Tale of Taj al-Muluk

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Know, O auspicious King, that there reached my ears a relation of a lover and a loved one and of the discourse between them and what befel them of things rare and fair, a story such as repelleth care from the heart and dispelleth sorrow like unto that of the patriarch Jacob [FN#459]; and it is as follows":


There stood in times long gone by behind the Mountains of Ispahán, a city highs the Green City, wherein dwelt a King named Suláyman Sháh. Now he was a man of liberality and beneficence, of justice and integrity, of generosity and sincerity, to whom travellers repaired from every country, and his name was noised abroad in all regions and cities and he reigned many a year in high worship and prosperity, save that he owned neither wives nor children. He had a Minister who rivalled him in goodness and generosity and it so happened that one day, he sent for him and when he came into the presence said to him, "O my Wazir, my heart is heavy and my patience is past and my force faileth me, for that I have neither wife nor child. This is not the way of Kings who rule over all men, princes. and paupers; for they rejoice in leaving behind them children and successors whereby are doubled their number and their strength. Quoth the Prophet (whom Allah bless and keep!); 'Marry ye, increase ye, and multiply ye, that I may boast me of your superiority over the nations on the Day of Resurrection.' So what is thy rede, O Wazir? Advise me of what course and contrivance be advisable!" When the Minister heard these words, the tears sprang from his eyes in streams, and he replied, "Far be it from me, O King of the Age, that I debate on that which appertaineth to the Compassionate One! Wilt thou have me cast into the fire by the All powerful King's wrath and ire? Buy thee a concubine." Rejoined the King, "Know, O Wazir, that when a sovereign buyeth a female slave, he knoweth neither her rank nor her lineage and thus he cannot tell if she be of simple origin that he may abstain from her, or of gentle strain that he may be intimate in her companionship. So, if he have commerce with her, haply she will conceive by him and her son be a hypocrite, a man of wrath and a shedder of blood. Indeed the like of such woman may be instanced by a salt and marshy soil, which if one till for ever it yieldeth only worthless growth and no endurance show eth; for it may be that her son will be obnoxious to his Lord's anger, doing not what He biddeth him or abstaining from what He for biddeth him. Wherefore will I never become the cause of this through the purchase of a concubine; and it is my desire that thou demand for me in marriage the daughter of some one of the Kings, whose lineage is known and whose loveliness hath renown. If thou can direct me to some maiden of birth and piety of the daughters of Moslem Sovranty, I will ask her in marriage and wed her in presence of witnesses, so may accrue to me the favour of the Lord of all Creatures." Said the Wazir, "O King, verily Allah hath fulfilled thy wish and hath brought thee to thy desire;" presently adding, "Know, O King, it hath come to my knowledge that King Zahr Shah, [FN#460] Lord of the White Land, hath a daughter of surpassing loveliness whose charms talk and tale fail to express: she hath not her equal in this age, for she is perfect in proportion and symmetry, black eyed as if Kohl dyed and long locked, wee of waist and heavy of hip. When she draweth nigh she seduceth and when she turneth her back [FN#461] she slayeth; she ravisheth heart and view and she looketh even as saith of her the poet,

"A thin waist maid who shames the willow wand; * Nor sun nor moon can like her rising shine: 'Tis as her honey dew of lips were blent * With wine, and pearls of teeth were bathed in wine: Her form, like heavenly Houri's, graceful slim; * Fair face; and ruin dealt by glancing eyne: How many a dead done man her eyes have slain * Upon her way of love in ruin li'en: An live I she's my death! I'll say no more * But dying without her vain were life of mine.'"

Now when the Wazir had made an end of describing that maiden, he said to Sulayman Shah, "It is my counsel, O King, that thou despatch to her father an ambassador, sagacious, experienced and trained in the ways of the world, who shall courteously demand her in marriage for thee of her sire; for in good sooth she hath not her equal in the far parts of the world nor in the near. So shalt thou enjoy her lovely face in the way of grace, and the Lord of Glory be content with thy case; for it is reported of the Prophet (whom Allah bless and preserve!) that he said, 'There be no monkery in Al-Islam."' At this the King was transported to perfect joy; his breast was broadened and lightened; care and cark ceased from him and he turned to the Wazir and said, "Know thou, O Minister, that none shall fare about this affair save thou, by reason of thy consummate intelligence and good breeding; wherefore hie thee home and do all thou hast to do and get thee ready by the morrow and depart and demand me in marriage this maiden, with whom thou hast occupied my heart and thought; and return not to me but with her." Replied the Wazir, "I hear and I obey." Then he tried to his own house and bade make ready presents befitting Kings, of precious stones and things of price and other matters light of load but weighty of worth, besides Rabite steeds and coats of mail, such as David made [FN#462] and chests of treasure for which speech hath no measure. And the Wazir loaded the whole on camels and mules, and set out attended by an hundred slave girls with flags and banners flaunting over his head. The King charged him to return to him after a few days; and, when he was gone, Sulayman Shah lay on coals of fire, engrossed night and day with desire; while the envoy fared on without ceasing through gloom and light, spanning fertile field and desert site, till but a day's march remained between him and the city whereto he was bound. Here he sat him down on the banks of a river and, summoning one of his confidants, bade him wend his way to King Zahr Shah and announce his approach without delay. Quoth the messenger, "I hear and I obey!" And he rode on in haste to that city and, as he was about to enter therein, it so chanced that the King, who was sitting in one of his pleasaunces before the city gate, espied him as he was passing the doors, and knowing him for a stranger, bade bring him before the presence. So the messenger coming forward informed him of the approach of the Wazir of the mighty King Sulayman Shah, Lord of the Green Land and of the Mountains of Ispahan: whereat King Zahr Shah rejoiced and welcomed him. Then he carried him to his palace and asked him, "Where leavedst thou the Wazir?"; and he answered, "I left him in early day on the banks of such a river and tomorrow he will reach thee, Allah continue his favours to thee and have mercy upon thy parents!" Thereupon King Zahr Shah commanded one of his Wazirs to take the better part of his Grandees and Chamberlains and Lieutenants and Lords of the land, and go out to meet the ambassador in honour of King Sulayman Shah; for that his dominion extended over the country. Such was the case with Zahr Shah; but as regards the Wazir he abode in his stead till night was half spent [FN#463] and then set out for the city; but when morning shone and the sun rose upon hill and down, of a sudden he saw King Zahr Shah's Wazir approaching him, with his Chamberlains and high Lords and Chief Officers of the kingdom; and the two parties joined company at some parasangs' distance from the city. [FN#464] Thereat the Wazir made sure of the success of his errand and saluted the escort, which ceased not preceding him till they reached the King's palace and passed in before him through the gate to the seventh vestibule, a place where none might enter on horseback, for it was near to where the King sat. So the Minister alighted and fared on a foot till he came to a lofty saloon, at whose upper end stood a marble couch, set with pearls and stones of price, and having for legs four elephant's tusks. Upon it was a coverlet of green satin purfled with red gold, and above it hung a canopy adorned with pearls and gems, whereon sat King Zahr Shah, whilst his officers of state stood in attendance before him. When the Wazir went in to him, he composed his mind and, unbinding his tongue, displayed the oratory of Wazirs and saluted the King in the language of eloquence.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the One Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir of King Sulayman Shah entered the presence of King Zahr Shah he composed his mind and, unbinding his tongue, displayed the oratory of Wazirs and saluted the King in the language of eloquence and improvised these couplets,

"He cometh robed and bending gracefully: * O'er crop and cropper dews of grace sheds he: He charms; nor characts, spells nor gramarye * May fend the glances of those eyne from thee: Say to the blamer, "Blame me not, for I * From love of him will never turn to flee": My heart hath played me false while true to him, * And Sleep, in love with him, abhorreth me: O heart! th'art not the sole who loveth him, * So bide with him while I desertion dree: There's nought to joy mine ears with joyous sound * Save praise of King Zahr Shah in jubilee: A King albeit thou leave thy life to win * One look, that look were all sufficiency: And if a pious prayer thou breathe for him, * Shall join all Faithfuls in such pious gree: Folk of his realm! If any shirk his right * For other hoping, gross Unfaith I see."

When the Wazir had ended his poetry, King Zahr Shah bade him draw near and honoured him with the highmost honours; then, seating him by his own side, smiled in his face and favoured him with a gracious reply. They ceased not on this wise till the time of the under meal when the attendants brought forward the tables of food in that saloon and all ate till they were sated; after which the tables were removed and those who were in the assembly withdrew, leaving only the chief officers. Now when the Minister saw this, he rose to his feet and, after complimenting the King a second time and kissing the ground before him, spake as follows, "O mighty King and dread Lord! I have travelled hither and have visited thee upon a matter which shall bring thee peace, profit and prosperity: and it is this, that I come as ambassador to thee, seeking in marriage thy daughter, the noble and illustrious maid, from Sulayman Shah, a Prince famed for justice and integrity, sincerity and generosity, Lord of the Green Land and of the Mountains of Ispahan, who sendeth thee of presents a store, and gifts of price galore, ardently desiring to become thy son in law. But art thou inclined to him as he to thee?" He then kept silence, awaiting a reply. When King Zahr Shah heard these words, he sprang to his feet and kissed the ground respectfully before the Wazir, while the bystanders were confounded at his condescension to the ambassador and their minds were amazed. Then he praised Him who is the Lord of Honour and Glory and replied (and he still standing), "O mighty Wazir and illustrious Chief; hear thou what I say! Of a truth we are to King Sulayman Shah of the number of his subjects, and we shall be ennobled by his alliance and we covet it ardently; for my daughter is a handmaid of his handmaidens, and it is my dearest desire that he may become my stay and my reliable support." Then he summoned the Kazis and the witnesses, who should bear testimony that King Sulayman Shah had despatched his Wazir as proxy to conclude the marriage, and that King Zahr Shah joyfully acted and officiated for his daughter. So the Kazis concluded the wedding contract and offered up prayers for the happiness and prosperity of the wedded feres; after which the Wazir arose and, fetching the gifts and rarities and precious things, laid them all before the King. Then Zahr Shah occupied himself anent the fitting out of his daughter and honourably entertained the Wazir and feasted his subjects all, great and small; and for two months they held high festival, omitting naught that could rejoice heart and eye. Now when all things needful for the bride were ready, the King caused the tents to be carried out and they pitched the camp within sight of the city, where they packed the bride's stuffs in chests and get ready the Greek handmaids and Turkish slave girls, and provided the Princess with great store of precious treasures and costly jewels. Then he had made for her a litter of red gold, inlaid with pearls and stones of price, and set apart two mules to carry it; a litter which was like one of the chambers of a palace, and within which she seemed as she were of the loveliest Houris and it became as one of the pavilions of Paradise. And after they had made bales of the treasures and monies, and had loaded them upon the mules and camels, King Zahr Shah went forth with her for a distance of three parasangs; after which he bade farewell to her and the Wazir and those with him, and returned to his home in gladness and safety. Thereupon the Wazir, faring with the King's daughter, pushed on and ceased not his stages over desert ways,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir fared on with the King's daughter and ceased not forcing his stages over desert ways and hastened his best through nights and days, till there remained between him and his city but three marches. Thereupon he sent forward to King Sulayman Shah one who should announce the coming of the bride. The King rejoiced thereat and bestowed on the messenger a dress of honour; and bade his troops march forth in grand procession to meet the Princess and her company for due worship and honour, and don their richest apparel with banners flying over their heads. And his orders were obeyed. He also commanded to cry throughout the city that neither curtained damsel nor honoured lady nor time-ruptured crone should fail to fare forth and meet the bride. So they all went out to greet her and the grandest of them vied in doing her service and they agreed to bring her to the King's palace by night. More over, the chief officers decided to decorate the road and to stand in espalier of double line, whilst the bride should pass by preceded by her eunuchs and serving women and clad in the gear her father had given her. So when she made her appearance, the troops surrounded her, these of the right wing and those of the left, and the litter ceased not advancing with her till she approached the palace; nor remained any but came forth to gaze upon the Princess. Drums were beaten and spears were brandished and horns blared and flags fluttered and steeds pranced for precedence and scents shed fragrance till they reached the Palace gate and the pages entered with the litter through the Harim wicket. The place shone with its splendours and the walls glittered for the glamour of its gear. Now when night came, the eunuchs threw open the doors of the bridal chamber and stood surrounding the chief entrance whereupon the bride came forward and amid her damsels she was like the moon among stars or an union shining on a string of lesser pearls, and she passed into the bridal closet where they had set for her a couch of alabaster inlaid with unions and jewels. As soon as she had taken seat there, the King came in to her and Allah filled his heart with her love so he abated her maidenhead and ceased from him his trouble and disquiet. He abode with her well nigh a month but she had conceived by him the first night; and, when the month was ended, he went forth and sat on his sofa of state, and dispensed justice to his subjects, till the months of her pregnancy were accomplished. On the last day of the ninth month, towards day break, the Queen was seized with the pangs of labour; so she sat down on the stool of delivery and Allah made the travail easy to her and she gave birth to a boy child, on whom appeared auspicious signs. When the King heard of this, he joyed with exceeding joy and rewarded the bearer of the good tidings with much treasure; and of his gladness he went in to the child and kissed him between the eyes and wondered at his brilliant loveliness; for in him was approved the saying of the poet,

"In the towering forts Allah throned him King, * A lion, a star in the skies of reign: At his rising the spear and the throne rejoiced, * The gazelle, the ostrich, The men of main: [FN#465] Mount him not on the paps, for right soon he'll show * That to throne on the war steed's loins he's fain: And wean him from sucking of milk, for soon * A sweeter drink, the foe's blood, he'll drain."

