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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 09
Author: Richard F. Burton, - To be updated
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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

                  Translated and Annotated by
                       Richard F. Burton

                          VOLUME NINE
              Privately Printed By The Burton Club

                  To Alexander Baird of Urie.

My Dear Baird,

     I avail my self of a privilege of authorship, not yet
utterly obsolete, to place your name at the head of this volume.
Your long residence in Egypt and your extensive acquaintance with
its "politic," private and public, make you a thouroughly
competent judge of the merits and demerits of this volume; and
encourage me to hope that in reading it you will take something
of the pleasure I have had in writing it..

                    Ever yours sincerely,

                         Richard F. Burton.

Tangier, December 31, 1885.

                  Contents of the Ninth Volume

     Ali Nur Al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-Girl (continued)
159. The Man of Upper Egypt and His Frankish Wife
160. The Ruined Man of Baghdad and his Slave-Girl
161. King Jali'ad of Hind and His Wazir Shimas: Followed by the
History of King Wird Khan,    son of King Jali'ad with His Women
and Wizars
     a.   The Mouse and the Cat
     b.   The Fakir and His Jar of Butter
     c.   The Fishes and the Crab
     d.   The Crow and the Serpent
     e.   The Wild Ass and the Jackal
     f.   The Unjust King and the Pilgrim Prince
     g.   The Crows and the Hawk
     h.   The Serpent-Charmer and His Wife
     i.   The Spider and the Wind
     j.   The Two Kings
     k.   The Blind Man and the Cripple
     l.   The Foolish Fisherman
     m.   The Boy and the Thieves
     n.   The Man and his Wife
     o.   The Merchant and the Robbers
     p.   The Jackals and the Wolf
     q.   The Shepherd and the Rogue
     r.   The Francolin and the Tortoises
162. Abu Kir the Dyer and Abu Sir the Barber
163. Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman
164. Harun Al-Rashid and Abu Hasan, The Merchant of Oman
165. Ibrahim and Jamilah
166. Abu Al-Hasan of Khorasan
167. Kamar Al-Zaman and the Jeweller's Wife
168. Abdullah Bin Fazil and His Brothers

                        The Book Of The

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur
al-Din heard the voice singing these verses he said in himself,
"Verily this be the Lady Miriam chanting without hesitation or
doubt or suspicion of one from without.[FN#1] Would Heaven I knew
an my thought be true and if it be indeed she herself or other
self!" And regrets redoubled upon him and he bemoaned himself and
recited these couplets,

"When my blamer saw me beside my love * Whom I met in a site that
     lay open wide,
I spake not at meeting a word of reproach * Though oft it comfort
     sad heart to chide;
Quoth the blamer, 'What means this silence that bars * Thy making
     answer that hits his pride?'
And quoth I, 'O thou who as fool dost wake, * To misdoubt of
     lovers and Love deride;
The sign of lover whose love is true * When he meets his beloved
     is mum to bide.'"

When he had made an end of these verses, the Lady Miriam fetched
inkcase and paper and wrote therein: "After honour due to the
Basmalah,[FN#2] may the peace of Allah be upon thee and His mercy
and blessings be! I would have thee know that thy slavegirl
Miriam saluteth thee, who longeth sore for thee; and this is her
message to thee. As soon as this letter shall fall into thy
hands, do thou arise without stay and delay and apply thyself to
that we would have of thee with all diligence and beware with all
wariness of transgressing her commandment and of sleeping. When
the first third of the night is past, (for that hour is of the
most favourable of times) apply thee only to saddling the two
stallions and fare forth with them both to the Sultan's
Gate.[FN#3] If any ask thee whither thou wend, answer, 'I am
going to exercise the steeds,' and none will hinder thee; for the
folk of this city trust to the locking of the gates." Then she
folded the letter in a silken kerchief and threw it out of the
latticed window to Nur al-Din, who took it and reading it, knew
it for the handwriting of the Lady Miriam and comprehended all
its contents. So he kissed the letter and laid it between his
eyes; then, calling to mind that which had betided him with her
of the sweets of love-liesse, he poured forth his tears whilst he
recited these couplets,

"Came your writ to me in the dead of the night * And desire for
     you stirred heart and sprite;
And, remembered joys we in union joyed, * Praised the Lord who
     placed us in parting plight."

As soon as it was dark Nur al-Din busied himself with making
ready the stallions and patiented till the first watch of the
night was past; when, without a moment delay, Nur al-Din the
lover full of teen, saddled them with saddles of the goodliest,
and leading them forth of the stable, locked the door after him
and repaired with them to the city-gate, where he sat down to
await the coming of the Princess. Meanwhile, Miriam returned
forthright to her private apartment, where she found the one-eyed
Wazir seated, elbow-propt upon a cushion stuffed with
ostrich-down; but he was ashamed to put forth his hand to her or
to bespeak her. When she saw him, she appealed to her Lord in
heart, saying, "Allahumma-O my God-bring him not to his will of
me nor to me defilement decree after purity!" Then she went up to
him and made a show of fondness for him and sat down by his side
and coaxed him, saying, "O my lord, what is this aversion thou
displayest to me? Is it pride or coquetry on thy part? But the
current byword saith, 'An the salam-salutation be little in
demand, the sitters salute those who stand."[FN#4] So if, O my
lord, thou come not to me neither accost me, I will go to thee
and accost thee." Said he, "To thee belong favour and kindness, O
Queen of the earth in its length and breadth; and what am I but
one of thy slaves and the least of thy servants. Indeed, I was
ashamed to intrude upon thine illustrious presence, O unique
pearl, and my face is on the earth at thy feet." She rejoined,
"Leave this talk and bring us to eat and drink." Accordingly he
shouted to his eunuchs and women an order to serve food, and they
set before them a tray containing birds of every king that walk
and fly and in nests increase and multiply, such as sand-grouse
and quails and pigeon-poults and lambs and fatted geese and fried
poultry and other dishes of all sorts and colours. The Princess
put out her hand to the tray and began to eat and feed the Wazir
with her fair finger-tips and kiss him on the mouth. They ate
till they had enough and washed their hands, after which the
handmaidens removed the table of food and set on the service of
wine. So Princess Miriam filled the cup and drank and gave the
Wazir to drink and served him with assiduous service, so that he
was like to fly for joy and his breast broadened and he was of
the gladdest. When she saw that the wine had gotten the better of
his senses, she thrust her hand into her bosom and brought out a
pastil of virgin Cretan-Bhang, which she had provided against
such an hour, whereof if an elephant smelt a dirham's weight, he
would sleep from year to year. She distracted his attention and
crumbled the drug into the cup: then, filling it up, handed it to
the Wazir, who could hardly credit his senses for delight. So he
took it and kissing her hand, drank it off, but hardly had it
settled in his stomach when he fell head foremost to the ground.
Then she rose and filling two great pairs of saddle-bags with
what was light of weight and weighty of worth of jewels and
jacinths and precious stones, together with somewhat of meat and
drink, donned harness of war and armed herself for fight. She
also took with her for Nur al-Din what should rejoice him of rich
and royal apparel and splendid arms and armour, and shouldering
the bags (for indeed her strength equalled her valiancy),
hastened forth from the new palace to join her lover. On this
wise fared it with the Lady Miriam; but as regards Nur
al-Din,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Lady Miriam left the new palace, she went straightways to meet
her lover for indeed she was as valiant as she was strong; but
Nur al-Din the distracted, the full of teen, sat at the city-gate
hending the horses' halters in hand, till Allah (to whom belong
Majesty and Might) sent a sleep upon him and he slept-glory be to
Him who sleepeth not! Now at that time the Kings of the Islands
had spent much treasure in bribing folk to steal the two steeds
or one of them; and in those days there was a black slave, who
had been reared in the islands skilled in horse-lifting;
wherefore the Kings of the Franks seduced him with wealth galore
to steal one of the stallions and promisted him, if he could
avail to lift the two, that they would give him a whole island
and endue him with a splendid robe of honour. He had long gone
about the city of France in disguise, but succeeded not in taking
the horses, whilst they were with the King; but, when he gave
them in free gift to the Wazir and the monocular one carried them
to his own stable, the blackamoor thief rejoiced with joy
exceeding and made sure of success, saying in himself, "By the
virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, I will
certainly steal the twain of them!" Now he had gone out that very
night, intending for the stable, to lift them; but, as he walked
along, behold, he caught sight of Nur al-Din lying asleep, with
the halters in his hands. So he went up to the horses and loosing
the halters from their heads, was about to mount one of them and
drive the other before him, when suddenly up came the Princess
Miriam, carrying on her shoulders the couple of saddle-bags. She
mistook the black for Nur al-Din and handed him one pair of bags,
which he laid on one of the stallions: after which she gave him
the other and he set it on the second steed, without word said to
discover that it was not her lover. Then they mounted and rode
out of the gate[FN#5] in silence till presently she asked, "O my
lord Nur al-Din, what aileth thee to be silent?" Whereupon the
black turned to her and cried angrily, "What sayst thou, O
damsel?" When she heard the slave's barbarous accents, she knew
that the speech was not of Nur al-Din; so raising her eyes she
looked at him and saw that he was a black chattel, snub-nosed and
wide-mouthed, with nostrils like ewers; whereupon the light in
her eyes became night and she asked him, "Who art thou, O Shaykh
of the sons of Ham and what among men is thy name?" He answered,
"O daughter of the base, my name is Mas'úd, the lifter of horses,
when folk slumber and sleep." She made him no reply, but
straightway baring her blade, smote him on the nape and the blade
came out gleaming from his throat-tendons, whereupon he fell
earthwards, weltering in his blood, and Allah hurried his soul to
the Fire and abiding-place dire. Then she took the other horse by
the bridle and retraced her steps in search of Nur al-Din, whom
she found lying, asleep and snoring, in the place where she had
appointed him to meet her, hending the halters in hand, yet
knowing not his fingers from his feet. So she dismounted and gave
him a cuff,[FN#6] whereupon he awoke in affright and said to her,
"O m lady, praised be Allah for thy safe coming!" Said she "Rise
and back this steed and hold thy tongue!" So he rose and mounted
one of the stallions, whilst she bestrode the other, and they
went forth the city and rode on awhile in silence. Then said she
to him, "Did I not bid thee beware of sleeping? Verily, he
prospereth not who sleepeth." He rejoined, "O my lady, I slept
not but because of the cooling of my heart by reason of thy
promise. But what hath happened, O my lady?" So she told him her
adventure with the black, first and last, and he said, "Praised
be Allah for safety!" Then they fared on at full speed,
committing their affair to the Subtle, the All-wise and
conversing as they went, till they came to the place where the
black lay prostrate in the dust, as he were an Ifrit, and Miriam
said to Nur al-Din, "Dismount; strip him of his clothes and take
his arms." He answered, "By Allah, O my lady, I dare not dismount
nor approach him." And indeed he marvelled at the blackamoor's
stature and praised the Princess for her deed, wondering the
while at her valour and stout-heartedness. They fared on lustily
and ceased not so doing all that night and halted not till the
day broke with its shine and sheen and the sun shone bright upon
plain and height when they came to a wide riverino lea wherein
the gazelles were frisking gracefully. Its surface was clothed
with green and on all sides fruit trees of every kind were seen:
its slopes for flowers like serpents' bellies showed, and birds
sang on boughs aloud and its rills in manifold runnels flowed.
And indeed it was as saith the poet and saith well and
accomplisheth the hearer's desire,

"Rosy red Wady hot with summer-glow, * Where twofold tale of
     common growth was piled.
In copse we halted wherein bent to us * Branches, as bendeth
     nurse o'er weanling-child.
And pure cold water quenching thirst we sipped: * To cup-mate
     sweeter than old wine and mild:
From every side it shut out sheen of sun * Screen-like, but wooed
     the breeze to cool the wild:
And pebbles, sweet as maidens deckt and dight * And soft as
     threaded pearls, the touch beguiled."

And as saith another,

"And when birdies o'er warble its lakelet, it gars *
     Longing[FN#7] lover to seek it where morning glows;
For likest to Paradise lie its banks * With shade and fruitage
     and fount that flows."

Presently Princess Miriam and Nur al-Din alighted to rest in this
Wady,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hat reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Princess Miriam and Nur al-Din alighted in that valley, they ate
of its fruits and frank of its streams, after turning the
stallions loose to pasture: then they sat talking and recalling
their past and all that had befallen them and complaining one to
other of the pangs of parting and of the hardships suffered for
estrangement and love-longing. As they were thus engaged, behold,
there arose in the distance a dust-cloud which spread till it
walled the world, and they heard the neighing of horses and clank
of arms and armour. Now the reason of this was, that after the
Princess had been bestowed in wedlock upon the Wazir who had gone
in to her that night, the King went forth at daybreak, to give
the couple good morrow, taking with him, after the custom of
Kings with their daughters, a gift of silken stuffs and
scattering gold and silver among the eunuchs and tire-women, that
they might snatch at and scramble for it. And he fared on
escorted by one of his pages; but when he came to the new palace,
he found the Wazir prostrate on the carpet, knowing not his head
from his heels; so he searched the place right and left for his
daughter, but found her not; whereat he was troubled sore with
concern galore and his wits forlore. Then he bade bring hot water
and virgin vinegar and frankincense[FN#8] and mingling them
together, blew the mixture into the Wazir's nostrils and shook
him, whereupon he cast the Bhang forth of his stomach, as it were
a bit of cheese. He repeated the process, whereupon the Minister
came to himself and the King questioned him of his case and that
of his daughter. He replied, "O mighty King, I have no knowledge
of her save that she poured me out a cup of wine with her own
hand; and from that tide to this I have no recollection of aught
nor know I what is come of her." When the King heard this, the
light in his eyes became night, and he drew his scymitar and
smote the Wazir on the head, then the steel came out gleaming
from between his grinder teeth. Then, without an instant delay,
he called the groom sand syces and demanded of them the two
stallions: but they said, "O King, the two steeds were lost in
the night and together with them our chief, the Master of Horse;
for, when we awoke in the morning, we found all the doors wide
open." Cried the King, "By the faith of me and by all wherein my
belief is stablished on certainty, none but my daughter hath
taken the steeds, she and the Moslem captive which used to tend
the Church and which took her aforetime! Indeed I knew him right
well and none delivered him from my hand save this one-eyed
Wazir; but now he is requited his deed." Then the King called his
three sons, who were three doughty champions, each of whom could
withstand a thousand horse in the field of strife and the stead
where cut and thrust are rife; and bade them mount. So they took
horse forthwith and the King and the flower of his knights and
nobles and officers mounted with them and followed on the trail
of the fugitives till Miriam saw them, when she mounted her
charger and baldrick'd her blade and took her arms. Then she said
to Nur al-Din, "How is it with thee and how is thy heart for
fight and strife and fray?" Said he, "Verily, my steadfastness in
battle-van is as the steadfastness of the stake in bran."[FN#9]
And he improvised and said,

"O Miriam thy chiding I pray, forego; * Nor drive me to death or
     injurious blow:
How e'er can I hope to bear fray and fight * Who quake at the
     croak of the corby-crow?
I who shiver for fear when I see the mouse * And for very funk I
     bepiss my clo'!
I loveno foin but the poke in bed, * When coynte well knoweth my
     prickle's prow;
This is rightful rede, and none other shows * Righteous as this
     in my sight, I trow."

Now when Miriam heard his speech and the verse he made, she
laughed and smilingly said, "O my lord Nur al-Din, abide in thy
place and I will keep thee from their ill grace, though they be
as the sea-sands in number. But mount and ride in rear of me, and
if we be defeated and put to flight, beware of falling, for none
can overtake thy steed." So saying, she turned her lance-head
towards foe in plain and gave her horse the rein, whereupon he
darted off under her, like the stormy gale or like waters that
from straitness of pipes outrail. Now Miriam was the doughtiest
of the folk of her time and the unique pearl of her age and tide;
for her father had taught her, whilst she was yet little, on
steeds to ride and dive deep during the darkness of the night in
the battle tide. When the King saw her charging down upon them,
he knew her but too well and turning to his eldest son, said, "O
Bartaut,[FN#10] thou who art surnamed Ras al-Killaut[FN#11] this
is assuredly thy sister Miriam who chargeth upon us, and she
seeketh to wage war and fight fray with us. So go thou out to
give her battle: and I enjoin thee by the Messiah and the Faith
which is no liar, an thou get the better of her, kill her not
till thou have propounded to her the Nazarene faith. An she
return to her old creed, bring her to me prisoner; but an she
refuse, do her die by the foulest death and make of her the
vilest of examples, as well as the accursed which is with her."
Quoth Bartaut, "Hearkening obedience"; and, rushing out
forthright to meet his sister, said to her, "O Miriam, doth not
what hath already befallen us on thine account suffice thee, but
thou must leave the faith of thy fathers and forefathers and
follow after the faith of the Vagrants in the lands, that is to
say, the faith of Al-Islam?  By the virtue of the Messiah and the
Faith which is no liar, except thou return to the creed of the
Kings thy Forebears and walk therein after the goodliest fashion,
I will put thee to an ill death and make of thee the most
shameful of ensamples!" But Miriam laughed at his speech and
replied, "Well-away! Far be it that the past should present stay
or that he who is dead should again see day! I will make thee
drink the sourest of regrets! By Allah, I will not turn back upon
the faith of Mohammed son of Abdullah, who made salvation
general; for his is the True Faith; nor will I leave the right
road though I drain the cup of ruin!"--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam
exclaimed to her brother, "Well-away! Heaven forfend that I turn
back from the faith of Mohammed Abdullah-son who made salvation
general; for his is the Right Road nor will I leave it although I
drain the cup of ruin." When the accursed Bartaut heard this, the
light in his eyes became night, the matter was great and grievous
to him and between them there befel a sore fight. The twain
swayed to and fro battling throughout the length and breadth of
the valley and manfully enduring the stress of combat singular,
whilst all eyes upon them were fixed in admiring surprise:  after
which they wheeled about and foined and feinted for a long bout
and as often as Bartaut opened on his sister Miriam a gate of
war,[FN#12] she closed it to and put it to naught, of the
goodliness of her skill and her art in the use of arms and her
cunning of cavalarice. Nor ceased they so doing till the dust
overhung their heads vault-wise and they were hidden from men's
eyes; and she ceased not to baffle Bartaut and stop the way upon
him, till he was weary and his courage wavered and his resolution
was worsted and his strength weakened; whereupon she smote him on
the nape, that the sword came out gleaming from his throat
tendons and Allah hurried his soul to the Fire and the
abiding-place which is dire. Then Miriam wheeled about in the
battleplain and the stead where cut and thrust are fain; and
championed it and offered battle, crying out and saying, "Who is
for fighting? Who is for jousting? Let come forth to me to-day no
weakling or niderling; ay, let none come forth to me but the
champions who the enemies of The Faith represent, that I may give
them to drink the cup of ignominious punishment. O worshippers of
idols, O miscreants, O rebellious folk, this day verily shall the
faces of the people of the True Faith be whitened and theirs who
deny the Compassionate be blackened!" Now when the King saw his
eldest son slain, he smote his face and rent his dress and cried
out to his second son, saying, "O Batrús, thou who art surnamed
Khara al-Sús,[FN#13] go forth, O my son, in haste and do battle
with thy sister Miriam; avenge me the death of thy brother
Bartaut and bring her to me a prisoner, abject and humiliated!"
He answered, "Hearkening and obedience, O my sire, and charging
down drave at his sister, who met him in mid-career, and they
fought, he and she, a sore fight, yet sorer than the first.
Bartus right soon found himself unable to cope with her might and
would have sought safety in flight, but of the greatness of her
prowess could not avail unto this sleight; for, as often as he
turned to flee, she drave after him and still clave to him and
pressed him hard, till presently she smote him with the sword in
his throat, that it issued gleaming from his nape, and sent him
after his brother. Then she wheeled about in the mid-field and
plain where cut and thrust are dealed, crying out and saying,
"Where be the Knights? Where be the Braves? Where is the one-eyed
Wazir, the lameter, of the crooked faith[FN#14] the worthy
believer?" Thereupon the King her father cried out with heart in
bleeding guise and tear-ulcerated eyes, saying, "She hath slain
my second son, by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which
is no liar!" And he called aloud to his youngest son, saying, "O
Fasyán, surnamed Salh al-Subyán,[FN#15] go forth, O my son, to do
battle with thy sister and take of her the blood-wreak for thy
brothers and fall on her, come what may; and whether thou gain or
thou lose the day;[FN#16] and if thou conquer her, slay her with
foulest slaughter!" So he drave out to Miriam, who ran at him
with the best of her skill and charged him with the goodliness of
her cleverness and her courage and her cunning in fence and
cavalarice, crying to him, "O accursed, O enemy of Allah and the
Moslems, I will assuredly send thee after thy brothers and woeful
is the abiding-place of the Miscreants!" So saying, she
unsheathed her sword and smote him and cut off his head and arms
and sent him after his brothers and Allah hurried his soul to the
Fire and the abiding-place dire. Now when the Knights and riders
who rode with her sire saw his three sons slain, who were the
doughtiest of the folk of their day, there fell on their hearts
terror of the Princess Miriam, awe of her overpowered them; they
bowed their heads earthwards and they made sure of ruin and
confusion, disgrace and destruction. So with the flames of hate
blazing in heart they turned their backs forthright and addressed
themselves to flight. When the King saw his sons slain and on his
flying troops cast sight, there fell on him bewilderment and
affright, whilst his heart also was a-fire for despight. Then
quoth he to himself, "In very sooth Princess Miriam hath
belittled us; and if I venture myself and go out against her
alone, haply she will gar me succumb and slay me without ruth,
even as she slew her brothers and make of me the foulest of
examples, for she hath no longer any desire for us nor have we of
her return any hope. Wherefore it were the better rede that I
guard mine honour and return to my capital." So he gave reins to
his charger and rode back to his city. But when he found himself
in his palace, fire was loosed in his heart for rage and chagrin
at the death of his three gallant sons and the defeat of his
troops and the disgrace to his honour; nor did he abide half an
hour ere he summoned his Grandees and Officers of state and
complained to them of that his daughter Miriam had done with him
of the slaughter of her brothers and all he suffered therefrom of
passion and chagrin, and sought advice of them. They all
counselled him to write to the Vicar of Allah in His earth, the
Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and acquaint him with
his circumstance. So he wrote a letter to the Caliph, containing,
after the usual salutations, the following words. "We have a
daughter, Miriam the Girdle-girl hight, who hath been seduced and
debauched from us by a Moslem captive, named Nur al-Din Ali, son
of the merchant Taj al-Din of Cairo, and he hath taken her by
night and went forth with her to his own country; wherefore I beg
of the favour of our lord the Commander of the Faithful that he
write to all the lands of the Moslems to seize her and send her
back to us by a trusty messenger."--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King
of France wrote to the Caliph and Prince of True Believers, Harun
al-Rashid, a writ humbling himself by asking for his daughter
Miriam and begging of his favour that he write to all the
Moslems, enjoining her seizure and sending back to him by a
trusty messenger of the servants of his Highness the Commander of
the Faithful; adding, "And in requital of your help and aidance
in this matter, we will appoint to you half of the city of Rome
the Great, that thou mayst build therein mosques for the Moslems,
and the tribute thereof shall be forwarded to you." And after
writing this writ, by rede of his Grandees and Lords of the land,
he folded the scroll and calling his Wazir, whom he had appointed
in the stead of the monocular Minister, bade him seal it with the
seal of the kingdom, and the Officers of state also set hands and
seals thereto; after which the King bade the Wazir bear the
letter to Baghdad,[FN#17] the Palace of Peace, and hand it into
the Caliph's own hand, saying, "An thou bring her back, thou
shalt have of me the fiefs of two Emirs and I will bestow on thee
a robe of honour with two-fold fringes of gold." The Wazir set
out with the letter and fared on over hill and dale, till he came
to the city of Baghdad, where he abode three days, till he was
rested from the way, when he sought the Palace of the Commander
of the Faithful and when guided thereto he entered it and craved
audience. The Caliph bade admit him; so he went in and kissing
ground before him, handed to him the letter of the King of
France, together with rich gifts and rare presents beseeming the
Commander of the Faithful. When the Caliph read the writ and
apprehended its significance, he commanded his Wazir to write,
without stay or delay, despatches to all the lands of the
Moslems, setting out the name and favour of Princess Miriam and
of Nur al-Din, stating how they had eloped and bidding all who
found them lay hands on them and send them to the Commander of
the Faithful, and warning them on no wise in that matter to use
delay or indifference. So the Wazir wrote the letters and sealing
them, despatched them by couriers to the different Governors, who
hastened to obey the Caliph's commandment and addressed
themselves to make search in all the lands for persons of such
name and favour. On this wise it fared with the Governors and
their subjects; but as regards Nur al-Din and Miriam the
Girdle-girl, they fared on without delay after defeating the King
of France and his force and the Protector protected them, till
they came to the land of Syria and entered Damascus-city. Now the
couriers of the Caliph had foregone them thither by a day and the
Emir of Damascus knew that he was commanded to arrest the twain
as soon as found, that he might send them to the Caliph.
Accordingly, when they entered the city, the secret police[FN#18]
accosted them and asked them their names. They told them the
truth and acquainted them with their adventure and all that had
betided them; whereupon they knew them for those of whom they
were in search and seizing them, carried them before the Governor
of the city. He despatched them to the city of Baghdad under
escort of his officers who, when they came thither, craved
audience of the Caliph which he graciously granted; so they came
into the presence; and, kissing ground before him, said, "O
Commander of the Faithful, this is Miriam the Girdle-girl,
daughter of the King of France, and this is the captive Nur
al-Din, son of the merchant Taj al-Din of Cairo, who debauched
her from her sire and stealing her from his kingdom and country
fled with her to Damascus, where we found the twain as they
entered the city, and questioned them. They told us the truth of
their case: so we laid hands on them and brought them before
thee." The Caliph looked at Miriam and saw that she was slender
and shapely of form and stature, the handsomest of the folk of
her tide and the unique pearl of her age and her time; sweet of
speech[FN#19] and fluent of tongue, stable of soul and hearty of
heart. Thereupon she kissed the ground between his hands and
wished him permanence of glory and prosperity and surcease of
evil and enmity. He admired the beauty of her figure and the
sweetness of her voice and the readiness of her replies and said
to her, "Art thou Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of
France?" Answered she, "Yes, O Prince of True Believers and
Priest of those who the Unity of Allah receive and Defender of
the Faith and cousin of the Primate of the Apostles!" Then the
Caliph turned to Nur al-Din Ali and seeing him to be a shapely
youth, as he were the shining full moon on fourteenth night, said
to him, "And thou, art thou Ali Nur al-Din, son of the merchant
Taj al-Din of Cairo?" Said he, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful
and stay of those who for righteousness are care-full!" The
Caliph asked, "How cometh it that thou hast taken this damsel and
fled forth with her of her father's kingdom?" So Nur al-Din
proceeded to relate to the Commander of the Faithful all his
past, first and last; whereat the Caliph was astonied with
extreme astonishment and diverted and exclaimed, "How manifold
are the sufferings that men suffer!"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid asked Nur al-Din of his adventure and was
told of all that had passed, first and last, he was astonied with
extreme astonishment and exclaimed, "How manifold are the
sufferings that men suffer!" Then he turned to the Princess and
said to her, "Know, O Miriam, that thy father, the King of
France, hath written to me anent thee. What sayst thou?" She
replied, "O Vicar of Allah on His earth and Executor of the
precepts of His prophet and commands to man's unworth,[FN#20] may
He vouchsafe thee eternal prosperity and ward thee from evil and
enmity! Thou art Viceregent of Allah in His earth and I have
entered thy Faith, for that it is the creed which Truth and
Righteousness inspire; and I have left the religion of the
Miscreants who make the Messiah a liar,[FN#21] and I am become a
True Believer in Allah the Bountiful and in the revelation of His
compassionate Apostle. I worship Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) and acknowledge Him to be the One God and prostrate myself
humbly before Him and glorify Him; and I say before the Caliph,
'Verily , I testify that there is no god but the God and I
testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God, whom He sent with
the Guidance and the True Faith, that He might make it victorious
over every other religion, albeit they who assign partners to God
be averse from it.'[FN#22] Is it therefore in thy competence, O
Commander of the Faithful, to comply with the letter of the King
of the heretics and send me back to the land of the schismatics
who deny The Faith and give partners to the All-wise King, who
magnify the Cross and bow down before idols and believe in the
divinity of Jesus, for all he was only a creature? An thou deal
with me thus, O Viceregent of Allah, I will lay hold upon thy
skirts on the Day of Muster before the Lord and make my complaint
of thee to thy cousin the Apostle of Allah (whom God assain and
preserve!) on the Day when wealth availeth not neither children
save one come unto Allah wholehearted!"[FN#23] Answered the
Caliph, "O Miriam, Allah forfend that I should do this ever! How
can I send back a Moslemah believer in the one God and in His
Apostle to that which Allah hath forbidden and eke His Messenger
hath forbidden?" Quoth she, "I testify that there is no god but
the God and that Mohammed is the Apostle of God!" Rejoined the
Caliph, "O Miriam, Allah bless and direct thee in the way of
righteousness! Since thou art a Moslemah and a believer in Allah
the One, I owe thee a duty of obligation and it is that I should
never transgress against thee nor forsake thee, though be
lavished unto me on thine account the world full of gold and
gems. So be of good cheer and eyes clear of tear; and be thy
breast broadened and thy case naught save easy. Art thou willing
that this youth Ali of Cairo be to thee man and thou to him
wife?" Replied Miriam, "O Prince of True Believers, how should I
be other than willing to take him to husband, seeing that he
bought me with his money and hath entreated me with the utmost
kindness and, for crown of his good offices, he hath ventured his
life for my sake many times?" So the Caliph summoned the Kazi and
the witneses and married her to him assigning her a dowry and
causing the Grandees of his realm be present and the marriage day
was a notable. Then he turned to the Wazir of the French King,
who was present, and said to him, "Hast thou heard her words? How
can I her send back to her father the Infidel, seeing that she is
a Moslemah and a believer in the Unity? Belike he will evil
entreat her and deal harshly with her, more by token that she
hath slain his sons, and I shall bear blame for her on
Resurrection-day. And indeed quoth the Almighty 'Allah will by no
means make a way for the Infidels over the True
Believers.'[FN#24] So return to thy King and say to him, 'Turn
from this thing and hope not to come at thy desire thereof.'" Now
this Wazir was a Zany: so he said to the Caliph, "O Commander of
the Faithful, by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith which is
no liar, were Miriam forty times a Moslemah and forty times
thereto, I may not depart from thee without that same Miriam! And
if thou send her not back with me of free will, I will hie me to
her sire and cause him despatch thee an host, wherewith I will
come upon you from the landward and the seaward; and the van
whereof shall be at your capital city whilst the rear is yet on
the Euphrates[FN#25] and they shall lay waste thy realms." When
the Caliph heard these words from the accursed Wazir of the King
of France, the light in his face became night and he was wroth at
his speech with exceeding wrath and said to him, "O damned one, O
dog of the Nazarenes, art thou come to such power that thou durst
assail me with the King of the Franks?" Then quoth he to his
guards, "Take this accursed and do him die"; and he repeated this

"This be his recompense who will * Oppose and thwart his betters'

Then he commanded to cut off the Wazir's head and burn his body;
but Princess Miriam cried, "O Commander of the Faithful, soil not
thy sword with the blood of this accursed." So saying, she barred
her brand and smote him and made his head fly from his corpse,
and he went to the house of ungrace; his abode was Gehenna, and
evil is the abiding-place. The Caliph marvelled at the force of
her fore-arm and the strength of her mind, and they carried the
dead Wazir forth of the pavilion and burnt him. Then the
Commander of the Faithful bestowed upon Nur al-Din a splendid
robe of honour and assigned to him and her a lodging in his
palace. Moreover, he appointed them solde and rations, and
commanded to transport to their quarters all they needed of
raiment and furniture and vessels of price. They sojourned awhile
in Baghdad in all delight of life and solace thereof till Nur
al-Din longed for his mother and father. So he submitted the
matter to the Caliph and sought his leave to revisit his native
land and visit his kinsfolk, and he granted him the permission he
sought and calling Miriam, commended them each to other. He also
loaded them with costly presents and rarities and bade write
letters to the Emirs and Olema and notables of Cairo the
God-guarded, commending Nur al-Din and his wife and parents to
their care and charging them honour them with the highmost
honour. When the news reached Cairo, the merchant Taj al-Din
joyed at the return of his son and Nur al-Din's mother likewise
rejoiced therein with passing joy. The Emirs and the notables of
the city went forth to meet him, in obedience to the Caliph's
injunctions, and indeed it was for them a right note-worthy day,
wherein foregathered the lover and the beloved and the seeker
attained the sought. Moreover, alit he Emirs made them
bride-feasts, each on his own day, and joyed in them with joy
exceeding and vied in doing them honour, one the other
succeeding. When Nur al-Din foregathered with his mother and
father, they were gladdened in each other with the utmost
gladness and care and affliction ceased from them, whilst his
parents joyed no less in the Princess Miriam and honoured her
with the highmost honour. Every day, there came to them presents
from all the Emirs and great merchants, and they were in new
delight and gladness exceeding the gladness of festival. Then
they ceased not abiding in solace and pleasance and good cheer
and abounding prosperity, eating and drinking with mirth and
merriment, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
Sunderer of societies, Waster of houses and palace-domes and
Peopler of the bellies of the tombs. So they were removed from
worldly stead and became of the number of the dead; and glory be
to the Living One, who dieth not and in whose hand are the keys
of the Seen and the Unseen! And a tale was also told by the Emir
Shujá al-Dín,[FN#27] Prefect of Cairo anent


We lay one night in the house of a man of the Sa'íd or Upper
Egypt, and he entertained us and entreated us hospitably. Now he
was a very old man with exceeding swarthiness, and he had little
children, who were white, of a white dashed with red. So we said
to him, "Harkye, such an one, how cometh it that these thy
children are white, whilst thou thyself art passing swart?" and
he said, "Their mother was a Frankish woman, whom I took prisoner
in the days of Al-Malik al-Násir Saláh al-Dín,[FN#28] after the
battle of Hattín,[FN#29] when I was a young man." We asked, "And
how gottest thou her?" and he answered, "I had a rare adventure
with her." Quoth we, "Favour us with it;" and quoth he, "With all
my heart! You must know that I once sowed a crop of flax in these
parts and pulled it and scutched it and spent on it five hundred
gold pieces; after which I would have sold it, but could get no
more than this therefor, and the folk said to me, ‘Carry it to
Acre: for there thou wilt haply make good gain by it.' Now Acre
was then in the hands of the Franks; [FN#30] so I carried my flax
thither and sold part of it at six months' credit. One day, as I
was selling, behold, there came up a Frankish woman (now ‘tis the
custom of the women of the Franks to go about with market streets
with unveiled faces), to buy flax of me, and I saw of her beauty
what dazed my wits. So I sold her somewhat of flax and was easy
with her concerning the price; and she took it and went away.
Some days after, she returned and bought somewhat more flax of me
and I was yet easier with her about the price; and she repeated
her visits to me, seeing that I was in love with her. Now she was
used to walk in company of an old woman to whom I said, "I am
sore enamoured of thy mistress. Canst thou contrive for me to
enjoy her?" Quoth she, ‘I will contrive this for thee; but the
secret must not go beyond us three, me, thee and her; and there
is no help but that thou be lavish with money, to boot.' And I
answered, saying, ‘Though my life were the price of her favours
'twere no great matter.'" -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old
woman said to the man, "However the secret must not go beyond us
three, to wit me, thee and her; and there is no help but thou be
lavish of thy money to boot." He replied, "Though my life were
the price of her favours 'twere no great matter." "So it was
agreed" (continued the man of Upper Egypt), "that I should pay
her fifty dinars and that she should come to me; whereupon I
procured the money and gave it to the old woman. She took it and
said, ‘Make ready a place for her in thy house, and she will come
to thee this night.' Accordingly I went home and made ready what
I could of meat and drink and wax candles and sweetmeats. Now my
house overlooked the sea and 'twas the season of summer; so I
spread the bed on the terrace roof. Presently, the Frank woman
came and we ate and drank, and the night fell dark. We lay down
under the sky, with the moon shining on us, and fell to watching
the shimmering of the stars in the sea: and I said to myself,
‘Art not ashamed before Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!)
and thou a stranger, under the heavens and in presence of the
deep waters, to disobey Him with a Nazarene woman and merit the
torment of Fire?' Then said I, ‘O my God, I call Thee to witness
that I abstain from this Christian woman this night, of
shamefastness before Thee and fear of Thy vengeance!' So I slept
till the morning, and she arose at peep of day full of anger and
went away. I walked to my shop and sat there; and behold,
presently she passed, as she were the moon, accompanied by the
old woman who was also angry; whereat my heart sank within me and
I said to myself, ‘Who art thou that thou shouldst refrain from
yonder damsel? Art thou Sarí al-Sakatí or Bishr Barefoot or
Junayd of Baghdad or Fuzayl bin ‘Iyáz?'[FN#31] then I ran after
the old woman and coming up with her said to her, ‘Bring her to
me again;' and said she, ‘By the virtue of the Messiah, she will
not return to thee but for an hundred ducats!' Quoth I, ‘I will
give thee a hundred gold pieces.' So I paid her the money and the
damsel came to me a second time; but no sooner was she with me
than I returned to my whilome way of thinking and abstained from
her and forbore her for the sake of Allah Almighty. Presently she
went away and I walked to my shop, and shortly after the old
woman came up, in a rage. Quoth I to her, ‘Bring her to me
again;' and quoth she, ‘By the virtue of the Messiah, thou shalt
never again enjoy her presence with thee, except for five hundred
ducats, and thou shalt perish in thy pain!' At this I trembled
and resolved to spend the whole price of my flax and therewith
ransom my life. But, before I could think I heard the crier
proclaiming and saying, ‘Ho, all ye Moslems, the truce which was
between us and you is expired, and we give all of you Mahometans
who are here a week from this time to have done with your
business and depart to your own country.' Thus her visits were
cut off from me and I betook myself to getting in the price of
the flax which men had bought upon credit, and to bartering what
remained in my hands for other goods. Then I took with me fair
merchandise and departed Acre with a soul full of affection and
love-longing for the Frankish woman, who had taken my heart and
my coin. So I journeyed until I made Damascus, where I sold the
stock in trade I had brought from Acre, at the highest price,
because of the cutting off of communication by reason of the term
of truce having expired; and Allah (extolled and exalted be He!)
vouchsafed me good gain. Then I fell to trading in captive slave-
girls, thinking thus to ease my heart of its pining for the
Frankish woman, and in this traffic engaged I abode three years,
till there befel between Al-Malik al-Násir and the Franks what
befel of the action of Hattin and other encounters and Allah gave
him the victory over them, so that he took all their Kings
prisoners and he opened [FN#32] the coast [FN#33] cities by His
leave. Now it fortuned one day after this, that a man came to me
and sought of me a slave-girl for Al-Malik al-Nasir. Having a
handsome handmaid I showed her to him and he bought her of me for
an hundred dinars and gave me ninety thereof, leaving ten still
due me, for that there was no more found in the royal treasury
that day, because he had expended all his monies in waging war
against the Franks. Accordingly they took counsel with him and he
said, ‘Carry him to the treasury[FN#34] where are the captives'
lodging and give him his choice among the damsels of the Franks,
so he may take one of them for the ten dinars,'" -- And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that whenas
Al-Malik al-Nasir said, " ‘Give him his choice to take one of the
girls for the ten dinars that are due to him;' they brought me to
the captives' lodging and showed me all who were therein, and I
saw amongst them the Frankish damsel with whom I had fallen in
love at Acre and knew her right well. Now she was the wife of one
of the cavaliers of the Franks. So I said, ‘Give me this one,'
and carrying her to my tent, asked her, ‘Dost thou know me?' She
answered, ‘No;' and I rejoined, ‘I am thy friend, the sometime
flax-merchant with whom thou hadst to do at Acre and there befel
between us what befel. Thou tookest money of me and saidest,
‘Thou shalt never again see me but for five hundred dinars.' And
now thou art become my property for ten ducats.' Quoth she, ‘This
is a mystery. Thy faith is the True Faith and I testify that
there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is the Messenger of
God!' And she made perfect profession of Al-Islam. Then said I to
myself, ‘By Allah, I will not go in unto her till I have set her
free and acquainted the Kazi.' So I betook myself to Ibn
Shaddád[FN#35] and told him what had passed and he married me to
her. Then I lay with her that night and she conceived; after
which the troops departed and we returned to Damascus. But within
a few days there came an envoy from the King of the Franks, to
seek the captives and the prisoners, according to the treaty
between the Kings. So Al-Malik al-Nasir restored all the men and
women captive, till there remained but the woman who was with me
and the Franks said, ‘The wife of such an one the Knight is not
here.' Then they asked after her and making strict search for
her, found that she was with me; whereupon they demanded her of
me and I went in to her sore concerned and with colour changed;
and she said to me, ‘What aileth thee and what evil assaileth
thee?' Quoth I, ‘A messenger is come from the King to take all
the captives, and they demand thee of me.' Quoth she, ‘Have no
fear, bring me to the King and I know what to say before and to
him.' I carried her into the presence of the Sultan Al-Malik al-
Nasir, who was seated, with the envoy of the King of the Franks
on his right hand, and I said to him, ‘This is the woman that is
with me.' Then quoth the King and the envoy to her, ‘Wilt thou go
to thy country or to[FN#36] thy husband? For Allah hath loosed
thy bonds and those of thy fellow captives.' Quoth she to the
Sultan, ‘I am become a Moslemah and am great with child, as by my
middle ye may see, and the Franks shall have no more profit of
me.' The envoy asked, ‘Whether is dearer to thee, this Moslem or
thy first husband and knight such an one?;' and she answered him
even as she had answered the Sultan. Then said the envoy to the
Franks with him, ‘Heard ye her words?' They replied, ‘Yes.' And
he said to me, ‘Take thy wife and depart with her.' So I took her
and went away; but the envoy sent after me in haste and cried,
‘Her mother gave me a charge for her, saying, ‘My daughter is a
captive and naked; and I would have thee carry her this chest.'
Take it thou and deliver it to her.' Accordingly I carried the
chest home and gave it to her. She opened it and found in it all
her raiment as she had left it and therein I saw the two purses
of fifty and an hundred dinars which I had given her, untouched
and tied up with my own tying, wherefore I praised Almighty
Allah. There are my children by her and she is alive to this day
and 'twas she dressed you this food." We marvelled at his story
and at that which had befallen him of good fortune, and Allah is
All-knowing. But men also tell a tale anent the


There was of old time in Baghdad a man of condition, who had
inherited from his father abounding affluence. He fell in love
with a slave-girl; so he bought her and she loved him as he loved
her; and he ceased not to spend upon her, till all his money was
gone and naught remained thereof; whereupon he sought a means of
getting his livelihood, but availed not to find any. Now this
young man had been used, in the days of his affluence, to
frequent the assemblies of those who were versed in the art of
singing and had thus attained to the utmost excellence therein.
Presently he took counsel with one of his intimates, who said to
him, "Meseems thou canst find no better profession than to sing,
thou and thy slave-girl; for on this wise thou wilt get money in
plenty and wilt eat and drink." But he misliked this, he and the
damsel, and she said to him, "I have bethought me of a means of
relief for thee." He asked, "What is it?;" and she answered, "Do
thou sell me; thus shall we be delivered of this strait, thou and
I, and I shall be in affluence; for none will buy the like of me
save a man of fortune, and with this I will contrive for my
return to thee." He carried her to the market and the first who
saw her was a Hashimi[FN#37] of Bassorah, a man of good breeding,
fine taste and generosity, who bought her for fifteen hundred
dinars. (Quoth the young man, the damsel's owner), "When I had
received the price, I repented me and wept, I and the damsel; and
I sought to cancel the sale; but the purchaser would not consent.
So I took the gold in a bag, knowing not whither I should wend,
now my house was desolate of her and buffeted my face and wept
and wailed as I had never done before. Then I entered a mosque
and sat shedding tears, till I was stupefied and losing my senses
fell asleep, with the bag of money under my head by way of
pillow. Presently, ere I could be ware, a man plucked the bag
from under my head and ran off with it at speed: whereupon I
started up in alarm and affright and would have arisen to run
after him; but lo! my feet were found with a rope and I fell on
my face. Then I took to weeping and buffeting myself, saying,
‘Thou hast parted with thy soul[FN#38] and thy wealth is lost!'"-
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

    When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young man continued, "So I said to myself, ‘Thou hast parted with
thy soul and thy wealth is lost.' Then, of the excess of my
chagrin, I betook myself to the Tigris and wrapping my face in my
gown, cast myself into the stream. The bystanders saw me and
cried, ‘For sure, this is because of some great trouble that hath
betided him.' They cast themselves in after me and bringing me
ashore, questioned me of my case. I told them what misadventure
had befallen me and they condoled with me. Then an old man of
them came to me and said, ‘Thou hast lost thy money, but why
goest thou about to lose thy life and become of the people of The
Fire?[FN#39] Arise, come with me, that I may see thy lodging.' I
went with him to my house and he sat with me awhile, till I waxed
calmer, and becoming tranquil I thanked him and he went away.
When he was gone I was like to kill myself, but bethought me of
the Future and the Fire; so I fared forth my house and fled to
one of my friends and told him what had befallen me. He wept for
pity of me and gave me fifty dinars, saying, ‘Take my advice and
hie thee from Baghdad forthright and let this provide thee till
thy heart be diverted from the love of her and thou forget her.
Thy forbears were Secretaries and Scribes and thy handwriting is
fine and thy breeding right good: seek out, then, whom thou wilt
of the Intendants[FN#40] and throw thyself on his bounty; thus
haply Allah shall reunite thee with thy slave-girl.' I hearkened
to his words (and indeed my mind was strengthened and I was
somewhat comforted) and resolved to betake myself to
Wasit,[FN#41] where I had kinfolk. So I went down to the river-
side, where I saw a ship moored and the sailors embarking goods
and goodly stuffs. I asked them to take me with them and carry me
to Wásit; but they replied, ‘We cannot take thee on such wise,
for the ship belongeth to a Hashimi.' However, I tempted them
with promise of passage-money and they said, ‘We cannot embark
thee on this fashion;[FN#42] but, if it must be, doff those fine
clothes of thine and don sailor's gear and sit with us as thou
wert one of us.' I went away and buying somewhat of sailors'
clothes, put them on; after which I bought me also somewhat of
provisions for the voyage; and, returning to the vessel, which
was bound for Bassorah, embarked with the crew. But ere long I
saw my slave-girl herself come on board, attended by two waiting-
women; whereupon what was on me of chagrin subsided and I said in
myself, ‘Now shall I see her and hear her singing, till we come
to Bassorah.' Soon after, up rode the Hashimi, with a party of
people, and they embarked aboard the ship, which dropped down the
river with them. Presently the Hashimi brought out food and ate
with the damsel, whilst the rest ate amidships. Then said he to
her, ‘How long this abstinence from singing and permanence in
this wailing and weeping? Thou art not the first that hath been
parted from a beloved!' Wherefore I knew what she suffered for
love of me. Then he hung a curtain before her along the gunwale
and calling those who ate apart, sat down with them without the
curtain; and I enquired concerning them and behold they were his
brethren.[FN#43] he set before them what they needed of wine and
dessert, and they ceased not to press the damsel to sing, till
she called for the lute and tuning it, intoned these two

‘The company left with my love by night, * Nor forbore to fare
     with heart's delight:
And raged, since their camels off paced, a fire * As of
     Ghazá[FN#44]-wood in the lover's sprite.'

Then weeping overpowered her and she threw down the elute and
ceased singing; whereat the folks were troubled and I slipped
down a-swoon. They thought I was possessed[FN#45] and one of them
began reciting exorcisms in my ear; nor did they cease to comfort
her and beseech her to sing, till she tuned the lute again and
chaunted these couplets twain,

‘I stood and bewailed who their loads had bound * And far yode
     but still in my heart are found;
I drew near the ruins and asked of them * And the camp was void
     and lay waste the ground.'

Then she fell down in a fainting-fit and weeping arose amongst
the folk; and I also cried out and fainted away. The sailors were
startled by me and one of the Hashimi's pages said to them, ‘How
came ye to take this madman on board?' So they said one to other,
‘As soon as we come to the next village, we will set him ashore
and rid us of him.' When I heard this, I was sore troubled but I
heartened and hardened myself, saying in thought, ‘Nothing will
serve me to deliver myself from their hands, except I make shift
to acquaint her with my presence in the ship, so she may prevent
my being set ashore.' Then we sailed when we came hard by a
hamlet[FN#46] and the skipper said, ‘Come, let us go ashore.'
Therewith they all landed, save myself; and as evening fell I
rose and going behind the curtain took the lute and changed its
accord, mode[FN#47] by mode, and tuning it after a fashion of my
own,[FN#48] that she had learnt of me, returned to my place in
the ship;" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young man continued, "I returned to my place in the ship; and
presently the whole party came on board again and the moon shone
bright upon river and height. Then said the Hashimi to the
damsel, ‘Allah upon thee, trouble not our joyous lives!' So she
took the lute, and touching it with her hand, gave a sob, that
they thought her soul had fled her frame, and said, ‘By Allah, my
master and teacher is with us in this ship!' Answered the
Hashimi, ‘By Allah, were this so, I would not forbid him our
conversation! Haply he would lighten thy burthen, so we might
enjoy thy singing: but his being on board is far from possible.'
However she said, ‘I cannot smite lute-string or sing sundry airs
I was wont to sing whilst my lord is with us.' Quoth the Hashimi,
‘Let us ask the sailors;' and quoth she, ‘Do so.' He questioned
them, saying, ‘Have ye carried anyone with you!'; and they
answered, ‘No.' then I feared lest the enquiry should end there;
so I laughed and said, ‘Yes; I am her master and taught her
whenas I was her lord.' Cried she, ‘By Allah, that is my lord's
voice!' Thereupon the pages carried me to the Hashimi, who knew
me at first sight and said to me, ‘Out on thee! What plight is
this in which I see thee and what hath brought thee to such
condition?' I related to him all that had befallen me of my
affair, weeping the while, and the damsel made loud wail from
behind the curtain. The Hashimi wept with sore weeping, he and
his brethren, for pity of me, and he said, ‘By Allah, I have not
drawn near this damsel nor enjoyed her, nor have I even heard her
sing till this day! I am a man to whom Allah hath been ample and
I came to Baghdad but to hear singing and seek my allowances of
the Commander of the Faithful. I accomplished both my needments
and being about to return home, said to myself, ‘Let us hear some
what of the singing of Baghdad.' Wherefore I bought this damsel,
knowing not that such was the case with you twain; and I take
Allah to witness that, when I reach Bassorah I will free her and
marry her to thee and assign you what shall suffice you, and
more; but on condition that, whenever I have a mind to hear
music, a curtain shall be hung for her and she shall sing to me
from behind it, and thou shalt be of the number of my brethren
and boon-companions.' Hereat I rejoiced and the Hashimi put his
head within the curtain and said to her, ‘Will that content
thee?'; whereupon she fell to blessing and thanking him. Then he
called a servant and said to him, ‘Take this young man and do off
his clothes and robe him in costly raiment and incense[FN#49] him
and bring him back to us.' So the servant did with me as his
master bade him and brought me back to him, and served me with
wine, even as the rest of the company. Then the damsel began
singing after the goodliest fashion and chanted these couplets,

‘They blamed me for causing my tears to well * When came my
     beloved to bid farewell:
They ne'er tasted the bitters of parting nor felt * Fire beneath
     my ribs that flames fierce and fell!
None but baffled lover knows aught of Love, * Whose heart is lost
     where he wont to dwell.'

The folk rejoiced in her song with exceeding joy and my gladness
redoubled, so that I took the lute from the damsel and preluding
after the most melodious fashion, sang these couplets,

‘Ask (if needs thou ask) the Compassionate, * And the generous
     donor of high estate.
For asking the noble honours man * And asking the churl entails
     bane and bate:
When abasement is not to be 'scaped by wight * Meet it asking
     boons of the good and great.
Of Grandee to sue ne'er shall vilify man, * But ‘tis vile on the
     vile of mankind to 'wait.'

The company rejoiced in me with joy exceeding and the ceased not
from pleasure and delight, whilst anon I sang and anon the
damsel, till we came to one of the landing-places, where the
vessel moored and all on board disembarked and I with them. Now I
was drunken with wine and squatted on my hams to make water; but
drowsiness overcame me and I slept, and the passengers returned
to the ship which ran down stream without any missing me, for
that they also were drunken, and continued their voyage until
they reached Bassorah. As for me I awoke not till the heat of the
sun aroused me, when I rose and looked about me, but saw no one.
Now I had given my spending money to the damsel and had naught
left: I had also forgotten to ask the Hashimi his name and where
his house was at Bassorah and his titles; thus I was confounded
and my joy at meeting the damsel had been but a dream; and I
abode in perplexity till there came up a great vessel wherein I
embarked and she carried me to Bassorah. Now I knew none there,
much less the Hashimi's house, so I accosted a grocer and taking
of him inkcase and paper, -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Baghdad man who owned the maid entered Bassorah, he was perplexed
for not knowing the Hashimi's house. "So I accosted" (said he) "a
grocer and, taking of him inkcase and paper, sat down to write.
He admired my handwriting and seeing my dress stained and soiled,
questioned me of my case, to which I replied that I was a
stranger and poor. Quoth he, ‘Wilt thou abide with me and order
the accounts of my shop and I will give thee thy food and
clothing and half a dirham a day for ordering the accompts of my
shop?'; and quoth I, ‘'Tis well,' and abode with him and kept his
accounts and ordered his income and expenditure for a month, at
the end of which he found his income increased and his
disbursements diminished; wherefore he thanked me and made my
wage a dirham a day. When the year was out, he proposed to me to
marry his daughter and become his partner in the shop. I agreed
to this and went in to my wife and applied me to the shop. But I
was broken in heart and spirit, and grief was manifest upon me;
and the grocer used to drink and invite me thereto, but I
refrained for melancholy. I abode on this wise two years till,
one day, as I sat in the shop, behold, there passed by a parcel
of people with meat and drink, and I asked the grocer what was
the matter. Quoth he, ‘This is the day of the pleasure-makers,
when all the musicians and dancers of the town go forth with the
young men of fortune to the banks of the Ubullah river[FN#50] and
eat and drink among the trees there.' The spirit prompted me to
solace myself with the sight of this thing and I said in my mind,
‘Haply among these people I may foregather with her I love.' So I
told the grocer that I had a mind to this and he said, ‘Up and go
with them an thou please.' He made me ready meat and drink and I
went till I came to the River of Ubullah, when, behold, the folk
were going away: I also was about to follow, when I espied the
Rais of the bark wherein the Hashimi had been with the damsel and
he was going along the river. I cried out to him and his company
who knew me and took me onboard with them and said to me, ‘Art
thou yet alive?'; and they embraced me and questioned me of my
case. I told them my tale and they said, ‘Indeed, we thought that
drunkenness had gotten the better of thee and that thou hadst
fallen into the water and wast drowned.' Then I asked them of the
damsel, and they answered, ‘When she came to know of thy loss,
she rent her raiment and burnt the lute and fell to buffeting
herself and lamenting and when we returned with the Hashimi to
Bassorah we said to her, ‘Leave this weeping and wailing.' Quoth
she, ‘I will don black and make me a tomb beside the house and
abide there and repent from singing.'[FN#51] we allowed her so to
do and on this wise she abideth to this day. Then they carried me
to the Hashimi's house, where I saw the damsel as they had said.
When she espied me, she cried out a great cry, methought she had
died, and I embraced her with a long embrace. Then said the
Hashimi to me, ‘Take her;' and I said, ‘'Tis well: but do thou
free her and according to thy promise marry her to me.'
Accordingly he did this and gave us costly goods and store of
raiment and furniture and five hundred dinars, saying, ‘This is
the amount of that which I purpose to allow you every month, but
on condition that thou be my cup-companion and that I hear the
girl sing when I will.' Furthermore, he assigned us private
quarters and bade transport thither all our need; so, when I went
to the house I found it filled full of furniture and stuffs and
carried the damsel thither. Then I betook myself to the grocer
and told him all that had betided me, begging to hold me
guiltless for divorcing his daughter, without offence on her
part; and I paid her her dowry[FN#52] and what else behoved
me.[FN#53] I abode with the Hashimi in this way two years and
became a man of great wealth and was restored to the former
estate of prosperity wherein I had been at Baghdad, I and the
damsel. And indeed Allah the Bountiful put an end to our troubles
and loaded us with the gifts of good fortune and caused our
patience to result in the attainment of our desire: wherefore to
Him be the praise in this world and the next whereto we are
returning."[FN#54] And among the tales men tell is that of


There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, in the land of Hind, a mighty King, tall of presence and
fair of favour and goodly of parts, noble of nature and generous,
beneficent to the poor and loving to his lieges and all the
people of his realm. His name was Jalí'ád and under his hand were
two-and-seventy Kings and in his cities three hundred and fifty
Kazis. He had three score and ten Wazirs and over every ten of
them he set a premier. The chiefest of all his ministers was a
man called Shimás[FN#56] who was then[FN#57] two and twenty years
old, a statesman of pleasant presence and noble nature, sweet of
speech and ready in reply; shrewd in all manner of business,
skilful withal and sagacious for all his tender age, a man of
good counsel and fine manners versed in all arts and sciences and
accomplishments; and the King loved him with exceeding love and
cherished him by reason of his proficiency in eloquence and
rhetoric and the art of government and for that which Allah had
given him of compassion and brooding care[FN#58] with his lieges
for he was a King just in his Kingship and a protector of his
peoples, constant in beneficence to great and small and giving
them that which befitted them of good governance and bounty and
protection and security and a lightener of their loads in taxes
and tithes. And indeed he was loving to them each and every, high
and low, entreating them with kindness and solicitude and
governing them in such goodly guise as none had done before him.
But, with all this, Almighty Allah had not blessed him with a
child, and this was grievous to him and to the people of his
reign. It chanced, one night, as Jali'ad[FN#59] lay in his bed,
occupied with anxious thought of the issue of the affair of his
Kingdom, that sleep overcame him and he dreamt that he poured
water upon the roots of a tree,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

             When it was the Nine Hundredth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
King saw himself in his vision pouring water upon the roots of a
tree, about which were many other trees; and lo and behold! there
came fire out of this tree and burnt up every growth which
encompassed it; whereupon Jali'ad awoke affrighted and trembling,
and calling one of his pages said to him, "Go fetch the Wazir
Shimas in all haste." So he betook himself to Shimas and said to
him, "The King calleth for thee forthright because he hath awoke
from his sleep in fright and hath sent me to bring thee to him in
haste." When Shimas heard this, he arose without stay or delay
and going to the King, found him seated on his bed. He prostrated
himself before him, wishing him permanence of glory and
prosperity, and said, "May Allah not cause thee grieve, O King!
What hath troubled thee this night, and what is the cause of thy
seeking me thus in haste?" The King bade him be seated; and, as
soon as he sat down, began telling his tale and said to him, "I
have dreamt this night a dream which terrified me, and 'twas,
that methought I poured water upon the roots of a tree where
about were many other trees and as I was thus engaged, lo and
behold! fire issued therefrom and burnt up all the growths that
were around it; wherefore I was affrighted and fear took me. Then
I awoke and sent to bid thee to me, because of thy knowledge and
skill in the interpretation of dreams and of that which I know of
the vastness of thy wisdom and the greatness of thine
understanding." At this Shimas the Wazir bowed his head
groundwards awhile and presently raising it, smiled; so the King
said to him, "What deemest thou, O Shimas? Tell me the truth of
the matter and hide naught from me." Answered Shimas, "O King,
verily Allah Almighty granteth thee thy wish and cooleth thine
eyes; for the matter of this dream presageth all good, to wit,
that the Lord will bless thee with a son, who shall inherit the
Kingdom from thee, after thy long life. But there is somewhat
else I desire not to expound at this present, seeing that the
time is not favourable for interpretation." The King rejoiced in
these words with exceeding joy and great was his contentment; his
trouble departed from him, his mind was at rest and he said, "If
the case be thus of the happy presage of my dream, do thou
complete to me its exposition when the fitting time betideth: for
that which it behoveth not to expound to me now, it behoveth that
thou expound to me when its time cometh, so my joy may be
fulfilled, because I seek naught in this save the approof of
Allah extolled and exalted be He!" Now when the Wazir Shimas saw
that the King was urgent to have the rest of the exposition, he
put him off with a pretext; but Jali'ad assembled all the
astrologers and interpreters of dreams of his realm and as soon
as they were in the presence related to them his vision, saying,
"I desire you to tell me the true interpretation of this."
Whereupon one of them came forward and craved the King's
permission to speak, which being granted, he said, "Know, O King,
that thy Wazir Shimas is nowise unable to interpret this thy
dream; but he shrank from troubling thy repose. Wherefore he
disclosed not unto thee the whole thereof; but, an thou suffer me
to speak, I will expose to thee that which he concealed from
thee." The King replied, "Speak without respect for persons, O
interpreter, and be truthful in thy speech." The interpreter
said, "Know then, O King, that there will be born to thee a boy
child who shall inherit the Kingship from thee, after thy long
life; but he shall not order himself towards the lieges after thy
fashion; nay, he shall transgress thine ordinances and oppress
thy subjects, and there shall befal him what befel the Mouse with
the Cat[FN#60]; and I seek refuge with Almighty Allah[FN#61]!"
The King asked, "But what is the story of the Cat and the
Mouse?"; and the interpreter answered "May Allah prolong the
King's life! They tell the following tale of

The Mouse and the Cat.

