Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/35

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Concerning Praiseworthy Men

The man who boasts of his relations to women, of their acquaintance and good will to him, is a dastard. He will be spoken of in the next chapter.

There is a story that once there lived a king named Mamoum,[1] who had a court fool of the name of Bahloul,[2] who amused the princes and Vizirs.

One day this buffoon appeared before the King, who was amusing himself. The King bade him sit down, and then asked him, turning away, "Why hast thou come, O son of a bad woman?"

Bahloul answered, "I have come to see what has come to our Lord, whom may God make victorious."

"And what has come to thee?" replied the King, "and how art thou getting on with thy new and with thy old wife?" For Bahloul, not content with one wife, had married a second one.

"I am not happy," he answered, "neither with the old one, nor with the new one; and moreover poverty overpowers me."

The King said, "Can you recite any verses on this subject?"

  1. Abdallah ben Namoum, one of the sons of Haroun er Kachid. Having for a long time made war upon his brother el Amine for the empire, and the latter having been vanquished and killed in a battle near Bagdad, el Mamoum was unanimously proclaimed Kalif in the year 178 of the Hegira. He was one of the most distinguished Abyssidian rulers with respect to science, wisdom, and goodness.
  2. The word Bahloul, of Persian origin, signifies a man that laughs, derides; a knave, a sort of fool in the Orient.