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Title: Arabian nights. English - The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 01
Author: Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890 [Translator]
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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Doefler and Charles Wilson.

                        THE BOOK OF THE
                A Plain and Literal Translation
              of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

                  Translated and Annotated by
                       Richard F. Burton

                           VOLUME ONE

                    Inscribed to the Memory
                       My Lamented Friend
                  John Frederick Steinhaeuser,
                     (Civil Surgeon, Aden)
                   A Quarter of a Century Ago
                Assisted Me in this Translation.

"To the pure all things are pure" (Puris omnia pura)
                           - Arab Proverb.

"Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole."
                           - "Decameron" - conclusion.

"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum Sed coram Bruto. Brute!
reced, leget.
                           - Martial.

"Miculx est de ris que de larmes escripre, Pour ce que rire est
le propre des hommes."
                           - Rabelais.

"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand and One
Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively
small part of these truly enchanting fictions."
                           - Crichton's "History of Arabia."

                  Contents of the First Volume

Story Of King Shahryar and His Brother
     a.   Tale of the Bull and the Ass
1.   Tale of the Trader and the Jinni
     a.   The First Shaykh's Story
     b.   The Second Shaykh's Story
     c.   The Third Shaykh's Story
2.   The Fisherman and the Jinni
     a.   Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban
          ab.  Story of King Sindibad and His Falcon
          ac.  Tale of the Husband and the Parrot
          ad.  Tale of the Prince and the Ogress
     b.   Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince
3.   The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad
     a.   The First Kalandar's Tale
     b.   The Second Kalandar's Tale
          ba.  Tale of the Envier and the Envied
     c.   The Third Kalandar's Tale
     d.   The Eldest Lady's Tale
     e.   Tale of the Portress
     Conclusion of the Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies
4.   Tale of the Three Apples
5.   Tale of Nur Al-din Ali and his Son
6.   The Hunchback's Tale
     a.   The Nazarene Broker's Story
     b.   The Reeve's Tale
     c.   Tale of the Jewish Doctor
     d.   Tale of the Tailor
     e.   The Barber's Tale of Himself
          ea.  The Barber's Tale of his First Brother
          eb.  The Barber's Tale of his Second Brother
          ec.  The Barber's Tale of his Third Brother
          ed.  The Barber's Tale of his Fourth Brother
          ee.  The Barber's Tale of his Fifth Brother
          ef.  The Barber's Tale of his Sixth Brother
     The End of the Tailor's Tale

                   The Translator's Foreword.

This work, labourious as it may appear, has been to me a labour
of love, an unfailing source of solace and satisfaction. During
my long years of official banishment to the luxuriant and deadly
deserts of Western Africa, and to the dull and dreary half
clearings of South America, it proved itself a charm, a talisman
against ennui and despondency. Impossible even to open the pages
without a vision starting into view; with out drawing a picture
from the pinacothek of the brain; without reviving a host of
memories and reminiscences which are not the common property of
travellers, however widely they may have travelled. From my dull
and commonplace and "respectable" surroundings, the Jinn bore me
at once to the land of my pre-direction, Arabia, a region so
familiar to my mind that even at first sight, it seemed a
reminiscence of some by gone metem-psychic life in the distant
Past. Again I stood under the diaphanous skies, in air glorious
as aether, whose every breath raises men's spirits like sparkling
wine. Once more I saw the evening star hanging like a solitaire
from the pure front of the western firmament; and the after glow
transfiguring and transforming, as by magic, the homely and
rugged features of the scene into a fairy land lit with a light
which never shines on other soils or seas. Then would appear the
woollen tents, low and black, of the true Badawin, mere dots in
the boundless waste of lion tawny clays and gazelle brown
gravels, and the camp fire dotting like a glow worm the village
centre. Presently, sweetened by distance, would be heard the wild
weird song of lads and lasses, driving or rather pelting, through
the gloaming their sheep and goats; and the measured chant of the
spearsmen gravely stalking behind their charge, the camels;
mingled with bleating of the flocks and the bellowing of the
humpy herds; while the reremouse flitted overhead with his tiny
shriek, and the rave of the jackal resounded through deepening
glooms, and--most musical of music--the palm trees answered the
whispers of the night breeze with the softest tones of falling

And then a shift of scene. The Shaykhs and "white beards" of the
tribe gravely take their places, sitting with outspread skirts
like hillocks on the plain, as the Arabs say, around the camp
fire, whilst I reward their hospitality and secure its
continuance by reading or reciting a few pages of their favourite
tales. The women and children stand motionless as silhouettes
outside the ring; and all are breathless with attention; they
seem to drink in the words with eyes and mouths as well as with
ears. The most fantastic flights of fancy, the wildest
improbabilities, the most impossible of impossibilities, appear
to them utterly natural, mere matters of every day occurrence.
They enter thoroughly into each phase of feeling touched upon by
the author: they take a personal pride in the chivalrous nature
and knightly prowess of Taj al-Mulúk; they are touched with
tenderness by the self sacrificing love of Azízah; their mouths
water as they hear of heaps of untold gold given away in largesse
like clay; they chuckle with delight every time a Kázi or a
Fakír--a judge or a reverend--is scurvily entreated by some
Pantagruelist of the Wilderness; and, despite their normal
solemnity and impassibility, all roar with laughter, sometimes
rolling upon the ground till the reader's gravity is sorely
tried, at the tales of the garrulous Barber and of Ali and the
Kurdish Sharper. To this magnetising mood the sole exception is
when a Badawi of superior accomplishments, who sometimes says his
prayers, ejaculates a startling "Astagh-faru'llah"--I pray
Allah's pardon!--for listening, not to Carlyle's "downright
lies," but to light mention of the sex whose name is never heard
amongst the nobility of the Desert.

Nor was it only in Arabia that the immortal Nights did me such
notable service: I found the wildlings of Somali land equally
amenable to its discipline; no one was deaf to the charm and the
two women cooks of my caravan, on its way to Harar, were in
continently dubbed by my men "Shahrazad" and "Dinazad."

It may be permitted me also to note that this translation is a
natural outcome of my Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.
Arriving at Aden in the (so called) winter of 1852, I put up with
my old and dear friend, Steinhaeuser, to whose memory this volume
is inscribed; and, when talking over Arabia and the Arabs, we at
once came to the same conclusion that, while the name of this
wondrous treasury of Moslem folk lore is familiar to almost every
English child, no general reader is aware of the valuables it
contains, nor indeed will the door open to any but Arabists.
Before parting we agreed to "collaborate" and produce a full,
complete, unvarnished, uncastrated copy of the great original, my
friend taking the prose and I the metrical part; and we
corresponded upon the subject for years. But whilst I was in the
Brazil, Steinhaeuser died suddenly of apoplexy at Berne in
Switzerland and, after the fashion of Anglo India, his valuable
MSS. left at Aden were dispersed, and very little of his labours
came into my hands.

Thus I was left alone to my work, which progressed fitfully amid
a host of obstructions. At length, in the spring of 1879, the
tedious process of copying began and the book commenced to take
finished form. But, during the winter of 1881-82, I saw in the
literary journals a notice of a new version by Mr. John Payne,
well known to scholars for his prowess in English verse,
especially for his translation of "The Poems of Master Francis
Villon, of Paris." Being then engaged on an expedition to the
Gold Coast (for gold), which seemed likely to cover some months,
I wrote to the "Athenaeum" (Nov. 13, 1881) and to Mr. Payne, who
was wholly unconscious that we were engaged on the same work, and
freely offered him precedence and possession of the field till no
longer wanted. He accepted my offer as frankly, and his priority
entailed another delay lasting till the spring of 1885. These
details will partly account for the lateness of my appearing, but
there is yet another cause. Professional ambition suggested that
literary labours, unpopular with the vulgar and the half
educated, are not likely to help a man up the ladder of
promotion. But common sense presently suggested to me that,
professionally speaking, I was not a success, and, at the same
time, that I had no cause to be ashamed of my failure. In our
day, when we live under a despotism of the lower "middle class"
Philister who can pardon anything but superiority, the prizes of
competitive services are monopolized by certain "pets" of the
Médiocratie, and prime favourites of that jealous and potent
majority--the Mediocrities who know "no nonsense about merit." It
is hard for an outsider to realise how perfect is the monopoly of
common place, and to comprehend how fatal a stumbling stone that
man sets in the way of his own advancement who dares to think for
himself, or who knows more or who does more than the mob of
gentlemen employee who know very little and who do even less.

Yet, however behindhand I may be, there is still ample room and
verge for an English version of the "Arabian Nights'

Our century of translations, popular and vernacular, from
(Professor Antoine) Galland's delightful abbreviation and
adaptation (A.D. 1704), in no wise represent the eastern
original. The best and latest, the Rev. Mr. Foster's, which is
diffuse and verbose, and Mr. G. Moir Bussey's, which is a re-
correction, abound in gallicisms of style and idiom; and one and
all degrade a chef d'oeuvre of the highest anthropological and
ethnographical interest and importance to a mere fairy book, a
nice present for little boys.

After nearly a century had elapsed, Dr. Jonathan Scott (LL.D.
H.E.I.C.'s S., Persian Secretary to the G. G. Bengal; Oriental
Professor, etc., etc.), printed his "Tales, Anecdotes, and
Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian," (Cadell and
Davies, London, A.D. 1800); and followed in 1811 with an edition
of "The Arabian Nights' Entertainments" from the MS. of Edward
Wortley Montague (in 6 vols., small 8vo, London: Longmans, etc.).
This work he (and he only) describes as "Carefully revised and
occasionally corrected from the Arabic." The reading public did
not wholly reject it, sundry texts were founded upon the Scott
version and it has been imperfectly reprinted (4 vole., 8vo,
Nimmo and Bain, London, 1883). But most men, little recking what
a small portion of the original they were reading, satisfied
themselves with the Anglo French epitome and metaphrase. At
length in 1838, Mr. Henry Torrens, B.A., Irishman, lawyer ("of
the Inner Temple") and Bengal Civilian, took a step in the right
direction; and began to translate, "The Book of the Thousand
Nights and One Night," (1 vol., 8vo, Calcutta: W. Thacker and
Co.) from the Arabic of the Ægyptian (!) MS. edited by Mr.
(afterwards Sir)William H. Macnaghten. The attempt, or rather the
intention, was highly creditable; the copy was carefully moulded
upon the model and offered the best example of the verbatim et
literatim style. But the plucky author knew little of Arabic, and
least of what is most wanted, the dialect of Egypt and Syria. His
prose is so conscientious as to offer up spirit at the shrine of
letter; and his verse, always whimsical, has at times a manner of
Hibernian whoop which is comical when it should be pathetic.
Lastly he printed only one volume of a series which completed
would have contained nine or ten.

That amiable and devoted Arabist, the late Edward William Lane
does not score a success in his "New Translation of the Tales of
a Thousand and One Nights" (London: Charles Knight and Co.,
MDCCCXXXIX.) of which there have been four English editions,
besides American, two edited by E. S. Poole. He chose the
abbreviating Bulak Edition; and, of its two hundred tales, he has
omitted about half and by far the more characteristic half: the
work was intended for "the drawing room table;" and,
consequently, the workman was compelled to avoid the
"objectionable" and aught "approaching to licentiousness." He
converts the Arabian Nights into the Arabian Chapters,
arbitrarily changing the division and, worse still, he converts
some chapters into notes. He renders poetry by prose and
apologises for not omitting it altogether: he neglects assonance
and he is at once too Oriental and not Oriental enough. He had
small store of Arabic at the time--Lane of the Nights is not Lane
of the Dictionary--and his pages are disfigured by many childish
mistakes. Worst of all, the three handsome volumes are rendered
unreadable as Sale's Koran by their anglicised Latin, their
sesquipedalian un English words, and the stiff and stilted style
of half a century ago when our prose was, perhaps, the worst in
Europe. Their cargo of Moslem learning was most valuable to the
student, but utterly out of place for readers of "The Nights;"
re-published, as these notes have been separately (London,
Chatto, 1883), they are an ethnological text book.

Mr. John Payne has printed, for the Villon Society and for
private circulation only, the first and sole complete translation
of the great compendium, "comprising about four times as much
matter as that of Galland, and three times as much as that of any
other translator;" and I cannot but feel proud that he has
honoured me with the dedication of "The Book of The Thousand
Nights and One Night." His version is most readable: his English,
with a sub-flavour of the Mabinogionic archaicism, is admirable;
and his style gives life and light to the nine volumes whose
matter is frequently heavy enough. He succeeds admirably in the
most difficult passages and he often hits upon choice and special
terms and the exact vernacular equivalent of the foreign word, so
happily and so picturesquely that all future translators must
perforce use the same expression under pain of falling far short.
But the learned and versatile author bound himself to issue only
five hundred copies, and "not to reproduce the work in its
complete and uncastrated form." Consequently his excellent
version is caviaire to the general--practically unprocurable.

And here I hasten to confess that ample use has been made of the
three versions above noted, the whole being blended by a callida
junctura into a homogeneous mass. But in the presence of so many
predecessors a writer is bound to show some raison d'etre for
making a fresh attempt and this I proceed to do with due reserve.

Briefly, the object of this version is to show what "The Thousand
Nights and a Night" really is. Not, however, for reasons to be
more fully stated in the Terminal Essay, by straining verbum
reddere verbo, but by writing as the Arab would have written in
English. On this point I am all with Saint Jerome (Pref. in
Jobum) "Vel verbum e verbo, vel sensum e sensu, vel ex utroque
commixtum, et medic temperatum genus translationis." My work
claims to be a faithful copy of the great Eastern Saga book, by
preserving intact, not only the spirit, but even the mécanique,
the manner and the matter. Hence, however prosy and long drawn
out be the formula, it retains the scheme of The Nights because
they are a prime feature in the original. The Ráwí or reciter, to
whose wits the task of supplying details is left, well knows
their value: the openings carefully repeat the names of the
dramatic personae and thus fix them in the hearer's memory.
Without the Nights no Arabian Nights! Moreover it is necessary to
retain the whole apparatus: nothing more ill advised than Dr.
Jonathan Scott's strange device of garnishing The Nights with
fancy head pieces and tail pieces or the splitting up of
Galland's narrative by merely prefixing "Nuit," etc., ending
moreover, with the ccxxxivth Night: yet this has been done,
apparently with the consent of the great Arabist Sylvestre de
Sacy (Paris, Ernest Bourdin). Moreover, holding that the
translator's glory is to add something to his native tongue,
while avoiding the hideous hag like nakedness of Torrens and the
bald literalism of Lane, I have carefully Englished the
picturesque turns and novel expressions of the original in all
their outlandishness; for instance, when the dust cloud raised by
a tramping host is described as "walling the horizon." Hence
peculiar attention has been paid to the tropes and figures which
the Arabic language often packs into a single term; and I have
never hesitated to coin a word when wanted, such as "she snorted
and sparked," fully to represent the original. These, like many
in Rabelais, are mere barbarisms unless generally adopted; in
which case they become civilised and common currency.

Despite objections manifold and manifest, I have preserved the
balance of sentences and the prose rhyme and rhythm which
Easterns look upon as mere music. This "Saj'a," or cadence of the
cooing dove, has in Arabic its special duties. It adds a sparkle
to description and a point to proverb, epigram and dialogue; it
corresponds with our "artful alliteration" (which in places I
have substituted for it) and, generally, it defines the
boundaries between the classical and the popular styles which
jostle each other in The Nights. If at times it appear strained
and forced, after the wont of rhymed prose, the scholar will
observe that, despite the immense copiousness of assonants and
consonants in Arabic, the strain is often put upon it
intentionally, like the Rims cars of Dante and the Troubadours.
This rhymed prose may be "un English" and unpleasant, even
irritating to the British ear; still I look upon it as a sine quâ
non for a complete reproduction of the original. In the Terminal
Essay I shall revert to the subject.

On the other hand when treating the versical portion, which may
represent a total of ten thousand lines, I have not always bound
myself by the metrical bonds of the Arabic, which are artificial
in the extreme, and which in English can be made bearable only by
a tour de force. I allude especially to the monorhyme, Rim
continuat or tirade monorime, whose monotonous simplicity was
preferred by the Troubadours for threnodies. It may serve well
for three or four couplets but, when it extends, as in the
Ghazal-cannon, to eighteen, and in the Kasidah, elegy or ode, to
more, it must either satisfy itself with banal rhyme words, when
the assonants should as a rule be expressive and emphatic; or, it
must display an ingenuity, a smell of the oil, which assuredly
does not add to the reader's pleasure. It can perhaps be done and
it should be done; but for me the task has no attractions: I can
fence better in shoes than in sabots. Finally I print the
couplets in Arab form separating the hemistichs by asterisks.

And now to consider one matter of special importance in the book--its
turpiloquium. This stumbling-block is of two kinds,
completely distinct. One is the simple, naïve and child like
indecency which, from Tangiers to Japan, occurs throughout
general conversation of high and low in the present day. It uses,
like the holy books of the Hebrews, expressions "plainly
descriptive of natural situations;" and it treats in an
unconventionally free and naked manner of subjects and matters
which are usually, by common consent, left undescribed. As Sir
William Jones observed long ago, "that anything natural can be
offensively obscene never seems to have occurred to the Indians
or to their legislators; a singularity (?) pervading their
writings and conversation, but no proof of moral depravity."
Another justly observes, Les peuples primitifs n'y entendent pas
malice: ils appellent les choses par leurs noms et ne trouvent
pas condamnable ce qui est naturel. And they are prying as
children. For instance the European novelist marries off his hero
and heroine and leaves them to consummate marriage in privacy;
even Tom Jones has the decency to bolt the door. But the Eastern
story teller, especially this unknown "prose Shakespeare," must
usher you, with a flourish, into the bridal chamber and narrate
to you, with infinite gusto, everything he sees and hears. Again
we must remember that grossness and indecency, in fact les
turpitudes, are matters of time and place; what is offensive in
England is not so in Egypt; what scandalises us now would have
been a tame joke tempore Elisoe. Withal The Nights will not be
found in this matter coarser than many passages of Shakespeare,
Sterne, and Swift, and their uncleanness rarely attains the
perfection of Alcofribas Naiser, "divin maitre et atroce cochon."
The other element is absolute obscenity, sometimes, but not
always, tempered by wit, humour and drollery; here we have an
exaggeration of Petronius Arbiter, the handiwork of writers whose
ancestry, the most religious and the most debauched of mankind,
practised every abomination before the shrine of the Canopic

In accordance with my purpose of reproducing the Nights, not
virginibus puerisque, but in as perfect a picture as my powers
permit, I have carefully sought out the English equivalent of
every Arabic word, however low it may be or "shocking" to ears
polite; preserving, on the other hand, all possible delicacy
where the indecency is not intentional; and, as a friend advises
me to state, not exaggerating the vulgarities and the indecencies
which, indeed, can hardly be exaggerated. For the coarseness and
crassness are but the shades of a picture which would otherwise
be all lights. The general tone of The Nights is exceptionally
high and pure. The devotional fervour often rises to the boiling
point of fanaticism. The pathos is sweet, deep and genuine;
tender, simple and true, utterly unlike much of our modern
tinsel. Its life, strong, splendid and multitudinous, is
everywhere flavoured with that unaffected pessimism and
constitutional melancholy which strike deepest root under the
brightest skies and which sigh in the face of heaven: --

       Vita quid est hominis? Viridis floriscula mortis;
           Sole Oriente oriens, sole cadente cadens.

Poetical justice is administered by the literary Kází with
exemplary impartiality and severity; "denouncing evil doers and
eulogising deeds admirably achieved." The morale is sound and
healthy; and at times we descry, through the voluptuous and
libertine picture, vistas of a transcendental morality, the
morality of Socrates in Plato. Subtle corruption and covert
licentiousness are utterly absent; we find more real"vice" in
many a short French roman, say La Dame aux Camélias, and in not a
few English novels of our day than in the thousands of pages of
the Arab. Here we have nothing of that most immodest modern
modesty which sees covert implication where nothing is implied,
and "improper" allusion when propriety is not outraged; nor do we
meet with the Nineteenth Century refinement; innocence of the
word not of the thought; morality of the tongue not of the heart,
and the sincere homage paid to virtue in guise of perfect
hypocrisy. It is, indeed, this unique contrast of a quaint
element, childish crudities and nursery indecencies and "vain and
amatorious" phrase jostling the finest and highest views of life
and character, shown in the kaleidoscopic shiftings of the
marvellous picture with many a "rich truth in a tale's presence",
pointed by a rough dry humour which compares well with "wut; "the
alternations of strength and weakness, of pathos and bathos, of
the boldest poetry (the diction of Job) and the baldest prose
(the Egyptian of today); the contact of religion and morality
with the orgies of African Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter--at
times taking away the reader's breath--and, finally, the whole
dominated everywhere by that marvellous Oriental fancy, wherein
the spiritual and the supernatural are as common as the material
and the natural; it is this contrast, I say, which forms the
chiefest charm of The Nights, which gives it the most striking
originality and which makes it a perfect expositor of the
medieval Moslem mind.

Explanatory notes did not enter into Mr. Payne's plan. They do
with mine: I can hardly imagine The Nights being read to any
profit by men of the West without commentary. My annotations
avoid only one subject, parallels of European folklore and
fabliaux which, however interesting, would overswell the bulk of
a book whose speciality is anthropology. The accidents of my
life, it may be said without undue presumption, my long dealings
with Arabs and other Mahommedans, and my familiarity not only
with their idiom but with their turn of thought, and with that
racial individuality which baffles description, have given me
certain advantages over the average student, however deeply he
may have studied. These volumes, moreover, afford me a long
sought opportunity of noticing practices and customs which
interest all mankind and which "Society" will not hear mentioned.
Grate, the historian, and Thackeray, the novelist, both lamented
that the bégueulerie of their countrymen condemned them to keep
silence where publicity was required; and that they could not
even claim the partial licence of a Fielding and a Smollett.
Hence a score of years ago I lent my best help to the late Dr.
James Hunt in founding the Anthropological Society, whose
presidential chair I first occupied (pp. 2-4 Anthropologia;
London, Balliere, vol. i., No. I, 1873). My motive was to supply
travellers with an organ which would rescue their observations
from the outer darkness of manuscript, and print their curious
information on social and sexual matters out of place in the
popular book intended for the Nipptisch and indeed better kept
from public view. But, hardly had we begun when "Respectability,"
that whited sepulchre full of all uncleanness, rose up against
us. "Propriety" cried us down with her brazen blatant voice, and
the weak kneed brethren fell away. Yet the organ was much wanted
and is wanted still. All now known barbarous tribes in Inner
Africa, America and Australia, whose instincts have not been
overlaid by reason, have a ceremony which they call "making men."
As soon as the boy shows proofs of puberty, he and his coevals
are taken in hand by the mediciner and the Fetisheer; and, under
priestly tuition, they spend months in the "bush," enduring
hardships and tortures which impress the memory till they have
mastered the "theorick and practick" of social and sexual
relations. Amongst the civilised this fruit of the knowledge tree
must be bought at the price of the bitterest experience, and the
consequences of ignorance are peculiarly cruel. Here, then, I
find at last an opportunity of noticing in explanatory notes many
details of the text which would escape the reader's observation,
and I am confident that they will form a repertory of Eastern
knowledge in its esoteric phase. The student who adds the notes
of Lane ("Arabian Society," etc., before quoted) to mine will
know as much of the Moslem East and more than many Europeans who
have spent half their lives in Orient lands. For facility of
reference an index of anthropological notes is appended to each

The reader will kindly bear with the following technical details.
Steinhaeuser and I began and ended our work with the first Bulak
("Bul.") Edition printed at the port of Cairo in A.H. 1251 = A.D.
1835. But when preparing my MSS. for print I found the text
incomplete, many of the stories being given in epitome and not a
few ruthlessly mutilated with head or feet wanting. Like most
Eastern scribes the Editor could not refrain from "improvements,"
which only debased the book; and his sole title to excuse is that
the second Bulak Edition (4 vols. A.H. 1279 = A.D. 1863), despite
its being "revised and corrected by Sheik Mahommed Qotch Al-
Adewi," is even worse; and the same may be said of the Cairo
Edit. (4 vols. A.H. 1297 = A. D. 1881). The Calcutta ("Calc.")
Edition, with ten lines of Persian preface by the Editor, Ahmed
al-Shirwani (A.D. 1814), was cut short at the end of the first
two hundred Nights, and thus made room for Sir William Hay
Macnaghten's Edition (4 vols. royal 4to) of 1839-42. This
("Mac."), as by far the least corrupt and the most complete, has
been assumed for my basis with occasional reference to the
Breslau Edition ("Bres.") wretchedly edited from a hideous
Egyptian MS. by Dr. Maximilian Habicht (1825-43). The Bayrut Text
"Alif-Leila we Leila" (4 vols. at. 8vo, Beirut, 1881-83) is a
melancholy specimen of The Nights taken entirely from the Bulak
Edition by one Khalil Sarkis and converted to Christianity;
beginning without Bismillah, continued with scrupulous castration
and ending in ennui and disappointment. I have not used this
missionary production.

As regards the transliteration of Arabic words I deliberately
reject the artful and complicated system, ugly and clumsy withal,
affected by scientific modern Orientalists. Nor is my sympathy
with their prime object, namely to fit the Roman alphabet for
supplanting all others. Those who learn languages, and many do
so, by the eye as well as by the ear, well know the advantages of
a special character to distinguish, for instance, Syriac from
Arabic, Gujrati from Marathi. Again this Roman hand bewitched may
have its use in purely scientific and literary works; but it
would be wholly out of place in one whose purpose is that of the
novel, to amuse rather than to instruct. Moreover the devices
perplex the simple and teach nothing to the learned. Either the
reader knows Arabic, in which case Greek letters, italics and
"upper case," diacritical points and similar typographic oddities
are, as a rule with some exceptions, unnecessary; or he does not
know Arabic, when none of these expedients will be of the least
use to him. Indeed it is a matter of secondary consideration what
system we prefer, provided that we mostly adhere to one and the
same, for the sake of a consistency which saves confusion to the
reader. I have especially avoided that of Mr. Lane, adopted by
Mr. Payne, for special reasons against which it was vain to
protest: it represents the debased brogue of Egypt or rather of
Cairo; and such a word as Kemer (ez-Zeman) would be utterly un-
pronounceable to a Badawi. Nor have I followed the practice of my
learned friend, Reverend G. P. Badger, in mixing bars and acute
accents; the former unpleasantly remind man of those hateful
dactyls and spondees, and the latter should, in my humble
opinion, be applied to long vowels which in Arabic double, or
should double, the length of the shorts. Dr. Badger uses the
acute symbol to denote accent or stress of voice; but such
appoggio is unknown to those who speak with purest articulation;
for instance whilst the European pronounces Mus-cat', and the
Arab villager Mas'-kat; the Children of the Waste, "on whose
tongues Allah descended," articulate Mas-kat. I have therefore
followed the simple system adopted in my "Pilgrimage," and have
accented Arabic words only when first used, thinking it
unnecessary to preserve throughout what is an eyesore to the
reader and a distress to the printer. In the main I follow
"Johnson on Richardson," a work known to every Anglo-Orientalist
as the old and trusty companion of his studies early and late;
but even here I have made sundry deviations for reasons which
will be explained in the Terminal Essay. As words are the
embodiment of ideas and writing is of words, so the word is the
spoken word; and we should write it as pronounced. Strictly
speaking, the e-sound and the o-sound (viz. the Italian o-sound
not the English which is peculiar to us and unknown to any other
tongue) are not found in Arabic, except when the figure Imálah
obliges: hence they are called "Yá al-Majhúl" and "Waw al-Majhúl"
the unknown y (í) and u. But in all tongues vowel-sounds, the
flesh which clothes the bones (consonants) of language, are
affected by the consonants which precede and more especially
which follow them, hardening and softening the articulation; and
deeper sounds accompany certain letters as the sád ( ) compared
with the sín ( ). None save a defective ear would hold, as Lane
does, "Maulid" ( = birth-festival) "more properly pronounced
'Molid.'" Yet I prefer Khokh (peach) and Jokh (broad cloth) to
Khukh and Jukh; Ohod (mount) to Uhud; Obayd (a little slave) to
Ubayd; and Hosayn (a fortlet, not the P. N. Al-Husayn) to Husayn.
As for the short e in such words as "Memlúk" for "Mamluk" (a
white slave), "Eshe" for "Asha" (supper), and "Yemen" for "Al-
Yaman," I consider it a flat Egyptianism, insufferable to an ear
which admires the Badawi pronunciation. Yet I prefer "Shelebi" (a
dandy) from the Turkish Chelebi, to "Shalabi;" "Zebdani" (the
Syrian village) to "Zabdani," and "Fes and Miknes" (by the figure
Imálah) to "Fas and Miknás,", our "Fez and Mequinez."

With respect to proper names and untranslated Arabic words I have
rejected all system in favour of common sense. When a term is
incorporated in our tongue, I refuse to follow the purist and
mortify the reader by startling innovation. For instance, Aleppo,
Cairo and Bassorah are preferred to Halab, Kahirah and Al-Basrah;
when a word is half naturalised, like Alcoran or Koran, Bashaw or
Pasha, which the French write Pacha; and Mahomet or Mohammed (for
Muhammad), the modern form is adopted because the more familiar.
But I see no advantage in retaining,, simply because they are the
mistakes of a past generation, such words as "Roc" (for Rikh),),
Khalif (a pretentious blunder for Kalífah and better written
Caliph) and "genie" ( = Jinn) a mere Gallic corruption not so
terrible, however, as "a Bedouin" ( = Badawi).). As little too
would I follow Mr. Lane in foisting upon the public such Arabisms
as "Khuff" (a riding boot), "Mikra'ah" (a palm rod) and a host of
others for which we have good English equivalents. On the other
hand I would use, but use sparingly, certain Arabic exclamations,
as "Bismillah" ( = in the name of Allah!) and "Inshallah" ( = if
Allah please!), (= which have special applications and which have
been made familiar to English ears by the genius of Fraser and

I here end these desultory but necessary details to address the
reader in a few final words. He will not think lightly of my work
when I repeat to him that with the aid of my annotations
supplementing Lane's, the student will readily and pleasantly
learn more of the Moslem's manners and customs, laws and religion
than is known to the average Orientalist; and, if my labours
induce him to attack the text of The Nights he will become master
of much more Arabic than the ordinary Arab owns. This book is
indeed a legacy which I bequeath to my fellow countrymen in their
hour of need. Over devotion to Hindu, and especially to Sanskrit
literature, has led them astray from those (so called) "Semitic"
studies, which are the more requisite for us as they teach us to
deal successfully with a race more powerful than any pagans--the
Moslem. Apparently England is ever forgetting that she is at
present the greatest Mohammedan empire in the world. Of late
years she has systematically neglected Arabism and, indeed,
actively discouraged it in examinations for the Indian Civil
Service, where it is incomparably more valuable than Greek and
Latin. Hence, when suddenly compelled to assume the reins of
government in Moslem lands, as Afghanistan in times past and
Egypt at present, she fails after a fashion which scandalises her
few (very few) friends; and her crass ignorance concerning the
Oriental peoples which should most interest her, exposes her to
the contempt of Europe as well as of the Eastern world. When the
regrettable raids of 1883-84, culminating in the miserable
affairs of Tokar, Teb and Tamasi, were made upon the gallant
Sudani negroids, the Bisharin outlying Sawakin, who were battling
for the holy cause of liberty and religion and for escape from
Turkish task-masters and Egyptian tax-gatherers, not an English
official in camp, after the death of the gallant and lamented
Major Morice, was capable of speaking Arabic. Now Moslems are not
to be ruled by raw youths who should be at school and college
instead of holding positions of trust and emolument. He who would
deal with them successfully must be, firstly, honest and truthful
and, secondly, familiar with and favourably inclined to their
manners and customs if not to their law and religion. We may,
perhaps, find it hard to restore to England those pristine
virtues, that tone and temper, which made her what she is; but at
any rate we (myself and a host of others) can offer her the means
of dispelling her ignorance concerning the Eastern races with
whom she is continually in contact.

In conclusion I must not forget to notice that the Arabic
ornamentations of these volumes were designed by my excellent
friend Yacoub Artin Pasha, of the Ministry of Instruction, Cairo,
with the aid of the well-known writing artist, Shayth Mohammed
Muunis the Cairene. My name, Al-Hajj Abdullah ( = the Pilgrim
Abdallah) was written by an English calligrapher, the lamented
Professor Palmer who found a premature death almost within sight
of Suez.


Wanderers' Club, August 15, 1885.

                        The Book Of The

                    (ALF LAYLAH WA LAYLAH.)

                     In the Name of Allah,
            the Compassionating, the Compassionate!


And afterwards. Verily the works and words of those gone before
us have become instances and examples to men of our modern day,
that folk may view what admonishing chances befel other folk and
may therefrom take warning; and that they may peruse the annals
of antique peoples and all that hath betided them, and be thereby
ruled and restrained:--Praise, therefore, be to Him who hath made
the histories of the Past an admonition unto the Present! Now of
such instances are the tales called "A Thousand Nights and a
Night," together with their far famed legends and wonders.
Therein it is related (but Allah is All knowing of His hidden
things and All ruling and All honoured and All giving and All
gracious and All merciful [FN#1]) that, in tide of yore and in
time long gone before, there was a King of the Kings of the Banu
Sásán in the Islands of India and China, a Lord of armies and
guards and servants and dependents.[FN#2] He left only two sons,
one in the prime of manhood and the other yet a youth, while both
were Knights and Braves, albeit the elder was a doughtier
horseman than the younger. So he succeeded to the empire; when he
ruled the land and forded it over his lieges with justice so
exemplary that he was beloved by all the peoples of his capital
and of his kingdom. His name was King Shahryár[FN#3], and he made
his younger brother, Shah Zamán hight, King of Samarcand in
Barbarian land. These two ceased not to abide in their several
realms and the law was ever carried out in their dominions; and
each ruled his own kingdom, with equity and fair dealing to his
subjects, in extreme solace and enjoyment; and this condition
continually endured for a score of years. But at the end of the
twentieth twelvemonth the elder King yearned for a sight of his
younger brother and felt that he must look upon him once more. So
he took counsel with his Wazír[FN#4] about visiting him, but the
Minister, finding the project unadvisable, recommended that a
letter be written and a present be sent under his charge to the
younger brother with an invitation to visit the elder. Having
accepted this advice the King forthwith bade prepare handsome
gifts, such as horses with saddles of gem encrusted gold;
Mamelukes, or white slaves; beautiful handmaids, high breasted
virgins, and splendid stuffs and costly. He then wrote a letter
to Shah Zaman expressing his warm love and great wish to see
him, ending with these words, "We therefore hope of the favour
and affection of the beloved brother that he will condescend to
bestir himself and turn his face us wards. Furthermore we have
sent our Wazir to make all ordinance for the march, and our one
and only desire is to see thee ere we die; but if thou delay or
disappoint us we shall not survive the blow. Wherewith peace be
upon thee!" Then King Shahryar, having sealed the missive and
given it to the Wazir with the offerings aforementioned,
commanded him to shorten his skirts and strain his strength and
make all expedition in going and returning. "Harkening and
obedience!" quoth the Minister, who fell to making ready without
stay and packed up his loads and prepared all his requisites
without delay. This occupied him three days, and on the dawn of
the fourth he took leave of his King and marched right away, over
desert and hill' way, stony waste and pleasant lea without
halting by night or by day. But whenever he entered a realm whose
ruler was subject to his Suzerain, where he was greeted with
magnificent gifts of gold and silver and all manner of presents
fair and rare, he would tarry there three days,[FN#5] the term
of the guest rite; and, when he left on the fourth, he would be
honourably escorted for a whole day's march. As soon as the
Wazir drew near Shah Zaman's court in Samarcand he despatched to
report his arrival one of his high officials, who presented
himself before the King; and, kissing ground between his hands,
delivered his message. Hereupon the King commanded sundry of his
Grandees and Lords of his realm to fare forth and meet his
brother's Wazir at the distance of a full day's journey; which
they did, greeting him respectfully and wishing him all
prosperity and forming an escort and a procession. When he
entered the city he proceeded straightway to the palace, where
he presented himself in the royal presence; and, after kissing
ground and praying for the King's health and happiness and for
victory over all his enemies, he informed him that his brother
was yearning to see him, and prayed for the pleasure of a visit.
He then delivered the letter which Shah Zaman took from his hand
and read: it contained sundry hints and allusions which required
thought; but, when the King had fully comprehended its import, he
said, "I hear and I obey the commands of the beloved brother!"
adding to the Wazir, "But we will not march till after the third
day's hospitality." He appointed for the Minister fitting
quarters of the palace; and, pitching tents for the troops,
rationed them with whatever they might require of meat and drink
and other necessaries. On the fourth day he made ready for
wayfare and got together sumptuous presents befitting his elder
brother's majesty, and stablished his chief Wazir viceroy of the
land during his absence. Then he caused his tents and camels and
mules to be brought forth and encamped, with their bales and
loads, attend ants and guards, within sight of the city, in
readiness to set out next morning for his brother's capital. But
when the night was half spent he bethought him that he had
forgotten in his palace somewhat which he should have brought
with him, so he re turned privily and entered his apartments,
where he found the Queen, his wife, asleep on his own carpet
bed, embracing with both arms a black cook of loathsome aspect
and foul with kitchen grease and grime. When he saw this the
world waxed black before his sight and he said, "If such case
happen while I am yet within sight of the city what will be the
doings of this damned whore during my long absence at my
brother's court?" So he drew his scymitar and, cutting the two in
four pieces with a single blow, left them on the carpet and
returned presently to his camp without letting anyone know of
what had happened. Then he gave orders for immediate departure
and set out at once and began his travel; but he could not help
thinking over his wife's treason and he kept ever saying to
himself, "How could she do this deed by me? How could she work
her own death?," till excessive grief seized him, his colour
changed to yellow, his body waxed weak and he was threatened
with a dangerous malady, such an one as bringeth men to die. So
the Wazir shortened his stages and tarried long at the watering
stations and did his best to solace the King. Now when Shah Zaman
drew near the capital of his brother he despatched vaunt
couriers and messengers of glad tidings to announce his arrival,
and Shahryar came forth to meet him with his Wazirs and Emirs
and Lords and Grandees of his realm; and saluted him and joyed
with exceeding joy and caused the city to be decorated in his
honour. When, however, the brothers met, the elder could not but
see the change of complexion in the younger and questioned him
of his case whereto he replied, "Tis caused by the travails of
wayfare and my case needs care, for I have suffered from the
change of water and air! but Allah be praised for reuniting me
with a brother so dear and so rare!" On this wise he dissembled
and kept his secret, adding, "O King of the time and Caliph of
the tide, only toil and moil have tinged my face yellow with
bile and hath made my eyes sink deep in my head." Then the two
entered the capital in all honour; and the elder brother lodged
the younger in a palace overhanging the pleasure garden; and,
after a time, seeing his condition still unchanged, he attributed
it to his separation from his country and kingdom. So he let him
wend his own ways and asked no questions of him till one day when
he again said, "O my brother, I see thou art grown weaker of
body and yellower of colour." "O my brother," replied Shah Zaman
"I have an internal wound:"[FN#6] still he would not tell him
what he had witnessed in his wife. Thereupon Shahryar summoned
doctors and surgeons and bade them treat his brother according
to the rules of art, which they did for a whole month; but their
sherbets and potions naught availed, for he would dwell upon the
deed of his wife, and despondency, instead of diminishing,
prevailed, and leach craft treatment utterly failed. One day his
elder brother said to him, "I am going forth to hunt and course
and to take my pleasure and pastime; maybe this would lighten thy
heart." Shah Zaman, however, refused, saying, "O my brother, my
soul yearneth for naught of this sort and I entreat thy favour to
suffer me tarry quietly in this place, being wholly taken up
with my malady." So King Shah Zaman passed his night in the
palace and, next morning, when his brother had fared forth, he
removed from his room and sat him down at one of the lattice
windows overlooking the pleasure grounds; and there he abode
thinking with saddest thought over his wife's betrayal and
burning sighs issued from his tortured breast. And as he
continued in this case lo! a pastern of the palace, which was
carefully kept private, swung open and out of it came twenty
slave girls surrounding his bother's wife who was wondrous fair,
a model of beauty and comeliness and symmetry and perfect
loveliness and who paced with the grace of a gazelle which
panteth for the cooling stream. Thereupon Shah Zaman drew back
from the window, but he kept the bevy in sight espying them from
a place whence he could not be espied. They walked under the very
lattice and advanced a little way into the garden till they came
to a jetting fountain amiddlemost a great basin of water; then
they stripped off their clothes and behold, ten of them were
women, concubines of the King, and the other ten were white
slaves. Then they all paired off, each with each: but the Queen,
who was left alone, presently cried out in a loud voice, "Here to
me, O my lord Saeed!" and then sprang with a drop leap from one
of the trees a big slobbering blackamoor with rolling eyes which
showed the whites, a truly hideous sight.[FN#7] He walked boldly
up to her and threw his arms round her neck while she embraced
him as warmly; then he bussed her and winding his legs round
hers, as a button loop clasps a button, he threw her and enjoyed
her. On like wise did the other slaves with the girls till all
had satisfied their passions, and they ceased not from kissing
and clipping, coupling and carousing till day began to wane; when
the Mamelukes rose from the damsels' bosoms and the blackamoor
slave dismounted from the Queen's breast; the men resumed their
disguises and all, except the negro who swarmed up the tree,
entered the palace and closed the postern door as before. Now,
when Shah Zaman saw this conduct of his sister in law he said in
himself, "By Allah, my calamity is lighter than this! My brother
is a greater King among the kings than I am, yet this infamy
goeth on in his very palace, and his wife is in love with that
filthiest of filthy slaves. But this only showeth that they all
do it[FN#8] and that there is no woman but who cuckoldeth her
husband, then the curse of Allah upon one and all and upon the
fools who lean against them for support or who place the reins of
conduct in their hands." So he put away his melancholy and
despondency, regret and repine, and allayed his sorrow by
constantly repeating those words, adding, " 'Tis my conviction
that no man in this world is safe from their malice!" When supper
time came they brought him the trays and he ate with voracious
appetite, for he had long refrained from meat, feeling unable to
touch any dish however dainty. Then he returned grateful thanks
to Almighty Allah, praising Him and blessing Him, and he spent a
most restful night, it having been long since he had savoured the
sweet food of sleep. Next day he broke his fast heartily and
began to recover health and strength, and presently regained
excellent condition. His brother came back from the chase ten
days after, when he rode out to meet him and they saluted each
other; and when King Shahryar looked at King Shah Zaman he saw
how the hue of health had returned to him, how his face had waxed
ruddy and how he ate with an appetite after his late scanty diet.
He wondered much and said, "O my brother, I was so anxious that
thou wouldst join me in hunting and chasing, and wouldst take thy
pleasure and pastime in my dominion!" He thanked him and excused
himself; then the two took horse and rode into the city and, when
they were seated at their ease in the palace, the food trays were
set before them and they ate their sufficiency. After the meats
were removed and they had washed their hands, King Shahryar
turned to his brother and said, "My mind is overcome with
wonderment at thy condition. I was desirous to carry thee with me
to the chase but I saw thee changed in hue, pale and wan to view,
and in sore trouble of mind too. But now Alham-dolillah--glory be
to God!--I see thy natural colour hath returned to thy face and
that thou art again in the best of case. It was my belief that
thy sickness came of severance from thy family and friends, and
absence from capital and country, so I refrained from troubling
thee with further questions. But now I beseech thee to expound to
me the cause of thy complaint and thy change of colour, and to
explain the reason of thy recovery and the return to the ruddy
hue of health which I am wont to view. So speak out and hide
naught!" When Shah Zaman heard this he bowed groundwards awhile
his head, then raised it and said, "I will tell thee what caused
my complaint and my loss of colour; but excuse my acquainting
thee with the cause of its return to me and the reason of my
complete recovery: indeed I pray thee not to press me for a
reply." Said Shahryar, who was much surprised by these words,
"Let me hear first what produced thy pallor and thy poor
condition." "Know, then, O my brother," rejoined Shah Zaman,
"that when thou sentest thy Wazir with the invitation to place
myself between thy hands, I made ready and marched out of my
city; but presently I minded me having left behind me in the
palace a string of jewels intended as a gift to thee. I returned
for it alone and found my wife on my carpet bed and in the arms
of a hideous black cook. So I slew the twain and came to thee,
yet my thoughts brooded over this business and I lost my bloom
and became weak. But excuse me if I still refuse to tell thee
what was the reason of my complexion returning." Shahryar shook
his head, marvelling with extreme marvel, and with the fire of
wrath flaming up from his heart, he cried, "Indeed, the malice of
woman is mighty!" Then he took refuge from them with Allah and
said, "In very sooth, O my brother, thou hast escaped many an
evil by putting thy wife to death,[FN#9] and right excusable were
thy wrath and grief for such mishap which never yet befel crowned
King like thee. By Allah, had the case been mine, I would not
have been satisfied without slaying a thousand women and that way
madness lies! But now praise be to Allah who hath tempered to
thee thy tribulation, and needs must thou acquaint me with that
which so suddenly restored to thee complexion and health, and
explain to me what causeth this concealment." "O King of the Age,
again I pray thee excuse my so doing!" "Nay, but thou must." "I
fear, O my brother, lest the recital cause thee more anger and
sorrow than afflicted me." "That were but a better reason," quoth
Shahryar, "for telling me the whole history, and I conjure thee
by Allah not to keep back aught from me." Thereupon Shah Zaman
told him all he had seen, from commencement to con elusion,
ending with these words, "When I beheld thy calamity and the
treason of thy wife, O my brother, and I resected that thou art
in years my senior and in sovereignty my superior, mine own
sorrow was belittled by the comparison, and my mind recovered
tone and temper: so throwing off melancholy and despondency, I
was able to eat and drink and sleep, and thus I speedily regained
health and strength. Such is the truth and the whole truth." When
King Shahryar heard this he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath, and
rage was like to strangle him; but presently he recovered himself
and said, "O my brother, I would not give thee the lie in this
matter, but I cannot credit it till I see it with mine own eyes."
"An thou wouldst look upon thy calamity," quoth Shah Zaman, "rise
at once and make ready again for hunting and coursing.[FN#10] and
then hide thyself with me, so shalt thou witness it and thine
eyes shall verify it." "True," quoth the King; whereupon he let
make proclamation of his in tent to travel, and the troops and
tents fared forth without the city, camping within sight, and
Shahryar sallied out with them and took seat amidmost his host,
bidding the slaves admit no man to him. When night came on he
summoned his Wazir and said to him, "Sit thou in my stead and let
none wot of my absence till the term of three days." Then the
brothers disguised themselves and returned by night with all
secrecy to the palace, where they passed the dark hours: and at
dawn they seated themselves at the lattice overlooking the
pleasure grounds, when presently the Queen and her handmaids came
out as before, and passing under the windows made for the
fountain. Here they stripped, ten of them being men to ten women,
and the King's wife cried out, "Where art thou, O Saeed?" The
hideous blackamoor dropped from the tree straightway; and,
rushing into her arms without stay or delay, cried out, "I am
Sa'ad al Din Saood!"[FN#11] The lady laughed heartily, and all
fell to satisfying their lusts, and remained so occupied for a
couple of hours, when the white slaves rose up from the
handmaidens' breasts and the blackamoor dismounted from the
Queen's bosom: then they went into the basin and, after
performing the Ghusl, or complete ablution, donned their dresses
and retired as they had done before. When King Shahryar saw this
infamy of his wife and concubines he became as one distraught and
he cried out, "Only in utter solitude can man be safe from the
doings of this vile world! By Allah, life is naught but one great
wrong." Presently he added, "Do not thwart me, O my brother, in
what I propose;" and the other answered, "I will not." So he
said, "Let us up as we are and depart forthright hence, for we
have no concern with Kingship, and let us overwander Allah's
earth, worshipping the Almighty till we find some one to whom the
like calamity hath happened; and if we find none then will death
be more welcome to us than life." So the two brothers issued from
a second private postern of the palace; and they never stinted
wayfaring by day and by night, until they reached a tree a middle
of a meadow hard by a spring of sweet water on the shore of the
salt sea. Both drank of it and sat down to take their rest; and
when an hour of the day had gone by: lo! they heard a mighty roar
and uproar in the middle of the main as though the heavens were
falling upon the earth; and the sea brake with waves before them,
and from it towered a black pillar, which grew and grew till it
rose skywards and began making for that meadow. Seeing it, they
waxed fearful exceedingly and climbed to the top of the tree,
which was a lofty; whence they gazed to see what might be the
matter. And behold, it was a Jinni,[FN#12] huge of height and
burly of breast and bulk, broad of brow and black of blee,
bearing on his head a coffer of crystal. He strode to land,
wading through the deep, and coming to the tree whereupon were
the two Kings, seated himself beneath it. He then set down the
coffer on its bottom and out it drew a casket, with seven
padlocks of steel, which he unlocked with seven keys of steel he
took from beside his thigh, and out of it a young lady to come
was seen, white-skinned and of winsomest mien, of stature fine
and thin, and bright as though a moon of the fourteenth night she
had been, or the sun raining lively sheen. Even so the poet
Utayyah hath excellently said:--

She rose like the morn as she shone through the night * And she
     gilded the grove with her gracious sight:
From her radiance the sun taketh increase when * She unveileth
     and shameth the moonshine bright.
Bow down all beings between her hands * As she showeth charms
     with her veil undight.
And she foodeth cities[FN#13] with torrent tears * When she
     flasheth her look of levee light.

The Jinni seated her under the tree by his side and looking at
her said, "O choicest love of this heart of mine! O dame of
noblest line, whom I snatched away on thy bride night that none
might prevent me taking thy maidenhead or tumble thee before I
did, and whom none save myself hath loved or hath enjoyed: O my
sweetheart! I would fief sleep a little while." He then laid his
head upon the lady's thighs; and, stretching out his legs which
extended down to the sea, slept and snored and sparked like the
roll of thunder. Presently she raised her head towards the tree
top and saw the two Kings perched near the summit; then she
softly lifted off her lap the Jinni's pate which she was tired of
supporting and placed it upon the ground; then standing upright
under the tree signed to the Kings, "Come ye down, ye two, and
fear naught from this Ifrit."[FN#14] They were in a terrible
fright when they found that she had seen them and answered her in
the same manner, "Allah upon thee[FN#15] and by thy modesty, O
lady, excuse us from coming down!" But she rejoined by saying,
"Allah upon you both, that ye come down forthright, and if ye
come not, I will rouse upon you my husband, this Ifrit, and he
shall do you to die by the illest of deaths;" and she continued
making signals to them. So, being afraid, they came down to her
and she rose be fore them and said, "Stroke me a strong stroke,
without stay or delay, otherwise will I arouse and set upon you
this Ifrit who shall slay you straightway." They said to her, "O
our lady, we conjure thee by Allah, let us off this work, for we
are fugitives from such and in extreme dread and terror of this
thy husband. How then can we do it in such a way as thou
desires"?" "Leave this talk: it needs must be so;" quoth she, and
she swore them by Him[FN#16] who raised the skies on high,
without prop or pillar, that, if they worked not her will, she
would cause them to be slain and cast into the sea. Whereupon out
of fear King Shahryar said to King Shah Zaman, "O my brother, do
thou what she biddeth thee do;" but he replied, "I will not do it
till thou do it before I do." And they began disputing about
futtering her. Then quoth she to the twain, "How is it I see you
disputing and demurring; if ye do not come forward like men and
do the deed of kind ye two, I will arouse upon you the If rit."
At this, by reason of their sore dread of the Jinni, both did by
her what she bade them do; and, when they had dismounted from
her, she said, "Well done!" She then took from her pocket a purse
and drew out a knotted string, whereon were strung five hundred
and seventy[FN#17] seal rings, and asked, "Know ye what be
these?" They answered her saying, "We know not!" Then quoth she;
"These be the signets of five hundred and seventy men who have
all futtered me upon the horns of this foul, this foolish, this
filthy Ifrit; so give me also your two seal rings, ye pair of
brothers." When they had drawn their two rings from their hands
and given them to her, she said to them, "Of a truth this If rit
bore me off on my bride night, and put me into a casket and set
the casket in a coffer and to the coffer he affixed seven strong
padlocks of steel and deposited me on the deep bottom of the sea
that raves, dashing and clashing with waves; and guarded me so
that I might remain chaste and honest, quotha! none save himself
might have connexion with me. But I have lain under as many of my
kind as I please, and this wretched Jinni wotteth not that Des
tiny may not be averted nor hindered by aught, and that whatso
woman willeth the same she fulfilleth however man nilleth. Even
so saith one of them.--

Rely not on women; * Trust not to their hearts,
Whose joys and whose sorrows * Are hung to their parts!
Lying love they will swear thee * Whence guile ne'er departs:
Take Yusuf[FN#18] for sample * 'Ware sleights and 'ware smarts!
Iblis[FN#19] ousted Adam * (See ye not?) thro' their arts.

And another saith:--

Stint thy blame, man! 'Twill drive to a passion without bound; *
     My fault is not so heavy as fault in it hast found.
If true lover I become, then to me there cometh not * Save what
     happened unto many in the bygone stound.
For wonderful is he and right worthy of our praise * Who from
     wiles of female wits kept him safe and kept him sound."

Hearing these words they marvelled with exceeding marvel, and she
went from them to the Ifrit and, taking up his head on her thigh
as before, said to them softly, "Now wend your ways and bear
yourselves beyond the bounds of his malice." So they fared forth
saying either to other, "Allah! Allah!" and, "There be no Majesty
and there be no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great; and
with Him we seek refuge from women's malice and sleight, for of a
truth it hath no mate in might. Consider, O my brother, the ways
of this marvellous lady with an Ifrit who is so much more
powerful than we are. Now since there hath hap pened to him a
greater mishap than that which befel us and which should bear us
abundant consolation, so return we to our countries and capitals,
and let us decide never to intermarry with womankind and
presently we will show them what will be our action." Thereupon
they rode back to the tents of King Shahryar, which they reached
on the morning of the third day; and, having mustered the Wazirs
and Emirs, the Chamberlains and high officials, he gave a robe of
honour to his Viceroy and issued orders for an immediate return
to the city. There he sat him upon his throne and sending for the
Chief Minister, the father of the two damsels who (Inshallah!)
will presently be mentioned, he said, "I command thee to take my
wife and smite her to death; for she hath broken her plight and
her faith." So he carried her to the place of execution and did
her die. Then King Shahryar took brand in hand and repairing to
the Serraglio slew all the concubines and their Mamelukes.[FN#20]
He also sware himself by a binding oath that whatever wife he
married he would abate her maidenhead at night and slay her next
morning to make sure of his honour; "For," said he, "there never
was nor is there one chaste woman upon face of earth." Then Shah
Zaman prayed for permission to fare homewards; and he went forth
equipped and escorted and travelled till he reached his own
country. Mean while Shahryar commanded his Wazir to bring him the
bride of the night that he might go in to her; so he produced a
most beautiful girl, the daughter of one of the Emirs and the
King went in unto her at eventide and when morning dawned he bade
his Minister strike off her head; and the Wazir did accordingly
for fear of the Sultan. On this wise he continued for the space
of three years; marrying a maiden every night and killing her the
next morning, till folk raised an outcry against him and cursed
him, praying Allah utterly to destroy him and his rule; and women
made an uproar and mothers wept and parents fled with their
daughters till there remained not in the city a young person fit
for carnal copulation. Presently the King ordered his Chief
Wazir, the same who was charged with the executions, to bring him
a virgin as was his wont; and the Minister went forth and
searched and found none; so he returned home in sorrow and
anxiety fearing for his life from the King. Now he had two
daughters, Shahrazad and Dunyazad hight,[FN#21] of whom the elder
had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and
the stories, examples and instances of by gone men and things;
indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of
histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had
perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had
studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplish meets;
and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and
well bred. Now on that day she said to her father, "Why do I see
thee thus changed and laden with cark and care? Concerning this
matter quoth one of the poets.--

     Tell whoso hath sorrow     * Grief never shall last:
     E'en as joy hath no morrow * So woe shall go past."

When the Wazir heard from his daughter these words he related to
her, from first to last, all that had happened between him and
the King. Thereupon said she, "By Allah, O my father, how long
shall this slaughter of women endure? Shall I tell thee what is
in my mind in order to save both sides from destruction?" "Say
on, O my daughter," quoth he, and quoth she, "I wish thou wouldst
give me in marriage to this King Shahryar; either I shall live or
I shall be a ransom for the virgin daughters of Moslems and the
cause of their deliverance from his hands and thine."[FN#22]
"Allah upon thee!" cried he in wrath exceeding that lacked no
feeding, "O scanty of wit, expose not thy life to such peril! How
durst thou address me in words so wide from wisdom and un far
from foolishness? Know that one who lacketh experience in worldly
matters readily falleth into misfortune; and whoso considereth
not the end keepeth not the world to friend, and the vulgar say:-
-I was lying at mine ease: nought but my officiousness brought me
unease." "Needs must thou," she broke in, "make me a doer of this
good deed, and let him kill me an he will: I shall only die a
ransom for others." "O my daughter," asked he, "and how shall
that profit thee when thou shalt have thrown away thy life?" and
she answered, "O my father it must be, come of it what will!" The
Wazir was again moved to fury and blamed and reproached her,
ending with, "In very deed--I fear lest the same befal thee which
befel the Bull and the Ass with the Husband man." "And what,"
asked she, "befel them, O my father?" Whereupon the Wazir began

              Tale of the Bull[FN#23] and the Ass.

Know, O my daughter, that there was once a merchant who owned
much money and many men, and who was rich in cattle and camels;
he had also a wife and family and he dwelt in the country, being
experienced in husbandry and devoted to agriculture. Now Allah
Most High had endowed him with under standing the tongues of
beasts and birds of every kind, but under pain of death if he
divulged the gift to any. So he kept it secret for very fear. He
had in his cow house a Bull and an Ass each tethered in his own
stall one hard by the other. As the merchant was sitting near
hand one day with his servants and his children were playing
about him, he heard the Bull say to the Ass, "Hail and health to
thee O Father of Waking![FN#24] for that thou enjoyest rest and
good ministering; all under thee is clean swept and fresh
sprinkled; men wait upon thee and feed thee, and thy provaunt is
sifted barley and thy drink pure spring water, while I (unhappy
creature!) am led forth in the middle of the night, when they set
on my neck the plough and a something called Yoke; and I tire at
cleaving the earth from dawn of day till set of sun. I am forced
to do more than I can and to bear all manner of ill treatment
from night to night; after which they take me back with my sides
torn, my neck flayed, my legs aching and mine eyelids sored with
tears. Then they shut me up in the byre and throw me beans and
crushed straw,[FN#25] mixed with dirt and chaff; and I lie in
dung and filth and foul stinks through the livelong night. But
thou art ever in a place swept and sprinkled and cleansed, and
thou art always lying at ease, save when it happens (and seldom
enough!) that the master hath some business, when he mounts thee
and rides thee to town and returns with thee forthright. So it
happens that I am toiling and distress while thou takest thine
ease and thy rest; thou sleepest while I am sleepless; I hunger
still while thou eatest thy fill, and I win contempt while thou
winnest good will." When the Bull ceased speaking, the Ass turned
to wards him and said, "O Broad o' Brow,[FN#26] 0 thou lost one!
he lied not who dubbed thee Bull head, for thou, O father of a
Bull, hast neither forethought nor contrivance; thou art the
simplest of simpletons,[FN#27] and thou knowest naught of good
advisers. Hast thou not heard the saying of the wise:--

For others these hardships and labours I bear * And theirs is the
     pleasure and mine is the care;
As the bleacher who blacketh his brow in the sun * To whiten the
     raiment which other men wear.[FN#28]

But thou, O fool, art full of zeal and thou toilest and moilest
before the master; and thou tearest and wearest and slayest thy
self for the comfort of another. Hast thou never heard the saw
that saith, None to guide and from the way go wide? Thou wendest
forth at the call to dawn prayer and thou returnest not till
sundown; and through the livelong day thou endurest all manner
hardships; to wit, beating and belabouring and bad language. Now
hearken to me, Sir Bull! when they tie thee to thy stinking
manger, thou pawest the ground with thy forehand and rashest out
with thy hind hoofs and pushest with thy horns and bellowest
aloud, so they deem thee contented. And when they throw thee thy
fodder thou fallest on it with greed and hastenest to line thy
fair fat paunch. But if thou accept my advice it will be better
for thee and thou wilt lead an easier life even than mine. When
thou goest a field and they lay the thing called Yoke on thy
neck, lie down and rise not again though haply they swinge thee;
and, if thou rise, lie down a second time; and when they bring
thee home and offer thee thy beans, fall backwards and only sniff
at thy meat and withdraw thee and taste it not, and be satis fied
with thy crushed straw and chaff; and on this wise feign thou art
sick, and cease not doing thus for a day or two days or even
three days, so shalt thou have rest from toil and moil." When the
Bull heard these words he knew the Ass to be his friend and
thanked him, saying, "Right is thy rede;" and prayed that all
blessings might requite him, and cried, "O Father Wakener![FN#29]
thou hast made up for my failings." (Now[FN#30] the merchant, O
my daughter, understood all that passed between them.) Next day
the driver took the Bull, and settling the plough on his
neck,[FN#31] made him work as wont; but the Bull began to shirk
his ploughing, according to the advice of the Ass, and the
ploughman drubbed him till he broke the yoke and made off; but
the man caught him up and leathered him till he despaired of his
life. Not the less, however, would he do nothing but stand still
and drop down till the evening. Then the herd led him home and
stabled him in his stall: but he drew back from his manger and
neither stamped nor ramped nor butted nor bellowed as he was wont
to do; whereat the man wondered. He brought him the beans and
husks, but he sniffed at them and left them and lay down as far
from them as he could and passed the whole night fasting. The
peasant came next morning; and, seeing the manger full of beans,
the crushed straw untasted and the ox lying on his back in
sorriest plight, with legs outstretched and swollen belly, he was
concerned for him, and said to himself, "By Allah, he hath
assuredly sickened and this is the cause why he would not plough
yesterday." Then he went to the merchant and reported, "O my
master, the Bull is ailing; he refused his fodder last night; nay
more, he hath not tasted a scrap of it this morning." Now the
merchant farmer understood what all this meant, because he had
overheard the talk between the Bull and the Ass, so quoth he,
"Take that rascal donkey, and set the yoke on his neck, and bind
him to the plough and make him do Bull's work." Thereupon the
ploughman took the Ass, and worked him through the live long day
at the Bull's task; and, when he failed for weakness, he made him
eat stick till his ribs were sore and his sides were sunken and
his neck was hayed by the yoke; and when he came home in the
evening he could hardly drag his limbs along, either fore hand or
hind legs. But as for the Bull, he had passed the day lying at
full length and had eaten his fodder with an excellent appetite,
and he ceased not calling down blessings on the Ass for his good
advice, unknowing what had come to him on his ac count. So when
night set in and the Ass returned to the byte the Bull rose up
before him in honour, and said, "May good tidings gladden thy
heart, O Father Wakener! through thee I have rested all this day
and I have eaten my meat in peace and quiet." But the Ass
returned no reply, for wrath and heart burning and fatigue and
the beating he had gotten; and he repented with the most grievous
of repentance; and quoth he to himself: "This cometh of my folly
in giving good counsel; as the saw saith, I was in joy and
gladness, nought save my officiousness brought me this sadness.
But I will bear in mind my innate worth and the nobility of my
nature; for what saith the poet?

Shall the beautiful hue of the Basil[FN#32] fail * Tho' the
     beetle's foot o'er the Basil crawl?
And though spider and fly be its denizens * Shall disgrace attach
     to the royal hall?
The cowrie,[FN#33] I ken, shall have currency * But the pearl's
     clear drop, shall its value fall?

And now I must take thought and put a trick upon him and return
him to his place, else I die." Then he went aweary to his manger,
while the Bull thanked him and blessed him. And even so, O my
daughter, said the Wazir, thou wilt die for lack of wits;
therefore sit thee still and say naught and expose not thy life
to such stress; for, by Allah, I offer thee the best advice,
which cometh of my affection and kindly solicitude for thee." "O
my father," she answered, "needs must I go up to this King and be
married to him." Quoth he, "Do not this deed;" and quoth she, "Of
a truth I will:" whereat he rejoined, "If thou be not silent and
bide still, I will do with thee even what the merchant did with
his wife." "And what did he?" asked she. "Know then, answered the
Wazir, that after the return of the Ass the merchant came out on
the terrace roof with his wife and family, for it was a moonlit
night and the moon at its full. Now the ter race overlooked the
cowhouse and presently, as he sat there with his children playing
about him, the trader heard the Ass say to the Bull, "Tell me, O
Father Broad o' Brow, what thou purposest to do to morrow?" The
Bull answered, "What but continue to follow thy counsel, O
Aliboron? Indeed it was as good as good could be and it hath
given me rest and repose; nor will I now depart from it one
little: so, when they bring me my meat, I will refuse it and blow
out my belly and counterfeit crank." The Ass shook his head and
said, "Beware of so doing, O Father of a Bull!" The Bull asked,
"Why," and the Ass answered, "Know that I am about to give thee
the best of counsel, for verily I heard our owner say to the
herd, If the Bull rise not from his place to do his work this
morning and if he retire from his fodder this day, make him over
to the butcher that he may slaughter him and give his flesh to
the poor, and fashion a bit of leather[FN#34] from his hide. Now
I fear for thee on account of this. So take my advice ere a
calamity befal thee; and when they bring thee thy fodder eat it
and rise up and bellow and paw the ground, or our master will
assuredly slay thee: and peace be with thee!" Thereupon the Bull
arose and lowed aloud and thanked the Ass, and said, "To morrow I
will readily go forth with them;" and he at once ate up all his
meat and even licked the manger. (All this took place and the
owner was listening to their talk.) Next morning the trader and
his wife went to the Bull's crib and sat down, and the driver
came and led forth the Bull who, seeing his owner, whisked his
tail and brake wind, and frisked about so lustily that the
merchant laughed a loud laugh and kept laughing till he fell on
his back. His wife asked him, "Whereat laughest thou with such
loud laughter as this?"; and he answered her, "I laughed at a
secret something which I have heard and seen but cannot say lest
I die my death." She returned, "Perforce thou must discover it to
me, and disclose the cause of thy laughing even if thou come by
thy death!" But he rejoined, "I cannot re veal what beasts and
birds say in their lingo for fear I die." Then quoth she, "By
Allah, thou liest! this is a mere pretext: thou laughest at none
save me, and now thou wouldest hide somewhat from me. But by the
Lord of the Heavens! an thou disclose not the cause I will no
longer cohabit with thee: I will leave thee at once." And she sat
down and cried. Whereupon quoth the merchant, "Woe betide thee!
what means thy weeping? Bear Allah and leave these words and
query me no more questions." "Needs must thou tell me the cause
of that laugh," said she, and he replied, "Thou wottest that when
I prayed Allah to vouchsafe me understanding of the tongues of
beasts and birds, I made a vow never to disclose the secret to
any under pain of dying on the spot." "No matter," cried she,
"tell me what secret passed between the Bull and the Ass and die
this very hour an thou be so minded;" and she ceased not to
importune him till he was worn out and clean distraught. So at
last he said, "Summon thy father and thy mother and our kith and
kin and sundry of our neighbours," which she did; and he sent for
the Kazi[FN#35] and his assessors, intending to make his will and
reveal to her his secret and die the death; for he loved her with
love exceeding because she was his cousin, the daughter of his
father's brother, and the mother of his children, and he had
lived with her a life of an hundred and twenty years. Then,
having assembled all the family and the folk of his
neighbourhood, he said to them, "By me there hangeth a strange
story, and 'tis such that if I discover the secret to any, I am a
dead man." Therefore quoth every one of those present to the
woman, "Allah upon thee, leave this sinful obstinacy and
recognise the right of this matter, lest haply thy husband and
the father of thy children die." But she rejoined, "I will not
turn from it till he tell me, even though he come by his death."
So they ceased to urge her; and the trader rose from amongst them
and repaired to an out house to per form Wuzu ablution,[FN#36]
and he purposed thereafter to return and to tell them his secret
and to die. Now, daughter Shahrazad, that mer chant had in his
out houses some fifty hens under one cock, and whilst making
ready to farewell his folk he heard one of his many farm dogs
thus address in his own tongue the Cock, who was flapping his
wings and crowing lustily and jumping from one hen's back to
another and treading all in turn, saying "O Chanti clear! how
mean is thy wit and how shameless is thy conduct! Be he
disappointed who brought thee up![FN#37] Art thou not ashamed of
thy doings on such a day as this!" "And what," asked the Rooster,
"hath occurred this day?" when the Dog answered, "Doss thou not
know that our master is this day making ready for his death? His
wife is resolved that he shall disclose the secret taught to him
by Allah, and the moment he so doeth he shall surely die. We dogs
are all a mourning; but thou clappest thy wings and clarionest
thy loudest and treadest hen after hen. Is this an hour for
pastime and pleasuring? Art thou not ashamed of thyself?"[FN#38]
"Then by Allah," quoth the Cock, "is our master a lack wit and a
man scanty of sense: if he cannot manage matters with a single
wife, his life is not worth prolonging. Now I have some fifty
Dame Partlets; and I please this and provoke that and starve one
and stuff another; and through my good governance they are all
well under my control. This our master pretendeth to wit and
wisdom, and he hath but one wife, and yet knoweth not how to
manage her." Asked the Dog, "What then, O Cock, should the master
do to win clear of his strait?" "He should arise forthright,"
answered the Cock, "and take some twigs from yon mulberry tree
and give her a regular back basting and rib roasting till she
cry:--I repent, O my lord! I will never ask thee a question as
long as I live! Then let him beat her once more and soundly, and
when he shall have done this he shall sleep free from care and
enjoy life. But this master of ours owns neither sense nor
judgment." "Now, daughter Shahrazad," continued the Wazir, "I
will do to thee as did that husband to that wife." Said
Shahrazad, "And what did he do?" He replied, "When the merchant
heard the wise words spoken by his Cock to his Dog, he arose in
haste and sought his wife's chamber, after cutting for her some
mulberry twigs and hiding them there; and then he called to her,
"Come into the closet that I may tell thee the secret while no
one seeth me and then die." She entered with him and he locked
the door and came down upon her with so sound a beating of back
and shoulders, ribs, arms and legs, saying the while, "Wilt thou
ever be asking questions about what concerneth thee not?" that
she was well nigh senseless. Presently she cried out, "I am of
the repentant! By Allah, I will ask thee no more questions, and
indeed I repent sincerely and wholesomely." Then she kissed his
hand and feet and he led her out of the room submissive as a wife
should be. Her parents and all the company rejoiced and sadness
and mourn ing were changed into joy and gladness. Thus the
merchant learnt family discipline from his Cock and he and his
wife lived together the happiest of lives until death. And thou
also, O my daughter!" continued the Wazir, "Unless thou turn from
this matter I will do by thee what that trader did to his wife."
But she answered him with much decision, "I will never desist, O
my father, nor shall this tale change my purpose. Leave such talk
and tattle. I will not listen to thy words and, if thou deny me,
I will marry myself to him despite the nose of thee. And first I
will go up to the King myself and alone and I will say to him:--I
prayed my father to wive me with thee, but he refused being
resolved to disappoint his lord, grudging the like of me to the
like of thee." Her father asked, "Must this needs be?" and she
answered, "Even so." Hereupon the Wazir being weary of lamenting
and contending, persuading and dissuading her, all to no purpose,
went up to King Shahryar and after blessing him and kissing the
ground before him, told him all about his dispute with his
daughter from first to last and how he designed to bring her to
him that night. The King wondered with exceeding wonder; for he
had made an especial exception of the Wazir's daughter, and said
to him, "O most faithful of Counsellors, how is this? Thou
wottest that I have sworn by the Raiser of the Heavens that after
I have gone in to her this night I shall say to thee on the
morrow's morning:--Take her and slay her! and, if thou slay her
not, I will slay thee in her stead without fail." "Allah guide
thee to glory and lengthen thy life, O King of the age," answered
the Wazir, "it is she that hath so determined: all this have I
told her and more; but she will not hearken to me and she
persisteth in passing this coming night with the King's Majesty."
So Shahryar rejoiced greatly and said, "'Tis well; go get her
ready and this night bring her to me." The Wazir returned to his
daughter and reported to her the command saying, "Allah make not
thy father desolate by thy loss!" But Shah razed rejoiced with
exceeding joy and get ready all she required and said to her
younger sister, Dunyazad, "Note well what directions I entrust to
thee! When I have gone in to the King I will send for thee and
when thou comest to me and seest that he hath had his carnal will
of me, do thou say to me:--O my sister, an thou be not sleepy,
relate to me some new story, delectable and delightsome, the
better to speed our waking hours;" and I will tell thee a tale
which shall be our deliverance, if so Allah please, and which
shall turn the King from his blood thirsty custom." Dunyazad
answered "With love and gladness." So when it was night their
father the Wazir carried Shahrazad to the King who was gladdened
at the sight and asked, "Hast thou brought me my need?" and he
answered, "I have." But when the King took her to his bed and
fell to toying with her and wished to go in to her she wept;
which made him ask, "What aileth thee?" She replied, "O King of
the age, I have a younger sister and fief would I take leave of
her this night before I see the dawn." So he sent at once for
Dunyazad and she came and kissed the ground between his hands,
when he permitted her to take her seat near the foot of the
couch. Then the King arose and did away with his bride's
maidenhead and the three fell asleep. But when it was midnight
Shahrazad awoke and signalled to her sister Dunyazad who sat up
and said, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, recite to us some new
story, delightsome and delectable, wherewith to while away the
waking hours of our latter night."[FN#39] "With joy and goodly
gree," answered Shahrazad, "if this pious and auspicious King
permit me." "Tell on," quoth the King who chanced to be sleepless
and restless and therefore was pleased with the prospect of
hearing her story. So Shahrazad rejoiced; and thus, on the first
night of the Thousand Nights and a Night, she began with the


It is related, O auspicious King, that there was a merchant of
the merchants who had much wealth, and business in various
cities. Now on a day he mounted horse and went forth to re cover
monies in certain towns, and the heat sore oppressed him; so he
sat beneath a tree and, putting his hand into his saddle bags,
took thence some broken bread and dry dates and began to break
his fast. When he had ended eating the dates he threw away the
stones with force and lo! an Ifrit appeared, huge of stature and
brandishing a drawn sword, wherewith he approached the mer chant
and said, "Stand up that I may slay thee, even as thou slewest my
son!" Asked the merchant, "How have I slain thy son?" and he
answered, "When thou atest dates and threwest away the stones
they struck my son full in the breast as he was walking by, so
that he died forthwith."[FN#40] Quoth the merchant, "Verily from
Allah we proceeded and unto Allah are we re turning. There is no
Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! If I slew thy son, I slew him by chance medley. I pray
thee now pardon me." Rejoined the Jinni, "There is no help but I
must slay thee." Then he seized him and dragged him along and,
casting him to the earth, raised the sword to strike him;
whereupon the merchant wept, and said, "I commit my case to
Allah," and began repeating these couplets:--

Containeth Time a twain of days, this of blessing that of bane *
     And holdeth Life a twain of halves, this of pleasure that of
See'st not when blows the hurricane, sweeping stark and striking
     strong * None save the forest giant feels the suffering of
     the strain?
How many trees earth nourisheth of the dry and of the green *
     Yet none but those which bear the fruits for cast of stone
See'st not how corpses rise and float on the surface of the tide
     * While pearls o'price lie hidden in the deepest of the
In Heaven are unnumbered the many of the stars * Yet ne'er a star
     but Sun and Moon by eclipse is overta'en.
Well judgedst thou the days that saw thy faring sound and well *
     And countedst not the pangs and pain whereof Fate is ever
The nights have kept thee safe and the safety brought thee pride
     * But bliss and blessings of the night are 'genderers of

When the merchant ceased repeating his verses the Jinni said to
him, "Cut thy words short, by Allah! needs must I slay thee." But
the merchant spake him thus, "Know, O thou Ifrit, that I have
debts due to me and much wealth and children and a wife and many
pledges in hand; so permit me to go home and dis charge to every
claimant his claim; and I will come back to thee at the head of
the new year. Allah be my testimony and surety that I will return
to thee; and then thou mayest do with me as thou wilt and Allah
is witness to what I say." The Jinni took sure promise of him and
let him go; so he returned to his own city and transacted his
business and rendered to all men their dues and after informing
his wife and children of what had betided him, he appointed a
guardian and dwelt with them for a full year. Then he arose, and
made the Wuzu ablution to purify himself before death and took
his shroud under his arm and bade farewell to his people, his
neighbours and all his kith and kin, and went forth despite his
own nose.[FN#41] They then began weeping and wailing and beating
their breasts over him; but he travelled until he arrived at the
same garden, and the day of his arrival was the head of the New
Year. As he sat weeping over what had befallen him, behold, a
Shaykh,[FN#42] a very ancient man, drew near leading a chained
gazelle; and he saluted that merchant and wishing him long life
said, "What is the cause of thy sitting in this place and thou
alone and this be a resort of evil spirits?" The merchant related
to him what had come to pass with the Ifrit, and the old man, the
owner of the gazelle, wondered and said, "By Allah, O brother,
thy faith is none other than exceeding faith and thy story right
strange; were it graven with gravers on the eye corners, it were
a warner to whoso would be warned." Then seating himself near the
merchant he said, "By Allah, O my brother, I will not leave thee
until I see what may come to pass with thee and this Ifrit." And
presently as he sat and the two were at talk the merchant began
to feel fear and terror and exceeding grief and sorrow beyond
relief and ever growing care and extreme despair. And the owner
of the gazelle was hard by his side; when behold, a second Shaykh
approached them, and with him were two dogs both of greyhound
breed and both black. The second old man after saluting them with
the salam, also asked them of their tidings and said "What
causeth you to sit in this place, a dwelling of the Jann?"[FN#43]
So they told him the tale from beginning to end, and their stay
there had not lasted long before there came up a third Shaykh,
and with him a she mule of bright bay coat; and he saluted them
and asked them why they were seated in that place. So they told
him the story from first to last: and of no avail, O my master,
is a twice told tale! There he sat down with them, and lo! a dust
cloud advanced and a mighty send devil appeared amidmost of the
waste. Presently the cloud opened and behold, within it was that
Jinni hending in hand a drawn sword, while his eyes were shooting
fire sparks of rage. He came up to them and, haling away the
merchant from among them, cried to him, "Arise that I may slay
thee, as thou slewest my son, the life stuff of my liver."[FN#44]
The merchant wailed and wept, and the three old men began sighing
and crying and weeping and wailing with their companion.
Presently the first old man (the owner of the gazelle) came out
from among them and kissed the hand of the Ifrit and said, "O
Jinni, thou Crown of the Kings of the Jann! were I to tell thee
the story of me and this gazelle and thou shouldst consider it
wondrous wouldst thou give me a third part of this merchant's
blood?" Then quoth the Jinni "Even so, O Shaykh ! if thou tell me
this tale, and I hold it a marvellous, then will I give thee a
third of his blood." Thereupon the old man began to tell

The First Shaykh's Story.

Know O Jinni! that this gazelle is the daughter of my paternal
uncle, my own flesh and blood, and I married her when she was a
young maid, and I lived with her well nigh thirty years, yet was
I not blessed with issue by her. So I took me a concubine[FN#45]
who brought to me the boon of a male child fair as the full moon,
with eyes of lovely shine and eyebrows which formed one line, and
limbs of perfect design. Little by little he grew in stature and
waxed tall; and when he was a lad fifteen years old, it became
needful I should journey to certain cities and I travelled with
great store of goods. But the daughter of my uncle (this gazelle)
had learned gramarye and egromancy and clerkly craft[FN#46] from
her childhood; so she bewitched that son of mine to a calf, and
my handmaid (his mother) to a heifer, and made them over to the
herdsman's care. Now when I returned after a long time from my
journey and asked for my son and his mother, she answered me,
saying "Thy slave girl is dead, and thy son hath fled and I know
not whither he is sped." So I remained for a whole year with
grieving heart, and streaming eyes until the time came for the
Great Festival of Allah.[FN#47] Then sent I to my herdsman bidding
him choose for me a fat heifer; and he brought me one which
was the damsel, my handmaid, whom this gazelle had ensorcelled. I
tucked up my sleeves and skirt and, taking a knife, proceeded to
cut her throat, but she lowed aloud and wept bitter tears.
Thereat I marvelled and pity seized me and I held my hand, saying
to the herd, "Bring me other than this." Then cried my cousin,
"Slay her, for I have not a fatter nor a fairer!" Once more I
went forward to sacrifice her, but she again lowed aloud upon
which in ruth I refrained and commanded the herdsman to slay her
and flay her. He killed her and skinned her but found in her
neither fat nor flesh, only hide and bone; and I repented when
penitence availed me naught. I gave her to the herdsman and said
to him, "Fetch me a fat calf;" so he brought my son ensorcelled.
When the calf saw me, he brake his tether and ran to me, and
fawned upon me and wailed and shed tears; so that I took pity on
him and said to the herdsman, "Bring me a heifer and let this
calf go!" Thereupon my cousin (this gazelle) called aloud at me,
saying, "Needs must thou kill this calf; this is a holy day and a
blessed, whereon naught is slain save what be perfect pure; and
we have not amongst our calves any fatter or fairer than this!"
Quoth I, "Look thou upon the condition of the heifer which I
slaughtered at thy bidding and how we turn from her in
disappointment and she profited us on no wise; and I repent with
an exceeding repentance of having killed her: so this time I will
not obey thy bidding for the sacrifice of this calf." Quoth she,
"By Allah the Most Great, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!
there is no help for it; thou must kill him on this holy day, and
if thou kill him not to me thou art no man and I to thee am no
wife." Now when I heard those hard words, not knowing her object
I went up to the calf, knife in hand--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.[FN#48] Then
quoth her sister to her, "How fair is thy tale, and how grateful,
and how sweet and how tasteful!" And Shahrazad answered her,
"What is this to that I could tell thee on the coming night, were
I to live and the King would spare me?" Then said the King in
himself, "By Allah, I will not slay her, until I shall have heard
the rest of her tale." So they slept the rest of that night in
mutual em brace till day fully brake. Then the King went forth to
his audience hall[FN#49] and the Wazir went up with his
daughter's shroud under his arm. The King issued his orders, and
promoted this and deposed that, until the end of the day; and he
told the Wazir no whit of what had happened. But the Minister
wondered thereat with exceeding wonder; and when the Court broke
up King Shahryar entered his palace.

                 When it was the Second Night,

said Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, "O my sister, finish for
us that story of the Merchant and the Jinni;" and she answered
"With joy and goodly gree, if the King permit me." Then quoth the
King, "Tell thy tale;" and Shahrazad began in these words: It
hath reached me, O auspicious King and Heaven directed Ruler!
that when the merchant purposed the sacrifice of the calf but saw
it weeping, his heart relented and he said to the herdsman, "Keep
the calf among my cattle." All this the old Shaykh told the Jinni
who marvelled much at these strange words. Then the owner of the
gazelle continued:--O Lord of the Kings of the Jann, this much
took place and my uncle's daughter, this gazelle, looked on and
saw it, and said, "Butcher me this calf, for surely it is a fat
one;" but I bade the herdsman take it away and he took it and
turned his face homewards. On the next day as I was sitting in my
own house, lo! the herdsman came and, standing before me said, "O
my master, I will tell thee a thing which shall gladden thy soul,
and shall gain me the gift of good tidings."[FN#50] I answered,
"Even so." Then said he, "O merchant, I have a daughter, and she
learned magic in her childhood from an old woman who lived with
us. Yesterday when thou gavest me the calf, I went into the house
to her, and she looked upon it and veiled her face; then she wept
and laughed alternately and at last she said:--O my father, hath
mine honour become so cheap to thee that thou bringest in to me
strange men? I asked her:--Where be these strange men and why
wast thou laughing, and crying?; and she answered, Of a truth
this calf which is with thee is the son of our master, the
merchant; but he is ensorcelled by his stepdame who bewitched
both him and his mother: such is the cause of my laughing; now
the reason of his weeping is his mother, for that his father slew
her unawares. Then I marvelled at this with exceeding marvel and
hardly made sure that day had dawned before I came to tell thee."
When I heard, O Jinni, my herdsman's words, I went out with him,
and I was drunken without wine, from the excess of joy and
gladness which came upon me, until I reached his house. There his
daughter welcomed me and kissed my hand, and forthwith the calf
came and fawned upon me as before. Quoth I to the herdsman's
daughter, "Is this true that thou sayest of this calf?" Quoth
she, "Yea, O my master, he is thy son, the very core of thy
heart." I rejoiced and said to her, "O maiden, if thou wilt
release him thine shall be whatever cattle and property of mine
are under thy father's hand." She smiled and answered, "O my
master, I have no greed for the goods nor will I take them save
on two conditions; the first that thou marry me to thy son and
the second that I may bewitch her who bewitched him and imprison
her, otherwise I cannot be safe from her malice and
malpractices." Now when I heard, O Jinni, these, the words of the
herdsman's daughter, I replied, "Beside what thou askest all the
cattle and the house hold stuff in thy father's charge are thine
and, as for the daughter of my uncle, her blood is lawful to
thee." When I had spoken, she took a cup and filled it with
water: then she recited a spell over it and sprinkled it upon the
calf, saying, "If Almighty Allah created thee a calf, remain so
shaped, and change not; but if thou be enchanted, return to thy
whilom form, by command of Allah Most Highest!" and lo! he
trembled and became a man. Then I fell on his neck and said,
"Allah upon thee, tell me all that the daughter of my uncle did
by thee and by thy mother." And when he told me what had come to
pass between them I said, " O my son, Allah favoured thee with
one to restore thee, and thy right hath returned to thee." Then,
O Jinni, I married the herdsman's daughter to him, and she
transformed my wife into this gazelle, saying:--Her shape is a
comely and by no means loathsome. After this she abode with us
night and day, day and night, till the Almighty took her to
Himself. When she deceased, my son fared forth to the cities of
Hind, even to the city of this man who hath done to thee what
hath been done;[FN#51] and I also took this gazelle (my cousin)
and wandered with her from town to town seeking tidings of my
son, till Destiny drove me to this place where I saw the merchant
sitting in tears. Such is my tale! Quoth the Jinni, "This story
is indeed strange, and therefore I grant thee the third part of
his blood." There upon the second old man, who owned the two
greyhounds, came up and said, " O Jinni, if I recount to thee
what befel me from my brothers, these two hounds, and thou see
that it is a tale even more wondrous and marvellous than what
thou hast heard, wilt thou grant to me also the third of this
man's blood?" Replied the Jinni, "Thou hast my word for it, if
thine adventures be more marvellous and wondrous." Thereupon he
thus began

The Second Shaykh's Story.

Know, O lord of the Kings of the Jann! that these two dogs are my
brothers and I am the third. Now when our father died and left us
a capital of three thousand gold pieces,[FN#52] I opened a shop
with my share, and bought and sold therein, and in like guise did
my two brothers, each setting up a shop. But I had been in
business no long while before the elder sold his stock for a
thousand diners, and after buying outfit and merchandise, went
his ways to foreign parts. He was absent one whole year with the
caravan; but one day as I sat in my shop, behold, a beggar stood
before me asking alms, and I said to him, "Allah open thee
another door!"[FN#53] Whereupon he answered, weeping the while,
"Am I so changed that thou knowest me not?" Then I looked at him
narrowly, and lo! it was my brother, so I rose to him and
welcomed him; then I seated him in my shop and put questions
concerning his case. "Ask me not," answered he; "my wealth is
awaste and my state hath waxed unstated!" So I took him to the
Hammam bath[FN#54] and clad him in a suit of my own and gave him
lodging in my house. Moreover, after looking over the accounts of
my stock in trade and the profits of my business, I found that
industry had gained me one thousand diners, while my principal,
the head of my wealth, amounted to two thousand. So I shared the
whole with him saying, "Assume that thou hast made no journey
abroad but hast remained at home; and be not cast down by thine
ill luck." He took the share in great glee and opened for himself
a shop; and matters went on quietly for a few nights and days.
But presently my second brother (yon other dog), also setting his
heart upon travel, sold off what goods and stock in trade he had,
and albeit we tried to stay him he would not be stayed: he laid
in an outfit for the journey and fared forth with certain
wayfarers. After an absence of a whole year he came back to me,
even as my elder brother had come back; and when I said to him,
"O my brother, did I not dissuade thee from travel?" he shed
tears and cried, "O my brother, this be destiny's decree: here I
am a mere beggar, penniless[FN#55] and without a shirt to my
back." So I led him to the bath, O Jinni, and clothing him in new
clothes of my own wear, I went with him to my shop and served him
with meat and drink. Furthermore I said to him, "O my brother, I
am wont to cast up my shop accounts at the head of every year,
and whatso I shall find of surplusage is between me and
thee."[FN#56] So I proceeded, O Ifrit, to strike a balance and,
finding two thousand diners of profit, I returned praises to the
Creator (be He extolled and exalted!) and made over one half to
my brother, keeping the other to my self. Thereupon he busied
himself with opening a shop and on this wise we abode many days.
After a time my brothers began pressing me to travel with them;
but I refused saying, "What gained ye by travel voyage that I
should gain thereby?" As I would not give ear to them we went
back each to his own shop where we bought and sold as before.
They kept urging me to travel for a whole twelvemonth, but I
refused to do so till full six years were past and gone when I
consented with these words, "O my brothers, here am I, your
companion of travel: now let me see what monies you have by you."
I found, however, that they had not a doit, having squandered
their substance in high diet and drinking and carnal delights.
Yet I spoke not a word of reproach; so far from it I looked over
my shop accounts once more, and sold what goods and stock in
trade were mine; and, finding myself the owner of six thousand
ducats, I gladly proceeded to divide that sum in halves, saying
to my brothers, "These three thousand gold pieces are for me and
for you to trade withal," adding, "Let us bury the other moiety
underground that it may be of service in case any harm befal us,
in which case each shall take a thousand wherewith to open
shops." Both replied, "Right is thy recking;" and I gave to each
one his thousand gold pieces, keeping the same sum for myself, to
wit, a thousand diners. We then got ready suitable goods and
hired a ship and, having embarked our merchandise, proceeded on
our voyage, day following day, a full month, after which we
arrived at a city, where we sold our venture; and for every piece
of gold we gained ten. And as we turned again to our voyage we
found on the shore of the sea a maiden clad in worn and ragged
gear, and she kissed my hand and said, "O master, is there
kindness in thee and charity? I can make thee a fitting return
for them." I answered, "Even so; truly in me are benevolence and
good works, even though thou render me no return." Then she said,
"Take me to wife, O my master, and carry me to thy city, for I
have given myself to thee; so do me a kindness and I am of those
who be meet for good works and charity: I will make thee a
fitting return for these and be thou not shamed by my condition."
When I heard her words, my heart yearned towards her, in such
sort as willed it Allah (be He extolled and exalted!); and took
her and clothed her and made ready for her a fair resting place
in the vessel, and honourably entreated her. So we voyaged on,
and my heart became attached to her with exceeding attachment,
and I was separated from her neither night nor day, and I paid
more regard to her than to my brothers. Then they were estranged
from me, and waxed jealous of my wealth and the quantity of
merchandise I had, and their eyes were opened covetously upon all
my property. So they took counsel to murder me and seize my
wealth, saying, "Let us slay our brother and all his monies will
be ours;" and Satan made this deed seem fair in their sight; so
when they found me in privacy (and I sleeping by my wife's side)
they took us both up and cast us into the sea. My wife awoke
startled from her sleep and, forthright becoming an
Ifritah,[FN#57] she bore me up and carried me to an island and
disappeared for a short time; but she returned in the morning and
said, "Here am I, thy faithful slave, who hath made thee due
recompense; for I bore thee up in the waters and saved thee from
death by command of the Almighty. Know--that I am a Jinniyah, and
as I saw thee my heart loved thee by will of the Lord, for I am a
believer in Allah and in His Apostle (whom Heaven bless and
preserve!). Thereupon I came to thee conditioned as thou sawest
me and thou didst marry me, and see now I have saved thee from
sinking. But I am angered against thy brothers and assuredly I
must slay them." When I heard her story I was surprised and,
thanking her for all she had done, I said, "But as to slaying my
brothers this must not be." Then I told her the tale of what had
come to pass with them from the beginning of our lives to the
end, and on hearing it quoth she, "This night will I fly as a
bird over them and will sink their ship and slay them." Quoth I,
"Allah upon thee, do not thus, for the proverb saith, O thou who
doest good to him that cloth evil, leave the evil doer to his
evil deeds. Moreover they are still my brothers." But she
rejoined, "By Allah, there is no help for it but I slay them." I
humbled myself before her for their pardon, whereupon she bore me
up and flew away with me till at last she set me down on the
terrace roof of my own house. I opened the doors and took up what
I had hidden in the ground; and after I had saluted the folk I
opened my shop and bought me merchandise. Now when night came on
I went home, and there I saw these two hounds tied up; and, when
they sighted me, they arose and whined and fawned upon me; but
ere I knew what happened my wife said, "These two dogs be thy
brothers!" I answered, "And who hath done this thing by them?"
and she rejoined, "I sent a message to my sister and she
entreated them on this wise, nor shall these two be released from
their present shape till ten years shall have passed." And now I
have arrived at this place on my way to my wife's sister that she
may deliver them from this condition, after their having endured
it for half a score of years. As I was wending onwards I saw this
young man, who acquainted me with what had befallen him, and I
determined not to fare hence until I should see what might occur
between thee and him. Such is my tale! Then said the Jinni,
"Surely this is a strange story and therefor I give thee the
third portion of his blood and his crime." Thereupon quoth the
third Shaykh, the master of the mare mule, to the Jinni, "I can
tell thee a tale more wondrous than these two, so thou grant me
the remainder of his blood and of his offense," and the Jinni
answered, "So be it!" Then the old man began

The Third Shaykh's Story.

Know, O Sultan and head of the Jann, that this mule was my wife.
Now it so happened that I went forth and was absent one whole
year; and when I returned from my journey I came to her by night,
and saw a black slave lying with her on the carpet bed and they
were talking, and dallying, and laughing, and kissing and playing
the close buttock game. When she saw me, she rose and came
hurriedly at me with a gugglet[FN#58] of water; and, muttering
spells over it, she besprinkled me and said, "Come forth from
this thy shape into the shape of a dog;" and I became on the
instant a dog. She drove me out of the house, and I ran through
the doorway nor ceased running until I came to a butcher's stall,
where I stopped and began to eat what bones were there. When the
stall owner saw me, he took me and led me into his house, but as
soon as his daughter had sight of me she veiled her face from me,
crying out, "Doss thou bring men to me and dost thou come in with
them to me?" Her father asked, "Where is the man?"; and she
answered, "This dog is a man whom his wife hath ensorcelled and I
am able to release him." When her father heard her words, he
said, "Allah upon thee, O my daughter, release him." So she took
a gugglet of water and, after uttering words over it, sprinkled
upon me a few drops, saying, "Come forth from that form into thy
former form." And I returned to my natural shape. Then I kissed
her hand and said, "I wish thou wouldest transform my wife even
as she bans formed me." Thereupon she gave me some water, saying,
"As soon as thou see her asleep, sprinkle this liquid upon her
and speak what words thou heardest me utter, so shall she become
whatsoever thou desirest." I went to my wife and found her fast
asleep; and, while sprinkling the water upon her, I said, "Come
forth from that form into the form of a mare mule." So she became
on the instant a she mule, and she it is whom thou seest with
thine eyes, O Sultan and head of the Kings of the Jann! Then the
Jinni turned towards her and said, "Is this sooth?" And she
nodded her head and replied by signs, "Indeed, 'tis the truth:
for such is my tale and this is what hath be fallen me." Now when
the old man had ceased speaking the Jinni shook with pleasure and
gave him the third of the merchant's blood. And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
Then quoth Dunyazad, "O. my sister, how pleasant is thy tale, and
how tasteful; how sweet and how grateful!" She replied, "And what
is this compared with that I could tell thee, the night to come,
if I live and the King spare me?"[FN#59] Then thought the King,
"By Allah, I will not slay her until I hear the rest of her tale,
for truly it is wondrous." So they rested that night in mutual
embrace until the dawn. After this the King went forth to his
Hall of Estate, and the Wazir and the troops came in and the
court was crowded, and the King gave orders and judged and
appointed and deposed, bidding and forbidding during the rest of
the day. Then the Divan broke up, and King Shahryar entered his

                  When it was the Third Night,

And the King had had his will of the Wazir's daughter, Dunyazad,
her sister, said to her, "Finish for us that tale of thine;" and
she replied, "With joy and goodly gree! It hath reached me, O
auspicious King, that when the third old man told a tale to the
Jinni more wondrous than the two preceding, the Jinni marvelled
with exceeding marvel, and, shaking with delight, cried, Lo! I
have given thee the remainder of the merchant's punishment and
for thy sake have I released him." Thereupon the merchant
embraced the old men and thanked them, and these Shaykhs wished
him joy on being saved and fared forth each one for his own city.
Yet this tale is not more wondrous than the fisherman's story."
Asked the King, "What is the fisherman's story?" And she answered
by relating the tale of

                  THE FISHERMAN AND THE JINNI.

It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that there was a Fisher
man well stricken in years who had a wife and three children, and
withal was of poor condition. Now it was his custom to cast his
net every day four times, and no more. On a day he went forth
about noontide to the sea shore, where he laid down his basket;
and, tucking up his shirt and plunging into the water, made a
cast with his net and waited till it settled to the bottom. Then
he gathered the cords together and haled away at it, but found it
weighty; and however much he drew it landwards, he could not pull
it up; so he carried the ends ashore and drove a stake into the
ground and made the net fast to it. Then he stripped and dived
into the water all about the net, and left not off working hard
until he had brought it up. He rejoiced thereat and, donning his
clothes, went to the net, when he found in it a dead jackass
which had torn the meshes. Now when he saw it, he exclaimed in
his grief, "There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in
Allah the Glorious, the Great!" Then quoth he, "This is a strange
manner of daily bread;" and he began re citing in extempore

O toiler through the glooms of night in peril and in pain * Thy
     toiling stint for daily bread comes not by might and main!
Seest thou not the fisher seek afloat upon the sea * His bread,
     while glimmer stars of night as set in tangled skein.
Anon he plungeth in despite the buffet of the waves * The while
     to sight the bellying net his eager glances strain;
Till joying at the night's success, a fish he bringeth home *
     Whose gullet by the hook of Fate was caught and cut in
When buys that fish of him a man who spent the hours of night *
     Reckless of cold and wet and gloom in ease and comfort fain,
Laud to the Lord who gives to this, to that denies his wishes *
     And dooms one toil and catch the prey and other eat the

Then quoth he, "Up and to it; I am sure of His beneficence,
Inshallah!" So he continued:--

When thou art seized of Evil Fate, assume * The noble soul's long
     suffering: 'tis thy best:
Complain not to the creature; this be plaint * From one most
     Ruthful to the ruthlessest.

The Fisherman, when he had looked at the dead ass, got it free of
the toils and wrung out and spread his net; then he plunged into
the sea, saying, "In Allah's name!" and made a cast and pulled at
it, but it grew heavy and settled down more firmly than the first
time. Now he thought that there were fish in it, and he made it
fast, and doffing his clothes went into the water, and dived and
haled until he drew it up upon dry land. Then found he in it a
large earthen pitcher which was full of sand and mud; and seeing
this he was greatly troubled and began repeating these

Forbear, O troubles of the world, * And pardon an ye nill
I went to seek my daily bread * I find that breadless I must
For neither handcraft brings me aught * Nor Fate allots to me a
How many fools the Pleiads reach * While darkness whelms the
     wise and ware.

So he prayed pardon of Allah and, throwing away the jar, wrung
his net and cleansed it and returned to the sea the third time to
cast his net and waited till it had sunk. Then he pulled at it
and found therein potsherds and broken glass; whereupon he began
to speak these verses:--

He is to thee that daily bread thou canst nor loose nor bind *
     Nor pen nor writ avail thee aught thy daily bread to find:
For joy and daily bread are what Fate deigneth to allow; * This
     soil is sad and sterile ground, while that makes glad the
The shafts of Time and Life bear down full many a man of worth *
     While bearing up to high degree wights of ignoble mind.
So come thou, Death! for verily life is not worth a straw * When
      low the falcon falls withal the mallard wings the wind:
No wonder 'tis thou seest how the great of soul and mind * Are
     poor, and many a loser carle to height of luck designed.
This bird shall overfly the world from east to furthest west *
     And that shall win her every wish though ne'er she leave the

Then raising his eyes heavenwards he said, "O my God![FN#62]
verily Thou wottest that I cast not my net each day save four
times[FN#63]; the third is done and as yet Thou hast vouchsafed
me nothing. So this time, O my God, deign give me my daily
bread." Then, having called on Allah's name,[FN#64] he again
threw his net and waited its sinking and settling; whereupon he
haled at it but could not draw it in for that it was entangled at
the bottom. He cried out in his vexation "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah!" and he began reciting:--

 Fie on this wretched world, an so it be * I must be whelmed by
      grief and misery:
 Tho' gladsome be man's lot when dawns the morn * He drains the
      cup of woe ere eve he see:
 Yet was I one of whom the world when asked * "Whose lot is
      happiest?" oft would say "'Tis he!"

