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´╗┐Title: The Arabian Nights Entertainments - Volume 01
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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                       The Arabian Nights

                         Consisting of

                  One Thousand and One Stories,
              Told by The Sultaness of the Indies,

 To Divert the sultan from the execution of a bloody vow he had
   made to marry a Lady every day, and have her cut off next
   morning, to avenge himself of the disloyalty of his first
                         sultaness, &c.


An accurate account of the customs, manners, and religion, of the
                        Eastern nations.

                        In Two Volumes.
                            Vol. I.


Contents of Volume I.

The story of the genius and the lady shut up in a glass box
The fable of the ass, the ox, and the labourer
The fable of the dog and the cock
The story of the merchant and genius
The history of the first old man and the bitch
The story of the second old man and the two black dogs
The story of the fisherman
The story of the Grecian king, and the physician Douban
The story of the husband and parrot
The story of the vizier that was punished
The history of the young king of the black isles
The story of the three calenders, sons of kings; and of the five
     ladies of Bagdad
The history of the first calender, a king's son
The history of the second calender, a king's son
The story of the envious man, and of him whom he envied
The history of the third calender, a king's son
The story of Zobeide The story of Amine
The story of Sindbad the sailor
     His first voyage
     His second voyage
     His third voyage
     His fourth voyage
     His fifth voyage
     His sixth voyage
     His seventh and last voyage
The story of the three apples
The story of the young lady that was murdered, and of the young
     man her husband
The story of Nourreddin Ali and Bedreddin Hassan
The story of the little hunch-back
The story told by the Christian merchant
The story told by the sultan of Casgar's purveyor
The story told by the Jewish physician
The story told by the tailor
The story of the barber
The story of the barber's eldest brother
     Of the second
     Of the third
     Of the fourth
     Of the fifth
     Of the sixth
The history of Aboulhassan All Ebn Becar and Schemselnihar,
     favourite of caliph Haroun Alraschid
The story of the amours of Camaralzaman, prince of the isles of
     the children of Khaledan, and of Badoura, princess of China
The history of the princess of China
The story of Marzavan, with the sequel of that of the prince
The story of the princess Badoura, after her separation from
     prince Camaralzaman
The story of the princes, Amgrad and Assad
The story of prince Amgrad and a lady of the city of the
The sequel of the story of prince Assad
The story of Nourreddin aad the fair Persian

                      Epistle Dedicatory,

            The Right Hon. The Lady Marchioness D'o,
           Lady of Honour to the Duchess of Burgundy.


The great kindnesses I received from M. de Guilleragus, your
illustrious father, during my abode at Constantinople some years
ago, are too fresh in my mind for me to neglect any opportunity
of publishing what I owe to his memory. Were he still alive, for
the welfare of France, and my particular advantage, I would take
the liberty to dedicate this work to him, not only as my
benefactor, but as a person most capable of judging what is fine,
and inspiring others with the like sentiments. Every one
remembers the wonderful exactness of his judgment;--the meanest
of his thoughts had something in them that was shining, and his
lowest expressions were always exact and nice, which made every
one admire him; for never had any man so much wit and so much
solidity. I have seen him, at a time when he was so much taken up
with the affairs of his master, that nobody could expect any
thing from him but what related to his ministry, and his profound
capacity to manage the most knotty negotiations; yet all the
weight of his employment diminished nothing of his inimitable
pleasantness, which charmed his friends, and was agreeable even
to those barbarous nations with whom that great man did treat.
After the loss of him, which to me is irreparable, I could not
address myself to any other person than yourself, Madam, since
you alone can supply the want of him to me; therefore it is that
I take the boldness to beg of you the same protection for this
book that you was pleased to grant to the French translation of
the seven Arabian stories that I had the honour to present you.

You may perhaps wonder, Madam, that I have not since that time
presented them to you in print; but the reason of it is, that
when I was about putting them to the press, I was informed that
those seven stories were taken out of a prodigious collection of
stories of the like sort, entitled "One thousand and one nights."
This discovery obliged me to suspend the printing of them, and to
use my endeavours to get that collection. I was forced to send
for it from Syria; and have translated into French this first
volume being one of the four that were sent me. These stories
will certainly divert you, Madam, much more than those you have
already seen. They are new to you, and more in number; you will
also perceive, with pleasure, the ingenious design of this
anonymous Arabian, who has given us these stories after the
manner of his country, fabulous indeed, but very diverting.

I beg, Madam, your acceptance of this small present which I have
the honour to make you; it is a public testimony of my
acknowledgment of the profound respect with which I am, and shall
for ever be,


Your most humble and most obedient servant,



There is no occasion to prepossess the reader with an opinion of
the merit and beauty of the following work. There needs no more
but to read it to satisfy any man, that hitherto nothing so fine
of this nature has appeared in any language.

What can be more ingenious than to compose such a prodigious
quantity of pleasant stories, whose variety is surprising, and
whose connexion is so wonderful? We know not the name of the
author of so great a work; but probably it is not all done by one
hand; for how can we suppose that one man alone could have
invention enough to make so many fine things?

If stories of this sort be pleasant and diverting, because of the
wonders they usually contain, these have certainly the advantage
above all that have yet been published; because they are full of
surprising events, which engage our attention, and show how much
the Arabians surpass other nations in compositions of this sort.

They must also be pleasing, because of the account they give of
the customs and manners of the eastern nations, and of the
ceremonies of their religion, as well Pagan as Mahometan, which
are better described here than in any author that has written of
them, or in the relation of travellers. All the eastern nations,
Persians, Tartars, and Indians, are here distinguished, and
appear such as they are, from the sovereign to the meanest
subject; so that, without the fatigue of going to see those
people in their respective countries, the reader has here the
pleasure to see them act, and hear them speak. Care has been
taken to preserve their characters, and to keep their sense; nor
have we varied from the text, but when modesty obliged us to it.
The translator flatters himself, that those who understand
Arabic, and will be at the pains to compare the original with the
translation, must agree that he has showed the Arabians to the
French with all the circumspection that the niceness of the
French tongue and of the times require; and if those who read
these stories have any inclination to profit by the example of
virtue and vice which they will here find exhibited, they may
reap an advantage by it that is not to be reaped in other
stories, which are more fit to corrupt than to reform our


I have read, by order of my Lord Chancellor, this manuscript, and
find nothing in it that should hinder its being printed.


Paris, October 4. 1706.

                 Arabian Nights Entertainments.

The chronicles of the Susanians, the ancient kings of Persia, who
extended their empire into the Indies, over all the islands
thereunto belonging, a great way beyond the Ganges, and as far as
China, acquaint us, that there was formerly a king of that potent
family, the most excellent prince of his time; he was as much
beloved by his subjects for his wisdom and prudence, as he was
dreaded by his neighbours because of his valour, and his warlike
and well-disciplined troops. He had two sons; the eldest
Schahriar, the worthy heir of his father, and endowed with all
his virtues. The youngest, Schahzenan, was likewise a prince of
incomparable merit.

After a long and glorious reign, the king died; and Schahriar
mounted his throne. Schahzenan being excluded from all share of
the government by the laws of the empire, and obliged to live a
private life, was so far from envying the happiness of his
brother, that he made it his whole business to please him, and
effected it without much difficulty. Schahriar, who had naturally
a great affection for that prince, was so charmed with his
complaisance, that, out of an excess of friendship, he would
needs divide his dominions with him, and gave him the kingdom of
Great Tartary: Schahzenan went immediately and took possession of
it, and fixed the seat of his government at Samarcande, the
metropolis of the country,

After they had been separated ten years, Schahriar, having a
passionate desire to see his brother, resolved to send an
embassador to invite him to his court. He made choice of his
prime vizier for the embassy, sent him to Tartary with a retinue
answerable to his dignity, and he made all possible haste to
Samarcande. When he came near the city, Schahzenan had notice of
it, and went to meet him with the principal lords of his court;
who, to put the more honour on the sultan's minister, appeared in
magnificent apparel. The king of Tartary received the embassador
with the greatest demonstrations of joy, and immediately asked
him concerning the welfare of the sultan, his brother. The
vizier, having acquainted him that he was in health, gave him an
account of his embassy. Schahzenan was so much affected with it,
that he answered thus:--"Sage vizier, the sultan, my brother,
does me too much honour; he could propose nothing in the world
more acceptable; I long as passionately to see him as he does to
see me. Time has been no more able to diminish my friendship than
his. My kingdom is in peace, and I desire no more than ten days
to get myself ready to go with you; so that there is no necessity
of your entering the city for so short a time; I pray you to
pitch your tents here, and I will order provisions in abundance
for yourself and company."

The vizier did accordingly; and as soon as the king returned, he
sent him a prodigious quantity of provisions of all sorts, with
presents of great value.

In the mean while, Schahzenan made ready for his journey, took
orders about his most important affairs, appointed a council to
govern in his absence, and named a minister, of whose wisdom he
had sufficient experience, and in whom he had entire confidence,
to be their president. At the end of ten days, his equipage being
ready, he took his leave of the queen, his wife, and went out of
town in the evening with his retinue, pitching his royal pavilion
near the vizier's tent, and discoursed with that embassador till
midnight. But willing once more to embrace the queen, whom he
loved entirely, he returned alone to his palace, and went
straight to her majesty's apartment; who, not expecting his
return, had taken one of the meanest officers of the household to
her bed, where they lay both fast asleep, having been in bed a
considerable while.

The king entered without any noise and pleased himself to think
how he should surprise his wife, who, he thought, loved him as
entirely as he did her; but how strange was his surprise, when,
by the light of the flambeaus, which burn all night in the
apartments of those eastern princes, he saw a man in her arms! He
stood immovable for a time, not knowing how to believe his own
eyes; but finding it was not to be doubted, How! says he to
himself, I am scarce out of my palace, and but just under the
walls of Samarcande, and dare they put such an outrage upon me?
All! perfidious wretches, your crime shall not go unpunished. As
king, I am to punish wickednesses committed in my dominions; and,
as an enraged husband, I must sacrifice you to my just
resentment. In a word, this unfortunate prince, giving way to his
rage, drew his scimitar, and, approaching the bed, killed them
both with one blow, turning their sleep into death, and
afterwards taking them up, threw them out of a window into the
ditch that surrounded the palace.

Having avenged himself thus, he went out of town privately as he
came into it; and returning to his pavilion, without saying one
word of what had happened, he ordered the tents to be struck, and
to make ready for his journey. This was speedily done, and before
day he began his march, with kettle-drums and other instruments
of music, that filled every one with joy, except the king, who
was so much troubled at the disloyalty of his wife, that he was
seized with extreme melancholy, which preyed upon him during his
whole journey.

When he drew near the capital of the Indies, the sultan
Schahriar, and all his court, came out to meet him; the princes
were overjoyed fo see one another; and alighting, after mutual
embraces, and other marks of affection and respect, they mounted
again, and entered the city, with the acclamations of vast
multitudes of people. The sultan conducted his brother to the
palace he had provided for him, which had a communication with
his own by means of a garden; and was so much the more
magnificent, for it was set apart as a banqueting-house for
public entertainment, and other diversions of the court, and the
splendour of it had been lately augmented by new furniture.

Schahriar immediately left the king of Tartary, that he might
give him time to bathe himself, and to change his apparel; and as
soon as he had done, he came to him again, and they sat down
together upon a sofa or alcove. The courtiers kept a distance,
out of respect; and those two princes entertained one another
suitably to their friendship, their nearness of blood, and the
long separation that had been betwixt them. The time of supper
being come, they ate together; after which they renewed their
conversation, which continued till Schahriar, perceiving it was
very late, left his brother to his rest.

The unfortunate Schahzenan went to bed; and though the
conversation of his brother had suspended his grief for some
time, it returned upon him with more violence; so that, instead
of taking his necessary rest, he tormented himself with cruel
reflections. All the circumstances of his wife's disloyalty
represented themselves afresh to his imagination in so lively a
manner, that he was like one beside himself. In a word, not being
able to sleep, he got up, and giving himself over to afflicting
thoughts, they made such an impression upon his countenance, that
the sultan could not but take notice of it, and said thus to
himself: "What can be the matter with the king of Tartary, that
he is so melancholy; has he any cause to complain of his
reception? No, surely; I have received him as a brother whom I
love, so that I can charge myself with no omission in that
respect. Perhaps it grieves him to be at such a distance from his
dominions, or from the queen, his wife: Alas! if that be the
matter, I must forthwith give him the presents I designed for
him, that he may return to Samarcande when he pleases.'
Accordingly, next day Schahriar sent him a part of those
presents, being the greatest rarities and the richest things that
the Indies could afford. At the same time he endeavoured to
divert his brother every day by new objects of pleasure, and the
finest treats, which, instead of giving the king of Tartary any
ease, did only increase his sorrow.

One day, Schahriar having appointed a great hunting-match, about
two days journey from his capital, in a place that abounded with
deer, Schahzenan prayed him to excuse him, for his health would
not allow him to bear him company. The sultan, unwilling to put
any constraint upon him, left him at his liberty, and went a
hunting with his nobles. The king of Tartary, being thus left
alone, shut himself up in his apartment, and sat down at a window
that looked into the garden. That delicious place, and the sweet
harmony of an infinite number of birds, which chose it for a
place of retreat, must certainly have diverted him, had he been
capable of taking pleasure in any thing; but, being perpetually
tormented with the fatal remembrance of his queen's infamous
conduct, his eyes were not so often fixed upon the garden, as
lifted up to heaven to bewail his misfortune.

Whilst he was thus swallowed up with grief, an object presented
itself to his view, which quickly turned all his thoughts another
way. A secret gate of the sultan's palace opened all of a sudden,
and there came out at it twenty women, in the midst of whom
marched the sultaness, who was easily distinguished from the rest
by her majestic air. This princess, thinking that the king of
Tartary was gone a hunting with his brother the sultan, came up
with her retinue near the windows of his apartment; for the
prince had placed himself so that he could see all that passed in
the garden without being perceived himself. He observed that the
persons who accompanied the sultaness threw off their veils and
long robes, that they might be at more freedom; but was
wonderfully surprised when he saw ten of them to be blacks, and
that each of them took his mistress. The sultaness, on her part,
was not long without her gallant. She clapped her hands, and
called out Masoud, Masoud, and immediately a black came down from
a tree, and ran to her in all haste.

Modesty will not allow, nor is it necessary to relate, what
passed betwixt the blacks and ladies. It is sufficient to say,
that Schahzenan saw enough to convince him that his brother had
as much cause to complain as himself. This amorous company
continued together till midnight and having bathed all together
in a great pond, which was one of the chief ornaments of the
garden, they dressed themselves, and re-entered the palace, by
the secret door, all except Masoud, who climbed up his tree, and
got over the garden-wall the same way as he came.

All this having passed in the king of Tartary's sight, it gave
him occasion to make a multitude of reflections. How little
reason had I, says he, to think that no one was so unfortunate as
myself? It is certainly the unavoidable fate of all husbands,
since the sultan, my brother, who is sovereign of so many
dominions, and the greatest prince of the earth, could not escape
it. The case being so, what a fool am I to kill myself with
grief? I will throw it off, and the remembrance of a misfortune
so common shall never after this disturb my quiet. So that, from
that moment, he forebore afflicting himself. Being unwilling to
sup till he saw the whole scene that was acted under his window,
he called then for his supper, ate with a better appetite than he
had done at any time after his coming to Samarcande, and listened
with pleasure to the agreeable concert of vocal and instrumental
music that was appointed to entertain him while at table.

He continued after this to be of a very good humour; and when he
knew that the sultan was returning, he went to meet him, and paid
him his compliments with a great deal of gaiety. Schahriar at
first took no notice of this great alteration, but expostulated
with him modestly, why he would not bear him company at hunting
the stag; and, without giving him time to reply, entertained him
with the great number of deer and other game they had killed, and
what pleasure he had in the sport. Schahzenan heard him with
attention, gave answers to every thing, and being rid of that
melancholy which formerly over-clouded his wit, he said a
thousand agreeable and pleasant things to the sultan.

Schahriar, who expected to have found him in the same condition
as he left him, was overjoyed to see him so cheerful, and spoke
to him thus: Dear brother, I return thanks to Heaven for the
happy change it has made on you during my absence; I am extremely
rejoiced at it; but I have a request to make to you, and conjure
you not to deny me. I can refuse you nothing, replies the king of
Tartary; you may command Schahzenan as you please; pray speak, I
am impatient to know what you desire of me. Ever since you came
to my court, replies Schahriar, I found you swallowed up by a
deep melancholy, and I did in vain attempt to remove it by
diversions of all sorts. I imagined it might be occasioned by
reason of the distance from your dominions, or that love might
have a great share in it; and that the queen of Samarcande, who,
no doubt, is an accomplished beauty, might be the cause of it. I
do not know if I be mistaken; but I must own that this was the
peculiar reason why I did not importune you upon the subject, for
fear of making you uneasy. But, without my being able to
contribute any thing towards it, I find now, upon my return, that
you are in the best humour that can be, and that your mind is
entirely delivered from that black vapour which disturbed it.
Pray do me the favour to tell me why you were so melancholy, and
how you came to be rid of it.

Upon this, the king of Tartary continued for some time as if he
had been in a dream, and contrived what he should answer; but at
last replied as follows: You are my sultan and master; but excuse
me, I beseech you, from answering your question. No, dear
brother, said the sultan, you must answer, I will take no denial.
Schahzenan, not being able to withstand these pressing instances,
answered, Well, then, brother, I will satisfy you, since you
command me; and, having told him the story of the queen of
Samarcande's treachery, this, says he, was the cause of my grief;
pray judge whether I had not reason enough to give myself up to

Oh! my brother, says the sultan, (in a tone which showed that he
had the same sentiments of the matter with the king of Tartary,)
what a horrible story do you tell me! How impatient was I till I
heard it out! I commend you for punishing the traitors who put
such an outrage upon you. Nobody can blame you for that action:
it was just; and for my part, had the case been mine, I could
scarce have been so moderate as you, I should not have satisfied
myself with the life of one woman; I verily think I should have
sacrificed a thousand to my fury. I cease now to wonder at your
melancholy. The cause of it was too sensible, and too mortifying,
not to make you yield to it. O heaven! what a strange adventure!
nor do I believe the like of it ever befel any man but yourself.
But, in short, I must bless God, who has comforted you; and since
I doubt not but your consolation is well grounded, be so good as
let me know what it is, and conceal nothing from me. Schahzenan
was not so easily prevailed upon in this point as he had been in
the other, because of his brother's concern in it; but, being
obliged to yield to his pressing instances, answered, I must obey
you then, since your command is absolute; yet am afraid that my
obedience will occasion your trouble to be greater than ever mine
was. But you must blame yourself for it, since you force me to
reveal a thing which I should have otherwise buried in eternal
oblivion. What you say, answers Schahriar, serves only to
increase my curiosity. Make haste to discover the secret,
whatever it may be. The king of Tartary, being no longer able to
refuse, gave him the particulars of all that he had seen of the
blacks in disguise, of the lewd passion of the sultaness and her
ladies; and, to be sure, he did not forget Masoud. After having
been witness to those infamous actions, says he, I believed all
women to be that way naturally inclined, and that they could not
resist those violent desires. Being of this opinion, it seemed to
me to be an unaccountable weakness in men to make themselves
uneasy at their infidelity. This reflection brought many others
along with it; and, in short, I thought the best thing I could do
was to make myself easy. It cost me some pain indeed, but at last
I effected it; and, if you will take my advice, you shall follow
my example.

Though the advice was good, the sultan could not take it, but
fell into a rage. What! says he, is the sultaness of the Indies
capable of prostituting herself in so base a manner? No, brother,
I cannot believe what you say,--unless I saw it with my eyes:
yours must needs have deceived you; the matter is so important,
that I must be satisfied of it myself. Dear brother, answers
Schahzenan, that you may without much difficulty. Appoint another
hunting-match, and when we are out of town with your court and
mine, we will stop under our pavilions, and at night let you and
I return alone to my apartment. I am certain that next day you
will see what I saw. The sultan, approving the stratagem,
immediately appointed a new hunting-match; and that same day the
pavilions were set up at the place appointed.

Next day the two princes set out with all their retinue; they
arrived at the place of encampment, and staid there till night.
Then Schahriar called his grand vizier, and, without acquainting
him of his design, commanded him to stay in his place during his
absence, and to suffer no person to go out of the camp upon any
occasion whatever. As soon as he had given this order, the king
of Grand Tartary and he took horse, passed through the camp
incognito, returned to the city, and went to Schahzenan's
apartment. They had scarce placed themselves in the same window
where the king of Tartary had seen the disguised blacks act their
scene, but the secret gate opened, the sultaness and her ladies
entered the garden with the blacks, and she having called upon
Masoud, the sultan saw more than enough to convince him plainly
of his dishonour and misfortune.

O heavens! cried he, what indignity! what horror! Can the wife of
a sovereign, such as I am, be capable of such an infamous action?
After this let no prince boast of his being perfectly happy.
Alas! my brother, continues he, (embracing the king of Tartary,)
let us both renounce the world; honesty is banished out of it; if
it flatter us the one day, it betrays us the next; let us abandon
our dominions and grandeur; let us go into foreign countries,
where we may lead an obscure life, and conceal our misfortune.
Schahzenan did not at all approve of such a resolution, but did
not think fit to contradict Schahriar in the heat of his passion.
Dear brother, says he, your will shall be mine; I am ready to
follow you whither you please; but promise that you will return,
if we can meet with any one that is more unhappy than ourselves.
I agree to it, says the sultan, but doubt much whether we shall.
I am not of your mind in this, replied the king of Tartary; I
fancy our journey will be but short. Having said this, they went
secretly out of the palace by another way than they came. They
travelled as long as it was day, and lay the first night under
the trees; and getting up about break of day, they went on till
they came to a fine meadow upon the banks of the sea, in which
meadow there were tufts of great trees at some distance from one
another. They sat down under those trees to rest and refresh
themselves, and the chief subject of their conversation was the
lewdness of their wives.

They had not sat long, before they heard a frightful noise, and a
terrible cry from the sea, which filled them with fear; then the
sea opening, there rose up a thing like a great black column,
which reached almost to the clouds. This redoubled their fear,
made them rise speedily, and climb up into a tree to hide
themselves. They had scarce got up, till, looking to the place
from whence the voice came, and where the sea opened, they
observed that the black column advanced, winding about towards
the shore, cleaving the water before it. They could not at first
think what it should be; but in a little time they found that it
was one of those malignant genie that are mortal enemies to
mankind, and always doing them mischief. He was black, frightful,
had the shape of a giant, of a prodigious stature, and carried on
his head a great glass box, shut with four locks of fine steel.
He entered the meadow with his burden, which he laid down just at
the foot of the tree where the two princes were, who looked upon
themselves to be dead men. Meanwhile the genie sat down by his
box, and opening it with four keys that he had at his girdle,
there came out a lady magnificently apparelled, of a majestic
stature, and a complete beauty. The monster made her sit down by
him; and eying her with an amorous look, Lady (says he) nay, most
accomplished of all ladies who are admired for their beauty my
charming mistress, whom I carried off on your wedding-day, and
have loved so constantly ever since, let me sleep a few moments
by you; for I found myself so very sleepy, that I came to this
place to take a little rest. Having spoken thus, he laid down his
huge head on the lady's knees; and stretching out his legs, which
reached as far as the sea, he fell asleep, and snored so, that he
made the banks to echo again.

The lady, happening at the same time to look up to the tree, saw
the two princes and made a sign to them with her hand to come
down without making any noise. Their fear was extraordinary when
they found themselves discovered, and they prayed the lady, by
other signs, to excuse them; but she, after having laid the
monster's head softly down, rose up, and spoke to them with a low
but quick voice to come down to her; she would take no denial.
They made signs to her that they were afraid of the genie, and
would fain have been excused. Upon which she ordered them to come
down, and, if they did not make haste, threatened to awake the
giant, and bid him kill them.

These words did so much intimidate the princes, that they began
to come down with all possible precaution, lest they should awake
the genie. When they came down, the lady took them by the hand,
and going a little farther with them under the trees, made a very
urgent proposal to them. At first they rejected it, but she
obliged them to accept it by her threats. Having obtained what
she desired, she perceived that each of them had a ring on his
finger, which she demanded of them. As soon as she received them,
she went and took a box out of the bundle, where her toilet was,
pulled out a string of other rings of all sorts, which she showed
them, and asked them if they knew what those jewels meant? No,
say they, we hope you will be pleased to tell us. They are,
replies she, the rings of all the men to whom I have granted my
favour; There are full fourscore and eighteen of them, which I
keep in token to remember them; and asked yours for the same
reason, to make up my hundred. So that, continues she, I have had
a hundred gallants already, notwithstanding the vigilance of this
wicked genie, that never leaves me. He is much the nearer for
locking me up in this glass box, and hiding me in the bottom of
the sea; I find a way to cheat him for all his care. You may see
by this, that when a woman has formed a project, there is no
husband or gallant that can hinder her from putting it in
execution. Men had better not put their wives under such
restraint, if they have a mind they should be chaste. Having
spoken thus to them, she put their rings upon the same string
with the rest, and, sitting down by the monster as before, laid
his head again upon her lap, and made a sign for the princes to
be gone.

They returned immediately by the same way they came; and when
they were out of sight of the lady and the genie, Schahriar says
to Schahzenan, Well, brother, what do you think of this
adventure? has not the genie a very faithful mistress? And do not
you agree that there is no wickedness equal to that of women?
Yes, brother, answers the king of Great Tartary; and you must.
agree that the monster is more unfortunate, and has more reason
to complain, than we. Therefore, since we have found what we
sought for, let us return to our dominions, and let not this
hinder us to marry again. For my part, I know a method by which I
think I shall keep inviolable the faith that any woman shall
plight to me. I shall say no more of it at present, but you will
hear of it in a little time, and I am sure you will follow my
example. The sultan agreed with his brother; and, continuing
their journey, they arrived in the camp the third night after
they left it.

The news of the sultan's return being spread, the courtiers came
betimes in the morning before his pavilion to wait on him. He
ordered them to enter, received them with a more pleasant air
than formerly, and gave each of them a gratification; after which
he told them he would go no further, ordered them to take horse,
and returned speedily to his palace.

As soon as he arrived, he ran to the sultaness's apartment,
commanded her to be bound before him, and delivered her to his
grand vizier, with an order to strangle her; which was
accordingly executed by that minister, without inquiring into her
crime. The enraged prince did not stop here; he cut off the heads
of all the sultaness's ladies with his own hand. After this
rigorous punishment, being persuaded that no woman was chaste, he
resolved, in order to prevent the disloyalty of such as he should
afterwards marry, to wed one every night, and have her strangled
next morning. Having imposed this cruel law upon himself, he
swore that he would observe it immediately after the departure of
the king of Tartary, who speedily took leave of him, and, being
loaded with magnificent presents, set forward on his journey.

Schahzenan being gone, Schahriar ordered his grand vizier to
bring him the daughter of one of his generals. The vizier obeyed;
the sultan lay with her, and, putting her next morning into his
hands in order to be strangled, commanded him to get another next
night. Whatever reluctance the vizier had to put such orders in
execution, as he owed blind obedience to the sultan his master,
he was forced to submit. He brought him then the daughter of a
subaltern, whom he also cut off the next day. After her, he
brought a citizen's daughter; and, in a word, there was every day
a maid married, and a wife murdered.

The rumour of this unparalleled barbarity occasioned a general
consternation in the city, where there was nothing but crying and
lamentation. Here a father in tears, and inconsolable for the
loss of his daughter; and there tender mothers, dreading lest
theirs should have the same fate, making the air to resound
beforehand with their groans; so that, instead of the
commendations and blessings which the sultan had hitherto
received from his subjects, their mouths were now filled with
imprecations against him.

The grand vizier, who, as has been already said, was the
executioner of this horrid injustice against his will, had two
daughters, the eldest called Scheherazade, and the youngest
Dinarzade: the latter was a lady of very great merit; but the
elder had courage, wit, and penetration, infinitely above her
sex; she had read abundance, and had such a prodigious memory
that she never forgot any thing. She had successfully applied
herself to philosophy, physic, history, and the liberal arts, and
for verse exceeded, the best poets of her times; besides this,
she was a perfect beauty, and all her fine qualifications were
crowned by solid virtue.

The vizier passionately loved a daughter so worthy of his tender
affection; and one day, as they were discoursing together, she
says to him, Father, I have one favour to beg of you, and must
humbly pray you to grant it me. I will not refuse it, answered
he, provided it be just and reasonable. For the justice of it,
says she, there can be no question, and you may judge of it by
the motive which obliges me to demand it of you. I have a design
to stop the course of that barbarity which the sultan exercises
upon the families of this city. I would dispel those unjust fears
which so many mothers have of losing their daughters in such a
fatal manner. Your design, daughter, replies the vizier, is very
commendable; but the disease you would remedy seems to be
incurable; how do you pretend to effect it? Father, says
Scheherazade, since by your means the sultan makes every day a
new marriage, I conjure you, by the tender affection you bear to
me, to procure me the honour of his bed. The vizier could not
hear this without horror. O heavens! replies he, in a passion,
have you lost your senses, daughter, that you make such a
dangerous request to me? You know the sultan has sworn by his
soul that he will never lie above one night with the same woman,
and to order her to be killed the next morning; and would you
that I should propose you to him? Pray consider well to what your
indiscreet zeal will expose you. Yes, dear father, replies the
virtuous daughter, I know the risk I run; but that does not
frighten me. If I perish, my death will be glorious; and if I
succeed, I shall do my country an important piece of service. No,
no, says the vizier, whatever you can represent to engage me to
let you throw yourself into that horrible danger, do not you
think that ever I will agree to it. When the sultan shall order
me to strike my poignard into your heart, alas! I must obey him;
and what a dismal employment is that for a father? Ah! if you do
not fear death, yet at least be afraid of occasioning me the
mortal grief of seeing my hand stained with your blood. Once
more, father, says Scheherazade, grant me the favour I beg. Your
stubbornness, replies the vizier, will make me angry; why will
you run headlong to your ruin? They that do not foresee the end
of a dangerous enterprise can never bring it to a happy issue. I
am afraid the same thing will happen to you that happened to the
ass, which was well, and could not keep itself so. What
misfortune befel the ass? replies Scheherazade. I will tell you,
says the vizier, if you will hear me.


               The Ox, the Ass, and the Labourer.

A very rich merchant had several country-houses, where he had
abundance of cattle of all sorts. He went with his wife and
family to one of those estates, in order to improve it himself.
He had the gift of understanding the language of beasts, but with
this condition, that he should interpret it to nobody on pain of
death; and this hindered him from communicating to others what he
had learned by means of this gift.

He had in the same stall an ox and an ass; and one day as he sat
near them, and diverted himself to see his children play about,
him, he heard the ox say to the ass, Sprightly, O how happy do I
think you, when I consider the ease you enjoy, and the little
labour that is required of you! you are carefully rubbed down and
washed; you have well-dressed corn, and fresh clean water. Your
greatest business is to carry the merchant, our master, when he
has any little journey to make; and, were it not for that, you
would be perfectly idle. I am treated in a quite different
manner, and my condition is as unfortunate as yours is pleasant.
It is scarce day-light when I am fastened to a plough, and there
they make me work till night, to till up the ground, which
fatigues me so, that sometimes my strength fails me. Besides, the
labourer, who is always behind me, beats me continually. By
drawing the plough my tail is all flead; and, in short, after
having laboured from morning till night, when I am brought in,
they give me nothing to eat but sorry dry beans, not so much as
cleaned from sand, or other things as pernicious; and, to
heighten my misery, when I have filled my belly with such
ordinary stuff, I am forced to lie all night in my own dung; so
that you see I have reason to envy your lot.

The ass did not interrupt the ox, till he had said all that he
had a mind to say; but, when he had made an end, answered, They
that call you a foolish beast do not lie; you are too simple, you
let them carry you whither they please, and show no manner of
resolution. In the mean time, what advantage do you reap by all
the indignities you suffer? You kill yourself for the ease,
pleasure, and profit of those that give you no thanks for so
doing. But they would not treat you so, if you had as much
courage as strength.

When they come to fasten you to the stall, why do not you make
resistance? why do not you strike them with your horns, and show
that you are angry by striking your foot against the ground? and,
in short, why do not you frighten them by bellowing aloud? Nature
has furnished you with means to procure you respect, but you do
not make use of them. They bring you sorry beans and bad straw;
eat none of them; only smell them, and leave them. If you follow
the advice I give you, you will quickly find a change, for which
you will thank me. The ox took the ass's advice in very good
part, and owned he was very much obliged to him for it.

Dear Sprightly, adds he, I will not fail to do all that you have
said, and you shall see how I shall acquit myself. They held
their peace after this discourse, of which the merchant heard
every word.

Next morning betimes the labourer came to take the ox; he
fastened him to the plough, and carried him to his ordinary work.
The ox, who had not forgotten the ass's counsel, was very
troublesome and untoward all that day; and in the evening, when
the labourer brought him back to the stall, and began to fasten
him to it, the malicious beast, instead of presenting his horns
willingly as he used to do, was restive, and went backward
bellowing, and then made at the labourer as if he would have
pushed him with his horns; in a word, he did all that the ass
advised him to. Next day the labourer came, as usual, to take the
ox to his labour; but, finding the stall full of beans, the straw
that he put in the night before not touched, and the ox lying on
the ground with his legs stretched out, and panting in a strange
manner, he believed him to he sick, pitied him, and thinking;
that it was not proper to carry him to work, went immediately and
acquainted the merchant with it; who, perceiving that the ox had
followed all the mischievous advices of the ass, whom he thought
fit to punish for it, ordered the labourer to go and put the ass
in the ox's place, and to be sure to work him hard. The labourer
did so: the ass was forced to draw the plough all that day; which
fatigued him so much the more, as he was not accustomed to that
sort of labour; besides, he had been so soundly beaten, that he
could scarcely stand when he came back.

Meanwhile the ox was mightily pleased; he ate up all that was in
his stall, and rested himself the whole day. He was glad at the
heart that he had followed the ass's advice, blessed him a
thousand times for it, and did not fail to compliment him upon it
when he saw him come back. The ass answered him not one word, so
vexed was he to be so ill treated; but says within himself, it is
by my own imprudence I have brought this misfortune upon myself;
I lived happily, every thing smiled upon me. I had all that I
could wish, it is my own fault that I am brought to this
miserable condition, and if I cannot contrive some way to get out
of it, I am certainly undone; and as he spoke thus, his strength
was so much exhausted, that he fell down at his stall, as if he
had been half dead.

Here the grand visier addressed himself to Scheherazade, and
said, Daughter, you do like the ass; you will expose yourself to
destruction by your false prudence. Take my advice; be easy, and
do not take such measures as will hasten your death. Father,
replies Scheherazade, the example you bring me is not capable of
making me change my resolution; I will never cease importuning
you until you present me to the sultan to be his bride. The
vizier, perceiving that she persisted in her demand, replied,
Alas, then! since you will continue obstinate, I shall be obliged
to treat you in the same manner as the merchant I named treated
his wife in a little time after.

The merchant, understanding that the ass was in a lamentable
condition, was curious to know what passed betwixt him and the
ox; therefore, after supper, he went out by moon-light, and sat
down by them, his wife bearing him company. When he arrived, he
heard the ass say to the ox, Comrade, tell me, I pray you, what
you intend to do to-morrow, when the labourer brings you meat?
What will I do? says the ox: I will continue to do as you taught
me. I will go off from him, and threaten him with my horns, as I
did yesterday; I will feign myself to be sick, and just ready to
die. Beware of that, replies the ass, it will ruin you: for as I
came home this evening, I heard the merchant, our master, say
something that makes me tremble for you. Alas! what did you hear?
says the ox; as you love me, hide nothing from me, my dear
Sprightly. Our master, replied the ass, had these sad expressions
to the labourer: Since the ox does not eat, and is not able to
work, I would have him killed tomorrow, and we will give his
flesh as an alms to the poor for God's sake; as for his skin,
that will be of use to us, and I would have you give it to the
currier to dress; therefore do not fail to send for the butcher.
This is what I had to tell you, says the ass. The concern I have
for your preservation, and my friendship for you, obliged me to
let you know it, and to give you new advice. As soon as they
bring you your bran and straw, rise up and eat heartily. Our
master will, by this, think that you are cured, and no doubt will
recal his orders for killing you; whereas, if you do otherwise,
you are certainly gone.

This discourse had the effect which the ass designed. The ox was
strangely troubled at it, and bellowed out for fear. The
merchant, who heard the discourse very attentively, fell into
such a fit of laughter, that his wife was surprised at it, and
said, Pray, husband, tell me what you laugh at so heartily, that
I may laugh with you. Wife, said he, you must content yourself
with hearing me laugh. No, replies she, I will know the reason. I
cannot give you that satisfaction, answers he, but only that I
laugh at what our ass just now said to our ox. The rest is a
secret, which I am not allowed to reveal. And what hinders you
from revealing the secret, says she? If I tell it you, answers
he, it will cost me my life. You only jeer me, cried his wife;
what you tell me now cannot be true. If you do not satisfy me
presently with what you laugh at, and tell me what the ox and ass
said to one another, I swear by Heaven that you and I shall never
bed together again.

Having spoken thus, she went into the house in a great fret, and,
setting herself in a corner, cried there all night. Her husband
lay alone, and finding next morning that she continued in the
same humour, told her she was a very foolish woman to afflict
herself in that manner, the thing was not worth so much; and that
it concerned her as little to know the matter, as it concerned
him so much to keep it secret; therefore I conjure you to think
no more of it. I shall still think so much of it, says she, as
never to forbear weeping till you have satisfied my curiosity.
But I tell you very seriously, replied he, that it will cost me
my life, if I yield to your indiscretion. Let what will happen,
says she, I do insist upon it. I perceive, says the merchant,
that it is impossible to bring you to reason; and since I foresee
that you will occasion your own death by your obstinacy, I will
call in your children, that they may see you before you die.
Accordingly he called for them, and sent for her father and
mother, and other relations. When they were come, and heard the
reason of their being called, they did all they could to convince
her that she was in the wrong, but to no purpose: she told them
she would rather die than yield that point to her husband. Her
father and mother spoke to her by herself, and told her that what
she desired to know was of no importance to her; but that could
gain nothing upon her, either by their authority or entreaties.
When her children saw that nothing could prevail to bring her out
of that sullen temper, they wept bitterly. The merchant himself
was like a man out of his senses, and was almost ready to risk
his own life to save that of his wife, whom he loved dearly.

Now, my daughter, says the vizier to Scheherazade, this merchant
had fifty hens, and a cock, with a dog that gave good heed to all
that passed; and while the merchant was set down, as I said, and
considering what he had best do, he sees the dog run towards the
cock, as he was treading a hen, and heard him speak to him thus:
Cock, says he, I am sure Heaven will not let you live long; are
you not ashamed to do that thing to-day? The cock, standing up on
tip-toe, answers the dog fiercely, And why should I not do it
to-day as well as other days? As you do not know, replies the
dog, then I tell you that this day our master is in great
perplexity. His wife would have him reveal a secret, which is of
such a nature, that it will cost him his life if he doth it.
Things are come to that pass, that it is to be feared he will
scarcely have resolution enough to resist his wife's obstinacy;
for, he loves her, and is affected with the tears that she
continually sheds, and perhaps it may cost him his life. We are
all alarmed at it, and you only insult our melancholy, and have
the imprudence to divert yourself with your hens.

The cock answered the dog's reproof thus: What! has our master so
little sense? he has but one wife, and cannot govern her; and
though I have fifty, I make them all do what I please. Let him
make use of his reason, he will speedily find a way to rid
himself of his trouble. How, says the dog,, what would you have
him to do? Let him go into the room where his wife is, says the
cock, lock the door, and take a good stick, and thrash her well,
and I will answer for it that that will bring her to her right
wits, and make her forbear to ask him any more what he ought not
to tell her. The merchant had no sooner heard what the cock said,
than he took up a good stick, went to his wife, whom he found
still a crying, and, shutting the door, belaboured her so
soundly, that she cried out, "It is enough, husband, it is
enough, let me alone, and I will never ask the question more."
Upon this, perceiving that she repented of her impertinent
curiosity, he forbore drubbing her; and, opening the door, her
friends came in, were glad to find her cured of her obstinacy,
and complimented her husband upon this happy expedient to bring
his wife to reason. Daughter, adds the grand vizier, you deserve
to be treated as the merchant treated his wife.

Father, replies Scheherazade, I beg you will not take it ill that
I persist in my opinion. I am nothing moved by the story of that
woman; I can tell you abundance of others to persuade you that
you ought not to oppose my design. Besides, pardon me for
declaring to you that your opposing me would be in vain; for if
your paternal affection should hinder you to grant my request, I
would go and offer myself to the sultan. In short, the father
being overcome by the resolution of his daughter, yielded to her
importunity; and though he was very much grieved that he could
not divert her from such a fatal resolution, he went that minute
to acquaint the sultan that next night he would bring him

The sultan was much surprised at the sacrifice which the grand
vizier made to him. How could you resolve, says he, to bring me
your own daughter? Sir, answers the vizier, it is her own offer.
The sad destiny that attends it could not scare her; she prefers
the honour of being your majesty's wife for one night to her
life. But do not mistake yourself, vizier, says the sultan;
to-morrow, when I put Scheherazade into your hands, I expect you
shall take away her life; and, if you fail, I swear that yourself
shall die. Sir, rejoins the vizier, my heart, without doubt will
be full of grief to execute your commands; but it is to no
purpose for nature to murmur; though I be her father I will
answer for the fidelity of my hand to obey your order. Schahriar
accepted his minister's offer, and told him he might bring his
daughter when he pleased.

The grand vizier went with the news to Scheherazade, who received
it with as much joy as if it had been the most agreeable thing in
the world; she thanked her father for having obliged her in so
sensible a manner; and, perceiving that he was overwhelmed with
grief, she told him, in order to his consolation, that she hoped
he would never repent his having married her to the sultan; but
that, on the contrary, he should have cause to rejoice at it all
his days.

All her business was to put herself in a condition to appear
before the sultan; but, before she went, she took her sister
Dinarzade apart, and says to her, My dear sister, I have need of
your help in a matter of very great importance, and must pray you
not to deny it me. My father is going to carry me to the sultan
to be his wife; do not let this frighten you, but hear me with
patience. As soon as I come to the sultan, I will pray him to
allow you to lie in the bride-chamber, that I may enjoy your
company this one night more. If I obtain that favour, as I hope
to do, remember to awake me to-morrow an hour before day, and to
address me in these or some such words: "My sister, if you be not
asleep, I pray you, that till day-break, which will be very
speedily, you would tell me one of the fine stories of which you
have read so many." Immediately I will tell you one; and I hope
by this means to deliver the city from the consternation they are
under at present. Dinarzade answered, that she would obey with
pleasure what she required of her.

The time of going to bed being come, the grand vizier conducted
Scheherazade to the palace, and retired, after having introduced
her into the sultan's apartment. As soon as the sultan was left
alone with her, he ordered her to uncover her face, and found it
so beautiful, that he was perfectly charmed with her; and
perceiving her to be in tears, asked her the reason. Sir,
answered Scheherazade, I have a sister, who loves me tenderly, as
I do her, and I could wish that she might be allowed to be all
night in this chamber, that I might see her, and bid her once
more adieu. Will you be pleased to allow me the comfort of giving
her this last testimony of my friendship? Schahriar having
consented to it, Dinarzade was sent for, who came with all
possible diligence. The sultan went to bed with Scheherazade upon
an alcove raised very high, according to the custom of the
monarchs of the east; and Dinarzade lay in a bed that was
prepared for her, near the foot of the alcove.

An hour before day, Dinarzade, being awake, failed not to do as
her sister ordered her. My dear sister, cries she, if you be not
asleep, I pray, until day-break, which will be in a very little
time, that you will tell me one of those pleasant stories you
have read; alas! this may perhaps be the last time that ever I
shall have that satisfaction.

Scheherazade, instead of answering her sister, addressed herself
to the sultan thus: Sir, will your majesty be pleased to allow me
to give my sister this satisfaction? With all my heart, answers
the sultan. Then Scheherazade bid her sister listen; and
afterwards, addressing herself to Schahriar, began thus.

                        The First Night.

                  The Merchant and the Genie.

Sir--There was formerly a merchant, who had a great estate in
lands, goods, and money. He had abundance of deputies, factors,
and slaves. He was obliged from time to time to take journies,
and talk with his correspondents; and one day being under the
necessity of going a long journey about an affair of importance,
he took horse, and put a portmanteau behind him, with some
biscuits and dates, because he had a great desert to pass over,
where he could have no manner of provisions. He arrived without
any accident at the end of his journey, and, having despatched
his affairs, took horse again in order to return home.

The fourth day of his journey, he was so much incommoded by the
heat of the sun, and the reflection of that heat from the earth,
that he turned out of the road to refresh himself under some
trees that he saw in the country. There he found, at the foot of
a great walnut-tree, a fountain of very clear running water; and
alighting, tied his horse to a branch of the tree, and sitting
down by the fountain, took some biscuits and dates out of his
portmanteau, and, as he ate his dates, threw the shells about on
both sides of him. When he had done eating, being a good
Mussulman, he washed his hands, his face, and his feet, and said
his prayers. He had not made an end, but was still on his knees,
when he saw a genie appear, all white with age, and of a
monstrous bulk; who, advancing towards him, with a scimitar in
his hand, spoke to him in a terrible voice thus: Rise up, that I
may kill thee with this scimitar, as you have killed my son; and
accompanied those words with a frightful cry. The merchant, being
as much frightened at the hideous shape of the monster as at
these threatening words, answered him trembling, Alas! my good
lord, of what crime can I be guilty towards you, that you should
take away my life? I will, replies the genie, kill thee, as thou
hast killed my son. O heaven! says the merchant, how should I
kill your son? I did not know him, nor ever saw him. Did not you
sit down when you came hither, replies the genie? Did not you
take dates out of your portmanteau, and, as you ate them, did not
you throw the shells about on both sides? I did all that you say,
answers the merchant; I cannot deny it. If it be so, replies the
genie, I tell thee that thou hast killed my son, and the way was
thus; when you threw your nut-shells about, my son was passing
by, and you threw one of them into his eye, which killed him;
therefore I must kill thee. Ah! my lord, pardon me, cried the
merchant. No pardon, answers the genie, no mercy. Is it not just
to kill him that has killed another? I agree to it, says the
merchant; but certainly I never killed your son; and if I have,
it was unknown to me, and I did it innocently; therefore I beg
you to pardon me, and suffer me to live. No, no, says the genie,
persisting in his resolution, I must kill thee, since thou hast
killed my son; and then taking the merchant by the arm, threw him
with his face upon the ground, and lifted up his scimitar to cut
off his head.

The merchant, all in tears, protested he was innocent, bewailed
his wife and children, and spoke to the genie in the most moving
expressions that could be uttered. The genie, with his scimitar
still lifted up, had so much patience as to hear the wretch make
an end of his lamentations, but would not relent. All this
whining, says the monster, is to no purpose; though you should
shed tears of blood, that shall not hinder me to kill thee, as
thou killedst my son. Why! replied the merchant, can nothing
prevail with you? Will you absolutely take away the life of a
poor innocent? Yes, replied the genie, I am resolved upon it.

As Scheherazade had spoken these words, perceiving it was day,
and knowing that the sultan rose betimes in the morning to say
his prayers, and hold his council, Scheherazade held her peace.
Lord, sister, says Dinarzade, what a wonderful story is this! The
remainder of it, says Scheherazade, is more surprising; and you
will be of my mind, if the sultan will let me live this day, and
permit me to tell it you next night. Schahriar, who had listened
to Scheherazade with pleasure, says to himself, I will stay till
to-morrow, for I can at any time put her to death, when she has
ended the story. So having resolved not to take away
Scheherazade's life that day, he rose and went to prayers, and
then called his council.

All this while the grand vizier was terribly uneasy. Instead of
sleeping, he spent the night in sighs and groans, bewailing the
lot of his daughter, of whom he believed that he himself should
be the executioner: And as, in this melancholy prospect, he was
afraid of seeing the sultan, he was agreeably surprised when he
saw the prince enter the council-chamber, without giving him the
fatal orders he expected.

The sultan, according to his custom, spent the day in regulating
his affairs; and when night came, he went to bed with
Scheherazade. Next morning, before day, Dinarzade failed not to
address herself to her sister thus: My dear sister, if you be not
asleep, I pray you, till day-break, which will be in a very
little time, to go on with the story you began last night. The
sultan, without staying till Scheherazade asked him leave, bid
her make an end of the story of the genie and the merchant, for I
long to hear the issue of it; upon which Scheherazade spoke, and
continued the story as follows.

                       The Second Night.

When the merchant saw that the genie was going to cut off his
head, he cried out aloud, and said to him, For Heaven's sake hold
your hand! allow me one word, be so good as to grant me some
respite; allow me but time to bid my wife and children adieu, and
to divide my estate among them by will, that they may not go to
law with one another after my death; and when I have done so, I
will come back to the same place, and submit to whatever you
shall please to order concerning me. But, says the genie, if I
grant you the time you demand, I doubt you will never return. If
you will believe my oath, answers the merchant, I swear, by all
tnat is sacred, that I will come and meet you here without fail.
What time do you demand then, replies the genie? I ask a year,
says the merchant; I cannot have less to order my affairs, and
prepare myself to die without regret. But I promise you that this
day twelve months I will return under these trees, to put myself
into your hands. Do you take Heaven to be witness to this
promise, says the genie? I do, answers the merchant, and repeat
it, and you may rely upon my oath. Upon this the genie left him
near the fountain, and disappeared.

The merchant, being recovered from his fright, mounted his horse,
and set forward on his journey; and as he was glad, on the one
hand, that he had escaped so great a danger, so he was mortally
sorry, on the other, when he thought on his fatal oath. When he
came home, his wife and children received him with all the
demonstrations of perfect joy. But he, instead of making them
answerable returns, fell a-weeping bitterly; from whence they
readily conjectured that something extraordinary had befallen
him. His wife asked the reason of his excessive grief and tears;
we are all overjoyed, says she, at your return, but you frighten
us to see you in this condition? Pray tell us the cause of your
sorrow. Alas! replies the husband, the cause of it is, that I
have but a year to live; and then told what had passed betwixt
him and the genie, and that he had given his oath to return at
the end of the year to receive death from his hands.

When they had heard these sad news, they all began to lament
heavily; his wife made a pitiful outcry, beat her face, and tore
her hairs. The children, being all in tears, made the house
resound with their groans; and the father, not being able to
overcome nature, mixed his tears with theirs; so that, in a word,
it was the most affecting spectacle that any man could behold.

Next morning, the merchant applied himself to put his affairs in
order, and, first of all, to pay his debts. He made presents to
his friends, gave great alms to the poor, set his slaves of both
sexes at liberty, divided his estate among his children,
appointed guardians for such of them as were not come of age; and
restoring to his wife all that was due to her by contract of
marriage, he gave her, over and above, all that he could do by

At last the year expired, and go he must. He put his
burial-clothes in his portmanteau; but never was there such grief
seen, as when he came to bid his wife and children adieu. They
could not think of parting, but resolved to go along and to die
with, him; but, finding that he must be forced to part from those
dear objects, he spoke to them thus: 'My dear wife and children,'
says he, 'I obey the order of Heaven in quitting you; follow my
example, submit courageously to this necessity, and consider that
it is the destiny of man to die.' Having said these words, he
went out of the hearing of the cries of his family; and, taking
his journey, arrived at the place, where he promised to meet the
genie, on the day appointed. He alighted, and setting himself
down by the fountain, waited the coming of the genie with all the
sorrow imaginable. Whilst he languished in this cruel
expectation, a good old man, leading a bitch, appeared, and drew
near him; they saluted one another, after which the old man says
to him, Brother, may I ask you why you are come into this desert
place, where there is nothing but evil spirits, and by
consequence you cannot be safe. To look upon these fine trees,
indeed, one would think the place inhabited; but if is a true
wilderness where it is not safe to stay long.

The merchant satisfied his curiosity, and told him the adventure
which obliged him to be there. The old man listened to him with
astonishment, and when he had done, cried out, This is the most
surprising thing in the world, and you are bound by the most
inviolable oath; however, I will be witness of your interview
with the genie; and sitting down by the merchant, they talked
together. But I see day, says Scheherazade, and must leave off;
but the best of the story is yet to come. The sultan, resolving
to hear the end of it, suffered her to live that day also.

                       The Third Night.

Next morning Dinarzade made the same request to her sister as
formerly, thus: My dear sister, says she, if you be not asleep,
tell me one of those pleasant stories you have read: but the
sultan, willing to understand what followed betwixt the merchant
and the genie, bid her go on with that; which she did as follows:

Sir, while the merchant and the old man that led the bitch were
talking, they saw another old man coming to them, followed by two
black dogs; after they had saluted one another, he asked them
what they did in that place? The old man with the bitch told him
the adventure of the merchant and genie, with all that had passed
betwixt them, particularly the merchant's oath. He added, that
this was the day agreed on, and that he was resolved to stay and
see the issue.

The second old man, thinking it also worth his curiosity,
resolved to do the like: he likewise sat down by them; and they
had scarcely begun to talk together, when there came a third old
man, who, addressing himself to the two former, asked why the
merchant that sat with them looked so melancholy. They told him
the reason of it, which appeared so extraordinary to him, that he
also resolved to be witness to the result, and for that end sat
down with them.

In a little time they perceived in the field a thick vapour, like
a cloud of dust rising by a whirlwind, advancing towards them,
which vanished all of a sudden, and then the genie appeared, who,
without saluting them, came up to the merchant with his drawn
scimitar, and taking him by the arm, says, Get thee up, that I
may kill thee as thou didst kill my son. The merchant and the
three old men being frightened, began to lament, and to fill the
air with their cries.--Here Scheherazade, perceiving day, left
off her story which did so much whet the sultan's curiosity, that
he was absolutely resolved to hear the end of it, and put off the
sultaness's execution till next day.

Nobody can express the grand vizier's joy, when he perceived that
the sultan did not order him to kill Scheherazade; his family,
the court, and all the people in general, were astonished at it.

                       The Fourth Night.

Towards the end of the following night, Dinarzade failed not to
awake the sultaness. Mv dear sister, says she, if you be not
asleep, pray tell me one of your fine stories. Then Scheherazade,
with the sultan's permission, spoke as follows:

Sir, when the old man that led the bitch saw the genie lay hold
of the merchant, and about to kill him without pity, he threw
himself at the feet of the monster, and kissing them, says to
him: Prince of genies, I most humbly request you to suspend your
anger, and do me the favour to hear me. I will tell you the
history of my life, and of the bitch you see; and if you think it
more wonderful and surprising than the adventure of the merchant
you are going to kill, I hope you will pardon the poor
unfortunate man the third of his crime. The genie took some time
to consult upon it, but answered at last, Well, then; I agree to


I shall begin then, says the old man; listen to me I pray you,
with attention. This bitch you see is my cousin, nay, what is
more, my wife: she was only twelve years of age when I married
her, so that I may justly say, she ought as much to regard me as
her father, as her kinsman and husband.

We lived together twenty years without any children, yet her
barrenness did hot hinder my haying a great deal of complaisance
and friendship for her. The desire of having children only made
me to buy a slave, by whom I had a son, who was extremely
promising. My wife being jealous, conceived a hatred both for
mother and child, but concealed it so well, that I did not know
it till it was too late.

Mean time my son grew up, and was ten years old, when I was
obliged to undertake a journey: before I went, I recommended to
my wife, of whom I had no mistrust, the slave and her son, and
prayed her to take care of them during my absence, which was for
a whole year. She made use of that time to satisfy her hatred:
she applied herself to magic, and when she knew enough of that
diabolical art to execute her horrible contrivance, the wretch
carried my son to a desolate place, where, by her enchantments,
she changed my son into a calf, and gave him to my farmer to
fatten, pretending she had bought him. Her fury did not stop at
this abominable action, but she likewise changed the slave into a
cow, and gave her also to the farmer.

At my return, I asked for the mother and child: your slave, says
she, is dead; and for your son, I know not what is become of him:
I have not seen him these two months. I was troubled at the death
of my slave; but my son having also disappeared, as she told me,
I was in hopes he would return in a little time. However, eight
months passed, and I heard nothing of him, When the festival of
the great Bairam happened, to celebrate the same, I sent to my
farmer for one of the fattest cows to sacrifice; and he sent me
one accordingly. The cow which he brought me was my slave, the
unfortunate mother of my son, I tied her, but as I was going to
sacrifice her, she bellowed pitifully and I could perceive
streams of tears run from her eyes. This seemed to me very
extraordinary, and finding myself, in spite of all I could do,
seized with pity, I could not find in my heart to give her the
blow, but ordered my farmer to get me another.

My wife, who was present, was enraged at my compassion, and
opposing herself to an order which disappointed her malice, she
cries out, What do you do, husband? Sacrifice that cow, your
farmer has not a finer, nor one fitter for that use. Out of
complaisance to my wife, I came again to the cow, and combatting
my pity, which suspended the sacrifice, was going to give her the
fatal blow, when the victim redoubling her tears, and bellowing,
disarmed me a second time. Then I put the mell into the farmer's
hands, and bade him sacrifice her himself, for her tears and
bellowing pierced my heart.

The farmer, less compassionate than I, sacrificed her; and when
he flead her, found her nothing but bones, though to us she
seemed very fat. Take her to yourself, says I to the farmer, I
quit her to you; give her in alms, or which way you will; and if
you have a very fat calf, bring me it in her stead. I did not
inform myself what he did with the cow; but, soon after he took
her away, he came with a very fat calf. Though I knew not that
the calf was my son, yet I could not forbear being moved at the
sight of him. On his part, as soon as he saw me, he made so great
an effort to come to me, that he broke his cord, threw himself at
my feet, with his head against the ground, as if he would excite
my compassion, conjuring me not to be so cruel as to take his
life, and did as much as was possible for him to do, to signify
that he was my son.

I was more surprised and affected with this action than with the
tears of the cow: I found a tender pity, which made me concern
myself for him, or rather nature did its duty. Go, says I to the
farmer, carry home that calf, take great care of him, and bring
me another in his stead immediately.

As soon as my wife heard me say so, she immediately cried out,
What do you do, husband? Take my advice, sacrifice no other calf
but that. Wife, said I, I will not sacrifice him, I will spare
him, and pray do not you oppose it. The wicked woman had no
regard to my desire, she hated my son too much to consent that I
should save him; I tied the poor creature, and taking up the
fatal knife--Here Scheherazade stopped, because she perceived

Then Dinarzade said, Sister, I am enchanted with this story,
which bespeaks my attention so agreeably. If the sultan will
suffer me to live to-day, answers Scheherazade, what I have to
tell you to-morrow will divert you abundantly more. Schahriar,
curious to know what would become of the old man's son, who led
the bitch, told the sultaness he would be very glad to hear the
end of that story next night.

                        The Fifth Night.

When day began to draw near, Dinarzade put her sister's orders in
execution very exactly, who, being awaked, prayed the sultan to
allow her to give Dinarzade that satisfaction, which the prince,
who took so much pleasure in the story himself, readily agreed

Sir, then, says Scheherazade, the first old man, who led the
bitch, continuing his story to the genie, the two other old men,
and the merchant, proceeded thus: I took the knife, says he, and
was going to strike it into my son's throat, when, turning his
eyes, bathed with tears, in a languishing manner towards me, he
affected me so, that I had not strength to sacrifice him, but,
let the knife fall, and told my wife positively that I would have
another calf to sacrifice, and not that. She used all endeavours
to make me change my resolution; but I continued firm, and
pacified her a little, by promising that I would sacrifice him
against the Bairam next year.

Next morning, my farmer desired to speak with me alone; and told
me, I come, says he, to tell you a piece of news, for which, I
hope, you will return me thanks. I have a daughter that has some
skill in magic: Yesterday, as I carried back the calf which you
would not sacrifice, I perceived she laughed when she saw him,
and in a moment after fell a-weeping. I asked her why she acted
two such contrary parts at one and the same time. Father, replies
she, the calf you bring back is our landlord's son: I laughed for
joy to see him still alive, and I wept at the remembrance of the
former sacrifice that was made the other day of his mother, who
was changed into a cow. These two metamorphoses were made by the
enchantments of our master's wife, who hated the mother and son;
and this is what my daughter told me, said the farmer, and I come
to acquaint you with it.

At these words, the old man adds, I leave you to think, my lord
genie, how much I was surprised: I went immediately to my farmer,
to speak with his daughter myself. As soon as I came, I went
forthwith to the stall where my son was; he could not answer my
embraces, but received them in such a manner as fully satisfied
me he was my son.

The farmer's daughter came: My good maid, says I, can you restore
my son to his former shape? Yes, says she, I can, Ah! said I, if
you can, I will make you mistress of my fortune. She replied to
me, smiling, You are our master, and know very well what I owe to
you, but cannot restore your son into his former shape, but on
two conditions. The first is, that you give him me for my
husband, and the second is, that you allow me to punish the
person who changed him into a calf. For the first, said I, I
agree to it with all my heart; nay, I promise you more, a
considerable estate for yourself, independent of what I design
for my son. In a word, you shall see how I will reward the great
service I expect from you. As to what relates to my wife, I also
agree to it: A person that has been capable of committing such a
criminal action, deserves very well to be punished; I leave her
to you; only I must pray you not to take her life. I am just
going then, answers she, to treat her as she has treated my son.
I agree to it, said I, provided you restore my son to me

Then the maid took a vessel full of water, pronounced words over
it that I did not understand, and addressing herself to the calf,
O calf, says she, if thou wast created by the almighty and
sovereign Master of the world, such as you appear at this time,
continue in that form: but, if thou art a man, and changed into a
calf by enchantment, return to thy natural shape by the
permission of the Sovereign Creator. As she spoke these words,
she threw water upon him, and in an instant he recovered his
first shape.

My son, my dear son, cried I! immediately embracing him with such
a transport of joy that I knew not what I was doing; it is Heaven
that has sent us this young maid to take off the horrible charm
by which you were enchanted, and to avenge the injury done to you
and your mother. I doubt not but, in acknowledgment, you will
take your deliverer to wife, as I have promised. He consented to
it with joy; but, before they were married, she changed my wife
into a bitch, and this is she you see here. I desired she should
have this shape, rather than another less agreeable, that we
might see her in the family without horror.

Since that time my son has become a widower, and gone to travel;
and it being several years since I heard of him, I am come abroad
to inquire after him; and not being willing to trust any body
with my wife while I should come home, I thought it fit to carry
her every where with me. This is the history of myself and this
bitch, is it not one of the most wonderful and surprising that
can be? I agree it is, says the genie, and, upon that account, I
forgive the merchant the third of his crime.

When the first old man, Sir, continued the sultaness, had
finished his story, the second, who led the two black dogs,
addressed himself to the genie, and says to him, I am going to
tell you what happened to me and these two black dogs you see by
me, and I am certain you will say that my story is yet more
surprising than that which you have just now heard; but when I
have told it you, I hope you will be pleased to pardon the
merchant the second third of his crime. Yes, replies the genie,
provided your story surpass that of the bitch. Then the second
began in this manner. But as Scheherazade pronounced these words,
she saw it was day, and left off speaking.

O Heaven! sister, says Dinarzade, these adventures are very
singular. Sister, replies the sultaness, they are not comparable
to those which I have to tell you next night, if the sultan, my
lord and master, be so good as to let me live. Schahriar answered
nothing to that, but rose up, said his prayers, and went to
council, without giving any order against the life of the

                        The Sixth Night.

The sixth night being come, the sultan and his lady went to bed.
Dinarzade awaked at the usual hour, and calling to the sultaness,
says, Dear sister, if you be not asleep, I pray you, until it be
day, to satisfy my curiosity; I am impatient to hear the story of
the old man and the two black dogs. The sultan consented to it
with pleasure, being no less desirous to know the story than
Dinarzade; and Scheherazade continued it as follows.

                        TWO BLACK DOGS.

Great prince of genies, says the old man, you must know that we
are three brothers, I and the two black dogs you see: Our father
left each of us, when he died, one thousand sequins; with that
sum we all entered into the same way of living, and became
merchants. A little time after we had opened shop, my eldest
brother, one of these two dogs, resolved to travel and trade in
foreign countries. Upon this design, he sold his estate, and
bought goods proper for the trade he intended.

He went away, and was absent a whole year; at the end of which, a
poor man, who, I thought, had come to ask alms, presented himself
before me in my shop. I said to him, God help you. God help you
also, answered he, is it possible you do not know me? Upon this,
I looked to him narrowly, and knew him. Ah, my brother! cried I,
embracing him, how could I know you in this condition? I made him
come into my house, and asked him concerning his health, and the
success of his travels. Do not ask me that question, says he;
when you see me, you see all. It would only renew my grief to
tell you all the particulars of the misfortunes that have
befallen me, and reduced me to this condition, since I left you.

I immediately shut up my shop, and, carrying him to a bath, gave
him the best clothes I had by me; and examining my books, and
finding that I had doubled my stock, that is to say, that I was
worth two thousand sequins, I gave him one half. With that, said
I, brother, you may make up your loss. He joyfully accepted the
proffer, recovered himself, and we lived together as before.

Some time after, my second brother, who is the other of these two
dogs, would also sell his estate. I and his other brother did all
we could to divert him from it, but could not; He sold it, and
with the money bought such goods as were suitable for the trade
he designed. He joined a caravan; and took a journey. He returned
at the end of the year in the same condition as my other brother;
and I having gained another thousand sequins, gave him them, with
which he furnished his shop, and continued to follow his trade.

Some time after, one of my brothers comes to me to propose a
trading voyage with them; I immediately rejected their proposal.
You have travelled, said I, and what have you gained by it? Who
can assure me that I shall be more successful than you have been?
They represented to me in vain all that they thought fit to
prevail upon me to engage in that design with them, for I
constantly refused; but they importuned me so much, that after
having resisted their solicitations five whole. years, they
overcame me at last: but when we were to make preparations for
our voyage, and to buy goods necessary for the undertaking, I
found they had spent all, and that they had not one farthing left
of the thousand sequins I had given each of them. I did not,
however, upbraid them in the least with it. On the contrary, my
stock being six thousand sequins, I shared the half of it with
them, telling them, My brothers, we must venture these three
thousand sequins, and hide the rest in some sure place, that, in
case our voyage be no more successful than yours was formerly, we
may have wherewith to assist us, and to follow our ancient way of
living. I gave each of them a thousand sequins; and keeping as
much for myself, I buried the other three thousand in a corner of
my house. We bought our goods; and, after having embarked them on
board a vessel, which we freighted betwixt us three, we put to
sea with a favourable wind. After a month's sail--But I see day,
says Scheherazade, I must stop here.

Sister, says Dinarzade, this story promises a great deal; I fancy
the rest of it must be very extraordinary. You are not mistaken,
answered the sultaness; and if the sultan will allow me to tell
it you, I am persuaded it will very much divert you. Schahriar
got up, as he did the day before, without explaining his mind;
but gave no order to the grand vizier to kill his daughter.

                       The Seventh Night.

When the seventh night drew near a close, Dinarzade awaked the
sultaness, and prayed her to continue the story of the second old
man. I will, answered Scheherazade, provided the sultan, my lord
and master, do not oppose it. Not at all, says Shahriar; I am so
far from opposing it, that I desire you earnestly to go on with

To resume the thread of the story, says Scheherazade, you must
know that the old man, who led the two dogs, continued his story
to the genie, the other two old men, and the merchant, thus: In
short, says he, after two months sail, we arrived happily at a
port, where we landed, and had a very great vent for our goods. I
especially sold mine so well, that I gained ten to one; and we
bought commodities of that country to transport and sell in our

When we were ready to embark in order to return, I met, upon the
banks of the sea, a lady handsome enough, but poorly clad. She
came up to me presently, kissed my hand, prayed me, with the
greatest earnestness imaginable, to marry her, and take her along
with me. I made some difficulty to agree to it; but she said so
many things to persuade me that I ought to make no objections to
her poverty, and that I should have all the reason in the world
to be satisfied with her conduct, that I yielded. I ordered fit
apparel to be made for her; and, after having married her
according to form, I took her on board, and we set sail.

During the navigation, I found the wife I had taken had so many
good qualities, that I loved her every day more and more. In the
mean time my two brothers, who had not managed their affairs so
well as I did mine, envied my prosperity; and their fury carried
them so far as to conspire against my life; so that one night,
when my wife and I were asleep, they threw us both into the sea.

My wife was a fairy, and by consequence, genie, you know well,
she could not be drowned; but for me, it is certain, I had been
lost without her help. I had scarcely fallen into the water, till
she took me up, and carried me to an island. When it was day, the
fairy said to me, You see, husband, that, by saving your life, I
have not rewarded you ill for your kindness to me. You must know
that I am a fairy, and that, being upon the bank of the sea, when
you were going to embark, I found I had a strong inclination for
you: I had a mind to try your goodness, and presented myself
before you in the disguise wherein you saw me. You have dealt
very generously with me, and I am mighty glad to have found an
opportunity of testifying my acknowledgment to you: But I am
incensed against your two brothers, and nothing will satisfy me
but their lives.

I listened to this discourse of the fairy with admiration. I
thanked her as well as I could for the great kindness she had
done me; but, Madam, said I, for my brothers, I beg you to pardon
them; whatever cause they have given me, I am not cruel enough to
desire their death. I told her the particulars of what I had done
for them, which increased her indignation so, that she cried out,
I must immediately fly after those ungrateful traitors, and take
speedy vengeance on them; I will drown their vessel, and throw
them into the bottom of the sea. No, my good lady, replied I, for
the sake of Heaven do not so; moderate your anger, consider that
they are my brothers, and that we must do good for evil.

I pacified the fairy by these words; and as soon as I had spoken
them, she transported me in an instant from the island where we
were to the roof of my own house, which was terrassed, and
disappeared in a moment. I went down, opened the doors, and dug
up the three thousand sequins I had hid. I went afterwards to the
place where my shop was, which I also opened, and was
complimented by the merchants, my neighbours, upon my return.
When I went to my house, I perceived two black dogs, which came
to me in a very submissive manner; I knew not what it meant, but
was much astonished at it. But the fairy, who appeared
immediately, says to me, Husband, do not be surprised to see
these two black dogs by you; they are your two brothers. I was
troubled at these words, and asked her by what power they were so
transformed. It was I that did it, says she, at least I gave
commission to one of my sisters to do it, who, at the same time,
sunk their ship. You have lost the goods you had on board, but I
will make it up to you in another way. As to your two brothers, I
have condemned them to remain five years in that shape. Their
perfidiousness too well deserves such a penance; and, in short,
after having told me where I might hear of her, she disappeared.

Now the five years being out, I am travelling in quest of her;
and as I passed this way, I met this merchant, and the good old
man that led the bitch, and sat down by them. This is my history,
O prince of genies, do not you think it very extraordinary? I own
it, says the genie, and, upon that account, remit the merchant
the second third of the crime which he has committed against me.

As soon as the second old man had finished his story, the third
began, and made the like demand of the genie with the two first;
that is to say, to pardon the merchant the other third of his
crime, provided the story he had to tell him exceeded the two he
had already heard for singular events. The genie made him the
same promise as he had done the other two. Hearken then, says the
old man to him. But day appears, says Scheherazade, I must stop

I cannot enough admire, sister, says Dinarzade, the adventures
you have told me. I know abundance more, answers the sultaness,
that are still more wonderful. Schahriar, willing to know if the
story of the third old man would be as agreeable as that of the
second, put off the execution of Scheherazade till the next

                       The Eighth Night.

As soon as Dinarzade perceived it was time to call the sultaness,
she says, Sister, I have been awake a long time, and have a great
mind to awake you, I am so impatient to hear the story of the
third old man. The sultan answered, I can hardly think that the
third story will surpass the two former ones.

Sir, replies the sultaness, the third old man told his story to
the genie; I cannot tell it you, because it is not come to my
knowledge, but I know that it did so much exceed the two former
stories in the variety of wonderful adventures that the genie was
astonished at it; and no sooner heard the end of it, but he said
to the third old man, I remit the other third part of the
merchant's crime upon the account of your story. He is very much
obliged to all three of you, for having delivered him out of this
danger by your stories; without which he had not now been in the
world. And, having spoken thus, he disappeared to the great
contentment of the company.

The merchant failed not to give his three deliverers the thanks
he owed them. They rejoiced to see him out of danger; after which
he bid them adieu, and each of them went on his way. The merchant
returned to his wife and children, and passed the rest of his
days with them in peace. But, Sir, added Scheherazade, how
pleasant soever these stories may be, that I have told your
majesty hitherto, they do not come near that of the fisherman.
Dinarzade, perceiving that the sultaness demurred, says to her,
Sister, since there is still some time remaining, pray tell us
the story of the fisherman, if the sultan is willing. Schahriar
agreed to it, and Scheherazade, resuming her discourse, pursued
it in this manner.

                  THE STORY OF THE FISHERMAN.

Sir--There was a very ancient fisherman, so poor, that he could
scarcely earn enough to maintain himself, his wife, and three
children. He went every day to fish betimes in a morning; and
imposed it as a law upon himself, not to cast his nets above four
times a-day. He went one morning by moon-light, and, coming to
the sea-bank, undressed himself, and cast in his nets. As he drew
them towards the shore, he found them very heavy, and thought he
had got a good draught of fish, at which he rejoiced within
himself; but, in a moment after, perceiving that, instead of
fish, there was nothing in his nets but the carcase of an ass, he
was mightily vexed. Scheherazade stopped here, because she saw it
was day.

Sister, says Dinarzade, I must confess that the beginning of this
story charms me, and I foresee that the result of it will be very
agreeable. There is nothing more surprising than the story of
this fisherman, replied the sultaness, and you will be convinced
of it next night, if the sultan will be so gracious as to let me
live. Schahriar, being curious to hear the success of such an
extraordinary fishing, would not order Scheherazade to be put to
death that day.

                        The Ninth Night.

My dear sister, cries Dinarzade, next morning at the usual hour,
if you be not asleep, I pray you to go on with the story of the
fisherman; I am ready to die till I hear it. I am willing to give
you that satisfaction, says the sultaness; but at the same time
she demanded leave of the sultan, and, having obtained it, began
again as follows:

Sir, when the fisherman, vexed to have made such a sorry draught,
had mended his nets, which the carcase of the ass had broken in
several places, he threw them in a second time; and when he drew
them, found a great deal of resistance, which made him think he
had taken abundance of fish; but he found nothing except a
pannier full of gravel and slime, which grieved him extremely. O
Fortune! cries he, with a lamentable tone, do not be angry with
me, nor persecute a wretch who prays thee to spare him. I came
hither from my house to seek for my livelihood, and thou
pronouncest death against me. I have no other trade but this to
subsist by; and, notwithstanding all the care I take, I can
scarcely provide what is absolutely necessary for my family. But
I am in the wrong to complain of thee; thou takest pleasure to
persecute honest people, and to leave great men in obscurity,
whilst thou showest favour to the wicked, and advancest those who
have no virtue to recommend them.

Having finished this complaint, he threw away the pannier in a
fret, and washing his nets from the slime, cast them the third
time, but brought up nothing except stones, shells, and mud.
Nobody can express his disorder; he was within an ace of going
quite mad. However, when day began to appear, he did not forget
to say his prayers like a good Mussulman, and afterwards added
this petition: "Lord, you know that I cast my net only four times
a day; I have already drawn them three times, without the least
reward for my labour: I am only to cast them once more; I pray
you to render the sea favourable to me, as you did to Moses."

The fisherman, having finished this prayer, cast his nets the
fourth time; and, when he thought it was time, he drew them, as
formerly, with great difficulty; but, instead of fish, found
nothing in them but a vessel of yellow copper, that, by its
weight, seemed to be full of something; and he observed that it
was shut up and sealed with lead, having the impression of a seal
upon it. This rejoiced him; I will sell it, says he, to the
founder, and with the money arising from the product, buy a
measure of corn. He examined the vessel on all sides, and shook
it, to see if what was within made any noise, and heard nothing.
This circumstance, with the impression of the seal upon the
leaden cover, made him to think there was something precious in
it. To try this, he took a knife, and opened it with very little
labour; he presently turned the mouth downward; but nothing came
out, which surprised him extremely. He set it before him, and,
while he looked upon it attentively, there came out a very thick
smoke which obliged him to retire two or three paces from it.

This smoke mounted as high as the clouds, and extending itself
along the sea, and upon the shore, formed a great mist, which, we
may well imagine, did mightily astonish the fisherman. When the
smoke was all out of the vessel, it reunited itself, and became a
solid body, of which there was formed a genie twice as high as
the greatest of giants. At the sight of a monster of such
unsizeable bulk, the fisherman would fain have fled, but was so
frightened that he could not go one step.

Solomon, cried the genie immediately, Solomon, the great prophet,
pardon, pardon; I will never more oppose your will: I will obey
all your commands.--Scheherazade, perceiving it day, broke off
her story.

Upon which Dinarzade said, Dear sister, nobody can keep their
promise better than you can keep yours. This story is certainly
more surprising than the former. Sister, replies the sultaness,
there are more wonderful things yet to come, if my lord the
sultan will allow me to tell them you. Schahriar had too great a
desire to hear out the story of the fisherman to deprive himself
of that pleasure, and therefore put off the sultaness's death
another day.

                        The Tenth Night.

Dinarzade called her sister next night when she thought it was
time, and prayed her to continue the story of the fisherman; and
the sultan being also impatient to know what concern the genie
had with Solomon, Scheherazade continued her story thus;

Sir, the fisherman, when he heard these words of the genie,
recovered his courage, and says to him, Thou proud spirit, what
is this that you talk? it is above eighteen hundred years since
the prophet Solomon died, and we are now at the end of time: Tell
me your history, and how you came to be shut up in this vessel.

The genie, turning to the fisherman with a fierce look, says, You
must speak to me with more civility; thou art very bold to call
me a proud spirit. Very well, replies the fisherman, shall I
speak to you with more civility, and call you the owl of good
luck? I say, answers the genie, speak to me more civilly, before
I kill thee. I have only one favour to grant thee. And what is
that, says the fisherman? It is, answers the genie, to give you
your choice in what manner you wouldst have me to take thy life.
But wherein have I offended you, replies the fisherman? Is this
the reward for the good service I have done you. I cannot treat
you otherwise, says the genie; and that you may be convinced of
it, hearken to my story.

I am one of those rebellious spirits that opposed themselves to
the will of Heaven; all the other genies owned Solomon, the great
prophet, and submitted to him. Sacar and I were the only genies
that would never be guilty of so mean a thing: And, to avenge
himself, that great monarch sent Asaph, the son of Barakia, his
chief minister, to apprehend me. That was accordingly done; Asaph
seized my person, and brought me by force before his master's

Solomon, the son of David, commanded me to quit my way of living,
to acknowledge his power, and to submit myself to his commands: I
bravely refused to obey, and told him, I would rather expose
myself to his resentment, than swear fealty, and submit to him as
he required. To punish me, he shut me up in this copper vessel;
and to make sure of me that I should not break prison, he stamped
(himself) upon this leaden cover his seal, with the great name
God engraven upon it. Thus he gave the vessel to one of the
genies that submitted to him, with orders to throw it into the
sea, which was executed to my great sorrow.

During the first hundred years imprisonment, I swore that if one
would deliver me before the hundred years expired, I would make
him rich even after his death: But that century ran out, and
nobody did me that good office. During the second, I made an
oath, that I would open all the treasures of the earth to any one
that would set me at liberty, but with no better success. In the
third, I promised to make my deliverer a potent monarch, to be
always near him in spirit, and to grant him every day three
demands, of what nature soever they might be: But this century
ran out as well as the two former, and I continued in prison. At
last, being angry, or rather mad, to find myself a prisoner so
long, I swore, that if afterwards any one should deliver me, I
would kill him without pity, and grant him no other favour but to
choose what kind of death he would die; and therefore, since you
have delivered me to-day, I give you that choice.

This discourse afflicted the poor fisherman extremely: I am very
unfortunate, cries he, to come hither to do such a piece of good
service to one that is so ungrateful. I beg you to consider your
injustice, and revoke such an unreasonable oath: pardon me, and
Heaven will pardon you; if you grant me my life, Heaven will
protect you from all attempts against yours. No, thy death is
resolved on, says the genie, only choose how you will die. The
fisherman, perceiving the genie to be resolute, was extremely
grieved, not so much for himself as for his three children, and
bewailed the misery they must be reduced to by his death. He
endeavoured still to appease the genie, and says, Alas! be
pleased to take pity on me in consideration of the good service I
have done you. I have told thee already, replies the genie, it is
for that very reason I must kill thee. That is very strange, says
the fisherman, are you resolved to reward good for evil? The
proverb says, "That he who does good to one who deserves it not,
is always ill rewarded." I must confess I thought it was false;
for in effect there can be nothing more contrary to reason, or
the laws of society. Nevertheless, I find now, by cruel
experience, that it is but too true. Do not let us lose time,
replies the genie, all thy reasoning shall not divert me from my
purpose: Make haste, and tell me which way you choose to die.

Necessity is the mother of invention. The fisherman bethought
himself of a stratagem. Since I must die then, says he to the
genie, I submit to the will of Heaven; but, before I choose the
manner of death, I conjure you by the great name which was
engraven upon the seal of the prophet Solomon, the son of David,
to answer me truly the question I am going to ask you. The genie,
finding himself obliged to give a positive answer by this
adjuration, trembled, and replied to the fisherman, Ask what thou
wilt, but make haste. Day appearing, Scheherazade held her peace.

Sister, says Dinarzade, it must be owned, that the more you
speak, the more you surprise and satisfy. I hope the sultan, our
lord, will not order you to be put to death till he hears out the
fine story of the fisherman. The sultan is absolute, replies
Scheherazade; we must submit to his will in every thing. But
Shahriar, being as willing as Dinarzade to hear an end of the
story, did again put off the execution of the sultaness.

                      The Eleventh Night.

Shahriar, and the princess his spouse, passed this night in the
same manner as they had done the former; and, before break of
day, Dinarzade awaked them with these words, which she addressed
to the sultaness: I pray you, sister, to resume the story of the
fisherman. With all my heart, says Scheherazade, I am willing to
satisfy you, with the sultan's permission.

The genie (continued she) having promised to speak the truth, the
fisherman says to him, I would know if you were actually in this
vessel? Dare you swear it by the name of the great God? Yes,
replied the genie, I do swear by that great name that I was, and
it is a certain truth. In good faith, answered the fisherman, I
cannot believe you; the vessel is not capable to hold one of your
feet, and how should it be possible that your whole body could be
in it? I swear to thee notwithstanding, replied the genie, that I
was there just as you see me here: Is it possible that thou dost
not believe me after the great oath which I have taken? Truly,
not I, said the fisherman; nor will I believe you unless you show
it me.

Upon which the body of the genie was dissolved, and changed
itself into smoke, extending itself, as formerly, upon the
sea-shore; and then at last, being gathered together, it began to
reenter the vessel, which he continued to do successively, by a
slow and equal motion, after a smooth and exact way, till nothing
was left out, and immediately a voice came forth, which said to
the fisherman, Well, now, incredulous fellow, I am all in the
vessel, do not you believe me now?

The fisherman, instead of answering the genie, took the cover of
lead, and having speedily shut the vessel, Genie, cries he, now
it is your turn to beg my favour, and to choose which way I shall
put thee to death; but not so, it is better that I should throw
you into the sea, whence I took you; and then I will build a
house upon the bank, where I will dwell, to give notice to all
fishermen, who come to throw in their nets, to beware of such a
wicked genie as thou art, who hast made an oath to kill him who
shall set thee at liberty.

The genie, enraged at these expressions, did all he could to get
out of the vessel again, but it was not possible for him to do
it; for the impression of Solomon's seal prevented him; so,
perceiving that the fisherman had got the advantage of him, he
thought fit to dissemble his anger. Fisherman, says he, in a
pleasant tone, take heed you do not what you say; for what I
spoke before was only by way of jest, and you are to take it no
otherwise. O genie! replies the fisherman, thou who wast but a
moment ago the greatest of all genies, and now art the least of
them, thy crafty discourse will signify nothing to thee, but to
the sea thou shalt return: If thou hadst staid in the sea so long
as thou hast told me, thou mayst very well stay there till the
day of judgment. I begged thee, in God's name, not to take away
my life, and thou didst reject my prayers; I am obliged to treat
you in the same manner.

The genie omitted nothing that could prevail upon the fisherman:
Open the vessel, says he, give me my liberty, I pray thee, and I
promise to satisfy thee to thy own content. Thou art a mere
traitor, replies the fisherman, I should deserve to lose my life,
if I be such a fool as to trust thee; thou wilt not fail to treat
me in the same manner as a certain Grecian king treated the
physician Douban. It is a story I have a mind to tell thee,
therefore listen to it.


There was in the country of Zouman, in Persia, a king whose
subjects were originally Greeks. This king was all over leprous,
and his physicians in vain endeavoured his cure; and when they
were at their wits end what to prescribe him, a very able
physician, called Douban, arrived at his court.

This physician had learned his science in Greek, Persian,
Turkish, Arabian, Latin, Syrian, and Hebrew books; and, besides
that he was an expert philosopher, he fully understood the good
and bad qualities of all sorts of plants and drugs. As soon as he
was informed of the king's distemper, and understood that his
physicians had given him over, he clad himself the best he could,
and found a way to present himself to the king: Sir, says he, I
know that all your majesty's physicians have not been able to
cure you of the leprosy; but if you will do me the honour to
accept my service, I will engage myself to cure you without
drenches or external applications.

The king listened to what he said, and answered, if you are able
to perform what you promise, I will enrich you and your
posterity; and, besides the presents I shall make you, you shall
be my chief favourite. Do you assure me, then, that you will cure
me of my leprosy, without making me take any potion, or applying
any external medicine? Yes, sir, replies the physician, I promise
myself success, through God's assistance, and to-morrow I will
make trial of it.

The physician returned to his quarters, and made a mallet, hollow
within, and at the handle he put in his drugs: He made also a
ball in such a manner as suited his purpose, with which, next
morning, he went to present himself before the king, and, falling
down at his feet, kissed the very ground. Here Scheherazade,
perceiving day, acquainted the sultan with it, and held her

I wonder, sister, says Dinarzade, where you learn so many things.
You will hear a great many others to-morrow, re-*
045.txt---------------------------- plies Scheherazade, if the
sultan, my master, will be pleased to prolong my life further,
Schahriar, who longed as much as Dinarzade to hear the sequel of
the story of Douban the physician, did not order the sultaness to
be put to death that day.


The twelfth night was pretty far advanced, when Dinarzade called,
and says, Sister, you owe us the continuation of the agreeable
history of the Grecian king and the physician Douban. I am very
willing to pay my debt, replies Scheherazade, and resumed the
story as follows.

Sir, the fisherman, speaking always to the genie, whom he kept
shut up in his vessel, went on thus: The physician Douban rose
up, and, after a profound reverence, says to the king, he judged
it meet that his majesty should take horse, and go to the place
where he used to play at the mell. The king did so, and when he
arrived there, the physician came to him with the mell, and says
to him, Sir, exercise yourself with this mell, and strike the
ball with it until you find your hands and your body in a sweat.
When the medicine I have put in the handle of the mell is heated
with your hand, it will penetrate your whole body; and as soon as
you shall sweat, you may leave off the exercise, for then the
medicine will have had its effect. As soon as you are returned to
your palace, go into the bath, and cause yourself to be well
washed and rubbed; then go to bed, and, when you rise to-morrow,
you will find yourself cured.

The king took the mell, and struck the ball, which was returned
by his officers that played with him; he struck it again, and
played so long, till his hand and his whole body were in a sweat,
and then the medicine shut up in the handle of the mell had its
operation, as the physician said. Upon this the king left off
play, returned to his palace, entered the bath, and observed very
exactly what his physician had prescribed him.

He was very well after; and next morning, when he arose, he
perceived, with as much wonder as joy, that his leprosy was
cured, and his body as clean as if he had never been attacked
with that distemper. As soon as he was dressed, he came into the
hall of public audience, where he mounted his throne, and showed
himself to his courtiers, who, longing to know the success of the
new medicine, came thither betimes, and, when they saw the king
perfectly cured, did all of them express a mighty joy for it. The
physician Douban, entering the hall, bowed himself before the
throne wiih his face to the ground. The king, perceiving him,
called him, made him sit down by his side, showed him to the
assembly, and gave him all the commendation he deserved. His
majesty did not stop here; but, as he treated all his court that
day, he made him to eat at his table atone with him. At these
words Scheherazade, perceiving day, broke off her story. Sister,
says Dinarzade, I know not what the conclusion of this story will
be, but I find the beginning very surprising. That which is to
come is yet better, answered the sultaness, and I am certain you
will not deny it, if the sultan gives me leave to make an end of
it to-morrow night. Shahriar consented, and rose very well
satisfied with what he had heard.

                     The Thirteenth Night.

Dinarzade, willing to keep the sultan in ignorance of her design,
cried out, as if she had started out of her sleep, 0 dear sister,
I have had a troublesome dream, and nothing will sooner make me
forget it than the remainder of the story of the Grecian king and
the doctor Douban. I conjure you, by the love you always bore me,
not to defer it a moment longer. I shall not be wanting, good
sister, to ease your mind; and, if my sovereign will permit me, I
will go on. Schahriar, being charmed with the agreeable manner of
Scheherazade's telling her story, says to her, You will oblige me
no less than Dinarzade, therefore continue.

The Grecian king (says the fisherman to the genie) was not
satisfied with having admitted the physician Douban to his table,
but towards night, when he was about dismissing the company, he
caused him to be clad in a long rich robe, like unto those which
his favourites usually wore in his presence; and, besides that,
he ordered him two thousand sequins. The next day, and the day
following, he was very familiar with him. In short, this prince,
thinking that he could never enough acknowledge the obligations
he lay under to that able physician, bestowed every day new
favours upon him. But this king had a grand vizier that was
avaricious, envious, and naturally capable of all sorts of
mischief; he could not see, without envy, the presents that were
given to the physician, whose other merits had begun to make him
jealous, and therefore he resolved to lessen him in the king's
esteem. To effect this, he went to the king, and told him in
private that he had some advice to give him which was of the
greatest concernment. The king having asked what it was, Sir,
said he, it is very dangerous for a monarch to put confidence in
a man whose fidelity he never tried. Though you heap favours upon
the physician Douban, and show him all the familiarity that may
be, your majesty does not know but he may be a traitor at the
same time, and came on purpose to this court to kill you. From
whom have you this, answered the king, that you dare tell it me?
Consider to whom you speak, and that you advance a thing which I
shall not easily believe. Sir, replied the vizier, I am very well
informed of what I have had the honour to represent to your
majesty, therefore do not let your dangerous confidence grow to a
further height; if your majesty be asleep, be pleased to awake;
for I do once more repeat it, that the physician Douban did not
leave the heart of Greece, his country, nor come hither to settle
himself at your court, but to execute that horrid design which I
have just now hinted to you.

No, no, vizier, replies the king, I am certain that this man,
whom you treat as a villain and a traitor, is one of the best and
most virtuous men in the world; and there is no man I love so
much. You know by what medicine, or rather by what miracle, he
cured me of my leprosy; if he had a design upon my life, why did
he save me? He needed only to have left me to my disease; I could
not have escaped; my life was already half gone; forbear, then,
to fill me with any unjust suspicions. Instead of listening to
you, I tell you, that from this day forward I will give that
great man a pension of a thousand sequins per month for his life;
nay, though I did share with him all my riches and dominions, I
should never pay him enough for what he has done me; I perceive
it to be his virtue that raises your envy; but do not think that
I will be unjustly possessed with prejudice against him; I
remember too well what a vizier said to King Sinbad, his master,
to prevent his putting to death the prince his son. But, sir,
says Scheherazade, day-light appears, which forbids me to go

I am very well pleased that the Grecian king, says Dinarzade, had
so much firmness of spirit as to reject the false accusation of
his vizier. If you commend the firmness of that prince to-day,
says Scheherazade, you will as much condemn his weakness
to-morrow, if the sultan be pleased to allow me time to finish
this story. The sultan, being curious to hear wherein the Grecian
king discovered his weakness, did further delay the death of the

                     The Fourteenth Night.

An hour before day, Dinarzade awaked her sister, and says to her,
you will certainly be as good as your word, madam, and tell us
out the story of the fisherman. To assist your memory, I will
tell you where you left off; it was where the Grecian king
maintained the innocence of his physician Douban against his
vizier. I remember it, says Scheherazade, and am ready to give
you satisfaction.

Sir, continues she, addressing herself to Schahriar, that which
the Grecian king said about King Sinbad raised the vizier's
curiosity, who says to him, Sir, I pray your majesty to pardon
me, if I have the boldness to demand of you what the vizier of
King Sinbad said to his master to divert him from cutting off the
prince his son. The Grecian king had the complaisance to satisfy
him: That vizier, says he, after having represented to King
Sinbad that he ought to beware lest, on the accusation of a
mother-in-law, he should commit an action which he might
afterwards repent of, told him this story.


A certain man had a fair wife, whom he loved so dearly that he
could scarcely allow her to be out of his sight. One day, being
obliged to go abroad about urgent affairs, he came to a place
where all sorts of birds were sold, and there bought a parrot,
which not only spoke very well, but could also give an account of
every thing that was done before it. He brought it in a cage to
his house, prayed his wife to put it in the chamber, and to take
care of it, during a journey he was obliged to undertake, and
then went out.

At his return, he took care to ask the parrot concerning what had
passed in his absence, and the bird told him things that gave him
occasion to upbraid his wife. She thought some of her slaves had
betrayed her, but all of them swore they had been faithful to
her; and they all agreed that it must have been the parrot that
had told tales.

Upon this, the wife bethought herself of a way how, she might
remove her husband's jealousy, and at the same time revenge
herself on the parrot, which she effected thus: Her husband being
gone another journey, she commanded a slave, in the night time,
to turn a hand-mill under the parrot's cage; she ordered another
to throw water, in form of rain, over the cage; and a third to
take a glass, and turn it to the right and to the left before the
parrot, so as the reflections of the candle might shine on its
face. The slaves spent great part of the night in doing what
their mistress commanded them, and acquitted themselves very

Next night the husband returned, and examined the parrot again
about what had passed during his absence. The bird answered, Good
master, the lightning, thunder, and rain, did so much disturb me
all night, that I cannot tell how much I suffered by it. The
husband, who knew that there had been neither thunder, lightning,
nor rain that night, fancied that the parrot, not having told him
the truth in this, might also have lied to him in the other; upon
which he took it out of the cage, and threw it with so much force
to the ground that he killed it; yet afterwards he understood, by
his neighbours, that the poor parrot had not lied to him when it
gave him an account of his wife's base conduct, which made him
repent that he had killed it. Scheherazade stopped here, because
she saw it was day.

All that you tell us, sister, says Dinarzade is so curious, that
nothing can be more agreeable. I shall be willing to divert you,
answers Scheherazade, if the sultan, my master, will allow me
time to do it. Schahriar, who took as much pleasure to hear the
sultaness as Dinarzade, rose, and went about his affairs, without
ordering the vizier to cut her off.

                      The Fifteenth Night.

Dinarzade was punctual this night, as she had been the former, to
awake her sister, and begged of her, as usual, to tell her a
story. I am going to do it, sister, says Scheherazade; but the
sultan interrupted her, for fear she should begin a new story,
and bid her finish the discourse between the Grecian king and his
vizier about his physician Douban. Sir, says Scheherazade, I will
obey you, and went on with the story as follows.

When the Grecian king, says the fisherman to the genie, had
finished the story of the parrot; and you, vizier, adds he,
because of the hatred you bear to the physician Douban, who never
did you any hurt, you would have me cut him off; but I will take
care of that, for fear I should repent it, as the husband did the
killing of his parrot.

The mischievous vizier was too much concerned to effect the ruin
of the physician Douban to stop here. Sir, says he, the death of
the parrot was but a trifle, and I believe his master did not
mourn for him long. But why should your fear of wronging an
innocent man hinder your putting this physician to death? Is it
not enough that he is accused of a design against your life to
authorize you to take away his? When the business in question is
to secure the life of a king, bare suspicion ought to pass for
certainty; and it is better to sacrifice the innocent than to
spare the guilty. But, sir, this is not an uncertain thing; the
physician Douban has certainly a mind to assassinate you. It is
not envy which makes me his enemy; it is only the zeal and
concern I have for preserving your majesty's life, that make me
give you my advice in a matter of this importance. If it be
false, I deserve to be punished in the same manner as a vizier
was formerly punished. What had that vizier done, says the
Grecian king, to deserve punishment? I will inform your majesty
of that, says the vizier, if you will be pleased to hear me.


There was a king, says the vizier, who had a son that loved
hunting mightily. He allowed him to divert himself that way very
often, but gave orders to his grand vizier to attend him
constantly, and never to lose sight of him.

One hunting day, the huntsman having roused a deer, the prince
who thought the vizier followed him, pursued the game so far, and
with so much earnestness, that he was left quite alone. He
stopped, and finding that he had lost his way, endeavoured to
return the same way he came, to find out the vizier, who had not
been careful enough to find him, and so wandered further.

Whilst he rode up and down without keeping any road, he met, by
the way-side, a handsome lady, who wept bitterly. He stopped his
horse, asked who she was, how she came to be alone in that place,
and what she wanted? I am, says she, daughter of an Indian king;
as I was taking the air on horseback in the country, I grew
sleepy, fell from my horse, who is got away, and I know not what
is become of him. The young prince, taking compassion on her,
asked her to get up behind him, which she willingly accepted.

As they passed by the ruins of a house, the lady signified a
desire to alight on some occasion. The prince stopped his horse,
and suffered her to alight; then he alighted himself, and went
near the ruins with his horse in his hand: But you may judge how
much he was surprised, when he heard the lady within it say these
words, "Be glad, my children, I bring you a handsome young man,
and very fat;" and other voices which answered immediately,
"Mamma, where is he, that we may eat him presently, for we are
very hungry."

The prince heard enough to convince him of his danger, and then
he perceived that the lady, who called herself daughter to an
Indian king, was a hogress, wife to one of those savage demons
called hogress, who live in remote places, and make use of a
thousand wiles to surprise and devour passengers; so that the
prince, being thus frightened, mounted his horse as soon as he

The pretended princess appeared that very moment, and perceiving
that she had missed her prey, she cries, Fear nothing, prince!
Who are you? Whom do you seek? I have lost my way, replies he,
and am seeking it. If you have lost your way, says she, recommend
yourself to God, he will deliver you out of your perplexity. Then
the prince lift up his eyes towards Heaven. But, sir, says
Scheherazade, I am obliged to break off, for day appears.

I long mightily, says Dinarzade, to know what became of that
young prince, I tremble for him. I will deliver you from your
uneasiness to-morrow, answers the sultaness, if the sultan will
allow me to live till then. Schahriar, willing to hear an end of
this adventure, prolonged Scheherazade's life for another day.

                      The Sixteenth Night.

Dinarzade had such a mighty desire to hear out the story of the
young prince, that she awaked that night sooner than ordinary,
and said, Sister, pray go on with the story you began yesterday:
I am much concerned for the young prince, and ready to die for
fear that he was eaten up by the hogress and her children.
Schahriar having signified that he had the same fear, the
sultaness replies, Well, Sir, I will satisfy you immediately.

After the counterfeit Indian princess had bid the young prince
recommend himself to God, he could not believe she spoke
sincerely, but thought she was sure of him, and therefore lifting
up his hands to Heaven, said, Almighty Lord, cast thine eyes upon
me, and deliver me from this enemy. After this prayer, the
hogress entered the ruins again, and the prince rode off with all
possible haste. He happily found his way again, and arrived safe
and sound at his father's court, to whom he gave a particular
account of the danger he had been in through the vizier's
neglect; upon which the king, being incensed against that
minister, ordered him to be strangled that very moment.

Sir, continues the Grecian king's vizier, to return to the
physician Douban, if you do not take care, the confidence you put
in him will be fatal to you: I am very well assured that he is a
spy sent by your enemies to attempt your majesty's life. He has
cured you, you will say: But, alas! who can assure you of that?
He has perhaps cured you only in appearance, and not radically;
who knows but the medicines he has given you may in time have
pernicious effects?

The Grecian king, who had naturally very little sense, was not
able to discover the wicked design of his vizier, nor had he
firmness enough to persist in his first opinion. This discourse
staggered him: Vizier, says he, thou art in the right; he may be
come on purpose to take away my life, which he may easily do by
the very smell of some of his drugs. We must consider what is fit
for us to do in this case.

When the vizier found the king in such a temper as he would have
him, Sir, says he, the surest and speediest method you can take
to secure your life, is to send immediately for the physician
Douban, and order his head to be cut off as soon as he comes. In
truth, says the king, I believe that is the way we must take to
prevent his design. When he had spoken thus, he called for one of
his officers, and ordered him to go for the physician; who,
knowing nothing of the king's design, came to the palace in

Know ye, says the king, when he saw him, why I sent for you? No,
Sir, answered he; I wait till your majesty be pleased to inform
me. I sent for you, replied the king, to rid myself of you by
taking your life.

