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Title: Folk-Lore and Legends: Oriental
Author: Tibbitts, Charles John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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          FOLK-LORE
             AND
           LEGENDS


        [Decoration]


       W. W. GIBBINGS
  18 BURY ST., LONDON, W.C.
            1889



PREFATORY NOTE


The East is rich in Folklore, and the lorist is not troubled to discover
material, but to select only that which it is best worth his while to
preserve. The conditions under which the people live are most favourable
to the preservation of the ancient legends, and the cultivation of the
powers of narration fits the Oriental to present his stories in a more
polished style than is usual in the Western countries. The reader of
these tales will observe many points of similarity between them and the
popular fictions of the West--similarity of thought and incident--and
nothing, perhaps, speaks more eloquently the universal brotherhood of
man than this oneness of folk-fiction. At the same time, the Tales of
the East are unique, lighted up as they are by a gorgeous extravagance
of imagination which never fails to attract and delight.

                                                    C. J. T.



CONTENTS


                                                             PAGE

    The Cobbler Astrologer,                                     1

    The Legend of the Terrestrial Paradise of Sheddád,
        the Son of 'A'd,                                       21

    The Tomb of Noosheerwân,                                   30

    Ameen and the Ghool,                                       37

    The Relations of Ssidi Kur,                                47
      The Adventures of the Rich Youth,                        53
      The Adventures of the Beggar's Son,                      58
      The Adventures of Massang,                               68
      The Magician with the Swine's Head,                      77
      The History of Sunshine and his Brother,                 89
      The Wonderful Man who overcame the Chan,                 96
      The Bird-Man,                                           101
      The Painter and the Wood-carver,                        106
      The Stealing of the Heart,                              110
      The Man and his Wife,                                   115
      Of the Maiden Ssuwarandari,                             119

    The Two Cats,                                             127

    Legend of Dhurrumnath,                                    132

    The Traveller's Adventure,                                135

    The Seven Stages of Roostem,                              141

    The Man who never Laughed,                                151

    The Fox and the Wolf,                                     162

    The Shepherd and the Jogie,                               184

    The Perfidious Vizier,                                    186



THE COBBLER ASTROLOGER.


In the great city of Isfahan lived Ahmed the cobbler, an honest and
industrious man, whose wish was to pass through life quietly; and he
might have done so, had he not married a handsome wife, who, although
she had condescended to accept of him as a husband, was far from being
contented with his humble sphere of life.

Sittâra, such was the name of Ahmed's wife, was ever forming foolish
schemes of riches and grandeur; and though Ahmed never encouraged
them, he was too fond a husband to quarrel with what gave her
pleasure. An incredulous smile or a shake of the head was his only
answer to her often-told day-dreams; and she continued to persuade
herself that she was certainly destined to great fortune.

It happened one evening, while in this temper of mind, that she went
to the Hemmâm, where she saw a lady retiring dressed in a magnificent
robe, covered with jewels, and surrounded by slaves. This was the very
condition Sittâra had always longed for, and she eagerly inquired the
name of the happy person who had so many attendants and such fine
jewels. She learned it was the wife of the chief astrologer to the
king. With this information she returned home. Her husband met her at
the door, but was received with a frown, nor could all his caresses
obtain a smile or a word; for several hours she continued silent, and
in apparent misery. At length she said--

"Cease your caresses, unless you are ready to give me a proof that you
do really and sincerely love me."

"What proof of love," exclaimed poor Ahmed, "can you desire which I
will not give?"

"Give over cobbling; it is a vile, low trade, and never yields more
than ten or twelve dinars a day. Turn astrologer! your fortune will be
made, and I shall have all I wish, and be happy."

"Astrologer!" cried Ahmed,--"astrologer! Have you forgotten who I
am--a cobbler, without any learning--that you want me to engage in a
profession which requires so much skill and knowledge?"

"I neither think nor care about your qualifications," said the enraged
wife; "all I know is, that if you do not turn astrologer immediately I
will be divorced from you to-morrow."

The cobbler remonstrated, but in vain. The figure of the astrologer's
wife, with her jewels and her slaves, had taken complete possession of
Sittâra's imagination. All night it haunted her; she dreamt of
nothing else, and on awaking declared she would leave the house if her
husband did not comply with her wishes. What could poor Ahmed do? He
was no astrologer, but he was dotingly fond of his wife, and he could
not bear the idea of losing her. He promised to obey, and, having sold
his little stock, bought an astrolabe, an astronomical almanac, and a
table of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Furnished with these he went
to the market-place, crying, "I am an astrologer! I know the sun, and
the moon, and the stars, and the twelve signs of the zodiac; I can
calculate nativities; I can foretell everything that is to happen!"

No man was better known than Ahmed the cobbler. A crowd soon gathered
round him. "What! friend Ahmed," said one, "have you worked till your
head is turned?" "Are you tired of looking down at your last," cried
another, "that you are now looking up at the planets?" These and a
thousand other jokes assailed the ears of the poor cobbler, who,
notwithstanding, continued to exclaim that he was an astrologer,
having resolved on doing what he could to please his beautiful wife.

It so happened that the king's jeweller was passing by. He was in
great distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the crown.
Every search had been made to recover this inestimable jewel, but to
no purpose; and as the jeweller knew he could no longer conceal its
loss from the king, he looked forward to death as inevitable. In this
hopeless state, while wandering about the town, he reached the crowd
around Ahmed and asked what was the matter. "Don't you know Ahmed the
cobbler?" said one of the bystanders, laughing; "he has been inspired,
and is become an astrologer."

A drowning man will catch at a broken reed: the jeweller no sooner
heard the sound of the word astrologer, than he went up to Ahmed, told
him what had happened, and said, "If you understand your art, you must
be able to discover the king's ruby. Do so, and I will give you two
hundred pieces of gold. But if you do not succeed within six hours, I
will use all my influence at court to have you put to death as an
impostor."

Poor Ahmed was thunderstruck. He stood long without being able to move
or speak, reflecting on his misfortunes, and grieving, above all, that
his wife, whom he so loved, had, by her envy and selfishness, brought
him to such a fearful alternative. Full of these sad thoughts, he
exclaimed aloud, "O woman, woman! thou art more baneful to the
happiness of man than the poisonous dragon of the desert!"

The lost ruby had been secreted by the jeweller's wife, who,
disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of her
female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her master
speak to the astrologer, drew near; and when she heard Ahmed, after
some moments of apparent abstraction, compare a woman to a poisonous
dragon, she was satisfied that he must know everything. She ran to her
mistress, and, breathless with fear, cried, "You are discovered, my
dear mistress, you are discovered by a vile astrologer. Before six
hours are past the whole story will be known, and you will become
infamous, if you are even so fortunate as to escape with life, unless
you can find some way of prevailing on him to be merciful." She then
related what she had seen and heard; and Ahmed's exclamation carried
as complete conviction to the mind of the terrified mistress as it had
done to that of her slave.

The jeweller's wife, hastily throwing on her veil, went in search of
the dreaded astrologer. When she found him, she threw herself at his
feet, crying, "Spare my honour and my life, and I will confess
everything!"

"What can you have to confess to me?" exclaimed Ahmed in amazement.

"Oh, nothing! nothing with which you are not already acquainted. You
know too well that I stole the ruby from the king's crown. I did so to
punish my husband, who uses me most cruelly; and I thought by this
means to obtain riches for myself, and to have him put to death. But
you, most wonderful man, from whom nothing is hidden, have discovered
and defeated my wicked plan. I beg only for mercy, and will do
whatever you command me."

An angel from heaven could not have brought more consolation to Ahmed
than did the jeweller's wife. He assumed all the dignified solemnity
that became his new character, and said, "Woman! I know all thou hast
done, and it is fortunate for thee that thou hast come to confess thy
sin and beg for mercy before it was too late. Return to thy house, put
the ruby under the pillow of the couch on which thy husband sleeps;
let it be laid on the side furthest from the door; and be satisfied
thy guilt shall never be even suspected."

The jeweller's wife returned home, and did as she was desired. In an
hour Ahmed followed her, and told the jeweller he had made his
calculations, and found by the aspect of the sun and moon, and by the
configuration of the stars, that the ruby was at that moment lying
under the pillow of his couch, on the side furthest from the door. The
jeweller thought Ahmed must be crazy; but as a ray of hope is like a
ray from heaven to the wretched, he ran to his couch, and there, to
his joy and wonder, found the ruby in the very place described. He
came back to Ahmed, embraced him, called him his dearest friend and
the preserver of his life, and gave him the two hundred pieces of
gold, declaring that he was the first astrologer of the age.

These praises conveyed no joy to the poor cobbler, who returned home
more thankful to God for his preservation than elated by his good
fortune. The moment he entered the door his wife ran up to him and
exclaimed, "Well, my dear astrologer! what success?"

"There!" said Ahmed, very gravely,--"there are two hundred pieces of
gold. I hope you will be satisfied now, and not ask me again to hazard
my life, as I have done this morning." He then related all that had
passed. But the recital made a very different impression on the lady
from what these occurrences had made on Ahmed. Sittâra saw nothing but
the gold, which would enable her to vie with the chief astrologer's
wife at the Hemmâm. "Courage!" she said, "courage! my dearest husband.
This is only your first labour in your new and noble profession. Go on
and prosper, and we shall become rich and happy."

In vain Ahmed remonstrated and represented the danger; she burst into
tears, and accused him of not loving her, ending with her usual threat
of insisting upon a divorce.

Ahmed's heart melted, and he agreed to make another trial.
Accordingly, next morning he sallied forth with his astrolabe, his
twelve signs of the zodiac, and his almanac, exclaiming, as before, "I
am an astrologer! I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the
twelve signs of the zodiac; I can calculate nativities; I can
foretell everything that is to happen!" A crowd again gathered round
him, but it was now with wonder, and not ridicule; for the story of
the ruby had gone abroad, and the voice of fame had converted the poor
cobbler Ahmed into the ablest and most learned astrologer that was
ever seen at Isfahan.

While everybody was gazing at him, a lady passed by veiled. She was
the wife of one of the richest merchants in the city, and had just
been at the Hemmâm, where she had lost a valuable necklace and
earrings. She was now returning home in great alarm lest her husband
should suspect her of having given her jewels to a lover. Seeing the
crowd around Ahmed, she asked the reason of their assembling, and was
informed of the whole story of the famous astrologer: how he had been
a cobbler, was inspired with supernatural knowledge, and could, with
the help of his astrolabe, his twelve signs of the zodiac, and his
almanac, discover all that ever did or ever would happen in the world.
The story of the jeweller and the king's ruby was then told her,
accompanied by a thousand wonderful circumstances which had never
occurred. The lady, quite satisfied of his skill, went up to Ahmed and
mentioned her loss, saying: "A man of your knowledge and penetration
will easily discover my jewels; find them, and I will give you fifty
pieces of gold."

The poor cobbler was quite confounded, and looked down, thinking only
how to escape without a public exposure of his ignorance. The lady, in
pressing through the crowd, had torn the lower part of her veil.
Ahmed's downcast eyes noticed this; and wishing to inform her of it in
a delicate manner, before it was observed by others, he whispered to
her, "Lady, look down at the rent." The lady's head was full of her
loss, and she was at that moment endeavouring to recollect how it
could have occurred. Ahmed's speech brought it at once to her mind,
and she exclaimed in delighted surprise: "Stay here a few moments,
thou great astrologer. I will return immediately with the reward thou
so well deservest." Saying this, she left him, and soon returned,
carrying in one hand the necklace and earrings, and in the other a
purse with the fifty pieces of gold. "There is gold for thee," she
said, "thou wonderful man, to whom all the secrets of Nature are
revealed! I had quite forgotten where I laid the jewels, and without
thee should never have found them. But when thou desiredst me to look
at the rent below, I instantly recollected the rent near the bottom of
the wall in the bathroom, where, before undressing, I had hid them. I
can now go home in peace and comfort; and it is all owing to thee,
thou wisest of men!"

After these words she walked away, and Ahmed returned to his home,
thankful to Providence for his preservation, and fully resolved never
again to tempt it. His handsome wife, however, could not yet rival
the chief astrologer's lady in her appearance at the Hemmâm, so she
renewed her entreaties and threats, to make her fond husband continue
his career as an astrologer.

About this time it happened that the king's treasury was robbed of
forty chests of gold and jewels, forming the greater part of the
wealth of the kingdom. The high treasurer and other officers of state
used all diligence to find the thieves, but in vain. The king sent for
his astrologer, and declared that if the robbers were not detected by
a stated time, he, as well as the principal ministers, should be put
to death. Only one day of the short period given them remained. All
their search had proved fruitless, and the chief astrologer, who had
made his calculations and exhausted his art to no purpose, had quite
resigned himself to his fate, when one of his friends advised him to
send for the wonderful cobbler, who had become so famous for his
extraordinary discoveries. Two slaves were immediately despatched for
Ahmed, whom they commanded to go with them to their master. "You see
the effects of your ambition," said the poor cobbler to his wife; "I
am going to my death. The king's astrologer has heard of my
presumption, and is determined to have me executed as an impostor."

On entering the palace of the chief astrologer, he was surprised to
see that dignified person come forward to receive him, and lead him to
the seat of honour, and not less so to hear himself thus addressed:
"The ways of Heaven, most learned and excellent Ahmed, are
unsearchable. The high are often cast down, and the low are lifted up.
The whole world depends upon fate and fortune. It is my turn now to be
depressed by fate; it is thine to be exalted by fortune."

His speech was here interrupted by a messenger from the king, who,
having heard of the cobbler's fame, desired his attendance. Poor Ahmed
now concluded that it was all over with him, and followed the king's
messenger, praying to God that he would deliver him from this peril.
When he came into the king's presence, he bent his body to the ground,
and wished his majesty long life and prosperity. "Tell me, Ahmed,"
said the king, "who has stolen my treasure?"

"It was not one man," answered Ahmed, after some consideration; "there
were forty thieves concerned in the robbery."

"Very well," said the king; "but who were they? and what have they
done with my gold and jewels?"

"These questions," said Ahmed, "I cannot now answer; but I hope to
satisfy your Majesty, if you will grant me forty days to make my
calculations."

"I grant you forty days," said the king; "but when they are past, if
my treasure is not found, your life shall pay the forfeit."

Ahmed returned to his house well pleased; for he resolved to take
advantage of the time allowed him to fly from a city where his fame
was likely to be his ruin.

"Well, Ahmed," said his wife, as he entered, "what news at Court?"

"No news at all," said he, "except that I am to be put to death at the
end of forty days, unless I find forty chests of gold and jewels which
have been stolen from the royal treasury."

"But you will discover the thieves."

"How? By what means am I to find them?"

"By the same art which discovered the ruby and the lady's necklace."

"The same art!" replied Ahmed. "Foolish woman! thou knowest that I
have no art, and that I have only pretended to it for the sake of
pleasing thee. But I have had sufficient skill to gain forty days,
during which time we may easily escape to some other city; and with
the money I now possess, and the aid of my former occupation, we may
still obtain an honest livelihood."

"An honest livelihood!" repeated his lady, with scorn. "Will thy
cobbling, thou mean, spiritless wretch, ever enable me to go to the
Hemmâm like the wife of the chief astrologer? Hear me, Ahmed! Think
only of discovering the king's treasure. Thou hast just as good a
chance of doing so as thou hadst of finding the ruby, and the necklace
and earrings. At all events, I am determined thou shalt not escape;
and shouldst thou attempt to run away, I will inform the king's
officers, and have thee taken up and put to death, even before the
forty days are expired. Thou knowest me too well, Ahmed, to doubt my
keeping my word. So take courage, and endeavour to make thy fortune,
and to place me in that rank of life to which my beauty entitles me."

The poor cobbler was dismayed at this speech; but knowing there was no
hope of changing his wife's resolution, he resigned himself to his
fate. "Well," said he, "your will shall be obeyed. All I desire is to
pass the few remaining days of my life as comfortably as I can. You
know I am no scholar, and have little skill in reckoning; so there are
forty dates: give me one of them every night after I have said my
prayers, that I may put them in a jar, and, by counting them may
always see how many of the few days I have to live are gone."

The lady, pleased at carrying her point, took the dates, and promised
to be punctual in doing what her husband desired.

Meanwhile the thieves who had stolen the king's treasure, having been
kept from leaving the city by fear of detection and pursuit, had
received accurate information of every measure taken to discover them.
One of them was among the crowd before the palace on the day the king
sent for Ahmed; and hearing that the cobbler had immediately declared
their exact number, he ran in a fright to his comrades, and exclaimed,
"We are all found out! Ahmed, the new astrologer, has told the king
that there are forty of us."

"There needed no astrologer to tell that," said the captain of the
gang. "This Ahmed, with all his simple good-nature, is a shrewd
fellow. Forty chests having been stolen, he naturally guessed that
there must be forty thieves, and he has made a good hit, that is all;
still it is prudent to watch him, for he certainly has made some
strange discoveries. One of us must go to-night, after dark, to the
terrace of this cobbler's house, and listen to his conversation with
his handsome wife; for he is said to be very fond of her, and will, no
doubt, tell her what success he has had in his endeavours to detect
us."

Everybody approved of this scheme; and soon after nightfall one of the
thieves repaired to the terrace. He arrived there just as the cobbler
had finished his evening prayers, and his wife was giving him the
first date. "Ah!" said Ahmed, as he took it, "there is one of the
forty."

The thief, hearing these words, hastened in consternation to the gang,
and told them that the moment he took his post he had been perceived
by the supernatural knowledge of Ahmed, who immediately told his wife
that one of them was there. The spy's tale was not believed by his
hardened companions; something was imputed to his fears; he might have
been mistaken;--in short, it was determined to send two men the next
night at the same hour. They reached the house just as Ahmed, having
finished his prayers, had received the second date, and heard him
exclaim, "My dear wife, to-night there are two of them!"

The astonished thieves fled, and told their still incredulous comrades
what they had heard. Three men were consequently sent the third night,
four the fourth, and so on. Being afraid of venturing during the day,
they always came as evening closed in, and just as Ahmed was receiving
his date, hence they all in turn heard him say that which convinced
them he was aware of their presence. On the last night they all went,
and Ahmed exclaimed aloud, "The number is complete! To-night the whole
forty are here!"

All doubts were now removed. It was impossible that Ahmed should have
discovered them by any natural means. How could he ascertain their
exact number? and night after night, without ever once being mistaken?
He must have learnt it by his skill in astrology. Even the captain now
yielded, in spite of his incredulity, and declared his opinion that it
was hopeless to elude a man thus gifted; he therefore advised that
they should make a friend of the cobbler, by confessing everything to
him, and bribing him to secrecy by a share of the booty.

His advice was approved of, and an hour before dawn they knocked at
Ahmed's door. The poor man jumped out of bed, and supposing the
soldiers were come to lead him to execution, cried out, "Have
patience! I know what you are come for. It is a very unjust and wicked
deed."

"Most wonderful man!" said the captain, as the door was opened, "we
are fully convinced that thou knowest why we are come, nor do we mean
to justify the action of which thou speakest. Here are two thousand
pieces of gold, which we will give thee, provided thou wilt swear to
say nothing more about the matter."

"Say nothing about it!" said Ahmed. "Do you think it possible I can
suffer such gross wrong and injustice without complaining, and making
it known to all the world?"

"Have mercy upon us!" exclaimed the thieves, falling on their knees;
"only spare our lives, and we will restore the royal treasure."

The cobbler started, rubbed his eyes to see if he were asleep or
awake; and being satisfied that he was awake, and that the men before
him were really the thieves, he assumed a solemn tone, and said:
"Guilty men! ye are persuaded that ye cannot escape from my
penetration, which reaches unto the sun and moon, and knows the
position and aspect of every star in the heavens. Your timely
repentance has saved you. But ye must immediately restore all that ye
have stolen. Go straightway, and carry the forty chests exactly as ye
found them, and bury them a foot deep under the southern wall of the
old ruined Hemmâm, beyond the king's palace. If ye do this punctually,
your lives are spared; but if ye fail in the slightest degree,
destruction will fall upon you and your families."

The thieves promised obedience to his commands and departed. Ahmed
then fell on his knees, and returned thanks to God for this signal
mark of his favour. About two hours after the royal guards came, and
desired Ahmed to follow them. He said he would attend them as soon as
he had taken leave of his wife, to whom he determined not to impart
what had occurred until he saw the result. He bade her farewell very
affectionately; she supported herself with great fortitude on this
trying occasion, exhorting her husband to be of good cheer, and said a
few words about the goodness of Providence. But the fact was, Sittâra
fancied that if God took the worthy cobbler to himself, her beauty
might attract some rich lover, who would enable her to go to the
Hemmâm with as much splendour as the astrologer's lady, whose image,
adorned with jewels and fine clothes, and surrounded by slaves, still
haunted her imagination.

The decrees of Heaven are just: a reward suited to their merits
awaited Ahmed and his wife. The good man stood with a cheerful
countenance before the king, who was impatient for his arrival, and
immediately said, "Ahmed, thy looks are promising; hast thou
discovered my treasure?"

"Does your Majesty require the thieves or the treasure? The stars will
only grant one or the other," said Ahmed, looking at his table of
astrological calculations. "Your Majesty must make your choice. I can
deliver up either, but not both."

"I should be sorry not to punish the thieves," answered the king; "but
if it must be so, I choose the treasure."

"And you give the thieves a full and free pardon?"

"I do, provided I find my treasure untouched."

"Then," said Ahmed, "if your majesty will follow me, the treasure
shall be restored to you."

The king and all his nobles followed the cobbler to the ruins of the
old Hemmâm. There, casting his eyes towards heaven, Ahmed muttered
some sounds, which were supposed by the spectators to be magical
conjurations, but which were in reality the prayers and thanksgivings
of a sincere and pious heart to God for his wonderful deliverance.
When his prayer was finished, he pointed to the southern wall, and
requested that his majesty would order his attendants to dig there.
The work was hardly begun, when the whole forty chests were found in
the same state as when stolen, with the treasurer's seal upon them
still unbroken.

The king's joy knew no bounds; he embraced Ahmed, and immediately
appointed him his chief astrologer, assigned to him an apartment in
the palace, and declared that he should marry his only daughter, as it
was his duty to promote the man whom God had so singularly favoured,
and had made instrumental in restoring the treasures of his kingdom.
The young princess, who was more beautiful than the moon, was not
dissatisfied with her father's choice; for her mind was stored with
religion and virtue, and she had learnt to value beyond all earthly
qualities that piety and learning which she believed Ahmed to possess.
The royal will was carried into execution as soon as formed. The wheel
of fortune had taken a complete turn. The morning had found Ahmed in a
wretched hovel, rising from a sorry bed, in the expectation of losing
his life; in the evening he was the lord of a rich palace, and married
to the only daughter of a powerful king. But this change did not alter
his character. As he had been meek and humble in adversity, he was
modest and gentle in prosperity. Conscious of his own ignorance, he
continued to ascribe his good fortune solely to the favour of
Providence. He became daily more attached to the beautiful and
virtuous princess whom he had married; and he could not help
contrasting her character with that of his former wife, whom he had
ceased to love, and of whose unreasonable and unfeeling vanity he was
now fully sensible.



THE LEGEND OF THE TERRESTRIAL PARADISE OF SHEDDÁD, THE SON OF 'A'D.


It is related that 'Abd Allah, the son of Aboo Kilábeh, went forth to
seek a camel that had run away, and while he was proceeding over the
deserts of El-Yemen and the district of Seba, he chanced to arrive at
a vast city encompassed by enormous fortifications, around the circuit
of which were pavilions rising high into the sky. So when he
approached it, he imagined that there must be inhabitants within it,
of whom he might inquire for his camel; and, accordingly, he advanced,
but on coming to it he found that it was desolate, without any one to
cheer its solitude.

"I alighted," says he, "from my she-camel, and tied up her foot; and
then, composing my mind, entered the city. On approaching the
fortifications, I found that they had two enormous gates, the like of
which, for size and height, have never been seen elsewhere in the
world, set with a variety of jewels and jacinths, white and red, and
yellow and green; and when I beheld this, I was struck with the
utmost wonder at it, and the sight astonished me. I entered the
fortifications in a state of terror and with a wandering mind, and saw
them to be of the same large extent as the city, and to comprise
elevated pavilions, every one of these containing lofty chambers, and
all of them constructed of gold and silver, and adorned with rubies
and chrysolites and pearls and various-coloured jewels. The
folding-doors of these pavilions were like those of the fortifications
in beauty, and the floors were overlaid with large pearls, and with
balls like hazel-nuts, composed of musk and ambergris and saffron. And
when I came into the midst of the city, I saw not in it a created
being of the sons of Adam; and I almost died of terror. I then looked
down from the summits of the lofty chambers and pavilions, and saw
rivers running beneath them; and in the great thoroughfare-streets of
the city were fruit-bearing trees and tall palm-trees. And the
construction of the city was of alternate bricks of gold and silver;
so I said within myself, No doubt this is the paradise promised in the
world to come.

"I carried away of the jewels which were as its gravel, and the musk
that was as its dust, as much as I could bear, and returned to my
district, where I acquainted the people with the occurrence. And the
news reached Mo'áwiyeh, the son of Aboo Sufyán (who was then Caliph),
in the Hejáz; so he wrote to his lieutenant in San'a of El-Yemen,
saying, 'Summon that man, and inquire of him the truth of the matter!'
His lieutenant therefore caused me to be brought, and demanded of me
an account of my adventure, and of what had befallen me; and I
informed him of what I had seen. He then sent me to Mo'áwiyeh, and I
acquainted him also with that which I had seen, but he disbelieved it;
so I produced to him some of those pearls and the little balls of
ambergris and musk and saffron. The latter retained somewhat of their
sweet scent; but the pearls had become yellow and discoloured.

