The Say of Haykar the Sage

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The Say of Haykar the Sage
, translated by Richard Francis Burton
From Volume VII of the Supplemental Tales to The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

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THE SAY OF HAYKAR THE SAGE.[1]

In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate, the Eternal One, the Termless, the Timeless, and of Him aidance we await. And here we begin (with the assistance of Allah Almighty and his fair furtherance) to invite the Story of Haykar the Sage, the Philosopher, the Wazir of Sankharib[2] the Sovran, and of the son of the wise man's sister Nadan[3] the Fool.

They relate that during the days of Sankháríb the King, lord of Asúr[4] and Naynawah,[5] there was a Sage, Haykár hight, Grand Wazir of that Sovran and his chief secretary, and he was a grandee of abundant opulence and ampliest livelihood: ware was


1^  MS. pp. 140-182. Gauttier, vol. ii., pp. 313-353, Histoire du sage Heycar translated by M. Agoub: Weber, "History of Sinkarib and his two Viziers" (vol. ii. 53): the "Vizier" is therein called Hicar.
2^  This form of the P.N. is preferred by Prof. R. Hoerning in his "Prisma des Sanherib," etc. Leipsic, 1878. The etymology is "Sin akhi-irib" = Sini (Lunus, or the Moon-God) increaseth brethren. The canon of Ptolemy fixes his accession at B.C. 702, the first year of Elibus or Belibus. For his victories over Babylonia, Palestine, Judæa, and Egypt see any "Dictionary of the Bible," and Byron for the marvellous and puerile legend—
The Assyrian came down as a wolf on the fold,
which made him lose in one night 185,000 men, smitten by the "Angel of the Lord" (2 Kings xix. 35). Seated upon his throne before Lachish he is represented by a bas-relief as a truly noble and kingly figure.
3^  I presume that the author hereby means a "fool," Pers. nádán. But in Assyrian story Nadan was = Nathan, King of the people of Pukudu, the Pekod of Jeremiah (i. 21)[a] and other prophets.
4^  In text always "Atúr," the scriptural "Asshur" = Assyria, biblically derived from Asshur, son of Shem (Gen. x. 22), who was worshipped as the proto-deity. The capital was Niniveh. Weber has "Nineveh and Thor," showing the spelling of his MS. According to the Arabs, "Ashur" had four sons; Iran (father of the Furs = Persians, the Kurd, or Ghozzi, the Daylams, and the Khazar), Nabít, Jarmúk, and Basíl. Ibn Khaldun (iii. 413), in his "Universal History," opposes this opinion of Ibn Sa'id.
5^  i.e. "Fish-town" or "town of Nin" = Ninus, the founder. In mod. days "Naynawah" was the name of a port on the east bank of the Tigris; and moderns have unearthed the old city at Koyunjik, Nabi Yunas, and the Tall (mound of) Nimrud.

WIKINOTE
a^  sic! Typo for "l" = 50.

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he and wise, a philosopher, and endowed with lore and rede and experience. Now he had interwedded with threescore wives, for each and every of which he had builded in his palace her own bower; natheless he had not a boy to tend, and was he sore of sorrow therefor. So one day he gathered together the experts, astrologers and wizards, and related to them his case and complained of the condition caused by his barrenness. They made answer to him, "Get thee within and do sacrifice to the Godheads and enquire of them and implore their favour when haply shall they vouchsafe unto thee boon of babe." He did whatso they bade and set corbans and victims before the images and craved their assistance, humbling himself with prayer and petition; withal they vouchsafed to him never a word of reply. So he fared forth in distress and disappointment and went his ways all disheartened. Then he returned in his humiliation to Almighty Allah[6] and confided his secret unto Him and called for succour in the burning of his heart, and cried with a loud voice saying, "O God of Heaven and Earth, O Creator of all creatures, I beg Thee to vouchsafe unto me a son wherewith I may console my old age and who may become my heir, after being present at my death and closing my eyes and burying my body." Hereat came a Voice from Heaven which said, "Inasmuch as at first thou trustedst in graven images and offeredst to them victims, so shalt thou remain childless, lacking sons and daughters. However, get thee up and take to thee Nádán, thy sister's child; and, after taking this nephew to son, do thou inform him with thy learning and thy good breeding and thy sagesse, and demise to him that he inherit of thee after thy decease." Hereupon the Sage adopted his nephew Nadan, who was then young in years and a suckling, that he might teach him and train him; so he entrusted him to eight wet-nurses and


6^  The surroundings, suggest Jehovah, the tribal deity of the Jews. The old version says, "Hicar was a native of the country of Haram (Harrán), and had brought from thence the knowledge of the true God; impelled, however, by an irresistible decree," etc.

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dry-nurses for feeding and rearing, and they brought him up on diet the choicest with delicatest nurture and clothed him with sendal and escarlate[7] and dresses dyed with Alkermes,[8] and his sitting was upon shag-piled rugs of silk. But when Nadan grew great and walked and shot up even as the lofty Cedar[9] of Lebanon, his uncle taught him deportment and writing and reading[10] and philosophy and the omne scibile. Now after a few days Sankharib the King looked upon Haykar and saw how that he had waxed an old old man, so quoth he to him, "Ho thou excellent companion,[11] the generous, the ingenious, the judicious, the sagacious, the Sage, my Secretary and my Minister and the Concealer of my secrets and the Councillor of my kingdom, seeing how so it be that thou art aged and well shotten in years and nigh unto thy death and decease, so tell me[12] who shall stand in my service after thy demise?" Made answer Haykar, "O my lord the King,


7^  i.e. a woollen cloth dyed red. Hence Pyrard (i. 244) has "red scarlet," and (vol. ii.) "violet scarlet"; Froissart (xvth centy.) has "white scarlet," and Marot (xvith) has "green scarlet." The word seems to be French of xiith century, but is uncertain: Littré proposes Galaticus, but admits the want of an intermediate form. Piers Plowman and Chaucer use "cillatún, which suggests Pers. "Sakalat, or "Saklatún", whence Mr. Skeat would derive "scarlet." This note is from the voyage of F. Pyrard, etc. London. Hakluyts, M.dccc.lxxxvii.; and the editor quotes Colonel Yule's M. Polo (ii. chapt. 58) and his "Discursive Glossary s. v. Suclát."
8^  i.e. "Al-Kirm," Arab. and Pers. = a worm, as in Kirmán (see Supplem. vol. i. 40) ; the coccus ilicis, vulg. called cochineal.
9^  Arab. "Arz", from the Heb. Arz or Razah (√ raz=to vibrate), the root {κέδρος} (cedrus conifera), the Assyrian "Erimu of Lebanon," of which mention is so often made. The old controversy as to whether "Razah" = cedar or fir, might easily have been settled if the disputants had known that the modern Syrians still preserve the word for the clump called "The Cedars" on the seaward slope of the Libanus.
10^  We should say "reading and writing," but the greater difficulty of deciphering the skeleton eastern characters places reading in the more honourable place. They say of a very learned man, "He readeth it off (readily) as one drinketh water."
11^  Arab. "Al-Sáhib al-jayyid." ["Jayyid" is, by the measure "Fay'il," derived from the root, "Jaud," to excel, like "Kayyis," from "Kaus" (see Suppl. vol. iv., p.350) , "Mayyit" from "Maut," “Sayyid" from "Saud." The form was originally "Jaywid;" then the Wáw became assimilated to the preceding Já, on account of the following Kasrah, and this assimilation or "Idghám" is indicated by Tashdíd. As from "Kayyis" the diminutive "Kuwayyis" is formed, so "Jayyid" forms the Tasghír, "Juwayyid," which, amongst the Druzes, has the specific meaning of "deeply versed in religious matters."—St.]
12^  "Kúl," vulg. for "Kul"; a form constant in this MS.

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may thy head live for ever and aye! that same shall be this Nadan, son to my sister, whom I have taken to myself as mine own child and have reared him and have taught him my learning and my experience, all thereof." "Bring him to the presence," quoth the King, "and set him between my hands, that I look upon him; and, if I find him fitting, I will stablish him in thy stead. Then do thou wend thy ways and off-go from office that thou take thy rest and tend thine old age, living the lave of thy life in the fairest of honour." Hereupon Haykar hied him home and carried his nephew Nadan before the King, who considered him and was pleased with the highmost of pleasure and, rejoicing in him, presently asked the uncle, "Be this thine adopted son, O Haykar? I pray Allah preserve him; and, even as thou servedst my sire Sarhádún[13] before me, even so shall this thy son do me suite and service and fulfil my affairs and my needs and my works, to the end that I may honour him and advance him for the sake of thee." Thereat Haykar prostrated himself before the presence and said, "May thy head live, O my lord, for evermore! I desire of thee to extend the wings of thy spirit over him for that he is my son, and do thou be clement to his errings, so that he may serve thee as besitteth." The King forthwith made oath that he would stablish the youth amongst the highmost of his friends and the most worshipful of his familiars and that he should abide with him in all respect and reverence. So Haykar kissed the royal hands and blessed his lord; then, taking with him Nadan his nephew, he seated him in privacy and fell to teaching him by night as well as by day, that he might fill him with wisdom and learning rather than with meat


13^  Gauttier "Sarkhadom," the great usurper Sargon, a contemporary of Merodach Baladan of Babylon and of Sabaco 1st of Ethiopia, B.C. 721-702: one of the greatest Assyrian Kings, whose place has been determined to be between Shalmaneser and his son, the celebrated Sennacherib, who succeeded him. The name also resembles the biblical Ezar-haddon (Asaridanus), who, however, was the son of Sennacherib, and occupied the throne of Babylon in B.C. 680.