A grimalkin, that is to say, a Cat, went out one night to a
certain garden, in search of what she might devour, but found
nothing and became weak for the excess of cold and rain that
prevailed that night. So she sought for some device whereby to
save herself. As she prowled about in search of prey, she espied
a nest at the foot of a tree, and drawing near unto it, sniffed
thereat and purred till she scented a Mouse within and went round
about it, seeking to enter and seize the inmate. When the Mouse
smelt the Cat, he turned his back to her and scraped up the earth
with his forehand, to stop the nest-door against her; whereupon
she assumed a weakly voice and said, "Why dost thou thus, O my
brother? I come to seek refuge with thee, hoping that thou wilt
take pity on me and harbour me in thy nest this night; for I am
weak because of the greatness of my age and the loss of my
strength, and can hardly move. I have ventured into thy garden
tonight, how many a time have I called upon death, that I might
be at rest from this pain! Behold, here am I at thy door,
prostrate for cold and rain and I beseech thee, by Allah, take of
thy charity my hand and bring me in with thee and give me shelter
in the vestibule of thy nest; for I am a stranger and wretched
and 'tis said, 'Whoso sheltereth a stranger and a wretched one in
his home,  his shelter shall be Paradise on the Day of Doom.' And
thou, O my brother, it behoveth thee to earn eternal reward by
succouring me and suffering me abide with thee this night till
the morning, when I will wend my way."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and First Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth
the Cat to the Mouse, "So suffer me to night with thee this
night, after which I will wend my way." Hearing these words the
Mouse replied, "How shall I suffer thee enter my nest seeing that
thou art my natural foe and thy food is of my flesh? Indeed I
fear lest thou false me, for that is of thy nature and there is
no faith in thee, and the byword saith, 'It befitteth not to
entrust a lecher with a fair woman nor a moneyless man with money
nor fire with fuel.' Neither cloth it behove me to entrust myself
to thee; and 'tis said, 'Enmity of kind, as the enemy himself
groweth weaker groweth stronger.' " The Cat made answer in the
faintest voice, as she were in most piteous case, saying, "What
thou advancest of admonitory instances is the truth and I deny
not my offenses against thee; but I beseech thee to pardon that
which is past of the enmity of kind between me and thee, for 'tis
said, 'Whoso forgiveth a creature like himself, his Creator will
forgive him his sins.' 'Tis true that whilome I was thy foe but
here am I a suitor for thy friendship, and they say, 'An thou
wilt have thy foe become thy friend, do with him good.' O my
brother, I swear to thee by Allah and make a binding covenant
with thee that I will hurt thee nevermore and for the best of
reasons, to wit, that I have no power thereto; wherefore place
thy trust in Allah and do good and accept my oath and covenant."
Quoth the Mouse, "How can I accept the covenant of one between
whom and me there is a rooted enmity, and whose wont it is to
deal treacherously by me? Were the feud between us aught but one
of blood, this were light to me; but it is an enmity of kind
between souls, and it is said, 'Whoso trusteth himself to his foe
is as one who thrusteth hand into a serpent's[FN#62] mouth.'"
Quoth the Cat, full of wrath, "My breast is strait and my soul is
faint: indeed I am in articulo mortis and ere long I shall die at
thy door and my blood will be on thy head, for that thou hadst it
in thy power to save me in mine extremity: and this is my last
word to thee." Herewith the fear of Allah Almighty overcame the
Mouse and ruth get hold upon his heart and he said in himself,
"Whoso would have the succour of Allah the Most High against his
foe, let him entreat him with compassion and kindness show. I
rely upon the Almighty in this matter and will deliver this Cat
from this her strait and earn the divine reward for her." So he
went forth and dragged into his nest the Cat, where she abode
till she was rested and somewhat strengthened and restored, when
she began to bewail her weakness and wasted strength and want of
gossips. The Mouse entreated her in friendly guise and comforted
her and busied himself with her service; but she crept along till
she got command of the issue of the nest, lest the Mouse should
escape. So when the nest-owner would have gone out after his
wont, he drew near the Cat; whereupon she seized him and taking
him in her claws, began to bite him and shake him and take him in
her mouth and lift him up and cast him down and run after him and
cranch him and torture him.[FN#63] The Mouse cried out for help,
beseeching deliverance of Allah and began to upbraid the Cat,
saying, "Where is the covenant thou madest with me and where are
the oaths thou swarest to me? Is this my reward from thee? I
brought thee into my nest and trusted myself to thee: but sooth
he speaketh that saith, 'Whoso relieth on his enemy's promise
desireth not salvation for himself.' And again, 'Whoso confideth
himself to his foe deserveth his own destruction.' Yet do I put
my trust in my Creator, for He will deliver me from thee." Now as
he was in this condition, with the Cat about to pounce on him and
devour him, behold, up came a huntsman, with hunting dogs trained
to the chase. One of the hounds passed by the mouth of the nest
and hearing a great scuffling, thought that within was a fox
tearing somewhat; so he crept into the hole, to get at him, and
coming upon the Cat, seized on her. When she found herself in the
dog's clutches, she was forced to take thought anent saving
herself and loosed the Mouse alive and whole without wound. Then
the hound brake her neck and dragging her forth of the hole,
threw her down dead: and thus was exemplified the truth of the
saying, "Who hath compassion shall at the last be compassionated.
Whoso oppresseth shall presently be oppressed." "This, then, O
King," added the interpreter, "is what befel the Mouse and the
Cat and teacheth that none should break faith with those who put
trust in him; for who ever cloth perfidy and treason, there shall
befal him the like of that which befel the Cat. As a man meteth,
so shall it be meted unto him, and he who betaketh himself to
good shall gain his eternal reward. But grieve thou not, neither
let this trouble thee, O King, for that assuredly thy son, after
his tyranny and oppression, shall return to the goodliness of thy
policy. And I would that yon learned man, thy Wazir Shimas, had
concealed from thee naught in that which he expounded unto thee;
and this had been well advised of him, for 'tis said, 'Those of
the folk who most abound in fear are the amplest of them in
knowledge and the most emulous of good.'" The King received the
interpreter's speech with submission and gifted him and his
fellows with rich gifts; then, dismissing them he arose and
withdrew to his own apartments and fell to pondering the issue of
his affair. When night came, he went in to one of his women, who
was most in favour with him and dearest to him of them all, and
lay with her: and ere some four months had passed over her, the
child stirred in her womb, whereat she rejoiced with joy
exceeding and told the King. Quoth he, "My dream said sooth, by
Allah the Helper!"; and he lodged her in the goodliest of
lodgings and entreated her with all honour, bestowing on her
store of rich gifts and manifold boons. Then he sent one of his
pages to fetch his Wazir Shimas and as soon as he was in the
presence told the Minister what had betided, rejoicing and
saying, "My dream is come true and I have won my wish. It may be
this burthen will be a man child and inherit the Kingship after
me; what sayest thou of this, O Shimas?" But he was silent and
made no reply, whereupon cried the King, "What aileth thee that
thou rejoicest not in my joy and returnest me no answer? Doth the
thing mislike thee, O Shimas?" Hereat the Wazir prostrated
himself before him and said, ' O King, may Allah prolong thy
life! What availeth it to sit under the shade of a tree, if there
issue fire therefrom, and what is the delight of one who drinketh
pure wine, if he be choked thereby, and what cloth it profit to
quench one's thirst with sweet cool water, if one be drowned
therein? I am Allah's servant and thine, O King; but there are
three things[FN#64] whereof it besitteth not the understanding to
speak, till they be accomplished; to wit, the wayfarer, till he
return from his way, the man who is in fight, till he have
overcome his foe, and the pregnant woman, till she have cast her
burthen."----And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Second Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after
Shimas had enumerated to the King the three things whereof it
besitteth not the understanding to speak save after they are
done, he continued, "For know, O King, that he, who speaketh of
aught before its accomplishment is like the Fakir who had hung
over his head the jar of clarified butter.[FN#65]" "What is the
story of the Fakir," asked the King, "and what happened to him?"
Answered the Wazir, "O King, they tell this tale anent.

The Fakir and his Jar of Butter.[FN#66]

A fakir[FN#67] abode once with one of the nobles of a certain
town who made him a daily allowance of three scones and a little
clarified butter and honey. Now such butter was dear in those
parts and the Devotee laid all that came to him together in a jar
he had, till he filled it and hung it up over his head for safe
keeping. One night, as he sat on his bed, staff in hand, he fell
a-musing upon the butter and the greatness of its price and said
in himself, "Needs must I sell all this butter I have by me and
buy with the price an ewe and take to partner therein a
Fellah[FN#68] fellow who hath a ram. The first year she will bear
a male lamb and a female and the second a female and a male and
these in their turn will bear other males and other females, nor
will they give over bearing females and males, till they become a
great matter. Then will I take my share and vent thereof what I
will. The males I will sell and buy with them bulls and cows,
which will also increase and multiply and become many; after
which I will purchase such a piece of land and plant a garden
therein and build thereon a mighty fine[FN#69] palace. Moreover,
I will get me robes and raiment and slaves and slave girls and
hold a wedding never was seen the like thereof. I will slaughter
cattle and make rich meats and sweetmeats and confections and
assemble all the musicians and mimes and mountebanks and player-
folk and, after providing flowers and perfumes and all manner
sweet herbs, I will bid rich and poor, Fakirs and Olema, captains
and lords of the land, and whoso asketh for aught, I will cause
it to be brought him; and I will make ready all manner of meat
and drink and send out a crier to cry aloud and say, 'Whoso
seeketh aught, let him ask and get it.' Lastly I will go in to my
bride, after her unveiling and enjoy her beauty and loveliness;
and I will eat and drink and make merry and say to myself,
'Verily, hast thou won thy wish,' and will rest from devotion and
divine worship. Then in due time my wife will bear me a boy, and
I shall rejoice in him and make banquets in his honour and rear
him daintily and teach him philosophy and mathematics and polite
letters;[FN#70] so that I shall make his name renowned among men
and glory in him among the assemblies of the learned; and I will
bid him do good and he shall not gainsay me, and I will forbid
him from lewdness and iniquity and exhort him to piety and the
practice of righteousness; and I will bestow on him rich and
goodly gifts; and, if I see him obsequious in obedience, I will
redouble my bounties towards him: but, an I see him incline to
disobedience, I will come down on him with this staff." So
saying, he raised his hand, to beat his son withal but the staff
hit the jar of butter which overhung his head, and brake it;
whereupon the shards fell upon him and the butter ran down upon
his head, his rags and his beard. So his clothes and bed were
spoiled and he became a caution to whoso will be cautioned.
"Wherefore, O King," added the Wazir, "it behoveth not a man to
speak of aught ere it come to pass." Answered the King, "Thou
sayest sooth! Fair fall thee for a Wazir! Verily the truth thou
speakest and righteousness thou counsellest. Indeed, thy rank
with me is such as thou couldst wish[FN#71] and thou shalt never
cease to be accepted of me." Thereupon the Wazir prostrated
himself before the King and wished him permanence of prosperity,
saying, "Allah prolong thy days and thy rank upraise! Know that I
conceal from thee naught, nor in private nor in public aught; thy
pleasure is my pleasure, and thy displeasure my displeasure.
There is no joy for me save in thy joyance and I cannot sleep o'
nights an thou be angered against me, for that Allah the Most
High hath vouchsafed me all good through thy bounties to me:
wherefore I beseech the Almighty to guard thee with His angels,
and to make fair thy reward whenas thou meetest Him." The King
rejoiced in this, whereupon Shimas arose and went out from before
him. In due time the King's wife bare a male child and the
messengers hastened to bear the glad tidings and to congratulate
the Sovran, who rejoiced therein with joy exceeding and thanked
all with abundant thanks, saying, "Alhamdolillah--laud to the
Lord--who hath vouchsafed me a son, after I had despaired, for He
is pitiful and ruthful to His servants." Then he wrote to all the
lieges of his land, acquainting them with the good news and
bidding them to his capital; and great were the rejoicings and
festivities in all the realm. Accordingly there came Emirs and
Captains, Grandees and Sages, Olema and literati, scientists and
philosophers from every quarter to the palace and all presenting
themselves before the King, company after company, according to
their different degrees, gave him joy, and he bestowed largesse
upon them. Then he signed to the seven chief Wazirs, whose head
was Shimas, to speak, each after the measure of his wisdom, upon
the matter which concerned him the most. So the Grand Wazir
Shimas began and sought leave of the King to speak, which being
granted, he spake as follows.[FN#72] "Praised be Allah who
brought us into existence from non-existence and who favoureth
His servants with Kings that observe justice and equity in that
wherewith He hath invested them of rule and dominion, and who act
righteously with that which he appointeth at their hands of
provision for their lieges; and most especially our Sovereign by
whom He hath quickened the deadness of our land, with that which
He hath conferred upon us of bounties, and hath blessed us of His
protection with ease of life and tranquillity and fair dealing!
What King did ever with his folk that which this King hath done
with us in fulfilling our needs and giving us our dues and doing
us justice, one of other, and in abundant carefulness over us and
redress of our wrongs? Indeed, it is of the favour of Allah to
the people that their King be assiduous in ordering their affairs
and in defending them from their foes; for the end of the enemy's
intent is to subdue his enemy and hold him in his hand; and many
peoples[FN#73] bring their sons as servants unto Kings, and they
become with them in the stead of slaves, to the intent that they
may repel ill-willers from them.[FN#74] As for us, no enemy hath
trodden our soil in the days of this our King, by reason of this
passing good fortune and exceeding happiness, that no describer
may avail to describe, for indeed it is above and beyond all
description. And verily, O King, thou art worthy of this highest
happiness, and we are under thy safeguard and in the shadow of
thy wings, may Allah make fair thy reward and prolong thy
life![FN#75] Indeed, we have long been diligent in supplication
to Allah Almighty that He would vouchsafe an answer to our
prayers and continue thee to us and grant thee a virtuous son, to
be the coolth of thine eyes: and now Allah (extolled and exalted
be He!) hath accepted of us and replied to our petition,"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Third Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shimas the
Wazir, said to the King, "And now Almighty Allah hath accepted of
us and answered our petition and brought us speedy relief, even
as He did to the Fishes in the pond of water." The King asked,
"And how was that, and what is the tale?"; and Shimas answered
him, "Hear, O King the story of

The Fishes and the Crab.

In a certain place there was a piece of water, wherein dwelt a
number of Fishes, and it befel that the pond dwindled away and
shrank and wasted, till there remained barely enough to suffice
them and they were nigh upon death and said, "What will become of
us? How shall we contrive and of whom shall we seek counsel for
our deliverance?" Thereupon arose one of them, who was the
chiefest in wit and age, and cried, "There is nothing will serve
us save that we seek salvation of Allah; but let us consult the
Crab and ask his advice: so come ye all[FN#76] and hie we
himwards and hear his rede for indeed he is the chiefest and
wisest of us all in coming upon the truth." Each and every
approved of the Fish's advice and betook themselves in a body to
the Crab, whom they found squatted in his hole, without news or
knowledge of their strait. So they saluted him with the salam and
said, "O our lord, cloth not our affair concern thee, who art
ruler and the head of us?" The Crab returned their salutation,
replying, "And on you be The Peace! What aileth you and what d'ye
want?" So they told him their case and the strait wherein they
were by reason of the wastage of the water, and that, when it
should be dried up destruction would betide them, adding,
"Wherefore we come to thee, expecting thy counsel and what may
bring us deliverance for thou art the chiefest and the most
experienced of us." The Crab bowed his head awhile and said,
"Doubtless ye lack understanding, in that ye despair of the mercy
of Allah Almighty and His care for the provision of His creatures
one and all. Know ye not that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!)
provideth all His creatures without account and that He
foreordained their daily meat ere He created aught of creation
and appointed to each of His creatures a fixed term of life and
an allotted provision, of His divine All might? How then shall we
burthen ourselves with concern for a thing which in His secret
purpose is indite? Wherefore it is my rede that ye can do naught
better than to seek aid of Allah Almighty, and it behoveth each
of us to clear his conscience with his Lord, both in public and
private, and pray Him to succour us and deliver us from our
difficulties; for Allah the Most High disappointeth not the
expectation of those who put their trust in Him and rejecteth not
the supplications of those who prefer their suit to Him. When we
have mended our ways, our affairs will be set up and all will be
well with us, and when the winter cometh and our land is deluged,
by means of a just one's prayer, He will not cast down the good
He hath built up. So 'tis my counsel that we take patience and
await what Allah shall do with us. An death come to us, as is
wont, we shall be at rest, and if there befal us aught that
calleth for flight, we will flee and depart our land whither
Allah will.''[FN#77] Answered all the fishes with one voice "Thou
sayst sooth, O our lord: Allah requite thee for us with weal!"
Then each returned to his stead, and in a few days the Almighty
vouchsafed unto them a violent rain and the place of the pond was
filled fuller than before. 'On likewise, O King," continued
Shimas, "we despaired of a child being born to thee, and now that
God hath blessed us and thee with this well omened son, we
implore Him to render him blessed indeed and make him the coolth
of thine eyes and a worthy successor to thee and grant us of him
the like of that which He hath granted us of thee; for Almighty
Allah disappointeth not those that seek Him and it behoveth none
to cut off hope of the mercy of his God." Then, rose the second
Wazir and saluting the King with the salam spake after his
greeting was returned, as follows: "Verily, a King is not called
a King save he give presents and do justice and rule with equity
and show munificence and wisely govern his lieges, maintaining
the obligatory laws and apostolic usages established among them
and justifying them, one against other, and sparing their blood
and warding off hurt from them; and of his qualities should be
that he never abide incurious of the poor and that he succour the
highest and lowest of them and give them each the rights to them
due, so that all bless him and are obedient to his commend.
Without doubt, a King who is after this wise of his lieges is
beloved and gaineth of this world eminence and of the next honour
and favour with the Creator thereof. And we, the body politic of
thy subjects, acknowledge in thee, O King, all the attributes of
kingship I have noted, even as it is said, 'The best of things is
that the King of a people be just and equitable, their physician
skilful and their teacher experience-full, acting according to
his knowledge.' Now we enjoy this happiness, after we had
despaired of the birth of a son to thee, to inherit thy kingship;
however, Allah (extolled be His name!) hath not disappointed
thine expectation, but hath granted thy petition, by reason of
the goodliness of thy trust in Him and thy submission of thine
affairs to Him. Then fair fall thy hope! there hath betided thee
that which betided the Crow and the Serpent." Asked the King
"What was that?"; and the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale

The Crow and the Serpent.

A crow once dwelt in a tree, he and his wife, in all delight of
life, till they came to the time of the hatching of their young,
which was the midsummer season, when a Serpent issued from its
hole and crawled up the tree wriggling around the branches till
it came to the Crows' nest, where it coiled itself up and there
abode all the days of the summer, whilst the Crow was driven away
and found no opportunity to clear his home nor any place wherein
to lie. When the days of heat were past, the Serpent went away to
its own place and quoth the Crow to his wife, "Let us thank
Almighty Allah, who hath preserved us and delivered us from this
Serpent, albeit we are forbidden from increase this year. Yet the
Lord will not cut off our hope; so let us express our gratitude
to Him for having vouchsafed us safety and soundness of body:
indeed, we have none other in whom to confide, and if He will and
we live to see the next year, He shall give us other young in the
stead of those we have missed this year." Next summer when the
hatching-season came round, the Serpent again sallied forth from
its place and made for the Crows' nest; but, as it was coiling up
a branch, a kite swooped down on it and struck claws into its
head and tare it, whereupon it fell to the ground a-swoon, and
the ants came out upon it and ate it.[FN#78] So the Crow and his
wife abode in peace and quiet and bred a numerous brood and
thanked Allah for their safety and for the young that were born
to them. "In like manner, O King," continued the Wazir, "it
behoveth us to thank God for that wherewith He hath favoured thee
and us in vouchsafing us this blessed child of good omen, after
despair and the cutting off of hope. May He make fair thy future
reward and the issue of thine affair!"--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Fourth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the second Wazir had ended with the words, "Allah make fair thy
future reward and the issue of thine affair!", the third Wazir,
presently rose and said, "Rejoice, O just King, in the assurance
of present prosperity and future felicity; for him, whom the
denizens of Earth love, the denizens of Heaven likewise love, and
indeed Almighty Allah hath made affection to be thy portion and
hath stablished it in the hearts of the people of thy kingdom;
wherefore to Him be thanks and praise from us and from thee, so
He may deign increase His bounty unto thee and unto us in thee!
For know, O King, that man can originate naught but by command of
Allah the Most High and that He is the Giver and all good which
befalleth a creature hath its end and issue in Him. He allotteth
His favours to His creatures, as it liketh Him; to some he giveth
gifts galore while others He doometh barely to win their daily
bread. Some He maketh Lords and Captains, and others Recluses,
who abstain from the world and aspire but to Him, for He it is
who saith, 'I am the Harmer with adversity and the Healer with
prosperity. I make whole and make sick. I enrich and impoverish.
I kill and quicken; in my hand is everything and unto Me all
things do tend.' Wherefore it behoveth all men to praise Him.
Now, especially thou, O King, art of the fortunate, the pious, of
whom it is said, 'The happiest of the just is he for whom Allah
uniteth the weal of this world and of the next world; who is
content with that portion which Allah allotteth to him and who
giveth Him thanks for that which He hath stablished.' And indeed
he that is rebellious and seeketh other than the dole which God
hath decreed unto him and for him, favoureth the wild Ass and the
Jackal.''[FN#79] The King asked, "And what is the story of the
twain?"; the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale of

The Wild Ass and the Jackal.

A certain Jackal was wont every day to leave his lair and fare
forth questing his daily bread. Now one day, as he was in a
certain mountain, behold, the day was done and he set out to
return when he fell in with another Jackal who saw him on the
tramp, and each began to tell his mate of the quarry he had
gotten. Quoth one of them, "The other day I came upon a wild Ass
and I was an hungered, for it was three days since I had eaten;
so I rejoiced in this and thanked Almighty Allah for bringing him
into my power. Then I tare out his heart and ate it and was full
and returned to my home. That was three days ago, since which
time I have found nothing to eat, yet am I still full of meat."
When the other Jackal heard his fellow's story, he envied his
fulness and said in himself, "There is no help but that I eat the
heart of a wild Ass." So he left feeding for some days, till he
became emaciated and nigh upon death and bestirred not himself
neither did he endeavour to get food, but lay coiled up in his
earth. And whilst he was thus, behold, one day there came out two
hunters trudging in quest of quarry and started a wild Ass. They
followed on his trail tracking him all day, till at last one of
them shot at him a forked[FN#80] arrow, which pierced his vitals
and reached his heart and killed him in front of the Jackal's
hole. Then the hunters came up and finding him dead, pulled out
the shaft from his heart, but only the wood came away and the
forked head abode in the Ass's belly. So they left him where he
lay, expecting that others of the wild beasts would flock to him;
but, when it was eventide and nothing fell to them, they returned
to their abiding places. The Jackal, hearing the commotion at the
mouth of his home, lay quiet till nightfall, when he came forth
of his lair, groaning for weakness and hunger, and seeing the
dead Ass lying at his door, rejoiced with joy exceeding till he
was like to fly for delight and said, "Praised be Allah who hath
won me my wish without toil! Verily, I had lost hope of coming at
a wild Ass or aught else; and assuredly[FN#81] the Almighty hath
sent him to me and crave him fall to my homestead." Then he
sprang on the body and tearing open its belly, thrust in his head
and with his nose rummaged about its entrails, till he found the
heart and tearing a tidbit swallowed it: but, as soon as he had
so done, the forked head of the arrow struck deep in his gullet
and he could neither get it down into his belly nor bring it
forth of his throttle. So he made sure of destruction and said,
"Of a truth it beseemeth not the creature to seek for himself
aught over and above that which Allah hath allotted to him. Had I
been content with what He appointed to me, I had not come to
destruction." "Wherefore, O King," added the Wazir, "it becometh
man to be content with whatso Allah hath distributed to him and
thank Him for His bounties to him and cast not off hope of his
Lord. And behold, O King, because of the purity of thy purpose
and the fair intent of thy good works, Allah hath blessed thee
with a son, after despair, wherefore we pray the Almighty to
vouchsafe him length of days and abiding happiness and make him a
blessed successor, faithful in the observance of thy covenant,
after thy long life." Then arose the fourth Wazir, and said,
"Verily, an the King be a man of understanding, a frequenter of
the gates of wisdom,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
fourth Wazir, arose and said, "Verily an the King be a man of
understanding, a frequenter of the gates of wisdom, versed in
science, government and policy, and eke upright in purpose and
just to his subjects, honouring those to whom honour is due,
revering those who are digne of reverence, tempering puissance
with using clemency whenas it behoveth, and protecting both
governors and governed, lightening all burthens for them and
bestowing largesse on them, sparing their blood and covering
their shame and keeping his troth with them. Such a King, I say,
is worthy of felicity both present and future, worldly and other-
worldly, and this is of that which protecteth him from ill-will
and helpeth him to the stablishing of his Kingdom and the victory
over his enemies and the winning of his wish, together with
increase of Allah's bounty to him and His favouring him for his
praise of Him and the attainment of His protection. But an the
King be the contrary of this, he never ceaseth from misfortunes
and calamities, he and the people of his realm, for that his
oppression embraceth both stranger far and kinsman near and there
cometh to pass with him that which befel the unjust King with the
pilgrim Prince." King Jali'ad asked, "And how was that?" and the
Wazir answered, "Hear, O King, the tale of

The Unjust King and the Pilgrim Prince.

There was once in Mauritania-land[FN#82] a King who exceeded in
his rule, a tyrant, violent and over severe, who had no respect
for the welfare or protection of his lieges nor of those who
entered his realm; and from everyone who came within his Kingdom
his officers took four-fifths of his monies, leaving him one-
fifth and no more. Now Allah Almighty decreed that he should have
a son, who was fortunate and God-favoured and seeing the pomps
and vanities of this world to be transient as they are
unrighteous, renounced them in his youth and rejected the world
and that which is therein and fared forth serving the Most High,
wandering pilgrim-wise over words and wastes and bytimes entering
towns and cities. One day, he came to his father's capital and
the guards laid hands on him and searched him but found naught
upon him save two gowns, one new and the other old.[FN#83] So
they stripped the new one from him and left him the old, after
they had entreated him with contumely and contempt; whereat he
complained and said, "Woe to you, O  ye oppressors! I am a poor
man and a pilgrim,[FN#84] and what shall this gown by any means
profit you? Except ye restore it to me, I will go to the King and
make complaint to him of you." They replied, "We act thus by the
King's command: so do what seemeth good to thee." Accordingly he
betook himself to the King's palace and would have entered, but
the chamberlains denied him admittance, and he turned away,
saying in himself, "There is nothing for me except to watch till
he cometh out and complain to him of my case and that which hath
befallen me." And whilst he waited, behold, he heard one of the
guards announce the King's faring forth; whereupon he crept up,
little by little, till he stood before the gate; and presently
when the King came out, he threw himself in his way and after
blessing him and wishing him weal, he made his complaint to him
informing him how scurvily he had been entreated by the
gatekeepers. Lastly he gave him to know that he was a man of the
people of Allah[FN#85] who had rejected the world seeking
acceptance of Allah and who went wandering over earth and
entering every city and hamlet, whilst all the folk he met gave
him alms according to their competence. "I entered this thy city"
(continued he), "hoping that the folk would deal kindly and
graciously with me as with others of my condition,[FN#86] but thy
followers stopped me and stripped me of one of my gowns and
loaded me with blows. Wherefore do thou look into my case and
take me by the hand and get me back my gown and I will not abide
in thy city an hour." Quoth the unjust King, "Who directed thee
to enter this city, unknowing the custom of its King?"; and quoth
the pilgrim, "Give me back my gown and do with me what thou
wilt." Now when the King heard this, his temper changed for the
worse and he said, "O fool,[FN#87] we stripped thee of thy gown,
so thou mightest humble thyself to us, but since thou makest this
clamour I will strip thy soul from thee." Then he commanded to
cast him into gaol, where he began to repent of having answered
the King and reproached himself for not having left him the gown
and saved his life. When it was the middle of the night, he rose
to his feet and prayed long and prayerfully, saying, "O Allah,
Thou art the Righteous Judge. Thou knowest my case and that which
hath befallen me with this tyrannical King, and I, Thine
oppressed servant, beseech Thee, of the abundance of Thy mercy,
to deliver me from the hand of this unjust ruler and send down on
him Thy vengeance; for Thou art not unmindful of the upright of
every oppressor. Wherefore, if Thou know that he hath wronged me,
loose on him Thy vengeance this night and send down on him Thy
punishment; for Thy rule is just and Thou art the Helper of every
mourner, O Thou to whom belong the power and the glory to the end
of time!" When the gaoler heard the prayer of the poor prisoner
he trembled in every limb, and behold, a fire suddenly broke out
in the King's palace and consumed it and all that were therein,
even to the door of the prison,[FN#88] and none was spared but
the gaoler and the pilgrim. Now when the gaoler saw this, he knew
that it had not befallen save because of the pilgrim's prayer; so
he loosed him and fleeing with him forth of the burning, betook
himself, he and the King's son, to another city. So was the
unjust King consumed, he and all his city, by reason of his
injustice, and he lost the goods both of this world and the next
world. "As for us, O auspicious King" continued the Wazir, "we
neither lie down nor rise up without praying for thee and
thanking Allah the Most High for His grace in giving thee to us,
tranquil in reliance on thy justice and the excellence of thy
governance; and sore indeed was our care for thy lack of a son to
inherit thy kingdom, fearing lest after thee there betide us a
King unlike thee. But now the Almighty hath bestowed His favours
upon us and done away our concern and brought us gladness in the
birth of this blessed child; wherefore we beseech the Lord to
make him a worthy successor to thee and endow him with glory and
felicity enduring and good abiding." Then rose the fifth Wazir
and said, "Blessed be the Most High,"--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
fifth Wazir said, "Blessed be the Most High, Giver of all good
gifts and graces the most precious! But to continue: we are well
assured that Allah favoureth whoso are thankful to Him and
mindful of His faith; and thou, O auspicious King, art far-famed
for these illustrious virtues and for justice and equitable
dealing between subject and subject and in that which is
acceptable to Allah Almighty. By reason of this hath the Lord
exalted thy dignity and prospered thy days and bestowed on thee
the good gift of this august child, after despair, wherefrom
there hath betided us gladness abiding and joys which may not be
cut off; for we before this were in exceeding cark and passing
care, because of thy lack of issue, and full of concern
bethinking us of all thy justice and gentle dealing with us and
fearful lest Allah decree death to thee and there be none to
succeed thee and inherit the kingdom after thee, and so we be
divided in our counsels and dissensigns arise between us and
there befal us what befel the Crows." Asked the King, "And what
befel the Crows?"; and the Wazir answered saying, "Hear, O
auspicious King, the tale of

The Crows and the Hawk.

There was once, in a certain desert, a spacious Wady, full of
rills and trees and fruits and birds singing the praises of Allah
the One of All might, Creator of day and night; and among them
was a troop of Crows, which led the happiest of lives. Now they
were under the sway and government of a Crow who ruled them with
mildness and benignity, so that they were with him in peace and
contentment; and by reason of their wisely ordering their
affairs, none of the other birds could avail against them.
Presently it chanced that there befel their chief the doom
irrevocably appointed to all creatures and he departed
life;[FN#89] whereupon the others mourned for him with sore
mourning, and what added to their grief was that there abided not
amongst them like him one who should fill his place. So they all
assembled and took counsel together concerning whom it befitted
for his goodness and piety to set over them; and a party of them
chose one Crow, saying, "It beseemeth that this be King over us,"
whilst others objected to him and would none of him; and thus
there arose division and dissension amidst them and the strife of
excitement waxed hot between them. At last they agreed amongst
themselves and consented to sleep the night upon it and that none
should go forth at dawn next day to seek his living, but that all
must wait till high morning, when they should gather together all
in one place. "Then," said they, "we will all take flight at once
and whichsoever shall soar above the rest in his flying, he shall
be accepted of us as ruler and be made King over us." The fancy
pleased them; so they made covenant together and did as they had
agreed and took flight all, but each of them deemed himself
higher than his fellow; wherefore quoth this one, "I am highest,"
and that, "Nay, that am I." Then said the lowest of them, "Look
up, all of you, and whomsoever ye find the highest of you, let
him be your chief." So they raised their eyes and seeing the Hawk
soaring over them, said each to other, "We agreed that which bird
soever should be the highest of us we will make king over us, and
behold, the Hawk is the highest of us; what say ye to him?" And
they all cried out, "We accept of him." Accordingly they summoned
the Hawk and said to him, "O Father of Good,[FN#90] we have
chosen thee ruler over us, that thou mayst look into our affair."
The Hawk consented, saying, "Inshallah, ye shall win of me
abounding weal." So they rejoiced and made him their King. But
after awhile, he fell to taking a company of them every day and
betaking himself with them afar off to one of the caves, where he
struck them down and eating their eyes and brains, threw their
bodies into the river. And he ceased not doing on this wise, it
being his intent to destroy them all till, seeing their number
daily diminishing, the Crows flocked to him and said, "O our
King, we complain to thee because from the date we made thee
Sovran and ruler over us, we are in the sorriest case and every
day a company of us is missing and we know not the reason of
this, more by token that the most part thereof are the high in
rank and of those in attendance on thee. We must now look after
our own safety." Thereupon the Hawk waxed wroth with them and
said to them, "Verily, ye are the murtherers, and ye forestall me
with accusation!" So saying, he pounced upon them and tearing to
pieces half a score of their chiefs in front of the rest,
threatened them and crave them out, sorely cuffed and beaten,
from before him. Hereat they repented them of that which they had
done and said, "We have known no good since the death of our
first King especially in the deed of this stranger in kind; but
we deserve our sufferings even had he destroyed us one by one to
the last of us, and there is exemplified in us the saying of him
that saith, 'Whoso submitteth him not to the rule of his own
folk, the foe hath dominion over him, of his folly.' And now
there is nothing for it but to flee for our lives, else shall we
perish." So they took flight and dispersed to various places.
"And we also, O King," continued the Wazir, "feared lest the like
of this befal us and there become ruler over us a King other than
thyself; but Allah hath vouchsafed us this boon and hath sent us
this blessed child, and now we are assured of peace and union and
security and prosperity in our Mother-land. So lauded be Almighty
Allah and to Him be praise and thanks and goodly gratitude! And
may He bless the King and us all his subjects and vouchsafe unto
us and him the acme of felicity and make his life-tide happy and
his endeavour constant!" Then arose the sixth Wazir and said,
"Allah favour thee with all fell city, O King, in this world and
in the next world! Verily, the ancients have left us this saying,
'Whoso prayeth and fasteth and giveth parents their due and is
just in his rule meeteth his Lord and He is well pleased with
him.' Thou hast been set over us and hast ruled us justly and
thine every step in this hath been blessed; wherefore we beseech
Allah Almighty to make great thy reward eternal and requite thee
thy beneficence. I have heard what this wise man hath said
respecting our fear for the loss of our prosperity, by reason of
the death of the King or the advent of another who should not be
his parallel, and how after him dissensions would be rife among
us and calamity betide from our division and how it behoved us
therefore to be instant in prayer to Allah the Most High, so
haply He might vouchsafe the King a happy son to inherit the
kingship after him. But, after all, the issue of that which man
desireth of mundane goods and wherefor he lusteth is unknown to
him and consequently it behoveth a mortal to ask not of his Lord
a thing whose end he wotteth not; for that haply the hurt of that
thing is nearer to him than its gain and his destruction may be
in that he seeketh and there may befal him what befel the Serpent
charmer, his wife and children and the folk of his house."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

        When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
sixth Wazir said, "It behoveth not a man to ask of his Lord aught
whereof he ignoreth the issue for that haply the hurt of that
thing may be nearer than its gain, his destruction may be in that
he seeketh and there may befal him what befel the Serpent
charmer, his children, his wife and his household," the King
asked, "What was that?"; and the Wazir answered, "Hear, O King
the tale of

The Serpent charmer and his Wife.

There was once a man, a Serpent-charmer,[FN#91] who used to train
serpents, and this was his trade; and he had a great
basket,[FN#92] wherein were three snakes, but the people of his
house knew this not. Every day he used to go round with this
pannier about the town gaining his living and that of his family
by showing the snakes, and at eventide he returned to his house
and clapped them back into the basket privily. This lasted a long
while, but it chanced one day, when he came home, as was his
wont, his wife asked him, saying, "What is in this pannier?" And
he replied, "What wouldest thou with it? Is not provision
plentiful with you? Be thou content with that which Allah hath
allotted to thee and ask not of aught else." With this the woman
held her peace; but she said in herself, "There is no help but
that I search this basket and know what is there." So she egged
on her children and enjoined them to ask him of the pannier and
importune him with their questions, till he should tell them what
was therein. They presently concluded that it contained something
to eat and sought every day of their father that he should show
them what was therein; and he still put them off with pleasant
presences and forbade them from asking this. On such wise they
abode awhile, the wife and mother still persisting in her quest
till they agreed with her that they would neither eat meat nor
drain drink with their father, till he granted them their prayer
and opened the basket to them. One night, behold, the Serpent-
charmer came home with great plenty of meat and drink and took
his seat calling them to eat with him, but they refused his
company and showed him anger. Whereupon he began to coax them
with fair words, saying, "Lookye, tell me what you would have,
that I may bring it you, be it meat or drink or raiment."
Answered they, "O our father, we want nothing of thee but that
thou open this pannier that we may see what is therein, else we
will slay ourselves." He rejoined, "O my children, there is
nothing good for you therein and indeed the opening of it will be
harmful to you." Hereat they redoubled in rage for all he could
say, which when he saw, he began to scold them and threaten them
with beating, except they returned from such condition; but they
only increased in anger and persistence in asking, till at last
he waxed wroth and took a staff to beat them, and they fled from
before him within the house. Now the basket was present and the
Serpent-charmer had not hidden it anywhere, so his wife left him
occupied with the children and opened the pannier in haste, that
she might see what was therein. Thereupon behold, the serpents
came out and first struck their fangs into her and killed her;
then they tried round about the house and slew all, great and
small, who were therein, except the Serpent-charmer, who left the
place and went his way. "If then, O auspicious King," continued
the Wazir, "thou consider this, thou wilt be convinced that it is
not for a man to desire aught save that which God the Great
refuseth not to him; nay, he should be content with what He
willeth. And thou, O King, for the overflowing of thy wisdom and
the excellence of thine understanding, Allah hath cooled thine
eyes with the advent of this thy son, after despair, and hath
comforted thy heart; wherefore we pray the Almighty to make him
of the just successors acceptable to Himself and to his
subjects." Then rose the seventh Wazir and said, "O King, I know
and certify all that my brethren, these Ministers wise and
learned, have said in the presence, praising thy justice and the
goodness of thy policy and proving how thou art distinguished in
this from all Kings other than thyself; wherefore they gave thee
the preference over them. Indeed, this be of that which is
incumbent on us, O King, and I say, 'Praised be Allah!' in that
He hath guerdoned thee with His gifts and vouchsafed thee of His
mercy, the welfare of the realm; and hath succoured thee and
ourselves, on condition that we increase in gratitude to Him; and
all this no otherwise than by thine existence! What while thou
remainest amongst us, we fear not oppression neither dread
upright, nor can any take long-handed advantage of our weakness!
and indeed it is said, 'The greatest good of a people is a just
King and their greatest ill an unjust King'; and again, 'Better
dwell with rending lions than with a tyrannous Sultan.' So
praised be Almighty Allah with eternal praise for that He hath
blessed us with thy life and vouchsafed thee this blessed child,
whenas thou wast stricken in years and hadst despaired of issue!
For the goodliest of the gifts in this world is a virtuous sire,
and it is said, 'Whoso hath no progeny his life is without result
and he leaveth no memory.' As for thee, because of the
righteousness of thy justice and thy pious reliance on Allah the
Most High, thou hast been vouchsafed this happy son; yea, this
blessed[FN#93] child cometh as a gift from the Most High Lord to
us and to thee, for the excellence of thy governance and the
goodliness of thy long-sufferance; and in this thou hast fared
even as fared the Spider and the Wind." Asked the King, "And what
is the story of the Spider and the Wind?"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the King asked, "And what is the story of the twain?", the Wazir
answered, "Give ear, O King, to the tale of

The Spider and the Wind.

A Spider once attached herself to a high gate[FN#94] and retired
and span her web there and dwelt therein in peace, giving thanks
to the Almighty, who had made this dwelling-place easy to her and
had set her in safety from noxious reptiles. On this wise she
abode a long while, still giving thanks to Allah for her ease and
regular supply of daily bread, till her Creator bethought Him to
try her and make essay of her gratitude and patience. So he sent
upon her a strong east Wind, which carried her away, web and all,
and cast her into the main. The waves washed her ashore, and she
thanked the Lord for safety and began to upbraid the Wind,
saying, "O Wind, why hast thou dealt thus with me and what good
hast thou gotten by bearing me hither from my abiding-place,
where indeed I was in safety, secure in my home on the top of
that gate?" Replied the Wind, saying, "O Spider, hast thou not
learnt that this world is a house of calamities; and, say me, who
can boast of lasting happiness that such portion shall be thine?
Wottest thou not that Allah tempteth His creatures in order to
learn by trial what may be their powers of patience? How, then,
cloth it beset thee to upbraid me, thou who hast been saved by me
from the vasty deep?" "Thy words are true, O Wind," replied the
Spider, "yet not the less do I desire to escape from this
stranger land into which thy violence hath cast me." The Wind
rejoined, "Cease thy blaming, for right soon I will bear thee
back and replace thee in thy place, as thou wast aforetime." So
the Spider waited patiently till the north-east Wind left
blowing, and there arose a south-west Wind, which gently caught
her up and flew with her towards her dwelling-place; and when she
came to her abode, she knew it and clung to it. "And we,"
continued the Wazir, "beseech Allah (who hath rewarded the King
for his singleness of heart and patience and hath taken pity on
his subjects and blessed them with His favour and hath vouchsafed
the King this son in his old age, after he had despaired of issue
and removed him not from the world, till He had blessed him with
coolth of eyes and bestowed on him what He hath bestowed of
Kingship and Empire!) to vouchsafe unto thy son that which He
hath vouchsafed unto thee of dominion and Sultanship and glory!
Amen." Then said the King, "Praised be Allah over all praise and
thanks be to Him over all thanks! There is no god but He, the
Creator of all things, by the light of whose signs we know the
glory of His greatness and who giveth kingship and command over
his own country to whom He willeth of His servants! He chooseth
of them whomso He please to make him His viceroy and viceregent
over His creatures and commandeth him to just and equitable
dealing with them and the maintenance of religious laws and
practices and right conduct and constancy in ordering their
affairs to that which is most acceptable to Him and most grateful
to them. Whoso cloth thus and obeyeth the commandment of his
Lord, his desire attaineth and the orders of his God maintaineth;
so Providence preserveth him from the perils of the present world
and maketh ample his recompense in the future world; for indeed
He neglecteth not the reward of the righteous. And whoso cloth
otherwise than as Allah biddeth him sinneth mortal sin and
disobeyeth his Lord, preferring his mundane to his supra-mundane
weal. He hath no trace in this world and in the next no portion,
for Allah spareth not the unjust and the mischievous, nor cloth
He neglect any of His servants. These our Wazirs have set forth
how, by reason of our just dealing with them and our wise
governance of affairs, Allah hath vouchsafed us and them His
grace, for which it behoveth us to thank Him, because of the
great abundance of His mercies; each of them hath also spoken
that wherewith the Almighty inspired Him concerning this matter,
and they have vied one with another in rendering thanks to the
Most High Lord and praising Him for His favours and bounties. I
also render thanks to Allah for that I am but a slave commanded;
my heart is in His hand and my tongue in His subjection,
accepting that which He adjudgeth to me and to them, come what
may thereof. Each one of them hath said what passed through his
mind on the subject of this boy and hath set froth that which was
of the renewal of divine favour to us, after my rears had reached
the term when confidence faileth and despair assaileth. So
praised be Allah who hath saved us from disappointment and from
the alternation of rulers, like to the alternation of night and
day! For verily, this was a great boon both to them and to us;
wherefore we praise Almighty Allah who hath given a ready answer
to our prayer and hath blessed us with this boy and set him in
high place, as the inheritor of the kingship. And we entreat him,
of His bounty and clemency, to make him happy in his actions,
prone to pious works, so he may become a King and a Sultah
governing his people with justice and equity, guarding them from
perilous error and frowardness, of His grace, goodness and
generosity!" When the King had made an end of his speech, the
sages and Olema rose and prostrated themselves before Allah and
thanked the King; after which they kissed his hands and departed,
each to his own house, whilst Jali'ad withdrew into his prayers
for him and named him Wird Khán.[FN#95] The boy grew up till he
attained the age of twelve,[FN#96] when the King being minded to
have him taught the arts and sciences, bade build him a palace
amiddlemost the city, wherein were three hundred and threescore
rooms,[FN#97] and lodged him therin. Then he assigned him three
wise men of the Olema and bade them not be lax in teaching him
day and night and look that there was no kind of learning but
they instruct him hterin, so he might become versed in all
knowledge. He also commanded them to sit with him one day in each
of the rooms by turn and write on the door thereof that which
they had taught him therein of various kinds of lore and report
to himself, every seven days, whatso instructions they had
imparted to him.  So they went in to the Prince and stinted not
from educating him day nor night, nor withheld from him aught of
that they knew; and presently there appeared in him readiness to
receive instruction such as none had shown before him.  Every
seventh day his governors reported to the King what his son had
learnt and mastered, whereby Jali'ad became proficient in goodly
learning and fair culture, and the Olema said to him, "Never saw
we one so richly gifted with understanding as is this boy Allah
bless thee in him and give thee joy of his life!" When the Prince
had completed his twelfth year, he knew the better part of every
science and excelled all the Olema and sages of his day;
wherefore his governors brought him to his sire and said to him
"Allah gladden thine eyes, O King, with this auspicious youth! We
bring him to thee after he hath learnt all manner knowledge; and
there is not one of the learned men of the time nor a scientist
who hath attained to that whereto he hath attained of science."
The King rejoiced in this with joy exceeding and, thanking the
Almighty, prostrated himself in gratitude before Allah (to whom
belong Majesty and Might!), saying, "Laud be to the Lord for His
mercies incalculable!" Then he called his Chief Wazir and said to
him, "Know, O Shimas, that the governors of my son are come to
tell me that he hath mastered every kind of knowledge and there
is nothing but they have instructed him therein, so that he
surpasseth in this all who forewent him. What sayst thou, O
Shimas?" Hereat the Minister prostrated himself before Allah (to
whom belong Might and Majesty!) and kissed the King's hand,
saying, "Loath is the ruby stone, albeit be bedded in the hardest
rock on hill, to do aught but shine as a lamp, and this thy son
is such a gem. His tender age hath not hindered him from becoming
a sage and Alhamdolillah--praised be Allah--for that which He
deigned bestow on him! But to-morrow I will call an assembly of
the flower of the Emirs and men of learning and examine the
Prince and cause him speak forth that which is with him in their
presence, Inshallah!" ---And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Ninth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King Jali'ad heard the words of his Wazir, Shimas, he commended
the attendance of the keenest-witted[FN#98] of the Olema and most
accomplished of the learned and sages of his dominions, and they
all presented themselves on the morrow at the door of the palace,
whereupon the King bade admit them. Then entered Shimas and
kissed the hands of the Prince, who rose and prostrated himself
to the Minister. But Shimas said, "It behoveth not the lion-whelp
to prostrate himself to any of the wild beasts, nor besitteth it
that Light prostrate itself to shade." Quoth the Prince, "Whenas
the lion-whelp seeth the leopard,[FN#99] he riseth up to him and
prostrateth himself before him because of his wisdom, and Light
prostrateth itself to shade for the purpose of disclosing that
which is therewithin." Quoth Shimas, "True, O my lord, but I
would have thee answer me anent whatso I shall ask thee, by leave
of His Highness and his lieges." And the youth said, "And I, with
permission of my sire, will answer thee." So Shimas began and
said, "Tell me what is the Eternal, the Absolute, and what are
the two manifestations thereof and whether of the two is the
abiding one?" Answered the Prince, "Allah (to whom belong Might
and Majesty!) is the Eternal, the Absolute; for that He is Alpha,
without beginning, and Omega, without end. Now his two
manifestations[FN#100] are this world and the next, and the
abiding one of the two is the world to come." Q "Thou sayst truly
and I approve thy reply; but I would have thee tell me, how
knowest thou that one of Allah's manifestations is this world and
the other the world to come?"--"I know this because this world
was created from nothingness and had not its being from any
existing thing; wherefore its affair is referable to the first
essence. Moreover, it is a commodity swift of ceasing, the works
whereof call for requital of action and this postulateth the
reproduction[FN#101] of whatso passeth away; so the next world is
the second manifestation." Q "Now inform me how knowest thou that
the world to come is the abiding one of the two existences?"--
"Because it is the house of requital for deeds done in this world
prepared by the Eternal sans surcease." Q "Who are the people of
this world most to be praised for their practice?"--"Those who
prefer their weal in the world to come before their weal in this
world." Q "And who is he that preferreth his future to his
present welfare?"--"He who knoweth that he dwelleth in a
perishing house, that he was created but to vade away and that,
after vading away, he will be called to account and indeed, were
there in this world one living and abiding for ever, he would not
prefer it to the next world." Q "Can the future life subsist
permanently without the present?"--"He who hath no present life
hath no future life; and indeed I liken this world and its folk
and the goal to which they fare with certain workmen, for whom an
Emir buildeth a narrow house and lodgeth them therein, commanding
each of them to do a certain task and assigning to him a set term
and appointing one to act as steward over them. Whoso doeth the
work appointed unto him, the steward bringeth him forth of that
straitness; but whoso doeth it not within the stablished term is
punished. After awhile, behold, they find honey exuding from the
chinks of the house,[FN#102] and when they have eaten thereof and
tasted its sweetness of savour, they slacken in their ordered
task and cast it behind their backs. So they patiently suffer the
straitness and distress wherein they are, with what they know of
the future punishment whereto they are fast wending, and are
content with this worthless and easily won sweetness; and the
Steward leaveth not to fetch every one of them forth of the
house, for ill or good, when his appointed period shall have
come. Now we know the world to be a dwelling wherein all eyes are
dazed, and that each of its folk hath his set term; and he who
findeth the little sweetness that is in the world and busieth
himself therewith is of the number of the lost, since he
preferreth the things of this world to the things of the next
world; but whoso payeth no heed to this poor sweetness and
preferreth the things of the coming world to those of this world,
is of those who are saved." Q "I have heard what thou sayest of
this world and the next and I accept thine answer; but I see they
are as two placed in authority over man; needs must he content
them both, and they are contrary one to other. So, if the
creature set himself to seek his livelihood, it is harmful to his
soul in the future, and if he devote himself to the next world,
it is hurtful to his body, and there is no way for him of
pleasing these two contraries at once."--"Indeed, the quest of
one's worldly livelihood with pious intent and on lawful wise is
a viaticum for the quest of the goods of the world to come; if a
man spend a part of his days in seeking his livelihood in this
world, for the sustenance of his body, and devote the rest of his
day to seeking the goods of the next world, for the repose of his
soul and the warding off of hurt therefrom; and indeed I see this
world and the other world as they were two Kings, a just and an
unjust." Asked Shimas, "How so?" and the youth began the tale of

The Two Kings.