"At the sight of these Mo'áwiyeh wondered, and he sent and caused Kaab
el-Ahbár to be brought before him, and said to him, 'O Kaab el-Ahbár,
I have called thee on account of a matter of which I desire to know
the truth, and I hope that thou mayest be able to certify me of it.'
'And what is it, O Prince of the Faithful?' asked Kaab el-Ahbár.
Mo'áwiyeh said, 'Hast thou any knowledge of the existence of a city
constructed of gold and silver, the pillars whereof are of chrysolite
and ruby, and the gravel of which is of pearls, and of balls like
hazel-nuts, composed of musk and ambergris and saffron?' He answered,
'Yes, O Prince of the Faithful! It is Irem Zat-el-'Emád, the like of
which hath never been constructed in the regions of the earth; and
Sheddád, the son of 'A'd the Greater, built it.' 'Relate to us,' said
Mo'áwiyeh, 'somewhat of its history.' And Kaab el-Ahbár replied
thus:--

"''A'd the Greater had two sons, Shedeed and Sheddád, and when their
father perished they reigned conjointly over the countries after him,
and there was no one of the kings of the earth who was not subject to
them. And Shedeed the son of 'A'd died, so his brother Sheddád ruled
alone over the earth after him. He was fond of reading the ancient
books; and when he met with the description of the world to come, and
of paradise, with its pavilions and lofty chambers, and its trees and
fruits, and of the other things in paradise, his heart enticed him to
construct its like on the earth, after this manner which hath been
above mentioned. He had under his authority a hundred thousand kings,
under each of whom were a hundred thousand valiant chieftains, and
under each of these were a hundred thousand soldiers. And he summoned
them all before him, and said to them, "I find in the ancient books
and histories the description of the paradise that is in the other
world, and I desire to make its like upon the earth. Depart ye
therefore to the most pleasant and most spacious vacant tract in the
earth, and build for me in it a city of gold and silver, and spread,
as its gravel, chrysolites and rubies and pearls, and as the supports
of the vaulted roofs of that city make columns of chrysolite, and fill
it with pavilions, and over the pavilions construct lofty chambers,
and beneath them plant, in the by-streets and great-thoroughfare
streets, varieties of trees bearing different kinds of ripe fruits,
and make rivers to run beneath them in channels of gold and silver."
To this they all replied, "How can we accomplish that which thou hast
described to us, and how can we procure the chrysolites and rubies and
pearls that thou hast mentioned?" But he said, "Know ye not that the
kings of the world are obedient to me, and under my authority, and
that no one who is in it disobeyeth my command?" They answered, "Yes,
we know that." "Depart then," said he, "to the mines of chrysolite and
ruby, and to the places where pearls are found, and gold and silver,
and take forth and collect their contents from the earth, and spare no
exertions. Take also for me, from the hands of me, such of those
things as ye find, and spare none, nor let any escape you; and beware
of disobedience!"

"'He then wrote a letter to each of the kings in the regions of the
earth, commanding them to collect all the articles of the kinds above
mentioned that their subjects possessed, and to repair to the mines in
which these things were found, and extract the precious stones that
they contained, even from the beds of the seas. And they collected the
things that he required in the space of twenty years; after which he
sent forth the geometricians and sages, and labourers and artificers,
from all the countries and regions, and they dispersed themselves
through the deserts and wastes, and tracts and districts, until they
came to a desert wherein was a vast open plain, clear from hills and
mountains, and in it were springs gushing forth, and rivers running.
So they said, "This is the kind of place which the king commanded us
to seek, and called us to find." They then busied themselves in
building the city according to the direction of the King Sheddád, king
of the whole earth, in its length and breadth; and they made through
it the channels for the rivers, and laid the foundations conformably
with the prescribed extent. The kings of the various districts of the
earth sent thither the jewels and stones, and large and small pearls,
and carnelian and pure gold, upon camels over the deserts and wastes,
and sent great ships with them over the seas; and a quantity of those
things, such as cannot be described nor calculated nor defined, was
brought to the workmen, who laboured in the construction of this city
three hundred years. And when they had finished it, they came to the
king and acquainted him with the completion; and he said to them,
"Depart, and make around it impregnable fortifications of great
height, and construct around the circuit of the fortifications a
thousand pavilions, each with a thousand pillars beneath it, in order
that there may be in each pavilion a vizier." So they went
immediately, and did this in twenty years; after which they presented
themselves before Sheddád, and informed him of the accomplishment of
his desire.

"'He therefore ordered his viziers, who were a thousand in number, and
his chief officers, and such of his troops and others as he confided
in, to make themselves ready for departure, and to prepare themselves
for removal to Irem Zat-el-'Emád, in attendance upon the king of the
world, Sheddád, the son of 'A'd. He ordered also such as he chose of
his women and his hareem, as his female slaves and his eunuchs, to fit
themselves out. And they passed twenty years in equipping themselves.
Then Sheddád proceeded with his troops, rejoiced at the accomplishment
of his desire, until there remained between him and Irem Zat-el-'Emád
one day's journey, when God sent down upon him and upon the obstinate
infidels who accompanied him a loud cry from the heaven of His power,
and it destroyed them all by the vehemence of its sound. Neither
Sheddád nor any of those who were with him arrived at the city, or
came in sight of it, and God obliterated the traces of the road that
led to it, but the city remaineth as it was in its place until the
hour of the judgment!'

"At this narrative, related by Kaab el-Ahbár, Mo'áwiyeh wondered, and
he said to him, 'Can any one of mankind arrive at that city?' 'Yes,'
answered Kaab el-Ahbár; 'a man of the companions of Mohammed (upon
whom be blessing and peace!), in appearance like this man who is
sitting here, without any doubt.' Esh-Shaabee also saith, 'It is
related, on the authority of the learned men of Hemyer, in El-Yemen,
that when Sheddád and those who were with him were destroyed by the
loud cry, his son Sheddád the Less reigned after him; for his father,
Sheddád the Greater, had left him as successor to his kingdom, in the
land of Hadramót and Seba, on his departure with the troops who
accompanied him to Irem Zat-el-'Emád. And as soon as the news reached
him of the death of his father, on the way before his arrival at the
city of Irem, he gave orders to carry his father's body from those
desert tracts to Hadramót, and to excavate the sepulchre for him in a
cavern. And when they had done this, he placed his body in it, upon a
couch of gold, and covered the corpse with seventy robes, interwoven
with gold and adorned with precious jewels; and he placed at his head
a tablet of gold, whereon were inscribed these verses:--

    "'Be admonished, O thou who art deceived by a prolonged life!
    I am Sheddád, the son of 'A'd, the lord of a strong fortress,
    The lord of power and might, and of excessive valour.
    The inhabitants of the earth obeyed me, fearing my severity
            and threats;
    And I held the east and west under a strong dominion.
    And a preacher of the true religion invited us to the right way;
    But we opposed him, and said, Is there no refuge from it?
    And a loud cry assaulted us from a tract of the distant horizon;
    Whereupon we fell down like corn in the midst of a plain at harvest;
    And now, beneath the earth, we await the threatened day.'

"Eth-Tha'álibee also saith, 'It happened that two men entered this
cavern, and found at its upper end some steps, and having descended
these, they found an excavation, the length whereof was a hundred
cubits, and its breadth forty cubits, and its height a hundred cubits.
And in the midst of this excavation was a couch of gold, upon which
was a man of enormous bulk, occupying its whole length and breadth,
covered with ornaments and with robes interwoven with gold and silver;
and at his head was a tablet of gold, whereon was an inscription. And
they took that tablet, and carried away from the place as much as they
could of bars of gold and silver and other things.'"



THE TOMB OF NOOSHEERWÂN.


The caliph Hâroon-oor-Rasheed went to visit the tomb of the celebrated
Noosheerwân, the most famous of all the monarchs who ever governed
Persia. Before the tomb was a curtain of gold cloth, which, when
Hâroon touched it, fell to pieces. The walls of the tomb were covered
with gold and jewels, whose splendour illumined its darkness. The body
was placed in a sitting posture on a throne enchased with jewels, and
had so much the appearance of life that, on the first impulse, the
Commander of the Faithful bent to the ground, and saluted the remains
of the just Noosheerwân.

Though the face of the departed monarch was like that of a living man,
and the whole of the body in a state of preservation, which showed the
admirable skill of those who embalmed it, yet when the caliph touched
the garments they mouldered into dust. Hâroon upon this took his own
rich robes and threw them over the corpse; he also hung up a new
curtain richer than that he had destroyed, and perfumed the whole
tomb with camphor, and other sweet scents.

It was remarked that no change was perceptible in the body of
Noosheerwân, except that the ears had become white. The whole scene
affected the caliph greatly; he burst into tears, and repeated from
the Koran--"What I have seen is a warning to those who have eyes." He
observed some writing upon the throne, which he ordered the Moobids
(priests), who were learned in the Pehlevee language, to read and
explain. They did so: it was as follows:--

    "This world remains not; the man who thinks least of it is
    the wisest.

    "Enjoy this world before thou becomest its prey.

    "Bestow the same favour on those below thee as thou desirest
    to receive from those above thee.

    "If thou shouldst conquer the whole world, death will at
    last conquer thee.

    "Be careful that thou art not the dupe of thine own fortune.

    "Thou shalt be paid exactly for what thou hast done; no
    more, no less."

The caliph observed a dark ruby-ring on the finger of Noosheerwân, on
which was written--

    "Avoid cruelty, study good, and never be precipitate in
    action.

    "If thou shouldst live for a hundred years, never for one
    moment forget death.

    "Value above all things the society of the wise."

Around the right arm of Noosheerwân was a clasp of gold, on which was
engraved--

    "On a certain year, on the 10th day of the month
    Erdebehisht, a caliph of the race of Adean, professing the
    faith of Mahomed, accompanied by four good men, and one bad,
    shall visit my tomb."

Below this sentence were the names of the forefathers of the caliph.
Another prophecy was added concerning Hâroon's pilgrimage to
Noosheerwân's tomb.

    "This prince will honour me, and do good unto me, though I
    have no claim upon him; and he will clothe me in a new vest,
    and besprinkle my tomb with sweet-scented essences, and then
    depart unto his home. But the bad man who accompanies him
    shall act treacherously towards me. I pray that God may send
    one of my race to repay the great favours of the caliph, and
    to take vengeance on his unworthy companion. There is, under
    my throne, an inscription which the caliph must read and
    contemplate. Its contents will remind him of me, and make
    him pardon my inability to give him more."

The caliph, on hearing this, put his hand under the throne, and found
the inscription, which consisted of some lines, inscribed on a ruby as
large as the palm of the hand. The Moobids read this also. It
contained information where would be found concealed a treasure of
gold and arms, with some caskets of rich jewels; under this was
written--

    "These I give to the caliph in return for the good he has
    done me; let him take them and be happy."

When Hâroon-oor-Rasheed was about to leave the tomb, Hoosein-ben-Sâhil,
his vizier, said to him: "O Lord of the Faithful, what is the use of
all these precious gems which ornament the abode of the dead, and are
of no benefit to the living? Allow me to take some of them." The caliph
replied with indignation, "Such a wish is more worthy of a thief than
of a great or wise man." Hoosein was ashamed of his speech, and said to
the servant who had been placed at the entrance of the tomb, "Go thou,
and worship the holy shrine within." The man went into the tomb; he was
above a hundred years old, but he had never seen such a blaze of
wealth. He felt inclined to plunder some of it, but was at first
afraid; at last, summoning all his courage, he took a ring from the
finger of Noosheerwân, and came away.

Hâroon saw this man come out, and observing him alarmed, he at once
conjectured what he had been doing. Addressing those around him, he
said, "Do not you now see the extent of the knowledge of Noosheerwân?
He prophesied that there should be one unworthy man with me. It is
this fellow. What have you taken?" said he, in an angry tone.
"Nothing," said the man. "Search him," said the caliph. It was done,
and the ring of Noosheerwân was found. This the caliph immediately
took, and, entering the tomb, replaced it on the cold finger of the
deceased monarch. When he returned, a terrible sound like that of loud
thunder was heard.

Hâroon came down from the mountain on which the tomb stood, and
ordered the road to be made inaccessible to future curiosity. He
searched for, and found, in the place described, the gold, the arms,
and the jewels bequeathed to him by Noosheerwân, and sent them to
Bagdad.

Among the rich articles found was a golden crown, which had five
sides, and was richly ornamented with precious stones. On every side a
number of admirable lessons were written. The most remarkable were as
follows:--

    _First side._

    "Give my regards to those who know themselves.

    "Consider the end before you begin, and before you advance
    provide a retreat.

    "Give not unnecessary pain to any man, but study the
    happiness of all.

    "Ground not your dignity upon your power to hurt others."

    _Second side._

    "Take counsel before you commence any measure, and never
    trust its execution to the inexperienced.

    "Sacrifice your property for your life, and your life for
    your religion.

    "Spend your time in establishing a good name; and if you
    desire fortune, learn contentment."

    _Third side._

    "Grieve not for that which is broken, stolen, burnt, or
    lost.

    "Never give orders in another man's house; and accustom
    yourself to eat your bread at your own table.

    "Make not yourself the captive of women."

    _Fourth side._

    "Take not a wife from a bad family, and seat not thyself
    with those who have no shame.

    "Keep thyself at a distance from those who are incorrigible
    in bad habits, and hold no intercourse with that man who is
    insensible to kindness.

    "Covet not the goods of others.

    "Be guarded with monarchs, for they are like fire which
    blazeth but destroyeth.

    "Be sensible to your own value; estimate justly the worth of
    others; and war not with those who are far above thee in
    fortune."

    _Fifth side._

    "Fear kings, women, and poets.

    "Be envious of no man, and habituate not thyself to search
    after the faults of others.

    "Make it a habit to be happy, and avoid being out of temper,
    or thy life will pass in misery.

    "Respect and protect the females of thy family.

    "Be not the slave of anger; and in thy contests always leave
    open the door of conciliation.

    "Never let your expenses exceed your income.

    "Plant a young tree, or you cannot expect to cut down an old
    one.

    "Stretch your legs no further than the size of your carpet."

The caliph Hâroon-oor-Rasheed was more pleased with the admirable
maxims inscribed on this crown than with all the treasures he had
found. "Write these precepts," he exclaimed, "in a book, that the
faithful may eat of the fruit of wisdom." When he returned to Bagdad,
he related to his favourite vizier, Jaffier Bermekee, and his other
chief officers, all that had passed; and the shade of Noosheerwân was
propitiated by the disgrace of Hoosein-ben-Sâhil (who had recommended
despoiling his tomb), and the exemplary punishment of the servant who
had committed the sacrilegious act of taking the ring from the finger
of the departed monarch.



AMEEN AND THE GHOOL.


There is a dreadful place in Persia called the "Valley of the Angel of
Death." That terrific minister of God's wrath, according to tradition,
has resting-places upon the earth and his favourite abodes. He is
surrounded by ghools, horrid beings who, when he takes away life,
feast upon the carcasses.

The natural shape of these monsters is terrible; but they can assume
those of animals, such as cows or camels, or whatever they choose,
often appearing to men as their relations or friends, and then they do
not only transform their shapes, but their voices also are altered.
The frightful screams and yells which are often heard amid these
dreaded ravines are changed for the softest and most melodious notes.
Unwary travellers, deluded by the appearance of friends, or captivated
by the forms and charmed by the music of these demons, are allured
from their path, and after feasting for a few hours on every luxury,
are consigned to destruction.

The number of these ghools has greatly decreased since the birth of
the Prophet, and they have no power to hurt those who pronounce his
name in sincerity of faith. These creatures are the very lowest of the
supernatural world, and, besides being timid, are extremely stupid,
and consequently often imposed upon by artful men.

The natives of Isfahan, though not brave, are the most crafty and
acute people upon earth, and often supply the want of courage by their
address. An inhabitant of that city was once compelled to travel alone
at night through this dreadful valley. He was a man of ready wit, and
fond of adventures, and, though no lion, had great confidence in his
cunning, which had brought him through a hundred scrapes and perils
that would have embarrassed or destroyed your simple man of valour.

This man, whose name was Ameen Beg, had heard many stories of the
ghools of the "Valley of the Angel of Death," and thought it likely he
might meet one. He prepared accordingly, by putting an egg and a lump
of salt in his pocket. He had not gone far amidst the rocks, when he
heard a voice crying, "Holloa, Ameen Beg Isfahânee! you are going the
wrong road, you will lose yourself; come this way. I am your friend
Kerreem Beg; I know your father, old Kerbela Beg, and the street in
which you were born." Ameen knew well the power the ghools had of
assuming the shape of any person they choose; and he also knew their
skill as genealogists, and their knowledge of towns as well as
families; he had therefore little doubt this was one of those
creatures alluring him to destruction. He, however, determined to
encounter him, and trust to his art for his escape.

"Stop, my friend, till I come near you," was his reply. When Ameen
came close to the ghool, he said, "You are not my friend Kerreem; you
are a lying demon, but you are just the being I desired to meet. I
have tried my strength against all the men and all the beasts which
exist in the natural world, and I can find nothing that is a match for
me. I came therefore to this valley in the hope of encountering a
ghool, that I might prove my prowess upon him."

The ghool, astonished at being addressed in this manner, looked keenly
at him, and said, "Son of Adam, you do not appear so strong."
"Appearances are deceitful," replied Ameen, "but I will give you a
proof of my strength. There," said he, picking up a stone from a
rivulet, "this contains a fluid; try if you can so squeeze it that it
will flow out." The ghool took the stone, but, after a short attempt,
returned it, saying, "The thing is impossible." "Quite easy," said the
Isfahânee, taking the stone and placing it in the hand in which he had
before put the egg. "Look there!" And the astonished ghool, while he
heard what he took for the breaking of the stone, saw the liquid run
from between Ameen's fingers, and this apparently without any effort.

Ameen, aided by the darkness, placed the stone upon the ground while
he picked up another of a darker hue. "This," said he, "I can see
contains salt, as you will find if you can crumble it between your
fingers;" but the ghool, looking at it, confessed he had neither
knowledge to discover its qualities nor strength to break it. "Give it
me," said his companion impatiently; and, having put it into the same
hand with the piece of salt, he instantly gave the latter all crushed
to the ghool, who, seeing it reduced to powder, tasted it, and
remained in stupid astonishment at the skill and strength of this
wonderful man. Neither was he without alarm lest his strength should
be exerted against himself, and he saw no safety in resorting to the
shape of a beast, for Ameen had warned him that if he commenced any
such unfair dealing, he would instantly slay him; for ghools, though
long-lived, are not immortal.

Under such circumstances he thought his best plan was to conciliate
the friendship of his new companion till he found an opportunity of
destroying him.

"Most wonderful man," he said, "will you honour my abode with your
presence? it is quite at hand; there you will find every refreshment;
and after a comfortable night's rest you can resume your journey."

"I have no objection, friend ghool, to accept your offer; but, mark
me, I am, in the first place, very passionate, and must not be
provoked by any expressions which are in the least disrespectful; and,
in the second, I am full of penetration, and can see through your
designs as clearly as I saw into that hard stone in which I discovered
salt. So take care you entertain none that are wicked, or you shall
suffer."

The ghool declared that the ear of his guest should be pained by no
expression to which it did not befit his dignity to listen; and he
swore by the head of his liege lord, the Angel of Death, that he would
faithfully respect the rights of hospitality and friendship.

Thus satisfied, Ameen followed the ghool through a number of crooked
paths, rugged cliffs, and deep ravines, till they came to a large
cave, which was dimly lighted. "Here," said the ghool, "I dwell, and
here my friend will find all he can want for refreshment and repose."
So saying, he led him to various apartments, in which were hoarded
every species of grain, and all kinds of merchandise, plundered from
travellers who had been deluded to this den, and of whose fate Ameen
was too well informed by the bones over which he now and then
stumbled, and by the putrid smell produced by some half-consumed
carcasses.

"This will be sufficient for your supper, I hope," said the ghool,
taking up a large bag of rice; "a man of your prowess must have a
tolerable appetite." "True," said Ameen, "but I ate a sheep and as
much rice as you have there before I proceeded on my journey. I am,
consequently, not hungry, but will take a little lest I offend your
hospitality." "I must boil it for you," said the demon; "you do not
eat grain and meat raw, as we do. Here is a kettle," said he, taking
up one lying amongst the plundered property. "I will go and get wood
for a fire, while you fetch water with that," pointing to a bag made
of the hides of six oxen.

Ameen waited till he saw his host leave the cave for the wood, and
then with great difficulty he dragged the enormous bag to the bank of
a dark stream, which issued from the rocks at the other end of the
cavern, and, after being visible for a few yards, disappeared
underground.

"How shall I," thought Ameen, "prevent my weakness being discovered?
This bag I could hardly manage when empty; when full, it would require
twenty strong men to carry it; what shall I do? I shall certainly be
eaten up by this cannibal ghool, who is now only kept in order by the
impression of my great strength." After some minutes' reflection the
Isfahânee thought of a scheme, and began digging a small channel from
the stream towards the place where his supper was preparing.

"What are you doing?" vociferated the ghool, as he advanced towards
him; "I sent you for water to boil a little rice, and you have been an
hour about it. Cannot you fill the bag and bring it away?" "Certainly
I can," said Ameen; "if I were content, after all your kindness, to
show my gratitude merely by feats of brute strength, I could lift your
stream if you had a bag large enough to hold it. But here," said he,
pointing to the channel he had begun,--"here is the commencement of a
work in which the mind of a man is employed to lessen the labour of
his body. This canal, small as it may appear, will carry a stream to
the other end of the cave, in which I will construct a dam that you
can open and shut at pleasure, and thereby save yourself infinite
trouble in fetching water. But pray let me alone till it is finished,"
and he began to dig. "Nonsense!" said the ghool, seizing the bag and
filling it; "I will carry the water myself, and I advise you to leave
off your canal, as you call it, and follow me, that you may eat your
supper and go to sleep; you may finish this fine work, if you like it,
to-morrow morning."

Ameen congratulated himself on this escape, and was not slow in taking
the advice of his host. After having ate heartily of the supper that
was prepared, he went to repose on a bed made of the richest coverlets
and pillows, which were taken from one of the store-rooms of plundered
goods. The ghool, whose bed was also in the cave, had no sooner laid
down than he fell into a sound sleep. The anxiety of Ameen's mind
prevented him from following his example; he rose gently, and having
stuffed a long pillow into the middle of his bed, to make it appear as
if he was still there, he retired to a concealed place in the cavern
to watch the proceedings of the ghool. The latter awoke a short time
before daylight, and rising, went, without making any noise, towards
Ameen's bed, where, not observing the least stir, he was satisfied
that his guest was in a deep sleep; so he took up one of his
walking-sticks, which was in size like the trunk of a tree, and struck
a terrible blow at what he supposed to be Ameen's head. He smiled not
to hear a groan, thinking he had deprived him of life; but to make
sure of his work, he repeated the blow seven times. He then returned
to rest, but had hardly settled himself to sleep, when Ameen, who had
crept into the bed, raised his head above the clothes and exclaimed,
"Friend ghool, what insect could it be that has disturbed me by its
tapping? I counted the flap of its little wings seven times on the
coverlet. These vermin are very annoying, for, though they cannot hurt
a man, they disturb his rest!"

The ghool's dismay on hearing Ameen speak at all was great, but that
was increased to perfect fright when he heard him describe seven
blows, any one of which would have felled an elephant, as seven flaps
of an insect's wing. There was no safety, he thought, near so
wonderful a man, and he soon afterwards arose and fled from the cave,
leaving the Isfahânee its sole master.

When Ameen found his host gone, he was at no loss to conjecture the
cause, and immediately began to survey the treasures with which he was
surrounded, and to contrive means for removing them to his home.

After examining the contents of the cave, and arming himself with a
matchlock, which had belonged to some victim of the ghool, he
proceeded to survey the road. He had, however, only gone a short
distance when he saw the ghool returning with a large club in his
hand, and accompanied by a fox. Ameen's knowledge of the cunning
animal instantly led him to suspect that it had undeceived his enemy,
but his presence of mind did not forsake him. "Take that," said he to
the fox, aiming a ball at him from his matchlock, and shooting him
through the head,--"Take that for your not performing my orders. That
brute," said he, "promised to bring me seven ghools, that I might
chain them, and carry them to Isfahan, and here he has only brought
you, who are already my slave." So saying, he advanced towards the
ghool; but the latter had already taken to flight, and by the aid of
his club bounded so rapidly over rocks and precipices that he was soon
out of sight.

Ameen having well marked the path from the cavern to the road, went
to the nearest town and hired camels and mules to remove the property
he had acquired. After making restitution to all who remained alive to
prove their goods, he became, from what was unclaimed, a man of
wealth, all of which was owing to that wit and art which ever overcome
brute strength and courage.



THE RELATIONS OF SSIDI KUR.


Glorified Nangasuna Garbi! thou art radiant within and without; the
holy vessel of sublimity, the fathomer of concealed thoughts, the
second of instructors, I bow before thee. What wonderful adventures
fell to the lot of Nangasuna, and to the peaceful wandering Chan, and
how instructive and learned the Ssidi will be found, all this is
developed in thirteen pleasing narratives.

And I will first relate the origin of these tales:--

In the central kingdom of India there once lived seven brothers, who
were magicians; and one berren (a measure of distance) further dwelt
two brothers, who were sons of a Chan. Now the eldest of these sons of
the Chan betook himself to the magicians, that he might learn their
art; but although he studied under them for seven years, yet the
magicians taught him not the true key to magic.

And once upon a time it happened that the youngest brother, going to
bring food to the elder, peeped through the opening of the door, and
obtained the key to magic. Thereupon, without delivering to the elder
the food which he had brought for him, he returned home to the palace.
Then said the younger son of the Chan to his brother, "That we have
learned magic, let us keep to ourselves. We have in the stable a
beautiful horse; take this horse, and ride not with him near the
dwelling-place of the magicians, but sell the horse in their country,
and bring back merchandise."

And when he had said thus, he changed himself into a horse. But the
elder son of the Chan heeded not the words of his brother, but said
unto himself: "Full seven years have I studied magic, and as yet have
learned nothing. Where, then, has my young brother found so beautiful
a horse? and how can I refuse to ride thereon?"

With these words he mounted, but the horse being impelled by the power
of magic was not to be restrained, galloped away to the dwelling-place
of the magicians, and could not be got from the door. "Well, then, I
will sell the horse to the magicians." Thus thinking to himself, the
elder called out to the magicians, "Saw ye ever a horse like unto
this? My younger brother it was who found him." At these words the
magicians communed with one another. "This is a magic horse; if magic
grow at all common, there will be no wonderful art remaining. Let us,
therefore, take this horse and slay him."

The magicians paid the price demanded for the horse, and tied him in
a stall; and that he might not escape out of their hands, they
fastened him, ready for slaughter, by the head, by the tail, and by
the feet. "Ah!" thought the horse to himself, "my elder brother
hearkened not unto me, and therefore am I fallen into such hands. What
form shall I assume?" While the horse was thus considering, he saw a
fish swim by him in the water, and immediately he changed himself into
a fish.

