou shalt never again see me but for five hundred dinars.' And now thou art become my property for ten ducats.' Quoth she, 'This is a mystery. Thy faith is the True Faith and I testify that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is the Messenger of God!' And she made perfect profession of Al-Islam. Then said I to myself, 'By Allah, I will not go in unto her till I have set her free and acquainted the Kazi.' So I betook myself to Ibn Shaddád [FN#35] and told him what had passed and he married me to her. Then I lay with her that night and she conceived; after which the troops departed and we returned to Damascus. But within a few days there came an envoy from the King of the Franks, to seek the captives and the prisoners, according to the treaty between the Kings. So Al-Malik al-Nasir restored all the men and women captive, till there remained but the woman who was with me and the Franks said, 'The wife of such an one the Knight is not here.' Then they asked after her and making strict search for her, found that she was with me; whereupon they demanded her of me and I went in to her sore concerned and with colour changed; and she said to me, 'What aileth thee and what evil assaileth thee?' Quoth I, 'A messenger is come from the King to take all the captives, and they demand thee of me.' Quoth she, 'Have no fear, bring me to the King and I know what to say before and to him.' I carried her into the presence of the Sultan Al-Malik al-Nasir, who was seated, with the envoy of the King of the Franks on his right hand, and I said to him, 'This is the woman that is with me.' Then quoth the King and the envoy to her, 'Wilt thou go to thy country or to [FN#36] thy husband? For Allah hath loosed thy bonds and those of thy fellow captives.' Quoth she to the Sultan, 'I am become a Moslemah and am great with child, as by my middle ye may see, and the Franks shall have no more profit of me.' The envoy asked, 'Whether is dearer to thee, this Moslem or thy first husband and knight such an one?;' and she answered him even as she had answered the Sultan. Then said the envoy to the Franks with him, 'Heard ye her words?' They replied, 'Yes.' And he said to me, 'Take thy wife and depart with her.' So I took her and went away; but the envoy sent after me in haste and cried, 'Her mother gave me a charge for her, saying, 'My daughter is a captive and naked; and I would have thee carry her this chest.' Take it thou and deliver it to her.' Accordingly I carried the chest home and gave it to her. She opened it and found in it all her raiment as she had left it and therein I saw the two purses of fifty and an hundred dinars which I had given her, untouched and tied up with my own tying, wherefore I praised Almighty Allah. There are my children by her and she is alive to this day and 'twas she dressed you this food." We marvelled at his story and at that which had befallen him of good fortune, and Allah is All-knowing. But men also tell a tale anent the


RUINED MAN OF BAGHDAD AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL


There was of old time in Baghdad a man of condition, who had inherited from his father abounding affluence. He fell in love with a slave-girl; so he bought her and she loved him as he loved her; and he ceased not to spend upon her, till all his money was gone and naught remained thereof; whereupon he sought a means of getting his livelihood, but availed not to find any. Now this young man had been used, in the days of his affluence, to frequent the assemblies of those who were versed in the art of singing and had thus attained to the utmost excellence therein. Presently he took counsel with one of his intimates, who said to him, "Meseems thou canst find no better profession than to sing, thou and thy slave-girl; for on this wise thou wilt get money in plenty and wilt eat and drink." But he misliked this, he and the damsel, and she said to him, "I have bethought me of a means of relief for thee." He asked, "What is it?;" and she answered, "Do thou sell me; thus shall we be delivered of this strait, thou and I, and I shall be in affluence; for none will buy the like of me save a man of fortune, and with this I will contrive for my return to thee." He carried her to the market and the first who saw her was a Hashimi [FN#37] of Bassorah, a man of good breeding, fine taste and generosity, who bought her for fifteen hundred dinars. (Quoth the young man, the damsel's owner), "When I had received the price, I repented me and wept, I and the damsel; and I sought to cancel the sale; but the purchaser would not consent. So I took the gold in a bag, knowing not whither I should wend, now my house was desolate of her and buffeted my face and wept and wailed as I had never done before. Then I entered a mosque and sat shedding tears, till I was stupefied and losing my senses fell asleep, with the bag of money under my head by way of pillow. Presently, ere I could be ware, a man plucked the bag from under my head and ran off with it at speed: whereupon I started up in alarm and affright and would have arisen to run after him; but lo! my feet were found with a rope and I fell on my face. Then I took to weeping and buffeting myself, saying, 'Thou hast parted with thy soul [FN#38] and thy wealth is lost!'"-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man continued, "So I said to myself, 'Thou hast parted with thy soul and thy wealth is lost.' Then, of the excess of my chagrin, I betook myself to the Tigris and wrapping my face in my gown, cast myself into the stream. The bystanders saw me and cried, 'For sure, this is because of some great trouble that hath betided him.' They cast themselves in after me and bringing me ashore, questioned me of my case. I told them what misadventure had befallen me and they condoled with me. Then an old man of them came to me and said, 'Thou hast lost thy money, but why goest thou about to lose thy life and become of the people of The Fire? [FN#39] Arise, come with me, that I may see thy lodging.' I went with him to my house and he sat with me awhile, till I waxed calmer, and becoming tranquil I thanked him and he went away. When he was gone I was like to kill myself, but bethought me of the Future and the Fire; so I fared forth my house and fled to one of my friends and told him what had befallen me. He wept for pity of me and gave me fifty dinars, saying, 'Take my advice and hie thee from Baghdad forthright and let this provide thee till thy heart be diverted from the love of her and thou forget her. Thy forbears were Secretaries and Scribes and thy handwriting is fine and thy breeding right good: seek out, then, whom thou wilt of the Intendants [FN#40] and throw thyself on his bounty; thus haply Allah shall reunite thee with thy slave-girl.' I hearkened to his words (and indeed my mind was strengthened and I was somewhat comforted) and resolved to betake myself to Wasit, [FN#41] where I had kinfolk. So I went down to the river-side, where I saw a ship moored and the sailors embarking goods and goodly stuffs. I asked them to take me with them and carry me to Wásit; but they replied, 'We cannot take thee on such wise, for the ship belongeth to a Hashimi.' However, I tempted them with promise of passage-money and they said, 'We cannot embark thee on this fashion; [FN#42] but, if it must be, doff those fine clothes of thine and don sailor's gear and sit with us as thou wert one of us.' I went away and buying somewhat of sailors' clothes, put them on; after which I bought me also somewhat of provisions for the voyage; and, returning to the vessel, which was bound for Bassorah, embarked with the crew. But ere long I saw my slave-girl herself come on board, attended by two waiting-women; whereupon what was on me of chagrin subsided and I said in myself, 'Now shall I see her and hear her singing, till we come to Bassorah.' Soon after, up rode the Hashimi, with a party of people, and they embarked aboard the ship, which dropped down the river with them. Presently the Hashimi brought out food and ate with the damsel, whilst the rest ate amidships. Then said he to her, 'How long this abstinence from singing and permanence in this wailing and weeping? Thou art not the first that hath been parted from a beloved!' Wherefore I knew what she suffered for love of me. Then he hung a curtain before her along the gunwale and calling those who ate apart, sat down with them without the curtain; and I enquired concerning them and behold they were his brethren. [FN#43] he set before them what they needed of wine and dessert, and they ceased not to press the damsel to sing, till she called for the lute and tuning it, intoned these two couplets,

"The company left with my love by night, * Nor forbore to fare with heart's delight: And raged, since their camels off paced, a fire * As of Ghazá [FN#44]-wood in the lover's sprite."

Then weeping overpowered her and she threw down the elute and ceased singing; whereat the folks were troubled and I slipped down a-swoon. They thought I was possessed [FN#45] and one of them began reciting exorcisms in my ear; nor did they cease to comfort her and beseech her to sing, till she tuned the lute again and chaunted these couplets twain,

"I stood and bewailed who their loads had bound * And far yode but still in my heart are found; I drew near the ruins and asked of them * And the camp was void and lay waste the ground."

Then she fell down in a fainting-fit and weeping arose amongst the folk; and I also cried out and fainted away. The sailors were startled by me and one of the Hashimi's pages said to them, 'How came ye to take this madman on board?' So they said one to other, 'As soon as we come to the next village, we will set him ashore and rid us of him.' When I heard this, I was sore troubled but I heartened and hardened myself, saying in thought, 'Nothing will serve me to deliver myself from their hands, except I make shift to acquaint her with my presence in the ship, so she may prevent my being set ashore.' Then we sailed when we came hard by a hamlet [FN#46] and the skipper said, 'Come, let us go ashore.' Therewith they all landed, save myself; and as evening fell I rose and going behind the curtain took the lute and changed its accord, mode [FN#47] by mode, and tuning it after a fashion of my own, [FN#48] that she had learnt of me, returned to my place in the ship;" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man continued, "I returned to my place in the ship; and presently the whole party came on board again and the moon shone bright upon river and height. Then said the Hashimi to the damsel, 'Allah upon thee, trouble not our joyous lives!' So she took the lute, and touching it with her hand, gave a sob, that they thought her soul had fled her frame, and said, 'By Allah, my master and teacher is with us in this ship!' Answered the Hashimi, 'By Allah, were this so, I would not forbid him our conversation! Haply he would lighten thy burthen, so we might enjoy thy singing: but his being on board is far from possible.' However she said, 'I cannot smite lute-string or sing sundry airs I was wont to sing whilst my lord is with us.' Quoth the Hashimi, 'Let us ask the sailors;' and quoth she, 'Do so.' He questioned them, saying, 'Have ye carried anyone with you!'; and they answered, 'No.' then I feared lest the enquiry should end there; so I laughed and said, 'Yes; I am her master and taught her whenas I was her lord.' Cried she, 'By Allah, that is my lord's voice!' Thereupon the pages carried me to the Hashimi, who knew me at first sight and said to me, 'Out on thee! What plight is this in which I see thee and what hath brought thee to such condition?' I related to him all that had befallen me of my affair, weeping the while, and the damsel made loud wail from behind the curtain. The Hashimi wept with sore weeping, he and his brethren, for pity of me, and he said, 'By Allah, I have not drawn near this damsel nor enjoyed her, nor have I even heard her sing till this day! I am a man to whom Allah hath been ample and I came to Baghdad but to hear singing and seek my allowances of the Commander of the Faithful. I accomplished both my needments and being about to return home, said to myself, 'Let us hear some what of the singing of Baghdad.' Wherefore I bought this damsel, knowing not that such was the case with you twain; and I take Allah to witness that, when I reach Bassorah I will free her and marry her to thee and assign you what shall suffice you, and more; but on condition that, whenever I have a mind to hear music, a curtain shall be hung for her and she shall sing to me from behind it, and thou shalt be of the number of my brethren and boon-companions.' Hereat I rejoiced and the Hashimi put his head within the curtain and said to her, 'Will that content thee?'; whereupon she fell to blessing and thanking him. Then he called a servant and said to him, 'Take this young man and do off his clothes and robe him in costly raiment and incense [FN#49] him and bring him back to us.' So the servant did with me as his master bade him and brought me back to him, and served me with wine, even as the rest of the company. Then the damsel began singing after the goodliest fashion and chanted these couplets,

"They blamed me for causing my tears to well * When came my beloved to bid farewell: They ne'er tasted the bitters of parting nor felt * Fire beneath my ribs that flames fierce and fell! None but baffled lover knows aught of Love, * Whose heart is lost where he wont to dwell."

The folk rejoiced in her song with exceeding joy and my gladness redoubled, so that I took the lute from the damsel and preluding after the most melodious fashion, sang these couplets,

"Ask (if needs thou ask) the Compassionate, * And the generous donor of high estate. For asking the noble honours man * And asking the churl entails bane and bate: When abasement is not to be 'scaped by wight * Meet it asking boons of the good and great. Of Grandee to sue ne'er shall vilify man, * But 'tis vile on the vile of mankind to 'wait."

The company rejoiced in me with joy exceeding and the ceased not from pleasure and delight, whilst anon I sang and anon the damsel, till we came to one of the landing-places, where the vessel moored and all on board disembarked and I with them. Now I was drunken with wine and squatted on my hams to make water; but drowsiness overcame me and I slept, and the passengers returned to the ship which ran down stream without any missing me, for that they also were drunken, and continued their voyage until they reached Bassorah. As for me I awoke not till the heat of the sun aroused me, when I rose and looked about me, but saw no one. Now I had given my spending money to the damsel and had naught left: I had also forgotten to ask the Hashimi his name and where his house was at Bassorah and his titles; thus I was confounded and my joy at meeting the damsel had been but a dream; and I abode in perplexity till there came up a great vessel wherein I embarked and she carried me to Bassorah. Now I knew none there, much less the Hashimi's house, so I accosted a grocer and taking of him inkcase and paper, -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Baghdad man who owned the maid entered Bassorah, he was perplexed for not knowing the Hashimi's house. "So I accosted" (said he) "a grocer and, taking of him inkcase and paper, sat down to write. He admired my handwriting and seeing my dress stained and soiled, questioned me of my case, to which I replied that I was a stranger and poor. Quoth he, 'Wilt thou abide with me and order the accounts of my shop and I will give thee thy food and clothing and half a dirham a day for ordering the accompts of my shop?'; and quoth I, 'Tis well,' and abode with him and kept his accounts and ordered his income and expenditure for a month, at the end of which he found his income increased and his disbursements diminished; wherefore he thanked me and made my wage a dirham a day. When the year was out, he proposed to me to marry his daughter and become his partner in the shop. I agreed to this and went in to my wife and applied me to the shop. But I was broken in heart and spirit, and grief was manifest upon me; and the grocer used to drink and invite me thereto, but I refrained for melancholy. I abode on this wise two years till, one day, as I sat in the shop, behold, there passed by a parcel of people with meat and drink, and I asked the grocer what was the matter. Quoth he, 'This is the day of the pleasure-makers, when all the musicians and dancers of the town go forth with the young men of fortune to the banks of the Ubullah river [FN#50] and eat and drink among the trees there.' The spirit prompted me to solace myself with the sight of this thing and I said in my mind, 'Haply among these people I may foregather with her I love.' So I told the grocer that I had a mind to this and he said, 'Up and go with them an thou please.' He made me ready meat and drink and I went till I came to the River of Ubullah, when, behold, the folk were going away: I also was about to follow, when I espied the Rais of the bark wherein the Hashimi had been with the damsel and he was going along the river. I cried out to him and his company who knew me and took me onboard with them and said to me, 'Art thou yet alive?'; and they embraced me and questioned me of my case. I told them my tale and they said, 'Indeed, we thought that drunkenness had gotten the better of thee and that thou hadst fallen into the water and wast drowned.' Then I asked them of the damsel, and they answered, 'When she came to know of thy loss, she rent her raiment and burnt the lute and fell to buffeting herself and lamenting and when we returned with the Hashimi to Bassorah we said to her, 'Leave this weeping and wailing.' Quoth she, 'I will don black and make me a tomb beside the house and abide there and repent from singing.' [FN#51] we allowed her so to do and on this wise she abideth to this day. Then they carried me to the Hashimi's house, where I saw the damsel as they had said. When she espied me, she cried out a great cry, methought she had died, and I embraced her with a long embrace. Then said the Hashimi to me, 'Take her;' and I said, 'Tis well: but do thou free her and according to thy promise marry her to me.' Accordingly he did this and gave us costly goods and store of raiment and furniture and five hundred dinars, saying, 'This is the amount of that which I purpose to allow you every month, but on condition that thou be my cup-companion and that I hear the girl sing when I will.' Furthermore, he assigned us private quarters and bade transport thither all our need; so, when I went to the house I found it filled full of furniture and stuffs and carried the damsel thither. Then I betook myself to the grocer and told him all that had betided me, begging to hold me guiltless for divorcing his daughter, without offence on her part; and I paid her her dowry [FN#52] and what else behoved me. [FN#53] I abode with the Hashimi in this way two years and became a man of great wealth and was restored to the former estate of prosperity wherein I had been at Baghdad, I and the damsel. And indeed Allah the Bountiful put an end to our troubles and loaded us with the gifts of good fortune and caused our patience to result in the attainment of our desire: wherefore to Him be the praise in this world and the next whereto we are returning." [FN#54] And among the tales men tell is that of


KING JALI'AD OF AND HIS WAZIR SHIMAS; FOLLOWED BY THE HISTORY OF KING WIRD KHAN, SON OF KING JALI'AD, WITH HIS WOMEN AND WAZIRS. [FN#55]

There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before, in the land of Hind, a mighty King, tall of presence and fair of favour and goodly of parts, noble of nature and generous, beneficent to the poor and loving to his lieges and all the people of his realm. His name was Jalí'ád and under his hand were two-and-seventy Kings and in his cities three hundred and fifty Kazis. He had three score and ten Wazirs and over every ten of them he set a premier. The chiefest of all his ministers was a man called Shimás [FN#56] who was then [FN#57] two and twenty years old, a statesman of pleasant presence and noble nature, sweet of speech and ready in reply; shrewd in all manner of business, skilful withal and sagacious for all his tender age, a man of good counsel and fine manners versed in all arts and sciences and accomplishments; and the King loved him with exceeding love and cherished him by reason of his proficiency in eloquence and rhetoric and the art of government and for that which Allah had given him of compassion and brooding care [FN#58] with his lieges for he was a King just in his Kingship and a protector of his peoples, constant in beneficence to great and small and giving them that which befitted them of good governance and bounty and protection and security and a lightener of their loads in taxes and tithes. And indeed he was loving to them each and every, high and low, entreating them with kindness and solicitude and governing them in such goodly guise as none had done before him. But, with all this, Almighty Allah had not blessed him with a child, and this was grievous to him and to the people of his reign. It chanced, one night, as Jali'ad [FN#59] lay in his bed, occupied with anxious thought of the issue of the affair of his Kingdom, that sleep overcame him and he dreamt that he poured water upon the roots of a tree,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundredth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King saw himself in his vision pouring water upon the roots of a tree, about which were many other trees; and lo and behold! there came fire out of this tree and burnt up every growth which encompassed it; whereupon Jali'ad awoke affrighted and trembling, and calling one of his pages said to him, "Go fetch the Wazir Shimas in all haste." So he betook himself to Shimas and said to him, "The King calleth for thee forthright because he hath awoke from his sleep in fright and hath sent me to bring thee to him in haste." When Shimas heard this, he arose without stay or delay and going to the King, found him seated on his bed. He prostrated himself before him, wishing him permanence of glory and prosperity, and said, "May Allah not cause thee grieve, O King! What hath troubled thee this night, and what is the cause of thy seeking me thus in haste?" The King bade him be seated; and, as soon as he sat down, began telling his tale and said to him, "I have dreamt this night a dream which terrified me, and 'twas, that methought I poured water upon the roots of a tree where about were many other trees and as I was thus engaged, lo and behold! fire issued therefrom and burnt up all the growths that were around it; wherefore I was affrighted and fear took me. Then I awoke and sent to bid thee to me, because of thy knowledge and skill in the interpretation of dreams and of that which I know of the vastness of thy wisdom and the greatness of thine understanding." At this Shimas the Wazir bowed his head groundwards awhile and presently raising it, smiled; so the King said to him, "What deemest thou, O Shimas? Tell me the truth of the matter and hide naught from me." Answered Shimas, "O King, verily Allah Almighty granteth thee thy wish and cooleth thine eyes; for the matter of this dream presageth all good, to wit, that the Lord will bless thee with a son, who shall inherit the Kingdom from thee, after thy long life. But there is somewhat else I desire not to expound at this present, seeing that the time is not favourable for interpretation." The King rejoiced in these words with exceeding joy and great was his contentment; his trouble departed from him, his mind was at rest and he said, "If the case be thus of the happy presage of my dream, do thou complete to me its exposition when the fitting time betideth: for that which it behoveth not to expound to me now, it behoveth that thou expound to me when its time cometh, so my joy may be fulfilled, because I seek naught in this save the approof of Allah extolled and exalted be He!" Now when the Wazir Shimas saw that the King was urgent to have the rest of the exposition, he put him off with a pretext; but Jali'ad assembled all the astrologers and interpreters of dreams of his realm and as soon as they were in the presence related to them his vision, saying, "I desire you to tell me the true interpretation of this." Whereupon one of them came forward and craved the King's permission to speak, which being granted, he said, "Know, O King, that thy Wazir Shimas is nowise unable to interpret this thy dream; but he shrank from troubling thy repose. Wherefore he disclosed not unto thee the whole thereof; but, an thou suffer me to speak, I will expose to thee that which he concealed from thee." The King replied, "Speak without respect for persons, O interpreter, and be truthful in thy speech." The interpreter said, "Know then, O King, that there will be born to thee a boy child who shall inherit the Kingship from thee, after thy long life; but he shall not order himself towards the lieges after thy fashion; nay, he shall transgress thine ordinances and oppress thy subjects, and there shall befal him what befel the Mouse with the Cat [FN#60]; and I seek refuge with Almighty Allah [FN#61]!" The King asked, "But what is the story of the Cat and the Mouse?"; and the interpreter answered "May Allah prolong the King's life! They tell the following tale of


The Mouse and the Cat.

A grimalkin, that is to say, a Cat, went out one night to a certain garden, in search of what she might devour, but found nothing and became weak for the excess of cold and rain that prevailed that night. So she sought for some device whereby to save herself. As she prowled about in search of prey, she espied a nest at the foot of a tree, and drawing near unto it, sniffed thereat and purred till she scented a Mouse within and went round about it, seeking to enter and seize the inmate. When the Mouse smelt the Cat, he turned his back to her and scraped up the earth with his forehand, to stop the nest-door against her; whereupon she assumed a weakly voice and said, "Why dost thou thus, O my brother? I come to seek refuge with thee, hoping that thou wilt take pity on me and harbour me in thy nest this night; for I am weak because of the greatness of my age and the loss of my strength, and can hardly move. I have ventured into thy garden tonight, how many a time have I called upon death, that I might be at rest from this pain! Behold, here am I at thy door, prostrate for cold and rain and I beseech thee, by Allah, take of thy charity my hand and bring me in with thee and give me shelter in the vestibule of thy nest; for I am a stranger and wretched and 'tis said, 'Whoso sheltereth a stranger and a wretched one in his home, his shelter shall be Paradise on the Day of Doom.' And thou, O my brother, it behoveth thee to earn eternal reward by succouring me and suffering me abide with thee this night till the morning, when I will wend my way."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and First Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the Cat to the Mouse, "So suffer me to night with thee this night, after which I will wend my way." Hearing these words the Mouse replied, "How shall I suffer thee enter my nest seeing that thou art my natural foe and thy food is of my flesh? Indeed I fear lest thou false me, for that is of thy nature and there is no faith in thee, and the byword saith, 'It befitteth not to entrust a lecher with a fair woman nor a moneyless man with money nor fire with fuel.' Neither cloth it behove me to entrust myself to thee; and 'tis said, 'Enmity of kind, as the enemy himself groweth weaker groweth stronger.' " The Cat made answer in the faintest voice, as she were in most piteous case, saying, "What thou advancest of admonitory instances is the truth and I deny not my offenses against thee; but I beseech thee to pardon that which is past of the enmity of kind between me and thee, for 'tis said, 'Whoso forgiveth a creature like himself, his Creator will forgive him his sins.' 'Tis true that whilome I was thy foe but here am I a suitor for thy friendship, and they say, 'An thou wilt have thy foe become thy friend, do with him good.' O my brother, I swear to thee by Allah and make a binding covenant with thee that I will hurt thee nevermore and for the best of reasons, to wit, that I have no power thereto; wherefore place thy trust in Allah and do good and accept my oath and covenant." Quoth the Mouse, "How can I accept the covenant of one between whom and me there is a rooted enmity, and whose wont it is to deal treacherously by me? Were the feud between us aught but one of blood, this were light to me; but it is an enmity of kind between souls, and it is said, 'Whoso trusteth himself to his foe is as one who thrusteth hand into a serpent's [FN#62] mouth.'" Quoth the Cat, full of wrath, "My breast is strait and my soul is faint: indeed I am in articulo mortis and ere long I shall die at thy door and my blood will be on thy head, for that thou hadst it in thy power to save me in mine extremity: and this is my last word to thee." Herewith the fear of Allah Almighty overcame the Mouse and ruth get hold upon his heart and he said in himself, "Whoso would have the succour of Allah the Most High against his foe, let him entreat him with compassion and kindness show. I rely upon the Almighty in this matter and will deliver this Cat from this her strait and earn the divine reward for her." So he went forth and dragged into his nest the Cat, where she abode till she was rested and somewhat strengthened and restored, when she began to bewail her weakness and wasted strength and want of gossips. The Mouse entreated her in friendly guise and comforted her and busied himself with her service; but she crept along till she got command of the issue of the nest, lest the Mouse should escape. So when the nest-owner would have gone out after his wont, he drew near the Cat; whereupon she seized him and taking him in her claws, began to bite him and shake him and take him in her mouth and lift him up and cast him down and run after him and cranch him and torture him. [FN#63] The Mouse cried out for help, beseeching deliverance of Allah and began to upbraid the Cat, saying, "Where is the covenant thou madest with me and where are the oaths thou swarest to me? Is this my reward from thee? I brought thee into my nest and trusted myself to thee: but sooth he speaketh that saith, 'Whoso relieth on his enemy's promise desireth not salvation for himself.' And again, 'Whoso confideth himself to his foe deserveth his own destruction.' Yet do I put my trust in my Creator, for He will deliver me from thee." Now as he was in this condition, with the Cat about to pounce on him and devour him, behold, up came a huntsman, with hunting dogs trained to the chase. One of the hounds passed by the mouth of the nest and hearing a great scuffling, thought that within was a fox tearing somewhat; so he crept into the hole, to get at him, and coming upon the Cat, seized on her. When she found herself in the dog's clutches, she was forced to take thought anent saving herself and loosed the Mouse alive and whole without wound. Then the hound brake her neck and dragging her forth of the hole, threw her down dead: and thus was exemplified the truth of the saying, "Who hath compassion shall at the last be compassionated. Whoso oppresseth shall presently be oppressed." "This, then, O King," added the interpreter, "is what befel the Mouse and the Cat and teacheth that none should break faith with those who put trust in him; for who ever cloth perfidy and treason, there shall befal him the like of that which befel the Cat. As a man meteth, so shall it be meted unto him, and he who betaketh himself to good shall gain his eternal reward. But grieve thou not, neither let this trouble thee, O King, for that assuredly thy son, after his tyranny and oppression, shall return to the goodliness of thy policy. And I would that yon learned man, thy Wazir Shimas, had concealed from thee naught in that which he expounded unto thee; and this had been well advised of him, for 'tis said, 'Those of the folk who most abound in fear are the amplest of them in knowledge and the most emulous of good.'" The King received the interpreter's speech with submission and gifted him and his fellows with rich gifts; then, dismissing them he arose and withdrew to his own apartments and fell to pondering the issue of his affair. When night came, he went in to one of his women, who was most in favour with him and dearest to him of them all, and lay with her: and ere some four months had passed over her, the child stirred in her womb, whereat she rejoiced with joy exceeding and told the King. Quoth he, "My dream said sooth, by Allah the Helper!"; and he lodged her in the goodliest of lodgings and entreated her with all honour, bestowing on her store of rich gifts and manifold boons. Then he sent one of his pages to fetch his Wazir Shimas and as soon as he was in the presence told the Minister what had betided, rejoicing and saying, "My dream is come true and I have won my wish. It may be this burthen will be a man child and inherit the Kingship after me; what sayest thou of this, O Shimas?" But he was silent and made no reply, whereupon cried the King, "What aileth thee that thou rejoicest not in my joy and returnest me no answer? Doth the thing mislike thee, O Shimas?" Hereat the Wazir prostrated himself before him and said, ' O King, may Allah prolong thy life! What availeth it to sit under the shade of a tree, if there issue fire therefrom, and what is the delight of one who drinketh pure wine, if he be choked thereby, and what cloth it profit to quench one's thirst with sweet cool water, if one be drowned therein? I am Allah's servant and thine, O King; but there are three things [FN#64] whereof it besitteth not the understanding to speak, till they be accomplished; to wit, the wayfarer, till he return from his way, the man who is in fight, till he have overcome his foe, and the pregnant woman, till she have cast her burthen."----And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Second Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Shimas had enumerated to the King the three things whereof it besitteth not the understanding to speak save after they are done, he continued, "For know, O King, that he, who speaketh of aught before its accomplishment is like the Fakir who had hung over his head the jar of clarified butter. [FN#65]" "What is the story of the Fakir," asked the King, "and what happened to him?" Answered the Wazir, "O King, they tell this tale anent.


The Fakir and his Jar of Butter. [FN#66]

A fakir [FN#67] abode once with one of the nobles of a certain town who made him a daily allowance of three scones and a little clarified butter and honey. Now such butter was dear in those parts and the Devotee laid all that came to him together in a jar he had, till he filled it and hung it up over his head for safe keeping. One night, as he sat on his bed, staff in hand, he fell a-musing upon the butter and the greatness of its price and said in himself, "Needs must I sell all this butter I have by me and buy with the price an ewe and take to partner therein a Fellah [FN#68] fellow who hath a ram. The first year she will bear a male lamb and a female and the second a female and a male and these in their turn will bear other males and other females, nor will they give over bearing females and males, till they become a great matter. Then will I take my share and vent thereof what I will. The males I will sell and buy with them bulls and cows, which will also increase and multiply and become many; after which I will purchase such a piece of land and plant a garden therein and build thereon a mighty fine [FN#69] palace. Moreover, I will get me robes and raiment and slaves and slave girls and hold a wedding never was seen the like thereof. I will slaughter cattle and make rich meats and sweetmeats and confections and assemble all the musicians and mimes and mountebanks and player-folk and, after providing flowers and perfumes and all manner sweet herbs, I will bid rich and poor, Fakirs and Olema, captains and lords of the land, and whoso asketh for aught, I will cause it to be brought him; and I will make ready all manner of meat and drink and send out a crier to cry aloud and say, 'Whoso seeketh aught, let him ask and get it.' Lastly I will go in to my bride, after her unveiling and enjoy her beauty and loveliness; and I will eat and drink and make merry and say to myself, 'Verily, hast thou won thy wish,' and will rest from devotion and divine worship. Then in due time my wife will bear me a boy, and I shall rejoice in him and make banquets in his honour and rear him daintily and teach him philosophy and mathematics and polite letters; [FN#70] so that I shall make his name renowned among men and glory in him among the assemblies of the learned; and I will bid him do good and he shall not gainsay me, and I will forbid him from lewdness and iniquity and exhort him to piety and the practice of righteousness; and I will bestow on him rich and goodly gifts; and, if I see him obsequious in obedience, I will redouble my bounties towards him: but, an I see him incline to disobedience, I will come down on him with this staff." So saying, he raised his hand, to beat his son withal but the staff hit the jar of butter which overhung his head, and brake it; whereupon the shards fell upon him and the butter ran down upon his head, his rags and his beard. So his clothes and bed were spoiled and he became a caution to whoso will be cautioned. "Wherefore, O King," added the Wazir, "it behoveth not a man to speak of aught ere it come to pass." Answered the King, "Thou sayest sooth! Fair fall thee for a Wazir! Verily the truth thou speakest and righteousness thou counsellest. Indeed, thy rank with me is such as thou couldst wish [FN#71] and thou shalt never cease to be accepted of me." Thereupon the Wazir prostrated himself before the King and wished him permanence of prosperity, saying, "Allah prolong thy days and thy rank upraise! Know that I conceal from thee naught, nor in private nor in public aught; thy pleasure is my pleasure, and thy displeasure my displeasure. There is no joy for me save in thy joyance and I cannot sleep o' nights an thou be angered against me, for that Allah the Most High hath vouchsafed me all good through thy bounties to me: wherefore I beseech the Almighty to guard thee with His angels, and to make fair thy reward whenas thou meetest Him." The King rejoiced in this, whereupon Shimas arose and went out from before him. In due time the King's wife bare a male child and the messengers hastened to bear the glad tidings and to congratulate the Sovran, who rejoiced therein with joy exceeding and thanked all with abundant thanks, saying, "Alhamdolillah--laud to the Lord--who hath vouchsafed me a son, after I had despaired, for He is pitiful and ruthful to His servants." Then he wrote to all the lieges of his land, acquainting them with the good news and bidding them to his capital; and great were the rejoicings and festivities in all the realm. Accordingly there came Emirs and Captains, Grandees and Sages, Olema and literati, scientists and philosophers from every quarter to the palace and all presenting themselves before the King, company after company, according to their different degrees, gave him joy, and he bestowed largesse upon them. Then he signed to the seven chief Wazirs, whose head was Shimas, to speak, each after the measure of his wisdom, upon the matter which concerned him the most. So the Grand Wazir Shimas began and sought leave of the King to speak, which being granted, he spake as follows. [FN#72] "Praised be Allah who brought us into existence from non-existence and who favoureth His servants with Kings that observe justice and equity in that wherewith He hath invested them of rule and dominion, and who act righteously with that which he appointeth at their hands of provision for their lieges; and most especially our Sovereign by whom He hath quickened the deadness of our land, with that which He hath conferred upon us of bounties, and hath blessed us of His protection with ease of life and tranquillity and fair dealing! What King did ever with his folk that which this King hath done with us in fulfilling our needs and giving us our dues and doing us justice, one of other, and in abundant carefulness over us and redress of our wrongs? Indeed, it is of the favour of Allah to the people that their King be assiduous in ordering their affairs and in defending them from their foes; for the end of the enemy's intent is to subdue his enemy and hold him in his hand; and many peoples [FN#73] bring their sons as servants unto Kings, and they become with them in the stead of slaves, to the intent that they may repel ill-willers from them. [FN#74] As for us, no enemy hath trodden our soil in the days of this our King, by reason of this passing good fortune and exceeding happiness, that no describer may avail to describe, for indeed it is above and beyond all description. And verily, O King, thou art worthy of this highest happiness, and we are under thy safeguard and in the shadow of thy wings, may Allah make fair thy reward and prolong thy life! [FN#75] Indeed, we have long been diligent in supplication to Allah Almighty that He would vouchsafe an answer to our prayers and continue thee to us and grant thee a virtuous son, to be the coolth of thine eyes: and now Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath accepted of us and replied to our petition,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Third Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shimas the Wazir, said to the King, "And now Almighty Allah hath accepted of us and answered our petition and brought us speedy relief, even as He did to the Fishes in the pond of water." The King asked, "And how was that, and what is the tale?"; and Shimas answered him, "Hear, O King the story of


The Fishes and the Crab.

In a certain place there was a piece of water, wherein dwelt a number of Fishes, and it befel that the pond dwindled away and shrank and wasted, till there remained barely enough to suffice them and they were nigh upon death and said, "What will become of us? How shall we contrive and of whom shall we seek counsel for our deliverance?" Thereupon arose one of them, who was the chiefest in wit and age, and cried, "There is nothing will serve us save that we seek salvation of Allah; but let us consult the Crab and ask his advice: so come ye all [FN#76] and hie we himwards and hear his rede for indeed he is the chiefest and wisest of us all in coming upon the truth." Each and every approved of the Fish's advice and betook themselves in a body to the Crab, whom they found squatted in his hole, without news or knowledge of their strait. So they saluted him with the salam and said, "O our lord, cloth not our affair concern thee, who art ruler and the head of us?" The Crab returned their salutation, replying, "And on you be The Peace! What aileth you and what d'ye want?" So they told him their case and the strait wherein they were by reason of the wastage of the water, and that, when it should be dried up destruction would betide them, adding, "Wherefore we come to thee, expecting thy counsel and what may bring us deliverance for thou art the chiefest and the most experienced of us." The Crab bowed his head awhile and said, "Doubtless ye lack understanding, in that ye despair of the mercy of Allah Almighty and His care for the provision of His creatures one and all. Know ye not that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) provideth all His creatures without account and that He foreordained their daily meat ere He created aught of creation and appointed to each of His creatures a fixed term of life and an allotted provision, of His divine All might? How then shall we burthen ourselves with concern for a thing which in His secret purpose is indite? Wherefore it is my rede that ye can do naught better than to seek aid of Allah Almighty, and it behoveth each of us to clear his conscience with his Lord, both in public and private, and pray Him to succour us and deliver us from our difficulties; for Allah the Most High disappointeth not the expectation of those who put their trust in Him and rejecteth not the supplications of those who prefer their suit to Him. When we have mended our ways, our affairs will be set up and all will be well with us, and when the winter cometh and our land is deluged, by means of a just one's prayer, He will not cast down the good He hath built up. So 'tis my counsel that we take patience and await what Allah shall do with us. An death come to us, as is wont, we shall be at rest, and if there befal us aught that calleth for flight, we will flee and depart our land whither Allah will.' [FN#77] Answered all the fishes with one voice "Thou sayst sooth, O our lord: Allah requite thee for us with weal!" Then each returned to his stead, and in a few days the Almighty vouchsafed unto them a violent rain and the place of the pond was filled fuller than before. 'On likewise, O King," continued Shimas, "we despaired of a child being born to thee, and now that God hath blessed us and thee with this well omened son, we implore Him to render him blessed indeed and make him the coolth of thine eyes and a worthy successor to thee and grant us of him the like of that which He hath granted us of thee; for Almighty Allah disappointeth not those that seek Him and it behoveth none to cut off hope of the mercy of his God." Then, rose the second Wazir and saluting the King with the salam spake after his greeting was returned, as follows: "Verily, a King is not called a King save he give presents and do justice and rule with equity and show munificence and wisely govern his lieges, maintaining the obligatory laws and apostolic usages established among them and justifying them, one against other, and sparing their blood and warding off hurt from them; and of his qualities should be that he never abide incurious of the poor and that he succour the highest and lowest of them and give them each the rights to them due, so that all bless him and are obedient to his commend. Without doubt, a King who is after this wise of his lieges is beloved and gaineth of this world eminence and of the next honour and favour with the Creator thereof. And we, the body politic of thy subjects, acknowledge in thee, O King, all the attributes of kingship I have noted, even as it is said, 'The best of things is that the King of a people be just and equitable, their physician skilful and their teacher experience-full, acting according to his knowledge.' Now we enjoy this happiness, after we had despaired of the birth of a son to thee, to inherit thy kingship; however, Allah (extolled be His name!) hath not disappointed thine expectation, but hath granted thy petition, by reason of the goodliness of thy trust in Him and thy submission of thine affairs to Him. Then fair fall thy hope! there hath betided thee that which betided the Crow and the Serpent." Asked the King "What was that?"; and the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale of


The Crow and the Serpent.


A crow once dwelt in a tree, he and his wife, in all delight of life, till they came to the time of the hatching of their young, which was the midsummer season, when a Serpent issued from its hole and crawled up the tree wriggling around the branches till it came to the Crows' nest, where it coiled itself up and there abode all the days of the summer, whilst the Crow was driven away and found no opportunity to clear his home nor any place wherein to lie. When the days of heat were past, the Serpent went away to its own place and quoth the Crow to his wife, "Let us thank Almighty Allah, who hath preserved us and delivered us from this Serpent, albeit we are forbidden from increase this year. Yet the Lord will not cut off our hope; so let us express our gratitude to Him for having vouchsafed us safety and soundness of body: indeed, we have none other in whom to confide, and if He will and we live to see the next year, He shall give us other young in the stead of those we have missed this year." Next summer when the hatching-season came round, the Serpent again sallied forth from its place and made for the Crows' nest; but, as it was coiling up a branch, a kite swooped down on it and struck claws into its head and tare it, whereupon it fell to the ground a-swoon, and the ants came out upon it and ate it. [FN#78] So the Crow and his wife abode in peace and quiet and bred a numerous brood and thanked Allah for their safety and for the young that were born to them. "In like manner, O King," continued the Wazir, "it behoveth us to thank God for that wherewith He hath favoured thee and us in vouchsafing us this blessed child of good omen, after despair and the cutting off of hope. May He make fair thy future reward and the issue of thine affair!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fourth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the second Wazir had ended with the words, "Allah make fair thy future reward and the issue of thine affair!", the third Wazir, presently rose and said, "Rejoice, O just King, in the assurance of present prosperity and future felicity; for him, whom the denizens of Earth love, the denizens of Heaven likewise love, and indeed Almighty Allah hath made affection to be thy portion and hath stablished it in the hearts of the people of thy kingdom; wherefore to Him be thanks and praise from us and from thee, so He may deign increase His bounty unto thee and unto us in thee! For know, O King, that man can originate naught but by command of Allah the Most High and that He is the Giver and all good which befalleth a creature hath its end and issue in Him. He allotteth His favours to His creatures, as it liketh Him; to some he giveth gifts galore while others He doometh barely to win their daily bread. Some He maketh Lords and Captains, and others Recluses, who abstain from the world and aspire but to Him, for He it is who saith, 'I am the Harmer with adversity and the Healer with prosperity. I make whole and make sick. I enrich and impoverish. I kill and quicken; in my hand is everything and unto Me all things do tend.' Wherefore it behoveth all men to praise Him. Now, especially thou, O King, art of the fortunate, the pious, of whom it is said, 'The happiest of the just is he for whom Allah uniteth the weal of this world and of the next world; who is content with that portion which Allah allotteth to him and who giveth Him thanks for that which He hath stablished.' And indeed he that is rebellious and seeketh other than the dole which God hath decreed unto him and for him, favoureth the wild Ass and the Jackal.' [FN#79] The King asked, "And what is the story of the twain?"; the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale of


The Wild Ass and the Jackal.


A certain Jackal was wont every day to leave his lair and fare forth questing his daily bread. Now one day, as he was in a certain mountain, behold, the day was done and he set out to return when he fell in with another Jackal who saw him on the tramp, and each began to tell his mate of the quarry he had gotten. Quoth one of them, "The other day I came upon a wild Ass and I was an hungered, for it was three days since I had eaten; so I rejoiced in this and thanked Almighty Allah for bringing him into my power. Then I tare out his heart and ate it and was full and returned to my home. That was three days ago, since which time I have found nothing to eat, yet am I still full of meat." When the other Jackal heard his fellow's story, he envied his fulness and said in himself, "There is no help but that I eat the heart of a wild Ass." So he left feeding for some days, till he became emaciated and nigh upon death and bestirred not himself neither did he endeavour to get food, but lay coiled up in his earth. And whilst he was thus, behold, one day there came out two hunters trudging in quest of quarry and started a wild Ass. They followed on his trail tracking him all day, till at last one of them shot at him a forked [FN#80] arrow, which pierced his vitals and reached his heart and killed him in front of the Jackal's hole. Then the hunters came up and finding him dead, pulled out the shaft from his heart, but only the wood came away and the forked head abode in the Ass's belly. So they left him where he lay, expecting that others of the wild beasts would flock to him; but, when it was eventide and nothing fell to them, they returned to their abiding places. The Jackal, hearing the commotion at the mouth of his home, lay quiet till nightfall, when he came forth of his lair, groaning for weakness and hunger, and seeing the dead Ass lying at his door, rejoiced with joy exceeding till he was like to fly for delight and said, "Praised be Allah who hath won me my wish without toil! Verily, I had lost hope of coming at a wild Ass or aught else; and assuredly [FN#81] the Almighty hath sent him to me and crave him fall to my homestead." Then he sprang on the body and tearing open its belly, thrust in his head and with his nose rummaged about its entrails, till he found the heart and tearing a tidbit swallowed it: but, as soon as he had so done, the forked head of the arrow struck deep in his gullet and he could neither get it down into his belly nor bring it forth of his throttle. So he made sure of destruction and said, "Of a truth it beseemeth not the creature to seek for himself aught over and above that which Allah hath allotted to him. Had I been content with what He appointed to me, I had not come to destruction." "Wherefore, O King," added the Wazir, "it becometh man to be content with whatso Allah hath distributed to him and thank Him for His bounties to him and cast not off hope of his Lord. And behold, O King, because of the purity of thy purpose and the fair intent of thy good works, Allah hath blessed thee with a son, after despair, wherefore we pray the Almighty to vouchsafe him length of days and abiding happiness and make him a blessed successor, faithful in the observance of thy covenant, after thy long life." Then arose the fourth Wazir, and said, "Verily, an the King be a man of understanding, a frequenter of the gates of wisdom,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the fourth Wazir, arose and said, "Verily an the King be a man of understanding, a frequenter of the gates of wisdom, versed in science, government and policy, and eke upright in purpose and just to his subjects, honouring those to whom honour is due, revering those who are digne of reverence, tempering puissance with using clemency whenas it behoveth, and protecting both governors and governed, lightening all burthens for them and bestowing largesse on them, sparing their blood and covering their shame and keeping his troth with them. Such a King, I say, is worthy of felicity both present and future, worldly and other-worldly, and this is of that which protecteth him from ill-will and helpeth him to the stablishing of his Kingdom and the victory over his enemies and the winning of his wish, together with increase of Allah's bounty to him and His favouring him for his praise of Him and the attainment of His protection. But an the King be the contrary of this, he never ceaseth from misfortunes and calamities, he and the people of his realm, for that his oppression embraceth both stranger far and kinsman near and there cometh to pass with him that which befel the unjust King with the pilgrim Prince." King Jali'ad asked, "And how was that?" and the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale of


The Unjust King and the Pilgrim Prince.


There was once in Mauritania-land [FN#82] a King who exceeded in his rule, a tyrant, violent and over severe, who had no respect for the welfare or protection of his lieges nor of those who entered his realm; and from everyone who came within his Kingdom his officers took four-fifths of his monies, leaving him one-fifth and no more. Now Allah Almighty decreed that he should have a son, who was fortunate and God-favoured and seeing the pomps and vanities of this world to be transient as they are unrighteous, renounced them in his youth and rejected the world and that which is therein and fared forth serving the Most High, wandering pilgrim-wise over words and wastes and bytimes entering towns and cities. One day, he came to his father's capital and the guards laid hands on him and searched him but found naught upon him save two gowns, one new and the other old. [FN#83] So they stripped the new one from him and left him the old, after they had entreated him with contumely and contempt; whereat he complained and said, "Woe to you, O ye oppressors! I am a poor man and a pilgrim, [FN#84] and what shall this gown by any means profit you? Except ye restore it to me, I will go to the King and make complaint to him of you." They replied, "We act thus by the King's command: so do what seemeth good to thee." Accordingly he betook himself to the King's palace and would have entered, but the chamberlains denied him admittance, and he turned away, saying in himself, "There is nothing for me except to watch till he cometh out and complain to him of my case and that which hath befallen me." And whilst he waited, behold, he heard one of the guards announce the King's faring forth; whereupon he crept up, little by little, till he stood before the gate; and presently when the King came out, he threw himself in his way and after blessing him and wishing him weal, he made his complaint to him informing him how scurvily he had been entreated by the gatekeepers. Lastly he gave him to know that he was a man of the people of Allah [FN#85] who had rejected the world seeking acceptance of Allah and who went wandering over earth and entering every city and hamlet, whilst all the folk he met gave him alms according to their competence. "I entered this thy city" (continued he), "hoping that the folk would deal kindly and graciously with me as with others of my condition, [FN#86] but thy followers stopped me and stripped me of one of my gowns and loaded me with blows. Wherefore do thou look into my case and take me by the hand and get me back my gown and I will not abide in thy city an hour." Quoth the unjust King, "Who directed thee to enter this city, unknowing the custom of its King?"; and quoth the pilgrim, "Give me back my gown and do with me what thou wilt." Now when the King heard this, his temper changed for the worse and he said, "O fool, [FN#87] we stripped thee of thy gown, so thou mightest humble thyself to us, but since thou makest this clamour I will strip thy soul from thee." Then he commanded to cast him into gaol, where he began to repent of having answered the King and reproached himself for not having left him the gown and saved his life. When it was the middle of the night, he rose to his feet and prayed long and prayerfully, saying, "O Allah, Thou art the Righteous Judge. Thou knowest my case and that which hath befallen me with this tyrannical King, and I, Thine oppressed servant, beseech Thee, of the abundance of Thy mercy, to deliver me from the hand of this unjust ruler and send down on him Thy vengeance; for Thou art not unmindful of the upright of every oppressor. Wherefore, if Thou know that he hath wronged me, loose on him Thy vengeance this night and send down on him Thy punishment; for Thy rule is just and Thou art the Helper of every mourner, O Thou to whom belong the power and the glory to the end of time!" When the gaoler heard the prayer of the poor prisoner he trembled in every limb, and behold, a fire suddenly broke out in the King's palace and consumed it and all that were therein, even to the door of the prison, [FN#N#88] and none was spared but the gaoler and the pilgrim. Now when the gaoler saw this, he knew that it had not befallen save because of the pilgrim's prayer; so he loosed him and fleeing with him forth of the burning, betook himself, he and the King's son, to another city. So was the unjust King consumed, he and all his city, by reason of his injustice, and he lost the goods both of this world and the next world. "As for us, O auspicious King" continued the Wazir, "we neither lie down nor rise up without praying for thee and thanking Allah the Most High for His grace in giving thee to us, tranquil in reliance on thy justice and the excellence of thy governance; and sore indeed was our care for thy lack of a son to inherit thy kingdom, fearing lest after thee there betide us a King unlike thee. But now the Almighty hath bestowed His favours upon us and done away our concern and brought us gladness in the birth of this blessed child; wherefore we beseech the Lord to make him a worthy successor to thee and endow him with glory and felicity enduring and good abiding." Then rose the fifth Wazir and said, "Blessed be the Most High,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the fifth Wazir said, "Blessed be the Most High, Giver of all good gifts and graces the most precious! But to continue: we are well assured that Allah favoureth whoso are thankful to Him and mindful of His faith; and thou, O auspicious King, art far-famed for these illustrious virtues and for justice and equitable dealing between subject and subject and in that which is acceptable to Allah Almighty. By reason of this hath the Lord exalted thy dignity and prospered thy days and bestowed on thee the good gift of this august child, after despair, wherefrom there hath betided us gladness abiding and joys which may not be cut off; for we before this were in exceeding cark and passing care, because of thy lack of issue, and full of concern bethinking us of all thy justice and gentle dealing with us and fearful lest Allah decree death to thee and there be none to succeed thee and inherit the kingdom after thee, and so we be divided in our counsels and dissensigns arise between us and there befal us what befel the Crows." Asked the King, "And what befel the Crows?"; and the Wazir answered saying, "Hear, O auspicious King, the tale of


The Crows and the Hawk.


There was once, in a certain desert, a spacious Wady, full of rills and trees and fruits and birds singing the praises of Allah the One of All might, Creator of day and night; and among them was a troop of Crows, which led the happiest of lives. Now they were under the sway and government of a Crow who ruled them with mildness and benignity, so that they were with him in peace and contentment; and by reason of their wisely ordering their affairs, none of the other birds could avail against them. Presently it chanced that there befel their chief the doom irrevocably appointed to all creatures and he departed life; [FN#89] whereupon the others mourned for him with sore mourning, and what added to their grief was that there abided not amongst them like him one who should fill his place. So they all assembled and took counsel together concerning whom it befitted for his goodness and piety to set over them; and a party of them chose one Crow, saying, "It beseemeth that this be King over us," whilst others objected to him and would none of him; and thus there arose division and dissension amidst them and the strife of excitement waxed hot between them. At last they agreed amongst themselves and consented to sleep the night upon it and that none should go forth at dawn next day to seek his living, but that all must wait till high morning, when they should gather together all in one place. "Then," said they, "we will all take flight at once and whichsoever shall soar above the rest in his flying, he shall be accepted of us as ruler and be made King over us." The fancy pleased them; so they made covenant together and did as they had agreed and took flight all, but each of them deemed himself higher than his fellow; wherefore quoth this one, "I am highest," and that, "Nay, that am I." Then said the lowest of them, "Look up, all of you, and whomsoever ye find the highest of you, let him be your chief." So they raised their eyes and seeing the Hawk soaring over them, said each to other, "We agreed that which bird soever should be the highest of us we will make king over us, and behold, the Hawk is the highest of us; what say ye to him?" And they all cried out, "We accept of him." Accordingly they summoned the Hawk and said to him, "O Father of Good, [FN#90] we have chosen thee ruler over us, that thou mayst look into our affair." The Hawk consented, saying, "Inshallah, ye shall win of me abounding weal." So they rejoiced and made him their King. But after awhile, he fell to taking a company of them every day and betaking himself with them afar off to one of the caves, where he struck them down and eating their eyes and brains, threw their bodies into the river. And he ceased not doing on this wise, it being his intent to destroy them all till, seeing their number daily diminishing, the Crows flocked to him and said, "O our King, we complain to thee because from the date we made thee Sovran and ruler over us, we are in the sorriest case and every day a company of us is missing and we know not the reason of this, more by token that the most part thereof are the high in rank and of those in attendance on thee. We must now look after our own safety." Thereupon the Hawk waxed wroth with them and said to them, "Verily, ye are the murtherers, and ye forestall me with accusation!" So saying, he pounced upon them and tearing to pieces half a score of their chiefs in front of the rest, threatened them and crave them out, sorely cuffed and beaten, from before him. Hereat they repented them of that which they had done and said, "We have known no good since the death of our first King especially in the deed of this stranger in kind; but we deserve our sufferings even had he destroyed us one by one to the last of us, and there is exemplified in us the saying of him that saith, 'Whoso submitteth him not to the rule of his own folk, the foe hath dominion over him, of his folly.' And now there is nothing for it but to flee for our lives, else shall we perish." So they took flight and dispersed to various places. "And we also, O King," continued the Wazir, "feared lest the like of this befal us and there become ruler over us a King other than thyself; but Allah hath vouchsafed us this boon and hath sent us this blessed child, and now we are assured of peace and union and security and prosperity in our Mother-land. So lauded be Almighty Allah and to Him be praise and thanks and goodly gratitude! And may He bless the King and us all his subjects and vouchsafe unto us and him the acme of felicity and make his life-tide happy and his endeavour constant!" Then arose the sixth Wazir and said, "Allah favour thee with all fell city, O King, in this world and in the next world! Verily, the ancients have left us this saying, 'Whoso prayeth and fasteth and giveth parents their due and is just in his rule meeteth his Lord and He is well pleased with him.' Thou hast been set over us and hast ruled us justly and thine every step in this hath been blessed; wherefore we beseech Allah Almighty to make great thy reward eternal and requite thee thy beneficence. I have heard what this wise man hath said respecting our fear for the loss of our prosperity, by reason of the death of the King or the advent of another who should not be his parallel, and how after him dissensions would be rife among us and calamity betide from our division and how it behoved us therefore to be instant in prayer to Allah the Most High, so haply He might vouchsafe the King a happy son to inherit the kingship after him. But, after all, the issue of that which man desireth of mundane goods and wherefor he lusteth is unknown to him and consequently it behoveth a mortal to ask not of his Lord a thing whose end he wotteth not; for that haply the hurt of that thing is nearer to him than its gain and his destruction may be in that he seeketh and there may befal him what befel the Serpent charmer, his wife and children and the folk of his house."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the sixth Wazir said, "It behoveth not a man to ask of his Lord aught whereof he ignoreth the issue for that haply the hurt of that thing may be nearer than its gain, his destruction may be in that he seeketh and there may befal him what befel the Serpent charmer, his children, his wife and his household," the King asked, "What was that?"; and the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King the tale of


The Serpent charmer and his Wife.


There was once a man, a Serpent-charmer, [FN#91] who used to train serpents, and this was his trade; and he had a great basket, [FN#92] wherein were three snakes, but the people of his house knew this not. Every day he used to go round with this pannier about the town gaining his living and that of his family by showing the snakes, and at eventide he returned to his house and clapped them back into the basket privily. This lasted a long while, but it chanced one day, when he came home, as was his wont, his wife asked him, saying, "What is in this pannier?" And he replied, "What wouldest thou with it? Is not provision plentiful with you? Be thou content with that which Allah hath allotted to thee and ask not of aught else." With this the woman held her peace; but she said in herself, "There is no help but that I search this basket and know what is there." So she egged on her children and enjoined them to ask him of the pannier and importune him with their questions, till he should tell them what was therein. They presently concluded that it contained something to eat and sought every day of their father that he should show them what was therein; and he still put them off with pleasant presences and forbade them from asking this. On such wise they abode awhile, the wife and mother still persisting in her quest till they agreed with her that they would neither eat meat nor drain drink with their father, till he granted them their prayer and opened the basket to them. One night, behold, the Serpent-charmer came home with great plenty of meat and drink and took his seat calling them to eat with him, but they refused his company and showed him anger. Whereupon he began to coax them with fair words, saying, "Lookye, tell me what you would have, that I may bring it you, be it meat or drink or raiment." Answered they, "O our father, we want nothing of thee but that thou open this pannier that we may see what is therein, else we will slay ourselves." He rejoined, "O my children, there is nothing good for you therein and indeed the opening of it will be harmful to you." Hereat they redoubled in rage for all he could say, which when he saw, he began to scold them and threaten them with beating, except they returned from such condition; but they only increased in anger and persistence in asking, till at last he waxed wroth and took a staff to beat them, and they fled from before him within the house. Now the basket was present and the Serpent-charmer had not hidden it anywhere, so his wife left him occupied with the children and opened the pannier in haste, that she might see what was therein. Thereupon behold, the serpents came out and first struck their fangs into her and killed her; then they tried round about the house and slew all, great and small, who were therein, except the Serpent-charmer, who left the place and went his way. "If then, O auspicious King," continued the Wazir, "thou consider this, thou wilt be convinced that it is not for a man to desire aught save that which God the Great refuseth not to him; nay, he should be content with what He willeth. And thou, O King, for the overflowing of thy wisdom and the excellence of thine understanding, Allah hath cooled thine eyes with the advent of this thy son, after despair, and hath comforted thy heart; wherefore we pray the Almighty to make him of the just successors acceptable to Himself and to his subjects." Then rose the seventh Wazir and said, "O King, I know and certify all that my brethren, these Ministers wise and learned, have said in the presence, praising thy justice and the goodness of thy policy and proving how thou art distinguished in this from all Kings other than thyself; wherefore they gave thee the preference over them. Indeed, this be of that which is incumbent on us, O King, and I say, 'Praised be Allah!' in that He hath guerdoned thee with His gifts and vouchsafed thee of His mercy, the welfare of the realm; and hath succoured thee and ourselves, on condition that we increase in gratitude to Him; and all this no otherwise than by thine existence! What while thou remainest amongst us, we fear not oppression neither dread upright, nor can any take long-handed advantage of our weakness! and indeed it is said, 'The greatest good of a people is a just King and their greatest ill an unjust King'; and again, 'Better dwell with rending lions than with a tyrannous Sultan.' So praised be Almighty Allah with eternal praise for that He hath blessed us with thy life and vouchsafed thee this blessed child, whenas thou wast stricken in years and hadst despaired of issue! For the goodliest of the gifts in this world is a virtuous sire, and it is said, 'Whoso hath no progeny his life is without result and he leaveth no memory.' As for thee, because of the righteousness of thy justice and thy pious reliance on Allah the Most High, thou hast been vouchsafed this happy son; yea, this blessed [FN#93] child cometh as a gift from the Most High Lord to us and to thee, for the excellence of thy governance and the goodliness of thy long-sufferance; and in this thou hast fared even as fared the Spider and the Wind." Asked the King, "And what is the story of the Spider and the Wind?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King asked, "And what is the story of the twain?", the Wazir answered, "Give ear, O King, to the tale of


The Spider and the Wind.


A Spider once attached herself to a high gate [FN#94] and retired and span her web there and dwelt therein in peace, giving thanks to the Almighty, who had made this dwelling-place easy to her and had set her in safety from noxious reptiles. On this wise she abode a long while, still giving thanks to Allah for her ease and regular supply of daily bread, till her Creator bethought Him to try her and make essay of her gratitude and patience. So he sent upon her a strong east Wind, which carried her away, web and all, and cast her into the main. The waves washed her ashore, and she thanked the Lord for safety and began to upbraid the Wind, saying, "O Wind, why hast thou dealt thus with me and what good hast thou gotten by bearing me hither from my abiding-place, where indeed I was in safety, secure in my home on the top of that gate?" Replied the Wind, saying, "O Spider, hast thou not learnt that this world is a house of calamities; and, say me, who can boast of lasting happiness that such portion shall be thine? Wottest thou not that Allah tempteth His creatures in order to learn by trial what may be their powers of patience? How, then, cloth it beset thee to upbraid me, thou who hast been saved by me from the vasty deep?" "Thy words are true, O Wind," replied the Spider, "yet not the less do I desire to escape from this stranger land into which thy violence hath cast me." The Wind rejoined, "Cease thy blaming, for right soon I will bear thee back and replace thee in thy place, as thou wast aforetime." So the Spider waited patiently till the north-east Wind left blowing, and there arose a south-west Wind, which gently caught her up and flew with her towards her dwelling-place; and when she came to her abode, she knew it and clung to it. "And we," continued the Wazir, "beseech Allah (who hath rewarded the King for his singleness of heart and patience and hath taken pity on his subjects and blessed them with His favour and hath vouchsafed the King this son in his old age, after he had despaired of issue and removed him not from the world, till He had blessed him with coolth of eyes and bestowed on him what He hath bestowed of Kingship and Empire!) to vouchsafe unto thy son that which He hath vouchsafed unto thee of dominion and Sultanship and glory! Amen." Then said the King, "Praised be Allah over all praise and thanks be to Him over all thanks! There is no god but He, the Creator of all things, by the light of whose signs we know the glory of His greatness and who giveth kingship and command over his own country to whom He willeth of His servants! He chooseth of them whomso He please to make him His viceroy and viceregent over His creatures and commandeth him to just and equitable dealing with them and the maintenance of religious laws and practices and right conduct and constancy in ordering their affairs to that which is most acceptable to Him and most grateful to them. Whoso cloth thus and obeyeth the commandment of his Lord, his desire attaineth and the orders of his God maintaineth; so Providence preserveth him from the perils of the present world and maketh ample his recompense in the future world; for indeed He neglecteth not the reward of the righteous. And whoso cloth otherwise than as Allah biddeth him sinneth mortal sin and disobeyeth his Lord, preferring his mundane to his supra-mundane weal. He hath no trace in this world and in the next no portion, for Allah spareth not the unjust and the mischievous, nor cloth He neglect any of His servants. These our Wazirs have set forth how, by reason of our just dealing with them and our wise governance of affairs, Allah hath vouchsafed us and them His grace, for which it behoveth us to thank Him, because of the great abundance of His mercies; each of them hath also spoken that wherewith the Almighty inspired Him concerning this matter, and they have vied one with another in rendering thanks to the Most High Lord and praising Him for His favours and bounties. I also render thanks to Allah for that I am but a slave commanded; my heart is in His hand and my tongue in His subjection, accepting that which He adjudgeth to me and to them, come what may thereof. Each one of them hath said what passed through his mind on the subject of this boy and hath set froth that which was of the renewal of divine favour to us, after my rears had reached the term when confidence faileth and despair assaileth. So praised be Allah who hath saved us from disappointment and from the alternation of rulers, like to the alternation of night and day! For verily, this was a great boon both to them and to us; wherefore we praise Almighty Allah who hath given a ready answer to our prayer and hath blessed us with this boy and set him in high place, as the inheritor of the kingship. And we entreat him, of His bounty and clemency, to make him happy in his actions, prone to pious works, so he may become a King and a Sultah governing his people with justice and equity, guarding them from perilous error and frowardness, of His grace, goodness and generosity!" When the King had made an end of his speech, the sages and Olema rose and prostrated themselves before Allah and thanked the King; after which they kissed his hands and departed, each to his own house, whilst Jali'ad withdrew into his prayers for him and named him Wird Khán. [FN#95] The boy grew up till he attained the age of twelve, [FN#96] when the King being minded to have him taught the arts and sciences, bade build him a palace amiddlemost the city, wherein were three hundred and threescore rooms, [FN#97] and lodged him therin. Then he assigned him three wise men of the Olema and bade them not be lax in teaching him day and night and look that there was no kind of learning but they instruct him hterin, so he might become versed in all knowledge. He also commanded them to sit with him one day in each of the rooms by turn and write on the door thereof that which they had taught him therein of various kinds of lore and report to himself, every seven days, whatso instructions they had imparted to him. So they went in to the Prince and stinted not from educating him day nor night, nor withheld from him aught of that they knew; and presently there appeared in him readiness to receive instruction such as none had shown before him. Every seventh day his governors reported to the King what his son had learnt and mastered, whereby Jali'ad became proficient in goodly learning and fair culture, and the Olema said to him, "Never saw we one so richly gifted with understanding as is this boy Allah bless thee in him and give thee joy of his life!" When the Prince had completed his twelfth year, he knew the better part of every science and excelled all the Olema and sages of his day; wherefore his governors brought him to his sire and said to him "Allah gladden thine eyes, O King, with this auspicious youth! We bring him to thee after he hath learnt all manner knowledge; and there is not one of the learned men of the time nor a scientist who hath attained to that whereto he hath attained of science." The King rejoiced in this with joy exceeding and, thanking the Almighty, prostrated himself in gratitude before Allah (to whom belong Majesty and Might!), saying, "Laud be to the Lord for His mercies incalculable!" Then he called his Chief Wazir and said to him, "Know, O Shimas, that the governors of my son are come to tell me that he hath mastered every kind of knowledge and there is nothing but they have instructed him therein, so that he surpasseth in this all who forewent him. What sayst thou, O Shimas?" Hereat the Minister prostrated himself before Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) and kissed the King's hand, saying, "Loath is the ruby stone, albeit be bedded in the hardest rock on hill, to do aught but shine as a lamp, and this thy son is such a gem. His tender age hath not hindered him from becoming a sage and Alhamdolillah--praised be Allah--for that which He deigned bestow on him! But to-morrow I will call an assembly of the flower of the Emirs and men of learning and examine the Prince and cause him speak forth that which is with him in their presence, Inshallah!" ---And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Ninth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King Jali'ad heard the words of his Wazir, Shimas, he commended the attendance of the keenest-witted [FN#98] of the Olema and most accomplished of the learned and sages of his dominions, and they all presented themselves on the morrow at the door of the palace, whereupon the King bade admit them. Then entered Shimas and kissed the hands of the Prince, who rose and prostrated himself to the Minister. But Shimas said, "It behoveth not the lion-whelp to prostrate himself to any of the wild beasts, nor besitteth it that Light prostrate itself to shade." Quoth the Prince, "Whenas the lion-whelp seeth the leopard, [FN#99] he riseth up to him and prostrateth himself before him because of his wisdom, and Light prostrateth itself to shade for the purpose of disclosing that which is therewithin." Quoth Shimas, "True, O my lord, but I would have thee answer me anent whatso I shall ask thee, by leave of His Highness and his lieges." And the youth said, "And I, with permission of my sire, will answer thee." So Shimas began and said, "Tell me what is the Eternal, the Absolute, and what are the two manifestations thereof and whether of the two is the abiding one?" Answered the Prince, "Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) is the Eternal, the Absolute; for that He is Alpha, without beginning, and Omega, without end. Now his two manifestations [FN#100] are this world and the next, and the abiding one of the two is the world to come." Q "Thou sayst truly and I approve thy reply; but I would have thee tell me, how knowest thou that one of Allah's manifestations is this world and the other the world to come?"--"I know this because this world was created from nothingness and had not its being from any existing thing; wherefore its affair is referable to the first essence. Moreover, it is a commodity swift of ceasing, the works whereof call for requital of action and this postulateth the reproduction [FN#101] of whatso passeth away; so the next world is the second manifestation." Q "Now inform me how knowest thou that the world to come is the abiding one of the two existences?"--"Because it is the house of requital for deeds done in this world prepared by the Eternal sans surcease." Q "Who are the people of this world most to be praised for their practice?"--"Those who prefer their weal in the world to come before their weal in this world." Q "And who is he that preferreth his future to his present welfare?"--"He who knoweth that he dwelleth in a perishing house, that he was created but to vade away and that, after vading away, he will be called to account and indeed, were there in this world one living and abiding for ever, he would not prefer it to the next world." Q "Can the future life subsist permanently without the present?"--"He who hath no present life hath no future life; and indeed I liken this world and its folk and the goal to which they fare with certain workmen, for whom an Emir buildeth a narrow house and lodgeth them therein, commanding each of them to do a certain task and assigning to him a set term and appointing one to act as steward over them. Whoso doeth the work appointed unto him, the steward bringeth him forth of that straitness; but whoso doeth it not within the stablished term is punished. After awhile, behold, they find honey exuding from the chinks of the house, [FN#102] and when they have eaten thereof and tasted its sweetness of savour, they slacken in their ordered task and cast it behind their backs. So they patiently suffer the straitness and distress wherein they are, with what they know of the future punishment whereto they are fast wending, and are content with this worthless and easily won sweetness; and the Steward leaveth not to fetch every one of them forth of the house, for ill or good, when his appointed period shall have come. Now we know the world to be a dwelling wherein all eyes are dazed, and that each of its folk hath his set term; and he who findeth the little sweetness that is in the world and busieth himself therewith is of the number of the lost, since he preferreth the things of this world to the things of the next world; but whoso payeth no heed to this poor sweetness and preferreth the things of the coming world to those of this world, is of those who are saved." Q "I have heard what thou sayest of this world and the next and I accept thine answer; but I see they are as two placed in authority over man; needs must he content them both, and they are contrary one to other. So, if the creature set himself to seek his livelihood, it is harmful to his soul in the future, and if he devote himself to the next world, it is hurtful to his body, and there is no way for him of pleasing these two contraries at once."--"Indeed, the quest of one's worldly livelihood with pious intent and on lawful wise is a viaticum for the quest of the goods of the world to come; if a man spend a part of his days in seeking his livelihood in this world, for the sustenance of his body, and devote the rest of his day to seeking the goods of the next world, for the repose of his soul and the warding off of hurt therefrom; and indeed I see this world and the other world as they were two Kings, a just and an unjust." Asked Shimas, "How so?" and the youth began the tale of


The Two Kings.


There were once two Kings, a just and an unjust; and this one had a land abounding in trees and fruits and herbs, but he let no merchant pass without robbing him of his monies and his merchandise; and the traders endured this with patience, by reason of their profit from the fatness of the earth in the means of life and its pleasantness, more by token that it was renowned for its richness in precious stones and gems. Now the just King, who loved jewels, heard of this land and sent one of his subjects thither, giving him much specie and bidding him pass with it into the other's realm and buy jewels therefrom. So he went thither; and, it being told to the unjust King that a merchant was come to his kingdom with much money to buy jewels withal, he sent for him to the presence and said to him, "Who art thou and whence comest thou and who brought thee thither and what is thy errand?" Quoth the merchant, "I am of such and such a region, and the King of that land gave me money and bade me buy therewith jewels from this country; so I obeyed his bidding and came." Cried the unjust King, "Out on thee! Knowest thou not my fashion of dealing with the people of my realm and how each day I take their monies? How then comest thou to my country? And behold, thou hast been a sojourner here since such a time!" Answered the trader, "The money is not mine, not a mite of it; nay, 'tis a trust in my hands till I bring its equivalent to its owner." But the King said, "I will not let thee take thy livelihood of my land or go out therefrom, except thou ransom thyself with this money all of it."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Tenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the unjust Ruler said to the trader who came to buy jewels from his country, "'Tis not possible for thee to take thy livelihood of my land except thou ransom thy life with this money, all of it else shalt thou die." So the man said in himself, "I am fallen between two Kings, and I know that the oppression of this ruler embraceth all who abide in his dominions, and if I satisfy him not, I shall lose both life and money (whereof is no doubt) and shall fail of my errand; whilst, on the other hand, if I give him all the gold, it will most assuredly prove my ruin with its owner, the other King; wherefore no device will serve me but that I give this one a trifling part thereof and content him therewith and avert from myself and from the money perdition. Thus shall I get my livelihood of the fatness of this land, till I buy that which I desire of jewels; and, after satisfying the tyrant with gifts, I will take my portion of the profit and return to the owner of the money with his need, trusting in his justice and indulgence, and unfearing that he will punish me for that which this unjust King taketh of the treasure, especially if it be but a little." Then the trader called down blessings on the tyrant and said to him, "O King, I will ransom myself and this specie with a small portion thereof, from the time of my entering thy country to that of my going forth therefrom." The King agreed to this and left him at peace for a year, till he bought all manner jewels with the rest of the money and returned therewith to his master, to whom he made his excuses, confessing to having saved himself from the unjust King as before related. The just King accepted his excuse and praised him for his wise device and set him on his right hand in his divan and appointed him in his kingdom an abiding inheritance and a happy life-tide. [FN#103] "Now the just King is the similitude of the future world and the unjust King that of the present world ; the jewels that be in the tyrant's dominions are good deeds and pious works. The merchant is man and the money he hath with him is the provision appointed him of Allah. When I consider this, I know that it behoveth him who seeketh his livelihood in this world to leave not a day without seeking the goods of the world to come, so shall he content this world with that which he gaineth of the fatness of the earth and satisfy the other world with that which he spendeth of his life in seeking after it." Q "Are the spirit [FN#104] and the body alike in reward and retribution, or is the body, as the luster of lusts and doer of sinful deeds, and especially affected with punishment?"--"The inclination to lusts and sins may be the cause of earning reward by the withholding of the soul therefrom and the repenting thereof; but the command [FN#105] is in the hand of Him who cloth what He will, and things by their contraries are distinguished. Thus subsistence is necessary to the body, but there is no body without soul, and the purification of the spirit is in making clean the intention in this world and taking thought to that which shall profit in the world to come. Indeed, soul and body are like two horses racing for a wager or two foster brothers or two partners in business. By the intent are good deeds distinguished, and thus the body and soul are partners in actions and in reward and retribution, and in this they are like the Blind man and the Cripple with the Overseer of the garden." Asked Shimas, "How so?" and the Prince said. "Hear, O Wazir, the tale of


The Blind Man and the Cripple.