There were once two Kings, a just and an unjust; and this one had
a land abounding in trees and fruits and herbs, but he let no
merchant pass without robbing him of his monies and his
merchandise; and the traders endured this with patience, by
reason of their profit from the fatness of the earth in the means
of life and its pleasantness, more by token that it was renowned
for its richness in precious stones and gems. Now the just King,
who loved jewels, heard of this land and sent one of his subjects
thither, giving him much specie and bidding him pass with it into
the other's realm and buy jewels therefrom. So he went thither;
and, it being told to the unjust King that a merchant was come to
his kingdom with much money to buy jewels withal, he sent for him
to the presence and said to him, "Who art thou and whence comest
thou and who brought thee thither and what is thy errand?" Quoth
the merchant, "I am of such and such a region, and the King of
that land gave me money and bade me buy therewith jewels from
this country; so I obeyed his bidding and came." Cried the unjust
King, "Out on thee! Knowest thou not my fashion of dealing with
the people of my realm and how each day I take their monies? How
then comest thou to my country? And behold, thou hast been a
sojourner here since such a time!" Answered the trader, "The
money is not mine, not a mite of it; nay, 'tis a trust in my
hands till I bring its equivalent to its owner." But the King
said, "I will not let thee take thy livelihood of my land or go
out therefrom, except thou ransom thyself with this money all of
it."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

         When it was the Nine Hundred and Tenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
unjust Ruler said to the trader who came to buy jewels from his
country, "'Tis not possible for thee to take thy livelihood of my
land except thou ransom thy life with this money, all of it else
shalt thou die." So the man said in himself, "I am fallen between
two Kings, and I know that the oppression of this ruler embraceth
all who abide in his dominions, and if I satisfy him not, I shall
lose both life and money (whereof is no doubt) and shall fail of
my errand; whilst, on the other hand, if I give him all the gold,
it will most assuredly prove my ruin with its owner, the other
King; wherefore no device will serve me but that I give this one
a trifling part thereof and content him therewith and avert from
myself and from the money perdition. Thus shall I get my
livelihood of the fatness of this land, till I buy that which I
desire of jewels; and, after satisfying the tyrant with gifts, I
will take my portion of the profit and return to the owner of the
money with his need, trusting in his justice and indulgence, and
unfearing that he will punish me for that which this unjust King
taketh of the treasure, especially if it be but a little." Then
the trader called down blessings on the tyrant and said to him,
"O King, I will ransom myself and this specie with a small
portion thereof, from the time of my entering thy country to that
of my going forth therefrom." The King agreed to this and left
him at peace for a year, till he bought all manner jewels with
the rest of the money and returned therewith to his master, to
whom he made his excuses, confessing to having saved himself from
the unjust King as before related. The just King accepted his
excuse and praised him for his wise device and set him on his
right hand in his divan and appointed him in his kingdom an
abiding inheritance and a happy life-tide.[FN#103] "Now the just
King is the similitude of the future world and the unjust King
that of the present world ; the jewels that be in the tyrant's
dominions are good deeds and pious works. The merchant is man and
the money he hath with him is the provision appointed him of
Allah. When I consider this, I know that it behoveth him who
seeketh his livelihood in this world to leave not a day without
seeking the goods of the world to come, so shall he content this
world with that which he gaineth of the fatness of the earth and
satisfy the other world with that which he spendeth of his life
in seeking after it." Q "Are the spirit[FN#104] and the body
alike in reward and retribution, or is the body, as the luster of
lusts and doer of sinful deeds, and especially affected with
punishment?"--"The inclination to lusts and sins may be the cause
of earning reward by the withholding of the soul therefrom and
the repenting thereof; but the command[FN#105] is in the hand of
Him who cloth what He will, and things by their contraries are
distinguished. Thus subsistence is necessary to the body, but
there is no body without soul, and the purification of the spirit
is in making clean the intention in this world and taking thought
to that which shall profit in the world to come. Indeed, soul and
body are like two horses racing for a wager or two foster
brothers or two partners in business. By the intent are good
deeds distinguished, and thus the body and soul are partners in
actions and in reward and retribution, and in this they are like
the Blind man and the Cripple with the Overseer of the garden."
Asked Shimas, "How so?" and the Prince said. "Hear, O Wazir, the
tale of

The Blind Man and the Cripple.

A blind man and a Cripple were travelling companions and used to
beg alms in company. One day they sought admission into the
garden of someone of the benevolent, and a kind-hearted wight,
hearing their talk, took compassion on them and carried them into
his garden, where he left them after plucking for them some of
its produce and went away, bidding them do no waste nor damage
therein. When the fruits became ripe, the Cripple said to the
Blind man, "Harkye, I see ripe fruits and long for them, but I
cannot rise to eat thereof; so go thou arise, for thou art sound
of either leg, and fetch us somewhat that we may eat." Replied
the Blind, "Fie upon thee! I had no thought of them, but now that
thou callest them to my mind, I long to eat of them and I am
impotent unto this, being unable to see them; so how shall we do
to get at them?" At this moment, behold, up came the Overseer of
the garden, who was a man of understanding, and the Cripple said
to him, "Harkye, O Overseer! I long for somewhat of those fruits,
but we are as thou seest: I am a cripple and my mate here is
stone-blind; so what shall we do?" Replied the Overseer "Woe to
you! Have ye forgotten that the master of the garden stipulated
with you that ye should do nothing whereby waste or damage befal
it; so take warning and abstain from this." But they answered,
"Needs must we get our portion of these fruits that we may eat
thereof; so tell us some device whereby we shall contrive this."
When the Overseer saw that they were not to be turned from their
purpose, he said, "This, then, is my device, O Cripple, let the
Blind bear thee on his back and take thee under the tree whose
fruit pleaseth thee, so thou mayst pluck what thou canst reach
thereof." Accordingly the Blind man took on his back the Cripple
who guided him till he brought him under a tree, and he fell to
plucking from it what he would and tearing at its boughs till he
had despoiled it, after which they went roundabout and throughout
the garden and wasted it with their hands and feet; nor did they
cease from this fashion, till they had stripped all the trees of
the garth. Then they returned to their place and presently up
came the master of the garden, who, seeing it in this plight, was
wroth with sore wrath and coming up to them said, "Woe to you!
What fashion is this? Did I not stipulate with you that ye should
do no damage in the garden?" Quoth they, "Thou knowest that we
are powerless to come at any of the fruit, for that one of us is
a cripple and cannot rise and the other is blind and cannot see
that which is before him; so what is our offense?" But the master
answered, "Think ye I know not how ye wrought and how ye have
gone about to do waste in my garden? I know, as if I had been
with thee, O Blind, that thou tookest the Cripple pick-a-back,
and he showed thee the way till thou borest him to the trees."
Then he punished them with grievous punishment and thrust them
out of the garden. "Now the Blind is the similitude of the body
which seeth not save by the spirit, and the Cripple that of the
soul, for that it hath no power of motion but by the body; the
garden is the works, for which the creature is rewarded or
punished, and the Overseer is the reason which biddeth to good
and forbiddeth from evil. Thus the body and the soul are partners
in reward and retribution." Q "Which of the learned men is most
worthy of praise, according to thee?"--"He who is learned in the
knowledge of Allah and whose knowledge profiteth him." Q "And who
is this?"--"Whoso is intent upon seeking to please his Lord and
avoid His wrath." Q "And which of them is the most excellent?"--
"He who is most learned in the knowledge of Allah." Q "And which
is the most experienced of them?"--"Whoso in doing according to
his knowledge is most constant." Q " And which is the purest
hearted of them?"-- "He who is most assiduous in preparing for
death and praising the Lord and least of them in hope, and indeed
he who penetrateth his soul with the awful ways of death is as
one who looketh into a clear mirror, for that he knoweth the
truth, and the mirror still increaseth in clearness and
brilliance." Q "What are the goodliest of treasures?"--"The
treasures of heaven." Q "Which is the goodliest of the treasures
of Heaven?"--"The praise of Allah and His magnification." Q
"Which is the most excellent of the treasures of earth?"--"The
practice of kindness."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

        When it was the Nine Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Wazir Shimas asked the King's son, saying, "Which is the most
excellent of the treasures of earth?" he answered, "The practice
of kindness." So the Minister pursued, "Tell me of three several
and different things, knowledge and judgment and wit, and of that
which uniteth them."--"Knowledge cometh of learning, judgment of
experience and wit of reflection, and they are all stablished and
united in reason. Whoso combineth these three qualities attaineth
perfection, and he who addeth thereto the piety and fear of the
Lord is in the right course." Q "Take the case of a man of
learning and wisdom, endowed with right judgment, luminous
intelligence and a keen wit and excelling, and tell me can desire
and lust change these his qualities?"--"Yes; for these two
passions, when they enter into a man, alter his wisdom and
understanding and judgment and wit, and he is like the
Ossifrage[FN#106] which, for precaution against the hunters,
abode in the upper air, of the excess of his subtlety; but, as he
was thus, he saw a fowler set up his nets and when the toils were
firmly staked down bait them with a bit of meat; which when he
beheld, desire and lust thereof overcame him and he forgot that
which he had seen of springes and of the sorry plight of all
birds that fell into them. So he swooped down from the welkin and
pouncing upon the piece of meat, was meshed in the same snare and
could not win free. When the fowler came up and saw the Ossifrage
taken in his toils he marvelled with exceeding marvel and said,
'I set up my nets, thinking to take therein pigeons and the like
of small fowl; how came this Ossifrage to fall into it?' It is
said that when desire and lust incite a man of understanding to
aught, he considereth the end thereof and refraineth from that
which they make fair and represseth with his reason his lust and
his concupiscence; for, when these passions urge him to aught, it
behoveth him to make his reason like unto a horseman skilled in
horsemanship who, mounting a skittish horse, curbeth him with a
sharp bit,[FN#107] so that he go aright with him and bear him
whither he will. As for the ignorant man, who hath neither
knowledge nor judgment, while all things are obscure to him and
desire and lust lord it over him, verily he doeth according to
his desire and his lust and is of the number of those that
perish; nor is there among men one in worse case than he." Q
"When is knowledge profitable and when availeth reason to ward
off the ill effects of desire and lust?"--"When their possessor
useth them in quest of the goods of the next world, for reason
and knowledge are altogether profitable; but it befitteth not
their owner to expend them in the quest of the goods of this
world, save in such measure as may be needful for gaining his
livelihood and defending himself from its mischief, but to lay
them out with a view to futurity." Q "What is most worthy that a
man should apply himself thereto and occupy his heart withal?"--
"Good works and pious." Q "If a man do this it diverteth him from
gaining his living; how then shall he do for his daily bread
wherewith he may not dispense?"--"A man's day is four-and-twenty
hours, and it behoveth him to employ one third thereof in seeking
his living, another in prayer and repose and the other in the
pursuits of knowledge;[FN#108] for a reasonable man without
knowledge is a barren land, which hath no place for tillage,
tree-planting or grass-growing. Except it be prepared for filth
and plantation, no fruit will profit therein; but, if it be
tilled and planted, it bringeth forth goodly fruits. So with the
man lacking education; there is no profit in him till knowledge
be ranted in him; then cloth he bear fruit." Q "What sayst thou
of knowledge without understanding?"--"It is as the knowledge of
a brute[FN#109] beast, which hath learnt the hours of its
foddering and waking, but hath no reason." Q "Thou hast been
brief in thine answer here anent; but I accept thy reply. Tell
me, how shall I guard myself against the Sultan?"--"By giving him
no way to thee." Q "And how can I but give him way to me, seeing
that he is set in dominion over me and that the reins of my
affair be in his hand?"--"His dominion over thee lieth in the
duties thou owest him; wherefore, an thou give him his due, he
hath no farther dominion over thee." Q "What are a Wazir's duties
to his King?"--"Good counsel and zealous service both in public
and private, right judgment, the keeping of his secrets, and that
he conceal from his lord naught of that whereof he hath a right
to be informed, lack of neglect of aught of his need with the
gratifying of which he chargeth him, the seeking his approval in
every guise, and the avoidance of his anger." Q "How should the
Wazir do with the King?"--"An thou be Wazir to the King and
wouldst fain become safe from him, let thy hearing and thy
speaking to him surpass his expectation of thee, and be thy
seeking of thy want from him after the measure of thy rank in his
esteem, and beware lest thou advance thyself to a dignity whereof
he deemeth thee unworthy for this would be like presuming against
him. So, if thou take advantage of his mildness and raise thee to
a rank beyond that which he deemeth thy due, thou wilt be like
the hunter, whose wont it was to trap wild beasts for their pelts
and cast away the flesh. Now a lion used to come to that place
and eat of the carrion, and in course of time, he made friendship
with the hunter who would throw meat to him and wipe his hands on
his back whilst the lion wagged his tail.[FN#110] But when the
hunter saw his tameness and gentleness and submissiveness to him,
he said to himself, 'Verily this lion humbleth himself to me and
I am master of him, and I see not why I should not mount him and
strip off his hide, as with the other wild beasts.' So he took
courage and sprang on the lion's back, presuming on his mildness
and deeming himself sure of him; which when the lion saw, he
raged with exceeding rage and raising his fore-paw, smote the
hunter, that he drove his claws into his vitals, after which he
cast him under foot and tare him in pieces and devoured him. By
this we may know that it behoveth the Wazir to bear himself
towards the King according to that which he seeth of his
condition and not presume upon the superiority of his own
judgment, lest the King become jealous of him."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        When it was the Nine Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
youth, the son of King Jali'ad, said to Shimas the Wazir, "It
behoveth the Minister to bear himself towards the Monarch
according to that which he seeth of his condition, and not to
presume upon the superiority of his own judgment lest the King
wax jealous of him." Quoth Shimas, "How shall the Wazir grace
himself in the King's sight."--"By the performance of the trust
committed to him and of loyal counsel and sound judgment and the
execution of his commands." Q "As for what thou sayest of the
Wazir's duty to avoid the King's anger and perform his wishes and
apply himself diligently to the doing of that where with he
chargeth him, such duty is always incumbent on him; but how, an
the King's whole pleasure be tyranny and the practice of
oppression and exorbitant extortion; and what shall the Wazir do
if he be afflicted by intercourse with this unjust lord? An he
strive to turn him from his lust and his desire, he cannot do
this, and if he follow him in his lusts and flatter him with
false counsel, he assumeth the weight of responsibility herein
and becometh an enemy to the people. What sayst thou of this?"--
"What thou speakest, O Wazir, of his responsibility and
sinfulness ariseth only in the case of his abetting the King in
his wrong doing; but it behoveth the Wazir, when the King taketh
counsel with him of the like of this, to show forth to him the
way of justice and equity and warn him against tyranny and
oppression and expound to him the principles of righteously
governing the lieges, alluring him with the future reward that
pertaineth to this and restraining him with warning of the
punishment he otherwise will incur. If the King incline to him
and hearken unto his words, his end is gained, and if not, there
is nothing for it but that he depart from him after courteous
fashion, because in parting for each of them is ease." Q "What
are the duties of the King to his subjects and what are the
obligations of the lieges to their lord?"--"They shall do whatso
he ordereth them with pure intent and obey him in that which
pleaseth him and pleaseth Allah and the Apostle of Allah. And the
lieges can claim of the lord that he protect their possessions
and guard their women,[FN#111] even as it is their duty to
hearken unto him and obey him and expend their lives freely in
his defence and give him his lawful due and praise him fairly for
that which he bestoweth upon them of his justice and bounty." Q
"Have his subjects any claim upon the King other than that which
thou hast said?"--"Yes. The rights of the subjects from their
Sovran are more binding than the liege lord's claim upon his
lieges, for that the breach of his duty towards them is more
harmful than that of their duty towards him, because the ruin of
the King and the loss of his kingdom and fortune befal not save
by the breach of his devoir to his subjects; wherefore it
behoveth him who is invested with the kingship to be assiduous in
furthering three things: to wit, the fostering of the faith, the
fostering of his subjects and the fostering of government; for by
the ensuing of these three things, his kingdom shall endure." Q
"How cloth it behove him to do for his subjects' weal?"--"By
giving them their due and maintaining their laws and
customs[FN#112] and employing Olema and learned men to teach them
and justifying them, one of other, and sparing their blood and
defending their goods and lightening their loads and
strengthening their hosts." Q "What is the Minister's claim upon
the Monarch?"--"None hath a more imperative claim on the King
than hath the Wazir, for three reasons: firstly, because of that
which shall befal him from his liege lord in case of error in
judgment, and because of the general advantage to King and
commons in case of sound judgmen; secondly, that folk may know
the goodliness of the degree which the Wazir holdeth in the
King's esteem and therefore look on him with eyes of veneration
and respect and submission[FN#113]; and thirdly, that the Wazir,
seeing this from King and subjects, may ward off from them that
which they hate and fulfil to them that which they love." Q "I
have heard all thou hast said of the attributes of King and Wazir
and liege and approve thereof; but now tell me what is incumbent
in keeping the tongue from lying and folly and slandering good
names and excess in speech."--"It behoveth a man to speak naught
but good and kindness and to talk not of that which toucheth him
not, to leave detraction nor carry tale he hath heard from one
man to his enemy, neither seek to harm his friend nor his foe
with his Sultan and reck not of any (neither of him from whom he
hopeth for good nor of him whom he feareth for mischief) save of
Allah Almighty; for He indeed is the only one who harmeth or
profiteth. Let him not impute default unto any nor talk
ignorantly, lest he incur the weight and the sin thereof before
Allah and earn hate among men; for know thou that speech is like
an arrow which once shot none can avail to recall. Let him also
beware of disclosing his secret to one who shall discover it,
lest he fall into mischief by reason of its disclosure, after
confidence on its concealment; and let him be more careful to
keep his secret from his friend than from his foe, for the
keeping a secret with all folk is of the performance of faithful
trust." Q "Tell me how a man should bear himself with his family
and friends."--"There is no rest for a son of Adam save in
righteous conduct; he should render to his family that which they
deserve and to his brethren whatso is their due." Q "What should
one render to one's kinsfolk?"--"To parents, submission and soft
speech and affability and honour and reverence. To brethren, good
counsel and readiness to expend money for them and assistance in
their undertakings and joyance in their joy and grieving for
their grief and closing of the eyes toward the errors that they
may commit; for, when they experience this from a man, they
requite him with the best of counsel they can command and expend
their lives in his defence; wherefore, an thou know thy brother
to be trusty, lavish upon him thy love and help him in all his
affairs."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
youth, the son and heir of King Jali'ad, when questioned by the
Wazir upon the subjects aforesaid, returned him satisfactory
replies; when Shimas resumed, "I see that brethren are of two
kinds, brethren of trust and brethren of society.[FN#114] As for
the first who be friends, there is due to them that which thou
hast set forth; but now tell me of the others who be
acquaintances."--As for brethren of society, thou gettest of them
pleasance and goodly usance and fair speech and enjoyable
company; so be thou not sparing to them of thy delights, but be
lavish to them thereof, like as they are lavish to thee, and
render to them that which they render to thee of affable
countenance and an open favour and sweet speech, so shall thy
life be pleasant and thy words be accepted of them." Q "Tell me
now of the provision decreed by the Creator to all creatures.
Hath He alloted to men and beasts each his several provision to
the completion of his appointed life term; and if this allotment
be thus, what maketh him who seeketh his livelihood to incur
hardships and travail in the quest of that which he knoweth must
come to him, if it be decreed to him, albeit he incur not the
misery of endeavour; and which, if it be not decreed to him, he
shall not win, though he strive after it with his uttermost
striving? Shall he therefore stint endeavour and in his Lord put
trust and to his body and his soul give rest?"-- "Indeed, we see
clearly that to each and every there is a provision distributed
and a term prescribed; but to all livelihood are a way and means,
and he who seeketh would get ease of his seeking by ceasing to
seek; withal there is no help but that he seek his fortune. The
seeker is, however, in two cases: either he gaineth his fortune
or he faileth thereof. In the first case, his pleasure consisteth
in two conditions: first, in the having gained his fortune, and
secondly, in the laudable[FN#115] issue of his quest; and in the
other case, his pleasure consisteth, first, in his readiness to
seek his daily bread; secondly, in his abstaining from being a
burthen to the folk; and thirdly, in his freedom from liability
to blame." Q "What sayst thou of the means of seeking one's
fortune?"--"A man shall hold lawful that which Allah (to whom
belong Might and Majesty!) alloweth, and unlawful whatso He
forbiddeth." Reaching this pass the discourse between them came
to an end, and Shimas and all the Olema present rose and
prostrating themselves before the young Prince, magnified and
extolled him, whilst his father pressed him to his bosom and
seating him on the throne of kingship, said, "Praised be Allah
who hath blessed me with a son to be the coolth of mine eyes in
my lifetime!" Then said the King's son to Shimas in presence of
all the Olema, "O sage that art versed in spiritual questions,
albeit Allah have vouchsafed to me but scanty knowledge, yet do I
comprehend thine intent in accepting from me what I proffered in
answer concerning that whereof thou hast asked me, whether I hit
or missed the mark therein, and belike thou forgavest my errors;
but now I am minded to question thee anent a thing, whereof my
judgment faileth and whereto my capacity is insufficient and
which my tongue availeth not to set forth, for that it is obscure
to me, with the obscurity of clear water in a black vessel.
Wherefore would have thee expound it to me so no iota thereof may
remain doubtful to the like of me, to whom its obscurity may
present itself in the future, even as it hath presented itself to
me in the past; since Allah, even as He hath made life to be in
lymph[FN#116] and strength in food and the cure of the sick in
the skill of the leach, so hath He appointed the healing of the
fool to be in the learning of the wise. Give ear, therefore, to
my speech." Replied the Wazir, "O luminous of intelligence and
master of casuistical questions, thou whose excellence all the
Olema attest, by reason of the goodliness of thy discretion of
things and thy distribution[FN#117] thereof and the justness of
thine answers to the questions I have asked thee, thou knowest
that thou canst enquire of me naught but thou art better able
than I to form a just judgment thereon and expound it truly, for
that Allah hath vouchsafed unto thee such wisdom as He hath
bestowed on none other of men. But inform me of what thou wouldst
question me." Quoth the Prince, "Tell me from what did the
Creator (magnified be His all-might!) create the world, albeit
there was before it naught and there is naught seen in this world
but it is created from something; and the Divine Creator
(extolled and exalted be He!) is able to create things from
nothing,[FN#118] yet hath His will decreed, for all the
perfection of His power and grandeur, that He shall create naught
but from something." The Wazir replied, "As for those, who
fashion vessels of potter's clay,[FN#119] and other
handicraftsmen, who cannot originate one thing save from another
thing, they are themselves only created entities; but, as for the
Creator, who hath wrought the world after this wondrous fashion,
an thou wouldst know His power (extolled and exalted be He!) of
calling things into existence, extend thy thought and consider
the various kinds of created things, and thou wilt find signs and
instances, proving the perfection of His puissance and that He is
able to create the ens from the non-ens; nay, He called things
into being, after absolute non-existence, for the elements which
be the matter of created things were sheer nothingness. I will
expound this to thee, so thou mayst be in no scepticism thereof,
and the marvel-signs of the alternation of Night and Day shall
make this clear to thee. When the light goeth and the night
cometh, the day is hidden from us and we know not the place where
it abideth; and when the night passeth away with its darkness and
its terror, the day cometh and we know not the abiding-place of
the night.[FN#120] In like manner, when the sun riseth upon us,
we know not where it hath laid up its light, and when it setteth,
we ignore the abiding-place of its setting; and the examples of
this among the works of the Creator (magnified be His name and
glorified be His might!) abound in what confoundeth the thought
of the keenest witted of human beings." Rejoined the Prince, "O
sage, thou hast set before me of the power of the Creator what is
incapable of denial; but tell me how He called His creatures into
existence." Answered Shimas, "He created them by the sole power
of His one Word,[FN#121] which existed before time, and wherewith
he created all things." Quoth the Prince, "Then Allah (be His
name magnified and His might glorified!) only willed the
existence of created things, before they came into being?"
Replied Shimas, "And of His will He created them with His one
Word and, but for His speech and that one Word, the creation had
not come into existence."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after
the King's son had asked his sire's Wazir the casuistical
questions aforesaid, and had received a sufficient answer, Shimas
said to him, "O dear my son,[FN#122] there is no man can tell
thee other but tints I have said, except he twist the words
handed down to us of the Holy Law and turn the truths thereof
from their evident meaning. And such a perversion is their saying
that the Word hath inherent and positive power and I take refuge
with Allah from such a mis-belief! Nay, the meaning of our saying
that Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) created the world
with His Word is that He (exalted be His name!) is One in His
essence and His attributes and not that His Word hath independent
power. On the contrary, power is one of the attributes of Allah,
even as speech and other attributes of perfection are attributes
of Allah (exalted be His dignity and extolled be His empery!);
wherefore He may not be conceived without His Word, nor may His
Word be conceived without Him, for, with His Word, Allah
(extolled be His praise!) created all His creatures, and without
His Word, the Lord created naught. Indeed, He created all things
but by His Word of Truth, and by Truth are we created." Quoth the
Prince, "I comprehend that which thou hast said on the subject of
the Creator and from thee I accept this with understanding, but I
hear thee say that He created the world by His Word of Truth. Now
Truth is the opposite of Falsehood; whence then arose Falsehood
with its opposition unto Truth, and how cometh it to be possible
that it should be confounded therewith and become doubtful to
human beings, so that they need to distinguish between the twain?
And cloth the Creator (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) love
Falsehood or hate it? An thou say He loveth Truth and by it
created all things and abhorreth Falsehood, how came the False,
which the Creator hateth, to invade the True which He loveth?"
Quoth Shimas, "Verily Allah the Most High created man all
Truth[FN#123], loving His name and obeying His word, and on this
wise man had no need of repentance till Falsehood invaded the
Truth whereby he was created by means of the capability[FN#124]
which Allah had placed in him, being the will and the inclination
called lust of lucre.[FN#125] When the False invaded the True on
this wise, right became confounded with wrong, by reason of the
will of man and his capability and greed of gain, which is the
voluntary side of him together with the weakness of human nature;
wherefore Allah created penitence for man, to turn away from him
Untruth and stablish him in Truth, and He created for him also
punishment if he should abide in the obscurity of Falsehood."
Quoth the Prince, "Tell me how came Untruth to invade Truth, so
as to be confounded therewith, and how became man liable to
punishment and so stood in need of repentance." Replied Shimas,
"When Allah created man with Truth, He made him loving to Himself
and there was for him neither repentance nor punishment; but he
abode thus till Allah put in him the soul, which is of the
perfection of humanity, albeit naturally inclined to lust which
is inherent therein. From this sprang the growth of Untruth and
its confusion with Truth, wherewith man was created and with the
love whereof his nature had been made; and when man came to this
pass, he declined from the Truth with disobedience, and whoso
declineth from the Truth falleth into Falsehood." Said the
Prince, "Then Falsehood invaded Truth only by reason of
disobedience and transgression?" Shimas replied, "Yes, and it is
thus because Allah loveth mankind, and of the abundance of His
love to man He created him having need of Himself, that is to
say, of the very Truth. But oftentimes man lapseth from this by
cause of the inclination of the soul to lusts and turneth to
frowardness, wherefore he falleth into Falsehood by the act of
disobeying his Lord and thus deserveth punishment, and, by
putting away from himself Falsehood with repentance and by the
returning to the love of the Truth, he meriteth future reward."
Quoth the Prince, "Tell me the origin of sin, whilst all mankind
trace their being to Adam, and how cometh it that he, being
created of Allah with truth, drew disobedience on himself; then
was his disobedience coupled with repentance, after the soul had
been set in him, that his issue might be reward or retribution?
Indeed, we see some men constant in sinfulness, inclining to that
which He loveth not and transgressing in this the original intent
and purpose of their creation, which is the love of the Truth,
and drawing on themselves the wrath of their Lord, whilst we see
others constant in seeking the satisfaction of their Creator and
obeying Him and meriting mercy and future recompense. What
causeth this difference prevailing between them?" Replied Shimas,
"The origin of disobedience descending upon mankind is
attributable to Iblis, who was the noblest of all that Allah
(magnified be His name!) created of angels[FN#126] and men and
Jinn, and the love of the Truth was inherent in him, for he knew
naught but this; but whenas he saw himself unique in such
dignity, there entered into him pride and conceit, vainglory and
arrogance which revolted from loyalty and obedience to the
commandment of His Creator; wherefore Allah made him inferior to
all creatures and cast him out from love, making his abiding-
place to be in disobedience. So when he knew that Allah
(glorified be His name!) loved not disobedience and saw Adam and
the case wherein he was of truth and love and obedience to his
Creator, envy entered into him and he devised some device to
pervert Adam from the truth, that he might be a partaker with
himself in Falsehood; and by this, Adam incurred chastisement for
his inclining to disobedience, which his foe made fair to him,
and his subjection to his lusts, whenas he transgressed the
charge of his Lord, by reason of the appearance of Falsehood.
When the Creator (magnified be the praises of Him and hallowed be
the names of Him!) saw the weakness of man and the swiftness of
his inclining to his enemy and leaving the truth, He appointed to
him, of His mercy, repentance, that therewith he might arise from
the slough[FN#127] of inclination to disobedience and taking the
arms and armour of repentance, overcame therewith his foe Iblis
and his hosts and return to the Truth, wherein he was created.
When Iblis saw that Allah (magnified be His praise!) had
appointed him a protracted term,[FN#128] he hastened to wage war
upon man and to best him with wiles, to the intent that he might
oust him from the favour of his Lord and make him a partaker with
himself in the wrath which he and his hosts had incurred;
wherefore Allah (extolled be His praises!) appointed unto man the
capability of penitence and commanded him to apply himself to the
Truth and  persevere therein; and forbade him from disobedience
and frowardness and revealed to him that he had on the earth an
enemy warring against him and relazing not from him night nor
day.  Thus hath man a right to future reward, if he adhere to the
Truth, in the love of which his nature was created; but he
becometh liable to punishment, if the flesh master him and
incline him to lusts."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
young Prince had questioned Shimas touching disputed points of
olden time and had been duly answered, he presently said, "Now
tell me by what power is the creature able to transgress against
his Creator, seeing that His omnipotence is without bounds, even
as thou hast set forth, and that naught can overcome Him or
depart from His will?  Deemest thou not that He is able to turn
His creatures from this disobedience and compel them eternally to
hold the Truth?" Answered Shimas, "In very sooth Almighty Allah
(honoured be His name!) is just and equitable and loving-kind to
the people of His affection.[FN#129] He created His creatures
with justice and equity and of the inspiration of His justice and
the overflowing of His mercy, He gave them kingship over
themselves, that they should do whatever they might design.  He
showeth them the way of rightwousness and bestoweth on them the
power and ability of doing what they will of good: and if they do
the opposite thereof, they fall into destruction and
disobedience." Q  "If the Creator, as thou sayest, have granted
to mankind power and ability[FN#130] and they by reason thereof
are empowered to do whatso they will, why then doth He not come
between them and that which they desire of wrong and turn them to
the right?"--"This is of the greatness of His mercy and the
goodliness of His wisdom; for, even as aforetime he showed wrath
to Iblis and had no mercy on him, even so he showed Adam mercy,
by means[FN#131] of repentance, and accepted of him, after He had
been wroth with him." Q "He is indeed mere Truth, for He it is
who requiteth every one according to his works, and there is no
Creator save Allah who hath power over all things.  But tell me,
hath He created that which He loveth and that which He loveth not
or only that which He loveth?"--"He created all things, but
favoureth only that which he loveth." Q "What reckest thou of two
things, one whereof is pleasing to God and earneth future reward
for him who practiseth it and the other offendeth Allah and
entaileth lawful punishment upon the doer?"--"Expound to me these
two things and make me to apprehend them, that I may speak
concerning them."  Q "They are good and evil, the two things
inherent in the body and in the soul."--"O wise youth, I see that
thou knowest good and evil to be of the works which the soul and
the body combine to do.  Good is named good, because it is in
favour with God, and evil is termed ill, for that in it is His
ill-will.  Indeed, it behoveth thee to know Allah and to please
Him by the practice of good, for that He hath bidden us to this
and forbidden us to do evil." Q "I see these two things, to wit,
good and evil, to be wrought only by the five senses familiarly
known in the body of man, which be the sensorium[FN#132] whence
proceed speech, hearing, sight, smell and touch.  Now I would
have thee tell me whether these five senses were created
altogether for good or for evil."--"Apprehend, O man, the
exposition of that whereof thou askest and it is a manifest
proof; so lay it up in thine innermost thought and take it to thy
heart. And this it is that the Creator (extolled and exalted be
He!) created man with Truth and impressed him with the love
thereof and there proceedeth from it no created thing save by the
puissance of the Most High, whose trace is in every phenomenon.
He[FN#133] (extol we Him and exalt we Him!) is not apt but to the
ordering of justice and equity and beneficence, and He created
man for the love of Him and set in him a soul, wherein the
inclination to lusts was innate and assigned him capability and
ableness and appointed the Five Senses aforesaid to be to him a
means of winning Heaven or Hell." Q "How so?"--"In that He
created the Tongue for speech, the Hands for action, the Feet for
walking and the Eyes for seeing and the Ears for hearing, and
upon each bestowed especial power and incited them to exercise
and motion, bidding each of them do naught save that which
pleaseth Him. Now what pleaseth Him in Speech is truthfulness and
abstaining from its opposite, which is falsehood; and what
pleaseth Him in Sight is turning it unto that which He loveth and
leaving the contrary, which is turning it unto that which He
hateth, such as looking unto lusts; and what pleaseth Him in
Hearing is hearkening to naught but the True, such as admonition
and that which is in Allah's writ and leaving the contrary, which
is listening to that which incurreth the anger of Allah; and what
pleaseth Him in the Hands is not hoarding up that which He
entrusteth to them, but expending it in such way as shall please
Him and leaving the contrary, which is avarice or spending in
sinfulness that which He hath committed to them; and what
pleaseth Him in the Feet is that they be constant in the pursuit
of good, such as the quest of instruction, and leave its
contrary, which is the walking in other than the way of Allah.
Now respecting the rest of the lusts which man practiseth, they
proceed from the body by command of the soul. But the lusts which
proceed from the body are of two kinds, the lust of reproduction
and the lust of the belly. As for the former, that which pleaseth
Allah thereof is that it be not other than lawful[FN#134] and He
is displeased with it if contrary to His law. As for the lust of
the belly, eating and drinking, what pleaseth Allah thereof is
that each take naught save that which the Almighty hath appointed
him be it little or mickle, and praise the Lord and thank Him;
and what angereth Him thereof is that a man take that which is
not his by right. All precepts other than these are false, and
thou knowest that Allah created everything and delighteth only in
Good and commandeth each member of the body to do that which He
hath made on it incumbent, for that He is the All-wise, the All-
knowing." Q "Was it foreknown unto Allah Almighty (exalted be His
power!) that Adam, by eating of the tree from which He forbade
him and whence befel what befel, would leave obedience for
disobedience?"--"Yes, O sage youth. This was foreknown unto Allah
Almighty ere He created Adam, and the proof and manifestation
attached thereto is the warning He gave him against eating of the
tree and His informing him that, if he ate of the fruit he would
be disobedient. And this was in the way of justice and equity,
lest Adam should have an argument wherewith he might excuse
himself against his Lord. When therefore, he fell into error and
calamity and when disgrace waxed sore upon him and reproach, this
passed to his posterity after him; wherefore Allah sent Prophets
and Apostles and gave to them Books and they taught us the divine
commandments and expounded to us what was therein of admonitions
and precepts and made clear to us and manifest the way of
righteousness and explained to us what it behoved us to do and
what to leave undone. Now we are endowed with Freewill and he who
acteth within these lawful limits winneth his wish and
prospereth, while whoso transgresseth these legal bounds and
doeth other than that which these precepts enjoin, resisteth the
Lord and is ruined in both Abodes. This then is the road of Good
and Evil. Thou knowest that Allah over all things is Omnipotent
and created not lusts for us but of His pleasure and volunty, and
He bade us use them in the way of lawfulness, so they might be to
us a good; but, when we use them in the way of sinfulness they
are to us an evil. Therefore what of righteous we compass is from
Allah Almighty, and what of wrongous from ourselves[FN#135] His
creatures, not from the Creator, exalted be He herefor with
highmost exaltation!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the youth, King Jali'ad's son had questioned Shimas concerning
these subtleties and had been duly answered, he pursued, "That
which thou hast expounded to me concerning Allah and His
creatures I understand; but tell me of one matter, concerning
which my mind is perplexed with extreme wonderment, and that is
that I marvel at the sons of Adam, how careless they are of the
life to come and at their lack of taking thought thereof and
their love to this world, albeit they know that they must needs
leave it and depart from it, whilst they are yet young in
years."--"Yes, verily; and that which thou seest of its
changefulness and traitorousness with its children is a sign that
Fortune to the fortunate will not endure nor to the afflicted
affliction; for none of its people is secure from its
changefulness and even if one have power over it and be content
therewith, yet there is no help but that his estate change and
removal hasten unto him. Wherefore man can put no trust therein
nor profit by that which he enjoyeth of its gilding and
glitter[FN#136]; and we knowing this will know that the sorriest
of men in condition are those who are deluded by this world and
are unmindful of the other world; for that whatso of present ease
they enjoy will not even the fear and misery and horrors which
will befal them after their removal therefrom. Thus are we
certified that, if the creature knew that which will betide him
with the coming of death[FN#137] and his severance from that
which he enjoyeth of pleasure and delight, he would cast away the
world and that which is therein; for we are certified that the
next life is better for us and more profitable." Said the Prince,
"O sage, thou hast dispelled the darkness that was upon my heart
by the light of thy shining lamp and hast directed me into the
right road I must tread on the track of Truth and hast given me a
lantern whereby I may see." Then rose one of the learned men who
was in the presence and said, "When cometh the season of Prime,
needs must the hare seek the pasture as well as the elephant; and
indeed I have heard from you twain such questions and solutions
as I never before heard; but now leave that and let me ask you of
somewhat. Tell me, what is the best of the goods of the world?"
Replied the Prince, "Health of body, lawful livelihood and a
virtuous son." Q "What is the greater and what is the less?"--
"The greater is that to which a lesser than itself submitteth and
the less that which submitteth to a greater than itself." Q "What
are the four things wherein concur all creatures?"--"Men concur
in meat and drink, the sweet of sleep, the lust of women and the
agonies of death." Q "What are the three things whose foulness
none can do away?"--"Folly, meanness of nature, and lying." Q
"What is the best kind of lie,[FN#138] though all kinds are
foul?"--"That which averteth harm from its utterer and bringeth
gain." Q "What kind of truthfulness is foul, though all kinds are
fair?"--"That of a man glorying in that which he hath and
vaunting himself thereof." Q "What is the foulest of
foulnesses?"--"When a man boasteth himself of that which he hath
not." Q "Who is the most foolish of men?"--"He who hath no
thought but of what he shall put in his belly." Then said Shimas,
"O King, verily thou art our King, but we desire that thou assign
the kingdom to thy son after thee, and we will be thy servants
and lieges." So the King exhorted the Olema and others who were
in the presence to remember that which they had heard and do
according thereto and enjoined them to obey his son's
commandment, for that he made him his heir-apparent,[FN#139] so
he should be the successor of the King his sire; and he took an
oath of all the people of his empire, literates and braves and
old men and boys, to mention none other, that they would not
oppose him in the succession nor transgress against his
commandment. Now when the Prince was seventeen years old, the
King sickened of a sore sickness and came nigh to die, so, being
certified that his decease was at hand, he said to the people of
his household, "This is disease of Death which is upon me;
wherefore do ye summon my son and kith and kin and gather
together the Grandees and Notables of my empire, so not one of
them may remain except he be present." Accordingly they fared
forth and made proclamation to those who were near and published
the summons to those who were afar off, and they all assembled
and went in to the King. Then said they to him, "How is it with
thee, O King, and how deemest thou for thyself of these thy
dolours?" Quoth Jali'ad, "Verily, this my malady is mortal and
the shaft of death hath executed that which Allah Almighty
decreed against me: this is the last of my days in the world here
and the first of my days in the world hereafter." Then said he to
his son, "Draw near unto me." So the youth drew near, weeping
with weeping so sore, that he well nigh drenched the bed, whilst
the King's eyes welled tears and all who were present wept. Quoth
Jali'ad, "Weep not, O my son; I am not the first whom this
Inevitable betideth; nay, it is common to all that Allah hath
created. But fear thou the Almighty and do good deeds which shall
precede thee to the place whither all creatures tend and wend.
Obey not thy lusts, but occupy thy soul with lauding the Lord in
thy standing up and thy sitting down, in thy waking and in thy
sleeping. Make the Truth the aim of thine eyes; this is the last
of my speech with thee and--The Peace."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
King Jali'ad charged his son with such injunctions and made him
his heir to succeed him in his reign, the Prince said, "O dear
father mine,[FN#140] thou knowest that I have ever been to thee
obedient and thy commandment carrying out, mindful of thine
injunctions and thine approof seeking, for thou hast been to me
the best of fathers; how, then, after thy death, shall I depart
from that which contenteth thee? And now, having fairly ordered
my nurture thou art about to depart from me and I have no power
to bring thee back to me; but, an I be mindful of thy charge, I
shall be blessed therein and great good fortune shall betide me."
Quoth the King, and indeed he was in the last agony of departing
life, "Dear my son, cleave fast unto ten precepts, which if thou
hold, Allah shall profit thee herewith in this world and the next
world, and they are as follows. Whenas thou art wroth, curb thy
wrath; when thou art afflicted, be patient; when thou speakest be
soothfast; when thou promisest, perform; when thou judgest, do
justice; when thou hast power, be merciful; deal generously by
thy governors and lieutenants, forgive thy foes; be lavish of
good offices to thine adversary, and stay thy mischief from him.
Observe also other ten precepts,[FN#141] wherewith Allah shall
profit thee among the people of thy realm: to wit, when thou
dividest, be just; when thou punishest, oppress not; when thou
engagest thyself, fulfil thine engagement; hearken to those that
give thee loyal counsel; when offence is offered to thee, neglect
it; abstain from contention; enjoin thy subjects to the
observance of the divine laws and of praiseworthy practices;
abate ignorance with a sharp sword; withhold thy regard from
treachery and its untruth; and, lastly, do equal justice between
the folk, so they may love thee, great and small, and the wicked
and corrupt of them may fear thee." Then he addressed himself to
the Emirs and Olema which were present when he appointed his son
to be his successor, saying, "Beware ye of transgressing the
commandment of your King and neglecting to hearken to your chief,
for therein lieth ruin for your realm and sundering for your
society and bane for your bodies and perdition for your
possessions, and your foe would exult over you. Well ye wot the
covenant ye made with me, and even thus shall be your covenant
with this youth and the troth which plighted between you and me
shall be also between you and him; wherefore it behoveth you to
give ear unto and obey his commandment, for that in this is the
well being of your conditions. So be ye constant with him anent
that wherein ye were with me and your estate shall prosper and
your affairs be fair; for behold, he hath the Kingship over you
and is the lord of your fortune, and--The Peace." Then the death
agony[FN#142] seized him and his tongue was bridled; so he
pressed his son to him and kissed him and gave thanks unto Allah,
after which his hour came and his soul fared forth. All his
subjects and the people of his court mourned and keened over him
and they shrouded him and buried him with pomp and honour and
reverence, after which they returned with the Prince and clad him
in the royal robes and crowned him with his father's crown and
put the seal-ring on his finger, after seating him on the Throne
of Sovranship. The young King ordered himself towards them, after
his father's fashion of mildness and justice and benevolence, for
a little while till the world waylaid him and entangled him in
its lusts, whereupon, its pleasures made him their prey and he
turned to its gilding and gewgaws, forsaking the engagements
which his father had imposed upon him and casting off his
obedience to him, neglecting the affairs of his reign and
treading a road wherein was his own destruction. The love of
women waxed stark in him and came to such a pass that, whenever
he heard tell of a beauty, he would send for her and take her to
wife; and after this wise, he collected women more in number than
ever had Solomon, David-son, King of the children of Israel. Also
he would shut himself up with a company of them for a month at a
time, during which he went not forth neither enquired of his
realm or its rule nor looked into the grievances of such of his
subjects as complained to him; and if they wrote to him, he
returned them no reply. Now when they saw this and witnessed his
neglect of their affairs and lack of care for their interests and
those of the state, they were assured that ere long some calamity
would betide them and this was grievous to them. So they met
privily one with other and took counsel together blaming their
King, and one of them said to the rest, "Come, let us go to
Shimas, Chief of the Wazirs, and set forth to him our case and
acquaint him with that wherein we are by reason of this King, so
he may admonish him; else, in a little, calamity will dawn upon
us, for the world hath dazzled the Sovran with its delights and
seduced him with its snares." Accordingly, they repaired to
Shimas and said to him, "O wise man and prudent, the world hath
dazed the King with its delights and taken him in its toils, so
that he turneth unto vanity and worketh for the undoing of the
state. Now with the disordering of the state the commons will be
corrupted and our affairs will run to ruin. We see him not for
days and months nor cometh there forth from him any commandment
to us or to the Wazir or any else. We cannot refer aught of our
need to him and he looketh not to the administration of justice
nor taketh thought to the condition of any of his subjects, in
his disregard of them.[FN#143] And behold we are come to acquaint
thee with the truth of things, for that thou art the chiefest and
most accomplished of us and it behoveth not that calamity befal a
land wherein thou dwellest, seeing that thou art most able of any
to amend this King. Wherefore go thou and speak with him; haply
he will hearken to thy word and return unto the way of
Allah."[FN#144] So Shimas arose forthright and repairing to the
palace, foregathered with the first page he could find and said
to him, "Fair my son, I beseech thee ask leave for me to go in to
the King, for I have an affair, concerning which I would fain see
his face and acquaint him therewith and hear what he shall answer
me there anent." Answered the page, "O my lord, by Allah, this
month past hath he given none leave to come in to him, nor have I
all this time looked upon his face; but I will direct thee to one
who shall crave admission for thee. Do thou lay hold of such a
blackamoor slave who standeth at his head and bringeth him food
from the kitchen. When he cometh forth to go to the kitchen, ask
him what seemeth good to thee, for he will do for thee that which
thou desirest." So the Wazir repaired to the door of the kitchen
and sat there a little while, till up came the black and would
have entered the kitchen; but Shimas caught hold of him and said
to him, "Dear my son, I would fain stand in presence of the King
and speak with him of somewhat especially concerneth him; so
prithee, of thy kindness, when he hath ended his undurn-meal and
his temper is at its best, speak for me and get me leave to
approach him, so I may bespeak him of that which shall suit him."
"I hear and obey," answered the black and taking the food carried
it to the King, who ate thereof and his temper was soothed
thereby. Then said the black to him, "Shimas standeth at the door
and craveth admission, so he may acquaint thee with matters that
specially concern thee." At this the King was alarmed and
disquieted and commanded to admit the Minister.--And Shahrazed
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King bade the blackamoor admit Shimas, the slave went forth to
him and bade him enter; whereupon he went in and falling prone
before Allah, kissed the King's hands and blessed him. Then said
the King, "What hath betided thee, O Shimas, that thou seekest
admission unto me?" He answered, "This long while have I not
looked upon the face of my lord the King and indeed I longed sore
for thee; and now, behold, I have seen thy countenance and come
to thee with a word which I would fief say to thee, O King
stablished in all prosperity!" Quoth the King, "Say what seemeth
good to thee;" and quoth Shimas, "I would have thee bear in mind
O King, that Allah Almighty hath endowed thee with learning and
wisdom, for all the tenderness of thy years, such as He never
vouchsafed unto any of the Kings before thee, and hath fulfilled
the measure of his bounties to thee with the Kingship; and He
loveth not that thou depart from that wherewith He hath endowed
thee unto other than it, by means of thy disobedience to Him;
wherefore it behoveth thee not to levy war against[FN#145] Him
with thy hoards but of His injunctions to be mindful and unto His
commandments obedient. Indeed, I have seen thee, this while past,
forget thy sire and his charges and reject his covenant and
neglect his counsel and words of wisdom and renounce his justice
and good governance, remembering not the bounty of Allah to thee
neither requiting it with gratitude and thanks to Him." The King
asked, "How so? And what is the manner of this?"; and Shimas
answered, "The manner of it is that thou neglectest to administer
the affairs of the state and that which Allah hath committed unto
thee of the interests of thy lieges and surrenderest thyself to
thy lower nature in that which it maketh fair to thee of the
slight lusts of the world. Verily it is said that the welfare of
the state and of the Faith and of the folk is of the things which
it behoveth the King to watch; wherefore it is my rede, O King,
that thou look fairly to the issue of thine affair, for thus wilt
thou find the manifest road wherein is salvation, and not accept
a trifling pleasure and a transient which leadeth to the abyss of
destruction, lest there befal thee that which befel the
Fisherman." The King asked, "What was that?"; and Shimas
answered, "there hath reached me this tale of

The Foolish Fisherman.

A fisherman went forth to a river for fishing therein as was his
wont, and when he came thither and walked upon the bridge, he saw
a great fish and said in himself, "'Twill not serve me to abide
here, but I will follow yonder fish whitherso it goeth, till I
catch it for it will relieve me from fishing for days and days."
So he did off his clothes and plunged into the river after the
fish. The current bore him along till he overtook it and laid
hold of it, when he turned and found himself far from the bank.
But albeit he saw what the stream had done with him, he would not
loose the fish and return, but ventured life and gripping it fast
with both hands, let his body float with the flow, which carried
him on till it cast him into a whirlpool[FN#146] none might enter
and come out therefrom. With this he fell to crying out and
saying, "Save a drowning man!" And there came to him folk of the
keepers of the river and said to him, "What ailed thee to cast
thyself into this great peril?" Quoth he, "It was I myself who
forsook the plain way wherein was salvation and gave myself over
to concupiscence and perdition." Quoth they, "O fellow, why didst
thou leave the way of safety and cast thyself into this
destruction, knowing from of old that none may enter herein and
be saved? What hindered thee from throwing away what was in thy
hand and saving thyself? So hadst thou escaped with thy life and
not fallen into this perdition, whence there is no deliverance;
and now not one of us can rescue thee from this thy ruin."
Accordingly the man cut off all his hopes of life and lost that
which was in his hand and for which his flesh had prompted him to
venture himself, and died a miserable death. "And I tell thee not
this parable, O King," added Shimas, "but that thou mayest leave
this contemptible conduct that diverteth thee from thy duties and
look to that which is committed to thee of the rule of thy folk
and the maintenance of the order of thy realm, so that none may
see fault in thee." The King asked "What wouldst thou have me
do?" And Shimas answered, "Tomorrow, an thou be well and in good
case,[FN#147] give the folk leave to come in to thee and look
into their affairs and excuse thyself to them and promise them of
thine own accord good governance and prosperity." Quoth the King,
"O Shimas, thou hast spoken sensibly and rightly; and to-morrowf,
Inshallah, I will do that which thou counsellest me." So the
Wazir went out from him and told the lieges all he had said to
him; and, when morning morrowed, the King came forth of his
privacy and bade admit the people, to whom he excused himself,
promising them that thence forward he would deal with them as
they wished, wherewith they were content and departed each to his
own dwelling.[FN#148] Then one of the King's wives, who was his
best-beloved of them and most in honour with him, visited him and
seeing him changed of colour and thoughtful over his affairs, by
reason of that which he had heard from his Chief Wazir, said to
him, "O King, how is it that I see thee troubled in mind? Hast
thou aught to complain of?" Answered he, "No, but my pleasures
have distracted me from my duties. What right have I to be thus
negligent of my affairs and those of my subjects? If I continue
on this wise, soon, very soon, the kingdom will pass out of my
hand." She rejoined, "I see, O King, that thou hast been duped by
the Wazirs and Ministers, who wish but to torment and entrap
thee, so thou mayst have no joyance of this thy kingship neither
feel ease nor taste delight; nay, they would have thee consume
thy life in warding off trouble from them, till thy days be
wasted in travail and weariness and thou be as one who slayeth
himself for the benefit of another or like the Boy and the
Thieves." Asked the King, "How was that?" and she answered, "They
tell the following tale anent

The Boy and the Thieves.

Seven Thieves once went out to steal, according to their custom,
and fell in with a Boy, poor and orphaned to boot, who besought
them for somewhat to eat. One of them asked him, "Wilt go with
us, O Boy, and we will feed thee and give thee drink, clothe thee
and entreat thee kindly?" And he answered, "Needs must I go with
you whitherso ye will and ye are as my own kith and kin." So they
took him and fared on with him till they came to a garden, and
entering, went round about therein till they found a walnut tree
laden with ripe fruit and said to him, "O Boy, wilt thou enter
this garden with us and swarm up this tree and eat of its walnuts
thy sufficiency and throw the rest down to us?" He consented and
entered with them,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Boy consented and entered with the Thieves, one of them said to
other, "Look which is the lightest and smallest of us and make
him climb the tree." And they said, "None of us is slighter than
this Boy." So they sent him up into the tree and said to him, "O
Boy, touch not aught of the fruit, lest someone see thee and work
thee a mischief." He asked, "How then shall I do?", and they
answered, "Sit among the boughs and shake them one by one with
all thy might, so that which is thereon may fall, and we will
pick it up. Then, when thou hast made an end of shaking down the
fruit, come down and take thy share of that which we have
gathered." Accordingly he began to shake every branch at which he
could come, so that the nuts fell and the thieves picked them up
and ate some and hid other some till all were full, save the Boy
who had eaten naught. As they were thus engaged, behold, up came
the owner of the garden who, standing to witness the spectacle,
enquired of them, "What do ye with this tree?" They replied, "We
have taken naught thereof, but we were passing by and seeing
yonder Boy on the tree, took him for the owner thereof and
besought him to give us to eat of the fruit. thereat he fell to
shaking one of the branches so that the nuts dropped down, and we
are not at fault." Quoth the master to the Boy, "What sayst
thou?"; and quoth he, "These men lie, but I will tell thee the
truth. It is that we all came hither together and they bade me
climb the tree and shake its boughs that the nuts might fall down
to them, and I obeyed their bidding." Said the master, "Thou hast
cast thyself into sore calamity, but hast thou profited by eating
aught of the fruit?"; and he said, "I have eaten naught thereof."
Rejoined the owner of the garden, "Now know I thy folly and thine
ignorance in that thou hast wrought to ruin thyself and profit
others." Then said he to the Thieves, "I have no resort against
you, so wend your ways!" But he laid hands on the Boy and
punished him. "On likewise," added the favourite, "thy Wazirs and
Officers of state would sacrifice thee to their interests and do
with thee as did the Thieves with the Boy." Answered the King,
"Thou sayst sooth, and speakest truth. I will not go forth to
them nor leave my pleasures." Then he passed the night with his
wife in all delight till the morning, when the Grand Wazir arose
and, assembling the Officers of state, together with those of the
lieges who were present with them, repaired with them to the
palace-gate, congratulating one another and rejoicing. But the
door opened not nor did the King come forth unto them nor give
them leave to go in to him. So, when they despaired of him, they
said to Shimas, "O excellent Wazir and accomplished sage, seest
thou not the behaviour of this lad, young of years and little of
wit, how he addeth to his offences falsehood? See how he hath
broken his promise to us and hath not performed that for which he
engaged unto us, and this sin it behoveth thee join unto his
other sins; but we beseech thee go in to him yet again and
discover what is the cause of his holding back and refusal to
come forth, for we doubt not but that the like of this action
cometh of his corrupt nature, and indeed he is now hardened to
the highest degree." Accordingly, Shimas went in to the King and
bespake him, saying, "Peace be with thee, O King! How cometh it
that I see thee give thyself up to these slight pleasures and
neglect the great affair whereto it behoveth thee sedulously
apply thyself? Thou art like unto a man who had a milch camel
and, coming one day to milk her, the goodness of her milk made
him neglect to hold fast her halter, which whenas she felt, she
haled herself free and made off into the world. Thus the man lost
both milk and camel and the loss that betided him surpassed his
gain. Wherefore, O King, do thou look unto that wherein is thy
welfare and the weal of thy subjects; for, even as it behoveth
not a man to sit forever at the kitchen door, because of his need
unto food, so should he not alway company with women, by reason
of his inclination to them. And as a man should eat but as much
food as will guard him from the pains of hunger and drink but
what will ward off the pangs of thirst, in like manner it
behoveth the sensible man to content himself with passing two of
the four-and-twenty hours of his day with women and expend the
rest in ordering his own affairs and those of his people. For to
be longer than this in company with women is hurtful both to mind
and body, seeing that they bid not unto good neither direct
thereto; wherefore it besitteth not a man to accept from them or
word or deed, for indeed it hath reached me that many men have
come to ruin through their women, and amongst others a certain
man who perished through conversation with his wife at her
command." The King asked, "How was that?" and Shimas answered,
saying, "Hear, O King the tale of

The Man and his Wife.