Thereupon he stripped and, diving down to the net, busied him
self with it till it came to land. Then he opened the meshes and
found therein a cucumber shaped jar of yellow copper,[FN#65]
evidently full of something, whose mouth was made fast with a
leaden cap, stamped with the seal ring of our Lord Sulayman son
of David (Allah accept the twain!). Seeing this the Fisherman
rejoiced and said, "If I sell it in the brass bazar 'tis worth
ten golden diners." He shook it and finding it heavy continued,
"Would to Heaven I knew what is herein. But I must and will open
it and look to its contents and store it in my bag and sell it in
the brass market." And taking out a knife he worked at the lead
till he had loosened it from the jar; then he laid the cup on the
ground and shook the vase to pour out whatever might be inside.
He found nothing in it; whereat he marvelled with an exceeding
marvel. But presently there came forth from the jar a smoke which
spired heavenwards into aether (whereat he again marvelled with
mighty marvel), and which trailed along earth's surface till
presently, having reached its full height, the thick vapour
condensed, and became an Ifrit, huge of bulk, whose crest touched
the clouds while his feet were on the ground. His head was as a
dome, his hands like pitchforks, his legs long as masts and his
mouth big as a cave; his teeth were like large stones, his
nostrils ewers, his eyes two lamps and his look was fierce and
lowering. Now when the Fisherman saw the Ifrit his side muscles
quivered, his teeth chattered, his spittle dried up and he became
blind about what to do. Upon this the Ifrit looked at him and
cried, "There is no god but the God, and Sulayman is the prophet
of God;" presently adding, "O Apostle of Allah, slay me not;
never again will I gainsay thee in word nor sin against thee in
deed."[FN#66] Quoth the Fisherman, "O Marid,[FN#67] diddest thou
say, Sulayman the Apostle of Allah; and Sulayman is dead some
thou sand and eight hundred years ago,[FN#68] and we are now in
the last days of the world! What is thy story, and what is thy
account of thyself, and what is the cause of thy entering into
this cucur bit?" Now when the Evil Spirit heard the words of the
Fisher man, quoth he; "There is no god but the God: be of good
cheer, O Fisherman!" Quoth the Fisherman, "Why biddest thou me to
be of good cheer?" and he replied, "Because of thy having to die
an ill death in this very hour." Said the Fisherman, "Thou
deservest for thy good tidings the withdrawal of Heaven's
protection, O thou distant one![FN#69] Wherefore shouldest thou kill
me and what thing have I done to deserve death, I who freed thee
from the jar, and saved thee from the depths of the sea, and
brought thee up on the dry land?" Replied the Ifrit, "Ask of me
only what mode of death thou wilt die, and by what manner of
slaughter shall I slay thee." Rejoined the Fisherman, "What is my
crime and wherefore such retribution?" Quoth the Ifrit, "Hear my
story, O Fisherman!" and he answered, "Say on, and be brief in
thy saying, for of very sooth my life breath is in my
nostrils."[FN#70] Thereupon quoth the Jinni, "Know, that I am one
among the heretical Jann and I sinned against Sulayman, David son
(on the twain be peace!) I together with the famous Sakhr al
Jinni;"[FN#71] whereupon the Prophet sent his minister, Asaf son
of Barkhiya, to seize me; and this Wazir brought me against my
will and led me in bonds to him (I being downcast despite my
nose) and he placed me standing before him like a suppliant. When
Sulayman saw me, he took refuge with Allah and bade me embrace
the True Faith and obey his behests; but I refused, so sending
for this cucurbit[FN#72] he shut me up therein, and stopped it
over with lead whereon he impressed the Most High Name, and gave
his orders to the Jann who carried me off, and cast me into the
midmost of the ocean. There I abode an hundred years, during
which I said in my heart, "Whoso shall release me, him will I
enrich for ever and ever." But the full century went by and, when
no one set me free, I entered upon the second five score saying,
"Whoso shall release me, for him I will open the hoards of the
earth." Still no one set me free and thus four hundred years
passed away. Then quoth I, "Whoso shall release me, for him will
I fulfil three wishes." Yet no one set me free. Thereupon I waxed
wroth with exceeding wrath and said to myself, "Whoso shall
release me from this time forth, him will I slay and I will give
him choice of what death he will die; and now, as thou hast
released me, I give thee full choice of deaths." The Fisherman,
hearing the words of the Ifrit, said, "O Allah! the wonder of it
that I have not come to free thee save in these days!" adding,
"Spare my life, so Allah spare thine; and slay me not, lest Allah
set one to slay thee." Replied the Contumacious One, "There is no
help for it; die thou must; so ask me by way of boon what manner
of death thou wilt die." Albeit thus certified the Fisherman
again addressed the Ifrit saying, "Forgive me this my death as a
generous reward for having freed thee;" and the Ifrit, "Surely I
would not slay thee save on account of that same release." "O
Chief of the Ifrits," said the Fisherman, "I do thee good and
thou requitest me with evil! in very sooth the old saw lieth not
when it saith:--

We wrought them weal, they met our weal with ill; * Such, by my
     life! is every bad man's labour:
To him who benefits unworthy wights * Shall hap what inapt to
     Ummi Amir's neighbor.[FN#73]"

Now when the Ifrit heard these words he answered, "No more of
this talk, needs must I kill thee." Upon this the Fisherman said
to himself, "This is a Jinni; and I am a man to whom Allah hath
given a passably cunning wit, so I will now cast about to com
pass his destruction by my contrivance and by mine intelligence;
even as he took counsel only of his malice and his
frowardness."[FN#74] He began by asking the Ifrit, "Hast thou
indeed resolved to kill me?" and, receiving for all answer, "Even
so," he cried, "Now in the Most Great Name, graven on the seal
ring of Sulayman the Son of David (peace be with the holy
twain!), an I question thee on a certain matter wilt thou give me
a true answer?" The Ifrit replied "Yea;" but, hearing mention of
the Most Great Name, his wits were troubled and he said with
trembling, "Ask and be brief." Quoth the Fisherman, "How didst
thou fit into this bottle which would not hold thy hand; no, nor
even thy foot, and how came it to be large enough to contain the
whole of thee?" Replied the Ifrit, "What! cost not believe that I
was all there?" and the Fisherman rejoined, "Nay! I will never
believe it until I see thee inside with my own eyes." And
Shahrazad per ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

                 When it was the Fourth Night,

Her sister said to her, "Please finish us this tale, an thou be
not sleepy!" so she resumed:--It hath reached me, O auspicious
King, that when the Fisherman said to the Ifrit, "I will never
and nowise believe thee until I see thee inside it with mine own
eyes;" the Evil Spirit on the instant shook[FN#75] and became a
vapour, which condensed, and entered the jar little and little,
till all was well inside when lo! the Fisherman in hot haste took
the leaden cap with the seal and stoppered therewith the mouth of
the jar and called out to the Ifrit, saying, "Ask me by way of
boon what death thou wilt die! By Allah, I will throw thee into
the sea[FN#76] be fore us and here will I build me a lodge; and
whoso cometh hither I will warn him against fishing and will
say:--In these waters abideth an Ifrit who giveth as a last
favour a choice of deaths and fashion of slaughter to the man who
saveth him!" Now when the Ifrit heard this from the Fisherman and
saw him self in limbo, he was minded to escape, but this was
prevented by Solomon's seal; so he knew that the Fisherman had
cozened and outwitted him, and he waxed lowly and submissive and
began humbly to say, "I did but jest with thee." But the other an
swered, "Thou liest, O vilest of the Ifrits, and meanest and
filthiest!" and he set off with the bottle for the sea side; the
Ifrit calling out "Nay! Nay!" and he calling out "Aye! Aye !"
There upon the Evil Spirit softened his voice and smoothed his
speech and abased himself, saying, "What wouldest thou do with
me, O Fisherman?" "I will throw thee back into the sea," he
answered; "where thou hast been housed and homed for a thousand
and eight hundred years; and now I will leave thee therein till
Judgment day: did I not say to thee:--Spare me and Allah shall
spare thee; and slay me not lest Allah slay thee? yet thou spurn
east my supplication and hadst no intention save to deal un
graciously by me, and Allah hath now thrown thee into my hands
and I am cunninger than thou." Quoth the Ifrit, "Open for me and
I may bring thee weal." Quoth the Fisherman, "Thou liest, thou
accursed! my case with thee is that of the Wazir of King Yunan
with the sage Duban."[FN#77] "And who was the Wazir of King Yunan
and who was the sage Duban; and what was the story about them?"
quoth the Ifrit, whereupon the Fisherman began to tell

The Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban.

Know, O thou Ifrit, that in days of yore and in ages long gone
before, a King called Yunan reigned over the city of Fars of the
land of the Roum.[FN#78] He was a powerful ruler and a wealthy,
who had armies and guards and allies of all nations of men; but
his body was afflicted with a leprosy which leaches and men of
science failed to heal. He drank potions and he swallowed pow
ders and he used unguents, but naught did him good and none among
the host of physicians availed to procure him a cure. At last
there came to his city a mighty healer of men and one well
stricken in years, the sage Duban highs. This man was a reader of
books, Greek, Persian, Roman, Arabian, and Syrian; and he was
skilled in astronomy and in leechcraft, the theorick as well as
the practick; he was experienced in all that healeth and that
hurteth the body; conversant with the virtues of every plant,
grass and herb, and their benefit and bane; and he understood
philosophy and had compassed the whole range of medical science
and other branches of the knowledge tree. Now this physician
passed but few days in the city, ere he heard of the King's
malady and all his bodily sufferings through the leprosy with
which Allah had smitten him; and how all the doctors and wise men
had failed to heal him. Upon this he sat up through the night in
deep thought and, when broke the dawn and appeared the morn and
light was again born, and the Sun greeted the Good whose beauties
the world adorn,[FN#79] he donned his handsomest dress and going
in to King Yunan, he kissed the ground before him: then he prayed
for the endurance of his honour and prosperity in fairest
language and made himself known saying, "O King, tidings have
reached I me of what befel thee through that which is in thy
person; and how the host of physicians have proved themselves
unavailing to abate it; and lo! I can cure thee, O King; and yet
will I not make thee drink of draught or anoint thee with
ointment." Now when King Yunan heard his words he said in huge
surprise, "How wilt thou do this? By Allah, if thou make me whole
I will enrich thee even to thy son's son and I will give thee
sumptuous gifts; and whatso thou wishest shall be thine and thou
shalt be to me a cup companion[FN#80] and a friend." The King
then robed him with a dress of honour and entreated him
graciously and asked him, "Canst thou indeed cure me of this
complaint without drug and unguent?" and he answered, "Yes! I
will heal I thee without the pains and penalties of medicine."
The King marvelled with exceeding marvel and said, "O physician,
when shall be this whereof thou speakest, and in how many days
shall it take place? Haste thee, O my son!" He replied,"I hear
and I obey; the cure shall begin tomorrow." So saying he went
forth from the presence, and hired himself a house in the city
for the better storage of his books and scrolls, his medicines
and his aromatic roots. Then he set to work at choosing the
fittest drugs and simples and he fashioned a bat hollow within,
and furnished with a handle without, for which he made a ball;
the two being prepared with consummate art. On the next day when
both were ready for use and wanted nothing more, he went up to
the King; and, kissing the ground between his hands bade him ride
forth on the parade ground[FN#81] there to play at pall and mall.
He was accompanied by his suite, Emirs and Chamberlains, Wazirs
and Lords of the realm and, ere he was seated, the sage Duban
came up to him, and handing him the bat said, "Take this mall and
grip it as I do; so! and now push for the plain and leaning well
over thy horse drive the ball with all thy might until thy palm
be moist and thy body perspire: then the medicine will penetrate
through thy palm and will permeate thy person. When thou hast
done with playing and thou feelest the effects of the medicine,
return to thy palace, and make the Ghusl ablation[FN#82] in the
Hammam bath, and lay thee down to sleep; so shalt thou be come
whole; and now peace be with thee!" Thereupon King Yunan took the
bat from the Sage and grasped it firmly; then, mounting steed, he
drove the ball before him and gallopped after it till he reached
it, when he struck it with all his might, his palm gripping the
bat handle the while; and he ceased not malling the ball till his
hand waxed moist and his skin, perspiring, imbibed the medicine
from the wood. Then the sage Duban knew that the drugs had
penetrated his person and bade him return to the palace and enter
the Hammam without stay or delay; so King Yunan forthright
returned and ordered them to clear for him the bath. They did so,
the carpet spreaders making all haste, and the slaves all hurry
and got ready a change of raiment for the King. He entered the
bath and made the total ablution long and thoroughly; then donned
his clothes within the Hammam and rode therefrom to his palace
where he lay him down and slept. Such was the case with King
Yunan, but as regards the sage Duban, he returned home and slept
as usual and when morning dawned he repaired to the palace and
craved audience. The King ordered him to be admitted; then,
having kissed the ground between his hands, in allusion to the
King he recited these couplets with solemn intonation:--

Happy is Eloquence when thou art named her sire * But mourns
     she whenas other man the title claimed.
O Lord of fairest presence, whose illuming rays * Clear off the
     fogs of doubt aye veiling deeds high famed,
Ne'er cease thy face to shine like Dawn and rise of Morn * And
     never show Time's face with heat of ire inflamed!
Thy grace hath favoured us with gifts that worked such wise * As
     rain clouds raining on the hills by words enframed:
Freely thou lavishedst thy wealth to rise on high * Till won from
     Time the heights whereat thy grandeur aimed.

Now when the Sage ceased reciting, the King rose quickly to his
feet and fell on his neck; then, seating him by his side he bade
dress him in a sumptuous dress; for it had so happened that when
the King left the Hammam he looked on his body and saw no trace
of leprosy: the skin was all clean as virgin silver. He joyed
thereat with exceeding joy, his breast broadened[FN#83] with
delight and he felt thoroughly happy. Presently, when it was full
day he entered his audience hall and sat upon the throne of his
kingship whereupon his Chamberlains and Grandees flocked to the
presence and with them the Sage Duban. Seeing the leach the King
rose to him in honour and seated him by his side; then the food
trays furnished with the daintiest viands were brought and the
physician ate with the King, nor did he cease companying him all
that day. Moreover, at nightfall he gave the physician Duban two
thousand gold pieces, besides the usual dress of honour and other
gifts galore, and sent him home on his own steed. After the Sage
had fared forth King Yunan again expressed his amazement at the
leach's art, saying, "This man medicined my body from without nor
anointed me with aught of ointments: by Allah, surely this is
none other than consummate skill! I am bound to honour such a man
with re wards and distinction, and take him to my companion and
my friend during the remainder of my days." So King Yunan passed
the night in joy and gladness for that his body had been made
whole and had thrown off so pernicious a malady. On the morrow
the King went forth from his Serraglio and sat upon his throne,
and the Lords of Estate stood about him, and the Emirs and Wazirs
sat as was their wont on his right hand and on his left. Then he
asked for the Sage Duban, who came in and kissed the ground
before him, when the King rose to greet him and, seating him by
his side, ate with him and wished him long life. Moreover he
robed him and gave him gifts, and ceased not con versing with him
until night approached. Then the King ordered him, by way of
salary, five dresses of honour and a thousand dinars.[FN#84] The
physician returned to his own house full of gratitude to the
King. Now when next morning dawned the King repaired to his
audience hall, and his Lords and Nobles surrounded him and his
Chamberlains and his Ministers, as the white en closeth the black
of the eye.[FN#85] Now the King had a Wazir among his Wazirs,
unsightly to look upon, an ill omened spectacle; sor did,
ungenerous, full of envy and evil will. When this Minister saw
the King place the physician near him and give him all these
gifts, he jaloused him and planned to do him a harm, as in the
saying on such subject, "Envy lurks in every body;" and the say
ing, "Oppression hideth in every heart: power revealeth it and
weakness concealeth it." Then the Minister came before the King
and, kissing the ground between his hands, said, "O King of the
age and of all time, thou in whose benefits I have grown to
manhood, I have weighty advice to offer thee, and if I withhold
it I were a son of adultery and no true born man; wherefore an
thou order me to disclose it I will so do forthwith." Quoth the
King (and he was troubled at the words of the Minister), "And
what is this counsel of thine?" Quoth he, "O glorious monarch,
the wise of old have said:--Whoso regardeth not the end, hath not
Fortune to friend; and indeed I have lately seen the King on far
other than the right way; for he lavisheth largesse on his enemy,
on one whose object is the decline and fall of his king ship: to
this man he hath shown favour, honouring him with over honour and
making of him an intimate. Wherefore I fear for the King's life."
The King, who was much troubled and changed colour, asked, "Whom
cost thou suspect and anent whom doest thou hint?" and the
Minister answered, "O King, an thou be asleep, wake up! I point
to the physician Duban." Rejoined the King, "Fie upon thee! This
is a true friend who is favoured by me above all men, because he
cured me with some thing which I held in my hand, and he healed
my leprosy which had baffled all physicians; indeed he is one
whose like may not be found in these days--no, not in the whole
world from furthest east to utmost west! And it is of such a man
thou sayest such hard sayings. Now from this day forward I allot
him a settled solde and allowances, every month a thousand gold
pieces; and, were I to share with him my realm 'twere but a
little matter. Perforce I must suspect that thou speakest on this
wise from mere envy and jealousy as they relate of the King
Sindibad."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day, and ceased
saying her permitted say. Then quoth Dunyazad, "O my sister, how
pleasant is thy tale, and how tasteful, how sweet, and how
grateful!" She replied, "And where is this compared with what I
could tell thee on the coming night if the King deign spare my
life?" Then said the King in himself, "By Allah, I will not slay
her until I hear the rest of her tale, for truly it is wondrous."
So they rested that night in mutual embrace until the dawn. Then
the King went forth to his Hall of Rule, and the Wazir and the
troops came in, and the audience chamber was thronged and the
King gave orders and judged and appointed and deposed and bade
and forbade during the rest of that day till the Court broke up,
and King Shahryar returned to his palace.

                  When It Was The Fifth Night,

Her sister said, "Do you finish for us thy story if thou be not
sleepy," and she resumed:--It hath reached me, O auspicious King
and mighty Monarch, that King Yunan said to his Minister, "O
Wazir, thou art one whom the evil spirit of envy hath possessed
because of this physician, and thou plottest for my putting him
to death, after which I should repent me full sorely, even as
repented King Sindibad for killing his falcon." Quoth the Wazir,
Pardon me, O King of the age, how was that?" So the King began
the story of

King Sindibad and his Falcon.

It is said (but Allah is All knowing![FN#86]) that there was a
King of the Kings of Fars, who was fond of pleasuring and
diversion, especially coursing end hunting. He had reared a
falcon which he carried all night on his fist, and whenever he
went a chasing he took with him this bird; and he bade make for
her a golden cuplet hung around her neck to give her drink
therefrom. One day as the King was sitting quietly in his palace,
behold, the high falcaner of the household suddenly addressed
him, "O King of the age, this is indeed a day fit for birding."
The King gave orders accordingly and set out taking the hawk on
fist; and they fared merrily forwards till they made a
Wady[FN#87] where they planted a circle of nets for the chase;
when lo! a gazelle came within the toils and the King cried,
"Whoso alloweth yon gazelle to spring over his head and loseth
her, that man will I surely slay." They narrowed the nets about
the gazelle when she drew near the King's station; and, planting
herself on her hind quarter, crossed her forehand over her
breast, as if about to kiss the earth before the King. He bowed
his brow low in acknowledgment to the beast; when she bounded
high over his head and took the way of the waste. Thereupon the
King turned towards his troops and seeing them winking and
pointing at him, he asked, "O Wazir, what are my men saying?" and
the Minister answered, "They say thou didst proclaim that whoso
alloweth the gazelle to spring over his head, that man shall be
put to death." Quoth the King, "Now, by the life of my head! I
will follow her up till I bring her back." So he set off
gallopping on the gazelle's trail and gave not over tracking till
he reached the foot hills of a mountain chain where the quarry
made for a cave. Then the King cast off at it the falcon which
presently caught it up and, swooping down, drove her talons into
its eyes, bewildering and blinding it;[FN#88] and the King drew
his mace and struck a blow which rolled the game over. He then
dismounted; and, after cutting the antelope's throat and flaying
the body, hung it to the pommel of his saddle. Now the time was
that of the siesta[FN#89] and the wold was parched and dry, nor
was any water to be found anywhere; and the King thirsted and his
horse also; so he went about searching till he saw a tree
dropping water, as it were melted butter, from its boughs.
Thereupon the King who wore gauntlets of skin to guard him
against poisons took the cup from the hawk's neck, and filling it
with the water set it before the bird, and lo! the falcon struck
it with her pounces and upset the liquid. The King filled it a
second time with the dripping drops, thinking his hawk was
thirsty; but the bird again struck at the cup with her talons and
overturned it. Then the King waxed wroth with the hawk and
filling the cup a third time offered it to his horse: but the
hawk upset it with a flirt of wings. Quoth the King, "Allah
confound thee, thou unluckiest of flying things! thou keepest me
from drinking, and thou deprivest thyself also, and the horse."
So he struck the falcon with his sword and cut off her wing; but
the bird raised her head and said by signs, "Look at that which
hangeth on the tree!" The King lifted up his eyes accordingly and
caught sight of a brood of vipers, whose poison drops he mistook
for water; thereupon he repented him of having struck off his
falcon's wing, and mounting horse, fared on with the dead
gazelle, till he arrived at the camp, his starting place. He
threw the quarry to the cook saying, Take and broil it," and sat
down on his chair, the falcon being still on his fist when
suddenly the bird gasped and died; whereupon the King cried out
in sorrow and remorse for having slain that falcon which had
saved his life. Now this is what occurred in the case of King
Sindibad; and I am assured that were I to do as thou desirest I
should repent even as the man who killed his parrot." Quoth the
Wazir, "And how was that?" And the King began to tell

The Tale of the Husband and the Parrot.[FN#90]

A certain man and a merchant to boot had married a fair wife, a
woman of perfect beauty and grace, symmetry and loveliness, of
whom he was mad-jealous, and who contrived successfully to keep
him from travel. At last an occasion compelling him to leave her,
he went to the bird market and bought him for one hundred gold
pieces a she parrot which he set in his house to act as duenna,
expecting her to acquaint him on his return with what had passed
during the whole time of his absence; for the bird was kenning
and cunning and never forgot what she had seen and heard. Now his
fair wife had fallen in love with a young Turk, [FN#91] who used
to visit her, and she feasted him by day and lay with him by
night. When the man had made his journey and won his wish he came
home; and, at once causing the Parrot be brought to him,
questioned her concerning the conduct of his consort whilst he
was in foreign parts. Quoth she, "Thy wife hath a man friend who
passed every night with her during thine absence." Thereupon the
husband went to his wife in a violent rage and bashed her with a
bashing severe enough to satisfy any body. The woman, suspecting
that one of the slave girls had been tattling to the master,
called them together and questioned them upon their oaths, when
all swore that they had kept the secret, but that the Parrot had
not, adding, "And we heard her with our own ears." Upon this the
woman bade one of the girls to set a hand mill under the cage and
grind therewith and a second to sprinkle water through the cage
roof and a third to run about, right and left, dashing a mirror
of bright steel through the livelong night. Next morning when the
husband returned home after being entertained by one of his
friends, he bade bring the Parrot before him and asked what had
taken place whilst he was away. "Pardon me, O my master," quoth
the bird, "I could neither hear nor see aught by reason of the
exceeding murk and the thunder and lightning which lasted
throughout the night." As it happened to be the summer tide the
master was astounded and cried, "But we are now in mid
Tammuz,[FN#92] and this is not the time for rains and storms."
"Ay, by Allah," rejoined the bird, "I saw with these eyes what my
tongue hath told thee." Upon this the man, not knowing the case
nor smoking the plot, waxed exceeding wroth; and, holding that
his wife had been wrongously accused, put forth his hand and
pulling the Parrot from her cage dashed her upon the ground with
such force that he killed her on the spot. Some days after wards
one of his slave girls confessed to him the whole truth,[FN#93]
yet would he not believe it till he saw the young Turk, his
wife's lover, coming out of her chamber, when he bared his blade
[FN#94] and slew him by a blow on the back of the neck; and he
did the same by the adulteress; and thus the twain, laden with
mortal sin, went straightways to Eternal Fire. Then the merchant
knew that the Parrot had told him the truth anent all she had
seen and he mourned grievously for her loss, when mourning
availed him not. The Minister, hearing the words of King Yu nan,
rejoined, 'O Monarch, high in dignity, and what harm have I done
him, or what evil have I seen from him that I should compass his
death? I would not do this thing, save to serve thee, and soon
shalt thou sight that it is right; and if thou accept my advice
thou shalt be saved, otherwise thou shalt be destroyed even as a
certain Wazir who acted treacherously by the young Prince." Asked
the King, "How was that?" and the Minister thus began

The Tale of the Prince and the Ogress.

A certain King, who had a son over much given to hunting and
coursing, ordered one of his Wazirs to be in attendance upon him
whithersoever he might wend. One day the youth set out for the
chase accompanied by his father's Minister; and, as they jogged
on together, a big wild beast came in sight. Cried the Wazir to
the King's son, "Up and at yon noble quarry!" So the Prince
followed it until he was lost to every eye and the chase got away
from him in the waste; whereby he was confused and he knew not
which way to turn, when lo! a damsel appeared ahead and she was
in tears. The King's son asked, "Who art thou?" and she answered,
"I am daughter to a King among the Kings of Hind, and I was
travelling with a caravan in the desert when drowsiness overcame
me, and I fell from my beast unwittingly whereby I am cut off
from my people and sore bewildered." The Prince, hearing these
words, pitied her case and, mounting her on his horse's crupper,
travelled until he passed by an old ruin [FN#95], when the damsel
said to him, "O my master, I wish to obey a call of nature": he
therefore set her down at the ruin where she delayed so long that
the King's son thought that she was only wasting time; so he
followed her without her knowledge and behold, she was a
Ghulah,[FN#96] a wicked Ogress, who was saying to her brood, "O
my children, this day I bring you a fine fat youth, [FN#97] for
dinner;" whereto they answered, "Bring him quick to us, O our
mother, that we may browse upon him our bellies full." The Prince
hearing their talk, made sure of death and his side muscles
quivered in fear for his life, so he turned away and was about to
fly. The Ghulah came out and seeing him in sore affright (for he
was trembling in every limb? cried, "Wherefore art thou afraid?"
and he replied, "I have hit upon an enemy whom I greatly fear."
Asked the Ghulah, "Diddest thou not say: - I am a King's son?"
and he answered, "Even so." Then quoth she, "Why cost not give
shine enemy something of money and so satisfy him?" Quoth he, "He
will not be satisfied with my purse but only with my life, and I
mortally fear him and am a man under oppression." She replied,
"If thou be so distressed, as thou deemest, ask aid against him
from Allah, who will surely protect thee from his ill doing and
from the evil whereof thou art afraid." Then the Prince raised
his eyes heavenwards and cried, "O Thou who answerest the
necessitous when he calleth upon Thee and dispellest his
distress; O my God ! grant me victory over my foe and turn him
from me, for Thou over all things art Almighty." The Ghulah,
hearing his prayer, turned away from him, and the Prince returned
to his father, and told him the tale of the Wazir; whereupon the
King summoned the Minister to his presence and then and there
slew him. Thou likewise, O King, if thou continue to trust this
leach, shalt be made to die the worst of deaths. He verily thou
madest much of and whom thou entreatedest as an intimate, will
work thy destruction. Seest thou not how he healed the disease
from outside thy body by something grasped in thy hand? Be not
assured that he will not destroy thee by something held in like
manner! Replied King Yunan, "Thou hast spoken sooth, O Wazir, it
may well be as thou hintest O my well advising Minister; and
belike this Sage hath come as a spy searching to put me to death;
for assuredly if he cured me by a something held in my hand, he
can kill me by a something given me to smell." Then asked King
Yunan, "O Minister, what must be done with him?" and the Wazir
answered, "Send after him this very instant and summon him to thy
presence; and when he shall come strike him across the neck; and
thus shalt thou rid thyself of him and his wickedness, and
deceive him ere he can I deceive thee." 'Thou hast again spoken
sooth, O Wazir," said the King and sent one to call the Sage who
came in joyful mood for he knew not what had appointed for him
the Compassionate; as a certain poet saith by way of

O Thou who fearest Fate, confiding fare * Trust all to Him who
     built the world and wait:
What Fate saith "Be" perforce must be, my lord! * And safe art
     thou from th undecreed of Fate.

As Duban the physician entered he addressed the King in these

An fail I of my thanks to thee nor thank thee day by day * For
     whom com posed I prose and verse, for whom my say and lay?
Thou lavishedst thy generous gifts ere they were craved by me *
     Thou lavishedst thy boons unsought sans pretext or delay:
How shall I stint my praise of thee, how shall I cease to laud *
     The grace of thee in secresy and patentest display?
Nay; I will thank thy benefits, for aye thy favours lie * Light
     on my thought and tongue, though heavy on my back they

And he said further on the same theme:--

Turn thee from grief nor care a jot! * Commit thy needs to Fate
     and Lot!
Enjoy the Present passing well * And let the Past be clean forgot
For whatso haply seemeth worse * Shall work thy weal as Allah
Allah shall do whate'er He wills * And in His will oppose Him

And further still.--

To th' All wise Subtle One trust worldly things * Rest thee from
     all whereto the worldling clings:
Learn wisely well naught cometh by thy will * But e'en as willeth
     Allah, King of Kings.

And lastly.--

Gladsome and gay forget thine every grief * Full often grief the
     wisest hearts outwore:
Thought is but folly in the feeble slave * Shun it and so be
     saved evermore.

Said the King for sole return, "Knowest thou why I have summoned
thee?" and the Sage replied, "Allah Most Highest alone kenneth
hidden things!" But the King rejoined, "I summoned thee only to
take thy life and utterly to destroy thee." Duban the Wise
wondered at this strange address with exceeding wonder and asked,
"O King, and wherefore wouldest thou slay me, and what ill have I
done thee?" and the King answered, "Men tell me thou art a spy
sent hither with intent to slay me; and lo! I will kill thee ere
I be killed by thee;" then he called to his Sworder, and said,
"Strike me off the head of this traitor and deliver us from his
evil practices." Quoth the Sage, "Spare me and Allah will spare
thee; slay me not or Allah shall slay thee." And he repeated to
him these very words, even as I to thee, O Ifrit, and yet thou
wouldst not let me go, being bent upon my death. King Yunan only
rejoined, "I shall not be safe without slaying thee; for, as thou
healedst me by something held in hand, so am I not secure against
thy killing me by something given me to smell or otherwise." Said
the physician, "This then, O King, is thy requital and reward;
thou returnest only evil for good." The King replied, "There is
no help for it; die thou must and without delay." Now when the
physician was certified that the King would slay him without
waiting, he wept and regretted the good he had done to other than
the good. As one hath said on this subject:--

Of wit and wisdom is Maymunah[FN#98] bare * Whose sire in
     wisdom all the wits outstrippeth:
Man may not tread on mud or dust or clay * Save by good sense,
     else trippeth he and slippeth.

Hereupon the Sworder stepped forward and bound the Sage Duban's
eyes and bared his blade, saying to the King, "By thy leave;"
while the physician wept and cried, "Spare me and Allah will
spare thee, and slay me not or Allah shall slay thee," and began

I was kind and 'scaped not, they were cruel and escaped; * And my
     kindness only led me to Ruination Hall,
If I live I'll ne'er be kind; if I die, then all be damned * Who
     follow me, and curses their kindliness befal.

"Is this," continued Duban, "the return I meet from thee? Thou
givest me, meseems, but crocodile boon." Quoth the King,"What is
the tale of the crocodile?", and quoth the physician, "Impossible
for me to tell it in this my state; Allah upon thee, spare me, as
thou hopest Allah shall spare thee." And he wept with ex ceeding
weeping. Then one of the King's favourites stood up and said, "O
King! grant me the blood of this physician; we have never seen
him sin against thee, or doing aught save healing thee from a
disease which baffled every leach and man of science." Said the
King, "Ye wot not the cause of my putting to death this
physician, and this it is. If I spare him, I doom myself to
certain death; for one who healed me of such a malady by
something held in my hand, surely can slay me by something held
to my nose; and I fear lest he kill me for a price, since haply
he is some spy whose sole purpose in coming hither was to compass
my destruction. So there is no help for it; die he must, and then
only shall I be sure of my own life." Again cried Duban, "Spare
me and Allah shall spare thee; and slay me not or Allah shall
slay thee." But it was in vain. Now when the physician, O Ifrit,
knew for certain that the King would kill him, he said, "O King,
if there be no help but I must die, grant me some little delay
that I may go down to my house and release myself from mine
obligations and direct my folk and my neighbours where to bury me
and distribute my books of medicine. Amongst these I have one,
the rarest of rarities, which I would present to thee as an
offering: keep it as a treasure in thy treasury." "And what is in
the book?" asked the King and the Sage answered, "Things beyond
compt; and the least of secrets is that if, directly after thou
hast cut off my head, thou open three leaves and read three lines
of the page to thy left hand, my head shall speak and answer
every question thou deignest ask of it." The King wondered with
exceeding wonder and shaking[FN#99] with delight at the novelty,
said, "O physician, cost thou really tell me that when I cut off
thy head it will speak to me?" He replied, "Yes, O King!" Quoth
the King, "This is indeed a strange matter!" and forthwith sent
him closely guarded to his house, and Duban then and there
settled all his obligations. Next day he went up to the King's
audience hall, where Emirs and Wazirs, Chamberlains and Nabobs,
Grandees and Lords of Estate were gathered together, making the
presence chamber gay as a garden of flower beds. And lo! the
physician came up and stood before the King, bearing a worn old
volume and a little etui of metal full of powder, like that used
for the eyes.[FN#100] Then he sat down and said, "Give me a
tray." So they brought him one and he poured the powder upon it
and levelled it and lastly spake as follows: "O King, take this
book but do not open it till my head falls; then set it upon this
tray, and bid press it down upon the powder, when forthright the
blood will cease flowing. That is the time to open the book." The
King thereupon took the book and made a sign to the Sworder, who
arose and struck off the physician's head, and placing it on the
middle of the tray, pressed it down upon the powder. The blood
stopped flowing, and the Sage Duban unclosed his eyes and said,
"Now open the book, O King!" The King opened the book, and found
the leaves stuck together; so he put his finger to his mouth and,
by moistening it, he easily turned over the first leaf, and in
like way the second, and the third, each leaf opening with much
trouble; and when he had un stuck six leaves he looked over them
and, finding nothing written thereon, said, "O physician, there
is no writing here!" Duban re plied, "Turn over yet more;" and he
turned over three others in the same way. Now the book was
poisoned; and before long the venom penetrated his system, and he
fell into strong convulsions and he cried out, "The poison hath
done its work!" Whereupon the Sage Duban's head began to

There be rulers who have ruled with a foul tyrannic sway *
     But they soon became as though they had never, never been:
Just, they had won justice: they oppressed and were oppress *
     By Fortune, who requited them with ban and bane and teen:
So they faded like the morn, and the tongue of things repeats *
     "Take this far that, nor vent upon Fortune's ways thy

No sooner had the head ceased speaking than the King rolled over
dead. Now I would have thee know, O Ifrit, that if King Yunan had
spared the Sage Duban, Allah would have spared him, but he
refused so to do and decreed to do him dead, wherefore Allah slew
him; and thou too, O Ifrit, if thou hadst spared me, Allah would
have spared thee. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say: then quoth Dunyazad, "O my
sister, how pleasant is thy tale, and how tasteful; how sweet,
and how grateful!" She replied, "And where is this compared with
what I could tell thee this coming night, if I live and the King
spare me?" Said the King in himself, "By Allah, I will not slay
her until I hear the rest of her story, for truly it is
wondrous." They rested that night in mutual embrace until dawn:
then the King went forth to his Darbar; the Wazirs and troops
came in and the audience hall was crowded; so the King gave
orders and judged and appointed and deposed and bade and forbade
the rest of that day, when the court broke up, and King Shahryar
entered his palace,

                  When it was the Sixth Night,

Her sister, Dunyazad, said to her,"Pray finish for us thy story;"
and she answered, "I will if the King give me leave." "Say on,"
quoth the King. And she continued:--It hath reached me, O
auspicious King, that when the Fisherman said to the Ifrit, "If
thou hadst spared me I would have spared thee, but nothing would
satisfy thee save my death; so now I will do thee die by jailing
thee in this jar and I will hurl thee into this sea." Then the
Marid roared aloud and cried, "Allah upon thee, O Fisher man,
don't! Spare me, and pardon my past doings; and, as I have been
tyrannous, so be thou generous, for it is said among sayings that
go current:--O thou who doest good to him who hath done thee
evil, suffice for the ill doer his ill deeds, and do not deal
with me as did Umamah to 'Atikah."[FN#101] Asked the Fisherman,
"And what was their case?" and the Ifrit answered, "This is not
the time for story telling and I in this prison; but set me free
and I will tell thee the tale." Quoth the Fisherman, "Leave this
language: there is no help but that thou be thrown back into the
sea nor is there any way for thy getting out of it for ever and
ever. Vainly I placed myself under thy protection,[FN#102] and I
humbled my self to thee with weeping, while thou soughtest only
to slay me, who had done thee no injury deserving this at thy
hands; nay, so far from injuring thee by any evil act, I worked
thee nought but weal in releasing thee from that jail of thine.
Now I knew thee to be an evil doer when thou diddest to me what
thou didst, and know, that when I have cast thee back into the
sea, I will warn whomsoever may fish thee up of what hath
befallen me with thee, and I will advise him to toss thee back
again; so shalt thou abide here under these waters till the End
of Time shall make an end of thee." But the Ifrit cried aloud,
"Set me free; this is a noble occasion for generosity and I make
covenant with thee and vow never to do thee hurt and harm; nay, I
will help thee to what shall put thee out of want." The Fisherman
accepted his promises on both conditions, not to trouble him as
before, but on the contrary to do him service; and, after making
firm the plight and swearing him a solemn oath by Allah Most
Highest he opened the cucurbit. Thereupon the pillar of smoke
rose up till all of it was fully out; then it thickened and once
more became an Ifrit of hideous presence, who forthright ad
ministered a kick to the bottle and sent it flying into the sea.
The Fisherman, seeing how the cucurbit was treated and making
sure of his own death, piddled in his clothes and said to
himself, "This promiseth badly;" but he fortified his heart, and
cried, "O Ifrit, Allah hath said[FN#103]: - Perform your
covenant; for the performance of your covenant shall be inquired
into hereafter. Thou hast made a vow to me and hast sworn an oath
not to play me false lest Allah play thee false, for verily he is
a jealous God who respiteth the sinner, but letteth him not
escape. I say to thee as said the Sage Duban to King Yunan,
"Spare me so Allah may spare thee!" The Ifrit burst into laughter
and stalked away, saying to the Fisherman, "Follow me;" and the
man paced after him at a safe distance (for he was not assured of
escape) till they had passed round the suburbs of the city.
Thence they struck into the uncultivated grounds, and crossing
them descended into a broad wilderness, and lo! in the midst of
it stood a mountain tarn. The Ifrit waded in to the middle and
again cried, "Follow me;" and when this was done he took his
stand in the centre and bade the man cast his net and catch his
fish. The Fisherman looked into the water and was much astonished
to see therein vari coloured fishes, white and red, blue and
yellow; however he cast his net and, hauling it in, saw that he
had netted four fishes, one of each colour. Thereat he rejoiced
greatly and more when the Ifrit said to him, "Carry these to the
Sultan and set them in his presence; then he will give thee what
shall make thee a wealthy man; and now accept my excuse, for by
Allah at this time I wot none other way of benefiting thee,
inasmuch I have lain in this sea eighteen hundred years and have
not seen the face of the world save within this hour. But I would
not have thee fish here save once a day." The Ifrit then gave him
God speed, saying, Allah grant we meet again;"[FN#104] and struck
the earth with one foot, whereupon the ground clove asunder and
swallowed him up. The Fisherman, much marvelling at what had
happened to him with the Ifrit, took the fish and made for the
city; and as soon as he reached home he filled an earthen bowl
with water and therein threw the fish which began to struggle and
wriggle about. Then he bore off the bowl upon his head and
repairing to the King's palace (even as the Ifrit had bidden him)
laid the fish before the presence; and the King wondered with
exceeding wonder at the sight, for never in his lifetime had' he
seen fishes like these in quality or in conformation. So he said,
"Give those fish to the stranger slave girl who now cooketh for
us," meaning the bond maiden whom the King of Roum had sent to
him only three days before, so that he had not yet made trial of
her talents in the dressing of meat. Thereupon the Wazir carried
the fish to the cook and bade her fry them[FN#105] saying, "O
damsel, the King sendeth this say to thee:--I have not treasured
thee, O tear o' me! save for stress time of me; approve, then, to
us this day thy delicate handiwork and thy savoury cooking; for
this dish of fish is a present sent to the Sultan and evidently a
rarity." The Wazir, after he had carefully charged her, returned
to the King, who commanded him to give the Fisherman four hundred
diners: he gave them accordingly, and the man took them to his
bosom and ran off home stumbling and falling and rising again and
deeming the whole thing to be a dream. However, he bought for his
family all they wanted and lastly he went to his wife in huge joy
and gladness. So far concerning him; but as regards the cookmaid,
she took the fish and cleansed them and set them in the frying
pan, basting them with oil till one side was dressed. Then she
turned them over and, behold, the kitchen wall crave asunder, and
therefrom came a young lady, fair of form, oval of face, perfect
in grace, with eyelids which Kohl lines enchase.[FN#106] Her
dress was a silken head kerchief fringed and tasseled with blue:
a large ring hung from either ear; a pair of bracelets adorned
her wrists; rings with bezels of priceless gems were on her
fingers; and she hent in hand a long rod of rattan cane which she
thrust into the frying pan, saying, "O fish! O fish! be ye
constant to your covenant?" When the cookmaiden saw this
apparition she swooned away. The young lady repeated her words a
second time and a third time, and at last the fishes raised their
heads from the pan, and saying in articulate speech "Yes! Yes!"
began with one voice to recite:--

Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I! * And if ye
      fain forsake, I'll requite till quits we cry!

After this the young lady upset the frying pan and went forth by
the way she came in and the kitchen wall closed upon her. When
the cook maiden recovered from her fainting fit, she saw the four
fishes charred black as charcoal, and crying out, "His staff
brake in his first bout,"[FN#107] she again fell swooning to the
ground. Whilst she was in this case the Wazir came for the fish
and looking upon her as insensible she lay, not knowing Sunday
from Thursday, shoved her with his foot and said, "Bring the fish
for the Sultan!" Thereupon recovering from her fainting fit she
wept and in formed him of her case and all that had befallen her.
The Wazir marvelled greatly and exclaiming, "This is none other
than a right strange matter!", he sent after the Fisherman and
said to him, "Thou, O Fisherman, must needs fetch us four fishes
like those thou broughtest before." Thereupon the man repaired to
the tarn and cast his net; and when he landed it, lo! four fishes
were therein exactly like the first. These he at once carried to
the Wazir, who went in with them to the cook maiden and said, "Up
with thee and fry these in my presence, that I may see this
business." The damsel arose and cleansed the fish, and set them
in the frying pan over the fire; however they remained there but
a little while ere the wall crave asunder and the young lady
appeared, clad as before and holding in hand the wand which she
again thrust into the frying pan, saying, "O fish! O fish! be ye
constant to your olden covenant?" And behold, the fish lifted
their heads, and repeated "Yes! Yes!" and recited this couplet:

Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I! * But if ye
     fain forsake, I'll requite till quits we cry!

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

                 When it was the Seventh Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the fishes spoke, and the young lady upset the frying pan with
her rod, and went forth by the way she came and the wall closed
up, the Wazir cried out, "This is a thing not to be hidden from
the King." So he went and told him what had happened, where upon
quoth the King, "There is no help for it but that I see this with
mine own eyes." Then he sent for the Fisherman and commended him
to bring four other fish like the first and to take with him
three men as witnesses. The Fisherman at once brought the fish:
and the King, after ordering them to give him four hundred gold
pieces, turned to the Wazir and said, "Up and fry me the fishes
here before me!" The Minister, replying "To hear is to obey,"
bade bring the frying pan, threw therein the cleansed fish and
set it over the fire; when lo! the wall crave asunder, and out
burst a black slave like a huge rock or a remnant of the tribe
Ad[FN#108] bearing in hand a branch of a green tree; and he cried
in loud and terrible tones, "O fish! O fish! be ye all constant
to your antique covenant?" whereupon the fishes lifted their
heads from the frying pan and said, "Yes! Yes ! we be true to our
vow;" and they again recited the couplet:

Come back and so will I! Keep faith and so will I! * But if ye
     fain forsake, I'll requite till quits we cry!

Then the huge blackamoor approached the frying pan and upset it
with the branch and went forth by the way he came in. When he
vanished from their sight the King inspected the fish; and
finding them all charred black as charcoal, was utterly
bewildered and said to the Wazir, "Verily this is a matter
whereanent silence cannot be kept, and as for the fishes,
assuredly some marvellous adventure connects with them." So he
bade bring the Fisherman and asked him, saying "Fie on thee,
fellow! whence came these fishes?" and he answered, "From a tarn
between four heights lying behind this mountain which is in sight
of thy city." Quoth the King, "How many days' march?" Quoth he,
"O our lord the Sultan, a walk of half hour." The King wondered
and, straight way ordering his men to march and horsemen to
mount, led off the Fisherman who went before as guide, privily
damning the Ifrit. They fared on till they had climbed the
mountain and descended unto a great desert which they had never
seen during all their lives; and the Sultan and his merry men
marvelled much at the wold set in the midst of four mountains,
and the tarn and its fishes of four colours, red and white,
yellow and blue. The King stood fixed to the spot in wonderment
and asked his troops and all present, "Hath any one among you
ever seen this piece of water before now?" and all made answer,
"O King of the age never did we set eyes upon it during all our
days." They also questioned the oldest inhabitants they met, men
well stricken in years, but they replied, each and every, "A
lakelet this we never saw in this place." Thereupon quoth the
King, "By Allah I will neither return to my capital nor sit upon
the throne of my forbears till I learn the truth about this tarn
and the fish therein." He then ordered his men to dismount and
bivouac all around the mountain; which they did; and summoning
his Wazir, a Minister of much experience, sagacious, of
penetrating wit and well versed in affairs, said to him, "'Tis in
my mind to do a certain thing whereof I will inform thee; my
heart telleth me to fare forth alone this night and root out the
mystery of this tarn and its fishes. Do thou take thy seat at my
tent door, and say to the Emirs and Wazirs, the Nabobs and the
Chamberlains, in fine to all who ask thee:--The Sultan is ill at
ease, and he hath ordered me to refuse all admittance;[FN#109]
and be careful thou let none know my design." And the Wazir could
not oppose him. Then the King changed his dress and ornaments
and, slinging his sword over his shoulder, took a path which led
up one of the mountains and marched for the rest of the night
till morning dawned; nor did he cease wayfaring till the heat was
too much for him. After his long walk he rested for a while, and
then resumed his march and fared on through the second night till
dawn, when suddenly there appeared a black point in the far
distance. Hereat he rejoiced and said to himself, "Haply some one
here shall acquaint me with the mystery of the tarn and its
fishes." Presently drawing near the dark object he found it a
palace built of swart stone plated with iron; and, while one leaf
of the gate stood wide open, the other was shut, The King's
spirits rose high as he stood before the gate and rapped a light
rap; but hearing no answer he knocked a second knock and a third;
yet there came no sign. Then he knocked his loudest but still no
answer, so he said, "Doubtless 'tis empty." Thereupon he mustered
up resolution and boldly walked through the main gate into the
great hall and there cried out aloud, "Holla, ye people of the
palace! I am a stranger and a wayfarer; have you aught here of
victual?" He repeated his cry a second time and a third but still
there came no reply; so strengthening his heart and making up his
mind he stalked through the vestibule into the very middle of the
palace and found no man in it. Yet it was furnished with silken
stuffs gold starred; and the hangings were let down over the door
ways. In the midst was a spacious court off which set four open
saloons each with its raised dais, saloon facing saloon; a canopy
shaded the court and in the centre was a jetting fount with four
figures of lions made of red gold, spouting from their mouths
water clear as pearls and diaphanous gems. Round about the palace
birds were let loose and over it stretched a net of golden wire,
hindering them from flying off; in brief there was everything but
human beings. The King marvelled mightily thereat, yet felt he
sad at heart for that he saw no one to give him account of the
waste and its tarn, the fishes, the mountains and the palace
itself. Presently as he sat between the doors in deep thought
behold, there came a voice of lament, as from a heart grief spent
and he heard the voice chanting these verses:--

I hid what I endured of him[FN#110] and yet it came to light, *
     And nightly sleep mine eyelids fled and changed to sleepless
Oh world! Oh Fate! withhold thy hand and cease thy hurt and
     harm * Look and behold my hapless sprite in colour and
Wilt ne'er show ruth to highborn youth who lost him on the way *
     Of Love, and fell from wealth and fame to lowest basest
Jealous of Zephyr's breath was I as on your form he breathed *
     But whenas Destiny descends she blindeth human sight[FN#111]
What shall the hapless archer do who when he fronts his foe * And
     bends his bow to shoot the shaft shall find his string
When cark and care so heavy bear on youth[FN#112] of generous
     soul * How shall he 'scape his lot and where from Fate his
     place of flight?

Now when the Sultan heard the mournful voice he sprang to his
feet; and, following the sound, found a curtain let down over a
chamber door. He raised it and saw behind it a young man sitting
upon a couch about a cubit above the ground; and he fair to the
sight, a well shaped wight, with eloquence dight; his forehead
was flower white, his cheek rosy bright, and a mole on his cheek
breadth like an ambergris mite; even as the poet cloth indite:--

A youth slim waisted from whose locks and brow * The world in
     blackness and in light is set.
Throughout Creation's round no fairer show * No rarer sight thine
     eye hath ever met:
A nut brown mole sits throned upon a cheek * Of rosiest red
     beneath an eye of jet.[FN#113]

The King rejoiced and saluted him, but he remained sitting in his
caftan of silken stuff pureed with Egyptian gold and his crown
studded with gems of sorts; but his face was sad with the traces
of sorrow. He returned the royal salute in most courteous wise
adding, "O my lord, thy dignity demandeth my rising to thee; and
my sole excuse is to crave thy pardon."[FN#114] Quoth the King,
"Thou art excused, O youth; so look upon me as thy guest come
hither on an especial object. I would thou acquaint me with the
secrets of this tarn and its fishes and of this palace and thy
loneliness therein and the cause of thy groaning and wailing."
When the young man heard these words he wept with sore
weeping;[FN#115] till his bosom was drenched with tears and began

Say him who careless sleeps what while the shaft of Fortune flies
     * How many cloth this shifting world lay low and raise to
Although thine eye be sealed in sleep, sleep not th' Almighty's
     eyes * And who hath found Time ever fair, or Fate in
     constant guise?

Then he sighed a long fetched sigh and recited:--

Confide thy case to Him, the Lord who made mankind; * Quit cark
     and care and cultivate content of mind;
Ask not the Past or how or why it came to pass: * All human
     things by Fate and Destiny were designed!

The King marvelled and asked him, "What maketh thee weep, O young
man?" and he answered, "How should I not weep, when this is my
case!" Thereupon he put out his hand and raised the skirt of his
garment, when lo! the lower half of him appeared stone down to
his feet while from his navel to the hair of his head he was man.
The King, seeing this his plight, grieved with sore grief and of
his compassion cried, "Alack and well away! in very sooth, O
youth, thou heapest sorrow upon my sorrow. I was minded to ask
thee the mystery of the fishes only: whereas now I am concerned
to learn thy story as well as theirs. But there is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great![FN#116]
Lose no time, O youth, but tell me forthright thy whole tale."
Quoth he, "Lend me thine ears, thy sight and thine insight;" and
quoth the King, "All are at thy service!" Thereupon the youth
began, "Right wondrous and marvellous is my case and that of
these fishes; and were it graven with gravers upon the eye
corners it were a warner to whoso would be warned." "How is
that?" asked the King, and the young man began to tell

The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince.

Know then, O my lord, that whilome my sire was King of this city,
and his name was Mahmud, entitled Lord of the Black Islands, and
owner of what are now these four mountains. He ruled three score
and ten years, after which he went to the mercy of the Lord and I
reigned as Sultan in his stead. I took to wife my cousin, the
daughter of my paternal uncle,[FN#117] and she loved me with such
abounding love that whenever I was absent she ate not and she
drank not until she saw me again. She cohabited with me for five
years till a certain day when she went forth to the Hammam bath;
and I bade the cook hasten to get ready all requisites for our
supper. And I entered this palace and lay down on the bed where I
was wont to sleep and bade two damsels to fan my face, one
sitting by my head and the other at my feet. But I was troubled
and made restless by my wife's absence and could not sleep; for
although my eyes were closed my mind and thoughts were wide
awake. Presently I heard the slave girl at my head say to her at
my feet, "O Mas'udah, how miserable is our master and how wasted
in his youth and oh! the pity of his being so be trayed by our
mistress, the accursed whore!''[FN#118] The other replied, "Yes
indeed: Allah curse all faithless women and adulterous; but the
like of our master, with his fair gifts, deserveth something
better than this harlot who lieth abroad every night." Then quoth
she who sat by my head, "Is our lord dumb or fit only for
bubbling that he questioneth her not!" and quoth the other, "Fie
on thee! cloth our lord know her ways or cloth she allow him his
choice? Nay, more, cloth she not drug every night the cup she
giveth him to drink before sleep time, and put Bhang[FN#119] into
it? So he sleepeth and wotteth not whither she goeth, nor what
she doeth; but we know that after giving him the drugged wine,
she donneth her richest raiment and perfumeth herself and then
she fareth out from him to be away till break of day; then she
cometh to him, and burneth a pastile under his nose and he
awaketh from his deathlike sleep." When I heard the slave girl's
words, the light became black before my sight and I thought night
would never-fall. Presently the daughter of my uncle came from
the baths; and they set the table for us and we ate and sat
together a fair half hour quaffing our wine as was ever our wont.
Then she called for the particular wine I used to drink before
sleeping and reached me the cup; but, seeming to drink it
according to my wont, I poured the contents into my bosom; and,
lying down, let her hear that I was asleep. Then, behold, she
cried, "Sleep out the night, and never wake again: by Allah, I
loathe thee and I loathe thy whole body, and my soul turneth in
disgust from cohabiting with thee; and I see not the moment when
Allah shall snatch away thy life!" Then she rose and donned her
fairest dress and perfumed her person and slung my sword over her
shoulder; and, opening the gates of the palace, went her ill way.
I rose and followed her as she left the palace and she threaded
the streets until she came to the city gate, where she spoke
words I understood not, and the padlocks dropped of themselves as
if broken and the gate leaves opened. She went forth (and I after
her without her noticing aught) till she came at last to the
outlying mounds[FN#120] and a reed fence built about a round
roofed hut of mud bricks. As she entered the door, I climbed upon
the roof which commanded a view of the interior, and lo! my fair
cousin had gone in to a hideous negro slave with his upper lip
like the cover of a pot, and his lower like an open pot; lips
which might sweep up sand from the gravel-floor of the cot. He
was to boot a leper and a paralytic, lying upon a strew of sugar
cane trash and wrapped in an old blanket and the foulest rags and
tatters. She kissed the earth before him, and he raised his head
so as to see her and said, "Woe to thee! what call hadst thou to
stay away all this time? Here have been with me sundry of the
black brethren, who drank their wine and each had his young lady,
and I was not content to drink because of thine absence." Then
she, "O my lord, my heart's love and coolth of my eyes [FN#121]
knowest thou not that I am married to my cousin whose very look I
loathe, and hate myself when in his company? And did not I fear
for thy sake, I would not let a single sun arise before making
his city a ruined heap wherein raven should croak and howlet
hoot, and jackal and wolf harbour and loot; nay I had removed its
very stones to the back side of Mount Kaf." [FN#122] Rejoined the
slave, Thou liest, damn thee! Now I swear an oath by the velour
and honour of blackamoor men (and deem not our manliness to be ;
the poor manliness of white men), from today forth if thou stay
away till this hour, I will not keep company with thee nor will I
glue my body with thy body and strum and belly bump Dost play
fast and loose with us, thou cracked pot, that we may satisfy thy
dirty lusts? stinkard! bitch! vilest of the vile whites!" When I
heard his words, and saw with my own eyes what passed between
these two wretches, the world waxed dark be fore my face and my
soul knew not in what place it was. But , my wife humbly stood up
weeping before and wheedling the slave, and saying, O my beloved,
and very fruit of my heart, there is none left to cheer me but
thy dear self; and, if thou cast me off who shall take me in, O
my beloved, O light of my eyes?" And she ceased not weeping and
abasing herself to him until he deigned be reconciled with her.
Then was she right glad and stood up and doffed her clothes, even
to her petticoat trousers, and said, 0 my master what hast thou
here for thy handmaiden to eat? Uncover the basin," he grumbled,
"and thou shalt find t the bottom the broiled bones of some rats
we dined on, pick at them, and then go to that slop pot where
thou shalt find some leavings of beer [FN#123] which thou mayest
drink." So she ate and drank and washed her hands, and went and
lay down by the side of the slave, upon the cane trash and,
stripping herself stark naked, she crept in with him under his
foul coverlet and his rags and tatters. When I saw my wife, my
cousin, the daughter of my uncle, do this deed[FN#124] I clean
lost my wits, and climbing down from the roof, I entered and took
the sword which she had with her and drew it, determined to cut
down the twain. I first struck at the slave's neck and thought
that the death decree had fallen on him:"And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

                 When it was the Eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young ensorcelled Prince said to the King, "When I smote the
slave with intent to strike off his head, I thought that I had
slain him; for he groaned a loud hissing groan, but I had cut
only the skin and flesh of the gullet and the two arteries! It
awoke the daughter of my uncle, so I sheathed the sword and fared
forth for the city; and, entering the palace, lay upon my bed and
slept till morning when my wife aroused me and I saw that she had
cut off her hair and had donned mourning garments. Quoth she:--O
son of my uncle, blame me not for what I do; it hath just reached
me that my mother is dead, and my father hath been killed in holy
war, and of my brothers one hath lost his life by a snake sting
and the other by falling down some precipice; and I can and
should do naught save weep and lament. When I heard her words I
refrained from all reproach and said only:--Do as thou list; I
certainly will not thwart thee. She continued sorrowing, weeping
and wailing one whole year from the beginning of its circle to
the end, and when it was finished she said to me.--I wish to
build me in thy palace a tomb with a cupola, which I will set
apart for my mourning and will name the House of
Lamentations.[FN#125] Quoth I again:--Do as thou list! Then she
builded for herself a cenotaph wherein to mourn, and set on its
centre a dome under which showed a tomb like a Santon's
sepulchre. Thither she carried the slave and lodged him; but he
was exceeding weak by reason of his wound, and unable to do her
love service; he could only drink wine and from the day of his
hurt he spake not a word, yet he lived on because his appointed
hour[FN#126] was not come. Every day, morning and evening, my
wife went to him and wept and wailed over him and gave him wine
and strong soups, and left not off doing after this manner a
second year; and I bore with her patiently and paid no heed to
her. One day, however, I went in to her unawares; and I found her
weeping and beating her face and crying:--Why art thou absent
from my sight, O my heart's delight? Speak to me, O my life; talk
with me, O my love? Then she recited these verses:--

For your love my patience fails and albeit you forget * I may
     not, nor to other love my heart can make reply:
Bear my body, bear my soul wheresoever you may fare * And
     where you pitch the camp let my body buried lie:
Cry my name above my grave, and an answer shall return * The
     moaning of my bones responsive to your cry.[FN#127]

Then she recited, weeping bitterly the while:--

The day of my delight is the day when draw you near * And the
     day of mine affright is the day you turn away:
Though I tremble through the night in my bitter dread of death *
     When I hold you in my arms I am free from all affray

Once more she began reciting:--

Though a morn I may awake with all happiness in hand *
     Though the world all be mine and like Kisra-kings[FN#128] I
To me they had the worth of the winglet of the gnat * When I fail
     to see thy form, when I look for thee in vain

When she had ended for a time her words and her weeping I said to
her--O my cousin, let this thy mourning suffice, for in pouring
forth tears there is little profit! Thwart me not, answered she,
in aught I do, or I will lay violent hands on myself! So I held
my peace and left her to go her own way; and she ceased not to
cry and keen and indulge her affliction for yet another year. At
the end of the third year I waxed aweary of this lonesome
mourning, and one day I happened to enter the cenotaph when vexed
and angry with some matter which had thwarted me, and suddenly I
heard her say:--O my lord, I never hear thee vouch safe a single
word to me! Why cost thou not answer me, O my master? and she
began reciting:--

O thou tomb! O, thou tomb! be his beauty set in shade? * Hast
     thou darkened that countenance all sheeny as the noon?
O thou tomb! neither earth nor yet heaven art to me * Then how
     cometh it in thee are conjoined my sun and moon?

When I heard such verses as these rage was heaped upon my rage I
cried out:--Well away! how long is this sorrow to last? and I
began repeating:--

O thou tomb! O thou tomb! be his horrors set in blight? * Hast
     thou dark ened his countenance that sickeneth the soul?
O thou tomb! neither cess pool nor pipkin art to me * Then how
     cometh it in thee are conjoined soil and coal?

When she heard my words she sprang to her feet crying.--Fie upon
thee, thou cur! all this is of thy doings; thou hast wounded my
heart s darling and thereby worked me sore woe and thou hast
wasted his youth so that these three years he hath lain abed more
dead than alive! In my wrath I cried:--O thou foulest of harlots
and filthiest of whores ever futtered by negro slaves who are
hired to have at thee![FN#129] Yes indeed it was I who did this
good deed; and snatching up my sword I drew it and made at her to
cut her down. But she laughed my words and mine intent to scorn
crying: To heel, hound that thou art! Alas[FN#130] for the past
which shall no more come to pass nor shall any one avail the dead
to raise. Allah hath indeed now given into my hand him who did to
me this thing, a deed that hath burned my heart with a fire which
died not and a flame which might not be quenched! Then she stood
up; and, pronouncing some words to me unintelligible, she said:--
By virtue of my egromancy become thou half stone and half man;
whereupon I became what thou seest, unable to rise or to sit, and
neither dead nor alive. Moreover she ensorcelled the city with
all its streets and garths, and she turned by her gramarye the
four islands into four mountains around the tarn whereof thou
questionest me; and the citizens, who were of four different
faiths, Moslem, Nazarene, Jew and Magian, she transformed by her
enchantments into fishes; the Moslems are the white, the Magians
red, the Christians blue and the Jews yellow.[FN#131] And every
day she tortureth me and scourgeth me with an hundred stripes,
each of which draweth floods of blood and cutteth the skin of my
shoulders to strips; and lastly she clotheth my upper half with a
hair cloth and then throweth over them these robes." Hereupon the
young man again shed tears and began reciting:--

In patience, O my God, I endure my lot and fate; * I will bear at
     will of Thee whatsoever be my state:
They oppress me; they torture me; they make my life a woe * Yet
     haply Heaven's happiness shall compensate my strait:
Yea, straitened is my life by the bane and hate o' foes * But
     Mustafa and Murtaza[FN#132] shall ope me Heaven's gate.

After this the Sultan turned towards the young Prince and said,
"O youth, thou hast removed one grief only to add another grief;
but now, O my friend, where is she; and where is the mausoleum
wherein lieth the wounded slave?" "The slave lieth under yon
dome," quoth the young man, "and she sitteth in the chamber
fronting yonder door. And every day at sunrise she cometh forth,
and first strippeth me, and whippeth me with an hundred strokes
of the leathern scourge, and I weep and shriek; but there is no
power of motion in my lower limbs to keep her off me. After
ending her tormenting me she visiteth the slave, bringing him
wine and boiled meats. And to morrow at an early hour she will be
here." Quoth the King, "By Allah, O youth, I will as suredly do
thee a good deed which the world shall not willingly let die, and
an act of derring do which shall be chronicled long after I am
dead and gone by." Then the King sat him by the side of the young
Prince and talked till nightfall, when he lay down and slept;
but, as soon as the false dawn[FN#133] showed, he arose and
doffing his outer garments[FN#134] bared his blade and hastened
to the place wherein lay the slave. Then was he ware of lighted
candles and lamps, and the perfume of incenses and unguents, and
directed by these, he made for the slave and struck him one
stroke killing him on the spot: after which he lifted him on his
back and threw him into a well that was in the palace. Presentry
he returned and, donning the slave's gear, lay down at length
within the mausoleum with the drawn sword laid close to and along
his side. After an hour or so the accursed witch came; and, first
going to her husband, she stripped off his clothes and, taking a
whip, flogged him cruelly while he cried out, "Ah! enough for me
the case I am in! take pity on me, O my cousin!' But she replied,
"Didst thou take pity on me and spare the life of my true love on
whom I coated?" Then she drew the cilice over his raw and
bleeding skin and threw the robe upon all and went down to the
slave with a goblet of wine and a bowl of meat broth in her
hands. She entered under the dome weeping and wailing,
"Well-away!" and crying, "O my lord! speak a word to me! O my
master! talk awhile with me!" and began to recite these

How long this harshness, this unlove, shall bide? * Suffice thee
     not tear floods thou hast espied?
Thou cost prolong our parting purposely * And if wouldst please
     my foe, thou'rt satisfied!

Then she wept again and said, "O my lord! speak to me, talk with
me!" The King lowered his voice and, twisting his tongue, spoke
after the fashion of the blackamoors and said "'lack! 'lack!
there be no Ma'esty and there be no Might save in Allauh, the
Gloriose, the Great!" Now when she heard these words she shouted
for joy, and fell to the ground fainting; and when her senses
returned she asked, "O my lord, can it be true that thou hast
power of speech?" and the King making his voice small and faint
answered, "O my cuss! cost thou deserve that I talk to thee and
speak with thee?" "Why and wherefore?" rejoined she; and he
replied "The why is that all the livelong day thou tormentest thy
hubby; and he keeps calling on 'eaven for aid until sleep is
strange to me even from evenin' till mawnin', and he prays and
damns, cussing us two, me and thee, causing me disquiet and much
bother: were this not so, I should long ago have got my health;
and it is this which prevents my answering thee." Quoth she,
"With thy leave I will release him from what spell is on him;"and
quoth the King, "Release him and let's have some rest!" She
cried, "To hear is to obey;" and, going from the cenotaph to the
palace, she took a metal bowl and filled it with water and spake
over it certain words which made the contents bubble and boil as
a cauldron seetheth over the fire. With this she sprinkled her
husband saying, "By virtue of the dread words I have spoken, if
thou becamest thus by my spells, come forth out of that form into
shine own former form." And lo and behold! the young man shook
and trembled; then he rose to his feet and, rejoicing at his
deliverance, cried aloud, "I testify that there is no god but the
God, and in very truth Mohammed is His Apostle, whom Allah bless
and keep!" Then she said to him, "Go forth and return not hither,
for if thou do I will surely slay thee;" screaming these words in
his face. So he went from between her hands; and she returned to
the dome and, going down to the sepulchre, she said, "O my lord,
come forth to me that I may look upon thee and thy goodliness!"
The King replied in faint low words, "What[FN#135] thing hast
thou done? Thou hast rid me of the branch but not of the root."
She asked, "O my darling! O my negro ring! what is the root?" And
he answered, "Fie on thee, O my cuss! The people of this city and
of the four islands every night when it's half passed lift their
heads from the tank in which thou hast turned them to fishes and
cry to Heaven and call down its anger on me and thee; and this is
the reason why my body's baulked from health. Go at once and set
them free then come to me and take my hand, and raise me up, for
a little strength is already back in me." When she heard the
King's words (and she still supposed him to be the slave) she
cried joyously, O my master, on my head and on my eyes be thy
commend, Bismillah[FN#136]!'' So she sprang to her feet and, full
of joy and gladness, ran down to the tarn and took a little of
its water n the palm of her hand--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

                  When it Was the Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
young woman, the sorceress, took in hand some of the tarn water
and spake over it words not to be understood, the fishes lifted
their heads and stood up on the instant like men, the spell on
the people of the city having been removed. What was the lake
again became a crowded capital; the bazars were thronged with
folk who bought and sold; each citizen was occupied with his own
calling and the four hills became islands as they were whilome.
Then the young woman, that wicked sorceress, returned to the King
and (still thinking he was the negro) said to him, O my love!
stretch forth thy honoured hand that I may assist thee to rise."
"Nearer to me," quoth the King in a faint and feigned tone. She
came close as to embrace him when he took up the sword lying hid
by his side and smote her across the breast, so that the point
showed gleaming behind her back. Then he smote her a second time
and cut her in twain and cast her to the ground in two halves.
After which he fared forth and found the young man, now freed
from the spell, awaiting him and gave him joy of his happy
release while the Prince kissed his hand with abundant thanks.
Quoth the King, "Wilt thou abide in this city or go with me to my
capital?" Quoth the youth, "O King of the age, wottest thou not
what journey is between thee and thy city?" "Two days and a
half," answered he, whereupon said the other, "An thou be
sleeping, O King, awake! Between thee and thy city is a year's
march for a well girt walker, and thou haddest not come hither in
two days and a half save that the city was under enchantment. And
I, O King, will never part from thee; no, not even for the
twinkling of an eye." The King rejoiced at his words and said,
"Thanks be to Allah who hath bestowed thee upon me! From this
hour thou art my son and my only son, for that in all my life I
have never been blessed with issue." Thereupon they embraced and
joyed with exceeding great joy; and, reaching the palace, the
Prince who had been spell bound informed his lords and his
grandees that he was about to visit the Holy Places as a pilgrim,
and bade them get ready all things necessary for the occasion.
The preparations lasted ten days, after which he set out with the
Sultan, whose heart burned in yearning for his city whence he had
been absent a whole twelvemonth. They journeyed with an escort of
Mamelukes[FN#137] carrying all manners of precious gifts and
rarities, nor stinted they wayfaring day and night for a full
year until they approached the Sultan's capital, and sent on
messengers to announce their coming. Then the Wazir and the whole
army came out to meet him in joy and gladness, for they had given
up all hope of ever seeing their King; and the troops kissed the
ground before him and wished him joy of his safety. He entered
and took seat upon his throne and the Minister came before him
and, when acquainted with all that had be fallen the young
Prince, he congratulated him on his narrow escape. When order was
restored throughout the land the King gave largesse to many of
his people, and said to the Wazir, "Hither the Fisherman who
brought us the fishes!" So he sent for the man who had been the
first cause of the city and the citizens being delivered from
enchantment and, when he came in to the presence, the Sultan
bestowed upon him a dress of honour, and questioned him of his
condition and whether he had children. The Fisherman gave him to
know that he had two daughters and a son, so the King sent for
them and, taking one daughter to wife, gave the other to the
young Prince and made the son his head treasurer. Furthermore he
invested his Wazir with the Sultanate of the City in the Black
Islands whilome belonging to the young Prince, and dispatched
with him the escort of fifty armed slaves together with dresses
of honour for all the Emirs and Grandees. The Wazir kissed hands
and fared forth on his way; while the Sultan and the Prince abode
at home in all the solace and the delight of life; and the
Fisherman became the richest man of his age, and his daughters
wived with Kings, until death came to them. And yet, O King!
this is not more wondrous than the story of

          The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad.

Once upon a time there was a Porter in Baghdad, who was a
bachelor and who would remain unmarried. It came to pass on a
certain day, as he stood about the street leaning idly upon his
crate, behold, there stood before him an honourable woman in a
mantilla of Mosul[FN#138] silk, broidered with gold and bordered
with brocade; her walking shoes were also purfled with gold and
her hair floated in long plaits. She raised her face veil[FN#139]
and, showing two black eyes fringed with jetty lashes, whose
glances were soft and languishing and whose perfect beauty was
ever blandishing, she accosted the Porter and said in the suavest
tones and choicest language, "Take up thy crate and follow me."
The Porter was so dazzled he could hardly believe that he heard
her aright, but he shouldered his basket in hot haste saying in
himself, "O day of good luck! O day of Allah's grace!" and walked
after her till she stopped at the door of a house. There she
rapped, and presently came out to her an old man, a Nazarene, to
whom she gave a gold piece, receiving from him in return what she
required of strained wine clear as olive oil; and she set it
safely in the hamper, saying "Lift and follow." Quoth the Porter,
"This, by Allah, is indeed an auspicious day, a day propitious
for the granting of all a man wisheth." He again hoisted up the
crate and followed her; till she stopped at a fruiterer's shop
and bought from him Shami[FN#140] apples and Osmani quinces and
Omani[FN#141] peaches, and cucumbers of Nile growth, and Egyptian
limes and Sultani oranges and citrons; besides Aleppine jasmine,
scented myrtle berries, Damascene nenuphars, flower of
privet[FN#142] and camomile, blood red anemones, violets, and
pomegranate bloom, eglantine and narcissus, and set the whole in
the Porter's crate, saying, "Up with it." So he lifted and
followed her till she stopped at a butcher's booth and said, "Cut
me off ten pounds of mutton." She paid him his price and he
wrapped it in a banana leaf, whereupon she laid it in the crate
and said "Hoist, O Porter." He hoisted accordingly, and followed
her as she walked on till she stopped at a grocer's, where she
bought dry fruits and pistachio kernels, Tihamah raisins, shelled
almonds and all wanted for dessert, and said to the Porter, "Lift
and follow me." So he up with his hamper and after her till she
stayed at the confectioner's, and she bought an earthen platter,
and piled it with all kinds of sweetmeats in his shop, open
worked tarts and fritters scented with musk and "soap cakes," and
lemon loaves and melon preserves,[FN#143] and "Zaynab's combs,"
and "ladies' fingers," and "Kazi's tit-bits" and goodies of every
description; and placed the platter in the Porter's crate.
Thereupon quoth he (being a merry man), "Thou shouldest have told
me, and I would have brought with me a pony or a she camel to
carry all this market stuff." She smiled and gave him a little
cuff on the nape saying, "Step out and exceed not in words for
(Allah willing!) thy wage will not be wanting." Then she stopped
at a perfumer's and took from him ten sorts of waters, rose
scented with musk, grange Lower, waterlily, willow flower, violet
and five others; and she also bought two loaves of sugar, a
bottle for perfume spraying, a lump of male in cense, aloe wood,
ambergris and musk, with candles of Alex' andria wax; and she put
the whole into the basket, saying, "Up with thy crate and after
me." He did so and followed until she stood before the
greengrocer's, of whom she bought pickled safflower and olives,
in brine and in oil; with tarragon and cream cheese and hard
Syrian cheese; and she stowed them away in the crate saying to
the Porter, "Take up thy basket and follow me." He did so and
went after her till she came to a fair mansion fronted by a
spacious court, a tall, fine place to which columns gave strength
and grace: and the gate thereof had two leaves of ebony inlaid
with plates of red gold. The lady stopped at the door and,
turning her face veil sideways, knocked softly with her knuckles
whilst the Porter stood behind her, thinking of naught save her
beauty and loveliness. Presently the door swung back and both
leaves were opened, whereupon he looked to see who had opened it;
and behold, it was a lady of tall figure, some five feet high; a
model of beauty and loveliness, brilliance and symmetry and
perfect grace. Her forehead was flower white; her cheeks like the
anemone ruddy bright; her eyes were those of the wild heifer or
the gazelle, with eyebrows like the crescent moon which ends
Sha'aban and begins Ramazan;[FN#144] her mouth was the ring of
Sulayman,[FN#145] her lips coral red, and her teeth like a line
of strung pearls or of camomile petals. Her throat recalled the
antelope's, and her breasts, like two pomegranates of even size,
stood at bay as it were,[FN#146] her body rose and fell in waves
below her dress like the rolls of a piece of brocade, and her
navel[FN#147] would hold an ounce of benzoin ointment. In fine
she was like her of whom the poet said:--

On Sun and Moon of palace cast thy sight * Enjoy her flower like
     face, her fragrant light:
Thine eyes shall never see in hair so black * Beauty encase a
     brow so purely white:
The ruddy rosy cheek proclaims her claim * Though fail her name
     whose beauties we indite:
As sways her gait I smile at hips so big * And weep to see the
     waist they bear so slight.

When the Porter looked upon her his wits were waylaid, and his
senses were stormed so that his crate went nigh to fall from his
head, and he said to himself, "Never have I in my life seen a day
more blessed than this day!" Then quoth the lady portress to the
lady cateress, "Come in from the gate and relieve this poor man
of his load." So the provisioner went in followed by the portress
and the Porter and went on till they reached a spacious ground
floor hall,[FN#148] built with admirable skill and beautified
with all manner colours and carvings; with upper balconies and
groined arches and galleries and cupboards and recesses whose
curtains hung before them. In the midst stood a great basin full
of water surrounding a fine fountain, and at the upper end on the
raised dais was a couch of juniper wood set with gems and pearls,
with a canopy like mosquito curtains of red satin silk looped up
with pearls as big as filberts and bigger. Thereupon sat a lady
bright of blee, with brow beaming brilliancy, the dream of
philosophy, whose eyes were fraught with Babel's gramarye[FN#149]
and her eye brows were arched as for archery; her breath breathed
ambergris and perfumery and her lips were sugar to taste and
carnelian to see. Her stature was straight as the letter
I[FN#150] and her face shamed the noon sun's radiancy; and she
was even as a galaxy, or a dome with golden marquetry or a bride
displayed in choicest finery or a noble maid of Araby.[FN#151]
Right well of her sang the bard when he said:--

Her smiles twin rows of pearls display * Chamomile-buds or rimey
Her tresses stray as night let down * And shames her light the
     dawn o' day.

[FN#152]The third lady rising from the couch stepped forward with
grace ful swaying gait till she reached the middle of the saloon,
when she said to her sisters, "Why stand ye here? take it down
from this poor man's head!" Then the cateress went and stood
before him, and the portress behind him while the third helped
them, and they lifted the load from the Porter's head; and,
emptying it of all that was therein, set everything in its place.
Lastly they gave him two gold pieces, saying, "Wend thy ways, O
Porter." But he went not, for he stood looking at the ladies and
admiring what uncommon beauty was theirs, and their pleasant
manners and kindly dispositions (never had he seen goodlier); and
he gazed wistfully at that good store of wines and sweet scented
flowers and fruits and other matters. Also he marvelled with
exceeding marvel, especially to see no man in the place and
delayed his going; whereupon quoth the eldest lady, "What aileth
thee that goest not; haply thy wage be too little?" And, turning
to her sister the cateress, she said, "Give him another diner!"
But the Porter answered, "By Allah, my lady, it is not for the
wage; my hire is never more than two dirhams; but in very sooth
my heart and my soul are taken up with you and your condition. I
wonder to see you single with ne'er a man about you and not a
soul to bear you company; and well you wot that the minaret
toppleth o'er unless it stand upon four, and you want this same
fourth; and women's pleasure without man is short of measure,
even as the poet said:--

Seest not we want for joy four things all told * The harp and
     lute, the flute and flageolet;
And be they companied with scents four fold * Rose, myrtle,
     anemone and violet
Nor please all eight an four thou wouldst withold * Good wine and
     youth and gold and pretty pet.

You be there and want a fourth who shall be a person of good
sense and prudence; smart witted, and one apt to keep careful
counsel." His words pleased and amused them much; and they
laughed at him and said, "And who is to assure us of that? We are
maidens and we fear to entrust our secret where it may not be
kept, for we have read in a certain chronicle the lines of one
Ibn al-Sumam:-

Hold fast thy secret and to none unfold * Lost is a secret when
     that secret's told
An fail thy breast thy secret to conceal * How canst thou hope
     another's breast shall hold?

And Abu Nowás[FN#153] said well on the same subject:--

Who trusteth secret to another's hand * Upon his brow deserveth
     burn of brand!"

When the Porter heard their words he rejoined, "By your lives! I
am a man of sense and a discreet, who hath read books and perused
chronicles; I reveal the fair and conceal the foul and I act as
the poet adviseth:--

None but the good a secret keep * And good men keep it
It is to me a well shut house * With keyless locks and door

When the maidens heard his verse and its poetical application
addressed to them they said, "Thou knowest that we have laid out
all our monies on this place. Now say, hast thou aught to offer
us in return for entertainment? For surely we will not suf fer
thee to sit in our company and be our cup companion, and gaze
upon our faces so fair and so rare without paying a round
sum.[FN#155] Wottest thou not the saying:--

     Sans hope of gain
     Love's not worth a grain?"

Whereto the lady portress added, "If thou bring anything thou art
a something; if no thing, be off with thee, thou art a nothing;"
but the procuratrix interposed, saying, "Nay, O my sisters, leave
teasing him for by Allah he hath not failed us this day, and had
he been other he never had kept patience with me, so whatever be
his shot and scot I will take it upon myself." The Porter, over
joyed, kissed the ground before her and thanked her saying, "By
Allah, these monies are the first fruits this day hath given me."
Hearing this they said, "Sit thee down and welcome to thee," and
the eldest lady added, "By Allah, we may not suffer thee to join
us save on one condition, and this it is, that no questions be
asked as to what concerneth thee not, and frowardness shall be
soundly flogged." Answered the Porter, "I agree to this, O my
lady, on my head and my eyes be it! Lookye, I am dumb, I have no
tongue. Then arose the provisioneress and tightening her girdle
set the table by the fountain and put the flowers and sweet herbs
in their jars, and strained the wine and ranged the flasks in row
and made ready every requisite. Then sat she down, she and her
sisters, placing amidst them the Porter who kept deeming himself
in a dream; and she took up the wine flagon, and poured out the
first cup and drank it off, and likewise a second and a
third.[FN#156] After this she filled a fourth cup which she
handed to one of her sisters; and, lastly, she crowned a goblet
and passed it to the Porter, saying:--

"Drink the dear draught, drink free and fain * What healeth every
     grief and pain."

He took the cup in his hand and, louting low, returned his best
thanks and improvised:--

Drain not the bowl save with a trusty friend * A man of worth
     whose good old
For wine, like wind, sucks sweetness from the sweet * And stinks
     when over stench it haply blow:"


Drain not the bowl; save from dear hand like thine * The cup
     recall thy gifts; thou, gifts of wine."

After repeating this couplet he kissed their hands and drank and
was drunk and sat swaying from side to side and pursued:--

"All drinks wherein is blood the Law unclean * Doth hold save
     one, the blood shed of the vine:
Fill! fill! take all my wealth bequeathed or won * Thou fawn! a
     willing ransom for those eyne."

Then the cateress crowned a cup and gave it to the portress, who
took it from her hand and thanked her and drank. Thereupon she
poured again and passed to the eldest lady who sat on the couch,
and filled yet another and handed it to the Porter. He kissed the
ground before them; and, after drinking and thanking them, he
again began to recite :

"Here! Here! by Allah, here! * Cups of the sweet, the dear'
 Fill me a brimming bowl * The Fount o' Life I speer

Then the Porter stood up before the mistress of the house and
said, "O lady, I am thy slave, thy Mameluke, thy white thrall, a,
thy very bondsman;" and he began reciting:--

"A slave of slaves there standeth at thy door * Lauding thy
     generous boons and gifts galore
Beauty! may he come in awhile to 'joy * Thy charms? for Love
     and I part nevermore!"

She said to him, "Drink; and health and happiness attend thy
drink." So he took the cup and kissed her hand and recited these
lines in sing song:

"I gave her brave old wine that like her cheeks * Blushed red or
     flame from furnace flaring up:
She bussed the brim and said with many a smile * How durst thou
     deal folk's cheek for folk to sup?
"Drink!" (said I) "these are tears of mine whose tinct * Is heart
     blood sighs have boiled in the cup."

She answered him in the following couplet:--

"An tears of blood for me, friend, thou hast shed * Suffer me sup
     them, by thy head and eyes!"

Then the lady took the cup, and drank it off to her sisters'
health, and they ceased not drinking (the Porter being in the
midst of them), and dancing and laughing and reciting verses and
singing ballads and ritornellos. All this time the Porter was
carrying on with them, kissing, toying, biting, handling,
groping, fingering; whilst one thrust a dainty morsel in his
mouth, and another slapped him; and this cuffed his cheeks, and
that threw sweet flowers at him; and he was in the very paradise
of pleasure, as though he were sitting in the seventh sphere
among the Houris[FN#157] of Heaven. They ceased not doing after
this fashion until the wine played tucks in their heads and
worsted their wits; and, when the drink got the better of them,
the portress stood up and doffed her clothes till she was mother
naked. However, she let down her hair about her body by way of
shift, and throwing herself into the basin disported herself and
dived like a duck and swam up and down, and took water in her
mouth, and spurted it all over the Porter, and washed her limbs,
and between her breasts, and inside her thighs and all around her
navel. Then she came up out of the cistern and throwing herself
on the Porter's lap said, "O my lord, O my love, what callest
thou this article?" pointing to her slit, her solution of
continuity. "I call that thy cleft," quoth the Porter, and she
rejoined, Wah! wah, art thou not ashamed to use such a word?" and
she caught him by the collar and soundly cuffed him. Said he
again, Thy womb, thy vulva;" and she struck him a second slap
crying, "O fie, O fie, this is another ugly word; is here no
shame in thee?" Quoth he, "Thy coynte;" and she cried, O thou!
art wholly destitute of modesty?" and thumped and bashed him.
Then cried the Porter, "Thy clitoris,"[FN#158] whereat the eldest
lady came down upon him with a yet sorer beating, and said, "No;"
and he said, " 'Tis so," and the Porter went on calling the same
commodity by sundry other names, but whatever he said they beat
him more and more till his neck ached and swelled with the blows
he had gotten; and on this wise they made him a butt and a
laughing stock. At last he turned upon them asking, And what do
you women call this article?" Whereto the damsel made answer,
"The basil of the bridges."[FN#159] Cried the Porter, "Thank
Allah for my safety: aid me and be thou propitious, O basil of
the bridges!" They passed round the cup and tossed off the bowl
again, when the second lady stood up; and, stripping off all her
clothes, cast herself into the cistern and did as the first had
done; then she came out of the water and throwing her naked form
on the Porter's lap pointed to her machine and said, "O light of
mine eyes, do tell me what is the name of this concern?" He
replied as before, "Thy slit;" and she rejoined, "Hath such term
no shame for thee?" and cuffed him and buffeted him till the
saloon rang with the blows. Then quoth she, "O fie! O fie! how
canst thou say this without blushing?" He suggested, "The basil
of the bridges;" but she would not have it and she said, "No!
no!" and stuck him and slapped him on the back of the neck. Then
he began calling out all the names he knew, "Thy slit, thy womb,
thy coynte, thy clitoris;" and the girls kept on saying, "No!
no!" So he said, "I stick to the basil of the bridges;" and all
the three laughed till they fell on their backs and laid slaps on
his neck and said, "No! no! that's not its proper name."
Thereupon he cried, "O my sisters, what is its name?" and they
replied, "What sayest thou to the husked sesame seed?" Then the
cateress donned her clothes and they fell again to carousing, but
the Porter kept moaning, "Oh! and Oh!" for his neck and
shoulders, and the cup passed merrily round and round again for a
full hour. After that time the eldest and handsomest lady stood
up and stripped off her garments, whereupon the Porter took his
neck in hand, and rubbed and shampoo'd it, saying, "My neck and
shoulders are on the way of Allah!"[FN#160] Then she threw
herself into the basin, and swam and dived, sported and washed;
and the Porter looked at her naked figure as though she had been
a slice of the moon[FN#161] and at her face with the sheen of
Luna when at full, or like the dawn when it brighteneth, and he
noted her noble stature and shape, and those glorious forms that
quivered as she went; for she was naked as the Lord made her.
Then he cried "Alack! Alack!"and began to address her, versifying
in these couplets:--

"If I liken thy shape to the bough when green * My likeness errs
     and I sore mistake it;
For the bough is fairest when clad the most * And thou art
     fairest when mother naked."

When the lady heard his verses she came up out of the basin and,
seating herself upon his lap and knees, pointed to her genitory
and said, "O my lordling, what be the name of this?" Quoth he,
"The basil of the bridges;" but she said, "Bah, bah!" Quoth he,
"The husked sesame;" quoth she, "Pooh, pooh!" Then said he, "Thy
womb;" and she cried, "Fie, Fie! art thou not ashamed of
thyself?" and cuffed him on the nape of the neck. And whatever
name he gave declaring " 'Tis so," she beat him and cried "No!
no!" till at last he said, "O my sisters, and what is its name?"
She replied, "It is entitled the Khan[FN#162] of Abu Mansur;"
whereupon the Porter replied, "Ha! ha! O Allah be praised for
safe deliverance! O Khan of Abu Mansur!" Then she came forth and
dressed and the cup went round a full hour. At last the Porter
rose up, and stripping off all his clothes, jumped into the tank
and swam about and washed under his bearded chin and armpits,
even as they had done. Then he came out and threw himself into
the first lady's lap and rested his arms upon the lap of the
portress, and reposed his legs in the lap of the cateress and
pointed to his prickle[FN#163] and said, "O my mistresses, what
is the name of this article?" All laughed at his words till they
fell on their backs, and one said, "Thy pintle!" But he replied,
"No!" and gave each one of them a bite by way of forfeit. Then
said they, "Thy pizzle!" but he cried "No," and gave each of them
a hug; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

                  When it was the Tenth Night,

Quoth her sister Dunyazad, "Finish for us thy story;" and she
answered, "With joy and goodly greet" It hath reached me, O
auspicious King, that the damsels stinted not saying to the
Porter "Thy prickle, thy pintle, thy pizzle," and he ceased not
kissing and biting and hugging until his heart was satisfied, and
they laughed on till they could no more. At last one said, "O our
brother, what, then, is it called?" Quoth he, "Know ye not?"
Quoth they, "No!" "Its veritable name," said he, "is mule Burst
all, which browseth on the basil of the bridges, and muncheth the
husked sesame, and nighteth in the Khan of Abu Mansur." Then
laughed they till they fell on their backs, and returned to their
carousel, and ceased not to be after this fashion till night
began to fall. Thereupon said they to the Porter,
''Bismillah,[FN#164] O our master, up and on with those sorry old
shoes of thine and turn thy face and show us the breadth of thy
shoulders!" Said he, "By Allah, to part with my soul would be
easier for me than departing from you: come let us join night to
day, and tomorrow morning we will each wend our own way." "My
life on you," said the procuratrix, "suffer him to tarry with us,
that we may laugh at him: we may live out our lives and never
meet with his like, for surely he is a right merry rogue and a
witty."[FN#165] So they said, "Thou must not remain with us this
night save on condition that thou submit to our commands, and
that whatso thou seest, thou ask no questions there anent, nor
enquire of its cause." "All right," rejoined he, and they said,
"Go read the writing over the door." So he rose and went to the
entrance and there found written in letters of gold wash; WHOSO
NOT! [FN#166] The Porter said, Be ye witnesses against me that I
will not speak on whatso concerneth me not." Then the cateress
arose, and set food before them and they ate; after which they
changed their drinking place for an other, and she lighted the
lamps and candles and burned amber gris and aloes wood, and set
on fresh fruit and the wine service, when they fell to carousing
and talking of their lovers. And they ceased not to eat and drink
and chat, nibbling dry fruits and laughing and playing tricks for
the space of a full hour when lo! a knock was heard at the gate.
The knocking in no wise dis turbed the seance, but one of them
rose and went to see what it was and presently returned, saying,
"Truly our pleasure for this night is to be perfect." "How is
that?" asked they; and she answered, "At the gate be three
Persian Kalandars[FN#167] with their beards and heads and
eyebrows shaven; and all three blind of the left eye--which is
surely a strange chance. They are foreigners from Roum-land with
the mark of travel plain upon them; they have just entered
Baghdad, this being their first visit to our city; and the cause
of their knocking at our door is simply because they cannot find
a lodging. Indeed one of them said to me:--Haply the owner of
this mansion will let us have the key of his stable or some old
out house wherein we may pass this night; for evening had
surprised them and, being strangers in the land, they knew none
who would give them shelter. And, O my sisters, each of them is a
figure o' fun after his own fashion; and if we let them in we
shall have matter to make sport of." She gave not over persuading
them till they said to her, "Let them in, and make thou the usual
condition with them that they speak not of what concerneth them
not, lest they hear what pleaseth them not." So she rejoiced and
going to the door presently returned with the three monoculars
whose beards and mustachios were clean shaven.[FN#168] They
salam'd and stood afar off by way of respect; but the three
ladies rose up to them and welcomed them and wished them joy of
their safe arrival and made them sit down. The Kalandars looked
at the room and saw that it was a pleasant place, clean swept and
garnished with cowers; and the lamps were burning and the smoke
of perfumes was spireing in air; and beside the dessert and
fruits and wine, there were three fair girls who might be
maidens; so they exclaimed with one voice, "By Allah, 'tis good!"
Then they turned to the Porter and saw that he was a merry faced
wight, albeit he was by no means sober and was sore after his
slappings. So they thought that he was one of themselves and
said, "A mendicant like us! whether Arab or foreigner."[FN#169]
But when the Porter heard these words, he rose up, and fixing his
eyes fiercely upon them, said, "Sit ye here without exceeding in
talk! Have you not read what is writ over the door? surely it
befitteth not fellows who come to us like paupers to wag your
tongues at us." "We crave thy pardon, O Fakír,"[FN#170] rejoined
they, "and our heads are between thy hands." The ladies laughed
consumedly at the squabble; and, making peace between the
Kalandars and the Porter, seated the new guests before meat and
they ate. Then they sat together, and the portress served them
with drink; and, as the cup went round merrily, quoth the Porter
to the askers, "And you, O brothers mine, have ye no story or
rare adventure to amuse us withal?" Now the warmth of wine having
mounted to their heads they called for musical instruments; and
the portress brought them a tambourine of Mosul, and a lute of
Irák, and a Persian harp; and each mendicant took one and tuned
it; this the tambourine and those the lute and the harp, and
struck up a merry tune while the ladies sang so lustily that
there was a great noise.[FN#171] And whilst they were carrying
on, behold, some one knocked at the gate, and the portress went
to see what was the matter there. Now the cause of that knocking,
O King (quoth Shahrazad) was this, the Caliph, Harun al-Rashid,
had gone forth from the palace, as was his wont now and then, to
solace himself in the city that night, and to see and hear what
new thing was stirring; he was in merchant's gear, and he was
attended by Ja'afar, his Wazir, and by Masrur his Sworder of
Vengeance.[FN#172] As they walked about the city, their way led
them towards the house of the three ladies; where they heard the
loud noise of musical instruments and singing and merriment; so
quoth the Caliph to Ja'afar, "I long to enter this house and hear
those songs and see who sing them." Quoth Ja'afar, "O Prince of
the Faithful; these folk are surely drunken with wine, and I fear
some mischief betide us if we get amongst them." "There is no
help but that I go in there," replied the Caliph, "and I desire
thee to contrive some pretext for our appearing among them."
Ja'afar replied, "I hear and I obey;"[FN#173] and knocked at the
door, whereupon the portress came out and opened. Then Ja'afar
came forward and kissing the ground before her said, "O my lady,
we be merchants from Tiberias town: we arrived at Baghdad ten
days ago; and, alighting at the merchants' caravanserai, we sold
all our merchandise. Now a certain trader invited us to an
entertainment this night; so we went to his house and he set food
before us and we ate: then we sat at wine and wassail with him
for an hour or so when he gave us leave to depart; and we went
out from him in the shadow of the night and, being strangers, we
could not find our way back to our Khan. So haply of your
kindness and courtesy you will suffer us to tarry with you this
night, and Heaven will reward you!"[FN#174] The portress looked
upon them and seeing them dressed like merchants and men of grave
looks and solid, she returned to her sisters and repeated to them
Ja'afar's story; and they took compassion upon the strangers and
said to her, "Let them enter." She opened the door to them, when
said they to her, "Have we thy leave to come in?" "Come in,"
quoth she; and the Caliph entered followed by Ja'afar and Masrur;
and when the girls saw them they stood up to them in respect and
made them sit down and looked to their wants, saying, "Welcome,
and well come and good cheer to the guests, but with one
condition!" "What is that?" asked they, and one of the ladies
answered, "Speak not of what concerneth you not, lest ye hear
what pleaseth you not." "Even so," said they; and sat down to
their wine and drank deep. Presently the Caliph looked on the
three Kalandars and, seeing them each and every blind of the left
eye, wondered at the sight; then he gazed upon the girls and he
was startled and he marvelled with exceeding marvel at their
beauty and loveliness. They continued to carouse and to converse
and said to the Caliph, "Drink!" but he replied, "I am vowed to
Pilgrimage;"[FN#175] and drew back from the wine. Thereupon the
portress rose and spreading before him a table cloth worked with
gold, set thereon a porcelain bowl into which she poured willow
flower water with a lump of snow and a spoonful of sugar candy.
The Caliph thanked her and said in himself,"By Allah, I will
recompense her to morrow for the kind deed she hath done." The
others again addressed themselves to conversing and carousing;
and, when the wine gat the better of them, the eldest lady who
ruled the house rose and making obeisance to them took the
cateress by the hand, and said, "Rise, O my sister and let us do
what is our devoir." Both answered "Even so!" Then the portress
stood up and proceeded to remove the table service and the
remnants of the banquet; and renewed the pastiles and cleared the
middle of the saloon. Then she made the Kalandars sit upon a sofa
at the side of the estrade, and seated the Caliph and Ja'afar and
Masrur on the other side of the saloon; after which she called
the Porter, and said, "How scanty is thy courtesy! now thou art
no stranger; nay, thou art one of the household." So he stood up
and, tightening his waist cloth, asked, "What would ye I do?" and
she answered, "Stand in thy place." Then the procuratrix rose and
set in the midst of the saloon a low chair and, opening a closet,
cried to the Porter, "Come help me." So he went to help her and
saw two black bitches with chains round their necks; and she said
to him, "Take hold of them;" and he took them and led them into
the middle of the saloon. Then the lady of the house arose and
tucked up her sleeves above her wrists and, seizing a scourge,
said to the Porter, "Bring forward one of the bitches." He
brought her forward, dragging her by the chain, while the bitch
wept, and shook her head at the lady who, however, came down upon
her with blows on the sconce; and the bitch howled and the lady
ceased not beating her till her forearm failed her. Then, casting
the scourge from her hand, she pressed the bitch to her bosom
and, wiping away her tears with her hands, kissed her head. Then
she said to the Porter, "Take her away and bring the second;"
and, when he brought her, she did with her as she had done with
the first. Now the heart of the Caliph, was touched at these
cruel doings; his chest straitened and he lost all patience in
his desire to know why the two bitches were so beaten. He threw a
wink at Ja'afar wishing him to ask, but; the Minister turning
towards him said by signs, "Be silent!" Then quoth the portress
to the mistress of the house, "O my lady, arise and go to thy
place that I in turn may do my devoir."[FN#176] She answered,
"Even so"; and, taking her seat upon the couch of juniper wood,
pargetted with gold and silver, said to the portress and
cateress, "Now do ye what ye have to do." Thereupon the portress
sat upon a low seat by the couch side; but the procuretrix,
entering a closet, brought out of it a bag of satin with green
fringes and two tassels of gold. She stood up before the lady of
the house and shaking the bag drew out from it a lute which she
tuned by tightening its pegs; and when it was in perfect order,
she began to sing these quatrains:--

"Ye are the wish, the aim of me *And when, O Love, thy sight I
The heavenly mansion openeth;[FN#178] * But Hell I see when
     lost thy sight.
From thee comes madness; nor the less * Comes highest joy,
     comes ecstasy:
Nor in my love for thee I fear * Or shame and blame, or hate and
When Love was throned within my heart * I rent the veil of
And stints not Love to rend that veil * Garring disgrace on grace
     to alight;
The robe of sickness then I donned * But rent to rags was
Wherefore my love and longing heart * Proclaim your high
     supremest might;
The tear drop railing adown my cheek * Telleth my tale of
And all the hid was seen by all * And all my riddle ree'd aright.

Heal then my malady, for thou * Art malady and remedy!
But she whose cure is in thy hand * Shall ne'er be free of bane
     and blight;
Burn me those eyne that radiance rain * Slay me the swords of
How many hath the sword of Love * Laid low, their high degree
Yet will I never cease to pine * Nor to oblivion will I flee.
Love is my health, my faith, my joy * Public and private, wrong
     or right.
O happy eyes that sight thy charms * That gaze upon thee at their
Yea, of my purest wish and will * The slave of Love I'll aye be

When the damsel heard this elegy in quatrains she cried out
"Alas! Alas!" and rent her raiment, and fell to the ground
fainting; and the Caliph saw scars of the palm rod[FN#179] on her
back and welts of the whip; and marvelled with exceeding wonder.
Then the portress arose and sprinkled water on her and brought
her a fresh and very fine dress and put it on her. But when the
company beheld these doings their minds were troubled, for they
had no inkling of the case nor knew the story thereof; so the
Caliph said to Ja'afar, "Didst thou not see the scars upon the
damsel's body? I cannot keep silence or be at rest till I learn
the truth of her condition and the story of this other maiden and
the secret of the two black bitches." But Ja'afar answered, "O
our lord, they made it a condition with us that we speak not of
what concerneth us not, lest we come to hear what pleaseth us
not." Then said the portress "By Allah, O my sister, come to me
and complete this service for me." Replied the procuratrix, "With
joy and goodly gree;" so she took the lute; and leaned it against
her breasts and swept the strings with her finger tips, and began

"Give back mine eyes their sleep long ravished * And say me
     whither be my reason fled:
I learnt that lending to thy love a place * Sleep to mine eyelids
     mortal foe was made.
They said, "We held thee righteous, who waylaid * Thy soul?" "Go
     ask his glorious eyes," I said.
I pardon all my blood he pleased to spill * Owning his troubles
     drove him blood to shed.
On my mind's mirror sun like sheen he cast * Whose keen
     reflection fire in vitals bred
Waters of Life let Allah waste at will * Suffice my wage those
     lips of dewy red:
An thou address my love thou'lt find a cause * For plaint and
     tears or ruth or lustihed.
In water pure his form shall greet your eyne * When fails the
     bowl nor need ye drink of wine.[FN#180]"

Then she quoted from the same ode:--

"I drank, but the draught of his glance, not wine, * And his
     swaying gait swayed to sleep these eyne:
'Twas not grape juice grips me but grasp of Past * 'Twas not bowl
     o'erbowled me but gifts divine:
His coiling curl-lets my soul ennetted * And his cruel will all
     my wits outwitted.[FN#181]"

After a pause she resumed:--

"If we 'plain of absence what shall we say? * Or if pain afflict
     us where wend our way?
An I hire a truchman[FN#182] to tell my tale * The lover's plaint
     is not told for pay:
If I put on patience, a lover's life * After loss of love will
     not last a day:
Naught is left me now but regret, repine * And tears flooding
     cheeks for ever and aye:
O thou who the babes of these eyes[FN#183] hast fled * Thou art
     homed in heart that shall never stray
Would heaven I wot hast thou kept our pact * Long as stream shall
     flow, to have firmest fey?
Or hast forgotten the weeping slave * Whom groans afflict and
     whom griefs waylay?
Ah, when severance ends and we side by side * Couch, I'll blame
     thy rigours and chide thy pride!"

Now when the portress heard her second ode she shrieked aloud and
said, "By Allah! 'tis right good!"; and laying hands on her
garments tore them, as she did the first time, and fell to the
ground fainting. Thereupon the procuratrix rose end brought her a
second change of clothes after she had sprinkled water on her.
She recovered and sat upright and said to her sister the
cateress, "Onwards, and help me in my duty, for there remains but
this one song." So the provisioneress again brought out the lute
and began to sing these verses:--

"How long shall last, how long this rigour rife of woe * May not
     suffice thee all these tears thou seest flow?
Our parting thus with purpose fell thou dost prolong * Is't not
     enough to glad the heart of envious foe?
Were but this lying world once true to lover heart * He had not
     watched the weary night in tears of woe:
Oh pity me whom overwhelmed thy cruel will * My lord, my king,
     'tis time some ruth to me thou show:
To whom reveal my wrongs, O thou who murdered me? * Sad,
     who of broken troth the pangs must undergo!
Increase wild love for thee and phrenzy hour by hour * And days
     of exile minute by so long, so slow;
O Moslems, claim vendetta[FN#184] for this slave of Love *
     Whose sleep Love ever wastes, whose patience Love lays low:
Doth law of Love allow thee, O my wish! to lie * Lapt in
     another's arms and unto me cry Go!?
Yet in thy presence, say, what joys shall I enjoy * When he I
     love but works my love to overthrow?"