A blind man and a Cripple were travelling companions and used to beg alms in company. One day they sought admission into the garden of someone of the benevolent, and a kind-hearted wight, hearing their talk, took compassion on them and carried them into his garden, where he left them after plucking for them some of its produce and went away, bidding them do no waste nor damage therein. When the fruits became ripe, the Cripple said to the Blind man, "Harkye, I see ripe fruits and long for them, but I cannot rise to eat thereof; so go thou arise, for thou art sound of either leg, and fetch us somewhat that we may eat." Replied the Blind, "Fie upon thee! I had no thought of them, but now that thou callest them to my mind, I long to eat of them and I am impotent unto this, being unable to see them; so how shall we do to get at them?" At this moment, behold, up came the Overseer of the garden, who was a man of understanding, and the Cripple said to him, "Harkye, O Overseer! I long for somewhat of those fruits, but we are as thou seest: I am a cripple and my mate here is stone-blind; so what shall we do?" Replied the Overseer "Woe to you! Have ye forgotten that the master of the garden stipulated with you that ye should do nothing whereby waste or damage befal it; so take warning and abstain from this." But they answered, "Needs must we get our portion of these fruits that we may eat thereof; so tell us some device whereby we shall contrive this." When the Overseer saw that they were not to be turned from their purpose, he said, "This, then, is my device, O Cripple, let the Blind bear thee on his back and take thee under the tree whose fruit pleaseth thee, so thou mayst pluck what thou canst reach thereof." Accordingly the Blind man took on his back the Cripple who guided him till he brought him under a tree, and he fell to plucking from it what he would and tearing at its boughs till he had despoiled it, after which they went roundabout and throughout the garden and wasted it with their hands and feet; nor did they cease from this fashion, till they had stripped all the trees of the garth. Then they returned to their place and presently up came the master of the garden, who, seeing it in this plight, was wroth with sore wrath and coming up to them said, "Woe to you! What fashion is this? Did I not stipulate with you that ye should do no damage in the garden?" Quoth they, "Thou knowest that we are powerless to come at any of the fruit, for that one of us is a cripple and cannot rise and the other is blind and cannot see that which is before him; so what is our offense?" But the master answered, "Think ye I know not how ye wrought and how ye have gone about to do waste in my garden? I know, as if I had been with thee, O Blind, that thou tookest the Cripple pick-a-back, and he showed thee the way till thou borest him to the trees." Then he punished them with grievous punishment and thrust them out of the garden. "Now the Blind is the similitude of the body which seeth not save by the spirit, and the Cripple that of the soul, for that it hath no power of motion but by the body; the garden is the works, for which the creature is rewarded or punished, and the Overseer is the reason which biddeth to good and forbiddeth from evil. Thus the body and the soul are partners in reward and retribution." Q "Which of the learned men is most worthy of praise, according to thee?"--"He who is learned in the knowledge of Allah and whose knowledge profiteth him." Q "And who is this?"--"Whoso is intent upon seeking to please his Lord and avoid His wrath." Q "And which of them is the most excellent?"--"He who is most learned in the knowledge of Allah." Q "And which is the most experienced of them?"--"Whoso in doing according to his knowledge is most constant." Q " And which is the purest hearted of them?"-- "He who is most assiduous in preparing for death and praising the Lord and least of them in hope, and indeed he who penetrateth his soul with the awful ways of death is as one who looketh into a clear mirror, for that he knoweth the truth, and the mirror still increaseth in clearness and brilliance." Q "What are the goodliest of treasures?"--"The treasures of heaven." Q "Which is the goodliest of the treasures of Heaven?"--"The praise of Allah and His magnification." Q "Which is the most excellent of the treasures of earth?"--"The practice of kindness."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir Shimas asked the King's son, saying, "Which is the most excellent of the treasures of earth?" he answered, "The practice of kindness." So the Minister pursued, "Tell me of three several and different things, knowledge and judgment and wit, and of that which uniteth them."--"Knowledge cometh of learning, judgment of experience and wit of reflection, and they are all stablished and united in reason. Whoso combineth these three qualities attaineth perfection, and he who addeth thereto the piety and fear of the Lord is in the right course." Q "Take the case of a man of learning and wisdom, endowed with right judgment, luminous intelligence and a keen wit and excelling, and tell me can desire and lust change these his qualities?"--"Yes; for these two passions, when they enter into a man, alter his wisdom and understanding and judgment and wit, and he is like the Ossifrage [FN#106] which, for precaution against the hunters, abode in the upper air, of the excess of his subtlety; but, as he was thus, he saw a fowler set up his nets and when the toils were firmly staked down bait them with a bit of meat; which when he beheld, desire and lust thereof overcame him and he forgot that which he had seen of springes and of the sorry plight of all birds that fell into them. So he swooped down from the welkin and pouncing upon the piece of meat, was meshed in the same snare and could not win free. When the fowler came up and saw the Ossifrage taken in his toils he marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, 'I set up my nets, thinking to take therein pigeons and the like of small fowl; how came this Ossifrage to fall into it?' It is said that when desire and lust incite a man of understanding to aught, he considereth the end thereof and refraineth from that which they make fair and represseth with his reason his lust and his concupiscence; for, when these passions urge him to aught, it behoveth him to make his reason like unto a horseman skilled in horsemanship who, mounting a skittish horse, curbeth him with a sharp bit, [FN#107] so that he go aright with him and bear him whither he will. As for the ignorant man, who hath neither knowledge nor judgment, while all things are obscure to him and desire and lust lord it over him, verily he doeth according to his desire and his lust and is of the number of those that perish; nor is there among men one in worse case than he." Q "When is knowledge profitable and when availeth reason to ward off the ill effects of desire and lust?"--"When their possessor useth them in quest of the goods of the next world, for reason and knowledge are altogether profitable; but it befitteth not their owner to expend them in the quest of the goods of this world, save in such measure as may be needful for gaining his livelihood and defending himself from its mischief, but to lay them out with a view to futurity." Q "What is most worthy that a man should apply himself thereto and occupy his heart withal?"--"Good works and pious." Q "If a man do this it diverteth him from gaining his living; how then shall he do for his daily bread wherewith he may not dispense?"--"A man's day is four-and-twenty hours, and it behoveth him to employ one third thereof in seeking his living, another in prayer and repose and the other in the pursuits of knowledge; [FN#108] for a reasonable man without knowledge is a barren land, which hath no place for tillage, tree-planting or grass-growing. Except it be prepared for filth and plantation, no fruit will profit therein; but, if it be tilled and planted, it bringeth forth goodly fruits. So with the man lacking education; there is no profit in him till knowledge be ranted in him; then cloth he bear fruit." Q "What sayst thou of knowledge without understanding?"--"It is as the knowledge of a brute [FN#109] beast, which hath learnt the hours of its foddering and waking, but hath no reason." Q "Thou hast been brief in thine answer here anent; but I accept thy reply. Tell me, how shall I guard myself against the Sultan?"--"By giving him no way to thee." Q "And how can I but give him way to me, seeing that he is set in dominion over me and that the reins of my affair be in his hand?"--"His dominion over thee lieth in the duties thou owest him; wherefore, an thou give him his due, he hath no farther dominion over thee." Q "What are a Wazir's duties to his King?"--"Good counsel and zealous service both in public and private, right judgment, the keeping of his secrets, and that he conceal from his lord naught of that whereof he hath a right to be informed, lack of neglect of aught of his need with the gratifying of which he chargeth him, the seeking his approval in every guise, and the avoidance of his anger." Q "How should the Wazir do with the King?"--"An thou be Wazir to the King and wouldst fain become safe from him, let thy hearing and thy speaking to him surpass his expectation of thee, and be thy seeking of thy want from him after the measure of thy rank in his esteem, and beware lest thou advance thyself to a dignity whereof he deemeth thee unworthy for this would be like presuming against him. So, if thou take advantage of his mildness and raise thee to a rank beyond that which he deemeth thy due, thou wilt be like the hunter, whose wont it was to trap wild beasts for their pelts and cast away the flesh. Now a lion used to come to that place and eat of the carrion, and in course of time, he made friendship with the hunter who would throw meat to him and wipe his hands on his back whilst the lion wagged his tail. [FN#110] But when the hunter saw his tameness and gentleness and submissiveness to him, he said to himself, 'Verily this lion humbleth himself to me and I am master of him, and I see not why I should not mount him and strip off his hide, as with the other wild beasts.' So he took courage and sprang on the lion's back, presuming on his mildness and deeming himself sure of him; which when the lion saw, he raged with exceeding rage and raising his fore-paw, smote the hunter, that he drove his claws into his vitals, after which he cast him under foot and tare him in pieces and devoured him. By this we may know that it behoveth the Wazir to bear himself towards the King according to that which he seeth of his condition and not presume upon the superiority of his own judgment, lest the King become jealous of him."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth, the son of King Jali'ad, said to Shimas the Wazir, "It behoveth the Minister to bear himself towards the Monarch according to that which he seeth of his condition, and not to presume upon the superiority of his own judgment lest the King wax jealous of him." Quoth Shimas, "How shall the Wazir grace himself in the King's sight."--"By the performance of the trust committed to him and of loyal counsel and sound judgment and the execution of his commands." Q "As for what thou sayest of the Wazir's duty to avoid the King's anger and perform his wishes and apply himself diligently to the doing of that where with he chargeth him, such duty is always incumbent on him; but how, an the King's whole pleasure be tyranny and the practice of oppression and exorbitant extortion; and what shall the Wazir do if he be afflicted by intercourse with this unjust lord? An he strive to turn him from his lust and his desire, he cannot do this, and if he follow him in his lusts and flatter him with false counsel, he assumeth the weight of responsibility herein and becometh an enemy to the people. What sayst thou of this?"--"What thou speakest, O Wazir, of his responsibility and sinfulness ariseth only in the case of his abetting the King in his wrong doing; but it behoveth the Wazir, when the King taketh counsel with him of the like of this, to show forth to him the way of justice and equity and warn him against tyranny and oppression and expound to him the principles of righteously governing the lieges, alluring him with the future reward that pertaineth to this and restraining him with warning of the punishment he otherwise will incur. If the King incline to him and hearken unto his words, his end is gained, and if not, there is nothing for it but that he depart from him after courteous fashion, because in parting for each of them is ease." Q "What are the duties of the King to his subjects and what are the obligations of the lieges to their lord?"--"They shall do whatso he ordereth them with pure intent and obey him in that which pleaseth him and pleaseth Allah and the Apostle of Allah. And the lieges can claim of the lord that he protect their possessions and guard their women, [FN#111] even as it is their duty to hearken unto him and obey him and expend their lives freely in his defence and give him his lawful due and praise him fairly for that which he bestoweth upon them of his justice and bounty." Q "Have his subjects any claim upon the King other than that which thou hast said?"--"Yes. The rights of the subjects from their Sovran are more binding than the liege lord's claim upon his lieges, for that the breach of his duty towards them is more harmful than that of their duty towards him, because the ruin of the King and the loss of his kingdom and fortune befal not save by the breach of his devoir to his subjects; wherefore it behoveth him who is invested with the kingship to be assiduous in furthering three things: to wit, the fostering of the faith, the fostering of his subjects and the fostering of government; for by the ensuing of these three things, his kingdom shall endure." Q "How cloth it behove him to do for his subjects' weal?"--"By giving them their due and maintaining their laws and customs [FN#112] and employing Olema and learned men to teach them and justifying them, one of other, and sparing their blood and defending their goods and lightening their loads and strengthening their hosts." Q "What is the Minister's claim upon the Monarch?"--"None hath a more imperative claim on the King than hath the Wazir, for three reasons: firstly, because of that which shall befal him from his liege lord in case of error in judgment, and because of the general advantage to King and commons in case of sound judgmen; secondly, that folk may know the goodliness of the degree which the Wazir holdeth in the King's esteem and therefore look on him with eyes of veneration and respect and submission [FN#113]; and thirdly, that the Wazir, seeing this from King and subjects, may ward off from them that which they hate and fulfil to them that which they love." Q "I have heard all thou hast said of the attributes of King and Wazir and liege and approve thereof; but now tell me what is incumbent in keeping the tongue from lying and folly and slandering good names and excess in speech."--"It behoveth a man to speak naught but good and kindness and to talk not of that which toucheth him not, to leave detraction nor carry tale he hath heard from one man to his enemy, neither seek to harm his friend nor his foe with his Sultan and reck not of any (neither of him from whom he hopeth for good nor of him whom he feareth for mischief) save of Allah Almighty; for He indeed is the only one who harmeth or profiteth. Let him not impute default unto any nor talk ignorantly, lest he incur the weight and the sin thereof before Allah and earn hate among men; for know thou that speech is like an arrow which once shot none can avail to recall. Let him also beware of disclosing his secret to one who shall discover it, lest he fall into mischief by reason of its disclosure, after confidence on its concealment; and let him be more careful to keep his secret from his friend than from his foe, for the keeping a secret with all folk is of the performance of faithful trust." Q "Tell me how a man should bear himself with his family and friends."--"There is no rest for a son of Adam save in righteous conduct; he should render to his family that which they deserve and to his brethren whatso is their due." Q "What should one render to one's kinsfolk?"--"To parents, submission and soft speech and affability and honour and reverence. To brethren, good counsel and readiness to expend money for them and assistance in their undertakings and joyance in their joy and grieving for their grief and closing of the eyes toward the errors that they may commit; for, when they experience this from a man, they requite him with the best of counsel they can command and expend their lives in his defence; wherefore, an thou know thy brother to be trusty, lavish upon him thy love and help him in all his affairs."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth, the son and heir of King Jali'ad, when questioned by the Wazir upon the subjects aforesaid, returned him satisfactory replies; when Shimas resumed, "I see that brethren are of two kinds, brethren of trust and brethren of society. [FN#114] As for the first who be friends, there is due to them that which thou hast set forth; but now tell me of the others who be acquaintances."--As for brethren of society, thou gettest of them pleasance and goodly usance and fair speech and enjoyable company; so be thou not sparing to them of thy delights, but be lavish to them thereof, like as they are lavish to thee, and render to them that which they render to thee of affable countenance and an open favour and sweet speech, so shall thy life be pleasant and thy words be accepted of them." Q "Tell me now of the provision decreed by the Creator to all creatures. Hath He alloted to men and beasts each his several provision to the completion of his appointed life term; and if this allotment be thus, what maketh him who seeketh his livelihood to incur hardships and travail in the quest of that which he knoweth must come to him, if it be decreed to him, albeit he incur not the misery of endeavour; and which, if it be not decreed to him, he shall not win, though he strive after it with his uttermost striving? Shall he therefore stint endeavour and in his Lord put trust and to his body and his soul give rest?"-- "Indeed, we see clearly that to each and every there is a provision distributed and a term prescribed; but to all livelihood are a way and means, and he who seeketh would get ease of his seeking by ceasing to seek; withal there is no help but that he seek his fortune. The seeker is, however, in two cases: either he gaineth his fortune or he faileth thereof. In the first case, his pleasure consisteth in two conditions: first, in the having gained his fortune, and secondly, in the laudable [FN#115] issue of his quest; and in the other case, his pleasure consisteth, first, in his readiness to seek his daily bread; secondly, in his abstaining from being a burthen to the folk; and thirdly, in his freedom from liability to blame." Q "What sayst thou of the means of seeking one's fortune?"--"A man shall hold lawful that which Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) alloweth, and unlawful whatso He forbiddeth." Reaching this pass the discourse between them came to an end, and Shimas and all the Olema present rose and prostrating themselves before the young Prince, magnified and extolled him, whilst his father pressed him to his bosom and seating him on the throne of kingship, said, "Praised be Allah who hath blessed me with a son to be the coolth of mine eyes in my lifetime!" Then said the King's son to Shimas in presence of all the Olema, "O sage that art versed in spiritual questions, albeit Allah have vouchsafed to me but scanty knowledge, yet do I comprehend thine intent in accepting from me what I proffered in answer concerning that whereof thou hast asked me, whether I hit or missed the mark therein, and belike thou forgavest my errors; but now I am minded to question thee anent a thing, whereof my judgment faileth and whereto my capacity is insufficient and which my tongue availeth not to set forth, for that it is obscure to me, with the obscurity of clear water in a black vessel. Wherefore would have thee expound it to me so no iota thereof may remain doubtful to the like of me, to whom its obscurity may present itself in the future, even as it hath presented itself to me in the past; since Allah, even as He hath made life to be in lymph [FN#116] and strength in food and the cure of the sick in the skill of the leach, so hath He appointed the healing of the fool to be in the learning of the wise. Give ear, therefore, to my speech." Replied the Wazir, "O luminous of intelligence and master of casuistical questions, thou whose excellence all the Olema attest, by reason of the goodliness of thy discretion of things and thy distribution [FN#117] thereof and the justness of thine answers to the questions I have asked thee, thou knowest that thou canst enquire of me naught but thou art better able than I to form a just judgment thereon and expound it truly, for that Allah hath vouchsafed unto thee such wisdom as He hath bestowed on none other of men. But inform me of what thou wouldst question me." Quoth the Prince, "Tell me from what did the Creator (magnified be His all-might!) create the world, albeit there was before it naught and there is naught seen in this world but it is created from something; and the Divine Creator (extolled and exalted be He!) is able to create things from nothing, [FN#118] yet hath His will decreed, for all the perfection of His power and grandeur, that He shall create naught but from something." The Wazir replied, "As for those, who fashion vessels of potter's clay, [FN#119] and other handicraftsmen, who cannot originate one thing save from another thing, they are themselves only created entities; but, as for the Creator, who hath wrought the world after this wondrous fashion, an thou wouldst know His power (extolled and exalted be He!) of calling things into existence, extend thy thought and consider the various kinds of created things, and thou wilt find signs and instances, proving the perfection of His puissance and that He is able to create the ens from the non-ens; nay, He called things into being, after absolute non-existence, for the elements which be the matter of created things were sheer nothingness. I will expound this to thee, so thou mayst be in no scepticism thereof, and the marvel-signs of the alternation of Night and Day shall make this clear to thee. When the light goeth and the night cometh, the day is hidden from us and we know not the place where it abideth; and when the night passeth away with its darkness and its terror, the day cometh and we know not the abiding-place of the night. [FN#120] In like manner, when the sun riseth upon us, we know not where it hath laid up its light, and when it setteth, we ignore the abiding-place of its setting; and the examples of this among the works of the Creator (magnified be His name and glorified be His might!) abound in what confoundeth the thought of the keenest witted of human beings." Rejoined the Prince, "O sage, thou hast set before me of the power of the Creator what is incapable of denial; but tell me how He called His creatures into existence." Answered Shimas, "He created them by the sole power of His one Word, [FN#121] which existed before time, and wherewith he created all things." Quoth the Prince, "Then Allah (be His name magnified and His might glorified!) only willed the existence of created things, before they came into being?" Replied Shimas, "And of His will He created them with His one Word and, but for His speech and that one Word, the creation had not come into existence."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the King's son had asked his sire's Wazir the casuistical questions aforesaid, and had received a sufficient answer, Shimas said to him, "O dear my son, [FN#122] there is no man can tell thee other but tints I have said, except he twist the words handed down to us of the Holy Law and turn the truths thereof from their evident meaning. And such a perversion is their saying that the Word hath inherent and positive power and I take refuge with Allah from such a mis-belief! Nay, the meaning of our saying that Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) created the world with His Word is that He (exalted be His name!) is One in His essence and His attributes and not that His Word hath independent power. On the contrary, power is one of the attributes of Allah, even as speech and other attributes of perfection are attributes of Allah (exalted be His dignity and extolled be His empery!); wherefore He may not be conceived without His Word, nor may His Word be conceived without Him, for, with His Word, Allah (extolled be His praise!) created all His creatures, and without His Word, the Lord created naught. Indeed, He created all things but by His Word of Truth, and by Truth are we created." Quoth the Prince, "I comprehend that which thou hast said on the subject of the Creator and from thee I accept this with understanding, but I hear thee say that He created the world by His Word of Truth. Now Truth is the opposite of Falsehood; whence then arose Falsehood with its opposition unto Truth, and how cometh it to be possible that it should be confounded therewith and become doubtful to human beings, so that they need to distinguish between the twain? And cloth the Creator (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) love Falsehood or hate it? An thou say He loveth Truth and by it created all things and abhorreth Falsehood, how came the False, which the Creator hateth, to invade the True which He loveth?" Quoth Shimas, "Verily Allah the Most High created man all Truth [FN#123], loving His name and obeying His word, and on this wise man had no need of repentance till Falsehood invaded the Truth whereby he was created by means of the capability [FN#124] which Allah had placed in him, being the will and the inclination called lust of lucre. [FN#125] When the False invaded the True on this wise, right became confounded with wrong, by reason of the will of man and his capability and greed of gain, which is the voluntary side of him together with the weakness of human nature; wherefore Allah created penitence for man, to turn away from him Untruth and stablish him in Truth, and He created for him also punishment if he should abide in the obscurity of Falsehood." Quoth the Prince, "Tell me how came Untruth to invade Truth, so as to be confounded therewith, and how became man liable to punishment and so stood in need of repentance." Replied Shimas, "When Allah created man with Truth, He made him loving to Himself and there was for him neither repentance nor punishment; but he abode thus till Allah put in him the soul, which is of the perfection of humanity, albeit naturally inclined to lust which is inherent therein. From this sprang the growth of Untruth and its confusion with Truth, wherewith man was created and with the love whereof his nature had been made; and when man came to this pass, he declined from the Truth with disobedience, and whoso declineth from the Truth falleth into Falsehood." Said the Prince, "Then Falsehood invaded Truth only by reason of disobedience and transgression?" Shimas replied, "Yes, and it is thus because Allah loveth mankind, and of the abundance of His love to man He created him having need of Himself, that is to say, of the very Truth. But oftentimes man lapseth from this by cause of the inclination of the soul to lusts and turneth to frowardness, wherefore he falleth into Falsehood by the act of disobeying his Lord and thus deserveth punishment, and, by putting away from himself Falsehood with repentance and by the returning to the love of the Truth, he meriteth future reward." Quoth the Prince, "Tell me the origin of sin, whilst all mankind trace their being to Adam, and how cometh it that he, being created of Allah with truth, drew disobedience on himself; then was his disobedience coupled with repentance, after the soul had been set in him, that his issue might be reward or retribution? Indeed, we see some men constant in sinfulness, inclining to that which He loveth not and transgressing in this the original intent and purpose of their creation, which is the love of the Truth, and drawing on themselves the wrath of their Lord, whilst we see others constant in seeking the satisfaction of their Creator and obeying Him and meriting mercy and future recompense. What causeth this difference prevailing between them?" Replied Shimas, "The origin of disobedience descending upon mankind is attributable to Iblis, who was the noblest of all that Allah (magnified be His name!) created of angels [FN#126] and men and Jinn, and the love of the Truth was inherent in him, for he knew naught but this; but whenas he saw himself unique in such dignity, there entered into him pride and conceit, vainglory and arrogance which revolted from loyalty and obedience to the commandment of His Creator; wherefore Allah made him inferior to all creatures and cast him out from love, making his abiding-place to be in disobedience. So when he knew that Allah (glorified be His name!) loved not disobedience and saw Adam and the case wherein he was of truth and love and obedience to his Creator, envy entered into him and he devised some device to pervert Adam from the truth, that he might be a partaker with himself in Falsehood; and by this, Adam incurred chastisement for his inclining to disobedience, which his foe made fair to him, and his subjection to his lusts, whenas he transgressed the charge of his Lord, by reason of the appearance of Falsehood. When the Creator (magnified be the praises of Him and hallowed be the names of Him!) saw the weakness of man and the swiftness of his inclining to his enemy and leaving the truth, He appointed to him, of His mercy, repentance, that therewith he might arise from the slough [FN#127] of inclination to disobedience and taking the arms and armour of repentance, overcame therewith his foe Iblis and his hosts and return to the Truth, wherein he was created. When Iblis saw that Allah (magnified be His praise!) had appointed him a protracted term, [FN#128] he hastened to wage war upon man and to best him with wiles, to the intent that he might oust him from the favour of his Lord and make him a partaker with himself in the wrath which he and his hosts had incurred; wherefore Allah (extolled be His praises!) appointed unto man the capability of penitence and commanded him to apply himself to the Truth and persevere therein; and forbade him from disobedience and frowardness and revealed to him that he had on the earth an enemy warring against him and relazing not from him night nor day. Thus hath man a right to future reward, if he adhere to the Truth, in the love of which his nature was created; but he becometh liable to punishment, if the flesh master him and incline him to lusts."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the young Prince had questioned Shimas touching disputed points of olden time and had been duly answered, he presently said, "Now tell me by what power is the creature able to transgress against his Creator, seeing that His omnipotence is without bounds, even as thou hast set forth, and that naught can overcome Him or depart from His will? Deemest thou not that He is able to turn His creatures from this disobedience and compel them eternally to hold the Truth?" Answered Shimas, "In very sooth Almighty Allah (honoured be His name!) is just and equitable and loving-kind to the people of His affection. [FN#129] He created His creatures with justice and equity and of the inspiration of His justice and the overflowing of His mercy, He gave them kingship over themselves, that they should do whatever they might design. He showeth them the way of rightwousness and bestoweth on them the power and ability of doing what they will of good: and if they do the opposite thereof, they fall into destruction and disobedience." Q "If the Creator, as thou sayest, have granted to mankind power and ability [FN#130] and they by reason thereof are empowered to do whatso they will, why then doth He not come between them and that which they desire of wrong and turn them to the right?"--"This is of the greatness of His mercy and the goodliness of His wisdom; for, even as aforetime he showed wrath to Iblis and had no mercy on him, even so he showed Adam mercy, by means [FN#131] of repentance, and accepted of him, after He had been wroth with him." Q "He is indeed mere Truth, for He it is who requiteth every one according to his works, and there is no Creator save Allah who hath power over all things. But tell me, hath He created that which He loveth and that which He loveth not or only that which He loveth?"--"He created all things, but favoureth only that which he loveth." Q "What reckest thou of two things, one whereof is pleasing to God and earneth future reward for him who practiseth it and the other offendeth Allah and entaileth lawful punishment upon the doer?"--"Expound to me these two things and make me to apprehend them, that I may speak concerning them." Q "They are good and evil, the two things inherent in the body and in the soul."--"O wise youth, I see that thou knowest good and evil to be of the works which the soul and the body combine to do. Good is named good, because it is in favour with God, and evil is termed ill, for that in it is His ill-will. Indeed, it behoveth thee to know Allah and to please Him by the practice of good, for that He hath bidden us to this and forbidden us to do evil." Q "I see these two things, to wit, good and evil, to be wrought only by the five senses familiarly known in the body of man, which be the sensorium [FN#132] whence proceed speech, hearing, sight, smell and touch. Now I would have thee tell me whether these five senses were created altogether for good or for evil."--"Apprehend, O man, the exposition of that whereof thou askest and it is a manifest proof; so lay it up in thine innermost thought and take it to thy heart. And this it is that the Creator (extolled and exalted be He!) created man with Truth and impressed him with the love thereof and there proceedeth from it no created thing save by the puissance of the Most High, whose trace is in every phenomenon. He [FN#133] (extol we Him and exalt we Him!) is not apt but to the ordering of justice and equity and beneficence, and He created man for the love of Him and set in him a soul, wherein the inclination to lusts was innate and assigned him capability and ableness and appointed the Five Senses aforesaid to be to him a means of winning Heaven or Hell." Q "How so?"--"In that He created the Tongue for speech, the Hands for action, the Feet for walking and the Eyes for seeing and the Ears for hearing, and upon each bestowed especial power and incited them to exercise and motion, bidding each of them do naught save that which pleaseth Him. Now what pleaseth Him in Speech is truthfulness and abstaining from its opposite, which is falsehood; and what pleaseth Him in Sight is turning it unto that which He loveth and leaving the contrary, which is turning it unto that which He hateth, such as looking unto lusts; and what pleaseth Him in Hearing is hearkening to naught but the True, such as admonition and that which is in Allah's writ and leaving the contrary, which is listening to that which incurreth the anger of Allah; and what pleaseth Him in the Hands is not hoarding up that which He entrusteth to them, but expending it in such way as shall please Him and leaving the contrary, which is avarice or spending in sinfulness that which He hath committed to them; and what pleaseth Him in the Feet is that they be constant in the pursuit of good, such as the quest of instruction, and leave its contrary, which is the walking in other than the way of Allah. Now respecting the rest of the lusts which man practiseth, they proceed from the body by command of the soul. But the lusts which proceed from the body are of two kinds, the lust of reproduction and the lust of the belly. As for the former, that which pleaseth Allah thereof is that it be not other than lawful [FN#134] and He is displeased with it if contrary to His law. As for the lust of the belly, eating and drinking, what pleaseth Allah thereof is that each take naught save that which the Almighty hath appointed him be it little or mickle, and praise the Lord and thank Him; and what angereth Him thereof is that a man take that which is not his by right. All precepts other than these are false, and thou knowest that Allah created everything and delighteth only in Good and commandeth each member of the body to do that which He hath made on it incumbent, for that He is the All-wise, the All-knowing." Q "Was it foreknown unto Allah Almighty (exalted be His power!) that Adam, by eating of the tree from which He forbade him and whence befel what befel, would leave obedience for disobedience?"--"Yes, O sage youth. This was foreknown unto Allah Almighty ere He created Adam, and the proof and manifestation attached thereto is the warning He gave him against eating of the tree and His informing him that, if he ate of the fruit he would be disobedient. And this was in the way of justice and equity, lest Adam should have an argument wherewith he might excuse himself against his Lord. When therefore, he fell into error and calamity and when disgrace waxed sore upon him and reproach, this passed to his posterity after him; wherefore Allah sent Prophets and Apostles and gave to them Books and they taught us the divine commandments and expounded to us what was therein of admonitions and precepts and made clear to us and manifest the way of righteousness and explained to us what it behoved us to do and what to leave undone. Now we are endowed with Freewill and he who acteth within these lawful limits winneth his wish and prospereth, while whoso transgresseth these legal bounds and doeth other than that which these precepts enjoin, resisteth the Lord and is ruined in both Abodes. This then is the road of Good and Evil. Thou knowest that Allah over all things is Omnipotent and created not lusts for us but of His pleasure and volunty, and He bade us use them in the way of lawfulness, so they might be to us a good; but, when we use them in the way of sinfulness they are to us an evil. Therefore what of righteous we compass is from Allah Almighty, and what of wrongous from ourselves [FN#135] His creatures, not from the Creator, exalted be He herefor with highmost exaltation!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the youth, King Jali'ad's son had questioned Shimas concerning these subtleties and had been duly answered, he pursued, "That which thou hast expounded to me concerning Allah and His creatures I understand; but tell me of one matter, concerning which my mind is perplexed with extreme wonderment, and that is that I marvel at the sons of Adam, how careless they are of the life to come and at their lack of taking thought thereof and their love to this world, albeit they know that they must needs leave it and depart from it, whilst they are yet young in years."--"Yes, verily; and that which thou seest of its changefulness and traitorousness with its children is a sign that Fortune to the fortunate will not endure nor to the afflicted affliction; for none of its people is secure from its changefulness and even if one have power over it and be content therewith, yet there is no help but that his estate change and removal hasten unto him. Wherefore man can put no trust therein nor profit by that which he enjoyeth of its gilding and glitter [FN#136]; and we knowing this will know that the sorriest of men in condition are those who are deluded by this world and are unmindful of the other world; for that whatso of present ease they enjoy will not even the fear and misery and horrors which will befal them after their removal therefrom. Thus are we certified that, if the creature knew that which will betide him with the coming of death [FN#137] and his severance from that which he enjoyeth of pleasure and delight, he would cast away the world and that which is therein; for we are certified that the next life is better for us and more profitable." Said the Prince, "O sage, thou hast dispelled the darkness that was upon my heart by the light of thy shining lamp and hast directed me into the right road I must tread on the track of Truth and hast given me a lantern whereby I may see." Then rose one of the learned men who was in the presence and said, "When cometh the season of Prime, needs must the hare seek the pasture as well as the elephant; and indeed I have heard from you twain such questions and solutions as I never before heard; but now leave that and let me ask you of somewhat. Tell me, what is the best of the goods of the world?" Replied the Prince, "Health of body, lawful livelihood and a virtuous son." Q "What is the greater and what is the less?"--"The greater is that to which a lesser than itself submitteth and the less that which submitteth to a greater than itself." Q "What are the four things wherein concur all creatures?"--"Men concur in meat and drink, the sweet of sleep, the lust of women and the agonies of death." Q "What are the three things whose foulness none can do away?"--"Folly, meanness of nature, and lying." Q "What is the best kind of lie, [FN#138] though all kinds are foul?"--"That which averteth harm from its utterer and bringeth gain." Q "What kind of truthfulness is foul, though all kinds are fair?"--"That of a man glorying in that which he hath and vaunting himself thereof." Q "What is the foulest of foulnesses?"--"When a man boasteth himself of that which he hath not." Q "Who is the most foolish of men?"--"He who hath no thought but of what he shall put in his belly." Then said Shimas, "O King, verily thou art our King, but we desire that thou assign the kingdom to thy son after thee, and we will be thy servants and lieges." So the King exhorted the Olema and others who were in the presence to remember that which they had heard and do according thereto and enjoined them to obey his son's commandment, for that he made him his heir-apparent, [FN#139] so he should be the successor of the King his sire; and he took an oath of all the people of his empire, literates and braves and old men and boys, to mention none other, that they would not oppose him in the succession nor transgress against his commandment. Now when the Prince was seventeen years old, the King sickened of a sore sickness and came nigh to die, so, being certified that his decease was at hand, he said to the people of his household, "This is disease of Death which is upon me; wherefore do ye summon my son and kith and kin and gather together the Grandees and Notables of my empire, so not one of them may remain except he be present." Accordingly they fared forth and made proclamation to those who were near and published the summons to those who were afar off, and they all assembled and went in to the King. Then said they to him, "How is it with thee, O King, and how deemest thou for thyself of these thy dolours?" Quoth Jali'ad, "Verily, this my malady is mortal and the shaft of death hath executed that which Allah Almighty decreed against me: this is the last of my days in the world here and the first of my days in the world hereafter." Then said he to his son, "Draw near unto me." So the youth drew near, weeping with weeping so sore, that he well nigh drenched the bed, whilst the King's eyes welled tears and all who were present wept. Quoth Jali'ad, "Weep not, O my son; I am not the first whom this Inevitable betideth; nay, it is common to all that Allah hath created. But fear thou the Almighty and do good deeds which shall precede thee to the place whither all creatures tend and wend. Obey not thy lusts, but occupy thy soul with lauding the Lord in thy standing up and thy sitting down, in thy waking and in thy sleeping. Make the Truth the aim of thine eyes; this is the last of my speech with thee and--The Peace."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Jali'ad charged his son with such injunctions and made him his heir to succeed him in his reign, the Prince said, "O dear father mine, [FN#140] thou knowest that I have ever been to thee obedient and thy commandment carrying out, mindful of thine injunctions and thine approof seeking, for thou hast been to me the best of fathers; how, then, after thy death, shall I depart from that which contenteth thee? And now, having fairly ordered my nurture thou art about to depart from me and I have no power to bring thee back to me; but, an I be mindful of thy charge, I shall be blessed therein and great good fortune shall betide me." Quoth the King, and indeed he was in the last agony of departing life, "Dear my son, cleave fast unto ten precepts, which if thou hold, Allah shall profit thee herewith in this world and the next world, and they are as follows. Whenas thou art wroth, curb thy wrath; when thou art afflicted, be patient; when thou speakest be soothfast; when thou promisest, perform; when thou judgest, do justice; when thou hast power, be merciful; deal generously by thy governors and lieutenants, forgive thy foes; be lavish of good offices to thine adversary, and stay thy mischief from him. Observe also other ten precepts, [FN#141] wherewith Allah shall profit thee among the people of thy realm: to wit, when thou dividest, be just; when thou punishest, oppress not; when thou engagest thyself, fulfil thine engagement; hearken to those that give thee loyal counsel; when offence is offered to thee, neglect it; abstain from contention; enjoin thy subjects to the observance of the divine laws and of praiseworthy practices; abate ignorance with a sharp sword; withhold thy regard from treachery and its untruth; and, lastly, do equal justice between the folk, so they may love thee, great and small, and the wicked and corrupt of them may fear thee." Then he addressed himself to the Emirs and Olema which were present when he appointed his son to be his successor, saying, "Beware ye of transgressing the commandment of your King and neglecting to hearken to your chief, for therein lieth ruin for your realm and sundering for your society and bane for your bodies and perdition for your possessions, and your foe would exult over you. Well ye wot the covenant ye made with me, and even thus shall be your covenant with this youth and the troth which plighted between you and me shall be also between you and him; wherefore it behoveth you to give ear unto and obey his commandment, for that in this is the well being of your conditions. So be ye constant with him anent that wherein ye were with me and your estate shall prosper and your affairs be fair; for behold, he hath the Kingship over you and is the lord of your fortune, and--The Peace." Then the death agony [FN#142] seized him and his tongue was bridled; so he pressed his son to him and kissed him and gave thanks unto Allah, after which his hour came and his soul fared forth. All his subjects and the people of his court mourned and keened over him and they shrouded him and buried him with pomp and honour and reverence, after which they returned with the Prince and clad him in the royal robes and crowned him with his father's crown and put the seal-ring on his finger, after seating him on the Throne of Sovranship. The young King ordered himself towards them, after his father's fashion of mildness and justice and benevolence, for a little while till the world waylaid him and entangled him in its lusts, whereupon, its pleasures made him their prey and he turned to its gilding and gewgaws, forsaking the engagements which his father had imposed upon him and casting off his obedience to him, neglecting the affairs of his reign and treading a road wherein was his own destruction. The love of women waxed stark in him and came to such a pass that, whenever he heard tell of a beauty, he would send for her and take her to wife; and after this wise, he collected women more in number than ever had Solomon, David-son, King of the children of Israel. Also he would shut himself up with a company of them for a month at a time, during which he went not forth neither enquired of his realm or its rule nor looked into the grievances of such of his subjects as complained to him; and if they wrote to him, he returned them no reply. Now when they saw this and witnessed his neglect of their affairs and lack of care for their interests and those of the state, they were assured that ere long some calamity would betide them and this was grievous to them. So they met privily one with other and took counsel together blaming their King, and one of them said to the rest, "Come, let us go to Shimas, Chief of the Wazirs, and set forth to him our case and acquaint him with that wherein we are by reason of this King, so he may admonish him; else, in a little, calamity will dawn upon us, for the world hath dazzled the Sovran with its delights and seduced him with its snares." Accordingly, they repaired to Shimas and said to him, "O wise man and prudent, the world hath dazed the King with its delights and taken him in its toils, so that he turneth unto vanity and worketh for the undoing of the state. Now with the disordering of the state the commons will be corrupted and our affairs will run to ruin. We see him not for days and months nor cometh there forth from him any commandment to us or to the Wazir or any else. We cannot refer aught of our need to him and he looketh not to the administration of justice nor taketh thought to the condition of any of his subjects, in his disregard of them. [FN#143] And behold we are come to acquaint thee with the truth of things, for that thou art the chiefest and most accomplished of us and it behoveth not that calamity befal a land wherein thou dwellest, seeing that thou art most able of any to amend this King. Wherefore go thou and speak with him; haply he will hearken to thy word and return unto the way of Allah." [FN#144] So Shimas arose forthright and repairing to the palace, foregathered with the first page he could find and said to him, "Fair my son, I beseech thee ask leave for me to go in to the King, for I have an affair, concerning which I would fain see his face and acquaint him therewith and hear what he shall answer me there anent." Answered the page, "O my lord, by Allah, this month past hath he given none leave to come in to him, nor have I all this time looked upon his face; but I will direct thee to one who shall crave admission for thee. Do thou lay hold of such a blackamoor slave who standeth at his head and bringeth him food from the kitchen. When he cometh forth to go to the kitchen, ask him what seemeth good to thee, for he will do for thee that which thou desirest." So the Wazir repaired to the door of the kitchen and sat there a little while, till up came the black and would have entered the kitchen; but Shimas caught hold of him and said to him, "Dear my son, I would fain stand in presence of the King and speak with him of somewhat especially concerneth him; so prithee, of thy kindness, when he hath ended his undurn-meal and his temper is at its best, speak for me and get me leave to approach him, so I may bespeak him of that which shall suit him." "I hear and obey," answered the black and taking the food carried it to the King, who ate thereof and his temper was soothed thereby. Then said the black to him, "Shimas standeth at the door and craveth admission, so he may acquaint thee with matters that specially concern thee." At this the King was alarmed and disquieted and commanded to admit the Minister.--And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King bade the blackamoor admit Shimas, the slave went forth to him and bade him enter; whereupon he went in and falling prone before Allah, kissed the King's hands and blessed him. Then said the King, "What hath betided thee, O Shimas, that thou seekest admission unto me?" He answered, "This long while have I not looked upon the face of my lord the King and indeed I longed sore for thee; and now, behold, I have seen thy countenance and come to thee with a word which I would fief say to thee, O King stablished in all prosperity!" Quoth the King, "Say what seemeth good to thee;" and quoth Shimas, "I would have thee bear in mind O King, that Allah Almighty hath endowed thee with learning and wisdom, for all the tenderness of thy years, such as He never vouchsafed unto any of the Kings before thee, and hath fulfilled the measure of his bounties to thee with the Kingship; and He loveth not that thou depart from that wherewith He hath endowed thee unto other than it, by means of thy disobedience to Him; wherefore it behoveth thee not to levy war against [FN#145] Him with thy hoards but of His injunctions to be mindful and unto His commandments obedient. Indeed, I have seen thee, this while past, forget thy sire and his charges and reject his covenant and neglect his counsel and words of wisdom and renounce his justice and good governance, remembering not the bounty of Allah to thee neither requiting it with gratitude and thanks to Him." The King asked, "How so? And what is the manner of this?"; and Shimas answered, "The manner of it is that thou neglectest to administer the affairs of the state and that which Allah hath committed unto thee of the interests of thy lieges and surrenderest thyself to thy lower nature in that which it maketh fair to thee of the slight lusts of the world. Verily it is said that the welfare of the state and of the Faith and of the folk is of the things which it behoveth the King to watch; wherefore it is my rede, O King, that thou look fairly to the issue of thine affair, for thus wilt thou find the manifest road wherein is salvation, and not accept a trifling pleasure and a transient which leadeth to the abyss of destruction, lest there befal thee that which befel the Fisherman." The King asked, "What was that?"; and Shimas answered, "there hath reached me this tale of



The Foolish Fisherman.


A fisherman went forth to a river for fishing therein as was his wont, and when he came thither and walked upon the bridge, he saw a great fish and said in himself, "'Twill not serve me to abide here, but I will follow yonder fish whitherso it goeth, till I catch it for it will relieve me from fishing for days and days." So he did off his clothes and plunged into the river after the fish. The current bore him along till he overtook it and laid hold of it, when he turned and found himself far from the bank. But albeit he saw what the stream had done with him, he would not loose the fish and return, but ventured life and gripping it fast with both hands, let his body float with the flow, which carried him on till it cast him into a whirlpool [FN#146] none might enter and come out therefrom. With this he fell to crying out and saying, "Save a drowning man!" And there came to him folk of the keepers of the river and said to him, "What ailed thee to cast thyself into this great peril?" Quoth he, "It was I myself who forsook the plain way wherein was salvation and gave myself over to concupiscence and perdition." Quoth they, "O fellow, why didst thou leave the way of safety and cast thyself into this destruction, knowing from of old that none may enter herein and be saved? What hindered thee from throwing away what was in thy hand and saving thyself? So hadst thou escaped with thy life and not fallen into this perdition, whence there is no deliverance; and now not one of us can rescue thee from this thy ruin." Accordingly the man cut off all his hopes of life and lost that which was in his hand and for which his flesh had prompted him to venture himself, and died a miserable death. "And I tell thee not this parable, O King," added Shimas, "but that thou mayest leave this contemptible conduct that diverteth thee from thy duties and look to that which is committed to thee of the rule of thy folk and the maintenance of the order of thy realm, so that none may see fault in thee." The King asked "What wouldst thou have me do?" And Shimas answered, "Tomorrow, an thou be well and in good case, [FN#147] give the folk leave to come in to thee and look into their affairs and excuse thyself to them and promise them of thine own accord good governance and prosperity." Quoth the King, "O Shimas, thou hast spoken sensibly and rightly; and to-morrowf, Inshallah, I will do that which thou counsellest me." So the Wazir went out from him and told the lieges all he had said to him; and, when morning morrowed, the King came forth of his privacy and bade admit the people, to whom he excused himself, promising them that thence forward he would deal with them as they wished, wherewith they were content and departed each to his own dwelling. [FN#148] Then one of the King's wives, who was his best-beloved of them and most in honour with him, visited him and seeing him changed of colour and thoughtful over his affairs, by reason of that which he had heard from his Chief Wazir, said to him, "O King, how is it that I see thee troubled in mind? Hast thou aught to complain of?" Answered he, "No, but my pleasures have distracted me from my duties. What right have I to be thus negligent of my affairs and those of my subjects? If I continue on this wise, soon, very soon, the kingdom will pass out of my hand." She rejoined, "I see, O King, that thou hast been duped by the Wazirs and Ministers, who wish but to torment and entrap thee, so thou mayst have no joyance of this thy kingship neither feel ease nor taste delight; nay, they would have thee consume thy life in warding off trouble from them, till thy days be wasted in travail and weariness and thou be as one who slayeth himself for the benefit of another or like the Boy and the Thieves." Asked the King, "How was that?" and she answered, "They tell the following tale anent


The Boy and the Thieves.


Seven Thieves once went out to steal, according to their custom, and fell in with a Boy, poor and orphaned to boot, who besought them for somewhat to eat. One of them asked him, "Wilt go with us, O Boy, and we will feed thee and give thee drink, clothe thee and entreat thee kindly?" And he answered, "Needs must I go with you whitherso ye will and ye are as my own kith and kin." So they took him and fared on with him till they came to a garden, and entering, went round about therein till they found a walnut tree laden with ripe fruit and said to him, "O Boy, wilt thou enter this garden with us and swarm up this tree and eat of its walnuts thy sufficiency and throw the rest down to us?" He consented and entered with them,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Boy consented and entered with the Thieves, one of them said to other, "Look which is the lightest and smallest of us and make him climb the tree." And they said, "None of us is slighter than this Boy." So they sent him up into the tree and said to him, "O Boy, touch not aught of the fruit, lest someone see thee and work thee a mischief." He asked, "How then shall I do?", and they answered, "Sit among the boughs and shake them one by one with all thy might, so that which is thereon may fall, and we will pick it up. Then, when thou hast made an end of shaking down the fruit, come down and take thy share of that which we have gathered." Accordingly he began to shake every branch at which he could come, so that the nuts fell and the thieves picked them up and ate some and hid other some till all were full, save the Boy who had eaten naught. As they were thus engaged, behold, up came the owner of the garden who, standing to witness the spectacle, enquired of them, "What do ye with this tree?" They replied, "We have taken naught thereof, but we were passing by and seeing yonder Boy on the tree, took him for the owner thereof and besought him to give us to eat of the fruit. thereat he fell to shaking one of the branches so that the nuts dropped down, and we are not at fault." Quoth the master to the Boy, "What sayst thou?"; and quoth he, "These men lie, but I will tell thee the truth. It is that we all came hither together and they bade me climb the tree and shake its boughs that the nuts might fall down to them, and I obeyed their bidding." Said the master, "Thou hast cast thyself into sore calamity, but hast thou profited by eating aught of the fruit?"; and he said, "I have eaten naught thereof." Rejoined the owner of the garden, "Now know I thy folly and thine ignorance in that thou hast wrought to ruin thyself and profit others." Then said he to the Thieves, "I have no resort against you, so wend your ways!" But he laid hands on the Boy and punished him. "On likewise," added the favourite, "thy Wazirs and Officers of state would sacrifice thee to their interests and do with thee as did the Thieves with the Boy." Answered the King, "Thou sayst sooth, and speakest truth. I will not go forth to them nor leave my pleasures." Then he passed the night with his wife in all delight till the morning, when the Grand Wazir arose and, assembling the Officers of state, together with those of the lieges who were present with them, repaired with them to the palace-gate, congratulating one another and rejoicing. But the door opened not nor did the King come forth unto them nor give them leave to go in to him. So, when they despaired of him, they said to Shimas, "O excellent Wazir and accomplished sage, seest thou not the behaviour of this lad, young of years and little of wit, how he addeth to his offences falsehood? See how he hath broken his promise to us and hath not performed that for which he engaged unto us, and this sin it behoveth thee join unto his other sins; but we beseech thee go in to him yet again and discover what is the cause of his holding back and refusal to come forth, for we doubt not but that the like of this action cometh of his corrupt nature, and indeed he is now hardened to the highest degree." Accordingly, Shimas went in to the King and bespake him, saying, "Peace be with thee, O King! How cometh it that I see thee give thyself up to these slight pleasures and neglect the great affair whereto it behoveth thee sedulously apply thyself? Thou art like unto a man who had a milch camel and, coming one day to milk her, the goodness of her milk made him neglect to hold fast her halter, which whenas she felt, she haled herself free and made off into the world. Thus the man lost both milk and camel and the loss that betided him surpassed his gain. Wherefore, O King, do thou look unto that wherein is thy welfare and the weal of thy subjects; for, even as it behoveth not a man to sit forever at the kitchen door, because of his need unto food, so should he not alway company with women, by reason of his inclination to them. And as a man should eat but as much food as will guard him from the pains of hunger and drink but what will ward off the pangs of thirst, in like manner it behoveth the sensible man to content himself with passing two of the four-and-twenty hours of his day with women and expend the rest in ordering his own affairs and those of his people. For to be longer than this in company with women is hurtful both to mind and body, seeing that they bid not unto good neither direct thereto; wherefore it besitteth not a man to accept from them or word or deed, for indeed it hath reached me that many men have come to ruin through their women, and amongst others a certain man who perished through conversation with his wife at her command." The King asked, "How was that?" and Shimas answered, saying, "Hear, O King the tale of


The Man and his Wife.


They relate that a certain man had a wife whom he loved and honoured, giving ear to her speech and doing according to her rede. Moreover, he had a garden, which he had newly planted with his own hand and was wont to go thither every day, to tend it and water it. One day his wife asked him, "What hast thou planted in thy garden?", and he answered, "All thou lovest and desirest, and I am assiduous in tending and watering it." Quoth she, "Wilt thou not carry me thither and show it to me, so I may look upon it and offer thee up a pious prayer for its prosperity seeing that my orisons are effectual?" Quoth he, "I will well, but have patience with me till the morrow, when I will come and take thee." So early on the ensuing day, he carried her to the garden which he entered with her. Now two young men saw them enter from afar and said each to other, "Yonder man is an adulterer and yonder woman an adulteress, and they have not entered this garden but to commit adultery." Thereupon they followed the couple to see what they would do, and hid themselves in a corner of the garden. The man and his wife after entering abode awhile therein, and presently he said to her, "Pray me the prayer thou didst promise me;" but she replied, saying, "I will not pray for thee, until thou do away my desire of that which women seek from men." Cried he, "Out on thee, O woman! Hast thou not thy fill of me in the house? Here I fear scandal, especially as thou divertest me from my affairs. Fearest thou not that someone will see us?" Quoth she, "We need have no care for that, seeing that we do neither sin nor lewdness; and, as for the watering of the garden, that may wait, because thou canst water it when thou wilt." And she would take neither excuse nor reason from him, but was instant with him in seeking carnal coition. So he arose and lay with her, which when the young men aforesaid saw, they ran upon them and seized them, [FN#149] saying, "We will not let you go, for ye are adulterers, and except we have carnal knowledge of the woman, we will report you to the police." Answered the man, "Fie upon you! This is my wife and I am the master of the garden." They paid no heed to him, but fell upon the woman, who cried out to him for succour, saying, "Suffer them not to defile me!" Accordingly he came up to them, calling out for help; but one of them turned on him and smote him with his dagger and slew him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after slaying the husband the two young men returned to the wife and ravished her. "This I tell thee, O King," continued the Wazir, "But that thou mayst know that it becometh not men to give ear unto a woman's talk neither obey her in aught nor accept her judgment in counsel. Beware, then, lest thou don the dress of ignorance, after the robe of knowledge and wisdom, and follow perverse rede, after knowing that which is righteous and profitable. Wherefore pursue thou not a paltry pleasure, whose trending is to corruption and whose inclining is unto sore and uttermost perdition." When the King heard this from Shimas he said to him, "To-morrow I will come forth to them, an it be the will of Allah the Most High." So Shimas returned to the Grandees and Notables who were present and told them what the King had said. But this came to the ears of the favourite wife; whereupon she went in to the King and said to him, "The subjects of a King should be his slaves; but I see, O King, thou art become a slave to thy subjects, because thou standest in awe of them and fearest their mischief. [FN#150] They do but desire to make proof of thine inner man, and if they find thee weak, they will disdain thee; but, if they find thee stout and brave, they will dread thee. On this wise do ill Wazirs with their King, for that their wiles are many; but I will make manifest unto thee the truth of their malice. An thou comply with the conditions they demand, they will cause thee cease ruling and do their will; nor will they leave leading thee on from affair to affair, till they cast thee into destruction, and thy case will be as that of the Merchant and the Robbers." Asked the King, "How was that?" and she answered, "I have heard tell this tale anent


The Merchant and the Robbers.


There was once a wealthy Merchant, who set out for a certain city purposing to sell merchandise there, and when he came thither, he hired him a lodging wherein he took up his abode. Now certain Robbers saw him, men wont to lie in wait for merchants, that they might rob their goods; so they went to his house and sought some device whereby to enter in, but could find no way thereto, and their Captain said, "I'll manage you his matter." Then he went away and, donning the dress of a leach, threw over his shoulder a bag containing somewhat of medicines, after which he set out crying, 'Who lacks a doctor?' and fared on till he came to the merchant's lodging and him sitting eating the noon-day dinner. So he asked him, "Dost thou need thee a physician?"; and the trader answered, "I need naught of the kind, but sit thee down and eat with me." The thief sat down facing him and began to eat. Now this merchant was a belle fourchette, and the Robber seeing this, said to himself, "I have found my chance." Then he turned to his host and said to him, "'Tis but right for me to give thee an admonition, and after thy kindness to me, I cannot hide it from thee. I see thee to be a great eater and the cause of this is a disorder in thy stomach; wherefore unless thou take speedy measures for thy cure, thine affair will end in perdition." Quoth the merchant, "My body is sound and my stomach speedy of digestion, and though I be a hearty eater, yet is there no disease in my body, to Allah be the praise and the thanks!" Quoth the Robber, "It may appear thus unto thee, but I know thou hast a disease incubating in thy vitals and if thou hearken to me, thou wilt medicine thyself." The Merchant asked, "And where shall I find him who knoweth my remedy?"; and the Robber answered, "Allah is the Healer; but a physician like myself cureth the sick to the best of his power." Then the other said, "Show me at once my remedy and give me thereof." Hereupon he gave him a powder, wherein was a strong dose of aloes, [FN#151] saying, "Use this to-night;" and he accepted it gratefully. When the night came, the Merchant tasted somewhat of the powder and found it nauseous of gust; nevertheless he misdoubted not of it, but swallowed it all and therefrom found ease that night. Next night the thief brought him another powder, wherein was yet more aloes and he took it; it purged him that night, but he bore patiently with this and rejected it not. When the Robber saw that he gave ear unto his word and put trust in him nor would gainsay him in aught, he brought him a deadly drug [FN#152] and gave it to him. The Merchant swallowed it and no sooner had he done this than that which was in his stomach fell down and his bowels were rent in sunder, and by the morrow he was a dead man; whereupon the Robbers came and took all the merchandise and monies that belonged to him. "This I tell thee, O King," added the favourite "but that thou mayst not accept one word from these deluders, else will there befal thee that whereby thou wilt destroy thyself." Cried the King, "Thou sayst sooth. I will not go forth to them." Now when the morning morrowed, the folk assembled together and repairing to the King's door, sat there the most part of the day, till they despaired of his coming forth, when they returned to Shimas and said to him, "O sage philosopher and experienced master, seest thou not that this ignorant lad cloth naught but redouble in falsehood to us? Verily 'twere only reasonable and right to take the Kingdom from him and give it to another, so our affairs may be ordered and our estates maintained; but go thou in to him a third time and tell him that naught hindereth us from rising against him and taking the Kingship from him but his father's goodness to us and that which he required from us of oaths and engagements. However, to-morrow, we will all, to the last of us, assemble here with our arms and break down the gate of the citadel [FN#153]; and if he come forth to us and do that which we wish, no harm is yet done [FN#154], else we will go in to him and slay him and put the Kingdom in the hand of other than he." So the Wazir Shimas went in to him and said, "O King, that grovellest in thy gusts and thy lusts, what is this thou dost with thyself? Would Heaven I wot who seduced thee thereto! An it be thou who sinnest against thyself, there hath ceased from thee that which we knew in thee aforetime of integrity and wisdom and eloquence. Could I but learn who hath thus changed thee and fumed thee from wisdom to folly and from fidelity to iniquity and from mildness to harshness and from acceptation of me to aversion from me! How cometh it that I admonish thee thrice and thou acceptest not mine admonition and that I counsel thee rightfully and stir thou gainsayest my counsel? Tell me, what is this child's play and who is it prompteth thee thereunto? Know that the people of thy Kingdom have agreed together to come in to thee and slay thee and give thy Kingdom to another. Art able to cope with them all and save thyself from their hands or canst quicken thyself after being killed? If, indeed, thou be potent to do all this, thou art safe and hast no occasion for my rede; but an thou have any concern for thy life and thy kingship, return to thy sound sense and hold fast thy reign and show forth to the folk the power of thy prowess and persuade the people with thine excuse, for they are minded to tear away that which is in thy hand and commit it unto other, being resolved upon revolt and rebellion, led thereto by that which they know of thy youth and thy self-submission to love-liesse and lusts; for that stones, albeit they lie long underwater, an thou withdraw them therefrom and smite one upon other, fire will be struck from them. Now thy lieges are many folk and they have taken counsel together against thee, with a design to transfer the Kingship from thee to another and accomplish upon thee whatso they desire of thy destruction. So shalt thou fare as did the Jackals with the Wolf."----And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Shimas concluded with saying, "And they shall accomplish upon thee whatso they desire of thy destruction; so shalt thou fare as fared the Jackals with the Wolf." Asked the King, "How was that?" and the Wazir answered, "They tell the following tale of


The Jackals and the Wolf.


A pack of Jackals [FN#155] went out one day to seek food, and as they prowled about in quest of this, behold, they happened upon a dead camel and said in themselves, "Verily we have found wherewithal we may live a great while; but we fear lest one of us oppress the other and the strong bear down the weak with his strength and so the puny of us perish. Wherefore it behoveth us seek one who shall judge between us and appoint unto each his part, so the force full may not lord it over the feeble." As they consulted together on such subject, suddenly up came a Wolf, and one of the Jackals said to the others, "Right is your rede; let us make this Wolf judge between us, for he is the strongest of beasts and his father was Sultan over us aforetime; so we hope in Allah that he will do justice between us." Accordingly they accosted the Wolf and acquainting him with what they had resolved concerning him said, "We make thee judge between us, so thou mayst allot unto each of us his day's meat, after the measure of his need, lest the strong of us bear down the weak and some of us destroy other of us." The Wolf accepted the governance of their affairs and allotted to each of them what sufficed him that day; but on the morrow he said in his mind, "An I divide this camel amongst these weaklings, no part thereof will come to me, save the pittance they will assign to me, and if I eat it alone, they can do me no harm, seeing that they are a prey to me and to the people of my house. Who, then, is the one to hinder me from taking it all for myself? Surely, 'tis Allah who hath bestowed it on me by way of provision without any obligation to any of them. It were best that I keep it for myself, and henceforth I will give them naught." Accordingly, next morning when the Jackals came to him, as was their wont, and sought of him their food, saying, "O Abu Sirhán, [FN#156] give us our day's provender, [FN#157]" he answered saying, "I have nothing left to give you." Whereupon they went away in the sorriest plight, saying, "Verily, Allah hath cast us into grievous trouble with this foul traitor, who regardeth not Allah nor feareth Him; but we have neither stratagem nor strength on our side." Moreover one of them said, "Haply 'twas but stress of hunger that moved him to this, so let him eat his fill to-day, and to-morrow we will go to him again." Accordingly, on the morrow, they again betook themselves to the Wolf and said to him, "O Father of Foray, we gave thee authority over us, that thou mightest apportion unto each of us his day's meat and do the weak justice against the strong of us, and that, when this provaunt is finished, thou shouldst do thine endeavour to get us other and so we be always under thy watch and ward. Now hunger is hard upon us, for that we have not eaten these two days; so do thou give us our day's ration and thou shalt be free to dispose of all that remaineth as thou wilt." But the Wolf returned them no answer and redoubled in his hardness of heart and when they strave to turn him from his purpose he would not be turned. Then said one of the Jackals to the rest, "Nothing will serve us but that we go to the Lion and cast ourselves on his protection and assign unto him the camel. If he vouchsafe us aught thereof, 'twill be of his favour, and if not, he is worthier of it than this scurvy rascal." So they betook themselves to the Lion and acquainted him with that which had betided them from the Wolf, saying, "We are thy slaves and come to thee imploring thy protection, so thou mayst deliver us from this Wolf, and we will be thy thralls." When the Lion heard their story, he was jealous for Almighty Allah [FN#158] and went with them in quest of the Wolf who, seeing him approach addressed himself to flight; but the Lion ran after him and seizing him, rent him in pieces and restored their prey to the Jackals. "This showeth," added Shimas, "that it fitteth no King to neglect the affairs of his subjects; wherefore do thou hearken to my rede and give credit to the words which I say to thee." Quoth the King, "I will hearken to thee and to-morrow, Inshallah, I will go forth to them." Accordingly Shimas went from him and returning to the folk, told them that the King had accepted his advice and promised to come out unto them on the morrow. But, when the favourite heard this saying reported of Shimas and was certified that needs must the King go forth to his subjects, she betook herself to him in haste and said to him, "How great is my wonder at thy submissiveness and thine obedience to thy slaves! Knowest thou not that these Wazirs are thy thralls? Why then dost thou exalt them to this highmost pitch of importance that they imagine them it was they gave thee this kingship and advanced thee to this rank and that it is they who confer favours on thee, albeit they have no power to do thee the least damage? Indeed, 'tis not thou who owest submission to them; but on the contrary they owe it to thee, and it is their duty to carry out thine orders. How cometh it then, that thou art so mightily Frighted at them? It is said, 'Unless thy heart be like iron, thou art not fit to be a Sovran.' But thy mildness hath deluded these men, so that they presume upon thee and cast off their allegiance, although it behoveth that they be constrained unto thy obedience and enforced to thy submission. therefore an thou hasten to accept their words and leave them as they now are and vouchsafe to them the least thing against thy will, they will weigh heavily upon thee and require other concessions of thee, and this will become their habit. But, an thou hearken to me, thou wilt not advance any one of them to power neither wilt thou accept his word nor encourage him to presume upon thee, else wilt thou fare with them as did the Shepherd with the Rogue." Asked the King, "How was that?" and she answered, "They relate this adventure of


The Shepherd and the Rogue. [FN#159]


There was once a Shepherd, who fed a flock of sheep in the wold and kept over them strait watch. One night, there came to him a Rogue thinking to steal some of his charges and, finding him assiduous in guarding them, sleeping not by night nor neglecting them by day, prowled about him all the livelong night, but could plunder nothing from him. So, when he was weary of striving, he betook himself to another part of the waste and trapping a lion, skinned him and stuffed his hide with bruised straw [FN#160], after which he set it up on a high place in the desert, where the Shepherd might see it and be assured thereof. Then he accosted the Shepherd and said to him, "Yonder lion hath sent me to demand his supper of these sheep." The Shepherd asked, "Where is the lion?" and the Rogue answered, "Lift thine eyes; there he standeth." So the Shepherd raised his eyes and, seeing the semblance, deemed it a very lion and was much Frighted;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Shepherd saw the semblance of the lion, he deemed it a very lion and was Frighted with the sorest fright, trembling for dread so he said to the thief, "O my brother take what thou wilt, I will not gainsay thee." Accordingly the Rogue took what he would of the sheep and redoubled in greed by reason of the excess of the Shepherd's fear. Accordingly, every little while, he would hie to him and terrify him, saying, "The lion hath need of this and requireth that, and his intent is to do thus and thus," and take his sufficiency of the sheep; and he stinted not to do thus with him, till he had wasted the most part of his flock. "This, O King," added the favourite, "I tell thee only that thou suffer not the Grandees of thy realm to be deluded by thy mildness and easiness of temper and presume on thee; and, in right rede, their death were better than that they deal thus with thee." Quoth the King, "I accept this thy counsel and will not hearken to their admonition neither will I go out unto them." On the morrow the Wazirs and Officers of State and heads of the people assembled; and, taking each with him his weapon, repaired to the palace of the King, so they might break in upon him and slay him and seat another in his stead. When they came to the door, they required the doorkeeper to open to them; but he refused, whereupon they sent to fetch fire, wherewith to burn down the doors and enter. The doorkeeper, hearing what they said went in to the King in haste and told him that the folk were gathered together at the gate, adding, "They required me to open to them, but I refused; and they have sent to fetch fire to burn down the doors withal, so they may come into thee and slay thee. What dost thou bid me do?" Quoth the King in himself, "Verily, I am fallen into uttermost perdition." Then he sent for the favourite; and, as soon as she came, said to her, "Indeed, Shimas never told me aught but I found it true, and now great and small are coming purposing to slay me and thee; and because the doorkeeper would not open to them, they have sent to fetch fire, to burn the doors withal; so will the house be burnt and we therein. What dost thou counsel me to do?" She replied, "No harm shall betide thee, nor let thine affair affright thee. This is a time when the simple rise against their Kings." Quoth he, "What dost thou counsel me to do and how shall I act in this affair?" Quoth she, "My rede is that thou fillet thy head and feign thyself sick; then send for the Wazir Shimas, who will come and see the plight wherein thou art; and do thou say to him, 'Verily I purposed to go forth to the folk this day; but this malady hindered me. So go thou out to them and acquaint them with my condition and tell them that to-morrow I will fare forth without fail to them and do their need and look into their affairs, so they may be reassured and their rage may subside.' Then do thou summon ten of thy father's slaves, stalwart men of strength and prowess, to whom thou canst entrust thyself, hearing to thy hest and complying with thy commandment, surely keeping thy secret and fief to thy love; and charge them on the morrow to stand at thy head and bid them suffer none of the folk to enter, save one by one; and all who enter do thou say, 'Seize them and do them die.' An they agree with thee upon this, to-morrow set up thy throne in the Divan [FN#161] and open thy doors. When the folk see that thou hast opened to them, their minds will be set at ease and they will come to thee with a whole heart and seek admission to thee. Then do thou admit them, one after one, even as I said to thee and work with them thy will, but it behoveth thee begin by slaying Shimas, their chief and leader, for he is the Grand Wazir and head of the matter. Therefore do him die first and after put all the rest to death, one after other, and spare none whom thou knowest to have broken with thee his covenant; and in like way slaughter all whose violence thou fearest. An thou deal thus with them, there will be left them no power to make head against thee; so shalt thou be at rest from them with full repose, and shalt enjoy thy kingship in peace and do whatso thou wilt, and know that there is no device that will profit thee more than this." Quoth the King, "Verily, this thy counsel is just and that which thou biddest me is to the point and I will assuredly do as thou directest." So he called for a fillet and bound his head therewith and shammed sickness. Then he sent for the Grand Wazir and said to him, "O Shimas, thou knowest that I love thee and hearken to the counsel of thee and thou art to me as brother and father both in one; also thou knowest that I do all thou biddest me and indeed thou badest me go forth to the lieges and sit to judge between them. Now I was assured that this was right rede on thy part, and purposed to go forth to them yesterday; but this sickness assailed me and I cannot sit up. It hath reached me that the folk are incensed at my failure to come forth to them and are minded of their mischief to do with me that which is unmeet for that they know not what ailment aileth me. So go thou forth to them and acquaint them with my case and the condition I am in, and excuse me to them, for I am obedient to their bidding and will do as they desire; wherefore order this affair and engage thyself for me herefor, even as thou hast been a loyal counsellor to me and to my sire before me, and it is of thy wont to make peace between the people. To-morrow, Inshallah, I will without fail come forth to them, and peradventure my sickness will cease from me this night, by the blessing of the purest intent and the good I purpose them in my heart." So Shimas prostrated himself to Allah and called down blessings on the King and kissed his hand, rejoicing at this. Then he went forth to the folk and told them what he had heard from the King and forbade them from that which they had a mind to do, acquainting them with what excused the King for his absence and informing them that he had promised to come forth to them on the morrow and deal with them according to their desires; whereupon they dispersed and tried them to their houses.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shimas went from the presence to the ringleaders of the commons and said to them, "To-morrow the Sovran will come forth to you and will deal with you as ye desire." So they tried them to their homes. On such wise fared it with them; but as regards the Monarch, he summoned ten slaves of gigantic stature, [FN#162] men of hard heart and prow of prowess, whom he had chosen from amongst his father's body guard, and said to them, "Ye know the favour, esteem and high rank ye held with my sire and all the bounties, benefits and honours he bestowed on you, and I will advance you to yet higher dignity with me than this. Now I will tell you the reason thereof and ye are under safeguard of Allah from me. But first I will ask you somewhat, wherein if ye do my desire, obeying me in that which I shall bid you and conceal my secret from all men, ye shall have of me largesse and favour surpassing expectation. But above all things obedience!" The ten thralls answered him with one mouth and in sequent words, saying, "Whatso thou biddest us, O our liege, that we will do, nor will we depart in aught from thy commandment, for thou art our lord and master." Quoth the King, "Allah allot you weal! Now will I tell you the reason why I have chosen you out for increase of honour with me. Ye know how liberally my father dealt with the folk of his realm and the oath he took from them on behalf of me and how they promised him that they would break faith with me nor gainsay the bidding of me; and ye saw how they did yesterday, whenas they gathered all together about me and would have slain me. Now I am minded to do with them somewhat; and 'tis this, for that I have considered their action of yesterday and see that naught will restrain them from its like save exemplary chastisement; wherefore I perforce charge you privily to do to death whom I shall point out to you, to the intent that I may ward off mischief and calamity from my realm by slaying their leaders and Chiefs; and the manner thereof shall be on this wise. To-morrow I will sit on this seat in this chamber and give them admission to me one by one, coming in at one door and going out at another; and do ye, all ten, stand before me and be attentive to my signs; and whoso entereth singly, take him and drag him into yonder chamber and kill him and hide his corpse." The slaves answered, "We hearken to thy hest and obey thy order." Whereupon he gave them gifts and dismissed them for the night. On the morrow he summoned the thralls and bade set up the royal seat; then he donned his kingly robes and taking the Book of law-cases [FN#163] in his hands, posted the ten slaves before him and commanded to open the doors. So they opened the doors and the herald proclaimed aloud, saying, "Whoso hath authority, let him come to the King's carpet [FN#164]!" Whereupon up came the Wazirs and Prefects and Chamberlains and stood, each in his rank. Then the King bade admit them, one after one, and the first to enter was Shimas, according to the custom of the Grand Wazir; but no sooner had he presented himself before the King, and ere he could beware, the ten slaves get about him, and dragging him into the adjoining chamber, despatched him. On likewise did they with the rest of the Wazirs and Olema and Notables, slaying them, one after other, till they made a clean finish. [FN#165] Then the King called the headsmen and bade them ply sword upon all who remained of the folk of velour and stowre; so they fell on them and left none whom they knew for a man of mettle but they slew him, sparing only the proletaires and the refuse of the people. These they drove away and they returned each to his folk, whilst the King secluded himself with his pleasures and surrendered his soul to its lusts, working tyranny, oppression and violence, till he outraced all the men of evil who had forerun him. [FN#166] Now this King's dominion was a mine of gold and silver and jacinths and jewels and the neighbouring rulers, one and all, envied him this empire and looked for calamity to betide him. Moreover, one of them, the King of Outer Hind, said in himself, "I have gotten my desire of wresting the realm from the hand of yonder silly lad, by reason of that which hath betided of his slaughter of the Chiefs of his State and of all men of velour and mettle that were in his country. This is my occasion to snatch away that which is in his hand, seeing he is young in years and hath no knowledge of war nor judgment thereto, nor is there any left to counsel him aright or succour him. Wherefore this very day will I open on him the door of mischief by writing him a writ wherein I will flyte him and reproach him with that which he hath done and see what he will reply." So he indited him a letter to the following effect, "In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate! * And after * I have heard tell of that which thou hast done with thy Wazirs and Olema and men of valiancy * and that whereinto thou hast cast thyself of calamity * so that there is neither power nor strength left in thee to repel whoso shall assail thee, more by token that thou transgressest and orderest thyself tyrannously and profligately * Now Allah hath assuredly given me the conquering of thee and the mastery over thee and into my hand hath delivered thee; wherefore do thou give ear to my word and obey the commandment of me and build me an impregnable castle amiddlemost the sea * An thou cannot do this, depart thy realm and with thy life go flee * for I will send unto thee, from the farthest ends of Hind, twelve hordes [FN#167] of horse, each twelve thousand fighting men strong, who shall enter thy land and spoil thy goods and slay thy men and carry thy women into captivity * Moreover, I will make my Wazir, Badi'a captain over them and bid him lay strait siege to thy capital till the master he be; * and I have bidden the bearer of this letter that he tarry with thee but days three * So, an thou do my demand, thou shalt be saved; else will I send that which I have said unto thee." Then he sealed the scroll and gave it to a messenger, who journeyed with it till he came to the capital of Wird Khan and delivered it to him. When the King read it, his strength failed him, his breast waxed strait and he made sure of destruction, having none to whom he might resort for aid or advice. Presently he rose and went in to his favourite wife who, seeing him changed of colour, said to him, "What mattereth thee, O King?" Quoth he, "This day I am no King but slave to the King." And he opened the letter and read it to her, whereupon she fell to weeping and wailing and rending her raiment. Then he asked her, "Hast thou aught of rede or resource in this grievous strait?"; but she answered, "Women have no resource in time of war, nor have women any strength or aught of counsel. 'Tis men alone who in like of this affair have force and discourse and resource." When the King heard her words, there befel him the utmost regret and repentance and remorse for that he had transgressed against his Wazirs and Officers and Lords of his land,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Wird Khan heard the words of his favourite wife there befel him the utmost regret and repentance for having transgressed against and slain his Wazirs and the chiefs of his state, and he would that he had died ere there came to him the like of these shameful tidings. Then he said to his women, "Verily, there hath betided me from you that which befel the Francolin and the Tortoises." Asked they, "What was that?"; and he answered, Men tell this tale of


The Francolin and the Tortoises.


It is said that sundry Tortoises dwelt once in a certain island abounding in trees and fruiterers and rills, and it fortuned, one day, that a Francolin, passing over the island, was overcome with the fiery heat and fatigue and being in grievous suffering stayed his flight therein. Presently, looking about for a cool place, he espied the resort of the Tortoises and alighted down near their home. Now they were then abroad foraging for food, and when they returned from their feeding places to their dwelling, they found the Francolin there. His beauty pleased them and Allah made him lovely in their eyes, so that they exclaimed "Subhána 'lláh," extolling their Creator and loved the Francolin with exceeding love and rejoiced in him, saying one to other, "Forsure this is of the goodliest of the birds;" and all began to caress him and entreat him with kindness. When he saw that they looked on him with eyes of affection, he inclined to them and companioned with them and took up his abode with them, flying away in the morning whither he would and returning at eventide to pass the night by side of them. On this wise he continued a long while until the Tortoises, seeing that his daily absence from them desolated them and finding that they never saw him save by night (for at dawn he still took flight in haste and they knew not what came of him, for all that their love grew to him), said each to other, "Indeed, we love this Francolin and he is become our true friend and we cannot bear parting from him, so how shall we devise some device tending to make him abide with us always? For he flieth away at dawn and is absent from us all day and we see him not save by night." Quoth one of them, "Be easy, O my sisters; I will bring him not to leave us for the turn of an eye?" and quoth the rest, saying, "An thou do this, we will all be thy thralls." So, when the Francolin came back from his feeding place and sat down amongst them, that wily Tortoise drew near unto him and called down blessings on him, giving him joy of his safe return and saying, "O my lord, know that Allah hath vouch-safed thee our love and hath in like manner set in thy heart the love of us, whereby thou art become to us a familiar friend and a comrade in this desert. Now the goodliest of times for those who love one another is when they are united and the sorest of calamities for them are absence and severance. But thou departest from us at peep of day and returnest not to us till sundown, wherefore there betideth us extreme desolation. Indeed this is exceeding grievous to us and we abide in sore longing for such reason." The Francolin replied, "Indeed, I love you also and yearn for you yet more than you can yearn for me, nor is it easy for me to leave you; but my hand hath no help for this, seeing that I am a fowl with wings and may not wone with you always, because that is not of my nature. For a bird, being a winged creature, may not remain still, save it be for the sake of sleep o' nights; but, as soon as it is day, he flieth away and seeketh his morning-meal in what place soever pleaseth him." Answered the Tortoise, "Sooth thou speakest! Nevertheless he who hath wings hath no repose at most seasons, for that the good he getteth is not a fourth part of what ill betideth him, and the highmost aims of the creature are repose and ease of life. Now Allah hath bred between us and thee love and fellowship and we fear for thee, lest some of thine enemies catch thee and thou perish and we be denied the sight of thy countenance." Rejoined the Francolin, "True! But what rede hast thou or resource for my case?" Quoth the Tortoise, "My advice is that thou pluck out thy wing-feathers, wherewith thou speedest thy flight, and tarry with us in tranquillity, eating of our meat and drinking of our drink in this pasturage, that aboundeth in trees rife with fruits yellow-ripe and we will sojourn, we and thou, in this fruitful stead and enjoy the company of one another." The Francolin inclined to her speech, seeking ease for himself, and plucked out his wing-feathers, one by one, in accordance with the rede approved of by the Tortoise; then he took up his abode with them and contented himself with the little ease and transient pleasure he enjoyed. Presently up came a Weasel [FN#168] and glancing at the Francolin, saw that his wings were plucked, so that he could not fly, whereat he rejoiced with joy exceeding and said to himself, "Verily yonder Francolin is fat of flesh and scant of feather." So he went up to him and seized him, whereupon the Francolin called out to the Tortoises for help; but when they saw the Weasel rend him, they drew apart from him and huddled together, choked with weeping for him, for they witnessed how the beast tortured him. Quoth the Francolin, "Is there aught with you but weeping?"; and quoth they, "O our brother, we have neither force nor resource nor any course against a Weasel." At this the Francolin was grieved and cutting off all his hopes of life said to them, "The fault is not yours, but mine own fault, in that I hearkened to you and plucked out my wing-feathers wherewith I used to fly. Indeed I deserve destruction for having obeyed you, and I blame you not in aught." "On like wise," continued the King, "I do not blame you, O women; but I blame and reproach myself for that I remembered not that ye were the cause of the transgression of our father Adam, by reason whereof he was cast out from the Garden of Eden, and for that I forgot ye are the root of all evil and hearkened to you, in mine ignorance, lack of sense and weakness of judgment, and slew my Wazirs and the Governors of my State, who were my loyal advisers in all mine actions and my glory and my strength against whatsoever troubled me. But at this time find I not one to replace them nor see I any who shall stand me in their stead, and I fall into utter perdition."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King blamed himself saying, "'Twas I that hearkened to you in mine ignorance and slew my Wazirs so that now I find none to stand in their stead, and unless Allah succour me with one of sound judgment, who shall guide me to that wherein is my deliverance, I am fallen into utter perdition." Then he arose and withdrew into his bedchamber, bemoaning his Wazirs and wise men and saying, "Would Heaven those lions were with me at this time, though but for an hour; so I might excuse myself unto them and look on them and bemoan to them my case and the travail that hath betided me after them!" And he abode all his day sunken in the sea of cark and care neither eating nor drinking. But as soon as the night fell dark, he arose and changing his raiment, donned old clothes and disguised himself and went forth at a venture to walk about the city, so haply he might hear from any some word of comfort. As he wandered about the main streets, behold, he chanced upon two boys who had sought a retired seat by a wall and he observed that they were equal in age, or about twelve years old. As they talked together he drew near them whereas he might hear and apprehend what they said, unseen of them, and heard one say to the other, "Listen, O my brother, to what my sire told me yesternight of the calamity which hath betided him in the withering of his crops before their time, by reason of the rarity of rain and the sore sorrow that is fallen on this city." Quoth the other, "Wottest thou not the cause of this affliction?"; and quoth the first, "No! and, if thou ken it pray tell it me." Rejoined the other, "Yes, I wot it and will tell it thee. Know that I have heard from one of my father's friends that our King slew his Wazirs and Grandees, not for aught of offence done of them, but only by reason of his love for women and inclination to them; for that his Ministers forbade him from this, but he would not be forbidden and commanded to do them die in obedience to his wives. Thus he slew Shimas my sire, who was his Wazir and the Wazir of his father before him and the chief of his council; but right soon thou shalt see how Allah will do with him by reason of his sins against them and how He shall avenge them of him." The other boy asked, "What can Allah do now that they are dead?"; and his fellow answered, "Know that the King of Outer Hind [FN#169] maketh light of our monarch, and hath sent him a letter berating him and saying to him, 'Build me a castle amiddlemost the sea, or I will send unto thee Badi'a my Wazir, with twelve hordes of horse, each twelve thousand strong, to seize upon thy kingdom and slay thy men and carry thee and thy women into captivity.' And he hath given him three days' time to answer after the receipt of that missive. Now thou must know, O my brother, that this King of Outer Hind is a masterful tyrant, a man of might and prowess in fight, and in his realm are much people; so unless our King made shift to fend him off from himself, he will fall into perdition, whilst the King of Hind, after slaying our Sovran, will seize on our possessions and massacre our men and make prize of our women." When the King heard this their talk, his agitation increased and he inclined to the boys, saying, "Surely, this boy is a wizard, in that he is acquainted with this thing without learning it from me; for the letter is in my keeping and the secret also and none hath knowledge of such matter but myself. How then knoweth this boy of it? I will resort to him and talk with him and I pray Allah that our deliverance may be at his hand." Hereupon the King approached the boy softly and said to him, "O thou dear boy, what is this thou sayest of our King, that he did ill of the evilest in slaying his Wazirs and the Chiefs of his State? Indeed he sinned against himself and his subjects and thou art right in that which thou sayest. But tell me, O my son, whence knowest thou that the King of Outer Hind hath written him a letter, berating him and bespeaking him with the grievous speech whereof thou tellest?" The boy replied, "O brother, I know this from the sand [FN#170] wherewith I take compt of night and day and from the saying of the ancients, 'No mystery from Allah is hidden; for the sons of Adam have in them a spiritual virtue which discovereth to them the darkest secrets.'" Answered Wird Khan, "True, O my son, but whence learnedest thou geomancy and thou young of years?" Quoth the boy, "My father taught it me;" and quoth the King, "Is thy father alive or dead?" "He is dead," replied the boy. Then Wird Khan asked, "Is there any resource or device for our King, whereby to ward off from himself and his kingdom this sore calamity?" And the boy answered, saying, "It befitteth not that I speak with thee of this; but, an the King send for me and ask me how he shall do to baffle his foe and get free of his snares, I will acquaint him with that wherein, by the power of Allah Almighty, shall be his salvation." Rejoined Wird Khan, "But who shall tell the King of this that he may send for thee and invite thee to him?" The boy retorted, "I hear that he seeketh men of experience and good counsel, so I will go up with them to him and tell him that wherein shall be his welfare and the warding off of this affliction from him; but, an he neglect the pressing matter and busy himself with his love-liesse among his women and I go to him of my own accord designing to acquaint him with the means of deliverance, he will assuredly give orders to slay me, even as he slew those his Wazirs, and my courtesy to him will be the cause of my destruction. Wherefore the folk will think slightly of me and belittle my wit and I shall be of those of whom it is said, 'He whose science excelleth his sense perisheth by his ignorance.'" When the King heard the boy's words, he was assured of his sagacity, and the excellence of his merit was manifest and he was certified that deliverance would betide him and his subjects at the boy's hands. So presently he resumed the colloquy and asked him, "Whence art thou and where is thy home?"; and the boy answered, "This is the wall of our house." The King took note of the place and farewelling the boy, returned to his palace in high spirits. there he changed his clothes and called for meat and wine, forbidding his women from him; and he ate and drank and returned thanks to Allah the Most High and besought Him of succour and deliverance, and he craved His pardon and forgiveness for that which he had done with his Wazirs and Olema and turned to Him with sincere repentance, imposing on himself many a prayer and long fasting, by way of discipline-vow. On the morrow, he called one of his confidential eunuchs and, describing to him the boy's home, bade him repair thither and bring him to his presence with all gentleness. Accordingly the slave sought out the boy and said to him, "The King summoneth thee, that good may betide thee from him and that he may ask thee a question; then shalt thou return safe and sound to thy dwelling." Asked the boy, "What is the King's need of me that he biddeth me to him on this wise?", and the eunuch answered, "My lord's occasion with thee is question and answer." "A thousand times hearkening and a thousand times obeying the commandment of the King!" replied the boy and accompanied the slave to the palace. When he came into the presence, he prostrated himself before Allah and after salaming, called down blessings on the King who returned his salutation and bade him be seated.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the boy appeared before the King and saluted him with the salam, Wird Khan returned his salutation and bade him be seated. So he sat down and the King asked him, "Knowest thou who talked with thee yesternight?" Answered the boy, "Yes," and the King said, "And where is he?" "'Tis he who speaketh with me at this present," said the boy. Rejoined the King, "Thou sayst sooth, O friend," and bade set him a chair beside his own, whereon he made him sit and called for meat and drink. Then they talked awhile and the King said, "Ho, thou the Wazir, [FN#171] in our talk yesternight thou toldest me that thou hadst a device whereby thou couldst defend us from the malice of the King of Hind. What is this contrivance and how shall we manoeuvre to ward off his mischief from us? Tell me, that I may make thee chief of those who speak with me in the realm and choose thee to be my Grand Wazir and do according to thy judgment in all thou counsellest me and assign thee a splendid honorarium." Answered the boy, "O King, keep thy honorarium to thyself and seek counsel and policy of thy women, who directed thee to slay my father Shimas and the rest of the Wazirs." When the King heard this, he was ashamed and sighed and said, "O thou dear boy, was Shimas indeed thy sire?" The boy replied, "Shimas was indeed my sire, and I am in truth his son." Whereupon the King bowed his head, whilst the tears ran from his eyes, and he craved pardon of Allah. Then said he, "O boy, indeed I did this of my ignorance and by the evil counsel of the women, for 'Great indeed is their malice' [FN#172]; but I beseech thee to forgive me and I will set thee in thy father's stead and make thy rank higher than his rank. Moreover, an thou do away from us this retribution sent down from Heaven, I will deck thy neck with a collar of gold and mount thee on the goodliest of steeds and bid the crier make proclamation before thee, saying, 'This is the lief [FN#173] boy, the Wazir who sitteth in the second seat after the King!' And touching what thou sayest of the women, I have it in mind to do vengeance on them at such time as Almighty Allah shall will it. But tell me now what thou hast with thee of counsel and contrivance, that my heart may be content." Quoth the boy, "Swear to me an oath that thou wilt not gainsay me in whatso I shall say to thee and that I from that which I fear shall be safe," and quoth the King, "This is the covenant of Allah between me and thee, that I will not go from thy word and that thou shalt be my chief counsellor and whatsoever thou biddest me, that will I do; and the Almighty Lord is witness betwixt us twain whatso I say." therewith the boy's breast waxed broad and the field of speech was opened to him wide and he said, "O King, my rede to thee is that thou await the expiration of the delay appointed to thee for answering the courier of the King of Hind, and when he cometh before thee seeking the reply, do thou put him off to another day. With this he will excuse himself to thee, on the ground of his master having appointed him certain fixed days, and importune for an answer; but do thou rebut him and defer him to another day, without specifying what day it be. Then will he go forth from thee an angered and betake himself into the midst of the city and speak openly among the folk, saying, 'O people of the city, I am a courier of the King of Outer Hind, who is a monarch of great puissance and of determination such as softeneth iron. He sent me with a letter to the King of this city appointing to me certain days, saying, 'An thou be not with me by the time appointed, my vengeance shall fall on thee.' Now, behold, I went in to the King of this city and gave him the missive, which when he had read, he sought of me a delay of three days, after which he would return me an answer to the letter, and I agreed to this of courtesy and consideration for him. When the three days were past, I went to seek the reply of him, but he delayed me to another day; and now I have no patience to wait longer; so I am about to return to my lord, the King of Outer Hind, and acquaint him with that which hath befallen me; and ye, O folk, are witnesses between me and him.' All this will be reported to thee and do thou send for him and speak him gently and say to him, 'O thou who seekest thine own ruin, what hath moved thee to blame us among our subjects? Verily, thou deservest present death at our hands; but the ancients say, 'Clemency is of the attributes of nobility.' Know that our delay in answering arose not from helplessness on our part, but from our much business and lack of leisure to look into thine affair and write a reply to thy King.' Then call for the scroll and read it again and laugh loud and long and say to the courier, 'Hast thou a letter other than this? If so, we will write thee an answer to that also.' He will say, 'I have none other than this letter'; but do thou repeat thy question to him a second time and a third time, and he will reply, 'I have none other at all.' Then say to him, 'Verily, this thy King is utterly witless in that he writeth us the like of this writ seeking to arouse our wrath against him, so that we shall go forth to him with our forces and domineer over his dominions and capture his kingdom. But we will not punish him this time for his unmannerly manners as shown in this letter, because he is wanting in wit and feeble of foresight, and it beseemeth our dignity that we first warn him not to repeat the like of these childish extravagances, and if he risk his life by returning to the like of this, he will deserve speedy destruction. Indeed, methinks this King of thine who sent thee on such errand must be an ignorant fool, taking no thought to the issue of things and having no Wazir of sense and good counsel, with whom he may advise. Were he a man of mind, he had taken counsel with a Wazir, ere sending us the like of this laughable letter. But he shall have a reply similar to his script and surpassing it, for I will give it to one of the boys of the school to answer.' Then send for me and, when I come to the presence, bid me read the letter and reply thereto." When the King heard the boy's speech, his breast broadened and he approved his proposal and his device delighted him. So he conferred gifts upon him and installing him in his father's office, sent him away rejoicing. And as soon as expired the three days of delay which he had appointed, the courier presented himself and going in to the King, demanded the answer, but he put him off to another day; whereupon he went to the end of the carpet-room [FN#174] and spake with unseemly speech, even as the boy had fore said. Then he betook himself to the bazar and cried, "Ho, people of this city, I am a courier of the King of Outer Hind and came with a message to your monarch who still putteth me off from a reply. Now the term is past which my master limited to me and your King hath no excuse, and ye are witnesses unto this." When these words reached the King, he sent for that courier and said to him, "O thou that seeketh thine own ruin, art thou not the bearer of a letter from King to King, between whom are secrets, and how cometh it that thou goest forth among the folk and publishest Kings' secrets to the vulgar? Verily, thou meritest retribution from us, but this we will forbare, for the sake of returning an answer by thee to this fool of a King of thine; and it befitteth not that any return to him reply but the least of the boys of the school." Then he sent for the Wazir's son, who came and prostrating himself before Allah, offered up prayers for the King's lasting glory and long life; whereupon Wird Khan threw him the letter, saying, "Read that letter and write me an acknowledgment thereof in haste." The boy took the letter and read it, smiled; then he laughed; then he laughed aloud and asked the King, "Didst thou send for me to answer this letter?" "Yes," answered Wird Khan, and the boy said, "O King, me thought thou hadst sent for me on some grave occasion; indeed, a lesser than I had answered this letter but 'tis thine to command, O puissant potentate." Quoth the King, "Write the reply forthright, on account of the courier, for that he is appointed a term and we have delayed him another day." Quoth the boy, "With the readiest hearkening and obedience," and pulling out paper and inkcase [FN#175] wrote as follows:--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the boy took the letter and read it, he forthright pulled out inkcase and paper and wrote as follows:--"In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate! Peace be upon him who hath gotten pardon and deliverance and the mercy of the Merciful! But after, O thou who pretendest thyself a mighty King and art but a King in word and not in deed, we give thee to know that thy letter hath reached us and we have read it and have taken note of that which is therein of absurdities and peregrine extravagances, whereby we are certified of thine ignorance and ill-will to us. Verily, thou hast put out thy hand to that whereunto thou canst never reach and, but that we have compassion on Allah's creatures and the lieges, we had not held back from thee. As for thy messenger, he went forth to the market streets and published the news of thy letter to great and small, whereby he merited retaliation from us, but we spared him and remitted his offence, of pity for him, seeing that he is excusable with thee and not for aught of respect to thyself. As for that whereof thou makest mention in thy letter of the slaying of my Wazirs and Olema and Grandees, this is the truth and this I did for a reason that arose with me, and I slew not one man of learning but there are with me a thousand of his kind, wiser than he and cleverer and wittier; nor is there with me a child but is filled with knowledge, and I have, in the stead of each of the slain, of those who surpass in his kind, what is beyond count. Each man of my troops also can cope with an horde of thine, whilst, as for monies I have a manufactory that maketh every day a thousand pounds of silver, besides gold, and precious stones are with me as pebbles; and as for the people of my possessions I cannot set forth to thee their goodliness and abundance of means. How darest thou, therefore, presume upon us and say to us, 'Build me a castle amiddlemost the main'? Verily, this is a marvellous thing, and doubtless it ariseth from the slightness of thy wit, for hadst thou aught of sense, thou hadst enquired of the beatings of the billows and the waftings of the winds. But wall it off from the waves and the surges of the sea and still the winds, and we will build thee the castle. Now as for thy pretension that thou wilt vanquish me, Allah forfend that such thing should befal, and the like of thee should lord it over us and conquer our realm! Nay, the Almighty hath given me the victory over thee, for that thou hast transgressed against me and rebelled without due cause. Know, therefore, that thou hast merited retribution from the Lord and from me; but I fear Allah in respect of thee and thy subjects [FN#176] and will not take horse against thee except after warning. Wherefore, an thou also fear Allah, hasten to send me this year's tribute, else will I not turn from my design to ride forth against thee with a thousand thousand [FN#177] and an hundred thousand fighting men, all furious giants on elephants, and I will range them round about my Wazir and bid him besiege thee three years, in lieu of the three days' delay thou appointedst to thy messenger, and I will make myself master of thy dominion, except that I will slay none save thyself alone and take captive therefrom none but thy Harim." Then the boy drew his own portrait in the margin of the letter and wrote thereunder the words: "This answer was written by the least of the boys of the school." After this he sealed it and handed it to the King, who gave it to the courier, and the man, after taking it and kissing the King's hands went forth from him thanking Allah and the Sovran for his royal clemency to him and marvelling at the boy's intelligence. He arrived at the court of the King, his master, on the third day after the expiration of the term appointed to him, and found that he had called a meeting of his council, by reason of the failure of the courier to return at the time appointed. So he went in to the King and prostrating himself before him, gave him the letter. The King took it and questioned him of the cause of his tarrying and how it was with King Wird Khan. So he told him all he had seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears; whereat the King's wit was confounded and he said, "Out on thee! What tale is this thou tellest me of the like of this King?" Answered the courier, "O mighty monarch, here am I in thy presence, [FN#178] but open the letter and read it, and the truth of my speech will be manifest to thee." So the King opened the letter and read it and seeing the semblance of the boy who had written it, made sure of the loss of his kingdom and was perplexed anent the end of his affair. Then, turning to his Wazirs and Grandees, he acquainted them with what had occurred and read to them the letter, whereat they were affrighted with the sorest affright and sought to soothe the King's terror with words that were only from the tongue, whilst their hearts were torn piecemeal with palpitations of alarm. But Badi'a (the Chief Wazir) presently said, "Know, O King, that there is no profit in that which my brother Wazirs have proffered, and it is my rede that thou write this King a writ and excuse thyself to him therein, saying, 'I love thee and loved thy father before thee and sent thee not this letter by the courier except only to prove thee and try thy constancy and see what was in thee of valiancy and thy proficiency in matters of practick and theorick and skill in enigmas and that wherewith thou art endowed of all perfections, So we pray Almighty Allah to bless thee in thy kingdom and strengthen the defences of thy capital and add to thy dominion, since thou art mindful of thyself and managest to accomplish every need of thy subjects'. And send it to him by another courier." Exclaimed the King, "By Allah of All-might! 'tis a marvel of marvels that this man should be a mighty King and ready for war, after his slaughter of all the wise men of his kingdom and his counsellors and the captains of his host and that his realm should be populous and prosper after this and there should issue therefrom this prodigious power! But the marvelousest of all is that the little ones of its schools should return the like of this answer for its King. Verily, of the vileness of my greed I have kindled this fire upon myself and lieges, and I know not how I shall quench it, save by taking the advice of this my Wazir." Accordingly he get ready a costly present, with eunuchs and slaves manifold, and wrote the following reply, "In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate! To proceed: O Glorious King Wird Khan, son of my dear brother, Jali'ad, may the Lord have mercy on thee and continue thee! Thine answer to our letter hath reached us and we have read it and apprehended its contents and see therein that which gladdeneth us and this is the utmost of that which we sought of Allah for thee; so we beseech Him to exalt thy dignity and stablish the pillars of thy state and give thee the victory over thy foes and those who purpose thee frowardness. Know, O King, that thy father was my brother and that there were between us in his lifetime pacts and covenants, and never saw he from me aught save weal, nor ever saw I from him other than good; and when he deceased and thou tookest seat upon the throne of his kingship, there betided us the utmost joy and gladness; but, when the news reached us of that which thou didst with thy Wazirs and the Notables of thy State, we feared lest the report of thee should come to the ears of some King other than ourselves and he should presume against thee, for that we deemed thee negligent of thine affairs and of the maintenance of thy defences and neglectful of the interests of thy kingdom; so we let write unto thee what should arouse thy spirit. But, when we saw that thou returnedest us the like of this reply, our heart was set at ease for thee, may Allah give thee enjoyment [FN#179] of thy kingdom and stablish thee in thy dignity! And so peace be with thee." Then he despatched the letter and the presents to Wird Khan with an escort of an hundred horse,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the monarch of Outer Hind, after making ready his presents, despatched them to King Wird Khan with an escort of an hundred horse, who fared on till they came to his court and saluting him, presented letter and gifts. The King read the writ and lodged the leader of the escort in a befitting place, entreating him with honour and accepting the presents he presented. So the news of this was bruited abroad among the folk and the King rejoiced therein with joy exceeding. Then he sent for the boy, the son of Shimas, and the Captain of the hundred horse and, entreating the young Wazir with honour, gave him the letter to read, whilst he himself blamed the King's conduct to the Captain who kissed his hands and made his excuses to him, offering up prayers for the continuance of his life and the permanence of his prosperity. The King thanked him for this and bestowed upon him honours and largesse and gave to all his men what befitted them and made ready presents to send by them and bade the boy Wazir indite an answer to their King's letter. So the boy wrote a reply, wherein, after an address [FN#180] beautiful exceedingly, he touched briefly on the question of reconciliation and praised the good breeding of the envoy and of his mounted men, and showed it when duly finished, to the King who said to him, "Read it, O thou dear boy, that we may know what is written [FN#181] therein." So the boy read the letter in the presence of the hundred horse, and the King and all present marvelled at its ordinance of style and sense. Then the King sealed the letter and delivering it to the Captain of the hundred horse, dismissed him with some of his own troops, to escort him as far as the frontier of his country. The Captain returned, confounded in mind at that which he had seen of the boy's knowledge and thanking Allah for the speedy accomplishment of his errand and the acceptance of peace, to the King of Outer Hind. Then going in to the presence, he delivered the presents and handed to him the letter, telling him what he had seen and heard, whereat the King rejoiced with joy exceeding and rendered lauds to his Lord the Most High and honoured the Captain commending his care and zeal and advancing him in rank. And from that hour he woned in peace and tranquillity and all happiness. As for King Wird Khan, he returned to the paths of righteousness, abandoning his evil ways and repenting to Allah with sincere penitence; and he gave up womanising altogether and applied himself wholly to the ordering of the affairs of his realm and the governance of his people in the fear of Allah. Furthermore, he made the son of Shimas, Wazir in his father's stead, and the chief after himself in his realm and keeper of his secrets and bade decorate his capital for seven days and likewise the other cities of his kingdom. At this the subjects rejoiced and fear and alarm ceased from them and they were glad in the prospect of justice and equity and instant in prayer for the King and for the Minister who from him and them had done away this trouble. Then said the King to the Wazir, "What is thy rede for the assuring of the state and the prospering of the people and the return of the realm to its aforetime state as regards Captains and Councillors?" Answered the boy, "O King of high estate, in my judgment it behoveth before all, that thou begin by rending out from thy heart the root of wickedness and leave thy debauchery and tyranny and addiction to women; for, an thou return to the root of transgression, the second backsliding will be worse than the first." The King asked, "And what is the root of sinfulness that it behoveth me to root out from my heart?"; and was answered by the Wazir, little of years but great of wit, "O King the root of wickedness is subjection to the desire of women and inclining to them and following their counsel and contrivance, for the love of them changeth the soundest wit and corrupteth the most upright nature, and manifest proofs bear witness to my saying, wherein an thou meditate them and follow their actions and consequences with eyes intent, thou wilt find a loyal counsellor against thy own soul and wilt stand in no need whatever of my rede. Look, then, thou occupy not thy heart with the thought of womankind and do away the trace of them from thy mind, for that Allah the Most High hath forbidden excessive use of them by the mouth of His prophet Moses, so that quoth a certain wise King to his son, 'O my son, when thou succeedest to the kingdom after me, frequent not women overmuch, lest thy heart be led astray and thy judgment be corrupted, for that overmuch commerce with them leadeth to love of them, and love of them to corruption of judgment'. And the proof of this is what befel our Lord Solomon, son of David, (peace be upon the twain of them!) whom Allah specially endowed with knowledge and wisdom and supreme dominion, nor vouchsafed He to any one of the Kings his predecessors the like of that which He gave him; and women were the cause of his father's offending. The examples of this are many, O King, and I do but make mention of Solomon to thee for that thou knowest that to none was given such dominion as that with which he was invested, so that all the Kings of the earth obeyed him. Know then, O King, that the love of women is the root of all evil and none of them hath any judgment; wherefore it behoveth a man use them according to his need and not incline to them with utter inclination for that will cast him into corruption and perdition. An thou hearken to my words, all thine affairs will prosper; but, an thou neglect them thou wilt repent, whenas repentance will not profit thee." Answered the King, 'Verily, I have left my whilome inclination to women.'--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued: It hath reached me, O mighty monarch, that King Wird Khan said to his Wazir, "Indeed, I have left my whilome inclination to women and have altogether renounced my infatuation for them, but how shall I do to punish them in retaliation of their misdeeds? For the slaying of thy sire Shimas was of their malice and not of my own will, and I know not what ailed my reason that I consented with their proposal to slay him " Then he cried, "Ah me!" and groaned and lamented, saying "Well-away and alas for the loss of my Wazir and his just judgment and admirable administration and for the loss of his like of the Wazirs and Heads of the State and of the goodliness of their apt counsels and sagacious!" "O King," quoth the boy-minister, "Know that the fault is not with women alone, for that they are like unto a pleasing stock in trade, whereto the lusts of the lookers-on incline. To whosoever lusteth and buyeth, they sell it, but whoso buyeth not, none forceth him to buy; so that the fault is of him who buyeth, especially if he know the harmfulness of that merchandise. Now, I warn thee, as did my sire before me, but thou acceptedest not to his counsel." Answered the King, "O Wazir, indeed I have fixed this fault upon myself, even as thou hast said, and I have no excuse except divine foreordainment." Rejoined the Wazir, "O King, know that Almighty Allah hath created us and endowed us with capability and appointed to us free will and choice; so, if we will, we do, and if we will, we do not. The Lord commanded us not to do harm, lest sin attach to us; wherefore it befitteth us to take compt of whatso is right to do, for that the Almighty biddeth us naught but good in all cases and forbiddeth us only from evil; but what we do, we do of our own design, be it fair or faulty." Quoth the King, "Thou sayest sooth, and indeed my fault arose from my surrendering myself to my lusts, albeit often and often my better self warned me from this, and thy sire Shimas also warned me often and often, but my lust overcame my wits. Hast thou then with thee aught that may withhold me from again committing this error and whereby my reason may be victorious over the desires of my soul?" Quoth the Wazir, "Yes, I can tell thee what will restrain thee from relapsing into this fault, and it is that thou doff the garment of ignorance and don that of understanding, and disobey thy passions and obey thy Lord and revert to the policy of the just King thy sire, and fulfil thy duties to Allah the Most High and to thy people and apply thyself to the defence of thy faith and the promotion of thy subjects' welfare and rule thyself aright and forbear the slaughter of thy people; and look to the end of things and sever thyself from tyranny and oppression and arrogance and lewdness, and practice justice, equity and humility and bow before the bidding of the Almighty and apply thyself to gentle dealing with those of His creatures over whom He set thee and be assiduous as it besitteth thee in fulfilling their prayers unto thee. An thou be constant herein may thy days be serene and may Allah of His mercy pardon thee, and make thee loved and feared of all who look on thee; so shall thy foes be brought to naught, for the Omnipotent shall rout their hosts and thou shalt have acceptance with Him and of His creatures be dreaded and to them endeared." Quoth the King, "Indeed thou hast quickened my vitals and illumined my heart with thy sweet speech and hast opened the eyes of my clear seeing after blindness; and I am resolved to do whatso thou hast set forth to me, with the help of the Almighty leaving my former case of lust and sinfulness and bringing forth my soul from durance vile to deliverance and from fear to safety. So it behoveth thee to be joyful hereat and contented, for that I am become to thee as a son, maugre my more of age, an thou to me as a dear father, despite thy tenderness of years, and it hath become incumbent on me to do mine utmost endeavour in all thou commandest me. Wherefore I thank the bounty of Allah and thy bounty because He hath vouchsafed me, by thee, fair fortune and goodly guidance and just judgment to ward off my cark and care; and the security of my lieges hath been brought about by thy hand, through the excellence of thy knowledge and the goodliness of thy contrivance. And thou, from this hour, shalt be the counsellor of my kingdom and equal to myself in all but sitting upon the throne, and whatso thou dost shall be law to me and none shall disobey thy word, young in years though thou be, for that thou art old in wit and knowledge. So I thank Allah who deigned grant thee to me, that thou mayst guide me into the way of salvation and out of the crooked paths of perdition." Quoth the Wazir, "O auspicious King, know that no merit is due to me for giving thee loyal counsel; for that to succour thee by deed and word is one of the things which is incumbent on me, seeing that I am but a plant of thy bounty, and not I alone, but one before me was overwhelmed with thy beneficence, so that we are both alike partakers in thy honours and favours, and how shall we not acknowledge this? Moreover thou, O King, art our shepherd and ruler and he who wardeth off from us our foes, and to whom are committed our protection and our guardian, constant in endeavour for our safety. Indeed, though we lavished our lives in thy service yet should we not fulfil that which is incumbent on us of gratitude to thee; but we supplicate Allah Almighty, who hath set thee over us and made thee our ruler, and beseech Him vouchsafe thee long life and success in all thine enterprises and not to make trial of thee with afflictions in thy time, but bring thee to thy desire and make thee to be reverenced till the day of thy death and lengthen thine arms in generosity, so thou mayst have command over every wise man and subdue every wicked man and all the wise and brave be found with thee in thy realm and all the ignorant and cowardly be plucked out from thy reign; and we pray Him to withhold from thy people scarcity and calamity and sow among them the seed of love and friendship and cause them to enjoy of this world its prosperity and of the next felicity, of His grace and bounty and hidden mercies. Amen! [FN#182] For He is over all things Omnipotent and there is naught difficult unto Him, to Him all things tend." When the King heard the Wazir's prayer, he was mightily rejoiced and inclined to him with his whole heart, saying, "Know, O Wazir, thou art to me in lieu of brother and son and father, and naught but death shall divide me from thee. All that my hand possesseth thou shalt have the disposal of and, if I have no child to succeed me, thou shalt sit on my throne in my stead; for thou art the worthiest of all the folk of my realm, and I will invest thee with my Kingship in the presence of the Grandees of my state and appoint thee my heir apparent to inherit the kingdom after me, Inshallah!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Wird Khan said to the son of Shimas the whilome Wazir, "Presently I will name thee my successor and make thee my heir apparent, and I will call the Grandees of mine Empire to witness thereto." Then he summoned his Secretary and bade him write to all the Lords of his land, convoking them at his Court, and caused proclamation to be made in his city to all the townsfolk great and small, bidding every one of the Emirs and Governors and Chamberlains and other officers and dignitaries to his presence as well as the Olema and Literati learned in the law. He held to boot a grand Divan and made a banquet, never was its like seen anywhere and thereto he bade all the folk, high and low. So they assembled and abode in merry making, eating and drinking a month's space, after which the King clothed the whole of his household and the poor of his Kingdom and bestowed on the men of knowledge abundant largesse. Then he chose out a number of the Olema and wise men who were known to the son of Shimas and caused them go in to him, bidding him choose out of them six that he might make them Wazirs under commandment of the boy. Accordingly he selected six of the oldest of them in years and the best in wits and fullest of lore and the quickest of memory and judgment and presented them to the King, who clad them in Wazirial habit saying, "Ye are become my Ministers, under the commandment of this my Grand Wazir, the son of Shimas. Whatsoever he saith to you or biddeth you to do, ye shall never and in no wise depart from it, albeit he is the youngest of you in years, for he is the eldest of you in intellect and intelligence." Then he seated them upon chairs, adorned with gold after the usage of Wazirs, and appointed to them stipends and allowances, bidding them choose out such of the notables of the kingdom and officers of the troops present at the banquet as were aptest for the service of the state, that he might make them Captains of tens and Captains of hundreds and Captains of thousands and appoint to them dignities and stipends and assign them provision, after the manner of Grandees. This they did with entire diligence and he bade them also handsel all who were present with large gifts and dismiss them each to his country with honour and renown; he also charged his governors to rule the people with justice and enjoined them to be tender to the poor as well as to the rich and bade succour them from the treasury, according to their several degrees. So the Wazirs wished him permanence of glory and continuance of life, and he commanded to decorate the city three days, in gratitude to Allah Almighty for mercies vouchsafed to him. Such was the case with the King and his Wazir, Ibn Shimas, in the ordinance of his kingdom through his Emirs and Governors; but as regards the favourite women, wives, concubines and others who, by their malice and perfidy, had brought about the slaughter of the Wazirs and had well nigh ruined the realm, as soon as the Court was dissolved and all the people had departed, each to his own place, after their affairs had been set in order, the King summoned his boy-Minister, the son of Shimas, and the other six Wazirs and taking them apart privily, said to them, "Know, O Wazirs that I have been a wanderer from the right way, drowned in ignorance, opposed to admonition, a breaker of facts and promises and a gainsayer of good counsellors; and the cause of all this was my being fooled by these women and the wiles whereby they beset me and the glozing lure of their speech, whereby they seduced me to sin and my acceptance of this, for that I deemed the words of them true and loyal counsel, by reason of their sweetness and softness; but lo, and behold! they were deadly poison. And now I am certified that they sought but to ruin and destroy me, wherefore they deserve punishment and retribution from me, for justice sake, that I may make them a warning to whoso will be warned. And what say your just judgments anent doing them to die?" Answered the boy Wazir, "O mighty King, I have already told thee that women are not alone to blame, but that the fault is shared between them and the men who hearken to them. However, they deserve punishment and requital for two reasons: firstly for the fulfilment of thy word, because thou art the supreme King; and secondly, by reason of their presumption against thee and their seducing thee and their meddling with that which concerneth them not and whereof it befitteth them not even to speak. Wherefore they have right well deserved death; yet let that which hath befallen them suffice them, and do thou henceforth reduce them to servants' estate. But it is thine to command in this and in other than this." Then one of the Wazirs seconded the counsel of Ibn Shimas; but another of them prostrated himself before the King and said to him, "Allah prolong the King's life! An thou be indeed resolved to do with them that which shall cause their death, do with them as I shall say to thee." Asked Wird Khan, "And what is that?"; and the Wazir answered, "'Twere best that thou bid some of thy female slaves carry the women who played thee false to the apartment, wherein befel the slaughter of thy Wazirs and wise men and imprison them there; and bid that they be provided with a little meat and drink, enough to keep life in their bodies. Let them never be suffered to go forth of that place, and whenever one of them dies, let her abide among them, as she is, till they die all, even to the last of them. This is the least of their desert, because they were the cause of this great avail, ay, and the origin of all the troubles and calamities that have befallen in our time; so shall there be verified in them the saying of the Sayer, 'Whoso diggeth his brother a pit shall surely himself fall into it, albeit of long safety he have benefit.'" The King accepted the Wazir's counsel and sending for four stalwart female slaves, committed the offending women to them, bidding them bear them into the place of slaughter and imprison them there and allow them every day a little coarse food and a little troubled water. They did with them as he bade; wherefore the women mourned with sore mourning, repenting them of that which they had done and lamenting with grievous lamentation. Thus Allah gave them their reward of abjection in this world and prepared for them torment in the world to come; nor did they cease to abide in that murky and noisome place, whilst every day one or other of them died, till they all perished, even to the last of them; [FN#183] and the report of this event was bruited abroad in all lands and countries. This is the end of the story of the King and his Wazirs and subjects, and praise be to Allah who causeth peoples to pass away, and quickeneth the bones that rot in decay; Him who alone is worthy to be glorified and magnified alway and hallowed for ever and aye! And amongst the tales they tell is one of