They relate that a certain man had a wife whom he loved and
honoured, giving ear to her speech and doing according to her
rede. Moreover, he had a garden, which he had newly planted with
his own hand and was wont to go thither every day, to tend it and
water it. One day his wife asked him, "What hast thou planted in
thy garden?", and he answered, "All thou lovest and desirest, and
I am assiduous in tending and watering it." Quoth she, "Wilt thou
not carry me thither and show it to me, so I may look upon it and
offer thee up a pious prayer for its prosperity seeing that my
orisons are effectual?" Quoth he, "I will well, but have patience
with me till the morrow, when I will come and take thee." So
early on the ensuing day, he carried her to the garden which he
entered with her. Now two young men saw them enter from afar and
said each to other, "Yonder man is an adulterer and yonder woman
an adulteress, and they have not entered this garden but to
commit adultery." Thereupon they followed the couple to see what
they would do, and hid themselves in a corner of the garden. The
man and his wife after entering abode awhile therein, and
presently he said to her, "Pray me the prayer thou didst promise
me;" but she replied, saying, "I will not pray for thee, until
thou do away my desire of that which women seek from men." Cried
he, "Out on thee, O woman! Hast thou not thy fill of me in the
house? Here I fear scandal, especially as thou divertest me from
my affairs. Fearest thou not that someone will see us?" Quoth
she, "We need have no care for that, seeing that we do neither
sin nor lewdness; and, as for the watering of the garden, that
may wait, because thou canst water it when thou wilt." And she
would take neither excuse nor reason from him, but was instant
with him in seeking carnal coition. So he arose and lay with her,
which when the young men aforesaid saw, they ran upon them and
seized them,[FN#149] saying, "We will not let you go, for ye are
adulterers, and except we have carnal knowledge of the woman, we
will report you to the police." Answered the man, "Fie upon you!
This is my wife and I am the master of the garden." They paid no
heed to him, but fell upon the woman, who cried out to him for
succour, saying, "Suffer them not to defile me!" Accordingly he
came up to them, calling out for help; but one of them turned on
him and smote him with his dagger and slew him.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after
slaying the husband the two young men returned to the wife and
ravished her. "This I tell thee, O King," continued the Wazir,
"But that thou mayst know that it becometh not men to give ear
unto a woman's talk neither obey her in aught nor accept her
judgment in counsel. Beware, then, lest thou don the dress of
ignorance, after the robe of knowledge and wisdom, and follow
perverse rede, after knowing that which is righteous and
profitable. Wherefore pursue thou not a paltry pleasure, whose
trending is to corruption and whose inclining is unto sore and
uttermost perdition." When the King heard this from Shimas he
said to him, "To-morrow I will come forth to them, an it be the
will of Allah the Most High." So Shimas returned to the Grandees
and Notables who were present and told them what the King had
said. But this came to the ears of the favourite wife; whereupon
she went in to the King and said to him, "The subjects of a King
should be his slaves; but I see, O King, thou art become a slave
to thy subjects, because thou standest in awe of them and fearest
their mischief.[FN#150] They do but desire to make proof of thine
inner man, and if they find thee weak, they will disdain thee;
but, if they find thee stout and brave, they will dread thee. On
this wise do ill Wazirs with their King, for that their wiles are
many; but I will make manifest unto thee the truth of their
malice. An thou comply with the conditions they demand, they will
cause thee cease ruling and do their will; nor will they leave
leading thee on from affair to affair, till they cast thee into
destruction, and thy case will be as that of the Merchant and the
Robbers." Asked the King, "How was that?" and she answered, "I
have heard tell this tale anent

The Merchant and the Robbers.

There was once a wealthy Merchant, who set out for a certain city
purposing to sell merchandise there, and when he came thither, he
hired him a lodging wherein he took up his abode. Now certain
Robbers saw him, men wont to lie in wait for merchants, that they
might rob their goods; so they went to his house and sought some
device whereby to enter in, but could find no way thereto, and
their Captain said, "I'll manage you his matter." Then he went
away and, donning the dress of a leach, threw over his shoulder a
bag containing somewhat of medicines, after which he set out
crying, 'Who lacks a doctor?' and fared on till he came to the
merchant's lodging and him sitting eating the noon-day dinner. So
he asked him, "Dost thou need thee a physician?"; and the trader
answered, "I need naught of the kind, but sit thee down and eat
with me." The thief sat down facing him and began to eat. Now
this merchant was a belle fourchette, and the Robber seeing this,
said to himself, "I have found my chance." Then he turned to his
host and said to him, "'Tis but right for me to give thee an
admonition, and after thy kindness to me, I cannot hide it from
thee. I see thee to be a great eater and the cause of this is a
disorder in thy stomach; wherefore unless thou take speedy
measures for thy cure, thine affair will end in perdition." Quoth
the merchant, "My body is sound and my stomach speedy of
digestion, and though I be a hearty eater, yet is there no
disease in my body, to Allah be the praise and the thanks!" Quoth
the Robber, "It may appear thus unto thee, but I know thou hast a
disease incubating in thy vitals and if thou hearken to me, thou
wilt medicine thyself." The Merchant asked, "And where shall I
find him who knoweth my remedy?"; and the Robber answered, "Allah
is the Healer; but a physician like myself cureth the sick to the
best of his power." Then the other said, "Show me at once my
remedy and give me thereof." Hereupon he gave him a powder,
wherein was a strong dose of aloes,[FN#151] saying, "Use this to-
night;" and he accepted it gratefully. When the night came, the
Merchant tasted somewhat of the powder and found it nauseous of
gust; nevertheless he misdoubted not of it, but swallowed it all
and therefrom found ease that night. Next night the thief brought
him another powder, wherein was yet more aloes and he took it; it
purged him that night, but he bore patiently with this and
rejected it not. When the Robber saw that he gave ear unto his
word and put trust in him nor would gainsay him in aught, he
brought him a deadly drug[FN#152] and gave it to him. The
Merchant swallowed it and no sooner had he done this than that
which was in his stomach fell down and his bowels were rent in
sunder, and by the morrow he was a dead man; whereupon the
Robbers came and took all the merchandise and monies that
belonged to him. "This I tell thee, O King," added the favourite
"but that thou mayst not accept one word from these deluders,
else will there befal thee that whereby thou wilt destroy
thyself." Cried the King, "Thou sayst sooth. I will not go forth
to them." Now when the morning morrowed, the folk assembled
together and repairing to the King's door, sat there the most
part of the day, till they despaired of his coming forth, when
they returned to Shimas and said to him, "O sage philosopher and
experienced master, seest thou not that this ignorant lad cloth
naught but redouble in falsehood to us? Verily 'twere only
reasonable and right to take the Kingdom from him and give it to
another, so our affairs may be ordered and our estates
maintained; but go thou in to him a third time and tell him that
naught hindereth us from rising against him and taking the
Kingship from him but his father's goodness to us and that which
he required from us of oaths and engagements. However, to-morrow,
we will all, to the last of us, assemble here with our arms and
break down the gate of the citadel[FN#153]; and if he come forth
to us and do that which we wish, no harm is yet done[FN#154],
else we will go in to him and slay him and put the Kingdom in the
hand of other than he." So the Wazir Shimas went in to him and
said, "O King, that grovellest in thy gusts and thy lusts, what
is this thou dost with thyself? Would Heaven I wot who seduced
thee thereto! An it be thou who sinnest against thyself, there
hath ceased from thee that which we knew in thee aforetime of
integrity and wisdom and eloquence. Could I but learn who hath
thus changed thee and fumed thee from wisdom to folly and from
fidelity to iniquity and from mildness to harshness and from
acceptation of me to aversion from me! How cometh it that I
admonish thee thrice and thou acceptest not mine admonition and
that I counsel thee rightfully and stir thou gainsayest my
counsel? Tell me, what is this child's play and who is it
prompteth thee thereunto? Know that the people of thy Kingdom
have agreed together to come in to thee and slay thee and give
thy Kingdom to another. Art able to cope with them all and save
thyself from their hands or canst quicken thyself after being
killed? If, indeed, thou be potent to do all this, thou art safe
and hast no occasion for my rede; but an thou have any concern
for thy life and thy kingship, return to thy sound sense and hold
fast thy reign and show forth to the folk the power of thy
prowess and persuade the people with thine excuse, for they are
minded to tear away that which is in thy hand and commit it unto
other, being resolved upon revolt and rebellion, led thereto by
that which they know of thy youth and thy self-submission to
love-liesse and lusts; for that stones, albeit they lie long
underwater, an thou withdraw them therefrom and smite one upon
other, fire will be struck from them. Now thy lieges are many
folk and they have taken counsel together against thee, with a
design to transfer the Kingship from thee to another and
accomplish upon thee whatso they desire of thy destruction. So
shalt thou fare as did the Jackals with the Wolf."----And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Wazir Shimas concluded with saying, "And they shall accomplish
upon thee whatso they desire of thy destruction; so shalt thou
fare as fared the Jackals with the Wolf." Asked the King, "How
was that?" and the Wazir answered, "They tell the following tale

The Jackals and the Wolf.

A pack of Jackals[FN#155] went out one day to seek food, and as
they prowled about in quest of this, behold, they happened upon a
dead camel and said in themselves, "Verily we have found
wherewithal we may live a great while; but we fear lest one of us
oppress the other and the strong bear down the weak with his
strength and so the puny of us perish. Wherefore it behoveth us
seek one who shall judge between us and appoint unto each his
part, so the force full may not lord it over the feeble." As they
consulted together on such subject, suddenly up came a Wolf, and
one of the Jackals said to the others, "Right is your rede; let
us make this Wolf judge between us, for he is the strongest of
beasts and his father was Sultan over us aforetime; so we hope in
Allah that he will do justice between us." Accordingly they
accosted the Wolf and acquainting him with what they had resolved
concerning him said, "We make thee judge between us, so thou
mayst allot unto each of us his day's meat, after the measure of
his need, lest the strong of us bear down the weak and some of us
destroy other of us." The Wolf accepted the governance of their
affairs and allotted to each of them what sufficed him that day;
but on the morrow he said in his mind, "An I divide this camel
amongst these weaklings, no part thereof will come to me, save
the pittance they will assign to me, and if I eat it alone, they
can do me no harm, seeing that they are a prey to me and to the
people of my house. Who, then, is the one to hinder me from
taking it all for myself? Surely, 'tis Allah who hath bestowed it
on me by way of provision without any obligation to any of them.
It were best that I keep it for myself, and henceforth I will
give them naught." Accordingly, next morning when the Jackals
came to him, as was their wont, and sought of him their food,
saying, "O Abu Sirhán,[FN#156] give us our day's
provender,[FN#157]" he answered saying, "I have nothing left to
give you." Whereupon they went away in the sorriest plight,
saying, "Verily, Allah hath cast us into grievous trouble with
this foul traitor, who regardeth not Allah nor feareth Him; but
we have neither stratagem nor strength on our side." Moreover one
of them said, "Haply 'twas but stress of hunger that moved him to
this, so let him eat his fill to-day, and to-morrow we will go to
him again." Accordingly, on the morrow, they again betook
themselves to the Wolf and said to him, "O Father of Foray, we
gave thee authority over us, that thou mightest apportion unto
each of us his day's meat and do the weak justice against the
strong of us, and that, when this provaunt is finished, thou
shouldst do thine endeavour to get us other and so we be always
under thy watch and ward. Now hunger is hard upon us, for that we
have not eaten these two days; so do thou give us our day's
ration and thou shalt be free to dispose of all that remaineth as
thou wilt." But the Wolf returned them no answer and redoubled in
his hardness of heart and when they strave to turn him from his
purpose he would not be turned. Then said one of the Jackals to
the rest, "Nothing will serve us but that we go to the Lion and
cast ourselves on his protection and assign unto him the camel.
If he vouchsafe us aught thereof, 'twill be of his favour, and if
not, he is worthier of it than this scurvy rascal." So they
betook themselves to the Lion and acquainted him with that which
had betided them from the Wolf, saying, "We are thy slaves and
come to thee imploring thy protection, so thou mayst deliver us
from this Wolf, and we will be thy thralls." When the Lion heard
their story, he was jealous for Almighty Allah[FN#158] and went
with them in quest of the Wolf who, seeing him approach addressed
himself to flight; but the Lion ran after him and seizing him,
rent him in pieces and restored their prey to the Jackals. "This
showeth," added Shimas, "that it fitteth no King to neglect the
affairs of his subjects; wherefore do thou hearken to my rede and
give credit to the words which I say to thee." Quoth the King, "I
will hearken to thee and to-morrow, Inshallah, I will go forth to
them." Accordingly Shimas went from him and returning to the
folk, told them that the King had accepted his advice and
promised to come out unto them on the morrow. But, when the
favourite heard this saying reported of Shimas and was certified
that needs must the King go forth to his subjects, she betook
herself to him in haste and said to him, "How great is my wonder
at thy submissiveness and thine obedience to thy slaves! Knowest
thou not that these Wazirs are thy thralls? Why then dost thou
exalt them to this highmost pitch of importance that they imagine
them it was they gave thee this kingship and advanced thee to
this rank and that it is they who confer favours on thee, albeit
they have no power to do thee the least damage? Indeed, 'tis not
thou who owest submission to them; but on the contrary they owe
it to thee, and it is their duty to carry out thine orders. How
cometh it then, that thou art so mightily Frighted at them? It is
said, 'Unless thy heart be like iron, thou art not fit to be a
Sovran.' But thy mildness hath deluded these men, so that they
presume upon thee and cast off their allegiance, although it
behoveth that they be constrained unto thy obedience and enforced
to thy submission. therefore an thou hasten to accept their words
and leave them as they now are and vouchsafe to them the least
thing against thy will, they will weigh heavily upon thee and
require other concessions of thee, and this will become their
habit. But, an thou hearken to me, thou wilt not advance any one
of them to power neither wilt thou accept his word nor encourage
him to presume upon thee, else wilt thou fare with them as did
the Shepherd with the Rogue." Asked the King, "How was that?" and
she answered, "They relate this adventure of

The Shepherd and the Rogue.[FN#159]

There was once a Shepherd, who fed a flock of sheep in the wold
and kept over them strait watch. One night, there came to him a
Rogue thinking to steal some of his charges and, finding him
assiduous in guarding them, sleeping not by night nor neglecting
them by day, prowled about him all the livelong night, but could
plunder nothing from him. So, when he was weary of striving, he
betook himself to another part of the waste and trapping a lion,
skinned him and stuffed his hide with bruised straw[FN#160],
after which he set it up on a high place in the desert, where the
Shepherd might see it and be assured thereof. Then he accosted
the Shepherd and said to him, "Yonder lion hath sent me to demand
his supper of these sheep." The Shepherd asked, "Where is the
lion?" and the Rogue answered, "Lift thine eyes; there he
standeth." So the Shepherd raised his eyes and, seeing the
semblance, deemed it a very lion and was much Frighted;--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Shepherd saw the semblance of the lion, he deemed it a very lion
and was Frighted with the sorest fright, trembling for dread so
he said to the thief, "O my brother take what thou wilt, I will
not gainsay thee." Accordingly the Rogue took what he would of
the sheep and redoubled in greed by reason of the excess of the
Shepherd's fear. Accordingly, every little while, he would hie to
him and terrify him, saying, "The lion hath need of this and
requireth that, and his intent is to do thus and thus," and take
his sufficiency of the sheep; and he stinted not to do thus with
him, till he had wasted the most part of his flock. "This, O
King," added the favourite, "I tell thee only that thou suffer
not the Grandees of thy realm to be deluded by thy mildness and
easiness of temper and presume on thee; and, in right rede, their
death were better than that they deal thus with thee." Quoth the
King, "I accept this thy counsel and will not hearken to their
admonition neither will I go out unto them." On the morrow the
Wazirs and Officers of State and heads of the people assembled;
and, taking each with him his weapon, repaired to the palace of
the King, so they might break in upon him and slay him and seat
another in his stead. When they came to the door, they required
the doorkeeper to open to them; but he refused, whereupon they
sent to fetch fire, wherewith to burn down the doors and enter.
The doorkeeper, hearing what they said went in to the King in
haste and told him that the folk were gathered together at the
gate, adding, "They required me to open to them, but I refused;
and they have sent to fetch fire to burn down the doors withal,
so they may come into thee and slay thee. What dost thou bid me
do?" Quoth the King in himself, "Verily, I am fallen into
uttermost perdition." Then he sent for the favourite; and, as
soon as she came, said to her, "Indeed, Shimas never told me
aught but I found it true, and now great and small are coming
purposing to slay me and thee; and because the doorkeeper would
not open to them, they have sent to fetch fire, to burn the doors
withal; so will the house be burnt and we therein. What dost thou
counsel me to do?" She replied, "No harm shall betide thee, nor
let thine affair affright thee. This is a time when the simple
rise against their Kings." Quoth he, "What dost thou counsel me
to do and how shall I act in this affair?" Quoth she, "My rede is
that thou fillet thy head and feign thyself sick; then send for
the Wazir Shimas, who will come and see the plight wherein thou
art; and do thou say to him, 'Verily I purposed to go forth to
the folk this day; but this malady hindered me. So go thou out to
them and acquaint them with my condition and tell them that to-
morrow I will fare forth without fail to them and do their need
and look into their affairs, so they may be reassured and their
rage may subside.' Then do thou summon ten of thy father's
slaves, stalwart men of strength and prowess, to whom thou canst
entrust thyself, hearing to thy hest and complying with thy
commandment, surely keeping thy secret and fief to thy love; and
charge them on the morrow to stand at thy head and bid them
suffer none of the folk to enter, save one by one; and all who
enter do thou say, 'Seize them and do them die.' An they agree
with thee upon this, to-morrow set up thy throne in the
Divan[FN#161] and open thy doors. When the folk see that thou
hast opened to them, their minds will be set at ease and they
will come to thee with a whole heart and seek admission to thee.
Then do thou admit them, one after one, even as I said to thee
and work with them thy will, but it behoveth thee begin by
slaying Shimas, their chief and leader, for he is the Grand Wazir
and head of the matter. Therefore do him die first and after put
all the rest to death, one after other, and spare none whom thou
knowest to have broken with thee his covenant; and in like way
slaughter all whose violence thou fearest. An thou deal thus with
them, there will be left them no power to make head against thee;
so shalt thou be at rest from them with full repose, and shalt
enjoy thy kingship in peace and do whatso thou wilt, and know
that there is no device that will profit thee more than this."
Quoth the King, "Verily, this thy counsel is just and that which
thou biddest me is to the point and I will assuredly do as thou
directest." So he called for a fillet and bound his head
therewith and shammed sickness. Then he sent for the Grand Wazir
and said to him, "O Shimas, thou knowest that I love thee and
hearken to the counsel of thee and thou art to me as brother and
father both in one; also thou knowest that I do all thou biddest
me and indeed thou badest me go forth to the lieges and sit to
judge between them. Now I was assured that this was right rede on
thy part, and purposed to go forth to them yesterday; but this
sickness assailed me and I cannot sit up. It hath reached me that
the folk are incensed at my failure to come forth to them and are
minded of their mischief to do with me that which is unmeet for
that they know not what ailment aileth me. So go thou forth to
them and acquaint them with my case and the condition I am in,
and excuse me to them, for I am obedient to their bidding and
will do as they desire; wherefore order this affair and engage
thyself for me herefor, even as thou hast been a loyal counsellor
to me and to my sire before me, and it is of thy wont to make
peace between the people. To-morrow, Inshallah, I will without
fail come forth to them, and peradventure my sickness will cease
from me this night, by the blessing of the purest intent and the
good I purpose them in my heart." So Shimas prostrated himself to
Allah and called down blessings on the King and kissed his hand,
rejoicing at this. Then he went forth to the folk and told them
what he had heard from the King and forbade them from that which
they had a mind to do, acquainting them with what excused the
King for his absence and informing them that he had promised to
come forth to them on the morrow and deal with them according to
their desires; whereupon they dispersed and tried them to their
houses.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shimas went
from the presence to the ringleaders of the commons and said to
them, "To-morrow the Sovran will come forth to you and will deal
with you as ye desire." So they tried them to their homes. On
such wise fared it with them; but as regards the Monarch, he
summoned ten slaves of gigantic stature,[FN#162] men of hard
heart and prow of prowess, whom he had chosen from amongst his
father's body guard, and said to them, "Ye know the favour,
esteem and high rank ye held with my sire and all the bounties,
benefits and honours he bestowed on you, and I will advance you
to yet higher dignity with me than this. Now I will tell you the
reason thereof and ye are under safeguard of Allah from me. But
first I will ask you somewhat, wherein if ye do my desire,
obeying me in that which I shall bid you and conceal my secret
from all men, ye shall have of me largesse and favour surpassing
expectation. But above all things obedience!" The ten thralls
answered him with one mouth and in sequent words, saying, "Whatso
thou biddest us, O our liege, that we will do, nor will we depart
in aught from thy commandment, for thou art our lord and master."
Quoth the King, "Allah allot you weal! Now will I tell you the
reason why I have chosen you out for increase of honour with me.
Ye know how liberally my father dealt with the folk of his realm
and the oath he took from them on behalf of me and how they
promised him that they would break faith with me nor gainsay the
bidding of me; and ye saw how they did yesterday, whenas they
gathered all together about me and would have slain me. Now I am
minded to do with them somewhat; and 'tis this, for that I have
considered their action of yesterday and see that naught will
restrain them from its like save exemplary chastisement;
wherefore I perforce charge you privily to do to death whom I
shall point out to you, to the intent that I may ward off
mischief and calamity from my realm by slaying their leaders and
Chiefs; and the manner thereof shall be on this wise. To-morrow I
will sit on this seat in this chamber and give them admission to
me one by one, coming in at one door and going out at another;
and do ye, all ten, stand before me and be attentive to my signs;
and whoso entereth singly, take him and drag him into yonder
chamber and kill him and hide his corpse." The slaves answered,
"We hearken to thy hest and obey thy order." Whereupon he gave
them gifts and dismissed them for the night. On the morrow he
summoned the thralls and bade set up the royal seat; then he
donned his kingly robes and taking the Book of law-cases[FN#163]
in his hands, posted the ten slaves before him and commanded to
open the doors. So they opened the doors and the herald
proclaimed aloud, saying, "Whoso hath authority, let him come to
the King's carpet[FN#164]!" Whereupon up came the Wazirs and
Prefects and Chamberlains and stood, each in his rank. Then the
King bade admit them, one after one, and the first to enter was
Shimas, according to the custom of the Grand Wazir; but no sooner
had he presented himself before the King, and ere he could
beware, the ten slaves get about him, and dragging him into the
adjoining chamber, despatched him. On likewise did they with the
rest of the Wazirs and Olema and Notables, slaying them, one
after other, till they made a clean finish.[FN#165] Then the King
called the headsmen and bade them ply sword upon all who remained
of the folk of velour and stowre; so they fell on them and left
none whom they knew for a man of mettle but they slew him,
sparing only the proletaires and the refuse of the people. These
they drove away and they returned each to his folk, whilst the
King secluded himself with his pleasures and surrendered his soul
to its lusts, working tyranny, oppression and violence, till he
outraced all the men of evil who had forerun him.[FN#166] Now
this King's dominion was a mine of gold and silver and jacinths
and jewels and the neighbouring rulers, one and all, envied him
this empire and looked for calamity to betide him. Moreover, one
of them, the King of Outer Hind, said in himself, "I have gotten
my desire of wresting the realm from the hand of yonder silly
lad, by reason of that which hath betided of his slaughter of the
Chiefs of his State and of all men of velour and mettle that were
in his country. This is my occasion to snatch away that which is
in his hand, seeing he is young in years and hath no knowledge of
war nor judgment thereto, nor is there any left to counsel him
aright or succour him. Wherefore this very day will I open on him
the door of mischief by writing him a writ wherein I will flyte
him and reproach him with that which he hath done and see what he
will reply." So he indited him a letter to the following effect,
"In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate! *
And after * I have heard tell of that which thou hast done with
thy Wazirs and Olema and men of valiancy * and that whereinto
thou hast cast thyself of calamity * so that there is neither
power nor strength left in thee to repel whoso shall assail thee,
more by token that thou transgressest and orderest thyself
tyrannously and profligately * Now Allah hath assuredly given me
the conquering of thee and the mastery over thee and into my hand
hath delivered thee; wherefore do thou give ear to my word and
obey the commandment of me and build me an impregnable castle
amiddlemost the sea * An thou cannot do this, depart thy realm
and with thy life go flee * for I will send unto thee, from the
farthest ends of Hind, twelve hordes[FN#167] of horse, each
twelve thousand fighting men strong, who shall enter thy land and
spoil thy goods and slay thy men and carry thy women into
captivity * Moreover, I will make my Wazir, Badi'a captain over
them and bid him lay strait siege to thy capital till the master
he be; * and I have bidden the bearer of this letter that he
tarry with thee but days three * So, an thou do my demand, thou
shalt be saved; else will I send that which I have said unto
thee." Then he sealed the scroll and gave it to a messenger, who
journeyed with it till he came to the capital of Wird Khan and
delivered it to him. When the King read it, his strength failed
him, his breast waxed strait and he made sure of destruction,
having none to whom he might resort for aid or advice. Presently
he rose and went in to his favourite wife who, seeing him changed
of colour, said to him, "What mattereth thee, O King?" Quoth he,
"This day I am no King but slave to the King." And he opened the
letter and read it to her, whereupon she fell to weeping and
wailing and rending her raiment. Then he asked her, "Hast thou
aught of rede or resource in this grievous strait?"; but she
answered, "Women have no resource in time of war, nor have women
any strength or aught of counsel. 'Tis men alone who in like of
this affair have force and discourse and resource." When the King
heard her words, there befel him the utmost regret and repentance
and remorse for that he had transgressed against his Wazirs and
Officers and Lords of his land,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
King Wird Khan heard the words of his favourite wife there befel
him the utmost regret and repentance for having transgressed
against and slain his Wazirs and the chiefs of his state, and he
would that he had died ere there came to him the like of these
shameful tidings. Then he said to his women, "Verily, there hath
betided me from you that which befel the Francolin and the
Tortoises." Asked they, "What was that?"; and he answered, Men
tell this tale of

The Francolin and the Tortoises.

It is said that sundry Tortoises dwelt once in a certain island
abounding in trees and fruiterers and rills, and it fortuned, one
day, that a Francolin, passing over the island, was overcome with
the fiery heat and fatigue and being in grievous suffering stayed
his flight therein. Presently, looking about for a cool place, he
espied the resort of the Tortoises and alighted down near their
home. Now they were then abroad foraging for food, and when they
returned from their feeding places to their dwelling, they found
the Francolin there. His beauty pleased them and Allah made him
lovely in their eyes, so that they exclaimed "Subhána 'lláh,"
extolling their Creator and loved the Francolin with exceeding
love and rejoiced in him, saying one to other, "Forsure this is
of the goodliest of the birds;" and all began to caress him and
entreat him with kindness. When he saw that they looked on him
with eyes of affection, he inclined to them and companioned with
them and took up his abode with them, flying away in the morning
whither he would and returning at eventide to pass the night by
side of them. On this wise he continued a long while until the
Tortoises, seeing that his daily absence from them desolated them
and finding that they never saw him save by night (for at dawn he
still took flight in haste and they knew not what came of him,
for all that their love grew to him), said each to other,
"Indeed, we love this Francolin and he is become our true friend
and we cannot bear parting from him, so how shall we devise some
device tending to make him abide with us always? For he flieth
away at dawn and is absent from us all day and we see him not
save by night." Quoth one of them, "Be easy, O my sisters; I will
bring him not to leave us for the turn of an eye?" and quoth the
rest, saying, "An thou do this, we will all be thy thralls." So,
when the Francolin came back from his feeding place and sat down
amongst them, that wily Tortoise drew near unto him and called
down blessings on him, giving him joy of his safe return and
saying, "O my lord, know that Allah hath vouch-safed thee our
love and hath in like manner set in thy heart the love of us,
whereby thou art become to us a familiar friend and a comrade in
this desert. Now the goodliest of times for those who love one
another is when they are united and the sorest of calamities for
them are absence and severance. But thou departest from us at
peep of day and returnest not to us till sundown, wherefore there
betideth us extreme desolation. Indeed this is exceeding grievous
to us and we abide in sore longing for such reason." The
Francolin replied, "Indeed, I love you also and yearn for you yet
more than you can yearn for me, nor is it easy for me to leave
you; but my hand hath no help for this, seeing that I am a fowl
with wings and may not wone with you always, because that is not
of my nature. For a bird, being a winged creature, may not remain
still, save it be for the sake of sleep o' nights; but, as soon
as it is day, he flieth away and seeketh his morning-meal in what
place soever pleaseth him." Answered the Tortoise, "Sooth thou
speakest! Nevertheless he who hath wings hath no repose at most
seasons, for that the good he getteth is not a fourth part of
what ill betideth him, and the highmost aims of the creature are
repose and ease of life. Now Allah hath bred between us and thee
love and fellowship and we fear for thee, lest some of thine
enemies catch thee and thou perish and we be denied the sight of
thy countenance." Rejoined the Francolin, "True! But what rede
hast thou or resource for my case?" Quoth the Tortoise, "My
advice is that thou pluck out thy wing-feathers, wherewith thou
speedest thy flight, and tarry with us in tranquillity, eating of
our meat and drinking of our drink in this pasturage, that
aboundeth in trees rife with fruits yellow-ripe and we will
sojourn, we and thou, in this fruitful stead and enjoy the
company of one another." The Francolin inclined to her speech,
seeking ease for himself, and plucked out his wing-feathers, one
by one, in accordance with the rede approved of by the Tortoise;
then he took up his abode with them and contented himself with
the little ease and transient pleasure he enjoyed. Presently up
came a Weasel[FN#168] and glancing at the Francolin, saw that his
wings were plucked, so that he could not fly, whereat he rejoiced
with joy exceeding and said to himself, "Verily yonder Francolin
is fat of flesh and scant of feather." So he went up to him and
seized him, whereupon the Francolin called out to the Tortoises
for help; but when they saw the Weasel rend him, they drew apart
from him and huddled together, choked with weeping for him, for
they witnessed how the beast tortured him. Quoth the Francolin,
"Is there aught with you but weeping?"; and quoth they, "O our
brother, we have neither force nor resource nor any course
against a Weasel." At this the Francolin was grieved and cutting
off all his hopes of life said to them, "The fault is not yours,
but mine own fault, in that I hearkened to you and plucked out my
wing-feathers wherewith I used to fly. Indeed I deserve
destruction for having obeyed you, and I blame you not in aught."
"On like wise," continued the King, "I do not blame you, O women;
but I blame and reproach myself for that I remembered not that ye
were the cause of the transgression of our father Adam, by reason
whereof he was cast out from the Garden of Eden, and for that I
forgot ye are the root of all evil and hearkened to you, in mine
ignorance, lack of sense and weakness of judgment, and slew my
Wazirs and the Governors of my State, who were my loyal advisers
in all mine actions and my glory and my strength against
whatsoever troubled me. But at this time find I not one to
replace them nor see I any who shall stand me in their stead, and
I fall into utter perdition."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King
blamed himself saying, "'Twas I that hearkened to you in mine
ignorance and slew my Wazirs so that now I find none to stand in
their stead, and unless Allah succour me with one of sound
judgment, who shall guide me to that wherein is my deliverance, I
am fallen into utter perdition." Then he arose and withdrew into
his bedchamber, bemoaning his Wazirs and wise men and saying,
"Would Heaven those lions were with me at this time, though but
for an hour; so I might excuse myself unto them and look on them
and bemoan to them my case and the travail that hath betided me
after them!" And he abode all his day sunken in the sea of cark
and care neither eating nor drinking. But as soon as the night
fell dark, he arose and changing his raiment, donned old clothes
and disguised himself and went forth at a venture to walk about
the city, so haply he might hear from any some word of comfort.
As he wandered about the main streets, behold, he chanced upon
two boys who had sought a retired seat by a wall and he observed
that they were equal in age, or about twelve years old. As they
talked together he drew near them whereas he might hear and
apprehend what they said, unseen of them, and heard one say to
the other, "Listen, O my brother, to what my sire told me
yesternight of the calamity which hath betided him in the
withering of his crops before their time, by reason of the rarity
of rain and the sore sorrow that is fallen on this city." Quoth
the other, "Wottest thou not the cause of this affliction?"; and
quoth the first, "No! and, if thou ken it pray tell it me."
Rejoined the other, "Yes, I wot it and will tell it thee. Know
that I have heard from one of my father's friends that our King
slew his Wazirs and Grandees, not for aught of offence done of
them, but only by reason of his love for women and inclination to
them; for that his Ministers forbade him from this, but he would
not be forbidden and commanded to do them die in obedience to his
wives. Thus he slew Shimas my sire, who was his Wazir and the
Wazir of his father before him and the chief of his council; but
right soon thou shalt see how Allah will do with him by reason of
his sins against them and how He shall avenge them of him." The
other boy asked, "What can Allah do now that they are dead?"; and
his fellow answered, "Know that the King of Outer Hind[FN#169]
maketh light of our monarch, and hath sent him a letter berating
him and saying to him, 'Build me a castle amiddlemost the sea, or
I will send unto thee Badi'a my Wazir, with twelve hordes of
horse, each twelve thousand strong, to seize upon thy kingdom and
slay thy men and carry thee and thy women into captivity.' And he
hath given him three days' time to answer after the receipt of
that missive. Now thou must know, O my brother, that this King of
Outer Hind is a masterful tyrant, a man of might and prowess in
fight, and in his realm are much people; so unless our King made
shift to fend him off from himself, he will fall into perdition,
whilst the King of Hind, after slaying our Sovran, will seize on
our possessions and massacre our men and make prize of our
women." When the King heard this their talk, his agitation
increased and he inclined to the boys, saying, "Surely, this boy
is a wizard, in that he is acquainted with this thing without
learning it from me; for the letter is in my keeping and the
secret also and none hath knowledge of such matter but myself.
How then knoweth this boy of it? I will resort to him and talk
with him and I pray Allah that our deliverance may be at his
hand." Hereupon the King approached the boy softly and said to
him, "O thou dear boy, what is this thou sayest of our King, that
he did ill of the evilest in slaying his Wazirs and the Chiefs of
his State? Indeed he sinned against himself and his subjects and
thou art right in that which thou sayest. But tell me, O my son,
whence knowest thou that the King of Outer Hind hath written him
a letter, berating him and bespeaking him with the grievous
speech whereof thou tellest?" The boy replied, "O brother, I know
this from the sand[FN#170] wherewith I take compt of night and
day and from the saying of the ancients, 'No mystery from Allah
is hidden; for the sons of Adam have in them a spiritual virtue
which discovereth to them the darkest secrets.'" Answered Wird
Khan, "True, O my son, but whence learnedest thou geomancy and
thou young of years?" Quoth the boy, "My father taught it me;"
and quoth the King, "Is thy father alive or dead?" "He is dead,"
replied the boy. Then Wird Khan asked, "Is there any resource or
device for our King, whereby to ward off from himself and his
kingdom this sore calamity?" And the boy answered, saying, "It
befitteth not that I speak with thee of this; but, an the King
send for me and ask me how he shall do to baffle his foe and get
free of his snares, I will acquaint him with that wherein, by the
power of Allah Almighty, shall be his salvation." Rejoined Wird
Khan, "But who shall tell the King of this that he may send for
thee and invite thee to him?" The boy retorted, "I hear that he
seeketh men of experience and good counsel, so I will go up with
them to him and tell him that wherein shall be his welfare and
the warding off of this affliction from him; but, an he neglect
the pressing matter and busy himself with his love-liesse among
his women and I go to him of my own accord designing to acquaint
him with the means of deliverance, he will assuredly give orders
to slay me, even as he slew those his Wazirs, and my courtesy to
him will be the cause of my destruction. Wherefore the folk will
think slightly of me and belittle my wit and I shall be of those
of whom it is said, 'He whose science excelleth his sense
perisheth by his ignorance.'" When the King heard the boy's
words, he was assured of his sagacity, and the excellence of his
merit was manifest and he was certified that deliverance would
betide him and his subjects at the boy's hands. So presently he
resumed the colloquy and asked him, "Whence art thou and where is
thy home?"; and the boy answered, "This is the wall of our
house." The King took note of the place and farewelling the boy,
returned to his palace in high spirits. there he changed his
clothes and called for meat and wine, forbidding his women from
him; and he ate and drank and returned thanks to Allah the Most
High and besought Him of succour and deliverance, and he craved
His pardon and forgiveness for that which he had done with his
Wazirs and Olema and turned to Him with sincere repentance,
imposing on himself many a prayer and long fasting, by way of
discipline-vow. On the morrow, he called one of his confidential
eunuchs and, describing to him the boy's home, bade him repair
thither and bring him to his presence with all gentleness.
Accordingly the slave sought out the boy and said to him, "The
King summoneth thee, that good may betide thee from him and that
he may ask thee a question; then shalt thou return safe and sound
to thy dwelling." Asked the boy, "What is the King's need of me
that he biddeth me to him on this wise?", and the eunuch
answered, "My lord's occasion with thee is question and answer."
"A thousand times hearkening and a thousand times obeying the
commandment of the King!" replied the boy and accompanied the
slave to the palace. When he came into the presence, he
prostrated himself before Allah and after salaming, called down
blessings on the King who returned his salutation and bade him be
seated.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
boy appeared before the King and saluted him with the salam, Wird
Khan returned his salutation and bade him be seated. So he sat
down and the King asked him, "Knowest thou who talked with thee
yesternight?" Answered the boy, "Yes," and the King said, "And
where is he?" "'Tis he who speaketh with me at this present,"
said the boy. Rejoined the King, "Thou sayst sooth, O friend,"
and bade set him a chair beside his own, whereon he made him sit
and called for meat and drink. Then they talked awhile and the
King said, "Ho, thou the Wazir,[FN#171] in our talk yesternight
thou toldest me that thou hadst a device whereby thou couldst
defend us from the malice of the King of Hind. What is this
contrivance and how shall we manoeuvre to ward off his mischief
from us? Tell me, that I may make thee chief of those who speak
with me in the realm and choose thee to be my Grand Wazir and do
according to thy judgment in all thou counsellest me and assign
thee a splendid honorarium." Answered the boy, "O King, keep thy
honorarium to thyself and seek counsel and policy of thy women,
who directed thee to slay my father Shimas and the rest of the
Wazirs." When the King heard this, he was ashamed and sighed and
said, "O thou dear boy, was Shimas indeed thy sire?" The boy
replied, "Shimas was indeed my sire, and I am in truth his son."
Whereupon the King bowed his head, whilst the tears ran from his
eyes, and he craved pardon of Allah. Then said he, "O boy, indeed
I did this of my ignorance and by the evil counsel of the women,
for 'Great indeed is their malice'[FN#172]; but I beseech thee to
forgive me and I will set thee in thy father's stead and make thy
rank higher than his rank. Moreover, an thou do away from us this
retribution sent down from Heaven, I will deck thy neck with a
collar of gold and mount thee on the goodliest of steeds and bid
the crier make proclamation before thee, saying, 'This is the
lief[FN#173] boy, the Wazir who sitteth in the second seat after
the King!' And touching what thou sayest of the women, I have it
in mind to do vengeance on them at such time as Almighty Allah
shall will it. But tell me now what thou hast with thee of
counsel and contrivance, that my heart may be content." Quoth the
boy, "Swear to me an oath that thou wilt not gainsay me in whatso
I shall say to thee and that I from that which I fear shall be
safe," and quoth the King, "This is the covenant of Allah between
me and thee, that I will not go from thy word and that thou shalt
be my chief counsellor and whatsoever thou biddest me, that will
I do; and the Almighty Lord is witness betwixt us twain whatso I
say." therewith the boy's breast waxed broad and the field of
speech was opened to him wide and he said, "O King, my rede to
thee is that thou await the expiration of the delay appointed to
thee for answering the courier of the King of Hind, and when he
cometh before thee seeking the reply, do thou put him off to
another day. With this he will excuse himself to thee, on the
ground of his master having appointed him certain fixed days, and
importune for an answer; but do thou rebut him and defer him to
another day, without specifying what day it be. Then will he go
forth from thee an angered and betake himself into the midst of
the city and speak openly among the folk, saying, 'O people of
the city, I am a courier of the King of Outer Hind, who is a
monarch of great puissance and of determination such as softeneth
iron. He sent me with a letter to the King of this city
appointing to me certain days, saying, 'An thou be not with me by
the time appointed, my vengeance shall fall on thee.' Now,
behold, I went in to the King of this city and gave him the
missive, which when he had read, he sought of me a delay of three
days, after which he would return me an answer to the letter, and
I agreed to this of courtesy and consideration for him. When the
three days were past, I went to seek the reply of him, but he
delayed me to another day; and now I have no patience to wait
longer; so I am about to return to my lord, the King of Outer
Hind, and acquaint him with that which hath befallen me; and ye,
O folk, are witnesses between me and him.' All this will be
reported to thee and do thou send for him and speak him gently
and say to him, 'O thou who seekest thine own ruin, what hath
moved thee to blame us among our subjects? Verily, thou deservest
present death at our hands; but the ancients say, 'Clemency is of
the attributes of nobility.' Know that our delay in answering
arose not from helplessness on our part, but from our much
business and lack of leisure to look into thine affair and write
a reply to thy King.' Then call for the scroll and read it again
and laugh loud and long and say to the courier, 'Hast thou a
letter other than this? If so, we will write thee an answer to
that also.' He will say, 'I have none other than this letter';
but do thou repeat thy question to him a second time and a third
time, and he will reply, 'I have none other at all.' Then say to
him, 'Verily, this thy King is utterly witless in that he writeth
us the like of this writ seeking to arouse our wrath against him,
so that we shall go forth to him with our forces and domineer
over his dominions and capture his kingdom. But we will not
punish him this time for his unmannerly manners as shown in this
letter, because he is wanting in wit and feeble of foresight, and
it beseemeth our dignity that we first warn him not to repeat the
like of these childish extravagances, and if he risk his life by
returning to the like of this, he will deserve speedy
destruction. Indeed, methinks this King of thine who sent thee on
such errand must be an ignorant fool, taking no thought to the
issue of things and having no Wazir of sense and good counsel,
with whom he may advise. Were he a man of mind, he had taken
counsel with a Wazir, ere sending us the like of this laughable
letter. But he shall have a reply similar to his script and
surpassing it, for I will give it to one of the boys of the
school to answer.' Then send for me and, when I come to the
presence, bid me read the letter and reply thereto." When the
King heard the boy's speech, his breast broadened and he approved
his proposal and his device delighted him. So he conferred gifts
upon him and installing him in his father's office, sent him away
rejoicing. And as soon as expired the three days of delay which
he had appointed, the courier presented himself and going in to
the King, demanded the answer, but he put him off to another day;
whereupon he went to the end of the carpet-room[FN#174] and spake
with unseemly speech, even as the boy had fore said. Then he
betook himself to the bazar and cried, "Ho, people of this city,
I am a courier of the King of Outer Hind and came with a message
to your monarch who still putteth me off from a reply. Now the
term is past which my master limited to me and your King hath no
excuse, and ye are witnesses unto this." When these words reached
the King, he sent for that courier and said to him, "O thou that
seeketh thine own ruin, art thou not the bearer of a letter from
King to King, between whom are secrets, and how cometh it that
thou goest forth among the folk and publishest Kings' secrets to
the vulgar? Verily, thou meritest retribution from us, but this
we will forbare, for the sake of returning an answer by thee to
this fool of a King of thine; and it befitteth not that any
return to him reply but the least of the boys of the school."
Then he sent for the Wazir's son, who came and prostrating
himself before Allah, offered up prayers for the King's lasting
glory and long life; whereupon Wird Khan threw him the letter,
saying, "Read that letter and write me an acknowledgment thereof
in haste." The boy took the letter and read it, smiled; then he
laughed; then he laughed aloud and asked the King, "Didst thou
send for me to answer this letter?" "Yes," answered Wird Khan,
and the boy said, "O King, me thought thou hadst sent for me on
some grave occasion; indeed, a lesser than I had answered this
letter but 'tis thine to command, O puissant potentate." Quoth
the King, "Write the reply forthright, on account of the courier,
for that he is appointed a term and we have delayed him another
day." Quoth the boy, "With the readiest hearkening and
obedience," and pulling out paper and inkcase[FN#175] wrote as
follows:--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
boy took the letter and read it, he forthright pulled out inkcase
and paper and wrote as follows:--"In the name of Allah the
Compassionating, the Compassionate! Peace be upon him who hath
gotten pardon and deliverance and the mercy of the Merciful! But
after, O thou who pretendest thyself a mighty King and art but a
King in word and not in deed, we give thee to know that thy
letter hath reached us and we have read it and have taken note of
that which is therein of absurdities and peregrine extravagances,
whereby we are certified of thine ignorance and ill-will to us.
Verily, thou hast put out thy hand to that whereunto thou canst
never reach and, but that we have compassion on Allah's creatures
and the lieges, we had not held back from thee. As for thy
messenger, he went forth to the market streets and published the
news of thy letter to great and small, whereby he merited
retaliation from us, but we spared him and remitted his offence,
of pity for him, seeing that he is excusable with thee and not
for aught of respect to thyself. As for that whereof thou makest
mention in thy letter of the slaying of my Wazirs and Olema and
Grandees, this is the truth and this I did for a reason that
arose with me, and I slew not one man of learning but there are
with me a thousand of his kind, wiser than he and cleverer and
wittier; nor is there with me a child but is filled with
knowledge, and I have, in the stead of each of the slain, of
those who surpass in his kind, what is beyond count. Each man of
my troops also can cope with an horde of thine, whilst, as for
monies I have a manufactory that maketh every day a thousand
pounds of silver, besides gold, and precious stones are with me
as pebbles; and as for the people of my possessions I cannot set
forth to thee their goodliness and abundance of means. How darest
thou, therefore, presume upon us and say to us, 'Build me a
castle amiddlemost the main'? Verily, this is a marvellous thing,
and doubtless it ariseth from the slightness of thy wit, for
hadst thou aught of sense, thou hadst enquired of the beatings of
the billows and the waftings of the winds. But wall it off from
the waves and the surges of the sea and still the winds, and we
will build thee the castle. Now as for thy pretension that thou
wilt vanquish me, Allah forfend that such thing should befal, and
the like of thee should lord it over us and conquer our realm!
Nay, the Almighty hath given me the victory over thee, for that
thou hast transgressed against me and rebelled without due cause.
Know, therefore, that thou hast merited retribution from the Lord
and from me; but I fear Allah in respect of thee and thy
subjects[FN#176] and will not take horse against thee except
after warning. Wherefore, an thou also fear Allah, hasten to send
me this year's tribute, else will I not turn from my design to
ride forth against thee with a thousand thousand[FN#177] and an
hundred thousand fighting men, all furious giants on elephants,
and I will range them round about my Wazir and bid him besiege
thee three years, in lieu of the three days' delay thou
appointedst to thy messenger, and I will make myself master of
thy dominion, except that I will slay none save thyself alone and
take captive therefrom none but thy Harim." Then the boy drew his
own portrait in the margin of the letter and wrote thereunder the
words: "This answer was written by the least of the boys of the
school." After this he sealed it and handed it to the King, who
gave it to the courier, and the man, after taking it and kissing
the King's hands went forth from him thanking Allah and the
Sovran for his royal clemency to him and marvelling at the boy's
intelligence. He arrived at the court of the King, his master, on
the third day after the expiration of the term appointed to him,
and found that he had called a meeting of his council, by reason
of the failure of the courier to return at the time appointed. So
he went in to the King and prostrating himself before him, gave
him the letter. The King took it and questioned him of the cause
of his tarrying and how it was with King Wird Khan. So he told
him all he had seen with his own eyes and heard with his own
ears; whereat the King's wit was confounded and he said, "Out on
thee! What tale is this thou tellest me of the like of this
King?" Answered the courier, "O mighty monarch, here am I in thy
presence,[FN#178] but open the letter and read it, and the truth
of my speech will be manifest to thee." So the King opened the
letter and read it and seeing the semblance of the boy who had
written it, made sure of the loss of his kingdom and was
perplexed anent the end of his affair. Then, turning to his
Wazirs and Grandees, he acquainted them with what had occurred
and read to them the letter, whereat they were affrighted with
the sorest affright and sought to soothe the King's terror with
words that were only from the tongue, whilst their hearts were
torn piecemeal with palpitations of alarm. But Badi'a (the Chief
Wazir) presently said, "Know, O King, that there is no profit in
that which my brother Wazirs have proffered, and it is my rede
that thou write this King a writ and excuse thyself to him
therein, saying, 'I love thee and loved thy father before thee
and sent thee not this letter by the courier except only to prove
thee and try thy constancy and see what was in thee of valiancy
and thy proficiency in matters of practick and theorick and skill
in enigmas and that wherewith thou art endowed of all
perfections, So we pray Almighty Allah to bless thee in thy
kingdom and strengthen the defences of thy capital and add to thy
dominion, since thou art mindful of thyself and managest to
accomplish every need of thy subjects'. And send it to him by
another courier." Exclaimed the King, "By Allah of All-might!
'tis a marvel of marvels that this man should be a mighty King
and ready for war, after his slaughter of all the wise men of his
kingdom and his counsellors and the captains of his host and that
his realm should be populous and prosper after this and there
should issue therefrom this prodigious power! But the
marvelousest of all is that the little ones of its schools should
return the like of this answer for its King. Verily, of the
vileness of my greed I have kindled this fire upon myself and
lieges, and I know not how I shall quench it, save by taking the
advice of this my Wazir." Accordingly he get ready a costly
present, with eunuchs and slaves manifold, and wrote the
following reply, "In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the
Compassionate! To proceed: O Glorious King Wird Khan, son of my
dear brother, Jali'ad, may the Lord have mercy on thee and
continue thee! Thine answer to our letter hath reached us and we
have read it and apprehended its contents and see therein that
which gladdeneth us and this is the utmost of that which we
sought of Allah for thee; so we beseech Him to exalt thy dignity
and stablish the pillars of thy state and give thee the victory
over thy foes and those who purpose thee frowardness. Know, O
King, that thy father was my brother and that there were between
us in his lifetime pacts and covenants, and never saw he from me
aught save weal, nor ever saw I from him other than good; and
when he deceased and thou tookest seat upon the throne of his
kingship, there betided us the utmost joy and gladness; but, when
the news reached us of that which thou didst with thy Wazirs and
the Notables of thy State, we feared lest the report of thee
should come to the ears of some King other than ourselves and he
should presume against thee, for that we deemed thee negligent of
thine affairs and of the maintenance of thy defences and
neglectful of the interests of thy kingdom; so we let write unto
thee what should arouse thy spirit. But, when we saw that thou
returnedest us the like of this reply, our heart was set at ease
for thee, may Allah give thee enjoyment[FN#179] of thy kingdom
and stablish thee in thy dignity! And so peace be with thee."
Then he despatched the letter and the presents to Wird Khan with
an escort of an hundred horse,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She continued: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
monarch of Outer Hind, after making ready his presents,
despatched them to King Wird Khan with an escort of an hundred
horse, who fared on till they came to his court and saluting him,
presented letter and gifts. The King read the writ and lodged the
leader of the escort in a befitting place, entreating him with
honour and accepting the presents he presented. So the news of
this was bruited abroad among the folk and the King rejoiced
therein with joy exceeding. Then he sent for the boy, the son of
Shimas, and the Captain of the hundred horse and, entreating the
young Wazir with honour, gave him the letter to read, whilst he
himself blamed the King's conduct to the Captain who kissed his
hands and made his excuses to him, offering up prayers for the
continuance of his life and the permanence of his prosperity. The
King thanked him for this and bestowed upon him honours and
largesse and gave to all his men what befitted them and made
ready presents to send by them and bade the boy Wazir indite an
answer to their King's letter. So the boy wrote a reply, wherein,
after an address[FN#180] beautiful exceedingly, he touched
briefly on the question of reconciliation and praised the good
breeding of the envoy and of his mounted men, and showed it when
duly finished, to the King who said to him, "Read it, O thou dear
boy, that we may know what is written[FN#181] therein." So the
boy read the letter in the presence of the hundred horse, and the
King and all present marvelled at its ordinance of style and
sense. Then the King sealed the letter and delivering it to the
Captain of the hundred horse, dismissed him with some of his own
troops, to escort him as far as the frontier of his country. The
Captain returned, confounded in mind at that which he had seen of
the boy's knowledge and thanking Allah for the speedy
accomplishment of his errand and the acceptance of peace, to the
King of Outer Hind. Then going in to the presence, he delivered
the presents and handed to him the letter, telling him what he
had seen and heard, whereat the King rejoiced with joy exceeding
and rendered lauds to his Lord the Most High and honoured the
Captain commending his care and zeal and advancing him in rank.
And from that hour he woned in peace and tranquillity and all
happiness. As for King Wird Khan, he returned to the paths of
righteousness, abandoning his evil ways and repenting to Allah
with sincere penitence; and he gave up womanising altogether and
applied himself wholly to the ordering of the affairs of his
realm and the governance of his people in the fear of Allah.
Furthermore, he made the son of Shimas, Wazir in his father's
stead, and the chief after himself in his realm and keeper of his
secrets and bade decorate his capital for seven days and likewise
the other cities of his kingdom. At this the subjects rejoiced
and fear and alarm ceased from them and they were glad in the
prospect of justice and equity and instant in prayer for the King
and for the Minister who from him and them had done away this
trouble. Then said the King to the Wazir, "What is thy rede for
the assuring of the state and the prospering of the people and
the return of the realm to its aforetime state as regards
Captains and Councillors?" Answered the boy, "O King of high
estate, in my judgment it behoveth before all, that thou begin by
rending out from thy heart the root of wickedness and leave thy
debauchery and tyranny and addiction to women; for, an thou
return to the root of transgression, the second backsliding will
be worse than the first." The King asked, "And what is the root
of sinfulness that it behoveth me to root out from my heart?";
and was answered by the Wazir, little of years but great of wit,
"O King the root of wickedness is subjection to the desire of
women and inclining to them and following their counsel and
contrivance, for the love of them changeth the soundest wit and
corrupteth the most upright nature, and manifest proofs bear
witness to my saying, wherein an thou meditate them and follow
their actions and consequences with eyes intent, thou wilt find a
loyal counsellor against thy own soul and wilt stand in no need
whatever of my rede. Look, then, thou occupy not thy heart with
the thought of womankind and do away the trace of them from thy
mind, for that Allah the Most High hath forbidden excessive use
of them by the mouth of His prophet Moses, so that quoth a
certain wise King to his son, 'O my son, when thou succeedest to
the kingdom after me, frequent not women overmuch, lest thy heart
be led astray and thy judgment be corrupted, for that overmuch
commerce with them leadeth to love of them, and love of them to
corruption of judgment'. And the proof of this is what befel our
Lord Solomon, son of David, (peace be upon the twain of them!)
whom Allah specially endowed with knowledge and wisdom and
supreme dominion, nor vouchsafed He to any one of the Kings his
predecessors the like of that which He gave him; and women were
the cause of his father's offending. The examples of this are
many, O King, and I do but make mention of Solomon to thee for
that thou knowest that to none was given such dominion as that
with which he was invested, so that all the Kings of the earth
obeyed him. Know then, O King, that the love of women is the root
of all evil and none of them hath any judgment; wherefore it
behoveth a man use them according to his need and not incline to
them with utter inclination for that will cast him into
corruption and perdition. An thou hearken to my words, all thine
affairs will prosper; but, an thou neglect them thou wilt repent,
whenas repentance will not profit thee." Answered the King,
'Verily, I have left my whilome inclination to women.'--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She pursued: It hath reached me, O mighty monarch, that King Wird
Khan said to his Wazir, "Indeed, I have left my whilome
inclination to women and have altogether renounced my infatuation
for them, but how shall I do to punish them in retaliation of
their misdeeds? For the slaying of thy sire Shimas was of their
malice and not of my own will, and I know not what ailed my
reason that I consented with their proposal to slay him " Then he
cried, "Ah me!" and groaned and lamented, saying "Well-away and
alas for the loss of my Wazir and his just judgment and admirable
administration and for the loss of his like of the Wazirs and
Heads of the State and of the goodliness of their apt counsels
and sagacious!" "O King," quoth the boy-minister, "Know that the
fault is not with women alone, for that they are like unto a
pleasing stock in trade, whereto the lusts of the lookers-on
incline. To whosoever lusteth and buyeth, they sell it, but whoso
buyeth not, none forceth him to buy; so that the fault is of him
who buyeth, especially if he know the harmfulness of that
merchandise. Now, I warn thee, as did my sire before me, but thou
acceptedest not to his counsel." Answered the King, "O Wazir,
indeed I have fixed this fault upon myself, even as thou hast
said, and I have no excuse except divine foreordainment."
Rejoined the Wazir, "O King, know that Almighty Allah hath
created us and endowed us with capability and appointed to us
free will and choice; so, if we will, we do, and if we will, we
do not. The Lord commanded us not to do harm, lest sin attach to
us; wherefore it befitteth us to take compt of whatso is right to
do, for that the Almighty biddeth us naught but good in all cases
and forbiddeth us only from evil; but what we do, we do of our
own design, be it fair or faulty." Quoth the King, "Thou sayest
sooth, and indeed my fault arose from my surrendering myself to
my lusts, albeit often and often my better self warned me from
this, and thy sire Shimas also warned me often and often, but my
lust overcame my wits. Hast thou then with thee aught that may
withhold me from again committing this error and whereby my
reason may be victorious over the desires of my soul?" Quoth the
Wazir, "Yes, I can tell thee what will restrain thee from
relapsing into this fault, and it is that thou doff the garment
of ignorance and don that of understanding, and disobey thy
passions and obey thy Lord and revert to the policy of the just
King thy sire, and fulfil thy duties to Allah the Most High and
to thy people and apply thyself to the defence of thy faith and
the promotion of thy subjects' welfare and rule thyself aright
and forbear the slaughter of thy people; and look to the end of
things and sever thyself from tyranny and oppression and
arrogance and lewdness, and practice justice, equity and humility
and bow before the bidding of the Almighty and apply thyself to
gentle dealing with those of His creatures over whom He set thee
and be assiduous as it besitteth thee in fulfilling their prayers
unto thee. An thou be constant herein may thy days be serene and
may Allah of His mercy pardon thee, and make thee loved and
feared of all who look on thee; so shall thy foes be brought to
naught, for the Omnipotent shall rout their hosts and thou shalt
have acceptance with Him and of His creatures be dreaded and to
them endeared." Quoth the King, "Indeed thou hast quickened my
vitals and illumined my heart with thy sweet speech and hast
opened the eyes of my clear seeing after blindness; and I am
resolved to do whatso thou hast set forth to me, with the help of
the Almighty leaving my former case of lust and sinfulness and
bringing forth my soul from durance vile to deliverance and from
fear to safety. So it behoveth thee to be joyful hereat and
contented, for that I am become to thee as a son, maugre my more
of age, an thou to me as a dear father, despite thy tenderness of
years, and it hath become incumbent on me to do mine utmost
endeavour in all thou commandest me. Wherefore I thank the bounty
of Allah and thy bounty because He hath vouchsafed me, by thee,
fair fortune and goodly guidance and just judgment to ward off my
cark and care; and the security of my lieges hath been brought
about by thy hand, through the excellence of thy knowledge and
the goodliness of thy contrivance. And thou, from this hour,
shalt be the counsellor of my kingdom and equal to myself in all
but sitting upon the throne, and whatso thou dost shall be law to
me and none shall disobey thy word, young in years though thou
be, for that thou art old in wit and knowledge. So I thank Allah
who deigned grant thee to me, that thou mayst guide me into the
way of salvation and out of the crooked paths of perdition."
Quoth the Wazir, "O auspicious King, know that no merit is due to
me for giving thee loyal counsel; for that to succour thee by
deed and word is one of the things which is incumbent on me,
seeing that I am but a plant of thy bounty, and not I alone, but
one before me was overwhelmed with thy beneficence, so that we
are both alike partakers in thy honours and favours, and how
shall we not acknowledge this? Moreover thou, O King, art our
shepherd and ruler and he who wardeth off from us our foes, and
to whom are committed our protection and our guardian, constant
in endeavour for our safety. Indeed, though we lavished our lives
in thy service yet should we not fulfil that which is incumbent
on us of gratitude to thee; but we supplicate Allah Almighty, who
hath set thee over us and made thee our ruler, and beseech Him
vouchsafe thee long life and success in all thine enterprises and
not to make trial of thee with afflictions in thy time, but bring
thee to thy desire and make thee to be reverenced till the day of
thy death and lengthen thine arms in generosity, so thou mayst
have command over every wise man and subdue every wicked man and
all the wise and brave be found with thee in thy realm and all
the ignorant and cowardly be plucked out from thy reign; and we
pray Him to withhold from thy people scarcity and calamity and
sow among them the seed of love and friendship and cause them to
enjoy of this world its prosperity and of the next felicity, of
His grace and bounty and hidden mercies. Amen![FN#182] For He is
over all things Omnipotent and there is naught difficult unto
Him, to Him all things tend." When the King heard the Wazir's
prayer, he was mightily rejoiced and inclined to him with his
whole heart, saying, "Know, O Wazir, thou art to me in lieu of
brother and son and father, and naught but death shall divide me
from thee. All that my hand possesseth thou shalt have the
disposal of and, if I have no child to succeed me, thou shalt sit
on my throne in my stead; for thou art the worthiest of all the
folk of my realm, and I will invest thee with my Kingship in the
presence of the Grandees of my state and appoint thee my heir
apparent to inherit the kingdom after me, Inshallah!"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She resumed: It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King
Wird Khan said to the son of Shimas the whilome Wazir, "Presently
I will name thee my successor and make thee my heir apparent, and
I will call the Grandees of mine Empire to witness thereto." Then
he summoned his Secretary and bade him write to all the Lords of
his land, convoking them at his Court, and caused proclamation to
be made in his city to all the townsfolk great and small, bidding
every one of the Emirs and Governors and Chamberlains and other
officers and dignitaries to his presence as well as the Olema and
Literati learned in the law. He held to boot a grand Divan and
made a banquet, never was its like seen anywhere and thereto he
bade all the folk, high and low. So they assembled and abode in
merry making, eating and drinking a month's space, after which
the King clothed the whole of his household and the poor of his
Kingdom and bestowed on the men of knowledge abundant largesse.
Then he chose out a number of the Olema and wise men who were
known to the son of Shimas and caused them go in to him, bidding
him choose out of them six that he might make them Wazirs under
commandment of the boy. Accordingly he selected six of the oldest
of them in years and the best in wits and fullest of lore and the
quickest of memory and judgment and presented them to the King,
who clad them in Wazirial habit saying, "Ye are become my
Ministers, under the commandment of this my Grand Wazir, the son
of Shimas. Whatsoever he saith to you or biddeth you to do, ye
shall never and in no wise depart from it, albeit he is the
youngest of you in years, for he is the eldest of you in
intellect and intelligence." Then he seated them upon chairs,
adorned with gold after the usage of Wazirs, and appointed to
them stipends and allowances, bidding them choose out such of the
notables of the kingdom and officers of the troops present at the
banquet as were aptest for the service of the state, that he
might make them Captains of tens and Captains of hundreds and
Captains of thousands and appoint to them dignities and stipends
and assign them provision, after the manner of Grandees. This
they did with entire diligence and he bade them also handsel all
who were present with large gifts and dismiss them each to his
country with honour and renown; he also charged his governors to
rule the people with justice and enjoined them to be tender to
the poor as well as to the rich and bade succour them from the
treasury, according to their several degrees. So the Wazirs
wished him permanence of glory and continuance of life, and he
commanded to decorate the city three days, in gratitude to Allah
Almighty for mercies vouchsafed to him. Such was the case with
the King and his Wazir, Ibn Shimas, in the ordinance of his
kingdom through his Emirs and Governors; but as regards the
favourite women, wives, concubines and others who, by their
malice and perfidy, had brought about the slaughter of the Wazirs
and had well nigh ruined the realm, as soon as the Court was
dissolved and all the people had departed, each to his own place,
after their affairs had been set in order, the King summoned his
boy-Minister, the son of Shimas, and the other six Wazirs and
taking them apart privily, said to them, "Know, O Wazirs that I
have been a wanderer from the right way, drowned in ignorance,
opposed to admonition, a breaker of facts and promises and a
gainsayer of good counsellors; and the cause of all this was my
being fooled by these women and the wiles whereby they beset me
and the glozing lure of their speech, whereby they seduced me to
sin and my acceptance of this, for that I deemed the words of
them true and loyal counsel, by reason of their sweetness and
softness; but lo, and behold! they were deadly poison. And now I
am certified that they sought but to ruin and destroy me,
wherefore they deserve punishment and retribution from me, for
justice sake, that I may make them a warning to whoso will be
warned. And what say your just judgments anent doing them to
die?" Answered the boy Wazir, "O mighty King, I have already told
thee that women are not alone to blame, but that the fault is
shared between them and the men who hearken to them. However,
they deserve punishment and requital for two reasons: firstly for
the fulfilment of thy word, because thou art the supreme King;
and secondly, by reason of their presumption against thee and
their seducing thee and their meddling with that which concerneth
them not and whereof it befitteth them not even to speak.
Wherefore they have right well deserved death; yet let that which
hath befallen them suffice them, and do thou henceforth reduce
them to servants' estate. But it is thine to command in this and
in other than this." Then one of the Wazirs seconded the counsel
of Ibn Shimas; but another of them prostrated himself before the
King and said to him, "Allah prolong the King's life! An thou be
indeed resolved to do with them that which shall cause their
death, do with them as I shall say to thee." Asked Wird Khan,
"And what is that?"; and the Wazir answered, "'Twere best that
thou bid some of thy female slaves carry the women who played
thee false to the apartment, wherein befel the slaughter of thy
Wazirs and wise men and imprison them there; and bid that they be
provided with a little meat and drink, enough to keep life in
their bodies. Let them never be suffered to go forth of that
place, and whenever one of them dies, let her abide among them,
as she is, till they die all, even to the last of them. This is
the least of their desert, because they were the cause of this
great avail, ay, and the origin of all the troubles and
calamities that have befallen in our time; so shall there be
verified in them the saying of the Sayer, 'Whoso diggeth his
brother a pit shall surely himself fall into it, albeit of long
safety he have benefit.'" The King accepted the Wazir's counsel
and sending for four stalwart female slaves, committed the
offending women to them, bidding them bear them into the place of
slaughter and imprison them there and allow them every day a
little coarse food and a little troubled water. They did with
them as he bade; wherefore the women mourned with sore mourning,
repenting them of that which they had done and lamenting with
grievous lamentation. Thus Allah gave them their reward of
abjection in this world and prepared for them torment in the
world to come; nor did they cease to abide in that murky and
noisome place, whilst every day one or other of them died, till
they all perished, even to the last of them;[FN#183] and the
report of this event was bruited abroad in all lands and
countries. This is the end of the story of the King and his
Wazirs and subjects, and praise be to Allah who causeth peoples
to pass away, and quickeneth the bones that rot in decay; Him who
alone is worthy to be glorified and magnified alway and hallowed
for ever and aye! And amongst the tales they tell is one of