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and drink; and he would address him in these terms.[14] "O dear my son,[15] if a word come to thine ears, suffer it to die within thy heart nor ever disclose it unto other, lest haply it become a live coal[16] to burn up thy tongue and breed pain in thy body and clothe thee in shame and gar thee despised of God and man. O dear my son, an thou hear a report reveal it not, and if thou behold a thing relate it not. O dear my son, make easy thine address unto thine hearers, and be not hasty in return of reply. O dear my son, desire not formal beauty which fadeth and vadeth while fair report endureth unto infinity. O dear my son, be not deceived by a woman immodest of speech lest her snares waylay thee[17] and in her springes thou become a prey and thou die by ignominious death. O dear my son, hanker not after a woman adulterated by art, such as clothes and cosmetics, who is of nature bold and immodest, and beware lest thou obey her and give her aught that is not thine and entrust to her even that which is in thy hand, for she will robe thee in sin and Allah shall become wroth with thee. O dear my son, be not like unto the almond-tree[18] which leafeth earlier than every growth and withal is ever of the latest to fruit; but strive to resemble the mulberry-tree which beareth food the first of all growths and is the last of any to put forth her foliage.[19]


14^  Gauttier, pp. 317-319, has greatly amplified and modified these words of wisdom.
15^  In text "Yá Bunayya" = lit. "O my little son," a term of special fondness.
16^  Arab. "Jamrah," a word of doubtful origin, but applied to a tribe strong enough to be self-dependent. The "Jamarát of the Arabs" were three, Banú Numayr, Banú Háris (who afterwards confederated with Mashíj) and Banú Dabbah (who joined the Rikáb), and at last Nomayr remained alone. Hence they said of it:
"Nomayr the jamrah (also "a live coal") of Arabs are; ❋ And ne'er cease they to burn in fiery war."
See Chenery's Al-Hariri, pp. 343-428.
17^  In the Arab. "Ta'arkalak," which M. Houdas renders "qu'elle ne te retienne dans ses filets."
18^  A lieu commun in the East. It is the Heb. "Sháked" and the fruit is the "Loz" (Arab. Lauz) = Amygdalus communis, which the Jews looked upon as the harbinger of spring and which, at certain feasts, they still carry to the synagogue, as representing the palm branches of the Temple.
19^  The mulberry-tree in Italy will bear leaves till the end of October and the foliage is bright as any spring verdure.

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O dear my son, bow thy head before thine inferior and soften thine utterance and be courteous and tread in the paths of piety, and shun impudence and louden not thy voice whenas thou speakest or laughest; for, were a house to be builded by volume of sound, the ass would edify many a mansion every day.[20] O dear my son, the transport of stones with a man of wisdom is better than the drinking of wine with one blamed for folly. O dear my son, rather pour out thy wine upon the tombs of the pious than drain it with those who give offence by their insolence. O dear my son, cleave to the sage that is Allah-fearing and strive to resemble him, and approach not the fool lest thou become like unto him and learn his foolish ways. O dear my son, whenas thou affectest a friend or a familiar, make trial of him and then company with him, and without such test nor praise him nor divulge thy thoughts unto one who is other than wise. O dear my son, as long as thy boot is upon thy leg and foot, walk therewith over the thorns and tread a way for thy sons and thy sons' sons; and build thee a boat ere the sea break into billows and breakers and drown thee before thou find an ark of safety. O dear my son, when the richard eateth a snake, folks shall say that 'tis of his subtilty; but when a pauper feedeth upon it, the world shall declare 'tis of his poverty. O dear my son, be content with thy grade and thy good, nor covet aught of thy fellow. O dear my son, be not neighbourly with the ignorant nor do thou break with him bread, and joy not in the annoy of those about thee and when thy foe shall maltreat thee meet him with beneficence. O dear my son, fear the man who feareth not Allah and hold him in hate. O dear my son, the fool shall fall when he trippeth; but the wise man when he stumbleth shall not tumble, and if he come to the ground he shall rise up quickly, and when he sickeneth he shall readily heal himself, whereas to the malady of the ignorant and the stupid there is no remedy. O dear


20^  Gauttier omits this: pas poli, I suppose.

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my son, when a man lesser than thyself shall accost thee, prevent him in standing respectfully before him, and if he suffice thee not the Lord shall suffice thee in his stead. O dear my son, spare not blows to thy child,[21] for the beating of the boy is like manuring to the garden and binding to the purse-mouth and tethering to the cattle and locking to the door. O dear my son, withhold thy child from wickedness, and discipline him ere he wax great and become contumacious to thee, thus belittling thee amongst thine equals and lowering thy head upon the highways and in the assemblies, and thou be described as an aider in his wrongous works. O dear my son, let no word escape thy lips without consulting thy heart; nor stand up between two adversaries, for out of converse with the wicked cometh enmity, and from enmity is bred battle, and from battle ariseth slaughter, when thy testimony shall be required; nay, do thou fly therefrom and be at rest. O dear my son, stand not up against one stronger than thyself; but possess thy soul in patience and long-suffering and forbearance and pacing the paths of piety, for than this naught is more excellent. O dear my son, exult not over the death of thy enemy by cause that after a little while thou shalt become his neighbour. O dear my son, turn thou a deaf ear to whoso jeereth thee, and honour him and forego him with the salam-salutation. O dear my son, whenas the water shall stand still in stream and the bird shall fly sky-high and the black raven shall whiten and myrrh shall wax honey-sweet, then will the ignorant and the fool comprehend and converse. O dear


21^  The barbarous sentiment is Biblical—inspired, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son" (Prov. xiii. 24), and "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Prov. xix. 18). Compare the Arab equivalent, "The green stick is of the trees of Paradise" (Pilgrimage i. 151). But the neater form of the saw was left to uninspired writers; witness "Spare the rod and spoil the child," which appears in Ray's proverbs, and is immortalised by Hudibras:—
Love is a boy by poets styled,
Then spare the rod and spoil the child. (ii. 1, 843.)
It is to the eternal credit of John Locke, the philosopher, that in an age of general brutality he had the moral courage to declare, "Beating is the worst and therefore the last means to be used in the correction of children."

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my son, an thou would be wise restrain thy tongue from leasing and thy hand from thieving and thine eyes from evil glancing; and then, and then only, shalt thou be called a sage. O dear my son, suffer the wise man strike thee with his staff rather than the fool anoint thee with his sweetest unguent.[22] O dear my son, be thou humble in thy years of youth, that thou may be honoured in thine old age. O dear my son, stand not up against a man in office and puissance nor against a river in its violence, and haste not in matters of marriage; for, an this bring weal, folk will not appraise thee and if ill they will abuse thee and curse thee. O dear my son, company with one who hath his hand fulfilled and well-furnisht and associate not with any whose hand is fist-like and famisht. O dear my son, there be four things without stability: a king and no army,[23] a Wazir in difficulty for lack of rede; amongst the folks villainy and over the lieges tyranny. Four things also may not be hidden; to wit, the sage and the fool, the richard and the pauper."[24] Now when Haykar had made an end of these injunctions and instances addrest to Nadan his nephew, he fondly deemed in mind that the youth would bear in memory all his charges, and he wist not that the clean contrary thereof to him would become manifest. After this the older Minister sat in peace at home and committed to the younger all his moneys and his negro slaves and his concubines; his horses and camels, his flocks and herds, and all other such whereof he was seized. Also bidding and forbiddal were left in the youth's hand and he was promoted and preferred by the monarch


22^  Arab. "Dahn" (oil, ointment) which may also mean "soft sawder."
23^  Aucun roi ne peut gouverner sans armée et on ne peut avoir une armée sans argent. For a treatise on this subject see the "Chronique de Tabari," ii. 340.
24^  M. Agoub, in Gauttier (vi. 321) remarks of these prosings, "Ces maximes qui ne seraient pas indignes, pour la plupart, des beaux temps de la philosophie grecque, appartiennent toutes au texte arabe; je n'ai fait que les disposer dans un ordre plus méthodique. J'ai dû aussi supprimer quelques unes, soit parce qu'elles n'offraient que des préceptes d'une morale banale, soit que traduites en français, elles eussent pû paraître bizarres à des lecteurs européens. Ce que je dis ici, s'applique également à celles qui terminent le conte et qui pourraient fournir le sujet de plusieurs fables." One would say that the translator is the author's natural enemy.