No man can express the surprise of the physician, when he heard
the sentence of death pronounced against him. Sir, says he, why
would your majesty take away my life? What crime have I
committed? I am informed by good hands, replies the king, that
you come to my court only to attempt my life; but, to prevent
you, I will be sure of yours. Give the blow, says he to the
executioner, who was present, and deliver me from a perfidious
wretch, who came hither on purpose to assassinate me.

When the physician heard this cruel order, he readily judged that
the honours and presents he had received from the king had
procured him enemies, and that the weak prince was imposed upon.
He repented that he had cured him of his leprosy, but it was now
too late. Is it thus, replies the physician, that you reward me
for curing you? The king would not hearken to him, but ordered
the executioner a second time to strike the fatal blow. The
physician then had recourse to his prayers: Alas! sir, cries he,
prolong my days, and God will prolong yours; do not put me to
death, lest God treat you in the same manner. The fisherman broke
off his discourse here, to apply it to the genie. Well, genie,
says he, you see that what passed then betwixt the Grecian king
and his physician Douban is acted just now betwixt us.

The Grecian king, continues he, instead of having regard to the
prayers of the physician, who begged him for God's sake to spare
him, cruelly replied to him, No, no; I must of necessity cut you
off, otherwise you may take away my life with as much subtleness
as you cured me. The physician, melting into tears, and bewailing
himself sadly for being so ill rewarded by the king, prepared for
death. The executioner bound up his eyes, tied his hands, and
went to draw his scimitar.

Then the courtiers, who were present, being moved with
compassion, begged the king to pardon him, assuring his majesty
that he was not guilty of the crime laid to his charge, and that
they would answer for his innocence; but the king was inflexible,
and answered them so, as they dared not to say any more of the

The physician being on his knees, his eyes tied up, and ready to
receive the fatal blow, addressed himself once more to the king:
Sir, says he, since your majesty will not revoke the sentence of
death, I beg, at least, that you will give me leave to return to
my house, to give orders about my burial, to bid farewell to my
family, to give alms, and to bequeath my books to those who are
capable of making good use of them. I have one in particular I
would present to your majesty; it is a very precious book, and
worthy to be laid up very carefully in your treasury. Well,
replies the king, why is that book so precious as you talk of?
Sir, says the physician, because it contains an infinite number
of curious things, of which the chief is, that when you have cut
off my head, if your majesty will give yourself the trouble to
open the book at the sixth leaf, and read the third line of the
left page, my head will answer all the questions you ask it. The
king, being curious to see such a wonderful thing, deferred his
death till next day, and sent him home under a strong guard.

The physician, during that time, put his affairs in order; and
the report being spread, that an unheard-of prodigy was to happen
after his death, the viziers, emirs, officers of the guard, and,
in a word, the whole court, repaired next day to the hall of
audience, that they might be witnesses of it.

The physician Douban was soon brought in, and advanced to the
foot of the throne, with a great book in his hand; there he
called for a bason, upon which he laid the cover that the book
was wrapped in, and presenting the book to the king, Sir, says
he, take that book, if you please, and as soon as my head is cut
off, order that it may be put into the bason upon the cover of
the book; as soon as it is put there, the blood will stop; then
open the book, and my head will answer your questions. But, Sir,
says he, permit me once more to implore your majesty's clemency;
for God's sake grant my request, I protest to you that I am
innocent. Your prayers, answers the king, are vain; and if it
were for nothing but to hear your head speak after your death, it
is my will you should die. As he said this, he took the book out
of the physician's hand, and ordered the executioner to do his

The head was so dexterously cut off, that it fell into the bason,
and was no sooner laid upon the cover of the book than the blood
stopped; then, to the great surprise of the king, and all the
spectators, it opened its eyes, and said, Sir, will your majesty
be pleased to open the book? The king opened it, and finding that
one leaf was, as it were, glued to another, that he might turn it
with more ease, he put his finger to his mouth, and wet it with
spittle. He did so till he came to the sixth leaf, and finding no
writing on the place where he was bid to look for it, Physician,
says he to the head, here is nothing written. Turn over some more
leaves, replies the head. The king continued to turn over,
putting always his finger to his mouth, until the poison, with
which each leaf was imbued, came to have its effect; the prince
finding himself, all of a sudden, taken with an extraordinary
fit, his eye-sight failed, and he, fell down at the foot of his
throne in great convulsions. At these words Scheherazade,
perceiving day, gave the sultan notice of it, and forbore
speaking. Ah! dear sister, says Dinarzade, how grieved am I that
you have not time to finish this story! I should be inconsolable
if you lose your life to-day. Sister, replies the sultaness, that
must be as the sultan pleases; but I hope he will be so good as
to suspend my death till to-morrow. And accordingly Schahriar,
far from ordering her death that day, expected next night with
much impatience; so earnest was he to hear out the story of the
Grecian king, and the sequel of that of the fisherman and the

                     The Seventeenth Night.

Though Dinarzade was very curious to hear the rest of the story
of the Grecian king, she did not awake that night so soon as
usual, so that it was almost day before she called upon the
sultaness; and then said, I pray you, sister, to continue the
wonderful story of the Greek king; but make haste, I beseech you,
for it will speedily be day.

Scheherazade resumed the story where she left off the day before.
Sir, says she to the sultan, when the physician Douban, or rather
his head, saw that the poison had taken effect, and that the king
had but a few moments to live: Tyrant, it cried, now you see how
princes are treated, who, abusing, their authority, cut off
innocent men: God punishes, soon or late, their injustice and
cruelty. Scarcely had the head spoken these words, when the king
fell down dead, and the head itself lost what life it had.

Sir, continues Scheherazade, such was the end of the Grecian
king, and the physician Douban; I must return now to the story of
the fisherman and the genie; but it is not worth while to begin
it now, for it is day. The sultan, who always observed his hours
regularly, could stay no longer, but got up; and having a mind to
hear the sequel of the story of the genie and, the fisherman, he
bid the sultaness prepare to tell it him next night.

                     The Eighteenth Night.

Dinarzade made amends this night for last night's neglect; she
awaked long before day, and calling upon Scheherazade, Sister,
says she, if you be not asleep, pray give us the rest of the
story of the fisherman and the genie; you know the sultan desires
to hear it as well as I.

I shall soon satisfy his curiosity and yours, answers the
sultaness; and then, addressing herself to Schahriar, Sir,
continued she, as soon as the fisherman had concluded the history
of the Greek king and his physician Douban, he made the
application to the genie, whom he still kept shut up in the
vessel. If the Grecian king, says he, would have suffered him to
live; but he rejected his most humble prayers; and it is the same
with thee, O genie. Could I have prevailed with thee to grant me
the favour I demanded, I should now have had pity upon thee; but
since, notwithstanding the extreme obligation thou wast under to
me for having set thee at liberty, thou didst persist in thy
design to kill me, I am obliged in my turn to be as hard-hearted
to thee.

My good friend fisherman, replies the genie, I conjure thee once
more not to be guilty of so cruel a thing; consider that it is
not good to avenge one's self, and that, on the other hand, it is
commendable to do good for evil; do not treat me as Imama treated
Ateca formerly. And what did Imama to Ateca, replies the
fisherman? Ho! says the genie, if you have a mind to know it,
open the vessel; do you think that I can be in a humour to tell
stories in so strait a prison? I will tell you as many as you
please when you let me out. No, says the fisherman, I will not
let thee out, it is in vain to talk of it; I am just going to
throw you into the bottom of the sea. Hear me one word more,
cries the genie, I promise to do thee no hurt; nay, so far from
that, I will show thee a way how thou mayst become exceeding

The hope of delivering himself from poverty prevailed with the
fisherman. I could listen to thee says he, were there any credit
to be given to thy word; swear to me by the great name of God,
that you will faithfully perform what you promise, and I will
open the vessel; I do not believe you will dare to break such an

The genie swore to him, and the fisherman immediately took off
the covering of the vessel. At that very instant the smoke came
out, and the genie having resumed his form as before, the first
thing he did was to kick the vessel into the sea. This action
frightened the fisherman: Genie, says he, what is the meaning of
that; will not you keep the oath you made, just now? And must I
say to you as the physician Douban said to the Grecian king,
Suffer me to live, and God will prolong your days.

The genie laughed at the fisherman's fear, and answered, No,
fisherman, be not afraid, I only did it to divert myself, and to
see if thou wouldst be alarmed at it: But, to persuade thee that
I am in earnest, take thy net and follow me. As he spoke these
words, he walked before the fisherman, who, having taken up his
nets, followed him, but with some distrust: They passed by the
town, and came to the top of a mountain, from whence they
descended into a vast plain, which brought them to a great pond
that lay betwixt four hills,

When they came to the side of the pond, the genie says to the
fisherman, Cast in thy nets, and take fish; the fisherman did not
doubt to catch some, because he saw a great number in the pond;
but he was extremely surprised when he found they were of four
colours; that is to say, white, red, blue, and yellow. He threw
in his nets, and brought out one of each colour; having never
seen the like, he could not but admire them, and, judging that he
might get a considerable sum for them, he was very joyful. Carry
these fish, says the genie to him, and present them to the
sultan; he will give you more money for them than ever you had in
your life. You may come every day to fish in this pond, and I
give thee warming not to throw in thy nets above once a day;
otherwise you will repent it. Take heed, and remember my advice;
if you follow it exactly, you will find your account in it.
Having spoken thus, he struck his foot upon the ground, which
opened, and shut again after it had swallowed up the genie.

The fisherman, being resolved to follow the genie's advice
exactly, forebore casting in his nets a second time; but returned
to the town very well satisfied with his fish, and making a
thousand reflections upon his adventure. He went straight to the
sultan's palace to present him his fish. But, sir, says
Scheherazade, I perceive day, and must stop here.

Dear sister, says Dinarzade, how surprising are the last events
you have told us? I have much ado to believe that any thing you
have to say can be more surprising. Sister, replies the
sultaness, if the sultan, my master, will let me live till
to-morrow, I am persuaded you will find the sequel of the history
of the fisherman more wonderful than the beginning of it, and
incomparably more diverting. Schahriar, being curious to know if
the remainder of the story of the fisherman would be such as the
sultaness said, put off the execution of the cruel law one day

                     The Nineteenth Night.

Towards morning, Dinarzade called the sultaness, and said, Dear
sister, my pendulum tells me it will be day speedily, therefore
pray continue the history of the fisherman; I am extremely
impatient to know what the issue of it was. Scheherazade, having
demanded leave of Schahriar, resumed her discourse as follows:
Sir, I leave it to your majesty to think how much the sultan was
surprised when he saw the four fishes which the fisherman
presented him. He took them up one after another, and beheld them
with attention; and after having admired them a long time, take
these fishes, says he to his prime vizier, and carry them to the
fine cook-maid that the emperor of the Greeks has sent me. I
cannot imagine but they must be as good as they are fine.

The vizier carried them himself to the cook, and, delivering them
into her hands, Look ye, says he, there are four fishes newly
brought to the sultan, he orders you to dress them; and, having
said so, he returned to the sultan his master, who ordered him to
give the fisherman four hundred pieces of gold of the coin of
that country, which he did accordingly.

The fisherman, who had never seen so much cash in his lifetime,
could scarcely believe his own good fortune, but thought it must
needs be a dream, until he found it to be real, when he provided
necessaries for his family with it.

But, sir, says Scheherazade, having told you what happened to the
fisherman, I must acquaint you next with what befel the sultan's
cook-maid, whom we shall find in a mighty perplexity. As soon as
she had gutted the fishes, she put them upon the fire in a
frying-pan with oil, and when she thought them fried enough on
one side, she turned them upon the other; but, O monstrous
prodigy! scarcely were they turned, when the wall of the kitchen
opened, and in comes a young lady of wonderful beauty and comely
size. She was clad in flowered satin, after the Egyptian manner,
with pendants in her ears, necklace of large pearl, and bracelets
of gold, garnished with rubies, with a rod of myrtle in her hand.
She came towards the frying-pan, to the great amazement of the
cook-maid, who continued immovable at this sight, and, striking
one of the fishes with the end of the rod, says, "Fish, fish, art
thou in thy duty?" The fish having answered nothing, she repeated
these words, and then the four fishes lift up their heads
altogether, and said to her, "Yes, yes, if you reckon, we reckon;
if you pay your debts, we pay ours; if you fly, we overcome, and
are content." As soon as they had finished these words, the lady
overturned the frying-pan, and entered again into the open part
of the wall, which shut immediately, and became as it was before.

The cook-maid was mightily frightened at this, and, coming a
little to herself, went to take up the fishes that fell upon the
earth, but found them blacker than coal, and not fit to be
carried to the sultan. She was grievously troubled at it, and
fell a-weeping most bitterly: Alas! says she, what will become of
me? If I tell the sultan what I have seen, I am sure he will not
believe me, but will be mightily enraged against me.

Whilst she was thus bewailing herself, in comes the grand vizier,
and asked her if the fishes were ready? She told him all that had
happened, which, we may easily imagine, astonished him mightily;
but, without speaking a word to the sultan, he invented an excuse
that satisfied him, and sending immediately for the fisherman,
bid him bring four more such fish; for a misfortune had befallen
the other, that they were not fit to be carried to the sultan.
The fisherman, without saying any thing of what the genie had
told him, in order to excuse himself from bringing them that very
day, told the vizier he had a great way to go for them, but would
certainly bring them to-morrow.

Accordingly the fisherman went away by night, and, coming to the
pond, threw in his nets betimes next morning, took four such
fishes as the former, and brought them to the vizier at the hour
appointed. The minister took them himself, carried them to the
kitchen, and shutting himself up all alone with the cook-maid,
she gutted them, and put them on the fire, as she had done the
four others the day before; when they were fried on the one side,
and she had turned them upon the other, the kitchen-wall opened,
and the same lady came in with the rod in her hand, struck one of
the fishes, spoke to it as before, and all four gave her the same
answer. But, sir, says Scheherazade, day appears, which obliges
me to break off. What I have told you is indeed singular, but if
I be alive to-morrow, I will tell you other things which are yet
better worth your hearing. Schahriar, conceiving that the sequel
must be very curious, resolved to hear her next night.

                      The Twentieth Night.

Next morning the sultan prevented Dinarzade, and says to
Scheherazade, Madam, I pray you make an end of the story of the
fisherman; I am impatient to hear it. Upon which the sultaness
continued it thus:

Sir, after the four fishes had answered the young lady, she
overturned the frying-pan with her rod, and retired into the same
place of the wall from whence she came out. The grand vizier
being witness to what passed, This is too surprising and
extraordinary, says he, to be concealed from the sultan; I will
inform him of this prodigy; which he did accordingly, and gave
him a faithful account of all that had happened.

The sultan, being much surprised, was mighty impatient to see
this himself. To this end, he sent immediately for the fisherman,
and says to him, Friend, cannot you bring me four more such
fishes? The fisherman replied, If your majesty will be pleased to
allow me three days time, I will do it. Having obtained this
time, he went to the pond immediately, and, at the first throwing
in of his net, he took four such fishes, and brought them
presently to the sultan, who was the more rejoiced at it, as he
did not expect them so soon, and ordered him other four hundred
pieces of gold. As soon as the sultan had the fish, he ordered
them to be carried into the closet, with all that was necessary
for frying them; and having shut himself up there with his
vizier, that minister gutted them, put them in the pan upon the
fire, and when they were fried on one side, turned them upon the
other; then the wall of the closet opened; but, instead of the
young lady, there came out a black, in the habit of a slave, and
of a gigantic stature, with a great green baton in his hand. He
advanced towards the pan, and touching one of the fishes with his
baton, says to it with a terrible voice, "Fish, art thou in thy
duty?" At these words, the fishes raised up their heads, and
answered, "Yes, yes, we are: if you reckon, we reckon; if you pay
your debts, we pay ours; if you fly, we overcome, and are

The fish had no sooner finished these words, than the black threw
the pan into the middle of the closet, and reduced these fishes
to a coal. Having done this, he retired fiercely, and entering
again into the hole of the wall, it shut, and appeared just as it
was before.

After what I have seen, says the sultan to the vizier, it will
not be possible for me to be easy in my mind. These fish, without
doubt, signify something extraordinary, in which I have a mind to
be satisfied. He sent for the fisherman; and when he came, says
to him, Fisherman, the fishes you have brought us make me very
uneasy; where did you catch them? Sir, answers he, I fished for
them in a pond situate betwixt four hills, beyond the mountain
that we see from hence. Know you that pond, says the sultan to
the vizier? No, sir, replies the vizier, I never so much as heard
of it; and yet it is not sixty years since I hunted beyond that
mountain and thereabouts. The sultan asked the fisherman, how far
the pond might be from the palace? The fisherman answered, it was
not above three hours journey. Upon this assurance, and there
being day enough beforehand, the sultan commanded all his court
to take horse, and the fisherman served them for a guide. They
all ascended the mountain, and at the foot of it they saw, to
their great surprise, a vast plain, that nobody had observed till
then; and at last they came to the pond, which they found
actually to be situate betwixt four hills, as the fisherman had
said. The water of it was so transparent, that they observed all
the fishes to be like those which the fisherman had brought to
the palace.

The sultan staid upon the bank of the pond, and, after beholding
the fishes with admiration, he demanded of his emirs and all his
courtiers, if it was possible they had never seen this pond,
which was within so little a way of the town. They all answered,
that they had never so much as heard of it.

Since you all agree, says he, that you never heard of it, and as
I am no less astonished than you are, at this novelty I am
resolved not to return to my palace till I know how this pond
came hither, and why all the fish in it are of four colours.
Having spoken thus, he ordered his court to encamp, and
immediately his pavilion, and the tents of his household, were
planted upon the banks of the pond.

When night came, the sultan retired under his pavilion, and spoke
to the vizier by himself thus: Vizier, my mind is very uneasy:
this pond transported hither, the black that appeared to us in my
closet, and the fishes that we heard speak; all this does so much
whet my curiosity, that I cannot resist the impatient desire that
I have to be satisfied in it. To this end, I am resolved to
withdraw alone from the camp, and I order you to keep my absence
secret; stay in my pavilion, and to-morrow morning, when the
emirs and courtiers come to attend my levee, send them away, and
tell them, that I am somewhat indisposed, and have a mind to be
alone: and the following day tell them the same thing, till I

The grand vizier said several things to divert the sultan from
his design: He represented to him the danger to which he might be
exposed, and that all his labour might perhaps be in vain. But it
was to no purpose; the sultan was resolved on it, and would go.
He put on a suit fit for walking, and took his scimitar; and as
soon as he saw that all was quiet in the camp, he goes out alone,
and went over one of the hills without much difficulty; he found
the descent still more easy, and, when he came to the plain,
walked on till the sun rose, and then he saw before him, at a
considerable distance, a great building. He rejoiced at the
sight, in hopes to be informed there of what he had a mind to
know. When he came near, he found it was a magnificent palace, or
rather a very strong castle, of fine black polished marble, and
covered with fine steel, as smooth as a looking-glass. Being
mightily pleased that he had so speedily met with something
worthy his curiosity, he stopped before the front of the castle,
and considered it with abundance of attention.

He afterwards came up to the gate, which had two leaves, one of
them open: though he might have entered when he would, yet he
thought it best to knock. He knocked at first softly, "and waited
for some time; but seeing nobody, and supposing they had not
heard him, he knocked harder the second time; but neither seeing
nor hearing anybody, he knocked again and again; but nobody
appearing, it surprised him extremely; for he could not think
that a castle so well in repair was without inhabitants. If there
be nobody in it, says he to himself, I have nothing to fear, and
if there be, I have wherewith to defend me.

At last he entered, and when he came within the porch, he cries,
Is there nobody here to receive a stranger, who comes in for some
refreshment as he passes by? He repeated the same two or three
times; but, though he spoke very high, nobody answered.

This silence increased his astonishment; he came into a very
spacious court, and looking on every side to see if he could
perceive any body, he saw no living thing. But, sir, says
Scheherazade, day appears, and I must stop.

Ah! sister, says Dinarzade, you break off at the very best of the
story. It is true, answers the sultaness; but, sister, you see I
am forced to do so. If my lord the sultan pleases, you may hear
the rest to-morrow, Schahriar agreed to this, not so much to
please Dinarzade as to satisfy his own curiosity, being mightily
impatient to hear what adventure the prince met with in the

                    The Twenty-first Night.

Dinarzade, to make amends for her neglect the night before, never
laid eye together, and, when she thought it was time, awaked the
sultaness, saying to her, My dear sister, pray give us an account
of what happened in the fine castle where you left us yesterday.

Scheherazade forthwith resumed her story, and, addressing herself
to Schahriar, says, Sir, the sultan, perceiving nobody in the
court, entered the great halls, which were hung with silk
tapestry; the alcoves and sofas were covered with stuffs of
Mecca, and the porches with the richest stuffs of the Indies,
mixed with gold and silver. He came afterwards into an admirable
saloon, in the middle of which there was a great fountain, with a
lion of massy gold at each corner: Water issued at the mouths of
the four lions, and this water, as it fell, formed diamonds and
pearls, that very well answered a jet of water, which, springing
from the middle of the fountain, rose as high almost as the
bottom of a cupola painted after the Arabian manner.

The castle on three sides was encompassed by a garden, with
flower-pots, water-works, groves, and a thousand other fine
things concurring to embellish it; and what completed the beauty
of the place, was an infinite number of birds, which filled the
air with their harmonious notes, and always staid there; nets
being spread over the trees, and fastened to the palace, to keep
them in. The sultan walked a long time from apartment to
apartment, where he found every thing very grand and magnificent.
Being tired with walking, he sat down in an open closet, which
had a view over the garden, and there reflecting upon what he had
already seen, and did then see, all of a sudden he heard the
voice of one complaining, accompanied with lamentable cries. He
listened with attention, and heard distinctly these sad words: "O
fortune! thou who wouldst not suffer me longer to enjoy a happy
lot, and hast made me the most unfortunate man in the world,
forbear to persecute me, and by a speedy death, put an end to my
sorrows! Alas! is it possible that I am still alive after so many
torments as I have suffered?

The sultan, being affected with those pitiful complaints, rose
up, and made towards the place where he heard the voice; and when
he came to the gate of a great hall, he opened it, and saw a
handsome young man, richly habited, set upon a throne raised a
little above the ground. Melancholy was painted in his looks, The
sultan drew near, and saluted him: The young man returned him his
salute by a low bow with his head; but not being able to rise up,
he says to the sultan, My lord, I am very well satisfied that you
deserve I should rise to receive you, and do you all possible
honour; but I am hindered from doing so by a very sad reason, and
therefore hope you will not take it ill. My lord, replies the
sultan, I am very much obliged to you for having so good an
opinion of me: As to the reason of your not rising, whatever your
apology be, I heartily accept of it. Being drawn hither by your
complaints, and affected by your grief, I came to offer you my
help; would to God that it lay in my power to ease you of your
trouble; I would do my utmost to effect it. I flatter myself that
you would willingly tell me the history of your misfortunes; but
pray tell me first the meaning of the pond near the palace, where
the fishes are of four colours? what this castle is? how you came
to be here? and why you are alone?

Instead of answering these questions, the young man began to weep
bitterly. "Oh, how inconstant is fortune!" cried he: "She takes
pleasure to pull down those men she hath raised up. Where are
they who enjoy quietly the happiness which they hold of her, and
whose day is always clear and serene?"

The sultan, moved with compassion to see him in that condition,
prayed him forthwith to tell him the cause of his excessive
grief. Alas! my lord, replies the young man, how is it possible
but I should grieve? And why should not my eyes be inexhaustible
fountains of tears? At these words, lifting up his gown, he
showed the sultan that he was a man only from his head to the
girdle, and that the other half of his body was black marble.
Here Scheherazade broke off, and told the sultan that day

Schahriar was so much charmed with the story, and became so much
in love with Scheherazade, that he resolved to let her live a
month. He got up, however, as usual, without acquainting her with
his resolution.

                    The Twenty-second Night.

Dinarzade was so impatient to hear out the story, that she called
her sister next morning sooner than usual, and says to her,
Sister, pray continue the wonderful story you began, but could
not make an end of yesterday morning. I agree to it, replied the
sultaness; hearken then.

You may easily imagine, continues she, that the sultan was
strangely surprised when he saw the deplorable condition of the
young man. That which you show me, says he, as it fills me with
horror, whets my curiosity so, that I am impatient to hear your
history, which no doubt is very strange, and I am persuaded that
the pond and the fishes make some part of it; therefore I conjure
you to tell it me. You will find some comfort in it, since it is
certain that unfortunate people find some sort of ease in telling
their misfortunes. I will not refuse you that satisfaction,
replies the young man, though I cannot do it without renewing my
grief. But I give you notice beforehand, to prepare your ears,
your mind, and even your eyes, for things that surpass all that
the most extraordinary imagination can conceive.


You must know, my lord, continued he, that my father, who was
called Mahmoud, was king of this country. This is the kingdom of
the Black Isles, which takes its name from the four little
neighbouring mountains; for those mountains were formerly isles:
The capital where the king my father had his residence, was where
that pond you now see is. The sequel of my history will inform
you of all those changes.

The king my father died when he was seventy years of age: I had
no sooner succeeded him, but I married; and the lady I chose to
share the royal dignity with me was my cousin. I had all the
reason imaginable to be satisfied in her love to me; and, for my
part, I had so much tenderness for her, that nothing was
comparable to the good understanding betwixt us, which lasted
five years, at the end of which time I perceived the queen my
cousin had no more delight in me.

One day, while she was at bath, I found myself sleepy after
dinner, and lay down upon a sofa; two of her ladies, who were
then in my chamber, came and sat down, one at my head, and the
other at my feet, with fans in their hands to moderate the heat,
and to hinder the flies from troubling me in my sleep. They
thought I was fast, and spoke very low; but I only shut my eyes,
and heard every word they said.

One of them says to the other, Is not the queen much in the wrong
not to love such an amiable prince as this? Ay, certainly,
replies the other; for my part I do not understand it, and I know
not how she goes out every night, and leaves him alone: is it
possible that he does not perceive it? Alas! says the first, how
would you have him to perceive it? She mixes every evening in his
drink the juice of a certain herb, which makes him sleep so sound
all night, that she has time to go where she pleases, and as day
begins to appear, the comes and lies down by him again, and wakes
him by the smell of something she puts under his nose.

You may guess, my lord, how much I was surprised at this
discourse, and with what sentiments it inspired me; yet, whatever
emotions it made within me, I had command enough over myself to
dissemble it, and feigned myself to awake, without having heard
one word of it.

The queen returned from the bath; we supped together, and, before
we went to bed, she presented me with a cup of water such as I
was accustomed to drink; but, instead of putting it to my mouth,
I went to a window that stood open, and threw out the water so
privately that she did not perceive it, and put the cup again
into her hands, to persuade her I had drunk it.

We went to bed together, and soon after, believing that I was
asleep, though I was not, she got up with so little precaution,
that she said, so loud as I could hear distinctly, Sleep, and may
you never awake again. She dressed herself speedily, and went out
of the chamber. As Scheherazade spoke these words, she saw day
appear, and stopped.

Dinarzade had heard, her sister with a great deal of pleasure;
and Shahriar thought the history of the king of the Black Isles
so worthy of his curiosity, that he rose up full of impatience
for the rest of it.

                    The Twenty-third Night.

An hour before day, Dinarzade, being awake, failed not to call
upon the sultaness, and said, Pray, dear sister, go on with the
history of the young king of the Black Islands. Scheherazade,
calling to mind where she left off, resumed ths story thus:

As soon as the queen my wife went out, continues the king of the
Black Islands, I got up, dressed me in haste, took my scimitar,
and followed her so quick that I soon heard the sound of her feet
before me, and then walked softly after her, for fear of being
heard. She passed through several gates, which opened upon her
pronouncing some magical words; and the last she opened was that
of the garden, which she entered: I stopped at the gate, that she
might not perceive me, As she crossed a plot, and looking after
her as far as I could in the night, I perceived that she entered
a little wood, whose walks were guarded by thick palisadoes. I
went thither by another way, and slipping behind the palisadoes
of a long walk, I saw her walking there with a man.

I gave good heed to their discourse, and heard her say thus; I do
not deserve, says the queen to her gallant, to be upbraided by
you for want of diligence; you know very well what hinders me;
but if all the marks of love that I have already given you be not
enough, I am ready to give you greater marks of it: You need but
command me; you know my power. I will, if you desire it, before
sun-rising, change this great city, and this fine palace, into
frightful ruins, which shall be inhabited by nothing but wolves,
owls, and ravens. Would you have me to transport all the stones
of those walls, so solidly built, beyond mount Caucasus, and out
of the bounds of the habitable world? Speak but the word, and all
those places shall be changed.

As the queen finished these words, her gallant and she came to
the end of the walk, turned to enter another, and passed before
me. I had already drawn my scimitar, and her gallant being next
me, I struck him in the neck, and made him fall to the ground. I
thought I had killed him, and therefore retired speedily without
making myself known to the queen, whom I had a mind to spare,
because she was my kinswoman.

In the mean time, the blow I had given her gallant was mortal,
but she preserved his life by the force of her enchantments, in
such a manner, however, that he could not be said to be either
dead or alive. As I crossed the garden to return to the palace, I
heard the queen cry out lamentably, and, judging by that how much
she was grieved, I was pleased that I had spared her life.

When I returned to her apartment, I went to bed, and being
satisfied with having punished the villain that did me the
injury, I went to sleep; and when I awaked next morning, found
the queen lying by me. Scheherazade was obliged to stop here,
because she saw day.

O Heaven! sister, says Dinarzade, how it troubles me that you can
say no more! Sister, replies the sultaness, you ought to have
awaked me sooner; it is your fault. I will make amends next
night, replies Dinarzade; for I doubt not but the sultan will be
as willing to hear out the story as I am; and I hope he will be
so good as to let you live one day more.

                    The Twenty-fourth Night.

Dinarzade was actually as good as her word; she called the
sultaness very early, saying, Dear sister, if you be not asleep,
pray make an end of the agreeable history of the king of the
Black Isles; I am ready to die with impatience to know how he
came to be changed into marble. You shall hear it, replies
Scheherazade, if the sultan will give me leave.

I found the queen lying by me, then, says the king of the Black
Islands; I cannot tell you whether she slept or not; but I got up
without making any noise, and went to my closet, where I made an
end of dressing myself. I afterwards went and held my council,
and, at my return, the queen was clad in mourning, her hair
hanging about her eyes, and part of it pulled off. She presented
herself before me, and said, Sir, I come to beg your majesty not
to be surprised to see me in this condition; three afflicting
pieces of news that I have just now received all at once are the
cause of my heavy grief, of which the tokens you see are but very
faint resemblances. Alas! what is that news, madam, said I? The
death of the queen, my dear mother, said she; that of the king my
father killed in battle; and that of one of my brothers, who is
fallen headlong into it.

I was not ill pleased that she made use of this pretext to hide
the true cause of her grief, and I thought she had not suspected
me to have killed her gallant. Madam, said I, I am so far from
blaming your grief, that I assure you I am willing to bear what
share of it is proper for me. I should very much wonder if you
were insensible of so great a loss. Mourn on, your tears are so
many proofs of your good-nature; but I hope, however, that time
and reason will moderate your grief.

She retired into her apartment, where, giving herself wholly up
to sorrow, she spent a whole year in mourning and afflicting
herself. At the end of that time, she begged leave of me to build
a burying-place for herself within the bounds of the palace,
where she would continue, she told me, to the end of her days. I
agreed to it, and she built a stately palace, with a cupola, that
may be seen here, and she called it the Palace of Tears. When it
was finished, she caused her gallant to be brought thither from
the place that she made him to be carried the same night that I
wounded him; she had hindered his dying by the drink she gave
him, and carried to him herself every day after he came to the
Palace of Tears.

Yet, with all her enchantments, she could not cure the wretch; he
was not only unable to walk, and to help himself, but had also
lost the use of his speech, and gave no sign of life but only by
his looks. Though the queen had no other consolation but to see
him, and to say to him all that her foolish passion could inspire
her with, yet every day she made him two long visits; I was very
well informed of all this, but pretended to know nothing of it.

One day I went out of curiosity to the Palace of Tears to see how
the princess employed herself, and, going to a place where she
could not see me, I heard her speak thus to her gallant: I am
afflicted to the highest degree to see you in this condition; I
am as sensible as you are yourself of the tormenting grief you
endure; but, dear soul, I always speak to you, and you do not
answer me. How long will you be silent? speak only one word:
Alas! the sweetest moments of my life are those I spend here in
partaking of your grief. I cannot live at a distance from you,
and would prefer the pleasure of always seeing you to the empire
of the universe.

At these words, which were several times interrupted by her sighs
and sobs, I lost all patience; and, discovering myself, came up
to her, and said, Madam, you have mourned enough, it is time to
give over this sorrow which dishonours us both; you have too much
forgotten what you owe to me and to yourself. Sir, says she, if
you have any kindness or complaisance left for me, I beseech you
to put no force upon me; allow me to give myself up to mortal
grief; it is impossible for time to lessen it.

When I saw that my discourse, instead of bringing her to her
duty, served only to increase her rage, I gave over and retired.
She continued every day to visit her gallant, and for two long
years gave herself up to excessive grief.

I went a second time to the Palace of Tears while she was there;
I hid myself again, and heard her speak thus to her gallant: It
is now three years since you spoke one word to me; you return no
answer to the marks of love I give you by my discourse and
groans. Is it from want of sense, or out of contempt? O tomb!
have you abated that excessive love he had for me? Have you shut
those eyes that showed me so much love, and were all my joy? No,
no, I believe nothing of it. Tell me rather by what miracle you
became intrusted with the rarest treasure that ever was in the

I must confess, my lord, I was enraged at these words; for, in
short, this gallant so much doted upon, this adored mortal, was
not such a one as you would imagine him to have been; he was a
black Indian, a native of that country. I say, I was so enraged
at this discourse, that I discovered myself all of a sudden, and
addressing the tomb in my turn, O tomb! cried I, why do you not
swallow up that monster in nature, or rather why do you not
swallow up the gallant and his mistress?

I had scarcely finished these words, when the queen, who sat by
the black, rose up like a fury. Ah, cruel man! says she, thou art
the cause of my grief; do not you think but I know it. I have
dissembled it but too long; it is thy barbarous hand which hath
brought the object of my love to this lamentable condition; and
you are so hard-hearted as to come and insult a despairing lover.
Yes, said I, in a rage, it is I who chastized that monster
according to his desert; I ought to have treated thee in the same
manner; I repent now that I did not do it; thou hast abused my
goodness too long. As I spoke these words, I drew out my
scimitar, and lifted up my hand to punish her; but she,
steadfastly beholding me, said, with a jeering smile, Moderate
thy anger. At the same time she pronounced words I did not
understand, and afterwards added, By virtue of my enchantments, I
command thee immediately to become half marble and half man.
Immediately, my lord, I became such as you see me, already a dead
man among the living, and a living man among the dead. Here
Scheherazade, perceiving day, broke off her story.

Upon which Dinarzade says, Dear sister, I am exceedingly
obligated to the sultan, for it is to his goodness I owe the
extraordinary pleasure I have in your stories. My sister, replies
the sultaness, if the sultan will be so good as to suffer me to
live till to-morrow, I shall tell you a thing that will afford as
much satisfaction as any thing you have yet heard. Though
Schahriar had not resolved to defer the death of Scheherazade a
month longer, he could not have ordered her to be put to death
that day.

                    The Twenty-fifth Night.

Towards the end of the night, Dinarzade cried, Sister, if I do
not trespass too much upon your complaisance, I would pray you to
finish the history of the king of the Black Islands.
Scheherazade, having awaked upon her sister's call, prepared to
give the satisfaction she required, and began thus:

The king, half marble half man, continued his history to the
sultan thus: After this cruel magician, unworthy of the name of a
queen, had metamorphosed me thus, and brought me into this hall
by another enchantment, she destroyed my capital, which was very
flourishing and full of people; she abolished the houses, the
public places, and markets, and made a pond and desert field of
it, which you may have seen; the fishes of four colours in the
pond are the four sorts of people, of different religions, that
inhabited the place. The white are the Mussulmen; the red, the
Persians, who worshipped the fire; the blue, the Christians; and
the yellow, the Jews. The four little hills were the four islands
that gave name to this kingdom. I learned all this from the
magician, who, to add to my affliction, told me with her own
mouth these effects of her rage. But this is not all; her revenge
was not satisfied with the destruction of my dominions, and the
metamorphosis of my person; she comes every day, and gives me,
over my naked shoulders, an hundred blows with ox pizzles, which
makes me all over blood; and, when she has done so, covers me
with a coarse stuff of goats hair, and throws over it this robe
of brocade that you see, not to do me honour, but to mock me.

At this part of the discourse, the king could not withhold his
tears; and the sultan's heart was so pierced with the relation,
that he could not speak one word to comfort him. A little time
after, the young king, lifting up his ryes to heaven, cried out,
Mighty Creator of all things, I submit myself to your judgments,
and to the decrees of your providence; I endure my calamities
with patience, since it is your will it should be so; but I hope
your infinite goodness will reward me for it.

The sultan, being much moved by the recital of so strange a
story, and animated to avenge this unfortunate prince, says to
him, Tell me whither this perfidious magician retires, and where
her unworthy gallant may be, who is buried before his death? My
lord, replies the prince, her gallant, as I have already told
you, is in the Palace of Tears, in a tomb in form of a dome, and
that palace joins to this castle on the side of the gate. As to
the magician, I cannot precisely tell whither she retires; but
every day at sun-rising she goes to see her gallant, after having
executed her bloody vengeance upon me, as I have told you: and
you see I am not in a condition to defend myself against so great
cruelty. She carries him the drink with which she has hitherto
prevented his dying, and always complains of his never speaking
to her since he was wounded.

Oh, unfortunate prince, says the sultan, you can never enough be
bewailed! Nobody can be more sensibly touched with your condition
than I am; never did such an extraordinary misfortune befal any
man; and those who write your history will have the advantage to
relate a passage that surpasses all that has ever yet been
recorded. There is nothing wanting but one thing, the revenge
which is due to you, and I will omit nothing that can be done to
procure it.

While the sultan discoursed upon this subject with the young
prince, he told him who he was, and for what end he entered the
castle, and thought on a plan of revenge, which he communicated
to him. They agreed upon the measures they were to take for
effecting their design, but deferred the execution of it till the
next day. In the mean time, the night being far spent, the sultan
took some rest, but the poor young prince passed the night
without sleep as usual, having never slept since he was
enchanted; but he conceived some hopes of being speedily
delivered from his misery.

Next morning the sultan got up before day, and, in order to
execute his design, he hid in a corner his upper garment, that
would have been cumbersome to him, and went to the Palace of
Tears. He found it illuminated with an infinite number of
flambeaux of white wax, and a delicious scent issued from several
boxes of fine gold, of admirable workmanship, all ranged in
excellent order. As soon as he saw the bed where the black lay,
lie drew his scimitar, killed the wretch without resistance,
dragged his corpse into the court of the castle, and threw it
into a well. After this he went and lay down in the black's bed,
took his scimitar with him under the counterpane, and lay there
to execute what he had designed.

The magician arrived in a little time; she first went into the
chamber where her husband, the king of the Black Islands, was;
stripped him, and beat him with bull pizzles in a most barbarous
manner. The poor prince filled the palace with his lamentations
to no purpose; and conjured her, in the most affecting manner
that could be, to take pity on him; but the cruel woman would not
give over till she had given him an hundred blows. You had no
compassion on my lover, said she, and you are to expect none from
me. Scheherazade, perceiving day, stopped, and could go no

O heaven! says Dinarzade, sister, this was a barbarous
enchantress indeed. But must we stop here? Will you not tell us
whether she received the chastisement she deserved? My dear
sister, says the sultaness, I desire nothing more than to
acquaint you with it to-morrow; but you know that depends on the
sultan's pleasure. After what Schahriar had heard, he was far
from any design to put Scheherazade to death; on the contrary,
says he to himself, I will not take away her life till she has
finished this surprising story, though it should last for two
months. It shall always be in my power to keep the oath I have

                    The Twenty-sixth Night.

As soon as Dinarzade thought it was time to call the sultaness,
she says to her, How much should I be obliged to you, dear
sister, if you would tell us what passed in the Palace of Tears.
Schahriar having signified that he was as curious to know it as
Dinarzade, the sultaness resumed the story of the young enchanted
prince as follows:

Sir, after the enchantress had given the king her husband an
hundred blows with bull pizzles, she put on again his covering of
goat hair, and his brocade gown over all; she went afterwards to
the Palace of Tears, and, as she entered the same, she renewed
her tears and lamentations; then approaching the bed, where she
thought her gallant was, What cruelty, cries she, was it to
disturb the contentment of so tender and passionate a lover as I
am! O thou who reproachest me that I am too inhuman, when I make
thee feel the effects of my resentment! cruel prince! does not
thy barbarity surpass my vengeance? Ah, traitor! in attempting
the life of the object whom I adore, hast thou not robbed me of
mine? Alas! says she, addressing herself to the sultan, while she
thought she spoke to the black, my soul, my life, will you always
be silent? Are you resolved to let me die, without giving me so
much comfort as to tell me that you love me? My soul! speak one
word to me at least, I conjure you.

The sultan, making as if he had awakened out of a deep sleep, and
counterfeiting the language of the blacks, answers the queen with
a grave tone, 'There is no force nor power but in God alone, who
is almighty.' At these words, the enchantress, who did not expect
them, gave a great shout, to signify her excessive joy. My dear
lord, says she, do not I deceive myself? is it certain that I
hear you, and that you speak to me? Unhappy wretch, said the
sultan, art thou worthy that I should answer thy discourse? Alas!
replies the queen, why do you reproach me thus? The cries,
replied he, the groans and tears of thy husband, whom thou
treatest every day with so much indignity and barbarity, hinder
me to sleep night and day. I should have been cured long ago, and
have recovered the use of my speech, hadst thou disenchanted him.
This is the cause of my silence, which you complain of. Very
well, says the enchantress, to pacify you, I am ready to do what
you will command me; would you that I restore him as he was? Yes,
replies the sultan, make haste to set him at liberty, that I be
no more disturbed with his cries.

The enchantress went immediately out of the Palace of Tears; she
took a cup of water, and pronounced words over it, which caused
it to boil as if it had been on the fire. She went afterwards to
the hall to the young king her husband, and threw the water upon
him, saying, 'If the Creator of all things did form thee so as
thou art at present, or if he be angry with thee, do not change;
but if thou art in that condition merely by virtue of my
enchantments, resume thy natural shape, and become what thou wast
before.' She had scarcely spoken these words, when the prince,
finding himself restored to his former condition, rose up freely
with all imaginable joy, and returned thanks to God. The
enchantress then said to him, Get thee gone from this castle, and
never return here on pain of death. The young king, yielding to
necessity, went away from the enchantress without replying a
word, and retired to a remote place, where he immediately
expected the success of the design which the sultan had begun so
happily. Meanwhile the enchantress returned to the Palace of
Tears, and, supposing that she still spoke to the black, says,
Dear lover, I have done what you ordered; let nothing now hinder
you to give me that satisfaction of which I have been deprived so

The sultan continued to counterfeit the language of the blacks.
That which you have just now done, said he, signifies nothing to
my cure; you have only eased me of part of my disease; you must
cut it up by the roots. My lovely black, replies she, what do you
mean by the roots? Unfortunate woman, replies the sultan, do you
not understand that I mean the town and its inhabitants, and the
four islands, which thou hast destroyed by thy enchantments?

The fishes, every night at midnight, raise their heads out of the
pond, and cry for vengeance against thee and me. This is the true
cause of the delay of my cure. Go speedily, restore things as
they were, and at thy return I will give thee my hand, and thou
shalt help me to rise.

The enchantress, filled with hopes from these words, cried out in
a transport of joy, My heart, my soul, you shall soon be restored
to your health; for I will immediately do what you command me.
Accordingly she went that moment, and when she came to the brink
of the pond, she took a little water in her hand, and sprinkling
it--Here Scheherazade saw day, and stopped.

Dinarzade says to the sultaness, Sister, I am much rejoiced to
hear that the young king of the Black Islands was disenchanted,
and I already consider the town and the inhabitants as restored
to their former state; but I long to know what will become of the
enchantress. Have a little patience, replies the sultaness, and
you shall have the satisfaction you desire to-morrow, if the
sultan, my lord, will consent to it. Schahriar, having resolved
on it already, as was said before, rose up, and went about his

                   The Twenty-seventh Night.

At the usual hour Dinarzade called upon the sultaness thus: Dear
sister, pray tell us what was the fate of the magician queen, as
you promised us; upon which Scheherazade went on thus: The
enchantress had no sooner sprinkled the water, and pronounced
some words over the fishes and the pond, than the city was
restored that very minute. The fishes became men, women, and
children; Mahometans, Christians, Persians, or Jews, freemen or
slaves, ns they were before; every one having recovered their
natural form. The houses and shops were immediately filled with
their inhabitants, who found all things as they were before the
enchantment. The sultan's numerous retinue, who found themselves
encamped in the largest square, were astonished to see
themselves, in an instant, in the middle of a large, fine, and
well-peopled city.

To return to the enchantress: As soon as she had made this
wonderful change, she returned with all diligence to the Palace
of Tears, that she might reap the fruits of it. My dear lord,
cries she, as she entered, I come to rejoice with you for the
return of your health; I have done all that you required of me;
then pray rise, and give me your hand. Come near, says the
sultan, still counterfeiting the language of the blacks. She did
so. You are not near enough, replies he; come nearer. She obeyed.
Then he rose up, and seized her by the arm so suddenly, that she
had not time to know who it was, and with a blow of his scimitar
cut her in two, so that the one half fell one way, and the other
another. This being done, he left the carcase upon the place,
and, going out of the Palace of Tears, he went to seek the young
king of the Black Isles, who waited for him with a great deal of
impatience; and when he found him, Prince, says he, embracing
him, rejoice, you have nothing to fear now; your cruel enemy is

The young prince returned thanks to the sultan in such a manner
as showed that he was thoroughly sensible of the kindness that he
had done him, and, in acknowledgment, wished him a long life and
all happiness. You may henceforward, says the sultan, dwell
peaceably in your capital, unless you will go to mine, which is
so near, where you shall be very welcome, and have as much honour
and respect as if you were at home. Potent monarch, to whom I am
so much indebted, replies the king, you think then that you are
very near your capital. Yes, says the sultan, I know it, it is
not above four or five hours journey. It will take you a whole
years journey, says the prince; I do believe, indeed, that you
came hither from your capital in the time you spoke of, because
mine was enchanted; but, since the enchantment is taken off,
things are changed: However, this shall not hinder me to follow
you, were it to the utmost corner of the earth. You are my
deliverer, and that I may give you proofs of my acknowledging
this during my whole life, I am willing to accompany you, and to
leave my kingdom without regret.

The sultan was exceedingly surprised to understand that he was so
far from his dominions, and could not imagine how it could be.
But the young king of the Black Islands convinced him so plainly,
that he could no more doubt of it. Then the sultan replied, it is
no matter; the trouble that I shall have to return to my own
country is sufficiently recompensed by the satisfaction I have
had to oblige you, and by acquiring you for a son; for since you
will do me the honour to attend me, and that I have no child, I
look upon you as one; and from this moment I appoint you my heir
and successor.

This discourse between the sultan and the king of the Black
Islands concluded with the most affectionate embraces; after
which the young prince was wholly taken up in making preparations
for his journey, which were finished in three weeks time, to the
regret of his court and subjects, who agreed to receive at his
hands one of his nearest kindred for king.

At last the sultan and the young prince began their journey with
an hundred camels laden with inestimable riches from the treasury
of the young king, followed by fifty handsome gentlemen on
horseback, perfectly well mounted and dressed. They had a very
happy journey; and when the sultan, who had sent courtiers to
give advice of his delay, and of the adventure which had
occasioned it, came near his capital, the principal officers he
had left there came to receive him, and to assure him that his
long absence had occasioned no alteration in his empire. The
inhabitants also came out in great crowds, receiving him with,
mighty acclamations, and made public rejoicings for several days,

Next day after his arrival, the sultan gave all his courtiers a
very ample account of all things which, contrary to his
expectation, had detained him so long. He acquainted them with
his having adopted the king of the four Black Islands, who was
willing to leave a great kingdom to accompany and live with him;
and in short, as an acknowledgment of their loyalty, he rewarded
each of them according to their rank.

As for the fisherman, as he was the first cause of the
deliverance of the young prince, the sultan gave him a plentiful
estate, which made him and his family happy the rest of their

Here Scheherazade made an end of the story of the fisherman and
the genie. Dinarzade signified that she had taken a great deal of
pleasure in it; and Schahriar having said the same thing, the
sultaness told that she knew another which was much finer; and if
the sultan would give her leave, she would tell it them next
morning, for day began to appear. Schahriar, bethinking himself
that he had granted the sultaness a month's reprieve, and being
curious, moreover, to know if this new story would be as
agreeable as she promised, got up with a design to hear it next

[Advertisement. The readers of the Tales were tired, in the
former editions, with the interruption Dinarzade gave them: This
defect is now remedied; and they will meet with no more
interruptions at the end of every night. It is sufficient to know
the design of the Arabian author who first made this collection;
and for this purpose we retained his method in the preceeding

There are of these Arabian Tales where neither Scheherazade,
Sultan Schahriar, Dinarzade, or any distinction by nights, is
mentioned; which shows that all the Arabians have not approved
the method which this author has used, and that a great number of
them have been fatigued with these repetitions. This, therefore,
being reformed in the following translation, the reader must be
acquainted that Scheherazade goes on always without being


In the reign of the caliph Haroun Alraschid, there was at Bagdad,
the place of their residence, a porter, who, notwithstanding his
mean and laborous business, was a fellow of wit and good-humour.
One morning, as he was at a place where he usually plied, with a
great basket, waiting for employment, a young handsome lady,
covered with a great muslin veil, came to him, and said with a
pleasant air, Hark ye, porter, take your basket, and follow me.
The porter, charmed with those few words pronounced in so
agreeable a manner, took his basket immediately, set it on his
head, and followed the lady, saying, "O happy day, a day of good

The lady stopped presently before a gate that was shut, and
knocked: a Christian, with a venerable long white beard, opened
the gate, and she put money into his hand, without speaking one
word; but the Christian, who knew what she wanted, went in, and
in a little time after brought a large jug of excellent wine.
Take this jug, says the lady to the porter, and put it in your
basket. This being done, she commanded him to follow her; and as
she went on, the porter says still, "O happy day! this is a day
of agreeable surprise and joy!"

The lady stopped at a fruit-shop, where she bought several sorts
of apples, apricots, peaches, quinces, lemons, citrons, oranges,
myrtles, sweet basil, lilies, jessamine, and some other sorts of
flowers and plants that smell well; she bid the porter put them
all into his basket, and follow her. As she went by a butcher's
stall, she made him weigh her twenty-five pounds of his best
meat, which she ordered the porter to put also in his basket.

At another shop, she took capers, cucumbers, and other herbs
preserved in vinegar; at another she bought pistachios, walnuts,
small nuts, almonds, kernels of pine-apples, and other fruits;
and of another she bought all sorts of confections. When the
porter had put all these things into his basket, and perceiving,
that it grew full, My good lady, says he, you ought to have given
me notice that you had so much provision to carry, and then I
would have got a horse, or rather a camel, to have carried them;
for if you buy ever so little more, I shall not be able to carry
it. The lady laughed at the fellow's pleasant humour, and ordered
him still to follow her.

Then she went to a druggist, where she furnished herself with all
manner of sweet-scented waters, cloves, musk, pepper, ginger, and
a great piece of ambergris, and several other Indian spices; this
quite filled the porter's basket, and she ordered him to follow
her. They walked till they came to a magnificent house, whose
front was adorned with fine columns, and which had a gate of
ivory: there they stopped, and the lady knocked softly.

While the young lady and the porter staid for the opening of the
gate, the porter had a thousand thoughts: he wondered that such a
line lady should come abroad to buy provisions; he concluded she
could not be a slave, her air being too noble for that, and
therefore he thought she must needs be a woman of quality. Just
as he was about to ask her some questions upon that head, another
lady came to open the gate, and appeared so beautiful to him,
that he was perfectly surprised, or rather so much struck with
her charms, that he was like to let the basket fall, for he had
never seen any beauty that came near her.

The lady, who brought the porter with her, perceiving his
disorder, and the occasion of it, diverted herself with it, and
took so much pleasure to examine his looks, that she forgot the
gate was opened. Upon this, the beautiful lady says to her, Pray
sister, come in, what do you stay for? Do you not see this poor
man so heavy loaded, that he is scarcely able to stand under it?

When she entered with the porter, the lady who opened the gate
shut it, and all three, after having gone through a very fine
porch, came into a very spacious court encompassed with an open
gallery, which had a communication with several apartments on a
floor, and was extremely magnificent. There was at the further
end of the court a sofa richly adorned, with a throne of amber in
the middle of it, supported by four columns of ebony, enriched
with diamonds and pearls of extraordinary size, and covered with
satin embroidered with Indian gold, of admirable workmanship. In
the middle of the court there was a great fountain faced with
white marble, and full of clear water, which fell into it
abundantly out of the mouth of a lion of brass.

The porter, though very heavily loaded, could not but admire the
magnificence of the house, and the excellent order that every
thing was placed in; but that which particularly captivated his
attention was a third lady, who seemed to be a greater beauty
than the second, and was set upon the throne just now mentioned:
she came down from it as soon as she saw the two former ladies,
and advanced towards them: He judged, by the respect which the
others showed her, that she was the chief, in which he was not
mistaken. This lady was called Zobeide, she who opened the gate
was called Safie, and Amine was the name of her who went out to
buy the provisions.

Zobeide says to the two ladies, when she came to them, Sisters,
do not you see that this honest man is like to sink under his
burden? why do not you ease him of it? Then Amine and Safie took
the basket, the one before and the other behind; Zobeide also
lent her hand, mid all three set it on the ground, then emptied
it; and when they had done, the beautiful Amine took out money,
and paid the porter liberally.

The porter, very well satisfied with the money he had received,
was to have taken up his basket and be gone; but he could not
tell how to think on it. Do what he could, he found himself
stopped by the pleasure of seeing three such beauties, who
appeared to him equally charming; for Amine, having now laid
aside her veil, was as handsome as either of them. That which
surprised him most was, that he saw never a man about the house;
yet most of the provisions he brought in, as dry fruits, and
several sorts of cakes and confections, were fit chiefly for
those who could drink and make merry.

Zobeide thought at first that the porter staid only to take his
breath; but perceiving that he staid too long, What do you wait
for, says she, are you not well enough paid? And turning to
Amine, says, Sister, give him something more, that he may depart
satisfied. Madam, replies the porter, it is not that which stays
me. I am over and above paid; I am sensible that I am unmannerly
to stay longer than I ought, but, I hope you will be so good as
to pardon me, if I tell you that I am astonished to see that
there is no man with three ladies of such extraordinary beauty;
and you know that a company of women without men is as melancholy
a thing as a company of men without women. To this he added
several very pleasing things to prove what he said, and did not
forget the Bagdad proverb, 'That one is never well at a table,
unless there be four in company. And so concluded, that as there
were but three, they had need of a fourth.'

The ladies fell a laughing at the porter's discourse, after which
Zobeide says to him, very gravely, Friend, you are a little too
bold; and though you do not deserve that I should enter into
particulars with you, yet I am willing to tell you we are three
sisters, who do our business so secretly that nobody knows any
thing of it. We have too great reason to be cautious of
acquainting indiscreet persons with it; and a good author that we
have read, says, 'Keep your secret, and do not reveal it to any
body.' He that reveals it is no longer master of it. If your own
breast cannot keep your secret, how do you think that another
person will keep it?

My ladies, replies the porter, by your very air I judged at first
you were persons of extraordinary merit, and I conceive that I am
not mistaken; though fortune has not given me wealth enough to
raise me above my mean profession, yet I have not failed to
cultivate my mind as much as I could by reading books of science
and history: And allow me, if you please, to tell you, that I
have also read in another author a maxim which I have always
happily practised: 'We do not conceal our secrets, says he, but
from such persons as are known to all the world to want
discretion, and would abuse the confidence we put in them; but we
make no scruple to discover them to prudent persons, because we
know they can keep them.' A secret with me is as sure as if it
were in a closet whose key is lost, and the door sealed up.

Zobeide, perceiving that the porter did not want sense, but
conceiving that he had a mind to have a share in their treat,
replies to him, smiling, You know that we are about to have a
treat, and you know also that we have been at a considerable
expense, and it is not just that you should have a share of it
without contributing towards it. The beautiful Safie seconded her
sister, and says to the porter, Friend, have you never heard that
which is commonly said, "If you bring any thing with you, you
shall be welcome; but if you bring nothing, you must get you gone
with nothing?"

The porter, notwithstanding his rhetoric, must, in all
probability, have retired in confusion, if Amine had not taken
his part, and said to Zobeide and Safie, My dear sisters, I
conjure you to let him stay with us; I need not tell you that he
will divert us, you see well enough that he is capable of that: I
must needs tell you, that unless he had been very willing, as
well as nimble, and hardy enough to follow me, I could not have
done so much business in so little time; besides, should I repeat
to you all the obliging expressions he made to me by the way, you
would not he surprised at my protecting him.

At these words of Amine, the porter was so much transported with
joy, that he fell on his knees, kissed the ground at the feet of
that charming person, and, raising himself up, says, Most
beautiful lady, you began my good fortune to-day, and now you
complete it by this generous action; I cannot enough testify my
acknowledgment of it. As to what remains, my ladies, says he,
addressing himself to all the three sisters, since you do me so
great honour, do not think that I will abuse it, or look upon
myself as a person who deserves it. No, I shall always look upon
myself as one of your most humble slaves. When he had spoken
these words, he would have returned the money he had received;
but the grave Zobeide ordered him to keep it. That which we have
once given, says she, to reward those who have served us, we
never take again.

Zobeide would not take back the money from the porter, but said,
My friend, in consenting that you stay with us, I must forewarn
you, that it is not only on condition that you keep secret what
we have required of you, but also that you observe exactly the
rules of good manners and civility. In the mean time the charming
Amine put off the apparel she went abroad with, put on her
night-gown, that she might be more easy, and covered the table,
which she furnished with several sorts of meat, and upon a
sideboard she set bottles of wine and cups of gold. Soon after
the ladies took their places, and made the porter sit down by
them, who was overjoyed to see himself at the table with three
such admirable beauties. After they had ate a little, Amine, who
sat next the sideboard, took up a bottle and cup, filled out
wine, and drank first herself, according to the custom of the
Arabians; then she filled the cup to her sisters, who drank in
course as they sat; and at last she filled it the fourth time to
the porter, who, as he received it, kissed Amine's hand, and,
before he drank, sung a song to this purpose: That as the wind
brings along with it the sweet scents of the perfumed places
through which it passes, so the wine he was going to drink,
coming from her fair hands, received a more exquisite taste than
what it had of its own nature. This song pleased the ladies so
much, that each of them sung another in their turn. In short,
they were extraordinary merry all the time of dinner, which
lasted a long while, and nothing was wanting that could make it
agreeable. The day being almost spent, Safie spoke in the name of
the three ladies, and says to the porter, Arise, and be gone; it
is time for you to depart. But the porter, not willing to leave
so good company, cried, Alas! ladies, whither do you command me
to go in the condition I am in? I am quite beside myself by what
I have seen since I came hither, and having also drank above my
ordinary, I shall never find the way home: Allow me this night to
recover myself in any place where you please, for no less time is
necessary for me to come to myself; but, go when I will, I shall
leave the best part of myself behind me.

Amine pleaded a second time for the porter, saying, Sisters, he
is in the right; I am pleased with the request; he having already
diverted us so well; and if you will take my advice, or if you
love me as much as I think you do, let us keep him to pass away
the remaining part of the night. Sister, answered Zobeide, we can
refuse you nothing; and then, turning to the porter, said, We are
willing once more to grant your request; but upon this new
condition, that whatever we do in your presence, relating to
ourselves or any thing else, take heed that you do not once open
your mouth to ask the reason of it; for if you ask questions
about that which does not belong to you, you may come to know
that which will be no way pleasing to you: Beware, therefore, and
be not too curious to dive into the motives of our actions.

Madam, replies the porter, I promise to observe this condition
with such exactness, that you shall have no cause to reproach me
with the breaking of it, and far less to punish my indiscretion;
my tongue shall be immovable on this occasion, and my eye like a
looking-glass, which retains nothing of the object that is set
before it. And to show you, says Zobeide, with a serious
countenance, that what we demand of you is not a new thing among
us, rise up and read what is over our gate in the inside.

The porter went thither, and read these words, written in large
characters of gold: 'He who speaks of things that do not concern
him, shall hear of things that will not please him.' Returning
again to the three sisters, Ladies, says he, I give you my oath
that you will never hear me speak any thing which does not
concern me, or wherein you may have any concern.

This agreement being made, Amine brought in supper, and after the
room was set round with tapers that were mixed with aloes and
ambergris, which gave a most agreeable scent, as well as a
delicate light, she sat down at table with her sisters and the
porter. They began again to eat and drink, to sing and repeat
verses. The ladies took pleasure to inebriate the porter, under
pretext of causing him to drink their healths; and abundance of
witty sentences passed on both sides. In short, as they were all
in the best humour in the world, they heard one knocking at the

When the ladies heard the knocking, they all three got up to open
the gate; but Safie, to whom this office did particularly belong,
was the nimblest; which her other two sisters perceiving, sat
down till she came back to acquaint them who it could be that had
any business with them so late. Safie returning, said, Sisters,
we have here a very fine opportunity to pass a good part of the
night with much satisfaction, and if you be of the same mind with
me, we shall not let it slip. There are three calenders at our
gate, at least they appear to be such by their habit; but that
which you will most wonder at is, they are all three blind of the
right eye, have their heads, beards, and eye-brows shaved, and,
as they say, are but just come to Bagdad, where they never were
before; and it being night, and not knowing where to find any
lodging, they happened by chance to knock at this gate, and pray
us, for the love of Heaven, to have compassion on them, and
receive them into the house: They care not what place we put them
in; provided they may be under shelter, they would be satisfied
with a stable. They are young and handsome enough, and seem also
to be men of good sense; but I cannot, without laughing, think of
their pleasant and uniform figure. Here Safie fell a-laughing so
heartily, that it put the two sisters and the porter into the
same mood. My dear sisters, says she, are you content that they
come in? it is impossible but, with such persons as I have
already described them to be, we shall finish the day better than
we began it; they will afford us diversion enough, and put us to
no charge, because they desire shelter only for this night, and
resolve to leave us as soon as day appears.

Zobeide and Amine made some difficulty to grant Safie's request,
for reasons they knew well enough; but she having so great a
desire to obtain this favour, they could not refuse. Go then,
says Zobeide, and bring them in, but do not forget to acquaint
them that they must not speak of any thing which does not concern
them, and cause them to read what is written over the gate. Safie
ran out with a great deal of joy, and in a little while after
returned with the three calenders in company.

At their entrance they made a profound bow to the ladies. who
rose up to receive them; told them most obligingly that they were
very welcome, that they were glad to have met with an opportunity
to oblige them, and to contribute towards relieving them from the
fatigue of their journey, and at last invited them to sit down
with them.

The magnificence of the place, and the civility of the ladies,
made the calenders to conceive a mighty idea of their fine
land-ladies: But, before they sat down, having by chance cast
their eye upon the porter, whom they saw clad almost like one of
those other calenders with whom they are in controversy about
several points of discipline, because they neither shave their
beards nor eye-brows, one of them said, Look here, I believe we
have got one of our revolted Arabian brethren.

The porter, though half asleep, and having his head pretty warm
with wine, was affronted at these words; and, with a fierce look,
without stirring from his place, answered, Sit you down, and do
not meddle with what does not concern you. Have you not read the
inscription over the gate? Do not pretend to make people live
after your fashion, but follow ours.

Honest man, says the calender, do not put yourself into a
passion; we should be very sorry to give you the least occasion;
but, on the contrary, we are ready to receive your commands. Upon
which, to avoid all quarrels, the ladies interposed, and pacified
them. When the calenders were set at table, the ladies served
them with meat; and Safie, being most pleased with them, did not
let them want for drink.

After the calenders had ate and drunk liberally, they signified
to the ladies that they had a great desire to entertain them with
a concert of music, if they had any instruments in the house, and
would cause them to be brought them. They willingly accepted the
proffer, and fair Safie, going to fetch them, returned again in a
moment, and presented them with a flute of her own country
fashion, another of the Persian sort, and a tabor. Each man took
the instrument he liked, and all the three together began to play
a tune. The ladies, who knew the words of a merry song that
suited that air, joined the concert with their voices; but the
words of the song made them now and then stop, and fall into
excessive laughter.

At the height of this diversion, and when the company was in the
midst of their jollity, somebody knocks at the gate; Safie left
off singing, and went to see who it was. But, sir, says
Scheherazade to the sultan, it is fit your majesty should know
why this knocking happened so late at the ladies' house, and the
reason was this: The caliph Haroun Alraschid was accustomed to
walk abroad in disguise very often by night, that he might see
with his own eyes if every thing was quiet in the city, and that
no disorders were committed in it.

This night the caliph went out pretty early on his rambles,
accompanied with Giafar his grand vizier, and Mesrour the chief
of the eunuchs of his palace, all disguised in merchants' habits;
and passing through the street where the three ladies dwelt, he
heard the sound of the music, and great fits of laughter; upon
which he commanded the vizier to knock, because he would go in to
know the reason of that jollity. The vizier told him in vain that
it was some women a merry-making; that, without question, their
heads were warm with wine; and that it would not be proper he
should expose himself to be affronted by them; besides, it was
not yet an unlawful hour, and therefore he ought not to disturb
them in their mirth. No matter, said the caliph, I command you to
knock. So it was that the grand vizier Giafar knocked at the
ladies' gate by the caliph's order, because he himself would not
be known. Safie opened the gate, and the vizier perceived, by the
light that she held in her hand, that she was an incomparable
beauty. The vizier acted his part very well, and, with a very low
bow and respectful behaviour, said, Madam, we are three merchants
of Moussol, who arrived about ten days ago with rich merchandise,
which we have in a warehouse at a khan, or inn, where we have
also our lodging. We happened to-day to be with a merchant of
this city, who invited us to a treat at his house, where we had a
splendid entertainment; and the wine having put us in humour, he
sent for a company of dancers; night being come on, and the music
and dancers making a great noise, the watch came by in the mean
time, caused the gate to be opened, and some of the company to be
taken up; but we had the good fortune to escape by getting over a
wall. Now, says the vizier, being strangers, and somewhat
overcome with wine, we were afraid of meeting another, or perhaps
the same watch, before we got home to our khan, which lies a good
way from hence. Besides, when we come there, the gates will be
shut, and not opened till morning; wherefore, madam, hearing, as
we passed by this way, the sound of music, we supposed you were
not yet going to rest, and made bold to knock at your gate, to
beg the favour of lodging ourselves in the house till morning;
and if you think us worthy of your good company, we will
endeavour to contribute to your diversion what lies in our power,
to make some amends for the interruption we have given you; if
not, we only beg the favour of staying this night under your

While Giafar held this discourse, fair Safie had time to observe
the vizier and his two companions, who were said to be merchants
like himself, and told them that she was not mistress of the
house; but, if they would have a minute's patience, she would
return with an answer.

Safie acquainted her sisters with the matter, who considered for
some time what to conclude upon; but, being naturally of a good
disposition, and having granted the same favour to the three
calenders, they at last consented to let them in.

The caliph, his grand vizier, and the chief of the eunuchs, being
introduced by the fair Safie, very courteously saluted the ladies
and the calenders; the ladies returned them the like civilities,
supposing them to be merchants. Zobeide, as the chief, says to
them, with a grave and serious countenance, which was natural to
her, You are welcome; but, before I proceed further, I hope you
will not take it ill if we desire one favour of you. Alas! said
the vizier, what favour? We can refuse nothing to such fair
ladies. Zobeide replied, It is, that you would only have eyes,
but no tongues; that you put no questions to us about the reason
of any thing you may happen to see; and not to speak of any thing
that does not concern you, lest you come to hear of things that
will by no means please you. Madam, replied the vizier, you shall
be obeyed. We are not censorious, nor impertinently curious; it
is enough for us to take notice of that which concerns us,
without meddling with that which does not belong to us. Upon this
they all sat down, and the company being united, they drank to
the health of the new comers.

While Giafar entertained the ladies in discourse, the caliph
could not forbear to admire their extraordinary beauty, graceful
behaviour, pleasant humour, and ready wit; on the other hand,
nothing was more surprising to him than the calenders being all
three blind of the right eye. He would gladly have been informed
of this singularity; but the conditions so lately imposed upon
himself and his companions would not allow him to speak. This,
with the richness of the furniture, the exact order of every
thing, and neatness of the house, made him think it was some
enchanted palace.

Their entertainment happening to be upon divertisements, and
different ways of making merry, the calenders rose and danced
after their fashion, which augmented the good opinion the ladies
had conceived of them, and procured them the esteem of the caliph
and his companions.

When the three calenders had made an end of their dance, Zobeide
arose, and, taking Amine by the hand, said, Pray, sister, rise
up, for the company will not take it ill if we use our freedom;
and their presence need not hinder our performance of what we
were wont to do. Amine, by understanding her sister's meaning,
rose up from her seat, carried away the dishes, the table, the
flasks, and cups, together with the instruments which the
calenders had played upon.

Safie was not idle, but swept the room, put every thing again in
its place, snuffed the candies, and put fresh aloes and ambergris
to them, and then prayed the three calenders to sit down upon the
sofa on one side, and the caliph, with his companions, on the
other. As to the porter, she savs to him, Get up, and prepare
yourself to serve in what we are going to be about; a man like
you, who is one of the family, ought not to be idle. The porter,
being somewhat recovered from his wine, gets up immediately, and,
having tied the sleeve of his gown to his belt, answers, Here am
I, ready to obey your commands in any thing. That is very well,
replied Safie; stay till you are spoken to; you shall not be idle
very long. A little time after, Amine came in with a chair, which
she placed in the middle of the room; and so went to a closet,
which having opened, she beckoned to the porter, and says to him,
Come hither and help me; which he obeying, entered the closet,
and returned immediately leading two black bitches, with each of
them a collar and chain; they looked as if they had been severely
whipped with rods, and he brought them into the middle of the

Then Zobeide, rising from her seat between the calenders and the
caliph, marched very gravely towards the porter, Come on, says
she, with a great sigh, let us perform our duty; then tucking up
her sleeves above her elbows, and receiving a rod from Safie,
Porter, said she, deliver one of the bitches to my sister Amine,
and come to me with the other.

The porter did as he was commanded; the bitch that he held in his
hand began to cry, and, turning towards Zobeide, held her head up
in a begging posture; but Zobeide, having no regard to the sad
countenance of the bitch, which would have moved pity, nor her
cries that sounded through ail the house, whipped her with the
rod till she was out of breath; and having spent her strength
that she could strike no more, she threw down the rod, and,
taking the chain from the porter, lifted up the bitch by her
paws, and looking upon her with a sad and pitiful countenance,
they both wept; after which Zobeide, with her handkerchief, wiped
the tears from the bitch's eyes, kissed her, returned the chain
to the porter, bid him carry her to the place whence he took her,
and bring her the other. The porter led back the whipped bitch to
the closet, and receiving the other from Amine, presented her to
Zobeide, who, bidding the porter hold her as he had done the
first, took up the rod, and treated her after the same manner;
and when she had wept over her, dried her eyes, and, kissing her,
returned her to the porter; but lovely Amine spared him the
trouble of leading her back into the closet, and did it herself.
The three calenders and the caliph, with his companions, were
extremely surprised at this execution, and could not comprehend
why Zobeide, after having so furiously whipped those two bitches,
that, by the Mussulman religion, are reckoned unclean animals,
should cry with them, wipe off their tears, and kiss them. They
muttered among themselves; and the caliph, being more impatient
than the rest, longed exceedingly to be informed of the cause of
so strange an action, and could not forbear making signs to the
vizier to ask the question; the vizier turned his head another
way; but, being pressed by repeated signs, he answered by others
that it was not yet time for the caliph to satisfy his curiosity.

Zobeide sat still some time in the middle of the room, where she
had whipped the two bitches, to recover from the fatigue; and
fair Safie called to her, Dear sister, will you be pleased now to
return to your place, that I may also act my part? Yes, sister,
replies Zobeide, and then went and sat down upon the sofa, having
the caliph, Giafar, and Mesrour, on her right hand, and the three
calenders, with the porter, on her left.

After Zobeide sat down, the whole company was silent for a while;
at last Safie, sitting on a chair in the middle of the room,
spoke to her sister Amine; Dear sister, I conjure you to rise up;
you know well enough what I would say, Amine rose up, and went
into another closet near to that where the bitches were, and
brought out a case covered with yellow satin, richly embroidered
with gold and green silk; she came near Safie, and opened the
case, from whence she took a lute, and presented her, and, after
some time spent in tuning it, Safie began to play, and,
accompanying it with her voice, she sung a song about the
torments that absence creates to lovers, with so much sweetness
as to charm the caliph and all the company. Having sung with a
great deal of passion and action, she said to lovely Amine, Pray
take it, sister, for I can do no more; my voice fails me; oblige
the company with a tune and song in my room. Very willingly,
replied Amine, who, taking the lute from her sister Safie, sat
down in her place.

Amine, after a small trial to see whether the instrument was in
tune, played and sung almost as long upon the same subject, but
with so much vehemency, and was so much affected, or rather
transported, by the words of the song, that her strength failed
her as she made an end of it.

Zobeide, willing to testify her satisfaction, said, Sister, you
have done wonders, and we may easily see that you have a feeling
of the grief you have expressed so much to the life. Amine was
prevented from answering this civility, her heart being so
sensibly touched at the same moment, that she was obliged, for
air, to uncover her neck and breast, which did not appear so fair
as might have been expected from such a lady; but, on the
contrary, black and full of scars, which frightened all the
spectators. This, however, gave her no ease, but she fell into a

While Zobeide and Safie ran to help their sister, one of the
calenders could not forbear to say, We had better have slept in
the streets than have come hither, had we thought to have seen
such spectacles. The caliph, who heard this, came up to him and
the other calenders, and asked them what might be the meaning of
all this? They answered, Sir, we know no more than you do. What,
says the caliph, are you not of the family? nor can you resolve
us concerning the two black bitches and the lady that fainted
away, and has been so basely abused? Sir, said the calenders,
this is the first time that ever we were in the house, having
come in but a few minutes before you.

This increased the caliph's astonishment. It may be, says he,
this other man that is with you may know something of it. One of
the calenders made a sign for the porter to come near, and asked
him whether he knew why those two black bitches had been whipped,
and why Amine's bosom was so scarred? Sir, said the porter, I can
swear by Heaven, that if you know nothing of all this, I know as
little as you do. It is true I live in this city, but I never was
in the house till now, and if you are suprised to see me here, I
am as much to find myself in your company; and that which
increases my wonder is, that I have not seen one man with these

The caliph and his company, as well as the calenders, supposed
the porter had been one of the family, and hoped he could inform
them of what they desired to know; but finding he could not, and
resolving to satisfy his curiosity, cost what it would, he says
to the rest, Look ye, we are here seven men, and have but three
women to deal with; let us try if we can oblige them to satisfy
us, and, if they refuse by fair means, we are in a condition to
force them to it.

The grand vizier Giafar was against this method, and showed the
caliph what might be the consequence of it; but, without
discovering the prince to the calenders, he addressed him, as if
he had been, a merchant, thus: Sir, consider, I pray you, that
our reputation lies at stake; you know very well upon what
conditions these ladies were ready to receive us, and we also
agreed to them. What will they say of us if we break them? We
shall be still more to blame if any mischief befal us; for it is
not likely that they would demand such a promise of us, if they
did not know themselves in a condition to make us repent the
breaking of it.

Here the vizier took the caliph aside, and whispered to him thus:
Sir, the night will soon be at an end, and if your majesty will
only be pleased to have so much patience, I will take these
ladies to-morrow morning, and bring them before your throne,
where you may be informed of all you desire to know. Though this
advice was very judicious, the caliph rejected it, bid the vizier
hold his tongue, and said he would not stay till then, but would
have satisfaction in the matter presently.

The next business was to know who should carry the message. The
caliph endeavoured to prevail with the calenders to speak first;
but they excused themselves, and at last they agreed that the
porter should be the man. And as they were consulting how to word
this fatal question, Zobeide returned from her sister Amine, who
was recovered of her fit, drew near them, and having overheard
them speaking pretty loud, and with some passion, says,
Gentlemen, what is the subject of your discourse? what are you
disputing about?

The porter answered immediately, Madam, these gentlemen pray you
to let them understand wherefore you wept over your two bitches,
after you whipped them so severely, and how the bosom of the
lady, who lately fainted away, comes to be so full of scars? This
is what I am ordered to ask in their name.

At these words, Zobeide looked with a stern countenance, and,
turning towards the caliph and the rest of the company, Is it
true, gentlemen, says she, that you have given him orders to ask
me this question? All of them, except Giafar, who spoke not a
word, answered, Yes. On which she told them, in a tone which
sufficiently expressed her resentment, Before we granted you the
favour of being received into our house, and to prevent all
occasion of trouble from you, because we are alone, we did it
upon condition that you should not speak of any thing that did
not concern you, lest you might come to hear that which would not
please you; and yet, after having received and entertained you as
well as possibly we could, you make no scruple to break your
promise. It is true that our easy temper has occasioned this, but
that shall not excuse you, for your proceedings are very
unhandsome. As she spoke these words, she gave three hard knocks
with her foot, and, clapping her hands as often together, cried,
Come quick! Upon this a door flew open, and seven strong sturdy
black slaves, with scimitars in their hands, rushed in; every one
seized a man, threw him on the ground, and dragged him into the
middle of the room in order to cut off his head.

We may easily conceive what a fright the caliph was in; he then
repented, but too late, that he had not taken his vizier's
advice. In the mean time this unhappy prince, Giafar, Mesrour,
the porter, and the calenders, were upon the point of losing
their lives by their indiscreet curiosity. But, before they would
strike the fatal blow, one of the slaves says to Zobeide and her
sisters, High, mighty, and adorable mistresses, do you command us
to cut their throats? Stay, says Zobeide, I must examine them
first. The frightened porter interrupted her thus: In the name of
Heaven, do not make me die for another man's crime. I am
innocent, they are to blame. Alas! says he, crying, how
pleasantly did we pass our time! those blind calenders are the
cause of this misfortune; there is no town in the world but goes
to ruin, wherever these inauspicious fellows come. Madam, I beg
you not to destroy the innocent with the guilty, and consider
that it is more glorious to pardon such a wretch as I, who have
no way to help myself, than to sacrifice me to your resentment.

Zobeide, notwithstanding her anger, could not but laugh within
herself at the porters lamentation; but, without answering him,
she spoke a second time to the rest: Answer me, says she, and
tell me who you are, otherwise you shall not live one moment
longer. I cannot believe you to be honest men, nor persons of
authority or distinction in your own countries; for, if you were,
you would have been more modest and more respectful to us.

The caliph, who was naturally impatient, was infinitely more so
than the rest, to find his life depend upon the command of a lady
justly incensed; but he began to conceive some hopes when he saw
she would know who they all were; for he imagined she would not
take away his life when once she came to be informed who he was;
therefore he spoke with a low voice to the vizier, who was near
him, to declare speedily who he was; but the vizier, being more
prudent, resolved to save his master's honour, and not to let the
world know the affront he had brought upon himself by his own
weakness; and therefore answered, We have what we deserve. But,
if he would have spoken in obedience to the caliph, Zobeide did
not give him time; for having turned to the calenders, and seeing
them all three blind of one eye, she asked if they were brothers.
One of them answered, No, madam, no otherwise than as we are all
calenders; that is to say, as we observe the same rules. Were you
born blind of the right eye? replied she. No, madam, answers he,
I lost my eye in such a surprising adventure, that it would be
instructive to every body, were it in writing. After this
misfortune, I shaved my beard and eye-brows, and took the habit
of a calender, which I now wear.

Zobeide asked the other two calenders the same question, and had
the same answer; but he that spoke last added, Madam, to show you
that we are no common fellows, and that you may have some
consideration for us, be pleased to know, that we are all three
sons of kings; and though we never met together till this
evening, yet we have had time enough to make that known to one
another; and I assure you that the kings from whom we derive our
being made some noise in the world.

At this discourse Zobeide assuaged her anger, and said to the
slaves, Give them their liberty a while, but stay here. Those who
tell us their history, and the occasion of their coming, do them
no hurt, let them go where they please, but do not spare those
who refuse to give vis that satisfaction.

Scheherazade demanded leave of the sultan, and having obtained
it, Sir, says she, the three calenders, the caliph, the grand
vizier Giafar, the eunuch Mesrour, and the porter, were all in
the middle of the hall, set upon a foot-carpet, in the presence
of the three ladies, who sat upon a sofa, and the slaves stood
ready to do whatever their mistresses should command.

The porter, understanding that he might rid himself of his danger
by telling his history, spoke first, and said, Madam, you know my
history already, and the occasion of coming hither; so that what
I have to say will be very short. My lady, your sister there,
called me this morning at the place where I plied as a porter to
see if anybody would employ me, that I might get my bread; I
followed her to a vintner's, then to an herb-woman's, then to one
that sold oranges, lemons, and citrons, then to a grocer's, next
to a confectioner's and a druggist's, with my basket upon my
head, as full as I was able to carry it; then I came hither,
where you had the goodness to suffer me to continue till now; a
favour that I shall never forget. This, Madam, is my history.

When the porter had done, Zobeide says to him, Go, march; let us
see you no more here. Madam, replies the porter, I beg you to let
me stay; it would be just, after the rest have had the pleasure
to hear my history, that I should also have the satisfaction to
hear theirs. And having spoken thus, he sat him down at the end
of the sofa, glad to the heart to have escaped the danger that
had frightened him so much. After him, one of the three
calenders, directing his speech to Zobeide, as the principal of
the three ladies, and the person that commanded him to speak,
began his history thus;


Madam, in order to inform you how I lost my right eye, and why I
was obliged to put myself into a calender's habit, I must tell
you that I am king's son born; the king my father had a brother
that reigned, as he did, over a neighbouring kingdom; and the
prince his son and I were almost of one age.

After I had learned my exercises, and that the king my father
granted me such liberty as suited my dignity, I went regularly
every year to see my uncle, at whose court I diverted myself
during a month or two, and then returned again to my father's.
These several journies gave occasion of contracting a very firm
and particular friendship between the prince my cousin and
myself. The last time I saw him, he received me with greater
demonstrations of tenderness than he had done at any time before;
and resolving one day to give me a treat, he made great
preparations for that purpose. We continued a long time at table,
and after we had both supped very well, Cousin, says he, you will
hardly be able to guess how I have been employed since your last
departure from hence, now about a year past. I have had a great
many men at work to perfect a design I have had in my mind; I
have caused an edifice to be built, which is now finished so well
as one may dwell in it: You will not be displeased if I show'it
you. But first you are to promise me, upon oath, that you will
keep my secret, according to the confidence I repose in you.

The love and familiarity existing between us would not allow me
to refuse him any thing. I very readily took the oath required of
me: Upon which he says to me, Stay here till I return; I will be
with you in a moment: and accordingly he came with a lady in his
hand, of singular beauty, and magnificently apparrelled. He did
not discover who she was, neither did I think it was polite in me
to make inquiry. We sat down again with this lady at table, where
we continued some time entertaining ourselves with discourses
upon indifferent subjects; and now and then a full glass to drink
one another's health. After which the prince said, Cousin, we
must lose no time, therefore pray oblige me to take this lady
along with you, and conduct her to such a place, where you will
see a tomb newly built in the form of a dome; you will easily
know it; the gate is open; go in there together, and tarry till I
come, which will be very speedily.

Being true to my oath, I made no further inquiry, but took the
lady by the hand, and by the directions which the prince my
cousin had given me, I brought her to the place, by the light of
the moon, without losing one step of the way. We were scarcely
got thither, when we saw the prince following after, carrying a
little pitcher with water, a hatchet, and a little bag with

The hatchet served him to break down the empty sepulchre in the
middle of the tomb; he took away the stones one after another,
and laid them in a corner. When all this was taken away, he
digged up the ground, where I saw a trap-door under the
sepulchre, which he lifted up, and underneath perceived the head
of a staircase leading into a vault. Then my cousin, speaking to
the lady, said, Madam, it is by this way that we are to go to the
place I told you of. Upon which the lady drew nigh and went down,
and the prince began to follow after, but, turning first to me,
said, My dear cousin, I am infinitely obliged to you for the
trouble you have been at; I thank you: Adieu. I cried, Dear
cousin, what is the meaning of this? Be content, replied he; you
may return back the same way you came.

Madam, said the calender to Zobeide, I could get nothing further
from him, but was obliged to take leave of him; as I returned to
my uncle's palace, the vapours of the wine got up into my head;
however, I got to my apartment, and went to bed. Next morning,
when I awaked, I began to reflect upon what befel me the night
before, and, after recollecting all the circumstances of such a
singular adventure, I fancied it was nothing but a dream. Being
full of these thoughts, I sent to see if the prince my cousin was
ready to receive a visit from me; but when they brought back word
that he did not lie in his own lodgings that night, they knew not
what was become of him, and were in much trouble about it, I
conceived that the strange event of the tomb was but too true. I
was sensibly afflicted at it, and, stealing away privately from
my people, I went to the public burying-place, where there was a
vast number of tombs like that which I had seen. I spent the day
in viewing them one after another, but could not find that I
sought for; and thus I spent four days successively in vain.

You must know all this while the king my uncle was absent, and
had been a-hunting for several days. I grew weary of staying for
him, and having prayed his ministers to make my apology to him at
his return, I left his palace, and set towards my father's court,
from which I had never been so long absent before. I left the
ministers of the king my uncle in great trouble to think what had
become of the prince my cousin; but, because of the oath I had
made to keep his secret, I durst not tell them any thing of what
I had seen or knew, in order to make them easy.

I arrived at my father's capital, the usual place of his
residence, where, contrary to custom, I found a great guard at
the gate of the palace, who surrounded me as I entered. I asked
the reason, and the commanding officer replied, Prince, the army
proclaimed the grand vizier king instead of your father, who is
dead; and I take you prisoner in the name of the new king. At
these words the guards laid hold of me, and carried me before the
tyrant. I leave you to judge, madam, how much I was surprised and

The rebel vizier had entertained a mortal hatred against me for a
long time upon this occasion: When,I was a stripling, I loved to
shoot with a cross-bow; and being one day upon the terrace of the
palace with my bow, a bird happened to come by; I shot, but
missed him, and the ball by misfortune hit the vizier, who was
taking the air upon the terrace of his own house, and put out one
of his eyes. As soon as I understood it, I not only sent to make
my excuse to him, but did it in person; yet he always resented
it, and, as opportunity offered, made me sensible of it. But now,
madam, that he had me in his power, he expressed his resentment
in a very barbarous manner; for he came to me like a madman as
soon as ever he saw me, and, thrusting his finger into my right
eye, pulled it out himself; and so, madam, I became blind of one

But the usurper's cruelty did not stop here; he ordered me to be
shut up in a box, and commanded the executioner to carry me into
the country to cut off my head, and leave me to be devoured by
the birds of prey. The hangman and another carried me, thus shut
up on horseback, into the country, in order to execute the
usurper's barbarous sentence; but by my prayers and tears I moved
the executioner's compassion. Go, says he, get you speedily out
of the kingdom, and take heed of ever returning to it, otherwise
you will certainly meet with your own ruin and be the cause of
mine. I thanked him for the favour he did me; and as soon as I
was left alone, I comforted myself for the loss of my eye, by
considering that I had very narrowly escaped a much greater

Being in such a condition, I could not travel far at a time. I
retired to remote places while it was day, and travelled as far
by night as my strength would allow me. At last I arrived in the
dominions of the king my uncle, and came to his capital.

I gave him a long detail of the tragical cause of my return, and
of the sad condition he saw me in. Alas! cried he, was it not
enough for me to have lost my son; but must I have also news of
the death of a brother I loved so dearly, and see you also
reduced to this deplorable condition? He told me how uneasy he
was; that he could hear nothing of his son, notwithstanding all
the diligence and inquiry he could make. At these words, the
unfortunate father burst out into tears, and was so much
affected, that, pitying his grief, it was impossible for me to
keep the secret any longer; so that, notwithstanding the oath I
had made to the prince my cousin, I told the king his father all
that I knew.

His majesty listened to me with some sort of comfort, and when I
had done, Nephew, says he, what you tell me gives me some hope. I
know that my son ordered that tomb to be built, and I can guess
pretty near at the place, and, with the idea you still have of
it, I fancy we shall find it; but since he ordered it to be built
privately, and you took your oath to keep his secret, I am of
opinion that we ought to go in quest of it alone, without saying
any thing.

But he had another reason for keeping the matter secret, which he
did not then tell me, and an important reason it was, as you will
perceive by the sequel of my discourse.

We both of us disguised ourselves, and went out by a door of the
garden which opened into the field, and soon found what we sought
for. I knew the tomb, and was so much the more rejoiced at it,
because I had formerly sought it a long time in vain. We entered,
and found the iron trap pulled down upon the entrance of the
stair-case; we had much ado to raise it, because the prince had
fastened it on the inside with the water and mortar formerly
mentioned; but at last we got it up.

The king my uncle went down first, I following, and we went down
about fifty steps. When we came to the foot of the stairs, we
found a sort of antichamber full of a thick smoke, and an ill
scent, which obscured the lamp that gave a very faint light. From
this antichamber we came into another, very large, supported by
great columns, and lighted by several branched candlesticks.
There was a cistern in the middle, with provisions of several
sorts standing on one side of it; but we were very much surprised
to see nobody. Before us there appeared a high sofa, which we
mounted by several steps, and over this there appeared a very
large bed, with the curtains drawn close. The king went up, and,
opening the curtains, perceived the prince his son and the lady
in bed together, but burnt and changed into a coal, as if they
had been thrown into a great fire, and taken out again before
they were consumed.

But that which surprised me most of all was, that though this
spectacle filled me with horror, the king my uncle, instead of
testifying his sorrow to see the prince his son in such a
frightful condition, spit in his face, and says to him, with an
air, "This is the punishment of this world, but that of the other
will last to eternity;" and, not content with this, he pulled off
his sandal, and gave his son a great blow on the cheek with it.

I cannot enough express, Madam, said the calender how much I was
astonished, when I saw the king my uncle abuse the prince his
son, thus, after he was dead. Sir, said I, whatever grief this
dismal sight is capable to impress upon me, I am forced to
suspend it, on purpose to ask your majesty what crime the prince
my cousin may have committed, that his corpse should deserve this
sort of treatment? Nephew, replied the king, I must tell you that
my son (who is unworthy of that name) loved his sister from his
infancy, and so she did him: I did not hinder their growing love,
because I did not foresee the pernicious consequences of it. This
tenderness increased as they grew in years, and came to such a
height, that I dreaded the end of it. At last I applied such
remedies as were in my power; I not only gave my son a severe
reprimand in private, laying before him the foulness of the
passion he was entertaining, and the eternal disgrace he would
bring upon my family if he persisted in such criminal courses,
but I also represented the same thing to my daughter; and besides
I shut her up so close, that she could have no conversation with
her brother. But that unfortunate creature had swallowed so much
of the poision, that all the obstacles, which by my prudence I
could lay in the way, served only the more to inflame her love.

My son, being persuaded of his sister's constancy, on pretence of
building a tomb, caused this subterraneous habitation to be made,
in hopes to find one day or other an opportunity to possess
himself of that object which was the cause of his flame, and to
bring her hither. He laid hold on the time of my absence to enter
by force into the place of his sister's confinement; but that is
a thing which my honour would not suffer me to make public; and,
after so damnable an action, he came and enclosed himself and her
in this place, which he has supplied, as you see, with all sorts
of provisions, that he might enjoy his detestable pleasures for a
long time, which ought to be a subject of horror to all the
world: but God, who would not suffer such an abomination, has
justly punished them both. At these words he melted into tears,
and I joined mine with his.

After a while, casting his eyes upon me, Dear nephew, cried he,
embracing me, if I have lost that unworthy son, I shall happily
find in you one who will better supply his place. And, upon some
other reflections he made on the doleful end of the prince and
princess, we both fell into a new fit of weeping.

We went up the same stairs again, and departed at last from this
dismal place. We let down again the trapdoor, and covered it with
earth, and such other materials as the tomb was built of, on
purpose to hide, as much as lay in our power; so terrible an
effect of the wrath of God.

We had not been very long got back to the palace unperceived by
anyone, before we heard a confused noise of trumpets, drums, and
other instruments of war: We soon understood, by the thick cloud
of dust which almost darkened the air, that it was the arrival of
a formidable army; and it proved to be the same vizier that had
dethroned my father, and usurped his throne, who, with a vast
number of troops, was also come to possess himself of that of the
king my uncle.

That prince, who then had only his usual guards about him, could
not resist so many enemies; they invested the city, and the gates
being opened to them without any resistance, they very soon
became masters of the city, and broke into the palace where the
king my uncle was, who defended himself till he was killed, and
sold his life at a dear rate. For my part I fought as well as I
could for a while, but, seeing we were forced to submit to a
superior power, I thought on my retreat and safety, which I had
the good fortune to effect by some back ways, and got to one of
the king's servants, on whose fidelity I could depend.

Being thus surrounded with sorrows, and persecuted by fortune, I
had recourse to a stratagem, which was the only means left me to
save my life; I caused my beard and eyebrows to be shaved, and
putting on a calender's habit, I passed, unknown by any, out of
the city: After that, by degrees, I found it easy to get out of
my uncle's kingdom by taking the byeroads.

I avoided passing through towns, until I was got into the empire
of the mighty governor of the Mussulmen, the glorious and
renowned Caliph Haroun Alraschid, when I thought myself out of
danger; and, considering what I was to do, I resolved to come to
Bagdad, intending to throw myself at the monarch's feet, whose
generosity is every where applauded. I shall move him to
compassion, said I to myself, by the relation of my surprising
misfortunes, and without doubt he will take pity on such an
unfortunate prince, and not suffer me to implore his assistance
in vain.

In short, after a journey of several months, I arrived yesterday
at the gate of this city, into which I entered about the dusk of
the evening, and standing still a little while to revive my
spirits, and to consider on which hand I was to turn, this other
calender you see here next me came also along; he saluted me, and
I him. You appear, said I, to be a stranger, as I am. You are not
mistaken, replied he. He had no sooner returned this answer, than
this third calender you see there overtook us. He saluted us, and
told us he was a stranger newly come to Bagdad; so that as
brethren we joined together, resolving not to separate from one

Meanwhile it was late, and we knew not where to seek a lodging in
the city, where we had no acquaintance, nor had ever been before.
But good fortune having brought us before your gate, we made bold
to knock, when you received us with so much kindness, that we are
incapable to return you suitable thanks. This, madam, (said he,)
is, in obedience to your commands, the account I was, to give you
why I lost my right eye, wherefore my beard and eye-brows are
shaved, and how I came to be with you at this present time.

It is enough, says Zobeide, you may retire to what place you
think fit. The calender made his excuse, and begged the ladies'
leave to stay till he had heard the relations of his two
comrades, whom I cannot, says he, leave with honour; and till he
might also hear those of the three other persons that were in

The story of the first calender seemed very strange to the whole
company, but especially to the caliph, who, though the slaves
stood by with their scimitars in their hands, could not forbear
whispering to the vizier, Many stories have I heard, but never
any thing that came near the story of the calender. Whilst he was
saying this, the second calender began, addressing himself to


Madam, said he, to obey your command, and to show you by what
strange accident I became blind of the right eye, I must of
necessity give you the whole account of my life.

I was scarcely past my infancy, when the king my father (for you
must know, madam, I am a prince by birth) perceived that I was
endowed with a great deal of sense, and spared nothing to improve
it. He employed all the men in his dominions, who excelled in
sciences and arts, to be constantly about me.

No sooner had I learned to read and write, than I learned the
alcoran from the beginning to the end by heart; that admirable
book, which contains the foundation, the precepts, and the rules
of our religion; and, that I might be thoroughly instructed in
it, I read the works of the most approved authors by whose
commentaries it had been explained. I added to this study that of
all the traditions collected from the mouth of our prophet by the
great men that were contemporary with him. I was not satisfied
with the knowledge alone of all that had any relation to our
religion, but made also a particular search into our histories. I
made myself perfect in polite learning, in the works of the
poets, and in versification. I applied myself to geography, to
chronology, and to speak our Arabian language in its purity; not
forgetting, in the mean time, all such exercises as were proper
for a prince to understand. But one thing I was mightily in love
with, and succeeded in to admiration, was, to form the characters
of our Arabian language, wherein I surpassed all the
writing-masters of our kingdom, that had acquired the greatest

Fame did me more honour than I deserved, for she had not only
spread the renown of my parts through all the dominions of the
king my father, but carried it as far as the Indian court, whose
potent monarch, desirous to see me, sent an embassador, with rich
presents, to demand me of my father, who was extremely glad of
this embassy for several reasons; for he was persuaded that
nothing could be more commendable in a prince of my age, than to
travel and see foreign courts; and, besides, he was very glad to
gain the friendship of the Indian sultan. I departed with the
embassador, but with no great retinue, because of the length and
difficulty of the journey.

When we had travelled about a month, we discovered at a distance
a great cloud of dust, and under that we saw very soon fifty
horsemen well armed, that were robbers, coming towards us at full

As we had ten horses laden with baggage and other presents, which
I was to present to the Indian sultan from the king my father,
and that my retinue was but small, you may easily judge that
these robbers came boldly up to us; and, not being in a posture
to make any opposition, we told them that we were embassadors
belonging to the sultan of the Indies, and hoped they would
attempt nothing contrary to the honour that is due to them,
thinking to save our equipage and our lives; but the robbers most
insolently replied, For what reason would you have us show any
respect to the sultan your master? We are none of his subjects,
nor are we upon his territories. And, having spoken thus, they
surrounded and fell upon us. I defended myself as well as I
could; but finding myself wounded, and seeing the embassador,
with his servants and mine, lying on the ground, I made use of
what strength yet remained in my horse, who was also very much
wounded, and separated myself from the crowd, and rode away as
fast as he could carry me; but he, happening all of a sudden to
fall under me by weariness and the loss of blood, fell down dead;
I got rid of him in a trice; and finding that I was not pursued,
it made me judge the robbers were not willing to quit the booty
they had got.

Here you see me alone, wounded, destitute of all help, and in a
strange country. I durst not betake myself to the high- road,
fearing I might fall again into the hands of these robbers. When
I had bound up my wound, which was not dangerous, I marched on
the rest of the day, and arrived at the foot of a mountain, where
I perceived a passage into a cave; I went in, and staid there
that night with little satisfaction, after I had eaten some
fruits that I had gathered by the way.

I continued my journey for several days following, without
finding any place of abode; but, after a month's time, I came to
a large town well inhabited, and situtate very advantageously,
being surrounded with several rivers, so that it enjoyed a
perpetual spring.

The pleasant objects which then presented themselves to my view,
afforded me some joy, and suspended for a time the deep sorrow
with which I was overwhelmed, to find myself in such a condition.
My face, hands, and feet, were all tawny and sun-burnt, and by my
long journey my shoes and stockings were quite worn out, so that
I was forced to walk bare-footed; arid, besides, my clothes were
all in rags. I entered into the town to inform myself where I
was, and addressed myself to a tailor that was at work in his
shop; who, perceiving by my air that I was a person of more note
than my outward appearance bespoke me to be, made me sit down by
him, and asked me who I was, and from whence I came, and what had
brought me thither? I did not conceal any thing of all that had
befallen me. nor made I any scruple to discover my quality.

The tailor listened with attention to my words; but after I had
done speaking, he, instead of giving me any consolation,
augmented my sorrow. Take heed, says he, how you discover to any
person what you have now declared to me; for the prince of this
country is the greatest enemy that the king your father has, and
he will certainly do you some mischief when he comes to hear of
your being in this city. I made no doubt of the tailor's
sincerity when he named the prince; but since that enmity which
is between my father and him has no relation to my adventures, I
must beg your pardon, madam, to pass it over in silence.