There dwelt once, in Alexandria city, two men, of whom one was a
dyer, by name Abú Kír, and the other a barber Abú Sír[FN#184];
and they were neighbours in the market-street, where their shops
stood side by side.  The dyer was a swindler and a liar, an
exceeding wicked wight, as if indeed his head-temples were hewn
out of a boulder rock or fashioned of the threshold of a Jewish
synagogue, nor was he ashamed of any shameful work he wrought
amongst the folk.  It was his wont, when any brought him cloth
for staining, first to require of him payment under pretence of
buying dyestuffs therewith.  So the customer would give him the
wage in advance and wend his ways, and the dyer would spend all
he received on meat and drink; after which he would sell the
cloth itself as soon as ever its owner turned his back and waste
its worth in eating and drinking and what not else, for he ate
not but of the daintiest and most delicate viands nor brank but
of the best of that which doth away the with of man.  And when
the owner of the cloth came to him, he would say to him, "Return
to me to-morrow before sunrise and thou shalt find thy stuff
dyed."  So the customer would go away, saying to himself, "One
day is near another day," and return next day at the appointed
time, when the dyer would say to him, "Come to-morrow; yesterday
I was not at work, for I had with me guests and was occupied with
doing what their wants required till they went: but to-morrow
before sunrise come and take thy cloth dyed."  So he would fare
forth and return on the third day, when Abu Kir would say to him,
"Indeed yesterday I was excusable, for my wife was brought to bed
in the night and all day I was busy with manifold matters; but
to-morrow, without fail, come and take thy cloth dyed."  When the
man came again at the appointed time, he would put him off with
some other pretence, it mattered little what, and would swear to
him;--Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that every time
the owner of an article came to the dyer he would put him off
with any pretext[FN#185] and would swear to him; nor would he
cease to promise and swear to him, as often as he came, till the
customer lost patience and said, "How often wilt thou say to me,
'To-morrow?'  Give me my stuff: I will not have it dyed."
Whereupon the dyer would make answer, "By Allah, O my brother, I
am abashed at thee; but I must tell the truth and may Allah harm
all who harm folk in their goods!"  The other would exclaim,
"Tell me what hath happened;" and Abu Kir would reply, "As for
thy stuff I dyed that same on matchless wise and hung it on the
drying rope but 'twas stolen and I know not who stole it."  If
the owner of the stuff were of the kindly he would say, "Allah
will compensate me;" and if he were of the ill-conditioned, he
would haunt him with exposure and insult, but would get nothing
of him, though he complained of him to the judge.  He ceased not
doing thus till his report was noised abroad among the folk and
each used to warn other against Abu Kir who became a byword
amongst them.  So they all held aloof from him and none would be
entrapped by him save those who were ignorant of his character;
but, for all this, he failed not daily to suffer insult and
exposure from Allah's creatures.  By reason of this his trade
became slack and he used to go to the shop of his neighbour the
barber Abu Sir and sit there, facing the dyery and with his eyes
on the door.  Whenever he espied any one who knew him not
standing at the dyery-door, with a piece of stuff in his hand, he
would leave the barber's booth and go up to him saying, "What
seekest thou, O thou?"; and the man would reply, "Take and dye me
this thing."  So the dyer would ask, "What colour wilt thou have
it?"  For, with all his knavish tricks his hand was in all manner
of dyes; but he was never true to any one; wherefore poverty had
gotten the better of him.  Then he would take the stuff and say,
"Give me my wage in advance and come to-morrow and take the
stuff."  So the stranger would advance him the money and wend his
way; whereupon Abu Kir would carry the cloth to the market-street
and sell it and with its price buy meat and vegetables and
tobacco[FN#186] and fruit and what not else he needed; but,
whenever he saw any one who had given him stuff to dye standing
at the door of his shop, he would not come forth to him or even
show himself to him.  On this wise he abode years and years, till
it fortuned one day that he received cloth to dye from a man of
wrath and sold it and spent the proceeds.  The owner came to him
every day, but found him not in his shop; for, whenever he espied
any one who had claim against him, he would flee from him into
the shop of the barber Abu Sir.  At last, that angry man finding
that he was not to be seen and growing weary of such work,
repaired to the Kazi and bringing one of his serjeants to the
shop, nailed up the door, in presence of a number of Moslems, and
sealed it, for that he saw therein naught save some broken pans
of earthenware to stand him instead of his stuff; after which the
serjeant took the key, saying to the neighbours, "Tell him to
bring back this man's cloth then come to me[FN#187] and take his
shop key;" and went his way, he and the man.  Then said Abu Sir
to Abu Kir, "What ill business is this?[FN#188] Whoever bringeth
thee aught thou losest it for him.  What hath become of this
angry man's stuff?"  Answered the dyer, "O my neighbour, 'twas
stolen from me."  "Prodigous!" exclaimed the barber.  "Whenever
any one giveth thee aught, a thief stealeth it from thee!  Art
thou then the meeting-place of every rogue upon town?  But I
doubt me thou liest: so tell me the truth."  Replied Abu Kir, "O
my neighbour, none hath stolen aught from me."  Asked Abu Sir,
"What then dost thou with the people's property?"; and the dyer
answered, "Whenever any one giveth me aught to dye, I sell it and
spend the price."  Quoth Abu Sir, "Is this permitted thee of
Allah?" and quoth Abu Kir, "I do this only out of poverty,
because business is slack with me and I am poor and have
nothing."[FN#189]  And he went on to complain to him of the
dulness of his trade and his lack of means.  Abu Sir in like
manner lamented the little profit of his own calling, saying, "I
am a master of my craft and have not my equal in this city; but
no one cometh to me to be polled, because I am a pauper; and I
loathe this art and mystery, O my brother."  Abu Kir replied,
"And I also loathe my own craft, by reason of its slackness; but,
O my brother, what call is there for abiding in this town?  Let
us depart from it, I and thou, and solace ourselves in the lands
of mankind, carrying in our hands our crafts which are in demand
all the world over; so shall we breathe the air and rest from
this grievous trouble."  And he ceased not to commend travel to
Abu Sir, till the barber became wishful to set out; so they
agreed upon their route,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu
Kir ceased not his praises of wayfaring to Abu Sir till the
barber became wishful to depart; so they agreed upon their route,
at which decision Abu Kir rejoiced and improvised these lines,

"Leave thy home for abroad an wouldst rise on high, * And travel
     whence benefits five-fold rise;
The soothing of sorrow and winning of bread, * Knowledge, manners
     and commerce with good men and wise.
An they say that in travel are travail and care, * And disunion
     of friends and much hardship that tries;
Yet to generous youth death is better than life * In the house of
     contempt betwixt haters and spies."

When they agreed to travel together Abu Kir said to Abu Sir, "O
my neighbour, we are become brethren and there is no difference
between us, so it behoveth us to recite the Fátihah[FN#190] that
he of us who gets work shall of his gain feed him who is out of
work, and whatever is left, we will lay in a chest; and when we
return to Alexandria, we will divide it fairly and equally."  "So
be it," replied Abu Sir, and they repeated the Opening Chapter of
the Koran on this understanding.  Then Abu Sir locked up his shop
and gave the key to its owner, whilst Abu Kir left his door
locked and sealed and let the key lie with the Kazi's serjeant;
after which they took their baggage and embarked on the morrow in
a galleon[FN#191] upon the salt sea.  They set sail the same day
and fortune attended them, for, of Abu Sir's great good luck,
there was not a barber in the ship albeit it carried an hundred
and twenty men, besides captain and crew.  So, when they loosed
the sails, the barber said to the dyer, "O my brother, this is
the sea and we shall need meat and drink; we have but little
provaunt with us and haply the voyage will be long upon us;
wherefore methinks I will shoulder my budget and pass among the
passengers, and may be some one will say to me, 'Come hither, O
barber, and shave me,' and I will shave him for a scone or a
silver bit or a draught of water: so shall we profit by this, I
and thou too."  "There's no harm in that," replied the dyer and
laid down his head and slept, whilst the barber took his gear and
water-tasse[FN#192] and throwing over his shoulder a rag, to
serve as napkin (because he was poor), passed among the
passengers.  Quoth one of them, "Ho, master, come and shave me."
So he shaved him, and the man gave him a half-dirham;[FN#193]
whereupon quoth Abu Sir, "O my brother, I have no use for this
bit; hadst thou given me a scone 'twere more blessed to me in
this sea, for I have a shipmate and we are short of provision."
So he gave him a loaf and a slice of cheese and filled him the
tasse with sweet water.  The barber carried all this to Abu Kir
and said, "Eat the bread and cheese and drink the water."
Accordingly he ate and drank, whilst Abu Sir again took up his
shaving gear and, tasse in hand and rag on shoulder, went round
about the deck among the passengers.  One man he shaved for two
scones and another for a bittock of cheese, and he was in demand,
because there was no other barber on board.  Also he bargained
with every one who said to him, "Ho, master, shave me!" for two
loaves and a half dirham, and they gave him whatever he sought,
so that, by sundown, he had collected thirty loaves and thirty
silvers with store of cheese and olives and botargoes.[FN#194]
And besides these he got from the passengers whatever he asked
for and was soon in possession of things galore.  Amongst the
rest he shaved the Captain,[FN#195] to whom he complained of his
lack of victual for the voyage, and the skipper said to him,
"Thou art welcome to bring thy comrade every night and sup with
me and have no care for that so long as ye sail with us."  Then
he returned to the dyer, whom he found asleep; so he roused him;
and when Abu Kir awoke, he saw at his head an abundance of bread
and cheese and olives and botargoes and said, "Whence gottest
thou all this?"  "From the bounty of Allah Almighty," replied Abu
Sir.  Then Abu Kir would have fallen to, but the barber said to
him, "Eat not of this, O my brother; but leave it to serve us
another time; for know that I shaved the Captain and complained
to him of our lack of victual: whereupon quoth he, 'Welcome to
thee!  Bring thy comrade and sup both of ye with me every night.'
And this night we sup with him for the first time."  But Abu Kir
replied, "My head goeth round with sea-sickness and I cannot rise
from my stead; so let me sup off these things and fare thou alone
to the Captain."  Abu Sir replied, "There is no harm in that;"
and sat looking at the other as he ate, and saw him hew off
gobbets, as the quarryman heweth stone from the hill-quarries and
gulp them down with the gulp of an elephant which hath not eaten
for days, bolting another mouthful ere he had swallowed the
previous one and glaring the while at that which was before him
with the glowering of a Ghul, blowing and blowing as bloweth the
hungry bull over his beans and bruised straw.  Presently up came
a sailor and said to the barber, "O craftsmaster, the Captain
biddeth thee come to supper and bring thy comrade."  Quoth the
barber to the dyer, "Wilt thou come with us?"; but quoth he, "I
cannot walk."  So the barber went by himself and found the
Captain sitting before a tray whereon were a score or more of
dishes and all the company were awaiting him and his mate.  When
the Captain saw him he asked, "Where is thy friend?"; and Abu Sir
answered, "O my lord, he is sea-sick."  Said the skipper, "That
will do him no harm; his sickness will soon pass off; but do thou
carry him his supper and come back, for we tarry for thee."  Then
he set apart a porringer of Kabábs and putting therein some of
each dish, till there was enough for ten, gave it to Abu Sir,
saying, "Take this to thy chum."  He took it and carried it to
the dyer, whom he found grinding away with his dog-teeth[FN#196]
at the food which was before him, as he were a camel, and heaping
mouthful on mouthful in his hurry.  Quoth Abu Sir, "Did I not say
to thee, 'Eat not of this'?  Indeed the Captain is a kindly man.
See what he hath sent thee, for that I told him thou wast
sea-sick."  "Give it here," cried the dyer.  So the barber gave
him the platter, and he snatched it from him and fell upon his
food, ravening for it and resembling a grinning dog or a raging
lion or a Rukh pouncing on a pigeon or one well-nigh dead for
hunger who seeing meat falls ravenously to eat.  Then Abu Sir
left him and going back to the Captain, supped and enjoyed
himself and drank coffee[FN#197] with him; after which he
returned to Abu Kir and found he had eaten all that was in the
porringer and thrown it aside, empty.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu
Sir returned to Abu Kir he saw that he had eaten all that was in
the porringer and had thrown it aside empty.  So he took it up
and gave it to one of the Captain's servants, then went back to
Abu Kir and slept till the morning.  On the morrow, he continued
to shave, and all he got by way of meat and drink he gave to his
shipmate, who ate and drank and sat still, rising not save to do
what none could do for him, and every night the barber brought
him a full porringer from the Captain's table.  They fared thus
twenty days until the galleon cast anchor in the harbour of a
city; whereupon they took leave of the skipper and landing,
entered the town and hired them a closet in a Khan.  Abu Sir
furnished it and buying a cooking pot and a platter and
spoons[FN#198] and what else they needed, fetched meat and cooked
it; but Abu Kir fell asleep the moment he entered the
Caravanserai and awoke not till Abu Sir aroused him and set a
tray of food[FN#199] before him.  When he awoke, he ate and
saying to Abu Sir, "Blame me not, for I am giddy," fell asleep
again.  Thus he did forty days, whilst, every day, the barber
took his gear and making the round of the city, wrought for that
which fell to his lot,[FN#200] and returning, found the dyer
asleep and aroused him.  The moment he awoke he fell ravenously
upon the food, eating as one who cannot have his fill nor be
satisfied; after which he went asleep again.  On this wise he
passed other forty days and whenever the barber said to him, "Sit
up and be comfortable[FN#201] and go forth and take an airing in
the city, for 'tis a gay place and a pleasant and hath not its
equal among the cities," he would reply, "Blame me not, for I am
giddy."  Abu Sir cared not to hurt his feelings nor give him hard
words; but, on the forty-first day, he himself fell sick and
could not go abroad; so he engaged the porter of the Khan to
serve them both, and he did the needful for them and brought them
meat and drink whilst Abu Kir would do nothing but eat and sleep.
The man ceased not to wait upon them on this wise for four days,
at the end of which time the barber's malady redoubled on him,
till he lost his senses for stress of sickness; and Abu Kir,
feeling the sharp pangs of hunger, arose and sought in his
comrade's clothes, where he found a thousand silver bits.  He
took them and, shutting the door of the closet upon Abu Sir,
fared forth without telling any; and the doorkeeper was then at
market and thus saw him not go out.  Presently Abu Kir betook
himself to the bazar and clad himself in costly clothes, at a
price of five hundred half-dirhams; then he proceeded to walk
about the streets and divert himself by viewing the city which he
found to be one whose like was not among cities; but he noted
that all its citizens were clad in clothes of white and blue,
without other colour.  Presently he came to a dyer's and seeing
naught but blue in his shop, pulled out to him a kerchief and
said, "O master, take this and dye it and win thy wage."  Quoth
the dyer, "The cost of dyeing this will be twenty dirhams;" and
quoth Abu Kir, "In our country we dye it for two."  "Then go and
dye it in your own country!  As for me, my price is twenty
dirhams and I will not bate a little thereof."  "What colour wilt
thou dye it?"  "I will dye it blue."  "But I want it dyed red."
"I know not how to dye red."  "Then dye it green."  "I know not
how to dye green."  "Yellow."  "Nor yet yellow."  Thereupon Abu
Kir went on to name the different tints to him, one after other,
till the dyer said, "We are here in this city forty masterdyers,
not one more nor one less; and when one of us dieth, we teach his
son the craft.  If he leave no son, we abide lacking one, and if
he leave two sons, we teach one of them the craft, and if he die,
we teach his brother.  This our craft is strictly ordered, and we
know how to dye but blue and no other tine whatsoever."  Then
said Abu Kir, "Know that I too am a dyer and wot how to dye all
colours; and I would have thee take me into thy service on hire,
and I will teach thee everything of my art, so thou mayst glory
therein over all the company of dyers."  But the dyer answered,
"We never admit a stranger into our craft."  Asked Abu Kir, "And
what if I open a dyery for myself?"; whereto the other answered,
"We will not suffer thee to do that on any wise;"  whereupon he
left him and going to a second dyer, made him the like proposal;
but he returned him the same answer as the first; and he ceased
not to go from one to other, till he had made the round of the
whole forty masters; but they would not accept him either to
master or apprentice.  Then he repaired to the Shaykh of the
Dyers and told him what had passed, and he said, "We admit no
strangers into our craft."  Hereupon Abu Kir became exceeding
wroth and going up to the King of that city, made complaint to
him, saying, "O King of the age, I am a stranger and a dyer by
trade"; and he told him whatso had passed between himself and the
dyers of the town, adding, "I can dye various kinds of red, such
as rose-colour and jujubel-colour[FN#202] and various kinds of
green, such as grass-green and pistachio-green and olive and
parrot's wing, and various kinds of black, such as coal-black and
Kohl-black, and various shades of yellow, such as orange and
lemon-colour," and went on to name to him the rest of the
colours.  Then said he, "O King of the age, all the dyers in thy
city can not turn out of hand any one of these tincts, for they
know not how to dye aught but blue; yet will they not admit me
amongst them, either to master or apprentice."  Answered the
King, "Thou sayst sooth for that matter, but I will open to thee
a dyery and give thee capital and have thou no care anent them;
for whoso offereth to do thee let or hindrance, I will hang him
over his shop-door."  Then he sent for builders and said to them,
"Go round about the city with this master-dyer, and whatsoever
place pleaseth him, be it shop or Khan or what not, turn out its
occupier and build him a dyery after his wish.  Whatsoever he
biddeth you, that do ye and oppose him not in aught."  And he
clad him in a handsome suit and gave him two white slaves to
serve him, and a horse with housings of brocade and a thousand
dinars, saying, "Expend this upon thyself against the building be
completed."  Accordingly Abu Kir donned the dress and mounting
the horse, became as he were an Emir.  Moreover the King assigned
him a house and bade furnish it; so they furnished it for
him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King
assigned a house to Abu Kir and bade furnish it and he took up
his abode therein.  On the morrow he mounted and rode through the
city, whilst the architects went before him; and he looked about
him till he saw a place which pleased him and said, "This stead
is seemly;" whereupon they turned out the owner and carried him
to the King, who gave him as the price of his holding, what
contented him and more.  Then the builders fell to work, whilst
Abu Kir said to them, "Build thus and thus and do this and that,"
till they built him a dyery that had not its like; whereupon he
presented himself before the King and informed him that they had
done building the dyery and that there needed but the price of
the dye-stuffs and gear to set it going.  Quoth the King, "Take
these four thousand dinars to thy capital and let me see the
first fruits of thy dyery."  So he took the money and went to the
market where, finding dye-stuffs[FN#203] plentiful and well-nigh
worthless, he bought all he needed of materials for dyeing; and
the King sent him five hundred pieces of stuff, which he set
himself to dye of all colours and then he spread them before the
door of his dyery.  When the folk passed by the shop, they saw a
wonder-sight whose like they had never in their lives seen; so
they crowded about the entrance, enjoying the spectacle and
questioning the dyer and saying, "O master, what are the names of
these colours?"  Quoth he, "This is red and that yellow and the
other green" and so on, naming the rest of the colours.  And they
fell to bringing him longcloth and saying to him, "Dye it for us
like this and that and take what hire thou seekest."  When he had
made an end of dyeing the King's stuffs, he took them and went up
with them to the Divan; and when the King saw them he rejoiced in
them and bestowed abundant bounty on the dyer.  Furthermore, all
the troops brought him stuffs, saying, "Dye for us thus and
thus;" and he dyed for them to their liking, and they threw him
gold and silver.  After this his fame spread abroad and his shop
was called the Sultan's Dyery.  Good came in to him at every door
and none of the other dyers could say a word to him, but they
used to come to him kissing his hands and excusing themselves to
him for past affronts they had offered him and saying, "Take us
to thine apprentices."  But he would none of them for he had
become the owner of black slaves and handmaids and had amassed
store of wealth.  On this wise fared it with Abu Kir; but as
regards Abu Sir, after the closet door had been locked on him and
his money had been stolen, he abode prostrate and unconscious for
three successive days, at the end of which the Concierge of the
Khan, chancing to look at the door, observed that it was locked
and bethought himself that he had not seen and heard aught of the
two companions for some time.  So he said in his mind, "Haply
they have made off, without paying rent,[FN#204] or perhaps they
are dead, or what is to do with them?"  And he waited till
sunset, when he went up to the door and heard the barber groaning
within.  He saw the key in the lock; so he opened the door and
entering, found Abu Sir lying, groaning, and said to him, "No
harm to thee: where is thy friend?"  Replied Abu Sir, "By Allah,
I came to my senses only this day and called out; but none
answered my call.  Allah upon thee, O my brother, look for the
purse under my head and take from it five half-dirhams and buy me
somewhat nourishing, for I am sore anhungered."  The porter put
out his hand and taking the purse, found it empty and said to the
barber, "The purse is empty; there is nothing in it."  Whereupon
Abu Sir knew that Abu Kir had taken that which was therein and
had fled and he asked the porter, "Hast thou not seen my friend?"
Answered the doorkeeper, "I have not seen him these three days;
and indeed methought you had departed, thou and he."  The barber
cried, "Not so; but he coveted my money and took it and fled
seeing me sick."  Then he fell a-weeping and a-wailing but the
doorkeeper said to him, "No harm shall befal thee, and Allah will
requite him his deed."  So he went away and cooked him some
broth, whereof he ladled out a plateful and brought it to him;
nor did he cease to tend him and maintain him with his own monies
for two months' space, when the barber sweated[FN#205] and the
Almighty made him whole of his sickness.  Then he stood up and
said to the porter, "An ever the Most High Lord enable me, I will
surely requite thee of thy kindness to me; but none requiteth
save the Lord of His bounty!"  Answered the porter, "Praised be
He for thy recovery!  I dealt not thus with thee but of desire
for the face of Allah the Bountiful."  Then the barber went forth
of the Khan and threaded the market-streets of the town, till
Destiny brought him to the bazar wherein was Abu Kir's dyery, and
he saw the vari-coloured stuffs dispread before the shop and a
jostle of folk crowding to look upon them.  So he questioned one
of the townsmen and asked him, "What place is this and how cometh
it that I see the folk crowding together?"; whereto the man
answered, saying, "This is the Sultan's Dyery, which he set up
for a foreigner Abu Kir hight; and whenever he dyeth new stuff,
we all flock to him and divert ourselves by gazing upon his
handiwork, for we have no dyers in our land who know how to stain
with these colours; and indeed there befel him with the dyers who
are in the city that which befel."[FN#206] And he went on to tell
him all that had passed between Abu Kir and the master-dyers and
how he had complained of them to the Sultan who took him by the
hand and built him that dyery and give him this and that: brief,
he recounted to him all that had occurred.  At this the barber
rejoiced and said in himself, "Praised be Allah who hath
prospered him, so that he is become a master of his craft!  And
the man is excusable, for of a surety he hath been diverted from
thee by his work and hath forgotten thee; but thou actedst kindly
by him and entreatedst him generously, what time he was out of
work; so, when he seeth thee, he will rejoice in thee and entreat
thee generously, even as thou entreatedst him."  According he
made for the door of the dyery and saw Abu Kir seated on a high
mattress spread upon a bench beside the doorway, clad in royal
apparel and attended by four blackamoor slaves and four white
Mamelukes all robed in the richest of raiment.  Moreover, he saw
the workmen, ten negro slaves, standing at work; for, when Abu
Kir bought them, he taught them the craft of dyeing, and he
himself sat amongst his cushions, as he were a Grand Wazir or a
mighty monarch putting his hand to naught, but only saying to the
men, "Do this and do that."  So the barber went up to him and
stood before him, deeming he would rejoice in him when he saw him
and salute him and entreat him with honour and make much of him;
but, when eye fell upon eye, the dyer said to him, "O scoundrel,
how many a time have I bidden thee stand not at the door of the
workshop?  Hast thou a mind to disgrace me with the folk,
thief[FN#207] that thou art?  Seize him."  So the blackamoors ran
at him and laid hold of him; and the dyer rose up from his seat
and said, "Throw him."  Accordingly they threw him down and Abu
Kir took a stick and dealt him an hundred strokes on the back;
after which they turned him over and he beat him other hundred
blows on his belly.  Then he said to him, "O scoundrel, O
villian, if ever again I see thee standing at the door of this
dyery, I will forthwith send thee to the King, and he will commit
thee to the Chief of Police, that he may strike thy neck.
Begone, may Allah not bless thee!"  So Abu Sir departed from him,
broken-hearted by reason of the beating and shame that had
betided him; whilst the bystanders asked Abu Kir, "What hath this
man done?"  He answered, "The fellow is a thief, who stealeth the
stuffs of folk."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu
Kir beat Abu Sir and thrust him forth he said to those present,
"He is a thief who stealeth the stuffs of folk; he hath robbed me
of cloth, how many a time! and I still said in myself, 'Allah
forgive him!'  He is a poor man; and I cared not to deal roughly
with him; so I used to give my customers the worth of their goods
and forbid him gently; but he would not be forbidden: and if he
come again, I will send him to the King, who will put him to
death and rid the people of his mischief."  And the bystanders
fell to abusing the barber after his back was turned.  Such was
the behaviour of Abu Kir; but as regards Abu Sir, he returned to
the Khan, where he sat pondering that which the dyer had done by
him and he remained seated till the burning of the beating
subsided, when he went out and walked about the markets of the
city.  Presently, he bethought him to go to the Hammam bath; so
he said to one of the townsfolk, "O my brother, which is the way
to the Baths?"  Quoth the man, "And what manner of thing may the
Baths be?" and quoth Abu Sir, "'Tis a place where people wash
themselves and do away their dirt and defilements, and it is of
the best of the good things of the world."  Replied the townsman,
"Get thee to the sea," but the barber rejoined, "I want the
Hammam-baths."  Cried the other, "We know not what manner of this
is the Hammam, for we all resort to the sea; even the King, when
he would wash, betaketh himself to the sea."  When Abu Sir was
assured that there was no bath in the city and that the folk knew
not the Baths nor the fashion thereof, he betook himself to the
King's Divan and kissing ground between his hands called down
blessings on him and said, "I am a stranger and a Bath-man by
trade, and I entered thy city and thought to go to the Hammam;
but found not one therein.  How cometh a city of this comely
quality to lack a Hammam, seeing that the bath is of the highest
of the delights of this world?"  Quoth the King, "What manner of
thing is the Hammam?"  So Abu Sir proceeded to set forth to him
the quality of the bath, saying, "Thy capital will not be a
perfect city till there be a Hammam therein."  "Welcome to thee!"
said the King and clad him in a dress that had not its like and
gave him a horse and two blackamoor slaves, presently adding four
handmaids and as many white Mamelukes: he also appointed him a
furnished house and honoured him yet more abundantly than he had
honoured the dyer.  After this he sent builders with him saying
to them, "Build him a Hammam in what place soever shall please
him."  So he took them and went with them through the midst of
the city, till he saw a stead that suited him.  He pointed it out
to the builders and they set to work, whilst he directed them,
and they wrought till they builded him a Hammam that had not its
like.  Then he bade them paint it, and they painted it rarely, so
that it was a delight to the beholders; after which Abu Sir went
up to the King and told him that they had made an end of building
and decorating the Hammam, adding, "There lacketh naught save the
furniture."  The King gave him ten thousand dinars wherewith he
furnished the Bath and ranged the napkins on the ropes; and all
who passed by the door stared at it and their mind confounded at
its decorations.  So the people crowded to this spectacle, whose
like they had never in their lives seen, and solaced themselves
by staring at it and saying, "What is this thing?"  To which Abu
Sir replied, "This is a Hammam;" and they marvelled thereat.
Then he heated water and set the bath aworking,[FN#208] and he
made a jetting fountain in the great basin, which ravished the
wit of all who saw it of the people of the city.  Furthermore, he
sought of the King ten Mamelukes not yet come to manhood, and he
gave him ten boys like moons; whereupon Abu Sir proceeded to
shampoo them, saying, "Do in this wise with the bathers."  Then
he burnt perfumes and sent out a crier to cry aloud in the city,
saying, "O creatures of Allah, get ye to the Baths which be
called the Sultan's Hammam!"  So the lieges came thither and Abu
Sir bade the slave-boys wash their bodies.  The folk went down
into the tank and coming forth, seated themselves on the raised
pavement, whilst the boys shampooed them, even as Abu Sir had
taught them; and they continued to enter the Hammam and do their
need therein gratis and go out, without paying, for the space of
three days.  On the fourth day the barber invited the King, who
took horse with his Grandees and rode to the Baths, where he put
off his clothes and entered; then Abu Sir came in to him and
rubbed his body with the bag-gloves, peeling from his skin
dirt-rolls like lamp-wicks and showing them to the King, who
rejoiced therein, and clapping his hand upon his limbs heard them
ring again for very smoothness and cleanliness[FN#209]; after
which thorough washing Abu Sir mingled rose-water with the water
of the tank and the King went down therein.  When he came forth,
his body was refreshed and he felt a lightness and liveliness
such as he had never known in his life.  Then the barber made him
sit on the dais and the boys proceeded to shampoo him, whilst the
censers fumed with the finest lign-aloes.[FN#210] Then said the
King, "O master is this the Hammam?"; and Abu Sir said, "Yes."
Quoth the King, "As my head liveth, my city is not become a city
indeed but by this Bath," presently adding, "But what pay takest
thou for each person?"  Quoth Abu Sir, "That which thou biddest
will I take;" whereupon the King cried, "Take a thousand gold
pieces for every one who washeth in thy Hammam."  Abu Sir,
however, said, "Pardon, O King of the age!  All men are not
alike, but there are amongst them rich and poor, and if I take of
each a thousand dinars, the Hammam will stand empty, for the poor
man cannot pay this price."  Asked the King, "How then wilt thou
do for the price!"; and the barber answered, "I will leave it to
their generosity.[FN#211]  Each who can afford aught shall pay
that which his soul grudgeth not to give, and we will take from
every man after the measure of his means.  On this wise will the
folk come to us and he who is wealthy shall give according to his
station and he who is wealth-less shall give what he can afford.
Under such condition the Hammam will still be at work and prosper
exceedingly; but a thousand dinars is a Monarch's gift, and not
every man can avail to this."  The Lords of the Realm confirmed
Abu Sir's words, saying, "This is the truth, O King of the age!
Thinkest thou that all folk are like unto thee, O glorious
King[FN#212]?"  The King replied, "Ye say sooth; but this man is
a stranger and poor and 'tis incumbent on us to deal generously
with him, for that he hath made in our city this Hammam whose
like we have never in our lives seen and without which our city
were not adorned nor hath gotten importance; wherefore, an we
favour him with increase of fee 'twill not be much."  But the
Grandees said, "An thou wilt guerdon him be generous with thine
own monies, and let the King's bounty be extended to the poor by
means of the low price of the Hammam, so the lieges may bless
thee; but, as for the thousand dinars, we are the Lords of thy
Land, yet do our souls grudge to pay it; and how then should the
poor be pleased to afford it?"  Quoth the King, "O my Grandees,
for this time let each of you give him an hundred dinars and a
Mameluke, a slave girl and a blackamoor;" and quoth they, "'Tis
well; we will give it; but after to-day whoso entereth shall give
him only what he can afford, without grudging."  "No harm in
that," said the King; and they gave him the thousand gold pieces
and three chattels.  Now the number of the Nobles who were washed
with the King that day was four hundred souls;--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
number of the Nobles who were washed with the King that day were
four hundred souls; so that the total of that which they gave him
was forty thousand dinars, besides four hundred Mamelukes and a
like number of negroes and slave-girls.[FN#213]  Moreover the
King gave him ten thousand dinars, besides ten white slaves and
ten hand-maidens and a like number of blackamoors; whereupon
coming forward Abu Sir kissed the ground before him and said, "O
auspicious Sovereign, lord of justice, what place will contain me
all these women and slaves?"  Quoth the King, "O weak o wit, I
bade not my nobles deal thus with thee but that we might gather
together unto thee wealth galore; for may be thou wilt bethink
thee of thy country and family and repine for them and be minded
to return to thy mother-land; so shalt thou take from our country
muchel of money to maintain thyself withal, what while thou
livest in thine own country."  And quoth Abu Sir, "O King of the
age, (Allah advance thee!) these white slaves and women and
negroes befit only Kings and hadst thou ordered me ready money,
it were more profitable to me than this army; for they must eat
and drink and dress, and whatever betideth me of wealth, it will
not suffice for their support."  The King laughed and said, "By
Allah thou speakest sooth!  They are indeed a mighty host, and
thou hast not the wherewithal to maintain them; but wilt thou
sell them to me for an hundred dinars a head?"  Said Abu Sir, "I
sell them to thee at that price."  So the King sent to his
treasurer for the coin and he brought it and gave Abu Sir the
whole of the price without abatement[FN#214] and in full tale;
after which the King restored the slaves take them; for they are
a gift from me to you."  So they obeyed his bidding and took each
what belonged to him; whilst Abu Sir said to the King, "Allah
ease thee, O King of the age, even as thou hast eased me of these
Ghuls, whose bellies none may fill save Allah[FN#215]!"  The King
laughed, and said he spake sooth; then, taking the Grandees of
his Realm from the Hammam returned to his palace; but the barber
passed the night in counting out his gold and laying it up in
bags and sealing them; and he had with him twenty black slaves
and a like number of Mamelukes and four slave girls to serve him.
Now when morning morrowed, he opened the Hammam and sent out a
crier to cry, saying, "Whoso entereth the Baths and washeth shall
give that which he can afford and which his generosity requireth
him to give."  Then he seated himself by the pay-chest[FN#216]
and customers flocked in upon him, each putting down that which
was easy to him, nor had eventide evened ere the chest was full
of the good gifts of Allah the Most High.  Presently the Queen
desired to go to the Hammam, and when this came to Abu Sir's
knowledge, he divided the day on her account into two parts,
appointing that between dawn and noon to men and that between
midday and sundown to women.[FN#217]  As soon as the Queen came,
he stationed a handmaid behind the pay-chest; for he had taught
four slave-girls the service of the Hammam, so that they were
become expert bathwomen and tire-women.  When the Queen entered,
this pleased her and her breast waxed broad and she laid down a
thousand dinars.  Thus his report was noised abroad in the city,
and all who entered the bath he entreated with honour, were they
rich or poor; good came in upon him at every door and he made
acquaintance with the royal guards and got him friends and
intimates.  The King himself used to come to him one day in every
week, leaving with him a thousand dinars and the other days were
for rich and poor alike; and he was wont to deal courteously with
the folk and use them with the utmost respect.  It chanced that
the King's sea-captain came in to him one day in the bath; so Abu
Sir did off his dress and going in with him, proceeded to shampoo
him and entreated him with exceeding courtesy.  When he came
forth, he made him sherbet and coffee; and when he would have
given him somewhat, he swore that he would not accept him from
aught.  So the captain was under obligation to him, by reason of
his exceeding kindness and courtesy and was perplexed how to
requite the bath-man his generous dealing.  Thus fared it with
Abu Sir: but as regards Abu Kir, hearing all the people
recounting wonders of the Baths and saying, "Verily, this Hammam
is the Paradise of this world!  Inshallah, O such an one, thou
shalt go with us to-morrow to this delightful bath," he said to
himself, "Needs must I fare like the rest of the world, and see
this bath that hath taken folk's wits."  So he donned his richest
dress and mounting a she-mule and bidding the attendance of four
white slaves and four blacks, walking before and behind him, he
rode to the Hammam.  When he alighted at the door, he smelt the
scent of burning aloes-wood and found people going in and out and
the benches full of great and small.  So he entered the vestibule
and saw Abu Sir, who rose to him and rejoiced in him: but the
dyer said to him, "Is this the way of well-born men?  I have
opened me a dyery and am become master-dyer of the city and
acquainted with the King and have risen to prosperity and
authority: yet camest thou not to me nor askest of me nor saidst,
Where's my comrade?  For my part I sought thee in vain and sent
my slaves and servants to make search for thee in all the Khans
and other places; but they knew not whither thou hadst gone, nor
could any one give me tidings of thee."  Said Abu Sir, "Did I not
come to thee and didst thou not make me out a thief and bastinado
me and dishonour me before the world?"  At this Abu Kir made a
show of concern and asked, "What manner of talk is this?  Was it
thou whom I beat?"; and Abu Sir answered, "Yes, 'twas I."
Whereupon Abu Kir swore to him a thousand oaths that he knew him
not and said, "There was a fellow like thee, who used to come
every day and steal the people's stuff, and I took thee for him."
And he went on to pretend penitence, beating hand upon hand and
saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great?  Indeed we have sinned against thee; but
would that thou hadst discovered thyself to me and said, I am
such an one!  Indeed the fault is with thee, for that thou madest
not thyself known unto me, more especially seeing that I was
distracted for much business."  Replied Abu Sir, "Allah pardon
thee,[FN#218] O my comrade!  This was foreordained in the Secret
Purpose, and reparation is with Allah.  Enter and put off thy
clothes and bathe at thine ease."  Said the dyer, "I conjure
thee, by Allah, O my brother, forgive me!"; and said Abu Sir,
"Allah acquit thee of blame and forgive thee!  Indeed this thing
was decreed to me from all eternity."  Then asked Abu Kir,
"Whence gottest thou this high degree?"; and answered Abu Sir,
"He who prospered thee prospered me; for I went up to the King
and described to him the fashion of the Hammam and he bade me
build one."  And the dyer said, "Even as thou art beknown of the
King, so also am I;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu
Kir and Abu Sir were exchanging reproof and excuse, the dyer said
to him, "Even as thou art beknown of the King, so also am I; and,
Inshallah,-God willing-I will make him love and favour thee more
than ever, for my sake, he knoweth not that thou art my comrade,
but I will acquaint him of this and commend thee to him."  But
Abu Sir said, "There needeth no commendation; for He who moveth
man's heart to love still liveth; and indeed the King and all his
court affect me and have given me this and that."  And he told
him the whole tale and said to him, "Put off thy clothes behind
the chest and enter the Hammam, and I will go in with thee and
rub thee down with the glove."  So he doffed his dress and Abu
Sir, entering the bath with him, soaped him and gloved him and
then dressed him and busied himself with his service till he came
forth, when he brought him dinner and sherbets, whilst all the
folk marvelled at the honour he did him.  Then Abu Kir would have
given him somewhat; but he swore that he would not accept aught
from him and said to him, "Shame upon such doings!  Thou art my
comrade, and there is no difference between us."  Then Abu Kir
observed, "By Allah, O my comrade, this is a mighty fine Hammam
of thine, but there lacketh somewhat in its ordinance."  Asked
Abu Sir, "And what is that?" and Abu Kir answered, "It is the
depilatory,[FN#219] to wit, the paste compounded of yellow
arsenic and quicklime which removeth the hair with comfort.  Do
thou prepare it and next time the King cometh, present it to him,
teaching him how he shall cause the hair to fall off by such
means, and he will love thee with exceeding love and honour
thee."  Quoth Abu Sir, "Thou speakest sooth, and Inshallah, I
will at once make it."  Then Abu Kir left him and mounted his
mule and going to the King said to him, "I have a warning to give
thee, O King of the age!"  "And what is thy warning?" asked the
King; and Abu Kir answered, "I hear that thou hast built a
Hammam."  Quoth the King, "Yes: there came to me a stranger and I
builded the Baths for him, even as I builded the dyery for thee;
and indeed 'tis a mighty fine Hammam and an ornament to my city;"
and he went on to describe to him the virtues of the bath.  Quoth
the dyer, "Hast thou entered therein?"; and quoth the King,
"Yes."  Thereupon cried Abu Kir, "Alhamdolillah-praised be
God,-who save thee from the mischief of yonder villain and foe of
the Faith, I mean the bathkeeper!"  The King enquired, "And what
of him?"; and Abu Kir replied, "Know, O King of the age that, an
thou enter the Hammam again, after this day, thou wilt surely
perish."  "How so?" said the King; and the dyer said, "This
bath-keeper is thy foe and the foe of the Faith, and he induced
thee not to stablish this Bath but because he designed therein to
poison thee.  He hath made for thee somewhat and he will present
it to thee when thou enterest the Hammam, saying, 'This is a drug
which, if one apply to his parts below the waist, will remove the
hair with comfort.'  Now it is no drug, but a drastic dreg and a
deadly poison; for the Sultan of the Christians hath promised
this obscene fellow to release to him his wife and children, an
he will kill thee; for they are prisoners in the hands of that
Sultan.  I myself was captive with him in their land, but I
opened a dyery and dyed for them various colours, so that they
conciliated the King's heart to me and he bade me ask a boon of
him.  I sought of him freedom and he set me at liberty, whereupon
I made my way to this city and seeing yonder man in the Hammam,
said to him, 'How didst thou effect thine escape and win free
with thy wife and children?'  Quoth he, 'We ceased not to be in
captivity, I and my wife and children, till one day the King of
the Nazarenes held a court whereat I was present, amongst a
number of others; and as I stood amongst the folk, I heard them
open out on the Kings and name them, one after other, till they
came to the name of the King of this city, whereupon the King of
the Christians cried out 'Alas!' and said, 'None vexeth
me[FN#220] in the world, but the King of such a city![FN#221]
Whosoever will contrive me his slaughter I will give him all he
shall ask.'  So I went up to him and said, 'An I compass for thee
his slaughter, wilt thou set me free, me and my wife and my
children?'  The King replied 'Yes; and I will give thee to boot
whatso thou shalt desire.'  So we agreed upon this and he sent me
in a galleon to this city, where I presented myself to the King
and he built me this Hammam.  Now, therefore, I have nought to do
but to slay him and return to the King of the Nazarenes, that I
may redeem my children and my wife and ask a boon of him.'  Quoth
I, "And how wilt thou go about to kill him?'; and quoth he, 'By
the simplest of all devices; for I have compounded him somewhat
wherein is poison; so, when he cometh to the bath, I shall say to
him, 'Take this paste and anoint therewith thy parts below the
waist for it will cause the hair[FN#222] to drop off.'  So he
will take it and apply it to himself and the poison will work in
him a day and a night, till it reacheth his heart and destroyeth
him; and meanwhile I shall have made off and none will know that
it was I slew him.'"  "When I heard this," added Abu Kir, "I
feared for thee, my benefactor, wherefore I have told thee of
what is doing."  As soon as the King heard the dyer's story, he
was wroth with exceeding wrath and said to him, "Keep this
secret."  Then he resolved to visit the Hammam, that he might
dispel doubt by supplying certainty; and when he entered, Abu Sir
doffed his dress and betaking himself as of wont to the service
of the King, proceeded to glove him; after which he said to him,
"O King of the age, I have made a drug which assisteth in
plucking out the lower hair."  Cried the King, "Bring it to me":
so the barber brought it to him and the King, finding it nauseous
of smell, was assured that it was poison; wherefore he was
incensed and called out to his guards, saying, "Seize him!"
Accordingly they seized him and the King donned his dress and
returned to his palace, boiling with fury, whilst none knew the
cause of his indignation; for, of the excess of his wrath he had
acquainted no one therewith and none dared ask him.  Then he
repaired to the audience-chamber and causing Abu Sir to be
brought before him, with his elbows pinioned, sent for his
Sea-captain and said to him, "Take this villain and set him in a
sack with two quintals of lime unslacked and tie its mouth over
his head.  Then lay him in a cock-boat and row out with him in
front of my palace, where thou wilt see me sitting at the
lattice.  Do thou say to me, 'Shall I cast him in?' and if I
answer, 'Cast him!' throw the sack into the sea, so the
quick-lime may be slaked on him to the intent that he shall die
drowned and burnt."[FN#223] "Hearkening and obeying;" quoth the
Captain and taking Abu Sir from the presence carried him to an
island facing the King's palace, where he said to him, "Ho thou,
I once visited thy Hammam and thou entreatedst me with honour and
accomplishedst all my needs and I had great pleasure of thee:
moreover, thou swarest that thou wouldst take no pay of me, and I
love thee with a great love.  So tell me how the case standeth
between thee and the King and what abominable deed thou hast done
with him that he is wroth with thee and hath commanded me that
thou shouldst die this foul death."  Answered Abu Sir, "I have
done nothing, nor weet I of any crime I have committed against
him which meriteth this!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Sea-captain asked Abu Sir the cause of the King's wrath with him,
he replied, "By Allah, O my brother I have committed no crime
against him which meriteth this!"  Rejoined the Captain, "Verily,
thou wast high in rank with the King, such as none ever won
before thee, and all who are prosperous are envied.  Haply some
one was jealous of thy good fortune and threw out certain hints
concerning thee to the King, by reason whereof he is become
enraged against thee with rage so violent: but be of good cheer;
no harm shall befal thee; for, even as thou entreatedst me
generously, without acquaintanceship between me and thee, so now
I will deliver thee.  But, an if I release thee, thou must abide
with me on this island till some galleon sail from our city to
thy native land, when I will send thee thither therein."  Abu Sir
kissed his hand and thanked him for that; after which the Captain
fetched the quicklime and set it in a sack, together with a great
stone, the size of a man, saying, "I put my trust in
Allah!"[FN#224] Then he gave the barber a net, saying, "Cast this
net into the sea, so haply thou mayst take somewhat of fish.  For
I am bound to supply the King's kitchen with fish every day; but
to-day I have been distracted from fishing by this calamity which
hath befallen thee, and I fear lest the cook's boys come to me in
quest of fish and find none.  So, an thou take aught, they will
find it and thou wilt veil my face,[FN#225] whilst I go and play
off my practice in front of the palace and feign to cast thee
into the sea."  Answered Abu Sir, "I will fish the while; go thou
and God help thee!"  So the Captain set the sack in the boat and
paddled till he came under the palace, where he saw the King
seated at the lattice and said to him, "O King of the age, shall
I cast him in?"  "Cast him!" cried the King, and signed to him
with his hand, when lo and behold!; something flashed like leven
and fell into the sea.  Now that which had fallen into the water
was the King's seal-ring; and the same was enchanted in such way
that, when the King was wroth with any one and was minded to slay
him, he had but to sign to him with his right hand, whereon was
the signet-ring, and therefrom issued a flash of lightning, which
smote the object, and thereupon his head fell from between his
shoulders; and the troops obeyed him not, nor did he overcome the
men of might save by means of the ring.  So, when it dropped from
his finger, he concealed the matter and kept silence, for that
dared not say, "My ring is fallen into the sea," for fear of the
troops, lest they rise against him and slay him.  On this wise it
befel the King; but as regards Abu Sir, after the Captain had
left him on the island he took the net and casting it into the
sea presently drew it up full of fish; nor did he cease to throw
it and pull it up full, till there was a great mound of fish
before him.  So he said in himself, "By Allah, his long while I
have not eaten fish!"; and chose himself a large fat fish,
saying, "When the Captain cometh back, I will bid him fry it for
me, so I may dine on it."  Then he cut its throat with a knife he
had with him; but the knife stuck in its gills and there he saw
the King's signet-ring; for the fish had swallowed it and Destiny
had driven it to that island, where it had fallen into the net.
He took the ring and drew it on his little finger,[FN#226] not
knowing its peculiar properties.  Presently, up came two of the
cook's boys in quest of fish and seeing Abu Sir, said to him, "O
man, whither is the Captain gone?"  "I know not," said he and
signed to them with his right hand; when, behold, the heads of
both underlings dropped off from between their shoulders.  At
this Abu Sir was amazed and said, "Would I wot who slew them!"
And their case was grievous to him and he was still pondering it,
when the Captain suddenly returned and seeing the mound of fishes
and two men lying dead and the seal-ring on Abu Sir's finger,
said to him, "O my brother, move not thy hand whereon is the
signet-ring; else thou wilt kill me."  Abu Sir wondered at this
speech and kept his hand motionless; whereupon the Captain came
up to him and said, "Who slew these two men?"  "By Allah, O my
brother I wot not!"  "Thou sayst sooth; but tell me whence hadst
thou that ring?"  "I found it in this fish's gills."  "True,"
said the Captain, "for I saw it fall flashing from the King's
palace and disappear in the sea, what time he signed towards
thee,[FN#227] saying, Cast him in.  So I cast the sack into the
water, and it was then that the ring slipped from his finger and
fell into the sea, where this fish swallowed it, and Allah drave
it to thee, so that thou madest it thy prey, for this ring was
thy lot; but kennest thou its property?"  Said Abu Sir, "I knew
not that it had any properties peculiar to it;" and the Captain
said, "Learn, then, that the King's troops obey him not save for
fear of this signet-ring, because it is spelled, and when he was
wroth with any one and had a mind to kill him, he would sign at
him therewith and his head would drop from between his shoulders;
for there issued a flash of lightning from the ring and its ray
smote the object of his wrath, who died forthright."  At this,
Abu Sir rejoiced with exceeding joy and said to the Captain,
"Carry me back to the city;" and he said, "That will I, now that
I no longer fear for thee from the King; for, wert thou to sign
at him with thy hand, purposing to kill him, his head would fall
down between thy hands; and if thou be minded to slay him and all
his host, thou mayst slaughter them without let or hindrance."
So saying, he embarked him in the boat and bore him back to the
city;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Captain embarked with Abu Sir he bore him back to the city, so
Abu Sir landed and going up to the palace, entered the
council-chamber, where he found the King seated facing his
officers, in sore cark and care by reason of the seal-ring and
daring not tell any of his folk anent its loss.  When he saw Abu
Sir, he said to him, "Did we not cast thee into the sea?  How
hast thou contrived to come forth of it?"  Abu Sir replied, "O
King of the age, whenas thou badest throw me into the sea, thy
Captain carried me to an island and asked me of the cause of thy
wrath against me, saying, 'What hast thou done with the King,
that he should decree thy death?' I answered, 'By Allah, I know
not that I have wrought him any wrong!' Quoth he, 'Thou wast high
in rank with the King, and haply some one envied thee and threw
out certain hints concerning htee to him, so that he is become
incensed against thee.  But when I visited thee in thy Hammam,
thou entreatedst me honourably, and I will requite thee thy
hospitality to me by setting thee free and sending thee back to
thine own land.'  Then he set a great stone in the sack in my
stead and cast it into the sea; but, when thou signedst to him to
throw me in, thy seal-ring dropped from thy finger into the main,
and a fish swallowed it.  Now I was on the island a-fishing, and
this fish came up in the net with the others; whereupon I took
it, intending to broil it; but, when I opened its belly, I found
the signet-ring therein; so I took it and put it on my finger.
Presently, up came two of the servants of the kitchen, questing
fish, and I signed to them with my hand, knowing not the property
of the seal-ring, and their heads fell off.  Then the Captain
came back, and seeing the ring on my finger, acquainted me with
its spell; and behold, I have brought it back to thee, for that
thou dealtest kindly by me and entreatedst me with the utmost
honour, nor is that which thou hast done me of kindness lost upon
me.  Here is thy ring; take it!  But an I have done with thee
aught deserving of death, tell me my crime and slay me and thou
shalt be absolved of sin in shedding my blood."  So saying, he
pulled the ring from his finger and gave it to the King who,
seeing Abu Sir's noble conduct, took the ring and put it on and
felt life return to him afresh.  Then he rose to his feet and
embracing the barber, said to him, "O man, thou art indeed of the
flower of the well-born!  Blame me not, but forgive me the wrong
I have done thee.  Had any but thou gotten hold of this ring, he
had never restored it to me."  Answered Abu Sir, "O King of the
age, an thou wouldst have me forgive thee, tell me what was my
fault which drew down thine anger upon me, so that thou
commandedst to do me die."  Rejoined the King, "By Allah, 'tis
clear to me that thou art free and guiltless in all things of
offence since thou hast done this good deed; only the dyer
denounced thee to me in such and such words;" and he told him all
that Abu Kir had said.  Abu Sir replied, "By Allah, O King of the
age, I know no King of the Nazarenes nor during my days have ever
journeyed to a Christian country, nor did it ever come into my
mind to kill thee.  But this dyer was my comrade and neighbour in
the city of Alexandria where life was straitened upon us;
therefore we departed thence, to seek our fortunes, by reason of
the narrowness of our means at home, after we had recited the
Opening Chapter of the Koran together, pledging ourselves that he
who got work should feed him who lacked work; and there befel me
with him such and such things."  Then he went on to relate to the
King all that had betided him with Abu Kir the dyer; how he had
robbed him of his dirhams  and had left him alone and sick in the
Khan-closet and how the door-keeper had fed him of his own monies
till Allah recovered him of his sickness, when he went forth and
walked about the city with his budget, as was his wont, till he
espied a dyery, about which the folk were crowding; so he looked
at the door and seeing Abu Kir seated on a bench there, went in
to salute him, whereupon he accused him of being a thief and beat
him a grievous beating; brief, he told him his whole tale, from
first to last, and added, "O King of the age, 'twas he who
counselled me to make the depilatory and present it to thee,
saying, 'The Hammam is perfect in all things but that it lacketh
this'; and know, O King of the age, that this drug is harmless
and we use it in our land where 'tis one of the requisites of the
bath; but I had forgotten it: so, when the dyer visited the
Hammam I entreated him with honour and he reminded me of it, and
enjoined me to make it forthwith.  But do thou send after the
porter of such a Khan and the workmen of the dyery and question
them all of that which I have told thee."  Accordingly the King
sent for them and questioned them one and all and they acquainted
him with the truth of the matter.  Then he summoned the dyer,
saying, "Bring him barefooted, bareheaded and with elbows
pinioned!"  Now he was sitting in his house, rejoicing in Abu
Sir's death; but ere he could be ware, the King's guards rushed
in upon him and cuffed him on the nape, after which they bound
him and bore him into the presence, where he saw Abu Sir seated
by the King's side and the door-keeper of the Khan and workmen of
the dyery standing before him.  Quoth the door-keeper to him, "Is
no this thy comrade whom thou robbedst of his silvers and leftest
with me sick in the closet doing such and such by him?"  And the
workmen said to him, "Is not this he whom thou badest us seize
and beat?"  Therewith Abu Kir's baseness was made manifest to the
King and he was certified that he merited torture yet sorer than
the torments of Munkar and Nakír.[FN#228]  So he said to his
guards, "Take him and parade him about the city and the
markets;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

        When it was the Nine Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicous King, that when
the King heard the words spoken by the door-keeper of the
Caravanserai and the workmen of the dyery, he was certified of
the vileness of Abu Kir; so he upbraided him with flout and fleer
and said to his guards, "Take him and parade him about the city
and the market-streets; then set him in a sack and cast him into
the sea."  Whereupon quoth Abu Sir, "O King of the age, accept my
intercession for him, for I pardon him all he hath done with me."
But quoth the King, "An thou pardon him all his offences against
thee, I cannot pardon him his offences against me."  And he cried
out, saying, "Take him."  So they took him and paraded him about
the city, after which they set him in a sack with quicklime and
cast him into the sea, and he died, drowned and burnt.  Then said
the King to the barber, "O Abu Sir, ask of me what thou wilt and
it shall be given thee."  And he answered, saying, "I ask of thee
to send me back to my own country, for I care no longer to tarry
here."  Then the King gifted him great store of gifts, over and
above that which he had whilome bestowed on the crew of this
galleon were Mamelukes; so he gave him these also, after offering
to make him his Wazir whereto the barber consented not.
Presently he farewelled the King and set sail in his own ship
manned by his own crew; nor did he cast anchor till he reached
Alexandria and made fast to the shore there.  Then he landed and
one of his Mamelukes, seeing a sack on the beach, said to Abu
Sir, "O my lord, there is a great heavy sack on the sea-shore,
with the mouth tied up and I know not what therein."  So Abu Sir
came up and opening the sack, found therein the remains of Abu
Kir, which the sea had borne thither.  He took it forth and
burying it near Alexandria, built over the grave a place of
visitation and endowed it with mortmain writing over the door
these couplets,

"Man is known among me as his deeds attest; * Which make noble
     origin manifest:
Backbite not, lest other men bit thy back; * Who saith aught, the
     same shall to him be addrest:
Shun immodest words and indecent speech * When thou speakest in
     earnest or e'en in jest.[FN#229]
We bear with the dog which behaves itself * But the lion is
     chained lest he prove a pest:
And the desert carcases swim the main * While union-pearls on the
     sandbank rest[FN#230]:
No sparrow would hustle the sparrow-hawk, * Were it not by folly
     and weakness prest:
A-sky is written on page of air * 'Who doth kindly of kindness
     shall have the best!'
'Ware of gathering sugar from bitter gourd:[FN#231] * 'Twill
     prove to its origin like in taste."