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like his maternal uncle and even more, whilst the ex-Wazir took his rest in retirement, nor was it his habit to visit the King save once after a while, when he would fare forth to salute him with the salam and forthwith return home. But when Nadan made sure of all commandment being in his own hand, he jeered in public at his uncle and raised his nose at him and fell to blaming him whenever he made act of presence and would say, "Verily Haykar is in age and dotage and no more he wotteth one thing from other thing." Furthermore he fell to beating the negro slaves and the handmaidens, and to vending the steeds and dromedaries and applied him wilfully to waste all that appertained to his uncle who, when he saw this lack of ruth for the chattels and the household, incontinently drove him ignominiously from his place. Moreover he sent to apprize the King thereof; to wit, that he would assuredly[25] resume all his belongings and provision; and his liege, summoning Nadan, said to him, "So long as Haykar, shall be in life, let none lord it over his household or meddle with his fortune." On this wise the youth's hand was stayed from his uncle and from all his good and he ceased to go in to him and come out from him, and even to accost him with the salam. Presently Haykar repented of the pains and the trouble he had taken with Nadan and he became perplext exceedingly. Now the youth had a younger brother, Naudan[26] hight, so Haykar adopted him in lieu of the other and tendered him and honoured him with highmost honour and committed to him all his possessions and created him comptroller of his household and of his affairs. But when the elder brother beheld what had betided him, he was seized with envy and jealousy and he fell to complaining before all who questioned him, deriding his benefactor; and he would say, "Verily my maternal uncle hath


25^  Arab. "Ammál," now vulgarly written with initial Hamzah, a favourite expression in Egypt and meaning "Verily," "I believe you, my boy," and so forth. But "ʼAmmál" with the Ayn may also mean "he intended," or "he was about to."
26^  In Gauttier the name is Ebnazadan, but the Arab. text has "Naudán," which I take to be the Persian "New of knowledge" as opp. to Nádán, the "unknowing."

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driven me from his doors and hath preferred my brother before me; but, an Almighty Allah empower me, I will indeed cast him into doom of death." Hereat he fell to brooding over the ruin of his relative, and after a long while he went, one day of the days, and wrote a letter to Akhyash Abná Sháh,[27] physician to the King of Persia and 'Ajam or Barbaria-land, and the following were its contents. "All salams that befit and greetings that are meet from part of Sankharib, King of Assyria and Niniveh, and from his Wazir and Secretary Haykar unto thee, O glorious monarch, and salutations be betwixt me and thee. And forthright, when this missive shall have reached thee, do thou arise in haste and come to meet me and let our trysting-place be the Buk'at Nisrín, the Lowland of the Eglantine[28] of Assyria and Niniveh, that I may commit to thee the kingdom sans fight or fray." Furthermore he wrote a second letter in Haykar's name to Pharaoh,[29] lord of Misraim,[30] with this purport:[31]—"Greetings between me and thee, O mighty


27^  In Chavis (Weber ii. 58) and Gauttier (p. 323) Akis, roi de Perse. The second name may be "Shah of the Ebna" or Persian incolæ of Al-Yaman; aristocratie Persane naturalisée Arabe (Al-Mas'udi, iv. 188, etc.)
28^  i.e. the Lowland of the Eglantine or Narcissus; Nisrín is also in dictionaries an island where amber abounds. There is a shade of difference between Buk'ah and Bak'ah. The former which is the correcter form = a patch of ground, a plain (hence the Buká'a = Cœlesyria), while Bak'ah = a hollow where water collects. In Chavis we find "the plain of Harrim" and in Gauttier la plaine de Baschrin; and the appointment was "for the first of the month Niram" (Naysán).
29^  "Pharaoh," which Hebrew Holy Writ left so vague and unsatisfactory, has become with the Arabs "Fir'aun", the dynastic name of Egyptian kings, as Kisrà (Chosroës) of the Persians, Tobba of the Himyarites, Kaysar (Cæsar) of the Romans, Jalut (Goliath) of the Phoenicians, Faghfur of the Chinese, Khákán of the Tartars, Adfonsh (Alfonso) of the Spanish, and Aguetíd of the Berbers. Ibn Khaldún iv. 572.
30^  "Mizr" in Assyrian="Musur," in Heb. "Misraim" (the dual Misrs, whose duality permeated all their polity), and in Arab. "Misr," the O. Egypt. "Há káhi Ptáh" (the Land of the great God, Ptah), and the Coptic "Tá-mera" = the Land of the Nile flood, ignoring, I may add, all tradition of a Noachian or general deluge.
31^  The simplicity of old Assyrian correspondence is here well preserved, as we may see by comparing those letters with the cuneiform inscriptions, etc., by S. Abden Smith (Pfeiffer, Leipsic, 1887). One of them begins thus, "The will of the King to Sintabni-Uzur. Salutation from me to thee. May it be well with thee. Regarding Sinsarra-utzur whom thou hast sent to me, how is thy report?" etc. We find such expressions as "May the great Gods, lovers of thy reign, preserve thee an hundred years;" also "Peace to the King, my lord," etc.

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potentate; and do thou straightway, on receipt of this epistle, arise and march upon the Buk'at Nisrin to the end that I make over to thee the kingdom without battle or slaughter." Now Nadan's handwriting was the likest to that of his mother's brother. Then he folded the two missives and sealed them with Haykar's signet and cast them into the royal palace, after which he went and indited a letter in the King's name to his uncle, saying:—"All salutations to my Wazir and Secretary and Concealer of my secret, Haykar; and do thou forthright on receipt of this present levy thy host and all that be under thee with arms and armour complete, and march them to meet me on fifth-day[32] at the Buk'at Nisrin. Moreover, when thou see me approach thee make thy many prepare for mimic onset as they were my adversaries and offer me sham fight; for that messengers from Pharaoh, King of Egypt, have been sent to espy the strength of our armies. Accordingly, let them stand in fear of us, for that they be our foes and our haters." Presently, sealing this epistle, he sent it to Haykar by one of the royal pages and himself carrying the other letters he had addressed to the Persian and the Egyptian, he laid them before the King and read them aloud and showed their seals. But when Sankharib heard their contents he marvelled with mighty great marvel and raged with exceeding rage and cried out, saying, "What is it I have done unto Haykar that he should write such a writ to mine adversaries? Is this my reward for all the benefits I have lavished upon Haykar?" The other replied, "Be not grieved, O King, and sorrow not, nor be thou an-angered: rather let us fare on the morrow to the Buk'at Nisrin and look into the matter, whether it be fact or falsehood." So when Thursday came, Nadan arose, and taking the King and his Wazirs and army-officers marched them over the wastes to the Lowland of the Eglantine,


32^  Arab. "Yaum al-Khamís." For the week-days see vol. vi. 190 , and for a longer notice, Al-Mas'udi, iii. 422-23.

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and arrived there Sankharib, the Sovran, looked upon Haykar and saw his host aligned in battle against himself. And when the ex-Minister beheld his King approaching, he bade his host stir for battle and prepare to smite the opposing ranks; to wit, those of his liege lord, even as he had been commanded by royal rescript, nor did he ken what manner of pit had been digged for him by Nadan. But seeing this sight the monarch was agitated and consterned and raged with mighty great wrath. Then quoth Nadan, "Seest thou, O King, what this sorry fellow hath done? But chafe not, neither be thou sorrowful, but rather do thou retire to thy palace, whither I will presently bring to thee Haykar pinioned and bearing chains; and I will readily and without trouble fend off from thee thy foe." So when Sankharib hied him home in sore anger with that which his ancient Minister had done, Nadan went to his uncle and said, "Indeed the King hath rejoiced with exceeding joy, and thanketh thee for acting as he bade thee, and now he hath despatched me to order that thy men be bidden to wend their ways, and that thou present thyself before him pinioned and fettered to the end that thou be seen in such plight of the envoys sent by Pharaoh concerning whom and whose master our Monarch standeth in fear." "To hear is to obey!" replied Haykar, and forthwith let pinion his arms and fetter his legs; then, taking with him Nadan, his nephew, he repaired to the presence, where he found the King perusing the other forged letter also sealed with the ministerial signet. When he entered the throne-room he prostrated himself, falling to the ground upon his face, and the Sovran said to him, "O Haykar, my Viceregent and Secretary and Concealer of my secret and Councillor of my kingdom, say me, what have I wrought thee of wrong that thou shouldst requite me with such hideous deed?" So saying he showed him the two papers written in the handwriting and sealed with the seal of the accused who, when he looked upon them, trembled in every limb, and his tongue was knotted for a while,