When the portress heard the third song she cried aloud; and,
laying hands on her garments, rent them down to the very skirt
and fell to the ground fainting a third time, again showing the
scars of the scourge. Then said the three Kalandars, "Would
Heaven we had never entered this house, but had rather righted on
the mounds and heaps outside the city! for verily our visit hath
been troubled by sights which cut to the heart." The Caliph
turned to them and asked, "Why so?" and they made answer, "Our
minds are sore troubled by this matter." Quoth the Caliph, "Are
ye not of the household?" and quoth they, "No; nor indeed did we
ever set eyes on the place till within this hour." Hereat the
Caliph marvelled and rejoined, "This man who sitteth by you,
would he not know the secret of the matter?" and so saying he
winked and made signs at the Porter. So they questioned the man
but he replied, "By the All might of Allah, in love all are
alike![FN#185] I am the growth of Baghdad, yet never in my born
days did I darken these doors till to day and my companying with
them was a curious matter." "By Allah," they rejoined, "we took
thee for one of them and now we see thou art one like ourselves."
Then said the Caliph, "We be seven men, and they only three women
without even a fourth to help them; so let us question them of
their case; and, if they answer us not, fain we will be answered
by force." All of them agreed to this except Ja'afar who
said,[FN#186] "This is not my recking; let them be; for we are
their guests and, as ye know, they made a compact and condition
with us which we accepted and promised to keep: wherefore it is
better that we be silent concerning this matter; and, as but
little of the night remaineth, let each and every of us gang his
own gait." Then he winked at the Caliph and whispered to him,
"There is but one hour of darkness left and I can bring them
before thee to morrow, when thou canst freely question them all
concerning their story." But the Caliph raised his head haughtily
and cried out at him in wrath, saying, "I have no patience left
for my longing to hear of them: let the Kalandars question them
forthright." Quoth Ja'afar, "This is not my rede." Then words ran
high and talk answered talk, and they disputed as to who should
first put the question, but at last all fixed upon the Porter.
And as the jingle increased the house mistress could not but
notice it and asked them, "O ye folk! on what matter are ye
talking so loudly?" Then the Porter stood up respectfully before
her and said, "O my lady, this company earnestly desire that thou
acquaint them with the story of the two bitches and what maketh
thee punish them so cruelly; and then thou fallest to weeping
over them and kissing them; and lastly they want to hear the tale
of thy sister and why she hath been bastinado'd with palm sticks
like a man. These are the questions they charge me to put, and
peace be with thee."[FN#187] Thereupon quoth she who was the lady
of the house to the guests, "Is this true that he saith on your
part?" and all replied, "Yes!" save Ja'afar who kept silence.
When she heard these words she cried, "By Allah, ye have wronged
us, O our guests. with grievous wronging; for when you came
before us we made compact and condition with you, that whoso
should speak of what concerneth him not should hear what pleaseth
him not. Sufficeth ye not that we took you into our house and fed
you with our best food? But the fault is not so much yours as
hers who let you in." Then she tucked up her sleeves from her
wrists and struck the floor thrice with her hand crying, "Come ye
quickly;" and lo! a closet door opened and out of it came seven
negro slaves with drawn swords in hand to whom she said, "Pinion
me those praters' elbows and bind them each to each." They did
her bidding and asked her, "O veiled and virtuous! is it thy high
command that we strike off their heads?"; but she answered,
"Leave them awhile that I question them of their condition,
before their necks feel the sword." "By Allah, O my lady!" cried
the Porter, "slay me not for other's sin; all these men offended
and deserve the penalty of crime save myself. Now by Allah, our
night had been charming had we escaped the mortification of those
monocular Kalandars whose entrance into a populous city would
convert it into a howling wilderness." Then he repeated these
verses :

"How fair is ruth the strong man deigns not smother! * And
     fairest fair when shown to weakest brother:
By Love's own holy tie between us twain, * Let one not suffer for
     the sin of other."

When the Porter ended his verse the lady laughed. And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

                When It was the Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lady,
after laughing at the Porter despite her wrath, came up to the
party and spake thus, "Tell me who ye be, for ye have but an hour
of life; and were ye not men of rank and, perhaps, notables of
your tribes, you had not been so froward and I had hastened your
doom." Then said the Caliph, "Woe to thee, O Ja'afar, tell her
who we are lest we be slain by mistake; and speak her fair be
fore some horror befal us." "'Tis part of thy deserts,"replied
he; whereupon the Caliph cried out at him saying, "There is a
time for witty words and there is a time for serious work." Then
the lady accosted the three Kalandars and asked them, "Are ye
brothers?"; when they answered, "No, by Allah, we be naught but
Fakirs and foreigners." Then quoth she to one among them, "Wast
thou born blind of one eye?"; and quoth he, "No, by Allah, 'twas
a marvellous matter and a wondrous mischance which caused my eye
to be torn out, and mine is a tale which, if it were written upon
the eye corners with needle gravers, were a warner to whoso would
be warned."[FN#188] She questioned the second and third Kalandar;
but all replied like the first, "By Allah, O our mistress, each
one of us cometh from a different country, and we are all three
the sons of Kings, sovereign Princes ruling over suzerains and
capital cities." Thereupon she turned towards them and said, "Let
each and every of you tell me his tale in due order and explain
the cause of his coming to our place; and if his story please us
let him stroke his head[FN#189] and wend his way." The first to
come forward was the Hammal, the Porter, who said, "O my lady, I
am a man and a porter. This dame, the cateress, hired me to carry
a load and took me first to the shop of a vintner, then to the
booth of a butcher; thence to the stall of a fruiterer; thence to
a grocer who also sold dry fruits; thence to a confectioner and a
perfumer cum druggist and from him to this place where there
happened to me with you what happened. Such is my story and peace
be on us all!" At this the lady laughed and said, "Rub thy head
and wend thy ways!"; but he cried, "By Allah, I will not stump it
till I hear the stories of my companions." Then came forward one
of the Monoculars and began to tell her

The First Kalandar's Tale.

Know, O my lady, that the cause of my beard being shorn and my
eye being out torn was as follows. My father was a King and he
had a brother who was a King over another city; and it came to
pass that I and my cousin, the son of my paternal uncle, were
both born on one and the same day. And years and days rolled on;
and, as we grew up, I used to visit my uncle every now and then
and to spend a certain number of months with him. Now my cousin
and I were sworn friends; for he ever entreated me with exceeding
kindness; he killed for me the fattest sheep and strained the
best of his wines, and we enjoyed long conversing and carousing.
One day when the wine had gotten the better of us, the son of my
uncle said to me, "O my cousin, I have a great service to ask of
thee; and I desire that thou stay me not in whatso I desire to
do!" And I replied, "With joy and goodly will." Then he made me
swear the most binding oaths and left me; but after a little
while he returned leading a lady veiled and richly apparelled
with ornaments worth a large sum of money. Presently he turned to
me (the woman being still behind him) and said, "Take this lady
with thee and go before me to such a burial ground" (describing
it, so that I knew the place), "and enter with her into such a
sepulchre[FN#190] and there await my coming." The oaths I swore
to him made me keep silence and suffered me not to oppose him; so
I led the woman to the cemetery and both I and she took our seats
in the sepulchre; and hardly had we sat down when in came my
uncle's son, with a bowl of water, a bag of mortar and an adze
somewhat like a hoe. He went straight to the tomb in the midst of
the sepulchre and, breaking it open with the adze set the stones
on one side; then he fell to digging into the earth of the tomb
till he came upon a large iron plate, the size of a wicket door;
and on raising it there appeared below it a staircase vaulted and
winding. Then he turned to the lady and said to her, "Come now
and take thy final choice!" She at once went down by the
staircase and disappeared; then quoth he to me, "O son of my
uncle, by way of completing thy kindness, when I shall have
descended into this place, restore the trap door to where it was,
and heap back the earth upon it as it lay before; and then of thy
goodness mix this unslaked lime which is in the bag with this
water which is in the bowl and, after building up the stones,
plaster the outside so that none looking upon it shall say:--This
is a new opening in an old tomb. For a whole year have I worked
at this place whereof none knoweth but Allah, and this is the
need I have of thee;" presently adding, "May Allah never bereave
thy friends of thee nor make them desolate by thine absence, O
son of my uncle, O my dear cousin!" And he went down the stairs
and disappeared for ever. When he was lost to sight I replaced
the iron plate and did all his bidding till the tomb became as it
was before and I worked almost unconsciously for my head was
heated with wine. Returning to the palace of my uncle, I was told
that he had gone forth a-sporting and hunting; so I slept that
night without seeing him; and, when the morning dawned, I
remembered the scenes of the past evening and what happened
between me and my cousin; I repented of having obeyed him when
penitence was of no avail, I still thought, however, that it was
a dream. So I fell to asking for the son of my uncle; but there
was none to answer me concerning him; and I went out to the
grave-yard and the sepulchres, and sought for the tomb under
which he was, but could not find it; and I ceased not wandering
about from sepulchre to sepulchre, and tomb to tomb, all without
success, till night set in. So I returned to the city, yet I
could neither eat nor drink; my thoughts being engrossed with my
cousin, for that I knew not what was become of him; and I grieved
with exceeding grief and passed another sorrowful night, watching
until the morning. Then went I a second time to the cemetery,
pondering over what the son of mine uncle had done; and, sorely
repenting my hearkening to him, went round among all the tombs,
but could not find the tomb I sought. I mourned over the past,
and remained in my mourning seven days, seeking the place and
ever missing the path. Then my torture of scruples[FN#191] grew
upon me till I well nigh went mad, and I found no way to dispel
my grief save travel and return to my father. So I set out and
journeyed homeward; but as I was entering my father's capital a
crowd of rioters sprang upon me and pinioned me.[FN#192] I
wondered thereat with all wonderment, seeing that I was the son
of the Sultan, and these men were my father's subjects and
amongst them were some of my own slaves. A great fear fell upon
me, and I said to my soul,[FN#193] "Would heaven I knew what hath
happened to my father!" I questioned those that bound me of the
cause of their doing, but they returned me no answer. However,
after a while one of them said to me (and he had been a hired
servant of our house), "Fortune hath been false to thy father;
his troops betrayed him and the Wazir who slew him now reigneth
in his stead and we lay in wait to seize thee by the bidding of
him." I was well nigh distraught and felt ready to faint on
hearing of my father's death; when they carried me off and placed
me in presence of the usurper. Now between me and him there was
an olden grudge, the cause of which was this. I was fond of
shooting with the stone bow,[FN#194] and it befel one day as I
was standing on the terrace roof of the palace, that a bird
lighted on the top of the Wazir's house when he happened to be
there. I shot at the bird and missed the mark; but I hit the
Wazir's eye and knocked it out as fate and fortune decreed. Even
so saith the poet:--

We tread the path where Fate hath led * The path Fate writ we
     fain must tread:
And man in one land doomed to die * Death no where else shall do
     him dead.

And on like wise saith another:--

Let Fortune have her wanton way * Take heart and all her words
Nor joy nor mourn at anything * For all things pass and no things

Now when I knocked out the Wazir's eye he could not say a single
word, for that my father was King of the city; but he hated me
everafter and dire was the grudge thus caused between us twain.
So when I was set before him hand bound and pinioned, he
straightway gave orders for me to be beheaded. I asked, "For what
crime wilt thou put me to death?"; whereupon he answered, "What
crime is greater than this?" pointing the while to the place
where his eye had been Quoth I, "This I did by accident not of
malice prepense;" and quoth he, "If thou didst it by accident, I
will do the like by thee with intention.''[FN#195] Then cried he,
"Bring him forward," and they brought me up to him, when he
thrust his finger into my left eye and gouged it out; whereupon I
became one eyed as ye see me. Then he bade bind me hand and foot,
and put me into a chest and said to the sworder, "Take charge of
this fellow, and go off with him to the waste lands about the
city; then draw thy scymitar and slay him, and leave him to feed
the beasts and birds." So the headsman fared forth with me and
when he was in the midst of the desert, he took me out of the
chest (and I with both hands pinioned and both feet fettered) and
was about to bandage my eyes before striking off my head. But I
wept with exceeding weeping until I made him weep with me and,
looking at him I began to recite these couplets:--

"I deemed you coat o' mail that should withstand * The foeman's
     shafts, and you proved foeman's brand
I hoped your aidance in mine every chance * Though fail my left
     to aid my dexter hand:
Aloof you stand and hear the railer's gibe * While rain their
     shafts on me the giber-band:
But an ye will not guard me from my foes * Stand clear, and
     succour neither these nor those!"

And I also quoted:--

"I deemed my brethren mail of strongest steel * And so they were--
     from foes I to fend my dart!
I deemed their arrows surest of their aim; * And so they were--
     when aiming at my heart!"

When the headsman heard my lines (he had been sworder to my sire
and he owed me a debt of gratitude) he cried, "O my lord, what
can I do, being but a slave under orders?" presently adding, "Fly
for thy life and nevermore return to this land, or they will slay
thee and slay me with thee, even as the poet said:--

Take thy life and fly whenas evils threat; * Let the ruined house
     tell its owner's fate:
New land for the old thou shalt seek and find * But to find new
     life thou must not await.
Strange that men should sit in the stead of shame, * When Allah's
     world is so wide and great!
And trust not other, in matters grave * Life itself must act for
     a life beset:
Ne'er would prowl the lion with maned neck, * Did he reckon on
     aid or of others reck."

Hardly believing in my escape, I kissed his hand and thought the
loss of my eye a light matter in consideration of my escaping
from being slain. I arrived at my uncle's capital; and, going in
to him, told him of what had befallen my father and myself;
whereat he wept with sore weeping and said, "Verily thou addest
grief to my grief, and woe to my woe; for thy cousin hath been
missing these many days; I wot not what hath happened to him, and
none can give me news of him." And he wept till he fainted. I
sorrowed and condoled with him; and he would have applied certain
medicaments to my eye, but he saw that it was become as a walnut
with the shell empty. Then said he, "O my son, better to lose eye
and keep life!" After that I could no longer remain silent about
my cousin, who was his only son and one dearly loved, so I told
him all that had happened. He rejoiced with extreme joyance to
hear news of his son and said, "Come now and show me the tomb;"
but I replied, "By Allah, O my uncle, I know not its place,
though I sought it carefully full many times, yet could not find
the site." However, I and my uncle went to the grave yard and
looked right and left, till at last I recognised the tomb and we
both rejoiced with exceeding joy. We entered the sepulchre and
loosened the earth about the grave; then, up raising the trap
door, descended some fifty steps till we came to the foot of the
staircase when lo! we were stopped by a blinding smoke. Thereupon
said my uncle that saying whose sayer shall never come to shame,
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!" and we advanced till we suddenly came upon
a saloon, whose floor was strewed with flour and grain and
provisions and all manner necessaries; and in the midst of it
stood a canopy sheltering a couch. Thereupon my uncle went up to
the couch and inspecting it found his son and the lady who had
gone down with him into the tomb, lying in each other's embrace;
but the twain had become black as charred wood; it was as if they
had been cast into a pit of fire. When my uncle saw this
spectacle, he spat in his son's face and said, "Thou hast thy
deserts, O thou hog![FN#196] this is thy judgment in the
transitory world, and yet remaineth the judgment in the world to
come, a durer and a more enduring "-- And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

                 When it was the Twelfth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Kalandar thus went on with his story before the lady and the
Caliph and Ja'afar:--My uncle struck his son with his
slipper[FN#197] as he lay there a black heap of coal. I marvelled
at his hardness of heart, and grieving for my cousin and the
lady, said, "By Allah, O my uncle, calm thy wrath: dost thou not
see that all my thoughts are occupied with this misfortune, and
how sorrowful I am for what hath befallen thy son, and how
horrible it is that naught of him remaineth but a black heap of
charcoal? And is not that enough, but thou must smite him with
thy slipper?" Answered he,"O son of my brother, this youth from
his boyhood was madly in love with his own sister;[FN#198] and
often and often I forbade him from her, saying to myself:--They
are but little ones. However, when they grew up sin befel between
them; and, although I could hardly believe it, I confined him and
chided him and threatened him with the severest threats; and the
eunuchs and servants said to him:--Beware of so foul a thing
which none before thee ever did, and which none after thee will
ever do; and have a care lest thou be dishonoured and disgraced
among the Kings of the day, even to the end of time. And I
added:--Such a report as this will be spread abroad by caravans,
and take heed not to give them cause to talk or I will assuredly
curse thee and do thee to death. After that I lodged them apart
and shut her up; but the accursed girl loved him with passionate
love, for Satan had got the mastery of her as well as of him and
made their foul sin seem fair in their sight. Now when my son saw
that I separated them, he secretly built this souterrain and
furnished it and transported to it victuals, even as thou seest;
and, when I had gone out a-sporting, came here with his sister
and hid from me. Then His righteous judgment fell upon the twain
and consumed them with fire from Heaven; and verily the last
judgment will deal them durer pains and more enduring!" Then he
wept and I wept with him; and he looked at me and said, "Thou art
my son in his stead." And I bethought me awhile of the world and
of its chances, how the Wazir had slain my father and had taken
his place and had put out my eye; and how my cousin had come to
his death by the strangest chance: and I wept again and my uncle
wept with me. Then we mounted the steps and let down the iron
plate and heaped up the earth over it; and, after restoring the
tomb to its former condition, we returned to the palace. But
hardly had we sat down ere we heard the tomtoming of the kettle
drum and tantara of trumpets and clash of cymbals; and the
rattling of war men's lances; and the clamours of assailants and
the clanking of bits and the neighing of steeds; while the world
was canopied with dense dust and sand clouds raised by the
horses' hoofs.[FN#199] We were amazed at sight and sound, knowing
not what could be the matter; so we asked and were told us that
the Wazir who usurped my father's kingdom had marched his men;
and that after levying his soldiery and taking a host of wild
Arabs[FN#200] into service, he had come down upon us with armies
like the sands of the sea; their number none could tell and
against them none could prevail. They attacked the city unawares;
and the citizens, being powerless to oppose them, surrendered the
place: my uncle was slain and I made for the suburbs saying to
myself, "If thou fall into this villain's hands he will assuredly
kill thee." On this wise all my troubles were renewed; and I
pondered all that had betided my father and my uncle and I knew
not what to do; for if the city people or my father's troops had
recognised me they would have done their best to win favour by
destroying me; and I could think of no way to escape save by
shaving off my beard and my eyebrows. So I shore them off and,
changing my fine clothes for a Kalandar's rags, I fared forth
from my uncle's capital and made for this city; hoping that
peradventure some one would assist me to the presence of the
Prince of the Faithful,[FN#201] and the Caliph who is the
Viceregent of Allah upon earth. Thus have I come hither that I
might tell him my tale and lay my case before him. I arrived here
this very night, and was standing in doubt whither I should go,
when suddenly I saw this second Kalandar; so I salam'd to him
saying--"I am a stranger!" and he answered:--"I too am a
stranger!" And as we were conversing behold, up came our
companion, this third Kalandar, and saluted us saying:--"I am a
stranger!" And we answered:--"We too be strangers!" Then we three
walked on and together till darkness overtook us and Destiny
crave us to your house. Such, then, is the cause of the shaving
of my beard and mustachios and eyebrows; and the manner of my
losing my right eye. They marvelled much at this tale and the
Caliph said to Ja'afar, "By Allah, I have not seen nor have I
heard the like of what hath happened to this Kalandar!" Quoth the
lady of the house, "Rub thy head and wend thy ways;" but he
replied, "I will not go, till I hear the history of the two
others." Thereupon the second Kalandar came forward; and, kissing
the ground, began to tell

The Second Kalandar's Tale.

Know, O my lady, that I was not born one eyed and mine is a
strange story; an it were graven with needle graver on the eye
corners, it were a warner to whoso would be warned. I am a King,
son of a King, and was brought up like a Prince. I learned
intoning the Koran according the seven schools;[FN#202] and I
read all manner books, and held disputations on their contents
with the doctors and men of science; moreover I studied star lore
and the fair sayings of poets and I exercised myself in all
branches of learning until I surpassed the people of my time; my
skill in calligraphy exceeded that of all the scribes; and my
fame was bruited abroad over all climes and cities, and all the
kings learned to know my name. Amongst others the King of Hind
heard of me and sent to my father to invite me to his court, with
offerings and presents and rarities such as befit royalties. So
my father fitted out six ships for me and my people; and we put
to sea and sailed for the space of a full month till we made the
land. Then we brought out the horses that were with us in the
ships; and, after loading the camels with our presents for the
Prince, we set forth inland. But we had marched only a little
way, when behold, a dust cloud up flew, and grew until it
walled[FN#203] the horizon from view. After an hour or so the
veil lifted and discovered beneath it fifty horsemen, ravening
lions to the sight, in steel armour dight. We observed them
straightly and lo! they were cutters off of the highway, wild as
wild Arabs. When they saw that we were only four and had with us
but the ten camels carrying the presents, they dashed down upon
us with lances at rest. We signed to them, with our fingers, as
it were saying, "We be messengers of the great King of Hind, so
harm us not!" but they answered on like wise, "We are not in his
dominions to obey nor are we subject to his sway." Then they set
upon us and slew some of my slaves and put the lave to flight;
and I also fled after I had gotten a wound, a grievous hurt,
whilst the Arabs were taken up with the money and the presents
which were with us. I went forth unknowing whither I went, having
become mean as I was mighty; and I fared on until I came to the
crest of a mountain where I took shelter for the night in a cave.
When day arose I set out again, nor ceased after this fashion
till I arrived at a fair city and a well filled. Now it was the
season when Winter was turning away with his rime and to greet
the world with his flowers came Prime, and the young blooms were
springing and the streams flowed ringing, and the birds were
sweetly singing, as saith the poet concerning a certain city when
describing it:--

A place secure from every thought of fear * Safety and peace for
     ever lord it here:
Its beauties seem to beautify its sons * And as in Heaven its
     happy folk appear.

I was glad of my arrival for I was wearied with the way, and
yellow of face for weakness and want; but my plight was pitiable
and I knew not whither to betake me. So I accosted a Tailor
sitting in his little shop and saluted him; he returned my salam,
and bade me kindly welcome and wished me well and entreated me
gently and asked me of the cause of my strangerhood. I told him
all my past from first to last; and he was concerned on my
account and said, "O youth, disclose not thy secret to any: the
King of this city is the greatest enemy thy father hath, and
there is blood wit[FN#204] between them and thou hast cause to
fear for thy life." Then he set meat and drink before me; and I
ate and drank and he with me; and we conversed freely till night
fall, when he cleared me a place in a corner of his shop and
brought me a carpet and a coverlet. I tarried with him three
days; at the end of which time he said to me, "Knowest thou no
calling whereby to win thy living, O my son?" "I am learned in
the law," I replied, "and a doctor of doctrine; an adept in art
and science, a mathematician and a notable penman." He rejoined,
"Thy calling is of no account in our city, where not a soul under
standeth science or even writing or aught save money making."
Then said I, "By Allah, I know nothing but what I have
mentioned;" and he answered, "Gird thy middle and take thee a
hatchet and a cord, and go and hew wood in the wold for thy daily
bread, till Allah send thee relief; and tell none who thou art
lest they slay thee." Then he bought me an axe and a rope and
gave me in charge to certain wood cutters; and with these
guardians I went forth into the forest, where I cut fuel wood the
whole of my day and came back in the evening bearing my bundle on
my head. I sold it for half a diner, with part of which I bought
provision and laid by the rest. In such work I spent a whole year
and when this was ended I went out one day, as was my wont, into
the wilderness; and, wandering away from my companions, I chanced
on a thickly grown lowland[FN#205] in which there was an
abundance of wood. So I entered and I found the gnarled stump of
a great tree and loosened the ground about it and shovelled away
the earth. Presently my hatchet rang upon a copper ring; so I
cleared away the soil and behold, the ring was attached to a
wooden trap door. This I raised and there appeared beneath it a
staircase. I descended the steps to the bottom and came to a
door, which I opened and found myself in a noble hall strong of
structure and beautifully built, where was a damsel like a pearl
of great price, whose favour banished from my heart all grief and
cark and care; and whose soft speech healed the soul in despair
and captivated the wise and ware. Her figure measured five feet
in height; her breasts were firm and upright; her cheek a very
garden of delight; her colour lively bright; her face gleamed
like dawn through curly tresses which gloomed like night, and
above the snows of her bosom glittered teeth of a pearly
white.[FN#206] As the poet said of one like her:--

Slim waisted loveling jetty hair encrowned * A wand of willow on
     a sandy mound:

And as saith another.--

Four things that meet not, save they here unite * To shed my
     heart blood and to rape my sprite:
Brilliantest forehead; tresses jetty bright; * Cheeks rosy red
     and stature beauty dight.

When I looked upon her I prostrated myself before Him who had
created her, for the beauty and loveliness He had shaped in her,
and she looked at me and said, "Art thou man or Jinni?" "I am a
man," answered I, and she, "Now who brought thee to this place
where I have abided five and twenty years without even yet seeing
man in it?" Quoth I (and indeed I found her words wonder sweet,
and my heart was melted to the core by them), "O my lady, my good
fortune led me hither for the dispelling of my cark and care."
Then I related to her all my mishap from first to last, and my
case appeared to her exceeding grievous; so she wept and said, "I
will tell thee my story in my turn. I am the daughter of the King
Ifitamus, lord of the Islands of Abnus,[FN#207] who married me to
my cousin, the son of my paternal uncle; but on my wedding night
an Ifrit named Jirjís[FN#208] bin Rajmús, first cousin that is,
mother's sister's son, of Iblís, the Foul Fiend, snatched me up
and, flying away with me like a bird, set me down in this place,
whither he conveyed all I needed of fine stuffs, raiment and
jewels and furniture, and meat and drink and other else. Once in
every ten days he comes here and lies a single night with me, and
then wends his way, for he took me without the consent of his
family; and he hath agreed with me that if ever I need him by
night or by day, I have only to pass my hand over yonder two
lines engraved upon the alcove, and he will appear to me before
my fingers cease touching. Four days have now passed since he was
here; and, as there remain six days before he come again, say me,
wilt thou abide with me five days, and go hence the day before
his coming?" I replied "Yes, and yes again! O rare, if all this
be not a dream!" Hereat she was glad and, springing to her feet,
seized my hand and carried me through an arched doorway to a
Hammam bath, a fair hall and richly decorate. I doffed my
clothes, and she doffed hers; then we bathed and she washed me;
and when this was done we left the bath, and she seated me by her
side upon a high divan, and brought me sherbet scented with musk.
When we felt cool after the bath, she set food before me and we
ate and fell to talking; but presently she said to me, "Lay thee
down and take thy rest, for surely thou must be weary." So I
thanked her, my lady, and lay down and slept soundly, forgetting
all that had happened to me. When I awoke I found her rubbing and
shampooing my feet;[FN#209] so I again thanked her and blessed
her and we sat for awhile talking. Said she, "By Allah, I was sad
at heart, for that I have dwelt alone underground for these five
and twenty years; and praise be to Allah, who hath sent me some
one with whom I can converse!" Then she asked, "O youth, what
sayest thou to wine?" and I answered, "Do as thou wilt." Where-
upon she went to a cupboard and took out a sealed flask of right
old wine and set off the table with flowers and scented herbs and
began to sing these lines:--

"Had we known of thy coming we fain had dispread * The cores of
     our hearts or the balls of our eyes;
Our cheeks as a carpet to greet thee had thrown * And our eyelids
     had strown for thy feet to betread."

 Now when she finished her verse I thanked her, for indeed love
of her had gotten hold of my heart and my grief and anguish were
gone. We sat at converse and carousel till nightfall, and with
her I spent the night--such night never spent I in all my life!
On the morrow delight followed delight till midday, by which time
I had drunken wine so freely that I had lost my wits, and stood
up, staggering to the right and to the left, and said "Come, O my
charmer, and I will carry thee up from this underground vault and
deliver thee from the spell of thy Jinni." She laughed and
replied "Content thee and hold thy peace: of every ten days one
is for the Ifrit and the other nine are thine." Quoth I (and in
good sooth drink had got the better of me), "This very instant
will I break down the alcove whereon is graven the talisman and
summon the Ifrit that I may slay him, for it is a practice of
mine to slay Ifrits!" When she heard my words her colour waxed
wan and she said, "By Allah, do not!" and she began repeating:--

"This is a thing wherein destruction lies * I rede thee shun it
     an thy wits be wise."

And these also:--

"O thou who seekest severance, draw the rein * Of thy swift steed
     nor seek o'ermuch t' advance;
Ah stay! for treachery is the rule of life, * And sweets of
     meeting end in severance."

I heard her verse but paid no heed to her words, nay, I raised my
foot and administered to the alcove a mighty kick. And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permisted say.

               When it was the Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the second
Kalandar thus continued his tale to the lady:--But when, O my
mistress, I kicked that alcove with a mighty kick, behold, the
air starkened and darkened and thundered and lightened; the earth
trembled and quaked and the world became invisible. At once the
fumes of wine left my head: I cried to her, "What is the matter?"
and she replied, "The Ifrit is upon us! did I not warn thee of
this? By Allah, thou hast brought ruin upon me; but fly for thy
life and go up by the way thou camest down!" So I fled up the
staircase; but, in the excess of my fear, I forgot sandals and
hatchet. And when I had mounted two steps I turned to look for
them, and lo! I saw the earth cleave asunder, and there arose
from it an Ifrit, a monster of hideousness, who said to the
damsel "What trouble and posher be this wherewith thou disturbest
me? What mishap hath betided thee?" "No mishap hath befallen me"
she answered, "save that my breast was straitened[FN#210] and my
heart heavy with sadness! so I drank a little wine to broaden it
and to hearten myself; then I rose to obey a call of Nature, but
the wine had gotten into my head and I fell against the alcove."
"Thou liest, like the whore thou art!" shrieked the Ifrit; and he
looked around the hall right and left till he caught sight of my
axe and sandals and said to her, "What be these but the
belongings of some mortal who hath been in thy society?" She
answered, "I never set eyes upon them till this moment: they must
have been brought by thee hither cleaving to thy garments." Quoth
the Ifrit, "These words are absurd; thou harlot! thou strumpet!"
Then he stripped her stark naked and, stretching her upon the
floor, bound her hands and feet to four stakes, like one
crucified;[FN#211] and set about torturing and trying to make her
confess. I could not bear to stand listening to her cries and
groans; so I climbed the stair on the quake with fear; and when I
reached the top I replaced the trap door and covered it with
earth. Then repented I of what I had done with penitence
exceeding; and thought of the lady and her beauty and loveliness,
and the tortures she was suffering at the hands of the accursed
Ifrit, after her quiet life of five and twenty years; and how all
that had happened to her was for the cause of me. I bethought me
of my father and his kingly estate and how I had become a
woodcutter; and how, after my time had been awhile serene, the
world had again waxed turbid and troubled to me. So I wept
bitterly and repeated this couplet:--

 What time Fate's tyranny shall most oppress thee * Perpend! one
     day shall joy thee, one distress thee!

Then I walked till I reached the home of my friend, the Tailor,
whom I found most anxiously expecting me; indeed he was, as the
saying goes, on coals of fire for my account. And when he saw me
he said, "All night long my heart hath been heavy, fearing for
thee from wild beasts or other mischances. Now praise be to Allah
for thy safety!" I thanked him for his friendly solicitude and,
retiring to my corner, sat pondering and musing on what had
befallen me; and I blamed and chided myself for my meddlesome
folly and my frowardness in kicking the alcove. I was calling
myself to account when behold, my friend, the Tailor, came to me
and said, "O youth, in the shop there is an old man, a
Persian,[FN#212] who seeketh thee: he hath thy hatchet and thy
sandals which he had taken to the woodcutters,[FN#213] saying, "I
was going out at what time the Mu'azzin began the call to dawn
prayer, when I chanced upon these things and know not whose they
are; so direct me to their owner." The woodcutters recognised thy
hatchet and directed him to thee: he is sitting in my shop, so
fare forth to him and thank him and take thine axe and sandals."
When I heard these words I turned yellow with fear and felt
stunned as by a blow; and, before I could recover myself, lo! the
floor of my private room clove asunder, and out of it rose the
Persian who was the Ifrit. He had tortured the lady with
exceeding tortures, natheless she would not confess to him aught;
so he took the hatchet and sandals and said to her, "As surely as
I am Jirjis of the seed of Iblis, I will bring thee back the
owner of this and these!"[FN#214] Then he went to the woodcutters
with the presence aforesaid and, being directed to me, after
waiting a while in the shop till the fact was confirmed, he
suddenly snatched me up as a hawk snatcheth a mouse and dew high
in air; but presently descended and plunged with me under the
earth (I being aswoon the while), and lastly set me down in the
subterranean palace wherein I had passed that blissful night. And
there I saw the lady stripped to the skin, her limbs bound to
four stakes and blood welling from her sides. At the sight my
eyes ran over with tears; but the Ifrit covered her person and
said, "O wanton, is not this man thy lover?" She looked upon me
and replied, "I wot him not nor have I ever seen him before this
hour!" Quoth the Ifrit, "What! this torture and yet no
confessing;" and quoth she,"I never saw this man in my born days,
and it is not lawful in Allah's sight to tell lies on him." "If
thou know him not," said the Ifrit to her, "take this sword and
strike off his head.''[FN#215] She hent the sword in hand and
came close up to me; and I signalled to her with my eyebrows, my
tears the while flowing adown my cheeks. She understood me and
made answer, also by signs, "How couldest thou bring all this
evil upon me?" and I rejoined after the same fashion, "This is
the time for mercy and forgiveness." And the mute tongue of my
case[FN#216] spake aloud saying:--

Mine eyes were dragomans for my tongue betted * And told full
     clear the love I fain would hide:
When last we met and tears in torrents railed * For tongue struck
     dumb my glances testified:
She signed with eye glance while her lips were mute * I signed
     with fingers and she kenned th' implied:
Our eyebrows did all duty 'twixt us twain; * And we being
     speechless Love spake loud and plain.

Then, O my mistress, the lady threw away the sword and said, "How
shall I strike the neck of one I wot not, and who hath done me no
evil? Such deed were not lawful in my law!" and she held her
hand. Said the Ifrit, "'Tis grievous to thee to slay thy lover;
and, because he hath lain with thee, thou endurest these torments
and obstinately refusest to confess. After this it is clear to me
that only like loveth and pitieth like." Then he turned to me and
asked me, "O man, haply thou also dost not know this woman;"
whereto I answered, "And pray who may she be? assuredly I never
saw her till this instant." "Then take the sword," said he "and
strike off her head and I will believe that thou wottest her not
and will leave thee free to go, and will not deaf 'hardly with
thee." I replied, "That will I do;" and, taking the sword went
forward sharply and raised my hand to smite. But she signed to me
with her eyebrows, "Have I failed thee in aught of love; and is
it thus that thou requirest me?" I understood what her looks
implied and answered her with an eye-glance, "I will sacrifice my
soul for thee." And the tongue of the case wrote in our hearts
these lines:--

How many a lover with his eyebrows speaketh * To his beloved, as
     his passion pleadeth:
With flashing eyne his passion he inspireth * And well she seeth
     what kits pleading needeth.
How sweet the look when each on other gazeth; * And with what
     swiftness and how sure it speedeth:
And this with eyebrows all his passion writeth; * And that with
     eyeballs all his passion readeth.

Then my eyes filled with tears to overflowing and I cast the
sword from my hand saying, "O mighty Ifrit and hero, if a woman
lacking wits and faith deem it unlawful to strike off my head,
how can it be lawful for me, a man, to smite her neck whom I
never saw in my whole life. I cannot do such misdeed though thou
cause me drink the cup of death and perdition." Then said the
Ifrit, "Ye twain show the good understanding between you; but I
will let you see how such doings end." He took the sword, and
struck off the lady's hands first, with four strokes, and then
her feet; whilst I looked on and made sure of death and she
farewelled me with her dying eyes. So the Ifrit cried at her,
"Thou whorest and makest me a wittol with thine eyes;" and struck
her so that her head went flying. Then he turned to me and said,
"O mortal, we have it in our law that, when the wife committeth
advowtry it is lawful for us to slay her. As for this damsel I
snatched her away on her bride-night when she was a girl of
twelve and she knew no one but myself. I used to come to her once
every ten days and lie with her the night, under the semblance of
a man, a Persian; and when I was well assured that she had
cuckolded me, I slew her. But as for thee I am not well satisfied
that thou hast wronged me in her; nevertheless I must not let
thee go unharmed; so ask a boon of me and I will grant it." Then
I rejoiced, O my lady, with ex ceeding joy and said, "What boon
shall I crave of thee?" He replied, "Ask me this boon; into what
shape I shall bewitch thee; wilt thou be a dog, or an ass or an
ape?" I rejoined (and indeed I had hoped that mercy might be
shown me), "By Allah, spare me, that Allah spare thee for sparing
a Moslem and a man who never wronged thee." And I humbled myself
before him with exceeding humility, and remained standing in his
presence, saying, "I am sore oppressed by circumstance." He
replied "Talk me no long talk, it is in my power to slay thee;
but I give thee instead thy choice." Quoth I, "O thou Ifrit, it
would besit thee to pardon me even as the Envied pardoned the
Envier." Quoth he, "And how was that?" and I began to tell him

The Tale of the Envier and the Envied.

They relate, O Ifrit, that in a certain city were two men who
dwelt in adjoining houses, having a common party wall; and one of
them envied the other and looked on him with an evil eye,[FN#217]
and did his utmost endeavour to injure him; and, albeit at all
times he was jealous of his neighbour, his malice at last grew on
him till he could hardly eat or enjoy the sweet pleasures of
sleep. But the Envied did nothing save prosper; and the more the
other strove to injure him, the more he got and gained and
throve. At last the malice of his neighbour and the man's
constant endeavour to work him a harm came to his knowledge; so
he said, "By Allah! God's earth is wide enough for its people;"
and, leaving the neighbourhood, he repaired to another city where
he bought himself a piece of land in which was a dried up draw
well,[FN#218] old and in ruinous condition. Here he built him an
oratory and, furnishing it with a few necessaries, took up his
abode therein, and devoted himself to prayer and worshipping
Allah Almighty; and Fakirs and holy mendicants docked to him from
all quarters; and his fame went abroad through the city and that
country side. Presently the news reached his envious neighbour,
of what good fortune had befallen him and how the city notables
had become his disciples; so he travelled to the place and
presented himself at the holy man's hermitage, and was met by the
Envied with welcome and greeting and all honour. Then quoth the
Envier, "I have a word to say to thee; and this is the cause of
my faring hither, and I wish to give thee a piece of good news;
so come with me to thy cell." Thereupon the Envied arose and took
the Envier by the hand, and they went in to the inmost part of
the hermitage; but the Envier said, "Bid thy Fakirs retire to
their cells, for I will not tell thee what I have to say, save in
secret where none may hear us." Accordingly the Envied said to
his Fakirs, "Retire to your private cells;" and, when all had
done as he bade them, he set out with his visitor and walked a
little way until the twain reached the ruinous old well. And as
they stood upon the brink the Envier gave the Envied a push which
tumbled him headlong into it, unseen of any; whereupon he fared
forth, and went his ways, thinking to have had slain him. Now
this well happened to be haunted by the Jann who, seeing the
case, bore him up and let him down little by little, till he
reached the bottom, when they seated him upon a large stone. Then
one of them asked his fellows, "Wot ye who be this man?" and they
answered, "Nay." "This man," continued the speaker, "is the
Envied hight who, flying from the Envier, came to dwell in our
city, and here founded this holy house, and he hath edified us by
his litanies[FN#219] and his lections of the Koran; but the
Envier set out and journeyed till he rejoined him, and cunningly
contrived to deceive him and cast him into the well where we now
are. But the fame of this good man hath this very night come to
the Sultan of our city who designeth to visit him on the morrow
on account of his daughter." "What aileth his daughter?" asked
one, and another answered "She is possessed of a spirit; for
Maymun, son of Damdam, is madly in love with her; but, if this
pious man knew the remedy, her cure would be as easy as could
be." Hereupon one of them inquired, "And what is the medicine?"
and he replied, "The black tom cat which is with him in the
oratory hath, on the end of his tail, a white spot, the size of a
dirham; let him pluck seven white hairs from the spot, then let
him fumigate her therewith and the Marid will flee from her and
not return; so she shall be sane for the rest of her life." All
this took place, O Ifrit, within earshot of the Envied who
listened readily. When dawn broke and morn arose in sheen and
shone, the Fakirs went to seek the Shaykh and found him climbing
up the wall of the well; whereby he was magnified in their
eyes.[FN#220] Then, knowing that naught save the black tomcat
could supply him with the remedy required, he plucked the seven
tail hairs from the white spot and laid them by him; and hardly
had the sun risen ere the Sultan entered the hermitage, with the
great lords of his estate, bidding the rest of his retinue to
remain standing outside. The Envied gave him a hearty welcome,
and seating him by his side asked him, "Shall I tell thee the
cause of thy coming?" The King answered, "Yes." He continued,
"Thou hast come upon pretext of a visitation;[FN#221] but it is
in thy heart to question me of thy daughter." Replied the King, "
'Tis even so, O thou holy Shaykh;" and the Envied continued,
"Send and fetch her, and I trust to heal her forthright (an such
it be the will of Allah!)" The King in great joy sent for his
daughter, and they brought her pinioned and fettered. The Envied
made her sit down behind a curtain and taking out the hairs
fumigated her therewith; whereupon that which was in her head
cried out and departed from her. The girl was at once restored to
her right mind and veiling her face, said, "What hath happened
and who brought me hither?" The Sultan rejoiced with a joy that
nothing could exceed, and kissed his daughter's eyes,[FN#222] and
the holy man's hand; then, turning to his great lords, he asked,
"How say ye! What fee deserveth he who hath made my daughter
whole?" and all answered, "He deserveth her to wife;" and the
King said, "Ye speak sooth!" So he married him to her and the
Envied thus became son in law to the King. And after a little the
Wazir died and the King said, "Whom can I make Minister in his
stead?" "Thy son in law," replied the courtiers. So the Envied
became a Wazir; and after a while the Sultan also died and the
lieges said, "Whom shall we make King?" and all cried, "The
Wazir." So the Wazir was forthright made Sultan, and he became
King regnant, a true ruler of men. One day as he had mounted his
horse; and, in the eminence of his kinglihood, was riding amidst
his Emirs and Wazirs and the Grandees of his realm his eye fell
upon his old neighbour, the Envier, who stood afoot on his path;
so he turned to one of his Ministers, and said, "Bring hither
that man and cause him no affright." The Wazir brought him and
the King said, "Give him a thousand miskals[FN#223] of gold from
the treasury, and load him ten camels with goods for trade, and
send him under escort to his own town." Then he bade his enemy
farewell and sent him away and forbore to punish him for the many
and great evils he had done. See, O Ifrit, the mercy of the
Envied to the Envier, who had hated him from the beginning and
had borne him such bitter malice and never met him without
causing him trouble; and had driven him from house and home, and
then had journeyed for the sole purpose of taking his life by
throwing him into the well. Yet he did not requite his injurious
dealing, but forgave him and was bountiful to him.[FN#224] Then I
wept before him, O my lady, with sore weeping, never was there
sorer, and I recited:--

"Pardon my fault, for 'tis the wise man's wont * All faults to
     pardon and revenge forgo:
In sooth all manner faults in me contain * Then deign of goodness
     mercy grace to show:
Whoso imploreth pardon from on High * Should hold his hand
     from sinners here below."

Said the Ifrit, "Lengthen not thy words! As to my slaying thee
fear it not, and as to my pardoning thee hope it not; but from my
bewitching thee there is no escape." Then he tore me from the
ground which closed under my feet and hew with me into the
firmament till I saw the earth as a large white cloud or a
saucer[FN#225] in the midst of the waters. Presently he set me
down on a mountain, and taking a little dust, over which he
muttered some magical words, sprinkled me therewith, saying,
"Quit that shape and take thou the shape of an ape!" And on the
instant I became an ape, a tailless baboon, the son of a
century[FN#226]. Now when he had left me and I saw myself in this
ugly and hateful shape, I wept for myself, but resigned my soul
to the tyranny of Time and Circumstance, well weeting that
Fortune is fair and constant to no man. I descended the mountain
and found at the foot a desert plain, long and broad, over which
I travelled for the space of a month till my course brought me to
the brink of the briny sea.[FN#227] After standing there awhile,
I was ware of a ship in the offing which ran before a fair wind
making for the shore. I hid myself behind a rock on the beach and
waited till the ship drew near, when I leaped on board. I found
her full of merchants and passengers and one of them cried, "O
Captain, this ill omened brute will bring us ill luck!" and
another said, "Turn this ill omened beast out from among us;" the
Captain said, "Let us kill it!" another said, "Slay it with the
sword;" a third, "Drown it;" and a fourth, "Shoot it with an
arrow." But I sprang up and laid hold of the Rais's[FN#228]
skirt, and shed tears which poured down my chops. The Captain
took pity on me, and said, "O merchants! this ape hath appealed
to me for protection and I will protect him; henceforth he is
under my charge: so let none do him aught hurt or harm, otherwise
there will be bad blood between us." Then he entreated me kindly
and whatsoever he said I understood and ministered to his every
want and served him as a servant, albeit my tongue would not obey
my wishes; so that he came to love me. The vessel sailed on, the
wind being fair, for the space of fifty days; at the end of which
we cast anchor under the walls of a great city wherein was a
world of people, especially learned men, none could tell their
number save Allah. No sooner had we arrived than we were visited
by certain Mameluke officials from the King of that city; who,
after boarding us, greeted the merchants and giving them joy of
safe arrival said, "Our King welcometh you, and sendeth you this
roll of paper, whereupon each and every of you must write a line.
For ye shall know that the King's Minister, a calligrapher of
renown, is dead, and the King hath sworn a solemn oath that he
will make none Wazir in his stead who cannot write as well as he
could." He then gave us the scroll which measured ten cubits long
by a breadth of one, and each of the merchants who knew how to
write wrote a line thereon, even to the last of them; after which
I stood up (still in the shape of an ape) and snatched the roll
out of their hands. They feared lest I should tear it or throw it
overboard; so they tried to stay me and scare me, but I signed to
them that i could write, whereat all marvelled, saying, "We never
yet saw an, ape write." And the Captain cried, "Let him write;
and if he scribble and scrabble we will kick him out and kill
him; but if he; write fair and scholarly I will adopt him as my
son; for surely I never yet saw a more intelligent and well
mannered monkey than he. Would Heaven my real son were his match
in morals and manners." I took the reed, and stretching out my
paw, dipped it in ink and wrote, in the hand used for
letters,[FN#229] these two couplets:--

Time hath recorded gifts she gave the great; * But none recorded
     thine which be far higher
Allah ne'er orphan men by loss of thee * Who be of Goodness
     mother. Bounty's sire.

And I wrote in Rayháni or larger letters elegantly

Thou hast a reed[FN#231] of rede to every land, * Whose driving
     causeth all the world to thrive;
Nil is the Nile of Misraim by thy boons * Who makest misery
     smile with fingers five

Then I wrote in the Suls[FN#232] character:--

There be no writer who from Death shall fleet, * But what his
     hand hath writ men shall repeat:
Write, therefore, naught save what shall serve thee when * Thou
     see's on Judgment-Day an so thou see's!

Then I wrote in the character Naskh[FN#233]:--

When to sore parting Fate our love shall doom, * To distant life
     by Destiny decreed,
We cause the inkhorn's lips to 'plain our pains, * And tongue our
     utterance with the talking reed.

And I wrote in the Túmár character[FN#234]:--

Kingdom with none endures; if thou deny * This truth, where be
     the Kings of earlier earth?
Set trees of goodliness while rule endures, * And when thou art
     fallen they shall tell thy worth.

And I wrote in the character Muhakkak[FN#235]:--

When oped the inkhorn of thy wealth and fame * Take ink of
     generous heart and gracious hand;
Write brave and noble deeds while write thou can * And win thee
     praise from point of pen and brand.

Then I gave the scroll to the officials and, after we all had
written our line, they carried it before the King. When he saw
the paper no writing pleased him save my writing; and he said to
the assembled courtiers, "Go seek the writer of these lines and
dress him in a splendid robe of honour; then mount him on a she
mule,[FN#236] let a band of music precede him and bring him to
the presence." At these words they smiled and the King was wroth
with them and cried, "O accursed! I give you an order and you
laugh at me?" "O King," replied they, "if we laugh 'tis not at
thee and not without a cause." "And what is it?" asked he; and
they answered, "O King, thou orderest us to bring to thy presence
the man who wrote these lines; now the truth is that he who wrote
them is not of the sons of Adam,[FN#237] but an ape, a tail-less
baboon, belonging to the ship captain." Quoth he, "Is this true
that you say?" Quoth they, "Yea! by the rights of thy
munificence!" The King marvelled at their words and shook with
mirth and said, "I am minded to buy this ape of the Captain."
Then he sent messengers to the ship with the mule, the dress, the
guard and the state drums, saying, "Not the less do you clothe
him in the robe of honour and mount him on the mule and let him
be surrounded by the guards and preceded by the band of music."
They came to the ship and took me from the Captain and robed me
in the robe of honour and, mounting me on the she mule, carried
me in state procession through the streets', whilst the people
were amazed and amused. And folk said to one another, "Halloo! is
our Sultan about to make an ape his Minister?"; and came all agog
crowding to gaze at me, and the town was astir and turned topsy
turvy on my account. When they brought me up to the King and set
me in his presence, I kissed the ground before him three times,
and once before the High Chamberlain and great officers, and he
bade me be seated, and I sat respectfully on shins and
knees,[FN#238] and all who were present marvelled at my fine
manners, and the King most of all. Thereupon he ordered the
lieges to retire; and, when none remained save the King's
majesty, the Eunuch on duty and a little white slave, he bade
them set before me the table of food, containing all manner of
birds, whatever hoppeth and flieth and treadeth in nest, such as
quail and sand grouse. Then he signed me to eat with him; so I
rose and kissed ground before him, then sat me down and ate with
him. And when the table was removed I washed my hands in seven
waters and took the reed-case and reed; and wrote instead of
speaking these couplets:--

Wail for the little partridges on porringer and plate; * Cry for
     the ruin of the fries and stews well marinate:
Keen as I keen for loved, lost daughters of the
     Katá-grouse,[FN#239] * And omelette round the fair
     enbrowned fowls agglomerate:
O fire in heart of me for fish, those deux poissons I saw, *
     Bedded on new made scones[FN#240] and cakes in piles to
For thee, O vermicelli! aches my very maw! I hold * Without thee
     every taste and joy are clean annihilate
Those eggs have rolled their yellow eyes in torturing pains of
     fire * Ere served with hash and fritters hot, that
     delicatest cate.
Praised be Allah for His baked and roast and ah! how good * This
     pulse, these pot-herbs steeped in oil with eysill combinate!
When hunger sated was, I elbow-propt fell back upon * Meat
     pudding[FN#241] wherein gleamed the bangles that my wits
Then woke I sleeping appetite to eat as though in sport * Sweets
     from broceded trays and kickshaws most elaborate.
Be patient, soul of me! Time is a haughty, jealous wight; * Today
     he seems dark-lowering and tomorrow fair to sight.[FN#242]

Then I rose and seated myself at a respectful distance while the
King read what I had written, and marvelled, exclaiming, "O the
miracle, that an ape should be gifted with this graceful style
and this power of penmanship! By Allah, 'tis a wonder of
wonders!" Presently they set before the King choice wines in
flagons of glass and he drank: then he passed on the cup to me;
and I kissed the ground and drank and wrote on it:--

With fire they boiled me to loose my tongue,[FN#243] * And pain
     and patience gave for fellowship:
Hence comes it hands of men upbear me high * And honey dew
     from lips of maid I sip!

And these also:--

Morn saith to Night, "withdraw and let me shine;" * So drain we
     draughts that dull all pain and pine:[FN#244]
I doubt, so fine the glass, the wine so clear, * If 'tis the wine
     in glass or glass in twine.

The King read my verse and said with a sigh, "Were these
gifts[FN#245] in a man, he would excel all the folk of his time
and age!" Then he called for the chess board, and said, "Say,
wilt thou play with me?"; and I signed with my head, "Yes." Then
I came forward and ordered the pieces and played with him two
games, both of which I won. He was speechless with surprise; so I
took the pen case and, drawing forth a reed, wrote on the board
these two couplets:--

Two hosts fare fighting thro' the livelong day * Nor is their
     battling ever finished,
Until, when darkness girdeth them about, * The twain go sleeping
     in a single bed.[FN#246]

The King read these lines with wonder and delight and said to his
Eunuch,[FN#247] "O Mukbil, go to thy mistress, Sitt al-
Husn,[FN#248] and say her, 'Come, speak the King who biddeth thee
hither to take thy solace in seeing this right wondrous ape!"' So
the Eunuch went out and presently returned with the lady who,
when she saw me veiled her face and said, "O my father! hast thou
lost all sense of honour? How cometh it thou art pleased to send
for me and show me to strange men?" "O Sitt al-Husn," said he,
"no man is here save this little foot page and the Eunuch who
reared thee and I, thy father. From whom, then, cost thou veil
thy face?" She answered, "This whom thou deemest an ape is a
young man, a clever and polite, a wise and learned and the son of
a King; but he is ensorcelled and the Ifrit Jirjaris, who is of
the seed of Iblis, cast a spell upon him, after putting to death
his own wife the daughter of King Ifitamus lord of the Islands of
Abnus." The King marvelled at his daughter's words and, turning
to me, said, "Is this true that she saith of thee?"; and I signed
by a nod of my head the answer, "Yea, verily;" and wept sore.
Then he asked his daughter, "Whence knewest thou that he is
ensorcelled?"; and she answered, "O my dear papa, there was with
me in my childhood an old woman, a wily one and a wise and a
witch to boot, and she taught me the theory of magic and its
practice; and I took notes in writing and therein waxed perfect,
and have committed to memory an hundred and seventy chapters of
egromantic formulas, by the least of which I could transport the
stones of thy city behind the Mountain Kaf and the Circumambient
Main,[FN#249] or make its site an abyss of the sea and its people
fishes swimming in the midst of it." "O my daughter," said her
father, "I conjure thee, by my life, disenchant this young man,
that I may make him my Wazir and marry thee to him, for indeed he
is an ingenious youth and a deeply learned." "With joy and goodly
gree," she replied and, hending in hand an iron knife whereon was
inscribed the name of Allah in Hebrew characters, she described a
wide circle--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

               When it was the Fourteenth Night,

 She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Kalandar continued his tale thus:--O my lady, the King's daughter
hent in hand a knife whereon were inscribed Hebrew characters and
described a wide circle in the midst of the palace hall, and
therein wrote in Cufic letters mysterious names and talismans;
and she uttered words and muttered charms, some of which we
understood and others we understood not. Presently the world waxed
dark before our sight till we thought that the sky was falling
upon our heads, and lo! the Ifrit presented himself in his own
shape and aspect. His hands were like many pronged pitch forks,
his legs like the masts of great ships, and his eyes like
cressets of gleaming fire. We were in terrible fear of him but
the King's daughter cried at him, "No welcome to thee and no
greeting, O dog!" whereupon he changed to the form of a lion and
said, "O traitress, how is it thou hast broken the oath we sware
that neither should contraire other!" "O accursed one," answered
she, "how could there be a compact between me and the like of
thee?" Then said he, "Take what thou has brought on thy self;"
and the lion opened his jaws and rushed upon her; but she was too
quick for him; and, plucking a hair from her head, waved it in
the air muttering over it the while; and the hair straightway
became a trenchant sword blade, wherewith she smote the lion and
cut him in twain. Then the two halves flew away in air and the
head changed to a scorpion and the Princess became a huge serpent
and set upon the accursed scorpion, and the two fought, coiling
and uncoiling, a stiff fight for an hour at least. Then the
scorpion changed to a vulture and the serpent became an eagle
which set upon the vulture, and hunted him for an hour's time,
till he became a black tom cat, which miauled and grinned and
spat. Thereupon the eagle changed into a piebald wolf and these
two battled in the palace for a long time, when the cat, seeing
himself overcome, changed into a worm and crept into a huge red
pomegranate,[FN#250] which lay beside the jetting fountain in the
midst of the palace hall. Whereupon the pomegranate swelled to
the size of a water melon in air; and, falling upon the marble
pavement of the palace, broke to pieces, and all the grains fell
out and were scattered about till they covered the whole floor.
Then the wolf shook himself and became a snow white cock, which
fell to picking up the grains purposing not to leave one; but by
doom of destiny one seed rolled to the fountain edge and there
lay hid. The cock fell to crowing and clapping his wings and
signing to us with his beak as if to ask, ' Are any grains left?"
But we understood not what he meant, and he cried to us with so
loud a cry that we thought the palace would fall upon us. Then he
ran over all the floor till he saw the grain which had rolled to
the fountain edge, and rushed eagerly to pick it up when behold,
it sprang into the midst of the water and became a fish and dived
to the bottom of the basin. Thereupon the cock changed to a big
fish, and plunged in after the other, and the two disappeared for
a while and lo! we heard loud shrieks and cries of pain which
made us tremble. After this the Ifrit rose out of the water, and
he was as a burning flame; casting fire and smoke from his mouth
and eyes and nostrils. And immediately the Princess likewise came
forth from the basin and she was one live coal of flaming lowe;
and these two, she and he, battled for the space of an hour,
until their fires entirely compassed them about and their thick
smoke filled the palace. As for us we panted for breath, being
well nigh suffocated, and we longed to plunge into the water
fearing lest we be burnt up and utterly destroyed; and the King
said, There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah the
Glorious, the Great! Verily we are Allah's and unto Him are we
returning! Would Heaven I had not urged my daughter to attempt
the disenchantment of this ape fellow, whereby I have imposed
upon her the terrible task of fighting yon accursed Ifrit against
whom all the Ifrits in the world could not prevail. And would
Heaven we had never seen this ape, Allah never assain nor bless
the day of his coming! We thought to do a good deed by him before
the face of Allah,[FN#251] and to release him from enchantment,
and now we have brought this trouble and travail upon our heart."
But I, O my lady, was tongue tied and powerless to say a word to
him. Suddenly, ere we were ware of aught, the Ifrit yelled out
from under the flames and, coming up to us as we stood on the
estrade, blew fire in our faces. The damsel overtook him and
breathed blasts of fire at his face and the sparks from her and
from him rained down upon us, and her sparks did us no harm, but
one of his sparks alighted upon my eye and destroyed it making me
a monocular ape; and another fell on the King's face scorching
the lower half, burning off his beard and mustachios and causing
his under teeth to fall out; while a third alighted on the
Castrato's breast, killing him on the spot. So we despaired of
life and made sure of death when lo! a voice repeated the saying,
"Allah is most Highest! Allah is most Highest! Aidance and
victory to all who the Truth believe; and disappointment and
disgrace to all who the religion of Mohammed, the Moon of Faith,
unbelieve." The speaker was the Princess who had burnt the Ifrit,
and he was become a heap of ashes. Then she came up to us and
said, "Reach me a cup of water." They brought it to her and she
spoke over it words we understood not, and sprinkling me with it
cried, "By virtue of the Truth, and by the Most Great name of
Allah, I charge thee return to thy former shape." And behold, I
shook, and became a man as before, save that I had utterly lost
an eye. Then she cried out, "The fire! The fire! O my dear papa
an arrow from the accursed hath wounded me to the death, for I am
not used to fight with the Jann; had he been a man I had slain
him in the beginning. I had no trouble till the time when the
pomegranate burst and the grains scattered, but I overlooked the
seed wherein was the very life of the Jinni. Had I picked it up
he had died on the spot, but as Fate and Fortune decreed, I saw
it not; so he came upon me all unawares and there befel between
him and me a sore struggle under the earth and high in air and in
the water; and, as often as I opened on him a gate,[FN#252] he
opened on me another gate and a stronger, till at last he opened
on me the gate of fire, and few are saved upon whom the door of
fire openeth. But Destiny willed that my cunning prevail over his
cunning; and I burned him to death after I vainly exhorted him to
embrace the religion of al-Islam. As for me I am a dead woman;
Allah supply my place to you!" Then she called upon Heaven for
help and ceased not to implore relief from the fire; when lo! a
black spark shot up from her robed feet to her thighs; then it
flew to her bosom and thence to her face. When it reached her
face she wept and said, "I testify that there is no god but the
God and that Mahommed is the Apostle of God!" And we looked at
her and saw naught but a heap of ashes by the side of the heap
that had been the Ifrit. We mourned for her and I wished I had
been in her place, so had I not seen her lovely face who had
worked me such weal become ashes; but there is no gainsaying the
will of Allah. When the King saw his daughter's terrible death,
he plucked out what was left of his beard and beat his face and
rent his raiment; and I did as he did and we both wept over her.
Then came in the Chamberlains and Grandees and were amazed to
find two heaps of ashes and the Sultan in a fainting fit; so they
stood round him till he revived and told them what had befallen
his daughter from the Ifrit; whereat their grief was right
grievous and the women and the slave girls shrieked and
keened,[FN#253] and they continued their lamentations for the
space of seven days. Moreover the King bade build over his
daughter's ashes a vast vaulted tomb, and burn therein wax tapers
and sepulchral lamps: but as for the Ifrit's ashes they scattered
them on the winds, speeding them to the curse of Allah. Then the
Sultan fell sick of a sickness that well nigh brought him to his
death for a month's space; and, when health returned to him and
his beard grew again and he had been converted by the mercy of
Allah to al-Islam, he sent for me and said, "O youth, Fate had
decreed for us the happiest of lives, safe from all the chances
and changes of Time, till thou camest to us, when troubles fell
upon us. Would to Heaven we had never seen thee and the foul face
of thee! For we took pity on thee and thereby we have lost our
all. I have on thy account first lost my daughter who to me was
well worth an hundred men, secondly I have suffered that which
befel me by reason of the fire and the loss of my teeth, and my
Eunuch also was slain. I blame thee not, for it was out of thy
power to prevent this: the doom of Allah was on thee as well as
on us and thanks be to the Almighty for that my daughter
delivered thee, albeit thereby she lost her own life! Go forth
now, O my son, from this my city, and suffice thee what hath
befallen us through thee, even although 'twas decreed for us. Go
forth in peace; and if I ever see thee again I will surely slay
thee." And he cried out at me. So I went forth from his presence,
O my lady, weeping bitterly and hardly believing in my escape and
knowing not whither I should wend. And I recalled all that had
befallen me, my meeting the tailor, my love for the damsel in the
palace beneath the earth, and my narrow escape from the Ifrit,
even after he had determined to do me die; and how I had entered
the city as an ape and was now leaving it a man once more. Then I
gave thanks to Allah and said, "My eye and not my life!" and
before leaving the place I entered the bath and shaved my poll
and beard and mustachios and eye brows; and cast ashes on my head
and donned the coarse black woollen robe of a Kalandar. Then I
fared forth, O my lady, and every day I pondered all the
calamities which had betided me, and I wept and repeated these

"I am distraught, yet verily His ruth abides with me, * Tho'
     round me gather hosts of ills, whence come I cannot see:
Patient I'll be till Patience self with me impatient wax; *
     Patient for ever till the Lord fulfil my destiny:
Patient I'll bide without complaint, a wronged and vanquish" man;
     * Patient as sunparcht wight that spans the desert's sandy
Patient I'll be till Aloe's[FN#254] self unwittingly allow * I'm
     patient under bitterer things than bitterest aloë:
No bitterer things than aloes or than patience for mankind, * Yet
     bitterer than the twain to me were Patience' treachery:
My sere and seamed and seared brow would dragoman my sore *
     If soul could search my sprite and there unsecret secrecy:
Were hills to bear the load I bear they'd crumble 'neath the
    weight, * 'Twould still the roaring wind, 'twould quench the
    flame-tongue's flagrancy,
And whoso saith the world is sweet certès a day he'll see * With
     more than aloes' bitterness and aloes' pungency."

Then I journeyed through many regions and saw many a city
intending for Baghdad, that I might seek audience, in the House
of Peace,[FN#255] with the Commander of the Faithful and tell him
all that had befallen me. I arrived here this very night and
found my brother in Allah, this first Kalandar, standing about as
one perplexed; so I saluted him with "Peace be upon thee," and
entered into discourse with him. Presently up came our brother,
this third Kalandar, and said to us, "Peace be with you! I am a
stranger;" whereto we replied, "And we too be strangers, who have
come hither this blessed night." So we all three walked on
together, none of us knowing the other's history, till Destiny
crave us to this door and we came in to you. Such then is my
story and my reason for shaving my beard and mustachios, and this
is what caused the loss of my eye. Said the house mistress, "Thy
tale is indeed a rare; so rub thy head and wend thy ways;" but he
replied, "I will not budge till I hear my companions' stories."
Then came forward the third Kalandar, and said, "O illustrious
lady! my history is not like that of these my comrades, but more
wondrous and far more marvellous. In their case Fate and Fortune
came down on them unawares; but I drew down destiny upon my own
head and brought sorrow on mine own soul, and shaved my own beard
and lost my own eye. Hear then

The Third Kalandar's Tale.

Know, O my lady, that I also am a King and the son of a King and
my name is Ajíb son of Kazíb. When my father died I succeeded
him; and I ruled and did justice and dealt fairly by all my
lieges. I delighted in sea trips, for my capital stood on the
shore, before which the ocean stretched far and wide; and near
hand were many great islands with sconces and garrisons in the
midst of the main. My fleet numbered fifty merchantmen, and as
many yachts for pleasance, and an hundred and fifty sail ready
fitted for holy war with the Unbelievers. It fortuned that I had
a mind to enjoy myself on the islands aforesaid, so I took ship
with my people in ten keel; and, carrying with me a month's
victual, I set out on a twenty days' voyage. But one night a head
wind struck us, and the sea rose against us with huge waves; the
billows sorely buffetted us and a dense darkness settled round
us. We gave ourselves up for lost and I said, "Whoso endangereth
his days, e'en an he 'scape deserveth no praise." Then we prayed
to Allah and besought Him; but the storm blasts ceased not to
blow against us nor the surges to strike us till morning broke
when the gale fell, the seas sank to mirrory stillness and the
sun shone upon us kindly clear. Presently we made an island where
we landed and cooked somewhat of food, and ate heartily and took
our rest for a couple of days. Then we set out again and sailed
other twenty days, the seas broadening and the land shrinking.
Presently the current ran counter to us, and we found ourselves
in strange waters, where the Captain had lost his reckoning, and
was wholly bewildered in this sea; so said we to the look out
man,[FN#256] "Get thee to the mast head and keep thine eyes
open." He swarmed up the mast and looked out and cried aloud, "O
Rais, I espy to starboard something dark, very like a fish
floating on the face of the sea, and to larboard there is a loom
in the midst of the main, now black and now bright." When the
Captain heard the look out's words he dashed his turband on the
deck and plucked out his beard and beat his face saying, "Good
news indeed! we be all dead men; not one of us can be saved." And
he fell to weeping and all of us wept for his weeping and also
for our lives; and I said, "O Captain, tell us what it is the
look out saw." "O my Prince," answered he, "know that we lost our
course on the night of the storm, which was followed on the
morrow by a two days' calm during which we made no way; and we
have gone astray eleven days reckoning from that night, with
ne'er a wind to bring us back to our true course. Tomorrow by
the end of the day we shall come to a mountain of black stone,
highs the Magnet Mountain;[FN#257] for thither the currents carry
us willy-nilly. As soon as we are under its lea, the ship's sides
will open and every nail in plank will fly out and cleave fast to
the mountain; for that Almighty Allah hath gifted the loadstone
with a mysterious virtue and a love for iron, by reason whereof
all which is iron travelleth towards it; and on this mountain is
much iron, how much none knoweth save the Most High, from the
many vessels which have been lost there since the days of yore.
The bright spot upon its summit is a dome of yellow laton from
Andalusia, vaulted upon ten columns; and on its crown is a
horseman who rideth a horse of brass and holdeth in hand a lance
of laton; and there hangeth on his bosom a tablet of lead graven
with names and talismans." And he presently added, "And, O King,
none destroyeth folk save the rider on that steed, nor will the
egromancy be dispelled till he fall from his horse.''[FN#258]
Then, O my lady, the Captain wept with exceeding weeping and we
all made sure of death doom and each and every one of us
farewelled his friend and charged him with his last will and
testament in case he might be saved. We slept not that night and
in the morning we found ourselves much nearer the Loadstone
Mountain, whither the waters crave us with a violent send. When
the ships were close under its lea they opened and the nails flew
out and all the iron in them sought the Magnet Mountain and clove
to it like a network; so that by the end of the day we were all
struggling in the waves round about the mountain. Some of us were
saved, but more were drowned and even those who had escaped knew
not one another, so stupefied were they by the beating of the
billows and the raving of the winds. As for me, O my lady, Allah
(be His name exalted!) preserved my life that I might suffer
whatso He willed to me of hardship, misfortune and calamity; for
I scrambled upon a plank from one of the ships, and the wind and
waters threw it at the feet of the Mountain. There I found a
practicable path leading by steps carven out of the rock to the
summit, and I called on the name of Allah Almighty"[FN#259]--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

                When it was the Fifteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
third Kalandar said to the lady (the rest of the party sitting
fast bound and the slaves standing with swords drawn over their
heads):--And after calling on the name of Almighty Allah and
passionately beseeching Him, I breasted the ascent, clinging to
the steps and notches hewn in the stone, and mounted little by
little. And the Lord stilled the wind and aided me in the ascent,
so that I succeeded in reaching the summit. There I found no
resting place save the dome, which I entered, joying with
exceeding joy at my escape; and made the Wuzu-ablution[FN#260]
and prayed a two bow prayer,[FN#261] a thanksgiving to God for my
preservation. Then I fell asleep under the dome, and heard in my
dream a mysterious Voice[FN#262] saying, "O son of Khazib! when
thou wakest from thy sleep dig under thy feet and thou shalt find
a bow of brass and three leaden arrows, inscribed with talismans
and characts. Take the bow and shoot the arrows at the horseman
on the dome top and free mankind from this sore calamity. When
thou hast shot him he shall fall into the sea, and the horse will
also drop at thy feet: then bury it in the place of the bow. This
done, the main will swell and rise till it is level with the
mountain head, and there will appear on it a skiff carrying a man
of laton (other than he thou shalt have shot) holding in his hand
a pair of paddles. He will come to thee and do thou embark with
him but beware of saying Bismillah or of otherwise naming Allah
Almighty. He will row thee for a space of ten days, till he bring
thee to certain Islands called the Islands of Safety, and thence
thou shalt easily reach a port and find those who will convey
thee to thy native land; and all this shall be fulfilled to thee
so thou call not on the name of Allah." Then I started up from my
sleep in joy and gladness and, hastening to do the bidding of the
mysterious Voice, found the bow and arrows and shot at the
horseman and tumbled him into the main, whilst the horse dropped
at my feet; so I took it and buried it. Presently the sea surged
up and rose till it reached the top of the mountain; nor had I
long to wait ere I saw a skiff in the offing coming towards me. I
gave thanks to Allah; and, when the skiff came up to me, I saw
therein a man of brass with a tablet of lead on his breast
inscribed with talismans and characts; and I embarked without
uttering a word. The boatman rowed on with me through the first
day and the second and the third, in all ten whole days, till I
caught sight of the Islands of Safety; whereat I joyed with
exceeding joy and for stress of gladness exclaimed, "Allah!
Allah! In the name of Allah! There is no god but the God and
Allah is Almighty.''[FN#263] Thereupon the skiff forthwith upset
and cast me upon the sea; then it righted and sank deep into the
depths. Now I am a fair swimmer, so I swam the whole day till
nightfall, when my forearms and shoulders were numbed with
fatigue and I felt like to die; so I testified to my faith,
expecting naught but death. The sea was still surging under the
violence of the winds, and presently there came a billow like a
hillock; and, bearing me up high in air, threw me with a long
cast on dry land, that His will might be fulfilled. I crawled up
the beach and doffing my raiment wrung it out to dry and spread
it in the sunshine: then I lay me down and slept the whole night.
As soon as it was day, I donned my clothes and rose to look
whither I should walk. Presently I came to a thicket of low
trees; and, making a cast round it, found that the spot whereon I
stood was an islet, a mere holm, girt on all sides by the ocean;
whereupon I said to myself, "Whatso freeth me from one great
calamity casteth me into a greater!" But while I was pondering my
case and longing for death behold, I saw afar off a ship making
for the island; so I clomb a tree and hid myself among the
branches. Presently the ship anchored and landed ten slaves,
blackamoors, bearing iron hoes and baskets, who walked on till
they reached the middle of the island. Here they dug deep into
the ground, until they uncovered a plate of metal which they
lifted, thereby opening a trap door. After this they returned to
the ship and thence brought bread and flour, honey and fruits,
clarified butter,[FN#264] leather bottles containing liquors and
many household stuffs; also furniture, table service and mirrors
rugs, carpets and in fact all needed to furnish a dwelling; and
they kept going to and fro, and descending by the trap door, till
they had transported into the dwelling all that was in the ship.
After this the slaves again went on board and brought back with
them garments as rich as may be, and in the midst of them came an
old, old man, of whom very little was left, for Time had dealt
hardly and harshly with him, and all that remained of him was a
bone wrapped in a rag of blue stuff through which the winds
whistled west and east. As saith the poet of him:--

Time gars me tremble Ah, how sore the baulk! * While Time in
     pride of strength cloth ever stalk:
Time was I walked nor ever felt I tired, * Now am I tired albe I
     never walk!

And the Shaykh held by the hand a youth cast in beauty's mould,
all elegance and perfect grace; so fair that his comeliness
deserved to be proverbial; for he was as a green bough or the
tender young of the roe, ravishing every heart with his
loveliness and subduing every soul with his coquetry and amorous
ways.[FN#265] It was of him the poet spake when he said:--

Beauty they brought with him to make compare, * But Beauty
     hung her head in shame and care:
Quoth' they, "O Beauty, hast thou seen his like?" * And Beauty
     cried, "His like? not anywhere!"

They stinted not their going, O my lady, till all went down by
the trap door and did not reappear for an hour, or rather more;
at the end of which time the slaves and the old man came up
without the youth and, replacing the iron plate and carefully
closing the door slab as it was before, they returned to the ship
and made sail and were lost to my sight. When they turned away to
depart, I came down from the tree and, going to the place I had
seen them fill up, scraped off and removed the earth; and in
patience possessed my soul till I had cleared the whole of it
away. Then appeared the trap door which was of wood, in shape and
size like a millstone; and when I lifted it up it disclosed a
winding staircase of stone. At this I marvelled and, descending
the steps till I reached the last, found a fair hall, spread with
various kinds of carpets and silk stuffs, wherein was a youth
sitting upon a raised couch and leaning back on a round cushion
with a fan in his hand and nosegays and posies of sweet scented
herbs and flowers before him;[FN#266] but he was alone and not a
soul near him in the great vault. When he saw me he turned pale;
but I saluted him courteously and said, "Set thy mind at ease and
calm thy fears; no harm shall come near thee; I am a man like
thyself and the son of a King to boot; whom the decrees of
Destiny have sent to bear thee company and cheer thee in thy
loneliness. But now tell me, what is thy story and what causeth
thee to dwell thus in solitude under the ground?" When he was
assured that I was of his kind and no Jinni, he rejoiced and his
fine colour returned; and, making me draw near to him he said, "O
my brother, my story is a strange story and 'tis this. My father
is a merchant-jeweller possessed of great wealth, who hath white
and black slaves travelling and trading on his account in ships
and on camels, and trafficking with the most distant cities; but
he was not blessed with a child, not even one. Now on a certain
night he dreamed a dream that he should be favoured with a son,
who would be short lived; so the morning dawned on my father
bringing him woe and weeping. On the following night my mother
conceived and my father noted down the date of her becoming
pregnant.[FN#267] Her time being fulfilled she bare me; whereat
my father rejoiced and made banquets and called together the
neighbors and fed the Fakirs and the poor, for that he had been
blessed with issue near the end of his days. Then he assembled
the astrologers and astronomers who knew the places of the
planets, and the wizards and wise ones of the time, and men
learned in horoscopes and nativities,[FN#268] and they drew out
my birth scheme and said to my father, "Thy son shall live to
fifteen years, but in his fifteenth there is a sinister aspect;
an he safely tide it over he shall attain a great age. And the
cause that threateneth him with death is this. In the Sea of
Peril standeth the Mountain Magnet hight; on whose summit is a
horseman of yellow laton seated on a horse also of brass and
bearing on his breast a tablet of lead. Fifty days after this
rider shall fall from his steed thy son will die and his slayer
will be he who shoots down the horseman, a Prince named Ajib son
of King Khazib." My father grieved with exceeding grief to hear
these words; but reared me in tenderest fashion and educated me
excellently well until my fifteenth year was told. Ten days ago
news came to him that the horseman had fallen into the sea and he
who shot him down was named Ajib son of King Khazib. My father
thereupon wept bitter tears at the need of parting with me and
became like one possessed of a Jinni. However, being in mortal
fear for me, he built me this place under the earth; and,
stocking it with all required for the few days still remaining,
he brought me hither in a ship and left me here. Ten are already
past and, when the forty shall have gone by without danger to me,
he will come and take me away; for he hath done all this only in
fear of Prince Ajib. Such, then, is my story and the cause of my
loneliness." When I heard his history I marvelled and said in my
mind, "I am the Prince Ajib who hath done all this; but as Allah
is with me I will surely not slay him!" So said I to him, "O my
lord, far from thee be this hurt and harm and then, please Allah,
thou shalt not suffer cark nor care nor aught disquietude, for I
will tarry with thee and serve thee as a servant, and then wend
my ways; and after having borne thee company during the forty
days, I will go with thee to thy home where thou shalt give me an
escort of some of thy Mamelukes with whom I may journey back to
my own city; and the Almighty shall requite thee for me." He was
glad to hear these words, when I rose and lighted a large wax
candle and trimmed the ramps end the three lanterns; and I set on
meat and drink and sweetmeats. We ate and drank and sat talking
over various matters till the greater part of the night was gone;
when he lay down to rest and I covered him up and went to sleep
myself. Next morning I arose and warmed a little water, then
lifted him gently so as to awake him and brought him the warm
water wherewith he washed his face[FN#269] and said to me,
"Heaven requite thee for me with every blessing, O youth! By
Allah, if I get quit of this danger and am saved from him whose
name is Ajib bin Khazib, I will make my father reward thee and
send thee home healthy and wealthy; and, if I die, then my
blessing be upon thee." I answered, "May the day never dawn on
which evil shall betide thee; and may Allah make my last day
before thy last day!" Then I set before him somewhat of food and
we ate; and I got ready perfumes for fumigating the hall,
wherewith he was pleased. Moreover I made him a Mankalah-
cloth;[FN#270] and we played and ate sweetmeats and we played
again and took our pleasure till nightfall, when I rose and
lighted the lamps, and set before him somewhat to eat, and sat
telling him stories till the hours of darkness were far spent.
Then he lay down to rest and I covered him up and rested also.
And thus I continued to do, O my lady, for days and nights and
affection for him took root in my heart and my sorrow was eased,
and I said to myself, "The astrologers lied[FN#271] when they
predicted that he should be slain by Ajib bin Khazib: by Allah, I
will not slay him." I ceased not ministering to him and
conversing and carousing with him and telling him all manner
tales for thirty nine days. On the fortieth night[FN#272] the
youth rejoiced and said, "O my brother, Alhamdo, lillah!--praise
be to Allah--who hath preserved me from death and this is by thy
blessing and the blessing of thy coming to me and I pray God that
He restore thee to thy native land. But now, O my brother, I
would thou warm me some water for the Ghusl ablution and do thou
kindly bathe me and change my clothes." I replied, "With love and
gladness;" and I heated water in plenty and carrying it in to him
washed his body all over the washing of health,[FN#273] with meal
of lupins[FN#274] and rubbed him well and changed his clothes and
spread him a high bed whereon he lay down to rest, being drowsy
after bathing. Then said he, "O my brother, cut me up a water
melon, and sweeten it with a little sugar candy."[FN#275] So I
went to the store room and bringing out a fine water melon I
found there, set it on a platter and laid it before him saying,
"O my master hast thou not a knife?" "Here it is," answered he,
"over my head upon the high shelf." So I got up in haste and
taking the knife drew it from its sheath; but my foot slipped in
stepping down and I fell heavily upon the youth holding in my
hand the knife which hastened to fulfil what had been written on
the Day that decided the destinies of man, and buried itself, as
if planted, in the youth's heart. He died on the instant. When I
saw that he was slain and knew that I had slain him, maugre
myself, I cried out with an exceeding loud and bitter cry and
beat my face and rent my raiment and said, "Verily we be Allah's
and unto Him we be returning, O Moslems! O folk fain of Allah!
there remained for this youth but one day of the forty dangerous
days which the astrologers and the learned had foretold for him;
and the predestined death of this beautiful one was to be at my
hand. Would Heaven I had not tried to cut the watermelon. What
dire misfortune is this I must bear fief or loath? What a
disaster! What an affliction! O Allah mine, I implore thy pardon
and declare to Thee my innocence of his death. But what God
willeth let that come to pass.''[FN#276]--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

                When it was the Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ajib thus
continued his tale to the lady:--When I was certified that I had
slain him, I arose and ascending the stairs replaced the trap-
door and covered it with earth as before. Then I looked out
seawards and saw the ship cleaving the waters and making for the
island, wherefore I was afeard and said, "The moment they come
and see the youth done to death, they will know 'twas I who slew
him and will slay me without respite." So I climbed up into a
high tree and concealed myself among its leaves; and hardly had I
done so when the ship anchored and the slaves landed with the
ancient man, the youth's father, and made direct for the place
and when they removed the earth they were surprised to see it
soft.[FN#277] Then they raised the trap door and went down and
found the youth lying at full length, clothed in fair new
garments, with a face beaming after the bath, and the knife deep
in his heart. At the sight they shrieked and wept and beat their
faces, loudly cursing the murderer; whilst a swoon came over the
Shaykh so that the slaves deemed him dead, unable to survive his
son. At last they wrapped the slain youth in his clothes and
carried him up and laid him on the ground covering him with a
shroud of silk. Whilst they were making for the ship the old man
revived; and, gazing on his son who was stretched out, fell on
the ground and strewed dust over his head and smote his face and
plucked out his beard; and his weeping redoubled as he thought of
his murdered son and he swooned away once more. After awhile a
slave went and fetched a strip of silk whereupon they lay the old
man and sat down at his head. All this took place and I was on
the tree above them watching everything that came to pass; and my
heart became hoary before my head waxed grey, for the hard lot
which was mine, and for the distress and anguish I had undergone,
and I fell to reciting:--

"How many a joy by Allah's will hath fled * With flight escaping
     sight of wisest head!
How many a sadness shall begin the day, * Yet grow right
     gladsome ere the day is sped!
How many a weal trips on the heels of ill, * Causing the
     mourner's heart with joy to thrill!"[FN#278]

But the old man, O my lady, ceased not from his swoon till near
sunset, when he came to himself and, looking upon his dead son,
he recalled what had happened, and how what he had dreaded had
come to pass; and he beat his face and head and recited these

"Racked is my heart by parting fro' my friends * And two rills
     ever fro' my eyelids flow:
With them[FN#279] went forth my hopes, Ah, well away! * What
     shift remaineth me to say or do?
Would I had never looked upon their sight, * What shift, fair
     sirs, when paths e'er strainer grow?
What charm shall calm my pangs when this wise burn * Longings
     of love which in my vitals glow?
Would I had trod with them the road of Death! * Ne'er had befel
     us twain this parting blow:
Allah: I pray the Truthful show me Roth * And mix our lives nor
     part them evermo'e!
How blest were we as 'death one roof we dwelt * Conjoined in
     joys nor recking aught of woe;
Till Fortune shot us pith the severance shaft; * Ah who shall
     patient bear such parting throe?
And dart of Death struck down amid the tribe * The age's pearl
     that Morn saw brightest show:
I cried the while his case took speech and said:--* Would Heaven,
     my son, Death mote his doom foreslow!
Which be the readiest road wi' thee to meet * My Son! for whom I
     would my soul bestow?
If sun I call him no! the sun cloth set; * If moon I call him,
     wane the moons; Ah no!
O sad mischance o' thee, O doom of days, * Thy place none other
     love shall ever know:
Thy sire distracted sees thee, but despairs * By wit or wisdom
     Fate to overthrow:
Some evil eye this day hath cast its spell * And foul befal him
     as it foul befel!"

Then he sobbed a single sob and his soul fled his flesh. The
slaves shrieked aloud, "Alas, our lord!" and showered dust on
their heads and redoubled their weeping and wailing. Presently
they carried their dead master to the ship side by side with his
dead son and, having transported all the stuff from the dwelling
to the vessel, set sail and disappeared from mine eyes. I
descended from the tree and, raising the trap-door, went down
into the underground dwelling where everything reminded me of the
youth; and I looked upon the poor remains of him and began
repeating these verses:--

"Their tracks I see, and pine with pain and pang * And on
     deserted hearths I weep and yearn:
And Him I pray who doomed them depart * Some day vouchsafe
     the boon of safe return.''[FN#280]

Then, O my lady, I went up again by the trap-door, and every day
I used to wander round about the island and every night I
returned to the underground hall. Thus I lived for a month, till
at last, looking at the western side of the island, I observed
that every day the tides ebbed, leaving shallow water for which
the flow did not compensate; and by the end of the month the sea
showed dry land in that direction. At this I rejoiced making
certain of my safety; so I arose and fording what little was left
of the water got me to the mainland, where I fell in with great
heaps of loose sand in which even a camel's hoof would sink up to
the knee.[FN#281] However I emboldened my soul and wading through
the sand behold, a fire shone from afar burning with a brazing
light.[FN#282] So I made for it hoping haply to find succour, and
broke out into these verses:--

"Belike Fortune may her bridle turn * And Time bring weal
     although he's jealous hight;
Forward my hopes, and further all my needs, * And passed ills
     with present weals requite."

And when I drew near the fire aforesaid lo! it was a palace with
gates of copper burnished red which, when the rising sun shone
thereon, gleamed and glistened from afar showing what had seemed
to me a fire. I rejoiced in the sight, and sat down over against
the gate, but I was hardly settled in my seat before there met me
ten young men clothed in sumptuous gear and all were blind of the
left eye which appeared as plucked out. They were accompanied by
a Shaykh, an old, old man, and much I marvelled at their
appearance, and their all being blind of the same eye. When they
saw me, they saluted me with the Salam and asked me of my case
and my history; whereupon I related to them all what had befallen
me, and what full measure of misfortune was mine. Marvelling at
my tale they took me to the mansion, where I saw ranged round the
hall ten couches each with its blue bedding and coverlet of blue
stuff[FN#283] and amiddlemost stood a smaller couch furnished
like them with blue and nothing else. As we entered each of the
youths took his seat on his own couch and the old man seated
himself upon the smaller one in the middle saying to me, "O
youth, sit thee down on the floor and ask not of our case nor of
the loss of our eyes." Presently he rose up and set before each
young man some meat in a charger and drink in a large mazer,
treating me in like manner; and after that they sat questioning
me concerning my adventures and what had betided me: and I kept
telling them my tale till the night was far spent. Then said the
young men, "O our Shaykh, wilt not thou set before us our
ordinary? The time is come." He replied, "With love and
gladness," and rose and entering a closet disappeared, but
presently returned bearing on his head ten trays each covered
with a strip of blue stuff. He set a tray before each youth and,
lighting ten wax candles, he stuck one upon each tray, and drew
off the covers and lo! under them was naught but ashes and
powdered charcoal and kettle soot. Then all the young men tucked
up their sleeves to the elbows and fell a weeping and wailing and
they blackened their faces and smeared their clothes and
buffetted their brows and beat their breasts, continually
exclaiming, "We were sitting at our ease but our frowardness
brought us unease! " They ceased not to do this till dawn drew
nigh, when the old man rose and heated water for them; and they
washed their faces, and donned other and clean clothes. Now when
I saw this, O my lady, for very wonderment my senses left me and
my wits went wild and heart and head were full of thought, till I
forgot what had betided me and I could not keep silence feeling I
fain must speak out and question them of these strangenesses; so
I said to them, "How come ye to do this after we have been so
open hearted and frolicksome? Thanks be to Allah ye be all sound
and sane, yet actions such as these befit none but mad men or
those possessed of an evil spirit. I conjure you by all that is
dearest to you, why stint ye to tell me your history, and the
cause of your losing your eyes and your blackening your faces
with ashes and soot?" Hereupon they turned to me and said, "O
young man, hearken not to thy youthtide's suggestions and
question us no questions." Then they slept and I with them and
when they awoke the old man brought us somewhat of food; and,
after we had eaten and the plates and goblets had been removed,
they sat conversing till night fall when the old man rose and lit
the wax candles and lamps and set meat and drink before us. After
we had eaten and drunken we sat conversing and carousing in
companionage till the noon of night, when they said to the old
man, "Bring us our ordinary, for the hour of sleep is at hand!"
So he rose and brought them the trays of soot and ashes; and they
did as they had done on the preceding night, nor more, nor less.
I abode with them after this fashion for the space of a month
during which time they used to blacken their faces with ashes
every night, and to wash and change their raiment when the morn
was young; and I but marvelled the more and my scruples and
curiosity increased to such a point that I had to forego even
food and drink. At last, I lost command of myself, for my heart
was aflame with fire unquenchable and lowe unconcealable and I
said, "O young men, will ye not relieve my trouble and acquaint
me with the reason of thus blackening your faces and the meaning
of your words:--We were sitting at our ease but our frowardness
brought us unease?" Quoth they "'Twere better to keep these
things secret." Still I was bewildered by their doings to the
point of abstaining from eating and drinking and, at last wholly
losing patience, quoth I to them, There is no help for it: ye
must acquaint me with what is the reason of these doings." They
replied, "We kept our secret only for thy good: to gratify thee
will bring down evil upon thee and thou wilt become a monocular
even as we are." I repeated "There is no help for it and, if ye
will not, let me leave you and return to mine own people and be
at rest from seeing these things, for the proverb saith:--

Better ye 'bide and I take my leave: * For what eye sees not
     heart shall never grieve."

Thereupon they said to me, "Remember, O youth, that should ill
befal thee we will not again harbour thee nor suffer thee to
abide amongst us;" and bringing a ram they slaughtered it and
skinned it. Lastly they gave me a knife saying, "Take this skin
and stretch thyself upon it and we will sew it around thee,
presently there shall come to thee a certain bird, hight
Rukh,[FN#284] that will catch thee up in his pounces and tower
high in air and then set thee down on a mountain. When thou
feelest he is no longer flying, rip open the pelt with this blade
and come out of it; the bird will be scared and will fly away and
leave thee free. After this fare for half a day, and the march
will place thee at a palace wondrous fair to behold, towering
high in air and builded of Khalanj[FN#285], lign-aloes and
sandal-wood, plated with red gold, and studded with all manner
emeralds and costly gems fit for seal rings. Enter it and thou
shalt win to thy wish for we have all entered that palace; and
such is the cause of our losing our eyes and of our blackening
our faces. Were we now to tell thee our stories it would take too
long a time; for each and every of us lost his left eye by an
adventure of his own." I rejoiced at their words and they did
with me as they said; and the bird Rukh bore me off end set me
down on the mountain. Then I came out of the skin and walked on
till I reached the palace. The door stood open as I entered and
found myself in a spacious and goodly hall, wide exceedingly,
even as a horse-course; and around it were an hundred chambers
with doors of sandal and aloes woods plated with red gold and
furnished with silver rings by way of knockers.[FN#286] At the
head or upper end[FN#287] of the hall I saw forty damsels,
sumptuously dressed and ornamented and one and all bright as
moons; none could ever tire of gazing upon them and all so lovely
that the most ascetic devotee on seeing them would become their
slave and obey their will. When they saw me the whole bevy came
up to me and said "Welcome and well come and good cheer[FN#288]
to thee, O our lord! This whole month have we been expecting
thee. Praised be Allah who hath sent us one who is worthy of us,
even as we are worthy of him!" Then they made me sit down upon a
high divan and said to me, "This day thou art our lord and
master, and we are thy servants and thy hand-maids, so order us
as thou wilt." And I marvelled at their case. Presently one of
them arose and set meat before me and I ate and they ate with me;
whilst others warmed water and washed my hands and feet and
changed my clothes and others made ready sherbets and gave us to
drink; and all gathered around me being full of joy and gladness
at my coming. Then they sat down and conversed with me till
nightfall, when five of them arose and laid the trays and spread
them with flowers and fragrant herbs and fruits, fresh and dried,
and confections in profusion. At last they brought out a fine
wine service with rich old wine; and we sat down to drink and
some sang songs and others played the lute and psaltery and
recorders and other instruments, and the bowl went merrily round.
Hereupon such gladness possessed me that I forgot the sorrows of
the world one and all and said, "This is indeed life; O sad that
'tis fleeting!" I enjoyed their company till the time came for
rest; and our heads were all warm with wine, when they said, "O
our lord, choose from amongst us her who shall be thy bed-fellow
this night and not lie with thee again till forty days be past."
So I chose a girl fair of face and perfect in shape, with eyes
Kohl-edged by nature's hand;[FN#289] hair long and jet black with
slightly parted teeth[FN#290] and joining brows: 'twas as if she
were some limber graceful branchlet or the slender stalk of sweet
basil to amaze and to bewilder man's fancy, even as the poet said
of such an one--

To even her with greeny bough were vain * Fool he who finds her
     beauties in the roe:
When hath the roe those lively lovely limbs * Or honey dews those
     lips alone bestow?
Those eyne, soul piercing eyne, which slay with love, * Which
     bind the victim by their shafts laid low?
My heart to second childhood they beguiled * No wonder: love
     sick-man again is child!

And I repeated to her the maker's words who said:--

"None other charms but thine shall greet mine eyes, * Nor other
     image can my heart surprise:
Thy love, my lady, captives all my thoughts * And on that love
     I'll die and I'll arise.

So I lay with her that night; none fairer I ever knew; and, when
it was morning, the damsels carried me to the Hammam bath and
bathed me and robed me in fairest apparel. Then they served up
food, and we ate and drank and the cup went round till nightfall
when I chose from among them one fair of form and face, soft-
sided and a model of grace, such an one as the poet described
when he said.--

On her fair bosom caskets twain I scanned, * Sealed fast with
     musk seals lovers to withstand
With arrowy glances stand on guard her eyes, * Whose shafts
     would shoot who dares put forth a hand.

With her I spent a most goodly night; and, to be brief, O my
mistress, I remained with them in all solace and delight of life,
eating and drinking, conversing and carousing and every night
lying with one or other of them. But at the head of the new year
they came to me in tears and bade me farewell, weeping and crying
out and clinging about me: whereat I wondered and said, "What may
be the matter? verily you break my heart!" They exclaimed, "Would
Heaven we had never known thee; for, though we have companies
with many, yet never saw we a pleasanter than thou or a more
courteous." And they wept again. "But tell me more clearly,"
asked I, "what causeth this weeping which maketh my
gall-bladder[FN#291] like to burst;" and they answered, "O our
lord and master, it is severance which maketh us weep; and thou,
and thou only, art the cause of our tears. If thou hearken to us
we need never be parted and if thou hearken not we part for ever;
but our hearts tell us that thou wilt not listen to our words and
this is the cause of our tears and cries." "Tell me how the case
standeth?" "Know, O our lord, that we are the daughters of Kings
who have met here and have lived together for years; and once in
every year we are perforce absent for forty days; and afterwards
we return and abide here for the rest of the twelve month eating
and drinking and taking our pleasure and enjoying delights: we
are about to depart according to our custom; and we fear lest
after we be gone thou contraire our charge and disobey our
injunctions. Here now we commit to thee the keys of the palace
which containeth forty chambers and thou mayest open of these
thirty and nine, but beware (and we conjure thee by Allah and by
the lives of us!) lest thou open the fortieth door, for therein
is that which shall separate us for ever."[FN#292] Quoth I,
"Assuredly I will not open it, if it contain the cause of
severance from you." Then one among them came up to me and
falling on my neck wept and recited these verses.--

"If Time unite us after absent while, * The world harsh frowning
     on our lot shall smile
And if thy semblance deign adorn mine eyes,[FN#293] * I'll
     pardon Time past wrongs and by gone guile."

And I recited the following:--

"When drew she near to bid adieu with heart unstrung, * While
     care and longing on that day her bosom wrung
Wet pearls she wept and mine like red carnelians rolled * And,
     joined in sad rivière, around her neck they hung."

When I saw her weeping I said, "By Allah I will never open that
fortieth door, never and no wise!" and I bade her farewell.
Thereupon all departed flying away like birds; signalling with
their hands farewells as they went and leaving me alone in the
palace. When evening drew near I opened the door of the first
chamber and entering it found myself in a place like one of the
pleasaunces of Paradise. It was a garden with trees of freshest
green and ripe fruits of yellow sheen; and its birds were singing
clear and keen and rills ran wimpling through the fair terrene.
The sight and sounds brought solace to my sprite; and I walked
among the trees, and I smelt the breath of the flowers on the
breeze; and heard the birdies sing their melodies hymning the
One, the Almighty in sweetest litanies; and I looked upon the
apple whose hue is parcel red and parcel yellow; as said the

Apple whose hue combines in union mellow * My fair's red cheek,
     her hapless lover's yellow.

Then I looked upon the quince, and inhaled its fragrance which to
shame musk and ambergris, even as the poet hath said :

Quince every taste conjoins; in her are found * Gifts which for
     queen of fruits the Quince have crowned
Her taste is wine, her scent the waft of musk; * Pure gold her
     hue, her shape the Moon's fair round.

Then I looked upon the pear whose taste surpasseth sherbet and
sugar; and the apricot[FN#294] whose beauty striketh the eye with
admiration, as if she were a polished ruby. Then I went out of
the place and locked the door as it was before. When it was the
morrow I opened the second door; and entering found myself in a
spacious plain set with tall date palms and watered by a running
stream whose banks were shrubbed with bushes of rose and jasmine,
while privet and eglantine, oxe-eye, violet and lily, narcissus,
origane and the winter gilliflower carpeted the borders; and the
breath of the breeze swept over these sweet smelling growths
diffusing their delicious odours right and left, perfuming the
world and filling my soul with delight. After taking my pleasure
there awhile I went from it and, having closed the door as it was
before, opened the third door wherein I saw a high open hall
pargetted with parti-coloured marbles and pietra dura of price
and other precious stones, and hung with cages of sandal-wood and
eagle-wood; full of birds which made sweet music, such as the
Thousand voiced,[FN#295] and the cushat, the merle, the turtle-
dove and the Nubian ring dove. My heart was filled with pleasure
thereby; my grief was dispelled and I slept in that aviary till
dawn. Then I undocked the door of the fourth chamber and therein
found a grand saloon with forty smaller chambers giving upon it.
All their doors stood open: so I entered and found them full of
pearls and jacinths and beryls and emeralds and corals and car
buncles, and all manner precious gems and jewels, such as tongue
of man may not describe. My thought was stunned at the sight and
I said to myself, "These be things methinks united which could
not be found save in the treasuries of a King of Kings, nor could
the monarchs of the world have collected the like of these!" And
my heart dilated and my sorrows ceased, "For," quoth I, "now
verily am I the monarch of the age, since by Allah's grace this
enormous wealth is mine; and I have forty damsels under my hand
nor is there any to claim them save myself." Then I gave not over
opening place after place until nine and thirty days were passed
and in that time I had entered every chamber except that one
whose door the Princesses had charged me not to open. But my
thoughts, O my mistress, ever ran on that forbidden
fortieth[FN#296] and Satan urged me to open it for my own
undoing; nor had I patience to forbear, albeit there wanted of
the trysting time but a single day. So I stood before the chamber
aforesaid and, after a moment's hesitation, opened the door which
was plated with red gold, and entered. I was met by a perfume
whose like I had never before smelt; and so sharp and subtle was
the odour that it made my senses drunken as with strong wine, and
I fell to the ground in a fainting fit which lasted a full hour.
When I came to myself I strengthened my heart and, entering,
found myself in a chamber whose floor was bespread with saffron
and blazing with light from branched candelabra of gold and lamps
fed with costly oils, which diffused the scent of musk and
ambergris. I saw there also two great censers each big as a
mazer-bowl,[FN#297] flaming with lign-aloes, nadd-
perfume,[FN#298] ambergris and honied scents; and the place was
full of their fragrance. Presently, O my lady, I espied a noble
steed, black as the murks of night when murkiest, standing, ready
saddled and bridled (and his saddle was of red gold) before two
mangers, one of clear crystal wherein was husked sesame, and the
other also of crystal containing water of the rose scented with
musk. When I saw this I marvelled and said to myself, "Doubtless
in this animal must be some wondrous mystery;" and Satan cozened
me, so I led him without the palace end mounted him, but he would
not stir from his place. So I hammered his sides with my heels,
but he moved not, and then I took the rein whip,[FN#299] and
struck him withal. When he felt the blow, he neighed a neigh with
a sound like deafening thunder and, opening a pair of
wings[FN#300] flew up with me in the firmament of heaven far
beyond the eyesight of man. After a full hour of flight he
descended and alighted on a terrace roof and shaking me off his
back lashed me on the face with his tail and gouged out my left
eye causing it roll along my cheek. Then he flew away. I went
down from the terrace and found myself again amongst the ten one
eyed youths sitting upon their ten couches with blue covers; and
they cried out when they saw me, "No welcome to thee, nor aught
of good cheer! We all lived of lives the happiest and we ate and
drank of the best; upon brocades and cloths of gold we took rest
and we slept with our heads on beauty's breast, but we could not
await one day to gain the delights of a year!" Quoth I, "Behold I
have become one like unto you and now I would have you bring me a
tray full of blackness, wherewith to blacken my face, and receive
me into your society." "No, by Allah," quoth they, "thou shalt
not sojourn with us and now get thee hence!" So they drove me
away. Finding them reject me thus I foresaw that matters would go
hard with me, and I remembered the many miseries which Destiny
had written upon my forehead; and I fared forth from among them
heavy hearted and tearful eyed, repeating to myself these words,
"I was sitting at mine ease but my frowardness brought me to
unease." Then I shaved beard and mustachios and eye brows,
renouncing the world, and wandered in Kalandar garb about
Allah's earth; and the Almighty decreed safety for me till I
arrived at Baghdad, which was on the evening of this very night.
Here I met these two other Kalandars standing bewildered; so I
saluted them saying, "I am a stranger!" and they answered, "And
we likewise be strangers!" By the freak of Fortune we were like
to like, three Kalandars and three monoculars all blind of the
left eye. Such, O my lady, is the cause of the shearing of my
beard and the manner of my losing an eye. Said the lady to him,
"Rub thy head and wend thy ways;" but he answered, "By Allah, I
will not go until I hear the stories of these others." Then the
lady, turning towards the Caliph and Ja'afar and Masrur, said to
them, "Do ye also give an account of yourselves, you men!"
Whereupon Ja'afar stood forth and told her what he had told the
portress as they were entering the house; and when she heard his
story of their being merchants and Mosul men who had outrun the
watch, she said, "I grant you your lives each for each sake, and
now away with you all." So they all went out and when they were
in the street, quoth the Caliph to the Kalandars, "O company,
whither go ye now, seeing that the morning hath not yet dawned?"
Quoth they, "By Allah, O our lord, we know not where to go."
"Come and pass the rest of the night with us," said the Caliph
and, turning to Ja'afar, "Take them home with thee and tomorrow
bring them to my presence that we may chronicle their
adventures." Ja'afar did as the Caliph bade him and the Commander
of the Faithful returned to his palace; but sleep gave no sign of
visiting him that night and he lay awake pondering the mishaps of
the three Kalandar princes and impatient to know the history of
the ladies and the two black bitches. No sooner had morning
dawned than he went forth and sat upon the throne of his
sovereignty; and, turning to Ja'afar, after all his Grandees and
Officers of state were gathered together, he said, "Bring me the
three ladies and the two bitches and the three Kalandars." So
Ja'afar fared forth and brought them all before him (and the
ladies were veiled); then the Minister turned to them and said in
the Caliph's name, "We pardon you your maltreatment of us and
your want of courtesy, in consideration of the kindness which
forewent it, and for that ye knew us not: now however I would
have you to know that ye stand in presence of the fifth[FN#301]
of the sons of Abbas, Harun al-Rashid, brother of Caliph Músá al-
Hádi, son of Al-Mansúr; son of Mohammed the brother of Al-Saffáh
bin Mohammed who was first of the royal house. Speak ye therefore
before him the truth and the whole truth!" When the ladies heard
Ja afar's words touching the Commander of the Faithful, the
eldest came forward and said, "O Prince of True Believers, my
story is one which, were it graven with needle-gravers upon the
eye corners were a warner for whoso would be warned and an
example for whoso can take profit from example."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

               When it was the Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that she stood
forth before the Commander of the Faithful and began to tell

The Eldest Lady's Tale.