ABU KIR THE DYER AND ABU SIR THE BARBER.


There dwelt once, in Alexandria city, two men, of whom one was a dyer, by name Abú Kír, and the other a barber Abú Sír [FN#184]; and they were neighbours in the market-street, where their shops stood side by side. The dyer was a swindler and a liar, an exceeding wicked wight, as if indeed his head-temples were hewn out of a boulder rock or fashioned of the threshold of a Jewish synagogue, nor was he ashamed of any shameful work he wrought amongst the folk. It was his wont, when any brought him cloth for staining, first to require of him payment under pretence of buying dyestuffs therewith. So the customer would give him the wage in advance and wend his ways, and the dyer would spend all he received on meat and drink; after which he would sell the cloth itself as soon as ever its owner turned his back and waste its worth in eating and drinking and what not else, for he ate not but of the daintiest and most delicate viands nor brank but of the best of that which doth away the with of man. And when the owner of the cloth came to him, he would say to him, "Return to me to-morrow before sunrise and thou shalt find thy stuff dyed." So the customer would go away, saying to himself, "One day is near another day," and return next day at the appointed time, when the dyer would say to him, "Come to-morrow; yesterday I was not at work, for I had with me guests and was occupied with doing what their wants required till they went: but to-morrow before sunrise come and take thy cloth dyed." So he would fare forth and return on the third day, when Abu Kir would say to him, "Indeed yesterday I was excusable, for my wife was brought to bed in the night and all day I was busy with manifold matters; but to-morrow, without fail, come and take thy cloth dyed." When the man came again at the appointed time, he would put him off with some other pretence, it mattered little what, and would swear to him;--Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that every time the owner of an article came to the dyer he would put him off with any pretext [FN#185] and would swear to him; nor would he cease to promise and swear to him, as often as he came, till the customer lost patience and said, "How often wilt thou say to me, 'To-morrow?' Give me my stuff: I will not have it dyed." Whereupon the dyer would make answer, "By Allah, O my brother, I am abashed at thee; but I must tell the truth and may Allah harm all who harm folk in their goods!" The other would exclaim, "Tell me what hath happened;" and Abu Kir would reply, "As for thy stuff I dyed that same on matchless wise and hung it on the drying rope but 'twas stolen and I know not who stole it." If the owner of the stuff were of the kindly he would say, "Allah will compensate me;" and if he were of the ill-conditioned, he would haunt him with exposure and insult, but would get nothing of him, though he complained of him to the judge. He ceased not doing thus till his report was noised abroad among the folk and each used to warn other against Abu Kir who became a byword amongst them. So they all held aloof from him and none would be entrapped by him save those who were ignorant of his character; but, for all this, he failed not daily to suffer insult and exposure from Allah's creatures. By reason of this his trade became slack and he used to go to the shop of his neighbour the barber Abu Sir and sit there, facing the dyery and with his eyes on the door. Whenever he espied any one who knew him not standing at the dyery-door, with a piece of stuff in his hand, he would leave the barber's booth and go up to him saying, "What seekest thou, O thou?"; and the man would reply, "Take and dye me this thing." So the dyer would ask, "What colour wilt thou have it?" For, with all his knavish tricks his hand was in all manner of dyes; but he was never true to any one; wherefore poverty had gotten the better of him. Then he would take the stuff and say, "Give me my wage in advance and come to-morrow and take the stuff." So the stranger would advance him the money and wend his way; whereupon Abu Kir would carry the cloth to the market-street and sell it and with its price buy meat and vegetables and tobacco [FN#186] and fruit and what not else he needed; but, whenever he saw any one who had given him stuff to dye standing at the door of his shop, he would not come forth to him or even show himself to him. On this wise he abode years and years, till it fortuned one day that he received cloth to dye from a man of wrath and sold it and spent the proceeds. The owner came to him every day, but found him not in his shop; for, whenever he espied any one who had claim against him, he would flee from him into the shop of the barber Abu Sir. At last, that angry man finding that he was not to be seen and growing weary of such work, repaired to the Kazi and bringing one of his serjeants to the shop, nailed up the door, in presence of a number of Moslems, and sealed it, for that he saw therein naught save some broken pans of earthenware to stand him instead of his stuff; after which the serjeant took the key, saying to the neighbours, "Tell him to bring back this man's cloth then come to me [FN#187] and take his shop key;" and went his way, he and the man. Then said Abu Sir to Abu Kir, "What ill business is this? [FN#188] Whoever bringeth thee aught thou losest it for him. What hath become of this angry man's stuff?" Answered the dyer, "O my neighbour, 'twas stolen from me." "Prodigous!" exclaimed the barber. "Whenever any one giveth thee aught, a thief stealeth it from thee! Art thou then the meeting-place of every rogue upon town? But I doubt me thou liest: so tell me the truth." Replied Abu Kir, "O my neighbour, none hath stolen aught from me." Asked Abu Sir, "What then dost thou with the people's property?"; and the dyer answered, "Whenever any one giveth me aught to dye, I sell it and spend the price." Quoth Abu Sir, "Is this permitted thee of Allah?" and quoth Abu Kir, "I do this only out of poverty, because business is slack with me and I am poor and have nothing." [FN#189] And he went on to complain to him of the dulness of his trade and his lack of means. Abu Sir in like manner lamented the little profit of his own calling, saying, "I am a master of my craft and have not my equal in this city; but no one cometh to me to be polled, because I am a pauper; and I loathe this art and mystery, O my brother." Abu Kir replied, "And I also loathe my own craft, by reason of its slackness; but, O my brother, what call is there for abiding in this town? Let us depart from it, I and thou, and solace ourselves in the lands of mankind, carrying in our hands our crafts which are in demand all the world over; so shall we breathe the air and rest from this grievous trouble." And he ceased not to commend travel to Abu Sir, till the barber became wishful to set out; so they agreed upon their route,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Kir ceased not his praises of wayfaring to Abu Sir till the barber became wishful to depart; so they agreed upon their route, at which decision Abu Kir rejoiced and improvised these lines,

"Leave thy home for abroad an wouldst rise on high, * And travel whence benefits five-fold rise; The soothing of sorrow and winning of bread, * Knowledge, manners and commerce with good men and wise. An they say that in travel are travail and care, * And disunion of friends and much hardship that tries; Yet to generous youth death is better than life * In the house of contempt betwixt haters and spies."

When they agreed to travel together Abu Kir said to Abu Sir, "O my neighbour, we are become brethren and there is no difference between us, so it behoveth us to recite the Fátihah [FN#190] that he of us who gets work shall of his gain feed him who is out of work, and whatever is left, we will lay in a chest; and when we return to Alexandria, we will divide it fairly and equally." "So be it," replied Abu Sir, and they repeated the Opening Chapter of the Koran on this understanding. Then Abu Sir locked up his shop and gave the key to its owner, whilst Abu Kir left his door locked and sealed and let the key lie with the Kazi's serjeant; after which they took their baggage and embarked on the morrow in a galleon [FN#191] upon the salt sea. They set sail the same day and fortune attended them, for, of Abu Sir's great good luck, there was not a barber in the ship albeit it carried an hundred and twenty men, besides captain and crew. So, when they loosed the sails, the barber said to the dyer, "O my brother, this is the sea and we shall need meat and drink; we have but little provaunt with us and haply the voyage will be long upon us; wherefore methinks I will shoulder my budget and pass among the passengers, and may be some one will say to me, 'Come hither, O barber, and shave me,' and I will shave him for a scone or a silver bit or a draught of water: so shall we profit by this, I and thou too." "There's no harm in that," replied the dyer and laid down his head and slept, whilst the barber took his gear and water-tasse [FN#192] and throwing over his shoulder a rag, to serve as napkin (because he was poor), passed among the passengers. Quoth one of them, "Ho, master, come and shave me." So he shaved him, and the man gave him a half-dirham; [FN#193] whereupon quoth Abu Sir, "O my brother, I have no use for this bit; hadst thou given me a scone 'twere more blessed to me in this sea, for I have a shipmate and we are short of provision." So he gave him a loaf and a slice of cheese and filled him the tasse with sweet water. The barber carried all this to Abu Kir and said, "Eat the bread and cheese and drink the water." Accordingly he ate and drank, whilst Abu Sir again took up his shaving gear and, tasse in hand and rag on shoulder, went round about the deck among the passengers. One man he shaved for two scones and another for a bittock of cheese, and he was in demand, because there was no other barber on board. Also he bargained with every one who said to him, "Ho, master, shave me!" for two loaves and a half dirham, and they gave him whatever he sought, so that, by sundown, he had collected thirty loaves and thirty silvers with store of cheese and olives and botargoes. [FN#194] And besides these he got from the passengers whatever he asked for and was soon in possession of things galore. Amongst the rest he shaved the Captain, [FN#195] to whom he complained of his lack of victual for the voyage, and the skipper said to him, "Thou art welcome to bring thy comrade every night and sup with me and have no care for that so long as ye sail with us." Then he returned to the dyer, whom he found asleep; so he roused him; and when Abu Kir awoke, he saw at his head an abundance of bread and cheese and olives and botargoes and said, "Whence gottest thou all this?" "From the bounty of Allah Almighty," replied Abu Sir. Then Abu Kir would have fallen to, but the barber said to him, "Eat not of this, O my brother; but leave it to serve us another time; for know that I shaved the Captain and complained to him of our lack of victual: whereupon quoth he, 'Welcome to thee! Bring thy comrade and sup both of ye with me every night.' And this night we sup with him for the first time." But Abu Kir replied, "My head goeth round with sea-sickness and I cannot rise from my stead; so let me sup off these things and fare thou alone to the Captain." Abu Sir replied, "There is no harm in that;" and sat looking at the other as he ate, and saw him hew off gobbets, as the quarryman heweth stone from the hill-quarries and gulp them down with the gulp of an elephant which hath not eaten for days, bolting another mouthful ere he had swallowed the previous one and glaring the while at that which was before him with the glowering of a Ghul, blowing and blowing as bloweth the hungry bull over his beans and bruised straw. Presently up came a sailor and said to the barber, "O craftsmaster, the Captain biddeth thee come to supper and bring thy comrade." Quoth the barber to the dyer, "Wilt thou come with us?"; but quoth he, "I cannot walk." So the barber went by himself and found the Captain sitting before a tray whereon were a score or more of dishes and all the company were awaiting him and his mate. When the Captain saw him he asked, "Where is thy friend?"; and Abu Sir answered, "O my lord, he is sea-sick." Said the skipper, "That will do him no harm; his sickness will soon pass off; but do thou carry him his supper and come back, for we tarry for thee." Then he set apart a porringer of Kabábs and putting therein some of each dish, till there was enough for ten, gave it to Abu Sir, saying, "Take this to thy chum." He took it and carried it to the dyer, whom he found grinding away with his dog-teeth [FN#196] at the food which was before him, as he were a camel, and heaping mouthful on mouthful in his hurry. Quoth Abu Sir, "Did I not say to thee, 'Eat not of this'? Indeed the Captain is a kindly man. See what he hath sent thee, for that I told him thou wast sea-sick." "Give it here," cried the dyer. So the barber gave him the platter, and he snatched it from him and fell upon his food, ravening for it and resembling a grinning dog or a raging lion or a Rukh pouncing on a pigeon or one well-nigh dead for hunger who seeing meat falls ravenously to eat. Then Abu Sir left him and going back to the Captain, supped and enjoyed himself and drank coffee [FN#197] with him; after which he returned to Abu Kir and found he had eaten all that was in the porringer and thrown it aside, empty.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu Sir returned to Abu Kir he saw that he had eaten all that was in the porringer and had thrown it aside empty. So he took it up and gave it to one of the Captain's servants, then went back to Abu Kir and slept till the morning. On the morrow, he continued to shave, and all he got by way of meat and drink he gave to his shipmate, who ate and drank and sat still, rising not save to do what none could do for him, and every night the barber brought him a full porringer from the Captain's table. They fared thus twenty days until the galleon cast anchor in the harbour of a city; whereupon they took leave of the skipper and landing, entered the town and hired them a closet in a Khan. Abu Sir furnished it and buying a cooking pot and a platter and spoons [FN#198] and what else they needed, fetched meat and cooked it; but Abu Kir fell asleep the moment he entered the Caravanserai and awoke not till Abu Sir aroused him and set a tray of food [FN#199] before him. When he awoke, he ate and saying to Abu Sir, "Blame me not, for I am giddy," fell asleep again. Thus he did forty days, whilst, every day, the barber took his gear and making the round of the city, wrought for that which fell to his lot, [FN#200] and returning, found the dyer asleep and aroused him. The moment he awoke he fell ravenously upon the food, eating as one who cannot have his fill nor be satisfied; after which he went asleep again. On this wise he passed other forty days and whenever the barber said to him, "Sit up and be comfortable [FN#201] and go forth and take an airing in the city, for 'tis a gay place and a pleasant and hath not its equal among the cities," he would reply, "Blame me not, for I am giddy." Abu Sir cared not to hurt his feelings nor give him hard words; but, on the forty-first day, he himself fell sick and could not go abroad; so he engaged the porter of the Khan to serve them both, and he did the needful for them and brought them meat and drink whilst Abu Kir would do nothing but eat and sleep. The man ceased not to wait upon them on this wise for four days, at the end of which time the barber's malady redoubled on him, till he lost his senses for stress of sickness; and Abu Kir, feeling the sharp pangs of hunger, arose and sought in his comrade's clothes, where he found a thousand silver bits. He took them and, shutting the door of the closet upon Abu Sir, fared forth without telling any; and the doorkeeper was then at market and thus saw him not go out. Presently Abu Kir betook himself to the bazar and clad himself in costly clothes, at a price of five hundred half-dirhams; then he proceeded to walk about the streets and divert himself by viewing the city which he found to be one whose like was not among cities; but he noted that all its citizens were clad in clothes of white and blue, without other colour. Presently he came to a dyer's and seeing naught but blue in his shop, pulled out to him a kerchief and said, "O master, take this and dye it and win thy wage." Quoth the dyer, "The cost of dyeing this will be twenty dirhams;" and quoth Abu Kir, "In our country we dye it for two." "Then go and dye it in your own country! As for me, my price is twenty dirhams and I will not bate a little thereof." "What colour wilt thou dye it?" "I will dye it blue." "But I want it dyed red." "I know not how to dye red." "Then dye it green." "I know not how to dye green." "Yellow." "Nor yet yellow." Thereupon Abu Kir went on to name the different tints to him, one after other, till the dyer said, "We are here in this city forty masterdyers, not one more nor one less; and when one of us dieth, we teach his son the craft. If he leave no son, we abide lacking one, and if he leave two sons, we teach one of them the craft, and if he die, we teach his brother. This our craft is strictly ordered, and we know how to dye but blue and no other tine whatsoever." Then said Abu Kir, "Know that I too am a dyer and wot how to dye all colours; and I would have thee take me into thy service on hire, and I will teach thee everything of my art, so thou mayst glory therein over all the company of dyers." But the dyer answered, "We never admit a stranger into our craft." Asked Abu Kir, "And what if I open a dyery for myself?"; whereto the other answered, "We will not suffer thee to do that on any wise;" whereupon he left him and going to a second dyer, made him the like proposal; but he returned him the same answer as the first; and he ceased not to go from one to other, till he had made the round of the whole forty masters; but they would not accept him either to master or apprentice. Then he repaired to the Shaykh of the Dyers and told him what had passed, and he said, "We admit no strangers into our craft." Hereupon Abu Kir became exceeding wroth and going up to the King of that city, made complaint to him, saying, "O King of the age, I am a stranger and a dyer by trade"; and he told him whatso had passed between himself and the dyers of the town, adding, "I can dye various kinds of red, such as rose-colour and jujubel-colour [FN#202] and various kinds of green, such as grass-green and pistachio-green and olive and parrot's wing, and various kinds of black, such as coal-black and Kohl-black, and various shades of yellow, such as orange and lemon-colour," and went on to name to him the rest of the colours. Then said he, "O King of the age, all the dyers in thy city can not turn out of hand any one of these tincts, for they know not how to dye aught but blue; yet will they not admit me amongst them, either to master or apprentice." Answered the King, "Thou sayst sooth for that matter, but I will open to thee a dyery and give thee capital and have thou no care anent them; for whoso offereth to do thee let or hindrance, I will hang him over his shop-door." Then he sent for builders and said to them, "Go round about the city with this master-dyer, and whatsoever place pleaseth him, be it shop or Khan or what not, turn out its occupier and build him a dyery after his wish. Whatsoever he biddeth you, that do ye and oppose him not in aught." And he clad him in a handsome suit and gave him two white slaves to serve him, and a horse with housings of brocade and a thousand dinars, saying, "Expend this upon thyself against the building be completed." Accordingly Abu Kir donned the dress and mounting the horse, became as he were an Emir. Moreover the King assigned him a house and bade furnish it; so they furnished it for him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King assigned a house to Abu Kir and bade furnish it and he took up his abode therein. On the morrow he mounted and rode through the city, whilst the architects went before him; and he looked about him till he saw a place which pleased him and said, "This stead is seemly;" whereupon they turned out the owner and carried him to the King, who gave him as the price of his holding, what contented him and more. Then the builders fell to work, whilst Abu Kir said to them, "Build thus and thus and do this and that," till they built him a dyery that had not its like; whereupon he presented himself before the King and informed him that they had done building the dyery and that there needed but the price of the dye-stuffs and gear to set it going. Quoth the King, "Take these four thousand dinars to thy capital and let me see the first fruits of thy dyery." So he took the money and went to the market where, finding dye-stuffs [FN#203] plentiful and well-nigh worthless, he bought all he needed of materials for dyeing; and the King sent him five hundred pieces of stuff, which he set himself to dye of all colours and then he spread them before the door of his dyery. When the folk passed by the shop, they saw a wonder-sight whose like they had never in their lives seen; so they crowded about the entrance, enjoying the spectacle and questioning the dyer and saying, "O master, what are the names of these colours?" Quoth he, "This is red and that yellow and the other green" and so on, naming the rest of the colours. And they fell to bringing him longcloth and saying to him, "Dye it for us like this and that and take what hire thou seekest." When he had made an end of dyeing the King's stuffs, he took them and went up with them to the Divan; and when the King saw them he rejoiced in them and bestowed abundant bounty on the dyer. Furthermore, all the troops brought him stuffs, saying, "Dye for us thus and thus;" and he dyed for them to their liking, and they threw him gold and silver. After this his fame spread abroad and his shop was called the Sultan's Dyery. Good came in to him at every door and none of the other dyers could say a word to him, but they used to come to him kissing his hands and excusing themselves to him for past affronts they had offered him and saying, "Take us to thine apprentices." But he would none of them for he had become the owner of black slaves and handmaids and had amassed store of wealth. On this wise fared it with Abu Kir; but as regards Abu Sir, after the closet door had been locked on him and his money had been stolen, he abode prostrate and unconscious for three successive days, at the end of which the Concierge of the Khan, chancing to look at the door, observed that it was locked and bethought himself that he had not seen and heard aught of the two companions for some time. So he said in his mind, "Haply they have made off, without paying rent, [FN#204] or perhaps they are dead, or what is to do with them?" And he waited till sunset, when he went up to the door and heard the barber groaning within. He saw the key in the lock; so he opened the door and entering, found Abu Sir lying, groaning, and said to him, "No harm to thee: where is thy friend?" Replied Abu Sir, "By Allah, I came to my senses only this day and called out; but none answered my call. Allah upon thee, O my brother, look for the purse under my head and take from it five half-dirhams and buy me somewhat nourishing, for I am sore anhungered." The porter put out his hand and taking the purse, found it empty and said to the barber, "The purse is empty; there is nothing in it." Whereupon Abu Sir knew that Abu Kir had taken that which was therein and had fled and he asked the porter, "Hast thou not seen my friend?" Answered the doorkeeper, "I have not seen him these three days; and indeed methought you had departed, thou and he." The barber cried, "Not so; but he coveted my money and took it and fled seeing me sick." Then he fell a-weeping and a-wailing but the doorkeeper said to him, "No harm shall befal thee, and Allah will requite him his deed." So he went away and cooked him some broth, whereof he ladled out a plateful and brought it to him; nor did he cease to tend him and maintain him with his own monies for two months' space, when the barber sweated [FN#205] and the Almighty made him whole of his sickness. Then he stood up and said to the porter, "An ever the Most High Lord enable me, I will surely requite thee of thy kindness to me; but none requiteth save the Lord of His bounty!" Answered the porter, "Praised be He for thy recovery! I dealt not thus with thee but of desire for the face of Allah the Bountiful." Then the barber went forth of the Khan and threaded the market-streets of the town, till Destiny brought him to the bazar wherein was Abu Kir's dyery, and he saw the vari-coloured stuffs dispread before the shop and a jostle of folk crowding to look upon them. So he questioned one of the townsmen and asked him, "What place is this and how cometh it that I see the folk crowding together?"; whereto the man answered, saying, "This is the Sultan's Dyery, which he set up for a foreigner Abu Kir hight; and whenever he dyeth new stuff, we all flock to him and divert ourselves by gazing upon his handiwork, for we have no dyers in our land who know how to stain with these colours; and indeed there befel him with the dyers who are in the city that which befel." [FN#206] And he went on to tell him all that had passed between Abu Kir and the master-dyers and how he had complained of them to the Sultan who took him by the hand and built him that dyery and give him this and that: brief, he recounted to him all that had occurred. At this the barber rejoiced and said in himself, "Praised be Allah who hath prospered him, so that he is become a master of his craft! And the man is excusable, for of a surety he hath been diverted from thee by his work and hath forgotten thee; but thou actedst kindly by him and entreatedst him generously, what time he was out of work; so, when he seeth thee, he will rejoice in thee and entreat thee generously, even as thou entreatedst him." According he made for the door of the dyery and saw Abu Kir seated on a high mattress spread upon a bench beside the doorway, clad in royal apparel and attended by four blackamoor slaves and four white Mamelukes all robed in the richest of raiment. Moreover, he saw the workmen, ten negro slaves, standing at work; for, when Abu Kir bought them, he taught them the craft of dyeing, and he himself sat amongst his cushions, as he were a Grand Wazir or a mighty monarch putting his hand to naught, but only saying to the men, "Do this and do that." So the barber went up to him and stood before him, deeming he would rejoice in him when he saw him and salute him and entreat him with honour and make much of him; but, when eye fell upon eye, the dyer said to him, "O scoundrel, how many a time have I bidden thee stand not at the door of the workshop? Hast thou a mind to disgrace me with the folk, thief [FN#207] that thou art? Seize him." So the blackamoors ran at him and laid hold of him; and the dyer rose up from his seat and said, "Throw him." Accordingly they threw him down and Abu Kir took a stick and dealt him an hundred strokes on the back; after which they turned him over and he beat him other hundred blows on his belly. Then he said to him, "O scoundrel, O villian, if ever again I see thee standing at the door of this dyery, I will forthwith send thee to the King, and he will commit thee to the Chief of Police, that he may strike thy neck. Begone, may Allah not bless thee!" So Abu Sir departed from him, broken-hearted by reason of the beating and shame that had betided him; whilst the bystanders asked Abu Kir, "What hath this man done?" He answered, "The fellow is a thief, who stealeth the stuffs of folk."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu Kir beat Abu Sir and thrust him forth he said to those present, "He is a thief who stealeth the stuffs of folk; he hath robbed me of cloth, how many a time! and I still said in myself, 'Allah forgive him!' He is a poor man; and I cared not to deal roughly with him; so I used to give my customers the worth of their goods and forbid him gently; but he would not be forbidden: and if he come again, I will send him to the King, who will put him to death and rid the people of his mischief." And the bystanders fell to abusing the barber after his back was turned. Such was the behaviour of Abu Kir; but as regards Abu Sir, he returned to the Khan, where he sat pondering that which the dyer had done by him and he remained seated till the burning of the beating subsided, when he went out and walked about the markets of the city. Presently, he bethought him to go to the Hammam bath; so he said to one of the townsfolk, "O my brother, which is the way to the Baths?" Quoth the man, "And what manner of thing may the Baths be?" and quoth Abu Sir, "'Tis a place where people wash themselves and do away their dirt and defilements, and it is of the best of the good things of the world." Replied the townsman, "Get thee to the sea," but the barber rejoined, "I want the Hammam-baths." Cried the other, "We know not what manner of this is the Hammam, for we all resort to the sea; even the King, when he would wash, betaketh himself to the sea." When Abu Sir was assured that there was no bath in the city and that the folk knew not the Baths nor the fashion thereof, he betook himself to the King's Divan and kissing ground between his hands called down blessings on him and said, "I am a stranger and a Bath-man by trade, and I entered thy city and thought to go to the Hammam; but found not one therein. How cometh a city of this comely quality to lack a Hammam, seeing that the bath is of the highest of the delights of this world?" Quoth the King, "What manner of thing is the Hammam?" So Abu Sir proceeded to set forth to him the quality of the bath, saying, "Thy capital will not be a perfect city till there be a Hammam therein." "Welcome to thee!" said the King and clad him in a dress that had not its like and gave him a horse and two blackamoor slaves, presently adding four handmaids and as many white Mamelukes: he also appointed him a furnished house and honoured him yet more abundantly than he had honoured the dyer. After this he sent builders with him saying to them, "Build him a Hammam in what place soever shall please him." So he took them and went with them through the midst of the city, till he saw a stead that suited him. He pointed it out to the builders and they set to work, whilst he directed them, and they wrought till they builded him a Hammam that had not its like. Then he bade them paint it, and they painted it rarely, so that it was a delight to the beholders; after which Abu Sir went up to the King and told him that they had made an end of building and decorating the Hammam, adding, "There lacketh naught save the furniture." The King gave him ten thousand dinars wherewith he furnished the Bath and ranged the napkins on the ropes; and all who passed by the door stared at it and their mind confounded at its decorations. So the people crowded to this spectacle, whose like they had never in their lives seen, and solaced themselves by staring at it and saying, "What is this thing?" To which Abu Sir replied, "This is a Hammam;" and they marvelled thereat. Then he heated water and set the bath aworking, [FN#208] and he made a jetting fountain in the great basin, which ravished the wit of all who saw it of the people of the city. Furthermore, he sought of the King ten Mamelukes not yet come to manhood, and he gave him ten boys like moons; whereupon Abu Sir proceeded to shampoo them, saying, "Do in this wise with the bathers." Then he burnt perfumes and sent out a crier to cry aloud in the city, saying, "O creatures of Allah, get ye to the Baths which be called the Sultan's Hammam!" So the lieges came thither and Abu Sir bade the slave-boys wash their bodies. The folk went down into the tank and coming forth, seated themselves on the raised pavement, whilst the boys shampooed them, even as Abu Sir had taught them; and they continued to enter the Hammam and do their need therein gratis and go out, without paying, for the space of three days. On the fourth day the barber invited the King, who took horse with his Grandees and rode to the Baths, where he put off his clothes and entered; then Abu Sir came in to him and rubbed his body with the bag-gloves, peeling from his skin dirt-rolls like lamp-wicks and showing them to the King, who rejoiced therein, and clapping his hand upon his limbs heard them ring again for very smoothness and cleanliness [FN#209]; after which thorough washing Abu Sir mingled rose-water with the water of the tank and the King went down therein. When he came forth, his body was refreshed and he felt a lightness and liveliness such as he had never known in his life. Then the barber made him sit on the dais and the boys proceeded to shampoo him, whilst the censers fumed with the finest lign-aloes. [FN#210] Then said the King, "O master is this the Hammam?"; and Abu Sir said, "Yes." Quoth the King, "As my head liveth, my city is not become a city indeed but by this Bath," presently adding, "But what pay takest thou for each person?" Quoth Abu Sir, "That which thou biddest will I take;" whereupon the King cried, "Take a thousand gold pieces for every one who washeth in thy Hammam." Abu Sir, however, said, "Pardon, O King of the age! All men are not alike, but there are amongst them rich and poor, and if I take of each a thousand dinars, the Hammam will stand empty, for the poor man cannot pay this price." Asked the King, "How then wilt thou do for the price!"; and the barber answered, "I will leave it to their generosity. [FN#211] Each who can afford aught shall pay that which his soul grudgeth not to give, and we will take from every man after the measure of his means. On this wise will the folk come to us and he who is wealthy shall give according to his station and he who is wealth-less shall give what he can afford. Under such condition the Hammam will still be at work and prosper exceedingly; but a thousand dinars is a Monarch's gift, and not every man can avail to this." The Lords of the Realm confirmed Abu Sir's words, saying, "This is the truth, O King of the age! Thinkest thou that all folk are like unto thee, O glorious King [FN#212]?" The King replied, "Ye say sooth; but this man is a stranger and poor and 'tis incumbent on us to deal generously with him, for that he hath made in our city this Hammam whose like we have never in our lives seen and without which our city were not adorned nor hath gotten importance; wherefore, an we favour him with increase of fee 'twill not be much." But the Grandees said, "An thou wilt guerdon him be generous with thine own monies, and let the King's bounty be extended to the poor by means of the low price of the Hammam, so the lieges may bless thee; but, as for the thousand dinars, we are the Lords of thy Land, yet do our souls grudge to pay it; and how then should the poor be pleased to afford it?" Quoth the King, "O my Grandees, for this time let each of you give him an hundred dinars and a Mameluke, a slave girl and a blackamoor;" and quoth they, "'Tis well; we will give it; but after to-day whoso entereth shall give him only what he can afford, without grudging." "No harm in that," said the King; and they gave him the thousand gold pieces and three chattels. Now the number of the Nobles who were washed with the King that day was four hundred souls;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the number of the Nobles who were washed with the King that day were four hundred souls; so that the total of that which they gave him was forty thousand dinars, besides four hundred Mamelukes and a like number of negroes and slave-girls. [FN#213] Moreover the King gave him ten thousand dinars, besides ten white slaves and ten hand-maidens and a like number of blackamoors; whereupon coming forward Abu Sir kissed the ground before him and said, "O auspicious Sovereign, lord of justice, what place will contain me all these women and slaves?" Quoth the King, "O weak o wit, I bade not my nobles deal thus with thee but that we might gather together unto thee wealth galore; for may be thou wilt bethink thee of thy country and family and repine for them and be minded to return to thy mother-land; so shalt thou take from our country muchel of money to maintain thyself withal, what while thou livest in thine own country." And quoth Abu Sir, "O King of the age, (Allah advance thee!) these white slaves and women and negroes befit only Kings and hadst thou ordered me ready money, it were more profitable to me than this army; for they must eat and drink and dress, and whatever betideth me of wealth, it will not suffice for their support." The King laughed and said, "By Allah thou speakest sooth! They are indeed a mighty host, and thou hast not the wherewithal to maintain them; but wilt thou sell them to me for an hundred dinars a head?" Said Abu Sir, "I sell them to thee at that price." So the King sent to his treasurer for the coin and he brought it and gave Abu Sir the whole of the price without abatement [FN#214] and in full tale; after which the King restored the slaves take them; for they are a gift from me to you." So they obeyed his bidding and took each what belonged to him; whilst Abu Sir said to the King, "Allah ease thee, O King of the age, even as thou hast eased me of these Ghuls, whose bellies none may fill save Allah [FN#215]!" The King laughed, and said he spake sooth; then, taking the Grandees of his Realm from the Hammam returned to his palace; but the barber passed the night in counting out his gold and laying it up in bags and sealing them; and he had with him twenty black slaves and a like number of Mamelukes and four slave girls to serve him. Now when morning morrowed, he opened the Hammam and sent out a crier to cry, saying, "Whoso entereth the Baths and washeth shall give that which he can afford and which his generosity requireth him to give." Then he seated himself by the pay-chest [FN#216] and customers flocked in upon him, each putting down that which was easy to him, nor had eventide evened ere the chest was full of the good gifts of Allah the Most High. Presently the Queen desired to go to the Hammam, and when this came to Abu Sir's knowledge, he divided the day on her account into two parts, appointing that between dawn and noon to men and that between midday and sundown to women. [FN#217] As soon as the Queen came, he stationed a handmaid behind the pay-chest; for he had taught four slave-girls the service of the Hammam, so that they were become expert bathwomen and tire-women. When the Queen entered, this pleased her and her breast waxed broad and she laid down a thousand dinars. Thus his report was noised abroad in the city, and all who entered the bath he entreated with honour, were they rich or poor; good came in upon him at every door and he made acquaintance with the royal guards and got him friends and intimates. The King himself used to come to him one day in every week, leaving with him a thousand dinars and the other days were for rich and poor alike; and he was wont to deal courteously with the folk and use them with the utmost respect. It chanced that the King's sea-captain came in to him one day in the bath; so Abu Sir did off his dress and going in with him, proceeded to shampoo him and entreated him with exceeding courtesy. When he came forth, he made him sherbet and coffee; and when he would have given him somewhat, he swore that he would not accept him from aught. So the captain was under obligation to him, by reason of his exceeding kindness and courtesy and was perplexed how to requite the bath-man his generous dealing. Thus fared it with Abu Sir: but as regards Abu Kir, hearing all the people recounting wonders of the Baths and saying, "Verily, this Hammam is the Paradise of this world! Inshallah, O such an one, thou shalt go with us to-morrow to this delightful bath," he said to himself, "Needs must I fare like the rest of the world, and see this bath that hath taken folk's wits." So he donned his richest dress and mounting a she-mule and bidding the attendance of four white slaves and four blacks, walking before and behind him, he rode to the Hammam. When he alighted at the door, he smelt the scent of burning aloes-wood and found people going in and out and the benches full of great and small. So he entered the vestibule and saw Abu Sir, who rose to him and rejoiced in him: but the dyer said to him, "Is this the way of well-born men? I have opened me a dyery and am become master-dyer of the city and acquainted with the King and have risen to prosperity and authority: yet camest thou not to me nor askest of me nor saidst, Where's my comrade? For my part I sought thee in vain and sent my slaves and servants to make search for thee in all the Khans and other places; but they knew not whither thou hadst gone, nor could any one give me tidings of thee." Said Abu Sir, "Did I not come to thee and didst thou not make me out a thief and bastinado me and dishonour me before the world?" At this Abu Kir made a show of concern and asked, "What manner of talk is this? Was it thou whom I beat?"; and Abu Sir answered, "Yes, 'twas I." Whereupon Abu Kir swore to him a thousand oaths that he knew him not and said, "There was a fellow like thee, who used to come every day and steal the people's stuff, and I took thee for him." And he went on to pretend penitence, beating hand upon hand and saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great? Indeed we have sinned against thee; but would that thou hadst discovered thyself to me and said, I am such an one! Indeed the fault is with thee, for that thou madest not thyself known unto me, more especially seeing that I was distracted for much business." Replied Abu Sir, "Allah pardon thee, [FN#218] O my comrade! This was foreordained in the Secret Purpose, and reparation is with Allah. Enter and put off thy clothes and bathe at thine ease." Said the dyer, "I conjure thee, by Allah, O my brother, forgive me!"; and said Abu Sir, "Allah acquit thee of blame and forgive thee! Indeed this thing was decreed to me from all eternity." Then asked Abu Kir, "Whence gottest thou this high degree?"; and answered Abu Sir, "He who prospered thee prospered me; for I went up to the King and described to him the fashion of the Hammam and he bade me build one." And the dyer said, "Even as thou art beknown of the King, so also am I;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu Kir and Abu Sir were exchanging reproof and excuse, the dyer said to him, "Even as thou art beknown of the King, so also am I; and, Inshallah,-God willing-I will make him love and favour thee more than ever, for my sake, he knoweth not that thou art my comrade, but I will acquaint him of this and commend thee to him." But Abu Sir said, "There needeth no commendation; for He who moveth man's heart to love still liveth; and indeed the King and all his court affect me and have given me this and that." And he told him the whole tale and said to him, "Put off thy clothes behind the chest and enter the Hammam, and I will go in with thee and rub thee down with the glove." So he doffed his dress and Abu Sir, entering the bath with him, soaped him and gloved him and then dressed him and busied himself with his service till he came forth, when he brought him dinner and sherbets, whilst all the folk marvelled at the honour he did him. Then Abu Kir would have given him somewhat; but he swore that he would not accept aught from him and said to him, "Shame upon such doings! Thou art my comrade, and there is no difference between us." Then Abu Kir observed, "By Allah, O my comrade, this is a mighty fine Hammam of thine, but there lacketh somewhat in its ordinance." Asked Abu Sir, "And what is that?" and Abu Kir answered, "It is the depilatory, [FN#219] to wit, the paste compounded of yellow arsenic and quicklime which removeth the hair with comfort. Do thou prepare it and next time the King cometh, present it to him, teaching him how he shall cause the hair to fall off by such means, and he will love thee with exceeding love and honour thee." Quoth Abu Sir, "Thou speakest sooth, and Inshallah, I will at once make it." Then Abu Kir left him and mounted his mule and going to the King said to him, "I have a warning to give thee, O King of the age!" "And what is thy warning?" asked the King; and Abu Kir answered, "I hear that thou hast built a Hammam." Quoth the King, "Yes: there came to me a stranger and I builded the Baths for him, even as I builded the dyery for thee; and indeed 'tis a mighty fine Hammam and an ornament to my city;" and he went on to describe to him the virtues of the bath. Quoth the dyer, "Hast thou entered therein?"; and quoth the King, "Yes." Thereupon cried Abu Kir, "Alhamdolillah-praised be God,-who save thee from the mischief of yonder villain and foe of the Faith, I mean the bathkeeper!" The King enquired, "And what of him?"; and Abu Kir replied, "Know, O King of the age that, an thou enter the Hammam again, after this day, thou wilt surely perish." "How so?" said the King; and the dyer said, "This bath-keeper is thy foe and the foe of the Faith, and he induced thee not to stablish this Bath but because he designed therein to poison thee. He hath made for thee somewhat and he will present it to thee when thou enterest the Hammam, saying, 'This is a drug which, if one apply to his parts below the waist, will remove the hair with comfort.' Now it is no drug, but a drastic dreg and a deadly poison; for the Sultan of the Christians hath promised this obscene fellow to release to him his wife and children, an he will kill thee; for they are prisoners in the hands of that Sultan. I myself was captive with him in their land, but I opened a dyery and dyed for them various colours, so that they conciliated the King's heart to me and he bade me ask a boon of him. I sought of him freedom and he set me at liberty, whereupon I made my way to this city and seeing yonder man in the Hammam, said to him, 'How didst thou effect thine escape and win free with thy wife and children?' Quoth he, 'We ceased not to be in captivity, I and my wife and children, till one day the King of the Nazarenes held a court whereat I was present, amongst a number of others; and as I stood amongst the folk, I heard them open out on the Kings and name them, one after other, till they came to the name of the King of this city, whereupon the King of the Christians cried out 'Alas!' and said, 'None vexeth me [FN#220] in the world, but the King of such a city! [FN#221] Whosoever will contrive me his slaughter I will give him all he shall ask.' So I went up to him and said, 'An I compass for thee his slaughter, wilt thou set me free, me and my wife and my children?' The King replied 'Yes; and I will give thee to boot whatso thou shalt desire.' So we agreed upon this and he sent me in a galleon to this city, where I presented myself to the King and he built me this Hammam. Now, therefore, I have nought to do but to slay him and return to the King of the Nazarenes, that I may redeem my children and my wife and ask a boon of him.' Quoth I, "And how wilt thou go about to kill him?'; and quoth he, 'By the simplest of all devices; for I have compounded him somewhat wherein is poison; so, when he cometh to the bath, I shall say to him, 'Take this paste and anoint therewith thy parts below the waist for it will cause the hair [FN#222] to drop off.' So he will take it and apply it to himself and the poison will work in him a day and a night, till it reacheth his heart and destroyeth him; and meanwhile I shall have made off and none will know that it was I slew him.'" "When I heard this," added Abu Kir, "I feared for thee, my benefactor, wherefore I have told thee of what is doing." As soon as the King heard the dyer's story, he was wroth with exceeding wrath and said to him, "Keep this secret." Then he resolved to visit the Hammam, that he might dispel doubt by supplying certainty; and when he entered, Abu Sir doffed his dress and betaking himself as of wont to the service of the King, proceeded to glove him; after which he said to him, "O King of the age, I have made a drug which assisteth in plucking out the lower hair." Cried the King, "Bring it to me": so the barber brought it to him and the King, finding it nauseous of smell, was assured that it was poison; wherefore he was incensed and called out to his guards, saying, "Seize him!" Accordingly they seized him and the King donned his dress and returned to his palace, boiling with fury, whilst none knew the cause of his indignation; for, of the excess of his wrath he had acquainted no one therewith and none dared ask him. Then he repaired to the audience-chamber and causing Abu Sir to be brought before him, with his elbows pinioned, sent for his Sea-captain and said to him, "Take this villain and set him in a sack with two quintals of lime unslacked and tie its mouth over his head. Then lay him in a cock-boat and row out with him in front of my palace, where thou wilt see me sitting at the lattice. Do thou say to me, 'Shall I cast him in?' and if I answer, 'Cast him!' throw the sack into the sea, so the quick-lime may be slaked on him to the intent that he shall die drowned and burnt." [FN#223] "Hearkening and obeying;" quoth the Captain and taking Abu Sir from the presence carried him to an island facing the King's palace, where he said to him, "Ho thou, I once visited thy Hammam and thou entreatedst me with honour and accomplishedst all my needs and I had great pleasure of thee: moreover, thou swarest that thou wouldst take no pay of me, and I love thee with a great love. So tell me how the case standeth between thee and the King and what abominable deed thou hast done with him that he is wroth with thee and hath commanded me that thou shouldst die this foul death." Answered Abu Sir, "I have done nothing, nor weet I of any crime I have committed against him which meriteth this!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Sea-captain asked Abu Sir the cause of the King's wrath with him, he replied, "By Allah, O my brother I have committed no crime against him which meriteth this!" Rejoined the Captain, "Verily, thou wast high in rank with the King, such as none ever won before thee, and all who are prosperous are envied. Haply some one was jealous of thy good fortune and threw out certain hints concerning thee to the King, by reason whereof he is become enraged against thee with rage so violent: but be of good cheer; no harm shall befal thee; for, even as thou entreatedst me generously, without acquaintanceship between me and thee, so now I will deliver thee. But, an if I release thee, thou must abide with me on this island till some galleon sail from our city to thy native land, when I will send thee thither therein." Abu Sir kissed his hand and thanked him for that; after which the Captain fetched the quicklime and set it in a sack, together with a great stone, the size of a man, saying, "I put my trust in Allah!" [FN#224] Then he gave the barber a net, saying, "Cast this net into the sea, so haply thou mayst take somewhat of fish. For I am bound to supply the King's kitchen with fish every day; but to-day I have been distracted from fishing by this calamity which hath befallen thee, and I fear lest the cook's boys come to me in quest of fish and find none. So, an thou take aught, they will find it and thou wilt veil my face, [FN#225] whilst I go and play off my practice in front of the palace and feign to cast thee into the sea." Answered Abu Sir, "I will fish the while; go thou and God help thee!" So the Captain set the sack in the boat and paddled till he came under the palace, where he saw the King seated at the lattice and said to him, "O King of the age, shall I cast him in?" "Cast him!" cried the King, and signed to him with his hand, when lo and behold!; something flashed like leven and fell into the sea. Now that which had fallen into the water was the King's seal-ring; and the same was enchanted in such way that, when the King was wroth with any one and was minded to slay him, he had but to sign to him with his right hand, whereon was the signet-ring, and therefrom issued a flash of lightning, which smote the object, and thereupon his head fell from between his shoulders; and the troops obeyed him not, nor did he overcome the men of might save by means of the ring. So, when it dropped from his finger, he concealed the matter and kept silence, for that dared not say, "My ring is fallen into the sea," for fear of the troops, lest they rise against him and slay him. On this wise it befel the King; but as regards Abu Sir, after the Captain had left him on the island he took the net and casting it into the sea presently drew it up full of fish; nor did he cease to throw it and pull it up full, till there was a great mound of fish before him. So he said in himself, "By Allah, his long while I have not eaten fish!"; and chose himself a large fat fish, saying, "When the Captain cometh back, I will bid him fry it for me, so I may dine on it." Then he cut its throat with a knife he had with him; but the knife stuck in its gills and there he saw the King's signet-ring; for the fish had swallowed it and Destiny had driven it to that island, where it had fallen into the net. He took the ring and drew it on his little finger, [FN#226] not knowing its peculiar properties. Presently, up came two of the cook's boys in quest of fish and seeing Abu Sir, said to him, "O man, whither is the Captain gone?" "I know not," said he and signed to them with his right hand; when, behold, the heads of both underlings dropped off from between their shoulders. At this Abu Sir was amazed and said, "Would I wot who slew them!" And their case was grievous to him and he was still pondering it, when the Captain suddenly returned and seeing the mound of fishes and two men lying dead and the seal-ring on Abu Sir's finger, said to him, "O my brother, move not thy hand whereon is the signet-ring; else thou wilt kill me." Abu Sir wondered at this speech and kept his hand motionless; whereupon the Captain came up to him and said, "Who slew these two men?" "By Allah, O my brother I wot not!" "Thou sayst sooth; but tell me whence hadst thou that ring?" "I found it in this fish's gills." "True," said the Captain, "for I saw it fall flashing from the King's palace and disappear in the sea, what time he signed towards thee, [FN#227] saying, Cast him in. So I cast the sack into the water, and it was then that the ring slipped from his finger and fell into the sea, where this fish swallowed it, and Allah drave it to thee, so that thou madest it thy prey, for this ring was thy lot; but kennest thou its property?" Said Abu Sir, "I knew not that it had any properties peculiar to it;" and the Captain said, "Learn, then, that the King's troops obey him not save for fear of this signet-ring, because it is spelled, and when he was wroth with any one and had a mind to kill him, he would sign at him therewith and his head would drop from between his shoulders; for there issued a flash of lightning from the ring and its ray smote the object of his wrath, who died forthright." At this, Abu Sir rejoiced with exceeding joy and said to the Captain, "Carry me back to the city;" and he said, "That will I, now that I no longer fear for thee from the King; for, wert thou to sign at him with thy hand, purposing to kill him, his head would fall down between thy hands; and if thou be minded to slay him and all his host, thou mayst slaughter them without let or hindrance." So saying, he embarked him in the boat and bore him back to the city;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Captain embarked with Abu Sir he bore him back to the city, so Abu Sir landed and going up to the palace, entered the council-chamber, where he found the King seated facing his officers, in sore cark and care by reason of the seal-ring and daring not tell any of his folk anent its loss. When he saw Abu Sir, he said to him, "Did we not cast thee into the sea? How hast thou contrived to come forth of it?" Abu Sir replied, "O King of the age, whenas thou badest throw me into the sea, thy Captain carried me to an island and asked me of the cause of thy wrath against me, saying, 'What hast thou done with the King, that he should decree thy death?' I answered, 'By Allah, I know not that I have wrought him any wrong!' Quoth he, 'Thou wast high in rank with the King, and haply some one envied thee and threw out certain hints concerning htee to him, so that he is become incensed against thee. But when I visited thee in thy Hammam, thou entreatedst me honourably, and I will requite thee thy hospitality to me by setting thee free and sending thee back to thine own land.' Then he set a great stone in the sack in my stead and cast it into the sea; but, when thou signedst to him to throw me in, thy seal-ring dropped from thy finger into the main, and a fish swallowed it. Now I was on the island a-fishing, and this fish came up in the net with the others; whereupon I took it, intending to broil it; but, when I opened its belly, I found the signet-ring therein; so I took it and put it on my finger. Presently, up came two of the servants of the kitchen, questing fish, and I signed to them with my hand, knowing not the property of the seal-ring, and their heads fell off. Then the Captain came back, and seeing the ring on my finger, acquainted me with its spell; and behold, I have brought it back to thee, for that thou dealtest kindly by me and entreatedst me with the utmost honour, nor is that which thou hast done me of kindness lost upon me. Here is thy ring; take it! But an I have done with thee aught deserving of death, tell me my crime and slay me and thou shalt be absolved of sin in shedding my blood." So saying, he pulled the ring from his finger and gave it to the King who, seeing Abu Sir's noble conduct, took the ring and put it on and felt life return to him afresh. Then he rose to his feet and embracing the barber, said to him, "O man, thou art indeed of the flower of the well-born! Blame me not, but forgive me the wrong I have done thee. Had any but thou gotten hold of this ring, he had never restored it to me." Answered Abu Sir, "O King of the age, an thou wouldst have me forgive thee, tell me what was my fault which drew down thine anger upon me, so that thou commandedst to do me die." Rejoined the King, "By Allah, 'tis clear to me that thou art free and guiltless in all things of offence since thou hast done this good deed; only the dyer denounced thee to me in such and such words;" and he told him all that Abu Kir had said. Abu Sir replied, "By Allah, O King of the age, I know no King of the Nazarenes nor during my days have ever journeyed to a Christian country, nor did it ever come into my mind to kill thee. But this dyer was my comrade and neighbour in the city of Alexandria where life was straitened upon us; therefore we departed thence, to seek our fortunes, by reason of the narrowness of our means at home, after we had recited the Opening Chapter of the Koran together, pledging ourselves that he who got work should feed him who lacked work; and there befel me with him such and such things." Then he went on to relate to the King all that had betided him with Abu Kir the dyer; how he had robbed him of his dirhams and had left him alone and sick in the Khan-closet and how the door-keeper had fed him of his own monies till Allah recovered him of his sickness, when he went forth and walked about the city with his budget, as was his wont, till he espied a dyery, about which the folk were crowding; so he looked at the door and seeing Abu Kir seated on a bench there, went in to salute him, whereupon he accused him of being a thief and beat him a grievous beating; brief, he told him his whole tale, from first to last, and added, "O King of the age, 'twas he who counselled me to make the depilatory and present it to thee, saying, 'The Hammam is perfect in all things but that it lacketh this'; and know, O King of the age, that this drug is harmless and we use it in our land where 'tis one of the requisites of the bath; but I had forgotten it: so, when the dyer visited the Hammam I entreated him with honour and he reminded me of it, and enjoined me to make it forthwith. But do thou send after the porter of such a Khan and the workmen of the dyery and question them all of that which I have told thee." Accordingly the King sent for them and questioned them one and all and they acquainted him with the truth of the matter. Then he summoned the dyer, saying, "Bring him barefooted, bareheaded and with elbows pinioned!" Now he was sitting in his house, rejoicing in Abu Sir's death; but ere he could be ware, the King's guards rushed in upon him and cuffed him on the nape, after which they bound him and bore him into the presence, where he saw Abu Sir seated by the King's side and the door-keeper of the Khan and workmen of the dyery standing before him. Quoth the door-keeper to him, "Is no this thy comrade whom thou robbedst of his silvers and leftest with me sick in the closet doing such and such by him?" And the workmen said to him, "Is not this he whom thou badest us seize and beat?" Therewith Abu Kir's baseness was made manifest to the King and he was certified that he merited torture yet sorer than the torments of Munkar and Nakír. [FN#228] So he said to his guards, "Take him and parade him about the city and the markets;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicous King, that when the King heard the words spoken by the door-keeper of the Caravanserai and the workmen of the dyery, he was certified of the vileness of Abu Kir; so he upbraided him with flout and fleer and said to his guards, "Take him and parade him about the city and the market-streets; then set him in a sack and cast him into the sea." Whereupon quoth Abu Sir, "O King of the age, accept my intercession for him, for I pardon him all he hath done with me." But quoth the King, "An thou pardon him all his offences against thee, I cannot pardon him his offences against me." And he cried out, saying, "Take him." So they took him and paraded him about the city, after which they set him in a sack with quicklime and cast him into the sea, and he died, drowned and burnt. Then said the King to the barber, "O Abu Sir, ask of me what thou wilt and it shall be given thee." And he answered, saying, "I ask of thee to send me back to my own country, for I care no longer to tarry here." Then the King gifted him great store of gifts, over and above that which he had whilome bestowed on the crew of this galleon were Mamelukes; so he gave him these also, after offering to make him his Wazir whereto the barber consented not. Presently he farewelled the King and set sail in his own ship manned by his own crew; nor did he cast anchor till he reached Alexandria and made fast to the shore there. Then he landed and one of his Mamelukes, seeing a sack on the beach, said to Abu Sir, "O my lord, there is a great heavy sack on the sea-shore, with the mouth tied up and I know not what therein." So Abu Sir came up and opening the sack, found therein the remains of Abu Kir, which the sea had borne thither. He took it forth and burying it near Alexandria, built over the grave a place of visitation and endowed it with mortmain writing over the door these couplets,

"Man is known among me as his deeds attest; * Which make noble origin manifest: Backbite not, lest other men bit thy back; * Who saith aught, the same shall to him be addrest: Shun immodest words and indecent speech * When thou speakest in earnest or e'en in jest. [FN#229] We bear with the dog which behaves itself * But the lion is chained lest he prove a pest: And the desert carcases swim the main * While union-pearls on the sandbank rest [FN#230]: No sparrow would hustle the sparrow-hawk, * Were it not by folly and weakness prest: A-sky is written on page of air * 'Who doth kindly of kindness shall have the best!' 'Ware of gathering sugar from bitter gourd: [FN#231] * 'Twill prove to its origin like in taste."

After this Abu Sir abode awhile, till Allah took him to Himself, and they buried him hard by the tomb of his comrade Abu Kir; wherefore that place was called Abu Kir and Abu Sir; but it is now known as Abu Kir only. This, then, is that which hath reached us of their history, and glory be to Him who endureth for ever and aye and by whose will interchange the night and the day. And of the stories they tell is one anent


ABDULLAH [FN#232] THE FISHERMAN AND ABDULLAH THE MERMAN.