Then the midwives took the newborn child and cut the navel cord and darkened his eyelids with Kohl powder [FN#466] and named him Táj al-Mulúk Khárán. [FN#467] He was suckled at the breast of fond indulgence and was reared in the lap of happy fortune; and thus his days ceased not running and the years passing by till he reached the age of seven. Thereupon Sulayman Shah summoned the doctors and learned men and bade them teach his son writing and science and belle-lettres. This they continued to do for some years, till he had learnt what was needful; and, when the King saw that he was well grounded in whatso he desired, he took him out of the teachers' and professors' hands and engaged for him a skilful master, who taught him cavalarice and knightly exercises till the boy attained the age of fourteen; and when he fared abroad on any occasion, all who saw him were ravished by his beauty and made him the subject of verse; and even pious men were seduced by his brilliant loveliness.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, That when Taj al-Muluk Kharan, son of Sulayman Shah, became perfect in riding craft and excelled all those of his time, his excessive beauty, when he fared abroad on any occasion, caused all who saw him to be ravished and to make him the subject of verse; and even pious men were seduced by his brilliant loveliness. Quoth the poet of him,

"I clipt his form and wax'd drunk with his scent, * Fair branch to whom Zephyr gave nutriment: Nor drunken as one who drinks wine, but drunk * With night draught his lips of the honey dew lent: All beauty is shown in the all of him, * Hence all human hearts he in hand hath hens: My mind, by Allah! shall ne'er unmind * His love, while I wear life's chains till spent: If I live, in his love I'll live; if I die * For pine and longing, 'O blest!' I'll cry."

When he reached the eighteenth year of his age, tender down [FN#468] sprouted, on his side face fresh with youth, from a mole upon one rosy cheek and a second beauty spot, like a grain of ambergris adorned the other; and he won the wits and eyes of every wight who looked on him, even as saith the poet, "He is Caliph of Beauty in Yúsufs lieu, * And all lovers fear when they sight his grace: Pause and gaze with me; on his cheek thou'lt sight * The Caliphate's banner of sable hue." [FN#469]

And as saith another,

"Thy sight hath never seen a fairer sight, * Of all things men can in the world espy, Than yon brown mole, that studs his bonny cheek * Of rosy red beneath that jet black eye." And as saith another, "I marvel seeing yon mole that serves his cheeks' bright flame * Yet burneth not in fire albeit Infidel [FN#470] I wonder eke to see that apostolic glance, * Miracle working, though it work by magic spell: How fresh and bright the down that decks his cheek, and yet * Bursten gall bladders feed which e'en as waters well."

And as saith another,

"I marvel hearing people questioning of * The Fount of Life and in what land 'tis found: I see it sprung from lips of dainty fawn, * Sweet rosy mouth with green mustachio down'd: And wondrous wonder 'tis when Moses viewed * That Fount, he rested not from weary round." [FN#471]

Now having developed such beauty, when he came to man's estate his loveliness increased, and it won for him many comrades and intimates; while every one who drew near to him wished that Taj al-Muluk Kharan might become Sultan after his father's death, and that he himself might be one of his Emirs. Then took he passionately to chasing and hunting which he would hardly leave for a single hour. His father, King Sulayman Shah, would have forbidden him the pursuit fearing for him the perils of the waste and the wild beasts; but he paid no heed to his warning voice. And it so chanced that once upon a time he said to his attendants "Take ye ten days food and forage;" and, when they obeyed his bidding, he set out with his suite for sport and disport. They rode on into the desert and ceased not riding four days, till they came to a place where the ground was green, and they saw in it wild beasts grazing and trees with ripe fruit growing and springs flowing. Quoth Taj al-Muluk to his followers, "Set up the nets here and peg them in a wide ring and let our trysting place be at the mouth of the fence, in such a spot." So they obeyed his words and staked out a wide circle with toils; and there gathered together a mighty matter of all kinds of wild beasts and gazelles, which cried out for fear of the men and threw themselves for fright in the face of the horses. Then they loosed on to them the hounds and lynxes [FN#472] and hawks; [FN#473] and they shot the quarry down with shafts which pierced their vitals; and, by the time they came to the further end of the net ring, they had taken a great number of the wild beasts, and the rest fled. Then Taj al-Muluk dismounted by the water side and bade the game be brought before himself, and divided it, after he had set apart the best of the beasts for his father, King Sulayman Shah, and despatched the game to him; and some he distributed among the officers of his court. He passed the night in that place, and when morning dawned there came up a caravan of merchants conveying negro slaves and white servants, and halted by the water and the green ground. When Taj al-Muluk saw them, he said to one of his companions, "Bring me news of yonder men and question them why they have halted in this place." [FN#474] So the messenger went up to them and addressed them, "Tell me who ye be, and answer me an answer without delay." Replied they, "We are merchants and have halted to rest, for that the next station is distant and we abide here because we have confidence in King Sulayman Shah and his son, Taj al-Muluk, and we know that all who alight in his dominions are in peace and safety; more over we have with us precious stuffs which we have brought for the Prince." So the messenger returned and told these news to the King's son who, hearing the state of the case and what the merchants had replied, said, "If they have brought stuff on my account I will not enter the city nor depart hence till I see it shown to me." Then he mounted horse and rode to the caravan and his Mamelukes followed him till he reached it. Thereupon the merchants rose to receive him and invoked on him Divine aid and favour with continuance of glory and virtues; after which they pitched him a pavilion of red satin, embroidered with pearls and jewels, wherein they spread him a kingly divan upon a silken carpet worked at the upper end with emeralds set in gold. There Taj al-Muluk seated himself whilst his white servants stood in attendance upon him, and sent to bid the merchants bring out all that they had with them. Accordingly, they produced their merchandise, and displayed the whole and he viewed it and took of it what liked him, paying them the price. Then he looked about him at the caravan, and remounted and was about to ride onwards, when his glance fell on a handsome youth in fair attire, and a comely and shapely make, with flower white brow and moon like face, save that his beauty was wasted and that yellow hues had overspread his cheeks by reason of parting from those he loved;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Taj Al-Muluk, when he looked about him at the caravan, saw a handsome youth in neat attire and of shapely make, with flower like forehead and moon like face, save that his beauty was wasted and yellow hues had overspread his cheeks by reason of parting from those he loved; and great was his groaning and moaning, and the tears streamed from his eyelids as he repeated these couplets,

"Longsome is Absence; Care and Fear are sore, * And ceaseless tears, O friend, mine eyes outpour: Yea, I farewelled my heart on parting day * And heartless, hopeless, now I bide forlore: Pause, O my friend, with me farewelling one * Whose words my cure can work, my health restore!"

Now when the youth ended his poetry he wept awhile and fell down in a fainting fit, whilst Taj al-Muluk looked at him and wondered at his case. Then, coming to himself, he stared with distracted air, and versified in these couplets,

"Beware her glance I rede thee, 'tis like wizard wight, * None can escape unscathed those eye shafts' glancing flight: In very sooth black eyes, with languorous sleepy look, * Pierce deeper than white swords however these may bite. Be not thy senses by her sweets of speech beguiled, * Whose brooding fever shall ferment in thought and sprite: Soft sided Fair [FN#475] did silk but press upon her skin, * 'Twould draw red blood from it, as thou thyself canst sight. Chary is she of charms twixt neck and anklets dwell, * And ah! what other scent shall cause me such delight? [FN#476]"

Then he sobbed a loud sob and swooned away. But when Taj al-Muluk saw him in this case, he was perplexed about his state and went up to him; and, as the youth came to his senses and saw the King's son standing at his head, he sprang to his feet and kissed the ground between his hands. Taj al-Muluk asked him, 'Why didst thou not show us thy merchandise?" end he answered, O my lord, there is naught among my stock worthy of thine august highness." Quoth the Prince, "Needs must thou show me what thou hast and acquaint me with thy circumstance; for I see thee weeping eyed and heavyhearted. If thou have been oppressed, we will end thine oppression, and if thou be in debt, we will pay thy debt; for of a truth my heart burneth to see thee, since I first set eyes on thee." [FN#477] Then Taj al-Muluk bade the seats be set, and they brought him a chair of ivory and ebony with a net work of gold and silk, and spread him a silken rug for his feet. So he sat down on the chair and bidding the youth seat himself on the rug said to him, "Show me thy stock in trade!" The young merchant replied, "O my Lord, do not name this to me, for my goods be unworthy of thee." Rejoined Taj al-Muluk "It needs must be thus!"; and bade some of the pages fetch the goods. So they brought them in despite of him; and, when he saw them, the tears streamed from his eyes and he wept and sighed and lamented: sobs rose in his throat and he repeated these couplets,

"By what thine eyelids show of Kohl and coquetry! * By what thy shape displays of lissome symmetry! By what thy liplets store of honey dew and wine! * By what thy mind adorns of gracious kindly gree! To me thy sight dream-visioned, O my hope! exceeds * The happiest escape from horriblest injury."

Then the youth opened his bales and displayed his merchandise to Taj Al-Muluk in detail, piece by piece, and amongst them he brought out a gown of satin brocaded with gold, worth two thousand dinars. When he opened the gown there fell a piece of linen from its folds. As soon as the young merchant saw this he caught up the piece of linen in haste and hid it under his thigh; and his reason wandered, and he began versifying,

"When shall be healed of thee this heart that ever bides in woe? * Than thee the Pleiad-stars more chance of happy meeting show Parting and banishment and longing pain and lowe of love, * Procrastinating [FN#478] and delay these ills my life lay low: Nor union bids me live in joy, nor parting kills by grief, * Nor travel draws me nearer thee nor nearer comest thou: Of thee no justice may be had, in thee dwells naught of rush, * Nor gain of grace by side of thee, nor flight from thee I know: For love of thee all goings forth and comings back are strait * On me, and I am puzzled sore to know where I shall go."

Taj al-Muluk wondered with great wonder at his verse, and could not comprehend the cause. But when the youth snatched up the bit of linen and placed it under thigh, he asked him, "What is that piece of linen?" "O my Lord," answered the merchant, "thou hast no concern with this piece." Quoth the King's son, "Show it me;" and quoth the merchant, "O my lord, I refused to show thee my goods on account of this piece of linen; for I cannot let thee look upon it."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

When it was the One Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant said to Taj al-Muluk, "I did not refuse to show thee my goods save on this account, for I cannot let thee look upon it." Whereupon Taj al Muluk retorted, "Perforce I must and will see it;" and insisted and became angry. So the youth drew it out from under his thigh, and wept and moaned and redoubled his sighs and groans, and repeated these verses,

"Now blame him not; for blame brings only irk and pain! * Indeed, I spake him sooth but ne'er his ear could gain: May Allah guard my moon which riseth in the vale * Beside our camp, from loosed robe like skyey plain: [FN#479] I left him but had Love vouchsafed to leave for me * Some peace in life such leave of him I ne'er had ta'en: How long he pleaded for my sake on parting morn, * While down his cheeks and mine tears ran in railing rain: Allah belie me not: the garb of mine excuse * This parting rent, but I will Mend that garb again! No couch is easy to my side, nor on such wise * Aught easeth him, when all alone without me lain: Time with ill omened hand hath wrought between us two, * And made my waxing joys to wane and his to wane, And poured mere grief and woe, what time Time fain had crowned * The bowl he made me drink and gave for him to drain."