But the seven magicians became seven herons, and pursued the fish, and
were on the point of catching it, when it looked up and beheld a dove
in the sky, and thereupon transformed itself into a dove. The seven
magicians now became seven hawks, and followed the dove over mountains
and rivers, and would certainly have seized upon it, but the dove,
flying eastwards to the peaceful cave in the rock Gulumtschi,
concealed itself in the bosom of Nangasuna Baktschi (the Instructor).
Then the seven hawks became seven beggars, and drew nigh unto the rock
Gulumtschi. "What may this import?" bethought the Baktschi to himself,
"that this dove has fled hither pursued by seven hawks?" Thus
thinking, the Baktschi said, "Wherefore, O dove, fliest thou hither in
such alarm?" Then the dove related to him the cause of its flight, and
spake afterwards as follows:--"At the entrance to the rock Gulumtschi
stand seven beggars, and they will come to the Baktschi and say, 'We
pray thee give us the rosary of the Baktschi?' Then will I transform
myself into the Bumba of the rosary; let the Baktschi then vouchsafe
to take this Bumba into his mouth and to cast the rosary from him."

Hereupon the seven beggars drew nigh, and the Baktschi took the first
bead into his mouth and the rest he cast from him. The beads which
were cast away then became worms, and the seven beggars became fowls
and ate up the worms. Then the Baktschi let the first bead fall from
his mouth, and thereupon the first bead was transformed into a man
with a sword in his hand. When the seven fowls were slain and become
human corses, the Baktschi was troubled in his soul, and said these
words, "Through my having preserved one single man have seven been
slain. Of a verity this is not good."

To these words the other replied, "I am the Son of a Chan. Since,
therefore, through the preservation of my life, several others have
lost their lives, I will, to cleanse me from my sins, and also to
reward the Baktschi, execute whatsoever he shall command me." The
Baktschi replied thereto, "Now, then, in the cold Forest of Death
there abides Ssidi Kur; the upper part of his body is decked with
gold, the lower is of brass, his head is covered with silver. Seize
him and hold him fast. Whosoever finds this wonderful Ssidi Kur, him
will I make for a thousand years a man upon the earth."

Thus spake he, and the youth thereupon began these words: "The way
which I must take, the food which I require, the means which I must
employ, all these vouchsafe to make known unto me." To this the
Baktschi replied, "It shall be as thou demandest. At the distance of a
berren (a measure of distance) from this place you will come to a
gloomy forest, through which you will find there runs only one narrow
path. The place is full of spirits. When thou reachest the spirits,
they will throng around you; then cry ye with a loud voice, 'Spirits,
chu lu chu lu ssochi!' And when thou hast spoken these words, they
will all be scattered like grain. When thou hast proceeded a little
further, you will encounter a crowd of other spirits; then cry ye,
'Spirits, chu lu chu lu ssosi!' And a little further on you will
behold a crowd of child-spirits: say unto these, 'Child-spirits, Ri ra
pa dra!' In the middle of this wood sits Ssidi Kur, beside an
amiri-tree. When he beholds you, he will climb up it, but you must
take the moon-axe, with furious gestures draw nigh unto the tree, and
bid Ssidi Kur descend. To bring him away you will require this sack,
which would hold a hundred men. To bind him fast this hundred fathoms
of checkered rope will serve you. This inexhaustible cake will furnish
thee with provender for thy journey. When thou hast got thy load upon
thy back, wander then on without speaking, until thou art returned
home again. Thy name is Son of the Chan; and since thou hast reached
the peaceful rock Gulumtschi, thou shalt be called the peaceful
wandering Son of the Chan."

Thus spake the Baktschi, and showed him the way of expiation. When
Ssidi Kur beheld his pursuer, he speedily climbed up the amiri-tree,
but the Son of the Chan drew nigh unto the foot of the tree, and spake
with threatening words: "My Baktschi is Nangasuna Garbi; mine axe is
called the white moon; an inexhaustible cake is my provender. This
sack, capable of holding a hundred men, will serve to carry thee away,
this hundred fathoms of rope will serve to bind thee fast; I myself am
the peaceful wandering Son of the Chan. Descend, or I will hew down
the tree."

Then spake Ssidi Kur, "Do not hew down the tree; I will descend from
it."

And when he had descended, the Son of the Chan thrust him into the
sack, tied the sack fast with the rope, ate of the butter-cake, and
wandered forth many days with his burden. At length Ssidi Kur said to
the Son of the Chan, "Since our long journey is wearisome unto us, I
will tell a story unto you, or do you relate one unto me."

The Son of the Chan kept on his way, however, without speaking a word,
and Ssidi began afresh, "If thou wilt tell a story, nod your head to
me; if I shall relate one, then do you shake your head."

But because the Son of the Chan shook his head from side to side,
without uttering a word, Ssidi began the following tale:--


THE ADVENTURES OF THE RICH YOUTH.

"In former times there lived, in a great kingdom, a rich youth, a
calculator, a mechanic, a painter, a physician, and a smith, and they
all departed from their parents and went forth into a foreign land.
When they at length arrived at the mouth of a great river, they
planted, every one of them, a tree of life; and each of them,
following one of the sources of the river, set forth to seek their
fortunes. 'Here,' said they to one another,--'here will we meet again.
Should, however, any one of us be missing, and his tree of life be
withered, we will search for him in the place whither he went to.'

"Thus they agreed, and separated one from another. And the rich youth
found at the source of the stream, which he had followed, a
pleasure-garden with a house, in the entrance to which were seated an
old man and an old woman. 'Good youth,' exclaimed they both, 'whence
comest thou--whither goest thou?' The youth replied, 'I come from a
distant country, and am going to seek my fortune.' And the old couple
said unto him, 'It is well thou hast come hither. We have a daughter,
slender of shape and pleasant of behaviour. Take her, and be a son
unto us!'

"And when they had so spoken, the daughter made her appearance. And
when the youth beheld her, he thought unto himself, 'It is well I left
my father and my mother. This maiden is more beauteous than a daughter
of the Tângâri (god-like spirits of the male and female sex). I will
take the maiden and dwell here.' And the maiden said, 'Youth, it is
well that thou earnest here.' Thereupon they conversed together, went
together into the house, and lived peacefully and happily.

"Now, over the same country there reigned a mighty Chan. And once in
the spring-time, when his servants went forth together to bathe, they
found, near the mouth of the river, in the water, a pair of costly
earrings, which belonged to the wife of the rich youth. Because,
therefore, these jewels were so wondrously beautiful, they carried
them to the Chan, who, being greatly surprised thereat, said unto his
servants, 'Dwells there at the source of the river a woman such as
these belong to? Go, and bring her unto me.'

"The servants went accordingly, beheld the woman, and were amazed at
the sight. 'This woman,' said they to one another, 'one would never
tire of beholding.' But to the woman they said, 'Arise! and draw nigh
with us unto the Chan.'

"Hereupon the rich youth conducted his wife to the presence of the
Chan; but the Chan, when he beheld her, exclaimed, 'This maiden is a
Tângâri, compared with her, my wives are but ugly.'

"Thus spake he, and he was so smitten with love of her, that he would
not let her depart from his house. But as she remained true and
faithful to the rich youth, the Chan said unto his servants, 'Remove
this rich youth instantly out of my sight.'

"At these commands the servants went forth, taking with them the rich
youth, whom they led to the water, where they laid him in a pit by the
side of the stream, covered him with a huge fragment of the rock, and
thus slew him.

"At length it happened that the other wanderers returned from all
sides, each to his tree of life; and when the rich youth was missed,
and they saw that his tree of life was withered, they sought him up
the source of the river which he had followed, but found him not.
Hereupon the reckoner discovered, by his calculations, that the rich
youth was lying dead under a piece of the rock; but as they could by
no means remove the stone, the smith took his hammer, smote the stone,
and drew out the body. Then the physician mixed a life-inspiring
draught, gave the same to the dead youth, and so restored him to life.

"They now demanded of him whom they had recalled to life, 'In what
manner wert thou slain?' He accordingly related unto them the
circumstances; and they communed one with another, saying, 'Let us
snatch this extraordinary beautiful woman from the Chan!' Thereupon
the mechanic constructed a wooden gerudin, or wonderful bird, which,
when moved upwards from within, ascended into the air; when moved
downwards, descended into the earth; when moved sideways, flew
sideways accordingly. When this was done, they painted it with
different colours, so that it was pleasant to behold.

"Then the rich youth seated himself within the wooden bird, flew
through the air, and hovered over the roof of the royal mansion; and
the Chan and his servants were astonished at the form of the bird, and
said, 'A bird like unto this we never before saw or heard of.' And to
his wife the Chan said, 'Go ye to the roof of the palace, and offer
food of different kinds unto this strange bird.' When she went up to
offer food, the bird descended, and the rich youth opened the door
which was in the bird. Then said the wife of the Chan, full of joy, 'I
had never hoped or thought to have seen thee again, yet now have I
found thee once more. This has been accomplished by this wonderful
bird.' After the youth had related to her all that had happened, he
said unto her, 'Thou art now the wife of the Chan--but if your heart
now yearns unto me, step thou into this wooden gerudin, and we will
fly hence through the air, and for the future know care no more.'

"After these words the wife said, 'To the first husband to whom
destiny united me am I inclined more than ever.' Having thus spoken
they entered into the wooden gerudin, and ascended into the sky. The
Chan beheld this, and said, 'Because I sent thee up that thou mightest
feed this beautiful bird, thou hast betaken thyself to the skies.'
Thus spake he full of anger, and threw himself weeping on the ground.

"The rich youth now turned the peg in the bird downwards, and
descended upon the earth close to his companions. And when he stepped
forth out of the bird, his companions asked him, 'Hast thou thoroughly
accomplished all that thou didst desire?' Thereupon his wife also
stepped forth, and all who beheld her became in love with her. 'You,
my companions,' said the rich youth, 'have brought help unto me; you
have awakened me from death; you have afforded me the means of once
more finding my wife. Do not, I beseech you, rob me of my charmer once
again.'

"Thus spake he; and the calculator began with these words:--'Had I not
discovered by my calculation where thou wert lying, thou wouldst never
have recovered thy wife.'

"'In vain,' said the smith, 'would the calculations have been, had I
not drawn thee out of the rock. By means of the shattered rock it was
that you obtained your wife. Then your wife belongs to me.'

"'A body,' said the physician, 'was drawn from out of the shattered
rock. That this body was restored to life, and recovered his former
wife, it was my skill accomplished it. I, therefore, should take the
wife.'

"'But for the wooden bird,' said the mechanic, 'no one would ever have
reached the wife. A numerous host attend upon the Chan; no one can
approach the house wherein he resides. Through my wooden bird alone
was the wife recovered. Let me, then, take her.'

"'The wife,' said the painter, 'never would have carried food to a
wooden bird; therefore it was only through my skill in painting that
she was recovered; I, therefore, claim her.'

"And when they had thus spoken, they drew their knives and slew one
another."

"Alas! poor woman!" exclaimed the son of the Chan; and Ssidi said,
"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words:--Ssarwala missbrod
jakzang!" Thus spake he, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's first tale treated of the adventures of the rich youth.


THE ADVENTURES OF THE BEGGAR'S SON.

When the Son of the Chan arrived as before at the cold Forest of
Death, he exclaimed with threatening gestures at the foot of the
amiri-tree, "Thou dead one, descend, or I will hew down the tree."
Ssidi descended. The son of Chan placed him in the sack, bound the
sack fast with the rope, ate of his provender, and journeyed forth
with his burden. Then spake the dead one these words, "Since we have a
long journey before us, do you relate a pleasant story by the way, or
I will do so." But the Son of the Chan merely shook his head without
speaking a word. Whereupon Ssidi commenced the following tale:--

"A long time ago there was a mighty Chan who was ruler over a country
full of market-places. At the source of the river which ran through it
there was an immense marsh, and in this marsh there dwelt two
crocodile-frogs, who would not allow the water to run out of the
marsh. And because there came no water over their fields, every year
did both the good and the bad have cause to mourn, until such times as
a man had been given to the frogs for the pests to devour. And at
length the lot fell upon the Chan himself to be an offering to them,
and needful as he was to the welfare of the kingdom, denial availed
him not; therefore father and son communed sorrowfully together,
saying, 'Which of us two shall go?'

"'I am an old man,' said the father, 'and shall leave no one to lament
me. I will go, therefore. Do you remain here, my son, and reign
according as it is appointed.'

"'O Tângâri,' exclaimed the son, 'verily this is not as it should be!
Thou hast brought me up with care, O my father! If the Chan and the
wife of the Chan remain, what need is there of their son? I then will
go, and be as a feast for the frogs.'

"Thus spake he, and the people walked sorrowfully round about him, and
then betook themselves back again. Now the son of the Chan had for his
companion the son of a poor man, and he went to him and said, 'Walk ye
according to the will of your parents, and remain at home in peace and
safety. I am going, for the good of the kingdom, to serve as a
sacrifice to the frogs.' At these words the son of the poor man said,
weeping and lamenting, 'From my youth up, O Chan, thou hast carefully
fostered me. I will go with thee, and share thy fate.'

"Then they both arose and went unto the frogs; and on the verge of the
marsh they heard the yellow frog and the blue frog conversing with one
another. And the frogs said, 'If the son of the Chan and his companion
did but know that if they only smote off our heads with the sword, and
the son of the Chan consumed me, the yellow frog, and the son of the
poor man consumed thee, the blue frog, they would both cast out from
their mouths gold and brass, then would the country be no longer
compelled to find food for frogs.'

"Now, because the son of the Chan understood all sorts of languages,
he comprehended the discourse of the frogs, and he and his companion
smote the heads of the frogs with their swords; and when they had
devoured the frogs, they threw out from their mouths gold and brass
at their heart's pleasure. Then said the wanderers, 'The frogs are
both slain--the course of the waters will be hemmed in no more. Let us
then turn back unto our own country.' But the son of the Chan agreed
not to this, and said, 'Let us not turn back into our own country,
lest they say they are become spirits; therefore it is better that we
journey further.'

"As they thereupon were walking over a mountain, they came to a
tavern, in which dwelt two women, beautiful to behold--mother and
daughter. Then said they, 'We would buy strong liquor that we might
drink.' The women replied, 'What have ye to give in exchange for
strong liquor?' Thereupon each of them threw forth gold and brass, and
the women found pleasure therein, admitted them into their dwelling,
gave them liquor in abundance, until they became stupid and slept,
took from them what they had, and then turned them out of doors.

"Now when they awoke the son of the Chan and his companion travelled
along a river and arrived in a wood, where they found some children
quarrelling one with another. 'Wherefore,' inquired they, 'do you thus
dispute?'

"'We have,' said the children, 'found a cap in this wood, and every
one desires to possess it.'

"'Of what use is the cap?'

"'The cap has this wonderful property, that whosoever places it on his
head can be seen neither by the Tângâri, nor by men, nor by the
Tschadkurrs' (evil spirits).

"'Now go all of ye to the end of the forest and run hither, and I will
in the meanwhile keep the cap, and give it to the first of you who
reaches me.'

"Thus spoke the son of the Chan; and the children ran, but they found
not the cap, for it was upon the head of the Chan. 'Even now it was
here,' said they, 'and now it is gone.' And after they had sought for
it, but without finding it, they went away weeping.

"And the son of the Chan and his companion travelled onwards, and at
last they came to a forest in which they found a body of Tschadkurrs
quarrelling one with another, and they said, 'Wherefore do ye thus
quarrel one with another?'

"'I,' exclaimed each of them, 'have made myself master of these
boots.'

"'Of what use are these boots?' inquired the son of the Chan.

"'He who wears these boots,' replied the Tschadkurrs, 'is conveyed to
any country wherein he wishes himself.'

"'Now,' answered the son of the Chan, 'go all of you that way, and he
who first runs hither shall obtain the boots.'

"And the Tschadkurrs, when they heard these words, ran as they were
told; but the son of the Chan had concealed the boots in the bosom of
his companion, who had the cap upon his head. And the Tschadkurrs saw
the boots no more; they sought them in vain, and went their way.

"And when they were gone, the prince and his companion drew on each of
them one of the boots, and they wished themselves near the place of
election in a Chan's kingdom. They wished their journey, laid
themselves down to sleep, and on their awaking in the morning they
found themselves in the hollow of a tree, right in the centre of the
imperial place of election. It was, moreover, a day for the assembling
of the people, to throw a Baling (a sacred figure of dough or paste)
under the guidance of the Tângâri. 'Upon whose head even the Baling
falls, he shall be our Chan.' Thus spake they as they threw it up; but
the tree caught the Baling of Destiny. 'What means this?' exclaimed
they all with one accord. 'Shall we have a tree for our Chan?'

"'Let us examine,' cried they one to another, 'whether the tree
concealeth any stranger.' And when they approached the tree the son of
the Chan and his companion stepped forth. But the people stood yet in
doubt, and said one to another thus, 'Whosoever ruleth over the people
of this land, this shall be decided to-morrow morning by what
proceedeth from their mouths.' And when they had thus spoken, they all
took their departure.

"On the following morning some drank water, and what they threw from
their mouths was white; others ate grass, and what they threw from
their mouths was green. In short, one threw one thing, and another
another thing. But because the son of the Chan and his companion cast
out from their mouths gold and brass, the people cried, 'Let the one
be Chan of this people--let the other be his minister.' Thus were they
nominated Chan and minister! And the daughter of the former Chan was
appointed the wife of the new Chan.

"Now in the neighbourhood of the palace wherein the Chan dwelt was a
lofty building, whither the wife of the Chan betook herself every day.
'Wherefore,' thought the minister, 'does the wife of the Chan betake
herself to this spot every day?' Thus thinking, he placed the
wonderful cap upon his head, and followed the Chan's wife through the
open doors, up one step after another, up to the roof. Here the wife
of the Chan gathered together silken coverlets and pillows, made ready
various drinks and delicate meats, and burnt for their perfume tapers
and frankincense. The minister being concealed by his cap, which made
him invisible, seated himself by the side of the Chan's wife, and
looked around on every side.

"Shortly afterwards a beautiful bird swept through the sky. The wife
of the Chan received it with fragrance-giving tapers. The bird seated
itself upon the roof and twittered with a pleasing voice; but out of
the bird came Solangdu, the Son of the Tângâri, whose beauty was
incomparable, and he laid himself on the silken coverlets and fed of
the dainties prepared for him. Then spake the son of the Tângâri,
'Thou hast passed this morning with the husband whom thy fate has
allotted to thee. What thinkest thou of him?' The wife of the Chan
answered, 'I know too little of the prince to speak of his good
qualities or his defects.' Thus passed the day, and the wife of the
Chan returned home again.

"On the following day the minister followed the wife of the Chan as he
had done before, and heard the son of the Tângâri say unto her,
'To-morrow I will come like a bird of Paradise to see thine husband.'
And the wife of the Chan said, 'Be it so.'

"The day passed over, and the minister said to the Chan, 'In yonder
palace lives Solangdu, the beauteous son of the Tângâri.' The minister
then related all that he had witnessed, and said, 'To-morrow early the
son of the Tângâri will seek thee, disguised like a bird of Paradise.
I will seize the bird by the tail, and cast him into the fire; but you
must smite him in pieces with the sword.'

"On the following morning, the Chan and the wife of the Chan were
seated together, when the son of the Tângâri, transformed into a bird
of Paradise, appeared before them on the steps that led to the
palace. The wife of the Chan greeted the bird with looks expressive of
pleasure, but the minister, who had on his invisible-making cap,
seized the bird suddenly by the tail, and cast him into the fire. And
the Chan smote at him violently with his sword; but the wife of the
Chan seized the hand of her husband, so that only the wings of the
bird were scorched. 'Alas, poor bird!' exclaimed the wife of the Chan,
as, half dead, it made its way, as well as it could, through the air.

"On the next morning the wife of the Chan went as usual to the lofty
building, and this time, too, did the minister follow her. She
collected together, as usual, the silken pillows, but waited longer
than she was wont, and sat watching with staring eyes. At length the
bird approached with a very slow flight, and came down from the
birdhouse covered with blood and wounds, and the wife of the Chan wept
at the sight. 'Weep not,' said the son of the Tângâri; 'thine husband
has a heavy hand. The fire has so scorched me that I can never come
more.'

"Thus spoke he, and the wife of the Chan replied, 'Do not say so, but
come as you are wont to do, at least come on the day of the full
moon.' Then the son of the Tângâri flew up to the sky again, and the
wife of the Chan began from that time to love her husband with her
whole heart.

"Then the minister placed his wonderful cap upon his head, and,
drawing near to a pagoda, he saw, through the crevice of the door, a
man, who spread out a figure of an ass, rolled himself over and over
upon the figure, thereupon took upon himself the form of an ass, and
ran up and down braying like one. Then he began rolling afresh, and
appeared in his human form. At last he folded up the paper, and placed
it in the hand of a burchan (a Calmuc idol). And when the man came out
the minister went in, procured the paper, and remembering the
ill-treatment which he had formerly received, he went to the mother
and daughter who had sold him the strong liquor, and said, with crafty
words, 'I am come to you to reward you for your good deeds.' With
these words he gave the women three pieces of gold; and the women
asked him, saying, 'Thou art, indeed, an honest man, but where did you
procure so much gold?' Then the minister answered, 'By merely rolling
backwards and forwards over this paper did I procure this gold.' On
hearing these words, the women said, 'Grant us that we too may roll
upon it.' And they did so, and were changed into asses. And the
minister brought the asses to the Chan, and the Chan said, 'Let them
be employed in carrying stones and earth.'

"Thus spake he, and for three years were these two asses compelled to
carry stones and earth; and their backs were sore wounded, and
covered with bruises. Then saw the Chan their eyes filled with tears,
and he said to the minister, 'Torment the poor brutes no longer.'

"Thereupon they rolled upon the paper, and after they had done so they
were changed to two shrivelled women."

"Poor creatures!" exclaimed the Son of the Chan. Ssidi replied, "Ruler
of Destiny, thou hast spoken words: Ssarwala missdood jakzank!" Thus
spoke he, and flew out of the sack through the air.

And Ssidi's second relation treats of the adventures of the Poor Man's
Son.


THE ADVENTURES OF MASSANG.

When the Son of the Chan arrived at the foot of the amiri-tree, and
spoke as he had formerly done, Ssidi approached him, suffered himself
to be placed in the sack, fastened with the rope, and carried away.
Ssidi spoke as before, but the Son of the Chan shook his head,
whereupon Ssidi began as follows:--

"A long time ago there lived in a certain country a poor man, who had
nothing in the world but one cow; and because there was no chance of
the cow's calving, he was sore grieved, and said, 'If my cow does not
have a calf, I shall have no more milk, and I must then die of hunger
and thirst.'

"But when a certain number of moons had passed, instead of the calf
the poor man had looked for he found a man with horns, and with a long
tail like a cow. And at the sight of this monster the owner of the
beast was filled with vexation, and he lifted up his staff to kill
him; but the horned man said, 'Kill me not, father, and your mercy
shall be rewarded.'

"And with these words he retreated into the depth of a forest, and
there he found among the trees a man of sable hue. 'Who art thou?'
inquired Massang the horned. 'I was born of the forest,' was the
reply, 'and am called Iddar. I will follow thee whithersoever thou
goest.'

"And they journeyed forth together, and at last they reached a
thickly-covered grassy plain, and there they beheld a green man. 'Who
art thou?' inquired they. 'I was born of the grass,' replied the green
man, 'and will bear thee company.'

"Thereupon they all three journeyed forth together, until they came to
a sedgy marsh, and there they found a white man. 'Who art thou?'
inquired they. 'I was born of the sedges,' replied the white man, 'and
will bear thee company.'

"Thereupon they all four journeyed forth together, until they reached
a desert country, where, in the very depths of the mountain, they
found a hut; and because they found plenty both to eat and to drink in
the hut, they abode there. Every day three of them went out hunting,
and left the fourth in charge of the hut. On the first day, Iddar, the
Son of the Forest, remained in the hut, and was busied preparing milk,
and cooking meat for his companions, when a little old woman put up
the ladder and came in at the door. 'Who's there?' exclaimed Iddar,
and, upon looking round, he beheld an old woman about a span high, who
carried on her back a little sack. 'Oh, what, there is somebody
sitting there?' said the old woman, 'and you are cooking meat; let me,
I beseech you, taste a little milk and a little meat.'

"And though she merely tasted a little of each, the whole of the food
disappeared. When the old woman thereupon took her departure, the Son
of the Forest was ashamed that the food had disappeared, and he arose
and looked out of the hut. And as he chanced to perceive two hoofs of
a horse, he made with them a number of horse's footmarks around the
dwelling, and shot an arrow into the court; and when the hunters
returned home and inquired of him, 'Where is the milk and the fatted
meat?' he answered them, saying, 'There came a hundred horsemen, who
pressed their way into the house, and took the milk and the flesh, and
they have beaten me almost to death. Go ye out, and look around.' And
his companions went out when they heard these words, looked around,
saw the prints of the horses' feet and the arrow which he himself had
shot, and said, 'The words which he spoke are true.'

"On the following day the Son of the Grass remained at home in the
hut, and it befell him as it had befallen his companion on the
previous day. But because he perceived the feet of two bullocks, he
made with them the marks of the feet of many bullocks around the
dwelling, and said to his companions, 'There came a hundred people
with laden bullocks, and robbed me of the food I had prepared for
you.'

"Thus spake he falsely. On the third day the Son of the Sedges
remained at home in the hut, and because he met with no better
fortune, he made, with a couple of the feet of a mule, a number of
prints of mules' feet around the dwelling, and said to his companions,
'A hundred men with laden mules surrounded the house, and robbed me of
the food I had prepared for you.'

"Thus spake he falsely. On the following day Massang remained at home
in the hut, and as he was sitting preparing milk and flesh for his
companions, the little old woman stepped in as before and said, 'Oh,
so there is somebody here this time? Let me, I pray you, taste a
little of the milk and a little of the meat.' At these words Massang
considered, 'Of a certainty this old woman has been here before. If I
do what she requires of me, how do I know that there will be any
left?' And having thus considered, he said to the old woman, 'Old
woman, before thou tastest food, fetch me some water.' Thus spoke he,
giving her a bucket, of which the bottom was drilled full of holes, to
fetch water in. When the old woman was gone, Massang looked after her,
and found that the span-high old woman, reaching now up to the skies,
drew the bucket full of water again and again, but that none of the
water remained in it. While she was thus occupied, Massang peeped into
the little sack which she carried on her shoulders, and took out of it
a coil of rope, an iron hammer, and a pair of iron pincers, and put in
their place some very rotten cords, a wooden hammer, and wooden
pincers.