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nor could he find power to speak a word, and he was reft of all his reason and of his knowledge. Wherefor he bowed his brow groundwards and held his peace. But when the King beheld this his condition, he bade them slay him by smiting his neck without the city, and Nadan cried aloud, "O Haykar, O blackavice, what could have profited thee such trick and treason that thou do a deed like this by thy King?"[33] Now the name of the Sworder was Abú Sumayk the Pauper,[34] and the monarch bade him strike the neck of Haykar in front of the Minister's house-door and place his head at a distance of an hundred ells from his body.[35] Hearing this Haykar fell prone before the King and cried, "Live thou, O my lord the King, for ever and aye! An thou desire my death be it as thou wilt and well I wot that I am not in default and that the evil-doer exacteth according to his ill-nature.[36] Yet I hope from my lord the King and from his benevolence that he suffer the Sworder make over my corpse to my menials for burial, and so shall thy slave be thy sacrifice." Hereat the Monarch commanded the Headsman do as he was desired, and the man, accompanied by the royal pages, took Haykar, whom they had stripped of his outer raiment, and led him away to execution. But when he was certified of coming death, he sent tidings thereof to his wife, Shaghaftíní[37] hight, adding, "Do thou forthright come forth to meet me escorted by a thousand maiden girls, whom thou shalt habit in escarlate and sendal, that they may keen over me ere I perish; moreover dispread for the Headsman and his varlets a table of food and bring an abundance of good wine that they may drink


33^  In the text "Kál" (al-Ráwí), "the Reciter saith"—which formula I omit here and elsewhere.
34^  i.e. "The Father of the little Fish," in Gauttier (vii. 329) "Abou Soméika."
35^  By way of insult; as I have before noticed.
36^  He had now learned that Nadan had ruined him.
37^  The wife (in p. 155; "Ashghaftíní") is called "Thou hast enamoured me" from the root "Shaghaf" = violent love, joy, grief. Chavis has Zefagnie: Gauttier suppresses the name, which is not pretty. In the old version she is made aunt (father's sister) to Sankharib.

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and make merry."[38] Haykar's wife presently obeyed his orders for she also was ware and wise, sharp-witted, experienced and a compendium of accomplishments and knowledge. Now when the guards[39] and the Sworder and his varlets came to Haykar's door, they found the tables laid out with wine and sumptuous viands; so they fell to eating and drinking till they had their sufficiency and returned thanks to the housemaster.[40] Thereupon Haykar led the Headsman aside into privacy and said to him, "O Abu Sumayk,[41] what while Sarhadun the King, sire of Sankharib the King, determined to slay thee, I took thee and hid thee in a place unknown to any until the Sovran sent for thee. Moreover I cooled his temper every day till he was pleased to summon thee, and when at last I set thee in his presence he rejoiced in thee. Therefore do thou likewise at this moment bear in mind the benefits I wrought thee, and well I wot that the King will repent him for my sake and will be wroth with exceeding wrath for my slaughter, seeing that I be guiltless; so when thou shalt bring me alive before him thy degree shall become of the highest. For know thou that Nadan my nephew hath betrayed me and devised for me this ill device; and I repeat that doubtless my lord will presently rue my ruin. Learn, too, that beneath the threshold of my mansion lieth a souterrain whereof no man is ware: so do thou conceal me therein with the connivance of my spouse Shaghaftini. Also I have in my prison a slave which meriteth doom of death:[42] so bring him forth and robe him in my robes; then bid the varlets


38^  The old version attributes all this device to "Zefagnie;" thus injuring the unity and the interest of the tale.
39^  Arab. "Jund" plur. "Junúd," a term mostly applied to regular troops under the Government, as opposed to soldiers who took service with the Amirs or great barons—a state of things still enduring in non-British India.
40^  Who thus makes a "Ma'adabah" = wake or funeral feast before his death. See vol. viii. 231 .
41^  i.e. "Father of the Fishlet", in the old version "Yapousmek" (Yá Abú Sumayk!)
42^  In Chavis he becomes "an old slave, a magician, stained with the greatest crimes, who has the air and figure of Hicar."

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(they being drunken with wine) do him die, nor shall they know whom they have slain. And lastly command them to remove his head an hundred cubits from his body and commit the corpse unto my chattels that they inter it. So shalt thou store up with me this rich treasure of goodly deeds." Hereupon the Sworder did as he was bidden by his ancient benefactor, and he and his men repairing to the presence said, "Live thy head, O King, for ever and aye!"[43] And after this Shaghaftini, the wife of Haykar, brought meat and drink to her husband down in the Matamor,[44] and every Friday she would provide him with a sufficiency for the following week without the weeting of anyone. Presently the report was spread and published and bruited abroad throughout Assyria and Niniveh how Haykar the Sage had been done to die and slain by his Sovran; and the lieges of all those regions, one and all, keened[45] for him aloud and shed tears and said, "Alas for thee, O Haykar, and alack for the loss of thy lore and thy knowledge! Woe be to us for thee and for thy experience! Where now remaineth to find thy like? where now shall one intelligent, understanding and righteous of rede resemble thee and stand in thy stead?" Presently the King fell to regretting the fate of Haykar whereof repentance availed him naught: so he summoned Nadan and said to him, "Fare forth and take with thee all thy friends to keen and make ceremonious wailings for thy maternal uncle Haykar and mourn, according to custom, in honour of him and his memory." But Nadan, the fool, the ignorant, the hard of heart, going forth the presence to show sorrow at his uncle's house, would neither mourn nor weep nor keen; nay, in lieu thereof he gathered together lewd fellows and fornicators who fell to feasting and


43^  A formula which announces the death of his supposed enemy.
44^  Arab. "Matmúrah" = Sardábah (i. 340), a silo for storing grain, an underground cell (ii. 39) .
45^  See text "Náhú" from √ "Nauh" = ceremonious keening for the dead. The general term for the wail is "Walwalah" or "Wilwál" (an onomatopoy) and for the public wailing-woman "Naddábah."

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carousing. After this he took to himself the concubines and slaves belonging to his uncle, whom he would scourge and bastinado with painful beating; nor had he any shame before the wife of his adopted father who had entreated him as her son; but solicited her sinfully to lie with him. On the other hand Haykar, who lay perdu in his Silo, ever praised Allah the Compassionate,[46] and returned thanks unto Him for saving his life and was constant in gratitude and instant in prayer and in humbling himself before God. At times after due intervals the Sworder would call upon him to do him honour due and procure him pleasure, after which he would pray for his release and forthright gang his gait. Now when the bruit spread abroad over all the lands how that Haykar the Wise had been done to die, the rulers everywhere rejoiced, exulting in the distress of King Sankharib who sorely regretted the loss of his Sage. Presently, awaiting the fittest season, the Monarch of Misraim arose and wrote a writ to the Sovran of Assyria and Niniveh[b] of the following tenor:—"After salams that befit and salutations that be meet and congratulations and veneration complete wherewith I fain distinguish my beloved brother Sankharib the King, I would have thee know that I am about to build a bower in the air between firmament and terra firma; and I desire thee on thy part to send me a man which is wise, a tried and an experienced, that he may help me to edify the same: also that he make answer to all the problems and profound questions I shall propose, otherwise thou shalt deposit with me the taxes in kind[47] of Assyria and Nineveh[b] and their money-tributes for three years." Then he made an end of his writ and, sealing it with his signet-ring, sent it to its


46^  Here we find the Doric form "Rahúm" for "Rahím," or it may simply be the intensive and emphatic form, as "Nazúr" = one who looks intently for "Názir," a looker.
47^  In the old version "a tenth part of the revenues." The "Kasím" of the text is an unusual word which M. Houdas would render revenues en nature, as opposed to Khiráj, revenues en argent. I translate it by "tax tribute."

WIKINOTE
sic! Both spellings are thus used.

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destination. But when the missive reached Sankharib, he took it and read it, he and his Wazirs and the Lords of his land; and all stood perplext thereat and sore confounded; whilst the King waxed furious with excessive fury, and he was distraught as to what he should do and how he should act. Anon, however, he gathered together all the Shaykhs and Elders and the Olema and doctors of law and the physicists and philosophers and the charmers[48] and the astrologers and all such persons which were in his realm, and he let read the epistle of Pharaoh in their presence. Then he asked them, saying, "Who amongst you shall repair to the court of Pharaoh, lord of Misraim, and reply to his interrogations?" But they cried, "O our lord the King, do thou know there be no one who can loose the knot of these difficulties save only thy Wazir Haykar; and now that none shall offer an answer save Nadan, the son of his sister, whom he hath informed with all his subtilty and his science. Therefore, do thou summon him and haply he shall unravel for thee a tangled skein so hard to untwist." Sankharib did as they advised, and when Nadan appeared in the presence said to him, "Look thou upon this writ and comprehend its contents." But when the youth read it he said to the Sovran, "O my lord the King, leave alone this folk for they point to impossibilities: what man can base a bower upon air between heaven and earth?" As soon as King Sankharib heard these words of Nadan, he cried out with a mighty outcry and a violent; then, stepping down from his throne, he sat upon ashes[49] and fell to beweeping and bewailing the loss of Haykar and crying, "Alas, for me and woe worth the day for thee, O Caretaker of my capital and Councillor of my kingdom! Where shall I find one like


48^  In text "'Azzámín," i.e. men who recite "'Azm," mostly Koranic versets which avert evil.
49^  This may either be figurative or literal—upon the ashes where the fire had been; even as the father of Sayf al-Mulúk sat upon the floor of his audience-hall (vol. vii. 314) .