When he ended his recitation, quoth Taj al-Muluk, "I see thy conduct without consequence; tell me then why weepest thou at the sight of this rag!" When the young merchant heard speak of the piece of linen, he sighed and answered, "O my lord, my story is a strange and my case out of range, with regard to this piece of linen and to her from whom I brought it and to her who wrought on it these figures and emblems." Hereupon, he spread out the piece of linen, and behold, thereon was the figure of a gazelle wrought in silk and worked with red gold, and facing it was another gazelle traced in silver with a neck ring of red gold and three bugles [FN#480] of chrysolite upon the ring. When Taj al-Muluk saw the beauty of these figures, he exclaimed, "Glory be to Allah who teacheth man that which he knoweth not!" [FN#481] And his heart yearned to hear the youth's story; so he said to him, "Tell me thy story with her who owned these gazelles." Replied the young man: "Hear, O my Lord, the

===Tale of Aziz and Azizah===[FN#482]

My father was a wealthy merchant and Allah had vouchsafed him no other child than myself; but I had a cousin, Azízah highs, daughter of my paternal uncle and we twain were brought up in one house; for her father was dead and before his death, he had agreed with my father that I should marry her. So when I reached man's estate and she reached womanhood, they did not separate her from me or me from her, till at last my father spoke to my mother and said, "This very year we will draw up the contract of marriage between Aziz and Azizah." So having agreed upon this he betook himself to preparing provision for the wedding feast. Still we ceased not to sleep on the same carpet knowing naught of the case, albeit she was more thoughtful, more intelligent and quicker witted than I. Now when my father had made an end of his preparations, and naught remained for him but to write out the contract and for me but to consummate the marriage with my cousin, he appointed the wedding for a certain Friday, after public prayers; and, going round to his intimates among the mer chants and others, he acquainted them with that, whilst my mother went forth and invited her women friends and summoned her kith and kin. When the Friday came, they cleaned the saloon and prepared for the guests and washed the marble floor; then they spread tapestry about our house and set out thereon what was needful, after they had hung its walls with cloth of gold. Now the folk had agreed to come to us after the Friday prayers; so my father went out and bade them make sweetmeats and sugared dishes, and there remained nothing to do but to draw up the contract. Then my mother sent me to the bath and sent after me a suit of new clothes of the richest; and, when I came out of the Hammam, I donned those habits which were so perfumed that as I went along, there exhaled from them a delicious fragrance scenting the wayside. I had designed to repair to the Cathedral mosque when I bethought me of one of my friends and returned in quest of him that he might be present at the writing of the contract; and quoth I to myself, "This matter will occupy me till near the time of congregational prayer." So I went on and entered a by street which I had never before entered, perspiring profusely from the effects of the bath and the new clothes on my body; and the sweat streamed down whilst the scents of my dress were wafted abroad: I therefore sat me at the upper end of the street resting on a stone bench, after spreading under me an embroidered kerchief I had with me. The heat oppressed me more and more, making my forehead perspire and the drops trickled along my cheeks; but I could not wipe my face with my kerchief because it was dispread under me. I was about to take the skirt of my robe and wipe my cheeks with it, when unexpectedly there fell on me from above a white kerchief, softer to the touch than the morning breeze and pleasanter to the sight than healing to the diseased. I hent it in hand and raised my head to see whence it had fallen, when my eyes met the eyes of the lady who owned these gazelles.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say

When it was the One Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth continued to Taj al-Muluk: "So I raised my head to see whence this kerchief had fallen, when my eyes met those of the lady who owned these gazelles. And lo! she was looking out of a wicket in a lattice of brass and never saw my eyes a fairer than she, and in fine my tongue faileth to describe her beauty. When she caught sight of me looking at her, she put her forefinger into her mouth, then joined her middle finger and her witness finger [FN#483] and laid them on her bosom, between her breasts; after which she drew in her head and closed the wicket shutter and went her ways. There upon fire broke out in and was heaped upon my heart, and greater grew my smart; the one sight cost me a thousand sighs and I abode perplexed, for that I heard no word by her spoken, nor understood the meaning of her token. I looked at the window a second time, but found it shut and waited patiently till sundown, but sensed no sound and saw no one in view. So when I despaired of seeing her again, I rose from my place and taking up the handkerchief, opened it, when there breathed from it a scent of musk which caused me so great delight I became as one in Paradise. [FN#484] Then I spread it before me and out dropped from it a delicate little scroll; whereupon I opened the paper which was perfumed with a delicious perfume, and therein were writ these couplets,

"I sent to him a scroll that bore my plaint of love, * Writ in fine delicate hand; for writing proves man's skill: Then quoth to me my friend, 'Why is thy writing thus; * So fine, so thin drawn 'tis to read unsuitable?' Quoth I, 'for that I'm fine-drawn wasted, waxed thin, * Thus lovers' writ Should be, for so Love wills his will."

And after casting my eyes on the beauty of the kerchief, [FN#485] I saw upon one of its two borders the following couplets worked in with the needle,

"His cheek down writeth (O fair fall the goodly scribe!) * Two lines on table of his face in Rayhán-hand: [FN#486] O the wild marvel of the Moon when comes he forth! * And when he bends, O shame to every Willow wand!" And on the opposite border these two couplets were traced, "His cheek down writeth on his cheek with ambergris on pearl * Two lines, like jet on apple li'en, the goodliest design: Slaughter is in those languid eyne whene'er a glance they deal, * And drunkenness in either cheek and not in any wine."

When I read the poetry on the handkerchief the flames of love darted into my heart, and yearning and pining redoubled their smart. So I took the kerchief and the scroll and went home, knowing no means to win my wish, for that I was incapable of conducting love affairs and inexperienced in interpreting hints and tokens. Nor did I reach my home ere the night was far spent and I found the daughter of my uncle sitting in tears. But as soon as she saw me she wiped away the drops and came up to me, and took off my walking dress and asked me the reason of my absence, saying, "All the folk, Emirs and notables and merchants and others, assembled in our house; and the Kazi and the witnesses were also present at the appointed time. They ate and tarried awhile sitting to await thine appearance for the writing of the contract; and, when they despaired of thy presence, they dispersed and went their ways. And indeed," she added, "thy father raged with exceeding wrath by reason of this, and swore that he would not celebrate our marriage save during the coming year, for that he hath spent on these festivities great store of money." And she ended by asking, "What hath befallen thee this day to make thee delay till now?; and why hast thou allowed that to happen which happened because of thine absence?" Answered I, "O daughter of mine uncle, question me not concerning what hath befallen me." [FN#487] Then I told her all that had passed from beginning to end, and showed her the handkerchief. She took the scroll and read what was written therein; and tears ran down her cheeks and she repeated these cinquains,

"Who saith that Love at first of free will came, * Say him: Thou liest! Love be grief and grame: Yet shall such grame and grief entail no shame; * All annals teach us one thing and the same Good current coin clips coin we may not crepe! An please thou, say there's pleasure in thy pain, * Find Fortune's playful gambols glad and fain: Or happy blessings in th' unhappy's bane, * That joy or grieve, with equal might and main: Twixt phrase and antiphrase I'm all a heap! But he, withal, whose days are summer bright, * Whom maids e'er greet with smiling lips' delight; Whom spicey breezes fan in every site * And wins whate'er he wills, that happy wight White blooded coward heart should never keep!"

Then she asked me, "What said she, and what signs made she to thee?" I answered, "She uttered not a word, but put her fore finger in her mouth, then joining it to her middle finger, laid both fingers on her bosom and pointed to the ground. Thereupon she withdrew her head and shut the wicket; and after that I saw her no more. However, she took my heart with her, so I sat till sun down, expecting her again to look out of the window; but she did it not; and, when I despaired of her, I rose from my seat and came home. This is my history and I beg thee to help me in this my sore calamity." Upon this she raised her face to me and said, "O son of mine uncle, if thou soughtest my eye, I would tear it for thee from its eyelids, and perforce I cannot but aid thee to thy desire and aid her also to her desire; for she is whelmed in passion for thee even as thou for her." Asked I, "And what is the interpretation of her signs?"; and Azizah answered, "As for the putting her finger in her mouth, [FN#488] it showed that thou art to her as her soul to her body and that she would bite into union with thee with her wisdom teeth. As for the kerchief, it betokeneth that her breath of life is bound up in thee. As for the placing her two fingers on her bosom between her breasts, its explanation is that she saith; 'The sight of thee may dispel my grief.' For know, O my cousin, that she loveth thee and she trusteth in thee. This is my interpretation of her signs and, could I come and go at Will, I would bring thee and her together in shortest time, and curtain you both with my skirt." Hearing these words I thanked her (continued the young merchant) for speaking thus, and said to myself, "I will wait two days." So I abode two days in the house, neither going out nor coming in; neither eating nor drinking but I laid my head on my cousin's lap, whilst she comforted me and said to me, "Be resolute and of good heart and hope for the best!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the One Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth pursued to Taj al-Muluk:-- "And when the two days were past she said to me, "Be of good cheer and clear thine eyes of tears and take courage to dress thyself and go to her, according to thy tryst." Then she rose and changed my clothes and perfumed me with incense smoke. So I braced myself up and heartened my heart and went out and walked on till I came to the by-street, where I sat down on the bench awhile. And behold, the wicket suddenly opened and I looked up and seeing her, fell down in a swoon. When I revived, I called up resolution and took courage and gazed again at her and again became insensible to the world around me. Then I came to myself and looking at her, saw that she held in hand a mirror and a red kerchief. Now when she caught my glance, she bared her forearms and opened her five fingers and smote her breast with palm and digits; and after this she raised her hands and, holding the mirror outside the wicket, she took the red kerchief and retired into the room with it, but presently returned and putting out her hand with the kerchief, let it down towards the lane three several times, dipping it and raising it as often. Then she wrung it out and folded it in her hands, bending down her head the while; after which she drew it in from the lattice and, shutting the wicket shutter, went away without a single word; nay, she left me confounded and knowing not what signified her signs. [FN#489]. I tarried sitting there till supper time and did not return home till near midnight; and there I found the daughter of my uncle with her cheek props in her hand and her eyelids pouring forth tears; and she was repeating these couplets,

"Woe's me! why should the blamer gar thee blaming bow? * How be consoled for thee that art so tender bough? Bright being! on my vitals cost thou prey, and drive * My heart before platonic passion's [FN#490] force to bow. Thy Turk like [FN#491] glances havoc deal in core of me, * As furbished sword thin ground at curve could never show: Thou weigh's" me down with weight of care, while I have not * Strength e'en to bear my shift, so weakness lays me low: Indeed I weep blood tears to hear the blamer say; * 'The lashes of thy lover's eyne shall pierce thee through!' Thou hast, my prince of loveliness! an Overseer, [FN#492] * Who wrongs me, and a Groom [FN#493] who beats me down with brow. He foully lies who says all loveliness belonged * To Joseph, in thy loveliness is many a Joe: I force myself to turn from thee, in deadly fright * Of spies; and what the force that turns away my sight!"

When I heard her verse, cark increased and care redoubled on me and I fell down in a corner of our house; whereupon she arose in haste and, coming to me lifted me up and took off my outer clothes and wiped my face with her sleeve. Then she asked me what had befallen me, and I described all that had happened from her. Quoth she, "O my cousin, as for her sign to thee with her palm and five fingers its interpretation is, Return after five days; and the putting forth of her head out of the window, and her gestures with the mirror and the letting down and raising up and wringing out of the red kerchief, [FN#494] signify, Sit in the dyer's shop till my messenger come to thee." When I heard her words fire flamed up in my heart and I exclaimed, "O daughter of my uncle, thou sayest sooth in this thine interpretation; for I saw in the street the shop of a Jew dyer." Then I wept, and she said, "Be of good cheer and strong heart: of a truth others are occupied with love for years and endure with constancy the ardour of passion, whilst thou hast but a week to wait; why then this impatience?" Thereupon she went on cheering me with comfortable talk and brought me food: so I took a mouthful and tried to eat but could not; and I abstained from meat and drink and estranged myself from the solace of sleep, till my colour waxed yellow and I lost my good looks; for I had never been in love before nor had I ever savoured the ardour of passion save this time. So I fell sick and my cousin also sickened on my account; but she would relate to me, by way of consolation, stories of love and lovers every night till I fell asleep; and when ever I awoke, I found her wakeful for my sake with tears running down her cheeks. This ceased not till the five days were past, when my cousin rose and warmed some water and bathed me with it. Then she dressed me in my best and said to me, "Repair to her and Allah fulfil thy wish and bring thee to thy desire of thy beloved!" So I went out and ceased not walking on till I came to the upper end of the by street. As it was the Sabbath [FN#495] I found the dyer's shop locked and sat before it, till I heard the call to mid afternoon prayer. Then the sun yellowed and the Mu'ezzins [FN#496] chanted the call to sundown prayer and the night came; but I saw no sign nor heard one word, nor knew any news of her. So I feared for my life sitting there alone; and at last I arose and walked home reeling like a drunken man. When I reached the house, I found my cousin Azizah standing, with one hand grasping a peg driven into the wall and the other on her breast; and she was sighing and groaning and repeating these couplets,

"The longing of an Arab lass forlorn of kith and kin * (Who to Hijazian willow wand and myrtle [FN#497] cloth incline, And who, when meeting caravan, shall with love-lowe set light * To bivouac fire, and bang for conk her tears of pain and pine) Exceeds not mine for him nor more devotion shows, but he * Seeing my heart is wholly his spurns love as sin indign."