There was once a Fisherman named Abdullah, who had a large family, to wit, nine children and their mother, so was he poor, very poor, owning naught save his net. Every day he used to go to the sea a-fishing, and if he caught little, he sold it and spent the price on his children, after the measure of that which Allah vouchsafed him of provision; but if he caught much, he would cook a good mess of meat and buy fruit and spend without stint till nothing was left him, saying to himself, "The daily bread of to-morrow will come to-morrow." Presently, his wife gave birth to another child, making a total of ten, and it chanced that day that he had nothing at all; so she said to him, "O my master, see and get me somewhat wherewithal I may sustain myself." Quoth he, "I am going (under favour of Almighty Allah) this day seawards to fish on the luck of this new-born child, that we may see its fair fortune;" and quoth she, "Put thy trust in Allah!" So he took his net and went down to the sea-shore, where he cast it on the luck of the little one, saying, "O my God, make his living of ease not of unease, and abundant, not scant!" Then he waited awhile and drew in the net, which came up full of rubbish and sand and pebbles and weeds, and he saw therein no sign of fish neither muchel nor little. He cast it again and waited, then drew it in, but found no catch in it, and threw it a third and a fourth and a fifth time still not a single fish came up. So he removed to another place beseeching his daily bread of Allah Almighty and thus he kept working till the end of the day, but caught not so much as a minnow; [FN#233] whereat he fell a-marvelling in himself and said self-communing, "Hath Allah then created this new-born child without lot of provision? This may never, never be. He who slitteth the corners of the lips hath pledged Himself for its provision, because Almighty Allah is the Bountiful, the Provider!" [FN#234] So saying, he shouldered his net and turned him homewards, broken-spirited and heavy at heart about his family, for that he had left them without food, more by token that his wife was in the straw. And as he continued trudging along and saying in himself, "How shall I do and what shall I say to the children to-night?" he came to a baker's oven and saw a crowd about it; for the season was one of dearth and in those days food was scant with the folk; so people were proffering the baker money, but he paid no heed to any of them, by reason of the dense crowd. The fisherman stood looking and snuffing he smell of the hot bread (and indeed his soul longed for it, by reason of his hunger), till the baker caught sight of him and cried out to him, "Come hither, O fisherman!" So he went up to him, and the baker said, "Dost thou want bread?" But he was silent. Quoth the baker, "Speak out and be not ashamed, for Allah is bountiful. An thou have no silver, I will give thee bread and have patience with thee till weal betide thee." And quoth the fisherman, "By Allah, O master, I have indeed no money! But give me bread enough for my family, and I will leave thee this net in pawn till the morrow." Rejoined the baker, "Nay, my poor fellow, this net is thy shop and the door of thy daily subsistence; so an thou pawn it, wherewithal wilt thou fish? Tell me how much will suffice thee?"; and replied the fisherman, "Ten half-dirhams' worth." [FN#235] So he gave him ten Nusfs worth of bread and ten in silver saying, "Take these ten Nusfs and cook thyself a mess of meat therewith; so wilt thou owe me twenty, for which bring me fish to-morrow; but, an thou catch nothing again, come and take thy bread and thy ten Nusfs, and I will have patience with thee till better luck betide thee,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the baker said to the fisherman, "Take whatso thou needest and I will have patience with thee till better luck betide thee, after the which thou shalt bring me fish for all thou owest me." Said the fisherman, Almighty Allah reward thee, and requite thee for me with all good!" Then he took the bread and the coins and went away, glad at heart, and buying what he could returned to his wife whom he found sitting up, soothing the children, who were weeping for hunger, and saying to them, "At once your father will be here with what ye may eat." So he set the bread before them and they ate, whilst he told his wife what had befallen him, and she said, "Allah is bountiful." [FN#236] On the morrow, he shouldered his net and went forth of his house, saying, "I beseech thee, O Lord, to vouchsafe me this day that which shall whiten my face with the baker!" [FN#237] When he came to the sea-shore, he proceeded to cast his net and pull it in; but there came up no fish therein; and he ceased not to toil thus till ended day but he caught nothing. Then he set out homewards, in great concern, and the way to his house lay past the baker's oven; so he said to himself, "How shall I go home? But I will hasten my pace that the baker may not see me." When he reached the shop, he saw a crowd about it and walked the faster, being ashamed to face his creditor; but the baker raised his eyes to him and cried out to him, saying, "Ho, fisherman! Come and take thy bread and spending-money. Meseems thou forgettest." Quoth Abdullah, "By Allah, I had not forgotten; but I was ashamed to face thee, because I have caught no fish this day;" and quoth the baker, "Be not ashamed. Said I not to thee, At thy leisure, [FN#238] till better luck betide thee?" Then he gave him the bread and the ten Nusfs and he returned and told his wife, who said, "Allah is bountiful. Better luck shall yet betide thee and thou shalt give the baker his due, Inshallah." He ceased not doing on this wise forty days, betaking himself daily to the sea, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, and returning home without fish; and still he took bread and spending-money of the baker, who never once named the fish to him nor neglected him nor kept him waiting like the folk, [FN#239] but gave him the bread and the ten half-dirhams without delay. Whenever the fisherman said to him, "O my brother, reckon with me," he would say, "Be off: [FN#240] this is no time for reckoning. Wait till better luck betide thee, and then I will reckon with thee." And the fisherman would bless him and go away thanking him. On the one-and-fortieth day, he said to his wife, "I have a mind to tear up the net and be quit of this life." She asked, "Why wilt thou do this?"; and he answered, "Meseems there is an end of my getting my daily bread from the waters. How long shall this last? By Allah, I burn with shame before the baker and I will go no more to the sea, so I may not pass by his oven, for I have none other way home; and every time I pass he calleth me and giveth me the bread and the ten silvers. How much longer shall I run in debt to him?" The wife replied, "Alhamdolillah--lauded be the Lord, the Most High, who hath inclined his heart to thee, so that he giveth thee our daily bread! What dislikest thou in this?"; and the husband rejoined, "I owe him now a mighty great sum of dirhams, and there is no doubt but that he will demand his due." "Hath he vexed thee with words?" "No, on the contrary, he still refuseth to reckon with me, saying, 'Wait till better luck betide thee.'" "If he press thee, say to him, 'Wait till there come the good luck for which we hope, thou and I.'" "And when will the good luck come that we hope for?" "Allah is bountiful." "Sooth thou speakest!" So saying he shouldered his net and went down to the sea-side, praying, "O Lord provide thou me, though but with one fish, that I may give it to the baker!" And he cast his net into the sea and pulling it in, found it heavy; so he tugged at it till he was tired with sore travail. But when he got it ashore, he found in it a dead donkey swollen and stinking; whereat his senses sickened and he freed it from the net, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Indeed, I can no more! I say to that wife of mine, 'There is no more provision for me in the waters; let me leave this craft.' And she still answereth me, 'Allah is bountiful: good will presently betide thee.' Is this dead ass the good whereof she speaketh?" And he grieved with the sorest grief. Then he turned to another place, so he might remove from the stench of the dead donkey, and cast his net there and waited a full hour: then he drew it in and found it heavy. Thereupon quoth he, "Good; we are hauling up all the dead donkeys in the sea and ridding it of its rubbish. [FN#241]" However he gave not over tugging at the net, till blood came from the palms of his hands, and when he got it ashore, he saw a man [FN#242] in it and took him for one of the Ifrits of the lord Solomon, whom he was wont to imprison in cucurbits of brass and cast him into the main, believing that the vessel had burst for length of years and that the Ifrit had come forth and fallen into the net; wherefore he fled from him, crying out and saying, "Mercy, mercy, O Ifrit of Solomon!" But the Adamite called out to him from within the net and said, "Come hither, O fisherman, and flee not from me; for I am human like thyself. Release me, so thou mayst get a recompense for me of Allah." Whenas he heard these words, the fisherman took heart and coming up to him, said to him, "Art thou not an Ifrit of the Jinn?"; and replied the other, "No: I am a mortal and a believer in Allah and His Apostle." Asked the fisherman, "Who threw thee into the sea?"; and the other answered, "I am of the children of the sea, and was going about therein, when thou castest the net over me. We are people who obey Allah's commandments and show loving-kindness unto the creatures of the Almighty, and but that I fear and dread to be of the disobedient, I had torn thy net; but I accept that which the Lord hath decreed unto me; wherefore by setting me free thou becomest my owner and I thy captive. Wilt thou then set me free for the love [FN#243] of Almighty Allah and make a covenant with me and become my comrade? I will come to thee every day in this place, and do thou come to me and bring me a gift of the fruits of the land. For with you are grapes and figs and water-melons and peaches and pomegranates and so forth, and all thou bringest me will be acceptable unto me. Moreover, with us are coral and pearls and chrysolites and emeralds and rubies and other gems, and I will fill thee the basket, wherein thou bringest me the fruit, with precious stones of the jewels of the sea. [FN#244] What sayest thou to this, O my brother?" Quoth the fisherman, "Be the Opening Chapter of the Koran between thee and me upon this!" So they recited together the Fátihah, and the fisherman loosed the Merman from the net and asked him, "What is thy name?" He replied, "My name is Abdullah of the sea; and if thou come hither and see me not, call out and say, 'Where are thou, O Abdullah, O Merman?' and I will be with thee."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah of the sea thus enjoined the other, "An thou come hither and see me not, call out and say, 'Where art thou, O Abdullah, O Merman?' and I will be with thee forthwith. But thou, what is thy name?" Quoth the fisherman, "My name also is Abdullah;" and quoth the other, "Thou art Abdullah of the land and I am Abdullah of the Sea; but tarry here till I go and fetch thee a present." And the fisherman repented him of having released him and said to himself, "How know I that he will come back to me? Indeed, he beguiled me, so that I loosed him, and now he will laugh at me. [FN#245] Had I kept him, I might have made a show of him for the diversion of the city-folk and taken silver from all men and gone with him to the houses of the great." And he repented him of having set him free and said, "Thou hast let thy prey from thy hand away." But, as he was thus bemoaning his folly in releasing the prisoner, behold, Abdullah the merman returned to him, with both hands full of pearls and coral and smaragds and rubies and other gems, and said to him, "Take these, O my brother, and excuse me; had I a fish-basket [FN#246] I would have filled it for thee." Abdullah the fisherman rejoiced and took the jewels from the Merman who said to him, "Every day come hither, before sunrise," and farewelling him, went down into the sea; whilst the other returned to the city, rejoicing, and stayed not walking till he came to the baker's oven and said to him, "O my brother, good luck is come to us at last; so do thou reckon with me." Answered the baker, "There needeth no reckoning. An thou have aught, give it me: and if thou have naught, take thy bread and spending-money and begone, against weal betide thee." Rejoined the fisherman, "O my friend, indeed weal hath betided me of Allah's bounty, and I owe thee much money; but take this." So saying, he took for him a handful of the pearls and coral and rubies and other jewels he had with him (the handful being about half of the whole), and gave them to the baker, saying, "Give me some ready money to spend this day, till I sell these jewels." So the baker gave him all the money he had in hand and all the bread in his basket and rejoiced in the jewels, saying, "I am thy slave and thy servant." Then he set all the bread on his head and following the fisherman home, gave it to his wife and children, after which he repaired to the market and brought meat and greens and all manner fruit. Moreover, he left his oven and abode with Abdullah all that day, busying himself in his service and fulfilling all his affairs. Said the fisherman, "O my brother, thou weariest thyself;" and the baker replied, "This is my duty, for I am become thy servant and thou hast overwhelmed me with thy boons." Rejoined the fisherman, "'Tis thou who wast my benefactor in the days of dearth and distress." And the baker passed that night with him enjoying good cheer and became a faithful friend to him. Then the fisherman told his wife what had befallen him with the Merman, whereat she rejoiced and said, "Keep thy secret, lest the government come down upon thee;" but he said, "Though I keep my secret from all men, yet will I not hide it from the baker." On the morrow, he rose betimes and, shouldering a basket which he had filled in the evening with all manner fruits, repaired before sunrise to the sea-shore, and setting down the crate on the water-edge called out, "Where art thou, O Abdullah, O Merman?" He answered, "Here am I, at thy service;" and came forth to him. The fisherman gave him the fruit and he took it and plunging into the sea with it, was absent a full hour, after which time he came up, with the fish-basket full of all kinds of gems and jewels. The fisherman set it on his head and went away; and, when he came to the oven, the baker said to him, "O my lord, I have baked thee forty buns [FN#247] and have sent them to thy house; and now I will bake some firsts and as soon as all is done, I will bring it to thy house and go and fetch thee greens and meat." Abdullah handed to him three handfuls of jewels out of the fish-basket and going home, set it down there. Then he took a gem of price of each sort and going to the jewel-bazar, stopped at the Syndic's shop and said to him, "Buy these precious stones of me." "Show them to me," said the Shaykh. So he showed them to him and the jeweller said, "Hast thou aught beside these?"; and Abdullah replied, "I have a basket-full at home." The Syndic asked, "And where is thine house?" and the fisherman answered, "In such a quarter"; whereupon the Shaykh took the jewels from him and said to his followers, "Lay hold of him, for he is the thief who stole the jewellery of the Queen, the wife of our Sultan." And he bade beat him. So they bastinadoed him and pinioned him; after which the Syndic and all the people of the jewel-market arose and set out for the palace, saying, "We have caught the thief." Quoth one, "None robbed such an one but this villain," and quoth another, "'Twas none but he stole all that was in such an one's house;" and some said this and others said that. All this while he was silent and spake not a word nor returned a reply, till they brought him before the King, to whom said the Syndic, "O King of the age, when the Queen's necklace was stolen, thou sentest to acquaint us of the theft, requiring of us the discovery of the culprit; wherefore I strove beyond the rest of the folk and have taken the thief for thee. Here he standeth before thee, and these be the jewels we have recovered from him." Thereupon the King said to the chief eunuch, "Carry these jewels for the Queen to see, and say to her, 'Are these thy property thou hast lost?'" So the eunuch took the jewels and went in with them to the Queen, who seeing their lustre marvelled at them and sent to the King to say, "I have found my necklace in my own place and these jewels are not my property; nay, they are finer than those of my necklace. So oppress not the man;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King's wife sent to the King to say, "These are not my property; nay, these gems are finer than those of my necklace. So oppress not this man; but, if he will sell them, buy them for thy daughter Umm al-Su'úd, [FN#248] that we may set them in a necklace for her." When the eunuch returned and told the King what the Queen said, he damned the Syndic of the jewellers, him and his company, with the damnation of Ád and Thamúd, [FN#249] and they said to him, "O King of the age, we knew this man for a poor fisherman and deemed such things too much for him, [FN#250] so we supposed that he had stolen them." Cried the King, "O ye filthy villains, begrudge ye a True Believer good fortune? Why did ye not make due enquiry of him? Haply Allah Almighty hath vouchsafed him these things from a source whereupon he reckoned not. Why did ye make him out a thief and disgrace him amongst the folk? Begone, and may Allah never bless you!" So they went out affrighted and the King said to Abdullah, "O man (Allah bless thee in all He hath bestowed on thee!), no harm shall befal thee; but tell me truly, whence gottest thou these jewels; for I am a King yet have I not the like of them." The fisherman replied, "O King of the age, I have a fish-basket full of them at home and the case is thus and thus." Then he told him of his friendship with the Merman, adding, "We have made a covenant together that I shall bring him every day a basket full of fruit and that he shall fill me the basket with these jewels." Quoth the King, O man this is thy lucky lot; but wealth needeth rank, [FN#251] I will defend thee for the present against men's domineering; but haply I shall be deposed or die and another rule in my stead, and he shall slay thee because of his love of the goods of this world and his covetousness. So I am minded to marry thee to my daughter and make thee my Wazir and bequeath thee the kingdom after me, so none may hanker for thy riches when I am gone. Then said he, "Hie with this man to the Hammam." So they bore him to the Baths and bathed his body and robed him in royal raiment, after which they brought him back to the King, and he made him his Wazir and sent to his house couriers and the soldiers of his guard and all the wives of the notables, who clad his wife and children in Kingly costume and mounting the woman in a horse-litter, with the little child in her lap, walked before her to the palace, escorted by the troops and couriers and officers. They also brought her elder children in to the King who made much of them, taking them in his lap and seating them by his side; for they were nine children male and the King had no son and heir nor had he been blessed with any child save this one daughter, Umm al-Su'ud hight. Meanwhile the Queen entreated Abdullah's wife with honour and bestowed favours on her and made her Waziress to her. Then the King bade draw up the marriage contract between his daughter and Abdullah of the Land [FN#252] who assigned to her, as her dower, all the gems and precious stones in his possession, and they opened the gates of festival. The King commanded by proclamation to decorate the city, in honour of his daughter's wedding. Then Abdullah went in unto the Princess and abated her maidenhead. Next morning the King looked out of the lattice and saw Abdullah carrying on his head a fish-crate full of fruit. So he called to him, "What hast thou there, O my son-in-law, and whither wendest thou?" The fisherman replied, "To my friend, Abdullah the Merman;" and the King said, "O my son-in-law, this is no time to go to thy comrade." Quoth Abdullah, "Indeed, I fear to break tryst with him, lest he reckon me a liar and say, 'The things of the world have diverted thee from me,'" and quoth the King, "Thou speakest sooth: go to thy friend and God help thee!" So he walked through the city on his way to his companion; and, as he went, he heard the folk who knew him say, "There goeth the King's son-in-law to exchange fruit for gems;" whilst those who knew him not said, "Ho, fellow, how much a pound? Come, sell to me." And he answered, saying, "Wait till I come back to thee," for that he would not hurt the feelings of any man. Then he fared on till he came to the sea-shore and foregathered with his friend Abdullah the Merman, to whom he delivered the fruit, receiving gems in return. He ceased not doing thus till one day, as he passed by the baker's oven, he found it closed; and so he did ten days, during which time the oven remained shut and he saw nothing of the baker. So he said to himself, "This is a strange thing! Would I wot whither the baker went!" Then he enquired of his neighbour, saying, "O my brother, where is thy neighbour the baker and what hath Allah done with him?"; and the other responded, "O my lord, he is sick and cometh not forth of his house." "Where is his house?" asked Abdullah; and the other answered, "In such a quarter." So he fared thither and enquired of him; but, when he knocked at the door, the baker looked out of window and seeing his friend the fisherman, full basket on head, came down and opened the door to him. Abdullah entered and throwing himself on the baker embraced him and wept, saying, "How dost thou, O my friend? Every day, I pass by thine oven and see it unopened; so I asked thy neighbour, who told me that thou wast sick; therefore I enquired for thy house, that I might see thee." Answered the baker, "Allah requite thee for me with all good! Nothing aileth me; but it reached me that the King had taken thee, for that certain of the folk had lied against thee and accused thee of being a robber wherefore I feared and shut shop and hid myself." "True," said Abdullah and told him all that had befallen him with the King and the Shaykh of the jewellers' bazar, adding "Moreover, the King hath given me his daughter to wife and made me his Wazir;" and, after a pause, "So do thou take what is in this fish-basket to thy share and fear naught." Then he left him, after having done away from his affright, and returned with the empty crate to the King, who said to him, "O my son-in-law, 'twould seem thou hast not foregathered with thy friend the Merman to-day." Replied Abdullah, "I went to him but that which he gave me I gave to my gossip the baker, to whom I owe kindness." "Who may be this baker?" asked the King; and the fisherman answered, "He is a benevolent man, who did with me thus and thus in the days of my poverty and never neglected me a single day nor hurt my feelings." Quoth the King, "What is his name?"; and quoth the fisherman "His name is Abdullah the Baker; and my name is Abdullah of the Land and that of my friend the Merman Abdullah of the Sea." Rejoined the King, "And my name also is Abdullah; and the servants of Allah [FN#253] are all brethren. So send and fetch thy friend the baker, that I may make him my Wazir of the left." [FN#254] So he sent for the baker who speedily came to the presence, and the King invested him with the Wazirial uniform and made him Wazir of the left, making Abdullah of the Land his Wazir of the right.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King made his son-in-law, Abdullah of the Land, Wazir of the right and Abdullah the baker Wazir of the left. In such condition the fisherman abode a whole year, every day carrying for the Merman the crate full of fruit and receiving it back, full of jewels; and when fruit failed from the gardens, he carried him raisins and almonds and filberts and walnuts and figs and so forth; and all that he brought for him the Merman accepted and returned him the fish-basket full of jewels according to his custom. Now it chanced one day that he carried him the crate, full of dry [FN#255] fruits as was his wont, and his friend took them from him. Then they sat down to converse, Abdullah the fisherman on the beach and Abdullah the Merman in the water near the shore, and discoursed; and the talk went round between them, till it fell upon the subject of sepulchres; whereat quoth the Merman, "O my brother, they say that the Prophet (whom Allah assain and save!) is buried with you on the land. Knowest thou his tomb?" Abdullah replied, "Yes; it lieth in a city called Yathrib. [FN#256]" Asked the Merman, "And do the people of the land visit it?" "Yes," answered the fisherman, and the other said, "I give you joy, O people of the land, of visiting [FN#257] that noble Prophet and compassionate, which whoso visiteth meriteth his intercession! Hast thou made such visitation, O my brother?" Replied the fisherman, "No: for I was poor and had not the necessary sum [FN#258] to spend by the way, nor have I been in easy case but since I knew thee and thou bestowedst on me this good fortune. But such visitation behoveth me after I have pilgrimed to the Holy House of Allah [FN#259] and naught withholdeth ,me therefrom but my love to thee, because I cannot leave thee for one day." Rejoined the Merman, "And dost thou set the love of me before the visitation of the tomb of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!), who shall intercede for thee on the Day of Review before Allah and shall save thee from the Fire and through whose intercession thou shalt enter Paradise? And dost thou, for the love of the world, neglect to visit the tomb of thy Prophet [FN#260] Mohammed, whom God bless and preserve?" Replied Abdullah, "No, by Allah, I set the visitation of the Prophet's tomb above all else, and I crave thy leave to pray before it this year." The Merman rejoined, "I grant thee leave, on condition that when thou shalt stand by his sepulchre thou salute him for me with the Salam. Furthermore I have a trust to give thee; so come thou with me into the sea, that I may carry thee to my city and entertain thee in my house and give thee a deposit; which when thou takest thy station by the Prophet's tomb, do thou lay thereon, saying, 'O apostle of Allah, Abdullah the Merman saluteth thee, and sendeth thee this present, imploring thine intercession to save him from the Fire.'" Said the fisherman, "O my brother, thou wast created in the water and water is thy abiding-place and doth thee no hurt, but, if thou shouldst come forth to the land, would any harm betide thee?" The Merman replied, "Yes; my body would dry up and the breezes of the land would blow upon me and I should die." Rejoined the fisherman, "And I, in like manner, was created on the land and the land is my abiding-place; but, an I went down into the sea, the water would enter my belly and choke me and I should die." Retorted the other, "Have no fear for that, for I will bring thee an ointment, wherewith when thou hast anointed thy body, the water will do thee no hurt, though thou shouldst pass the lave of thy life going about in the great deep: and thou shalt lie down and rise up in the sea and naught shall harm thee." Quoth the fisherman, "An the case by thus, well and good; but bring me the ointment, so that I may make trial of it;" and quoth the Merman, "So be it;" then, taking the fish-basket disappeared in the depths. He was absent awhile, and presently returned with an unguent as it were the fat of beef, yellow as gold and sweet of savour. Asked the fisherman, "What is this, O my brother?"; and answered the Merman, "'Tis the liver-fat of a kind of fish called the Dandan, [FN#261] which is the biggest of all fishes and the fiercest of our foes. His bulk is greater than that of any beast of the land, and were he to meet a camel or an elephant, he would swallow it at a single mouthful." Abdullah enquired, "O my brother, what doth this baleful beast?"; and the Merman replied, "He eateth of the beasts of the sea. Hast thou not heard the saying, 'Like the fishes of the sea: forcible eateth feeble? [FN#262]'" "True; but have you many of these Dandans in the sea?" "Yes, there be many of them with us. None can tell their tale save Almighty Allah." "Verily, I fear lest, if I go down with thee into the deep a creature of this kind fall in with me and devour me." "Have no fear: when he seeth thee, he will know thee for a son of Adam and will fear thee and flee. He dreadeth none in the sea as he dreadeth a son of Adam; for that an he eateth a man he dieth forthright, because human fat is a deadly poison to this kind of creature; nor do we collect its liver-speck save by means of a man, when he falleth into the sea and is drowned; for that his semblance becometh changed and ofttimes his flesh is torn; so the Dandan eateth him, deeming him the same of the denizens of the deep, and dieth. Then we light upon our enemy dead and take the speck of his liver and grease ourselves so that we can over-wander the main in safety. Also, wherever there is a son of Adam, though there be in that place an hundred or two hundred or a thousand or more of these beasts, all die forthright an they but hear him,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah of the sea said to Abdullah of the Land, "And if a thousand or more of this kind hear an Adamite cry a single cry, forthright all die nor hath one of them power to remove from his place; so, whenever a son of Adam falleth into the sea, we take him and anoint him with this fat and go round about the depths with him, and whenever we see a Dandan or two or three or more, we bid him cry out and they all die forthright for his once crying." Quoth the fisherman, "I put my trust in Allah;" and, doffing his clothes, buried them in a hole which he dug in the beach; after which he rubbed his body from head to heels which that ointment. Then he descended into the water and diving, opened his eyes and the brine did him no hurt. So he walked right and left, and if he would, he rose to the sea-face, and if he would, he sank to the base. And he beheld the water as it were a tent over his head; yet it wrought him no hurt. Then said the Merman to him, "What seest thou, O my brother?"; and said he, "O my brother, I see naught save weal [FN#263]; and indeed thou spakest truth in that which thou saidst to me; for the water doth me no hurt." Quoth the Merman, "Follow me." So he followed him and they ceased not faring on from place to place, whilst Abdullah discovered before him and on his right and left mountains of water and solaced himself by gazing thereon and on the various sorts of fish, some great and some small, which disported themselves in the main. Some of them favoured buffaloes [FN#264] others oxen and others dogs and yet others human beings; but all to which they drew near fled, whenas they saw the fisherman, who said to the Merman, "O my brother, how is it that I see all the fish, to which we draw near, flee from us afar?" Said the other, "Because they fear thee, for all things that Allah hath made fear the son of Adam. [FN#265]" The fisherman ceased not to divert himself with the marvels of the deep, till they came to a high mountain and fared on beside it. Suddenly, he heard a mighty loud cry and turning, saw some black thing, the bigness of a camel or bigger, coming down upon him from the liquid mountain and crying out. So he asked his friend, "What is this, O my brother?"; and the Merman answered, "This is the Dandan. He cometh in search of me, seeking to devour me; so cry out at him, O my brother, ere he reach us; else he will snatch me up and devour me." Accordingly Abdullah cried out at the beast and behold, it fell down dead; which when he saw, he said, "Glorified be the perfection of God and His praise! I smote it not with the sword nor knife; how cometh it that, for all the vastness of the creature's bulk, it could not bear my cry, but died?" Replied the Merman, "Marvel not, for, by Allah, O my brother, were there a thousand or two thousand of these creatures, yet could they not endure the cry of a son of Adam." Then they walked on, till they made a city, whose inhabitants the fisherman saw to be all women, there being no male among them; so he said to his companion, "O my brother, what city is this and what are these women?" "This is the city of women; for its inhabitants are of the women of the sea." "Are there any males among them?" "No!" "Then how do they conceive and bear young, without males? [FN#266]" "The King of the sea banisheth them hither and they conceive not neither bear children. All the women of the sea, with whom he is wroth, he sendeth to this city, and they cannot leave it; for, should one of them come forth therefrom, any of the beasts of the sea that saw her would eat her. But in other cities of the main there are both males and females." Thereupon asked the fisherman, "Are there then other cities than this in the sea?"; and the Merman answered, "There are many." Quoth the fisherman, "And is there a Sultan over you in the sea?" "Yes," quoth the Merman. Then said Abdullah "O my brother, I have indeed seen many marvels in the main!" But the Merman said, "And what hast thou seen of its marvels? [FN#267] Hast thou not heard the saying, 'The marvels of the sea are more manifold than the marvels of the land?'" "True," rejoined the fisherman and fell to gazing upon those women, whom he saw with faces like moons and hair like women's hair, but their hands and feet were in their middle and they had tails like fishes' tails. Now when the Merman had shown him the people of the city, he carried him forth therefrom and forewalked him to another city, which he found full of folk, both males and females, formed like the women aforesaid and having tails; but there was neither selling nor buying amongst them, as with the people of the land, nor were they clothed, but went all naked and with their same uncovered. Said Abdullah "O my brother, I see males and females alike with their shame exposed, [FN#268]" and the other said, "This is because the folk of the sea have no clothes." Asked the fisherman, "And how do they when they marry?" The Merman answered, "They do not marry; but every one who taketh a liking to a female doth his will of her." Quoth Abdullah, "This is unlawful! Why doth he not ask her in marriage and dower her and make her a wedding festival and marry her, in accordance with that which is pleasing to Allah and His Apostle?"; and quoth the other, "We are not all of one religion: some of us are Moslems, believers in The Unity, others Nazarenes and what not else; and each marrieth in accordance with the ordinances of his creed; but those of us who marry are mostly Moslems." The fisherman continued, "Ye are naked and have neither buying nor selling among you: of what then is your wives' dowry? Do ye give them jewels and precious stones?" The Merman rejoined, "Gems with us are only stones without worth: but upon the Moslem who is minded to marry they impose a dowry of a certain number of fishes of various kinds that he must catch, a thousand or two thousand, more or less, according to the agreement between himself and the bride's father. As soon as he bringeth the amount required, the families of the bride and bridegroom assemble and eat the marriage-banquet; after which they bring him in to his bride, and he catcheth fish and feedeth her; or, if he be unable, she catcheth fish and feedeth him." Enquired the fisherman, "And how if a woman commit adultery?"; and the other replied, "If a woman be convicted of this case, they banish her to the City of Women; and if she be with child by her gallant, they leave her till she be delivered; then, if she give birth to a girl, they banish her with her, calling her adulteress, daughter of adulteress, and she abideth a maid till she die; but, if the woman give birth to a male child, they carry it to the Sultan of the Sea, who putteth it to death." Abdullah marvelled at this and the Merman carried him to another city and thence to another and yet another, till he had diverted him with the sight of eighty cities, and he saw the people of each city unlike those of every other. Then said he to the Merman, "O my brother, are there yet other cities in the main?"; whereto said the other, "And what hast thou seen of the cities of the sea and its wondrous spectacles? By the virtue of the noble Prophet, the benign, the compassionate, were I to show thee every day a thousand cities for a thousand years, and in each city a thousand marvels, I should not have shown thee one carat of the four-and-twenty carats of the cities of the sea and its miracles! I have but shown thee our own province and country, nothing more." The fisherman thus resumed, "O my brother, since this is the case, what I have seen sufficeth me, for I am a-weary of eating fish, and these fourscore days I have been in thy company, thou hast fed me, morning and night, upon nothing but raw fish, neither broiled nor boiled." "And what is broiled or boiled?" "We broil fish with fire and boil it in water and dress it in various ways and make many dishes of it." "And how should we come by fire in the sea? We know not broiled nor boiled nor aught else of the kind." "We also fry it in olive-oil and oil of sesame. [FN#269]" How should be come by olive-oil and oil of sesame in the sea? Verily we know nothing of that thou namest." "True, but O my brother, thou hast shown me many cities; yet hast thou not shown me thine own city." "As for mine own city, we passed it a long way, for it is near the land whence we came, and I left it and came with thee hither, thinking only to divert thee with the sight of the greater cities of the sea." "That which I have seen of them sufficeth me; and now I would have thee show me thine own city." "So be it," answered Abdullah of the Sea; and, returning on his traces, carried him back thither and said to him, "This is my city." Abdullah of the Land looked and saw a city small by comparison with those he had seen; then he entered with his comrade of the deep and they fared on till they came to a cave. Quoth the Merman, "This is my house and all the houses in the city are like this, caverns great and small in the mountains; as are also those of every other city of the sea. For whoso is minded to make him a house must repair to the King and say to him, 'I wish to make me a house in such a place.' Whereupon the King sends with him a band of the fish called 'Peckers,' [FN#270] which have beaks that crumble the hardest rock, appointing for their wage a certain quantum of fish. They betake themselves to the mountain chosen by the intended owner and therein pierce the house, whilst the owner catcheth fish for them and feedeth them, till the cave is finished, when they wend their ways and the house-owner taketh up his abode therein. On such wise do all the people of the sea; they traffic not one with other nor serve each other save by means of fish; and their food is fish and they themselves are a kind of fish. [FN#271]" Then he said to him, "Enter!" So Abdullah entered and the Merman cried out, saying, "Ho, daughter mine!" when behold, there came to him a damsel with a face like the rondure of the moon and hair long, hips heavy, eyes black-edged and waist slender; but she was naked and had a tail. When she saw Abdullah of the Land she said to her sire, "O my father, what is this No-tail [FN#272] thou hast brought with thee?" He replied, "O my daughter this is my friend of the land, from whom I used to bring thee the fruits of the ground. Come hither and salute him with the salam." So she came forward and saluted the fisherman with loquent tongue and eloquent speech; and her father said to her, "Bring meat for our guest, by whose visit a blessing hath betided us: [FN#273]" whereupon she brought him two great fishes, each the bigness of a lamb, and the Merman said to him, "Eat." So he ate for stress of hunger, despite himself; because he was tired of eating fish and they had naught else save fish. Before long, in came the Merman's wife, who was beautiful of form and favour and with her two children, each having in his hand a young fish, which he craunched as a man would craunch a cucumber. When she saw the fisherman with her husband, she said, "What is this No-tail?" And she and her sons and their sister came up to him and fell to examining the back parts of Abdullah of the Land, and saying, "Yea, by Allah, he is tailless!"; and they laughed at him. So he said to the Merman, "O my brother, hast thou brought me hither to make me a butt and a laughing-stock for thy children and thy consort?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah of the Land said to Abdullah of the sea, "O my brother, hast thou brought me hither to make me a butt and a laughing-stock for thy children and thy consort?" Cried the Merman, "Pardon, O my brother! Those who have no tails are rare among us, and whenever one such is found, the Sultan taketh him, to make fun of him, and he abideth a marvel amongst us, and all who see him laugh at him. But, O my brother, excuse these young children and this woman, for they lack wits." Then he cried out to his family, saying, "Silence!"; so they were afraid and held their peace; whilst he went on to soothe Abdullah's mind. Presently, as they were talking, behold, in came some ten Merman, tall and strong and stout, and said to him, "O Abdullah, it hath reached the King that thou hast with thee a No-tail of the No-tails of the earth." Answered the Merman, "Yes; and this is he; but he is not of us nor of the children of the sea. He is my friend of the land and hath come to me as a guest and I purpose to carry him back to the land." Quoth they, "We cannot depart but with him; so, an thou have aught to say, arise and come with him before the King; and whatso thou wouldst say to us, say thou that same to the King." Then quoth the Merman to the fisherman, "O my brother, my excuse is manifest, and we may not disobey the King: but go thou with me to him and I will do my best to deliver thee from him, Inshallah! Fear not, for he deemeth thee of the children of the sea; but, when he seeth thee, he will know thee to be of the children of the land, and he will surely entreat thee honourably and restore thee to the land." And Abdullah of the Land replied, "'Tis thine to decide, I will trust in Allah and wend with thee." So he took him and carried him to the King, who, when he saw him, laughed at him and said, "Welcome to the No-tail!" And all who were about the King began to laugh at him and say, "Yea, by Allah, he is tailless!" Then Abdullah of the Sea came forward and acquainted the King with the fisherman's case, saying, "This man is of the children of the land and he is my comrade and cannot live amongst us, for that he loveth not the eating of fish, except it be fried or boiled; wherefore I desire that thou give me leave to restore him to the land." Whereto the King replied, "Since the case is so, and he cannot live among us, I give thee leave to restore him to his place, after due entertainment," presently adding, "Bring him the guest-meal." So they brought him fish of various kinds and colours and he ate, in obedience to the royal behest; after which the King said to him, "Ask a boon of me." Quoth he, "I ask of thee that thou give me jewels;" and the King said, "Carry him to the jewel-house and let him choose that whereof he hath need." So his friend carried him to the jewel-house and he picked out whatso he would, after which the Merman brought him back to his own city and pulling out a purse, said to him, "Take this deposit and lay it on the tomb of the Prophet, whom Allah save and assain!" And he took it, knowing not what was therein. Then the Merman went forth with him, to bring him back to land, and by the way he heard singing and merrymaking and saw a table spread with fish and folk eating and singing and holding mighty high festival. So Abdullah of the Land said to his friend, "What aileth these people to rejoice thus? Is there a wedding among them?" Replied Abdullah of the Sea, "Nay; one of them is dead." Asked the fisherman, "Then do ye, when one dieth amongst you, rejoice for him and sing and feast?"; and the Merman answered, "Yes: and ye of the land, what do ye?" Quoth Abdullah of the Land, "When one dieth amongst us, we weep and keen for him and the women beat their faces and rend the bosoms of their raiment, in token of mourning for the dead." But Abdullah the Merman stared at him with wide eyes and said to him, "Give me the deposit!" So he gave it to him. Then he set him ashore and said to him, "I have broken off our companionship and our amity; wherefore from this day forward thou shalt no more see me, nor I see thee." Cried the fisherman, "Why sayst thou this?"; and the other said, "Are ye not, O folk of the land, a deposit of Allah?" "Yes." "Why then," asked the Merman, "is it grievous to you that Allah should take back His deposit and wherefore weep ye over it? How can I entrust thee with a deposit for the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!), seeing that, when a child is born to you, ye rejoice in it, albeit the Almighty setteth the soul therein as a deposit; and yet, when he taketh it again, it is grievous to you and ye weep and mourn? Since it is hard for thee to give up the deposit of Allah, how shall it be easy to thee to give up the deposit of the Prophet? [FN#274] Wherefore we need not your companionship." Saying thus he left him and disappeared in the sea. Thereupon Abdullah of the Land donned his dress and taking the jewels, went up to the King, who met him lovingly and rejoiced at his return saying, "How dost thou, O my son-in-law, and what is the cause of thine absence from me this while?" So he told him his tale and acquainted him with that which he had seen of marvels in the sea, whereat the King wondered. Then he told him what Abdullah the Merman had said [FN#275]; and the King replied, "Indeed 'twas thou wast at fault to tell him this." Nevertheless, he continued for some time to go down to the shore and call upon Abdullah of the Sea, but he answered him not nor came to him; so, at last, he gave up all hope of him and abode, he and the King his father-in-law and the families of them both in the happiest of case and the practice of righteous ways, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies and they died all. Wherefore glory be to the Living, who dieth not, whose is the empire of the Seen and the Unseen, who over all things is Omnnipotent and is gracious to His servants and knowth their every intent! And amongst the tales they tell is one anent


HARUN AL-RASHID AND ABU HASAN, THE MERCHANT OF OMAN.


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was one night wakeful exceedingly; so he called Masrur and said to him as soon as he came, "Fetch me Ja'afar in haste." Accordingly, he went out and returned with the Wazir, to whom said the Caliph, "O Ja'afar wakefulness hath mastered me this night and forbiddeth sleep from me, nor wot I what shall drive it away from me." Replied Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, the wise say, 'Looking on a mirror, entering the Hamman-bath and hearkening unto song banish care and chagrin.'" He rejoined, "O Ja'afar I have done all this, but it hath brought me naught of relief, and I swear by my pious forbears unless thou contrive that which shall abate from me this insomny, I will smite thy neck." Quoth Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, wilt thou do that which I shall counsel thee?" whereupon quoth the Caliph, "And what is that thou counselleth?" He replied, "It is that thou take boat with us and drop down Tigris River with the tide to a place called Karn al-Sirat, so haply we may hear what we never heard or see what we never saw, for 'tis said, 'The solace of care is in one of three things; that a man see what he never before saw or hear what he never yet heard or tread an earth he erst hath never trodden.' It may be this shall be the means of remedying thy restlessness, O Commander of the Faithful, Inshallah! There, on either side of the river, are windows and balconies one facing other, and it may be we shall hear or see from one of these somewhat wherewith our hearts may be heartened." Ja'afar's counsel pleased the Caliph, so he rose from his place and taking with him the Wazir and his brother Al-Fazl and Isaac [FN#276] the boon-companion and Abu Nowas and Abu Dalaf [FN#277] and Masrur the Sworder,-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph arose from his seat with Ja'afar and the rest of the party, all entered the wardrobe, where they donned merchant's gear. Then they went down to the Tigris and embarking in a gilded boat, dropped down with the stream, till they came to the place they sought, when they heard the voice of a damsel singing to the lute and chanting these couplets,

"To him when the wine cup is near I declare, * While in coppice loud shrilleth and trilleth Hazár, 'How long this repining from joys and delight? * Wake up for this life is a borrowed ware!' Take the cup from the hand of the friend who is dear * With languishing eye-lids and languorous air. I sowed on his cheek a fresh rose, which amid * His side-locks the fruit of granado-tree bare. Thou wouldst deem that the place where he tare his fair cheek [FN#278] * Were ashes, while cheeks hues incendiary wear. Quoth the blamer, 'Forget him! But where's my excuse * When his side-face is growing the downiest hair? [FN#279]'"

When the Caliph heard this, he said, "O Ja'afar, how goodly is that voice!"; and the Wazir replied, "O our lord, never smote my hearing aught sweeter or goodlier than this singing! But, good my lord, hearing from behind a wall is only half hearing; how would it be an we heard it from behind a curtain?" Quoth the Caliph, "Come, O Ja'afar, let us play the parasites with the master of this house; and haply we shall look upon the songstress, face to face;" and quoth Ja'afar, "I hear and I obey." So they landed and sought admittance; when behold, there came out to them a young man, fair of favour, sweet of speech and fluent of tongue, who said to them, "Well come and welcome, O lords that honour me with your presence! Enter in all comfort and convenience!" So they went in (and he with them) to a saloon with four faces, whose ceiling was decorated with gold and its walls adorned with ultramarine. [FN#280] At its upper end was a dais, whereon stood a goodly row of seats [FN#281] and thereon sat an hundred damsels like moons. The house-master cried out to them and they came down from their seats. Then he turned to Ja'afar and said to him, "O my lord, I know not the honourable of you from the more honourable: Bismillah! deign he that is highest in rank among you favour me by taking the head of the room, and let his brethren sit each in his several stead." So they sat down, each according to his degree, whilst Masrur abode standing before them in their service; and the host asked them, "O my guests, with your leave, shall I set somewhat of food before you?" and they answered, "Yes." Hearing this he bade his handmaids bring food, whereupon four damsels with girded waists placed in front of them a table, whereon were rare meats of that which flieth and walketh earth and swimmeth seas, sand-grouse and quails and chickens and pigeons; and written on the raised edge of the tray were verses such as sorted with the entertainment. So they ate till they had enough and washed their hands, after which said the young man, "O my lords, if you have any want, let us know it, that we may have the honour of satisfying it." They replied, "'Tis well: we came not to thy dwelling save for the sake of a voice we heard from behind the wall of thy house, and we would fain hear it again and know her to whom it belongeth. So, an thou deem right to vouchsafe us this favour, it will be of the generosity of thy nature, and after we will return whence we came." Quoth the host, "Ye are welcome;" and, turning to a black slave-girl, said to her, "Fetch me thy mistress such an one." So she went away and returning with a chair of chinaware, cushioned with brocade, set it down: then withdrew again and presently returned with a damsel, as she were the moon on the night of its full, who sat down on the chair. Then the black girl gave her a bag of satin wherefrom she brought out a lute, inlaid with gems and jacinths and furnished with pegs of gold.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel came forward, she took her seat upon the chair and brought out from its case a lute and behold, it was inlaid with gems and jacinths and furnished with pegs of gold. Then she tuned its strings, even as saith the poet of her and her lute in these lines,

"She sits it in lap like a mother fond * And she strikes the strings that can make it speak: And ne'er smiteth her right an injurious touch * But her left repairs of her right the wreak. [FN#282]"

Then she strained the lute to her bosom, bending over it as mother bendeth over babe, and swept the strings which complained as child to mother complaineth; after which she played upon it and began improvisng these couplets,

"An Time my lover restore me I'll blame him fain, * Saying, 'Pass, O my dear, the bowl and in passing drain The wine which hath never mixed with the heart of man * But he passes to joy from annoy and to pleasure from pain.' Then Zephyr arose to his task of sustaining the cup: * Didst e'er see full Moon that in hand the star hath ta'en? [FN#283] How oft I talked thro' the night, when its rounded Lune * Shed on darkness of Tigris' bank a beamy rain! And when Luna sank in the West 'twas as though she'd wave * O'er the length of the watery waste a gilded glaive."

When she had made an end of her verse, she wept with sore weeping and all who were in the place wept aloud till they were well-nigh dead; nor was there one of them but took leave of his wits and rent his raiment and beat his face, for the goodliness of her singing. Then said Al-Rashid, "This damsel's song verily denoteth that she is a lover departed from her beloved." Quoth her master, "She hath lost father and mother;" but quoth the Caliph, "This is not the weeping of one who hath lost mother and father, but the yearning of one who hath lost him she loveth." And he was delighted with her singing and said to Isaac, "By Allah, never saw I her like!"; and Isaac said, "O my lord, indeed I marvel at her with utterest marvel and am beside myself for delight." Now Al-Rashid with all this stinted not to look upon the house-master and note his charms and the daintiness of his fashion; but he saw on his face a pallor as he would die; so he turned to him and said, "Ho, youth!" and the other said, "Adsum!--at thy service, O my lord." The Caliph asked, "Knowest thou who we are?"; and he answered, "No." Quoth Ja'afar, "Wilt thou that I tell thee the names of each of us?"; and quoth the young man "Yes;" when the Wazir said, "This is the Commander of the Faithful, descendant of the uncle of the Prince of the Apostles," and named to him the others of the company; after which quoth Al-Rashid, "I wish that thou acquaint me with the cause of the paleness of thy face, whether it be acquired or natural from thy birthtide." Quoth he, "O Prince of True Believers, my case is wondrous and my affair marvellous; were it graven with gravers on the eye-corners it were a warner to whoso will be warned." Said the Caliph, "Tell it to me: haply thy healing may be at my hand." Said the young man, "O Commander of the Faithful, lend me thine ears and give me thy whole mind." And he, "Come; tell it me, for thou makest me long to hear it." So the young man began,--"Know then, O Prince of True Believers, that I am a merchant of the merchants of the sea and come from Oman city, where my sire was a trader and a very wealthy trader, having thirty ships trafficking upon the main, whose yearly hire was thirty thousand dinars; and he was a generous man and had taught me writing and all whereof a wight hath need. When his last hour drew near, he called me to him and gave me the customary charge; then Almighty Allah took him and admitted him to His mercy and may He continue the Commander of the Faithful on life! Now my late father had partners trading with his coin and voyaging on the ocean. So one day, as I sat in my house with a company of merchants, a certain of my servants came in to me and said, 'O my lord, there is at the door a man who craveth admittance to thee!' I gave leave and he came in, bearing on his head a something covered. He set it down and uncovered it, and behold it was a box wherein were fruits out of season and herbs conserved in salt and fresh, such as are not found in our land. I thanked him and gifted him with an hundred dinars, and he went away grateful. Then I divided these things amongst my friends and guests who were present and asked them whence they came. Quoth they, 'They come from Bassorah,' and praised them and went on to portray the beauties of Bassorah and all agreed that there was naught in the world goodlier than Baghdad and its people. Then they fell to describing Baghdad and the fine manners of its folk and the excellence of its air and the beauty of its ordinance, till my soul longed for it and all my hopes clave to looking upon it. So I arose and selling my houses and lands, ships and slaves, negroes and handmaids, I got together my good, to wit, a thousand thousand dinars, besides gems and jewels, wherewith I freighted a vessel and setting out therein with the whole of the property, voyaged awhile. Then I hired a barque and embarking therein with all my monies sailed up the river some days till we arrived at Baghdad. I enquired where the merchants abode and what part was pleasantest for domicile and was answered, 'The Karkh quarter.' So I went thither and hiring a house in a thoroughfare called the Street of Saffron, transported all my goods to it and took up my lodging therein for some time. At last one day which was a Friday, I sallied forth to solace myself taking with me somewhat of coin. I went first to a cathedral-mosque, called the Mosque of Mansur, where the Friday service was held, and when we had made an end of congregational prayers, I fared forth with the folk to a place hight Karn al-Sirat, where I saw a tall and goodly mansion, with a balcony overlooking the river-bank and pierced with a lattice- window. So I betook myself thither with a company of folk and sighted there an old man sitting, handsomely clad and exhaling perfumes. His beard forked upon his breast in two waves like silver-wire, and about him were four damsels and five pages. So I said to one of the folk, 'What is the name of this old man and what is his business?'; and the man said, 'His name is Táhir ibn al-Aláa, and he is a keeper of girls: all who go into him eat and drink and look upon fair faces.' Quoth I, 'By Allah, this long while have I wandered about in search of something like this!'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant cried, "'By Allah this long while I have gone about in search of something like this!' So I went up to the Shaykh, O Commander of the Faithful, and saluting him said to him, 'O my lord, I need somewhat of thee!' He replied, 'What is thy need?' and I rejoined, Tis my desire to be thy guest to-night.' He said, 'With all my heart; but, O my son, with me are many damsels, some whose night is ten dinars, some forty and others more. Choose which thou wilt have.' Quoth I, 'I choose her whose night is ten dinars.' And I weighed out to him three hundred dinars, the price of a month; whereupon he committed me to a page, who carried me to a Hammam within the house and served me with goodly service. When I came out of the Bath he brought me to a chamber and knocked at the door, whereupon out came a handmaid, to whom said he, 'Take thy guest!' She met me with welcome and cordiality, laughing and rejoicing, and brought me into a mighty fine room decorated with gold. I considered her and saw her like the moon on the night of its fulness having in attendance on her two damsels as they were constellations. She made me sit and seating herself by my side, signed to her slave-girls who set before us a tray covered with dishes of various kinds of meats, pullets and quails and sand-grouse and pigeons. So we ate our sufficiency, and never in my life ate I aught more delicious than this food. When we had eaten she bade remove the tray and set on the service of wine and flowers, sweetmeats and fruits; and I abode with her a month in such case. At the end of that time, I repaired to the Bath; then, going to the old man, I said to him, 'O my lord, I want her whose night is twenty dinars.' 'Weigh down the gold,' said he. So I fetched money and weighed out to him six hundred dinars for a month's hire, whereupon he called a page and said to him, 'Take thy lord here.' Accordingly he carried me to the Hammam and thence to the door of a chamber, whereat he knocked and there came out a handmaid, to whom quoth he, 'Take thy guest!' She received me with the goodliest reception and I found in attendance on her four slave-girls, whom she commanded to bring food. So they fetched a tray spread with all manner meats, and I ate. When I had made an end of eating and the tray had been re- moved, she took the lute and sang thereto these couplets,

"O waftings of musk from the Babel-land! * Bear a message from me which my longings have planned: My troth is pledged to that place of yours, * And to friends there 'biding--a noble band; And wherein dwells she whom all lovers love * And would hend, but she cometh to no man's hand."

I abode with her a month, after which I returned to the Shaykh and said to him, 'I want the forty dinar one.' 'Weigh out the money,' said he. So I weighed out to him twelve hundred dinars, the mensual hire, and abode with her one month as it were one day, for what I saw of the comeliness of her semblance and the goodliness of her converse. After this I went to the Shaykh one evening and heard a great noise and loud voices; so I asked him, 'What is to do?'; and he answered, saying, 'This is the night of our remarkablest nights, when all souls embark on the river and divert themselves by gazing one upon other. Hast thou a mind to go up to the roof and solace thyself by looking at the folk?' 'Yes,' answered I, and went up to the terrace roof, [FN#284] whence I could see a gathering of people with flambeaux and cressets, and great mirth and merriment. Then I went up to the end of the roof and beheld there, behind a goodly curtain, a little chamber in whose midst stood a couch of juniper-wood [FN#285] plated with shimmering gold and covered with a handsome carpet. On this sat a lovely young lady, confounding all beholders with her beauty and comeliness and symmetry and perfect grace, and by her side a youth, whose hand was on her neck; and he was kissing her and she kissing him. When I saw them, O Prince of True Believers, I could not contain myself nor knew where I was, so dazed and dazzled was I by her beauty: but, when I came down, I questioned the damsel with whom I was and described the young lady to her. 'What wilt thou with her?' asked she; and I, 'She hath taken my wit.' 'O Abu al-Hasan, hast thou a mind to her?' 'Ay, by Allah! for she hath captivated my heart and soul.' 'This is the daughter of Tahir ibn al-Alaa; she is our mistress and we are all her handmaids; but knowest thou, O Abu al-Hasan, what be the price of her night and her day?' 'No!' 'Five hundred dinars, for she is a regret to the heart of Kings!' [FN#286] 'By Allah, I will spend all I have on this damsel!' So saying I lay, heartsore for desire, through the livelong night till the morning, when I repaired to the Hammam and presently donned a suit of the richest royal raiment and betaking myself to Ibn al-Alaa, said to him, 'O my lord, I want her whose night is five hundred dinars.' Quoth he, 'Weigh down the money.' So I weighed out to him fifteen thousand dinars for a month's hire and he took them and said to the page, 'Carry him to thy mistress such an one!' Accordingly he took me and carried me to an apartment, than which my eyes never saw a goodlier on the earth's face and there I found the young lady seated. When I saw her, O Commander of the Faithful, my reason was confounded with her beauty, for she was like the full moon on its fourteenth Night, "--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man continued to describe before the Prince of True Believers the young lady's characteristics, saying, "She was like the full moon on her fourteenth Night, a model of grace and symmetry and loveliness. Her speech shamed the tones of the lute, and it was as it were she whom the poet meant in these verses,

"She cried while played in her side Desire, * And Night o'er hung her with blackest blee:-- 'O Night shall thy murk bring me ne'er a chum * To tumble and futter this coynte of me?' And she smote that part with her palm and sighed * Sore sighs and a-weeping continued she, 'As the toothstick beautifies teeth e'en so * Must prickle to coynte as a toothstick be. O Moslems, is never a stand to your tools, * To assist a woman's necessity?' Thereat rose upstanding beneath its clothes * My yard, as crying, 'At thee! at thee!' And I loosed her trouser-string, startling her: * 'Who art thou?' and I said, 'A reply to thy plea!' And began to stroke her with wrist-thick yard, * Hurting hinder cheeks by its potency: And she cried as I rose after courses three * 'Suit thy gree the stroke!' and I--'suit thy gree!"

And how excellent is the saying of another! [FN#287],

"A fair one, to idolaters if she her face should show, They'd leave their idols and her face for only Lord would know. If in the Eastward she appeared unto a monk, for sure, He'd cease from turning to the West and to the East bend low; And if into the briny sea one day she chanced to spit, Assuredly the salt sea's floods straight fresh and sweet would grow."

And that of another,

"I looked at her one look and that dazed me * Such rarest gifts of mind and form to see, When doubt inspired her that I loved her, and * Upon her cheeks the doubt showed showily."

I saluted her and she said to me, 'Well come and welcome, and fair welcome!'; and taking me by the hand, O Prince of True Believers, made me sit down by her side; whereupon, of the excess of my desire, I fell a-weeping for fear of severance and pouring forth the tears of the eye, recited these two couplets,

'I love the nights of parting though I joy not in the same * Time haply may exchange them for the boons of Union-day: And the days that bring Union I unlove for single thought, * Seeing everything in life lacking steadfastness of stay.'

Then she strave to solace me with soft sweet speech, but I was drowned in the deeps of passion, fearing even in union the pangs of disunion, for excess of longing and ecstasy of passion; and I bethought me of the lowe of absence and estrangement and repeated these two couplets,

'I thought of estrangement in her embrace * And my eyes rained tears red as 'Andam-wood. So I wiped the drops on that long white neck; * For camphor [FN#288] is wont to stay flow of blood.'

Then she bade bring food and there came four damsels, high-bosomed girls and virginal, who set before us food and fruits and confections and flowers and wine, such as befit none save kings. So, O Commander of the Faithful, we ate, and sat over our wine, compassed about with blooms and herbs of sweet savour, in a chamber suitable only for kings. Presently, one of her maids brought her a silken bag, which she opened and taking thereout a lute, laid it in her lap and smote its strings, whereat it complained as child complaineth to mother, and she sang these two couplets,

'Drink not pure wine except from hand of slender youth * Like wine for daintiness and like him eke the wine: For wine no joyance brings to him who drains the cup * Save bring the cup-boy cheek as fair and fain and fine.'

So, I abode with her, O Commander of the Faithful, month after month in similar guise, till all my money was spent; wherefore I began to bethink me of separation as I sat with her one day and my tears railed down upon my cheeks like rills, and I became not knowing night from light. Quoth she, 'Why dost thou weep?'; and quoth I, 'O light of mine eyes, I weep because of our parting.' She asked, 'And what shall part me and thee, O my lord?'; and I answered, 'By Allah, O my lady, from the day I came to thee, thy father hath taken of me, for every night, five hundred dinars, and now I have nothing left. Right soothfast is the saw, 'Penury maketh strangerhood at home and money maketh a home in strangerhood'; and indeed the poet speaks truth when he saith,

'Lack of good is exile to man at home; * And money shall house him where'er he roam.'

She replied, 'Know that it is my father's custom, whenever a merchant abideth with him and hath spent all his capital, to entertain him three days; then doth he put him out and he may return to us nevermore. But keep thou thy secret and conceal thy case and I will so contrive that thou shalt abide with me till such time as Allah will; [FN#289] for, indeed, there is in my heart a great love for thee. Thou must know that all my father's money is under my hand and he wotteth not its full tale; so, every morning, I will give thee a purse of five hundred dinars which do thou offer to my sire, saying, 'Henceforth, I will pay thee only day by day.' He will hand the sum to me, and I will give it to thee again, and we will abide thus till such time as may please Allah.' Thereupon I thanked her and kissed her hand; and on this wise, O Prince of True Believers, I abode with her a whole year, till it chanced on a certain day that she beat one of her handmaids grievously and the slave-girl said, 'By Allah, I will assuredly torture thy heart, even as thou hast tortured me!' So she went to the girl's father and exposed to him all that had passed, first and last, which when Tahir ibn Alaa heard he arose forthright and coming in to me, as I sat with his daughter, said, 'Ho, such an one!'; and I said, 'At thy service.' Quoth he, 'Tis our wont, when a merchant grow poor with us, to give him hospitality three days; but thou hast had a year with us, eating and drinking and doing what thou wouldst.' Then he turned to his pages and cried to them, 'Pull off his clothes.' They did as he bade them and gave me ten dirhams and an old suit worth five silvers; after which he said to me, 'Go forth; I will not beat thee nor abuse thee; but wend thy ways and if thou tarry in this town, thy blood be upon thine own head.' So I went forth, O Commander of the Faithful, in my own despite, knowing not whither to hie, for had fallen on my heart all the trouble in the world and I was occupied with sad thought and doubt. Then I bethought me of the wealth which I had brought from Oman and said in myself, 'I came hither with a thousand thousand dinars, part price of thirty ships, and have made away with it all in the house of yonder ill-omened man, and now I go forth from him, bare and broken-hearted! But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!' Then I abode three days in Baghdad, without tasting meat or drink, and on the fourth day seeing a ship bound for Bassorah, I took passage in her of the owner, and when we reached our port, I landed and went into the bazar, being sore anhungered. Presently, a man saw me, a grocer, whom I had known aforetime, and coming up to me, embraced me, for he had been my friend and my father's friend before me. Then he questioned me of my case, seeing me clad in those tattered clothes; so I told him all that had befallen me, and he said, 'By Allah, this is not the act of a sensible man! But after this that hath befallen thee what dost thou purpose to do?' Quoth I, 'I know not what I shall do,' and quoth he, 'Wilt thou abide with me and write my outgo and income and thou shalt have two dirhams a day, over and above thy food and drink?' I agreed to this and abode with him, O Prince of True Believers, selling and buying, till I had gotten an hundred dinars; when I hired me an upper chamber by the river-side, so haply a ship should come up with merchandise, that I might buy goods with the dinars and go back with them to Baghdad. Now it fortuned that one day, there came ships with merchandise, and all the merchants resorted to them to buy, and I went with them on board, when behold, there came two men out of the hold and setting themselves chairs on the deck, sat down thereon. The merchants addressed themselves to the twain with intent to buy, and the man said to one of the crew, 'Bring the carpet.' Accordingly he brought the carpet and spread it, and another came with a pair of saddle-bags, whence he took a budget and emptied it on the carpet; and our sights were dazzled with that which issued therefrom of pearls and corals and jacinths and carnelians and other jewels of all sorts and colours."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant, after recounting to the Caliph the matter of the bag and its containing jewels of all sorts, continued, "Presently, O Commander of the Faithful, said one of the men on the chairs, 'O company of merchants, we will sell but this to-day, by way of spending-money, for that we are weary.' So the merchants fell to bidding one against other for the jewels and bid till the price reached four hundred dinars. Then said to me the owner of the bag (for he was an old acquaintance of mine, and when he saw me, he came down to me and saluted me), 'Why dost thou not speak and bid like the rest of the merchants?' I said, 'O my lord, by Allah, the shifts of fortune have run against me and I have lost my wealth and have only an hundred dinars left in the world.' Quoth he, 'O Ománi, after this vast wealth, can only an hundred dinars remain to thee?' And I was abashed before him and my eyes filled with tears; whereupon he looked at me and indeed my case was grievous to him. So he said to the merchants, 'Bear witness against me that I have sold all that is in this bag of various gems and precious stones to this man for an hundred gold pieces, albeit I know them to be worth so many thousand dinars, and this is a present from me to him.' Then he gave me the saddle-bag and the carpet, with all the jewels that were thereon, for which I thanked him, and each and every of the merchants present praised him. Presently I carried all this to the jewel-market and sat there to sell and buy. Now among the precious stones was a round amulet of the handi-work of the masters, [FN#290] weighing half a pound: it was red of the brightest, a carnelian on both whose sides were graven characts and characters, like the tracks of ants; but I knew not its worth. I sold and bought a whole year, at the end of which I took the amulet [FN#291] and said, 'This hath been with me some while, and I know not what it is nor what may be its value.' So I gave it to the broker who took it and went round with it and returned, saying, 'None of the merchants will give me more than ten dirhams for it.' Quoth I, 'I will not sell it at that price;' and he threw it in my face and went away. Another day I again offered it for sale and its price reached fifteen dirhams; whereupon I took it from the broker in anger and threw it back into the tray. But a few days after, as I sat in my shop, there came up to me a man, who bore the traces of travel, and saluting me, said, 'By thy leave, I will turn over what thou hast of wares.' Said I, 'Tis well,' and indeed, O Commander of the Faithful, I was still wroth by reason of the lack of demand for the talisman. So the man fell to turning over my wares, but took nought thereof save the amulet, which when he saw, he kissed his hand and cried, 'Praised be Allah!' Then said he to me, 'O my lord, wilt thou sell this?'; and I replied, 'Yes,' being still angry. Quoth he, 'What is its price?' And I asked, 'How much wilt thou give?' He answered 'Twenty dinars': so I thought he was making mock of me and exclaimed, 'Wend thy ways.' But he resumed, 'I will give thee fifty dinars for it.' I made him no answer, and he continued, 'A thousand dinars.' But I was silent, declining to reply, whilst he laughed at my silence and said, 'Why dost thou not return me an answer?' 'Hie thee home,' repeated I and was like to quarrel with him. But he bid thousand after thousand, and I still made him no reply, till he said, 'Wilt thou sell it for twenty thousand dinars?' I still thought he was mocking me; but the people gathered about me and all of them said, 'Sell to him, and if he buy not, we will all up and at him and drub him and thrust him forth the city.' So quoth I to him, 'Wilt thou buy or dost thou jest?'; and quoth he, 'Wilt thou sell or dost thou joke?' I said, 'I will sell if thou wilt buy;' then he said, 'I will buy it for thirty thousand dinars; take them and make the bargain;' so I cried to the bystanders, 'Bear witness against him,' adding to him, 'But on condition that thou acquaint me with the virtues and profit of this amulet for which thou payest all this money.' He answered, 'Close the bargain, and I will tell thee this;' I rejoined, 'I sell it to thee;' and he retorted, 'Allah be witness of that which thou sayst and testimony!' Then he brought out the gold and giving it to me took the amulet, and set it in his bosom; after which he turned to me and asked, 'Art thou content?' Answered I, 'Yes,' and he said to the people, 'Bear witness against him that he hath closed the bargain and touched the price, thirty thousand dinars.' Then he turned to me and said, 'Harkye, my poor fellow, hadst thou held back from selling, by Allah I would have bidden thee up to an hundred thousand dinars, nay, even to a thousand thousand!' When I heard these words, O Commander of the Faithful, the blood fled my face, and from that day there overcame it this pallor thou seest. Then said I to him, 'Tell me the reason of this and what is the use of this amulet.' And he answered, saying, 'Know that the King of Hind hath a daughter, never was seen a thing fairer than she, and she is possessed with a falling sickness. [FN#292] So the King summoned the Scribes and men of science and Divines, but none of them could relieve her of this. Now I was present in the assembly; so I said to him, 'O King, I know a man called Sa'adu'lláh the Babylonian, than whom there is not on the face of the earth one more masterly in these matters, and if thou see fit to send me to him, do so.' Said he, 'Go to him;' and quoth I, 'Bring me a piece of carnelian.' Accordingly he gave me a great piece of carnelian and an hundred thousand dinars and a present, which I took, and with which I betook myself to the land of Babel. Then I sought out the Shaykh and when he was shown to me I delivered to him the money and the present, which he accepted and sending for a lapidary, bade him fashion the carnelian into this amulet. Then he abode seven months in observation of the stars, till he chose out an auspicious time for engraving it, when he graved upon it these talismanic characters which thou seest, and I took it and returned with it to the King.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man said to the Commander of the Faithful, "'So after the Shaykh had spoken, I took this talisman and returned with it to the King. Now the Princess was bound with four chains, and every night a slave-girl lay with her and was found in the morning with her throat cut. The King took the amulet and laid it upon his daughter who was straightway made whole. At this he rejoiced with exceeding joy and invested me with a vest of honour and gave alms of much money; and he caused set the amulet in the Princess's necklace. It chanced, one day, that she embarked with her women in a ship and went for a sail on the sea. Presently, one of her maids put out her hand to her, to sport with her, and the necklace brake asunder and fell into the waves. From that hour the possessor [FN#293] of the Princess returned to her, wherefore great grief betided the King and he gave me much money, saying, 'Go thou to Shaykh Sa'adu'llah and let him make her another amulet, in lieu of that which is lost.' I journeyed to Babel, but found the old man dead; whereupon I returned and told the King, who sent me and ten others to go round about in all countries, so haply we might find a remedy for her: and now Allah hath caused me happen on it with thee.' Saying these words, he took from me the amulet, O Commander of the Faithful, and went his ways. Such, then, is the cause of the wanness of my complexion. As for me, I repaired to Baghdad, carrying all my wealth with me, and took up my abode in the lodgings where I lived whilome. On the morrow, as soon as it was light, I donned my dress and betook myself to the house of Tahir ibn al-Alaa, that haply I might see her whom I loved, for the love of her had never ceased to increase upon my heart. But when I came to his home, I saw the balcony broken down and the lattice builded up; so I stood awhile, pondering my case and the shifts of Time, till there came up a serving-man, and I questioned him, saying, 'What hath God done with Tahir ibn al-Alaa?' He answered, 'O my brother, he hath repented to Almighty Allah. [FN#294]' Quoth I, 'What was the cause of his repentance?'; and quoth he, 'O my brother, in such a year there came to him a merchant, by name Abu al-Hasan the Omani, who abode with his daughter awhile, till his wealth was all spent, when the old man turned him out, broken-hearted. Now the girl loved him with exceeding love, and when she was parted from him, she sickened of a sore sickness and came nigh upon death. As soon as her father knew how it was with her, he sent after and sought for Abu al-Hasan through the lands, pledging himself to bestow upon whoso should produce him an hundred thousand dinars; but none could find him nor come on any trace of him; and she is now hard upon death.' Quoth I, 'And how is it with her sire?' and quoth the servant, 'He hath sold all his girls, for grief of that which hath befallen him, and hath repented to Almighty Allah.' Then asked I, 'What wouldst thou say to him who should direct thee to Abu al-Hasan the Omani?'; and he answered, 'Allah upon thee, O my brother, that thou do this and quicken my poverty and the poverty of my parents! [FN#295]' I rejoined, 'Go to her father and say to him, Thou owest me the reward for good news, for that Abu al-Hasan the Omani standeth at the door.' With this he set off trotting, as he were a mule loosed from the mill, and presently came back, accompanied by Shaykh Tahir himself, who no sooner saw me than he returned to his house and gave the man an hundred thousand dinars which he took and went away blessing me. Then the old man came up and embraced me and wept, saying, 'O my lord, where hast thou been absent all this while? Indeed, my daughter hath been killed by reason of her separation from thee; but come with me into the house.' So we entered and he prostrated himself in gratitude to the Almighty, saying, 'Praised be Allah who hath reunited us with thee!' Then he went in to his daughter and said to her, 'The Lord hath healed thee of this sickness;' and said she, 'O my papa, I shall never be whole of my sickness, save I look upon the face of Abu al-Hasan.' Quoth he, 'An thou wilt eat a morsel and go to the Hammam, I will bring thee in company with him.' Asked she, 'Is it true that thou sayst?'; and he answered, 'By the Great God, 'tis true!' She rejoined, 'By Allah, if I look upon his face, I shall have no need of eating!' Then said he to his page, 'Bring in thy lord.' Thereupon I entered, and when she saw me, O Prince of True Believers, she fell down in a swoon, and presently coming to herself, recited this couplet, 'Yea, Allah hath joined the parted twain, * When no thought they thought e'er to meet again.' Then she sat upright and said, 'By Allah, O my lord, I had not deemed to see thy face ever more, save it were in a dream!' So she embraced me and wept, and said, 'O Abu al-Hasan, now will I eat and drink.' The old man her sire rejoiced to hear these words and they brought her meat and drink and we ate and drank, O Commander of the Faithful. After this, I abode with them awhile, till she was restored to her former beauty, when her father sent for the Kazi and the witnesses and bade write out the marriage-contract between her and me and made a mighty great bride-feast; and she is my wife to this day and this is my son by her." So saying he went away and returned with a boy of rare beauty and symmetry of form and favour to whom said he, "Kiss the ground before the Commander of the Faithful." He kissed ground before the Caliph, who marvelled at his beauty and glorified his Creator; after which Al-Rashid departed, he and his company, saying, "O Ja'afar, verily, this is none other than a marvellous thing, never saw I nor heard I aught more wondrous." When he was seated in the palace of the Caliphate, he cried, "O Masrur!" who replied, "Here am I, O my lord!" Then said he, "Bring the year's tribute of Bassorah and Baghdad and Khorasan, and set it in this recess. [FN#296]" Accordingly he laid the three tributes together and they were a vast sum of money, whose tale none might tell save Allah. Then the Caliph bade draw a curtain before the recess and said to Ja'afar, "Fetch me Abu al-Hasan." Replied Ja'afar, "I hear and obey," and going forth, returned presently with the Omani, who kissed ground before the Caliph, fearing lest he had sent for him because of some fault that he had committed when he was with him in his house. Then said Al-Rashid, "Harkye, O Omani!" and he replied, "Adsum, O Prince of True Believers! May Allah ever bestow his favours upon thee!" Quoth the Caliph, "Draw back yonder curtain." Thereupon Abu al-Hasan drew back the curtain from the recess and was confounded and perplexed at the mass of money he saw there. Said Al-Rashid, "O Abu al-Hasan, whether is the more, this money or that thou didst lose by the amulet? [FN#297]"; and he answered, "This is many times the greater, O Commander of the Faithful!" Quoth the Caliph, "Bear witness, all ye who are present, that I give this money to this young man." So Abu al-Hasan kissed ground and was abashed and wept before the Caliph for excess of joy. Now when he wept, the tears ran down from his eyelids upon his cheeks and the blood returned to its place and his face became like the moon on the night of its fulness. Whereupon quoth the Caliph, "There is no god but the God! Glory be to Him who decreeth change upon change and is Himself the Everlasting who changeth not!" Saying these words, he bade fetch a mirror and showed Abu al-Hasan his face therein, which when he saw, he prostrated himself, in gratitude to the Most High Lord. Then the Caliph bade transport the money to Abu al-Hasan's house and charged the young man not to absent himself from him, so he might enjoy his company as a cup-companion. Accordingly he paid him frequent visits, till Al-Rashid departed to the mercy of Almighty Allah; and glory be to Him who dieth not the Lord of the Seen and the Unseen! And among tales they tell is one touching


IBRAHIM AND JAMILAH. [FN#298]


Al-Khasíb, [FN#299] Wazir of Egypt, had a son named Ibrahim, than whom there was none goodlier, and of his fear for him, he suffered him not to go forth, save to the Friday prayers. One day, as the youth was returning from the mosque, he came upon an old man, with whom were many books; so he lighted down from his horse and seating himself beside him, began to turn over the tomes and examine them. In one of them he espied the semblance of a woman which all but spoke, never was seen on the earth's face one more beautiful; and as this captivated his reason and confounded his wit, he said to the old man, "O Shaykh, sell me this picture." The bookseller kissed ground between his hands and said, "O my lord, 'tis thine without price. [FN#300]" Ibrahim gave him an hundred dinars and taking the book in which was the picture, fell to gazing upon it and weeping night and day, abstaining from meat and drink and sleep. Then said he in his mind, "An I ask the book seller of the painter of this picture, haply he will tell me; and if the original be living, I will seek access to her; but, if it be only a picture, I will leave doting upon it and plague myself no more for a thing which hath no real existence."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth Ibrahim said in his mind, "An I ask the bookseller of the painter of this picture, haply he will tell me; and, if it be only a picture, I will leave doting upon it and plague myself no more for a thing which hath no real existence." So on the next Friday he betook himself to the bookseller, who sprang up to receive him, and said to him, "Oh uncle, tell me who painted this picture." He replied, "O my lord, a man of the people of Baghdad painted it, by name Abu al-Kásim al-Sandaláni who dwelleth in a quarter called Al-Karkh; but I know not of whom it is the portraiture." So Ibrahim left him without acquainting any of his household with his case, and returned to the palace, after praying the Friday prayers. Then he took a bag and filling it with gold and gems to the value of thirty thousand dinars, waited till the morning, when he went out, without telling any, and presently overtook a caravan. Here he saw a Badawi and asked him, "O uncle, what distance is between me and Baghdad?"; and the other answered, O my son, where art thou, and where is Baghdad? [FN#301] Verily, between thee and it is two months' journey." Quoth Ibrahim, O nuncle, an thou wilt guide me to Baghdad, I will give thee an hundred dinars and this mare under me that is worth other thousand gold pieces;" and quoth the Badawi, "Allah be witness of what we say! Thou shalt not lodge this night but with me." So Ibrahim agreed to this and passed the night with him. At break of dawn, the Badawi took him and fared on with him in haste by a near road, in his greed for the mare and the promised good; nor did they leave wayfaring till they came to the walls of Baghdad, when said the wildling, "Praised be Allah for Safety! O my lord, this is Baghdad." Whereat Ibrahim rejoiced with exceeding joy and alighting from the mare, gave her to the Desert man, together with the hundred dinars. Then he took the bag and entering the city walked on, enquiring for the quarter al-Karkh and the station of the merchants, till Destiny drave him to a by-way, wherein were ten houses, five fronting five, and at the farther end was a two-leaved door with a silver ring. By the gate stood two benches of marble, spread with the finest carpets, and on one of them sat a man of handsome aspect and reverend, clad in sumptuous clothing and attended by five Mamelukes like moons. When the youth Ibrahim saw the street, he knew it by the description the bookseller had given him; so he salaamed to the man, who returned his salutation and bidding him welcome, made him sit down and asked him of his case. Quoth Ibrahim, "I am a stranger man and desire of thy favour that thou look me out a house in this street where I may take up my abode." With this the other cried out, saying, "Ho, Ghazálah! [FN#302]"; and there came forth to him a slave-girl, who said, "At thy service, O my lord!" Said her master, "Take some servants and fare ye all and every to such a house and clean it and furnish it with whatso is needful for this handsome youth." So she went forth and did his bidding; whilst the old man took the youth and showed him the house; and he said, "O my lord, how much may be the rent of this house?" The other answered, "O bright of face, I will take no rent of thee whilst thou abidest therein." Ibrahim thanked him for this and the old man called another slave-girl, whereupon there came forth to him a damsel like the sun, to whom said he, "Bring chess." So she brought it and one of the servants set the cloth; [FN#303] where upon said the Shaykh to Ibrahim, "Wilt thou play with me?"; and he answered, "Yes." So they played several games and Ibrahim beat him, when his adversary exclaimed, "Well done, O youth! Thou art indeed perfect in qualities. By Allah, there is not one in Baghdad can beat me, and yet thou hast beaten me!" Now when they had made ready the house and furnished it with all that was needful, the old man delivered the keys to Ibrahim and said to him, "O my lord, wilt thou not enter my place and eat of my bread?" He assented and walking in with him, found it a handsome house and a goodly, decorated with gold and full of all manner pictures and furniture galore and other things, such as tongue faileth to set out. The old man welcomed him and called for food, whereupon they brought a table of the make of Sana'a of al-Yaman and spread it with all manner rare viands, than which there was naught costlier nor more delicious. So Ibrahim ate his sufficiency, after which he washed his hands and proceeded to inspect the house and furniture. Presently, he turned to look for the leather bag, but found it not and said in himself, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I have eaten a morsel worth a dirham or two and have lost a bag wherein is thirty thousand dinars' worth: but I seek aid of Allah!" And he was silent and could not speak,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the youth Ibrahim saw that his bag was lost, he was silent and could not speak for the greatness of his trouble. Presently his host brought the chess and said to him, "Wilt thou play with me?"; and he said, "Yes." So they played and the old man beat him. Ibrahim cried, "Well done!" and left playing and rose: upon which his host asked him, "What aileth thee, O youth?" whereto he answered, "I want the bag." Thereupon the Shaykh rose and brought it out to him, saying, "Here it is, O my lord. Wilt thou now return to playing with me?" "Yes," replied Ibrahim. Accordingly they played and the young man beat him. Quoth the Shaykh, "When thy thought was occupied with the bag, I beat thee: but, now I have brought it back to thee, thou beatest me. But, tell me, O my son, what countryman art thou." Quoth Ibrahim, "I am from Egypt," and quoth the oldster, "And what is the cause of thy coming to Baghdad?"; whereupon Ibrahim brought out the portrait and said to him, "Know, O uncle, that I am the son of Al-Kasib, Wazir of Egypt, and I saw with a bookseller this picture, which bewildered my wit. I asked him who painted it and he said, 'He who wrought it is a man, Abu al-Kasim al-Sandalani hight, who dwelleth in a street called the Street of Saffron in the Karkh quarter of Baghdad.' So I took with me somewhat of money and came hither alone, none knowing of my case; and I desire of the fullness of thy favour that thou direct me to Abu al-Kasim, so I may ask him of the cause of his painting this picture and whose portrait it is. And whatso ever he desireth of me, I will give him that same." Said his host, "By Allah, O my son, I am Abu al-Kasim al Sandalani, and this is a prodigious thing how Fate hath thus driven thee to me!" Now when Ibrahim heard these words, he rose to him and embraced him and kissed his head and hands, saying, "Allah upon thee, tell me whose portrait it is!" The other replied, "I hear and I obey," and rising, opened a closet and brought out a number of books, wherein he had painted the same picture. Then said he, "Know, O my son, that the original of this portrait is my cousin, the daughter of my father's brother, whose name is Abú al-Lays. [FN#304] She dwelleth in Bassorah of which city her father is governor, and her name is Jamílah--the beautiful. There is not on the face of the earth a fairer than she; but she is averse from men and cannot hear the word 'man' pronounced in her presence. Now I once repaired to my uncle, to the intent that he should marry me to her, and was lavish of wealth to him; but he would not consent thereto: and when his daughter knew of this she was indignant and sent to me to say, amongst other things, 'An thou have wit, tarry not in this town; else wilt thou perish and thy sin shall be on shine own neck. [FN#305]' For she is a virago of viragoes. Accordingly I left Bassorah, brokenhearted, and limned this likeness of her in books and scattered them abroad in various lands, so haply they might fall into the hands of a comely youth like thyself and he contrive access to her and peradventure she might fall in love with him, purposing to take a promise of him that, when he should have possession of her, he would show her to me, though I look but for a moment from afar off." When Ibrahim son of al-Kasib heard these words, he bowed his head awhile in thought and al-Sandalani said to him, "O my son, I have notseen in Baghdad a fairer than thou, and meseems that, when she seeth thee, she will love thee. Art thou willing, therefore, in case thou be united with her and get possession of her, to show her to me, if I look but for a moment from afar?" Ibrahim replied, Yes; and the painter rejoined, "This being so, tarry with me till thou set out." But the youth retorted, "I cannot tarry longer; for my heart with love of her is all afire." "Have patience three days," said the Shaykh, "till I fit thee out a ship, wherein thou mayst fare to Bassorah." Accordingly he waited whilst the old man equipped him a craft and stored therein all that he needed of meat and drink and so forth. When the three days were past, he said to Ibrahim, "Make thee ready for the voyage; for I have prepared thee a packet-boat furnished with all thou requirest. The craft is my property and the seamen are of my servants. In the vessel is what will suffice thee till thy return, and I have charged the crew to serve thee till thou come back in safety." Thereupon Ibrahim farewelled his host and embarking sailed down the river till he came to Bassorah, where he pulled out an hundred dinars for the sailors, but they said, "We have gotten our hire of our lord." However he replied, "Take this by way of largesse; and I will not acquaint him therewith." So they took it and blessed him. Then the youth landed and entering the town asked, "Where do the merchants lodge?" and was answered, "In a Khan called the Khan of Hamadán." [FN#306] So he walked to the market wherein stood the Khan, and all eyes were fixed upon him and men's sight was attracted to him by reason of his exceeding beauty and loveliness. He entered the caravanserai, with one of the sailors in his company; and, asking for the porter, was directed to an aged man of reverend aspect. He saluted him and the doorkeeper returned his greeting; after which Ibrahim said to him, ' O uncle, hast thou a nice chamber?" He replied, 'Yes," and taking him and the sailor, opened to them a handsome room decorated with gold, and said, "O youth, this chamber befitteth thee." Ibrahim pulled out two dinars and gave them to him, saying, "Take these to key-money." [FN#307] And the porter took them and blessed him. Then the youth Ibrahim sent the sailor back to the ship and entered the room, where the doorkeeper abode with him and served him, saying, "O my lord, thy coming hath brought us joy!" Ibrahim gave him a dinar, and said, "Buy us herewith bread and meat and sweetmeats and wine." Accordingly the doorkeeper went to the market; and, buying ten dirhams' worth of victual, brought it back to Ibrahim and gave him the other ten dirhams. But he cried to him, "Spend them on thyself;" whereat the porter rejoiced with passing joy. Then he ate a scone with a little kitchen [FN#308] and gave the rest to the concierge, adding, "Carry this to the people of thy household." The porter carried it to his family and said to them, "Methinketh there is not on the face of the earth a more generous than the young man who has come to lodge with us this day, nor yet a pleasanter than he. An he abide with us, we shall grow rich." Then he returned to Ibrahim and found him weeping; so he sat down and began to rub [FN#309] his feet and kiss them, saying, "O my lord, wherefore weepest thou? May Allah not make thee weep!" Said Ibrahim, "O uncle, I have a mind to drink with thee this night;" and the porter replied, "Hearing and obeying!" So he gave him five dinars and said, "Buy us fresh fruit and wine;" and presently added other five, saying, "With these buy also for us dessert [FN#310] and flowers and five fat fowls and bring me a lute." The doorkeeper went out and, buying what he had ordered, said to his wife, "Strain this wine and cook us this food and look thou dress it daintily, for this young man overwhelmeth us with his bounties." She did as he bade her, to the utmost of desire; and he took the victuals and carried them to Ibrahim son of the Sultan.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that then they ate and drank and made merry, and Ibrahim wept and repeated the following verses,

"O my friend! an I rendered my life, my sprite, * My wealth and whatever the world can unite; Nay, th' Eternal Garden and Paradise [FN#311] * For an hour of Union my heart would buy't!"

Then he sobbed a great sob and fell down a-swoon. The porter sighed, and when he came to himself, he said to him, "O my lord, what is it gars thee weep and who is she to whom thou alludest in these verses? Indeed, she cannot be but as dust to thy feet." But Ibrahim arose and for all reply brought out a parcel of the richest raiment that women wear and said to him, "Take this to thy Harim." So he carried it to his wife and she returned with him to the young man's lodging and behold, she found him weeping, quoth the doorkeeper to him, "Verily, thou breakest our hearts! Tell us what fair one thou desirest, and she shall be naught save thy handmaid." Quoth he, "O uncle, know that I am the son of al-Kasib, Wazir of Egypt, and I am enamoured of Jamilah, daughter of Abu al-Lays the Governor." Exclaimed the porter's wife, "Allah! Allah! O my brother, leave this talk, lest any hear of us and we perish. Verily there is not on earth's face a more masterful than she, nor may any name to her the word man, for she is averse from men. Wherefore, O my son, turn from her to other than her." Now when Ibrahim heard this, he wept with sore weeping and the doorkeeper said to him, "I have nothing save my life; but that I will risk for thy love and find thee a means of winning thy will." Then the twain went out from him, and on the morrow he betook himself to the Hammam and donned a suit of royal raiment, after which he returned to his lodging, when behold, the porter and his wife came in to him and said, "Know, O my lord, that there is a humpbacked tailor here who seweth for the lady Jamilah. Go thou to him and acquaint him with thy case; haply he will show thee the way of attaining shine aim." So the youth Ibrahim arose and betaking himself to the shop of the humpbacked tailor, went in to him and found with him ten Mamelukes as they were moons. He saluted them with the Salam, and they returned his greeting and bade him welcome and made him sit down; and indeed they rejoiced in him and were amazed at his charms and loveliness, especially the hunchback who was confounded at his beauty of form and favour. Presently he said to the Gobbo, "I desire that thou sew me up my pocket;" and the tailor took a needleful of silk and sewed up his pocket which he. had torn purposely; whereupon Ibrahim gave him five dinars and returned to his lodging. Quoth the tailor, "What thing have I done for this youth, that he should give me five gold pieces?" And he passed the night, pondering his beauty and generosity. And when morning morrowed Ibrahim repaired to the shop and saluted the tailor, who returned his Salam and welcomed him and made much of him. Then he sat down and said to the hunchback, "O uncle, sew up my pocket, for I have rent it again." Replied the tailor, "On my head and eyes, O my son," and sewed it up; whereupon Ibrahim gave him ten ducats and he took them, amazed at his beauty and generosity. Then said he, "By Allah, O youth, for this conduct of thine needs must be a cause, this is no matter of sewing up a pocket. But tell me the truth of thy case. An thou be in love with one of these boys, [FN#312] by Allah, there is not among them a comelier than thou, for they are each and every as the dust at thy feet; and behold, they are all thy slaves and at thy command. Or if it be other than this, tell me." Replied Ibrahim, "O uncle, this is no place for talk, for my case is wondrous and my affair marvellous." Rejoined the tailor, "An it be so, come with me to a place apart." So saying, he rose up in haste and took the youth by the hand and carrying him into a chamber behind the shop, said, "Now tell me thy tale, O youth!" Accordingly Ibrahim related his story first and last to the tailor, who was amazed at his speech and cried, "O youth, fear Allah for thyself : [FN#313] indeed she of whom thou speakest is a virago and averse from men. Wherefore, O my brother, do thou guard thy tongue, else thou wilt destroy thyself." When Ibrahim heard the hunchback's words, he wept with sore weeping and clinging to the tailor's skirts said, "Help me, O my uncle, or I am a dead man; for I have left my kingdom and the kingdom of my father and grandfather and am become a stranger in the lands and lonely; nor can I endure without her." When the tailor saw how it was with him, he pitied him and said, "O my son, I have but my life and that I will venture for thy love, for thou makest my heart ache. But by to-morrow I will contrive thee somewhat whereby thy heart shall be solaced. Ibrahim blessed him and returning to the khan, told the doorkeeper what The hunchback had said, and he answered, "Indeed, he hath dealt kindly with thee." Next morning, the youth donned his richest dress and taking a purse of gold, repaired to the Gobbo and saluted him. Then he sat down and said, "O uncle, keep thy word with me." Quoth the hunchback, "Arise forthright and take thee three fat fowls and three ounces [FN#314] of sugar-candy and two small jugs which do thou fill with wine; also a cup. Lay all these in a budget [FN#315] and to-morrow, after the morning-prayers, take boat with them, saying to the boatman, 'I would have thee row me down the river below Bassorah.' An he say to thee, 'I cannot go farther than a parasang' do thou answer, 'As thou wilt;' but, when he shall have come so far, lure him on with money to carry thee farther; and the first flower-garden thou wilt descry after this will be that of the lady Jamilah. Go up to the gate as soon as thou espiest it and there thou wilt see two high steps, carpeted with brocade, and seated thereon a Quasimodo like me. Do thou complain to him of thy case and crave his favour: belike he will have compassion on thy condition and bring thee to the sight of her, though but for a moment from afar. This is all I can do for thee; and unless he be moved to pity for thee, we be dead men, I and thou. This then is my rede and the matter rests with the Almighty." Quoth Ibrahim, "I seek aid of Allah; whatso He willeth becometh; and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah!" Then he left the hunchback tailor and returned to his lodging where, taking the things his adviser had named, he laid them in a bag. On the morrow, as soon as it was day, he went down to Tigris bank, where he found a boatman asleep; so he awoke him and giving him ten sequins, bade him row him down the river below Bassorah. Quoth the man, "O my lord, it must be on condition that I go no farther than a parasang; for if I pass that distance by a span, I am a lost man, and thou too." And quoth Ibrahim, "Be it as thou wilt." Thereupon he took him and dropped down the river with him till he drew near the flower garden, when he said to him, "O my son, I can go no farther; for, if I pass this limit, we are both dead men." Hereat Ibrahim pulled out other ten dinars and gave them to him, saying, "Take this spending-money and better thy case therewithal." The boatman was ashamed to refuse him and fared on with him crying "I commit the affair to Allah the Almighty!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the youth Ibrahim gave the boatman other ten dinars, the man took them, saying, "I commit the affair to Allah the Almighty!" and fared on with him down stream. When they came to the flower garden, the youth sprang out of the boat, in his joy, a spring of a spear's cast from the land, and cast himself down, whilst the boatman turned and fled. Then Ibrahim fared forward and found all as it had been described by the Gobbo: he also saw the garden-gate open, and in the porch a couch of ivory, whereon sat a hump backed man of pleasant presence, clad in gold-laced clothes and hending in hand a silvern mace plated with gold. So he hastened up to him and seizing his hand kissed it; whereupon asked the hunchback, "Who art thou and whence comest thou and who brought thee hither, O my son?" And indeed, when the man saw Ibrahim Khasib-son, he was amazed at his beauty. He answered, "O uncle, I am an ignorant lad and a stranger," and he wept. The hunchback had pity on him and taking him up on the couch, wiped away his tears and said to him, "No harm shall come to thee. An thou be in debt, may Allah settle thy debt: and if thou be in fear, may Allah appease thy fear!" Replied Ibrahim, "O uncle, I am neither in fear nor am I in debt, but have money in plenty, thanks to Allah." Rejoined the other, "Then, O my son, what is thy need that thou venturest thyself and thy loveliness to a place wherein is destruction?" So he told him his story and disclosed to him his case, whereupon the man bowed his head earthwards awhile, then said to him, "Was he who directed thee to me the humpbacked tailor?" "Yes," answered Ibrahim, and the keeper said, "This is my brother, and he is a blessed man!" presently adding, "But, O my son, had not affection for thee sunkinto my heart, and had I not taken compassion on thee, verily thou wert lost, thou and my brother and the doorkeeper of the Khan and his wife. For know that this flower-garden hath not its like on the face of the earth and that it is called the Garden of the Wild Heifer, [FN#316] nor hath any entered it in all my life long, save the Sultan and myself and its mistress Jamilah; and I have dwelt here twenty years and never yet saw any else attain to this stead. Every forty days the Lady Jamilah cometh hither in a bark and landeth in the midst of her women, under a canopy of satin, whose skirts ten damsels hold up with hooks of gold, whilst she entereth, and I see nothing of her. Natheless, I have but my life and I will risk it for the sake of thee." Herewith Ibrahim kissed his hand and the keeper said to him, "Sit by me, till I devise somewhat for thee." Then he took him by the hand and carried him into the flower-garden which, when he saw, he deemed it Eden, for therein were trees intertwining and palms high towering and waters welling and birds with various voices carolling. Presently, the keeper brought him to a domed pavilion and said to him, "This is where the Lady Jamilah sitteth." So he examined it and found it of the rarest of pleasances, full of all manner paintings in gold and lapis lazuli. It had four doors, whereto man mounted by five steps, and in its centre was a cistern of water, to which led down steps of gold all set with precious stones. Amiddlewards the basin was a fountain of gold, with figures, large and small, and water jetting in gerbes from their mouths; and when, by reason of the issuing forth of the water, they attuned themselves to various tones, it seemed to the hearer as though he were in Eden. Round the pavilion ran a channel of water, turning a Persian wheel [FN#317] whose buckets [FN#318] were silvern covered with brocade. To the left of the pavilion [FN#319] was a lattice of silver, giving upon a green park, wherein were all manner wild cattle and gazelles and hares, and on the right hand was another lattice, overlooking a meadow full of birds of all sorts, warbling in various voices and bewildering the hearers' wits. Seeing all this the youth was delighted and sat down in the doorway by the gardener, who said to him, "How seemeth to thee my garden?" Quoth Ibrahim "'Tis the Paradise of the world!" Whereat the gardener laughed. Then he rose and was absent awhile and presently returned with a tray, full of fowls and quails and other dainties including sweet-meats of sugar, which he set before Ibrahim, saying, "Eat thy sufficiency" So he ate his fill, whereat the keeper rejoiced and cried, "By Allah, this is the fashion of Kings and sons of Kings!" [FN#320] Then said he, "O Ibrahim, what hast thou in yonder bag?" Accordingly he opened it before him and the keeper said, "Carry it with thee; 'twill serve thee when the Lady Jamilah cometh; for when once she is come, I shall not be able to bring thee food." Then he rose and taking the youth by the hand, brought him to a place fronting the pavilion, where he made him an arbour [FN#321] among the trees and said to him, "Get thee up here, and when she cometh thou wilt see her and she will not see thee. This is the best I can do for thee and on Allah be our dependence! Whenas she singeth, drink thou to her singing, and whenas she departeth thou shalt return in safety whence thou camest, Inshallah!" Ibrahim thanked him and would have kissed his hand, but he forbade him. Then the youth laid the bag in the arbour and the keeper said to him, "O Ibrahim, walk about and take thy pleasure in the garth and eat of its fruits, for thy mistress's coming is appointed to be to-morrow." So he solaced himself in the garden and ate of its fruits; after which he righted with the keeper. And when morning morrowed and showed its sheen and shone, he prayed the dawn-prayer and presently the keeper came to him with a pale face, and said to him, "Rise, O my son, and go up into the arbour: for the slave-girls are come to order the place, and she cometh after them;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the keeper came to Ibrahim Khasib-son in the Garden he said to him, "Rise, O my son, and go up into the arbour; for the slave-girls are come to order the place and she cometh after them. So beware lest thou spit or sneeze or blow thy nose [FN#322]; else we are dead men, I and thou." Hereupon Ibrahim rose and went up into his nest, whilst the keeper fared forth, saying, "Allah grant thee safety, O my son!" Presently behold, up came four slave-girls, whose like none ever saw, and entering the pavilion, doffed their outer dresses and washed it. Then they sprinkled it with rose-water and incensed it with ambergris and aloes-wood and spread it with brocade. After these came fifty other damsels, with instruments of music, and amongst them Jamilah, within a canopy of red brocade, whose skirts the handmaidens bore up with hooks of gold, till she had entered the pavilion, so that Ibrahim saw naught of her nor of her raiment. So he said to himself, "By Allah, all my travail is lost! But needs must I wait to see how the case will be." Then the damsels brought meat and drink and they ate and drank and washed their hands, after which they set her a royal chair and she sat down; and all played on instruments of music and with ravishing voices incomparably sang. Presently, out ran an old woman, a duenna, and clapped hands and danced, whilst the girls pulled her about, till the curtain was lifted and forth came Jamilah laughing. Ibrahim gazed at her and saw that she was clad in costly robes and ornaments, and on her head was a crown set with pearls and gems. About her long fair neck she wore a necklace of unions and her waist was clasped with a girdle of chrysolite bugles, with tassels of rubies and pearls. The damsels kissed ground before her, and, 'When I considered her" (quoth Ibrahim), "I took leave of my senses and wit and I was dazed and my thought was confounded for amazement at the sight of loveliness whose like is not on the face of the earth. So I fell into a swoon and coming to myself, weeping eyed, recited these two couplets,

"I see thee and close not mine eyes for fear * Lest their lids prevent me beholding thee: An I gazed with mine every glance these eyne * Ne'er could sight all the loveliness moulding thee.'"

Then said the old Kahramanah [FN#323] to the girls, "Let ten of you arise and dance and sing." And Ibrahim when looking at them said in himself, "I wish the lady Jamilah would dance." When the handmaidens had made an end of their pavane, they gathered round the Princess and said to her, "O my lady, we long for thee to dance amongst us, so the measure of our joy may be fulfilled, for never saw we a more delicious day than this." Quoth Ibrahim to himself, "Doubtless the gates of Heaven are open [FN#324] and Allah hath granted my prayer." Then the damsels bussed her feet and said to her, "By Allah, we never saw thee broadened of breast as to day!" Nor did they cease exciting her, till she doffed her outer dress and stood in a shift of cloth of gold, [FN#325] broidered with various jewels, showing breasts which stood out like pomegranates and unveiling a face as it were the moon on the night of fullness. Then she began to dance, and Ibrahim beheld motions he had never in his life seen their like, for she showed such wondrous skill and marvellous invention, that she made men forget the dancing of bubbles in wine-cups and called to mind the inclining of the turbands from head [FN#326]-tops: even as saith of her the poet [FN#327],

"A dancer whose form is like branch of Ban! * Flies my soul well nigh as his steps I greet: While he dances no foot stands still and meseems * That the fire of my heart is beneath his feet."