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unto thee, O Haykar? Harrow now for me, O Haykar, Oh Saviour of my secret and Manifester of my moot-points, where now shall I fare to find thee? Woe is me for sake of thee whom I slew and destroyed at the word of a silly boy! To him indeed who could bring Haykar before me or who could give me the glad tidings of Haykar being on life, I would give the half of my good; nay, the moiety of my realm. But whence can this come? Ah me, O Haykar; happy was he who looked upon thee in life that he might take his sufficiency of thy semblance and fortify himself[50] therefrom. Oh my sorrow for thee to all time! Oh my regret and remorse for thee and for slaying thee in haste and for not delaying thy death till I had considered the consequence of such misdeed." And the King persisted in weeping and wailing night and day on such wise. But when the Sworder[51] beheld the passion of his lord and his yearning and his calling upon Haykar, he came to the presence and prostrated himself and said, "O my lord, bid thy varlets strike off my head!" Quoth the Monarch, "Woe to thee, what be thy sin?" and quoth the Headsman, "O my lord, what slave ever contrarieth the command of his master let the same be slain, and I verily have broken thy behest." The King continued, "Fie upon thee,[52] O Abu Sumayk, wherein hast thou gainsaid me?" and the other rejoined, "O my lord, thou badest me slay the Sage Haykar; but well I wotted that right soon indeed thou wouldst regret the death of him, and the more so for that he was a wronged man; accordingly I fared forth from thee and hid him in a place unbeknown to any and I slew one of his slaves in his stead. And at this moment Haykar is alive and well; and if thou bid me, I will bring him


50^  In text "Ya'tadir"—from √ 'Adr = heavy rain, boldness. But in this MS. the dots are often omitted and the word may be Ya'tazir = find excuse.
51^  In the old version the wife is made to disclose the secret of her husband being alive—again a change for the worse.
52^  Here "Wayha-v." and before "Wayla-k": see vols. v. 258; vii. 127 and iii. 82 .

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before thee when, if thou be so minded, do thou put me to death, otherwise grant me immunity." Cried the King, "Fie upon thee, O Abu Sumayk, how durst thou at such time make mock of me, I being thy lord?" but the Sworder replied, "By thy life and the life of thy head, O my lord, I swear that Haykar is alive and in good case!" Now when the Monarch heard these words from the Sworder and was certified by him of the matter, he flew for very gladness and he was like to fall a-swoon for the violence of his joy. So he bade forthright Haykar be brought to him and exclaimed to the Sworder, "O thou righteous slave an this thy say be soothfast, I am resolved to enrich thee and raise thy degree amongst all my companions;" and so saying and rejoicing mightily he commanded the Sworder set Haykar in the presence. The man fared to the Minister's house forthright, and opening the souterrain went downstairs to the tenant whom he found sitting and praising Allah and rendering to Him thanksgivings; so he cried out and said, "O Haykar, the blessedest of bliss hath come to thee, and do thou go forth and gladden thy heart!" Haykar replied, "And what is to do?" whereat the man told him the whole tale, first and last, of what had befallen his lord at the hands of Pharaoh; then, taking him, led him to the presence. But when Sankharib considered him, he found him as one clean wasted by want; his hair had grown long like the pelts of wild beasts and his nails were as vulture's claws and his members were meagre for the length of time spent by him in duresse and darkness, and the dust had settled upon him and changed his colour which had faded and waxed of ashen hue. So his lord mourned for his plight and, rising up in honour, kissed him and embraced him and wept over him saying, "Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord—who hath restored thee to me on life after death!" Then he fell to soothing his sorrows and consoled him, praying pardon of him the while; and after bestowing robes of honour upon the Sworder and giving him due guerdon and lavishing upon him abundant good, he

p.22[edit]

busied himself about the recovery of Haykar, who said, "O my lord the King, may thy head live for ever and aye! All this wrong which befel me is the work of the adulterines, and I reared me a palm-tree against which I might prop me, but it bent and brought me to the ground: now, however, O my lord and master, that thou hast deigned summon me before thee, may all passion pass away and dolour depart from thee!" "Blessed and exalted be Allah," rejoined Sankharib, "who hath had ruth upon thee, and who, seeing and knowing thee to be a wronged man, hath saved thee and preserved thee from slaughter.[53] Now, however, do thou repair to the Hammam and let shave thy head and pare thy nails and change thy clothes; after which sit at home in ease for forty days' space that thy health be restored and thy condition be righted and the hue of health return to thy face; and then (but not till then) do thou appear before me." Hereupon the King invested him with sumptuous robes, and Haykar, having offered thanks to his liege lord, fared homewards in joyaunce and gladness frequently ejaculating, "Subhána 'llahu ta'álà—God Almighty be glorified!" and right happy were his household and his friends and all who had learned that he was still on life. Then did he as the King had bidden him and enoyed his rest for two-score days, after which he donned his finest dress and took horse, followed and preceded by his slaves, all happy and exulting, and rode to Court, while Nadan the nephew, seeing what had befallen, was seized with sore fear and affright and became perplexed and unknowing what to do. Now, when Haykar went in and salamed to the King, his lord seated him by his side and said, "O my beloved Haykar, look upon this writ which was sent to me by the King of Misraim after hearing of thy execution; and in very deed they, to wit he and his, have conquered and chastised and routed most of the folk of


53^  The King, after the fashion of Eastern despots, never blames his own culpable folly and hastiness: this was decreed to him and to his victim by Destiny.

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our realm, compelling them to fly for refuge Egyptwards in fear of the tax-tribute which they have demanded of us." So the Minister took the missive and, after reading and comprehending the sum of its contents, quoth he to the King, "Be not wroth, O my lord: I will repair in person to Egypt and will return a full and sufficient reply to Pharaoh, and I will explain to him his propositions and will bring thee from him all the tax-tribute he demandeth of thee: moreover, I will restore all the lieges he hath caused fly this country and I will humiliate every foe of thee by aidance of Almighty Allah and by the blessings of thy Majesty." Now when the Sovran heard this answer, he rejoiced and his heart was gladdened; whereupon he gifted Haykar with a generous hand and once more gave immense wealth to the Sworder. Presently the Minister said, "Grant me a delay of forty days that I ponder this matter and devise a sufficient device." As soon as Sankharib granted him the required permission he returned homewards and, summoning his huntsmen, bade them catch for him two vigorous young vultures;[54] and, when these were brought, he sent for those who twist ropes and commanded them make two cords of cotton each measuring two thousand ells. He also bade bring him carpenters and ordered them to build for him two coffers of large size, and as soon as his bidding was done he chose out two little lads, one hight Binúhál and the other Tabshálím.[55] Then every day he would let slaughter a pair of lambs and therewith feed the children and the vultures, and he mounted those upon the back of these, binding them tight, and also making fast the


54^  The older version reads "Roc" and informs us that "it is a prodigious bird, found in the deserts of Africa: it will bear two hundred pounds weight; and many are of opinion that the idea of this bird is visionary." In Weber ii. 63, this is the device of "Zafagnie," who accompanies her husband to Egypt.
55^  This name appears to be a corruption. The sound, however, bears a suspicious resemblance to "Dabshalim (a name most proper for such a Prince, to wit, meaning in their tongue a mighty King)," who appears in chapt. i. of the "Fables of Pilpay" (Bidpai = Bidyapati=Lord of Lore?). "Dabshalímat" = the Dabshalíms, was the dynastic title of the Kings of Somanáth (Somnauth) in Western India.