Now when she had finished her verse she turned to me and, seeing me, wiped away her tears and my tears with her sleeve. Then she smiled in my face and said, "O my cousin, Allah grant thee enjoyment of that which He hath given thee! Why didst thou not pass the night by the side of thy beloved and why hast thou not fulfilled thy desire of her?" When I heard her words, I gave her a kick in the breast and she fell down in the saloon and her brow struck upon the edge of the raised pavement and hit against a wooden peg therein. I looked at her and saw that her forehead was cut open and the blood running,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al-Muluk: "Now when I kicked the daughter of my uncle in the breast she fell on the edge of the raised pavement in the saloon and her brow struck upon a wooden peg. Thereby her forehead was cut open and the blood ran down, but she was silent and did not utter a single sound. [FN#498] Presently she rose up, and made some tinder of rags, then staunching with it the bleeding wound, bound her forehead with a bandage; after which she wiped up the blood that had fallen on the carpet, and it was as if nothing had been. Presently she came up to me and smiling in my face, said with gentle voice, "By Allah, O son of my uncle, I spake not these words to mock at thee or at her! But I was troubled with an ache in my head and was minded to be blooded, but now thou hast eased my head and lightened my brow; so tell me what hath befallen thee to day." Thereupon I told her all that had passed between me and her that day; and she wept as she heard my words and said, "O son of my uncle, rejoice at the good tidings of thy desire being fulfilled and thine aim being attained. Of a truth this is a sign of acceptance; for that she stayed away only because she wisheth to try thee and know if thou be patient or not, and sincere in thy love for her or otherwise. Tomorrow, repair to her at the old place and see what sign she maketh to thee; for indeed thy gladness is near and the end of thy sadness is at hand." And she went on to comfort me; but my cark and care ceased not to increase on me. Presently she brought me food which I kicked away with my foot so that the contents of every saucer were scattered in all directions, and I said, "Every lover is a madman; he inclineth not to food neither enjoyeth he sleep." And my cousin Azizah rejoined, "By Allah, O son of my uncle, these be in very deed the signs of love!" And the tears streamed down her cheeks whenas she gathered the fragments of the saucers and wiped up the food; then she took seat and talked to me, whilst I prayed Allah to hasten the dawn. At last, when morning arose with its sheen and shine, I went out to seek her and hastening to her by street sat down on that bench, when lo! the wicket opened and she put out her head laughing. Then she disappeared within and returned with a mirror, a bag; and a pot full of green plants and she held in hand a lamp. The first thing she did was to take the mirror and, putting it into the bag, tie it up and throw it back into the room; then she let down her hair over her face and set the lamp on the pot of flowers during the twinkling of an eye; then she took up all the things and went away shutting the window without saying a word. My heart was riven by this state of the case, and by her secret signals, her mysterious secrets and her utter silence; and thereby my longing waxed more violent and my passion and distraction redoubled on me. So I retraced my steps, tearful-eyed and heavy hearted, and returned home, where I found the daughter of my uncle sitting with her face to the wall; for her heart was burning with grief and galling jealousy; albeit her affection forbade her to acquaint me with what she suffered of passion and pining when she saw the excess of my longing and distraction. Then I looked at her and saw on her head two bandages, one on account of the accident to her forehead and the other over her eye in consequence of the pain she endured for stress of weeping; and she was in miserable plight shedding tears and repeating these couplets,

"I number nights; indeed I count night after night; * Yet lived I long ere learnt so sore accompt to see, ah! Dear friend, I compass not what Allah pleased to doom * For Laylá, nor what Allah destined for me, ah! To other giving her and unto me her love, * What loss but Layla's loss would He I ever dree, ah!"

And when she had finished her reciting, she looked towards me and seeing me through her tears, wiped them away and came up to me hastily, but could not speak for excess of love. So she remained silent for some while and then said, "O my cousin, tell me what befel thee with her this time." I told her all that had passed and she said, "Be patient, for the time of thy union is come and thou hast attained the object of thy hopes. As for her signal to thee with the mirror which she put in the bag, it said to thee, When the sun is set; and the letting down of her hair over her face signified, When night is near and letteth fall the blackness of the dark and hath starkened the daylight, come hither. As for her gesture with the pot of green plants it meant, When thou comest, enter the flower garden which is behind the street; and as for her sign with the lamp it denoted, When thou enterest the flower garden walk down it and make for the place where thou seest the lamp shining; and seat thyself beneath it and await me; for the love of thee is killing me." When I heard these words from my cousin, I cried out from excess of passion and said, "How long wilt thou promise me and I go to her, but get not my will nor find any true sense in thine interpreting." Upon this she laughed and replied, "It remaineth for thee but to have patience during the rest of this day till the light darken and the night starker and thou shalt enjoy union and accomplish thy hopes; and indeed all my words be without leasing." Then she repeated these two couplets,

"Let days their folds and plies deploy, * And shun the house that deals annoy! Full oft when joy seems farthest far * Thou nighmost art to hour of joy."

Then she drew near to me and began to comfort me with soothing speech, but dared not bring me aught of food, fearing lest I be angry with her and hoping I might incline to her; so when coming to me she only took off my upper garment and said to me, "Sit O my cousin, that I may divert thee with talk till the end of the day and, Almighty Allah willing, as soon as it is night thou shalt be with thy beloved." But I paid no heed to her and ceased not looking for the approach of darkness, saying, "O Lord, hasten the coming of the night!" And when night set in, the daughter of my uncle wept with sore weeping and gave me a crumb of pure musk, and said to me, "O my cousin, put this crumb in thy mouth, and when thou hast won union with thy beloved and hast taken thy will of her and she hath granted thee thy desire, repeat to her this couplet,

"Ho, lovers all! by Allah say me sooth * What shall he do when love sore vexeth youth?'" [FN#499]

And she kissed me and swore me not to repeat this couplet till I should be about to leave my lover and I said, "Hearing is obeying!" And when it was supper-tide I went out and ceased not walking on till I came to the flower garden whose door I found open. So I entered and, seeing a light in the distance, made towards it and reaching it, came to a great pavilion vaulted over with a dome of ivory and ebony, and the lamp hung from the midst of the dome. The floor was spread with silken carpets embroidered in gold and silver, and under the lamp stood a great candle, burning in a candelabrum of gold. In mid pavilion was a fountain adorned with all manner of figures; [FN#500] and by its side stood a table covered with a silken napkin, and on its edge a great porcelain bottle full of wine, with a cup of crystal inlaid with gold. Near all these was a large tray of silver covered over, and when I uncovered it I found therein fruits of every kind, figs and pomegranates, grapes and oranges, citrons and shaddocks [FN#501] disposed amongst an infinite variety of sweet scented flowers, such as rose, jasmine, myrtle, eglantine, narcissus and all sorts of sweet smelling herbs. I was charmed with the place and I joyed with exceeding joy, albeit I found not there a living soul and my grief and anxiety ceased from me.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day, and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al-Muluk: "I was charmed with the place and joyed with great joy albeit there I found not a living soul of Almighty Allah's creatures, and saw nor slave nor hand maid to oversee these things or to watch and ward these properties. So I sat down in the pavilion to await the coming of the beloved of my heart; but the first hour of the night passed by, and the second hour, and the third hour, and still she came not. Then hunger grew sore upon me, for that it was long since I had tasted food by reason of the violence of my love: but when I found the place even as my cousin had told me, and saw the truth of her in terpretation of my beloved's signs, my mind was set at rest and I felt the pangs of hunger; moreover, the odour of the viands on the table excited me to eat. So making sure of attaining my desire, and being famished for food I went up to the table and raised the cover and found in the middle a china dish containing four chickens reddened with roasting and seasoned with spices, round the which were four saucers, one containing sweetmeats, another conserve of pomegranate seeds, a third almond pastry [FN#502] and a fourth honey fritters; and the contents of these saucers were part sweet and part sour. So I ate of the fritters and a piece of meat, then went on to the almond cakes and ate what I could; after which I fell upon the sweetmeats, whereof I swallowed a spoonful or two or three or four, ending with part of a chicken and a mouthful of something beside. Upon this my stomach became full and my joints loose and I waxed too drowsy to keep awake; so I laid my head on a cushion, after having washed my hands, and sleep over came me; I knew not what happened to me after this, and I awoke not till the sun's heat scorched me, for that I had never once tasted sleep for days past. When I awoke I found on my stomach a piece of salt and a bit of charcoal; so I stood up and shook my clothes and turned to look right and left, but could see no one; and discovered that I had been sleeping on the marble pavement without bedding beneath me. I was perplexed thereat and afflicted with great affliction; the tears ran down my cheeks and I mourned for myself. Then I returned home, and when I entered, I found my cousin beating her hand on her bosom and weeping tears like rain shedding clouds; and she versified with these couplets,

"Blows from my lover's land a Zephyr cooly sweet, * And with its every breath makes olden love new glow: O Zephyr of the morning hour, come show to us * Each lover hath his lot, his share of joy and woe: Could I but win one dearest wish, we had embraced * With what embrace and clip of breast fond lovers know. Allah forbids, while bides unseen my cousin's face, * All joys the World can give or hand of Time bestow. Would Heaven I knew his heart were like this heart of me, * Melted by passion-flame and charged with longing owe."