"He had scarcely done so before the old woman returned, saying, 'I
cannot draw water in your bucket. If you will not give me a little of
your food to taste, let us try our strength against each other.' Then
the old woman drew forth the coil of rotten cords, and bound Massang
with them, but Massang put forth his strength and burst the cords
asunder. But when Massang had bound the old woman with her own coil,
and deprived her of all power of motion, she said unto him, 'Herein
thou hast gotten the victory; now let us pinch each other with the
pincers.'

"Whereupon Massang nipped hold of a piece of the old woman's flesh as
big as one's head, and tore it forcibly from her. 'Indeed, youth,'
cried the old woman, sighing, 'but thou hast gotten a hand of stone;
now let us hammer away at each other!'

"So saying, she smote Massang with the wooden hammer on his breast,
but the hammer flew from the handle, and Massang was left without a
wound. Then drew Massang the iron hammer out of the fire, and smote
the old woman with it in such wise that she fled from the hut crying
and wounded.

"Shortly after this, the three companions returned home, and said to
Massang, 'Now, Massang, thou hast surely had something to suffer?' But
Massang replied, 'Ye are all cowardly fellows, and have uttered lies;
I have paid off the old woman. Arise, and let us follow her!'

"At these words they arose, followed her by the traces of her blood,
and at length reached a gloomy pit in a rock. At the bottom of this
pit there were ten double circular pillars, and on the ground lay the
corpse of the old woman, among gold, brass, and armour, and other
costly things. 'Will you three descend,' said Massang, 'and then pack
together the costly things, and I will draw them up, or I will pack
them, and you shall draw them out.' But the three companions said, 'We
will not go down into the cavern, for of a verity the old woman is a
Schumnu' (a witch). But Massang, without being dispirited, allowed
himself to be let down into the cavern, and collected the valuables,
which were then drawn forth by his companions. Then his companions
spoke with one another, saying, 'If we draw forth Massang, he will
surely take all these treasures to himself. It were better, then, that
we should carry away these treasures, and leave Massang behind in the
cavern!'

"When Massang noticed that his three companions treated him thus
ungratefully, he looked about the cavern in search of food, but
between the pillars he found nothing but some pieces of bark.
Thereupon Massang planted the bark in the earth, nourished it as best
he might, and said, 'If I am a true Massang, then from this bark let
there grow forth three great trees. If I am not, then shall I die here
in this pit.'

"After these enchanting words, he laid himself down, but from his
having come in contact with the corse of the old woman, he slept for
many years. When he awoke, he found three great trees which reached to
the mouth of the pit. Joyfully clambered he up and betook himself to
the hut, which was in the neighbourhood. But, because there was no
longer any one to be found therein, he took his iron bow and his
arrows, and set forth in search of his companions. These had built
themselves houses and taken wives. 'Where are your husbands?' inquired
Massang of their wives. 'Our husbands are gone to the chase,' replied
they. Then Massang took arrow and bow, and set forth. His companions
were returning from the chase with venison, and when they beheld
Massang with arrow and bow, they cried, as with one accord, 'Thou art
the well-skilled one! take thou our wives and property, we will now
wander forth further!' At these words Massang said, 'Your behaviour
was certainly not what it should have been; but I am going to reward
my father--live on, therefore, as before.'

"By the way Massang discovered a brook, and out of the brook arose a
beautiful maiden. The maiden went her way, and flowers arose out of
her footsteps. Massang followed the maiden until he arrived in heaven,
and when he was come there, Churmusta Tângâri (the Protector of the
Earth) said unto him, 'It is well that thou art come hither, Massang.
We have daily to fight with the host of Schumnu (witches). To-morrow
look around; after to-morrow be companion unto us.'

"On the following day, when the white host were sore pressed by the
black, Churmusta spake unto Massang: 'The white host are the host of
the Tângâri, the black are the host of the Schumnu. To-day the Tângâri
will be pressed by the Schumnu; draw, therefore, thy bow, and send an
arrow into the eye of the leader of the black host.' Then Massang
aimed at the eye of the leader of the black host, and smote him, so
that he fled with a mighty cry. Then spake Churmusta to Massang, 'Thy
deed is deserving of reward; henceforward dwell with us for ever.'
But Massang replied, 'I go to reward my father.'

"Hereupon Churmusta presented to Massang, Dschindamani, the
wonder-stone of the Gods, and said unto him, 'By a narrow circuitous
path you will reach the cave of the Schumnu. Go without fear or
trembling therein. Knock at the door and say, "I am the human
physician." They will then lead thee to the Schumnu Chan, that you may
draw out the arrow from his eyes; then lay hands upon the arrow,
scatter seven sorts of grain towards heaven, and drive the arrow yet
deeper into his head.'

"Thus spake Churmusta authoritatively, and Massang obeyed his
commands; reached, without erring, the cavern of the Schumnu, and
knocked at the door. 'What hast thou learned?' inquired the woman. 'I
am a physician,' answered Massang; and he was conducted into the
building. He examined the wound of the Chan, and laid hands upon the
arrow. 'Already,' said the Chan, 'my wound feels better.' But Massang
suddenly drove the arrow further into the head, scattered the seven
grains towards heaven, and a chain fell clattering from heaven down to
earth.

"But while Massang was preparing to lay hands upon the chain, the
Schumnu woman smote him with an iron hammer with such force, that from
the blow there sprang forth seven stars."

"Then," said the Son of the Chan, "he was not able to reward his
father."

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood
jonkzang." Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's third relation treats of the adventures of Massang.


THE MAGICIAN WITH THE SWINE'S HEAD.

When the Son of the Chan had, as before, seized upon Ssidi, and was
carrying him away, Ssidi spoke as formerly, but the Son of the Chan
shook his head, without uttering a word, and Ssidi began the following
relation:--

"A long while since there lived in a happy country a man and a woman.
The man had many bad qualities, and cared for nothing but eating,
drinking, and sleeping. At last his wife said unto him, 'By thy mode
of life thou hast wasted all thine inheritance. Arise thee, then, from
thy bed, and while I am in the fields, go you out and look about you!'

"As he, therefore, according to these words, was looking about him, he
saw a multitude of people pass behind the pagoda with their herds; and
birds, foxes, and dogs crowding and noising together around a
particular spot. Thither he went, and there found a bladder of butter;
so he took it home and placed it upon the shelf. When his wife
returned and saw the bladder of butter upon the shelf, she asked,
'Where found you this bladder of butter?' To this he replied, 'I did
according to your word, and found this.' Then said the woman 'Thou
went out but for an instant, and hast already found thus much.'

"Then the man determined to display his abilities, and said, 'Procure
me then a horse, some clothes, and a bloodhound.' The wife provided
them accordingly; and the man taking with him, besides these, his bow,
cap, and mantle, seated himself on horseback, led the hound in a
leash, and rode forth at random. After he had crossed over several
rivers he espied a fox. 'Ah,' thought he, 'that would serve my wife
for a cap.'

"So saying, he pursued the fox, and when it fled into a hamster's
hole, the man got off his horse, placed his bow, arrows, and clothes
upon the saddle, fastened the bloodhound to the bridle, and covered
the mouth of the hole with his cap. The next thing he did was to take
a large stone, and hammer over the hole with it; this frightened the
fox, which ran out and fled with the cap upon its head. The hound
followed the fox, and drew the horse along with it, so that they both
vanished in an instant, and the man was left without any clothes.

"After he had turned back a long way, he reached the country of a
mighty Chan, entered the Chan's stable, and concealed himself in a
stack of hay, so that merely his eyes were left uncovered. Not long
afterwards, the beloved of the Chan was walking out, and wishing to
look at a favourite horse, she approached close to the hayrick, placed
the talisman of life of the Chan's kingdom upon the ground, left it
there, and returned back to the palace without recollecting it. The
man saw the wonderful stone, but was too lazy to pick it up. At sunset
the cows came by, and the stone was beaten into the ground. Some time
afterwards a servant came and cleansed the place, and the wonderful
stone was cast aside upon a heap.

"On the following day the people were informed, by the beating of the
kettledrums, that the beloved of the Chan had lost the wonderful
stone. At the same time, all the magicians and soothsayers and
interpreters of signs were summoned, and questioned upon the subject.
On hearing this, the man in the hayrick crept out as far as his
breast, and when the people thronged around him and asked, 'What hast
thou learned?' he replied, 'I am a magician.' On hearing these words
they exclaimed, 'Because the wondrous stone of the Chan is missing,
all the magicians in the country are summoned to appear before him. Do
you then draw nigh unto the Chan.' The man said, 'I have no clothes.'
Hereupon the whole crowd hastened to the Chan, and announced unto him
thus: 'In the hayrick there lieth a magician who has no clothes. This
magician would draw nigh unto you, but he has nought to appear in.'
The Chan said, 'Send unto him this robe of cloth, and let him
approach.' It was done.

"The man was fetched, and after he had bowed down to the Chan, he was
asked what he needed for the performance of his magic charms. To this
question he replied, 'For the performance of my magic charms, it is
needful that I should have the head of a swine, some cloths of five
colours, and some baling' (a sacred figure of dough or paste). When
all these things were prepared, the magician deposited the swine's
head at the foot of a tree, dressed it with the cloths of five
colours, fastened on the large baling, and passed the whole of three
nights in meditation. On the day appointed, all the people assembled,
and the magician having put on a great durga (cloak), placed himself,
with the swine's head in his hand, in the street. When they were all
assembled together, the magician, showing the swine's head, said,
'Here not and there not.' All were gladdened at hearing these words.
'Because, therefore,' said the magician, 'the wonderful stone is not
to be found among the people, we must seek for it elsewhere.'

"With these words the magician, still holding the swine's head in his
hand, drew nigh unto the palace, and the Chan and his attendants
followed him, singing songs of rejoicing. When, at last, the magician
arrived at the heap, he stood suddenly still, and exclaimed, 'There
lies the wonderful stone.' Then, first removing some of the earth, he
drew forth the stone, and cleansed it. 'Thou art a mighty magician,'
joyfully exclaimed all who beheld it. 'Thou art the master of magic
with the swine's head. Lift up thyself that thou mayest receive thy
reward.' The Chan said, 'Thy reward shall be whatsoever thou wilt.'
The magician, who thought only of the property he had lost, said,
'Give unto me a horse, with saddle and bridle, a bow and arrows, a
cap, a mantle, a hound, and a fox. Such things give unto me.' At these
words the Chan exclaimed, 'Give him all that he desireth.' This was
done, and the magician returned home with all that he desired, and
with two elephants, one carrying meat, and the other butter.

"His wife met him close to his dwelling, with brandy for him to drink,
and said, 'Now, indeed, thou art become a mighty man.' Thereupon they
went into the house, and when they had laid themselves down to sleep,
the wife said to him, 'Where hast thou found so much flesh and so much
butter?' Then her husband related to her circumstantially the whole
affair, and she answered him saying, 'Verily, thou art a stupid ass.
To-morrow I will go with a letter to the Chan.'

"The wife accordingly wrote a letter, and in the letter were the
following words:--'Because it was known unto me that the lost
wondrous stone retained some evil influence over the Chan, I have, for
the obviating of that influence, desired of him the dog and the fox.
What I may receive for my reward depends upon the pleasure of the
Chan.'

"The Chan read the letter through, and sent costly presents to the
magician. And the magician lived pleasantly and happily.

"Now in a neighbouring country there dwelt seven Chans, brethren. Once
upon a time they betook themselves, for pastime, to an extensive
forest, and there they discovered a beauteous maiden with a buffalo,
and they asked, 'What are you two doing here? Whence come you?' The
maiden answered, 'I come from an eastern country, and am the daughter
of a Chan. This buffalo accompanies me.' At these words these others
replied, 'We are the seven brethren of a Chan, and have no wife. Wilt
thou be our wife?'[1] The maiden answered, 'So be it.' But the maiden
and the buffalo were two Mangusch (a species of evil spirit like the
Schumnu), and were seeking out men whom they might devour. The male
Mangusch was a buffalo, and the female, she who became wife to the
brethren.

    [1] It is in accordance with the customs of Thibet for a
    woman of that country to have several husbands.

"After the Mangusch had slain, yearly, one of the brethren of the
Chan, there was only one remaining. And because he was suffering from
a grievous sickness, the ministers consulted together and said, 'For
the sickness of the other Chans we have tried all means of cure, and
yet have found no help, neither do we in this case know what to
advise. But the magician with the swine's head dwells only two
mountains off from us, and he is held in great estimation; let us,
without further delay, send for him to our assistance.'

"Upon this four mounted messengers were despatched for the magician,
and when they arrived at his dwelling, they made known to him the
object of their mission. 'I will,' said the magician, 'consider of
this matter in the course of the night, and will tell you in the
morning what is to be done.'

"During the night he related to his wife what was required of him, and
his wife said, 'You are looked upon, up to this time, as a magician of
extraordinary skill; but from this time there is an end to your
reputation. However, it cannot be helped, so go you must.'

"On the following morning the magician said to the messengers, 'During
the night-time I have pondered upon this matter, and a good omen has
presented itself to me in a dream. Let me not tarry any longer but
ride forth to-day.' The magician, thereupon, equipped himself in a
large cloak, bound his hair together on the crown of his head, carried
in his left hand the rosary, and in his right the swine's head,
enveloped in the cloths of five colours.

"When in this guise he presented himself before the dwelling-place of
the Chan, the two Mangusch were sorely frightened, and thought to
themselves, 'This man has quite the appearance, quite the countenance,
of a man of learning.' Then the magician, first placing a baling on
the pillow of the bed, lifted up the swine's head, and muttered
certain magic words.

"The wife of the Chan seeing this discontinued tormenting the soul of
the Chan, and fled in all haste out of the room. The Chan, by this
conduct being freed from the pains of sickness, sank into a sound
sleep. 'What is this?' exclaimed the magician, filled with affright.
'The disease has grown worse, the sick man uttereth not a sound; the
sick man hath departed.' Thus thinking, he cried, 'Chan, Chan!' But
because the Chan uttered no sound, the magician seized the swine's
head, vanished through the door, and entered the treasure-chamber. No
sooner had he done so, than 'Thief, thief!' sounded in his ears, and
the magician fled into the kitchen; but the cry of 'Stop that thief!
stop that thief!' still followed him. Thus pursued the magician
thought to himself, 'This night it is of no use to think of getting
away, so I will, therefore, conceal myself in a corner of the stable.'
Thus thinking, he opened the door, and there found a buffalo, that
lay there as if wearied with a long journey. The magician took the
swine's head, and struck the buffalo three times between the horns,
whereupon the buffalo sprang up and fled like the wind.

"But the magician followed after the buffalo, and when he approached
the spot where he was, he heard the male Mangusch say to his female
companion, 'Yonder magician knew that I was in the stable; with his
frightful swine's head he struck me three blows--so that it was time
for me to escape from him.' And the Chan's wife replied, 'I too am so
afraid, because of his great knowledge, that I would not willingly
return; for, of a certainty, things will go badly with us. To-morrow
he will gather together the men with weapons and arms, and will say
unto the women, "Bring hither firing;" when this is done he will say,
"Lead the buffalo hither." And when thou appearest, he will say unto
thee, "Put off the form thou hast assumed." And because all resistance
would be useless, the people perceiving thy true shape will fall upon
thee with swords, and spears, and stones; and when they have put thee
to death, they will consume thee with fire. At last the magician will
cause me to be dragged forth and consumed with fire. Oh, but I am sore
afraid!'

"When the magician heard these words, he said to himself, 'After this
fashion may the thing be easily accomplished.' Upon this he betook
himself, with the swine's head to the Chan, lifted up the baling,
murmured his words of magic, and asked, 'How is it now with the
sickness of the Chan?' And the Chan replied, 'Upon the arrival of the
master of magic the sickness passed away, and I have slept soundly.'
Then the magician spake as follows: 'To-morrow, then, give this
command to thy ministers, that they collect the whole of the people
together, and that the women be desired to bring firing with them.'

"When, in obedience to these directions, there were two lofty piles of
fagots gathered together, the magician said, 'Place my saddle upon the
buffalo.' Then the magician rode upon the saddled buffalo three times
around the assembled people, then removed the saddle from the buffalo,
smote it three times with the swine's head, and said, 'Put off the
form thou hast assumed.'

"At these words the buffalo was transformed into a fearful ugly
Mangusch. His eyes were bloodshot, his upper tusks descended to his
breast, his bottom tusks reached up to his eyelashes, so that he was
fearful to behold. When the people had hewed this Mangusch to pieces
with sword and with arrow, with spear and with stone, and his body was
consumed upon one of the piles of fagots, then said the magician,
'Bring forth the wife of the Chan.' And with loud cries did the wife
of the Chan come forth, and the magician smote her with the swine's
head, and said, 'Appear in thine own form!' Immediately her long tusks
and bloodshot eyes exhibited the terrific figure of a female Mangusch.

"After the wife of the Chan had been cut in pieces, and consumed by
fire, the magician mounted his horse; but the people bowed themselves
before him, and strewed grain over him, presented him with gifts, and
regaled him so on every side, that he was only enabled to reach the
palace of the Chan on the following morning. Then spake the Chan, full
of joy, to the magician, 'How can I reward you for the great deed that
thou hast done?' And the magician answered, 'In our country there are
but few nose-sticks for oxen to be found. Give me, I pray you, some of
these nose-sticks.' Thus spake he, and the Chan had him conducted home
with three sacks of nose-sticks, and seven elephants bearing meat and
butter.

"Near unto his dwelling his wife came with brandy to meet him; and
when she beheld the elephants, she exclaimed, 'Now, indeed, thou art
become a mighty man.' Then they betook themselves to their house, and
at night-time the wife of the magician asked him, 'How camest thou to
be presented with such gifts?' The magician replied, 'I have cured the
sickness of the Chan, and consumed with fire two Mangusch.' At these
words she replied, 'Verily, thou hast behaved very foolishly. After
such a beneficial act, to desire nothing but nose-sticks for cattle!
To-morrow I myself will go to the Chan.'

"On the morrow the wife drew near unto the Chan, and presented unto
him a letter from the magician, and in this letter stood the following
words:--'Because the magician was aware that of the great evil of the
Chan a lesser evil still remained behind, he desired of him the
nose-sticks. What he is to receive as a reward depends upon the
pleasure of the Chan.'

"'He is right,' replied the Chan, and he summoned the magician, with
his father and mother, and all his relations before him, and received
them with every demonstration of honour. 'But for you I should have
died; the kingdom would have been annihilated; the ministers and all
the people consumed as the food of the Mangusch. I, therefore, will
honour thee,' and he bestowed upon him proofs of his favour."

"Both man and wife were intelligent," exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny," replied Ssidi, "thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala
missdood jakzang!" Thus spake he, and burst from the sack through the
air.

Ssidi's fourth relation treats of the Magician with the head of the
Swine.


THE HISTORY OF SUNSHINE AND HIS BROTHER.

As the Chan's Son was journeying along as before, laden with Ssidi,
Ssidi inquired of him as formerly who should tell a tale. But the Son
of the Chan shook his head without speaking a word, and Ssidi began as
follows:--

"Many years ago Guchanasschang reigned over a certain happy land. This
Chan had a wife and a son, whose name was Sunshine (Narrani Garral).
Upon the death of his first wife the Chan married a second; and by her
likewise he had a son, and the name of his second son was Moonshine
(Ssarrani Garral). And when both these sons were grown up, the wife of
the Chan thought to herself, 'So long as Sunshine, the elder brother,
lives, Moonshine, the younger, will never be Chan over this land.'

"Some time after this the wife of the Chan fell sick, and tossed and
tumbled about on her bed from the seeming agony she endured. And the
Chan inquired of her, 'What can be done for you, my noble spouse?' To
these words the wife of the Chan replied, 'Even at the time I dwelt
with my parents I was subject to this sickness. But now it is become
past bearing. I know, indeed, but one way of removing it; and that way
is so impracticable, that there is nothing left for me but to die.'
Hereupon spake the Chan, 'Tell unto me this way of help, and though it
should cost me half my kingdom thou shalt have it. Tell me what thou
requirest.' Thus spake he, and his wife replied with the following
words, 'If the heart of one of the Chan's sons were roasted in the fat
of the Gunsa (a beast); but thou wilt not, of course, sacrifice
Sunshine for this purpose; and I myself bare Moonshine, his heart I
will not consume. So that there is now nothing left for me but to
die.' The Chan replied, 'Of a surety Sunshine is my son, and
inexpressibly dear unto me; but in order that I may not lose thee, I
will to-morrow deliver him over to the Jargatschi' (the servants of
Justice).

"Moonshine overheard these words and hastened to his brother, and
said, 'To-morrow they will murder thee.' When he had related all the
circumstances, the brother replied, 'Since it is so, do you remain at
home, honouring your father and mother. The time of my flight is
come.' Then said Moonshine with a troubled heart, 'Alone I will not
remain, but I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.'

"Because the following day was appointed for the murder, the two
brothers took a sack with baling-cakes from the altar, crept out at
night, for it was the night of the full moon, from the palace, and
journeyed on day and night through the mountainous country, until they
at length arrived at the course of a dried-up river. Because their
provender was finished, and the river afforded no water, Moonshine
fell to the earth utterly exhausted. Then spake the elder brother,
full of affliction, 'I will go and seek water; but do you watch an
instant until I come down from the high places.'

"After some vain attempts Sunshine returned, and found that his
brother had departed this life. After he had with great tenderness
covered the body of his brother with stones, he wandered over high
mountains, and then arrived at the entrance of a cave. Within the cave
sat an aged Arschi. 'Whence comest thou?' inquired the old man, 'thy
countenance betokeneth deep affliction.' And when the youth had
related all that had passed, the old man, taking with him the means of
awakening the dead, went with the youth to the grave, and called
Moonshine back to life. 'Will ye be unto me as sons?' Thus spake the
old man, and the two young men became as sons unto him.

"Not far from this place there reigned a mighty Chan of fearful power;
and the time was approaching in this country when the fields were
watered, but the crocodiles prevented this. The crocodiles frequented
a marsh at the source of the river, and would not allow the water to
stream forth until such times as a Son of the Tiger-year[2] had been
offered to them as food. After a time it happened that when search
had been made in vain for a Son of the Tiger-year, certain people drew
nigh unto the Chan, and said, 'Near unto the source of the river
dwelleth the old Arschi, and with him a Son of the Tiger-year. Thither
led we our cattle to drink, and we saw him.'

    [2] Among the Calmucs every year has its peculiar name, and
    persons born in any year are called the children of that
    year.

"When he heard this, the Chan said, 'Go and fetch him.'

"Accordingly the messengers were despatched for him, and when they
arrived at the entrance of the cave, the Arschi himself came forth.
'What is it that ye seek here?' inquired the aged Arschi. 'The Chan,'
replied they, 'speaketh to thee thus: Thou hast a Son of the
Tiger-year. My kingdom hath need of him: send him unto me.' But the
Arschi said, 'Who could have told you so? who, indeed, would dwell
with an old Arschi?'

"Thus speaking he retired into his cave, closed the door after him,
and concealed the youth in a stone chest, placed the lid on him, and
cemented up the crevices with clay, as if it was from the distillation
of arrack. But the messengers having broken down the door, thrust
themselves into the cave, searched it, and then said, 'Since he whom
we sought is not here, we are determined that nothing shall be left in
the cave.' Thus speaking, they drew their swords; and the youth said,
out of fear for the Arschi, 'Hurt not my father; I am here.'

"And when the youth was come forth, the messengers took him with
them; but the Arschi they left behind them weeping and sorrowing. When
the youth entered into the palace of the Chan, the daughter of the
Chan beheld him and loved him, and encircled his neck with her arms.
But the attendants addressed the Chan, saying, 'To-day is the day
appointed for the casting of the Son of the Tiger-year into the
waters.' Upon this the Chan said, 'Let him then be cast into the
waters!' But when they would have led him forth for that purpose, the
daughter of the Chan spake and said, 'Cast him not into the waters, or
cast me into the waters with him.'

"And when the Chan heard these words, he was angered, and said,
'Because this maiden careth so little for the welfare of the kingdom,
over which I am Chan, let her be bound fast unto the Son of the
Tiger-year, and let them be cast together into the waters.' And the
attendants said, 'It shall be according as you have commanded.'

"And when the youth was bound fast, and with the maiden cast into the
waters, he cried out, 'Since I am the Son of the Tiger-year, it is
certainly lawful for them to cast me into the waters; but why should
this charming maiden die, who so loveth me?' But the maiden said,
'Since I am but an unworthy creature, it is certainly lawful for them
to cast me into the waters; but wherefore do they cast in this
beauteous youth?'

"Now the crocodiles heard these words, felt compassion, and placed
the lovers once more upon the shore. And no sooner had this happened
than the streams began to flow again. And when they were thus saved,
the maiden said to the youth, 'Come with me, I pray you, unto the
palace?' and he replied, 'When I have sought out my father Arschi,
then will I come, and we will live together unsevered as man and
wife.'

"Accordingly the youth returned to the cave of the old Arschi, and
knocked at the door. 'I am thy son,' said he. 'My son,' replied the
old man, 'has the Chan taken and slain; therefore it is that I sit
here and weep.' At these words the son replied, 'Of a verity I am thy
son. The Chan indeed bade them cast me into the waters; but because
the crocodiles devoured me not, I am returned unto you. Weep not, O my
father!'

"Arschi then opened the door, but he had suffered his beard and the
hair of his head to grow, so that he looked like a dead man. Sunshine
washed him therefore with milk and with water, and aroused him by
tender words from his great sorrow.

"Now when the maiden returned back again to the palace, the Chan and
the whole people were exceedingly amazed. 'The crocodiles,' they
exclaimed, 'have, contrary to their wont, felt compassion for this
maiden and spared her. This is indeed a very wonder.' So the whole
people passed around the maiden, bowing themselves down before her.
But the Chan said, 'That the maiden is returned is indeed very good.
But the Son of the Tiger-year is assuredly devoured.' At these words
his daughter replied unto him, 'The Son of the Tiger-year assuredly is
not devoured. On account of his goodness his life was spared him.'