And as quoth another, [FN#328]

"A dancer whose figure is like a willow-branch: my soul almost quitteth me at the sight of her movements. No foot can remain stationary at her dancing, she is as though the fire of my heart were beneath her feet."

Quoth Ibrahim, "As I gazed upon her, she chanced to look up and caught sight of me whereupon her face changed and she said to her women, 'Sing ye till I come back to you.' Then, taking up a knife half a cubit long, she made towards me, crying, 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious the Great!' Now when I saw this, I well-nigh lost my wits but, whenas she drew near me and face met face, the knife dropped from her hand, and she exclaimed, 'Glory to Him who changeth men's hearts!' Then said she to me, 'O youth, be of good cheer, for thou art safe from what thou dost fear!' Whereupon I fell to weeping, and she to wiping away my tears with her hand and saying, 'O youth, tell me who thou art, and what brought thee hither' I kissed the ground before her and seized her skirt; and she said, No harm shall come to thee; for, by Allah, no male hath ever filled mine eyes [FN#329] but thyself! Tell me, then, who thou art.' So I recited to her my story from first to last, whereat she marvelled and said to me, 'O my lord, I conjure thee by Allah, tell me if thou be Ibrahim bin al-Khasib?' I replied, 'Yes!' and she threw herself upon me, saying, 'O my lord, 'twas thou madest me averse from men; for, when I heard that there was in the land of Egypt a youth than whom there was none more beautiful on earth's face, I fell in love with thee by report, and my heart became enamoured of thee, for that which reached me of thy passing comeliness, so that I was, in respect of thee, even as saith the poet,

'Mine ear forewent mine eye in loving him; * For ear shall love before the eye at times.'

"So praised be Allah who hath shown thy face! But, by the almighty, had it been other than thou, I had crucified the keeper of the garden and the porter of the Khan and the tailor and him who had recourse to them!" And presently she added, 'But how shall I contrive for somewhat thou mayst eat, without the knowledge of my women?' Quoth I, 'With me is somewhat we may eat and drink;' and I opened the bag before her. She took a fowl and began to morsel me and I to morsel her; which when I saw, it seemed to me that this was a dream. Then I brought out wine and we drank, what while the damsels sang on; nor did they leave to do thus from morn to noon, when she rose and said, 'Go now and get thee a boat and await me in such a place, till I come to thee: for I have no patience left to brook severance.' I replied, 'O my lady, I have with me a ship of my own, whose crew are in my hire, and they await me.' Rejoined she, 'This is as we would have it,' and returning to her women,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Lady Jamilah returned to her women, she said to them, "Come, let us go back to our palace." They replied, "Why should we return now, seeing that we use to abide here three days?" Quoth she, "I feel an exceeding oppression in myself, as though I were sick, and I fear lest this increase upon me." [FN#330] So they answered, "We hear and obey," and donning their walking dresses went down to the river-bank and embarked in a boat; whereupon behold, the keeper of the garden came up to Ibrahim and said to him, knowing not what had happened, "O Ibrahim, thou hast not had the luck to enjoy the sight of her, and I fear lest she have seen thee, for 'tis her wont to tarry here three days." Replied Ibrahim, "She saw me not nor I her; for she came not forth of the pavilion." [FN#331] Rejoined the keeper, "True, O my son, for, had she seen thee, we were both dead men: but abide with me till she come again next week, and thou shalt see her and take thy fill of looking at her." Replied the Prince, "O my lord, I have with me money and fear for it: I also left men behind me and I dread lest they take advantage of my absence." [FN#332] He retorted, "O my son 'tis grievous to me to part with thee;" and he embraced and farewelled him. Then Ibrahim returned to the Khan where he lodged, and foregathering with the doorkeeper, took of him all his property and the porter said, "Good news, Inshallah!" [FN#333] But Ibrahim said, "I have found no way to my want, and now I am minded to return to my people." Whereupon the porter wept; then taking up his baggage, he carried them to the ship and abade him adieu. Ibrahim repaired to the place which Jamilah had appointed him and awaited her there till it grew dark, when, behold, she came up, disguised as a bully-boy with rounded beard and waist bound with a girdle. In one hand she held a bow and arrows and in the other a bared blade, and she asked him, "Art thou Ibrahim, son of al-Khasib, lord of Egypt?" "He I am," answered the Prince; and she said, "What ne'er-do-well art thou, who comes to debauch the daughters of Kings? Come: speak with the Sultan." [FN#334] "Therewith" (quoth Ibrahim) "I fell down in a swoon and the sailors died [FN#335] in their skins for fear; but, when she saw what had betided me, she pulled off her beard and throwing down her sword, ungirdled her waist whereupon I knew her for the Lady Jamilah and said to her, 'By Allah, thou hast rent my heart in sunder!' [FN#336] adding to the boatmen, 'Hasten the vessel's speed.' So they shook out the sail and putting off, fared on with all diligence; nor was it many days ere we made Baghdad, where suddenly we saw a ship lying by the river-bank. When her sailors saw us, they cried out to our crew, saying, 'Ho, such an one and such an one, we give you joy of your safety!' Then they drave their ship against our craft and I looked and in the other boat beheld Abu al-Kasim al-Sandalani who when he saw us exclaimed 'This is what I sought: go ye in God's keeping; as for me, I have a need to be satisfied!' Then he turned to me and said, 'Praised be Allah for safety! Hast thou accomplished shine errand? I replied, 'Yes!' Now Abu al-Kasim had a flambeau before him; so he brought it near our boat, [FN#337] and when Jamilah saw him, she was troubled and her colour changed: but, when he saw her, he said, 'Fare ye in Allah's safety. I am bound to Bassorah on business for the Sultan; but the gift is for him who is present.' [FN#338] Then he brought out a box of sweetmeats, wherein was Bhang and threw it into our boat: whereupon quoth I to Jamilah, 'O coolth of mine eyes, eat of this.' But she wept and said, 'O Ibrahim, wottest thou who that is?' and said I, 'Yes, 'tis such an one.' Replied she, 'He is my first cousin, son of my father's brother [FN#339] who sought me aforetime in marriage of my sire; but I would not accept of him. And now he is gone to Bassorah and most like he will tell my father of us.' I rejoined, 'O my lady he will not reach Bassorah, till we are at Mosul.' But we knew not what lurked for us in the Secret Purpose. "Then" (continued Ibrahim) "I ate of the sweetmeat, but hardly had it reached my stomach when I smote the ground with my head; and lay there till near dawn, when I sneezed and the Bhang issued from my nostrils. With this, I opened my eyes and found myself naked and cast out among ruins; so I buffeted my face and said in myself, 'Doubtless this is a trick al-Sandalani hath played me.' But I knew not whither I should wend, for I had upon me naught save my bag-trousers. [FN#340] However, I rose and walked on a little, till I suddenly espied the Chief of Police coming towards me, with a posse of men with swords and targes; [FN#341] whereat I took fright and seeing a ruined Hammam hid myself there. Presently, my foot stumbled upon something; so I put my hand to it, and it became befouled with blood. I wiped my hand upon my bag-trousers, unknowing what had befouled it, and put it out a second time, when it fell upon a corpse whose head came up in my hand. I threw it down, saying, 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!'; and I took refuge in one of the corner-cabinets of the Hammam. Presently the Wali stopped at the bath-door and said, 'Enter this place and search.' So ten of them entered with cressets, and I of my fear retired behind a wall and looking upon the corpse, saw it to be that of a young lady [FN#342] with a face like the full moon; and her head lay on one side and her body clad in costly raiment on the other. When I saw this, my heart fluttered with affright. Then the Chief of Police entered and said, 'Search the corners of the bath.' So they entered the place wherein I was, and one of them seeing me came up hending in hand a knife half a cubit long. When he drew near me, he cried, 'Glory be to God, the Creator of this fair face! O youth, whence art thou?' Then he took me by the hand and said, 'O youth, why slewest thou this woman?' Said I, 'By Allah, I slew her not, nor wot I who slew her, and I entered not this place but in fear of you!' And I told him my case, adding, 'Allah upon thee, do me no wrong, for I am in concern for myself!' Then he took me and carried me to the Wali who, seeing the marks of blood on my hand said, 'This needeth no proof: strike off his head!'--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim continued, 'Then they carried me before the Wali and he, seeing the bloodstains on my hand, cried, 'This needeth no proof: strike off his head!' Now hearing these words, I wept with sore weeping the tears streaming from my eyes and recited these two couplets [FN#343],

'We trod the steps that for us were writ, * And whose steps are written he needs must tread And whose death is decreed in one land to be * He ne'er shall perish in other stead.'

Then I sobbed a single sob and fell a-swoon; and the headsman's heart was moved to ruth for me and he exclaimed, 'By Allah, this is no murtherer's face!' But the Chief said, 'Smite his neck.' So they seated me on the rug of blood and bound my eyes; after which the sworder drew his sword and asking leave of the Wali, was about to strike off my head, whilst I cried out, 'Alas, my strangerhood!' when lo and behold! I heard a noise of horse coming up and a voice calling aloud, 'Leave him! Stay thy hand, O Sworder!'"--Now there was for this a wondrous reason and a marvellous cause; and 'twas thus. al-Khasib, Wazir of Egypt, had sent his Head Chamberlain to the Caliph Harun al, Rashid with presents and a letter, saying, "My son hath been missing this year past, and I hear that he is in Baghdad; where fore I crave of the bounty of the Vicegerent of Allah that he make search for tidings of him and do his endeavour to find him and send him back to me with the Chamberlain." When the Caliph read the missive, he commanded the Chief of Police to search out the truth of the matter, and he ceased not to enquire after Ibrahim, till it was told him that he was at Bassorah, where upon he informed the Caliph, who wrote a letter to the viceroy and giving it to the Chamberlain of Egypt, bade him repair to Bassorah and take with him a company of the Wazir's followers. So, of his eagerness to find the son of his lord, the Chamberlain set out forthright and happened by the way upon Ibrahim, as he stood on the rug of blood. When the Wali saw the Chamberlain, he recognised him and alighted to him and as he asked, "What young man is that and what is his case?" The Chief told him how the matter was and the Chamberlain said (and indeed he knew him not for the son of the Sultan [FN#344]) "Verily this young man hath not the face of one who murthereth." And he bade loose his bonds; so they loosed him and the Chamberlain said, "Bring him to me!" and they brought him, but the officer knew him not his beauty being all gone for the horrors he had endured. Then the Chamberlain said to him, "O youth, tell me thy case and how cometh this slain woman with thee." Ibrahim looked at him and knowing him, said to him, "Woe to thee! Dost thou not know me? Am I not Ibrahim, son of thy lord? Haply thou art come in quest of me." With this the Chamberlain considered him straitly and knowing him right well, threw himself at his feet; which when the Wali saw, his colour changed, and the Chamber lain cried to him, "Fie upon thee, O tyrant! Was it shine intent to slay the son of my master al-Khasib, Wazir of Egypt?" The Chief of Police kissed his skirt, saying "O my lord, [FN#345] how should I know him? We found him in this plight and saw the girl lying slain by his side." Rejoined the Chamberlain, "Out on thee! Thou art not fit for the office. This is a lad of fifteen and he hath not slain a sparrow; so how should he be a murtherer? Why didst thou not have patience with him and question him of his case?" Then the Chamberlain and the Wali cried to the men, "Make search for the young lady's murtherer." So they re-entered the bath and finding him, brought him to the Chief of Police, who carried him to the Caliph and acquainted him with that which had occurred. al-Rashid bade slay the slayer and sending for Ibrahim, smiled in his face and said to him, "Tell me thy tale and that which hath betided thee." So he recounted to him his story from first to last, and it was grievous to the Caliph, who called Masrur his Sworder, and said to him, "Go straightway and fall upon the house of Abu al-Kasim al-Sandalani and bring me him and the young lady." The eunuch went forth at once and breaking into the house, found Jamilah bound with her own hair and nigh upon death; so he loosed her and taking the painter, carried them both to the Caliph, who marvelled at Jamilah's beauty. Then he turned to Al- Sandalani and said, "Take him and cut off his hands, wherewith he beat this young lady; then crucify him and deliver his monies and possessions to Ibrahim." They did his bidding, and as they were thus, behold, in came Abu al-Lays governor of Bassorah, the Lady Jamilah's father, seeking aid of the Caliph against Ibrahim bin al- Khasib Wazir of Egypt and complaining to him that the youth had taken his daughter. Quoth al-Rashid, "He hath been the means of delivering her from torture and slaughter." Then he sent for Ibrahim, and when he came, he said to Abu al-Lays, "Wilt thou not accept of this young man, son of the Soldan of Egypt, as husband to thy daughter? ' Replied Abu al-Lays, "I hear and I obey Allah and thee, O Commander of the Faithful;" whereupon the Caliph summoned the Kazi and the witnesses and married the young lady to Ibrahim. Furthermore, he gave him all Al Sandalani's wealth and equipped him for his return to his own country, where he abode with Jamilah in the utmost of bliss and the most perfect of happiness, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to the Living who dieth not! They also relate, O auspicious King, a tale anent


ABU AL-HASAN OF KHORASAN. [FN#346]


The Caliph Al-Mu'tazid bi 'llah [FN#347] was a high-spirited Prince and a noble-minded lord; he had in Baghdad six hundred Wazirs and of the affairs of the folk naught was hidden from him. He went forth one day, he and Ibn Hamdún, [FN#348] to divert himself with observing his lieges and hearing the latest news of the people; and, being overtaken with the heats of noonday, they turned aside from the main thoroughfare into a little by-street, at the upper end whereof they saw a handsome and high-builded mansion, discoursing of its owner with the tongue of praise. They sat down at the gate to take rest, and presently out came two eunuchs as they were moons on their fourteenth night. Quoth one of them to his fellow, "Would Heaven some guest would seek admission this day! My master will not eat but with guests and we are come to this hour and I have not yet seen a soul." The Caliph marvelled at their speech and said, "This is a proof of the house-master's liberality: there is no help but that we go in to him and note his generosity, and this shall be a means of favour betiding him from us." So he said to the eunuch, "Ask leave of thy lord for the admission of a company [FN#349] of strangers." For in those days it was the Caliph's wont, whenas he was minded to observe his subjects, to disguise himself in merchant's garb. The eunuch went in and told his master, who rejoiced and rising, came out to them in person. He was fair of favour and fine of form and he appeared clad in a tunic of Níshápúr [FN#350] silk and a gold laced mantle; and he dripped with scented waters and wore on his hand a signet ring of rubies. When he saw them, he said to them, "Well come and welcome to the lords who favour us with the utmost of favour by their coming!" So they entered the house and found it such as would make a man forget family and fatherland for it was like a piece of Paradise.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph entered the mansion, he and the man with him, they saw it to be such as would make one forget family and fatherland, for it was like a piece of Paradise. Within it was a flower-garden, full of all kinds of trees, confounding sight and its dwelling-places were furnished with costly furniture. They sat down and the Caliph fell to gazing at the house and the household gear. (Quoth Ibn Hamdún), "I looked at the Caliph and saw his countenance change, and being wont to know from his face whether he was amused or anangered, said to myself, 'I wonder what hath vexed him.' Then they brought a golden basin and we washed our hands, after which they spread a silken cloth and set thereon a table of rattan. When the covers were taken off the dishes, we saw therein meats rare as the blooms of Prime in the season of their utmost scarcity, twofold and single, and the host said, 'Bismillah, O my lords! By Allah, hunger pricketh me; so favour me by eating of this food, as is the fashion of the noble.' Thereupon he began tearing fowls apart and laying them before us, laughing the while and repeating verses and telling stories and talking gaily with pleasant sayings such as sorted with the entertainment. We ate and drank, then removed to another room, which confounded beholders with its beauty and which reeked with exquisite perfumes. Here they brought us a tray of fruits freshly-gathered and sweetmeats the finest flavoured, whereat our joys increased and our cares ceased. But withal the Caliph" (continued Ibn Hamdun) "ceased not to wear a frowning face and smiled not at that which gladdened all souls, albeit it was his wont to love mirth and merriment and the putting away of cares, and I knew that he was no envious wight and oppressor. So I said to myself, 'Would Heaven I knew what is the cause of his moroseness and why we cannot dissipate his ill-humour!' Presently they brought the tray of wine which friends doth conjoin and clarified draughts in flagons of gold and crystal and silver, and the host smote with a rattan-wand on the door of an inner chamber, whereupon behold, it opened and out came three damsels, high-bosomed virginity with faces like the sun at the fourth hour of the day, one a lutist, another a harpist and the third a dancer-artiste. Then he set before us dried fruits and confections and drew between us and the damsels a curtain of brocade, with tassels of silk and rings of gold. The Caliph paid no heed to all this, but said to the host, who knew not who was in his company, 'Art thou noble?' [FN#351] Said he, 'No, my lord; I am but a man of the sons of the merchants and am known among the folk as Abú al-Hasan Ali, son of Ahmad of Khorasan.' Quoth the Caliph, 'Dost thou know me, O man?', and quoth he, 'By Allah, O my lord, I have no knowledge of either of your honours!' Then said I to him, 'O man, this is the Commander of the Faithful, AI-Mu'tazid bi 'llah grandson of Al-Mutawakkil alà 'llah.' [FN#352] Whereupon he rose and kissed the ground before the Caliph, trembling for fear of him, and said, 'O Prince of True Believers, I conjure thee, by the virtue of thy pious forbears, an thou have seen in me any shortcomings or lack of good manners in thy presence, do thou forgive me!' Replied the Caliph, 'As for that which thou hast done with us of honouring and hospitality nothing could have exceeded it; and as for that wherewith I have to reproach thee here, an thou tell me the truth respecting it and it commend itself to my sense, thou shalt be saved from me; but, an thou tell me not the truth, I will take thee with manifest proof and punish thee with such punishment as never yet punished any.' Quoth the man, 'Allah forbid that I tell thee a lie! But what is it that thou reproachest to me, O Commander of the Faithful?' Quoth the Caliph, 'Since I entered thy mansion and looked upon its grandeur, I have noted the furniture and vessels therein, nay, even to thy clothes, and behold, on all of them is the name of my grandfather Al-Mutawakkil ala 'llah.' [FN#353] Answered Abu al-Hasan, 'Yes, O Commander of the Faithful (the Almighty protect thee), truth is thine inner garb and sincerity is thine outer garment and none may speak otherwise than truly in thy presence.' The Caliph bade him be seated and said, 'Tell us.'" So he began, "Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that my father belonged to the markets of the money-changers and druggists and linendrapers and had in each bazar a shop and an agent and all kinds of goods. Moreover, behind the money-changer's shop he had an apartment, where he might be private, appointing the shop for buying and selling. His wealth was beyond count and to his riches there was none amount; but he had no child other than myself, and he loved me and was tenderly fain of me. When his last hour was at hand, he called me to him and commended my mother to my care and charged me to fear Almighty Allah. Then he died, may Allah have mercy upon him and continue the Prince of True Believers on life! And I gave myself up to pleasure and eating and drinking and took to myself comrades and intimates. My mother used to forbid me from this and to blame me for it, but I would not hear a word from her, till my money was all gone, when I sold my lands and houses and naught was left me save the mansion wherein I now dwell, and it was a goodly stead, O Commander of the Faithful. So I said to my mother, 'I wish to sell the house;' but she said, 'O my son, an thou sell it, thou wilt be dishonoured and wilt have no place wherein to take shelter.' Quoth I, 'Tis worth five thousand dinars, and with one thousand of its price I will buy me another house and trade with the rest.' Quoth she, 'Wilt thou sell it to me at that price?'; and I replied, 'Yes.' Whereupon she went to a coffer and opening it, took out a porcelain vessel, wherein were five thousand dinars. When I saw this meseemed the house was all of gold and she said to me, 'O my son, think not that this is of thy father's good. By Allah, O my son, it was of my own father's money and I have treasured it up against a time of need; for, in thy father's day I was a wealthy woman and had no need of it.' I took the money from her, O Prince of True Believers, and fell again to feasting and carousing and merrymaking with my friends, unheeding my mother's words and admonitions, till the five thousand dinars came to an end, when I said to her, 'I wish to sell the house.' Said she, 'O my son, I forbade thee from selling it before, of my knowledge that thou hadst need of it; so how wilt thou sell it a second time?' Quoth I, 'Be not longsome of speech with me, for I must and will sell it;' and quoth she, 'Then sell it to me for fifteen thousand dinars, on condition that I take charge of thine affairs.' So I sold her the house at that price and gave up my affairs into her charge, whereupon she sought out the agents of my father and gave each of them a thousand dinars, keeping the rest in her own hands and ordering the outgo and the income. Moreover she gave me money to trade withal and said to me, 'Sit thou in thy father's shop.' So I did her bidding, O Commander of the Faithful, and took up my abode in the chamber behind the shop in the market of the money-changers, and my friends came and bought of me and I sold to them; whereby I made good cheape and my wealth increased. When my mother saw me in this fair way, she discovered to me that which she had treasured up of jewels and precious stones, pearls, and gold, and I bought back my houses and lands that I had squandered and my wealth became great as before. I abode thus for some time, and the factors of my father came to me and I gave them stock-in-trade, and I built me a second chamber behind the shop. One day, as I sat there, according to my custom, O Prince of True Believers, there came up to me a damsel, never saw eyes a fairer than she of favour, and said, 'Is this the private shop of Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Ahmad al-Khorasani?' Answered I, 'Yes,' and she asked, 'Where is he?' 'He am I,' said I, and indeed my wit was dazed at the excess of her loveliness. She sat down and said to me, 'Bid thy page weigh me out three hundred dinars.' Accordingly I bade him give her that sum and he weighed it out to her and she took it and went away, leaving me stupefied. Quoth my man to me, 'Dost thou know her?', and quoth I, 'No, by Allah!' He asked, 'Then why didst thou bid me give her the money?'; and I answered, 'By Allah, I knew not what I said, of my amazement at her beauty and loveliness!' Then he rose and followed her, without my knowledge, but presently returned, weeping and with the mark of a blow on his face. I enquired of him what ailed him, and he replied, 'I followed the damsel, to see whither she went; but, when she was aware of me, she turned and dealt me this blow and all but knocked out my eye.' After this, a month passed, without her coming, O Commander of the Faithful, and I abode bewildered for love of her; but, at the end of this time, she suddenly appeared again and saluted me, whereat I was like to fly for joy. She asked me how I did and said to me, 'Haply thou saidst to thyself, What manner of trickstress is this, who hath taken my money and made off?' Answered I, 'By Allah, O my lady, my money and my life are all thy very own!' With this she unveiled herself and sat down to rest, with the trinkets and ornaments playing over her face and bosom. Presently, she said to me, 'Weigh me out three hundred dinars. 'Hearkening and obedience,' answered I and weighed out to her the money. She took it and went away and I said to my servant, 'Follow her.' So he followed her, but returned dumbstruck, and some time passed without my seeing her. But, as I was sitting one day, behold, she came up to me and after talking awhile, said to me, 'Weigh me out five hundred dinars, for I have need of them.' I would have said to her, 'Why should I give thee my money?'; but my love immense hindered me from utterance; for, O Prince of True Believers, whenever I saw her, I trembled in every joint and my colour paled and I forgot what I would have said and became even as saith the poet,

"Tis naught but this! When a-sudden I see her * Mumchance I bide nor a word can say her."

So I weighed out for her the five hundred ducats, and she took them and went away; whereupon I arose and followed her myself, till she came to the jewel-bazar, where she stopped at a man's shop and took of him a necklace. Then she turned and seeing me, said, 'Pay him five hundred dinars for me.' When the jeweller saw me, he rose to me and made much of me, and I said to him, 'Give her the necklace and set down the price to me.' He replied, 'I hear and obey,' and she took it and went away;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Hasan the Khorasani thus pursued his tale, "So I said to the jeweller, 'Give her the necklace and set down the price to me.' Then she took it and went away; but I followed her, till she came to the Tigris and boarded a boat there, whereupon I signed with my hand to the ground, as who should say, 'I kiss it before thee.' She went off laughing, and I stood watching her, till I saw her land and enter a palace, which when I considered, I knew it for the palace of the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil. So I turned back, O Commander of the Faithful, with all the cares in the world fallen on my heart, for she had of me three thousand dinars, and I said to myself, 'She hath taken my wealth and ravished my wit, and peradventure I shall lose my life for her love.' Then I returned home and told my mother all that had befallen me, and she said, 'O my son, beware how thou have to do with her after this, or thou art lost.' When I went to my shop, my factor in the drug-market, who was a very old man, came to me and said, 'O my lord, how is it that I see thee changed in case and showing marks of chagrin? Tell me what aileth thee.' So I told him all that had befallen me with her and he said, 'O my son, this is indeed one of the handmaidens of the palace of the Commander of the Faithful and haply she is the Caliph's favourite concubine: so do thou reckon the money as spent for the sake of Almighty Allah [FN#354] and occupy thyself no more with her. An she come again, beware lest she have to do with thee and tell me of this, that I may devise thee some device lest perdition betide thee.' Then he fared forth and left me with a flame of fire in my heart. At the end of the month behold, she came again and I rejoiced in her with exceeding joy. Quoth she, 'What ailed thee to follow me?'; and quoth I, 'Excess of passion that is in my heart urged me to this,' and I wept before her. She wept for ruth of me and said, 'By Allah, there is not in thy heart aught of love-longing but in my heart is more! Yet how shall I do? By Allah, I have no resource save to see thee thus once a month.' Then she gave me a bill saying, 'Carry this to such an one of such a trade who is my agent and take of him what is named therein.' But I replied, 'I have no need of money; be my wealth and my life thy sacrifice!' Quoth she, 'I will right soon contrive thee a means of access to me, whatever trouble it cost me.' Then she farewelled me and fared forth, whilst I repaired to the old druggist and told him what had passed. He went with me to the palace of Al-Mutawakkil which I knew for that which the damsel had entered; but the Shaykh was at a loss for a device. Presently he espied a tailor sitting with his apprentices at work in his shop, opposite the lattice giving upon the river bank and said to me, 'Yonder is one by whom thou shalt win thy wish; but first tear thy pocket and go to him and bid him sew it up. When he hath done this, give him ten dinars.' 'I hear and obey,' answered I and taking with me two pieces [FN#355] of Greek brocade, went to the tailor and bade him make of them four suits, two with long-sleeved coats and two without. When he had finished cutting them out and sewing them, I gave him to his hire much more than of wont, and he put out his hand to me with the clothes; but I said, 'Take them for thyself and for those who are with thee.' And I fell to sitting with him and sitting long: I also bespoke of him other clothes and said to him, 'Hang them out in front of thy shop, so the folk may see them and buy them.' He did as I bade him, and whoso came forth of the Caliph's palace and aught of the clothes pleased him, I made him a present thereof, even to the doorkeeper. One day of the days the tailor said to me, 'O my son, I would have thee tell me the truth of thy case; for thou hast bespoken of me an hundred costly suits, each worth a mint of money, and hast given the most of them to the folk. This is no merchant's fashion, for a merchant calleth an account for every dirham, and what can be the sum of thy capital that thou givest these gifts and what thy gain every year? Tell me the truth of thy case, that I may assist thee to thy desire;' presently adding, 'I conjure thee by Allah, tell me, art thou not in love?' 'Yes,' replied I; and he said, 'With whom?' Quoth I, 'With one of the handmaids of the Caliph's palace;' and quoth he, 'Allah put them to shame! How long shall they seduce the folk? Knowest thou her name?' Said I, 'No;' and said he, 'Describe her to me.' So I described her to him and he cried, 'Out on it! This is the lutanist of the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil and his pet concubine. But she hath a Mameluke [FN#356] and do thou make friends with him; it may be he shall become the means of thy having access to her.' Now as we were talking, behold, out walked the servant in question from the palace, as he were a moon on the fourteenth night; and, seeing that I had before me the clothes which the tailor had made me, and they were of brocade of all colours, he began to look at them and examine them. Then he came up to me and I rose and saluted him. He asked, 'Who art thou?' and I answered, 'I am a man of the merchants.' Quoth he, 'Wilt thou sell these clothes?'; and quoth I, 'Yes.' So he chose out five of them and said to me, 'How much these five?' Said I, 'They are a present to thee from me in earnest of friendship between me and thee.' At this he rejoiced and I went home and fetching a suit embroidered with jewels and jacinths, worth three thousand dinars, returned therewith and gave it to him. He accepted it and carrying me into a room within the palace, said to me, 'What is thy name among the merchants?' Said I, 'I am a man of them.' [FN#357] He continued, 'Verily I misdoubt me of thine affair.' I asked, 'Why so?' and he answered, 'Because thou hast bestowed on me a costly gift and won my heart therewith, and I make certain that thou art Abu alHasan of Khorasan the Shroff.' With this I fell aweeping, O Prince of True Believers; and he said to me, 'Why dost thou weep? By Allah, she for whom thou weepest is yet more longingly in love with thee than thou with her! And indeed her case with thee is notorious among all the palace women. But what wouldst thou have?' Quoth I, 'I would have thee succour me in my calamity.' So he appointed me for the morrow and I returned home. As soon as I rose next morning, I betook myself to him and waited in his chamber till he came in and said to me, 'Know that yesternight when, after having made an end of her service by the Caliph, she returned to her apartment, I related to her all that had passed between me and thee and she is minded to foregather with thee. So stay with me till the end of the day.' Accordingly I stayed with him till dark, when the Mameluke brought me a shirt of gold-inwoven stuff and a suit of the Caliph's apparel and clothing me therein, incensed me [FN#358] and I became like the Commander of the Faithful. Then he brought me to a gallery with rows of rooms on either side and said to me, 'These are the lodgings of the Chief of the slavegirls; and when thou passest along the gallery, do thou lay at each door a bean, for 'tis the custom of the Caliph to do this every night,'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Mameluke said to Abu Hasan, "When thou passest along the gallery set down at each door a bean for 'tis the custom of the Caliph so to do, till thou come to the second passage on thy right hand, when thou wilt see a door with a marble threshold . [FN#359] Touch it with thy hand or, an thou wilt, count the doors which are so many, and enter the one whose marks are thus and thus. There thy mistress will see thee and take thee in with her. As for thy coming forth, verily Allah will make it easy to me, though I carry thee out in a chest."--"Then he left me and returned, whilst I went on, counting the doors and laying at each a bean. When I had reached the middle of the gallery, I heard a great clatter and saw the light of flambeaux coming towards me. As the light drew near me, I looked at it and behold, the Caliph himself, came surrounded by the slave-girls carrying waxen lights, and I heard one of the women [FN#360] say to another, 'O my sister, have we two Caliphs? Verily, the Caliph whose perfumes and essences I smelt, hath already passed by my room and he hath laid the bean at my door, as his wont; and now I see the light of his flambeaux, and here he cometh with them.' Replied the other, 'Indeed this is a wondrous thing, for disguise himself in the Caliph's habit none would dare.' Then the light drew near me, whilst I trembled in every limb; and up came an eunuch, crying out to the concubines and saying, 'Hither!' Whereupon they turned aside to one of the chambers and entered. Then they came out again and walked on till they came to the chamber of my mistress and I heard the Caliph say, 'Whose chamber is this?' They answered, 'This is the chamber of Shajarat al-Durr.' And he said, 'Call her.' So they called her and she came out and kissed the feet of the Caliph, who said to her, 'Wilt thou drink to-night?' Quoth she, 'But for thy presence and the looking on thine auspicious countenance, I would not drink, for I incline not to wine this night.' Then quoth the Commander of the Faithful to the eunuch, 'Bid the treasurer give her such necklace;' and he commanded to enter her chamber. So the waxen lights entered before him and he followed them into the apartment. At the same moment, behold, there came up a damsel, the lustre of whose face outshone that of the flambeau in her hand, and drawing near she said, 'Who is this?' Then she laid hold of me and carrying me into one of the chambers, said to me, 'Who art thou?' I kissed the ground before her saying, 'I implore thee by Allah, O my lady, spare my blood and have ruth on me and commend thyself unto Allah by saving my life!'; and I wept for fear of death. Quoth she, 'Doubtless, thou art a robber;' and quoth I, 'No, by Allah, I am no robber. Seest thou on me the signs of thieves?' Said she, 'Tell me the truth of thy case and I will put thee in safety.' So I said, 'I am a silly lover and an ignorant, whom passion and my folly have moved to do as thou seest, so that I am fallen into this slough of despond.' Thereat cried she, 'Abide here till I come back to thee;' and going forth she presently returned with some of her handmaid's clothes wherein she clad me and bade me follow her; so I followed her till she came to her apartment and commanded me to enter. I went in and she led me to a couch, whereon was a mighty fine carpet, and said, 'Sit down here: no harm shall befal thee. Art thou not Abu al-Hasan Ali the Khorasani, the Shroff?' I answered, 'Yes,' and she rejoined, 'Allah spare thy blood given thou speak truth! An thou be a robber, thou art lost, more by token that thou art dressed in the Caliph's habit and incensed with his scents. But, an thou be indeed Abu al-Hasan, thou art safe and no hurt shall happen to thee, for that thou art the friend of Shajarat al-Durr, who is my sister and ceaseth never to name thee and tell us how she took of thee money, yet wast thou not chagrined, and how thou didst follow her to the river bank and madest sign as thou wouldst kiss the earth in her honour; and her heart is yet more aflame for thee than is thine for her. But how camest thou hither? Was it by her order or without it? She hath indeed imperilled thy life [FN#361]. But what seekest thou in this assignation with her?' I replied, 'By Allah, O my lady, 'tis I who have imperilled my own life, and my aim in foregathering with her is but to look on her and hear her pretty speech.' She said, 'Thou hast spoken well;' and I added, 'O my lady, Allah is my witness when I declare that my soul prompteth me to no offence against her honour.' Cried she, 'In this intent may Allah deliver thee! Indeed compassion for thee hath gotten hold upon my heart.' Then she called her handmaid and said to her, 'Go to Shajarat al-Durr and say to her, 'Thy sister saluteth thee and biddeth thee to her; so favour her by coming to her this night, according to thy custom, for her breast is straitened.' The slave-girl went out and presently returning, told her mistress that Shajarat al-Durr said, 'May Allah bless me with thy long life and make me thy ransom! By Allah, hadst thou bidden me to other than this, I had not hesitated; but the Caliph's migraine constraineth me and thou knowest my rank with him.' But the other said to her damsel, 'Return to her and say, 'Needs must thou come to my mistress upon a private matter between thee and her!' So the girl went out again and presently returned with the damsel, whose face shone like the full moon. Her sister met her and embraced her; then said she, 'Ho, Abu al-Hasan, come forth to her and kiss her hands!' Now I was in a closet within the apartment; so I walked out, O Commander of the Faithful, and when my mistress saw me, she threw herself upon me and strained me to her bosom saying, 'How camest thou in the Caliph's clothes and his ornaments and perfumes? Tell me what hath befallen thee.' So I related to her all that had befallen me and what I had suffered for affright and so forth; and she said, 'Grievous to me is what thou hast endured for my sake and praised be Allah who hath caused the issue to be safety, and the fulfilment of safety is in thy entering my lodging and that of my sister.' Then she carried me to her own apartment, saying to her sister, 'I have covenanted with him that I will not be united to him unlawfully; but, as he hath risked himself and incurred these perils, I will be earth for his treading and dust to his sandals!'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the damsel to her sister, "I have covenanted with him that I will not be united to him unlawfully; but, as he hath risked himself and incurred these perils, I will be earth for his treading and dust to his sandals!" Replied her sister, "In this intent may Allah deliver him!"--"and my mistress rejoined, 'Soon shalt thou see how I will do, so I may lawfully foregather with him and there is no help but that I lavish my heart's blood to devise this.' Now as we were in talk, behold, we heard a great noise and turning, saw the Caliph making for her chamber, so engrossed was he by the thought of her; whereupon she took me, O Prince of True Believers and hid me in a souterrain [FN#362] and shut down the trap-door upon me. Then she went out to meet the Caliph, who entered and sat down, whilst she stood between his hands to serve him, and commanded to bring wine. Now the Caliph loved a damsel by name Banjah, who was the mother of Al-Mu'tazz bi 'llah [FN#363]; but they had fallen out and parted; and in the pride of her beauty and loveliness she would not make peace with him, nor would Al-Mutawakkil, for the dignity of the Caliphate and the kingship, make peace with her neither humble himself to her, albeit his heart was aflame with passion for her, but sought to solace his mind from her with her mates among the slave-girls and with going in to them in their chambers. Now he loved Shajarat al-Durr's singing: so he bade her sing, when she took the lute and tuning the strings sang these verses,

'The world-tricks I admire betwixt me and her; * How, us parted, the World would to me incline: I shunned thee till said they, 'He knows not Love;' * I sought thee till said they, 'No patience is mine!' Then, O Love of her, add to my longing each night, * And, O Solace, thy comforts for Doomsday assign! Soft as silk is her touch and her low sweet voice * Twixt o'er much and o'er little aye draweth the line: And eyne whereof Allah said 'Be ye!' and they * Became to man's wit like the working of wine.'

When the Caliph heard these verses, he was pleasured with exceeding pleasure, and I also, O Commander of the Faithful, was pleasured in my hiding-place, and but for the bounty of Almighty Allah, I had cried out and we had been disgraced. Then she sang also these couplets,

'I embrace him, yet after him yearns my soul * For his love, but can aught than embrace be nigher? I kiss his lips to assuage my lowe; * But each kiss gars it glow with more flaming fire; 'Tis as though my vitals aye thirst unquencht * Till I see two souls mixt in one entire.'

The Caliph was delighted and said, 'O Shajarat al-Durr, ask a boon of me.' She replied, 'O Commander of the Faithful, I ask of thee my freedom, for the sake of the reward thou wilt obtain therein.' [FN#364] Quoth he, 'Thou art free for the love of Allah;' whereupon she kissed ground before him. He resumed, 'Take the lute and sing me somewhat on the subject of my slave-girl, of whom I am enamoured with warmest love: the folk seek my pleasure and I seek hers.' So she took the lute and sang these two couplets,

'My charmer who spellest my piety [FN#365] * On all accounts I'll have thee, have thee, Or by humble suit which besitteth Love * Or by force more fitting my sovranty.'

The Caliph admired these verses and said, 'Now, take up thy lute and sing me a song setting out my case with three damsels who hold the reins of my heart and make rest depart; and they are thyself and that wilful one and another I will not name, who hath not her like.' [FN#366] So she took the lute and playing a lively measure, sang these couplets,

'Three lovely girls hold my bridle-rein * And in highest stead my heart overreign. I have none to obey amid all mankind * But obeying them I but win disdain: This is done through the Kingship of Love, whereby * The best of my kingship they made their gain.'

The Caliph marvelled with exceeding marvel at the aptness of these verses to his case and his delight inclined him to reconciliation with the recalcitrant damsel. So he went forth and made for her chamber whither a slave-girl preceded him and announced to her the coming of the Caliph. She advanced to meet him and kissed the ground before him; then she kissed his feet and he was reconciled to her and she was reconciled to him. Such was the case with the Caliph; but as regards Shajarat al-Durr, she came to me rejoicing and said, 'I am become a free woman by thy blessed coming! Surely Allah will help me in that which I shall contrive, so I may foregather with thee in lawful way.' And I said, 'Alhamdolillah!' Now as we were talking, behold her Mameluke-eunuch entered and we related to him that which had passed, when he said, 'Praised be Allah who hath made the affair to end well, and we implore the Almighty to crown His favours with thy safe faring forth the palace!' Presently appeared my mistress's sister, whose name was Fátir, and Shajarat al-Durr said to her, 'O my sister, how shall we do to bring him out of the palace in safety; for indeed Allah hath vouchsafed me manumission and, by the blessing of his coming, I am become a free woman.' Quoth Fatir, 'I see nothing for it but to dress him in woman's gear.' So she brought me a suit of women's clothes and clad me therein; and I went out forthwith, O Commander of the Faithful; but, when I came to the midst of the palace, behold, I found the Caliph seated there, with the eunuchs in attendance upon him. When he saw me, he misdoubted of me with exceeding doubt, and said to his suite, 'Hasten and bring me yonder handmaiden who is faring forth.' So they brought me back to him and raised the veil from my face, which when he saw, he knew me and questioned me of my case. I told him the whole truth, hiding naught, and when he heard my story, he pondered my case awhile, without stay or delay, and going into Shajarat al-Durr's chamber, said to her, 'How couldst thou prefer before me one of the sons of the merchants?' She kissed ground between his hands and told him her tale from first to last, in accordance with the truth; and he hearing it had compassion upon her and his heart relented to her and he excused her by reason of love and its circumstances. Then he went away and her eunuch came in to her and said, 'Be of good cheer; for, when thy lover was set before the Caliph, he questioned him and he told him that which thou toldest him, word by word.' Presently the Caliph returned and calling me before him, said to me, 'What made thee dare to violate the palace of the Caliphate?' I replied, 'O Commander of the Faithful, 'twas my ignorance and passion and my confidence in thy clemency and generosity that drave me to this.' And I wept and kissed the ground before him. Then said he, 'I pardon you both,' and bade me be seated. So I sat down and he sent for the Kazi Ahmad ibn Abi Duwád [FN#367] and married me to her. Then he commanded to make over all that was hers to me and they displayed her to me [FN#368] in her lodging. After three days, I went forth and transported all her goods and gear to my own house; so every thing thou hast seen, O Commander of the Faithful, in my house and whereof thou misdoubtest, is of her marriage-equipage. After this, she said to me one day, 'Know that Al-Mutawakkil is a generous man and I fear lest he remember us with ill mind, or that some one of the envious remind him of us; wherefore I purpose to do somewhat that may ensure us against this.' Quoth I, 'And what is that?;' and quoth she, 'I mean to ask his leave to go the pilgrimage and repent [FN#369] of singing.' I replied, 'Right is this rede thou redest;' but, as we were talking, behold, in came a messenger from the Caliph to seek her, for that Al-Mutawakkil loved her singing. So she went with the officer and did her service to the Caliph, who said to her, 'Sever not thyself from us;' [FN#370] and she answered 'I hear and I obey.' Now it chanced one day, after this, she went to him, he having sent for her, as was his wont; but, before I knew, she came back, with her raiment rent and her eyes full of tears. At this I was alarmed, misdoubting me that he had commanded to seize upon us, and said, 'Verily we are Allah's and unto Him shall we return! Is Al-Mutawakkil wroth with us?' She replied, 'Where is Al-Mutawakkil? Indeed Al-Mutawakkil's rule is ended and his trace is blotted out!' Cried I, 'Tell me what has happened:' and she, 'He was seated behind the curtain, drinking, with Al-Fath bin Khákán [FN#371] and Sadakah bin Sadakah, when his son Al-Muntasir fell upon him, with a company of the Turks, [FN#372] and slew him; and merriment was turned to misery and joy to weeping and wailing for annoy. So I fled, I and the slave-girl, and Allah saved us.' When I heard this, O Commander of the Faithful, I arose forthright and went down stream to Bassorah, where the news reached me of the falling out of war between Al-Muntasir and Al-Musta'ín bi 'llah; [FN#373] wherefore I was affrighted and transported my wife and all my wealth to Bassorah. This, then, is my tale, O Prince of True Believers, nor have I added to or taken from it a single syllable. So all that thou seest in my house, bearing the name of thy grandfather Al-Mutawakkil, is of his bounty to us, and the fount of our fortune is from thy noble sources; [FN#374] for indeed ye are people of munificence and a mine of beneficence." The Caliph marvelled at his story and rejoiced therein with joy exceeding: and Abu al-Hasan brought forth to him the lady and the children she had borne him, and they kissed ground before the Caliph, who wondered at their beauty. Then he called for inkcase and paper and wrote Abu al-Hasan a patent of exemption from taxes on his lands and houses for twenty years. Moreover, he rejoiced in him and made him his cup-companion, till the world parted them and they took up their abode in the tombs, after having dwelt under the palace-domes; and glory be to Allah, the King Merciful of doom. And they also tell a tale concerning


KAMAR AL-ZAMAN AND THE JEWELLER'S WIFE. [FN#375]


There was once, in time of old, a merchant hight Abd al-Rahmán, whom Allah had blessed with a son and daughter, and for their much beauty and loveliness, he named the girl Kaubab al-Sabáh and the boy Kamar al-Zamán. [FN#376] When he saw what Allah had vouchsafed the twain of beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and symmetry, he feared for them the evil eyes [FN#377] of the espiers and the jibing tongues of the jealous and the craft of the crafty and the wiles of the wicked and shut them up from the folk in a mansion for the space of fourteen years, during which time none saw them save their parents and a slave-girl who served them. Now their father could recite the Koran, even as Allah sent it down, as also did his wife, wherefore the mother taught her daughter to read and recite it and the father his son till both had gotten it by heart. Moreover, the twain learned from their parents writing and reckoning and all manner of knowledge and polite letters and needed no master. When Kamar al-Zaman came to years of manhood, the wife said to her husband, "How long wilt thou keep thy son Kamar al-Zaman sequestered from the eyes of the folk? Is he a girl or a boy?" He answered, "A boy." Rejoined she, "An he be a boy, why dost thou not carry him to the bazar and seat him in thy shop, that he may know the folk and they know him, to the intent that it may become notorious among men that he is thy son, and do thou teach him to sell and to buy. Peradventure somewhat may befal thee; so shall the folk know him for thy son and he shall lay his hand on thy leavings. But, an thou die, as the case now is, and he say to the folk, 'I am the son of the merchant Abd al-Rahman,' verily they will not believe him, but will cry, 'We have never seen thee and we knew not that he had a son,' wherefore the government will seize thy goods and thy son will be despoiled. In like manner the girl; I mean to make her known among the folk, so may be some one of her own condition may ask her in marriage and we will wed her to him and rejoice in her." Quoth he, "I did thus of my fear for them from the eyes of the folk,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Merchant's wife spake to him in such wise, he replied, "I did thus of my fear for them from the eyes of the folk and because I love them both and love is jealous exceedingly and well saith he who spoke these verses,

'Of my sight I am jealous for thee, of me, * Of thyself, of thy stead, of thy destiny: Though I shrined thee in eyes by the craze of me * In such nearness irk I should never see: Though thou wert by my side all the days of me * Till Doomsday I ne'er had enough of thee."

Said his wife, "Put thy trust in Allah, for no harm betideth him whom He protecteth, and carry him with thee this very day to the shop." Then she clad the boy in the costliest clothes and he became a seduction to all who on him cast sight and an affliction to the heart of each lover wight. His father took him and carried him to the market, whilst all who saw him were ravished with him and accosted him, kissing his hand and saluting him with the salam. Quoth one, "Indeed the sun hath risen in such a place and blazeth in the bazar," and another, "The rising-place of the full moon is in such a quarter;" and a third, "The new moon of the Festival [FN#378] hath appeared to the creatures of Allah." And they went on to allude to the boy in talk and call down blessings upon him. But his father scolded the folk for following his son to gaze upon him, because he was abashed at their talk, but he could not hinder one of them from talking; so he fell to abusing the boy's mother and cursing her because she had been the cause of his bringing him out. And as he gazed about he still saw the folk crowding upon him behind and before. Then he walked on till he reached his shop and opening it, sat down and seated his son before him: after which he again looked out and found the thoroughfare blocked with people for all the passers-by, going and coming, stopped before the shop to stare at that beautiful face and could not leave him; and all the men and women crowded in knots about him, applying to themselves the words of him who said,

"Thou madest Beauty to spoil man's sprite * And saidst, 'O my servants, fear My reprove:' But lovely Thou lovest all loveliness * How, then, shall thy servants refrain from Love?"

When the merchant Abd al-Rahman saw the folk thus crowding about him and standing in rows, both women and men, to fix eyes upon his son, he was sore ashamed and confounded and knew not what to do; but presently there came up from the end of the bazar a man of the wandering Dervishes, clad in haircloth, the garb of the pious servants of Allah and seeing Kamar al-Zaman sitting there as he were a branch of Bán springing from a mound of saffron, poured forth copious tears and recited these two couplets,

"A wand uprising from a sandy knoll, * Like full moon shining brightest sheen, I saw; And said, 'What is thy name?' Replied he 'Lúlú' * 'What' (asked I) 'Lily?' and he answered 'Lá, lá!'" [FN#379]

Then the Dervish fell to walking, now drawing near and now moving away, [FN#380] and wiping his gray hairs with his right hand, whilst the heart of the crowd was cloven asunder for awe of him. When he looked upon the boy, his eyes were dazzled and his wit confounded, and exemplified in him was the saying of the poet,

"While that fair-faced boy abode in the place, * Moon of breakfast-fête he lit by his face, [FN#381] Lo! there came a Shaykh with leisurely pace * A reverend trusting to Allah's grace, And ascetic signals his gait display'd.

He had studied Love both by day and night * And had special knowledge of Wrong and Right; Both for lad and lass had repined his sprite, * And his form like toothpick was lean and slight, And old bones with faded skin were o'erlaid.

In such arts our Shaykh was an Ajamí [FN#382] * With a catamite ever in company; In the love of woman, a Platonist he [FN#383] * But in either versed to the full degree, And Zaynab to him was the same as Zayd. [FN#384]

Distraught by the Fair he adored the Fair * O'er Spring-camp wailed, bewept ruins bare. [FN#385] Dry branch thou hadst deemed him for stress o' care, * Which the morning breeze swayeth here and there, For only the stone is all hardness made!

In the lore of Love he was wondrous wise * And wide awake with all-seeing eyes. Its rough and its smooth he had tried and tries * And hugged buck and doe in the self-same guise And with greybeard and beardless alike he play'd." [FN#386]

Then he came up to the boy and gave him a root [FN#387] of sweet basil, whereupon his father put forth his hand to his pouch and brought out for him some small matter of silver, saying, "Take thy portion, O Dervish, and wend thy ways." He took the dirhams, but sat down on the masonry-bench alongside the shop and opposite the boy and fell to gazing upon him and heaving sigh upon sigh, whilst his tears flowed like springs founting. The folk began to look at him and remark upon him, some saying, "All Dervishes are lewd fellows," and other some, "Verily, this Dervish's heart is set on fire for love of this lad." Now when Abd al-Rahman saw this case, he arose and said to the boy, "Come, O my son, let us lock up the shop and hie us home, for it booteth not to sell and buy this day; and may Almighty Allah requite thy mother that which she hath done with us, for she was the cause of all this!" Then said he, "O Dervish, rise, that I may shut my shop." So the Dervish rose and the merchant shut his shop and taking his son, walked away. The Dervish and the folk followed them, till they reached their place, when the boy went in and his father, turning to the Dervish, said to him, "What wouldst thou, O Dervish, and why do I see thee weep?" He replied, "O my lord, I would fain be thy guest this night, for the guest is the guest of Almighty Allah." Quoth the merchant, "Welcome to the guest of God: enter, O Dervish!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the merchant, the father of Kamar al-Zaman, heard the saying of the Dervish, "I am Allah's guest," he replied, "Welcome to the guest of God: enter, O Dervish!" But he said to himself, "An the beggar be enamoured of the boy and sue him for sin, needs must I slay him this very night and bury him secretly. But, an there be no lewdness in him, the guest shall eat his portion." Then he brought him into a saloon, where he left him with Kamar al-Zaman, after he had said privily to the lad, "O my son, sit thou beside the Dervish when I am gone out and sport with him and provoke him to love-liesse and if he seek of thee lewdness, I who will be watching you from the window overlooking the saloon will come down to him and kill him." So, as soon as Kamar al-Zaman was alone in the room with the Dervish, he sat down by his side and the old man began to look upon him and sigh and weep. Whenever the lad bespake him, he answered him kindly, trembling the while and would turn to him groaning and crying, and thus he did till supper was brought in, when he fell to eating, with his eyes on the boy but refrained not from shedding tears. When a fourth part of the night was past and talk was ended and sleep-tide came, Abd al-Rahman said to the lad, "O my son, apply thyself to the service of thine uncle the Dervish and gainsay him not:" and would have gone out; but the Dervish cried to him, "O my lord, carry thy son with thee or sleep with us." Answered the merchant, "Nay, my son shall lie with thee: haply thy soul may desire somewhat, and he will look to thy want and wait upon thee." Then he went out leaving them both together, and sat down in an adjoining room which had a window giving upon the saloon. Such was the case with the merchant; but as to the lad, as soon as his sire had left them, he came up to the Dervish and began to provoke him and offer himself to him, whereupon he waxed wroth and said, "What talk is this, O my son? I take refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned! O my Lord, indeed this is a denial of Thee which pleaseth Thee not! Avaunt from me, O my son!" So saying, the Dervish arose and sat down at a distance; but the boy followed him and threw himself upon him, saying, "Why, O Dervish, wilt thou deny thyself the joys of my possession, and I with a heart that loveth thee?" Hereupon the Dervish's anger redoubled and he said, "An thou refrain not from me, I will summon thy sire and tell him of thy doings." Quoth the lad, "My father knoweth my turn for this and it may not be that he will hinder me: so heal thou my heart. Why dost thou hold off from me? Do I not please thee?" Answered the Dervish, "By Allah, O my son, I will not do this, though I be hewn in pieces with sharp-edged swords!"; and he repeated the saying of the poet,

"Indeed my heart loves all the lovely boys * As girls; nor am I slow to such delight, But, though I sight them every night and morn, * I'm neither of Lot's folk [FN#388] nor wencher-wight."

Then he shed tears and said, "Arise, open the door, that I may wend my way, for I will lie no longer in this lodging." Therewith he rose to his feet; but the boy caught hold of him, saying, "Look at the fairness of my face and the cramoisy of my cheeks and the softness of my sides and the lusciousness of my lips." Moreover he discovered to him calves that would shame wine and cupcarrier [FN#389] and gazed on him with fixed glance that would baffle enchanter and enchantments; for he was passing of loveliness and full of blandishment, even as saith of him one of the poets who sang,

"I can't forget him, since he rose and showed with fair design * Those calves of legs whose pearly shine make light in nightly gloom: Wonder not an my flesh uprise as though 'twere Judgment-day * When every shank shall bared be and that is Day of Doom." [FN#390]

Then the boy displayed to him his bosom, saying, "Look at my breasts which be goodlier than the breasts of maidens and my lip-dews are sweeter than sugar-candy. So quit scruple and asceticism and cast off devoutness and abstinence and take thy fill of my possession and enjoy my loveliness. Fear naught, for thou art safe from hurt, and leave this hebetude for 'tis a bad habit." And he went on to discover to him his hidden beauties, striving to turn the reins of his reason with his bendings in graceful guise, whilst the Dervish turned away his face and said, "I seek refuge with Allah! Have some shame, O my son! [FN#391] This is a forbidden thing I deem and I will not do it, no, not even in dream." The boy pressed upon him, but the Dervish got free from him and turning towards Meccah addressed himself to his devotions. Now when the boy saw him praying, he left him till he had prayed a two-bow prayer and saluted, [FN#392] when he would have accosted him again; but the Dervish again repeated the intent [FN#393] and prayed a second two-bow prayer, and thus he did a third and a fourth and a fifth time. Quoth the lad, "What prayers are these? Art thou minded to take flight upon the clouds? Thou lettest slip our delight, whilst thou passest the whole night in the prayer-niche." So saying, he threw himself upon the Dervish and kissed him between the eyes; but the Shaykh said, "O my son, put Satan away from thine estate and take upon thee obedience of the Compassionate." Quoth the other, "An thou do not with me that which I desire, I will call my sire and say to him, The Dervish is minded to do lewdness with me. Whereupon he will come in to thee and beat thee till thy bones be broken upon thy flesh." All this while Abd al-Rahman was watching with his eyes and hearkening with his ears, and he was certified that there was no frowardness in the Dervish and he said to himself, "Were he a lewd fellow, he had not stood out against all this importunity." The boy continued to beguile the Dervish and every time he expressed purpose of prayer, he interrupted him, till at last he waxed wroth with passing wrath and was rough with him and beat him. Kamar al-Zaman wept and his father came in and having wiped away his tears and comforted him said to the Dervish, "O my brother, since thou art in such case, why didst thou weep and sigh when thou sawest my son? Say me, is there a reason for this?" He replied, "There is;" and Abd al-Rahman pursued, "When I saw thee weep at his sight, I deemed evil of thee and bade the boy do with thee thus, that I might try thee, purposing in myself, if I saw thee sue him for sin, to come in upon thee and kill thee. But, when I saw what thou didst, I knew thee for one of those who are virtuous to the end. Now Allah upon thee, tell me the cause of thy weeping!" The Dervish sighed and said, "O my lord, chafe not a closed [FN#394] wound." But the merchant said, "There is no help but thou tell me;" and the other began, "Know thou that I am a Dervish who wander in the lands and the countries, and take warning by the display [FN#395] of the Creator of Night and Day. It chanced that one Friday I entered the city of Bassorah in the undurn."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Dervish said to the merchant, "Know, then, that I a wandering mendicant chanced one Friday to enter the city of Bassorah in the undurn and saw the shops open and full of all manner of wares and meat and drink; but the place was deserted and therein was neither man nor woman nor girl nor boy: nor in the markets and the main streets was there dog or cat nor sounded sound nor friend was found. I marvelled at this end and said to myself, 'I wonder whither the people of the city be gone with their cats and dogs and what hath Allah done with them?' Now I was anhungred so I took hot bread from a baker's oven and going into the shop of an oilman, spread the bread with clarified butter and honey and ate. Then I entered the shop of a sherbet-seller and drank what I would; after which, seeing a coffee-shop open, I went in and found the pots on the fire, full of coffee; [FN#396] but there was no one there. So I drank my fill and said, 'Verily, this is a wondrous thing! It seemeth as though Death had stricken the people of this city and they had all died this very hour, or as if they had taken fright at something which befel them and fled, without having time to shut their shops.' Now whilst pondering this matter, lo! I heard a sound of a band of drums beating; whereat I was afraid and hid myself for a while: then, looking out through a crevice, I saw damsels, like moons, come walking through the market, two by two, with uncovered heads and faces displayed. They were in forty pairs, thus numbering fourscore and in their midst a young lady, riding on a horse that could hardly move his legs for that which was upon it of silvern trappings and golden and jewelled housings. Her face was wholly unveiled, and she was adorned with the costliest ornaments and clad in the richest of raiment and about her neck she wore a collar of gems and on her bosom were necklaces of gold; her wrists were clasped with bracelets which sparkled like stars, and her ankles with bangles of gold set with precious stones. The slave-girls walked before her and behind and on her right and left and in front of her was a damsel bearing in baldric a great sword, with grip of emerald and tassels of jewel-encrusted gold. When that young lady came to where I lay hid, she pulled up her horse and said, 'O damsels, I hear a noise of somewhat within yonder shop: so do ye search it, lest haply there be one hidden there, with intent to enjoy a look at us, whilst we have our faces unveiled.' So they searched the shop opposite the coffee-house [FN#397] wherein I lay hid, whilst I abode in terror; and presently I saw them come forth with a man and they said to her, 'O our lady, we found a man there and here he is before thee.' Quoth she to the damsel with the sword, 'Smite his neck.' So she went up to him and struck off his head; then, leaving the dead man lying on the ground, they passed on. When I saw this, I was affrighted; but my heart was taken with love of the young lady. After an hour or so, the people reappeared and every one who had a shop entered it; whilst the folk began to come and go about the bazars and gathered around the slain man, staring at him as a curiosity. Then I crept forth from my hiding place by stealth, and none took note of me, but love of that lady had gotten possession of my heart, and I began to enquire of her privily. None, however, gave me news of her; so I left Bassorah, with vitals yearning for her love; and when I came upon this thy son, I saw him to be the likest of all creatures to the young lady; wherefore he reminded me of her and his sight revived the fire of passion in me and kindled anew in my heart the flames of love-longing and distraction. And such is the cause of my shedding tears!" Then he wept with sore weeping till he could no more and said, "O my lord, I conjure thee by Allah, open the door to me, so I may gang my gait!" Accordingly Abd al-Rahman opened the door and he went forth. Thus fared it with him; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, when he heard the Dervish's story, his heart was taken with love of the lady and passion gat the mastery of him and raged in him longing and distraction; so, on the morrow, he said to his sire, "All the sons of the merchants wander about the world to attain their desire, nor is there one of them but his father provideth for him a stock-in-trade wherewithal he may travel and traffic for gain. Why, then, O my father, dost thou not outfit me with merchandise, so I may fare with it and find my luck?" He replied, "O my son, such merchants lack money; so they send their sons to foreign parts for the sake of profit and pecuniary gain and provision of the goods of the world. But I have monies in plenty nor do I covet more: why then should I exile thee? Indeed, I cannot brook to be parted from thee an hour, more especially as thou art unique in beauty and loveliness and perfect grace and I fear for thee." But Kamar al-Zaman said, "O my father, nothing will serve but thou must furnish me with merchandise wherewithal to travel; else will I fly from thee at unawares though without money or merchandise. So, an thou wish to solace my heart, make ready for me a stock-in-trade, that I may travel and amuse myself by viewing the countries of men." Abd al-Rahman, seeing his son enamoured of travel, acquainted his wife with this, saying, "Verily thy son would have me provide him with goods, so he may fare therewith to far regions, albeit Travel is Travail." [FN#398] Quoth she, "What is there to displease thee in this? Such is the wont of the sons of the merchants and they all vie one with other in glorifying globe-trotting and gain." Quoth he, "Most of the merchants are poor and seek growth of good; but I have wealth galore." She replied, "More of a good thing hurteth not; and, if thou comply not with his wish, I will furnish him with goods of my own monies." Quoth Abd al-Rahman, "I fear strangerhood for him, inasmuch as travel is the worst of trouble;" but she said, "There is no harm in strangerhood for him when it leadeth to gaining good; and, if we consent not, our son will go away and we shall seek him and not find him and be dishonoured among the folk." The merchant accepted his wife's counsel and provided his son with merchandise to the value of ninety thousand gold pieces, whilst his mother gave him a purse containing forty bezel-stones, jewels of price, the least of the value of one of which was five hundred ducats, saying, "O my son, be careful of this jewellery for 'twill be of service to thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman took the jewels and set out for Bassorah,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman took the jewels and set out for Bassorah after he had laid them in a belt, which he buckled about his waist; and he stayed not till there remained aught but a day's journey between that city and himself; when the Arabs came out upon him and stripped him naked and slew his men and servants; but he laid himself down among the slain and wallowed in their blood, so that the wildlings took him for dead and left him without even turning him over and made off with their booty. When the Arabs had gone their ways, Kamar al-Zaman arose, having naught left but the jewels in his girdle, and fared on nor ceased faring till he came to Bassorah. It chanced that his entry was on a Friday and the town was void of folk, even as the Dervish had informed him. He found the market-streets deserted and the shops wide open and full of goods; so he ate and drank and looked about him. Presently, he heard a band of drums beating and hid himself in a shop, till the slave-girls came up, when he looked at them; and, seeing the young lady riding amongst them, love and longing overcame him and desire and distraction overpowered him, so that he had no force to stand. After awhile, the people reappeared and the bazars filled. Whereupon he went to the market and repairing to a jeweller and pulling out one of his forty gems sold it for a thousand dinars, wherewith he returned to his place and passed the night there; and when morning morrowed he changed his clothes and going to the Hamman came forth as he were the full moon. Then he sold other four stones for four thousand dinars and sauntered solacing himself about the main streets of Bassorah, clad in the costliest of clothes; till he came to a market, where he saw a barber's shop. So he went in to the barber who shaved his head; and, clapping up an acquaintance with him, said to him, "O my father, I am a stranger in these parts and yesterday I entered this city and found it void of folk, nor was there in it any living soul, man nor Jinni. Then I saw a troop of slave-girls and amongst them a young lady riding in state:" and he went on to tell him all he had seen. Said the barber, "O my son, hast thou told any but me of this?"; and he said, "No." The other rejoined, "Then, O my son, beware thou mention this before any but me; for all folk cannot keep a secret and thou art but a little lad and I fear lest the talk travel from man to man, till it reach those whom it concerneth and they slay thee. For know, O my son, that this thou hast seen, none ever kenned nor knew in other than this city. As for the people of Bassorah they are dying of this annoy; for every Friday forenoon they shut up the dogs and cats, to hinder them from going about the market-streets, and all the people of the city enter the cathedral-mosques, where they lock the doors on them [FN#399] and not one of them can pass about the bazar nor even look out of casement; nor knoweth any the cause of this calamity. But, O my son, to-night I will question my wife concerning the reason thereof, for she is a midwife and entereth the houses of the notables and knoweth all the city news. So Inshallah, do thou come to me to-morrow and I will tell thee what she shall have told me." With this Kamar al-Zaman pulled out a handful of gold and said to him, "O my father, take this gold and give it to thy wife, for she is become my mother." Then he gave him a second handful, saying, "Take this for thyself." Whereupon quoth the barber, "O my son, sit thou in thy place, till I go to my wife and ask her and bring the news of the true state of the case." So saying, he left him in the shop and going home, acquainted his wife with the young man's case, saying, "I would have thee tell me the truth of this city-business, so I may report it to this young merchant, for he hath set his heart on weeting the reason why men and beasts are forbidden the market-streets every Friday forenoon; and methinks he is a lover, for he is openhanded and liberal, and if we tell him what he would trow, we shall get great good of him." Quoth she, "Go back and say to him, 'Come, speak with thy mother, my wife, who sendeth her salam to thee and saith to thee, Thy wish is won.'" Accordingly he returned to the shop, where he found Kamar al-Zaman sitting awaiting him and repeated him the very words spoken by his spouse. Then he carried him in to her and she welcomed him and bade him sit down; whereupon he pulled out an hundred ducats and gave them to her, saying, "O my mother, tell me who this young lady may be." Said she, "Know, O my son, that there came a gem to the Sultan of Bassorah from the King of Hind, and he was minded to have it pierced. So he summoned all the jewellers in a body and said to them, 'I wish you to drill me this jewel. Whoso pierceth it, I will give him whatsoever he shall ask; but if he break it, I will cut off his head.' At this they were afraid and said, 'O King of the age, a jewel is soon spoilt and there are few who can pierce them without injury, for most of them have a flaw. So do not thou impose upon us a task to which we are unable; for our hands cannot avail to drill this jewel. However, our Shaykh [FN#400] is more experienced than we.' Asked the King, 'And who is your Shaykh?'; and they answered, 'Master Obayd: he is more versed than we in this art and hath wealth galore and of skill great store. Therefore do thou send for him to the presence and bid him pierce thee this jewel.' Accordingly the King sent for Obayd and bade him pierce the jewel, imposing on him the condition aforesaid. He took it and pierced it to the liking of the King who said to him, 'Ask a boon of me, O master'; and said he, 'O King of the age, allow me delay till to-morrow.' Now the reason of this was that he wished to take counsel with his wife, who is the young lady thou sawest riding in procession; for he loveth her with exceeding love, and of the greatness of his affection for her, he doth naught without consulting her; wherefore he put off asking till the morrow. When he went home, he said to her, 'I have pierced the King a jewel and he hath granted me a boon which I deferred asking till to-morrow, that I might consult thee. Now what dost thou wish, that I may ask it?' Quoth she, 'We have riches such as fires may not consume; but, an thou love me, ask of the King to make proclamation in the streets of Bassorah that all the townsfolk shall every Friday enter the mosques, two hours before the hour of prayer, so none may abide in the town at all great or small except they be in the mosques or in the houses and the doors be locked upon them, and that every shop of the town be left open. Then will I ride with my slave-women through the heart of the city and none shall look on me from window or lattice; and every one whom I find abroad I will kill.' [FN#401] So he went in to the King and begged of him this boon, which he granted him and caused proclamation to be made amongst the Bassorites,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When is was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the barber's wife said, "When the Jeweller begged his boon, the King bade proclamation be made amongst the Bassorites, but the people objected that they feared for their goods from the cats and dogs; wherefore he commanded to shut the animals up till the folk should come forth from the Friday prayers. So the jeweller's wife fell to sallying forth every Friday, two hours before the time of congregational prayer, and riding in state through the city with her women; during which time none dareth pass through the market-place nor look out of casement or lattice. This, then, is what thou wouldest know and I have told thee who she is; but, O my son, was it thy desire only to have news of her or hast thou a mind to meet her?" Answered he, "O my mother, 'tis my wish to foregather with her." Quoth she, "Tell me what valuables thou hast with thee"; and quoth he, "O my mother, I have with me precious stones of four sorts, the first worth five hundred dinars each, the second seven hundred, the third eight hundred and the fourth a thousand ducats." She asked, "Art thou willing to spend four of these?"; and he answered, "I am ready to spend all of them." She rejoined, "Then, arise, O my son, and go straight to thy lodging and take a bezel-gem of those worth five hundred sequins, with which do thou repair to the jewel market and ask for the shop of Master Obayd, the Shaykh of the Jewellers. Go thither and thou wilt find him seated in his shop, clad in rich clothes, with workmen under his hand. Salute him and sit down on the front shelf of his shop; [FN#402] then pull out the jewel and give it to him, saying, 'O master, take this stone and fashion it into a seal-ring for me with gold. Make it not large, a Miskál [FN#403] in weight and no more; but let the fashion of it be thy fairest.' Then give him twenty dinars and to each of his prentices a dinar. Sit with him awhile and talk with him and if a beggar approach thee, show thy generosity by giving him a dinar, to the intent that he may affect thee, and after this, leave him and return to thy place. Pass the night there, and next morning, take an hundred dinars and bring them and give them to thy father the barber, for he is poor." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "Be it so," and returning to his caravanserai, took a jewel worth five hundred gold pieces and went with it to the jewel-bazar. There he enquired for the shop of Master Obayd, Shaykh of the Jewellers, and they directed him thereto. So he went thither and saw the Shaykh, a man of austere aspect and robed in sumptuous raiment with four journeymen under his hand. He addressed him with "Peace be upon you!" and the jeweller returned his greeting and welcoming him, made him sit down. Then he brought out the jewel and said, "O master, I wish thee to make me this jewel into a seal-ring with gold. Let it be the weight of a Miskal and no more, but fashion it excellently." Then he pulled out twenty dinars and gave them to him, saying, "This is the fee for chasing and the price of the ring shall remain." [FN#404] And he gave each of the apprentices a gold piece, wherefore they loved him, and so did Master Obayd. Then he sat talking with the jeweller and whenever a beggar came up to him, he gave him a gold piece and they all marvelled at his generosity. Now Master Obayd had tools at home, like those he had in the shop, and whenever he was minded to do any unusual piece of work, it was his custom to carry it home and do it there, that his journeymen might not learn the secrets of his wonderful workmanship. [FN#405] His wife used to sit before him, and when she was sitting thus and he looking upon her, [FN#406] he would fashion all manner of marvellously wroughten trinkets, such as were fit for none but kings. So he went home and sat down to mould the ring with admirable workmanship. When his wife saw him thus engaged, she asked him, "What wilt thou do with this bezel-gem?"; and he answered, "I mean to make it into a ring with gold, for 'tis worth five hundred dinars." She enquired, "For whom?"; and he answered, "For a young merchant, who is fair of face, with eyes that wound with desire, and cheeks that strike fire and mouth like the seal of Sulaymán and cheeks like the bloom of Nu'mán and lips red as coralline and neck like the antelope's long and fine. His complexion is white dashed with red and he is well-bred, pleasant and generous and doth thus and thus." And he went on to describe to her now his beauty and loveliness and then his perfection and bounty and ceased not to vaunt his charms and the generosity of his disposition, till he had made her in love with him; for there is no sillier cuckold than he who vaunteth to his wife another man's handsome looks and unusual liberality in money matters. So, when desire rose high in her, she said to him, "Is aught of my charms found in him?" Said he, "He hath all thy beauties; and he is thy counterpart in qualities. Meseemeth his age is even as thine and but that I fear to hurt thy feelings, I would say that he is a thousand times handsomer than thou art." She was silent, yet the fire of fondness was kindled in her heart. And the jeweller ceased not to talk with her and to set out Kamar al-Zaman's charms before her till he had made an end of moulding the ring; when he gave it to her and she put it on her finger, which it fitted exactly. Quoth she, "O my lord, my heart loveth this ring and I long for it to be mine and will not take it from my finger." Quoth he, "Have patience! The owner of it is generous, and I will seek to buy it of him, and if he will sell it, I will bring it to thee. Or if he have another such stone, I will buy it and fashion it for thee into a ring like this."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller said to his wife, "Have patience! The owner of it is generous and I will seek to buy it of him; and, if he will sell it, I will bring it to thee; or, if he have another such stone I will buy it and fashion it for thee into a ring like this." On this wise it fared with the jeweller and his wife; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, he passed the night in his lodging and on the morrow he took an hundred dinars and carried them to the old woman, the barber's wife, saying to her, "Accept these gold pieces," and she replied, "Give them to thy father." So he gave them to the barber and she asked, "Hast thou done as I bade thee?" He answered, "Yes," and she said, "Go now to the Shaykh, the jeweller, and if he give thee the ring, put it on the tip of thy finger and pull it off in haste and say to him, 'O master, thou hast made a mistake; the ring is too tight.' He will say, 'O merchant, shall I break it and mould it again larger?' And do thou say, 'It booteth not to break it and fashion it anew. Take it and give it to one of thy slave-women.' Then pull out another stone worth seven hundred dinars and say to him, 'Take this stone and set it for me, for 'tis handsomer than the other.' Give him thirty dinars and to each of the prentices two, saying, 'These gold pieces are for the chasing and the price of the ring shall remain.' Then return to thy lodging for the night and on the morrow bring me two hundred ducats, and I will complete thee the rest of the device." So the youth went to the jeweller, who welcomed him and made him sit down in his shop; and he asked him, "Hast thou done my need?" "Yes," answered Obayd and brought out to him the seal-ring; whereupon he set it on his finger-tip and pulling it off in haste, cried, "Thou hast made a mistake, O master;" and threw it to him, saying, "'Tis too strait for my finger." Asked the jeweller, "O merchant, shall I make it larger?" But he answered, "Not so; take it as a gift and give it to one of thy slave-girls. Its worth is trifling, some five hundred dinars; so it booteth not to fashion it over again." Then he brought out to him another stone worth seven hundred sequins and said to him, "Set this for me: 'tis a finer gem." Moreover he gave him thirty dinars and to each of his workmen two. Quoth Obayd, "O my lord we will take the price of the ring when we have made it." [FN#407] But Kamar al-Zaman said, "This is for the chasing, and the price of the ring remains over." So saying, he went away home, leaving the jeweller and his men amazed at the excess of his generosity. Presently the jeweller returned to his wife and said, "O Halimah, [FN#408] never did I set eyes on a more generous than this young man, and as for thee, thy luck is good, for he hath given me the ring without price, saying, 'Give it to one of thy slave-women.'" And he told her what had passed, adding, "Methinks this youth is none of the sons of the merchants, but that he is of the sons of the Kings and Sultans." Now the more he praised him, the more she waxed in love-longing, passion and distraction for him. So she took the ring and put it on her finger, whilst the jeweller made another one, a little larger than the first. When he had finished moulding it, she put it on her finger, under the first, and said, "Look, O my lord, how well the two rings show on my finger! I wish they were both mine." Said he, "Patience! It may be I shall buy thee this second one." Then he lay that night and on the morrow he took the ring and went to his shop. As for Kamar al-Zaman, as soon as it was day, he repaired to the barber's wife and gave her two hundred dinars. Quoth she, "Go to the jeweller and when he giveth thee the ring, put it on thy finger and pull it off again in haste, saying, 'Thou hast made a mistake, O master! This ring is too large. A master like thee, when the like of me cometh to him with a piece of work, it behoveth him to take right measure; and if thou hadst measured my finger, thou hadst not erred.' Then pull out another stone worth a thousand dinars and say to him, 'Take this and set it, and give this ring to one of thy slave-women.' Give him forty ducats and to each of his journeymen three, saying, "This is for the chasing, and for the cost of the ring, that shall remain.' And see what he will say. Then bring three hundred diners and give them to thy father the barber that he may mend his fortune withal, for he is a poor man." Answered Kamar al-Zaman, "I hear and obey," and betook himself to the jeweller, who welcomed him and making him sit down, gave him the ring. He took it and put it on his finger; then pulled it off in haste and said, "It behoveth a master like thee, when the like of me bringeth him a piece of work, to take his measure. Hadst thou measured my finger, thou hadst not erred but take it and give it to one of thy slave women." Then he brought out to him a stone worth a thousand sequins and said to him, "Take this and set it in a signet-ring for me after the measure of my finger." Quoth Obayd, "Thou hast spoken sooth and art in the right;" and took his measure, whereupon he pulled out forty gold pieces and gave them to him, saying, "Take these for the chasing and the price of the ring shall remain." Cried the jeweller, "O my lord, how much hire have we taken of thee' Verily, thy bounty to us is great!" "No harm," replied Kamar al-Zaman and sat talking with him awhile and giving a diner to every beggar who passed by the shop. Then he left him and went away, whilst the jeweller returned home and said to his wife, 'How generous is this young merchant! Never did I set eyes on a more open handed or a comelier than he, no, nor a sweeter of speech. And he went on to recount to her his charms and generosity and was loud in his praise. Cried she, "O thou lack tact, [FN#409] since thou notest these qualities in him, and indeed he hath given thee two seal rings of price, it behoveth thee to invite him and make him an entertainment and entreat him lovingly. When he seest that thou affectest him and cometh to our place, we shall surely get great good of him; and if thou grudge him the banquet do thou bid him and I will entertain him of my monies." Quoth he, "Dost thou know me to be niggardly, that thou sayest this Say?; and quoth she, "Thou art no niggard, but thou lackest tact. Invite him this very night and come not without him. An he refuse, conjure him by the divorce oath and be persistent with him "On my head and eyes," answered he and moulded the ring till he had finished it, after which he passed the night and went forth on the morrow to his shop and sat there. On this wise it was with him, but as for Kamar al-Zaman, he took three hundred diners and carrying them to the old wife, gave them to her for the barber, her husband. Said she, "Most like he will invite thee to his house this day; and if he do this and thou pass the night there, tell me in the morning what befalleth thee and bring with thee four hundred diners and give them to thy father." Answered he, "Hearing and obeying;" and as often as he ran out of money, he would sell some of his stones. So he repaired to the jeweller, who rose to him and received him with open arms, greeted him heartily and clapped up companionship with him. Then he gave him the ring, and he found it after the measure of his finger and said to the jeweller, "Allah bless thee, O prince of artists! The setting is conformable but the stone is not to my liking." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,


When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to the jeweller, "The setting is conformable to my wishes, but the stone is not to my liking. I have a handsomer than this: so take the seal-ring and give it to one of thy slave women." Then he gave him a fourth stone and an hundred diners, saying, "Take thy hire and excuse the trouble we have given thee." Obayd replied, "O merchant, all the trouble thou hast given us thou hast requited us and hast over whelmed us with thy great bounties: and indeed my heart is taken with love of thee and I cannot brook parting from thee. So, Allah upon thee, be thou my guest this night and heal my heart." He rejoined, "So be it; but needs must I go to my Khan, that I may give a charge to my domestics and tell them that I shall sleep abroad to night, so they may not expect me." "Where dost thou lodge?" asked the jeweller; and he answered, "In such a Khan." Quoth Obayd, "I will come for thee there;" and quoth the other "'Tis well." So the jeweller repaired to the Khan before sundown, fearing lest his wife should be anangered with him, if he returned home without his guest; and, carrying Kamar al-Zaman to his house, seated him in a saloon that had not its match, Halimah saw him, as he entered, and was ravished with him. They talked till supper was served when they ate and drank; after which appeared coffee and sherbets, and the jeweller ceased not to entertain him with talk till eventide, when they prayed the obligatory prayers. Then entered a handmaid with two cups [FN#410] of night drink, which when they had drunk, drowsiness overcame them and they slept. Presently in came the jeweller's wife and seeing them asleep, looked upon Kamar al-Zaman's face and her wit was confounded at his beauty. Said she, "How can he sleep who loveth the fair?" and, turning him over on his back, sat astraddle upon his breast. Then, in the mania of her passion for him, she rained down kisses on his cheeks, till she left a mark upon them and they became exceeding red and his cheek bones shone; and, she sucked his lips, till the blood ran out into her mouth; but with all this, her fire was not quenched nor her thirst assuaged. She ceased not to kiss and clip him and twine leg with leg, till the forebrow of Morn grew white and the dawn broke forth in light; when she put in his pocket four cockals [FN#411] and went away. Then she sent her maid with something like snuff, which she applied to their nostrils and they sneezed and awoke, when the slave-girl said, "O my lords, prayer is a duty; so rise ye and pray the dawn-prayer." And she brought them basin and ewer. [FN#412] Quoth Kaman al-Zamar "O master, 'tis late and we have overslept ourselves;" and quoth the jeweller, "O my friend verily the air of this room is heavy; for, whenever I sleep in it, this happens to me." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "True," and proceeded to make the Wuzu ablution; but, when he put the water to his face, his cheeks and lips burned him. Cried he, "Prodigious! If the air of the room be heavy and we have been drowned in sleep, what aileth my cheeks and lips that they burn me?" And he said to the jeweller, "O master, my cheeks and lips burn me." The other replied, "I guess this cometh of the mosquito bites." "Strange!" said Kamar al-Zaman. "Hath this thing happened to thee?" Replied Obayd, "No! But whenever I have by me a guest like thee, he complaineth in the morning of the mosquito bites, and this happeneth only when he is like thee beardless. If he be bearded the mosquitoes sting him not, and naught hindereth them from me but my beard. It seems mosquitoes love not bearded men." [FN#413] Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "True." Then the maid brought them early breakfast and they broke their fast and went out. Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to the old woman, who exclaimed, when she saw him, "I see the marks of joyance on thy face: tell me what thou hast seen." Said he, "I have seen nothing. Only I supped with the house master in a saloon and prayed the night prayer, after which we fell asleep and woke not till morning." She laughed and said, "What be those marks on thy cheeks and lips?" He answered, "'Twas the mosquitoes of the saloon that did this with me;" and she rejoined, "'Tis well. But did the same thing betide the house master?" He retorted, "Nay; but he told me that the mosquitoes of that saloon molest not bearded men, but sting those only who have no hair on face, and that whenever he hath for guest one who is beard less, the stranger awaketh complaining of the mosquito bites; whereas an he have a beard, there befalleth him naught of this." Said she, "Sooth thou speakest: but say me, sawest thou aught save this?" And he answered, "I found four cockals in my pocket." Quoth she, "Show them to me." So he gave them to her and she laughed and said, "Thy mistress laid these in thy pocket." He asked, "How so?" And she answered, " 'Tis as if she said to thee, in the language of signs, [FN#414] 'An thou wert in love, thou wouldst not sleep, for a lover sleepeth not: but thou hast not ceased to be a child and fit for nothing but to play with these cockals. So what crave thee to fall in love with the fair?' Now she came to thee by night and finding thee asleep, scored thy cheeks with her kisses and left thee this sign. But that will not suffice her of thee and she will certainly send her husband to invite thee again to night; so, when thou goest home with him, hasten not to fall asleep, and on the morrow bring me five hundred diners and come and acquaint me with what hath passed, and I will perfect for thee the device." Answered he, "I hear and obey," and went back to the Khan. Thus it befel him; but as regards the jeweller's wife, she said to her husband, "Is the guest gone?" Answered he, "Yes, but, O Halimah, [FN#415]the mosquitoes plagued him last night and scarified his cheeks and lips, and indeed I was abashed before him." She rejoined, "This is the wont of the mosquitoes of our saloon; for they love none save the beardless. But do thou invite him again to night." So he repaired to the Khan where the youth abode, and bidding him, carried him to his house, where they ate and drank and prayed the night prayer in the saloon, after which the slave-girl entered and gave each of them a cup of night drink, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-girl went in to the twain and gave each of them a cup of night drink, and they drank and fell asleep. Presently, in came Halimah and said, "O good for nothing, how canst thou sleep and call thy self a lover? A lover sleepeth not!" Then she mounted on his breast and ceased not to come down upon him with kisses and caresses, biting and sucking his lips and so forth, till the morning. when she put in his pocket a knife and sent her handmaid to arouse them. And when the youth awoke, his cheeks were on fire, for excess of redness, and his lips like coral, for dint of sucking and kissing. Quoth the jeweller, "Did the mosquitoes plague thee last night?"; and quoth the other, "Nay!"; for he now knew the conceit and left complaining. Then he felt the knife in his pocket and was silent; but when he had broken his fast and drunk coffee, he left the jeweller and going to the Khan; took five hundred diners of gold and carried them to the old woman, to whom he related what had passed, saying, "I slept despite myself, and when I woke at dawn I found nothing but a knife in my pocket." Exclaimed the old trot, "May Allah protect thee from her this next night! For she saith to thee by this sign, 'An thou sleep again, I will cut thy throat.' Thou wilt once more be bidden to the jeweller's house to night, [FN#416] and if thou sleep, she will slay thee." Said he, "What is to be done?"; and said she, "Tell me what thou atest and drankest before sleeping." Quoth he, "We supped as was our wont and prayed the night prayer, after which there came in to us a maid, who gave each of us a cup of night drink, which when I had drunk, I fell asleep and awoke not till the morning." Quoth the old woman, "The mischief is in the cup: so, when the maid giveth it to thee, take it from her, but drink not and wait till the master of the house have drunken and fallen asleep; then say to her, 'Give me a draught of water,' and she will go to fetch thee the gugglet. Then do thou empty the cup behind the pillow and lie down and feign sleep. So when she cometh back with the gugglet, she will deem that thou hast fallen asleep, after having drunk off the cup, and will leave thee; and presently the case will appear to thee; but beware of disobeying my bidding." Answered he, "I hear and I obey," and returned to the Khan. Meanwhile the jeweller's wife said to her husband, "A guest's due honour is three nights' entertainment: so do thou invite him a third time." Whereupon he betook himself to the youth and inviting him, carried him home and sat down with him in the saloon. When they had supped and prayed the night prayer, behold, in came the handmaid and gave each of them a cup. Her master drank and fell asleep; but Kamar al-Zaman forbore to drink, whereupon quoth the maid, "Wilt thou not drink, O my lord?" Answered he, "I am athirst, bring me the gugglet." Accordingly she went to fetch it, and he emptied the cup behind the pillow and lay down. When the slave-girl returned, she saw him lying down and going to her mistress said, "He hath drunk off the cup and fallen asleep;" whereupon quoth Halimah to herself, "Verily, his death is better than his life." Then, taking a sharp knife, she went in to him, saying, "Three times, and thou notedst not the sign, O fool! [FN#417] So now I will rip up thy maw." When he saw her making for him knife in hand, he opened his eyes and rose, laughing; whereupon said she, "'Twas not of thine own wit, that thou camest at the meaning of the sign, but by the help of some wily cheat; so tell me whence thou hadst this knowledge." "From an old woman," replied he, "between whom and me befel such and such;" and he told her all that had passed. Quoth she, "To morrow go thou forth from us and seek her and say, 'Hast thou any further device in store?' And if she answer, 'I have,' do thou rejoin, 'Then do thy best that I may enjoy her publicly.' But, if she say, 'I have no means of doing that, and this is the last of my devices,' put her away from thy thought, and to morrow night my husband will come to thee and invite thee. Do thou come with him and tell me and I will consider what remaineth to be done." Answered he, "There is no harm in that!" Then he spent the rest of the night with her in embracing and clipping, plying the particle of copulation in concert [FN#418] and joining the conjunctive with the conjoined, [FN#419] whilst her husband was as a cast-out nunnation of construction. [FN#420] And they ceased not to be thus till morning, when she said to him, "'Tis not a night of thee that will content me, nor a day; no, nor yet a month nor a year; but it's my intent to abide with thee the rest of my life. Wait, however, till I play my husband a trick which would baffle the keenest witted and win for us our wishes. I will cause doubt to enter into him, so that he shall divorce me, whereupon I will marry thee and go with thee to thine own country; I will also transport all his monies and hoards to thy lodging and will contrive thee the ruin of his dwelling place and the blotting out of his traces. But do thou hearken to my speech and obey me in that I shall say to thee and gainsay me not." He replied, "I hear and I obey: in me there is none opposition." Then said she, "Go to the Khan and, when my husband cometh to thee and inviteth thee, say to him, 'O my brother, a son of Adam is apt to be burdensome, and when his visits grow over frequent, both generous and niggard loathe him. [FN#421] How then shall I go with thee every night and lie I and thee, on the saloon? An thou wax not chagrined with me, thy Harim will bear me grudge, for that I hinder thee from thine. Therefore if thou have a mind to my company, take me a house beside thine own and we will abide thus, now I sitting with thee till the time of sleep, and now with me thou. Then I will go to my place and thou to thy Harim and this will be a better rede than that I hinder thee from thy Harim every night.' Then will he come to me and take counsel with me, and I will advise him to turn out our neighbour, for the house wherein he liveth is our house and he renteth it of us; and once thou art in the house, Allah will make easy to us the rest of our scheme." And presently she added, "Go now and do as I bid thee." Answered he, "I hear and obey;" whereupon she left him and went away, whilst he lay down and feigned to be asleep. Presently, the handmaid came and aroused them; and when the jeweller awoke, he said to his guest, "O merchant have the mosquitoes worried thee?" He replied, "No," and Obayd said, "Belike thou art grown used to them." Then they broke their fast and drank coffee, after which they fared forth to their affairs, and Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to the old crone, and related to her what had passed, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to the old crone, he related to her what had passed, saying, "She spake to me this and that, and I answered her thus and thus. Now say me, hast thou any farther device for bringing me to enjoy her publicly?" Quoth she, "O my son, here endeth my contrivance, and now I am at the term of my devices." Upon this he left her and returned to the Khan where, as eventide evened, the jeweller came to him and invited him. He said, "I cannot go with thee." Asked the merchant, "Why so? I love thee and cannot brook separation from thee. Allah upon thee come with me!" The other replied, "An it be thy wish to continue our comradeship and keep up the friendship betwixt thee and me, take me a house by the side of thine own and when thou wilt, thou shalt pass the evening with me and I with thee; but, as soon as the time of sleep cometh, each of us shall hie him to his own home and lie there." Quoth Obayd, "I have a house adjoining mine, which is my own property: so go thou with me to night and to-morrow I will have the house untenanted for thee." Accordingly he went with him and they supped and prayed the night prayer, after which the jeweller drank the cup of drugged [FN#422] liquor and fell asleep: but in Kamar al-Zaman's cup there was no trick; so he drank it and slept not. Then came the jeweller's wife and sat chatting with him through the dark hours, whilst her husband lay like a corpse. When he awoke in the morning as of wont, he sent for his tenant and said to him, "O man, quit me the house, for I have need of it." "On my head and eyes," answered the other and voided the house to him, whereupon Kamar al-Zaman took up his abode therein and transported thither all his baggage. The jeweller passed that evening with him, then went to his own house. On the next day, his wife sent for a cunning builder and bribed him with money to make her an underground-way [FN#423] from her chamber to Kamar al-Zaman's house, with a trap-door under the earth. So, before the youth was ware, she came in to him with two bags of money and he said to her, "Whence comest thou?" She showed him the tunnel and said to him, "Take these two bags of his money." Then she sat with him, the twain toying and tumbling together till the morning, when she said, "Wait for me, till I go to him and wake him, so he may go to his shop, and I return to thee." He sat expecting her, whilst she went away and awoke her husband, who made the Wuzu ablution and prayed and went to his shop. As soon as he was gone, she took four bags and, carrying them through the Souterrain to Kamar al-Zaman, said to him, "Store these up;" then she sat with him awhile, after which she retired to her home and he betook himself to the bazar. When he returned at sundown, he found in his house ten purses and jewels and much besides. Presently the jeweller came to him and carried him to his own house, where they passed the evening in the saloon, till the handmaid came in according to custom, and brought them the drink. Her master drank and fell asleep, whilst naught betided Kamar al-Zaman for that his cup was wholesome and there was no trick therein. Then came Halimah who sat down atoying with him, whilst the slave-girl transported the jeweller's goods to Kamar al-Zaman's house by the secret passage. Thus they did till morning, when the handmaid awoke her lord and gave them to drink coffee, after which they went each his own way. On the third day the wife brought out to him a knife of her husband's, which he had chased and wrought with his own hand, and which he priced at five hundred diners. But there was no knife like it and because of the eagerness with which folk sought it of him, he had laid it up in a chest and could not bring himself to sell it to any one in creation. Quoth she, "Take this knife and set it in thy waist shawl and go to my husband and sit with him. Then pull out the knife and say to him, 'O master, look at this knife I bought to day and tell me if I have the worst or the best of the bargain.' He will know it, but will be ashamed to say to thee, 'This is my knife;' so he will ask thee, 'Whence didst thou buy it and for how much?'; and do thou make answer, 'I saw two Levantines [FN#424] disputing and one said to the other, 'Where hast thou been?' Quoth his companion, 'I have been with my mistress, and whenever I foregather with her, she giveth me ten dirhams; but this day she said to me, 'My hand is empty of silver for thee to day, but take this knife of my husband's.' So I took it and intend to sell it.' The knife pleased me and hearing his tale I said to him, 'Wilt thou sell it to me?' when he replied, 'Buy.' So I got it of him for three hundred gold pieces and I wonder whether it was cheap or dear.' And note what he will say to thee. Then talk with him awhile and rise and come back to me in haste. Thou wilt find me awaiting thee at the tunnel mouth, and do thou give me the knife." Replied Kamar al-Zaman, "I hear and I obey," and taking the knife set it in his waist-shawl. Then he went to the shop of the jeweller, who saluted him with the salam and welcomed him and made him sit down. He spied the knife in his waist shawl, at which he wondered and said to himself, "That is my knife: who can have conveyed it to this merchant?" And he fell a musing and saying in his mind, "I wonder an it be my knife or a knife like it!" Presently Kamar al-Zaman pulled it out and said to him, "Harkye, master; take this knife and look at it." Obayd took it and knew it right well, but was ashamed to say, "This is my knife;" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the jeweller took the knife from Kamar al-Zaman, he knew it, but was ashamed to say, "This is my knife." So he asked, "Where didst thou buy it?" Kamar al-Zaman answered as Halimah had charged him, and the jeweller said, "The knife was cheap at that price, for it is worth five hundred diners." But fire flamed in his heart and his hands were tied from working at his craft. Kamar al-Zaman continued to talk with him, whilst he was drowned in the sea of solicitudes, and for fifty words wherewith the youth bespoke him, he answered him but one; for his heart ached and his frame was racked and his thoughts were troubled and he was even as saith the poet,

"I have no words though folk would have me talk * And who bespeak me find me thought waylaid: Plunged in the Care-sea's undiscovered depths, * Nor aught of difference see 'twixt man and maid!"