When she saw me, she rose in haste and wiped away her tears and addressed me with her soft speech, saying, "O son of my uncle, verily Allah hath been gracious to thee in thy love, for that she whom thou lovest loveth thee, whilst I pass my time in weeping and bewailing my severance from thee who blamest me and chidest me; but may Allah not punish thee for my sake!" Thereupon she smiled in my face a smile of reproach and caressed me; then taking off my walking clothes, she spread them out and said, "By Allah, this is not the scent of one who hath enjoyed his lover! So tell me what hath befallen thee, O my cousin." I told her all that had passed, and she smiled again a smile of reproach and said, "Verily, my heart is full of pain; but may he not live who would hurt thy heart! Indeed, this woman maketh herself inordinately dear and difficult to thee, and by Allah, O son of my uncle, I fear for thee from her. [FN#503] Know, O my cousin, that the meaning of the salt is thou west drowned in sleep like insipid food, disgustful to the taste; and it is as though she said to thee; 'It behoveth thou be salted lest the stomach eject thee; for thou professes to be of the lovers noble and true; but sleep is unlawful and to a lover undue; therefore is thy love but a lie.' However, it is her love for thee that lieth; for she saw thee asleep yet aroused thee not and were her love for thee true, she had indeed awoken thee. As for the charcoal, it means 'Allah blacken thy face' [FN#504] for thou makest a lying presence of love, whereas thou art naught but a child and hast no object in life other than eating and drinking and sleeping! such is the interpretation of her signs, and may Allah Almighty deliver thee from her!" When I heard my cousin's words, I beat my hand upon my breast and cried out, "By Allah, this is the very truth, for I slept and lovers sleep not! Indeed I have sinned against myself, for what could have wrought me more hurt than eating and sleeping? Now what shall I do?" Then I wept sore and said to the daughter of my uncle, "Tell me how to act and have pity on me, so may Allah have pity on thee: else I shall die." As my cousin loved me with very great love,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued his tale to Taj al-Muluk: "Thereupon quoth I to the daughter of my uncle, "Tell me what to do and have pity on me, so may Allah have pity on thee!" As the daughter of my uncle loved me with great love, she replied, "On my head and eyes! But, O my cousin, I repeat what I have told thee oftentimes, if I could go in and out at will, I would at once bring you two together and cover you both with my skirt: nor would I do this but hoping to win thy favour. Inshallah, I will do my utmost endeavour to unite you; but hear my words and do my bidding. Go thou to the very same place and sit down where thou sattest before and at supper tide look thou eat not, for eating induceth sleep; and have a care-thou slumber not, for she will not come to thee till a fourth part of the night be passed. And the Almighty avert her mischief from thee!" Now when I heard these words I rejoiced and besought Allah to hasten the night; and, as soon as it was dark, I was minded to go, and my cousin said to me, "When thou shalt have met her, repeat to her the couplet I taught thee before, at the time of thy leave taking." Replied I, "On my head and eyes!" and went out and repaired to the garden, where I found all made ready in the same state as on the previous night, with every requisite of meat and drink, dried fruits, sweet scented flowers and so forth. I went up into the pavilion and smelt the odour of the viands and my spirit lusted after them; but I possessed my soul in patience for a while, till at last I could no longer withstand temptation. So I arose from my seat and went up to the table and, raising its cover, found a dish of fowls, surrounded by four saucers containing four several meats. I ate a mouthful of each kind and as much as I would of the sweetmeats and a piece of meat: then I drank from the saucer a sauce yellowed with saffron [FN#505] and as it pleased me, I supped it up by the spoonful till I was satisfied and my stomach was full. Upon this, my eyelids drooped; so I took a cushion and set it under my head, saying, "Haply I can recline upon it without going to sleep." Then I closed my eyes and slept, nor did I wake till the sun had risen, when I found on my stomach a cube of bone, [FN#506] a single tip-cat stick, [FN#507] the stone of a green date [FN#508] and a carob pod. There was no furniture nor aught else in the place, and it was as if there had been nothing there yesterday. So I rose and shaking all these things off me, fared forth in fury; and, going home, found my cousin groaning and versifying with these couplets, "A wasted body, heart enpierced to core, * And tears that down my poor cheeks pour and pour: And lover cure of access; but, but still * Naught save what's fair can come from fairest flow'r: O cousin mine thou fill'st my soul with pate, * And from these tears mine eyelids ache full sore!" I chid the daughter of my uncle and abused her, whereat she wept; then, wiping away her tears, she came up to me and kissed me and began pressing me to her bosom, whilst I held back from her blaming myself. Then said she to me, "O my cousin, it seemeth thou sleptest again this night?" Replied I, "Yes; and when I awoke, I found on my stomach a cube of bone, a single tip-cat stick, a stone of a green date and a carob pod, and I know not why she did this." Then I wept and went up to her and said, "Expound to me her meaning in so doing and tell me how shall I act and aid me in my sore strait." She answered, "On my head and eyes! By the single tip cat stick and the cube of bone which she placed upon thy stomach she saith to thee 'Thy body is present but thy heart is absent'; and she meaneth, 'Love is not thus: so do not reckon thyself among lovers.' As for the date stone, it is as if she said to thee, 'An thou wert in love thy heart would be burning with passion and thou wouldst not taste the delight of sleep; for the sweet of love is like a green date [FN#509] which kindleth a coal of fire in the vitals.' As for the carob pod [FN#510] it signifieth to thee, 'The lover's heart is wearied'; and thereby she saith, 'Be patient under our separation with the patience of Job.' " When I heard this interpretation, fires darted into my vitals like a dart and grief redoubled upon my heart and I cried out, saying, "Allah decreed sleep to me for my ill fortune." Then I said to her, "O my cousin, by my life, devise me some device whereby I may win my will of her!" She wept and answered, "O Aziz, O son of my uncle, verily my heart is full of sad thought which I cannot speak: but go thou again to night to the same place and beware thou sleep not, and thou shalt surely attain thy desire. This is my counsel and peace be with thee!" Quoth I, "If Allah please I will not sleep, but will do as thou biddest me." Then my cousin rose, and brought me food, saying, "Eat now what may suffice thee, that nothing may divert thy heart." So I ate my fill and, when night came, my cousin rose and bringing me a sumptuous suit of clothes clad me therein. Then she made me swear I would repeat to my lover the verse aforesaid and bade me beware of sleeping. So I left her and repaired to the garden and went up into that same pavilion where I occupied myself in holding my eyelids open with my fingers and nodding my head as the night darkened on me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al Muluk: "So I repaired to the garden and went up into that same pavilion and occupied myself in gazing upon the flower beds and in holding my eyelids open with my fingers and nodding my head as the night darkened on me. And presently I grew hungry with watching and the smell of the meats being wafted towards me, my appetite increased: so I went up to the table and took off the cover and ate a mouthful of every dish and a bit of meat; after which I turned to the flagon of wine, saying to myself, I will drink one cup. I drank it, and then I drank a second and a third, till I had drunk full ten, when the cool air smote me and I fell to the earth like a felled man. I ceased not to lie thus till day arose, when I awoke and found myself out side the garden, and on my stomach were a butcher's knife and a dram-weight of iron. [FN#511] Thereat I trembled and, taking them with me, went home, where I found my cousin saying, "Verily, I am in this house wretched and sorrowful, having no helper but weeping." Now when I entered, I fell down at full length and throwing the knife and the dram weight from my hand, I fainted clean away. As soon as I came to myself, I told her what had befallen me and said, Indeed, I shall never enjoy my desire." But when she saw my tears and my passion, they redoubled her distress on my account, and she cried, "Verily, I am helpless! I warned thee against sleeping; but thou wouldst not hearken to my warning, nor did my words profit thee aught." I rejoined, "By Allah, I conjure thee to explain to me the meaning of the knife and the iron dram-weight." "By the dram weight," replied my cousin, "she alludeth to her right eye, [FN#512] and she sweareth by it and saith, 'By the Lord of all creatures and by my right eye! if thou come here again and sleep, I will cut thy throat with this very knife.' And indeed I fear for thee, O my cousin, from her malice; my heart is full of anguish for thee and I cannot speak. Nevertheless, if thou can be sure of thyself not to sleep when thou returnest to her, return to her and beware of sleeping and thou shalt attain thy desire; but if when returning to her thou wilt sleep, as is thy wont, she will surely slaughter thee." Asked I, "What shall I do, O daughter of my uncle: I beg thee, by Allah, to help me in this my calamity." Answered she, "On my head and eyes! if thou wilt hearken to my words and do my bidding, thou shalt have thy will." Quoth I, "I will indeed hearken to thy words and do thy bidding;" and quoth she, "When it is time for thee to go, I will tell thee." Then she pressed me to her bosom and laying me on the bed, shampoo'd my feet, till drowsiness overcame me and I was drowned in sleep, then she took a fan and seated herself at my head with the fan in her hand and she was weeping till her clothes were wet with tears. Now when she saw that I was awake, she wiped away the drops and fetched me some food and set it before me. I refused it, but she said to me, "Did I not tell thee that thou must do my bidding? Eat!" So I ate and thwarted her not and she proceeded to put the food into my mouth and I to masticate it, till I was full. Then she made me drink jujube sherbet [FN#513] and sugar and washed my hands and dried them with a kerchief; after which she sprinkled me with rose water, and I sat with her awhile in the best of spirits. When the darkness had closed in, she dressed me and said to me, "O son of my uncle, watch through the whole night and sleep not; for she will not come to thee this tide till the last of the dark hours and, Allah willing, thou shalt be at one with her this night; but forget not my charge." Then, she wept, and my heart was pained for her by reason of her over much weeping, and I asked, "What is the charge thou gayest me?" She answered, "When thou takest leave of her repeat to her the verse before mentioned." So, full of joy I left her and repairing to the garden, went up into the pavilion where, being satiated with food, I sat down and watched till a fourth part of the dark hours was past. That night seemed longsome to me as it were a year: but I remained awake till it was three quarters spent and the cocks crew and I was famished for long watching. Accordingly I went up to the table and ate my fill, whereupon my head grew heavy and I wanted to sleep, when behold, a light appeared making towards me from afar. I sprang up and washed my hands and mouth and roused myself; and before long she came with ten damsels, in whose midst she was like the full moon among the stars. She was clad in a dress of green satin purfled with red gold, and she was as saith the poet,

"She lords it o'er our hearts in grass green gown, * With buttons [FN#514] loose and locks long flowing down. Quoth I, 'What is thy name?' Quoth she, 'I'm she, * Who burns the lover-heart live coals upon:' I made my plaint to her of loving lowe; * Laughed she, 'To stone thou moanest useless moan!' Quoth I, 'An be of hardest stone thy heart, * Allah drew sweetest spring from hardest stone.'"

When she saw me she laughed and said, "How is it that thou art awake and that sleep overcame thee not? Forasmuch as thou hast watched through the night, I know that thou art a lover; for night watching is the mark of lovers displaying brave endurance of their desires." Then she turned to her women and signed to them and they went away from her, whereupon she came up to me and strained me to her breast and kissed me, whilst I kissed her, and she sucked my upper lip whilst I sucked her lower lip. I put my hand to her waist and pressed it and we came not to the ground save at the same moment. Then she undid her petticoat trousers which slipped down to her anklets, and we fell to clasping and embracing and toying and speaking softly and biting and inter twining of legs and going round about the Holy House and the corners thereof, [FN#515] till her joints became relaxed for love delight and she swooned away. I entered the sanctuary, and indeed that night was a joy to the sprite and a solace to the sight even as saith the poet,

"Sweetest of nights the world can show to me, that night * When cups went round and round as fed by ceaseless spring: There utter severance made I 'twixt mine eyes and sleep, * And joined, re joined mine ear drop with the anklet ring." [FN#516]

We lay together in close embrace till the morning when I would have gone away, but she stopped me and said, "Stay till I tell thee something"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued his recital to Taj al Muluk: "When I would have gone away, she stopped me and said, "Stay, till I tell thee something and charge thee with a charge." So I stayed whilst she unfolded a kerchief and drew out this piece of linen and spread it open before me. I found worked on it these two figures of gazelles and admired it with great admiration. Then I took the piece of linen and went away, joyful, after we had agreed that I should visit her every night in the garden; but in my joy I forgot to repeat to her the verse my cousin had taught me. For when giving me the piece of linen with the gazelles she had said to me, "Keep this carefully, as it is my sister's handiwork." I asked her, "What is thy sister's name?"; and she answered, "Her name is Núr al-Hudá." When I went to my cousin, I found her lying down; but as soon as she saw me, she rose, with the tears running from her eyes, and came up to me, and kissed me on the breast and said, "Didst thou do as I enjoined thee? and repeat the verse to her?" "I forgot it," replied I; "and nothing drove it out of my mind but these two figured gazelles." And I threw the piece of linen on the floor before her. She rose and sat down again, but was unable to contain herself for impatience, and her eyes ran over with tears, whilst she repeated these two couplets,

"O thou who seekest parting, softly fare! * Let not the Pair delude with cunning art: Pare softly, Fortune's nature is to 'guile, * And end of every meeting is to part."

And when she ended her recitation she said, "O my cousin, give me this piece of linen." So I gave it to her and she took it and unfolding it, saw what was therein. When the tryst time came for my going to my lover, the daughter of my uncle said to me, "Go, and peace attend thee; and when thou art about to leave her, recite to her the verse I taught thee long ago and which thou didst forget." Quoth I, "Tell it me again"; and she repeated it. Then I went to the garden and entered the pavilion, where I found the young lad, awaiting me. When she saw me, she rose and kissed me and made me sit in her lap; and we ate and drank and did our desire as before. In the morning, I repeated to her my cousin's verse which was this,

"Ho, lovers all! by Allah say me sooth * What shall he do when Love sor' vexeth youth?" When she heard this, her eyes filled with tears and she answered and said, "Strive he to cure his case, to hide the truth, * Patiently humble self and sue for rush!"

I committed it to memory and returned home rejoicing at having done my cousin's bidding. When I entered the house I found her lying down and my mother at her head weeping over her case; but as soon as I went in to her my mother said to me, "A foul plague on such a cousin! How couldst thou leave the daughter of thy uncle ailing and not ask what ailed her?" But when my cousin saw me she raised her head and sat up and asked me, "O Aziz, didst thou repeat to her the couplet I taught thee?" I answered, "Yes, and when she heard it she wept and recited in answer another couplet which I committed to memory." Quoth my cousin, "Tell it me." I did so; and when she heard it she wept with much weeping and repeated the following verses,

"How shall youth cure the care his life undo'th, * And every day his heart in pieces hew'th? In sooth he would be patient, but he findeth * Naught save a heart which love with pains imbu'th."

Then added my cousin, "When thou goest to her as of wont, repeat to her also these two couplets which thou hast heard." I replied, "Hearkening and obedience!" and I went at the wonted time, to the garden, where there passed between my mistress and myself what tongue faileth to describe. When I was about to leave her, I repeated to her those two couplets of my cousin's; whereupon the tears streamed from her eyes and she replied,

"If he of patience fail the truth to hide * For him no cure save Death my vision view'th!"

I committed them to memory and returned home, and when I went in to my cousin I found her fallen into a fit and my mother sitting at her head. When she heard my voice, she opened her eyes and asked, "O Aziz! didst thou repeat the two couplets to her?" whereto I answered, "Yes; but she wept on hearing them and she replied with this couplet beginning, If he of patience fail, to the end." And I repeated it; whereupon my cousin swooned again, and when she came to herself, she recited these two couplets,

"Hearkening, obeying, with my dying mouth * I greet who joy of union ne'er allow'th: Pair fall all happy loves, and fair befal * The hapless lover dying in his drowth!"