Verily a strange tale is mine and 'tis this:--Yon two black
bitches are my eldest sisters by one mother and father; and these
two others, she who beareth upon her the signs of stripes and the
third our procuratrix are my sisters by another mother. When my
father died, each took her share of the heritage and, after a
while my mother also deceased, leaving me and my sisters german
three thousand diners; so each daughter received her portion of a
thousand diners and I the same, albe the youngest. In due course
of time my sisters married with the usual festivities and lived
with their husbands, who bought merchandise with their wives
monies and set out on their travels together. Thus they threw me
off. My brothers in law were absent with their wives five years,
during which period they spent all the money they had and,
becoming bankrupt, deserted my sisters in foreign parts amid
stranger folk. After five years my eldest sister returned to me
in beggar's gear with her clothes in rags and tatters[FN#302] and
a dirty old mantilla;[FN#303] and truly she was in the foulest
and sorriest plight. At first sight I did not know my own sister;
but presently I recognised her and said "What state is this?" "O
our sister," she replied, "Words cannot undo the done; and the
reed of Destiny hath run through what Allah decreed." Then I sent
her to the bath and dressed her in a suit of mine own, and boiled
for her a bouillon and brought her some good wine and said to
her, "O my sister, thou art the eldest, who still standest to us
in the stead of father and mother; and, as for the inheritance
which came to me as to you twain, Allah hath blessed it and
prospered it to me with increase; and my circumstances are easy,
for I have made much money by spinning and cleaning silk; and I
and you will share my wealth alike." I entreated her with all
kindliness and she abode with me a whole year, during which our
thoughts and fancies were always full of our other sister. Shortly
after she too came home in yet fouler and sorrier plight than
that of my eldest sister; and I dealt by her still more honorably
than I had done by the first, and each of them had a share of my
substance. After a time they said to me, 'O our sister, we desire
to marry again, for indeed we have not patience to drag on our
days without husbands and to lead the lives of widows bewitched;"
and I replied, "O eyes of me![FN#304] ye have hitherto seen
scanty weal in wedlock, for now-a-days good men and true are
become rarities and curiosities; nor do I deem your projects
advisable, as ye have already made trial of matrimony and have
failed." But they would not accept my advice and married without
my consent: nevertheless I gave them outfit and dowries out of my
money; and they fared forth with their mates. In a mighty little
time their husbands played them false and, taking whatever they
could lay hands upon, levanted and left them in the lurch.
Thereupon they came to me ashamed and in abject case and made
their excuses to me, saying, Pardon our fault and be not wroth
with us;[FN#305] for although thou art younger in years yet art
thou older in wit; henceforth we will never make mention of
marriage; so take us back as thy hand maidens that we may eat our
mouthful." Quoth I, "Welcome to you, O my sisters, there is
naught dearer to me than you." And I took them in and redoubled
my kindness to them. We ceased not to live after this loving
fashion for a full year, when I resolved to sell my wares abroad
and first to fit me a conveyance for Bassorah; so I equipped a
large ship, and loaded her with merchandise and valuable goods
for traffic, and with provaunt and all needful for a voyage, and
said to my sisters, "Will ye abide at home whilst I travel, or
would ye prefer to accompany me on the voyage?" "We will travel
with thee," answered they, "for we cannot bear to be parted from
thee." So I divided my monies into two parts, one to accompany me
and the other to be left in charge of a trusty person, for, as I
said to myself, "Haply some accident may happen to the ship and
yet we remain alive; in which case we shall find on our return
what may stand us in good stead." I took my two sisters and we
went a voyaging some days and nights; but the master was careless
enough to miss his course, and the ship went astray with us and
entered a sea other than the sea we sought. For a time we knew
naught of this; and the wind blew fair for us ten days, after
which the look out man went aloft to see about him and cried,
"Good news!" Then he came down rejoicing and said, "I have seen
what seemeth to be a city as 'twere a pigeon." Hereat we rejoiced
and, ere an hour of the day had passed, the buildings showed
plain in the offing and we asked the Captain, "What is the name
of yonder city?" and he answered By Allah I wot not, for I never
saw it before and never sailed these seas in my life: but, since
our troubles have ended in safety, remains for you only to land
there with your merchandise and, if you find selling profitable,
sell and make your market of what is there; and if not, we will
rest here two days and provision ourselves and fare away." So we
entered the port and the Captain went up town and was absent
awhile, after which he returned to us and said, "Arise; go up
into the city and marvel at the works of Allah with His creatures
and pray to be preserved from His righteous wrath!" So we landed
and going up into the city, saw at the gate men hending staves in
hand; but when we drew near them, behold, they had been
translated[FN#306] by the anger of Allah and had become stones.
Then we entered the city and found all who therein woned into
black stones enstoned: not an inhabited house appeared to the
espier, nor was there a blower of fire.[FN#307] We were awe
struck at the sight and threaded the market streets where we
found the goods and gold and silver left lying in their places;
and we were glad and said, "Doubtless there is some mystery in
all this." Then we dispersed about the thorough-fares and each
busied himself with collecting the wealth and money and rich
stuffs, taking scanty heed of friend or comrade. As for myself I
went up to the castle which was strongly fortified; and, entering
the King's palace by its gate of red gold, found all the vaiselle
of gold and silver, and the King himself seated in the midst of
his Chamberlains and Nabobs and Emirs and Wazirs; all clad in
raiment which confounded man's art. I drew nearer and saw him
sitting on a throne incrusted and inlaid with pearls and gems;
and his robes were of gold-cloth adorned with jewels of every
kind, each one flashing like a star. Around him stood fifty
Mamelukes, white slaves, clothed in silks of divers sorts holding
their drawn swords in their hands; but when I drew near to them
lo! all were black stones. My understanding was confounded at the
sight, but I walked on and entered the great hall of the
Harim,[FN#308] whose walls I found hung with tapestries of gold
striped silk and spread with silken carpets embroidered with
golden cowers. Here I saw the Queen lying at full length arrayed
in robes purfled with fresh young[FN#309] pearls; on her head was
a diadem set with many sorts of gems each fit for a ring[FN#310]
and around her neck hung collars and necklaces. All her raiment
and her ornaments were in natural state but she had been turned
into a black stone by Allah's wrath. Presently I espied an open
door for which I made straight and found leading to it a flight
of seven steps. So I walked up and came upon a place pargetted
with marble and spread and hung with gold-worked carpets and
tapestry, amiddlemostof which stood a throne of juniper wood
inlaid with pearls and precious stones and set with bosses of
emeralds. In the further wall was an alcove whose curtains,
bestrung with pearls, were let down and I saw a light issuing
therefrom; so I drew near and perceived that the light came from
a precious stone as big as an ostrich egg, set at the upper end
of the alcove upon a little chryselephantine couch of ivory and
gold; and this jewel, blazing like the sun, cast its rays wide
and side. The couch also was spread with all manner of silken
stuffs amazing the gazer with their richness and beauty. I
marvelled much at all this, especially when seeing in that place
candles ready lighted; and I said in my mind, "Needs must some
one have lighted these candles." Then I went forth and came to
the kitchen and thence to the buttery and the King's treasure
chambers; and continued to explore the palace and to pace from
place to place; I forgot myself in my awe and marvel at these
matters and I was drowned in thought till the night came on. Then
I would have gone forth, but knowing not the gate I lost my way,
so I returned to the alcove whither the lighted candles directed
me and sat down upon the couch; and wrapping myself in a
coverlet, after I had repeated somewhat from the Koran, I would
have slept but could not, for restlessness possessed me. When
night was at its noon I heard a voice chanting the Koran in
sweetest accents; but the tone thereof was weak; so I rose, glad
to hear the silence broken, and followed the sound until I
reached a closet whose door stood ajar. Then peeping through a
chink I considered the place and lo! it was an oratory wherein
was a prayer niche[FN#311] with two wax candles burning and lamps
hanging from the ceiling. In it too was spread a prayer carpet
whereupon sat a youth fair to see; and before him on its
stand[FN#312] was a copy of the Koran, from which he was reading.
I marvelled to see him alone alive amongst the people of the city
and entering saluted him; whereupon he raised his eyes and
returned my salam. Quoth I, "Now by the Truth of what thou
readest in Allah's Holy Book, I conjure thee to answer my
question." He looked upon me with a smile and said, "O handmaid
of Allah, first tell me the cause of thy coming hither, and I in
turn will tell what hath befallen both me and the people of this
city, and what was the reason of my escaping their doom." So I
told him my story whereat he wondered; and I questioned him of
the people of the city, when he replied, "Have patience with me
for a while, O my sister!" and, reverently closing the Holy Book,
he laid it up in a satin bag. Then he seated me by his side; and
I looked at him and behold, he was as the moon at its full, fair
of face and rare of form, soft sided and slight, of well
proportioned height, and cheek smoothly bright and diffusing
light; in brief a sweet, a sugar stick,[FN#313]. even as saith
the poet of the like of him in these couplets:--

That night th' astrologer a scheme of planets drew, * And lo! a
     graceful shape of youth appeared in view:
Saturn had stained his locks with Saturninest jet, * And spots of
     nut brown musk on rosy side face blew:[FN#314]
Mars tinctured either cheek with tinct of martial red; * Sagittal
     shots from eyelids Sagittarius threw:
Dowered him Mercury with bright mercurial wit; * Bore off the
     Bear[FN#315] what all man's evil glances grew:
Amazed stood Astrophil to sight the marvel birth * When louted
     low the Moon at full to buss the Earth.

And of a truth Allah the Most High had robed him in the raiment
of perfect grace and had purfled and fringed it with a cheek all
beauty and loveliness, even as the poet saith of such an one:--

By his eyelids shedding perfume and his fine slim waist I swear,
     * By the shooting of his shafts barbed with sorcery passing
By the softness of his sides,[FN#316] and glances' lingering
     light, * And brow of dazzling day-tide ray and night within
     his hair;
By his eyebrows which deny to who look upon them rest, * Now
     bidding now forbidding, ever dealing joy and care;
By the rose that decks his cheek, and the myrtle of its
     moss,[FN#317] * By jacinths bedded in his lips and pearl his
     smile lays bare;
By his graceful bending neck and the curving of his breast, *
     Whose polished surface beareth those granados, lovely pair;
By his heavy hips that quiver as he passeth in his pride, * Or he
     resteth with that waist which is slim beyond compare;
By the satin of his skin, by that fine unsullied sprite; * By the
     beauty that containeth all things bright and debonnair;
By that ever open hand; by the candour of his tongue; * By noble
     blood and high degree whereof he's hope and heir;
Musk from him borrows muskiness she loveth to exhale * And all
     the airs of ambergris through him perfume the air;
The sun, methinks, the broad bright sun, before my love would
     pale * And sans his splendour would appear a paring of his

I glanced at him with one glance of eyes which caused me a
thousand sighs; and my heart was at once taken captive wise, so I
asked him, "O my lord and my love, tell me that whereof I
questioned thee;" and he answered, "Hearing is obeying! Know O
handmaid of Allah, that this city was the capital of my father
who is the King thou sawest on the throne transfigured by Allah's
wrath to a black stone, and the Queen thou foundest in the alcove
is my mother. They and all the people of the city were Magians
who fire adored in lieu of the Omnipotent Lord[FN#319] and were
wont to swear by lowe and heat and shade and light and the
spheres revolving day and night. My father had ne'er a son till
he was blest with me near the last of his days; and he reared me
till I grew up and prosperity anticipated me in all things. Now
it so fortuned that there was with us an old woman well stricken
in years, a Moslemah who, inwardly believing in Allah and His
Apostle, conformed outwardly with the religion of my people; and
my father placed thorough confidence in her for that he knew her
to be trustworthy and virtuous; and he treated her with ever
increasing kindness believing her to be of his own belief. So
when I was well nigh grown up my father committed me to her
charge saying:--Take him and educate him and teach him the rules
of our faith; let him have the best in structions and cease not
thy fostering care of him. So she took me and taught me the
tenets of Al-Islam with the divine ordinances[FN#320] of the Wuzu
ablution and the five daily prayers and she made me learn the
Koran by rote, often repeating:--Serve none save Allah Almighty!
When I had mastered this much of knowledge she said to me:--O my
son, keep this matter concealed from thy sire and reveal naught
to him lest he slay thee. So I hid it from him and I abode on
this wise for a term of days when the old woman died, and the
people of the city redoubled in their impiety[FN#321] and
arrogance and the error of their ways. One day, while they were
as wont, behold, they heard a loud and terrible sound and a crier
crying out with a voice like roaring thunder so every ear could
hear, far and near, "O folk of this city, leave ye your fire
worshipping and adore Allah the All-compassionate King!" At this,
fear and terror fell upon the citizens and they crowded to my
father (he being King of the city) and asked him, "What is this
awesome voice we have heard, for it hath confounded us with the
excess of its terror?" and he answered, "Let not a voice fright
you nor shake your steadfast sprite nor turn you back from the
faith which is right." Their hearts inclined to his words and
they ceased not to worship the fire and they persisted in
rebellion for a full year from the time they heard the first
voice; and on the anniversary came a second cry, and a third at
the head of the third year, each year once Still they persisted
in their malpractises till one day at break of dawn, judgment and
the wrath of Heaven descended upon them with all suddenness, and
by the visitation of Allah all were metamorphosed into black
stones,[FN#322] they and their beasts and their cattle; and none
was saved save myself who at the time was engaged in my
devotions. From that day to this I am in the case thou seest,
constant in prayer and fasting and reading and reciting the
Koran; but I am indeed grown weary by reason of my loneliness,
having none to bear me company." Then said I to him (for in very
sooth he had won my heart and was the lord of my life and soul),
"O youth, wilt thou fare with me to Baghdad city and visit the
Olema and men learned in the law and doctors of divinity and get
thee increase of wisdom and understanding and theology? And know
that she who standeth in thy presence will be thy handmaid,
albeit she be head of her family and mistress over men and
eunuchs and servants and slaves Indeed my life was no life before
it fell in with thy youth. I have here a ship laden with
merchandise; and in very truth Destiny drove me to this city that
I might come to the knowledge of these matters, for it was fated
that we should meet." And I ceased not to persuade him and speak
him fair and use every art till he consented.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

               When it was the Eighteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
lady ceased not persuading with soft speech the youth to depart
with her till he consented and said "Yes." She slept that night
lying at his feet and hardly knowing where she was for excess of
joy. As soon as the next morning dawned (she pursued, addressing
the Caliph), I arose and we entered the treasuries and took
thence whatever was light in weight and great in worth; then we
went down side by side from the castle to the city, where we were
met by the Captain and my sisters and slaves who had been seeking
for me. When they saw me they rejoiced and asked what had stayed
me, and I told them all I had seen and related to them the story
of the young Prince and the transformation wherewith the citizens
had been justly visited. Hereat all marvelled, but when my two
sisters (these two bitches, O Commander of the Faithful!) saw me
by the side of my young lover they jaloused me on his account and
were wroth and plotted mischief against me. We awaited a fair
wind and went on board rejoicing and ready to fly for joy by
reason of the goods we had gotten, but my own greatest joyance
was in the youth; and we waited awhile till the wind blew fair for
us and then we set sail and fared forth. Now as we sat talking,
my sisters asked me, "And what wilt thou do with this handsome
young man?"; and I answered, "I purpose to make him my husband!"
Then I turned to him and said, "O my lord, I have that to propose
to thee wherein thou must not cross me; and this it is that, when
we reach Baghdad, my native city, I offer thee my life as thy
handmaiden in holy matrimony, and thou shalt be to me baron and I
will be femme to thee." He answered, "I hear and I obey!; thou
art my lady and my mistress and whatso thou doest I will not
gainsay." Then I turned to my sisters and said, "This is my gain;
I content me with this youth and those who have gotten aught of
my property let them keep it as their gain with my good will."
"Thou sayest and doest well," answered the twain, but they
imagined mischief against me. We ceased not spooning before a
fair wind till we had exchanged the sea of peril for the seas of
safety and, in a few days, we made Bassorah city, whose buildings
loomed clear before us as evening fell. But after we had retired
to rest and were sound alseep, my two sisters arose and took me
up, bed and all, and threw me into the sea: they did the same
with the young Prince who, as he could not swim, sank and was
drowned and Allah enrolled him in the noble army of
Martyrs.[FN#323] As for me would Heaven I had been drowned with
him, but Allah deemed that I should be of the saved; so when I
awoke and found myself in the sea and saw the ship making off
like a dash of lightning, He threw in my way a piece of timber
which I bestrided, and the waves tossed me to and fro till they
cast me upon an island coast, a high land and an uninhabited. I
landed and walked about the island the rest of the night and,
when morning dawned, I saw a rough track barely fit for child of
Adam to tread, leading to what proved a shallow ford connecting
island and mainland. As soon as the sun had risen I spread my
garments to dry in its rays; and ate of the fruits of the island
and drank of its waters; then I set out along the foot track and
ceased not walking till I reached the mainland. Now when there
remained between me and the city but a two hours' journey behold,
a great serpent, the bigness of a date palm, came fleeing towards
me in all haste, gliding along now to the right then to the left
till she was close upon me, whilst her tongue lolled ground wards
a span long and swept the dust as she went. She was pursued by a
Dragon[FN#324] who was not longer than two lances, and of slender
build about the bulk of a spear and, although her terror lent her
speed, and she kept wriggling from side to side, he overtook her
and seized her by the tail, whereat her tears streamed down and
her tongue was thrust out in her agony. I took pity on her and,
picking up a stone and calling upon Allah for aid, threw it at
the Dragon's head with such force that he died then and there;
and the serpent opening a pair of wings flew into the lift and
disappeared from before my eyes. I sat down marvelling over that
adventure, but I was weary and, drowsiness overcoming me, I slept
where I was for a while. When I awoke I found a jet black damsel
sitting at my feet shampooing them; and by her side stood two
black bitches (my sisters, O Commander of the Faithful!). I was
ashamed before her[FN#325] and, sitting up, asked her, "O my
sister, who and what art thou?"; and she answered, "How soon hast
thou forgotten me! I am she for whom thou wroughtest a good deed
and sowedest the seed of gratitude and slewest her foe; for I am
the serpent whom by Allah's aidance thou didst just now deliver
from the Dragon. I am a Jinniyah and he was a Jinn who hated me,
and none saved my life from him save thou. As soon as thou
freedest me from him I flew on the wind to the ship whence thy
sisters threw thee, and removed all that was therein to thy
house. Then I ordered my attendant Marids to sink the ship and I
transformed thy two sisters into these black bitches; for I know
all that hath passed between them and thee; but as for the youth,
of a truth he is drowned." So saying, she flew up with me and the
bitches, and presently set us down on the terrace roof of my
house, wherein I found ready stored the whole of what property
was in my ship, nor was aught of it missing. "Now (continued the
serpent that was), I swear by all engraver on the seal-ring of
Solomon[FN#326] (with whom be peace!) unless thou deal to each of
these bitches three hundred stripes every day I will come and
imprison thee forever under the earth." I answered, "Hearkening
and obedience!"; and away she flew. But before going she again
charged me saying, "I again swear by Him who made the two seas
flow[FN#327] (and this be my second oath) if thou gainsay me I
will come and transform thee like thy sisters." Since then I have
never failed, O Commander of the Faithful, to beat them with that
number of blows till their blood flows with my tears, I pitying
them the while, and well they wot that their being scourged is no
fault of mine and they accept my excuses. And this is my tale and
my history! The Caliph marvelled at her adventures and then
signed to Ja'afar who said to the second lady, the Portress, "And
thou, how camest thou by the welts and wheels upon thy body?" So
she began the

Tale of the Portress.

Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that I had a father who, after
fulfilling his time, deceased and left me great store of wealth.
I remained single for a short time and presently married one of
the richest of his day. I abode with him a year when he also
died, and my share of his property amounted to eighty thousand
diners in gold according to the holy law of inheritance.[FN#328]
Thus I became passing rich an my reputation spread far and wide,
for I had made me ten changes of raiment, each worth a thousand
diners One day as I was sitting at home, behold, there came in to
me an old woman[FN#329] with lantern jaws and cheeks sucked in,
and eyes rucked up, and eyebrows scant and scald, and head bare
and bald; and teeth broken by time and mauled, and back bending
and neck nape nodding, and face blotched, and rheum running, and
hair like a snake black and white speckled, in complexion a very
fright, even as saith the poet of the like of her:--

Ill-omened hag! unshriven be her sins * Nor mercy visit her on
     dying bed:
Thousand head strongest he mules would her guiles, * Despite
     their bolting lead with spider thread.

And as saith another:--

A hag to whom th' unlawful lawfullest * And witchcraft wisdom in
     her sight are grown:
A mischief making brat, a demon maid, * A whorish woman and a
     pimping crone.[FN#330]

When the old woman entered she salamed to me and kissing the
ground before me, said, "I have at home an orphan daughter and
this night are her wedding and her displaying.[FN#331] We be poor
folks and strangers in this city knowing none inhabitant and we
are broken hearted. So do thou earn for thyself a recompense and
a reward in Heaven by being present at her displaying and, when
the ladies of this city shall hear that thou art to make act of
presence, they also will present themselves; so shalt thou
comfort her affliction, for she is sore bruised in spirit and she
hath none to look to save Allah the Most High." Then she wept and
kissed my feet reciting these couplets:--

"Thy presence bringeth us a grace * We own before thy winsome
And wert thou absent ne'er an one * Could stand in stead or take
     thy place."

So pity get hold on me and compassion and I said, "Hearing is
consenting and, please Allah, I will do somewhat more for her;
nor shall she be shown to her bridegroom save in my raiment and
ornaments and jewelry." At this the old woman rejoiced and bowed
her head to my feet and kissed them, saying, "Allah requite thee
weal, and comfort thy heart even as thou hast comforted mine!
But, O my lady, do not trouble thyself to do me this service at
this hour; be thou ready by supper time,[FN#332] when I will come
and fetch thee." So saying she kissed my hand and went her ways.
I set about stringing my pearls and donning my brocades and
making my toilette. Little recking what Fortune had in womb for
me, when suddenly the old woman stood before me, simpering and
smiling till she showed every tooth stump, and quoth she, "O my
mistress, the city madams have arrived and when I apprized them
that thou promisedst to be present, they were glad and they are
now awaiting thee and looking eagerly for thy coming and for the
honour of meeting thee." So I threw on my mantilla and, making
the old crone walk before me and my handmaidens behind me, I
fared till we came to a street well watered and swept neat, where
the winnowing breeze blew cool and sweet. Here we were stopped by
a gate arched over with a dome of marble stone firmly seated on
solidest foundation, and leading to a Palace whose walls from
earth rose tall and proud, and whose pinnacle was crowned by the
clouds,[FN#333] and over the doorway were writ these couplets:--

I am the wone where Mirth shall ever smile; * The home of
     Joyance through my lasting while:
And 'mid my court a fountain jets and flows, * Nor tears nor
     troubles shall that fount defile:
The merge with royal Nu'uman's[FN#334] bloom is dight, *
     Myrtle, Narcissus-flower and Chamomile.

Arrived at the gate, before which hung a black curtain, the old
woman knocked and it was opened to us; when we entered and found
a vestibule spread with carpets and hung around with lamps all
alight and wax candles in candelabra adorned with pendants of
precious gems and noble ores. We passed on through this passage
till we entered a saloon, whose like for grandeur and beauty is
not to be found in this world. It was hung and carpeted with
silken stuffs, and was illuminated with branches sconces and
tapers ranged in double row, an avenue abutting on the upper or
noble end of the saloon, where stood a couch of juniper wood
encrusted with pearls and gems and surmounted by a baldaquin with
mosquito curtains of satin looped up with margaritas. And hardly
had we taken note of this when there came forth from the
baldaquin a young lady and I looked, O Commander of the Faithful,
upon a face and form more perfect than the moon when fullest,
with a favour brighter than the dawn gleaming with saffron-hued
light, even as the poet sang when he said--

Thou pacest the palace a marvel sight, * A bride for a Kisra's or
     Kaisar's night!
Wantons the rose on thy roseate cheek, * O cheek as the blood of
     the dragon[FN#335] bright!
Slim waisted, languorous, sleepy eyed, * With charms which
     promise all love
And the tire which attires thy tiara'd brow * Is a night of woe
     on a morn's glad light.

The fair young girl came down from the estrade and said to me,
"Welcome and well come and good cheer to my sister, the dearly
beloved, the illustrious, and a thousand greetings!" Then she
recited these couplets:--

"An but the house could know who cometh 'twould rejoice, * And
     kiss the very dust whereon thy foot was placed
And with the tongue of circumstance the walls would say, *
     "Welcome and hail to one with generous gifts engraced!"

Then sat she down and said to me, "O my sister, I have a brother
who hath had sight of thee at sundry wedding feasts and festive
seasons: he is a youth handsomer than I, and he hath fallen
desperately in love with thee, for that bounteous Destiny hath
garnered in thee all beauty and perfection; and he hath given
silver to this old woman that she might visit thee; and she hath
contrived on this wise to foregather us twain. He hath heard that
thou art one of the nobles of thy tribe nor is he aught less in
his; and, being desirous to ally his lot with thy lot, he hath
practiced this device to bring me in company with thee; for he is
fain to marry thee after the ordinance of Allah and his Apostle;
and in what is lawful and right there is no shame." When I heard
these words and saw myself fairly entrapped in the house, I said,
"Hearing is consenting." She was delighted at this and clapped
her hands;[FN#336] whereupon a door opened and out of it came a
young man blooming in the prime of life, exquisitely dressed, a
model of beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace,
with gentle winning manners and eyebrows like a bended bow and
shaft on cord, and eyes which bewitched all hearts with sorcery
lawful in the sight of the Lord; even as saith some rhymer
describing the like of him:--

His face as the face of the young moon shines * And Fortune
     stamps him with pearls for signs.[FN#337]

And Allah favour him who said:--

Blest be his beauty; blest the Lord's decree * Who cast and
     shaped a thing so bright of blee:
All gifts of beauty he conjoins in one; * Lost in his love is all
For Beauty's self inscribed on his brow * "I testify there be no
     Good but he!"[FN#338]

When I looked at him my heart inclined to him and I loved him;
and he sat by my side and talked with me a while, when the young
lady again clapped her hands and behold, a side door opened and
out of it came the Kazi with his four assessors as witnesses; and
they saluted us and, sitting down, drew up and wrote out the
marriage contract between me and the youth and retired. Then he
turned to me and said, "Be our night blessed," presently adding,
"O my lady, I have a condition to lay on thee." Quoth I, "O my
lord, what is that?" Whereupon he arose and fetching a copy of
the Holy Book presented it to me saying "Swear hereon thou wilt
never look at any other than myself nor incline thy body or thy
heart to him." I swore readily enough to this and he joyed with
exceeding joy and embraced me round the neck while love for him
possessed my whole heart. Then they set the table[FN#339] before
us and we ate and drank till we were satisfied, but I was dying
for the coming of the night. And when night did come he led me to
the bride chamber and slept with me on the bed and continued to
kiss and embrace me till the morning--such a night I had never
seen in my dreams. I lived with him a life of happiness and
delight for a full month, at the end of which I asked his
leave[FN#340] to go on foot to the bazar and buy me certain
especial stuffs and he gave me permission. So I donned my
mantilla and, taking with me the old woman and a
slave-girl,[FN#341] I went to the khan of the silk-mercers, where
I seated myself in the shop front of a young merchant whom the
old woman recommended, saying to me, "This youth's father died
when he was a boy and left him great store of wealth: he hath by
him a mighty fine[FN#342] stock of goods and thou wilt find what
thou seekest with him, for none in the bazar hath better stuffs
than he. Then she said to him, "Show this lady the most costly
stuffs thou hast by thee;" and he replied, "Hearkening and
obedience!" Then she whispered me, "Say a civil word to him!";
but I replied, "I am pledged to address no man save my lord. And
as she began to sound his praise I said sharply to her, We want
nought of thy sweet speeches; our wish is to buy of him
whatsoever we need, and return home." So he brought me all I
sought and I offered him his money, but he refused to take it
saying, "Let it be a gift offered to my guest this day!" Then
quoth I to the old woman, "If he will not take the money, give
him back his stuff." "By Allah," cried he, "not a thing will I
take from thee: I sell it not for gold or for silver, but I give
it all as a gift for a single kiss; a kiss more precious to me
than everything the shop containeth." Asked the old woman, "What
will the kiss profit thee?"; and, turning to me, whispered, "O my
daughter, thou hearest what this young fellow saith? What harm
will it do thee if he get a kiss from thee and thou gettest what
thou seekest at that price?" Replied I, "I take refuge with Allah
from such action! Knowest thou not that I am bound by an
oath?''[FN#343] But she answered, "Now whist! just let him kiss
thee and neither speak to him nor lean over him, so shalt thou
keep thine oath and thy silver, and no harm whatever shall befal
thee." And she ceased not to persuade me and importune me and
make light of the matter till evil entered into my mind and I put
my head in the poke[FN#344] and, declaring I would ne'er consent,
consented. So I veiled my eyes and held up the edge of my
mantilla between me and the people passing and he put his mouth
to my cheek under the veil. But while kissing me he bit me so
hard a bite that it tore the flesh from my cheek,[FN#345] and
blood flowed fast and faintness came over me. The old woman
caught me in her arms and, when I came to myself, I found the
shop shut up and her sorrowing over me and saying, "Thank Allah
for averting what might have been worse!" Then she said to me,
"Come, take heart and let us go home before the matter become
public and thou be dishonoured. And when thou art safe inside the
house feign sickness and lie down and cover thyself up; and I
will bring thee powders and plasters to cure this bite withal,
and thy wound will be healed at the latest in three days." So
after a while I arose and I was in extreme distress and terror
came full upon me; but I went on little by little till I reached
the house when I pleaded illness and lay me down. When it was
night my husband came in to me and said, "What hath befallen
thee, O my darling, in this excursion of thine?"; and I replied,
"I am not well: my head acheth badly." Then he lighted a candle
and drew near me and looked hard at me and asked, "What is that
wound I see on thy cheek and in the tenderest part too?" And I
answered, When I went out to day with thy leave to buy stuffs, a
camel laden with firewood jostled me and one of the pieces tore
my veil and wounded my cheek as thou seest; for indeed the ways
of this city are strait." "Tomorrow," cried he, "I will go
complain to the Governor, so shall he gibbet every fuel seller in
Baghdad." "Allah upon thee," said I, "burden not thy soul with
such sin against any man. The fact is I was riding on an ass and
it stumbled, throwing me to the ground; and my cheek lighted upon
a stick or a bit of glass and got this wound." "Then," said he,
"tomorrow I will go up to Ja'afar the Barmaki and tell him the
story, so shall he kill every donkey boy in Baghdad." "Wouldst
thou destroy all these men because of my wound," said I, "when
this which befel me was by decree of Allah and His destiny?" But
he answered, "There is no help for it;" and, springing to his
feet, plied me with words and pressed me till I was perplexed and
frightened; and I stuttered and stammered and my speech waxed
thick and I said, "This is a mere accident by decree of Allah."
Then, O Commander of the Faithful, he guessed my case and said,
"Thou hast been false to thine oath." He at once cried out with a
loud cry, whereupon a door opened and in came seven black slaves
whom he commanded to drag me from my bed and throw me down in the
middle of the room. Furthermore, he ordered one of them to pinion
my elbows and squat upon my head; and a second to sit upon my
knees and secure my feet; and drawing his sword he gave it to a
third and said, "Strike her, O Sa'ad, and cut her in twain and
let each one take half and cast it into the Tigris[FN#346] that
the fish may eat her; for such is the retribution due to those
who violate their vows and are unfaithful to their love." And he
redoubled in wrath and recited these couplets:--

"An there be one who shares with me her love, * I'd strangle Love
     tho' life by Love were slain
Saying, O Soul, Death were the nobler choice, * For ill is Love
     when shared 'twixt partners twain."

Then he repeated to the slave, "Smite her, O Sa'ad!" And when the
slave who was sitting upon me made sure of the command he bent
down to me and said, "O my mistress, repeat the profession of
Faith and bethink thee if there be any thing thou wouldst have
done; for verily this is the last hour of thy life." "O good
slave," said I, "wait but a little while and get off my head that
I may charge thee with my last injunctions." Then I raised my
head and saw the state I was in, how I had fallen from high
degree into lowest disgrace; and into death after life (and such
life!) and how I had brought my punishment on myself by my own
sin; where upon the tears streamed from mine eyes and I wept with
exceed ing weeping. But he looked on me with eyes of wrath, and
began repeating:--

"Tell her who turneth from our love to work it injury sore, * And
     taketh her a fine new love the old love tossing o'er:
We cry enough o' thee ere thou enough of us shalt cry! * What
     past between us cloth suffice and haply something

When I heard this, O Commander of the Faithful, I wept and looked
at him and began repeating these couplets:--

"To severance you doom my love and all unmoved remain; * My
     tear sore lids you sleepless make and sleep while I
You make firm friendship reign between mine eyes and
    insomny; * Yet can my heart forget you not, nor tears can I
You made me swear with many an oath my troth to hold for aye; *
     But when you reigned my bosom's lord you wrought me traitor
I loved you like a silly child who wots not what is Love; * Then
     spare the learner, let her not be by the master slain!
By Allah's name I pray you write, when I am dead and gone, *
     Upon my tomb, This died of Love whose senses Love had ta'en:
Then haply one shall pass that way who fire of Love hath felt, *
     And treading on a lover's heart with ruth and woe shall

When I ended my verses tears came again; but the poetry and the
weeping only added fury to his fury, and he recited:--

"'Twas not satiety bade me leave the dearling of my soul, * But
     that she sinned a mortal sin which clips me in its clip:
She sought to let another share the love between us twain, * But
     my True Faith of Unity refuseth partnership."[FN#348]

When he ceased reciting I wept again and prayed his pardon and
humbled myself before him and spoke him softly, saying to myself,
"I will work on him with words; so haply he will refrain from
slaying me, even though he take all I have." So I complained of
my sufferings and began to repeat these couplets:--

"Now, by thy life and wert thou just my life thou hadst not
     ta'en, * But who can break the severance law which parteth
     lovers twain!
Thou loadest me with heavy weight of longing love, when I * Can
     hardly bear my chemisette for weakness and for pain:
I marvel not to see my life and soul in ruin lain: * I marvel
     much to see my frame such severance pangs sustain."

When I ended my verse I wept again; and he looked at me and
reviled me in abusive language,[FN#349] repeating these

"Thou wast all taken up with love of other man, not me; * 'Twas
     thine to show me severance face, ''twas only mine to see:
I'll leave thee for that first thou wert of me to take thy leave
     * And patient bear that parting blow thou borest so
E'en as thou soughtest other love, so other love I'll seek, * And
     make the crime of murdering love thine own atrocity."

When he had ended his verses he again cried out to the slave,
"Cut her in half and free us from her, for we have no profit of
her. So the slave drew near me, O Commander of the Faithful and I
ceased bandying verses and made sure of death and, despairing of
life, committed my affairs to Almighty Allah, when behold, the
old woman rushed in and threw herself at my husband's feet and
kissed them and wept and said, "O my son, by the rights of my
fosterage and by my long service to thee, I conjure thee pardon
this young lady, for indeed she hath done nothing deserving such
doom. Thou art a very young man and I fear lest her death be laid
at thy door; for it is said:--Whoso slayeth shall be slain. As
for this wanton (since thou deemest her such) drive her out from
thy doors, from thy love and from thy heart." And she ceased not
to weep and importune him till he relented and said, 'I pardon
her, but needs must I set on her my mark which shall show upon
her all my life." Then he bade the slaves drag me along the
ground and lay me out at full length, after stripping me of all
my clothes;[FN#350] and when the slaves had so sat upon me that I
could not move, he fetched in a rod of quince tree and came down
with it upon my body, and continued beating me on the back and
sides till I lost consciousness from excess of pain, and I
despaired of life. Then he commanded the slaves to take me away
as soon as it was dark, together with the old woman to show them
the way and throw me upon the floor of the house wherein I dwelt
before my marriage. They did their lord's bidding and cast me
down in my old home and went their ways. I did not revive from my
swoon till dawn appeared, when I applied myself to the dressing
of my wounds with ointments and other medicaments; and I
medicined myself, but my sides and ribs still showed signs of the
rod as thou hast seen. I lay in weakly case and confined to my
bed for four months before I was able to rise and health returned
to me. At the end of that time I went to the house where all this
had happened and found it a ruin; the street had been pulled down
endlong and rubbish heaps rose where the building erst was; nor
could I learn how this had come about. Then I betook myself to
this my sister on my father's side and found her with these two
black bitches. I saluted her and told her what had betided me and
the whole of my story and she said, "O my sister, who is safe
from the despite of Time and secure? Thanks be to Allah who has
brought thee off safely;" and she began to say:--

"Such is the World, so bear a patient heart * When riches leave
     thee and when friends depart!"

Then she told me her own story, and what had happened to her with
her two sisters and how matters had ended; so we abode together
and the subject of marriage was never on our tongues for all
these years. After a while we were joined by our other sister,
the procuratrix, who goeth out every morning and buyeth all we
require for the day and night; and we continued in such condition
till this last night. In the morning our sister went out, as
usual, to make her market and then befel us what befel from
bringing the Porter into the house and admitting these three
Kalandar men., We entreated them kindly and honourably and a
quarter of the night had not passed ere three grave and
respectable merchants from Mosul joined us and told us their
adventures. We sat talking with them but on one condition which
they violated, whereupon we treated them as sorted with their
breach of promise, and made them repeat the account they had
given of themselves. They did our bidding and we forgave their
offence; so they departed from us and this morning we were
unexpectedly summoned to thy presence. And such is our story! The
Caliph wondered at her words and bade the tale be recorded and
chronicled and laid up in his muniment-chambers.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

               When it was the Nineteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Caliph commanded this story and those of the sister and the
Kalandars to be recorded in the archives and be set in the royal
muniment-chambers. Then he asked the eldest lady, the mistress of
the house, "Knowest thou the whereabouts of the Ifritah who
spelled thy sisters?"; and she answered, "O Commander of the
Faithful, she gave me a ringlet of her hair saying: --Whenas thou
wouldest see me, burn a couple of these hairs and I will be with
thee forthright, even though I were beyond Caucasus-mountain."
Quoth the Caliph, "Bring me hither the hair." So she brought it
and he threw the whole lock upon the fire. As soon as the odour of
the burning hair dispread itself, the palace shook and trembled,
and all present heard a rumbling and rolling of thunder and a
noise as of wings and lo! the Jinniyah who had been a serpent
stood in the Caliph's presence. Now she was a Moslemah, so she
saluted him and said, "Peace be with thee O Vicar[FN#351] of
Allah;" whereto he replied, "And with thee also be peace and the
mercy of Allah and His blessing." Then she continued, "Know that
this damsel sowed for me the seed of kindness, wherefor I cannot
enough requite her, in that she delivered me from death and
destroyed mine enemy. Now I had seen how her sisters dealt with
her and felt myself bound to avenge her on them. At first I was
minded to slay them, but I feared it would be grievous to her, so
I transformed them to bitches; but if thou desire their release,
O Commander of the Faithful, I will release them to pleasure thee
and her for I am of the Moslems." Quoth the Caliph, "Release them
and after we will look into the affair of the beaten lady and
consider her case carefully; and if the truth of her story be
evidenced I will exact retaliation[FN#352] from him who wronged
her." Said the Ifritah, "O Commander of the Faithful, I will
forthwith release them and will discover to thee the man who did
that deed by this lady and wronged her and took her property, and
he is the nearest of all men to thee!" So saying she took a cup
of water and muttered a spell over it and uttered words there was
no understanding; then she sprinkled some of the water over the
faces of the two bitches, saying, "Return to your former human
shape!" whereupon they were restored to their natural forms and
fell to praising their Creator. Then said the Ifritah, "O
Commander of the Faithful, of a truth he who scourged this lady
with rods is thy son Al-Amin brother of Al-Maamun ;[FN#353] for
he had heard of her beauty and love liness and he played a
lover's stratagem with her and married her according to the law
and committed the crime (such as it is) of scourging her. Yet
indeed he is not to be blamed for beating her, for he laid a
condition on her and swore her by a solemn oath not to do a
certain thing; however, she was false to her vow and he was
minded to put her to death, but he feared Almighty Allah and
contented himself with scourging her, as thou hast seen, and with
sending her back to her own place. Such is the story of the
second lady and the Lord knoweth all." When the Caliph heard
these words of the Ifritah, and knew who had beaten the damsel,
he marvelled with mighty marvel and said, "Praise be to Allah,
the Most High, the Almighty, who hath shown his exceeding mercy
towards me, enabling me to deliver these two damsels from sorcery
and torture, and vouchsafing to let me know the secret of this
lady's history! And now by Allah, we will do a deed which shall
be recorded of us after we are no more." Then he summoned his son
Al-Amin and questioned him of the story of the second lady, the
portress; and he told it in the face of truth; whereupon the
Caliph bade call into presence the Kazis and their witnesses and
the three Kalandars and the first lady with her sisters german
who had been ensorcelled; and he married the three to the three
Kalandars whom he knew to be princes and sons of Kings and he
appointed them chamberlains about his person, assigning to them
stipends and allowances and all that they required, and lodging
them in his palace at Baghdad. He returned the beaten lady to his
son, Al-Amin, renewing the marriage contract between them and
gave her great wealth and bade rebuild the house fairer than it
was before. As for himself he took to wife the procuratrix and
lay with her that night: and next day he set apart for her an
apartment in his Serraglio, with handmaidens for her service and
a fixed daily allowance. And the people marvelled at their
Caliph's generosity and natural beneficence and princely widsom;
nor did he forget to send all these histories to be recorded in
his annals. When Shahrazad ceased speaking Dunyazad exclaimed, "O
my own sister, by Allah in very sooth this is a right pleasant
tale and a delectable; never was heard the like of it, but
prithee tell me now another story to while away what yet
remaineth of the waking hours of this our night." She replied,
"With love and gladness if the King give me leave;" and he said,
"Tell thy tale and tell it quickly." So she began, in these

                  THE TALE OF THE THREE APPLES

They relate, O King of the age and lord of the time and of these
days, that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid summoned his Wazir Ja'afar
one night and said to him, 'I desire to go down into the city and
question the common folk concerning the conduct of those charged
with its governance; and those of whom they complain we will
depose from office and those whom they commend we will promote."
Quoth Ja'afar, "Hearkening and obedience!" So the Caliph went
down with Ja'afar and Eunuch Masrur to the town and walked about
the streets and markets and, as they were threading a narrow
alley, they came upon a very old man with a fishing-net and crate
to carry small fish on his head, and in his hand a staff; and, as
he walked at a leisurely pace, he repeated these lines:--

"They say me: --Thou shinest a light to mankind * With thy lore
     as the night which the Moon doth uplight!
I answer, "A truce to your jests and your gibes; * Without luck
     what is learning?--a poor-devil wight!
If they take me to pawn with my lore in my pouch, * With my
     volumes to read and my ink-case to write,
For one day's provision they never could pledge me; * As likely
     on Doomsday to draw bill at sight:"
How poorly, indeed, doth it fare wi' the poor, * With his pauper
     existence and beggarly plight:
In summer he faileth provision to find; * In winter the
     fire-pot's his only delight:
The street-dogs with bite and with bark to him rise, * And each
     losel receives him with bark and with bite:
If he lift up his voice and complain of his wrong, * None pities
     or heeds him, however he's right;
And when sorrows and evils like these he must brave * His
     happiest homestead were down in the grave."

When the Caliph heard his verses he said to Ja'afar, "See this
poor man and note his verses, for surely they point to his
necessities." Then he accosted him and asked, "O Shaykh, what be
thine occupation?" and the poor man answered, "O my lord, I am a
fisherman with a family to keep and I have been out between
mid-day and this time; and not a thing hath Allah made my portion
wherewithal to feed my family. I cannot even pawn myself to buy
them a supper and I hate and disgust my life and I hanker after
death." Quoth the Caliph, "Say me, wilt thou return with us to
Tigris' bank and cast thy net on my luck, and whatsoever turneth
up I will buy of thee for an hundred gold pieces?" The man
rejoiced when he heard these words and said, "On my head be it! I
will go back with you;" and, returning with them river-wards,
made a cast and waited a while; then he hauled in the rope and
dragged the net ashore and there appeared in it a chest padlocked
and heavy. The Caliph examined it and lifted it finding it
weighty; so he gave the fisherman two hundred dinars and sent him
about his business; whilst Masrur, aided by the Caliph, carried
the chest to the palace and set it down and lighted the candles.
Ja'afar and Masrur then broke it open and found therein a basket
of palm-leaves corded with red worsted. This they cut open and
saw within it a piece of carpet which they lifted out, and under
it was a woman's mantilla folded in four, which they pulled out;
and at the bottom of the chest they came upon a young lady, fair
as a silver ingot, slain and cut into nineteen pieces. When the
Caliph looked upon her he cried, "Alas!" and tears ran down his
cheeks and turning to Ja'afar he said, "O dog of Wazirs, [FN#354]
shall folk be murdered in our reign and be cast into the river to
be a burden and a responsibility for us on the Day of Doom? By
Allah, we must avenge this woman on her murderer and he shall be
made die the worst of deaths!" And presently he added, " Now, as
surely as we are descended from the Sons of Abbas, [FN#355] if
thou bring us not him who slew her, that we do her justice on
him, I will hang thee at the gate of my palace, thee and forty of
thy kith and kin by thy side." And the: Caliph was wroth with
exceeding rage. Quoth Ja'afar, "Grant me three days' delay;" and
quoth the Caliph, "We grant thee this." So Ja'afar went out from
before him and returned to his own house, full of sorrow and
saying to himself, "How shall I find him who murdered this
damsel, that I may bring him before the Caliph? If I bring other
than the murderer, it will be laid to my charge by the Lord: in
very sooth I wot not what to do." He kept his house three days
and on the fourth day the Caliph sent one of the Chamberlains for
him and, as he came into the presence, asked him, "Where is the
murderer of the damsel?" to which answered Ja'afar, "O Commander
of the Faithful, am I inspector of " murdered folk that I should
ken who killed her?" The Caliph was furious at his answer and
bade hang him before the palace-gate and commanded that a crier
cry through the streets of Baghdad, "Whoso would see the hanging
of Ja'afar, the Barmaki, Wazir of the Caliph, with forty of the
Barmecides, [FN#356] his cousins and kinsmen, before the
palace-gate, let him come and let him look!" The people flocked
out from all the quarters of the city to witness the execution of
Ja'afar and his kinsmen, not knowing the cause. Then they set up
the gallows and made Ja'afar and the others stand underneath in
readiness for execution, but whilst every eye was looking for the
Caliph's signal, and the crowd wept for Ja'afar and his cousins
of the Barmecides, lo and behold! a young man fair of face and
neat of dress and of favour like the moon raining light, with
eyes black and bright, and brow flower-white, and cheeks red as
rose and young down where the beard grows, and a mole like a
grain of ambergris, pushed his way through the people till he
stood immediately before the Wazir and said to him, "Safety to
thee from this strait, O Prince of the Emirs and Asylum of the
poor! I am the man who slew the woman ye found in the chest, so
hang me for her and do her justice on me!" When Ja'afar heard the
youth's confession he rejoiced at his own deliverance. but
grieved and sorrowed for the fair youth; and whilst they were yet
talking behold, another man well stricken in years pressed
forwards through the people and thrust his way amid the populace
till he came to Ja'afar and the youth, whom he saluted saying,
"Ho thou the Wazir and Prince sans-peer! believe not the words of
this youth. Of a surety none murdered the damsel but I; take her
wreak on me this moment; for, an thou do not thus, I will require
it of thee before Almighty Allah." Then quoth the young man, "O
Wazir, this is an old man in his dotage who wotteth not whatso he
saith ever, and I am he who murdered her, so do thou avenge her
on me!" Quoth the old man, "O my son, thou art young and desirest
the joys of the world and I am old and weary and surfeited with
the world: I will offer my life as a ransom for thee and for the
Wazir and his cousins. No one murdered the damsel but I, so Allah
upon thee, make haste to hang me, for no life is left in me now
that hers is gone." The Wazir marvelled much at all this
strangeness and, taking the young man and the old man, carried
them before the Caliph, where, after kissing the ground seven
times between his hands, he said, "O Commander of the Faithful, I
bring thee the murderer of the damsel!" "Where is he?" asked the
Caliph and Ja'afar answered, "This young man saith, I am the
murderer, and this old man giving him the lie saith, I am the
murderer, and behold, here are the twain standing before thee."
The Caliph looked at the old man and the young man and asked,
"Which of you killed the girl?" The young man replied, "No one
slew her save I;" and the old man answered, "Indeed none killed
her but myself." Then said the Caliph to Ja'afar, "Take the twain
and hang them both;" but Ja'afar rejoined, "Since one of them was
the murderer, to hang the other were mere injustice."[FN#357] "By
Him who raised the firmament and dispread the earth like a
carpet," cried the youth, "I am he who slew the damsel;" and he
went on to describe the manner of her murder and the basket, the
mantilla and the bit of carpet, in fact all that the Caliph had
found upon her. So the Caliph was certified that the young man
was the murderer; whereat he wondered and asked him, 'What was
the cause of thy wrongfully doing this damsel to die and what
made thee confess the murder without the bastinado, and what
brought thee here to yield up thy life, and what made thee say Do
her wreak upon me?" The youth answered, "Know, O Commander of the
Faithful, that this woman was my wife and the mother of my
children; also my first cousin and the daughter of my paternal
uncle, this old man who is my father's own brother. When I
married her she was a maid [FN#358] and Allah blessed me with
three male children by her; she loved me and served me and I saw
no evil in her, for I also loved her with fondest love. Now on
the first day of this month she fell ill with grievous sickness
and I fetched in physicians to her; but recovery came to her
little by little. and, when I wished her to go to the Hammam-bath,
she said, "There is a something I long for before I go to
the bath and I long for it with an exceeding longing." To hear is
to comply," said I. "And what is it?" Quoth she, "I have a queasy
craving for an apple, to smell it and bite a bit of it." I
replied, "Hadst thou a thousand longings I would try to satisfy
them!" So I went on the instant into the city and sought for
apples but could find none; yet, had they cost a gold piece each,
would I have bought them. I was vexed at this and went home and
said, "O daughter of my uncle. by Allah I can find none!" She was
distressed, being yet very weakly, and her weakness in. creased
greatly on her that night and I felt anxious and alarmed on her
account. As soon as morning dawned I went out again and made the
round of the gardens, one by one, but found no apples anywhere.
At last there met me an old gardener. of whom I asked about them
and he answered, "O my son, this fruit is a rarity with us and is
not now to be found save in the garden of the Commander of the
Faithful at Bassorah, where the gardener keepeth it for the
Caliph's eating." I returned to my house troubled by my
ill-success; and my love for my wife and my affection moved me to
undertake the journey. So I gat me ready and set out and
travelled fifteen days and nights, going and coming, and brought
her three apples which I bought from the gardener for three
dinars. But when I went in to my wife and set them before her,
she took no pleasure in them and let them lie by her side; for
her weakness and fever had increased on her and her malady lasted
without abating ten days, after which time she began to recover
health. So I left my house and betaking me to my shop sat there
buying and selling; and about midday behold, a great ugly black
slave, long as a lance and broad as a bench, passed by my shop
holding in hand one of the three apples wherewith he was playing.
Quoth I, "O my good slave, tell me whence thou tookest that
apple, that I may get the like of it?" He laughed and answered,
"I got it from my mistress, for I had been absent and on my
return I found her lying ill with three apples by her side, and
she said to me, 'My horned wittol of a husband made a journey for
them to Bassorah and bought them for three dinars.' So I ate and
drank with her and took this one from her." [FN#359] When I heard
such words from the slave, O Commander of the Faithful, the world
grew black before my face, and I arose and locked up my shop and
went home beside myself for excess of rage. I looked for the
apples and finding only two of the three asked my wife, "O my
cousin, where is the third apple?"; and raising her head
languidly she answered, "I wet not, O son of my uncle, where 'tis
gone!" This convinced me that the slave had spoken the truth, so
I took a knife and coming behind her got upon her breast without
a word said and cut her throat. Then I hewed off her head and her
limbs in pieces and, wrapping her in her mantilla and a rag of
carpet, hurriedly sewed up the whole which I set in a chest and,
locking it tight, loaded it on my he-mule and threw it into the
Tigris with my own hands. So Allah upon thee, O Commander of the
Faithful, make haste to hang me, as I fear lest she appeal for
vengeance on Resurrection Day. For, when I had thrown her into
the river and none knew aught of it, as I went back home I found
my eldest son crying and yet he knew naught of what I had done
with his mother. I asked him, "What hath made thee weep, my boy?"
and he answered, "I took one of the three apples which were by my
mammy and went down into the lane to play with my brethren when
behold, a big long black slave snatched it from my hand and said.
'Whence hadst thou this?' Quoth I, 'My father travelled far for
it, and brought it from Bassorah for my mother who was ill and
two other apples for which he paid three ducats.' He took no heed
of my words and I asked for the apple a second and a third time,
but he cuffed me and kicked me and went off with it. I was afraid
lest my mother should swinge me on account of the apple, so for
fear of her I went with my brother outside the city and stayed
there till evening closed in upon us; and indeed I am in fear of
her; and now by Allah, O my father, say nothing to her of this or
it may add to her ailment!" When I heard what-my child said I
knew that the slave was he who had foully slandered my wife, the
daughter of my uncle, and was certified that I had slain her
wrong. fully. So I wept with exceeding weeping and presently this
old man, my paternal uncle and her father, came in; and I told
him what had happened and he sat down by my side and wept and we
ceased not weeping till midnight. We have kept up mourning for
her these last five days and we lamented her in the deepest
sorrow for that she was unjustly done to die. This came from the
gratuitous lying of the slave, the blackamoor, and this was the
manner of my killing her; so I conjure thee, by the honour of
thine ancestors, make haste to kill me and do her justice upon
me, as there is no living for me after her!" The Caliph marvelled
at his words and said, "By Allah, the young man is excusable: I
will hang none but the accursed slave and I will do a deed which
shall comfort the ill-at-ease and suffering, and which shall
please the All-glorious King."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

                When it was the Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph
swore he would hang none but the slave, for the youth was
excusable. Then he turned to Ja'afar and said to him, "Bring
before me this accursed slave who was the sole cause of this
calamity; and, if thou bring him not before me within three days,
thou shalt be slain in his stead." So Ja'afar fared forth weeping
and saying. "Two deaths have already beset me, nor shall the
crock come of safe from every shock.' [FN#360] In this matter
craft and cunning are of no avail; but He who preserved my life
the first time can preserve it a second time. By Allah, I will
not leave my house during the three days of life which remain to
me and let the Truth (whose perfection be praised!) do e'en as He
will." So he kept his house three days, and on the fourth day he
summoned the Kazis and legal witnesses and made his last will and
testament, and took leave of his children weeping. Presently in
came a messenger from the Caliph and said to him, "The Commander
of the Faithful is in the most violent rage that can be, and he
sendeth to seek thee and he sweareth that the day shall certainly
not pass without thy being hanged unless the slave be forth-coming."
When Ja'afar heard this he wept, and his children and
slaves and all who were in the house wept with him. After he had
bidden adieu to everybody except his youngest daughter, he
proceeded to farewell her; for he loved this wee one, who was a
beautiful child, more than all his other children; and he pressed
her to his breast and kissed her and wept bitterly at parting
from her; when he felt something round inside the bosom of her
dress and asked her, "O my little maid, what is in thy bosom
pocket?"; "O my father," she replied, "it is an apple with the
name of our Lord the Caliph written upon it. Rayhán our slave
brought it to me four days ago and would not let me have it till
I gave him two dinars for it." When Ja'afar heard speak of the
slave and the apple, he was glad and put his hand into his
child's pocket [FN#361] and drew out the apple and knew it and
rejoiced saying, "O ready Dispeller of trouble " [FN#362] Then he
bade them bring the slave and said to him, "Fie upon thee,
Rayhan! whence haddest thou this apple?" "By Allah, O my master,"
he replied, "though a lie may get a man once off, yet may truth
get him off, and well off, again and again. I did not steal this
apple from thy palace nor from the gardens of the Commander of
the Faithful. The fact is that five days ago, as I was walking
along one of the alleys of this city, I saw some little ones at
play and this apple in hand of one of them. So I snatched it from
him and beat him and he cried and said, 'O youth this apple is my
mother's and she is ill. She told my father how she longed for an
apple, so he travelled to Bassorah and bought her three apples
for three gold pieces, and I took one of them to play withal.' He
wept again, but I paid no heed to what he said and carried it off
and brought it here, and my little lady bought it of me for two
dinars of gold. And this is the whole story." When Ja'afar heard
his words he marvelled that the murder of the damsel and all this
misery should have been caused by his slave; he grieved for the
relation of the slave to himself, while rejoicing over his own
deliverance, and he repeated these lines: --

"If ill betide thee through thy slave, * Make him forthright thy
A many serviles thou shalt find, * But life comes once and never

Then he took the slave's hand and, leading him to the Caliph,
related the story from first to last and the Caliph marvelled
with extreme astonishment, and laughed till he fell on his back
and ordered that the story be recorded and be made public amongst
the people. But Ja'afar said, "Marvel not, O Commander of the
Faithful, at this adventure, for it is not more wondrous than the
History of the Wazir Núr al-Dín Ali of Egypt and his brother
Shams al-Dín Mohammed. -- Quoth the Caliph, "Out with it; but
what can be stranger than this story?" And Ja'afar answered, "O
Commander of the Faithful, I will not tell it thee, save on
condition that thou pardon my slave;" and the Caliph rejoined,
"If it be indeed more wondrous than that of the three apples, I
grant thee his blood, and if not I will surely slay thy slave."
So Ja'afar began in these words the

                TALE OF NUR AL-DIN AND HIS SON.

Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that in times of yore the land
of Egypt was ruled by a Sultan endowed with justice and
generosity, one who loved the pious poor and companied with the
Olema and learned men; and he had a Wazir, a wise and an
experienced, well versed in affairs and in the art of government.
This Minister, who was a very old man, had two sons, as they were
two moons; never man saw the like of them for beauty and grace,
the elder called Shams al-Din Mohammed and the younger Nur al-Din
Ali; but the younger excelled the elder in seemliness and
pleasing semblance, so that folk heard his fame in far countries
and men flocked to Egypt for the purpose of seeing him. In
course of time their father, the Wazir, died and was deeply
regretted and mourned by the Sultan, who sent for his two sons
and, investing them with dresses of honour, [FN#363] said to
them, "Let not your hearts be troubled, for ye shall stand in
your father's stead and be joint Ministers of Egypt." At this
they rejoiced and kissed the ground before him and performed the
ceremonial mourning [FN#364] for their father during a full
month; after which time they entered upon the Wazirate, and the
power passed into their hands as it had been in the hands of
their father, each doing duty for a week at a time. They lived
under the same roof and their word was one; and whenever the
Sultan desired to travel they took it by turns to be in
attendance on him. It fortuned one night that the Sultan
purposed setting out on a journey next morning, and the elder,
whose turn it was to accompany him, was sitting conversing with
his brother and said to him, "O my brother, it is my wish that we
both marry, I and thou, two sisters; and go in to our wives on
one and the same night." "Do, O my brother, as thou desirest,"
the younger replied, "for right is thy recking and surely I will
comply with thee in whatso thou sayest." So they agreed upon
this and quoth Shams al-Din, "If Allah decree that we marry two
damsels and go in to them on the same night, and they shall
conceive on their bridenights and bear children to us on the same
day, and by Allah's will they wife bear thee a son and my wife
bear me a daughter, let us wed them either to other, for they
will be cousins." Quoth Nur al-Din, "O my brother, Shams al-Din,
what dower [FN#365] wilt thou require from my son for thy
daughter?" Quoth Shams al-Din, "I will take three thousand
dinars and three pleasure gardens and three farms; and it would
not be seemly that the youth make contract for less than this."
When Nur al-Din heard such demand he said, "What manner of dower
is this thou wouldst impose upon my son? Wottest thou not that
we are brothers and both by Allah's grace Wazirs and equal in
office? It behoveth thee to offer thy daughter to my son without
marriage settlement; or if one need be, it should represent a
mere nominal value by way of show to the world: for thou knowest
that the masculine is worthier than the feminine, and my son is a
male and our memory will be preserved by him, not by thy
daughter." "But what," said Shams al-Din, "is she to have?"; and
Nur al-Din continued, "Through her we shall not be remembered
among the Emirs of the earth; but I see thou wouldest do with me
according to the saying:--An thou wouldst bluff off a buyer, ask
him high price and higher; or as did a man who, they say, went to
a friend and asked something of him being in necessity and was
answered, 'Bismallah, [FN#366] in the name of Allah, I will do
all what thou requirest but come to-morrow!' Whereupon the other
replied in this verse:--

'When he who is asked a favour saith "To-morrow," * The wise man
wots 'tis vain to beg or borrow.'"

Quoth Shams al-Din, "Basta! [FN#367] I see thee fail in respect
to me by making thy son of more account than my daughter; and
'tis plain that thine understanding is of the meanest and that
thou lackest manners. Thou remindest me of thy partnership in
the Wazirate, when I admitted thee to share with me only in pity
for thee, and not wishing to mortify thee; and that thou mightest
help me as a manner of assistant. But since thou talkest on this
wise, by Allah, I will never marry my daughter to thy son; no,
not for her weight in gold!" When Nur al-Din heard his brother's
words he waxed wroth and said, "And I too, I will never, never
marry my son to thy daughter; no, not to keep from my lips the
cup of death." Shams al-Din replied, "I would not accept him as
a husband for her, and he is not worth a paring of her nail.
Were I not about to travel I would make an example of thee;
however when I return thou shalt see, and I will show thee, how I
can assert my dignity and vindicate my honour. But Allah doeth
whatso He willeth."[FN#368] When Nur al-Din heard this speech
from his brother, he was filled with fury and lost his wits for
rage; but he hid what he felt and held his peace; and each of the
brothers passed the night in a place far apart, wild with wrath
against the other. As soon as morning dawned the Sultan fared
forth in state and crossed over from Cairo [FN#369] to Jizah
[FN#370] and made for the pyramids, accompanied by the Wazir
Shams al-Din, whose turn of duty it was, whilst his brother Nur
al-din, who passed the night in sore rage, rose with the light
and prayed the dawn-prayer. Then he betook himself to his
treasury and, taking a small pair of saddle-bags, filled them
with gold; and he called to mind his brother's threats and the
contempt wherewith he had treated him, and he repeated these

"Travel! and thou shalt find new friends for old ones left
     behind; * Toil! for the sweets of human life by toil and
     moil are found:
The stay-at-home no honour wins nor aught attains but want; * So
     leave thy place of birth [FN#371] and wander all the world
I've seen, and very oft I've seen, how standing water stinks, *
     And only flowing sweetens it and trotting makes it sound:
And were the moon forever full and ne'er to wax or wane, * Man
     would not strain his watchful eyes to see its gladsome
Except the lion leave his lair he ne'er would fell his game, *
     Except the arrow leave the bow ne'er had it reached its
Gold-dust is dust the while it lies untravelled in the mine, *
     And aloes-wood mere fuel is upon its native ground:
And gold shall win his highest worth when from his goal ungoal'd;
     * And aloes sent to foreign parts grows costlier than gold."

When he ended his verse he bade one of his pages saddle him his
Nubian mare-mule with her padded selle. Now she was a dapple-
grey, [FN#372] with ears like reed-pens and legs like columns and
a back high and strong as a dome builded on pillars; her saddle
was of gold-cloth and her stirrups of Indian steel, and her
housing of Ispahan velvet; she had trappings which would serve
the Chosroes, and she was like a bride adorned for her wedding
night. Moreover he bade lay on her back a piece of silk for a
seat, and a prayer-carpet under which were his saddle-bags. When
this was done he said to his pages and slaves, "I purpose going
forth a-pleasuring outside the city on the road to Kalyub-town,
[FN#373] and I shall lie three nights abroad; so let none of you
follow me, for there is something straiteneth my breast." Then
he mounted the mule in haste; and, taking with him some provaunt
for the way, set out from Cairo and faced the open and
uncultivated country lying around it. [FN#374] About noontide he
entered Bilbays-city, [FN#375] where he dismounted and stayed
awhile to rest himself and his mule and ate some of his victual.
He bought at Bilbays all he wanted for himself and forage for his
mule and then fared on the way of the waste. Towards night-fall
he entered a town called Sa'adiyah [FN#376] where he alighted and
took out somewhat of his viaticum and ate; then he spread his
strip of silk on the sand and set the saddle-bags under his head
and slept in the open air; for he was still overcome with anger.
When morning dawned he mounted and rode onward till he reached
the Holy City, [FN#377] Jerusalem, and thence he made Aleppo,
where he dismounted at one of the caravanserais and abode three
days to rest himself and the mule and to smell the air. [FN#378]
Then, being determined to travel afar and Allah having written
safety in his fate, he set out again, wending without wotting
whither he was going; and, having fallen in with certain
couriers, he stinted not travelling till he had reached Bassorah-
city albeit he knew not what the place was. It was dark night
when he alighted at the Khan, so he spread out his prayer-carpet
and took down the saddle-bags from the back of his mule and gave
her with her furniture in charge of the door-keeper that he might
walk her about. The man took her and did as he was bid. Now it
so happened that the Wazir of Bassorah, a man shot in years, was
sitting at the lattice-window of his palace opposite the Khan and
he saw the porter walking the mule up and down. He was struck by
her trappings of price and thought her a nice beast fit for the
riding of Wazirs or even of royalties; and the more he looked the
more was he perplexed till at last he said to one of his pages,
"Bring hither yon door-keeper," The page went and returned to
the Wazir with the porter who kissed the ground between his
hands, and the Minister asked him, "Who is the owner of yonder
mule and what manner of man is he?"; and he answered, "O my lord,
the owner of this mule is a comely young man of pleasant manners,
withal grave and dignified, and doubtless one of the sons of the
merchants." When the Wazir heard the door-keeper's words he
arose forthright; and, mounting his horse, rode to the Khan
[FN#379] and went in to Nur al-Din who, seeing the minister
making towards him, rose to his feet and advanced to meet him and
saluted him. The Wazir welcomed him to Bassorah and dis-
mounting, embraced him and made him sit down by his side and
said, "O my son, whence comest thou and what dost thou seek?" "O
my lord," Nur al-Din replied, "I have come from Cairo-city of
which my father was whilome Wazir; but he hath been removed to
the grace of Allah;" and he informed him of all that had befallen
him from beginning to end, adding, "I am resolved never to return
home before I have seen all the cities and countries of the
world." When the Wazir heard this, he said to him, "O my son,
hearken not to the voice of passion lest it cast thee into the
pit; for indeed many regions be waste places and I fear for thee
the turns of Time." Then he let load the saddle-bags and the
silk and prayer-carpets on the mule and carried Nur al-Din to his
own house, where he lodged him in a pleasant place and entreated
him honourably and made much of him, for he inclined to love him
with exceeding love. After a while he said to him, "O my son,
here am I left a man in years and have no male children, but
Allah hath blessed me with a daughter who eventh thee in beauty;
and I have rejected all her many suitors, men of rank and
substance. But affection for thee hath entered into my heart;
say me, then, wilt thou be to her a husband? If thou accept
this, I will go up with thee to the Sultan of Bassorah [FN#380]
and will tell him that thou art my nephew, the son of my brother,
and bring thee to be appointed Wazir in my place that I may keep
the house for, by Allah, O my son, I am stricken in years and
aweary." When Nur al-Din heard the Wazir's words, he bowed his
head in modesty and said, "To hear is to obey!" At this the
Wazir rejoiced and bade his servants prepare a feast and decorate
the great assembly-hall, wherein they were wont to celebrate the
marriages of Emirs and Grandees. Then he assembled his friends
and the notables of the reign and the merchants of Bassorah and
when all stood before him he said to them, "I had a brother who
was Wazir in the land of Egypt, and Allah Almighty blessed him
with two sons, whilst to me, as well ye wot, He hath given a
daughter. My brother charged me to marry my daughter to one of
his sons, whereto I assented; and, when my daughter was of age to
marry, he sent me one of his sons, the young man now present, to
whom I purpose marrying her, drawing up the contract and
celebrating the night of unveiling with due ceremony; for he is
nearer and dearer to me than a stranger and, after the wedding,
if he please he shall abide with me, or if he desire to travel I
will forward him and his wife to his father's home." Hereat one
and all replied, "Right is thy recking;" and they all looked at
the bridegroom and were pleased with him. So the Wazir sent for
the Kazi and legal witnesses and they wrote out the marriage-
contract, after which the slaves perfumed the guests with
incense, [FN#381] and served them with sherbet of sugar and
sprinkled rose-water on them and all went their ways. Then the
Wazir bade his servants take Nur al-Din to the Hammam-baths and
sent him a suit of the best of his own especial raiment, and
napkins and towelry and bowls and perfume-burners and all else
that was required. After the bath, when he came out and donned
the dress, he was even as the full moon on the fourteenth night;
and he mounted his mule and stayed not till he reached the
Wazir's palace. There he dismounted and went in to the Minister
and kissed his hands, and the Wazir bade him welcome.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
stood up to him and welcoming him said, "Arise and go in to thy
wife this night, and on the morrow I will carry thee to the
Sultan, and pray Allah bless thee with all manner of weal." So
Nur al-Din left him and went into his wife the Wazir's daughter.
Thus far concerning him, but as regards his eldest brother, Shams
al-Din, he was absent with the Sultan a long time and when he
returned from his journey he found not his brother; and he asked
of his servants and slaves who answered, "On the day of thy
departure with the Sultan, thy brother mounted his mule fully
caparisoned as for state procession saying, 'I am going towards
Kalyub-town and I shall be absent one day or at most two days;
for my breast is straitened, and let none of you follow me.'
Then he fared forth and from that time to this we have heard no
tidings of him." Shams al-Din was greatly troubled at the sudden
disappearance of his brother and grieved with exceeding grief at
the loss and said to himself, "This is only because I chided and
upbraided him the night before my departure with the Sultan;
haply his feelings were hurt and he fared forth a-travelling; but
I must send after him." Then he went in to the Sultan and
acquainted him with what had happened and wrote letters and
dispatches, which he sent by running footmen to his deputies in
every province. But during the twenty days of his brother's
absence Nur al-Din had travelled far and had reached Bassorah; so
after diligent search the messengers failed to come at any news
of him and returned. Thereupon Shams al-Din despaired of finding
his brother and said, "Indeed I went beyond all bounds in what I
said to him with reference to the marriage of our children.
Would that I had not done so! This all cometh of my lack of wit
and want of caution." Soon after this he sought in marriage the
daughter of a Cairene merchant, [FN#382] and drew up the marriage
contract and went in to her. And it so chanced that, on the very
same night when Shams al-Din went in to his wife, Nur al-Din also
went in to his wife the daughter of the Wazir of Bassorah; this
being in accordance with the will of Almighty Allah, that He
might deal the decrees of Destiny to His creatures. Furthermore,
it was as the two brothers had said; for their two wives became
pregnant by them on the same night and both were brought to bed
on the same day; the wife of Shams al-Din, Wazir of Egypt, of a
daughter, never in Cairo was seen a fairer; and the wife of Nur
al-Din of a son, none more beautiful was ever seen in his time,
as one of the poets said concerning the like of him:--

That jetty hair, that glossy brow,
     My slender-waisted youth, of thine,
Can darkness round creation throw,
     Or make it brightly shine.
The dusky mole that faintly shows
     Upon his cheek, ah! blame it not:
The tulip-flower never blows
     Undarkened by its spot [FN#383]

And as another also said:--

His scent was musk and his cheek was rose; * His teeth are pearls
     and his lips drop wine;
His form is a brand and his hips a hill; * His hair is night and
     his face moon-shine.

They named the boy Badr al-Din Hasan and his grandfather, the
Wazir of Bassorah, rejoiced in him and, on the seventh day after
his birth, made entertainments and spread banquets which would
befit the birth of Kings' sons and heirs. Then he took Nur al-
Din and went up with him to the Sultan, and his son-in-law, when
he came before the presence of the King, kissed the ground
between his hands and repeated these verses, for he was ready of
speech, firm of sprite and good in heart as he was goodly in

"The world's best joys long be thy lot, my lord! * And last while
     darkness and the dawn o'erlap:
O thou who makest, when we greet thy gifts, * The world to dance
     and Time his palms to clap." [FN#384]

Then the Sultan rose up to honour them, and thanking Nur al-Din
for his fine compliment, asked the Wazir, "Who may be this young
man?"; and the Minister answered, "This is my brother's son," and
related his tale from first to last. Quoth the Sultan, "And how
comes he to be thy nephew and we have never heard speak of him?"
Quoth the Minister, "O our lord the Sultan, I had a brother who
was Wazir in the land of Egypt and he died, leaving two sons,
whereof the elder hath taken his father's place and the younger,
whom thou seest, came to me. I had sworn I would not marry my
daughter to any but to him; so when he came I married him to her.
[FN#385] Now he is young and I am old; my hearing is dulled and
my judgement is easily fooled; wherefore I would solicit our lord
the Sultan [FN#386] to set him in my stead, for he is my
brother's son and my daughter's husband; and he is fit for the
Wazirate, being a man of good counsel and ready contrivance."
The Sultan looked at Nur al-Din and liked him, so he stablished
him in office as the Wazir had requested and formally appointed
him, presenting him with a splendid dress of honour and a she-
mule from his private stud; and assigning to him solde, stipends
and supplies. Nur al-Din kissed the Sultan's hand and went home,
he and his father-in-law, joying with exceeding joy and saying,
"All this followeth on the heels of the boy Hasan's birth!" Next
day he presented himself before the King and, kissing the ground,
began repeating:--

"Grow thy weal and thy welfare day by day: * And thy luck
     prevail o'er the envier's spite;
And ne'er cease thy days to be white as day, * And thy foeman's
     day to be black as night!"

The Sultan bade him be seated on the Wazir's seat, so he sat down
and applied himself to the business of his office and went into
the cases of the lieges and their suits, as is the wont of
Ministers; while the Sultan watched him and wondered at his wit
and good sense, judgement and insight. Wherefor he loved him and
took him into intimacy. When the Divan was dismissed Nur al-Din
returned to his house and related what had passed to his father-
in-law who rejoiced. And thenceforward Nur al-Din ceased not so
to administer the Wazirate that the Sultan would not be parted
from him night or day; and increased his stipend and supplies
until his means were ample and he became the owner of ships that
made trading voyages at his command, as well as of Mamelukes and
blackamoor slaves; and he laid out many estates and set up
Persian wheels and planted gardens. When his son Hasan was four
years of age, the old Wazir deceased and he made for his father-
in-law a sumptuous funeral ceremony ere he was laid in the dust.
Then he occupied himself with the education of this son and, when
the boy waxed strong and came to the age of seven, he brought him
a Fakih, a doctor of law and religion, to teach him in his own
house and charged him to give him a good education and instruct
him in politeness and manners. So the tutor made the boy read
and retain all varieties of useful knowledge, after he had spent
some years in learning the Koran by heart; [FN#387] and he ceased
not to grow in beauty and stature and symmetry, even as saith the

In his face-sky shines the fullest moon; * In his cheeks' anemone
     glows the sun:
He so conquered Beauty that he hath won * All charms of
     humanity one by one.

The professor brought him up in his father's palace teaching him
reading, writing and cyphering, theology and belles lettres. His
grandfather the old Wazir had bequeathed to him the whole of his
property when he was but four years of age. Now during all the
time of his earliest youth he had never left the house, till on a
certain day his father, the Wazir Nur al-Din, clad him in his
best clothes and, mounting him on a she-mule of the finest, went
up with him to the Sultan. The King gazed at Badr al-Din Hasan
and marvelled at his comeliness and loved him. As for the city-
folk, when he first passed before them with his father, they
marvelled at his exceeding beauty and sat down on the road
expecting his return, that they might look their fill on his
beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace; even as the
poet said in these verses:--

As the sage watched the stars, the semblance clear
Of a fair youth on 's scroll he saw appear.
Those jetty locks Canopus o'er him threw,
And tinged his temple curls a musky hue;
Mars dyed his ruddy cheek; and from his eyes
The Archer-star his glittering arrow flies;
His wit from Hermes came; and Soha's care,
(The half-seen star that dimly haunts the Bear)
Kept off all evil eyes that threaten and ensnare,
The sage stood mazed to see such fortunes meet,
And Luna kissed the earth beneath his feet. [FN#388]

And they blessed him aloud as he passed and called upon Almighty
Allah to bless him. [FN#389] The Sultan entreated the lad with
especial favour and said to his father, "O Wazir, thou must needs
bring him daily to my presence;" whereupon he replied, "I hear
and I obey." Then the Wazir returned home with his son and
ceased not to carry him to court till he reached the age of
twenty. At that time the Minister sickened and, sending for Badr
al-Din Hasan, said to him, "Know, O my son, that the world of the
Present is but a house of mortality, while that of the Future is
a house of eternity. I wish, before I die, to bequeath thee
certain charges and do thou take heed of what I say and incline
thy heart to my words." Then he gave him last instructions as to
the properest way of dealing with his neighbours and the due
management of his affairs; after which he called to mind his
brother and his home and his native land and wept over his
separation from those he had first loved. Then he wiped away his
tears and, turning to his son, said to him, "Before I proceed, O
my son, to my last charges and injunctions, know that I have a
brother, and thou hast an uncle, Shams al-Din hight, the Wazir of
Cairo, which whom I parted, leaving him against his will. Now
take thee a sheet of paper and write upon it whatso I say to
thee." Badr al-Din took a fair leaf and set about doing his
father's bidding and he wrote thereon a full account of what had
happened to his sire first and last; the dates of his arrival at
Bassorah and of his foregathering with the Wazir; of his
marriage, of his going in to the Minister's daughter and of the
birth of his son; brief, his life of forty years from the date of
his dispute with his brother, adding the words, "And this is
written at my dictation and may Almighty Allah be with him when I
am gone!" Then he folded the paper and sealed it and said, "O
Hasan, O my son, keep this paper with all care; for it will
enable thee to stablish thine origin and rank and lineage and, if
anything contrary befal thee, set out for Cairo and ask for thine
uncle and show him this paper and say to him that I died a
stranger far from mine own people and full of yearning to see him
and them." So Badr al-Din Hasan took the document and folded it;
and, wrapping it up in a piece of waxed cloth of his skull-cap
and wound his light turband [FN#390] round it. And he fell to
weeping over his father and at parting with him, and he but a
boy. Then Nur al-Din lapsed into a swoon, the forerunner of
death; but presently recovering himself he said, "O Hasan, O my
son, I will now bequeath to thee five last behests. The FIRST
BEHEST is, Be over-intimate with none, nor frequent any, nor be
familiar with any; so shalt thou be safe from his mischief;
[FN#391] for security lieth in seclusion of thought and a certain
retirement from the society of thy fellows; and I have heard it
said by a poet:--

In this world there is none thou mayst count upon * To befriend
     thy case in the nick of need:
So live for thyself nursing hope of none * Such counsel I give
     thee: enow, take heed!

The SECOND BEHEST is, O my son: Deal harshly with none lest
fortune with thee deal hardly; for the fortune of this world is
one day with thee and another day against thee and all worldly
goods are but a loan to be repaid. And I have heard a poet say:-

Take thought nor hast to win the thing thou wilt; * Have ruth on
     man for ruth thou may'st require:
No hand is there but Allah's hand is higher; * No tyrant but
     shall rue worse tyrant's ire!

The THIRD BEHEST is, Learn to be silent in society and let thine
own faults distract thine attention from the faults of other men:
for it is said:--In silence dwelleth safety, and thereon I have
heard the lines that tell us:--

Reserve's a jewel, Silence safety is; * Whenas thou speakest many
     a word withhold;
For an of Silence thou repent thee once, * Of speech thou shalt
     repent times manifold.

The FOURTH BEHEST, O my son, is Beware of wine-bibbing, for wine
is the head of all frowardness and a fine solvent of human wits.
So shun, and again I say, shun mixing strong liquor; for I have
heard a poet say [FN#392]:--

From wine [FN#393] I turn and whoso wine-cups swill; *
     Becoming one of those who deem it ill:
Wine driveth man to miss salvation-way, [FN#394] * And opes the
     gateway wide to sins that kill.

The FIFTH BEHEST, O my son, is Keep thy wealth and it will keep
thee; guard thy money and it will guard thee; and waste not thy
substance lest haply thou come to want and must fare a-begging
from the meanest of mankind. Save thy dirhams and deem them the
sovereignest salve for the wounds of the world. And here again I
have heard that one of the poets said:--

When fails my wealth no friend will deign befriend: * When
     wealth abounds all friends their friendship tender:
How many friends lent aid my wealth to spend; * But friends to
     lack of wealth no friendship render.

On this wise Nur al-Din ceased not to counsel his son Badr al-Din
Hasan till his hour came and, sighing one sobbing sigh, his life
went forth. Then the voice of mourning and keening rose high in
his house and the Sultan and all the grandees grieved for him and
buried him; but his son ceased not lamenting his loss for two
months, during which he never mounted horse, nor attended the
Divan nor presented himself before the Sultan. At last the King,
being wroth with him, stablished in his stead one of the
Chamberlains and made him Wazir, giving orders to seize and set
seals on all Nur al-Din's houses and goods and domains. So the
new Wazir went forth with a mighty posse of Chamberlains and
people of the Divan, and watchmen and a host of idlers to do this
and to seize Badr al-Din Hasan and carry him before the King, who
would deal with him as he deemed fit. Now there was among the
crowd of followers a Mameluke of the deceased Wazir who, when he
heard this order, urged his horse and rode at full speed to the
house of Badr al-Din Hasan; for he cold not endure to see the
ruin of his old master's son. He found him sitting at the gate
with head hung down and sorrowing, as was his wont, for the loss
of his father; so he dismounted and kissing his hand said to him,
"O my lord and son of my lord, haste ere ruin come and lay
waste!" When Hasan heard this he trembled and asked, "What may
be the matter?; and the man answered, "The Sultan is angered with
thee and hath issued a warrant against thee, and evil cometh hard
upon my track; so flee with thy life!" At these words Hasan's
heart flamed with the fire of bale, and his rose-red cheek turned
pale, and he said to the "Mameluke, "O my brother, is there time
for me to go in and get me some worldly gear which may stand me
in stead during my strangerhood?" But the slave replied, "O my
lord, up at once and save thyself and leave this house, while it
is yet time." And he quoted these lines:--

"Escape with thy life, if oppression betide thee, * And let the
     house of its builder's fate!
Country for country thou'lt find, if thou seek it; * Life for
     life never, early or late.
It is strange men should dwell in the house of abjection, * When
     the plain of God's earth is so wide and so great!" [FN#395]

At these words of the Mameluke, Badr al-Din covered his head with
the skirt of his garment and went forth on foot till he stood
outside of the city, where he heard folk saying, "The Sultan hath
sent his new Wazir to the house of the old Wazir, now no more, to
seal his property and seize his son Badr al-Din Hasan and take
him before the presence, that he may put him to death; " and all
cried, "Alas for his beauty and his loveliness!" When he heard
this he fled forth at hazard, knowing not whither he was going,
and gave not over hurrying onwards till Destiny drove him to his
father's tomb. So he entered the cemetery and, threading his way
through the graves, at last he reached the sepulchre where he sat
down and let fall from his head the skirt of his long robe
[FN#396] which was made of brocade with a gold-embroidered hem
whereon were worked these couplets:--

O thou whose forehead, like the radiant East, * Tells of the
     stars of Heaven and bounteous dews:
Endure thine honour to the latest day, * And Time thy growth of
     glory ne'er refuse!

While he was sitting by his father's tomb behold, there came to
him a Jew as he were a Shroff, [FN#397] a money-changer, with a
pair of saddle-bags containing much gold, who accosted him and
kissed his hand, saying, "Whither bound, O my lord; 'tis late in
the day and thou art clad but lightly, and I read signs of
trouble in thy face?" "I was sleeping within this very hour,"
answered Hasan, "when my father appeared to me and chid me for
not having visited his tomb; so I awoke trembling and came hither
forthright lest the day should go by without my visiting him,
which would have been grievous to me." "O my lord," rejoined the
Jew, [FN#398] "thy father had many merchantmen at sea and, as
some of them are now due, it is my wish to buy of thee the cargo
of the first ship that cometh into port with this thousand dinars
of gold." "I consent," quoth Hasan, whereupon the Jew took out a
bag of gold and counted out a thousand sequins which he gave to
Hasan, the son of the Wazir, saying, "Write me a letter of sale
and seal it." So Hasan took a pen and paper and wrote these
words in duplicate, "The writer, Hasan Badr al-Din, son of Wazir
Nur al-Din, hath to Isaac the Jew all the cargo of the first of
his father's ships which cometh into port, for a thousand dinars,
and he hath received the price in advance." And after he had
taken one copy the Jew put it into his pouch and went away; but
Hasan fell a-weeping as he thought of the dignity and prosperity
which had erst been his and he began reciting:--

"This house, my lady, since you left is now a home no more * For
     me, not neighbours, since you left, prove kind and
The friend, whilere I took to heart, alas! no more to me * Is
     friend; and even Luna's self displayeth lunacy:
You left and by your going left the world a waste, a wolf, * And
     lies a gloomy murk upon the face of hill and lea:
O may the raven-bird whose cry our hapless parting croaked *
     Find ne'er a nesty home and eke shed all his plumery!
At length my patience fails me; and this absence wastes my
    flesh; * How many a veil by severance rent our eyes are
    doomed see:
Ah! shall I ever sight again our fair past nights of your; * And
     shall a single house become a home for me once more?"

Then he wept with exceeding weeping and night came upon him; so
he leant his head against his father's grave and sleep overcame
him: Glory to him who sleepeth not! He ceased not slumbering
till the moon rose, when his head slipped from off the tomb and
he lay on his back, with limbs outstretched, his face shining
bright in the moonlight. Now the cemetery was haunted day and
night by Jinns who were of the True Believers, and presently came
out a Jinniyah who, seeing Hasan asleep, marvelled at his beauty
and loveliness and cried, "Glory to God! This youth can be none
other than one of the Wuldan of Paradise.[FN#399] Then she flew
firmament-wards to circle it, as was her custom, and met an Ifrit
on the wing who saluted her and she said to him, "Whence comest
thou?" "From Cairo," he replied. "Wilt thou come with me and
look upon the beauty of a youth who sleepeth in yonder burial
place?" she asked and he answered, "I will." So they flew till
they lighted at the tomb and she showed him the youth and said,
"Now diddest thou ever in thy born days see aught like this?"
The Ifrit looked upon him and exclaimed, "Praise be to Him that
hath no equal! But, O my sister, shall I tell thee what I have
seen this day?" Asked she, "What is that?" and he answered, "I
have seen the counterpart of this youth in the land of Egypt.
She is the daughter of the Wazir Shams al-Din and she is a model
of beauty and loveliness, of fairest favour and formous form, and
dight with symmetry and perfect grace. When she had reached the
age of nineteen, [FN#400] the Sultan of Egypt heard of her and,
sending for the Wazir her father, said to him, 'Hear me, O Wazir:
it hath reached mine ear that thou hast a daughter and I wish to
demand her of thee in marriage." The Wazir replied, "O our lord
the Sultan, deign accept my excuses and take compassion on my
sorrows, for thou knowest that my brother, who was partner with
me in the Wazirate, disappeared from amongst us many years ago
and we wot not where he is. Now the cause of his departure was
that one night, as we were sitting together and talking of wives
and children to come, we had words on the matter and he went off
in high dudgeon. But I swore that I would marry my daughter to
none save to the son of my brother on the day her mother gave her
birth, which was nigh upon nineteen years ago. I have lately
heard that my brother died at Bassorah, where he married the
daughter of the Wazir and that she bare him a son; and I will not
marry my daughter but to him in honour of my brother's memory. I
recorded the date of my marriage and the conception of my wife
and the birth of my daughter; and from her horoscope I find that
her name is conjoined with that of her cousin; [FN#401] and there
are damsels in foison for our lord the Sultan.' The King,
hearing his Minister's answer and refusal, waxed wroth with
exceeding wrath and cried, 'When the like of me asketh a girl in
marriage of the like of thee, he conferreth an honour, and thou
rejectest me and puttest me off with cold [FN#402] excuses! Now,
by the life of my head I will marry her to the meanest of my men
in spite of the nose of thee! [FN#403] There was in the palace a
horse-groom which was a Gobbo with a bunch to his breast and a
hunch to his back; and the Sultan sent for him and married him to
the daughter of the Wazir, lief or loath, and hath ordered a
pompous marriage procession for him and that he go in to his
bride this very night. I have now just flown hither from Cairo,
where I left the Hunchback at the door of the Hammam-bath amidst
the Sultan's white slaves who were waving lighted flambeaux about
him. As for the Minister's daughter she sitteth among her nurses
and tirewomen, weeping and wailing; for they have forbidden her
father to come near her. Never have I seen, O my sister, more
hideous being than this Hunchback [FN#404] whilest the young lady
is the likest of all folk to this young man, albeit even fairer
than he,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased her
permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Jinni narrated to the Jinniyah how the King had caused the
wedding contract to be drawn up between the hunchbacked groom and
the lovely young lady who was heart-broken for sorrow; and how
she was the fairest of created things and even more beautiful
than this youth, the Jinniyah cried at him "Thou liest! this
youth is handsomer than any one of his day." The Ifrit gave her
the lie again, adding, "By Allah, O my sister, the damsel I speak
of is fairer than this; yet none but he deserveth her, for they
resemble each other like brother and sister or at least cousins.
And, well-away! how she is wasted upon that Hunchback!" Then
said she, "O my brother, let us get under him and lift him up and
carry him to Cairo, that we may compare him with the damsel of
whom thou speakest and so determine whether of the twain is the
fairer." "To hear is to obey!" replied he, "thou speakest to the
point; nor is there a righter recking than this of thine, and I
myself will carry him." So he raised him from the ground and
flew with him like a bird soaring in upper air, the Ifritah
keeping close by his side at equal speed, till he alighted with
him in the city of Cairo and set him down on a stone bench and
woke him up. He roused himself and finding that he was no longer
at his father's tomb in Bassorah-city he looked right and left
and saw that he was in a strange place; and he would have cried
out; but the Ifrit gave him a cuff which persuaded him to keep
silence. Then he brought him rich raiment and clothed him
therein and, giving him a lighted flambeau, said, "Know that I
have brought thee hither, meaning to do thee a good turn for the
love of Allah: so take this torch and mingle with the people at
the Hammam-door and walk on with them without stopping till thou
reach the house of the wedding-festival; then go boldly forward
and enter the great saloon; and fear none, but take thy stand at
the right hand of the Hunchback bridegroom; and, as often as any
of the nurses and tirewomen and singing-girls come up to thee,
[FN#405] put thy hand into thy pocket which thou wilt find filled
with gold. Take it out and throw it to them and spare not; for
as often as thou thrustest fingers in pouch thou shalt find it
full of coin. Give largesse by handsful and fear nothing, but
set thy trust upon Him who created thee, for this is not by thine
own strength but by that of Allah Almighty, that His decrees may
take effect upon his creatures." When Badr al-Din Hasan heard
these words from the Ifrit he said to himself, "Would Heaven I
knew what all this means and what is the cause of such kindness!"
However, he mingled with the people and, lighting his flambeau,
moved on with the bridal procession till he came to the bath
where he found the Hunchback already on horseback. Then he
pushed his way in among the crowd, a veritable beauty of a man in
the finest apparel, wearing tarbush [FN#406] and turband and a
long-sleeved robe purfled with gold; and, as often as the
singing-women stopped for the people to give them largesse, he
thrust his hand into his pocket and, finding it full of gold,
took out a handful and threw it on the tambourine [FN#407] till
he had filled it with gold pieces for the music-girls and the
tirewomen. The singers were amazed by his bounty and the people
marvelled at his beauty and loveliness and the splendour of his
dress. He ceased not to do thus till he reached the mansion of
the Wazir (who was his uncle), where the Chamberlains drove back
the people and forbade them to go forward; but the singing-girls
and the tirewomen said, "By Allah we will not enter unless this
young man enter with us, for he hath given us length o' life with
his largesse and we will not display the bride unless he be
present." Therewith they carried him into the bridal hall and
made him sit down defying the evil glances of the hunchbacked
bridegroom. The wives of the Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains
and Courtiers all stood in double line, each holding a massy
cierge ready lighted; all wore thin face-veils and the two rows
right and left extended from the bride's throne [FN#408] to the
head of the hall adjoining the chamber whence she was to come
forth. When the ladies saw Badr al-Din Hasan and noted his
beauty and loveliness and his face that shone like the new moon,
their hearts inclined to him and the singing-girls said to all
that were present, "Know that this beauty crossed our hands with
naught but red gold; so be not chary to do him womanly service
and comply with all he says, no matter what he ask. [FN#409] So
all the women crowded around Hasan with their torches and gazed
upon his loveliness and envied him his beauty; and one and all
would gladly have lain on his bosom an hour or rather a year.
Their hearts were so troubled that they let fall their veils from
before their faces and said, "Happy she who belongeth to this
youth or to whom he belongeth!"; and they called down curses on
the crooked groom and on him who was the cause of his marriage to
the girl-beauty; and as often as they blessed Badr al-Din Hasan
they damned the Hunchback, saying, "Verily this youth and none
else deserveth our Bride: Ah, well-away for such a lovely one
with this hideous Quasimodo; Allah's curse light on his head and
on the Sultan who commanded the marriage!" Then the singing-
girls beat their tabrets and lulliloo'd with joy, announcing the
appearing of the bride; and the Wazir's daughter came in
surrounded by her tirewomen who had made her goodly to look upon;
for they had perfumed her and incensed her and adorned her hair;
and they had robed her in raiment and ornaments befitting the
mighty Chosroes Kings. The most notable part of her dress was a
loose robe worn over her other garments; it was diapered in red
gold with figures of wild beasts, and birds whose eyes and beaks
were of gems, and claws of red rubies and green beryl; and her
neck was graced with a necklace of Yamani work, worth thousands
of gold pieces, whose bezels were great round jewels of sorts,
the like of which was never owned by Kaysar or by Tobba King.
[FN#410] And the bride was as the full moon when at fullest on
fourteenth night; and as she paced into the hall she was like one
of the Houris of Heaven--praise be to Him who created her in such
splendour of beauty! The ladies encompassed her as the white
contains the black of the eye, they clustering like stars whilst
she shone amongst them like the moon when it eats up the clouds.
Now Badr al-Din Hasan of Bassorah was sitting in full gaze of the
folk, when the bride came forward with her graceful swaying and
swimming gait, and her hunchbacked groom stood up to meet
[FN#411] and receive her: she, however, turned away from the
wight and walked forward till she stood before her cousin Hasan,
the son of her uncle. Whereat the people laughed. But when the
wedding-guests saw her thus attracted towards Badr al-Din they
made a mighty clamour and the singing-women shouted their
loudest; whereupon he put his hand into his pocket and, pulling
out a handful of gold, cast it into their tambourines and the
girls rejoiced and said, "Could we win our wish this bride were
thine!" At this he smiled and the folk came round him, flambeaux
in hand like the eyeball round the pupil, while the Gobbo
bridegroom was left sitting alone much like a tail-less baboon;
for every time they lighted a candle for him it went out willy-
nilly, so he was left in darkness and silence and looking at
naught but himself. [FN#412] When Badr al-Din Hasan saw the
bridegroom sitting lonesome in the dark, and all the wedding-
guests with their flambeaux and wax candles crowding around
himself, he was bewildered and marvelled much; but when he looked
at his cousin, the daughter of his uncle, he rejoiced and felt an
inward delight: he longed to greet her and gazed intently on her
face which was radiant with light and brilliancy. Then the
tirewomen took off her veil and displayed her in the first bridal
dress which was of scarlet satin; and Hasan had a view of her
which dazzled his sight and dazed his wits, as she moved to and
fro, swaying with graceful gait; [FN#413] and she turned the
heads of all the guests, women as well as men, for she was even
as saith the surpassing poet:--

A sun on wand in knoll of sand she showed * Clad in her
     cramoisy-hued chemisette:
Of her lips honey-dew she gave me drink, * And with her rosy
     cheeks quencht fire she set.

Then they changed that dress and displayed her in a robe of
azure; and she reappeared like the full moon when it riseth over
the horizon, with her coal-black hair and cheeks delicately fair;
and teeth shown in sweet smiling and breasts firm rising and
crowning sides of the softest and waist of the roundest. And in
this second suit she was as a certain master of high conceits
saith of the like of her:--

She came apparrelled in an azure vest, * Ultramarine, as skies
     are deckt and dight;
I view'd th' unparrellel'd sight, which show'd my eyes * A moon
     of Summer on a Winter-night.

Then they changed that suit for another and, veiling her face in
the luxuriance of her hair, loosed her lovelocks, so dark, so
long that their darkness and length outvied the darkest nights,
and she shot through all hearts with the magical shaft of her
eye-babes. They displayed her in the third dress and she was as
said of her the sayer:--

Veiling her cheeks with hair a-morn she comes, * And I her
     mischiefs with the cloud compare:
Saying, "Thou veilest morn with night!" "Ah, no!" * Quoth she,
     "I shroud full moon with darkling air!"

Then they displayed her in the fourth bridal dress and she came
forward shining like the rising sun and swaying to and fro with
lovesome grace and supple ease like a gazelle-fawn. And she
clave all hearts with the arrows of her eyelashes, even as saith
one who described a charmer like her:--

The sun of beauty she to sight appears * And, lovely-coy, she
     mocks all loveliness;
And when he fronts her favour and her smile * A-morn, the Sun of
     day in clouds must dress.

Then she came forth in the fifth dress, a very light of
loveliness like a wand of waving willow or a gazelle of the
thirsty wold. Those locks which stung like scorpions along her
cheeks were bent, and her neck was bowed in blandishment, and her
hips quivered as she went. As saith one of the poets describing
her in verse:--

She comes like fullest moon on happy night; * Taper of waist,
     with shape of magic might:
She hath an eye whose glances quell mankind, * And Ruby on her
     cheeks reflects his light:
Enveils her hips the blackness of her hair; *Beware of curls that
     bite with viper-bite!
Her sides are silken-soft, the while the heart * Mere rock behind
     that surface lurks from sight:
From the fringed curtains of her eyne she shoots * Shafts which
     at farthest range on mark alight:
When round her neck or waist I throw my arms * Her breasts repel
     me with their hardened height.
Ah, how her beauty all excels! ah how * That shape transcends the
     graceful waving bough!

Then they adorned her with the sixth toilette, a dress which was
green. And now she shamed her slender straightness the nut-brown
spear; her radiant face dimmed the brightest beams of full moon
and she outdid the bending branches in gentle movement and
flexible grace. Her loveliness exalted the beauties of earth's
four quarters and she broke men's hearts by the significance of
her semblance; for she was even as saith one of the poets in
these lines:--

A damsel 'twas the tirer's art had decked with snares and
     sleight.[FN#414] * And robed in rays as though the sun from
     her had borrowed light:
She came before us wondrous clad in chemisette of green, * As
     veiled by its leafy screen pomegranate hides from sight:
And when he said "How callest thou the manner of thy dress?" *
     She answered us in pleasant way with double meaning dight;
"We call this garment creve-coeur; and rightly is it hight, * For
     many a heart wi' this we broke [FN#415] and conquered many
     a sprite!"

Then they displayed her in the seventh dress, coloured between
safflower [FN#416] and saffron, even as one of the poets saith:--

In vest of saffron pale and safflower red * Musk'd, sandal'd
     ambergris'd, she came to front:
"Rise!" cried her youth, "go forth and show thyself!" * "Sit!"
     said her hips, "we cannot bear the brunt!"
And when I craved a bout, her Beauty said * "Do, do!" and said
     her pretty shame, "Don't, don't!"