I returned the tailor thanks for his good advice, and showed
myself inclinable wholly to follow his counsel, and assured him
that his favours should never be forgotten by me. And as he
believed I could not but be hungry, he caused them to bring me
somewhat to eat, and offered me at the same time a lodging--in
his house, which I accepted. Some days after, finding me pretty
well recovered of the fatigue I had endured by a long and tedious
journey, and, besides, being sensible that most princes of our
religion did apply themselves to some art or calling that might
stand them in stead upon occasion, he asked me if I had learned
any thing whereby I might get a livelihood, and not be burdensome
to any man? I told him that I understood the laws both divine and
human; that I was a grammarian and poet; and, above all, that I
understood writing perfectly well. By all this, says he, you will
not be able, in this country, to purchase yourself one morsel of
bread; nothing is of less use here than those sciences: But if
you will be advised by me, says he, dress yourself in a
labourer's habit; and since you appear to be strong, and of a
good constitution, you shall go into the next forest, and cut
down fire-wood, which you may bring to the market to be sold; and
I can assure you it will turn to so good an account, that you may
live by it without dependence upon any man: By this means you
will be in a condition to wait for the favourable minute when
Heaven shall think fit to dispel those clouds of misfortune that
thwart your happiness, and oblige you to conceal your birth: I
will take care to supply you with a rope and a hatchet.

The fear of being known, and the necessity I was under of getting
a livelihood, made me agree to this proposal, notwithstanding all
the meanness and hardships that attend it. The day following, the
tailor brought me a rope, a hatchet, and a short coat, and
recommended me to some poor people that gained their bread after
the same manner, that they might take me into their company. They
conducted me to the wood, and the first day I brought in as much
upon my head as brought me half a piece of gold, which is the
money of that country; for though the wood is not far distant
from the town, yet it was very scarce there, by reason that few
or none would be at the trouble to go and cut it. I gained a good
sum of money in a short time, and repaid my tailor what he had
advanced for me.

I continued this way of living for a whole year; and one day that
by chance I had gone further into the wood than usual, I happened
to light on a very pleasant place, where I began to cut down
wood; and, in pulling up the root of a tree, I espied an iron
ring, fastened to a trap-door of the same metal. I took away the
earth that covered it, and, having lifted it up, saw stairs,
which I descended, with my axe in my hand.

When I was come to the bottom of the stairs, I found myself in a
large palace, which put me into a mighty consternation, because
of the great light which appeared as clear in it as if it had
been above ground in the open air. I went forward along a gallery
supported by pillars of jasper, the bases and chapiters of massy
gold; but seeing a lady of a noble and free air, and of
extraordinary beauty, coming towards me, this turned my eyes from
beholding any other object but her alone.

Being desirous to spare the lady the trouble to come to me, I
made haste to meet her; and as I was saluting her with a low bow,
she asked me, What are you? a man or a genie? A man, madam, said
I; I have no correspondence with genies. By what adventure, said
she, (fetching a deep sigh,) are you come hither? I have lived
here these twenty-five years, and never saw any man but yourself
during that time.

Her great beauty, which had already smitten me, and the sweetness
and civility wherewith she received me, made me bold to say to
her, Madam, before I have the honour to satisfy your curiosity,
give me leave to tell you that I am infinitely satisfied with
this unexpected rencounter, which offers me an occasion of
consolation in the midst of my affliction; and perhaps it may
give me an opportunity to make you also more happy than you are.
I gave her a true account by what strange accident she saw me,
the son of a king, in such a condition as I then appeared in her
presence; and how fortune would have it that I should discover
the entrance into that magnificent prison, where I had found her,
but in an uneasy condition, according to appearance.

Alas! prince, said she, (sighing once more,) you have just cause
to believe this rich and pompous prison cannot be otherwise than
a most wearisome abode; the most charming place in the world
being nowise delightful when we are detained in it contrary to
our will. It is not possible but you have heard of the great
Epitimarus, king of the isle of Ebone, so called from that
precious wood it produces in abundance; I am the princess his

The king my father had chosen for me a husband, a prince that was
my cousin; but, on my wedding-night, in the midst of the
rejoicing there was in the court and the capital city of the
kingdom of the isle of Ebone, before I was given to my spouse, a
genie took me away. I fainted at the same moment, and lost all my
senses; but, when I came to myself again, I found myself in this
place. I was a longtime inconsolable; but time and necessity have
accustomed me to see and receive the genie. It is twenty-five
years, as I told you before, that I have continued in this place,
where, I must confess, I have every thing that I can wish for
necessary to life; and also every thing that can satisfy a
princess that loves nothing but fine dress and fashions.

Every ten days, says the princess, the genie comes hither to lie
with me one night, which he never exceeds; and the excuse he
makes for it is, that he is married to another wife, who would
grow jealous if she came to know how unfaithful he was to her.
Meanwhile, if I have any occasion for him by day or night, as
soon as I touch a talisman, which is at the entrance of my
chamber, the genie appears. It is now the fourth day since he was
here, and I do not expect him before the end of six more; so, if
you please, you may stay five days and keep me company, and I
will endeavour to entertain you according to your quality and
merit. I thought myself too fortunate to have obtained so great a
favour without asking it, to refuse so obliging a proffer. The
princess made me go into a bagnio, which was the most handsome,
the most commodious, and the most sumptuous, that could be
imagined; and when I came forth, instead of my own clothes, I
found another very costly suit, which I did not esteem so much
for its richness as that it made me look worthy to be in her
company. We sat down on a sofa covered with rich tapestry, with
cushions to lean upon, of the rarest Indian brocade; and, some
time after, she covered a table with several dishes of delicate
meats. We ate together, and passed the remainder of the day with
very great satisfaction; and at night she received me to her bed.

The next day, as she contrived all manner of ways to please me,
she brought in at dinner a bottle of old wine, the most excellent
that ever was tasted, and, out of complaisance, she drank part of
it with me. Whan my head grew hot with the agreeable liquor, Fair
princess, said I, you have been too long thus buried alive; come
follow me, and enjoy the real day from which you have been
deprived of so many years, and abandon this false light that you
have here. Prince, replied she with a smile, leave this
discourse; if you, out of the days, will grant me nine, and
resign the last to the genie, the fairest day that ever was would
be nothing in my esteem. Princess, said I, it is the fear of the
genie that makes you speak thus; for my part, I value him so
little that I will break his talisman, with the conjuration that
is written about it, in pieces. Let him come then, I will expect
him, and how brave or redoubtable soever he be, I will make him
feel the weight of my arm. I swear solemnly that I shall
extirpate all the genies in the world, and him first. The
princess, who knew the consequence, conjured me not to touch the
talisman, for that would be a mean, said she, to ruin both you
and me; I know what belongs to genies better than you. The fumes
of the wine did not suffer me to hearken to her reasons, but I
gave the talisman a kick with my foot, and broke it in several

The talisman was no sooner broken than the palace began to shake,
and was ready to fall, with a hideous noise like thunder,
accompanied with flashes of lightning, and a great darkness. This
terrible noise in a moment dispelled the fumes of my wine, and
made me sensible, but too late, of the folly I had committed.
Princess, cried I, what means all this? She answered in a fright,
and without any concern for her own misfortune, cries, Alas! you
are undone, if you do not escape presently.

I followed her advice, and my fears were so great that I forgot
my hatchet and cords. I was scarcely got to the stairs by which I
came down, when the enchanted palace opened at once, and made a
passage for the genie. He asked the princess, in great anger,
what has happened to you, and why did you call me? A qualm at my
stomach, said the princess, made me fetch this bottle which you
see here, out of which I drank twice or thrice, and by mischance
made a false step, and fell upon the talisman, which is broken,
and that is all the matter.

At this answer the furious genie told her, You are a false woman
and a liar. How came that axe and those ropes there? I never saw
them till this moment, said the princess. Your coming in such an
impetuous manner has, it may be, forced them up in some place as
you came along, and so brought them hither without your knowing

The genie made no other answer but what was accompanied with
reproaches and blows, of which I heard the noise. I could not
endure to hear the pitiful cries and shouts of the princess so
cruelly abused; I had already laid off the suit she made me put
on, and taken my own, which I had laid on the stairs the day
before, when I came out of the bagnio. I made haste up stairs,
being so much the more full of sorrow and compassion that I had
been the cause of so great a misfortune; and that, by sacrificing
the fairest princess on earth to the barbarity of a most
merciless genie, I was become the most criminal and ungrateful of
mankind. It is true, said I, she has been a prisoner these
twenty-five years; but, setting liberty aside, she wanted nothing
that could make her happy. My madness has put an end to her
happiness, and brought upon her the cruelty of an unrelenting
devil. I let down the trap-door, covered it again with earth, and
returned to the city with a burden of wood, which I bound up
without knowing what I did, so great were my trouble and sorrow.

My landlord, the tailor, was very much rejoiced to see me. Your
absence, said he, has disquieted me very much, by reason you had
intrusted in with the secret of your birth, and I knew not what
to think. I was afraid that somebody had known you; God be
thanked for your return. I thanked him for his zeal and
affection, but never a word durst I say of what had passed, nor
the reason why I came back without my hatchet and cords.

I retired to my chamber, where I reproached myself a thousand
times for my excessive imprudence. Nothing, said I, could have
paralleled the princess's good fortune and mine, had I foreborn
to break the talisman.

While I was thus giving myself over to melancholy thoughts, the
tailor came in and told me, An old man, said he, whom I do not
know, brings me your hatchet and cords, which he found in his
way, as he tells me, and understood, by your comrades that go
along with you to the woods, that you lodge here. Come out and
speak to him, for he will deliver them to none but yourself.

At this discourse I changed colour, and fell a-trembling. While
the tailor was asking me the reason, my chamber-door opened at
once, and the old man, having no patience to stay, appeared to us
with my hatchet and cords. This was the genie, the ravisher of
the fair princess of the isle of Ebone, who had thus disguised
himself, after he had treated her with the utmost barbarity. I am
a genie, said he, son of the daughter of Ebis, prince of genies.
Is not this your hatchet? said he, speaking to me, and are not
these your cords?

After the genie had put the question to me, he gave me no time to
answer, nor was it in my power, so much had his terrible aspect
put me beside myself. He grasped me by the middle, dragged me out
of the chamber, and, mounting into the air, carried me up as high
as the skies, with such swiftness, that I perceived I was got so
high as not to be able to take notice of the way, being carried
in so few moments. He descended again in like manner to the
earth, which, on a sudden, he caused to open with a knock of his
foot, and so sunk down at once, where I found myself in the
enchanted palace before the fair princess of the isle of Ebone.
But, alas! what a spectacle was there; I saw that which pierced
me to the heart; this poor princess was quite naked, all in
blood, and laid upon the ground, more like one dead than alive,
with her cheeks all bathed in tears.

Perfidious wretch, said the genie to her, pointing at me, is not
this your gallant? She cast her languishing eyes upon me, and
answered mournfully, I do not know him; I never saw him till this
moment. What, said the genie, he is the cause of thy being in the
condition thou art justly in; and yet darest thou say thou dost
not know him? If I do not know him, said the princess, would you
have me to make a lie on purpose to ruin him? O then, said the
genie, pulling out a scimitar, and presenting it to the princess,
if you never saw him before, take the scimitar and cut off his
head. Alas! replied the princess, how is it possible I should
execute what you would force me to do? My strength is so far
spent that I cannot lift my arm; and if I could, how should I
have the heart to take away an innocent man's life, and one I do
not know? This refusal, said the genie to the princess,
sufficiently informs me of your crime. Upon which, turning to me,
And thou, said he, dost thou hot know her?

I should have been the most ungrateful wretch, and the most
perfidious of all mankind, if I had not shown myself as faithful
to the princess as she was to me, who had been the cause of her
misfortunes. Therefore I answered the genie, How should I know
her, that never saw her till now? If that be so, said he, take
the scimitar and cut off her head. On this condition I will set
thee at liberty, for then I will be convinced that thou never saw
her till this very moment, as thou sayest thyself. With all my
heart, replied I, and took the scimitar in my hand.

Do not think, madam, that I drew near to the fair princess of the
isle of Ebone, to be the executioner of the genie's barbarity; I
did it only to demonstrate by my behaviour, as much as possible,
that as she had shown her resolution to sacrifice her life for my
sake, so I would not refuse to sacrifice mine for her's. The
princess, notwithstanding her pain and suffering, understood my
meaning, which she signified by an obliging look, and made me
understand her willingness to die for me; and that she was
satisfied to see also how willing I was to die for her. Upon this
I stepped back, and threw the scimitar on the ground. I shall for
ever, says I to the genie, be hateful to all mankind, should I be
so base as to murder, I do not only say a person whom I do not
know, but also a lady like this, who is ready to give up the
ghost; do with me what you please since I am in your power; I
cannot obey your barbarous commands.

I see, said the genie, that you both out-brave me, and insult my
jealousy; but both of you shall know, by the treatment I give
you, what I am capable to do. At these words, the monster took up
the scimitar and cut off one of her hands, which left her only so
much life as to give me a token with the other, that she bid me
for ever adieu. For the blood she had lost before, and that which
gushed out then, did not permit her to live above one or two
moments after this barbarous cruelty, the sight of which threw me
into a fit. When I was come to myself again, I expostulated with
the genie, why he made me languish in expectation of death.
Strike, cried I, for I am ready to receive the mortal blow, and
expect it as the greatest favour you can show me. But instead of
agreeing to that, Look ye, says he, how genies treat their wives
whom they suspect of unfaithfulness; she has received thee here,
and were I certain that she had put any other affront upon me, I
would make thee die this minute; but I will content myself to
transform thee into a dog, ape, lion, or bird: take thy choice of
any of these, I will leave it to thyself.

These words gave me some hopes to mollify him. O genie; said I,
moderate your passion, and since you will not take away my life,
give it me generously; I shall always remember your clemency, if
you pardon me, as one of the best men in the world pardoned one
of his neighbours who bore him a mortal hatred. The genie asked
me what had passed between those two neighbours, and said, he
would have patience till he heard the story, which I told him
thus: And I believe, madam, you will not take it ill if I also
relate it to you.

                        WHOM HE ENVIED.

In a considerable town, two persons dwelt next door to each
other; one of them conceived such a violent hatred against the
other, that he who was hated resolved to remove his dwelling
further off, being persuaded that their being neighbours was the
only cause from whence his animosity did arise; for, though he
had done him several pieces of service, he found, nevertheless,
that his hatred was nothing diminished; therefore he sold his
house, with what goods he had left, and retired to the capital
city of that kingdom, which was not far distant. He bought a
little spot of ground, which lay about half a league from the
city; he had a house convenient enough, with a fine garden, and a
pretty spacious court, wherein was a deep well, which was not in

The honest man, having made this purchase, put on a dervize's or
monk's habit to lead a retired life, and caused several cells to
be made in the house, where in a short time he established a
numerous society of dervizes. He came soon to be publicly known
by his virtue, through which he acquired the esteem of a great
many people, as well of the commonalty as of the chief of the
city. In short, he was extremely honoured and cherished by every
one. People came from far to recommend themselves to his prayers;
and all those that came to live with him published what blessings
they received through his means.

The great reputation of that honest man having spread to the town
from whence he came, it touched the envious man so much to the
quick, that he left his house and affairs, with a resolution to
go and ruin him. With this intent he went to the new convent of
dervizes, of which his former neighbour was the head, who
received him with all imaginable tokens of friendship. The
envious man told him that he was come on purpose to communicate a
business of importance to him, which he could not do but in
private; and because that nobody shall hear us, let us, says he,
take a walk in your court, and seeing night begins to draw on,
command your dervizes to retire to their cells. The head of the
dervizes did as he required.

When the envious man saw that he was alone, with this good man,
he began to tell him his errand, walking side by side in the
court until he saw his opportunity; and getting the good man near
the brink of the well, he gave him a thrust, and pushed him into
it, without any body being witness to so wicked an action. Having
done this, he marched off immediately, got out at the gate of the
convent without being known to any one, and came home to his own
house, well satisfied with his journey, being fully persuaded
that the object of his hatred was no more in this world.

This old well was inhabited by fairies and genies, which happened
luckily for the relief of the head of the convent; for they
received and supported him, and carried him to the bottom, so
that he got no hurt. He perceived well enough that there was
something extraordinary in his fall, which must otherwise have
cost him his life; whereas he neither saw nor felt any thing. But
he soon heard a voice, which said, Do you know what honest man
this is to whom we have done this piece of service? Another voice
answered, No. To which the first replied, Then I will tell you.
This man, out of charity the greatest that ever was known, left
the town he lived in, and has established himself in this place,
in hopes to cure one of his neighbours of the envy he had
conceived against him; he has acquired such a general esteem,
that the envious man, not able to endure it, came hither on
purpose to ruin him, which he had performed, had it not been for
the assistance which we have given this honest man, whose
reputation is so great, that the sultan, who keeps his residence
in the neighbouring city, was to pay him a visit to-morrow, and
to recommend the princess his daughter to his prayers.

Another voice asked, What need had the princess of the dervize's
prayers? To which the first answered, You do not know, it seems,
that she is possessed by genie Maimoun, the son of Demdim, who is
fallen in love with her. But I know well how this good head of
the dervizes may cure her; the thing is very easy, and I will
tell it you. He has a black cat in his convent, with a white spot
at the end of her tail, about the bigness of a small piece of
English money: let him only pull seven hairs out of this white
spot, burn them, and smoke the princess's head with the fume, she
will not only be perfectly cured, but be so safely delivered from
Maimoun, the son of Demdim, that he will never dare to come near
her a second time.

The head of the dervizes remembered every word of the discourse
between the fairies and the genies, who were very silent all the
night after. The next morning, by break of day, when he could
discern one thing from another, the well being broken down in
several places, he saw a hole, by which he crept out with ease.

The other dervizes who had been seeking for him, were rejoiced to
see him. He gave them a brief account of the wickedness of that
man to whom he had given so kind a reception the day before, and
retired into his cell. It was not long till the black cat, of
which the fairies and the genies had made mention in their
discourses the night before, came to fawn upon her master, as she
was accustomed to do: He took her up, and pulled seven hairs out
of the white spot that was upon her tail, and laid them aside for
his use, when occasion should serve.

The sun was not high, when the sultan, who would leave no means
untried which he thought could restore the princess to her
perfect health, arrived at the gate of the convent. He commanded
his guards to halt, whilst he, with his principal officers, went
in. The dervizes received him with profound respect.

The sultan called their head aside, and says, good Sheik, it may
be you know already the cause of my coming hither. Yes, sir,
replies he, very gravely; if I do not mistake it, it is the
disease of the princess which procures me this honour that I have
not deserved. That is the very thing, replied the sultan. You
will give me new life, if your prayers, as I hope they will, can
procure my daughter's health. Sir, said the good man, if your
majesty will be pleased to let her come hither, I am in hopes,
that through God's assistance and favour, she shall return in
perfect health.

The prince, transported with joy, sent immediately to fetch his
daughter, who very soon appeared with a numerous train of ladies
and eunuchs, but masked, so that her face was not seen. The chief
of the dervizes caused a pall to be held over her head, and he
had no sooner thrown the seven tufts of hair upon the burning
coal, than the genie Maimoun, the son of Demdim, gave a great
cry, without any thing being seen, and left the princess at
liberty; upon which she took the veil from off her face, and rose
up to see where she was, saying, Where am I, and who brought me
hither? At these words, the sultan, overcome with excess of joy,
embraced his daughter, and kissed her eyes; he also kissed the
chief of the dervize's hands, and said to his officers, Tell me
your opinion, what reward does he deserve who has cured my
daughter? They all cried, he deserves her in marriage. That is
what I had in my thoughts, said the sultan; and I make him my
son-in-law from this moment. Some time after, the prime vizier
died, and the sultan conferred the place on the dervize. The
sultan himself died without heirs-male; upon which the religious
orders and the militia gathered together, and the honest man was
declared and acknowledged sultan by general consent.

The honest dervize, being mounted on the throne of his
father-in-law, as he was one day in the midst of his courtiers
upon a march, espied the envious man among the crowd of people
that stood as he passed along, and calling one of his viziers
that attended him, whispered him in the ear thus: Go bring me
that man you see there, but take care you do not frighten him.
The vizier obeyed, and when the envious man was brought into his
presence, the sultan said, Friend, I am extremely glad to see
you. Upon which he called an officer: Go immediately, says he,
and cause to be paid this man out of my treasury one hundred
pieces of gold; let him have also twenty load of the richest
merchandise in my store-houses, and a sufficient guard to conduct
him to his house. After he had given this charge to the officer,
he bade the envious man farewell, and proceeded on his march.

When I had finished the recital of this story to the genie, the
murderer of the princess of the isle of Ebone, I made the
application to himself thus: O genie! you see here that this
bountiful sultan did not content himself with forgetting the
design of the envious man to take away his life, but treated him
kindly, and sent him back with all the favours which I just now
related. In short, I made use of all my eloquence, prayed him to
imitate such a good example, and to grant me pardon; but it was
impossible for me to move his compassion.

All that I can do for thee, said he, is, that I will not take
away thy life; do not flatter thyself that I will send thee safe
and sound back. I must let you feel what I am able to do by my
enchantments. With that he laid violent hands on me, and carried
me across the vault of the subterraneous palace, which opened to
give him passage; he flew up with me so high, that the earth
seemed to be only a little white cloud; from thence he came down
again like lightning, and alighted upon the ridge of a mountain.

There he took up a handful of earth, and pronounced, or rather
muttered, some words which I did not understand, and threw it
upon me. Leave the shape of a man, says he to me, and take on
that of an ape. He vanished immediately, and left me alone,
transformed into an ape, overwhelmed with sorrow in a strange
country, not knowing if I was near unto or far from my father's

I went down from the height of the mountain, and came into a
plain country, which took me a month's time to travel through,
and then I came to a coast of the sea. It happened then to be a
great calm, and I espied a vessel about half a league from the
shore; I would not lose this good opportunity, but broke off a
large branch from a tree, which I carried with me to the
sea-side, and set myself astride upon it, with a stick in each
hand to serve me for oars.

I launched out in this posture, and advanced near the ship. When
I was near enough to be known, the seamen and passengers that
were upon the deck thought it an extraordinary spectacle, and all
of them looked upon me with great astonishment. In the mean time,
I got aboard, and laying hold of a rope, I jumped on the deck,
and, having lost my speech, I found myself in very great
perplexity; and indeed the risk I ran then was nothing less than
when I was at the mercy of the genie.

The merchants, being both superstitious and scrupulous, believed
I should occasion some mischief to their voyage, if they received
me: therefore, says one, I will knock him down with an handspike;
says another, I will shoot an arrow through his guts; says a
third, Let us throw him into the sea. Some of them would not have
failed to have executed their design, if I had not got to the
side where the captain was; when I threw myself at his feet, and
took him by the coat in a begging posture. This action, together
with the tears which he saw gush from my eyes, moved his
compassion; so that he took me into his protection, threatened to
be avenged on him that should do me the least hurt; and he
himself made very much of me, And on my part, though I had no
power to speak, I did, by my gestures, show all possible signs of

The wind that succeeded the calm was gentle and favourable, and
did not alter for five days, but brought us safe to the port of a
fine town, well peopled, and of great trade, where we came to an
anchor. It was so much the more considerable, that it was the
capital city of a powerful state.

Our vessel was speedily surrounded with an infinite number of
boats, full of people, who either came to congratulate their
friends upon their safe arrival, or to inquire for those they had
left behind them in the country from whence they came, or out of
curiosity to see a ship that came from a far country.

Amongst the rest, some officers came on board, desiring to speak
with the merchants in the name of the sultan. The merchants
appearing, one of the officers told them, The sultan, our master,
hath commanded us to acquaint you that he is glad of your safe
arrival, and prays you to take the trouble, every one of you, to
write some lines upon this roll of paper; and, that his design
may be understood, you must know that he had a prime vizier, who,
besides a great capacity to manage affairs, understood writing to
the highest perfection. This minister is lately dead, at which
the sultan is very much troubled, and since he can never behold
his writing without admiration, he has made a solemn vow not to
give the place to any man but to him that can write as well as he
did. Abundance of people have presented their writings; but to
this day nobody in all this empire has been judged worthy to
supply the vizier's place.

Those merchants that believed they could write well enough to
pretend to this high dignity, wrote, one after another, what they
thought fit. After they had done, I advanced and took the roll
out of the gentleman's hand; but all the people, especially the
merchants, cried out, he will tear it, or throw it into the sea,
till they saw how properly I held the roll, and made a sign that
I would write in my turn. Then they were of another opinion, and
their fears turned into admiration. However, since they had never
seen an ape that could write, nor could be persuaded that I was
more ingenious than other apes, they offered to snatch the roll
out of my hand; but the captain took my part once more. Let him
alone, says he; suffer him to write. If he only scribbles the
paper, I promise you that I will punish him upon the spot. If, on
the contrary, he writes well, as I hope he will, because I never
saw an ape so handy and ingenious, and so apprehensive of every
thing, I do declare that I will own him as my son. I had one that
had not by far the wit that he has. Perceiving that no man did
any more oppose my design, I took the pen, and wrote, before I
had done, six sorts of hands used among the Arabians, and each
specimen containing an extemporary distich or quatram in praise
of the sultan. My writings did not only outdo that of the
merchants, but I dare say they had not before seen any such fair
writing in that country. When I had done, the officers took the
roll, and carried it to the sultan.

The sultan took little notice of any of the other writings, but
considered mine, which was so much to his liking, that he says to
the officers, Take the finest horse in my stable, with the
richest harness, and a robe of the most sumptuous brocade, to put
upon that person who wrote those six hands, and bring him hither
to me. At this command the officers could not forbear laughing:
the sultan grew angry at their boldness, and was ready to punish
them till they told him. Sir, replied the officers, we humbly beg
your majesty's pardon; these characters are not written by a man,
but by an ape. What do you say! says the sultan, are not these
admirable characters written by the hands of a man? No, sir,
replied the officers, we do assure your majesty that it was an
ape who wrote them in our presence. The sultan was too much
surprised at this account not to desire a sight of me; and
therefore says, Do what I command you, and bring me speedily that
wonderful ape.

The officers returned to the vessel, and showed the captain their
order, who answered, that the sultan's commands must be obeyed.
Whereupon they clothed me with that rich brocade robe, and
carried me ashore, where they set me on horseback, whilst the
sultan waited for me at the palace with a great number of
courtiers, whom he gathered together, to do me the more honour.

The cavalcade being begun, the harbour, the streets, the public
places, windows, terraces, palaces, and houses, were all filled
with an infinite number of people, of all sorts, who were curious
to come from all parts of the city to see me; for the rumour was
spread in a moment, that the sultan had chosen an ape to be his
grand vizier; and after having served for a spectacle to the
people, who could not forbear to express their surprise by
redoubling their shouts and cries, I arrived at the palace of the

I found the prince seated on his throne, in the midst of the
grandees. I made my bow three times very low, and at last kneeled
and kissed the ground before him, and afterwards sat down in my
seat in the posture of an ape. The whole assembly admired me, and
could not comprehend how it was possible that an ape should
understand so well to give the sultan his due respect; and he
himself was more astonished than any man. In short, the usual
ceremony of the audience would have been complete, could I have
added speech to my behaviour; but apes do never speak, and the
advantage I had of having been a man did not allow me that

The sultan dismissed his courtiers, and none remained by him but
his chief of the eunuchs, a little young slave, and myself. He
went from his chamber of audience into his own apartment, where
he ordered dinner to be brought. As he sat at table, he gave me a
sign to come near, and eat with him. To show my obedience, I
kissed the ground, stood up, sat down at table, ate with
discretion, and moderately.

Before the table was uncovered, I espied an ink-horn, which I
made a sign should be brought me; having got it, I wrote upon a
large peach some verses after my own way, which testified my
acknowledgment to the sultan; who having read them, after my
presenting him the peach, it increased his astonishment. When the
table was uncovered, they brought him a particular liquor, of
which he caused them to give me a glass. I drank, and wrote some
new verses upon it, which explained the state I was in, after a
great many sufferings. The sultan read them likewise, and said,
an ape that was capable of doing so much ought to be exalted
above the greatest of men.

The sultan caused them to bring in a chess-board, and asked me,
by a sign, if I understood that game, and would play with him? I
kissed the ground, and laying my hand upon my head, signified
that I was ready to receive that honour. He won the first game,
but I won the second and third; and perceiving he was somewhat
displeased at it, I made a quatrain to pacify him; in which I
told him that two potent armies had been fighting very eagerly
all day, but that they made up a peace towards the evening, and
passed the remaining part of the night very peaceably together
upon the field of battle.

So many things appearing to the sultan far beyond what any one
had either seen or known of the behaviour or knowledge of apes,
he would not be the only witness of these prodigies himself; but
having a daughter, called the lady of beauty, to whom the head of
the eunuchs, then present, was governor, Go, said the sultan to
him, and bid your lady come hither: I am willing she should have
a share in my pleasure.

The eunuch went, and immediately brought the princess, who had
her face uncovered; but she was no sooner got into the room, than
she put on her veil, and said to the sultan, Sir, your majesty
must needs have forgotten yourself; I am very much surprised that
your majesty has sent for me to appear among men. How, daughter!
said the sultan, you do not know what you say. Here is nobody but
the little slave, the eunuch your governor, and myself, who have
the liberty to see your face; and yet you lower your veil, and
would make me a criminal in having sent for you hither. Sir, said
the princess, your majesty shall soon understand that I am not in
the wrong. That ape you see before you, though he has the shape
of an ape, is a young prince, son of a great king; he has been
metamorphosed into an ape by enchantment. A genie, the son of the
daughter of Eblis, has maliciously done him this wrong, after
having cruelly taken away the life of the princess of the isle of
Ebone, daughter to the king of Epitimarus.

The sultan, astonished at this discourse, turned towards me, and
spoke no more by signs, but, in plain words, asked me, if it was
true what his daughter said? Seeing I could not speak, I put my
hand to my head to signify that what the princess spoke was true.
Upon this the sultan said again to his daughter, How do you know
that this prince has been transformed by enchantment into an ape?
Sir, replied the lady of beauty, your majesty may remember that
when I was past my infancy, I had an old lady that waited upon
me; she was a most expert magician, and taught me seventy rules
of magic, by virtue of which I can transport your capital city
into the midst of the sea, in the twinkling of an eye, or beyond
mount Caucasus. By this science I know all enchanted persons at
first sight. I know who they are, and by whom they have been
enchanted: therefore do not admire if I forthwith relieve this
prince, in spite of enchantments, from that which hinders him to
appear in your sight what he naturally is. Daughter, said the
sultan, I did not believe you to have understood so much. Sir,
replies the princess, these things are curious, and worth
knowing; but I think I ought not to boast of them. Since it is
so, said the sultan, you can dispel the prince's enchantment.
Yes, sir, said the princess, I can restore him to his first shape
again. Do it then, said the sultan, you cannot do me a greater
pleasure; for I will have him to be my vizier, and he shall marry
you. Sir, said the princess, I am ready to obey you in all that
you shall be pleased to command me.

The princess, the lady of beauty, went into her apartment, from
whence she brought in a knife which had some Hebrew words
engraved on the blade: She made us all, viz. the sultan, the
master of the eunuchs, the little slave, and myself, to go down
into a private court adjoining to the palace, and there left us
under a gallery that went round it. She placed herself in the
middle of the court, where she made a great circle, and within it
she wrote several words in Arabian characters, some of them
ancient, and others of those which they call the character of

When she had finished and prepared the circle as she thought fit,
she placed herself in the centre of it, where she began
adjurations, and repeated verses out of the alcoran. The air grew
insensibly dark, as if it had been night, and the whole world
about to be dissolved. We found ourselves struck with a panic
fear, and this fear increased the more, when we saw the genie,
the son of the daughter of Eblis, appear all of a sudden in the
shape of a lion of a frightful size.

As soon as the princess perceived this monster, You dog, said
she, instead of creeping before me, dare you present yourself in
this shape, thinking to frighten me? And thou, replied the lion,
art thou not afraid to break the treaty which was solemnly made
and confirmed between us by oath, not to wrong or do one another
any hurt? Oh, thou cursed creature! replied the princess, I can
justly reproach thee with doing so. The lion answered fiercely,
Thou shalt quickly have thy reward for the trouble thou hast
given me to return: With that he opened his terrible throat, and
ran at her to devour her; but she, being upon her guard, leaped
backward, got time to pull out one of her hairs, and, by
pronouncing three or four words, changed herself into a sharp
sword, wherewith she cut the lion through the middle in two

The two parts of the lion vanished, and the head was only left,
which changed itself into a large scorpion. Immediately the
princess turned herself into a serpent, and fought the scorpion,
who, finding himself worsted, took the shape of an eagle, and
flew away: But the serpent at the same time took also the shape
of an eagle that was black and much stronger, and pursued him, so
that we lost sight of them both.

Some time after they disappeared, the ground opened before us,
and out of it came forth a cat, black and white, with her hair
standing upright, and keeping up a fearful mewling; a black wolf
followed her close, and gave her no time to rest. The cat, being
thus hard beset, changed herself into a worm, and being nigh to a
pomegranate that had accidentally fallen from a tree that grew on
the side of a canal, which was deep, but not broad, the worm
pierced the pomegranate in an instant, and hid itself; but the
pomegranate swelled immediately, and became as big as a gourd,
which, mounting up to the top of the gallery, rolled there for
some space backward and forward, fell down again into the court,
and broke into several pieces.

The wolf, who had in the meanwhile transformed itself into a
cock, fell a-picking up the seeds of the pomegranate one after
another; but, finding no more, he came towards us with his wings
spread, making a great noise, as if he would ask us whether there
was any more seed? There was one lying on the brink of the canal,
which the cock perceiving as he went back, ran speedily thither;
but just as he was going to pick it up, the seed rolled into the
river, and turned into a little fish.

The cock jumped into the river, and was turned into a pike, that
pursued the small fish; they continued both under water above two
hours, and we knew not what became of them; but all of a sudden
we heard terrible cries, which made us to quake, and a little
while after we saw the genie and princess all in flames. They
threw flashes of fire out of their mouths at one another, until
they came to it hand to hand; then the fires increased, with a
thick burning smoke, which mounted so high, that we had reason to
fear that it would set the palace on fire. But we very soon had a
more pressing occasion of fear; for the genie, having got loose
from the princess, came to the gallery where we stood, and blew
flames of fire upon us. We had all perished, if the princess,
running to our assistance, had not forced him, by her efforts, to
retire and defend himself against her; yet, notwithstanding all
her diligence, she could not hinder the sultan's beard from being
burnt, and his face spoiled, the chief of the eunuch's from being
stifled, and burnt on the spot, nor a spark to enter my right
eye, and make it blind. The sultan and I expected nothing but
death, when we heard a cry, Victory, victory; and, all of a
sudden, the princess appeared in her natural shape, but the genie
was reduced to a heap of ashes.

The princess came near to us, and, that she might not lose time,
called for a cup of cold water, which the young slave that had
got no damage brought her: She took it, and, after pronouncing
some words over it, threw it upon me, saying, If thou art become
an ape by enchantment, change thy shape, and take that of a man,
which thou hadst before. These words were hardly uttered till I
became a man, as I was before, one eye only excepted.

I was preparing myself to give thanks to the princess, but she
prevented me, by addressing herself to her father thus: Sir, I
have got the victory over the genie, as your majesty may see; but
it is a victory that costs me dear; I have but a few moments to
live, and you will not have the satisfaction to make the match
you intended; the fire has pierced me during the terrible combat,
and I find it consumes me by degrees. This would not have
happened, had I perceived the last of the pomegranate seeds, and
swallowed it as I did the other, when I was changed into a cock.
The genie had fled thither as to his last intrenchment, and upon
that the success of the combat depended, which would have been
successful, and without danger to me. This slip obliged me to
have recourse to fire, and to fight with those mighty arms as I
did between heaven and earth in your presence; for, in spite of
all his redoubtable art and experience, I made the genie to know
that I understood more than he: I have conquered and reduced him
to ashes, but I cannot escape death, which is approaching.

The sultan suffered the princess, the lady of beauty, to go on
with the recital of her combat; and when she had done, he spoke
to her in a tone that sufficiently testified his grief. My
daughter, said he, you see in what condition your father is:
Alas! I wonder that I am yet alive! Your governor, the eunuch, is
dead, and the prince whom you have delivered from his enchantment
has lost one of his eyes. He could speak no more; for his tears,
sighs, and sobs, made him speechless; his daughter and I were
exceedingly sensible of his sorrow, and wept with him.

In the mean time, while we were striving to outdo one another in
grief, the princess cried, I burn; Oh, I burn! She found that the
fire which consumed her had at last seized upon her whole body,
which made her still to cry, I burn, until death had made an end
of her intolerable pains. The effect of that was so
extraordinary, that in a few moments she was wholly reduced to
ashes like the genie.

I cannot tell you, madam, how much I was grieved at so dismal a
spectacle. I had rather all my life have continued an ape or a
dog, than to have seen my benefactress thus miserably perish. The
sultan, being afflicted beyond all that can be imagined, cried
out piteously, and beat himself upon his head and stomach, until
such time as, being quite overcome with grief, he fainted away,
which made me fear his life. In the mean time the eunuchs and
officers came running at the sultan's cries, and with very much
ado brought him to himself again. There was no need for that
prince and me to give them a long narrative of this adventure, in
order to convince them of their great loss. The two heaps of
ashes, into which the princess and genie had been reduced, were
demonstration enough. The sultan was hardly able to stand
upright, but was forced to be supported by them till he could get
to his apartment.

When the noise of this tragical event had spread itself through
the palace and the city, all the people bewailed the misfortune
of the princess, the lady of beauty, and were sensible of the
sultan's affliction. Every one was in deep mourning for seven
days, and a great many ceremonies were performed: The ashes of
the genie were thrown into the air, but those of the princess
were gathered into a precious urn, to be kept; and the urn was
set in a stately tomb, which was built for that purpose, on the
same place where the ashes had lain.

The grief which the sultan conceived for the loss of his daughter
threw him into a fit of sickness, which confined him to his
chamber for a whole month. He had not fully recovered strength
when he sent for me: Prince, said he, hearken to the orders that
I now give you; it will cost you your life if you do not put them
in execution. I assured him of exact obedience; upon which he
went on thus: I have constantly lived in perfect felicity, and
never was crossed by any accident; but by your arrival all the
happiness I possessed is vanished; my daughter is dead, her
governor is no more, and it is through a miracle that I am yet
alive. You are the cause of all those misfortunes, for which it
is impossible that I should be comforted; therefore depart from
hence in peace, but without further delay, for I myself must
perish, if you stay any longer: I am persuaded that your presence
brings mischief along with it. This is all I have to say to you.
Depart, and take care of ever appearing again in my dominions;
there is no consideration whatsoever that shall hinder me from
making you repent of it. I was going to speak, but he stopped my
mouth by words full of anger; and so I was obliged to remove from
his palace, rejected, banished, thrown off by all the world, and
not knowing what would become of me. Before I left the city, I
went into a bagnio, where I caused my beard and eye-brows to be
shaved, and put on a calender's habit. I began my journey, not so
much deploring my own miseries as the death of the two fair
princesses of which I had been the occasion. I passed through
many countries without making myself known; at last I resolved to
come to Bagdad, in hopes to get myself introduced to the
commander of the faithful, to move his compassion by giving him
an account of my strange adventures. I came hither this evening,
and the first man I met was this calender, our brother, that
spoke before me. You know the remaining part, madam, and the
cause of my having the honour to be here.

When the second calender made an end of his story, Zobeide, to
whom he had addressed his speech, told him, It is very well, you
may go which way you please; I give you leave: but, instead of
departing, he also petitioned the lady to show him the same
favour she had vouchsafed to the first calender, and went and sat
down by him.

The third calender, perceiving it was his turn to speak,
addressed his speech, as the rest had done, to Zobeide, and began
in this manner.


Most Honourable Lady,

That which I am going to tell you very much differs from what you
have heard already. The two princes that spoke before me have
each lost an eye by the pure effects of their destiny, but mine I
lost through my own fault, and by hastening to seek my own
misfortune, as you shall hear by the sequel of my story.

My name is Agib, and I am the son of a king who was called
Cassib. After his death I took possession of his dominions, and
resided in the same city where he lived before. This city is
situate on the sea-coast; has one of the finest and safest
harbours in the world, and an arsenal large enough for fitting
out fifty men of war to sea, that are always ready on occasion,
and light frigates, and pleasure-boats for recreation. My kingdom
is composed of several fine provinces upon Terra Firma, besides a
number of spacious islands, every one of which lies almost in
sight of my capital city.

The first thing I did was to visit the provinces; I afterwards
caused to fit out and man my whole fleet, went to my islands to
gain the hearts of my subjects by my presence, and to confirm
them in their loyalty; and, some time after I returned, I went
thither again. These voyages giving me some taste for navigation,
I took so much pleasure in it that I resolved to make some
discoveries beyond my islands; to which end I caused only ten
ships to be fitted out, embarked on board them, and set sail.

Our voyage was very successful for forty days together; but on
the forty-first night the wind became contrary, and withal so
boisterous that we were like to have been lost in the storm.
About break of day the wind grew calm, the clouds were dispersed,
and the sun having brought back fair weather, we came close to an
island, where we remained two days to take in fresh provisions;
this being done, we put off again to sea. After ten days sail, we
were in hopes of seeing land, for the tempests we had gone
through had so much abated my curiosity, that I gave orders to
steer back to my own coast; but I perceived at the same time that
my pilot knew not where we were. Upon the tenth day, a seaman
being sent to look out for land from the mast-head, he gave
notice that on starboard and larboard he could see nothing but
the sky and the sea which bounded the horizon, but just before
us, upon the stern, he saw a great blackness.

The pilot changed colour at the relation and throwing his turban
on the deck with one hand, and beating his breast with the other,
cried, O, sir, we are all lost; not one of us will escape; and,
with all my skill, it is not in my power to prevent it! Having
spoken thus, he fell a-crying like a man who foresaw unavoidable
ruin; his despair put the whole ship's crew into a terror. I
asked him what reason he had thus to despair? He told me, the
tempest which we had outlived had brought us so far out of our
course that to-morrow about noon we should come near to that
black place, which is nothing else but the black mountain, that
is, a mine of adamant, which at this very minute draws all your
fleet towards it, by virtue of the iron nails that are in your
ships; and when we come to-morrow, at a certain distance, the
strength of the adamant will have such a force, that all the
nails will be drawn out of the sides and bottoms of the ships,
and fastened to the mountain, so that your vessel will fall to
pieces, and sink to the bottom; and as the adamant has a virtue
to draw all iron to it, whereby its attraction becomes stronger,
this mountain on the side of the sea is all covered over with
nails, drawn out of an infinite number of vessels that have
perished by it; and this preserves and augments its virtue at the
same time.

This mountain, continues the pilot, is very rugged. On the top of
it there is a dome of fine brass, supported by pillars of the
same, and upon the top of that dome there stands a horse of the
same metal, with a rider on his back, who has a plate of lead
fixed to his breast, upon which some talismantical characters are
engraved. Sir, the tradition is, that this statue is the chief
cause that so many ships and men have been lost and sunk in this
place, and that it will ever continue to be fatal to all who have
the misfortune to come near it, until such time as it shall be
thrown down.

The pilot, having ended his discourse, began to weep afresh, and
this made all the rest of the ship's company to do the like. I
myself had no other thoughts but that my days were there to have
an end. In the mean time every one began to provide for his own
safety, and to that end took all imaginable precautions; and,
being uncertain of the event, they all made one another their
heirs, by virtue of a will, for the benefit of those that should
happen to be saved.

The next morning we perceived the black mountain very plain, and
the idea we had conceived of it made it appear more frightful
than it was. About noon we were come so near that we found what
the pilot had foretold to be true; for we saw all the nails and
iron about the ships fly towards the mountain, where they were
fixed, by the violence of the attraction, with a horrible noise;
the ship split asunder, and sunk into the sea, which was so deep
about that place that we could not sound it. All my people were
drowned, but God had mercy on me, and permitted me to save myself
by means of a plank, which the wind drove ashore just at the foot
of the mountain; I did not receive the least hurt, and my good
fortune brought me to a landing-place, where there were steps
that went up to the top of the mountain.

At the sight of these steps, for there was not a bit of ground
either on the right or left whereon a man could set his foot, I
gave thanks to God, and recommended myself to his holy
protection. I began to mount the steps, which were so narrow,
rugged, and hard to get up, that had the wind blown ever so
little, it would have thrown me down into the sea; but at last I
got up to the top without any accident; I came into the dome,
and, kneeling on the ground, gave God thanks for his mercies to

I passed the night under the dome, and, in my sleep, an old grave
man appeared to me, and said, Hearken, Agib, as soon as thou art
awake, dig up the ground under thy feet; thou shalt find a bow of
brass, and three arrows of lead, that are made under certain
constellations, to deliver mankind from so many calamities that
threaten them. Shoot the three arrows at the statue, and the
rider shall fall into the sea, but the horse will fall down by
thy side, which thou must bury in the same place from whence you
took the bow and arrows. This being done, the sea will swell and
rise up to the foot of the dome that stands upon the top of the
mountain; when it is come up so high, thou shalt see a boat with
one man and an oar in each hand. This man is also of metal,
different from that thou hast thrown down; step on board to him
without mentioning the name of God, and let him conduct thee. He
will in ten days time bring thee into another sea, where thou
shalt find an opportunity to get home to thy country safe and
sound, provided, as I have told thee, thou dost not mention the
name of God during the whole voyage.

These were the contents of the old man's discourse. When I
awaked, I was very much comforted by the vision, and did not fail
to observe every thing that he had commanded me. I took the bow
and arrows out of the ground, shot them at the horseman, with the
third arrow I overthrew him, and he full into the sea, as the
horse fell by my side, which I buried in the place whence I took
the bow and arrows. In the mean time the sea swelled, and rose up
by degrees. When it came as high as the foot of the dome that
stood upon the top of the mountain, I saw afar off a boat rowing
towards me, and I returned God thanks that every thing succeeded
according to my dream.

At last the boat came ashore, and I saw the man was made of
metal, according as I had dreamed. I stepped aboard, and took
great heed not to pronounce the name of God, neither spoke I one
word at all; I sat down, and the man of metal began to row off
from the mountain. He rowed without ceasing, till the ninth day
that I saw some islands, which put me in hopes that I was out of
all the danger that I was afraid of. The excess of joy made me
forget what I was forbidden to do; God's name be blessed, said I,
the Lord be praised!

I had no sooner spoken these words than the boat sunk with the
man of metal, and, leaving me upon the surface, I swam the
remaining part of the day towards that land which appeared
nearest to me. A very dark night succeeded, and, not knowing
whereabouts I was, I swam at a venture; my strength began at last
to fail, and I despaired of being able to save myself, when the
wind began to blow hard, and a wave as big as a mountain threw me
on a flat, where it left me, and drew back. I made haste to get
ashore, fearing another wave might wash me back again. The first
thing I did was to strip and wring the water out of my clothes,
and then I laid them down to dry on the sand, which was still
pretty warm by the heat of the day.

Next morning the sun dried my clothes betimes; I put them on, and
went forward to see whereabouts I was. I had not walked very far
till I found I was got upon a little desert island, though very
pleasant, where grew several sorts of trees and wild fruits; but
I perceived it was very far from the continent, which much
diminished the joy I conceived for having escaped the danger of
the seas. Notwithstanding, I recommended myself to God, and
prayed him to dispose of me according to his good-will and
pleasure; at the same time I saw a vessel coming from the
main-land, before the wind, directly to the island. I doubted not
that they were coming to anchor there, and being uncertain what
sort of people they might be, whether friends or foes, thought it
not safe for me to be seen: I got up into a very thick tree, from
whence I might safely view them. The vessel came into a little
creek, where ten slaves landed, carrying a spade and other
instruments fit for digging up the ground; they went towards the
middle of the island, where I saw them stop, and dig the ground a
long while, after which I thought I saw them lift a trap-door.
They returned again to the vessel, and unloaded several sorts of
provisions and furniture, which they carried to that place where
they had broken ground, and so went downward, which made me
suppose it was a subterraneous dwelling.

I saw them once more go to the ship, and return soon after with
an old man, who led a very handsome young lad in his hand, of
about fourteen or fifteen years of age; they all went down at the
trap-door; and being come up again, having let down the
trap-door, and covered it over with earth, they returned to the
creek where the ship lay, but I saw not the young man in their
company; this made me believe that he staid behind in that place
under ground, at which I could not but be extremely astonished.

The old man and the slaves went on board again, and the vessel
being got under sail, steered its course towards the mainland.
When I perceived they were at such a distance that they could not
see me, I came down from the tree, went directly to the place
where I had seen the ground broken, and removed the earth by
degrees, till I found a stone that was two or three feet square.
I lifted it up, and saw it covered the head of the stairs, which
were also of stone; I went down, and came into a large room,
where there was laid a foot-carpet, with a couch covered with
tapestry, and cushions of rich stuff, upon which the young man
sat with a fan in his hand. I saw all this by the light of two
tapers, together with the fruits and flower-pots he had standing
about him. The young lad was startled at the sight of me; but, to
rid him of his fear, I spoke to him as I came in thus: Whoever
you be, sir, do not fear any thing: a king, and the son of a
king, as I am, is not capable of doing you any prejudice. On the
contrary, it is probable that your good destiny has brought me
hither to deliver you out of this tomb, where it seems they have
buried you alive, for reasons unknown to me. But that which makes
me wonder, and that which I cannot conceive, (for you must know
that I have been witness to all that hath passed since your
coming into this island) is, that you suffered yourself to be
buried in this place without any resistance.

The young man recovered himself at these words, and prayed me,
with a smiling countenance, to sit down by him; which when I had
done, he said, Prince, I am to acquaint you with a matter so odd
in itself that it cannot but surprise you.

My father is a merchant-jeweller, who has acquired, through his
ingenuity in his calling, a great estate; he hath a great many
slaves, and also deputies whom he employs to go as supercargoes
to sea with his own ships, on purpose to maintain the
correspondence he has at several courts, which he furnishes with
such precious stones as they want.

He had been married a long while, and without issue, when he
understood by a dream that he should have a son, though his life
would be but short, at which he was very much concerned when he
awaked. Some days after, my mother acquainted him that she was
with child, and the time which she supposed to be that of her
conception agreed exactly with the day of his dream. She was
brought to bed of me at the end of nine months, which occasioned
great joy in the family.

My father, who had observed the very moment of my birth,
consulted astrologers about my nativity, who told him, Your son
shall live very happy till the age of fifteen, when he will be in
danger of losing his life, and hardly be able to escape it; but
if his good destiny preserve him beyond that time, he will live
to grow very old. It will be then, said they, when the statue of
brass that stands upon the top of the mountain of adamant, shall
be thrown down into the sea by Prince Agib, son of King Cassib;
and, as the stars prognosticate, your son shall be killed fifty
days afterwards by that prince.

As the event of this part of the prediction about the statue
agrees exactly with my father's dream, it afflicted him so much
that he was struck to the very heart with it. In the mean time,
he took all imaginable care of my education, until this present
year, which is the fifteenth of my age; and he had notice given
him yesterday that the statue of brass had been thrown into the
sea about ten days ago by the same prince I told you of. This
news has cost him so many tears, and has alarmed him so much,
that he looks not like himself.

Upon these predictions of the astrologers, he has sought by all
means possible to falsify my horoscope, and to preserve my life.
It is not long since he took the precaution to build me this
subterranean habitation to hide me in till the expiration of the
fifty days after the throwing down of the statue; and therefore,
since it was that this had happened ten days ago, he came hastily
hither to hide me, and promised at the end of forty days to come
again and fetch me out. As for my own part, I am in good hopes,
and cannot believe that Prince Agib will come to seek for me in a
place under ground in the midst of a desert island. This, my
lord, is what I have to say to you.

Whilst the jeweller's son was telling me this story, I laughed in
myself at those astrologers who had foretold that I should take
away his life; for I thought myself so far from being likely to
verify what they said, that he had scarcely done speaking when I
told him with great joy, Dear sir, put your confidence in the
goodness of God, and fear nothing; you may consider it as a debt
you was to pay, but that you are acquitted of it from this very
hour. I am glad that, after my shipwreck, I came so fortunately
hither to defend you against all those that would attempt your
death; I will not leave you till the forty days are expired, of
which the foolish astrologers have made you so apprehensive; and
in the mean time I will do you all the service that lies in my
power; after which I shall have the benefit of getting to the
main-land in your vessel, with leave of your father and yourself;
and when I am returned into my kingdom, I shall remember the
obligations I owe you, and endeavour to demonstrate my
acknowledgments in a suitable manner.

This discourse of mine encouraged the jeweller's son, and made
him have confidence in me. I took care not to tell him I was the
very Agib whom he dreaded, lest I should put him into a fright,
and took as much care not to give him any cause to suspect it. We
passed the time in several discourses, till night came on. I
found the young lad of a ready wit, and ate with him of his
provisions, of which he had enough to have lasted beyond the
forty days, though he had had more guests than myself. After
supper, we continued some time in discourse, at last we went to

The next day, when we got up, I held the basin and water to him;
I also provided dinner, and set it on the table in due time.
After we had done, I invented a play to divert ourselves, not
only for that day, but for those that followed. I prepared supper
after the same manner as I had prepared dinner; and having
supped, we went to bed as formerly. We had time enough to
contract friendship; I found he loved me; and, for my part, I had
so great a respect for him, that I have often said to myself,
Those astrologers, who predicted to his father that his son
should die by my hand, were impostors; for it is not possible
that I could commit so base an action. In short, madam, we spent
thirty-nine days in the pleasantest manner that could be in a
place under ground.

The fortieth day appeared; and in the morning, when the young man
awaked, he says to me, with a transport of joy that he could not
restrain, Prince, this is the fortieth day, and I am not dead;
thanks to God and your good company. My father will not fail to
be here anon to give you testimony of his gratitude for it, and
shall furnish you with all that is necessary for your return to
your kingdom; but in the mean time, said he, I beg you to get
ready some water very warm to wash my whole body in that portable
bagnio, that I may clean myself, and change my clothes, to
receive my father more cheerfully.

I set the water on the fire, and when it was hot put it into the
moveable bagnio. The youth went in, and I myself washed and
rubbed him. At last he came out, and laid himself down in his bed
that I had prepared, and covered him with his bed-clothes. After
he had slept a while, he awaked, and said, Dear prince, pray do
me the favour to fetch me a melon and some sugar, that I may eat
some and refresh me.

Out of several melons that remained, I took the best, and laid it
on a plate; and because I could not find a knife to cut it with,
I asked the young man if he knew where there was one? There is
one, said he, upon this cornice over my head; I accordingly saw
it there, and made so much haste to reach it, that while I had it
in my hand, my foot being entangled in the covering, I fell most
unhappily upon the young man, and the knife ran into his heart in
a minute.

At this spectacle I cried out most hideously; I beat my head, my
face, and breast; I tore my clothes, and threw myself on the
ground with unspeakable sorrow and grief. Alas! I cried, there
were only some hours wanting to have put him out of that danger
from which he sought sanctuary here; and when I myself thought
the danger past, then I became his murderer, and verified the
prediction. But, O Lord, said I, lifting up my face and hands to
heaven, I beg thy pardon, and, if I be guilty of his death, let
me not live any longer.

After this misfortune I would have embraced death without any
reluctance, had it presented itself to me. But what we wish to
ourselves, whether good or bad, will not always happen.
Nevertheless, considering with myself that all my tears and
sorrows would not bring the young man to life again, and, the
forty days being expired, I might be surprised by his father, I
quitted that subterranean dwelling, laid down the great stone
upon the entry of it, and covered it with earth.

I had scarcely done, when, casting my eyes upon the sea towards
the main-land, I perceived the vessel coming to fetch home the
young man. I began then to consider what I had best do; I said to
myself, if I am seen by the old man, he will certainly lay hold
on me, and perhaps cause me to be massacred by his slaves. When
he has seen his son killed, all that I can allege to justify
myself will not be able to persuade him of my innocence. It is
better for me, then, to withdraw, since it is in my power, than
expose myself to his resentment.

There happened to be near this subterranean habitation a large
tree with thick leaves, which I thought fit to hide me in. I got
up to it, and was no sooner fixed in a place where I could not be
seen, than I saw the vessel come to the same place where she lay
the first time.

The old man and his slaves landed immediately, and advanced
towards the subterranean dwelling, with a countenance that showed
some hope; but when they saw the earth had been newly removed,
they changed colour, particularly the old man. They lifted up the
stone, and went down; they called the young man by his name, but
he not answering, their fears increased; they went down to seek
him, and at length found him lying upon the bed with the knife in
his heart, for I had not power to take it out. At this sight,
they cried out lamentably, which increased my sorrow: the old man
fell down in a swoon. The slaves, to give him air, brought him up
in their arms, and laid him at the foot of the tree where I was;
but, notwithstanding all the pains they took to recover him, the
unfortunate father continued a long while in that condition, and
made them oftener than once despair of his life; but at last he
came to himself. Then the slaves brought up his son's corpse
dressed in his best apparel, and when they had made a grave, they
put him into it. The old man, supported by two slaves, and his
face all covered with tears, threw the first earth upon him,
after which the slaves filled up the grave.

This being done, all the furniture was brought out from under
ground, and, with the remaining provisions, put on board the
vessel. The old man, overcome with sorrow, and not being able to
stand, was laid upon a sort of litter, and carried to the ship,
which put forth to sea, and in a short time sailed quite out of

After the old man and his slaves were gone with the vessel, I was
left alone upon the island. I lay that night in the subterranean
dwelling, which they had shut up; and when the day came, I walked
round the isle, and stopped in such places as I thought most
proper to repose in when I had need.

I led this wearisome life for a month together; after which I
perceived the sea to be mightily fallen, the island to be much
larger, and the main-land seemed to be drawing nearer me. In
effect, the water grew so low, that there was but a small stream
between me and the Terra Firma. I crossed it, and the water did
not come above the middle of my leg. I marched so long upon the
slime and sands that I was very weary; at last I got upon firm
ground, and, when at a good distance from the sea, I saw a good
way before me somewhat like a great fire, which gave me some
comfort, for I said to myself, I shall find somebody or other, it
not being possible that this fire should kindle of itself; but
when I came nearer, I found my error, and saw that what I had
taken to be fire was a castle of red copper, which the beams of
the sun made look, at a distance, as if it had been in flames.

I stopped near the castle, and sat down to admire its admirable
structure, and to rest a while. I had not taken such a full view
of this magnificent building, as it deserved, when I saw ten
handsome young men coming along as if they had been taking a
walk; but that which most surprised me was, that they were all
blind of the right eye; they accompanied an old man, who was very
tall, and of a venerable aspect.

I could not but wonder at the sight of so many half-blind men all
together, and every one of the same eye. As I was thinking in my
mind by what adventure all these could come together, they came
up to me, and seemed to be mighty glad to see me. After the first
compliments were passed, they inquired what had brought me
hither? I told them my story would be somewhat tedious, but, if
they would take the trouble to sit down, I would satisfy their
request. They did so, and I related unto them all that had
happened unto me since I left my kingdom, which filled them with

After I had ended my discourse, the young gentlemen prayed me to
go with them into the castle; I accepted the proffer, and we
passed through a great many halls, antichambers, bedchambers, and
closets, very well furnished, and arrived at last in a spacious
hall, where there were ten small blue sofas set round, and
separate from each other, upon which they sat by day, and slept
by night. In the middle of this round there stood an eleventh
sofa, not so high as the rest, but of the same colour, upon which
the old man before mentioned sat down, and the young gentlemen
made use of the other ten, whereas each sofa could only contain
one man. One of the young men says to me, Comrade, sit down upon
that carpet in the middle of the room, and do not inquire into
any thing that concerns us, nor the reason why we are all blind
of the right eye; be content with what you see, and let not your
curiosity go any further.

The old man, having sat a little while, rose up, and went out;
but he returned in a minute or two, brought in supper for the ten
gentlemen, distributed to each man his proportion by himself, and
likewise brought me mine, which I ate by myself, as the rest did,
and when supper was almost done, he presented to each of us a cup
of wine.

They thought my story so extraordinary, that they made me repeat
it after supper, and this gave occasion to discourses which
lasted a good part of the night. One of the gentlemen, observing
that it was late, said to the old man, You see it is time to go
to bed, and you do not bring us that with which we may acquit
ourselves of our duty. At these words the old man rose, and went
into a closet, from whence he brought out upon his head ten
basons, one after another, all covered with blue stuff: He set
one before every gentleman, together with a light.

They uncovered their basons, in, which there were ashes, coal-
dust, and lamp-black; they mixed all together, and rubbed and
bedaubed their faces with it in such a manner, that they looked
very frightful. After having thus blackened themselves, they fell
a-weeping and lamenting, beating their heads and breasts, and
cried continually, This is the fruit of our idleness and

They continued this almost the whole night, and when they left
off, the old man brought them water, with which they washed their
faces and hands; they also changed their clothes, which were
spoiled, and put on others; so that they did not look in the
least as if they had been doing so strange an action.

You may judge, Madam, how uneasy I was all the while; I had a
mind a thousand times to break the silence which these young
gentlemen had imposed upon me, and ask questions; nor was it
possible for me to sleep that night.

After we got up next day, we went out to walk, and then I told
them, Gentlemen, I declare to you that I must renounce that law
which you prescribed to me last night, for I cannot observe it.
You are men of sense, and all of you have wit in abundance; you
have convinced me of it, yet I have seen you do such actions, as
none but madmen could be capable of. Whatever misfortune befals
me, I cannot forbear asking, why you bedaubed your faces with
black? How it comes that each of you have but one eye? Some
singular thing must have been the cause of it, therefore I
conjure you to satisfy my curiosity. To these pressing instances
they answered nothing, but that it was none of my business to ask
such questions, and that I should do well to hold my peace.

We passed that day in discourses upon different subjects, and
when night was come, and every man had supped, the old man
brought in the blue basons, and the young gentlemen bedaubed
their faces, wept, and beat themselves, crying, This is the fruit
of our idleness and debauches, as before, and continued the same
actions the following night. At last, not being able to resist my
curiosity, I earnestly prayed them to satisfy me, or to show me
how to return to my own kingdom, for it was impossible for me to
keep them company any longer, and to see every night such an odd
spectacle, without being permitted to know the reason.

One of the gentlemen answered in behalf of the rest, Do not
wonder at our conduct in regard to yourself; and that hitherto we
have not granted your request; it is out of mere kindness, and to
prevent the sorrow of your being reduced to the same condition
with us. If you have a mind to try our unfortunate destiny, you
need but speak, and we will give you the satisfaction you desire.
I told them I was resolved on it, let come what will. Once more,
said the same gentleman, we advise you to restrain your
curiosity; it will cost you the loss of your right eye. No
matter, said I; I declare to you, that if such a misfortune befal
me, I will not impute it to you, but to myself. He further
represented to me, that when I had lost an eye, I must not hope
to stay with them, if I were so minded, because their number was
complete, and no addition could be made to it. I told them, that
it would be a great satisfaction to me never to part from such
honest gentlemen, but, if there was necessity for it, I was ready
to submit; and, let it cost what it would, I begged them to grant
my request.

The ten gentlemen, perceiving that I was positive in my
resolution, took a sheep and killed it, and, after they had taken
off the skin, presented me with the knife, telling me it would be
useful to me on a certain occasion, which they should tell me of
presently. We must sew you into this skin, said they, and then
leave you; upon which a fowl of monstrous size, called a roc,
will appear in the air, and, taking you to be a sheep, will come
down upon you, and carry you up to the very sky; but let not that
frighten you, he will come down again with you, and lay you upon
the top of a mountain. When you find yourself upon the ground,
cut the skin with the knife, and throw it off. As soon as the roc
sees you, he will fly away for fear, and leave you at liberty. Do
not stay, but walk on till you come to a prodigious castle, all
covered with plates of gold, large emeralds, and other precious
stones: Go up to the gate, which always stands open, and walk in:
We have been in the castle as long as we have been here: We will
tell you nothing of what we saw, or what befel us there, because
you will learn it yourself; all that we can inform you is, that
it has cost each of us our right eye, and the penance which you
have been witness to is what we are obliged to do, because we
have been there. The history of each of us in particular is so
full of extraordinary adventures, that a large volume would not
contain them; but we must explain ourselves no further.

When the gentleman had ended this discourse, I wrapt myself in
the sheep's skin, held fast the knife which was given me; and
after those young gentlemen had been at the trouble to sew the
skin about me, they retired into the hall, and left me on the
place. The roc they had spoken of was not long a-coming; he fell
down upon me, took me up between his talons like a sheep, and
carried me to the top of the mountain. When I found myself upon
the ground, I made use of the knife, cut the skin, and throwing
it off, the roc at the first sight of me flew away. This roc is a
white bird of a monstrous size; his strength is such that he can
lift up elephants from the plains, and carry them to the tops of
mountains, where he feeds upon them. Being impatient till I
reached the castle, I lost no time, but made so much haste, that
I got thither in half a day's journey, and I must say, that I
found it surpassed the description they had given me of it. The
gate being open, I entered into a court that was square, and so
large, that there were round it ninety-nine gates of wood of
sanders and aloes, with one of gold, without counting those of
several magnificent stair-cases that led up to apartments above,
besides many more I could not see. The hundred doors I spoke of
opened into gardens or store-houses full of riches, or into
palaces that contained things wonderful to be seen. I saw a door
standing open just before me, through which I entered into a
large hall, where I found forty voung ladies of such perfect
beauty, that imagination could not go beyond it; they were all
most sumptuously apparelled; and as soon as they saw me, they
rose up, and, without expecting my compliments, said to me, with
demonstrations of joy, Noble sir, you are very welcome. And one
spoke to me in the name of the rest thus: We have been in
expectation a long while of such a gentleman as you; your mien
assures us that you are master of all the good qualities we can
wish for, and we hope you will not find our company disagreeable
or unworthy of yours. They forced me, notwithstanding all the
opposition I could make, to sit down on a seat that was higher
than theirs, and though I signified that I was uneasy. That is
your place, said they; you are at present our lord, master, and
judge, and we are your slaves, ready to obey your commands.

Nothing in the world, madam, so much astonished me as the passion
and eagerness of those fair ladies to do me all possible service.
One brought hot water to wash my feet; a second poured sweet
scented water on my hands; some brought me all sorts of
necessaries, and change of apparel; others brought in a
magnificent collation; and the rest came with glasses in their
hands to fill me delicious wines, all in good order, and in the
most charming manner that could be. I ate and drank; after which
the ladies placed themselves about me, and desired an account of
my travels. I gave them a full relation of my adventures, which
lasted till night came on.

When I had made an end of my story, which I related to the forty
ladies, some of them that sat nearest me staid to keep me
company, whilst the rest, seeing it was dark, rose to fetch
tapers. They brought a prodigious quantity, which made such a
marvellous light as if it had been day, and they were so
proportionably disposed,, that nothing could be more beautiful.
Other ladies covered a table with dry fruits, sweet-meats, and
everything proper to make the liquor relish; and a side-board was
set with several sorts of wines and other liquors. Some of the
ladies came in with musical instruments, and, when every thing
was prepared, they invited me to sit down to supper. The ladies
sat down with me, and we continued a long while at supper. They
that were to play upon the instruments, and sing, stood up, and
made a most charming concert. The others began a sort of ball,
and danced by two and two, one after another, with a wonderfully
good grace. It was past midnight before those divertisements
ended. At length one of the ladies says to me, You are doubtless
wearied by the journey you have made to-day; it is time for you
to go to rest; your lodging is prepared; but, before you depart,
make choice of any of us you like best to be your bed-fellow. I
answered, That I knew better things than to offer to make my own
choice, since they were all equally beautiful, witty, and worthy
of my respects and service, and that I would not be guilty of so
much incivility as to prefer one before another. The same lady
that spoke to me before answered. We are all very well satisfied
of your civility, and find you are afraid to create a jealousy
among us, which occasions your modesty; but let nothing hinder
you. We assure you, that the good fortune of her whom you choose
shall cause no jealousy; for we are agreed among ourselves, that
every one of us shall have the same honour till it go round, and,
when forty days are past, to begin again; therefore make your
free choice, and lose no time to go and take the repose you stand
in need of. I was obliged to yield to their instances, and
offered my hand to the lady that spoke; she, in return, gave me
hers, and we were conducted to an apartment, where they left us;
and then every one retired to their own apartment. I was scarcely
dressed next morning, when the other thirty-nine ladies came into
my chamber, all in other dresses than they had the day before:
They bid me good-morrow, and inquired after my health; after
which they carried me into a bagnio*, where they washed me
themselves, and, whether I would or not, served me in every thing
I stood in need of; and when I came out of the bath, they made me
put on another suit much richer that the former.

We passed the whole day almost constantly at table; and when it
was bed-time, they prayed me again to make choice of one of them
to keep me company. In short, madam, not to weary you with
repetitions, I must tell you, that I continued a whole year among
those forty ladies, and received them into my bed one after
another: And during all the time of this voluptuous life, we met
not with the least kind of trouble. When the year was expired, I
was strangely surprised that these forty ladies, instead of
appearing, with their usual cheerfulness, to ask how I did,
entered one morning into my chamber all in tears: They embraced
me with great tenderness one after another, saying, Adieu, dear
prince, adieu! for we must leave you. Their tears affected me; I
prayed them to tell me the reason of their grief, and of the
separation they spoke of. For God's sake, fair ladies, let me
know, said I, if it be in my power to comfort you, or if my
assistance can be any way useful to you. Instead of returning a
direct answer, Would to God, said they, we had never seen nor
known you. Several gentlemen have honoured us with their company
before you, but never one of them had that comeliness, that
sweetness, that pleasantness of humour, and merit, which you
have; we know not how to live without you. After they had spoken
these words, they began to weep bitterly. My dear ladies, said I,
be so kind as not to keep me in suspense any more: Tell me the
cause of your sorrow. Alas! said they, what other thing could be
capable of grieving us, but the necessity of parting from you? It
may so happen that we shall never see you again; but if you be so
minded, and have command enough over yourself, it is not
impossible for us to meet again. Ladies, said I, I understand not
your meaning; pray explain yourselves more clearly. Oh, then,
said one of them, to satisfy you, we must acquaint you, that we
are all princesses, daughters of kings; we live here together in
such a manner as; you have seen, but, at the end of every year,
we are obliged to be absent forty days upon indispensable duties,
which we are not permitted to reveal; and afterwards we return
again to this castle. Yesterday was the last day of the year, and
we must leave you this day, which is the cause of our grief.
Before we depart, we will leave you the keys to every thing;
especially those belonging to the hundred doors, where you will
have enough to satisfy your curiosity, and to sweeten your
solitude during our absence: But, for your own welfare, and our
particular concern in you, we recommend unto you to forbear
opening the golden door; for, if you do, we shall never see you
again; and the fear of this augments our grief. We hope,
nevertheless, that you will follow the advice we give you, as you
tender your own quiet, and the happiness of your life; therefore
take heed that you do not give way to indiscreet curiosity, for
you will do yourself a considerable prejudice. We conjure you,
therefore, not to commit this fault, but to let us have the
comfort of finding you here again after forty days. We would
willingly carry the key of the golden door along with us; but it
would be an affront to a prince like you to question your
discretion and modesty.

This discourse of the fair princesses made me extremely
sorrowful. I omitted not to make them sensible how much their
absence would afflict me: I thanked them for their good advice,
and assured them that I would follow it, and willingly do what
was much more difficult, in order to be so happy as to pass the
rest of my days with ladies of such rare qualifications. We took
leave of one another with a great deal of tenderness; and having
embraced them all, they at last departed, and I was left alone in
the castle. Their agreeable company, the good cheer, the concert
of music, and other pleasures, had so much diverted me during the
whole year, that I neither had time, nor the least desire, to see
the wonderful things contained in this enchanted palace. Nay, I
did not so much as take notice of a. thousand rare objects that
were every day in my sight; for I was so taken with the charming
beauty of those ladies, and took so much pleasure in seeing them
wholly employed to oblige me, that their departure afflicted me
very sensibly; and though their absence was to be only forty
days, it seemed to be an age to live without them. I promised
myself not to forget the important advice they had given me, not
to open the golden door; but as I was permitted to satisfy my
curiosity in every thing I took the first of the keys of the
other doors, which were hung in good order. I opened the first
door, and came into an orchard, which I believe the universe
could not equal; I could not imagine that any thing could surpass
it, but that which our religion promises us after death; the
symmetry, the neatness, the admirable order of the trees, the
abundance and diversity of a thousand sorts of unknown fruits,
their freshness and beauty, ravished my sight.

I ought not to forget, madam, to acquaint you, that this
delicious orchard was watered after a very particular manner;
there were channels so artificially and proportionably digged,
that they carried water in abundance to the roots of such trees
as wanted it for making them produce their leaves and flowers.
Some carried it to those that had their fruit budded;* Others
carried it in lesser quantities to those whose fruit was growing
big; and others carried only so much as was just requisite to
water those which had their fruit come to perfection, and only
wanted to be ripened. They exceeded the ordinary fruits of our
gardens very much in bigness; and, lastly, those channels that
watered the trees whose fruits were ripe, had no more moisture
than what would just preserve them from withering. I could never
be weary to look at and admire so sweet a place; and I should
never have left it, had I not conceived a greater idea of the
other things which I had not seen. I went out at last with my
mind filled with those wonders; I shut that door, and opened the
next. Instead of an orchard, I found a flower-garden, which was
no less extraordinary of its kind; it contained a spacious plot,
not watered so profusely as the former, but with greater
niceness, furnishing no more water than just what each flower
required. The roses, jessamines, violets, dills, hyacinths,
wind-flowers, tulips, crowsfoots, pinks, lilies, and an infinite
number of other flowers, which do not grow in other places but at
certain times, were there flourishing all at once; and nothing
could be more delicious than the fragrant smell of this garden.

I opened the third door, where I found a large volary, paved with
marble of several fine colours that were not common. The cage was
made of sanders and wood of aloes: it contained a vast number of
nightingales, goldfinches, canary birds, larks, and other rare
singing-birds which I never heard of; and the vessels that held
their seed and water were of the most precious jasper or agate.
Besides, this volary was so exceedingly neat, that, considering
its extent, one would think there could not be less than an
hundred persons to keep it so clean as it was; but all this while
not one soul appeared, either here or in the gardens where I had
been, and yet I could not perceive a weed or any superfluous
thing there. The sun went down, and I retired, being perfectly
charmed with the chirping notes of the multitude of birds, which
then began to perch upon such places as were convenient for them
to repose on during the night. I went to my chamber, resolving to
open all the rest of the doors the day following, except the
golden one.

I failed not to open a fourth door next day, and if what I had
seen before was capable of surprising me, that which I saw then
put me into a perfect ecstasy. I went into a large court,
surrounded with buildings of an admirable structure, the
description of which I shall pass by to avoid prolixity. This
building had forty doors, wide open, and through each of them
there was an entrance into a treasury, several of which were of
greater value than the largest kingdoms. The first contained
heaps of pearls; and, what is almost incredible, the number of
these stones, which are most precious, and as large as pigeons'
eggs, exceeded the number of those of the ordinary size: in the
second treasury there were diamonds, carbuncles, and rubies: in
the third there were emeralds: in the fourth there were ingots of
gold: in the fifth, money: in the sixth, ingots of silver: in the
two following there was also money. The rest contained amethysts,
chrysolites, topazes, opals, turkoises, and hyacinths, with all
the other stones unknown to us, without mentioning agate, jasper,
cornelian, and coral, of which there was a storehouse filled, not
only with branches, but whole trees. Being filled with amazement
and admiration, I cried out to myself, after having seen all
these riches, Now, if all the treasures of the kings of the
universe were gathered together in one place, they could not come
near this. What good fortune have I to possess all this wealth,
with so many admirable princesses!

I shall not stay, madam, to tell you the particulars of all the
other rare and precious things I saw the days following: I shall
only tell you, that thirty-nine days afforded me but just as much
time as was necessary to open ninety-nine doors, and to admire
all that presented itself to my view, so that there was only the
hundredth door left, the opening of which was forbidden. I was
come to the fortieth day after the departure of those charming
princesses, and had I but retained so much power over myself as I
ought to have had, I should have been this day the happiest of
all mankind, whereas now I am the most unfortunate. They were to
return the next day, and the pleasure of seeing them again ought
to have restrained my curiosity; but, through my weakness, which
I shall ever repent, I yielded to the temptations of the evil
spirit, who gave me no rest till I had thrown myself into those
misfortunes that I have since undergone. I opened that fatal
door, which I promised not to meddle with, and had not moved my
foot to go in, when a smell that was pleasant enough, but
contrary to my constitution, made me faint away: Nevertheless, I
came to myself again, and instead of taking this warning to shut
the door, and forbear satisfying my curiosity, I went in, after I
had stood some time in the air to carry off the scent, which did
not incommode me any more. I found a large place, very well
vaulted, the pavement strewed over with saffron; several
candlesticks of massy gold, with lighted tapers that smelled of
aloes and ambergris, lighted the place; and this light was
augmented by lamps of gold and silver, that burned with oil made
of several sorts of sweet-scented materials.

Among a great many objects that engaged my attention, I perceived
a black horse, of the handsomest and best shape that ever was
seen. I went nearer the better to observe him, and found he had a
saddle and a bridle of massy gold, curiously wrought. The one
side of his trough was filled with clean barley and sessems, and
the other with rose water; I took him by the bridle, and led him
forth to view him by the light; I got on his back, and would have
had him move; but he not stirring, I whipped him with a switch I
had taken up in his magnificent stable; and he had no sooner felt
the stroke, than he began to neigh with a horrible noise, and
extending his wings, which I had not seen before, he flew up with
me into the air quite out of sight. I thought on nothing then but
to sit fast; and, considering the fear that had seized upon me, I
sat very well. He afterwards flew down again towards the earth,
and lighting upon the terrace of a castle, without giving me any
time to get off, he shook me out of the saddle with such force,
that he made me fall behind him, and with the end of his tail
struck out my right eye. Thus I became blind of one eye, and then
I began to remember the predictions of the ten young gentlemen.
The horse flew again out of sight. I got up very much troubled at
the misfortune I had brought upon myself: I walked upon the
terrace, covering my eye with one of my hands, for it pained me
exceedingly, and then came down and entered into the hall, which
I knew presently by the ten sofas in a circle, and the eleventh
in the middle, lower than the rest, to be the same castle from
whence I was taken by the roc. The ten half-blind gentlemen were
not in the hall when I came in, but came soon after with the old
man; they were not at all surprised to see me again, nor at the
loss of my eye; but said, We are sorry that we cannot
congratulate you upon your return as we could have desired; but
we are not the cause of your misfortune. I should be in the wrong
to accuse you, said I, for I have drawn it upon myself, and I can
charge the fault upon no other person. If it be a consolation to
the unfortunate, said they, to have fellows, this example may
afford us a subject of rejoicing; all that has happened to you,
we also have undergone: we tasted all sorts of pleasure during a
year successively; and we had continued to enjoy the same
happiness still, had we not opened the golden door when the
princesses were absent: You have been no wiser than we, and you
had likewise the same punishment; we would gladly receive you
among us, to do such penance as we do, though we know not how
long it may continue: But we have already declared the reasons
that hinder us; therefore depart from hence, and go to the court
of Bagdad, where you will meet with him that can decide your
destiny. They told me the way I was to travel, and so I left
them. On the road I caused my beard and eye-brows to be shaved,
and took on a calender's habit. I have had a long journey; but at
last arrived this evening in this city, where I met these my
brother calenders at the gate, being strangers as well as myself.
We wondered much at one another, to see all three blind, of the
same eye; but we had not leisure to discourse long of our common
calamities, having only so much time as to come hither to implore
those favours which you have been generously pleased to grant us.

The third calender having finished this relation of his
adventures, Zobeide addressed her speech to him and his
fellow-calenders thus: Go wherever you think fit; you are all
three at liberty. But one of them answered, madam, we beg you to
pardon our curiosity, and permit us to hear those gentlemen's
stories who have not yet spoken. Then the lady turned to that
side where stood the caliph, the vizier Giafar, and Mesrour, whom
she knew not; but said to them, It is now your turn to tell me
your adventures; therefore speak.

The grand vizier Giafar, who had always been the spokesman,
answered Zobeide thus: Madam, in order to obey you, we need only
repeat what we have said already, before we entered your house.
We are merchants of Moussol, that came to Bagdad to sell our
merchandise, which lies in the khan where we lodge. We dined
to-day, with several other persons of our profession, at a
merchant's house in this city; who, after he had treated us with
choice dainties and excellent wines, sent for men and women
dancers and musicians. The great noise we made brought in the
watch, who arrested some of the company, but we had the good
fortune to escape; and it being already late, and the door of our
khan shut up, we knew not whither to retire. It was our hap, as
we passed along this street, to hear mirth at your house, which
made us determine to knock at your gate. This is all the account
that we can give you in obedience to your commands.

Zobeide, having heard this discourse, seemed to hesitate as to
what she should say; which the calenders perceiving, prayed her
to grant the same favour to the three Moussol merchants as she
had done to them. Well, then, said she, I give my consent, for
you shall be all equally obliged to me; I pardon you all,
provided you depart immediately out of this house, and go whither
you please. Zobeide haying given this command in a tone that
signified she would be obeyed, the caliph, the vizier, Mesrour,
the three calenders, and the porter, departed without saying one
word; for the presence of the seven slaves with their weapons
kept them in awe. When they were out of the house, and the door
shut, the caliph said to the calenders, without making himself
known, You gentlemen strangers, that are newly come to town,
which way do you design to go, since it is not yet day? It is
that which perplexes us, sir, said they. Follow us, replies the
caliph, and we shall bring you out of danger. After saying these
words, he whispered to the vizier, Take them along with you, and
to-morrow morning bring them to me; I will cause their history to
be put in writing, for it deserves a place in the annals of my
reign. The vizier Giafar took the three calenders along with him;
the porter went to his quarters, and the caliph and Mesrour
returned to the palace. The caliph went to bed, but could not get
a wink of sleep, his spirits being perplexed by the extraordinary
things he had seen and heard; But, above all, he was most
concerned to know who Zobeide was, what reason she could have to
be so severe to the two black bitches, and why Amine had her
bosom so mortified. Day began to appear whilst he was thinking
upon these things: he arose and went to his council-chamber,
where he used to give audience, and sat upon his throne.

The grand vizier came in a little after, and paid his respects as
usual. Vizier, said the caliph, the affairs we have to consider
at present are not very pressing; that of the three ladies and
the two black bitches is much more so. My mind cannot be at ease
till I be thoroughly satisfied in all those matters that have
surprised me so much. Go, bring these ladies and the calenders at
the same time; make haste, and remember that I do impatiently
expect your return. The vizier, who knew his master's quick and
fiery temper, made haste to obey, and went to the ladies, to whom
he communicated, in a civil way, the orders he had to bring them
before the caliph, without taking any notice of what had passed
the night before at their house. The ladies put on their veils,
and went with the vizier; as he passed by his own house, he took
the three calenders along with him, and they, in the mean time,
had got notice that they had both seen and spoken with the caliph
without knowing him. The vizier brought them to the palace with
so much diligence, that the caliph was mightily pleased at it.
This prince, that he might keep a good decorum before all the
officers of his court who were then present, made those ladies be
placed behind the hanging of the door of the room that was next
his bedchamber, and kept by him the three calenders; who, by
their respectful behaviour, gave sufficient proof that they were
not ignorant before whom they had the honour to appear. When the
ladies were placed, the caliph turned towards them, and said,
When I shall acquaint you, that I came last night, disguised in a
merchant's habit, into your house, it will certainly alarm you,
and make you fear that you have offended me; and perhaps you
believe that I have sent for you to no other end but to show some
marks of my resentment: But be not afraid; you may rest assured
that I have forgotten all that has passed, and am very well
satisfied with your conduct. I wish that all the ladies of Bagdad
had as much discretion as you have given proof of before me. I
shall always remember the moderation you made use of, after the
incivility we had committed. I was then a merchant of Moussol,
but am at present Haroun Alraschid, the seventh caliph of the
glorious house of Abbas, who holds the place of our great
prophet. I have only sent for you to know who you are, and to ask
for what reason one of you, after severely whipping the two black
bitches, did weep with them? and I am no less curious to know why
another of you has her bosom full of scars? Though the caliph
pronounced these words very distinctly, so that the three ladies
heard them well enough, yet the vizier Giafar did, out of
ceremony, repeat them over again.

Zobeide, after the caliph by his discourse encouraged her,
satisfied his curiosity in this manner.

                     THE STORY OF ZOBEIDE.

Commander of the faithful, says she, the relation I am about to
give to your majesty is one of the strangest that ever was heard.
The two black bitches and myself are sisters by the same father
and mother; and I shall acquaint you by what strange accident
they came to be metamorphosed. The two ladies that live with me,
and are now here, are also my sisters by the father's side, but
by another mother; she that has the scars on her breast is Amine,
the other is Safie, and mine is Zobeide.

After our father's death, the estate that he left us was equally
divided among us; and so soon as those two sisters received their
portions, they went from me to live with their mother. My other
two sisters and myself staid with our mother, who was then alive,
and, when she died, left each of us a thousand sequins. As soon
as we received our portions, the two elder (for I am the
youngest) being married, followed their husbands, and left me
alone. Some time after, my eldest sister's husband sold all that
he had; and with that money, and my sister's portion, they both
went into Africa, where her husband, by riotous living and
debauchery, spent all; when, finding himself reduced to poverty,
he found a pretext for divorcing my sister, and put her away. She
returned to this city, and having suffered incredible hardships
by the way, came to me in so lamentable a condition, as would
have moved the hardest heart to compassion. I received her with
all the tenderness she could expect; and inquiring into the cause
of her sad condition, she told me, with tears, how inhumanly her
husband had dealt by her. I was so much concerned at her
misfortune, that tears flowed from my eyes: I put her into a
bagnio, and clothed her with my own apparel, and spoke to her
thus: Sister, you are the elder, and I esteem you as my mother:
During your absence, God has blessed the portion that fell to my
share, and the employment I follow to feed and bring up
silk-worms. Assure yourself that there is nothing I have but what
is at your service and as much at your disposal as my own.

We lived very comfortably together for some months; and as we
were often discoursing together about our third sister, and
wondering we heard no news of her, she came in as bad a condition
as the elder; her husband had treated her after the same manner,
and I received her with the same affection as I had done the
former. Some time after, my two sisters, on pretence that they
would not be chargeable to me, told me they had thoughts to marry
again. I answered them, that if their putting me to charge was
the only reason, they might lay those thoughts aside, and be very
welcome to stay with me; for what I had would be sufficient to
maintain us all three, answerably to our condition: But, said I,
I rather believe you have a mind to marry again; which if you
have, I am sure it will very much surprise me: After the
experience you have had of the small satisfaction there is in
wedlock, is it possible you dare venture a second time? You know
how rare it is to meet with a husband that is a real honest man.
Believe what I say, and let us stay together, and live as
comfortably as we can. All my persuasion was in vain; they were
resolved to marry, and so they did; but, after some months were
past, they came back again, and begged my pardon a thousand times
for not following my advice. You are our youngest sister, said
they, and abundantly more wise than we; but if you will vouchsafe
to receive us once more into your house, and account us your
slaves, we shall never commit such a fault again. My answer was,
Dear sisters, I have not altered my mind with respect to you
since we last parted from one another; come again, and take part
of what I have. Upon this, I embraced them cordially, and we
lived together as formerly.

We continued thus a whole year in perfect love and tranquillity;
and seeing that God had increased my small stock, I projected a
voyage by sea to hazard somewhat in trade. To this end, I went
with my two sisters to Balsora, where I bought a ship ready
fitted for sea, and loaded her with such merchandise as I brought
from Bagdad. We set sail with a fair wind, and soon got through
the Persian gulph; and when got into the ocean, we steered our
course for the Indies, and saw land the twentieth day. It was a
very high mountain, at the bottom of which we saw a great town;
and having a fresh gale, we soon reached the harbour, where we
cast anchor. I had not patience to stay till my sisters were
dressed to go along with me, but went ashore in the boat myself;
and making directly to the gate of the town, I saw there a great
number of men upon guard, some sitting and others standing, with
batons in their hands; and they had all such dreadful
countenances that they frightened me; but perceiving that they
had no motion, nay not so much as with their eyes, I took
courage, and went nearer, and then found they were all turned
into stones. I entered the town, and passed through the several
streets, where there stood every where men in several postures,
but all immovable and petrified. On that side where the merchants
lived, I found most of the shops shut, and, in such as were open,
I likewise found the people petrified. I looked up to the
chimnies, but saw no smoke; which made me conjecture that those
within, as well as those without, were turned into stones. Being
come into a vast square in the heart of the city, I perceived a
great gate covered with plates of gold, the two leaves of which
stood open, and a curtain of silk stuff seemed to be drawn before
it; I also saw a lamp hanging over the gate. After I had well
considered the fabric, I made no doubt but it was the palace of
the prince who reigned over that country; and being very much
astonished that I had not met with one living creature, I went
thither in hopes to find some: I entered the gate, and was still
more surprised when I saw none but the guards in the porches all
petrified; some standing, some sitting, and others lying. I
crossed over a large court, where I saw just before me a stately
building, the windows of which were enclosed with gates of massy
gold: I looked upon it to be the queen's apartment, and went into
a large hall, where stood several black eunuchs turned into
stone. I went from thence in to a room richly hung and furnished,
where I perceived a lady in the same manner. I knew it to be the
queen, by the crown of gold that hung over her head, and a
necklace of pearl about her neck, each of them as big as a nut:
I, went up close to her to view it, and never saw any thing
finer, I stood some time, and admired the richness and
magnificence of the room; but, above all, the foot-cloth, the
cushions, and the sofas, which were all lined with Indian stuff
of gold, with pictures of men and beasts in silver, drawn to
admiration. I went out of the chamber where the petrified queen
was, and came through several other apartments and closets richly
furnished, and at last came into a vast large room, where there
was a throne of massy gold raised several steps above the floor,
and enriched with large enchased emeralds, and a bed upon the
throne of rich stuff embroidered with pearls. That which
surprised me more than all the rest was a sparkling light which
came from above the bed: Being curious to know from whence it
came, I mounted the steps, and lifting up my head, I saw a
diamond, as big as the egg of an ostrich, lying upon a low stool:
It was so pure, that I could not find the least blemish in it;
and it sparkled so bright, that I could not endure its lustre
when I saw it by day. On each side of the bed-head there stood a
lighted flambeau, but for what use I could not apprehend;
however, it made me imagine that there was some living creature
in this place; for I could not believe that these torches
continued burning of themselves. Several other rarities detained
me in this room, which was inestimable, were it only for the
diamond I mentioned.

The doors being all open, or but half shut, I surveyed some other
apartments as fine as those I had already seen. I looked into the
offices and store-rooms, which were full of infinite riches; and
I was so much taken with the sight of all these wonderful things,
that I forgot myself, and did not think on my ship or my sisters,
my whole design being to satisfy my curiosity: Meantime night
came on, which put me in mind that it was time to retire. I was
for returning by the same way I came in, but could not find it; I
lost myself among the apartments; and finding I was come back
again to that large room where the throne, the couch, the large
diamond, and the torches stood, I resolved to make my night's
lodging there, and to depart the next morning betimes, in order
to get on board my ship. I laid myself down upon the couch, not
without some dread to be alone in a wild place, and this fear
hindered my sleep.

About midnight I heard a voice like that of a man reading the
alcoran, after the same manner, and in the same tone, as we used
to read it in our mosques. Being extremely glad to hear it, I got
up immediately, and, taking a torch in my hand to light me, I
passed from one chamber to another, on that side whence the voice
issued; I came to the closet-door, where I stood still, not
doubting that it came from thence. I set down my torch upon the
ground, and looking through a window, I found it to be an
oratory. In short, it had, as we have in our mosques, a niche,
which shows where we must turn to say our prayers. There were
also lamps hung up, and two candlesticks with large tapers ef
white wax burning. I saw a little carpet laid down like those we
kneel upon when we say our prayers, and a comely young man sat
upon this carpet reading the alcoran, which lay before him upon a
desk, with great devotion. At the sight of this I was transported
with admiration; I wondered how it came to pass that he should be
the only living creature in a town where all the people were
turned into stones, and did not doubt but that there was
something in it very extraordinary. The door being only half
shut, I opened it, and went in, and, standing upright before the
niche, said this prayer aloud: 'Praise be to God, who has
favoured us with a happy voyage; and may he be graciously pleased
to protect us in the same manner, until we arrive again in our
own country. Hear me, O Lord, and grant my request.' The young
man cast his eyes upon me, and said, My good lady, pray let me
know who you are, and what has brought you to this desolate city?
In requital I will tell you who I am, what happened to me, why
the inhabitants of this city are reduced to the state you see
them in, and why I alone am safe and sound in the midst of such a
terrible disaster. I told him in few words from whence I came,
what made me undertake the voyage, and how I safely arrived at
this port, after twenty days sailing; and when I had done, prayed
him to perform his promise, and told him how much I was struck by
the frightful desolation which I had seen in all places as I came

My dear lady, says the young man, have patience for a moment. At
those words he shut the alcoran, put it into a rich case, and
laid it in the niche. I took that opportunity to observe him, and
perceived so much good nature and beauty in him, that I felt very
strange emotions. He made me sit down by him, and, before he
began his discourse, I could not forbear saying to him, with an
air that discovered the sentiments I was inspired with, Amiable
sir, dear object of my soul, I can scarcely have patience to wait
for an account of all those wonderful things that I have seen
since the first time I came into your city, and my curiosity
cannot be satisfied too soon; therefore, pray, sir, let me know
by what miracle you alone are left alive among so many persons
who have died in so strange a manner.

Madam, says the young man, you have given me to understand you
have the knowledge of a true God, by the prayer you have just now
addressed to him. I will acquaint you with a most remarkable
effect of his greatness and power. You must know that this city
was the metropolis of a mighty kingdom, over which the king my
father reigned. That prince, his whole court, the inhabitants of
the city, and all his other subjects, were magi, worshippers of
fire, and of Nardoun, the ancient king of the giants, who
rebelled against God. Though I was begotten and born of an
adulterous father and mother, I had the good fortune in my youth
to have a woman-governess who was a good Mussulman; I had the
alcoran by heart, and understood the explanation of it perfectly
well. Dear prince, would she oftentimes say, there is but one
true God; take heed that you do not acknowledge or adore any
other. She learned me to read Arabic, and the book she gave me to
exercise upon was the alcoran. As soon as I was capable of
understanding it, she explained to me all the heads of this
excellent book, and infused piety into my mind, unknown to my
father or any body else. She happened to die, but not before she
had perfectly instructed me in all that was necessary to convince
me of the Mussulman religion. After her death, I persisted with
constancy in the belief I was in; and I abhor the false god
Nardoun, as well as the adoration of fire.

About three years and some months ago, a thundering voice was
heard, all of a sudden, so distinctly through the whole city,
that nobody could miss hearing it. The words were these:
'Inhabitants, abandon the worship of Nardoun and of fire, and
worship the only God that shows mercy.' This voice was heard
three years successively, but nobody was converted: So the last
day of the year, at four o'clock in the morning, all the
inhabitants were changed in an instant into stone, every one in
the same condition and posture in which he then happened to be.
The king my father had the same fate, for he was metamorphosed
into a black stone, as may be seen in this palace; and the queen
my mother had the like destiny. I am the only person that did not
suffer under that heavy judgment; and ever since I have continued
to serve God with more fervency than before. I am persuaded, dear
lady, that he has sent you hither for my comfort, for which I
render him infinite thanks; for I must own that this solitary
life is very uneasy.

All these expressions, and particularly the last, increased my
love to him extremely. Prince, said I, there is no doubt that
Providence hath brought me into your port to present you with an
opportunity of withdrawing from this dismal place; the ship that
I am come in may in some measure persuade you that I am in some
esteem at Bagdad, where I have left also a considerable estate;
and I dare engage to promise you sanctuary there, until the
mighty commander of the faithful, who is vice regent to our
prophet, whom you acknowledge, do you the honour that is due to
your merit. This renowned prince lives at Bagdad; and as soon as
he is informed of your arrival in his capital, you will find that
it is not in vain to implore his assistance. It is impossible you
can stay any longer in a city where all the objects you see must
renew your grief: My vessel is at your service, where you may
absolutely command as you shall think fit. He accepted the offer,
and we discoursed the remaining part of the night about our
embarkation. As soon as it was day, we left the palace, and came
on board my ship, where we found my sisters, the captain, and the
slaves, all very much troubled about my absence. After I had
presented my sisters to the prince, I told them what had hindered
my return to the vessel the day before; how I had met with the
young prince; his story, and the cause of the desolation of so
fine a city.

The seamen were taken up several days in unloading the
merchandise I brought along with me, and embarking, instead of
that, all the precious things in the palace, as jewels, gold, and
money. We left the furniture and goods, which consisted of an
infinite quantity of plate, etc., because our vessel could not
carry it; for it would have required several vessels more to
carry all the riches to Bagdad which it was in our option to take
with us. After we had loaded the vessel with what we thought fit,
we took such provisions and water on board as were necessary for
our voyage, (for we had still a great deal of those provisions
left that we had taken in at Balsora;) and at last set sail with
a favourable wind.

The young prince, my sisters, and myself, enjoyed ourselves for
some time very agreeably. But, alas! this good understanding did
not last long; for my sisters grew jealous of the friendship
between the prince and me, and maliciously asked me one day, What
we should do with him when we came to Bagdad? I perceived
immediately that they put this question to me on purpose to
discover my inclinations; therefore resolving to put it off with
a jest, I answered them, I will take him for my husband; and upon
that, turning myself to the prince, Sir, I humbly beg of you to
give your consent; for, as soon as we come to Bagdad, I design to
offer you my person to be your slave, to do you all the service
that is in my power, and to resign myself wholly to your
commands. The prince answered, I know not, madam, whether you are
in jest or not; but, for my own part, I seriously declare before
these ladies, your sisters, that from this moment I heartily
accept your offer, not with any intention to have you as a slave,
but as my lady and mistress; nor will I pretend to have any power
over your actions. At these words my sisters changed colour, and
I could easily perceive that afterwards they did not love me as

We were come into the Persian gulph, and not far from Balsora,
where I hoped, considering the fair wind, we might have arrived
the day following; but in the night, when I was asleep, my
sisters watched their time, and threw me overboard. They did the
same to the prince, who was drowned. I swam some minutes on the
water; but by good fortune, or rather miracle, I felt ground. I
went towards a black place, which, by what I could discern in the
dark, seemed to be land, and actually was a flat on the coast:
when day came, I found it to be a desert island, lying about
twenty miles from Balsora. I soon dried my clothes in the sun;
and as I walked along, found several sorts of fruit, and likewise
fresh water, which gave me some hopes of preserving my life. I
laid myself down in a shade, and soon after I saw a winged
serpent, very large and long, coming towards me wriggling to the
right and to the left, and hanging out his tongue, which made me
think he had got some hurt. I rose, and saw a serpent still
larger following, holding him by the tail, and endeavouring to
devour him, I had compassion on him, and, instead of flying away,
had the boldness and courage to take up a stone that by chance
lay by me, and threw it at the great serpent with all my
strength, whom I hit on the head and killed. The other, finding
himself at liberty, took to his wings and flew away. I looked a
long while after him in the air, as being an extraordinary thing;
but he flew out of sight, and I lay down again in another place
in the shade, and fell asleep. When I awaked, judge how I was
surprised to see a black woman by me, of a lively and agreeable
complexion, who held two bitches tied together in her hand, of
the same colour. I sat up, and asked her who she was? I am, said
she, the serpent whom you delivered not long since from my mortal
enemy. I know not how to acknowledge the great kindness you did
me, except by doing what I have done. I know the treachery of
your sisters, and, to revenge you as soon as I was set at liberty
by your generous assistance, I called several of my companions
together, fairies like myself. We have carried the loading that
was in your vessel into your storehouses at Bagdad, and
afterwards sunk it. These two black bitches are your sisters,
whom I have transformed into this shape: but this punishment is
not sufficient, for I will have you to treat them after such a
manner as I shall direct.

At these words, the fairy took me fast under one of her arms, and
the two bitches in the other, and carried me to my house at
Bagdad, where I found all the riches, which were loaded on board
my vessel, in my store-houses. Before she left me, she delivered
me the two bitches, and told me, If you wish not to be changed
into a bitch, as they are, I ordain you, in the name of him that
governs the sea, to give each of your sisters every night a
hundred lashes with a rod, for the punishment of the crime they
have committed against your person, and the young prince whom
they have drowned. I was forced to promise that I would obey her
order. Since that time I have whipped them every night, though
with regret, whereof your majesty has been a witness. I give
evidence, by my tears, with how much sorrow and reluctance I must
perform this cruel duty; and in this your majesty may see I am
more to be pitied than blamed. If there be any thing else, with
relation to myself, that you desire to be informed of, my sister
Amine will give you the full discovery of it by the relation of
her story.

The caliph heard Zobride with a great deal of astonishment, and
desired his grand vizier to pray fair Amine to acquaint him
wherefore her breast was marked with so many scars. Upon this,
Amine addressed herself to the caliph, and began her story after
this manner:

                      THE STORY OF AMINE.