When Kamar al-Zaman saw his case thus changed, he said to him "Belike thou art busy at this present," and leaving him, returned in hottest haste to his own house, where he found Halimah standing at the passage door awaiting him. Quoth she "Hast thou done as I bade thee?"; and quoth he, "Yes." She asked, "What said he to thee?"; and he answered, "He told me that the knife was cheap at that price, for that it was worth five hundred diners: but I could see that he was troubled; so I left him and know not what befel him after that." Cried she, "Give me the knife and reck thou not of him." Then she took the knife and restoring it to its place, sat down. Now after Kamar al-Zaman's departure fire flamed in the jeweller's heart and suspicion was sore upon him and he said to himself, "Needs must I get up and go look for the knife and cut down doubt with certainty." So he rose and repaired to his house and went in to his wife, snorting like a dragon; [FN#425] and she said to him, "What mattereth thee, O my lord?" He asked, "Where is my knife?" and she answered, "In the chest," and smote hand upon breast, saying, "O my grief! Belike thou hast fallen out with some one and art come to fetch the knife to smite him withal." Said he, "Give me the knife. Let me see it." But said she, "Not till thou swear to me that thou wilt not smite any one therewith." So he swore this to her and she opened the chest and brought out to him the knife and he fell to turning it over, saying, "Verily, this is a wondrous thing!" Then quoth he to her, "Take it and lay it back in its place;" and she, "Tell me the meaning of all this." He answered, "I saw with our friend a knife like this," and told her all that had passed between himself and the youth, adding, "But, when I saw it in the chest, my suspicion ended in certainty." Said she, "Haply thou misdoubtedest of me and deemedst that I was the Levantine's mistress and had given him the knife." He replied, "Yes, I had my doubts of this; but, when I saw the knife, suspicion was lifted from my heart." Rejoined she, "O man, there is now no good in thee!" And he fell to excusing himself to her, till he appeased her; after which he fared forth and returned to his shop. Next day, she gave Kamar al-Zaman her husband's watch, which he had made with his own hand and whereof none had the like, saying, "Go to his shop and sit by his side and say to him, 'I saw again to-day him whom I saw yesterday. He had a watch in his hand and said to me, 'Wilt thou buy this watch?' Quoth I, 'Whence hadst thou it?'; and quoth he, 'I was with my mistress and she gave me this watch.' So I bought it of him for eight-and-fifty gold pieces. Look at it: is it cheap at that price or dear?' Note what he shall say to thee; then return to me in haste and give me the watch." So Kamar al-Zaman repaired to the jeweller and did with him as she had charged him. When Obayd saw the watch, he said, "This is worth seven hundred ducats;" and suspicion entered into him. Then the youth left him and returning to the wife, gave her back the watch. Presently, her husband suddenly came in snorting, and said to her, "Where is my watch?" Said she, "Here it is;" and he cried, "Give it to me." So she brought it to him and he exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and she too exclaimed, "O man, there is something the matter with thee. Tell me what it is." He replied, "What shall I say? Verily, I am bewildered by these chances!" And he recited these couplets, [FN#426]

"Although the Merciful be doubtless with me, Yet am I sore bewildered, for new griefs Have compassed me about, or ere I knew it I have endured till Patience self became Impatient of my patience.--I have endured Waiting till Heaven fulfil my destiny.-- I have endured till e'en endurance owned How I bore up with her; (a thing more bitter Than bitter aloes) yet though a bitterer thing Is not, than is that drug it were more bitter To me should Patience leave me unsustained."

Then said he to his wife, "O woman, I saw with the merchant our friend, first my knife, which I knew, for that its fashion was a device of my own wit, nor cloth its like exist; and he told me of it a story that troubled the heart: so I came back and found it at home. Again to day I see him with the watch, whose fashion also is of my own device, nor is there the fellow of it in Bassorah, and of this also he told me a story that saddened my heart. Wherefore I am bewildered in my wit and know not what is to come to me." Quoth she, "The purport of thy speech is that thou suspectedst me of being the friend of that merchant and his leman, and eke of giving him thy good; so thou camest to question me and make proof of my perfidy; and, had I not shown thee the knife and the watch, thou hadst been certified of my treason. But since, O man, thou deemest me this ill deme, henceforth I will never again break with thee bread nor drain with thee drink, for I loathe thee with the loathing of prohibition. [FN#427]" So he gentled her and excused himself till he had appeased her and returned, repenting him of having bespoken her thus, to his shop, where he sat, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the jeweller quitted his wife, he repented having bespoken her thus and, returning to his shop, he sat there in disquiet sore and anxiety galore, between belief and unbelief. About eventide he went home alone, not bringing Kamar al-Zaman with him: whereupon quoth his wife, "Where is the merchant?"; and quoth he, "In his lodgings." She asked, "Is the friendship between thee and him grown cold?" and he answered, "By Allah, I have taken a dislike to him, because of that which hath betided me from him." [FN#428] Quoth she, "Go fetch him, to please me." So he arose and went in to Kamar al-Zaman in his house; where he saw his own goods strewn about and knew them. At this sight, fire was kindled in his heart and he fell asighing. Quoth the youth, "How is it that I see thee melancholy?" Obayd was ashamed to say, "Here are my goods in thy house: who brought them hither?"; so he replied only, "A vexation hath betided me; but come thou with me to my house, that we may solace ourselves there." The other rejoined, "Let me be in my place: I will not go with thee." But the jeweller conjured him to come and took him to his house, where they supped and passed the evening together, Kamar al-Zaman talking with the jeweller, who was drowned in the sea of solicitude and for a hundred words, wherewith the guest bespoke him, answered him only one word. Presently, the handmaid brought them two cups of drink, as usual, and they drank; whereupon the jeweller fell asleep, but the youth abode on wake, because his cup was not drugged. Then came Halimah and said to her lover, "How deemest thou of yonder cornuted, who is drunken in his heedlessness and weeteth not the wiles of women? There is no help for it but that I cozen him into divorcing me. To-morrow, I will disguise myself as a slave-girl and walk after thee to his shop, where do thou say to him, 'O master, I went to-day into the Khan of Al-Yasirjiyah, where I saw this damsel and bought her for a thousand diners. Look at her for me and tell me whether she was cheap at that price or dear.' Then uncover to him my face and breasts and show all of me to him; after which do thou carry me back to thy house, whence I will go to my chamber by the secret passage, so I may see the issue of our affair with him." Then the twain passed the night in mirth and merriment, converse and good cheer, dalliance and delight till dawn, when she returned to her own place and sent the handmaid to arouse her lawful lord and her lover. Accordingly they arose and prayed the dawn-prayer and brake their fast and drank coffee, after which Obayd repaired to his shop and Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to his own house. Presently, in came Halimah to him by the tunnel, in the guise of a slave-girl, and indeed she was by birth a slave-girl. [FN#429] Then he went out and she walked behind him, till he came to the jeweller's shop and saluting him, sat down and said, "O master, I went into the Khan of Al-Yasirjiyah to-day, to look about me, and saw this damsel in the broker's hands. She pleased me; so I bought her for a thousand diners and I would have thee look upon her and see if she be cheap at that price or no." So saying, he uncovered her face and the jeweller saw her to be his own wife. clad in her costliest clothes, tricked out in her finest trinkets and kohl'd and henna'd, even as she was wont to adorn herself before him in the house. He knew with full knowledge her face and dress and trinkets, for those he had wrought with his own hand, and he saw on her fingers the seal rings he had newly made for Kamar al-Zaman, whereby he was certified with entire assurance that she was indeed his very wife. So he asked her, "What is thy name, O slave-girl?"; and she answered, "Halimah," naming to him her own name; whereat he was amazed and said to the youth, "For how much didst thou buy her?" He replied, "For a thousand diners"; and the jeweller rejoined, "Thou hast gotten her gratis; for her rings and clothes and trinkets are worth more than that." Said Kamar al-Zaman, "May Allah rejoice thee with good news! Since she pleaseth thee, I will carry her to my house;" and Obayd said, "Do thy will." So he took her off to his house, whence she passed through the secret passage to her own apartment and sat there. Meanwhile, fire flamed in the jeweller's heart and he said to himself, "I will go see my wife. If she be at home, this slave-girl must be her counterpart, and glory be to Him who alone hath no counterpart! But, if she be not at home, 'tis she herself without a doubt." Then he set off running, and coming to his house, found his wife sitting in the same clothes and ornaments he had seen upon her in the shop; whereupon he beat hand upon hand, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" "O man," asked she, "art thou mad or what aileth thee? 'Tis not thy wont to do thus, and needs must it be that something hath befallen thee." Answered he, "If thou wilt have me tell thee be not vexed." Quoth she, "Say on"; so he said, "Our friend the merchant hath bought a slave-girl, whose shape is as thy shape and her height as thy height; more-over, her name is even as thy name and her apparel is the like of thine apparel. Brief, she resembleth thee in all her attributes, and on her fingers are seal rings like thy seal rings and her trinkets are as thy trinkets. So, when he displayed her to me, methought it was thyself and I was perplexed concerning my case. Would we had never seen this merchant nor companied with him; and would he had never left his own country and we had not known him, for he hath troubled my life which before was serene, causing ill feeling to succeed good faith and making doubt to enter into my heart." Said she, "Look in my face, belike I am she who was with him and he is my lover and I disguised myself as a slave-girl and agreed with him that he should display me to thee, so he might lay a snare for thee." He replied, "What words are these? Indeed, I never suspected that thou wouldst do the like of this deed." Now this jeweller was unversed in the wiles of women and knew not how they deal with men, nor had he heard the saying of him who said,

"A heart bore thee off in chase of the fair, * As fled Youth and came Age wi' his hoary hair: Laylá troubles me and love joys are far; * And rival and risks brings us cark and care. An would'st ask me of woman, behold I am * In physic of womankind wise and ware: When grizzleth man's head and his monies fail, * His lot in their love is a poor affair."

Nor that of another, [FN#430]

"Gainsay women; he obeyeth Allah best, who saith them nay And he prospers not who giveth them his bridle rein to sway For they'll hinder him from winning to perfection in his gifts, Though a thousand years he study, seeking after wisdom's way."

And a third,

"Women Satans are, made for woe of man: * To Allah I fly from such Satanesses! Whom they lure by their love he to grief shall come * And lose bliss of world and the Faith that blesses."

Said she, "Here am I sitting in my chamber; so go thou to him forthright and knock at the door and contrive to go in to him quickly. An thou see the damsel with him 'tis a slave-girl of his who resembleth me (and Glory be to Him who hath no resemblance [FN#431]) But, an thou see no slave-girl with him, then am I myself she whom thou sawest with him in the shop, and thine ill thought of me will be stablished." "True," answered Obayd, and went out leaving her, whereupon she passed through the hidden passage and seating herself by Kamar al-Zaman, told him what had passed, saying, "Open the door quickly and show me to him." Now, as they were talking, behold, there came a knocking at the door. Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "Who is at the door?"; and quoth the jeweller, "I, thy friend; thou displayedst to me thy slave-girl in the bazar, and I rejoiced for thee in her, but my joy in her was not completed; so open the door and let me look at her again." Rejoined he, "So be it," and opened the door to him, whereupon he saw his wife sitting by him. She rose and kissed their hands; and he looked at her; then she talked with him awhile and he saw her not to be distinguished from his wife in aught and said, "Allah createth whatso He will." Then he went away more disheartened than before and returned to his own house where he saw his wife sitting, for she had foregone him thither by the souterrain. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young lady forewent her spouse by the souterrain as he fared through the door and sat down in her upper chamber; [FN#432] so as soon as he entered she asked him, "What hast thou seen?" and he answered, "I found her with her master; and she resembleth thee." Then said she, "Off to thy shop and let this suffice thee of ignoble suspicion and never again deem ill of me." Said he, "So be it: accord me pardon for what is past." And she, "Allah grant thee grace!" [FN#433] whereupon he kissed her right and left and went back to his shop. Then she again betook herself to Kamar al-Zaman through the underground passage, with four bags of money, and said to him, "Equip thyself at once for the road and be ready to carry off the money without delay, against I devise for thee the device I have in mind." So he went out and purchased mules and loaded them and made ready a travelling litter, he also bought Mamelukes and eunuchs and sending, without let or hindrance, the whole without the city, returned to Halimah and said to her, "I have made an end of my affairs." Quoth she, "And I on my side am ready; for I have transported to thy house all the rest of his monies and treasures and have left him nor little nor much, whereof he may avail himself. All this is of my love for thee, O dearling of my heart, for I would sacrifice my husband to thee a thousand times. But now it behoveth, thou go to him and farewell him, saying, 'I purpose to depart after three days and am come to bid thee adieu; so do thou reckon what I owe thee for the hire of the house that I may send it to thee and acquit my conscience.' Note his reply and return to me and tell me; for I can no more; I have done my best, by cozening him, to anger him with me and cause him to put me away, but I find him none the less infatuated with me. So nothing will serve us but to depart to thine own country." And quoth he, "O rare! an but swevens prove true!" [FN#434] Then he went to the jeweller's shop and sitting down by him, said to him, "O master, I set out for home in three days' time, and am come to farewell thee. So I would have thee reckon what I owe thee for the hire of the house, that I may pay it to thee and acquit my conscience." Answered Obayd, "What talk is this? Verily, 'tis I who am indebted to thee. By Allah, I will take nothing from thee for the rent of the house, for thou hast brought down blessings upon us! However, thou desolatest me by thy departure, and but that it is forbidden to me, I would certainly oppose thee and hinder thee from returning to thy country and kinsfolk." Then he took leave of him, whilst they both wept with sore weeping and the jeweller went with him, and when they entered Kamar al-Zaman's house, there they found Halimah who stood before them and served them; but when Obayd returned home, he found her sitting there; nor did he cease to see her thus in each house in turn, for the space of three days, when she said to Kamar al-Zaman, "Now have I transported to thee all that he hath of monies and hoards and carpets and things of price, and there remaineth with him naught save the slave-girl, who used to come in to you with the night drink: but I cannot part with her, for that she is my kinswoman and she is dear to me as a confidante. So I will beat her and be wroth with her and when my spouse cometh home, I will say to him, 'I can no longer put up with this slave-girl nor stay in the house with her; so take her and sell her.' Accordingly he will sell her and do thou buy her, that we may carry her with us." Answered he, "No harm in that." So she beat the girl and when the jeweller came in, he found her weeping and asked her why she wept. Quoth she, "My mistress hath beaten me." He then went in to his wife and said to her, "What hath that accursed girl done, that thou hast beaten her?" She replied, "O man, I have but one word to say to thee, and 'tis that I can no longer bear the sight of this girl; so take her and sell her, or else divorce me." Quoth he, "I will sell her that I may not cross thee in aught;" and when he went out to go to the shop he took her and passed with her by Kamar al-Zaman. No sooner had he gone out than his wife slipped through the under ground passage to Kamar al-Zaman, who placed her in the litter, before the Shaykh her husband reached him. When the jeweller came up and the lover saw the slave-girl with him, he asked him, "What girl is this?"; and the other answered, "'Tis my slave-girl who used to serve us with the night drink; she hath disobeyed her mistress who is wroth with her and hath bidden me sell her." Quoth the youth, "An her mistress have taken an aversion to her, there is for her no abiding with her; but sell her to me, that I may smell your scent in her, and I will make her handmaid to my slave Halimah." "Good," answered Obayd: "take her." Asked Kamar al-Zaman, "What is her price?"; but the jeweller said, "I will take nothing from thee, for thou hast been bountiful to us." So he accepted her from him and said to Halimah, "Kiss thy lord's hand." Accordingly, she came out from the litter and kissing Obayd's hand, remounted, whilst he looked hard at her. Then said Kamar al-Zaman, "I commend thee to Allah, O Master Obayd! Acquit my conscience of responsibility. [FN#435]" Answered the jeweller, "Allah acquit thee! and carry thee safe to thy family!" Then he bade him farewell and went to his shop weeping, and indeed it was grievous to him to part from Kamar al-Zaman, for that he had been friend and friendship hath its debtorship; yet he rejoiced in the dispelling of the doubts which had befallen him anent his wife, since the young man was now gone and his suspicions had not been stablished. Such was his case; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, the young lady said to him, "An thou wish for safety, travel with me by other than the wonted way." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Halimah said to Kamar al-Zaman, "An thou wish for safety travel with me by other than the wonted way," he replied, "Hearing and obeying;" and, taking a road other than that used by folk, fared on without ceasing from region to region till he reached the confines of Egypt-land [FN#436] and sent his sire a letter by a runner. Now his father the merchant Abd al-Rahman was sitting in the market among the merchants, with a heart on fire for separation from his son, because no news of the youth had reached him since the day of his departure; and while he was in such case the runner came up and cried, "O my lords, which of you is called the merchant Abd al-Rahman?" They said, "What wouldst thou of him?"; and he said, "I have a letter for him from his son Kamar al-Zaman, whom I left at Al-Arísh." [FN#437] At this Abd al-Rahman rejoiced and his breast was broadened and the merchants rejoiced for him and gave him joy of his son's safety. Then he opened the letter and read as follows, "From Kamar al-Zaman to the merchant Abd al-Rahman. And after Peace be upon thee and upon all the merchants! An ye ask concerning us, to Allah be the praise and the thanks. Indeed we have sold and bought and gained and are come back in health, wealth and weal." Whereupon Abd al-Rahman opened the door [FN#438] of rejoicing and made banquets and gave feasts and entertainments galore, sending for instruments of music and addressing himself to festivities after rarest fashion. When Kamar al-Zaman came to Al-Sálihiyah, [FN#439] his father and all the merchants went forth to meet him, and Abd al-Rahman embraced him and strained him to his bosom and sobbed till he swooned away. When he came to himself he said, "Oh, 'tis a boon day O my son, whereon the Omnipotent Protector hath reunited us with thee!" And he repeated the words of the bard,

"The return of the friend is the best of all boons, * And the joy cup circles o' morns and noons: So well come, welcome, fair welcome to thee, * The light of the time and the moon o' full moons."

Then, for excess of joy, he poured forth a flood of tears from his eyes and he recited also these two couplets,

"The Moon o' the Time, [FN#440] shows unveilèd light; * And, his journey done, at our door cloth alight: His locks as the nights of his absence are black * And the sun upstands from his collar's [FN#441] white."

Then the merchants came up to him and saluting him, saw with him many loads and servants and a travelling litter enclosed in a spacious circle. [FN#442] So they took him and carried him home; and when Halimah came forth from the litter, his father held her a seduction to all who beheld her. So they opened her an upper chamber, as it were a treasure from which the talismans had been loosed; [FN#443] and when his mother saw her, she was ravished with her and deemed her a Queen of the wives of the Kings. So she rejoiced in her and questioned her; and she answered, "I am wife to thy son;" and the mother rejoined, "Since he is wedded to thee we must make thee a splendid marriage feast, that we may rejoice in thee and in my son." On this wise it befel her; but as regards the merchant Abd al-Rahman, when the folk had dispersed and each had wended his way, he foregathered with his son and said to him, "O my son, what is this slave-girl thou hast brought with thee and for how much didst thou buy her?" [FN#444] Kamar al-Zaman said, "O my father, she is no slave-girl; but 'tis she who was the cause of my going abroad." Asked his sire, "How so?"; and he answered, "'Tis she whom the Dervish described to us the night he lay with us; for indeed my hopes crave to her from that moment and I sought not to travel save on account of her. The Arabs came out upon me by the way and stripped me and took my money and goods, so that I entered Bassorah alone and there befel me there such and such things;" and he went on to relate to his parent all that had befallen him from commencement to conclusion. Now when he had made an end of his story, his father said to him, "O my son, and after all this didst thou marry her?" "No; but I have promised her marriage." "Is it thine intent to marry her?" "An thou bid me marry her, I will do so; otherwise I will not marry her." Thereupon quoth his father, "An thou marry her, I am quit of thee in this world and in the next, and I shall be incensed against thee with sore indignation. How canst thou wed her, seeing that she hath dealt thus with her husband? For, even as she did with her spouse for thy sake, so will she do the like with thee for another's sake, because she is a traitress and in a traitor there is no trusting. Wherefore an thou disobey me, I shall be wroth with thee; but, an thou give ear to my word, I will seek thee out a girl handsomer than she, who shall be pure and pious, and marry thee to her, though I spend all my substance upon her; and I will make thee a wedding without equal and will glory in thee and in her; for 'tis better that folk should say, Such an one hath married such an one's daughter, than that they say, He hath wedded a slave-girl sans birth or worth." And he went on to persuade his son to give up marrying her, by citing in support of his say, proofs, stories, examples, verses and moral instances, till Kamar al-Zaman exclaimed, "O my father, since the case is thus, 'tis not right and proper that I marry her." And when his father heard him speak on such wise, he kissed him between the eyes, saying, "Thou art my very son, and as I live, O my son, I will assuredly marry thee to a girl who hath not her equal!" Then the merchant set Obayd's wife and her handmaid in a chamber high up in the house and, before locking the door upon the twain, he appointed a black slave-girl to carry them their meat and drink and he said to Halimah, "Ye shall abide imprisoned in this chamber, thou and thy maid, till I find one who will buy you, when I will sell you to him. An ye resist, I will slay ye both, for thou art a traitress, and there is no good in thee." Answered she, "Do thy will: I deserve all thou canst do with me." Then he locked the door upon them and gave his Harim a charge respecting them, saying, "Let none go up to them nor speak with them, save the black slave-girl who shall give them their meat and drink through the casement of the upper chamber." So she abode with her maid, weeping and repenting her of that which she had done with her spouse. Meanwhile Abd al-Rahman sent out the marriage brokers to look out a maid of birth and worth for his son, and the women ceased not to make search, and as often as they saw one girl, they heard of a fairer than she, till they came to the house of the Shaykh al-Islam [FN#445] and saw his daughter. In her they found a virgin whose equal was not in Cairo for beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, and she was a thousand fold handsomer than the wife of Obayd. So they told Abd al-Rahman of her and he and the notables repaired to her father and sought her in wedlock of him. Then they wrote out the marriage contract and made her a splendid wedding; after which Abd al-Rahman gave bride feasts and held open house forty days. On the first day, he invited the doctors of the law and they held a splendid nativity [FN#446]: and on the morrow, he invited all the merchants, and so on during the rest of the forty days, making a banquet every day to one or other class of folk, till he had bidden all the Olema and Emirs and Antients [FN#447] and Magistrates, whilst the kettle drums were drummed and the pipes were piped and the merchant sat to greet the guests, with his son by his side, that he might solace himself by gazing on the folk, as they ate from the trays. Each night Abd al-Rahman illuminated the street and the quarter with lamps and there came every one of the mimes and jugglers and mountebanks and played all manner play; and indeed it was a peerless wedding. On the last day he invited the Fakirs, the poor and the needy, far and near, and they flocked in troops and ate, whilst the merchant sat, with his son by his side. [FN#448] And among the paupers, behold, entered Shaykh Obayd the jeweller and he was naked and weary and bare on his face the marks of wayfare. When Kamar al-Zaman saw him, he knew him and said to his sire, "Look, O my father, at yonder poor man who is but now come in by the door." So he looked and saw him clad in worn clothes and on him a patched gown [FN#449] worth two dirhams: his face was yellow and he was covered with dust and was as he were an offcast of the pilgrims. [FN#450] He was groaning as groaneth a sick man in need, walking with a tottering gait and swaying now to the right and then to the left, and in him was realized his saying who said, [FN#451]

"Lack-gold abaseth man and cloth his worth away, Even as the setting sun that pales with ended day. He passeth 'mongst the folk and fain would hide his head; And when alone, he weeps with tears that never stay. Absent, none taketh heed to him or his concerns; Present, he hath no part in life or pleasance aye. By Allah, whenas men with poverty are cursed, But strangers midst their kin and countrymen are they!"

And the saying of another,

"The poor man fares by everything opposed: * On him to shut the door Earth ne'er shall fail: Thou seest men abhor him sans a sin, * And foes he finds tho none the cause can tell: The very dogs, when sighting wealthy man, * Fawn at his feet and wag the flattering tail; Yet, an some day a pauper loon they sight, * All at him bark and, gnashing fangs, assail."

And how well quoth a third,

"If generous youth be blessed with luck and wealth, * Displeasures fly his path and perils fleet: His enviers pimp for him and par'site-wise * E'en without tryst his mistress hastes to meet. When loud he farts they say 'How well he sings!' * And when he fizzles [FN#452] cry they, 'Oh, how sweet!'" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when his son said to Abd al-Rahman, "Look at yonder pauper!" he asked, "O my son, who is this?" And Kamar al-Zaman answered, "This is Master Obayd the jeweller, husband of the woman who is imprisoned with us." Quoth Abd al-Rahman, "Is this he of whom thou toldest me?"; and quoth his son, "Yes; and indeed I wot him right well." Now the manner of Obayd's coming thither was on this wise. When he had farewelled Kamar al-Zaman, he went to his shop and thence going home, laid his hand on the door whereupon it opened and he entered and found neither his wife nor the slave-girl, but saw the house in sorriest plight, quoting in mute speech his saying who said, [FN#453]

"The chambers were like a bee hive well stocked: * When their bees quitted it, they became empty."

When he saw the house void, he turned right and left and presently went round about the place, like a madman, but came upon no one. Then he opened the door of his treasure closet, but found therein naught of his money nor his hoards; whereupon he recovered from the intoxication of fancy and shook off his infatuation and knew that it was his wife herself who had turned the tables upon him and outwitted him with her wiles. He wept for that which had befallen him, but kept his affair secret, so none of his foes might exult over him nor any of his friends be troubled, knowing that, if he disclosed his secret, it would bring him naught but dishonour and contumely from the folk; wherefore he said in him self, "O Obayd, hide that which hath betided thee of affliction and ruination; it behoveth thee to do in accordance with his saying who said,

"If a man's breast with bane he hides be straitenèd, * The breast that tells its hidden bale is straiter still.' "

Then he locked up his house and, making for his shop, gave it in charge of one of his apprentices to whom said he, "My friend the young merchant hath invited me to accompany him to Cairo, for solacing ourselves with the sight of the city, and sweareth that he will not march except he carry us with him, me and my wife. So, O my son, I make thee my steward in the shop, and if the King ask for me, say thou to him, 'He is gone with his Harim to the Holy House of Allah.'" [FN#454] Then he sold some of his effects and bought camels and mules and Mamelukes, together with a slave-girl, [FN#455] and placing her in a litter, set out from Bassorah after ten days. His friends farewelled him and none doubted but that he had taken his wife and gone on the Pilgrimage, and the folk rejoiced in this, for that Allah had delivered them from being shut up in the mosques and houses every Friday. Quoth some of them, "Allah grant he may never return to Bassorah, so we may no more be boxed up in the mosques and houses every Friday!"; for that this usage had caused the people of Bassorah exceeding vexation. Quoth another, "Methinks he will not return from this journey, by reason of the much praying of the people of Bassorah against him." [FN#456] And yet another, "An he return, 'twill not be but in reversed case." [FN#457] So the folk rejoiced with exceeding joy in the jeweller's departure, after they had been in mighty great chagrin, and even their cats and dogs were comforted. When Friday came round, however, the crier proclaimed as usual that the people should repair to the mosques two hours before prayer time or else hide themselves in their houses, together with their cats and dogs; whereat their breasts were straitened and they assembled in general assembly and betaking themselves to the King's divan, stood between his hands and said, "O King of the age, the jeweller hath taken his Harim and departed on the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah: so the cause of our restrains hath ceased to be, and why therefore are we now shut up?" Quoth the King, "How came this traitor to depart without telling me? But, when he cometh back from his journey, all will not be save well [FN#458]: so go ye to your shops and sell and buy, for this vexation is removed from you." Thus far concerning the King and the Bassorites; but as for the jeweller, he fared on ten days' journey, and as he drew near Baghdad, there befel him that which had befallen Kamar al-Zaman, before his entering Bassorah; for the Arabs [FN#459] came out upon him and stripped him and took all he had and he escaped only by feigning himself dead. As soon as they were gone, he rose and fared on, naked as he was, till he came to a village, where Allah inclined to him the hearts of certain kindly folk, who covered his shame with some old clothes; and he asked his way, begging from town to town, till he reached the city of Cairo the God guarded. There, burning with hunger, he went about alms seeking in the market streets, till one of the townsfolk said to him, "O poor man, off with thee to the house of the wedding festival and eat and drink; for to day there is open table for paupers and strangers." Quoth he, "I know not the way thither": and quoth the other, "Follow me and I will show it to thee." He followed him, till he brought him to the house of Abd al-Rahman and said to him, "This is the house of the wedding; enter and fear not, for there is no doorkeeper at the door of the festival." Accordingly he entered and Kamar al-Zaman knew him and told his sire who said, "O my son, leave him at this present: belike he is anhungered: so let him eat his sufficiency and recover himself and after we will send for him." So they waited till Obayd had eaten his fill and washed his hands and drunk coffee and sherbets of sugar flavoured with musk and ambergris and was about to go out, when Abd al-Rahman sent after him a page who said to him, "Come, O stranger, and speak with the merchant Abd al-Rahman." "Who is he?" asked Obayd; and the man answered, "He is the master of the feast." Thereupon the jeweller turned back, thinking that he meant to give him a gift, and coming up to Abd al-Rahman, saw his friend Kamar al-Zaman and went nigh to lose his senses for shame before him. But Kamar al-Zaman rose to him and embracing him, saluted him with the salam, and they both wept with sore weeping. Then he seated him by his side and Abd al-Rahman said to his son, "O destitute of good taste, this is no way to receive friends! Send him first to the Hammam and despatch after him a suit of clothes of the choicest, worth a thousand dinars." [FN#460] Accordingly they carried him to the bath, where they washed his body and clad him in a costly suit, and he became as he were Consul of the Merchants. Meanwhile the bystanders questioned Kamar al-Zaman of him, saying, "Who is this and whence knowest thou him?" Quoth he, "This is my friend, who lodged me in his house and to whom I am indebted for favours without number, for that he entreated me with exceeding kindness. He is a man of competence and condition and by trade a jeweller, in which craft he hath no equal. The King of Bassorah loveth him dearly and holdeth him in high honour and his word is law with him." And he went on to enlarge before them on his praises, saying, "Verily, he did with me thus and thus and I have shame of him and know not how to requite him his generous dealing with me." Nor did he leave to extol him, till his worth was magnified to the bystanders and he became venerable in their eyes; so they said, "We will all do him his due and honour him for thy sake. But we would fain know the reason why he hath departed his native land and the cause of his coming hither and what Allah hath done with him, that he is reduced to this plight?" Replied Kamar al-Zaman, "O folk, marvel not, for a son of Adam is still subject to Fate and Fortune, and what while he abideth in this world, he is not safe from calamities. Indeed he spake truly who said these couplets,

"The world tears man to shreds, so be thou not * Of those whom lure of rank and title draws: Nay; 'ware of slips and turn from sin aside * And ken that bane and bale are worldly laws: How oft high Fortune falls by least mishap * And all things bear inbred of change a cause!"

Know that I entered Bassorah in yet iller case and worse distress than this man, for that he entered Cairo with his shame hidden by rags; but I indeed came into his town with my nakedness uncovered, one hand behind and another before; and none availed me but Allah and this dear man. Now the reason of this was that the Arabs stripped me and took my camels and mules and loads and slaughtered my pages and serving men; but I lay down among the slain and they thought that I was dead, so they went away and left me. Then I arose and walked on, mother naked, till I came to Bassorah where this man met me and clothed me and lodged me in his house, he also furnished me with money, and all I have brought back with me I owe to none save to Allah's goodness and his goodness. When I departed, he gave me great store of wealth and I returned to the city of my birth with a heart at ease. I left him in competence and condition, and haply there hath befallen him some bale of the banes of Time, that hath forced him to quit his kinsfolk and country, and there happened to him by the way the like of what happened to me. There is nothing strange in this; but now it behoveth me to requite him his noble dealing with me and do according to the saying of him who saith,

"O who praises" Time with the fairest appraise, * Knowest thou what Time hath made and unmade? What thou dost at least be it kindly done, [FN#461] * For with pay he pays shall man be repaid.'"

As they were talking and telling the tale, behold, up came Obayd as he were Consul [FN#462] of the Merchants; whereupon they all rose to salute him and seated him in the place of honour. Then said Kamar al-Zaman to him, "O my friend, verily, thy day [FN#463] is blessed and fortunate! There is no need to relate to me a thing that befel me before thee. If the Arabs have stripped thee and robbed thee of thy wealth, verily our money is the ransom of our bodies, so let not thy soul be troubled; for I entered thy city naked and thou clothedst me and entreatedst me generously, and I owe thee many a kindness. But I will requite thee."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to Master Obayd the jeweller, "Verily I entered thy city naked and thou clothedst me and I owe thee many a kindness. But I will requite thee and do with thee even as thou didst with me; nay, more: so be of good cheer and eyes clear of tear." And he went on to soothe him and hinder him from speech, lest he should name his wife and what she had done with him nor did he cease to ply him with saws and moral instances and verses and conceits and stories and legends and console him, till the jeweller saw his drift and took the hint and kept silence concerning the past, diverting himself with the tales and rare anecdotes he heard and repeating in himself these lines,

"On the brow of the World is a writ; an thereon thou look, * Its contents will compel thine eyes tears of blood to rain: For the World never handed to humans a cup with its right, * But with left it compelled them a beaker of ruin to drain."

Then Kamar al-Zaman and his father took Obayd and carrying him into the saloon of the Harim, shut themselves up with him; and Abd al-Rahman said to him, "We did not hinder thee from speaking before the folk, but for fear of dishonour to thee and to us: but now we are private; so tell me all that hath passed between thee and thy wife and my son." So he told him all, from beginning to end, and when he had made an end of his story, Abd al-Rahman asked him, "Was the fault with my son or with thy wife?" He answered, "By Allah, thy son was not to blame, for men must needs lust after women, and 'tis the bounder duty of women to defend themselves from men. So the sin lieth with my wife, who played me false and did with me these deeds." [FN#464] Then Abd al-Rahman arose and taking his son aside, said to him, "O my son, we have proved his wife and know her to be a traitress; and now I mean to prove him and see if he be a man of honour and manliness, or a wittol." [FN#465] "How so?" asked Kamar al-Zaman; and Abd al-Rahman answered, "I mean to urge him to make peace with his wife, and if he consent thereto and forgive her, I will smite him with a sword and slay him and kill her after, her and her maid, for there is no good in the life of a cuckold and a queen; [FN#466] but, if he turn from her with aversion I will marry him to thy sister and give him more of wealth than that thou tookest from him." Then he went back to Obayd and said to him, "O master, verily, the commerce of women requireth patience and magnanimity and whoso loveth them hath need of fortitude, for that they order themselves viper wise towards men and evilly entreat them, by reason of their superiority over them in beauty and loveliness: wherefore they magnify themselves and belittle men. This is notably the case when their husbands show them affection; for then they requite them with hauteur and coquetry and harsh dealing of all kinds. But, if a man be wroth whenever he seeth in his wife aught that offendeth him, there can be no fellowship between them; nor can any hit it off with them who is not magnanimous and long suffering; and unless a man bear with his wife and requite her foul doing with forgiveness, he shall get no good of her conversation. Indeed, it hath been said of them, 'Were they in the sky, the necks of men would incline themwards'; and he who hath the power and pardoneth, his reward is with Allah. Now this woman is thy wife and thy companion and she hath long consorted with thee; wherefore it behoveth that thou entreat her with indulgence which in fellowship is of the essentials of success. Furthermore, women fail in wit and Faith, [FN#467] and if she have sinned, she repenteth and Inshallah she will not again return to that which she whilome did. So 'tis my rede that thou make peace with her and I will restore thee more than the good she took; and if it please thee to abide with me, thou art welcome, thou and she, and ye shall see naught but what shall joy you both; but, an thou seek to, return to thine own land. For that which falleth out between a man and his wife is manifold, and it behoveth thee to be indulgent and not take the way of the violent." Said the jeweller, "O my lord, and where is my wife?" and said Abd al-Rahman, "She is in that upper chamber, go up to her and be easy with her, for my sake, and trouble her not; for, when my son brought her hither, he would have married her, but I forbade him from her and shut her up in yonder room, and locked the door upon her saying in myself, 'Haply her husband will come and I will hand her over to him safe; for she is fair of favour, and when a woman is like unto this one, it may not be that her husband will let her go.' What I counted on is come about and praised be Allah Almighty for thy reunion with thy wife! As for my son, I have sought him another woman in marriage and have married him to her: these banquets and rejoicings are for his wedding, and to-night I bring him to his bride. So here is the key of the chamber where thy wife is: take it and open the door and go in to her and her handmaid and be buxom with her. There shall be brought you meat and drink and thou shalt not come down from her till thou have had thy fill of her." Cried Obayd, "May Allah requite thee for me with all good, O my lord!" and taking the key, went up, rejoicing. The other thought his words had pleased him and that he consented thereto; so he took the sword and following him unseen, stood to espy what should happen between him and his wife. This is how it fared with the merchant Abd al-Rahman; but as for the jeweller, when he came to the chamber door, he heard his wife weeping with sore weeping for that Kamar al-Zaman had married another than her, and the handmaid saying to her, "O my lady, how often have I warned thee and said, 'Thou wilt get no good of this youth: so do thou leave his company.' But thou heededst not my words and spoiledst thy husband of all his goods and gayest them to him. After the which thou forsookest thy place, of thine fondness and infatuation for him, and camest with him to this country. And now he hath cast thee out from his thought and married another and hath made the issue of thy foolish fancy for him to be durance vile." Cried Halimah, "Be silent, O accursed! Though he be married to another, yet some day needs must I occur to his thought. I cannot forget the nights I have spent in his company and in any case I console myself with his saying who said,

'O my lords, shall he to your mind occur * Who recurs to you only sans other mate? Grant Heaven you ne'er shall forget his state * Who for state of you forgot own estate!'

It cannot be but he will bethink him of my affect and converse and ask for me, wherefore I will not turn from loving him nor change from passion for him, though I perish in prison; for he is my love and my leach [FN#468] and my reliance is on him that he will yet return to me and deal fondly with me." When the jeweller heard his wife's words, he went in to her and said to her, "O traitress, thy hope in him is as the hope of Iblis [FN#469] in Heaven. All these vices were in thee and I knew not thereof; for, had I been ware of one single vice, I had not kept thee with me an hour. But now I am certified of this in thee, it behoveth me to do thee die although they put me to death for thee, O traitress!" and he clutched her with both hands and repeated these two couplets,

"O fair ones forth ye cast my faithful love * With sin, nor had ye aught regard for right: How long I fondly clung to you, but now * My love is loathing and I hate your sight."

Then he pressed hardly upon her windpipe and brake her neck, whereupon her handmaid cried out "Alas, my mistress!" Said he, "O harlot, 'tis thou who art to blame for all this, for that thou knewest this evil inclination to be in her and toldest me not." [FN#470] Then he seized upon her and strangled her. All this happened while Abd al-Rahman stood, brand in hand, behind the door espying with his eyes and hearing with his ears. Now when Obayd the ]eweller had done this, apprehension came upon him and he feared the issue of his affair and said to himself, "As soon as the merchant learneth that I have killed them in his house, he will surely slay me; yet I beseech Allah that He appoint the taking of my life to be while I am in the True Belief!" And he abode bewildered about his case and knew not what to do, but, as he was thus behold, in came Abd al-Rahman from his lurking place without the door and said to him, "No harm shall befal thee, for indeed thou deserves" safety. See this sword in my hand. 'Twas in my mind to slay thee, hadst thou made peace with her and restored her to favour, and I would also have slain her and the maid. But since thou hast done this deed, welcome to thee and again welcome! And I will reward thee by marrying thee to my daughter, Kamar al-Zaman's sister." Then he carried him down and sent for the woman who washed the dead: whereupon it was bruited abroad that Kamar al-Zaman had brought with him two slave-girls from Bassorah and that both had deceased. So the people began to condole with him saying, "May thy head live!" and "May Allah compensate thee!" And they washed and shrouded them and buried them, and none knew the truth of the matter. Then Abd al-Rahman sent for the Shaykh al-Islam and all the notables and said, "O Shaykh, draw up the contract of marriage between my daughter Kaukab al-Salah [FN#471] and Master Obayd the jeweller and set down that her dowry hath been paid to me in full." So he wrote out the contract and Abd al-Rahman gave the company to drink of sherbets, and they made one wedding festival for the two brides the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islam and Kamar al-Zaman's sister; and paraded them in one litter on one and the same night; after which they carried Kamar al-Zaman and Obayd in procession together and brought them in to their brides. [FN#472] When the jeweller went in to Abd al-Rahman's daughter, he found her handsomer than Halimah and a thousand fold lovelier. So he took her maidenhead and on the morrow, he went to the Hammam with Kamar al-Zaman. Then he abode with them awhile in pleasance and joyance, after which he began to yearn for his native land; so he went in to Abd al-Rahman and said to him, "O uncle, I long for my own country, for I have there estates and effects, which I left in charge of one of my prentices; and I am minded to journey thither that I may sell my properties and return to thee. So wilt thou give me leave to go to my country for that purpose?" Answered the merchant, "O my son, I give thee leave to do this and there be no fault in thee or blame to thee for these words, for 'Love of mother land is a part of Religion'; and he who hath not good in his own country hath none in other folks' country. But, haply, an thou depart without thy wife, when thou art once come to thy native place, it may seem good to thee to settle there, and thou wilt be perplexed between returning to thy wife and sojourning in thine own home; so it were the righter rede that thou carry thy wife with thee; and after, an thou desire to return to us, return and welcome to you both; for we are folk who know not divorce and no woman of us marrieth twice, nor do we lightly discard a man." [FN#473] Quoth Obayd, "Uncle, I fear me thy daughter will not consent to journey with me to my own country." Replied Abd al-Rahman, "O my son, we have no women amongst us who gainsay their spouses, nor know we a wife who is wroth with her man." The jeweller cried, "Allah bless you and your women!" and going in to his wife, said to her, "I am minded to go to my country: what sayst thou?" Quoth she, "Indeed, my sire had the ordering of me, whilst I was a maid, and when I married, the ordering all passed into the hands of my lord and master, nor will I gainsay him." Quoth Obayd, "Allah bless thee and thy father, and have mercy on the womb that bare thee and the loins that begat thee!" Then he cut his thongs [FN#474] and applied himself to making ready for his journey. His father-in-law gave him much good and they took leave each of other, after which tile jeweller and his wife journeyed on without ceasing, till they reached Bassorah where his kinsmen and comrades came out to meet him, doubting not but that he had been in Al-Hijaz. Some rejoiced at his return, whilst others were vexed, and the folk said one to another, "Now will he straiten us again every Friday, as before, and we shall be shut up in the mosques and houses, even to our cats and our dogs." On such wise it fared with him; but as regards the King of Bassorah, when he heard of his return, he was wroth with him; and sending for him, upbraided him and said to him, "Why didst thou depart, without letting me know of thy departure? Was I unable to give thee somewhat wherewith thou mightest have succoured thyself in thy pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah?" Replied the jeweller, "Pardon, O my lord! By Allah, I went not on the pilgrimage! but there have befallen me such and such things." Then he told him all that had befallen him with his wife and with Abd al-Rahman of Cairo and how the merchant had given him his daughter to wife, ending with these words, "And I have brought her to Bassorah." Said the King, "By the Lord, did I not fear Allah the Most High, I would slay thee and marry this noble lady after thy death, though I spent on her mints of money, because she befitteth none but Kings. But Allah hath appointed her of thy portion and may He bless thee in her! So look thou use her well." Then he bestowed largesse on the jeweller, who went out from before him and abode with his wife five years, after which he was admitted to the mercy of the Almighty. Presently the King sought his widow in wedlock; but she refused, saying, "O King, never among my kindred was a woman who married again after her husband's death; wherefore I will never take another husband, nor will I marry thee, no, though thou kill me." Then he sent to her one who said, "Dost thou seek to go to thy native land?" And she answered, "An thou do good, thou shalt be requited therewith." So he collected for her all the jeweller's wealth and added unto her of his own, after the measure of his degree. Lastly he sent with her one of his Wazirs, a man famous for goodness and piety, and an escort of five hundred horse, who journeyed with her, till they brought her to her father; and in his home she abode, without marrying again, till she died and they died all. So, if this woman would not consent to replace her dead husband with a Sultan, how shall she be compared with one who replaced her husband, whilst he was yet alive, with a youth of unknown extraction and condition, and especially when this was in lewd carriage and not by way of lawful marriage? So he who deemeth all women alike, [FN#475] there is no remedy for the disease of his insanity. And glory be to Him to whom belongeth the empire of the Seen and the Unseen and He is the Living, who dieth not! And among the tales they tell, O auspicious King, is one of


ABDULLAH BIN FAZIL AND HIS BROTHERS. [FN#476]


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was one day examining the tributes of his various provinces and viceroyalties, when he observed that the contributions of all the countries and regions had come into the treasury, except that of Bassorah which had not arrived that year. So he held a Divan because of this and said, "Hither to me with the Wazir Ja'afar;" and when they brought him into the presence he thus bespoke him, "The tributes of all the provinces have come into the treasury, save that of Bassorah, no part whereof hath arrived." Ja'afar replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, belike there hath befallen the governor of Bassorah something that hath diverted him from sending the tribute." Quoth the Caliph, "The time of the coming of the tribute was twenty days ago; what then, can be his excuse for that, in this time, he hath neither sent it nor sent to show cause for not doing so?" And quoth the Minister, "O Commander of the Faithful, if it please thee, we will send him a messenger. Rejoined the Caliph, "Send him Abu Ishak al-Mausili, [FN#477] the boon companion," and Ja'afar, "Hearkening and obedience to Allah and to thee, O Prince of True Believers!" Then he returned to his house and summoning Abu Ishak, wrote him a royal writ and said to him, Go to Abdullah bin Fazil, Viceroy of Bassorah, and see what hath diverted him from sending the tribute. If it be ready, do thou receive it from him in full and bring it to me in haste, for the Caliph hath examined the tributes of the provinces and findeth that they are all come in, except that of Bassorah: but an thou see that it is not ready and he make an excuse to thee, bring him back with thee, that he may report his excuse to the Caliph with his own tongue." Answered Abu Ishak, "I hear and I obey;" and taking with him five thousand horse of Ja'afar's host set out for Bassorah. Now when Abdullah bin Fazil heard of his approach, he went out to meet him with his troops, and led him into the city and carried him to his palace, whilst the escort encamped without the city walls, where he appointed to them all whereof they stood in need. So Abu Ishak entered the audience-chamber and sitting down on the throne, seated the governor beside himself, whilst the notables sat round him, according to their several degrees. After salutation with the salam Abdullah bin Fazil said to him "O my lord, is there for thy coming to us any cause?;" and said Abu Ishak, "Yes, I come to seek the tribute; for the Caliph enquireth of it and the time of its coming is gone by." Rejoined Abdullah bin Fazil, "O my lord, would Heaven thou hadst not wearied thyself nor taken upon thyself the hardships of the journey! For the tribute is ready in full tale and complete, and I purpose to despatch it to-morrow. But, since thou art come, I will entrust it to thee, after I have entertained thee three days; and on the fourth day I will set the tribute between thine hands. But it behoveth us now to offer thee a present in part requital of thy kindness and the goodness of the Commander of the Faithful." "There is no harm in that," said Abu Ishak. So Abdullah bin Fazil dismissed the Divan and carrying him into a saloon that had not its match, bade set a tray of food before him and his companions. They ate and drank and made merry and enjoyed themselves; after which the tray was removed and there came coffee and sherbets. They sat conversing till a third part of the night was past, when they spread for Abu Ishak bedding on an ivory couch inlaid with gold glittering sheeny. So he lay down and the viceroy lay down beside him on another couch; but wakefulness possessed Abu Ishak and he fell to meditating on the metres of prosody and poetical composition, for that he was one of the primest of the Caliph's boon-companions and he had a mighty fine fore-arm [FN#478] in producing verses and pleasant stories; nor did he leave to lie awake improvising poetry till half the night was past. Presently, behold, Abdullah bin Fazil arose, and girding his middle, opened a locker, [FN#479] whence he brought out a whip; then, taking a lighted waxen taper, he went forth by the door of the saloon.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abdullah bin Fazil went forth by the door of the saloon deeming Abu Ishak asleep, the Caliph's cup-companion, seeing this, marvelled and said in himself, "Whither wendeth Abdullah bin Fazil with that whip? Perhaps he is minded to punish some body. But needs must I follow him and see what he will do this night." So he arose and went out after him softly, very softly, that he might not be seen and presently saw him open a closet and take thence a tray containing four dishes of meat and bread and a gugglet of water. Then he went on, carrying the tray and secretly followed by Abu Ishak, till he came to another saloon and entered, whilst the cup-companion stood behind the door and, looking through the chink, saw a spacious saloon, furnished with the richest furniture and having in its midst a couch of ivory plated with gold glittering sheeny, to which two dogs were made fast with chains of gold. Then Abdullah set down the tray in a comer and tucking up his sleeves, loosed the first dog, which began to struggle in his hands and put its muzzle to the floor, as it would kiss the ground before him, whining the while in a weak voice. Abdullah tied its paws behind its back and throwing it on the ground, drew forth the whip and beat it with a painful beating and a pitiless. The dog struggled, but could not get free, and Abdullah ceased not to beat it with the same whip till it left groaning and lay without consciousness. Then he took it and tied it up in its place, and unbinding the second dog, did with him as he had done with the first; after which he pulled out a kerchief and fell to wiping away their tears and comforting them, saying, "Bear me not malice; for by Allah, this is not of my will, nor is it easy to me! But it may be Allah will grant you relief from this strait and issue from your affliction." And he prayed for the twain what while Abu Ishak the cup-companion stood hearkening with his ears and espying with his eyes, and indeed he marvelled at his case. Then Abdullah brought the dogs the tray of food and fell to morselling them with his own hand, till they had enough, when he wiped their muzzles and lifting up the gugglet, gave them to drink; after which he took up the tray, gugglet and candle and made for the door. But Abu Ishak forewent him and making his way back to his couch, lay down; so that he saw him not; neither knew that he had walked behind him and watched him. Then the governor replaced the tray and the gugglet in the closet and returning to the saloon, opened the locker and laid the whip in its place; after which he doffed his clothes and lay down. But Abu Ishak passed the rest of that night pondering this affair neither did sleep visit him for excess of wonderment, and he ceased not to say in himself, "I wonder what can be the meaning of this!" Nor did he leave wondering till day break, when they arose and prayed the dawn-prayer. Then they set the breakfast [FN#480] before them and they ate and drank coffee, after which they went out to the divan. Now Abu Ishak's thought was occupied with this mystery all day long but he concealed the matter and questioned not Abdullah thereof. Next night, he again followed the governor and saw him do with the two dogs as on the previous night, first beating them and then making his peace with them and giving them to eat and to drink; and so also he did the third night. On the fourth day he brought the tribute to Abu Ishak who took it and departed, without opening the matter to him. He fared on, without ceasing, till he came to Baghdad, where he delivered the tribute to the Caliph, who questioned him of the cause of its delay. Replied he, "O Commander of the Faithful, I found that the governor of Bassorah had made ready the tribute and was about to despatch it; and I delayed a day, it would have met me on the road. But, O Prince of True Believers, I had a wondrous adventure with Abdullah bin Fazil; never in my life saw I its like." "And what was it, O Abu Ishak?" asked the Caliph. So he replied, "I saw such and such;" and, brief, acquainted him with that which the governor had done with the two dogs, adding, "After such fashion, I saw him do three successive nights, first beating the dogs, then making his peace with them and comforting them and giving them to eat and drink, I watching him, and he seeing me not." Asked the Caliph, "Didst thou question him of the cause of this?"; and the other answered, "No, as thy head liveth, O Commander of the Faithful." Then said Al-Rashid, "O Abu Ishak, I command thee to return to Bassorah and bring me Abdullah bin Fazil and the two dogs." Quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful, excuse me from this; for indeed Abdullah entertained me with exceedingly hospitable entertainment and I became ware of this case with chance undesigned and acquainted thee therewith. So how can I go back to him and bring him to thee? Verily, if I return to him, I shall find me no face for shame of him; wherefore 'twere meet that thou send him another than myself, with a letter under thine own hand, and he shall bring him to thee, him and the two dogs." But quoth the Caliph, "If I send him other than thyself, peradventure he will deny the whole affair and say, 'I've no dogs.' But if I send thee and thou say to him, 'I saw them with mine own eyes,' he will not be able to deny that. Wherefore nothing will serve but that thou go and fetch him and the two dogs; otherwise I will surely slay thee." [FN#481]--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid said to Abu Ishak, "Nothing will serve but that thou go and fetch him and the two dogs; otherwise I will surely slay thee." Abu Ishak replied, "Hearing and obeying, O Commander of the Faithful: Allah is our aidance and good is the Agent. He spake sooth who said, 'Man's wrong is from the tongue;' [FN#482] and 'tis I who sinned against myself in telling thee. But write me a royal rescript [FN#483] and I will go to him and bring him back to thee." So the Caliph gave him an autograph and he took it and repaired to Bassorah. Seeing him come in the governor said, "Allah forfend us from the mischief of thy return, O Abu Ishak! How cometh it I see thee return in haste? Peradventure the tribute is deficient and the Caliph will not accept it?" Answered Abu Ishak, "O Emir Abdullah, my return is not on account of the deficiency of the tribute, for 'tis full measure and the Caliph accepteth it; but I hope that thou wilt excuse me, for that I have failed in my duty as thy guest and indeed this lapse of mine was decreed of Allah Almighty." Abdullah enquired, "And what may be the lapse?" and he replied, "Know that when I was with thee, I followed thee three following nights and saw thee rise at midnight and beat the dogs and return; whereat I marvelled, but was ashamed to question thee thereof. When I came back to Baghdad, I told the Caliph of thine affair, casually and without design, whereupon he charged me to return to thee, and here is a letter under his hand. Had I known that the affair would lead to this, I had not told him, but Destiny foreordained thus." And he went on to excuse himself to him; whereupon said Abdullah, "Since thou hast told him this, I will bear out thy report with him, lest he deem thee a liar, for thou art my friend. Were it other than thou, I had denied the affair and given him the lie. But now I will go with thee and carry the two dogs with me, though this be to me ruin-rife and the ending of my term of life." Rejoined the other, "Allah will veil [FN#484] thee, even as thou hast veiled my face with the Caliph!" Then Abdullah took a present beseeming the Commander of the Faithful and mounting the dogs with him, each on a camel, bound with chains [FN#485] of gold, journeyed with Abu Ishak to Baghdad, where he went in to the Caliph and kissed ground before him. He deigned bid him sit; so he sat down and brought the two dogs before Al-Rashid, who said to him "What be these dogs, O Emir Abdullah?" Whereupon they fell to kissing the floor between his hands and wagging their tails and weeping, as if complaining to him. The Caliph marvelled at this and said to the governor, "Tell me the history of these two dogs and the reason of thy beating them and after entreating them with honour." He replied, "O Vicar of Allah, these be no dogs, but two young men, endowed with beauty and seemliness, symmetry and shapeliness, and they are my brothers and the sons of my father and mother." Asked the Caliph "How is it that they were men and are become dogs?"; and he answered, "An thou give me leave, O Prince of True Believers, I will acquaint thee with the truth of the circumstance." Said Al-Rashid, "Tell me and 'ware of leasing, for 'tis of the fashion of the hypocrites, and look thou tell truth, for that is the Ark [FN#486] of safety and the mark of virtuous men." Rejoined Abdullah, "Know then, O vice-regent of Allah, when I tell thee the story of these dogs, they will both bear witness against me: an I speak sooth they will certify it and if I lie they will give me the lie." Cried the Caliph, "These are of the dogs; they cannot speak nor answer; so how can they testify for thee or against thee?" But Abdullah said to them, "O my brothers, if I speak a lying word, do ye lift your heads and stare with your eyes; but, if I say sooth hang down your heads and lower your eyes." Then said he to the Caliph, "Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that we are three brothers by one mother and the same father. Our sire's name was Fazil and he was so named because his mother bare two sons at one birth, one of whom died forthright and the other twin remained alive, wherefore his sire named him Fazil--the Remainder. His father brought him up and reared him well, till he grew to manhood when he married him to our mother and died. Our mother conceived a first time and bare this my first brother, whom our sire named Mansúr; then she conceived again and bare this my second brother, whom he named Násir [FN#487]; after which she conceived a third time and bare me, whom he named Abdullah. My father reared us all three till we came to man's estate, when he died, leaving us a house and a shop full of coloured stuffs of all kinds, Indian and Greek and Khorásáni and what not, besides sixty thousand dinars. We washed him and buried him to the ruth of his Lord, after which we built him a splendid monument and let pray for him prayers for the deliverance of his soul from the fire and held perlections of the Koran and gave alms on his behalf, till the forty days [FN#488] were past; when I called together the merchants and nobles of the folk and made them a sumptuous entertainment. As soon as they had eaten, I said to them, 'O merchants, verily this world is ephemeral, but the next world is eternal, and extolled be the perfection of Him who endureth always after His creatures have passed away! Know ye why I have called you together this blessed day?' And they answered, 'Extolled be Allah sole Scient of the hidden things. [FN#489]' Quoth I, 'My father died, leaving much of money, and I fear lest any have a claim against him for a debt or a pledge [FN#490] or what not else, and I desire to discharge my father's obligations towards the folk. So whoso hath any demand on him, let him say, 'He oweth me so and so,' and I will satisfy it to him, that I may acquit the responsibility of my sire. [FN#491]' The merchants replied, 'O Abdullah, verily the goods of this world stand not in stead of those of the world to come, and we are no fraudful folk, but all of us know the lawful from the unlawful and fear Almighty Allah and abstain from devouring the substance of the orphan. We know that thy father (Allah have mercy on him!) still let his money lie with the folk, [FN#492] nor did he suffer any man's claim on him to go unquitted, and we have ever heard him declare, 'I am fearful of the people's substance.' He used always to say in his prayers, 'O my God, Thou art my stay and my hope! Let me not die while in debt.' And it was of his wont that, if he owed any one aught, he would pay it to him, without being pressed, and if any owed him aught he would not dun him, but would say to him, 'At thy leisure.' If his debtor were poor, he would release him from his liability and acquit him of responsibility; and if he were not poor and died in his debt, he would say, 'Allah forgive him what he owed me!' And we all testify that he owed no man aught.' Quoth I, 'May Allah bless you!' Then I turned to these my brothers and said, 'Our father owed no man aught and hath left us much money and stuffs, besides the house and the shop. Now we are three and each of us is entitled to one third part. So shall we agree to waive division and wone copartners in our wealth and eat together and drink together, or shall we apportion the stuffs and the money and take each his part?' Said they, 'We will divide them and take each his share.'" (Then Abdullah turned to the two dogs and said to them, "Did it happen thus, O my brothers?". and they bowed their heads and lowered their eyes, as to say, "Yes.") Abdullah continued "I called in a departitor from the Kazi's court, O Prince of True Believers, and he distributed amongst us the money and the stuffs and all our father had left, allotting the house and shop to me in exchange for a part of the coin and clothes to which I was entitled. We were content with this; so the house and shop fell to my share, whilst my brothers took their portion in money and stuffs. I opened the shop and stocking it with my stuffs bought others with the money apportioned to me, over and above the house and shop, till the place was full, and I sat selling and buying. As for my brothers, they purchased stuffs and hiring a ship, set out on a voyage to the far abodes of folk. Quoth I, 'Allah aid them both! As for me, my livelihood is ready to my hand and peace is priceless.' I abode thus a whole year, during which time Allah opened the door of fortune to me and I gained great gains, till I became possessed of the like of that which our father had left us. One day, as I sat in my shop, with two fur pelisses on me, one of sable and the other of meniver, [FN#493] for it was the season of winter and the time of the excessive cold, behold, there came up to me my two brothers, each clad in a ragged shirt and nothing more, and their lips were white with cold, and they were shivering. When I saw them in this plight, it was grievous to me and I mourned for them,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Fazil continued to the Caliph, "When I saw them in this plight, it was grievous to me and I mourned for them and my reason fled my head. So I rose and embraced them and wept over their condition: then I put on one of them the pelisse of sable and on the other the fur coat of meniver and, carrying them to the Hammam, sent thither for each of them a suit of apparel such as befitted a merchant worth a thousand. [FN#494] When they had washed and donned each his suit, I carried them to my house where, seeing them well nigh famished, I set a tray of food before them and ate with them, caressing them and comforting them." (Then he again turned to the two dogs and said to them "Was this so, O my brothers?"; and they bent their heads and lowered their eyes.) So Abdullah continued "When they had eaten, O Vicar of Allah, quoth I to them, 'What hath befallen you and where are your goods?'; and quoth they, 'We fared up the river, [FN#495] till we came to a city called Cufa, where we sold for ten dinars the piece of stuff that had cost half a ducat and that which cost us a ducat for twenty. So we profited greatly and bought Persian stuffs at the rate of ten sequins per piece of silk worth forty in Bassorah. Thence we removed to a city called Al-Karkh [FN#496] where we sold and bought and made gain galore and amassed of wealth great store.' And they went on to set forth to me the places and the profits. So I said to them, 'Since ye had such good luck and lot, how cometh it that I see you return naked?' They sighed and answered, 'O our brother, some one must have evileyed us, and in travel there is no trusting. When we had gotten together these monies and goods, we freighted a ship therewith and set sail, intending for Bassorah. We fared on three days and on the fourth day we saw the sea rise and fall and roar and foam and swell and dash, whilst the waves clashed together with a crash, striking out sparks like fire [FN#497] in the darks. The winds blew contrary for us and our craft struck upon the point of a bill-projected rock, where it brake up and plunged us into the river, and all we had with us was lost in the waters. We abode struggling on the surface a day and a night, till Allah sent us another ship, whose crew picked us up and we begged our way from town to town, suffering mighty sore hardships and selling our body-clothes piecemeal, to buy us food, till we drew near Bassorah; nor did we make the city till we had drained the draught of a thousand miseries. But, had we come safely off with that which was by us, we had brought back riches that might be even with those of the King: but this was fore ordained to us of Allah.' I said, 'O my brothers, let not your hearts be grieved, for wealth is the ransom of bodies and safety is property. Since Allah hath written you of the saved, this is the end of desire, for want and wealth are but as it were illusions of dreams and God-gifted is he who said,

'If a man from destruction can save his head * Let him hold his wealth as a slice of nail.'

I continued, 'O my brothers we will suppose that our sire died to-day and left us all this wealth that is with me, for I am right willing to share it with you equally.' So I fetched a departitor from the Kazi's court and brought out to him all my money, which he distributed into three equal parts, and we each took one. Then said I to them, 'O my brothers, Allah blesseth a man in his daily bread, if he be in his own country: so let each of you open him a shop and sit therein to get his living; and he to whom aught is ordained in the Secret Purpose, [FN#498] needs must he get it.' Accordingly, I helped each of them to open a shop and filled it for him with goods, saying to them, 'Sell and buy and keep your monies and spend naught thereof; for all ye need of meat and drink and so forth I will furnish to you.' I continued to entreat them generously, and they fell to selling and buying by day and returning at even-tide to my house where they lay the night; nor would I suffer them to expend aught of their own substance. But, whenever I sat talking with them, they would praise travel and proclaim its pleasures and vaunt the gains they had made therein; and they ceased not to urge me to accompany them in travelling over foreign parts." (Then he said to the dogs, "Was this so, O my brothers?" and they again bowed their heads and lowered their eyes in confirmation of his words.) He continued, "On such wise, O Vicar of Allah, they continued to urge me and tempt me to travel by vaunting the great gains and profit to be obtained thereby till I said to them, 'Needs must I fare with you for your sake!' Then I entered into a contract of partnership with them and we chartered a ship and packing up all manner of precious stuffs and merchandise of every kind, freighted it therewith; after which we embarked in it all we needed and, setting sail from Bassorah, launched out into the dashing sea, swollen with clashing surge whereinto whoso entereth is lone and lorn and whence whoso cometh forth is as a babe new-born. We ceased not sailing on till we came to a city of the cities, where we sold and bought and made great cheape. Thence we went on to another place, and we ceased not to pass from land to land and port to port, selling and buying and profiting, till we had gotten us great wealth and much advantage. Presently, we came to a mountain, [FN#499] where the captain cast anchor and said to us, 'O passengers; go ye ashore; ye shall be saved from this day, [FN#500] and make search; it may be ye shall find water.' So all landed I amongst the crowd, and dispersed about the island in search of water. As for me, I climbed to the top of the mountain, and whilst I went along, lo and behold! I saw a white snake fleeing and followed by a black dragon, foul of favour and frightful of form, hotly pursuing her. Presently he overtook her and clipping her, seized her by the head and wound his tail about her tail, whereupon she cried out and I knew that he purposed to rape her. So I was moved to ruth for her and taking up a lump of granite, [FN#501] five pounds or more in weight, hurled it at the dragon. It smote him on the head and crushed it, and ere I knew, the white snake changed and became a young girl bright with beauty and loveliness and brilliancy and perfect grace, as she were the shining full moon, who came up to me and kissing my hands, said to me, 'Allah veil thee with two-fold veils, one from shame in this world and the other from the flame in the world to come on the day of the Great Upstanding, the day when neither wealth nor children shall avail save to him who shall come to Allah with a sound heart!' [FN#502] And presently she continued, 'O mortal, thou hast saved my honour and I am indebted to thee for kindness, wherefore it behoveth me to requite thee.' So saying, she signed with her hand to the earth, which opened and she descended thereinto: then it closed up again over her and by this I knew that she was of the Jinn. As for the dragon, fire was kindled in him and consumed him and he became ashes. I marvelled at this and returned to my comrades, whom I acquainted with whatso I had seen, and we passed the night in the island. On the morrow the Captain weighed anchor and spread the sails and coiled the ropes and we sailed till the shore faded from our gaze. We fared on twenty days, without seeing or land or bird, till our water came to an end and quoth the Rais to us, 'O folk, our fresh water is spent.' Quoth we, 'Let us make for land; haply we shall find water.' But he exclaimed, 'By Allah, I have lost my way and I know not what course will bring me to the seaboard.' Thereupon betided us sore chagrin and we wept and besought Almighty Allah to guide us into the right course. We passed that night in the sorriest case: but God-gifted is He who said,

'How many a night have I spent in woes * That would grizzle the suckling-babe with fear: But morrowed not morn ere to me there came * 'Aidance from Allah and victory near.' [FN#503]

But when the day arose in its sheen and shone, we caught sight of a high mountain and rejoiced therein. When we came to its skirts, the Captain said to us, 'O folk, go ashore and seek for water.' So we all landed and sought water but found none, whereat we were sore afflicted because we were suffering for want of it. As for me, I climbed up to the mountain-top and on the other side thereof I saw a spacious circle [FN#504] distant from us an hour's journey or more. Presently I called my companions and as soon as they all rejoined me, said to them 'Look at yonder basin behind this mountain; for I see therein a city high of base and a strong-cornered place girt with sconce and rampartry, pasturage and lea and doubtless it wanteth not water and good things. So hie we thither and fetch drink therefrom and buy what we need of provisions, meat and fruit, and return.' But they said, 'We fear lest the city-folk be Kafirs ascribing to Allah partners and enemies of The Faith and lay hand on us and take us captive or else slay us; so should we cause the loss of our own lives, having cast ourselves into destruction and evil emprise. Indeed, the proud and presumptuous are never praiseworthy, for that they ever fare in danger of calamities, even as saith of such an one a certain poet,

'Long as earth is earth, long as sky is sky, * The o'erproud is blamed tho' from risk he fly!'

So we will not expose ourselves to peril.' I replied, 'O folk, I have no authority over you; so I will take my brothers and go to yonder city.' But my brothers said to me, 'We also fear this thing and will not go with thee.' Quoth I, 'As for me, I am resolved to go thither, and I put my trust in Allah and accept whatsoever He shall decree to me. Do ye therefore await me, whilst I wend thither and return to you twain.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah said, "'Do ye twain await me whilst I wend thither and return to you.'"--"So I left them and walked on till I came to the gate of the place and saw it a city of building wondrous and projection marvellous, with boulevards high-towering and towers strong-builded and palaces high-soaring. Its portals were of Chinese iron, rarely gilded and graven on such wise as confounded the wit. I entered the gateway and saw there a stone bench, whereon sat a man bearing on his forearm a chain of brass, whereto hung fourteen keys; so I knew him to be the porter of the city and that it had fourteen gates. I drew near him and said to him 'Peace be with thee!'; but he returned not my salam and I saluted him a second and a third time; but he made me no reply. Then I laid my hand on his shoulder and said to him, 'Ho thou, why dost thou not return my salam? Art thou asleep or deaf or other than a Moslem, that thou refrainest from exchanging the salutation?' But he answered me not neither stirred; so I considered him and saw that he was stone. Quoth I, 'Verily an admirable matter! This is a stone wroughten in the semblance of a son of Adam and wanting in naught save speech!' Then I left him and entering the city, beheld a man standing in the road; so I went up to him and scrutinised him and found him stone. Presently, as I walked adown the broad-ways, and saw that this was every where the case, I met an old woman bearing on her head a bundle of clothes ready for washing; so I went up to her and examining her, saw that she was stone, and the bundle of clothes on her head was stone also. [FN#505] Then I fared for the market, where I saw an oilman with his scales set up and fronted by various kinds of wares such as cheese and so forth, all of stone. Moreover, I saw all manner of tradesmen seated in their shops and men and women and children, some standing and some sitting; but they were all stone; and the stuffs were like spiders' webs. I amused myself with looking upon them, and as often as I laid hold upon a piece of stuff, it powdered in my hands like dust dispread. Presently I saw some chests and opening one of them, found it full of gold in bags; so I laid hold upon the bags, but they crumbled away in my grasp, whilst the gold abode unchanged. I carried off of it what I could carry and said to myself, 'Were my brothers with me, they might take of this gold their fill and possess themselves of these hoards which have no owner.' Then I entered another shop and found therein more than this, but could bear away no more than I had borne. I left this market and went on to another and thence to another and another, much enjoying the sight of all manner of creatures of various kinds, all several stones, even to the dogs and the cats, till I came to the goldsmiths' bazar, where I saw men sitting in their shops, with their stock-in-trade about them, some in their hands and others in crates of wicker-work. When I saw this, O Commander of the Faithful, I threw down the gold and loaded myself with goldsmiths' ware, as much as I could carry. Then I went on to the jewel-market and saw there the jewellers seated in their shops, each with a tray before him, full of all sorts of precious stones, jacinths and diamonds and emeralds and balass rubies and so forth: but all the shop-keepers were stones; whereupon I threw away the goldsmiths' ware and carried off as many jewels as I could carry, regretting that my brothers were not with me, so they might take what they would of those costly gems. Then I left the jewel-market and went on till I came to a great door, quaintly gilded and decorated after the fairest fashion, within which were wooden benches and in the porch sat eunuchs, and body-guards; horsemen, and footmen and officers of police each and every robed in the richest of raiment; but they were all stones. I touched one of them and his clothes crumbled away from his body like cobwebs. Then I passed through the door and saw a palace without equal for its building and the goodliness of the works that were therein. Here I found an audience-chamber, full of Grandees and Wazirs and Officers and Emirs, seated upon chairs and every one of them stone. Moreover, I saw a throne of red gold, crusted with pearls and gems, and seated thereon a son of Adam arrayed in the most sumptuous raiment and bearing on his head a Chosröan [FN#506] crown, diademed with the finest stones that shed a light like the light of day; but, when I came up to him, I found him stone. Then I went on to the gate of the Harim and entering, found myself in the Queen's presence-chamber, wherein I saw a throne of red gold, inlaid with pearls and gems, and the Queen seated thereon. On her head she wore a crown diademed with finest jewels, and round about her were women like moons, seated upon chairs and clad in the most sumptuous clothing of all colours. There also the eunuchry, with their hands upon their breasts, [FN#507] were standing in the attitude of service, and indeed this hall confounded the beholder's wits with what was therein of quaint gilding and rare painting and curious carving and fine furniture. There hung the most brilliant lustres [FN#508] of limpid crystal, and in every globe [FN#509] of the crystal was an unique jewel, whose price money might not fulfil. So I threw down that which was with me, O Prince of True Believers, and fell to taking of these jewels what I could carry, bewildered as to what I should bear away and what I should leave; for indeed I saw the place as it were a treasure of the treasures of the cities. Presently I espied a wicket [FN#510] standing open and within it a staircase: so I entered and mounting forty steps, heard a human voice reciting the Koran in a low tone. I walked towards that sound till I came to the main door hung with a silken curtain, laced with wires of gold whereon were strung pearls and coral and rubies and cut emeralds which gave forth a light like the light of stars. The voice came from behind the curtain: so I raised it and discovered a gilded door, whose beauty amazed the mind. I passed through the door and found myself in a saloon as it were a hoard upon earth's surface [FN#511] and therein a girl as she were the sun shining fullest sheen in the zenith of a sky serene. She was robed in the costliest of raiment and decked with ornaments the most precious that could be and withal she was of passing beauty and loveliness, a model of symmetry and seemliness, of elegance and perfect grace, with waist slender and hips heavy and dewy lips such as heal the sick and eyelids lovely in their languor, as it were she of whom the sayer spake when he said,

"My best salam to what that robe enrobes of symmetry, * And what that blooming garth of cheek enguards of rosy blee: It seems as though the Pleiades depend upon her brow; * And other lights of Night in knots upon her breast we see: Did she but don a garment weft of Rose's softest leaf, * The leaf of Rose would draw her blood [FN#512] when pluckt that fruit from tree: And did she crache in Ocean's face, next Morn would see a change * To sweeter than the honeycomb of what was briny sea: And did she deign her favours grant to grey-beard staff-enpropped * He'd wake and rend the lion's limbs for might and valiancy."

Then Abdullah continued, "O Prince of True Believers, as soon as I saw that girl I fell passionately in love with her and going straight up to her, found her seated on a high couch, reciting by heart and in grateful memory the Book of Allah, to whom belong honour and glory! Her voice was like the harmony of the gates of Heaven, when Rizwan openeth them, and the words came from her lips like a shower of gems; whilst her face was with beauty dight, bright and blossom-white, even as saith the poet of a similar sight,

'O thou who gladdenest man by speech and rarest quality; * Grow longing and repine for thee and grow beyond degree! In thee two things consume and melt the votaries of Love; * The dulcet song of David joined with Joseph's brilliancy.'

When I heard her voice of melody reciting the sublime Koran, my heart quoted from her killing glances, 'Peace, a word from a compassionating Lord;' [FN#513] but I stammered [FN#514] in my speech and could not say the salam-salutation aright, for my mind and sight were confounded and I was become as saith the bard,

'Love-longing urged me not except to trip in speech o'er free; * Nor, save to shed my blood I passed the campment's boundary: I ne'er will hear a word from those who love to rail, but I * Will testify to love of him with every word of me.'