"And when she said this, all were more than ever surprised. 'Arise!'
said the Chan to his ministers, 'lead this youth hither.' Agreeably to
these commands, the ministers hastened to the cave of the aged Arschi.
Both Arschi and the youth arose, and when they approached unto the
dwelling of the Chan, the Chan said, 'For the mighty benefits which
this youth has conferred upon us, and upon our dominions, we feel
ourselves bound to go forth to meet him.'

"Thus spake he, and he went forth to meet the youth, and led him into
the interior of the palace, and placed him upon one of the seats
appropriated to the nobles. 'O thou most wondrous youth!' he
exclaimed, 'art thou indeed the son of Arschi?' The youth replied, 'I
am the Son of a Chan. But because my stepmother, out of the love she
bare to her own son, sought to slay me, I fled, and, accompanied by my
younger brother, arrived at the cave of the aged Arschi.'

"When the Son of the Chan related all this, the Chan loaded him with
honours, and gave his daughters for wives unto the two brothers, and
sent them, with many costly gifts and a good retinue, home to their
own kingdom. Thither they went, drew nigh unto the palace, and wrote a
letter as follows:--'To the Chan their father, the two brothers are
returned back again.'

"Now the father and mother had for many years bewailed the loss of
both their sons, and their sorrows had rendered them so gloomy that
they remained ever alone.

"On receipt of this letter they sent forth a large body of people to
meet their children. But because the wife of the Chan saw both the
youths approaching with costly gifts and a goodly retinue, so great
was her envy that she died."

"She was very justly served!" exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood
jonkzang." Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's fifth relation treats of Sunshine and his brother.


THE WONDERFUL MAN WHO OVERCAME THE CHAN.

When the Son of the Chan had proceeded as formerly to seize the dead
one, then spake he the threatening words, seized upon Ssidi, thrust
him into the sack, tied the sack fast, ate of the butter-cakes, and
journeyed forth with his burden. After Ssidi had as before asked who
should tell the tale, and the Son of the Chan had replied by merely
shaking his head, Ssidi began the following relation:--

"A long, long time ago there lived in the land of Barschiss, a wild,
high-spirited man, who would not allow any one to be above him. Then
spake the Chan of the kingdom to him, full of displeasure, 'Away with
thee, thou good-for-nothing one! Away with thee to some other
kingdom!' Thus spake he, and the wild man departed forth out of the
country.

"On his journey he arrived about mid-day at a forest, where he found
the body of a horse, which had been somehow killed, and he accordingly
cut off its head, fastened it to his girdle, and climbed up a tree.

"About midnight there assembled a host of Tschadkurrs (evil spirits)
mounted upon horses of bark, wearing likewise caps of bark, and they
placed themselves around the tree. Afterwards there assembled together
other Tschadkurrs, mounted upon horses of paper, and having caps of
paper on their heads, and they likewise placed themselves around the
tree.

"During the time that those who were assembled were partaking of
various choice wines and liquors, the man peeped anxiously down from
the tree, and as he was doing so, the horse's head fell down from his
belt. The Tschadkurrs were thereby exceedingly alarmed; so much that
they fled hither and thither uttering fearful cries.

"On the following morning the man descended from the tree, and said,
'This night there was in this spot many choice viands and liquors, and
now they are all vanished.' And while he was thus speaking, he found a
brandy flask, and as he was anxious for something to drink, he
immediately applied the flask which he had found to his lips; when
suddenly there sprang out of it meat and cakes and other delicacies
fit for eating. 'This flask,' cried he, 'is of a surety a wishing
flask, which will procure him who has it everything he desires. I will
take the flask with me.'

"And when he had thus spoken, he continued his journey until he met
with a man holding a sword in his hand. 'Wherefore,' cried he, 'dost
thou carry that sword in thine hand?' And the man answered, 'This
sword is called Kreischwinger; and when I say to it, "Kreischwinger,
thither goes a man who has taken such a thing from me, follow him and
bring it back," Kreischwinger goes forth, kills the man, and brings my
property back again.' To this the first replied, 'Out of this vessel
springeth everything you desire; let us exchange.' So accordingly they
made an exchange; and when the man went away with the flask, he who
now owned the sword said, 'Kreischwinger, go forth now and bring me
back my flask.' So the sword went forth, smote his former master dead,
and brought the golden vessel back again.

"When he had journeyed a little further, he met a man holding in his
hand an iron hammer. 'Wherefore,' cried he, 'dost thou hold this
hammer in thy hand?' To this question the other replied, 'When I
strike the earth nine times with this hammer, there immediately arises
a wall of iron, nine pillars high.' Then said the first, 'Let us make
an exchange.' And when the exchange was made, he cried out,
'Kreischwinger, go forth and bring me back my golden vessel!'

"After Kreischwinger had slain the man, and brought back the golden
vessel, the man journeyed on until he encountered another man,
carrying in his bosom a sack, made of goatskin, and he asked him,
'Wherefore keepest thou that sack?' To this question the other
replied, 'This sack is a very wonderful thing. When you shake it, it
rains heavily; and if you shake it very hard, it rains very heavily.'
Hereupon the owner of the flask said, 'Let us change,' and they
changed accordingly; and the sword went forth, slew the man, and
returned back to its master with the golden vessel.

"When the man found himself in the possession of all these wonderful
things, he said unto himself, 'The Chan of my country is indeed a
cruel man; nevertheless I will turn back unto my native land.' When
he had thus considered, he turned back again, and concealed himself in
the neighbourhood of the royal palace.

"About midnight he struck the earth nine times with his iron hammer,
and there arose an iron wall nine pillars high.

"On the following morning the Chan arose, and said, 'During the night
I have heard a mighty tock, tock at the back of the palace.' Thereupon
the wife of the Chan looked out, and said, 'At the back of the palace
there stands an iron wall nine pillars high.' Thus spake she; and the
Chan replied, full of anger, 'The wild, high-spirited man has of a
surety erected this iron wall; but we shall see whether he or I will
be the conqueror.'

"When he had spoken these words the Chan commanded all the people to
take fuel and bellows, and make the iron wall red-hot on every side.
Thereupon there was an immense fire kindled, and the Wonderful Man
found himself, with his mother, within the wall of iron. He was
himself upon the upper pillars, but his mother was on the eighth. And
because the heat first reached the mother, she exclaimed unto her son,
'The fires which the Chan has commanded the people to kindle will
destroy the iron wall, and we shall both die.' The son replied, 'Have
no fear, mother, for I can find means to prevent it.'

"When he had spoken these words he shook the sack of goatskin, and
there descended heavy rain and extinguished the fire. After that he
shook the sack still more forcibly, and there arose around them a
mighty sea, which carried away both the fuel and the bellows which the
people had collected."

"Thus, then, the Wonderful gained the mastery over the Chan,"
exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang!"
Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's sixth relation treats of the Wonderful Man who
overpowered the Chan.


THE BIRD-MAN.

When the Son of the Chan had done as formerly, spoken the threatening
words, and carried off Ssidi, Ssidi asked him as before to tell a
tale; but the Son of the Chan shook his head without speaking a word,
and Ssidi began as follows:--

"In times gone by there lived in a fair country the father of a
family, whose three daughters had daily by turns to watch over the
calves. Now it once happened, during the time that the eldest sister
should have been watching the calves, that she fell asleep, and one of
them was lost. When the maiden awoke and missed the calf, she arose
and went forth to seek it, and wandered about until she reached a
large house with a red door.

"She went in, and then came to a golden door, next to that to a
silver one, and last of all to a brazen door. After she had likewise
opened this door she found, close to the entrance of it, a cage
decorated with gold and all manner of costly jewels, and within it, on
a perch, there stood a white bird.

"'I have lost a calf,' said the maiden, 'and am come hither to seek
it.' At these words the bird said, 'If thou wilt become my wife I will
find the calf for you, but not without.' But the maiden said, 'That
may not be; among men birds are looked upon but as wild creatures.
Therefore I will not become your wife, even though, through refusing,
I lose the calf for ever.' And when she had thus spoken she returned
home again.

"On the following day the second sister went forth to tend the calves,
and she likewise lost one of them. And it happened unto her as it had
done unto the eldest sister, and she too refused to become the wife of
the bird.

"At last the youngest sister went forth with the calves, and when she
missed one she too wandered on until she reached the house wherein the
bird resided. The bird said unto her likewise, 'If thou wilt become my
wife, I will procure for thee the calf which thou hast lost.' 'Be it
according to thy will.' Thus spake she, and became the wife of the
bird.

"After some time it happened that a mighty thirteen days' feast was
held at a large pagoda in the neighbourhood, and upon this occasion a
number of persons assembled together, amongst the rest the wife of the
bird. And she was the foremost among the women; but among the men the
most noticed was an armed man, who rode upon a white horse three times
round the assemblage. And all who saw him exclaimed, 'He is the
first.'

"And when the woman returned home again the white bird demanded of
her, 'Who were the foremost among the men and the women who were there
assembled together?' Then said the woman, 'The foremost among the men
was seated upon a white horse, but I knew him not. The foremost of the
women was myself.'

"And for eleven days did these things so fall out. But on the twelfth
day, when the wife of the bird went to the assemblage, she sat herself
down near an old woman. 'Who,' said the old woman, 'is the first in
the assemblage this day?' To this question the wife of the bird
replied, 'Among the men, the rider upon the white horse is beyond all
comparison the foremost. Among the women, I myself am so. Would that I
were bound unto this man, for my husband is numbered among wild
creatures since he is nothing but a bird.'

"Thus spake she, weeping, and the old woman replied as
follows:--'Speak ye no more words like unto these. Amongst the
assembled women thou art in all things the foremost. But the rider
upon the white horse is thine own husband. To-morrow is the
thirteenth day of the feast. Come not to-morrow unto the feast, but
remain at home behind the door until thine husband opens his
birdhouse, takes his steed from the stable, and rides to the feast.
Take ye, then, the open birdhouse and burn it. And when thou hast done
this thy husband will remain henceforth and for ever in his true
form.'

"The wife of the bird, thereupon, did as she had been told; and when
the birdhouse was opened, and her husband had departed, she took the
birdhouse and burnt it upon the hearth. When the sun bowed down
towards the west the bird returned home, and said to his wife, 'What,
art thou already returned?' and she said, 'I am already returned.'
Then said her husband, 'Where is my birdhouse?' And the wife replied,
'I have burnt it.' And he said, 'Barama, that is a pretty
business--that birdhouse was my soul.'

"And his wife was troubled, and said, 'What is now to be done?' To
these words the bird replied, 'There is nothing can be done now,
except you seat yourself behind the door, and there by day and night
keep clattering a sword. But if the clattering sword ceases, the
Tschadkurrs will carry me away. Seven days and seven nights must ye
thus defend me from the Tschadkurrs and from the Tângâri.'

"At these words the wife took the sword, propped open her eyelids
with little sticks, and watched for the space of six nights. On the
seventh night her eyelids closed for an instant, but in that instant
the Tschadkurrs and Tângâri suddenly snatched her husband away.

"Weeping bitterly, and despising all nourishment, the distracted wife
ran about everywhere, crying unceasingly, 'Alas, my bird-husband!
Alas, my bird-husband!'

"When she had sought for him day and night without finding him, she
heard from the top of a mountain the voice of her husband. Following
the sound, she discovered that the voice proceeded from the river. She
ran to the river, and then discovered her husband with a load of
tattered boots upon his back. 'Oh! my heart is greatly rejoiced,' said
the husband, 'at seeing thee once more. I am forced to draw water for
the Tschadkurrs and the Tângâri, and have worn out all these boots in
doing so. If thou wishest to have me once again, build me a new
birdhouse, and dedicate it to my soul; then I shall come back again.'

"With these words he vanished into the air. But the woman betook
herself home to the house again, made a new birdhouse, and dedicated
it to the soul of her husband. At length the bird-man appeared and
perched himself on the roof of the house."

"Truly, his wife was an excellent wife!" exclaimed the Son of the
Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood
jakzang!" Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's seventh relation treats of the Bird-man.


THE PAINTER AND THE WOOD-CARVER.

When the Son of the Chan had, as on all the former occasions, spoken
the words of threatening, placed the dead one in the sack, and
journeyed forth with him, Ssidi spake this time also as follows:--"The
day is long, and the distant journey will tire us: do you relate a
tale unto me, or I will relate one unto you." But the Son of the Chan
shook his head without saying a word, and Ssidi began as follows:--

"Many years ago there lived in the land of Gujassmunn a Chan, whose
name was Gunisschang. This Chan, however, died, and his son Chamuk
Sakiktschi was elected Chan in his place. Now there lived among the
people of that country a painter and a wood-carver, who bore similar
names, and were evilly disposed towards each other.

"Once upon a time the painter, Gunga, drew nigh unto the Chan, and
said unto him, 'Thy father hath been borne into the kingdom of the
Tângâri, and hath said unto me, "Come unto me!" Thither I went, and
found thy father in great power and splendour; and I have brought for
you this letter from him.' With these words the painter delivered unto
the Chan a forged letter, the contents of which were as follows:--

"'This letter is addressed to my son Chamuk Sakiktschi.

"'When I departed this life, I was borne to the kingdom of the
Tângâri. An abundance of all things reigns in this land; but since I
am desirous of erecting a pagoda, and there are no wood-carvers to be
found here, do you despatch unto me Cunga, the wood-carver. The means
by which he is to reach this place he may learn from the painter.'

"After he had perused this letter, the Chan of Gujassmunn said, 'If my
father has really been carried into the realms of the Tângâri, that
would indeed be a good thing. Call hither the wood-carver.' The
wood-carver was called, and appeared before the Chan, and the Chan
said unto him, 'My father has been carried into the realms of the
Tângâri. He is desirous of erecting a pagoda, and because there are no
wood-carvers there he is desirous that you should be despatched unto
him.'

"With these words the Chan displayed the forged letter, and when he
had read it, the wood-carver said unto himself, 'Of a surety Gunga,
the painter, has played me this trick; but I will try if I cannot
overreach him.'

"Thus thinking, he inquired of the painter, 'By what means can I
reach the kingdom of the Tângâri?'

"To these words, the painter replied, 'When thou hast prepared all thy
tools and implements of trade, then place thyself upon a pile of
fagots, and when thou hast sung songs of rejoicing and set light to
the pile of fagots, thus wilt thou be able to reach the kingdom of the
Tângâri.' Thus spake he, and the seventh night from that time was
appointed for the carver's setting forth on his journey.

"When the wood-carver returned home unto his wife, he spake unto her
these words:--'The painter hath conceived wickedness in his mind
against me; yet I shall try means to overreach him.'

"Accordingly he secretly contrived a subterranean passage, which
reached from his own house into the middle of his field. Over the
aperture in the field he placed a large stone, covered the stone with
earth, and when the seventh night was come, the Chan said, 'This night
let the wood-carver draw nigh unto the Chan, my father.' Thereupon,
agreeably to the commands of the Chan, every one of the people brought
out a handful of the fat of the Gunsa (a beast). A huge fire was
kindled, and the wood-cutter, when he had sung the songs of rejoicing,
escaped by the covered way he had made back to his own house.

"Meanwhile the painter was greatly rejoiced, and pointed upwards with
his finger, and said, 'There rideth the wood-carver up to heaven.'
All who had been present, too, betook themselves home, thinking in
their hearts, 'The wood-carver is dead, and gone up above to the
Chan.'

"The wood-carver remained concealed at home a whole month, and allowed
no man to set eyes upon him, but washed his head in milk every day,
and kept himself always in the shade. After that he put on a garment
of white silk, and wrote a letter, in which stood the following
words:--

"'This letter is addressed to my son Chamuk Sakiktschi. That thou
rulest the kingdom in peace; it is very good. Since thy wood-carver
has completed his work, it is needful that he should be rewarded
according to his deserts. Since, moreover, for the decoration of the
pagoda, many coloured paintings are necessary, send unto me the
painter, as thou hast already sent this man.'

"The wood-carver then drew nigh unto the Chan with this letter.
'What!' cried the Chan, 'art thou returned from the kingdom of the
Tângâri?' The wood-carver handed the letter unto him, and said, 'I
have, indeed, been in the kingdom of the Tângâri, and from it I am
returned home again.'

"The Chan was greatly rejoiced when he heard this, and rewarded the
wood-carver with costly presents. 'Because the painter is now
required,' said the Chan, 'for the painting of the pagoda, let him now
be called before me.'

"The painter drew nigh accordingly, and when he saw the wood-carver,
fair, and in white-shining robes, and decorated with gifts, he said
unto himself, 'Then he is not dead!' And the Chan handed over to the
painter the forged letter, with the seal thereto, and said, 'Thou must
go now.'

"And when the seventh night from that time arrived, the people came
forward as before with a contribution of the fat of the Gunsa; and in
the midst of the field a pile of fagots was kindled. The painter
seated himself in the midst of the fire, with his materials for
painting, and a letter and gifts of honour for the Chan Gunisschang,
and sang songs of rejoicing; and as the fire kept growing more and
more intolerable, he lifted up his voice and uttered piercing cries;
but the noise of the instruments overpowered his voice, and at length
the fire consumed him."

"He was properly rewarded!" exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang!"
Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's eighth relation treats of the Painter and the
Wood-carver.


THE STEALING OF THE HEART.

When the Son of the Chan was, as formerly, carrying Ssidi away in the
sack, Ssidi inquired of him as before; but the Son of the Chan shook
his head without speaking a word, so Ssidi proceeded as follows:--

"Many, many years ago there ruled over a certain kingdom a Chan named
Guguluktschi. Upon the death of this Chan his son, who was of great
reputation and worth, was elected Chan in his place.

"One berren (a measure of distance) from the residence of the Chan
dwelt a man, who had a daughter of wonderful abilities and
extraordinary beauty. The son of the Chan was enamoured of this
maiden, and visited her daily; until, at length, he fell sick of a
grievous malady, and died, without the maiden being made aware of it.

"One night, just as the moon was rising, the maiden heard a knocking
at the door, and the face of the maiden was gladdened when she beheld
the son of the Chan; and the maiden arose and went to meet him, and
she led him in and placed arrack and cakes before him. 'Wife,' said
the son of the Chan, 'come with me!'

"The maiden followed, and they kept going further and further, until
they arrived at the dwelling of the Chan, from which proceeded the
sound of cymbals and kettledrums.

"'Chan, what is this?' she asked. The son of the Chan replied to these
inquiries of the maiden, 'Do you not know that they are now
celebrating the feast of my funeral?' Thus spake he; and the maiden
replied, 'The feast of thy funeral! Has anything then befallen the
Chan's son?' And the son of the Chan replied, 'He is departed. Thou
wilt, however, bear a son unto him. And when the season is come, go
into the stable of the elephant, and let him be born there. In the
palace there will arise a contention betwixt my mother and her
attendants, because of the wonderful stone of the kingdom. The
wonderful stone lies under the table of sacrifice. After it has been
discovered, do you and my mother reign over this kingdom until such
time as my son comes of age.'

"Thus spake he, and vanished into air. But his beloved fell, from very
anguish, into a swoon. 'Chan! Chan!' exclaimed she sorrowfully, when
she came to herself again. And because she felt that the time was
come, she betook herself to the stable of the elephants, and there
gave birth to a son.

"On the following morning, when the keeper of the elephants entered
the stable, he exclaimed, 'What! has a woman given birth to a son in
the stable of the elephants? This never happened before. This may be
an injury to the elephants.'

"At these words the maiden said, 'Go unto the mother of the Chan, and
say unto her, "Arise! something wonderful has taken place."'

"When these words were told unto the mother of the Chan, then she
arose and went unto the stable, and the maiden related unto her all
that had happened, 'Wonderful!' said the mother of the Chan.
'Otherwise the Chan had left no successors. Let us go together into
the house.'

"Thus speaking, she took the maiden with her into the house, and
nursed her, and tended her carefully. And because her account of the
wonderful stone was found correct, all the rest of her story was
believed. So the mother of the Chan and his wife ruled over the
kingdom.

"Henceforth, too, it happened that every month, on the night of the
full moon, the deceased Chan appeared to his wife, remained with her
until morning dawned, and then vanished into air. And the wife
recounted this to his mother, but his mother believed her not, and
said, 'This is a mere invention. If it were true my son would, of a
surety, show himself likewise unto me. If I am to believe your words,
you must take care that mother and son meet one another.'

"When the son of the Chan came on the night of the full moon, his wife
said unto him, 'It is well that thou comest unto me on the night of
every full moon, but it were yet better if thou camest every night.'
And as she spake thus, with tears in her eyes, the son of the Chan
replied, 'If thou hadst sufficient spirit to dare its accomplishment,
thou mightest do what would bring me every night; but thou art young
and cannot do it.' 'Then,' said she, 'if thou wilt but come every
night, I will do all that is required of me, although I should thereby
lose both flesh and bone.'

"Thereupon the son of the Chan spake as follows: 'Then betake thyself
on the night of the full moon a berren from this place to the iron old
man, and give unto him arrack. A little further you will come unto two
rams, to them you must offer batschimak cakes. A little further on you
will perceive a host of men in coats of mail and other armour, and
there you must share out meat and cakes. From thence you must proceed
to a large black building, stained with blood; the skin of a man
floats over it instead of a flag. Two aerliks (fiends) stand at the
entrance. Present unto them both offerings of blood. Within the
mansion thou wilt discover nine fearful exorcists, and nine hearts
upon a throne. "Take me! take me!" will the eight old hearts exclaim;
and the ninth heart will cry out, "Do not take me!" But leave the old
hearts and take the fresh one, and run home with it without looking
round.'

"Much as the maiden was alarmed at the task which she had been
enjoined to perform, she set forth on the night of the next full moon,
divided the offerings, and entered the house. 'Take me not!' exclaimed
the fresh heart; but the maiden seized the fresh heart and fled with
it. The exorcists fled after her, and cried out to those who were
watching, 'Stop the thief of the heart!' And the two aerliks (fiends)
cried, 'We have received offerings of blood!' Then each of the armed
men cried out, 'Stop the thief!' But the rams said, 'We have received
batschimak cakes.' Then they called out to the iron old man, 'Stop the
thief with the heart!' But the old man said, 'I have received arrack
from her, and shall not stop her.'

"Thereupon the maiden journeyed on without fear until she reached
home; and she found upon entering the house the Chan's son, attired in
festive garments. And the Chan's son drew nigh, and threw his arms
about the neck of the maiden."

"The maiden behaved well indeed!" exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang."
Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's ninth relation treats of the Stealing of the Heart.


THE MAN AND HIS WIFE.

When Ssidi had been captured as before, and was being carried away in
the sack, he inquired, as he had always done, as to telling a tale;
but the Son of the Chan shook his head without speaking a word.
Whereupon Ssidi began the following relation:--

"Many, many years since, there lived in the kingdom of Olmilsong two
brothers, and they were both married. Now the elder brother and his
wife were niggardly and envious, while the younger brother was of
quite a different disposition.

"Once upon a time the elder brother, who had contrived to gather
together abundance of riches, gave a great feast, and invited many
people to partake of it. When this was known, the younger thought to
himself, 'Although my elder brother has hitherto not treated me very
well, yet he will now, no doubt, since he has invited so many people
to his feast, invite also me and my wife.' This he certainly expected,
but yet he was not invited. 'Probably,' thought he, 'my brother will
summon me to-morrow morning to the brandy-drinking.' Because, however,
he was not even invited unto that, he grieved very sore, and said unto
himself, 'This night, when my brother's wife has drunk the brandy, I
will go unto the house and steal somewhat.'

"When, however, he had glided into the treasure-chamber of his
brother, there lay the wife of his brother near her husband; but
presently she arose and went into the kitchen, and cooked meat and
sweet food, and went out of the door with it. The concealed one did
not venture at this moment to steal anything, but said unto himself,
'Before I steal anything, I will just see what all this means.'

"So saying, he went forth and followed the woman to a mountain where
the dead were wont to be laid. On the top, upon a green mound, lay a
beautiful ornamental tomb over the body of a dead man. This man had
formerly been the lover of the woman. Even when afar off she called
unto the dead man by name, and when she had come unto him she threw
her arms about his neck; and the younger brother was nigh unto her,
and saw all that she did.

"The woman next handed the sweet food which she had prepared to the
dead man, and because the teeth of the corse did not open, she
separated them with a pair of brazen pincers, and pushed the food into
his mouth. Suddenly the pincers bounced back from the teeth of the
dead man, and snapped off the tip of the woman's nose; while, at the
same time, the teeth of the dead man closed together and bit off the
end of the woman's tongue. Upon this the woman took up the dish with
the food and went back to her home.

"The younger brother thereupon followed her home, and concealed
himself in the treasure-chamber, and the wife laid herself down again
by her husband. Presently the man began to move, when the wife
immediately cried out, 'Woe is me! woe is me! was there ever such a
man?' And the man said, 'What is the matter now?' The wife replied,
'The point of my tongue, and the tip of my nose, both these thou hast
bitten off. What can a woman do without these two things? To-morrow
the Chan shall be made acquainted with this conduct.' Thus spake she,
and the younger brother fled from the treasure-chamber without
stealing anything.

"On the following morning the woman presented herself before the Chan,
and addressed him, saying, 'My husband has this night treated me
shamefully. Whatsoever punishment may be awarded to him, I myself will
see it inflicted.'

"But the husband persisted in asserting, 'Of all this I know nothing!'
Because the complaint of the wife seemed well-founded, and the man
could not exculpate himself, the Chan said, 'Because of his evil
deeds, let this man be burnt.'

"When the younger brother heard what had befallen the elder, he went
to see him. And after the younger one had related to him all the
affair, he betook himself unto the Chan, saying, 'That the evildoer
may be really discovered, let both the woman and her husband be
summoned before you; I will clear up the mystery.'

"When they were both present, the younger brother related the wife's
visit to the dead man, and because the Chan would not give credence
unto his story, he said: 'In the mouth of the dead man you will find
the end of the woman's tongue; and the blood-soiled tip of her nose
you will find in the pincers of brass. Send thither, and see if it be
not so.'

"Thus spake he, and people were sent to the place, and confirmed all
that he had asserted. Upon this the Chan said, 'Since the matter
stands thus, let the woman be placed upon the pile of fagots and
consumed with fire.' And the woman was placed upon the pile of fagots
and consumed with fire."

"That served her right!" said the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang!"
Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's tenth relation treats of the Man and his Wife.