Commander of the faithful, says she, to avoid repeating what your
majesty has already heard from my sister's story, I shall only
add, that after my mother had taken a house for herself to live
in during her widowhood, she gave me in marriage, with the
portion my father left me, to a gentleman that had one of the
best estates in this city. I had scarcely been a year married
when I became a widow, and was left in possession of all my
husband's estate, which amounted to ninety thousand sequins. The
interest of this money was sufficient to maintain me very
honourably. In the mean time, when my first six months' mourning
was over, I caused to be made me ten suits of clothes, very rich,
so that each suit came to a thousand sequins; and, when the year
was past, I began to wear them.

One day, as I was busy all alone about my private affairs, one
came to tell me that a lady desired to speak with me. I ordered
that she should be brought in: She was a person well stricken in
years; she saluted me by kissing the ground, and told me,
kneeling, Dear lady, pray excuse the freedom I take; the
confidence I have in your charity makes me thus bold: I must
acquaint your ladyship that I have a daughter, an orphan, who is
to be married this day; she and I are both strangers, and have no
acquaintances at all in this town: this puts me in a perplexity,
for we would have the numerous family with whom we are going to
ally ourselves to think we are not, altogether strangers, and
without credit: Therefore, most beautiful lady, if you would
vouchsafe to honour the wedding with your presence, we shall be
infinitely obliged to you; because the ladies of your country
will then know that we are not looked upon here as despicable
wretches, when they shall come to understand that a lady of your
quality did us that honour. But, alas! madam, if you refuse this
request, we shall be altogether disgraced, and dare not address
ourselves to any other.

The poor woman's discourse, mingled with tears, moved my
compassion. Good woman, said I, do not afflict yourself; I am
willing to grant you the favour you desire; tell me what place I
must come to, and I will meet you as soon as I am dressed. The
old woman was so transported with joy at my answer, that she
kissed my feet, without my being able to hinder her. Good
charitable lady, said she, rising up, God will reward the
kindness you have shown to your servants, and make your heart as
joyful as you have made theirs. It is too soon yet to give
yourself that trouble; it will be time enough when I come to call
you in the evening: So farewell, madam, said she, until I have
the honour to see you again. As soon as she was gone, I took the
suit I liked best, with a necklace of large pearls, bracelets,
pendents in my ears, and rings set with the finest and most
sparkling diamonds; for my mind presaged what would befall me.
When night drew on, the old woman came to call me with a
countenance full of joy; she kissed my hands, and said, My dear
lady, the relations of my son-in-law, who are the principal
ladies of the town, are now met together; you may come when you
please, I am ready to wait on you. We went immediately, she going
before, and I followed her with a good number of my maids and
slaves, very well dressed. We stopped in a large street, newly
swept and watered, at a large gate, with a lantern before it, by
the light of which I could read this inscription over the gate in
golden letters: 'Here is the abode of everlasting pleasures and
content.' The old woman knocked, and the gate was opened
immediately. They brought me to the lower end of the court into a
large hall, where I was received by a young lady of admirable
beauty; she came up to me, and after having embraced me, and made
me sit down by her upon a sofa, where there was a throne of
precious wood beset with diamonds, Madam, said she, you are
brought hither to assist at a wedding; but I hope this marriage
will prove otherwise than you expect. I have a brother, one of
the handsomest men in the world; he has fallen so much in love
with your beauty, that his fate depends wholly upon you, and he
will be the unhappiest of men, if you do not take pity on him. He
knows your quality, and I can assure you he is not unworthy of
your alliance. If my prayers, madam, can prevail, I shall join
them with his, and humbly beg you will not refuse the offer of
being his wife.

After the death of my husband, I had no thoughts of marrying
again; but I had not power to refuse the offer made by so
charming a lady. As soon as I had given consent by silence,
accompanied with a blush, the young lady clapped her hands, and
immediately a closet-door opened, out of which came a young man
of a majestic air, and of so graceful a behaviour, that I thought
myself happy to have made so great a conquest. He sat down by me,
and, by the discourse we had together, I found that his merits
far exceeded the account his sister had given me of him. When she
saw that we were satisfied one with another, she clapped her
hands a second time, and out came a cadi, or scrivener, who wrote
our contract of marriage, signed it himself, and caused it to be
attested by four witnesses he brought along with him. The only
thing that my new spouse made me promise was, that I should not
be seen nor speak with any other man but himself; and he vowed to
me, upon that condition, that I should have no reason to complain
of him. Our marriage was concluded and finished after this
manner; so I became the principal actress in a wedding to which I
was invited only as a guest.

After we bad been married about a month, I had occasion for some
stuffs; I asked my husband's leave to go out to buy them which he
granted; and I took that old woman along with me of whom I spoke
before, she being one of the family, with two of my own female
slaves. When we came to the street where the merchants dwell, the
old woman told me, Dear mistress, since you want silk stuffs, I
must carry you to a young merchant of my acquaintance who has of
all sorts, which will prevent your wearying yourself by going
from one shop to another. I can assure you that he is able to
furnish you with that which nobody else can. I was easily
persuaded, and we entered into a shop belonging to a young
merchant. I sat down and bid the old woman desire him to show me
the finest silk stuffs he had: The woman bid me speak myself;
but, I told her it was one of the articles of my
marriage-contract not to speak to any man but my husband, and
that I must keep to it. The merchant showed me several stuffs, of
which one pleased me better than the rest. I bid her ask the
price. He answered the old woman, I will not sell it for gold or
money, but I will make her a present of it, if she will give me
leave to kiss her cheek. I bid the old woman tell him that he was
very rude to propose such a thing. But, instead of obeying me,
she said, What the merchant desires of you is no such great
matter; you need not speak, but only present him your cheek, and
the business will soon be done. The stuff pleased me so much,
that I was foolish enough to take her advice. The old woman and
my slaves stood up, that nobody might see, and I put up my veil;
but, instead of a kiss, the merchant bit me till the blood came.
The pain and surprise were so great, that I fell down in a swoon,
and continued in it so long, that the merchant had time to shut
his shop, and fly for it. When I came to myself, I found my cheek
all bloody: The old woman and my slaves took care to cover it
with my veil, lest the people who cams about us should perceive;
but they supposed it only a fainting-fit. The old woman that was
with me, being extremely troubled at the accident, endeavoured to
comfort me: My dear mistress, said she, I beg your pardon, for I
am the cause of this misfortune, having brought you to this
merchant because he is my countryman; but I never thought he
could be capable of so vile an action. But do not grieve; let us
make haste to go home. I will give you a medicine that will
perfectly cure you in three days time, so that the least mark
will not be seen. The fit had made me so weak, that I was
scarcely able to walk; but at last I got home, where I had a
second fit as I went into my chamber. Meanwhile the old woman
applied her remedy, so that I came to myself, and went to bed.

My husband came to me at night, and seeing my head bound up,
asked the reason. I told him I had the headache, and hoped he
would inquire no further; but he took a candle, and saw that my
cheek was hurt: How comes this wound? said he. Though I was not
very guilty, yet I could not think of owning the thing: besides,
to make such confession to a husband, was somewhat indecent;
therefore I told him, that as I was going to seek for that stuff
you gave me leave to buy, a porter carrying a load of wood came
so close by me, as I went through a narrow street, that one of
the sticks gave me a rub on my cheek; but it is not much hurt.
This put my husband into such a passion, that he vowed it should
not go unpunished; for he should to-morrow give orders to the
lieutenant of the police to seize upon all those brutes of
porters, and cause them to be hanged. Being afraid to occasion
the death of so many innocent persons, I told him, Sir, I should
be sorry that so great a piece of injustice should be committed.
Pray, do not do it; for I should judge myself unpardonable, if I
were the cause of so much mischief. Then tell me sincerely, said
he, how you came by this wound? I answered, that it came through
the inadvertency of a broom-seller upon an ass, who coming behind
me, and looking another way, his ass gave me such a push, that I
fell down, and hurt my cheek upon some glass. Is it so? said my
husband, then to-morrow morning, before sun-rise, the grand
vizier Giafar shall have an account of this insolence, and he
shall cause all the broom-sellers to be put to death. For the
love of God, sir, said I, let me beg of you to pardon them, for
they are not guilty. How, madam, said he, what is it I must
believe? Speak, for I am absolutely resolved to know the truth
from your own mouth. Sir, said I, I was taken with a giddiness,
and fell down; and that is the whole matter. At these last words,
my husband lost all patience. Oh! cried he, I have given ear to
your lies too long. With that, clapping his hands, in came three
slaves: Pull her out of bed, said he, and lay her in the middle
of the floor. The slaves obeyed his orders, one holding me by the
head, and another by the feet: he commanded the third to fetch
him a scimitar, and when he had brought it, Strike, said he, cut
her in two in the middle, and then throw her into the Tigris to
feed the fishes. This is the punishment I give to those to whom I
have given my heart, if they falsify their promise. When he saw
that the slave made no haste to obey his orders, Why do not you
strike? said he; who is it that holds you? what art thou waiting

Madam, then, said the slave, as you are near the last moment of
your life, consider if you have, any thing to dispose of before
you die. I begged to be allowed to speak one word, which was
granted me. I lifted up my head, and looking wistfully to my
husband, Alas, said I, to what condition am I reduced? must I
then die in the prime of my youth? I could say no more, for my
tears and sighs prevented me. My husband was not at all. moved,
but to the contrary, went on to reproach me; so that to have made
an answer would have been in vain. I had recourse to entreaties
and prayers; but he had no regard to them, and commanded the
slaves to proceed to execution. The old woman that had been his
nurse came in just at that moment, fell down upon her knees, and
endeavoured to appease his wrath: My son, said she, since I have
been your nurse, and brought you up, let me beg the favour of you
to grant me her life; consider that he who kills shall be killed,
that you will stain your reputation, and lose the esteem of
mankind. What will not the world say of such a bloody rage? She
spoke these words in such a taking away, accompanied with tears,
that she gained upon him at last. Well, then, says he to his
nurse, for your sake I will spare her life; but she shall carry
some marks along with her, to make her remember her crime. With
that, one of the slaves, by his order, gave me so many blows, as
hard as he could strike, with a little cane, upon my sides and
breast, that he fetched both skin and flesh away, so that I lay
senseless: after that he caused the same slaves, the executioners
of his fury, to carry me into a house, where the old woman took
care of me. I kept my bed four months; at last I recovered; but
the scars you saw yesterday have remained ever since.

As soon as I was able to walk and go abroad, I resolved to go to
the house which was my own by my first husband, but I could not
find the place. My second husband, in the heat of his wrath, was
not content to have it razed to the ground, but caused all the
street where it stood to be pulled down. I believe such a violent
proceeding was never heard of before; but against whom should I
make my complaint? The author had taken such care, that he was
not to be found, neither could I know him again if I saw him; and
suppose I had known him, is it not easily seen that the treatment
I met with proceeded from absolute power? How then dared I make
any complaints.

Being destitute and unprovided of every thing, I had recourse to
my dear sister Zobeide, who gave your majesty just now an account
of her adventures; to her I made known my misfortune; she
received me with her accustomed goodness, and advised me to bear
it with patience. This is the way of the world, said she, which
either robs us of our means, our friends, or our lovers, and
oftentimes of all at once; and at the same time, to confirm what
she had said, she gave me an account of the loss of the young
prince, occasioned by the jealousy of her two sisters; she told
me also by what accident they were transformed into bitches; and,
in the last place, after a thousand testimonials of her love
towards me, she showed me my youngest sister, who had likewise
taken sanctuary wish her after the death of her mother.

Thus we gave God thanks, who had brought us together again,
resolving to live a single life, and never to separate any more,
for we have enjoyed this peaceable way of living many years; and
as it was my business to mind the affairs of the house, I always
took pleasure to go myself, and buy in what we wanted. I happened
to go abroad yesterday, and the things I bought I caused to be
brought home by a porter, who proved to be a sensible and jocose
fellow, and we kept him by us for a little diversion. Three
calenders happened to come to our door as it began to grow dark,
and prayed us to giye them shelter until next morning: we gave
them entrance upon certain conditions, to which they agreed; and
after we had made them sit down at the table by us, they gave us
a concert of music after their fashion, and at the same time we
heard a knocking at our gate. These were the three merchants of
Moussol, men of a very good mien, who begged the same favour
which the calenders had obtained before: we consented upon the
same conditions, but neither of them kept their promise; and
though we had power as well as justice on our side to punish
them, yet we contented ourselves with demanding from them the
history of their lives, and consequently bounded our revenge with
dismissing them after they had done, and depriving them of the
lodging they demanded.

The caliph Haroun Alraschid was very well satisfied with these
strange stories, and declared publicly his astonishment at what
he had heard. Having satisfied his curiosity, he thought himself
obliged to give some marks of grandeur and generosity to the
calender princes, and also to give the three ladies some proofs
of his bounty. He himself, without making use of his minister the
grand vizier, said to Zobeide, Madam, did not this fairy, that
showed herself to you in the shape of a serpent, and imposed such
a rigorous command upon you, tell you where her place of abode
was? or rather did she not promise to see you, and restore those
bitches to their natural shape? Commander of the faithful,
answered Zobeide, I forgot to tell your majesty, that the fairy
left with me a bundle of hair, saying withal that her presence
would one day stand me in stead; and then, if I only burnt two
tufts of this hair, she would be with me in a moment, though she
were beyond mount Caucasus. Madam, says the caliph, where is the
bundle of hair? She answered, Ever since that time, I have had
such a particular care of it, that I always carry it about with
me: Upon which she pulled it out, opened the case a little where
it was, and showed it him. Well, then, said the caliph, let us
make the fairy come hither; you could not call her in a better
time, for I long to see her. Zobeide having consented to it, fire
was brought in, and she threw the whole bundle of hair into it.
The Palace began to shake at that very instant, and the fairy
appeared before the caliph in the shape of a lady very richly
dressed. Commander of the faithful, said she to the prince, you
see I am ready to come and receive your commands. The lady that
gave me this call by your order, did me a particular piece of
service: to make my gratitude appear, I revenged her of her
sisters' inhumanity by changing them into bitches; but, if your
majesty command, I shall restore them to their former shape.
Handsome fairy, said the caliph, you cannot do me a greater
pleasure; vouchsafe them that favour, and after that I will find
out some means to comfort them for their hard penance; But,
besides, I have another boon to ask in favour of this lady who
has had such cruel usage from an unknown husband; and as you
undoubtedly know a great many things, we have reason to believe
you cannot, be ignorant of this; oblige me with the name of this
unfeeling fellow, who could not be contented to exercise his
cruelty upon her person, but has also most unjustly taken from
her all the substance she had I only wonder that such an unjust
and inhuman action could be performed in spite of my authority,
and not come to my ears. To serve your majesty, answered the
fairy, I will restore the two bitches to their former state, and
cure the lady of her scars, so that it will never appear she was
so beaten; after which I will tell you who it was that did it.
The caliph sent for the two bitches from Zobeide's house, and
when they came, a glass of water was brought to the fairy at her
desire: she pronounced some words over it which nobody
understood; then throwing some part of it upon Amine, and the
rest upon the bitches, the latter became two ladies of surprising
beauty, and the scars that were upon Amine vanished away. After
which the fairy said to the caliph, Commander of the faithful, I
must now discover to you, the unknown husband you inquire after:
he is very nearly related to yourself; for it is Prince Amin,
your eldest son, who, falling passionately in love with this lady
by the fame he had heard of her beauty, by an intrigue got her
brought to his house, where he married her. As to the strokes he
caused to be given her, he is in some measure excusable; for his
spouse had been a little too easy, and the excuses she made were
calculated to make him believe that she was more faulty than she
really was. This is all I can say to satisfy your curiosity. At
these words she saluted the caliph, and vanished.

The prince, being filled with admiration, and having much
satisfaction the changes that had happened through his means, did
such things as will perpetuate his memory to future ages. First,
he sent for his son Amin, and told him that he was informed of
his secret marriage, and how he had wounded Amine upon a very
slight cause; upon which the prince did not wait for his father's
commands, but received her again immediately. After this, the
caliph declared that he would give his own heart and hand to
Zobeide, and offered the other three sisters to the calenders,
who accepted them with a great deal of joy. The caliph assigned
to each a magnificent palace in the city of Bagdad, promoted them
to the highest dignities, and admitted them to his councils. The
town-clerk of Bagdad, being called with witnesses, wrote the
contracts of marriage; and the famous caliph Haroun Alraschid, by
making the fortunes of so many persons who had undergone such
incredible misfortunes, drew a thousand blessings upon himself.


Dinarzade having awaked her sister the sultaness as usual, prayed
her to tell her another story. Scheherazade asked leave of the
sultan, and having obtained it, began thus: Sir, in the reign of
the same caliph Haroun Alraschid, whom I formerly mentioned,
there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called Hindbad. One day, when
the weather was very hot, he was employed to carry a heavy burden
from one end of the town to the other. Being very weary, and
having still a great way to go, he came into a street, where the
delicate western breeze blew on his face, and the pavement of the
street being sprinkled with rose water, he could not desire a
better place to rest in; therefore, laying off his burden, he sat
down by it near a great house. He was mightily pleased that he
had stopped in this place, for an agreeable smell of wood of
aloes and of pastils, that came from the house, mixing with the
scent of the rose water, did completely perfume the air. Besides,
he heard from within a concert of several sorts of instrumental
music, accompanied with the harmonies of nightingales, and other
birds peculiar to that climate. This charming melody, and the
smell of several sorts of victuals, made the porter think there
was a feast, with great rejoicings within. His occasions leading
him seldom that way, he knew not who dwelt in the house; but, to
satisfy his curiosity, he went to some of the servants, whom he
saw standing at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the
name of the master of the house. How, replied one of them, do you
live in Bagdad, and know not that this is the house of Signior
Sindbad, the sailor, that famous traveller who has sailed round
the world? The porter, who had heard of Sindbad's riches, could
not but envy a man whose condition he thought to be as happy as
his own was deplorable; and his mind being fretted with these
reflections, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and says, loud
enough to be heard, Almighty Creator of all things, consider the
difference between Sindbad and me. I am every day exposed to
fatigues and calamities, and can scarcely get coarse barley bread
for myself and family, whilst happy Sindbad profusely expends
immense riches, and leads a life of continual pleasure. What has
he done to obtain from thee a lot so agreeable, and what have I
done to deserve one so miserable? Having finished this
expostulation, he struck his foot against the ground, like a man
overwhelmed with grief and despair. While the porter was thus
indulging his melancholy, a servant came out of the house, and
taking him by the arm, bid him follow him, for Signior Sindbad,
his master, wanted to speak with him.

Your majesty may easily imagine that poor Hindbad was not a
little surprised at this compliment; for, considering what he had
said, he was afraid Sindbad had sent for him to punish him;
therefore he would have excused himself, alleging that he could
not leave his burden in the middle of the street. But Sindbad's
servants assured him they would look to it, and pressed the
porter so that he was obliged to yield. The servants brought him
into a large hall, where a number of people sat round a table
covered with all sorts of fine dishes. At the upper end there sat
a grave, comely, venerable gentleman, with a long white beard,
and behind him stood officers and domestics ready to serve him;
this grave gentleman was Sindbad. The porter, whose fear was
increased at the sight of so many people, and of a banquet so
sumptuous, saluted the company tremblingly. Sindbad bid him draw
near, and setting him down at his right hand, served him himself,
and gave him excellent wine, of which there was good store upon
the side-board.

When dinner was over, Sindbad began his discourse to Hindbad; and
calling him brother, according to the manner of the Arabians when
they are familiar one to another, he asked him his name and
employment. Signior, answered he, my name is Hindbad. I am very
glad to see you, replies Sindbad; and I dare to say the same for
all the company: but I would be glad to hear, from your own
mouth, what it was you said a while ago in the street; for
Sindbad had heard it himself through the window before he sat
down to table; and that occasioned his calling for him. Hindbad,
being surprised at the question, hung down his head, and replied,
Signior, I confess that my weariness put me out of humour, and
occasioned me to speak some indiscreet words, which I beg you to
pardon. Oh, do not you think I am so unjust, replies Sindbad, to
resent such a thing as that; I consider your condition, and,
instead of upbraiding you with your complaints, I am sorry for
you; but I must rectify your mistake concerning myself. You
think, no doubt, that I have acquired, without labour or trouble,
the ease and conveniency which I now enjoy. But do not mistake
yourself; I did not attain to this happy condition without
enduring more trouble of body and mind for several years than can
well be imagined. Yes, gentleman, adds he, speaking to the
company, I can assure you my troubles were so extraordinary, that
they were capable of discouraging the most covetous men from
undertaking such voyages as I did to acquire riches. Perhaps you
have never heard a distinct account of the wonderful adventures
and dangers I met with in my seven voyages; and, since I have
this opportunity, I am willing to give you a faithful account of
them, not doubting that it will be acceptable. And because
Sindbad was to tell this story particularly on the porter's
account, he ordered his burden to be carried to the place
appointed, and began thus:


His First Voyage.

My father left me a considerable estate, most part of which I
spent in debauches during my youth; but I perceived my error, and
called to mind that riches were perishable, and quickly
considered, that by my irregular way of living, I wretchedly
misspent my time, which is the most valuable thing in the world.
I remembered the saying of the great Solomon, which I frequently
heard from my father, that death is more tolerable than poverty.
Being struck with those reflections, I gathered together the
ruins of my estate, and sold all my moveables in the public
market to the highest bidder. Then I entered into a contract with
some merchants that traded by sea, took the advice of those whom
I thought most capable to give it, and resolving to improve what
money I had, went to Balsora, a port in the Persian gulph, and
embarked with several merchants, who joined with me in fitting
out a ship on purpose.

We set sail, steering our course towards the East Indies through
the Persian gulph, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix
on the right, by those of Persia on the left, and, according to
common account, is seventy leagues in the broadest place. The
eastern sea, like that of the Indies, is very spacious. It is
bounded on one side by the coast of Abyssinia, and 4500 leagues
in length to the isles of Vakvak[Footnote: These islands,
according; to the Arabians, are beyond China: and are so called
from a tree which bears a fruit of that name. They are, without
doubt, the isles of Japan; but they are not, however, so far from
Abyssinia.]. At first I was troubled with sea-sickness, but
speedily recovered, and was not afterwards troubled with that

In our voyage we touched at several islands, where we sold or
exchanged our goods. One day, whilst under sail, we were becalmed
near a little island, even almost with the surface of the water,
which resembled a green meadow. The captain ordered his sails to
be furled, and suffered such persons as had a mind to land upon
the island, amongst whom I was one. But while we were diverting
ourselves with eating and drinking, and refreshing ourselves from
the fatigue of the sea, the island trembled all of a sudden, and
shook us terribly. They perceived the trembling of the island on
board the ship, and called to us to re-embark speedily, else we
should be all lost; for what we took for an island was only the
back of a whale. The nimblest got into the sloop, others betook
themselves to swimming; but, for my part, I was still upon the
back of the whale, when he dived into the sea, and I had time
only to catch hold of a piece of wood that we had brought out of
the ship to make a fire. Meanwhile the captain, having received
those on board who were in the sloop, and taken up some of those
that swam, resolved to improve the favourable gale that was just
risen, and, hoisting his sails, pursued his voyage, so that it
was impossible to recover the ship. Thus was I exposed to the
mercy of the waves, and struggled for my life all the rest of the
day and the following night. Next morning I found my strength
gone, and despaired of saving my life, when a wave threw me
happily against an island. The bank was high and rugged, so that
I should scarcely have got up, had it not been for some roots of
trees which fortune seemed to have preserved in this place for my
safety. Being got up, I lay down upon the ground half dead, until
such time as the sun appeared. Then, though I was very feeble,
both by reason of my hard labour and want of victuals, I crept
along to seek for some herbs fit to eat, and had not only the
good luck to find some, but likewise a spring of excellent water,
which contributed much to recover me. After this I advanced
further into the island, and came at last into a fine plain,
where I perceived a horse feeding at a great distance. I went
towards him between hope and fear, not knowing whether I was
going to lose my life or to save it. When I came near, I
perceived it to be a very fine mare tied to a stake. Whilst I
looked upon her, I heard the voice of a man from under ground,
who immediately appeared to me, and asked who I was? I gave him
an account of my adventure; after which, taking me by the hand,
he led me into a cave, where there were several other people, no
less amazed to see me than I was to see them. I ate some victuals
which they offered me; and then, having asked them what they did
in such a desert place, they answered, that they were grooms
belonging to King Mihrage, sovereign of the island; and that
every year, at the same season, they brought thither the king's
mares, and fastened them as I saw that mare, until they were
covered by a horse that came out of the sea, who, after he had
done so, endeavoured to destroy the mares, but they hindered him
by their noise, and obliged him to return to the sea; after which
they carried home the mares, whose foals were kept for the king's
use, and called sea-horses. They added, that we were to get home
to-morrow, and had I been one day later, I must have perished,
because the inhabited part of the island was at a great distance,
and it would have been impossible for me to have got thither
without a guide.

Whilst they entertained me thus, the horse came out of the sea,
as they had told me, covered the mare, and afterwards would have
devoured her; but, upon a great noise made by the grooms, he left
her, and went back to the sea.

Next morning they returned with their mares to the capital of the
island, took me with them, and presented me to King Mihrage. He
asked me who I was, and by what adventure I came into his
dominions? After I had satisfied him, he told me he was much
concerned for my misfortune, and at the same time ordered that I
should want nothing; which his officers were so generous and
careful as to see exactly fulfilled.

Being a merchant, I frequented men of my own profession, and
particularly inquired for those who were strangers, if perhaps I
might hear any news from Bagdad, or find an opportunity to return
thither; for King Mihrage's capital is situate on the bank of the
sea, and has a fine harbour, where ships arrive daily from
different quarters of the world. I frequented also the society of
the learned Indians, and took delight to hear them discourse; but
withal I took care to make my court regularly to the king, and
conversed with the governors and petty kings, his tributaries,
that were about him. They asked me a thousand questions about my
country; and being willing to inform myself as to their laws and
customs, I asked them every thing which I thought worth knowing.
There belongs to this king an island named Cassel; they assured
me, that every night a noise of drums was heard there, whence the
mariners fancied that it was the residence of Degial [Footnote:
Degial, to the Mahometans, is the same with antichrist to us.
According to them, he is to appear about the end of the world,
and will conquer all the earth, except Mecca, Medina, Tarsus, and
Jerusalem, which are to be preserved by angels, whom he shall set
round them.]. I had a great mind to see this wonderful place, and
in my way thither saw fishes of an hundred and two hundred cubits
long, that occasion more fear than hurt; for they are so fearful,
that they will fly upon the rattling of two sticks or boards. I
saw likewise other fishes about a cubit in length, that had heads
like owls.

As I was one day at the port after my return, a ship arrived. As
soon as she cast anchor, they began to unload her, and the
merchants on board ordered their goods to be carried into the
magazine. As I cast my eye upon some bales, and looked to the
name I found my own, and perceived the bales to be the same that
I had embarked at Balsora. I also knew the captain; but, being
persuaded that he believed me to be drowned, I went and asked him
whose bales these were? He replied, that they belonged to a
merchant of Bagdad, called Sindbad, who came to sea with him; but
one day, being near an island, as we thought, he went ashore,
with several other passengers, upon this supposed island, which
was only a monstrous whale that lay asleep upon the surface of
the water; but as soon as he felt the heat of the fire they had
kindled upon his back to dress some victuals, he began to move,
and dived under water, when most of the persons who were upon him
perished, and among them the unfortunate Sindbad. These bales
belong to him, and I am resolved to trade with them, until I meet
with some of his family, to whom I may return the profit.
Captain, says I, I am that Sindbad whom you thought to be dead,
and these bales are mine. When the captain heard me speak thus, O
heaven, says he, whom can we ever trust now-a-days? There is no
faith left among men. I saw Sindbad perish with my own eyes, and
the passengers on board saw it as well as I, and yet you tell me
that you are that Sindbad? What impudence is this? To look on
you, one would take you to be a man of probity; and yet you tell
a horrible falsehood, in order to possess yourself of what does
not belong to you. Have patience, captain, replied I; do me the
favour to hear what I have to say. Very well, says he, speak; I
am ready to hear you. Then I told him how I escaped, and by what
adventure I met with the grooms of King Mihrage, who brought me
to his court.

The captain began to abate of his confidence upon my discourse,
and was soon persuaded that I was no cheat; for there came people
from his ship who knew me, made me great compliments, and
testified a great deal of joy to see me alive. At last he knew me
himself, and embracing me, Heaven be praised, says he, for your
happy escape! I cannot enough express my joy for it; there are
your goods, take and do with them what you will. I thanked him,
acknowledged his probity, and in requital offered him part of my
goods as a present, which he generously refused. I took out what
was most valuable in my bales, and presented it to King Mihrage,
who, knowing my misfortune, asked me how I came by such rarities?
I acquainted him with the whole story. He was mightily pleased at
my good luck, accepted my present, and gave me one much more
considerable in return. Upon this, I took leave of him, and went
on board the same ship, after I had exchanged my goods for the
commodities of the country. I carried with me the wood of aloes,
sanders, camphire, nutmegs, cloves, pepper, and ginger. We passed
by several islands, and at last arrived at Balsora, from whence I
came to this city, with the value of one hundred thousand
sequins[Footnote: The Turkish sequin is about nine shillings
sterling.]. My family and I received one another with all the
transport that can arise from true and sincere friendship. I
bought slaves of both sexes, fine lands, and built me a great
house. Thus I settled myself, resolving to forget the miseries I
had suffered, and to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Sindbad stopped here, and ordered the musicians to go on with
their concert, which his story had interrupted. The company
continued to eat and drink until the evening, when it was time to
retire. Sindbad sent for a purse of one hundred sequins, and,
giving it to the porter, says, Take this, Hindbad, return to your
home, and come back to-morrow to hear some more of my adventures.
The porter went home, astonished at the honour done him, and the
present made him. The relation of it was very agreeable to his
wife and children, who did not fail to return God thanks for what
he had sent them by the hands of Sindbad. Hindbad put on his best
clothes next day, and returned to the bountiful traveller, who
received him with a pleasant air, and caressed him mightily. When
all the guests were come, dinner was set upon the table, and
continued a long time. When it was ended, Sindbad, addressing
himself to the company, says, Gentlemen, be pleased to give me
audience, and listen to the adventures of my second voyage; they
better deserve your attention than the first. Upon this, every
one held his peace, and Sindbad proceeded:

The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.

I intended, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days
at Bagdad, as I had the honour to tell you yesterday; but it was
not long ere I grew weary of a quiet life. My inclination to
travel revived. I bought goods proper for the commerce I
designed, and put to sea a second time with merchants of known
probity. We embarked on board a good ship, and, after
recommending ourselves to God, set sail: We traded from island to
island, and exchanged commodities with great profit. One day we
landed upon an isle covered with several sorts of fruit-trees,
but so deserted that we could see neither man nor horse upon it.
We went to take a little fresh air in the meadows, and along the
streams that watered them. Whilst some diverted themselves with
gathering flowers, and others with gathering fruits, I took my
wine and provisions, and sat down by a stream betwixt two great
trees which formed a curious shade. I made a very good meal, and
afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but, when
I awaked, the ship was gone. I was very much surprised, but got
up, looking about every where, and could not see one of the
merchants who landed with me. At last I perceived the ship under
sail, but at such a distance, that I lost sight of her in a very
little time.

I leave you to guess at my melancholy reflections in this sad
condition, I was like to die of grief, cried out sadly, beat my
head and breast, and threw myself down upon the ground, where I
lay some time in terrible agony, one afflicting thought being
succeeded by another still more afflicting. I upbraided myself an
hundred times for not being content with the product of my first
voyage, that might very well have served me all my life. But all
this was vain, and my repentance out of season. At last I
resigned myself to the will of God; and, not knowing what to do,
I climbed to the top of a great tree, from whence I looked about
on all sides to see if there were any thing that could give me
hopes. When I looked towards the sea, I could see nothing but sky
and water; but, on looking towards the land, I saw something
white; coming down from the tree I took up what provisions I had
left, and went towards it, the distance being so great that I
could not distinguish what it was.

When I came nearer, I thought it to be a white bowl, of a
prodigious height and bigness; and when I came up to it, I
touched it, and found it to be very smooth. I went round to see
if it was open on any side, but saw it was not, and it was so
smooth that there was no climbing to the top of it. It was at
least fifty paces round.

By this time the sun was ready to set, and all of a sudden the
sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud.
I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when
I found it occasioned by a bird of monstrous size, that came
flying towards me. I remembered a fowl called *roc, that I had
often heard mariners speak of, and conceived that the great bowl,
which I so much admired, must needs be its egg. In short, the
bird lighted, and sat over the egg to hatch it. As I perceived
her coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had before me one
of the legs of the bird, that was as big as the trunk of a tree;
I tied myself strongly to it with the cloth that went round my
turban, in hopes that when the roc[Footnote: Mark Paul in his
Travels, and Father Martini in his History of China, speak each
of this bird, and say it will take up an elephant and a
rhinoceros.] flew away next morning, she would carry me with her
out of this desert island. After having passed the night in this
condition, the bird actually flew away next morning as soon as it
was day, and carried me so high that I could not see the earth;
she afterwards descended all of a sudden, and with so much
rapidity, that I lost my senses. But when the roc was sat, and I
found myself on the ground, I speedily untied the knot, and had
scarcely done so, when the bird, having taken up a serpent of a
monstrous length in her bill, flew straight away. The place where
it left me was a very deep valley, encompassed on all sides with
mountains so high, that they seemed to reach above the clouds,
and so full of steep rocks, that there was no possibility to get
out of the valley. This was a new perplexity upon me; so that,
when I compared this place with the desert island the roc brought
me from, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived that it was strewed
with diamonds, some of which were of a surprising bigness. I took
a great deal of pleasure to look upon them, but speedily saw at a
distance such objects as very much diminished my satisfaction,
and which I could not look upon without terror; there were a
great number of serpents, so big, and so long, that the least of
them was capable of swallowing an elephant. They retired in the
day-time to their dens, where they hid themselves from the roc,
their enemy, and did not come out but in the night-time. I spent
the day in walking about the valley, resting myself at times, in
such places as I thought most commodious. When night came on, I
went into a cave, where I thought I might be in safety; I stopped
the mouth of it, which was low and straight, with a great stone,
to preserve me from the serpents, but not so exactly fitted as to
hinder light from coming in. I supped on part of my provisions;
but the serpents, which began to appear, hissing about in the
mean time, put me into such extreme fear, that you may easily
imagine I did not sleep. When day appeared, the serpents retired,
and I came out of the cave trembling; I can truly say, that I
walked a long time upon diamonds, without having a mind to touch
any of them. At last I sat down, and, notwithstanding my
uneasiness, not having shut my eyes during the night, I fell
asleep, after having ate a little more of my provisions. But I
had scarcely shut my eyes, when something that fell by me with a
great noise awakened me, and this was a great piece of fresh
meat; at the same time I saw several others fall down from the
rocks in different places.

I always looked upon it to be a fable, when I heard mariners and
others discourse of the valley of diamonds, and of the stratagems
made use of by some merchants to get jewels from thence; but I
found it to be true; for, in reality, those merchants come to the
neighbourhood of this valley when the eagles have young ones, and
throwing great joints of meat into it, the diamonds upon whose
points they fall stick to them: The eagles, which are stronger in
this country than any where else, fall down with great force upon
these pieces of meat, and carry them to their nests upon the top
of the rocks, to feed their young ones with; at which time the
merchants, running to these nests, frighten the eagles by their
noise, and take away the diamonds that stick to the meat. And
this stratagem they made use of to get the diamonds out of the
valley, which is surrounded with such precipices that nobody can
enter it. I believed, till then, that it was not possible for me
to get out of this abyss,which I looked upon as my grave; but
then I changed my mind, for the falling in of those pieces of
meat put me in hopes of a way to save my life. I began to gather
together the greatest diamonds I could see, and put them into a
leather bag in which I used to carry my provisions. I afterwards
took the largest piece of meat I could find, tied it close round
me with the cloth of my turban, and then laid myself upon the
ground with my face downward, the bag of diamonds being tied fast
to my girdle, so that it could not possibly drop off. I had
scarcely laid me down when the eagles came; each of them seized a
piece of meat, and one of the strongest having taken me up with
the piece of meat on my back, carried me to his nest on the top
of the mountain. The merchants fell straightway a-shooting to
frighten the eagles; and when they had forced them to quit their
prey, one of them came up to the nest where I was: He was very
much afraid when he saw me; but recovering himself, instead of
inquiring how I came hither, he began to quarrel with me, and
asked why I stole his goods? You will treat me, replied I, with
more civility, when you know me better. Do not trouble yourself;
I have diamonds enough for you and me too, more than all the
merchants together. If they have any, it is by chance; but I
chose myself, in the bottom of the valley, all those which you
see in this bag; and, having spoken these words, I showed him
them. I had scarcely done speaking, when the other merchants came
trooping about us, very much astonished to see me; but they were
much more surprised when I told them my story; yet they did not
so much admire my stratagem to save myself, as my courage to
attempt it. They carried me to the place where they staid all
together, and there having opened my bag, they were surprised at
the largeness of my diamonds, and confessed, that in all the
courts where they had been, they never saw any that came near
them. I prayed the merchant, to whom the nest belonged whither I
was carried, (for every merchant had his own,) to take as many
for his share as he pleased: He contented himself with one, and
that too the least of them; and when I pressed him to take more
without fear of doing me any injury, No, says he, I am very well
satisfied with this, which is valuable enough to save me the
trouble of making any more voyages, and to raise as great a
fortune as I desire.

I spent the night with these merchants, to whom I told my story a
second time, for the satisfaction of those who had not heard it.
I could not moderate my joy, when I found myself delivered from
the danger I have mentioned; I thought myself to be in a dream,
and could scarcely believe myself to be out of danger. The
merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for
several days; and each of them being satisfied with the diamonds
that had fallen to his lot, we left the place next morning all
together, and travelled near high mountains, where there were
serpents of a prodigious length, which we had the good fortune to
escape. We took the first port, and came to the isle of Ropha,
where trees grow that yield camphire. This tree is so large, and
its branches so thick, that a hundred men may easily sit under
its shade. The juice, of which the camphire is made, runs out
from a hole bored in the upper part of the tree, is received in a
vessel, where it grows to a consistency, and becomes what we call
camphire; and the juice being thus drawn out, the tree withers
and dies. There is here also the rhinoceros, a creature less than
the elephant, but greater than the buffalo: it has a horn upon
its nose about a cubit long; which is solid, and cleft in the
middle from one end to the other, and there are upon it white
draughts, representing the figure of a man. The rhinoceros fights
with the elephant, runs his horn into his belly, and carries him
off upon his head; but the blood and the fat of the elephant
running into his eyes, and making him blind, he falls to the
ground; and, what is astonishing, the roc comes and carries them
both away in her claws, to be meat for her young ones.

I pass over many other things peculiar to this island, lest I
should be troublesome to you. Here I exchanged some of my
diamonds for good merchandise. From thence we went to other
isles; and at last, having traded at several trading towns off
the firm land, we lauded at Balsora, from whence I went to
Bagdad. There I immediately gave great alms to the poor, and
lived honourably upon the vast riches I had brought, and gained
with so much fatigue. Thus Sindbad ended the story of his second
voyage, gave Hindbad another hundred sequins, and invited him to
come next day to hear the story of the third. The rest of the
guests returned to their homes, and came again the next day
at--the same hour; and certainly the porter did not fail, having
almost forgotten his former poverty. When dinner was over,
Sindbad demanded attention, and gave them the following account
of his third voyage.

Sindbad the Sailor's Third Voyage.

The pleasures of the life which I then led soon made me forget
the risks I had run in my two former voyages; but being then in
the flower of my age, I grew weary of living without business;
and hardening myself against the thoughts of any danger I might
incur, I went from Bagdad with the richest commodities of the
country to Balsora. There I embarked again with other merchants.
We made a long navigation, and touched at several ports, where we
drove a considerable commerce. One day being out in the main
ocean, we were attacked by a horrible tempest, which made us lose
our course. The tempest continued several days, and brought us
before the port of an island, which the captain was very
unwilling to enter; but we were obliged to cast anchor there.
When we had furled our sails, the captain told us, that this and
some other neighbouring islands were inhabited by hairy savages,
who would speedily attack us; and though they were but dwarfs,
yet our misfortune was such, that we must make no resistance, for
they were more in number than the locusts; and if we happened to
kill one of them, they would all fall upon us and destroy us.
This discourse of the captain put the whole equipage into a great
consternation, and we found very soon, to our cost, that what he
had told us was too true; an innumerable multitude of frightful
savages, covered over with red hair, and about two feet high,
came swimming towards us, and encompassed our ship in a little
time. They spoke to us as they came near, but we understood not
their language; they climbed up the sides of the ship with so
much agility as surprised us. We beheld all this with fear,
without daring to offer at defending ourselves, or to speak one
word to divert them from their mischievous design. In short, they
took down our sails, cut the cable, and, hauling to the shore,
made us all get out, and afterwards carried the ship into another
island from whence they came. All travellers carefully avoided
that island where they left us, it being very dangerous to stay
there, for a reason you shall hear anon; but we were forced to
bear our affliction with patience. We went forward into the
island, where we found some fruits and herbs to prolong our lives
as long as we could; but we expected nothing but death. As we
went on, we perceived at a distance a great pile of building, and
made towards it. We found it to be a palace, well built and very
high, with a gate of ebony of two leaves, which we thrust open.
We entered the court, where we saw before us a vast apartment,
with a porch, having on one side a heap of men's bones, and on
the other a vast number of roasting spits. We trembled at this
spectacle, and being weary with travelling, our legs failed under
us, we fell to the ground, and lay a long time immoveable. The
sun was set, and whilst we were in this lamentable condition the
gate of the apartment opened with a great noise, and there came
out the horrible figure of a black man, as high as a palm-tree.
He had but one eye, and that in the middle of his forehead, where
it looked as red as burning coal. His foreteeth were very long
and sharp, and came without his mouth, which was deep like that
of a horse. His upper lip hung down upon his breast. His ears
resembled those of an elephant, and covered his shoulders; and
his nails were as long and crooked as the talons of the greatest

At last we came to ourselves, and saw him sitting in the porch
looking at us: when he had considered us well, he advanced
towards us, and laying his hand upon me, he took me up by the
nape of the neck, turned me round as a butcher would do a sheep's
head; and, after having viewed me well, and perceiving me to be
so lean that I had nothing but skin and bone, he let me go. He
took up all the rest one by one, viewing them in the same manner:
and the captain being the fattest, he held him with one hand, as
I would do a sparrow, and thrusting a spit through him, kindled a
great fire, and roasted him in his apartment for supper; which
being done, he returned to the porch, where he lay and fell
asleep, snoring louder than thunder: he slept thus till morning;
for our parts, it was not possible for us to enjoy any rest, so
that we passed the night in the most cruel fear that can be
imagined. Day being come, the giant awaked, got up, went out, and
left us in the palace. When we thought him at a distance, we
broke the melancholy silence we had kept all night; and, every
one grieving more than another, we made the palace resound with
our complaints and groans. Though there were a great many of us,
and we had but one enemy, we had not at first the presence of
mind to think of delivering ourselves from him by his death. This
enterprise, however, though hard to put in execution, was the
only design we ought naturally to have formed. We thought upon
several other things, but determined nothing; so that, submitting
to what it should please God to order concerning us, we spent the
day in running about the island for fruit and herbs to sustain
our lives. When evening came, we sought for a place to lie in,
but found none; so that we were forced, whether we would or not,
to return to the palace.

The giant failed not to come back, and supped once more upon one
of our companions; after which he slept and snored till day, and
then went out and left us as formerly. Our condition was so very
terrible, that some of my comrades designed to throw themselves
into the sea, rather than die so strange a death; and those who
were of this mind argued with the rest to follow their example.
Upon this, one of the company answered, that we were forbidden to
destroy ourselves; but, allowing it to be lawful, it was more
reasonable to think of a way to rid ourselves of the barbarous
tyrant who designed so cruel a death for us. Having thought of a
project for that end, I communicated the same to my comrades, who
approved it. Brethren, said I, you know there is a great deal of
timber floating upon the coast; if you will be advised by me, let
us make several floats of it that may carry us, and, when they
are done, leave them there till we think fit to make use of them.
In the mean time we will execute the design to deliver ourselves
from the giant; and, if it succeed, we may stay here with
patience till some ship pass by that may carry us out of this
fatal island; but, if it happen to miscarry, we may speedily get
to our floats, and put to sea. I confess, that, by exposing
ourselves to the fury of the waves, we run a risk of losing our
lives; but, if we do, is it not better to be buried in the sea
than in the entrails of this monster, who has already devoured
two of us? My advice was relished, and we made floats capable of
carrying three persons each.

We returned to the palace towards evening, and the giant arrived
a little while after. We were forced to submit to see a number of
our comrades roasted; but at last revenged ourselves on the
brutish giant thus. After he had made an end of his cursed
supper, he lay down on his back, and fell asleep. As soon as we
heard him snore[Footnote: It would seem the Arabian author has
taken this story from Homer's Odyssey.] according to his custom,
nine of the boldest among us, with myself, took each a spit, and
putting the points of them into the fire till they were burning
hot, we thrust them into his eye all at once, and blinded him.
The pain occasioned him to make a frightful cry, and to get up
and stretch out his hands, in order to sacrifice some of us to
his rage; but we ran to such places as he could not find us; and,
after having sought for us in vain, he groped for the gate, and
went out howling dreadfully. We went out of the palace after the
giant, and came to the shore, where we had left our floats, and
put them immediately into the sea. We waited till day, in order
to get upon them, in case the giant came towards us with any
guide of his own species; but we hoped, if he did not appear by
sun-rise, and give over his howling which we still heard, that he
would die; and if that happened to be the case, we resolved to
stay in the island, and not to risk our lives upon the floats.
But day had scarcely appeared when we perceived our cruel enemy,
accompanied with two others, almost of the same size, leading
him; and a great number more coming before him with a very quick
pace. When we saw this, we made no delay, but got immediately
upon our floats, and rowed off from the shore. The giants, who
perceived this, took up great stones, and running to the shore,
entered the water up to the middle, and threw so exactly, that
they sunk all the floats but that I was upon; and all my
companions, except the two with me, were drowned. We rowed with
all our might, and got out of the reach of the giants. When we
got to sea, however, we were exposed to the mercy of the waves
and the winds, tossed about sometimes on one side and sometimes
on another, and spent that night and the following day under a
cruel uncertainty as to our fate; but next morning we had the
good luck to be thrown upon an island, where we landed with much
joy. We found excellent fruit there that gave us great relief, so
that we pretty well recovered our strength. In the evening we
fell asleep on the bank of the sea, but were awaked by the noise
of a serpent as long as a palmtree, whose scales made a rustling
as he creeped along. He swallowed up one of my comrades,
notwithstanding his loud cries, and the efforts he made to rid
himself of the serpent; which, shaking him several times against
the ground, crushed him, and we could hear him gnaw and tear the
poor wretch's bones, when we had fled at a great distance from
him. Next day we saw the serpent again, to our great terror, when
I cried out, O Heaven, to what dangers are we exposed! We
rejoiced yesterday at our having escaped from the cruelty of a
giant, and the rage of the waves, and now are fallen into another
danger equally as terrible.

As we walked about, we saw a large tall tree, upon which we
intended to pass the following night for our security; and,
having satisfied our hunger with fruit, we mounted it
accordingly. A little while after, the serpent came hissing to
the root of the tree, raised itself up against the trunk of it,
and meeting with my comrade, who sat lower than I, swallowed him
at once, and went off; I staid upon the tree till it was day, and
then came down, more like a dead man than one alive, expecting
the same fate with my two companions. This filled me with horror,
so that I was going to throw myself into the sea; but as nature
prompts us to a desire to live as long as we can, I withstood
this temptation to despair, and submitted myself to the will of
God, who disposes of our lives at pleasure.

In the mean time I gathered together a quantity of small wood,
brambles, and dry thorns, and making them up into faggots, made a
great circle with them round the tree, and tied some of them to
the branches over my head. Having done this, when the evening
came, I shut myself up within the circle, with this melancholy
piece of satisfaction, that I had neglected nothing which could
preserve me from the cruel destiny with which I was threatened.
The serpent failed not to come at the usual hour, and went round
the tree, seeking for an opportunity to devour me, but was
prevented by the rampart I had made; so that he sat till day,
like a cat watching in vain for a mouse, that has retired to a
place of safety. When day appeared, he retired, but I dared not
leave my fort until the sun rose. I was fatigued with the toil he
had put me to, and suffered so much by his poisonous breath, that
death seemed more eligible to me than the horror of such a
condition. I came down from the tree and, not thinking on the
resignation I had made to the will of God the preceding day, I
ran towards the sea with a design to throw myself headlong into
it. God took compassion on my desperate state; for, just as I was
going to throw myself, into the sea, I perceived a ship at a
considerable distance. I called as loud as I could, and taking
the linen from my turban, displayed it so as they might observe
me. This had the desired effect; the crew perceived me, and the
captain sent me his boat. As soon as I came on board, the
merchants and seamen flocked about me to learn how I came into
that desert island; and after I had told them all that befell me,
the oldest among them said to me, they had several times heard of
the giants that dwelt in that island; that they were cannibals,
and ate men raw as well as roasted. As to the serpents, they
added, that there were abundance in the isle, that they hid
themselves by day, and came abroad at night.

After having testified their joy at my escaping so many dangers,
they brought me the best of what they had to eat; and the
captain, seeing that I was in rags, was so generous as to give me
one of his own suits. We were at sea for some time, touched at
several islands, and at last landed at that of Salabat, where
grows sanders, a wood of great use in physic. We entered the
port, and came to anchor. The merchants began to unload their
goods, in order to sell or exchange them. In the meantime the
captain came to me, and said, Brother, I have here a parcel of
goods that belonged to a merchant, who sailed some time on board
this ship; and he being dead, I design to dispose of them for the
benefit of his heirs, when I know them. The bales he spoke of lay
on the deck; and showing them to me, he says, There are the
goods; I hope you will take care to sell them, and you shall have
factorage. I thanked him for giving me an opportunity to employ
myself, because I hated to be idle. The clerk of the ship took an
account of all the bales, with the names of the merchants to whom
they belonged; and when he asked the captain in whose name he
should enter those he gave me the charge of, Enter them, says the
captain, in the name of Sindbad the sailor. I could not hear
myself named without some emotion; and looking steadfastly on the
captain, I knew him to be the person who, in my second voyage,
had left me in the island, where I fell asleep by a brook, and
set sail without me, or sending to see for me. But I could not
remember him at first, he being so much altered since I saw him.
As for him, who believed me to be dead, I could not wonder at his
not knowing me. But captain, says I, was the merchant's name, to
whom those bales belonged, Sindbad? Yes, replies he, that was his
name; he came from Bagdad, and embarked on board my ship at
Balsora. One day when we landed at an island to take in water and
other refreshments, I know not by what mistake, I set sail
without observing that he did not re- embark with us; neither I
nor the merchants perceived it till four hours after. We had the
wind in our stern, and so fresh a gale, that it was not then
possible for us to tack about for him. You believe him then to be
dead, said I? Certainly answered he. No, captain, said I; look
upon me, and you may know that I am Sindbad, whom you left in the
desert island: I fell asleep by a brook, and, when I awaked, I
found all the company gone. At these words the captain looked
steadfastly upon me; and, having considered me attentively, knew
me at last, embraced me, and said, God be praised that fortune
has supplied my defect. There are your goods, which I always took
care to preserve, and to make the best of them at every port
where I touched. I restore them to you, with the profit I have
made on them. I took them from him, and at the same time
acknowledged how much I owed to him.

From the isle of Salabat we went to another, where I furnished
myself with cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. As we sailed from
the island, we saw a tortoise that was twenty cubits in length
and breadth. We observed also a fish which looked like a crow,
and gave milk, and its skin is so hard that they usually make
bucklers of it. I saw another which had the shape and colour of a
camel. In short, after a long voyage, I arrived at Balsora, and
from thence returned to this city of Bagdad, with so great
riches, that I knew not what I had. I gave a great deal to the
poor, and added another great estate to those I had already.

Thus Sindbad finished the history of his third voyage; gave
another hundred sequins to Hindbad, and invited him to dinner
next day, to hear the history of his fourth voyage. Hindbad and
the company retired: and next day when they returned, Sindbad,
after dinner, continued the relation of his adventures.

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.

The pleasure, says he, and the divertisements I took after my
third voyage, had not charms enough to divert me from another. I
was again prevailed upon by my passion for traffic, and curiosity
to see new things. I therefore put my affairs in order, and
having provided a stock of goods fit for the places I designed to
trade, I set out on my journey. I took the way of Persia, of
which I travelled several provinces, and then arrived at a port,
where I embarked. We set sail, and having touched at several
ports of Terra Firma, and some of the eastern islands, we put out
to sea, and were seized by such a sudden gust of wind, as obliged
the captain to furl his sails, and to take all other necessary
precautions, to prevent the danger that threatened us; but all
was in vain; our endeavours took no effect; the sails were torn
in a thousand pieces, and the ship was stranded, so that a great
many of the merchants and seamen were drowned, and the cargo
lost. I had the good fortune, with several of the merchants and
mariners, to get a plank, and we were carried by the current to
an island which lay before us. There we found fruit and fountain
water, which preserved our lives. We staid all night near the
place where the sea cast us ashore, without consulting what we
should do, our misfortune having dispirited us so much.

Next morning, as soon as, the sun was up, we walked from the
shore, and, advancing into the island, saw some houses to which
we went; and as soon as we came thither, we were encompassed by a
great number of blacks, who seized us, shared us amongst them,
and carried us to their respective habitations. I, and five of my
comrades, were carried to one place: they made us sit down
immediately, and gave us a certain herb, which they made signs
for us to eat. My comrades, not taking notice that the blacks ate
none of it themselves, consulted only the satisfying their own
hunger, and fell to eating with greediness. But I, suspecting
some trick, would not so much as taste it, which happened well
for me; for in a little time after I perceived my companions had
lost their senses, and that when they spoke to me, they knew not
what they said. The blacks filled us afterwards with rice,
prepared with oil of cocoas; and my comrades, who had lost their
reason, ate of it greedily. I ate of it also, but very sparingly.
The blacks gave us that herb at first on purpose to deprive us of
our senses, that we might not be aware of the sad destiny
prepared for us; and they gave us rice on purpose to fatten us;
for, being cannibals, their design was to eat us as soon as we
grew fat. They accordingly ate my comrades, who were not sensible
of their condition; but my senses being entire, you may easily
guess, gentlemen, that instead of growing fat, like the rest, I
grew leaner every day. The fear of death, under which I laboured,
turned all my food into poison. I fell into a languishing
distemper, which proved my safety; for the blacks having killed
and eaten my companions, seeing me to be withered, lean, and
sick, deferred my death till another time.

Meanwhile I had a great deal of liberty, so that there was
scarcely any notice taken of what I did; and this gave me an
opportunity one day to get at a distance from the houses, and to
make my escape. An old man who saw me, and suspected my design,
called to me as loud as he could to return; but, instead of
obeying him, I redoubled my pace, and, quickly got out of sight.
At that time there was none but an old man about the houses, the
rest being abroad, and not to come home till night, which was
pretty usual with them. Therefore, being sure that they could not
come time enough to pursue me, I went on till night, when I
stopped to rest a little, and to eat some of the provisions I had
taken care of; but I speedily set forward again, and travelled
seven days, avoiding those places which seemed to be inhabited,
and lived for the most part upon cocoa nuts, which served me both
for meat and drink. On the eighth day I came near the sea, and
saw all of a sudden white people like myself gathering pepper, of
which there was great plenty in that place; this I took to be a
good omen, and went to them without any scruple. The people who
gathered pepper came to meet me, and, as soon as they saw me,
asked me in Arabic, who I was, and whence I came? I was overjoyed
to hear them speak in my own language, and willingly satisfied
their curiosity by giving them an account of my shipwreck, and
how I fell into the hands of the blacks. Those blacks, replied
they, eat men; but by what miracle did you escape their cruelty?
I told them the same story I now told you, at which they were
wonderfully surprised. I staid with them till they had gathered
their quantity of pepper, and then sailed with them to the island
from whence they came. They presented me to their king, who was a
good prince: He had the patience to hear the relation of my
adventures, which surprised him; and he afterwards gave me
clothes, and commanded care to be taken of me. The island was
very well peopled, plentiful of everything, and the capital was a
place of great trade. This agreeable place of retreat was very
comfortable to me after my misfortune, and the kindness of this
generous prince towards me completed my satisfaction. In a word,
there was not a person more in favour with him than myself, and
by consequence every man in court and city sought how to oblige
me; so that in a very little time I was looked upon rather as a
native than a stranger. I observed one thing which to me appeared
very extraordinary; all the people, the king himself not
excepted, rode their horses without bridles or stirrups. This
made me one day take the liberty to ask the king how that came to
pass. His majesty answered, that I talked to him of things which
nobody knew the use of in his dominions. I went immediately to a
workman, and gave him a model for making the stock of a saddle.
When that was done, I covered it myself with velvet and leather,
and embroidered it with gold. I afterwards went to a locksmith,
who made me a bridle according to the pattern I showed him, and
then he also made me some stirrups. When I had all things
completed, I presented them to the king, and put them upon one of
his horses. His majesty mounted immediately, and was so mightily
pleased with them, that he testified his satisfaction by large
presents to me. I could not avoid making several others for his
ministers and principal officers of his household, who all of
them made me presents that enriched me in a little time. I also
made for the people of quality in the city, so that I gained
great reputation and regard from everybody.

As I made my court very exactly to the king, he says to me one
day, Sindbad, I love thee; and all my subjects, who know thee,
treat thee according to my example. I have one thing to demand of
thee, which thou must grant. Sir, answered I, there is nothing
but what I will do as a mark of my obedience to your majesty,
whose power over me is absolute. I have a mind thou shouldst
marry, replies he, that thou mayst stay in my dominions, and
think no more of thy own country. I dared not resist the prince's
will, and he gave me one of the ladies of his court, a noble,
beautiful, chaste, and rich lady. The ceremonies of marriage
being over, I went and dwelt with the lady, and for some time we
lived in perfect harmony. I was not, however, very well satisfied
with my condition, and therefore designed to make my escape on
the first occasion, and to return to Bagdad, winch my present
establishment, however advantageous, could not make me forget.
While I was thinking on this, the wife of one of my neighbours,
with whom I had contracted a very strict friendship, fell sick
and died. I went to see and comfort him in his affliction; and
finding him swallowed up with sorrow, I said to him as soon as I
saw him, God preserve you, and grant you a long life. Alas!
replies he, how do you think I should obtain that favour you wish
me? I have not above an hour to live. Pray, says I, do not
entertain such a melancholy thought; I hope it will not be so,
but that I shall enjoy your company for many years. I wish you,
says he, a long life; but for me, my days are at an end, for I
must be buried this day with my wife. This is a law which our
ancestors established in this land, and always observed it
inviolably. The living husband is interred with the dead wife,
and the living wife with the dead husband. Nothing can save me;
every one must submit to this law. While he was entertaining me
with an account of this barbarous custom, the very hearing of
which frightened me cruelly, his kindred, friends, and
neighbours, came in a body to assist at the funeral. They put on
the corpse the woman's richest apparel, as if it had been her
wedding-day, and dressed her with all her jewels; then they put
her into an open coffin, and, lifting it up, began their march to
the place of burial. The husband walked at the head of the
company, and followed the corpse. They went up to an high
mountain, and, when they came thither, took up a great stone,
which covered the mouth of a very deep pit, and let down the
corpse with all its apparel and jewels. Then the husband,
embracing his kindred and friends, suffered himself to be put
into another open coffin without resistance, with a pot of water
and seven little loaves, and was let down in the same manner as
his wife. The mountain was pretty long, and reached to the sea.
The ceremony being ever, they covered the hole again with the
stone, and returned.

It is needless, gentlemen, for me to tell you that I was the only
melancholy spectator of this funeral; whereas the rest were
scarcely moved at it, the thing being customary to them. I could
not forbear speaking my thoughts of this matter to the king: Sir,
says I, I cannot enough admire the strange custom in this country
of burying the living with the dead. I have been a great
traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so cruel a
law. What do you mean, Sindbad? says the king; it is a common
law. I shall be interred with the queen my wife, if she die
first. But, sir, says I, may I presume to demand of your majesty,
if strangers be obliged to observe this law? Without doubt,
replies the king, (smiling at the occasion of my question,) they
are not exempted, if they be married in this island. I went home
very melancholy at this answer, from fear of my wife dying first,
and lest I should be interred alive with her, which occasioned me
very mortifying reflections. But there was no remedy; I must have
patience, and submit to the will of God. I trembled, however, at
every little indisposition of my wife: but, alas! in a little
time my fears came upon me all at once; for she fell sick, and
died in a few days. You may judge of my sorrow: to be interred
alive seemed to me as deplorable an end as to be devoured by
cannibals. But I must submit; the king and all his court would
honour the funeral with their presence, and the most considerable
people of the city would do the like. When all was ready for the
ceremony, the corpse was put into a coffin, with all the jewels
and magnificent apparel. The cavalcade was begun; and, as second
actor in this doleful tragedy, I went next the corpse, with my
eyes full of tears, bewailing my deplorable fate. Before I came
to the mountain, I made an essay on the minds of the spectators;
I addressed myself to the king in the first place, and then to
all those who were round me, and, bowing before them to the earth
to kiss the border of their garments, I prayed them to have
compassion upon me. Consider, said I, that I am a stranger, and
ought not to be subject to this rigorous law, and that I have
another wife and children in my own country[Footnote: He was a
Mahometan, and this sect allows polygamy.]. It was to no purpose
for me to speak thus, for no soul was moved at it; on the
contrary, they made haste to let down my wife's corpse into the
pit, and put me down the next moment in an open coffin, with a
vessel full of water, and seven loaves. In short, the fatal
ceremony being performed, they covered up the mouth of the pit,
notwithstanding the excess of my grief, and my lamentable cries.
As I came near the bottom, I discovered, by help of the little
light that came from above, the nature of this subterraneous
place; it was a vast long cave, and might be about fifty fathoms
deep. I immediately felt an insufferable stench, proceeding from
the multitude of dead corpses which I saw on the right and left;
nay, I fancied that I heard some of them sigh out their last.
However, when I got down, I immediately left my coffin, and
getting at a distance from the corpse, held my nose, and lay down
upon the ground, where I staid a long time, bathed in tears. Then
reflecting upon my sad lot, It is true, said I, that God disposes
all things according to the decrees of his providence; but, poor
Sindbad, art not thou thyself the cause of being brought to die
so strange a death? Would to God thou hadst perished in some of
those tempests which thou hast escaped; then thy death would not
have been so lingering and terrible in all its circumstances. But
thou hast drawn all this upon thyself by thy cursed avarice. Ah,
unfortunate wretch! shouldst thou not rather have staid at home,
and quietly enjoyed the fruits of thy labour?

Such were the vain complaints with which I made the cave to echo,
beating my head and stomach out of rage and despair, and
abandoning myself to the most afflicting thoughts. Nevertheless,
I must tell you, that instead of calling death to my assistance
in that miserable condition, I felt still an inclination to live,
and to do all I could to prolong my days. I went groping about,
with my nose stopped, for the bread and water that was in my
coffin, and took some of it. Though the darkness of the cave was
so great that I could not distinguish day and night, yet I always
found my coffin again, and the cave seemed to be more spacious
and fuller of corpses than it appeared to be at first. I lived
for some days upon my bread and water; which being all spent, at
last I prepared for death. As I was thinking of death, I heard
the stone lifted from the mouth of the cave, and immediately the
corpse of a man was let down. When men are reduced to necessity,
it is natural for them to come to extreme resolutions. While they
let down the woman, I approached the place where her coffin was
to be put, and as soon as I perceived they were covering the
mouth of the cave, I gave the unfortunate wretch two or three
great blows over the head with a large bone that I found; which
stunned, or, to say the truth, killed her. I committed this
horrid action merely for the sake of the bread and water that
were in her coffin, and thus I had provisions for some days more.
When that was spent, they let down another dead woman, and a
living man; I killed the man in the same manner; and, as good
luck would have it for me, there was then a sort of mortality in
the town, so that by this means I did not want for provisions.

One day, as I had despatched another woman, I heard something
walking, and blowing or panting as it walked. I advanced towards
that side from whence I heard the noise, and, upon my approach,
the thing puffed and blew harder, as if it had been running away
from me. I followed the noise, and the thing seemed to stop
sometimes, but always fled and blew as I approached. I followed
it so long and so far, that at last I perceived a light
resembling a star: I went on towards the light, and sometimes
lost sight of it, but always found it again; and at last
discovered that it came through a hole in the rock, large enough
for a man to get out at. Upon this, I stopped for some time to
rest myself, being much fatigued with pursuing this discovery so
fast: Afterwards coming up to the hole, I went out at it, and
found my self upon the banks of the sea. I leave you to guess at
the excess of my joy; it was such, that I could scarcely persuade
myself of its being real. But when I recovered from my surprise,
and was convinced of the truth of the matter, I found the thing
which I had followed, and heard puff and blow, to be a creature
which came out of the sea, and was accustomed to enter at that
hole to feed upon the dead carcases. I considered the mountain,
and perceived it to be situate betwixt the sea and the town, but
without any passage or way to communicate with the latter, the
rocks on the side of the sea being rugged and steep. I fell down
upon the shore to thank God for his mercy, and afterwards entered
the cave again to fetch bread and water, which I did by daylight,
with a better appetite than I had done since my interment in the
dark hole. I returned thither again, and groped about among the
biers for all the diamonds, rubies, pearls, gold, bracelets, and
rich stuffs I could find; these I brought to the shore, and tying
them up neatly into bales with the cords that let down the
coffins, I laid them together upon the bank, waiting till some
ship passed by, without any fear of rain, for it was not then the
season. After two or three days, I perceived a ship that had but
just come out of the harbour, and passed near the place where I
was. I made signs with the linen of my turban, and called to them
as loud as I could: they heard me, and sent a boat to bring me on
board. When the mariners asked by what misfortune I came thither,
I told them that I suffered shipwreck two days ago, and made
shift to get ashore with the goods they saw. It was happy for me
that these people did not consider the place where I was, nor
inquire into the probability of what I told them, but, without
any more ado, took me on board with my goods. When I came to the
ship, the captain was so well pleased to have saved me, and so
much taken up with his own affairs, that he also took the story
of my pretended shipwreck upon trust, and generously refused some
jewels which I offered him.

We passed by several islands, and, among others, that called the
isle of Bells, about ten days sail from Serendib, with a regular
wind, and six from that of Kela, where we landed. This island
produces lead mines, Indian canes, and excellent camphire. The
king of the isle of Kela is very rich and potent, and the isle of
Bells[Footnote: Now Ceylon.], which is about two days journey in
extent, is also subject to him. The inhabitants are so barbarous,
that they still eat human flesh. After we had finished our
commerce in that island, we put to sea again, and touched at
several other ports, and at last arrived happily at Bagdad with
infinite riches, of which it is needless to trouble you with the
detail. Out of thankfulness to God for his mercies, I gave great
alms for the entertainment of several mosques, and for the
subsistence of the poor, and employed myself wholly in enjoying
my kindred and friends, making good cheer with them.

Here Sindbad finished the relation of his fourth voyage, which
was more surprising to the company than all the three former. He
gave a new present of a hundred sequins to Hindbad, whom he
prayed to return next day at the same hour to dine with him, and
to hear the story of his fifth voyage. Hindbad and the rest of
his guests took leave of him, and retired. Next day, when all
met, they sat down at table; and when dinner was over, Sindbad
began the relation of his fifth voyage.

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.

The pleasures I enjoyed had charms enough again to make me forget
all the troubles and calamities I had undergone, without curing
me of my inclination to make new voyages; therefore I bought
goods, ordered them to be packed and loaded, and set out with
them for the best sea-ports; and there, that I might not be
obliged to depend upon a captain, but have a ship at my own
command, I staid till one was built on purpose at my own charge.
When the ship was ready, I went on board with my goods; but, not
having enough to load her, I took on board several merchants of
different nations with their merchandise. We sailed with the
first fair wind, and, after a long navigation, the first place we
touched at was a desert island, where we found the egg of a roc,
equal in bigness to that I formerly mentioned. There was a young
roc in it just ready to be hatched, and the bill of it began to
appear. The merchants whom I had taken on board my ship, and who
landed with me, broke the egg with hatches, and made a hole in
it, from whence they pulled out the young roc, piece after piece,
and roasted it. I had earnestly dissuaded them from meddling with
the egg, but they would not listen to me. Scarcely had they made
an end of their treat, when there appeared in the air, at a
considerable distance from us, two great clouds. The captain,
whom I hired to sail my ship, knowing by experience what it
meant, cried that it was the he and the she roc that belonged to
the young one, and pressed us to re-embark with all speed, to
prevent the misfortune which he saw would otherwise befall us. We
made haste to do so, and set sail with all possible diligence. In
the mean time the two rocs approached with a frightful noise,
which they redoubled when they saw the egg broken, and their
young one gone. But, having a mind to avenge themselves, they
flew back towards the place from whence they came; and
disappeared for some time, while we made all the sail we could to
prevent that which unhappily befell us. They returned, and we
observed that each of them carried between their talons stones,
or rather rocks, of a monstrous size. When they came directly
over my ship, they hovered, and one of them let fall a stone;
but, by the dexterity of the steersman, who turned the ship with
the rudder, it missed us, and falling by the side of the ship
into the sea, divided the water so that we could almost see to
the bottom. The other roc, to our misfortune, threw the stone so
exactly upon the middle of the ship, that it split it in a
thousand pieces. The mariners and passengers were all killed by
the stone, or sunk. I myself had the last fate; but as I came up
again, I caught hold, by good fortune, of a piece of the wreck;
and swimming sometimes with one hand, and sometimes with the
other, but always holding fast my board, the wind and the tide
being for me, I came to an island whose banks were very steep; I
overcame that difficulty, however, and got ashore. I sat down
upon the grass to recover myself a little from my fatigue, after
which I got up, and went into the island to view it. It seemed to
be a delicious garden. I found trees everywhere, some of them
bearing green, and others ripe fruits, and streams of fresh pure
water, with pleasant windings and turnings. I ate the fruits,
which I found excellent, and drank of the water, which was very

Night being come, I lay down upon the grass, in a place
convenient enough; but I could not sleep an hour at a time, my
mind being disturbed with the fear of being alone in so desert a
place. Thus I spent the best part of the night in fretting and
reproaching myself for my imprudence in not staying at home,
rather than undertake this last voyage. These reflections carried
me so far, that I began to form a design against my own life; but
daylight dispersed those melancholy thoughts, and I got up and
walked among the trees, but not without apprehensions of danger.
When I was a little advanced into the island, I saw an old man,
who seemed very weak and feeble. He sat upon the banks of a
stream, and at first I took him to be one who had been
shipwrecked like myself. I went towards him, and saluted him; but
he only bowed his head a little. I asked him what he did there;
but instead of answering me, he made a sign for me to take him
upon my back, and carry him over the brook, signifying that it
was to gather fruit. I believed him really to stand in need of
help; so I took him upon my back, and having carried him over,
bid him get down, and, for that end, stooped, that he might get
off with ease; but, instead of that, he, who to me appeared very
decrepit, clasped his legs nimbly about my neck, when I perceived
his skin to be like that of a cow. He sat astride me upon my
shoulders, and held my throat so strait, that I thought he would
have strangled me, the fright of which made me faint away and
fall down. Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old
fellow kept fast about my neck, but opened his legs a little to
give me some time to recover my breath. When I had done so, he
thrust one of his feet against my stomach, and struck me so
rudely on the side with the other, that he forced me to rise up
against my will. Having got up, he made me walk up under the
trees, and forced me now and then to stop to gather and eat such
fruits as we found. He never left me all day; and when I lay down
to rest me by night, he laid himself down by me, holding always
fast about my neck. Every morning he pushed me to make me awake;
and afterwards obliged me to get up and walk, and pressed me with
his feet. You may judge then, gentlemen, what trouble I was in,
to be charged with such a burden as I could no ways rid myself

One day I found in my way several dry calabashes that had fallen
from a tree: I took a large one, and, after cleaning it, pressed
into it some juice of grapes, which abounded in the island;
having filled the calabash, I set it in a convenient place, and,
coming hither again some days after, I took up the calabash, and,
setting it to my mouth, found the wine to be so good, that it
made me presently not only forget my sorrow, but I grew vigorous,
and was so light-hearted, that I began to sing and dance as I
walked along. The old man, perceiving the effect which this drink
had upon me, and that I carried him with more ease than I did
before, made a sign for me to give him the calabash; and the
liquor pleasing his palate, he drank it all off. There being
enough of it to stupify him, he became drunk immediately; and the
fumes getting into his head, he began to sing after his manner,
and to dance with his breech upon my shoulders. His jolting made
him vomit, and he loosened his legs from me by degrees; so that,
finding he did not press me as before, I threw him upon the
ground, where he lay without motion, when I took up a great
stone, with which I crushed his head to pieces.

I was extremely rejoiced to be freed thus for ever from this
cursed old fellow, and walked upon the bank of the sea, where I
met the crew of a ship that had cast anchor to take in water and
refresh themselves. They were extremely surprised to see me, and
to hear the particulars of my adventures. You fell, said they,
into the hands of the old man of the sea, and are the first that
ever escaped strangling by him. He never left those he had once
made himself master of till he destroyed them; and he has made
this island famous by the number of men he has slain, so that the
merchants and mariners who landed upon it dared not to advance
into the island but in numbers together. After having informed me
of those things, they carried me with them to the ship; the
captain received me with great satisfaction when they told him
what had befallen me. He put out again to sea; and, after some
days sail, we arrived at the harbour of a great city, the houses
of which were built with good stone.

One of the merchants of the ship, who had taken me into his
friendship, obliged me to go along with him, and carried me to a
place appointed as a retreat for foreign merchants. He gave me a
great bag, and having recommended me to some people of the town
who used to gather cocoas, he desired them to take me with them
to do the like. Go, says he, follow them, and do as you see them
do, and do not separate from them, otherwise you endanger your
life. Having thus spoken, he gave me provisions for the journey,
and I went with them. We came to a great forest of trees,
extremely straight and tall, the trunks of which were so smooth
that it was not possible for any man to climb up the branches
that bore the fruit. All the trees were cocoa ones; and when we
entered the forest, we saw a great number of apes of several
sizes, that fled as soon as they perceived us, climbing up to the
tops of the trees with surprising swiftness. The merchants with
whom I was, gathered stones, and threw them at the apes on the
tops of the trees. I did the same, and the apes, out of revenge,
threw cocoa nuts at us so fast, and with such gestures, as
sufficiently testified their anger and resentment: we gathered up
the cocoas, and from time to time threw stones to provoke the
apes; so that, by this stratagem, we filled our bags with cocoa
nuts, which it had been impossible for us to have done otherwise.
When we had gathered our number, we returned to the city, where
the merchant who sent me to the forest gave me the value of the
cocoas I brought: Go on, says he, and do the like every day,
until you have got money enough to carry you home. I thanked him
for his good advice, and insensibly gathered together as many
cocoas as amounted to a considerable sum.

The vessel in which I arrived sailed with the merchants, who
loaded her with cocoas. I expected the arrival of another, which
landed speedily for the like loading. I embarked on board the
same all the cocoas that belonged to me, and when she was ready
to sail, I went and took leave of the merchant who had been so
kind to me; but he could not embark with me, because he had not
finished his affairs. We set sail towards those islands where
pepper grows in great plenty. From thence we went to the isle of
Comari[Footnote: This island, or peninsula, ends at the cape
which we now call Cape Comorin. It is also called Comar and
Comor.], where the best kind of wood of aloes grows, and whose
inhabitants have made it an inviolable law to themselves to drink
no wine, nor to suffer any place of debauch. I exchanged my
cocoas in these two islands for pepper and wood of aloes, and
went with other merchants a pearl-fishing. I hired divers, who
fetched me up those that were very large and pure. I embarked
joyfully in a vessel that happily arrived at Balsora; from thence
I returned to Bagdad, where I made vast sums of my pepper, wood
of aloes, and pearls. I gave the tenth of my gains in alms, as I
had done upon my return from other voyages, and endeavoured to
ease myself from my fatigues by diversions of all sorts.

When Sindbad had finished his story, he ordered one hundred
sequins to Hindbad, who retired with all the other guests; but
next day the same company returned to dine with rich Sindbad,
who, after having treated them as formerly, demanded audience,
and gave the following account of his sixth voyage.

The Sixth Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.

Gentlemen, says he, you long, without doubt, to know how, after
being shipwrecked five times, and escaping so many dangers, I
could resolve again to try my fortune, and expose myself to new
hardships. I am astonished at it myself when I think on it, and
must certainly have been induced to it by my stars. But, be that
as it will, after a year's rest I prepared for a sixth voyage,
notwithstanding the prayers of my kindred and friends, who did
all that was possible to prevent me. Instead of taking my way by
the Persian gulph, I travelled once more through several
provinces of Persia and the Indies, and arrived at a sea-port,
where I embarked on board a ship, the captain of which was
resolved on a long voyage. It was very long, indeed, but at the
same time so unfortunate, that the captain and pilot lost their
course, so that they knew not where they were. They found it at
last, but we had no ground to rejoice. We were all seized with
extraordinary fear, when we saw the captain quit his post, and
cry out. He threw off his turban, pulled the hair off his beard,
and beat his head like a madman. We asked him the reason, and he
answered, that he was in the most dangerous place in all the sea:
a rapid current carries the ship along with it, and we shall all
perish in less than a quarter of an hour. Pray to God to deliver
us from this danger; we cannot escape it, if he do not take pity
on us. At these words he ordered the sails to be changed; but all
the ropes broke, and the ship, without any possibility of helping
it, was carried by the current to the foot of an inaccessible
mountain, where she was run ashore, and broken to pieces, yet so
as we saved our lives, our provisions, and the best of our goods.
This being over, the captain says to us, God has now done what he
pleased; we may every man dig our grave here, and bid the world
adieu; for we are all in so fatal a place, that none shipwrecked
here did ever return to their homes again. His discourse
afflicted us mortally, and we embraced one another with tears in
our eyes, bewailing our deplorable lot.

The mountain at the foot of which we were cast, was the coast of
a very long and large island. This coast was covered over with
wrecks: and, by the vast number of men's bones we saw every
where, and which filled us with horror, we concluded that
abundance of people had died there. It is also incredible to tell
what a quantity of goods and riches we found cast ashore there.
All those objects served only to augment our grief. While, in all
other places, rivers run from their channels into the sea, here a
great river of fresh water runs out of the sea into a dark cave,
whose entrance is very high and large. What is most remarkable in
this place is, that the stones of the mountain are of crystal,
rubies, or other precious stones. Here also is a sort of fountain
of pitch or bitumen that runs into the sea, which the fishes
swallow, and then vomit up again turned into ambergris; this the
waves throw upon the beach in great quantities. Here grow also
trees, most of which are wood of aloes, equal to those of Comari.

To finish the description of this place, which may well be called
the gulph, as nothing ever returns from it, it is not possible
for ships to get off from it, when once they come within ft
certain distance of it. If they be driven thither by a wind from
the sea, the wind and the current ruin them; and if they come
into it when a land wind blows, which might seem to favour their
getting out again, the height of the mountain stops the wind, and
occasions a calm, so that the force of the current drives them
ashore, where they are broken in pieces, as ours was; and what
completes the misfortune, there is no possibility of getting to
the top of the mountain, or getting out in any manner of way. We
continued upon the shore like men out of their senses, and
expected death every day. At first we divided our provisions as
equally as we could, so that every one lived a longer or shorter
time, according to his temperance, and the use he made of his
provisions. Those who died first were interred by the rest; and
for my part, I paid the last duty to all my companions. Nor need
you wonder at this; for, besides that I husbanded the provision
that fell to my share better than they, I had provisions of my
own which I did not share with my comrades; yet, when I buried
the last, I had so little remaining, that I thought it could not
hold out long: So I dug a grave, resolving to lie down in it,
because there was none left alive to inter me. I must confess to
you, at the same time, that, while I was thus employed, I could
not but reflect upon myself as the cause of my own ruin, and
repented that I had ever undertaken this last voyage. Nor did I
stop at reflections only, but had well nigh hastened my own
death, and began to tear my hands with my teeth. But it pleased
God once more to take compassion on me, and put it in my mind to
go to the bank of the river which ran into the great cave, where,
considering the river with great attention, I said to myself,
This river, which runs thus under the ground, must come out
somewhere or other. If I make a float, and leave myself to the
current, it will bring me to some inhabited country, or drown me.
If I be drowned, I lose nothing, but only change one kind of
death for another; and if I get out of this fatal place, I shall
not only avoid the fate of my comrades, but perhaps find some new
occasion of enriching myself. Who knows but fortune waits, upon
my getting off this dangerous shelve, to compensate my shipwreck
with usury? After this, I immediately went to work on a float. I
made it of good large pieces of timber and cables, for I had
choice of them, and tied them together so strong, that I had made
a very solid little float. When I had finished it, I loaded it
with some bales of rubies, emeralds, ambergris, rock crystal, and
rich stuffs. Having balanced all my cargo exactly, and fastened
them well to the float. I went on board it with two little oars
that I had made: and leaving it to the course of the river, I
resigned myself to the will of God.

As soon as I came into the cave, I lost all light, and the stream
carried me I knew not whither. Thus I sailed some days in perfect
darkness, and once found the arch so low, that it almost broke my
head, which made me very cautious afterwards to avoid the like
danger. All this while I ate nothing but what was just necessary
to support nature; yet, notwithstanding this frugality, all my
provisions were spent. Then a pleasant sleep seized upon me: I
cannot tell how long it continued; but when I awaked, I was
surprised to find myself in the middle of a vast country, on the
brink of a river, where my float was tied amidst a great number
of negroes. I got up as soon as I saw them, and saluted them.
They spoke to me, but I did not understand their language. I was
so transported with joy, that I knew not whether I was asleep or
awake; but being persuaded that I was not asleep, I recited the
following words in Arabic aloud: Call upon the Almighty, and he
will help thee; thou needest not perplex thyself about any thing
else; shut thine eyes, and, while thou art asleep, God will
change thy bad fortune into good. One of the blacks who
understood Arabic, hearing me speak thus, came towards me, and
said, Brother, do not be surprised at us: we are inhabitants of
this country, and came hither to day to water our fields, by
digging little canals from this river, which comes out of the
neighbouring mountain. We perceived something floating upon the
water, went speedily to see what it was, and perceiving your
float, one of us swam into the river, and brought it hither,
where we fastened it as you see until you should awake. Pray tell
us your history, for it must be extraordinary; how did you
venture yourself into this river, and whence did you come? I
begged of them first to give me something to eat, and then I
would satisfy their curiosity. They gave me several sorts of
food; and when I had satisfied my hunger, I gave them a true
account of all that had befallen me, which they listened to with
admiration. As soon as I had finished my discourse, they told me,
by the person who spoke Arabic, and interpreted to them what I
said, that it was one of the most surprising stories they ever
heard, and that I must go along with them, and tell it to their
king myself; for the thing was too extraordinary to be told by
any other than the person to whom it happened. I told them I was
ready to do whatever they pleased. They immediately sent for a
horse, which was brought them in a little time; and having made
me get up upon him, some of them walked before me to show me the
way, and the rest took my float and cargo, and followed me. We
marched thus all together, till we came to the city of Serendib,
for it was in that island where I landed. The blacks presented me
to their king. I approached his throne, and saluted him as I used
to do the kings of the Indies; that is to say, I prostrated
myself at his feet, and kissed the earth. The prince ordered me
to rise up, received me with an obliging air, and made me come
and sit down near him. He first asked me my name: I answered,
They call me Sindbad the sailor, because of the many voyages I
had undertaken; and that I was a citizen of Bagdad. But, replies
he, how came you into my dominions, and from whence came you
last? I concealed nothing from the king; I told him all that I
have now told you; and his majesty was so surprised and charmed
with it, that he commanded my adventures to be written in letters
of gold, and laid up in the archives of the kingdom. At last my
float was brought to him, and the bales opened in his presence;
he admired the quantity of wood of aloes and ambergris, but,
above all, the rubies and emeralds; for he had none in his
treasury that came near them. Observing that he looked on my
jewels with pleasure, and viewed the most remarkable among them
one after another, I fell prostrate at his feet, and took the
liberty to say to him, Sir, not only my person is at your
majesty's service, but the cargo of the float, and I would beg of
you to dispose of it as your own. He answered me with a smile,
Sindbad, I will take care not to covet any thing of yours, nor to
take any thing from you that God has given you; far from
lessening your wealth, I design to augment it, and will not let
you go out of my dominions without marks of my liberality. All
the answer I returned was by praying for the prosperity of the
prince, and commendations of his generosity and bounty. He
charged one of his officers to take care of me, and ordered
people to serve me at his own charge. The officer was very
faithful in the execution of his orders, and made all the goods
to be carried to the lodgings provided for me. I went every day
at a set hour to make my court to the king, and spent the rest of
my time in seeing the city, and what was most worthy of my

The isle of Serendib[Footnote: Geographers place it on this side
of the line, in the first climate.] is situate just under the
equinoctial line; so that the days and nights there are always
twelve hours each, and the island is eighty[Footnote: The eastern
geographers make a parasang longer than a French league.]
parasangs in length, and as many in breadth. The capital city
stands in the middle of a fine valley formed by a mountain, in
the middle of the island, which is the highest in the world. It
is seen three days sail off at sea. There are rubies and several
sorts of minerals in it, and all the rocks for the most part
emerald, a metal line stone made use of to cut and smooth other
precious stones. Here grow all kinds of rare plants and trees,
especially cedars and cocoas. There is also pearl-fishing in the
mouth of its river, and in some of its vallies there are found
diamonds. I made, by way of devotion, a pilgrimage to the place
where Adam was confined after his banishment from Paradise, and
had the curiosity to go to the top of it.

When I came back to the city, I prayed the king to allow me to
return to my country, which he granted me in the most obliging
and honourable manner. He would needs force a rich present upon
me; and when I went to take leave of him, he gave me one much
more considerable, at the same time charging me with a letter for
the commander of the faithful, our sovereign, and said, I pray
you give this present from me, and this letter, to Caliph Haroun
Alraschid, and assure him of my friendship. I took the present
and letter in a very respectful manner, and promised his majesty
punctually to execute the commission with which he was pleased to
honour me. Before I embarked, this prince sent to seek for the
captain and the merchants who were to go with me, and ordered
them to treat me with all possible respect.

The letter from the king of Serendib was written on the skin of a
certain animal of great value, because of its being so scarce,
and of a yellowish colour. The characters of this letter were of
azure, and the contents thus: "The King of the Indies, before
whom march 100 elephants, who lives in a palace that shines with
100,000 rubies, and who has in his treasury 20,000 crowns
enriched with diamonds, to Caliph Haroun Alraschid. Though the
present which we send you be inconsiderable, receive it, as a
brother and a friend, in consideration of the hearty friendship
which we bear you, and of which we are willing to give you proof.
We desire the same part in your friendship, considering that we
believe it to be our merit, being of the same dignity with
yourself. We conjure you thus in the quality of a brother.
Adieu." The present consisted, in the first place, of one single
ruby made into a cup, about half a foot high, an inch thick, and
filled with round pearls of half a dram each. 2. Of the skin of a
serpent, whose scales were as large as an ordinary piece of gold,
and had the virtue to preserve from sickness those who lay upon
it. 3. In 50,000 drams of the best wood of aloes, with 30 grains
of camphire as big as pistachios. And, 4. A female slave of
ravishing beauty, whose apparel was covered with jewels.

The ship set sail, and, after a very long and successful
navigation, we landed at Balsora, from whence I went to Bagdad,
where the first thing I did was to acquit myself of my
commission. I took the king of Serendib's letter, continued
Sindbad, and went to present myself at the gate of the commander
of the faithful, followed by the beautiful slave, and such of my
own family as carried the presents. I gave an account of the
reason of my coming, and was immediately conducted to the throne
of the caliph. I made my reverence by prostration, and, after a
short speech, gave him the letter and present. When he had read
what the king of Serendib wrote to him, he asked me if that
prince was really so rich and potent as he had said in his
letter? I prostrated myself a second time, and rising again,
Commander of the faithful, says I, I can assure your majesty he
does not exceed the truth on that head; I am witness of it. There
is nothing more capable of raising a man's admiration than the
magnificence of his palace. When the prince appears in public, he
has a throne fixed on the back of an elephant, and marches
betwixt two ranks of his ministers, favourites, and other people
of his court: Before him, upon the same elephant, an officer
carries a golden lance in his hand; and behind the throne there
is another, who stands upright, with a column of gold, on the top
of which there is an emerald half a foot long, and an inch thick;
before him there marches a guard of one thousand men clad in
cloth of gold and silk, and mounted on elephants richly
caparisoned. While the king is on his march, the officer who is
before him on the same elephant cries, from time to time, with a
loud voice, Behold the great monarch, the potent and redoubtable
sultan of the Indies, whose palace is covered with 100,000
rubies, and who possesses 20,000 crowns of diamonds. Behold the
crowned monarch, greater than the great Solima[Footnote:
Solomon.] and the great Mihrage[Footnote: An ancient king of a
great island, of the same name, in the Indies, and much famed
among the Arabians for his power and wisdom.]. After he has
pronounced these words, the officer behind the throne cries in
his turn, This monarch, so great and so powerful, must die, must
die, must die. And the officer before replies, Praise be to him
that lives for ever. Further, the king of Serendib is so just,
that there are no judges in his dominions; his people have no
need of them; they understand and observe justice exactly of
themselves. The caliph was much pleased with my discourse. The
wisdom of that king, says he, appears in his letter; and, after
what you tell me, I must confess that his wisdom is worthy of his
people, and his people deserve so wise a prince. Having spoken
thus, he discharged me, and sent me home with a rich present.

Sindbad left off speaking, and his company retired, Hindbad
having first received one hundred sequins; and next day they
returned to hear the relation of his seventh and last voyage.

The Seventh and last Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.

Being returned from my sixth voyage, I absolutely laid aside all
thoughts of travelling any further. For, besides that my years
did now require rest, I was resolved no more to expose myself to
such risks as I had run: So that I thought of nothing but to pass
the rest of my days in quiet. One day, as I was treating some of
my friends, one of my servants came and told me that an officer
of the caliph asked for me. I rose from the table, and went to
him. The caliph, says he, has sent me to tell you that he must
speak with you. I followed the officer to the palace; where being
presented to the caliph, I saluted him by prostrating myself at
his feet. Sindbad, says he to me, I stand in need of you; you
must do me the service to carry my answer and present to the king
of Serendib. It is but just I should return his civility. This
command of the caliph to me was like a clap of thunder. Commander
of the faithful, replied I, I am ready to do whatever your
majesty shall think fit to command me; but I beseech you most
humbly to consider what I have undergone; I have also made a vow
never to go out of Bagdad. Hence I took occasion to give him a
large and particular account of all my adventures, which he had
the patience to hear out. As soon as I had finished, I confess,
says he, that the things you tell me are very extraordinary, yet
you must, for my sake, undertake this voyage which I propose to
you. You have nothing to do but to go to the isle of Serendib,
and deliver the commission which I give you; after that, you are
at liberty to return. But you must go; for you know it would be
indecent, and not suitable to my dignity, to be indebted to the
king of the island. Perceiving that the caliph insisted upon it,
I submitted, and told him that I was willing to obey. He was very
well pleased at it, and ordered me a thousand sequins for the
charge of my journey.

I prepared for my departure in a few days; and as soon as the
caliph's letter and present were delivered to me, I went to
Balsora, where I embarked, and had a very happy voyage. I arrived
at the isle of Serendib, where I acquainted the king's ministers
with my commission, and prayed them to get me a speedy audience.
They did so, and I was conducted to the palace in an honourable
manner, where I saluted the king by prostration, according to
custom. The prince knew me immediately, and testified very great
joy to see me. O Sindbad, says he, you are welcome; I swear to
you I have many times thought of you since you went hence. I
bless the day upon which we see one another once more. I made my
compliment to him; and, after having thanked him for his kindness
to me, I delivered him the caliph's letter and present, which he
received with all imaginable satisfaction.

The caliph's present was a complete set of cloth of gold, valued
at a thousand sequins; fifty robes of rich stuff, a hundred
others of white cloth, the finest of Cairo, Suez[Footnote: A port
on the Red Sea.], Cusa[Footnote: A town of Arabia.], and
Alexandria; a royal crimson bed, with a second of another
fashion; a vessel of agate, broader than deep, of an inch thick,
and half a foot wide, the bottom of which represented, in bass-
relief, a man with one knee on the ground, who held a bow and
arrow, ready to let fly at a lion. He sent him also a rich table,
which, according to tradition, belonged to the great Solomon. The
caliph's letter was as follows: "Greeting, in the name of the
sovereign guide of the right way, to the potent and happy sultan
from Abdallah Haroun Alraschid, whom God hath set in the place of
honour after his ancestors of happy memory. We received your
letter with joy, and send you this from the council of our port,
the garden of superior wits. We hope, when you look upon it, you
will find our good intention, and be pleased with it. Adieu."

The king of Serendib was mightily pleased that the caliph
answered his friendship. A little time after this audience, I
solicited leave to depart, and obtained the same with much
difficulty. I got it, however, at last; and the king, when he
discharged me, made me a very considerable present. I embarked
immediately to return to Bagdad, but had not the good fortune to
arrive there as I hoped. God ordered it otherwise; for, three or
four days after my departure, we were attacked by corsairs, who
easily seized upon our ship, because it was no vessel of force.
Some of the crew offered resistance, which cost them their lives.
But for me and the rest, who were not so imprudent, the corsairs
saved us on purpose to make slaves of us. We were all stripped;
and, instead of our own clothes, they gave us sorry rags, and
carried us into a remote island, where they sold us. I fell into
the hands of a rich merchant, who, as soon as he bought me,
carried me to his house, treated me well, and clad me handsomely
for a slave. Some days after, not knowing who I was, he asked me
if I knew any trade? I answered, that I was no mechanic, but a
merchant; and that the corsairs, who sold me, robbed me of all I
had. But tell me, replies he, Can you shoot with a bow? I
answered, that the bow was one of the exercises of my youth, and
I had not forgotten it. Then he gave me a bow and arrows, and
taking me behind him upon an elephant, carried me to a vast
forest some leagues from the town. We went a great way into the
forest, and when he thought to stop, he bid me alight: then
showing me a great tree, Climb up that tree, says he, and shoot
at the elephants as you see them pass by; for there is a
prodigious number of them in this forest, and if any of them
fall, come and give me notice of it. Having spoken thus, he left
me victuals, and returned to the town and I continued upon the
tree all night, during which I saw no elephants, but next
morning, as soon as the sun was up, I saw a great number; I shot
several arrows among them, and at last one of the elephants fell;
the rest retired immediately, and left me at liberty to go and
acquaint my patron with my booty. When I had told him the news,
he gave me a good, meal, commended my dexterity, and caressed me
mightily. We went afterwards together to the forest, where we dug
a hole for the elephant; my patron designing to return when it
was rotten, and to take his teeth, &c. to trade with. I continued
this game for two months, and killed an elephant every day,
getting sometimes upon one tree, sometimes upon another. One
morning, as I looked for the elephants, I perceived, with extreme
amazement, that, instead of passing by me across the forest, as
usual, they stopped, and came to me, with a horrible noise, in
such a number that the earth was covered with them, and shook
under them. They encompassed the tree where I was, with their
trunks extended, and their eyes all fixed upon me. At this
frightful spectacle I continued immovable, and was so much
frightened, that my bow and arrows fell out of my hands. My fears
were not vain; for, after the elephants had stared upon me some
time, one of the largest of them put his trunk round the root of
the tree, and pulled so strong, that he plucked it up, and threw
it on the ground: I fell with the tree, and the elephant, taking
me up with his trunk, laid me on his back, where I sat more like
one dead than alive, with my quiver on my shoulder. He put
himself afterwards at the head of the rest, who followed him in
troops, and carried me to a place where he laid me down on the
ground, and retired with all his companions. Conceive, if you
can, the condition I was in: I thought myself to be in a dream;
at last, after having lain some time, and seeing the elephants
gone, I got up, and found I was upon a long and broad hill,
covered all over with the bones and teeth of elephants. I confess
to you that this object furnished me with abundance of
reflections. I admired the instinct of those animals; I doubted
not but that was their burying-place, and they carried me thither
on purpose to tell me that I should forbear to persecute them,
since I did it only for their teeth. I did not stay on the hill,
but turned towards the city, and, after having travelled a day
and a night, I came to my patron. I met no elephant in my way,
which made me think they had retired further into the forest, to
leave me at liberty to come back to the hill without any

As soon as my patron saw me, Ah, poor Sindbad, says he, I was in
great trouble to know what was become of you. I have been at the
forest, where I found a tree newly pulled up, and a bow and
arrows on the ground; and, after having sought for you in vain, I
despaired of ever seeing you more. Pray tell me what befel you,
and by what good hap thou art still alive. I satisfied his
curiosity; and going both of us next morning to the hill, he
found, to his great joy, that what I had told him was true. We
loaded the elephant upon which we came with as many teeth as he
could carry; and when we were returned, Brother, says my patron,
(for I will treat you no more as a slave, after having made such
a discovery as will enrich me,) God bless you with all happiness
and prosperity. I declare before him, that I give you your
liberty. I concealed from you what I am now going to tell you.
The elephants of our forest have every year killed us a great
many slaves whom we sent to seek ivory. For all the cautions we
gave them, these crafty animals killed them one time or other.
God has delivered you from their fury, and has bestowed that
favour upon you only. It is a sign that he loves you, and has use
for your services in the world. You have procured me incredible
gain. We could not have ivory formerly, but by exposing the lives
of our slaves; and now our whole city is enriched by your means.
Do not think I pretend to have rewarded you by giving you
liberty; I will also give you considerable riches. I could engage
all our city to contribute towards making your fortune, but will
have the glory of doing it myself.

To this obliging discourse, I replied, Patron, God preserve you.
Your giving me liberty is enough to discharge what you owe me;
and I desire no other reward for the service I have had the good
fortune to do to you and your city, but leave to return to my own
country. Very well, says he, the Mocon [Footnote: A regular wind
that comes six months from the east, and as many from the west.]
will in a little time bring ships for ivory. I will send you home
then, and give you wherewith to bear your charges. I thanked him
for my liberty, and his good intention towards me. I staid with
him, expecting the Mocon; and during that time we made so many
journies to the hill, that we filled our warehouses with ivory.
The other merchants, who traded in it, did the same thing, for it
could not be long concealed from them. The ships arrived at last,
and my patron himself, having made choice of the ship wherein I
was to embark, loaded half of it with ivory on my account; he
laid in provisions in abundance for my passage; and besides
obliged me to accept a present of the curiosities of the country,
of great value. After I had returned him a thousand thanks for
all his favours, I went on board. We set sail; and as the
adventure which procured me this liberty was very extraordinary,
I had it continually in my thoughts. We stopped at some islands
to take in fresh provisions; our vessel being come to a port on
the Terra Firma in the Indies, we touched there, and not being
willing to venture by sea to Balsora, I landed my proportion of
the ivory, resolving to proceed on my journey by land. I made
vast sums of my ivory, bought several rarities which I intended
for presents, and, when my equipage was got ready, I set out in
company with a large caravan of merchants. I was a long time on
the way, and suffered very much; but endured all with patience,
when I considered that I had nothing to fear from the seas, from
pirates, from serpents, nor of the other perils I had undergone.
All these fatigues, however, ended at last, and I came safe to
Bagdad. I went immediately to call upon the caliph, and gave him
an account of my embassy. That prince told me he had been uneasy
because I was so long of returning, but he always hoped God would
preserve me. When I told him the adventure of the elephants, he
seemed to be much surprised at it, and would never have given any
credit to it, had he not known my sincerity. He reckoned this
story, and the other relations I had given him, to be so curious,
that he ordered one of his secretaries to write them in
characters of gold, and lay them up in his treasury. I retired
very well satisfied with the honours I had received, and the
presents which he gave me; and after that I gave myself up wholly
to my family, kindred, and friends.

Sindbad here finished the relation of his seventh and last
voyage; and then addressing himself to Hindbad, Well, friend,
says he, did you ever hear of any person that suffered so much as
I have done, or of any mortal that has gone through so many
perplexities? Is it not reasonable, that, after all this, I
should enjoy a quiet and pleasant life? As he said this, Hindbad
drew near to him, and, kissing his hand, said, I must
acknowledge, sir, that you have gone through terrible dangers; my
troubles are not comparable to yours; if they afflict me for a
time, I comfort myself with the thoughts of the profit I get by
them. You not only deserve a quiet life, but are worthy besides
of all the riches you enjoy, because you make such a good use of
them. May you therefore continue to live in happiness and joy
till the day of your death. Sindbad gave him a hundred sequins
more, received him into the number of his friends, and desired
him to quit his porter's employment, and come and dine every day
with him, that he might all his days have reason to remember
Sindbad the sailor.