Then I hardened myself against the horrors of repine and said to her, 'Peace be with thee, O noble Lady, and treasured jewel! Allah grant endurance to the foundation of thy fortune fair and upraise the pillars of thy glory rare!' Said she, 'And on thee from me be peace and salutation and high honour, O Abdullah, O son of Fazil! Well come and welcome and fair welcome to thee, O dearling mine and coolth of mine eyne!' Rejoined I, 'O my lady, whence wottest thou my name and who art thou and what case befel the people of this city, that they are become stones? I would have thee tell me the truth of the matter, for indeed I am admiring at this city and its citizens and that I have found none alive therein save thyself. So, Allah upon thee, tell me the cause of all this, according to the truth!' Quoth she, 'Sit, O Abdullah, and Inshallah, I will talk with thee and acquaint thee in full with the facts of my case and of this place and its people; and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!' So I sat me down by her side and she said to me, 'Know, O Abdullah, (may Allah have mercy on thee!) that I am the daughter of the King of this city and that it is my sire whom thou sawest seated on the high stead in the Divan, and those who are round about him were the Lords of his land and the Guards of his empery. He was a King of exceeding prowess and had under his hand a thousand thousand and sixty thousand troopers. The number of the Emirs of his Empire was four-and-twenty thousand, all of them Governors and Dignitaries. He was obeyed by a thousand cities, besides towns, hamlets and villages; and sconces and citadels, and the Emirs [FN#515] of the wild Arabs under his hand were a thousand in number, each commanding twenty thousand horse. Moreover, he had monies and treasures and precious stones and jewels and things of price, such as eye never saw nor of which ear ever heard.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


When it was the Nine Hundred and Eight-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Princess, daughter to the King of the Stone-city, thus continued, "Verily, O Abdullah my father had monies and hoards, such as eye never saw and of which ear never heard. He used to debel Kings and do to death champions and braves in battle and in the field of fight, so that the Conquerors feared him and the Chosroës [FN#516] humbled themselves to him. For all this, he was a miscreant in creed ascribing to Allah partnership and adoring idols, instead of the Lord of worship; and all his troops were of images fain in lieu of the All-knowing Sovereign. One day of the days as he sat on the throne of his Kingship, compassed about with the Grandees of his realm, suddenly there came in to him a Personage, whose face illumined the whole Divan with its light. My father looked at him and saw him clad in a garb of green, [FN#517] tall of stature and with hands that reached beneath his knees. He was of reverend aspect and awesome and the light [FN#518] shone from his face. Said he to my sire, 'O rebel, O idolater, how long wilt thou take pride in worshipping idols and abandoning the service of the All-knowing King? Say, 'I testify that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is His servant and His messenger.' And embrace Al-Islam, thou and thy tribe; and put away from you the worship of idols, for they neither suffice man's need nor intercede. None is worshipful save Allah alone, who raised up the heavens without columns and spread out the earths like carpets in mercy to His creatures.' [FN#519] Quoth my father, 'Who art thou, O man who rejectest the worship of idols, that thou sayst thus? Fearest thou not that the idols will be wroth with thee?' He replied, 'The idols are stones; their anger cannot prejudice me nor their favour profit me. So do thou set in my presence thine idol which thou adorest and bid all thy folk bring each his image: and when they are all present, do ye pray them to be wroth with me and I will pray my Lord to be wroth with them, and ye shall descry the difference between the anger of the creature and that of the Creator. For your idols, ye fashioned them yourselves and the Satans clad themselves therewith as with clothing, and they it is who spake to you from within the bellies of the images, [FN#520] for your idols are made and the maker is my God to whom naught is impossible. An the True appear to you, do ye follow it, and if the False appear to you do ye leave it.' Cried they, 'Give us a proof of thy god, that we may see it;' and quoth he, 'Give me proof of your gods.' So the King bade every one who worshipped his lord in image-form to bring it, and all the armies brought their idols to the Divan. Thus fared it with them; but as for me, I was sitting behind a curtain, whence I could look upon my father's Divan, and I had an idol of emerald whose bigness was as the bigness of a son of Adam. My father demanded it, so I sent it to the Divan, where they set it down beside that of my sire, which was of jacinth, whilst the Wazir's idol was of diamond. [FN#521] As for those of the Grandees and Notables, some were of balass-ruby and some of carnelian, others of coral or Comorin aloes-wood and yet others of ebony or silver or gold; and each had his own idol, after the measure of his competence; whilst the idols of the common soldiers and of the people were some of granite, some of wood, some of pottery and some of mud; and all were of various hues yellow and red; green, black and white. Then said the Personage to my sire, 'Pray your idol and these idols to be wroth with me.' So they aligned the idols in a Divan, [FN#522] setting my father's idol on a chair of gold at the upper end, with mine by its side, and ranking the others each according to the condition of him who owned it and worshipped it. Then my father arose and prostrating himself to his own idol, said to it, 'O my god, thou art the Bountiful Lord, nor is there among the idols a greater than thyself. Thou knowest that this person cometh to me, attacking thy divinity and making mock of thee; yea, he avoucheth that he hath a god stronger than thou and ordereth us leave adoring thee and adore his god. So be thou wrath with him, O my god!' And he went on to supplicate the idol; but the idol returned him no reply neither bespoke him with aught of speech; whereupon quoth he, 'O my god, this is not of thy wont, for thou usedst to answer me, when I addressed thee. How cometh it that I see thee silent and speaking not? Art thou unheeding or asleep? [FN#523] Awake; succour me and speak to me!' And he shook it with his hand; but it spake not neither stirred from its stead. Thereupon quoth the Personage, 'What aileth thine idol that it speaketh not?'; and quoth the King, 'Methinks he is absent-minded or asleep.' Exclaimed the other, 'O enemy of Allah, how canst thou worship a god that speaketh not nor availeth unto aught and not worship my God, who to prayers deigns assent and who is ever present and never absent, neither unheeding nor sleeping, whom conjecture may not ween, who seeth and is not seen and who over all things terrene is omnipotent? Thy god is powerless and cannot guard itself from harm; and indeed a stoned Satan had clothed himself therewith as with a coat that he might debauch thee and delude thee. But now hath its devil departed; so do thou worship Allah and testify that there is no god but He and that none is worshipful nor worshipworth but Himself; neither is there any good but His good. As for this thy god, it cannot ward off hurt from it; so how shall it ward off harm from thee? See with thine own eyes its impotence.' So saying, he went up to the idol and dealt it a cuff on the neck, that it fell to the ground; whereupon the King waxed wroth and cried to the bystanders, 'This froward atheist hath smitten my god. Slay him!' So they would have arisen to smite him, but none of them could stir from his place. Then he propounded to them Al-Islam; but they refused to become Moslems and he said, 'I will show you the wroth of my Lord.' Quoth they, 'Let us see it!' So he spread out his hands and said, 'O my God and my Lord, Thou art my stay and my hope; answer Thou my prayer against these lewd folk, who eat of Thy good and worship other gods. O Thou the Truth, O Thou of All-might, O Creator of Day and Night, I beseech Thee to turn these people into stones, for Thou art the Puissant nor is aught impossible to Thee, and Thou over all things are omnipotent!' And Allah transformed the people of this city into stones; but, as for me, when I saw the manifest proof of His deity, I submitted myself to Him and was saved from that which befel the rest. Then the Personage drew near me and said 'Felicity [FN#524] was fore-ordained of Allah to thee and in this a purpose had He.' And he went on to instruct me and I took unto him the oath and covenant. [FN#525] I was then seven years of age and am now thirty years old. Then said I to him, 'O my lord, all that is in the city and all its citizens are become stones by thine effectual prayer, and I am saved, for that I embraced Al-Islam at thy hands. Wherefore thou art become my Shaykh; so do thou tell me thy name and succour me with thy security and provide me with provision whereon I may subsist.' Quoth he, 'My name is Abu al-'Abbás al-Khizr'; and he planted me a pomegranate-tree, which forthright grew up and foliaged, flowered and fruited, and bare one pomegranate; whereupon quoth he, 'Eat of that wherewith Allah the Almighty provideth thee and worship Him with the worship which is His due.' Then he taught me the tenets of Al-Islam and the canons of prayer and the way of worship, together with the recital of the Koran, and I have now worshipped Allah in this place three-and-twenty years. Each day the tree yieldeth me a pomegranate which I eat and it sustaineth me from tide to tide; and every Friday, Al-Khizr (on whom be peace!) cometh to me and 'tis he who acquainted me with thy name and gave me the glad tidings of thy soon coming hither, saying to me, 'When he shall come to thee, entreat him with honour and obey his bidding and gainsay him not; but be thou to him wife and he shall be to thee man, and wend with him whitherso he will.' So, when I saw thee, I knew thee and such is the story of this city and of its people, and the Peace!'"--"Then she showed me the pomegranate-tree, whereon was one granado, which she took and eating one-half thereof herself, gave me the other to eat, and never did I taste aught sweeter or more savoury or more satisfying than that pomegranate. After this, I said to her, 'Art thou content, even as the Shaykh Al-Khizr charged thee, to be my wife and take me to mate; and art thou ready to go with me to my own country and abide with me in the city of Bassorah?' She replied, 'Yes, Inshallah: an it please Almighty Allah. I hearken to thy word and obey thy hest without gainsaying.' Then I made a binding covenant with her and she carried me into her father's treasury, whence we took what we could carry and going forth that city, walked on till we came to my brothers, whom I found searching for me. They asked, 'Where hast thou been? Indeed thou hast tarried long from us, and our hearts were troubled for thee.' And the captain of the ship said to me, 'O merchant Abdullah, the wind hath been fair for us this great while, and thou hast hindered us from setting sail.' And I answered, 'There is no harm in that; ofttimes slow [FN#526] is sure and my absence hath wrought us naught but advantage, for indeed, there hath betided me therein the attainment of our hopes and God-gifted is he who said,

'I weet not, whenas to a land I fare * In quest of good, what I shall there obtain; Or gain I fare with sole desire to seek; * Or loss that seeketh me when seek I gain.'

Then said I to them, 'See what hath fallen to me in this mine absence;' and displayed to them all that was with me of treasures and told them what I had beheld in the City of Stone, adding, 'Had ye hearkened to me and gone with me, ye had gotten of these things great gain.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Fazil said to his shipmates and to his two brothers, "Had ye gone with me, ye had gotten of these things great gain." But they said, "By Allah, had we gone, we had not dared to go in to the King of the city!"--"Then I said to my brothers, 'No harm shall befal you; for that which I have will suffice us all and this is our lot.' [FN#527] So I divided my booty into four parts according to our number and gave one to each of my brothers and to the Captain, taking the fourth for myself, setting aside somewhat for the servants and sailors, who rejoiced and blessed me: and all were content with what I gave them, save my brothers who changed countenance and rolled their eyes. I perceived that lust of lucre had gotten hold of them both; so I said to them, 'O my brothers, methinketh what I have given you doth not satisfy you; but we are brothers and there is no difference between us. My good and yours are one and the same thing, and if I die none will inherit of me but you.' And I went on to soothe them. Then I bore the Princess on board the galleon and lodged her in the cabin, where I sent her somewhat to eat and we sat talking, I and my brothers. Said they, 'O our brother, what wilt thou do with that damsel of surpassing beauty?' And I replied, 'I mean to contract marriage with her, as soon as I reach Bassorah and make a splendid wedding and go in to her there.' Exclaimed one of them, 'O my brother, verily, this young lady excelleth in beauty and loveliness and the love of her is fallen on my heart; wherefore I desire that thou give her to me and I will espouse her.' And the other cried, 'I too desire this: give her to me, that I may espouse her.' 'O my brothers,' answered I, 'indeed she took of me an oath and a covenant that I would marry her myself; so, if I give her to one of you, I shall be false to my oath and to the covenant between me and her, and haply she will be broken-hearted, for she came not with me but on condition that I marry her. So how can I wed her to other than myself? As for your both loving her, I love her more than you twain, for she is my treasure-trove, and as for my giving her to one of you, that is a thing which may not be. But, if we reach Bassorah in safety, I will look you out two girls of the best of the damsels of Bassorah and demand them for you in marriage and pay the dower of my own monies and make one wedding and we will all three go into our brides on the same night. But leave ye this damsel, for she is of my portion.' They held their peace, and I thought they were content with that which I had said. Then we fared onwards for Bassorah, and every day I sent her meat and drink; but she came not forth of the cabin, whilst I slept between my brothers on deck. We sailed thus forty days, till we sighted Bassorah city and rejoiced that we were come near it. Now I trusted in my brothers and was at my ease with them, for none knoweth the hidden future save Allah the Most High; so I lay down to sleep that night; but, as I abode drowned in slumber, I suddenly found myself caught up by these my brothers, one seizing me by the legs and the other by the arms, for they had taken counsel together to drown me in the sea for the sake of the damsel. When I saw myself in their hands, I said to them, 'O my brothers, why do ye this with me?' And they replied, 'Ill-bred that thou art, wilt thou barter our affection for a girl?; we will cast thee into the sea, because of this.' So saying, they threw me overboard." (Here Abdullah turned to the dogs and said to them, "Is this that I have said true O my brothers or not?"; and they bowed their heads and fell a-whining, as if confirming his speech; whereat the Caliph wondered). Then Abdullah resumed, "O Commander of the Faithful, when they threw me into the sea, I sank to the bottom; but the water bore me up again to the surface, and before I could think, behold a great bird, the bigness of a man, swooped down upon me and snatching me up, flew up with me into upper air. I fainted and when I opened my eyes, I found myself in a strong-pillared place, a high-builded palace, adorned with magnificent paintings and pendants of gems of all shapes and hues. Therein were damsels standing with their hands crossed over their breasts and, behold in their midst was a lady seated on a throne of red gold, set with pearls and gems, and clad in apparel whereon no mortal might open his eyes, for the lustre of the jewels wherewith they were decked. About her waist she wore a girdle of jewels no money could pay their worth and on her head a three-fold tiara dazing thought and wit and dazzling heart and sight. Then the bird which had carried me thither shook and became a young lady bright as sun raying light. I fixed my eyes on her and behold, it was she whom I had seen, in snake form on the mountain and had rescued from the dragon which had wound his tail around her. Then said to her the lady who sat upon the throne, 'Why hast thou brought hither this mortal?'; and she replied, 'O my mother, this is he who was the means of veiling my honour [FN#528] among the maidens of the Jinn.' Then quoth she to me, 'Knowest thou who I am?'; and quoth I, 'No.' Said she, 'I am she who was on such a mountain, where the black dragon strave with me and would have forced my honour, but thou slewest him.' And I said, 'I saw but a white snake with the dragon.' She rejoined, "Tis I who was the white snake; but I am the daughter of the Red King, Sovran of the Jann and my name is Sa'ídah. [FN#529] She who sitteth there is my mother and her name is Mubárakah, wife of the Red King. The black dragon who attacked me and would have done away my honour was Wazir to the Black King, Darfíl by name, and he was foul of favour. It chanced that he saw me and fell in love with me; so he sought me in marriage of my sire, who sent to him to say, 'Who art thou, O scum of Wazirs, that thou shouldst wed with Kings' daughters?' Whereupon he was wroth and sware an oath that he would assuredly do away my honour, to spite my father. Then he fell to tracking my steps and following me whithersoever I went, designing to ravish me; wherefore there befel between him and my parent mighty fierce wars and bloody jars, but my sire could not prevail against him, for that he was fierce as fraudful and as often as my father pressed hard upon him and seemed like to conquer he would escape from him, till my sire was at his wits' end. Every day I was forced to take new form and hue; for, as often as I assumed a shape, he would assume its contrary, and to whatsoever land I fled he would snuff my fragrance and follow me thither, so that I suffered sore affliction of him. At last I took the form of a snake and betook myself to the mountain where thou sawest me; whereupon he changed himself to a dragon and pursued me, till I fell into his hands, when he strove with me and I struggled with him, till he wearied me and mounted me, meaning to have his lustful will of me; but thou camest and smote him with the stone and slewest him. Then I returned to my own shape and showed myself to thee, saying, 'I am indebted to thee for a service such as is not lost save with the son of adultery.' [FN#530] So, when I saw thy brothers do with thee this treachery and throw thee into the sea, I hastened to thee and saved thee from destruction, and now honour is due to thee from my mother and my father.' Then she said to the Queen, 'O my mother, do thou honour him as deserveth he who saved my virtue.' So the Queen said to me, 'Welcome, O mortal! Indeed thou hast done us a kindly deed which meriteth honour.' Presently she ordered me a treasure-suit, [FN#531] worth a mint of money, and store of gems and precious stones, and said, 'Take him and carry him in to the King.' Accordingly, they carried me into the King in his Divan, where I found him seated on his throne, with his Marids and guards before him; and when I saw him my sight was blent for that which was upon him of jewels; but when he saw me, he rose to his feet and all his officers rose also, to do him worship. Then he saluted me and welcomed me and entreated me with the utmost honour, and gave me of that which was with him of good things; after which he said to some of his followers, 'Take him and carry him back to my daughter, that she may restore him to the place whence she brought him.' So they carried me back to the Lady Sa'idah, who took me up and flew away with me and my treasures. On this wise fared it with me and the Princess; but as regards the Captain of the galleon, he was aroused by the splash of my fall, when my brothers cast me into the sea, and said, 'What is that which hath fallen overboard?' Whereupon my brothers fell to weeping and beating of breasts and replied, 'Alas, for our brother's loss! He thought to do his need over the ship's side [FN#532] and fell into the water!' Then they laid their hands on my good, but there befel dispute between them because of the damsel, each saying, 'None shall have her but I.' And they abode jangling and wrangling each with other and remembered not their brother nor his drowning and their mourning for him ceased. As they were thus, behold Sa'idah alighted with me in the midst of the galleon,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Fazil continued, "As they were thus, behold, Sa'idah alighted with me in the midst of the galleon and when my brothers saw me, they embraced me and rejoiced in me, saying, 'O our brother, how hast thou fared in that which befel thee? Indeed our hearts have been occupied with thee.' Quoth Sa'idah, 'Had ye any heart-yearnings for him or had ye loved him, ye had not cast him into the sea; but choose ye now what death ye will die.' Then she seized on them and would have slain them; but they cried out, saying, 'In thy safeguard, O our brother!' Thereupon I interceded and said to her, 'I claim of thine honour not to kill my brothers.' Quoth she, 'There is no help but that I slay them, for they are traitors.' But I ceased not to speak her fair and conciliate her till she said, 'To content thee, I will not kill them, but I will enchant them.' So saying, she brought out a cup and filling it with sea-water, pronounced over it words that might not be understood; then saying, 'Quit this human shape for the shape of a dog;' she sprinkled them with the water, and immediately they were transmewed into dogs, as thou seest them, O Vicar of Allah." Whereupon he turned to the dogs and said to them, "Have I spoken the truth, O my brothers?" And they bowed their heads, as they would say, "Thou hast spoken sooth." At this he continued, "Then she said to those who were in the galleon, 'Know ye that Abdullah bin Fazil here present is become my brother and I shall visit him once or twice every day: so, whoso of you crosseth him or gainsayeth his bidding or doth him hurt with hand or tongue, I will do with him even as I have done with these two traitors and bespell him to a dog, and he shall end his days in that form, nor shall he find deliverance.' And they all said to her, 'O our lady, we are his slaves and his servants every one of us and will not disobey him in aught.' Moreover, she said to me, 'When thou comest to Bassorah, examine all thy property and if there lack aught thereof, tell me and I will bring it to thee, in whose hands and in what place soever it may be, and will change him who took it into a dog. When thou hast magazined thy goods, clap a collar [FN#533] of wood on the neck of each of these two traitors and tie them to the leg of a couch and shut them up by themselves. Moreover, every night, at midnight, do thou go down to them and beat each of them a bout till he swoon away; and if thou suffer a single night to pass without beating them, I will come to thee and drub thee a sound drubbing, after which I will drub them.' And I answered, 'To hear is to obey.' Then said she, 'Tie them up with ropes till thou come to Bassorah.' So I tied a rope about each dog's neck and lashed them to the mast, and she went her way. On the morrow we entered Bassorah and the merchants came out to meet me and saluted me, and no one of them enquired of my brothers. But they looked at the dogs and said to me, 'Ho, such and such, [FN#534] what wilt thou do with these two dogs thou hast brought with thee?' Quoth I, 'I reared them on this voyage and have brought them home with me.' And they laughed at them, knowing not that they were my brothers. When I reached my house, I put the twain in a closet and busied myself all that night with the unpacking and disposition of the bales of stuffs and jewels. Moreover, the merchants were with me being minded to offer me the salam; wherefore I was occupied with them and forgot to beat the dogs or chain them up. Then without doing them aught of hurt, I lay down to sleep, but suddenly and unexpectedly there came to me the Red King's daughter Sa'idah and said to me, 'Did I not bid thee clap chains on their necks and give each of them a bout of beating?' So saying, she seized me and pulling out a whip, flogged me till I fainted away, after which she went to the place where my brothers were and with the same scourge beat them both till they came nigh upon death. Then said she to me, 'Beat each of them a like bout every night, and if thou let a night pass without doing this, I will beat thee;' and I replied, 'O my lady, to-morrow I will put chains on their necks, and next night I will beat them nor will I leave them one night unbeaten.' And she charged me strictly to beat them and disappeared. When the morning morrowed it being no light matter for me to put fetters of iron on their necks, I went to a goldsmith and bade him make them collars and chains of gold. He did this and I put the collars on their necks and chained them up, as she bade me; and next night I beat them both in mine own despite. This befel in the Caliphate of Al-Mahdi, [FN#535] third of the sons of Al-Abbas, and I commended myself to him by sending him presents, so he invested me with the government and made me viceroy of Bassorah. On this wise I abode some time and after a while I said to myself, 'Haply her wrath is grown cool;' and left them a night unbeaten, whereupon she came to me and beat me a bout whose burning I shall never forget long as I live. So, from that time to this, I have never left them a single night unbeaten during the reign of Al-Mahdi; and when he deceased and thou camest to the succession, thou sentest to me, confirming me in the government of Bassorah. These twelve years past have I beaten them every night, in mine own despite, and after I have beaten them, I excuse myself to them and comfort them and give them to eat and drink; and they have remained shut up, nor did any of the creatures of Allah know of them, till thou sentest to me Abu Ishak the boon-companion, on account of the tribute, and he discovered my secret and returning to thee, acquainted thee therewith. Then thou sentest him back to fetch me and them; so I answered with 'Hearkening and obedience,' and brought them before thee, whereupon thou questionedst me and I told thee the truth of the case; and this is my history." The Caliph marvelled at the case of the two dogs and said to Abdullah, "Hast thou at this present forgiven thy two brothers the wrong they did thee, yea or nay?" He replied, "O my lord, may Allah forgive them and acquit them of responsibility in this world and the next! Indeed, 'tis I who stand in need of their forgiveness, for that these twelve years past I have beaten them a grievous bout every night!" Rejoined the Caliph, "O Abdullah, Inshallah, I will endeavour for their release and that they may become men again, as they were before, and I will make peace between thee and them; so shall you live the rest of your lives as brothers loving one another; and like as thou hast forgiven them, so shall they forgive thee. But now take them and go down with them to thy lodging and this night beat them not, and to-morrow there shall be naught save weal." Quoth Abdullah, "O my lord, as thy head liveth, if I leave them one night unbeaten, Sa'idah will come to me and beat me, and I have no body to brook beating." Quoth the Caliph, "Fear not, for I will give thee a writing under my hand. [FN#536] An she come to thee, do thou give her the paper and if, when she has read it, she spare thee, the favour will be hers; but, if she obey not my bidding, commit thy business to Allah and let her beat thee a bout and suppose that thou hast forgotten to beat them for one night and that she beateth thee because of that: and if it fall out thus and she thwart me, as sure as I am Commander of the Faithful, I will be even with her." Then he wrote her a letter on a piece of paper, two fingers broad, and sealing it with his signet-ring, gave it to Abdullah, saying, "O Abdullah, if Sa'idah come, say to her, 'The Caliph, King of mankind, hath commanded me to leave beating them and hath written me this letter for thee; and he saluteth thee with the salam.' Then give her the warrant and fear no harm." After which he exacted of him an oath and a solemn pledge that he would not beat them. So Abdullah took the dogs and carried them to his lodging, saying to himself, "I wonder what the Caliph will do with the daughter of the Sovran of the Jinn, if she cross him and trounce me to-night! But I will bear with a bout of beating for once and leave my brothers at rest this night, though for their sake I suffer torture." Then he bethought himself awhile, and his reason said to him, "Did not the Caliph rely on some great support, he had never forbidden me from beating them." So he entered his lodging and doffed the collars from the dogs' necks, saying, "I put my trust in Allah," and fell to comforting them and saying, "No harm shall befal you; for the Caliph, fifth [FN#537] of the sons of Al-Abbas, hath pledged himself for your deliverance and I have forgiven you. An it please Allah the Most High, the time is come and ye shall be delivered this blessed night; so rejoice ye in the prospect of peace and gladness." when they heard these words, they fell to whining with the whining of dogs,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Fazil said to his brothers, "Rejoice ye in the prospect of comfort and gladness." And when they heard his words they fell to whining with the whining of dogs, and rubbed their jowls against his feet, as if blessing him and humbling themselves before him. He mourned over them and took to stroking their backs till supper time; and when they set on the trays he bade the dogs sit. So they sat down and ate with him from the tray, whilst his officers stood gaping and marvelling at his eating with dogs and all said, "Is he mad or are his wits gone wrong? How can the Viceroy of Bassorah city, he who is greater than a Wazir, eat with dogs? Knoweth he not that the dog is unclean? [FN#538]" And they stared at the dogs, as they ate with him as servants eat with their lords, [FN#539] knowing not that they were his brothers; nor did they cease staring at them, till they had made an end of eating, when Abdullah washed his hands and the dogs also put out their paws and washed; whereupon all who were present began to laugh at them and to marvel, saying, one to other, "Never in our lives saw we dogs eat and wash their paws after eating!" Then the dogs sat down on the divans beside Abdullah, nor dared any ask him of this; and thus the case lasted till midnight, when he dismissed the attendants and lay down to sleep and the dogs with him, each on a couch; whereupon the servants said one to other, "Verily, he hath lain down to sleep and the two dogs are lying with him." Quoth another, "Since he hath eaten with the dogs from the same tray, there is no harm in their sleeping with him; and this is naught save the fashion of madmen." Moreover, they ate not anything of the food which remained in the tray, saying, "'Tis unclean." Such was their case; but as for Abdullah, ere he could think, the earth clave asunder and out rose Sa'idah, who said to him, "O Abdullah, why hast thou not beaten them this night and why hast thou undone the collars from their necks? Hast thou acted on this wise perversely and in mockery of my commandment? But I will at once beat thee and spell thee into a dog like them." He replied, "O my lady, I conjure thee by the graving upon the seal-ring of Solomon David-son (on the twain be peace!) have patience with me till I tell thee my cause and after do with me what thou wilt." Quoth she, "Say on," and quoth he, "The reason of my not punishing them is only this. The King of mankind, the Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, ordered me not to beat them this night and took of me oaths and covenants to that effect; and he saluteth thee with the salam and hath committed to me a mandate under his own hand, which he bade me give thee. So I obeyed his order for to obey the Commander of the Faithful is obligatory; and here is the mandate. Take it and read it and after work thy will." She replied "Hither with it!" So he gave her the letter and she opened it and read as follows, "In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! From the King of mankind, Harun al-Rashid, to the daughter of the Red King, Sa'idah! But, after. Verily, this man hath forgiven his brothers and hath waived his claim against them, and we have enjoined them to reconciliation. Now, when reconciliation ruleth, retribution is remitted, and if you of the Jinn contradict us in our commandments, we will contrary you in yours and traverse your ordinances; but, an ye obey our bidding and further our orders, we will indeed do the like with yours. Wherefore I bid thee hurt them no hurt, and if thou believe in Allah and in His Apostle, it behoveth thee to obey and us to command. [FN#540] So an thou spare them, I will requite thee with that whereto my Lord shall enable me; and the token of obedience is that thou remove thine enchantment from these two men, so they may come before me to-morrow, free. But an thou release them not, I will release them in thy despite, by the aid of Almighty Allah." When she had read the letter, she said, "O Abdullah, I will do nought till I go to my sire and show him the mandate of the monarch of mankind and return to thee with the answer in haste." So saying, she signed with her hand to the earth, which clave open and she disappeared therein, whilst Abdullah's heart was like to fly for joy and he said, "Allah advance the Commander of the Faithful!" As for Sa'idah, she went in to her father; and, acquainting him with that which had passed, gave him the Caliph's letter, which he kissed and laid on his head. Then he read it and understanding its contents said, "O my daughter, verily, the ordinance of the monarch of mankind obligeth us and his commandments are effectual over us, nor can we disobey him: so go thou and release the two men forth-with and say to them, 'Ye are freed by the intercession of the monarch of mankind.' For, should he be wroth with us, he would destroy us to the last of us; so do not thou impose on us that which we are unable." Quoth she "O my father, if the monarch of mankind were wroth with us, what could he do with us?"; and quoth her sire, "He hath power over us for several reasons. In the first place, he is a man and hath thus pre-eminence over us [FN#541]; secondly he is the Vicar of Allah; and thirdly, he is constant in praying the dawn-prayer of two bows [FN#542]; therefore were all the tribes of the Jinn assembled together against him from the Seven Worlds they could do him no hurt. But he, should he be wroth with us would pray the dawn-prayer of two bows and cry out upon us one cry, when we should all present ourselves before him obediently and be before him as sheep before the butcher. If he would, he could command us to quit our abiding-places for a desert country wherein we might not endure to sojourn; and if he desired to destroy us, he would bid us destroy ourselves, whereupon we should destroy one another. wherefore we may not disobey his bidding for, if we did this, he would consume us with fire nor could we flee from before him to any asylum. Thus is it with every True Believer who is persistent in praying the dawn-prayer of two bows; his commandment is effectual over us: so be not thou the means of our destruction, because of two mortals, but go forthright and release them, ere the anger of the Commander of the Faithful fall upon us." So she returned to Abdullah and acquainted him with her father's words, saying, "Kiss for us the hands of the Prince of True Believers and seek his approval for us." Then she brought out the tasse and filling it with water, conjured over it and uttered words which might not be understood; after which she sprinkled the dogs with the water saying, "Quit the form of dogs and return to the shape of men!" Whereupon they became men as before and the spell of the enchantment was loosed from them. Quoth they, "I testify that there is no god but the God and I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of God!" Then they fell on their brother's feet and hands, kissing them and beseeching his forgiveness: but he said, "Do ye forgive me;" and they both repented with sincere repentance, saying, "Verily, the damned Devil lured us and covetise deluded us: but our Lord hath requited us after our deserts, and forgiveness is of the signs of the noble." And they went on to supplicate their brother and weep and profess repentance for that which had befallen him from them [FN#543]. Then quoth he to them, "What did ye with my wife whom I brought from the City of Stone?" Quoth they, "When Satan tempted us and we cast thee into the sea, there arose strife between us, each saying, I will have her to wife. Now when she heard these words and beheld our contention, she knew that we had thrown thee into the sea; so she came up from the cabin and said to us, 'Contend not because of me, for I will not belong to either of you. My husband is gone into the sea and I will follow him.' So saying, she cast herself overboard and died." Exclaimed Abdullah, "In very sooth she died a martyr [FN#544]! But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Then he wept for her with sore weeping and said to his brothers, "It was not well of you to do this deed and bereave me of my wife." They answered, "Indeed, we have sinned, but our Lord hath requited us our misdeed and this was a thing which Allah decreed unto us, ere He created us." And he accepted their excuse; but Sa'idah said to him, "Have they done all these things to thee and wilt thou forgive them?" He replied, "O my sister, whoso hath power [FN#545] and spareth, for Allah's reward he prepareth." Then said she, "Be on thy guard against them, for they are traitors;" and fare-welled him and fared forth.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah, when Sa'idah warned him and blessed him and went her ways, passed the rest of the night with his brothers and on the morrow, he sent them to the Hammam and clad each of them, on his coming forth, in a suit worth a hoard of money. Then he called for the tray of food and they set it before him and he ate, he and his brothers. When his attendants saw the twain and knew them for his brothers they saluted them and said to him, "O our lord, Allah give thee joy of thy reunion with thy dear brothers! Where have they been this while?" He replied, "It was they whom ye saw in the guise of dogs; praise be to Allah who hath delivered them from prison and grievous torment!" Then he carried them to the Divan of the Caliph and kissing ground before Al-Rashid wished him continuance of honour and fortune and surcease of evil and enmity. Quoth the Caliph, "Welcome, O Emir Abdullah! Tell me what hath befallen thee." And quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful (whose power Allah increase!) when I carried my brothers home to my lodging, my heart was at rest concerning them, because thou hadst pledged thyself to their release and I said in myself, 'Kings fail not to attain aught for which they strain, inasmuch as the divine favour aideth them.' So I took off the collars from their necks, putting my trust in Allah, and ate with them from the same tray, which when my suite saw, they made light of my wit and said each to other, 'He is surely mad! How can the governor of Bassorah who is greater than the Wazir, eat with dogs?' Then they threw away what was in the tray, saying, 'We will not eat the dogs' orts.' And they went on to befool my reason, whilst I heard their words, but returned them no reply because of their unknowing that the dogs were my brothers. When the hour of sleep came, I sent them away and addressed myself to sleep; but, ere I was ware, the earth clave in sunder and out came Sa'idah, the Red King's daughter, enraged against me, with eyes like fire." And he went on to relate to the Caliph all what had passed between him and her and her father and how she had transmewed his brothers from canine to human form, adding, "And here they are before thee, O Commander of the Faithful!" The Caliph looked at them and seeing two young men like moons, said, "Allah requite thee for me with good, O Abdullah, for that thou hast acquainted me with an advantage [FN#546] I knew not! Henceforth, Inshallah, I will never leave to pray these two-bow orisons before the breaking of the dawn, what while I live." Then he reproved Abdullah's brothers for their past transgressions against him and they excused themselves before the Caliph, who said, "Join hands [FN#547] and forgive one another and Allah pardon what is past!" Upon which he turned to Abdullah and said to him, "O Abdullah, make thy brothers thine assistants and be careful of them." Then he charged them to be obedient to their brother and bade them return to Bassorah after he had bestowed on them abundant largesse. So they went down from the Caliph's Divan whilst he rejoiced in this advantage he had obtained by the action aforesaid, to wit, persistence in praying two inclinations before dawn, and exclaimed, "He spake truth who said, 'The misfortune of one tribe fortuneth another tribe.'" [FN#548] On this wise befel it to them from the Caliph; but as regards Abdullah, he left Baghdad carrying with him his brothers in all honour and dignity and increase of quality, and fared on till they drew near Bassorah, when the notables and chief men of the place came out to meet them and after decorating the city brought them thereinto with a procession which had not its match and all the folk shouted out blessings on Abdullah as he scattered amongst them silver and gold. None, however, took heed to his brothers; wherefore jealousy and envy entered their hearts, for all he entreated them tenderly as one tenders an ophthalmic eye; but the more he cherished them, the more they redoubled in hatred and envy of him: and indeed it is said on the subject,

"I'd win good will of every one, but whoso envies me * Will not be won on any wise and makes mine office hard: How gain the gree of envious wight who coveteth my good, * When naught will satisfy him save to see my good go marr'd?"

Then he gave each a concubine that had not her like, and eunuchs and servants and slaves white and black, of each kind forty. He also gave each of them fifty steeds all thoroughbreds and they got them guards and followers; and he assigned to them revenues and appointed them solde and stipends and made them his assistants, saying to them, "O my brothers, I and you are equal and there is no distinction between me and you twain,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah assigned stipends to his brothers and made them his assistants, saying, "O my brothers, I and you are equal and there is no distinction between me and you twain, and after Allah and the Caliph, the commandment is mine and yours. So rule you at Bassorah in my absence and in my presence, and your commandments shall be effectual; but look that ye fear Allah in your ordinances and beware of oppression, which if it endure depopulateth; and apply yourselves to justice, for justice, if it be prolonged, peopleth a land. Oppress not the True Believers, or they will curse you and ill report of you will reach the Caliph, wherefore dishonour will betide both me and you. Go not therefore about to violence any, but whatso ye greed for of the goods of the folk, take it from my goods, over and above that whereof ye have need; for 'tis not unknown to you what is handed down in the Koran of prohibition versets on the subject of oppression and Allah-gifted is he who said these couplets,

"Oppression ambusheth in sprite of man * Whom naught withholdeth save the lack of might: The sage shall ne'er apply his wits to aught * Until befitting time direct his sight: The tongue of wisdom woneth in the heart; * And in his mouth the tongue of foolish wight. Who at occasion's call lacks power to rise * Is slain by feeblest who would glut his spite. A man may hide his blood and breed, but aye * His deeds on darkest hiddens cast a light. Wights of ill strain with ancestry as vile * Have lips which never spake one word aright: And who committeth case to hands of fool * In folly proveth self as fond and light; And who his secret tells to folk at large * Shall rouse his foes to work him worst despight. Suffice the generous what regards his lot * Nor meddles he with aught regards him not."

And he went on to admonish his brothers and bid them to equity and forbid them from tyranny, doubting not but they would love him the better for his boon of good counsel [FN#549] and he relied upon them and honoured them with the utmost honour; but notwithstanding all his generosity to them, they only waxed in envy and hatred of him, till, one day, the two being together alone, quoth Nasir to Mansur, "O my brother, how long shall we be mere subjects of our brother Abdullah, and he in this estate of lordship and worship? After being a merchant, he is become an Emir, and from being little, he is grown great: but we, we grow not great nor is there aught of respect or degree left us; for, behold, he laugheth at us and maketh us his assistants! What is the meaning of this? Is it not that we are his servants and under his subjection? But, long as he abideth in good case, our rank will never be raised nor shall we be aught of repute; wherefore we shall not fulfil our wish, except we slay him and win to his wealth, nor will it be possible to get his gear save after his death. So, when we have slain him, we shall become lords and will take all that is in his treasuries of gems and things of price and divide them between us. Then will we send the Caliph a present and demand of him the government of Cufah, and thou shalt be governor of Cufah and I of Bassorah. Thus each of us shall have formal estate and condition, but we shall never effect this, except we put him out of the world!" Answered Mansur, "Thou sayest sooth, but how shall we do to kill him?" Quoth Nasir, "We will make an entertainment in the house of one of us and invite him thereto and serve him with the uttermost service. Then will we sit through the night with him in talk and tell him tales and jests and rare stories till his heart melteth with sitting up when we will spread him a bed, that he may lie down to sleep. When he is asleep, we will kneel upon him and throttle him and throw him into the river; and on the morrow, we will say, 'His sister the Jinniyah came to him, as he sat chatting with us, and said to him, 'O thou scum of mankind, who art thou that thou shouldst complain of me to the Commander of the Faithful? Deemest thou that we dread him? As he is a King, so we too are Kings, and if he mend not his manners in our regard we will do him die by the foulest of deaths. But meantime I will slay thee, that we may see what the hand of the Prince of True Believers availeth to do.' So saying, she caught him up and clave the earth and disappeared with him which when we saw, we swooned away. Then we revived and we reck not what is become of him.' And saying this we will send to the Caliph and tell him the case and he will invest us with the government in his room. After awhile, we will send him a sumptuous present and seek of him the government of Cufah, and one of us shall abide in Bassorah and the other in Cufah. So shall the land be pleasant to us and we will be down upon the True Believers and win our wishes." And quoth Mansur, "Thou counsellest well, O my brother," and they agreed upon the murther. So Nasir made an entertainment and said to Abdullah, "O my brother, verily I am thy brother, and I would have thee hearten my heart thou and my brother Mansur and eat of my banquet in my house, so I may boast of thee and that it may be said, The Emir Abdullah hath eaten of his brother Nasir's guest meal; when my heart will be solaced by this best of boons." Abdullah replied, "So be it, O my brother; there is no distinction between me and thee and thy house is my house; but since thou invitest me, none refuseth hospitality save the churl." Then he turned to Mansur and said to him, "Wilt thou go with me to thy brother Nasir's house and we will eat of his feast and heal his heart?" Replied Mansur, "As thy head liveth, O my brother, I will not go with thee, unless thou swear to me that, after thou comest forth of brother Nasir's house, thou wilt enter my house and eat of my banquet! Is Nasir thy brother and am not I thy brother? So, even as thou heartenest his heart, do thou hearten mine." Answered Abdullah, "There is no harm in that: with love and gladly gree! When I come out from Nasir's house, I will enter thine, for thou art my brother even as he." So he kissed his hand and going forth of the Divan, made ready his feast. On the morrow, Abdullah took horse and repaired, with his brother Mansur and a company of his officers, to Nasir's house, where they sat down, he and Mansur and his many. Then Nasir set the trays before them and welcomed them; so they ate and drank and sat in mirth and merriment; after which the trays and the platters were removed and they washed their hands. They passed the day in feasting and wine-drinking and diversion and delight till night-fall, when they supped and prayed the sundown prayers, and the night orisons; after which they sat conversing and carousing, and Nasir and Mansur fell to telling stories whilst Abdullah hearkened. Now they three were alone in the pavilion, the rest of the company being in another place, and they ceased not to tell quips and tales and rare adventures and anecdotes, till Abdullah's heart was dissolved within him for watching and sleep overcame him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abdullah was a-wearied with watching and wanted to sleep, they also lay beside him on another couch and waited till he wasdrowned in slumber and when they were certified thereof they arose and knelt upon him: whereupon he awoke and seeing them kneeling on his breast, said to them, "What is this, O my brothers?" Cried they, "We are no brothers of thine, nor do we know thee unmannerly that thou art! Thy death is become better than thy life." Then they gripped him by the throat and throttled him, till he lost his senses and abode without motion; so that they deemed him dead. Now the pavilion wherein they were overlooked the river; so they cast him into the water; but, when he fell, Allah sent to his aid a dolphin [FN#550] who was accustomed to come under that pavilion because the kitchen had a window that gave upon the stream; and, as often as they slaughtered any beast there, it was their wont to throw the refuse into the river and the dolphin came and picked it up from the surface of the water; wherefore he ever resorted to the place. That day they had cast out much offal by reason of the banquet; so the dolphin ate more than of wont and gained strength. Hearing the splash of Abdullah's fall, he hastened to the spot, where he saw a son of Adam and Allah guided him so that he took the man on his back and crossing the current made with him for the other bank, where he cast his burthen ashore. Now the place where the dolphin cast up Abdullah was a well-beaten highway, and presently up came a caravan and finding him lying on the river bank, said, "Here is a drowned man, whom the river hath cast up;" and the travellers gathered around to gaze at the corpse. The Shaykh of the caravan was a man of worth, skilled in all sciences and versed in the mystery of medicine and, withal, sound of judgment: so he said to them, "O folk, what is the news?" They answered, "Here is a drowned man;" whereupon he went up to Abdullah and examining him, said to them, "O folk, there is life yet in this young man, who is a person of condition and of the sons of the great, bred in honour and fortune, and Inshallah there is still hope of him." Then he took him and clothing him in dry clothes warmed him before the fire; after which he nursed him and tended him three days' march till he revived; but he was passing feeble by reason of the shock, and the chief of the caravan proceeded to medicine him with such simples as he knew, what while they ceased not faring on till they had travelled thirty days' journey from Bassorah and came to a city in the land of the Persians, by name 'Aúj. [FN#551] Here they alighted at a Khan and spread Abdullah a bed, where he lay groaning all night and troubling the folk with his groans. And when morning morrowed the concierge of the Khan came to the chief of the caravan and said to him, "What is this sick man thou hast with thee? Verily, he disturbeth us." Quoth the chief, "I found him by the way, on the river-bank and well nigh drowned; and I have tended him, but to no effect, for he recovereth not." Said the porter, "Show him to the Shaykhah [FN#552] Rájihah. Who is this Religious? asked the chief of the caravan, and the door-keeper answered, There is with us a holy woman, a clean maid and a comely, called Rajihah, to whom they present whoso hath any ailment; and he passeth a single night in her house and awaketh on the morrow, whole and ailing nothing." Quoth the chief, "Direct me to her;" quoth the porter, "Take up thy sick man." So he and took up Abdullah and the doorkeeper forewent him, till he came to a hermitage, where he saw folk entering with many an ex voto offering and other folk coming forth, rejoicing. The porter went in, till he came to the curtain, [FN#553] and said, "Permission, O Shaykhah Rajihah! Take this sick man." Said she, "Bring him within the curtain;" and the porter said to Abdullah, "Enter." So he entered and looking upon the holy woman, saw her to be his wife whom he had brought from the City of Stone. And when he knew her she also knew him and saluted him and he returned her salam. Then said he, "Who brought thee hither?"; and she answered, "When I saw that thy brothers had cast thee away and were contending concerning me, I threw myself into the sea; but my Shaykh Al-Khizr Abu al-'Abbás took me up and brought me to this hermitage, where he gave me leave to heal the sick and bade cry in the city, 'Whoso hath any ailment, let him repair to the Shaykhah Rajihah;' and he also said to me, 'Tarry in this hermitage till the time betide, and thy husband shall come to thee here.' So all the sick used to flock to me and I rubbed them and shampoo'd them and they awoke on the morrow whole and sound; whereby the report of me became noised abroad among the folk, and they brought me votive gifts, so that I have with me abundant wealth. And now I live here in high honour and worship, and all the people of these parts seek my prayers." Then she rubbed him and by the ordinance of Allah the Most High, he became whole. Now Al-Khizr used to come to her every Friday night, and it chanced that the day of Abdullah's coming was a Thursday. [FN#554] Accordingly, when the night darkened he and she sat, after a supper of the richest meats, awaiting the coming of Al-Khizr, who made his appearance anon and carrying them forth of the hermitage, set them down in Abdullah's palace at Bassorah, where he left them and went his way. As soon as it was day, Abdullah examined the palace and knew it for his own; then, hearing the folk clamouring without, he looked forth of the lattice and saw his brothers crucified, each on his own cross. Now the reason of this was as ensueth. When they had thrown him into the Tigris, the twain arose on the morrow, weeping and saying, "Our brother! the Jinniyah hath carried off our brother!" Then they made ready a present and sent it to the Caliph, acquainting him with these tidings and suing from him the government of Bassorah. He sent for them and questioned them and they told him the false tale we have recounted, whereupon he was exceeding wroth. [FN#555] So that night he prayed a two-bow prayer before daybreak, as of his wont, and called upon the tribes of the Jinn, who came before him subject-wise, and he questioned them of Abdullah: when they sware to him that none of them had done him aught of hurt and said, "We know not what is become of him." Then came Sa'idah, daughter of the Red King, and acquainted the Caliph with the truth of Abdullah's case, and he dismissed the Jinn. On the morrow, he subjected Nasir and Mansur to the bastinado till they confessed, one against other: whereupon the Caliph was enraged with them and cried, "Carry them to Bassorah and crucify them there before Abdullah's palace." Such was their case; but as regards Abdullah, when he saw his brothers crucified, he commanded to bury them, then took horse and repairing to Baghdad, acquainted the Caliph with that which his brothers had done with him, from first to last and told him how he had recovered his wife; whereat Al-Rashid marvelled and summoning the Kazi and the witnesses, bade draw up the marriage-contract between Abdullah and the damsel whom he had brought from the City of Stone. So he went in to her and woned with her at Bassorah till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies; and extolled be the perfection of the Living, who dieth not! Moreover, O auspicious King, I have heard a tale anent

Footnotes[edit]

[FN#1] Arab. "Wa lá rajma ghaybin:" lit. = without stone-throwing (conjecture) of one latent.

[FN#2] i.e. saying Bismillah, etc. See vol. v. 206.

[FN#3] Where he was to await her.

[FN#4] As a rule, amongst Moslems the rider salutes the man on foot and the latter those who sit. The saying in the text suggests the Christian byword anent Mohammed and the Mountain, which is, I need hardly say, utterly unknown to Mahommedans.

[FN#5] The story-teller does not remember that "the city-folk trust to the locking of the gates" (dccclxxxix.); and forgets to tell us that the Princess took the keys from the Wazir whom she had hocussed. In a carefully corrected Arabic Edition of The Nights, a book much wanted, the texts which are now in a mutilated state would be supplied with these details.

[FN#6] Which probably would not be the last administered to him by the Amazonian young person, who after her mate feared to approach the dead blackamoor must have known him to be cowardly as Cairenes generally are. Moreover, he had no shame in his poltroonery like the recreant Fellah-soldiers, in the wretched Sawákin campaign against the noble Súdáni negroids, who excused their running away by saying, "We are Egyptians" i.e. too good men and Moslems to lose our lives as becomes you Franks and dog-Christians. Yet under Mohammed Ali the Great, Fellah-soldiers conquered the "colligated" Arabs (Pilgrimage iii. 48) of Al-Asir (Ophir) at Bissel and in Wahhabi-land and put the Turks to flight at the battle of Nazib, and the late General Johnmus assured me that he saved his command, the Ottoman cavalry in Syria, by always manoeuvring to refuse a pitched battle. But Mohammed Ali knew his men. He never failed to shoot a runaway, and all his officers, even the lieutenants, were Turks or Albanians. Sa'id Pasha was the first to appoint Fellah-officers and under their command the Egyptian soldier, one of the best in the East, at once became the worst. We have at last found the right way to make them fight, by officering them with Englishmen, but we must not neglect the shooting process whenever they dare to turn tail.

[FN#7] "Al-walhán" (as it should be printed in previous places, instead of Al-walahán) is certainly not a P.N. in this place.

[FN#8] Arab. "Kundur," Pers. and Arab. manna, mastich, frankincense, the latter being here meant.

[FN#9] So Emma takes the lead and hides her lover under her cloak during their flight to the place where they intended to lie concealed. In both cases the women are the men.

[FN#10] Or "Bartút," in which we recognise the German Berthold.

[FN#11] i.e. Head of Killaut which makes, from the Muhít, "the name of a son of the sons of the Jinn and the Satans."

[FN#12] i.e. attacked her after a new fashion: see vol. i. 136.

[FN#13] i.e. Weevil's dung; hence Suez = Suways the little weevil, or "little Sus" from the Maroccan town: see The Mines of Midian p. 74 for a note on the name. Near Gibraltar is a fuimara called Guadalajara i.e. Wady al-Khara, of dung. "Bartús" is evidently formed "on the weight" of "Bartút;" and his metonym is a caricature, a chaff fit for Fellahe.

[FN#14] Arab. "Al-Din al-a'raj," the perverted or falsified Faith, Christianity having been made obsolete and abolished by the Mission of Mohammed, even as Christianity claims to have superseded the Mosaic and Noachian dispensations. Moslems are perfectly logical in their deductions, but logic and truth do not always go together.

[FN#15] The "Breaker of Wind" (faswah - a fizzle, a silent crepitus) "son of Children's dung."

[FN#16] Arab. "Ammá laka an 'alayk" lit. = either to thee (be the gain) or upon thee (be the loss). This truly Arabic idiom is varied in many ways.

[FN#17] In addition to what was noted in vol. iii. 100 and viii. 51, I may observe that in the "Masnavi" the "Baghdad of Nulliquity" is opposed to the Ubiquity of the World. The popular derivation is Bagh (the idol-god, the slav "Bog") and dád a gift, he gave (Persian). It is also called Al-Zaurá = a bow, from the bend of the Tigris where it was built.

[FN#18] Arab. "Jawásís" plur. of Jásús lit. the spies.

[FN#19] The Caliph could not "see" her "sweetness of speech"; so we must understand that he addressed her and found out that she was fluent of tongue. But this idiomatic use of the word "see" is also found in the languages of Southern Europe: so Camoens (Lus. 1. ii.), "Ouvi * * * vereis" lit. = "hark, you shall see" which sounds Hibernian.

[FN#20] Here "Farz" (Koranic obligation which it is mortal sin to gainsay) follows whereas it should precede "Sunnat" (sayings and doings of the Apostle) simply because "Farz" jingles with "Arz" (earth).

[FN#21] Moslems, like modern Agnostics, hold that Jesus of Nazareth would be greatly scandalized by the claims to Godship advanced for him by his followers.

[FN#22] Koran ix. 33: See also v. 85. In the passage above quoted Mr. Rodwell makes the second "He" refer to the deity.

[FN#23] Koran xxvi. 88, 89. For a very indifferent version (and abridgment) of this speech, see Saturday Review, July 9, 1881.

[FN#24] Koran iv. 140.

[FN#25] Arab. "Furát" from the Arab. "Faruta" = being sweet, as applied to water. Al-Furátáni = the two sweet (rivers), are the Tigris and Euphrates. The Greeks, who in etymology were satisfied with Greek, derived the latter from (to gladden, laetificare, for which see Pliny and Strabo, although both are correct in explaining "Tigris") and Selden remarks hereon, "Talibus nugis nugantur Graeculi." But not only the "Graeculi"; e.g. Parkhurst's good old derivations from the Heb. "Farah" of fero, fructus, Freya (the Goddess), frayer (to spawn), friand, fry (of fish), etc., etc.

[FN#26] The great Caliph was a poet; and he spoke verses as did all his contemporaries: his lament over his slave-girl Haylanah (Helen) is quoted by Al-Suyuti, p. 305.

[FN#27] "The Brave of the Faith."

[FN#28] i.e., Saladin. See vol. iv. p. 116.

[FN#29] usually called the Horns of Hattin (classically Hittin) North of Tiberias where Saladin by good strategy and the folly of the Franks annihilated the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. For details see the guide-books. In this action (June 23, 1187), after three bishops were slain in its defence, the last fragment of the True Cross (or rather the cross verified by Helena) fell into Moslem hands. The Christians begged hard for it, but Saladin, a conscientious believer, refused to return to them even for ransom "the object of their iniquitous superstition." His son, however, being of another turn, would have sold it to the Franks who then lacked money to purchase. It presently disappeared and I should not be surprised if it were still lying, an unknown and inutile lignum in some Cairene mosque.

[FN#30] Akká (Acre) was taken by Saladin on July 29, 1187. The Egyptian states that he was at Acre in 1184 or three years before the affair of Hattin (Night dcccxcv.).

[FN#31] Famous Sufis and ascetics of the second and third centuries A.H. For Bishr Barefoot, see vol. ii. p. 127. Al-Sakati means "the old-clothes man;" and the names of the others are all recorded in D'Herbelot.

[FN#32] i.e., captured, forced open their gates.

[FN#33] Arab. "Al-Sáhil" i.e. the seaboard of Syria; properly Phoenicia or the coast-lands of Southern Palestine. So the maritime lowlands of continental Zanzibar are called in the plur. Sawáhil = "the shores" and the people Sawáhílí = Shore-men.

[FN#34] Arab. "Al-Khizánah" both in Mac. Edit. and Breslau x. 426. Mr. Payne has translated "tents" and says, "Saladin seems to have been encamped without Damascus and the slave-merchant had apparently come out and pitched his tent near the camp for the purposes of his trade." But I can find no notice of tents till a few lines below.

[FN#35] Bahá al-Dín ibn Shaddád, then Kázi al-Askar (of the Army) or Judge-Advocate-General under Saladin.

[FN#36] i.e. "abide with" thy second husband, the Egyptian.

[FN#37] A descendant of Háshim, the Apostle's great-grandfather from whom the Abbasides were directly descended. The Ommiades were less directly akin to Mohammed, being the descendants of Hashim's brother, Abd al-Shams. The Hashimis were famed for liberality; and the quality seems to have been inherited. The first Háshim got his name from crumbling bread into the Saríd or brewis of the Meccan pilgrims during "The Ignorance." He was buried at Ghazzah (Gaza) but his tomb was soon forgotten.

[FN#38] i.e. thy lover.

[FN#39] i.e. of those destined to hell; the especial home of Moslem suicides.

[FN#40] Arab. "Ummál" (plur. of 'Ámil) viceroys or governors of provinces.

[FN#41] A town of Irák Arabi (Mesopotamia) between Baghdad and Bassorah built upon the Tigris and founded by Al-Hajjaj: it is so called because the "Middle" or half-way town between Basrah and Kufah. To this place were applied the famous lines:--

In good sooth a right noble race are they; Whose men "yea" can't say nor their women "nay."

[FN#42] i.e. robed as thou art.

[FN#43] i.e. his kinsfolk of the Hashimis.

[FN#44] See vol. ii. 24. {Vol2, FN#49}

[FN#45] Arab. "Sur'itu" = I was possessed of a Jinn, the common Eastern explanation of an epileptic fit long before the days of the Evangel. See vol. iv. 89.

[FN#46] Arab. "Zí'ah," village, feof or farm.

[FN#47] Arab. "Taríkah."

[FN#48] "Most of the great Arab musicians had their own peculiar fashion of tuning the lute, for the purpose of extending its register or facilitating the accompaniment of songs composed in uncommon keys and rhythms or possibly of increasing its sonority, and it appears to have been a common test of the skill of a great musician, such as Ishac el-Mausili or his father Ibrahim, to require him to accompany a difficult song on a lute purposely untuned. As a (partial) modern instance of the practice referred to in the text, may be cited Paganini's custom of lowering or raising the G string of the violin in playing certain of his own compositions. According to the Kitab el-Aghani, Ishac el-Mausili is said to have familiarized himself, by incessant practice, with the exact sounds produced by each division of the strings of the four course lute of his day, under every imaginable circumstance of tuning." It is regrettable that Mr. Payne does not give us more of such notes.

[FN#49] See vol. vii. 363 for the use of these fumigations.

[FN#50] In the Mac. Edit. "Aylah" for Ubullah: the latter is one of the innumerable canals, leading from Bassorah to Ubullah-town a distance of twelve miles. Its banks are the favourite pleasure-resort of the townsfolk, being built over with villas and pavilions (now no more) and the orchards seem to form one great garden, all confined by one wall. See Jaubert's translation of Al-Idrisi, vol. i. pp. 368-69. The Aylah, a tributary of the Tigris, waters (I have noted) the Gardens of Bassorah.

[FN#51] Music having been forbidden by Mohammed who believed with the vulgar that the Devil has something to do with it. Even Paganini could not escape suspicion in the nineteenth century.

[FN#52] The "Mahr," or Arab dowry consists of two parts, one paid down on consummation and the other agreed to be paid to the wife, contingently upon her being divorced by her husband. If she divorce him this portion, which is generally less than the half, cannot be claimed by her; and I have related the Persian abomination which compels the woman to sacrifice her rights. See vol. iii. p. 304.

[FN#53] i.e. the cost of her maintenance during the four months of single blessedness which must or ought to elapse before she can legally marry again.

[FN#54] Lane translates most incompletely, "To Him, then, be praise, first and last"

[FN#55] Lane omits because it is "extremely puerile" this most characteristic tale, one of the two oldest in The Nights which Al Mas'udi mentions as belonging to the Hazár Afsáneh (See Terminal Essay). Von Hammer (Preface in Trébutien's translation p. xxv ) refers the fables to an Indian (Egyptian ?) origin and remarks, "sous le rapport de leur antiquité et de la morale qu'ils renferment, elles méritent la plus grande attention, mais d'un autre côté elles ne vent rien moins qu'amusantes."

[FN#56] Lane (iii. 579) writes the word "Shemmas": the Bresl. Edit. (viii. 4) "Shímás."

[FN#57] i.e. When the tale begins.

[FN#58] Arab. "Khafz al-jináh" drooping the wing as a brooding bird. In the Koran ([vii. 88) lowering the wing" = demeaning oneself gently.

[FN#59] The Bresl. Edit. (viii. 3) writes "Kil'ád": Trébutien (iii. 1) "le roi Djilia."

[FN#60] As the sequel shows the better title would be, '`The Cat and the Mouse" as in the headings of the Mac. Edit. and "What befel the Cat with the Mouse," as a punishment for tyranny. But all three Edits. read as in the text and I have not cared to change it. In our European adaptations the mouse becomes a rat.

[FN#61] So that I may not come to grief by thus daring to foretell evil things.

[FN#62] Arab. "Af'á'" pl. Afá'í = , both being derived from 0. Egypt. Hfi, a worm, snake. Af'á is applied to many species of the larger ophidia, all supposed to be venomous, and synonymous with "Sall" (a malignant viper) in Al Mutalammis. See Preston's Al Hariri, p. 101.

[FN#63] This apparently needless cruelty of all the feline race is a strong weapon in the hand of the Eastern "Dahrí" who holds that the world is God and is governed by its own laws, in opposition to the religionists believing in a Personal Deity whom, moreover, they style the Merciful, the Compassionate, etc. Some Christians have opined that cruelty came into the world with "original Sin," but how do they account for the hideous waste of life and the fearful destructiveness of the fishes which certainly never learned anything from man? The mystery of the cruelty of things can be explained only by a Law without a Law-giver.

[FN#64] The three things not to be praised before death in Southern Europe are a horse, a priest and a woman; and it has become a popular saying that only fools prophesy before the event.

[FN#65] 'Arab. "Sawn" =butter melted and skimmed. See vol. i. 144.

[FN#66] This is a mere rechauffé of the Barber's tale of his Fifth Brother (vol. i. 335). In addition to the authorities there cited I may mention the school reading-lesson in Addison's Spectator derived from Galland's version of "Alnaschar and his basket of Glass," the Persian version of the Hitopadesa or "Anwár-i-Suhayli (Lights of Canopes) by Husayn Vá'iz; the Foolish Sachali of "Indian Fairy Tales" (Miss Stokes); the allusion in Rabelais to the fate of the "Shoemaker and his pitcher of milk" and the "Dialogues of creatures moralised" (1516), whence probably La Fontaine drew his fable, "La Laitière et le Pot au lait."

[FN#67] Arab. ' 'Násik," a religious, a man of Allah from Nask, devotion: somewhat like Sálik (Dabistan iii. 251)

[FN#68] The well-known Egyptian term for a peasant, a husbandman, extending from the Nile to beyond Mount Atlas

[FN#69] This is again, I note, the slang sense of "'Azím," which in classical Arabic means

[FN#70] Arab "Adab" ; see vol. i. 132. It also implies mental discipline, the culture which leads to excellence, good manners and good morals; and it is sometimes synonymous with literary skill and scholarship. "Ilm al-Adab," says Haji Khalfah (Lane's Lex.), " is the science whereby man guards against error in the language of the Arabs spoken or written."

[FN#71] i.e. I esteem thee as thou deserves".

[FN#72] The style is intended to be worthy of the statesman. In my "Mission to Dahome" the reader will find many a similar scene.

[FN#73] The Bresl. Edit. (vol. viii. 22) reads "Turks" or "The Turk" in lieu of "many peoples."

[FN#74] i.e. the parents.

[FN#75] The humour of this euphuistic Wazirial speech, purposely made somewhat pompous, is the contrast between the unhappy Minister's praises and the result of his prognostication. I cannot refrain from complimenting Mr. Payne upon the admirable way in which he has attacked and mastered all the difficulties of its abstruser passages.

[FN#76] 'Arab. "Halummú" plur. of "Halumma"=draw near! The latter form is used by some tribes for all three numbers; others affect a dual and a plural (as in the text). Preston ( Al Hariri, p. 210) derives it from Heb., but the geographers of Kufah and Basrah (who were not etymologists) are divided about its origin. He translates (p. 221) "Halumma Jarran = being the rest of the tale in continuation with this, i.e. in accordance with it like our "and so forth." And in p. 271, he makes Halumma=Hayya i.e. hither' (to prayer, etc.).

[FN#77] This is precisely the semi-fatalistic and wholly superstitious address which would find favour with Moslems of the present day they still prefer "calling upon Hercules" to putting their shoulders to the wheel. Mr. Redhouse had done good work in his day but of late he has devoted himself, especially in the "Mesnevi," to a rapprochement between Al-Islam and Christianity which both would reject (see supra, vol. vii. p. 135). The Calvinistic predestination as shown in the term "vessel of wrath," is but a feeble reflection of Moslem fatalism. On this subject I shall have more to say in a future volume.

[FN#78] The inhabitants of temperate climates have no idea what ants can do in the tropics. The Kafirs of South Africa used to stake down their prisoners (among them a poor friend of mine) upon an ant-hill and they were eaten atom after atom in a few hours. The death must be the slowest form of torture; but probably the nervous system soon becomes insensible. The same has happened to more than one hapless invalid, helplessly bedridden, in Western Africa. I have described an invasion of ants in my "Zanzibar," vol. ii. 169; and have suffered from such attacks in many places between that and Dahomey.

[FN#79] Arab. "Sa'lab." See vol. iii 132, where it is a fox. I render it jackal because that cousin of the fox figures as a carnon-eater in Hindu folk-lore, the Hitopadesa, Panchopakhyan, etc. This tale, I need hardly say, is a mere translation; as is shown by the Kathá s.s. "Both jackal and fox are nicknamed Joseph the Scribe (Tálib Yúsuf) in the same principle that lawyers are called landsharks by sailors." (P. 65, Moorish Lotus Leaves, etc., by George D. Cowan and R. L. N. Johnston, London, Tinsleys, 1883.)

[FN#80] Arab. "Sahm mush'ab" not "barbed" (at the wings) but with double front, much used for birding and at one time familiar in the West as in the East. And yet "barbed" would make the fable read much better.

[FN#81] Arab. "la'lla," usually = haply, belike; but used here and elsewhere = forsure, certainly.

[FN#82] Arab. "Maghrib" (or in full Maghrib al Aksá) lit. =the Land of the setting sun for whose relation to "Mauritania" see vol. vii. 220. It is almost synonymous with "Al-Gharb"=the West whence Portugal borrowed the two Algarves, one being in Southern Europe and the other over the straits about Tangier Ceuta; fronting Spanish Trafalgar, i.e. Taraf al Gharb, the edge of the West. I have noted (Pilgrimage i. 9) the late Captain Peel's mis-translation "Cape of Laurels" (Al-Ghár).

[FN#83] Even the poorest of Moslem wanderers tries to bear with him a new suit of clothes for keeping the two festivals and Friday service in the Mosque. See Pilgrimage i. 235; iii. 257, etc.

[FN#84] Arab. "Sáyih" lit. a wanderer, subaudi for religious and ascetic objects; and not to be confounded with the "pilgrim" proper.

[FN#85] i.e. a Religious, a wandering beggar.

[FN#86] This was the custom of the whole Moslem world and still is where uncorrupted by Christian uncharity and contempt for all "men of God" save its own. But the change in such places as Egypt is complete and irrevocable. Even in 1852 my Dervish's frock brought me nothing but contempt in Alexandria and Cairo.

[FN#87] Arab. "Ya jáhil," lit. =O ignorant. The popular word is Ahmak which, however, in the West means a maniac, a madman, a Santon; "Bohlí" being= a fool.

[FN#88] The prison according to the practice of the East being in the palace: so the Moorish 'Kasbah," which lodges the Governor and his guard, always contains the jail.

[FN#89] Arab. "Tuwuffiya," lit.=was received (into the grace of God), an euphemistic and more polite term than "máta"=he died. The latter term is avoided by the Founder of Chnstianity; and our Spiritualists now say "passed away to a higher life," a phrase embodying a theory which, to say the least, is "not proven "

[FN#90] Arab. "Yá Abá al-Khayr"= our my good lord, sir, fellow, etc.

[FN#91] Arab. "Háwi" from "Hayyah," a serpent. See vol. iii. 145. Most of the Egyptian snake charmers are Gypsies, but they do not like to be told of their origin. At Baroda in Guzerat I took lessons in snake-catching, but found the sport too dangerous; when the animal flees, the tail is caught by the left hand and the right is slipped up to the neck, a delicate process, as a few inches too far or not far enough would be followed by certain death in catching a Cobra. At last certain of my messmates killed one of the captives and the snake-charmer would have no more to do with me.

[FN#92] Arab. "Sallah," also Pers., a basket of wickerwork. This article is everywhere used for lodging snakes from Egypt to Morocco.

[FN#93] Arab. "Mubarak." It is a favourite name for a slave in Morocco, the slave-girl being called Mubárakah; and the proverb being, "Blessed is the household which hath neither M'bárk nor M'bárkah" (as they contract the words).

[FN#94] The Bresl. Edit. (viii. 48) instead of the Gate (Báb) gives a Bádhanj=a Ventilator; for which latter rendering see vol. i. 257. The spider's web is Koranic (lxxxi. 40) "Verily frailest of all houses is the house of the spider."

[FN#95] Prob. from the Persian Wird=a pupil, a disciple.

[FN#96] And yet, as the next page shows the youth's education was complete in his twelfth year. But as all three texts agree, I do not venture upon changing the number to six or seven, the age at which royal education outside the Harem usually begins.

[FN#97] i.e. One for each day in the Moslem year. For these object-lessons, somewhat in Kinder-garten style, see the Book of Sindibad or The Malice of Women (vol. vi. 126).

[FN#98] Arab. "Jahábizah" plur. of "Jahbiz"=acute, intelligent (from the Pers. Kahbad?)

[FN#99] Arab. "Nimr" in the Bresl. Edit. viii. 58. The Mac. Edit. suggests that the leopard is the lion's Wazir.

[FN#100] Arab "Kaun" lit. =Being, existence. Trébutien (iii. 20) has it "Qu'est-ce que l'être (God), I'existence (Creation), l'être dans['existence (the world), et la duree de l'être dans l'existence (the other world).

[FN#101] i.e for the purpose of requital. All the above is orthodox Moslem doctrine, which utterly ignores the dictum "ex nihilo nihil fit;" and which would look upon Creation by Law (Darwinism) as opposed to Creation by miracle (e.g. the Mosaic cosmogony) as rank blasphemy. On the other hand the Eternity of Matter and its transcendental essence are tenets held by a host of Gnostics, philosophers and Eastern Agnostics.

[FN#102] This is a Moslem lieu commun; usually man is likened to one suspended in a bottomless well by a thin rope at which a rodent is continually gnawing and who amuses himself in licking a few drops of honey left by bees on the revetement.

[FN#103] A curious pendent to the Scriptural parable of the Uniust Steward.

[FN#104] Arab. "Rúh" Heb. Ruach: lit. breath (spiritus) which in the animal kingdom is the surest sign of life. See vol. v. 29. Nothing can be more rigidly materialistic than the called Mosaic law.

[FN#105] Arab. "Al-Amr" which may also mean the business, the matter, the affair.

[FN#106] Arab. "Ukáb al-kásir." lit. =the breaker eagle.

[FN#107] Arab "Lijám shadíd:" the ring-bit of the Arabs is perhaps the severest form known: it is required by the Eastern practice of pulling up the horse when going at full speed and it is too well known to require description. As a rule the Arab rides with a "lady's hand" and the barbarous habit of "hanging on by the curb" is unknown to him. I never pass by Rotten Row or see a regiment of English Cavalry without wishing to leave riders nothing but their snaffles.

[FN#108] We find this orderly distribution of time (which no one adopts) in many tongues and many forms. In the Life of Sir W. Jones (vol. i. p. 193, Poetical Works etc.) the following occurs, "written in India on a small piece of paper";--

             Sir Edward Coke 
    "Six hours to sleep, in law's grave study six! 
    Four spend in prayer,--the rest on Heaven fix!" 
         Rather:
    "Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven; 
    Ten to the world allot, and all to Heaven!" 

But this is not practical. I must prefer the Chartist distribution:

    Six hours sleep and six hours play: 
    Six hours work and six shillings a day. 

Mr Froude (Oceana) speaks of New Zealanders having attained that ideal of operative felicity:--

    Eight to work, eight to play; 
    Eight to sleep and eight shillings a day. 

[FN#109] Arab. "Bahímah," mostly=black cattle: see vol. iv. 54.

[FN#110] As a rule when the felidæ wag their tails, it is a sign of coming anger, the reverse with the canidæ.

[FN#111] In India it is popularly said that the Rajah can do anything with the Ryots provided he respects their women and their religion--not their property.

[FN#112] Arab. "Sunan" for which see vol. v. 36, 167. Here it is=Rasm or usage, equivalent to our precedents, and held valid, especially when dating from olden time, in all matters which are not expressly provided for by Koranic command. For instance a Hindí Moslem (who doubtless borrowed the customs from Hindús) will refuse to eat with the Kafir, and when the latter objects that there is no such prohibition in the Koran will reply, "No but it is our Rasm." As a rule the Anglo-Indian is very ignorant on this essential point.

[FN#113] Lit. "lowering the wings," see supra p. 33.

[FN#114] .i.e. friends and acquaintances.

[FN#115] Arab. "Hamídah"=praiseworthy or satisfactory.

[FN#116] Not only alluding to the sperm of man and beast, but also to the "Neptunist" doctrine held by the ancient Greeks and Hindus and developed in Europe during the last century.

[FN#117] Arab. "Taksím" dividing into parts, analysis.

[FN#118] this is the usual illogical contention of all religions. It is not the question whether an Almighty Being can do a given thing: the question is whether He has or has not done it.

[FN#119] Upon the old simile of the potter I shall have something to say in a coming volume.

[FN#120] A fine specimen of a peculiarity in the undeveloped mind of man, the universal confusion between things objective as a dead body and states of things as death. We begin by giving a name, for facility of intercourse, to phases, phenomena and conditions of matter; and, having created the word we proceed to supply it with a fanciful entity, e.g. "The Mind (a useful term to express the aggregate action of the brain, nervous system etc.) of man is immortal." The next step is personification as Time with his forelock, Death with his skull and Night (the absence of light) with her starry mantle. For poetry this abuse of language is a sine qua non, but it is deadly foe to all true philosophy.

[FN#121] Christians would naturally understand this "One Word" to be the of the Platonists, adopted by St. John (comparatively a late writer) and by the Alexandrian school, Jewish (as Philo Judaeus) and Christian. But here the tale-teller alludes to the Divine Word "Kun" (be!) whereby the worlds came into existence.

[FN#122] Arab. "Ya bunayyí" a dim. form lit. "O my little son !" an affectionate address frequent in Russian, whose "little father" (under "Bog") is his Czar.

[FN#123] Thus in two texts. Mr. Payne has, "Verily God the Most High created man after His own image, and likened him to Himself, all of Him truth, without falsehood; then He gave him dominion over himself and ordered him and forbade him, and it was man who transgressed His commandment and erred in his obedience and brought falsehood upon himself of his own will." Here he borrows from the Bresl. Edit. viii. 84 (five first lines). But the doctrine is rather Jewish and Christian than Moslem: Al-Mas'údi (ii. 389) introduces a Copt in the presence of Ibn Tutún saying, "Prince, these people (designing a Jew) pretend that Allah Almighty created Adam (i.e. mankind) after His own image" ('Alá Súrati-h).

[FN#124] Arab. "Istitá'ah"=ableness e.g. "Al hajj 'inda 'l-Istitá'ah"=Pilgrimage when a man is able thereto (by easy circumstances).

[FN#125] Arab. "Al-Kasab," which phrenologists would translate "acquisitiveness," The author is here attempting to reconcile man's moral responsibility, that is Freewill, with Fate by which all human actions are directed and controlled. I cannot see that he fails to "apprehend the knotty point of doctrine involved"; but I find his inability to make two contraries agree as pronounced as that of all others, Moslems and Christians, that preceded him in the same path.

[FN#126] The order should be, "men, angels and Jinn," for which see vol. i. p. 10. But "angels" here takes precedence because Iblis was one of them.

[FN#127] Arab. "Wartah"=precipice, quagmire, quicksand and hence sundry secondary and metaphorical significations, under which, as in the "Semitic" (Arabic) tongues generally, the prosaical and material sense of the word is clearly evident. I noted this in Pilgrimage iii. 66 and was soundly abused for so saying by a host of Sciolists.

[FN#128] i.e. Allowing the Devil to go about the world and seduce mankind until Doomsday when "auld Sootie's" occupation will be gone. Surely "Providence" might have managed better.

[FN#129] i.e. to those who deserve His love.

[FN#130] Here "Istitá'ah" would mean capability of action, i.e. freewill, which is a mere word like "free-trade."

[FN#131] Arab. "Bi al-taubah" which may also mean "for (on account of his) penitence." The reader will note how the learned Shimas "dodges" the real question. He is asked why the "Omnipotent, Omniscient did not prevent (i.e. why He created) sin?" He answers that He kindly permitted (i.e. created and sanctioned) it that man might repent. Proh pudor! If any one thus reasoned of mundane matters he would be looked upon as the merest fool.

[FN#132] Arab. "Mahall al-Zauk," lit.=seat of taste.

[FN#133] Mr. Payne translates "it" i.e. the Truth; but the formula following the word shows that Allah is meant.

[FN#134] Moslems, who do their best to countermine the ascetic idea inherent in Christianity, are not ashamed of the sensual appetite; but rather the reverse. I have heard in Persia of a Religious, highly esteemed for learning and saintly life who, when lodged by a disciple at Shiraz, came out of his sleeping room and aroused his host with the words "Shahwat dáram!" equivalent to our "I want a woman." He was at once married to one of the slave-girls and able to gratify the demands of the flesh.

[FN#135] Koran iv. 81, "Whatever good betideth thee is from God, and whatever betideth thee Of evil is from thyself": rank Manichæism, as pronounced as any in Christendom.

[FN#136] Arab. "Zukhruf" which Mr. Payne picturesquely renders "painted gawds."

[FN#137] It is the innate craving in the "Aryan" (Iranian, not the Turanian) mind, this longing to know what follows Death, or if nothing follows it, which accounts for the marvellous diffusion of the so-called Spiritualism which is only Swedenborgianism systematised and earned out into action, amongst nervous and impressionable races like the Anglo-American. In England it is the reverse; the obtuse sensitiveness of a people bred on beef and beer has made the "Religion of the Nineteenth Century" a manner of harmless magic, whose miracles are table-turning and ghost seeing whilst the prodigious rascality of its prophets (the so-called Mediums) has brought it into universal disrepute. It has been said that Catholicism must be true to co-exist with the priest and it is the same with Spiritualism proper, by which I understand the belief in a life beyond the grave, a mere continuation of this life; it flourishes (despite the Medium) chiefly because it has laid before man the only possible and intelligible idea of a future state.

[FN#138] See vol. vi. p. 7. The only lie which degrades a man in his own estimation and in that of others, is that told for fear of telling the truth. Au reste, human society and civilised intercourse are built upon a system of conventional lying. and many droll stories illustrate the consequences of disregarding the dictum, la verité n'est pas tonjours bonne à dire.

[FN#139] Arab. "Walí'ahd" which may mean heir-presumptive (whose heirship is contingent) or heir-apparent.

[FN#140] Arab. "Yá abati"= my papa (which here would sound absurd).

[FN#141] All the texts give a decalogue; but Mr. Payne has reduced it to a heptalogue.

[FN#142] The Arabs who had a variety of anæsthetics never seem to have studied the subject of "euthanasia." They preferred seeing a man expire in horrible agonies to relieving him by means of soporifics and other drugs: so I have heard Christians exult in saying that the sufferer "kept his senses to the last." Of course superstition is at the bottom of this barbarity; the same which a generation ago made the silly accoucheur refuse to give ether because of the divine (?) saying "In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children." (Gen iii. 16.) In the Bosnia-Herzegovina campaign many of the Austrian officers carried with them doses of poison to be used in case of being taken prisoners by the ferocious savages against whom they were fighting. As many anecdotes about "Easing off the poor dear" testify, the Euthanasia-system is by no means unknown to the lower classes in England. I shall have more to say on this subject.

[FN#143] See vol. iii. p. 253 for the consequences of royal seclusion of which Europe in the present day can contribute examples. The lesson which it teaches simply is that the world can get on very well without royalties.

[FN#144] The grim Arab humour in the text is the sudden change for the worse of the good young man. Easterns do not believe in the Western saw, "Nemo repente fuit turpissimus." The spirited conduct of the subjects finds many parallels in European history, especially in Portugal: see my Life of Camoens p. 234.

[FN#145] Arab. "Muhárabah" lit.=doing battle; but is sometimes used in the sense of gain-saying or disobeying.

[FN#146] Arab. "Duwámah" (from "duwám"=vertigo, giddiness) also applied to a boy's whip ton.

[FN#147] Arab. "Khayr o (we) Áfiyah," a popular phrase much used in salutations, &c.

[FN#148] Another instance, and true to life, of the democracy of despotism in which the express and combined will of the people is the only absolute law. Hence Russian autocracy is forced into repeated wars for the possession of Constantinople which, in the present condition of the Empire, would be an unmitigated evil to her and would be only too glad to see a Principality of Byzantium placed under the united protection of the European Powers. I have treated of this in my paper on the "Partition of Turkey," which first appeared, headed the "Future of Turkey," in the Daily Telegraph, of March 7, 1880, and subsequently by its own name in the Manchester Examiner, January 3, 1881. The main reason why the project is not carried out appears to be that the "politicals" would thereby find their occupation gone and they naturally object to losing so fine a field of action. So Turkey still plays the rôle of the pretty young lady being courted by a rabble of valets.

[FN#149] Good Moslems are bound to abate such scandals; and in a case of the kind even neighbours are expected to complain before the Chief of Police. This practice forms "Viligance Committees" all over the Mahommedan East: and we may take a leaf out of their books if dynamite-outrages continue.

[FN#150] But a Hadis, attributed to Mohammed, says, "The Prince of a people is their servant." See Matth. xx. 26-27.

[FN#151] Easterns are well aware of the value of this drug which has become the base of so many of our modern medicines.

[FN#152] The strangest poison is mentioned by Sonnini who, as a rule, is a trustworthy writer. Noticing the malignity of Egyptian women he declares (p. 628, English trans.) that they prepare a draught containing a quant. suff. of menstruous discharge at certain phases of the moon, which produces symptoms of scurvy; the gums decay, the teeth, beard and hair fall off, the body dries, the limbs lose strength and death follows within a year. He also asserts that no counterpoison is known and if this be true he confers a boon upon the Locustæ and Brinvilliers of modern Europe. In Morocco "Ta'am" is the vulgar name for a mixture of dead men's bones, eyes, hair and similar ingredients made by old wives and supposed to cause a wasting disease for which the pharmacopoeia has no cure. Dogs are killed by needles cunningly inserted into meat-balls; and this process is known through out the Moslem world.

[FN#153] Which contained the Palace.

[FN#154] Arab. "Lá baas." See Night vol. iv. 164.

[FN#155] For Ta'lab (Sa'lab) see supra, p. 48. In Morocco it is undoubtedly the red or common fox which, however, is not gregarious as in the text.

[FN#156] See vol. iii. 146.

[FN#157] Arab. "Muunah" which in Morocco applies to the provisions furnished gratis by the unfortunate village-people to travellers who have a passport from the Sultan. its root is Maun =supplying necessaries. "The name is supposed to have its origin in that of Manna the miraculous provision bestowed by the bounty of Heaven on the Israelites while wandering in the deserts of Arabia." Such is the marvellous information we find in p. 40, "Morocco and the Moors" by John Drummond Hay (Murray, 1861)

[FN#158] i.e. He resolved to do them justice and win a reward from Heaven.

[FN#159] Arab. Luss" = thief, robber, rogue, rascal, the Persian "Luti" of popular usage. This is one of the many Simpleton stories" in which Eastern folk-lore abounds. I hear that Mr. Clouston is preparing a collection, and look forward to it with interest.

[FN#160] Arab. "Tibn" for which see vol. i 16.

[FN#161] A fanciful origin of "Díván" (here an audience-chamber) which may mean demons (plural of Dív) is attributed to a King of Persia. He gave a series of difficult documents and accounts to his scribes and surprised at the quickness and cleverness with which they were ordered exclaimed, "These men be Divs!" Hence a host of secondary meanings as a book of Odes with distichs rhymed in alphabetical order and so forth.

[FN#162] In both cases the word "Jabábirah" is used, the plur. of Jabbár, the potent, especially applied to the Kings of the Canaanites and giants like the mythical Og of Bashan. So the Heb. Jabbúrah is a title of the Queens of Judah.

[FN#163] Arab. "Kitáb al-Kazá"= the Book of Judgments, such as the Kazi would use when deciding cases in dispute, by legal precedents and the Rasm or custom of the country.

[FN#164] i.e. sit before the King as referee, etc.

[FN#165] This massacre of refractory chiefs is one of the grand moyens of Eastern state-craft, and it is almost always successful because circumstances require it; popular opinion approves of it and it is planned and carried out with discretion and secrecy. The two familiar instances in our century are the massacre of the Mamelukes by Mohammed Ali Pasha the Great and of the turbulent chiefs of the Omani Arabs by our ancient ally Sayyid Sa'íd, miscalled the "Imám of Maskat."

[FN#166] The metaphor (Sabaka) is from horse-racing, the Arabs being, I have said, a horsey people.

[FN#167] Arab. "Kurdús" = A body of horse.

[FN#168] Arab. "Ibn 'Irs." See vol. iii. 147.

[FN#169] Arab. "Al Hind-al-Aksá." The Sanskrit Sindhu (lands on the Indus River) became in Zend "Hendu" and hence in Arabic Sind and Hind, which latter I wish we had preserved instead of the classical "India" or the poetical "Ind."