OF THE MAIDEN SSUWARANDARI.

When the Son of the Chan was carrying off Ssidi, as formerly, Ssidi
related the following tale:--

"A long while ago, there was in the very centre of a certain kingdom
an old pagoda, in which stood the image of Choschim Bodissadoh (a
Mongolian idol), formed of clay. Near unto this pagoda stood a small
house, in which a beautiful maiden resided with her aged parents. But
at the mouth of the river, which ran thereby, dwelt a poor man, who
maintained himself by selling fruit, which he carried in an ark upon
the river.

"Now it happened once, that as he was returning home he was benighted
in the neighbourhood of the pagoda. He listened at the door of the
house in which the two old people dwelt, and heard the old woman say
unto her husband, 'We are both grown exceedingly old; could we now but
provide for our daughter, it would be well.'

"'That we have lived so long happily together,' said the old man, 'we
are indebted to the talisman of our daughter. Let us, however, offer
up sacrifice to Bodissadoh, and inquire of him to what condition we
shall dedicate our daughter--to the spiritual or to the worldly.
To-morrow, at the earliest dawn, we will therefore lay our offering
before the Burchan.'

"'Now know I what to do,' said the listener; so in the night-time he
betook himself to the pagoda, made an opening in the back of the idol,
and concealed himself therein. When on the following morning the two
old people and the daughter drew nigh and made their offering, the
father bowed himself to the earth and spake as follows:--

"'Deified Bodissadoh! shall this maiden be devoted to a spiritual or
worldly life? If she is to be devoted to a worldly life, vouchsafe to
point out now or hereafter, in a dream or vision, to whom we shall
give her to wife.'

"Then he who was concealed in the image exclaimed, 'It is better that
thy daughter be devoted to a worldly life. Therefore, give her to wife
to the first man who presents himself at thy door in the morning.'

"The old people were greatly rejoiced when they heard these words; and
they bowed themselves again and again down to the earth, and walked
around the idol.

"On the following morning the man stepped out of the idol and knocked
at the door of the aged couple. The old woman went out, and when she
saw that it was a man, she turned back again, and said to her husband,
'The words of the Burchan are fulfilled; the man has arrived.'

"'Give him entrance!' said the old man. The man came in accordingly,
and was welcomed with food and drink; and when they had told him all
that the idol had said, he took the maiden with the talisman to wife.

"When he was wandering forth and drew nigh unto his dwelling, he
thought unto himself, 'I have with cunning obtained the daughter of
the two old people. Now I will place the maiden in the ark, and
conceal the ark in the sand.'

"So he concealed the ark, and went and said unto the people, 'Though I
have ever acted properly, still it has never availed me yet. I will
therefore now seek to obtain liberal gifts through my prayers.' Thus
spake he, and after repeating the Zoka-prayers (part of the Calmuc
ritual), he obtained food and gifts, and said, 'To-morrow I will
again wander around, repeat the appointed Zoka-prayers, and seek food
again.'

"In the meanwhile it happened that the son of the Chan and two of his
companions, with bows and arrows in their hands, who were following a
tiger, passed by unnoticed, and arrived at the sand-heap of the maiden
Ssuwarandari. 'Let us shoot at that heap!' cried they. Thus spake
they, and shot accordingly, and lost their arrows in the sand. As they
were looking after the arrows, they found the ark, opened it, and drew
out the maiden with the talisman.

"'Who art thou, maiden?' inquired they. 'I am the daughter of Lu.' The
Chan's son said, 'Come with me, and be my wife.' And the maiden said,
'I cannot go unless another is placed in the ark instead of me.' So
they all said, 'Let us put in the tiger.' And when the tiger was
placed in the ark, the Chan's son took away with him the maiden, and
the talisman with her.

"In the meanwhile the beggar ended his prayers; and when he had done
so, he thought unto himself, 'If I take the talisman, slay the maiden,
and sell the talisman, of a surety I shall become rich indeed.' Thus
thinking he drew nigh unto the sand-heap, drew forth the ark, carried
it home with him, and said unto his wife, who he thought was within
the ark, 'I shall pass this night in repeating the Zoka-prayers.' He
threw off his upper garment. And when he had done so, he lifted off
the cover of the ark, and said, 'Maiden, be not alarmed!' When he was
thus speaking, he beheld the tiger.

"When some persons went into the chamber on the following morning,
they found a tiger with his tusks and claws covered with blood, and
the body of the beggar torn into pieces.

"And the wife of the Chan gave birth to three sons, and lived in the
enjoyment of plenty of all things. But the ministers and the people
murmured, and said, 'It was not well of the Chan that he drew forth
his wife out of the earth. Although the wife of the Chan has given
birth to the sons of the Chan, still she is but a low-born creature.'
Thus spoke they, and the wife of the Chan received little joy
therefrom. 'I have borne three sons,' said she, 'and yet am noways
regarded; I will therefore return home to my parents.'

"She left the palace on the night of the full moon, and reached the
neighbourhood of her parents at noontide. Where there had formerly
been nothing to be seen she saw a multitude of workmen busily
employed, and among them a man having authority, who prepared meat and
drink for them. 'Who art thou, maiden?' inquired this man. 'I come far
from hence,' replied the wife of the Chan; 'but my parents formerly
resided upon this mountain, and I have come hither to seek them.'

"At these words the young man said, 'Thou art then their daughter?'
and he received for answer, 'I am their daughter.'

"'I am their son,' said he. 'I have been told that I had a sister
older than myself. Art thou she? Sit thee down, partake of this meat
and this drink, and we will then go together unto our parents.'

"When the wife of the Chan arrived at the summit of the mountain, she
found in the place where the old pagoda stood a number of splendid
buildings, with golden towers full of bells. And the hut of her
parents was changed into a lordly mansion. 'All this,' said her
brother, 'belongs to us, since you took your departure. Our parents
lived here in health and peace.'

"In the palace there were horses and mules, and costly furniture in
abundance. The father and mother were seated on rich pillows of silk,
and gave their daughter welcome, saying, 'Thou art still well and
happy. That thou hast returned home before we depart from this life is
of a surety very good.'

"After various inquiries had been made on both sides, relative to what
had transpired during the separation of the parties, the old parents
said, 'Let us make these things known unto the Chan and his
ministers.'

"So the Chan and his ministers were loaded with presents, and three
nights afterwards they were welcomed with meat and drink of the best.
But the Chan said, 'Ye have spoken falsely, the wife of the Chan had
no parents.' Now the Chan departed with his retinue, and his wife
said, 'I will stop one more night with my parents, and then I will
return unto you.'

"On the following morning the wife of the Chan found herself on a hard
bed, without pillows or coverlets. 'What is this?' exclaimed she; 'was
I not this night with my father and mother--and did I not retire to
sleep on a bed of silk?'

"And when she rose up she beheld the ruined hut of her parents. Her
father and mother were dead, and their bones mouldered; their heads
lay upon a stone. Weeping loudly, she said unto herself, 'I will now
look after the pagoda.' But she saw nothing but the ruins of the
pagoda and of the Burchan. 'A godly providence,' exclaimed she, 'has
resuscitated my parents. Now since the Chan and the ministers will be
pacified, I will return home again.'

"On her arrival in the kingdom of her husband, the ministers and the
people came forth to meet her, and walked around her. 'This wife of
the Chan,' cried they, 'is descended from noble parents, has borne
noble sons, and is herself welcome, pleasant, and charming.' Thus
speaking, they accompanied the wife of the Chan to the palace."

"Her merits must have been great." Thus spake the Son of the Chan.

"Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood
jakzang!" Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

Thus Ssidi's eleventh relation treats of the Maiden Ssuwarandari.



THE TWO CATS.


In former days there was an old woman, who lived in a hut more
confined than the minds of the ignorant, and more dark than the tombs
of misers. Her companion was a cat, from the mirror of whose
imagination the appearance of bread had never been reflected, nor had
she from friends or strangers ever heard its name. It was enough that
she now and then scented a mouse, or observed the print of its feet on
the floor; when, blessed by favouring stars or benignant fortune, one
fell into her claws--

    "She became like a beggar who discovers a treasure of gold;
    Her cheeks glowed with rapture, and past grief was consumed
            by present joy."

This feast would last for a week or more; and while enjoying it she
was wont to exclaim--

    "Am I, O God, when I contemplate this, in a dream or awake?
    Am I to experience such prosperity after such adversity?"

But as the dwelling of the old woman was in general the mansion of
famine to this cat, she was always complaining, and forming
extravagant and fanciful schemes. One day, when reduced to extreme
weakness, she, with much exertion, reached the top of the hut; when
there she observed a cat stalking on the wall of a neighbour's house,
which, like a fierce tiger, advanced with measured steps, and was so
loaded with flesh that she could hardly raise her feet. The old
woman's friend was amazed to see one of her own species so fat and
sleek, and broke out into the following exclamation:--

    "Your stately strides have brought you here at last; pray tell
            me from whence you come?
    From whence have you arrived with so lovely an appearance?
    You look as if from the banquet of the Khan of Khatai.
    Where have you acquired such a comeliness? and how came you by
            that glorious strength?"

The other answered, "I am the Sultan's crumb-eater. Each morning, when
they spread the convivial table, I attend at the palace, and there
exhibit my address and courage. From among the rich meats and
wheat-cakes I cull a few choice morsels; I then retire and pass my
time till next day in delightful indolence."

The old dame's cat requested to know what rich meat was, and what
taste wheat-cakes had? "As for me," she added, in a melancholy tone,
"during my life I have neither eaten nor seen anything but the old
woman's gruel and the flesh of mice." The other, smiling, said, "This
accounts for the difficulty I find in distinguishing you from a
spider. Your shape and stature is such as must make the whole
generation of cats blush; and we must ever feel ashamed while you
carry so miserable an appearance abroad.

    You certainly have the ears and tail of a cat,
    But in other respects you are a complete spider.

Were you to see the Sultan's palace, and to smell his delicious
viands, most undoubtedly those withered bones would be restored; you
would receive new life; you would come from behind the curtain of
invisibility into the plane of observation--

    When the perfume of his beloved passes over the tomb of a lover,
    Is it wonderful that his putrid bones should be re-animated?"

The old woman's cat addressed the other in the most supplicating
manner: "O my sister!" she exclaimed, "have I not the sacred claims of
a neighbour upon you? are we not linked in the ties of kindred? What
prevents your giving a proof of friendship, by taking me with you when
next you visit the palace? Perhaps from your favour plenty may flow to
me, and from your patronage I may attain dignity and honour.

    Withdraw not from the friendship of the honourable;
    Abandon not the support of the elect."

The heart of the Sultan's crumb-eater was melted by this pathetic
address; she promised her new friend should accompany her on the next
visit to the palace. The latter, overjoyed, went down immediately from
the terrace, and communicated every particular to the old woman, who
addressed her with the following counsel:--

"Be not deceived, my dearest friend, with the worldly language you
have listened to; abandon not your corner of content, for the cup of
the covetous is only to be filled by the dust of the grave, and the
eye of cupidity and hope can only be closed by the needle of mortality
and the thread of fate.

    It is content that makes men rich;
    Mark this, ye avaricious, who traverse the world:
    He neither knows nor pays adoration to his God
    Who is dissatisfied with his condition and fortune."

But the expected feast had taken such possession of poor puss's
imagination, that the medicinal counsel of the old woman was thrown
away.

    "The good advice of all the world is like wind in a cage,
    Or water in a sieve, when bestowed on the headstrong."

To conclude: next day, accompanied by her companion, the half-starved
cat hobbled to the Sultan's palace. Before this unfortunate wretch
came, as it is decreed that the covetous shall be disappointed, an
extraordinary event had occurred, and, owing to her evil destiny, the
water of disappointment was poured on the flame of her immature
ambition. The case was this: a whole legion of cats had the day
before surrounded the feast, and made so much noise that they
disturbed the guests; and in consequence the Sultan had ordered that
some archers armed with bows from Tartary should, on this day, be
concealed, and that whatever cat advanced into the field of valour,
covered with the shield of audacity, should, on eating the first
morsel, be overtaken with their arrows. The old dame's puss was not
aware of this order. The moment the flavour of the viands reached her,
she flew like an eagle to the place of her prey.

Scarcely had the weight of a mouthful been placed in the scale to
balance her hunger, when a heart-dividing arrow pierced her breast.

    A stream of blood rushed from the wound.
    She fled, in dread of death, after having exclaimed,
    "Should I escape from this terrific archer,
    I will be satisfied with my mouse and the miserable hut
            of my old mistress.
    My soul rejects the honey if accompanied by the sting.
    Content, with the most frugal fare, is preferable."



LEGEND OF DHURRUMNATH.


During the reign of a mighty rajah named Guddeh Sing, a celebrated,
and as it is now supposed, deified priest, or hutteet, called
Dhurrumnath, came, and in all the characteristic humility of his sect
established a primitive and temporary resting-place within a few miles
of the rajah's residence at Runn, near Mandavie. He was accompanied by
his adopted son, Ghurreeb Nath.

From this spot Dhurrumnath despatched his son to seek for charitable
contributions from the inhabitants of the town. To this end Ghurreeb
Nath made several visits; but being unsuccessful, and at the same time
unwilling that his father should know of the want of liberality in the
city, he at each visit purchased food out of some limited funds of his
own. At length, his little hoard failing, on the sixth day he was
obliged to confess the deceit he had practised.

Dhurrumnath, on being acquainted with this, became extremely vexed,
and vowed that from that day all the rajah's putteen cities should
become desolate and ruined. The tradition goes on to state that in
due time these cities were destroyed; Dhurrumnath, accompanied by his
son, left the neighbourhood, and proceeded to Denodur. Finding it a
desirable place, he determined on performing Tupseeah, or penance, for
twelve years, and chose the form of standing on his head.

On commencing to carry out this determination, he dismissed his son,
who established his Doonee in the jungles, about twenty miles to the
north-west of Bhooj. After Dhurrumnath had remained Tupseeah for
twelve years, he was visited by all the angels from heaven, who
besought him to rise; to which he replied, that if he did so, the
portion of the country on which his sight would first rest would
become barren: if villages, they would disappear; if woods or fields,
they would equally be destroyed. The angels then told him to turn his
head to the north-east, where flowed the sea. Upon this he resumed his
natural position, and, turning his head in the direction he was told,
opened his eyes, when immediately the sea disappeared, the stately
ships became wrecks, and their crews were destroyed, leaving nothing
behind but a barren, unbroken desert, known as the Runn.

Dhurrumnath, too pure to remain on the earth, partook of an immediate
and glorious immortality, being at once absorbed into the spiritual
nature of the creating, the finishing, the indivisible, all-pervading
Brum.

This self-imposed penance of Dhurrumnath has shed a halo of sanctity
around the hill of Denodur, and was doubtless the occasion of its
having been selected as a fitting site for a Jogie establishment, the
members of which, it is probable, were originally the attendants on a
small temple that had been erected, and which still remains, on the
highest point of the hill, on the spot where the holy Dhurrumnath is
said to have performed his painful Tupseeah.



THE TRAVELLER'S ADVENTURE.


It is related that a man, mounted upon a camel, in the course of
travelling arrived at a place where others from the same caravan had
lighted a fire before proceeding on their journey. The fan-like wind,
breathing on the embers, had produced a flame; and the sparks, flying
over the jungle, the dry wood had become ignited, and the whole plain
glowed like a bed of tulips.

In the midst of this was an enormous snake, which, encircled by the
flames, possessed no means of escape, and was about to be broiled like
a fish, or kabobed like a partridge for the table. Blood oozed from
its poison-charged eyes; and, seeing the man and the camel, it thus
supplicated for assistance--

    "What if in kindness thou vouchsafe me thy pity;
    Loosen the knot with which my affairs are entangled."

Now the traveller was a good man, and one who feared God. When he
heard the complaint of the snake, and saw its pitiable condition, he
reasoned thus with himself: "This snake is, indeed, the enemy of man,
but being in trouble and perplexity, it would be most commendable in
me to drop the seed of compassion, the fruit of which is prosperity in
this world, and exaltation in the next." Thus convinced, he fastened
one of his saddle-bags to the end of his spear, and extended it to the
snake, which, delighted at escape, entered the bag, and was rescued
from the flames. The man then opening the mouth of the bag, addressed
it thus: "Depart whither thou wilt, but forget not to offer up
thanksgiving for thy preservation; henceforth seek the corner of
retirement, and cease to afflict mankind, for they who do so are
dishonest in this world and the next--

    Fear God--distress no one;
    This indeed is true salvation."

The snake replied, "O young man, hold thy peace, for truly I will not
depart until I have wounded both thee and this camel."

The man cried out, "But how is this? Have I not rendered thee a
benefit? Why, then, is such to be my recompense?

    On my part there was faithfulness,
    Why then this injustice upon thine?"

The snake said, "True, thou hast shown mercy, but it was to an
unworthy object; thou knowest me to be an agent of injury to mankind,
consequently, when thou savedst me from destruction, thou subjectedst
thyself to the same rule that applies to the punishment due for an
evil act committed against a worthy object.

"Again, between the snake and man there is a long-standing enmity, and
they who employ foresight hold it as a maxim of wisdom to bruise the
head of an enemy; to thy security my destruction was necessary, but,
in showing mercy, thou hast forfeited vigilance. It is now necessary
that I should wound thee, that others may learn by thy example."

The man cried, "O snake, call but in the counsel of justice; in what
creed is it written, or what practice declares, that evil should be
returned for good, or that the pleasure of conferring benefits should
be returned by injury and affliction?"

The snake replied, "Such is the practice amongst men. I act according
to thy own decree; the same commodity of retribution I have purchased
from thee I also sell.

    Buy for one moment that which thou sell'st for years."

In vain did the traveller entreat, the snake ever replying, "I do but
treat thee after the manner of men." This the man denied. "But," said
he, "let us call witnesses: if thou prove thy assertion, I will yield
to thy will." The snake, looking round, saw a cow grazing at a
distance, and said, "Come, we will ask this cow the rights of the
question." When they came up to the cow, the snake, opening its
mouth, said, "O cow, what is the recompense for benefits received?"

The cow said, "If thou ask me after the manner of men, the return of
good is always evil. For instance, I was for a long time in the
service of a farmer; yearly I brought forth a calf; I supplied his
house with milk and ghee; his sustenance, and the life of his
children, depended upon me. When I became old, and no longer produced
young, he ceased to shelter me, and thrust me forth to die in a
jungle. After finding forage, and roaming at my ease, I grew fat, and
my old master, seeing my plump condition, yesterday brought with him a
butcher, to whom he has sold me, and to-day is appointed for my
slaughter."

The snake said, "Thou hast heard the cow; prepare to die quickly." The
man cried, "It is not lawful to decide a case on the evidence of one
witness, let us then call another." The snake looked about and saw a
tree, leafless and bare, flinging up its wild branches to the sky.
"Let us," said it, "appeal to this tree." They proceeded together to
the tree; and the snake, opening its mouth, said, "O tree, what is the
recompense for good?"

The tree said, "Amongst men, for benefits are returned evil and
injury. I will give you a proof of what I assert. I am a tree which,
though growing on one leg in this sad waste, was once flourishing and
green, performing service to every one. When any of the human race,
overcome with heat and travel, came this way, they rested beneath my
shade, and slept beneath my branches; when the weight of repose
abandoned their eyelids, they cast up their eyes to me, and said to
each other, 'Yon twig would do well for an arrow; that branch would
serve for a plough; and from the trunk of this tree what beautiful
planks might be made!' If they had an axe or a saw, they selected my
branches, and carried them away. Thus they to whom I gave ease and
rest rewarded me only with pain and affliction.

    Whilst my care overshadows him in perplexity,
    He meditates only how best to root me up."

"Well," said the snake, "here are two witnesses; therefore, form thy
resolution, for I must wound thee." The man said, "True; but the love
of life is powerful, and while strength remains, it is difficult to
root the love of it from the heart. Call but one more witness, and
then I pledge myself to submit to his decree." Now it so wonderfully
happened that a fox, who had been standing by, had heard all the
argument, and now came forward. The snake on seeing it exclaimed,
"Behold this fox, let us ask it." But before the man could speak the
fox cried out, "Dost thou not know that the recompense for good is
always evil? But what good hast thou done in behalf of this snake, to
render thee worthy of punishment?" The man related his story. The fox
replied, "Thou seemest an intelligent person, why then dost thou tell
me an untruth?

    How can it be proper for him that is wise to speak falsely?
    How can it become an intelligent man to state an untruth?"

The snake said, "The man speaks truly, for behold the bag in which he
rescued me." The fox, putting on the garb of astonishment, said, "How
can I believe this thing? How could a large snake such as thou be
contained in so small a space?" The snake said, "If thou doubt me, I
will again enter the bag to prove it." The fox said, "Truly if I saw
thee there, I could believe it, and afterwards settle the dispute
between thee and this man." On this the traveller opened the bag, and
the snake, annoyed at the disbelief of the fox, entered it; which
observing, the fox cried out, "O young man, when thou hast caught
thine enemy, show him no quarter.

    When an enemy is vanquished, and in thy power,
    It is the maxim of the wise to show him no mercy."

The traveller took the hint of the fox, fastened the mouth of the bag,
and, dashing it against a stone, destroyed the snake, and thus saved
mankind from the evil effects of its wicked propensities.



THE SEVEN STAGES OF ROOSTEM.


Persia was at peace, and prosperous; but its king, Ky-Kâoos, could
never remain at rest. A favourite singer gave him one day an animated
account of the beauties of the neighbouring kingdom of Mazenderan: its
ever-blooming roses, its melodious nightingales, its verdant plains,
its mountains shaded with lofty trees, and adorned to their summits
with flowers which perfumed the air, its clear murmuring rivulets,
and, above all, its lovely damsels and valiant warriors.

All these were described to the sovereign in such glowing colours that
he quite lost his reason, and declared he should never be happy till
his power extended over a country so favoured by Nature. It was in
vain that his wisest ministers and most attached nobles dissuaded him
from so hazardous an enterprise as that of invading a region which
had, besides other defenders, a number of Deevs, or demons, who,
acting under their renowned chief, Deev-e-Seffeed, or the White Demon,
had hitherto defeated all enemies.

Ky-Kâoos would not listen to his nobles, who in despair sent for old
Zâl, the father of Roostem, and prince of Seestan. Zâl came, and used
all his efforts, but in vain; the monarch was involved in clouds of
pride, and closed a discussion he had with Zâl by exclaiming, "The
Creator of the world is my friend; the chief of the Deevs is my prey."
This impious boasting satisfied Zâl he could do no good; and he even
refused to become regent of Persia in the absence of Ky-Kâoos, but
promised to aid with his counsel.

The king departed to anticipated conquest; but the prince of
Mazenderan summoned his forces, and, above all, the Deev-e-Seffeed and
his band. They came at his call: a great battle ensued, in which the
Persians were completely defeated. Ky-Kâoos was made prisoner, and
confined in a strong fortress under the guard of a hundred Deevs,
commanded by Arjeng, who was instructed to ask the Persian monarch
every morning how he liked the roses, nightingales, flowers, trees,
verdant meadows, shady mountains, clear streams, beautiful damsels,
and valiant warriors of Mazenderan.

The news of this disaster soon spread over Persia, and notwithstanding
the disgust of old Zâl at the headstrong folly of his monarch, he was
deeply afflicted at the tale of his misfortune and disgrace. He sent
for Roostem, to whom he said, "Go, my son, and with thy single arm,
and thy good horse, Reksh, release our sovereign." Roostem instantly
obeyed. There were two roads, but he chose the nearest, though it was
reported to be by far the most difficult and dangerous.

Fatigued with his first day's journey, Roostem lay down to sleep,
having turned Reksh loose to graze in a neighbouring meadow, where he
was attacked by a furious lion; but this wonderful horse, after a
short contest, struck his antagonist to the ground with a blow from
his fore-hoof, and completed the victory by seizing the throat of the
royal animal with his teeth. When Roostem awoke, he was surprised and
enraged. He desired Reksh never again to attempt, unaided, such an
encounter. "Hadst thou been slain," asked he of the intelligent brute,
"how should I have accomplished my enterprise?"

At the second stage Roostem had nearly died of thirst, but his prayers
to the Almighty were heard. A fawn appeared, as if to be his guide;
and following it, he was conducted to a clear fountain, where, after
regaling on the flesh of a wild ass, which he had killed with his bow,
he lay down to sleep. In the middle of the night a monstrous serpent,
seventy yards in length, came out of its hiding-place, and made at the
hero, who was awaked by the neighing of Reksh; but the serpent had
crept back to its hiding-place, and Roostem, seeing no danger, abused
his faithful horse for disturbing his repose. Another attempt of the
serpent was defeated in the same way; but as the monster had again
concealed itself, Roostem lost all patience with Reksh, whom he
threatened to put to death if he again awaked him by any such
unseasonable noises. The faithful steed, fearing his master's rage,
but strong in his attachment, instead of neighing when the serpent
again made his appearance, sprang upon it, and commenced a furious
contest. Roostem, hearing the noise, started up and joined in the
combat. The serpent darted at him, but he avoided it, and, while his
noble horse seized their enemy by the back, the hero cut off its head
with his sword.

When the serpent was slain, Roostem contemplated its enormous size
with amazement, and, with that piety which always distinguished him,
returned thanks to the Almighty for his miraculous escape.

Next day, as Roostem sat by a fountain, he saw a beautiful damsel
regaling herself with wine. He approached her, accepted her invitation
to partake of the beverage, and clasped her in his arms as if she had
been an angel. It happened, in the course of their conversation, that
the Persian hero mentioned the name of the great God he adored. At the
sound of that sacred word the fair features and shape of the female
changed, and she became black, ugly, and deformed. The astonished
Roostem seized her, and after binding her hands, bid her declare who
she was. "I am a sorceress," was the reply, "and have been employed
by the evil spirit Aharman for thy destruction; but save my life, and
I am powerful to do thee service." "I make no compact with the devil
or his agents," said the hero, and cut her in twain. He again poured
forth his soul in thanksgiving to God for his deliverance.

On his fourth stage Roostem lost his way. While wandering about he
came to a clear rivulet, on the banks of which he lay down to take
some repose, having first turned Reksh loose into a field of grain. A
gardener who had charge of it came and awoke the hero, telling him in
an insolent tone that he would soon suffer for his temerity, as the
field in which his horse was feeding belonged to a pehloovân, or
warrior, called Oulâd. Roostem, always irascible, but particularly so
when disturbed in his slumbers, jumped up, tore off the gardener's
ears, and gave him a blow with his fist that broke his nose and teeth.
"Take these marks of my temper to your master," he said, "and tell him
to come here, and he shall have a similar welcome."