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cords to the legs of the fowls. He would then allow the birds to rise little by little, prolonging the flight every day to the extent of ten cubits, the better to teach and to train them; and they learnt their task so well that in a short time they would rise to the full length of the tethers till they soared in the fields of air with the boys on their backs, after which he would let hale them down. And when he saw them perfect in this process, he taught the lads to utter loud shouts what while they reached the full length of the cords and to cry out, "Send us stones and mud[56] and slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, inasmuch as we now stand here all the day idle!" And Haykar ceased not to accustom them and to instruct them until they became dexterous in such doings as they could be. Then he quitted them and presenting himself before King Sankharib said, "O my lord, the work is completed even as thou couldst desire; but do thou arise and come with me that I may show thee the marvel." Thereupon the King and his courtiers accompanied Haykar to a wide open space outside the city whither he sent for the vultures and the lads; and after binding the cords he loosed them to soar as high as the lanyards allowed in the firmament-plain, when they fell to outcrying as he had taught them. And lastly he haled them in and restored them to their steads. Hereat the King wondered, as did all his suite, with extreme wonderment, and kissing his Minister between his eyes, robed him in an honourable robe and said to him, "Go forth in safety, O my beloved,


56^  Arab. "Tín" = clay, mud, which would be used with the Tob (adobe, sun-dried brick) forming the walls of Egypt and Assyria. M.G. Maspero, in his excellent booklet "L'Archéologie Egyptienne" (p. 7. Paris, Quantin, 1887), illustrates this ancient industry which endures with all its gear to the present day. The average measured 0m22 × 0m11 × 0m14; the larger was 0m38 × 0m18 × 0m14, with intermediate sizes. These formed the cores of temple walls, and, being revetted with granite, syenite, alabaster and other stones, made a grand show; but when the outer coat was removed they were presently weathered to the external semblance of mud-piles. Such was mostly the condition of the ruins of grand Bubastis ("Pi-Pasht") hod. Zagázig, where excavations are still being pushed on.

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and boast of my realm, to the land of Egypt[57] and answer the propositions of Pharaoh and master him by the power of Almighty Allah;" and with these words farewelled him. Accordingly Haykar took his troops and guards, together with the lads and the vultures, and he fared forth intending for Egypt where on arrival he at once made for the royal Palace. And when the folk of the capital understood that Sankharib the King had commissioned a man of his notables to bespeak their Sovran the Pharaoh, they entered and apprized their liege lord who sent a party of his familiars summoning him to the presence. Presently Haykar the Sage entered unto Pharaoh; and after prostration as befitteth before royalty said, "O my lord, Sankharib the King greeteth thee with many salutations and salams; and hath sent me single-handed sans other of his slaves, to the end that I answer thy question and fulfil whatso thou requirest, and I am commanded to supply everything thou needest; especially inasmuch as thou hast sent to the Monarch my master for the loan of a man who can build thee a bower between firmament and terra firma; and I, by the good aidance of Allah Almighty and of thine august magnanimity, will edify that same for thee even as thou desirest and requirest. But this shall be upon the condition stablished concerning the tax-tribute of Misraim for three years, seeing that the consent of the Kings be their fullest securities. An thou vanquish me and my hand fall short and I fail to answer thee, then shall my liege lord send thee the tax-tribute whereof thou speakest; but if I bring thee all thou needest, then shalt thou forward to my lord the tax-tribute thou hast mentioned and of him demanded." Pharaoh, hearing these words, marvelled and was perplexed at the eloquence of his tongue and the sweetness of his speech and presently exclaimed, "O man, what may be thy name?" The other


57^  The old version has "Masser, Grand Cairo (in the days of the Pharaohs!); so called from having been built by Misraim, the son of Cham."

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replied, "Thy slave is hight Abíkám;[58] and I am an emmet of the emmets under Sankharib the King." Asked Pharaoh, "Had not thy lord one more dignified of degree than thou, that he sent unto me an ant to answer me and converse with me?" and Haykar answered, "I humbly hope of the Almighty that I may satisfy all which is in thy heart, O my lord; for that Allah is with the weakling the more to astound the strongling." Hereat Pharaoh gave orders to set apart for Abikam his guest an apartment, also for the guards and all that were with him and provide them with rations and fodder of meat and drink, and whatso was appropriate to their reception as properest might be. And after the usual three days of guest-rite[59] the King of Egypt donned his robes of brightest escarlate; and, having taken seat upon his throne, each and every Grandee and Wazir (who were habited in the same hue) standing with crossed arms and feet joined,[60] he sent a summons to produce before him Haykar, now Abikam hight. Accordingly he entered and prostrated in the King's presence and stood up to receive the royal behest, when Pharaoh after a long delay asked him, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?" Hereto the envoy answered saying, "O my lord, thou favourest Bel the idol[61] and thy chieftains favour the servitors thereof!" Then quoth the King, "Now do thou depart and I desire thee on the morrow come


58^  In Chavís, "Abicam, a Chaldæan astrologer;" in Gauttier "Abimacam."
59^  In Al-Harírí (p. 409) we read, "Hospitality is three days;" and a Hadís of the Prophet confirms the liberal practice of The Ignorance:—"The entertainment of a guest is three days, and the viaticum ("Jáizah") is a day and a night, and whatso exceedeth is an alms-gift." On the first day is shown largesse and courtesy; on the second and third the stranger is treated after the usual custom of the household, and then he is provided with rations for a day and a night. See Lane: A. Nights, i. 486; also The Nights, vol. i. 3.
60^  i.e. Not standing astraddle, or in other such indecorous attitude.
61^  Chavis, "Bilelsanam, the oracle of Bel, the chief God of the Assyrian: "Gauttier, Une idole Bíl. Bel (or Ba'al or Belus, the Phœnician and Canaanite head-god) may here represent Hobal the biggest idol in the Meccan Pantheon, which used to be borne on raids and expeditions to give plunder a religious significance. Tabari iii. 17. Evidently the author holds it to be an idol.

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again." Accordingly Abikam, which was Haykar, retired as he was ordered, and on the next day he presented himself before Pharaoh and after prostrating stood between his hands. The King was habited in a red coat of various tincts and his mighty men were garbed in white, and presently he enquired saying, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?" He replied, "O my lord, thou art like unto the sun and thy nobles are like the rays thereof!" Then quoth the King, "Do thou retire to thy quarters and tomorrow come hither again." So the other fared forth and Pharaoh commanded and charged his head men to don pure white, himself doing the same; and, having taken seat upon his throne, he bade Abikam be brought into the presence and when he appeared asked him, "Whom do I resemble, and what may these my Grandees represent?" He replied, "O my lord, thou favourest the moon and thy servitors and guards favour the stars and planets and constellations." Then quoth the King, "Go thou until the morrow when do thou come hither again;" after which he commanded his Magnates to don dresses of divers colours and different tincts whilst he wore a robe of ruddy velvet. Anon he seated him upon his throne and summoned Abikam, who entered the presence and prostrated and stood up before him. The King for a fourth time asked him, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my guards represent?" and he answered, "O my lord, thou art like the auspicious month Naysán,[62] and thy guards and grandees are like the white chamomile[63] and his bloom." Hearing these words Pharaoh rejoiced with extreme joy and said, "O Abikam, thou hast compared me first with Bel the idol, secondly with the sun and thirdly with the moon and lastly with the auspicious


62^  The Syro-solar month = April; much celebrated by poets and fictionists: rain falling at such time into shells becomes pearls and upon serpents poison.
63^  The text has "Baybúnah," prop. Bábúnaj in Arab., and in Pers. "Bábúk," or "Bábúnak" = the white camomile-flower. See vol. iii. 58.

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month Naysan, and my lords with the chamomile and his flower. But say me now unto what likenest thou Sankharib thy lord, and what favour his Grandees?" Haykar made answer, "Heaven forfend I mention my liege lord the while thou sittest on thy throne; but rise to thy feet, and I will inform thee what my Master representeth and what his court most resembleth." Pharaoh, struck with astonishment at such heat of tongue and valiancy of speech, arose from his seat and stood facing Haykar and presently said, "Now tell me that I may learn what thy lord resembleth and what his Grandees represent." The other made reply, "My lord resembleth the God of Heaven, and his lords represent the Lightning and Thunder. An it be his will the winds do blow and the rains do fall; and, when he deign order, the leven playeth and the thunder roareth and at his behest the sun would refuse light and the moon and stars stand still in their several courses. But he may also command the storm-wind to arise and downpours to deluge when Naysan would be as one who beateth the bough[64] and who scattereth abroad the blooms of the chamomile." Pharaoh hearing these words wondered with extreme wonderment, then raging with excessive rage he cried, "O man, tell me the real truth and let me know who thou art in very sooth." "I am Haykar," quoth the other, "Chief Secretary and especial to Sankharib the King; also his Wazir and Councillor of his kingdom and Keeper of his secret." "Thou statest fact, O Sage," quoth Pharaoh, "and this thy say is veridical: yet have we heard that Haykar is dead indeed, withal here art thou alive and alert." The Minister replied, "Yea, verily that was the case, but Alhamdolillah—Glory to God, who knoweth all hidden things, my master had in very deed doomed me die believing the reports of certain traitors,


64^  "Khabata" = "He (the camel) pawed the ground." The prim. sig. is to beat, secondly, it is applied to a purblind camel which beats or strikes the ground and so stumbles, or to him who bashes a tree for its leaves; and lastly to him who gets alms by begging. See Chenery's Al-Hariri, p. 447.