After this Abu Sir abode awhile, till Allah took him to Himself,
and they buried him hard by the tomb of his comrade Abu Kir;
wherefore that place was called Abu Kir and Abu Sir; but it is
now known as Abu Kir only.  This, then, is that which hath
reached us of their history, and glory be to Him who endureth for
ever and aye and by whose will interchange the night and the day.
And of the stories they tell is one anent

                      ABDULLAH THE MERMAN.

There was once a Fisherman named Abdullah, who had a large
family, to wit, nine children and their mother, so was he poor,
very poor, owning naught save his net.  Every day he used to go
to the sea a-fishing, and if he caught little, he sold it and
spent the price on his children, after the measure of that which
Allah vouchsafed him of provision; but if he caught much, he
would cook a good mess of meat and buy fruit and spend without
stint till nothing was left him, saying to himself, "The daily
bread of to-morrow will come to-morrow."  Presently, his wife
gave birth to another child, making a total of ten, and it
chanced that day that he had nothing at all; so she said to him,
"O my master, see and get me somewhat wherewithal I may sustain
myself."  Quoth he, "I am going (under favour of Almighty Allah)
this day seawards to fish on the luck of this new-born child,
that we may see its fair fortune;" and quoth she, "Put thy trust
in Allah!"  So he took his net and went down to the sea-shore,
where he cast it on the luck of the little one, saying, "O my
God, make his living of ease not of unease, and abundant, not
scant!"  Then he waited awhile and drew in the net, which came up
full of rubbish and sand and pebbles and weeds, and he saw
therein no sign of fish neither muchel nor little.  He cast it
again and waited, then drew it in, but found no catch in it, and
threw it a third and a fourth and a fifth time still not a single
fish came up.  So he removed to another place beseeching his
daily bread of Allah Almighty and thus he kept working till the
end of the day, but caught not so much as a minnow;[FN#233]
whereat he fell a-marvelling in himself and said self-communing,
"Hath Allah then created this new-born child without lot of
provision?  This may never, never be.  He who slitteth the
corners of the lips hath pledged Himself for its provision,
because Almighty Allah is the Bountiful, the Provider!"[FN#234]
So saying, he shouldered his net and turned him homewards,
broken-spirited and heavy at heart about his family, for that he
had left them without food, more by token that his wife was in
the straw.  And as he continued trudging along and saying in
himself, "How shall I do and what shall I say to the children to-
night?" he came to a baker's oven and saw a crowd about it; for
the season was one of dearth and in those days food was scant
with the folk; so people were proffering the baker money, but he
paid no heed to any of them, by reason of the dense crowd. The
fisherman stood looking and snuffing he smell of the hot bread
(and indeed his soul longed for it, by reason of his hunger),
till the baker caught sight of him and cried out to him, "Come
hither, O fisherman!"  So he went up to him, and the baker said,
"Dost thou want bread?" But he was silent.  Quoth the baker,
"Speak out and be not ashamed, for Allah is bountiful.  An thou
have no silver, I will give thee bread and have patience with
thee till weal betide thee." And quoth the fisherman, "By Allah,
O master, I have indeed no money!  But give me bread enough for
my family, and I will leave thee this net in pawn till the
morrow."  Rejoined the baker, "Nay, my poor fellow, this net is
thy shop and the door of thy daily subsistence; so an thou pawn
it, wherewithal wilt thou fish? Tell me how much will suffice
thee?"; and replied the fisherman, "Ten half-dirhams'
worth."[FN#235]  So he gave him ten Nusfs worth of bread and ten
in silver saying, "Take these ten Nusfs and cook thyself a mess
of meat therewith; so wilt thou owe me twenty, for which bring me
fish to-morrow; but, an thou catch nothing again, come and take
thy bread and thy ten Nusfs, and I will have patience with thee
till better luck betide thee,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
baker said to the fisherman, "Take whatso thou needest and I will
have patience with thee till better luck betide thee, after the
which thou shalt bring me fish for all thou owest me."  Said the
fisherman, Almighty Allah reward thee, and requite thee for me
with all good!"  Then he took the bread and the coins and went
away, glad at heart, and buying what he could returned to his
wife whom he found sitting up, soothing the children, who were
weeping for hunger, and saying to them, "At once your father will
be here with what ye may eat."  So he set the bread before them
and they ate, whilst he told his wife what had befallen him, and
she said, "Allah is bountiful."[FN#236]  On the morrow, he
shouldered his net and went forth of his house, saying, "I
beseech thee, O Lord, to vouchsafe me this day that which shall
whiten my face with the baker!"[FN#237]  When he came to the sea-
shore, he proceeded to cast his net and pull it in; but there
came up no fish therein; and he ceased not to toil thus till
ended day but he caught nothing.  Then he set out homewards, in
great concern, and the way to his house lay past the baker's
oven; so he said to himself, "How shall I go home?  But I will
hasten my pace that the baker may not see me."  When he reached
the shop, he saw a crowd about it and walked the faster, being
ashamed to face his creditor; but the baker raised his eyes to
him and cried out to him, saying, "Ho, fisherman!  Come and take
thy bread and spending-money.  Meseems thou forgettest."  Quoth
Abdullah, "By Allah, I had not forgotten; but I was ashamed to
face thee, because I have caught no fish this day;" and quoth the
baker, "Be not ashamed.  Said I not to thee, At thy
leisure,[FN#238] till better luck betide thee?" Then he gave him
the bread and the ten Nusfs and he returned and told his wife,
who said, "Allah is bountiful.  Better luck shall yet betide thee
and thou shalt give the baker his due, Inshallah."  He ceased not
doing on this wise forty days, betaking himself daily to the sea,
from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, and
returning home without fish; and still he took bread and
spending-money of the baker, who never once named the fish to him
nor neglected him nor kept him waiting like the folk,[FN#239] but
gave him the bread and the ten half-dirhams without delay.
Whenever the fisherman said to him, "O my brother, reckon with
me," he would say, "Be off:[FN#240] this is no time for
reckoning.  Wait till better luck betide thee, and then I will
reckon with thee."  And the fisherman would bless him and go away
thanking him.  On the one-and-fortieth day, he said to his wife,
"I have a mind to tear up the net and be quit of this life." She
asked, "Why wilt thou do this?"; and he answered, "Meseems there
is an end of my getting my daily bread from the waters.  How long
shall this last?  By Allah, I burn with shame before the baker
and I will go no more to the sea, so I may not pass by his oven,
for I have none other way home; and every time I pass he calleth
me and giveth me the bread and the ten silvers.  How much longer
shall I run in debt to him?"  The wife replied, "Alhamdolillah--
lauded be the Lord, the Most High, who hath inclined his heart to
thee, so that he giveth thee our daily bread!  What dislikest
thou in this?"; and the husband rejoined, "I owe him now a mighty
great sum of dirhams, and there is no doubt but that he will
demand his due."  "Hath he vexed thee with words?" "No, on the
contrary, he still refuseth to reckon with me, saying, 'Wait till
better luck betide thee.'"  "If he press thee, say to him, 'Wait
till there come the good luck for which we hope, thou and I.'"
"And when will the good luck come that we hope for?"  "Allah is
bountiful."  "Sooth thou speakest!" So saying he shouldered his
net and went down to the sea-side, praying, "O Lord provide thou
me, though but with one fish, that I may give it to the baker!"
And he cast his net into the sea and pulling it in, found it
heavy; so he tugged at it till he was tired with sore travail.
But when he got it ashore, he found in it a dead donkey swollen
and stinking; whereat his senses sickened and he freed it from
the net, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save
in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!  Indeed, I can no more! I say
to that wife of mine, 'There is no more provision for me in the
waters; let me leave this craft.'  And she still answereth me,
'Allah is bountiful: good will presently betide thee.'  Is this
dead ass the good whereof she speaketh?"  And he grieved with the
sorest grief. Then he turned to another place, so he might remove
from the stench of the dead donkey, and cast his net there and
waited a full hour: then he drew it in and found it heavy.
Thereupon quoth he, "Good; we are hauling up all the dead donkeys
in the sea and ridding it of its rubbish.[FN#241]"  However he
gave not over tugging at the net, till blood came from the palms
of his hands, and when he got it ashore, he saw a man[FN#242] in
it and took him for one of the Ifrits of the lord Solomon, whom
he was wont to imprison in cucurbits of brass and cast him into
the main, believing that the vessel had burst for length of years
and that the Ifrit had come forth and fallen into the net;
wherefore he fled from him, crying out and saying, "Mercy, mercy,
O Ifrit of Solomon!"  But the Adamite called out to him from
within the net and said, "Come hither, O fisherman, and flee not
from me; for I am human like thyself.  Release me, so thou mayst
get a recompense for me of Allah."  Whenas he heard these words,
the fisherman took heart and coming up to him, said to him, "Art
thou not an Ifrit of the Jinn?"; and replied the other, "No: I am
a mortal and a believer in Allah and His Apostle."  Asked the
fisherman, "Who threw thee into the sea?"; and the other
answered, "I am of the children of the sea, and was going about
therein, when thou castest the net over me.  We are people who
obey Allah's commandments and show loving-kindness unto the
creatures of the Almighty, and but that I fear and dread to be of
the disobedient, I had torn thy net; but I accept that which the
Lord hath decreed unto me; wherefore by setting me free thou
becomest my owner and I thy captive.  Wilt thou then set me free
for the love[FN#243] of Almighty Allah and make a covenant with
me and become my comrade? I will come to thee every day in this
place, and do thou come to me and bring me a gift of the fruits
of the land.  For with you are grapes and figs and water-melons
and peaches and pomegranates and so forth, and all thou bringest
me will be acceptable unto me.  Moreover, with us are coral and
pearls and chrysolites and emeralds and rubies and other gems,
and I will fill thee the basket, wherein thou bringest me the
fruit, with precious stones of the jewels of the sea.[FN#244]
What sayest thou to this, O my brother?"  Quoth the fisherman,
"Be the Opening Chapter of the Koran between thee and me upon
this!"  So they recited together the Fátihah, and the fisherman
loosed the Merman from the net and asked him, "What is thy name?"
He replied, "My name is Abdullah of the sea; and if thou come
hither and see me not, call out and say, 'Where are thou, O
Abdullah, O Merman?' and I will be with thee."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
of the sea thus enjoined the other, "An thou come hither and see
me not, call out and say, 'Where art thou, O Abdullah, O Merman?'
and I will be with thee forthwith.  But thou, what is thy name?"
Quoth the fisherman, "My name also is Abdullah;" and quoth the
other, "Thou art Abdullah of the land and I am Abdullah of the
Sea; but tarry here till I go and fetch thee a present."  And the
fisherman repented him of having released him and said to
himself, "How know I that he will come back to me?  Indeed, he
beguiled me, so that I loosed him, and now he will laugh at
me.[FN#245]  Had I kept him, I might have made a show of him for
the diversion of the city-folk and taken silver from all men and
gone with him to the houses of the great."  And he repented him
of having set him free and said, "Thou hast let thy prey from thy
hand away."  But, as he was thus bemoaning his folly in releasing
the prisoner, behold, Abdullah the merman returned to him, with
both hands full of pearls and coral and smaragds and rubies and
other gems, and said to him, "Take these, O my brother, and
excuse me; had I a fish-basket[FN#246] I would have filled it for
thee."  Abdullah the fisherman rejoiced and took the jewels from
the Merman who said to him, "Every day come hither, before
sunrise," and farewelling him, went down into the sea; whilst the
other returned to the city, rejoicing, and stayed not walking
till he came to the baker's oven and said to him, "O my brother,
good luck is come to us at last; so do thou reckon with me."
Answered the baker, "There needeth no reckoning.  An thou have
aught, give it me: and if thou have naught, take thy bread and
spending-money and begone, against weal betide thee."  Rejoined
the fisherman, "O my friend, indeed weal hath betided me of
Allah's bounty, and I owe thee much money; but take this."  So
saying, he took for him a handful of the pearls and coral and
rubies and other jewels he had with him (the handful being about
half of the whole), and gave them to the baker, saying, "Give me
some ready money to spend this day, till I sell these jewels."
So the baker gave him all the money he had in hand and all the
bread in his basket and rejoiced in the jewels, saying, "I am thy
slave and thy servant."  Then he set all the bread on his head
and following the fisherman home, gave it to his wife and
children, after which he repaired to the market and brought meat
and greens and all manner fruit.  Moreover, he left his oven and
abode with Abdullah all that day, busying himself in his service
and fulfilling all his affairs.  Said the fisherman, "O my
brother, thou weariest thyself;" and the baker replied, "This is
my duty, for I am become thy servant and thou hast overwhelmed me
with thy boons."  Rejoined the fisherman, "'Tis thou who wast my
benefactor in the days of dearth and distress."  And the baker
passed that night with him enjoying good cheer and became a
faithful friend to him.  Then the fisherman told his wife what
had befallen him with the Merman, whereat she rejoiced and said,
"Keep thy secret, lest the government come down upon thee;" but
he said, "Though I keep my secret from all men, yet will I not
hide it from the baker."  On the morrow, he rose betimes and,
shouldering a basket which he had filled in the evening with all
manner fruits, repaired before sunrise to the sea-shore, and
setting down the crate on the water-edge called out, "Where art
thou, O Abdullah, O Merman?" He answered, "Here am I, at thy
service;" and came forth to him. The fisherman gave him the fruit
and he took it and plunging into the sea with it, was absent a
full hour, after which time he came up, with the fish-basket full
of all kinds of gems and jewels.  The fisherman set it on his
head and went away; and, when he came to the oven, the baker said
to him, "O my lord, I have baked thee forty buns[FN#247] and have
sent them to thy house; and now I will bake some firsts and as
soon as all is done, I will bring it to thy house and go and
fetch thee greens and meat."  Abdullah handed to him three
handfuls of jewels out of the fish-basket and going home, set it
down there.  Then he took a gem of price of each sort and going
to the jewel-bazar, stopped at the Syndic's shop and said to him,
"Buy these precious stones of me." "Show them to me," said the
Shaykh.  So he showed them to him and the jeweller said, "Hast
thou aught beside these?"; and Abdullah replied, "I have a
basket-full at home."  The Syndic asked, "And where is thine
house?" and the fisherman answered, "In such a quarter";
whereupon the Shaykh took the jewels from him and said to his
followers, "Lay hold of him, for he is the thief who stole the
jewellery of the Queen, the wife of our Sultan."  And he bade
beat him.  So they bastinadoed him and pinioned him; after which
the Syndic and all the people of the jewel-market arose and set
out for the palace, saying, "We have caught the thief."  Quoth
one, "None robbed such an one but this villain," and quoth
another, "'Twas none but he stole all that was in such an one's
house;" and some said this and others said that.  All this while
he was silent and spake not a word nor returned a reply, till
they brought him before the King, to whom said the Syndic, "O
King of the age, when the Queen's necklace was stolen, thou
sentest to acquaint us of the theft, requiring of us the
discovery of the culprit; wherefore I strove beyond the rest of
the folk and have taken the thief for thee. Here he standeth
before thee, and these be the jewels we have recovered from him."
Thereupon the King said to the chief eunuch, "Carry these jewels
for the Queen to see, and say to her, 'Are these thy property
thou hast lost?'"  So the eunuch took the jewels and went in with
them to the Queen, who seeing their lustre marvelled at them and
sent to the King to say, "I have found my necklace in my own
place and these jewels are not my property; nay, they are finer
than those of my necklace. So oppress not the man;"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King's wife sent to the King to say, "These are not my property;
nay, these gems are finer than those of my necklace.  So oppress
not this man; but, if he will sell them, buy them for thy
daughter Umm al-Su'úd,[FN#248] that we may set them in a necklace
for her."  When the eunuch returned and told the King what the
Queen said, he damned the Syndic of the jewellers, him and his
company, with the damnation of Ád and Thamúd,[FN#249] and they
said to him, "O King of the age, we knew this man for a poor
fisherman and deemed such things too much for him,[FN#250] so we
supposed that he had stolen them."  Cried the King, "O ye filthy
villains, begrudge ye a True Believer good fortune? Why did ye
not make due enquiry of him?  Haply Allah Almighty hath
vouchsafed him these things from a source whereupon he reckoned
not. Why did ye make him out a thief and disgrace him amongst the
folk? Begone, and may Allah never bless you!"  So they went out
affrighted and the King said to Abdullah, "O man (Allah bless
thee in all He hath bestowed on thee!), no harm shall befal thee;
but tell me truly, whence gottest thou these jewels; for I am a
King yet have I not the like of them."  The fisherman replied, "O
King of the age, I have a fish-basket full of them at home and
the case is thus and thus."  Then he told him of his friendship
with the Merman, adding, "We have made a covenant together that I
shall bring him every day a basket full of fruit and that he
shall fill me the basket with these jewels."  Quoth the King, O
man this is thy lucky lot; but wealth needeth rank,[FN#251] I
will defend thee for the present against men's domineering; but
haply I shall be deposed or die and another rule in my stead, and
he shall slay thee because of his love of the goods of this world
and his covetousness.  So I am minded to marry thee to my
daughter and make thee my Wazir and bequeath thee the kingdom
after me, so none may hanker for thy riches when I am gone.  Then
said he, "Hie with this man to the Hammam."  So they bore him to
the Baths and bathed his body and robed him in royal raiment,
after which they brought him back to the King, and he made him
his Wazir and sent to his house couriers and the soldiers of his
guard and all the wives of the notables, who clad his wife and
children in Kingly costume and mounting the woman in a horse-
litter, with the little child in her lap, walked before her to
the palace, escorted by the troops and couriers and officers.
They also brought her elder children in to the King who made much
of them, taking them in his lap and seating them by his side; for
they were nine children male and the King had no son and heir nor
had he been blessed with any child save this one daughter, Umm
al-Su'ud hight.  Meanwhile the Queen entreated Abdullah's wife
with honour and bestowed favours on her and made her Waziress to
her.  Then the King bade draw up the marriage contract between
his daughter and Abdullah of the Land[FN#252] who assigned to
her, as her dower, all the gems and precious stones in his
possession, and they opened the gates of festival.  The King
commanded by proclamation to decorate the city, in honour of his
daughter's wedding.  Then Abdullah went in unto the Princess and
abated her maidenhead.  Next morning the King looked out of the
lattice and saw Abdullah carrying on his head a fish-crate full
of fruit.  So he called to him, "What hast thou there, O my son-
in-law, and whither wendest thou?"  The fisherman replied, "To my
friend, Abdullah the Merman;" and the King said, "O my son-in-
law, this is no time to go to thy comrade."  Quoth Abdullah,
"Indeed, I fear to break tryst with him, lest he reckon me a liar
and say, 'The things of the world have diverted thee from me,'"
and quoth the King, "Thou speakest sooth: go to thy friend and
God help thee!"  So he walked through the city on his way to his
companion; and, as he went, he heard the folk who knew him say,
"There goeth the King's son-in-law to exchange fruit for gems;"
whilst those who knew him not said, "Ho, fellow, how much a
pound?  Come, sell to me."  And he answered, saying, "Wait till I
come back to thee," for that he would not hurt the feelings of
any man. Then he fared on till he came to the sea-shore and
foregathered with his friend Abdullah the Merman, to whom he
delivered the fruit, receiving gems in return.  He ceased not
doing thus till one day, as he passed by the baker's oven, he
found it closed; and so he did ten days, during which time the
oven remained shut and he saw nothing of the baker.  So he said
to himself, "This is a strange thing!  Would I wot whither the
baker went!"  Then he enquired of his neighbour, saying, "O my
brother, where is thy neighbour the baker and what hath Allah
done with him?"; and the other responded, "O my lord, he is sick
and cometh not forth of his house."  "Where is his house?" asked
Abdullah; and the other answered, "In such a quarter."  So he
fared thither and enquired of him; but, when he knocked at the
door, the baker looked out of window and seeing his friend the
fisherman, full basket on head, came down and opened the door to
him.  Abdullah entered and throwing himself on the baker embraced
him and wept, saying, "How dost thou, O my friend?  Every day, I
pass by thine oven and see it unopened; so I asked thy neighbour,
who told me that thou wast sick; therefore I enquired for thy
house, that I might see thee."  Answered the baker, "Allah
requite thee for me with all good!  Nothing aileth me; but it
reached me that the King had taken thee, for that certain of the
folk had lied against thee and accused thee of being a robber
wherefore I feared and shut shop and hid myself."  "True," said
Abdullah and told him all that had befallen him with the King and
the Shaykh of the jewellers' bazar, adding "Moreover, the King
hath given me his daughter to wife and made me his Wazir;" and,
after a pause, "So do thou take what is in this fish-basket to
thy share and fear naught."  Then he left him, after having done
away from his affright, and returned with the empty crate to the
King, who said to him, "O my son-in-law, 'twould seem thou hast
not foregathered with thy friend the Merman to-day." Replied
Abdullah, "I went to him but that which he gave me I gave to my
gossip the baker, to whom I owe kindness."  "Who may be this
baker?" asked the King; and the fisherman answered, "He is a
benevolent man, who did with me thus and thus in the days of my
poverty and never neglected me a single day nor hurt my
feelings."  Quoth the King, "What is his name?"; and quoth the
fisherman "His name is Abdullah the Baker; and my name is
Abdullah of the Land and that of my friend the Merman Abdullah of
the Sea."  Rejoined the King, "And my name also is Abdullah; and
the servants of Allah[FN#253] are all brethren.  So send and
fetch thy friend the baker, that I may make him my Wazir of the
left."[FN#254]  So he sent for the baker who speedily came to the
presence, and the King invested him with the Wazirial uniform and
made him Wazir of the left, making Abdullah of the Land his Wazir
of the right.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
King made his son-in-law, Abdullah of the Land, Wazir of the
right and Abdullah the baker Wazir of the left.  In such
condition the fisherman abode a whole year, every day carrying
for the Merman the crate full of fruit and receiving it back,
full of jewels; and when fruit failed from the gardens, he
carried him raisins and almonds and filberts and walnuts and figs
and so forth; and all that he brought for him the Merman accepted
and returned him the fish-basket full of jewels according to his
custom.  Now it chanced one day that he carried him the crate,
full of dry[FN#255] fruits as was his wont, and his friend took
them from him.  Then they sat down to converse, Abdullah the
fisherman on the beach and Abdullah the Merman in the water near
the shore, and discoursed; and the talk went round between them,
till it fell upon the subject of sepulchres; whereat quoth the
Merman, "O my brother, they say that the Prophet (whom Allah
assain and save!) is buried with you on the land.  Knowest thou
his tomb?"  Abdullah replied, "Yes; it lieth in a city called
Yathrib.[FN#256]"  Asked the Merman, "And do the people of the
land visit it?"  "Yes," answered the fisherman, and the other
said, "I give you joy, O people of the land, of visiting[FN#257]
that noble Prophet and compassionate, which whoso visiteth
meriteth his intercession!  Hast thou made such visitation, O my
brother?"  Replied the fisherman, "No: for I was poor and had not
the necessary sum[FN#258] to spend by the way, nor have I been in
easy case but since I knew thee and thou bestowedst on me this
good fortune. But such visitation behoveth me after I have
pilgrimed to the Holy House of Allah[FN#259] and naught
withholdeth ,me therefrom but my love to thee, because I cannot
leave thee for one day."  Rejoined the Merman, "And dost thou set
the love of me before the visitation of the tomb of Mohammed
(whom Allah assain and save!), who shall intercede for thee on
the Day of Review before Allah and shall save thee from the Fire
and through whose intercession thou shalt enter Paradise? And
dost thou, for the love of the world, neglect to visit the tomb
of thy Prophet[FN#260] Mohammed, whom God bless and preserve?"
Replied Abdullah, "No, by Allah, I set the visitation of the
Prophet's tomb above all else, and I crave thy leave to pray
before it this year." The Merman rejoined, "I grant thee leave,
on condition that when thou shalt stand by his sepulchre thou
salute him for me with the Salam. Furthermore I have a trust to
give thee; so come thou with me into the sea, that I may carry
thee to my city and entertain thee in my house and give thee a
deposit; which when thou takest thy station by the Prophet's
tomb, do thou lay thereon, saying, 'O apostle of Allah, Abdullah
the Merman saluteth thee, and sendeth thee this present,
imploring thine intercession to save him from the Fire.'"  Said
the fisherman, "O my brother, thou wast created in the water and
water is thy abiding-place and doth thee no hurt, but, if thou
shouldst come forth to the land, would any harm betide thee?"
The Merman replied, "Yes; my body would dry up and the breezes of
the land would blow upon me and I should die."  Rejoined the
fisherman, "And I, in like manner, was created on the land and
the land is my abiding-place; but, an I went down into the sea,
the water would enter my belly and choke me and I should die."
Retorted the other, "Have no fear for that, for I will bring thee
an ointment, wherewith when thou hast anointed thy body, the
water will do thee no hurt, though thou shouldst pass the lave of
thy life going about in the great deep: and thou shalt lie down
and rise up in the sea and naught shall harm thee."  Quoth the
fisherman, "An the case by thus, well and good; but bring me the
ointment, so that I may make trial of it;" and quoth the Merman,
"So be it;" then, taking the fish-basket disappeared in the
depths.  He was absent awhile, and presently returned with an
unguent as it were the fat of beef, yellow as gold and sweet of
savour.  Asked the fisherman, "What is this, O my brother?"; and
answered the Merman, "'Tis the liver-fat of a kind of fish called
the Dandan,[FN#261] which is the biggest of all fishes and the
fiercest of our foes.  His bulk is greater than that of any beast
of the land, and were he to meet a camel or an elephant, he would
swallow it at a single mouthful."  Abdullah enquired, "O my
brother, what doth this baleful beast?"; and the Merman replied,
"He eateth of the beasts of the sea.  Hast thou not heard the
saying, 'Like the fishes of the sea: forcible eateth
feeble?[FN#262]'"  "True; but have you many of these Dandans in
the sea?"  "Yes, there be many of them with us.  None can tell
their tale save Almighty Allah."  "Verily, I fear lest, if I go
down with thee into the deep a creature of this kind fall in with
me and devour me."  "Have no fear: when he seeth thee, he will
know thee for a son of Adam and will fear thee and flee. He
dreadeth none in the sea as he dreadeth a son of Adam; for that
an he eateth a man he dieth forthright, because human fat is a
deadly poison to this kind of creature; nor do we collect its
liver-speck save by means of a man, when he falleth into the sea
and is drowned; for that his semblance becometh changed and
ofttimes his flesh is torn; so the Dandan eateth him, deeming him
the same of the denizens of the deep, and dieth.  Then we light
upon our enemy dead and take the speck of his liver and grease
ourselves so that we can over-wander the main in safety.  Also,
wherever there is a son of Adam, though there be in that place an
hundred or two hundred or a thousand or more of these beasts, all
die forthright an they but hear him,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
of the sea said to Abdullah of the Land, "And if a thousand or
more of this kind hear an Adamite cry a single cry, forthright
all die nor hath one of them power to remove from his place; so,
whenever a son of Adam falleth into the sea, we take him and
anoint him with this fat and go round about the depths with him,
and whenever we see a Dandan or two or three or more, we bid him
cry out and they all die forthright for his once crying."  Quoth
the fisherman, "I put my trust in Allah;" and, doffing his
clothes, buried them in a hole which he dug in the beach; after
which he rubbed his body from head to heels which that ointment.
Then he descended into the water and diving, opened his eyes and
the brine did him no hurt.  So he walked right and left, and if
he would, he rose to the sea-face, and if he would, he sank to
the base.  And he beheld the water as it were a tent over his
head; yet it wrought him no hurt.  Then said the Merman to him,
"What seest thou, O my brother?"; and said he, "O my brother, I
see naught save weal[FN#263]; and indeed thou spakest truth in
that which thou saidst to me; for the water doth me no hurt."
Quoth the Merman, "Follow me."  So he followed him and they
ceased not faring on from place to place, whilst Abdullah
discovered before him and on his right and left mountains of
water and solaced himself by gazing thereon and on the various
sorts of fish, some great and some small, which disported
themselves in the main. Some of them favoured buffaloes[FN#264]
others oxen and others dogs and yet others human beings; but all
to which they drew near fled, whenas they saw the fisherman, who
said to the Merman, "O my brother, how is it that I see all the
fish, to which we draw near, flee from us afar?" Said the other,
"Because they fear thee, for all things that Allah hath made fear
the son of Adam.[FN#265]"  The fisherman ceased not to divert
himself with the marvels of the deep, till they came to a high
mountain and fared on beside it.  Suddenly, he heard a mighty
loud cry and turning, saw some black thing, the bigness of a
camel or bigger, coming down upon him from the liquid mountain
and crying out.  So he asked his friend, "What is this, O my
brother?"; and the Merman answered, "This is the Dandan.  He
cometh in search of me, seeking to devour me; so cry out at him,
O my brother, ere he reach us; else he will snatch me up and
devour me."  Accordingly Abdullah cried out at the beast and
behold, it fell down dead; which when he saw, he said, "Glorified
be the perfection of God and His praise! I smote it not with the
sword nor knife; how cometh it that, for all the vastness of the
creature's bulk, it could not bear my cry, but died?" Replied the
Merman, "Marvel not, for, by Allah, O my brother, were there a
thousand or two thousand of these creatures, yet could they not
endure the cry of a son of Adam."  Then they walked on, till they
made a city, whose inhabitants the fisherman saw to be all women,
there being no male among them; so he said to his companion, "O
my brother, what city is this and what are these women?"  "This
is the city of women; for its inhabitants are of the women of the
sea." "Are there any males among them?"  "No!" "Then how do they
conceive and bear young, without males?[FN#266]"  "The King of
the sea banisheth them hither and they conceive not neither bear
children.  All the women of the sea, with whom he is wroth, he
sendeth to this city, and they cannot leave it; for, should one
of them come forth therefrom, any of the beasts of the sea that
saw her would eat her.  But in other cities of the main there are
both males and females."  Thereupon asked the fisherman, "Are
there then other cities than this in the sea?"; and the Merman
answered, "There are many."  Quoth the fisherman, "And is there a
Sultan over you in the sea?"  "Yes," quoth the Merman.  Then said
Abdullah "O my brother, I have indeed seen many marvels in the
main!" But the Merman said, "And what hast thou seen of its
marvels?[FN#267] Hast thou not heard the saying, 'The marvels of
the sea are more manifold than the marvels of the land?'"
"True," rejoined the fisherman and fell to gazing upon those
women, whom he saw with faces like moons and hair like women's
hair, but their hands and feet were in their middle and they had
tails like fishes' tails.  Now when the Merman had shown him the
people of the city, he carried him forth therefrom and forewalked
him to another city, which he found full of folk, both males and
females, formed like the women aforesaid and having tails; but
there was neither selling nor buying amongst them, as with the
people of the land, nor were they clothed, but went all naked and
with their same uncovered.  Said Abdullah "O my brother, I see
males and females alike with their shame exposed,[FN#268]" and
the other said, "This is because the folk of the sea have no
clothes."  Asked the fisherman, "And how do they when they
marry?" The Merman answered, "They do not marry; but every one
who taketh a liking to a female doth his will of her."  Quoth
Abdullah, "This is unlawful!  Why doth he not ask her in marriage
and dower her and make her a wedding festival and marry her, in
accordance with that which is pleasing to Allah and His
Apostle?"; and quoth the other, "We are not all of one religion:
some of us are Moslems, believers in The Unity, others Nazarenes
and what not else; and each marrieth in accordance with the
ordinances of his creed; but those of us who marry are mostly
Moslems."  The fisherman continued, "Ye are naked and have
neither buying nor selling among you: of what then is your wives'
dowry? Do ye give them jewels and precious stones?"  The Merman
rejoined, "Gems with us are only stones without worth: but upon
the Moslem who is minded to marry they impose a dowry of a
certain number of fishes of various kinds that he must catch, a
thousand or two thousand, more or less, according to the
agreement between himself and the bride's father.  As soon as he
bringeth the amount required, the families of the bride and
bridegroom assemble and eat the marriage-banquet; after which
they bring him in to his bride, and he catcheth fish and feedeth
her; or, if he be unable, she catcheth fish and feedeth him."
Enquired the fisherman, "And how if a woman commit adultery?";
and the other replied, "If a woman be convicted of this case,
they banish her to the City of Women; and if she be with child by
her gallant, they leave her till she be delivered; then, if she
give birth to a girl, they banish her with her, calling her
adulteress, daughter of adulteress, and she abideth a maid till
she die; but, if the woman give birth to a male child, they carry
it to the Sultan of the Sea, who putteth it to death."  Abdullah
marvelled at this and the Merman carried him to another city and
thence to another and yet another, till he had diverted him with
the sight of eighty cities, and he saw the people of each city
unlike those of every other.  Then said he to the Merman, "O my
brother, are there yet other cities in the main?"; whereto said
the other, "And what hast thou seen of the cities of the sea and
its wondrous spectacles?  By the virtue of the noble Prophet, the
benign, the compassionate, were I to show thee every day a
thousand cities for a thousand years, and in each city a thousand
marvels, I should not have shown thee one carat of the four-and-
twenty carats of the cities of the sea and its miracles!  I have
but shown thee our own province and country, nothing more."  The
fisherman thus resumed, "O my brother, since this is the case,
what I have seen sufficeth me, for I am a-weary of eating fish,
and these fourscore days I have been in thy company, thou hast
fed me, morning and night, upon nothing but raw fish, neither
broiled nor boiled."  "And what is broiled or boiled?"  "We broil
fish with fire and boil it in water and dress it in various ways
and make many dishes of it."  "And how should we come by fire in
the sea?  We know not broiled nor boiled nor aught else of the
kind."  "We also fry it in olive-oil and oil of sesame.[FN#269]"
How should be come by olive-oil and oil of sesame in the sea?
Verily we know nothing of that thou namest."  "True, but O my
brother, thou hast shown me many cities; yet hast thou not shown
me thine own city." "As for mine own city, we passed it a long
way, for it is near the land whence we came, and I left it and
came with thee hither, thinking only to divert thee with the
sight of the greater cities of the sea." "That which I have seen
of them sufficeth me; and now I would have thee show me thine own
city."  "So be it," answered Abdullah of the Sea; and, returning
on his traces, carried him back thither and said to him, "This is
my city."  Abdullah of the Land looked and saw a city small by
comparison with those he had seen; then he entered with his
comrade of the deep and they fared on till they came to a cave.
Quoth the Merman, "This is my house and all the houses in the
city are like this, caverns great and small in the mountains; as
are also those of every other city of the sea.  For whoso is
minded to make him a house must repair to the King and say to
him, 'I wish to make me a house in such a place.' Whereupon the
King sends with him a band of the fish called 'Peckers,'[FN#270]
which have beaks that crumble the hardest rock, appointing for
their wage a certain quantum of fish.  They betake themselves to
the mountain chosen by the intended owner and therein pierce the
house, whilst the owner catcheth fish for them and feedeth them,
till the cave is finished, when they wend their ways and the
house-owner taketh up his abode therein.  On such wise do all the
people of the sea; they traffic not one with other nor serve each
other save by means of fish; and their food is fish and they
themselves are a kind of fish.[FN#271]"  Then he said to him,
"Enter!"  So Abdullah entered and the Merman cried out, saying,
"Ho, daughter mine!" when behold, there came to him a damsel with
a face like the rondure of the moon and hair long, hips heavy,
eyes black-edged and waist slender; but she was naked and had a
tail.  When she saw Abdullah of the Land she said to her sire, "O
my father, what is this No-tail[FN#272] thou hast brought with
thee?"  He replied, "O my daughter this is my friend of the land,
from whom I used to bring thee the fruits of the ground.  Come
hither and salute him with the salam."  So she came forward and
saluted the fisherman with loquent tongue and eloquent speech;
and her father said to her, "Bring meat for our guest, by whose
visit a blessing hath betided us:[FN#273]" whereupon she brought
him two great fishes, each the bigness of a lamb, and the Merman
said to him, "Eat." So he ate for stress of hunger, despite
himself; because he was tired of eating fish and they had naught
else save fish.  Before long, in came the Merman's wife, who was
beautiful of form and favour and with her two children, each
having in his hand a young fish, which he craunched as a man
would craunch a cucumber.  When she saw the fisherman with her
husband, she said, "What is this No-tail?" And she and her sons
and their sister came up to him and fell to examining the back
parts of Abdullah of the Land, and saying, "Yea, by Allah, he is
tailless!"; and they laughed at him.  So he said to the Merman,
"O my brother, hast thou brought me hither to make me a butt and
a laughing-stock for thy children and thy consort?"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
of the Land said to Abdullah of the sea, "O my brother, hast thou
brought me hither to make me a butt and a laughing-stock for thy
children and thy consort?"  Cried the Merman, "Pardon, O my
brother!  Those who have no tails are rare among us, and whenever
one such is found, the Sultan taketh him, to make fun of him, and
he abideth a marvel amongst us, and all who see him laugh at him.
But, O my brother, excuse these young children and this woman,
for they lack wits." Then he cried out to his family, saying,
"Silence!"; so they were afraid and held their peace; whilst he
went on to soothe Abdullah's mind.  Presently, as they were
talking, behold, in came some ten Merman, tall and strong and
stout, and said to him, "O Abdullah, it hath reached the King
that thou hast with thee a No-tail of the No-tails of the earth."
Answered the Merman, "Yes; and this is he; but he is not of us
nor of the children of the sea.  He is my friend of the land and
hath come to me as a guest and I purpose to carry him back to the
land."  Quoth they, "We cannot depart but with him; so, an thou
have aught to say, arise and come with him before the King; and
whatso thou wouldst say to us, say thou that same to the King."
Then quoth the Merman to the fisherman, "O my brother, my excuse
is manifest, and we may not disobey the King: but go thou with me
to him and I will do my best to deliver thee from him, Inshallah!
Fear not, for he deemeth thee of the children of the sea; but,
when he seeth thee, he will know thee to be of the children of
the land, and he will surely entreat thee honourably and restore
thee to the land."  And Abdullah of the Land replied, "'Tis thine
to decide, I will trust in Allah and wend with thee."  So he took
him and carried him to the King, who, when he saw him, laughed at
him and said, "Welcome to the No-tail!"  And all who were about
the King began to laugh at him and say, "Yea, by Allah, he is
tailless!"  Then Abdullah of the Sea came forward and acquainted
the King with the fisherman's case, saying, "This man is of the
children of the land and he is my comrade and cannot live amongst
us, for that he loveth not the eating of fish, except it be fried
or boiled; wherefore I desire that thou give me leave to restore
him to the land."  Whereto the King replied, "Since the case is
so, and he cannot live among us, I give thee leave to restore him
to his place, after due entertainment," presently adding, "Bring
him the guest-meal." So they brought him fish of various kinds
and colours and he ate, in obedience to the royal behest; after
which the King said to him, "Ask a boon of me."  Quoth he, "I ask
of thee that thou give me jewels;" and the King said, "Carry him
to the jewel-house and let him choose that whereof he hath need."
So his friend carried him to the jewel-house and he picked out
whatso he would, after which the Merman brought him back to his
own city and pulling out a purse, said to him, "Take this deposit
and lay it on the tomb of the Prophet, whom Allah save and
assain!"  And he took it, knowing not what was therein. Then the
Merman went forth with him, to bring him back to land, and by the
way he heard singing and merrymaking and saw a table spread with
fish and folk eating and singing and holding mighty high
festival. So Abdullah of the Land said to his friend, "What
aileth these people to rejoice thus?  Is there a wedding among
them?"  Replied Abdullah of the Sea, "Nay; one of them is dead."
Asked the fisherman, "Then do ye, when one dieth amongst you,
rejoice for him and sing and feast?"; and the Merman answered,
"Yes: and ye of the land, what do ye?" Quoth Abdullah of the
Land, "When one dieth amongst us, we weep and keen for him and
the women beat their faces and rend the bosoms of their raiment,
in token of mourning for the dead."  But Abdullah the Merman
stared at him with wide eyes and said to him, "Give me the
deposit!"  So he gave it to him.  Then he set him ashore and said
to him, "I have broken off our companionship and our amity;
wherefore from this day forward thou shalt no more see me, nor I
see thee."  Cried the fisherman, "Why sayst thou this?"; and the
other said, "Are ye not, O folk of the land, a deposit of Allah?"
"Yes."  "Why then," asked the Merman, "is it grievous to you that
Allah should take back His deposit and wherefore weep ye over it?
How can I entrust thee with a deposit for the Prophet (whom Allah
save and assain!), seeing that, when a child is born to you, ye
rejoice in it, albeit the Almighty setteth the soul therein as a
deposit; and yet, when he taketh it again, it is grievous to you
and ye weep and mourn?  Since it is hard for thee to give up the
deposit of Allah, how shall it be easy to thee to give up the
deposit of the Prophet?[FN#274]  Wherefore we need not your
companionship."  Saying thus he left him and disappeared in the
sea. Thereupon Abdullah of the Land donned his dress and taking
the jewels, went up to the King, who met him lovingly and
rejoiced at his return saying, "How dost thou, O my son-in-law,
and what is the cause of thine absence from me this while?"  So
he told him his tale and acquainted him with that which he had
seen of marvels in the sea, whereat the King wondered.  Then he
told him what Abdullah the Merman had said[FN#275]; and the King
replied, "Indeed 'twas thou wast at fault to tell him this."
Nevertheless, he continued for some time to go down to the shore
and call upon Abdullah of the Sea, but he answered him not nor
came to him; so, at last, he gave up all hope of him and abode,
he and the King his father-in-law and the families of them both
in the happiest of case and the practice of righteous ways, till
there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of
societies and they died all.  Wherefore glory be to the Living,
who dieth not, whose is the empire of the Seen and the Unseen,
who over all things is Omnnipotent and is gracious to His
servants and knowth their every intent!  And amongst the tales
they tell is one anent

                       MERCHANT OF OMAN.

The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was one night wakeful exceedingly;  so
he called Masrur and said to him as soon as he came, "Fetch  me
Ja'afar in haste." Accordingly, he went out and returned  with
the Wazir, to whom said the Caliph, "O Ja'afar wakefulness  hath
mastered me this night and forbiddeth sleep from me, nor  wot I
what shall drive it away from me." Replied Ja'afar, "O  Commander
of the Faithful, the wise say, 'Looking on a mirror,  entering
the Hamman-bath and hearkening unto song banish  care and
chagrin.'" He rejoined, "O Ja'afar I have done all this,  but it
hath brought me naught of relief, and I swear by my pious
forbears unless thou contrive that which shall abate from me
this insomny, I will smite thy neck." Quoth Ja'afar, "O
Commander of the Faithful, wilt thou do that which I shall
counsel  thee?" whereupon quoth the Caliph, "And what is that
thou  counselleth?" He replied, "It is that thou take boat with
us  and drop down Tigris River with the tide to a place called
Karn  al-Sirat, so haply we may hear what we never heard or see
what  we never saw, for 'tis said, 'The solace of care is in one
of three  things; that a man see what he never before saw or hear
what  he never yet heard or tread an earth he erst hath never
trodden.'  It may be this shall be the means of remedying thy
restlessness,  O Commander of the Faithful, Inshallah! There, on
either side  of the river, are windows and balconies one facing
other, and it  may be we shall hear or see from one of these
somewhat wherewith  our hearts may be heartened." Ja'afar's
counsel pleased the  Caliph, so he rose from his place and taking
with him the  Wazir and his brother Al-Fazl and Isaac[FN#276] the
boon-companion  and Abu Nowas and Abu Dalaf[FN#277] and Masrur
the Sworder,-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her  permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Caliph arose from his seat with Ja'afar and the rest of the
party,  all entered the wardrobe, where they donned merchant's
gear.  Then they went down to the Tigris and embarking in a
gilded  boat, dropped down with the stream, till they came to the
place  they sought, when they heard the voice of a damsel singing
to the  lute and chanting these couplets,

"To him when the wine cup is near I declare, * While in coppice
     loud shrilleth and trilleth Hazár,
'How long this repining from joys and delight? * Wake up for this
     life is a borrowed ware!'
Take the cup from the hand of the friend who is dear * With
     languishing eye-lids and languorous air.
I sowed on his cheek a fresh rose, which amid * His side-locks
     the fruit of granado-tree bare.
Thou wouldst deem that the place where he tare his fair
     cheek[FN#278] * Were ashes, while cheeks hues incendiary
Quoth the blamer, 'Forget him! But where's my excuse * When his
     side-face is growing the downiest hair?[FN#279]'"

When the Caliph heard this, he said, "O Ja'afar, how goodly is
that voice!"; and the Wazir replied, "O our lord, never smote  my
hearing aught sweeter or goodlier than this singing! But,  good
my lord, hearing from behind a wall is only half hearing;  how
would it be an we heard it from behind a curtain?" Quoth  the
Caliph, "Come, O Ja'afar, let us play the parasites with the
master of this house; and haply we shall look upon the
songstress,  face to face;" and quoth Ja'afar, "I hear and I
obey." So  they landed and sought admittance; when behold, there
came out  to them a young man, fair of favour, sweet of speech
and fluent  of tongue, who said to them, "Well come and welcome,
O lords  that honour me with your presence! Enter in all comfort
and  convenience!" So they went in (and he with them) to a saloon
with four faces, whose ceiling was decorated with gold and its
walls adorned with ultramarine.[FN#280] At its upper end was a
dais,  whereon stood a goodly row of seats[FN#281] and thereon
sat an hundred  damsels like moons. The house-master cried out to
them and  they came down from their seats. Then he turned to
Ja'afar and  said to him, "O my lord, I know not the honourable
of you from  the more honourable: Bismillah! deign he that is
highest in rank  among you favour me by taking the head of the
room, and let his  brethren sit each in his several stead." So
they sat down, each  according to his degree, whilst Masrur abode
standing before them in  their service; and the host asked them,
"O my guests, with your  leave, shall I set somewhat of food
before you?" and they  answered, "Yes." Hearing this he bade his
handmaids bring  food, whereupon four damsels with girded waists
placed in front  of them a table, whereon were rare meats of that
which flieth  and walketh earth and swimmeth seas, sand-grouse
and quails  and chickens and pigeons; and written on the raised
edge of the  tray were verses such as sorted with the
entertainment. So they  ate till they had enough and washed their
hands, after which said  the young man, "O my lords, if you have
any want, let us know  it, that we may have the honour of
satisfying it." They replied,  "'Tis well: we came not to thy
dwelling save for the sake of a  voice we heard from behind the
wall of thy house, and we would  fain hear it again and know her
to whom it belongeth. So, an  thou deem right to vouchsafe us
this favour, it will be of the  generosity of thy nature, and
after we will return whence we  came." Quoth the host, "Ye are
welcome;" and, turning to a  black slave-girl, said to her,
"Fetch me thy mistress such an  one." So she went away and
returning with a chair of chinaware,  cushioned with brocade, set
it down: then withdrew again and  presently returned with a
damsel, as she were the moon on the  night of its full, who sat
down on the chair. Then the black girl  gave her a bag of satin
wherefrom she brought out a lute, inlaid  with gems and jacinths
and furnished with pegs of gold.--And  Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her  permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the damsel came forward, she took her seat upon the chair and
brought out from its case a lute and behold, it was inlaid with
gems and jacinths and furnished with pegs of gold. Then she
tuned its strings, even as saith the poet of her and her lute in
these  lines,

"She sits it in lap like a mother fond * And she strikes the
     strings that can make it speak:
And ne'er smiteth her right an injurious touch * But her left
     repairs of her right the wreak.[FN#282]"

Then she strained the lute to her bosom, bending over it as
mother  bendeth over babe, and swept the strings which complained
as  child to mother complaineth; after which she played upon it
and  began improvisng these couplets,

"An Time my lover restore me I'll blame him fain, * Saying,
     'Pass, O my dear, the bowl and in passing drain
The wine which hath never mixed with the heart of man * But he
     passes to joy from annoy and to pleasure from pain.'
Then Zephyr arose to his task of sustaining the cup: * Didst e'er
     see full Moon that in hand the star hath ta'en?[FN#283]
How oft I talked thro' the night, when its rounded Lune * Shed on
     darkness of Tigris' bank a beamy rain!
And when Luna sank in the West 'twas as though she'd wave * O'er
     the length of the watery waste a gilded glaive."