Thus they displayed the bride in all her seven toilettes before
Hasan al-Basri, wholly neglecting the Gobbo who sat moping alone;
and, when she opened her eyes [FN#417] she said, "O Allah make
this man my goodman and deliver me from the evil of this
hunchbacked groom." As soon as they had made an end of this part
of the ceremony they dismissed the wedding guests who went forth,
women, children and all, and none remained save Hasan and the
Hunchback, whilst the tirewomen led the bride into an inner room
to change her garb and gear and get her ready for the bridegroom.
Thereupon Quasimodo came up to Badr al-Din Hasan and said, "O my
lord, thou hast cheered us this night with thy good company and
overwhelmed us with thy kindness and courtesy; but now why not
get thee up and go?" "Bismallah," he answered, "In Allah's name
so be it!" and rising, he went forth by the door, where the Ifrit
met him and said, "Stay in thy stead, O Badr al-Din, and when the
Hunchback goes out to the closet of ease go in without losing
time and seat thyself in the alcove; and when the bride comes say
to her, "'Tis I am thy husband, for the King devised this trick
only fearing for thee the evil eye, and he whom thou sawest is
but a Syce, a groom, one of our stablemen.' Then walk boldly up
to her and unveil her face; for jealousy hath taken us of this
matter." While Hasan was still talking with the Ifrit behold,
the groom fared forth from the hall and entering the closet of
ease sat down on the stool. Hardly had he done this when the
Ifrit came out of the tank, [FN#418] wherein the water was, in
semblance of a mouse and squeaked out "Zeek!" Quoth the
Hunchback, "What ails thee?"; and the mouse grew and grew till it
became a coal-black cat and caterwauled "Meeao! Meeao!"[FN#419]
Then it grew still more and more till it became a dog and barked
out "Owh! Owh!" When the bridegroom saw this he was frightened
and exclaimed "Out with thee, O unlucky one!" [FN#420] But the
dog grew and swelled till it became an ass-colt that brayed and
snorted in his face "Hauk! Hauk!" [FN#421] Whereupon the
Hunchback quaked and cried, "Come to my aid, O people of the
house!" But behold, the ass-colt grew and became big as a
buffalo and walled the way before him and spake with the voice of
the sons of Adam, saying, "Woe to thee, O thou Bunch-back, thou
stinkard, O thou filthiest of grooms!" Hearing this the groom
was seized with a colic and he sat down on the jakes in his
clothes with teeth chattering and knocking together. Quoth the
Ifrit, "Is the world so strait to thee thou findest none to marry
save my lady-love?" But as he was silent the Ifrit continued,
"Answer me or I will do thee dwell in the dust!" "By Allah,"
replied the Gobbo, "O King of the Buffaloes, this is no fault of
mine, for they forced me to wed her; and verily I wot not that
she had a lover among the buffaloes; but now I repent, first
before Allah and then before thee." Said the Ifrit to him, "I
swear to thee that if thou fare forth from this place, or thou
utter a word before sunrise, I assuredly will wring thy neck.
When the sun rises wend thy went and never more return to this
house." So saying, the Ifrit took up the Gobbo bridegroom and
set him head downwards and feet upwards in the slit of the privy,
[FN#422] and said to him, "I will leave thee here but I shall be
on the look-out for thee till sunrise; and, if thou stir before
then, I will seize thee by the feet and dash out thy brains
against the wall: so look out for thy life!" Thus far concerning
the Hunchback, but as regards Badr al-Din Hasan of Bassorah he
left the Gobbo and the Ifrit jangling and wrangling and, going
into the house, sat him down in the very middle of the alcove;
and behold, in came the bride attended by an old woman who stood
at the door and said, "O Father of Uprightness, [FN#423] arise
and take what God giveth thee." Then the old woman went away and
the bride, Sitt al-Husn or the Lady of Beauty hight, entered the
inner part of the alcove broken-hearted and saying in herself,
"By Allah I will never yield my person to him; no, not even were
he to take my life!" But as she came to the further end she saw
Badr al-Din Hasan and she said, "Dearling! Art thou still sitting
here? By Allah I was wishing that thou wert my bridegroom or, at
least, that thou and the hunchbacked horse-groom were partners in
me." He replied, "O beautiful lady, how should the Syce have
access to thee, and how should he share in thee with me?"
"Then," quoth she, "who is my husband, thou or he?" "Sitt al-
Husn," rejoined Hasan, "we have not done this for mere fun,
[FN#424] but only as a device to ward off the evil eye from thee;
for when the tirewomen and singers and wedding guests saw they
beauty being displayed to me, they feared fascination and thy
father hired the horse-groom for ten dinars and a porringer of
meat to take the evil eye off us; and now he hath received his
hire and gone his gait." When the Lady of Beauty heard these
words she smiled and rejoiced and laughed a pleasant laugh. Then
she whispered him, "By the Lord thou hast quenched a fire which
tortured me and now, by Allah, O my little dark-haired darling,
take me to thee and press me to thy bosom!" Then she began

"By Allah, set thy foot upon my soul; * Since long, long years
     for this alone I long:
And whisper tale of love in ear of me; * To me 'tis sweeter than
     the sweetest song!
No other youth upon my heart shall lie; * So do it often, dear,
     and do it long."

Then she stripped off her outer gear and she threw open her
chemise from the neck downwards and showed her parts genital and
all the rondure of her hips. When Badr al-Din saw the glorious
sight his desires were roused, and he arose and doffed her
clothes, and wrapping up in his bag-trousers [FN#425] the purse
of gold which he had taken from the Jew and which contained the
thousand dinars, he laid it under the edge of the bedding. Then
he took off his turband and set it upon the settle [FN#426] atop
of his other clothes, remaining in his skull-cap and fine shirt
of blue silk laced with gold. Whereupon the Lady of Beauty drew
him to her and he did likewise. Then he took her to his embrace
and set her legs round his waist and point-blanked that cannon
[FN#427] placed where it battereth down the bulwark of maidenhead
and layeth it waste. And he found her a pearl unpierced and
unthridden and a filly by all men save himself unridden; and he
abated her virginity and had joyance of her youth in his virility
and presently he withdrew sword from sheath; and then returned to
the fray right eath; and when the battle and the siege had
finished, some fifteen assaults he had furnished and she
conceived by him that very night. Then he laid his hand under
her head and she did the same and they embraced and fell asleep
in each other's arms, as a certain poet said of such lovers in
these couplets:--

Visit thy lover, spurn what envy told; * No envious churl shall
     smile on love ensoul'd.
Merciful Allah made no fairer sight * Than coupled lovers single
     couch doth hold;
Breast pressing breast and robed in joys their own, * With
     pillowed forearms cast in finest mould:
And when heart speaks to heart with tongue of love, * Folk who
     would part them hammer steel ice-cold:
If a fair friend[FN#428] thou find who cleaves to thee, * Live
     for that friend, that friend in heart enfold.
O ye who blame for love us lover kind * Say, can ye minister to
     diseasèd mind?

This much concerning Badr al-Hasan and Sitt al-Husn his cousin;
but as regards the Ifrit, as soon as he saw the twain asleep, he
said to the Ifritah, "Arise, slip thee under the youth and let us
carry him back to his place ere dawn overtake us; for the day is
nearhand." Thereupon she came forward and, getting under him as
he lay asleep, took him up clad only in his fine blue shirt,
leaving the rest of his garments; and ceased not flying (and the
Ifrit vying with her in flight) till the dawn advised them that
it had come upon them mid-way, and the Muezzin began his call
from the Minaret, "Haste ye to salvation! Haste ye to
salvation!" [FN#429] Then Allah suffered his angelic host to
shoot down the Ifrit with a shooting star, [FN#430] so he was
consumed, but the Ifritah escaped and she descended with Badr al-
Din at the place where the Ifrit was burnt, and did not carry him
back to Bassorah, fearing lest he come to harm. Now by the order
of Him who predestineth all things, they alighted at Damascus of
Syria, and the Ifritah set down her burden at one of the city-
gates and flew away. When day arose and the doors were opened,
the folks who came forth saw a handsome youth, with no other
raiment but his blue shirt of gold-embroidered silk and skull-
cap,[FN#431] lying upon the ground drowned in sleep after the
hard labour of the night which had not suffered him to take his
rest. So the folk looking at him said, "O her luck with whom
this one spent the night! but would he had waited to don his
garments." Quoth another, "A sorry lot are the sons of great
families! Haply he but now came forth of the tavern on some
occasion of his own and his wine flew to his head,[FN#432]
whereby he hath missed the place he was making for and strayed
till he came to the gate of the city; and finding it shut lay him
down and to by-by!" As the people were bandying guesses about
him suddenly the morning breeze blew upon Badr al-Din and raising
his shirt to his middle showed a stomach and navel with something
below it, [FN#433] and legs and thighs clear as crystal and
smooth as cream. Cried the people, "By Allah he is a pretty
fellow!"; and at the cry Badr al-din awoke and found himself
lying at a city-gate with a crowd gathered around him. At this
he greatly marvelled and asked, "Where am I, O good folk; and
what causeth you thus to gather round me, and what have I had to
do with you?"; and they answered, "We found thee lying here
asleep during the call to dawn-prayer and this is all we know of
the matter, but where diddest thou lie last night?" [FN#434] "By
Allah, O good people," replied he, "I lay last night in Cairo."
Said somebody, "Thou hast surely been eating Hashish," [FN#435]
and another, "He is a fool;" and a third, "He is a citrouille;"
and a fourth asked him, "Art thou out of thy mind? thou sleepest
in Cairo and thou wakest in the morning at the gate of Damascus-
city!" [FN#436] Cried he, "By Allah, my good people, one and
all, I lie not to you: indeed I lay yesternight in the land of
Egypt and yesternoon I was at Bassorah." Quoth one, "Well!
well!"; and quoth another, "Ho! ho!"; and a third, "So! so!"; and
a fourth cried, "This youth is mad, is possessed of the Jinni!"
So they clapped hands at him and said to one another, "Alas, the
pity of it for his youth: by Allah a madman! and madness is no
respecter of persons." Then they said to him, "Collect thy wits
and return to thy reason! How couldest thou be in Bassorah
yesterday and Cairo yesternight and withal awake in Damascus this
morning?" But he persisted, "Indeed I was a bridegroom in Cairo
last night." "Belike thou hast been dreaming," rejoined they,
"and sawest all this in thy sleep." So Hasan took thought for a
while and said to them, "By Allah, this is no dream; nor vision-
like doth it seem! I certainly was in Cairo where they displayed
the bride before me, in presence of a third person, the Hunchback
groom who was sitting hard by. By Allah, O my brother, this be
no dream, and if it were a dream, where is the bag of gold I bore
with me and where are my turband and my robe, and my trousers?"
Then he rose and entered the city, threading its highways and by-
ways and bazar-streets; and the people pressed upon him and
jeered at him, crying out "Madman! madman!" till he, beside
himself with rage, took refuge in a cook's shop. Now that Cook
had been a trifle too clever, that is, a rogue and thief; but
Allah had made him repent and turn from his evil ways and open a
cook-shop; and all the people of Damascus stood in fear of his
boldness and his mischief. So when the crowd saw the youth enter
his shop, they dispersed being afraid of him, and went their
ways. The Cook looked at Badr al-Din and, noting his beauty and
loveliness, fell in love with him forthright and said, "Whence
comest thou, O youth? Tell me at once thy tale, for thou art
become dearer to me than my soul." So Hasan recounted to him all
that had befallen him from beginning to end (but in repetition
there is no fruition) and the Cook said, "O my lord Badr al-Din,
doubtless thou knowest that this case is wondrous and this story
marvellous; therefore, O my son, hide what hath betided thee,
till Allah dispel what ills be thine; and tarry with me here the
meanwhile, for I have no child and I will adopt thee." Badr al-
Din replied, "Be it as thou wilt, O my uncle!" Whereupon the
Cook went to the bazar and bought him a fine suit of clothes and
made him don it; then fared with him to the Kazi, and formally
declared that he was his son. So Badr al-Din Hasan became known
in Damascus-city as the Cook's son and he sat with him in the
shop to take the silver, and on this wise he sojourned there for
a time. Thus far concerning him; but as regards his cousin, the
Lady of Beauty, when morning dawned she awoke and missed Badr al-
Din Hasan from her side; but she thought that he had gone to the
privy and she sat expecting him for an hour or so; when behold,
entered her father Shams al-Din Mohammed, Wazir of Egypt. Now he
was disconsolate by reason of what had befallen him through the
Sultan, who had entreated him harshly and had married his
daughter by force to the lowest of his menials and he too a lump
of a groom bunch-backed withal, and he said to himself, "I will
slay this daughter of mine if of her own free will she have
yielded her person to this acursed carle." So he came to the
door of the bride's private chamber and said, "Ho! Sitt al-
Husn." She answered him, "Here am I! here am I!" [FN#437] O my
lord," and came out unsteady of gait after the pains and
pleasures of the night; and she kissed his hand, her face showing
redoubled brightness and beauty for having lain in the arms of
that gazelle, her cousin. When her father, the Wazir, saw her in
such case, he asked her, "O thou accursed, art thou rejoicing
because of this horse-groom?", and Sitt al-Husn smiled sweetly
and answered, "By Allah, don't ridicule me: enough of what passed
yesterday when folk laughed at me, and evened me with that groom-
fellow who is not worthy to bring my husband's shoes or slippers;
nay who is not worth the paring of my husband's nails! By the
Lord, never in my life have I nighted a night so sweet as
yesternight!, so don't mock by reminding me of the Gobbo." When
her parent heard her words he was filled with fury, and his eyes
glared and stared, so that little of them showed save the whites
and he cried, "Fie upon thee! What words are these? 'Twas the
hunchbacked horse-groom who passed the night with thee!" "Allah
upon thee," replied the Lady of Beauty, "do not worry me about
the Gobbo, Allah damn his father; [FN#438] and leave jesting with
me; for this groom was only hired for ten dinars and a porringer
of meat and he took his wage and went his way. As for me I
entered the bridal-chamber, where I found my true bridegroom
sitting, after the singer-women had displayed me to him; the same
who had crossed their hands with red gold, till every pauper that
was present waxed wealthy; and I passed the night on the breast
of my bonny man, a most lively darling, with his black eyes and
joined eyebrows." [FN#439] When her parent heard these words the
light before his face became night, and he cried out at her
saying, "O thou whore! What is this thou tellest me? Where be
thy wits?" "O my father," she rejoined, "thou breakest my heart;
enough for thee that thou hast been so hard upon me! Indeed my
husband who took my virginity is but just now gone to the
draught-house and I feel that I have conceived by him." [FN#440]
The Wazir rose in much marvel and entered the privy where he
found the hunchbacked groom with his head in the hole, and his
heels in the air. At this sight he was confounded and said,
"This is none other than he, the rascal Hunchback!" So he called
to him, "Ho Hunchback!" The Gobbo grunted out, "Taghum! Taghum!"
[FN#441] thinking it was the Ifrit spoke to him; so the Wazir
shouted at him and said, "Speak out, or I'll strike off thy pate
with this sword." Then quoth the Hunchback, "By Allah, O Shaykh
of the Ifrits, ever since thou settest me in this place, I have
not lifted my head; so Allah upon thee, take pity and entreat me
kindly!" When the Wazir heard this he asked, "What is this thou
sayest? I'm bride's father and no Ifrit." "Enough for thee that
thou hast well nigh done me die, " answered Quasimodo; "now go
thy ways before he come upon thee who hath served me thus. Could
ye not marry me to any save the lady-love of buffaloes and the
beloved of Ifrits? Allah curse her and curse him who married me
to her and was the cause of this my case,"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day, and ceased to say her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-third Night,

Said she, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
hunchbacked groom spake to the bride's father saying, "Allah
curse him who was the cause of this my case!" Then said the
Wazir to him, "Up and out of this place!" "Am I mad," cried the
groom, "that I should go with thee without leave of the Ifrit
whose last words to me were:--"When the sun rises, arise and go
they gait." So hath the sun risen or no?; for I dare not budge
from this place till then." Asked the Wazir, "Who brought thee
hither?"; and he answered "I came here yesternight for a call of
nature and to do what none can do for me, when lo! a mouse came
out of the water, and squeaked at me and swelled and waxed gross
till it was big as a buffalo, and spoke to me words that entered
my ears. Then he left me here and went away, Allah curse the
bride and him who married me to her!" The Wazir walked up to him
and lifted his head out of the cesspool hole; and he fared forth
running for dear life and hardly crediting that the sun had
risen; and repaired to the Sultan to whom he told all that had
befallen him with the Ifrit. But the Wazir returned to the
bride's private chamber, sore troubled in spirit about her, and
said to her, "O my daughter, explain this strange matter to me!"
Quoth she, "Tis simply this. The bridegroom to whom they
displayed me yestereve lay with me all night, and took my
virginity and I am with child by him. He is my husband and if
thou believe me not, there are his turband, twisted as it was,
lying on the settle and his dagger and his trousers beneath the
bed with a something, I wot not what, wrapped up in them." When
her father heard this he entered the private chamber and found
the turband which had been left there by Badr al-Din Hasan, his
brother's son, and he took it in hand and turned it over, saying,
"This is the turband worn by Wazirs, save that it is of Mosul
stuff." [FN#442] So he opened it and, finding what seemed to be
an amulet sewn up in the Fez, he unsewed the lining and took it
out; then he lifted up the trousers wherein was the purse of the
thousand gold pieces and, opening that also, found in it a
written paper. This he read and it was the sale-receipt of the
Jew in the name of Badr al-Din Hasan, son of Nur al-Din Ali, the
Egyptian; and the thousand dinars were also there. No sooner had
Shams al-Din read this than he cried out with a loud cry and fell
to the ground fainting; and as soon as he revived and understood
the gist of the matter he marvelled and said, "There is no God,
but the God, who All-might is over all things! Knowest thou, O
my daughter, who it was that became the husband of thy
virginity?" "No," answered she, and he said, "Verily he is the
son of my brother, thy cousin, and this thousand dinars is thy
dowry. Praise be to Allah! and would I wot how this matter came
about!" then opened he the amulet which was sewn up and found
therein a paper in the handwriting of his deceased brother, Nur
al-Din the Egyptian, father of Badr al-Din Hasan; and, when he
saw the hand-writing, he kissed it again and again; and he wept
and wailed over his dead brother and improvised this lines:--

"I see their traces and with pain I melt, * And on their whilome
     homes I weep and yearn:
And Him I pray who dealt this parting-blow * Some day he deign
     vouchsafe a safe return." [FN#443]

When he ceased versifying, he read the scroll and found in it
recorded the dates of his brother's marriage with the daughter of
the Wazir of Bassorah, and of his going in to her, and her
conception, and the birth of Badr al-Din Hasan and all his
brother's history and doings up to his dying day. So he
marvelled much and shook with joy and, comparing the dates with
his own marriage and going in to his wife and the birth of their
daughter, Sitt al-Husn, he found that they perfectly agreed. So
he took the document and, repairing with it to the Sultan,
acquainted him with what had passed, from first to last; whereat
the King marvelled and commanded the case to be at once recorded.
[FN#444] The Wazir abode that day expecting to see his brother's
son but he came not; and he waited a second day, a third day and
so on to the seventh day, without any tidings of him. So he
said, "By Allah, I will do a deed such as none hath ever done
before me!"; and he took reed-pen and ink and drew upon a sheet
of paper the plan of the whole house, showing whereabouts was the
private chamber with the curtain in such a place and the
furniture in such another and so on with all that was in the
room. Then he folded up the sketch and, causing all the
furniture to be collected, he took Badr al-Din's garments and the
turband and Fez and robe and purse, and carried the whole to his
house and locked them up, against the coming of his nephew, Badr
al-Din Hasan, the son of his lost brother, with an iron padlock
on which he set his seal. As for the Wazir's daughter, when her
tale of months was fulfilled, she bare a son like the full moon,
the image of his father in beauty and loveliness and fair
proportions and perfect grace. They cut his navel-string
[FN#445] and Kohl'd his eyelids to strengthen his eyes, and gave
him over to the nurses and nursery governesses, [FN#446] naming
him Ajib, the Wonderful. His day was as a month and his month
was as a year; [FN#447] and, when seven years had passed over
him, his grandfather sent him to school, enjoining the master to
teach him Koran-reading, and to educate him well. he remained at
the school four years, till he began to bully his schoolfellows
and abuse them and bash them and thrash them and say, "Who among
you is like me? I am the son of Wazir of Egypt!" At last the
boys came in a body to the Monitor [FN#448] of what hard usage
they were wont to have from Ajib, and he said to them, "I will
tell you somewhat you may do to him so that he shall leave off
coming to the school, and it is this. When he enters to-morrow,
sit ye down about him and say some one of you to some other, 'By
Allah none shall play with us at this game except he tell us the
names of his mamma and his papa; for he who knows not the names
of his mother and his father is a bastard, a son of adultery,
[FN#449] and he shall not play with us.'" When morning dawned
the boys came to school, Ajib being one of them, and all flocked
around him saying, "We will play a game wherein none can join
save he can tell the name of his mamma and his papa." And they
all cried, "By Allah, good!" Then quoth one of them, "My name is
Majid and my mammy's name is Alawiyah and my daddy's Izz al-Din."
Another spoke in like guise and yet a third, till Ajid's turn
came, and he said, "MY name is Ajib, and my mother's is Sitt al-
Husn, and my father's Shams al-Din, the Wazir of Cairo." "By
Allah," cried they, "the Wazir is not thy true father." Ajib
answered, "The Wazir is my father in very deed." Then the boys
all laughed and clapped their hands at him, saying "He does not
know who is his papa: get out from among us, for none shall play
with us except he know his father's name." Thereupon they
dispersed from around him and laughed him to scorn; so his breast
was straitened and he well nigh choked with tears and hurt
feelings. Then said the Monitor to him, "We know that the Wazir
is thy grandfather, the father of thy mother, Sitt al-Husn, and
not thy father. As for thy father, neither dost thou know him
nor yet do we; for the Sultan married thy mother to the
hunchbacked horse-groom; but the Jinni came and slept with her
and thou hast no known father. Leave, then, comparing thyself
too advantageously with the little ones of the school, till thou
know that thou hast a lawful father; for until then thou wilt
pass for a child of adultery amongst them. Seest thou that not
even a huckster's son knoweth his own sire? Thy grandfather is
the Wazir of Egypt; but as for thy father we wot him not and we
say indeed that thou hast none. So return to thy sound senses!"
When Ajib heard these insulting words from the Monitor and the
school boys and understood the reproach they put upon him, he
went out at once and ran to his mother, Sitt al-Husn, to
complain; but he was crying so bitterly that his tears prevented
his speech for a while. When she heard his sobs and saw his
tears her heart burned as though with fire for him, and she said,
"O my son, why dost thou weep? Allah keep the tears from thine
eyes! Tell me what hath betided thee?" So he told her all that
he heard from the boys and from the Monitor and ended with
asking, "And who, O my mother, is my father?" She answered, "Thy
father is the Wazir of Egypt;" but he said, "Do not lie to me.
The Wazir is thy father, not mine! who then is my father? Except
thou tell me the very truth I will kill myself with this hanger."
[FN#450] When his mother heard him speak of his father she wept,
remembering her cousin and her bridal night with him and all that
occurred thereon and then, and she repeated these couplets:--

"Love in my heart they lit and went their ways, * And all I
     love to furthest lands withdrew;
And when they left me sufferance also left, * And when we parted
     Patience bade adieu:
They fled and flying with my joys they fled, * In very
     consistency my spirit flew:
They made my eyelids flow with severance tears * And to the
     parting-pang these drops are due:
And when I long to see reunion-day, * My groans prolonging sore
     for ruth I sue:
Then in my heart of hearts their shapes I trace, * And love and
     longing care and cark renew:
O ye, whose names cling round me like a cloak, * Whose love yet
     closer than a shirt I drew,
Beloved ones! how long this hard despite? * How long this
     severance and this coy shy flight?"

Then she wailed and shrieked aloud and her son did the like; and
behold, in came the Wazir whose heart burnt within him at the
sight of their lamentations, and he said, "What makes you weep?"
So the Lady of Beauty acquainted him with what had happened
between her son and the school boys; and he also wept, calling to
mind his brother and what had past between them and what had
betided his daughter and how he had failed to find out what
mystery there was in the matter. Then he rose at once and,
repairing to the audience-hall, went straight to the King and
told his tale and craved his permission [FN#451] to travel
eastward to the city of Bassorah and ask after his brother's son.
Furthermore, he besought the Sultan to write for him letters
patent, authorising him to seize upon Badr al-Din, his nephew and
son-in-law, wheresoever he might find him. And he wept before
the King, who had pity on him and wrote royal autographs to his
deputies in all climes [FN#452] and countries and cities; whereat
the Wazir rejoiced and prayed for blessings on him. Then, taking
leave of his Sovereign, he returned to his house, where he
equipped himself and his daughter and his adopted child Ajib,
with all things meet for a long march; and set out and travelled
the first day and the second and the third and so forth till he
arrived at Damascus-city. He found it a fair place abounding in
trees and streams, even as the poet said of it:--

When I nighted and dayed in Damascus town, * Time sware such
     another he ne'er should view:
And careless we slept under wing of night, * Till dappled Morn
     'gan her smiles renew:
And dew-drops on branch in their beauty hung, * Like pearls to be
     dropt when the Zephyr blew:
And the Lake [FN#453] was the page where birds read and note, *
     And the clouds set points to what breezes wrote.

The Wazir encamped on the open space called Al-Hasa; [FN#454]
and, after pitching tents, said to his servants, "A halt here for
two days!" So they went into the city upon their several
occasions, this to sell and this to buy; this to go to the Hammam
and that to visit the Cathedral-mosque of the Banu Umayyah, the
Ommiades, whose like is not in this world. [FN#455] Ajib also
went, with his attendant eunuch, for solace and diversion to the
city and the servant followed with a quarter-staff [FN#456] of
almond-wood so heavy that if he struck a camel therewith the
beast would never rise again. [FN#457] When the people of
Damascus saw Ajib's beauty and brilliancy and perfect grace and
symmetry (for he was a marvel of comeliness and winning
loveliness, softer than the cool breeze of the North, sweeter
than limpid waters to a man in drowth, and pleasanter than the
health for which sick man sueth), a mighty many followed him,
whilest others ran on before, and sat down on the road until he
should come up, that they might gaze on him, till, as Destiny had
decreed, the Eunuch stopped opposite the shop of Ajib's father,
Badr al-Din Hasan. Now his beard had grown long and thick and
his wits had ripened during the twelve years which had passed
over him, and the Cook and ex-rogue having died, the so-called
Hasan of Bassorah had succeeded to his goods and shop, for that
he had been formally adopted before the Kazi and witnesses. When
his son and the Eunuch stepped before him he gazed on Ajib and,
seeing how very beautiful he was, his heart fluttered and
throbbed, and blood drew to blood and natural affection spake out
and his bowels yearned over him. He had just dressed a conserve
of pomegranate-grains with sugar, and Heaven-implanted love
wrought within him; so he called to his son Ajib and said, "O my
lord, O thou who hast gotten the mastery of my heart and my very
vitals and to whom my bowels yearn; say me, wilt thou enter my
house and solace my soul by eating of my meat?" Then his eyes
streamed with tears which he could not stay, for he bethought him
of what he had been and what he had become. When Ajib heard his
father's words his heart also yearned himwards and he looked at
the Eunuch and said to him, "Of a truth, O my good guard, my
heart yearns to this cook; he is as one that hath a son far away
from him: so let us enter and gladden his heart by tasting of his
hospitality. Perchance for our so doing Allah may reunite me
with my father." When the Eunuch heard these words he cried, "A
fine thing this, by Allah! Shall the sons of Wazirs be seen
eating in a common cook-shop? Indeed I keep off the folk from
thee with this quarter-staff lest they even look upon thee; and I
dare not suffer thee to enter this shop at all." When Hasan of
Bassorah heard his speech he marvelled and turned to the Eunuch
with the tears pouring down his cheeks; and Ajib said, "Verily my
heart loves him!" But he answered, "Leave this talk, thou shalt
not go in." Thereupon the father turned to the Eunuch and said,
"O worthy sir, why wilt thou not gladden my soul by entering my
shop? O thou who art like a chestnut, dark without but white of
heart within! O thou of the like of whom a certain poet said * *
*" The Eunuch burst out a-laughing and asked--"Said what? Speak
out by Allah and be quick about it." So Hasan the Bassorite
began reciting these couplets:--

"If not master of manners or aught but discreet * In the
     household of Kings no trust could he take:
And then for the Harem! what Eunuch [FN#458] is he * Whom
     angels would serve for his service sake."

The Eunuch marvelled and was pleased at these words, so he took
Ajib by the hand and went into the cook's shop: whereupon Hasan
the Bassorite ladled into a saucer some conserve of pomegranate-
grains wonderfully good, dressed with almonds and sugar, saying,
"You have honoured me with your company: eat then and health and
happiness to you!" Thereupon Ajib said to his father, "Sit thee
down and eat with us; so perchance Allah may unite us with him we
long for." Quoth Hasan, "O my son, hast thou then been afflicted
in thy tender years with parting from those thou lovest?" Quoth
Ajib, "Even so, O nuncle mine; my heart burns for the loss of a
beloved one who is non other than my father; and indeed I come
forth, I and my grandfather, [FN#459] to circle and search the
world for him. Oh, the pity of it, and how I long to meet him!"
Then he wept with exceeding for his own bereavement, which
recalled to him his long separation from dear friends and from
his mother; and the Eunuch was moved to pity for him. Then they
ate together till they were satisfied; and Ajib and the slave
rose and left the shop. Hereat Hasan the Bassorite felt as
though his soul had departed his body and had gone with them; for
he could not lose sight of the boy during the twinkling of an
eye, albeit he knew not that Ajib was his son. So he locked up
his shop and hastened after them; and he walked so fast that he
came up with them before they had gone out of the western gate.
The Eunuch turned and asked him, "What ails the?"; and Badr al-
Din answered, "When ye went from me, meseemed my soul had gone
with you; and, as I had business without the city-gate, I
purposed to bear you company till my matter was ordered and so
return." The Eunuch was angered and said to Ajib, "This is just
what I feared! we ate that unlucky mouthful (which we are bound
to respect), and here is the fellow following us from place to
place; for the vulgar are ever the vulgar." Ajib, turning and
seeing the Cook just behind him, was wroth and his face reddened
with rage and he said to the servant; "Let him walk the highway
of the Moslems; but, when we turn off it to our tents, and find
that he still follows us, we will send him about his business
with a flea in his ear." Then he bowed his head and walked on,
the Eunuch walking behind him. But Hasan of Bassorah followed
them to the plain Al-Hasa; and, as they drew near to the tents,
they turned round and saw him close on their heels; so Ajib was
very angry, fearing that the Eunuch might tell his grandfather
what had happened. His indignation was the hotter for
apprehension lest any say that after he had entered a cook-shop
the cook had followed him. So he turned and looked at Hasan of
Bassorah and found his eyes fixed on his own, for the father had
become a body without a soul; and it seemed to Ajib that his eye
was a treacherous eye or that he was some lewd fellow. So his
rage redoubled and, stooping down, he took up a stone weighing
half a pound and threw it at his father. It struck him on the
forehead, cutting it open from eye-brow to eye-brow and causing
the blood to stream down: and Hasan fell to the ground in a swoon
whilst Ajib and the Eunuch made for the tents. When the father
came to himself he wiped away the blood and tore off a strip from
his turband and bound up his head, blaming himself the while, and
saying, "I wronged the lad by shutting up my shop and following,
so that he thought I was some evil-minded fellow." Then he
returned to his place where he busied himself with the sale of
his sweetmeats; and he yearned after his mother at Bassorah, and
wept over her and broke out repeating:--

"Unjust it were to bid the World [FN#460] be just * And blame
     her not: She ne'er was made for justice:
Take what she gives thee, leave all grief aside, * For now to
     fair and then to foul her lust is."

So Hasan of Bassorah set himself steadily to sell his sweetmeats;
but the Wazir, his uncle, halted in Damascus three days and then
marched upon Emesa, and passing through that town he made enquiry
there and at every place where he rested. Thence he fared on by
way of Hamah and Aleppo and thence to Diyar Bakr and Maridin and
Mosul, still enquiring, till he arrived at Bassorah-city. Here,
as soon as he had secured a lodging, he presented himself before
the Sultan, who entreated him with high honour and the respect
due to his rank, and asked the cause of his coming. The Wazir
acquainted him with his history and told him that the Minister
Nur al-Din was his brother; whereupon the Sultan exclaimed,
"Allah have mercy upon him!" and added, "My good Sahib!"
[FN#461]; he was my Wazir for fifteen years and I loved him
exceedingly. Then he died leaving a son who abode only a single
month after his father's death; since which time he has
disappeared and we could gain no tidings of him. But his mother,
who is the daughter of my former Minister, is still among us."
When the Wazir Shams al-Din heard that his nephew's mother was
alive and well, he rejoiced and said, "O King I much desire to
meet her." The King on the instant gave him leave to visit her;
so he betook himself to the mansion of his brother, Nur al-Din,
and cast sorrowful glances on all things in and around it and
kissed the threshold. Then he bethought him of his brother, Nur
al-Din Ali, and how he had died in a strange land far from kith
and kin and friends; and he wept and repeated these lines:--

"I wander 'mid these walls, my Layla's walls, * And kissing this
     and other wall I roam:
'Tis not the walls or roof my heart so loves, * But those who in
     this house had made their home."

Then he passed through the gate into a courtyard and found a
vaulted doorway builded of hardest syenite [FN#462] inlaid with
sundry kinds of multi-coloured marble. Into this he walked and
wandered about the house and, throwing many a glance around, saw
the name of his brother, Nur al-Din, written in gold wash upon
the walls. So he went up to the inscription and kissed it and
wept and thought of how he had been separated from his brother
and had now lost him for ever, and he recited these couplets:--

"I ask of you from every rising sun, * And eke I ask when
     flasheth levenlight:
When I pass my nights in passion-pain, * Yet ne'er I 'plain me
     of my painful plight;
My love! if longer last this parting throe * Little by little
     shall it waste my sprite.
An thou wouldst bless these eyne with sight of thee * One day on
     earth, I crave none other sight:
Think not another could possess my mind * Nor length nor breadth
     for other love I find."

Then he walked on till he came to the apartment of his brother's
widow, the mother of Badr al-Din Hasan, the Egyptian. Now from
the time of her son's disappearance she had never ceased weeping
and wailing through the light hours and the dark; and, when the
years grew longsome with her, she built for him a tomb of marble
in the midst of the saloon and there used to weep for him day and
night, never sleeping save thereby. When the Wazir drew near her
apartment, he heard her voice and stood behind the door while she
addressed the sepulchre in verse and said:--

"Answer, by Allah! Sepulchre, are all his beauties gone? * Hath
     change the power to blight his charms, that Beauty's
Thou art not earth, O Sepulchre! nor art thou sky to me; * How
     comes it, then, in thee I see conjoint the branch and moon?"

While she was bemoaning herself after this fashion, behold, the
Wazir went in to her and saluted her and informed her that he was
her husband's brother; and, telling her all that had passed
between them, laid open before her the whole story, how her son
Badr al-Din Hasan had spent a whole night with his daughter full
ten years ago but had disappeared in the morning. And he ended
with saying, "My daughter conceived by thy son and bare a male
child who is now with me, and he is thy son and thy son's son by
my daughter." When she heard the tidings that her boy, Badr al-
Din, was still alive and saw her brother-in-law, she rose up to
him and threw herself at his feet and kissed them, reciting these

"Allah be good to him that gives glad tidings of thy steps; * In
     very sooth for better news mine ears would never sue:
Were he content with worn-out robe, upon his back I'd throw * A
     heart to pieces rent and torn when heard the word Adieu."

Then the Wazir sent for Ajib and his grandmother stood up and
fell on his neck and wept; but Shams al-Din said to her, "This is
no time for weeping; this is the time to get thee ready for
travelling with us to the land of Egypt; haply Allah will reunite
me and thee with thy son and my nephew." Replied she,
"Hearkening and obedience;" and, rising at once, collected her
baggage and treasures and her jewels, and equipped herself and
her slave-girls for the march, whilst the Wazir went to take his
leave of the Sultan of Bassorah, who sent by him presents and
rarities for the Soldan of Egypt. Then he set out at once upon
his homeward march and journeyed till he came to Damascus-city
where he alighted in the usual place and pitched tents, and said
to his suite, "We will halt a se'nnight here to buy presents and
rare things for the Soldan." Now Ajib bethought him of the past
so he said to the Eunuch, "O Laik, I want a little diversion;
come, let us go down to the great bazar of Damascus, [FN#463] and
see what hath become of the cook whose sweetmeats we ate and
whose head we broke, for indeed he was kind to us and we
entreated him scurvily." The Eunuch answered, "Hearing is
obeying!" So they went forth from the tents; and the tie of
blood drew Ajib towards his father, and forthwith they passed
through the gateway, Bab al-Faradis [FN#464] hight, and entered
the city and ceased not walking through the streets till they
reached the cookshop, where they found Hasan of Bassorah standing
at the door. It was near the time of mid-afternoon prayer
[FN#465] and it so fortuned that he had just dressed a confection
of pomegranate-grains. When the twain drew near to him and Ajib
saw him, his heart yearned towards him, and noticing the scar of
the blow, which time had darkened on his brow, he said to him,
"Peace be on thee, O man!" [FN#466] know that my heart is with
thee." But when Badr al-Din looked upon his son his vitals
yearned and his heart fluttered, and he hung his head earthwards
and sought to make his tongue give utterance to his words, but he
could not. Then he raised his head humbly and suppliant-wise
towards his boy and repeated these couplets:--

"I longed for my beloved but when I saw his face, * Abashed I
     held my tongue and stood with downcast eye;
And hung my head in dread and would have hid my love, * But do
     whatso I would hidden it would not lie;
Volumes of plaints I had prepared, reproach and blame, * But
     when we met, no single word remembered I."

And then said he to them, "Heal my broken heart and eat of my
sweetmeats; for, by Allah, I cannot look at thee but my heart
flutters. Indeed I should not have followed thee the other day,
but that I was beside myself." "By Allah," answered Ajib, "thou
dost indeed love us! We ate in thy house a mouthful when we were
here before and thou madest us repent of it, for that thou
followedst us and wouldst have disgraced us; so now we will not
eat aught with thee save on condition that thou make oath not to
go out after us nor dog us. Otherwise we will not visit thee
again during our present stay; for we shall halt a week here,
whilst my grandfather buys certain presents for the King." Quoth
Hasan of Bassorah, "I promise you this." So Ajib and the Eunuch
entered the shop, and his father set before them a saucer-full of
conserve of pomegranate-grains. Said Ajib, "Sit thee down and
eat with us, so haply shall Allah dispel our sorrows." Hasan the
Bassorite was joyful and sat down and ate with them; but his eyes
kept gazing fixedly on Ajib's face, for his very heart and vitals
clove to him; and at last the boy said to him, "Did I not tell
thee thou art a most noyous dotard?; so do stint thy staring in
my face!" But when Hasan of Bassorah heard his son's words he
repeated these lines:--

"Thou hast some art the hearts of men to clip; * Close-veiled,
     far-hidden mystery dark and deep:
O thou whose beauties sham the lustrous moon, * Wherewith the
     saffron Morn fears rivalship!
Thy beauty is a shrine shall ne'er decay; * Whose signs shall
     grow until they all outstrip; [FN#467]
Must I be thirst-burnt by that Eden-brow * And die of pine to
     taste that Kausar-lip?" [FN#468]

Hasan kept putting morsels into Ajib's mouth at one time and at
another time did the same by the Eunuch and they ate till they
were satisfied and could no more. Then all rose up and the cook
poured water on their hands; [FN#469] and, loosing a silken
waist-shawl, dried them and sprinkled them with rose-water from a
casting-bottle he had by him. Then he went out and presently
returned with a gugglet of sherbet flavoured with rose-water,
scented with musk and cooled with snow; and he set this before
them saying, "Complete your kindness to me!" So Ajib took the
gugglet and drank and passed it to the Eunuch; and it went round
till their stomachs were full and they were surfeited with a meal
larger than their wont. Then they went away and made haste in
walking till they reached the tents, and Ajib went in to his
grandmother, who kissed him and, thinking of her son, Badr al-Din
Hasan, groaned aloud and wept and recited these lines:--

"I still had hoped to see thee and enjoy thy sight, * For in
     thine absence life has lost its kindly light:
I swear my vitals wot none other love but thine * By Allah, who
     can read the secrets of the sprite!"

Then she asked Ajib, "O my son! where hast thou been?"; and he
answered, "In Damascus-city;" Whereupon she rose and set before
him a bit of scone and a saucer of conserve of pomegranate-grains
(which was too little sweetened), and she said to the Eunuch,
"Sit down with thy master!" Said the servant to himself, "By
Allah, we have no mind to eat: I cannot bear the smell of bread;"
but he sat down and so did Ajib, though his stomach was full of
what he had eaten already and drunken. Nevertheless he took a
bit of the bread and dipped it in the pomegranate-conserve and
made shift to eat it, but he found it too little sweetened, for
he was cloyed and surfeited, so he said, "Faugh; what be this
wild-beast [FN#470] stuff?" "O my son," cried his grandmother,
"dost thou find fault with my cookery? I cooked this myself and
none can cook it as nicely as I can save thy father, Badr al-Din
Hasan." "By Allah, O my lady, Ajib answered, "this dish is nasty
stuff; for we saw but now in the city of Bassorah a cook who so
dresseth pomegranate-grains that the very smell openeth a way to
the heart and the taste would make a full man long to eat; and,
as for this mess compared with his, 'tis not worth either much or
little." When his grandmother heard his words she waxed wroth
with exceeding wrath and looked at the servant--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ajib's
grandmother heard his words, she waxed wroth and looked at the
servant and said, "Woe to thee! dost thou spoil my son, [FN#471]
and dost take him into common cookshops?" The Eunuch was
frightened and denied, saying, "We did not go into the shop; we
only passed by it." "By Allah," cried Ajib, "but we did go in
and we ate till it came out of our nostrils, and the dish was
better than thy dish!" Then his grandmother rose and went and
told her brother-in-law, who was incensed against the Eunuch, and
sending for him asked him, "Why didst thou take my son into a
cookshop?"; and the Eunuch being frightened answered, "We did not
go in." But Ajib said, "We did go inside and ate conserve of
pomegranate-grains till we were full; and the cook gave us to
drink of iced and sugared sherbet." At this the Wazir's
indignation redoubled and he questioned the Castrato but, as he
still denied, the Wazir said to him, "If thou speak sooth, sit
down and eat before us." So he came forward and tried to eat,
but could not eat and threw away the mouthful crying "O my lord!
I am surfeited since yesterday." By this the Wazir was certified
that he had eaten at the cook's and bade the slaves throw him
[FN#472] which they did. Then they came down on him with a rib-
basting which burned him till he cried for mercy and help from
Allah, saying, "O my master, beat me no more and I will tell thee
the truth;" whereupon the Wazir stopped the bastinado and said,
"Now speak thou sooth." Quoth the Eunuch, "Know then that we did
enter the shop of a cook while he was dressing conserve of
pomegranate-grains and he set some of it before us: by Allah! I
never ate in my life its like, nor tasted aught nastier than this
stuff which is now before us."[FN#473] Badr al-Din Hasan's
mother was angry at this and said, "Needs thou must go back to
the cook and bring me a saucer of conserved pomegranate-grains
from that which is in his shop and show it to thy master, that he
may say which be the better and the nicer, mine or his." Said the
unsexed, "I will." So on the instant she gave him a saucer and a
half dinar and he returned to the shop and said to the cook, "O
Shaykh of all Cooks, [FN#474] we have laid a wager concerning thy
cookery in my lord's house, for they have conserve of
pomegranate-grains there also; so give me this half-dinar's worth
and look to it; for I have eaten a full meal of stick on account
of thy cookery, and so do not let me eat aught more thereof."
Hasan of Bassorah laughed and answered, "By Allah, none can dress
this dish as it should be dressed save myself and my mother, and
she at this time is in a far country." Then he ladled out a
saucer-full; and, finishing it off with musk and rose-water, put
it in a cloth which he sealed [FN#475] and gave it to the Eunuch,
who hastened back with it. No sooner had Badr al-Din Hasan's
mother tasted it and perceived its fine flavour and the
excellence of the cookery, than she knew who had dressed it, and
she screamed and fell down fainting. The Wazir, sorely started,
sprinkled rose-water upon her and after a time she recovered and
said, "If my son be yet of this world, none dressed this conserve
of pomegranate-grains but he; and this Cook is my very son Badr
al-Din Hasan; there is no doubt of it nor can there be any
mistake, for only I and he knew how to prepare it and I taught
him." When the Wazir heard her words he joyed with exceeding joy
and said, "O the longing of me for a sight of my brother's son!
I wonder if the days will ever unite us with him! Yet it is to
Almighty Allah alone that we look for bringing about this
meeting." Then he rose without stay or delay and, going to his
suite said to them, "Be off, some fifty of you with sticks and
staves to the Cook's shop and demolish it; then pinion his arms
behind him with his own turband, saying, 'It was thou madest that
foul mess of pomegranate-grains!' and drag him here perforce but
without doing him a harm." And they replied, "It is well." Then
the Wazir rode off without losing an instant to the Palace and,
foregathering with the Viceroy of Damascus, showed him the
Sultan's orders. After careful perusal he kissed the letter, and
placing it upon his head said to his visitor, "Who is this
offender of thine?" Quoth the Wazir, "A man who is a cook." So
the Viceroy at once sent his apparitors to the shop; which they
found demolished and everything in it broken to pieces; for
whilst the Wazir was riding to the palace his men had done his
bidding. Then they awaited his return from the audience, and
Hasan of Bassorah who was their prisoner kept saying, "I wonder
what they have found in the conserve of pomegranate-grains to
bring things to this pass!" [FN#476] When the Wazir returned to
them, after his visit to the Viceroy who had given him formal
permission to take up his debtor and depart with him, on entering
the tents he called for the Cook. They brought him forward
pinioned with his turband; and, when Badr al-Din Hasan saw his
uncle, he wept with excessive weeping and said, "O my lord, what
is my offence against thee?" "Art thou the man who dressed that
conserve of pomegranate-grains?"; asked the Wazir, and he
answered "Yes! didst thou find in it aught to call for the
cutting off of my head?" Quoth the Wazir, "That were the least
of thy deserts!" Quoth the cook, "O my lord, wilt thou not tell
me my crime and what aileth the conserve of pomegranate-grains?"
"Presently," replied the Wazir and called aloud to his men,
"Bring hither the camels." So they struck the tents and by the
Wazir's orders the servants took Badr al-Din Hasan, and set him
in a chest which they padlocked and put on a camel. Then they
departed and stinted not journeying till nightfall, when they
halted and ate some victual, and took Badr al-Din Hasan out of
his chest and gave him a meal and locked him up again. They set
out once more and travelled till they reached Kimrah, where they
took him out of the box and brought him before the Wazir who
asked him, "Art thou he who dressed that conserve of pomegranate-
grains?" He answered "Yes, O my lord!"; and the Wazir said
"Fetter him!" So they fettered him and returned him to the chest
and fared on again till they reached Cairo and lighted at the
quarter called Al-Raydaniyah.[FN#477] Then the Wazir gave order
to take Badr al-Din Hasan out of the chest and sent for a
carpenter and said to him, "Make me a cross of wood [FN#478] for
this fellow!" Cried Badr al-Din Hasan "And what wilt thou do with
it?"; and the Wazir replied, "I mean to crucify thee thereon, and
nail thee thereto and parade thee all about the city." "And why
wilt thou use me after this fashion?" "Because of thy villanous
cookery of conserved pomegranate-grains; how durst thou dress it
and sell it lacking pepper?" "And for that it lacked pepper wilt
thou do all this to me? Is it not enough that thou hast broken
my shop and smashed my gear and boxed me up in a chest and fed me
only once a day?" "Too little pepper! too little pepper! this is
a crime which can be expiated only upon the cross!" Then Badr
al-Din Hasan marvelled and fell a-mourning for his life;
whereupon the Wazir asked him, "Of what thinkest thou?"; and he
answered him, "Of maggoty heads like thine; [FN#479] for an thou
had one ounce of sense thou hadst not treated me thus." Quoth
the Wazir, "It is our duty to punish thee lest thou do the like
again." Quoth Badr al-Din Hasan, "Of a truth my offense were
over-punished by the least of what thou hast already done to me;
and Allah damn all conserve of pomegranate-grains and curse the
hour when I cooked it and would I had died ere this!" But the
Wazir rejoined, "There is no help for it; I must crucify a man
who sells conserve of pomegranate-grains lacking pepper." All
this time the carpenter was shaping the wood and Badr al-Din
looked on; and thus they did till night, when his uncle took him
and clapped him into the chest, saying, "The thing shall be done
to-morrow!" Then he waited until he knew Badr al-Din "Hasan to
be asleep, when he mounted; and taking the chest up before him,
entered the city and rode on to his own house, where he alighted
and said to his daughter, Sitt al-Husn, "Praised be Allah who
hath reunited thee with thy husband, the son of thine uncle! Up
now, and order the house as it was on thy bridal night." So the
servants arose and lit the candles; and the Wazir took out his
plan of the nuptial chamber, and directed them what to do till
they had set everything in its stead, so that whoever saw it
would have no doubt but it was the very night of the marriage.
Then he bade them put down Badr al-Din Hasan's turband on the
settle, as he had deposited it with his own hand, and in like
manner his bag-trousers and the purse which were under the
mattress: and told daughter to undress herself and go to bed in
the private chamber as on her wedding-night, adding, "When the
son of thine uncle comes in to thee, say to him:--Thou hast
loitered while going to the privy; and call him to lie by thy
side and keep him in converse till daybreak, when we will explain
the whole matter to him." Then he bade take Badr al-Din Hasan
out of the chest, after loosing the fetters from his feet and
stripping off all that was on him save the fine shirt of blue
silk in which he had slept on his wedding-night; so that he was
well-nigh naked and trouserless. All this was done whilst he was
sleeping on utterly unconscious. Then, by doom of Destiny, Badr
al-Din Hasan turned over and awoke; and, finding himself in a
lighted vestibule, said to himself, "Surely I am in the mazes of
some dream." So he rose and went on to a little to an inner door
and looked in and lo! he was in the very chamber wherein the
bride had been displayed to him; and there he saw the bridal
alcove and the settle and his turband and all his clothes. When
he saw this he was confounded and kept advancing with one foot,
and retiring with the other, saying, "Am I sleeping or waking?"
And he began rubbing his forehead and saying (for indeed he was
thoroughly astounded), "By Allah, verily this is the chamber of
the bride who was displayed before me! Where am I then? I was
surely but now in a box!" Whilst he was talking with himself,
Sitt al-Husn suddenly lifted the corner of the chamber-curtain
and said, "O my lord, wilt thou not come in? Indeed thou hast
loitered long in the water-closet." When he heard her words and
saw her face he burst out laughing and said, "Of a truth this is
a very nightmare among dreams!" Then he went in sighing, and
pondered what had come to pass with him and was perplexed about
his case, and his affair became yet more obscure to him when he
saw his turband and bag-trousers and when, feeling the pocket, he
found the purse containing the thousand gold pieces. So he stood
still and muttered, "Allah is all knowing! Assuredly I am
dreaming a wild waking dream!" Then said the Lady of Beauty to
him, "What ails thee to look puzzled and perplexed?"; adding,
"Thou wast a very different man during the first of the night!"
He laughed and asked her, "How long have I been away from thee?";
and she answered him, "Allah preserve thee and His Holy Name be
about thee! Thou didst but go out an hour ago for an occasion
and return. Are thy wits clean gone?" When Badr al-Din Hasan
heard this, he laughed, [FN#480] and said, "Thou hast spoken
truth; but, when I went out from thee, I forgot myself awhile in
the draught-house and dreamed that I was a cook at Damascus and
abode there ten years; and there came to me a boy who was of the
sons of the great, and with him an Eunuch." Here he passed his
hand over his forehead and, feeling the scar, cried, "By Allah, O
my lady, it must have been true, for he struck my forehead with a
stone and cut it open from eye-brow to eye-brow; and here is the
mark: so it must have been on wake." Then he added, "But perhaps
I dreamt it when we fell asleep, I and thou, in each other's
arms, for meseems it was as though I travelled to Damascus
without tarbush and trousers and set up as a cook there." Then
he was perplexed and considered for awhile, and said, "By Allah,
I also fancied that I dressed a conserve of pomegranate-grains
and put too little pepper in it. By Allah, I must have slept in
the numerocent and have seen the whole thing in a dream; but how
long was that dream!" "Allah upon thee," said Sitt al-Husn, "and
what more sawest thou?" So he related all to her; and presently
said, "By Allah had I not woke up they would have nailed me to a
cross of wood!" "Wherefore?" asked she; and he answered, "For
putting too little pepper in the conserve of pomegranate-grains,
and meseemed they demolished my shop and dashed to pieces my pots
and pans, destroyed all my stuff and put me in a box; they then
sent for the carpenter to fashion a cross for me and would have
crucified me thereon. Now Alham-dolillah! thanks be to Allah, for
that all this happened to me in sleep, and not on wake." Sitt
al-Husn laughed and clasped him to her bosom and he her to his:
then he thought again and said, "By Allah, it could not be save
while I was awake: truly I know not what to think of it." Then
he lay him down and all the night he was bewildered about his
case, now saying, "I was dreaming!" and then saying, "I was
awake!", till morning, when his uncle Shams al-Din, the Wazir,
came to him and saluted him. When Badr al-Din Hasan saw him he
said, "By Allah, art thou not he who bade bind my hands behind me
and smash my shop and nail me to a cross on a matter of conserved
pomegranate-grains because the dish lacked a sufficiency of
pepper?" Whereupon the Wazir said to him, "Know, O my son, that
truth hath shown it soothfast and the concealed hath been
revealed! [FN#481] Thou art the son of my brother, and I did all
this with thee to certify myself that thou wast indeed he who
went in unto my daughter that night. I could not be sure of
this, till I saw that thou knewest the chamber and thy turband
and thy trousers and thy gold and the papers in thy writing and
in that of thy father, my brother; for I had never seen thee
afore that and knew thee not; and as to thy mother I have
prevailed upon her to come with me from Bassorah." So saying, he
threw himself on his nephew's breast and wept for joy; and Badr
al-Din Hasan, hearing these words from his uncle, marvelled with
exceeding marvel and fell on his neck and also shed tears for
excess of delight. Then said the Wazir to him, "O my son, the
sole cause of all this is what passed between me and thy sire;"
and all that had occurred to part them. Lastly the Wazir sent
for Ajib; and when his father saw him he cried, "And this is he
who struck me with the stone!" Quoth the Wazir, "This is thy
son!" And Badr al-Din Hasan threw himself upon his boy and began

"Long have I wept o'er severance ban and bane, * Long from mine
     eyelids tear-rills rail and rain:
And vowed I if Time re-union bring * My tongue from name of
     "Severance" I'll restrain:
Joy hath o'ercome me to this stress that I * From joy's revulsion
     to shed tears am fain:
Ye are so trained to tears, O eyne of me! * You weep with
     pleasure as you weep with pain." [FN#482]

When he had ended his verse his mother came in and threw herself
upon him and began reciting:--

"When we met we complained, * Our hearts were sore wrung:
But plaint is not pleasant * Fro' messenger's tongue."

Then she wept and related to him what had befallen her since his
departure, and he told her what he had suffered, and they thanked
Allah Almighty for their reunion. Two days after his arrival the
Wazir Shams al-din went in to the Sultan and, kissing the ground
between his hands, greeted him with the greeting due to Kings.
The Sultan rejoiced at his return and his face brightened and,
placing him hard by his side, [FN#483] asked him to relate all he
had seen in his wayfaring and whatso had betided him in his going
and coming. So the Wazir told him all that had passed from first
to last and the Sultan said, "Thanks be to Allah for thy victory
[FN#484] and the winning of thy wish and thy safe return to thy
children and thy people! And now I needs must see the son of thy
brother, Hasan of Bassorah, so bring him to the audience-hall to-
morrow." Shams al-Din replied, "Thy slave shall stand in thy
presence to-morrow, Inshallah, if it be God's will." Then he
saluted him and, returning to his own house, informed his nephew
of the Sultan's desire to see him, whereto replied Hasan, whilome
the Bassorite, "The slave is obedient to the orders of his lord."
And the result was that next day he accompanied his uncle, Shams
al-Din, to the Divan; and, after saluting the Sultan and doing
him reverence in most ceremonious obeisance and with most courtly
obsequiousness, he began improvising these verses:--

"The first in rank to kiss the ground shall deign * Before you,
     and all ends and aims attain:
You are Honour's fount; and all that hope of you, * Shall gain
     more honour than Hope hoped to gain."

The Sultan smiled and signed to him to sit down. So he took a
seat close to his uncle, Shams al-Din, and the King asked him his
name. Quoth Badr al-Din Hasan, "The meanest of thy slaves is
known as Hasan the Bassorite, who is instant in prayer for thee
day and night." The Sultan was pleased at his words and, being
minded to test his learning and prove his good breeding, asked
him, "Dost thou remember any verses in praise of the mole on the
cheek?" He answered, "I do," and began reciting:--

"When I think of my love and our parting-smart, * My groans go
     forth and my tears upstart:
He's a mole that reminds me in colour and charms * O' the black
     o' the eye and the grain [FN#485] of the heart."

The King admired and praised the two couplets and said to him,
"Quote something else; Allah bless thy sire and may thy tongue
never tire!" So he began:--

"That cheek-mole's spot they evened with a grain * Of musk, nor
     did they here the simile strain:
Nay, marvel at the face comprising all * Beauty, nor falling
     short by single grain."

The King shook with pleasure [FN#486] and said to him, "Say more:
Allah bless thy days!" So he began:--

"O you whose mole on cheek enthroned recalls * A dot of musk
     upon a stone of ruby,
Grant me your favours! Be not stone at heart! * Core of my heart
     whose only sustenance you be!"

Quoth the King, "Fair comparison, O Hasan! [FN#487] thou hast
spoken excellently well and hast proved thyself accomplished in
every accomplishment! Now explain to me how many meanings be
there in the Arabic language [FN#488] for the word Khal or mole."
He replied, "Allah keep the King! Seven and fifty and some by
tradition say fifty." Said the Sultan, "Thou sayest sooth,"
presently adding, "Hast thou knowledge as to the points of
excellence in beauty?" "Yes," answered Badr al-Din Hasan,
"Beauty consisteth in brightness of face, clearness of
complexion, shapeliness of nose, gentleness of eyes, sweetness of
mouth, cleverness of speech, slenderness of shape and seemliness
of all attributes. But the acme of beauty is in the hair and,
indeed, al-Shihab the Hijazi hath brought together all these
items in his doggrel verse of the metre Rajaz, [FN#489] and it is

Say thou to skin "Be soft," to face "Be fair," * And gaze, nor
     shall they blame howso thou stare:
Fine nose in Beauty's list is high esteemed; * Nor less an eye
     full, bright and debonnair:
Eke did they well to laud the lovely lips * (Which e'en the sleep
     of me will never spare);
A winning tongue, a stature tall and straight; [FN#490] * A
     seemly union of gifts rarest rare:
But Beauty's acme in the hair one views it; * So hear my strain
     and with some few excuse it!"

The Sultan was captivated by his converse and, regarding him as a
friend, asked, "What meaning is there in the saw 'Shurayh is
foxier than the fox'?" And he answered, "Know, O King (whom
Almighty Allah keep!) that the legist Shurayh [FN#491] was wont,
during the days of the plague, to make a visitation to Al-Najaf;
and, whenever he stood up to pray, there came a fox which would
plant himself facing him and which, by mimicking his movements,
distracted him from his devotions. Now when this became longsome
to him, one day he doffed his shirt and set it upon a cane and
shook out the sleeves; then placing his turband on the top and
girding its middle with a shawl, he stuck it up in the place
where he used to pray. Presently up trotted the fox according to
his custom and stood over against the figure, whereupon Shurayh
came behind him, and took him. Hence the sayer saith, 'Shurayh
foxier than the fox.'" When the Sultan heard Badr al-Din Hasan's
explanation he said to his uncle, Shams al-Din, "Truly this the
son of thy brother is perfect in courtly breeding and I do not
think that his like can be found in Cairo." At this Hasan arose
and kissed the ground before him and sat down again as a Mameluke
should sit before his master. When the Sultan had thus assured
himself of his courtly breeding and bearing and his knowledge of
the liberal arts and belles-lettres, he joyed with exceeding joy
and invested him with a splendid robe of honour and promoted him
to an office whereby he might better his condition. [FN#492]
Then Badr al-Din Hasan arose and, kissing the ground before the
King, wished him continuance of glory and asked leave to retire
with his uncle, the Wazir Shams al-Din. The Sultan gave him
leave and he issued forth and the two returned home, where food
was set before them and they ate what Allah had given them.
After finishing his meal Hasan repaired to the sitting-chamber of
his wife, the Lady of Beauty, and told her what had past between
him and the Sultan; whereupon quoth she, "He cannot fail to make
thee a cup-companion and give thee largess in excess and load
thee with favours and bounties; so shalt thou, by Allah's
blessing, dispread, like the greater light, the rays of thy
perfection wherever thou be, on shore or on sea." Said he to
her, "I purpose to recite a Kasidah, an ode, in his praise, that
he may redouble in affection for me." "Thou art right in thine
intent," she answered, "so gather thy wits together and weigh thy
words, and I shall surely see my husband favoured with his
highest favour." Thereupon Hasan shut himself up and composed
these couplets on a solid base and abounding in inner grace and
copies them out in a hand-writing of the nicest taste. They are
as follows:--

Mine is a Chief who reached most haught estate, * Treading the
     pathways of the good and great:
His justice makes all regions safe and sure, * And against
     froward foes bars every gate:
Bold lion, hero, saint, e'en if you call * Seraph or Sovran
     [FN#493] he with all may rate!
The poorest supplicant rich from him returns, * All words to
     praise him were inadequate.
He to the day of peace is saffron Morn, * And murky Night in
     furious warfare's bate.
Bow 'neath his gifts our necks, and by his deeds * As King of
     freeborn [FN#494] souls he 'joys his state:
Allah increase for us his term of years, * And from his lot avert
     all risks and fears!

When he had finished transcribing the lines, he despatched them,
in charge of one of his uncle's slaves, to the Sultan, who
perused them and his fancy was pleased; so he read them to those
present and all praised them with the highest praise. Thereupon
he sent for the writer to his sitting-chamber and said to him,
"Thou art from this day forth my boon-companion and I appoint to
thee a monthly solde of a thousand dirhams, over and above that I
bestowed on thee aforetime." So Hasan rose and, kissing the
ground before the King several times, prayed for the continuance
of his greatness and glory and length of life and strength. Thus
Badr al-Din Hasan the Bassorite waxed high in honour and his fame
flew forth to many regions and he abode in all comfort and solace
and delight of life with his uncle and his own folk till Death
overtook him. When the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard this story
from the mouth of his Wazir, Ja'afar the Barmecide, he marvelled
much and said, "It behoves that these stories be written in
letters of liquid gold." Then he set the slave at liberty and
assigned to the youth who had slain his wife such a monthly
stipend as sufficed to make his life easy; he also gave him a
concubine from amongst his own slave-girls and the young man
became one of his cup-companions. "Yet this story," (continued
Shahrazad) "is in no wise stranger than the tale of the Tailor
and the Hunchback and the Jew and the Reeve and the Nazarene, and
what betided them." Quoth the King, "And what may that be?" So
Shahrazad began, in these words,[FN#495]

                     THE HUNCHBACK'S TALE.

It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that there dwelt during
times of yore, and years and ages long gone before, in a certain
city of China,[FN#496] a Tailor who was an open handed man that
loved pleasuring and merry making; and who was wont, he and his
wife, to solace themselves from time to time with public
diversions and amusements. One day they went out with the first
of the light and were returning in the evening when they fell in
with a Hunchback, whose semblance would draw a laugh from care
and dispel the horrors of despair. So they went up to enjoy
looking at him and invited him to go home with them and converse
and carouse with them that night. He consented and accompanied
them afoot to their home; whereupon the Tailor fared forth to the
bazaar (night having just set in) and bought a fried fish and
bread and lemons and dry sweetmeats for dessert; and set the
victuals before the Hunchback and they ate. Presently the
Tailor's wife took a great fid of fish and gave it in a gobbet to
the Gobbo, stopping his mouth with her hand and saying, "By
Allah, thou must down with it at a single gulp; and I will not
give thee time to chew it." So he bolted it; but therein was a
stiff bone which stuck in his gullet and, his hour being come, he
died.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Tailor's wife gave the Hunchback that mouthful of fish which
ended his term of days he died on the instant. Seeing this the
Tailor cried aloud, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah! Alas, that this poor wretch should have died in so
foolish fashion at our hands!" and the woman rejoined, "Why this
idle talk? Hast thou not heard his saying who said:--

Why then waste I my time in grief, until I * find no friend to
     bear my weight of woe
How sleep upon a fire that flames unquenched? * Upon the flames
     to rest were hard enow!"

Asked her husband, "And what shall I do with him?"; and she
answered, "Rise and take him in thine arms and spread a silken
kerchief over him; then I will fare forth, with thee following me
this very night and if thou meet any one say, 'This is my son,
and his mother and I are carrying him to the doctor that he may
look at him.'" So he rose and taking the Hunchback in his arms
bore him along the streets, preceded by his wife who kept crying,
"O my son, Allah keep thee! what part paineth thee and where hath
this small-pox[FN#497] attacked thee?" So all who saw them said
"'Tis a child sick of small-pox." [FN#498] They went along asking
for the physician's house till folk directed them to that of a
leach which was a Jew. They knocked at the door, and there came
down to them a black slave girl who opened and, seeing a man
bearing a babe, and a woman with him, said to them, "What is the
matter?" "We have a little one with us," answered the Tailor's
wife, "and we wish to show him to the physician: so take this
quarter dinar and give it to thy master and let him come down and
see my son who is sore sick." The girl went up to tell her
master, whereupon the Tailor's wife walked into the vestibule and
said to her husband, "Leave the Hunchback here and let us fly for
our lives." So the Tailor carried the dead man to the top of the
stairs and propped him upright against the wall and ran away, he
and his wife. Meanwhile the girl went in to the Jew and said to
him, "At the door are a man and a woman with a sick child and
they have given me a quarter dinar for thee, that thou mayest go
down and look at the little one and prescribe for it." As soon as
the Jew saw the quarter dinar he rejoiced and rose quickly in his
greed of gain and went forth hurriedly in the dark; but hardly
had he made a step when he stumbled on the corpse and threw it
over, when it rolled to the bottom of the staircase. So he cried
out to the girl to hurry up with the light, and she brought it,
whereupon he went down and examining the Hunchback found that he
was stone dead. So he cried out, "O for Esdras![FN#499] O for
Moses! O for Aaron! O for Joshua, son of Nun! O the Ten
Commandments! I have stumbled against the sick one and he hath
fallen downstairs and he is dead! How shall I get this man I have
killed out of my house? O by the hoofs of the ass of Esdras!"
Then he took up the body and, carrying it into the house, told
his wife what had happened and she said to him, "Why dost thou
sit still? If thou keep him here till day break we shall both
lose our lives. Let us two carry him to the terrace roof and
throw him over into the house of our neighbour, the Moslem, for
if he abide there a night the dogs will come down on him from the
adjoining terraces and eat him up." Now his neighbour was a
Reeve, the controller of the Sultan's kitchen, and was wont to
bring back great store of oil and fat and broken meats; but the
cats and rats used to eat it, or, if the dogs scented a fat
sheep's tail they would come down from the nearest roofs and tear
at it; and on this wise the beasts had already damaged much of
what he brought home. So the Jew and his wife carried the
Hunchback up to the roof; and, letting him down by his hands and
feet through the wind-shaft[FN#500] into the Reeve's house,
propped him up against the wall and went their ways. Hardly had
they done this when the Reeve, who had been passing an evening
with his friends hearing a recitation of the Koran, came home and
opened the door and, going up with a lighted candle, found a son
of Adam standing in the corner under the ventilator. When he saw
this, he said, "Wah! by Allah, very good forsooth! He who robbeth
my stuff is none other than a man." Then he turned to the
Hunchback and said, "So 'tis thou that stealest the meat and the
fat! I thought it was the cats and dogs, and I kill the dogs and
cats of the quarter and sin against them by killing them. And all
the while 'tis thou comest down from the house terrace through
the wind shaft. But I will avenge myself upon thee with my own
hand!" So he snatched up a heavy hammer and set upon him and
smote him full on the breast and he fell down. Then he examined
him and, finding that he was dead, cried out in horror, thinking
that he had killed him, and said, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" And he
feared for his life, and added "Allah curse the oil and the meat
and the grease and the sheep's tails to boot! How hath fate given
this man his quietus at my hand!" Then he looked at the body and
seeing it was that of a Gobbo, said, "Was it not enough for thee
to be a hunchback,[FN#501] but thou must likewise be a thief and
prig flesh and fat! O thou Veiler,[FN#502] deign to veil me with
Thy curtain of concealment!" So he took him up on his shoulders
and, going forth with him from his house about the latter end of
the night, carried him to the nearest end of the bazaar, where he
set him up on his feet against the wall of a shop at the head of
a dark lane, and left him and went away. After a while up came a
Nazarene,[FN#503] the Sultan's broker who, much bemused with
liquor, was purposing for the Hammam bath as his drunkenness
whispered in his ear, "Verily the call to matins[FN#504] is
nigh." He came plodding along and staggering about till he drew
near the Hunchback and squatted down to make water[FN#505] over
against him; when he happened to glance around and saw a man
standing against the wall. Now some person had snatched off the
Christian's turband[FN#506] in the first of the night; so when he
saw the Hunchback hard by he fancied that he also meant to steal
his headdress. Thereupon he clenched his fist and struck him on
the neck, felling him to the ground, and called aloud to the
watchman of the bazaar, and came down on the body in his drunken
fury and kept on belabouring and throttling the corpse. Presently
the Charley came up and, finding a Nazarene kneeling on a Moslem
and frapping him, asked, "What harm hath this one done?"; and the
Broker answered, "The fellow meant to snatch off my turband."
"Get up from him," quoth the watch man. So he arose and the
Charley went up to the Hunchback and finding him dead, exclaimed,
"By Allah, good indeed! A Christian killing a Mahometan!" Then he
seized the Broker and, tying his hands behind his back, carried
him to the Governor's house,[FN#507] and all the while the
Nazarene kept saying to himself, "O Messiah! O Virgin! how came I
to kill this fellow? And in what a hurry he must have been to
depart this life when he died of a single blow!" Presently, as
his drunkenness fled, came dolour in its stead. So the Broker and
the body were kept in the Governor's place till morning morrowed,
when the Wali came out and gave order to hang the supposed
murderer and commanded the executioner[FN#508] make proclamation
of the sentence. Forthwith they set up a gallows under which they
made the Nazarene stand and the torch bearer, who was hangman,
threw the rope round his neck and passed one end through the
pulley, and was about to hoist him up[FN#509] when lo! the Reeve,
who was passing by, saw the Broker about to be hanged; and,
making his way through the people, cried out to the executioner,
"Hold! Hold! I am he who killed the Hunchback!" Asked the
Governor, "What made thee kill him?"; and he answered, "I went
home last night and there found this man who had come down the
ventilator to steal my property; so I smote him with a hammer on
the breast and he died forthright. Then I took him up and carried
him to the bazaar and set him up against the wall in such a place
near such a lane;" adding, "Is it not enough for me to have
killed a Moslem without also killing a Christian? So hang none
other but me." When the Governor heard these words he released
the Broker and said to the torch bearer, "Hang up this man on his
own confession." So he loosed the cord from the Nazarene's neck
and threw it round that of the Reeve and, making him stand under
the gallows tree, was about to string him up when behold, the
Jewish physician pushed through the people and shouted to the
executioner, "Hold! Hold! It was I and none else killed the
Hunchback! Last night I was sitting at home when a man and a
woman knocked at the door carrying this Gobbo who was sick, and
gave my handmaid a quarter dinar, bidding her hand me the fee and
tell me to come down and see him. Whilst she was gone the man and
the woman brought him into the house and, setting him on the
stairs, went away; and presently I came down and not seeing him,
for I was in the dark, stumbled over him and he fell to the foot
of the staircase and died on the moment. Then we took him up, I
and my wife, and carried him on to the top terrace; and, the
house of this Reeve being next door to mine, we let the body down
through the ventilator. When he came home and found the Hunchback
in his house, he fancied he was a thief and struck him with a
hammer, so that he fell to the ground, and our neighbour made
certain that he had slain him. Now is it not enough for me to
have killed one Moslem unwittingly, without burdening myself with
taking the life of another Moslem wittingly?" When the Governor
heard this he said to the hangman, "Set free the Reeve and hang
the Jew." Thereupon the torch bearer took him and slung the cord
round his neck when behold, the Tailor pushed through the people,
and shouted to the executioner, "Hold! Hold! It was I and none
else killed the Hunchback; and this was the fashion thereof. I
had been out a pleasuring yesterday and, coming back to supper,
fell in with this Gobbo, who was drunk and drumming away and
singing lustily to his tambourine. So I accosted him and carried
him to my house and bought a fish, and we sat down to eat.
Presently my wife took a fid of fish and, making a gobbet of
it,[FN#510] crammed it into his mouth; but some of it went down
the wrong way or stuck in his gullet and he died on the instant.
So we lifted him up, I and my wife, and carried him to the Jew's
house where the slave girl came down and opened the door to us
and I said to her, 'Tell thy master that there are a man and a
woman and a sick person for thee to see!' I gave her a quarter
dinar and she went up to tell her master; and, whilst she was
gone, I carried the Hunchback to the head of the staircase and
propped him up against the wall, and went off with my wife. When
the Jew came down he stumbled over him and thought that he had
killed him." Then he asked the Jew, "Is this the truth?"; and the
Jew answered, "Yes." Thereupon the Tailor turned to the Governor,
and said, "Leave go the Jew and hang me." When the Governor heard
the Tailor's tale he marvelled at the matter of this Hunchback
and exclaimed. "Verily this is an adventure which should be
recorded in books!" Then he said to the hangman, "Let the Jew go
and hang the Tailor on his own confession." The executioner took
the Tailor and put the rope around his neck and said, "I am tired
of such slow work: we bring out this one and change him for that
other, and no one is hanged after all!" Now the Hunchback in
question was, they relate, jester to the Sultan of China who
could not bear him out of his sight; so when the fellow got drunk
and did not make his appearance that night or the next day till
noon, the Sultan asked some of his courtiers about him and they
answered, "O our lord, the Governor hath come upon him dead and
hath ordered his murderer to be hanged; but, as the hangman was
about to hoist him up there came a second and a third and a
fourth and each one said, 'It is I, and none else killed the
Hunchback!' and each gave a full and circumstantial account of
the manner of the jester being killed." When the King heard this
he cried aloud to the Chamberlain in waiting, "Go down to the
Governor and bring me all four of them." So the Chamberlain went
down at once to the place of execution, where he found the torch
bearer on the point of hanging the Tailor and shouted to him,
"Hold! Hold!" Then he gave the King's command to the Governor who
took the Tailor, the Jew, the Nazarene and the Reeve (the
Hunchback's body being borne on men's shoulders) and went up with
one and all of them to the King. When he came into the presence,
he kissed the ground and acquainted the ruler with the whole
story which it is needless to relate for, as they say, There is
no avail in a thrice told tale. The Sultan hearing it marvelled
and was moved to mirth and commanded the story to be written in
letters of liquid gold, saying to those present, "Did ye ever
hear a more wondrous tale than that of my Hunchback?" Thereupon
the Nazarene broker came forward and said, "O King of the age,
with thy leave I will tell thee a thing which happened to myself
and which is still more wondrous and marvellous and pleasurable
and delectable than the tale of the Hunchback." Quoth the King
"Tell us what thou hast to say!" So he began in these words

The Nazarene Broker's Story.

O King of the age, I came to this thy country with merchandise
and Destiny stayed me here with you: but my place of birth was
Cairo, in Egypt, where I also was brought up, for I am one of the
Copts and my father was a broker before me. When I came to man's
estate he departed this life and I succeeded to his business. One
day, as I was sitting in my shop, behold, there came up to me a
youth as handsome as could be, wearing sumptuous raiment and
riding a fine ass.[FN#511] When he saw me he saluted me, and I
stood up to do him honour: then he took out a kerchief containing
a sample of sesame and asked, "How much is this worth per
Ardabb?";[FN#512] whereto I answered, "An hundred dirhams." Quoth
he, "Take porters and gaugers and metesmen and come tomorrow to
the Khan al-Jawáli,[FN#513] by the Gate of Victory quarter where
thou wilt find me." Then he fared forth leaving with me the
sample of sesame in his kerchief; and I went the round of my
customers and ascertained that every Ardabb would fetch an
hundred and twenty dirhams. Next day I took four metesmen and
walked with them to the Khan, where I found him awaiting me. As
soon as he saw me he rose and opened his magazine, when we
measured the grain till the store was empty; and we found the
contents fifty Ardabbs, making five thousand pieces of silver.
Then said he, "Let ten dirhams on every Ardabb be thy brokerage;
so take the price and keep in deposit four thousand and five
hundred dirhams for me; and, when I have made an end of selling
the other wares in my warehouses, I will come to thee and receive
the amount." "I will well," replied I and kissing his hand went
away, having made that day a profit of a thousand dirhams. He was
absent a month, at the end of which he came to me and asked,
"Where be the dirhams?" I rose and saluted him and answered to
him, "Wilt thou not eat somewhat in my house?" But he refused
with the remark, "Get the monies ready and I will presently
return and take them." Then he rode away. So I brought out the
dirhams and sat down to await him, but he stayed away for another
month, when he came back and said to me, "Where be the dirhams?"
I rose and saluting him asked, "Wilt thou not eat some thing in
my house?" But he again refused adding, "Get me the monies ready
and I will presently return and take them." Then he rode off. So
I brought out the dirhams and sat down to await his return; but
he stayed away from me a third month, and I said, "Verily this
young man is liberality in incarnate form." At the end of the
month he came up, riding a mare mule and wearing a suit of
sumptuous raiment; he was as the moon on the night of fullness,
and he seemed as if fresh from the baths, with his cheeks rosy
bright, and his brow flower white, and a mole spot like a grain
of ambergris delighting the sight; even as was said of such an
one by the poet:--

Full moon with sun in single mansion * In brightest sheen and
     fortune rose and shone,
With happy splendour changing every sprite: * Hail to what
     guerdons prayer with blissful! boon!
Their charms and grace have gained perfection's height, * All
     hearts have conquered and all wits have won.
Laud to the Lord for works so wonder strange, * And what th'
     Almighty wills His hand hath done!

When I saw him I rose to him and invoking blessings on him asked,
O my lord, wilt thou not take thy monies?" "Whence the
hurry?"[FN#514] quoth he, "Wait till I have made an end of my
business and then I will come and take them." Again he rode away
and I said to myself, "By Allah, when he comes next time needs
must I make him my guest; for I have traded with his dirhams and
have gotten large gains thereby." At the end of the year he came
again, habited in a suit of clothes more sumptuous than the
former; and, when I conjured him by the Evangel to alight at my
house and eat of my guest food, he said, "I consent, on condition
that what thou expendest on me shall be of my monies still in thy
hands. I answered, "So be it," and made him sit down whilst I got
ready what was needful of meat and drink and else besides; and
set the tray before him, with the invitation "Bismillah"![FN#515]
Then he drew near the tray and put out his left hand[FN#516] and
ate with me; and I marvelled at his not using the right hand.
When we had done eating, I poured water on his hand and gave him
wherewith to wipe it. Upon this we sat down to converse after I
had set before him some sweetmeats; and I said to him, "O my
master, prithee relieve me by telling me why thou eatest with thy
left hand? Perchance something aileth thy other hand?" When he
heard my words, he repeated these verses:--

"Dear friend, ask not what burneth in my breast, * Lest thou see
     fiery pangs eye never saw:
Wills not my heart to harbour Salma in stead * Of
     Layla's[FN#517] love, but need hath ne'er a law!"

And he put out his right arm from his sleeve and behold, the hand
was cut off, a wrist without a fist. I was astounded at this but
he said, "Marvel not, and think not that I ate with my left hand
for conceit and insolence, but from necessity; and the cutting
off my right hand was caused by an adventure of the strangest."
Asked I, "And what caused it?"; and he answered:--"Know that I am
of the sons of Baghdad and my father was of notables of that
city. When I came to man's estate I heard the pilgrims and
wayfarers, travellers and merchants talk of the land of Egypt and
their words sank deep into my mind till my parent died, when I
took a large sum of money and furnished myself for trade with
stuffs of Baghdad and Mosul and, packing them up in bales, set
out on my wanderings; and Allah decreed me safety till I entered
this your city. Then he wept and began repeating:--

 The blear eyed 'scapes the pits    * Wherein the lynx eyed fall:
 A word the wise man slays          * And saves the natural:
 The Moslem fails of food           * The Kafir feasts in hall:
 What art or act is man's?          * God's will obligeth all!

Now when he had ended his verse he said, So I entered Cairo and
took off my loads and stored my stuffs in the Khan "Al-
Masrúr."[FN#518] Then I gave the servant a few silvers wherewith
to buy me some food and lay down to sleep awhile. When I awoke I
went to the street called "Bayn al-Kasrayn"--Between the two
Palaces--and presently returned and rested my night in the Khan.
When it was morning I opened a bale and took out some stuff
saying to myself, "I will be off and go through some of the
bazaars and see the state of the market." So I loaded the stuff
on some of my slaves and fared forth till I reached the
Kaysariyah or Exchange of Jaharkas;[FN#519] where the brokers who
knew of my coming came to meet me. They took the stuffs and cried
them for sale, but could not get the prime cost of them. I was
vexed at this, however the Shaykh of the brokers said to me, "O
my lord, I will tell thee how thou mayest make a profit of thy
goods. Thou shouldest do as the merchants do and sell thy
merchandise at credit for a fixed period, on a contract drawn up
by a notary and duly witnessed; and employ a Shroff to take thy
dues every Monday and Thursday. So shalt thou gain two dirhams
and more, for every one; and thou shalt solace and divert thyself
by seeing Cairo and the Nile." Quoth I, "This is sound advice,"
and carried the brokers to the Khan. They took my stuffs and went
with them on 'Change where I sold them well taking bonds for the
value. These bonds I deposited with a Shroff, a banker, who gave
me a receipt with which I returned to the Khan. Here I stayed a
whole month, every morning breaking my fast with a cup of wine
and making my meals on pigeon's meat, mutton and sweetmeats, till
the time came when my receipts began to fall due. So, every
Monday and Thursday I used to go on 'Change and sit in the shop
of one or other of the merchants, whilst the notary and money
changer went round to recover the monies from the traders, till
after the time of mid afternoon prayer, when they brought me the
amount, and I counted it and, sealing the bags, returned with
them to the Khan. On a certain day which happened to be a
Monday,[FN#520] I went to the Hammam and thence back to my Khan,
and sitting in my own room[FN#521] broke my fast with a cup of
wine, after which I slept a little. When I awoke I ate a chicken
and, perfuming my person, repaired to the shop of a merchant
hight Badr al-Din al-Bostáni, or the Gardener,[FN#522] who
welcomed me; and we sat talking awhile till the bazaar should
open. Presently, behold, up came a lady of stately figure wearing
a head-dress of the most magnificent, perfumed with the sweetest
of scents and walking with graceful swaying gait; and seeing me
she raised her mantilla allowing me a glimpse of her beautiful
black eyes. She saluted Badr al-Din who returned her salutation
and stood up, and talked with her; and the moment I heard her
speak, the love of her got hold of my heart. Presently she said
to Badr al-Din, "Hast thou by thee a cut piece of stuff woven
with thread of pure gold?" So he brought out to her a piece from
those he had bought of me and sold it to her for one thousand two
hundred dirhams; when she said, "I will take the piece home with
me and send thee its price." "That is impossible, O my lady," the
merchant replied, "for here is the owner of the stuff and I owe
him a share of profit." "Fie upon thee!" she cried, "Do I not use
to take from thee entire rolls of costly stuff, and give thee a
greater profit than thou expectest, and send thee the money?"
"Yes," rejoined he; "but I stand in pressing need of the price
this very day." Hereupon she took up the piece and threw it back
upon his lap, saying "Out on thee! Allah confound the tribe of
you which estimates none at the right value;" and she turned to
go. I felt my very soul going with her; so I stood up and stayed
her, saying, "I conjure thee by the Lord, O my lady, favour me by
retracing thy gracious steps." She turned back with a smile and
said, "For thy sake I return," and took a seat opposite me in the
shop. Then quoth I to Badr al-Din, "What is the price they asked
thee for this piece?"; and quoth he, "Eleven hundred dirhams." I
rejoined, "The odd hundred shall be thy profit: bring me a sheet
of paper and I will write thee a discharge for it." Then I wrote
him a receipt in my own handwriting and gave the piece to the
lady, saying, "Take it away with thee and, if thou wilt, bring me
its price next bazaar day; or better still, accept it as my guest
gift to thee." "Allah requite thee with good," answered she, "and
make thee my husband and lord and master of all I have!"[FN#523]
And Allah favoured her prayer. I saw the Gates of Paradise swing
open before me and said, "O my lady, let this piece of stuff be
now thine and another like it is ready for thee, only let me have
one look at thy face." So she raised her veil and I saw a face
the sight of which bequeathed to me a thousand sighs, and my
heart was so captivated by her love that I was no longer ruler of
my reason. Then she let fall her face veil and taking up the
piece of stuff said, "O my lord make me not desolate by thine
absence!" and turned away and disappeared from my sight. I
remained sitting on 'Change till past the hour of after noon
prayer, lost to the world by the love which had mastered me, and
the violence of my passion compelled me to make enquiries
concerning her of the merchant, who answered me, "This is a lady
and a rich: she is the daughter of a certain Emir who lately died
and left her a large fortune." Then I took leave of him and
returned home to the Khan where they set supper before me; but I
could not eat for thinking of her and when I lay down to sleep,
sleep came not near me. So I watched till morning, when I arose
and donned a change of raiment and drank a cup of wine and, after
breaking my fast on some slight matter, I went to the merchant's
shop where I saluted him and sat down by him. Presently up came
the lady as usual, followed by a slave girl and wearing a dress
more sumptuous than before; and she saluted me without noticing
Badr al-Din and said in fluent graceful speech (never heard I
voice softer or sweeter), "Send one with me to take the thousand
and two hundred dirhams, the price of the piece." "Why this
hurry?" asked I and she answered, "May we never lose
thee!"[FN#524] and handed me the money. Then I sat talking with
her and presently I signed to her in dumb show, whereby she
understood that I longed to enjoy her person,[FN#525] and she
rose up in haste with a show of displeasure. My heart clung to
her and I went forth from the bazaar and followed on her track.
As I was walking suddenly a black slave girl stopped me and said,
"O my master, come speak with my mistress."[FN#526] At this I was
surprised and replied, "There is none who knows me here;" but she
rejoined, "0 my lord, how soon hast thou forgotten her! My lady
is the same who was this day at the shop of such a merchant."
Then I went with her to the Shroff's, where I found the lady who
drew me to her side and said, "O my beloved, thine image is
firmly stamped upon my fancy, and love of thee hath gotten hold
of my heart: from the hour I first saw thee nor sleep nor food
nor drink hath given me aught of pleasure." I replied, "The
double of that suffering is mine and my state dispenseth me from
complaint." Then said she, "O my beloved, at thy house, or at
mine?" "I am a stranger here and have no place of reception save
the Khan, so by thy favour it shall be at thy house." "So be it;
but this is Friday[FN#527] night and nothing can be done till
tomorrow after public prayers; go to the Mosque and pray; then
mount thine ass, and ask for the Habbániyah[FN#528] quarter; and,
when there, look out for the mansion of Al-Nakib[FN#529] Barakát,
popularly known as Abu Shámah the Syndic; for I live there: so do
not delay as I shall be expecting thee." I rejoiced with still
greater joy at this; and took leave of her and returned to my
Khan, where I passed a sleepless night. Hardly was I assured that
morning had dawned when I rose, changed my dress, perfumed myself
with essences and sweet scents and, taking fifty dinars in a
kerchief, went from the Khan Masrúr to the Zuwaylah[FN#530] gate,
where I mounted an ass and said to its owner, "Take me to the
Habbaniyah." So he set off with me and brought up in the
twinkling of an eye at a street known as Darb al-Munkari, where I
said to him, "Go in and ask for the Syndic's mansion." He was
absent a while and then returned and said, "Alight." "Go thou
before me to the house," quoth I, adding, "Come back with the
earliest light and bring me home;" and he answered, "In Allah's
name;" whereupon I gave him a quarter dinar of gold, and he took
it and went his ways. Then I knocked at the door and out came two
white slave girls, both young; high-bosomed virgins, as they were
moons, and said to me, "Enter, for our mistress is expecting thee
and she hath not slept the night long for her delight in thee." I
passed through the vestibule into a saloon with seven doors,
floored with parti-coloured marbles and furnished with curtains
and hangings of coloured silks: the ceiling was cloisonné with
gold and corniced with inscriptions[FN#531] emblazoned in lapis
lazuli; and the walls were stuccoed with Sultání gypsum[FN#532]
which mirrored the beholder's face. Around the saloon were
latticed windows overlooking a garden full of all manner of
fruits; whose streams were railing and riffling and whose birds
were trilling and shrilling; and in the heart of the hall was a
jetting fountain at whose corners stood birds fashioned in red
gold crusted with pearls and gems and spouting water crystal
clear. When I entered and took a seat.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
merchant continued, When I entered and took a seat, the lady at
once came in crowned with a diadem[FN#533] of pearls and jewels;
her face dotted with artificial moles in indigo,[FN#534] her
eyebrows pencilled with Kohl and her hands and feet reddened with
Henna. When she saw me she smiled in my face and took me to her
embrace and clasped me to her breast; then she put her mouth to
my mouth and sucked my tongue[FN#535] (and I did likewise) and
said, "Can it be true, O my little darkling, thou art come to
me?" adding, "Welcome and good cheer to thee! By Allah, from the
day I saw thee sleep hath not been sweet to me nor hath food been
pleasant." Quoth I, "Such hath also been my case: and I am thy
slave, thy negro slave." Then we sat down to converse and I hung
my head earthwards in bashfulness, but she delayed not long ere
she set before me a tray of the most exquisite viands, marinated
meats, fritters soaked in bee's[FN#536] honeys and chickens
stuffed with sugar and pistachio nuts, whereof we ate till we
were satisfied. Then they brought basin and ewer and I washed my
hands and we scented ourselves with rose water musk'd and sat
down again to converse. So she began repeating these

"Had we wist of thy coming, thy way had been strewn
       With the blood of our heart and the balls of our sight:
Our cheek as a foot cloth to greet thee been thrown,
       That thy step on our eyelids should softly alight."

And she kept plaining of what had befallen her and I of what had
betided me; and love of her got so firm hold of my heart that all
my wealth seemed a thing of naught in comparison with her. Then
we fell to toying and groping and kissing till night fall, when
the handmaidens set before us meats and a complete wine service,
and we sat carousing till the noon of night, when we lay down and
I lay with her; never in my life saw I a night like that night.
When morning morrowed I arose and took leave of her, throwing
under the carpet bed the kerchief wherein were the dinars[FN#538]
and as I went out she wept and said, "O my lord, when shall I
look upon that lovely face again?" "I will be with thee at
sunset," answered I, and going out found the donkey boy, who had
brought me the day before, awaiting at the door. So I mounted ass
and rode to the Khan of Masrur where I alighted and gave the man
a half dinar, saying, "Return at sunset;" and he said "I will."
Then I breakfasted and went out to seek the price of my stuffs;
after which I returned, and taking a roast lamb and some
sweetmeats, called a porter and put the provision in his crate,
and sent it to the lady paying the man his hire.[FN#539] I went
back to my business till sunset, when the ass driver came to me
and I took fifty dinars in a kerchief and rode to her house where
I found the marble floor swept, the brasses burnisht, the branch
lights burning, the wax candles ready lighted, the meat served up
and the wine strained.[FN#540] When my lady saw me she threw her
arms about my neck, and cried, "Thou hast desolated me by thine
absence." Then she set the tables before me and we ate till we
were satisfied, when the slave girls carried off the trays and
served up wine. We gave not over drinking till half the night was
past; and, being well warmed with drink, we went to the sleeping
chamber and lay there till morning. I then arose and fared forth
from her leaving the fifty dinars with her as before; and,
finding the donkey boy at the door, rode to the Khan and slept
awhile. After that I went out to make ready the evening meal and
took a brace of geese with gravy on two platters of dressed and
peppered rice, and got ready colocasia[FN#541]-roots fried and
soaked in honey, and wax candles and fruits and conserves and
nuts and almonds and sweet scented cowers; and I sent them all to
her. As soon as it was night I again tied up fifty dinars in a
kerchief and, mounting the ass as usual, rode to the mansion
where we ate and drank and lay together till morning when I threw
the kerchief and dinars to her[FN#542] and rode back to the Khan.
I ceased not doing after that fashion till, after a sweet night,
I woke one fine morning and found myself beggared, dinar-less and
dirhamless. So said I to myself "All this be Satan's work;" and
began to recite these couplets:--

"Poverty dims the sheen of man whate'er his wealth has been, *
     E'en as the sun about to set shines with a yellowing light
Absent he falls from memory, forgotten by his friends; * Present
     he shareth not their joys for none in him delight
He walks the market shunned of all, too glad to hide his head, *
     In desert places tears he sheds and moans his bitter plight
By Allah, 'mid his kith and kin a man, however good, * Waylaid
     by want and penury is but a stranger wight!"

I fared forth from the Khan and walked down "Between the Palaces"
street till I came to the Zuwaylah Porte, where I found the
people crowding and the gateway blocked for the much folk. And by
the decree of Destiny I saw there a trooper against whom I
pressed unintentionally, so that my hand came upon his bosom
pocket and I felt a purse inside it. I looked and seeing a string
of green silk hanging from the pocket knew it for a purse; and
the crush grew greater every minute and just then, a camel laden
with a load of fuel happened to jostle the trooper on the
opposite side, and he turned round to fend it off from him, lest
it tear his clothes; and Satan tempted me, so I pulled the string
and drew out a little bag of blue silk, containing something
which chinked like coin. But the soldier, feeling his pocket
suddenly lightened, put his hand to it and found it empty;
whereupon he turned to me and, snatching up his mace from his
saddle bow, struck me with it on the head. I fell to the ground,
whilst the people came round us and seizing the trooper's mare by
the bridle said to him, "Strikest thou this youth such a blow as
this for a mere push!" But the trooper cried out at them, "This
fellow is an accursed thief!" Whereupon I came to myself and
stood up, and the people looked at me and said, "Nay, he is a
comely youth: he would not steal anything;" and some of them took
my part and others were against me and question and answer waxed
loud and warm. The people pulled at me and would have rescued me
from his clutches; but as fate decreed behold, the Governor, the
Chief of Police, and the watch[FN#543] entered the Zuwaylah Gate
at this moment and, seeing the people gathered together around me
and the soldier, the Governor asked, "What is the matter?" "By
Allah! O Emir," answered the trooper, "this is a thief! I had in
my pocket a purse of blue silk lined with twenty good gold pieces
and he took it, whilst I was in the crush." Quoth the Governor,
"Was any one by thee at the time?"; and quoth the soldier, "No."
Thereupon the Governor cried out to the Chief of Police who
seized me, and on this wise the curtain of the Lord's. protection
was withdrawn from me. Then he said "Strip him;" and, when they
stripped me, they found the purse in my clothes. The Wali took
it, opened it and counted it; and, finding in it twenty dinars as
the soldier had said, waxed exceeding wroth and bade his guard
bring me before him. Then said he to me, "Now, O youth, speak
truly: didst thou steal this purse?"[FN#544] At this I hung my
head to the ground and said to myself, "If I deny having stolen
it, I shall get myself into terrible trouble." So I raised my
head and said, "Yes, I took it." When the Governor heard these
words he wondered and summoned witnesses who came forward and
attested my confession. All this happened at the Zuwaylah Gate.
Then the Governor ordered the link bearer to cut off my right
hand, and he did so; after which he would have struck off my left
foot also; but the heart of the soldier softened and he took pity
on me and interceded for me with the Governor that I should not
be slain.[FN#545] Thereupon the Wali left me, and went away and
the folk remained round me and gave me a cup of wine to drink. As
for the trooper he pressed the purse upon me, and said, "Thou art
a comely youth and it befitteth not thou be a thief." So I
repeated these verses:--

"I swear by Allah's name, fair sir! no thief was I, * Nor, O thou
     best of men! was I a bandit bred:
But Fortune's change and chance o'erthrew me suddenly, * And
     cark and care and penury my course misled:
I shot it not, indeed, 'twas Allah shot the shaft * That rolled
     in dust the Kingly diadem from my head."[FN#546]

The soldier turned away after giving me the purse; and I also
went my ways having wrapped my hand in a piece of rag and thrust
it into my bosom. My whole semblance had changed, and my colour
had waxed yellow from the shame and pain which had befallen me.
Yet I went on to my mistress's house where, in extreme
perturbation of spirit I threw myself down on the carpet bed. She
saw me in this state and asked me, "What aileth thee and why do I
see thee so changed in looks?"; and I answered, "My head paineth
me and I am far from well." Whereupon she was vexed and was
concerned on my account and said, "Burn not my heart, O my lord,
but sit up and raise thy head and recount to me what hath
happened to thee today, for thy face tells me a tale." "Leave
this talk," replied I. But she wept and said, "Me seems thou art
tired of me, for I see thee contrary to thy wont." But I was
silent; and she kept on talking to me albeit I gave her no
answer, till night came on. Then she set food before me, but I
refused it fearing lest she see me eating with my left hand and
said to her, "I have no stomach to eat at present." Quoth she,
"Tell me what hath befallen thee to day, and why art thou so
sorrowful and broken in spirit and heart?" Quoth I, "Wait awhile;
I will tell thee all at my leisure." Then she brought me wine,
saying, "Down with it, this will dispel thy grief: thou must
indeed drink and tell me of thy tidings." I asked her, "Perforce
must I tell thee?"; and she answered, "Yes." Then said I, "If it
needs must be so, then give me to drink with thine own hand." She
filled and drank,[FN#547] and filled again and gave me the cup
which I took from her with my left hand and wiped the tears from
my eyelids and began repeating:

"When Allah willeth aught befall a man * Who hath of ears and
     eyes and wits full share:
His ears He deafens and his eyes He blinds * And draws his wits
     e'en as we draw a hair[FN#548]
Till, having wrought His purpose, He restores * Man's wits, that
     warned more circumspect he fare."

When I ended my verses I wept, and she cried out with an
exceeding loud cry, "What is the cause of thy tears? Thou burnest
my heart! What makes thee take the cup with thy left hand?" Quoth
I, "Truly I have on my right hand a boil;" and quoth she, "Put it
out and I will open it for thee."[FN#549] "It is not yet time to
open it," I replied, "so worry me not with thy words, for I will
not take it out of the bandage at this hour." Then I drank off
the cup, and she gave not over plying me with drink until
drunkenness overcame me and I fell asleep in the place where I
was sitting; whereupon she looked at my right hand and saw a
wrist without a fist. So she searched me closely and found with
me the purse of gold and my severed hand wrapped up in the bit of
rag.[FN#550] With this such sorrow came upon her as never
overcame any and she ceased not lamenting on my account till the
morning. When I awoke I found that she had dressed me a dish of
broth of four boiled chickens, which she brought to me together
with a cup of wine. I ate and drank and laying down the purse,
would have gone out; but she said to me, "Whither away?"; and I
answered, "Where my business calleth me;" and said she, "Thou
shalt not go: sit thee down." So I sat down and she resumed,
"Hath thy love for me so overpowered thee that thou hast wasted
all thy wealth and hast lost thine hand on my account? I take
thee to witness against me and also Allah be my witness that I
will never part with thee, but will die under thy feet; and soon
thou shalt see that my words are true." Then she sent for the
Kazi and witnesses and said to them, "Write my contract of
marriage with this young man, and bear ye witness that I have
received the marriage settlement."[FN#551] When they had drawn up
the document she said, "Be witness that all my monies which are
in this chest and all I have in slaves and handmaidens and other
property is given in free gift to this young man." So they took
act of this statement enabling me to assume possession in right
of marriage; and then withdrew, after receiving their fees.
Thereupon she took me by the hand and, leading me to a closet,
opened a large chest and said to me, "See what is herein;" and I
looked and behold, it was full of kerchiefs. Quoth she, "This is
the money I had from thee and every kerchief thou gavest me,
containing fifty dinars, I wrapped up and cast into this chest;
so now take thine own, for it returns to thee, and this day thou
art become of high estate. Fortune and Fate afflicted thee so
that thou didst lose thy right hand for my sake; and I can never
requite thee; nay, although I gave my life 'twere but little and
I should still remain thy debtor." Then she added, "Take charge
of thy property."; so I transferred the contents of her chest to
my chest, and added my wealth to her wealth which I had given
her, and my heart was eased and my sorrow ceased. I stood up and
kissed her and thanked her; and she said, "Thou hast given thy
hand for love of me and how am I able to give thee an equivalent?
By Allah, if I offered my life for thy love, it were indeed but
little and would not do justice to thy claim upon me." Then she
made over to me by deed all that she possessed in clothes and
ornaments of gold and pearls, and goods and farms and chattels,
and lay not down to sleep that night, being sorely grieved for my
grief, till I told her the whole of what had befallen me. I
passed the night with her. But before we had lived together a
month's time she fell sorely sick and illness increased upon her,
by reason of her grief for the loss of my hand, and she endured
but fifty days before she was numbered among the folk of futurity
and heirs of immortality. So I laid her out and buried her body
in mother earth and let make a pious perfection of the
Koran[FN#552] for the health of her soul, and gave much money in
alms for her; after which I turned me from the grave and returned
to the house. There I found that she had left much substance in
ready money and slaves, mansions, lands and domains, and among
her store houses was a granary of sesame seed, whereof I sold
part to thee; and I had neither time nor inclination to take
count with thee till I had sold the rest of the stock in store;
nor, indeed, even now have I made an end of receiving the price.
So I desire thou baulk me not in what I am about to say to thee:
twice have I eaten of thy food and I wish to give thee as a
present the monies for the sesame which are by thee. Such is the
cause of the cutting off my right hand and my eating with my
left." "Indeed," said I, "thou hast shown me the utmost kindness
and liberality." Then he asked me, "Why shouldst thou not travel
with me to my native country whither I am about to return with
Cairene and Alexandrian stuffs? Say me, wilt thou accompany me?";
and I answered "I will." So I agreed to go with him at the head
of the month, and I sold all I had and bought other merchandise;
then we set out and travelled, I and the young man, to this
country of yours, where he sold his venture and bought other
investment of country stuffs and continued his journey to Egypt
But it was my lot to abide here, so that these things befell me
in my strangerhood which befell last night, and is not this tale,
O King of the age, more wondrous and marvellous than the story of
the Hunchback? "Not so," quoth the King, "I cannot accept it:
there is no help for it but that you be hanged, every one of
you."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day, and ceased saying
her permitted say.

             When it was the Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King of China declared "There is no help for it but that you be
hanged," the Reeve of the Sultan's Kitchen came forward and said,
"If thou permit me I will tell thee a tale of what befell me just
before I found this Gobbo, and, if it be more wondrous than his
story, do thou grant us our lives." And when the King answered
"Yes" he began to recount

The Reeve's Tale.