Scheherazade, perceiving it was not yet day, continued her
discourse, and began another story.

                       THE THREE APPLES.

Sir, said she, I have already had the honour to entertain your
majesty with a ramble which the Caliph Haroun Alraschid made one
night from his palace; I will give you an account of one more.
This prince one day commanded the grand vizier Giafar to come to
his palace the night following. Vizier, says he, I will take a
walk round the town, to inform myself what people say, and
particularly how they are pleased with my officers of justice. If
there be any against whom they have reason of just complaint, we
will turn them out, and put others in their stead, who may
officiate better: If, on the contrary, there be any that have
gained their applause, we will have that esteem for them which
they deserve. The grand vizier being come to the palace at the
hour appointed, the caliph, he, and Mesrour the chief of the
eunuchs, disguised themselves so as they could not be known, and
went out ail together. They passed through several places, and by
several markets; and as they entered a small street, they
perceived, by the light of the moon, a tall man, with a white
beard, who carried nets on his head; he had a folding basket of
palm leaves on his arm, and a club in his hand. This old man,
says the caliph, does not seem to be rich; let us go to him, and
inquire into his circumstances. Honest man, said the vizier, who
art thou? The old man replied, Sir, I am a fisher, but one of the
poorest and most miserable of the trade; I went from my house
about noon to go a-fishing, and from that time to this I have not
been able to catch one fish; at the same time I have a wife and
small children, and nothing to maintain them. The caliph, moved
with compassion, says to the fisherman, Hast thou the courage to
go back and cast thy nets once more? We will give thee a hundred
sequins for what thou shall bring up. At this proposal, the
fisherman, forgetting all his day's toil, took the caliph at his
word, and with him, Giafar, and Mesrour, returned to the Tigris;
he saying to himself, These gentlemen seem to be too honest and
reasonable not to reward my pains; and if they give me the
hundredth part of what they promise me, it will be a great deal.
They came to the bank of the river; and the fisherman throwing in
his net, when he drew it again, brought up a trunk close shut,
and very heavy. The caliph made the grand vizier pay him a
hundred sequins immediately, and sent him away. Mesrour, by his
master's order, carried the trunk on his shoulder; and the caliph
was so very eager to know what was in it, that he returned to the
palace with all speed. When the trunk was opened, they found in
it a large basket made of palm leaves, shut up, and the covering
of it sewed with red thread. To satisfy the caliph's impatience,
they would not take time to unrip it, but cut the thread with a
knife, and they took out of the basket a bundle wrapt up in a
sorry piece of hanging, and bound round with a rope, which being
untied, and the bundle opened, they found, to their great
amazement, the corpse of a young lady, whiter than snow, all cut
in pieces.

Your majesty may imagine, a great deal better than I am able to
express the astonishment of the caliph at this dreadful
spectacle. His surprise was instantly changed into passion, and
darting an angry look at the vizier, Ah! thou wretch, said he, is
this your inspection into the actions of my people? Do they
commit such impious murders under thy ministry in my capital
city, and throw my subjects into the Tigris, that they may cry
for vengeance against me at the day of judgment? If thou dost not
speedily revenge the murder of this woman, by the death of her
murderer, I swear by Heaven, that I will cause thee to be hanged,
and forty more of thy kindred. Commander of the faithful, replied
the grand vizier, I beg your majesty to grant me time to make
inquiry. I will allow thee no more, said the caliph, than three
days; therefore thou must look to it. The vizier Giafar went home
in great confusion of mind. Alas, said he, how is it possible
that, in such a vast and populous city as Bagdad, I should be
able to detect a murderer, who undoubtedly committed the crime
without witness, and perhaps may be already gone from hence? Any
other person but me would take some wretched person out of
prison, and cause him to die, to satisfy the caliph; but I will
not burden my conscience with such a barbarous action; I will
rather die than save my life at this rate. He ordered the
officers of police and justice to make strict search for the
criminal: they sent their servants about, and they themselves
were not idle, for they were no less concerned in this matter
than the vizier. But all their endeavours turned to nothing; what
pains soever they took, they could not find out the murderer; so
that the vizier concluded his life to be gone, unless some
remarkable providence hindered it. The third day being come, an
officer came to this unfortunate minister with a summons to
follow him, which the vizier obeyed. The caliph asked him for the
murderer. He answered, with tears in his eyes, Commander of the
faithful, I have not found any person that could give me the
least account of him. The caliph, full of fury and rage, gave him
many reproachful words, and ordered that he and forty
Bermecides[Footnote: The Bermecides were a family come out of
Persia, and of them the grand Vizier was descended.] more should
be hanged up at the gate of the palace.

In the mean while the gibbets were preparing, and orders were
sent to seize forty Bermecides more in their houses; a public
crier was sent about the city to cry thus, by the caliph's order,
Those who have a desire to see the grand vizier Giafar hanged,
and forty more Bermecides of his kindred, let them come to the
square before the palace. When all things were ready, the judge
criminal, and a great many officers belonging to the palace,
brought out the grand vizier with forty Bermecides, and set each
of them at the foot of the gibbet designed for them, and a rope
was put about each of their necks. The multitude of people that
filled the square could not, without grief and tears, behold this
tragical sight; for the grand vizier and the Bermecides were
loved and honoured on account of their probity, bounty, and
impartiality, not only in Bagdad, but through all the dominions
of the caliph.

Nothing could prevent the execution of this prince's too severe
and irrevocable sentence; and the lives of the most honest people
in the city were just going to be taken away, when a young man,
of handsome mien and good apparel, pressed through the crowd till
he came to the place where the grand vizier was; and after he had
kissed his hand, said, Most excellent vizier, chief of the emirs
of this court, and comforter of the poor, you are not guilty of
the crime for which you stand here. Withdraw, and let me expiate
the death of the lady who was thrown into the Tigris. It was I
who murdered her, and deserve to be punished for it. Though these
words occasioned great joy to the vizier, yet he could not but
pity the young man, in whose look he saw something that, instead
of being ominous, was engaging; but as he was about to answer
him, a tall man, pretty well in years, who had likewise forced
his way through the crowd, came up to him, saying, Sir, do not
believe what this young man tells you; I killed that lady who was
found in the trunk; and this punishment ought only to fall upon
me. I conjure you, in the name of God, not to punish the innocent
for the guilty. Sir, says the young man to the vizier, I do
protest that I am he who committed this vile act, and nobody else
had any hand it. My son, said the old man, it is despair that
brought you hither, and you would anticipate your destiny. I have
lived a long time in the world, and it is time for me to be gone;
let me therefore sacrifice my life for yours. Sir, said he again
to the vizier, I tell you once more I am the murderer; let me die
without any more ado. The controversy between the old man and the
young one obliged the grand vizier Giafar to carry them both
before the caliph, to which the criminal judge consented, being
very glad to serve the vizier. When he came before the prince, he
kissed the ground seven times, and spoke after this manner:
Commander of the faithful, I have brought here before your
majesty this old man, and this young one, who both confess
themselves to be the sole murderers of the lady. Then the caliph
asked the criminals which of them it was that so cruelly murdered
the lady, and threw her into the Tigris? The young man assured
him it was he, but the old man maintained the contrary. Go, says
the caliph to the grand vizier, and cause them both to be hanged.
But, sir, says the vizier, if only one of them be guilty, it
would be unjust to take the lives of both. At these words the
young man spoke again: I swear by the great God, who has raised
the heavens so high as they are, that I am the man who killed the
lady, cut her in quarters, and threw her into the Tigris about
four days ago. I renounce my part of happiness among the just at
the day of judgment, if what I say be not truth; therefore I am
he that ought to suffer. The caliph, being surprised at this
oath, believed him, especially as the old man made no answer to
this. Whereupon, turning to the young man, Thou wretch, said he,
what was it that made thee to commit that detestable crime, and
what is it that moves thee to offer thyself voluntarily to die?
Commander of the faithful, said he, if all that has passed
between that lady and me were set down in writing, it would be a
history that would be very useful to other men. I command you
then to relate it, said the caliph. The young man obeyed, and


Commander of the faithful, your majesty may be pleased to know,
that this murdered lady was my wife, the daughter of this old man
you see here, who is my uncle by the father's side. She was not
above twelve years old when he gave her to me, and it is now
eleven years ago. I have three children by her, all boys, yet
alive; and I must do her the justice to say, that she never gave
me the least occasion of offence; she was chaste, of good
behaviour, and made it her whole business to please me. For my
part, I loved her entirely, and rather prevented her, in granting
any thing she desired, than opposed it. About two months ago she
fell sick; I took all imaginable care of her, and spared nothing
that could procure a speedy recovery. After a month, she began to
grow better, and had a mind to go to the bagnio. Before she went
out of the house, Cousin, said she, (for so she used to call me
from familiarity), I long for some apples; if you could get me
any, you would please me extremely; I have longed for them a
great while, and I must own it is come to that height, that if I
be not satisfied very soon, I fear some misfortune will befal me.
With all my heart, said I, I will do all that is in my power to
make you easy, and went immediately round all the markets and
shops in the town to seek for apples, but could not get one,
though I offered a sequin for each. I returned home very much
dissatisfied at my disappointment. As for my wife, when she
returned from the bagnio, and saw no apples, she became so very
uneasy, that she could not sleep all night: I rose betimes in the
morning, and went through all the gardens, but had no better
success than the day before; only I happened to meet an old
gardener, who told me that all my pains would signify nothing,
for I could not expect to find apples any where but in your
majesty's garden at Balsora. As I loved my wife passionately, and
would not have any thing of neglect to satisfy her chargeable
upon me, I put myself in a traveller's habit, and after I had
told her my design, I went to Balsora, and made my journey with
so great diligence, that I returned at the end of fifteen days
with three apples, which cost me a sequin each; there were no
more left in the garden, so that the gardener would let me have
them no cheaper. As soon as I came home, I presented them to my
wife, but her longing was over; so she satisfied herself with
receiving them, and laid them down by her. In the mean time she
continued sickly, and I knew not what remedy to get for her.

A few days after I returned from my journey, as I was sitting in
my shop, in the public place where all sorts of fine stuffs are
sold, I saw an ugly tall black slave come in with an apple in his
hand, which I knew to be one of those I had brought from Balsora.
I had no reason to doubt it, because I was certain there was not
one to be had in all Bagdad, nor in any garden about it. I called
to him, and said, Good slave, pray thee tell me where thou hadst
this apple? It is a present (said he, smiling) from my mistress.
I was to see her to-day, but found her indisposed. I saw three
apples lying by her, and asked where she had them? She told me,
the good man her husband had made a fortnight's journey on
purpose for them, and brought them to her. We had a collation
together; and, when I took my leave of her, I brought away this
apple that you see. This discourse put me out of my senses; I
rose, shut up my shop, ran home with all speed, and going to my
wife's chamber, looked immediately for apples, and seeing only a
couple, asked what was become of the third? Then my wife turning
her head to the place where the apples lay, and perceiving there
were but two, answered me coldly, Cousin, I know not what is
become of it. At this answer I did verily believe what the slave
told me to be true; and at the same time giving myself up to
madness and jealousy, I drew my knife from my girdle, and thrust
it into the unfortunate creature's throat; I afterwards cut off
her head, and divided her body into four quarters, which I packed
up in a bundle, and hiding it in a basket, sewed it up with a
thread of red yarn, put all together in a trunk, and, when night
came, carried it on my shoulder down to the Tigris, where I sunk

The two youngest of my children were already put to bed, and
asleep, the third being gone abroad; but, at my return, I found
him sitting by my gate, weeping very much. I asked him the
reason: Father, said he, I took this morning from my mother,
without her knowledge, one of those three apples you brought her,
and I kept it a long while; but, as I was playing some time ago
with my little brother in the street, a tall slave that went by
snatched it out of my hands, and carried it with him: I ran after
him, demanding it back; and besides, told him that it belonged to
my mother, who was sick; and that you had made a fortnight's
journey to fetch it; but all to no purpose, he would not restore
it. And whereas I still followed him, crying out, he turned and
beat me, and then ran away as fast as ever he could from one lane
to another, till at length I lost sight of him. I have since been
walking without the town, expecting your return, to pray you,
dear father, not to tell my mother of it, lest it should make her
worse. When he had said these words, he fell a weeping again more
bitterly than before.

My son's discourse afflicted me beyond measure: I then found
myself guilty of an enormous crime, and repented too late of
having so easily believed the calumnies of a wretched slave, who,
from what he had learned of my son, invented that fatal lie. My
uncle, here present, came just at the time to see his daughter;
but, instead of finding her alive, understood from me that she
was murdered, for I concealed nothing from him; and, without
staying for his censure, declared myself the greatest criminal in
the world. Upon this, instead of reproaching me, he joined his
tears with mine, and we wept three days together without
intermission; he for the loss of a daughter whom he always loved
tenderly, and I for the loss of a dear wife, of whom I had
deprived myself after so cruel a manner, by giving too easy
credit to the report of a lying slave.

This, commander of the faithful, is the sincere confession your
majesty commanded from me. You have now heard all the
circumstances of my crime, and I most humbly beg of you to order
the punishment which it merits; and, however severe it may be, I
shall not in the least complain, but esteem it too easy and

The caliph was very much astonished at the young man's relation;
but this just prince, finding he was to be pitied rather than
condemned, began to speak in his favour. This young man's crime,
said he, is pardonable before God, and excusable with men. The
wicked slave is the sole cause of this murder; it is he alone
that must be punished. Wherefore, said he, looking upon the grand
vizier, I give you three days time to find him out; if you do not
bring him within that space, you shall die in his stead. The
unfortunate Giafar, who thought himself now out of danger, was
terribly perplexed at this new order of the caliph; but not
daring to return any answer to the prince, whose hasty temper he
well knew, he departed from his presence, and retired to his
house with tears in his eyes, persuading himself he had but three
days to live; for he was so fully convinced that he should not
find the slave, that he made not the least inquiry about him. Is
it possible, said he, that in such a city as Bagdad, where there
is such an infinite number of negro slaves, I should be able to
find out him who is guilty? So that, unless God be pleased to
bring it about, as he has already detected the murderer, nothing
can possibly save my life! The vizier spent the two first days in
mourning with his family, who sat round him weeping, and
complaining of the caliph's cruelty. The third day being come, he
prepared himself to die with courage, as an honest minister, and
one who had nothing to trouble his conscience with: he sent for
notaries and witnesses, who signed the last will he made in their
presence; after which he took leave of his wife and children, and
bade them the last farewell. All his family were drowned in
tears, so that there never was a more sorrowful spectacle; At
last the messenger came from the caliph to tell him that he was
out of all patience, having heard nothing from him, nor
concerning the negro slave, whom he had commanded him to search
for: I am therefore ordered, said he, to bring you before his
throne. The afflicted vizier made ready to follow the messenger;
but, as he was going but, they brought him his youngest daughter,
who was about five or six years of age. The nurses who attended
her, presented her to her father to receive his last blessing.
Having a particular love to the child, he prayed the messenger to
give him leave to stop for a moment, and, taking his daughter in
his arms, kissed her several times; as he was embracing her the
last time, he perceived she had somewhat in her bosom that looked
bulky, and a sweet scent. My dear little one, said he, what hast
thou in thy bosom? My dear father, said she, it is an apple, upon
which is written the name of our lord and master the caliph; our
slave Rihan[Footnote: This word signifies, in Arabic, basilic, an
odoriferous plant; and the Arabians call their slaves by this
name, as the custom in France is to give the name of jessamin to
a footman.] sold it to me for two sequins.

At the words apple and slave, the grand vizier cried out with
surprise intermixed with joy, and, putting his hand into the
child's bosom, pulled out the apple. He caused the slave, who was
not far off, to be brought immediately; and when he came, Rascal!
said he, where hadst thou this apple? My lord, said the slave, I
swear to you that I neither stole it in your house, nor out of
the commander of the faithful's garden; but the other day, as I
was going through a street where three or four children were at
play, one of them having it in his hand, I snatched it from him,
and carried it away. The child ran after me, telling me it was
none of his own, but belonged to his mother, who was sick; and
that his father, to save her longing, had made a long journey,
and brought home three apples, whereof this was one, which he had
taken from his mother without her knowledge. He said what he
could to make me give it him back, but I would not; I brought it
home, and sold it for two sequins to the little lady your
daughter; and this is the whole truth of the matter.

Giafar could not enough admire how the roguery of a slave had
been the cause of an innocent woman's death, and almost of his
own. He carried the slave along with him, and, when he came
before the caliph, gave the prince an exact account of all that
the slave had told him, and the chance that brought him to the
discovery of his crime. Never was any surprise so great as the
caliph's, yet he could not prevent himself from falling into
excessive fits of laughter. At last he recovered himself, and,
with a serious mien, told the vizier, That, since his slave had
been the occasion of so strange an accident, he deserved an
exemplary punishment. Sir, I must own it, said the vizier, but
his guilt is not irremissible; I remember a strange story of a
vizier of Cairo, called Noureddin[Footnote: Noureddin signifies,
in Arabic, the light of religion.] Ali and of his son
Bedreddin[Footnote: Bedreddin signifies the full moon of
religion.] Hassan of Balsora; and as your majesty delights to
hear such things, I am ready to tell it on this condition, that
if your majesty find it more astonishing than that which gives me
occasion to tell it, you will be pleased to pardon my slave. I am
content, said the caliph; but you undertake a hard task, for I do
not believe you can save your slave, the story of the apples
being so very singular. Upon this Giafar began his story thus:


Commander of the faithful, there was in former days a sultan of
Egypt, a strict observer of justice, gracious, merciful, and
liberal; and his valour made him terrible to his neighbours. He
loved the poor, and protected the learned, whom he advanced to
the highest dignities. This sultan had a vizier, who was prudent,
wise, sagacious, and well versed in the sciences. This minister
had two sons, very handsome men, and who in every thing followed
his own footsteps. The eldest was called Schemseddin[Footnote:
That is to say, the sun of religion.] Mohammed, and the younger
Noureddin Ali. The last especially was endowed with all the good
qualities that any man could have. The vizier their father being
dead, the sultan sent for them; and after he had caused them both
to put on the usual robes of a vizier, I am as sorry, says he,
for the loss of your father as yourselves; and because I know you
live together, and love one another entirely, I will bestow his
dignity upon you conjunctly; go and imitate your father's
conduct. The two new viziers humbly thanked the sultan, and went
home to their house to make due preparation for their father's
interment. They did not go abroad for a month, and then went to
court, where they appeared continually on council-days; when the
sultan went a hunting, one of the brothers went along with him
and this honour they had by turns. One evening, as they were
talking after supper, the next day being the elder brother's turn
to go a hunting with the sultan, he said to his younger brother,
since neither of us is yet married, and as we live so lovingly
together, a thought is come into my head; Let us both marry in
one day, and let us choose two sisters out of some family that
may suit our quality: What do you think of this fancy? I must
tell you, brother, answered Noureddin, that it is very suitable
to our friendship; there cannot be a better thought; for my part,
I am ready to agree to any thing you shall think fit. But hold,
this is not all, says Schemseddin; my fancy carries me further.
Suppose both our wives should conceive the first night of
marriage, and should happen to be brought to bed on one day,
yours of a son and mine of a daughter, we will give them to one
another in marriage when they come of age. Nay, says Noureddin
aloud, I must acknowledge that this project is admirable; such a
marriage will perfect our union, and I willingly consent to it.
But then, brother, says he further, if this marriage should
happen, would you expect that my son should settle a jointure on
your daughter? There is no difficulty in that, replies the elder;
for I am persuaded, that, besides the usual articles of
marriage-contract, you will not fail to promise in his name at
least three thousand sequins, three good manors, and three
slaves. No, said the younger, I will not consent to that; are we
not brethren, and equal in title and dignity? Do not you and I
both know what is just? The male being nobler than the female, it
is your part to give a large dowry with your daughter. By what I
perceive, you are a man that would have your business done at
another's charge.

Though Noureddin spoke these words in jest, his brother, being of
an ill temper, was offended; and falling into a passion, A
mischief upon your son, said he, since you prefer him before my
daughter; I wonder you had so much confidence as to believe him
worthy of her; you must needs have lost your judgment, to think
that you are my equal, and say we are colleagues: I would have
you to know, you fool, that, since you are so impudent, I would
not marry my daughter to your son, though you would give him more
than you are worth. This pleasant quarrel between two brothers,
about the marriage of their children before they were born, went
so far, that Schemseddin concluded with threatening: Were I not
to-morrow, says he, to attend the sultan, I would treat you as
you deserve; but, at my return, I shall make you sensible that it
does not become a younger brother to speak so insolently to his
elder brother as you have done to me. Upon this he retired to his
apartment, and his brother went to bed.

Schemseddin rose very early next morning, and goes to the palace
to attend the sultan, who went to hunt about Cairo, near the
pyramids. As for Noureddin, he was very uneasy all night, and
considering that it would not be possible for him to live longer
with a brother who treated him with so much haughtiness, he
provided a good mule, furnished himself with money, jewels,
provisions, and victuals; and having told his people that he was
going a private journey for two or three days, he departed. When
he was out of Cairo, he rode by the desert toward Arabia; but his
mule happening to tire by the way, he was forced to pursue his
journey on foot. A courier that was going to Balsora, by good
fortune overtaking him, took him up behind him. As soon as the
courier came to Balsora, Noureddin alighted, and returned him
thanks for his kindness. As he went about to seek for a lodging,
he saw a person of quality, with a great retinue, coming along,
to whom all the people showed a mighty respect, and stood still
till he passed by, Noureddin stopping among the rest. This was
the grand vizier to the sultan of Balsora, who walked through the
city, to see that the inhabitants kept good order and discipline.
This minister, casting his eye by chance on Noureddin, and
finding something extraordinary in his aspect, looked very
attentively upon him, and as he came near him, and saw him in a
traveller's habit, he stood still, asked him who he was, and from
whence he came? Sir, said Noureddin, I am an Egyptian, born at
Cairo, and have left my country, because of the unkindness of a
near relation, and am resolved to travel through the world, and
rather to die than return home again. The grand vizier, who was a
reverend old gentleman, after hearing those words, says to him,
Son, beware, do not pursue your design; there is nothing but
misery in the world; you are not sensible of the hardships you
must endure; come follow me, I may perhaps make you forget the
thing that has forced you to leave your own country. Noureddin
followed the grand vizier, who soon perceived his good qualities,
and fell so much in love with him, that one day he said to him in
private, My son, I am, as you see, so far gone in years, that
there is no likelihood I shall live much longer. Heaven has
bestowed only one daughter upon me, who is beautiful as you are
handsome, and now fit for marriage. Several people of the
greatest quality at this court have desired her for their sons,
but I could not grant their request. I have a love for you, and
think you so worthy to be received into my family, that,
preferring you before all those that have sought her, I am ready
to accept you for my son-in-law. If you like the proposal, I will
acquaint the sultan my master that I have adopted you by this
marriage, and will pray him to grant you the reversion of my
dignity of grand vizier in the kingdom, of Balsora. In the
meantime, nothing being more requisite for me than ease in my old
age, I will not put you in possession of my estate, but leave the
administration of public affairs to your management. Having made
an end of this kind and generous proposal, Noureddin fell at his
feet, and expressing himself in terms that demonstrated his joy
and gratitude, told the vizier that he was at his command in
every thing. Upon this the vizier sent for his chief domestics,
ordered them to furnish the great hall of his palace, and to
prepare a great feast. He afterwards sent to invite the nobility
of the court and city to honour him with their company, and when
they were all met, (Noureddin having now told him who he was,) he
said to those lords, for he thought it proper to speak thus on
purpose to satisfy such of them to whom he had refused his
alliance: I am now, my lords, to discover a thing to you which I
have hitherto kept a secret. I have a brother who is grand vizier
to the sultan of Egypt, as I am to the sultan of this kingdom.
This brother has but one son, whom he would not marry in the
court of Egypt, but sent him hither to marry my daughter, that
both our branches may be reunited. His son, whom I knew to be my
nephew as soon as I saw him, is the young gentleman whom I here
present to you, and is to be my son-in-law. I hope you will do me
the honour to be present at his wedding, which I am resolved to
celebrate this day. The noblemen, who could not take it ill that
he preferred his nephew before all the great matches that had
been proposed to him, said, that he had very good reasons, for
what he did, were willing to be witnesses to the ceremony, and
wished that God might prolong his days to enjoy the satisfaction
of the happy match.

The lords met at the vizier's, having testified their
satisfaction at the marriage of his daughter with Noureddin, sat
down to dinner, which lasted a good while; and the latter course
was sweet-meats, of which every one, according to custom, took
what he thought fit. The notaries came in with the
marriage-contract, when the chief lords signed it; and, after the
company departed, the grand vizier ordered his servants to
prepare a bagnio, and have every thing else provided for
Noureddin in the best manner: When he had washed and dried
himself, he was going to put on his former apparel, but had an
extraordinary rich suit brought him. Being dressed and perfumed
with the most odoriferous essence, he went to see the grand
vizier, his father-in-law, who was exceedingly well pleased with
his genteel mien; and having made him sit down, My son, said he,
you have declared unto me who you are, and the quality you had at
the court of Egypt. You have also told me of a difference betwixt
you and your brother, which occasioned you to leave your country.
I desire you to make me your entire confident, and to acquaint me
with the cause of your quarrel; for now you have no reason either
to doubt me, or to conceal any thing from me. Noureddin
accordingly gave him an account of every circumstance of the
quarrel; at which the vizier burst out into a fit of laughter,
and said, This is one of the oddest things that I ever heard: Is
it possible, my son, that your quarrel should rise so high about
an imaginary marriage? I am sorry you fell out with your elder
brother upon such a frivolous matter; but I find he is in the
wrong to be angry at what you only spoke in jest, and I ought to
thank Heaven for that difference which has procured me such a
son-in-law. But, said the old gentleman, it is late, and time for
you to retire; go to your bride, my son; she expects you;
to-morrow I will present you to the sultan, and hope he will
receive you in such a manner as shall satisfy us both. Noureddin
took leave of his father-in-law, and went to his spouse's
apartment. It is remarkable, continued Giafar, that Schemseddin
happened also to marry at Cairo the very same day that this
marriage was solemnized at Balsora; the particulars are as
follow. After Noureddin left Cairo, with an intention never to
return, Schemseddin, who was gone a hunting with the sultan of
Egypt, did not come back in a month; for the Sultan loved the
game extremely, and continued the sport all that while.
Schemseddin, on his return, ran to Noureddin's apartment, but was
much surprised when he understood, that, under pretence of taking
a journey of two or three days, he had gone away on a mule the
same day that the sultan went a hunting, and never appeared
since. This circumstance vexed him so much the more, beeause he
did not doubt that the hard words he had used were the cause of
his going away. He sent a messenger in search of him, who went to
Damascus, and as far as Aleppo, but Noureddin was then at
Balsora. When the courier returned, and brought word that he
heard no news of him, Schemseddin intended to make further
inquiry after him in other parts; but in the mean time had a
fancy to marry, and obtained the daughter of one of the greatest
lords in Cairo upon the same day that his brother married the
daughter of the grand vizier of Balsora.

But this is not all, said Giafar; at the end of nine months,
Schemseddin's wife was delivered of a daughter at Cairo, and on
the same day Noureddin's wife had a son at Balsora, who was named
Bedreddin Hassan. The grand vizier of Balsora testified his joy
for the birth of his grandson by great gifts and public
entertainments; and, to show his son-in-law the great esteem he
had for him, he went to the palace, and begged the sultan to
grant Noureddin his office, that he might have the comfort,
before his death, to see his son-in-law made grand vizier his
stead. The sultan, who had taken a great liking to Noureddin when
his father presented him after his marriage, and had ever since
heard every body speak well of him, readily granted his
father-in-law's request, and caused Noureddin immediately to put
on the robe of a grand vizier. The next day, when the father saw
his son-in-law preside in council as he himself had done, and
perform all the offices of grand vizier, his joy was complete.
Noureddin behaved himself so well in every thing, that one would
have thought he had been all his lifetime employed in such
affairs. He continued afterwards to assist in council every time
when the infirmities of age would not permit his father-in-law to
appear. The old gentleman died about four years after, and
Noureddin performed the last duties to him with all possible love
and gratitude. As soon as his son Bedreddin had attained to seven
years of age, he provided him a most excellent tutor, who taught
him as became his birth. The child had a ready wit, a genius
capable of receiving all the instructions that could be given,
and, after having been two years under the tuition of his master,
learned the alcoran by heart. His father Noureddin put him
afterwards to other tutors, by whom his mind was cultivated to
such a degree, that, when he was twelve years of age, he had no
more occasion for them; and then, as his physiognomy promised
wonders, he was admired by all.

Noureddin had hitherto kept him to his studies, and had not yet
brought him into public; but now he carried him to the palace, on
purpose to have the honour of kissing the hand of the sultan, who
received him very graciously. The people who saw him in the
streets were charmed with his genteel mien, and gave him a
thousand blessings. His father, purposing to make him capable of
supplying his place, spared no cost for that end, brought him up
to business of the greatest moment, and in short omitted nothing
to advance a son he loved so well. But as he began to enjoy the
fruits of his labour, he was all of a sudden taken with a violent
fit of sickness; and, finding himself past recovery, disposed
himself to die like a good Mussulman. In his last moments he
forgot not his son Bedreddin, but called for him, and said, My
son, you see this world is transitory; there is nothing durable
but that to which I shall speedily go. You must therefore from
henceforth begin to fit yourself for this change, as I have done;
you must prepare for it without murmuring, so as to have no
trouble of conscience for not acting the part of a really honest
man. As for your religion, you are sufficiently instructed in it
by what you have learned from your tutors, and by your own study.
As to what belongs to an honest man, I shall give you some
instructions, of which I hope you will make good use; and as it
is a necessary thing to know one's self, and you cannot come to
that knowledge unless you first understand who I am, I shall now
tell you. I am a native of Egypt; my father, your grandfather,
was first minister to the sultan of that kingdom. I myself had
the honour to be vizier to that same sultan, and so has my
brother, your uncle, who, I suppose, is yet alive; his name is
Schemseddin. I was obliged to leave him, and come into this
country, where I have raised myself to the high dignity which I
now enjoy. But you will understand all these matters more fully
by a manuscript which I shall leave you. Noureddin pulled out his
pocket-book, which he had written with his own hand, and carried
always about him, and giving it to Bedreddin, Take it, says he,
and read it at your leisure; you will find, among other things,
the day of my marriage, and that of your birth; these are such
circumstances as perhaps you may hereafter have occasion to know;
therefore you must keep it very carefully. Bedreddin, being most
afflicted to see his father in that condition, and sensibly
touched with his discourse, could not but weep when he received
the pocket-book, and promised never to part with it.

That very moment Noureddin fainted, so that it was thought he
would have expired; but he came to himself again, and uttered
these words: My son, the first instruction I give you is, not to
make yourself familiar with all sorts of people. The way to live
happy is to keep your mind to yourself, and not tell your
thoughts too freely. Secondly, Not to do violence to any body
whatever, for in that case you will draw every body's hatred upon
you. You ought to consider the world as a creditor, to whom you
owe moderation, compassion, and forbearance. Thirdly, Not to say
a word when you are reproached; for, as the proverb says, he that
keeps silence is out of danger. In this case particularly you
ought to practise it. You also know what one of our poets says
upon this subject, That silence is the ornament and safeguard of
life; and that our speech ought not to be like a storm of rain
that spoils all. Never did any man yet repent of having spoken
too little, though many have been sorry that they spoke too much.
Fourthly, To drink no wine, for that is the source of all vices.
Fifthly, To be frugal in your way of living; if you do not
squander your estate away, it will maintain you in time of
necessity. I do not mean you should be either too liberal or too
niggardly; for though you have but little, if you husband it
well, and lay it out upon proper occasions, you will have many
friends; but if, on the contrary, you have great riches, and make
a bad use of them, the world will forsake you, and leave you to

In short, Noureddin Ali continued, till the last moment of his
breath, to give good advice to his son, by whom he was
magnificently interred.

Bedreddin Hassan of Balsora, for so he was called because born in
that town, was so overwhelmed with grief for the death of his
father, that instead of a month's time to mourn, according to
custom, he kept himself closely shut up in tears and solitude
about two months without seeing any body, or so much as going
abroad to pay his duty to the sultan of Balsora, who, being
displeased at his neglect, and regarding it as a slight put upon
his court and person, suffered his passion to prevail, and in his
fury called for the new grand vizier, (for he had created a new
one as soon as Noureddin died,) commanded him to go to the house
of the deceased, and seize upon it, with all his other houses,
lands, and effects, without leaving any thing for Bedreddin
Hassan, and to bring him prisoner along with him. The new grand
vizier, accompanied by a great many messengers belonging to the
palace, justices and other officers, went immediately to execute
his commission; but one of Bedreddin's slaves, happening
accidentally to come into the crowd, no sooner understood the
vizier's errand, than he ran in all haste to give his master
warning. He found him sitting in the porch of his house, as
melancholy as if his father had been but newly dead. He fell down
at his feet quite out of breath; and, after he had kissed the hem
of his garment, cried out, My lord, save yourself immediately.
Bedreddin, lifting up his head, said, What is the matter? what
news dost thou bring? My lord, said he, there is no time to be
lost; the sultan, horribly incensed against you, has sent people
to take all you have, and to seize your person.

The words of this faithful and affectionate slave put Bedreddin
into great confusion. May not I have so much time, said he, as to
take some money and jewels along with me? No, sir, replied the
slave; the grand vizier will be here this moment. Begone
immediately; save yourself. Bedreddin rose up from the sofa in
haste, put his feet in his sandals, and, after covering his head
with the tail of his gown, that his face might not be known, he
fled, without knowing what way to go, in order to avoid the
impending danger.

The first thought that came into his head was to get out at the
next gate with all speed. He ran without stopping till he came to
the public church-yard; and, as it was growing dark, he resolved
to pass the night on his father's tomb. It was a large edifice in
the form of a dome, which Noureddin Ali built when he was alive.
Bedreddin met by the way a very rich Jew, who was a banker and
merchant, and was returning to the city from a place where his
affairs had called him. The Jew, knowing Bedreddin, halted, and
saluted him very courteously.

The caliph was very attentive to the discourse of the grand
vizier, who went on after this manner. Isaac the Jew, after he
had paid his respects to Bedreddin Hassan by kissing his hand,
says, My lord, dare I be so bold as to ask whither you are going
at this time of night alone, and so much troubled? Has any thing
disquieted you? Yes, said Bedreddin, a while ago I was asleep,
and my father appeared to me in a dream, looking fiercely upon
me, as if he were very angry; I started out of my sleep very much
frightened, and came out immediately to go and pray upon his
tomb. My lord, said the Jew, who did not know the true reason why
Bedreddin left the town, your father of happy memory, and my good
lord, had store of merchandise in several vessels which are yet
at sea, and belong to you; I beg the favour of you to grant me
the first refusal of them before any other merchant. I am able to
lay down ready money for all the goods that are in your ships;
and to begin, if you will give me those that happen to come in
the first ship that arrives in safety, I will pay you down, in
part payment, a thousand sequins. Drawing out a bag from under
his gown, he showed it him sealed up with one seal.

Bedreddin, banished from home, and dispossessed of all he had in
the world, looked upon this proposal of the Jew as a favour from
Heaven, and therefore accepted it with a great deal of joy. My
lord, said the Jew, then you sell unto me, for a thousand
sequins, the lading of the first of your ships that shall arrive
in port? Yes, answered Bedreddin, I sell it to you for a thousand
sequins; it is done. Upon this, the Jew delivered him the bag of
a thousand sequins, and offered to count them; but Bedreddin
saved him the trouble, and said, he would trust his word. Since
it is so, my lord, be pleased to favour me with a small note, in
writing, of the bargain we have made. Having said this, he pulled
his ink-horn from his girdle, and taking a small reed out of it,
neatly cut for writing, he presented it to him, with a piece of
paper he took out of his letter-case, and, whilst he held the
ink-horn, Bedreddin Hassan wrote these words: 'This writing is to
testify, that Bedreddin Hassan of Balsora has sold to Isaac the
Jew, for the sum of one thousand sequins, received in hand, the
lading of the first of his ships that shall arrive in this port.'
This note he delivered to the Jew, who put it in his letter-case,
and then took leave of him.

While Isaac pursued his journey to the city, Bedreddin made the
best of his way to his father's tomb. When he came to it, he
bowed his face to the ground, and, with his eyes full of tears,
deplored his miserable condition. Alas! said he, unfortunate
Bedreddin, what will become of thee? Whither canst thou fly for
refuge against the unjust prince who persecutes thee? Was it not
enough to be afflicted for the death of so dear a father? Must
fate add new misfortunes to just complaints? He continued a long
time in this posture; but at last rose up again, and, leaning his
head upon his father's sepulchre, his sorrows returned more
violently than before; so that he sighed and mourned, till,
overcome with heaviness, he stretched himself upon the floor, and
fell asleep. He had not slept long when a genius, who had retired
to the church-yard during the day, and was intending, according
to custom, to range about the world at night, espying this young
man in Noureddin's tomb, entered, and finding Bedreddin lying on
his back, was surprised at his beauty. When he had attentively
considered Bedreddin, he said to himself, To judge of this
creature by his good mien, he seems to be an angel of the
terrestrial paradise, whom God has sent to put the world in a
flame with his beauty. At last, after he had satisfied himself
with looking upon him, he took a flight into the air, where
meeting by chance with a fairy, they saluted each other; after
which he said to her, Descend with me into the church-yard where
I stay, and I will show you a prodigious beauty, who is worthy of
your admiration as well as mine. The fairy consented, and both
descended in an instant; they came into the tomb: Look ye, said
the genius to the fairy, showing him Bedreddin, did you ever see
a young man of a better shape, and more beautiful than this? The
fairy, having attentively observed Bedreddin, answered, I must
confess that he is a very handsome man, but I am just come from
seeing an object at Cairo still more admirable; and if you hear
me, I will tell you a strange story concerning her. You will very
much oblige me by so doing, answered the genius. You must know
then, said the fairy, that the sultan of Egypt has a vizier
called Schemseddin Mohammed, who has a daughter of about twenty
years of age, the most beautiful and complete person that ever
was known. The sultan having heard of this young lady's beauty,
sent the other day for her father, and said, I understand you
have a daughter; I have a mind to marry her; will you consent to
it? The vizer, who did not expect this proposal, was troubled at
it; and, instead of accepting it joyfully, which another in his
place would certainly have done, he answered the sultan, May it
please your majesty, I am not worthy of the honour you confer
upon me, and I most humbly beseech you to pardon me if I do not
agree to your request. You know I had a brother called Noureddin
Ali, who had the honour, as well as myself, to be one of your
viziers: We had some difference together, which was the cause of
his leaving me on a sudden, and since that time I have had no
account of him till within these four days, when I heard he died
at Balsora, being grand vizier to the sultan of that kingdom. He
has left a son behind him; and there having been an agreement
between us to match our children together, should we have any, I
am persuaded he intended the match when he died. Being desirous
to fulfil the promise on my part, I conjure your majesty to grant
me leave; you have in your court many other lords who have
daughters on whom you may please to bestow that honour.

The sultan of Egypt was incensed against Schemseddin to the
highest degree, and said to him in a passion, which he could not
restrain, Is this the way you requite my condescension to stoop
so low as to desire your alliance? I know how to revenge your
daring to prefer another to me, and I swear that your daughter
shall be married to the most contemptible and ugly of all my
slaves. Having spoken these words, he angrily bid the vizier
begone, who went home to his house full of confusion, and very
sad. The same day the sultan sent for one of his grooms, who is
hump-backed, big-bellied, crook-legged, and as ugly as a
hobgoblin; and, after having commanded Schemseddin to consent to
marry his daughter to this ghastly slave, he caused the contract
to be made out and signed by witnesses in his own presence. The
preparations for this fantastical wedding, says the fairy, are
all ready, and at this moment all the slaves belonging to the
lords of the court of Egypt are waiting at the door of the
bagnio, each with a flambeau in his hand, for the crook-backed
groom to go along with them to his bride, who is already dressed
to receive him. When I departed from Cairo, the ladies, met for
that purpose, were going to conduct her, in all her nuptial
attire, to the hall, where she is to receive her hump-backed
bridegroom, and is this minute now expecting him; I have seen
her, and do assure you that no person can look upon her without

When the fairy left off speaking, the genius says to her,
Whatever you think or say, I cannot be persuaded that the girl's
beauty exceeds that of this young man. I will not dispute it with
you, answered the fairy, for I must confess he deserves to be
married to that charming creature whom they design for Hump-back;
and I think it were a deed worthy of us to obstruct the sultan of
Egypt's injustice, and put this young gentleman in the room of
the slave. You are in the right, answered the genius; I am
extremely obliged to you for so good a thought; let us deceive
him: I consent to your revenge upon the sultan of Egypt; let us
comfort a distressed father, and make his daughter as happy as
she thinks herself miserable; I shall do my utmost to make this
project take, and am persuaded you will not be backward; I shall
carry him to Cairo before he awake, and afterwards leave it to
you to carry him elsewhere when we have accomplished our design.
The plan being thus concerted, the genius lifted Bedreddin
gently, carried him with an inconceivable swiftness through the
air, and set him down at the door of a public-house next to the
bagnio, whence Hump-back was to come with the train of slaves
that waited for him. Bedreddin awaked that very moment, and was
mightily surprised to find himself in the middle of a city which
he knew not: He was going to cry out, and to ask where he was;
but the genius touched him gently on the shoulder, and forbade
him to speak a word. Then he put a torch in his hand, bid him mix
with the crowd at the bagnio door, and follow them till he came
into a hall, where they were to celebrate a marriage. The
bridegroom is a hump-backed fellow, and by this description you
will easily know him. Place yourself at the right hand as you go
in, then immediately open the purse of sequins you have in your
bosom, and distribute them among the musicians and dancers as
they go along. When you have got into the hall, give money also
to the female slaves you see about the bride, when they come near
you; but every time you put your hand in your purse, be sure to
take out a whole handful, and be not sparing. Observe to do every
thing exactly as I have told you, with great presence of mind; be
not afraid of any person or thing, but leave the rest to a
superior power, who will order matters as he thinks fit.

Young Bedreddin, thus instructed in all that he was to do,
advanced towards the door of the bagnio: the first thing he did
was to light his torch like a slave; then mixing among them, as
if he belonged to some nobleman of Cairo, he marched along as
they did, following Hump-back, who came out of the bagnio, and
mounted a horse from the sultan's own stable. Being come near the
musicians and men and women-dancers, who preceded the bridgroom,
Bedreddin pulled out, time after time, whole handfuls of sequins,
which he distributed among them. As he gave his money with an
unparalleled grace and engaging mien, those who received it cast
their eyes upon him, and, after they had taken a full view of his
face, found him so handsome and comely, that they could not look
off again.

At last they came to Schemseddin's gate. Schemseddin was
Bedreddin's uncle, and little thought his nephew was so near. The
door-keepers, to prevent any disorder, kept back all the slaves
who carried torches, and would not let them come in. Bedreddin
was likewise refused; but the musicians, who had free entrance,
stood still, and protested they would not go in without him. He
is not one of the slaves, said they; look upon him, and you will
soon be satisfied as to that; he is certainly a young stranger,
who is curious to see the ceremonies observed at weddings in this
city. Saying thus, they put him in the midst of them, and carried
him in; they took his torch out of his hand, and gave it to the
first they met. Having brought him into the hall, they placed him
at the right hand of the hump-backed bridegroom, who sat near the
vizier's daughter on a throne most richly adorned. She appeared
very lovely in her dress, but in her face there was nothing to be
seen but poignant grief. The cause was easy to be guessed at,
when she had by her side a bridegroom so very deformed, and so
unworthy of her love. The throne of that ill-matched couple was
in the midst of a sofa. The ladies of the emirs, viziers, those
of the sultan's bed-chamber, and several other ladies of the
court and city, were placed on each side, a little lower, every
one according to rank, and all of them so fine and richly
dressed, that it was one of the pleasantest sights that could be
seen, each of them holding a large wax taper. As soon as they saw
Bedreddin come into the room, all fixed their eyes upon him,
admiring his shape, his behaviour, and the beauty of his face.
When he was set down, they left their seats, and came near him,
to have a full view of his face; and almost all of them, as they
returned to their seats, found themselves moved with tender

The disparity between Bedreddin and the hump-backed groom, who
made such a horrible figure, occasioned a great murmuring among
the company, insomuch that the ladies cried out, We must give our
bride to this handsome young gentleman, and not to this ugly
hump-back. Nor did they rest here, but uttered imprecations
against the sultan, who, abusing his absolute power, would unite
ugliness and beauty together. They also upbraided the bridegroom,
and put him quite out of countenance, to the great satisfaction
of the spectators, whose shouts for some time put a stop to the
concert of music in the hall. At last the musicians began again,
and the women who had dressed the bride came round her. Each time
she changed her habit, she rose up from her seat, followed by her
bride-women, and passed by Hump-back without giving him one look;
but went towards Bedreddin, before whom she presented herself in
her new attire. On this occasion Bedreddin, according to the
instructions given him by the genius, failed not to put his hand
in his purse, and pulled out handfuls of sequins, which he
distributed among the women that followed the bride; nor did he
forget the players and dancers, but also threw money to them.
They showed themselves very thankful, and made signs that the
young bride should be for him, and not for the hump-back fellow.
The women who attended her told her the same thing, and did not
care whether the groom heard them or not; for they put a thousand
tricks upon him, which very much pleased the spectators.

The ceremony of changing habits being over, the musicians ceased
and went away, but made a sign to Bedreddin Hassan to stay
behind. The ladies did the same, and went all home, except those
belonging to the house. The bride went into a closet, whither her
women followed to undress her, and none remained in the hall but
the hump-back groom, Bedreddin, and some of the domestics.
Hump-back, who was furiously mad at Bedreddin, suspecting him to
be his rival, gave him a cross look, and said, And thou, what
dost thou wait for? Why art thou not gone as well as the rest?
Begone. Bedreddin, having no pretence to stay, withdrew, not
knowing what to do with himself. But he had not got out of the
porch, when the genius and the fairy met and stopped him. Whither
art thou going? said the fairy; stay, for Hump-back is not in the
hall, but has gone out about some business; you have nothing to
do but to return, and introduce yourself into the bride's
chamber: As soon as you are alone with her, tell her boldly that
you are her husband; that the sultan's intention was only to make
sport with the groom; and, to make this pretended bridegroom some
amends, you had caused to be prepared for him, in the stable, a
good dish of cream: Then tell her all the fine things you can
think of to persuade her, for, with your handsomeness, little
persuasion will do, and she will think herself happy in being
deceived so agreeably. In the mean time we shall take care that
Hump-back return not, and let nothing hinder you from passing the
night with your bride, for she is yours.

While the fairy thus encouraged Bedreddin, and instructed him how
he should behave himself, Hump-back was really gone out of the
room; for the genius went to him in the shape of a great cat,
miauling at a most fearful rate: The fellow called to the cat,
and clapped his hands to make her flee; but, instead of that, the
cat stood upon her hind feet, staring with her eyes like fire,
looking fiercely at him, miauling louder than she did at first,
and growing bigger, till she was as large as an ass. At this
sight Hump-back would have cried out for help, but his fear was
so great that he stood gaping, and could not utter one word. That
he might have no time, however, to recover, the genius changed
himself immediately into a large buffalo, and in this shape
called to him with a voice that redoubled his fear, Thou
hump-backed villain! At these words the affrighted groom cast
himself on the ground, and covering his face with his gown, that
he might not see this dreadful beast, Sovereign prince of
buffaloes, said he, what is it you want with me? Woe be to thee,
replies the genius, hast thou the boldness to venture to marry my
mistress? O my lord, said Hump-back, I pray you to pardon me; if
I am guilty, it, is through ignorance; I did not know that this
lady had a buffalo for her sweetheart: Command me in any thing
you please; I give you my oath that I am ready to obey you. By
death, replied the genius, if thou goest out from hence, or
speakest a word till the sun rises, I will crush thy head to
pieces; but then I give thee leave to go from hence: I warn thee
to hasten, and not to look back; but if thou hast the impudence
to return, it shall cost thee thy life. When the genius had done
speaking, he transformed himself into the shape of a man, took
Hump-back by the legs, and after having set him against the wall,
with his head downwards, If thou stir, said he, before the sun
rises, as I have told thee already, I will take thee by the heels
again, and dash thy head in a thousand pieces against the wall.

To return to Bedreddin: Being prompted by the genius and the
presence of the fairy, he got into the hall again, from whence he
slipped into the bride-chamber, where he sat down expecting the
success of his adventure. After a while the bride arrived,
conducted by an old matron, who came no further than the door,
exhorting the bridegroom to do his duty like a man, without
looking to see if it was Hump-back or another; she then locked
the door, and retired. The young bride was mightily surprised,
instead of Hump-back to find Bedreddin Hassan, who came up to her
with the best grace in the world. What! my dear friend, said she,
by your being here at this time of night, you must be my
husband's comrade? No, madam, said Bedreddin, I am of another
sort of quality than that ugly hump-back. But, said she, you do
not consider that you speak degradingly of my husband. He your
husband, madam? replied he; can you retain these thoughts so
long? Be convinced of your mistake, madam, for so much beauty
must never be sacrificed to the most contemptible of mankind: It
is I, madam, that am the happy mortal for whom it is reserved.
The sultan had a mind to make himself merry by putting this trick
upon the vizier your father, but he chose me to be your real
husband. You might have observed how the ladies, the musicians,
the dancers, your women, and all the servants of your family,
were pleased with this comedy. I have sent that hump-back fellow
to his stable again, where he is just now eating a dish of cream;
and you may rest assured that he will never appear any more
before you.

At this discourse, the vizier's daughter, who was more like one
dead than alive when she came into the bride-chamber, put on a
gay air, which made her so handsome that Bedreddin was perfectly
charmed with her. I did not expect, said she, to meet with so
pleasing a surprise, and had condemned myself to live unhappy all
my days; but my good fortune is so much the greater, as I possess
in you a man that is worthy of my tenderest affection. Having
spoken thus, she undressed herself, and stepped into bed.
Bedreddin, overjoyed to see himself possessor of so many charms,
made haste to follow her, and laid his clothes upon a chair, with
a bag that he got from the Jew, which, notwithstanding all the
money he pulled out, was still full. He likewise threw off his
turban, and put on a night-cap that had been ordered for
Hump-back, and so went to bed in his shirt and drawers[Footnote:
All the eastern nations lie in their drawers; but this
circumstance will serve Bedreddin in the sequel.]; the latter
were of blue satin, tied with a lace of gold. Whilst the two
lovers were asleep, the genius, who had met again with the fairy,
says to him, That it was high time to finish what was begun, and
hitherto so successfully carried on; then let us not be overtaken
by day-light, which will soon appear; go you, and bring off the
young man again without awaking him. The fairy went into the
bed-chamber where the two lovers were fast asleep, and took up
Bedreddin just as he was, that is to say, in his shirt and
drawers, and, in company with the genius, with a wonderful
swiftness flew away with him to the gates of Damascus in Syria,
where they arrived when the officer of the mosques, appointed for
that end, was calling the people to come to prayers at break of
day. The fairy laid Bedreddin softly on the ground, and, leaving
him close by the gate, departed with the genius. The gate of the
city being opened, and a great many people assembled to get out,
they were mightily surprised to see Bedreddin lying in his shirt
and drawers upon the ground. One said, He has been so hard put to
it to get away from his mistress, that he had not time to put on
his clothes. Look ye, says another, how people expose themselves;
sure enough he has spent the most part of the night in drinking
with his friends, till he has got drunk, and then perhaps, having
occasion to go out, instead of returning, is come this length,
and, not having his senses about him, was overtaken with sleep.
Others were of different opinions; but nobody could guess the
occasion of his being there. A small puff of wind happening to
blow at the time, uncovered his breast, which was whiter than
snow. Every one, being struck with admiration at the fineness of
his complexion, spoke so loud as to awake him. His surprise was
as great as theirs, when he found himself at the gate of a city
where he had never been before, and encompassed by a crowd of
people gazing at him. Gentlemen, said he, for God's sake tell me
where I am, and what you would have of me. One of the crowd said
to him, Young man, the gates of the city were just now opened,
and, as we came out, we found you lying here in this condition,
and stood to look on you: Have you lain here all night? and do
you not know that you are at one of the gates of Damascus? At one
of the gates of Damascus! answered Bedreddin; sure you mock me:
When I lay down to sleep last night, I was at Cairo. When he said
these words, some of the people, moved with compassion for him,
said, It is a pity such a handsome young man should have lost his
senses; and so went away. My son, says an old gentleman to him,
you know not what you say: How is it possible that you, being
this morning at Damascus, could be last night at Cairo? It is
true for all that, said Bedreddin; for I swear to you that I was
all yesterday at Balsora. He had no sooner said these words, than
all the people fell into a fit of laughter, and cried out, He is
a fool, he is a madman. There were some, however, who pitied him
because of his youth; and one among the company said to him, My
son, you must certainly be crazed; you do not consider what you
say; how is it possible that a man could yesterday be at Balsora,
the same night at Cairo, and next morning at Damascus? Sure you
are asleep still; come, rouse up your spirits. What I say,
answered Bedreddin, is so true, that last night I was married in
the city of Cairo. All those that laughed before could not
forbear laughing again when he said so. Recollect yourself, says
the same person that spoke before; you have dreamed all this, and
that fancy still possesses your brain. I am sensible of what I
say, answered the young man: Pray can you tell me how it was
possible to go in a dream to Cairo, where I am very certain I was
in person, and where my bride was seven times brought before me,
each time dressed in a different habit, and where I saw an ugly
hump-backed fellow to whom they intended to give her? Besides, I
want to know what is become of my gown, my turban, and the bag of
sequins I had at Cairo. Though he assured them that all these
things were matters of fact, yet they could not forbear laughing
at him, which put him into such confusion that he knew not well
what to think.

After Bedreddin had confidently affirmed all that he said to be
true, he rose up to go into the town, and every one that followed
him called out, A madman, a fool. Upon this, some looked out at
their windows, some came to their doors, and others joined with
those that were about him, calling out as they did, but not
knowing for what. In this perplexity Bedreddin happened to reach
a pastry-cook's shop, and went into it to avoid the rabble. This
pastry-cook had formerly been captain of a troop of Arabian
robbers who plundered the caravans; and though he was become a
citizen of Damascus, where he behaved himself with decorum, yet
he was dreaded by all those who knew him; wherefore, as soon as
he came out to the rabble that followed Bedreddin, they
dispersed. The pastry-cook, seeing them all gone, asked him what
he was, and who brought him hither? Bedredclin told him all, not
even concealing his birth, nor the death of his father the grand
vizier: He afterwards gave him an account why he left Balsora;
how, after he fell asleep the night following upon his father's
tomb, he found himself, when he awaked, at Cairo, where he had
married a lady; and, finally, in what amazement he was when he
found himself at Damascus, without being able to penetrate into
all those wonderful events.

Your history is one of the most surprising (said the
pastry-cook); but, if you follow my advice, you will let no man
know the matters yon have revealed to me, but patiently expect
till Heaven think fit to put an end to your misfortunes: You are
free to stay with me till then; and as I have no children, I will
own you for my son, if you consent to it; and when you are so
adopted, you may freely walk up and down the city, without being
further exposed to the insults of the rabble. Though this
adoption was below the son of a grand vizier, Bedreddin was glad
to accept of the pastry-cook's proposal, judging it the best
thing he could do in his then circumstances. The cook clothed
him, called witnesses, and sent for a notary, before whom he
acknowledged him as his son. After this, Bedreddin staid with him
by the name of Hassan, and learned the pastry trade. Whilst these
things passed at Damascus, Schemseddin Mohammed's daughter
awaked, and, finding Bedreddin out of bed, supposed he had risen
softly from a fear of disturbing her, but that he would soon
return. As she was in expectation of him, her father the vizier,
who was mightily vexed at the affront put upon him by the sultan,
came and knocked at her chamber-door, with a resolution to bewail
her sad destiny. He called her by her name, and she, knowing him
by his voice, immediately got up and opened the door; she kissed
his hand, and received him with so much satisfaction in her
countenance as surprised the vizier, who expected to find her
drowned in tears, and as much grieved, as himself. Unhappy
wretch! said he in a passion, do you appear before me thus? after
the hideous sacrifice you have just consummated, can you see me
with so much satisfaction? The new bride, seeing her father angry
at her pleasant countenance, said to him, For God's sake, sir, do
not reproach me wrongfully: It is not the hump-back fellow, whom
I abhor more than death, it is not that monster I have married;
every body laughed him so to scorn, and put him so out of
countenance, that he was forced to run away and hide himself, to
make room for a charming young gentleman who is my real husband.
What fable do you tell me? said Schemseddin roughly? What! did
not Crook-back lie with you last night? No, sir, said she, it was
that young gentleman who has large eyes and black eye-brows. At
these words the vizier lost all patience, and fell into a
terrible passion. Ah, wicked woman, says he, you will make me
distracted! It is you, father, said she, that puts me out of my
senses by your incredulity. So it is not true, replies the
vizier, that Hump-back--Let us talk no more of Hump-back, said
she; a curse upon Hump-back, must I always have him cast in my
dish? Father, said she, I tell you once more that I did not bed
with him, but with my dear spouse, who, I believe, is not very
far off. Schemseddin immediately went out to seek him; but,
instead of seeing him, was mightily surprised to find Hump-back
with his head on the ground, and his heels uppermost, as the
genius had placed him. What is the meaning of this? said he; who
placed you thus? Crook-back, knowing it to be the vizier,
answered, Alas! alas! it is you then that would marry me to the
mistress of a buffalo, the sweetheart of an ugly genius; I will
not be your fool, you shall not put a trick upon me. Schemseddin,
on hearing Hump-back speak thus, thought he was raving, and bade
him move, and stand upon his legs. I will take care how I do
that, said Hump-back, unless the sun be risen. Know, sir, that
when I came thither last night, on a sudden a black cat appeared
to me, and in an instant grew as big as a buffalo: I have not
forgotten what he said to me; therefore you may go about your
business, and leave me here. The vizier, instead of going away,
took Hump-back by the heels, and made him get up, after which he
ran as fast as he could, without looking behind him, and, coming
to the palace, presented himself to the sultan, who laughed
heartily when he told him how the genius had served him.

Schemseddin returned to his daughter's chamber more astonished
than before. Well then, my abused daughter, said he, can you give
me no further light into this matter? Sir, said she, I can give
you no other account than what I have done already. Here are my
husband's clothes, which he left upon the chair; perhaps you may
find somewhat that may solve your doubt. She then showed him
Bedreddin's turban, which he took and examined carefully on all
sides. I should take this to be a vizier's turban, if it were not
made after the Moussol[Footnote: The town of Moussol is in
Mesopotamia, and built opposite to old Nineveh.] fashion; but,
perceiving somewhat to be sewed between the stuff and the lining,
he called for scissars, and, having unripped it, found the paper
which Noureddin Ali gave Bedreddin his son as he was dying, and
he had put it in his turban for more security. Schemseddin,
having opened the paper, knew his brother Noureddin's hand, and
found this superscription, 'For my son Bedreddin Hassan.' Before
he could make any reflections, his daughter delivered him the bag
that lay under his clothes, which he likewise opened, and found
full of sequins; for, as before mentioned, notwithstanding all
the liberality of Bedreddin, it was still kept full by the genius
and fairy. He read these words upon a note in the bag, 'A
thousand sequins belonging to Isaac the Jew;' and these lines
underneath, which the Jew wrote before he departed from
Bedreddin: ' Delivered to Bedreddin Hassan, for the cargo of the
first of those ships that formerly belonged to Noureddin Ali, his
father, of worthy memory, sold unto me upon its arrival in this
place.' He had scarcely read these words, when he gave a shout,
and fainted. Being recovered, however, by the help of his
daughter, and the woman whom she called to her assistance,
Daughter, said he, do not frighten yourself at this accident, the
reason of which is such as you can scarcely believe: Your
bridegoom is your cousin, the son of Noureddin Ali; the thousand
sequins put me in mind of a quarrel I had with my dear brother;
it is without doubt the dowry he gives you. God be praised for
all things, and particularly for this, miraculous adventure,
which demonstrates his almighty power. Then looking again upon
his brother's writing, he kissed it several times, shedding
abundance of tears. Having looked over the book from one end to
the other, he found the date of his brother's arrival at Balsora,
his marriage, and the birth of Bedreddin Hasaan; and when he
compared the same with the day of his own marriage, and the birth
of his daughter at Cairo, he wondered how every thing so exactly
agreed. This happy discovery put him into such a transport of
joy, that he took up the book, with the ticket of the bag, and
showed it to the sultan, who pardoned what was past, and was so
much pleased with the relation of the adventure, that he caused
it, with all its circumstances, to be put in writing for the use
of posterity.

Meanwhile Schemseddin could not comprehend why his nephew did not
appear; he expected him every moment, and was impatient to have
him in his arms. After he had expected him seven days in vain, he
searched for him through all Cairo, but could hear no news of
him, which perplexed him very much. This is the strangest
adventure, said he, that ever man met with. Not knowing what
alteration might happen, he thought fit to draw up in writing,
with his own hand, after what manner the wedding had been
solemnized; how the hall and his daughter's bed-chamber were
furnished, and other circumstances. He likewise made the turban,
the bag, and the rest of Bedreddin's things, into a bundle, and
locked them up. After some weeks, the vizier's daughter perceived
herself with child, and was delivered of a son at the end of nine
months. A nurse was provided, besides women and slaves; and his
grandfather called him Agib[Footnote: This word, in Arabic,
signifies wonderful.]. When young Agib had attained the age of
seven, the vizier, instead of teaching him to read at home, sent
him to a master who was in great esteem; and two slaves were
ordered to wait upon him. Agib used to play with his
school-fellows, and as they were all inferior to him in quality,
they showed him great respect, according to the example of their
master, who often would excuse faults in him that he would not
pass by in the rest. This complaisance spoiled Agib so, that he
became proud and insolent, would have his play-fellows bear all
from him, and would bear nothing from them, but be master every
where; and if any one took the liberty to thwart him, he would
call them a thousand names, and many times beat them. In short,
all the scholars were weary of his company, and complained of him
to the master, who answered, that they must have patience. But
when he saw that Agib still grew more and more insolent, and
occasioned him a great deal of trouble, Children, said he to his
scholars, I find that Agib is a little insolent gentleman; I will
show you a way how to mortify him, so that he will never torment
you more; nay, I believe it will make him leave the school: When
he comes again to-morrow, and if you have a mind to play
together, set yourselves round him, and do one of you call out,
Come let us play, but upon condition, that he who desires to play
shall tell his own name, and the names of his father and mother;
and they who refuse it shall be esteemed bastards, and not
suffered to play in our company. Next day, accordingly, when they
were gathered together, they failed not to follow their master's
instructions: they placed themselves round Agib, and one of them
called out, Let us begin a play, but on condition, that he who
cannot tell his own name, with that of his father and mother,
shall not play at all. They all cried out, and so did Agib, We
consent to it. Then he that spoke first asked every one the
question, and all fulfilled the condition except Agib, who
answered, My name is Agib, my mother is called the lady of
beauty, and my father Schemseddih Mohammed, vizier to the sultan.

At these words the children cried out, Agib, What do you say?
That is not the name of your father, but of your grandfather. A
curse on you, said he in a passion: What! dare you say that the
vizier Schemseddin is not my father? No, no, cried they, with
great laughter, he is but your grandfather, and you shall not
play with us; nay, we will take care how we come into your
company. Having spoken thus, they left him, scoffing and laughing
among themselves, which mortified Agib so much that he wept. The
schoolmaster, who was near, and heard all that passed, came just
at the nick of time, and speaking to Agib, says, Agib, do not you
know that the vizier Schemseddin is not your father, but your
grandfather, and the father of your mother, the lady of beauty?
We know not the name of your father any more than you do; but
only know that the sultan was going to marry your mother to one
of his grooms, a hump-back fellow, but a genius lay with her.
This is hard upon you, and ought to teach you to treat your
school-fellows with less haughtiness than you have done hitherto.
Little Agib, being nettled at this, ran hastily out of the
school, and went home crying. He came straight to his mother's
chamber, who, being alarmed to see him thus grieved, asked him
the reason. He could not answer for tears, and it was but now and
then he could speak plain enough to repeat what had been the
occasion of his sorrow. Having come to himself, Mother, said he,
for the love of God, be pleased to tell me who is my father. My
son, said she, Schemseddin Mohammed, that every day makes so much
of you, is your father. You do not tell me truth, said he; he is
your father, not mine; but whose son am I? At this question, the
lady of beauty, calling to mind her wedding-night, which had been
succeeded by a long widowhood, began to shed tears, repining
bitterly at the loss of so lovely a husband as Bedreddin. Whilst
she and Agib were weeping, the vizier entered, and demanded the
reason of their sorrow. The lady told him the shame Agib had
undergone at school, which did so much afflict the vizier, that
he joined his tears with theirs; and judging that the misfortune
that had happened to his daughter was the common discourse of the
town, he was quite out of patience. In this state he went to the
sultan's palace, and, falling at his feet, humbly prayed him to
give him leave to make a journey into the provinces of the
Levant, and particularly to Balsora, in search of his nephew
Bedreddin, as he could not bear that the people of the city
should believe a genius had got his daughter with child. The
sultan was much concerned at the vizier's affliction, commended
his resolution, gave him leave to go, and caused a passport also
to be written for him, praying, in the most obliging terms, all
kings and princes, in whose dominions the said Bedreddin might
sojourn, to grant that the vizier might bring him along with him.

Schemseddin, not knowing how to express his thankfulness to the
sultan for this favour, thought it his duty to fall down before
him a second time, and the floods of tears he shed gave
sufficient testimony of his gratitude. At last, having wished the
sultan all manner of prosperity, he took leave, and went home to
his house, where he disposed every thing for his journey, the
preparations for which were carried on with so much diligence,
that in four days he left the city, accompanied by his daughter
and his grandson Agib.

They travelled nineteen days without stopping; but on the
twentieth, arriving in a very pleasant meadow at a small distance
from Damascus, they stopped, and pitched their tents on the banks
of a river that runs through the town, and affords a very
agreeable prospect to its neighbourhood. Schemseddin Mohammed
declared that he would stay in that pleasant place two days, and
pursue his journey on the third. In the mean time he granted
permission to his retinue to go to Damascus; and almost all of
them made use of it--some influenced by curiosity to see a city
of which they had heard much, and others by the opportunity of
vending in it such Egyptian goods as they had brought with them,
or of buying the stuffs and rarities of the country. The
beautiful lady, desirous that her son Agib might share in the
satisfaction of viewing that celebrated city, ordered the black
eunuch, who acted in the quality of his governor, to conduct him
hither, and to take care that he came to no harm. Accordingly
Agib, arrayed in magnificent apparel, went along with the eunuch,
who held a large cane in his hand. They had no sooner entered the
city than Agib, fair and glorious as the day, attracted the eyes
of the people. Some left their houses in order to gain a nearer
view of him, others looked out at their windows, and those who
passed along the streets were not satisfied with stopping to view
him, but kept pace with him to prolong the pleasure of such an
agreeable sight: in fine, every one admired him, and implored a
thousand benedictions on the father and mother who had given
being to so fine a child. By chance the eunuch and he passed by
the shop where Bedreddin Hassan was, and there the crowd was so
great, that they were forced to halt.

The pastry-cook who had adopted Bedreddin, had died some years
before, leaving him his shop and all his estate; and he now
managed the pastry trade so dexterously, that he gained great
reputation in Damascus. Bedreddin, seeing so great a crowd gazing
attentively upon Agib and the black eunuch, stepped out to view
them himself. Having cast his eyes particularly on Agib, he
presently found himself involuntarily moved. He was not struck
like the crowd, with the shining beauty of the boy; a very
different cause, unknown to him, gave rise to his commotion. It
was the force of the blood that worked in this tender father,
who, laying aside all business, made up to Agib, and, with an
engaging air, said to him, My little lord, who hast won my soul,
be so kind as to come into my shop, and eat a bit of such fare as
I have, that I may have the pleasure of admiring you at my ease.
These words he pronounced with such tenderness, that tears
trickled from his eyes. Little Agib himself was greatly moved;
and, turning to the eunuch, said, This honest man's face pleases
me much; he speaks in such an affectionate manner, that I cannot
avoid complying with his desire; let us step into his house, and
taste his pastry. Ah, by my troth! replied the slave, it would be
a fine thing to see the son of a vizier go into a pastry shop to
eat; do not you imagine that I will suffer any such thing. Alas,
my little lord, cried Bedreddin, it is an injustice to trust your
conduct in the hands of a person who treats you so harshly. Then
applying himself to the eunuch, My good friend, continued he,
pray do not himder this young lord to grant me the favour I ask;
do not put that piece of mortification on me; rather do me the
honour to walk in along with him; and, by so doing, you will give
the world to know, that, though your outside is brown like a
chesnut, your inside is as white as his. Do you know, continued
he, that I am master of the secret to make you white, instead of
being black as you are? This set the eunuch a laughing, and then
he asked Bedreddin what that secret was. I will tell you, replied
Bedreddin, repeating some verses in praise of black eunuchs,
implying, that by their ministry the honour of princes, and of
all great men, was insured. The eunuch was so charmed with the
verses, that, without further hesitation, he suffered Agib to go
into the shop, and also went in himself. Bedreddin was overjoyed
at having obtained what he had so passionately desired; and
falling about the work he had discontinued, I was making, said
he, cream-tarts, and you must, with submission, eat of them, I am
persuaded you will find them very good; for my own mother, who
makes them incomparably well, taught me; and people send to buy
them of me from all quarters of the town. This said, he took a
cream-tart out of the oven, and, after strewing on it some
pomegranate kernels and sugar, set it before Agib, who pronounced
it very delicious. Another was served up to the eunuch, who gave
the same judgment. While they were both eating, Bedreddin
regarded Agib very attentively; and, after looking on him again
and again, it occurred to him that, for any thing he knew, he
might have such a son by his charming wife, from whom he had been
so soon and so cruelly separated; and the very thoughts drew
tears from his eyes. He also intended to put some questions to
little Agib about his journey to Damascus; but the child had no
time to gratify his curiosity; for the eunuch, pressing him to
return to his grandfather's tent, took him away as soon as he had
done eating. Bedreddin, however, not contented with looking after
him, shut up his shop immediately, and followed him. The eunuch,
perceiving that he followed them, was extremely surprised: You
impertinent fellow, said he, with an angry tone, what do you
want? My dear friend, replied Bedreddin, do not trouble yourself;
I have a little business out of town that is just come into my
head, and I must needs go and look after it. This answer,
however, did not at all appease the eunuch, who, turning to Agib,
said, This is all owing to you; I foresaw that I should repent of
my complaisance; you would needs go into the man's shop; it was
not wise in me to give you leave. Perhaps, replied Agib, he has
real business out of town, and the road is free to every body.

While this conversation passed, they kept walking together,
without looking behind them, till they came near the vizier's
tents, when they turned about to see if Bedreddin followed them.
Agib, perceiving he was within two paces of him, grew red and
white alternately, according to his different emotions; he was
afraid that the grand vizier his grandfather should come to know
that he had been in the pastry-shop, and had eaten there. In this
dread he took up a pretty large stone that lay at his foot, and
throwing it at Bedreddin, hit him on the forehead, which gave him
such a wound, that his face was covered with blood; he then took
to his heels, and ran under the eunuch's tent. The eunuch gave
Bedreddin to understand that he had no reason to complain of a
mischance which he had merited and brought upon himself.
Bedreddin turned towards the city, staunching the blood with his
apron, which he had not put off. I was a fool, said he within
himself, for leaving my house, to take so much pains about this
brat; for doubtless he would never have used me after this
manner, if he had not thought I had some fatal design against
him; When he got home, he had his wound dressed, and softened the
sense of his mischance by the reflection that there was an
infinite number of people yet more unfortunate than himself.

Bedreddin kept on the pastry trade at Damascus, whence his uncle
Sehemseddin departed three days after his arrival; he went by the
way of Emaus, Hanah, and Halep; then crossed the Euphrates; and,
after passing through Mardin, Moussoul, Singier, Diarbeker, and
several other towns, arrived at last at Balsora; and, immediately
after his arrival, desired audience of the sultan, who was no
sooner informed of Schemseddin's quality, than he received him
very favourably, and asked him the occasion of his journey to
Balsora. Sir, replied the vizier Schemseddin, I come to know what
is become of the son of Noureddin Ali, my brother, who has had
the honour to serve your majesty. Noureddin, said the sultan, has
been dead a long while: as to his son, all I can tell you of him
is, that he disappeared very suddenly about two months after his
father's death, and nobody has seen him since, notwithstanding
all the inquiry I ordered to be made; but his mother, who is the
daughter of one of my viziers, is still alive. Schemseddin
desired leave of the sultan to see her, and carry her to Egypt;
and having obtained his request, without tarrying till next day
for the satisfaction of seeing her, inquired her place of abode,
and that very hour went to her house, accompanied by his daughter
and grandson.

The widow of Noureddin resided still in the same house where her
husband had lived: it was a very magnificent structure, adorned
with marble pillars; but Schemseddin did not stop to view it. At
his entry, he kissed the gate, and the piece of marble upon which
his brother's name was written in letters of gold. He desired to
speak with his sister-in-law, and was told by the servants that
she was then in a small edifice, in the form of a dome, which
they showed him, in the middle of a very spacious court. This
tender mother used to spend the greater part of the day, as well
as the night, in that room, which she had built in order to
represent the tomb of Bedreddin, whom she supposed to be dead
after so long an absence. At this very instant she was shedding
tears at the thoughts of her dear child; and Schemseddin
entering, found her labouring under that affliction. He paid his
compliments, and, after beseeching her to suspend her tears and
groans, gave her to know that he had the honour to be her
brother-in-law, and acquainted her with the occasion of his
journey from Cairo to Balsora. Schemseddin, after relating all
that had passed at Cairo on his daughter's wedding-night, and the
surprise occasioned by the discovery of the paper sewed up in
Bedreddin's turban, presented to her Agib and the beautiful lady.

The widow of Noureddin Ali, who had still continued sitting like
a woman moped and weaned from the affairs of this world, no
sooner understood by his discourse that her dear son, whom she
lamented so bitterly, might still be alive, than she rose, and
repeatedly embraced the beautiful lady and her grandchild Agib;
and perceiving in the youth the features of Bedreddin, she shed
tears very different from those to which she had been so long
accustomed. She could not forbear kissing the youth, who, on his
part, received her embraces with all the demonstrations of joy he
was capable of. Madam, said Schemseddin, it is time to wipe away
your tears, and cease your groans; you must now think of
accompanying us to Egypt. The sultan of Balsora has given me
leave to carry you thither, and I doubt not that you will agree
to it. I am hopeful that we shall at last find out your son, my
nephew; and if that should come to pass, the history of him, of
you, of my own daughter, and of my own adventures, will deserve
to be committed to writing, and to be transmitted to posterity.

The widow of Noureddin Ali heard this proposal with pleasure, and
from that very minute ordered preparations to be made for her
departure. In the mean time Schemseddin desired a second
audience; and, after taking leave of the sultan, who received him
with ample marks of respect, giving him a considerable present
for himself, and another of great value for the sultan of Egypt,
he set out from Balsora for the city of Damascus. When he arrived
in its neighbourhood, he ordered his tents to be pitched without
the gate at which he designed to enter the city, and gave out
that he would tarry there three days in order to give his
equipage rest, and buy up the best curiosities he could meet
with, in order to present them to the sultan of Egypt. While he
was thus employed in choosing the finest of the stuffs which the
principal merchants had brought to his tents, Agib begged the
black eunuch, his governor, to carry him through the city, in
order to see what he had not leisure to view as he passed before,
and to know what was become of the pastry-cook whom he had
wounded with a stone. The eunuch, complying with his request,
went with him towards the city, after leave obtained from his
mother. They entered Damascus by the paradise-gate, which lay
next to the tents of the vizier Schemseddin. They walked through
the great squares and public places where the richest goods were
sold, and viewed the ancient mosque of the Ommidae[Footnote: That
is, of caliphs who reigned after the four first successors of
Mahomet, and were so called from one of their ancestors whose
name was Ommiam.], at the hour of prayer, between noon and
sunset[Footnote: This prayer is always repeated two hours and a
half before sunset.]. After that they passed the shop of
Bedreddin, whom they found still employed in making cream-tarts:
I salute you, sir, said Agib. Do you know me? Do you remember
ever seeing me before? Bedreddin, hearing these words, cast his
eyes on him, and knowing him, (oh, the surprising effect of
paternal love!) found the same emotions which he had experienced
when he first saw him; he seemed much confused; and, instead of
making an answer, continued a long time without uttering one
word. But at last, recollecting himself, My little lord, said he,
be so kind as to come once more with your governor into my house,
and taste a cream-tart. I beg your lordship's pardon for my
imprudence in following you out of town; I was at that time not
myself, and scarcely knew what I did. You dragged me after you,
and the violence of the pull was so soft, that I could not
withstand it. Agib, astonished at what Bedreddin said, replied
thus: There is an excess in the kindness you express; and unless
you engage, on oath, not to follow me when I go from hence, I
will not enter your house. If you give me your promise, and prove
a man of your word, I will visit you again to-morrow, as the
vizier my grand-father is still employed in buying up things for
a present to the sultan of Egypt. My little lord, replied
Bedreddin, I will do whatever you desire me. Accordingly Agib and
the eunuch went into the shop. Bedreddin set before them a
cream-tart, fully as good as what they had eaten of when they saw
him before. Come, said Agib, addressing himself to Bedreddin, sit
down by me, and eat with us. Bedreddin sat down, and offered to
embrace Agib, as a testimony of the joy he conceived on his
sitting by him; but Agib, shoving him away, desired him to be
easy, not to run his friendship too close, and to content bimself
with seeing and entertaining him. Bedreddin obeyed, and began to
sing a song, the words of which he had composed extempore in
praise of Agib: he did not eat himself, but busied himself in
serving his guests. When they had done eating, he brought them
water to wash with[Footnote: The Mahometans having a custom of
washing their hands five times a day when they go to prayers,
they reckon that they have no occasion to wash before eating, but
always after it, because they eat without forks.], and a white
napkin to wipe their hands: he then filled a large china cup with
sherbet, and put snow into it[Footnote: This is done all over the
Levant, for the purpose of cooling liquor.]; and offering it to
Agib, This, said he, is sherbet of roses, and the pleasantest you
will meet with in all Damascus; I am sure you never tasted
better. Agib, having drunk of it with pleasure, Bedreddin Hassan
took the cup from him, and presented it to the eunuch, who drank
the contents at one pull. In short, Agib and his governor having
fared sumptuously, returned thanks to the pastry-cook for their
good entertainment, and proceeded homewards, it being then pretty
late. Whew they arrived at the tents of Schemseddin, Agib's
grandmother received him with transports of joy: her son
Bedreddin ran always in her mind; and, in embracing Agib, the
remembrance of him drew tears from her eyes. Ah, my child! said
she, my joy would be complete, had I the pleasure of embracing
your father Bedreddin Hassan as I now embrace you! Then sitting
down to supper, she made Agib sit by her, and put several
questions to him relating to the walk he had been taking along
with the eunuch; and, complaining of his want of appetite, gave
him a piece of a cream-tart that she had made herself, and was
indeed very good; for I told you before that she could make them
better than the best pastry-cooks. She likewise gave part of it
to the eunuch; but they had eaten so heartily at Bedreddin's
house, that they could not taste it.

Agib no sooner touched the piece of cream-tart that had been set
before him, than he pretended that he did not like it, and left
it uncut. Schaban[Footnote: The Mahometans give this name
generally to their black eunuchs.] (for such was the eunuch's
name) did the same. The widow of Noureddin Ali observed, with
regret, that her grandson did not like the tart. What! said she,
does my child thus despise the work of my hands? Be it known to
you, that not one in the world can make such cream-tarts, except
myself and your father Bedreddin, whom I myself taught. My good
mother, replied Agib, give me leave to tell you, that if you do
not know how to make them better, there is a pastry-cook in this
town who exceeds you. We were but just now at his shop, and ate
of one that was much better than yours. The grandmother, frowning
on the eunuch, said, How now, Schaban? was the care of my
grandchild committed to you to carry him to eat at pastry-shops
like a beggar? Madam, replied the eunuch, it is true we did stop
a little while, and talked with the pastry-cook, but we did not
eat with him. Pardon me, said Agib; we went into his shop, and
there ate a cream-tart. Upon this, the lady, more incensed
against the eunuch than before, rose in a passion from the table,
and running to the tent of Schemseddin, informed him of the
eunuch's crime, and that in such terms as tended more to inflame
the vizier than to dispose him to excuse it. Schemseddin, who was
naturally passionate, did not fail on this occasion to display
his anger. He went forthwith to his sister-in-law's tent; and,
making up to the eunuch, What! said he, you pitiful wretch, have
you the impudence to abuse the trust I repose in you? Schaban,
though sufficiently convicted by Agib's testimony, still denied
the fact. But the child persisted in what he had already
affirmed: Grandfather, said he, I can assure you that we did not
only eat, but that both of us so much satisfied our appetites,
that we have no occasion for supper; besides, the pastry-cook
treated us with a large bowl of sherbet. Well, cried Schemseddin,
turning to Schaban, after all this, will you continue to deny
that you entered the pastry-cook's house, and ate there? Schaban
had still the impudence to swear that it was not true. Then you
are a liar! said the vizier; I will believe my grandchild rather
than you; but, after all, if you can eat up this cream-tart on
the table, I shall be persuaded that you have truth on your side.

Though Schaban had crammed himself immoderately before, yet he
agreed to stand the test, and accordingly took a piece of the
tart; but his stomach rising against it, he was obliged to spit
it out of his mouth: he still, however, pursued the lie,
pretending he had over-eaten himself the day before, so that his
stomach was cloyed. The vizier, irritated by the eunuch's
frivolous pretences, and convinced of his guilt, ordered him to
lie flat upon the ground, and to be soundly bastinadoed. In
undergoing this punishment, the poor wretch shrieked out
prodigiously, and at last confessed the truth: I own, cried he,
that we did eat a cream-tart at the pastry-cook's, and that it
was much better than that upon the table. The widow of Noureddin
thought it was out of spite to her, and with a design to mortify
her, that Schaban commended the pastry-cook's tart; and
accordingly said, I cannot believe the cook's tarts are better
than mine, and am resolved to satisfy myself upon that head.
Where does he live? Go immediately, and buy me one of his tarts.
The eunuch having received of her the money necessary for the
purchase, repaired to Bedreddin's shop, and, addressing him, Good
Mr. Pastry-cook, said he, take this money, and let me have one of
your cream-tarts; one of our ladies wants to taste them.
Bedreddin chose one of the best, and gave it to the eunuch. Take
this, said he, I will engage it is an excellent one, and can
assure you that nobody is able to make the like unless it be my
mother, who perhaps still lives. Schaban returned speedily to the
tents, and gave the tart to Noureddin's widow, who snatched it
eagerly, and broke off a piece; but had no sooner put it to her
mouth, than she screamed and swooned away, Schemseddin, being
present, was extremely surprised at the accident, threw water
upon her face himself, and was very active in succouring her. As
soon as she recovered, My God! cried she, it must certainly be my
son, my dear Bedreddin, who made this tart!

When the vizier Schemseddin heard his sister-in-law say that the
maker of the tart brought by the eunuch must without doubt be
Bedreddin, he was overjoyed; but reflecting that his joy might
prove groundless, and in all likelihood the conjecture of
Noureddin's widow be false, Madam, said he, why are you of that
mind? Do you think there may not be a pastry-cook in the world
who knows how to make cream-tarts as well as your son? I own,
replied she, there may be pastry-cooks who can make as good
tarts; but as I make them after a peculiar manner, and nobody but
my son is let into the secret, it must absolutely be he who made
this. Come, my brother, added she in transport, let us call up
mirth and joy; we have at last found what we have been so long
looking for! Madam, said the vizier, I entreat you to moderate
your impatience, for we shall quickly know the truth. All we have
to do, is to bring the pastry-cook hither, and then you and my
daughter will readily distinguish whether it is Bedreddin or not;
but you must both be hidden, so as to have a view of him without
his seeing you; for my design is to delay the discovery till we
return to Cairo, where I propose to regale you with very
agreeable diversion. He then left the ladies in their tent, and
retired to his own, where he called for fifty of his men, and
said to them, Take each of you a stick in your hands, and follow
Schaban, who will conduct you to a pastry-cook's in the city.
When you arrive there, break and dash in pieces all you find in
the shop; if he asks you why you commit such disorder, only ask
him again if it was not he who made the cream-tart that was
brought from his house. If he owns himself the man, seine his
person, fetter him, and bring him along with you; but take care
you do not beat him, nor do him the least harm. Go, and lose no

The vizier's orders were immediately executed. The detachment,
conducted by the black eunuch, went with expedition to
Bedreddin's house, and broke in pieces the plates, kettles,
copper-pans, tables, and all the other moveables and utensils
they met with, and drowned the sherbet-shop with creams and
comfits. Bedreddin, astonished at the sight, said, with a pitiful
tone, Pray, good people, why do you serve me so? What is the
matter? What have I done? Was it not you, said they, who sold
this eunuch the cream-tart? Yes, replied he, I am the man, and
who says any thing against it? I defy any one to make a better.
Instead of giving him an answer, they continued to break all
round them; even the oven was not spared. The neighbours in the
mean time took the alarm; and, surprised to see fifty armed men
commit such a disorder, asked the reason of such violence.
Bedreddin said once more to the actors of it. Pray, tell me what
crime I am guilty of, to have deserved this usage? Was it not
you, replied they, who made the cream-tart you sold to the
eunuch? Yes, it was I, replied he; I maintain it is a good one,
and I do not deserve the usage you give me. However, without
listening to him, they seized his person, and snatching the cloth
off his turban, tied his hands with it behind his back; then
dragging him by force out of his shop, they marched off with him.
The mob gathering, and taking compassion on Bedreddin, took his
part, and offered opposition to Schemseddin's men; but that very
minute up came some officers from the governor of the city, who
dispersed the people, and favoured the carrying off of Bedreddin;
for Schemseddin had in the mean time gone to the governor's house
to acquaint him with the order he had given, and to demand the
interposition of force to favour the execution. The governor, who
commanded all Syria in the name of the sultan of Egypt, was loath
to refuse any thing to his master's vizier; so that Bedreddin was
carried off, notwithstanding his cries and tears. It was needless
for him to ask, by the way, those who forced him off, what fault
had been found with his cream-tart, as they gave him no answer.
In short, they carried him to the tents, and detained him till
Schemseddin returned from the governor of Damascus's house.

Upon the vizier's return, Bedreddin Hassan was brought before
him: My lord, said Bedreddin, with tears in his eyes, pray do me
the favour to let me know wherein I have displeased you. Why, you
wretch! said the vizier, was it not you who made the cream-tart
you sent me? I own I am the man, replied Bedreddin; but pray what
crime is that? I will punish you according to your deserts, said
Schemseddin: it shall cost you your life for sending me such a
sorry tart. Good God, cried Bedreddin, what news is this? Is it a
capital crime to make a bad creamtart? Yes, said the vizier, and
you are to expect no mercy from me. While this interview lasted,
the ladies, who were hid, observed Bedreddin narrowly, and
readily knew him, though he had been so long absent. They were so
transported with joy, that they swooned away, and, when they
recovered, would fain have run and fallen upon Bedreddin's neck;
but the promise they had made to the vizier, not to discover
themselves, restrained the tender emotions of love and nature.

Schemseddin, having resolved to set out that very night, ordered
the tents to be struck, and the necessary preparations to be made
for his journey. As for Bedreddin, he ordered him to be put into
a chest or box well locked, and laid on a camel. When every thing
was got ready, the vizier and his retinue began their march, and
travelled all that night and the next day without stopping. In
the evening they halted, when Bedreddin was taken out of his cage
in order to be served with necessary refreshments, but still
carefully kept at a distance from his mother and wife; and,
during the whole expedition, which lasted twenty days, he was
served in the same manner. When they arrived at Cairo, and had
encamped in the neighbourhood of that place, Schemaeddin called
for Bedreddin, gave orders in his presence to a carpenter to get
some wood with all expedition, and make a stake. Heyday! said
Bedreddin, what do you mean to do with a stake? Why, to nail you
to it, replies Schemseddin; then to have you carried through all
the quarters of the town, that the people may have the spectacle
of a worthless pastry-cook who makes cream-tarts without pepper!
Bedreddin cried out so comically, that Schemseddin could hardly
keep his countenance: Good God, cried he, must I suffer a death,
as cruel as ignominious, for not putting pepper in a cream-tart?
Must I be rifled, and have all the godds in my house broken in
pieces, imprisoned in a chest, and at last nailed to a stake? and
all for not putting pepper in a cream-tart! Good God! who ever
heard of such a thing? Are these the actions of Mussulmen, of
persons who make professions of probity and justice, and practise
all manner of good works? With these words he shed tears; and
then renewing his complaint, No, continued he, never was man used
so unjustly, nor so severely. Is it possible they should be
capable of taking a man's life for not putting pepper in a
cream-tart? Cursed be all cream-tarts, as well as the hour in
which I was born! Would to God I had died that minute!

The disconsolate Bedreddin did not cease to pour forth his
lamentations; and when the stake was brought, and the nails to
nail him to it, he cried out bitterly at the horrid sight.
Heaven! said he, canst thou suffer me to die an ignominious and
painful death? And for what crime? Not for robbery or murder, or
renouncing my religion, but for not putting pepper in a cream-

Night being pretty far advanced, the vizier ordered Bedreddin to
be put up again in his cage, saying to him, Stay here till
to-morrow; the day shall not be spent before I give orders for
your death. The chest or cage was then carried away, and laid
upon the camel that had brought it from Damascus; at the same
time all the other camels were loaded again, and the vizier,
mounting his horse, ordered the camel that carried his nephew to
march before him, thus entering the city, with all his equipage
following. After passing through several streets, where nobody
appeared, every one being in bed, he arrived at his house, where
he ordered the chest to be taken down, but not to be opened till
further orders. While his retinue were unloading the other
camels, the vizier took Bedreddin's mother and his daughter
aside; and, addressing himself to the latter, said, God be
praised, my child, for this happy occasion of meeting your cousin
and your husband. You surely remember in what order your chamber
was on your wedding night; put every thing in the very same
situation; and, in the mean time, if your memory do not serve
you, I can supply you by a written account which I caused to be
taken upon that occasion; and leave the rest to me.

The beautiful lady went joyfully about the orders of her father,
who at the same time began to put things in the hall in the same
order they were in when Bedreddin was there with the sultan of
Egypt's hunch-backed groom. As he went over his manuscript, his
domestics placed every moveable accordingly. The throne was not
forgotten, nor the lighted wax-candles. When every thing was put
to rights in the hall, the vizier went into his daughter's
chamber, and put Bedreddin's clothes, with the purse of sequins,
in their proper place. This done, he said to the beautiful lady,
Undress yourself, my child, and go to bed. As soon as Bedreddin
enters the room, complain of his being from you so long, and tell
him, that when you awaked, you were astonished you did not find
him by you. Press him to come to bed again; and to-morrow morning
you will divert your mother-in-law and me by telling us what has
passed between you and him. The vizier went from his daughter's
apartment, and left her to undress and go to bed.

Schemseddin ordered all his domestics to leave the hall, except
two or three, whom he ordered to remain. These he commanded to go
and take Bedreddin out of the chest, to strip him to his shirt
and drawers, conduct him in that condition to the hall, leave him
there all alone, and shut the door upon him. Bedreddin, though
overwhelmed with grief, had been asleep all the while; insomuch
that the vizier's domestics had taken him put of the chest, and
stripped him, before he awaked, and carried him so suddenly into
the hall, that they did not give him time to bethink himself
where he was. When he found himself alone in the hall, he looked
round, and the objects of his sight recalling to his memory the
circumstances of his marriage, he perceived with astonishment
that it was the same hall where he had seen the sultan's groom of
the stables. His surprise was still greater, when, approaching
softly to the door of a chamber which he found open, he espied
his clothes in the very place where he remembered to have left
them on his wedding-night. My God! said he, rubbing his eyes, am
I asleep or awake?

His wife, who in the mean time was diverting herself with his
astonishment, suddenly opened the curtains of her bed; and,
bending her head forward, My dear lord, said she, with a tender
air, what do you there? Pr'ythee come to bed again; you have been
out of it a long time. I was strangely surprised, when I awaked,
at not finding you by me. Bedreddin's countenance changed when he
perceived that the lady who spoke to him was the charming person
he had lain with before; he therefore entered the room; but,
calling to mind all that had passed for an interval of ten years,
and not being able to persuade himself that it could have
happened in one night, he went to the place where his clothes and
the purse of sequins lay, and, after examining them very
carefully, By Heaven, cried he, these are things that I can by no
means comprehend! The lady, who enjoyed his confusion, said, Once
more, I pray you, my lord, come to bed again; why do you stand?
He then stepped towards the bed, and said to her, Pray, madam,
tell me, is it long since I left you? The question, answered she,
surprises me. Did you not rise from me but now? Your thoughts are
surely very busy. Madam, replied Bedreddin, I do assure you that
my thoughts are not very easy. I remember, indeed, to have been
with you; but I remember, at the same time, that I have since
lived ten years at Damascus. Now, if I was actually in bed with
you this night, I cannot have been from you so long; these two
things are inconsistent. Pray tell me what to think; whether my
marriage with you be an illusion, or whether my absence from you
be only a dream, Yes, my lord, cried she; doubtless you were
light-headed when you thought you were at Damascus. Upon this
Bedreddin laughed heartily, and said, What a comical fancy is
this! I assure you, madam, this dream of mine will be very
pleasant to you. Do but imagine, if you please, that I was at the
gate of Damascus in my shirt and drawers, as I am here now; that
I entered the town with the halloo of a mob who followed and
insulted me; that I fled into a pastry-cook's, who adopted me,
taught me his trade, and left me all he had when he died; and
that after his death I kept a shop. In fine, madam, I had a great
number of other adventures too tedious to recount; and all I can
say is, that it was not amiss that I awaked, for they were going
to nail me to a stake. Oh, Lord, and for what (cried the lady,
feigning astonishment) would they have used you so cruelly? You
must certainly have committed some enormous crime. Not in the
least, replied Bedreddin; it was nothing in the world but a mere
trifle, the most ridiculous thing you can think of. All the crime
I was charged with, was selling a cream-tart that had no pepper
in it. As for that matter, said the beautiful lady, laughing
heartily, I must say they did you great injustice. Ah, madam,
replied he, that was not all; for this cursed cream-tart was
every thing in my shop broken to pieces, and myself bound,
fettered, and flung into a chest, where I lay so close, that
methinks I am there still. In fine, a carpenter was sent for, and
he was ordered to get ready a stake for me; but, thanks be to
God, all these things are no more than a dream.

Bedreddin was not easy all night; he awaked from time to time,
and put the question to himself, whether he dreamed or was awake.
He distrusted his felicity; and to ascertain whether it was real
or not, opened the curtains, and looked round the room. I am not
mistaken, said he; this is the same chamber which I entered,
instead of the hunch-backed groom of the stables, and am now in
bed with the fair lady who was designed for him. Day-light, which
then appeared, had not yet dispelled his uneasiness, when the
vizier Schemseddin, his uncle, knocked at the door, and went to
bid him good-morrow.

Bedreddin was extremely surprised to see, on a sudden, a man whom
he knew so well, and who now appeared with a quite different air
from that with which he pronounced the terrible sentence of death
against him. Ah! cried Bedreddin, it was you who condemned me so
unjustly to a manner of death the thoughts of which make me
shrink still; and all for a cream-tart without pepper. The vizier
laughed heartily; but, to put him out of suspense, told him how,
by the ministry of a genius, (for Bossu's relation had made him
suspect the adventure) he had been at his house, and had married
his daughter instead of the sultan's groom of the stables; he
then acquainted him that he had discovered him to be his nephew
by a book written by the hand of Noureddin Ali, and, pursuant to
that discovery, had gone from Cairo to Balsora in quest of him.
My dear nephew, added he, with embraces and all the marks of
tenderness, I ask your pardon for all I have made you undergo
since I discovered you: I had a mind to bring you to my house
before I told you your happiness, which ought now to be so much
the dearer to you as it has cost you so much perplexity. To atone
for all your afflictions, comfort yourself with the joy of being
in the company of those who ought to be dearest to you. While you
are dressing yourself, I shall acquaint your mother, who is
beyond measure impatient to see you; and will likewise bring to
you your son, whom you saw at Damascus, and for whom you showed
so much affection without knowing him. No words are sufficient to
express the joy of Bedreddin when he saw his mother and his son.
These three embraced, and showed all the transports which love
and tenderness can inspire. The mother spoke to Bedreddin in the
most moving terms; she mentioned the grief she had felt for his
long absence, and the tears she had shed. Little Agib, instead of
flying his father's embraces as at Damascus, received them with
ail the marks of pleasure; while his father, divided between two
objects so worthy of his love, thought he could not give
sufficient proofs of his affection.

In the mean time Schemseddin went to the palace to give an
account of the happy success of his travels to the sultan, who
was so charmed with the recital, that he ordered it to be taken
down in writing, and to be preserved among the archives of his
kingdom. After Schemseddin's return to his house, having prepared
a noble feast, he sat down at the table with his family, and all
his household passed the day in social conviviality.

The vizier Giafar having made an end of the story of Bedreddin
Hassan, told the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, that this was what he
had to relate to his majesty. The caliph found the story so
surprising, that, without further hesitation, he granted his
slave Rihan's pardon, and to condole the young man for the grief
of having unhappily deprived himself of a woman whom he loved so
tenderly, he married him to one of his slaves, bestowed liberal
gifts upon him, and entertained him until he died.

But, sir, said Scheherazade, observing that day began to appear,
though the story I have how told you be agreeable, I have one
that is even much more so. If your majesty will please to hear it
the next night, I am certain you will be of the same mind.
Schahriar rose without giving any answer, and was in a quandary
what to do. The good sultaness, said he within himself, tells
very long stories; and when once she begins one, there is no
refusing to hear it out. I cannot tell whether I shall put her to
death to-day or not. No, surely not, I will do nothing rashly:
the story she promises is perhaps more diverting than those she
has yet told, and I will not deprive myself of the pleasure of
hearing it. Dinarzade did not fail to awake the sultaness of the
Indies, who thus commenced her story.


There was in former times at Casgar, upon the utmost borders of
Tartary, a tailor who had a pretty wife, whom he ardently loved,
and by whom he was loved in return. One day, as he sat at work, a
little hunch-back my lord came and sat down at the shop-door,
began singing, at same time playing upon a tabor. The tailor was
pleased to hear him, and had a strong mind to take him to his
house to make his wife merry: This little fellow, said he to his
wife, will divert us both very agreeably. In fine, he invited my
lord, who readily accepted of the invitation; the tailor then
shut up his shop, and conducted him in. The little gentleman
being arrived at the tailor's house, his wife covered the table,
and they sat down to sup on a good large dish of fish; but as
they ate heartily, the little crooked gentleman unluckily
swallowed a large bone, of which he died in a few minutes,
notwithstanding all the tailor and his wife could do to prevent
it. Both were mightily frightened at the accident, especially as
it happened in their house; and there was reason to fear, that if
the justiciary magistrates should hear of it, they would be
punished as assassins. The husband, however, found an expedient
to get rid of the corpse: recollecting that there was a Jewish
doctor who lived just by, he formed a project, to execute which,
his wife and he took the corpse, the one by the feet and the
other by the head, and carried it to the physician's house. They
knocked at the door, from which ascended a steep pair of stairs
to his chamber. As soon as they bad knocked, the servant-maid
came down without any light; and, opening the door, asked what
they wanted. Pr'ythee, go up again, said the tailor, and tell
your master we have brought him a man that is very sick, and
wants his advice. Here, putting a piece of money into her hand,
give him that beforehand, to convince him that we have no mind to
make him lose his labour. While the servant was gone up to
acquaint her master with the welcome news, the tailor and his
wife nimbly conveyed the hunch-backed corpse to the head of the
stairs; and, leaving it there, ran off.