When she had made an end of her verse, she wept with sore weeping
and all who were in the place wept aloud till they were well-nigh
dead; nor was there one of them but took leave of his wits  and
rent his raiment and beat his face, for the goodliness of her
singing. Then said Al-Rashid, "This damsel's song verily denoteth
that she is a lover departed from her beloved." Quoth her master,
"She hath lost father and mother;" but quoth the Caliph, "This
is not the weeping of one who hath lost mother and father,  but
the yearning of one who hath lost him she loveth." And he  was
delighted with her singing and said to Isaac, "By Allah,  never
saw I her like!"; and Isaac said, "O my lord, indeed I  marvel at
her with utterest marvel and am beside myself for  delight." Now
Al-Rashid with all this stinted not to look upon  the
house-master and note his charms and the daintiness of his
fashion; but he saw on his face a pallor as he would die; so he
turned to him and said, "Ho, youth!" and the other said,
"Adsum!--at thy service, O my lord." The Caliph asked,  "Knowest
thou who we are?"; and he answered, "No." Quoth  Ja'afar, "Wilt
thou that I tell thee the names of each of us?";  and quoth the
young man "Yes;" when the Wazir said, "This is  the Commander of
the Faithful, descendant of the uncle of the  Prince of the
Apostles," and named to him the others of the  company; after
which quoth Al-Rashid, "I wish that thou acquaint  me with the
cause of the paleness of thy face, whether it be  acquired or
natural from thy birthtide." Quoth he, "O Prince of  True
Believers, my case is wondrous and my affair marvellous;  were it
graven with gravers on the eye-corners it were a warner to  whoso
will be warned." Said the Caliph, "Tell it to me: haply  thy
healing may be at my hand." Said the young man, "O  Commander of
the Faithful, lend me thine ears and give me thy  whole mind."
And he, "Come; tell it me, for thou makest me  long to hear it."
So the young man began,--"Know then, O  Prince of True Believers,
that I am a merchant of the merchants  of the sea and come from
Oman city, where my sire was a trader  and a very wealthy trader,
having thirty ships trafficking upon the  main, whose yearly hire
was thirty thousand dinars; and he was a  generous man and had
taught me writing and all whereof a wight  hath need. When his
last hour drew near, he called me to him  and gave me the
customary charge; then Almighty Allah took  him and admitted him
to His mercy and may He continue the  Commander of the Faithful
on life! Now my late father had  partners trading with his coin
and voyaging on the ocean. So one  day, as I sat in my house with
a company of merchants, a certain  of my servants came in to me
and said, 'O my lord, there is at  the door a man who craveth
admittance to thee!' I gave leave  and he came in, bearing on his
head a something covered. He  set it down and uncovered it, and
behold it was a box wherein  were fruits out of season and herbs
conserved in salt and fresh,  such as are not found in our land.
I thanked him and gifted him  with an hundred dinars, and he went
away grateful. Then I  divided these things amongst my friends
and guests who were  present and asked them whence they came.
Quoth they, 'They  come from Bassorah,' and praised them and went
on to portray  the beauties of Bassorah and all agreed that there
was naught in  the world goodlier than Baghdad and its people.
Then they fell  to describing Baghdad and the fine manners of its
folk and the  excellence of its air and the beauty of its
ordinance, till my soul  longed for it and all my hopes clave to
looking upon it. So I arose  and selling my houses and lands,
ships and slaves, negroes and  handmaids, I got together my good,
to wit, a thousand thousand dinars,  besides gems and jewels,
wherewith I freighted a vessel and setting  out therein with the
whole of the property, voyaged awhile. Then  I hired a barque and
embarking therein with all my monies sailed  up the river some
days till we arrived at Baghdad. I enquired  where the merchants
abode and what part was pleasantest for  domicile and was
answered, 'The Karkh quarter.' So I went  thither and hiring a
house in a thoroughfare called the Street of  Saffron,
transported all my goods to it and took up my lodging  therein
for some time. At last one day which was a Friday, I  sallied
forth to solace myself taking with me somewhat of coin. I  went
first to a cathedral-mosque, called the Mosque of Mansur,  where
the Friday service was held, and when we had made an end  of
congregational prayers, I fared forth with the folk to a place
hight Karn al-Sirat, where I saw a tall and goodly mansion, with
a balcony overlooking the river-bank and pierced with a lattice-
window. So I betook myself thither with a company of folk and
sighted there an old man sitting, handsomely clad and exhaling
perfumes. His beard forked upon his breast in two waves like
silver-wire, and about him were four damsels and five pages. So I
said to one of the folk, 'What is the name of this old man and
what is his business?'; and the man said, 'His name is Táhir  ibn
al-Aláa, and he is a keeper of girls: all who go into him eat and
drink and look upon fair faces.' Quoth I, 'By Allah, this long
while have I wandered about in search of something like
this!'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying  her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young merchant cried, "'By Allah this long while I have gone
about in search of something like this!' So I went up to the
Shaykh, O Commander of the Faithful, and saluting him said to
him, 'O my lord, I need somewhat of thee!' He replied, 'What  is
thy need?' and I rejoined, ''Tis my desire to be thy guest
to-night.' He said, 'With all my heart; but, O my son, with me
are  many damsels, some whose night is ten dinars, some forty and
others more. Choose which thou wilt have.' Quoth I, 'I  choose
her whose night is ten dinars.' And I weighed out to him  three
hundred dinars, the price of a month; whereupon he  committed me
to a page, who carried me to a Hammam within the  house and
served me with goodly service. When I came out of  the Bath he
brought me to a chamber and knocked at the door,  whereupon out
came a handmaid, to whom said he, 'Take thy  guest!' She met me
with welcome and cordiality, laughing and  rejoicing, and brought
me into a mighty fine room decorated with  gold. I considered her
and saw her like the moon on the night of  its fulness having in
attendance on her two damsels as they were  constellations. She
made me sit and seating herself by my side,  signed to her
slave-girls who set before us a tray covered with  dishes of
various kinds of meats, pullets and quails and sand-grouse  and
pigeons. So we ate our sufficiency, and never in my  life ate I
aught more delicious than this food. When we had eaten  she bade
remove the tray and set on the service of wine and  flowers,
sweetmeats and fruits; and I abode with her a month in  such
case. At the end of that time, I repaired to the Bath; then,
going to the old man, I said to him, 'O my lord, I want her whose
night is twenty dinars.' 'Weigh down the gold,' said he. So I
fetched money and weighed out to him six hundred dinars for a
month's hire, whereupon he called a page and said to him, 'Take
thy lord here.' Accordingly he carried me to the Hammam and
thence to the door of a chamber, whereat he knocked and there
came out a handmaid, to whom quoth he, 'Take thy guest!' She
received me with the goodliest reception and I found in
attendance  on her four slave-girls, whom she commanded to bring
food. So  they fetched a tray spread with all manner meats, and I
ate.  When I had made an end of eating and the tray had been re-
moved, she took the lute and sang thereto these couplets,

'O waftings of musk from the Babel-land! * Bear a message from me
     which my longings have planned:
My troth is pledged to that place of yours, * And to friends
     there 'biding--a noble band;
And wherein dwells she whom all lovers love * And would hend, but
     she cometh to no man's hand.'

I abode with her a month, after which I returned to the Shaykh
and said to him, 'I want the forty dinar one.' 'Weigh out the
money,' said he. So I weighed out to him twelve hundred dinars,
the mensual hire, and abode with her one month as it were one
day, for what I saw of the comeliness of her semblance and the
goodliness of her converse. After this I went to the Shaykh one
evening and heard a great noise and loud voices; so I asked him,
'What is to do?'; and he answered, saying, 'This is the night of
our  remarkablest nights, when all souls embark on the river and
divert  themselves by gazing one upon other. Hast thou a mind to
go up  to the roof and solace thyself by looking at the folk?'
'Yes,'  answered I, and went up to the terrace roof,[FN#284]
whence I could see a  gathering of people with flambeaux and
cressets, and great mirth  and merriment. Then I went up to the
end of the roof and beheld  there, behind a goodly curtain, a
little chamber in whose midst  stood a couch of
juniper-wood[FN#285] plated with shimmering gold and  covered
with a handsome carpet. On this sat a lovely young lady,
confounding all beholders with her beauty and comeliness and
symmetry and perfect grace, and by her side a youth, whose hand
was on her neck; and he was kissing her and she kissing him.
When I saw them, O Prince of True Believers, I could not contain
myself nor knew where I was, so dazed and dazzled was I by her
beauty: but, when I came down, I questioned the damsel with  whom
I was and described the young lady to her. 'What wilt  thou with
her?' asked she; and I, 'She hath taken my wit.' 'O  Abu
al-Hasan, hast thou a mind to her?' 'Ay, by Allah! for  she hath
captivated my heart and soul.' 'This is the daughter of  Tahir
ibn al-Alaa; she is our mistress and we are all her  handmaids;
but knowest thou, O Abu al-Hasan, what be the price of  her night
and her day?' 'No!' 'Five hundred dinars, for she  is a regret to
the heart of Kings!'[FN#286] 'By Allah, I will spend all I  have
on this damsel!' So saying I lay, heartsore for desire,  through
the livelong night till the morning, when I repaired to the
Hammam and presently donned a suit of the richest royal raiment
and betaking myself to Ibn al-Alaa, said to him, 'O my lord, I
want her whose night is five hundred dinars.' Quoth he, 'Weigh
down the money.' So I weighed out to him fifteen thousand dinars
for a month's hire and he took them and said to the page,  'Carry
him to thy mistress such an one!' Accordingly he took  me and
carried me to an apartment, than which my eyes never saw  a
goodlier on the earth's face and there I found the young lady
seated. When I saw her, O Commander of the Faithful, my reason
was confounded with her beauty, for she was like the full moon on
its fourteenth night,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of  day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young man continued to describe before the Prince of True
Believers the young lady's characteristics, saying, "She was like
the full moon on her fourteenth night, a model of grace and
symmetry and loveliness. Her speech shamed the tones of the
lute, and it was as it were she whom the poet meant in these

'She cried while played in her side Desire, * And Night o'er hung
     her with blackest blee:--
'O Night shall thy murk bring me ne'er a chum * To tumble and
     futter this coynte of me?'
And she smote that part with her palm and sighed * Sore sighs and
     a-weeping continued she,
'As the toothstick beautifies teeth e'en so * Must prickle to
     coynte as a toothstick be.
O Moslems, is never a stand to your tools, * To assist a woman's
Thereat rose upstanding beneath its clothes * My yard, as crying,
     'At thee! at thee!'
And I loosed her trouser-string, startling her: * 'Who art thou?'
     and I said, 'A reply to thy plea!'
And began to stroke her with wrist-thick yard, * Hurting hinder
     cheeks by its potency:
And she cried as I rose after courses three * 'Suit thy gree the
     stroke!' and I--'suit thy gree!'

And how excellent is the saying of another![FN#287],

'A fair one, to idolaters if she her face should show, They'd
leave their idols and her face for only Lord would know.
If in the Eastward she appeared unto a monk, for sure, He'd cease
from turning to the West and to the East bend low;
And if into the briny sea one day she chanced to spit, Assuredly
the salt sea's floods straight fresh and sweet would grow.'

And that of another,

'I looked at her one look and that dazed me * Such rarest gifts
     of mind and form to see,
When doubt inspired her that I loved her, and * Upon her cheeks
     the doubt showed showily.'

I saluted her and she said to me, 'Well come and welcome, and
fair welcome!'; and taking me by the hand, O Prince of True
Believers, made me sit down by her side; whereupon, of the
excess of my desire, I fell a-weeping for fear of severance and
pouring forth the tears of the eye, recited these two couplets,

'I love the nights of parting though I joy not in the same * Time
     haply may exchange them for the boons of Union-day:
And the days that bring Union I unlove for single thought, *
     Seeing everything in life lacking steadfastness of stay.'

Then she strave to solace me with soft sweet speech, but I was
drowned in the deeps of passion, fearing even in union the pangs
of disunion, for excess of longing and ecstasy of passion; and I
bethought me of the lowe of absence and estrangement and
repeated these two couplets,

'I thought of estrangement in her embrace * And my eyes rained
     tears red as 'Andam-wood.
So I wiped the drops on that long white neck; * For
     camphor[FN#288] is wont to stay flow of blood.'

Then she bade bring food and there came four damsels,
high-bosomed girls and virginal, who set before us food and
fruits and  confections and flowers and wine, such as befit none
save kings.  So, O Commander of the Faithful, we ate, and sat
over our wine,  compassed about with blooms and herbs of sweet
savour, in a  chamber suitable only for kings. Presently, one of
her maids  brought her a silken bag, which she opened and taking
thereout  a lute, laid it in her lap and smote its strings,
whereat it  complained as child complaineth to mother, and she
sang these two  couplets,

'Drink not pure wine except from hand of slender youth * Like
     wine for daintiness and like him eke the wine:
For wine no joyance brings to him who drains the cup * Save bring
     the cup-boy cheek as fair and fain and fine.'

So, I abode with her, O Commander of the Faithful, month after
month in similar guise, till all my money was spent; wherefore I
began to bethink me of separation as I sat with her one day and
my tears railed down upon my cheeks like rills, and I became not
knowing night from light. Quoth she, 'Why dost thou weep?';  and
quoth I, 'O light of mine eyes, I weep because of our parting.'
She asked, 'And what shall part me and thee, O my lord?';  and I
answered, 'By Allah, O my lady, from the day I came  to thee, thy
father hath taken of me, for every night, five  hundred dinars,
and now I have nothing left. Right soothfast is  the saw, 'Penury
maketh strangerhood at home and money  maketh a home in
strangerhood'; and indeed the poet speaks  truth when he saith,

'Lack of good is exile to man at home; * And money shall house
him where'er he roam.'

She replied, 'Know that it is my father's custom, whenever a
merchant abideth with him and hath spent all his capital, to
entertain him three days; then doth he put him out and he may
return to us nevermore. But keep thou thy secret and conceal  thy
case and I will so contrive that thou shalt abide with me till
such time as Allah will;[FN#289] for, indeed, there is in my
heart a great  love for thee. Thou must know that all my father's
money is  under my hand and he wotteth not its full tale; so,
every morning,  I will give thee a purse of five hundred dinars
which do thou offer  to my sire, saying, 'Henceforth, I will pay
thee only day by  day.' He will hand the sum to me, and I will
give it to thee  again, and we will abide thus till such time as
may please Allah.'  Thereupon I thanked her and kissed her hand;
and on this wise,  O Prince of True Believers, I abode with her a
whole year, till  it chanced on a certain day that she beat one
of her handmaids  grievously and the slave-girl said, 'By Allah,
I will assuredly  torture thy heart, even as thou hast tortured
me!' So she went  to the girl's father and exposed to him all
that had passed, first  and last, which when Tahir ibn Alaa heard
he arose forthright and  coming in to me, as I sat with his
daughter, said, 'Ho, such an  one!'; and I said, 'At thy
service.' Quoth he, ''Tis our wont,  when a merchant grow poor
with us, to give him hospitality three  days; but thou hast had a
year with us, eating and drinking and  doing what thou wouldst.'
Then he turned to his pages and cried  to them, 'Pull off his
clothes.' They did as he bade them and  gave me ten dirhams and
an old suit worth five silvers; after  which he said to me, 'Go
forth; I will not beat thee nor abuse  thee; but wend thy ways
and if thou tarry in this town, thy blood  be upon thine own
head.' So I went forth, O Commander of the  Faithful, in my own
despite, knowing not whither to hie, for had  fallen on my heart
all the trouble in the world and I was occupied  with sad thought
and doubt. Then I bethought me of the wealth  which I had brought
from Oman and said in myself, 'I came  hither with a thousand
thousand dinars, part price of thirty ships,  and have made away
with it all in the house of yonder ill-omened  man, and now I go
forth from him, bare and broken-hearted! But  there is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the  Glorious, the Great!'
Then I abode three days in Baghdad,  without tasting meat or
drink, and on the fourth day seeing a ship  bound for Bassorah, I
took passage in her of the owner, and when  we reached our port,
I landed and went into the bazar, being sore  anhungered.
Presently, a man saw me, a grocer, whom I had  known aforetime,
and coming up to me, embraced me, for he had  been my friend and
my father's friend before me. Then he  questioned me of my case,
seeing me clad in those tattered clothes;  so I told him all that
had befallen me, and he said, 'By Allah,  this is not the act of
a sensible man! But after this that hath  befallen thee what dost
thou purpose to do?' Quoth I, 'I know  not what I shall do,' and
quoth he, 'Wilt thou abide with me  and write my outgo and income
and thou shalt have two dirhams  a day, over and above thy food
and drink?' I agreed to this and  abode with him, O Prince of
True Believers, selling and buying,  till I had gotten an hundred
dinars; when I hired me an upper  chamber by the river-side, so
haply a ship should come up with  merchandise, that I might buy
goods with the dinars and go back  with them to Baghdad. Now it
fortuned that one day, there came  ships with merchandise, and
all the merchants resorted to them to  buy, and I went with them
on board, when behold, there came  two men out of the hold and
setting themselves chairs on the  deck, sat down thereon. The
merchants addressed themselves to  the twain with intent to buy,
and the man said to one of the crew,  'Bring the carpet.'
Accordingly he brought the carpet and  spread it, and another
came with a pair of saddle-bags, whence  he took a budget and
emptied it on the carpet; and our sights  were dazzled with that
which issued therefrom of pearls and corals  and jacinths and
carnelians and other jewels of all sorts and  colours."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and  ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
merchant, after recounting to the Caliph the matter of the bag
and  its containing jewels of all sorts, continued, "Presently, O
Commander of the Faithful, said one of the men on the chairs, 'O
company of merchants, we will sell but this to-day, by way of
spending-money, for that we are weary.' So the merchants fell to
bidding  one against other for the jewels and bid till the price
reached four  hundred dinars. Then said to me the owner of the
bag (for he  was an old acquaintance of mine, and when he saw me,
he came  down to me and saluted me), 'Why dost thou not speak and
bid  like the rest of the merchants?' I said, 'O my lord, by
Allah,  the shifts of fortune have run against me and I have lost
my  wealth and have only an hundred dinars left in the world.'
Quoth he, 'O Ománi, after this vast wealth, can only an  hundred
dinars remain to thee?' And I was abashed before  him and my eyes
filled with tears; whereupon he looked  at me and indeed my case
was grievous to him. So he said  to the merchants, 'Bear witness
against me that I have sold  all that is in this bag of various
gems and precious stones to  this man for an hundred gold pieces,
albeit I know them to be  worth so many thousand dinars, and this
is a present from  me to him.' Then he gave me the saddle-bag and
the carpet,  with all the jewels that were thereon, for which I
thanked him, and  each and every of the merchants present praised
him. Presently  I carried all this to the jewel-market and sat
there to sell and buy.  Now among the precious stones was a round
amulet of the handi-work  of the masters,[FN#290] weighing half a
pound: it was red of the  brightest, a carnelian on both whose
sides were graven characts  and characters, like the tracks of
ants; but I knew not its worth.  I sold and bought a whole year,
at the end of which I took the  amulet[FN#291] and said, 'This
hath been with me some while, and I  know not what it is nor what
may be its value.' So I gave it to  the broker who took it and
went round with it and returned, saying,  'None of the merchants
will give me more than ten dirhams for  it.' Quoth I, 'I will not
sell it at that price;' and he threw it in  my face and went
away. Another day I again offered it for sale  and its price
reached fifteen dirhams; whereupon I took it from  the broker in
anger and threw it back into the tray. But a few  days after, as
I sat in my shop, there came up to me a man, who  bore the traces
of travel, and saluting me, said, 'By thy leave, I  will turn
over what thou hast of wares.' Said I, ''Tis well,' and  indeed,
O Commander of the Faithful, I was still wroth by reason  of the
lack of demand for the talisman. So the man fell to turning  over
my wares, but took nought thereof save the amulet, which  when he
saw, he kissed his hand and cried, 'Praised be Allah!'  Then said
he to me, 'O my lord, wilt thou sell this?'; and I  replied,
'Yes,' being still angry. Quoth he, 'What is its price?'  And I
asked, 'How much wilt thou give?' He answered  'Twenty dinars':
so I thought he was making mock of me and  exclaimed, 'Wend thy
ways.' But he resumed, 'I will give thee  fifty dinars for it.' I
made him no answer, and he continued, 'A  thousand dinars.' But I
was silent, declining to reply, whilst he  laughed at my silence
and said, 'Why dost thou not return me an  answer?' 'Hie thee
home,' repeated I and was like to quarrel  with him. But he bid
thousand after thousand, and I still made  him no reply, till he
said, 'Wilt thou sell it for twenty thousand  dinars?' I still
thought he was mocking me; but the people  gathered about me and
all of them said, 'Sell to him, and if he  buy not, we will all
up and at him and drub him and thrust him  forth the city.' So
quoth I to him, 'Wilt thou buy or dost thou  jest?'; and quoth
he, 'Wilt thou sell or dost thou joke?' I said,  'I will sell if
thou wilt buy;' then he said, 'I will buy it for  thirty thousand
dinars; take them and make the bargain;' so I  cried to the
bystanders, 'Bear witness against him,' adding to  him, 'But on
condition that thou acquaint me with the virtues and  profit of
this amulet for which thou payest all this money.' He  answered,
'Close the bargain, and I will tell thee this;' I rejoined,  'I
sell it to thee;' and he retorted, 'Allah be witness of that
which thou sayst and testimony!' Then he brought out the  gold
and giving it to me took the amulet, and set it in his bosom;
after which he turned to me and asked, 'Art thou content?'
Answered I, 'Yes,' and he said to the people, 'Bear witness
against him that he hath closed the bargain and touched the
price,  thirty thousand dinars.' Then he turned to me and said,
'Harkye,  my poor fellow, hadst thou held back from selling, by
Allah I  would have bidden thee up to an hundred thousand dinars,
nay,  even to a thousand thousand!' When I heard these words, O
Commander of the Faithful, the blood fled my face, and from that
day there overcame it this pallor thou seest. Then said I to him,
'Tell me the reason of this and what is the use of this amulet.'
And he answered, saying, 'Know that the King of Hind hath  a
daughter, never was seen a thing fairer than she, and she is
possessed with a falling sickness.[FN#292] So the King summoned
the  Scribes and men of science and Divines, but none of them
could  relieve her of this. Now I was present in the assembly; so
I said  to him, 'O King, I know a man called Sa'adu'lláh the
Babylonian,  than whom there is not on the face of the earth one
more masterly  in these matters, and if thou see fit to send me
to him, do so.'  Said he, 'Go to him;' and quoth I, 'Bring me a
piece of  carnelian.' Accordingly he gave me a great piece of
carnelian  and an hundred thousand dinars and a present, which I
took, and  with which I betook myself to the land of Babel. Then
I sought  out the Shaykh and when he was shown to me I delivered
to him  the money and the present, which he accepted and sending
for a  lapidary, bade him fashion the carnelian into this amulet.
Then  he abode seven months in observation of the stars, till he
chose  out an auspicious time for engraving it, when he graved
upon it  these talismanic characters which thou seest, and I took
it and  returned with it to the King.'"--And Shahrazad perceived
the  dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
young man said to the Commander of the Faithful, "'So after the
Shaykh had spoken, I took this talisman and returned with it to
the King. Now the Princess was bound with four chains, and  every
night a slave-girl lay with her and was found in the morning
with her throat cut. The King took the amulet and laid it upon
his daughter who was straightway made whole. At this he  rejoiced
with exceeding joy and invested me with a vest of honour  and
gave alms of much money; and he caused set the amulet in  the
Princess's necklace. It chanced, one day, that she embarked  with
her women in a ship and went for a sail on the sea. Presently,
one of her maids put out her hand to her, to sport with her, and
the necklace brake asunder and fell into the waves. From that
hour the possessor[FN#293] of the Princess returned to her,
wherefore  great grief betided the King and he gave me much
money, saying,  'Go thou to Shaykh Sa'adu'llah and let him make
her another  amulet, in lieu of that which is lost.' I journeyed
to Babel,  but found the old man dead; whereupon I returned and
told the  King, who sent me and ten others to go round about in
all  countries, so haply we might find a remedy for her: and now
Allah  hath caused me happen on it with thee.' Saying these
words, he  took from me the amulet, O Commander of the Faithful,
and went  his ways. Such, then, is the cause of the wanness of my
complexion. As for me, I repaired to Baghdad, carrying all my
wealth  with me, and took up my abode in the lodgings where I
lived  whilome. On the morrow, as soon as it was light, I donned
my  dress and betook myself to the house of Tahir ibn al-Alaa,
that  haply I might see her whom I loved, for the love of her had
never  ceased to increase upon my heart. But when I came to his
home,  I saw the balcony broken down and the lattice builded up;
so I  stood awhile, pondering my case and the shifts of Time,
till there  came up a serving-man, and I questioned him, saying,
'What hath  God done with Tahir ibn al-Alaa?' He answered, 'O my
brother,  he hath repented to Almighty Allah.[FN#294]' Quoth I,
'What was the  cause of his repentance?'; and quoth he, 'O my
brother, in such  a year there came to him a merchant, by name
Abu al-Hasan the  Omani, who abode with his daughter awhile, till
his wealth was all  spent, when the old man turned him out,
broken-hearted. Now  the girl loved him with exceeding love, and
when she was parted  from him, she sickened of a sore sickness
and came nigh upon  death. As soon as her father knew how it was
with her, he sent  after and sought for Abu al-Hasan through the
lands, pledging  himself to bestow upon whoso should produce him
an hundred  thousand dinars; but none could find him nor come on
any trace  of him; and she is now hard upon death.' Quoth I, 'And
how  is it with her sire?' and quoth the servant, 'He hath sold
all his  girls, for grief of that which hath befallen him, and
hath repented  to Almighty Allah.' Then asked I, 'What wouldst
thou say to  him who should direct thee to Abu al-Hasan the
Omani?'; and  he answered, 'Allah upon thee, O my brother, that
thou do this  and quicken my poverty and the poverty of my
parents![FN#295]' I  rejoined, 'Go to her father and say to him,
Thou owest me the  reward for good news, for that Abu al-Hasan
the Omani standeth  at the door.' With this he set off trotting,
as he were a mule  loosed from the mill, and presently came back,
accompanied by  Shaykh Tahir himself, who no sooner saw me than
he returned to  his house and gave the man an hundred thousand
dinars which he  took and went away blessing me. Then the old man
came up and  embraced me and wept, saying, 'O my lord, where hast
thou been  absent all this while? Indeed, my daughter hath been
killed by  reason of her separation from thee; but come with me
into the  house.' So we entered and he prostrated himself in
gratitude to  the Almighty, saying, 'Praised be Allah who hath
reunited us  with thee!' Then he went in to his daughter and said
to her,  'The Lord hath healed thee of this sickness;' and said
she, 'O  my papa, I shall never be whole of my sickness, save I
look upon  the face of Abu al-Hasan.' Quoth he, 'An thou wilt eat
a morsel  and go to the Hammam, I will bring thee in company with
him.'  Asked she, 'Is it true that thou sayst?'; and he answered,
'By  the Great God, 'tis true!' She rejoined, 'By Allah, if I
look  upon his face, I shall have no need of eating!' Then said
he to  his page, 'Bring in thy lord.' Thereupon I entered, and
when  she saw me, O Prince of True Believers, she fell down in a
swoon,  and presently coming to herself, recited this couplet,

'Yea, Allah hath joined the parted twain, * When no thought they
thought e'er to meet again.'

Then she sat upright and said, 'By Allah, O my lord, I had not
deemed to see thy face ever more, save it were in a dream!' So
she embraced me and wept, and said, 'O Abu al-Hasan, now will  I
eat and drink.' The old man her sire rejoiced to hear these
words and they brought her meat and drink and we ate and drank,
O Commander of the Faithful. After this, I abode with them
awhile, till she was restored to her former beauty, when her
father  sent for the Kazi and the witnesses and bade write out
the  marriage-contract between her and me and made a mighty great
bride-feast; and she is my wife to this day and this is my son by
her." So saying he went away and returned with a boy of rare
beauty and symmetry of form and favour to whom said he, "Kiss
the ground before the Commander of the Faithful." He kissed
ground before the Caliph, who marvelled at his beauty and
glorified  his Creator; after which Al-Rashid departed, he and
his company,  saying, "O Ja'afar, verily, this is none other than
a marvellous thing,  never saw I nor heard I aught more
wondrous." When he was  seated in the palace of the Caliphate, he
cried, "O Masrur!" who  replied, "Here am I, O my lord!" Then
said he, "Bring the  year's tribute of Bassorah and Baghdad and
Khorasan, and set it  in this recess.[FN#296]" Accordingly he
laid the three tributes together  and they were a vast sum of
money, whose tale none might tell  save Allah. Then the Caliph
bade draw a curtain before the  recess and said to Ja'afar,
"Fetch me Abu al-Hasan." Replied  Ja'afar, "I hear and obey," and
going forth, returned presently  with the Omani, who kissed
ground before the Caliph, fearing lest  he had sent for him
because of some fault that he had committed  when he was with him
in his house. Then said Al-Rashid,  "Harkye, O Omani!" and he
replied, "Adsum, O Prince of True  Believers! May Allah ever
bestow his favours upon thee!"  Quoth the Caliph, "Draw back
yonder curtain." Thereupon  Abu al-Hasan drew back the curtain
from the recess and  was confounded and perplexed at the mass of
money he saw  there. Said Al-Rashid, "O Abu al-Hasan, whether is
the more,  this money or that thou didst lose by the
amulet?[FN#297]"; and he  answered, "This is many times the
greater, O Commander of the  Faithful!" Quoth the Caliph, "Bear
witness, all ye who are  present, that I give this money to this
young man." So Abu  al-Hasan kissed ground and was abashed and
wept before the  Caliph for excess of joy. Now when he wept, the
tears ran down  from his eyelids upon his cheeks and the blood
returned to its  place and his face became like the moon on the
night of its  fulness. Whereupon quoth the Caliph, "There is no
god but the  God! Glory be to Him who decreeth change upon change
and  is Himself the Everlasting who changeth not!" Saying these
words, he bade fetch a mirror and showed Abu al-Hasan his face
therein, which when he saw, he prostrated himself, in gratitude
to  the Most High Lord. Then the Caliph bade transport the money
to Abu al-Hasan's house and charged the young man not to absent
himself from him, so he might enjoy his company as a
cup-companion.  Accordingly he paid him frequent visits, till
Al-Rashid  departed to the mercy of Almighty Allah; and glory be
to Him  who dieth not the Lord of the Seen and the Unseen! And
among  tales they tell is one touching

                  IBRAHIM AND JAMILAH.[FN#298]

Al-Khasíb,[FN#299] Wazir of Egypt, had a son named Ibrahim, than
whom there was none goodlier, and of his fear for him, he
suffered him not to go forth, save to the Friday prayers. One
day, as the youth was returning from the mosque, he came upon an
old man, with whom were many books; so he lighted down from his
horse and seating himself beside him, began to turn over the
tomes and examine them. In one of them he espied the semblance of
a woman which all but spoke, never was seen on the earth's face
one more beautiful; and as this captivated his reason and
confounded his wit, he said to the old man, "O Shaykh, sell me
this picture." The bookseller kissed ground between his hands and
said, "O my lord, 'tis thine without price.[FN#300]" Ibrahim gave
him an hundred dinars and taking the book in which was the
picture, fell to gazing upon it and weeping night and day,
abstaining from meat and drink and sleep. Then said he in his
mind, "An I ask the book seller of the painter of this picture,
haply he will tell me; and if the original be living, I will seek
access to her; but, if it be only a picture, I will leave doting
upon it and plague myself no more for a thing which hath no real
existence."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
youth Ibrahim said in his mind, "An I ask the bookseller of the
painter of this picture, haply he will tell me; and, if it be
only a picture, I will leave doting upon it and plague myself no
more for a thing which hath no real existence." So on the next
Friday he betook himself to the bookseller, who sprang up to
receive him, and said to him, "Oh uncle, tell me who painted this
picture." He replied, "O my lord, a man of the people of Baghdad
painted it, by name Abu al-Kásim al-Sandaláni who dwelleth in a
quarter called Al-Karkh; but I know not of whom it is the
portraiture." So Ibrahim left him without acquainting any of his
household with his case, and returned to the palace, after
praying the Friday prayers. Then he took a bag and filling it
with gold and gems to the value of thirty thousand dinars, waited
till the morning, when he went out, without telling any, and
presently overtook a caravan. Here he saw a Badawi and asked him,
"O uncle, what distance is between me and Baghdad?"; and the
other answered,  O my son, where art thou, and where is
Baghdad?[FN#301] Verily, between thee and it is two months'
journey." Quoth Ibrahim, O nuncle, an thou wilt guide me to
Baghdad, I will give thee an hundred dinars and this mare under
me that is worth other thousand gold pieces;" and quoth the
Badawi, "Allah be witness of what we say! Thou shalt not lodge
this night but with me." So Ibrahim agreed to this and passed the
night with him. At break of dawn, the Badawi took him and fared
on with him in haste by a near road, in his greed for the mare
and the promised good; nor did they leave wayfaring till they
came to the walls of Baghdad, when said the wildling, "Praised be
Allah for Safety! O my lord, this is Baghdad." Whereat Ibrahim
rejoiced with exceeding joy and alighting from the mare, gave her
to the Desert man, together with the hundred dinars. Then he took
the bag and entering the city walked on, enquiring for the
quarter al-Karkh and the station of the merchants, till Destiny
drave him to a by-way, wherein were ten houses, five fronting
five, and at the farther end was a two-leaved door with a silver
ring. By the gate stood two benches of marble, spread with the
finest carpets, and on one of them sat a man of handsome aspect
and reverend, clad in sumptuous clothing and attended by five
Mamelukes like moons. When the youth Ibrahim saw the street, he
knew it by the description the bookseller had given him; so he
salaamed to the man, who returned his salutation and bidding him
welcome, made him sit down and asked him of his case. Quoth
Ibrahim, "I am a stranger man and desire of thy favour that thou
look me out a house in this street where I may take up my abode."
With this the other cried out, saying, "Ho, Ghazálah![FN#302]";
and there came forth to him a slave-girl, who said, "At thy
service, O my lord!" Said her master, "Take some servants and
fare ye all and every to such a house and clean it and furnish it
with whatso is needful for this handsome youth." So she went
forth and did his bidding; whilst the old man took the youth and
showed him the house; and he said, "O my lord, how much may be
the rent of this house?" The other answered, "O bright of face, I
will take no rent of thee whilst thou abidest therein." Ibrahim
thanked him for this and the old man called another slave-girl,
whereupon there came forth to him a damsel like the sun, to whom
said he, "Bring chess." So she brought it and one of the servants
set the cloth;[FN#303] where upon said the Shaykh to Ibrahim,
"Wilt thou play with me?"; and he answered, "Yes." So they played
several games and Ibrahim beat him, when his adversary exclaimed,
"Well done, O youth! Thou art indeed perfect in qualities. By
Allah, there is not one in Baghdad can beat me, and yet thou hast
beaten me!" Now when they had made ready the house and furnished
it with all that was needful, the old man delivered the keys to
Ibrahim and said to him, "O my lord, wilt thou not enter my place
and eat of my bread?" He assented and walking in with him, found
it a handsome house and a goodly, decorated with gold and full of
all manner pictures and furniture galore and other things, such
as tongue faileth to set out. The old man welcomed him and called
for food, whereupon they brought a table of the make of Sana'a of
al-Yaman and spread it with all manner rare viands, than which
there was naught costlier nor more delicious. So Ibrahim ate his
sufficiency, after which he washed his hands and proceeded to
inspect the house and furniture. Presently, he turned to look for
the leather bag, but found it not and said in himself, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! I have eaten a morsel worth a dirham or two and have lost
a bag wherein is thirty thousand dinars' worth: but I seek aid of
Allah!" And he was silent and could not speak,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
youth Ibrahim saw that his bag was lost, he was silent and could
not speak for the greatness of his trouble. Presently his host
brought the chess and said to him, "Wilt thou play with me?"; and
he said, "Yes." So they played and the old man beat him. Ibrahim
cried, "Well done!" and left playing and rose: upon which his
host asked him, "What aileth thee, O youth?" whereto he answered,
"I want the bag." Thereupon the Shaykh rose and brought it out to
him, saying, "Here it is, O my lord. Wilt thou now return to
playing with me?" "Yes," replied Ibrahim. Accordingly they played
and the young man beat him. Quoth the Shaykh, "When thy thought
was occupied with the bag, I beat thee: but, now I have brought
it back to thee, thou beatest me. But, tell me, O my son, what
countryman art thou." Quoth Ibrahim, "I am from Egypt," and quoth
the oldster, "And what is the cause of thy coming to Baghdad?";
whereupon Ibrahim brought out the portrait and said to him,
"Know, O uncle, that I am the son of Al-Kasib, Wazir of Egypt,
and I saw with a bookseller this picture, which bewildered my
wit. I asked him who painted it and he said, 'He who wrought it
is a man, Abu al-Kasim al-Sandalani hight, who dwelleth in a
street called the Street of Saffron in the Karkh quarter of
Baghdad.' So I took with me somewhat of money and came hither
alone, none knowing of my case; and I desire of the fullness of
thy favour that thou direct me to Abu al-Kasim, so I may ask him
of the cause of his painting this picture and whose portrait it
is. And whatso ever he desireth of me, I will give him that
same." Said his host, "By Allah, O my son, I am Abu al-Kasim al
Sandalani, and this is a prodigious thing how Fate hath thus
driven thee to me!" Now when Ibrahim heard these words, he rose
to him and embraced him and kissed his head and hands, saying,
"Allah upon thee, tell me whose portrait it is!" The other
replied, "I hear and I obey," and rising, opened a closet and
brought out a number of books, wherein he had painted the same
picture. Then said he, "Know, O my son, that the original of this
portrait is my cousin, the daughter of my father's brother, whose
name is Abú al-Lays.[FN#304] She dwelleth in Bassorah of which
city her father is governor, and her name is Jamílah--the
beautiful. There is not on the face of the earth a fairer than
she; but she is averse from men and cannot hear the word 'man'
pronounced in her presence. Now I once repaired to my uncle, to
the intent that he should marry me to her, and was lavish of
wealth to him; but he would not consent thereto: and when his
daughter knew of this she was indignant and sent to me to say,
amongst other things, 'An thou have wit, tarry not in this town;
else wilt thou perish and thy sin shall be on shine own
neck.[FN#305]' For she is a virago of viragoes. Accordingly I
left Bassorah, brokenhearted, and limned this likeness of her in
books and scattered them abroad in various lands, so haply they
might fall into the hands of a comely youth like thyself and he
contrive access to her and peradventure she might fall in love
with him, purposing to take a promise of him that, when he should
have possession of her, he would show her to me, though I look
but for a moment from afar off." When Ibrahim son of al-Kasib
heard these words, he bowed his head awhile in thought and
al-Sandalani said to him, "O my son, I have notseen in Baghdad a
fairer than thou, and meseems that, when she seeth thee, she will
love thee. Art thou willing, therefore, in case thou be united
with her and get possession of her, to show her to me, if I look
but for a moment from afar?" Ibrahim replied, Yes; and the
painter rejoined, "This being so, tarry with me till thou set
out." But the youth  retorted, "I cannot tarry longer; for my
heart with love of her is all afire." "Have patience three days,"
said the Shaykh, "till I fit thee out a ship, wherein thou mayst
fare to Bassorah." Accordingly he waited whilst the old man
equipped him a craft and stored therein all that he needed of
meat and drink and so forth. When the three days were past, he
said to Ibrahim, "Make thee ready for the voyage; for I have
prepared thee a packet-boat furnished with all thou requirest.
The craft is my property and the seamen are of my servants. In
the vessel is what will suffice thee till thy return, and I have
charged the crew to serve thee till thou come back in safety."
Thereupon Ibrahim farewelled his host and embarking sailed down
the river till he came to Bassorah, where he pulled out an
hundred dinars for the sailors, but they said, "We have gotten
our hire of our lord." However he replied, "Take this by way of
largesse; and I will not acquaint him therewith." So they took it
and blessed him. Then the youth landed and entering the town
asked, "Where do the merchants lodge?" and was answered, "In a
Khan called the Khan of Hamadán."[FN#306] So he walked to the
market wherein stood the Khan, and all eyes were fixed upon him
and men's sight was attracted to him by reason of his exceeding
beauty and loveliness. He entered the caravanserai, with one of
the sailors in his company; and, asking for the porter, was
directed to an aged man of reverend aspect. He saluted him and
the doorkeeper returned his greeting; after which Ibrahim said to
him, ' O uncle, hast thou a nice chamber?" He replied, 'Yes," and
taking him and the sailor, opened to them a handsome room
decorated with gold, and said, "O youth, this chamber befitteth
thee." Ibrahim pulled out two dinars and gave them to him,
saying, "Take these to key-money."[FN#307] And the porter took
them and blessed him. Then the youth Ibrahim sent the sailor back
to the ship and entered the room, where the doorkeeper abode with
him and served him, saying, "O my lord, thy coming hath brought
us joy!" Ibrahim gave him a dinar, and said, "Buy us herewith
bread and meat and sweetmeats and wine." Accordingly the
doorkeeper went to the market; and, buying ten dirhams' worth of
victual, brought it back to Ibrahim and gave him the other ten
dirhams. But he cried to him, "Spend them on thyself;" whereat
the porter rejoiced with passing joy. Then he ate a scone with a
little kitchen[FN#308] and gave the rest to the concierge,
adding, "Carry this to the people of thy household." The porter
carried it to his family and said to them, "Methinketh there is
not on the face of the earth a more generous than the young man
who has come to lodge with us this day, nor yet a pleasanter than
he. An he abide with us, we shall grow rich." Then he returned to
Ibrahim and found him weeping; so he sat down and began to
rub[FN#309] his feet and kiss them, saying, "O my lord, wherefore
weepest thou? May Allah not make thee weep!" Said Ibrahim, "O
uncle, I have a mind to drink with thee this night;" and the
porter replied, "Hearing and obeying!" So he gave him five dinars
and said, "Buy us fresh fruit and wine;" and presently added
other five, saying, "With these buy also for us dessert[FN#310]
and flowers and five fat fowls and bring me a lute." The
doorkeeper went out and, buying what he had ordered, said to his
wife, "Strain this wine and cook us this food and look thou dress
it daintily, for this young man overwhelmeth us with his
bounties." She did as he bade her, to the utmost of desire; and
he took the victuals and carried them to Ibrahim son of the
Sultan.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that then they
ate and drank and made merry, and Ibrahim wept and repeated the
following verses,

"O my friend! an I rendered my life, my sprite, * My wealth and
     whatever the world can unite;
Nay, th' Eternal Garden and Paradise[FN#311] * For an hour of
     Union my heart would buy't!"

Then he sobbed a great sob and fell down a-swoon. The porter
sighed, and when he came to himself, he said to him, "O my lord,
what is it gars thee weep and who is she to whom thou alludest in
these verses? Indeed, she cannot be but as dust to thy feet." But
Ibrahim arose and for all reply brought out a parcel of the
richest raiment that women wear and said to him, "Take this to
thy Harim." So he carried it to his wife and she returned with
him to the young man's lodging and behold, she found him weeping,
quoth the doorkeeper to him, "Verily, thou breakest our hearts!
Tell us what fair one thou desirest, and she shall be naught save
thy handmaid." Quoth he, "O uncle, know that I am the son of
al-Kasib, Wazir of Egypt, and I am enamoured of Jamilah, daughter
of Abu al-Lays the Governor." Exclaimed the porter's wife,
"Allah! Allah! O my brother, leave this talk, lest any hear of us
and we perish. Verily there is not on earth's face a more
masterful than she, nor may any name to her the word man, for she
is averse from men. Wherefore, O my son, turn from her to other
than her." Now when Ibrahim heard this, he wept with sore weeping
and the doorkeeper said to him, "I have nothing save my life; but
that I will risk for thy love and find thee a means of winning
thy will." Then the twain went out from him, and on the morrow he
betook himself to the Hammam and donned a suit of royal raiment,
after which he returned to his lodging, when behold, the porter
and his wife came in to him and said, "Know, O my lord, that
there is a humpbacked tailor here who seweth for the lady
Jamilah. Go thou to him and acquaint him with thy case; haply he
will show thee the way of attaining shine aim." So the youth
Ibrahim arose and betaking himself to the shop of the humpbacked
tailor, went in to him and found with him ten Mamelukes as they
were moons. He saluted them with the Salam, and they returned his
greeting and bade him welcome and made him sit down; and indeed
they rejoiced in him and were amazed at his charms and
loveliness, especially the hunchback who was confounded at his
beauty of form and favour. Presently he said to the Gobbo, "I
desire that thou sew me up my pocket;" and the tailor took a
needleful of silk and sewed up his pocket which he. had torn
purposely; whereupon Ibrahim gave him five dinars and returned to
his lodging. Quoth the tailor, "What thing have I done for this
youth, that he should give me five gold pieces?" And he passed
the night, pondering his beauty and generosity. And when morning
morrowed Ibrahim repaired to the shop and saluted the tailor, who
returned his Salam and welcomed him and made much of him. Then he
sat down and said to the hunchback, "O uncle, sew up my pocket,
for I have rent it again." Replied the tailor, "On my head and
eyes, O my son," and sewed it up; whereupon Ibrahim gave him ten
ducats and he took them, amazed at his beauty and generosity.
Then said he, "By Allah, O youth, for this conduct of thine needs
must be a cause, this is no matter of sewing up a pocket. But
tell me the truth of thy case. An thou be in love with one of
these boys,[FN#312] by Allah, there is not among them a comelier
than thou, for they are each and every as the dust at thy feet;
and behold, they are all thy slaves and at thy command. Or if it
be other than this, tell me." Replied Ibrahim, "O uncle, this is
no place for talk, for my case is wondrous and my affair
marvellous." Rejoined the tailor, "An it be so, come with me to a
place apart." So saying, he rose up in haste and took the youth
by the hand and carrying him into a chamber behind the shop,
said, "Now tell me thy tale, O youth!" Accordingly Ibrahim
related his story first and last to the tailor, who was amazed at
his speech and cried, "O youth, fear Allah for thyself :[FN#313]
indeed she of whom thou speakest is a virago and averse from men.
Wherefore, O my brother, do thou guard thy tongue, else thou wilt
destroy thyself." When Ibrahim heard the hunchback's words, he
wept with sore weeping and clinging to the tailor's skirts said,
"Help me, O my uncle, or I am a dead man; for I have left my
kingdom and the kingdom of my father and grandfather and am
become a stranger in the lands and lonely; nor can I endure
without her." When the tailor saw how it was with him, he pitied
him and said, "O my son, I have but my life and that I will
venture for thy love, for thou makest my heart ache. But by to-
morrow I will contrive thee somewhat whereby thy heart shall be
solaced. Ibrahim blessed him and returning to the khan, told the
doorkeeper what  The hunchback had said, and he answered,
"Indeed, he hath dealt kindly with thee." Next morning, the youth
donned his richest dress and taking a purse of gold, repaired to
the Gobbo and saluted him. Then he sat down and said, "O uncle,
keep thy word with me." Quoth the hunchback, "Arise forthright
and take thee three fat fowls and three ounces[FN#314] of sugar-
candy and two small jugs which do thou fill with wine; also a
cup. Lay all these in a budget[FN#315] and to-morrow, after the
morning-prayers, take boat with them, saying to the boatman, 'I
would have thee row me down the river below Bassorah.' An he say
to thee, 'I cannot go farther than a parasang' do thou answer,
'As thou wilt;' but, when he shall have come so far, lure him on
with money to carry thee farther; and the first flower-garden
thou wilt descry after this will be that of the lady Jamilah. Go
up to the gate as soon as thou espiest it and there thou wilt see
two high steps, carpeted with brocade, and seated thereon a
Quasimodo like me. Do thou complain to him of thy case and crave
his favour: belike he will have compassion on thy condition and
bring thee to the sight of her, though but for a moment from
afar. This is all I can do for thee; and unless he be moved to
pity for thee, we be dead men, I and thou. This then is my rede
and the matter rests with the Almighty." Quoth Ibrahim, "I seek
aid of Allah; whatso He willeth becometh; and there is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah!" Then he left the hunchback
tailor and returned to his lodging where, taking the things his
adviser had named, he laid them in a bag. On the morrow, as soon
as it was day, he went down to Tigris bank, where he found a
boatman asleep; so he awoke him and giving him ten sequins, bade
him row him down the river below Bassorah. Quoth the man, "O my
lord, it must be on condition that I go no farther than a
parasang; for if I pass that distance by a span, I am a lost man,
and thou too." And quoth Ibrahim, "Be it as thou wilt." Thereupon
he took him and dropped down the river with him till he drew near
the flower garden, when he said to him, "O my son, I can go no
farther; for, if I pass this limit, we are both dead men." Hereat
Ibrahim pulled out other ten dinars and gave them to him, saying,
"Take this spending-money and better thy case therewithal." The
boatman was ashamed to refuse him and fared on with him crying "I
commit the affair to Allah the Almighty!"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the youth Ibrahim gave the boatman other ten dinars, the man took
them, saying, "I commit the affair to Allah the Almighty!" and
fared on with him down stream. When they came to the flower
garden, the youth sprang out of the boat, in his joy, a spring of
a spear's cast from the land, and cast himself down, whilst the
boatman turned and fled. Then Ibrahim fared forward and found all
as it had been described by the Gobbo: he also saw the garden-
gate open, and in the porch a couch of ivory, whereon sat a hump
backed man of pleasant presence, clad in gold-laced clothes and
hending in hand a silvern mace plated with gold. So he hastened
up to him and seizing his hand kissed it; whereupon asked the
hunchback, "Who art thou and whence comest thou and who brought
thee hither, O my son?" And indeed, when the man saw Ibrahim
Khasib-son, he was amazed at his beauty. He answered, "O uncle, I
am an ignorant lad and a stranger," and he wept. The hunchback
had pity on him and taking him up on the couch, wiped away his
tears and said to him, "No harm shall come to thee. An thou be in
debt, may Allah settle thy debt: and if thou be in fear, may
Allah appease thy fear!" Replied Ibrahim, "O uncle, I am neither
in fear nor am I in debt, but have money in plenty, thanks to
Allah." Rejoined the other, "Then, O my son, what is thy need
that thou venturest thyself and thy loveliness to a place wherein
is destruction?" So he told him his story and disclosed to him
his case, whereupon the man bowed his head earthwards awhile,
then said to him, "Was he who directed thee to me the humpbacked
tailor?" "Yes," answered Ibrahim, and the keeper said, "This is
my brother, and he is a blessed man!" presently adding, "But, O
my son, had not affection for thee sunkinto my heart, and had I
not taken compassion on thee, verily thou wert lost, thou and my
brother and the doorkeeper of the Khan and his wife. For know
that this flower-garden hath not its like on the face of the
earth and that it is called the Garden of the Wild
Heifer,[FN#316] nor hath any entered it in all my life long, save
the Sultan and myself and its mistress Jamilah; and I have dwelt
here twenty years and never yet saw any else attain to this
stead. Every forty days the Lady Jamilah cometh hither in a bark
and landeth in the midst of her women, under a canopy of satin,
whose skirts ten damsels hold up with hooks of gold, whilst she
entereth, and I see nothing of her. Natheless, I have but my life
and I will risk it for the sake of thee." Herewith Ibrahim kissed
his hand and the keeper said to him, "Sit by me, till I devise
somewhat for thee." Then he took him by the hand and carried him
into the flower-garden which, when he saw, he deemed it Eden, for
therein were trees intertwining and palms high towering and
waters welling and birds with various voices carolling.
Presently, the keeper brought him to a domed pavilion and said to
him, "This is where the Lady Jamilah sitteth." So he examined it
and found it of the rarest of pleasances, full of all manner
paintings in gold and lapis lazuli. It had four doors, whereto
man mounted by five steps, and in its centre was a cistern of
water, to which led down steps of gold all set with precious
stones. Amiddlewards the basin was a fountain of gold, with
figures, large and small, and water jetting in gerbes from their
mouths; and when, by reason of the issuing forth of the water,
they attuned themselves to various tones, it seemed to the hearer
as though he were in Eden. Round the pavilion ran a channel of
water, turning a Persian wheel[FN#317] whose buckets[FN#318] were
silvern covered with brocade. To the left of the pavilion[FN#319]
was a lattice of silver, giving upon a green park, wherein were
all manner wild cattle and gazelles and hares, and on the right
hand was another lattice, overlooking a meadow full of birds of
all sorts, warbling in various voices and bewildering the
hearers' wits. Seeing all this the youth was delighted and sat
down in the doorway by the gardener, who said to him, "How
seemeth to thee my garden?" Quoth Ibrahim "'Tis the Paradise of
the world!" Whereat the gardener laughed. Then he rose and was
absent awhile and presently returned with a tray, full of fowls
and quails and other dainties including sweet-meats of sugar,
which he set before Ibrahim, saying, "Eat thy sufficiency" So he
ate his fill, whereat the keeper rejoiced and cried, "By Allah,
this is the fashion of Kings and sons of Kings!"[FN#320] Then
said he, "O Ibrahim, what hast thou in yonder bag?" Accordingly
he opened it before him and the keeper said, "Carry it with thee;
'twill serve thee when the Lady Jamilah cometh; for when once she
is come, I shall not be able to bring thee food." Then he rose
and taking the youth by the hand, brought him to a place fronting
the pavilion, where he made him an arbour[FN#321] among the trees
and said to him, "Get thee up here, and when she cometh thou wilt
see her and she will not see thee. This is the best I can do for
thee and on Allah be our dependence! Whenas she singeth, drink
thou to her singing, and whenas she departeth thou shalt return
in safety whence thou camest, Inshallah!" Ibrahim thanked him and
would have kissed his hand, but he forbade him. Then the youth
laid the bag in the arbour and the keeper said to him, "O
Ibrahim, walk about and take thy pleasure in the garth and eat of
its fruits, for thy mistress's coming is appointed to be to-
morrow." So he solaced himself in the garden and ate of its
fruits; after which he righted with the keeper. And when morning
morrowed and showed its sheen and shone, he prayed the dawn-
prayer and presently the keeper came to him with a pale face, and
said to him, "Rise, O my son, and go up into the arbour: for the
slave-girls are come to order the place, and she cometh after
them;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
keeper came to Ibrahim Khasib-son in the Garden he said to him,
"Rise, O my son, and go up into the arbour; for the slave-girls
are come to order the place and she cometh after them. So beware
lest thou spit or sneeze or blow thy nose[FN#322]; else we are
dead men, I and thou." Hereupon Ibrahim rose and went up into his
nest, whilst the keeper fared forth, saying, "Allah grant thee
safety, O my son!" Presently behold, up came four slave-girls,
whose like none ever saw, and entering the pavilion, doffed their
outer dresses and washed it. Then they sprinkled it with rose-
water and incensed it with ambergris and aloes-wood and spread it
with brocade. After these came fifty other damsels, with
instruments of music, and amongst them Jamilah, within a canopy
of red brocade, whose skirts the handmaidens bore up with hooks
of gold, till she had entered the pavilion, so that Ibrahim saw
naught of her nor of her raiment. So he said to himself, "By
Allah, all my travail is lost! But needs must I wait to see how
the case will be." Then the damsels brought meat and drink and
they ate and drank and washed their hands, after which they set
her a royal chair and she sat down; and all played on instruments
of music and with ravishing voices incomparably sang. Presently,
out ran an old woman, a duenna, and clapped hands and danced,
whilst the girls pulled her about, till the curtain was lifted
and forth came Jamilah laughing. Ibrahim gazed at her and saw
that she was clad in costly robes and ornaments, and on her head
was a crown set with pearls and gems. About her long fair neck
she wore a necklace of unions and her waist was clasped with a
girdle of chrysolite bugles, with tassels of rubies and pearls.
The damsels kissed ground before her, and, 'When I considered
her" (quoth Ibrahim), "I took leave of my senses and wit and I
was dazed and my thought was confounded for amazement at the
sight of loveliness whose like is not on the face of the earth.
So I fell into a swoon and coming to myself, weeping eyed,
recited these two couplets,

'I see thee and close not mine eyes for fear * Lest their lids
     prevent me beholding thee:
An I gazed with mine every glance these eyne * Ne'er could sight
     all the loveliness moulding thee.'"

Then said the old Kahramanah[FN#323] to the girls, "Let ten of
you arise and dance and sing." And Ibrahim when looking at them
said in himself, "I wish the lady Jamilah would dance." When the
handmaidens had made an end of their pavane, they gathered round
the Princess and said to her, "O my lady, we long for thee to
dance amongst us, so the measure of our joy may be fulfilled, for
never saw we a more delicious day than this." Quoth Ibrahim to
himself, "Doubtless the gates of Heaven are open[FN#324] and
Allah hath granted my prayer."  Then the damsels bussed her feet
and said to her, "By Allah, we never saw thee broadened of breast
as to day!" Nor did they cease exciting her, till she doffed her
outer dress and stood in a shift of cloth of gold,[FN#325]
broidered with various jewels, showing breasts which stood out
like pomegranates and unveiling a face as it were the moon on the
night of fullness. Then she began to dance, and Ibrahim beheld
motions he had never in his life seen their like, for she showed
such wondrous skill and marvellous invention, that she made men
forget the dancing of bubbles in wine-cups and called to mind the
inclining of the turbands from head[FN#326]-tops: even as saith
of her the poet[FN#327],

"A dancer whose form is like branch of Ban! * Flies my soul well
     nigh as his steps I greet:
While he dances no foot stands still and meseems * That the fire
     of my heart is beneath his feet."

And as quoth another,[FN#328]

"A dancer whose figure is like a willow-branch: my soul almost
     quitteth me at the sight of her movements.
No foot can remain stationary at her dancing, she is as though
     the fire of my heart were beneath her feet."