Know, O King, that last night I was at a party where they made a
perfection of the Koran and got together doctors of law and
religion skilled in recitation and intoning; and, when the
readers ended, the table was spread and amongst other things they
set before us was a marinated ragout[FN#553] flavoured with cumin
seed. So we sat down, but one of our number held back and refused
to touch it. We conjured him to eat of it but he swore he would
not; and, when we again pressed him, he said, "Be not instant
with me; sufficeth me that which hath already befallen me through
eating it", and he began reciting:

"Shoulder thy tray and go straight to thy goal; * And, if suit
     thee this Kohl why,-use this Kohl!"[FN#554]

When he ended his verse we said to him, "Allah upon thee, tell us
thy reason for refusing to eat of the cumin ragout?" `'If so it
be," he replied, "and needs must I eat of it, I will not do so
except I wash my hand forty times with soap, forty times with
potash and forty times with galangale,[FN#555] the total being
one hundred and twenty washings." Thereupon the hospitable host
bade his slaves bring water and whatso he required; and the young
man washed his hand as afore mentioned. Then he sat down, as if
disgusted and frightened withal, and dipping his hand in the
ragout, began eating and at the same time showing signs of anger.
And we wondered at him with extreme wonderment, for his hand
trembled and the morsel in it shook and we saw that his thumb had
been cut off and he ate with his four fingers only. So we said to
him, "Allah upon thee, what happened to thy thumb? Is thy hand
thus by the creation of God or hath some accident befallen it?"
"O my brothers," he answered, "it is not only thus with this
thumb, but also with my other thumb and with both my great toes,
as you shall see." So saying he uncovered his left hand and his
feet, and we saw that the left hand was even as the right and in
like manner that each of his feet lacked its great toe. When we
saw him after this fashion, our amazement waxed still greater and
we said to him, "We have hardly patience enough to await thy
history and to hear the manner of the cutting off of thy thumbs,
and the reason of thy washing both hands one hundred and twenty
times." Know then, said he, that my father was chief of the
merchants and the wealthiest of them all in Baghdad city during
the reign of the Caliph Harun al Rashid; and he was much given to
wine drinking and listening to the lute and the other instruments
of pleasaunce; so that when he died he left nothing. I buried him
and had perlections of the Koran made for him, and mourned for
him days and nights: then I opened his shop and found that he had
left in it few goods, while his debts were many. However I
compounded with his creditors for time to settle their demands
and betook myself to buying and selling, paying them something
from week to week on account; and I gave not over doing this till
I had cleared off his obligations in full and began adding to my
principal. One day, as I sat in my shop, suddenly and
unexpectedly there appeared before me a young lady, than whom I
never saw a fairer, wearing the richest raiment and ornaments and
riding a she mule, with one negro slave walking before her and
another behind her. She drew rein at the head of the exchange
bazaar and entered followed by an eunuch who said to her, "O my
lady come out and away without telling anyone, lest thou light a
fire which will burn us all up." Moreover he stood before her
guarding her from view whilst she looked at the merchants' shops.
She found none open but mine; so she came up with the eunuch
behind her and sitting down in my shop saluted me; never heard I
aught fairer than her speech or sweeter than her voice. Then she
unveiled her face, and I saw that she was like the moon and I
stole a glance at her whose sight caused me a thousand sighs, and
my heart was captivated with love of her, and I kept looking
again and again upon her face repeating these verses:--

"Say to the charmer in the dove hued veil, * Death would be
     welcome to abate thy bale!
Favour me with thy favours that I live: * See, I stretch forth my
     palm to take thy vail!

When she heard my verse she answered me saying:--

"I've lost all patience by despite of you; * My heart knows
     nothing save love plight to you!
If aught I sight save charms so bright of you; * My parting end
     not in the sight of you!
I swear I'll ne'er forget the right of you; * And fain this
     breast would soar to height of you:
You made me drain the love cup, and I lief * A love cup tender
     for delight of you:
Take this my form where'er you go, and when * You die, entomb
     me in the site of you:
Call on me in my grave, and hear my bones * Sigh their responses
     to the shright of you:
And were I asked 'Of God what wouldst thou see?' * I answer,
     'first His will then Thy decree!'

When she ended her verse she asked me, "O youth, hast thou any
fair stuffs by thee?"; and I answered, "O my lady, thy slave is
poor; but have patience till the merchants open their shops, and
I will suit thee with what thou wilt." Then we sat talking, I and
she (and I was drowned in the sea of her love, dazed in the
desert[FN#556] of my passion for her), till the merchants opened
their shops; when I rose and fetched her all she sought to the
tune of five thousand dirhams. She gave the stuff to the eunuch
and, going forth by the door of the Exchange, she mounted mule
and went away, without telling me whence she came, and I was
ashamed to speak of such trifle. When the merchants dunned me for
the price, I made myself answerable for five thousand dirhams and
went home, drunken with the love of her. They set supper before
me and I ate a mouthful, thinking only of her beauty and
loveliness, and sought to sleep, but sleep came not to me. And
such was my condition for a whole week, when the merchants
required their monies of me, but I persuaded them to have
patience for another week, at the end of which time she again
appeared mounted on a she mule and attended by her eunuch and two
slaves. She saluted me and said, "O my master, we have been long
in bringing thee the price of the stuffs; but now fetch the
Shroff and take thy monies." So I sent for the money changer and
the eunuch counted out the coin before him and made it over to
me. Then we sat talking, I and she, till the market opened, when
she said to me, "Get me this and that." So I got her from the
merchants whatso she wanted, and she took it and went away
without saying a word to me about the price. As soon as she was
out of sight, I repented me of what I had done; for the worth of
the stuffs bought for her amounted to a thousand dinars, and I
said in my soul, "What manner of love is this? She hath brought
me five thousand dirhams, and hath taken goods for a thousand
dinars."[FN#557] I feared lest I should be beggared through
having to pay the merchants their money, and I said, "They know
none other but me; this lovely lady is naught but a cheat and a
swindler, who hath diddled me with her beauty and grace; for she
saw that I was a mere youth and laughed at me for not asking her
address." I ceased not to be troubled by these doubts and fears,
as she was absent more than a month, till the merchants pestered
me for their money and were so hard upon me that I put up my
property for sale and stood on the very brink of ruin. However,
as I was sitting in my shop one day, drowned in melancholy
musings, she suddenly rode up and, dismounting at the bazaar
gate, came straight towards me. When I saw her all my cares fell
from me and I forgot every trouble. She came close up to me and
greeted me with her sweet voice and pleasant speech and presently
said, "Fetch me the Shroff and weigh thy money."[FN#558] So she
gave me the price of what goods I had gotten for her and more,
and fell to talking freely with me, till I was like to die of joy
and delight. Presently she asked me, "Hast thou a wife?"; and I
answered "No, indeed: I have never known woman"; and began to
shed tears. Quoth she "Why weepest thou?" Quoth I "It is
nothing!" Then giving the eunuch some of the gold pieces, I
begged him to be go between[FN#559] in the matter; but he laughed
and said, "She is more in love with thee than thou with her: she
hath no occasion for the stuffs she hath bought of thee and did
all this only for the love of thee; so ask of her what thou wilt
and she will deny thee nothing." When she saw me giving the
dinars to the eunuch, she returned and sat down again; and I said
to her, "Be charitable to thy slave and pardon him what he is
about to say." Then I told her what was in my mind and she
assented and said to the eunuch, "Thou shalt carry my message to
him," adding to me, "And do thou whatso the eunuch biddeth thee."
Then she got up and went away, and I paid the merchants their
monies and they all profited; but as for me, regret at the
breaking off of our intercourse was all my gain; and I slept not
the whole of that night. However, before many days passed her
eunuch came to me, and I entreated him honourably and asked him
after his mistress. "Truly she is sick with love of thee," he
replied and I rejoined, "Tell me who and what she is." Quoth he,
"The Lady Zubaydah, queen consort of Harun al-Rashid, brought her
up as a rearling[FN#560] and hath advanced her to be stewardess
of the Harim, and gave her the right of going in and out of her
own sweet will. She spoke to her lady of thee and begged her to
marry her to thee; but she said, 'I will not do this, till I see
the young man; and, if he be worthy of thee, I will marry thee to
him.' So now we look for the moment to smuggle thee into the
Palace and if thou succeed in entering privily thou wilt win thy
wish to wed her; but if the affair get wind, the Lady Zubaydah
will strike off thy head.[FN#561] What sayest thou to this?" I
answered, "I will go with thee and abide the risk whereof thou
speakest." Then said he, "As soon as it is night, go to the
Mosque built by the Lady Zubaydah on the Tigris and pray the
night prayers and sleep there." "With love and gladness," cried
I. So at nightfall I repaired to the Mosque, where I prayed and
passed the night. With earliest dawn, behold, came sundry eunuchs
in a skiff with a number of empty chests which they deposited in
the Mosque; then all of them went their ways but one, and looking
curiously at him, I saw he was our go between. Presently in came
the handmaiden, my mistress, walking straight up to us; and I
rose to her and embraced her while she kissed me and shed
tears.[FN#562] We talked awhile; after which she made me get into
one of the chests which she locked upon me. Presently the other
eunuchs came back with a quantity of packages and she fell to
stowing them in the chests, which she locked down, one by one,
till all were shut. When all was done the eunuchs embarked the
chests in the boat and made for the Lady Zubaydah's palace. With
this, thought began to beset me and I said to myself, "Verily thy
lust and wantonness will be the death of thee; and the question
is after all shalt thou win to thy wish or not?" And I began to
weep, boxed up as I was in the box and suffering from cramp; and
I prayed Allah that He deliver me from the dangerous strait I was
in, whilst the boat gave not over going on till it reached the
Palace gate where they lifted out the chests and amongst them
that in which I was. Then they carried them in, passing through a
troop of eunuchs, guardians of the Harim and of the ladies behind
the curtain, till they came to the post of the Eunuch in
Chief[FN#563] who started up from his slumbers and shouted to the
damsel "What is in those chests?" "They are full of wares for the
Lady Zubaydah!" "Open them, one by one, that I may see what is in
them." "And wherefore wouldst thou open them?" "Give me no words
and exceed not in talk! These chests must and shall be opened."
So saying, he sprang to his feet, and the first which they
brought to him to open was that wherein I was; and, when I felt
his hands upon it, my senses failed me and I bepissed myself in
my funk, the water running out of the box. Then said she to the
Eunuch in Chief, "O steward! thou wilt cause me to be killed and
thyself too, for thou hast damaged goods worth ten thousand
dinars. This chest contains coloured dresses, and four gallon
flasks of Zemzem water;[FN#564] and now one of them hath got
unstoppered and the water is running out over the clothes and it
will spoil their colours." The eunuch answered, "Take up thy
boxes and get thee gone to the curse of God!" So the slaves
carried off all the chests, including mine; and hastened on with
them till suddenly I heard the voice of one saying, "Alack, and
alack! the Caliph! the Caliph !" When that cry struck mine ears I
died in my skin and said a saying which never yet shamed the
sayer, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great! I and only I have brought this calamity
upon myself." Presently I heard the Caliph say to my mistress, "A
plague on thee, what is in those boxes?"; and she answered,
"Dresses for the Lady Zubaydah";[FN#565] whereupon he, "Open them
before me!" When I heard this I died my death outright and said
to myself, "By Allah, today is the very last of my days in this
world: if I come safe out of this I am to marry her and no more
words, but detection stares me in the face and my head is as good
as stricken off." Then I repeated the profession of Faith,
saying, "There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is the Apostle
of God!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
merchant continued as follows: Now when I testified, "I bear
witness that there is no god save the God," I heard my mistress
the handmaid declare to the Caliph, "These chests, O Commander of
the Faithful, have been committed to my charge by the Lady
Zubaydah, and she doth not wish their contents to be seen by any
one." "No matter!" quoth the Caliph, "needs must they be opened,
I will see what is in them"; and he cried aloud to the eunuchs,
"Bring the chests here before me." At this I made sure of death
(without benefit of a doubt) and swooned away. Then the eunuchs
brought the chests up to him one after another and he fell to
inspecting the contents, but he saw in them only otters and
stuffs and fine dresses; and they ceased not opening the chests
and he ceased not looking to see what was in them, finding only
clothes and such matters, till none remained unopened but the box
in which I was boxed. They put forth their hands to open it, but
my mistress the handmaid made haste and said to the Caliph, "This
one thou shalt see only in the presence of the Lady Zubaydah, for
that which is in it is her secret." When he heard this he gave
orders to carry in the chests; so they took up that wherein I was
and bore it with the rest into the Harim and set it down in the
midst of the saloon; and indeed my spittle was dried up for very
fear.[FN#566] Then my mistress opened the box and took me out,
saying, "Fear not: no harm shall betide thee now nor dread; but
broaden thy breast and strengthen thy heart and sit thee down
till the Lady Zubaydah come, and surely thou shalt win thy wish
of me." So I sat down and, after a while, in came ten hand
maidens, virgins like moons, and ranged themselves in two rows,
five facing five; and after them twenty other damsels, high
bosomed virginity, surrounding the Lady Zubaydah who could hardly
walk for the weight of her raiment and ornaments. As she drew
near, the slave girls dispersed from around her, and I advanced
and kissed the ground between her hands. She signed to me to sit
and, when I sat down before her chair, she began questioning me
of my forbears and family and condition, to which I made such
answers that pleased her, and she said to my mistress, "Our
nurturing of thee, O damsel, hath not disappointed us." Then she
said to me, "Know that this handmaiden is to us even as our own
child and she is a trust committed to thee by Allah." I again
kissed the ground before her, well pleased that I should marry my
mistress, and she bade me abide ten days in the palace. So I
abode there ten days, during which time I saw not my mistress nor
anybody save one of the concubines, who brought me the morning
and evening meals. After this the Lady Zubaydah took counsel with
the Caliph on the marriage of her favourite handmaid, and he gave
leave and assigned to her a wedding portion of ten thousand gold
pieces. So the Lady Zubaydah sent for the Kazi and witnesses who
wrote our marriage contract, after which the women made ready
sweetmeats and rich viands and distributed them among all the
Odahs[FN#567] of the Harim. Thus they did other ten days, at the
end of which time my mistress went to the baths.[FN#568]
Meanwhile, they set before me a tray of food where on were
various meats and among those dishes, which were enough to daze
the wits, was a bowl of cumin ragout containing chickens breasts,
fricandoed[FN#569] and flavoured with sugar, pistachios, musk and
rose water. Then, by Allah, fair sirs, I did not long hesitate;
but took my seat before the ragout and fell to and ate of it till
I could no more. After this I wiped my hands, but forgot to wash
them; and sat till it grew dark, when the wax candles were
lighted and the singing women came in with their tambourines and
proceeded to display the bride in various dresses and to carry
her in procession from room to room all round the palace, getting
their palms crossed with gold. Then they brought her to me and
disrobed her. When I found myself alone with her on the bed I
embraced her, hardly believing in our union; but she smelt the
strong odours of the ragout upon my hands and forth with cried
out with an exceeding loud cry, at which the slave girls came
running to her from all sides. I trembled with alarm, unknowing
what was the matter, and the girls asked her, "What aileth thee,
O our sister?" She answered them, "Take this mad man away from
me: I had thought he was a man of sense!" Quoth I to her, "What
makes thee think me mad?" Quoth she, "Thou madman' what made thee
eat of cumin ragout and forget to wash thy hand? By Allah, I will
requite thee for thy misconduct. Shall the like of thee come to
bed with the like of me with unclean hands?"[FN#570] Then she
took from her side a plaited scourge and came down with it on my
back and the place where I sit till her forearms were benumbed
and I fainted away from the much beating; when she said to the
handmaids, "Take him and carry him to the Chief of Police, that
he may strike off the hand wherewith he ate of the cumin ragout,
and which he did not wash." When I heard this I said, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! Wilt thou cut off
my hand, because I ate of a cumin ragout and did not wash?" The
handmaidens also interceded with her and kissed her hand saying,
"O our sister, this man is a simpleton, punish him not for what
he hath done this nonce;" but she answered, "By Allah, there is
no help but that I dock him of somewhat, especially the offending
member." Then she went away and I saw no more of her for ten
days, during which time she sent me meat and drink by a slave
girl who told me that she had fallen sick from the smell of the
cumin ragout. After that time she came to me and said, "O black
of face![FN#571] I will teach thee how to eat cumin ragout
without washing thy hands!" Then she cried out to the handmaids,
who pinioned me; and she took a sharp razor and cut off my thumbs
and great toes; even as you see, O fair assembly! Thereupon I
swooned away, and she sprinkled some powder of healing herbs upon
the stumps and when the blood was stanched, I said, "Never again
will I eat of cumin ragout without washing my hands forty times
with potash and forty times with galangale and forty times with
soap!" And she took of me an oath and bound me by a covenant to
that effect. When, therefore, you brought me the cumin ragout my
colour changed and I said to myself, "It was this very dish that
caused the cutting off of my thumbs and great toes;" and, when
you forced me, I said, "Needs must I fulfil the oath I have
sworn." "And what befell thee after this?" asked those present;
and he answered, "When I swore to her, her anger was appeased and
I slept with her that night. We abode thus awhile till she said
to me one day, "Verily the Palace of the Caliph is not a pleasant
place for us to live in, and none ever entered it save thyself;
and thou only by grace of the Lady Zubaydah. Now she hath given
me fifty thousand dinars," adding, "Take this money and go out
and buy us a fair dwelling house." So I fared forth and bought a
fine and spacious mansion, whither she removed all the wealth she
owned and what riches I had gained in stuffs and costly rarities.
Such is the cause of the cutting off of my thumbs and great toes.
We ate (continued the Reeve), and were returning to our homes
when there befell me with the Hunchback that thou wottest of.
This then is my story, and peace be with thee! Quoth the King;
"This story is on no wise more delectable than the story of the
Hunchback; nay, it is even less so, and there is no help for the
hanging of the whole of you." Then came forward the Jewish
physician and kissing the ground said, "O King of the age, I will
tell thee an history more wonderful than that of the Hunchback."
"Tell on," said the King of China; so he began the

Tale of the Jewish Doctor.

Right marvellous was a matter which came to pass to me in my
youth. I lived in Damascus of Syria studying my art and, one day,
as I was sitting at home behold, there came to me a Mameluke from
the household of the Sahib and said to me, "Speak with my lord!"
So I followed him to the Viceroy's house and, entering the great
hall, saw at its head a couch of cedar plated with gold whereon
lay a sickly youth beautiful withal; fairer than he one could not
see. I sat down by his head and prayed to Heaven for a cure; and
he made me a sign with his eyes, so I said to him, "O my lord!
favour me with thy hand, and safety be with thee!"[FN#572] Then
he put forth his left hand and I marvelled thereat and said, "By
Allah, strange that this handsome youth, the son of a great
house, should so lack good manners. This can be nothing but pride
and conceit!" However I felt his pulse and wrote him a
prescription and continued to visit him for ten days, at the end
of which time he recovered and went to the Hammam,[FN#573]
whereupon the Viceroy gave me a handsome dress of honour and
appointed me superintendent of the hospital which is in
Damascus.[FN#574] I accompanied him to the baths, the whole of
which they had kept private for his accommodation; and the
servants came in with him and took off his clothes within the
bath, and when he was stripped I saw that his right hand had been
newly cut off, and this was the cause of his weakliness. At this I
was amazed and grieved for him: then, looking at his body, I saw
on it the scars of scourge stripes whereto he had applied
unguents. I was troubled at the sight and my concern appeared in
my face. The young man looked at me and, comprehending the
matter, said, "O Physician of the age, marvel not at my case; I
will tell thee my story as soon as we quit the baths." Then we
washed and, returning to his house, ate somewhat of food and took
rest awhile; after which he asked me, "What sayest thou to
solacing thee by inspecting the supper hall?"; and I answered "So
let it be." Thereupon he ordered the slaves to carry out the
carpets and cushions required and roast a lamb and bring us some
fruit. They did his bidding and we ate together, he using the
left hand for the purpose. After a while I said to him, "Now tell
me thy tale." "O Physician of the age," replied he, "hear what
befell me. Know that I am of the sons of Mosul, where my
grandfather died leaving nine children of whom my father was the
eldest. All grew up and took to them wives, but none of them was
blessed with offspring except my father, to whom Providence
vouchsafed me. So I grew up amongst my uncles who rejoiced in me
with exceeding joy, till I came to man's estate. One day which
happened to be a Friday, I went to the Cathedral mosque of Mosul
with my father and my uncles, and we prayed the congregational
prayers, after which the folk went forth, except my father and
uncles, who sat talking of wondrous things in foreign parts and
the marvellous sights of strange cities. At last they mentioned
Egypt, and one of my uncles said, "Travellers tell us that there
is not on earth's face aught fairer than Cairo and her Nile;" and
these words made me long to see Cairo. Quoth my father, "Whoso
hath not seen Cairo hath not seen the world. Her dust is golden
and her Nile a miracle holden; and her women are as Houris fair;
puppets, beautiful pictures; her houses are palaces rare; her
water is sweet and light[FN#575] and her mud a commodity and a
medicine beyond compare, even as said the poet in this his

The Nile[FN#576] flood this day is the gain you own; * You alone
     in such gain and bounties wone:
The Nile is my tear flood of severance, * And here none is
     forlorn but I alone.

Moreover temperate is her air, and with fragrance blent, Which
surpasseth aloes wood in scent; and how should it be otherwise,
she being the Mother of the World? And Allah favour him who wrote
these lines:--

An I quit Cairo and her pleasaunces, * Where can I wend to find
     so gladsome ways?
Shall I desert that site, whose grateful scents * Joy every soul
     and call for loudest praise?
Where every palace, as another Eden, * Carpets and cushions
     richly wrought displays;
A city wooing sight and sprite to glee, * Where Saint meets
     Sinner and each 'joys his craze;
Where friend meets friend, by Providence united * In greeny
     garden and in palmy maze:
People of Cairo, and by Allah's doom * I fare, with you in
     thoughts I wone always!
Whisper not Cairo in the ear of Zephyr, * Lest for her like of
     garden scents he reave her,[FN#577]

And if your eyes saw her earth, and the adornment thereof with
bloom, and the purfling of it with all manner blossoms, and the
islands of the Nile and how much is therein of wide spread and
goodly prospect, and if you bent your sight upon the Abyssinian
Pond,[FN#578] your glance would not revert from the scene quit of
wonder; for nowhere would you behold the fellow of that lovely
view; and, indeed, the two arms of the Nile embrace most
luxuriant verdure,[FN#579] as the white of the eye encompasseth
its black or like filigreed silver surrounding chrysolites. And
divinely gifted was the poet who there anent said these

By th' Abyssinian Pond, O day divine!* In morning twilight and
     in sunny shine:
The water prisoned in its verdurous walls, * Like sabre flashes
     before shrinking eyne:
And in The Garden sat we while it drains * Slow draught, with
     purfled sides dyed finest fine:
The stream is rippled by the hands of clouds; * We too,
     a-rippling, on our rugs recline,
Passing pure wine, and whoso leaves us there * Shall ne'er arise
     from fall his woes design:
Draining long draughts from large and brimming bowls, *
     Administ'ring thirst's only medicine--wine.

And what is there to compare with the Rasad, the Observatory, and
its charms whereof every viewer as he approacheth saith, 'Verily
this spot is specialised with all manner of excellence!' And if
thou speak of the Night of Nile full,[FN#580] give the rainbow
and distribute it![FN#581] And if thou behold The Garden at
eventide, with the cool shades sloping far and wide, a marvel
thou wouldst see and wouldst incline to Egypt in ecstasy. And
wert thou by Cairo's river side,[FN#582] when the sun is sinking
and the stream dons mail coat and habergeon[FN#583] over its
other vestments, thou wouldst be quickened to new life by its
gentle zephyrs and by its all sufficient shade." So spake he and
the rest fell to describing Egypt and her Nile. As I heard their
accounts, my thoughts dwelt upon the subject and when, after
talking their fill, all arose and went their ways, I lay down to
sleep that night, but sleep came not because of my violent
longing for Egypt; and neither meat pleased me nor drink. After a
few days my uncles equipped themselves for a trade journey to
Egypt; and I wept before my father till he made ready for me
fitting merchandise, and he consented to my going with them,
saying however, "Let him not enter Cairo, but leave him to sell
his wares at Damascus." So I took leave of my father and we fared
forth from Mosul and gave not over travelling till we reached
Aleppo[FN#584] where we halted certain days. Then we marched
onwards till we made Damascus and we found her a city as though
she were a Paradise, abounding in trees and streams and birds and
fruits of all kinds. We alighted at one of the Khans, where my
uncles tarried awhile selling and buying; and they bought and
sold also on my account, each dirham turning a profit of five on
prime cost, which pleased me mightily. After this they left me
alone and set their faces Egyptwards; whilst I abode at Damascus,
where I had hired from a jeweller, for two dinars a month, a
mansion[FN#585] whose beauties would beggar the tongue. Here I
remained, eating and drinking and spending what monies I had in
hand till, one day, as I was sitting at the door of my house be
hold, there came up a young lady clad in costliest raiment never
saw my eyes richer. I winked[FN#5886 at her and she stepped
inside without hesitation and stood within. I entered with her
and shut the door upon myself and her; whereupon she raised her
face veil and threw off her mantilla, when I found her like a
pictured moon of rare and marvellous loveliness; and love of her
gat hold of my heart. So I rose and brought a tray of the most
delicate eatables and fruits and whatso befitted the occasion,
and we ate and played and after that we drank till the wine
turned our heads. Then I lay with her the sweetest of nights and
in the morning I offered her ten gold pieces; when her face
lowered and her eye brows wrinkled and shaking with wrath she
cried, "Fie upon thee, O my sweet companion! dost thou deem that
I covet thy money?" Then she took out from the bosom of her
shift[FN#587] fifteen dinars and, laying them before me, said,
"By Allah! unless thou take them I will never come back to thee."
So I accepted them and she said to me, "O my beloved! expect me
again in three days' time, when I will be with thee between
sunset and supper tide; and do thou prepare for us with these
dinars the same entertainment as yesternight." So saying, she
took leave of me and went away and all my senses went with her.
On the third day she came again, clad in stuff weft with gold
wire, and wearing raiment and ornaments finer than before. I had
prepared the place for her ere she arrived and the repast was
ready; so we ate and drank and lay together, as we had done, till
the morning, when she gave me other fifteen gold pieces and
promised to come again after three days. Accordingly, I made
ready for her and, at the appointed time, she presented herself
more richly dressed than on the first and second occasions, and
said to me, "O my lord, am I not beautiful?" "Yea, by Allah thou
art!" answered I, and she went on, "Wilt thou allow me to bring
with me a young lady fairer than I, and younger in years, that
she may play with us and thou and she may laugh and make merry
and rejoice her heart, for she hath been very sad this long time
past, and hath asked me to take her out and let her spend the
night abroad with me?" "Yea, by Allah!" I replied; and we drank
till the wine turned our heads and slept till the morning, when
she gave me other fifteen dinars, saying, "Add something to thy
usual provision on account of the young lady who will come with
me." Then she went away, and on the fourth day I made ready the
house as usual, and soon after sunset behold, she came,
accompanied by another damsel carefully wrapped in her mantilla.
They entered and sat down; and when I saw them I repeated these

"How dear is our day and how lucky our lot, * When the cynic's
     away with his tongue malign!
When love and delight and the swimming of head * Send
     cleverness trotting, the best boon of wine.
When the full moon shines from the cloudy veil, * And the
     branchlet sways in her greens that shine:
When the red rose mantles in freshest cheek, * And
     Narcissus[FN#588] opeth his love sick eyne:
When pleasure with those I love is so sweet, * When friendship
     with those I love is complete!"

I rejoiced to see them, and lighted the candles after receiving
them with gladness and delight. They doffed their heavy outer
dresses and the new damsel uncovered her face when I saw that she
was like the moon at its full never beheld I aught more
beautiful. Then I rose and set meat and drink before them, and we
ate and drank; and I kept giving mouthfuls to the new comer,
crowning her cup and drinking with her till the first damsel,
waxing inwardly jealous, asked me, "By Allah, is she not more
delicious than I?"; whereto I answered, "Ay, by the Lord!" "It is
my wish that thou lie with her this night; for I am thy mistress
but she is our visitor. Upon my head be it, and my eyes." Then
she rose and spread the carpets for our bed[FN#589] and I took
the young lady and lay with her that night till morning, when I
awoke and found myself wet, as I thought, with sweat. I sat up
and tried to arouse the damsel; but when I shook her by the
shoulders my hand became crimson with blood and her head rolled
off the pillow. Thereupon my senses fled and I cried aloud,
saying, "O All powerful Protector, grant me Thy protection!" Then
finding her neck had been severed, I sprung up and the world
waxed black before my eyes, and I looked for the lady, my former
love, but could not find her. So I knew that it was she who had
murdered the damsel in her jealousy,[FN#590] and said, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! What is to be done now?" I considered awhile then, doffing
my clothes, dug a hole in the middle of the court yard, wherein I
laid the murdered girl with her jewellery and golden ornaments;
and, throwing back the earth on her, replaced the slabs of the
marble[FN#591] pavement. After this I made the Ghusl or total
ablution,[FN#592] and put on pure clothes; then, taking what
money I had left, locked up the house and summoned courage and
went to its owner to whom I paid a year's rent, saying, "I am
about to join my uncles in Cairo." Presently I set out and,
journeying to Egypt, foregathered with my uncles who rejoiced in
me, and I found that they had made an end of selling their
merchandise. They asked me, "What is the cause of thy coming?";
and I answered "I longed for a sight of you;" but did not let
them know that I had any money with me. I abode with them a year,
enjoying the pleasures of Cairo and her Nile,[FN#593] and
squandering the rest of my money in feasting and carousing till
the time drew near for the departure of my uncles, when I fled
from them and hid myself. They made enquiries and sought for me,
but hearing no tidings they said, "He will have gone back to
Damascus." When they departed I came forth from my hiding place
and abode in Cairo three years, until naught remained of my
money. Now every year I used to send the rent of the Damascus
house to its owner, until at last I had nothing left but enough
to pay him for one year's rent and my breast was straitened. So I
travelled to Damascus and alighted at the house whose owner, the
jeweller, was glad to see me and I found everything locked up as
I had left it. I opened the closets and took out my clothes and
necessaries and came upon, beneath the carpet bed whereon I had
lain that night with the girl who had been beheaded, a golden
necklace set with ten gems of passing beauty. I took it up and,
cleansing it of the blood, sat gazing upon it and wept awhile.
Then I abode in the house two days and on the third I entered the
Hammam and changed my clothes. I had no money by me now; so Satan
whispered temptation to me that the Decree of Destiny be carried
out. Next day I took the jewelled necklace to the bazaar and
handed it to a broker who made me sit down in the shop of the
jeweller, my landlord, and bade me have patience till the market
was full,[FN#594] when he carried off the ornament and proclaimed
it for sale, privily and without my knowledge. The necklet was
priced as worth two thousand dinars, but the broker returned to
me and said, "This collar is of copper, a mere counterfeit after
the fashion of the Franks[FN#595] and a thousand dirhams have
been bidden for it." "Yes," I answered, "I knew it to be copper,
as we had it made for a certain person that we might mock her:
now my wife hath inherited it and we wish to sell it; so go and
take over the thousand dirhams."--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

              When it was the Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
beautiful youth said to the broker, "Take over the thousand
dirhams;" and when the broker heard this, he knew that the case
was suspicious. So he carried the collar to the Syndic of the
bazaar, and the Syndic took it to the Governor who was also
prefect of police, and said to him falsely enough, "This necklet
was stolen from my house, and we have found the thief in traders'
dress." So before I was aware of it the watch got round me and,
making me their prisoner, carried me before the Governor who
questioned me of the collar. I told him the tale I had told to
the broker; but he laughed and said, "These words are not true."
Then, before I knew what was doing, the guard stripped off my
clothes and came down with palm rods upon my ribs, till for the
smart of the stick I confessed, "It was I who stole it;" saying
to myself, "'Tis better for thee to say, I stole it, than to let
them know that its owner was murdered in thy house, for then
would they slay thee to avenge her." So they wrote down that I
had stolen it and they cut off my hand and scalded the stump in
oil,[FN#596] when I swooned away for pain; but they gave me wine
to drink and I recovered and, taking up my hand, was going to my
fine house, when my landlord said to me, "Inasmuch, O my son, as
this hath befallen thee, thou must leave my house and look out
for another lodging for thee, since thou art convicted of theft.
Thou art a handsome youth, but who will pity thee after this?" "O
my master" said I, "bear with me but two days or three, till I
find me another place." He answered, "So be it." and went away
and left me. I returned to the house where I sat weeping and
saying, How shall I go back to my own people with my hand lopped
off and they know not that I am innocent? Perchance even after
this Allah may order some matter for me." And I wept with
exceeding weeping, grief beset me and I remained in sore trouble
for two days; but on the third day my landlord came suddenly in
to me, and with him some of the guard and the Syndic of the
bazaar, who had falsely charged me with stealing the necklet. I
went up to them and asked, "What is the matter?" however, they
pinioned me with out further parley and threw a chain about my
neck, saying, "The necklet which was with thee hath proved to be
the property of the Wazir of Damascus who is also her Viceroy;"
and they added, "It was missing from his house three years ago at
the same time as his younger daughter." When I heard these words,
my heart sank within me and I said to myself, "Thy life is gone
beyond a doubt! By Allah, needs must I tell the Chief my story;
and, if he will, let him kill me, and if he please, let him
pardon me." So they carried me to the Wazir's house and made me
stand between his hands. When he saw me, he glanced at me out of
the corner of his eye and said to those present, "Why did ye lop
off his hand? This man is unfortunate, and there is no fault in
him; indeed ye have wronged him in cutting off his hand." When I
heard this, I took heart and, my soul presaging good, I said to
him, "By Allah, O my lord, I am no thief; but they calumniated me
with a vile calumny, and they scourged me midmost the market,
bidding me confess till, for the pain of the rods, I lied against
myself and confessed the theft, albeit I am altogether innocent
of it." "Fear not," quoth the Viceroy, "no harm shall come to
thee." Then he ordered the Syndic of the bazaar to be imprisoned
and said to him, "Give this man the blood money for his hand;
and, if thou delay I will hang thee and seize all thy property."
Moreover he called to his guards who took him and dragged him
away, leaving me with the Chief. Then they loosed by his command
the chain from my neck and unbound my arms; and he looked at me,
and said, "O my son, be true with me, and tell me how this
necklace came to thee." And he repeated these verses:--

"Truth best befits thee, albeit truth * Shall bring thee to burn
     on the threatened fire."

"By Allah, O my lord," answered I, "I will tell thee nothing but
the truth." Then I related to him all that had passed between me
and the first lady, and how she had brought me the second and had
slain her out of jealousy, and I detailed for him the tale to its
full. When he heard my story, he shook his head and struck his
right hand upon the left,[FN#597] and putting his kerchief over
his face wept awhile and then repeated:--

"I see the woes of the world abound, * And worldings sick with
     spleen and teen;
There's One who the meeting of two shall part, * And who part not
     are few and far between!"

Then he turned to me and said, "Know, O my son, that the elder
damsel who first came to thee was my daughter whom I used to keep
closely guarded. When she grew up, I sent her to Cairo and
married her to her cousin, my brother's son. After a while he
died and she came back: but she had learnt wantonness and
ungraciousness from the people of Cairo;[FN#598] so she visited
thee four times and at last brought her younger sister. Now they
were sisters-german and much attached to each other; and, when
that adventure happened to the elder, she disclosed her secret to
her sister who desired to go out with her. So she asked thy leave
and carried her to thee; after which she returned alone and,
finding her weeping, I questioned her of her sister, but she
said, 'I know nothing of her.' However, she presently told her
mother privily of what had happened and how she had cut off her
sister's head and her mother told me. Then she ceased not to weep
and say, 'By Allah! I shall cry for her till I die.' Nor did she
give over mourning till her heart broke and she died; and things
fell out after that fashion. See then, O my son, what hath come
to pass; and now I desire thee not to thwart me in what I am
about to offer thee, and it is that I purpose to marry thee to my
youngest daughter; for she is a virgin and born of another
mother;[FN#599] and I will take no dower of thee but, on the
contrary, will appoint thee an allowance, and thou shalt abide
with me in my house in the stead of my son." "So be it," I
answered, "and how could I hope for such good fortune?" Then he
sent at once for the Kazi and witnesses, and let write my
marriage contract with his daughter and I went in to her.
Moreover, he got me from the Syndic of the bazaar a large sum of
money and I became in high favour with him. During this year news
came to me that my father was dead and the Wazir despatched a
courier, with letters bearing the royal sign manual, to fetch me
the money which my father had left behind him, and now I am
living in all the solace of life. Such was the manner of the
cutting off my right hand." I marvelled at his story (continued
the Jew), and I abode with him three days after which he gave me
much wealth, and I set out and travelled Eastward till I reached
this your city and the sojourn suited me right well; so I took up
my abode here and there befell me what thou knowest with the
Hunchback. There upon the King of China shook his head[FN#600]
and said, "This story of thine is not stranger and more wondrous
and marvellous and delectable than the tale of the Hunchback; and
so needs must I hang the whole number of you. However there yet
remains the Tailor who is the head of all the offence;" and he
added, "O Tailor, if thou canst tell me any thing more wonderful
than the story of the Hunchback, I will pardon you all your
offences." Thereupon the man came forward and began to tell the

Tale of the Tailor.

Know, O King of the age, that most marvellous was that which
befell me but yesterday, before I foregathered with the Hunch
back. It so chanced that in the early day I was at the marriage
feast of one of my companions, who had gotten together in his
house some twenty of the handicraftsmen of this city, amongst
them tailors and silk spinners and carpenters and others of the
same kidney. As soon as the sun had risen, they set food[FN#601]
before us that we might eat when behold, the master of the house
entered, and with him a foreign youth and a well favoured of the
people of Baghdad, wearing clothes as handsome as handsome could
be; and he was of right comely presence save that he was lame of
one leg. He came and saluted us and we stood up to receive him;
but when he was about to sit down he espied amongst us a certain
man which was a Barber; whereupon he refused to be seated and
would have gone away. But we stopped him and our host also stayed
him, making oath that he should not leave us and asked him, "What
is the reason of thy coming in and going out again at once?";
whereto he answered, "By Allah, O my lord, do not hinder me; for
the cause of my turning back is yon Barber of bad omen,[FN#602]
yon black o'face, yon ne'er do well!" When the housemaster heard
these words he marvelled with extreme marvel and said, "How
cometh this young man, who haileth from Baghdad, to be so
troubled and perplexed about this Barber?" Then we looked at the
stranger and said, "Explain the cause of thine anger against the
Barber." "O fair company," quoth the youth, "there befell me a
strange adventure with this Barber in Baghdad (which is my native
city); he was the cause of the breaking of my leg and of my
lameness, and I have sworn never to sit in the same place with
him, nor even tarry in any town where he happens to abide; and I
have bidden adieu to Baghdad and travelled far from it and came
to stay in this your city; yet I have hardly passed one night
before I meet him again. But not another day shall go by ere I
fare forth from here." Said we to him, "Allah upon thee, tell us
the tale;" and the youth replied (the Barber changing colour from
brown to yellow as he spoke): Know, O fair company, that my
father was one of the chief merchants of Baghdad, and Almighty
Allah had blessed him with no son but myself. When I grew up and
reached man's estate, my father was received into the mercy of
Allah (whose Name be exalted!) and left me money and eunuchs,
servants and slaves; and I used to dress well and diet well. Now
Allah had made me a hater of women kind and one day, as I was
walking along a street in Baghdad, a party of females met me face
to face in the footway; so I fled from them and, entering an
alley which was no thoroughfare, sat down upon a stone bench at
its other end. I had not sat there long before the latticed
window of one of the houses opposite was thrown open, and there
appeared at it a young lady, as she were the full moon at its
fullest; never in my life saw I her like; and she began to water
some flowers on the window sill.[FN#603] She turned right and
left and, seeing me watching her, shut the window and went away.
Thereupon fire was suddenly enkindled in my heart; my mind was
possessed with her and my woman hate turned to woman love. I
continued sitting there, lost to the world, till sunset when lo!
the Kazi of the city came riding by with his slaves before him
and his eunuchs behind him, and dismounting entered the house in
which the damsel had appeared. By this I knew that he was her
father; so I went home sorrowful and cast myself upon my carpet
bed in grief. Then my handmaids flocked in and sat about me,
unknowing what ailed me; but I addressed no speech to them, and
they wept and wailed over me. Presently in came an old woman who
looked at me and saw with a glance what was the matter with me:
so she by my head spoke me fair, saying, "O my son, tell me all
about it and I will be the means of thy union with her."[FN#604]
So I related to her what had happened and she answered, "O my
son, this one is the daughter of the Kazi of Baghdad who keepeth
her in the closest seclusion; and the window where thou sawest
her is her floor, whilst her father occupies the large saloon in
the lower story. She is often there alone and I am wont to visit
at the house; so thou shalt not win to her save through me. Now
set thy wits to work and be of good cheer." With these words she
went away and I took heart at what she said and my people
rejoiced that day, seeing me rise in the morning safe and sound.
By and by the old woman returned looking chopfallen,[FN#605] and
said, "O my son, do not ask me how I fared with her! When I told
her that, she cried at me, 'If thou hold not thy peace, O hag of
ill omen, and leave not such talk, I will entreat thee as thou
deservest and do thee die by the foulest of deaths.' But needs
must I have at her a second time."[FN#606] When I heard this it
added ailment to my ailment and the neighbours visited me and
judged that I was not long for this world; but after some days,
the old woman came to me and, putting her mouth close to my ear,
whispered, "O my son; I claim from thee the gift of good news."
With this my soul returned to me and I said, "Whatever thou wilt
shall be thine." Thereupon she began, "Yesterday I went to the
young lady who, seeing me broken in spirit and shedding tears
from reddened eyes, asked me, 'O naunty[FN#607] mine, what ails
thee, that I see thy breast so straitened?'; and I answered her,
weeping bitterly, 'O my lady, I am just come from the house of a
youth who loves thee and who is about to die for sake of thee!'
Quoth she (and her heart was softened), 'And who is this youth of
whom thou speakest?'; and quoth I, 'He is to me as a son and the
fruit of my vitals. He saw thee, some days ago, at the window
watering thy flowers and espying thy face and wrists he fell in
love at first sight. I let him know what happened to me the last
time I was with thee, whereupon his ailment increased, he took to
the pillow and he is naught now but a dead man, and no doubt what
ever of it.' At this she turned pale and asked, 'All this for my
sake?'; and I answered, 'Ay, by Allah![FN#608] what wouldst thou
have me do?' Said she, 'Go back to him and greet him for me and
tell him that I am twice more heartsick than he is. And on
Friday, before the hour of public prayer, bid him here to the
house, and I will come down and open the door for him. Then I
will carry him up to my chamber and foregather with him for a
while, and let him depart before my father return from the
Mosque.'" When I heard the old woman's words, all my sickness
suddenly fell from me, my anguish ceased and my heart was
comforted; I took off what clothes were on me and gave them to
her and, as she turned to go, she said, "Keep a good heart!" "I
have not a jot of sorrow left." I replied. My household and
intimates rejoiced in my recovery and I abode thus till Friday,
when behold, the old woman came in and asked me how I did, to
which I answered that I was well and in good case. Then I donned
my clothes and perfumed myself and sat down to await the
congregation going in to prayers, that I might betake myself to
her. But the old woman said to me, "Thou hast time and to spare:
so thou wouldst do well to go to the Hammam and have thy hair
shaven off (especially after thy ailment), so as not to show
traces of sickness." "This were the best way," answered I, "I
have just now bathed in hot water, but I will have my head
shaved." Then I said to my page, "Go to the bazaar and bring me a
barber, a discreet fellow and one not inclined to meddling or
impertinent curiosity or likely to split my head with his
excessive talk."[FN#609] The boy went out at once and brought
back with him this wretched old man, this Shaykh of ill omen.
When he came in he saluted me and I returned his salutation; then
quoth he, "Of a truth I see thee thin of body;" and quoth I, "I
have been ailing." He continued, "Allah drive far away from thee
thy woe and thy sorrow and thy trouble and thy distress." "Allah
grant thy prayer!" said I. He pursued, "All gladness to thee, O
my master, for indeed recovery is come to thee. Dost thou wish to
be polled or to be blooded? Indeed it was a tradition of Ibn
Abbas[FN#610] (Allah accept of him!) that the Apostle said,
'Whoso cutteth his hair on a Friday, the Lord shall avert from
him threescore and ten calamities;' and again is related of him
also that he said, 'Cupping on a Friday keepeth from loss of
sight and a host of diseases.'" "Leave this talk," I cried;
"come, shave me my head at once for I can't stand it." So he rose
and put forth his hand in most leisurely way and took out a
kerchief and unfolded it, and lo! it contained an
astrolabe[FN#611] with seven parallel plates mounted in silver.
Then he went to the middle of the court and raised head and
instrument towards the sun's rays and looked for a long while.
When this was over, he came back and said to me, "Know that there
have elapsed of this our day, which be Friday, and this Friday be
the tenth of the month Safar in the six hundred and fifty- third
year since the Hegira or Flight of the Apostle (on whom be the
bestest of blessings and peace!) and the seven thousand three
hundred and twentieth year of the era of Alexander, eight degrees
and six minutes. Furthermore the ascendant of this our day is,
according to the exactest science of computation, the planet
Mars; and it so happeneth that Mercury is in conjunction with
him, denoting an auspicious moment for hair cutting; and this
also maketh manifest to me that thou desires union with a certain
person and that your intercourse will not be propitious. But
after this there occurreth a sign respecting a matter which will
befall thee and whereof I will not speak." "O thou," cried I, "by
Allah, thou weariest me and scatterest my wits and thy forecast
is other than good; I sent for thee to poll my head and naught
else: so up and shave me and prolong not thy speech." "By Allah,"
replied he, "if thou but knew what is about to befall thee, thou
wouldst do nothing this day, and I counsel thee to act as I tell
thee by computation of the constellations." "By Allah," said I,
"never did I see a barber who excelled in judicial astrology save
thyself: but I think and I know that thou art most prodigal of
frivolous talk. I sent for thee only to shave my head, but thou
comest and pesterest me with this sorry prattle." "What more
wouldst thou have?" replied he. "Allah hath bounteously bestowed
on thee a Barber who is an astrologer, one learned in alchemy and
white magic;[FN#612] syntax, grammar, and lexicology; the arts of
logic, rhetoric and elocution; mathematics, arithmetic and
algebra; astronomy, astromancy and geometry; theology, the
Traditions of the Apostle and the Commentaries on the Koran.
Furthermore, I have read books galore and digested them and have
had experience of affairs and comprehended them. In short I have
learned the theorick and the practick of all the arts and
sciences; I know everything of them by rote and I am a past
master in tota re scibili. Thy father loved me for my lack of
officiousness, argal, to serve thee is a religious duty incumbent
on me. I am no busy body as thou seemest to suppose, and on this
account I am known as The Silent Man, also, The Modest Man.
Wherefore it behoveth thee to render thanks to Allah Almighty and
not cross me, for I am a true counsellor to thee and benevolently
minded towards thee. Would that I were in thy service a whole
year that thou mightest do me justice; and I would ask thee no
wage for all this." When I heard his flow of words, I said to
him, "Doubtless thou wilt be my death this day!"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

                When it was the Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
man said to the Barber, "Thou certainly will be the death of me
this very day!" "O master mine," replied he, "I am he, The Silent
Man hight, by reason of the fewness of my words, to distinguish
me from my six brothers. For the eldest is called Al-Bakbúk, the
prattler; the second Al-Haddár, the babbler; the third Al-Fakík,
the gabbler; the fourth, his name is Al-Kuz al-aswáni, the long
necked Gugglet, from his eternal chattering; the fifth is Al-
Nashshár, the tattler and tale teller; the sixth Shakáshik, or
many clamours; and the seventh is famous as Al-Sámit, The Silent
Man, and this is my noble self!" Whilst he redoubled his talk, I
thought my gall bladder would have burst; so I said to the
servant, "Give him a quarter dinar and dismiss him and let him go
from me in the name of God who made him. I won't have my head
shaved to day." "What words be these, O my lord?" cried he. "By
Allah! I will accept no hire of thee till I have served thee and
have ministered to thy wants; and I care not if I never take
money of thee. If thou know not my quality, I know thine; and I
owe thy father, an honest man, on whom Allah Almighty have mercy!
many a kindness, for he was a liberal soul and a generous. By
Allah, he sent for me one day, as it were this blessed day, and I
went in to him and found a party of his intimates about him.
Quoth he to me, 'Let me blood;' so I pulled out my astrolabe and,
taking the sun's altitude for him, I ascertained that the
ascendant was inauspicious and the hour unfavourable for
brooding. I told him of this, and he did according to my bidding
and awaited a better opportunity. So I made these lines in honour
of him:--

I went to my patron some blood to let him, * But found that the
     moment was far from good:
So I sat and I talked of all strangenesses, * And with jests and
     jokes his good will I wooed:
They pleased him and cried he, 'O man of wit, * Thou hast proved
     thee perfect in merry mood!'
Quoth I, 'O thou Lord of men, save thou * Lend me art and
     wisdom I'm fou and wood
In thee gather grace, boon, bounty, suavity, * And I guerdon the
     world with lore, science and gravity.'

Thy father was delighted and cried out to the servant, 'Give him
an hundred and three gold pieces with a robe of honour!' The man
obeyed his orders, and I awaited an auspicious moment, when I
blooded him; and he did not baulk me; nay he thanked me and I was
also thanked and praised by all present. When the blood-letting
was over I had no power to keep silence and asked him, 'By Allah,
O my lord, what made thee say to the servant, Give him an hundred
and three dinars?'; and he answered, 'One dinar was for the
astrological observation, another for thy pleasant conversation,
the third for the phlebotomisation, and the remaining hundred and
the dress were for thy verses in my commendation.'" "May Allah
show small mercy to my father," exclaimed I, "for knowing the
like of thee." He laughed and ejaculated, "There is no god but
the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God! Glory to Him that
changeth and is changed not! I took thee for a man of sense, but
I see thou babblest and dotest for illness. Allah hath said in
the Blessed Book,[FN#613] 'Paradise is prepared for the goodly
who bridle their anger and forgive men.' and so forth; and in any
case thou art excused. Yet I cannot conceive the cause of thy
hurry and flurry; and thou must know that thy father and thy
grandfather did nothing without consulting me, and indeed it hath
been said truly enough, 'Let the adviser be prized'; and, 'There
is no vice in advice'; and it is also said in certain saws,
'Whoso hath no counsellor elder than he, will never himself an
elder be';[FN#614] and the poet says:--

Whatever needful thing thou undertake, * Consult th' experienced
     and contraire him not!

And indeed thou shalt never find a man better versed in affairs
than I, and I am here standing on my feet to serve thee. I am not
vexed with thee: why shouldest thou be vexed with me? But
whatever happen I will bear patiently with thee in memory of the
much kindness thy father shewed me." "By Allah," cried I, "O thou
with tongue long as the tail of a jackass, thou persistest in
pestering me with thy prate and thou becomest more longsome in
thy long speeches, when all I want of thee is to shave my head
and wend thy way!" Then he lathered my head saying, "I perceive
thou art vexed with me, but I will not take it ill of thee, for
thy wit is weak and thou art but a laddy: it was only yesterday I
used to take thee on my shoulder[FN#615] and carry thee to
school.' "O my brother," said I, "for Allah's sake do what I want
and go thy gait!" And I rent my garments.[FN#616] When he saw me
do this he took the razor and fell to sharpening it and gave not
over stropping it until my senses were well nigh leaving me. Then
he came up to me and shaved part of my head; then he held his
hand and then he said, "O my lord, haste is Satan's gait whilst
patience is of Allah the Compassionate. But thou, O my master, I
ken thou knowest not my rank; for verily this hand alighteth upon
the heads of Kings and Emirs and Wazirs, and sages and doctors
learned in the law, and the poet said of one like me:--

All crafts are like necklaces strung on a string, * But this
     Barber's the union pear of the band:
High over all craftsmen he ranketh, and why? * The heads of the
     Kings are under his hand!"[FN#617]

Then said I, "Do leave off talking about what concerneth thee
not: indeed thou hast straitened my breast and distracted my
mind." Quoth he, "Meseems thou art a hasty man;" and quoth I,
"Yes ! yes! yes!" and he, "I rede thee practice restraint of
self, for haste is Satan's pelf which bequeatheth only repentance
and ban and bane, and He (upon whom be blessings and peace!) hath
said, 'The best of works is that wherein deliberation lurks;' but
I, by Allah! have some doubt about thine affair; and so I should
like thee to let me know what it is thou art in such haste to do,
for I fear me it is other than good." Then he continued, "It
wanteth three hours yet to prayer time; but I do not wish to be
in doubt upon this matter; nay, I must know the moment exactly,
for truly, 'A guess shot in times of doubt, oft brings harm
about;' especially in the like of me, a superior person whose
merits are famous amongst mankind at large; and it doth not befit
me to talk at random, as do the common sort of astrologers." So
saying, he threw down the razor and taking up the astrolabe, went
forth under the sun and stood there a long time; after which he
returned and counting on his fingers said to me, "There remain
still to prayer time three full hours and complete, neither more
nor yet less, according to the most learned astronomicals and the
wisest makers of almanacks." "Allah upon thee," cried I, "hold
thy tongue with me, for thou breakest my liver in pieces." So he
took the razor and, after sharpening it as before and shaving
other two hairs of my head, he again held his hand and said, "I
am concerned about thy hastiness and indeed thou wouldst do well
to let me into the cause of it; 't were the better for thee, as
thou knowest that neither thy father nor thy grandfather ever did
a single thing save by my advice." When I saw that there was no
escape from him I said to myself, "The time for prayer draws near
and I wish to go to her before the folk come out of the mosque.
If I am delayed much longer, I know not how to come at her." Then
said I aloud, "Be quick and stint this talk and impertinence, for
I have to go to a party at the house of some of my intimates."
When he heard me speak of the party, he said, "This thy day is a
blessed day for me! In very sooth it was but yesterday I invited
a company of my friends and I have forgotten to provide anything
for them to eat. This very moment I was thinking of it: Alas, how
I shall be disgraced in their eyes!" "Be not distressed about
this matter," answered I; "have I not told thee that I am bidden
to an entertainment this day? So every thing in my house, eatable
and drinkable, shall be thine, if thou wilt only get through thy
work and make haste to shave my head." He replied, "Allah requite
thee with good! Specify to me what is in thy house for my guests
that I may be ware of it." Quoth I, "Five dishes of meat and ten
chickens with reddened breasts[FN#618] and a roasted lamb." "Set
them before me," quoth he "that I may see them." So I told my
people to buy, borrow or steal them and bring them in anywise,
And had all this set before him. When he saw it he cried, "The
wine is wanting," and I replied, "I have a flagon or two of good
old grape- juice in the house," and he said, "Have it brought
out!" So I sent for it and he exclaimed, "Allah bless thee for a
generous disposition! But there are still the essences and
perfumes." So I bade them set before him a box containing
Nadd,[FN#619] the best of compound perfumes, together with fine
lign-aloes, ambergris and musk unmixed, the whole worth fifty
dinars. Now the time waxed strait and my heart straitened with
it; so I said to him, "Take it all and finish shaving my head by
the life of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!)." "By Allah,"
said he, "I will not take it till I see all that is in it." So I
bade the page open the box and the Barber laid down the
astrolabe, leaving the greater part of my head unpolled; and,
sitting on the ground, turned over the scents and incense and
aloes wood and essences till I was well nigh distraught. Then he
took the razor and coming up to me shaved off some few hairs and
repeated these lines:--

"The boy like his father shall surely show, * As the tree from
     its parent root shall grow."[FN#620]

Then said he, "By Allah, O my son, I know not whether to thank
thee or thy father; for my entertainment this day is all due to
thy bounty and beneficence; and, although none of my company be
worthy of it, yet I have a set of honourable men, to wit Zantut
the bath-keeper and Sali'a the corn-chandler; and Silat the bean-
seller; and Akrashah the greengrocer; and Humayd the scavenger;
and Sa'id the camel-man; and Suwayd the porter; and Abu Makarish
the bathman;[FN#621] and Kasim the watchman; and Karim the groom.
There is not among the whole of them a bore or a bully in his
cups; nor a meddler nor a miser of his money, and each and every
hath some dance which he danceth and some of his own couplets
which he caroleth; and the best of them is that, like thy
servant, thy slave here, they know not what much talking is nor
what forwardness means. The bath keeper sings to the tom-
tom[FN#622] a song which enchants; and he stands up and dances
and chants,

    'I am going, O mammy, to fill up my pot.'

As for the corn-chandler he brings more skill to it than any; he
dances and sings,

    'O Keener,[FN#623] 0 sweetheart, thou fallest not short'

and he leaves no one's vitals sound for laughing at him. But the
scavenger sings so that the birds stop to listen to him and
dances and sings,

    'News my wife wots is not locked in a box!'[FN#624]

And he hath privilege, for 'tis a shrewd rogue[FN#625] and a
witty; and speaking of his excellence I am wont to say,

My life for the scavenger! right well I love him, * Like a waving
     bough he is sweet to my sight:
Fate joined us one night, when to him quoth I * (The while I grew
     weak and love gained more might)
'Thy love burns my heart!' 'And no wonder,' quoth he * 'When the
     drawer of dung turns a stoker wight.'[FN#626]

And indeed each is perfect in whatso can charm the wit with joy
and jollity;" adding presently, "But hearing is not seeing; and
indeed if thou make up thy mind to join us and put off going to
thy friends, 'twill be better for us and for thee. The traces of
illness are yet upon thee and haply thou art going among folk who
be mighty talkers, men who commune together of what concerneth
them not; or there may be amongst them some forward fellow who
will split thy head, and thou half thy size from sickness." "This
shall be for some other day," answered I, and laughed with heart
angered: "finish thy work and go, in Allah Almighty's guard, to
thy friends, for they will be expecting thy coming." "O my lord,"
replied he, "I seek only to introduce thee to these fellows of
infinite mirth, the sons of men of worth, amongst whom there is
neither procacity nor dicacity nor loquacity; for never, since I
grew to years of discretion, could I endure to consort with one
who asketh questions concerning what concerneth him not, nor have
I ever frequented any save those who are, like myself, men of few
words. In sooth if thou were to company with them or even to see
them once, thou wouldst forsake all thy intimates." "Allah fulfil
thy joyance with them," said I, "needs must I come amongst them
some day or other." But he said, "Would it were this very day,
for I had set my heart upon thy making one of us; yet if thou
must go to thy friends to day, I will take these good things,
wherewith thou hast honoured and favoured me, to my guests and
leave them to eat and drink and not wait for me; whilst I will
return to thee in haste and accompany thee to thy little party;
for there is no ceremony between me and my intimates to prevent
my leaving them. Fear not, I will soon be back with thee and wend
with thee whithersoever thou wendest. There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" I
shouted, "Go thou to thy friends and make merry with them; and do
let me go to mine and be with them this day, for they expect me."
But the Barber cried, "I will not let thee go alone;" and I
replied, "The truth is none can enter where I am going save
myself." He rejoined, "I suspect that to day thou art for an
assignation with some woman, else thou hadst taken me with thee;
yet am I the right man to take, one who could aid thee to the end
thou wishest. But I fear me thou art running after strange women
and thou wilt lose thy life; for in this our city of Baghdad one
cannot do any thing in this line, especially on a day like
Friday: our Governor is an angry man and a mighty sharp blade."
"Shame on thee, thou wicked, bad, old man!" cried I, "Be off!
what words are these thou givest me?" "O cold of wit,"[FN#627]
cried he, "thou sayest to me what is not true and thou hidest thy
mind from me, but I know the whole business for certain and I
seek only to help thee this day with my best endeavour." I was
fearful lest my people or my neighbours should hear the Barber's
talk, so I kept silence for a long time whilst he finished
shaving my head; by which time the hour of prayer was come and
the Khutbah, or sermon, was about to follow. When he had done, I
said to him, "Go to thy friends with their meat and drink, and I
will await thy return. Then we will fare together." In this way I
hoped to pour oil on troubled waters and to trick the accursed
loon, so haply I might get quit of him; but he said, "Thou art
cozening me and thou wouldst go alone to thy appointment and cast
thyself into jeopardy, whence there will be no escape for thee.
Now by Allah! and again by Allah! do not go till I return, that I
may accompany thee and watch the issue of thine affair." "So be
it," I replied, "do not be long absent." Then he took all the
meat and drink I had given him and the rest of it and went out of
my house; but the accursed carle gave it in charge of a porter to
carry to his home but hid himself in one of the alleys. As for me
I rose on the instant, for the Muezzins had already called the
Salam of Friday, the salute to the Apostle;[FN#628] and I dressed
in haste and went out alone and, hurrying to the street, took my
stand by the house wherein I had seen the young lady. I found the
old woman on guard at the door awaiting me, and went up with her
to the upper story, the damsel's apartment. Hardly had I reached
it when behold, the master of the house returned from prayers and
entering the great saloon, closed the door. I looked down from
the window and saw this Barber (Allah's curse upon him!) sitting
over against the door and said, "How did this devil find me out?"
At this very moment, as Allah had decreed it for rending my veil
of secrecy, it so happened that a handmaid of the house master
committed some offence for which he beat her. She shrieked out
and his slave ran in to intercede for her, whereupon the Kazi
beat him to boot, and he also roared out. The damned Barber
fancied that it was I who was being beaten; so he also fell to
shouting and tore his garments and scattered dust on his head and
kept on shrieking and crying "Help ! Help !" So the people came
round about him and he went on yelling, "My master is being
murdered in the Kazi's house!" Then he ran clamouring to my place
with the folk after him, and told my people and servants and
slaves; and, before I knew what was doing, up they came tearing
their clothes and letting loose their hair[FN#629] and shouting,
"Alas, our master!"; and this Barber leading the rout with his
clothes rent and in sorriest plight; and he also shouting like a
madman and saying, "Alas for our murdered master!" And they all
made an assault upon the house in which I was. The Kazi, hearing
the yells and the uproar at his door, said to one of his
servants, "See what is the matter"; and the man went forth and
returned and said, "O my master, at the gate there are more than
ten thousand souls what with men and women, and all crying out,
'Alas for our murdered master!'; and they keep pointing to our
house." When the Kazi heard this, the matter seemed serious and
he waxed wroth; so he rose and opening the door saw a great crowd
of people; whereat he was astounded and said, "O folk! what is
there to do?" "O accursed! O dog! O hog!" my servants replied;
"'Tis thou who hast killed our master!" Quoth he, "O good folk,
and what hath your master done to me that I should kill him?"--
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

              When it was the Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazi
said to the servants, "What hath your master done to me that I
should kill him? This is my house and it is open to you all."
Then quoth the Barber, "Thou didst beat him and I heard him cry
out;" and quoth the Kazi, "But what was he doing that I should
beat him, and what brought him in to my house; and whence came he
and whither went he?" "Be not a wicked, perverse old man!" cried
the Barber, "for I know the whole story; and the long and short
of it is that thy daughter is in love with him and he loves her;
and when thou knewest that he had entered the house, thou badest
thy servants beat him and they did so: by Allah, none shall judge
between us and thee but the Caliph; or else do thou bring out our
master that his folk may take him, before they go in and save him
perforce from thy house, and thou be put to shame." Then said the
Kazi (and his tongue was bridled and his mouth was stopped by
confusion before the people), "An thou say sooth, do thou come in
and fetch him out." Whereupon the Barber pushed forward and
entered the house. When I saw this I looked about for a means of
escape and flight, but saw no hiding place except a great chest
in the upper chamber where I was. So I got into it and pulled the
lid down upon myself and held my breath. The Barber was hardly in
the room before he began to look about for me, then turned him
right and left and came straight to the place where I was, and
stepped up to the chest and, lifting it on his head, made off as
fast as he could. At this, my reason forsook me, for I knew that
he would not let me be; so I took courage and opening the chest
threw myself to the ground. My leg was broken in the fall, and
the door being open I saw a great concourse of people looking in.
Now I carried in my sleeve much gold and some silver, which I had
provided for an ill day like this and the like of such occasion;
so I kept scattering it amongst the folk to divert their
attention from me and, whilst they were busy scrambling for it, I
set off, hopping as fast as I could, through the by streets of
Baghdad, shifting and turning right and left. But whithersoever I
went this damned Barber would go in after me, crying aloud, "They
would have bereft me of my master! They would have slain him who
was a benefactor to me and my family and my friends! Praised be
Allah who made me prevail against them and delivered my lord from
their hands!" Then to me, "Where wilt thou go now? Thou wouldst
persist in following thine own evil devices, till thou broughtest
thyself to this ill pass; and, had not Allah vouchsafed me to
thee, ne'er hadst thou escaped this strait into which thou hast
fallen, for they would have cast thee into a calamity whence thou
never couldest have won free. But I will not call thee to account
for thine ignorance, as thou art so little of wit and
inconsequential and addicted to hastiness!" Said I to him, "Doth
not what thou hast brought upon me suffice thee, but thou must
run after me and talk me such talk in the bazaar streets?" And I
well nigh gave up the ghost for excess of rage against him. Then
I took refuge in the shop of a weaver amiddlemost of the market
and sought protection of the owner who drove the Barber away;
and, sitting in the back room,[FN#630] I said to myself, "If I
return home I shall never be able to get rid of this curse of a
Barber, who will be with me night and day; and I cannot endure
the sight of him even for a breathing space." So I sent out at
once for witnesses and made a will, dividing the greater part of
my property among my people, and appointed a guardian over them,
to whom I committed the charge of great and small, directing him
to sell my houses and domains. Then I set out on my travels that
I might be free of this pimp;[FN#631] and I came to settle in
your town where I have lived some time. When you invited me and I
came hither, the first thing I saw was this accursed pander
seated in the place of honour. How then can my heart be glad and
my stay be pleasant in company with this fellow who brought all
this upon me, and who was the cause of the breaking of my leg and
of my exile from home and native land. And the youth refused to
sit down and went away. When we heard his story (continued the
Tailor) we were amazed beyond measure and amused and said to the
Barber, "By Allah, is it true what this young man saith of thee?"
"By Allah," replied he, "I dealt thus by him of my courtesy and
sound sense and generosity. Had it not been for me he had
perished and none but I was the cause of his escape. Well it was
for him that he suffered in his leg and not in his life! Had I
been a man of many words, a meddler, a busy body, I had not acted
thus kindly by him; but now I will tell you a tale which befell
me, that you may be well assured I am a man sparing of speech in
whom is no forwardness and a very different person from those six
Brothers of mine; and this it is."

The Barber's Tale of Himself.

I was living in Baghdad during the times of Al-Mustansir
bi'llah,[FN#632] Son of Al-Mustazi bi'llah the then Caliph, a
prince who loved the poor and needy and companied with the
learned and pious. One day it happened to him that he was wroth
with ten persons, highwaymen who robbed on the Caliph's highway,
and he ordered the Prefect of Baghdad to bring them into the
presence on the anniversary of the Great Festival.[FN#633] So the
Prefect sallied out and, making them His prisoners, embarked with
them in a boat. I caught sight of them as they were embarking and
said to myself, "These are surely assembled for a marriage feast;
methinks they are spending their day in that boat eating and
drinking, and none shall be companion of their cups but I
myself." So I rose, O fair assembly; and, of the excess of my
courtesy and the gravity of my understanding, I embarked with
them and entered into conversation with them. They rowed across
to the opposite bank, where they landed and there came up the
watch and guardians of the peace with chains, which they put
round the robbers' necks. They chained me among the rest of them;
and, O people, is it not a proof of my courtesy and spareness of
speech, that I held my peace and did not please to speak? Then
they took us away in bilbos and next morning carried us all
before Al- Mustansir bi'llah, Commander of the Faithful, who bade
smite the necks of the ten robbers. So the Sworder came forward
after they were seated on the leather of blood;[FN#634] then
drawing his blade, struck off one head after another until he had
smitten the neck of the tenth; and I alone remained. The Caliph
looked at me and asked the Heads man, saying, "What ails thee
that thou hast struck off only nine heads?"; and he answered,
"Allah forbid that I should behead only nine, when thou biddest
me behead ten!" Quoth the Caliph, "Meseems thou hast smitten the
necks of only nine, and this man before thee is the tenth." "By
thy beneficence!" replied the Headsman, "I have beheaded ten."
"Count them!" cried the Caliph and whenas they counted heads, lo!
there were ten. The Caliph looked at me and said, "What made thee
keep silence at a time like this and how camest thou to company
with these men of blood? Tell me the cause of all this, for
albeit thou art a very old man, assuredly thy wits are weak." Now
when I heard these words from the Caliph I sprang to my feet and
replied, "Know, O Prince of the Faithful, that I am the Silent
Shaykh and am thus called to distinguish me from my six brothers.
I am a man of immense learning whilst, as for the gravity of my
understanding, the wiliness of my wits and the spareness of my
speech, there is no end of them; and my calling is that of a
barber. I went out early on yesterday morning and saw these men
making for a skiff; and, fancying they were bound for a marriage
feast, I joined them and mixed with them. After a while up came
the watch and guardians of the peace, who put chains round their
necks and round mine with the rest; but, in the excess of my
courtesy, I held my peace and spake not a word; nor was this
other but generosity on my part. They brought us into thy
presence, and thou gavest an order to smite the necks of the ten;
yet did I not make myself known to thee and remained silent
before the Sworder, purely of my great generosity and courtesy
which led me to share with them in their death. But all my life
long have I dealt thus nobly with mankind, and they requite me
the foulest and evillest requital!" When the Caliph heard my
words and knew that I was a man of exceeding generosity and of
very few words, one in whom is no forwardness (as this youth
would have it whom I rescued from mortal risk and who hath so
scurvily repaid me), he laughed with excessive laughter till he
fell upon his back. Then said he to me, "O Silent Man, do thy six
brothers favour thee in wisdom and knowledge and spareness of
speech?" I replied, "Never were they like me! Thou puttest
reproach upon me, O Commander of the Faithful, and it becomes
thee not to even my brothers with me; for, of the abundance of
their speech and their deficiency of courtesy and gravity, each
one of them hath gotten some maim or other. One is a monocular,
another palsied, a third stone blind, a fourth cropped of ears
and nose and a fifth shorn of both lips, while the sixth is a
hunchback and a cripple. And conceive not, O Commander of the
Faithful, that I am prodigal of speech; but I must perforce
explain to thee that I am a man of greater worth and fewer words
than any of them. From each one of my brothers hangs a tale of
how he came by his bodily defect and these I will relate to
thee." So the Caliph gave ear to

The Barber's Tale of his First Brother.

Know then, O Commander of the Faithful, that my first brother, Al
Bakbuk, the Prattler, is a Hunchback who took to tailoring in
Baghdad, and he used to sew in a shop hired from a man of much
wealth, who dwelt over the shop,[FN#635] and there was also a
flour-mill in the basement. One day as my brother, the Hunchback,
was sitting in his shop a tailoring, he chanced to raise his head
and saw a lady like the rising full moon at a balconied window of
his landlord's house, engaged in looking out at the passers
by.[FN#636] When my brother beheld her, his heart was taken with
love of her and he passed his whole day gazing at her and
neglected his tailoring till eventide. Next morning he opened his
shop and sat him down to sew; but, as often as he stitched a
stitch, he looked to the window and saw her as before; and his
passion and infatuation for her increased. On the third day as he
was sitting in his usual place gazing on her, she caught sight of
him and, perceiving that he had been captivated with love of her,
laughed in his face[FN#637] and he smiled back at her. Then she
disappeared and presently sent her slave girl to him with a
bundle containing a piece of red cowered silk. The handmaid
accosted him and said, "My lady salameth to thee and desireth
thee, of thy skill and good will, to fashion for her a shift of
this piece and to sew it handsomely with thy best sewing. He
replied, "Hearkening and obedience"; and shaped for her a chemise
and finished sewing it the same day. When the morning morrowed
the girl came back and said to him, "My lady salameth to thee and
asks how thou hast passed yesternight; for she hath not tasted
sleep by reason of her heart being taken up with thee. Then she
laid before him a piece of yellow satin and said, My lady biddeth
thee cut her two pair of petticoat trousers out of this piece and
sew them this very day." "Hearkening and obedience!' replied he,
"greet her for me with many greetings and say to her, Thy slave
is obedient to thine order; so command him as thou wilt." Then he
applied himself to cutting out and worked hard at sewing the
trousers; and after an hour the lady appeared at the lattice and
saluted him by signs, now casting down her eyes, then smiling in
his face, and he began to assure himself that he would soon make
a conquest. She did not let him stir till he had finished the two
pair of trousers, when she with drew and sent the handmaid to
whom he delivered them; and she took them and went her ways. When
it was night, he threw himself on his carpet bed, and lay tossing
about from side to side till morning, when he rose and sat down
in his place. Presently the damsel came to him and said, "My
master calleth for thee." Hearing these words he feared with
exceeding fear; but the slave girl, seeing his affright, said to
him, "No evil is meant to thee: naught but good awaiteth thee. My
lady would have thee make acquaintance with my lord." So my
brother the tailor, rejoicing with great joy, went with her; and
when he came into the presence of his landlord, the lady's
husband, he kissed the ground before him, and the master of the
house returned his greeting and gave him a great piece of linen
saying, "Shape me shirts out of this stuff and sew them well;"
and my brother answered, "To hear is to obey." Thereupon he fell
to work at once, snipping, shaping and sewing till he had
finished twenty shirts by supper time, without stopping to taste
food. The house master asked him, "How much the wage for this?";
and he answered, "Twenty dirhams." So the gentleman cried out to
the slave girl, "Bring me twenty dirhams," and my brother spake
not a word; but the lady signed, "Take nothing from him;'
whereupon my brother said, "By Allah I will take naught from thy
hand. And he carried off his tailor's gear and returned to his
shop, although he was destitute even to a red cent.[FN#638] Then
he applied himself to do their work; eating, in his zeal and
diligence, but a bit of bread and drinking only a little water
for three days. At the end of this time came the handmaid and
said to him, "What hast thou done?" Quoth he, "They are
finished," and carried the shirts to the lady's husband, who
would have paid him his hire: but he said, "I will take nothing,"
for fear of her and, returning to his shop, passed the night
without sleep because of his hunger. Now the dame had informed
her husband how the case stood (my brother knowing naught of
this); and the two had agreed to make him tailor for nothing, the
better to mock and laugh at him. Next morning he went to his
shop, and, as he sat there, the handmaid came to him and said,
"Speak with my master." So he accompanied her to the husband who
said to him, "I wish thee to cut out for me five long sleeved
robes."[FN#639] So he cut them out[FN#640] and took the stuff and
went away. Then he sewed them and carried them to the gentleman,
who praised his sewing and offered him a purse of silver. He put
out his hand to take it, but the lady signed to him from behind
her husband not to do so, and he replied, "O my lord, there is no
hurry, we have time enough for this." Then he went forth from the
house meaner and meeker than a donkey, for verily five things
were gathered together in him viz.: love, beggary, hunger,
nakedness and hard labour. Nevertheless he heartened himself with
the hope of gaining the lady's favours. When he had made an end
of all their jobs, they played him another trick and married him
to their slave girl; but, on the night when he thought to go in
to her, they said to him, "Lie this night in the mill; and to
morrow all will go well." My brother concluded that there was
some good cause for this and nighted alone in the mill. Now the
husband had set on the miller to make the tailor turn the mill:
so when night was half spent the man came in to him and began to
say, "This bull of ours hath be come useless and standeth still
instead of going round: he will not turn the mill this night, and
yet we have great store of corn to be ground. However, I'll yoke
him perforce and make him finish grinding it before morning, as
the folk are impatient for their flour." So he filled the hoppers
with grain and, going up to my brother with a rope in his hand,
tied it round his neck and said to him, "Gee up! Round with the
mill! thou, O bull, wouldst do nothing but grub and stale and
dung!" Then he took a whip and laid it on the shoulders and
calves of my brother, who began to howl and bellow; but none came
to help him; and he was forced to grind the wheat till hard upon
dawn, when the house master came in and, seeing my brother still
tethered to the yoke and the man flogging him, went away. At day
break the miller returned home and left him still yoked and half
dead; and soon after in came the slave girl who unbound him, and
said to him, "I and my lady are right sorry for what hath
happened and we have borne thy grief with thee." But he had no
tongue wherewith to answer her from excess of beating and mill
turning. Then he retired to his lodging and behold, the clerk who
had drawn up the marriage deed came to him[FN#641] and saluted
him, saying, "Allah give thee long life! May thy espousal be
blessed! This face telleth of pleasant doings and dalliance and
kissing and clipping from dusk to dawn." "Allah grant the liar no
peace, O thou thousandfold cuckold!", my brother replied, "by
Allah, I did nothing but turn the mill in the place of the bull
all night till morning!" "Tell me thy tale," quoth he; and my
brother recounted what had befallen him and he said, "Thy star
agrees not with her star; but an thou wilt I can alter the
contract for thee," adding, "'Ware lest another cheat be not in
store for thee." And my brother answered him, "See if thou have
not another contrivance." Then the clerk left him and he sat in
his shop, looking for some one to bring him a job whereby he
might earn his day's bread. Presently the handmaid came to him
and said, "Speak with my lady." "Begone, O my good girl," replied
he, "there shall be no more dealings between me and thy lady."
The handmaid returned to her mistress and told her what my
brother had said and presently she put her head out of the
window, weeping and saying, "Why, O my beloved, are there to be
no more dealings 'twixt me and thee?" But he made her no answer.
Then she wept and conjured him, swearing that all which had
befallen him in the mill was not sanctioned by her and that she
was innocent of the whole matter. When he looked upon her beauty
and loveliness and heard the sweetness of her speech, the sorrow
which had possessed him passed from his heart; he accepted her
excuse and he rejoiced in her sight. So he saluted her and talked
with her and sat tailoring awhile, after which the handmaid came
to him and said, "My mistress greeteth thee and informeth thee
that her husband purposeth to lie abroad this night in the house
of some intimate friends of his; so, when he is gone, do thou
come to us and spend the night with my lady in delightsomest
joyance till the morning." Now her husband had asked her, "How
shall we manage to turn him away from thee?"; and she answered,
"Leave me to play him another trick and make him a laughing stock
for all the town." But my brother knew naught of the malice of
women. As soon as it was dusk, the slave girl came to him and
carried him to the house, and when the lady saw him she said to
him, "By Allah, O my lord, I have been longing exceedingly for
thee." "By Allah," cried he, "kiss me quick before thou give me
aught else."[FN#642] Hardly had he spoken, when the lady's
husband came in from the next room[FN#643] and seized him,
saying, "By Allah, I will not let thee go, till I deliver thee to
the chief of the town watch." My brother humbled himself to him;
but he would not listen to him and carried him before the Prefect
who gave him an hundred lashes with a whip and, mounting him on a
camel, promenaded him round about the city, whilst the guards
proclaimed aloud, "This is his reward who violateth the Harims of
honourable men!" Moreover, he fell off the camel and broke his
leg and so became lame. Then the Prefect banished him from the
city; and he went forth unknowing whither he should wend; but I
heard of him and fearing for him went out after him and brought
him back secretly to the city and restored him to health and took
him into my house where he still liveth. The Caliph laughed at my
story and said, "Thou hast done well, O Samit, O Silent Man, O
spare of speech!"; and he bade me take a present and go away. But
I said, "I will accept naught of thee except I tell thee what
befell all my other brothers; and do not think me a man of many
words." So the Caliph gave ear to

The Barber's Tale of his Second Brother.

Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that my second brother's name
was Al-Haddar, that is the Babbler, and he was the paralytic. Now
it happened to him one day, as he was going about his business,
that an old woman accosted him and said, "Stop a little, my good
man, that I may tell thee of somewhat which, if it be to thy
liking, thou shalt do for me and I will pray Allah to give thee
good of it!" My brother stopped and she went on, "I will put thee
in the way of a certain thing, so thou not be prodigal of
speech." "On with thy talk," quoth he; and she, "What sayest thou
to handsome quarters and a fair garden with flowing waters,
flowers blooming, and fruit growing, and old wine going and a
pretty young face whose owner thou mayest embrace from dark till
dawn? If thou do whatso I bid thee thou shalt see something
greatly to thy advantage." "And is all this in the world?" asked
my brother; and she answered, "Yes, and it shall be thine, so
thou be reasonable and leave idle curiosity and many words, and
do my bidding." "I will indeed, O my lady," said he, "how is it
thou hast preferred me in this matter before all men and what is
it that so much pleaseth thee in me?" Quoth she, "Did I not bid
thee be spare of speech? Hold thy peace and follow me. Know, that
the young lady, to whom I shall carry thee, loveth to have her
own way and hateth being thwarted and all who gainsay; so, if
thou humour her, thou shalt come to thy desire of her." And my
brother said, "I will not cross her in anything." Then she went
on and my brother followed her, an hungering after what she
described to him till they entered a fine large house, handsome
and choicely furnished, full of eunuchs and servants and showing
signs of prosperity from top to bottom. And she was carrying him
to the upper story when the people of the house said to him,
"What dost thou here?" But the old woman answered them, "Hold
your peace and trouble him not: he is a workman and we have
occasion for him." Then she brought him into a fine great
pavilion, with a garden in its midst, never eyes saw a fairer;
and made him sit upon a handsome couch. He had not sat long, be
fore he heard a loud noise and in came a troop of slave girls
surrounding a lady like the moon on the night of its fullest.
When he saw her, he rose up and made an obeisance to her,
whereupon she welcomed him and bade him be seated. So he sat down
and she said to him, "Allah advance thee to honour! Is all well
with thee?" "O my lady," he answered, "all with me is right
well." Then she bade bring in food, and they set before her
delicate viands; so she sat down to eat, making a show of
affection to my brother and jesting with him, though all the
while she could not refrain from laughing; but as often as he
looked at her, she signed towards her handmaidens as though she
were laughing at them. My brother (the ass!) understood nothing;
but, in the excess of his ridiculous passion, he fancied that the
lady was in love with him and that she would soon grant him his
desire. When they had done eating, they set on the wine and there
came in ten maidens like moons, with lutes ready strung in their
hands, and fell to singing with full voices, sweet and sad,
whereupon delight gat hold upon him and he took the cup from the
lady's hands and drank it standing. Then she drank a cup of wine
and my brother (still standing) said to her "Health," and bowed
to her. She handed him another cup and he drank it off, when she
slapped him hard on the nape of his neck.[FN#644] Upon this my
brother would have gone out of the house in anger; but the old
woman followed him and winked to him to return. So he came back
and the lady bade him sit and he sat down without a word. Then
she again slapped him on the nape of his neck; and the second
slapping did not suffice her, she must needs make all her
handmaidens also slap and cuff him, while he kept saying to the
old woman, "I never saw aught nicer than this." She on her side
ceased not exclaiming, "Enough, enough, I conjure thee, O my
mistress!"; but the women slapped him till he well nigh swooned
away. Presently my brother rose and went out to obey a call of
nature, but the old woman overtook him, and said, "Be patient a
little and thou shalt win to thy wish." "How much longer have I
to wait," my brother replied, "this slapping hath made me feel
faint." "As soon as she is warm with wine," answered she, "thou
shalt have thy desire." So he returned to his place and sat down,
where upon all the handmaidens stood up and the lady bade them
perfume him with pastiles and besprinkle his face with rose-
water. Then said she to him, "Allah advance thee to honour! Thou
hast entered my house and hast borne with my conditions, for
whoso thwarteth me I turn him away, and whoso is patient hath his
desire." "O mistress mine," said he, "I am thy slave and in the
hollow of thine hand!" "Know, then," continued she, "that Allah
hath made me passionately fond of frolic; and whoso falleth in
with my humour cometh by whatso he wisheth." Then she ordered her
maidens to sing with loud voices till the whole company was
delighted; after which she said to one of them, "Take thy lord,
and do what is needful for him and bring him back to me
forthright." So the damsel took my brother (and he not knowing
what she would do with him); but the old woman overtook him and
said, "Be patient; there remaineth but little to do." At this his
face brightened and he stood up before the lady while the old
woman kept saying, "Be patient; thou wilt now at once win to thy
wish!"; till he said, "Tell me what she would have the maiden do
with me?" "Nothing but good," replied she, "as I am thy
sacrifice! She wisheth only to dye thy eyebrows and pluck out thy
mustachios." Quoth he, "As for the dyeing of my eye brows, that
will come off with washing,[FN#645] but for the plucking out of
my mustachios, that indeed is a somewhat painful process." "Be
cautious how thou cross her," cried the old woman; "for she hath
set her heart on thee." So my brother patiently suffered her to
dye his eyebrows and pluck out his mustachios, after which the
maiden returned to her mistress and told her. Quoth she
"Remaineth now only one other thing to be done; thou must shave
his beard and make him a smooth o' face."[FN#646] So the maiden
went back and told him what her mistress had bidden her do; and
my brother (the blockhead!) said to her, "How shall I do what
will disgrace me before the folk?" But the old woman said, "She
would do on this wise only that thou mayst be as a beardless
youth and that no hair be left on thy face to scratch and prick
her delicate cheeks; for indeed she is passionately in love with
thee. So be patient and thou shalt attain thine object." My
brother was patient and did her bidding and let shave off his
beard and, when he was brought back to the lady, lo! he appeared
dyed red as to his eyebrows, plucked of both mustachios, shorn of
his beard, rouged on both cheeks. At first she was affrighted at
him; then she made mockery of him and, laughing till she fell
upon her back, said, "O my lord, thou hast indeed won my heart by
thy good nature!" Then she conjured him, by her life, to stand up
and dance, and he arose, and capered about, and there was not a
cushion in the house but she threw it at his head, and in like
manner did all her women who also kept pelting him with oranges
and lemons and citrons till he fell down senseless from the
cuffing on the nape of the neck, the pillowing and the fruit
pelting. "Now thou hast attained thy wish," said the old woman
when he came round; "there are no more blows in store for thee
and there remaineth but one little thing to do. It is her wont,
when she is in her cups, to let no one have her until she put off
her dress and trousers and remain stark naked.[FN#647] Then she
will bid thee doff thy clothes and run; and she will run before
thee as if she were flying from thee; and do thou follow her from
place to place till thy prickle stands at fullest point, when she
will yield to thee;"[FN#648] adding, "Strip off thy clothes at
once." So he rose, well nigh lost in ecstasy and, doffing his
raiment, showed himself mother naked.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

              When it was the Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old woman said to the Barber's second brother, "Doff thy
clothes," he rose, well nigh lost in ecstasy; and, stripping off
his raiment, showed himself mother naked. Whereupon the lady
stripped also and said to my brother, "If thou want anything run
after me till thou catch me." Then she set out at a run and he
ran after her while she rushed into room after room and rushed
out of room after room, my brother scampering after her in a rage
of desire like a veritable madman, with yard standing terribly
tall. After much of this kind she dashed into a darkened place,
and he dashed after her; but suddenly he trod upon a yielding
spot, which gave way under his weight; and, before he was aware
where he was, he found himself in the midst of a crowded market,
part of the bazaar of the leather sellers who were crying the
prices of skins and hides and buying and selling. When they saw
him in his plight, naked, with standing yard, shorn of beard and
mustachios, with eyebrows dyed red, and cheeks ruddied with
rouge, they shouted and clapped their hands at him, and set to
flogging him with skins upon his bare body till a swoon came over
him. Then they threw him on the back of an ass and carried him to
the Chief of Police. Quoth the Chief, "What is this?" Quoth they,
"This fellow fell suddenly upon us out of the Wazir's
house[FN#649] in this state." So the Prefect gave him an hundred
lashes and then banished him from Baghdad. However I went out
after him and brought him back secretly into the city and made
him a daily allowance for his living: although, were it not for
my generous humour, I could not have put up with the like of him.
Then the Caliph gave ear to

The Barber's Tale of his Third Brother.

My third brother's name was Al-Fakík, the Gabbler, who was blind.
One day Fate and Fortune drove him to a fine large house, and he
knocked at the door, desiring speech of its owner that he might
beg somewhat of him. Quoth the master of the house, "Who is at
the door?" But my brother spake not a word and presently he heard
him repeat with a loud voice, "Who is this?" Still he made no
answer and immediately heard the master walk to the door and open
it and say, "What dost thou want?" My brother answered "Something
for Allah Almighty's sake."[FN#650] "Art thou blind?" asked the
man, and my brother answered "Yes." Quoth the other, "Stretch me
out thy hand." So my brother put out his hand thinking that he
would give him something; but he took it and, drawing him into
the house, carried him up from stair to stair till they reached
the terrace on the house top, my brother thinking the while that
he would surely give him something of food or money. Then he
asked my brother, "What dost thou want, O blind man?" and he
answered, "Something for the Almighty's sake." "Allah open for
thee some other door!" "O thou! why not say so when I was below
stairs?" "O cadger, why not answer me when I first called to
thee?" "And what meanest thou to do for me now?" "There is
nothing in the house to give thee." "Then take me down the
stair." "The path is before thee." So my brother rose and made
his way downstairs, till he came within twenty steps of the door,
when his foot slipped and he rolled to the bottom and broke his
head. Then he went out, unknowing whither to turn, and presently
fell in with two other blind men, companions of his, who said to
him, "What didst thou gain to day?" He told them what had
befallen him and added, "O my brothers, I wish to take some of
the money in my hands and provide myself with it." Now the master
of the house had followed him and was listening to what they
said; but neither my brother nor his comrades knew of this. So my
brother went to his lodging and sat down to await his companions,
and the house owner entered after him without being perceived.
When the other blind men arrived, my brother said to them, "Bolt
the door and search the house lest any stranger have followed
us." The man, hearing this, caught hold of a cord that hung from
the ceiling and clung to it, whilst they went round about the
house and searched but found no one. So they came back, and,
sitting beside my brother, brought out their money which they
counted and lo! it was twelve thousand dirhams. Each took what he
wanted and they buried the rest in a corner of the room. Then
they set on food and sat down, to eat. Presently my brother,
hearing a strange pair of jaws munching by his side,[FN#651] said
to his friends, "There is a stranger amongst us;" and, putting
forth his hand, caught hold of that of the house master.
Thereupon all fell on him and beat him;[FN#652] and when tired of
belabouring him they shouted, "O ye Moslems! a thief is come in
to us, seeking to take our money!" A crowd gathered around them,
whereupon the intruder hung on to them; and complained with them
as they complained, and, shutting his eyes like them, so that
none might doubt his blindness, cried out, "O Moslems, I take
refuge with Allah and the Governor, for I have a matter to make
known to him!" Suddenly up came the watch and, laying hands on
the whole lot (my brother being amongst them), drove them[FN#653]
to the Governor's who set them before him and asked, "What news
with you?" Quoth the intruder, "Look and find out for thyself,
not a word shall be wrung from us save by torture, so begin by
beating me and after me beat this man our leader."[FN#654] And he
pointed to my brother. So they threw the man at full length and
gave him four hundred sticks on his backside. The beating pained
him, whereupon he opened one eye and, as they redoubled their
blows, he opened the other eye. When the Governor saw this he
said to him, "What have we here, O accursed?"; whereto he
replied, "Give me the seal-ring of pardon! We four have shammed
blind, and we impose upon people that we may enter houses and
look upon the unveiled faces of the women and contrive for their
corruption. In this way we have gotten great gain and our store
amounts to twelve thousand dirhams. Said I to my company, 'Give
me my share, three thousand;' but they rose and beat me and took
away my money, and I seek refuge with Allah and with thee; better
thou have my share than they. So, if thou wouldst know the truth
of my words, beat one and every of the others more than thou hast
beaten me, and he will surely open his eyes." The Governor gave
orders for the question to begin with my brother, and they bound
him to the whipping post,[FN#655] and the Governor said, "O scum
of the earth, do ye abuse the gracious gifts of Allah and make as
if ye were blind!" "Allah! Allah!" cried my brother, "by Allah,
there is none among us who can see." Then they beat him till he
swooned away and the Governor cried, "Leave him till he come to
and then beat him again." After this he caused each of the
companions to receive more than three hundred sticks, whilst the
sham Abraham kept saying to them "Open your eyes or you will be
beaten afresh." At last the man said to the Governor, "Dispatch
some one with me to bring thee the money; for these fellows will
not open their eyes, lest they incur disgrace before the folk."
So the Governor sent to fetch the money and gave the man his
pretended share, three thousand dirhams; and, keeping the rest
for himself, banished the three blind men from the city. But I, O
Commander of the Faithful, went out and overtaking my brother
questioned him of his case; whereupon he told me of what I have
told thee; so I brought him secretly into the city, and appointed
him (in the strictest privacy) an allowance for meat and drink!
The Caliph laughed at my story and said, "Give him a gift and let
him go;" but I said, "By Allah! I will take naught till I have
made known to the Commander of the Faithful what came to pass
with the rest of my brothers; for truly I am a man of few words
and spare of speech." Then the Caliph gave ear to

The Barber's Tale of his Fourth Brother.

Now as for my fourth brother, O Commander of the Faithful, Al-Kuz
al-aswáni, or the long necked Gugglet hight, from his brimming
over with words, the same who was blind of one eye, he became a
butcher in Baghdad and he sold flesh and fattened rams; and great
men and rich bought their meat of him, so that he amassed much
wealth and got him cattle and houses. He fared thus a long while,
till one day, as he was sitting in his shop, there came up an old
man and long o' the beard, who laid down some silver and said,
"Give me meat for this." He gave him his money s worth of flesh
and the oldster went his ways. My brother examined the Shaykh's
silver, and, seeing that the dirhams were white and bright, he
set them in a place apart. The greybeard continued to return to
the shop regularly for five months, and my brother ceased not to
lay up all the coin he received from him in its own box. At last
he thought to take out the money to buy sheep; so he opened the
box and found in it nothing, save bits of white paper cut round
to look like coin;[FN#656] so he buffeted his face and cried
aloud till the folk gathered about him, whereupon he told them
his tale which made them marvel exceedingly. Then he rose as was
his wont, and slaughtering a ram hung it up inside his shop;
after which he cut off some of the flesh, and hanging it outside
kept saying to himself, "O Allah, would the ill omened old fellow
but come!" And an hour had not passed before the Shaykh came with
his silver in hand; where upon my brother rose and caught hold of
him calling out, "Come aid me, O Moslems, and learn my story with
this villain!" When the old man heard this, he quietly said to
him, "Which will be the better for thee, to let go of me or to be
disgraced by me amidst the folk?" "In what wilt thou disgrace
me?" "In that thou sellest man's flesh for mutton!" "Thou liest,
thou accursed!" "Nay, he is the accursed who hath a man hanging
up by way of meat in his shop. If the matter be as thou sayest, I
give thee lawful leave to take my money and my life." Then the
old man cried out aloud, "Ho, ye people! if you would prove the
truth of my words, enter this man's shop." The folk rushed in and
found that the ram was become a dead man[FN#657] hung up for
sale. So they set upon my brother crying out, "O Infidel! O
villain!"; and his best friends fell to cuffing and kicking him
and kept saying, "Dost thou make us eat flesh of the sons of
Adam?" Furthermore, the old man struck him on the eye and put it
out. Then they carried the carcass, with the throat cut, before
the Chief of the city watch, to whom the old man said, "O Emir,
this fellow butchers men and sells their flesh for mutton and we
have brought him to thee; so arise and execute the judgments of
Allah (to whom be honour and glory!)." My brother would have
defended himself, but the Chief refused to hear him and sentenced
him to receive five hundred sticks and to forfeit the whole of
his property. And, indeed, had it not been for that same property
which he expended in bribes, they would have surely slain him.
Then the Chief banished him from Baghdad; and my brother fared
forth at a venture, till he came to a great town, where he
thought it best to set up as a cobbler; so he opened a shop and
sat there doing what he could for his livelihood. One day, as he
went forth on his business, he heard the distant tramp of horses
and, asking the cause, was told that the King was going out to
hunt and course; so my brother stopped to look at the fine suite.
It so fortuned that the King's eye met my brother's; whereupon
the King hung down his head and said, "I seek refuge with Allah
from the evil of this day!";[FN#658] and turned the reins of his
steed and returned home with all his retinue. Then he gave orders
to his guards, who seized my brother and beat him with a beating
so painful that he was well nigh dead; and my brother knew not
what could be the cause of his maltreatment, after which he
returned to his place in sorriest plight. Soon afterwards he went
to one of the King's household and related what had happened to
him; and the man laughed till he fell upon his back and cried, "O
brother mine, know that the King cannot bear to look at a
monocular, especially if he be blind of the right eye, in which
case he doth not let him go without killing him." When my brother
heard this, he resolved to fly from that city; so he went forth
from it to another wherein none knew him and there he abode a
long while. One day, being full of sorrowful thought for what had
befallen him, he sallied out to solace himself; and, as he was
walking along, he heard the distant tramp of horses behind him
and said, "The judgement of Allah is upon me!" and looked about
for a hiding place but found none. At last he saw a closed door
which he pushed hard: it yielded. and he entered a long gallery
in which he took refuge, but hardly had he done so, when two men
set upon him crying out, "Allah be thanked for having delivered
thee into our hands, O enemy of God! These three nights thou hast
robbed us of our rest and sleep, and verily thou hast made us
taste of the death cup." My brother asked, "O folk, what ails
you?"; and they answered, "Thou givest us the change and goest
about to disgrace us and plannest some plot to cut the throat of
the house master! Is it not enough that thou hast brought him to
beggary, thou and thy fellows? But now give us up the knife
wherewith thou threatenest us every night." Then they searched
him and found in his waist belt the knife used for his shoe
leather; and he said, "O people, have the fear of Allah before
your eyes and maltreat me not, for know that my story is a right
strange!" "And what is thy story?" said they: so he told them
what had befallen him, hoping they would let him go; however they
paid no heed to what he said and, instead of showing some regard,
beat him grievously and tore off his clothes: then, finding on
his sides the scars of beating with rods, they said, "O accursed!
these marks are the manifest signs of thy guilt!" They carried
him before the Governor, whilst he said to himself, "I am now
punished for my sins and none can deliver me save Allah
Almighty!" The Governor addressing my brother asked him, "O
villain, what led thee to enter their house with intention to
murther?"; and my brother answered, "I conjure thee by Allah, O
Emir, hear my words and be not hasty in condemning me!" But the
Governor cried, "Shall we listen to the words of a robber who
hath beggared these people, and who beareth on his back the scar
of his stripes?" adding, "They surely had not done this to thee,
save for some great crime." So he sentenced him to receive an
hundred cuts with the scourge, after which they set him on a
camel and paraded him about the city, proclaiming, "This is the
requital and only too little to requite him who breaketh into
people's houses." Then they thrust him out of the city, and my
brother wandered at random, till I heard what had befallen him;
and, going in search of him, questioned him of his case; so he
acquainted me with his story and all his mischances, and I
carried him secretly to the city where I made him an allowance
for his meat and drink. Then the Caliph gave ear to

The Barber's Tale of his Fifth Brother.

My fifth brother, Al-Nashshár,[FN#659] the Babbler, the same who
was cropped of both ears, O Commander of the Faithful, was an
asker wont to beg of folk by night and live on their alms by day.
Now when our father, who was an old man well stricken in years
sickened and died, he left us seven hundred dirhams whereof each
son took his hundred; but, as my fifth brother received his
portion, he was perplexed and knew not what to do with it. While
in this uncertainty he bethought him to lay it out on glass ware
of all sorts and turn an honest penny on its price. So he bought
an hundred dirhams worth of verroterie and, putting it into a big
tray, sat down to sell it on a bench at the foot of a wall
against which he leant back. As he sat with the tray before him
he fell to musing and said to himself, "Know, O my good Self,
that the head of my wealth, my principal invested in this glass
ware, is an hundred dirhams. I will assuredly sell it for two
hundred with which I will forthright buy other glass and make by
it four hundred; nor will I cease to sell and buy on this wise,
till I have gotten four thousand and soon find myself the master
of much money. With these coins I will buy merchandise and jewels
and ottars[FN#660] and gain great profit on them; till, Allah
willing, I will make my capital an hundred thousand dirhams. Then
I will purchase a fine house with white slaves and eunuchs and
horses; and I will eat and drink and disport myself; nor will I
leave a singing man or a singing woman in the city, but I will
summon them to my palace and make them perform before me." All
this he counted over in his mind, while the tray of glass ware,:
worth an hundred dirhams, stood on the bench before him, and,
after looking at it, he continued, "And when, Inshallah! my
capital shall have become one hundred thousand[FN#661] dinars, I
will send out marriage brokeresses to require for me in wedlock
the daughters of Kings and Wazirs; and I will demand to wife the
eldest daughter of the Prime Minister; for it hath reached me
that she is perfect in beauty and prime in loveliness and rare in
accomplishments. I will give a marriage settlement of one
thousand dinars; and, if her father consent, well: but if not I
will take her by force from under his very nose. When she is
safely homed in my house, I will buy ten little eunuchs[FN#662]
and for myself a robe of the robes of Kings and Sultans; and get
me a saddle of gold and a bridle set thick with gems of price.
Then I will mount with the Mamelukes preceding me and surrounding
me, and I will make the round of the city whilst the folk salute
me and bless me; after which I will repair to the Wazir (he that
is father of the girl) with armed white slaves before and behind
me and on my right and on my left. When he sees me, the Wazir
stands up, and seating me in his own place sits down much below
me; for that I am to be his son in law. Now I have with me two
eunuchs carrying purses, each containing a thousand dinars; and
of these I deliver to him the thousand, his daughter's marriage
settlement, and make him a free gift of the other thousand, that
he may have reason to know my generosity and liberality and my
greatness of spirit and the littleness of the world in my eyes.
And for ten words he addresses to me I answer him two. Then back
I go to my house, and if one come to me on the bride's part, I
make him a present of money and throw on him a dress of honour;
but if he bring me a gift, I give it back to him and refuse to
accept it,[FN#663] that they may learn what a proud spirit is
mine which never condescends to derogate. Thus I establish my
rank and status. When this is done I appoint her wedding night
and adorn my house showily! gloriously! And as the time for
parading the bride is come, I don my finest attire and sit down
on a mattress of gold brocade, propping up my elbow with a
pillow, and turning neither to the right nor to the left; but
looking only straight in front for the haughtiness of my mind and
the gravity of my understanding. And there before me stands my
wife in her raiment and ornaments, lovely as the full moon; and
I, in my loftiness and dread lordliness,[FN#664] will not glance
at her till those present say to me, 'O our lord and our master,
thy wife, thy handmaid, standeth before thee; vouchsafe her one
look, for standing wearieth her.' Then they kiss the ground
before me many times; whereupon I raise my eyes and cast at her
one single glance and turn my face earthwards again. Then they
bear her off to the bride chamber,[FN#665] and I arise and change
my clothes for a far finer suit; and, when they bring in the
bride a second time, I deign not to throw her a look till they
have begged me many times; after which I glance at her out of the
corner of one eye, and then bend down my head. I continue acting
after this fashion till the parading and displaying are
completed[FN#666]"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her per misted say.