Oulâd, when informed of what had passed, was excited to fury, and
prepared to assail the Persian hero, who, expecting him, had put on
his armour and mounted Reksh. His appearance so dismayed Oulâd that he
dared not venture on the combat till he had summoned his adherents.
They all fell upon Roostem at once; but the base-born caitiffs were
scattered like chaff before the wind; many were slain, others fled,
among whom was their chief. Him Roostem came up with at the fifth
stage, and having thrown his noose over him, took him prisoner. Oulâd,
in order to save his life, not only gave him full information of the
place where his sovereign was confined, and of the strength of the
Deev-e-Seffeed, but offered to give the hero every aid in the
accomplishment of his perilous enterprise. This offer was accepted,
and he proved a most useful auxiliary.

On the sixth day they saw in the distance the city of Mazenderan, near
which the Deev-e-Seffeed resided. Two chieftains, with numerous
attendants, met them; and one had the audacity to ride up to Roostem,
and seize him by the belt. That chief's fury at this insolence was
unbounded; he disdained, however, to use his arms against such an
enemy, but, seizing the miscreant's head, wrenched it from the body,
and hurled it at his companions, who fled in terror and dismay at this
terrible proof of the hero's prowess.

Roostem proceeded, after this action, with his guide to the castle
where the king was confined. The Deevs who guarded it were asleep, and
Ky-Kâoos was found in a solitary cell, chained to the ground. He
recognised Roostem, and bursting into tears, pressed his deliverer to
his bosom. Roostem immediately began to knock off his chains. The
noise occasioned by this awoke the Deevs, whose leader, Beedâr-Reng,
advanced to seize Roostem; but the appearance and threats of the
latter so overawed him that he consented to purchase his own safety by
the instant release of the Persian king and all his followers.

After this achievement Roostem proceeded to the last and greatest of
his labours, the attack of the Deev-e-Seffeed. Oulâd told him that the
Deevs watched and feasted during the night, but slept during the heat
of the day, hating (according to our narrator) the sunbeams. Roostem,
as he advanced, saw an immense army drawn out; he thought it better,
before he attacked them, to refresh himself by some repose. Having
laid himself down, he soon fell into a sound sleep, and at daylight he
awoke quite refreshed. As soon as the sun became warm, he rushed into
the camp. The heavy blows of his mace soon awoke the surprised and
slumbering guards of the Deev-e-Seffeed; they collected in myriads,
hoping to impede his progress, but all in vain. The rout became
general, and none escaped but those who fled from the field of battle.

When this army was dispersed, Roostem went in search of the
Deev-e-Seffeed, who, ignorant of the fate of his followers, slumbered
in the recess of a cavern, the entrance to which looked so dark and
gloomy that the Persian hero hesitated whether he should advance; but
the noise of his approach had roused his enemy, who came forth,
clothed in complete armour. His appearance was terrible; but Roostem,
recommending his soul to God, struck a desperate blow, which separated
the leg of the Deev from his body. This would on common occasions have
terminated the contest, but far different was the result on the
present. Irritated to madness by the loss of a limb, the monster
seized his enemy in his arms, and endeavoured to throw him down. The
struggle was for some time doubtful; but Roostem, collecting all his
strength, by a wondrous effort dashed his foe to the ground, and
seizing him by one of the horns, unsheathed his dagger and stabbed him
to the heart. The Deev-e-Seffeed instantly expired; and Roostem, on
looking round to the entrance of the cavern, from whence the moment
before he had seen numberless Deevs issuing to the aid of their lord,
perceived they were all dead. Oulâd, who stood at a prudent distance
from the scene of combat, now advanced and informed the hero that the
lives of all the Deevs depended upon that of their chief. When he was
slain, the spell which created and preserved this band was broken, and
they all expired.

Roostem found little difficulty after these seven days of toil, of
danger, and of glory, in compelling Mazenderan to submit to Persia.
The king of the country was slain, and Oulâd was appointed its
governor as a reward for his fidelity.

The success of his arms had raised Ky-Kâoos to the very plenitude of
power; not only men, but Deevs, obeyed his mandates. The latter he
employed in building palaces of crystal, emeralds, and rubies, till at
last they became quite tired of their toil and abject condition. They
sought, therefore, to destroy him; and to effect this they consulted
with the devil, who, to forward the object, instructed a Deev, called
Dizjkheem, to go to Ky-Kâoos and raise in his mind a passion for
astronomy, and to promise him a nearer view of the celestial bodies
than had ever yet been enjoyed by mortal eyes. The Deev fulfilled his
commission with such success that the king became quite wild with a
desire to attain perfection in this sublime science. The devil then
instructed Dizjkheem to train some young vultures to carry a throne
upwards; this was done by placing spears round the throne, on the
points of which pieces of flesh were fixed in view of the vultures,
who were fastened at the bottom. These voracious birds, in their
efforts to reach the meat, raised the throne.

Though he mounted rapidly for a short time, the vultures became
exhausted, and finding their efforts to reach the meat hopeless,
discontinued them; this altered the direction and equilibrium of the
machine, and it tossed to and fro. Ky-Kâoos would have been cast
headlong and killed had he not clung to it. The vultures, not being
able to disengage themselves, flew an immense way, and at last landed
the affrighted monarch in one of the woods of China. Armies marched in
every direction to discover and release the sovereign, who, it was
believed, had again fallen into the hands of Deevs. He was at last
found and restored to his capital. Roostem, we are told, upbraided his
folly, saying--

    "Have you managed your affairs so well on earth
    That you must needs try your hand in those of heaven?"



THE MAN WHO NEVER LAUGHED.


There was a man, of those possessed of houses and riches, who had
wealth and servants and slaves and other possessions; and he departed
from the world to receive the mercy of God (whose name be exalted!),
leaving a young son. And when the son grew up, he took to eating and
drinking, and the hearing of instruments of music and songs, and was
liberal and gave gifts, and expended the riches that his father had
left to him until all the wealth had gone. He then betook himself to
the sale of the male black slaves, and the female slaves, and other
possessions, and expended all that he had of his father's wealth and
other things, and became so poor that he worked with the labourers. In
this state he remained for a period of years. While he was sitting one
day beneath a wall, waiting to see who would hire him, lo! a man of
comely countenance and apparel drew near to him and saluted him. So
the youth said to him, "O uncle, hast thou known me before now?" The
man answered him, "I have not known thee, O my son, at all; but I see
the traces of affluence upon thee, though thou art in this condition."
The young man replied, "O uncle, what fate and destiny have ordained
hath come to pass. But hast thou, O uncle, O comely-faced, any
business in which to employ me?" The man said to him, "O my son, I
desire to employ thee in an easy business." The youth asked, "And what
is it, O uncle?" And the man answered him, "I have with me ten sheykhs
in one abode, and we have no one to perform our wants. Thou shalt
receive from us, of food and clothing, what will suffice thee, and
shalt serve us, and thou shalt receive of us thy portion of benefits
and money. Perhaps, also, God will restore to thee thine affluence by
our means." The youth therefore replied, "I hear and obey." The sheykh
then said to him, "I have a condition to impose upon thee." "And what
is thy condition, O uncle?" asked the youth. He answered him, "O my
son, it is that thou keep our secret with respect to the things that
thou shalt see us do; and when thou seest us weep, that thou ask us
not respecting the cause of our weeping." And the young man replied,
"Well, O uncle."

So the sheykh said to him, "O my son, come with us, relying on the
blessing of God (whose name be exalted!)." And the young man followed
the sheykh until the latter conducted him to the bath; after which he
sent a man, who brought him a comely garment of linen, and he clad
him with it, and went with him to his abode and his associates. And
when the young man entered, he found it to be a high mansion, with
lofty angles, ample, with chambers facing one another, and saloons;
and in each saloon was a fountain of water, and birds were warbling
over it, and there were windows overlooking, on every side, a
beautiful garden within the mansion. The sheykh conducted him into one
of the chambers, and he found it decorated with coloured marbles, and
its ceiling ornamented with blue and brilliant gold, and it was spread
with carpets of silk; and he found in it ten sheykhs sitting facing
one another, wearing the garments of mourning, weeping, and wailing.
So the young man wondered at their case, and was about to question the
sheykh who had brought him, but he remembered the condition, and
therefore withheld his tongue. Then the sheykh committed to the young
man a chest, containing thirty thousand pieces of gold, saying to him,
"O my son, expend upon us out of this chest, and upon thyself,
according to what is just, and be thou faithful, and take care of that
wherewith I have intrusted thee." And the young man replied, "I hear
and obey." He continued to expend upon them for a period of days and
nights, after which one of them died; whereupon his companions took
him, and washed him and shrouded him, and buried him in a garden
behind the mansion. And death ceased not to take of them one after
another, until there remained only the sheykh who had hired the young
man. So he remained with the young man in that mansion, and there was
not with them a third; and they remained thus for a period of years.
Then the sheykh fell sick; and when the young man despaired of his
life, he addressed him with courtesy, and was grieved for him, and
said to him, "O uncle, I have served you, and not failed in your
service one hour for a period of twelve years, but have acted
faithfully to you, and served you according to my power and ability."
The sheykh replied, "Yes, O my son, thou hast served us until these
sheykhs have been taken unto God (to whom be ascribed might and
glory!), and we must inevitably die." And the young man said, "O my
master, thou art in a state of peril, and I desire of thee that thou
inform me what hath been the cause of your weeping, and the
continuance of your wailing and your mourning and your sorrow." He
replied, "O my son, thou hast no concern with that, and require me not
to do what I am unable; for I have begged God (whose name be exalted!)
not to afflict any one with my affliction. Now if thou desire to be
safe from that into which we have fallen, open not that door," and he
pointed to it with his hand, and cautioned him against it; "and if
thou desire that what hath befallen us should befall thee, open it,
and thou wilt know the cause of that which thou hast beheld in our
conduct; but thou wilt repent, when repentance will not avail thee."
Then the illness increased upon the sheykh, and he died; and the young
man washed him with his own hands, and shrouded him, and buried him by
his companions.

He remained in that place, possessing it and all the treasure; but
notwithstanding this, he was uneasy, reflecting upon the conduct of
the sheykhs. And while he was meditating one day upon the words of the
sheykh, and his charge to him not to open the door, it occurred to his
mind that he might look at it. So he went in that direction, and
searched until he saw an elegant door, over which the spider had woven
its webs, and upon it were four locks of steel. When he beheld it, he
remembered how the sheykh had cautioned him, and he departed from it.
His soul desired him to open the door, and he restrained it during a
period of seven days; but on the eighth day his soul overcame him, and
he said, "I must open that door, and see what will happen to me in
consequence; for nothing will repel what God (whose name be exalted!)
decreeth and predestineth, and no event will happen but by His will."
Accordingly he arose and opened the door, after he had broken the
locks. And when he had opened the door he saw a narrow passage, along
which he walked for the space of three hours; and lo! he came forth
upon the bank of a great river. At this the young man wondered. And
he walked along the bank, looking to the right and left; and behold! a
great eagle descended from the sky, and taking up the young man with
its talons, it flew with him, between heaven and earth, until it
conveyed him to an island in the midst of the sea. There it threw him
down, and departed from him.

So the young man was perplexed at his case, not knowing whither to go;
but while he was sitting one day, lo! the sail of a vessel appeared to
him upon the sea, like the star in the sky; wherefore the heart of the
young man became intent upon the vessel, in the hope that his escape
might be effected in it. He continued looking at it until it came near
unto him; and when it arrived, he beheld a bark of ivory and ebony,
the oars of which were of sandal-wood and aloes-wood, and the whole of
it was encased with plates of brilliant gold. There were also in it
ten damsels, virgins, like moons. When the damsels saw him, they
landed to him from the bark, and kissed his hands, saying to him,
"Thou art the king, the bridegroom." Then there advanced to him a
damsel who was like the shining sun in the clear sky, having in her
hand a kerchief of silk, in which were a royal robe, and a crown of
gold set with varieties of jacinths. Having advanced to him, she clad
him and crowned him; after which the damsels carried him in their
arms to the bark, and he found in it varieties of carpets of silk of
divers colours. They then spread the sails, and proceeded over the
depths of the sea.

"Now when I proceeded with them," says the young man, "I felt sure
that this was a dream, and knew not whither they were going with me.
And when they came in sight of the land, I beheld it filled with
troops, the number of which none knew but God (whose perfection be
extolled, and whose name be exalted!) clad in coats of mail. They
brought forward to me five marked horses, with saddles of gold, set
with varieties of pearls and precious stones; and I took a horse from
among these and mounted it. The four others proceeded with me; and
when I mounted, the ensigns and banners were set up over my head, the
drums and the cymbals were beaten, and the troops disposed themselves
in two divisions, right and left. I wavered in opinion as to whether I
were asleep or awake, and ceased not to advance, not believing in the
reality of my stately procession, but imagining that it was the result
of confused dreams, until we came in sight of a verdant meadow, in
which were palaces and gardens, and trees and rivers and flowers, and
birds proclaiming the perfection of God, the One, the Omnipotent. And
now there came forth an army from among those palaces and gardens,
like the torrent when it poureth down, until it filled the meadow.
When the troops drew near to me, they hailed, and lo! a king advanced
from among them, riding alone, preceded by some of his chief officers
walking."

The king, on approaching the young man, alighted from his courser; and
the young man, seeing him do so, alighted also; and they saluted each
other with the most courteous salutation. Then they mounted their
horses again, and the king said to the young man, "Accompany us; for
thou art my guest." So the young man proceeded with him, and they
conversed together, while the stately trains in orderly disposition
went on before them to the palace of the king, where they alighted,
and all of them entered, together with the king and the young man, the
young man's hand being in the hand of the king, who thereupon seated
him on the throne of gold and seated himself beside him. When the king
removed the litham from his face, lo! this supposed king was a damsel,
like the shining sun in the clear sky, a lady of beauty and
loveliness, and elegance and perfection, and conceit and amorous
dissimulation. The young man beheld vast affluence and great
prosperity, and wondered at the beauty and loveliness of the damsel.
Then the damsel said to him, "Know, O king, that I am the queen of
this land, and all these troops that thou hast seen, including every
one, whether of cavalry or infantry, are women. There are not among
them any men. The men among us, in this land, till and sow and reap,
employing themselves in the cultivation of the land, and the building
and repairing of the towns, and in attending to the affairs of the
people, by the pursuit of every kind of art and trade; but as to the
women, they are the governors and magistrates and soldiers." And the
young man wondered at this extremely. And while they were thus
conversing, the vizier entered; and lo! she was a grey-haired old
woman, having a numerous retinue, of venerable and dignified
appearance; and the queen said to her, "Bring to us the Kádee and the
witnesses." So the old woman went for that purpose. And the queen
turned towards the young man, conversing with him and cheering him,
and dispelling his fear by kind words; and, addressing him
courteously, she said to him, "Art thou content for me to be thy
wife?" And thereupon he arose and kissed the ground before her; but
she forbade him; and he replied, "O my mistress, I am less than the
servants who serve thee." She then said to him, "Seest thou not these
servants and soldiers and wealth and treasures and hoards?" He
answered her, "Yes." And she said to him, "All these are at thy
disposal; thou shalt make use of them, and give and bestow as seemeth
fit to thee." Then she pointed to a closed door, and said to him, "All
these things thou shalt dispose of; but this door thou shalt not open;
for if thou open it, thou wilt repent, when repentance will not avail
thee." Her words were not ended when the vizier, with the Kádee and
the witnesses, entered, and all of them were old women, with their
hair spreading over their shoulders, and of venerable and dignified
appearance. When they came before the queen, she ordered them to
perform the ceremony of the marriage-contract. So they married her to
the young man. And she prepared the banquets and collected the troops;
and when they had eaten and drunk, the young man took her as his wife.
And he resided with her seven years, passing the most delightful,
comfortable, and agreeable life.

But he meditated one day upon opening the door, and said, "Were it not
that there are within it great treasures, better than what I have
seen, she had not prohibited me from opening it." He then arose and
opened the door, and lo! within it was the bird that had carried him
from the shore of the great river, and deposited him upon the island.
When the bird beheld him, it said to him, "No welcome to a face that
will never be happy!" So, when he saw it and heard its words, he fled
from it; but it followed him and carried him off, and flew with him
between heaven and earth for the space of an hour, and at length
deposited him in the place from which it had carried him away; after
which it disappeared. He thereupon sat in that place, and, returning
to his reason, he reflected upon what he had seen of affluence and
glory and honour, and the riding of the troops before him, and
commanding and forbidding; and he wept and wailed. He remained upon
the shore of the great river, where that bird had put him, for the
space of two months, wishing that he might return to his wife; but
while he was one night awake, mourning and meditating, some one spoke
(and he heard his voice, but saw not his person), calling out, "How
great were the delights! Far, far from thee is the return of what is
passed! And how many therefore will be the sighs!" So when the young
man heard it, he despaired of meeting again that queen, and of the
return to him of the affluence in which he had been living. He then
entered the mansion where the sheykhs had resided, and knew that they
had experienced the like of that which had happened unto him, and that
this was the cause of their weeping and their mourning; wherefore he
excused them. Grief and anxiety came upon the young man, and he
entered his chamber, and ceased not to weep and moan, relinquishing
food and drink and pleasant scents and laughter, until he died; and he
was buried by the side of the sheykhs.



THE FOX AND THE WOLF.


A fox and a wolf inhabited the same den, resorting thither together,
and thus they remained a long time. But the wolf oppressed the fox;
and it so happened that the fox counselled the wolf to assume
benignity, and to abandon wickedness, saying to him, "If thou
persevere in thine arrogance, probably God will give power over thee
to a son of Adam; for he is possessed of stratagems, and artifice, and
guile; he captureth the birds from the sky, and the fish from the sea,
and cutteth the mountains and transporteth them; and all this he
accomplisheth through his stratagems. Betake thyself, therefore, to
the practice of equity, and relinquish evil and oppression; for it
will be more pleasant to thy taste." The wolf, however, received not
his advice; on the contrary, he returned him a rough reply, saying to
him, "Thou hast no right to speak on matters of magnitude and
importance." He then gave the fox such a blow that he fell down
senseless; and when he recovered, he smiled in the wolf's face,
apologising for his shameful words, and recited these two verses:--

    "If I have been faulty in my affection for you, and committed
            a deed of a shameful nature,
    I repent of my offence, and your clemency will extend to the
            evildoer who craveth forgiveness."

So the wolf accepted his apology, and ceased from ill-treating him,
but said to him, "Speak not of that which concerneth thee not, lest
thou hear that which will not please thee." The fox replied, "I hear
and obey. I will abstain from that which pleaseth thee not; for the
sage hath said, 'Offer not information on a subject respecting which
thou art not questioned; and reply not to words when thou art not
invited; leave what concerneth thee not, to attend to that which
_doth_ concern thee; and lavish not advice upon the evil, for they
will recompense thee for it with evil.'"

When the wolf heard these words of the fox, he smiled in his face; but
he meditated upon employing some artifice against him, and said, "I
must strive to effect the destruction of this fox." As to the fox,
however, he bore patiently the injurious conduct of the wolf, saying
within himself, "Verily, insolence and calumny occasion destruction,
and betray one into perplexity; for it hath been said, 'He who is
insolent suffereth injury, and he who is ignorant repenteth, and he
who feareth is safe: moderation is one of the qualities of the noble,
and good manners are the noblest gain.' It is advisable to behave
with dissimulation towards this tyrant, and he will inevitably be
overthrown." He then said to the wolf, "Verily the Lord pardoneth and
becometh propitious unto His servant when he hath sinned; and I am a
weak slave, and have committed a transgression in offering thee
advice. Had I foreknown the pain that I have suffered from thy blow, I
had known that the elephant could not withstand nor endure it; but I
will not complain of the pain of that blow, on account of the
happiness that hath resulted unto me from it; for, if it had a severe
effect upon me, its result was happiness; and the sage hath said, 'The
beating inflicted by the preceptor is at first extremely grievous; but
in the end it is sweeter than clarified honey!'" So the wolf said, "I
forgive thine offence, and cancel thy fault; but beware of my power,
and confess thyself my slave; for thou hast experienced my severity
unto him who showeth me hostility." The fox, therefore, prostrated
himself before him, saying to him, "May God prolong thy life, and
mayest thou not cease to subdue him who opposeth thee!" And he
continued to fear the wolf, and to dissemble towards him.

After this the fox went one day to a vineyard, and saw in its wall a
breach; but he suspected it, saying unto himself, "There must be some
cause for this breach, and it hath been said, 'Whoso seeth a hole in
the ground, and doth not shun it, and be cautious of advancing to it
boldly, exposeth himself to danger and destruction.' It is well known
that some men make a figure of the fox in the vineyard, and even put
before it grapes in plates, in order that a fox may see it, and
advance to it, and fall into destruction. Verily I regard this breach
as a snare; and it hath been said, 'Caution is the half of
cleverness.' Caution requireth me to examine this breach, and to see
if I can find there anything that may lead to perdition. Covetousness
doth not induce me to throw myself into destruction." He then
approached it, and, going round about examining it warily, beheld it;
and lo! there was a deep pit, which the owner of the vineyard had dug
to catch in it the wild beasts that despoiled the vines; and he
observed over it a slight covering. So he drew back from it, and said,
"Praise be to God that I regarded it with caution! I hope that my
enemy, the wolf, who hath made my life miserable, may fall into it, so
that I alone may enjoy absolute power over the vineyard, and live in
it securely." Then, shaking his head, and uttering a loud laugh, he
merrily sang these verses--

    "Would that I beheld at the present moment in this well a wolf,
    Who hath long afflicted my heart, and made me drink bitterness
            perforce!
    Would that my life might be spared, and that the wolf might meet
            his death!
    Then the vineyard would be free from his presence, and I should
            find in it my spoil."

Having finished his song, he hurried away until he came to the wolf,
when he said to him, "Verily God hath smoothed for thee the way to the
vineyard without fatigue. This hath happened through thy good fortune.
Mayest thou enjoy, therefore, that to which God hath granted thee
access, in smoothing thy way to that plunder and that abundant
sustenance without any difficulty!" So the wolf said to the fox, "What
is the proof of that which thou hast declared?" The fox answered, "I
went to the vineyard, and found that its owner had died; and I entered
the garden, and beheld the fruits shining upon the trees."

So the wolf doubted not the words of the fox, and in his eagerness he
arose and went to the breach. His cupidity had deceived him with vain
hopes, and the fox stopped and fell down behind him as one dead,
applying this verse as a proverb suited to the case--

    "Dost thou covet an interview with Leyla? It is covetousness
            that causeth the loss of men's heads."

When the wolf came to the breach, the fox said to him, "Enter the
vineyard; for thou art spared the trouble of breaking down the wall of
the garden, and it remaineth for God to complete the benefit." So the
wolf walked forward, desiring to enter the vineyard, and when he came
to the middle of the covering of the hole, he fell into it; whereupon
the fox was violently excited by happiness and joy, his anxiety and
grief ceased, and in merry tones he sang these verses--

    "Fortune hath compassionated my case, and felt pity for the length
            of my torment,
    And granted me what I desired, and removed that which I dreaded.
    I will, therefore, forgive its offences committed in former times;
    Even the injustice it hath shown in the turning of my hair grey.
    There is no escape for the wolf from utter annihilation;
    And the vineyard is for me alone, and I have no stupid partner."

He then looked into the pit, and beheld the wolf weeping in his
repentance and sorrow for himself, and the fox wept with him. So the
wolf raised his head towards him, and said, "Is it from thy compassion
for me that thou hast wept, O Abu-l-Hoseyn?" "No," answered the fox,
"by him who cast thee into this pit; but I weep for the length of thy
past life, and in my regret at thy not having fallen into this pit
before the present day. Hadst thou fallen into it before I met with
thee, I had experienced refreshment and ease. But thou hast been
spared to the expiration of thy decreed term and known period." The
wolf, however, said to him, "Go, O evildoer, to my mother, and
acquaint her with that which hath happened to me; perhaps she will
contrive some means for my deliverance." But the fox replied, "The
excess of thy covetousness and eager desire has entrapped thee into
destruction, since thou hast fallen into a pit from which thou wilt
never be saved. Knowest thou not, O ignorant wolf, that the author of
the proverb saith, 'He who thinks not of results will not be secure
from perils?'" "O Abu-l-Hoseyn!" rejoined the wolf, "thou wast wont to
manifest an affection for me, and to desire my friendship, and fear
the greatness of my power. Be not, then, rancorous towards me for that
which I have done unto thee; for he who hath one in his power, and yet
forgiveth, will receive a recompense from God, and the poet hath
said--

    "'Sow good, even on an unworthy soil; for it will not be
            fruitless wherever it is sown.
    Verily, good, though it remained long buried, none will
            reap but him who sowed it.'"

"O most ignorant of the beasts of prey!" said the fox, "and most
stupid of the wild beasts of the regions of the earth, hast thou
forgotten thy haughtiness, and insolence, and pride, and thy
disregarding the rights of companionship, and thy refusing to be
advised by the saying of the poet?--

    "'Tyrannise not, if thou hast the power to do so; for the
            tyrannical is in danger of revenge,
    Thine eye will sleep while the oppressed, wakeful, will call
            down curses on thee, and God's eye sleepeth not.'"

"O Abu-l-Hoseyn!" exclaimed the wolf, "be not angry with me for my
former offences, for forgiveness is required of the generous, and kind
conduct is among the best means of enriching one's-self. How
excellent is the saying of the poet--

    "'Haste to do good when thou art able; for at every season thou
            hast not the power.'"

He continued to abase himself to the fox, and said to him, "Perhaps
thou canst find some means of delivering me from destruction." But the
fox replied, "O artful, guileful, treacherous wolf! hope not for
deliverance; for this is the recompense of thy base conduct, and a
just retaliation." Then, shaking his jaws with laughing, he recited
these two verses--

    "No longer attempt to beguile me; for thou wilt not attain
            thy object.
    What thou seekest from me is impossible. Thou hast sown,
            and reap, then, vexation."