In the mean time, the maid, having told the doctor that a man and
a woman staid for him at the door, desiring he would come down
and look upon a sick man they had brought with them, and the maid
clapping the money she had received into his hand, the doctor was
transported with joy; being paid beforehand, he thought it was a
good job, and should not be neglected. Light, light! cried he to
the maid; follow me nimbly. However, without staying for the
light, he got to the stair-head in such haste, that stumbling
against the corps, he gave it such a kick, as made it tumble down
quiite to the stair-foot, and with difficulty saved himself. A
light, a light! cried he to the maid, quick, quick! at last the
maid came with a light, and he went down stairs with her; but
when he gav that the stumbling-block he had kicked down was a
dead man, he was so frightened, that he invoked Moses, Aaron,
Joshua, and Esdras, and all the other prophets of his law.
Unhappy man that I am! said he, what induced me to come down
without a light? I have e'en made an end of the fellow who was
brought to me to be cured? I am undoubtedly the cause of his
death, and unless, Esras's ass[Footnote: Here the Arabian author
ridicules the Jews: this ass is that which, as the Mahometans
believe, Esdras rode upon when he came from the Babylonian
captivity to Jerusalem.] comes to assist me, I nm ruined: mercy
on me, they will be here instantly, and drag me from my house as
a murderer! But, notwithstanding the perplexity and jeopardy he
was in, he had the precaution to shut his door, lest any one
passing by in the street should observe the mischance, of which
he reckoned himself the author. He then took the corpse into his
wife's chamber, upon which she swooned away. Alas! cried she, we
are utterly ruined! undone! undone! unless we fall upon some
expedient or other to turn the corpse out of our house this
night! Beyond all question, if we harbour it till morning, our
lives must pay for it. What a sad mischance is this! Why, how did
you kill this man? That is not the question, replied the Jew; our
business now is to find out a remedy for such a shocking
accident. They then consulted together how to get rid of the
corpse that night. The doctor racked his brain in vain; he could
not think of any stratagem to get clear: but his wife, who was
more fertile in invention, said, there is a thought come into my
head; let us carry.the corpse to the leads of our house, and
tumble it down the chimney into the house of the Mussulman, our
next neighbour. This Mussulman, or Turk, was one of the sultan's
purveyors for furnishing oil, butter, and all sorts of fat,
tallow, &c. and had a magazine in his house, in which the rats
and mice made prodigious havoe.

The Jewish doctor approving the proposed expedient, his wife and
he took the little hunch-back up to the roof of the house; and,
clapping ropes under his arm-pits, let him down the chimney into
the purveyor's chamber so softly and dexterously, that he stood
upright against the wall as if he had been alive. When they found
he stood firm, they pulled up the ropes, and left the gentleman
in that posture. They were scarcely got into their chamber, when
the purveyor went into his, being just come from a wedding feast,
with a lantern in his hand. He was mightily surprised, when, by
the light of his lantern, he descried a man standing upright in
his chimney; but being a stout man, and apprehending it was a
thief or a robber, he took up a large cane; and, making straight
up to the hunch-back, Ah, said he, I thought it was the rats and
the mice that ate my butter and tallow! and it is you that come
down the chimney to rob me, is it? I question if ever you come
back again on the same errand? This said, he fell foul of the
man, and gave him a good many swinging thwacks with his cane:
upon which the corpse fell down, running its nose against the
ground, and the purveyor redoubled his blows: but, observing that
the body did not move, he stood to consider a little; when,
perceiving it was a corpse, fear succeeded his anger. Wretched
man that I am! said he; what have I done? I have killed a man!
alas, I have carried my revenge too far! good God, unless thou
pityest me, my life is gone! Cursed, ten thousand times accursed,
be the fat and the oil that gave occasion to the commission of so
criminal an action. In fine, he stood pale and thunder-struck; he
thought he saw the officers already come to drag him to condign
punishment, and could not think what resolution to take.

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor did not observe the little
gentleman's hunch when he was beating him, but as soon as he did,
he threw out a thousand imprecations against him. Ah, you crooked
hunch-back! cried he; would to God you had robbed me of all my
fat, and I had not found you here! had it been so, I would not
have been now so much perplexed for the sake of you and your
nasty hunch. Oh! the stars that twinkle in the heavens give light
to none but me in this dangerous Juncture! As soon as he had
uttered these words, he took the little crooked corpse upon his
shoulders, and carried it out of doors to the end of the street,
where he set it upright against a shop, and then trudged home
again without looking behind him.

A few minutes before the break of day, a Christian merchant, who
was very rich, and furnished the sultan's palace with most things
it wanted; this merchant, having sat up all night debauching,
stepped out of his house to go to bathe. Though he was drunk, he
was sensible that the night was far spent, and that the people
would quickly be called to the morning prayers, which begin at
break of day; he therefore quickened his pace to get in time to
the bath, lest a Turk, meeting him in his way to the mosque,
should carry him to prison for a drunkard. When he came to the
end of the street, he stopped on some necessary occasion, and
leaned against the shop where the sultan's purveyor had put the
hunch-backed corpse; but the corpse being jostled, tumbled upon
the merchant's back. The merchant thinking it was a robber that
came to attack him, knocked him down with a hearty box on the
ear, and, after redoubling his blows, cried out, Thieves! The
outcry alarmed the watch, who came up immediately; and finding a
Christian beating a Turk, (for crump-back was of our religion),
What reason have you, said he, to abuse a Mussulman after this
rate? He would have robbed me, replied the merchant, and jumped
upon my back with intent to take me by the throat. If he did,
said the watch, you have revenged yourself sufficiently; come,
get off him. At the same time he stretched out his hand to help
little crump-back up: but observing that he was dead, Ah!
hey-day! said he, is it thus that a Christian dares to
assassinate a Mussulman? So he laid hold of the Christian, and
carried him to the sheriff's house, where he was kept till the
judge was up, and ready to examine him. In the mean time, the
Christian merchant grew sober, and the more he reflected upon his
adventure, the less could he conceive how such single fisty-cuffs
could kill the man. The judge having heard the report of the
watch, and viewed the corpse, which they had taken care to bring
to his house, interrogated the Christian merchant, who could not
deny the crime, though he had not committed it. But the judge
considering that little crump-back belonged to the sultan, (for
he was one of his buffoons) would not put the Christian to death
till he knew the sultan's pleasure. For this end he went to the
palace, and acquainted the sultan with what had happened, and
received from him this answer, I have no mercy to show to a
Christian, who kills a Mussulman; go do your office. Upon this
the judge ordered a gibbet to be erected, and sent criers all
over the city to proclaim that they were about to hang a
Christian for killing a Mussulman.

In fine, the merchant was brought out of gaol to the foot of the
gallows; and the hangman, having put the rope about his neck, was
going to throw him off, when the sultan's purveyor pushed through
die crowd, made up to the gibbet, calling to the hangman to stop,
for that the Christian had not committed the murder, but himself.
The sheriff who attended the execution immediately put
interrogatories to the purveyor, who told him every circumstance
of his killing the little crump-back, and conveying his corpse to
the place where the merchant found him. You were about, added he,
to put to death an innocent person; for how can he be guilty of
the death of a man who was dead before he saw him? My burden is
sufficient in having killed a Turk, without loading my conscience
with the additional charge of the death of a Christian who is not

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor having publicly charged himself
with the death of the little hunch-backed man, the sheriff could
not avoid doing justice to the merchant. Let the Christian go,
said he, and hang this man in his room, since it appears by his
own confession that he is guilty. Whereupon the hangman released
the merchant, and clapped the rope round the purveyor's neck; but
just as he was going to pull him up, he heard the voice of the
Jewish doctor, earnestly entreating him to suspend the execution,
and make room for him to throw himself at the foot of the
gallows. When he appeared before the judge, My lord, said he,
this Mussulman you are going to hang is not guilty: the crime
rests with me. Last night a man and a woman, unknown to me, came
to my house with a sick man they had brought along with them; and
knocking at my door, my maid went and opened it without a light,
and received from them a piece of money, with a commission to
come and desire me, in their names, to step down and look upon
the sick person. While she was delivering her message to me, they
conveyed the sick person to the stair-head, and then disappeared.
I went down, without staying for my servant to light a candle,
and in the dark happened to stumble upon the sick person, and
kicked him down stairs. In fine, I saw he was dead, and that it
was the crooked Mussulman, whose death you are now about to
avenge. So my wife and I took the corpse, and, after conveying it
up to the leads of our house, moved it to the roof of the
purveyor's house, our next neighbour, and let it down the chimney
into the chamber. The purveyor, finding it in his house, took the
little man for a thief, and, after beating him, concluded he had
killed him; but that it was not so, you will be convinced by this
my deposition; so that I am the only author of the murder: and
though it was committed undesignedly, I have resolved to expiate
my crime by keeping clear of the charge of the death of two
Mussulmen, and hinder you from executing the sultan's purveyor,
whose innocence I have now revealed. So pray dismiss him, and put
me in his place, for I alone am the cause of the death of the
little man.

The chief justice being persuaded that the Jewish doctor was the
murderer, gave orders to the executioner to seize him, and
release the purveyor. Accordingly the doctor was just going to be
hung up, when the tailor appeared, crying to the executioner to
hold his hand, and make room for him, that he might come and make
his confession to the lord justice; which being done, My lord,
said he to the judge, you have narrowly escaped taking away the
lives of three innocent persons, but if you will have patience to
hear me, I will discover to you the real murderer of the
crook-backed man. If his death is to be expiated by another, that
must be mine. Yesterday evening, as I was at work in my shop, and
pretty merry, the little hunch-back came to my door half drunk,
and sat down before it. He began to sing, so I invited him to
pass the evening at my house. Accordingly, he accepted of the
invitation, and went with me. We sat down to supper, and I gave
him a plate of fish; but, in eating, a bone stuck in his throat;
and though my wife and I did our utmost to relieve him, he died
in a few minutes. His death affected us extremely; and from fear
of being charged with it, we carried the corpse to the Jewish
doctor's house, and knocked at the door. The maid coming down and
opening it, I desired her to go up forthwith, and ask her master
to come down and give his advice to a sick person that we had
brought along with us; and withal, to encourage him, I charged
her to give him a piece of money, which I put into her hand. When
she was gone up, I carried hunch-back up stairs, laid him upon
the uppermost step, and then my wife and I made the best of our
way home. The doctor, in coming down, kicked the corpse down
stairs, and thereupon he supposed himself to be the author of his
death. Now, this being the case, continued he, release the
doctor, and let me die in his room.

The chief justice, and all the spectators, could not sufficiently
admire the strange emergencies that ensued upon the death of the
little crooked gentleman. Let the Jewish doctor go, said the
judge, and hang up the tailor, since he confesses the crime. It
is certain this history is very uncommon, and deserves to be
recorded in letters of gold. The executioner having dismissed the
doctor, made every thing ready to tie up the tailor. While the
executioner was making ready to hang up the tailor, the sultan of
Casgar, wanting the company of his crooked jester, asked where he
was. One of his officers answered, The hunch-back, sir, whom you
inquire after, got drunk last night, and, contrary to his custom,
slipped out of the palace, went a sauntering into the city, and
was this morning found dead. A man was brought before the chief
justice, and charged with the murder of him; but as he was going
to be hanged, up came a man, and after him another, who took the
charge upon themselves, and cleared each other. The examination
has continued a long while, and the judge is now interrogating a
third man who avows himself the real author of the murder.

Upon this intelligence, the sultan of Casgar sent a hussar to the
place of execution. Go, said he to the messenger, make all the
haste you can, bring the arraigned persons before me immediately,
with the corpse of poor crump-back, that I may see him once more.
Accordingly the hussar went, and happened to arrive at the place
of execution at the time when the executioner was going to tie up
the tailor. He cried aloud to the executioner to suspend the
execution. The hangman, knowing the hussar, did not dare to
proceed, but untied the tailor; and then the hussar acquainted
the judge with the sultan's pleasure. The judge obeyed, and went
straight to the palace, accompanied by the tailor, the Jewish
doctor, and the Christian merchant; causing four of his men to
carry the hunch corpse along with him. The judge, on appearing
before the sultan, threw himself at the prince's feet, and, after
recovering himself, gave him a faithful relation of what he knew
of the story of the crump-backed man. The sultan found the story
so uncommon, that he ordered his private historians to write it
with all its circumstances. Then addressing himself to the
audience, Did you ever hear, said he, such a surprising story as
has happened on account of my little crooked buffoon? The
Christian merchant then, after falling down, and saluting the
earth with his forehead, spoke in the following manner: Most
puisant monarch, said he, I know a story even more astonishing
than that you have now spoken off; and if your majesty will give
me leave, I will tell it you. The circumstances are such, that
nobody can hear them without being moved. Well, said the sultan,
I give you leave; and the merchant went on as follows.


Sir, before I commence the recital of the story you have allowed
me to tell, I beg leave to acquaint you, that I have not the
honour to be born in a place that pertains to your majesty's
empire. I am a stranger, born at Cairo in Egypt, one of the
Coptic nations, and a professor of the Christian religion: my
father was a broker, and got a good estate, which he left me at
his death: I followed his example, and took up the same
employment. One day at Cairo, as I was standing in the public
resort for the corn-merchants, there came up to me a handsome
young man, well clad, and mounted upon an ass. He saluted me, and
pulling out his handkerchief, where he had a sample of sesame and
Turkey corn, asked me what a bushel of such sesame would fetch? I
examined the corn which the young man showed me, and told him it
was worth a hundred drams of silver per bushel. 'Pray, said he,
look out for some merchant to take it at that price, and come to
me at the Victory-gate, where you will see a hut at a distance
from the houses.' He then left me, and I showed the sample to
several merchants, who told me they would take as much as I could
spare at an hundred and ten drams per bushel; so that I made an
account to get ten drams per bushel for my brokerage. Full of the
expectation of this profit, I went forthwith to the Victory-gate,
where I found the young merchant waiting for me, and he carried
me into his granary, which was full of sesame. He had an hundred
and fifty bushels of it, which I measured out, and, having
carried them off upon asses, sold them for five thousand drams of
silver. Now, out of this sum, said the young man, five hundred
drams fall to you, at the rate of ten drams per bushel. I order
you to take it, and apply it to your own use; and as for the
rest, which is mine, do you take it out of the merchant's hand,
and keep it till I call for it, as I nave no occasion for it at
present. I made answer, that it should be ready for him whenever
he pleased; and so took leave of him, with a grateful sense of
his generosity.

In a month after, he came and asked for his four thousand five
hundred drams of silver. I told him they were ready, and should
be told down to him in a minute: he was mounted on his ass;, so I
desired him to alight, and do me the honour to eat a mouthful
with me before he received his money. No, said he, I cannot
alight at present; I have urgent business that obliges me to be
at a place hard by here; but I will return this way, and take the
money, which I desire you would have in readiness. This said, he
disappeared; and I still expected his return, but it was a full
month before he came again. I thought with myself, the young man
reposes a great trust in me, leaving so great a sum in my hands
without knowing me; another would have been afraid lest I should
have run away with it. To be short, he came again at the end of
the third month, and was still mounted on his ass, but finer in
his clothes than before. As soon as I saw him, I entreated him to
alight, and asked him if he would not take his money? It is no
matter for that, said he, with a pleasant easy air, I know it is
in good hands; I will come and take it when all my other money is
gone: adieu, continued he, I will come again towards the latter
end of the week. He then clapped spurs to his ass, and away he
went. Well, thought I to myself, he says he will see me towards
the latter end of the week, but it is likely I may not see him
for a great while; will go and make the most of his money, and
get a good penny by it.

As it happened, I was not out of my conjecture, for it was a full
year before I saw my young merchant again. Then he appeared
indeed with richer apparel than before, but very thoughtful. I
asked him to do me the honour to walk into my house: for this
time, replied he, I will go in; but upon this condition, that you
shall put yourself to no extraordinary charge upon my account.
That shall be as you please, said I; only do me the favour to
alight and walk in. He accordingly complied, and I gave orders
for some sort of entertainment; and, while that was getting ready
we fell into discourse together. When the victuals were got
ready, we sat down at table. When he ate the first mouthful, I
observed he fed himself with the left hand, and not with the
right; I could not tell what to think of it; I thought within
myself, ever since I knew this young man, he always appeared very
polite: is it possible he can do this out of contempt? What can
the matter be that he does not make use of his right hand? After
we had done eating, and every thing was taken away, we sat down
upon a sofa, when I presented him with a lozenge that was
excellent for giving a sweet breath, but he still took it with
his left hand. Then I accosted him in this manner: Sir, pray
pardon the liberty I take in asking you what reason you have for
not making use of your right hand; it is likely you have some
disorder in that hand. Instead of answering, he fetched a deep
sigh, and pulling out his right arm, which he had hitherto kept
under his garment, showed me, to my great astonishment, that his
hand had been cut off. Doubtless you were alarmed, said he, to
see me feed myself with the left hand; but I leave you to judge
whether it was in my power to do otherwise. May one ask you; said
I, by what mischance it was that you lost your right hand? Upon
that he fell into tears, and, after wiping his eyes, gave me the
following relation.

You must know, said he, that I am a native of Bagdad, the son of
a rich father, the most noted man in that city both for quality
and riches. I had scarcely launched into the world, when falling
into the company of travellers, and hearing wonders told of
Egypt, especially of Grand Cairo, I was moved by their discourse,
and took a longing desire to travel thither; but my father was
then alive, and had not given me leave. In fine, he died, and
thereupon, being my own master, I resolved to take a journey to
Cairo. I laid out a large sum of money upon several sorts of fine
stuffs of Bagdad and Moussol, and then undertook my journey.

Arriving at Cairo, I went to the khan called the khan of Mesrour,
and there took lodgings, with a warehouse for my bales, which I
brought along upon camels: this done, I retired to my chamber to
rest myself after the fatigue of my journey, after ordering my
servants to buy some provisions, and dress them; After I had
eaten, I went and saw the castle, some mosques, public places,
and other things that were curious. Next day I dressed myself
handsomely, and ordered some of the finest and richest of my
bales to be selected, and carried by my slaves to the Circassian
bezestein [Footnote: A bezestcin is a public place, where silk;
stuffs and other precious things are exposed to sale.], whither I
went myself. I no sooner got thither than I was surrounded by
brokers and criers who had heard of my arrival. I gave patterns
of my stuffs to several of the criers, who carried and showed
them all over the bezestein; but none of the merchants offered
nearly so much as prime cost and carriage. This vexed me, and the
criers observing I was dissatisfied, If you will take our advice,
said they, we will put you in a way of selling your stuffs
without losing by them. The brokers and criers having thus
promised to put me in a way of losing nothing by my goods, I
asked them what course they would have me take? Divide your
goods, said they, among several merchants, and they will sell
them by retail; and twice a week, that is, on Mondays and
Tuesdays, you may receive what money they take: by this means you
will gain instead of losing, and the merchants will gain by you:
in the mean time, you will have time to take your pleasure, and
walk up and down the town, or to go upon the Nile. I took their
advice, and carried them to my warehouse, from whence I brought
all my goods to the bezestein, and divided them among the
merchants, whom they represented as most reputable and able to
pay: the merchants gave me a formal receipt before witnesses,
stipulating withal that I should not make any demands upon them
for the first month.

Having thus regulated my affairs, my mind was taken up with other
sort of things than ordinary pleasures. I contracted friendship
with divers persons of almost the same age with myself, who took
care I did not want company. The first month expired, I began to
visit my merchants twice a week, taking along with me a public
officer to inspect their books of sale, and a banker to see they
paid me in good money, as well as to regulate the value of the
several species; so that every pay-day I had a good sum of money
to carry home to my lodging. I went nevertheless on the other
days to pass the morning, sometimes at a merchant's house, and
sometimes at some other person's. In fine, I diverted myself in
conversing with one or other, and seeing what passed in the

One Monday, as I sat in the shop of a merchant whose name was
Bedreddin, a lady of quality, as one might easily perceive by her
air, her habit, and her being attended by a female slave in neat
clothes, came into the shop, and sat down by me: her external
appearance, joined to a natural grace that shone through all she
did, inspired me with a longing desire to know her better. I was
at a loss to know whether she observed that I took pleasure in
gazing upon her, but she tucked up the crape that hung down over
the muslin which covered her face, and gave me an opportunity of
seeing her large black eyes, which perfectly charmed me. In fine,
she screwed my love to its height by the agreeable sound of her
voice, her genteel graceful carriage in saluting the merchant,
and asking him how he did since she saw him last. After
entertaining him some time upon indifferent things, she informed
him that she wanted a sort of stuff with a ground of gold; that
he came to his shop as affording the best choice of any in all
the bezestein, and if he had what she asked for, he would oblige
her by showing them. Bedreddin showed her several pieces, one of
which she pitched upon, and he asked for it eleven hundred drams
of silver. I agree, said she, to give you so much, but I have not
money enough about me, so I hope you will give me credit till
to-morrow, and in the mean time allow me to carry off the stuff.
I shall not fail, added she, to send you to-morrow the eleven
hundred drams I agreed for. Madam, said Bedreddin, I would give
you credit with all my heart, and allow you to carry off the
stuff, if it were mine, but it belongs to that young man you see
here, and this is the day on which we state our accounts. Why,
said the lady in a surprise, why do you offer to use me so? Am
not I a customer to your shop? and as often as I have bought of
you, and carried home the things without paying ready money for
them, did I ever fail to send you your money next morning? Madam,
said the merchant, it is true, but this very day I have occasion
for money. There, said she, throwing the piece at him, take your
stuff; may God confound you and all other merchants: you are all
of you of one kidney; you respect nobody. She then rose up in a
passion, and walked out.

When I saw that the lady walked off, I found in my breast a great
concern for her; so I called her back, saying, Madam, do me the
favour to return; perhaps I can find a way to content you both.
In fine, back she came, saying, it was for the love of me that
she complied. Mr Bedreddin, said I to the merchant, what do you
say, you must have for this stuff that belongs to me? I must have
eleven hundred drams; I cannot take less. Give it to the lady
then, said I, let her take it home with her; I allow a hundred
drams profit to yourself, and shall now write you a note,
empowering you to discount that sum upon the other goods you have
of mine. In fine, I wrote, signed, and delivered the note, and
then handed the stuff to the lady: Madam said I, you may take the
stuff with you, and as for the money, you may either send it
to-morrow or next day; or, if you will, accept the stuff as a
present from me. I beg your pardon, sir, said she, I mean nothing
of that; you use me so very civilly and obligingly, that I ought
never to show my face in the world again, if I did not show my
gratitude to you. May God reward you in enlarging your fortune;
may you live many years when I am dead; may the gate of heaven be
opened to you when you remove to the other world, and may all the
city proclaim your generosity.

These words inspired me with some assurance: Madam, said I, I
desire no other reward for any service I have done to you than
the happiness of seeing your face; that will repay me with
interest. I had no sooner spoken than she turned towards me, took
off the muslin that covered her face, and discovered to my eyes a
killing beauty. I was so struck with the surprising sight, that I
could not express my thoughts to her. I could have looked upon
her for ever without being cloyed; but fearing any one should
take notice, she quickly covered her face, and pulling down the
crape, took up the piece of stuff, and went away, leaving me in a
quite different sort of temper from what I was in when I came to
the shop. I continued for some time in great disorder and
perplexity. Before I took leave of the merchant, I asked him if
he knew the lady? Yes, said he, she is the daughter of an emir,
who left her an immense fortune at his death.

I went home, and sat down to supper, but could not eat, neither
could I shut my eyes during the night; I thought it the longest
night in my lifetime. As soon as it was day, I got up in hopes to
see once more the object that disturbed my repose; and, to engage
her affection, I dressed myself yet more nicely than I had done
the day before. I had but just got to Bedreddin's shop, when I
saw the lady coming in more magnificent apparel than before, and
attended by her slave. When she came in, she did not regard the
merchant; but, addressing herself to me, Sir, said she, you see I
am punctual to my word. I am come on purpose to pay the sum you
were so kind as to pass your word for yesterday, though you had
no knowledge of me: such an uncommon piece of generosity I shall
never forget. Madam, said I, you had no occasion to be so hasty;
I was well satisfied as to my money, and am sorry you should put
yourself to so much trouble about it. I had been very unjust,
answered she, if I had abused your generosity. With these words,
she put the money into my hand, and sat down by me.

Having this opportunity of conversing with her, I made the best
use of it, and mentioned to her the love I had for her; but she
rose and left me very abruptly, as if she had been angry with the
declaration I had made. I followed her with my eyes as long as
she was in sight; and as soon as she was out of sight, I took
leave of the merchant, and walked out of the bezestein, without
knowing where I went. I was musing upon this adventure, when I
felt somebody pulling me behind, and turning about to see who it
was, I had the agreeable surprise to perceive it was the lady's
slave. My mistress, said the slave, I mean the young lady you
just spoke with in the merchant's shop, wants to speak one word
with you; so if you please to give yourself the trouble to follow
me, I will conduct you. Accordingly I followed her, and found my
mistress staying for me in a banker's shop. She made me sit down
by her, and spoke to this purpose; Dear sir, said she, do not be
surprised that I left you so abruptly: I thought it not proper,
before that merchant, to give a favourable answer to the
discovery you made of your affection for me. But to speak the
truth, I was so far from being offended at it, that I was pleased
when I heard it; and I account myself infinitely happy in having
a man of true merit for my lover. I do not know what impression
the first sight of me could make upon you; but I assure you that
I no sooner saw you than I had tender thoughts of you. Since
yesterday I have thought only of what you said to me; and the
haste I made to come and find you out this morning may convince
you that I have no small regard for you. Madam, said I,
transported with love and joy, nothing can be more agreeable to
me than what I now hear; no passion can be greater than that with
which I love you; since the happy moment I cast my eyes upon you,
my eyes were dazzled with so many charms, that my heart yielded
without resistance. Do not let us trifle away the time in
needless discourse, said she, interrupting me: I make no doubt of
your sincerity, and you shall quickly be convinced of mine. Will
you do me the honour to come to my home? or, if you will, I will
come to yours. Madam, said I, I am a stranger, lodging in a khan,
which is not a proper place for the reception of a lady of your
quality and merit. It is more proper, madam, for me to come to
you at your home, if you will please to tell me where it is. The
lady complying with this desire, I live, said she, in
Devotion-street; come next Friday after noon prayers, and ask for
the house of Abbon Schamam, surnamed Bercount, late master of the
emirs; there you will find me. This said, we parted, and I passed
the next day in great impatience.

On Friday I got up betimes, and put on my best clothes, with
fifty pieces of gold in my pocket: thus prepared, I mounted an
ass, which I had bespoken the day before, and set out,
accompanied by the man that lent me the ass. When we came to
Devotion-street, I directed the owner of the ass to inquire for
the house I wanted: he accordingly inquired, and conducted me to
it. I paid him liberally, and sent him back directing him to
observe narrowly where he left me, and not to fail to come back
with the ass to-morrow morning to carry me back again.

I knocked at the door, and presently two little girl slaves,
white as snow, and neatly dressed, came and opened it. Be pleased
to come in, sir, said they, our mistress expects you impatiently;
for two days she has spoken of nothing but you. I entered the
court, and saw a great pavilion raised upon seven steps, and
surrounded with iron rails that parted it from a very pleasant
garden. Besides the trees which embellished the prospect, and
formed an agreeable shade, there was an infinite number of other
trees loaded with all manner of fruit. I was charmed with the
warbling of a great number of birds, which joined their notes to
the murmurings of a very high water-work in the middle of a
ground-plot enamelled with flowers. This water- work was a very
agreeable sight; four large gilded dragons adorned the angles of
the bason, which was of a square form; and these dragons spouted
out water clearer than rock crystal. This delicious place gave me
a charming idea of the conquest I had made. The two little slaves
conducted me into a parlour magnificently furnished, and while
one of them went to acquaint her mistress with my arrival, the
other tarried behind, and pointed out to me the ornaments of the

I did not tarry long in the hall, said the young man of Bagdad,
ere the lady I loved appeared, adorned with pearls and diamonds;
but the splendour of her eyes did far outshine that of her
jewels. Her shape, which was not now disguised by the habit usual
in the streets, was extremely fine and charming. I need not
mention with what joy we received one another; it leaves all
expression far behind it: I shall only tell you, that when the
first compliments were over, we sat both down upon a sofa, and
there entertained one another with all imaginable satisfaction.
After that, we had the most delicious messes served up to us,
and, after eating, continued our discourse till night. At night
we had excellent wine brought up, and such fruit as is apt to
promote drinking, and timed our cups to the sound of musical
instruments joined to the voices of the slaves. The lady of the
house sung herself, and by her songs screwed up my passion to the
height. In fine, I passed the night in the full enjoyment of all
manner of pleasure.

Next morning I slipped under the bolster of the bed the purse
with the fifty pieces of gold I had brought with me, and took
leave of the lady, who asked me when I would see her again?
Madam, said I, I give you my promise to return this night. She
seemed transported with my answer, and, conducting me to the
door, conjured me, at parting, to be mindful of my promise. The
same man that had carried me thither waited for me with his ass
to carry me home again; so I mounted the ass, and went straight
home, ordering the man to come to me again in the afternoon at a
certain hour; to secure which, I would not pay him till the time
came. As soon as I arrived at my lodging, my first care was to
order my folks to buy a good lamb and several sorts of cakes,
which I sent by a porter as a present to the lady. When that was
done, I minded my serious affairs till the owner of the ass came;
then I went along with him to the lady's house, and was received
by her with as much joy as before, and entertained with equal

Next morning I took leave, and left her another purse with fifty
pieces of gold. I continued to visit the lady every day, and to
leave her every time a purse of fifty pieces of gold, till the
merchants whom I employed to sell my cloth, and whom I visited
regularly twice a week, owed me nothing: In this way I became
moneyless, and even hopeless of having any more.

In this desperate condition I walked out of my lodging, not
knowing what course to take, and by chance steered towards the
castle, where there was a great crowd of people, to see the
sultan of Egypt. As soon as I came up to them, I wedged in among
the crowd, and by chance happened to stand by a cavalier well
mounted and handsomely clothed, who had upon the bow of his
saddle a bag half open, with a string of green silk hanging out
of it, I clapped my hand into the bag, concluding the silk- twist
might be the string of a purse within the bag: in the mean time,
a porter, with a load of wood upon his back, passed by the other
side of the horse, so near, that the gentleman on horse-* back
was forced to turn his head towards him to avoid being rubbed by
the wood. In that very moment did the devil tempt me; I took the
string in one hand, and with the other laid open the mouth of the
bag, and pulled out the purse so dexterously that nobody
perceived it. The purse was heavy, therefore I did not doubt that
there was gold or silver in it. As soon as the porter had passed,
the cavalier, who probably had some suspicion of what I had done
while his head was turned, presently put his hand to his bag,
and, finding his purse gone, gave me such a blow as knocked me
down. This violence shocked all who saw it; some took hold of the
horse's bridle to stop the gentleman, and inquire what reason he
had to beat me, or how he came to treat a Mussulman after that
rate. Do not you trouble yourselves, said he, with a brisk tone;
I had reason enough for what I did; this fellow is a thief. In
fine, every one took my part, cried he was a liar, and that it
was incredible a young man like me should be guilty of so foul an
action: but while they were holding his horse by the bridle to
favour my escape, unfortunately came by the justiciary judge,
who, seeing such a crowd about the gentleman on horseback and me,
came up and asked what the matter was? Everybody reflected on the
gentleman for treating me so unjustly upon pretence of robbery.
The judge did not give ear to all that was said in my behalf, but
asked the cayalier if he suspected anybody else besides me? The
cavalier told him he did not, and gave his reasons why he
believed his suspicion not to be groundless. Upon this, the judge
ordered his followers to seize and search me, which they
presently did; and finding the purse upon me, exposed it to the
view of all the people. The shame was so great, that I could not
bear it, but swooned away; and in the meantime the judge called
for the purse. When he had got the purse in his hand, he asked
the horseman if it was his, and how much money was in it? The
cavalier knew it to be his own, and assured the judge he had put
twenty sequins into it. Upon that the judge called me before him;
Come, young man, said he, confess the truth. Was it you that took
the gentleman's purse from him? Do not put yourself to the
trouble of torture to extort confession. Then I looked down with
my eyes, thinking within myself, that if I denied the fact, they,
finding the purse about me, would convict me of a lie; so, to
avoid a double punishment, I looked up, and confessed the fact. I
had no sooner made this confession than the judge called people
to witness it, and ordered my hand to be cut off. This hard
sentence was put in execution immediately upon the spot, to the
great regret of all the spectators; nay, I observed by the
cavalier's countenance, that he was moved with pity as much as
the rest. The judge likewise would have ordered my foot to be cut
off, but I begged the cavalier to intercede for my pardon, which
he did, and obtained it. The judge being gone, the cavalier came
up to me, and holding out the purse, I see plainly, said he, that
necessity put you upon an action so disgraceful, and so unworthy
of such a handsome young man as you are. Here, take that fatal
purse, I freely give it you, and am heartily sorry for the
misfortune you have undergone. He then went away; and I being
very weak, by reason of the loss of blood, some of the good
people that lived that way had the kindness to carry me into one
of their houses, and gave me a glass of wine; they likewise
dressed my arm, and wrapped up the dismembered hand in a cloth.

If I had returned to the khan where I lodged, I should not have
found such relief as I wanted; and to offer to go to the young
lady's was running a great hazard, it being likely she would not
look upon me after such an infamous thing had befallen me. I
resolved, however, to put it to the trial; and, to tire out the
crowd that followed me, I turned down several by-streets, and at
last arrived at my lady's, very weak, and so much fatigued, that
I presently threw myself down upon a sofa, keeping my right arm
under my coat, for I took great care to conceal my misfortune.

The lady hearing of my arrival, and that I was not well, came to
me in all haste: My dear soul, said she, what is the matter with
you? Madam, said I, I have got a violent pain in my head. The
lady seemed to be mightily afflicted with my pretended illness,
and asked me to sit down, for I had got up to receive her. Tell
me, said she, how your illness came; the last time I had the
pleasure of seeing you, you was very well; there must be
something else that you conceal from me; pray, let me know what
it is. I stood silent, and, instead of an answer, tears trickled
down my cheeks. I cannot conceive, said she, what it is that
afflicts you. Have I given you any occasion to be uneasy? or do
you come on purpose to tell me you do not love me? It is not
that, madam, said I, fetching a deep sigh; your unjust suspicion
is an addition to my evil. Still I could not think of discovering
to her the true cause. When night came, supper was brought, and
she pressed me to eat; but considering I could only feed myself
with my left hand, I begged to be excused upon the plea of having
no stomach. Your stomach will come to you, said she, if you would
but discover what you so obstinately hide from me. Your
inappetency, without doubt, is only owing to the aversion you
have to a discovery. Alas! madam, said I, I find I must discover
at last. I had no sooner spoken these words than she filled me a
cup of wine: Drink that, said she, it will give you assurance. So
I reached out my left hand, and took the cup. As soon as I took
it, I redoubled my tears and sighs. Why do you sigh and cry so
bitterly? said the lady; and why do you take the cup with your
left hand instead of your right? Ah, madam, said I, excuse me, I
beseech you, I have got a swelling in my right hand. Let me see
that swelling, said she; I will open it. I desired to be excused
upon that head, alleging the tumour was not ripe enough for
opening; and drank the cupful, which was very large. In fine, the
steams of the wine, joined to my weakness and weariness, set me
asleep, and I slept very sound till next morning. In the mean
time, the lady, curious to know what ailment I had in my right
hand, lifted up my coat that covered it, and saw, to her great
astonishment, that it was cut off, and that I had brought it
along with me wrapt in a cloth. She presently apprehended my
reason for declining a discovery, notwithstanding all the
pressing instances she made, and passed the whole night in the
greatest uneasiness upon my disgrace, which she concluded had
been occasioned by the love I bore to her.

When I awaked, I observed by her countenance that she was
extremely grieved. That she might not, however, increase my
uneasiness, she said not one word. She called for jelly broth of
fowl, which she had ordered to be got ready, and made me eat and
drink to recruit my strength. After that, I offered to take leave
of her, but she declared I should not go out of her doors; though
you tell me nothing of the matter, said she, I am persuaded I am
the cause of the misfortune that has befallen you: the grief that
I feel upon that score will quickly make an end of me; but,
before I die, I must do one thing that is designed for your
advantage. She had no sooner said these words, than she called
for a public notary and witnesses, and ordered a writing to be
drawn up, conveying to me her whole estate. After this was done,
and the men despatched, she opened a large trunk, where lay all
the purses I had given her from the commencement of our amours.
There are they all entire, said she; I have not touched one of
them: here, take the key, the trunk is yours. After I had
returned her thanks for her generosity and bounty, What I do for
you, said she, is nothing at all; I shall not be satisfied unless
I die, to show how much I love you. I conjured her, by all the
powers of love, to drop such a fatal resolution; but all my
remonstrances were ineffectual: she was so afflicted to see me
have but one hand, that she sickened and died, after five or six
weeks' illness. After mourning for her death as long as was
decent, I took possession of her estate, a particular account of
which she gave me before she died; and the corn you sold for me
was part of it.

What I have now told you will induce you to excuse me for eating
with my left hand. I am greatly obliged to you for the trouble
you have given yourself on my account. I can never make
sufficient acknowledgment of your fidelity. Since God has still
given me a competent estate, notwithstanding I have spent a great
deal, I beg you to accept of the sum now in your hand as a
present from me. Over and above this, I have a proposal to make
to you, which is this: for as much as, by reason of this fatal
accident, I am obliged to depart from Cairo, I am resolved never
to see it more. So, if you please to accompany me, we shall trade
together as equal partners, and divide the profits.

I thanked the young man, said, the Christian merchant, for the
present he made me; and as to the proposal of travelling with
him, I willingly embraced it, assuring him that his interest
should always be as dear to me as my own. We accordingly get a
day for our departure, and set out upon our travels. We passed
through Syria and Mesopotamia, travelled all over Persia, and,
after stopping at several cities, came at last, sir, to your
metropolis. Some time after our arrival in this place, the young
man having formed a design of returning to Persia, and settling
there, we settled our accounts, and parted very good friends; so
he went from hence, and I continue here at your majesty's
service. This, sir, is the story I had to tell you: does not your
majesty find it yet more surprising than that of the crooked

The sultan of Casgar fell into a passion against the Christian
merchant: you are very bold, said he, to tell me a story so
little worth my hearing, and then to compare it with that of my
jester. Can you flatter yourself so far as to believe that the
trifling adventures of a young rake can make such an impression
upon me as those of my jester? Well, I am resolved to hang you
all four to revenge his death.

This said, the purveyor fell down at the sultan's feet. Sir, said
he, I humbly beseech your majesty to suspend your just wrath, and
hear my story; and if my story appears to your majesty to be
prettier than that of your jester, to pardon us all four. The
sultan having granted his request, the purveyor began his story.


Sir, a person of quality invited me yesterday to his daughter's
wedding; I went accordingly to his house at the hour appointed,
and found there a large company of doctors, ministers of justice,
and others of the best quality in the city. After the ceremony
was over, we had a splendid treat; and, among other things set
upon the table, there was a course with garlic sauce, which was
very delicious and palatable to everybody; but we observed that
one of the guests did not touch it, though it stood just before
him, and thereupon we invited him to do as we did: he conjured
us, however, not to press him upon that head. I will take care,
said he, not to touch any thing that has garlic in it; I remember
well what the tasting of such a thing cost me once before. We
entreated him to tell us what was the occasion of his aversion to
garlic; but before he had time to make answer, Is it thus, said
the master of the house, that you honour my table? This ragoo is
excellent, therefore do not you pretend to be excused from eating
of it; you must do me that favour as well as the rest. Sir, said
the gentleman, who was a Bagdad merchant, I hope you do not think
that I refuse to eat of it out of mistaken nicety; if you will
have me eat of it, I will do so; but upon this condition, that,
after eating of it, I may wash my hands, by your leave, forty
times with alcali[Footnote: This in English is called salt
wort.*], forty times more with the ashes of the same plant, and
forty times again with soap, I hope you will not take it ill that
I stipulate so, as it is in pursuance of an oath I have made
never to taste garlic without observing this rule. The master of
the house would not dispense with the merchant from eating of the
ragoo with garlic, and therefore ordered his servant to get ready
a bason of water together with alcali, the ashes of the same
plant, and soap, that the merchant might wash as often as he
pleased. When every thing was got ready, Now, said he to the
merchant, I hope you will do as we. The merchant, displeased with
the violence that was offered him, reached out his hand to take a
bit, which he put to his mouth trembling, and ate with a
reluctance that surprised us all. But the greatest surprise was,
that he had only four fingers and no thumb, which none of us
observed before, though he had eaten of other dishes. You have
lost your thumb, said the master of the house; how came that
about? It must have been occasioned by some extraordinary
accident, a relation of which will be an agreeable entertainment
to the company. Sir, replied the merchant, I have not a thumb on
either the right or left hand. He then showed us his left hand,
as well as his right. But this is not all, continued he, I have
not a great toe on either of my feet! I hope you will take my
word for it. I was maimed in this manner by an unheard-of
accident, which I am willing to relate to you, if you have the
patience to hear me. The relation will equally astonish, and
affect you with pity; but suffer me to wash my hands first. Upon
this he rose from the table, and, after washing his hands an
hundred and twenty times, took his place again, and thus

You must know, gentlemen, that, in the reign of the caliph Haroun
Alrasehid, my father lived at Bagdad, the place of my nativity,
and was reputed one of the richest merchants in the city; but,
being a man too much addicted to pleasure, one that loved an
irregular life, and neglected his private affairs, instead of
leaving me a plentiful fortune at his death, he left me in such a
condition, that all my economy was scarcely sufficient to clear
his debts. With much ado, however, I paid them all, and, through
industry and care, my little fortune began to assume a smiling

One morning as I opened my shop, a lady mounted upon a mule,
attended by an eunuch and two women slaves, stopped near my
shop-door, and, with the assistance of the eunuch, alighted.
Madam, said the eunuch, I said you would be too soon, you see
there is nobody yet in the bezestein; if you had taken my advice,
you might have saved yourself the trouble of waiting here. The
lady looked around her, and finding there was no shop open but
mine, addressed herself to me, asking leave to sit in my shop
till the rest of the merchants came; of course I could do no less
than return a civil answer, and invite the lady into my shop. She
sat down in my shop, and, observing there was nobody in the whole
bezestein save the eunuch and me, uncovered her face to take the
air; and I must say I never saw any thing so pretty in my
lifetime. I had no sooner a sight of her face than I loved her;
of course I fixed my eyes upon her, and perceived that she was
not displeased; for she gave me a full opportunity to look upon
her, and did not cover her face till she was afraid of being
taken notice of. Having let down her veil, she told me that she
wanted several sorts of the richest and finest stuffs, and asked
me if I had them? Alas! madam, said I, I am but a young man, just
beginning the world, and have not stock enough for such great
concerns; and it is a mortification to me that I have nothing to
show you such as you want: but to save you the trouble of going
from shop to shop, as soon as the merchants come, I will go, if
you please, and fetch from them what you want, with the lowest
prices; and so you may do your business without going any
further. She complied with my proposal, and entered into
discourse, which continued so much the longer, that I still made
her believe that the merchants who could furnish what she wanted
were not yet come.

I was charmed no less with her wit than I had been before with
the beauty of her face; but there was a necessity for denying
myself the pleasure of her conversation: I ran out to seek for
the stuffs she wanted, and after she had pitched upon what she
liked, we struck the price at five thousand drams of coined
silver; so I wrapped up the stuffs in a small bundle, and gave it
to the eunuch, who put it under his arm; after which, she rose
and took leave. I still continued to look after her, till she had
got to the bezestein gate; and mounted her mule again.

The lady had no sooner disappeared than I perceived that love was
the cause of great oversights; it had so engrossed all my
thoughts; that I did not recollect she had gone off without
paying the money; nor had I the consideration to ask who she was,
or where she dwelt. However, I considered that I was accountable
for a large sum to the merchants, who, perhaps, would not have
the patience to stay for their money; so I went to them, and made
the best excuse I could, pretending that I knew the lady; but
came home equally affected with love, and with the burden of such
a heavy debt.

I had desired my creditors to stay eight days for their money,
and, when the eight days were past, they did not fail to dun me;
then I intreated them to give me eight days more, which they
agreed to; and the very next day I saw the lady come to the
bezestein, mounted on her mule, with the same attendants as
before, and exactly at the same hour of the day. She came
straight to my shop. I have made you stay some time, said she,
but here is your money at last; carry it to a banker, and see
that it is all good. The eunuch, who brought me the money, went
along with me to the banker's, and we found it very right. I came
back again, and had the happiness of conversing with the lady
till all the shops in the bezestein were open: though we talked
of ordinary things, she gave them such a turn, that they appeared
new and uncommon, and convinced me that I was not mistaken in
admiring her wit.

As soon as the merchants were come, and had opened their shops, I
carried to the respective people the money due for their stuffs,
and was readily intrusted with more which the lady had desired to
see. In short, the lady took stuffs to the value of an hundred
pieces of gold, and again carried them away without paying for
them: nay, without saying one word, or informing me where she
was. I was astonished when I considered that at this rate she
left me without any security of not being troubled, if she never
came back again. She has paid me, thinks I to myself, a good
round sum, but she leaves me in the lurch for another that runs
much deeper. Surely she cannot be a cheat; it is not possible she
can have any design to inveigle me: the merchants do not know
her, and will all come upon me. In short, my love was not so
powerful as to remove the uneasiness I felt when I reflected upon
all circumstances. A whole month passed before I heard any thing
of the lady again; and during that time the alarm grew higher and
higher every day. The merchants were impatient for their money;
and, to satisfy them, I was even going to sell off all I had,
when the lady returned one morning with the same equipage as
before. Take your weights, said she, and weigh the gold I have
brought you. These words dispelled my fear, and inflamed my love.
Before we told down the money, she asked me several questions,
and particularly if I was married? I made answer, I never was.
Then reaching out the gold to the eunuch, let us have your
interposition, said she, to accommodate our matters: upon which
the eunuch fell a laughing, and, calling me aside, made me weigh
the gold. While I was weighing, the eunuch whispered in my ear, I
know by your eyes that you love this lady, and am surprised to
find you have not the assurance to disclose your love to her: she
loves you more passionately than you do her. Do you imagine that
she has any real occasion for your stuffs? She only makes an
errand to come hither, because you have inspired her with a
violent passion. Do but ask her the question; it will be your
fault if you do not marry her. It is true, said I, I have had a
love for her from the first moment I cast my eyes upon her; but I
did not aspire to the happiness of thinking my love acceptable to
her. I am entirely hers, and shall not fail to retain a grateful
sense of your good offices in that matter. In fine, I made an end
of weighing the gold, and while I was putting it into the bag,
the eunuch turned to the lady, and told her I was satisfied, that
being the word they had both agreed upon between themselves.
Presently after that, the lady rose and took leave; telling me
she would send the eunuch to me, and that I should do what he
directed me to do in her name.

I carried every one of the merchants their money, and waited some
days with impatience for the eunuch. At last he came. I
entertained him very kindly, and asked him how his mistress did?
You are, said he, the happiest lover in the world; she is quite
sick of love for you; she covets extremely to see you; and were
she mistress of her own conduct, would not fail to come to you,
and willingly pass every moment of her life in your company. Her
noble mien and graceful carriage, said I, evinced that she was a
lady beyond the common level. The judgement you have formed upon
that head, said the eunuch, is very just; she is the favourite of
Zobeide, the caliph's lady, who has brought her up from her
infancy, and intrusts her with all her affairs. Having a mind to
marry, she has declared to Zobeide that she has cast her eyes
upon you, and desired her consent. Zobeide told her she agreed to
it, only she had a mind to see you first, in order to judge
whether she had made a good choice: if she had, Zobeide meant to
defray the charges of the wedding. Thus you see your felicity is
certain; since you have pleased the favourite, you will be
equally agreeable to the mistress, who seeks only to oblige her
favourite, and would by no means thwart her inclination. In fine,
all you have to do is to come to the palace. I am sent hither to
call you, so you will please to come to a resolution. My
resolution is formed already, said I; and I am ready to follow
you whithersoever you please to conduct me. Very well, said the
eunuch; but you know that men are not allowed to enter the
ladies' apartments in the palace, and so you must be introduced
with great secrecy: the favourite lady has contrived the matter
very well. Upon your side you are to act your part very
discreetly; for if you do not, your life is at stake.

I gave him repeated assurances of a punctual performance of
whatever should be enjoined me. Then, said he, in the evening you
must be at the mosque built by the caliph's lady on the banks of
the Tigris, and stay there till one comes to call you, I agreed
to what he proposed; and, after passing the day in great
impatience, went in the evening to the prayer that is said in an
hour and an half after sunset in the mosque, and there I staid
after the people were gone. Immediately I saw a boat making up to
the mosque, the rowers of which were all eunuchs, who came on
shore, and put several large trunks into the mosque, and then
retired; only one of them remained, whom I perceived to be the
same eunuch that had all along accompanied the lady, and had been
with me that morning. About the same time, I saw the lady enter
the mosque; and, making up to her, told her I was ready to obey
her orders. Come, said she, we have no time to lose. With that
she opened one of the trunks, and bid me get into it, that being
necessary both for her safety and mine. Fear nothing, added she;
leave the management of the rest to me. I considered that I had
gone too far to look back, and so obeyed her orders; upon which
she locked the trunk. This done, the eunuch who was her
confident, called the other eunuchs who had brought in the
trunks, and ordered them to carry them on board again; after
which the lady and eunuch re-embarked, and the boatmen rowed to
Zobeide's apartment. In the mean time, I reflected very seriously
upon the danger to which I had exposed myself, and made vows and
prayers, though it was then too late. The boat put into the
palace-gate, and the trunks were carried into the apartment of
the officer of the eunuchs, who keeps the key of the ladies'
apartments, and suffers nothing to enter without a narrow
inspection. The officer was then in bed, consequently there was a
necessity for calling him. He was angry that they should break
his rest, and chid the favourite lady severely for coming home so
late: You shall not come off so easily as you think; for, said
he, not one of these trunks shall pass till I have opened every
one of them. He then commanded the eunuchs to bring them before
him, and open them one by one. The first they began with was that
in which I lay; so that I was in the last degree of

The favourite lady, who had the key of the trunk, protested it
should not be opened. You know very well, said she, I bring
nothing hither but what is to serve Zobeide, your mistress and
mine. This trunk, continued she, is filled with rich goods I had
from some merchants lately arrived, besides a number of bottles
of Zemzem water [Footnote: There is a fountain at Mecca, which,
according to the Mahometans, is a spring that God showed to Hagar
after Abraham was obliged to put her away. The water of this
spring is drank by way of devotion, and is sent in presents to
the princes and princesses.] sent from Mecca; if any of these
should happen to break, the goods will be spoiled, and you must
answer for them. Zobeide will take care, I warrant you, to resent
your insolence. In fine, she stood up so tight to the matter,
that the officer did not dare to take upon him to open any of the
trunks. Let me go then, said he, carry them off. Immediately the
lady's apartment was opened, and the trunks were carried in. They
were scarcely got in, when all of a sudden I heard a cry, Here is
the caliph, here comes the caliph. This put me in such a fright,
that I wonder I did not die upon the spot, for it was actually
the caliph. What hast thou got in these trunks? said he to the
favourite. Some stuffs, said she, lately arrived, which your
majesty's lady had a mind to see. Open them, cried he, and let me
see them too. She pretended to excuse herself, alleging that the
stuffs were only proper for ladies, and that by opening them his
lady would be deprived of the pleasure of seeing them first. I
say, open them, cried the caliph; I have a mind to see them, and
shall see them. She still represented that her mistress would be
angry with her if she opened them. No, no, said he, I will engage
she shall not say a word to you for so doing; come, open them, I
cannot stop. There was a necessity of obeying, which gave me such
shocking alarms, that I trembled every time I thought on it. Down
sat the caliph; and the favourite ordered all the trunks to be
brought before him, one after another. Then she opened them; and,
to spin out the time, showed all the beauties of each particular
stuff, thinking thereby to tire out his patience; but her
stratagem did not take. Being as loath as I to have the trunk
where I lay open, she left that till the last. So when all the
rest were viewed, Come, says the caliph, make an end; let us see
what is in that one. I am at a loss to tell you whether I was
dead or alive at that moment, for I little thought of escaping so
great a danger.

When Zobeide's favourite saw that the caliph would needs have the
trunk opened where I lay, As for this trunk, says she, your
majesty will please to dispense with the opening of it; there are
some things in it which I cannot show you unless your lady be by.
Well, well, says the caliph, since it is so, I am satisfied;
order the trunks to be carried away. The word was no sooner
spoken, than the trunks were removed into her chamber, where I
began to come to life again.

As soon as the eunuchs who had brought them were gone, she
presently opened the trunk where I was prisoner. Come out, said
she, go up these stairs that lead to an upper room, and stay
there till I come. The door which led to the stairs she locked
after I was in; and that was no sooner done than the caliph came
and clapped him down upon the very trunk wherein I had been. The
occasion of this visit was a motion of curiosity that did not
respect me. He had a mind to discourse the lady about what she
had seen or heard in the city. So they discoursed together a
pretty while, after which he left her, and retired to his
apartment. When she found the coast clear, she came to the
chamber where I was, and made many apologies for the alarms she
had given me. My uneasiness, said she, was no less than yours;
you cannot well doubt of that, since I have run the same risk
from love to you; perhaps another would not have had the presence
of mind to manage matters so dexterously upon so tender an
occasion; nothing less than the love I had for you could have
inspired me with courage to do it. But come, take heart, now the
danger is over. After some tender discourse between us, she told
me it was time to go to bed, and that she would not fail to
introduce me to Zobeide, her mistress, to-morrow, some hour of
the day; for the caliph never sees her, added she, but at nights.
Heartened by these words, I slept very well; or at least,
whatever interruptions happened were agreeable disquietings,
caused by the hopes of enjoying a lady blessed with such
sparkling wit and beauty.

The next day, before I was introduced to Zobeide, her favourite
instructed me how to behave, naming nearly the same questions as
she put to me, and dictating the answers I was to give. This
done, she carried me into a very magnificent and richly furnished
hall: I had no sooner entered, than twenty female slaves, in rich
and uniform habits, came out of Zobeide's apartment, and placed
themselves very modestly before the throne in two equal rows:
they were followed by twenty other ladies who looked younger, and
were clothed after the same manner, though their habits appeared
somewhat gayer. In the middle of these appeared Zobeide, with a
majestic air, and so loaded with jewels, that she could scarcely
walk. Zobeide then went and sat down on the throne, and the
favourite lady, who had accompanied her, just by her, on her
right hand; the other ladies being placed at some distance on
each side of the throne.

The caliph's lady having sat down, the slaves who came in first
made a sign for me to approach: I advanced between the rows they
had formed, and prostrated myself upon the tapestry under the
princess's feet. She ordered me to rise, and did me the honour to
ask my name, my family, and the condition of my fortune; to all
which I gave her satisfactory answers, as I perceived not only by
her countenance, but by her words. I am very glad, said she, that
my daughter (so she used to call the favourite lady, looking upon
her as such, after the care she had taken of her education) has
made a choice that pleases me; I approve of it, and give consent
to your marriage: I shall give orders myself for what is to be
done in solemnizing it, but I wish her to stay ten davs with me
before the solemnity; and in that time I will speak to the
caliph, and obtain his consent; mean while do you stay here, you
shall be taken care of. Accordingly I staid ten days in the
ladies' apartments, and during that time was deprived of the
pleasure of seeing the favourite lady; but was so well used, by
her orders, that I had no reason to be dissatisfied.

Zobeide told the caliph her resolution of marrying the favourite
lady; and he, leaving to her the liberty of doing upon that head
as she pleased, granted the favourite a considerable sum to help
her fortune. When the ten days were expired, Zobeide ordered the
contract of marriage to be drawn up; and the necessary
preparations being made for the solemnity, the dancers, (both men
and women) were called in, and rejoicings continued in the palace
nine days. The tenth day being appointed for the last ceremony of
the marriage, the favourite lady was conducted to a bath, and I
to another. At night I sat down at table, and had all manner of
rarities served up to me, and, among other things ragoo with
garlic, such as you have now forced me to eat of. This ragoo I
liked so well, that I scarcely touched any other of the dishes.
But such was my unhappiness, that when I rose from the table, I
only wiped my hands instead of washing them well; a piece of
negligence of which I had never before been guilty. Though it was
night, the whole apartment of the ladies was as light as day, by
means of illuminations. Nothing was to be heard in the palace but
music and acclamations of joy. My bride and I were introduced
into a great hall, where we were placed upon two thrones. The
women who attended her made her shift herself several times, and
painted her face with different sorts of colours, according to
the usual custom on wedding- days; and every time she changed her
habit, they exposed her to my view.

After these ceremonies, we were conducted to the wedding- room,
and, as soon as the company retired, I approached to embrace my
mistress, but, instead of answering me with transports, she
shoved me off, and cried out most fearfully; upon which all the
ladies of the apartment came running into the chamber to know
what she cried for; and, for my own part, I was so thunderstruck,
that I stood, without the power of so much as asking what she
meant by it. Dear sister, said they to her, what is the matter?
Let us know it, that we may try to relieve you. Take, said she,
out of my sight that vile fellow. Why, madam, said I, wherein
have I deserved your displeasure? You are a villain, said she,
furiously: what, to eat garlic, and not wash your hands! Do you
think that I would suffer such a filthy fellow to touch me? Down
with him, down with him upon the ground, continued she,
addressing herself to the ladies; and pray let me have a good
bull's pizzle. In short, I was thrown down upon the ground, and
while some held my hands, and others my feet, my wife, who was
presently furnished with a weapon, laid on me most unmercifully,
till I could scarcely breathe: then she said to the ladies, Take
him, send him to the justiciary judge, and let the hand be cut
off with which he fed upon the garlic ragoo. God bless my soul,
cried I, must I be beat, bruised, unmercifully mauled, and, to
complete my affliction, have my hand cut off, for eating of a
ragoo with garlic, and forgetting to wash my hands? What
proportion is there between the punishment and the crime? Plague
on the ragoo, plague on the cook that dressed it, and may he be
equally unhappy that served it up!

All the ladies that were by took pity on me, when they heard the
cutting off of my hand spoken of. Dear madam, dear sister, said
they to the favourite lady, you carry your resentment too far. We
own he is a man quite ignorant of the world, that he does not
observe your quality, and the regards that are due to you; but we
beseech you to overlook and pardon the fault he has committed. I
have not received suitable satisfaction, said she; I will teach
him to know the world, make him bear the sensible marks of his
impertinence, and be cautious hereafter how he tastes a garlic
ragoo without washing his hands. However, they still continued
their solicitations, and fell down at her feet, and kissing her
fair hand, Good madam, said they, in the name of God, moderate
your wrath, and grant the favour we request. She answered never a
word, but got up, and, after throwing out a thousand hard words
against me, walked out of the chamber, with the ladies, leaving
me in inconceivable affliction.

I continued here ten days, without seeing any body but an old
woman-slave who brought me victuals. I asked the old woman what
was become of the favourite lady? She is sick, said the old
woman, of the poisoned smell you infected her with. Why did you
not take care to wash your hands after eating of that cursed
ragoo? Is it possible, thought I to myself, that these ladies can
be so nice and vindictive for so small a fault? In the mean time
I loved my wife, notwithstanding all her cruelty. One day the old
woman told me that my spouse was recovered and gone to bathe, and
would come to see me the next day; so, said she, I would have you
to call up your patience, and endeavour to accommodate yourself
to her humour. Besides, she is a woman of good sense and
discretion, and entirely beloved by all the ladies about
Zobeide's court. Accordingly my wife came next night, and
accosted me thus: You see I am too good in seeing you again,
after the affront you have offered me; but still I cannot stoop
to be reconciled to you, till I have punished you according to
your demerit, in not washing your hands after eating the garlic
ragoo. This said, she called the ladies, who, by her order, threw
me upon the ground, and, after binding me fast, had the barbarity
to cut off my thumbs and great toes with a razor. One of the
ladies applied a certain root to staunch the blood; but by the
bleeding and pain I swooned away. When I came to myself, they
gave me wine to drink to recruit my strength. Ah! madam, said I
to my wife, if ever I eat of garlic ragoo again, I solemnly swear
to wash my hands an hundred and twenty times with the herb
alcali, with the ashes of the same plant, and with soap. Well,
replied my wife, upon that condition I am willing to forget what
is past, and live with you as my husband. This, continued the
Bagdad merchant, addressing himself to the company, is the reason
why I refused to eat of the garlic ragoo now upon the table.

To make an end of the Bagdad merchant's story, the ladies, said
he, applied to my wounds, not only the root I mentioned to you
but likewise some balsam of Mecca, which they were morally
assured was not adulterated, because they had it from the
caliph's own dispensatory; by virtue of that admirable balsam I
was perfectly cured in a few days, and my wife and I lived
together as agreeably as if I had never eaten of the garlic
ragoo. But having been all my lifetime used to the liberty of
ranging abroad, I was very uneasy at being confined to the
caliph's palace, and yet said nothing of it to my wife, from a
fear of displeasing her. She smelt it, however; and wanted
nothing more herself than to get out, for it was gratitude alone
that made her continue with Zobeide. In fine, being a very witty
woman, she represented, in lively terms, to her mistress, the
constraint I was under in not living in the city with my
fellow-companions, as I had always done: this she did so
effectually, that the good princess chose rather to deprive
herself of the pleasure of having her favourite about her, than
not to grant what she desired. Accordingly, about a month after
our marriage, my wife came into my room with several eunuchs,
each carrying a bag of silver. When the eunuchs were gone, You
never told me, said she, that you were uneasy in being confined
to court, but I perceived it very well, and have happily found
means to make you contented. My mistress Zobeide gives us leave
to go out of the palace, and here are fifty thousand sequins, of
which she has made us a present, in order to enable us to live
comfortable in the city. Take ten thousand of them, and go and
buy us a house, I soon purchased a house; and, after furnishing
it richly, we went and lived in it, and kept a great many slaves
of both sexes, with a very pretty equipage. In short, we began to
live in a very agreeable manner, which did not last long, for at
a year's end my wife fell sick and died. I might have married
again, and lived honourably at Bagdad; but ambition to see the
world put me upon other thoughts. I sold my house, and, after
buying up several sorts of goods, went with a caravan to Persia;
from Persia I travelled to Samarcande, and from thence hither.

This, said the purveyor to the sultan of Casgar, is the story
that the Bagdad merchant told in a company where I was yesterday.
This story, said the sultan, has something extraordinary in it,
but it does not come near that of my little Hunchback. Then the
jewish physician prostrated himself before the sultan's throne,
and rising again, addressed himself to that prince in the
following manner: Sir, if you will be so good as to hear me, I
flatter myself you will be pleased with a story I have to tell
you. Well spoken, said the sultan; but if it is not more
surprising than that of little Hunch-back, do not you expect to
live. The physician, finding the sultan of Casgar disposed to
hear him, gave the following relation:


Sir, when I was a student of physic, and just beginning the
practice of that noble profession with some reputation, a
man-slave called me to see a patient in the city governor's
family. I went accordingly, and was carried into a room, where I
found a very handsome young man mightily cast down with his
condition: I saluted him, and sat down by him, but he made no
return to my compliments, except by a sign with his eyes that he
heard me and thanked me. Pray, sir, said I, give me your hand,
that I may feel your pulse. But, instead of stretching out his
right, he gave me his left hand, at which I was extremely
surprised. This, said I to myself, is a gross piece of ignorance,
not to know that people present their right hand, and not their
left, to a physician. However, I felt his pulse, wrote him a
receipt, and took leave.

I continued my visits for nine days, and every time I felt his
pulse he still gave me the left hand: on the tenth day he seemed
to be pretty well, and so I prescribed nothing for him but
bathing. The governor of Damascus, who was by, did, in testimony
of his being well satisfied with my service, invest me with a
very rich robe, saying, he made me a physician of the city
hospital, and physician in ordinary to his house, where I might
freely eat at his table when I pleased. The young man likewise
showed me many civilities, and asked me to accompany him to the
bath: accordingly we went together; and when his attendants had
undressed him, I perceived he wanted the right hand, and that it
had not been long cut off, which had been the occasion of his
distemper, though concealed from me; for while the people about
him were applying proper medicines externally, they had called me
to prevent the ill consequences of the fever he was then in. I
was very much surprised and concerned on seeing his misfortune,
which he observed by my countenance. Doctor, cried he, do not be
astonished to see that my hand is cut off; some day or other I
will tell you the occasion of it; and in that relation you will
be entertained with very surprising adventures.

After bathing, we sat down and ate; and after we had some other
discourse together, he asked me if it would be any prejudice to
his health, if he went to take a walk out of town in the
governor's garden? I made answer, it would be so far from that,
that it would benefit his health. Since it is so, said he, if you
would let me have your company, I will tell you the history of my
adventures, I replied, I was at his command for all that day.
Upon which he presently called his servants, to bring something
for a collation; and so we went to the governor's garden. There
we took two or three turns, and then sat down upon a carpet that
his servants had spread under a tree, which gave a very pleasant
shade. After we were set, the young man gave his history in the
following terms: I was born, said he, at Moussol, and come of one
of the most considerable families in the city. My father was the
eldest of ten brothers that were all alive, and all married, when
my grandfather died. All the brothers were childless but my
father, and he had never a child but me. He took particular care
of my education, and made me learn every thing that was proper
for a child of my quality.

When I was grown pretty tall, and beginning to keep company with
the world, I happened one Friday to be at noon prayers with my
father and my uncles, in the great mosque at Moussol; and after
prayers were over, the rest of the company going away, my father
and my uncles continued sitting upon the best tapestry in the
mosque, and I sat down by them. They discoursed of several
things, but they fell insensibly, I do not know how, upon the
subject of voyages. They extolled the beauties and peculiar
rarities of some kingdoms, and of their principal cities. But one
of my uncles said, that, according to the uniform report of an
infinite number of voyagers, there was not in the world a
pleasanter country than Egypt, nor river than the Nile; and the
account he gave of them infused into me such a charming idea of
them, that, from that very moment, I had a desire to travel.
Whatever my other uncles said, by way of preference to Bagdad and
the Tigris, in calling Bagdad the true residence of the Mussulman
religion, and the metropolis of all the cities in the earth, all
this made no impression upon me. My father joined in his opinion
with those who had spoken on the behalf of Egypt, which gave me a
great deal of joy. Say what you will, said he, he that has not
seen Egypt, has not seen the greatest rarity in the world. All
the land there is golden, I mean, it is so fertile that it
enriches its inhabitants: all the women of that country are
charming, either in their beauty or in their agreeable carriage.
If you speak of the Nile, pray where is there a more admirable
river? What water was ever lighter or more delicious? The very
slime it carries along in its overflowing fattens a thousand
times more than other countries that are cultivated with great
labour. Do but mind what a poet said of the Egyptians when lie
was obliged to depart Egypt: 'Your Nile loads you with good
offices every day; it is for you only that it travels so far.
Alas! in removing from you, my tears are going to run as
abundantly as its water; you are to continue in the enjoyment of
its sweetness, while I am condemned to rob myself of it against
my will.' If you look, added he, towards the island that is
formed by the two great branches of the Nile, what variety of
verdure have you there? What enamel of all sorts of flowers? What
a prodigious number of cities, villages, canals, and a thousand
other agreeable objects? If you cast your eyes on the other side,
steering up towards Ethiopia, how many other objects of
admiration? I cannot compare the verdure of so many plains,
watered with the different canals of the island, better than to
sparkling emeralds set in silver. Is not Grand Cairo the largest,
the most populous, and the richest city in the universe? What a
prodigious number of magnificent edifices, both public and
private! If you view the pyramids, you will be seized with
astonishment: you will turn stiff and immoveable at the sight of
these masses of stone of an extravagant thickness, which rise to
the skies: and you will be obliged to confess, that the Pharaohs,
who employed such riches, and so many men in building them, must
have surpassed all the monarchs that have appeared since, not
only in Egypt, but all the world over, in magnificence and
invention; so transcendent are the monuments they have left
worthy of their memory; monuments so ancient, that the learned
cannot agree as to the time of their erection; and yet such as
last to this day, and will last while ages are. I silently pass
over the maritime cities in the kingdom of Egypt, such as
Damietta, Rosetta, Alexandria, &c. where the Lord knows how many
nations come for a thousand sorts of grain, seeds, cloth, and an
infinite number of other things, calculated for the conveniency
and the delight of men. What I speak of I have some occasion to
know.  I spent some years of my youth there, which, as long as I
live, I shall always reckon the most agreeable part of my life.

My uncles had no answer to give my father, and agreed to all he
had said of the Nile, of Cairo, and of the whole kingdom of
Egypt; as for my own part, I was so taken with it, that I had
never a wink of sleep that night.  Soon after, my uncles declared
themselves how much they were touched with my father's discourse.
They made a proposal to him that they should travel all together
into Egypt. He accepted of the proposal; and, being rich
merchants, they resolved to carry with them such goods as would
go off there. I came to know that they were making preparations
for their departure; and thereupon went to my father, and begged
of him, with tears in my eyes, that he would suffer me to go
along with him, and allow me some stock of goods to trade with by
myself; You are too young yet, said my father, to travel into
Egypt; the fatigue is too great for you; and, besides, I am sure
you will come off a loser in your traffic. However, these words
did not cure me of the eager desire I had to travel. I made use
of my uncle's interest with my father, who at last granted me
leave to go as far as Damascus, where they would drop me, till
they went through their travels into Egypt. The city of Damascus,
said my father, may likewise glory in its beauties, and it is
very well if my son get leave to go so far. Though my curiosity
to see Egypt was very pressing, I considered he was my father,
submitted to his will, and set out from Moussol with him and my
uncles. We travelled through Mesopotamia, passed the Euphrates,
and arrived at Halep, where we staid some days. From thence we
went to Damascus, the first sight of which was a very agreeable
surprise to me. We lodged in one khan; and I had the view of a
city that was large, populous, full of fine people, and very well
fortified. We employed some days in walking up and down the
delicious gardens that surrounded it; and we all agreed that
Damascus was justly said to be seated in a paradise. At last my
uncles thought of pursuing their journey; but took care, before
they went, to seil my goods, which they did so advantageously for
me, that I got five hundred per cent. This sale fetched me so
considerable a sum, that I was transported to see myself
possessor of it.

My father and my uncles left me in Damascus, and pursued their
journey. After their departure, I used mighty caution not to lay
out my money idly; but, at the same time, I took a stately house,
all of marble, adorned with pictures of gold, and a pure branched
work, and excellent water-works. I furnished it, not so richly
indeed as the magnificence of the place deserved, but at least
handsomely enough for a young man of my condition. It had
formerly belonged to one of the principal lords of the city,
whose name was Modoun Adalraham; but then was the property of a
rich jewel merchant, to whom I paid for it only two
sherriffs[Footnote: A sherriff is the same with a sequin. This
word is in the ancient authors.] a month. I had a good large
number of domestics, and lived honourably; sometimes I gave
entertainments to such people as I was acquainted with, and
sometimes I went and was treated by them. Thus did i spend my
time at Damascus, waiting for my father's return; no passion
disturbed my repose, and my only employment was conversing with
people of credit.

One day as I sat taking the cool air at my gate, a very fine lady
came to me, and asked if I did not sell stuffs? but had no sooner
spoken the words than she went into my house. When I saw that the
lady had gone into the house, I rose, and having shut the gate,
carried her into a hall, and prayed her to sit down. Madam, said
I, I have had stuffs that were fit to be shown to you, but I have
them not now, for which I am very sorry. She took off the veil
that covered her face, and made a beauty sparkle in my eyes,
which affected me with such emotions as I never felt before. I
have no occasion for stuffs, said she; I only come to see you,
and pass the evening with you: If you are pleased with it, all I
ask of you is a light collation.

Transported with such happy luck, I ordered the folks to bring us
several sorts of fruits, and some bottles of wine, They served us
nimbly; and we ate and drank, and made merry, till midnight. In
short, I had not passed a night so agreeably all the while I had
been there. Next morning I would have put ten sherriffs in the
lady's hands, but she refused them: I am not come to see you,
said she, from a design of interest; you affront me: I am so far
from receiving money, that I desire you to take money of me, or
else I will see you no more. In speaking this, she put her hand
into her purse, took out ten sherriffs, and forced me to take
them, saying, You may expect me three days hence after sunset.
Then she took leave of me, and I felt that when she went, she
carried my heart along with her.

She did not fail to return at the appointed hour three days
after; and I did not fail to receive her with all the joy of a
person that waited impatiently for her arrival. The evening and
night we spent as before; and next day at parting, she promised
to return the third day after. She did not go, however, without
forcing me to take ten sherriffs more.

She returned a third time; and, at that interview, when we were
both warm with wine, she spoke thus: My dear heart, what do you
think of me? Am I not handsome and agreeable? Madam, said I, all
the marks of love with which I entertain you ought to persuade
you that I love you: I am charmed with seeing you, and more so in
enjoying you. You are my queen, my sultaness; in you lies all the
felicity of my life. Ah, sir, replied she, I am sure you would
speak otherwise, if you saw a certain lady of my acquaintance
that is younger and handsomer: she is a lady of such a pleasant
jocund temper as would make the most melancholy person merry. I
must bring her hither: I spoke of you to her, and, from the
account I have given of you, she dies of desire to see you. She
entreated me to gain her that pleasure, but I did not dare to
humour her without speaking to you beforehand. Madam, said I, you
shall do what you please; but whatever you may say of your
friend, I defy all her charms to tear my heart from you, to whom
it is so inviolably tied, that nothing can disengage it. Do not
be too positive, said she; I now tell you I am about to put your
heart to a strange trial.

We staid together all night, and next morning at parting, instead
of ten sherriffs, she gave me fifteen, which I was forced to
accept. Remember, said she, that in two days you are to have a
new guest; pray take care to give her a good reception: we come
at the usual hour after sunset. I took care to have my hall in
great order, and a nice collation prepared against they came. I
waited for the two ladies with impatience, and at last they
arrived. They both unveiled themselves, and as I had been
surprised with the beauty of the first, I had reason to be much
more so when I saw her friend: she had regular features, a lively
complexion, and such sparkling eyes that I could hardly bear
their splendour, I thanked her for the honour she did me, and
entreated her to excuse me if I did not give her the reception
she deserved. No compliments said she; it should be my part to
make them to you for allowing my friend to bring me hither. But
since you are pleased to suffer it, let us lay aside all
ceremony, and think of nothing but making merry.

As soon as the ladies arrived, the collation was served up, and
we sat down to supper. I sat opposite to the stranger lady, and
she never left off looking upon me with a smile: I could not
resist her conquering eyes, and she made herself mistress of my
heart with such force, that I had not power to offer opposition.
But, by inspiring me, she took fire herself, and was equally
touched, and was so far from showing any thing of constraint in
her carriage, that she told me many sensible moving things. The
other lady did nothing at first but laugh at us. I told you, said
she, addressing herself to me, you would find my friend full of
charms; and I perceive you have already violated the oath you
made of being faithful to me. Madam, said I, laughing as well as
she, you would have reason to complain of me, if I were wanting
in civility to a lady whom you brought hither, and one whom you
are fond of; you might then upbraid me, both of you, for not
knowing the measures of hospitality and entertainment.

We continued to drink on; but as the wine grew warm in our
stomachs, the stranger lady and I ogled one another with so
little reserve, that her friend grew jealous, and quickly gave us
a dismal proof of her jealousy. She rose from the table, and went
out, saying she would be with us presently again; but a few
moments after, the lady that staid with me changed her
countenance, fell into violent convulsions, and, in fine, expired
in my arms, while I was calling to the people to come and assist
me in relieving her. Immediately I went out, and asked for the
other lady; and my people told me she had opened the street-door,
and gone out of doors. Then I suspected she had been the cause of
her friend's death. In fine, she had the dexterity and the malice
to put some strong poison into the last glass, which she gave her
out of her own hand. I was afflicted to the last degree with the
accident. What shall I do? thinks I within myself: What will
become of me? I thought there was no time to lose, and so, it
being then moon-light, made my servants quietly take up a great
piece of marble, with which the yard of my house was paved; under
that I made them dig a hole presently, and there inter the corpse
of the young lady. After replacing the stone, I put on a
travelling suit, and took what silver I had; and, having locked
up every thing, affixed my own seal to the door of my house. This
done, I went to seek for the jewel merchant, my landlord, paid
him what rent I owed, with a year's rent more; and giving him the
key, prayed him to keep it for me: a very urgent affair, said I,
obliges me to be absent for some time; I am under the necessity
of going to find out my uncles at Cairo. I took my leave of him,
and that very moment mounted my horse, and set out with my

I had a good journey, and arrived at Cairo without any ill
accident. There I met with my uncles, who were much surprised to
see me. To excuse myself, I pretended that I was tired staying
for them; and, hearing nothing of them, was so uneasy that I
could not be satisfied without coming to Cairo. They received me
very kindly, and promised my father should not be angry with me
for leaving Damascus without his permission. I lodged in the same
khan with them, and saw all the curiosities of Cairo. Having
finished their traffic, they began to speak of returning to
Moussol, and to make preparations for their departure. But I,
having yet a mind to see something in Egypt, left my uncles, and
went to lodge at a great distance from the khan, and did not
appear till they were gone. They had sought for me all over the
city; but, not finding me, they judged the remorse of having come
to Egypt without my father's consent, had induced me to return to
Damascus, without saying any thing to them. So they began their
journey, expecting to find me at Damascus, and there to take me

I remained at Cairo, after their departure, three years, to give
full satisfaction to the curiosity I had of seeing all the
wonders of Egypt, During that time, I took care to send money to
the jewel-merchant, ordering him to keep my house for me, for I
had a design to return to Damascus, and stay there for some
years. I had no adventure at Cairo worthy of your hearing; but
doubtless you will be surprised at that I met with after my
return to Damascus. On my arrival in this place, I went to the
jewel-merchant's house, who received me joyfully, and went along
with me to my house, to show me that nobody had entered it whilst
I was absent. The seal was still entire upon the lock; and, when
I went in, I found every thing in the same order in which I left

In sweeping and cleaning out my hall, where I had used to eat,
one of my servants found a gold chain necklace, with ten very
large and very perfect pearls placed upon it at certain
distances. He brought it to me, and I knew it to be the same I
had seen upon the lady's neck that was poisoned; and concluded it
had broken off, and fallen without my perceiving it. I could not
look upon it without shedding tears, when I called to mind the
lovely creature I had seen die in so fatal a manner; so I wrapped
it up, and put it in my bosom.

I passed some days to work off the fatigues of my voyage; after
which I began to visit my former acquaintances. I abandoned
myself to all manner of pleasure, insensibly squandered away all
my money, and in this condition, instead of selling my moveables,
resolved to part with my necklace, but had so little skill in
pearls, that I took my measures very ill.

I went to the bezestein, where I called a crier aside, and,
showing him the necklace, told him I had a mind to sell it, and
desired him to show it to the principal jewellers. The crier was
surprised to see such an ornament: What a pretty thing it is!
tried he, staring upon it with admiration, never did our
merchants see any thing so rich; I am sure I shall oblige them by
showing it; and you need not doubt they will set a high price
upon it from emulation. He carried me to a shop, which proved to
be my landlord's: Tarry here, says the crier; I will return
presently, and bring you an answer.

While he was running about to show the necklace, I sat with the
jeweller, who was glad to see me; and we discoursed on common
subjects. The crier returned, and calling me aside, instead of
telling me that the necklace was valued at two thousand
sherriffs, he assured me nobody would give me more than fifty.
The reason is, added he, the pearls are false; so see if you can
part with it at that price. I took the crier to be an honest
fellow; and wanting money, Go, said I, I trust to what you say,
and to those who know better than I; deliver it to them, and
bring me the money immediately.

The crier had been ordered to offer me fifty sherriffs by one of
the richest jewellers in town, who had made that offer only to
sound me, and try if I was acquainted with the value of the goods
which I exposed to sale. He had no sooner received my answer,
than he carried the crier to the justiciary judge; and showing
him the necklace, Sir, said he, here is a necklace that was
stolen from me, and the thief, under the character of a merchant,
has had the impudence to offer it to sale, and is this minute in
the bezestein. He is willing to take fifty sherriffs for a
necklace that is worth two thousand, which is a plain argument
that it is stolen.

The judge seat immediately to seize me, and, on coming before
him, he asked me if the necklace in his hand was not the one I
had exposed to sale in the bezestein? I told him it was. Is it
true, said he, that you are willing to deliver it for fifty
sherriffs? I answered in the affirmative. Well, said he, in a
scoffing way, give him the bastinado; he will quickly tell us,
with all his fine merchant's clothes, that he is only a downright
thief; let him be beaten till he confesses. The violence of the
blows made me tell a lie: I confessed, though it was not true,
that I had stolen the necklace, and presently the judge ordered
my hand to be cut off.

This made a great noise in the bezestein, and I was scarcely
returned to my house, when my landlord came. My son, said, he,
you seem to be a young man well educated, and of good sense; how
is it possible that you could be guilty of such an unworthy
action? You gave me an account of your estate yourself, and I do
not doubt the correctness of it. Why did you not ask money of me,
and I would have lent it you? Since, however, the thing has
happened, I cannot allow you to lodge longer in my house; you
must look out for other lodgings. I was extremely troubled, and
entreated the jeweller, with tears in my eyes, to let me stay
three days longer in, his house, which he granted.

Alas! said I to myself, this affront is insufferable; how shall I
dare to return to Moussol? Nothing will persuade his father that
I am innocent.

Three hours after this fatal accident, my house was assaulted by
the judge's officers, accompanied by my landlord and the merchant
who had falsely accused me of having stolen the necklace. I asked
them what brought them there? But, instead of giving me an
answer, they bound me, calling me a thousand rogues, and told me
that the necklace belonged to the governor of Damascus, who had
lost it about three years ago, and whose daughter had not been
heard of since. Conceive my thoughts when I heard this news.
However, I called all my resolution about me: I will tell, thinks
I, the governor the truth; and so it will lie at his door either
to put me to death, or to pardon me.

When I was brought before him, I observed he looked upon me with
an eye of compassion, from whence I prophesied good things. He
ordered me to be untied, and addressing himself to the jeweller
who accused me, and to my landlord, Is this the man, said he, who
sold the pearl necklace? They had no sooner answered yes, than he
said, I am sure he did not steal the necklace, and I am much
astonished at the injustice that has been done him. These words
giving me courage, Sir, said I, I do assure you that I am really
innocent, and am likewise persuaded that the necklace never did
belong to my accuser, whose horrible perfidiousness is the cause
of my unjust treatment. It is true, I made a confession as if I
had stolen it; but this was contrary to my conscience, through
the force of torture, and for another reason that I am ready to
tell you, if you will be so good as hear me. I know enough of it
already, replied the governor, to do you one part of the justice
that is due to you: take from hence, continued he, the false
accuser, and let him undergo the same punishment which he caused
to be inflicted on this young man, whose innocence is known to

The governor's orders were immediately put in execution, and the
jeweller was punished according to his demerit. Then the
governor, having ordered all the company to withdraw, said to me,
My child, tell me without fear how this necklace fell into your
hands; conceal nothing of the matter from me. Then I told him
plainly all that had passed, and declared I had chosen rather to
pass for a thief, than to reveal that tragical adventure. Good
God! said the governor, thy judgments are incomprehensible, and
we ought to submit to them without murmuring. I receive, with an
entire submission, the stroke thou hast been pleased to inflict
upon me. Then directing his discourse to me, My child, said he,
having now heard the cause of your disgrace, for which I am much
concerned, I will give you an account of the disgrace that befel
me. Know, then, that I am the father of those two young ladies of
whom you were just speaking. I know that the first lady, who had
the impudence to come to your house, was my eldest daughter. I
had given her in marriage to one of her cousins, my own brother's
son, at Cairo. Her husband died, and she returned home corrupted
with all manner of wickedness, which she had learned in Egypt.
Before I took her home, her younger sister, who died in that
deplorable manner in your arms, was a very prudent young woman,
and had never given me any occasion to complain of her conduct;
but, after that, the eldest sister grew very intimate with her,
and insensibly made her as wicked as herself.

The day after the death of the youngest, not finding her at
table, I asked her eldest sister what was become of her? But she,
instead of answering, fell a-crying bitterly, from which I formed
a fatal presage. I pressed her to inform me of what I asked her.
My father, said she, with sobs, I can tell you no more than that
my sister put on her best clothes yesterday, and her fine
necklace, and went abroad, and has not been heard of since. I
made search of my daughter all over the town, but could learn
nothing of her unhappy fate. In the mean time, the eldest, who
doubtless repented of her jealous fury, very much bewailed the
death of her sister, and denied herself all manner of food, and
so put an end to her deplorable days.

Such, continued the governor, is the state of mankind; such are
the unlucky accidents to which they are exposed; however, my
child, added he, since we are both of us equally unfortunate, let
us unite our sorrow, and not abandon one another. I give you in
marriage a third daughter I have still left; she is younger than
her sisters, and imitates their conduct in no manner of way;
besides, she is handsomer than they were, and I assure you is of
a humour fitted to make you happy: you shall have no other house
but mine; and, after my death, you and she shall be my heirs.
Sir, said I, I am ashamed of all your favours, and shall never be
able to make a sufficient acknowledgment. That is enough, said
he, interrupting me; let us not waste time in idle words. He then
called for witnesses, ordered the contract of marriage to be
drawn, and I married his daughter without further ceremony.

He was not satisfied with punishing the jeweller who had falsely
accused me, but confiscated for my use all his goods, which were
very considerable. As for the rest, since you have been called to
the governor's house, you have seen what respect they pay me
there. I must tell you further, that a man, who was sent by my
uncles to Egypt on purpose to inquire for me there, passing
through this city, found me out, and came last night, and
delivered me a letter from them. They gave me notice of my
father's death, and invited me to come and take possession of his
estate at Moussol; but as the alliance and friendship of the
governor has fixed me with him, and will not suffer me to remove
from him, I have sent back the express, with an order which will
secure to me what is my due. Now, after what you have heard, I
hope you will pardon my incivility, during the course of my
illness, in giving you my left hand.

This, said the Jewish physician, is the story I heard from the
young man of Moussol. I continued at Damascus as long as the
governor lived; after his death, being in the flower of my age, I
had the curiosity to travel. Accordingly, I went over Persia to
the Indies, and came at last to settle in your capital, where I
practise physic with reputation and honour.

The sultan of Casgar was pretty well pleased with this last
story. I must say, said he to the Jew, your story is very odd;
but I declare freely, that little Humph's is yet more
extraordinary, and much more comical; therefore yon are not to
expect that I will give you your life any more than the rest; I
will hang you all four. Pray, sir, stay a minute, said the
tailor; and then prostrating himself at the sultan's feet. Since
your majesty loves pleasant stories, I have one to tell you that
is very comical. Well, I will hear thee too, said the sultan: but
do not flatter thyself that I will suffer thee to live, unless
thou tellest me some adventure that is yet more diverting than
that of the hump-bucked man. Upon this the tailor, as if he had
been sure of his project, spoke very briskly to the following

                 THE STORY TOLD BY THE TAILOR.

A citizen of this city did me the honour, two days ago, to invite
me to a treat, which he was to give to his friends yesterday
morning. Accordingly, I went pretty early, and found twenty
persons waiting.

The master of the house was gone out upon some business, but in a
very little time came home, and brought with him a young man, a
stranger, well dressed, and very handsome, but lame. When he came
in, we all rose, and, out of respect to the master of the house,
invited the young gentleman to sit down with us upon the sofa. He
was going to sit down; but all on a sudden, spying a barber in
our company, he flew backwards, and made towards the door. The
master of the house being surprised, stopped him: Where are you
going? said he; I brought you along with me to do me the honour
of being my guest, and you are no sooner got into my house than
you run away again. Sir, said the young man, for God's sake do
not stop me, let me go; I cannot, without horror, look upon that
abominable barber; though he was born in a country where all the
natives are whites, he resembles an Ethiopian; and when all is
come to all, his soul is yet blacker, and yet more horrible than
his face.

We were, continued the tailor, surprised to hear the young man
speak so, and began to have a very bad opinion of the barber,
without knowing what ground the young man had for what he said.
Nay, we protested we would not suffer any one to remain in our
company who bore so horrid a character. The master of the house
entreated the stranger to tell us what reason he had for hating
the barber. Gentlemen, said the young man, you must know that
this cursed barber is the cause of my being lame, and of the most
cruel accident that any one can imagine: for this reason, I have
made an oath to avoid every place where he dwells. It was for
this reason that I left Bagdad, where he then was, and travelled
so far to settle in this city, in the heart of Great Tartary, a
place where I flattered myself I should never see him; and now,
after all, contrary to my expectations, I find him here. This
obliges me, gentlemen, against my will, to deprive myself of the
honour of being merry with you. This very day I take leave of
your town, and will go, if possible, to hide me from him. This
said, he would have left us, but the master entreated him to
stop, and tell the cause of his aversion to the barber, who all
this while looked down, and said nothing. We joined with the
master of the house in requesting him to stay; and at last the
young man, yielding to our instances, sat down upon the sofa;
and, after turning his back to the barber, that he might not see
him, gave us the following account.

My father's quality might have entitled him to the highest posts
in the city of Bagdad, but he always preferred a quiet life to
any honours he might deserve. I was his only child; and, when he
died, I was already educated, and of age to dispose of the
plentiful fortune he had left me, which I did not squander away
foolishly, but applied to such uses, that every body respected
me. I had never been in love, and was so far from being sensible
of that passion, that I acknowledge, perhaps to my shame, that I
cautiously avoided the conversation of women. One day, walking in
the streets, I saw a great company of ladies before me, and, that
I might not meet them, turned down a narrow lane just by, and sat
down upon a bench by a door. I sat over against a window, where
stood a pot with pretty flowers; and I had my eyes fixed upon
this, when, all on a sudden, the window opened, and a young lady
appeared, whose beauty was dazzling. Immediately she cast her
eyes upon me; and, in watering the flower-pot with a hand whiter
than alabaster, looked upon me with a smile that inspired me with
as much love for her as I had formerly an aversion for all women.
After having watered all her flowers, and darting upon me a
glance full of charms that quite pierced my heart, she shut up
the window again, and so left me in inconceivable trouble and

I had dwelt upon these thoughts long enough, had not a noise in
the streets brought me to myself: alarmed thus, I turned my head
in a rising posture, and saw it was the upper cadi of the city,
mounted on a mule, and attended by five or six servants. He
alighted at the door of the house where the young lady had opened
the window, and went in there; so I concluded he was the young
lady's father.

I went home in a different sort of humour from that in which I
came, with a passion which was the mere violent as I had never
felt before its assaults. In fine, I went to bed in a violent
fever, at which all the family was greatly concerned. My
relations, who had a great love for me, were so alarmed and moved
at my sudden disorder, that they came about me, and importuned me
to know the cause, which I took care not to reveal to them. My
silence created an uneasiness which the physicians could not
dispel, because they knew nothing of my distemper, and rather
inflamed than repaired it, by the medicines they exhibited. My
relations began to despair of my life, when a certain old lady of
our acquaintance, learning my illness, came to see me. She
considered and examined every thing with great attention, and
dived, I do not know how, into the real cause of my illness. Then
she took my relations aside, and desired they would retire from
the room. When the room was clear, she sat down on the side of my
bed: My child, said she, you are very obstinate in concealing
hitherto the cause of your illness; but you have no occasion to
reveal it to me, I have experience enough to penetrate into a
secret; you will not surely disown that it is love that makes you
sick. I can find a way to cure you, if you but let me know who
the happy lady is that could move a heart so insensible as yours;
for you have the name of a woman-hater, and I was not the last
that perceived you to be of that temper; but, in short, what I
foresaw has just come to pass, and am now glad of the opportunity
to employ my talents in bringing you out of pain.

The old lady, having talked to me in this fashion, paused,
expecting my answer; but, though what she had said made a strong
impression upon me, I durst not lay open to her the bottom of my
heart; I only turned to her, and fetched a deep sigh without
saying any thing. Is it bashfulness, said she, that keeps you
from speaking? or is it want of confidence in me? Do not doubt
the effect of my promise. I could mention to you an infinite
number of young men of your acquaintance, that have been in the
same condition with you, and have received relief from me. In
fine, the good lady told me so many things more, that I broke
silence, declared to her my evil, pointed out to her the place
where I had seen the object which caused it, and unravelled all
the circumstances of my adventure. If you succeed, said I, and
procure me the felicity of seeing that charming beauty, and
revealing to her the passion with which I burn for her, you may
depend upon it I will be grateful. My son, said the old woman, I
know the lady you speak of; she is, as you judged right, the
daughter of the first cadi of the city: I think it no wonder that
you are in love with her; she is the handsomest, comeliest lady
in Bagdad; but what I most boggle at is, that she is very proud
and of difficult access. You see how strict our judges are in
enjoining the punctual observance of the severe laws that lay
women under such a burdensome constraint; and they are yet more
strict in the observation of their own families: nay, the cadi
you saw is more rigid than all the other magistrates put
together. They are always preaching to their daughters what a
heinous crime it is to show themselves to men; and by this means
the girls themselves are so prepossessed with the notion, that
they make no other use of their own eyes than to conduct them
along the streets when necessity obliges them to go abroad. I do
not say absolutely that the cadi's daughter is of that humour;
but I still fear to meet with as great obstacles on her side as
on her father's. Would to God you had loved some other lady, then
I had not had so many difficulties to surmount. However, I shall
employ all my wits to compass the thing; but time is required. In
the mean time, take heart, and trust to me.

The old woman took leave; and as I weighed within myself all the
obstacles she had been talking of, the fear of her not succeeding
inflamed my illness. Next day she came again, and I read in her
countenance that she had no favourable news to impart. She spoke
thus: My child, I was not mistaken in the matter; I have somewhat
else to conquer besides the vigilance of a father; you love an
indifferent, insensible girl, who takes pleasure in making those
to burn with love that suffer themselves to be charmed by her;
when she has once gained that point, she will not deign them the
least comfort. She heard me with pleasure, when I spoke of
nothing but the torment she had made you undergo; but I had no
sooner requested her to allow you to see, and converse with her,
than, with a terrible look, You are very bold, said she, to make
such a proposal to me; I discharge you ever to see me again with
such discourse in your mouth.

Do not let this cast you down, continued she, I am not easily
disheartened; and if your patience does but hold out, I am
hopeful I shall compass my end. To shorten my story, said the
young man, this good procuress made several attempts on my behalf
with the proud enemy of my rest. The fret I thereby underwent
inflamed my distemper to that degree that my physicians gave me
quite over; so that I was looked on as a dead man, when the old
woman came to give me life.

That nobody might hear what was said, she whispered in my ear,
Remember now you owe me a present for the good news I bring you.
These words produced a marvellous effect; I raised myself to sit
up in the bed, and with transports made answer, You shall not be
without a present: but what are the news you bring me? Dear sir,
said she, you shall not die yet: I shall speedily have the
pleasure to see you in perfect health, and very well satisfied
with me. Yesterday being Monday, I went to see the lady you love,
and found her in very good humour. I put on a sad countenance,
and fetched many deep sighs, and began to squeeze out some tears:
My good mother, said she, what is the matter with you? Why are
you so cast down? Alas, my dear and honourable lady, said I, I
have been just now with the young gentleman I spoke to you of the
other day; his business is done; he is giving up his life for the
love of you; it is a great injury, I assure you, and there is a
great deal of cruelty on your side. I am at a loss to know,
replied she, how you suppose me to be the cause of his death. How
can I have contributed to it? How, replied I, did not you tell me
the other day that he sat down before your window when you opened
it to water your flower-pot? He then saw that prodigy of beauty,
those charms that your looking-glass represents to you every day.
From that moment he languished, and his disease is risen to that
height, that he is reduced to the deplorable condition I have

You remember well, added I, how rigorously you treated me the
last time I was here, when I was offering to speak to you of his
illness, and to propose means to rescue him from the danger he
was in; when I took leave of you, I went straight to his house,
and he no sooner knew by my countenance that I had brought him no
favourable answer than his distemper increased. From that time,
madam, he is ready to die, and I do not know whether you can save
his life now, though you should take pity on him. This is just
what I said to her, continued the old woman. The fear of your
death shaked her, and I saw her face change colour. Is it true
what you say? said she. Has he actually no other disease than
what is occasioned by the love of me? Ah, madam, said I, that is
too true; would to God it were false! Do you believe, said she,
that the hope of seeing me would contribute any thing to rescue
him from the danger he is in? Perhaps it may, said I, and if you
will give me orders, I will try the remedy. Well, said she,
sighing, make him hope to see me; but he can pretend to no other
favours from me, unless he aspires to marry me, and my father
gives his consent to it. Madam, replied I, your goodness
overcomes me: I will go and see for the young gentleman, and tell
him he is to have the pleasure of an interview with you: the most
proper time I can think of, said she, for granting him that
favour, is next Friday, at the time of noon-prayers. Let him take
care to observe when my father goes out, and then come and plant
himself over against the house, if so be his health permits him
to come abroad. When he comes, I shall see him through my window,
and shall come down and open the door to him; we shall then
converse together during prayer-time, but he must be gone before
my father returns.

It is now Tuesday, continued the old gentlewoman, you have till
Friday to recruit your strength, and make the necessary
dispositions for the interview. While the good old gentlewoman
was telling her story, I felt my illness decrease, or rather, by
the time she had done, I found myself perfectly well. Here, take
this, said I, reaching out to her my purse, which was full, it is
to you alone that I owe my cure. I reckon this money better
employed than what I gave to the physicians, who have done
nothing but tormented me during the whole course of my illness.
When the lady was gone, I found I had strength enough to get up;
and my relations, finding me so well, complimented me and went

On Friday morning the old woman came just when I was dressing
myself, and laying out the finest clothes I had; I do not ask
you, says she, how you do; what you are about is intimation
enough of your health; but will you not bathe before you go to
the first cadi's house? That will take up too much time, said I;
I will content myself with calling a barber to get my head and
beard shaved. Presently I ordered one of my slaves to call a
barber that could do his business cleverly and expeditiously. The
slave brought me this wretch you see here, who came in, and after
saluting me, Sir, said he, you look as if you were not very well.
I told him I was just recovered from a fit of sickness: I wish,
said he, God may deliver you from all mischance; may his grace
always go along with you. I hope, said I, he will grant your
wish, for which I am very much obliged to you. Since you are
recovering, said he, I pray God preserve your health; but now
pray let us know what service I am to do; I have brought my
razors and my lancets; do you desire to be shaved or to be bled?
I replied, I am just recovered of a fit of sickness, and so you
may readily judge I only want to be shaved: come, make haste, do
not lose time in prattling, for I am in haste, and precisely at
noon must be at a certain place.

The barber spent much time in opening his case, and preparing his
razors: instead of putting water into the bason, he took a very
handsome astrolabe out of his budget, and went very gravely out
of my room to the middle of the yard to take the height of the
sun; then he returned with the same grave pace, and, entering my
room, Sir, said he, you will be pleased to know this day is
Friday the 18th of the month Saffar, in the year 653, [Footnote:
This year 653 is one of the Hegira, the common epocha of the
Mahometans, and answers to the year 1255, from the nativity of
Christ; from whence we may conjecture that these computations
were made in Arabia about that time.] from the retreat of our
great prophet from Mecca to Medina, and in the year 7320
[Footnote: As for the year 7320, the author is mistaken in that
computation. The year 653 of the Hegira, and the 1255 of Christ,
coincide only with the 1557 of the aera or the epocha of the
Selucides, which is the same with that of Alexander the Great,
who is called Iskender with two horns, according to the
expression of the Arabians.] of the epocha of the great Iskender
with two horns; and that the conjunction of Mars and Mercury
signifies you cannot choose a better time than this very day for
being shaved. But, on the other hand, the same conjunction is a
bad presage to you. I learn from thence, that this day you run a
great risk, not indeed of losing your life, but of an
inconvenience which will attend you while you live. You are
obliged to me for the advice I now give you to take care to avoid
it; I should be sorry if it befel you.

You may guess, gentlemen, how sorry I was for having fallen into
the hands of such a prattling impertinent barber; what an
unseasonable adventure it was for a lover preparing for an
interview! I was quite angry. I do not trouble my head, said I,
in anger, with your advice and predictions, nor did I call you to
consult your astrology; you came here to shave me, so pray do it,
or be gone, and I will call another barber. Sir, said he, with a
dulness that put me out of all patience, what reason have you to
be angry with me? You do not know that all barbers are not like
me, and that you could scarcely find such another, if you made it
your business to search. You only sent for a barber: but here, in
my person, you have the best barber in Bagdad; an experienced
physician, a very profound chemist, an infallible astrologer, a
finished grammarian, a complete orator, a subtle logician, a
mathematician perfectly conversant in geometry, arithmetic,
astronomy, and all the divisions of algebra; an historian fully
master of the histories of all the kingdoms of the universe;
besides, I know all parts of philosophy, and have all the
traditions upon my finger ends. I am a poet, an architect, nay,
what is it I am not? there is nothing in nature hidden from me.
Your deceased father, to whose memory I pay a tribute of tears
every time I think of him, was fully convinced of my merit; he
was fond of me, and spoke of me in all companies as the greatest
man in the world. Out of gratitude and friendship for him, I am
willing to take you into my protection, and guard you from all
the evils that your stars may threaten.