[FN#170] i.e. by geomancy: see vol. iii. 269 for a note on Al-Raml. The passage is not in the Mac. Edit.

[FN#171] This address gave the boy Wazirial rank. In many parts of Europe, England included, if the Sovereign address a subject with a title not belonging to him, it is a disputed point if the latter can or cannot claim it.

[FN#172] Koran, chapter of Joseph xii. 28, spoken by Potiphar after Joseph's innocence had been proved by a witness in Potiphar's house or according to the Talmud (Sepher Hádjascher) by an infant in the cradle. The texts should have printed this as a quotation (with vowel points).

[FN#173] Arab. "Al-'Azíz," alluding to Joseph the Patriarch entitled in Egypt "Azíz al-Misr"= Magnifico of Misraim (Koran xii. 54). It is generally believed that Ismail Pasha, whose unwise deposition has caused the English Government such a host of troubles and load of obloquy, aspired to be named "'Azíz" by the Porte; but was compelled to be satisfied with Khadív (vulg. written Khedive, and pronounced even "Kédivé"), a Persian title, which simply means prince or Rajah, as Khadív-i-Hind.

[FN#174] i.e. The Throne room.

[FN#175] For the "Dawát" or wooden inkcase containing reeds see vol. v. 239 and viii. 178. I may remark that its origin is the Egyptian "Pes," of which there is a specimen in the British Museum inscribed, "Amásis the good god and Lord of the two Lands."

[FN#176] i.e. I am governed by the fear of Allah in my dealings to thee and thy subjects.

[FN#177] Arabic has no single word for million although the Maroccans have adopted "Milyún" from the Spaniards (see p. 100 of the Rudimentos del Árabe vulgar que se habla en el imperio de Marruccos por El P. Fr. Josè de Lerchundi, Madrid 1872): This lack of the higher numerals, the reverse of the Hindu languages, makes Arabic "arithmology" very primitive and almost as cumbrous as the Chinese.

[FN#178] i.e. I am thy slave to slay or to pardon.

[FN#179] Arab. Matta'aka 'llah=Allah permit thee to enjoy, from the root mate', whence cometh the Maroccan Matá'i=my, mine, which answers to Bitá'i in Egypt.

[FN#180] Arab. "Khitáb" = the exordium of a letter preceding its business-matter and in which the writer displays all his art. It ends with "Ammá ba'd," lit.=but after, equivalent to our "To proceed." This "Khitáb" is mostly skipped over by modern statesmen who will say, "Now after the nonsense let us come to the sense"; but their secretaries carefully weigh every word of it, and strongly resent all shortcomings.

[FN#181] Strongly suggesting that the King had forgotten how to read and write. So not a few of the Amirs of Sind were analphabetic and seemed rather proud of it: "a Baloch cannot write, but he always carries a signet-ring." I heard of an old English lady of the past generation in Northern Africa who openly declared "A Warrington shall never learn to read or write."

[FN#182] Arab. "Ámin," of which the Heb. form is Amen from the root Amn=stability, constancy. In both tongues it is a particle of affirmation or consent=it is true! So be it! The Hebrew has also "Amanah"=verily, truly.

[FN#183] To us this seems a case of "hard lines" for the unhappy women; but Easterns then believed and still believe in the divinity which cloth hedge in a King, in his reigning by the "grace of God," and in his being the Viceregent of Allah upon earth; briefly in the old faith of loyalty which great and successful republics are fast making obsolete in the West and nowhere faster than in England.

[FN#184] Abú Sír is a manifest corruption of the old Egyptian Pousiri, the Busiris of our classics, and it gives a name to sundry villages in modern Egypt where it is usually pronounced "Búsír". Abú Kír lit. = the Father of Pitch, is also corrupted to Abou Kir (Bay); and the townlet now marks the site of jolly old Canopus, the Chosen Land of Egyptian debauchery.

[FN#185] It is interesting to note the superior gusto with which the Eastern, as well as the Western tale-teller describes his scoundrels and villains whilst his good men and women are mostly colourless and unpicturesque. So Satan is the true hero of Paradise-Lost and by his side God and man are very ordinary; and Mephistopheles is much better society than Faust and Margaret.

[FN#186] Arab. "Dukhán," lit. = smoke, here tobacco for the Chibouk, "Timbák" or "Tumbák" being the stronger (Persian and other) variety which must be washed before smoking in the Shíshah or water pipe. Tobacco is mentioned here only and is evidently inserted by some scribe: the "weed" was not introduced into the East before the end of the sixteenth century (about a hundred years after coffee), when it radically changed the manners of society.

[FN#187] Which meant that the serjeant, after the manner of such officials, would make him pay dearly before giving up the key. Hence a very severe punishment in the East is to "call in a policeman" who carefully fleeces all those who do not bribe him to leave them in freedom.

[FN#188] Arab. "Má Dáhiyatak?" lit. "What is thy misfortune?" The phrase is slighting if not insulting.

[FN#189] Amongst Moslems the plea of robbing to keep life and body together would be accepted by a good man like Abu Sir, who still consorted with a self-confessed thief.

[FN#190] To make their agreement religiously binding. See vol. iv. 36.

[FN#191] Arab. "Ghaliyún"; many of our names for craft seem connected with Arabic: I have already noted "Carrack" = harrák: to which add Uskuf in Marocco pronounced 'Skuff = skiff; Katírah = a cutter; Bárijah = a barge; etc. etc.

[FN#192] The patient is usually lathered in a gib gasin of tinned brass, "Mambrino's helmet" with a break in the rim to fit the throat; but the poorer classes carry only a small cup with water instead of soap and water ignoring the Italian proverb, "Barba ben saponata mezza fatta" = well lathered is half shaved. A napkin fringed at either end is usually thrown over the Figaro's shoulder and used to wipe the razor.

[FN#193] Arab. "Nusf." See vol. ii. 37.

[FN#194] Arab. "Batárikh" the roe (sperm or spawn) of the salted Fasíkh (fish) and the Búrí (mugil cephalus) a salt-water fish caught in the Nile and considered fair eating. Some write Butárghá from the old Egyptian town Burát, now a ruin between Tinnis and Damietta (Sonnini).

[FN#195] Arab. "Kaptán," see vol. iv. 85.

[FN#196] Arab. "Anyáb," plur. of Náb applied to the grinder teeth but mostly to the canines or eye teeth, tusks of animals, etc. (See vol. vii. p. 339) opp. To Saniyah, one of the four central incisors, a camel in the sixth year and horse, cow, sheep and goat in fourth year.

[FN#197] The coffee (see also vol. viii. 274) like the tobacco is probably due to the scribe; but the tale appears to be comparatively modern. In The Nights men eat, drink and wash their hands but do not smoke and sip coffee like the moderns. See my Terminal Essay §2.

[FN#198] Arab. "Mi'lakah" (Bresl. Edit. x, 456). The fork is modern even in the East and the Moors borrow their term for it from fourchette. But the spoon, which may have begun with a cockle-shell, dates from the remotest antiquity.

[FN#199] Arab. "Sufrah" properly the cloth or leather upon which food is placed. See vol. i. 178.

[FN#200] i.e. gaining much one day and little another.

[FN#201] Lit. "Rest thyself" i.e. by changing posture.

[FN#202] Arab. "Unnábi" = between dark yellow and red.

[FN#203] Arab. "Nílah" lit. = indigo, but here applied to all the materials for dyeing. The word is Sanskrit, and the growth probably came from India, although during the Crusaders' occupation of Jerusalem it was cultivated in the valley of the lower Jordan. I need hardly say that it has nothing to do with the word "Nile" whose origin is still sub judice. And yet I lately met a sciolist who pompously announced to me this philological absurdity as a discovery of his own.

[FN#204] Still a popular form of "bilking" in the Wakálahs or Caravanserais of Cairo: but as a rule the Bawwáb (porter or doorkeeper) keeps a sharp eye on those he suspects. The evil is increased when women are admitted into these places; so periodical orders for their exclusion are given to the police.

[FN#205] Natives of Egypt always hold this diaphoresis a sign that the disease has abated and they regard it rightly in the case of bilious remittents to which they are subject, especially after the hardships and sufferings of a sea-voyage with its alternations of fasting and over-eating.

[FN#206] Not simply, "such and such events happened to him" (Lane); but, "a curious chance befel him."

[FN#207] Arab. "Harámi," lit. = one who lives on unlawful gains; popularly a thief.

[FN#208] i.e. he turned on the water, hot and cold.

[FN#209] Men are often seen doing this in the Hammam. The idea is that the skin when free from sebaceous exudation sounds louder under the clapping. Easterns judge much by the state of the perspiration, especially in horse-training, which consists of hand-gallops for many successive miles. The sweat must not taste over salt and when held between thumb and forefinger and the two are drawn apart must not adhere in filaments.

[FN#210] Lit. "Aloes for making Nadd;" see vol. i. 310. "Eagle-wood" (the Malay Aigla and Agallochum the Sansk. Agura) gave rise to many corruptions as lignum aloes, the Portuguese Páo d' Aguila etc. "Calamba" or "Calambak" was the finest kind. See Colonel Yule in the "Voyage of Linschoten" (vol. i. 120 and 150). Edited for the Hakluyt Soc. (1885) by my learned and most amiable friend, the late Arthur Cooke Burnell.

[FN#211] The Hammam is one of those unpleasant things which are left "Alà júdi-k" = to thy generosity; and the higher the bather's rank the more he or she is expected to pay. See Pilgrimage i. 103. In 1853 I paid at Cairo 3 piastres and twenty paras, something more than sixpence, but now five shillings would be asked.

[FN#212] This is something like the mythical duchess in England who could not believe that the poor were starving when sponge-cakes were so cheap.

[FN#213] This magnificent "Bakhshish" must bring water into the mouths of all the bath-men in the coffee-house assembly.

[FN#214] i.e. the treasurer did not, as is the custom of such gentry, demand and receive a large "Bakhshish" on the occasion.

[FN#215] A fair specimen of clever Fellah chaff.

[FN#216] In the first room of the Hammam, called the Maslakh or stripping-place, the keeper sits by a large chest in which he deposits the purses and valuables of his customers and also makes it the caisse for the pay. Something of the kind is now done in the absurdly called "Turkish Baths" of London.

[FN#217] This is the rule in Egypt and Syria and a clout hung over the door shows that women are bathing. I have heard, but only heard, that in times and places when eunuchs went in with the women youths managed by long practice to retract the testicles so as to pass for castratos. It is hard to say what perseverance may not effect in this line; witness Orsini and his abnormal development of hearing, by exercising muscles which are usually left idle.

[FN#218] This reference to Allah shows that Abu Sir did not believe his dyer-friend.

[FN#219] Arab. "Dawá" (lit. remedy, medicine) the vulgar term: see vol. iv. 256: also called Rasmah, Núrah and many other names.

[FN#220] Arab. "Má Kahara-ní" = or none hath overcome me.

[FN#221] Bresl. Edit. "The King of Isbániya." For the "Ishbán" (Spaniards) an ancient people descended from Japhet son of Noah and who now are no more, see Al-Mas'udi (Fr. Transl. I. 361). The "Herodotus of the Arabs" recognises only the "Jalálikah" or Gallicians, thus bearing witness to the antiquity and importance of the Gallego race.

[FN#222] Arab. "Sha'r," properly, hair of body, pile, especially the pecten. See Bruckhardt (Prov. No. 202), "grieving for lack of a cow she made a whip of her bush," said of those who console themselves by building Castles in Spain. The "parts below the waist" is the decent Turkish term for the privities.

[FN#223] The drowning is a martyr's death, the burning is a foretaste of Hell-fire.

[FN#224] Meaning that if the trick had been discovered the Captain would have taken the barber's place. We have seen (vol. i. 63) the Prime Minister superintending the royal kitchen and here the Admiral fishes for the King's table. It is even more naïve than the Court of Alcinous.

[FN#225] Bresl. Edit. xi. 32: i.e. save me from disgrace.

[FN#226] Arab. "Khinsir" or "Khinsar," the little finger or the middle finger. In Arabic each has its own name or names which is also that of the corresponding toe, e.g. Ibhám (thumb); Sabbábah, Musabbah or Da'áah (fore-finger); Wastá (medius); Binsir (annularis ring-finger) and Khinsar (minimus). There are also names for the several spaces between the fingers. See the English Arabic Dictionary (London, Kegan Paul an Co., 1881) by the Revd. Dr. Badger, a work of immense labour and research but which I fear has been so the learned author a labour of love not of profit.

[FN#227] Meaning of course that the King signed towards the sack in which he supposed the victim to be, but the ring fell off before it could take effect. The Eastern story-teller often balances his multiplicity of words and needless details by a conciseness and an elliptical style which make his meaning a matter of divination.

[FN#228] See vol. v. 111.

[FN#229] This couplet was quoted to me by my friend the Rev. Dr. Badger when he heard that I was translating "The Nights": needless to say that it is utterly inappropriate.

[FN#230] For a similar figure see vol i. 25.

[FN#231] Arab. "Hanzal": see vol. v. 19.

[FN#232] The tale begins upon the model of "Júdar and his Brethren," vi. 213. Its hero's full name is Abdu'lláhi=Slave of Allah, which vulgar Egyptians pronounce Abdallah and purer speakers, Badawin and others, Abdullah: either form is therefore admissible. It is more common among Moslems but not unknown to Christians especially Syrians who borrow it from the Syriac Alloh. Mohammed is said to have said, "The names most approved by Allah are Abdu'llah, Abd al-Rahmán (Slave of the Compassionate) and such like" (Pilgrimage i. 20).

[FN#233] Arab. "Sírah" here probably used of the Nile-sprat (Clupea Sprattus Linn.) or Sardine of which Forsk says, "Sardinn in Al-Yaman is applied to a Red Sea fish of the same name." Hasselquist the Swede notes that Egyptians stuff the Sardine with marjoram and eat it fried even when half putrid.

[FN#234] i.e. by declaring in the Koran (lxvii. 14; lxxiv. 39; lxxviii. 69; lxxxviii. 17), that each creature hath its appointed term and lot; especially "Thinketh man that he shall be left uncared for?" (xl. 36).

[FN#235] Arab. "Nusf," see vol. ii. 37.

[FN#236] Arab. "Allah Karim" (which Turks pronounce Kyerím) a consecrated formula used especially when a man would show himself resigned to "small mercies." The fisherman's wife was evidently pious as she was poor; and the description of the pauper household is simple and effective.

[FN#237] This is repeated in the Mac. Edit. pp. 496-97; an instance amongst many of most careless editing.

[FN#238] Arab. "Alà mahlak" (vulg.), a popular phrase, often corresponding with our "Take it coolly."

[FN#239] For "He did not keep him waiting, as he did the rest of the folk." Lane prefers "nor neglected him as men generally would have done." But we are told supra that the baker "paid no heed to the folk by reason of the dense crowd."

[FN#240] Arab. "Ruh!" the most abrupt form, whose sound is coarse and offensive as the Turkish yell, "Gyel!"=come here.

[FN#241] Bresl. Edit. xi. 50-51.

[FN#242] Arab. "Ádami"=an Adamite, one descended from the mythical and typical Adam for whom see Philo Judæus. We are told in one place a few lines further on that the merman is of humankind; and in another that he is a kind of fish (Night dccccxlv). This belief in mermen, possible originating with the caricatures of the human face in the intelligent seal and stupid manatee, is universal. Al-Kazwini declares that a waterman with a tail was dried and exhibited, and that in Syria one of them was married to a woman and had by her a son "who understood the languages of both his parents." The fable was refined to perfect beauty by the Greeks: the mer-folk of the Arabs, Hindus and Northerners (Scandinavians, etc) are mere grotesques with green hair, etc. Art in its highest expression never left the shores of the Mediterranean, and there is no sign that it ever will.

[FN#243] Here Lane translates "Wajh" lit. "the desire of seeing the face of God," and explains in a note that a "Muslim holds this to be the greatest happiness that can be enjoyed in Paradise." But I have noted that the tenet of seeing the countenance of the Creator, except by the eyes of spirit, is a much disputed point amongst Moslems.

[FN#244] Artful enough is this contrast between the squalid condition of the starving fisherman and the gorgeous belongings of the Merman.

[FN#245] Lit. "Verily he laughed at me so that I set him free." This is a fair specimen of obscure conciseness.

[FN#246] Arab. "Mishannah," which Lane and Payne translate basket: I have always heard it used of an old gunny-bag or bag of plaited palm-leaves.

[FN#247] Arab. "Kaff Shurayk" applied to a single bun. The Shurayk is a bun, an oblong cake about the size of a man's hand (hence the term "Kaff"=palm) with two long cuts and sundry oblique crosscuts, made of leavened dough, glazed with egg and Samn (clarified butter) and flavoured with spices (cinnamon, curcuma, artemisia and prunes mahalab) and with aromatic seeds, (Rihat al-'ajin) of which Lane (iii. 641) specifies aniseed, nigella, absinthium, (Artemisia arborescens) and Káfúrah (A. camphorata Monspeliensis) etc. The Shurayk is given to the poor when visiting the tombs and on certain fêtes.

[FN#248] "Mother of Prosperities."

[FN#249] Tribes of pre-historic Arabs who were sent to Hell for bad behaviour to Prophets Sálih and Húd. See vol. iii. 294.

[FN#250] "Too much for him to come by lawfully."

[FN#251] To protect it. The Arab. is "Jáh"=high station, dignity.

[FN#252] The European reader, especially feminine, will think this a hard fate for the pious first wife but the idea would not occur to the Moslem mind. After bearing ten children a woman becomes "Umm al-banáti w'al-banín"=a mother of daughters and sons, and should hold herself unfit for love-disport. The seven ages of womankind are thus described by the Arabs and I translate the lines after a well-known (Irish) model:--

     From ten years to twenty--
     Of beauty there's plenty.
     From twenty to thirty--
     Fat, fair and alert t'ye.
     From thirty to forty--
     Lads and lasses she bore t'ye.
     From forty to fifty--
     An old'un and shifty.
     From fifty to sixty--
     A sorrow that sticks t'ye.
     From sixty to seventy--
     A curse of God sent t'ye. 

For these and other sentiments upon the subject of women and marriage see Pilgrimage ii. 285-87.

[FN#253] Abdullah, as has been said, means "servant or rather slave of Allah."

[FN#254] Again the "Come to my arms, my slight acquaintance," of the Anti-Jacobin.

[FN#255] Arab. "Nukl," e.g. the quatre mendicants as opposed to "Fákihah"=fresh fruit. The Persians, a people who delight in gross practical jokes, get the confectioner to coat with sugar the droppings of sheep and goats and hand them to the bulk of the party. This pleasant confection is called "Nukl-i-peshkil"--dung-dragées.

[FN#256] The older name of Madínat al-Nabi, the city of the Prophet; vulg. called Al-Medinah per excellentiam. See vol. iv. 114. In the Mac. and Bul. texts we have "Tayyibah"=the goodly, one of the many titles of that Holy City: see Pilgrimage ii. 119.

[FN#257] Not "visiting the tomb of," etc. but visiting the Prophet himself, who is said to have declared that "Ziyárah" (visitation) of his tomb was in religion the equivalent of a personal call upon himself.

[FN#258] Arab. "Nafakah"; for its conditions see Pigrimage iii. 224. I have again and again insisted upon the Anglo-Indian Government enforcing the regulations of the Faith upon pauper Hindi pilgrims who go to the Moslem Holy Land as beggars and die of hunger in the streets. To an "Empire of Opinion" this is an unmitigated evil (Pilgrimage iii. 256); and now, after some thirty-four years, there are signs that the suggestions of common sense are to be adopted. England has heard of the extraordinary recklessness and inconsequence of the British-Indian "fellow-subject."

[FN#259] The Ka'abah of Meccah.

[FN#260] When Moslems apply "Nabí!" to Mohammed it is in the peculiar sense of "prophet" ()=one who speaks before the people, not one who predicts, as such foresight was adjured by the Apostle. Dr. A. Neubauer (The Athenæum No. 3031) finds the root of "Nabí!" in the Assyrian Nabu and Heb. Noob (occurring in Exod. vii. 1. "Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." i.e. orator, speaker before the people), and holds it to be a Canaanite term which supplanted "Roeh" (the Seer) e.g. 1 Samuel ix. 9. The learned Hebraist traces the cult of Nebo, a secondary deity in Assyria to Palestine and Phœnicia, Palmyra, Edessa (in the Nebok of Abgar) and Hierapolis in Syria or Mabug (Nabog?).

[FN#261] I cannot find "Dandán" even in Lib. Quintus de Aquaticis Animalibus of the learned Sam. Bochart's "Hierozoïcon" (London, 1663) and must conjecture that as "Dandán" in Persian means a tooth (vol. ii. 83) the writer applied it to a sun-fish or some such well-fanged monster of the deep.

[FN#262] A favourite proverb with the Fellah, when he alludes to the Pasha and to himself.

[FN#263] An euphemistic answer, unbernfen as the Germans say.

[FN#264] It is a temptation to derive this word from bœuf à l'eau, but I fear that the theory will not hold water. The "buffaloes" of Alexandria laughted it to scorn.

[FN#265] Here the writer's zoological knowledge is at fault. Animals, which never or very rarely see man, have no fear of him whatever. This is well-known to those who visit the Gull-fairs at Ascension Island, Santos and many other isolated rocks; the hen birds will peck at the intruder's ankles but they do not rise from off their eggs. For details concerning the "Gull-fair" of the Summer Islands consult p. 4 "The History of the Bermudas," edited by Sir J. H. Lefroy for the Hakluyt Society, 1882. I have seen birds on Fernando Po peak quietly await a second shot; and herds of antelopes, the most timed of animals, in the plains of Somali-land only stared but were not startled by the report of the gun. But Arabs are not the only moralists who write zoological nonsense: witness the notable verse,

"Birds in their little nests agree,"

when the feathered tribes are the most pugnacious of breathing beings.

[FN#266] Lane finds these details "silly and tiresome or otherwise objectionable," and omits them.

[FN#267] Meaning, "Thou hast as yet seen little or nothing." In most Eastern tongues a question often expresses an emphatic assertion. See vol. i. 37.

[FN#268] Easterns wear as a rule little clothing but it suffices for the essential purposes of decency and travellers will live amongst them for years without once seeing an accidental "exposure of the person." In some cases, as with the Nubian thong-apron, this demand of modesty requires not a little practice of the muscles; and we all know the difference in a Scotch kilt worn by a Highlander and a cockney sportsman.

[FN#269] Arab. "Shíraj"=oil extracted from rape seed but especially from sesame. The Persians pronounce it "Síraj" (apparently unaware that it is their own word "Shírah"=juice in Arabic garb) and have coined a participle "Musayrij" e.g., Bú-i-musayrij, taint of sesame-oil applied especially to the Jews who very wisely prefer, in Persia and elsewhere, oil which is wholesome to butter which is not. The Moslems, however, declare that its immoderate use in cooking taints the exudations of the skin.

[FN#270] Arab. "Nakkárún" probably congeners of the redoubtable "Dandán."

[FN#271] Bresl. Edit. xi. 78. The Mac. says "They are all fish" (Kullu-hum) and the Bul. "Their food (aklu-hum) is fish."

[FN#272] Arab. "Az'ar," usually=having thin hair. The general term for tailless is "abtar." See Koran cviii. 3, when it means childless.

[FN#273] A common formula of politeness.

[FN#274] Bresl. Edit. xi. 82; meaning, "You will probably keep it for yourself." Abdullah of the Sea is perfectly logical; but grief is not. We weep over the deaths of friends mostly for our own sake: theoretically we should rejoice that they are at rest; but practically we are afflicted by the thought that we shall never again see their pleasant faces.

[FN#275] i.e. about rejoicing over the newborns and mourning over the dead.

[FN#276] i.e. Ishak of Mosul, for whom see vol. iv. 119. The Bresl. Edit. has Fazíl for Fazl.

[FN#277] Abu Dalaf al-Ijili, a well-known soldier equally famed for liberality and culture.

[FN#278] Arab. "Takhmísh," alluding to the familiar practice of tearing face and hair in grief for a loss, a death, etc.

[FN#279] i.e. When he is in the very prime of life and able to administer fiers coups de canif.

"For ladies e'en of most uneasy virtue Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty." -Don Juan 1. 62.

[FN#280] Arab. "Lázuward": see vol. iii. 33.

[FN#281] Arab. "Sidillah." The Bresl. Edit. (v. 99), has, "a couch of ivory and ebony, whereon was that which befitted it of mattresses and cushions * * * * and on it five damsels."

[FN#282] i.e. As she untunes the lute by "pinching" the strings over-excitedly with her right, her other hand retunes it by turning the pegs.

[FN#283] i.e. The slim cupbearer (Zephyr) and fair-faced girl (Moon) handed round the bubbling bowl (star).

[FN#284] Arab. "Al-Sath" whence the Span. Azotea. The lines that follow are from the Bresl. Edit. v. 110.

[FN#285] This "'Ar'ar" is probably the Callitris quadrivalvis whose resin ("Sandarac") is imported as varnish from African Mogador to England. Also called the Thuja, it is of cypress shape, slow growing and finely veined in the lower part of the base. Most travellers are agreed that it is the Citrus-tree of Roman Mauritania, concerning which Pliny (xiii. 29) gives curious details, a single table costing from a million sesterces (£900) to 1,400,000. For other details see p. 95, "Morocco and the Moors," by my late friend Dr. Leared (London: Sampson Low, 1876).

[FN#286] i.e. Kings might sigh for her in vain.

[FN#287] These lines are in vol. viii. 279. I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#288] A most unsavoury comparison to a Persian who always connects camphor with the idea of a corpse.

[FN#289] Arab. "Ilà má sháa' lláh" i.e. as long as you like.

[FN#290] i.e. of gramarye.

[FN#291] Arab. "Ta'wíz"=the Arab Tilasm, our Talisman, a charm, an amulet; and in India mostly a magic square. The subject is complicated and occupies in Herklots some sixty pages, 222-284.

[FN#292] The Bul. and Mac. Edits. give the Princess's malady, in error, as Dáa al-Sudá' (megrims), instead of Dáa al-Sar' (epilepsy) as in the Bresl. Edit. The latter would mean that she is possessed by a demon, again the old Scriptural fancy (see vol. v. 28). The subject is highly fitted for romance but not for a "serious" book which ought to know better.

[FN#293] Arab. "Al-'Áriz"=the demon who possessed her.

[FN#294] i.e. He hath renounced his infamous traffic.

[FN#295] Alluding to the favourite Eastern saying, "The poor man hath no life."

[FN#296] In this and the following lines some change is necessary for the Bresl. and Mac. texts are very defective. The Arabic word here translated "recess" is "Aywán," prop. a hall, an open saloon.

[FN#297] i.e. by selling it for thirty thousand gold pieces, when he might have got a million for it.

[FN#298] The tale is not in the Bresl. Edit.

[FN#299] Al-Khasíb (= the fruitful) was the son of 'Abd al-Hamíd and intendant of the tribute of Egypt under Harun al-Rashid, but neither Lord nor Sultan. Lane (iii. 669) quotes three couplets in his honour by Abu Nowás from p. 119 of "Elmacini (Al-Makín) Historia Saracenica."

If our camel visit not the land of Al-Khasib, what man after Al-Khasib shall they visit? For generosity is not his neighbour; nor hath it sojourned near him; but generosity goeth wherever he goeth: He is a man who purchaseth praise with his wealth, and who knoweth that the periods of Fortune revolve.

[FN#300] The old story "Alà júdi-k"= upon thy generosity, which means at least ten times the price.

[FN#301]i.e. The distance is enormous.

[FN#302] A gazelle but here the slave-girl's name.

[FN#303] See vol. ii. 104. Herklots (Pl. vii. fig. 2) illustrates the cloth used in playing the Indian game, Pachísí. The "board" is rather European than Oriental, but it has of late Years spread far and wide, especially the backgammon board.

[FN#304] i.e. "Father of the Lion."

[FN#305] Or as we should say, "Thy blood will be on thine own head."

[FN#306] Called after the famous town in Persian Mesopotamia which however is spelt with the lesser aspirate. See p. 144. The Geographical works of Sádik-i-Ispaháni, London Oriental Transl. Fund, 1882. Hamdan (with the greater aspirate) and Hamdun mean only the member masculine, which may be a delicate piece of chaff for the gallery

[FN#307] Arab. "Hulwán al-miftáh," for which see vol. vii. 212. Mr. Payne compares it with the French denier à Dieu. given to the concierge on like occasions.

[FN#308] Arab. "'Udm," a relish, the Scotch "kitchen," Lat. Opsonium, Ital. Companatico and our "by-meat." See vol. iv. 128.

[FN#309] Arab. "Kabasa" = he shampoo'd. See vol. ii. 17.

[FN#310] Arab. "Nukl." See supra p. 177.

[FN#311] Arab. "Jannat al-Khuld" and "Firdaus," two of the Heavens repeatedly noticed.

[FN#312] The naiveté is purely Horatian, that is South European versus North European.

[FN#313] i.e. "Have some regard for thy life."

[FN#314] Arab. "Awák" plur. of Úkiyyah a word known throughout the Moslem East. As an ounce it weighs differently in every country and in Barbary (Mauritania) which we call Morocco, it is a nominal coin containing twelve Flús (fulús) now about = a penny. It is a direct descendant from the "Uk" or "Wuk" (ounce) of the hieroglyphs (See Sharpe's Egypt or any other Manual) and first appeared in Europe as the Greek .

[FN#315] Arab. "Kárah" usually a large bag.

[FN#316] Arab. "Lúlúah," which may mean the Union-pearl; but here used in the sense of wild cow, the bubalus antelope, alluding to the farouche nature of Miss Jamilah. We are also told infrà that the park was full of "Wuhúsh" = wild cattle

[FN#317] Arab. "Sákiyah," the venerable old Persian wheel, for whos music see Pilgrimage ii. 198. But Sakiyah" is also applied, as here, to the water-channel which turns the wheel.

[FN#318] Arab. "Kawádís," plur. of "Kádús," the pots round the rim of the Persian wheel: usually they are of coarse pottery.

[FN#319] In the text "Sákiyah" a manifest error for "Kubbah."

[FN#320] Easterns greatly respect a belle fourchette, especially when the eater is a lover.

[FN#321] Arab. "'Aríshah," a word of many meanings, tent, nest, vine- trellis, etc.

[FN#322] To spit or blow the nose in good society is "vulgar." Sneezing (Al-'Atsah) is a complicated affair. For Talmudic traditions of death by sneezing see Lane (M. E. chaps. viii). Amongst Hindus sneezing and yawning are caused by evil spirits whom they drive away by snapping thumb and forefinger as loudly as possible. The pagan Arabs held sneezing a bad omen, which often stopped their journeys. Moslems believe that when Allah placed the Soul (life ?) in Adam, the dry clay became flesh and bone and the First Man, waking to life, sneezed and ejaculated "Alhamdolillah;" whereto Gabriel replied, "Allah have mercy upon thee, O Adam!" Mohammed, who liked sneezing because accompanied by lightness of body and openness of pores, said of it, "If a man sneeze or eructate and say 'Alhamdolillah' he averts seventy diseases of which the least is leprosy" (Juzám); also "If one of you sneeze, let him exclaim, 'Alhamdolillah,' and let those around salute him in return with, 'Allah have mercy upon thee!' and lastly let him say, 'Allah direct you and strengthen your condition."' Moderns prefer, "Allah avert what may joy thy foe !"= (our God bless you!) to which the answer is "Alhamdolillah!" Mohammed disliked yawning (Suabá or Thuabá), because not beneficial as a sneeze and said, "If one of you gape and over not his mouth, a devil leaps into it. " This is still a popular superstition from Baghdad to Morocco.

[FN#323] A duenna, nursery governess, etc. See vol. i. 231.

[FN#324] For this belief see the tale called "The Night of Power," vol. vi. 180.

[FN#325] The Anglo-lndian "Kincob" (Kimkh'áb); brocade, silk flowered with gold or silver.

[FN#326] Lane finds a needless difficulty in this sentence, which is far-fetched only because Kuus (cups) requires Ruus (head-tops) byway of jingle. It means only "'Twas merry in hall when beards wag all."

[FN#327] The Mac. Edit. gives two couplets which have already occurred from the Bull Edit i. 540.

[FN#328] The lines are half of four couplets in vol. iv. 192; so I quote Lane.

[FN#329].i.e. none hath pleased me. I have quoted the popular saying, "The son of the quarter filleth not the eye." i.e. women prefer stranger faces.

[FN#330] Here after the favourite Oriental fashion, she tells the truth but so enigmatically that it is more deceptive than an untruth; a good Eastern quibble infinitely more dangerous than an honest downright lie. The consciousness that the falsehood is part fact applies a salve to conscience and supplies a force lacking in the mere fib. When an Egyptian lies to you look straight in his eyes and he will most often betray himself either by boggling or by a look of injured innocence.

[FN#331] Another true lie.

[FN#332] Arab. `'Yastaghíbuní," lit. = they deem my absence too long.

[FN#333] An euphemistic form of questioning after absence: "Is all right with thee?"

[FN#334] Arab. "Kallim al-Sultan!" the formula of summoning which has often occurred in The Nights.

[FN#335] Lane translates "Almost died," Payne "Well-nigh died;" but the text says "died." I would suggest to translators

"Be bould, be bould and every where be bould!"

[FN#336] He is the usual poltroon contrasted with the manly and masterful girl, a conjunction of the lioness and the lamb sometimes seen in real life.

[FN#337] That he might see Jamilah as Ibrahim had promised.

[FN#338] A popular saying, i.e., les absents ont tonjours tort.

[FN#339] Who had a prior right to marry her, but not against her consent after she was of age.

[FN#340] Arab "Sirwál." In Al-Hariri it is a singular form (see No. ii. of the twelve riddles in Ass. xxiv.), but Mohammed said to his followers "Tuakhkhizú" (adopt ye) "Saráwílát." The latter is regularly declinable but the broken form Saráwíl is imperfectly declinable on account of its "heaviness," as are all plurals whose third letter is an Alif followed by i or í in the next syllable.

[FN#341] Arab. "Matarik" from mitrak or mitrakah a small wooden shield coated with hide This even in the present day is the policeman's equipment in the outer parts of the East.

[FN#342] Arab. "Sabíyah" for which I prefer Mr. Payne's "young lady" to Lane's "damsel" the latter should be confined to Járiyah as both bear the double sense of girl and slave (or servant) girl. "Bins" again is daughter, maid or simply girl.

[FN#343] The sense of them is found in vol. ii. 41.

[FN#344] Here the text is defective, but I hardly like to supply the omission. Mr. Payne introduces from below, "for that his charms were wasted and his favour changed by reason of the much terror and affliction he had suffered." The next lines also are very abrupt and unconnected.

[FN#345] Arab. "Yá Mauláya!" the term is still used throughout Moslem lands; but in Barbary where it is pronounced "Mooláee" Europeans have converted it to "Muley" as if it had some connection with the mule. Even in Robinson Crusoe we find "muly" or "Moly Ismael" (chaps. ii.); and we hear the high-sounding name Maulá-i-Idrís, the patron saint of the Sunset Land, debased to "Muley Drís."

[FN#346] Lane omits this tale because "it is very similar, but inferior in interest, to the Story told by the Sultan's Steward." See vol. i. 278.

[FN#347] Sixteenth Abbaside A.H. 279-289 (=A.D. 891-902). "He was comely, intrepid, of grave exterior, majestic in presence, of considerable intellectual power and the fiercest of the Caliphs of the House of Abbas. He once had the courage to attack a lion" (Al-Siyuti). I may add that he was a good soldier and an excellent administrator, who was called Saffáh the Second because he refounded the House of Abbas. He was exceedingly fanatic and died of sensuality, having first kicked his doctor to death, and he spent his last moments in versifying.

[FN#348] Hamdún bin Ismá'íl, called the Kátib or Scribe, was the first of his family who followed the profession of a Nadím or Cup-companion. His son Ahmad (who is in the text) was an oral transmitter of poetry and history. Al-Siyúti (p. 390) and De Slane I. Khall (ii. 304) notice him.

[FN#349] Probably the Caliph had attendants, but the text afterwards speaks of them as two. Mac. Edit. iv. p. 558, line 2; and a few lines below, "the Caliph and the man with him."

[FN#350] Arab. "Naysábúr," the famous town in Khorasan where Omar-i-Khayyám (whom our people will call Omar Khayyám) was buried and where his tomb is still a place of pious visitation. A sketch of it has lately appeared in the illustrated papers. For an affecting tale concerning the astronomer-poet's tomb, borrowed from the Nigáristán see the Preface by the late Mr. Fitzgerald whose admirable excerpts from the Rubaiyat (101 out of 820 quatrains) have made the poem popular among all the English-speaking races.

[FN#351] Arab. "A-Sharíf anta?" (with the Hamzah-sign of interrogation)=Art thou a Sharíf (or descendant of the Apostle)?

[FN#352] Tenth Abbaside (A.H. 234-247=848-861), grandson of Al-Rashid and born of a slave-concubine. He was famous for his hatred of the Alides (he destroyed the tomb of Al-Husayn) and claimed the pardon of Allah for having revised orthodox traditionary doctrines. He compelled the Christians to wear collars of wood or leather and was assassinated by five Turks.

[FN#353] His father was Al-Mu'tasim bi 'llah (A.H. 218-227=833-842) the son of Al-Rashid by Máridah a slave-concubine of foreign origin. He was brave and of high spirit, but destitute of education; and his personal strength was such that he could break a man's elbow between his fingers. He imitated the apparatus of Persian kings; and he was called the "Octonary" because he was the 8th Abbaside; the 8th in descent from Abbas; the 8th son of Al-Rashid; he began his reign in A.H. 218; lived 48 years; was born under Scorpio (8th Zodiacal sign); was victorious in 8 expeditions; slew 8 important foes and left 8 male and 8 female children. For his introducing Turks see vol. iii, 81.

[FN#354] i.e. as if it were given away in charity.

[FN#355] Arab. "Shukkah," a word much used in the Zanzibar trade where it means a piece of long-cloth one fathom long. See my "Lake Regions of Central Africa," vol. i. 147, etc.

[FN#356] He is afterwards called in two places "Khádim"=eunuch.

[FN#357] A courteous way of saying, "Never mind my name: I wish to keep it hidden." The formula is still popular.

[FN#358] Arab. "Bakhkharaní" i.e. fumigated me with burning aloes-wood, Calumba or similar material.

[FN#359] In sign of honour. The threshold is important amongst Moslems: in one of the Mameluke Soldans' sepulchres near Cairo I found a granite slab bearing the "cartouche" (shield) of Khufu (Cheops) with the four hieroglyphs hardly effaced.

[FN#360] i.e. One of the concubines by whose door he had passed.

[FN#361] Epistasis without the prostasis, "An she ordered thee so to do:" the situation justifies the rhetorical figure.

[FN#362] Arab. "Sardáb" see vol. i, 340.

[FN#363] Thirteenth Abbaside A.H. 252-255 (=866-869). His mother was a Greek slave called Kabíhah (Al-Mas'udi and Al-Siyuti); for which "Banjah" is probably a clerical error. He was exceedingly beautiful and was the first to ride out with ornaments of gold. But he was impotent in the hands of the Turks who caused the mob to depose him and kill him--his death being related in various ways.

[FN#364] i.e. The reward from Allah for thy good deed.

[FN#365] Arab. "Nusk" abstinence from women, a part of the Zahid's asceticism.

[FN#366] Arab. "Munázirah" the verbal noun of which, "Munázarah," may also mean "dispute." The student will distinguish between "Munazarah" and Munafarah=a contention for precedence in presence of an umpire.

[FN#367] The Mac. Edit. gives by mistake "Abú Dáúd": the Bul. correctly "Abú Duwád," He was Kázi al-Kuzát (High Chancellor) under Al-Mu'tasim, Al-Wasik bi'llah (Vathek) and Al-Mutawakkil.

[FN#368] Arab. "Zaffú"=they led the bride to the bridegroom's house; but here used in the sense of displaying her as both were in the palace.

[FN#369] i.e. renounce the craft which though not sinful (harám) is makrúh or religiously unpraiseworthy; Mohammed having objected to music and indeed to the arts in general.

[FN#370] Arab. "Lá tankati'í;" do not be too often absent from us. I have noticed the whimsical resemblance of "Kat'" and our "cut"; and here the metaphorical sense is almost identical.

[FN#371] See Ibn Khallikan ii. 455.

[FN#372] The Turkish body-guard. See vol. iii. 81.

[FN#373] Twelfth Abbaside (A.H. 248-252=862-866) the son of a slave-concubine Mukhárik. He was virtuous and accomplished, comely, fair-skinned, pock-marked and famed for defective pronunciation; and he first set the fashion of shortening men's capes and widening the sleeves. After may troubles with the Turks, who were now the Prætorian guard of Baghdad, he was murdered at the instigation of Al-Mu' tazz, who succeeded him, by his Chamberlain Sa'id bin Salíh.

[FN#374] Arab. "Usúl," his forbears, his ancestors.

[FN#375] Lane rejects this tale because it is "extremely objectionable; far more so than the title might lead me to expect." But he quotes the following marginal note by his Shaykh: --"Many persons (women) reckon marrying a second time amongst the most disgraceful of actions. This opinion is commonest in the country-towns and villages; and my mother's relations are thus distinguished; so that a woman of them, when her husband dieth or divorceth her while she is young, passeth in widowhood her life, however long it may be, and disdaineth to marry a second time." I fear that this state of things belongs to the good old days now utterly gone by; and the loose rule of the stranger, especially the English, in Egypt will renew the scenes which characterised Sind when Sir Charles Napier hanged every husband who cut down an adulterous wife. I have elsewhere noticed the ignorant idea that Moslems deny to women souls and seats in Paradise, whilst Mohammed canonised two women in his own family. The theory arose with the "Fathers" of the Christian Church who simply exaggerated the misogyny of St. Paul. St. Ambrose commenting on Corinthians i. ii., boldly says:--"Feminas ad imaginem Dei factas non esse." St. Thomas Aquinas and his school adopted the Aristotelian view, "Mulier est erratum naturae, et mas occasionatus, et per accidens generatur; atque ideo est monstrum." For other instances see Bayle s. v. Gediacus (Revd. Simon of Brandebourg) who in 1695 published a "Defensio Sexus muliebris," a refutation of an anti-Socinian satire or squib, "Disputatio perjucunda, Mulieres homines non esse," Parisiis, 1693. But when Islam arose in the seventh century, the Christian learned cleverly affixed the stigma of their own misogyny upon the Moslems ad captandas foeminas and in Southern Europe the calumny still bears fruit. Mohammed (Koran, chapt. xxiv.) commands for the first time, in the sixth year of his mission, the veiling and, by inference, the seclusion of women, which was apparently unknown to the Badawin and, if practised in the cities was probably of the laxest. Nor can one but confess that such modified separation of the sexes, which it would be impossible to introduce into European manners, has great and notable advantages. It promotes the freest intercourse between man and man, and thus civilises what we call the "lower orders": in no Moslem land, from Morocco to China, do we find the brutals without manners or morals which are bred by European and especially by English civilisation. For the same reason it enables women to enjoy fullest intimacy and friendship with one another, and we know that the best of both sexes are those who prefer the society of their own as opposed to "quite the lady's man" and "quite the gentleman's woman." It also adds an important item to social decorum by abolishing e.g. such indecencies as the "ball-room flirtation"--a word which must be borrowed from us, not translated by foreigners. And especially it gives to religious meetings, a tone which the presence of women modifies and not for the better. Perhaps, the best form is that semiseclusion of the sex, which prevailed in the heroic ages of Greece, Rome, and India (before the Moslem invasion), and which is perpetuated in Christian Armenia and in modern Hellas. It is a something between the conventual strictness of Al-Islam and the liberty, or rather licence, of the "Anglo-Saxon" and the "Anglo-American." And when England shall have cast off that peculiar insularity which makes her differ from all civilised peoples, she will probably abolish three gross abuses, time-honoured scandals, which bear very heavily on women and children. The first is the Briton's right to will property away from his wife and offspring. The second is the action for "breach of promise," salving the broken heart with pounds, shillings, and pence: it should be treated simply as an exaggerated breach of contract. The third is the procedure popularly called "Crim. Con.," and this is the most scandalous of all: the offence is against the rights of property, like robbery or burglary, and it ought to be treated criminally with fine, imprisonment and in cases with corporal punishment after the sensible procedure of Moslem law.

[FN#376] "Moon of the age," a name which has before occurred.

[FN#377] The Malocchio or gettatura, so often noticed.

[FN#378] The crescent of the month Zu 'l-Ka'dah when the Ramazan-fast is broken. This allusion is common. Comp. vol. i. 84.

[FN#379] This line contains one of the Yes, Yes and No, No trifles alluded to in vol. ii, 60. Captain Lockett (M. A. 103) renders it "I saw a fawn upon a hillock whose beauty eclipsed the full moon. I said, What is thy name? she answered Deer. What my Dear said I, but she replied, no, no!" To preserve the sound I have sacrificed sense: Lulu is a pearl, Li? li? (= for me, for me?) and La! La! = no! no! See vol. i, 217. I should have explained a line which has puzzled some readers,

"A sun (face) on wand (neck) in knoll of sand (hips) she showed" etc,

[FN#380] Arab. "Al-huwayna," a rare term.

[FN#381] Bright in the eyes of the famishing who is allowed to break his fast.

[FN#382] Mr. Payne reads "Maghrabi" = a Mauritanian, Maroccan, the Moors (not the Moorish Jews or Arabs) being a race of Sodomites from highest to lowest. But the Mac. and Bul. Edit. have "Ajami."

[FN#383] For "Ishk uzri" = platonic love see vol. i. 232; ii. 104.

[FN#384] Zaynab (Zenobia) and Zayd are generic names for women and men.

[FN#385] i.e. He wrote "Kasidahs" (= odes, elegies) after the fashion of the "Suspended Poems" which mostly open with the lover gazing upon the traces of the camp where his beloved had dwelt. The exaggerated conventionalism of such exordium shows that these early poems had been preceded by a host of earlier pieces which had been adopted as canons of poetry.

[FN#386] The verses are very mal-a-propos, like many occurring in The Nights, for the maligned Shaykh is proof against all the seductions of the pretty boy and falls in love with a woman after the fashion of Don Quixote. Mr. Payne complains of the obscurity of the original owing to abuse of the figure enallage; but I find them explicit enough, referring to some debauched elder after the type of Abu Nowas.

[FN#387] Arab. "'Irk" = a root which must here mean a sprig, a twig. The basil grows to a comparatively large size in the East.

[FN#388] Arab. "Lait "= one connected with the tribe of Lot, see vol. v. 161.

[FN#389] For the play upon "Saki" (oblique case of sak, leg-calf) and Saki a cupbearer see vol. ii. 327.

[FN#390] "On a certain day the leg shall be bared and men shall be called upon to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able" (Koran, lxviii. 42). "Baring the leg" implies a grievous calamity, probably borrowed from the notion of tucking up the skirts and stripping for flight. On the dangerous San Francisco River one of the rapids is called "Tira-calcoens" = take off your trousers (Highlands of the Brazil, ii. 35). But here the allusion is simply ludicrous and to a Moslem blasphemous.

[FN#391] Arab. "Istahi," a word of every day use in reproof. So the Hindost. "Kuchh sharm nahin?" hast thou no shame? Shame is a passion with Orientals and very little known to the West.

[FN#392] i.e. Angels and men saying, "The Peace (of God) be on us and on all righteous servants of Allah!" This ends every prayer.

[FN#393] Arab. "Al-Niyah," the ceremonial purpose or intent to pray, without which prayer is null and void. See vol. v. 163. The words would be "I purpose to pray a two-bow prayer in this hour of deadly danger to my soul." Concerning such prayer see vol. i. 142.

[FN#394] Arab. "Sakin" = quiescent, Let a sleeping hound lie.

[FN#395] Arab. "Asar" lit. traces i.e. the works, the mighty signs and marvels.

[FN#396] The mention of coffee now frequently occurs in this tale and in that which follows: the familiar use of it showing a comparatively late date, and not suggesting the copyist's hand.

[FN#397] Arab. "Al-Kahwah," the place being called from its produce. See Pilgrimage i. 317-18.

[FN#398] Arab. "Al-Ghurbah Kurbah:" the translation in the text is taken from my late friend Edward Eastwick, translator of the Gulistan and author of a host of works which show him to have been a ripe Oriental scholar.

[FN#399] The fiction may have been suggested by the fact that in all Moslem cities from India to Barbary the inner and outer gates are carefully shut during the noontide devotions, not "because Friday is the day on which creation was finished and Mohammed entered Al-Medinah;" but because there is a popular idea that in times now approaching the Christians will rise up against the Moslems during prayers and will repeat the "Sicilian Vespers."

[FN#400] i.e. the syndic of the Guild of Jewellers.

[FN#401] This is an Arab Lady Godiva of the wrong sort.

[FN#402] This is explained in my Pilgrimage i. 99 et seq.

[FN#403] About three pennyweights. It varies, however, everywhere and in Morocco the "Mezkal" as they call it is an imaginary value, no such coin existing.

[FN#404] i.e. over and above the value of the gold, etc.

[FN#405] This was the custom of contemporary Europe and more than one master cutler has put to death an apprentice playing Peeping Tom to detect the secret of sword-making.

[FN#406] Among Moslems husbands are divided into three species; (1) of "Bahr" who is married for love; (2) of "Dahr," for defence against the world, and (3) of "Mahr" for marriage-settlements (money). Master Obayd was an unhappy compound of the two latter; but he did not cease to be a man of honour.

[FN#407]The Mac. Edit. here is a mass of blunders and misprints.

[FN#408] The Mac. Edit. everywhere calls her "Sabiyah" = the young lady and does not mention her name Halimah = the Mild, the Gentle till the cmlxxivth Night. I follow Mr. Payne's example by introducing it earlier into the story, as it avoids vagueness and repetition of the indefinite.

[FN#409] Arab "Adím al-Zauk,"=without savour. applied to an insipid mannerless man as "bárid" (cold) is to a fool. "Ahl Zauk" is a man of pleasure, a voluptuary, a hedonist.

[FN#410] Arab. "Finján" the egg-shell cups from which the Easterns still drink coffee.

[FN#411] Arab. "Awáshik" a rare word, which Dozy translates "osselet" (or osselle) and Mr. Payne, "hucklebones," concerning which he has obliged me with this note. Chambaud renders osselet by "petit os avec lequel les enfants jouent." Hucklebone is the hip-bone but in the plural it applies to our cockals or cockles: Latham gives "hucklebone," (or cockal), one of the small vertebræ of the coccygis, and Littleton translates "Talus," a hucklebone, a bone to play with like a dye, a play called cockal. (So also in Rider.) Hucklebones and knucklebones are syn.: but the latter is modern and liable to give a false idea, besides being tautological. It has nothing to do with the knuckles and derives from the German "Knochel" (dialectically Knochelein) a bonelet.

[FN#412] For ablution after sleep and before prayer. The address of the slave-girl is perfectly natural: in a Moslem house we should hear it this day, nor does it show the least sign of "frowardness. "

[FN#413] The perfect stupidity of the old wittol is told with the driest Arab humour.

[FN#414] This is a rechauffé of the Language of Signs in "Azíz and Azízah" vol. ii. 302.

[FN#415] In the Mac. Edit. "Yá Fulánah"=O certain person.

[FN#416] Arab. "Laylat al-Kábilah," lit.=the coming night, our to-night; for which see vol. iii. 349.

[FN#417] Arab. "Ya Ahmak!" which in Marocco means a madman, a maniac, a Santon.

[FN#418] The whole passage has a grammatical double entendre whose application is palpable. Harf al-Jarr=a particle governing the noun in the genitive or a mode of thrusting and tumbling.

[FN#419] Arab. "Al-Silah" =conjunctive (sentence), also coition; Al-Mausúl= the conjoined, a grammatical term for relative pronoun or particle.

[FN#420] Arab. "Tanwin al-Izafah ma'zul" = the nunnation in construction cast out. "Tanwin" (nunnation) is pronouncing the vowels of the case-endings of a noun with nun for u (nominative)in for i (genitive) andan for a (accusative). This nunnation expresses indefiniteness, e.g. "Malikun"=a king, any king. When the noun is made definite by the Ma'rifah or article (al), the Tanwin must be dropped, e.g. Al-Maliku = the King; Al- Malikun being a grammatical absurdity. In construction or regimen (izafah) the nunnation must also disappear, as Maliku 'I-Hind) = the King of Hind (a King of Hind would be Malikun min Muluki 'I-Hind) = a King from amongst the Kings of Hind). Thus whilst the wife and the lover were conjoined as much as might be, the hocussed and sleeping husband was dismissed (ma'zul=degraded) like a nunnation dropped in construction. I may add that the terminal syllables are invariably dropped in popular parlance and none but Mr. G. Palgrave (who afterwards ignored his own assertion) ever found an Arab tribe actually using them in conversation although they are always pronounced when reading the Koran and poetry.

[FN#421] This was a saying of Mohammed about overfrequency of visits, "Zur ghibban, tazid hubban"=call rarely that friendship last fairly. So the verse of Al-Mutanabbi,

"How oft familiarity breeds dislike."

Preston quotes Jesus ben Sirach, , . Also Al-Hariri (Ass. xv. of "The Legal"; De Sacy p. 478 1. 2.) "Visit not your friend more than one day in a month, nor stop longer than that with him!" Also Ass. xvi. 487, 8. "Multiply not visits to thy friend." "None so disliked as one visiting too often." (Preston p. 352). In the Cent nouvelles (52) Nouvelles (No. lii.) the dying father says to his son:--"Jamais ne vous hantez tent en l'ostel de votre voisin que lion vous y serve de pain bis." In these matters Moslems follow the preaching and practice of the Apostle, who was about as hearty and genial as the "Great Washington." But the Arab had a fund of dry humour which the Anglo-American lacked altogether.

[FN#422] Arab. "'Amal"--action, operation. In Hindostani it is used (often with an Alif for an Ayn) as intoxication e.g. Amal pání strong waters and applied to Sharáb (wine), Bozah (Beer), Tádí (toddy or the fermented juice of the Tád, Borassus flabelliformis), Naryáli (juice of the cocoa-nut tree) Saynddi (of the wild date, Elate Sylvestris), Afyún (opium an its preparations as post=poppy seeds) and various forms of Cannabis Sativa, as Ganja, Charas, Madad, Sahzi etc. for which see Herklots' Glossary.

[FN#423] Arab "Sardáb," mostly an underground room (vol. i. 340) but here a tunnel.

[FN#424] Arab. "Al-Láwandiyah": this and the frequent mention of coffee and presently of a watch (sa'ah) show that the tale in its present state, cannot be older than the end of the sixteenth century.

[FN#425] Arab. "Su'bán," vol. i. 172.

[FN#426] The lines have occurred in vol. i. 238, where I have noted the punning "Sabr"= patience or aloes. I quote Torrens: the Templar, however, utterly abolishes the pun in the last couplet:--

"The case is not at my command, but in fair Patience hand I'm set by Him who order'th all and cloth such case command."

"Amr" here=case (circumstance) or command (order) with a suspicion of reference to Murr=myrrh, bitterness. The reader will note the resignation to Fate's decrees which here and in host of places elevates the tone of the book.

[FN#427] i.e. as one loathes that which is prohibited, and with a loathing which makes it unlawful for me to cohabit with thee.

[FN#428] This is quite natural to the sensitive Eastern.

[FN#429] Hence, according to Moslem and Eastern theory generally her lewd and treasonable conduct. But in Egypt not a few freeborn women and those too of the noblest, would beat her hollow at her own little game. See for instance the booklet attributed to Jalál al-Siyútí and entitled Kitáh al-Ízáh (Book of Explanation) fí 'Ilm al-Nikáh (in the Science of Carnal Copulation). There is a copy of it in the British Museum; and a friend kindly suppl~ed me with a lithograph from Cairo; warning me that there are doubts about the authorship.

[FN#430] These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 214: I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#431] This ejaculation, as the waw shows, is parenthetic; spoken either by Halimah, by Shahrazad or by the writer.

[FN#432] Arab. "Kasr" here meaning an upper room.

[FN#433] To avoid saying, I pardon thee.

[FN#434] A proverbial saying which here means I could only dream of such good luck.

[FN#435] A good old custom amongst Moslems who have had business transactions with each other: such acquittance of all possible claims will be quoted on "Judgment-Day," when debts will be severely enquired into.

[FN#436] Arab. "Kutr (tract or quarter) Misr," vulgarly pronounced "Masr." I may remind the reader that the Assyrians called the Nile-valley "Musur" whence probably the Heb. Misraim a dual form denoting Upper and Lower Egypt which are still distinguished by the Arabs into Sa'id and Misr. The hieroglyphic term is Ta-mera=Land of the Flood; and the Greek Aigyptos is probably derived from Kahi-Ptah (region of the great God Ptah) or Ma Ka Ptah (House of the soul of Ptah). The word "Cops" or "Kopt," in Egyptian "Kubti" and pronounced "Gubti," contains the same consonants

[FN#437] Now an unimportant frontier fort and village dividing Syria-Palestine from Egypt and famed for the French battle with the Mamelukes (Feb. 19, 1799) and the convention for evacuating Egypt. In the old times it was an important site built upon the "River of Egypt" now a dried up Wady; and it was the chief port of the then populous Najab or South Country. According to Abulfeda it derived its name (the "boothy," the nest) from a hut built there by the brothers of Joseph when stopped at the frontier by the guards of Pharaoh. But this is usual Jewish infection of history.

[FN#438] Arab. "Báb." which may also="Chapter" or category. See vol. i., 136 and elsewhere (index). In Egypt "Báb" sometimes means a sepulchral cave hewn in a rock (plur. Bíbán) from the Coptic "Bíb."

[FN#439] i.e. "The Holy," a town some three marches (60 miles) N. East of Cairo; thus showing the honour done to our unheroic hero. There is also a Sálihlyah quarter or suburb of Damascus famous for its cemetery of holy men, but the facetious Cits change the name to Zálliniyah=causing to stray; in allusion to its Kurdish population. Baron von Hammer reads "le faubourg Adelieh" built by Al-Malik Al-Adil and founded a chronological argument on a clerical error.

[FN#440] Kamar al-Zaman; the normal pun on the name; a practice as popular in the East as in the West, and worthy only of a pickpocket in either place.

[FN#441] Arab. "Azrár" plur. of "Zirr" and lit. = 'buttons," i.e. of his robe collar from which his white neck and face appear shining as the sun.

[FN#442] Arab. "Dáirah" the usual inclosure of Kanáts or tent-flaps pitched for privacy during the halt.

[FN#443] i.e. it was so richly ornamented that it resembled an enchanted hoard whose spells, hiding it from sight, had been broken by some happy treasure seeker.

[FN#444] The merchant who is a "stern parent" and exceedingly ticklish on the Pundonor saw at first sight her servile origin which had escaped the mother. Usually it is the other way.

[FN#445] Not the head of the Church, or Chief Pontiff, but the Chief of the Olema and Fukahá (Fákihs or D.D.'s.) men learned in the Law (divinity). The order is peculiarly Moslem, in fact the succedaneum for the Christian "hierarchy " an institution never contemplated by the Founder of Christianity. This title shows the modern date of the tale.

[FN#446] Arab. "Maulid," prop. applied to the Birth-feast of Mohammed which begins on the 3rd day of Rabí al-Awwal (third Moslem month) and lasts a week or ten days (according to local custom), usually ending on the 12th and celebrated with salutes of cannon, circumcision feasts. marriage banquets. Zikr-litanies, perfections of the Koran and all manner of solemn festivities including the "powder-play" (Láb al-Bárút) in the wilder corners of Al-Islam. It is also applied to the birth-festivals of great Santons (as Ahmad al- Badawi) for which see Lane M. E. chaps. xxiv. In the text it is used like the Span. "Funcion" or the Hind "Tamáshá," any great occasion of merry-making.

[FN#447] Arab. "Sanájik" Plur. of Sanjak (Turk.) = a banner, also applied to the bearer (ensign or cornet) and to a military rank mostly corresponding with Bey or Colonel.

[FN#448] I have followed Mr. Payne's ordering of the text which, both in the Mac. and Bull. Edits., is wholly inconsequent and has not the excuse of rhyme.

[FN#449] Arab. "Jilbáb," a long coarse veil or gown which in Barbary becomes a "Jallábiyah," in a striped and hooded cloak of woollen stuff.

[FN#450] i.e. a broken down pilgrim left to die on the road.

[FN#451] These lines have occurred in vol. i. 272. I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#452] Note the difference between "Zirt," the loud crepitus and "Faswah" the susurrus which Captain Grose in his quaint "Lexicum Balatronicum," calls a "fice" or a "foyse" (from the Arabic Fas, faswah ?).

[FN#453] These lines have occurred in Night dcxix, vol. vi. 246; where the pun on Khaliyah is explained. I quote Lane.

[FN#454] The usual pretext of "God bizness," as the Comoro men call it. For the title of the Ka'abah see my Pilgrimage vol. iii. 149.

[FN#455] This was in order to travel as a respectable man, he could also send the girl as a spy into the different Harims to learn news of the lady who had eloped.

[FN#456] A polite form of alluding to their cursing him.

[FN#457] i.e. on account of the King taking offence at his unceremonious departure.

[FN#458] i.e. It will be the worse for him.

[FN#459] I would here remind the reader that "'Arabiyyun" pl. 'Urb is a man of pure Arab race, whether of the Ahl al-Madar (=people of mortar, i.e. citizens) or Ahl al-Wabar (=tents of goat or camel's hair); whereas "A'rábiyyun" pl. A'ráb is one who dwells in the Desert whether Arab or not. Hence the verse:--

"They name us Al-A'ráb but Al-'Urb is our name."

[FN#460] I would remind the reader that the Dinár is the golden denarius (or solidus) of Eastern Rome while the Dirham is the silver denarius, whence denier, danaro, dínheiro, etc., etc. The oldest diners date from A.H. 91-92 (=714-15) and we find the following description of one struck in A.H. 96 by Al-Walid the VI. Ommiade:--

Obverse:

     Area.      "There is no iláh but Allah: He is one: He hath no partner."
     Circle.     "Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah who hath sent him with the true Guidance and Religion that he manifest it above all other Creeds." 

Reverse:

     Area.      Allah is one: Allah is Eternal: He begetteth not, nor is He begot."
     Circle.     Bismillah: This Dinar was struck anno 96." 

See "'Ilâm-en-Nas" (warnings for Folk) a pleasant little volume by Mr. Godfrey Clarke (London, King and Co., 1873), mostly consisting of the minor tales from The Nights especially this group between Nights ccxlvii. and cdlxi.; but rendered valuable by the annotations of my old friend, the late Frederick Ayrton.

[FN#461] The reader will note the persistency with which the duty of universal benevolence is preached.

[FN#462] Arab. from Pers. "Shah-bander": see vol. iv. 29.

[FN#463] i.e. of thy coming, a popular compliment.

[FN#464] This is the doctrine of the universal East; and it is true concerning wives and widows, not girls when innocent or rather ignorant. According to Western ideas Kamar al-Zaman was a young scoundrel of the darkest dye whose only excuses were his age, his inexperience and his passions.

[FN#465] Arab. "Dayyús" prop. = a man who pimps for his own wife and in this sense constantly occurring in conversation.

[FN#466] This is taking the law into one's own hands with a witness, yet amongst races who preserve the Pundonor in full and pristine force, e.g. the Afghans and the Persian Iliyat, the killing so far from being considered murder or even justifiable homicide would be highly commended by public opinion.

[FN#467] Arab. "Nákisátu'aklin wa dín": the words are attributed to the Prophet whom we find saying, "Verily in your wives and children ye have an enemy, wherefore beware of them" (Koran lxiv. 14): compare 1 Cor. vii. 28, 32. But Maître Jehan de Meung went farther,

"Toutes êtez, serez ou fûses De faict ou de volonté, putes."

[FN#468] Arab. "Habíbí wa tabíbí," the common jingle.

[FN#469] Iblis and his connection with Diabolos has been noticed in vol. i. 13. The word is foreign as well as a P.N. and therefore is imperfectly declined, although some authorities deduce it from "ablasa"=he despaired (of Allah's mercy). Others call him Al-Háris (the Lion) hence Eve's first-born was named in his honour Abd al-Harts. His angelic name was Azázíl before he sinned by refusing to prostrate himself to Adam, as Allah had commanded the heavenly host for a trial of faith, not to worship the first man, but to make him a Keblah or direction of prayer addressed to the Almighty. Hence he was ejected from Heaven and became the arch enemy of mankind (Koran xviii. 48). He was an angel but related to the Jinn: Al-Bayzáwi, however (on Koran ii. 82), opines that angelic by nature he became a Jinn by act. Ibn Abbas held that he belonged to an order of angels who are called Jinn and begot issue as do the nasnás, the Ghúl and the Kutrub which, however are male and female, like the pre-Adamite manwoman of Genesis, the "bi-une" of our modern days. For this subject see Terminal Essay.

[FN#470] As usual in the East and in the West the husband was the last to hear of his wife's ill conduct. But even Othello did not kill Emilia.

[FN#471] i.e. Star of the Morning: the first word occurs in Bar Cokba Barchocheba=Son of the Star, i.e., which was to come out of Jacob (Numbers xxiv. 17). The root, which does not occur in Heb., is Kaukab to thine. This Rabbi Akilah was also called Bar Cozla= Son of the Lie.

[FN#472] Here some excision has been judged advisable as the names of the bridegrooms and the brides recur with damnable iteration.

[FN#473] See the note by Lane's Shaykh at the beginning of the tale. The contrast between the vicious wife of servile origin and the virtuous wife of noble birth is fondly dwelt upon but not exaggerated.

[FN#474] i.e. those of his water skins for the journey, which as usual required patching and supplying with fresh handles after long lying dry.

[FN#475] A popular saying also applied to men. It is usually accompanied with showing the open hand and a reference to the size of the fingers. I find this story most interesting from an anthropological point of view; suggesting how differently various races regard the subject of adultery. In Northern Europe the burden is thrown most unjustly upon the man, the woman who tempts him being a secondary consideration; and in England he is absurdly termed "a seducer." In former times he was "paraded" or "called out," now he is called up for damages, a truly ignoble and shopkeeper-like mode of treating a high offence against private property and public morality. In Anglo-America, where English feeling is exaggerated, the lover is revolver'd and the woman is left unpunished. On the other hand, amongst Eastern and especially Moslem peoples, the woman is cut down and scant reckoning is taken from the man. This more sensible procedure has struck firm root amongst the nations of Southern Europe where the husband kills the lover only when he still loves his wife and lover like is furious at her affection being alienated.

Practically throughout the civilised world there are only two ways of treating women, Moslems keep them close, defend them from all kinds of temptations and if they go wrong kill them. Christians place them upon a pedestal, the observed of all observers, expose them to every danger and if they fall, accuse and abuse them instead of themselves. And England is so grandly logical that her law, under certain circumstances, holds that Mrs. A. has committed adultery with Mr. B. but Mr. B. has not committed adultery with Mrs. A. Can any absurdity be more absurd? Only "summum jus, summa injuria." See my Terminal Essay. I shall have more to say upon this curious subject, the treatment of women who can be thoroughly guarded only by two things, firstly their hearts and secondly by the "Spanish Padlock."

[FN#476] Lane owns that this is "one of the most entertaining tales in the work," but he omits it "because its chief and best portion is essentially the same as the story of the First of the Three Ladies of Baghdad." The truth is he was straitened for space by his publisher and thus compelled to cut out some of the best stories in The Nights.

[FN#477] i.e. Ibrahim of Mosul, the musician poet often mentioned in The Nights. I must again warn the reader that the name is pronounced Is-hák (like Isaac with a central aspirate) not Ishák. This is not unnecessary when we hear Tait-shill for Tait's hill and Frederick-shall for Friedrich, shall.

[FN#478] i.e. He was a proficient, an adept.

[FN#479] Arab. from Pers. Dúláb=a waterwheel, a buttery, a cupboard.

[FN#480] Arab. Futúr, the chhotí házirí of Anglo-India or breakfast proper, eaten by Moslems immediately after the dawn-prayer except in Ramázán. Amongst sensible people it is a substantial meal of bread and boiled beans, eggs, cheese, curded milk and the pastry called fatírah, followed by coffee and a pipe. See Lane M. E. chapt. v. and my Pilgrimage ii. 48.

[FN#481] This off-with-his-head style must not be understood literally. As I have noted, it is intended by the writer to show the Kingship and the majesty of the Vicar of Allah.

[FN#482] Lit. the calamity of man (insán) is from the tongue (lisán).

[FN#483] For Khatt Sharíf, lit.=a noble letter, see vol. ii. 39.

[FN#484] Arab. Allah yastura-k=protect thee by hiding what had better be hidden.

[FN#485] Arab. Janázír=chains, an Arabised plural of the Pers. Zanjír with the metathesis or transposition of letters peculiar to the vulgar; Janázír for Zanájír.

[FN#486] Arab. Safínah=(Noah's) Ark, a myth derived from the Baris of Egypt with subsequent embellishments from the Babylonian deluge-legends: the latter may have been survivals of the days when the waters of the Persian Gulf extended to the mountains of Eastern Syria. Hence I would explain the existence of extinct volcanoes within sight of Damascus (see Unexplored Syria i. p. 159) visited, I believe, for the first time by my late friend Charles F. Tyrwhitt-Drake and myself in May, 1871.

[FN#487] Mansur and Násir are passive and active participles from the same root, Nasr=victory; the former means triumphant and the latter triumphing.

[FN#488] The normal term of Moslem mourning, which Mohammed greatly reduced disliking the abuse of it by the Jews who even in the present day are the strictest in its observance.

[FN#489] An euphuistic and euphemistic style of saying, "No, we don't know."

[FN#490] Arab. "Rahan," an article placed with him in pawn.

[FN#491] A Moslem is bound, not only by honour but by religion, to discharge the debts of his dead father and mother and so save them from punishment on Judgment-day. Mohammed who enjoined mercy to debtors while in the flesh (chapt. ii. 280, etc.) said "Allah covereth all faults except debt; that is to say, there will be punishment therefor." Also "A martyr shall be pardoned every fault but debt." On one occasion he refused to pray for a Moslem who died insolvent. Such harshness is a curious contrast with the leniency which advised the creditor to remit debts by way of alms. And practically this mild view of indebtedness renders it highly unadvisable to oblige a Moslem friend with a loan.

[FN#492] i.e. he did not press them for payment; and, it must be remembered, he received no interest upon his monies, this being forbidden in the Koran.

[FN#493] Al-Mas'údi (chap. xvii.) alludes to furs of Sable (Samúr), hermelline (Al-Farwah) and Bortás (Turkish) furs of black and red foxes. For Samúr see vol. iv. 57. Sinjáb is Persian for the skin of the grey squirrel (Mu. lemmus, the lemming), the meniver, erroneously miniver, (menu vair) as opposed to the ermine=(Mus Armenius, or mustela erminia.) I never visit England without being surprised at the vile furs worn by the rich, and the folly of the poor in not adopting the sheepskin with the wool inside and the leather well tanned which keeps the peasant warm and comfortable between Croatia and Afghanistan.

[FN#494] Arab. "Tájir Alfí which may mean a thousand dinars (£500) or a thousand purses (=£5,000). Alfí is not an uncommon P.N., meaning that the bearer (Pasha or pauper) had been bought for a thousand left indefinite.

[FN#495] Tigris-Euphrates.

[FN#496] Possibly the quarter of Baghdad so called and mentioned in The Nights more than once.

[FN#497] For this fiery sea see Sind Revisited i. 19.

[FN#498] Arab. "Al-Ghayb" which may also mean "in the future" (unknown to man).

[FN#499] Arab. "Jabal"; here a mountainous island: see vol. i. 140.

[FN#500] i.e. ye shall be spared this day's miseries. See my Pilgrimage vol. i. 314, and the delight with which we glided into Marsá Damghah.

[FN#501] Arab. Súwán=Syenite (-granite) also used for flint and other hard stones. See vol. i. 238.

[FN#502] Koran xxiv. Male children are to the Arab as much prized an object of possession as riches, since without them wealth is of no value to him. Mohammed, therefore, couples wealth with children as the two things wherewith one wards off the ills of this world, though they are powerless against those of the world to come.

[FN#503] An exclamation derived from the Surat Nasr (cx. 1) one of the most affecting in the Koran. It gave Mohammed warning of his death and caused Al-Abbás to shed tears; the Prophet sings a song of victory in the ixth year of the Hijrah (he died on the xth) and implores the pardon of his Lord.

[FN#504] Arab. Dáirah, a basin surrounded by hills. The words which follow may mean, "An hour's journey or more in breadth.

[FN#505] These petrified folk have occurred in the "Eldest Lady's Tale" (vol. i. 165), where they are of "black stone."

[FN#506] Arab. "Táj Kisrawi, such as was worn by the Chosroes Kings. See vol. i. 75.

[FN#507] The familiar and far-famed Napoleonic pose, with the arms crossed over the breast, is throughout the East the attitude assumed by slave and servant in presence of his master. Those who send statues to Anglo-India should remember this.

[FN#508] Arab. Táálík=hanging lamps, often in lantern shape with coloured glass and profuse ornamentation; the Maroccan are now familiar to England.

[FN#509] Arab. "Kidrah," lit.=a pot, kettle; it can hardly mean "an interval."

[FN#510] The wicket or small doorway, especially by the side of a gate or portal, is called "the eye of the needle" and explains Matt. xix. 24, and Koran vii. 38. In the Rabbinic form of the proverb the camel becomes an elephant. Some have preferred to change the Koranic Jamal (camel) for Habl (cable) and much ingenuity has been wasted by Christian commentators on Mark x. 25, and Luke xviii. 25.

[FN#511] i.e. A "Kanz" (enchanted treasury) usually hidden underground but opened by a counter-spell and transferred to earth's face. The reader will note the gorgeousness of the picture.

[FN#512] Oriental writers, Indian and Persian, as well as Arab, lay great stress upon the extreme delicacy of the skin of the fair ones celebrated in their works, constantly attributing to their heroines bodies so sensitive as to brook with difficulty the contact of the finest shift. Several instances of this will be found in the present collection and we may fairly assume that the skin of an Eastern beauty, under the influence of constant seclusion and the unremitting use of cosmetics and the bath, would in time attain a pitch of delicacy and sensitiveness such as would in some measure justify the seemingly extravagant statements of their poetical admirers, of which the following anecdote (quoted by Ibn Khellikan from the historian Et Teberi) is a fair specimen. Ardeshir ibn Babek (Artaxerxes I.), the first Sassanian King of Persia (A.D. 226-242), having long unsuccessfully besieged El Hedr, a strong city of Mesopotamia belonging to the petty King Es Satiroun, at last obtained possession of it by the treachery of the owner's daughter Nezireh and married the latter, this having been the price stipulated by her for the betrayal to him of the place. "It happened afterwards that, one night, as she was unable to sleep and turned from side to side in the bed, Ardeshir asked her what prevented her from sleeping. She replied, 'I never yet slept on a rougher bed than this; I feel something irk me.' He ordered the bed to be changed, but she was still unable to sleep. Next morning, she complained of her side, and on examination, a myrtle-leaf was found adhering to a fold of the skin, from which it had drawn blood. Astonished at this circumstance, Ardeshir asked her if it was this that had kept her awake and she replied in the affirmative. 'How then,' asked he, 'did your father bring you up?' She answered, 'He spread me a bed of satin and clad me in silk and fed me with marrow and cream and the honey of virgin bees and gave me pure wine to drink.' Quoth Ardeshir, 'The same return which you made your father for his kindness would be made much more readily to me'; and bade bind her by the hair to the tail of a horse, which galloped off with her and killed her." It will be remembered that the true princess, in the well-known German popular tale, is discovered by a similar incident to that of the myrtle-leaf. I quote this excellent note from Mr. Payne (ix. 148), only regretting that annotation did not enter into his plan of producing The Nights. Amongst Hindu story-tellers a phenomenal softness of the skin is a lieu commun: see Vikram and the Vampire (p.285, "Of the marvellous delicacy of their Queens"); and the Tale of the Sybarite might be referred to in the lines given above.

[FN#513] "(55) Indeed joyous on that day are the people of Paradise in their employ; (56) In shades, on bridal couches reclining they and their wives: (57) Fruits have they therein and whatso they desire. (58) 'Peace' shall be a word from a compassionating Lord. Koran xxxvi. 55-58, the famous Chapt. Yá Sín; which most educated Moslems learn by heart. See vol. iii. 19. In addition to the proofs there offered that the Moslem Paradise is not wholly sensual I may quote, "No soul wotteth what coolth of the eyes is reserved (for the good) in recompense of their works" (Koran lxx. 17). The Paradise of eating, drinking, and copulating which Mr. Palgrave (Arabia, i. 368) calls "an everlasting brothel between forty celestial concubines" was preached solely to the baser sort of humanity which can understand and appreciate only the pleasures of the flesh. To talk of spiritual joys before the Badawin would have been a non-sens, even as it would be to the roughs of our great cities.

[FN#514] Arab. "Lajlaj" lit.=rolling anything round the mouth when eating; hence speaking inarticulately, being tongue-tied, stuttering, etc.

[FN#515] The classical "Phylarchs," who had charge of the Badawin.

[FN#516] "The Jabábirah (giant-rulers of Syria) and the Akásirah (Chosroës-Kings of Persia).

[FN#517] This shows (and we are presently told) that the intruder was Al-Khizr, the Green Prophet, for whom see vol. iv. 175.

[FN#518] i.e. of salvation supposed to radiate from all Prophets, esp. from Mohammed.

[FN#519] This formula which has occurred from the beginning (vol.i.1) is essentially Koranic: See Chapt. li. 18-19 and passim.

[FN#520] This trick of the priest hidden within the image may date from the days of the vocal Memnon, and was a favourite in India, especially at the shrine of Somnauth (Soma-náth), the Moon-god, Atergatis Aphrodite, etc.

[FN#521] Arab. Almás=Gr. Adamas. In opposition to the learned ex-Professor Maskelyne I hold that the cutting of the diamond is of very ancient date. Mr. W. M. Flinders Patrie (The Pyramids and Temples of Gizah, London: Field and Tuer, 1884) whose studies have thoroughly demolished the freaks and unfacts, the fads and fancies of the "Pyramidists," and who may be said to have raised measurement to the rank of a fine art, believes that the Euritic statues of old Egypt such as that of Khufu (Cheops) in the Bulak Museum were drilled by means of diamonds. Athenus tells us (lib. v.) that the Indians brought pearls and diamonds to the procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus; and this suggests cutting, as nothing can be less ornamental than the uncut stone.

[FN#522] i.e. as if they were holding a Durbar; the King's idol in the Sadr or place of honour and the others ranged about it in their several ranks.

[FN#523] These words are probably borrowed from the taunts of Elijah to the priests of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 27). Both Jews and Moslems wilfully ignored the proper use of the image or idol which was to serve as a Keblah or direction of prayer and an object upon which to concentrate thought and looked only to the abuse of the ignoble vulgus who believe in its intrinsic powers. Christendom has perpetuated the dispute: Romanism affects statues and pictures: Greek orthodoxy pictures and not statues and the so-called Protestantism ousts both.

[FN#524] Arab. Sa'ádah=worldly prosperity and future happiness.

[FN#525] Arab. Al-Ahd wa al-Mísák the troth pledged between the Muríd or apprentice-Darwaysh and the Shaykh or Master-Darwaysh binding the former to implicit obedience etc.

[FN#526] Arab. Taakhír lit. postponement and meaning acting with deliberation as opposed to Ajal (haste), precipitate action condemned in the Koran lxv. 38.

[FN#527] i.e. I have been lucky enough to get this and we will share it amongst us.

[FN#528] i.e. of saving me from being ravished.

[FN#529] Sa'ídah=the auspicious (fem.): Mubárakah,=the blessed; both names showing that the bearers were Moslemahs.

[FN#530] i.e. the base-born from whom base deeds may be expected.

[FN#531] Arab. Badlat Kunúzíyah=such a dress as would be found in enchanted hoards (Kunúz): .g. Prince Esterhazy's diamond jacket.

[FN#532] The lieu d'aisance in Eastern crafts is usually a wooden cage or framework fastened outside the gunwale very cleanly but in foul weather very uncomfortable and even dangerous.

[FN#533] Arab. "Ghull," a collar of iron or other metal, sometimes made to resemble the Chinese Kza or Cangue, a kind of ambulant pillory, serving like the old stocks which still show in England the veteris vestigia ruris. See Davis, "The Chinese," i. 241. According to Al-Siyúti (p. 362) the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil ordered the Christians to wear these Ghulls round the neck, yellow head-gear and girdles, to use wooden stirrups and to place figures of devils before their houses. The writer of The Nights presently changes Ghull to chains and fetters of iron.

[FN#534] Arab. Yá fulán, O certain person See vol. iii. 191.

[FN#535] Father of Harun al-Rashid A.H. 158-169 (=775-785) third Abbaside who both in the Mac. and the Bul. Edits. is called the fifth of the sons of Al-Abbas. He was a good poet and a man of letters, also a fierce persecutor of the "Zindiks" (Al-Siyuti 278), a term especially applied to those who read the Zend books and adhered to Zoroastrianism, although afterwards applied to any heretic or atheist. He made many changes at Meccah and was the first who had a train of camels laden with snow for his refreshment along a measured road of 700 miles (Gibbon, chapt. lii.). He died of an accident when hunting: others say he was poisoned after leaving his throne to his sons Musa al-Hadi and Harun al-Rashid. The name means Heaven-directed and must not be confounded with the title of the twelfth Shi'ah Imám Mohammed Abu al-Kásim born at Sarramanrai A.H. 255 whom Sale (sect. iv.) calls Mahdi or Director and whose expected return has caused and will cause so much trouble in Al-Islam.

[FN#536] This speciosum miraculum must not be held a proof that the tale was written many years after the days of Al-Rashid. Miracles grow apace in the East and a few years suffice to mature them. The invasion of Abraha the Abyssinia took place during the year of Mohammed's birth; and yet in an early chapter of the Koran (No. cv.) written perhaps forty-five years afterwards, the small-pox is turned into a puerile and extravagant miracle. I myself became the subject of a miracle in Sind which is duly chronicled in the family-annals of a certain Pir or religious teacher. See History of Sindh (p. 23O) and Sind Revisited (i. 156).

[FN#537] In the texts, "Sixth."

[FN#538] Arab. "Najis"=ceremonially impure especially the dog's month like the cow's month amongst the Hindus; and requiring after contact the Wuzu-ablution before the Moslem can pray.

[FN#539] Arab. "Akl al-hashamah" (hashamah=retinue; hishmah=reverence, bashfulness) which may also mean "decorously and respectfully," according to the vowel-points.

[FN#540] i.e. as the Vice-regent of Allah and Vicar of the Prophet.

[FN#541] For the superiority of mankind to the Jinn see vol. viii. 5;44.

[FN#542] According to Al-Siyuti, Harun al-Rashid prayed every day a hundred bows.


[FN#543] As the sad end of his betrothed was still to be accounted for.

[FN#544] For the martyrdom of the drowned see vol. i, 171, to quote no other places.

[FN#545] i.e. if he have the power to revenge himself. The sentiment is Christian rather than Moslem.

[FN#546] i.e. the power acquired (as we afterwards learn) by the regular praying of the dawn-prayer. It is not often that The Nights condescend to point a moral or inculcate a lesson as here; and we are truly thankful for the immunity.

[FN#547] Arab. "Musáfahah which, I have said, serves for our shaking hands: and extends over wide regions. They apply the palms of the right hands flat to each other without squeezing the fingers and then raise the latter to the forehead. Pilgrimage ii. 332, has also been quoted.

[FN#548] Equivalent to our saying about an ill wind, etc.

[FN#549] A proof of his extreme simplicity and bonhomie.

[FN#550] Arab. Dárfíl=the Gr. later , suggesting that the writer had read of Arion in Herodotus i. 23.

[FN#551] 'Aúj; I can only suggest, with due diffidence, that this is intended for Kúch the well-known Baloch city in Persian Carmania (Kirmán) and meant by Richardson's Koch ü buloch. But as the writer borrows so much from Al-Mas'udi it may possibly be Aúk in Sístán where stood the heretical city Shádrak, chapt. cxxii.

[FN#552] i.e. The excellent (or surpassing) Religious. Shaykhah, the fem. of Shaykh, is a she-chief, even the head of the dancing-girls will be entitled Shaykhah.

[FN#553] The curtain would screen her from the sight of men-invalids and probably hung across the single room of the Záwiyah or hermit's cell. The curtain is noticed in the tales of two other reverend women; vols. iv. 155 and v. 257.

[FN#554] Abdullah met his wife on Thursday, the night of which would amongst Moslems be Friday night.

[FN#555] i.e. with Sa'idah.