Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/37

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Concerning Praiseworthy Men

And so I cannot escape from these two furies.
If you want to live well and with a free heart,
And with your hands unclenched, then do not marry.
If you must wed, then marry one wife only.
One alone is enough to satisfy two armies."

When Mamoum heard these words he began to laugh, till he nearly tumbled over. Then as a proof of his kindness, he gave to Bahloul his golden robe, a most beautiful vestment.

Bahloul went in high spirits towards the dwelling of the Grand Vizir. Just then Hamdonna[1] looked from the height of her palace in that direction, and saw him. She said to her negress, "By the God of the temple of Mecca! There is Bahloul dressed in a fine gold-worked robe! How can I manage to get possession of the same?"

The negress said, "Oh, my mistress, you would not know how to get hold of that robe."

Hamdonna answered, "I have thought of a trick to do it, and I shall get the robe from him."

"Bahloul is a sly man," replied the negress. "People think generally that they can make fun of him; but, for God, it is he who makes fun of them. Give the idea up, mistress mine, and take care that you do not fall into the snare which you intend setting for him."

But Hamdonna said again, "It must be done!" She then sent her negress to Bahloul, to tell him that he should come to her. He said, "By the blessing of God,

  1. Hamdona from the Arabic root hamd, which means to praise; hence Ahmed, the most praiseworthy. From the same root comes the name of Mohammed, corrupted into Mahomet.