Again when it was night, I repaired to the garden as usual where I found the young lady awaiting me. We sat down and ate and drank, after which we did all we wanted and slept till the morning; and, as I was going away, I repeated to her the saying of my cousin. When she heard the couplet she cried out with a loud cry and was greatly moved and exclaimed, "Awáh! Awáh! [FN#517] By Allah, she who spake these lines is dead!" Then she wept and said to me, "Woe to thee! How is she who spoke thus related to thee?" Replied I, "She is the daughter of my father's brother." "Thou liest," rejoined she; "by Allah, were she thy cousin, thou hadst borne her the same love as she bore thee! It is thou who hast slain her and may the Almighty kill thee as thou killedst her! By Allah, hadst thou told me thou hadst a cousin, I would not have admitted thee to my favours!" Quoth I, "Verily it was she who interpreted to me the signs thou madest and it was she who taught me how to come to thee and how I should deal with thee; and, but for her, I should never have been united to thee." She then asked me, "Did thy cousin then know of us?"; and I answered, "Yes;" whereupon she exclaimed, "Allah give thee sorrow of thy youth, even as thou hast sorrowed her youth!" Then she cried to me, "Go now and see after her." So I went away troubled at heart, and ceased not walking till I reached our street, when I heard sounds of wailing, and asking about it, was answered, "Azizah, we found her dead behind the door." I entered the house, and when my mother saw me, she said, "Her death lieth heavy on thy neck and may Allah not acquit thee of her blood!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al-Muluk: "So I entered the house and when my mother saw me she said, "Her death lieth heavy on thy neck and may Allah not acquit thee of her blood! A plague on such a cousin!" Then came my father, and we laid her out and get ready her bier and buried her; and we had recitations of the whole Koran over her tomb and we abode by her grave three days, after which we returned to our home, and I grieving for her grievously. Then my mother came to me and said, "I would fain know what thou didst to her, to break her heart [FN#518] for, O my son, I questioned her at all times of the cause of her complaint, but she would tell me nothing nor let me know aught of it. So Allah upon thee, tell me what thou hast been doing to her that she died." Quoth I, "I did nothing." Quoth my mother, "Allah avenge her on thee! Verily she told me naught, but kept her secret till she died of her love longings for thee; but when she died I was with her and she opened her eyes and said to me; 'O wife of my uncle may Allah hold thy son guiltless of my blood and punish him not for what he hath done by me! And now Allah transporteth me from the house of the world which is perishable to the house of the other world which is eternal.' Said I, 'O my daughter, Allah preserve thee and preserve thy youth!' And as I questioned her of the cause of her illness, she made me no answer; but she smiled and said, 'O wife of my uncle, bid thy son, whenever he would go whither he goeth every day, repeat these two saws at his going away; 'Faith is fair! Unfaith is foul!' For this is of my tender affection to him, that I am solicitous concerning him during my lifetime and after my death.' Then she gave me somewhat for thee and sware me that I would not give it until I see thee weeping for her and lamenting her death. The thing is with me; and, when I have seen thy case as I have said, I will make it over to thee." "Show it me," cried I: but she would not. Then I gave myself up to love delights and thought no more of my cousin's death: for my mind was unsettled and fain would I have been with my lover the livelong day and night. [FN#519] So hardly had I perceived the darkness fall when I betook myself to the garden, where I found the young lady sitting on coals of fire for much impatience. As soon as she was sure that she saw me, she ran to me and throwing her arms about my neck, enquired of the daughter of my uncle. I replied, "Sooth to say she is dead, and we have caused Zikr- litanies and recitations of the Koran to be performed for her; and it is now four nights and this be the fifth since she is gone." When she heard that, she shrieked aloud and wept and said, "Did I not tell thee that thou hast slain her? Hadst thou let me know of her before her death, I would have requited her the kindness she did me, in that she served me and united thee to me; for without her, we had never foregathered, we twain, and I fear lest some calamity befal thee because of thy sin against her." Quoth I, "She acquitted me of offence ere she died;" and I repeated to her what my mother had told me. Quoth she, "Allah upon thee! when thou returnest to thy mother, learn what thing she keepeth for thee." I rejoined, "My mother also said to me; 'Before the daughter of thy uncle died, she laid a charge upon me, saying, Whenever thy son would go whither he is wont to go, teach him these two saws, 'Faith is fair; Unfaith is foul!' " When my lady heard this she exclaimed, "The mercy of Almighty Allah be upon her! Indeed, she hath delivered thee from me, for I minded to do thee a mischief, but now I will not harm thee nor trouble thee." I wondered at this and asked her, "What then west thou minded to do with me in time past and we two being in bond of love?" Answered she, "Thou art infatuated with me; for thou art young in life and a raw laddie; thy heart is void of guile and thou weetest not our malice and deceit. Were she yet alive, she would protect thee; for she is the cause of thy preservation and she hath delivered thee from destruction. And now I charge thee speak not with any woman, neither accost one of our sex, be she young or be she old; and again I say Beware! for thou art simple and raw and knowest not the wiles of women and their malice, and she who interpreted the signs to thee is dead. And indeed I fear for thee, lest thou fall into some disgrace and find none to deliver thee from it, now that the daughter of thy uncle is no more."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al-Muluk: "Then the young lady said to me, "I fear for thee lest thou fall into some disgrace and find none to deliver thee from it. Alas for thy cousin and ah, the pity of her! Would I had known her before her death, that I might have requited by waiting upon her the fair service she did me. The mercy of Allah Almighty be upon her, for she kept her secret and revealed not what she suffered, and but for her thou hadst never foregathered with me; no, never! But there is one thing I desire of thee." I asked, "What is it?"; and she answered, "It is that thou bring me to her grave, that I may visit her in the tomb wherein she is and write some couplets thereon." I rejoined, "To morrow, if Allah please!" [FN#520] I slept with her that night, and she ceased not saying after every hour, "Would thou hadst told me of thy cousin before her death!" And I asked her, "What is the meaning of the two saws she taught me? 'Faith is fair! Unfaith is foul!'" But she made no answer. As soon as it was day she rose and, taking a purse of gold pieces, said to me, "Come, show me her tomb, that I may visit it and grave some verses thereon and build a dome over it and commend her to Allah's mercy and bestow these diners in alms for her soul." I replied, "To hear is to obey!"; and walked on before her, whilst she followed me, giving alms as she went and saying to all upon whom she lavisht bounty, "This is an alms for the soul of Azizah, who kept her counsel till she drank the cup of death and never told the secret of her love." And she stinted not thus to give alms and say, "for Azizah's soul," till the purse was empty and we came to the grave. And when she looked at the tomb, she wept and threw herself on it; then, pulling out a chisel of steel and a light hammer, she graved therewith upon the head stone in fine small characters these couplets,

"I past by a broken tomb amid a garth right sheen, * Whereon seven blooms of Nu'uman [FN#521] glowed with cramoisie; Quoth I, 'Who sleepeth in this tomb?' Quoth answering Earth * 'Before a lover Hades-tombed [FN#522] bend reverently!' Quoth I, 'May Allah help thee, O thou slain of Love, * And grant thee home in Heaven and Paradise height to see!' Hapless are lovers all e'en tombed in their tombs, * Where amid living folk the dust weighs heavily! Pain would I plant a garden blooming round thy grave, * And water every flower with tear drops flowing free!"

Then she turned away in tears and I with her and returned to the garden where she said to me, "By Allah! I conjure thee never leave me!" "To hear is to obey," replied I. Then I gave myself wholly up to her and paid her frequent visits: she was good and generous to me; and as often as I passed the night with her, she would make much of me and would ask me of the two saws my cousin Azizah told my mother and I would repeat them to her. And matters ceased not to be on this wise and I continued for a whole year eating and drinking and enjoying dalliance and wearing change of rich raiment until I waxed gross and fat, so that I lost all thought of sorrowing and mourning, and I clean forgot my cousin Azizah. And on New Year's day I went to the bath, where I refreshed myself and put on a suit of sumptuous clothes; then coming out I drank a cup of wine and smelt the scent of my new gear which was perfumed with various essences; and my breast was broadened thereby, for I knew not the tricks of Pate nor the changing ways of Time. When the hour of night prayer came, I was minded to repair to my lover; but, being the worse for wine, I knew not when going to her whither I went, so my drunkenness turned me into a by street called Syndic Street; [FN#523] and the while I walked up that street behold, I caught sight of an old woman faring with a lighted taper in one hand, and in the other a folded letter.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant, whose name was Aziz, continued to Taj al-Muluk:--And when I entered the street called Syndic Street behold, I caught sight of an old woman walking with a lighted taper in one hand and in the other a folded letter and I drew near her and lo! she was weeping and repeating these couplets,

"O glad news bearer well come! Welcome! Hail! * How sweet thy speech to me, what treat thy tale: O messenger from him whose weal I love, * God bless thee long as breathes soft morning-gale!"

Now when she saw me she asked, "O my son! canst thou read?"; and I answered, of my officiousness, "Yes, old naunty!" Rejoined she, "Then take this letter and read it to me." And when she handed it to me, I took it and unfolding it read it to her and behold it was from an absent man to his friends and lovers whom he greeted; and, when she heard its purport, she rejoiced at the good tidings and blessed me, saying, "Allah dispel thine anxiety, even as thou hast dispelled mine!" Then she took the letter and walked on. Meanwhile, I was urged by a call of nature and sat down on my heels to make water. [FN#524] When I had ended I stood up and wiped the orifice with a pebble and then, letting down my clothes, I was about to wend my way, when suddenly the old woman came up to me again and, bending down over my hand, kissed it and said, "O my master! the Lord give thee joy of thy youth! I entreat thee to walk with me a few steps as far as yonder door, for I told them what thou didst read to me of the letter, and they believe me not, so come with me two steps and read them the letter from behind the door and accept the prayers of a righteous woman." I enquired, "What is the history of this letter?", and she replied, "O my son, this letter is from my son, who hath been absent for a term of ten years. He set out with a stock of merchandise and tarried long in foreign parts, till we lost hope of him and supposed him to be dead. Now after all that delay cometh this letter from him, and he hath a sister who weepeth for him night and day; so I said to her, 'He is well and all right.' But she will not believe me and declares, 'There is no help but thou bring me one who will read this letter in my presence, that my heart may be at rest and my mind at ease.' Thou knowest, O my son, that all who love are wont to think evil: so be good enough to go with me and read to her this letter, standing behind the curtain, whilst I call his sister to listen within the door, so shalt thou dispel our heed and fulfil our need. Verily quoth the Apostle of Allah (whom Allah bless and preserve!), 'Whoso easeth the troubled of one of the troubles of this troublous world, Allah will ease him of an hundred troubles'; and according to another tradition, 'Whoso easeth his brother of one of the troubles of this troublous world, Allah shall relieve him of seventy and two troubles on the Day of Resurrection.' And I have betaken myself to thee; so disappoint me not." Replied I, "To hear is to obey: do thou go before me!" So she walked on devancing me and I followed her a little way, till she came to the gate of a large and handsome mansion whose door was plated with copper. [FN#525] I stood behind the door, whilst the old woman cried out in Persian, and ere I knew it a damsel ran up with light and nimble step. She had tucked up her trousers to her knees, so that I saw a pair of calves that confounded thinker and lighter, and the maid herself was as saith the poet describing her,

"O thou who barest leg calf, better to suggest * For passion madded amourist better things above! Towards its lover cloth the bowl go round and run; * Cup [FN#526] and cup bearer only drive us daft with love." [FN#527]