At hearing this stuff, I could not forbear laughing,
notwithstanding my anger. You impertinent prattler, said I, will
you have done, and begin to shave me?

Sir, replied the barber to me, you affront me in calling me a
prattler; on the contrary, all the world gives me the honourable
title of Silent. I had six brothers that you might justly have
called prattlers; and that you may know them the better, the name
of the first was Bacbouc, of the second Backbarah of the third
Backback, of the fourth Barbarak, of the fifth Alnaschar, of the
sixth Schacabac. These indeed were impertinent noisy fellows; but
as for me, who am a younger brother, I am grave and concise in my

For God's sake, gentlemen, do but suppose you had been in my
place. What could I say when I felt myself so cruelly tortured?
Give him three pieces of gold, said I to the slave that was my
housekeeper, and send him away, that he may disturb me no more; I
will not be shaved this day. Sir, said the barber, what do you
mean by that? I did not come to seek for you, it was you that
sent for me; and since it is so, I swear by the faith of a
Mussulman, I will not stir out of these doors till I have shaved
you: if you do not know my value, that is not my fault. Your
deceased father did me more justice. Every time he sent for me to
let blood, he made me sit down by him, and was charmed to hear
the fine things I talked of. I kept him in a continual strain of
admiration, and ravished him; when I had finished my discourses,
My God, would he cry, you are an inexhaustible source of
sciences; no man can reach the depth of your knowledge. My dear
sir, said I again, you do me more honour than I deserve: If I say
any thing that is fine, it is owing to the favourable audience
you vouchsafe me; it is your liberality that inspires me with the
sublime thoughts that have the happiness to please you. One day,
when he was charmed with an admirable discourse I had made, Give
him, says he, an hundred pieces of gold, and invest him with one
of my richest robes. I received the present upon the spot, and
presently I drew his horoscope, and found it the happiest in the
world. Nay, I was grateful still, and bled him with cupping

This was not all: The barber spinned out, besides, another
harangue that was a half hour long. Fatigued with hearing him,
and fretted at the time which was spent before I was half ready,
I did not know what to say. No, said I, it is impossible there
should be such another man in the world, that takes pleasure, as
you do, in making people mad.

I thought that I should succeed better if I dealt mildly with my
barber. In the name of God, said I, leave off all your fine
discourses, and despatch me presently; I am called to attend an
affair of the last importance, as I have told you already. Then
he fell a laughing: It would be a laudable thing, said he, if our
minds were always in the same strain; if we were wise and
prudent: however, I am willing to believe, that if you are angry
with me, it is your distemper which has caused that change in
your humour; and, for that reason, you stand in need of some
instructions, and you cannot do better than follow the example of
your father and grandfather. They came and consulted me upon all
occasions; and I can say, without vanity, that they always
extolled my council. Pray, recollect, sir, men never succeed in
their enterprises without having recourse to the advice of
quick-sightedmen. The proverb tells you, a man cannot be wise
without receiving advice from the wise. I am entirely at your
service, and you have nothing to do but command me.

What! cannot I prevail with you then? said I, interrupting him.
Leave off these long discourses which tend to nothing but to
split my head to pieces, and to detain me from the place where my
business lies. Shave me, I say, or be gone; with that I started
up in a huff, stamping my foot against the ground.

When he saw I was angry in earnest; Sir, said he, do not be
angry, we are going to begin soon. He washed my head, and fell a
shaving me; but he had not given me four sweeps of his razor,
when he stopped, saying, Sir, you are hasty, you should avoid
these transports that come only from the devil. Besides, my merit
speaks that you ought to have some more consideration for me,
with respect to my age, my knowledge, and my shining virtues.

Go on and shave me, said I, interrupting him again, and do not
speak. That is to say, replies he, you have some urgent business
to go about; I will lay you a wager I guess right. Why, I told
you so these two hours, said I, you ought to have done before
now. Moderate your passion, replied he, perhaps you have not
maturely weighed what you are going about: when things are done
precipitately, they are generally repented of. I wish you would
tell me what mighty business this is you are so earnest upon: I
would tell you my opinion of it: besides, you have time enough,
since your appointment is not till noon, and it wants three hours
of that yet. I do not mind that, said I; persons of honour, and
of their word, are rather before their time than after. But I
forget that, in amusing myself by reasoning with you, I give into
the faults of you prattling barbers: have done, have done, shave

The more haste I was in, the less haste he made: he laid down the
razor, and took up his astrolabe; this done, he even laid down
the astrolabe, and took up his razor again. The barber quitted
his razor again, and took up his astrolabe, a second time; and so
left me, half shaved, to go and see precisely what o'clock it
was. Back he came, and then, Sir, said he, I knew I was not
mistaken, it wants three hours of noon, I am sure of it, or else
all the rules of astronomy are false. Just Heaven! cried I, my
patience is at an end, I can forbear no longer. You cursed
barber, you barber of mischief, I do not know what holds me from
falling upon you, and strangling you. Softly, sir, said he, very
calmly, without being moved by my passion: you are not afraid of
a relapse: do not be in a passion, I am going to serve you this
minute. On speaking these words, he clapped his astrolabe in his
case, took up his razor, which he had fixed to his belt, and fell
a shaving again: but, all the while he shaved me, the dog could
not forbear prattling. If you please, sir, said he, to tell me
what business it is you are going about, I could give you some
advice that may be of use to you. To satisfy the fellow, I told
him I was going to meet some friends who were to regale me at
noon, and make merry with me upon the recovery of my health.

When the barber heard me talk of regaling, God bless you this day
as well as all other days, cried he: you put me in mind that
yesterday I invited four or five friends to come and eat with me
this day: indeed I had forgot it, and I have as yet made no
preparation for them. Do not let that trouble you. said I; though
I dine abroad, my house is always well provided. I make you a
present of what is in it; nay, besides, I will order you as much
wine as you may have occasion for, for I have excellent wine in
my cellar; only despatch the shaving of me presently, and pray do
not mind it; whereas my father made you presents to encourage you
to speak, I give you mine to make you hold your peace.

He was not satisfied with the promise I made him: God reward you,
sir, said he, for your kindness; but pray show me these
provisions now, that I may see if there will be enough to
entertain my friends: I would have them satisfied with the good
fare I make them. I have, said I, a lamb, six capons, a dozen of
pullets, and enough to make four services of. I ordered a slave
to bring them all before him, with four great pitchers of wine.
It is very well, said the barber, but we shall want fruit, and
sauce for the meat: that I ordered likewise; but then he gave
over shaving to look over every thing one after another; and this
survey lasted almost half an hour. I raged, and stormed, and went
mad, but it signified nothing, the coxcomb never troubled
himself. He, however, took up his razor again, and shaved me for
some moments; then stopping all on a sudden, I could not have
believed, sir, that you would have been so liberal; I begin to
perceive that your deceased father lives again in you: most
certainly I do not deserve the favours with which you have loaded
me; and I assure you I shall have them in perpetual remembrance:
for, sir, to let you know it, I have nothing but what comes from
the generosity of honest gentlemen, such as you; in which point I
am like to Zantout that rubs the people in bathing; to Sali that
cries boiled pease in the streets: to Salout that sells beans; to
Akerscha that sells greens; to Amboumecarez that sprinkles the
streets to lay the dust, and to Cassem the caliph's life-guard
man. Of all these persons, not one is apt to be made melancholy;
they are neither peevish nor quarrelsome; they are more contented
with their lot than the caliph in the midst of his court; they
are always gay, ready to dance and to sing, and have each of them
their peculiar song and dance, with which they divert the city of
Bagdad: but what I esteem most in them is, that they are no great
talkers, no more than your slave that has now the honour to speak
to you. Here, sir, that is the song and dance of Zantout, who
rubs the people in baths: mind me, pray, and see if I do not
imitate it exactly.

The barber sung the song and danced the dance of Zantout; and
though I did what I could to make an end to his buffoonery, he
did not give over till he had imitated, in like manner, the songs
and dances of the other people he had named. After that,
addressing himself to me, I am going, says he, to invite all
these honest persons to my house: if you take my advice, you will
join with us, and balk your friends yonder, who perhaps are noisy
prattlers, that will only teaze you to death with their nauseous
discourses, and make you fall into a distemper worse than that
you so lately recovered of; whereas, at my house, you shall have
nothing but pleasure.

Notwithstanding my anger, I could not forbear laughing at the
fellow's impertinence. I wish I had no business upon my hands,
said I; if I had not, I would accept of the proposal you make me;
I would go with all my heart to be merry with you, but I beg to
be excused, I am too much engaged this day; another day I shall
be more at leisure, and then we shall make up that company. Come,
have done shaving me, and make haste to return home; perhaps your
friends are already come to your house. Sir, said he, do not
refuse me the favour I ask of you; come and be merry with the
good company I am to have; if you were but once in our company,
you would be so well pleased with it, you would forsake your
friends to come to us: let us talk no more of that, said I, I
cannot be your guest.

I found I gained no ground upon him by mild terms. Since you will
not come to my house, replied the barber, then pray let me go
along with you; I will go and carry these things to my house,
where my friends may eat of them if they like them, and I will
return immediately; I would not be so uncivil as to leave you
alone; you deserve this complaisance at my hands. Heavens! cried
I, then I shall not get clear of this troublesome man this day.
In the name of the living God, said I, leave off your
unreasonable jargon: go to your friends, drink, eat, and be merry
with them, and leave me at liberty to go to mine. I have a mind
to go alone, I have no occasion for company: besides, I must
needs tell you, the place to which I go is not a place where you
can be received; nobody must come there but me. You jest, sir,
said he; if your friends have invited you to a feast, why should
you hinder me to accompany you? You will please them, I am sure,
by carrying thither a man that can speak comically like me, and
knows how to divert company agreeably: but, say what you will,
the thing is resolved upon; I will go along with you in spite of
your teeth.

These words, gentlemen, made me very uneasy. How shall I get rid
of this cursed barber? thought I to myself. If I do not snub him
roundly, we shall never have done contesting. Besides, I heard
then the first call to noon-prayers, and it was time for me to
go. In fine, I resolved to say nothing at all, and to make as if
I consented to his proposal. By that time he had done shaving me;
then said I to him, Take some of my servants to carry these
provisions along with you, and return hither; I will stay for
you, and shall not go without you. At last he went, and I dressed
myself nimbly. I heard the last call to prayers; and made haste
to set out: but the malicious barber, jealous of my intention,
went with my servants only within sight of the house, and stood
there till he saw them enter his house; having hid himself upon
the turning of a street, with intent to observe and follow me. In
fine, when I arrived at the cadi's door, I looked back and saw
him at the head of the street, which fretted me to the last

The cadi's door was half open, and as I went in, I saw an old
woman waiting for me, who, after she had shut the door, conducted
me to the chamber of the young lady I was in love with: but we
had scarcely begun our interview, when we heard a noise in the
street. The young lady put her head to the window, and saw
through the grate that it was the cadi, her father, returning
already from prayers. At the same time, I looked through the
window, and saw the barber sitting over against the house in the
same place where I had before seen the young lady.

I had then two things to fear, the arrival of the cadi, and the
presence of the barber. The young lady mitigated my fear of the
first, by assuring me the cadi came but very seldom to her
chamber; and, as she had foreseen that this misadventure might
happen, she had contrived a way to convey me out safe; but the
indiscretion of the accursed barber made me very uneasy; and you
shall hear that this my uneasiness was not without ground.

As soon as the cadi came in, he caned one of his slaves that
deserved it. The slave made horrid shouts, which were heard in
the streets; the barber thought it was I that cried out, and that
I was maltreated. Prepossessed with this thought, he screamed out
most fearfully, rent his clothes, threw dust upon his head, and
called the neighbourhood to his assistance. The neighbourhood
came, and asked what ailed him, and what relief he wanted that
they could give? Alas! cried he, they are assassinating my
master, my dear patron: and, without saying any other thing, he
ran all the way to my house with the very same cry in his mouth.
From thence he returned, followed by all my domestics, armed with
batoons. They knocked with inconceivable fury at the cadi's door,
and the cadi sent a slave to see what was the matter; but the
slave being frightened, returned to his master, crying, Sir,
above ten thousand men are going to break into your house by

Immediately the cadi ran himself, opened the door, and asked what
they wanted? His venerable presence could not inspire them with
respect: they insolently said to him, You cursed cadi, you dog of
a cadi, what reason have you to assassinate our master? What has
he done to you? Good people, replied the cadi, for what should I
assassinate your master, whom I do not know, and who has done no
offence? My house is open to you, come see and search. You
bastinadoed him, said the barber; I heard his cries not above a
minute ago. But pray, replies the cadi, what offence could your
master do to me, to oblige me to use him after that rate? Is he
in my house? If he is, how came he in, or who could have
introduced him? Ah! wretched cadi cried the barber, you and your
long beard shall never make me believe what you say. What I say I
know to be true; your daughter is in love with our master, and
gave him a meeting during the time of noon-prayers; you, without
doubt, have had notice of it; you returned home, and surprised
him, and made your slave bastinado him: but this your wicked
action shall not pass with impunity; the caliph shall be
acquainted with it, and he shall give true and brief justice. Let
him come out; deliver him to us immediately: or if you do not, we
will go in and take him from you, to your shame. There is no
occasion for so many words, replied the cadi, nor to make so
great a noise: if what you say is true, go in and find him out, I
give you free liberty. Thereupon the barber and my domestics
rushed into the house like furies, and looked for me all about.

When I heard all that the barber said to the cadi, I sought for a
place to hide myself, and could find nothing but a great empty
trunk, in which I lay down, and shut it upon me. The barber,
after he had searched every where, came into the chamber where I
was, and opening the trunk, as soon as he saw me, he took it upon
his head, and carried it away. He came down a high stair-case
into a court, which he went through very speedily, and got to the
street. While he carried me, the trunk unhappily opened, and I,
not being able to endure to be exposed to the view and shouts of
the mob that followed us, leaped out into the street with so much
haste that I hurt my leg, so as I have been lame ever since. I
was not sensible how bad it was at first, and therefore got up
quickly to get away from the people, who laughed at me; nay, I
threw handfuls of gold and silver among them, and, whilst they
were gathering it up, I made my escape by cross streets and
alleys. But the cursed barber, improving the stratagem that I
made use of to get away from the mob, followed me close, crying,
Stay, sir, why do you run so fast? If you knew how much I am
afflicted at the ill treatment you received from the cadi, you
who are so generous a person, and to whom I and my friends are so
much obliged! Did not I tell you truly that you would expose your
life by your obstinate refusal to let me go with you? See now
what has happened to you by your own fault; and if I had not
resolutely followed you to see whither you went, what would have
become of you? Whither do you go then, sir? stay for me.

Thus the wretched barber cried aloud in the streets; it was not
enough for him to have occasioned so great a scandal in the
quarter of the cadi, but he would have it be known through the
whole town. I was in such a rage that I had a great mind to have
staid and cut his throat; but considering that would have
perplexed me further, I chose another course; for perceiving that
his calling after me exposed me to vast numbers of people, who
crowded to the doors or windows, or stopped in the streets, to
gaze on me, I entered into a khan or inn, the chamberlain of
which knew me; and finding him at the gate, whither the noise had
brought him, I prayed him, for the sake of Heaven, to hinder that
madman from coming in after me. He promised to do so, and was as
good as his word, but not without a great deal of trouble, for
the obstinate barber would go in, in spite of him, and did not
retire without calling him a thousand ill names; and after the
chamberlain shut the gate, the barber continued telling the mob
what great service he had done me. Thus I rid myself of that
troublesome fellow.

After that, the chamberlain prayed me to tell him my adventure,
which I did, and then desired him to let me have an apartment
until I was cured: But, sir, says he, would it not be more
convenient for you to go home? I will not return thither, said I;
for the detestable barber will continue plaguing me there, and I
shall die of vexation to be continually teazed with him. Besides,
after what has befallen me to-day, I cannot think of staying any
longer in this town; I must go whither my ill fortune leads me.
And actually, when I was cured, I took all the money I thought
necessary for my travels, and divided the remainder of my estate
among my kindred.

Thus, gentlemen, I left Bagdad, and came hither. I had ground to
hope that I should not meet this pernicious barber in a country
so far from my own, and yet I found him amongst you. Do not be
surprised, then, at my haste to be gone; you may easily judge how
disgusting to me the sight of a man is who was the occasion of my
lameness, and of my being reduced to the melancholy necessity of
living at so great a distance from my kindred, friends, and

When the lame young man had spoken these words, he rose, and went
out: the master of the house conducted him to the gate, and told
him he was sorry that he had given him, though innocently, so
great a subject of mortification.

When the young man was gone, continued the tailor, we were all
astonished at the story; and turning to the barber, told him he
was very much in the wrong, if what we had just now heard was
true. Gentlemen, answered he, raising up his head, which till
then he had held down, my silence during the young man's
discourse is enough to testify that he advanced nothing but what
was really true; but, notwithstanding all that he has said to
you, I maintain that I ought to have done what I did; I leave
yourselves to be judges of it. Did not he throw himself into
danger, and could he have come off so well without my assistance?
He was too happy to escape with a lame leg. Did not I expose
myself to a greater danger in getting him out of a house where I
thought he was ill-treated? Has he any reason to complain of me,
and to give me so many bad words? This is what one gets by
serving unthankful people. He accuses me of being a prattling
fellow, which is a mere slander. Of seven brothers, I am he who
speaks the least, and have most wit for my share; and, to
convince you of it, gentlemen, I need only tell my own story and
theirs. Honour me, I beseech you, with your attention.

                    THE STORY OF THE BARBER.

In the reign of the caliph Moustancer Billah [Footnote: He was
raised to this dignity in the year of the Hegira 623, and Anno
Dom. 1226; and was the thirty-sixth caliph of the race of the
Abassides.], continued he, a prince famous for his vast
liberality towards the poor, ten highwaymen infested the roads
about Bagdad, who had for a long time committed unheard-of
robberies and cruelties. The caliph having notice of this, sent
for the judge of the police some days before the feast of Bairam,
and ordered him, on pain of death, to bring all the ten to him.

The judge of the police, continued the barber, used so much
diligence, and sent so many people in pursuit of the ten robbers,
that they were taken on the day of Bairam. I was then walking on
the banks of the Tigris, and saw ten men, richly apparelled, go
into a boat. I might have known they were robbers, had I observed
the guards that were with them; but I looked only to them; and,
thinking they were people who had a mind to spend the
festival-day in jollity, I entered the boat with them, without
saying one word, in hopes they would allow me to be one of the
company. We went down the Tigris, and landed before the caliph's
palace; and I then had time to consider with myself, and to find
out my mistake. When we came out of the boat, we were surrounded
by a new troop of the judge of the police's guard, who tied us
all, and carried us before the caliph. I suffered myself to be
tied as well as the rest, without speaking one word: for to what
purpose should I have spoken, or made any resistance? That would
have been the way to have been ill treated by the guards, who
would not have listened to me, for they are brutish fellows, who
will hear no reason: I was with the robbers, which was sufficient
to make them believe me to be one.

When we came before the caliph, he ordered the ten highwaymen's
heads to be cut off immediately. The executioner drew us up in a
file within the reach of his arm, and by good fortune I was the
last. He cut off the heads of the ten highwaymen, beginning with
the first; and when he came to me he stopped. The caliph,
perceiving that he did not meddle with me, grew angry: Did not I
command thee, said he, to cut off the heads of ten highwaymen?
Why, then, hast thou cut off but nine? Commander of the faithful,
said he, Heaven preserve me from disobeying your majesty's
orders! Here are ten corpses upon the ground, and as many heads
which I cut off; your majesty may count them.

When the caliph saw himself that what the executioner said was
true, he looked upon me with astonishment; and, perceiving that I
had not the face of a highwayman, said to me, Good old man, how
came you to be among those wretches, who have deserved a thousand
deaths? I answered, Commander of the faithful, I shall make a
true confession. This morning I saw those ten persons, whose
unhappy fate is a proof of your majesty's justice, take boat; and
I embarked with them, thinking they were men going to an
entertainment to celebrate this day, which is the most remarkable
in our religion.

The caliph, who could not forbear laughing at my adventure,
instead of treating me as a prattling fellow, as the lame young
man did, admired my discretion and constant silence. Commander of
the faithful, said I, your majesty need not wonder at my keeping
silence on such an occasion, which would have made another apt to
speak. I make a particular profession of holding my peace; and on
that account I have acquired the title of Silent. Thus I am
called, to distinguish me from my six brothers. This is the
effect of my philosophy; and, in a word, in this virtue consists
my glory and happiness. I am very glad, said the caliph, smiling,
that they gave you a title which you so well deserve, and know
how to make such good use of. But tell me what sort of men your
brothers are: were they like you? By no means, said I; they were
all of them given to prating, one more than another; and as to
their persons, there was still a greater difference betwixt them
and me. The first was hump-backed; the second had rotten teeth;
the third had but one eye; the fourth was blind; the fifth had
his ears cut; and the sixth had hare-lips. They had such
adventures as would inform you of their characters, had I the
honour of telling them to your majesty. Accordingly, the caliph
expressing a desire to hear a relation of their stories, I began


Sir, said I, my eldest brother, whose name was Bacbouc the
Hump-back, was a tailor by trade: when his apprenticeship
expired, he hired a shop just opposite a mill; and, having but
very little business, could scarcely maintain himself. The
miller, on the contrary, was wealthy, and had a very handsome
wife. One day, as my brother was at work in his shop, he lifted
up his head, and saw the miller's wife looking out of the window,
and was charmed with her beauty. The woman took no notice of him,
but shut the window, and came no more to it all that day; while
the poor tailor did nothing but lift up his eyes towards the mill
all day long. He pricked his fingers more than once; and his work
that day was not very regular. At night, when he was to shut up
his shop, he could scarcely tell how to do it, because he still
hoped the miller's wife would come to the window once more; but
at last he was forced to shut it up, and go home to his little
house, where he passed the night in great uneasiness. He rose
very early the next morning, and ran to his shop, in hopes of
seeing his mistress again; but he was no happier than the day
before, for the miller's wife did not appear at the window above
one moment all the day; but that moment made the tailor the most
amorous that ever lived. The third day he had some more ground of
satisfaction; for the miller's wife cast her eyes upon him by
chance, and surprised him as he was gazing at her, of which she
presently knew the reason.

No sooner did the miller's wife perceive my brother's mind,
continued the barber, but, instead of being vexed at it, she
resolved to make it her diversion. She looked upon him with a
smiling countenance, and my brother looked upon her in the same
manner; but his looks were so very whimsical and singular, that
the miller's wife was obliged to shut her window, lest her loud
laughter should have made him sensible that she only ridiculed
him. Poor Bacbouc interpreted her behaviour on this occasion to
his own advantage, and flattered himself that she had looked upon
him with pleasure.

The miller's wife resolved to make sport with my brother. She had
a piece of very fine stuff, with which she had for a long time
designed to make herself a suit; she therefore wrapped it up in a
fine embroidered silk handkerchief, and sent it to him by a young
slave; who, having been first taught her lesson, came to the
tailor's shop, and said, My mistress gives you her service; and
prays you to make her a suit with this stuff according to the
pattern: she changes her clothes often, so that her custom will
be profitable to you. My brother doubted not but the miller's
wife loved him, and therefore concluded that she sent him work so
soon after what had passed betwixt them only to signify that she
knew his mind, and to convince him that he had obtained her
favour. Confirmed in this opinion, my brother charged the slave
to tell her mistress that he would lay aside all other work for
her's, and that the suit should be ready by next morning. In
effect, he laboured at it with so much diligence, that he
finished it the same day.

Next morning, the young slave coming to see if the suit was
ready, Bacbouc gave it to her neatly folded up; and said, I am
too anxious to please your mistress to neglect her suit: I would
engage her by my diligence to employ no other but myself for the
future. The young slave went some steps, as if she had intended
to go away; and then coming back, whispered to my brother, I had
forgot part of my commission; my mistress charged me to
compliment you in her name, and to ask you how you passed the
night: for her part, poor woman, she loves you so mightily, that
she could not sleep. Tell her, answered my silly brother, that I
have so violent a passion for her, that I have not closed my eyes
in sleep these four nights. After such a compliment from the
miller's wife, my brother thought she would not let him languish
in expectation of her favour.

About a quarter of an hour after, the slave returned to my
brother with a piece of satin. My mistress, said she, is very
well pleased with her suit; nothing in the world can fit her
better: and as it is very fine, she would not wear it without a
new petticoat; and she prays you to make her one, as soon as you
can, of this piece of satin. It is enough, said Bacbouc; I will
do it before I leave my shop; you shall have it in the evening.
The miller's wife showed herself often at her window; was very
prodigal of her charms; and, to encourage my brother, she feigned
to take pleasure in seeing him work. The petticoat was soon made;
and the slave came for it, but brought the tailor no money,
neither for the trimming he had bought for the suit, nor for his
labour. In the mean time, this unfortunate lover, whom they only
amused, though he could not perceive it, had eat nothing all that
day, and was under the necessity of borrowing money to purchase
himself a supper. Next morning, as soon as it was day, the young
slave came to tell him that the miller wanted to speak with him.
My mistress, said she, has told him so much good of you, when she
showed him your work, that he has a mind you should work also for
him; she does it on purpose, that the friendship she designs to
form betwixt you and him may make you succeed in what you both
equally desire. My brother was easily persuaded, and went to the
mill with the slave. The miller received him very kindly, and
showed him a piece of cloth, told him he wanted shirts, bid him
make twenty of that cloth, and return to him what he should not
make use of.

My brother, said the barber, had work enough for five or six days
to make twenty shirts for the miller; who afterwards gave him
another piece of cloth to make him as many pair of drawers. When,
they were finished, Bacbouc carried them to the miller, who asked
him what he must have for his pains. My brother answered, that he
would be content with twenty drams of silver. The miller
immediately called the young slave, and bid her bring him his
weights, that he might see if his money was right. The slave who
had her lesson, looked upon my brother with an angry countenance,
to signify to him that their project would be frustrated if he
took any money. He knew her meaning, and refused to take any,
though he wanted it so much that he was forced to borrow money to
buy the thread with which he sewed the shirts and drawers. When
he left the miller, he came to me to borrow money to live on, and
told me they did not pay him. I gave him some copper-money that I
had in my pocket, on which he subsisted for some days. It is
true, indeed, he lived upon nothing but broth; nor had he a
sufficiency of that.

One day he went to the miller, who was busy at his work; and,
thinking that my brother came for money, he offered him some; but
the young slave being present, made him another sign not to take
it, with which he complied, and told the miller he did not come
for his money, but only to know how he did. The miller thanked
him, and gave him an upper garment to make. Bacbouc carried it to
him the next day; and when the miller drew out his purse, the
young slave gave my brother the usual sign; on which he said to
the miller, Neighbour, there is no haste; we will reckon another
time. The poor simpleton then returned again to his shop, with
the three terrible distempers of love, hunger, and want of money,
upon him.

The miller's wife was not only avaricious, but very ill-natured;
for, not content with having cheated my brother of what was due
to him, she provoked her husband to revenge himself upon him for
making love to her; which they accomplished thus. The miller
invited Bacbouc one night to supper; and, after having
entertained him in a very indifferent manner, addressed himself
to him in this way: Brother, it is too late for you to go home;
you had better stay here all night: and then he took him to a
place in the mill, in which was a bed, where he left him, and
went to bed with his wife. About the middle of the might, the
miller came to my brother, and said, Neighbour, are you asleep?
My mule is ill, and I have a great deal of corn to grind; you
will do me a mighty kindness if you will turn the mill in her
stead. Bacbouc, to show his good-nature, told him that he was
ready to do him such a piece of service, if he would first
instruct him. The miller then tied him by the middle to the
mule's place; and whipping him over the back, cried, Go
neighbour! Ho! said my brother, why do you beat me? It is to make
you brisk, said the miller; for without a whip my mule will not
go. Bacbouc was amazed at this sort of treatment, but durst not
complain. When he had gone five or six rounds he would fain have
rested; but the miller gave him a dozen of sound lashes, saying,
Courage, neighbour! do not stop, pray; you must go on without
taking your breath, otherwise you will spoil my meal.

The miller obliged my brother, continued the barber, thus to turn
the mill all night; about break of day he left him, without
untying him, and went to his wife's chamber. Bacbouc continued
there for some time; and at last the young slave came and untied
him. Ah! said the treacherous wretch, how my mistress and I
bemoaned you! We had no hand in this wicked trick which her
husband has put upon you. Unhappy Bacbouc answered her not a
word, he was so much fatigued with labour and blows: but,
creeping to his own house, resolved never more to think on the
miller's wife.

The telling of this story, said the barber, made the caliph
laugh. Go home, said he to me, I have ordered something to be
given you instead of the good dinner you expected. Commander of
the faithful, said I, I pray your majesty to stay till I have
related the story of my other brothers. The caliph having
signified by his silence that he was willing to hear me, I
proceeded thus:


My second brother, who was called Backbarah the Toothless, going
one day through the city, met an old woman in an out-street, who
came to him presently, and said, I want one word with you, pray
stop one moment. He did so, and asked her what she would have. If
you will come along with me, said she, I will bring you into a
stately palace, where you shall see a lady as fair as the day.
She will receive you with abundance of pleasure, and give you a
treat with excellent wine. I need say no more to you. But is what
you say true? replied my brother. I am no lying hussy, replied
the old woman; I say nothing to you but what is true. But hark, I
have something to ask of you. You must be wise, you must speak
but little, and you must be mighty complaisant. Backbarah agreed
to all this. The old woman went before, and he followed after.
They came to the gate of a great palace, where there was a great
number of officers and domestics. Some of them would have stopped
my brother, but no sooner did the old woman speak to them, than
they let him pass. Then turning to my brother, she said to him,
You must remember that the young lady I bring you to loves
good-nature and modesty, and cannot endure to be contradicted; if
you please her in that, you may be sure to obtain of her what you
wish. Backbarah thanked her for this advice, and promised to
follow it.

She brought him into a fine apartment, which was a great square
building, answerable to the magnificence of the palace. There was
a gallery round it, and a very fine garden in the middle. The old
woman made him sit down upon a sofa very well trimmed, and bid
him stay a moment, till she went to tell the young lady of his
being come.

My brother, who had never been before in such a stately palace,
gazed upon the fine things that he saw; and, judging of his good
fortune by the magnificence of the palace, he was scarcely able
to contain himself for joy. By and by he heard a great noise,
occasioned by a troop of merry slaves, who came towards him with
loud fits of laughter, and in the middle of them he perceived a
young lady of extraordinary beauty, who was easily known to be
their mistress by the respect they paid her. Backbarah, who
expected private conversation with the lady, was extremely
surprised when he saw so much company with her. In the mean time,
the slaves put on a grave countenance when they drew near; and
when the young lady came up to the sofa, my brother rose up and
made her a low bow. She took the upper-hand, prayed him to sit
down, and with a smiling countenance, said to him, I am mighty
glad to see you, and wish you all the happiness you can desire.
Madam, replied Backbarah, I cannot desire a greater happiness
than to be in your company. You seem to be of a good-humour, said
she, and to have a mind that we should pass the time pleasantly

She forthwith commanded a collation to be brought; and
immediately a table was covered with several baskets of fruit and
confections. The lady sat down at the table with the slaves and
my brother, and he being placed just over against her, when he
opened his mouth to eat, she perceived he had no teeth; and
taking notice of it to her slaves, she and they laughed at him
heartily. Backbarah, from time to time, lifted up his head to
look at her, and perceiving her laugh, thought it was for joy of
his company, and flattered himself that she would speedily send
away her slaves, and be with him alone. She judged what was his
mind; and, pleasing herself to flatter him in his mistake, she
gave him abundance of sweet words, and presented him the best of
every thing with her own hand. The treat being done, they rose
from the table, when ten slaves took musical instruments, and
began to play and sing, and others went to dance. My brother, to
make them sport, did likewise dance, and the lady danced with
them. After they had danced some time, they sat down to take
breath; and the young lady, calling for a glass of wine, looked
upon my brother with a smiling countenance, to signify that she
was going to drink his health. He rose up, and stood while she
drank. When she had done, instead of giving back the glass, she
ordered it to be filled, and presented it to my brother, that he
might pledge her. My brother took the glass from the young lady's
hand, which he at the same time kissed, and stood and drank to
her, in acknowledgment of the favour she had done him. Then the
young lady made him sit down by her, and began to caress him. She
put her hand behind his head, and gave him some tips from time to
time with her fingers: ravished with those favours, he thought
himself the happiest man in the world, and had a great mind to
toy also with the charming lady, but durst not take that liberty
before so many slaves, who had their eyes upon him, and laughed
at their lady's wanton tricks. The young lady continued to tip
him with her fingers, but at last gave him such a sound box on
the ear, that he grew angry at it; the colour came in his face,
and he rose up to sit at a greater distance from such a rude
play-fellow. Then the old woman who brought him thither gave him
a look, to let him know he was in the wrong, and that he had
forgot the advice she gave him to be very complaisant. He owned
his fault; and, in order to make amends, he went near the young
lady again, pretending that he did not go away out of any bad
humour. She drew him by the arm, made him sit down by her again,
and gave him a thousand malicious hugs. Her slaves came in for a
part of the diversion: one gave poor Backbarah a fillip on the
nose with all her strength; another pulled him by the ears, as if
she would have plucked them off; and others boxed him so, as
might show they were not in jest. My brother suffered all this
with admirable patience, affected a gay air, and, looking to the
old woman, said to her, with a forced smile, You told me, indeed,
that I should find the lady very good, very pleasant, and very
charming; I must own I am mightily obliged to you! All this is
nothing, replied the old woman: let her go on; you will see
another thing by and by. Then the young lady said to him,
Brother, you are a brave man, I am glad to find you are of so
good an humour, and so complaisant, as to bear with my little
caprices; your humour is exactly like mine. Madam, replied
Backbarah, who was charmed with this discourse, I am no more my
own man, I am wholly yours; you may dipose of me as you please.
Oh, how you oblige me! said the lady, by so much submission! I am
very well satisfied with you, and will have you to be so with me.
Bring him perfume, said she, and rose-water. Upon this, two
slaves went out, and returned speedily; one with a silver
perfume-box, with the best wood-aloes, with which she perfumed
him; and the other with rose-water, which she threw on his hands
and face. My brother was quite beside himself at this honourable
treatment. After this ceremony, the young lady commanded the
slaves, who had already played on their instruments and sung, to
renew their concerts. They obeyed; and, in the mean time, the
lady called another slave, and ordered her to carry my brother
with her, and do what she knew, and bring him back to her again.
Backbarah, who heard this order, got up quickly, and going to the
old woman, who also rose up to go along with him and the slave,
prayed her to tell him what they were to do with him. My mistress
is only curious, replied the old woman softly; she has a mind to
see how you look in a woman's dress; and this slave who has
orders to carry you with her, is instructed to paint your
eye-brows, to cut off your whiskers, and to dress you like a
woman. You may paint my brows as much as you please, said my
brother; I agree to that, because I can wash it off again: but to
shave me, you know I must not allow that. How can I appear abroad
again without mustachos? Beware of refusing what is asked of you,
said the old woman: you will spoil your affairs, which go on now
as well as heart can wish. The lady loves you, and has a mind to
make you happy: and will you, for a nasty whisker, renounce the
most delicious favour that man can obtain. Backbarah listened to
the old woman, and without saying one word, went to a chamber
with the slave, where they painted his eye-brows with red, cut
off his whisker, and went to do the like with his beard. My
brother's patience began to wear out; O! said he, I will never
part with my beard. The slave told him, that it was to no purpose
to have parted with his whiskers, if he would not also part with
his beard, which could never agree with a woman's dress; and she
wondered that a man, who was on the point of enjoying the finest
lady in Bagdad, should have any regard to his beard. The old
woman threatened him with the loss of the young lady's favour, so
that at last he let them do what they would. When he was dressed
like a woman, they brought him before the young lady, who laughed
so heartily when she saw him, that she fell backward on the sofa
where she sat. The slaves laughed and clapped their hands, so
that my brother was quite out of countenance. The young lady got
up, and still laughing, said to him, After so much complaisance
for me, I should be very much in the wrong not to love you with
all my heart: but there is one thing more you must do for me; and
that is, to dance as we do. He obeyed; and the young lady and her
slaves danced with him, laughing as if they had been mad. After
they had danced some time with him, they all fell upon the poor
wretch, and did so box and kick him, that he fell down like one
out of his senses. The old woman helped him up again; and that he
might not have time to think of his ill treatment, she bid him
take courage, and whispered in his ear that all his sufferings
were at an end, and that he was just about to receive his reward.

You have only one thing more to do, and that is but a small one.
You must know that my mistress has a custom, when she has drank a
little, as you see she has done to-day, to let nobody that she
loves come near her, except they are stripped to their shirt; and
when they have done so, she takes a little advantage of them, and
sets a running before them through the gallery, and from chamber
to chamber, till they catch her. This is one more of her humours:
what advantage soever she takes of you, considering your
nimbleness, and inclination to the work, you will soon overtake
her; strip yourself, then, to the shirt, and undress yourself
without delay.

My silly brother, said the barber, had done too much to stick at
any thing now. He undressed himself; and, in the mean time, the
young lady was stripped to her shift and under-petticoat, that
she might run the more nimbly. When they were ready to run, the
young lady took the advantage of twenty paces, and then fell a
running with surprising swiftness: my brother followed her as
fast as he could, the slaves in the mean time laughing aloud and
clapping their hands. The young lady, instead of losing ground,
gained upon my brother: she made him run three or four times
round the gallery, and then running into a long dark entry, got
away by a passage which she knew. Backbarah, who still followed
her, having lost sight of her in the entry, was obliged to
slacken his pace, because of the darkness of the place: at last
perceiving a light, he ran towards it, and went out at a door,
which was immediately shut upon him. You may imagine he was
mightily surprised to find himself in a street inhabited by
curriers, and they were no less surprised to see him in his
shirt, his eye-brows painted red, and without beard or mustachos;
they began to clap their hands and shout at him, some of them
even ran after him, and lashed his buttocks with pieces of
leather. Then they stopped, and set him upon an ass, which they
met by chance, and carried him through the town exposed to the
laughter of the people.

To complete his misfortune, as he went by the house of a justice
of peace, he would needs know the cause of the tumult. The
curriers told him, that they saw him come out in that condition
at the gate of the apartment of the grand vizier's lady, which
opened into their street; upon which the justice ordered
unfortunate Backbarah to have an hundred blows with a cane on the
soles of his feet, and sent him out of the town, with orders
never to return again.

Thus, commander of the faithful, said I to the caliph Monstancer
Billah, I have given an account of the adventure of my second
brother, who did not know that our greatest ladies divert
themselves sometimes by putting such tricks upon young people
that are foolish enough to be caught in their snares.


Commander of the faithful, said he to the caliph, my third
brother, whose name was Backback, was blind, and his ill destiny
reduced him to beg from door to door. He had been so long
accustomed to walk through the streets alone, that he had no need
of one to lead him: he had a custom to knock at people's doors,
and apt to answer till they opened to him. One day he knocked
thus at a door, and the master of the house, who was alone,
cried, Who is there? My brother gave no answer, and knocked a
second time: the master of the house asked again, Who is there?
but to no purpose; my brother did not answer: upon which the man
of the house came down, opened the door, and asked my brother
what he wanted. That you would give me something, for heaven's
sake! said Backback. You seem to be blind, replied the master of
the house. Yes, to my sorrow, said my brother. Give me your hand,
said the master of the house. My brother did so, thinking he was
going to give him alms; but he only took him by the hand, to lead
him up to his chamber: Backback thought he had been carrying him
to dinner with him, as several other people had done. When they
came up to the chamber, the man loosed his hand out of my
brother's, and sitting down, asked again what he wanted. I have
already told you, said Backback, that I want something for God's
sake. Good blind man, replied the master of the house, all that I
can do for you is to wish that God may restore you your sight.
You might have told me that at the door, said my brother, and not
have given me the trouble to come up. And why, fool, said the man
of the house, do you not answer at first, when people ask you who
is there? Why do you give any body the trouble to come and open
the door when they speak to you? What will you do with me, then?
said my brother. I tell you again, said the man of the house, I
have nothing to give you. Help me down stairs, then, replied
Backback, as you helped me up. The stairs are before you, said
the man of the house, and you may go down alone if you will. My
brother went to go down, but missing a step about the middle of
the stairs, he fell down and hurt his head and his back: he got
up again with a great deal of difficulty, and complained heavily
of the master of the house, who only laughed at his fall.

As my brother went out of the house, two blind men, his
companions, going by, knew him by his voice, and asked him what
was the matter. He told them what had happened to him, and
afterwards said, I have eaten nothing to-day; I conjure you to go
along with me to my house, that I may take some of the money that
we three have in common, to buy me something for supper. The two
blind men agreed to it, and they went home with him.

You must know that the master of the house where my brother was
so ill used, was a highwayman, and naturally cunning and
malicious. He heard at his window what Backback had said to his
companions, and therefore came down and followed them to my
brother's house. The blind men being seated, Backback said to
them, brethren, we must shut the door, and take care there be no
strangers with us. At this the highwayman was much perplexed, but
perceiving a rope hanging down from a beam, he caught hold of it,
and hung by it, while the blind men shut the door, and felt about
the room with their sticks. When they had done this, and sat down
again in their places, the highwayman left his rope, and sat down
softly by my brother, who thinking himself alone with his blind
comrades, said to them, Brothers, since you have trusted me with
the money, which we all three have gathered a long time, I will
show you that I am not unworthy of the trust that you repose in
me. The last time we reckoned, you know we had ten thousand
drams, and that we put them into ten bags; I will show you that I
have not touched one of them. Having said so, he put his hand
among some old lumber, and taking out the bags, one after
another, gave them to his comrades, saying, There they are; you
may judge by their weight that they are whole, or you may tell
them if you please. His comrades answered, there was no occasion,
they did not mistrust him; so opened one of the bags, and took
out ten drams, and each of the other blind men did the like.

My brother put the bags into their place again; after which one
of them said to him, There is no need to lay out any thing for
supper, for I have got as much provision from good people as will
serve us all three. At the same time he took out of his bag bread
and cheese, and some fruit; and, putting them all upon the table,
they began to eat. The highwayman, who sat at my brother's right
hand, picked out the best, and ate with them; but, whatever care
he took to make no noise, Backback heard his jaws going, and
cried out immediately, We are undone! there is a stranger among
us! and having said so, he stretched out his hand, and catching
hold of the highwayman by the arm, cried out, Thieves! fell upon
him, and boxed him. The other blind men fell upon him in like
manner, and the highwayman defended himself as well as he could;
but being young and vigorous, and having the advantage of his
eyes, he gave furious blows, sometimes to one, sometimes to
another, as he could come at them, and cried out Thieves! louder
than they did. The neighbours came running at the noise, broke
open the door, and had much ado to separate the combatants; but,
having at last done it, they asked the cause of their quarrel. My
brother, who still had hold of the highwayman, cried out,
Gentlemen, this man I have hold of is a thief, and stole in with
us on purpose to rob us of the little money we have. The thief,
who shut his eyes as soon as the neighbours came, feigned himself
also to be blind, and cried out, Gentlemen, he is a liar. I swear
to you by Heaven, and by the life of the caliph, that I am their
companion, and they refuse to give me my just share! They have
all three fallen upon me, and I demand justice. The neighbours
would not meddle with their quarrel, but carried them all before
a judge.

When they came before the magistrate, the highwayman, without
staying to be examined, cried out, still feigning himself to be
blind, Sir, since you are deputed to administer justice by the
caliph, whom God prosper, I declare to you that we are equally
criminal, my three comrades and I; but we have all engaged upon
oath to confess nothing unless we be bastinadoed; so that if you
would know our crime, you need only order us to be bastinadoed,
and begin with me. My brother would have spoken, but was not
allowed to do so; and the highwayman was put under the bastinado.

The robber, being under the bastinado, had the courage to bear
twenty or thirty blows; when, seeming to be overcome with pain he
first opened one eye, and then the other; and, crying out for
mercy, begged the judge would put a stop to the blows, The judge,
perceiving that he looked upon him with his eyes open, was much
surprised, and said to him, Rogue! what is the meaning of this
miracle? Sir, replied the highwayman, I will discover to you an
important secret, if you pardon me, and give me, as a pledge that
you will keep your word, the seal-ring which you have on your
finger. The judge agreed to it, gave him his ring, and promised
him pardon. Upon this, said the highwayman, I must confess to
you, Sir, that I and my three comrades do all see very well: we
feigned ourselves to be blind, that we might more freely enter
people's houses, and into women's apartments, where we abuse
their frailty. I must further, confess to you, that by this trick
we have gained together ten thousand drams. This day I demanded
of my partners two thousand five hundred that belong to me as my
share, but they refused, because I told them I would leave them;
and they were afraid I should accuse them. Upon pressing still to
have my share, they all three fell upon me; for the truth of
which I appeal to those people who brought us before you, I
expect from your justice, that you will make them deliver to me
the two thousand five hundred drams which are my due; and if you
have a mind to make my comrades confess the truth, you must order
them three times as many blows as I have had, and you will find
they will open their eyes as well as I did.

My brother and the other two blind men would have cleared
themselves of this horrid cheat, but the judge would not hear
them: Villains! said he, do you feign yourselves blind then, and
under that pretext cheat people, by begging their charity, and
abusing poor women? He is a cheat, cried my brother; we take God
to witness that none of us can see!

All that my brother could say was in vain; his comrades and he
received each of them two hundred blows. The judge looked always
when they should have opened their eyes, and ascribed to their
obstinacy what really they could not do. All the while the
highwayman said to the blind men, Poor fools that you are, open
your eyes, and do not suffer yourselves to be killed with blows.
Then addressing himself to the judge, said, I perceive, sir, that
they will be maliciously obstinate to the last, and will never
open their eyes: they have a mind certainly to avoid the shame of
reading their own condemnation in the face of every one who looks
upon them; it were better, if you think fit, to pardon them, and
to send some person along with me for the ten thousand drams they
have hid.

The judge did so, gave the highwayman two thousand five hundred
drams, and kept the rest to himself; and as for my brother and
his two companions, he thought he showed them a great deal of
pity by sentencing them only to be banished. As soon as I heard
what befel my brother, I ran after him; he told me his
misfortune, and I brought him back secretly to the town. I could
easily have justified him to the judge, and have got the
highwayman punished as he deserved, but durst not attempt it, for
fear of bringing myself into trouble. Thus I finished the sad
adventure of my honest blind brother. The caliph laughed at it,
as much as at those he had heard before, and ordered again that
something should be given me; but, without staying for it, I
began the story of my fourth brother.


Alcouz was the name of my fourth brother, who came to lose one of
his eyes upon an occasion that I shall by and by acquaint your
majesty with. He was a butcher by profession, and had a
particular way of teaching rams to fight by which he procured the
acquaintance and friendship of the chief lords of the country,
who loved that sport, and for that end kept rams about their
houses: he had, besides, a very good trade, and had his shop
always full of the best meat, because he was very rich, and
spared no cost for the best of every sort. One day, when he was
in his shop, an old man with a long white beard came and bought
six pounds of meat, gave him money for it, and went his way. My
brother thought the money so fine, so white, and so well coined,
that he put it apart by itself: the same old man came every day
for five months together, bought a like quantity of meat, and
paid for it in the same sort of money, which my brother continued
to lay apart by itself.

At the end of five months, Alcouz having a mind to buy some
sheep, and to pay for them with this fine money, opened his
trunk; but, instead of finding money, was extremely surprised to
see nothing but a parcel of leaves clipped round in the place
where he had laid it: he beat his head, and cried out aloud,
which presently brought the neighbours about him, who were as
much surprised as he, when he told them the story. O! cried my
brother, weeping, that this treacherous old fellow would come now
with his hypocritical looks! He had scarce done speaking, when
seeing him coming at a distance, he ran to him, and laid hands on
him, Mussulman, cried he, as loud as he could, help! hear what a
cheat this wicked fellow has put upon me! and at the same time
told a great crowd of people, who came about him, what he had
formerly told his neighbours. When he had done, the old man,
without any passion, said to him very gravely, You would do well
to let me go, and by that means make amends for the affront you
have put upon me before so many people, for fear I should put a
greater affront upon you, which I am not willing to do. How! said
my brother, what have you to say against me? I am an honest man
in my business, and fear not you nor any body. You would have me
to tell it then, said the old man; and turning to the people,
said, Know, good people, that this fellow, instead of selling
mutton as he ought, sells man's flesh. You are a cheat, said my
brother. No! no! said the old man: Good people, this very minute
that I am speaking, there is a man with his throat cut hung up in
his shop like a sheep; do any of you go thither, and see if what
I say be not true.

Before my brother had opened his trunk, he had just killed a
sheep, dressed it, and exposed it in his shop, according to
custom: he protested that what the old man said was false; but,
notwithstanding all his protestations, the mob, being prejudiced
against a man accused of such a heinous crime, would go to see
whether the matter was true. They obliged my brother to quit the
old man, laid hold of him, and ran like madmen into his shop,
where they saw a man murdered and hung up, as the old man had
told them; for he was a magician, and deceived the eyes of all
people, as he did my brother's, when he made him take leaves
instead of money. At this spectacle, one of those who held Alcouz
gave him a great blow with his fist, and said to him, Thou wicked
villain, dost thou make us eat man's flesh instead of mutton? At
the same time the old man gave him another blow, which beat out
one of his eyes, and every body that could get near him beat him;
and, not content with that, they carried him before a judge, with
the pretended carcase of the man, to be evidence against him.
Sir, said the old magician to the judge, we have brought you a
man, who is so barbarous as to murder people, and to sell their
flesh instead of mutton; the public expect that you should punish
him in an exemplary manner. The judge heard my brother with
patience, but would believe nothing of the story of the money
exchanged into leaves; called my brother a cheat, told him he
would believe his own eyes, and ordered him to have five hundred
blows. He afterwards made him tell where his money was, took it
all from him, and banished him for ever, after having made him
ride three days through the town upon a camel, exposed to the
insults of the people.

I was not at Bagdad when this tragical adventure befel my fourth
brother. He retired into a remote place, where he lay concealed
till he was cured of the blows with which his back was terribly
gored. When able to walk, he went by night to a certain town
where nobody knew him, and there he took a lodging, from whence
he seldom went out; but, being at last weary of his life, he took
a walk into one of the suburbs, where he was suddenly alarmed
with the noise of horsemen coming behind him. He was then by
chance near the gate of a great house; and fearing, after what
had befallen him, that these horsemen were pursuing him, he
opened the gate in order to hide himself; and, after shutting it
again, he came into a wide court, where two servants immediately
came and took him by the neck, and said, Heaven be praised that
you are come voluntarily to surrender yourself up to us! You have
frightened us so much these three last nights, that we could not
sleep; nor would you have spared our lives, if you could have
come at us! You may very well imagine that my brother was much
surprised at this compliment. Good people, said he, I know not
what you mean; you certainly take me for another! No, no, replied
they; you and your comrades are great robbers: you were not
contented with robbing our master of all that he had, and thereby
reducing him to beggary, but you were also going to take his
life; let us examine whether you have not a knife about you,
which you had in your hand when you pursued us last night. Having
said this, they searched him, and found that he had a knife. Ho!
ho! cried they, laying hold of him; and dare you say that you are
not a robber? Why, said my brother, cannot a man carry a knife
without being a highwayman? If you will be attentive to my story,
continued he, instead of having so bad an opinion of me, you will
be touched with compassion at my misfortunes. But, far from
hearkening to him, they fell upon him, trod him underfoot, took
away his clothes, and tore his shirt. Then observing the scars on
his back, O you dog! cried they, redoubling their blows, would
you have us to believe you are an honest man, when your back
convinces us to the contrary? Alas! said my brother, my faults
must be very great, since, after having been abused already so
unjustly, I am ill treated a second time without being more

The two servants, no way moved with his complaint, carried him
before the judge, who asked him how he durst be so bold as to go
into their house, and pursue them with a drawn knife. Sir,
replied poor Alcouz, I am the most innocent man in the world, and
am undone if you will not hear me patiently: nobody deserves more
compassion. Sir, replied one of the domestics, will you listen to
a robber, who enters people's houses to plunder and murder them?
if you will not believe us, only look upon his back. Upon which
they showed it to the judge, who, without any other information,
immediately commanded one hundred lashes to be given him with a
bull's pizzle over his shoulders, and caused him afterwards to be
carried through the town on a camel, with one crying before him,
Thus are such men punished as enter people's houses by force!
After treating him thus, they banished him from the town, and
forbade him ever to return to it. Some people, who met him after
the second misfortune, brought me word where he was; and I went
and fetched him to Bagdad privately, and gave him all the
assistance I could.

The caliph, continued the barber, did not laugh so much at this
story as at the other: he was pleased to bewail the unfortunate
Alcouz, and ordered something to be given me. But, without giving
his servants time to obey his orders, I continued my discourse,
and said to him, My sovereign lord and master, you see that I do
not speak much; and since your majesty has been pleased to do me
the favour to listen to me so far, I beg you would likewise hear
the adventures of my two other brothers; I hope they will be as
diverting as those of the former. You may make a complete history
of them, which will not be unworthy of your library. I do myself
the honour, then, to acquaint you that my fifth brother was
called Alnaschar.


Alnaschar, as long as our father lived, was very lazy; instead of
working for his living, he used to go a begging in the evening,
and to live upon what he got the next day. Our father died in a
very old age, and left among us seven hundred drams of silver,
which we equally divided; so that each of us had one hundred to
his share. Alnaschar, who never had so much money before in his
possession, was very much perplexed to know what he should do
with it; he consulted a long time with himself, and at last
resolved to lay it out in glasses, bottles, and other glass-work,
which he bought of a great merchant, He put them all in an open
basket, and chose a very little shop, where he sat with the
basket before him, and his back against the wall, expecting that
somebody would come and buy his ware. In this posture he sat with
his eyes fixed on his basket; and beginning to rave, spoke the
following words loud enough to be heard by a neighbour tailor:
This basket, said he, cost me one hundred drams, which are all I
have in the world; I shall make two hundred of it by retailing my
glass; and of these two hundred drams, which I will again lay out
in glass, I shall make four hundred; and, going on thus, I shall
make at last make four thousand drams; of four thousand I shall
easily make eight thousand; and when I come to ten thousand, I
will leave off selling glass, turn jeweller and trade in
diamonds, pearls, and all sorts of precious stones. Then, when I
am as rich as I can wish, I will buy a fine house, a great
estate, slaves, eunuchs, and horses: I will keep a good house,
make a great figure in the world, and will send for all the
musicians and dancers of both sexes in town. Nor will I stop
here; I will, by the favour of Heaven, go on till I get a hundred
thousand drams; and when I have got so much, I will think myself
as great as a prince, send to demand the grand vizier's daughter
in marriage, and represent to that minister that I have heard
very much of the wonderful beauty, modesty, wit, and all the
other qualities of his daughter; in a word, that I will give him
one thousand pieces of gold the first night we are married; and
if the vizier be so uncivil as to refuse his daughter, which
cannot be, I will go and take her before his face, and carry her
to my house, whether he will or no. As soon as I have married the
grand vizier's daughter, I will buy her ten young black eunuchs,
the handsomest that can be had; I will clothe myself like a
prince, and ride upon a fine horse, with a saddle of rich gold,
and housings of cloth, of gold, elegantly embroidered with
diamonds and pearls. I will march through the city, attended both
before and behind; and I will go to the vizier's palace, in the
view of all sorts of people, who will show me profound reverence.
When I alight at the foot of the vizier's stair-case, I will
ascend it in the presence of all my people, ranged in files on
the right and left; and the grand vizier, receiving me as his
son-in-law, shall give me his right hand, and set me above him,
to do me the more honour. If this comes to pass, as I hope it
will, two of my people shall have each of them a purse of a
thousand pieces of gold, which they shall carry with them. I will
take one, and presenting it to the grand vizier, will tell him,
There are the thousand pieces that I promised the first night of
marriage; and I will offer him the other, and say to him, there
are as many more, to show you that I am a man of my word, and
that I am better than my promise. After such an action as this,
all the world will speak of my generosity, and I will return to
my own house in the same pomp. My wife shall send to compliment
me by some officer, on account of the visit I made to her father:
I will honour the officer with a fine robe, and send him back
with a rich present. If she thinks to send me one, I will not
accept of it, but dismiss the bearer. I will not suffer her to go
out of her apartment, on any account whatever, without giving me
notice; and when I have a mind to go to her apartment, it shall
be in such a manner as to make her respect me. In short, no house
shall be better ordered than mine. I shall be always richly clad.
When I retire with my wife in the evening, I will sit on the
upper hand; I will assume a grave air, without turning my head to
the one side or to the other; I will speak little; and whilst my
wife, as beautiful as the full moon, stands before me in all her
ornaments, will feign as if I did not notice her. The women about
her will say to me, Our dear lord and master, here is your
spouse, your humble servant, before you; she expects you will
caress her, and is very much mortified that you do not so much as
vouchsafe to look upon her: she is wearied with standing so long;
bid her at least sit down. I will give no answer to this
discourse, which will increase their surprise and grief; they
will lay themselves at my feet; and, after they have done so a
considerable time, begging me to relent, I will at last lift up
my head, and give her a careless look. Afterwards I will return
to my former posture; and then will they think that my wife is
not well enough, nor handsome enough dressed, and will take her
to her closet to change her apparel. At the same time I will get
up and put on a more magnificent suit than before: they will
return and hold the discourse with me as before; and I shall have
the pleasure not so much as to look upon my wife, till they have
prayed and entreated as long as they did at first. Thus I will
begin, on the first day of marriage, to teach her what she is to
expect during the rest of her life.

After the ceremonies of the marriage are over, said Alnaschar, I
will take from one of my servants, who shall be about me, a purse
of five hundred pieces of gold, which I will give to the
tire-women, that they may leave me alone with my spouse. "When
they are retired, my wife shall go to bed first, and then I will
lie down beside her, with my back towards her, and will not speak
even one word to her the whole night. The next morning she will
certainly complain of my contempt of her, and of my pride, to her
mother, the grand vizier's wife, which will rejoice me extremely.
Her mother will then wait upon me, respectfully kiss my hands,
and say to me, Sir, (for she will not dare to call me her
son-in-law, for fear of provoking me by such familiarity), I pray
you not to disdain my daughter, by refusing to approach her: I
assure you that her chief study is to please you; and that she
loves you with all her heart. But my mother-in-law might as well
hold her peace; I will not make her the least answer, but keep my
gravity. Then she will prostrate herself at my feet, kiss them,
and say to me, Sir, is it possible that you can suspect my
daughter's chastity? I assure you that I never let her go out of
my sight. You are the first man that ever saw her face; do not,
then, mortify her so much. Do her the favour to look upon her, to
speak to her, and confirm her in her good intentions to satisfy
you in every thing. But nothing of this shall prevail; upon which
my mother-in-law will take a glass of wine, and, putting it into
the hand of her daughter, will say, Go, present him with this
glass of wine yourself; perhaps he will not be so cruel as to
refuse it from so fair a hand. My wife will come with the glass,
and stand trembling before me; and when she finds that I do not
look towards her, and that I continue my disdain, she will say to
me, with tears in her eyes, My heart! my dear soul! my amiable
lord! I conjure you, by the favours which Heaven bestows upon
you, to receive this glass of wine from the hand of your most
humble servant! But I will not look upon her still, nor answer
her. My charming spouse! she will then say, redoubling her tears,
and putting the glass to my mouth, I will never leave off till I
prevail with you to drink! Then, being fatigued with her
entreaties, I will dart a terrible look at her, give her a good
box on the cheek, and such a kick with my foot, as will throw her
quite off the alcove.

My brother was so full of these chimerical visions, that he acted
with his foot as if she had been really before him; and
unfortunately gave such a push against the basket and glasses,
that they were thrown down in the street, and broken in a
thousand pieces.

A tailor, who was his neighbour, and who had heard his
extravagant discourse, fell into a fit of laughter when he saw
the basket fall. O what an unworthy fellow art thou! said he to
my brother; ought you not to be ashamed to abuse thus a young
spouse, who gave you no cause to complain? You must be a very
brutish fellow to despise the tears and charms of such a
beautiful lady! Were I the vizier your father-in-law, I would
order you a hundred lashes with a bull's pizzle, and send you
through the town with your character written on your forehead. My
brother, on this fatal accident, came to himself; and perceiving
that he had brought this misfortune upon himself by his
unsupportable pride, beat his face, tore his clothes, and cried
so loud, that the neighbours came about him; and the people who
were going to their noon-prayers stopped to know what was the
matter. It being on a Friday, a greater number of people was
going to prayers than usual; some of them took pity on Alnaschar,
while others only laughed at his extravagance. In the mean time,
his vanity being dispersed, as well as his glasses, he bitterly
lamented his loss; and a lady of distinction passing by on a mule
with rich caparisons, my brother's condition excited her
compassion; she asked who he was, and what was the matter with
him; they told her that he was a poor man, who had laid out a
little money in buying a basket of glasses, and that the basket
falling, all his glasses were broken. The lady immediately turned
to an eunuch who attended her, and said to him, Give the poor man
what money you have about you. The eunuch obeying, put into my
brother's hand five hundred pieces of gold. Alnaschar was
transported with excess of joy on receiving them; he bestowed a
thousand blessings upon the lady, and shutting up his shop, where
he had no longer occasion to sit, he returned to his house.

Whilst he was seriously reflecting upon his good fortune, he
heard a knocking at the door; but, before he opened it, he
thought it prudent first to inquire who it was; when knowing it
to be a woman by her voice, he instantly admitted her. My son,
said she, I have a favour to beg of you: the hour of prayer is
come; be pleased, therefore, to let me wash myself, that I may be
fit to say my prayers. My brother looked at her, and saw that she
was a woman far advanced in years: though he knew her not, he
granted what she required, and then sat down again, being still
full of his new adventure. He put his gold into a long strait
purse, proper to carry at his girdle. The old woman, in the mean
time, said her prayers, and, when she had done, came to my
brother, and bowed twice to the ground, so low that she almost
touched it with her forehead; then raising herself up, she wished
my brother all manner of happiness, and thanked him for his
civility. Being meanly clad, and very humble to him, he thought
she asked alms, upon which he offered her two pieces of gold. The
old woman stepped back in a sort of surprise, as if my brother
had done her an injury. Heavens! said she, what is the meaning of
this? Is it possible, sir, said she, that you take me for an
impudent beggar? Did you think I came so boldly into your house
to ask alms? Take back your money; I have no need of it, thanks
to Heaven! I belong to a young lady of this city, who is a
charming beauty, and very rich; she does not let me want for any

My brother was not cunning enough to perceive the craft of the
old woman, who only refused the two pieces of gold that she might
catch more. He asked her if she could not procure him the honour
of seeing her lady. With all my heart, replied she, she will be
very well satisfied to marry, and to put you in possession of her
estate, by making you master of her person. Take up your money,
and follow me. My brother being ravished with his good luck of
finding so great a sum of money, and almost at the same time a
beautiful and rich wife, his eyes were shut to all other
considerations; so that he took his five hundred pieces of gold,
and followed the old woman. She walked before him, and he
followed at a distance, to the gate of a great house, where she
knocked. He came up to her just as a young Greek slave opened the
gate. The old woman made him enter first, went across a court
very well paved, and introduced him into a hall, the furniture of
which confirmed him in the good opinion he had conceived of the
mistress of the house. While the old woman went to acquaint the
lady, he sat down, and, the weather being hot, pulled off his
turban, and laid it by him. He speedily saw the young lady come
in, whose beauty and rich apparel perfectly surprised him. He got
up as soon as he saw her. The lady, with a smiling countenance,
prayed him to sit down again, and placed herself by him. She told
him she was very glad to see him; and, after having spoken some
engaging words, said, We do not sit here at our conveniency.
Come, give me your hand. At these words, she presented her's, and
carried him into an inner chamber, where she entertained him for
some time; then she left him, bidding him stay, and she would be
with him in a moment. He expected her; but, instead of the lady,
came in a great black slave, with a scimitar in his hand; and
looking upon my brother with a terrible aspect, said to him
fiercely, What have you to do here? Alnaschar was so full of fear
at the sight of the slave, that he had no power to answer. The
black stripped him, carried off his gold, and gave him several
cuts with his scimitar. My unhappy brother fell to the ground,
where he lay without motion, though he had still the use of his
senses. The black, thinking him to be dead, asked for salt; the
Greek slave brought him a basin full; they rubbed my brother's
wounds with it; who had so much command of himself,
notwithstanding the intolerable pain it put him to, that he lay
still without showing any sign of life. The black and the Greek
slave having retired, the old woman who drew my brother into the
snare, came and dragged him by the feet to a trap-door, which she
opened, and threw him into a place under ground, among the
corpses of several other people who had been murdered. He
perceived this as soon as he came to himself; for the violence of
his fall had taken away his senses. The salt rubbed into his
wounds preserved his life, and he recovered strength by degrees,
so as to be able to walk. After two days he opened the trap-door
during the night; and, finding a proper place in the court to
hide himself, continued there till break of day, when he saw the
cursed old woman open the gate, and go out to seek another prey.
He staid in the place some time after she went out, that she
might not see him, and then came to me for shelter, when he told
me of his adventures.

In a month he was perfectly cured of his wounds by medicines that
I gave him, and resolved to avenge himself of the old woman who
had put upon him such a barbarous cheat. To this end, he took a
bag, large enough to contain five hundred pieces of gold, and
filled it with pieces of glass.

My brother, continued the barber, one morning fastened the bag of
glass about him, disguised himself like an old woman, and took a
scimitar under his gown. He met the old woman walking through the
town to seek her prey: he went up to her, and, counterfeiting a
woman's voice, said, Cannot you lend me a pair of scales? I am a
woman newly come from Persia, have brought five hundred pieces of
gold with me, and would know if they will hold out according to
your weights. Good woman, answered the old hag, you could not
have applied to a more proper person. Follow me; I will bring you
to my son, who changes money, and will weigh them himself, to
save you the trouble. Let us make haste, for fear he be gone to
his shop. My brother followed her to the house where she carried
him the first time, and the Greek slave opened the door.

The old woman carried my brother to the hall, where she bid him
stay a moment till she called her son. The pretended son came,
and proved to be the villanous black slave. Come, old woman, said
he to my brother, rise and follow me. Having spoken thus, he went
before to bring him to the place where he designed to murder him.
Alnaschar got up, followed him, and, drawing his scimitar, gave
him such a dexterous blow on the neck, as to cut off his head,
which he took in one hand, and dragging the body with the other,
threw them both into the place under ground before mentioned. The
Greek slave, who was accustomed to the trade, came presently with
a basin of salt; but when she saw Alnaschar with the scimitar in
his hand, and without his veil, she laid down the basin, and
fled. But my brother overtaking her, cut off her head also. The
wicked old woman came running at the noise, and my brother
seizing her, said to her, Treacherous wretch! do not you know me?
Alas, sir, answered she, trembling, who are you? I do not
remember that I ever saw you. I am, said he, the person to whose
house you came the other day to wash and say your prayers.
Hypocritical hag! said he, do not you remember it? Then she fell
upon her knees to beg his pardon; but he cut her in four pieces.

There remained only the lady, who knew nothing of what had
passed. He sought her out, and found her in a chamber, where she
was ready to sink when she saw him. She begged her life, which he
generously granted. Madam, said he, how could you live with such
wicked people as I have now so justly revenged myself upon? I
was, said she, wife to an honest merchant; and the cursed old
woman, whose wickedness I did not know, used sometimes to come to
see me. Madam, said she one day, we have a very fine wedding at
our house, which you will be pleased to see, if you give us the
honour of your company. I was persuaded by her, put on my best
apparel, and took with me a hundred pieces of gold. I followed
her; she brought me to this house, where the black has kept me
since by force, and I have been three years here to my very great
sorrow. By the trade which the cursed black followed, replied my
brother, he must have gathered together a vast deal of riches.
There is so much, said she, that you will be made for ever, if
you can carry them off. Follow me, and you shall see them, said
she. Alnaschar followed her to a chamber, where she showed him
several coffers full of gold, which he beheld with admiration.
Go, said she, fetch people enough to carry it all off. My brother
needed not to be bid twice; he went out, but staid only till he
got ten men together, and he brought them with him, and was much
surprised to find the gate open, but more when he found the lady
and the coffers all gone; for she, being more diligent than he,
had carried them all away. However, being resolved not to return
empty-handed, he carried off all the goods he could find in the
house; which were a great deal more than enough to make up the
five hundred pieces of gold of which he was robbed; but, when he
went out of the house, he forgot to shut the gate. The
neighbours, who saw my brother and the porters come and go, went
and acquainted the magistrate with it; for they looked upon my
brother's conduct as suspicious. Alnaschar slept well enough all
night; but next morning, when he came out of his house, twenty of
the magistrate's men seized him. Come along with us, said they;
our master would speak with you. My brother prayed them to have
patience for a moment, and offered them a sum of money to let him
escape; but, instead of listening to him, they bound him, and
forced him to go along with them. They met in the street an old
acquaintance of my brother's, who stopped them a while, and asked
them why they seized my brother, and offered them a considerable
sum to let him escape, and to tell the magistrate that they could
not find him. But this would not do; so he was carried before the

When the officers brought him before the magistrate, he asked him
where he had the goods which he carried home last night? Sir,
replied Alnaschar, I am ready to tell you all the truth; but
allow me first to have recourse to your clemency, and to beg your
promise that nothing shall be done to me. I give it you, said the
magistrate. Then my brother told him the whole story without
disguise, from the time the old woman came into his house to say
her prayers, to the time the lady made her escape, after he had
killed the black, the Greek slave, and the old woman; and as for
what he had carried to his house, he prayed the judge to leave
him part of it for the five hundred pieces of gold that he was
robbed of.

The judge, without promising any thing, sent his officers to
bring all off; and, having put the goods into his own wardrobe,
commanded my brother to quit the town immediately, and never to
return; for he was afraid, if my brother had staid in the city,
he would have found some way to represent this injustice to the
caliph. In the mean time, Alnaschar obeyed without murmuring, and
left that town to go to another. By the way he met with
highwaymen, who stripped him naked; and when the ill news was
brought to me, I carried him a suit, and brought him in secretly
again to the town, where I took the like care of him as I did of
his other brothers.


I am now only to tell the story of my sixth brother, called
Schacabac, with the hare-lips. At first he was industrious enough
to improve the hundred drams of silver which fell to his share,
and became very well to pass; but a reverse of fortune brought
him to beg his bread, which he did with a great deal of
dexterity. He studied chiefly to get into great men's houses by
means of their servants and officers, that he might have access
to their masters, and obtain their charity. One day, as he passed
by a magnificent house, whose high gate showed a very spacious
court, where there was a multitude of servants, he went to one of
them, and asked to whom that house belonged. Good man, replied
the servant, whence do you come, that you ask such a question?
Does not all that you see make you understand that it is the
palace of a Bermecide? [Footnote: The Bermecides were, as has
been mentioned, a noble family of persia, who settled at Bagdad.]
My brother, who very well knew the liberality and generosity of
the Bermecides, addressed himself to one of his porters, (for he
had more than one,) and prayed him to give him an alms. Go in,
said he; nobody hinders you, and address yourself to the master
of the house; he will send you back satisfied.

My brother, who expected no such civility, thanked the porter,
and with his permission entered the palace, which was so large,
that it took him a considerable time to reach the Bermecide's
apartment. At last he came to a fine square building, of
excellent architecture, and entered by a porch, through which he
saw one of the finest gardens, with gravel-walks of several
colours, extremely pleasant to the eye. The lower apartments
round this square were most of them open, and shut only with
great curtains, to keep out the sun, which were opened again when
the heat was over.

Such an agreeable place struck my brother with admiration, and
might well have done so to a man far above his quality. He went
on till he came into a hall richly furnished, and adorned with
paintings of gold and azure foliage, where he saw a venerable man
with a long white beard, sitting at the upper end of an alcove,
whence he concluded him to be the master of the house; and in
effect it was the Bermecide himself, who said to my brother, in a
very civil manner, that he was welcome, and asked him what he
wanted. My lord, answered my brother, in a begging tone, I am a
poor man, who stand in need of the help of such rich and generous
persons as yourself. He could not have addressed himself to a
fitter person than this lord, who had a thousand good qualities.

The Bermecide seemed to be astonished at my brother's answer;
and, putting both his hands to his stomach, as if he would rend
his clothes for grief, Is it possible, cried he, that I am at
Bagdad, and that such a man as you is so poor as you say? This is
what must never be. My brother, fancying that he was going to
give him some singular mark of his bounty, blessed him a thousand
times, and wished him all sort of happiness. It shall not be
said, replied the Bermecide, that I will abandon you, nor will I
have you to leave me. Sir, replied my brother, I swear to you I
have not swallowed one bit to-day! Is that true? replied the
Bermecide; and are you fasting till now? Alas, for thee, poor
man! he is ready to die for hunger. Ho, boy! cried he with a loud
voice, bring a bason and water presently, that we may wash our
hands. Though no boy appeared, that my brother saw, either with
water or bason, the Bermecide fell a rubbing his hands, as if one
had poured water upon them, and bid my brother come and wash with
him. Schacabac judged by this that the Bermecide lord loved to be
merry; and he himself understanding raillery, and knowing that
the poor must be complaisant to the rich, if they would have any
thing, came forward, and did as he did.

Come on, said the Bermecide, bring us something to eat, and do
not let us stay for it. When he had said so, though nothing was
brought, he cut as if something had been brought upon a plate;
and, putting his hand to his mouth, began to chew, and said to my
brother, Come, friend, eat as freely as if you were at home; come
and eat: you said you were like to die of hunger; but you eat as
if you had no stomach. Pardon me, my lord, said Schacabac, who
perfectly imitated what he did, you see I lose no time, and that
I do my part well enough. How like you this bread? said the
Bermecide; do not you find it very good? O, my lord, said, my
brother, who neither saw bread nor meat, I never ate any thing so
white and so fine. Come, eat your bellyful, said the Bermecide; I
assure you the baker-woman that bakes me this bread, cost me five
hundred pieces of gold to purchase her.

The Bermecide, after having boasted so much of his bread, which
my brother ate only in idea, cried, Boy, bring us another dish.
Though no boy appeared, Come, my good friend, said he to my
brother, taste this new dish, and tell me if ever you ate better
mutton and barley broth than this. It is admirably good, replied
my brother, and therefore you see I eat heartily. You oblige me
mightily, replied the Bermecide: I conjure you, then, by the
satisfaction I have to see you eat so heartily, that you eat all
up, since you like it so well. A little while after he called for
a goose and sweet sauce, vinegar, honey, dry raisins, grey peas,
and dry figs, which were brought just in the same manner as the
other was. The goose is very fat, said the Bermecide; eat only a
leg and a wing; we must save our stomachs, for we have abundance
of other dishes to come. He actually called for several other
dishes, of which my brother, who was ready to die of hunger,
pretended to eat; but what he boasted of more than all the rest,
was a lamb fed with pistacho nuts, which he ordered to be brought
up in the same manner that the rest were. Here is a dish, said
the Bermecide, that you will see at nobody's table but my own; I
would have you eat unsparingly of it. Having spoken thus, he
stretched out his hand as if he had a piece of lamb in it, and
putting it to my brother's mouth, There, said he, swallow that,
and you will know whether I had not reason to boast of this dish.
My brother thrust out his head, opened his mouth, and made as if
he took the piece of lamb, and ate it with extreme pleasure. I
knew you would like it, said the Bermecide. There is nothing in
the world more fine, replied my brother; your lamb is a most
delicious thing. Come, bring the ragoo presently; I fancy you
will like that as well as the lamb. Well, how do you relish it?
said the Bermecide. O! it is wonderful! replied Schacabac, for
here we taste all at once, amber, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper,
and the most odoriferous herbs; and all these tastes are so well
mixed, that one does not hinder us from perceiving the other: O
how pleasant it is. Honour this ragoo, said the Bermecide, by
eating heartily of it, Ho, boy! cried he; bring us a new ragoo.
No, my lord, an't please you, replied my brother; for indeed I
cannot eat any more.

Come, take it away then, said the Bermecide, and bring the fruit.
He staid a moment, as it were, to give time for his servants to
carry away; after which, he said to my brother, Taste these
almonds; they are fresh and new gathered. Both of them made as if
they had peeled the almonds, and ate them. After this, the
Bermecide invited my brother to eat something else. Look you,
said he, there are all sorts of fruits, cakes, dry sweatmeats,
and conserves; take what you like. Then stretching out his hand
as if he had reached my brother something, Look, said he, there
is a lozenge very good for digestion. Schacabac made as if he ate
it, and said, My lord, there is no want of musk here. These
lozenges, said the Bermecide, are made in my own house, where
there is nothing wanting to make every thing good. He still bade
my brother eat, and said to him, Methinks you do not eat as if
you had been so hungry as you said when you came in. My lord,
replied Schacabac, whose jaws ached with moving and having
nothing to eat, I am so full, that I cannot eat one bit more.

Well, then, my friend, replied the Bermecide, we must drink now,
after we have eaten so well. You drink wine, my lord, replied my
brother; but I will, if you please, drink none, because I am
forbidden. You are too scrupulous, replied the Bermecide, do as I
do. I will drink then out of complaisance, said Schacabac; for I
see you will have nothing wanting to make your treat noble: but,
since I am not accustomed to drink wine, I am afraid that I shall
commit some error in point of breeding, contrary to the respect
that is due to you, and therefore I pray you once more to excuse
me from drinking any wine; I will be content with water. No, no,
said the Bermecide, you shall drink wine; and at the same time he
commanded some to be brought in the same manner as the meat and
fruit had been brought before. He made as if he poured out wine,
drank first himself, and then pouring out for my brother,
presented him the glass: Drink my health, said he, and let me
know if you think this wine good. My brother made as if he took
the glass, and looked as if the colour was good, and put it to
his nose to try if it had a good flavour; he then made a low bow
to the Bermecide, to signify that he took the liberty to drink
his health, making all the signs of a man who drinks with
pleasure: My lord, said he, this is very excellent wine; but I
think it is not strong enough. If you would have stronger, said
the Bermecide, you need only speak, for I have several sorts in
my cellar; try how you like this; upon which he made as if he
poured out another glass to himself, and then to my brother; and
did this so often, that Schacabac, feigning to be drunk with the
wine, took up his hand, and gave the Bermecide such a box on the
ear as made him fall down; he lifted up his hand to give him
another blow; but the Bermecide, holding up his hand to ward it
off, cried to him, What! are you mad? Then my brother, making as
if he had come to himself again, said, My lord, you have been so
good as to admit your slave into your house, and give him a great
treat; you should have been satisfied in making me eat, and not
have obliged me to drink wine; for I told you beforehand that it
might occasion me to come short in my respect: I am very much
troubled at it, and beg you a thousand pardons. He had scarcely
finished these words, when the Bermecide, instead of being in a
rage, fell a laughing with all his might. It is a long time, said
he, since I wished a man of your character.

The Bermecide caressed Schacabac mightily, and told him, I not
only forgive the blow you have given me, but am willing
henceforward we should be friends; and that you take my house for
your home: you have been so complaisant as to accommodate
yourself to my humour, and have had the patience to bear the jest
out to the last; we will now eat in good earnest. When he had
finished these words, he clapped his hands, and commanded his
servants, who then appeared, to cover the table; which was
speedily done, and my brother was treated with all those viands
in reality which he ate of before in fancy. At last they took
them away, and brought wine; and at the same time a number of
handsome slaves, richly apparelled, came in and sung some
agreeable airs to their musical instruments. In a word, Schacabac
had all the reason in the world to be satisfied with the
Bermecide's civility and bounty; for he treated him as his
familiar friend, and ordered him a suit out of his wardrobe.

The Bermecide found my brother to be a man of so much wit and
understanding, that in a few days after he trusted him with his
household, and all his affairs. My brother acquitted himself very
well in that employment for twenty years, at the end of which the
generous Bermecide died, and, leaving no heirs, all his estate
was confiscated to the use of the prince; upon which my brother
was reduced to his first condition, and joined a caravan of
pilgrims going to Mecca, designing to accomplish that pilgrimage
upon their charity; but by misfortune the caravan was attacked
and plundered by a number of Beduins [Footnote: Vagabond
Arabians, who wander in the deserts, and plunder the caravans
when they are not strong enough to resist them.] superior to that
of the pilgrims. My brother was then taken as a slave by one of
the Beduins, who put him under the bastinado for several days, to
oblige him to ransom himself. Schacabac protested to him that it
was all in vain. I am your slave, said he, you may dispose of me
as you please: but I declare unto you that I am extremely poor,
and not able to redeem myself. In a word, my brother discovered
to him all his misfortunes, and endeavoured to soften him with
tears; but the Beduin had no mercy; and, being vexed to find
himself disappointed of a considerable sum, which he reckoned he
was sure of, he took his knife, and slit my brother's lips, to
avenge himself, by this inhumanity, for the loss that he imagined
he had sustained.

The Beduin had a handsome wife; and frequently, when he went on
his courses, he left my brother alone with her, and then she used
all her endeavours to comfort my brother under the rigour of his
slavery: she gave him tokens enough that she loved him; but he
durst not yield to her passion, for fear he should repent it, and
therefore he shunned to be alone with her, as much as she sought
the opportunity to be alone with him. She had so great a custom
of toying and jesting with the miserable Schacabac, whenever she
saw him, that one day she happened to do it in presence of her
husband. My brother, without taking notice that he observed them,
(so his stars would have it) jested likewise with her. The
Beduin, immediately supposing that they lived together in a
criminal manner, fell upon my brother in a rage, and after he had
mangled him in a barbarous manner, he carried him on a camel to
the top of a desert mountain, where he left him. The mountain was
on the way to Bagdad, so that the passengers who passed that road
gave me an account of the place where he was. I went thither
speedily, where I found the unfortunate Schacabac in a deplorable
condition: I gave him what help he stood in need of, and brought
him back to the city.

This is what I told the caliph, added the barber; that prince
applauded me with new fits of laughter. Now, said he, I cannot
doubt that they justly gave you the surname of Silent; nobody can
say the contrary. For certain reasons, however, I command you to
depart this town immediately, and let me hear no more of your
discourse. I yielded to necessity, and went to travel several
years in far countries. I understood at last that the caliph was
dead, and returned to Bagdad, where I found not one of my
brethren alive. It was on my return to this town that I did the
important service to the same young man which you have heard. You
are, however, witness of his ingratitude, and of the injurious
manner in which he treated me. Instead of testifying his
acknowledgments, he chose rather to fly from me, and to leave his
own country. When I understood that he was not at Bagdad, though
nobody could tell me truly whither he was gone, yet I did not
forbear to go and seek him. I travelled from province to province
a long time; and when I had given over all hopes, I met him this
day; but I did not think to find him so incensed against me.

The tailor made an end of telling the sultan of Casgar the
history of the lame young man, and the barber of Bagdad, after
that manner I had the honour to tell your majesty.

When the barber, continued he, had finished his story, we found
that the young man was not to blame for calling him a great
prattler. However, we were pleased that he would stay with us,
and par take of the treat which the master of the house had
prepared for us. We sat down to table, and were merry together
till afternoon prayers; then all the company parted, and I went
to my shop, till it was time for me to return home.

It was during this interval that Hump-back came half drunk before
my shop, where he sung and taboured. I thought that, by carrying
him home with me, I should divert my wife; therefore I brought
him along. My wife gave us a dish of fish, and I presented
Hump-back with some, which he ate without taking notice of a
bone. He fell down dead before us; and, after having in vain
essayed to help him, in the trouble occasioned us by such an
unlucky accident, and through the fear of punishment, we carried
the corpse out, and dexterously lodged it with the Jewish doctor.
The Jewish doctor put it into the chamber of the purveyor, and
the purveyor carried it forth into the street, where it was
believed the merchant had killed him. This, sir, added the
tailor, is what I had to say to satisfy your majesty, who must
pronounce whether we be worthy of mercy or wrath, life or death.

The sultan of Casgar looked with a contented air, and gave the
tailor and his comrades their lives. I cannot but acknowledge,
said he, that I am more amazed at the history of the young
cripple, at that of the barber, and at the adventures of his
brothers, than at the story of my jester; but before I send you
all four away, and before we bury Hump, I would see the barber,
who is the cause that I have pardoned you. Since he is in my
capital, it is easy to satisfy my curiosity. At the same time he
sent a serjeant with the tailor to find him.

The serjeant and the tailor went immediately, and brought the
barber, whom they presented to the sultan. The barber was an old
man of ninety years; his eye-brows and beard were as white as
snow, his ears hung down, and he had a very long nose. The sultan
could not forbear laughing when he saw him. Silent man, said he
to him, I understand that you know wonderful stories; will you
tell me some of them? Sir, answered the barber, let us forbear
the stories, if you please, at present. I most humbly beg your
majesty to permit me to ask what that Christian, that Jew, that
Mussulman, and that dead Hump-back, who lies on the ground, do
here before your majesty. The sultan smiled at the barber's
liberty, and replied, Why do you ask? Sir, replied the barber, it
concerns me to ask, that your majesty may know that I am not so
great a talker as some pretend, but a man justly called Silent.

The sultan of Casgar was so complaisant as to satisfy the
barber's curiosity. He commanded them to tell him the story of
the Hump-back, which he earnestly wished for. When the barber
heard it, he shook his head, as if he would say, there was
something under this which he did not understand. Truly, cried
he, this is a surprising story; but I am willing to examine
Hump-back a little closely. He drew near him, sat down on the
ground, put his head between his knees, and after he had looked
upon him steadfastly, he fell into so great a fit of laughter,
and had so little command of himself, that he fell backwards on
the ground, without considering that he was before the sultan of
Casgar. As soon as he came to himself, It is said, cried he, and
without reason, that no man dies without a cause. If ever any
history deserved to be written in letters of gold, it is this of

At this all the people looked on the barber as a buffoon, or a
doting old man. Silent man, said the sultan, speak to me; why do
you laugh so hard? Sir, answered the barber, I swear by your
majesty's good humour that Hump-back is not dead! he is yet
alive; and I shall be willing to pass for a madman, if I do not
let you sec it this minute. Having said these words, he took a
box, wherein he had several medicines, that he carried about to
make use of on occasion; and took out a phial with balsam, with
which he rubbed Hump-back's neck a long time; then he took out of
his case a neat iron instrument, which he put betwixt his teeth,
and, after he had opened his mouth, he thrust down his throat a
pair of pincers, with which he took out a bit offish and bone,
which he showed to all the people. Immediately Hump-back sneezed,
stretched forth his arms and feet, and gave several other signs
of life.

The sultan of Casgar, and those with him, who were witnesses to
this operation, were less surprised to see Hump-back revive,
after he had passed a whole night and great part of a day without
giving any signs of life, than at the merit and capacity of the
barber who performed this; and, notwithstanding all his faults,
began to look upon him as a great person. The sultan, ravished
with joy and admiration, ordered the story of Hump-back to be
recorded, with that of the barber, that the memory of it might,
as it deserved, be preserved for ever. Nor did he stop here; but
that the tailor, Jewish doctor, purveyor, and Christian merchant,
might remember, with pleasure, the adventure which the accident
of Hump-back had occasioned to them, he did not send them away
till he had given each of them a very rich robe, with which he
caused them to be clothed in his presence. As for the barber, he
honoured him with a great pension, and kept him near his person.

Thus the sultaness finished this long train of adventures, to
which the pretended death of Hump-back gave occasion; then held
her peace, because day appeared; upon which her sister Dinarzade
said to her, My princess, my sultaness, I am so much the more
charmed with the story you just now told, because it concludes
with an incident I did not expect. I verily thought Hump-back was
dead. This surprise pleases me, said Schahriar, as much as the
adventures of the barber's brothers. The story of the lame young
man of Bagdad diverted me also very much, replied Dinarzade. I am
very glad of it, dear sister, said the sultaness; and since I
have the good fortune not to tire out the patience of the sultan,
our lord and master, if his majesty will still be so gracious as
to preserve my life, I shall have the honour to give him an
account to-morrow of the history of the amours of Aboulhassen Ali
Ebn Becar and Schemselnihar, favourite of the caliph Haroun
Alraschid, which is no less worthy of your notice than the
history of Hump-back.

The sultan of the Indies, who was very well satisfied with the
stories which Scheherazade had told him hitherto, was willing to
hear the history which she promised. He rose, however, to go to
prayers, and hold his council, without giving any signification
of his pleasure towards the sultaness.

Dinarzade, being always careful to awake her sister, called this
night at the ordinary hour. My dear sister, said she, day will
soon appear. I earnestly beg of you to tell us some of your fine
stories. We need no other, said Schahriar, but that of the amours
of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Becar and Schemselnihar, the favourite of
caliph Haroun Alraschid. Sir, said Scheherazade, I will satisfy
your curiosity; and began thus.

                       HAROUN ALRASCHID.

In the reign of the caliph Haroun Alraschid, there was at Bagdad
a druggist, called Aboulhassen Ebn Thaher, a very rich and
handsome man. He had more wit and politeness than those of his
profession generally have. His integrity, sincerity, and jovial
humour, made him to be loved and sought after by all sorts of
people. The caliph, who knew his merit, had entire confidence in
him; and so great was his esteem for him, that he entrusted him
with the care of providing the ladies his favourites with all
things they stood in need of. He chose for them their clothes,
furniture, and jewels, with admirable judgment.

His good qualities, with the favour of the caliph, made the sons
of emirs, officers, and others of the first rank, to be always
about him. His house was the rendezvous of all the nobility of
the court. But, among the young lords who daily visited him,
there was one of whom he took more notice, and with whom he
contracted a particular friendship, called Aboulhassen Ali Ebn
Becar, originally of an ancient royal family of Persia. This
family had continued at Bagdad ever since the Mussul-men made a
conquest of that kingdom. Nature seemed to have taken pleasure to
endow this young prince with many of the rarest qualities both of
body and mind. His face was so very beautiful, his shape so fine,
and his physiognomy so prepossessing; that none could see him
without loving him immediately. When he spoke, he expressed
himself always in terms the most proper and well chosen, with a
new and agreeable turn, and his voice charmed all who heard him.
He had withal so much wit and judgment, that he thought and spoke
on every subject with admirable exactness. He was so reserved and
modest, that he advanced nothing till he had taken all possible
precautions to avoid giving any ground of suspicion that he
preferred his own opinion to that of others.

Being such a person as I have represented him, we need not wonder
that Ebn Thaher distinguished him from all the other young
noblemen of the court, most of whom had vices contrary to his
virtues. One day, when the prince was with Ebn Thaher, there came
a lady mounted on a piebald mule, surrounded by six women-slaves,
who accompanied her on foot, all very handsome, as far as could
be judged by their air, and through the veils which covered their
faces. The lady had a girdle of a rose colour, four inches broad,
embroidered with pearls and diamonds of an extraordinary bigness;
and it was easy to perceive that she surpassed all her women in
beauty as much as the full moon does that of two days old. She
came to buy something; and when she had spoken to Ebn Thaher,
entered his shop, which was very neat and large, and receiving
her with all the marks of the most profound respect, entreated
her to sit down, and showed her the most honourable place.

In the mean time the prince of Persia, unwilling to let such an
opportunity pass to show his good-breeding and courtly temper,
beat up the cushion of gold cloth for the lady to lean on; upon
which he retired speedily, that she might sit down; and having
saluted her, by kissing the tapestry under her feet, he rose, and
stood at the lower end of the sofa. It being her custom to be
free with Ebn Thaher, she lifted her veil, and discovered to the
prince of Persia such extraordinary beauty, that he was struck
with it to the heart. On the other hand, the lady could not
contain herself from looking on the prince, the sight of whom had
made the same impression, upon her. My lord, said she to him,
with an obliging air, pray sit down. The prince of Persia obeyed,
and sat down upon the edge of the sofa. He had his eyes
constantly fixed upon her, and swallowed large draughts of the
sweet poison of love. She quickly perceived what worked in his
heart, and this discovery inflamed her the more towards him. She
rose up, went to Ebn Thaher, and, after whispering to him the
cause of her coming, asked the name and country of the prince.
Madam, answered Ebn Thaher, this young nobleman's name is
Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Becar, and he is a prince of the blood-royal.

The lady was overjoyed to hear that the person she already so
passionately loved was of a quality so high. You certainly mean,
said she, that he is descended from the kings of Persia. Yes,
madam, replied Ebn Thaher; the last kings of Persia were his
ancestors, and, since the conquest of that kingdom, the princes
of his family have always made themselves acceptable at the court
of the caliphs. You will oblige me much, added she, in making me
acquainted with this young nobleman. When I send this woman, said
she, pointing to one of her slaves, to give you notice to come
and see me, pray bring him with you; I shall be very glad to
display to him the magnificence of my house, that he may see that
avarice does not reign at Bagdad among persons of quality. You
know what I mean; therefore do not fail, other, wise I will be
very angry with you, and beg you will never come hither again
while I live.

Ebn Thaher was a man of too much penetration not to perceive the
lady's mind by these words. My princess! my queen! replied he;
God preserve me from ever giving you any occasion of anger
against me! I shall always make it a law to obey your commands.
At this answer, the lady bowed to Ebn Thaher, and bid farewell;
and, after giving a favourable look to the prince of Persia,
remounted her mule, and went away.

The prince of Persia was so deeply smitten with the lady, that he
looked after her as far as he could see; and, for a long time
after she was out of sight, he still looked that way. Ebn Thaher
told him, that several persons were observing him, and were
laughing to see him in this posture. Alas! said the prince, the
world and you would have compassion on me, if you knew that the
fine lady who is just now gone, has carried with her the best
part of me, and that the remaining part seeks for an opportunity
to go after her. Tell me, I conjure you, added he, what cruel
lady this is, who forces people to love her, without giving them
time to advise? My lord, answered Ebn Thaher, this is the famous
Schemselnihar, [Footnote: This word signifies the sun of the
day.] the principal favourite of the caliph our master. She is
justly so called, added the prince, since she is more beautiful
than the sun at noon-day. That is true, replied Ebn Thaher;
therefore the commander of the faithful loves, or rather adores
her: he gave me express orders to furnish all that she asked of
me, and to prevent, as much as possible, every thing that she can
desire of me.

He spoke in this manner, in order to hinder him from engaging in
an amour which could not but prove unhappy to him; but it served
only to inflame him the more. I was very doubtful, charming
Schemselnihar, said he, that I should not be allowed so much as
to think of you. I perceive well, however, that, without hopes of
being loved by you, I cannot forbear loving you. I will love you
then, and bless my lot that I am slave to an object fairer than
the meridian sun.

While the prince of Persia was thus consecrating his heart to
fair Schemselnihar, this lady, upon returning home, thought upon
a way how she might see and have free converse with him. She no
sooner entered her palace, than she sent to Ebn Thaher the woman
she had shown him, and in whom she put all her confidence, to
tell him to come and see her without delay, and to bring the
prince of Persia with him. The slave came to Ebn Thaher's shop
while he was speaking with the prince, and endeavouring, by very
strong arguments, to dissuade him from loving the caliph's
favourite. When she saw them together, Gentlemen, said she, my
honourable mistress Schemselnihar, the chief favourite of the
commander of the faithful, entreats you to come to her palace,
where she waits for you. Ebn Thaher, to testify his obedience,
rose up immediately, without answering the slave, and followed
her, though with some reluctance. As for the prince, he followed
without reflecting upon the danger that might happen in such a
visit: the company of Ebn Thaher, who had liberty to visit the
favourite whenever he pleased, made the prince very easy in the
affair. They followed the slave, who went a little before them,
entering after her into the caliph's palace, and joined her at
the gate of Schemselnihar's little palace, which was already
open: she introduced them into a great hall, where she entreated
them both to sit down.

The prince of Persia thought himself in one of those magnificent
palaces that are promised us in the other world, for he had never
seen any thing that equalled the shining splendour of the place;
the carpets, cushions, and other furniture of the sofas, the
moveables, ornaments, and architecture, were all surprisingly
beautiful. A little time after Ebn Thaher and he were sat down, a
very handsome black slave set before them a table covered with
several very fine dishes, the delicious smell of which made them
judge of the delicacy of the sauce. While eating, they were
waited upon by the slave who had introduced them, and who invited
them to eat of what she knew to be the greatest dainties; when
they had done, they were served with excellent wine by the other
slaves, who afterwards presented to each of them a fine gold
basin full of water to wash their hands, and also a golden pot
full of the perfume of aloes, with which they both perfumed their
beards and clothes; nor was odoriferous water forgotten, which
the slaves brought to them in a golden vessel, enriched with
diamonds and rubies, made particularly for that use, and which
they threw upon their beards and faces, according to custom. They
then went to their places; but had scarcely seated themselves,
when the slave entreated them to rise and follow her; and opening
a gate of the hall in which they were, they entered into a
spacious saloon of a marvellous structure. It was a dome of the
most agreeable fashion, supported by a hundred pillars of marble,
white as alabaster; the bases and chapiters of the pillars were
adorned with four-footed beasts and birds of several sorts
gilded. The foot-carpet of this noble parlour consisted of one
piece of gold cloth, embroidered with garlands of roses in red
and white silk; and the dome being painted in the same manner,
after the Arabian form, was one of the most charming objects the
eye ever beheld: betwixt each column was placed a little sofa
adorned in the same manner, and great vessels of china, crystal,
jasper, jet, porphyry, agate, and other precious materials,
garnished with gold and jewels: the spaces betwixt the columns
were so many large windows, with jets high enough to lean on,
covered with the same sort of stuff as the sofas, from which was
a prospect into one of the most delightful gardens in the world,
the walks of which, being made of little pebbles of different
colours, much resembled the foot-carpet of the saloon; so that it
appeared, both within and without, as if the dome and the garden,
with all their ornaments, had stood upon the same carpet. The
prospect round was thus diversified: at the ends of the walks
were two canals of clear water, of the same circular figure as
the dome; one of which, being higher than the other, emptied
itself into the lowermost, in form of a table-cloth; and curious
pots of gilded brass, with flowers and greens, were placed at
equal distances on the banks of the canals: the walks lay betwixt
great plots of ground, planted with straight and bushy trees,
among winch were thousands of birds, whose notes formed a
melodious concert, and entertained the beholder by sometimes
flying about, at others by playing together, and sometimes by
fighting in the air.

The prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher diverted themselves for some
time with viewing the magnificence of the place, and testified
great surprise at everything they saw, especially the prince, who
had never before seen any thing to equal it; and Ebn Thaher,
though he had several times been in that delightful place, yet
could now observe many new beauties: in a word, they never grew
weary of admiring so many singular things; and were thus
agreeably employed, when they perceived, at some distance from
the dome, a company of ladies richly apparelled, each of them
sitting upon a seat of Indian wood, inlaid with silver wire in
figures, with instruments of music in their hands, expecting
orders to play. They both advanced to the jet which fronted the
ladies, and on the right they saw a large court, with a stair up
from the garden, encompassed with beautiful apartments. The slave
having retired, and left them alone, they entered into
conversation: As to you, who are a wise man, said the prince of
Persia to Ebn Thaher, I doubt not but that you look with much
satisfaction upon all these marks of grandeur and power. For my
part, I do not think there is any thing in the world more
surprising. But when I consider that this is the glorious
habitation of the lovely Schemselnihar, and that he who keeps her
here is the greatest monarch of the earth, I confess to you that
I look upon myself to be the most unfortunate of all mankind;
that no destiny can be more cruel than mine, in loving an object
possessed by a rival, and that too in a place where he is so
potent, that I cannot think myself sure of my life one moment!

Ebn Thaher hearing the prince of Persia speak, said to him, Sir,
I wish you could give me as good an assurance of the happy
success of your amours, as I can give you of the safety of your
life. Though this stately palace belongs to the caliph, who built
it on purpose for Schemselnihar, and called it the palace of
eternal pleasures, and that it makes part of his own palace, yet
you must know that this lady lives here at entire liberty; she is
not surrounded by eunuchs as spies over her; this is her own
particular house, which is absolutely at her disposal: she goes
into the city when she pleases, and returns again, without asking
leave of any body; and the caliph never comes to see her without
sending Mesrour, the chief of his eunuchs, to give her notice,
that she may be prepared to receive him. Therefore you may be
easy, and give full attention to the concert of music, which I
perceive, Schemselnihar is preparing on purpose for you.