              When It was the Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Barber's fifth brother proceeded: - "Then I bend down my head and
continue acting after this fashion till her parading and
displaying are completed. Thereupon I order one of my eunuchs to
bring me a bag of five hundred dinars which I give as largesse to
the tire women present and bid them one and all lead me to the
bride chamber. When they leave me alone with her I neither look
at her nor speak to her, but lie[FN#667] by her side with my face
to the wall showing my contempt, that each and every may again
remark how high and haughty I am. Presently her mother comes in
to me, and kissing[FN#668] my head and hand, says to me, 'O my
lord, look upon thine handmaid who longs for thy favour; so heal
her broken spirit!' I give her no answer; and when she sees this
she rises and busses my feet many times and says, 'O my lord, in
very sooth my daughter is a beautiful maid, who hath never known
man; and if thou show her this backwardness and aversion, her
heart will break; so do thou incline to her and speak to her and
soothe her mind and spirit.' Then she rises and fetches a cup of
wine; and says to her daughter, 'Take it and hand it to thy
lord.' But as e approaches me I leave her standing between my
hands and sit, propping my elbow on a round cushion purfled with
gold thread, leaning lazily back, and without looking at her in
the majesty of my spirit, so that she may deem me indeed a Sultan
and a mighty man. Then she says to me, 'O my lord, Allah upon
thee, do not refuse to take the cup from the hand of thine hand
maid, for verily I am thy bondswoman.' But I do not speak to her
and she presses me, saying, 'There is no help but that thou drink
it;' and she puts it to my lips. Then I shake my fist in her face
and kick her with my foot thus." So he let out with his toe an
knocked over the tray of glass ware which fell to the ground and,
falling from the bench, all that was on it was broken to bits. 'O
foulest of pimps,[FN#669] this comes from the pride of my
spirit'" cried my brother; and then, O Commander of the Faithful,
he buffeted his face and rent his garments and kept on weeping
and beating himself. The folk who were flocking to their Friday
prayers saw him; and some of them looked at him and pitied him,
whilst others paid no heed to him, and in this way my bother lost
both capital and profit. He remained weeping a long while, and at
last up came a beautiful lady, the scent of musk exhaling from
her, who was going to Friday prayers riding a mule with a gold
saddle and followed by several eunuchs. When she saw the broken
glass and my brother weeping, her kind heart was moved to pity
for him, and she asked what ailed him and was told that he had a
tray full of glass ware by the sale of which he hoped to gain his
living, but it was broken, and (said they), "there befell him
what thou seest." Thereupon she called up one of her eunuchs and
said to him, Give what thou hast with thee to this poor fellow!".
And he gave my brother a purse in which he found five hundred
dinars; and when it touched his hand he was well nigh dying for
excess of joy and he offered up blessings for her. Then he
returned to his abode a substantial man; and, as he sat
considering, some one rapped at the door. So he rose and opened
and saw an old woman whom he had never seen. "O my son," said
she, "know that prayer tide is near and I have not yet made my
Wuzu-ablution;[FN#670] so kindly allow me the use of thy lodging
for the purpose." My brother answered, "To hear is to comply;"
and going in bade her follow him. So she entered and he brought
her an ewer wherewith to wash, and sat down like to fly with joy
because of the dinars which he had tied up in his belt for a
purse. When the old woman had made an end of her ablution, she
came up to where he sat, and prayed a two bow prayer; after which
she blessed my brother with a godly benediction, and he while
thanking her put his hand to the dinars and gave her two, saying
to himself "These are my voluntaries."[FN#671] When she saw the
gold she cried, "Praise be to Allah! why dost thou look on one
who loveth thee as if she were a beggar? Take back thy money: I
have no need of it; or, if thou want it not, return it to her who
gave it thee when thy glass ware was broken. Moreover, if thou
wish to be united with her, I can manage the matter, for she is
my mistress." "O my mother," asked my brother, "by what manner of
means can I get at her?"; and she answered, "O my son! she hath
an inclination for thee, but she is the wife of a wealthy man; so
take the whole of thy money with thee and follow me, that I may
guide thee to thy desire: and when thou art in her company spare
neither persuasion nor fair words, but bring them all to bear
upon her; so shalt thou enjoy her beauty and wealth to thy
heart's content." My brother took all his gold and rose and
followed the old woman, hardly believing in his luck. She ceased
not faring on, and my brother following her, till they came to a
tall gate at which she knocked and a Roumi slave-girl[FN#672]
came out and opened to them. Then the old woman led my brother
into a great sitting room spread with wondrous fine carpets and
hung with curtains, where he sat down with his gold before him,
and his turband on his knee.[FN#673] He had scarcely taken seat
before there came to him a young lady (never eye saw fairer) clad
in garments of the most sumptuous; whereupon my brother rose to
his feet, and she smiled in his face and welcomed him, signing to
him to be seated. Then she bade shut the door and, when it was
shut, she turned to my brother, and taking his hand conducted him
to a private chamber furnished with various kinds of brocades and
gold cloths. Here he sat down and she sat by his side and toyed
with him awhile; after which she rose and saying, "Stir not from
thy seat till I come back to thee;" disappeared. Meanwhile as he
was on this wise, lo! there came in to him a black slave big of
body and bulk and holding a drawn sword in hand, who said to him,
"Woe to thee! Who brought thee hither and what dost thou want
here?" My brother could not return him a reply, being tongue tied
for terror; so the blackamoor seized him and stripped him of his
clothes and bashed him with the flat of his sword blade till he
fell to the ground, swooning from excess of belabouring. The ill
omened nigger fancied that there was an end of him and my brother
heard him cry, "Where is the salt wench?"[FN#674] Where upon in
came a handmaid holding in hand a large tray of salt, and the
slave kept rubbing it into my brother's wounds;[FN#675] but he
did not stir fearing lest the slave might find out that he was
not dead and kill him outright. Then the salt girl went away, and
the slave cried Where is the souterrain[FN#676] guardianess?"
Hereupon in came the old woman and dragged my brother by his feet
to a souterrain and threw him down upon a heap of dead bodies. In
this place he lay two full days, but Allah made the salt the
means of preserving his life by staunching the blood and staying
its flow Presently, feeling himself able to move, Al-Nashshar
rose and opened the trap door in fear and trembling and crept out
into the open; and Allah protected him, so that he went on in the
darkness and hid himself in the vestibule till dawn, when he saw
the accursed beldam sally forth in quest of other quarry. He
followed in her wake without her knowing it, and made for his own
lodging where he dressed his wounds and medicined himself till he
was whole. Meanwhile he used to watch the old woman, tracking her
at all times and seasons, and saw her accost one man after
another and carry them to the house. However he uttered not a
word; but, as soon as he waxed hale and hearty, he took a piece
of stuff and made it into a bag which he filled with broken glass
and bound about his middle. He also disguised himself as a
Persian that none might know him, and hid a sword under his
clothes of foreign cut. Then he went out and presently, falling
in with the old woman, said to her, speaking Arabic with a
Persian accent, "Venerable lady,[FN#677] I am a stranger arrived
but this day here where I know no one. Hast thou a pair of scales
wherein I may weigh eleven hundred dinars? I will give thee
somewhat of them for thy pains." "I have a son, a money changer,
who keepeth all kinds of scales," she answered, "so come with me
to him before he goeth out and he will weigh thy gold." My
brother answered "Lead the way!" She led him to the house and the
young lady herself came out and opened it, whereupon the old
woman smiled in her face and said, "I bring thee fat meat
today."[FN#678] Then the damsel took my brother by the hand, and
led him to the same chamber as before; where she sat with him
awhile then rose and went forth saying, "Stir not from thy seat
till I come back to thee." Presently in came the accursed slave
with the drawn sword and cried to my brother, "Up and be damned
to thee." So he rose, and as the slave walked on before him he
drew the sword from under his clothes and smote him with it,
making head fly from body. Then he dragged the corpse by the feet
to the souterrain and called out, "Where is the salt wench?" Up
came the girl carrying the tray of salt and, seeing my brother
sword in hand, turned to fly; but he followed her and struck off
her head. Then he called out, "Where is the souterrain
guardianess? , and in came the old woman to whom he said, "Dost
know me again, ill omened hag?" "No my lord," she replied, and he
said, "I am the owner of the five hundred gold pieces, whose
house thou enteredst to make the ablution and to pray, and whom
thou didst snare hither and betray." "Fear Allah and spare me,"
cried she; but he regarded her not and struck her with the sword
till he had cut her in four. Then he went to look for the young
lady; and when she saw him her reason fled and she cried out
piteously "Aman![FN#679] Mercy!" So he spared her and asked,
"What made thee consort with this blackamoor?", and she answered,
"I was slave to a certain merchant, and the old woman used to
visit me till I took a liking to her. One day she said to me, 'We
have a marriage festival at our house the like of which was never
seen and I wish thee to enjoy the sight.' 'To hear is to obey,'
answered I, and rising arrayed myself in my finest raiment and
ornaments, and took with me a purse containing an hundred gold
pieces. Then she brought me hither and hardly had I entered the
house when the black seized on me, and I have remained in this
case three whole years through the perfidy of the accursed
beldam." Then my brother asked her, "Is there anything of his in
the house?"; whereto she answered, "Great store of wealth, and if
thou art able to carry it away, do so and Allah give thee good of
it" My brother went with her and she opened to him sundry chests
wherein were money bags, at which he was astounded; then she said
to him, "Go now and leave me here, and fetch men to remove the
money.", He went out and hired ten men, but when he returned he
found the door wide open, the damsel gone and nothing left but
some small matter of coin and the household stuffs.[FN#680] By
this he knew that the girl had overreached him; so he opened the
store rooms and seized what was in them, together with the rest
of the money, leaving nothing in the house. He passed the night
rejoicing, but when morning dawned he found at the door some
twenty troopers who laid hands on him saying, "The Governor wants
thee!" My brother implored them hard to let him return to his
house; and even offered them a large sum of money; but they
refused and, binding him fast with cords, carried him off. On the
way they met a friend of my brother who clung to his skirt and
implored his protection, begging him to stand by him and help to
deliver him out of their hands. The man stopped, and asked them
what was the matter, and they answered, "The Governor hath
ordered us to bring this fellow before him and, look ye, we are
doing so." My brother's friend urged them to release him, and
offered them five hundred dinars to let him go, saying, "When ye
return to the Governor tell him that you were unable to find
him." But they would not listen to his words and took my brother,
dragging him along on his face, and set him before the Governor
who asked him, "Whence gottest thou these stuffs and monies?";
and he answered, "I pray for mercy!" So the Governor gave him the
kerchief of mercy;[FN#681] and he told him all that had befallen
him from first to last with the old woman and the flight of the
damsel; ending with, "Whatso I have taken, take of it what thou
wilt, so thou leave me sufficient to support life."[FN#682] But
the Governor took the whole of the stuffs and all the money for
himself; and, fearing lest the affair come to the Sultan's ears,
he summoned my brother and said, "Depart from this city, else I
will hang thee." "Hearing and obedience" quoth my brother and set
out for another town. On the way thieves fell foul of him and
stripped and beat him and docked his ears; but I heard tidings of
his misfortunes and went out after him taking him clothes; and
brought him secretly into the city where I assigned to him an
allowance for meat and drink. And presently the Caliph gave ear

The Barber's Tale of his Sixth Brother.

My sixth brother, O Commander of the Faithful, Shakashik,[FN#683]
or Many clamours, the shorn of both lips, was once rich and
became poor, so one day he went out to beg somewhat to keep life
in him. As he was on the road he suddenly caught sight of a large
and handsome mansion, with a detached building wide and lofty at
the entrance, where sat sundry eunuchs bidding and
forbidding.[FN#684] My brother enquired of one of those idling
there and he replied "The palace belongs to a scion of the
Barmaki house;" so he stepped up to the door keepers and asked an
alms of them "Enter," said they, "by the great gate and thou
shalt get what thou seekest from the Wazir our master."
Accordingly he went in and, passing through the outer entrance,
walked on a while and presently came to a mansion of the utmost
beauty and elegance, paved with marble, hung with curtains and
having in the midst of it a flower garden whose like he had never
seen.[FN#685] My brother stood awhile as one bewildered not
knowing whither to turn his steps; then, seeing the farther end
of the sitting chamber tenanted, he walked up to it and there
found a man of handsome presence and comely beard. When this
personage saw my brother he stood up to him and welcomed him and
asked him of his case; whereto he replied that he was in want and
needed charity. Hearing these words the grandee showed great
concern and, putting his hand to his fine robe, rent it
exclaiming, "What! am I in a City, and thou here an hungered? I
have not patience to bear such disgrace!" Then he promised him
all manner of good cheer and said, "There is no help but that
thou stay with me and eat of my salt."[FN#686] "O my lord,"
answered my brother, "I can wait no longer; for I am indeed dying
of hunger." So he cried, "Ho boy! bring basin and ewer;" and,
turning to my brother, said, "O my guest come forward and wash
thy hands." My brother rose to do so but he saw neither ewer nor
basin; yet his host kept washing his hands with invisible soap in
imperceptible water and cried, "Bring the table!" But my brother
again saw nothing. Then said the host, "Honour me by eating of
this meat and be not ashamed." And he kept moving his hand to and
fro as if he ate and saying to my brother, "I wonder to see thee
eating thus sparely: do not stint thyself for I am sure thou art
famished." So my brother began to make as though he were eating
whilst his host kept saying to him, "Fall to, and note especially
the excellence of this bread and its whiteness!" But still my
brother saw nothing. Then said he to himself, "This man is fond
of poking fun at people;" and replied, "O my lord, in all my days
I never knew aught more winsome than its whiteness or sweeter
than its savour." The Barmecide said, "This bread was baked by a
hand maid of mine whom I bought for five hundred dinars." Then he
called out, "Ho boy, bring in the meat pudding[FN#687] for our
first dish, and let there be plenty of fat in it;" and, turning
to my brother said, "O my guest, Allah upon thee, hast ever seen
anything better than this meat pudding? Now by my life, eat and
be not abashed." Presently he cried out again, "Ho boy, serve up
the marinated stew[FN#688] with the fatted sand grouse in it;"
and he said to my brother, "Up and eat, O my guest, for truly
thou art hungry and needest food." So my brother began wagging
his jaws and made as if champing and chewing,[FN#689] whilst the
host continued calling for one dish after another and yet
produced nothing save orders to eat. Presently he cried out, "Ho
boy, bring us the chickens stuffed with pistachio nuts;" and said
to my brother, "By thy life, O my guest, I have fattened these
chickens upon pistachios; eat, for thou hast never eaten their
like." "O my lord," replied my brother, "they are indeed first
rate." Then the host began motioning with his hand as though he
were giving my brother a mouthful; and ceased not to enumerate
and expatiate upon the various dishes to the hungry man whose
hunger waxt still more violent, so that his soul lusted after a
bit of bread, even a barley scone.[FN#690] Quoth the Barmecide,
"Didst thou ever taste anything more delicious than the seasoning
of these dishes?"; and quoth my brother, "Never, O my lord!" "Eat
heartily and be not ashamed," said the host, and the guest, "I
have eaten my fill of meat;" So the entertainer cried, "Take away
and bring in the sweets;" and turning to my brother said, "Eat of
this almond conserve for it is prime and of these honey fritters;
take this one, by my life, the syrup runs out of it." "May I
never be bereaved of thee, O my lord," replied the hungry one and
began to ask him about the abundance of musk in the fritters.
"Such is my custom," he answered: "they put me a dinar weight of
musk in every honey fritter and half that quantity of ambergris."
All this time my brother kept wagging head and jaws till the
master cried, "Enough of this. Bring us the dessert!" Then said
he to him,' "Eat of these almonds and walnuts and raisins; and of
this and that (naming divers kinds of dried fruits), and be not
abashed." But my brother replied, "O my lord, indeed I am full: I
can eat no more." "O my guest," repeated the host, "if thou have
a mind to these good things eat: Allah! Allah![FN#691] do not
remain hungry;" but my brother rejoined, "O my lord, he who hath
eaten of all these dishes how can he be hungry?" Then he
considered and said to himself, "I will do that shall make him
repent of these pranks." Presently the entertainer called out
"Bring me the wine;" and, moving his hands in the air, as though
they had set it before them, he gave my brother a cup and said,
"Take this cup and, if it please thee, let me know." "O my lord,"
he replied, "it is notable good as to nose but I am wont to drink
wine some twenty years old." "Knock then at this door,"[FN#692]
quoth the host "for thou canst not drink of aught better." "By
thy kindness," said my brother, motioning with his hand as though
he were drinking. "Health and joy to thee," exclaimed the house
master and feigned to fill a cup and drink it off; then he handed
another to my brother who quaffed it and made as if he were
drunken. Presently he took the host unawares; and, raising his
arm till the white of his armpit appeared, dealt him such a cuff
on the nape of his neck that the palace echoed to it. Then he
came down upon him with a second cuff and the entertainer cried
aloud "What is this, O thou scum of the earth?" "O my lord,"
replied my brother, "thou hast shown much kindness to thy slave,
and admitted him into thine abode and given him to eat of thy
victual; then thou madest him drink of thine old wine till he
became drunken and boisterous; but thou art too noble not to bear
with his ignorance and pardon his offence." When the Barmaki
heard my brother's words he laughed his loudest and said, "Long
have I been wont to make mock of men and play the madcap among my
intimates, but never yet have I come across a single one who had
the patience and the wit to enter into all my humours save
thyself: so I forgive thee, and thou shalt be my boon companion
in very sooth and never leave me." Then he ordered the servants
to lay the table in earnest and they set on all the dishes of
which he had spoken in sport; and he and my brother ate till they
were satisfied; after which they removed to the drinking chamber,
where they found damsels like moons who sang all manner songs and
played on all manner instruments. There they remained drinking
till their wine got the better of them and the host treated my
brother like a familiar friend, so that he became as it were his
brother, and bestowed on him a robe of honour and loved him with
exceeding love. Next morning the two fell again to feasting and
carousing, and ceased not to lead this life for a term of twenty
years; at the end of which the Barmecide died and the Sultan took
possession of all his wealth and squeezed my brother of his
savings, till he was left a pauper without a penny to handle. So
he quitted the city and fled forth following his face;[FN#693]
but, when he was half way between two towns, the wild Arabs fell
on him and bound him and carried him to their camp, where his
captor proceeded to torture him, saying, "Buy thy life of me with
thy money, else I will slay thee!" My brother began to weep and
replied, "By Allah, I have nothing, neither gold nor silver; but
I am thy prisoner; so do with me what thou wilt." Then the Badawi
drew a knife, broad bladed and so sharp grinded that if plunged
into a camel's throat it would sever it clean across from one
jugular to the other,[FN#694] and cut off my brother's lips and
waxed more instant in requiring money. Now this Badawi had a fair
wife who in her husband's absence used to make advances to my
brother and offer him her favours, but he held off from her. One
day she began to tempt him as usual and he played with her and
made her sit on his lap, when behold, in came the Badawi who,
seeing this, cried out, "Woe to thee, O accursed villain,
wouldest thou debauch my wife for me?" Then he took out a knife
and cut off my brother's yard, after which he bound him on the
back of a camel and, carrying him to a mountain, left him there.
He was at last found by some who recognised him and gave him meat
and drink and acquainted me with his condition; whereupon I went
forth to him and brought him back to Baghdad where I made him an
allowance sufficient to live on. This, then, O Commander of the
Faithful, is the history of my six brothers, and I feared to go
away without relating it all to thee and leave thee in the error
of judging me to be like them. And now thou knowest that I have
six brothers upon my hands and, being more upright than they, I
support the whole family. When the Caliph heard my story and all
I told him concerning my brothers, he laughed and said, "Thou
sayest sooth, O Silent Man! thou art indeed spare of speech nor
is there aught of forwardness in thee; but now go forth out of
this city and settle in some other." And he banished me under
edict. I left Baghdad and travelled in foreign parts till I heard
of his death and the accession of another to the Caliphate. Then
I returned to Baghdad where I found all my brothers dead and
chanced upon this young man, to whom I rendered the kindliest
service, for without me he had surely been killed. Indeed he
slanders me and accuses me of a fault which is not in my nature;
and what he reports concerning impudence and meddling and
forwardness is idle and false; for verily on his account I left
Baghdad and travelled about full many a country till I came to
this city and met him here in your company. And was not this, O
worthy assemblage, of the generosity of my nature?

The End of the Tailor's Tale.

Then quoth the Tailor to the King of China: When we heard the
Barber's tale and saw the excess of his loquacity and the way in
which he had wronged this young man, we laid hands on him and
shut him up, after which we sat down in peace, and ate and drank
and enjoyed the good things of the marriage feast till the time
of the call to mid afternoon prayer, when I left the party and
returned home. My wife received me with sour looks and said,
"Thou goest a pleasuring among thy friends and thou leavest me to
sit sorrowing here alone. So now, unless thou take me abroad and
let me have some amusement for the rest of the day, I will cut
the rope[FN#695] and it will be the cause of my separation from
thee." So I took her out and we amused ourselves till supper
time, when we returned home and fell in with this Hunchback who
was brimful of drink and trolling out these rhymes:

"Clear's the wine, the cup's fine;   * Like to like they combine:
It is wine and not cup!              * 'Tis a cup and not wine!"

So I invited him to sup with us and went out to buy fried fish;
after which we sat down to eat; and presently my wife took a
piece of bread and a fid of fish and stuffed them into his mouth
and he choked; and, though I slapped him long and hard between
the shoulders, he died. Then I carried him off and contrived to
throw him into the house of this leach, the Jew; and the leach
contrived to throw him into the house of the Reeve; and the Reeve
contrived to throw him on the way of the Nazarene broker. This,
then, is my adventure which befell me but yesterday. Is not it
more wondrous than the story of the Hunchback? When the King of
China heard the Tailor's tale he shook his head for pleasure;
and, showing great surprise, said, "This that passed between the
young man and the busy-body of a Barber is indeed more pleasant
and wonderful than the story of my lying knave of a Hunchback."
Then he bade one of his Chamberlains go with the Tailor and bring
the Barber out of jail, saying, "I wish to hear the talk of this
Silent Man and it shall be the cause of your deliverance one and
all: then we will bury the Hunchback, for that he is dead since
yesterday, and set up a tomb over him."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her per misted say.

              When it was the Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King of
China bade, "Bring me the Barber who shall be the cause of your
deliverance; then we will bury this Hunchback, for that he is
dead since yesterday and set up a tomb over him." So the
Chamberlain and the Tailor went to the jail and, releasing the
Barber, presently returned with him to the King. The Sultan of
China looked at him and considered him carefully and lo and
behold! he was an ancient man, past his ninetieth year; swart of
face, white of beard, and hoar of eyebrows; lop eared and
proboscis-nosed,[FN#696] with a vacant, silly and conceited
expression of countenance. The King laughed at this figure o' fun
and said to him, "O Silent Man, I desire thee to tell me somewhat
of thy history." Quoth the Barber, "O King of the age, allow me
first to ask thee what is the tale of this Nazarene and this Jew
and this Moslem and this Hunchback (the corpse) I see among you?
And prithee what may be the object of this assemblage?" Quoth the
King of China, "And why dost thou ask?" "I ask," he replied, "in
order that the King's majesty may know that I am no forward
fellow or busy body or impertinent meddler; and that I am
innocent of their calumnious charges of overmuch talk; for I am
he whose name is the Silent Man, and indeed peculiarly happy is
my sobriquet, as saith the poet:

When a nickname or little name men design, * Know that nature
     with name shall full oft combine."

Then said the King, "Explain to the Barber the case of this
Hunchback and what befell him at supper time; also repeat to him
the stories told by the Nazarene, the Jew, the Reeve, and the
Tailor; and of no avail to me is a twice told tale." They did his
bidding, and the Barber shook his head and said, "By Allah, this
is a marvel of marvels! Now uncover me the corpse of yonder
Hunchback. They undid the winding sheet and he sat down and,
taking the Hunchback's head in his lap, looked at his face and
laughed and guffaw'd[FN#697] till he fell upon his back and said,
"There is wonder in every death,[FN#698] but the death of this
Hunchback is worthy to be written and recorded in letters of
liquid gold!" The bystanders were astounded at his words and the
King marvelled and said to him, "What ails thee, O Silent Man?
Explain to us thy words !" "O King of the age," said the Barber,
"I swear by thy beneficence that there is still life in this
Gobbo Golightly!" Thereupon he pulled out of his waist belt a
barber's budget, whence he took a pot of ointment and anointed
therewith the neck of the Hunchback and its arteries. Then he
took a pair of iron tweezers and, inserting them into the
Hunchback's throat, drew out the fid of fish with its bone; and,
when it came to sight, behold, it was soaked in blood. Thereupon
the Hunchback sneezed a hearty sneeze and jumped up as if nothing
had happened and passing his hand over his face said, "I testify
that there is no god, but the God, and I testify that Mohammed is
the Apostle of God." At this sight all present wondered; the King
of China laughed till he fainted and in like manner did the
others. Then said the Sultan, "By Allah, of a truth this is the
most marvellous thing I ever saw! O Moslems, O soldiers all, did
you ever in the lives of you see a man die and be quickened
again? Verily had not Allah vouchsafed to him this Barber, he had
been a dead man!" Quoth they, "By Allah, 'tis a marvel of
marvels." Then the King of China bade record this tale, so they
recorded it and placed it in the royal muniment-rooms; after
which he bestowed costly robes of honour upon the Jew, the
Nazarene and the Reeve, and bade them depart in all esteem. Then
he gave the Tailor a sumptuous dress and appointed him his own
tailor, with suitable pay and allowances; and made peace between
him and the Hunchback, to whom also he presented a splendid and
expensive suit with a suitable stipend. He did as generously with
the Barber, giving him a gift and a dress of honour; moreover he
settled on him a handsome solde and created him Barber
surgeon[FN#699] of state and made him one of his cup companions.
So they ceased not to live the most pleasurable life and the most
delectable, till there came to them the Destroyer of all delights
and the Sunderer of all societies, the Depopulator of palaces and
the Garnerer for graves. Yet, O most auspicious King! (continued
Shahrazad) this tale is by no means more wonderful than that of
the two Wazirs and Anís al-Jalís. Quoth her sister Dunyazad, "And
what may that be?", whereupon she began to relate the following
tale of

End of Vol. 1.

                    Arabian Nights, Volume 1

[FN#1] Allaho A'alam, a deprecatory formula, used because the
writer is going to indulge in a series of what may possibly be

[FN#2] The "Sons of Sásán" are the famous Sassanides whose
dynasty ended with the Arabian Conquest (A.D. 641). "Island"
Jazírah) in Arabic also means "Peninsula," and causes much
confusion in geographical matters.

[FN#3] Shahryár not Shahriyar (Persian) = "City-friend." The
Bulak edition corrupts it to Shahrbáz (City-hawk), and the
Breslau to Shahrbán or "Defender of the City," like
Marz-ban=Warden of the Marshes. Shah Zamán (Persian)="King of the
Age:" Galland prefers Shah Zenan, or "King of women," and the
Bull edit. changes it to Shah Rummán, "Pomegranate King." Al-Ajam
denotes all regions not Arab (Gentiles opposed to Jews,
Mlechchhas to Hindus, Tajiks to Turks, etc., etc.), and
especially Persia; Ajami (a man of Ajam) being an equivalent of
the Gr. {Greek Letters}. See Vol.. ii., p. 1.

[FN#4] Galland writes "Vizier," a wretched frenchification of a
mincing Turkish mispronunciation; Torrens, "Wuzeer" (Anglo-
Indian and Gilchristian); Lane, "Wezeer"; (Egyptian or rather
Cairene); Payne, "Vizier," according to his system; Burckhardt
(Proverbs), "Vizír;" and Mr. Keith-Falconer, "Vizir." The root is
popularly supposed to be "wizr" (burden) and the meaning
"Minister;" Wazir al-Wuzará being "Premier." In the Koran (chaps.
xx., 30) Moses says, "Give me a Wazir of my family, Harun (Aaron)
my brother." Sale, followed by the excellent version of the Rev.
J. M. Rodwell, translates a "Counsellor," and explains by "One
who has the chief administration of affairs under a prince." But
both learned Koranists learnt their Orientalism in London, and,
like such students generally, fail only upon the easiest points,
familiar to all old dwellers in the East.

[FN#5] This three-days term (rest-day, drest-day and departure
day) seems to be an instinct-made rule in hospitality. Among
Moslems it is a Sunnat or practice of the Prophet.)

[FN#6] i.e., I am sick at heart.

[FN#7] Debauched women prefer negroes on account of the size of
their parts. I measured one man in Somali-land who, when
quiescent, numbered nearly six inches. This is a characteristic
of the negro race and of African animals; e.g. the horse; whereas
the pure Arab, man and beast, is below the average of Europe; one
of the best proofs by the by, that the Egyptian is not an
Asiatic, but a negro partially white-washed. Moreover, these
imposing parts do not increase proportionally during erection;
consequently, the "deed of kind" takes a much longer time and
adds greatly to the woman's enjoyment. In my time no honest Hindi
Moslem would take his women-folk to Zanzibar on account of the
huge attractions and enormous temptations there and thereby
offered to them. Upon the subject of Imsák = retention of semen
and "prolongation of pleasure," I shall find it necessary to say

[FN#8] The very same words were lately spoken in England proving
the eternal truth of The Nights which the ignorant call
"downright lies."

[FN#9] The Arab's Tue la!

[FN#10] Arab. "Sayd wa kanas": the former usually applied to
fishing; hence Sayda (Sidon) = fish-town. But noble Arabs (except
the Caliph Al-Amin) do not fish; so here it means simply "sport,"
chasing, coursing, birding (oiseler), and so forth.

[FN#11] In the Mac. Edit. the negro is called "Mas'úd"; here he
utters a kind of war-cry and plays upon the name, "Sa'ád, Sa'íd,
Sa'úd," and "Mas'ud", all being derived from one root, "Sa'ad" =
auspiciousness, prosperity.

[FN#12] The Arab. singular (whence the French "génie"), fem.
Jinniyah; the Div and Rakshah of old Guebre-land and the
"Rakshasa," or "Yaksha," of Hinduism. It would be interesting to
trace the evident connection, by no means "accidental," of "Jinn"
with the "Genius" who came to the Romans through the Asiatic
Etruscans, and whose name I cannot derive from "gignomai" or
"genitus." He was unknown to the Greeks, who had the Daimon
{Greek Letters}, a family which separated, like the Jinn and the
Genius, into two categories, the good (Agatho-dæmons) and the bad
(Kako-dæmons). We know nothing concerning the status of the Jinn
amongst the pre-Moslemitic or pagan Arabs: the Moslems made him a
supernatural anthropoid being, created of subtile fire (Koran
chapts. xv. 27; lv. 14), not of earth like man, propagating his
kind, ruled by mighty kings, the last being Ján bin Ján,
missionarised by Prophets and subject to death and Judgment. From
the same root are "Junún" = madness (i.e., possession or
obsession by the Jinn) and "Majnún"=a madman. According to R.
Jeremiah bin Eliazar in Psalm xii. 5, Adam was excommunicated for
one hundred and thirty years, during which he begat children in
his own image (Gen. v. 3) and these were Mazikeen or Shedeem-
Jinns. Further details anent the Jinn will presently occur.

[FN#13] Arab. "Amsár" (cities): in Bull Edit. "Amtár" (rains), as
in Mac. Edit. So Mr. Payne (I., 5) translates: And when she
flashes forth the lightning of her glance, She maketh eyes to
rain, like showers, with many a tear. I would render it, "She
makes whole cities shed tears," and prefer it for a reason which
will generally influence merits superior exaggeration and

[FN#14] Not "A-frit," pronounced Aye-frit, as our poets have it.
This variety of the Jinn, who, as will be shown, are divided into
two races like mankind, is generally, but not always, a malignant
being, hostile and injurious to mankind (Koran xxvii. 39).

[FN#15] i.e., "I conjure thee by Allah;" the formula is
technically called "Inshád."

[FN#16] This introducing the name of Allah into an indecent tale
is essentially Egyptian and Cairene. But see Boccaccio ii. 6, and
vii. 9.

[FN#17] So in the Mac. Edit.; in others "ninety." I prefer the
greater number as exaggeration is a part of the humour. In the
Hindu "Kathá Sárit Ságara" (Sea of the Streams of Story), the
rings are one hundred and the catastrophe is more moral, the good
youth Yashodhara rejects the wicked one's advances; she awakes
the water-sprite, who is about to slay him, but the rings are
brought as testimony and the improper young person's nose is duly
cut off. (Chap. Ixiii.; p. 80, of the excellent translation by
Prof. C. H. Tawney: for the Bibliotheca Indica: Calcutta, 1881.)
The Kathá, etc., by Somadeva (century xi), is a poetical version
of the prose compendium, the "Vrihat Kathá" (Great Story) by
Gunadhya (cent. vi).

[FN#18] The Joseph of the Koran, very different from him of
Genesis. We shall meet him often enough in The Nights.

[FN#19] "Iblis," vulgarly written "Eblis," from a root meaning
The Despairer, with a suspicious likeness to Diabolos; possibly
from "Bales," a profligate. Some translate it The Calumniator, as
Satan is the Hater. Iblis (who appears in the Arab. version of
the N. Testament) succeeded another revolting angel Al-Haris; and
his story of pride refusing to worship Adam, is told four times
in the Koran from the Talmud (Sanhedrim 29). He caused Adam and
Eve to lose Paradise (ii. 34); he still betrays mankind (xxv.
31), and at the end of time he, with the other devils, will be
"gathered together on their knees round Hell" (xix. 69). He has
evidently had the worst of the game, and we wonder, with Origen,
Tillotson, Burns and many others, that he does not throw up the

[FN#20] A similar tale is still told at Akká (St. John d'Acre)
concerning the terrible "butcher"--Jazzár (Djezzar) Pasha. One
can hardly pity women who are fools enough to run such risks.
According to Frizzi, Niccolò, Marquis of Este, after beheading
Parisina, ordered all the faithless wives of Ferrara to be
treated in like manner.

[FN#21] "Shahrázád" (Persian) = City-freer, in the older version
Scheherazade (probably both from Shirzád=lion-born).
"Dunyázád"=World-freer. The Bres. Edit. corrupts former to
Sháhrzád or Sháhrazád, and the Mac. and Calc. to Shahrzád or
Shehrzád. I have ventured to restore the name as it should be.
Galland for the second prefers Dinarzade (?) and Richardson
Dinazade (Dinázád = Religion-freer): here I have followed Lane
and Payne; though in "First Footsteps" I was misled by Galland.
See Vol. ii. p. 1.

[FN#22] Probably she proposed to "Judith" the King. These learned
and clever young ladies are very dangerous in the East.

[FN#23] In Egypt, etc., the bull takes the place of the Western
ox. The Arab. word is "Taur" (Thaur, Saur); in old Persian "Tore"
and Lat. "Taurus," a venerable remnant of the days before the
"Semitic" and "Aryan" families of speech had split into two
distinct growths. "Taur" ends in the Saxon "Steor" and the
English "Steer "

[FN#24] Arab. "Abú Yakzán" = the Wakener, because the ass brays
at dawn.

[FN#25] Arab. "Tibn"; straw crushed under the sledge: the hay of
Egypt, Arabia, Syria, etc. The old country custom is to pull up
the corn by handfuls from the roots, leaving the land perfectly
bare: hence the "plucking up" of Hebrew Holy Writ. The object is
to preserve every atom of "Tibn."

[FN#26] Arab. "Yá Aftah": Al-Aftah is an epithet of the bull,
also of the chameleon.

[FN#27] Arab. "Balíd," a favourite Egyptianism often pleasantly
confounded with "Wali" (a Santon), hence the latter comes to mean
"an innocent," a "ninny."

[FN#28] From the Calc. Edit., Vol. 1., p. 29.

[FN#29] Arab. "Abu Yakzán" is hardly equivalent with "Père

[FN#30] In Arab. the wa (x) is the sign of parenthesis.

[FN#31] In the nearer East the light little plough is carried
afield by the bull or ass.

[FN#32] Ocymum basilicum, the "royal herb," so much prized all
over the East, especially in India, where, under the name of
"Tulsi," it is a shrub sacred to the merry god Krishna. I found
the verses in a MS. copy of The Nights.

[FN#33] Arab. "Sadaf," the Kauri, or cowrie, brought from the
Maldive and Lakdive Archipelago. The Kámús describes this "Wada'"
or Concha Veneris as "a white shell (whence to "shell out") which
is taken out of the sea, the fissure of which is white like that
of the date-stone. It is hung about the neck to avert the evil
eye." The pearl in Arab. is "Murwarid," hence evidently
"Margarita" and Margaris (woman's name).

[FN#34] Arab. "Kat'a" (bit of leather): some read "Nat'a;" a
leather used by way of table-cloth, and forming a bag for
victuals; but it is never made of bull's hide.

[FN#35] The older "Cadi," a judge in religious matters. The
Shuhúd, or Assessors, are officers of the Mahkamah or Kazi's

[FN#36] Of which more in a future page. He thus purified himself
ceremonially before death.

[FN#37] This is Christian rather than Moslem: a favourite Maltese
curse is "Yahrak Kiddisak man rabba-k!" = burn the Saint who
brought thee up!

[FN#38] A popular Egyptian phrase: the dog and the cock speak
like Fellahs.

[FN#39] i. e. between the last sleep and dawn when they would
rise to wash and pray.

[FN#40] Travellers tell of a peculiar knack of jerking the
date-stone, which makes it strike with great force: I never saw
this "Inwá" practised, but it reminds me of the water splashing
with one hand in the German baths.

[FN#41] i.e., sorely against his will.

[FN#42] Arab. "Shaykh"=an old man (primarily), an elder, a chief
(of the tribe, guild, etc.), and honourably addressed to any man.
Comp. among the neo Latins "Sieur," "Signora," "Señor," "Senhor,"
etc. from Lat. "Senior," which gave our "Sire" and "Sir." Like
many in Arabic the word has a host of different meanings and most
of them will occur in the course of The Nights. Ibrahim (Abraham)
was the first Shaykh or man who became grey. Seeing his hairs
whiten he cried, "O Allah what is this?" and the answer came that
it was a sign of dignified gravity. Hereupon he exclaimed, "O
Lord increase this to me!" and so it happened till his locks
waxed snowy white at the age of one hundred and fifty. He was the
first who parted his hair, trimmed his mustachios, cleaned his
teeth with the Miswák (tooth-stick), pared his nails, shaved his
pecten, snuffed up water, used ablution after stool and wore a
shirt (Tabari).

[FN#43] The word is mostly plural = Jinnís: it is also singular =
a demon; and Ján bin Ján has been noticed.

[FN#44] With us moderns "liver" suggests nothing but malady: in
Arabic and Persian as in the classic literature of Europe it is
the seat of passion, the heart being that of affection. Of this
more presently.

[FN#45] Originally in Al-Islam the concubine (Surriyat, etc.) was
a captive taken in war and the Koran says nothing about buying
slave-girls. But if the captives were true believers the Moslem
was ordered to marry not to keep them. In modern days concubinage
has become an extensive subject. Practically the disadvantage is
that the slave-girls, knowing themselves to be the master's
property, consider him bound to sleep with them; which is by no
means the mistress's view. Some wives, however, when old and
childless, insist, after the fashion of Sarah, upon the husband
taking a young concubine and treating her like a daughter--which
is rare. The Nights abound in tales of concubines, but these are
chiefly owned by the Caliphs and high officials who did much as
they pleased. The only redeeming point in the system is that it
obviated the necessity of prostitution which is, perhaps, the
greatest evil known to modern society.

[FN#46] Arab. "Al-Kahánah"=the craft of a "Káhin" (Heb. Cohen) a
diviner, soothsayer, etc.

[FN#47] Arab. "Id al-kabír = The Great Festival; the Turkish
Bayrám and Indian Bakar-eed (Kine-fête), the pilgrimage-time,
also termed "Festival of the Kurbán" (sacrifice) because victims
are slain, Al-Zuha (of Undurn or forenoon), Al-Azhá (of serene
night) and Al-Nahr (of throat-cutting). For full details I must
refer readers to my "Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to
El-Medinah and Meccah" (3 vols. 8vo, London, Longmans, 1855). I
shall have often to refer to it.

[FN#48] Arab. "Kalám al-mubáh," i.e., that allowed or permitted
to her by the King, her husband.

[FN#49] Moslem Kings are expected, like the old Gabble Monarchs,
to hold "Darbar" (i.e., give public audience) at least twice a
day, morning and evening. Neglect of this practice caused the
ruin of the Caliphate and of the Persian and Moghul Empires: the
great lords were left uncontrolled and the lieges revolted to
obtain justice. The Guebre Kings had two levée places, the
Rozistan (day station) and the Shabistan (night-station - istán
or stán being a nominal form of istádan, to stand, as
Hindo-stán). Moreover one day in the week the sovereign acted as
"Mufti" or Supreme Judge.

[FN#50] Arab. "Al-Bashárah," the gift everywhere claimed in the
East and in Boccaccio's Italy by one who brings good news. Those
who do the reverse expose themselves to a sound strappado.

[FN#51] A euphemistic formula, to avoid mentioning unpleasant
matters. I shall note these for the benefit of students who would
honestly prepare for the public service in Moslem lands.

[FN#52] Arab. "Dínár," from the Latin denarius (a silver coin
worth ten ounces of brass) through the Greek {Greek Letters}: it
is a Koranic word (chaps. iii.) though its Arab equivalent is
"Miskál." It also occurs in the Kathá before quoted, clearly
showing the derivation. In the "Book of Kalilah and Dimnah" it is
represented by the Daric or Persian Dinár, {Greek Letters}, from
Dárá= a King (whence Darius). The Dinar, sequin or ducat,
contained at different times from 10 and 12 (Abu Hanifah's day)
to 20 and even 25 dirhams or drachmas, and, as a weight,
represented a drachma and a half. Its value greatly varied, but
we may assume it here at nine shillings or ten francs to half a
sovereign. For an elaborate article on the Dinar see Yule's
"Cathay and the Way Thither" (ii., pp. 439-443).

[FN#53] The formula used in refusing alms to an "asker" or in
rejecting an insufficient offer: "Allah will open to thee!" (some
door of gain - not mine)! Another favourite ejaculation is "Allah
Karim" (which Turks pronounce "Kyereem") = Allah is
All-beneficent! meaning Ask Him, not me.

[FN#54] The public bath. London knows the word through "The

[FN#55] Arab. "Dirham" (Plur. diráhim, also used in the sense of
money, "siller"), the drachuma of Plautus (Trin. 2, 4, 23). The
word occurs in the Panchatantra also showing the derivation; and
in the Syriac Kalilah wa Dimnah it is "Zúz." This silver piece
was = 6 obols (9 3/4d.) and as a weight = 66 1/2 grains. The
Dirham of The Nights was worth six "Dánik," each of these being a
fraction over a penny. The modern Greek Drachma is=one franc.

[FN#56] In Arabic the speaker always puts himself first, even if
he address the King, without intending incivility.

[FN#57] A she-Ifrit, not necessarily an evil spirit.

[FN#58] Arab. "Kullah" (in Egypt pron. "gulleh"), the wide
mouthed jug, called in the Hijaz "baradlyah," "daurak" being the
narrow. They are used either for water or sherbet and, being made
of porous clay, "sweat," and keep the contents cool; hence all
old Anglo Egyptians drink from them, not from bottles. Sometimes
they are perfumed with smoke of incense, mastich or Kafal (Amyris
Kafal). For their graceful shapes see Lane's "Account of the
Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians" (chaps. v) I quote,
here and elsewhere, from the fifth edition, London, Murray, 1860.

[FN#59] "And what is?" etc. A popular way of expressing great
difference. So in India: - "Where is Rajah Bhoj (the great King)
and where is Gangá the oilman?"

[FN#60] Here, as in other places, I have not preserved the
monorhyme, but have ended like the English sonnet with a couplet;
as a rule the last two lines contain a "Husn makta'" or climax.

[FN#61] Lit. "he began to say (or speak) poetry," such
improvising being still common amongst the Badawin as I shall
afterwards note. And although Mohammed severely censured profane
poets, who "rove as bereft of their senses through every valley"
and were directly inspired by devils (Koran xxvi.), it is not a
little curious to note that he himself spoke in "Rajaz" (which
see) and that the four first Caliphs all "spoke poetry." In early
ages the verse would not be written, if written at all, till
after the maker's death. I translate "inshád" by "versifying" or
"repeating" or "reciting," leaving it doubtful if the composition
be or be not original. In places, however, it is clearly
improvised and then as a rule it is model doggrel.

[FN#62] Arab. "Allahumma"=Yá Allah (O Allah) but with emphasis
the Fath being a substitute for the voc. part. Some connect it
with the Heb. "Alihím," but that fancy is not Arab. In Al-Hariri
and the rhetoricians it sometimes means to be sure; of course;
unless indeed; unless possibly.

[FN#63] Probably in consequence of a vow. These superstitious
practices, which have many a parallel amongst ourselves, are not
confined to the lower orders in the East.

[FN#64] i.e., saying "Bismillah!" the pious ejaculation which
should precede every act. In Boccaccio (viii., 9) it is
"remembering Iddio e' Santi."

[FN#65] Arab. Nahás asfar = brass, opposed to "Nahás" and "Nahás
ahmar," = copper.

[FN#66] This alludes to the legend of Sakhr al-Jinn), a famous
fiend cast by Solomon David son into Lake Tiberias whose storms
make it a suitable place. Hence the "Bottle imp," a world-wide
fiction of folk-lore: we shall find it in the "Book of Sindibad,"
and I need hardly remind the reader of Le Sage's "Diable
Boiteux," borrowed from "El Diablo Cojuelo," the Spanish novel by
Luiz Velez de Guevara.

[FN#67] Márid (lit. "contumacious" from the Heb. root Marad to
rebel, whence "Nimrod" in late Semitic) is one of the tribes of
the Jinn, generally but not always hostile to man. His female is

[FN#68] As Solomon began to reign (according to vulgar
chronometry) in B.C. 1015, the text would place the tale circ.
A.D. 785, = A.H. 169. But we can lay no stress on this date which
may be merely fanciful. Professor Tawney very justly compares
this Moslem Solomon with the Hindu King, Vikramáditya, who ruled
over the seven divisions of the world and who had as many devils
to serve him as he wanted.

[FN#69] Arab. "Yá Ba'íd:" a euphemism here adopted to prevent
using grossly abusive language. Others will occur in the course
of these pages.

[FN#70] i. e. about to fly out; "My heart is in my mouth." The
Fisherman speaks with the dry humour of a Fellah.

[FN#71] "Sulayman," when going out to ease himself, entrusted his
seal-ring upon which his kingdom depended to a concubine "Amínah"
(the "Faithful"), when Sakhr, transformed to the King's likeness,
came in and took it. The prophet was reduced to beggary, but
after forty days the demon fled throwing into the sea the ring
which was swallowed by a fish and eventually returned to
Sulayman. This Talmudic fable is hinted at in the Koran (chaps.
xxxviii.), and commentators have extensively embroidered it.
Asaf, son of Barkhiya, was Wazir to Sulayman and is supposed to
be the "one with whom was the knowledge of the Scriptures"
(Koran, chaps. xxxvii.), i.e. who knew the Ineffable Name of
Allah. See the manifest descendant of the Talmudic Koranic
fiction in the "Tale of the Emperor Jovinian" (No. lix.) of the
Gesta Romanorum, the most popular book of mediæval Europe
composed in England (or Germany) about the end of the thirteenth

[FN#72] Arab. "Kumkam," a gourd-shaped bottle of metal, china or
glass, still used for sprinkling scents. Lane gives an
illustration (chaps. viii., Mod. Egypt.).

[FN#73] Arab. meaning "the Mother of Amir," a nickname for the
hyena, which bites the hand that feeds it.

[FN#74] The intellect of man is stronger than that of the Jinni;
the Ifrit, however, enters the jar because he has been adjured by
the Most Great Name and not from mere stupidity. The seal-ring of
Solomon according to the Rabbis contained a chased stone which
told him everything he wanted to know.

[FN#75] The Mesmerist will notice this shudder which is familiar
to him as preceding the "magnetic" trance.

[FN#76] Arab. "Bahr" which means a sea, a large river, a sheet of
water, etc., lit. water cut or trenched in the earth. Bahri in
Egypt means Northern; so Yamm (Sea, Mediterranean) in Hebrew is

[FN#77] In the Bull Edit. "Ruyán," evidently a clerical error.
The name is fanciful not significant.

[FN#78] The geography is ultra-Shakespearean. "Fárs" (whence
"Persia") is the central Province of the grand old Empire now a
mere wreck, "Rúm" (which I write Roum, in order to avoid Jamaica)
is the neo-Roman or Byzantine Empire, while "Yunan" is the
classical Arab term for Greece (Ionia) which unlearned Moslems
believe to be now under water.

[FN#79] The Sun greets Mohammed every morning even as it dances
on Easter Day for Christendom. Risum teneatis?

[FN#80] Arab. "Nadím," a term often occurring. It denotes one who
was intimate enough to drink with the Caliph, a very high honour
and a dangerous. The last who sat with "Nudamá" was Al-Razi
bi'llah A.H. 329 = 940. See Al-Siyuti's famous "History of the
Caliphs" translated and admirably annotated by Major H. S.
Jarrett, for the Bibliotheca Indica, Calcutta, 1880.

[FN#81]Arab. Maydán (from Persian); Lane generally translates it
"horse course ' and Payne "tilting yard." It is both and
something more; an open space, in or near the city, used for
reviewing troops, races, playing the Jeríd (cane-spear) and other
sports and exercises: thus Al-Maydan=Gr. hippodrome. The game
here alluded to is our -'polo," or hockey on horseback, a
favourite with the Persian Kings, as all old illustrations of the
Shahnamah show. Maydan is also a natural plain for which copious
Arabic has many terms, Fayhah or Sath (a plain generally), Khabt
(a low-lying plain), Bat'há (a low sandy flat), Mahattah (a plain
fit for halting) and so forth. (Pilgrimage iii., 11.)

[FN#82] For details concerning the "Ghusl" see Night xliv.

[FN#83] A popular idiom and highly expressive, contrasting the
upright bearing of the self-satisfied man with the slouch of the
miserable and the skirt-trailing of the woman in grief. I do not
see the necessity of such Latinisms as "dilated" or "expanded."

[FN#84] All these highest signs of favour foreshow, in Eastern
tales and in Eastern life, an approaching downfall of the
heaviest; they are so great that they arouse general jealousy.
Many of us have seen this at native courts.

[FN#85] This phrase is contained in the word "ihdák"
=encompassing, as the conjunctive does the pupil.

[FN#86] I have noted this formula, which is used even in
conversation when about to relate some great unfact.

[FN#87] We are obliged to English the word by "valley," which is
about as correct as the "brook Kedron," applied to the grisliest
of ravines. The Wady (in old Coptic wah, oah, whence "Oasis") is
the bed of a watercourse which flows only after rains. I have
rendered it by "Fiumara" (Pilgrimage i., 5, and ii., 196, etc.),
an Italian or rather a Sicilian word which exactly describes the

[FN#88] I have described this scene which Mr. T. Wolf illustrated
by an excellent lithograph in "Falconry, etc." (London, Van
Voorst, MDCCCLII.)

[FN#89] Arab. "Kaylúlah," mid-day sleep; called siesta from the
sixth canonical hour.

[FN#90] This parrot-story is world-wide in folk-lore and the
belief in metempsychosis, which prevails more or less over all
the East, there lends it probability. The "Book of Sindibad" (see
Night dlxxix. and "The Academy," Sept. 20, 1884, No. 646)
converts it into the "Story of the Confectioner, his Wife and the
Parrot," and it is the base of the Hindostani text- book,
"Tota-Kaháni" (Parrot-chat), an abridgement of the Tutinámah
(Parrot-book) of Nakhshabi (circ. A.D. 1300), a congener of the
Sanskrit "Suka Saptati," or Seventy Parrot-stories. The tale is
not in the Bull. or Mac. Edits. but occurs in the Bresl. (i., pp.
90, 91) much mutilated; and better in the Calc. Edit I cannot
here refrain from noticing how vilely the twelve vols. of the
Breslau Edit have been edited; even a table of contents being
absent from the first four volumes.

[FN#91] The young "Turk" is probably a late addition, as it does
not appear in many of the MSS., e. g. the Bresl. Edit. The wife
usually spreads a cloth over the cage; this in the Turkish
translation becomes a piece of leather.

[FN#92] The Hebrew-Syrian month July used to express the height
of summer. As Herodotus tells us (ii. 4) the Egyptians claimed to
be the discoverers of the solar year and the portioners of its
course into twelve parts.

[FN#93] This proceeding is thoroughly characteristic of the
servile class; they conscientiously conceal everything from the
master till he finds a clew; after which they tell him everything
and something more.

[FN#94] Until late years, merchants and shopkeepers in the nearer
East all carried and held it a disgrace to leave the house

[FN#95] The Bresl. Edit. absurdly has Jazírah (an island).

[FN#96] The Ghúlah (fem. of Ghúl) is the Heb. Lilith or Lilis;
the classical Lamia; the Hindu Yogini and Dakini, the Chaldean
Utug and Gigim (desert-demons) as opposed to the Mas (hill-demon)
and Telal (who steal into towns); the Ogress of our tales and the
Bala yaga (Granny-witch) of Russian folk-lore. Etymologically
"Ghul" is a calamity, a panic fear; and the monster is evidently
the embodied horror of the grave and the graveyard.

[FN#97] Arab. "Shább" (Lat. juvenis) between puberty and forty or
according to some fifty; when the patient becomes a "Rajul
ikhtiyár" (man of free will) politely termed, and then a Shaykh
or Shaybah (gray-beard, oldster).

[FN#98] Some proverbial name now forgotten. Torrens (p. 48)
translates it "the giglot" (Fortune?) but "cannot discover the

[FN#99] Arab. "Ihtizáz," that natural and instinctive movement
caused by good news suddenly given, etc.

[FN#100] Arab. "Kohl," in India, Surmah, not a "collyrium," but
powdered antimony for the eyelids. That sold in the bazars is not
the real grey ore of antimony but a galena or sulphuret of lead.
Its use arose as follows. When Allah showed Himself to Moses on
Sinai through an opening the size of a needle, the Prophet
fainted and the Mount took fire: thereupon Allah said,
"Henceforth shalt thou and thy seed grind the earth of this
mountain and apply it to your eyes!" The powder is kept in an
étui called Makhalah and applied with a thick blunt needle to the
inside of the eyelid, drawing it along the rim; hence etui and
probe denote the sexual rem in re and in cases of adultery the
question will be asked, "Didst thou see the needle in the
Kohl-pot ?" Women mostly use a preparation of soot or lamp-black
(Hind. Kajala, Kajjal) whose colour is easily distinguished from
that of Kohl. The latter word, with the article (Al-Kohl) is the
origin of our "alcohol;" though even M. Littré fails to show how
"fine powder" became "spirits of wine." I found this powder
(wherewith Jezebel "painted" her eyes) a great preservative from
ophthalmia in desert-travelling: the use in India was universal,
but now European example is gradually abolishing it.

[FN#101] The tale of these two women is now forgotten.

[FN#102] Arab. "Atadakhkhal." When danger threatens it is
customary to seize a man's skirt and cry "Dakhíl-ak!" ( = under
thy protection). Among noble tribes the Badawi thus invoked will
defend the stranger with his life. Foreigners have brought
themselves into contempt by thus applying to women or to mere

[FN#103] The formula of quoting from the Koran.

[FN#104] Lit. "Allah not desolate me" (by thine absence). This is
still a popular phrase - Lá tawáhishná = Do not make me desolate,
i.e. by staying away too long, and friends meeting after a term
of days exclaim "Auhashtani!"=thou hast made me desolate, Je suis

[FN#105] Charming simplicity of manners when the Prime Minister
carries the fish (shade of Vattel!)!) to the cookmaid. The "Gesta
Romanorum" is nowhere more naïve.

[FN#106] Arab. "Kahílat al-taraf" = lit. eyelids lined with Kohl;
and figuratively "with black lashes and languorous look." This is
a phrase which frequently occurs in The Nights and which, as will
appear, applies to the "lower animals" as well as to men. Moslems
in Central Africa apply Kohl not to the thickness of the eyelid
but upon both outer lids, fixing it with some greasy substance.
The peculiar Egyptian (and Syrian) eye with its thick fringes of
jet-black lashes, looking like lines of black drawn with soot,
easily suggests the simile. In England I have seen the same
appearance amongst miners fresh from the colliery.

[FN#107] Of course applying to her own case.

[FN#108] Prehistoric Arabs who measured from 60 to 100 cubits
high: Koran, chaps. xxvi., etc. They will often be mentioned in
The Nights.

[FN#109] I Arab. "Dastúr" (from Persian) = leave, permission. The
word has two meanings (see Burckhardt, Arab. Prov. No. 609) and
is much used, ea. before walking up stairs or entering a room
where strange women might be met. So "Tarík" = Clear the way
(Pilgrimage, iii., 319). The old Persian occupation of Egypt, not
to speak of the Persian speaking Circassians and other rulers has
left many such traces in popular language. One of them is that
horror of travelers - "Bakhshísh" pron. bakh-sheesh and shortened
to shísh from the Pers. "bakhshish." Our "Christmas box" has been
most unnecessarily derived from the same, despite our reading:--

     Gladly the boy, with Christmas box in hand.

And, as will be seen, Persians have bequeathed to the outer world
worse things than bad language, e.g. heresy and sodomy.

[FN#110] He speaks of his wife but euphemistically in the

[FN#111] A popular saying throughout Al-Islam.

[FN#112] Arab. "Fata": lit.=a youth; a generous man, one of noble
mind (as youth-tide should be). It corresponds with the Lat.
"vir," and has much the meaning of the Ital. "Giovane," the Germ.
"Junker" and our "gentleman."

[FN#113] From the Bul. Edit.

[FN#114] The vagueness of his statement is euphemistic.

[FN#115] This readiness of shedding tears contrasts strongly with
the external stoicism of modern civilization; but it is true to
Arab character, and Easterns, like the heroes of Homer and
Italians of Boccacio, are not ashamed of what we look upon as the
result of feminine hysteria - "a good cry."

[FN#116] The formula (constantly used by Moslems) here denotes
displeasure, doubt how to act and so forth. Pronounce, "Lá haula
wa lá kuwwata illá bi 'lláhi 'I-Aliyyi 'I-Azim." As a rule
mistakes are marvellous: Mandeville (chaps. xii.) for "Lá iláha
illa 'lláhu wa Muhammadun Rasúlu 'llah" writes "La ellec sila,
Machomete rores alla." The former (lá haula, etc.), on account of
the four peculiar Arabic letters, is everywhere pronounced
differently. and the exclamation is called "Haulak" or "Haukal."

[FN#117] An Arab holds that he has a right to marry his first
cousin, the daughter of his father's brother, and if any win her
from him a death and a blood-feud may result. It was the same in
a modified form amongst the Jews and in both races the
consanguineous marriage was not attended by the evil results
(idiotcy, congenital deafness, etc.) observed in mixed races like
the English and the Anglo-American. When a Badawi speaks of "the
daughter of my uncle" he means wife; and the former is the dearer
title, as a wife can be divorced, but blood is thicker than

[FN#118] Arab. "Kahbah;" the coarsest possible term. Hence the
unhappy "Cave" of Don Roderick the Goth, which simply means The

[FN#119] The Arab "Banj" and Hindú "Bhang" (which I use as most
familiar) both derive from the old Coptic "Nibanj" meaning a
preparation of hemp (Cannabis sativa seu Indica); and here it is
easy to recognise the Homeric "Nepenthe." Al- Kazwini explains
the term by "garden hemp (Kinnab bostáni or Sháhdánaj). On the
other hand not a few apply the word to the henbane (hyoscyamus
niger) so much used in mediæval Europe. The Kámús evidently means
henbane distinguishing it from Hashish al haráfísh" = rascals'
grass, i.e. the herb Pantagruelion. The "Alfáz Adwiya" (French
translation) explains "Tabannuj" by "Endormir quelqu'un en lui
faisant avaler de la jusquiame." In modern parlance Tabannuj is =
our anæsthetic administered before an operation, a deadener of
pain like myrrh and a number of other drugs. For this purpose
hemp is always used (at least I never heard of henbane); and
various preparations of the drug are sold at an especial bazar in
Cairo. See the "powder of marvellous virtue" in Boccaccio, iii.,
8; and iv., 10. Of these intoxicants, properly so termed, I shall
have something to say in a future page.

The use of Bhang doubtless dates from the dawn of civilisation,
whose earliest social pleasures would be inebriants. Herodotus
(iv. c. 75) shows the Scythians burning the seeds (leaves and
capsules) in worship and becoming drunken with the fumes, as do
the S. African Bushmen of the present day. This would be the
earliest form of smoking: it is still doubtful whether the pipe
was used or not. Galen also mentions intoxication by hemp.
Amongst Moslems, the Persians adopted the drink as an ecstatic,
and about our thirteenth century Egypt, which began the practice,
introduced a number of preparations to be noticed in the course
of The Nights.

[FN#120] The rubbish heaps which outlie Eastern cities, some
(near Cairo) are over a hundred feet high.

[FN#121] Arab. "Kurrat al-aye;" coolness of eyes as opposed to a
hot eye ("sakhin") one red with tears. The term is true and
picturesque so I translate it literally. All coolness is pleasant
to dwellers in burning lands: thus in Al-Hariri Abu Z yd says of
Bassorah, "I found there whatever could fill the eye with
coolness." And a "cool booty" (or prize) is one which has been
secured without plunging into the flames of war, or imply a
pleasant prize.

[FN#122] Popularly rendered Caucasus (see Night cdxcvi): it
corresponds so far with the Hindu "Udaya" that the sun rises
behind it; and the "false dawn" is caused by a hole or gap. It is
also the Persian Alborz, the Indian Meru (Sumeru), the Greek
Olympus and the Rhiphæan Range (Veliki Camenypoys) or great
starry girdle of the world, etc.

[FN#123] Arab. "Mizr" or "Mizar;" vulg. Búzah; hence the medical
Lat. Buza, the Russian Buza (millet beer), our booze, the O.
Dutch "buyzen" and the German "busen." This is the old
of negro and negroid Africa, the beer of Osiris, of which dried
remains have been found in jars amongst Egyptian tombs. In
Equatorial Africa it known as Pombe; on the Upper Nile "Merissa"
or "Mirisi" and amongst the Kafirs (Caffers) "Tshuala," "Oala" or
"Boyala:" I have also heard of "Buswa"in Central Africa which may
be the origin of "Buzah." In the West it became      , (Romaic
     ), Xythum and cerevisia or cervisia, the humor ex hordeo,
long before the days of King Gambrinus. Central Africans drink it
in immense quantities: in Unyamwezi the standing bedsteads,
covered with bark-slabs, are all made sloping so as to drain off
the liquor. A chief lives wholly on beef and Pombe which is thick
as gruel below. Hops are unknown: the grain, mostly Holcus, is
made to germinate, then pounded, boiled and left to ferment. In
Egypt the drink is affected chiefly by Berbers, Nubians and
slaves from the Upper Nile, but it is a superior article and more
like that of Europe than the "Pombe." I have given an account of
the manufacture in The Lake Regions of Central Africa, vol. ii.,
p. 286. There are other preparations, Umm-bulbul (mother nightie
gale), Dinzáyah and Súbiyah, for which I must refer to the Shaykh

[FN#124] There is a terrible truth in this satire, which reminds
us of the noble dame who preferred to her handsome husband the
palefrenier laid, ord et infâme of Queen Margaret of Navarre
(Heptameron No. xx.). We have all known women who sacrificed
everything despite themselves, as it were, for the most worthless
of men. The world stares and scoffs and blames and understands
nothing. There is for every woman one man and one only in whose
slavery she is "ready to sweep the floor." Fate is mostly opposed
to her meeting him but, when she does, adieu husband and
children, honour and religion, life and "soul." Moreover Nature
(human) commands the union of contrasts, such as fair and foul,
dark and light, tall and short; otherwise mankind would be like
the canines, a race of extremes, dwarf as toy-terriers, giants
like mastiffs, bald as Chinese "remedy dogs," or hairy as
Newfoundlands. The famous Wilkes said only a half truth when he
backed himself, with an hour s start, against the handsomest man
in England; his uncommon and remarkable ugliness (he was, as the
Italians say, un bel brutto) was the highest recommendation in
the eyes of very beautiful women.

[FN#125] Every Moslem burial-ground has a place of the kind where
honourable women may sit and weep unseen by the multitude. These
visits are enjoined by the Apostle:--Frequent the cemetery,
'twill make you think of futurity! Also:--Whoever visiteth the
graves of his parents (or one of them) every Friday, he shall be
written a pious son, even though he might have been in the world,
before that, a disobedient. (Pilgrimage, ii., 71.) The buildings
resemble our European "mortuary chapels." Said, Pasha of Egypt,
was kind enough to erect one on the island off Suez, for the "use
of English ladies who would like shelter whilst weeping and
wailing for their dead." But I never heard that any of the ladles
went there.

[FN#126] Arab. "Ajal"=the period of life, the appointed time of
death: the word is of constant recurrence and is also applied to
sudden death. See Lane's Dictionary, s.v.

[FN#127] "The dying Badawi to his tribe" (and lover) appears to
me highly pathetic. The wild people love to be buried upon hill
slopes whence they can look down upon the camp; and they still
call out the names of kinsmen and friends as they pass by the
grave-yards. A similar piece occurs in Wetzstein (p. 27,
"Reisebericht ueber Hauran," etc.):--

     O bear with you my bones where the camel bears his load
       And bury me before you, if buried I must be;
     And let me not be burled 'neath the burden of the vine
       But high upon the hill whence your sight I ever see!
     As you pass along my grave cry aloud and name your names
       The crying of your names shall revive the bones of me:
     I have fasted through my life with my friends, and in my
       death, I will feast when we meet, on that day of joy and

[FN#128] The Akásirah (plur. of Kasrá=Chosroës) is here a title
of the four great dynasties of Persian Kings. 1. The Peshdadian
or Assyrian race, proto-historics for whom dates fail, 2. The
Káyánián (Medes and Persians) who ended with the Alexandrian
invasion in B. C. 331. 3. The Ashkánián (Parthenians or
Arsacides) who ruled till A. D. 202; and 4. The Sassanides which
have already been mentioned. But strictly speaking "Kisri" and
"Kasra" are titles applied only to the latter dynasty and
especially to the great King Anushirwan. They must not be
confounded with "Khusrau" (P. N. Cyrus, Ahasuerus? Chosroës?),
and yet the three seem to have combined in "Cæsar," Kaysar and
Czar. For details especially connected with Zoroaster see vol. I,
p. 380 of the Dabistan or School of Manners, translated by David
Shea and Anthony Troyer, Paris, 1843. The book is most valuable,
but the proper names are so carelessly and incorrectly printed
that the student is led into perpetual error.

[FN#129] The words are the very lowest and coarsest; but the
scene is true to Arab life.

[FN#130] Arab."Hayhát:" the word, written in a variety of ways is
onomatopoetic, like our "heigh-ho!" it sometimes means "far from
me (or you) be it!" but in popular usage it is simply "Alas."

[FN#131] Lane (i., 134) finds a date for the book in this
passage. The Soldan of Egypt, Mohammed ibn Kala'ún, in the early
eighth century (Hijrah = our fourteenth), issued a sumptuary law
compelling Christians and Jews to wear indigo-blue and
saffron-yellow turbans, the white being reserved for Moslems. But
the custom was much older and Mandeville (chaps. ix.) describes
it in A. D. 1322 when it had become the rule. And it still
endures; although abolished in the cities it is the rule for
Christians, at least in the country parts of Egypt and Syria. I
may here remark that such detached passages as these are
absolutely useless for chronology: they may be simply the
additions of editors or mere copyists.

[FN#132] The ancient "Mustaphá" = the Chosen (prophet, i. e.
Mohammed), also titled Al-Mujtaba, the Accepted (Pilgrimage, ii.,
309). "Murtaza"=the Elect, i.e. the Caliph Ali is the older
"Mortada" or "Mortadi" of Ockley and his day, meaning "one
pleasing to (or acceptable to) Allah." Still older writers
corrupted it to "Mortis Ali" and readers supposed this to be the
Caliph's name.

[FN#133] The gleam (zodiacal light) preceding the true dawn; the
Persians call the former Subh-i-kázib (false or lying dawn)
opposed to Subh-i-sádik (true dawn) and suppose that it is caused
by the sun shining through a hole in the world- encircling Mount

[FN#134] So the Heb. "Arún" = naked, means wearing the lower robe
only; = our "in his shirt."

[FN#135] Here we have the vulgar Egyptian colloquialism "Aysh"
(--Ayyu shayyin) for the classical "Má" = what.

[FN#136] "In the name of Allah!" here said before taking action.

[FN#137] Arab. "Mamlúk" (plur. Mamálik) lit. a chattel; and in
The Nights a white slave trained to arms. The "Mameluke Beys" of
Egypt were locally called the "Ghuzz," I use the convenient word
in its old popular sense;

     'Tis sung, there's a valiant Mameluke
     In foreign lands ycleped (Sir Luke)-

And hence, probably, Molière's "Mamamouchi"; and the modern
French use "Mamalue." See Savary's Letters, No. xl.

[FN#138] The name of this celebrated succesor of Nineveh, where
some suppose The Nights were written, is orig.           (middle-
gates) because it stood on the way where four great highways
meet. The Arab. form "Mausil" (the vulgar "Mosul") is also
significant, alluding to the "junction" of Assyria and Babylonis.
Hence our "muslin."

[FN#139] This is Mr. Thackeray's "nose-bag." I translate by
"walking-shoes" the Arab "Khuff" which are a manner of loose boot
covering the ankle; they are not usually embroidered, the
ornament being reserved for the inner shoe.

[FN#140] i.e. Syria (says Abulfeda) the "land on the left" (of
one facing the east) as opposed to Al-Yaman the "land on the
right." Osmani would mean Turkish, Ottoman. When Bernard the Wise
(Bohn, p. 24) speaks of "Bagada and Axiam" (Mabillon's text) or
"Axinarri" (still worse), he means Baghdad and Ash-Shám (Syria,
Damascus), the latter word puzzling his Editor. Richardson
(Dissert, lxxii.) seems to support a hideous attempt to derive
Shám from Shámat, a mole or wart, because the country is studded
with hillocks! Al-Shám is often applied to Damascus-city whose
proper name Dimishk belongs to books: this term is generally
derived from Damáshik b. Káli b. Málik b. Sham (Shem). Lee (Ibn
Batùtah, 29) denies that ha-Dimishki means "Eliezer of Damascus."

[FN#141] From Oman = Eastern Arabia.

[FN#142] Arab. "Tamar Hannà" lit. date of Henna, but applied to
the flower of the eastern privet (Lawsonia inermis) which has the
sweet scent of freshly mown hay. The use of Henna as a dye is
known even in Enland. The "myrtle" alluded to may either have
been for a perfume (as it is held an anti-intoxicant) or for
eating, the bitter aromatic berries of the "Ás" being supposed to
flavour wine and especially Raki (raw brandy).

[FN#143] Lane. (i. 211) pleasantly remarks, "A list of these
sweets is given in my original, but I have thought it better to
omit the names" (!) Dozy does not shirk his duty, but he is not
much more satisfactory in explaining words interesting to
students because they are unfound in dictionaries and forgotten
by the people. "Akrás (cakes) Laymunìyah (of limes) wa
Maymunìyah" appears in the Bresl. Edit. as "Ma'amuniyah" which
may mean "Ma'amun's cakes" or "delectable cakes." "Amshát" =
(combs) perhaps refers to a fine kind of Kunàfah (vermicelli)
known in Egypt and Syria as "Ghazl al-banát" = girl's spinning.

[FN#144] The new moon carefully looked for by all Moslems because
it begins the Ramazán-fast.

[FN#145] Solomon's signet ring has before been noticed.

[FN#146] The "high-bosomed" damsel, with breasts firm as a cube,
is a favourite with Arab tale tellers. Fanno baruffa is the
Italian term for hard breasts pointing outwards.

[FN#147] A large hollow navel is looked upon not only as a
beauty, but in children it is held a promise of good growth.

[FN#148] Arab. "Ka'ah," a high hall opening upon the central
court: we shall find the word used for a mansion, barrack, men's
quarters, etc.

[FN#149] Babel = Gate of God (El), or Gate of Ilu (P. N. of God),
which the Jews ironically interpreted "Confusion." The tradition
of Babylonia being the very centre of witchcraft and enchantment
by means of its Seven Deadly Spirits, has survived in Al-Islam;
the two fallen angels (whose names will occur) being confined in
a well; Nimrod attempting to reach Heaven from the Tower in a
magical car drawn by monstrous birds and so forth. See p. 114,
Francois Fenormant's "Chaldean Magic," London, Bagsters.

[FN#150] Arab. "Kámat Alfíyyah" = like the letter Alif, a
straight perpendicular stroke. In the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the
origin of every alphabet (not syllabarium) known to man, one form
was a flag or leaf of water-plant standing upright. Hence
probably the Arabic Alif-shape; while other nations preferred
other modifications of the letter (ox's head, etc), which in
Egyptian number some thirty-six varieties, simple and compound.

[FN#151] I have not attempted to order this marvellous confusion of
metaphors so characteristic of The Nights and the exigencies of Al-
Saj'a = rhymed prose.

[FN#152] Here and elsewhere I omit the "kála (dice Turpino)" of the
original: Torrens preserves "Thus goes the tale" (which it only
interrupts). This is simply letter-wise and sense-foolish.

[FN#153] Of this worthy more at a future time.

[FN#154] i.e., sealed with the Kazi or legal authority's seal of

[FN#155] "Nothing for nothing" is a fixed idea with the Eastern
woman: not so much for greed as for a sexual point d' honneur when
dealing with the adversary--man.

[FN#156] She drinks first, the custom of the universal East, to
show that the wine she had bought was unpoisoned. Easterns, who
utterly ignore the "social glass" of Western civilisation drink
honestly to get drunk; and, when far gone are addicted to horse-
play (in Pers. "Badmasti" = le vin mauvais) which leads to quarrels
and bloodshed. Hence it is held highly irreverent to assert of
patriarchs, prophets and saints that they "drank wine;" and Moslems
agree with our "Teatotallers" in denying that, except in the case
of Noah, inebriatives are anywhere mentioned in Holy Writ.

[FN#157] Arab. "Húr al-Ayn," lit. (maids) with eyes of lively white
and black, applied to the virgins of Paradise who will wive with
the happy Faithful. I retain our vulgar "Houri," warning the reader
that it is a masc. for a fem. ("Huríyah") in Arab, although
accepted in Persian, a genderless speach.

[FN#158] Arab. "Zambúr," whose head is amputated in female
circumcision. See Night cccclxxiv.

[FN#159] Ocymum basilicum noticed in Introduction, the bassilico of
Boccaccio iv. 5. The Book of Kalilah and Dimnah represents it as
"sprouting with something also whose smell is foul and disgusting
and the sower at once sets to gather it and burn it with fire."
(The Fables of Bidpai translated from the later Syriac version by
I. G. N. Keith-Falconer, etc., etc., etc., Cambridge University
Press, 1885). Here, however, Habk is a pennyroyal (mentha
puligium), and probably alludes to the pecten.

[FN#160] i. e. common property for all to beat.

[FN#161] "A digit of the moon" is the Hindú equivalent.

[FN#162] Better known to us as Caravanserai, the "Travellers'
Bungalow" of India: in the Khan, however, shelter is to be had, but
neither bed nor board.

[FN#163] Arab. "Zubb." I would again note that this and its
synonyms are the equivalents of the Arabic, which is of the lowest.
The tale-teller's evident object is to accentuate the contrast with
the tragical stories to follow.

[FN#164] "ln the name of Allah," is here a civil form of

[FN#165] Lane (i. 124) is scandalised and naturally enough by this
scene, which is the only blot in an admirable tale admirably told.
Yet even here the grossness is but little more pronounced than what
we find in our old drama (e. g., Shakespeare's King Henry V.)
written for the stage, whereas tales like The Nights are not read
or recited before both sexes. Lastly "nothing follows all this
palming work:" in Europe the orgie would end very differently.
These "nuns of Theleme" are physically pure: their debauchery is of
the mind, not the body. Galland makes them five, including the two

[FN#166] So Sir Francis Walsingham's "They which do that they
should not, should hear that they would not."

[FN#167] The old "Calendar," pleasantly associated with that form
of almanac. The Mac. Edit. has Karandaliyah," a vile corruption,
like Ibn Batutah's "Karandar" and Torrens' "Kurundul:" so in
English we have the accepted vulgarism of "Kernel" for Colonel. The
Bull Edit. uses for synonym "Su'ulúk"=an asker, a beggar. Of these
mendicant monks, for such they are, much like the Sarabaites of
mediæval Europe, I have treated and of their institutions and its
founder, Shaykh Sharif Bu Ali Kalandar (ob. A. H. 724 =1323-24), at
some length in my "History of Sindh," chaps. viii. See also the
Dabistan (i. 136) where the good Kalandar exclaims:--

     If the thorn break in my body, how trifling the pain!
     But how sorely I feel for the poor broken thorn!

D'Herbelot is right when he says that the Kalandar is not generally
approved by Moslems: he labours to win free from every form and
observance and he approaches the Malámati who conceals all his
deeds and boasts of his evil doings--our "Devil's hypocrite."

[FN#168] The "Kalandar" disfigures himself in this manner to show

[FN#169] Arab. "Gharíb:" the porter is offended because the word
implies "poor devil;" esp. one out of his own country.

[FN#170] A religious mendicant generally.

[FN#171] Very scandalous to Moslem "respectability" Mohammed said
the house was accursed when the voices of women could be heard out
of doors. Moreover the neighbours have a right to interfere and
abate the scandal.

[FN#172] I need hardly say that these are both historical
personages; they will often be mentioned, and Ja'afar will be
noticed in the Terminal Essay.

[FN#173] Arab. "Same 'an wa tá'atan"; a popular phrase of assent
generally translated "to hear is to obey;" but this formula may be
and must be greatly varied. In places it means "Hearing (the word
of Allah) and obeying" (His prophet, viceregent, etc.)

[FN#174] Arab. "Sawáb"=reward in Heaven. This word for which we
have no equivalent has been naturalized in all tongues (e. g.
Hindostani) spoken by Moslems.

[FN#175] Wine-drinking, at all times forbidden to Moslems, vitiates
the Pilgrimage rite: the Pilgrim is vowed to a strict observance of
the ceremonial law and many men date their "reformation" from the
"Hajj." Pilgrimage, iii., 126.

[FN#176] Here some change has been necessary; as the original text
confuses the three "ladies."

[FN#177] In Arab. the plural masc. is used by way of modesty when
a girl addresses her lover and for the same reason she speaks of
herself as a man.

[FN#178] Arab. "Al-Na'ím", in ful "Jannat-al-Na'ím" = the Garden of
Delights, i.e. the fifth Heaven made of white silver. The generic
name of Heaven (the place of reward) is "Jannat," lit. a garden;
"Firdaus" being evidently derived from the Persian through the
Greek {Greek Letters}, and meaning a chase, a hunting park. Writers
on this subject should bear in mind Mandeville's modesty, "Of
Paradise I cannot speak properly, for I was not there."

[FN#179] Arab. "Mikra'ah," the dried mid-rib of a date-frond used
for many purposes, especially the bastinado.

[FN#180] According to Lane (i., 229) these and the immediately
following verses are from an ode by Ibn Sahl al-Ishbili. They are
in the Bull Edit. not the Mac. Edit.

[FN#181] The original is full of conceits and plays on words which
are not easily rendered in English.

[FN#182] Arab. "Tarjumán," same root as Chald. Targum ( = a
translation), the old "Truchman," and through the Ital. "tergomano"
our "Dragoman," here a messenger.

[FN#183] Lit. the "person of the eyes," our "babe of the eyes," a
favourite poetical conceit in all tongues; much used by the
Elizabethans, but now neglected as a silly kind of conceit. See
Night ccix.

[FN#184] Arab. "Sár" (Thár) the revenge-right recognised by law and
custom (Pilgrimage, iii., 69).

[FN#185] That is "We all swim in the same boat."

[FN#186] Ja'afar ever acts, on such occasions, the part of a wise
and sensible man compelled to join in a foolish frolic. He
contrasts strongly with the Caliph, a headstrong despot who will
not be gainsaid, whatever be the whim of the moment. But Easterns
would look upon this as a proof of his "kingliness."

[FN#187] Arab. "Wa'l- Salám" (pronounced Was-Salám); meaning "and
here ends the matter." In our slang we say "All right, and the
child's name is Antony."

[FN#188] This is a favourite jingle, the play being upon "ibrat" (a
needle-graver) and " 'ibrat" (an example, a warning).

[FN#189] That is "make his bow," as the English peasant pulls his
forelock. Lane (i., 249) suggests, as an afterthought, that it
means:--"Recover thy senses; in allusion to a person's drawing his
hand over his head after sleep or a fit." But it occurs elsewhere
in the sense of "cut thy stick."

[FN#190] This would be a separate building like our family tomb and
probably domed, resembling that mentioned in "The King of the Black
Islands." Europeans usually call it "a little Wali;" or, as they
write it, "Wely," the contained for the container; the "Santon" for
the "Santon's tomb." I have noticed this curious confusion (which
begins with Robinson, i. 322) in "Unexplored Syria," i. 161.

[FN#191] Arab. "Wiswás," = diabolical temptation or suggestion. The
"Wiswásí" is a man with scruples (scrupulus, a pebble in the shoe),
e.g. one who fears that his ablutions were deficient, etc.

[FN#192] Arab. "Katf" = pinioning by tying the arms behind the back
and shoulders (Kitf) a dire disgrace to free-born men.

[FN#193] Arab. "Nafs."=Hebr. Nephesh (Nafash) =soul, life as
opposed to "Ruach"= spirit and breath. In these places it is
equivalent to "I said to myself." Another form of the root is
"Nafas," breath, with an idea of inspiration: so 'Sáhib Nafas"
(=master of breath) is a minor saint who heals by expiration, a
matter familiar to mesmerists (Pilgrimage, i., 86).

[FN#194] Arab. "Kaus al-Banduk;" the "pellet bow" of modern India;
with two strings joined by a bit of cloth which supports a ball of
dry clay or stone. It is chiefly used for birding.

[FN#195] In the East blinding was a common practice, especially in
the case of junior princes not required as heirs. A deep
perpendicular incision was made down each corner of the eyes; the
lids were lifted and the balls removed by cutting the optic nerve
and the muscles. The later Caliphs blinded their victims by passing
a red-hot sword blade close to the orbit or a needle over the
eye-ball. About the same time in Europe the operation was performed
with a heated metal basin--the well known bacinare (used by
Ariosto), as happened to Pier delle Vigne (Petrus de Vineâ), the
"godfather of modern Italian."

[FN#196] Arab. "Khinzír" (by Europeans pronounced "Hanzír"), prop.
a wild-boar, but popularly used like our "you pig!"

[FN#197] Striking with the shoe, the pipe-stick and similar
articles is highly insulting, because they are not made, like whips
and scourges, for such purpose. Here the East and the West differ
diametrically. "Wounds which are given by instruments which are in
one's hands by chance do not disgrace a man," says Cervantes (D. Q.
i., chaps. 15), and goes on to prove that if a Zapatero (cobbler)
cudgel another with his form or last, the latter must not consider
himself cudgelled. The reverse in the East where a blow of a pipe
stick cost Mahommed Ali Pasha's son his life: Ishmail Pasha was
burned to death by Malik Nimr, chief of Shendy (Pilgrimage, i.,
203). Moreover, the actual wound is less considered in Moslem law
than the instrument which caused it: so sticks and stones are
venial weapons, whilst sword and dagger, gun and pistol are
felonious. See ibid. (i., 336) for a note upon the weapons with
which nations are policed.

[FN#198] Incest is now abominable everywhere except amongst the
overcrowded poor of great and civilised cities. Yet such unions
were common and lawful amongst ancient and highly cultivated
peoples, as the Egyptians (Isis and Osiris), Assyrians and ancient
Persians. Physiologically they are injurious only when the parents
have constitutional defects: if both are sound, the issue, as
amongst the so-called "lower animals " is viable and healthy.

[FN#199] Dwellers in the Northern Temperates can hardly imagine
what a dust-storm is in sun parched tropical lands. In Sind we were
often obliged to use candles at mid-day, while above the dust was
a sun that would roast an egg.

[FN#200] Arab. " 'Urban," now always used of the wild people, whom
the French have taught us to call les Bedouins; "Badw" being a
waste or desert, and Badawi (fem. Badawíyah, plur. Badáwi and
Bidwán), a man of the waste. Europeans have also learnt to miscall
the Egyptians "Arabs": the difference is as great as between an
Englishman and a Spaniard. Arabs proper divide their race into
sundry successive families. "The Arab al-Arabá" (or al- Aribah, or
al-Urubíyat) are the autochthones, prehistoric, proto-historic and
extinct tribes; for instance, a few of the Adites who being at
Meccah escaped the destruction of their wicked nation, but mingled
with other classes. The "Arab al-Muta'arribah," (Arabised Arabs)
are the first advenæ represented by such noble strains as the
Koraysh (Koreish), some still surviving. The "Arab al-Musta'aribah"
(insititious, naturalized or instituted Arabs, men who claim to be
Arabs) are Arabs like the Sinaites, the Egyptians and the Maroccans
descended by intermarriage with other races. Hence our
"Mosarabians" and the "Marrabais" of Rabelais (not, "a word
compounded of Maurus and Arabs"). Some genealogists, however, make
the Muta'arribah descendants of Kahtan (possibly the Joktan of
Genesis x., a comparatively modern document, B.C. 700?); and the
Musta'aribah those descended from Adnán the origin of Arab
genealogy. And, lastly, are the "Arab al-Musta'ajimah," barbarised
Arabs, like the present population of Meccah and Al-Medinah.
Besides these there are other tribes whose origin is still unknown,
such as the Mahrah tribes of Hazramaut, the "Akhdám" (=serviles) of
Oman (Maskat); and the "Ebná" of Al-Yaman: Ibn Ishak supposes the
latter to be descended from the Persian soldiers of Anushirwan who
expelled the Abyssinian invader from Southern Arabia.
(Pilgrimage, m., 31, etc.)

[FN#201] Arab. "Amír al-Muuminín." The title was assumed by the
Caliph Omar to obviate the inconvenience of calling himself
"Khalífah" (successor) of the Khalífah of the Apostle of Allah
(i.e. Abu Bakr); which after a few generations would become
impossible. It means "Emir (chief or prince) of the Muumins," men
who hold to the (true Moslem) Faith, the "Imán" (theory,
fundamental articles) as opposed to the "Dín," ordinance or
practice of the religion. It once became a Wazirial time conferred
by Sultan Malikshah (King King- king) on his Nizám al-Murk.
(Richardson's Dissert. [viii.)

[FN#202] This may also mean "according to the seven editions of the
Koran " the old revisions and so forth (Sale, Sect. iii. and
D'Herbelot "Alcoran.") The schools of the "Mukri," who teach the
right pronunciation wherein a mistake might be sinful, are seven,
Harnzah, Ibn Katír, Ya'akúb, Ibn Amir, Kisái, Asim and Hafs, the
latter being the favourite with the Hanafis and the only one now
generally known in Al-Islam.

[FN#203] Arab. "Sadd"=wall, dyke, etc. the "bund" or "band" of
Anglo-India. Hence the "Sadd" on the Nile, the banks of grass and
floating islands which "wall" the stream. There are few sights more
appalling than a sandstorm in the desert, the "Zauba'ah" as the
Arabs call it. Devils, or pillars of sand, vertical and inclined,
measuring a thousand feet high, rush over the plain lashing the
sand at their base like a sea surging under a furious whirlwind;
shearing the grass clean away from the roots, tearing up trees,
which are whirled like leaves and sticks in air and sweeping away
tents and houses as if they were bits of paper. At last the columns
join at the top and form, perhaps three thousand feet above the
earth, a gigantic cloud of yellow sand which obliterates not only
the horizon but even the mid-day sun. These sand-spouts are the
terror of travellers. In Sind and the Punjab we have the dust-
storm which for darkness, I have said, beats the blackest London

[FN#204] Arab. Sár = the vendetta, before mentioned, as dreaded in
Arabia as in Corsica.

[FN#205] Arab. "Ghútah," usually a place where irrigation is
abundant. It especially applies (in books) to the Damascus-plain
because "it abounds with water and fruit trees." The Ghutah is one
of the four earthly paradises, the others being Basrah (Bassorah),
Shiraz and Samarcand. Its peculiarity is the likeness to a seaport
the Desert which rolls up almost to its doors being the sea and its
ships being the camels. The first Arab to whom we owe this
admirable term for the "Companion of Job" is "Tarafah" one of the
poets of the Suspended Poems: he likens (v. v. 3, 4) the camels
which bore away his beloved to ships sailing from Aduli. But "ships
of the desert" is doubtless a term of the highest antiquity.

[FN#206] The exigencies of the "Saj'a," or rhymed prose, disjoint
this and many similar pas. sages.

[FN#207] The "Ebony" Islands; Scott's "Isle of Ebene," i., 217.

[FN#208] "Jarjarís" in the Bul. Edit.

[FN#209] Arab. "Takbís." Many Easterns can hardly sleep without
this kneading of the muscles, this "rubbing" whose hygienic
properties England is now learning.

[FN#210] The converse of the breast being broadened, the drooping,
"draggle-tail" gait compared with the head held high and the
chest inflated.

[FN#211] This penalty is mentioned in the Koran (chaps. v.) as fit
for those who fight against Allah and his Apostle, but commentators
are not agreed if the sinners are first to be put to death or to
hang on the cross till they die. Pharaoh (chaps. xx.) threatens to
crucify his magicians on palm-trees, and is held to be the first

[FN#212] Arab. "'Ajami"=foreigner, esp. a Persian: the latter in
The Nights is mostly a villain. I must here remark that the
contemptible condition of Persians in Al-Hijáz (which I noted in
1852, Pilgrimage, i., 327) has completely changed. They are no
longer, "The slippers of All and hounds of Omar:" they have learned
the force of union and now, instead of being bullied, they bully.

[FN#213] The Calc. Edit. turns into Tailors (Khayyátín) and
does not see the misprint.

[FN#214] i.e. Axe and sandals.

[FN#215] Lit. "Strike his neck."

[FN#216] A phrase which will frequently recur; meaning the
situation suggested such words a these.

[FN#217] The smiter with the evil eye is called "A'in" and the
person smitten "Ma'ím" or "Ma'ún."

[FN#218] Arab. "Sákiyah," the well-known Persian wheel with pots
and buckets attached to the tire. It is of many kinds, the boxed,
etc., etc., and it is possibly alluded to in the "pitcher broken at
the fountain" (Eccleslastes xii. 6) an accident often occurring to
the modern "Noria." Travellers mostly abuse its "dismal creaking"
and "mournful monotony": I have defended the music of the
water-wheel in Pilgrimage ii. 198.

[FN#219] Arab. "Zikr" lit. remembering, mentioning (i. c. the names
of Allah), here refers to the meetings of religious for devotional
exercises; the "Zikkirs," as they are called, mostly standing or
sitting in a circle while they ejaculate the Holy Name. These
"rogations" are much affected by Darwayshes, or begging friars,
whom Europe politely divides Unto "dancing" and "howling"; and, on
one occasion, greatly to the scandal of certain Engländerinns to
whom I was showing the Ezbekiyah I joined the ring of "howlers."
Lane (Mod. Egypt, see index) is profuse upon the subject of "Zikrs"
and Zikkíts. It must not be supposed that they are uneducated men:
the better class, however, prefers more privacy.

[FN#220] As they thought he had been there for prayer or penance.

[FN#221] Arab. "Ziyárat," a visit to a pious person or place.

[FN#222] This is a paternal salute in the East where they are
particular about the part kissed. A witty and not unusually gross
Persian book, called the "Al-Námah" because all questions begin
with "Al" (the Arab article) contains one "Al-Wajib al-busidan?"
(what best deserves bussing?) and the answer is "Kus-i-nau-pashm,"
(a bobadilla with a young bush).

[FN#223] A weight of 71-72 English grains in gold; here equivalent
to the diner.

[FN#224] Compare the tale of The Three Crows in Gammer Grethel,
Evening ix.

[FN#225] The comparison is peculiarly apposite; the earth seen from
above appears hollow with a raised rim.

[FN#226] A hundred years old.

[FN#227] "Bahr" in Arab. means sea, river, piece of water; hence
the adjective is needed.

[FN#228] The Captain or Master of the ship (not the owner). In
Al-Yaman the word also means a "barber," in virtue of the root,
Rass, a head.

[FN#229] The text has "in the character Ruká'í,"," or Riká'í,, the

[FN#230] A curved character supposed to be like the basil-leaf
(rayhán). Richardson calls it "Rohani."

[FN#231] I need hardly say that Easterns use a reed, a Calamus
(Kalam applied only to the cut reed) for our quills and steel

[FN#232] Famous for being inscribed on the Kiswah (cover) of
Mohammed's tomb; a large and more formal hand still used for
engrossing and for mural inscriptions. Only seventy two varieties
of it are known (Pilgrimage, ii., 82).

[FN#233] The copying and transcribing hand which is either Arabi or
Ajami. A great discovery has been lately made which upsets all our
old ideas of Cufic, etc. Mr. Löytved of Bayrut has found, amongst
the Hauranic inscriptions, one in pure Naskhi, dating A. D. 568, or
fifty years before the Hijrah; and it is accepted as authentic by
my learned friend M. Ch. Clermont-Ganneau (p. 193, Pal. Explor.
Fund. July 1884). In D'Herbelot and Sale's day the Koran was
supposed to have been written in rude characters, like those
subsequently called "Cufic," invented shortly before Mohammed's
birth by Murámir ibn Murrah of Anbar in Irák, introduced into
Meccah by Bashar the Kindian, and perfected by Ibn Muklah
(Al-Wazir, ob. A. H. 328=940). We must now change all that. See
Catalogue of Oriental Caligraphs, etc., by G. P, Badger, London,
Whiteley, 1885.

[FN#234] Capital and uncial letters; the hand in which the Ka'abah
veil is inscribed (Pilgrimage iii. 299, 300).

[FN#235] A "Court hand" says Mr. Payne (i. 112): I know nothing of
it. Other hands are: the Ta'alík; hanging or oblique, used for
finer MSS. and having, according to Richardson, "the same analogy
to the Naskhi as our Italic has to the Roman." The Nasta' lík (not
Naskh-Ta'alik) much used in India, is, as the name suggests, a
mixture of the Naskhi (writing of transactions) and the Ta'alik.
The Shikastah (broken hand) everywhere represents our running hand
and becomes a hard task to the reader. The Kirmá is another cursive
character, mostly confined to the receipts and disbursements of the
Turkish treasury. The Diváni, or Court (of Justice) is the official
hand, bold and round. a business character, the lines often rising
with a sweep or curve towards the (left) end. The Jáli or polished
has a variety, the Jali-Ta'alik: the Sulsi (known in many books) is
adopted for titles of volumes, royal edicts, diplomas and so forth;
"answering much the same purpose as capitals with us, or the
flourished letters in illuminated manuscripts" (Richardson) The
Tughrái is that of the Tughrá, the Prince's cypher or flourishing
signature in ceremonial writings, and containing some such sentence
as: Let this be executed. There are others e. g. Yákuti and
Sirenkil known only by name. Finally the Maghribi (Moorish) hand
differs in form and diacritical points from the characters used
further east almost as much as German running hand does from
English. It is curious that Richardson omits the Jali (intricate
and convoluted) and the divisions of the Sulusí, Sulsi or Sulus
(Thuluth) character, the Sulus al-Khafíf, etc.

[FN#236] Arab. "Baghlah"; the male (Bagful) is used only for loads.
This is everywhere the rule: nothing is more unmanageable than a
restive "Macho", and he knows that he can always get you off his
back when so minded. From "Baghlah" is derived the name of the
native craft Anglo-Indicè a "Buggalow."

[FN#237] In Heb. ""Ben-Adam" is any man opp. to "Beni ish"
(Psalm iv. 3) =filii viri, not homines.

[FN#238] This posture is terribly trying to European legs; and few
white men (unless brought up to it) can squat for any time on their
heels. The ``tailor-fashion," with crossed legs, is held to be free
and easy.

[FN#239] Arab. "Katá"=Pterocles Alchata, the well-known sand-grouse
of the desert. It is very poor white flesh.

[FN#240] Arab. "Khubz" which I do not translate "cake" or
``bread,'' as thee would suggest the idea of our loaf. The staff of
life in the East is a thin flat circle of dough baked in the oven
or on the griddle, and corresponding with the Scotch "scone," the
Spanish tortilla and the Australian "flap-jack."

[FN#241] Arab. "Harísah," a favourite dish of wheat (or rice)
boiled and reduced to a paste with shredded meat, spices and
condiments. The "bangles" is a pretty girl eating with him.

[FN#242] These lines are repeated with a difference in Night
cccxxx. They affect Rims cars, out of the way, heavy rhymes: e. g.
here Sakáríj (plur. of Sakrúj, platters, porringers); Tayáhíj
(plur. of Tayhúj, the smaller caccabis-partridge); Tabáhíj (Persian
Tabahjah, an me et or a stew of meat, onions, eggs, etc.) Ma'áríj
("in stepped piles" like the pyramids Lane ii 495, renders "on the
stairs"); Makáríj (plur. of Makraj, a small pot); Damálíj (plur. of
dumlúj, a bracelet, a bangle); Dayábíj (brocades) and Tafáríj
(openings, enjoyments). In Night cccxxx. we find also Sikábíj
(plur. of Sikbáj, marinated meat elsewhere explained); Faráríj
(plur. of farrúj, a chicken, vulg. farkh) and Dakákíj (plur. of Gr.
dakújah,, a small Jar). In the first line we have also (though not
a rhyme) Gharánik Gr.        , a crane, preserved in Romaic. The
weeping and wailing are caused by the remembrance that all these
delicacies have been demolished like a Badawi camp.

[FN#243] This is the vinum coctum, the boiled wine, still a
favourite in Southern Italy and Greece.

[FN#244] Eastern topers delight in drinking at dawn: upon this
subject I shall have more to say in other Nights.

[FN#245] Arab. "Adab," a crux to translators, meaning anything
between good education and good manners. In mod. Turk. "Edibiyyet"
(Adabiyat) = belles lettres and "Edebi' or "Edíb" = a littérateur.

[FN#246] The Caliph Al-Maamún, who was a bad player, used to say,
"I have the administration of the world and am equal to it, whereas
I am straitened in the ordering of a space of two spans by two
spans." The "board" was then "a square field of well-dressed

[FN#247] The Rabbis (after Matth. xix. 12) count three kinds of
Eunuchs; (1) Seris chammah=of the sun, i.e. natural, (2) Seris
Adam=manufactured per homines; and (3) Seris Chammayim--of God
(i.e.. religious abstainer). Seris (castrated) or Abd (slave) is
the general Hebrew name.

[FN#248] The "Lady of Beauty."

[FN#249] "Káf" has been noticed as the mountain which surrounds
earth as a ring does the finger:: it is popularly used like our Alp
and Alpine. The "circumambient Ocean" (Bahr al-muhit) is the
Homeric Ocean-stream.

[FN#250] The pomegranate is probably chosen here because each fruit
is supposed to contain one seed from Eden-garden. Hence a host of
superstitions (Pilgrimage iii., 104) possibly connected with the
Chaldaic-Babylonian god Rimmon or Ramanu. Hence Persephone or
Ishtar tasted the "rich pomegranate's seed." Lenormant, loc. cit.
pp. 166, 182.

[FN#251] i.e. for the love of God--a favourite Moslem phrase.

[FN#252] Arab. "Báb," also meaning a chapter (of magic, of war,
etc.), corresponding with the Persian "Dar" as in Sad-dar, the
Hundred Doors. Here, however, it is figurative "I tried a new
mode." This scene is in the Mabinogion.

[FN#253] I use this Irish term = crying for the dead, as English
wants the word for the præfica, or myrialogist. The practice is not
encouraged in Al-Islam; and Caliph Abu Bakr said, ; "Verily a
corpse is sprinkled with boiling water by reason of the
lamentations of the living, i.e. punished for not having taken
measures to prevent their profitless lamentations. But the practice
is from Negroland whence it reached Egypt, and the people have
there developed a curious system in the "weeping-song" I have noted
this in "The Lake Regions of Central Africa." In Zoroastrianism
(Dabistan, chaps. xcvii.) tears shed for the dead form a river in
hell, black and frigid.

[FN#254] These lines are hardly translatable. Arab. "Sabr" means
"patience" as well as "aloes," hereby lending itself to a host of
puns and double entendres more or less vile. The aloe, according to
Burckhardt, is planted in graveyards as a lesson of patience: it is
also slung, like the dried crocodile, over house doors to prevent
evil spirits entering: "thus hung without earth and water," says
Lane (M.E., chaps. xi.), "it will live for several years and even
blossom. Hence (?) it is called Sabr, which signifies patience. But
Sibr as well as Sabr (a root) means "long sufferance." I hold the
practice to be one of the many Inner African superstitions. The
wild Gallas to the present day plant aloes on graves, and suppose
that when the plant sprouts the deceased has been admitted to the
gardens of Wák, the Creator. (Pilgrimage iii. 350.)

[FN#255] Every city in the East has its specific title: this was
given to Baghdad either on account of its superior police or simply
because it was the Capital of the Caliphate. The Tigris was also
called the "River of Peace (or Security)."

[FN#256] This is very characteristic: the passengers finding
themselves in difficulties at once take command. See in my
Pilgrimage (I. chaps. xi.) how we beat and otherwise maltreated the
Captain of the "Golden Wire."

[FN#257] The fable is probably based on the currents which, as in
Eastern Africa, will carry a ship fifty miles a day out of her
course. We first find it in Ptolemy (vii. 2) whose Maniólai
Islands, of India extra Gangem, cause iron nails to fly out of
ships, the effect of the Lapis Herculeus (Loadstone). Rabelais (v.
c. 37) alludes to it and to the vulgar idea of magnetism being
counteracted by Skordon (Scordon or garlic). Hence too the Adamant
(Loadstone) Mountains of Mandeville (chaps. xxvii.) and the
"Magnetic Rock" in Mr Puttock's clever "Peter Wilkins." I presume
that the myth also arose from seeing craft built, as on the East
African Coast, without iron nails. We shall meet with the legend
again. The word Jabal ("Jebel" in Egypt) often occurs in these
pages. The Arabs apply it to any rising ground or heap of rocks; so
it is not always = our mountain. It has found its way to Europe
e. g. Gibraltar and Monte Gibello (or Mongibel in poetry) "Mt. Ethne
that men clepen Mounte Gybelle." Other special senses of Jabal
will occur.

[FN#258] As we learn from the Nubian Geographer the Arabs in early
ages explored the Fortunate Islands (Jazírát al-Khálidát=Eternal
Isles), or Canaries, on one of which were reported a horse and
horseman in bronze with his spear pointing west. Ibn al-Ward) notes
two images of hard stone, each an hundred cubits high, and upon the
top of each a figure of copper pointing with its hand backwards, as
though it would say:--Return for there is nothing behind me!" But
this legend attaches to older doings. The 23rd Tobba (who succeeded
Bilkis), Malik bin Sharhabíl, (or Sharabíl or Sharahíl) surnamed
Náshir al-Ní'am=scatterer of blessings, lost an army in attempting
the Western sands and set up a statue of copper upon whose breast
was inscribed in antique characters:--

     There is no access behind me,
     Nothing beyond,
     (Saith) The Son of Sharabíl.