Now these legs were like two pillars of alabaster adorned with anklets of gold, wherein were set stones of price. And the damsel had tucked up the end of her gown under her arm pit and had rolled up her sleeves to the elbow, so that I could see her white wrists whereon were two pairs of bracelets with clasps of great pearls; and round her neck was a collar of costly gems. Her ears were adorned with pendants of pearls and on her head she wore a kerchief [FN#528] of brocade, brand new and broidered with jewels of price. And she had thrust the skirt of her shift into her trousers string being busy with some household business. So when I saw her in this undress, I was confounded at her beauty, for she was like a shining sun. Then she said, with soft, choice speech, never heard I sweeter, "O my mother! is this he who cometh to read the letter?" "It is," replied the old woman; and she put out her hand to me with the letter. Now between her and the door was a distance of about half a rod [FN#529]; so I stretched forth my hand to take the letter from her and thrust head and shoulders within the door, thinking to draw near her and read the letter when, before I knew what her design was, the old woman butted her head against my back and pushed me forwards with the letter in my hand, so that ere I could take thought I found myself in the middle of the hall far beyond the vestibule. Then she entered, faster than a flash of blinding leven, and had naught to do but to shut the door. And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth Aziz pursued to Taj al Muluk: "When the old woman pushed me forwards I found myself, ere I could think, inside the vestibule; and the old woman entered faster than a flash of blinding levee and had naught to do but to shut the door. When the girl saw me in the vestibule, she came up to me and strained me to her bosom, and threw me to the floor; then she sat astraddle upon my breast and kneaded my belly with her fingers, till I well nigh lost my senses. Thereupon she took me by the hand and led me, unable to resist for the violence of her pressure, through seven vestibules, whilst the old woman forewent us with the lighted candle, till we came to a great saloon with four estrades whereon a horseman might play Polo. [FN#530] Here she released me, saying, "Open thine eyes." So I opened them still giddy for the excess of her embracing and pressing, and saw that the whole saloon was built of the finest marbles and alabasters, and all its furniture was of silk and brocade even to the cushions and mattresses. Therein also were two benches of yellow brass and a couch of red gold, set with pearls and precious stones, befitting none save Kings like thyself. And off the saloon were smaller sitting rooms; and the whole place was redolent of wealth. Then she asked, "O Aziz, which is liefer to thee life or death?" "Life," answered I; and she said, "If life be liefer to thee, marry me." Quoth I, "Indeed I should hate to marry the like of thee." Quoth she, "If thou marry me thou wilt at least be safe from the daughter of Dalílah the Wily One." [FN#531] I asked, "And who be that daughter of the Wily One?" Whereupon she laughed and replied, " 'Tis she who hath companied with thee this day for a year and four months (may the Almighty destroy and afflict her with one worse than herself!) By Allah, there liveth not a more perfidious than she. How many men hath she not slain before thee and what deeds hath she not done. Nor can I understand how thou hast been all the time in her company, yet she hath not killed thee nor done thee a mischief." When I heard her words, I marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, "O my lady, who made thee to know her?" Said she, "I know her as the age knoweth its calamities; but now I would fain have thee tell me all that hath passed between you two, that I may ken the cause of thy deliverance from her." So I told her all that had happened between us, including the story of my cousin Azizah. She expressed her pity when she heard of the death, and her eyes ran over with tears and she claps hand on hand and cried out, Her youth was lost on Allah's way, [FN#532] and may the Lord bless thee for her good works! By Allah, O Aziz, she who died for thee was the cause of thy preservation from the daughter of Dalia the Wily; and, but for her, thou hadst been lost. And now she is dead I fear for thee from the Crafty One's perfidy and mischief; but my throat is choking and I cannot speak." Quoth I Ay, by Allah: all this happened even as thou sayest." And she shook her head and cried, "There liveth not this day the like of Azizah. I continued, "And on her death bed she bade me repeat to my lover these two saws, 'Faith is fair! Unfaith is foul'" When she heard me say this, she exclaimed, "O Aziz, by Allah those same words saved thee from dying by her hand; and now my heart is at ease for thee from her, for she will never kill thee and the daughter of thy uncle preserved thee during her lifetime and after her death. By Allah, I have desired thee day after day but could not get at thee till this time when I tricked thee and outwitted thee; for thou art a raw youth [FN#533] and knowest not the wiles of young women nor the deadly guile of old women." Rejoined I, No, by Allah!" Then said she to me, "Be of good cheer and eyes clear; the dead hath found Allah's grace, and the live shall be in good case. Thou art a handsome youth and I do not desire thee but according to the ordinance of Allah and His Apostle (on whom be salutation and salvation!). Whatever thou requirest of money and stuff, thou shalt have forthright without stint, and I will not impose any toil on thee, no, never!, for there is with me always bread baked hot and water in pot. All I need of thee is that thou do with me even as the cock doth." I asked "And what doth the cock?" Upon this she laughed and clapped her hands and fell over on her back for excess of merriment then she sat up and smiled and said, "O light of my eyes, really dost thou not know what cock's duty is?" "No, by Allah!" replied I, and she, "The cock's duty is to eat and drink and tread.' I was abashed at her words and asked, "Is that the cock's duty? Yes, answered she; "and all I ask of thee now is to gird thy loins and strengthen thy will and futter thy best." Then she clapped her hands and cried out, saying, "O my mother, bring forward those who are with thee." And behold, in came the old woman accompanied by four lawful witnesses, and carrying a veil of silk. Then she lighted four candles, whilst the witnesses saluted me and sat down; and the girl veiled herself with the veil and deputed one of them to execute the contract on her behalf. So they wrote out the marriage bond and she testified to have received the whole sum settled upon her, both the half in advance and the half in arrears; and that she was indebted to me in the sum of ten thousand dirhams.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young merchant continued to Taj al-Muluk: When they wrote out the marriage contract, she testified to having received the whole sum settled upon her, the half in advance and the half in arrears and that she was indebted to me in the sum of ten thousand dirhams. She paid the witnesses their wage and they withdrew whence they came. Thereupon she arose and cast off her clothes and stood in a chemise of fine silk edged with gold lace, after which she took off her trousers and seized my hand and led me up to the couch, saying, "There is no sin in a lawful put in." She lay down on the couch outspread upon her back; and, drawing me on to her breast, heaved a sigh and followed it up with a wriggle by way of being coy. Then she pulled up the shift above her breasts, and when I saw her in this pose, I could not withhold myself from thrusting it into her, after I had sucked her lips, whilst she whimpered and shammed shame and wept when no tears came, and then said she, "O my beloved, do it, and do thy best!" Indeed the case reminded me of his saying, who said,

"When I drew up her shift from the roof of her coynte, * I found it as strait* as my mind and my money: So I drove it half-way, and she sighed a loud sigh * Quoth I, 'Why this sigh?': 'For the rest of it, honey!'"

And she repeated, "O my beloved, let the finish be made for I am thine handmaid. My life on thee, up with it! give it me, all of it! that I may take it in my hand and thrust it into my very vitals!" And she ceased not to excite me with sobs and sighs and amorous cries in the intervals of kissing and clasping until amid our murmurs of pleasure we attained the supreme delight and the term we had in sight. We slept together till the morning, when I would have gone out; but lo! she came up to me, laughing, and said, "So! So! thinkest thou that going into the Hammam is the same as going out? [FN#534] Dost thou deem me to be the like of the daughter of Dalilah the Wily One? Beware of such a thought, for thou art my husband by contract and according to law. If thou be drunken return to thy right mind, and know that the house wherein thou art openeth but one day in every year. Go down and look at the great door." So I arose and went down and found the door locked and nailed up and returned and told her of the locking and nailing. "O Aziz," said she, "We have in this house flour, grain, fruits and pomegranates; sugar, meat, sheep, poultry and so forth enough for many years; and the door will not be opened till after the lapse of a whole twelvemonth and well I weet thou shalt not find thyself without this house till then." Quoth I "There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" "And how can this harm thee," rejoined she; "seeing thou knowest cock's duty, whereof I told thee?" Then she laughed and I laughed too, and I conformed to what she said and abode with her, doing cock's duty and eating and drinking and futtering for a year of full twelve months, during which time she conceived by me, and I was blessed with a babe by her. On the New Year's day I heard the door opened and behold, men came in with cakes and flour and sugar. Upon this, I would have gone out but my wife said, "Wait till supper tide and go out even as thou camest in." So I waited till the hour of night prayer and was about to go forth in fear and trembling, when she stopped me, saying, "By Allah, I will not let thee go until thou swear to come back this night before the closing of the door." I agreed to this, and she swore me a solemn oath on Blade and Book, [FN#535] and the oath of divorce to boot, that I would return to her. Then I left her and going straight to the garden, found the door open as usual; where at I was angry and said to myself, "I have been absent this whole year and come here unawares and find the place open as of wont! I wonder is the damsel still here as before? I needs must enter and see before I go to my mother, more by reason that it is now nightfall." So I entered the flower garden,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

End of Vol. 2.

Volume 2 Footnotes[edit]

[FN#459] Whose eyes became white (i.e. went blind) with mourning for his son Joseph (Koran, chaps. xii. 84). He recovered his sight when his face was covered with the shirt which Gabriel had given to the youth after his brethren had thrown him into the well.

[FN#460] "Poison King" (Persian); or "Flower-King" (Arabic).

[FN#461] A delicate allusion to the size of her hips and back parts, in which volume is, I have said, greatly admired for the best of reasons.

[FN#462] All Prophets had some manual trade and that of David was making coats of mail, which he invented, for before his day men used plate-armour. So "Allah softened the iron for him" and in his hands it became like wax (Koran xxi. xxxiv., etc.). Hence a good coat of mail is called "Davidean." I have noticed (First Footsteps, p. 33 and elsewhere) the homage paid to the blacksmith on the principle which made Mulciber (Malik Kabir) a god. The myth of David inventing mail possibly arose from his peculiarly fighting career. Moslems venerate Dáúd on account of his extraordinary devotion, nor has this view of his character ceased : a modern divine preferred him to "all characters in history."

[FN#463] "Travel by night," said the Prophet, "when the plagues of earth (scorpions, serpents, etc.) afflict ye not." Yet the night-march in Arabia is detestable (Pilgrimage iii.).

[FN#464] This form of ceremony is called "Istikbál" (coming forth to greet) and is regulated by the severest laws of etiquette. As a rule the greater the distance (which may be a minimum of one step) the higher the honour. Easterns infinitely despise strangers who ignore these vitals of politeness.

[FN#465] i.e. he will be a desert Nimrod and the game will delight to be killed by him.

[FN#466] This serves to keep the babe's eyes free from inflammation.

[FN#467] i.e. Crown of the Kings of amorous Blandishment.

[FN#468] Lane (i. 531) translates "the grey down." The Arabs use "Akhzar" (prop. "green") in many senses, fresh, gray-hued, etc.

[FN#469] Allusion to the well-known black banners of the house of Abbas. The Persians describe the growth of hair on a fair young face by, "His cheeks went into mourning for the loss of their charms."

[FN#470] Arab. "Káfir" a Koranic word meaning Infidel, the active participle of Kufr= Infidelity i.e. rejecting the mission of Mohammed. It is insulting and in Turkish has been degraded to "Giaour." Here it means black, as Hafiz of Shiraz terms a cheek mole "Hindu" i.e. dark-skinned and idolatrous.

[FN#471] Alluding to the travel of Moses (Koran chaps. xviii.) with Al-Khizr (the "evergreen Prophet") who had drunk of the Fountain of Life and enjoyed flourishing and continual youth. Moses is represented as the external and superficial religionist; the man of outsight; Al-Khizr as the spiritual and illuminated man of insight.

[FM#472] The lynx was used like the lion in Ancient Egypt and the Chita-leopard in India: I have never seen or heard of it in these days.

[FN#473] Arab. "Sukúr," whence our "Saker" the falcon, not to be confounded with the old Falco Sacer, the Gr. {greek letters}. Falconry which, like all arts, began in Egypt, is an extensive subject throughout Moslem lands. I must refer my readers to "Falconry in the Valley of the Indus" (Van Voorst, 1852) and a long note in Pilgrimage iii. 71.

[FN#474] It was not respectful to pitch their camp within dog-bark.

[FN#475] Easterns attach great importance to softness and smoothness of skin and they are right: a harsh rough epidermis spoils sport with the handsomest woman.

[FN#476] Canticles vii. 8: Hosea xiv. 6.

[FN#477] The mesmeric attraction of like to like.

[FN#478] Arab. "Taswif"=saying "Sauf," I will do it soon. It is a beautiful word–etymologically.

[FN#479] A very far fetched allusion. The face of the beloved springing from an unbuttoned robe is the moon rising over the camp in the hollow (bat'há).

[FN#480] Arab. "Kasabát" = "canes," long beads, bugles.

[FN#481] Koran, xcvi. 5.

[FN#482] Both words (masc. and fem.) mean "dear, excellent, highly-prized." The tale is the Arab form of the European "Patient Griselda" and shows a higher conception of womanly devotion, because Azizah, despite her wearisome weeping, is a girl of high intelligence and Aziz is a vicious zany, weak as water and wilful as wind. The phenomenon (not rare in life) is explained by the couplet:--

I love my love with an S— Because he is stupid and not intellectual.

This fond affection of clever women for fools can be explained only by the law of unlikeness which mostly governs sexual unions in physical matters; and its appearance in the story gives novelty and point. Aziz can plead only the violence of his passion which distinguished him as a lover among the mob of men who cannot love anything beyond themselves. And none can pity him for losing a member which he so much abused.

[FN#483] Arab. "Sháhid," the index, the pointer raised in testimony: the comparison of the Eastern and the Western names is curious.

[FN#484] Musk is one of the perfumes of the Moslem Heaven; and "musky" is much used in verse to signify scented and dark-brown.

[FN#485] Arab. "Mandíl": these kerchiefs are mostly oblong, the shore sides being worked with gold and coloured silk, and often fringed, while the two others are plain.

[FN#486] Arab. "Rayhání," of the Ocymum Basilicum or sweet basil: a delicate handwriting, so called from the pen resembling a leaf (?) See vol. i. p. 128. [Volume 1, note 229 & 230]

[FN#487] All idiom meaning "something unusual happened."