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but my Lord preserved me and well done to him who relieth upon the Almighty!" Then quoth Pharaoh, "Go forth and on the morrow do thou return hither and say me somewhat no man hath ever heard, nor I nor my Grandees nor any of the folk in my kingdom and my capital." Accordingly Haykar hied him home and penned a paper wherein he said as follows: "From Sankharib, King of Assyria and Naynawah, to Pharaoh King of Misraim:—Peace be upon thee, O my brother! As well thou wottest, brother needeth brother and the Kings require the aidance of other Kings and my hope from thee is that thou wilt lend[65] me the loan of nine hundred-weight[66] of gold which I require to expend on the pay and allowances due to certain of my soldiery wherewith to provide for them the necessaries of life." After this he folded the writ and despatched it by a messenger on the next day to Pharaoh, who perused it and was perplext and exclaimed, "Verily and indeed never till now have I heard a saying like unto this at all, nor hath anyone ever spoken[67] to me after such fashion!" Haykar replied, "'Tis fact, and 'tis well an thou own thee debtor of such sum to my lord the King." Pharaoh accepted this resolving of his proposition and said, "O Haykar, 'tis the like of thee who suiteth the service of the Kings, and blessed be Allah who perfected thee in wisdom and adorned thee with philosophy[68] and knowledge. And now remaineth to us only one need of thee; to wit, that thou build us a bower between firmament and terra firma." Haykar replied, "Hearkening and


65^  Arab. "Karz" = moneys lent in interest and without fixed term of payment, as opp. to "Dayn."
66^  In text "Kintár" = a quintal, 98 to 99 lbs. avoir.: in round numbers a cwt. a hundred weight: see vol. ii. 233. The old version explains it by "A golden coin, equivalent to three hundred livres French (?)." About the value of the Kintár of gold, doctors differ. Some value it at 40 ounces, others make it a leathern bag containing 1,080 to 1,100 dinars, and others 100 rotls (lbs.) of precious metal; while Al-Makrizi relates that Mohammed the Apostle declared, "The Kintár of gold is twelve hundred ounces." Baron de Slane (Ibn Khaldun i. 210) computes 100 Kintárs = 1 million of francs.
67^  In the text "wa lá ahad tafawwaha fína."
68^  Arab. "Falsafah" = philosophy: see vols. v. 234 and vii. 145.

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obeying! I will edify it for thee e'en as thou wishest and thou choosest; but do thou get ready for me gypsum lime and ashlar-stone and brick-clay and handicraftsmen, while I also bring architects and master masons and they shall erect for thee whatso thou requirest." So King Pharaoh gat ready all this and fared forth with his folk to a spacious plain without the city whither Haykar and his pages had carried the boys and the vultures; and with the Sovran went all the great men of his kingdom and his host in full tale that they might look upon the wonder which the Envoy of Assyria was about to work. But when they reached the place appointed, Haykar brought out of their boxes the vultures and making fast the lads to their backs bound the cords to the legs of the birds and let them loose, when they soared firmament-wards till they were poised between heaven and earth. Hereat the lads fell to crying aloud, "Send up to us the stones and the mud and the slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, forasmuch as here we stand the whole day idle." At this were agitated all present, and they marvelled and became perplext; and not less wondered the King and the Grandees his lieges, while Haykar and his pages fell to buffeting the handicraftsmen and to shouting at the royal guards, saying, "Provide the workmen with that they want, nor hinder them from their work!" Whereupon cried Pharaoh, "O Haykar, art thou Jinn-mad? Who is ever able to convey aught of these matters to so far a height?" But he replied to the King, "O my lord, how shall we build a bower in the lift on other wise? And were the King my master here he would have edified two such edifices in a single day." Hearing this quoth Pharaoh to him, "Hie thee, O Haykar, to thy quarters, and for the present take thy rest, seeing that we have been admonished anent the building of the bower; but come thou to me on the morrow." Accordingly, Haykar fared to his lodging, and betimes on the next day presented himself before Pharaoh, who said to him,

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"O Haykar, what of the stallion of thy lord which, when he neigheth in Assyria and Nineveh, his voice is heard by our mares in this place so that they miscarry?"[69] Hereat Haykar left the King and faring to his place took a tabby-cat and tying her up fell to flogging her with a sore flogging until all the Egyptians heard her outcries and reported the matter to the Sovran. So Pharaoh sent to fetch him and asked, "O Haykar, for what cause didst thou scourge this cat and beat her with such beating, she being none other but a dumb beast?"[70] He replied, "O my lord the King, she hath done by me a wrongous deed and she hath amply merited this whipping and these stripes." The King asked, "And what may be this deed she did?" whereto Haykar made answer, "Verily my master Sankharib the King had given me a beautiful cock who had a mighty fine voice and a strong, and he knew the hours of darkness and announced them. But as he was in my mansion this mischief-making tabby fared there and fell upon him last night and tare off his head; and for this cause when she returned to me I took to punishing her with such blows and stripes." Pharaoh rejoined, "O Haykar, indeed I see thou art old and doting! Between Misraim and Nineveh lie eight hundred and sixty parasangs; so how could this cat have covered them in one night and have torn off thy chanticleer's head and have returned by morning to Egypt?" He replied, "O my lord, seeing that between Egypt and Assyria is such interval how then can the neighing of my lord the King's stallion reach unto Nile-land and be heard by your mares so that here they miscarry?" When Pharaoh had pondered these words, he


69^  In the text "Fa-yatrahúna," masc. for fem.
70^  The writer probably remembered that the cat was a sacred animal amongst the Egyptians: see Herod., ii. 66, and Diod. Sic., who tells us (vol. i. p. 94) of a Roman put to death under Ptolemy Auletes for accidentally killing one of these holy beasts. The artists of Bubastis, whose ruins are now for the first time being scientifically explored, modelled the animal in bronze with an admirable art akin to nature.

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knew that the envoy had returned him a full and sufficient reply, so quoth he, "O Haykar, 'tis my desire that thou make for me two ropes of sand;" and quoth the other, "Do thou prescribe that they bring me a cord from thy stores that I twist one like it." So when they had done as he bade, Haykar fared forth arear of the palace and dug two round borings equal to the thickness of the cord; then he collected sand from the river-bed and placed it therein, so that when the sun arose and entered into the cylinder, the sand appeared in the sunlight like unto ropes.[71] Thereupon quoth he to Pharaoh, "Command thy slaves take up these ropes and I will twist thee as many of them as thou willest." Quoth Pharaoh, "O Haykar, we have before our eyes a millstone which is broken; and I require of thee that thou sew up the rent." Accordingly the Envoy looked about him and, seeing there another stone, said to Pharaoh, "O my lord, here am I a stranger man nor have I with me aught of darning-gear; but I would have thee bid thy confidants amongst the cobblers to provide me out of this other stone with shoemaker's awls and needles and scissors wherewith I may sew up for thee the breach in yon millstone." Hereat Pharaoh the King fell a-laughing, he and his Grandees, and cried, "Blessed be Allah, who hath vouchsafed to thee all this penetration and knowledge;" then, seeing that the Envoy had answered all his questions and had resolved his propositions


71^  M. Houdas explains this miswritten passage, Quand le soleil fut levé et qu'il pénétra par ces ouvertures (lis. abkhásh, trou de flûte), il répandit le sable ( بَڶَرَ not بَلَرَ) dans ces cylindres formés par la lumière du soleil. It is not very intelligible. I understand that the Sage went behind the Palace and drove through a mound or heap of earth a narrow hole bearing east—west, which he partially filled up with sand; and so when the sun rose the beams fell upon it and made it resemble a newly made cord of white flax. M. Agoub (in Gauttier vol. vi. 344) shirks, as he is wont to do, the whole difficulty. [The idea seems to me to be, and I believe this is also the meaning of M. Houdas, that Haykar produced streaks of light in an otherwise dark room by boring holes in the back wall, and scattered the sand over them, so that, while passing through the rays of the sun, it assumed the appearance of ropes. Hence he says mockingly to Pharaoh, "Have these ropes taken up, and each time you please I will twist thee the like of them"—reading "Aftilu," lst p. aor. instead of "Iftil", 2nd imper.—St.)


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he forthright confessed that he was conquered and he bade them collect the tax-tribute of three years and present it to him together with the loan concerning which Haykar had written and he robed him with robes of honour, him and his guards and his pages; and supplied him with viaticum, victual and moneys for the road, and said to him, "Fare thee in safety, O honour of thy lord and boast of thy liege: who like unto thee shall be found as a Councillor for the Kings and the Sultans? And do thou present my salam to thy master Sankharib the Sovran saying:—Excuse us for that which we forwarded to thee, as the Kings are satisfied with a scanting of such acknowledgment.:[72] Haykar accepted from him all this; then, kissing ground before him, said, "I desire of thee, O my lord, an order that not a man of Assyria and Nineveh remain with thee in the land of Egypt but fare forth it with me homewards." Hereupon Pharaoh sent a herald to make proclamation of all whereof Haykar had spoken to him, after which the envoy farewelled the King and set out on his march intending for the realm of Assyria and Nineveh and bearing with him of treasures and moneys a mighty matter. When the tidings of his approach came to the ears of Sankharib, the King rode forth to meet his Minister, rejoicing in him with joy exceeding and received him lovingly and kissed him, and cried, "Well come and welcome and fair welcome to my sire and the glory of my realm and the vaunt of my kingdom: do thou require of me whatso thou wantest and choosest, even didst thou covet one-half of my good and of my government." The Minister replied, "Live, O King, for ever; and if thou would gift me bestow thy boons upon Abu Sumayk, the Sworder, whose wise delay, furthered by the will of Allah Almighty, quickened me with a second life." "In thine honour, O my beloved," quoth


72^  Gauttier (vi. 347), Ces présens ne sont pas dignes de lui; mais peu de chose contente les rois.