[FN#259] i.e. I exclaimed "Bismillah!"

[FN#260] The lesser ablution of hands, face and feet; a kind of
"washing the points." More in Night ccccxl.

[FN#261] Arab. "Ruka'tayn"; the number of these bows which are
followed by the prostrations distinguishes the five daily

[FN#262] The "Beth Kol" of the Hebrews; also called by the Moslems
"Hátif"; for which ask the Spiritualists. It is the Hindu "voice
divine" or "voice from heaven."

[FN#263] These formulae are technically called Tasmiyah, Tahlil
(before noted) and Takbír: i.e. "testifying" is Tashhíd.

[FN#264] Arab. "Samn," (Pers. "Raughan" Hind. "Ghi") the "single
sauce" of the East; fresh butter set upon the fire, skimmed and
kept (for a century if required) in leather bottles and demijohns.
Then it becomes a hard black mass, considered a panacea for wounds
and diseases. It is very "filling": you say jocosely to an Eastern
threatened with a sudden inroad of guests, "Go, swamp thy rice with
Raughan." I once tried training, like a Hindu Pahlawan or athlete,
on Gur (raw sugar), milk and Ghi; and the result was being blinded
by bile before the week ended.

[FN#265] These handsome youths are always described in the terms we
should apply to women.

[FN#266] The Bull Edit. (i. 43) reads otherwise:--I found a garden
and a second and a third and so on till they numbered thirty and
nine; and, in each garden, I saw what praise will not express, of
trees and rills and fruits and treasures. At the end of the last I
sighted a door and said to myself, "What may be in this place?;
needs must I open it and look in!" I did so accordingly and saw a
courser ready saddled and bridled and picketed; so I loosed and
mounted him, and he flew with me like a bird till he set me down on
a terrace-roof; and, having landed me, he struck me a whisk with
his tail and put out mine eye and fled from me. Thereupon I
descended from the roof and found ten youths all blind of one eye
who, when they saw me exclaimed, "No welcome to thee, and no good
cheer!" I asked them, "Do ye admit me to your home and society?"
and they answered, "No, by Allah' thou shalt not live amongst us."
So I went forth with weeping eyes and grieving heart, but Allah had
written my safety on the Guarded Tablet so I reached Baghdad in
safety, etc. This is a fair specimen of how the work has been
curtailed in that issue.

[FN#267] Arabs date pregnancy from the stopping of the menses, upon
which the foetus is supposed to feed. Kalilah wa Dimnah says, "The
child's navel adheres to that of his mother and thereby he sucks"
(i. 263).

[FN#268] This is contrary to the commands of Al-Islam, Mohammed
expressly said "The Astrologers are liars, by the Lord of the
Ka'abah!"; and his saying is known to almost all Moslems, lettered
or unlettered. Yet, the further we go East (Indiawards) the more we
find these practices held in honour. Turning westwards we have:

     Iuridicis, Erebo, Fisco, fas vivere rapto:
     Militibus, Medicis, Tortori occidere ludo est;
     Mentiri Astronomis, Pictoribus atque Poetis.

[FN#269] He does not perform the Wuzu or lesser ablution because he
neglects his dawn prayers.

[FN#270] For this game see Lane (M. E. Chapt. xvii.) It is usually
played on a checked cloth not on a board like our draughts; and
Easterns are fond of eating, drinking and smoking between and even
during the games. Torrens (p. 142) translates "I made up some
dessert," confounding "Mankalah" with "Nukl" (dried fruit,

[FN#271] Quoted from Mohammed whose saying has been given.

[FN#272] We should say "the night of the thirty-ninth."

[FN#273] The bath first taken after sickness.

[FN#274] Arab. "Dikák" used by way of soap or rather to soften the
skin: the meal is usually of lupins, "Adas"="Revalenta Arabica,"
which costs a penny in Egypt and half-a-crown in England.

[FN#275] Arab. "Sukkar-nabát." During my day (1842-49) we had no
other sugar in the Bombay Presidency.

[FN#276] This is one of the myriad Arab instances that the decrees
of "Anagké," Fate, Destiny, Weird, are inevitable. The situation is
highly dramatic; and indeed The Nights, as will appear in the
Terminal Essay, have already suggested a national drama.

[FN#277] Having lately been moved by Ajib.

[FN#278] Mr. Payne (i. 131) omits these lines which appear out of
place; but this mode of inappropriate quotation is a characteristic
of Eastern tales.

[FN#279] Anglicè "him."

[FN#280] This march of the tribe is a lieu commun of Arab verse
e.g. the poet Labid's noble elegy on the "Deserted Camp." We shall
find scores of instances in The Nights.

[FN#281] I have heard of such sands in the Desert east of Damascus
which can be crossed only on boards or camel furniture; and the
same is reported of the infamous Region "Al-Ahkláf" ("Unexplored

[FN#282] Hence the Arab. saying "The bark of a dog and not the
gleam of a fire;" the tired traveller knows from the former that
the camp is near, whereas the latter shows from great distances.

[FN#283] Dark blue is the colour of mourning in Egypt as it was of
the Roman Republic. The Persians hold that this tint was introduced
by Kay Kawús (B. C. 600) when mourning for his son Siyáwush. It was
continued till the death of Husayn on the 10th of Muharram (the
first month, then representing the vernal equinox) when it was
changed for black. As a rule Moslems do not adopt this symbol of
sorrow (called "Hidád") looking upon the practice as somewhat
idolatrous and foreign to Arab manners. In Egypt and especially on
the Upper Nile women dye their hands with indigo and stair. their
faces black or blacker.

[FN#284] The older Roc, of which more in the Tale of Sindbad.
Meanwhile the reader curious about the Persian Símurgh (thirty
bird) will consult the Dabistan, i., 55,191 and iii., 237, and
Richardson's Diss. p. xlviii. For the Anka (Enka or Unka--long
necked bird) see Dab. iii., 249 and for the Humá (bird of Paradise)
Richardson lxix. We still lack details concerning the Ben or Bennu
(nycticorax) of Egypt which with the Article pi gave rise to the
Greek "phoenix."

[FN#285] Probably the Haledj of Forskal (p. xcvi. Flor. Ægypt.
Arab.), "lignum tenax, durum, obscuri generic." The Bres. Edit. has
"ákúl"=teak wood, vulg. "Sáj."

[FN#286] The knocker ring is an invention well known to the

[FN#287] Arab. "Sadr"; the place of honour; hence the "Sudder
Adawlut" (Supreme Court) in the Anglo-Indian jargon.

[FN#288] Arab. "Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhabá," the words still
popularly addressed to a guest.

[FN#289] This may mean "liquid black eyes"; but also, as I have
noticed, that the lashes were long and thick enough to make the
eyelids appear as if Kohl-powder had been applied to the inner

[FN#290] A slight parting between the two front incisors, the upper
only, is considered a beauty by Arabs; why it as hard to say except
for the racial love of variety. "Sugar" (Thug) in the text means,
primarily, the opening of the mouth, the gape: hence the front

[FN#291] i.e. makes me taste the bitterness of death, "bursting the
gall-bladder" (Marárah) being our "breaking the heart."

[FN#292] Almost needless to say that forbidden doors and rooms form
a lieu-commun in Fairie: they are found in the Hindu Katha Sarit
Sagara and became familiar to our childhood by "Bluebeard."

[FN#293] Lit. "apply Kohl to my eyes," even as Jezebel "painted her
face," in Heb. put her eyes in painting (2 Kings ix. 30).

[FN#294] Arab. "Al-Barkúk," whence our older "Apricock."
Classically it is "Burkúk" and Pers. for Arab. "Mishrnish," and it
also denotes a small plum or damson. In Syria the side next the
sun" shows a glowing red flush.

[FN#295] Arab. "Hazár" (in Persian, a thousand) = a kind of
mocking bird.

[FN#296] Some Edits. make the doors number a hundred, but the
Princesses were forty and these coincidences, which seem to have
significance and have none save for Arab symmetromania, are
common in Arab stories.

[FN#297] Arab. "Májur": hence possibly our "mazer," which is
popularly derived from Masarn, a maple.

[FN#298] A compound scent of ambergris, musk and aloes.

[FN#299] The ends of the bridle-reins forming the whip.

[FN#300] The flying horse is Pegasus which is a Greek travesty of
an Egyptian myth developed India.

[FN#301] The Bres. Edit. wrongly says "the seventh."

[FN#302] Arab. "Sharmutah" (plur. Sharámít) from the root Sharmat,
to shred, a favourite Egyptian word also applied in vulgar speech
to a strumpet, a punk, a piece. It is also the popular term for
strips of jerked or boucaned meat hung up m the sun to dry, and
classically called "Kadíd."

[FN#303] Arab. "Izár," the man's waistcloth opposed to the Ridá or
shoulder-cloth, is also the sheet of white calico worn by the
poorer Egyptian women out of doors and covering head and hands. See
Lane (M. E., chaps. i.). The rich prefer a "Habárah" of black silk,
and the poor, when they have nothing else, use a bed-sheet.

[FN#304] i.e. "My clears."

[FN#305] Arab. "Lá tawákhizná:" lit. "do not chastise (or blame)
us;" the pop. expression for, "excuse (or pardon) us."

[FN#306] Arab. "Maskhút," mostly applied to change of shape as man
enchanted to monkey, and in vulgar parlance applied to a statue (of
stone, etc.). The list of metamorphoses in Al-Islam is longer than
that known to Ovid. Those who have seen Petra, the Greek town of
the Haurán and the Roman ruins in Northern Africa will readily
detect the bests upon which these stories are built. I shall return
to this subject in The City of Iram (Night cclxxvi.) and The City
of Brass (dlxvii.).

[FN#307] A picturesque phrase enough to express a deserted site, a
spectacle familiar to the Nomades and always abounding in pathos to
the citizens.

[FN#308] The olden "Harem" (or gynæceum, Pers. Zenanah, Serraglio):
Harím is also used by synecdoche for the inmates; especially the

[FN#309] The pearl is supposed in the East to lose 1% per ann. of
its splendour and value.

[FN#310] Arab. "Fass," properly the bezel of a ring; also a gem cut
en cabochon and generally the contenant for the contenu.

[FN#311] Arab. "Mihráb" = the arch-headed niche in the Mosque-wall
facing Meccah-wards. Here, with his back to the people and fronting
the Ka'abah or Square House of Meccah (hence called the "Kiblah" =
direction of prayer), stations himself the Imám, artistes or
fugleman, lit. "one who stands before others;" and his bows and
prostrations give the time to the congregation. I have derived the
Mihrab from the niche in which the Egyptian God was shrined: the
Jews ignored it, but the Christians preserved it for their statues
and altars. Maundrell suggests that the empty niche denotes an
invisible God. As the niche (symbol of Venus) and the minaret
(symbol of Priapus) date only from the days of the tenth Caliph,
Al-Walid (A.H. 86-96=105-115), the Hindus charge the Moslems with
having borrowed the two from their favourite idols--The Linga-Yoni
or Cunnus phallus (Pilgrimage ii. 140), and plainly call the Mihrab
a Bhaga= Cunnus (Dabistan ii. 152). The Guebres further term Meccah
"Mah-gah," locus Lunæ, and Al-Medinah, "Mahdinah," = Moon of
religion. See Dabistan i., 49, etc.

[FN#312] Arab "Kursi," a stool of palm-fronds, etc., X-shaped (see
Lane's illustration, Nights i., 197), before which the reader sits.
Good Moslems will not hold the Holy Volume below the waist nor open
it except when ceremonially pure. Englishmen in the East should
remember this, for to neglect the "Adab al-Kúran" (respect due to
Holy Writ) gives great scandal.

[FN#313] Mr. Payne (i. 148) quotes the German Zuckerpüppchen.

[FN#314] The Persian poets have a thousand conceits in praise of
the "mole," (Khál or Shámah) for which Hafiz offered "Samarkand and
Bokhara" (they not being his, as his friends remarked). Another
"topic" is the flight of arrows shot by eyelashes.

[FN#315] Arab. "Suhá" a star in the Great Bear introduced only to
balance "wushát" = spies, enviers, enemies, whose "evil eye" it
will ward off.

[FN#316] In Arab tales beauty is always "soft-sided," and a smooth
skin is valued in proportion to its rarity.

[FN#317] The myrtle is the young hair upon the side face

[FN#318] In other copies of these verses the fourth couplet swears
"by the scorpions of his brow" i.e. the accroche-cæurs, the
beau-catchers, bell-ropes or aggravators," as the B.P. calls them.
In couplet eight the poet alludes to his love's "Unsur," or element
his nature made up of the four classicals, and in the last couplet
he makes the nail paring refer to the moon not the sun.

[FN#319] This is regular formula when speaking of Guebres.

[FN#320] Arab. "Faráiz"; the orders expressly given in the Koran
which the reader will remember, is Uncreate and Eternal. In India
"Farz" is applied to injunctions thrice repeated; and "Wájíb" to
those given twice over. Elsewhere scanty difference is made between

[FN#321] Arab. "Kufr" = rejecting the True Religion, i.e. Al-Islam,
such rejection being "Tughyán" or rebellion against the Lord. The
"terrible sound" is taken from the legend of the prophet Sálih and
the proto-historic tribe of Thámúd which for its impiety was struck
dead by an earthquake and a noise from heaven. The latter,
according to some commentators, was the voice of the Archangel
Gabriel crying "Die all of you" (Koran, chapts. vii., xviii.,
etc.). We shall hear more of it in the "City of many-columned
Iram." According to some, Salih, a mysterious Badawi prophet, is
buried in the Wady al-Shaykh of the so-called Sinaitic Peninsula.

[FN#322] Yet they kept the semblance of man, showing that the idea
arose from the basaltic statues found in Hauranic ruins. Mohammed
in his various marches to Syria must have seen remnants of Greek
and Roman settlements; and as has been noticed "Sesostris"

[FN#323] Arab. "Shuhadá"; highly respected by Moslems as by other
religionists; although their principal if not only merit seems as
a rule to have been intense obstinacy and devotion to one idea for
which they were ready to sacrifice even life. The Martyrs-category
is extensive including those killed by falling walls; victims to
the plague, pleurisy and pregnancy, travellers drowned or otherwise
lost when journeying honestly, and chaste lovers who die of "broken
hearts" i.e. impaired digestion. Their souls are at once stowed
away in the crops of green birds where they remain till
Resurrection Day, "eating of the fruits and drinking of the streams
of Paradise," a place however, whose topography is wholly
uncertain. Thus the young Prince was rewarded with a manner of
anti-Purgatory, a preparatory heaven.

[FN#324] Arab. "Su'ubán:" the Badawin give the name to a variety of
serpents all held to be venomous; but m tales the word, like
"Tannín," expresses our "dragon" or "cockatrice."

[FN#325] She was ashamed to see the lady doing servile duty by
rubbing her feet. This massage, which B. de la Brocquière describes
in 1452 as "kneading and pinching," has already been noticed. The
French term is apparently derived from the Arab. "Mas-h."

[FN#326] Alluding to the Most High Name, the hundredth name of God,
the Heb. Shem hamphorash, unknown save to a favoured few who by
using it perform all manner of miracles.

[FN#327] i e. the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.

[FN#328] i.e. Settled by the Koran.

[FN#329] The uglier the old woman the better procuress she is
supposed to make. See the Santa Verdiana in Boccaccio v., 10. In
Arab. "Ajuz" (old woman) is highly insulting and if addressed to an
Egyptian, whatever be her age she will turn fiercely and resent it.
The polite term is Shaybah (Pilgrimage hi., 200).

[FN#330] The four ages of woman, considered after Demosthenes in
her three-fold character, prostitute for pleasure, concubine for
service and wife for breeding.

[FN#331] Arab. "Jilá" (the Hindostani Julwa) = the displaying of
the bride before the bridegroom for the first time, in different
dresses, to the number of seven which are often borrowed for the
occasion. The happy man must pay a fee called "the tax of
face-unveiling" before he can see her features. Amongst Syrian
Christians he sometimes tries to lift the veil by a sharp movement
of the sword which is parried by the women present, and the blade
remains entangled in the cloth. At last he succeeds, the bride
sinks to the ground covering her face with her hands and the robes
of her friends: presently she is raised up, her veil is readjusted
and her face is left bare.

[FN#332] Arab. "Ishá"= the first watch of the night, twilight,
supper-time, supper. Moslems have borrowed the four watches of the
Romans from 6 (a.m. or p.m.) to 6, and ignore the three original
watches of the Jews, even, midnight and cockcrow (Sam. ii. 19,
Judges vii. 19, and Exodus xiv. 24).

[FN#333] A popular Arab hyperbole.

[FN#334] Arab. "Shakáik al-Nu'uman," lit. the fissures of Nu'uman,
the beautiful anemone, which a tyrannical King of Hirah, Nu'uman
Al-Munzir, a contemporary of Mohammed, attempted to monopolize.

[FN#335] Arab. "Andam"=here the gum called dragon's blood; in other
places the dye-wood known as brazil.

[FN#336] I need hardly say that in the East, where bells are
unused, clapping the hands summons the servants. In India men cry
"Quy hye" (Koi hái?) and in Brazil whistle "Pst!" after the fashion
of Spain and Portugal.

[FN#337] The moles are here compared with pearls; a simile by no
means common or appropriate.

[FN#338] A parody on the testification of Allah's Unity.

[FN#339] Arab. "Simát" (prop. "Sumát"); the "dinner-table,"
composed of a round wooden stool supporting a large metal tray, the
two being called "Sufrah" (or "Simat"): thus "Sufrah házirah!"
means dinner is on the table. After the meal they are at once

[FN#340] In the text "Dastúr," the Persian word before noticed;
"Izn" would be the proper Arabic equivalent.

[FN#341] In the Moslem East a young woman, single or married, is
not allowed to appear alone in the streets; and the police have a
right to arrest delinquents. As a preventive of intrigues the
precaution is excellent. During the Crimean war hundreds of
officers, English, French and Italian, became familiar with
Constantinople; and not a few flattered themselves on their success
with Turkish women. I do not believe that a single bona fide case
occurred: the "conquests" were all Greeks, Wallachians, Armenians
or Jewesses.

[FN#342] Arab. "Azím": translators do not seem to know that this
word in The Nights often bears its Egyptian and slang sense,
somewhat equivalent to our "deuced" or "mighty" or "awfully

[FN#343] This is a very serious thing amongst Moslems and
scrupulous men often make great sacrifices to avoid taking an

[FN#344] We should say "into the noose."

[FN#345] The man had fallen in love with her and determined to mark
her so that she might be his.

[FN#346] Arab. "Dajlah," in which we find the Heb. Hid-dekel.

[FN#347] Such an execution would be contrary to Moslem law: but
people would look leniently upon the peccadillo of beheading or
sacking a faithless wife. Moreover the youth was of the blood royal
and A quoi bon être prince? as was said by a boy of viceroyal
family in Egypt to his tutor who reproached him for unnecessarily
shooting down a poor old man.

[FN#348] Arab. "Shirk," partnership, evening or associating gods
with God; polytheism: especially levelled at the Hindu triadism,
Guebre dualism and Christian Trinitarianism.

[FN#349] Arab. "Shatm"--abuse, generally couched in foulest
language with especial reference to the privy parts of female

[FN#350] When a woman is bastinadoed in the East they leave her
some portion of dress and pour over her sundry buckets of water for
a delicate consideration. When the hands are beaten they are passed
through holes in the curtain separating the sufferer from mankind,
and made fast to a "falakah" or pole.

[FN#351] Arab. "Khalifah," Caliph. The word is also used for the
successor of a Santon or holy man.

[FN#352] Arab. "Sár," here the Koranic word for carrying out the
venerable and undying lex talionis the original basis of all
criminal jurisprudence. Its main fault is that justice repeats the

[FN#353] Both these sons of Harun became Caliphs, as we shall see
in The Nights.

[FN#354] "Dog" and "hog" are still highly popular terms of abuse.
The Rabbis will not defile their lips with "pig;" but say "Dabhar
akhir"="another thing."

[FN#355] The "hero eponymus" of the Abbaside dynasty, Abbas having
been the brother of Abdullah the father of Mohammed. He is a famous
personage in AI-Islam (D'Herbelot).

[FN#356] Europe translates the word "Barmecides. It is Persian from
bar (up) and makidan (to suck). The vulgar legend is that Ja'afar,
the first of the name, appeared before the Caliph Abd al-Malik with
a ring poisoned for his own need; and that the Caliph, warned of it
by the clapping of two stones which he wore ad hoc, charged the
visitor with intention to murder him. He excused himself and in his
speech occurred the Persian word "Barmakam," which may mean "I
shall sup it up," or "I am a Barmak," that is, a high priest among
the Guebres. See D'Herbelot s.v.

[FN#357] Arab."Zulm," the deadliest of monarch's sins. One of the
sayings of Mohammed, popularly quoted, is, "Kingdom endureth with
Kufr or infidelity (i. e. without accepting AI-Islam) but endureth
not with Zulm or injustice." Hence the good Moslem will not
complain of the rule of Kafirs or Unbelievers, like the English, so
long as they rule him righteously and according to his own law.]

[FN#358] All this aggravates his crime: had she been a widow she
would not have had upon him "the claims of maidenhead," the premio
della verginita of Boccaccio, x. 10.

[FN#359] It is supposed that slaves cannot help telling these fatal
lies. Arab story-books are full of ancient and modern instances and
some have become "Joe Millers." Moreover it is held unworthy of a
free-born man to take over-notice of these servile villanies; hence
the scoundrel in the story escapes unpunished. I have already
noticed the predilection of debauched women for these "skunks of
the human race;" and the young man in the text evidently suspected
that his wife had passed herself this "little caprice." The excuse
which the Caliph would find for him is the pundonor shown in
killing one he loved so fondly.

[FN#360] The Arab equivalent of our pitcher and well.

[FN#361] i.e. Where the dress sits loosely about the bust.

[FN#362] He had trusted in Allah and his trust was justified.

[FN#363] Arab. "Khila'ah" prop. What a man strips from his
person: gen. An honorary gift. It is something more than the
"robe of honour" of our chivalrous romances, as it includes a
horse, a sword (often gold-hilted), a black turban (amongst the
Abbasides) embroidered with gold, a violet-mantle, a waist-shawl
and a gold neck-chain and shoe-buckles.

[FN#364] Arab. "Izá," i.e. the visits of condolence and so forth
which are long and terribly wearisome in the Moslem East.

[FN#365] Arab. "Mahr," the money settled by the man before
marriage on the woman and without which the contract is not
valid. Usually half of it is paid down on the marriage-day and
the other half when the husband dies or divorces his wife. But if
she take a divorce she forfeits her right to it, and obscene
fellows, especially Persians, often compel her to demand divorce
by unnatural and preposterous use of her person.

[FN#366] Bismillah here means "Thou art welcome to it."

[FN#367] Arab. "Bassak," half Pers. (bas = enough) and--ak =
thou; for thee. "Bas" sounds like our "buss" (to kiss) and there
are sundry good old Anglo-Indian jokes of feminine mistakes on
the subject.

[FN#368] This saving clause makes the threat worse. The scene
between the two brothers is written with characteristic Arab
humour; and it is true to nature. In England we have heard of a
man who separated from his wife because he wished to dine at six
and she preferred half-past six.

[FN#369] Arab. "Misr." (vulg. Masr). The word, which comes of a
very ancient house, was applied to the present capital about the
time of its conquest by the Osmanli Turks A.H. 923 = 1517.

[FN#370] The Arab. "Jízah," = skirt, edge; the modern village is
the site of an ancient Egyptian city, as the "Ghizah inscription"
proves (Brugsch, History of Egypt, ii. 415)

[FN#371] Arab. "Watan" literally meaning "birth-place" but also
used for "patria, native country"; thus "Hubb al-Watan" =
patriotism. The Turks pronounce it "Vatan," which the French have
turned it into Va-t'en!

[FN#372] Arab. "Zarzariyah" = the colour of a stare or starling

[FN#373] Now a Railway Station on the Alexandria-Cairo line.

[FN#374] Even as late as 1852, when I first saw Cairo, the city
was girt by waste lands and the climate was excellent. Now
cultivation comes up to the house walls; while the Mahmudiyah
Canal, the planting the streets with avenues and over-watering
have seriously injured it; those who want the air of former Cairo
must go to Thebes. Gout, rheumatism and hydrophobia (before
unknown) have become common of late years.

[FN#375] This is the popular pronunciation: Yakút calls it

[FN#376] An outlying village on the "Long Desert," between Cairo
and Palestine.

[FN#377] Arab. "Al-Kuds" = holiness. There are few cities which
in our day have less claim to this title than Jerusalem; and,
curious to say, the "Holy Land" shows Jews, Christians and
Moslems all in their worst form. The only religion (if it can be
called one) which produces men in Syria is the Druse. "Heiligen-
landes Jüden" are proverbial and nothing can be meaner than the
Christians while the Moslems are famed for treachery.

[FN#378] Arab. "Shamm al-hawá." In vulgar parlance to "smell the
air" is to take a walk, especially out of town. There is a
peculiar Egyptian festival called "Shamm al-Nasím" (smelling the
Zephyr) which begins on Easter-Monday (O.S.), thus corresponding
with the Persian Nau-roz, vernal equinox and introducing the
fifty days of "Khammasín" or "Mirísi" (hot desert winds). On
awakening, the people smell and bathe their temples with vinegar
in which an onion has been soaked and break their fast with a
"fisikh" or dried "búri" = mullet from Lake Menzalah: the late
Hekekiyan Bey had the fish-heads counted in one public garden and
found 70,000. The rest of the day is spent out of doors
"Gypsying," and families greatly enjoy themselves on these
occasions. For a longer description, see a paper by my excellent
friend Yacoub Artin Pasha, in the Bulletin de l'Institut
Égyptien, 2nd series, No. 4, Cairo, 1884. I have noticed the
Mirísi (south-wester) and other winds in the Land of Midian, i.,

[FN#379] So in the days of the "Mameluke Beys" in Egypt a man of
rank would not cross the street on foot.

[FN#380] Arab. Basrah. The city is now in decay and not to
flourish again till the advent of the Euphrates Valley R.R., is a
modern place, founded in A.H. 15, by the Caliph Omar upon the
Aylah, a feeder of the Tigris. Here, according to Al-Haríri, the
"whales and the lizards meet," and, as the tide affects the

     Its stream shows prodigy, ebbing and flowing.

In its far-famed market-place, Al-Marbad, poems used to be
recited; and the city was famous for its mosques and Saint-
shrines, fair women and school of Grammar which rivalled that of
Kúfah. But already in Al-Hariri's day (nat. A.H. 446 = A.D. 1030)
Baghdad had drawn off much of its population.

[FN#381] This fumigation (Bukhúr) is still used. A little incense
or perfumed wood is burnt upon an open censor (Mibkharah) of
earthenware or metal, and passed round, each guest holding it for
a few moments under his beard. In the Somali County, the very
home of incense, both sexes fumigate the whole person after
carnal intercourse. Lane (Mod. Egypt, chapt. viii) gives an
illustration of the Mibkharah).

[FN#382] The reader of The Nights will remark that the merchant
is often a merchant-prince, consorting and mating with the
highest dignitaries. Even amongst the Romans, a race of soldiers,
statesmen and lawyers, "mercatura" on a large scale was "not to
be vituperated." In Boccacio (x. 19) they are netti e delicati
uomini. England is perhaps the only country which has made her
fortune by trade, and much of it illicit trade, like that in
slaves which built Liverpool and Bristol, and which yet disdains
or affects to disdain the trader. But the unworthy prejudice is
disappearing with the last generation, and men who formerly would
have half starved as curates and ensigns, barristers and carabins
are now only too glad to become merchants.

[FN#383] These lines in the Calc. And Bul. Edits. Have already
occurred (Night vii.) but such carelessness is characteristic
despite the proverb, "In repetition is no fruition." I quote
Torrens (p. 60) by way of variety. As regards the anemone (here
called a tulip) being named "Shakík" = fissure, I would
conjecture that it derives from the flower often forming long
lines of red like stripes of blood in the landscape. Travellers
in Syria always observe this.

[FN#384] Such an address to a royalty (Eastern) even in the
present day, would be a passport to future favours.

[FN#385] In England the man marries and the woman is married:
there is no such distinction in Arabia.

[FN#386] "Sultan" (and its corruption "Soldan") etymologically
means lord, victorious, ruler, ruling over. In Arabia it is a not
uncommon proper name; and as a title it is taken by a host of
petty kinglets. The Abbaside Caliphs (as Al-Wásik who has been
noticed) formally created these Sultans as their regents. Al-Tá'i
bi'llah (regn. A.H. 363 = 974), invested the famous Sabuktagin
with the office; and as Alexander-Sikander was wont to do,
fashioned for him two flags, one of silver, after the fashion of
nobles, and the other of gold, as Viceroy-designate. Sabuktagin's
son, the famous Mahmúd of the Ghaznavite dynasty in A.H. 393 =
1002, was the first to adopt "Sultan" as an independent title
some two hundred years after the death of Harun al-Rashid. In old
writers we have the Soldan of Egypt, the Soudan of Persia, and
the Sowdan of Babylon; three modifications of one word.

[FN#387] i.e. he was a "Háfiz," one who commits to memory the
whole of the Koran. It is a serious task and must be begun early.
I learnt by rote the last "Juzw" (or thirtieth part) and found
that quite enough. This is the vulgar use of "Hafiz": technically
and theologically it means the third order of Traditionists (the
total being five) who know by heart 300,000 traditions of the
Prophet with their ascriptions. A curious "spiritualist" book
calls itself "Hafed, Prince of Persia," proving by the very title
that the Spirits are equally ignorant of Arabic and Persian.

[FN#388] Here again the Cairo Edit. repeats the six couplets
already given in Night xvii. I take them from Torrens (p. 163).

[FN#389] This naïve admiration of beauty in either sex
characterised our chivalrous times. Now it is mostly confined to
"professional beauties" or what is conventionally called the
"fair sex"; as if there could be any comparison between the
beauty of man and the beauty of woman, the Apollo Belvidere with
the Venus de Medici.

[FN#390] Arab. "Shásh" (in Pers. urine) a light turband generally
of muslin.

[FN#391] This is a lieu commun of Eastern worldly wisdom. Quite
true! Very unadvisable to dive below the surface of one's
acquaintances, but such intimacy is like marriage of which
Johnson said, "Without it there is no pleasure in life."

[FN#392] The lines are attributed to the famous Al-Mutanabbi =
the claimant to "Prophecy," of whom I have given a few details in
my Pilgrimage iii. 60, 62. He led the life of a true poet,
somewhat Chauvinistic withal; and, rather than run away, was
killed in A.H. 354 = 965.

[FN#393] Arab. "Nabíz" = wine of raisins or dates; any fermented
liquor; from a root to "press out" in Syriac, like the word
"Talmiz" (or Tilmiz says the Kashf al-Ghurrah) a pupil, student.
Date-wine (ferment from the fruit, not the Tádi, or juice of the
stem, our "toddy") is called Fazikh. Hence the Masjid al-Fazikh
at Al-Medinah where the Ansar or Auxiliaries of that city were
sitting cup in hand when they heard of the revelation forbidding
inebriants and poured the liquor upon the ground (Pilgrimage ii.

[FN#394] Arab. "Huda" = direction (to the right way), salvation,
a word occurring in the Opening Chapter of the Koran. Hence to a
Kafir who offers the Salam-salutation many Moslems reply "Allah-
yahdík" = Allah direct thee! (i.e. make thee a Moslem), instead
of Allah yusallimak = Allah lead thee to salvation. It is the
root word of the Mahdi and Mohdi.

[FN#395] These lines have already occurred in The First
Kalandar's Story (Night xi.) I quote by way of change and with
permission Mr. Payne's version (i. 93).

[FN#396] Arab. "Farajíyah," a long-sleeved robe worn by the
learned (Lane, M.E., chapt. i.).

[FN#397] Arab. "Sarráf" (vulg. Sayrafi), whence the Anglo-Indian
"Shroff," a familiar corruption.

[FN#398] Arab. "Yahúdi" which is less polite than "Banú Isráil" =
Children of Israel. So in Christendom "Israelite" when in favour
and "Jew" (with an adjective or a participle) when nothing is
wanted of him.

[FN#399] Also called "Ghilmán" = the beautiful youths appointed
to serve the True Believers in Paradise. The Koran says (chapt.
lvi. 9 etc.) "Youths, which shall continue in their bloom for
ever, shall go round about to attend them, with goblets, and
beakers, and a cup of flowing wine," etc. Mohammed was an Arab
(not a Persian, a born pederast) and he was too fond of women to
be charged with love of boys: even Tristam Shandy (vol. vii.
chapt. 7; "No, quoth a third; the gentleman has been committing--
--") knew that the two tastes are incompatibles. But this and
other passages in the Koran have given the Chevaliers de la
Pallie a hint that the use of boys, like that of wine, here
forbidden, will be permitted in Paradise.

[FN#400] Which, by the by, is the age of an oldish old maid in
Egypt. I much doubt puberty being there earlier than in England
where our grandmothers married at fourteen. But Orientals are
aware that the period of especial feminine devilry is between the
first menstruation and twenty when, according to some, every girl
is a "possible murderess." So they wisely marry her and get rid
of what is called the "lump of grief," the "domestic calamity"--a
daughter. Amongst them we never hear of the abominable egotism
and cruelty of the English mother, who disappoints her daughter's
womanly cravings in order to keep her at home for her own
comfort; and an "old maid" in the house, especially a stout,
plump old maid, is considered not "respectable." The ancient
virgin is known by being lean and scraggy; and perhaps this
diagnosis is correct.

[FN#401] This prognostication of destiny by the stars and a host
of follies that end in -mancy is an intricate and extensive
subject. Those who would study it are referred to chapt. xiv. of
the "Qanoon-e-Islam, or the Customs of the Mussulmans of India;
etc., etc., by Jaffur Shurreeff and translated by G. A. Herklots,
M. D. of Madras." This excellent work first appeared in 1832
(Allen and Co., London) and thus it showed the way to Lane's
"Modern Egyptians" (1833-35). The name was unfortunate as
"Kuzzilbash" (which rhymed to guzzle and hash), and kept the book
back till a second edition appeared in 1863 (Madras: J.

[FN#402] Arab. "Bárid," lit. cold: metaph. vain, foolish,

[FN#403] Not to "spite thee" but "in spite of thee." The phrase
is still used by high and low.

[FN#404] Arab. "Ahdab," the common hunchback; in classical
language the Gobbo in the text would be termed "Ak'as" from
"Ka'as," one with protruding back and breast; sometimes used for
hollow back and protruding breast.

[FN#405] This is the custom with such gentry, who, when they see
a likely man sitting, are allowed by custom to ride astraddle
upon his knees with most suggestive movements, till he buys them
off. These Ghawázi are mostly Gypsies who pretend to be Moslems;
and they have been confused with the Almahs or Moslem dancing-
girls proper (Awálim, plur. of Alimah, a learned feminine) by a
host of travellers. They call themselves Barámikah or Barmecides
only to affect Persian origin. Under native rule they were
perpetually being banished from and returning to Cairo
(Pilgrimage i., 202). Lane (M.E., chapts. xviii. and xix.)
discusses the subject, and would derive Al'mah, often so
pronounced, from Heb. Almah, girl, virgin, singing-girl, hence he
would translate Al-Alamoth shir (Psalm xlvi.) and Nebalim al-
alamoth (I. Chron., xv. 20) by a "song for singing-girls" and
"harps for singing-girls." He quotes also St. Jerome as authority
that Alma in Punic (Phoenician) signified a virgin, not a common
article, I may observe, amongst singing-girls. I shall notice in
a future page Burckhardt's description of the Ghawazi, p. 173,
"Arabic Proverbs;" etc., etc. Second Edition. London: Quaritch,

[FN#406] I need hardly describe the tarbúsh, a corruption of the
Per. "Sar-púsh" (headcover) also called "Fez" from its old home;
and "tarbrush" by the travelling Briton. In old days it was a
calotte worn under the turban; and it was protected by scalp-
perspiration by an "Arakiyah" (Pers. Arak-chin) a white skull-
cap. Now it is worn without either and as a head-dress nothing
can be worse (Pilgrimage ii. 275).

[FN#407] Arab. "Tár.": the custom still prevails. Lane (M.E.,
chapt. xviii.) describes and figures this hoop-drum.

[FN#408] The couch on which she sits while being displayed. It is
her throne, for she is the Queen of the occasion, with all the
Majesty of Virginity.

[FN#409] This is a solemn "chaff;" such liberties being permitted
at weddings and festive occasions.

[FN#410] The pre-Islamític dynasty of Al-Yaman in Arabia Felix, a
region formerly famed for wealth and luxury. Hence the mention of
Yamani work. The caravans from Sana'á, the capital, used to carry
patterns of vases to be made in China and bring back the
porcelains at the end of the third year: these are the Arabic
inscriptions which have puzzled so many collectors. The Tobba, or
Successors, were the old Himyarite Kings, a dynastic name like
Pharaoh, Kisra (Persia), Negush (Abyssinia), Khakan or Khan
(Tartary), etc., who claimed to have extended their conquests to
Samarcand and made war on China. Any history of Arabia (as
Crichton I., chapt. iv.) may be consulted for their names and
annals. I have been told by Arabs that "Tobba" (or Tubba) is
still used in the old Himvarland = the Great or the Chief.

[FN#411] Lane and Payne (as well as the Bres. Edit.) both render
the word "to kiss her," but this would be clean contrary to
Moslem usage.

[FN#412] i.e. he was full of rage which he concealed.

[FN#413] The Hindus (as the Katha shows) compare this swimming
gait with an elephant's roll.

[FN#414] Arab. "Fitnah," a word almost as troublesome as "Adab."
Primarily, revolt, seduction, mischief: then a beautiful girl (or
boy), and lastly a certain aphrodisiac perfume extracted from
mimosa-flowers (Pilgrimage i., 118).

[FN#415] Lit. burst the "gall-bladder:" In this and in the
"liver" allusions I dare not be baldly literal.

[FN#416] Arab. "Usfur" the seeds of Carthamus tinctorius =
Safflower (Forskal, Flora, etc. lv.). The seeds are crushed for
oil and the flowers, which must be gathered by virgins or the
colour will fail, are extensively used for dying in Southern
Arabia and Eastern Africa.

[FN#417] On such occasions Miss Modesty shuts her eye and looks
as if about to faint.

[FN#418] After either evacuation the Moslem is bound to wash or
sand the part; first however he should apply three pebbles, or
potsherds or clods of earth. Hence the allusion in the Koran
(chapt. ix), "men who love to be purified." When the Prophet was
questioning the men of Kuba, where he founded a mosque
(Pilgrimage ii., 215), he asked them about their legal ablutions,
especially after evacuation; and they told him that they used
three stones before washing. Moslems and Hindus (who prefer water
mixed with earth) abhor the unclean and unhealthy use of paper
without ablution; and the people of India call European draught-
houses, by way of opprobrium, "Kághaz-khánah" = paper closets.
Most old Anglo-Indians, however, learn to use water.

[FN#419] "Miao" or "Mau" is the generic name of the cat in the
Egyptian of the hieroglyphs.

[FN#420] Arab. "Ya Mah'úm" addressed to an evil spirit.

[FN#421] "Heehaw!" as we should say. The Bresl. Edit. makes the
cat cry "Nauh! Nauh!" and the ass-colt "Manu! Manu!" I leave
these onomatopoeics as they are in Arabic; they are curious,
showing the unity in variety of hearing inarticulate sounds. The
bird which is called "Whip poor Will" in the U.S. is known to the
Brazilians as "Joam corta páo" (John cut wood); so differently do
they hear the same notes.

[FN#422] It is usually a slab of marble with a long slit in front
and a round hole behind. The text speaks of a Kursi (= stool);
but this is now unknown to native houses which have not adopted
European fashions.

[FN#423] This again is chaff as she addresses the Hunchback. The
Bul. Edit. has "O Abu Shiháb" (Father of the shooting-star = evil
spirit); the Bresl. Edit. "O son of a heap! O son of a
Something!" (al-afsh, a vulgarism).

[FN#424] As the reader will see, Arab ideas of "fun" and
practical jokes are of the largest, putting the Hibernian to
utter rout, and comparing favourably with those recorded in Don

[FN#425] Arab. "Saráwil" a corruption of the Pers. "Sharwál";
popularly called "libás" which, however, may also mean clothing
in general and especially outer-clothing. I translate "bag-
trousers" and "petticoat-trousers," the latter being the divided
skirt of our future. In the East, where Common Sense, not
Fashion, rules dress, men, who have a protuberance to be
concealed, wear petticoats and women wear trousers. The feminine
article is mostly baggy but sometimes, as in India, collant-
tight. A quasi-sacred part of it is the inkle, tape or string,
often a most magnificent affair, with tassels of pearl and
precious stones; and "laxity in the trouser-string" is equivalent
to the loosest conduct. Upon the subject of "libás," "sarwál" and
its variants the curious reader will consult Dr. Dozy's
"Dictionnaire Détaillé des Noms des Vêtements chez les Arabes," a
most valuable work.

[FN#426] The turban out of respect is not put upon the ground
(Lane, M. E., chapt. i.).

[FN#427] Arab. "Madfa" showing the modern date or the
modernization of the tale. In Lebid "Madáfi" (plur. of Madfa')
means water-courses or leats.

[FN#428] In Arab. the "he" is a "she;" and Habíb ("friend") is
the Attic {Greek Letters}, a euphemism for lover. This will occur
throughout The Nights. So the Arabs use a phrase corresponding
with the Stoic {Greek Letters}, i.e. is wont, is fain.

[FN#429] Part of the Azán, or call to prayer.

[FN#430] Arab. "Shiháb," these mentors being the flying shafts
shot at evil spirits who approach too near heaven. The idea
doubtless arose from the showers of August and November meteors
(The Perseides and Taurides) which suggest a battle raging in
upper air. Christendom also has its superstition concerning these
and called those of August the "fiery tears of Saint Lawrence,"
whose festival was on August 10.

[FN#431] Arab. "Tákiyah" = Pers. Arak-chin; the calotte worn
under the Fez. It is, I have said, now obsolete and the red
woollen cap (mostly made in Europe) is worn over the hair; an
unclean practice.

[FN#432] Often the effect of cold air after a heated room.

[FN#433] i.e. He was not a Eunuch, as the people guessed.

[FN#434] In Arab. "this night" for the reason before given.

[FN#435] Meaning especially the drink prepared of the young
leaves and florets of Cannabis Sativa. The word literally means
"day grass" or "herbage." This intoxicant was much used by
magicians to produce ecstasy and thus to "deify themselves and
receive the homage of the genii and spirits of nature."

[FN#436] Torrens, being an Irishman, translates "and woke in the
morning sleeping at Damascus."

[FN#437] Arab. "Labbayka," the cry technically called "Talbiyah"
and used by those entering Meccah (Pilgrimage iii. 125-232). I
shall also translate it by "Adsum." The full cry is:--

     Here am I, O Allah, here am I!
     No partner hast Thou, here am I:
     Verily the praise and the grace and the kingdom are thine:
     No partner hast Thou: here am I!

A single Talbiyah is a "Shart" or positive condition: and its
repetition is a Sunnat or Custom of the Prophet. See Night xci.

[FN#438] The staple abuse of the vulgar is curing parents and
relatives, especially feminine, with specific allusions to their
"shame." And when dames of high degree are angry, Nature, in the
East as in the West, sometimes speaks out clearly enough, despite
Mistress Chapone and all artificial restrictions.

[FN#439] A great beauty in Arabia and the reverse in Denmark,
Germany and Slav-land, where it is a sign of being a were-wolf or
a vampire. In Greece also it denotes a "Brukolak" or vampire.

[FN#440] This is not physiologically true: a bride rarely
conceives the first night, and certainly would not know that she
had conceived. Moreover the number of courses furnished by the
bridegroom would be against conception. It is popularly said that
a young couple often undoes in the morning what it has done
during the night.

[FN#441] Torrens (Notes, xxiv.) quotes "Fleisher" upon the word
"Ghamghama" (Diss. Crit. De Glossis Habichtionis), which he
compares with "Dumbuma" and Humbuma," determining them to be
onomatopoeics, "an incomplete and an obscure murmur of a sentence
as it were lingering between the teeth and lips and therefore
difficult to be understood." Of this family is "Taghúm"; not used
in modern days. In my Pilgrimage (i. 313) I have noticed another,
"Khyas', Khyas'!" occurring in a Hizb al-Bahr (Spell of the Sea).
Herklots gives a host of them; and their sole characteristics are
harshness and strangeness of sound, uniting consonants which are
not joined in Arabic. The old Egyptians and Chaldeans had many
such words composed at will for theurgic operations.

[FN#442] This may mean either "it is of Mosul fashion" or, it is
of muslin.

[FN#443] To the English reader these lines would appear the
reverse of apposite; but Orientals have their own ways of
application, and all allusions to Badawi partings are effective
and affecting. The civilised poets of Arab cities throw the charm
of the Desert over their verse by images borrowed from its
scenery, the dromedary, the mirage and the well as naturally as
certain of our bards who hated the country, babbled of purling
rills, etc. thoroughly to feel Arabic poetry one must know the
Desert (Pilgrimage iii., 63).

[FN#444] In those days the Arabs and the Portuguese recorded
everything which struck them, as the Chinese and Japanese in our
times. And yet we complain of the amount of our modern writing!

[FN#445] This is mentioned because it is the act preliminary to
naming the babe.

[FN#446] Arab. "Kahramánát" from Kahramán, an old Persian hero
who conversed with the Simurgh-Griffon. Usually the word is
applied to women-at-arms who defend the Harem, like the Urdu-
begani of India, whose services were lately offered to England
(1885), or the "Amazons" of Dahome.

[FN#447] Meaning he grew as fast in one day as other children in
a month.

[FN#448] Arab. Al-Aríf; the tutor, the assistant-master.

[FN#449] Arab. "Ibn harám," a common term of abuse; and not a
factual reflection on the parent. I have heard a mother apply the
term to her own son.

[FN#450] Arab. "Khanjar" from the Persian, a syn. with the Arab.
"Jambiyah." It is noted in my Pilgrimage iii., pp. 72,75. To
"silver the dagger" means to become a rich man. From "Khanjar,"
not from its fringed loop or strap, I derive our silly word
"hanger." Dr. Steingass would connect it with Germ. Fänger, e.g.

[FN#451] Again we have "Dastur" for Izn."

[FN#452] Arab. "Iklím"; the seven climates of Ptolemy.

[FN#453] Arab. "Al-Ghadir," lit. a place where water sinks, a
lowland: here the drainage-lakes east of Damascus into which the
Baradah (Abana?) discharges. The higher eastern plain is "Al-
Ghutah" before noticed.

[FN#454] The "Plain of Pebbles" still so termed at Damascus; an
open space west of the city.

[FN#455] Every Guide-book, even the Reverend Porter's "Murray,"
gives a long account of this Christian Church 'verted to a

[FN#456] Arab. "Nabút"; Pilgrimage i. 336.

[FN#457] The Bres. Edit. says, "would have knocked him into Al-
Yaman," (Southern Arabia), something like our slang phrase "into
the middle of next week."

[FN#458] Arab. "Khádim": lit. a servant, politely applied (like
Aghá = master) to a castrato. These gentry wax furious if baldly
called "Tawáshi" = Eunuch. A mauvais plaisant in Egypt used to
call me The Agha because a friend had placed his wife under my

[FN#459] This sounds absurd enough in English, but Easterns
always put themselves first for respect.

[FN#460] In Arabic the World is feminine.

[FN#461] Arab. "Sáhib" = lit. a companion; also a friend and
especially applied to the Companions of Mohammed. Hence the
Sunnis claim for them the honour of "friendship" with the
Apostle; but the Shia'hs reply that the Arab says "Sahaba-hu'l-
himár" (the Ass was his Sahib or companion). In the text it is a
Wazirial title, in modern India it is = gentleman, e.g. "Sahib
log" (the Sahib people) means their white conquerors, who, by the
by, mostly mispronounce the word "Sáb."

[FN#462] Arab. "Suwán," prop. Syenite, from Syene (Al-Suwan) but
applied to flint and any hard stone.

[FN#463] It was famous in the middle ages, and even now it is,
perhaps, the most interesting to travellers after that "Sentina
Gentium," the "Bhendi Bazar" of unromantic Bombay.

[FN#464] "The Gate of the Gardens," in the northern wall, a Roman
archway of the usual solid construction shaming not only our
modern shams, but our finest masonry.

[FN#465] Arab. "Al-Asr," which may mean either the hour or the
prayer. It is also the moment at which the Guardian Angels
relieve each other (Sale's Koran, chapt. v.).

[FN#466] Arab. "Ya házá" = O this (one)! a somewhat slighting
address equivalent to "Heus tu! O thou, whoever thou art."
Another form is "Yá hú" = O he! Can this have originated Swift's

[FN#467] Alluding to the {Greek Letters} ("minor miracles which
cause surprise") performed by Saints' tombs, the mildest form of
thaumaturgy. One of them gravely recorded in the Dabistan (ii.
226) is that of the holy Jamen, who opened the Sámran or bead-
bracelet from the arm of the beautiful Chistápá with member
erect, "thus evincing his manly strength and his command over

[FN#468] The River of Paradise, a lieu commun of poets (Koran,
chapt. cviii.): the water is whiter than milk or silver, sweeter
than honey, smoother than cream, more odorous than musk; its
banks are of chrysolite and it is drunk out of silver cups set
around it thick as stars. Two pipes conduct it to the Prophet's
Pond which is an exact square, one month's journey in compass.
Kausar is spirituous like wine; Salsabil sweet like clarified
honey; the Fount of Mildness is like milk and the Fount of Mercy
like liquid crystal.

[FN#469] The Moslem does not use the European basin because water
which has touched an impure skin becomes impure. Hence it is
poured out from a ewer ("ibrík" Pers. Abríz) upon the hands and
falls into a basin ("tisht") with an open-worked cover.

[FN#470] Arab. "Wahsh," a word of many meanings; nasty, insipid,
savage, etc. The offside of a horse is called Wahshi opposed to
Insi, the near side. The Amir Taymur ("Lord Iron") whom Europeans
unwittingly call after his Persian enemies' nickname,
"Tamerlane," i.e. Taymur-I-lang, or limping Taymur, is still
known as "Al-Wahsh" (the wild beast) at Damascus, where his
Tartars used to bury men up to their necks and play at bowls with
their heads for ninepins.

[FN#471] For "grandson" as being more affectionate. Easterns have
not yet learned that clever Western saying:--The enemies of our
enemies are our friends.

[FN#472] This was a simple bastinado on the back, not the more
ceremonious affair of beating the feet-soles. But it is
surprising what the Egyptians can bear; some of the rods used in
the time of the Mameluke Beys are nearly as thick as a man's

[FN#473] The woman-like spite of the eunuch intended to hurt the
grandmother's feelings.

[FN#474] The usual Cairene "chaff."

[FN#475] A necessary precaution against poison (Pilgrimage i. 84,
and iii. 43).

[FN#476] The Bresl. Edit. (ii. 108) describes the scene at
greater length.

[FN#477] The Bul. Edit. gives by mistake of diacritical points,
"Zabdaniyah:" Raydaniyah is or rather was a camping ground to the
North of Cairo.

[FN#478] Arab. "La'abat" = a plaything, a puppet, a lay figure.
Lane (i. 326) conjectures that the cross is so called because it
resembles a man with arms extended. But Moslems never heard of
the fanciful ideas of mediæval Christian divines who saw the
cross everywhere and in everything. The former hold that Pharaoh
invented the painful and ignominious punishment. (Koran, chapt.

[FN#479] Here good blood, driven to bay, speaks out boldly. But,
as a rule, the humblest and mildest Eastern when in despair turns
round upon his oppressors like a wild cat. Some of the criminals
whom Fath Ali Shah of Persia put to death by chopping down the
fork, beginning at the scrotum, abused his mother till the knife
reached their vitals and they could no longer speak.

[FN#480] These repeated "laughs" prove the trouble of his spirit.
Noble Arabs "show their back-teeth" so rarely that their laughter
is held worthy of being recorded by their biographers.

[FN#481] A popular phrase, derived from the Koranic "Truth is
come, and falsehood is vanished: for falsehood is of short
continuance" (chapt. xvii.). It is an equivalent of our
adaptation from 1 Esdras iv. 41, "Magna est veritas et
prævalebit." But the great question still remains, What is Truth?

[FN#482] In Night lxxv. these lines will occur with variants.

[FN#483] This is always mentioned: the nearer seat the higher the

[FN#484] Alluding to the phrase "Al-safar zafar" = voyaging is
victory (Pilgrimage i., 127).

[FN#485] Arab. "Habb;" alluding to the black drop in the human
heart which the Archangel Gabriel removed from Mohammed by
opening his breast.

[FN#486] This phrase, I have said, often occurs: it alludes to
the horripilation (Arab. Kush'arírah), horror or gooseflesh
which, in Arab as in Hindu fables, is a symptom of great joy. So
Boccaccio's "pelo arriciato" v., 8: Germ. Gänsehaut.

[FN#487] Arab. "Hasanta ya Hasan" = Bene detto, Benedetto! the
usual word-play vulgarly called "pun": Hasan (not Hassan, as we
will write it) meaning "beautiful."

[FN#488] Arab. "Loghah" also = a vocabulary, a dictionary; the
Arabs had them by camel-loads.

[FN#489] The seventh of the sixteen "Bahr" (metres) in Arabic
prosody; the easiest because allowing the most license and,
consequently, a favourite for didactic, homiletic and gnomic
themes. It means literally "agitated" and was originally applied
to the rude song of the Cameleer. De Sacy calls this doggrel "the
poet's ass" (Torrens, Notes xxvi.). It was the only metre in
which Mohammed the Apostle ever spoke: he was no poet (Koran
xxxvi., 69) but he occasionally recited a verse and recited it
wrongly (Dabistan iii., 212). In Persian prosody Rajaz is the
seventh of nineteen and has six distinct varieties (pp. 79-81),
"Gladwin's Dissertations on Rhetoric," etc. Calcutta, 1801). I
shall have more to say about it in the Terminal Essay.

[FN#490] "Her stature tall--I hate a dumpy woman" (Don Juan).

[FN#491] A worthy who was Kazi of Kufah (Cufa) in the seventh
century. Al-Najaf, generally entitled "Najaf al-Ashraf" (the
Venerand) is the place where Ali, the son-in-law of Mohammed,
lies or is supposed to lie buried, and has ever been a holy place
to the Shi'ahs. I am not certain whether to translate "Sa'alab"
by fox or jackal; the Arabs make scant distinction between them.
"Abu Hosayn" (Father of the Fortlet) is certainly the fox, and as
certainly "Sha'arhar" is the jackal from the Pehlevi Shagál or

[FN#492] Usually by all manner of extortions and robbery,
corruption and bribery, the ruler's motto being

                  Fiat injustitia ruat Coelum.

There is no more honest man than the Turkish peasant or the
private soldier; but the process of deterioration begins when he
is made a corporal and culminates in the Pasha. Moreover official
dishonesty is permitted by public opinion, because it belongs to
the condition of society. A man buys a place (as in England two
centuries ago) and retains it by presents to the heads of
offices. Consequently he must recoup himself in some way, and he
mostly does so by grinding the faces of the poor and by spoiling
the widow and the orphan. The radical cure is high pay; but that
phase of society refuses to afford it.

[FN#493] Arab. "Malik" (King) and "Malak" (angel) the words being
written the same when lacking vowels and justifying the jingle.

[FN #494] Arab. "Hurr"; the Latin "ingenuus," lit. freeborn;
metaph. noble as opp. to a slave who is not expected to do great
or good deeds. In pop. use it corresponds, like "Fatá," with our

[FN#495] This is one of the best tales for humour and movement,
and Douce and Madden show what a rich crop of fabliaux, whose
leading incident was the disposal of a dead body, it produced.

[FN#496] Other editions read, "at Bassorah" and the Bresl. (ii.
123) "at Bassorah and Kájkár" (Káshghár): somewhat like in Dover
and Sebastopol. I prefer China because further off and making the
improbabilities more notable.

[FN#497] Arab. "Judri," lit. "small stones" from the hard
gravelly feeling of the pustules (Rodwell, p. 20). The disease is
generally supposed to be the growth of Central Africa where it is
still a plague and passed over to Arabia about the birth-time of
Mohammed. Thus is usually explained the "war of the elephant"
(Koran, chaps. cv.) when the Abyssinian army of Abrahah, the
Christian, was destroyed by swallows (Abábíl which Major Price
makes the plural of Abilah = a vesicle) which dropped upon them
"stones of baked clay," like vetches (Pilgrimage ii. 175). See
for details Sale (in loco) who seems to accept the miraculous
defence of the Ka'abah. For the horrors of small-pox in Central
Intertropical Africa the inoculation, known also to the Badawin
of Al-Hijáz and other details, readers will consult "The Lake
Regions of Central Africa" (ii. 318). The Hindus "take the bull
by the horns" and boldly make "Sítlá" (small-pox) a goddess, an
incarnation of Bhawáni, deëss of destruction-reproduction. In
China small-pox is believed to date from B.C. 1200; but the
chronology of the Middle Kingdom still awaits the sceptic.

[FN#498] In Europe we should add "and all fled, especially the
women." But the fatalism inherent in the Eastern mind makes the
great difference.

[FN#499] Arab. "Uzayr." Esdras was a manner of Ripp van Winkle.
He was riding over the ruins of Jerusalem when it had been
destroyed by the Chaldeans and he doubted by what means Allah
would restore it; whereupon he died and at the end of a hundred
years he revived. He found his basket of figs and cruse of wine
as they were; but of his ass only the bones remained. These were
raised to life as Ezra looked on and the ass began at once to
bray. Which was a lesson to Esdras. (Koran, chaps. ii.) The oath
by the ass's hoofs is to ridicule the Jew. Mohammed seems to have
had an idée fixe that "the Jews say, Ezra is the son of God"
(Koran ix.); it may have arisen from the heterodox Jewish belief
that Ezra, when the Law was utterly lost, dictated the whole anew
to the scribes of his own memory. His tomb with the huge green
dome is still visited by the Jews of Baghdad.

[FN#500] Arab. "Bádhanj," the Pers. Bád. (wind) -gír (catcher): a
wooden pent-house on the terrace-roof universal in the nearer

[FN#501] The hunchback, in Arabia as in Southern Europe, is
looked upon by the vulgar with fear and aversion. The reason is
that he is usually sharper-witted than his neighbours.

[FN#502]Arab. "Yá Sattár" = Thou who veilest the discreditable
secrets of Thy creatures.

[FN#503] Arab. "Nasráni," a follower of Him of Nazareth and an
older name than "Christian" which (Acts xi., 26) was first given
at Antioch about A.D. 43. The cry in Alexandria used to be "Ya
Nasráni, Kalb awáni!"=O Nazarene! O dog obscene! (Pilgrimage i.,
160).). "Christian" in Arabic can be expressed only by "Masíhi" =
follower of the Messiah.

[FN#504] Arab. "Tasbíh," = Saluting in the Subh (morning).

[FN#505] In the East women stand on minor occasions while men
squat on their hunkers in a way hardly possible to an untrained
European. The custom is old. Herodotus (ii., 35) says, "The women
stand up when they make water, but the men sit down." Will it be
believed that Canon Rawlinson was too modest to leave this
passage in his translation? The custom was perpetuated by
Al-Islam because the position prevents the ejection touching the
clothes and making them ceremonially impure; possibly they
borrowed it from the Guebres. Dabistan, Gate xvi. says, "It is
improper, whilst in an erect posture, to make water, it is
therefore necessary to sit at squat and force it to some
distance, repeating the Avesta mentally."

[FN#506] This is still a popular form of the "Kinchin lay," and
as the turbands are often of fine stuff, the petite industrie
pays well.

[FN#507]Arab. "Wali" =Governor; the term still in use for the
Governor General of a Province as opposed to the "Muháfiz," or
district-governor. In Eastern Arabia the Wali is the Civil
Governor opposed to the Amir or Military Commandant. Under the
Caliphate the Wali acted also as Prefect of Police (the Indian
Fanjdár), who is now called "Zábit." The older name for the
latter was "Sáhib al-Shartah" (=chief of the watch) or
"Mutawalli"; and it was his duty to go the rounds in person. The
old "Charley," with his lantern and cudgel, still guards the
bazaars in Damascus.

[FN#508] Arab. "Al-Mashá ilí" = the bearer of a cresses (Mash'al)
who was also Jack Ketch. In Anglo-India the name is given to a
lower body-servant. The "Mash'al" which Lane (M. E., chaps. vi.)
calls "Mesh'al" and illustrates, must not be confounded with its
congener the "Sha'ilah" or link (also lamp, wick, etc.).

[FN#509] I need hardly say that the civilised "drop" is unknown
to the East where men are strung up as to a yardarm. This greatly
prolongs the suffering.

[FN#510] Arab. "Lukmah"; = a mouthful. It is still the fashion
amongst Easterns of primitive manners to take up a handful of
rice, etc., ball it and put it into a friend's mouth honoris
causâ. When the friend is a European the expression of his face
is generally a study.

[FN#511] I need hardly note that this is an old Biblical
practice. The ass is used for city-work as the horse for fighting
and travelling, the mule for burdens and the dromedary for the
desert. But the Badawi, like the Indian, despises the monture and

     The back of the steed is a noble place
     But the mule's dishonour, the ass disgrace!

The fine white asses, often thirteen hands high, sold by the Banu
Salíb and other Badawi tribes, will fetch £100, and more. I rode
a little brute from Meccah to Jedda (42 miles) in one night and
it came in with me cantering.

[FN#512] A dry measure of about five bushels (Cairo). The
classical pronunciation is Irdabb and it measured 24 sa'a
(gallons) each filling four outstretched hands.

[FN#513] "Al-Jawáli" should be Al-Jáwali (Al-Makrizi) and the Bab
al-Nasr (Gate of Victory) is that leading to Suez. I lived in
that quarter as shown by my Pilgrimage (i. 62).

[FN#514] Arab. "Al-'ajalah," referring to a saying in every
Moslem mouth, "Patience is from the Protector (Allah): Hurry is
from Hell." That and "Inshallah bukra!" (Please God tomorrow.)
are the traveller's bêtes noires.

[FN#515] Here it is a polite equivalent for "fall to!"

[FN#516] The left hand is used throughout the East for purposes
of ablution and is considered unclean. To offer the left hand
would be most insulting and no man ever strokes his beard with it
or eats with it: hence, probably, one never sees a left handed
man throughout the Moslem east. In the Brazil for the same reason
old-fashioned people will not take snuff with the right hand. And
it is related of the Khataians that they prefer the left hand,
"Because the heart, which is the Sultan of the city of the Body,
hath his mansion on that side" (Rauzat al-Safá).

[FN#517] Two feminine names as we might say Mary and Martha.

[FN#518] It was near the Caliph's two Palaces (Al Kasrayn); and
was famous in the 15th century A. D. The Kazi's Mahkamah (Court
house) now occupies the place of the Two Palaces

[FN#519] A Kaysariah is a superior kind of bazaar, a "bezestein."
That in the text stood to the east of the principal street in
Cairo and was built in A. H. 502 (=1108-9) by a Circassian Emir,
known as Fakhr al-Din Jahárkas, a corruption of the Persian
"Chehárkas" = four persons (Lane, i. 422, from Al-Makrizi and Ibn
Khallikan). For Jahárkas the Mac. Edit. has Jirjís (George) a
common Christian name. I once lodged in a 'Wakálah (the modern
Khan) Jirjis." Pilgrimage, i. 255.

[FN#520]Arab. "Second Day," i.e. after Saturday, the true
Sabbath, so marvellously ignored by Christendom.

[FN#521] Readers who wish to know how a traveller is lodged in a
Wakálah, Khan, or Caravanserai, will consult my Pilgrimage, i.

[FN#522] The original occupation of the family had given it a
name, as amongst us.

[FN#523] The usual "chaff" or banter allowed even to modest women
when shopping, and--many a true word is spoken in jest.

[FN#524] "La adamnák" = Heaven deprive us not of thee, i.e. grant
I see thee often!

[FN#525] This is a somewhat cavalier style of advance; but
Easterns under such circumstances go straight to the point,
hating to filer the parfait amour.

[FN#526] The peremptory formula of a slave delivering such a

[FN#527] This would be our Thursday night, preceding the day of
public prayers which can be performed only when in a state of
ceremonial purity. Hence many Moslems go to the Hammam on
Thursday and have no connection with their wives.

[FN#528] Lane (i. 423) gives ample details concerning the
Habbániyah, or grain-sellers' quarter in the southern part of
Cairo; and shows that when this tale was written (or
transcribed?) the city was almost as extensive as it is now.

[FN#529] Nakíb is a caravan-leader, a chief, a syndic; and "Abú
Shámah"= Father of a cheek mole, while "Abú Shámmah" = Father of
a smeller, a nose, a snout. The "Kuniyah," bye-name, patronymic
or matronymic, is necessary amongst Moslems whose list of names,
all connected more or less with religion, is so scanty. Hence
Buckingham the traveller was known as Abu Kidr, the Father of a
Cooking-pot and Haj Abdullah as Abu Shawárib, Father of
Mustachios (Pilgrimage, iii., 263).

[FN#530] More correctly Bab Zawilah from the name of a tribe in
Northern Africa. This gate dates from the same age as the Eastern
or Desert gate, Bab al-Nasr (A.D. 1087) and is still much
admired. M. Jomard describes it (Description, etc., ii. 670) and
lately my good friend Yacoub Artin Pasha has drawn attention to
it in the Bulletin de l'Inst. Egypt., Deuxième Série, No. 4,

[FN#531] This ornament is still seen in the older saloons of
Damascus: the inscriptions are usually religious sentences,
extracts from the Koran, etc., in uncial characters. They take
the place of our frescos; and, as a work of art, are generally
far superior.

[FN#532] Arab. "Bayáz al-Sultání," the best kind of gypsum which
shines like polished marble. The stucco on the walls of
Alexandria, built by Alexander of the two Horns, was so
exquisitely tempered and beautifully polished that men had to
wear masks for fear of blindness.

[FN#533] This Iklíl, a complicated affair, is now obsolete, its
place having been taken by the "Kurs," a gold plate, some five
inches in diameter, set with jewels, etc. Lane (M. E. Appendix A)
figures it.

[FN#534] The woman-artist who applies the dye is called

[FN#535] "Kissing with th' inner lip," as Shakespeare calls it;
the French langue fourrée: and Sanskrit "Samputa." The subject of
kissing is extensive in the East. Ten different varieties are
duly enumerated in the "Ananga-Ranga;" or, The Hindu Art of Love
(Ars Amoris Indica) translated from the Sanskrit, and annotated
by A. F. F. and B. F. R It is also connected with unguiculation,
or impressing the nails, of which there are seven kinds;
morsication (seven kinds); handling the hair and lappings or
pattings with the fingers and palm (eight kinds).

[FN#536] Arab. "asal-nahl," to distinguish it from "honey" i.e.
syrup of sugar-cane and fruits

[FN#537] The lines have occurred in Night xii. By way of variety
I give Torrens' version p. 273.

[FN#538] The way of carrying money in the corner of a
pocket-handkerchief is still common.

[FN#539] He sent the provisions not to be under an obligation to
her in this matter. And she received them to judge thereby of his

[FN#540] Those who have seen the process of wine-making in the
Libanus will readily understand why it is always strained.

[FN#541] Arab. "Kulkasá," a kind of arum or yam, eaten boiled
like our potatoes.

[FN#542]At first he slipped the money into the bed-clothes: now
he gives it openly and she accepts it for a reason.

[FN#543] Arab. Al-Zalamah lit. = tyrants, oppressors, applied to
the police and generally to employés of Government. It is a word
which tells a history.

[FN#544] Moslem law is never completely satisfied till the
criminal confess. It also utterly ignores circumstantial evidence
and for the best of reasons: amongst so sharp-witted a people the
admission would lead to endless abuses. I greatly surprised a
certain Governor-General of India by giving him this simple

[FN#545] Cutting off the right hand is the Koranic punishment
(chaps. v.) for one who robs an article worth four dinars, about
forty francs to shillings. The left foot is to be cut off at the
ankle for a second offence and so on; but death is reserved for a
hardened criminal. The practice is now obsolete and theft is
punished by the bastinado, fine or imprisonment. The old Guebres
were as severe. For stealing one dirham's worth they took a fine
of two, cut off the ear-lobes, gave ten stick-blows and dismissed
the criminal who had been subjected to an hour's imprisonment. A
second theft caused the penalties to be doubled; and after that
the right hand was cut off or death was inflicted according to
the proportion stolen.

[FN#546] Koran viii. 17.

[FN#547] A universal custom in the East, the object being
originally to show that the draught was not poisoned.

[FN#548] Out of paste or pudding.

[FN#549] Boils and pimples are supposed to be caused by broken
hair-roots and in Hindostani are called Bál-tor.

[FN#550] He intended to bury it decently, a respect which Moslems
always show even to the exuviæ of the body, as hair and nail
parings. Amongst Guebres the latter were collected and carried to
some mountain. The practice was intensified by fear of demons or
wizards getting possession of the spoils.

[FN#551] Without which the marriage was not valid. The minimum is
ten dirhams (drachmas) now valued at about five francs to
shillings; and if a man marry without naming the sum, the woman,
after consummation, can compel him to pay this minimum.

[FN#552] Arab. "Khatmah" = reading or reciting the whole Koran,
by one or more persons, usually in the house, not over the tomb.
Like the "Zikr," Litany or Rogation, it is a pious act confined
to certain occasions.

[FN#553] Arab. "Zirbájah" = meat dressed with vinegar, cumin-seed
(Pers. Zír) and hot spices. More of it in the sequel of the tale.

[FN#554] A saying not uncommon meaning, let each man do as he
seems fit; also = "age quad agis": and at times corresponding
with our saw about the cap fitting.

 [FN#555] Arab. "Su'úd," an Alpinia with pungent rhizome like
ginger; here used as a counter-odour.

[FN#556] Arab. "Tá'ih" = lost in the "Tíh," a desert wherein man
may lose himself, translated in our maps 'The Desert of the
Wanderings," scil. of the children of Israel. "Credat Judæus."

[FN#557] ie. £125 and £500.

[FN#558] A large sum was weighed by a professional instead of
being counted, the reason being that the coin is mostly old and
worn: hence our words "pound" and "pension" (or what is weighed

[FN#559] The eunuch is the best possible go-between on account of
his almost unlimited power over the Harem.

[FN#560] i.e., a slave-girl brought up in the house and never
sold except for some especial reason, as habitual drunkenness,

[FN#561] Smuggling men into the Harem is a stock "topic" of
eastern tales. "By means of their female attendants, the ladies
of the royal harem generally get men into their apartments in the
disguise of women," says Vatsyayana in The Kama Sutra, Part V.
London: Printed for the Hindoo Kamashastra Society. 1883. For
private circulation.

[FN#562] These tears are shed over past separation. So the
"Indians" of the New World never meet after long parting without
beweeping mutual friends they have lost.

[FN#563] A most important Jack in office whom one can see with
his smooth chin and blubber lips, starting up from his lazy
snooze in the shade and delivering his orders more peremptorily
than any Dogberry. These epicenes are as curious and exceptional
in character as in external conformation. Disconnected, after a
fashion, with humanity, they are brave, fierce and capable of any
villainy or barbarity (as Agha Mohammed Khan in Persia 1795-98).
The frame is unnaturally long and lean, especially the arms and
legs; with high, flat, thin shoulders, big protruding joints and
a face by contrast extraordinarily large, a veritable mask; the
Castrato is expert in the use of weapons and sits his horse
admirably, riding well "home" in the saddle for the best of
reasons; and his hoarse, thick voice, which apparently does not
break, as in the European "Cáppone," invests him with all the
circumstance of command.

[FN#564] From the Meccan well used by Moslems much like Eau de
Lourdes by Christians: the water is saltish, hence the touch of
Arab humour (Pilgrimage iii., 201-202).

[FN#565] Such articles would be sacred from Moslem eyes.

[FN#566] Physiologically true, but not generally mentioned in
describing the emotions.

[FN#567] Properly "Uta," the different rooms, each "Odalisque,"
or concubine, having her own.

[FN#568] Showing that her monthly ailment was over.

[FN#569] Arab "Muhammarah" = either browned before the fire or
artificially reddened.

[FN#570] The insolence and licence of these palace-girls was (and
is) unlimited, especially when, as in the present case, they have
to deal with a "lofty." On this subject numberless stories are
current throughout the East.

[FN#571] i.e., blackened by the fires of Jehannam.

[FN#572] Arab. "Bi'l-Salámah" = in safety (to avert the evil
eye). When visiting the sick it is usual to say something civil;
"The Lord heal thee! No evil befall thee!" etc.

[FN#573] Washing during sickness is held dangerous by Arabs; and
"going to the Hammam" is, I have said, equivalent to

[FN#574] Arab. "Máristán" (pronounced Múristan) a corruption of
the Pers. "Bímáristán" = place of sickness, a hospital much
affected by the old Guebres (Dabistan, i., 165, 166). That of
Damascus was the first Moslem hospital, founded by Al-Walid Son
of Abd al-Malik the Ommiade in A. H. 88 = 706-7. Benjamin of
Tudela (A. D. 1164) calls it "Dar-al Maraphtan" which his latest
Editor explains by "Dar-al-Morabittan" (abode of those who
require being chained). Al-Makrizi (Khitat) ascribes the
invention of "Spitals" to Hippocrates; another historian to an
early Pharaoh "Manákiyush;" thus ignoring the Persian Kings,
Saint Ephrem (or Ephraim), Syru, etc. In modern parlance
"Maristan" is a madhouse where the maniacs are treated with all
the horrors which were universal in Europe till within a few
years and of which occasional traces occur to this day. In A.D.
1399 Katherine de la Court held a "hospital in the Court called
Robert de Paris," but the first madhouse in Christendom was built
by the legate Ortiz in Toledo A. D. 1483, and was therefore
called Casa del Nuncio. The Damascus "Maristan" was described by
every traveller of the last century: and it showed a curious
contrast between the treatment of the maniac and the idiot or
omadhaun, who is humanely allowed to wander about unharmed, if
not held a Saint. When I saw it last (1870) it was all but empty
and mostly in ruins. As far as my experience goes, the United
States is the only country where the insane are rationally
treated by the sane.

[FN#575] Hence the trite saying "Whoso drinks the water of the
Nile will ever long to drink it again." "Light" means easily
digested water; and the great test is being able to drink it at
night between the sleeps, without indigestion

[FN#576] "Níl" in popular parlance is the Nile in flood; although
also used for the River as a proper name. Egyptians (modern as
well as ancient) have three seasons, Al-Shitá (winter), Al-Sayf
(summer) and Al-Níl (the Nile i.e. flood season' our mid-summer);
corresponding with the Growth months; Housing (or granary)-months
and Flood-months of the older race.

[FN#577] These lines are in the Mac. Edit.

[FN#587] Arab. "Birkat al-Habash," a tank formerly existing in
Southern Cairo: Galland (Night 128) says "en remontant vers

[FN#579] The Bres. Edit. (ii., 190), from which I borrow this
description, here alludes to the well-known Island, Al-Rauzah
(Rodah) = The Garden.

[FN#580] Arab. "Laylat al-Wafá," the night of the completion or
abundance of the Nile (-flood), usually between August 6th and
16th, when the government proclaims that the Nilometer shows a
rise of 16 cubits. Of course it is a great festival and a high
ceremony, for Egypt is still the gift of the Nile (Lane M. E.
chaps. xxvi--a work which would be much improved by a better

[FN#581] i.e., admiration will be complete.

[FN#582] Arab. "Sáhil Masr" (Misr): hence I suppose Galland's
villes maritimes.

[FN#583] A favourite simile, suggested by the broken glitter and
shimmer of the stream under the level rays and the breeze of

[FN#584] Arab. "Halab," derived by Moslems from "He (Abraham)
milked (halaba) the white and dun cow." But the name of the city
occurs in the Cuneiforms as Halbun or Khalbun, and the classics
knew it as {Greek Letters}, Beroca, written with variants.

[FN#585] Arab. "Ká'ah," usually a saloon; but also applied to a
fine house here and elsewhere in The Nights.

[FN#586] Arab. "Ghamz" = winking, signing with the eye which,
amongst Moslems, is not held "vulgar."

[FN#587] Arab. "Kamís" from low Lat. "Camicia," first found in
St. Jerome:-- "Solent militantes habere lineas, quas Camicias
vocant." Our shirt, chemise, chemisette, etc., was unknown to the
Ancients of Europe.

[FN#588] Arab. "Narjís." The Arabs borrowed nothing, but the
Persians much, from Greek Mythology. Hence the eye of Narcissus,
an idea hardly suggested by the look of the daffodil (or
asphodel)-flower, is at times the glance of a spy and at times
the die-away look of a mistress. Some scholars explain it by the
form of the flower, the internal calyx resembling the iris, and
the stalk being bent just below the petals suggesting drooping
eyelids and languid eyes. Hence a poet addresses the Narcissus:--

O Narjis, look away! Before those eyes       * I may not kiss her
     a-breast she lies.
What! Shall the lover close his eyes in sleep * While thine watch
     all things between earth and skies?

The fashionable lover in the East must affect a frantic jealousy
if he does not feel it.

[FN#589] In Egypt there are neither bedsteads nor bedrooms: the
carpets and mattresses, pillows and cushions (sheets being
unknown), are spread out when wanted, and during the day are put
into chests or cupboards, or only rolled up in a corner of the
room (Pilgrimage i. 53).

[FN#590] The women of Damascus have always been famed for the
sanguinary jealousy with which European story-books and novels
credit the "Spanish lady." The men were as celebrated for
intolerance and fanaticism, which we first read of in the days of
Bertrandon de la Brocquière and which culminated in the massacre
of 1860. Yet they are a notoriously timid race and make,
physically and morally, the worst of soldiers: we proved that
under my late friend Fred. Walpole in the Bashi-Buzuks during the
old Crimean war. The men looked very fine fellows and after a
month in camp fell off to the condition of old women.

[FN#591] Arab. "Rukhám," properly = alabaster and "Marmar" =
marble; but the two are often confounded.

[FN#592] He was ceremonially impure after touching a corpse.

[FN#593] The phrase is perfectly appropriate: Cairo without "her
Nile" would be nothing.

[FN#594] "The market was hot" say the Hindustanis. This would
begin between 7 and 8 a.m.

[FN#595] Arab. Al-Faranj, Europeans generally. It is derived from
"Gens Francorum," and dates from Crusading days when the French
played the leading part. Hence the Lingua Franca, the Levantine
jargon, of which Molière has left such a witty specimen.

[FN#596] A process familiar to European surgery of the same date.

[FN#597] In sign of disappointment, regret, vexation; a gesture
still common amongst Moslems and corresponding in significance to
a certain extent with our stamping, wringing the hands and so
forth. It is not mentioned in the Koran where, however, we find
"biting fingers' ends out of wrath" against a man (chaps. iii.).

[FN#598] This is no unmerited scandal. The Cairenes, especially
the feminine half (for reasons elsewhere given), have always been
held exceedingly debauched. Even the modest Lane gives a
"shocking" story of a woman enjoying her lover under the nose of
her husband and confining the latter in a madhouse (chaps.
xiii.). With civilisation, which objects to the good old remedy,
the sword, they become worse: and the Kazi's court is crowded
with would-be divorcees. Under English rule the evil has reached
its acme because it goes unpunished: in the avenues of the new
Isma'iliyah Quarter, inhabited by Europeans, women, even young
women, will threaten to expose their persons unless they receive
"bakhshísh." It was the same in Sind when husbands were assured
that they would be hanged for cutting down adulterous wives: at
once after its conquest the women broke loose; and in 1843-50, if
a young officer sent to the bazaar for a girl, half-a-dozen would
troop to his quarters. Indeed more than once the professional
prostitutes threatened to memorialise Sir Charles Napier because
the "modest women," the "ladies" were taking the bread out of
their mouths. The same was the case at Kabul (Caboul) of
Afghanistan in the old war of 1840; and here the women had more
excuse, the husbands being notable sodomites as the song has it.

     The worth of slit the Afghan knows;
     The worth of hole the Kábul-man.

[FN#599] So that he might not have to do with three
sisters-german. Moreover amongst Moslems a girl's conduct is
presaged by that of her mother; and if one sister go wrong, the
other is expected to follow suit. Practically the rule applies
everywhere, "like mother like daughter."

[FN#600] In sign of dissent; as opposed to nodding the head which
signifies assent. These are two items, apparently instinctive and
universal, of man's gesture-language which has been so highly
cultivated by sundry North American tribes and by the surdo-mute
establishments of Europe.

[FN#601] This "Futur" is the real "breakfast" of the East, the
"Chhoti házri" (petit déjeûner) of India, a bit of bread, a cup
of coffee or tea and a pipe on rising. In the text, however, it
is a ceremonious affair.

[FN#602] Arab. "Nahs," a word of many meanings; a sinister aspect
of the stars (as in Hebr. end Aram.) or, adjectivally, sinister,
of ill-omen. Vulgarly it is used as the reverse of nice and
corresponds, after a fashion, with our "nasty."

[FN#603] "Window-gardening," new in England, is an old practice
in the East.

[FN#604] Her pimping instinct at once revealed the case to her.

[FN#605] The usual "pander-dodge" to get more money.

[FN#606] The writer means that the old woman's account was all
false, to increase apparent difficulties and pour se faire

[FN#607] Arab. "Yá Khálati" =mother's sister; a familiar address
to the old, as uncle or nuncle (father's brother) to a man. The
Arabs also hold that as a girl resembles her mother so a boy
follows his uncle (mother's brother): hence the address "Ya
tayyib al-Khál!" = 0 thou nephew of a good uncle. I have noted
that physically this is often fact.

[FN#608] "Ay w' Alláhi," contracted popularly to Aywa, a word in
every Moslem mouth and shunned by Christians because against
orders Hebrew and Christian. The better educated Turks now eschew
that eternal reference to Allah which appears in The Nights and
which is still the custom of the vulgar throughout the world of

[FN#609] The "Muzayyin" or barber in the East brings his basin
and budget under his arm: he is not content only to shave, he
must scrape the forehead, trim the eyebrows, pass the blade
lightly over the nose and correct the upper and lower lines of
the mustachios, opening the central parting and so forth. He is
not a whit less a tattler and a scandal monger than the old Roman
tonsor or Figaro, his confrère in Southern Europe. The whole
scene of the Barber is admirable, an excellent specimen of Arab
humour and not over-caricatured. We all have met him.

[FN#610] Abdullah ibn Abbas was a cousin and a companion of the
Apostle, also a well known Commentator on the Koran and conserver
of the traditions of Mohammed.

[FN#611] I have noticed the antiquity of this father of our
sextant, a fragment of which was found in the Palace of
Sennacherib. More concerning the "Arstable" (as Chaucer calls it)
is given in my "Camoens: his Life and his Lusiads," p. 381.

[FN#612] Arab. "Simiyá" to rhyme with Kímiyá (alchemy proper). It
is a subordinate branch of the Ilm al-Ruháni which I would
translate "Spiritualism," and which is divided into two great
branches, "Ilwí or Rahmáni" (the high or related to the Deity)
and Siflí or Shaytáni (low, Satanic). To the latter belongs
Al-Sahr, magic or the black art proper, gramarye, egromancy,
while Al- Simiyá is white magic, electro-biology, a kind of
natural and deceptive magic, in which drugs and perfumes exercise
an important action. One of its principal branches is the Darb
al-Mandal or magic mirror, of which more in a future page. See
Boccaccio's Day x. Novel 5.

[FN#613] Chap. iii., 128. See Sale (in loco) for the noble
application of this text by the Imam Hasan, son of the Caliph

[FN#614] These proverbs at once remind us of our old friend
Sancho Panza and are equally true to nature in the mouth of the
Arab and of the Spaniard.

[FN#615] Our nurses always carry in the arms: Arabs place the
children astraddle upon the hip and when older on the shoulder.

[FN#616] Eastern clothes allow this biblical display of sorrow
and vexation, which with our European garb would look absurd: we
must satisfy ourselves with maltreating our hats

[FN#617] Koran xlviii., 8. It may be observed that according to
the Ahádis (sayings of the Prophet) and the Sunnat (sayings and
doings of Mahommed), all the hair should be allowed to grow or
the whole head be clean shaven. Hence the "Shúshah," or topknot,
supposed to be left as a handle for drawing the wearer into
Paradise, and the Zulf, or side-locks, somewhat like the ringlets
of the Polish Jews, are both vain "Bida'at," or innovations, and
therefore technically termed "Makrúh," a practice not laudable,
neither "Halál" (perfectly lawful) nor "Harám" (forbidden by the
law). When boys are first shaved generally in the second or third
year, a tuft is left on the crown and another over the forehead;
but this is not the fashion amongst adults. Abu Hanifah, if I am
rightly informed, wrote a treatise on the Shushah or long lock
growing from the Násiyah (head-poll) which is also a precaution
lest the decapitated Moslem's mouth be defiled by an impure hand;
and thus it would resemble the chivalry lock by which the Redskin
brave (and even the "cowboy" of better times) facilitated the
removal of his own scalp. Possibly the Turks had learned the
practice from the Chinese and introduced it into Baghdad
(Pilgrimage i., 240). The Badawi plait their locks in Kurún
(horns) or Jadáil (ringlets) which are undone only to be washed
with the water of the she-camel. The wild Sherifs wear Haffah,
long elf-locks hanging down both sides of the throat, and shaved
away about a finger's breadth round the forehead and behind the
neck (Pilgrimage iii., 35-36). I have elsewhere noted the
accroche-coeurs, the "idiot fringe," etc.

[FN#618] Meats are rarely coloured in modern days; but Persian
cooks are great adepts in staining rice for the "Puláo (which we
call after its Turkish corruption "pilaff"): it sometimes appears
in rainbow-colours, red, yellow and blue; and in India is covered
with gold and silver leaf. Europe retains the practice in tinting
Pasch (Easter) eggs, the survival of the mundane ovum which was
hatched at Easter-tide; and they are dyed red in allusion to the
Blood of Redemption.

[FN#619] As I have noticed, this is a mixture.

[FN#620] We say:--

     Tis rare the father in the son we see:
     He sometimes rises in the third degree.

[FN#621] Arab. "Ballán" i.e. the body-servant: "Ballánah" is a

[FN#622] Arab. "Darabukkah" a drum made of wood or earthen-ware
(Lane, M. E., xviii.), and used by all in Egypt.

[FN#623] Arab. "Naihah" more generally "Naddábah" Lat. præfica or
carina, a hired mourner, the Irish "Keener" at the conclamatio or
coronach, where the Hullabaloo, Hulululu or Ululoo showed the
survivors' sorrow.

[FN#624] These doggerels, which are like our street melodies, are
now forgotten and others have taken their place. A few years ago
one often heard, "Dus ya lalli" (Tread, O my joy) and "Názil
il'al-Ganínah" (Down into the garden) and these in due turn
became obsolete. Lane (M. E. chaps. xviii.) gives the former e.g.

     Tread, O my joy! Tread, O my joy!
     Love of my love brings sore annoy,

A chorus to such stanzas as:--

Alexandrian damsels rare! * Daintily o'er the floor ye fare:
Your lips are sweet, are sugar-sweet, * And purfled Cashmere
     shawls ye wear!

It may be noted that "humming" is not a favourite practice with
Moslems; if one of the company begin, another will say, "Go to
the Kahwah" (the coffee-house, the proper music-hall) "and sing
there!" I have elsewhere observed their dislike to Al-sifr or

[FN#625] Arab. Khalí'a = worn out, crafty, an outlaw; used like
Span. "Perdido."

[FN#626] "Zabbál" is the scavenger, lit. a dung-drawer,
especially for the use of the Hammam which is heated with the
droppings of animals. "Wakkád" (stoker) is the servant who turns
the fire. The verses are mere nonsense to suit the Barber's

[FN#627] Arab. "Yá bárid" = O fool.

[FN#628] This form of blessing is chanted from the Minaret about
half-an-hour before midday, when the worshippers take their
places in the mosque. At noon there is the usual Azán or
prayer-call, and each man performs a two-bow, in honour of the
mosque and its gathering, as it were. The Prophet is then blessed
and a second Salám is called from the raised ambo or platform
(dikkah) by the divines who repeat the midday-call. Then an Imam
recites the first Khutbah, or sermon "of praise"; and the
congregation worships in silence. This is followed by the second
exhortation "of Wa'az," dispensing the words of wisdom. The Imam
now stands up before the Mihráb (prayer niche) and recites the
Ikámah which is the common Azan with one only difference: after
"Hie ye to salvation" it adds "Come is the time of supplication;"
whence the name, "causing" (prayer) "to stand" (i.e., to begin).
Hereupon the worshippers recite the Farz or Koran commanded
noon-prayer of Friday; and the unco' guid add a host of
superogatories Those who would study the subject may consult Lane
(M. E. chaps. iii. and its abstract in his "Arabian Nights," I,
p. 430, or note 69 to chaps. v.).

[FN#629] i.e., the women loosed their hair; an immodesty
sanctioned only by a great calamity.

[FN#630] These small shops are composed of a "but" and a "ben."
(Pilgrimage i., 99.)

[FN#631] Arab. "Kawwád," a popular term of abuse; hence the Span.
and Port. "Alco-viteiro." The Italian "Galeotto" is from
Galahalt, not Galahad.

[FN#632] i.e., "one seeking assistance in Allah." He was the son
of Al-Záhir bi'lláh (one pre-eminent by the decree of Allah).
Lane says (i. 430), "great- grandson of Harun al-Rashid,"
alluding to the first Mustansir son of Al-Mutawakkil (regn. A.H.
247-248 =861-862). But this is the 56th Abbaside and regn. A. H.
623-640 (= 1226-1242).

[FN#633] Arab. "Yaum al-Id," the Kurban Bairam of the Turks, the
Pilgrimage festival. The story is historical. In the "Akd," a
miscellany compiled by Ibn Abd Rabbuh (vulg. Rabbi-hi) of
Cordova, who ob. A. H. 328 = 940 we read:--A sponger found ten
criminals and followed them, imagining they were going to a
feast; but lo, they were going to their deaths! And when they
were slain and he remained, he was brought before the Khalifah
(Al Maamun) and Ibrahim son of Al- Mahdi related a tale to
procure pardon for the man, whereupon the Khalifah pardoned him.
(Lane ii., 506.)

[FN#634] Arab. "Nate' al-Dam"; the former word was noticed in the
Tale of the Bull and the Ass. The leather of blood was not unlike
the Sufrah and could be folded into a bag by a string running
through rings round the edges. Moslem executioners were very
expert and seldom failed to strike off the head with a single
blow of the thin narrow blade with razor-edge, hard as diamond
withal, which contrasted so strongly with the great coarse
chopper of the European headsman.

[FN#635] The ground floor, which in all hot countries is held,
and rightly so, unwholesome during sleep, is usually let for
shops. This is also the case throughout Southern Europe, and
extends to the Canary Islands and the Brazil.

[FN#636] This serious contemplation of street-scenery is one of
the pleasures of the Harems.

[FN#637] We should say "smiled at him": the laugh was not
intended as an affront.

[FN#638] Arab. "Fals ahmar." Fals is a fish-scale, also the
smaller coin and the plural "Fulús" is the vulgar term for money
(= Ital. quattrini ) without specifying the coin. It must not be
confounded with the "Fazzah," alias "Nuss," alias "Páráh"
(Turk.); the latter being made, not of "red copper" but of a vile
alloy containing, like the Greek "Asper," some silver; and
representing, when at par, the fortieth of a piastre, the
latter=2d. 2/5ths.

[FN#639] Arab "Farajiyah " a long-sleeved robe; Lane's
"Farageeyeh," (M. E., chaps. i)

[FN#640] The tailor in the East, as in Southern Europe, is made
to cut out the cloth in presence of its owner, to prevent

[FN#641] Expecting a present.

[FN#642] Alluding to the saying, "Kiss is the key to Kitty."

[FN#643] The "panel-dodge" is fatally common throughout the East,
where a man found in the house of another is helpless.

[FN#644] This was the beginning of horseplay which often ends in
a bastinado.

[FN#645] Hair-dyes, in the East, are all of vegetable matter,
henna, indigo-leaves, galls, etc.: our mineral dyes are, happily
for them, unknown. Herklots will supply a host of recipes The
Egyptian mixture which I quoted in Pilgrimage (ii., 274) is
sulphate of iron and ammoniure of iron one part and gall nuts two
parts, infused in eight parts of distilled water. It is innocuous
but very poor as a dye.

[FN#646] Arab. Amrad, etymologically "beardless and handsome,"
but often used in a bad sense, to denote an effeminate, a

[FN#647] The Hindus prefer "having the cardinal points as her
sole garment." "Vêtu de climat," says Madame de Stael. In Paris
nude statues are "draped in cerulean blue." Rabelais (iv.,29)
robes King Shrovetide in grey and gold of a comical cut, nothing
before, nothing behind, with sleeves of the same.

[FN#648] This scene used to be enacted a few years ago in Paris
for the benefit of concealed spectators, a young American being
the victim. It was put down when one of the lookers-on lost his
eye by a pen-knife thrust into the "crevice."

[FN#649] Meaning that the trick had been played by the Wazir's
wife or daughter. I could mention sundry names at Cairo whose
charming owners have done worse things than this unseemly frolic.

[FN#650] Arab. "Shayyun li'lláhi," a beggar's formula = per amor
di Dio.

[FN#651] Noting how sharp-eared the blind become.

[FN#652] The blind in Egypt are notorious for insolence and
violence, fanaticism and rapacity. Not a few foreigners have
suffered from them (Pilgrimage i., 148). In former times many
were blinded in infancy by their mothers, and others blinded
themselves to escape conscription or honest hard work. They could
always obtain food, especially as Mu'ezzins and were preferred
because they could not take advantage of the minaret by spying
into their neighbours' households. The Egyptian race is
chronically weak-eyed, the effect of the damp hot climate of the
valley, where ophthalmia prevailed even during the pre-Pharaohnic
days. The great Sesostris died stone-blind and his successor lost
his sight for ten years (Pilgrimage ii., 176). That the Fellahs
are now congenitally weak-eyed, may be seen by comparing them
with negroes imported from Central Africa. Ophthalmia rages,
especially during the damp season, in the lower Nile-valley; and
the best cure for it is a fortnight's trip to the Desert where,
despite glare, sand and wind, the eye readily recovers tone.

[FN#653] i.e., with kicks and cuffs and blows, as is the custom.
(Pilgrimage i., 174.)

[FN#654] Arab. Káid (whence "Alcayde") a word still much used in
North Western Africa.

[FN#655] Arab. "Sullam" = lit. a ladder; a frame-work of sticks,
used by way of our triangles or whipping-posts.

[FN#656] This is one of the feats of Al-Símiyá = white magic;
fascinating the eyes. In Europe it has lately taken the name of

[FN#657] again by means of the "Símiyá" or power of fascination
possessed by the old scoundrel.

[FN#658] A formula for averting "Al-Ayn," the evil eye. It is
always unlucky to meet a one-eyed man, especially the first thing
in the morning and when setting out on any errand. The idea is
that the fascinated one will suffer from some action of the
physical eye. Monoculars also are held to be rogues: so the
Sanskrit saying "Few one-eyed men be honest men."

[FN#659] Al-Nashshár from Nashr = sawing: so the fiddler in
Italian is called the "village-saw" (Sega del villaggio). He is
the Alnaschar of the Englished Galland and Richardson. The tale
is very old. It appears as the Brahman and the Pot of Rice in the
Panchatantra; and Professor Benfey believes (as usual with him)
that this, with many others, derives from a Buddhist source. But
I would distinctly derive it from Æsop's market-woman who kicked
over her eggs, whence the Lat. prov. Ante victoriam canere
triumphum = to sell the skin before you have caught the bear. In
the "Kalilah and Dimnah" and its numerous offspring it is the
"Ascetic with his Jar of oil and honey;" in Rabelais (i., 33)
Echephron's shoemaker spills his milk, and so La Perette in La
Fontaine. See M. Max Muller's "Chips," (vol. iii., appendix) The
curious reader will compare my version with that which appears at
the end of Richardson's Arabic Grammar (Edit. Of 1811): he had a
better, or rather a fuller MS. (p. 199) than any yet printed.

[FN#660] Arab. "Atr" = any perfume, especially oil of roses;
whence our word "Otter,' through the Turkish corruption.

[FN#661] The texts give "dirhams" (100,000 = 5,000 dinars) for
"dinars," a clerical error as the sequel shows.

[FN#662] "Young slaves," says Richardson, losing "colour."

[FN#663] Nothing more calculated to give affront than such a
refusal. Richardson (p. 204) who, however, doubts his own version
(p. 208), here translates, "and I will not give liberty to my
soul (spouse) but in her apartments." The Arabic, or rather
Cairene, is, "wa lá akhalli rúhi" I will not let myself go, i.e.,
be my everyday self, etc.

[FN#664] "Whilst she is in astonishment and terror."

[FN#665] "Chamber of robes," Richardson, whose text has "Nám" for

[FN#666] "Till I compleat her distress," Richardson, whose text
is corrupt.

[FN#667] "Sleep by her side," R. the word "Name" bearing both

[FN#668] "Will take my hand," R. "takabbal" being also ambiguous.

[FN#669] Arab. "Mu'arras" one who brings about "'Ars," marriages,
etc. So the Germ. = "Kupplerinn" a Coupleress. It is one of the
many synonyms for a pimp, and a word in general use (Pilgrimage
i., 276).The most insulting term, like Dayyús, insinuates that
the man panders for his own wife.

[FN#670] Of hands and face, etc. See Night cccclxiv.

[FN#671] Arab. "Sadakah" (sincerity), voluntary or superogatory
alms, opposed to "Zakát" (purification), legal alms which are
indispensable. "Prayer carries us half way to Allah, fasting
brings us to the door of His palace and alms deeds (Sadakah)
cause us to enter." For "Zakát" no especial rate is fixed, but it
should not be less than one-fortieth of property or two and a
half per cent. Thus Al-lslam is, as far as I know, the only faith
which makes a poor-rate (Zakát) obligatory and which has invented
a property-tax, as opposed the unjust and unfair income-tax upon
which England prides herself.

[FN#672] A Greek girl.

[FN#673] This was making himself very easy; and the idea is the
gold in the pouch caused him to be so bold. Lane's explanation
(in loco) is all wrong. The pride engendered by sudden possession
of money is a lieu commun amongst Eastern story tellers; even in
the beast-fables the mouse which has stolen a few gold pieces
becomes confident and stout-hearted.

[FN#674] Arab. "al-Málihah" also means the beautiful (fem.) from
Milh=salt, splendour, etc., the Mac edit. has "Mumallihah" = a

[FN#675] i.e., to see if he felt the smart.

[FN#676] Arab. "Sardábeh" (Persian)=an underground room used for
coolness in the hot season. It is unknown in Cairo but every
house in Baghdad, in fact throughout the Mesopotamian cities, has
one. It is on the principle of the underground cellar without
which wine will not keep: Lane (i., 406) calls it a "vault".

[FN#677] In the orig. "O old woman!" which is insulting.

[FN#678] So the Italians say "a quail to skin."

[FN#679] "Amen" is the word used for quarter on the battle-field;
and there are Joe Millers about our soldiers in India mistaking
it for "a man" or (Scottice) "a mon."

[FN#680] Illustrating the Persian saying "Allah himself cannot
help a fool."

[FN#681] Any article taken from the person and given to a
criminal is a promise of pardon, of course on the implied
condition of plenary confession and of becoming "King's

[FN#682] A naïve proposal to share the plunder.

[FN#683] In popular literature "Schacabac.", And from this tale
comes our saying "A Barmecide's Feast," i.e., an illusion.

[FN#684] The Castrato at the door is still (I have said) the
fashion of Cairo and he acts "Suisse" with a witness.

[FN#685] As usual in the East, the mansion was a hollow square
surrounding what in Spain is called Patio: the outer entrance was
far from the inner, showing the extent of the grounds.

[FN#686] "Nahnu málihín" = we are on terms of salt, said and say
the Arabs. But the traveller must not trust in these days to the
once sacred tie; there are tribes which will give bread with one
hand and stab with the other. The Eastern use of salt is a
curious contrast with that of Westerns, who made it an invidious
and inhospitable distinction, e.g., to sit above the salt-cellar
and below the salt. Amongst the ancients, however, "he took bread
and salt" means he swore, the food being eaten when an oath was
taken. Hence the "Bride cake" of salt, water and flour.

[FN#687] Arab. "Harísah," the meat-pudding before explained.

[FN#688] Arab. "Sikbáj," before explained; it is held to be a
lordly dish, invented by Khusraw Parwiz. "Fatted duck" says the
Bresl. Edit. ii., 308, with more reason.

[FN#689] I was reproved in Southern Abyssinia for eating without
this champing, "Thou feedest like a beggar who muncheth silently
in his corner;" and presently found that it was a sign of good
breeding to eat as noisily as possible.

[FN#690] Barley in Arabia is, like our oats, food for horses: it
fattens at the same time that it cools them. Had this been known
to our cavalry when we first occupied Egypt in 1883-4 our losses
in horse-flesh would have been far less; but official ignorance
persisted in feeding the cattle upon heating oats and the riders
upon beef, which is indigestible, instead of mutton, which is

[FN#691] i.e. "I conjure thee by God."

[FN#692] i.e. "This is the very thing for thee."

[FN#693] i.e., at random.

[FN#694] This is the way of slaughtering the camel, whose throat
is never cut on account of the thickness of the muscles. "Égorger
un chameau" is a mistake often made in French books.

[FN#695] i.e. I will break bounds.

[FN#696] The Arabs have a saying corresponding with the dictum of
the Salernitan school:--

     Noscitur a labiis quantum sit virginis antrum:
     Noscitur a naso quanta sit haste viro;
     (A maiden's mouth shows what's the make of her chose;
     And man's mentule one knows by the length of his nose.)

Whereto I would add:--

     And the eyebrows disclose how the lower wig grows.

The observations are purely empirical but, as far as my
experience extends, correct.

[FN#697] Arab. "Kahkahah," a very low proceeding.

[FN#698] Or "for every death there is a cause;" but the older
Arabs had a saying corresponding with "Deus non fecit mortem."

[FN#699] The King's barber is usually a man of rank for the best
of reasons, that he holds his Sovereign's life between his
fingers. One of these noble Figaros in India married an English
lady who was, they say, unpleasantly surprised to find out what
were her husband's official duties.

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