Just as Ebn Thaher spoke these words to the prince of Persia,
they observed the favourite's trusty slave coming with orders for
the ladies to begin singing and playing on the instruments, which
they instantly obeyed, and all began playing together as a
preludium; after which, one of them began singing alone, at the
same time playing admirably well upon her lute, having been
before advertised of the subject on which she was to sing. The
words were so agreeable to the prince of Persia's sentiments,
that he could not forbear applauding her at the end of the stave.
Is it possible, cried he, that you have the gift of knowing
people's hearts, and that the knowledge of what is in my mind has
occasioned you to give us a taste of your charming voice by those
words? Were I to choose, I should not express myself otherwise.
The lady made no reply, but went on, and sung several other
staves, with which the prince was so much affected, that he
repeated some of them with tears in his eyes, which plainly
discovered that he applied them to himself. When she had made an
end, she and her companions rose up, and sung all together,
signifying by their words that the full moon was going to rise in
all her splendour, and that they should speedily see her approach
the sun; by which it was meant that Schemselnihar was just
coming, and that the prince of Persia should have the pleasure of
seeing her.

In effect, as they were looking towards the court, they saw
Schemselnihar's confident coming towards them, followed by ten
black women, who, with much difficulty, carried a throne of massy
silver most curiously wrought, which they set down, before them
at a certain distance; upon which the black slaves retired behind
the trees to the entrance of a walk. After this there came twenty
handsome ladies, all alike most elegantly apparelled: they
advanced in two rows, singing and playing upon instruments which
each of them held in her hand; and, coming near the throne, ten
of them sat down on each side of it.

All these things kept the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher in very
great suspense, both of them being impatient to know how they
would end. In this state of anxious expectation, they saw ten
handsome ladies, well dressed, come out of the same gate whence
the ten black women came, where they stopped for a few moments,
expecting the favourite, who came out last, and placed herself in
the midst of them.

Schemselnihar was easily distinguished from the rest by her fine
shape and majestic air, as well as by a sort of mantle, of very
fine stuff of gold and sky-blue, fastened to her shoulders over
her other apparel, which was the most handsome, best contrived,
and most magnificent, that could be thought of. The pearls,
rubies, and diamonds, with which she was adorned, though few in
number, were well chosen, and of inestimable value, and were
displayed in excellent order. She came forward with a majesty
resembling the sun in his course amidst the clouds, which receive
his splendour without hiding his lustre, and seated herself on
the silver throne that was brought for her.

As soon as the prince of Persia beheld Schemselnihar, nothing
else could attract his notice: We cease inquiring after what we
seek, said he to Ebn Thaher, when we see it; and there is no
doubt remaining when once the truth makes itself manifest. Do you
see this charming beauty? She is the cause of all my sufferings,
which I hug, and will never forbear blessing them, however
lasting they may be! At the sight of this object, I am not my own
master; my soul rebels, and disturbs me; and I fancy it has a
mind to leave me! Go then, my soul, I allow thee; but let it be
for the welfare and preservation of this weak body! It is you,
cruel Ebn Thaher, who are the cause of this disorder! You thought
to do me great pleasure in bringing me hither, and I perceive I
am only come to complete my ruin! Pardon me, said he,
interrupting himself; I am mistaken: I was willing to come, and
can blame nobody but myself. At these words, he could not refrain
from tears. I am very well pleased, said Ebn Thaher, that you do
me justice; when at first I told you that Schemselnihar was the
caliph's chief favourite, I did it on purpose to prevent that
fatal passion which you please yourself with entertaining in your
breast. All that you see here ought to disengage you, and you are
to think of nothing but of acknowledgments for the honour which
Schemselnihar was willing to do you, by ordering me to bring you
with me. Call in, then, your wandering reason, and put yourself
in a condition to appear before her, as good-breeding requires.
Behold, there she comes! Were the matter to begin again, I would
take other measures; but, since the thing is done, I wish we may
not repent of it. What I have further to say to you is this, that
love is a traitor, who may throw you into a pit from which you
will never be able to escape.

Ebn Thaher had not time to say more, because Schemselnihar came,
and, sitting down upon her throne, saluted them both with an
inclination of the head; but she fixed her eyes on the prince of
Persia, and they spoke to one another in a silent language,
intermixed with sighs; by which, in a few moments, they spoke
more than could have been done by words in a great deal of time.
The more Schemselnihar looked upon the prince, the more she found
from his looks that he was in love with her; and, being thus
persuaded of his passion, thought herself the happiest woman in
the world. At last, turning her eyes from him to command the
women who began to sing first to come near; they got up, and
whilst they advanced, the black women, who came out of the walk
into which they retired, brought their seats, and set them near
the window, in the jet of the dome, where Ebn Thaher and the
prince of Persia stood; and then they so disposed them on each
side of the favourite's throne, that they formed a semicircle.

The women who were sitting before she came, took each of them
their places again, with the permission of Schemselnihar, who
ordered them by a sign. That charming favourite chose one of
these women to sing; who, after she had spent some moments in
tuning her lute, played a song, the meaning whereof was, that two
lovers, who entirely loved each other, and whose affection was
boundless, their hearts, though in two bodies, were one and the
same; and, when any thing opposed their desires, could say, with
tears in their eyes, if we love, because we find one another
amiable, ought we to be blamed for this? Let destiny bear the

Schemselnihar discovered so well, by her eyes and gestures, that
these sayings ought to be applied to her and the prince of
Persia, that he could not maintain himself; he rose, and came to
a balluster, which he leaned upon, and obliged one of the women,
who came to sing, to observe him. When she was near him, Follow
me, said he to her, and do me the favour to accompany with your
lute a song which you shall forthwith hear. Then he sang with an
air so tender and passionate, as perfectly expressed the violence
of his love. When he had done, Schemselnihar, following his
example, said to one of the women, Follow me likewise, and
accompany my voice; at the same time she sung after such a
manner, as further pierced the heart of the prince of Persia, who
answered her by a new air as passionate as the former.

These two lovers declared their mutual affection by their songs.
Schemselnihar yielded to the force of hers; she rose from her
throne, and advanced towards the door of the hall. The prince,
who knew her design, rose likewise, and went towards her in all
haste. They met at the door, where they took each other by the
hand, embracing with so much passion, that they fainted, and
would have fallen, if the women who followed them had not helped
them. But they were supported and carried to a sofa, where they
were brought to themselves again, by throwing odoriferous water
upon their faces, and giving them other things to smell.

When they came to themselves, the first tiling that Schemselnihar
did was to look about; and not seeing Ebn Thaher, she asked, with
a great deal of concern, where he was. He had withdrawn out of
respect, whilst her women were applying things to recover her,
and dreaded, not without reason, that some troublesome
consequence might attend what had happened; but as soon as he
heard Schemselnihar ask for him, he came forward, and presented
himself before her.

Schemselnihar was very well pleased to see Ebn Thaher, and
expressed her joy in these terms: Kind Ebn Thaher, I do not know
how to make amends for the great obligation you have put upon me:
without you I should never have seen the prince of Persia, nor
have loved him who is the most amiable person in the world; but
you may assure yourself, however, that I shall not die
ungrateful, and that my acknowledgment, if possible, shall be
equal to the obligation. Ebn Thaher answered this compliment by a
low bow, and wished the favourite the accomplishment of all her

Schemselnihar, turning towards the prince of Persia, who sat by
her, and looking upon him with some sort of confusion, after what
had passed between them, said to him, Sir, I am very well assured
you love me; and, however great your love may be to me, you need
not doubt but mine is as great towards you; but let us not
flatter ourselves; for, though we are both agreed, yet I see
nothing for you and me but trouble, impatience, and tormenting
grief. There is no other remedy for our evils but to love one
another constantly, to refer ourselves to the disposal of Heaven,
and to wait till it shall determine our destiny. Madam, replied
the prince of Persia, you will do me the greatest injustice in
the world if you doubt but one moment of the continuance of my
love. It is so united to my soul, that I can justly say it makes
the best part of it, and that I shall persevere in it till death.
Pains, torments, obstacles, nothing shall be capable of hindering
me to love you. Speaking these words, he shed tears in abundance,
and Schemselnihar was not able to restrain hers.

Ebn Thaher took this opportunity to speak to the favourite:
Madam, said he, allow me to represent to you, that, instead of
breaking forth into tears, you ought to rejoice that you are
together. I understand not this grief. What will it be when you
are obliged to part? But why do I talk of that? We have been a
long time here; and you know, madam, that it is time for us to be
going. Ah, how cruel you are! replied Schemselnihar. You, who
know the cause of my tears, have you no pity for my unfortunate
condition? Oh, sad fatality! What have I done to be subject to
the severe law of not being able to enjoy the person whom I love?

She being persuaded that Ebn Thaher spoke to her only out of
friendship, did not take amiss what he said to her, but made a
right use of it. Then she made a sign to the slave, her
confident, who immediately went out, and in a little time brought
a collation of fruit upon a small silver table, which she set
down between her mistress and the prince of Persia. Schemselnihar
presented some of the best to the prince, and prayed him to eat
for her sake: he did so, and put that part to his mouth which she
had touched; and then he presented some to her, which she took,
and ate in the same manner. She did not forget to invite Ebn
Thaher to eat with them; but he not thinking himself safe in that
place, ate only from complaisance. After the collation was taken
away, they brought a silver basin with water in a vessel of gold,
and washed together; they afterwards returned to their places,
when three of the ten black women brought each of them a cup of
rock crystal full of curious wines, upon a golden salver, which
they set down before Schemselnihar, the prince of Persia, and Ebn
Thaher. That they might be more private, Schemselnihar kept with
her only ten black women, with ten others who began to sing and
play upon instruments; and, after she had sent away all the rest,
she took up one of the cups, and holding it in her hand, sung
some tender expressions, which one of her women accompanied with
her lute. When she had done, she drank, and afterwards took up
one of the other cups, and presented it to the prince, praying
him to drink for love of her, as she had drunk for love of him.
He received the cup with a transport of love and joy, but, before
drinking, he also sung a song, which another woman accompanied
with an instrument and as he sung, the tears fell from his eyes
in such abundance, that he could not forbear expressing in his
song that he knew not whether he was going to drink the wine she
had presented to him, or his own tears. Schemselnihar at last
presented the third cup to Ebn Thaher, who thanked her for her
kindness, and for the honour she did him.

She then took a lute from one of her women, and sung to it in
such a passionate manner as bespoke her to be beside herself, the
prince of Persia standing with his eyes fixed upon her, as if he
had been enchanted. As these things were passing, her trusty
slave arrived all in a fright; and, addressing herself to her
mistress, said, Madam, Mesrour and two other officers, with
several eunuchs that attend them, are at the gate and want to
speak with you from the caliph. When the prince of Persia and Ebn
Thaher heard these words, they changed colour, and began to
tremble, as if they had been undone; but Schemselnihar, who
perceived it, recovered their courage by a smile.

After Schemselnihar had quieted the prince of Persia and Ebn
Thaher's fears, she ordered the slave, her confident, to go and
entertain Mesrour and the two other officers till she was in a
condition to receive them, and send to her to bring them in. She
immediately ordered all the windows of the saloon to be shut, and
the painted cloth on the side of the garden to be let down; and
having assured the prince and Ebn Thaher that they might continue
there without fear, she went out at the gate leading to the
garden, and shut it upon them; but, whatever assurance she had
given them of their being safe, they were still much terrified
all the while they were there.

As soon as Schemselnihar was in the garden with the women that
followed her, she ordered all the seats which served the women
who played on the instruments to be set near the window where Ebn
Thaher and the prince of Persia heard them, and having got things
in order, she sat down upon a silver throne; then she sent by the
slave, her confident, to bring in the chief of the eunuchs, and
his subaltern officers.

They appeared, followed by twenty black eunuchs, all handsomely
clothed, with scimitars by their sides, and gold belts of four
inches broad. As soon as they perceived the favourite
Schemselnihar at a distance, they made her a profound reverence,
which she returned them from her throne. When they came near, she
got up and went to meet Mesrour, who came first. She asked what
news he brought. He answered, Madam, the commander of the
faithful has sent me to signify that he cannot live longer
without seeing you; he designs to come to you tonight, and I come
beforehand to give notice, that you may be prepared to receive
him. He hopes, madam, that you long as much to see him as he is
impatient to see you.

Upon this discourse of Mesrour, the favourite Schemselnihar
prostrated herself to the ground, as a mark of the submission
with which she received the caliph's order. When she rose again,
she said, Pray tell the commander of the faithful, that I shall
always esteem it my glory to execute his majesty's commands, and
that his slave will do her utmost to receive him with all the
respect that is due to him. At the same time she ordered the
slave, her confident, to tell the black women appointed for that
service to get the palace ready to receive the caliph; and
dismissing the chief of the eunuchs, said to him, You see it
requires some time to get all things ready, therefore I pray you
to take care that his majesty may have a little patience, that,
when he arrives, he may not find things out of order.

The chief of the eunuchs and his retinue being gone,
Schemselnihar returned to the saloon, extremely concerned at the
necessity she was under of sending back the prince of Persia
sooner than she thought to have done. She came up to him again
with tears in her eyes, which heightened Ebn Thaher's fear, who
thought it no good omen. Madam, said the prince to her, I
perceive you are come to tell me that we must part; provided
there be nothing more to dread, I hope Heaven will give me the
patience which is necessary to support your absence. Alas, my
dear heart, my dear soul, replied the tender-hearted
Schemselnihar, how happy do I think you, and how unhappy myself,
when I compare your lot with my sad destiny! No doubt, you will
suffer by my absence; but that is all, and you may comfort
yourself with the hope of seeing me again; but as for me, just
Heaven! what a terrible trial am I brought to! I must not only be
deprived of the sight of the only person whom I love, but I must
be tormented with the sight of one whom you have made hateful to
me. Will not the arrival of the caliph put me in mind of your
departure? And how can I, when I think of your sweet face,
entertain that prince with that joy which he always observed in
my eyes whenever he came to see me? I shall have my mind wavering
when I speak to him; and the least complaisance which I show to
him, will stab me to the heart like a dagger. Can I relish his
kind words and caresses? Think, prince, to what torments I shall
be exposed when I can see you no more! Her tears and sighs
hindered her to go on, and the prince of Persia would have
replied to her; but his own grief, and that of his mistress, made
him incapable.

Ebn Thaher, whose chief business was to get out of the palace,
was obliged to comfort them, and to exhort them to have patience.
But the trusty slave interrupted them: Madam, said she to
Schemselnihar, you have no time to lose, the eunuchs begin to
arrive, and you know the caliph will be here immediately. 0
Heaven, how cruel is this separation! cried the favourite. Make
haste, said she to the confident, carry them both to the gallery
which looks into the garden on the one side, and to the Tigris on
the other; and when the night grows dark, let them out by the
back gate, that they may retire with safety. Having spoken thus,
she tenderly embraced the prince of Persia, without being able to
say one word more, and went to meet the caliph in such disorder
as cannot well be imagined.

In the mean time the trusty slave carried the prince and Ebn
Thaher to the gallery, as Schemselnihar had appointed; and having
brought them in, left them there, and shut the door upon them,
after having assured them that they had nothing to fear, and that
she would come for them when it was time.

Schemselnihar's trusty slave leaving the prince of Persia and Ebn
Thaher, they forgot she had assured them that they needed not to
be afraid; they searched all the gallery, and were seized with
extreme fear, because they knew no place where they might escape,
in case the caliph, or any of his officers, should happen to come

A great light, which came on a sudden from the side of the garden
through the windows, caused them to approach to see from whence
it came. It was occasioned by a hundred flambeaux of white wax,
carried by as many young eunuchs; these were followed by as many
others, who guarded the ladies of the caliph's palace, clothed,
and armed with scimitars, in the same manner as those already
mentioned; and the caliph came after them, betwixt Mesrour, their
captain, on his right, and the vassif, their second officer, on
his left hand.

Schemselnihar waited for the caliph at the entry of an alley,
accompanied by twenty women, all of surprising beauty, adorned
with necklaces and ear-rings of large diamonds, and some of them
had their whole heads covered with them. They played upon
instruments, and made a charming concert. The favourite no sooner
saw the prince appear than she advanced, and prostrated herself
at his feet; and while doing this, Prince of Persia, said she
within herself, if your sad eyes bear witness to what I do, judge
of my hard lot; if I was humbling myself so before you, my heart
should feel no reluctance.

The caliph was ravished to see Schemselnihar. Rise, madam, said
he to her; come near: I am angry that I should have deprived
myself so long of the pleasure of seeing you. Saying this, he
took her by the hand, and, after abundance of tender expressions,
went and sat down upon a silver throne which Schemselnihar caused
to be brought for him, and she sat down upon a seat opposite, and
the twenty women made a circle round about them upon other seats,
while the young eunuchs, who carried flambeaux, dispersed
themselves at a certain distance from each other, that the caliph
might enjoy the cool of the evening the better.

When the caliph sat down, he looked round him, and beheld with
satisfaction a great many other lights besides those flambeaux
which the young eunuchs held; but taking notice that the saloon
was shut, was astonished thereat, and demanded the reason. It was
done on purpose to surprise him; for he had no sooner spoken,
than the windows were at once opened, and he saw it illuminated
within and without in a much better manner than ever he had seen
it before. Charming Schemselmhar, cried he at this sight, I
understand you; you would have me to know there are as fine
nights as days. After what I have seen, I cannot disown it.

Let us return to the prince of Persia and Elm Thaher, whom we
left in the gallery. Ebn Thaher could not enough admire all he
saw. I am not very young, said he, and in my time have seen great
entertainments; but I do not think any thing can be more
surprising and magnificent. All that is said of enchanted palaces
does no way come near this prodigious spectacle we now see. O
strange! what riches and magnificence together!

The prince of Persia was nothing moved with those objects which
were so pleasant to Ebn Thaher; he could look on nothing but
Schemselnihar, and the presence of the caliph threw him into
inconceivable grief. Dear Ebn Thaher, said he, would to God I had
my mind as free to admire these things as you! But, alas! I am in
a quite different condition; all those objects serve only to
increase my torment. Can I see the caliph cheek to cheek with her
that I love, and not die of grief? Must such a passionate love as
mine be disturbed by so potent a rival? O heavens, how cruel is
my destiny! It is but a moment since I esteemed myself the most
fortunate lover in the world, and at this instant I feel my heart
so struck, that it is like to kill me. I cannot resist it, my
dear Ebn Thaher; my patience is at an end; my distemper
overwhelms me, and my courage fails. While speaking, he saw
something pass in the garden, which obliged him to keep silence,
and to turn all his attention that way.

The caliph had ordered one of the women, who was near him, to
play on her lute, and she began to sing. The words that she sung
were very passionate; and the caliph was persuaded that she sung
thus by order of Schemselnihar, who had frequently entertained
him with the like testimonies of her affection; therefore he
interpreted all in his own favour. But this was not now
Schemselnihar's meaning; she applied it to her dear Ali Ebn
Becar, and was so sensibly touched with grief, to have before her
an object whose presence she could no longer enjoy, that she
fainted and fell backwards upon her seat, which having no arms to
support her, she must have fallen down, had not some of the women
helped her in time; who took her up, and carried her into the

Ebn Thaher, who was in the gallery, being surprised at this
accident, turned towards the prince of Persia; but, instead of
seeing him stand and look through the window as before, he was
extremely amazed to see him fall down at his feet, and without
motion. He judged it to proceed from the violence of his love to
Schemselnihar, and admired the strange effect of sympathy which
threw him into great fear, because of the place in which they
were. In the mean time he did all he could to recover the prince,
but in vain. Ebn Thaher was in this perplexity when
Schemselnihar's confident, opening the gallery door, came in out
of breath, as one who knew not where she was. Come speedily,
cried she, that I may let you out. All is confusion here, and I
fear this will be the last of our days. Ah! how would you have us
go? replied Ebn Thaher, with a mournful voice. Come near, I pray
you, and see in what condition the prince of Persia is. When, the
slave saw him in a swoon, she ran for water in all haste, and
returned in an instant.

At last the prince of Persia, after they had thrown water on his
face, recovered his spirits. Prince, said Ebn Thaher to him, we
run the risk of being destroyed, if we stay here any longer; let
us therefore endeavour to save our lives. He was so feeble that
he could not rise unassisted. Ebn Thaher and the confident lent
him their hands, and supported him on each side. They came to a
little iron gate which opened towards the Tigris, went out at it,
and got to the side of a little canal communicating with the
river. The confident clapped her hands, and immediately a little
boat appeared, which came towards them with one rower. Ali Ebn
Becar and his comrade went aboard, and the trusty slave staid at
the side of the canal. As soon as the prince sat down in the
boat, he stretched out one hand towards the palace and laid the
other upon his heart. Dear object of my soul! cried he with a
feeble voice, receive my faith with this hand, while I assure you
with the other, that for you my heart shall for ever preserve the
fire with which it burns!

In the mean time the boatman rowed with all his might; and
Schemselnihar's trusty slave accompanied the prince of Persia and
Ebu Thaher, walking along the side of the canal, until they came
to the Tigris; and when she could go no further, she took
farewell of them, and returned.

The prince of Persia continued very feeble. Ebn Thaher comforted
him, and exhorted him to take courage. Consider, said he, that
when we are landed, we have a great way to go before we come to
my house; and I would not at this hour, and in this condition,
advise you home to your lodgings, which are a great way further
off than mine. At length they got out of the boat, but the prince
was so weak that he could not walk, which put Ebn Thaher into
great perplexity. He remembered he had a friend in the
neighbourhood, and carried the prince thither with great
difficulty. His friends received them very cheerfully; and, when
he made them sit down, asked where they had been so late. Ebn
Thaher answered him, I was this evening with a man who owed me a
considerable sum of money, and designed to go a long voyage. I
was unwilling to lose time to find him, and by the way I met with
this young nobleman whom you see, and to whom I am under a
thousand obligations; for, knowing my debtor, he would needs do
me the favour of going along with me. We had a great deal of
trouble to bring the man to reason; besides, we went out of the
way, and that is the reason we are so late. In our return home,
this good lord, for whom I have all possible respect, was
attacked by a sudden distemper; which made me take the liberty of
calling at your house, flattering myself that you would be
pleased to give us quarters for this night.

Ebn Thaher's friend, who believed all this, told them they were
welcome, and offered the prince of Persia, whom he knew not, all
the assistance he could desire; but Ebn Thaher spoke for the
prince, and said, that his distemper was of a nature that
required nothing but rest. His friend understood by this that
they desired to go to bed; on which he conducted them to an
apartment, where he left them.

Though the prince of Persia slept, he had troublesome dreams,
which represented Schemselnihar in a swoon at the caliph's feet,
and increased his affliction. Ebn Thaher was very impatient to be
at home, and doubted not but his family were in great trouble,
because he never used to lie abroad. He rose and deported early
in the morning, after taking leave of his friend, who rose at
break of day to say his prayers. At last he came home; and the
prince of Persia, who had walked so far with much trouble, lay
down upon a sofa, as weary as if he had travelled a long journey
Not being in a condition to go home, Ebn Thaher ordered a chamber
to be got ready for him, and sent to acquaint his friends with
his condition, and where he was. In the mean time he begged him
to compose himself, to command in his house, and order things as
he pleased. I thank you hcartily for these obliging offers, said
the prince of Persia; but, that I may not be any way troublesome
to you, I conjure you to deal with me as if I were not at your
house. I would not stay one moment, if I thought my presence
would incommode you in the least.

As soon as Ebn Thaher had time to recollect himself, he told his
family all that had passed at Schemselnihar's palace, and
concluded by thanking God, who had delivered him from the danger
he was in. The prince of Persia's principal domestics came to
receive his orders at Ebn Thaher's house, and in a little time
several of his friends who had notice of his indisposition
arrived. Those friends passed the greater part of the day with
him; and, though their conversation could not dissipate those sad
ideas which were the cause of his trouble, yet it gave him some
relief. He would have taken his leave of Ebn Thaher towards the
evening; but this faithful friend found him still so weak, that
he obliged him to stay till next day, and in the mean time, to
divert him, gave him a concert of vocal and instrumental music in
the evening; but this concert served only to put him in mind of
the preceding night, and renewed his trouble, instead of
assuaging it; so that next day his distemper seempd to increase.
Upon this, Ebn Thaher did not oppose his going home, but took
care to accompany him thither; and, when alone with him in his
chamber, he represented to him all those arguments which might
influence him to a generous endeavour to overcome that passion,
which in the end would neither prove lucky to himself nor to the
favourite. Ah, dear Ebn Thaher! cried the prince, how easy is it
for you to give this advice, but how hard is it for me to follow
it! I am sensible of its importance, but am not able to profit by
it, I have said already, that I shall carry with me to the grave
the love that I bear to Schemselnihar. When Ebn Thaher saw that
lie could not prevail on the prince, he took his leave of him,
and would have retired.

The prince of Persia detained him, and said, Kind Ebn Thaher,
since I have declared to you that it is not in my power to follow
your wise counsels, I beg you will not charge it on me as a
crime, nor forbear to give me the usual testimonies of your
friendship; you cannot do me a greater favour than to inform me
of the destiny of my dear Schemselnihar, when you hear any news
of it. The uncertainty I am in concerning her fate, and the
apprehensions which her fainting occasioned me, keep me in this
languishing condition you reproach me with. My lord, answered Ebn
Thaher, you have reason to hope that her fainting was not
attended with any serious consequences; her confident, will soon
come and inform me of the issue, and as soon as I know the
particulars, I shall not fail to impart them.

Ebn Thaher left the prince in this hope, and returned home where
he expected Schemselnihar's confident all day, but in vain, nor
did she come next day. His uneasiness to know the state of the
prince of Persia's health would not suffer him to stay any longer
without seeing him; he went to his lodgings to exhort him to
patience, and found him lying in bed as sick as ever, surrounded
by many of his friends, and several physicians, who used all
their art to discover the cause of his distemper. As soon as he
saw Ebn Thaher, he looked upon him smiling, to signify that he
had two things to tell him; the one, that he was glad to see him;
the other, how much the physicians, who could not discover the
cause of his distemper, were mistaken in their reasonings.

His friends and physicians retired one after another; so that Ebn
Thaher, being alone with him, came near his bed, to ask how he
did since he saw him. I must tell you, answered the prince, that
my passion, which continually gathers new strength, and the
uncertainty of the lovely Schemselnihar's destiny, augment my
distemper every moment, and throw me into such a condition as
afflicts my kindred and friends, and breaks the measures of my
physicians, who do not understand it. You cannot think, added he,
how much I suffer to see so many importunate people about me, and
whom I cannot in civility put away. It is your company alone that
is comfortable to me: but, in a word, I conjure you not to
dissemble with me; what news do you bring of Schemselnihar? Have
you seen her confident? What said she to you? Ebn Thaher
answered, that he had not yet seen her; and no sooner had he told
the prince of Persia this sad news, than tears came from his
eyes, and his heart was so oppressed that he could not answer him
one word. Prince, added Ebn Thaher, suffer me to tell you, that
you are very ingenious in tormenting yourself. In the name of
God, wipe away your tears: If any of your people should come in
just now, they would discover you by this, notwithstanding the
care you ought to take to conceal your thoughts. Whatever this
judicious confident could say, it was impossible for the prince
to refrain from weeping. Wise Ebn Thaher, said he, when he had
recovered his speech, I may well hinder my tongue from revealing
the secrets of my heart, but I have no power over my tears upon
such a direful subject as Schemselnihar's danger! If that
adorable and only object of my desires be no longer in the world.
I shall not be one moment after! Reject so afflicting an idea,
replied Ebn Thaher; Schemselnihar is yet alive; you need not
doubt the certainty of it. If you have heard nothing of her, it
is because she could find no occasion to send to you; and I hope
you will hear from her to-day. To this he added several other
comfortable things, and then retired.

Ebn Thaher was scarcely at his own house, when Schemselnihar's
confident arrived with a melancholy countenance, which he
reckoned a bad omen. He asked concerning her mistress. Tell me
yours first, said the confident; for I was in great trouble to
see the prince of Persia go away in that condition. Ebn Thaher
told her all that she desired to know, and when he had done, the
slave began her discourse: If the prince of Persia, said she, has
suffered, and does still suffer, for my mistress, she suffers no
less for him. After I departed from you, continued she, I
returned to the saloon, where I found Schemselnihar not yet
recovered from her swoon, notwithstanding all the help they
endeavoured to give her. The caliph was sitting near her with all
the signs of real grief; he asked the women, and me in
particular, if we knew the cause of her distemper; but we all
kept secret, and told him we were altogether ignorant of it. In
the mean time, we wept to see her suffer so long, and forgot
nothing that might any ways help her. In a word, it was almost
midnight before she recovered. The caliph, who had the patience
to wait, was truly glad at her recovery, and asked Schemselmhar
the cause of her distemper. As soon as she heard him speak, she
endeavoured to resume her seat; and, after she had kissed his
feet before he could hinder her, Sir, said she, I have reason to
complain of Heaven, that it did not allow me to expire at your
majesty's feet, to testify thereby how sensible I am of your

I am persuaded you love me, said the caliph to her, and I command
you to preserve yourself for my sake. You have probably exceeded
in something today, which has occasioned this indisposition; take
heed, I pray you, abstain from it for the future. I am glad to
see you better; and I advise you to stay here tonight, and not to
return to your chamber, lest the motion disturb you. Upon this he
commanded a little wine to be brought her, in order to strengthen
her; and then taking his leave, returned to his apartment.

As soon as the caliph was gone, my mistress gave me a sign to
come near her. She asked me earnestly concerning you: I assured
her that you had been gone a long time, which made her easy as to
that matter. I took care not to speak of the prince of Persia's
fainting, lest it should make her fall into the same condition
from which we had so much trouble to recover her; my precautions
were all in vain, as you shall hear. Prince, said she, I
henceforth renounce all pleasure as long as I am deprived of a
sight of you. If I have understood your heart right, I only
follow your example. Thou wilt not cease to weep until thou seest
me again; it is but just, then, that I weep and mourn till I see
you! At these words, which she uttered in such a manner as
expressed the violence of her passion, she fainted in my arms a
second time.

My comrades and I, said she, were long in recovering her; at last
she came to herself; and then I said to her, Madam, are you
resolved to kill yourself, and to make us also die with you? I
beg of you to be persuaded, in the name of the prince of Persia,
for whom it is your interest to live, to save yourself, as you
love yourself, as you love the prince, and for our sakes, who are
so faithful to you! I am very much obliged to you, replied she,
for your care, zeal, and advice; but alas! these are useless to
me! You are not to flatter us with hopes; for we can expect no
end of our torment but in the grave! One of my companions would
have diverted those sad ideas by playing on her lute; but she
commanded her to be silent, and ordered all of them to retire,
except me, whom she kept all night with her. O heavens! what a
night was it! She passed it in tears and groans, always naming
the prince of Persia; lamented her lot, which had destined her to
the caliph, whom she could not love, and not to him she loved so

Next morning, because she was not commodiously lodged in the
saloon, I helped her to her chamber, where she no sooner arrived,
than all the physicians of the palace came to see her by order of
the caliph, who was not long in coming himself. The medicines
which the physicians prescribed for Schemselnihar were to no
purpose, because they were ignorant of the cause of her
distemper, and the presence of the caliph augmented it. She got a
little rest, however, this night; and as soon as she awoke, she
charged me to come to you to hear concerning the prince of
Persia. I have already informed you of his case, said Ebn Thaher;
so return to your mistress, and assure her that the prince of
Persia waits to hear from her with the like impatience that she
does from him; besides, exhort her to moderation, and to overcome
herself, lest she drop some words before the caliph, which may
prove fatal to us all. As for me, replied the confident, I
confess I dread her transport; I have taken the liberty to tell
her my mind, and am persuaded that she will not take it ill that
I tell her this from you.

Ebn Thaher, who had but just come from the prince of Persia's
lodgings, thought it not convenient to return so soon, and
neglect his own important affairs, and therefore went not till
the evening. The prince was alone, and no better than in the
morning. Ebn Thaher, said he, you have doubtless many friends;
but they do not know your worth, which you discover to me by the
zeal, care, and trouble, you give yourself to oblige me in my
condition. I am confounded with all that you do for me with so
great affection, and I know not how I shall be able to express my
gratitude! Prince, answered Ebn Thaher, do not speak so, I
entreat you; I am ready not only to give one of my own eyes to
save one of yours, but to sacrifice my life for you. But this is
not the present business; I come to tell you that Schemselnihar
sent her confident to ask me about you, and at the same time to
inform me of her condition. You may assure yourself that I said
nothing but what might confirm the excess of your passion for her
mistress, and the constancy with which you love her. Then Ebn
Thaher gave him a particular account of all that had passed
betwixt the trusty slave and him. The prince listened with all
the different emotions of fear, jealousy, affection, and
compassion, with which this discourse could inspire him, making,
upon every thing which he heard, all the afflicting or comforting
reflections that so passionate a lover was capable of.

Their conversation continued so long, that the night was far
advanced, so that the prince of Persia obliged Ebn Thaher to stay
with him. Next morning, as this trusty friend was returning home,
there came to him a woman, whom he knew to be Schemselnihar's
confident, who eagerly addressed him thus: My mistress salutes
you; and I am come to entreat you, in her home, to deliver this
letter to the prince of Persia. The zealous Ebn Thaher took the
letter, and returned to the prince, accompanied by the confident.

When Ebn Thaher entered the prince of Persia's house with
Schemselnihar's confident, he prayed her to stay one moment in
the drawing room. As soon as the prince of Persia saw him, he
earnestly asked what news he had. The best you can expect,
answered Ebn Thaher; you are as dearly beloved as you love;
Schemselnihar's confident is in your drawing room; she has
brought you a letter from her mistress, and waits for your orders
to come in. Let her come in! cried the prince, with a transport
of joy; and, speaking thus, sat down to receive her.

The prince's attendants retired as soon as they saw Ebn Thaher,
and left him alone with their master. Ebn Thaher went and opened
the door, and brought in the confident. The prince knew her, and
received her very civilly. My lord, said she to him, I am
sensible of the afflictions you have endured since I had the
honour to conduct you to the boat which waited to bring you back;
but I hope this letter I have brought will contribute to your
cure. Upon this, she presented him the letter. He took it, and,
after kissing it several times, opened it, and read as follows:

Letter from Schemselnihar to Ali Ebn Becar, Prince of Persia.

The person who carries this letter will give you a better account
concerning me than I can do, for I have not been myself since I
saw you: deprived of your presence, I sought to divert myself by
entertaining you with these ill-written lines, as if I had the
good fortune to speak to you.

It is said that patience is a cure for all distempers; but it
sours mine instead of sweetening it. Although your picture be
deeply engraven in my heart, my eyes desire constantly to see the
original; and their sight will vanish if they are much longer
deprived of that pleasure. May I flatter myself that yours have
the same impatience to see me? Yes I can; their tender glances
discovered it to me. How happy, prince, should you and
Schemselnihar both be, if our agreeable desires were not crossed
by invincible obstacles, which afflict me as sensibly as they do

Those thoughts which my fingers write, and which I express with
incredible pleasure, and repeat again and again, speak from the
bottom of my heart, and from the incurable wound which you have
made in it; a wound which I bless a thousand times,
notwithstanding the cruel torments I endure for your absence. I
would reckon all that opposes our love nothing, were I only
allowed to see you sometimes with freedom; I would then enjoy
you, and what more could I desire?

Do not imagine that I say more than I think. Alas! whatever
expressions I am able to use, I am sensible that I think more
than I can tell you. My eyes, which are continually watching and
weeping for your return; my afflicted heart, which desires
nothing but you alone; the sighs that escape me as often as I
think on you, that is, every moment; my imagination, which
represents no other object than my dear prince; the complaints
that I make to Heaven for the rigour of my destiny; in a word, my
grief, my trouble, my torments, which give me no ease ever since
I lost the sight of you, are witnesses of what I write.

Am not I unhappy to be born to love, without hope of enjoying him
whom I love? This doleful thought oppresses me so much, that I
should die, were I not persuaded that you love me: but this sweet
comfort balances my despair, and preserves my life. Tell me that
you love me always; I will keep your letter carefully, and read
it a thousand times a day; I will endure my afflictions with less
impatience. I pray Heaven may cease to be angry at us, and grant
us an opportunity to say that we love one another without fear;
and that we may never cease to love! Adieu. I salute Ebn Thaher,
who has so much obliged us.

The prince of Persia was not satisfied to read the letter once;
he thought he had read it with too little attention, and
therefore read it again with more leisure; and as he read,
sometimes he uttered sighs, sometimes he wept, and sometimes he
discovered transports of joy and affection, as one who was
touched with what he read. In a word, he could not keep his eyes
off those characters drawn by so lovely a hand, and therefore
began to read it a third time. Then Ebn Thaher told him that the
confident could not stay, and he ought to think of giving an
answer. Alas! cried the prince, how would you have me answer so
kind a letter? In what terms shall I express the trouble that I
am in? My spirit is tossed with a thousand tormenting things, and
my thoughts destroy one another the same momunt they are
conceived, to make way for more; and so long as my body suffers
by the impressions of my mind, how shall I be able to hold paper,
or a reed [Footnote The Arabians, Persians, and Turks, when they
write, hold the paper ordinarily upon their knees with their left
hands, and write with their right, with a little reed or cane cut
like our pens; this cane is hollow, and resembles our reeds, but
is harder.], to write? Having spoken thus, he took out of a
little desk paper, cane, and ink.

The prince of Persia, before he began to write, gave
Schemselnihar's letter to Ebn Thaher, and prayed him to hold it
open while he wrote, that, by casting his eyes upon it, he might
see the better what to answer. He began to write; but the tears
that fell from his eyes upon the paper obliged him several times
to stop, that they might trickle down the more freely. At last he
finished his letter, and giving it to Ebn Thaher, Read it, I
pray, said he, do me the favour to see if the disorder of my mind
has allowed me to give a reasonable answer. Ebn Thaher took it,
and read as follows:

The Prince of Persia's Answer to Schemselnihar's Letter.

I was swallowed up with mortal grief before I received your
letter, at the sight of which I was transported with unspeakable
joy; and the view of the characters written by your lovely hand
enlightened my eyes more sensibly than they were darkened when
yours were closed on a sudden at the feet of my rival. Those
words which your courteous letter contains, are so many rays of
light, which have dispelled the darkness with which my soul was
obscured; they show me how much you suffer by your love to me,
and that you are not ignorant of what I endure for you, and
thereby comfort me in my afflictions. On the one hand, they make
me shed tears in abundance; and, on the other, they inflame my
heart--with a fire which supports it, and hinders my dying of
grief. I have not had one moment's rest since our cruel
separation. Your letter only gave me some ease. I kept a
sorrowful silence till the moment I received it, and then it
restored me to speech. I was buried in a profound melancholy, but
it inspired me with joy, which immediately appeared in my eyes
and countenance. But my surprise at receiving a favour which I
had not deserved was so great, that I knew not which way to begin
to testify my thankfulness for it. In a word, after having kissed
it as a valuable pledge of your goodness, I read it over and
over, and was confounded at the excess of my good fortune. You
would have me to signify to you that I always love you. Ah!
though I did not love you so perfectly as I do, I could not
forbear adoring you, after all the marks you have given me of a
love so uncommon: yes, I love you, my dear soul, and shall
account it my glory to burn all my days with that sweet fire you
have kindled in my heart. I will never complain of the brisk
ardour with which I find it consumes me; and how rigorous soever
the grief be which I suffer, I will bear it corageously, in hopes
to see you some time or other. Would to Heaven it were today; and
that, instead of sending you my letter, I might be allowed to
come and assure you that I die for love of you! My tears hinder
me from saying any more. Adieu.

Ebn Thaher could not read these last lines without weeping. He
returned the letter to the prince of Persia, and assured him it
wanted no correction. The prince shut it, and when he had sealed
it, desired the trusty slave to come near, and told her, This is
my answer to your dear mistress; I conjure you to carry it to
her, and to salute her in my name. The slave took the letter, and
retired with Ebn Thaher.

After Ebn Thaher had walked some way with the slave, he left her,
went to his house, and began to think in earnest upon the amorous
intrigue in which he found himself unhappily engaged. He
considered that the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar,
notwithstanding their interest to conceal their correspondence,
managed with so little discretion, that it could not be long a
secret. He drew all the consequences from it which a man of good
sense ought to do. Were Schemselnihar, said he to himself, an
ordinary lady, I would contribute all in my power to make her and
her sweetheart happy; but she is the caliph's favourite, and no
man can without danger undertake to displease him. His anger will
fall at first upon Schemselnihar; it will cost the prince of
Persia his life; and I shall be embarked in his misfortune. In
the mean time, I have my honour, my quiet, my family, and my
estate to preserve; I must then, while I can, deliver myself out
of so great a danger.

He was taken up with these thoughts all the day; next morning he
went to the prince of Persia, with a design to use his utmost
endeavors to oblige him to conquer his passion. He actually
represented to him what he had formerly done in vain; that it
would be much better to make use of all his courage to overcome
his inclinations for Schemselnihar, than to suffer himself to be
conquered by it; and that his passion was so much the more
dangerous, as his rival was the more potent. In a word, sir,
added he, if you will hearken to me, you ought to think of
nothing but to triumph over your amour, otherwise you run a risk
of destroying yourself, with Schemselnihar, whose life ought to
be dearer to you than your own. I give you this counsel as a
friend, for which you will thank me some time or other.

The prince heard Ebn Thaher with a great deal of impatience, but
suffered him, however, to speak out his mind; and then replied to
him thus: Ebn Thaher, said he, do you think I can forbear to love
Schemselnihar, who loves me so tenderly? She is not afraid to
expose her life for me, and would you have me to regard mine? No;
whatever misfortune befal me, I will love Schemselnihar to my
last breath.

Ebn Thaher, being offended at the obstinacy of the prince of
Persia, left him hastily; and, going to his own house, recalled
to mind what he thought on the other day, and began to think in
earnest what he should do. At the same time a jeweller, one of
his intimate friends, came to see him: this jeweller had
perceived that Schemselnihar's confident came oftener to Ebn
Thaher than usual, and that he was constantly with the prince of
Persia, whose sickness was known to every one, though not the
cause of it. The jeweller began to be suspicious, and finding Ebn
Thaher very pensive, judged presently that he was perplexed with
some important affair; and fancying that he knew the cause, he
asked what Schemselniliar's confident wanted with him. Ebn
Thaher, being struck with this question, dissembled, and told
him, that it was a mere trifle that brought her so frequently to
him. You do not tell me the truth, said the jeweller, and give me
ground to think, by your dissimulation, that this trifle is an
affair of more importance than at first I thought. Ebn Thaher,
perceiving that his friend pressed him so much, said to him, It
is true that it is an affair of the greatest consequence: I had
resolved to keep it secret; but since I know how much you are my
friend, I choose rather to make you my confident, than to suffer
you to be in a mistake about it. I do not recommend it to you to
keep the secret, for you will easily judge, by what I am going to
tell you, how important it is to keep it. After this preamble, he
told him the amour between Schemselnihar and the prince of
Persia. You know, continued he, in what esteem I am at court, in
the city, and with lords and ladies of the greatest quality; what
a disgrace would it be for me, should this rash intrigue come to
be discovered? But what do I say? Should not I and my family be
quite destroyed? That is the thing perplexes my mind. But I have
just now come to such a resolution as I ought to make: I will go
immediately and satisfy my creditors, and recover my debts; when
I have secured my estate, I will retire to Balsora, and stay till
the tempest I foresee blows over. The friendship I have for
Schemselnihar and the prince of Persia makes me very sensible to
what danger they are exposed. I pray Heaven to discover it to
themselves, and to preserve them; but if their ill destiny will
have their amours come to the knowledge of the caliph, I shall at
least be out of the reach of his resentment; for I do not think
them so wicked as to design to draw me into their misfortunes. It
would be extreme ingratitude in them to do so, and a sorry reward
for the good service I have done them, particularly to the prince
of Persia, who may save himself and his mistress from this
precipice, if he pleases: he may as easily leave Bagdad as I;
absence would insensibly disengage him from a passion which will
only increase whilst he continues in this place.

The jeweller was extremely surprised at what Ebn Thaher told him.
What you say to me, said he, is of so great importance, that I
cannot understand how Schemselnihar and the prince have been
capable of abandoning themselves to such a violent amour. What
inclination soever they may have for one another, instead of
yielding to it, they ought to resist it, and make a better use of
their reason. Is it possible they can be insensible of the
dangerous consequences of their correspondence? How deplorable is
their blindness! I perceive all the consequences of it as well as
you; but you are wise and prudent, and I approve your resolution;
that is the only way to deliver yourself from the fatal events
which you have reason to fear. The jeweller then rose, and took
his leave of Ebn Thaher.

Before the jeweller retired, Ebn Thaher conjured him, by the
friendship betwixt them, to speak nothing of this to any person.
Be not afraid, said the jeweller; I will keep this secret on
peril of my life.

Two days after, the jeweller went to Ebn Thaher's shop; and,
seeing it shut, doubted not that he had executed the design he
had spoken of; but, to be certain, he asked a neighbour if he
knew why it was shut? The neighbour answered, that he knew not,
unless Ebn Thaher was gone a journey. There was no need of his
inquiring further, and immediately he thought upon the prince of
Persia: Unhappy prince, said he to himself, what grief will you
suffer when you hear this news? By what means will you now carry
on your correspondence with Schemselnihar? I fear you will die of
despair. I have compassion on you; I must make up the loss that
you have of a too timid confident.

The business that obliged him to come abroad was of no
consequence, so that he neglected it; and though he did not know
the prince of Persia, but only by having sold him some jewels, he
went strait to his house, addressed himself to one of his
servants, and prayed him to tell his master that he desired to
speak with him about business of very great importance. The
servant returned immediately to the jeweller, and introduced him
to the chamber of the prince, who was leaning on a sofa, with his
head upon a cushion. As soon as the prince saw him, he rose to
receive him, said he was welcome, entreated him to sit down, and
asked if he could serve him in any thing, or if he came to tell
him any matter concerning himself. Prince, answered the jeweller,
though I have not the honour to be particularly acquainted with
you, yet the desire of testifying my zeal has made me take the
liberty to come to your house, to impart to you some news that
concerns you. I hope you will pardon my boldness, because of my
good intention.

After this introduction, the jeweller entered upon the matter,
and pursued it thus: Prince, I shall have the honour to tell you,
that it is a long time since the conformity of humour, and
several affairs we had together, united Ebn Thaher and myself in
strict friendship. I know you are acquainted with him, and that
he has been employed in obliging you in all that he could. I am
informed of this from himself; for he keeps nothing secret from
me, nor I from him. I went just now to his shop, and was
surprised to find it shut. I addressed myself to one of his
neighbours, to ask the reason; he answered me, that, two days
ago, Ebn Thater took his leave of him and other neighbours,
offering them his service at Balsora, whither he was gone, he
said, about an affair of great importance. Not being satisfied
with this answer, the concern that I have for whatever belongs to
him, determined me to come and ask you if you knew any thing
particularly concerning his sudden departure.

At this discourse, which the jeweller accommodated to the
subject, that he might come the better to his design, the prince
of Persia changed colour, and looked so as made the jeweller
sensible that he was afflicted with the news. I am surprised at
what you inform me, said he; there could not befal me a greater
misfortune. Ah! said he, with tears in his eyes, I am undone if
what you tell me be true! Has Ebn Thaher, who was all my comfort,
and in whom I put all my confidence, left me! I cannot think of
living after so cruel a blow.

The jeweller needed no more to convince him fully of the prince
of Persia's violent passion, which Ebn Thaher had told him: mere
friendship would not let him speak so; nothing but love could
produce such feeling expressions.

The prince continued some moments swallowed up with these
melancholy thoughts: at last he lifted up his head, and calling
one of his servants, Go, said he, to Ebn Timber's house, and ask
any of his domestics if he be gone to Balsora; run and come back
quickly, and tell me what you hear. While the servant was gone,
the jeweller endeavoured to entertain the prince of Persia with
indifferent subjects; but the prince gave little heed to him, for
he was a prey to fatal grief. Sometimes he could not persuade
himself that Ebn Thaher was gone; at other times he did not doubt
the truth of it, when he reflected upon the discourse he had the
last time he saw him, and the angry countenance with which he
left him.

At last the prince's servant returned, and reported that he had
spoken to one of Ebn Thaher servants, who assured him that he was
gone two days before to Balsora. As I came from Ebn Thaher's
house, added the servant, a slave well arrayed came to me, and,
asking if I had the honour to belong to you, she told me she
wanted to speak with you, begging, at the same time, that she
might come along with me: she is now in the house, and I believe
has a letter to give you from some person of note. The prince
commanded him to bring her in immediately: he doubted not but it
was Schemselnihar's confident slave, as indeed it was. The
jeweller knew who she was, having seen her several times at Ebn
Thaher's house. She could not have come at a better time to
hinder the prince from despair.

She saluted him, and the prince of Persia did likewise salute
Schemselnihar's confident. The jeweller rose as soon as he saw
her appear, and stepped aside, to leave them at liberty to speak
together. The confident, after conversing some time with the
prince, took leave, and departed. She left him quite another
thing than before; his eyes appeared brighter, and his
countenance more gay; which made the jeweller know that the good
slave came to tell him some news that favoured his amour.

The jeweller having taken his place again near the prince, said
to him, smiling, I see, prince, you have important affairs at the
caliph's palace. The prince of Persia was astonished and alarmed
at this discourse, and answered the jeweller, why do you judge
that I have affairs at the caliph's palace? I judge, replied the
jeweller, by the slave that is gone forth. To whom, think you,
belongs this slave? said the prince. To Schemselnihar, the
caliph's favourite, answered the jeweller. I know, continued he,
both the slave and her mistress, who have several times done me
the honour to come to my house, and buy jewels. Besides, I know
that Schemselnihar keeps nothing secret from this slave; and I
have seen her go and come for several days along the streets,
very much troubled, which made me imagine that it was upon some
affair of consequence concerning her mistress.

The jeweller's words did much trouble the prince of Persia. He
would not say so, said he to himself, if he did not suspect, or
rather know, my secret. He remained silent for some time, not
knowing what to answer. At length he said to the jeweller, You
have told me those things which make me believe that you know yet
more than you have acquainted me with. It will tend much to my
quiet if I be perfectly informed; I conjure you, therefore, not
to dissemble.

Then the jeweller, who desired no better, gave him a particular
account of what had passed between Ebn Thaher and himself; so
that he let him know that he was informed of his correspondence
with Schemselnihar; and forgot not to tell him that Ebn Thaher
was afraid of the danger of being his confident in the matter,
which was partly the occasion of his retiring to Balsora, to stay
till the storm which he feared should he over. This he has done,
added the jeweller; and I am surprised how he could determine to
abandon you in the condition he informed me you was in. As for
me, prince, I confess I am moved with compassion towards you, and
am come to offer you my service; and if you do me the favour to
accept of it, I engage myself to be as faithful to you as Ebn
Thaher; besides, I promise to be more constant, I am ready to
sacrifice my honour and life for you; and, in fine, that you may
not doubt my sincerity, I swear, by all that is sacred in our
religion, to keep your secret inviolable! Be persuaded, then,
that you will find in me the friend that you have lost. This
discourse encouraged the prince, and comforted him under Ebn
Thaher's absence. I am very glad, said he to the jeweller, to
find in you a reparation of my loss: I want words to express the
obligations I am under to you. I pray God to recompense your
generosity; and I accept your obliging offer with all my heart.
Believe it, continued he, that Schemselnihar's confident came to
speak to me concerning you; she told me that it was you who
advised Ebn Thaher to go from Bagdad; these were the last words
she spoke to me when she went away, and had almost persuaded me
of it. But do not resent it; for I doubt not but she is deceived,
after what you have told me. Prince, replied the jeweller, I have
had the honour to give you a faithful account of my conversation
with Ebn Thaher. It is true, when he told me he would return to
Balsora, I did not oppose his design, but said he was a wise and
prudent man; and, that this may not hinder you from putting
confidence in me, I am ready to serve you with all imaginable
zeal; which though you do otherwise, this shall not hinder me
from keeping your secret religiously according to my oath. I have
already told you, replied the prince, that I would not believe
what the confident said; it is her zeal that inspired her with
this groundless suspicion, and you ought to excuse it, as I do.

They continued their conversation for some time, and consulted
together of convenient means to continue the prince's
correspondence with Schemselnihar: they agreed to begin by
disabusing the confident, who was so unjustly prepossessed
against the jeweller. The prince engaged to undeceive her the
first time she returned, and to entreat her to engage herself to
the jeweller, that she might bring the letters, or any other
information, from her mistress to him. In fine, they agreed that
she ought not to come so frequently to the prince's house,
because she might thereby give occasion to discover that which
was of so great importance to conceal. At last the jeweller rose,
and, after having again prayed the prince of Persia to have an
entire confidence in him, retired.

The jeweller, returning to his house, perceived before him a
letter which somebody had dropped in the street; he took it up;
and, not being sealed, he opened it, and found that it contained
as follows:

Letter from Schemselnihar to the Prince of Persia.

I am informed by my confident of a piece of news which troubles
me no less than it does you: By losing Ebn Thaher, we have indeed
lost much; but let this not hinder you, dear prince, thinking to
preserve yourself. If our confident has abandoned us through a
slavish fear, let us consider that it is a misfortune which we
could not avoid. I confess Ebn Thaher has left us at a time when
we need him most; but let us fortify ourselves by patience
against this unlooked-for accident, and let us not forbear to
love one another constantly. Fortify your heart against this
misfortune. Nobody can obtain what they desire without trouble.
Let us not discourage ourselves, but hope that Heaven will favour
us; and that, after so many afflictions, we shall come to a happy
accomplishment of our desires. Adieu.

While the jeweller was conversing with the prince of Persia, the
confident had time to return to the palace, and tell her mistress
the ill news of Ebn Thaher's departure. Schemselniliar
immediately wrote this letter, and sent back her confident with
it to the prince of Persia; but she negligently dropped it.

The jeweller was glad to find it; for it was a good way to set
him right with the confident, and bring him to the point he
desired. When he had read it, he perceived the slave, who sought
it with a great deal of uneasiness, looking about every where. He
closed it again quickly, and put it into his bosom; but the slave
took notice of it, and ran to him. Sir, said she, I have dropped
a letter which you had just now in your hand; I beseech you be
pleased to restore it. The jeweller, taking no notice that he
heard her, continued his way till he came to his house. He did
not shut the door behind him, that the confident, who followed
him, might come in. She accordingly did so; and when she came to
his chamber, Sir, said she to him, you can make no use of the
letter you have found; and you would make no difficulty in
returning it to me, if you knew from whom it came, and to whom it
is directed. Besides, let me tell you, you cannot honestly keep

Before the jeweller answered the confident, he made her sit down,
and said to her, Is not this letter from Schemselnihar, and
directed to the prince of Persia? The slave, who expected no such
question, blushed. The question puzzles you, replied he, but I
assure you I do not propose it rashly: I could have given you the
letter in the street, but I suffered you to follow me, on purpose
that I might discourse with you. Tell me, is it just to impute an
unhappy accident to people who no ways contributed towards it?
Yet this you have done, in telling the prince of Persia that it
was I who counselled Ebn Thaher to leave Bagdad for his own
safety. I do not intend to lose time in justifying myself to you;
it is enough that the prince of Persia is fully persuaded of my
innocence in this matter: I will only tell you, that instead of
contributing to Ebn Thaher's departure, I have been extremely
afflicted at it; not so much for my friendship to him, as out of
compassion for the condition in which he left the prince of
Persia, whose correspondence with Schemselnihar he has
acknowledged to me. As soon as I knew certainly that Ebn Thaher
was gone from Bagdad, I presented myself to the prince, in whose
house you found me, to inform him of this news, and to offer him
the same service which he did him; and, provided you put the same
confidence in me that you did in Ebn Thaher, you may serve
yourself by my assistance. Inform your mistress of what I have
told you, and assure her, that if I should die for engaging in so
dangerous an intrigue, I will rejoice to have sacrificed myself
for two lovers so worthy of each other.

The confident, after having heard the jeweller with great
satisfaction, begged him to pardon her the ill opinion she had
conceived of him, out of the zeal she had for her mistress. I am
extremely glad, added she, that Schemselnihar and the prince have
found you, who are a man fit to supply Ebn Thaher's place, and I
shall not fail to signify to my mistress the good-will you bear
her. After the confident had testified to the jeweller her joy to
see him so well disposed to serve Schemselnihar and the prince of
Persia, the jeweller took the letter out of his bosom, and
restored it to her, saying, Go, carry it quickly to the prince of
Persia, and come back this way, that I may see the answer. Forget
not to give him an account of our conversation.

The confident took the letter, and carried it to the prince, who
answered it immediately. She returned to the jeweller's house to
show him the answer, which was this:

The Prince of Persia's Answer to Schemselniliar.

Your precious letter had a great effect upon me, but not so great
as I could wish. You endeavour to comfort me for the loss of Ebn
Thaher; but, alas! sensible as I am of this, it is the least of
my troubles! You know my malady, and that your presence only can
cure me. When will the time come that I shall enjoy it without
fear of being ever deprived of it? O how long does it seem to me!
But shall we rather flatter ourselves that we may see one
another? You command me to preserve myself; I will obey, since I
have renounced my own will to follow yours. Adieu.

After the jeweller had read this letter, he gave it again to the
confident, who said, when she was going away, I will tell my
mistress to put the same confidence in you that she did in Ebn
Thaher, and you shall hear of me to-morrow. Accordingly, next day
she returned with a pleasant countenance. Your very look, said he
to her, informs me that you have brought Schemselnihar to what
you wished. That is true, said the confident, sand you shall hear
how I effected it. Yesterday, continued she, I found
Schemselnihar expecting me with impatience; I gave her the prince
of Persia's letter, which she read with tears in her eyes; and
when she had done, I observed she had abandoned herself to her
usual sorrow. Madam, said I, it is doubtless Ebn Thaher's removal
that troubles you; but suffer me to conjure you, in the name of
God, not to concern yourself any further about that matter. We
have found another who offers to oblige you with as much zeal,
and, what is yet more important, with greater courage. Then I
mentioned you, continued the slave, and acquainted her with the
motive which made you go to the prince of Persia's house. In
short, I assured her that you would inviolably keep the secret
betwixt her and the prince of Persia, and that you was* resolved
to favour their amours with all your might. She seemed to me much
relieved by my discourse. Ah! what obligations, said she, are the
prince of Persia and I under to that honest man you speak of? I
must see him, that I may hear from his own mouth what you tell
me, and thank him for such an unheard-of piece of generosity
towards persons with whom he is no way obliged to concern
himself. A sight of him will please me; and I will not omit any
thing to confirm him in those good sentiments. Do not fail to
bring him to-morrow. Therefore, pray, sir, go with me lo the

The confident's discourse perplexed the jeweller. Your mistress,
replied he, must allow me to say, that she has not thought well
of what she requires. Ebn Thaher's access to the caliph gave him
admission every where; and the officers, who knew him, suffered
him to go and come freely to Schemselnihar's palace; but, as for
me, how dare I enter? You see well enough that it is not
possible. I entreat you to represent those reasons to
Schemselnihar which hinder me giving her that satisfaction, and
acquaint her with all the ill consequences that would result from
it. If she considers it ever so little, she will find that it
would expose me needlessly to very great danger.

The confident endeavoured to encourage the jeweller: Believe me,
said he, that Schemselnihar is not so unreasonable as to expose
you to the least danger, from whom she expects such considerable
services. Consider with yourself that there is not the least
appearance of hazard: my mistress and I are too much interested
in this affair to involve you in any danger. You may depend upon
me, and leave yourself to my conduct. After the affair is over,
you will confess to me that your fear was groundless.

The jeweller hearkened to the confident's discourse, and got up
to follow her; but, notwithstanding his natural courage, he was
seized with such terror that his whole body trembled. In the
condition you are in, said she, I perceive it will be better for
you to stay at home, and that Schemselnihar take other measures
to see you. It is not to be doubted but that, to satisfy her
desire, she will come hither herself. The case being so, sir, I
would not have you to go, as I am persuaded it will not be long
before she comes to you. The confident foresaw this very well;
for she no sooner informed Schemselnihar of the jeweller's fear,
than she made ready to go to his house.

He received her with all the marks of profound respect. When she
sat down, being a little fatigued with walking, she unveiled
herself, and discovered to the jeweller such beauty as made him
acknowledge that the prince of Persia was excusable in giving his
heart to her. Then she saluted the jeweller with a graceful
countenance, and said to him, I am informed with what zeal you
have engaged in the prince of Persia's concerns and mine; but,
without immediately forming a design to express my gratitude, I
thank Heaven, which has so soon made up Ebn Thaher's loss.

Schemselnihar said several other obliging things to the jeweller,
after which she returned to her palace. The jeweller went
immediately to give an account of this visit to the prince of
Persia, who said to him, as soon as he saw him, I have expected
you impatiently. The trusty slave has brought me a letter from
her mistress, but she does not comfort me: whatever the lovely
Schemselnihar says, I dare not hope for any thing; my patience is
at an end; I know not now what measures to take. Ebn Thaher's
departure makes me despair; he was my only support; I lost all by
losing him, for I flattered myself with some hopes by reason of
his access to Schemselnihar.

After these words, which the prince pronounced with so much
eagerness that he gave the jeweller no time to interrupt him, he
said to the prince, No man can bear a greater share of your
affliction than I do; and if you will have patience to hear me,
you will perceive that I am capable of giving you ease. Upon this
the prince became silent, and hearkened to him. I see very well,
said the jeweller, that the only thing to give you satisfaction
is to fall upon a way that you may converse freely with
Schemselnihar. This I will procure you, and to-morrow will set
about it. You must by no means expose yourself to enter
Schemselnihar's palace; you know by experience the danger of
that: I know a very fit place for this interview, where you shall
be safe. When the jeweller had spoken thus, the prince embraced
him with a transport of joy. You revive, said he, by this
charming promise, an unhappy lover who was resolved to die; I see
that you have fully repaired the loss of Ebn Thaher: whatever you
do will be well done; I leave myself entirely to you.

The prince, after thanking the jeweller for his zeal, returned
home, and next morning Schemselnihar's confident came to him. He
told her that he had put the prince of Persia in hopes that he
should see Schemselnihar speedily. I am come purposely, answered
she, to take measures with you for that end. I think, continued
she, this house will be convenient enough for their interview. I
could receive them very well here, replied he; but I think they
will have more liberty in another house of mine, where nobody
lives at present; I will quickly furnish it for receiving them.
Since the matter is so, replied the confident, there remains
nothing for me to do but to make Sehemselnihar consent to it. I
will go tell her, and return speedily with an answer.

She was as diligent as her promise; and, returning to the
jeweller, told him that her mistress would not fail to keep the
appointment in the evening. In the mean time she gave him a purse
of money to prepare a collation. He sent her immediately to the
house where the lovers were to meet, that she might know whither
to bring her mistress; and when she was gone, he went to borrow
from his friends vessels of gold and silver, tapestry, rich
cushions, and other furniture, with which he furnished the house
very magnificently; and, when he had put all things in order,
went to the prince of Persia.

You may easily conceive the prince of Persia's joy, when the
jeweller told him that he came to conduct him to the house he had
prepared to receive him and Schemselnihar. This news obliterated
all his former trouble. He put on a magnificent robe, and went
without his retinue along with the jeweller, who led him through
several by-streets, that nobody might observe him, and at last
brought him to the house, where they discoursed together until
Schemselnihar came.

They did not stay long for this passionate lover. She came after
evening-prayers, with her confident and two other slaves. The
excess of joy that seized those two lovers, when they saw one
another, it is altogether impossible to express. They sat down
together upon the sofa for some time, without being able to
speak, they were so much overjoyed; but, when speech returned to
them, they soon made up for their silence. They expressed
themselves with so much tenderness, as made the jeweller, the
confident, and the two other slaves, weep. The jeweller, however,
restrained his tears to think upon the collation, which he
brought. The lovers ate and drank a little, after which they
again sat down on the sofa. Schemselnihar asked the jeweller if
he had a lute, or any other instrument. The jeweller, who took
care to provide all that might please them, brought her a lute,
which she took some time to tune, and then played.

While Schemselnihar was thus charming the prince of Persia, and
expressing her passion by words composed extempore, a great noise
was heard, and immediately the slave whom the jeweller brought
with him appeared in a terrible fright, to tell him that some
people were breaking up the gate; that he asked who it was, but,
instead of an answer, the blows were redoubled. The jeweller,
being alarmed, left Schemselnihar and the prince, to go and
inform himself of the truth of this bad news. There was already
got into the court a company of men armed with bayonets and
scimitars, who had entered privately, and, having broken up the
gate, came straight towards him: he stood close to a wall for
fear of his life, and saw ten of them pass without being
perceived by them; and, finding that he could give no help to the
prince of Persia and Schemselnihar, he satisfied himself with
bewailing them, and fled for refuge to a neighbour's house, who
was not yet gone to bed. He did not doubt that this unexpected
violence was by the caliph's order, who, he thought, had been
informed of his favourite's meeting with the prince of Persia. He
heard a great noise in his own house, which continued till
midnight; and when all was quiet, as he thought, he prayed his
neighbour to lend him a scimitar, and, being thus armed, went on
till he came to the gate of his own house. He entered the court
full of fear, and perceived a man, who asked him who he was? He
knew by his voice that it was his own slave. How didst thou do,
said he, to avoid being taken by the watch? Sir, answered the
slave, I hid myself in a corner of the court, and I went out as
soon as I heard the noise. But it was not the watch who broke
your house; they were highwaymen, who within these few days
robbed another in this neighbourhood: they have doubtless had
notice of the rich furniture you brought hither, and had that in
their view.

The jeweller thought his slave's conjecture probable: he entered
the house, and saw that the highwaymen had taken all the
furniture out of the chamber where he received Schemselnihar and
her lover; that they had also carried off the vessels of gold and
silver, and, in a word, had left nothing. Being in this
condition, O Heaven! cried he, I am irrecoverably undone! What
will my friends say, and what excuse can I make, when I tell them
that highwaymen have broken into my house, and robbed me of all
that they generously lent me? I shall never be able to make up
their loss. Besides, what is become of Schemselnihar and the
prince of Persia? This business will be so public, that it is
impossible but it must reach the caliph's ears. He will get
notice of this meeting, and I shall fall a sacrifice to his fury.
The slave, who loved him, endeavoured to comfort him thus: As to
Schemselnihar, said he, the highwaymen probably would content
themselves to strip her; and you have reason to think that she is
retired to her palace with her slaves. The prince of Persia is
probably in the same condition; so that you have reason to hope
that the caliph will never know of this adventure. As for the
loss your friends have sustained, that is a misfortune which you
could not avoid. They know very well the highwaymen to be so
numerous, that they have not only pillaged the house I have
already spoken of, but many other houses of the principal
noblemen of the court; and they are not ignorant that,
notwithstanding the orders given to apprehend them, nobody has
yet been able to seize any of them. You will be acquitted by
restoring your friends the value of the things that are stolen;
and, blessed be God, you have enough left.

Waiting till day, the jeweller ordered the slave to mend the gate
of the house, which was broken up, as well as he could: after
which he returned to his ordinary house with his slave, making
sad reflections on what had befallen him. Ebn Thaher, said he to
himself, has been wiser than I; he foresaw the misfortune into
which I have blindly thrown myself: would to God I had never
meddled in this intrigue, which I fear will cost me my life!

It was scarcely day, when the report of the robbery had spread
through the city, and there came to the house a great many of the
jeweller's friends and neighbours, to testify their grief for
this misfortune, but were curious to know the particulars. He
thanked them for their affection, and was so much the better
satisfied, that he heard nobody speak of Schemselnihar or the
prince of Persia, which made him believe they were at their
houses. or in some secure place.

When the jeweller was alone, his servants brought him something
to eat, but he could not taste a bit. About noon one of his
slaves came to tell him that a man was at the gate, whom he knew
not, and desired to speak with him. The jeweller, not willing to
receive a stranger into his house, rose up, and went to speak
with him. Though you do not know me, said the man, I know you,
and am come to discourse with you on an important affair. The
jeweller prayed him to step in. No, answered the stranger; if you
please, rather take the trouble to go with me to your other
house. How know you, replied the jeweller, that I have another
house? I know well enough, answered the stranger: follow me, do
not fear any thing; I have something to communicate to you which
will please you. The jeweller went immediately with him; and
after he had considered by the way how the house they were going
to was robbed, he said to him that it was not fit to receive him.

When they were before the house, and the stranger saw the gate
half broken down, he said to the jeweller, I see you have told me
the truth; I will carry you to a place which will be more
convenient. He went on when he had spoken thus, and walked all
the rest of the day without stopping. The jeweller being weary
with walking, vexed to see night approach, and the stranger
having walked all day without acquainting him where he was going,
began to lose patience. Then they came to a path which led them
to the Tigris; and as soon as they came to the river, they
crossed in a little boat. The stranger led the jeweller through a
long street, where he had never been before, and, after taking
him through several streets, stopped at a gate, which he opened.
He caused the jeweller to go in, shut the gate, bolted it with a
huge iron bolt, and then conducted, him to a chamber, where there
were ten other men, all as great strangers to the jeweller as his

The ten men received the jeweller without any compliments. They
bid him sit down; of which he had great need, for he was not only
weak with walking so far, but the fear be was in, on finding
himself with people whom he thought he had reason to dread, would
have disabled him from standing. They waited for their leader to
supper, and, as soon as he came, it was served up. They washed
their hands, obliging the jeweller to do the like, and to sit at
table with them. After supper, the men asked him if he knew to
whom he spoke. He answered, No, and that he knew not the place he
was in. Tell us your last nights adventure, said they to him, and
conceal nothing from us. The jeweller, being astonished at this
discourse, answered, Gentlemen, it is probable you know it
already. That is true, replied they, the young man and the young
lady, who were at your house yesternight, told it us; but we
would know it from your own mouth. The jeweller needed no more to
be informed that they were the highwaymen who had broken up and
plundered his house. Gentlemen, said he, I am much troubled for
that young man and the lady; can you tell me any thing of them?

Upon the jeweller's inquiry if they knew any thing of the young
man and the young lady, the thieves answered, Be not concerned
for them; they are safe enough, and in good health: which saying,
they showed him two closets, where they assured him they were
separately shut up. They added, We are informed you only know
what relates to them; which we no sooner came to understand, than
we showed them all imaginable respect, and were so far from doing
them any injury, that we treated them with all the kindness we
were capable of on your account. You may secure yourself the like
favour, proceeded they, in regard to your own person, and put all
manner of confidence in us without the least reserve.

The jeweller, being heartened at this, and overjoyed to hear that
the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar were safe, resolved to
engage the thieves yet further in their interest. For this
purpose he commended them, flattered them, and gave them a
thousand benedictions. Gentlemen, said he, I must confess I have
not the honour of knowing you; yet it is no small happiness to me
that I am not wholly unknown to you; and I can never be
sufficiently grateful for the favours which that knowledge has
procured me at your hands. Without mentioning so great an act of
humanity as that I lately received from you, I must needs say, I
am fully persuaded that no persons in the world can be so proper
to be trusted with a secret, and none more fit to undertake a
great enterprise, which you can best bring to a good issue by
your zeal, courage, and intrepidity. In confidence of these great
and good qualities, which are so much your due, I will not
scruple to relate to you my whole history, with that of the two
persons you found in my house.

After the jeweller had thus secured, as he thought, the thieves
to secrecy, he made no scruple to relate to them the whole amour
of the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar, from the beginning of
it to the time he received them into his house.

The thieves were greatly astonished at the surprising particulars
they heard, and could not forbear crying out, How! is it possible
that the young man should be the illustrious Ali Elm Becar,
prince of Persia; and the young lady the fair and celebrated
Schemselnihar! The jeweller assured them nothing was more
certain, and that they needed not to think it strange that
persons of so distinguished a character should not care to be

Upon this assurance of their quality, the thieves went
immediately, one after the other, and threw themselves at their
feet, imploring pardon, and begging them to believe they would
never have offered any violence to their persons, had they known
who they were; but, seeing they did not, they would by their
future conduct do their best endeavours to make some recompence
at least for the crime they had thus ignorantly committed. Having
made profound reverences, they returned to the jeweller, and told
him they were heartily sorry they could not restore all that had
been taken from him, some part of it being out of their
possession; but as for what remained, if he would content himself
with his plate, it should be forthwith put into his hands.

The jeweller was overjoyed at the favour; and after the thieves
had delivered the plate, they required the prince, Schemselnihar,
and him, to promise upon oath that they would not betray them,
and they would carry them to a place whence they might easily go
to their respective homes. The prince, Schemselnihar, and the
jeweller, replied, that they might rely on their words; but since
they desired an oath of them, they solemnly swore not to discover
them so long as they were with them. With this the thieves were
satisfied, and immediately set out to perform their promise.

By the way, the jeweller, being concerned that he could not see
the confident and the two slaves, came up to Schemselnihar and
begged her to inform him what was become of them. She answered,
she knew nothing of them, and that all she could tell him was,
that she was carried away from his house, ferried over a river,
and brought to the place from whence they were just now come.

Schemselnihar and the jeweller had no further discourse; they
found themselves at the brink of a river, whence the thieves
immediately took boat, and carried them to the other side.

Whilst the prince, Schemselnihar, and the jeweller, were landing,
they heard a noise as of horse-guards that were coming towards
them. The thieves no sooner perceived the danger, but they took
to their oars, and got over to the other side of the river in an

The commander of the brigade demanded of the prince,
Schemselnihar, and the jeweller, who they were, and whence they
came so late. This frightened them at first so much that they
could not speak; but at length the jeweller found his tongue, and
said, Sir, I can assure you, we are very honest people; but those
persons who have just landed us, and are got to the other side of
the water, are thieves, who, having last night broken open the
house that we were in, pillaged it, and afterwards carried us to
an obscure inn, where, by some entreaty and good management, we
prevailed on them to let us have our liberty; to which end they
brought us hither. They have restored us part of the booty they
had taken from us. At these words he showed the plate he had

The commander, not being satisfied with what the jeweller told
him, came up to him and the prince of Persia, and, looking
steadfastly at them, said, Tell me truly who is this lady? how
came you to know her? and whereabouts do you live?

This demand surprised them strangely, and tied their tongues,
insomuch that neither of them could answer; till at length
Schemselnihar, taking the commander aside, told him frankly who
she was; which he no sooner came to know, than he alighted, paid
both her and the company great respect, and caused two boats to
be got ready for their service.

When the boats were come, he put Schemselnihar into one, and the
prince of Persia and the jeweller into the other, with two of his
people in each: they had orders to accompany them whithersoever
they were bound. Being abroad, the two boats took different
routes; but we shall at present speak only of that wherein were
the prince and the jeweller.

The prince, to save his guides trouble, bid them land the
jeweller with him, and named the place whither he would go. The
guides, mistaking his orders, stopped just before the caliph's
palace, which put both him and the jeweller into a fright, though
he durst discover nothing of the matter; for though they had
heard the commander's orders to his men, they could not help
imagining they were to be delivered up to the guard, and brought
before the caliph next morning.

This, nevertheless, was not the intention of the guides; for,
after they had landed them, they, by their master's command,
recommended them to an officer of the guard, who next morning
assigned them soldiers to conduct them by land to the prince's
chateau, which was at some distance from the river.

The prince being come home, what with the fatigue of his journey,
and the affliction he conceived at being never likely again to
see Schemselnihar, fell into a swoon on his sofa; and while the
greater part of his servants was endeavouring to recover him, the
other part gathered about the jeweller, and begged of him to tell
them what had happened to the prince their lord, whose absence
had occasioned inexpressible disquiet.

The jeweller, who would discover nothing to them that was not
prudent to be repealed, told them it was not a proper time for
such a relation, and that they would do better to go and assist
the prince, than require anything of him, especially at that
juncture. The prince fortunately came to himself that very
moment; when those that but just before required his history with
so much earnestness, began now to get at a distance, and pay that
respect which was due from them. Although the prince had in some
measure recovered himself, yet he continued so weak, that he
could not open his mouth. He answered only by signs, and that
even to his nearest relations who spoke to him. He remained in
the same condition till next morning, when the jeweller came to
take leave of him. His answer was only with a wink, holding forth
his right hand; but when he saw he was loaded with the bundle of
plate the thieves had taken from him, he made a sign to his
servants that they should take and carry it along with him to his

The jeweller had been expected home with great impatience by his
family the day he went forth with the man that came to ask for
him, and whom he did not know; but no who was quite given over,
and it was no longer doubted that some disaster had befallen him.
His wife, children, and servants, were in continual grief, and
lamented him night and day; but at length, when they saw him
again, their joy was so great, they could hardly contain
themselves; yet they were troubled to find that his countenance
was greatly altered from what it had been before, insomuch that
he was hardly to be known. This was thought to have been
occasioned by his great fatigue, and the fears he had undergone,
which would not let him sleep. Finding himself something out of
order, he continued within doors for two days, and would admit
only one of his intimate friends to visit him.

The third day, perceiving himself better, he thought he might
regain strength by going abroad, and therefore went to the shop
of a rich friend of his, with whom he continued long in
discourse. As he was rising to go home, he observed a woman make
a sign to him, whom he presently knew to be the confident of
Schemselnihar. Partly out of fear, and partly through joy, he
made what haste he could away, without looking at her; but she
followed him, as he very well knew she would, the place in which
they saw each other being by no means proper for an interview. As
he walked a little faster than usual, she could not overtake him,
and therefore every now and then called out to stop. He heard
her, it is true; but, after what had happened, he did not think
fit to take notice of her in public, for fear of giving cause to
believe that he had been with Schemselnihar. In short, it was
known to every body in Bagdad that this woman belonged to her,
and therefore he thought it prudent to conceal his having any
knowledge of her. He continued the same pace, and at last came to
a mosque, where he knew but few people resorted; there he
entered, and she after him, wherein they had a long converse
together, without any body overhearing them.

Both the jeweller and the confident expressed a great deal of joy
at seeing each other after the strange adventure occasioned by
the thieves, and their reciprocal concern for each other's
welfare, without mentioning a word of what related to their own
particular persons.

The jeweller would needs have her relate to him how she escaped
with the two slaves, and what she knew of Sehemselnihar from the
time he had left her; but so great were her importunities to be
informed of what had happened to him from the time of their
unexpected separation, that he found himself obliged to comply.
Having finished what she desired, he told her that he expected
she would oblige him in her turn; which she did in the following

When I first saw the thieves, said she, I imagined, rightly
considered, that they were of the caliph's guard, who, being
informed of the escape of Schemselnihar, had sent them to take
away the lives of the prince and us all; but, being convinced of
the error of that thought, I immediately got upon the leads of
your house, at the same time that the thieves entered the chamber
where the prince and Schemselnihar were, and was soon after
followed by that lady's two slaves. From lead to lead, we came at
last to a house of very honest people, who received us with a
great deal of civility, and with whom we lodged that night.

Next morning, after we had returned thanks to the master of the
house for our good usage, we returned to Schemselnihar's hotel,
which we entered in great disorder, and the more so as we could
not learn the fate of the two unfortunate lovers. The other women
of Schemselnihar were astonished to see me return without their
lady. We told them we had left her at the house of a lady, one of
her friends, and that she would send for us when she had a mind
to come home; with which excuse they seemed well satisfied.

For my part, I spent the day in great uneasiness; and when night
came, opening a little back gate, I espied a boat driven along by
the stream. Calling to the waterman, I desired him to row up the
river, to see if he could not meet a lady, and, if he found her,
to bring her along with him. The two slaves and I waited
impatiently for his return; and at length, about midnight, we saw
the boat coming down with two men in it, and a woman lying along
in the stern. When the boat came up, the two men helped the woman
to rise; and then it was that I knew her to be Schemselnihar. I
rejoiced so greatly to see her, that I cannot sufficiently
express myself.

I gave my hand to Schemselnihar to help her out of the boat. She
had no small occasion for my assistance, for she could hardly
stand. When she was ashore, she whispered me in the ear in an
afflicted tone, bidding me go and take a purse of a thousand
pieces of gold, and give to the soldiers who had waited on her. I
obeyed, leaving her to be supported by the two slaves; and,
having paid the waterman, shut the back door.

I then followed my lady, who was hardly got to her chamber before
I overtook her. We undressed her, and put her to bed, where she
had not long been before she was ready to give up the ghost; in
which condition she continued the remainder of the night. The day
following, her other women expressed a great desire to see her;
but I told them she had been much fatigued, and wanted rest to
restore her. The other women and I, nevertheless, gave her all
the assistance we possibly could. She persisted in swallowing
nothing which we offered; and we must have despaired of her life,
had I not persuaded her to take a spoonful or two of wine, which
had a sensible effect on her. By mere importunity, we at length
prevailed upon her to eat also.

When she came to the use of her speech, for she had hitherto only
mourned, groaned, and sighed, I begged her to tell me how she
escaped out of the hands of the thieves. Why should you require
of me, said she, with a profound sigh, what will but renew my
grief? Would to God the thieves had taken away my life, rather
than preserved it, as in that case my misfortunes would have had
an end; whereas I now live but to increase my torment.

Madam, replied I, I beg you will not refuse me this favour. You
cannot but know that unhappy people have a certain consolation in
venting their misfortunes; and if you be pleased to relate yours,
I doubt not that you will find some relief in so doing.

Why then, said she, lend your ear to a story the most afflicting
that can be imagined. You must know, when I first saw the thieves
entering with sword in hand, I believed it the last moment of my
life: but dying did not then seem so shocking to me, since I
thought I was to die with the prince of Persia. However, instead
of murdering, two of the thieves were ordered to take care of us,
whilst their companions were busied in packing up the goods which
they found in the house. When they had done, and had got their
bundles upon their backs, they went away, carrying us along with

As we went along one of those who had the charge of us demanded
of me briskly who I was: I answered, I was a dancer. He put the
same question to the prince, who replied that he was a

When they were come to the place whither they were going, I had
new fears to alarm me; for they gathered about us, and, after
considering well my habit, and the rich jewels I was adorned
with, they seemed to think that I had disguised my quality.
Dancers, said they, do not use to be dressed as you are; pray
tell us truly who you are.

 When they saw I answered nothing, they asked the prince once
more who he was; for they told him they perceived he was not the
person he pretended. He did not satisfy them any more than I had
done; but only told them he came to see the jeweller, who was the
owner of the house where they found us. I know this jeweller,
said one of the rogues, who seemed to have some authority over
the rest; I have some obligations to him, of which he yet knows
nothing; and I take upon me to bring him hither to-morrow morning
from another house he has; but you must not expect to stir till
he come and tell us who you are; though, in the mean time, I
promise there shall be no manner of injury offered to you.

The jeweller was brought next morning, as he said; who, thinking
to oblige us, as he really did, declared to the rogues the whole
truth of the matter. The thieves no sooner knew who we were, but
they came and asked my pardon; and I believe did the like to the
prince, who was shut up in another room. They protested to me,
they would not have broken open the jeweller's house, had they
known whose it was. They soon after took us, (the prince, the
jeweller, and myself), and carried us to the river-side, where,
having put us on board the boat, they rowed us across the water;
but we were no sooner landed, than a party of the horse-guards
came up to us.

The rogues fled. I took the commander aside, and told him my
name, informing him withal, that the night before I had be seized
by robbers who forced me along with them; but having been told
who I was, they had re*aleased me, and the two persons he saw
with me, on my account. He alighted and paid his respects to me;
and expressing a great deal of joy for being able to oblige me,
he caused two boats to be brought, putting me and two of his
soldiers, whom you have seen, into one, and the prince, and
jeweller, with two more, into the other. My guides have conducted
me hither; but what is become of the prince and his friend, I
cannot tell.

I trust in Heaven, added she, with a shower of tears, no harm has
happened to them since our separation; and I do not doubt that
the prince's concern is equal to mine. The jeweller, to whom we
have been so much obliged, ought to be recompensed for the loss
he has sustained on our account. Do not you therefore fail, said
she, speaking to the confident, to take two purses of a thousand
pieces of gold each, and carry them to him to-morrow morning in
my name; and, at the same time, be sure to inquire after the
prince's welfare.

When my good mistress had done speaking, I endeavoured, as to the
last article of inquiring into the prince's welfare, to calm her
mind, which was in some disorder, and to persuade her not to
yield so much to love, since the danger she had so lately escaped
would be soon renewed by such indulgence. She bid me hold my
tongue, and do what she had commanded. I was forced to be silent,
and am come hither to obey her commands without any further
scruple. I have been at your house, and, not finding you at home,
was about to have gone to wait on the prince of Persia, but did
not dare to attempt so great a journey. I have left the two
purses with a particular friend of mine, and, if you have
patience, I shall go and fetch them immediately.

The confident returned quickly to the jeweller in the mosque,
where she had left him. She gave him the two purses, and bid him
accept them for her lady's sake. They are more than necessary,
said the jeweller; and I can never be enough thankful for so
great a present from so good and generous a lady: but I beseech
you to acquaint her, on my behalf, that I shall preserve an
eternal remembrance of her bounties. He then agreed with the
confident, that she should find him at the place where she had
first seen him whenever she had occasion to impart any commands
from Schemselnihar, or to know any thing of the prince of Persia.

The jeweller returned home very well satisfied, not only that he
had got wherewithal plentifully to make up his losses, but also
to think that no person in Bagdad could possibly come to know of
the prince and Schemselnihar being in his other house when it was
robbed. It is true, he had acquainted the thieves with it, but
their secrecy he thought might very well be depended on, as he
imagined they had not sufficient converse with the world to give
him any disturbance. He therefore hugged himself in his good
fortune, paid his debts, and furnished both his houses to a
nicety. Thus he forgot all his past danger, and next morning set
out to wait on the prince of Persia.

The prince's domestics told the jeweller, on his arrival, that he
came in very good time to make their lord speak, for they had not
been able to get a word out of him ever since he was there. They
introduced him softly into his chamber, where he found him in
such a condition as raised his pity. He was lying in bed, with
his eye-lids shut; but when the jeweller saluted him, and
exhorted him to take courage, be faintly opened his eyes, and
regarded him with such an aspect, as sufficiently declared the
greatness of his affliction. He, however, took and grasped him by
the hand, to testify his friendship, telling him, in a faint and
weak tone, that he was extremely obliged to him for coming so far
to seek one so exceedingly unhappy and miserable.

My lord, replied the jeweller, mention not, I beseech you, any
obligations you owe to me; I could wish, with all my soul, that
the good offices I have endeavoured to do you had had a better
effect. But, at present, let us discourse only of your health,
which I fear you greatly injure by unreasonably abstaining from
proper nourishment.

The prince's servants, hearing the jeweller say this, took
occasion to let him know that it was with the greatest difficulty
they had prevailed on him to take even the smallest morsel and
that for some time he had taken nothing. This obliged the
jeweller to beg the prince to let his servants bring him
something to eat, which favour he obtained with much

After the prince had eaten more largely than he had hitherto, at
the persuasion of the jeweller, he commanded the servants to quit
the room, and leave him alone with his friend. When the room was
clear, he said, In conjunction with my misfortune which distracts
me, I have been exceedingly concerned to think of what you have
suffered on my account; and as it is but reasonable that I should
make you a recompence, I shall be sure to take the first
opportunity; at present, however, begging only your pardon a
thousand times, I must conjure you to tell me whether you have
learnt any thing of Schemselnihar since I had the misfortune to
be parted from her.

Here the jeweller, upon the confident's information, related to
him all that he knew of Schemselnihar's arrival at her hotel, her
state of health from the time he had left her, and how she had
sent her confident to him to inquire after his highness's

To all this the prince replied with sighs and tears only; then he
made an effort to get up, and, being assisted by the jeweller,
made shift to rise. Being upon his legs, he called his servants,
and made them open his wardrobe, whither he went in person, and
having caused several bundles of rich goods and plate to be
packed up, ordered them to be carried to the jeweller's house.

The jeweller would fain have withstood this kind offer; but
although he represented that Schemselnihar had already made him
more than sufficient amends for what he had lost, the prince
would be obeyed. The jeweller thought himself obliged to make
every possible acknowledgment, and protested how much he was
confounded at his highness's liberality. He would then have taken
his leave, but the prince would not let him; so they passed in
discourse the greater part of the night.

Next morning the jeweller waited again on the prince before he
went away, but he would not let him stir; he must first sit down,
and hear what he had to say. You know, said he, there is an end
proposed in all things. Now, the end the lover proposes, is to
enjoy the beloved object in spite of all opposition. If he loses
that hope, he must not think to live. You also know that this is
my hard case; for when I had been twice at the very point of
fulfilling my desires, I was all of a sudden torn from her I
loved in the most cruel manner imaginable: I had then no more to
do, but to think of death; and I had certainly proved my own
executioner, did not our holy laws forbid us to commit suicide.
But there is no need of such violent means; death will soon do
its own work by a sure though gentle method; I find myself in a
manner gone, and that I have not long to wait the welcome blow.
Here he was silent, and vented the rest of his passion only in
groans, sighs, and tears, which came from him in great abundance.

The jeweller, who knew no better way of turning him from despair
than by bringing Schemselnihar into his mind, and giving him some
hopes of enjoying her, told him, he feared the confident might be
come from her lady, and therefore did not think it proper to stay
any longer from home. I will let you go, said the prince; but
conjure you, that if you see her, you recommend to her to assure
Schemselnihar, that if I die, as I expect to do every minute, I
will love her to the last moment, and bless her with my last

The jeweller returned home in expectation of seeing the
confident, who came some few hours after, but all in tears, and
in great affliction. He asked, with great earnestness, what was
the matter; she answered, that Schemselnihar, the prince,
herself, and he, were all ruined. He demanded how. Hear the sad
news, said she, as it was told me just upon my entering our
hotel, after I had left you.

Schemselnihar had, it seems, for some fault, chastised one of the
slaves you saw with her in your other house; the slave, enraged
at the ill treatment, ran presently, and, finding the gate open,
went forth; so that we have just reason to believe she has
discovered all to an eunuch of the guard, who gave her
protection, as we have since heard.

This is not all. The other slave, her companion, is fled too, and
has taken refuge in the caliph's palace, so that we may well fear
she has acted her part in a discovery; for, just as I came away,
the caliph had sent twenty of his eunuchs for Schemselnihar, who
carried her to the palace. I just found means to come and tell
you this, yet I fear no good will come of it; but, above all, I
recommend it to you as a secret.

The confident added, that it was expedient he should go and
acquaint the prince with the whole affair, that he might be ready
on all occasions, and contribute what he was able to the common
cause; upon which she departed in great haste, without speaking a
word more, or waiting for an answer.

What answer, however, could the jeweller have made, in the
deplorable condition he was placed? He stood still as if
thunderstruck, and had not a word to say. He was, however,
sensible that the affair required expedition, and therefore went
immediately to give the prince an account of it. He addressed
himself to him with an air that sufficiently showed the bad news
he brought. Prince, said he to him, arm yourself with courage and
patience, and prepare to receive the most terrible assault ever
yet made on your nature. Tell me, in few words, said the prince,
what it is I must prepare to receive; for if it be death only, I
am ready and willing to undergo it.

Then the jeweller told him all that he had learned from the
confident. You see, continued he, that your destruction is
inevitable, if you delay. Rise, save yourself by flight, for the
time is precious. You, of all men, must not expose yourself to
the anger of the caliph, and should much less confess any thing
in the midst of torments.

At these words the prince was almost ready to expire with grief,
affliction, and fear; he recovered, however, and demanded of the
jeweller what resolution he would advise him to take in this
unhappy conjuncture. The jeweller told him he thought nothing
more proper than that he should immediately take horse, and haste
away towards Anbar, [Footnote: Anbar is a city on the Tigris,
twenty leagues below Bagdad.] that he might get thither with all
convenient speed. Take what servants and horses you think
necessary, continued he, and suffer me to escape with you.

The prince, seeing nothing more advisable, immediately gave
orders for such an equipage as would be least troublesome; so
having put some money and jewels in his pocket, and taking leave
of his mother, he departed in company with the jeweller, and with
such servants as he had chosen. They travelled all that day and
the day following without stopping, till at length, about the
dusk of the evening, their horses and selves being greatly
fatigued, they alighted at an inn to refresh themselves.

They had hardly sat down, before they found themselves surrounded
and assaulted by a gang of thieves. They defended their lives for
some time courageously; but, at length, the prince's servants
being all killed, both he and the jeweller were obliged to yield
at discretion. The thieves, however, spared their lives; but,
after they had seized their horses and baggage, they took away
their clothes, and left them naked.

In this condition, and after the thieves had left them, the
prince said to the jeweller, What is to be done, my friend, in
this conjuncture? Had I not better, think you, have tarried in
Bagdad, and undergone any fate, rather than have been reduced to
this extremity? My lord, replied the jeweller, it is the decree
of Heaven that we should thus suffer. It has pleased God to add
affliction to affliction, and we must not murmur at it, but
receive his chastisements with submission. Let us stay no longer
here, but go and look out for some place where we may be
concealed and relieved.

No, let me rather die, said the prince; for what signifies it
whether I die here or elsewhere? for die I know I must very
shortly. It may be, this very minute that we are talking,
Schemselnihar is no more! And why should I endeavour to live
after she is dead? The jeweller at length prevailed on him to go;
but they had not gone far before they came to a mosque, which,
being open, they entered, and passed there the remainder of the

At day-break a single man came into the mosque to his devotion.
When he had ended his prayer, and was turning to go out, he
perceived the prince and the jeweller, who were sitting in a
corner to conceal themselves. He went up to them; and, saluting
them with a great deal of civility, said, By what I perceive,
gentlemen, you seem to be strangers.

The jeweller answered, You are not deceived, sir. We have been
robbed to-night in coming from Bagdad, and retired hither for
shelter. If you can relieve us in our necessities, we shall he
very much obliged to you, for we know nobody here to whom to
apply to. The man answered, If you think fit to come to my house,
I shall do what I can for you.

Upon this obliging offer, the jeweller turned to the prince, and
said in his ear, This man, as far as I can perceive, sir, does
not know us; therefore we had better go with him, than stay here
to be exposed to the sight of somebody that may. Do as you
please, said the prince; I am willing to be guided by your

The man, observing the prince and jeweller consulting together,
thought they made some difficulty to accept his proposition;
wherefore he demanded of them if they were resolved what to do.
The jeweller answered, We are ready to follow you whither you
please; all that we make a difficulty about is to appear thus

Let not that trouble you, said the man; we shall find wherewithal
to clothe you, I warrant you. They were no sooner got to the
house, than he brought forth a very handsome suit for each of
them. Next, as he thought they must be very hungry, and have a
mind to go to bed, he had several plates of meat brought out to
them by a slave; but they ate little, particularly the prince,
who was so dejected and dispirited, as gave the jeweller cause to
fear he would die. They went to bed, and their host left them to
their repose; but they had no sooner lain down, than the jeweller
was forced to call him again to assist at the death of the
prince. He breathed short, and with difficulty; which gave him
reason to fear he had but a few minutes to live. Coming near him,
the prince said, It is done; and I am glad you are by, to be
witness of my last words. I quit this life with a great deal of
satisfaction; but I need not tell you the reason, for you know it
too well already. All the regret I have is, that I cannot die in
the arms of my dearest mother, who has always loved me with a
tenderness not to be expressed, and for whom I had a reciprocal
affection. She will undoubtedly be not a little grieved that she
could not close my eyes, and bury me with her own hands. But let
her know how much I was concerned at this; and desire her, in my
name, to have my corpse transported to Bagdad, that she may have
an opportunity to bedew my tomb with her tears, and assist my
departed soul with her prayers. He then took notice of the master
of the house, thanked him for the several favours he had received
from him, and desired him to let his body be deposited with him
till such time as it should be carried away to Bagdad. Having
said this, he turned aside and expired.

The day after the prince's death, the jeweller took the
opportunity of a numerous caravan that was going to Bagdad, and
arrived there some time after in safety. He first went home to
change his clothes, and then hastened to the prince's palace,
where every body was surprised that their lord was not come with
him. He desired them to acquaint the prince's mother that he must
speak to her immediately; and it was not long before he was
introduced to her. She was seated in a hall, with several of her
women about her. Madam, said he to her, with an air that
sufficiently denoted his ill news, God preserve your highness,
and shower down the choicest of his blessings upon you! You
cannot be ignorant that it is he alone who disposes of us all at
his pleasure.

The princess would not give him leave to go on, but cried out,
Alas, you bring me the deplorable news of my son's death! At
which words she and her women set up such a hideous outcry, as
soon brought fresh tears into the jeweller's eyes. She thus
tormented and grieved herself a long while before the unfortunate
messenger was allowed to go on. At length, however, she gave a
truce to her sighs and groans, and begged of him to continue the
fatal relation, without concealing from her the least
circumstance. He did as she commanded; and, when he had done, she
further demanded of him, if her son the prince had not given him
in charge something more particular. He assured her his last
words were, that it was the greatest concern to him that he must
die so far distant from his dear mother, and that he earnestly
entreated she would be pleased to have his corpse transported to
Bagdad. Accordingly, next morning at day-break, the princess set
out, with her women and great part of her slaves, to bring her
son's body to her own palace.

The jeweller, having taken leave of her, returned home very sad
and melancholy, to think he had lost so good a friend, and so
accomplished a prince, in the flower of his age.

As he came near his house, dejected and musing, on a sudden
lifting up his eyes, he saw a woman in mourning and tears
standing before him. He presently knew her to be the confident,
who had stood there grieving for some time that she could not see
him. At the sight of her, his tears began to flow afresh, but he
said nothing to her; and, going into his own house, she followed

They sat down, when the jeweller, beginning the dismal discourse,
asked the confident, with a deep sigh, if she had heard nothing
of the death of the prince of Persia, or if it was on his account
that she grieved? Alas! answered she; what! is that charming
prince then, dead? He has not lived long after his dear
Schemselnihar. Beauteous souls! continued she, in whatsoever
place ye now are, ye ought to be pleased that your loves will no
more be interrupted. Your bodies were before an obstacle to your
wishes; but now, being delivered from them, you may unite as
closely as you please.

The jeweller, who had heard nothing of Schemselnihar's death, and
had not observed that the confident was in mourning, through the
excessive grief that blinded him, was now afflicted anew. Is
Schemselnihar then dead? cried he, in great astonishment. She is
dead, replied the confident, weeping afresh; and it is for her
that I wear these weeds. The circumstances of her death are
extraordinary, continued she; therefore it is but requisite you
should know them; but, before I give you an account of them, I
beg you to let me know those of the prince of Persia, whom, in
conjunction with my dearest friend and mistress, I shall lament
as long as I live.

The jeweller then gave the confident the satisfaction she
desired; and, after he had told her all, even to the departure of
the prince's mother to bring her son's body to Bagdad, she began,
and said, You have not forgotten, I suppose, that I told you the
caliph had sent for Schemselnihar to his palace; and it is true,
as we had all the reason in the world to believe, he had been
informed of the amour between her and the prince by the two
slaves, whom he had examined apart. Now, you will be apt to
imagine he must of necessity be exceedingly enraged at
Schemselnihar, and discover many tokens of jealousy and revenge
against the prince; but I must tell you he had neither one nor
the other, aud lamented only his dear mistress forsaking him,
which he in some measure attributed to himself, in giving her so
much freedom to walk about the city without his eunuchs. This was
all the resentment he showed, as you will find by his carriage
towards her.

He received her with an open countenance; and when he observed
the sadness she was under, which nevertheless did not lessen her
beauty, with a goodness peculiar to himself, he said,
Schemselnihar, I cannot bear your appearing thus before me with
an air of affliction. You must be sensible how much I have always
loved you by the continual demonstrations I have given you; and I
can never change my mind, for even now I love you more than ever.
You have enemies, Schemselnihar, proceeded he; and those enemies
have done you all the wrong they can. For this purpose they have
filled my ears with stories against you, which have not made the
least impression upon me. Shake off, then, this melancholy,
continued he, and prepare to entertain your lord this night after
your accustomed manner. He said many other obliging things to
her, and then desired her to step into a magnificent apartment,
and stay for him.

The afflicted Schemselnihar was very sensible of the kindness the
caliph had for her; but the more she thought herself obliged to
him, the more she was concerned that she was so far off from the
prince, without whom she could not live, and yet was afraid she
should never see him more.

This interview between the caliph and Schemselnihar, continued
the confident, was whilst I came to speak with you; and I learned
the particulars of it from my companions, who were present. But I
had no sooner left you, proceeded she, than I went to my dear
mistress again, and was an eye-witness to what happened
afterwards. I found her in the apartment I told you of; and, as
she thought I came from you, she came to me, and whispering in my
ear, said, I am much obliged to you for the service you have been
doing me, but fear it will be the last. I took no notice of her
words, and she said no more to me; but if I had a mind to say any
thing to comfort her, I was in a place by no means proper for
disclosing my thoughts.

The caliph was introduced at night with the sound of instruments
upon which our women played, and the collation was immediately
served up. He took his mistress by the hand, and made her sit
down with him on the sofa; which she did with such regret, that
she expired some few minutes after. In short, she was hardly sat
down, when she fell backwards; which the caliph believed to be
only a swoon, and so we all thought; but when we endeavoured to
bring her to herself, we found she was quite gone, which you may
imagine not a little afflict