[FN#488] An action common in grief and regret: here the lady would show that she sighs for union with her beloved.

[FN#489] Lane (i. 608) has a valuable note on the language of signs, from M. du Vigneau's "Secretaire Turc," etc. (Paris, 1688), Baron von Hammer-Purgstall ("Mines de ['Orient," No. 1, Vienna, 1809) and Marcel's "Comes du Cheykh El-Mohdy" (Paris, 1833). It is practiced in Africa as well as in Asia. At Abeokuta in Yoruba a man will send a symbolical letter in the shape of cowries, palm-nuts and other kernels strung on rice- straw, and sharp wits readily interpret the meaning. A specimen is given in p. 262 of Miss Tucker's "Abbeokuta; or Sunrise within the Tropics."

[FN#490] Mr. Payne (ii. 227) translates "Hawá al-'Urzí" by "the love of the Beni Udhra, an Arabian tribe famous for the passion and devotion with which love was practiced among them." See Night dclxxxiii. I understand it as "excusable love" which, for want of a better term, is here translated "platonic." It is, however, more like the old "bundling" of Wales and Northern England; and allows all the pleasures but one, the toyings which the French call les plaisirs de la petite ode; a term my dear old friend Fred. Hankey derived from la petite voie. The Afghans know it as "Námzad-bází" or betrothed play (Pilgrimage, ii. 56); the Abyssinians as eye-love; and the Kafirs as Slambuka a Shlabonka, for which see The traveller Delegorgue.

[FN#491] "Turk" in Arabic and Persian poetry means a plunderer, a robber. Thus Hafiz: "Agar án Turk-i-Shirázi ba-dast árad dil-i-márá," If that Shirazi (ah, the Turk!) would deign to take my heart in hand, etc.

[FN#492] Arab. "Názir," a steward or an eye (a "looker"). The idea is borrowed from Al-Hariri (Assemblies, xiii.), and,--

[FN#493] Arab. "Hájib," a groom of the chambers, a chamberlain; also an eyebrow. See Al-Hariri, ibid. xiii. and xxii.

[FN#494] This gesture speaks for itself: it is that of a dyer staining a cloth. The "Sabbágh's" shop is the usual small recess, open to the street and showing pans of various dyes sunk like "dog-laps" in the floor.

[FN#495] The Arab. "Sabt" (from sabata, he kept Sabt) and the Heb. "Sabbath" both mean Saturn's day, Saturday, transferred by some unknown process throughout Christendom to Sunday. The change is one of the most curious in the history of religions. If there be a single command stronger than all others it is "Keep the Saturday holy." It was so kept by the Founder of Christianity; the order was never abrogated and yet most Christians are not aware that Sabbath, or "Sawbath," means Saturn's day, the "Shiyár" of the older Arabs. And to complete its degradation "Sabbat" in French and German means a criaillerie, a "row," a disorder, an abominable festival of Hexen (witches). This monstrous absurdity can be explained only by aberrations of sectarian zeal, of party spirit in religion.

[FN#496] The men who cry to prayer. The first was Bilál, the Abyssinian slave bought and manumitted by Abu Bakr. His simple cry was "I testify there is no Iláh (god) but Allah (God)! Come ye to prayers!" Caliph Omar, with the Prophet's permission, added, "I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of Allah." The prayer-cry which is beautiful and human, contrasting pleasantly with the brazen clang of the bell. now is

   Allah is Almighty (bis).
   I declare no god is there but Allah (bis).
   Hie ye to Rogation (Hayya=halumma).
   Hie ye to Salvation (Faláh=prosperity, Paradise).
   ("Hie ye to Edification," a Shi'ah adjunct).
   Prayer is better than sleep (in the morning, also bis).
   No god is there but Allah

This prayer call is similarly worded and differently pronounced and intoned throughout Al-Islam.

[FN#497] i.e. a graceful youth of Al-Hijaz, the Moslem Holy Land, whose "sons" claim especial privileges.

[FN#498] Arab. "harf'= a letter, as we should say a syllable.

[FN#499] She uses the masculine "fatá," in order to make the question more mysterious.

[FN#500] The fountain-bowl is often ornamented by a rude mosaic of black and white marble with enlivenments of red stone or tile in complicated patterns.

[FN#501] Arab. "Kubád" = shaddock (citrus decumana): the huge orange which Captain Shaddock brought from the West Indies; it is the Anglo-Indian pompelmoose, vulg. pummelo. An excellent bitter is made out of the rind steeped in spirits. Citronworts came from India whence they spread throughout the tropics: they were first introduced into Europe by the heroic Joam de Castro and planted in his garden at Cintra where their descendants are still seen.

[FN#502] Arab. "Bakláwah," Turk. "Baklává," a kind of pastry with blanched almonds bruised small between layers of dough, baked in the oven and cut into lozenges. It is still common

[FN#503] Her just fear was that the young woman might prove "too clever by half" for her simpleton cousin.

[FN#504] The curse is pregnant with meaning. On Judgment-day the righteous shall arise with their faces shining gloriously: hence the blessing, "Bayyaz' Allaho wajh-ak" (=Allah whiten thy countenance!). But the wicked shall appear with faces scorched black and deformed by horror (Koran xxiv.): hence "God blacken thy brow!" I may observe that Easterns curse, the curse being everywhere the language of excited destructiveness; but only Westerns, and these chiefly English, swear, a practice utterly meaningless. "Damn it" without specifying what the "it" is, sounds like the speech of a naughty child anxious only to use a "wicked word." "Damn you!" is intelligible all the world over. It has given rise to "les goddams" in France, "Godámes" in the Brazil and "Gotáma" amongst the Somal of Eastern Africa, who learn it in Aden,

[FN#505] Arab. "Zardah," usually rice dressed with saffron and honey, from Pers. "Zard," saffron, yellow. See Night dcxii.

[FN#506] Vulgarly called "knuckle-bone," concerning which I shall have something to say.

[FN#507] A bit of wood used in the children's game called "Táb" which resembles our tip-cat (Lane M. E. chaps. xvii.).

[FN#508] Arab. "Balah," the unripened date, which is considered a laxative and eaten in hot weather.

[FN#509] Lane (i. 611), quoting Al-Kazwíní, notes that the date-stone is called "Nawá" (dim. "Nawáyah") which also means distance, absence, severance. Thus the lady threatens to cast off her greedy and sleepy lover.

[FN#510] The pad of the carob-bean which changes little after being plucked is an emblem of constancy.

[FN#511] This dirham=48 grains avoir.

[FN#512] The weight would be round: also "Hadíd" (=iron) means sharp or piercing (Koran chaps. Vi]. 21). The double "swear" is intended to be very serious. Moreover iron conjures away fiends: when a water-spout or a sand-devil (called Shaytán also in Arabia) approaches, you point the index at the Jinn and say, "Iron, O thou ill-omened one!" Amongst the Ancient Egyptians the metal was ill-omened being the bones of Typhon, 80 here, possibly, we have an instance of early homœopathy--similia similibus.

[FN#513] Probably fermented to a kind of wine. The insipid fruit (Unnáb) which looks like an apple in miniature, is much used in stews, etc. It is the fruit (Nabak classically Nabik) of Rhamnus Nabeca (or Sidrat) also termed Zizyphus Jujuba, seu Spina Christi because fabled to have formed the crown of thorns: in the English market this plum is called Chinese Japonica. I have described it in Pilgrimage ii. 205, and have noticed the infusion of the leaves for washing the dead (ibid. ii. 105): this is especially the use of the "Ber" in India, where the leaves are superstitiously held peculiarly pure. Our dictionaries translate "Sidr" by "Lote-tree"; and no wonder that believers in Homeric writ feel their bile aroused by so poor a realisation of the glorious myth. The Homerids probably alluded to Hashish or Bhang.

[FN#514] Arab. "Azrár": the open collar of the Saub ("Tobe") or long loose dress is symptomatic. The Eastern button is on the same principle as ours (both having taken the place of the classical fibula); but the Moslem affects a loop (like those to which we attach our "frogs") and utterly ignores a button-hole.

[FN#515] Alluding to the ceremonious circumambulation of the Holy House at Meccah: a notable irreverence worthy of Kneph-town (Canopus).

[FN#516] The ear-drop is the penis and the anklet its crown of glory.

[FN#517] Equivalent to our "Alas! Alas!" which, by the by, no one ever says. "Awah," like "Yauh," is now a woman's word although used by Al-Hariri (Assembly of Basrah) and so Al-awwáh=one who cries from grief "Awáh." A favourite conversational form is "Yehh" with the aspirate exasperated, but it is an expression of astonishment rather than sorrow. It enters into Europe travel-books.

[FN#518] In the text "burst her gall-bladder."

[FN#519] The death of Azizah is told with true Arab pathos and simplicity: it still draws tear. *from the eyes of the Badawi, and I never read it without a "lump in the throat."

[FN#520] Arab. "Inshallah bukra!" a universal saying which is the horror of travellers.

[FN#521] I have explained "Nu'uman's flower" as the anemone which in Grecised Arabic is "Anúmiyá." Here they are strewed over the tomb; often the flowers are planted in a small bed of mould sunk in the upper surface.

[FN#522] Arab. "Barzakh" lit. a bar, a partition: in the Koran (chapts. xxiii. and xxxv.) the space or the place between death and resurrection where souls are stowed away. It corresponds after a fashion with the classical Hades and the Limbus (Limbo) of Christendom, e.g.. Limbus patrum, infantum, fatuorum. But it must not be confounded with Al-A'aráf, The Moslem purgatory.

[FN#523] Arab. "Zukák al-Nakíb," the latter word has been explained as a chief, leader, head man.

[FN#524] Moslems never stand up at such times, for a spray of urine would make their clothes ceremonially impure: hence the scrupulous will break up with stick or knife the hard ground in front of them. A certain pilgrim was reported to have made this blunder which is hardly possible in Moslem dress. A high personage once asked me if it was true that he killed a man who caught him in a standing position; and I found to my surprise that the absurd scandal was already twenty years old. After urinating the Moslem wipes the os penis with one to three bits of stone, clay or handfuls of earth, and he must perform Wuzu before he can pray. Tournefort (Voyage au Levant iii. 335) tells a pleasant story of certain Christians at Constantinople who powdered with "Poivre-d'Inde" the stones in a wall where the Moslems were in the habit of rubbing the os penis by way of wiping The same author (ii. 336) strongly recommends a translation of Rabelais’ Torcheculative chapter (Lib i., chaps. 13) for the benefit of Mohammedans.

[FN#525] Arab. "Nuhás ahmar," lit. red brass.

[FN#526] The cup is that between the lady's legs.

[FN#527] A play upon "Sák" = calf, or leg, and "Sákí," a cup-bearer. The going round (Tawáf) and the running (Sa'i) allude to the circumambulation of the Ka'abah, and the running between Mount Safá and Marwah (Pilgrimage ii. 58, and iii. 343). A religious Moslem would hold the allusion highly irreverent.

[FN#528] Lane (i. 614) never saw a woman wearing such kerchief which is deshabille. It is either spread over the head or twisted turband-wise.

[FN#529] The "Kasabah" was about two fathoms of long measure, and sometimes 12 œ feet; but the length has been reduced.

[FN#530] "Bat and ball," or hockey on horseback (Polo) is one of the earliest Persian games as shown by every illustrated copy of Firdausi's "Shahnámeh." This game was played with a Kurrah or small hand-ball and a long thin bat crooked at the end called in Persian Chaugán and in Arabic Saulaján. Another sense of the word is given in the Burhán-i-Káti translated by Vullers (Lex. Persico-Latinum), a large bandy with bent head to which is hung an iron ball, also called Kaukabah (our "morning-star") and like the umbrella it denotes the grandees of the court. The same Kaukabah particularly distinguished one of the Marquesses of Waterford. This Polo corresponds with the folliculus, the pallone, the baloun-game (moyen âge) of Europe, where the horse is not such a companion of man; and whereof the classics sang:--

Folle decet pueros ludere, folle senes.

In these days we should spell otherwise the "folle" of seniors playing at the ball or lawn-tennis.

[FN#531] "Dalíl" means a guide; "Dalílah," a woman who misguides, a bawd. See the Tale of Dalílah the Crafty, Night dcxcviii.

[FN#532] i.e. she was a martyr.

[FN#533] Arab. "Ghashím" a popular and insulting term, our "Johnny Raw." Its use is shown in Pilgrimage i. 110.

[FN#534] Bathers pay on leaving the Hammam; all enter without paying.

[FN#535] i.e. she swore him upon his sword and upon the Koran: a loaf of bread is sometimes added. See Lane (i. 615).