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the King, "I will do him honour;" and presently he fell to questioning his envoy concerning what had befallen him from Pharaoh and how the Lord of the Misraim had presented him with the tax-tribute and moneys and gifts and honourable robes; and lastly, he asked anent the instances and secrets which ended the mission. So Haykar related all that had betided, whereat Sankharib rejoiced with mighty great joy; and, when the converse was concluded, the King said to him, "O Haykar, take unto thee everything thou wishest and wantest of all this, for 'tis in the grasp of thy hand." Haykar answered, "Live, O King, for ever and aye; naught do I require save thy safety and the permanency of thy rule: what shall I do with moneys and such like? But an thou deign largesse me with aught, make over to me in free gift Nadan, my sister's son, that I requite him for that he wrought with me: and I would that thou grant me his blood and make it lawfully my very own." Sankharib replied, "Take him, for I have given to thee that same." So Haykar led his nephew to his home[73] and bound his hands in bonds and fettered his feet with heavy chains; then he beat him with a severe bastinado and a torturing upon his soles and calves, his back, his belly and his armpits; after which bashing he cast him into a black hole adjoining the jakes. He also made Binuhal guardian over him and bade him be supplied day by day with a scone of bread and a little water; and whenever the uncle went in to or came forth from the nephew he would revile Nadan and of his wisdom would say to him, "O dear my son, I wrought with thee all manner of good and kindly works and thou didst return me


73^  Haykar is a Sage who follows the religion of nature, "Love thy friends and hate thy foes." Gauttier (vii. 349) embroiders all this with Christian and French sentiment—L'intention secrète de Heycar était de sauver la vie à l'ingrat qui avait conspiré contre la sienne. Il voulait pour toute vengeance, le mettre désormais dans l'impossibilité de nuire et l'abandonner ensuite à ses remords, persuadé que le remords n'est pas le moindre châtiment du coupable. True nonsense this when talking of a character born bad: its only remorse is not to have done worse than bad.

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therefor evil and treason and death. O dear my son, 'tis said in saws:—Whoso heareth not through his ears, through the nape of his neck shall he hear."[74] Hereat quoth Nadan, "O my uncle, what reason hast thou to be wroth with me?" and quoth Haykar, "For that I raised thee to worship and honour and made thee great after rearing thee with the best of rearing and I educated thee so thou mightest become mine heir in lore and contrivance and in worldly good. But thou soughtest my ruin and destruction and thou desiredst for me doom of death; however, the Lord, knowing me to be a wronged man, delivered me from thy mischief, for God hearteneth the broken heart and abaseth the envious and the vain-glorious. O dear my son,[75] thou hast been as the scorpion who when she striketh her sting[76] upon brass would pierce it. O dear my son, thou hast resembled the Sajálmah-bird[77] when netted in net who, when she cannot save herself alive, she prayeth the partridges to cast themselves into perdition with her. O dear my son, thou hast been as the cur who, when suffering cold entereth the potter's house to warm himself at the kiln, and when warmed barketh at the folk on such wise that they must beat him and cast him out, lest after barking he bite them. O dear my son, thou hast done even as the hog who entered the Hammam in company with the great; but after coming out he saw a stinking fosse a-flowing[78] and went and therein wallowed. O dear my son, thou hast become like the old and rank he-goat who when he goeth in leadeth his friends and familiars to the slaughter-house and cannot by any means come off safe or with his own life or with their lives. O dear my son, a hand which worketh not neither plougheth, and withal


74^  Striking the nape being the Moslem equivalent for "boxing ears."
75^  With this formula compare Chaucer, "The Manciple's Tale."
76^  In the text "Znnákt-ha," which is unintelligible, although the sense be clear.
77^  A bird unknown to the dictionaries, apparently a species of hawk.
78^  In the text "Jǔrah Syán" for "Júrah Sayyál."

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is greedy and over-nimble shall be cut off from its armpit. O dear my son, thou hast imitated the tree whom men hew down, head and branch, when she said:—Had not that in your hands been of me,[79] indeed ye would not have availed to my felling. O dear my son, thou hast acted as did the she-cat to whom they said:—Renounce robbing that we make thee collars of gold and feed thee with sugar and almond cake! But she replied:—As for me, my craft is that of my father and my mother, nor can I ever forget it. O dear my son, thou art as a dragon mounted upon a bramble-bush, and the two a-middlemost a stream, which when the wolf saw he cried:—A mischief on a mischief and let one more mischievous counsel the twain of them. O dear my son, with delicate food I fed thee and thou didst not fodder me with the driest of bread; and of sugar and the finest wines I gave thee to drink, while thou grudgedst to me a sup of cold water. O dear my son, I taught thee and tendered thee with the tenderest of tending and garred thee grow like the lofty cedar of Lebanon, but thou didst incriminate me and confine me in fetters by thine evil courses.[80] O dear my son, I nourished a hope that thou wouldst build me a strong tower wherein I might find refuge from mine adversary and foil my foes; but thou hast been to me as a burier, a grave-digger, who would thrust me into the bowels of the earth: however, my Lord had mercy upon me. O dear my son, I willed thee well and thou rewardedst me with ill-will and foul deed; wherefore, 'tis now my intent to pluck out thine eyes and hack away thy tongue and strike off thy head with the sword-edge and then make thee meat for the wolves; and so exact retaliation from thine abominable actions." Hereupon Nadan made answer and said to Haykar his uncle, "Do with me whatso thy goodness would do and then


79^  The tree having furnished the axe-helve.
80^  M. Houdas translates Tu as médit de moi et tu m'as accablé de tes méchancetés.

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condone thou to me all my crimes, for who is there can offend like me and can condone like thee? And now I pray thee take me into thy service and suffer me to slave in thy house and groom thy horses, even to sweeping away their dung, and herd thy hogs; for verily I am the evil-doer and thou art the beneficent; I am the sinner and thou art the pardoner." "O dear my son," rejoined Haykar, "Thou favourest the tree which, albe planted by the side of many waters, was barren of dates and her owner purposed to hew her down, when she said:—Remove me unto another stead where if I fruit not then fell me. But he rejoined:—Being upon the water-edge thou gavest ne'er a date, so how shalt thou bear fruit being in other site? O dear my son, better the senility of the eagle than the juvenility of the raven. O dear my son, they said to the wolf:—Avoid the sheep lest haply the dust they raise in flight may do thee a damage; but Lupus made answer:—Verily their dust is a powder good for the eyes. O dear my son, they brought the wolf to school that he might learn to read; but, when quoth they to him:—Say A, B, C, D,[81] quoth he, 'Lamb, Sheep, Kid, Goat,[82] even as within my belly. O dear my son, they set the ass's head beside a tray of meats, but he slipped down and fell to rolling upon his back, for his nature (like that of others) may never be changed. O dear my son, his say is stablished who said:—When thou hast begotten a child assume him to be thy son, and when thou hast reared a son assume him to be a slave.[83] O dear my son, whoso doeth good, good shall be his lot; and whoso worketh evil, evil shall befal him; for that the Lord compensateth mankind according to conduct. O dear my son, wherewith shall I bespeak thee beyond this my speech? and verily Allah knoweth concealed things and


81^  In text "Alif, bá, tá, sá," the latter written with a Sin instead of a Thá, showing the vulgar use which extends from Alexandria to Meccah.
82^  So in French, deriding the difference between written and spoken English, Ecrivez Salmonassar, prononcez crocodile.
83^  Because he owes thee more than a debt of life.

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wotteth all secret and hidden works and ways and He shall requite thee and order and ordain between me and thee and shall recompense thee with that thou deservest." Now when Nadan heard these words from his uncle Haykar, his body began to swell and become like a blown-up bag and his members waxed puffy, his legs and calves and his sides were distended, then his belly split asunder and burst till his bowels gushed forth and his and[c] (which was destruction) came upon him; so he perished and fared to Jahannam-fire and the dwelling-place dire. Even so it is

said in books:—"Whoever diggeth for his brother a pit shall
himself fall into it and whoso setteth up a snare for his
neighbour shall be snared therein." And this
much know we anent the Say of Haykar
the Sage, and magnification be to
Allah for ever and ever Amen.

TMT
.[84]

84^  i.e. "Tammat" = She (the tale) is finished.

c^  sic!