"O gentle one among the beasts of prey!" resumed the wolf, "thou art
in my estimation more faithful than to leave me in this pit." He then
shed tears, and repeated this couplet--

    "O thou whose favours to me have been many, and whose gifts have
            been more than can be numbered!
    No misfortune hath ever yet befallen me but I have found thee
            ready to aid me in it."

The fox replied, "O stupid enemy, how art thou reduced to humility,
submissiveness, abjectness, and obsequiousness, after thy disdain,
pride, tyranny, and haughtiness! I kept company with thee through fear
of thine oppression, and flattered thee without a hope of
conciliating thy kindness; but now terror hath affected thee, and
punishment hath overtaken thee." And he recited these two verses--

    "O thou who seekest to beguile! thou hast fallen in thy base
            intention.
    Taste, then, the pain of shameful calamity, and be with other
            wolves cut off."

The wolf still entreated him, saying, "O gentle one! speak not with
the tongue of enmity, nor look with its eye; but fulfil the covenant
of fellowship with me before the time for discovering a remedy shall
have passed. Arise and procure for me a rope, and tie one end of it to
a tree, and let down to me its other end, that I may lay hold of it.
Perhaps I may so escape from my present predicament, and I will give
thee all the treasures that I possess." The fox, however, replied,
"Thou hast prolonged a conversation that will not procure thy
liberation. Hope not, therefore, for thy escape through my means; but
reflect upon thy former wicked conduct, and the perfidy and artifice
which thou thoughtest to employ against me, and how near thou art to
being stoned. Know that thy soul is about to quit the world, and to
perish and depart from it: then wilt thou be reduced to destruction,
and an evil abode is it to which thou goest!" "O Abu-l-Hoseyn!"
rejoined the wolf, "be ready in returning to friendship, and be not so
rancorous. Know that he who delivereth a soul from destruction hath
saved it alive, and he who saveth a soul alive is as if he had saved
the lives of all mankind. Follow not a course of evil, for the wise
abhor it; and there is no evil more manifest than my being in this
pit, drinking the suffocating pains of death, and looking upon
destruction, when thou art able to deliver me from the misery into
which I have fallen." But the fox exclaimed, "O thou barbarous,
hard-hearted wretch! I compare thee, with respect to the fairness of
thy professions and the baseness of thine intention, to the falcon
with the partridge." "And what," asked the wolf, "is the story of the
falcon and the partridge?"

The fox answered, "I entered a vineyard one day to eat of its grapes,
and while I was there, I beheld a falcon pounce upon a partridge; but
when he had captured him, the partridge escaped from him and entered
his nest, and concealed himself in it; whereupon the falcon followed
him, calling out to him, 'O idiot! I saw thee in the desert hungry,
and, feeling compassion for thee, I gathered for thee some grain, and
took hold of thee that thou mightest eat; but thou fleddest from me,
and I see no reason for thy flight unless it be to mortify. Show
thyself, then, and take the grain that I have brought thee and eat it,
and may it be light and wholesome to thee.' So when the partridge
heard these words of the falcon, he believed him and came forth to
him; and the falcon stuck his talons into him, and got possession of
him. The partridge therefore said to him, 'Is this that of which thou
saidst that thou hadst brought for me from the desert, and of which
thou saidst to me, "Eat it, and may it be light and wholesome to
thee?" Thou hast lied unto me; and may God make that which thou eatest
of my flesh to be a mortal poison in thy stomach!' And when he had
eaten it, his feathers fell off, and his strength failed, and he
forthwith died."

The fox then continued, "Know, O wolf, that he who diggeth a pit for
his brother soon falleth into it himself; and thou behavedst with
perfidy to me first." "Cease," replied the wolf, "from addressing me
with this discourse, and propounding fables, and mention not unto me
my former base actions. It is enough for me to be in this miserable
state, since I have fallen into a calamity for which the enemy would
pity me, much more the true friend. Consider some stratagem by means
of which I may save myself, and so assist me. If the doing this
occasion thee trouble, thou knowest that the true friend endureth for
his own true friend the severest labour, and will suffer destruction
in obtaining his deliverance; and it hath been said, 'An affectionate
friend is even better than a brother.' If thou procure means for my
escape, I will collect for thee such things as shall be a store for
thee against the time of want, and then I will teach thee
extraordinary stratagems by which thou shalt make the plenteous
vineyards accessible, and shalt strip the fruitful trees: so be happy
and cheerful." But the fox said, laughing as he spoke, "How excellent
is that which the learned have said of him who is excessively ignorant
like thee!" "And what have the learned said?" asked the wolf. The fox
answered, "The learned have observed that the rude in body and in
disposition is far from intelligence, and nigh unto ignorance; for
thine assertion, O perfidious idiot! that the true friend undergoeth
trouble for the deliverance of his own true friend is just as thou
hast said; but acquaint me, with thine ignorance and thy paucity of
sense, how I should bear sincere friendship towards thee with thy
treachery. Hast thou considered me a true friend unto thee when I am
an enemy who rejoiceth in thy misfortune? These words are more severe
than the piercing of arrows, if thou understand. And as to thy saying
that thou wilt give me such things as will be a store for me against
the time of want, and will teach me stratagems by which I shall obtain
access to the plenteous vineyards and strip the fruitful trees--how is
it, O guileful traitor! that thou knowest not a stratagem by means of
which to save thyself from destruction? How far, then, art thou from
profiting thyself, and how far am I from receiving thine advice? If
thou know of stratagems, employ them to save thyself from this
predicament from which I pray God to make thine escape far distant.
See, then, O idiot! if thou know any stratagem, and save thyself by
its means from slaughter, before thou lavish instruction upon another.
But thou art like a man whom a disease attacked, and to whom there
came a man suffering from the same disease to cure him, saying to him,
'Shall I cure thee of thy disease?' The first man, therefore, said to
the other, 'Why hast thou not begun by curing thyself?' So he left him
and went his way. And thou, O wolf, art in the same case. Remain,
then, in thy place, and endure that which hath befallen thee."

Now when the wolf heard these words of the fox, he knew that he had no
kindly feeling for him; so he wept for himself, and said, "I have been
careless of myself; but if God deliver me from this affliction, I will
assuredly repent of my overbearing conduct unto him that is weaker
than I; and I will certainly wear wool, and ascend the mountains,
commemorating the praises of God (whose name be exalted!) and fearing
His punishment; and I will separate myself from all the other wild
beasts, and verily I will feed the warriors in defence of the religion
and the poor." Then he wept and lamented; and thereupon the heart of
the fox was moved with tenderness for him. On hearing his humble
expressions, and the words which indicated his repenting of arrogance
and pride, he was affected with compassion for him, and, leaping with
joy, placed himself at the brink of the pit, and sat upon his
hind-legs and hung down his tail into the cavity. Upon this the wolf
arose, and stretched forth his paw towards the fox's tail, and pulled
him down to him; so the fox was with him in the pit. The wolf then
said to him, "O fox of little compassion! wherefore didst thou rejoice
in my misfortune? Now thou hast become my companion, and in my power.
Thou hast fallen into the pit with me, and punishment hath quickly
overtaken thee. The sages have said, 'If any one of you reproach his
brother for deriving his nourishment from miserable means, he shall
experience the same necessity,' and how excellent is the saying of the
poet--

    "'When fortune throweth itself heavily upon some, and encampeth
            by the side of others,
    Say to those who rejoice over us, "Awake: the rejoicers over us
            shall suffer as _we_ have done."'

"I must now," he continued, "hasten thy slaughter, before thou
beholdest mine." So the fox said within himself, "I have fallen into
the snare with this tyrant, and my present case requireth the
employment of artifice and frauds. It hath been said that the woman
maketh her ornaments for the day of festivity; and, in a proverb, 'I
have not reserved thee, O my tear, but for the time of my difficulty!'
and if I employ not some stratagem in the affair of this tyrannical
wild beast, I perish inevitably. How good is the saying of the poet--

    "'Support thyself by guile; for thou livest in an age whose sons
            are like the lions of the forest;
    And brandish around the spear of artifice, that the mill of
            subsistence may revolve;
    And pluck the fruits; or if they be beyond thy reach, then
            content thyself with herbage.'"

He then said to the wolf, "Hasten not to kill me, lest thou repent, O
courageous wild beast, endowed with might and excessive fortitude! If
thou delay, and consider what I am about to tell thee, thou wilt know
the desire that I formed; and if thou hasten to kill me, there will be
no profit to thee in thy doing so, but we shall die here together." So
the wolf said, "O thou wily deceiver! how is it that thou hopest to
effect my safety and thine own, that thou askest me to give thee a
delay? Acquaint me with the desire that thou formedst." The fox
replied, "As to the desire that I formed, it was such as requireth
thee to recompense me for it well, since, when I heard thy promises,
and thy confession of thy past conduct, and thy regret at not having
before repented and done good; and when I heard thy vows to abstain
from injurious conduct to thy companions and others, and to relinquish
the eating of the grapes and all other fruits, and to impose upon
thyself the obligation of humility, and to clip thy claws and break
thy dog-teeth, and to wear wool and offer sacrifice to God (whose
name be exalted!) if He delivered thee from thy present state, I was
affected with compassion for thee, though I was before longing for thy
destruction. So when I heard thy profession of repentance, and what
thou vowedst to do if God delivered thee, I felt constrained to save
thee from thy present predicament. I therefore hung down my tail that
thou mightest catch hold of it and make thine escape. But thou wouldst
not relinquish thy habit of severity and violence, nor desire escape
and safety for thyself by gentleness. On the contrary, thou didst pull
me in such a way that I thought my soul had departed, so I became a
companion with thee of the abode of destruction and death; and nothing
will effect the escape of myself and thee but one plan. If thou
approve of this plan that I have to propose, we shall both save
ourselves; and after that, it will be incumbent on thee to fulfil that
which thou hast vowed to do, and I will be thy companion." So the wolf
said, "And what is thy proposal that I am to accept?" The fox
answered, "That thou raise thyself upright; then I will place myself
upon thy head, that I may approach the surface of the earth, and when
I am upon its surface I will go forth and bring thee something of
which to take hold, and after that thou wilt deliver thyself." But the
wolf replied, "I put no confidence in thy words; for the sages have
said, 'He who confideth when he should hate is in error'; and it hath
been said, 'He who confideth in the faithless is deceived, and he who
maketh trial of the trier will repent.' How excellent also is the
saying of the poet--

    "'Let not your opinion be otherwise than evil; for ill opinion
            is among the strongest of intellectual qualities.
    Nothing casteth a man into a place of danger like the practice
            of good, and a fair opinion!'

"And the saying of another--

    "'Always hold an evil opinion, and so be safe.
    Whoso liveth vigilantly, his calamities will be few.
    Meet the enemy with a smiling and an open face; but raise for him
            an army in the heart to combat him.'

"And that of another--

    "'The most bitter of thine enemies is the nearest whom thou
            trustest in: beware then of men, and associate with
            them wilily.
    Thy favourable opinion of fortune is a weakness: think evil of
            it, therefore, and regard it with apprehension!'"

"Verily," rejoined the fox, "an evil opinion is not commendable in
every case; but a fair opinion is among the characteristics of
excellence, and its result is escape from terrors. It is befitting, O
wolf, that thou employ some stratagem for thine escape from the
present predicament; and it will be better for us both to escape than
to die. Relinquish, therefore, thine evil opinion and thy malevolence;
for if thou think favourably of me, I shall not fail to do one of two
things; either I shall bring thee something of which to lay hold, and
thou wilt escape from thy present situation, or I shall act
perfidiously towards thee, and save myself and leave thee; but this
is a thing that cannot be, for I am not secured from meeting with some
such affliction as that which thou hast met with, and that would be
the punishment of perfidy. It hath been said in a proverb, 'Fidelity
is good, and perfidy is base.' It is fit, then, that thou trust in me,
for I have not been ignorant of misfortunes. Delay not, therefore, to
contrive our escape, for the affair is too strait for thee to prolong
thy discourse upon it."

The wolf then said, "Verily, notwithstanding my little confidence in
thy fidelity, I knew what was in thy heart, that thou desiredst my
deliverance when thou wast convinced of my repentance; and I said
within myself, 'If he be veracious in that which he asserteth, he hath
made amends for his wickedness; and if he be false, he will be
recompensed by his Lord.' So now I accept thy proposal to me, and if
thou act perfidiously towards me, thy perfidy will be the means of thy
destruction." Then the wolf raised himself upright in the pit, and
took the fox upon his shoulders, so that his head reached the surface
of the ground. The fox thereupon sprang from the wolf's shoulders, and
found himself upon the face of the earth, when he fell down senseless.
The wolf now said to him, "O my friend! forget not my case, nor delay
my deliverance."

The fox, however, uttered a loud laugh, and replied, "O thou deceived!
it was nothing but my jesting with thee and deriding thee that
entrapped me into thy power; for when I heard thy profession of
repentance, joy excited me, and I was moved with delight, and danced,
and my tail hung down into the pit; so thou didst pull me, and I fell
by thee. Then God (whose name be exalted!) delivered me from thy hand.
Wherefore, then, should I not aid in thy destruction when thou art of
the associates of the devil? Know that I dreamt yesterday that I was
dancing at thy wedding, and I related the dream to an interpreter, who
said to me, 'Thou wilt fall into a frightful danger, and escape from
it.' So I knew that my falling into thy power and my escape was the
interpretation of my dream. Thou, too, knowest, O deceived idiot! that
I am thine enemy. How, then, dost thou hope, with thy little sense and
thine ignorance, that I will deliver thee, when thou hast heard what
rude language I used? And how shall I endeavour to deliver thee, when
the learned have said that by the death of the sinner are produced
ease to mankind and purgation of the earth? Did I not fear that I
should suffer, by fidelity to thee, such affliction as would be
greater than that which may result from perfidy, I would consider upon
means for thy deliverance." So when the wolf heard the words of the
fox, he bit his paw in repentance. He then spoke softly to him, but
obtained nothing thereby. With a low voice he said to him, "Verily,
you tribe of foxes are the sweetest of people in tongue, and the most
pleasant in jesting, and this is jesting in thee; but every time is
not convenient for sport and joking." "O idiot!" replied the fox,
"jesting hath a limit which its employer transgresseth not. Think not
that God will give thee possession of me after He hath delivered me
from thy power." The wolf then said to him, "Thou art one in whom it
is proper to desire my liberation, on account of the former
brotherhood and friendship that subsisted between us; and if thou
deliver me, I will certainly recompense thee well." But the fox
replied, "The sages have said, 'Take not as thy brother the ignorant
and wicked, for he will disgrace thee, and not honour thee; and take
not as thy brother the liar, for if good proceed from thee he will
hide it, and if evil proceed from thee he will publish it!' And the
sages have said, 'For everything there is a stratagem, excepting
death; and everything may be rectified excepting the corruption of the
very essence; and everything may be repelled excepting destiny.' And
as to the recompense which thou assertest that I deserve of thee, I
compare thee, in thy recompensing, to the serpent fleeing from the
Háwee, when a man saw her in a state of terror, and said to her, 'What
is the matter with thee, O serpent?' She answered, 'I have fled from
the Háwee, for he seeketh me; and if thou deliver me from him, and
conceal me with thee, I will recompense thee well, and do thee every
kindness.' So the man took her, to obtain the reward, and eager for
the recompense, and put her into his pocket; and when the Háwee had
passed and gone his way, and what she feared had quitted her, the man
said to her, 'Where is the recompense, for I have saved thee from that
which thou fearedst and didst dread?' The serpent answered him, 'Tell
me in what member I shall bite thee; for thou knowest that we exceed
not this recompense.' She then inflicted upon him a bite, from which
he died. And thee, O idiot!" continued the fox, "I compare to that
serpent with that man. Hast thou not heard the saying of the poet?--

    "'Trust not a person in whose heart thou hast made anger to
            dwell, nor think his anger hath ceased.
    Verily, the vipers, though smooth to the touch, show graceful
            motions, and hide mortal poison.'"

"O eloquent and comely-faced animal!" rejoined the wolf, "be not
ignorant of my condition, and of the fear with which mankind regard
me. Thou knowest that I assault the strong places, and strip the
vines. Do, therefore, what I have commanded thee, and attend to me as
the slave attendeth to his master." "O ignorant idiot! who seekest
what is vain," exclaimed the fox, "verily I wonder at thy stupidity,
and at the roughness of thy manner, in thine ordering me to serve thee
and to stand before thee as though I were a slave. But thou shalt
soon see what will befall thee, by the splitting of thy head with
stones, and the breaking of thy treacherous dog-teeth."

The fox then stationed himself upon a mound overlooking the vineyard,
and cried out incessantly to the people of the vineyard until they
perceived him and came quickly to him. He remained steady before them
until they drew near unto him, and unto the pit in which was the wolf,
and then he fled. So the owners of the vineyard looked into the pit,
and when they beheld the wolf in it, they instantly pelted him with
heavy stones, and continued throwing stones and pieces of wood upon
him, and piercing him with the points of spears, until they killed
him, when they departed. Then the fox returned to the pit, and
standing over the place of the wolf's slaughter, saw him dead;
whereupon he shook his head in the excess of his joy, and recited
these verses--

    "Fate removed the wolf's soul, and it was snatched away.
    Far distant from happiness be his soul that hath perished.
    How long hast thou striven, Abos Tirhán, to destroy me!
    But now have burning calamities befallen thee.
    Thou hast fallen into a pit into which none shall descend
            without finding in it the blasts of death."

After this the fox remained in the vineyard alone, and in security,
fearing no mischief.



THE SHEPHERD AND THE JOGIE.


It is related that during the reign of a king of Cutch, named Lakeh, a
Jogie lived, who was a wise man, and wonderfully skilled in the
preparation of herbs. For years he had been occupied in searching for
a peculiar kind of grass, the roots of which should be burnt, and a
man be thrown into the flames. The body so burnt would become gold,
and any of the members might be removed without the body sustaining
any loss, as the parts so taken would always be self-restored.

It so occurred that this Jogie, whilst following a flock of goats,
observed one amongst them eating of the grass he was so anxious to
procure. He immediately rooted it up, and desired the shepherd who was
near to assist him in procuring firewood. When he had collected the
wood and kindled a flame, into which the grass was thrown, the Jogie,
wishing to render the shepherd the victim of his avarice, desired him,
under some pretence, to make a few circuits round the fire. The man,
however, suspecting foul play, watched his opportunity, and, seizing
the Jogie himself, he threw him into the fire and left him to be
consumed. Next day, on returning to the spot, great was his surprise
to behold the golden figure of a man lying amongst the embers. He
immediately chopped off one of the limbs and hid it. The next day he
returned to take another, when his astonishment was yet greater to see
that a fresh limb had replaced the one already taken. In short, the
shepherd soon became wealthy, and revealed the secret of his riches to
the king, Lakeh, who, by the same means, accumulated so much gold that
every day he was in the habit of giving one lac and twenty-five
thousand rupees in alms to fakirs.



THE PERFIDIOUS VIZIER.


A king of former times had an only son, whom he contracted in marriage
to the daughter of another king. But the damsel, who was endowed with
great beauty, had a cousin who had sought her in marriage, and had
been rejected; wherefore he sent great presents to the vizier of the
king just mentioned, requesting him to employ some stratagem by which
to destroy his master's son, or to induce him to relinquish the
damsel. The vizier consented. Then the father of the damsel sent to
the king's son, inviting him to come and introduce himself to his
daughter, to take her as his wife; and the father of the young man
sent him with the treacherous vizier, attended by a thousand horsemen,
and provided with rich presents. When they were proceeding over the
desert, the vizier remembered that there was near unto them a spring
of water called Ez-zahra, and that whosoever drank of it, if he were a
man, became a woman. He therefore ordered the troops to alight near
it, and induced the prince to go thither with him. When they arrived
at the spring, the king's son dismounted from his courser, and washed
his hands, and drank; and lo! he became a woman; whereupon he cried
out and wept until he fainted. The vizier asked him what had befallen
him, so the young man informed him; and on hearing his words, the
vizier affected to be grieved for him, and wept. The king's son then
sent the vizier back to his father to inform him of this event,
determining not to proceed nor to return until his affliction should
be removed from him, or until he should die.

He remained by the fountain during a period of three days and nights,
neither eating nor drinking, and on the fourth night there came to him
a horseman with a crown upon his head, appearing like one of the sons
of the kings. This horseman said to him, "Who brought you, O young
man, unto this place?" So the young man told him his story; and when
the horseman heard it, he pitied him, and said to him, "The vizier of
thy father is the person who hath thrown thee into this calamity; for
no one of mankind knoweth of this spring excepting one man." Then the
horseman ordered him to mount with him. He therefore mounted; and the
horseman said to him, "Come with me to my abode: for thou art my guest
this night." The young man replied, "Inform me who thou art before I
go with thee." And the horseman said, "I am the son of a king of the
Jinn, and thou art son of a king of mankind. And now, be of good heart
and cheerful eye on account of that which shall dispel thine anxiety
and thy grief, for it is unto me easy."

So the young man proceeded with him from the commencement of the day,
forsaking his troops and soldiers (whom the vizier had left at their
halting-place), and ceased not to travel on with his conductor until
midnight, when the son of the king of the Jinn said to him, "Knowest
thou what space we have traversed during this period?" The young man
answered him, "I know not." The son of the king of the Jinn said, "We
have traversed a space of a year's journey to him who travelleth with
diligence." So the young man wondered thereat, and asked, "How shall I
return to my family?" The other answered, "This is not thine affair.
It is my affair; and when thou shalt have recovered from thy
misfortune, thou shalt return to thy family in less time than the
twinkling of an eye, for to accomplish that will be to me easy." The
young man, on hearing these words from the Jinnee, almost flew with
excessive delight. He thought that the event was a result of confused
dreams, and said, "Extolled be the perfection of him who is able to
restore the wretched, and render him prosperous!" They ceased not to
proceed until morning, when they arrived at a verdant, bright land,
with tall trees, and warbling birds, and gardens of surpassing beauty,
and fair palaces; and thereupon the son of the king of the Jinn
alighted from his courser, commanding the young man also to dismount.
He therefore dismounted, and the Jinnee took him by the hand, and they
entered one of the palaces, where the young man beheld an exalted king
and a sultan of great dignity, and he remained with them that day,
eating and drinking, until the approach of night. Then the son of the
king of the Jinn arose and mounted with him, and they went forth, and
proceeded during the night with diligence until the morning. And lo!
they came to a black land, not inhabited, abounding with black rocks
and stones, as though it were a part of hell; whereupon the son of the
king of men said to the Jinnee, "What is the name of this land?" And
he answered, "It is called the Dusky Land, and belongeth to one of the
kings of the Jinn, whose name is Zu-l-Jenáheyn. None of the kings can
attack him, nor doth any one enter his territory unless by his
permission, so stop in thy place while I ask his permission."
Accordingly the young man stopped, and the Jinn was absent from him
for a while, and then returned to him; and they ceased not to proceed
until they came to a spring flowing from black mountains. The Jinnee
said to the young man, "Alight." He therefore alighted from his
courser, and the Jinnee said to him, "Drink of this spring."

The young prince drank of it, and immediately became again a man, as
he was at first, by the power of God (whose name be exalted!), whereat
he rejoiced with great joy, not to be exceeded. And he said to the
Jinn, "O my brother, what is the name of this spring?" The Jinnee
answered, "It is called the Spring of the Women: no woman drinketh of
it but she becometh a man; therefore praise God, and thank Him for thy
restoration, and mount thy courser." So the king's son prostrated
himself, thanking God (whose name be exalted!). Then he mounted, and
they journeyed with diligence during the rest of the day until they
had returned to the land of the Jinnee, and the young man passed the
night in his abode in the most comfortable manner; after which they
ate and drank until the next night, when the son of the king of the
Jinn said to him, "Dost thou desire to return to thy family this
night?" The young man answered, "Yes." So the son of the king of the
Jinn called one of his father's slaves, whose name was Rájiz, and said
to him, "Take this young man hence, and carry him upon thy shoulders,
and let not the dawn overtake him before he is with his father-in-law
and his wife." The slave replied, "I hear and obey, and with feelings
of love and honour will I do it." Then the slave absented himself for
a while, and approached in the form of an 'Efreet. And when the young
man saw him his reason fled, and he was stupefied; but the son of the
king of the Jinn said to him, "No harm shall befall thee. Mount thy
courser. Ascend upon his shoulders." The young man then mounted upon
the slave's shoulders, and the son of the king of the Jinn said to
him, "Close thine eyes." So he closed his eyes, and the slave flew
with him between heaven and earth, and ceased not to fly along with
him while the young man was unconscious, and the last third of the
night came not before he was on the top of the palace of his
father-in-law. Then the 'Efreet said to him, "Alight." He therefore
alighted. And the 'Efreet said to him, "Open thine eyes; for this is
the palace of thy father-in-law and his daughter." Then he left him
and departed. And as soon as the day shone, and the alarm of the young
man subsided, he descended from the roof of the palace; and when his
father-in-law beheld him, he rose to him and met him, wondering at
seeing him descend from the top of the palace, and he said to him, "We
see other men come through the doors, but thou comest down from the
sky." The young man replied, "What God (whose perfection be extolled,
and whose name be exalted!) desired hath happened." And when the sun
rose, his father-in-law ordered his vizier to prepare great banquets,
and the wedding was celebrated; the young man remained there two
months, and then departed with his wife to the city of his father. But
as to the cousin of the damsel, he perished by reason of his jealousy
and envy.


    Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to Her Majesty,
              _at the Edinburgh University Press_.



Transcriber's Note

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

Archaic and variable spelling, e.g. corse and corpse, is preserved as
printed where there was no predominance of one form over the other.

"The Relations of Ssidi Kur" contains phrasing at the end of each
story, beginning with the word 'Ssarwala,' which is similar but not
identical each time it occurs. While two seemingly typographic errors
have been amended for consistency, the phrases are otherwise preserved
as printed in each case.

The following amendments have been made, for consistency:

    Page 21--El-Yeman amended to El-Yemen--"... and while he was
    proceeding over the deserts of El-Yemen ..."

    Page 58--jackzang amended to jakzang--"... thou hast spoken
    words:--Ssarwala missbrod jakzang! ..."

    Page 88--Swarwala amended to Ssarwala--"Ssarwala missdood
    jakzang!"

    Page 115--aerlic amended to aerliks--"And the two aerliks
    (fiends) cried, ..."

    Page 118--evil-doer amended to evildoer--"... That the
    evildoer may be really discovered, ..."





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