Quoth Ibrahim, "As I gazed upon her, she chanced to look up and
caught sight of me whereupon her face changed and she said to her
women, 'Sing ye till I come back to you.' Then, taking up a knife
half a cubit long, she made towards me, crying, 'There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious the
Great!' Now when I saw this, I well-nigh lost my wits but, whenas
she drew near me and face met face, the knife dropped from her
hand, and she exclaimed, 'Glory to Him who changeth men's
hearts!' Then said she to me, 'O youth, be of good cheer, for
thou art safe from what thou dost fear!' Whereupon I fell to
weeping, and she to wiping away my tears with her hand and
saying, 'O youth, tell me who thou art, and what brought thee
hither' I kissed the ground before her and seized her skirt; and
she said, No harm shall come to thee; for, by Allah, no male hath
ever filled mine eyes[FN#329] but thyself! Tell me, then, who
thou art.' So I recited to her my story from first to last,
whereat she marvelled and said to me, 'O my lord, I conjure thee
by Allah, tell me if thou be Ibrahim bin al-Khasib?' I replied,
'Yes!' and she threw herself upon me, saying, 'O my lord, 'twas
thou madest me averse from men; for, when I heard that there was
in the land of Egypt a youth than whom there was none more
beautiful on earth's face, I fell in love with thee by report,
and my heart became enamoured of thee, for that which reached me
of thy passing comeliness, so that I was, in respect of thee,
even as saith the poet,

'Mine ear forewent mine eye in loving him; * For ear shall love
before the eye at times.'

'So praised be Allah who hath shown thy face! But, by the
almighty, had it been other than thou, I had crucified the keeper
of the garden and the porter of the Khan and the tailor and him
who had recourse to them!' And presently she added, 'But how
shall I contrive for somewhat thou mayst eat, without the
knowledge of my women?' Quoth I, 'With me is somewhat we may eat
and drink;' and I opened the bag before her. She took a fowl and
began to morsel me and I to morsel her; which when I saw, it
seemed to me that this was a dream. Then I brought out wine and
we drank, what while the damsels sang on; nor did they leave to
do thus from morn to noon, when she rose and said, 'Go now and
get thee a boat and await me in such a place, till I come to
thee: for I have no patience left to brook severance.' I replied,
'O my lady, I have with me a ship of my own, whose crew are in my
hire, and they await me.' Rejoined she, 'This is as we would have
it,' and returning to her women,"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Lady Jamilah returned to her women, she said to them, "Come, let
us go back to our palace." They replied, "Why should we return
now, seeing that we use to abide here three days?" Quoth she, "I
feel an exceeding oppression in myself, as though I were sick,
and I fear lest this increase upon me."[FN#330] So they answered,
"We hear and obey," and donning their walking dresses went down
to the river-bank and embarked in a boat; whereupon behold, the
keeper of the garden came up to Ibrahim and said to him, knowing
not what had happened, "O Ibrahim, thou hast not had the luck to
enjoy the sight of her, and I fear lest she have seen thee, for
'tis her wont to tarry here three days." Replied Ibrahim, "She
saw me not nor I her; for she came not forth of the
pavilion."[FN#331] Rejoined the keeper, "True, O my son, for, had
she seen thee, we were both dead men: but abide with me till she
come again next week, and thou shalt see her and take thy fill of
looking at her." Replied the Prince, "O my lord, I have with me
money and fear for it: I also left men behind me and I dread lest
they take advantage of my absence."[FN#332] He retorted, "O my
son 'tis grievous to me to part with thee;" and he embraced and
farewelled him. Then Ibrahim returned to the Khan where he
lodged, and foregathering with the doorkeeper, took of him all
his property and the porter said, "Good news, Inshallah!"[FN#333]
But Ibrahim said, "I have found no way to my want, and now I am
minded to return to my people." Whereupon the porter wept; then
taking up his baggage, he carried them to the ship and abade him
adieu. Ibrahim repaired to the place which Jamilah had appointed
him and awaited her there till it grew dark, when, behold, she
came up, disguised as a bully-boy with rounded beard and waist
bound with a girdle. In one hand she held a bow and arrows and in
the other a bared blade, and she asked him, "Art thou Ibrahim,
son of al-Khasib, lord of Egypt?" "He I am," answered the Prince;
and she said, "What ne'er-do-well art thou, who comes to debauch
the daughters of Kings? Come: speak with the Sultan."[FN#334]
"Therewith" (quoth Ibrahim) "I fell down in a swoon and the
sailors died[FN#335] in their skins for fear; but, when she saw
what had betided me, she pulled off her beard and throwing down
her sword, ungirdled her waist whereupon I knew her for the Lady
Jamilah and said to her, 'By Allah, thou hast rent my heart in
sunder!'[FN#336] adding to the boatmen, 'Hasten the vessel's
speed.' So they shook out the sail and putting off, fared on with
all diligence; nor was it many days ere we made Baghdad, where
suddenly we saw a ship lying by the river-bank. When her sailors
saw us, they cried out to our crew, saying, 'Ho, such an one and
such an one, we give you joy of your safety!' Then they drave
their ship against our craft and I looked and in the other boat
beheld Abu al-Kasim al-Sandalani who when he saw us exclaimed
'This is what I sought: go ye in God's keeping; as for me, I have
a need to be satisfied!' Then he turned to me and said, 'Praised
be Allah for safety! Hast thou accomplished shine errand? I
replied, 'Yes!' Now Abu al-Kasim had a flambeau before him; so he
brought it near our boat,[FN#337] and when Jamilah saw him, she
was troubled and her colour changed: but, when he saw her, he
said, 'Fare ye in Allah's safety. I am bound to Bassorah on
business for the Sultan; but the gift is for him who is
present.'[FN#338] Then he brought out a box of sweetmeats,
wherein was Bhang and threw it into our boat: whereupon quoth I
to Jamilah, 'O coolth of mine eyes, eat of this.' But she wept
and said, 'O Ibrahim, wottest thou who that is?' and said I,
'Yes, 'tis such an one.' Replied she, 'He is my first cousin, son
of my father's brother[FN#339] who sought me aforetime in
marriage of my sire; but I would not accept of him. And now he is
gone to Bassorah and most like he will tell my father of us.' I
rejoined, 'O my lady he will not reach Bassorah, till we are at
Mosul.' But we knew not what lurked for us in the Secret Purpose.
"Then" (continued Ibrahim) "I ate of the sweetmeat, but hardly
had it reached my stomach when I smote the ground with my head;
and lay there till near dawn, when I sneezed and the Bhang issued
from my nostrils. With this, I opened my eyes and found myself
naked and cast out among ruins; so I buffeted my face and said in
myself, 'Doubtless this is a trick al-Sandalani hath played me.'
But I knew not whither I should wend, for I had upon me naught
save my bag-trousers.[FN#340] However, I rose and walked on a
little, till I suddenly espied the Chief of Police coming towards
me, with a posse of men with swords and targes;[FN#341] whereat I
took fright and seeing a ruined Hammam hid myself there.
Presently, my foot stumbled upon something; so I put my hand to
it, and it became befouled with blood. I wiped my hand upon my
bag-trousers, unknowing what had befouled it, and put it out a
second time, when it fell upon a corpse whose head came up in my
hand. I threw it down, saying, 'There is no Majesty and there is
no Might in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!'; and I took refuge
in one of the corner-cabinets of the Hammam. Presently the Wali
stopped at the bath-door and said, 'Enter this place and search.'
So ten of them entered with cressets, and I of my fear retired
behind a wall and looking upon the corpse, saw it to be that of a
young lady[FN#342] with a face like the full moon; and her head
lay on one side and her body clad in costly raiment on the other.
When I saw this, my heart fluttered with affright. Then the Chief
of Police entered and said, 'Search the corners of the bath.' So
they entered the place wherein I was, and one of them seeing me
came up hending in hand a knife half a cubit long. When he drew
near me, he cried, 'Glory be to God, the Creator of this fair
face! O youth, whence art thou?' Then he took me by the hand and
said, 'O youth, why slewest thou this woman?' Said I, 'By Allah,
I slew her not, nor wot I who slew her, and I entered not this
place but in fear of you!' And I told him my case, adding, 'Allah
upon thee, do me no wrong, for I am in concern for myself!' Then
he took me and carried me to the Wali who, seeing the marks of
blood on my hand said, 'This needeth no proof: strike off his
head!'--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim
continued, 'Then they carried me before the Wali and he, seeing
the bloodstains on my hand, cried, 'This needeth no proof: strike
off his head!' Now hearing these words, I wept with sore weeping
the tears streaming from my eyes and recited these two

'We trod the steps that for us were writ, * And whose steps are
     written he needs must tread
And whose death is decreed in one land to be * He ne'er shall
     perish in other stead.'

Then I sobbed a single sob and fell a-swoon; and the headsman's
heart was moved to ruth for me and he exclaimed, 'By Allah, this
is no murtherer's face!' But the Chief said, 'Smite his neck.' So
they seated me on the rug of blood and bound my eyes; after which
the sworder drew his sword and asking leave of the Wali, was
about to strike off my head, whilst I cried out, 'Alas, my
strangerhood!' when lo and behold! I heard a noise of horse
coming up and a voice calling aloud, 'Leave him! Stay thy hand, O
Sworder!'"--Now there was for this a wondrous reason and a
marvellous cause; and 'twas thus. al-Khasib, Wazir of Egypt, had
sent his Head Chamberlain to the Caliph Harun al, Rashid with
presents and a letter, saying, "My son hath been missing this
year past, and I hear that he is in Baghdad; where fore I crave
of the bounty of the Vicegerent of Allah that he make search for
tidings of him and do his endeavour to find him and send him back
to me with the Chamberlain." When the Caliph read the missive, he
commanded the Chief of Police to search out the truth of the
matter, and he ceased not to enquire after Ibrahim, till it was
told him that he was at Bassorah, where upon he informed the
Caliph, who wrote a letter to the viceroy and giving it to the
Chamberlain of Egypt, bade him repair to Bassorah and take with
him a company of the Wazir's followers. So, of his eagerness to
find the son of his lord, the Chamberlain set out forthright and
happened by the way upon Ibrahim, as he stood on the rug of
blood. When the Wali saw the Chamberlain, he recognised him and
alighted to him and as he asked, "What young man is that and what
is his case?" The Chief told him how the matter was and the
Chamberlain said (and indeed he knew him not for the son of the
Sultan[FN#344]) "Verily this young man hath not the face of one
who murthereth." And he bade loose his bonds; so they loosed him
and the Chamberlain said, "Bring him to me!" and they brought
him, but the officer knew him not his beauty being all gone for
the horrors he had endured. Then the Chamberlain said to him, "O
youth, tell me thy case and how cometh this slain woman with
thee." Ibrahim looked at him and knowing him, said to him, "Woe
to thee! Dost thou not know me? Am I not Ibrahim, son of thy
lord? Haply thou art come in quest of me." With this the
Chamberlain considered him straitly and knowing him right well,
threw himself at his feet; which when the Wali saw, his colour
changed, and the Chamber lain cried to him, "Fie upon thee, O
tyrant! Was it shine intent to slay the son of my master
al-Khasib, Wazir of Egypt?" The Chief of Police kissed his skirt,
saying "O my lord,[FN#345] how should I know him? We found him in
this plight and saw the girl lying slain by his side." Rejoined
the Chamberlain, "Out on thee! Thou art not fit for the office.
This is a lad of fifteen and he hath not slain a sparrow; so how
should he be a murtherer? Why didst thou not have patience with
him and question him of his case?" Then the Chamberlain and the
Wali cried to the men, "Make search for the young lady's
murtherer." So they re-entered the bath and finding him, brought
him to the Chief of Police, who carried him to the Caliph and
acquainted him with that which had occurred. al-Rashid bade slay
the slayer and sending for Ibrahim, smiled in his face and said
to him, "Tell me thy tale and that which hath betided thee." So
he recounted to him his story from first to last, and it was
grievous to the Caliph, who called Masrur his Sworder, and said
to him, "Go straightway and fall upon the house of Abu al-Kasim
al-Sandalani and bring me him and the young lady." The eunuch
went forth at once and breaking into the house, found Jamilah
bound with her own hair and nigh upon death; so he loosed her and
taking the painter, carried them both to the Caliph, who
marvelled at Jamilah's beauty. Then he turned to Al- Sandalani
and said, "Take him and cut off his hands, wherewith he beat this
young lady; then crucify him and deliver his monies and
possessions to Ibrahim." They did his bidding, and as they were
thus, behold, in came Abu al-Lays governor of Bassorah, the Lady
Jamilah's father, seeking aid of the Caliph against Ibrahim bin
al- Khasib Wazir of Egypt and complaining to him that the youth
had taken his daughter. Quoth al-Rashid, "He hath been the means
of delivering her from torture and slaughter." Then he sent for
Ibrahim, and when he came, he said to Abu al-Lays, "Wilt thou not
accept of this young man, son of the Soldan of Egypt, as husband
to thy daughter? ' Replied Abu al-Lays, "I hear and I obey Allah
and thee, O Commander of the Faithful;" whereupon the Caliph
summoned the Kazi and the witnesses and married the young lady to
Ibrahim. Furthermore, he gave him all Al Sandalani's wealth and
equipped him for his return to his own country, where he abode
with Jamilah in the utmost of bliss and the most perfect of
happiness, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to the Living who dieth
not! They also relate, O auspicious King, a tale anent

               ABU AL-HASAN OF KHORASAN.[FN#346]

The Caliph Al-Mu'tazid bi 'llah[FN#347] was a high-spirited
Prince and a noble-minded lord; he had in Baghdad six hundred
Wazirs and of the affairs of the folk naught was hidden from him.
He went forth one day, he and Ibn Hamdún,[FN#348] to divert
himself with observing his lieges and hearing the latest news of
the people; and, being overtaken with the heats of noonday, they
turned aside from the main thoroughfare into a little by-street,
at the upper end whereof they saw a handsome and high-builded
mansion, discoursing of its owner with the tongue of praise. They
sat down at the gate to take rest, and presently out came two
eunuchs as they were moons on their fourteenth night. Quoth one
of them to his fellow, "Would Heaven some guest would seek
admission this day! My master will not eat but with guests and we
are come to this hour and I have not yet seen a soul." The Caliph
marvelled at their speech and said, "This is a proof of the
house-master's liberality: there is no help but that we go in to
him and note his generosity, and this shall be a means of favour
betiding him from us." So he said to the eunuch, "Ask leave of
thy lord for the admission of a company[FN#349] of strangers."
For in those days it was the Caliph's wont, whenas he was minded
to observe his subjects, to disguise himself in merchant's garb.
The eunuch went in and told his master, who rejoiced and rising,
came out to them in person. He was fair of favour and fine of
form and he appeared clad in a tunic of Níshápúr[FN#350] silk and
a gold laced mantle; and he dripped with scented waters and wore
on his hand a signet ring of rubies. When he saw them, he said to
them, "Well come and welcome to the lords who favour us with the
utmost of favour by their coming!" So they entered the house and
found it such as would make a man forget family and fatherland
for it was like a piece of Paradise.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Caliph entered the mansion, he and the man with him, they saw
it to be such as would make one forget family and fatherland, for
it was like a piece of Paradise. Within it was a flower-garden,
full of all kinds of trees, confounding sight and its
dwelling-places were furnished with costly furniture. They sat
down and the Caliph fell to gazing at the house and the household
gear. (Quoth Ibn Hamdún), "I looked at the Caliph and saw his
countenance change, and being wont to know from his face whether
he was amused or anangered, said to myself, ‘I wonder what hath
vexed him.' Then they brought a golden basin and we washed our
hands, after which they spread a silken cloth and set thereon a
table of rattan. When the covers were taken off the dishes, we
saw therein meats rare as the blooms of Prime in the season of
their utmost scarcity, twofold and single, and the host said,
‘Bismillah, O my lords! By Allah, hunger pricketh me; so favour
me by eating of this food, as is the fashion of the noble.'
Thereupon he began tearing fowls apart and laying them before us,
laughing the while and repeating verses and telling stories and
talking gaily with pleasant sayings such as sorted with the
entertainment. We ate and drank, then removed to another room,
which confounded beholders with its beauty and which reeked with
exquisite perfumes. Here they brought us a tray of fruits
freshly-gathered and sweetmeats the finest flavoured, whereat our
joys increased and our cares ceased. But withal the Caliph"
(continued Ibn Hamdun) "ceased not to wear a frowning face and
smiled not at that which gladdened all souls, albeit it was his
wont to love mirth and merriment and the putting away of cares,
and I knew that he was no envious wight and oppressor. So I said
to myself, ‘Would Heaven I knew what is the cause of his
moroseness and why we cannot dissipate his ill-humour!' Presently
they brought the tray of wine which friends doth conjoin and
clarified draughts in flagons of gold and crystal and silver, and
the host smote with a rattan-wand on the door of an inner
chamber, whereupon behold, it opened and out came three damsels,
high-bosomed virginity with faces like the sun at the fourth hour
of the day, one a lutist, another a harpist and the third a
dancer-artiste. Then he set before us dried fruits and
confections and drew between us and the damsels a curtain of
brocade, with tassels of silk and rings of gold. The Caliph paid
no heed to all this, but said to the host, who knew not who was
in his company, ‘Art thou noble?'[FN#351] Said he, ‘No, my lord;
I am but a man of the sons of the merchants and am known among
the folk as Abú al-Hasan Ali, son of Ahmad of Khorasan.' Quoth
the Caliph, ‘Dost thou know me, O man?', and quoth he, ‘By Allah,
O my lord, I have no knowledge of either of your honours!' Then
said I to him, ‘O man, this is the Commander of the Faithful,
AI-Mu'tazid bi 'llah grandson of Al-Mutawakkil alà
'llah.'[FN#352] Whereupon he rose and kissed the ground before
the Caliph, trembling for fear of him, and said, ‘O Prince of
True Believers, I conjure thee, by the virtue of thy pious
forbears, an thou have seen in me any shortcomings or lack of
good manners in thy presence, do thou forgive me!' Replied the
Caliph, ‘As for that which thou hast done with us of honouring
and hospitality nothing could have exceeded it; and as for that
wherewith I have to reproach thee here, an thou tell me the truth
respecting it and it commend itself to my sense, thou shalt be
saved from me; but, an thou tell me not the truth, I will take
thee with manifest proof and punish thee with such punishment as
never yet punished any.' Quoth the man, ‘Allah forbid that I tell
thee a lie! But what is it that thou reproachest to me, O
Commander of the Faithful?' Quoth the Caliph, ‘Since I entered
thy mansion and looked upon its grandeur, I have noted the
furniture and vessels therein, nay, even to thy clothes, and
behold, on all of them is the name of my grandfather
Al-Mutawakkil ala 'llah.'[FN#353] Answered Abu al-Hasan, ‘Yes, O
Commander of the Faithful (the Almighty protect thee), truth is
thine inner garb and sincerity is thine outer garment and none
may speak otherwise than truly in thy presence.' The Caliph bade
him be seated and said, ‘Tell us.'" So he began, "Know, O
Commander of the Faithful, that my father belonged to the markets
of the money-changers and druggists and linendrapers and had in
each bazar a shop and an agent and all kinds of goods. Moreover,
behind the money-changer's shop he had an apartment, where he
might be private, appointing the shop for buying and selling. His
wealth was beyond count and to his riches there was none amount;
but he had no child other than myself, and he loved me and was
tenderly fain of me. When his last hour was at hand, he called me
to him and commended my mother to my care and charged me to fear
Almighty Allah. Then he died, may Allah have mercy upon him and
continue the Prince of True Believers on life! And I gave myself
up to pleasure and eating and drinking and took to myself
comrades and intimates. My mother used to forbid me from this and
to blame me for it, but I would not hear a word from her, till my
money was all gone, when I sold my lands and houses and naught
was left me save the mansion wherein I now dwell, and it was a
goodly stead, O Commander of the Faithful. So I said to my
mother, ‘I wish to sell the house;' but she said, ‘O my son, an
thou sell it, thou wilt be dishonoured and wilt have no place
wherein to take shelter.' Quoth I, ‘'Tis worth five thousand
dinars, and with one thousand of its price I will buy me another
house and trade with the rest.' Quoth she, ‘Wilt thou sell it to
me at that price?'; and I replied, ‘Yes.' Whereupon she went to a
coffer and opening it, took out a porcelain vessel, wherein were
five thousand dinars. When I saw this meseemed the house was all
of gold and she said to me, ‘O my son, think not that this is of
thy father's good. By Allah, O my son, it was of my own father's
money and I have treasured it up against a time of need; for, in
thy father's day I was a wealthy woman and had no need of it.' I
took the money from her, O Prince of True Believers, and fell
again to feasting and carousing and merrymaking with my friends,
unheeding my mother's words and admonitions, till the five
thousand dinars came to an end, when I said to her, ‘I wish to
sell the house.' Said she, ‘O my son, I forbade thee from selling
it before, of my knowledge that thou hadst need of it; so how
wilt thou sell it a second time?' Quoth I, ‘Be not longsome of
speech with me, for I must and will sell it;' and quoth she,
‘Then sell it to me for fifteen thousand dinars, on condition
that I take charge of thine affairs.' So I sold her the house at
that price and gave up my affairs into her charge, whereupon she
sought out the agents of my father and gave each of them a
thousand dinars, keeping the rest in her own hands and ordering
the outgo and the income. Moreover she gave me money to trade
withal and said to me, ‘Sit thou in thy father's shop.' So I did
her bidding, O Commander of the Faithful, and took up my abode in
the chamber behind the shop in the market of the money-changers,
and my friends came and bought of me and I sold to them; whereby
I made good cheape and my wealth increased. When my mother saw me
in this fair way, she discovered to me that which she had
treasured up of jewels and precious stones, pearls, and gold, and
I bought back my houses and lands that I had squandered and my
wealth became great as before. I abode thus for some time, and
the factors of my father came to me and I gave them
stock-in-trade, and I built me a second chamber behind the shop.
One day, as I sat there, according to my custom, O Prince of True
Believers, there came up to me a damsel, never saw eyes a fairer
than she of favour, and said, ‘Is this the private shop of Abu
al-Hasan Ali ibn Ahmad al-Khorasani?' Answered I, ‘Yes,' and she
asked, ‘Where is he?' ‘He am I,' said I, and indeed my wit was
dazed at the excess of her loveliness. She sat down and said to
me, ‘Bid thy page weigh me out three hundred dinars.' Accordingly
I bade him give her that sum and he weighed it out to her and she
took it and went away, leaving me stupefied. Quoth my man to me,
‘Dost thou know her?', and quoth I, ‘No, by Allah!' He asked,
‘Then why didst thou bid me give her the money?'; and I answered,
‘By Allah, I knew not what I said, of my amazement at her beauty
and loveliness!' Then he rose and followed her, without my
knowledge, but presently returned, weeping and with the mark of a
blow on his face. I enquired of him what ailed him, and he
replied, ‘I followed the damsel, to see whither she went; but,
when she was aware of me, she turned and dealt me this blow and
all but knocked out my eye.' After this, a month passed, without
her coming, O Commander of the Faithful, and I abode bewildered
for love of her; but, at the end of this time, she suddenly
appeared again and saluted me, whereat I was like to fly for joy.
She asked me how I did and said to me, ‘Haply thou saidst to
thyself, What manner of trickstress is this, who hath taken my
money and made off?' Answered I, ‘By Allah, O my lady, my money
and my life are all thy very own!' With this she unveiled herself
and sat down to rest, with the trinkets and ornaments playing
over her face and bosom. Presently, she said to me, ‘Weigh me out
three hundred dinars. ‘Hearkening and obedience,' answered I and
weighed out to her the money. She took it and went away and I
said to my servant, ‘Follow her.' So he followed her, but
returned dumbstruck, and some time passed without my seeing her.
But, as I was sitting one day, behold, she came up to me and
after talking awhile, said to me, ‘Weigh me out five hundred
dinars, for I have need of them.' I would have said to her, ‘Why
should I give thee my money?'; but my love immense hindered me
from utterance; for, O Prince of True Believers, whenever I saw
her, I trembled in every joint and my colour paled and I forgot
what I would have said and became even as saith the poet,

‘'Tis naught but this! When a-sudden I see her * Mumchance I bide
nor a word can say her.'

So I weighed out for her the five hundred ducats, and she took
them and went away; whereupon I arose and followed her myself,
till she came to the jewel-bazar, where she stopped at a man's
shop and took of him a necklace. Then she turned and seeing me,
said, ‘Pay him five hundred dinars for me.' When the jeweller saw
me, he rose to me and made much of me, and I said to him, ‘Give
her the necklace and set down the price to me.' He replied, ‘I
hear and obey,' and she took it and went away;"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu
Hasan the Khorasani thus pursued his tale, "So I said to the
jeweller, ‘Give her the necklace and set down the price to me.'
Then she took it and went away; but I followed her, till she came
to the Tigris and boarded a boat there, whereupon I signed with
my hand to the ground, as who should say, ‘I kiss it before
thee.' She went off laughing, and I stood watching her, till I
saw her land and enter a palace, which when I considered, I knew
it for the palace of the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil. So I turned back,
O Commander of the Faithful, with all the cares in the world
fallen on my heart, for she had of me three thousand dinars, and
I said to myself, ‘She hath taken my wealth and ravished my wit,
and peradventure I shall lose my life for her love.' Then I
returned home and told my mother all that had befallen me, and
she said, ‘O my son, beware how thou have to do with her after
this, or thou art lost.' When I went to my shop, my factor in the
drug-market, who was a very old man, came to me and said, ‘O my
lord, how is it that I see thee changed in case and showing marks
of chagrin? Tell me what aileth thee.' So I told him all that had
befallen me with her and he said, ‘O my son, this is indeed one
of the handmaidens of the palace of the Commander of the Faithful
and haply she is the Caliph's favourite concubine: so do thou
reckon the money as spent for the sake of Almighty Allah[FN#354]
and occupy thyself no more with her. An she come again, beware
lest she have to do with thee and tell me of this, that I may
devise thee some device lest perdition betide thee.' Then he
fared forth and left me with a flame of fire in my heart. At the
end of the month behold, she came again and I rejoiced in her
with exceeding joy. Quoth she, ‘What ailed thee to follow me?';
and quoth I, ‘Excess of passion that is in my heart urged me to
this,' and I wept before her. She wept for ruth of me and said,
‘By Allah, there is not in thy heart aught of love-longing but in
my heart is more! Yet how shall I do? By Allah, I have no
resource save to see thee thus once a month.' Then she gave me a
bill saying, ‘Carry this to such an one of such a trade who is my
agent and take of him what is named therein.' But I replied, ‘I
have no need of money; be my wealth and my life thy sacrifice!'
Quoth she, ‘I will right soon contrive thee a means of access to
me, whatever trouble it cost me.' Then she farewelled me and
fared forth, whilst I repaired to the old druggist and told him
what had passed. He went with me to the palace of Al-Mutawakkil
which I knew for that which the damsel had entered; but the
Shaykh was at a loss for a device. Presently he espied a tailor
sitting with his apprentices at work in his shop, opposite the
lattice giving upon the river bank and said to me, ‘Yonder is one
by whom thou shalt win thy wish; but first tear thy pocket and go
to him and bid him sew it up. When he hath done this, give him
ten dinars.' ‘I hear and obey,' answered I and taking with me two
pieces[FN#355] of Greek brocade, went to the tailor and bade him
make of them four suits, two with long-sleeved coats and two
without. When he had finished cutting them out and sewing them, I
gave him to his hire much more than of wont, and he put out his
hand to me with the clothes; but I said, ‘Take them for thyself
and for those who are with thee.' And I fell to sitting with him
and sitting long: I also bespoke of him other clothes and said to
him, ‘Hang them out in front of thy shop, so the folk may see
them and buy them.' He did as I bade him, and whoso came forth of
the Caliph's palace and aught of the clothes pleased him, I made
him a present thereof, even to the doorkeeper. One day of the
days the tailor said to me, ‘O my son, I would have thee tell me
the truth of thy case; for thou hast bespoken of me an hundred
costly suits, each worth a mint of money, and hast given the most
of them to the folk. This is no merchant's fashion, for a
merchant calleth an account for every dirham, and what can be the
sum of thy capital that thou givest these gifts and what thy gain
every year? Tell me the truth of thy case, that I may assist thee
to thy desire;' presently adding, ‘I conjure thee by Allah, tell
me, art thou not in love?' ‘Yes,' replied I; and he said, ‘With
whom?' Quoth I, ‘With one of the handmaids of the Caliph's
palace;' and quoth he, ‘Allah put them to shame! How long shall
they seduce the folk? Knowest thou her name?' Said I, ‘No;' and
said he, ‘Describe her to me.' So I described her to him and he
cried, ‘Out on it! This is the lutanist of the Caliph
Al-Mutawakkil and his pet concubine. But she hath a
Mameluke[FN#356] and do thou make friends with him; it may be he
shall become the means of thy having access to her.' Now as we
were talking, behold, out walked the servant in question from the
palace, as he were a moon on the fourteenth night; and, seeing
that I had before me the clothes which the tailor had made me,
and they were of brocade of all colours, he began to look at them
and examine them. Then he came up to me and I rose and saluted
him. He asked, ‘Who art thou?' and I answered, ‘I am a man of the
merchants.' Quoth he, ‘Wilt thou sell these clothes?'; and quoth
I, ‘Yes.' So he chose out five of them and said to me, ‘How much
these five?' Said I, ‘They are a present to thee from me in
earnest of friendship between me and thee.' At this he rejoiced
and I went home and fetching a suit embroidered with jewels and
jacinths, worth three thousand dinars, returned therewith and
gave it to him. He accepted it and carrying me into a room within
the palace, said to me, ‘What is thy name among the merchants?'
Said I, ‘I am a man of them.'[FN#357] He continued, ‘Verily I
misdoubt me of thine affair.' I asked, ‘Why so?' and he answered,
‘Because thou hast bestowed on me a costly gift and won my heart
therewith, and I make certain that thou art Abu alHasan of
Khorasan the Shroff.' With this I fell aweeping, O Prince of True
Believers; and he said to me, ‘Why dost thou weep? By Allah, she
for whom thou weepest is yet more longingly in love with thee
than thou with her! And indeed her case with thee is notorious
among all the palace women. But what wouldst thou have?' Quoth I,
‘I would have thee succour me in my calamity.' So he appointed me
for the morrow and I returned home. As soon as I rose next
morning, I betook myself to him and waited in his chamber till he
came in and said to me, ‘Know that yesternight when, after having
made an end of her service by the Caliph, she returned to her
apartment, I related to her all that had passed between me and
thee and she is minded to foregather with thee. So stay with me
till the end of the day.' Accordingly I stayed with him till
dark, when the Mameluke brought me a shirt of gold-inwoven stuff
and a suit of the Caliph's apparel and clothing me therein,
incensed me[FN#358] and I became like the Commander of the
Faithful. Then he brought me to a gallery with rows of rooms on
either side and said to me, ‘These are the lodgings of the Chief
of the slavegirls; and when thou passest along the gallery, do
thou lay at each door a bean, for 'tis the custom of the Caliph
to do this every night,'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Mameluke said to Abu Hasan, "When thou passest along the gallery
set down at each door a bean for 'tis the custom of the Caliph so
to do, till thou come to the second passage on thy right hand,
when thou wilt see a door with a marble threshold .[FN#359] Touch
it with thy hand or, an thou wilt, count the doors which are so
many, and enter the one whose marks are thus and thus. There thy
mistress will see thee and take thee in with her. As for thy
coming forth, verily Allah will make it easy to me, though I
carry thee out in a chest."--"Then he left me and returned,
whilst I went on, counting the doors and laying at each a bean.
When I had reached the middle of the gallery, I heard a great
clatter and saw the light of flambeaux coming towards me. As the
light drew near me, I looked at it and behold, the Caliph
himself, came surrounded by the slave-girls carrying waxen
lights, and I heard one of the women[FN#360] say to another, ‘O
my sister, have we two Caliphs? Verily, the Caliph whose perfumes
and essences I smelt, hath already passed by my room and he hath
laid the bean at my door, as his wont; and now I see the light of
his flambeaux, and here he cometh with them.' Replied the other,
‘Indeed this is a wondrous thing, for disguise himself in the
Caliph's habit none would dare.' Then the light drew near me,
whilst I trembled in every limb; and up came an eunuch, crying
out to the concubines and saying, ‘Hither!' Whereupon they turned
aside to one of the chambers and entered. Then they came out
again and walked on till they came to the chamber of my mistress
and I heard the Caliph say, ‘Whose chamber is this?' They
answered, ‘This is the chamber of Shajarat al-Durr.' And he said,
‘Call her.' So they called her and she came out and kissed the
feet of the Caliph, who said to her, ‘Wilt thou drink to-night?'
Quoth she, ‘But for thy presence and the looking on thine
auspicious countenance, I would not drink, for I incline not to
wine this night.' Then quoth the Commander of the Faithful to the
eunuch, ‘Bid the treasurer give her such necklace;' and he
commanded to enter her chamber. So the waxen lights entered
before him and he followed them into the apartment. At the same
moment, behold, there came up a damsel, the lustre of whose face
outshone that of the flambeau in her hand, and drawing near she
said, ‘Who is this?' Then she laid hold of me and carrying me
into one of the chambers, said to me, ‘Who art thou?' I kissed
the ground before her saying, ‘I implore thee by Allah, O my
lady, spare my blood and have ruth on me and commend thyself unto
Allah by saving my life!'; and I wept for fear of death. Quoth
she, ‘Doubtless, thou art a robber;' and quoth I, ‘No, by Allah,
I am no robber. Seest thou on me the signs of thieves?' Said she,
‘Tell me the truth of thy case and I will put thee in safety.' So
I said, ‘I am a silly lover and an ignorant, whom passion and my
folly have moved to do as thou seest, so that I am fallen into
this slough of despond.' Thereat cried she, ‘Abide here till I
come back to thee;' and going forth she presently returned with
some of her handmaid's clothes wherein she clad me and bade me
follow her; so I followed her till she came to her apartment and
commanded me to enter. I went in and she led me to a couch,
whereon was a mighty fine carpet, and said, ‘Sit down here: no
harm shall befal thee. Art thou not Abu al-Hasan Ali the
Khorasani, the Shroff?' I answered, ‘Yes,' and she rejoined,
‘Allah spare thy blood given thou speak truth! An thou be a
robber, thou art lost, more by token that thou art dressed in the
Caliph's habit and incensed with his scents. But, an thou be
indeed Abu al-Hasan, thou art safe and no hurt shall happen to
thee, for that thou art the friend of Shajarat al-Durr, who is my
sister and ceaseth never to name thee and tell us how she took of
thee money, yet wast thou not chagrined, and how thou didst
follow her to the river bank and madest sign as thou wouldst kiss
the earth in her honour; and her heart is yet more aflame for
thee than is thine for her. But how camest thou hither? Was it by
her order or without it? She hath indeed imperilled thy
life[FN#361]. But what seekest thou in this assignation with
her?' I replied, ‘By Allah, O my lady, 'tis I who have imperilled
my own life, and my aim in foregathering with her is but to look
on her and hear her pretty speech.' She said, ‘Thou hast spoken
well;' and I added, ‘O my lady, Allah is my witness when I
declare that my soul prompteth me to no offence against her
honour.' Cried she, ‘In this intent may Allah deliver thee!
Indeed compassion for thee hath gotten hold upon my heart.' Then
she called her handmaid and said to her, ‘Go to Shajarat al-Durr
and say to her, ‘Thy sister saluteth thee and biddeth thee to
her; so favour her by coming to her this night, according to thy
custom, for her breast is straitened.' The slave-girl went out
and presently returning, told her mistress that Shajarat al-Durr
said, ‘May Allah bless me with thy long life and make me thy
ransom! By Allah, hadst thou bidden me to other than this, I had
not hesitated; but the Caliph's migraine constraineth me and thou
knowest my rank with him.' But the other said to her damsel,
‘Return to her and say, ‘Needs must thou come to my mistress upon
a private matter between thee and her!' So the girl went out
again and presently returned with the damsel, whose face shone
like the full moon. Her sister met her and embraced her; then
said she, ‘Ho, Abu al-Hasan, come forth to her and kiss her
hands!' Now I was in a closet within the apartment; so I walked
out, O Commander of the Faithful, and when my mistress saw me,
she threw herself upon me and strained me to her bosom saying,
‘How camest thou in the Caliph's clothes and his ornaments and
perfumes? Tell me what hath befallen thee.' So I related to her
all that had befallen me and what I had suffered for affright and
so forth; and she said, ‘Grievous to me is what thou hast endured
for my sake and praised be Allah who hath caused the issue to be
safety, and the fulfilment of safety is in thy entering my
lodging and that of my sister.' Then she carried me to her own
apartment, saying to her sister, ‘I have covenanted with him that
I will not be united to him unlawfully; but, as he hath risked
himself and incurred these perils, I will be earth for his
treading and dust to his sandals!'"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
damsel to her sister, "I have covenanted with him that I will not
be united to him unlawfully; but, as he hath risked himself and
incurred these perils, I will be earth for his treading and dust
to his sandals!" Replied her sister, "In this intent may Allah
deliver him!"--"and my mistress rejoined, ‘Soon shalt thou see
how I will do, so I may lawfully foregather with him and there is
no help but that I lavish my heart's blood to devise this.' Now
as we were in talk, behold, we heard a great noise and turning,
saw the Caliph making for her chamber, so engrossed was he by the
thought of her; whereupon she took me, O Prince of True Believers
and hid me in a souterrain[FN#362] and shut down the trap-door
upon me. Then she went out to meet the Caliph, who entered and
sat down, whilst she stood between his hands to serve him, and
commanded to bring wine. Now the Caliph loved a damsel by name
Banjah, who was the mother of Al-Mu'tazz bi 'llah[FN#363]; but
they had fallen out and parted; and in the pride of her beauty
and loveliness she would not make peace with him, nor would
Al-Mutawakkil, for the dignity of the Caliphate and the kingship,
make peace with her neither humble himself to her, albeit his
heart was aflame with passion for her, but sought to solace his
mind from her with her mates among the slave-girls and with going
in to them in their chambers. Now he loved Shajarat al-Durr's
singing: so he bade her sing, when she took the lute and tuning
the strings sang these verses,

‘The world-tricks I admire betwixt me and her; * How, us parted,
     the World would to me incline:
I shunned thee till said they, ‘He knows not Love;' * I sought
     thee till said they, ‘No patience is mine!'
Then, O Love of her, add to my longing each night, * And, O
     Solace, thy comforts for Doomsday assign!
Soft as silk is her touch and her low sweet voice * Twixt o'er
     much and o'er little aye draweth the line:
And eyne whereof Allah said ‘Be ye!' and they * Became to man's
     wit like the working of wine.'

When the Caliph heard these verses, he was pleasured with
exceeding pleasure, and I also, O Commander of the Faithful, was
pleasured in my hiding-place, and but for the bounty of Almighty
Allah, I had cried out and we had been disgraced. Then she sang
also these couplets,

‘I embrace him, yet after him yearns my soul * For his love, but
     can aught than embrace be nigher?
I kiss his lips to assuage my lowe; * But each kiss gars it glow
     with more flaming fire;
‘Tis as though my vitals aye thirst unquencht * Till I see two
     souls mixt in one entire.'

The Caliph was delighted and said, ‘O Shajarat al-Durr, ask a
boon of me.' She replied, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, I ask of
thee my freedom, for the sake of the reward thou wilt obtain
therein.'[FN#364] Quoth he, ‘Thou art free for the love of
Allah;' whereupon she kissed ground before him. He resumed, ‘Take
the lute and sing me somewhat on the subject of my slave-girl, of
whom I am enamoured with warmest love: the folk seek my pleasure
and I seek hers.' So she took the lute and sang these two

‘My charmer who spellest my piety[FN#365] * On all accounts I'll
     have thee, have thee,
Or by humble suit which besitteth Love * Or by force more fitting
     my sovranty.'

The Caliph admired these verses and said, ‘Now, take up thy lute
and sing me a song setting out my case with three damsels who
hold the reins of my heart and make rest depart; and they are
thyself and that wilful one and another I will not name, who hath
not her like.'[FN#366] So she took the lute and playing a lively
measure, sang these couplets,

‘Three lovely girls hold my bridle-rein * And in highest stead my
     heart overreign.
I have none to obey amid all mankind * But obeying them I but win
This is done through the Kingship of Love, whereby * The best of
     my kingship they made their gain.'

The Caliph marvelled with exceeding marvel at the aptness of
these verses to his case and his delight inclined him to
reconciliation with the recalcitrant damsel. So he went forth and
made for her chamber whither a slave-girl preceded him and
announced to her the coming of the Caliph. She advanced to meet
him and kissed the ground before him; then she kissed his feet
and he was reconciled to her and she was reconciled to him. Such
was the case with the Caliph; but as regards Shajarat al-Durr,
she came to me rejoicing and said, ‘I am become a free woman by
thy blessed coming! Surely Allah will help me in that which I
shall contrive, so I may foregather with thee in lawful way.' And
I said, ‘Alhamdolillah!' Now as we were talking, behold her
Mameluke-eunuch entered and we related to him that which had
passed, when he said, ‘Praised be Allah who hath made the affair
to end well, and we implore the Almighty to crown His favours
with thy safe faring forth the palace!' Presently appeared my
mistress's sister, whose name was Fátir, and Shajarat al-Durr
said to her, ‘O my sister, how shall we do to bring him out of
the palace in safety; for indeed Allah hath vouchsafed me
manumission and, by the blessing of his coming, I am become a
free woman.' Quoth Fatir, ‘I see nothing for it but to dress him
in woman's gear.' So she brought me a suit of women's clothes and
clad me therein; and I went out forthwith, O Commander of the
Faithful; but, when I came to the midst of the palace, behold, I
found the Caliph seated there, with the eunuchs in attendance
upon him. When he saw me, he misdoubted of me with exceeding
doubt, and said to his suite, ‘Hasten and bring me yonder
handmaiden who is faring forth.' So they brought me back to him
and raised the veil from my face, which when he saw, he knew me
and questioned me of my case. I told him the whole truth, hiding
naught, and when he heard my story, he pondered my case awhile,
without stay or delay, and going into Shajarat al-Durr's chamber,
said to her, ‘How couldst thou prefer before me one of the sons
of the merchants?' She kissed ground between his hands and told
him her tale from first to last, in accordance with the truth;
and he hearing it had compassion upon her and his heart relented
to her and he excused her by reason of love and its
circumstances. Then he went away and her eunuch came in to her
and said, ‘Be of good cheer; for, when thy lover was set before
the Caliph, he questioned him and he told him that which thou
toldest him, word by word.' Presently the Caliph returned and
calling me before him, said to me, ‘What made thee dare to
violate the palace of the Caliphate?' I replied, ‘O Commander of
the Faithful, 'twas my ignorance and passion and my confidence in
thy clemency and generosity that drave me to this.' And I wept
and kissed the ground before him. Then said he, ‘I pardon you
both,' and bade me be seated. So I sat down and he sent for the
Kazi Ahmad ibn Abi Duwád[FN#367] and married me to her. Then he
commanded to make over all that was hers to me and they displayed
her to me[FN#368] in her lodging. After three days, I went forth
and transported all her goods and gear to my own house; so every
thing thou hast seen, O Commander of the Faithful, in my house
and whereof thou misdoubtest, is of her marriage-equipage. After
this, she said to me one day, ‘Know that Al-Mutawakkil is a
generous man and I fear lest he remember us with ill mind, or
that some one of the envious remind him of us; wherefore I
purpose to do somewhat that may ensure us against this.' Quoth I,
‘And what is that?;' and quoth she, ‘I mean to ask his leave to
go the pilgrimage and repent[FN#369] of singing.' I replied,
‘Right is this rede thou redest;' but, as we were talking,
behold, in came a messenger from the Caliph to seek her, for that
Al-Mutawakkil loved her singing. So she went with the officer and
did her service to the Caliph, who said to her, ‘Sever not
thyself from us;'[FN#370] and she answered ‘I hear and I obey.'
Now it chanced one day, after this, she went to him, he having
sent for her, as was his wont; but, before I knew, she came back,
with her raiment rent and her eyes full of tears. At this I was
alarmed, misdoubting me that he had commanded to seize upon us,
and said, ‘Verily we are Allah's and unto Him shall we return! Is
Al-Mutawakkil wroth with us?' She replied, ‘Where is
Al-Mutawakkil? Indeed Al-Mutawakkil's rule is ended and his trace
is blotted out!' Cried I, ‘Tell me what has happened:' and she,
‘He was seated behind the curtain, drinking, with Al-Fath bin
Khákán[FN#371] and Sadakah bin Sadakah, when his son Al-Muntasir
fell upon him, with a company of the Turks,[FN#372] and slew him;
and merriment was turned to misery and joy to weeping and wailing
for annoy. So I fled, I and the slave-girl, and Allah saved us.'
When I heard this, O Commander of the Faithful, I arose
forthright and went down stream to Bassorah, where the news
reached me of the falling out of war between Al-Muntasir and
Al-Musta'ín bi 'llah;[FN#373] wherefore I was affrighted and
transported my wife and all my wealth to Bassorah. This, then, is
my tale, O Prince of True Believers, nor have I added to or taken
from it a single syllable. So all that thou seest in my house,
bearing the name of thy grandfather Al-Mutawakkil, is of his
bounty to us, and the fount of our fortune is from thy noble
sources;[FN#374] for indeed ye are people of munificence and a
mine of beneficence." The Caliph marvelled at his story and
rejoiced therein with joy exceeding: and Abu al-Hasan brought
forth to him the lady and the children she had borne him, and
they kissed ground before the Caliph, who wondered at their
beauty. Then he called for inkcase and paper and wrote Abu
al-Hasan a patent of exemption from taxes on his lands and houses
for twenty years. Moreover, he rejoiced in him and made him his
cup-companion, till the world parted them and they took up their
abode in the tombs, after having dwelt under the palace-domes;
and glory be to Allah, the King Merciful of doom. And they also
tell a tale concerning


There was once, in time of old, a merchant hight Abd al-Rahmán,
whom Allah had blessed with a son and daughter, and for their
much beauty and loveliness, he named the girl Kaubab al-Sabáh and
the boy Kamar al-Zamán.[FN#376] When he saw what Allah had
vouchsafed the twain of beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and
symmetry, he feared for them the evil eyes[FN#377] of the espiers
and the jibing tongues of the jealous and the craft of the crafty
and the wiles of the wicked and shut them up from the folk in a
mansion for the space of fourteen years, during which time none
saw them save their parents and a slave-girl who served them. Now
their father could recite the Koran, even as Allah sent it down,
as also did his wife, wherefore the mother taught her daughter to
read and recite it and the father his son till both had gotten it
by heart. Moreover, the twain learned from their parents writing
and reckoning and all manner of knowledge and polite letters and
needed no master. When Kamar al-Zaman came to years of manhood,
the wife said to her husband, "How long wilt thou keep thy son
Kamar al-Zaman sequestered from the eyes of the folk? Is he a
girl or a boy?" He answered, "A boy." Rejoined she, "An he be a
boy, why dost thou not carry him to the bazar and seat him in thy
shop, that he may know the folk and they know him, to the intent
that it may become notorious among men that he is thy son, and do
thou teach him to sell and to buy. Peradventure somewhat may
befal thee; so shall the folk know him for thy son and he shall
lay his hand on thy leavings. But, an thou die, as the case now
is, and he say to the folk, 'I am the son of the merchant Abd
al-Rahman,' verily they will not believe him, but will cry, 'We
have never seen thee and we knew not that he had a son,'
wherefore the government will seize thy goods and thy son will be
despoiled. In like manner the girl; I mean to make her known
among the folk, so may be some one of her own condition may ask
her in marriage and we will wed her to him and rejoice in her."
Quoth he, "I did thus of my fear for them from the eyes of the
folk,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Merchant's wife spake to him in such wise, he replied, "I did
thus of my fear for them from the eyes of the folk and because I
love them both and love is jealous exceedingly and well saith he
who spoke these verses,

'Of my sight I am jealous for thee, of me, * Of thyself, of thy
     stead, of thy destiny:
Though I shrined thee in eyes by the craze of me * In such
     nearness irk I should never see:
Though thou wert by my side all the days of me * Till Doomsday I
     ne'er had enough of thee.'"

Said his wife, "Put thy trust in Allah, for no harm betideth him
whom He protecteth, and carry him with thee this very day to the
shop." Then she clad the boy in the costliest clothes and he
became a seduction to all who on him cast sight and an affliction
to the heart of each lover wight. His father took him and carried
him to the market, whilst all who saw him were ravished with him
and accosted him, kissing his hand and saluting him with the
salam. Quoth one, "Indeed the sun hath risen in such a place and
blazeth in the bazar," and another, "The rising-place of the full
moon is in such a quarter;" and a third, "The new moon of the
Festival[FN#378] hath appeared to the creatures of Allah." And
they went on to allude to the boy in talk and call down blessings
upon him. But his father scolded the folk for following his son
to gaze upon him, because he was abashed at their talk, but he
could not hinder one of them from talking; so he fell to abusing
the boy's mother and cursing her because she had been the cause
of his bringing him out. And as he gazed about he still saw the
folk crowding upon him behind and before. Then he walked on till
he reached his shop and opening it, sat down and seated his son
before him: after which he again looked out and found the
thoroughfare blocked with people for all the passers-by, going
and coming, stopped before the shop to stare at that beautiful
face and could not leave him; and all the men and women crowded
in knots about him, applying to themselves the words of him who

"Thou madest Beauty to spoil man's sprite * And saidst, 'O my
     servants, fear My reprove:'
But lovely Thou lovest all loveliness * How, then, shall thy
     servants refrain from Love?"

When the merchant Abd al-Rahman saw the folk thus crowding about
him and standing in rows, both women and men, to fix eyes upon
his son, he was sore ashamed and confounded and knew not what to
do; but presently there came up from the end of the bazar a man
of the wandering Dervishes, clad in haircloth, the garb of the
pious servants of Allah and seeing Kamar al-Zaman sitting there
as he were a branch of Bán springing from a mound of saffron,
poured forth copious tears and recited these two couplets,

"A wand uprising from a sandy knoll, * Like full moon shining
     brightest sheen, I saw;
And said, 'What is thy name?' Replied he 'Lúlú' * 'What' (asked
     I) 'Lily?' and he answered 'Lá, lá!'"[FN#379]

Then the Dervish fell to walking, now drawing near and now moving
away,[FN#380] and wiping his gray hairs with his right hand,
whilst the heart of the crowd was cloven asunder for awe of him.
When he looked upon the boy, his eyes were dazzled and his wit
confounded, and exemplified in him was the saying of the poet,

"While that fair-faced boy abode in the place, * Moon of
     breakfast-fête he lit by his face,[FN#381]
Lo! there came a Shaykh with leisurely pace * A reverend trusting
     to Allah's grace,
          And ascetic signals his gait display'd.
He had studied Love both by day and night * And had special
     knowledge of Wrong and Right;
Both for lad and lass had repined his sprite, * And his form like
     toothpick was lean and slight,
          And old bones with faded skin were o'erlaid.
In such arts our Shaykh was an Ajamí[FN#382] * With a catamite
     ever in company;
In the love of woman, a Platonist he[FN#383] * But in either
     versed to the full degree,
          And Zaynab to him was the same as Zayd.[FN#384]
Distraught by the Fair he adored the Fair * O'er Spring-camp
     wailed, bewept ruins bare.[FN#385]
Dry branch thou hadst deemed him for stress o' care, * Which the
     morning breeze swayeth here and there,
          For only the stone is all hardness made!
In the lore of Love he was wondrous wise * And wide awake with
     all-seeing eyes.
Its rough and its smooth he had tried and tries * And hugged buck
     and doe in the self-same guise
          And with greybeard and beardless alike he

Then he came up to the boy and gave him a root[FN#387] of sweet
basil, whereupon his father put forth his hand to his pouch and
brought out for him some small matter of silver, saying, "Take
thy portion, O Dervish, and wend thy ways." He took the dirhams,
but sat down on the masonry-bench alongside the shop and opposite
the boy and fell to gazing upon him and heaving sigh upon sigh,
whilst his tears flowed like springs founting. The folk began to
look at him and remark upon him, some saying, "All Dervishes are
lewd fellows," and other some, "Verily, this Dervish's heart is
set on fire for love of this lad." Now when Abd al-Rahman saw
this case, he arose and said to the boy, "Come, O my son, let us
lock up the shop and hie us home, for it booteth not to sell and
buy this day; and may Almighty Allah requite thy mother that
which she hath done with us, for she was the cause of all this!"
Then said he, "O Dervish, rise, that I may shut my shop." So the
Dervish rose and the merchant shut his shop and taking his son,
walked away. The Dervish and the folk followed them, till they
reached their place, when the boy went in and his father, turning
to the Dervish, said to him, "What wouldst thou, O Dervish, and
why do I see thee weep?" He replied, "O my lord, I would fain be
thy guest this night, for the guest is the guest of Almighty
Allah." Quoth the merchant, "Welcome to the guest of God: enter,
O Dervish!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
merchant, the father of Kamar al-Zaman, heard the saying of the
Dervish, "I am Allah's guest," he replied, "Welcome to the guest
of God: enter, O Dervish!" But he said to himself, "An the beggar
be enamoured of the boy and sue him for sin, needs must I slay
him this very night and bury him secretly. But, an there be no
lewdness in him, the guest shall eat his portion." Then he
brought him into a saloon, where he left him with Kamar al-Zaman,
after he had said privily to the lad, "O my son, sit thou beside
the Dervish when I am gone out and sport with him and provoke him
to love-liesse and if he seek of thee lewdness, I who will be
watching you from the window overlooking the saloon will come
down to him and kill him." So, as soon as Kamar al-Zaman was
alone in the room with the Dervish, he sat down by his side and
the old man began to look upon him and sigh and weep. Whenever
the lad bespake him, he answered him kindly, trembling the while
and would turn to him groaning and crying, and thus he did till
supper was brought in, when he fell to eating, with his eyes on
the boy but refrained not from shedding tears. When a fourth part
of the night was past and talk was ended and sleep-tide came, Abd
al-Rahman said to the lad, "O my son, apply thyself to the
service of thine uncle the Dervish and gainsay him not:" and
would have gone out; but the Dervish cried to him, "O my lord,
carry thy son with thee or sleep with us." Answered the merchant,
"Nay, my son shall lie with thee: haply thy soul may desire
somewhat, and he will look to thy want and wait upon thee." Then
he went out leaving them both together, and sat down in an
adjoining room which had a window giving upon the saloon. Such
was the case with the merchant; but as to the lad, as soon as his
sire had left them, he came up to the Dervish and began to
provoke him and offer himself to him, whereupon he waxed wroth
and said, "What talk is this, O my son? I take refuge with Allah
from Satan the Stoned! O my Lord, indeed this is a denial of Thee
which pleaseth Thee not! Avaunt from me, O my son!" So saying,
the Dervish arose and sat down at a distance; but the boy
followed him and threw himself upon him, saying, "Why, O Dervish,
wilt thou deny thyself the joys of my possession, and I with a
heart that loveth thee?" Hereupon the Dervish's anger redoubled
and he said, "An thou refrain not from me, I will summon thy sire
and tell him of thy doings." Quoth the lad, "My father knoweth my
turn for this and it may not be that he will hinder me: so heal
thou my heart. Why dost thou hold off from me? Do I not please
thee?" Answered the Dervish, "By Allah, O my son, I will not do
this, though I be hewn in pieces with sharp-edged swords!"; and
he repeated the saying of the poet,

"Indeed my heart loves all the lovely boys * As girls; nor am I
     slow to such delight,
But, though I sight them every night and morn, * I'm neither of
     Lot's folk[FN#388] nor wencher-wight."

Then he shed tears and said, "Arise, open the door, that I may
wend my way, for I will lie no longer in this lodging." Therewith
he rose to his feet; but the boy caught hold of him, saying,
"Look at the fairness of my face and the cramoisy of my cheeks
and the softness of my sides and the lusciousness of my lips."
Moreover he discovered to him calves that would shame wine and
cupcarrier[FN#389] and gazed on him with fixed glance that would
baffle enchanter and enchantments; for he was passing of
loveliness and full of blandishment, even as saith of him one of
the poets who sang,

"I can't forget him, since he rose and showed with fair design *
     Those calves of legs whose pearly shine make light in
     nightly gloom:
Wonder not an my flesh uprise as though 'twere Judgment-day *
     When every shank shall bared be and that is Day of

Then the boy displayed to him his bosom, saying, "Look at my
breasts which be goodlier than the breasts of maidens and my
lip-dews are sweeter than sugar-candy. So quit scruple and
asceticism and cast off devoutness and abstinence and take thy
fill of my possession and enjoy my loveliness. Fear naught, for
thou art safe from hurt, and leave this hebetude for 'tis a bad
habit." And he went on to discover to him his hidden beauties,
striving to turn the reins of his reason with his bendings in
graceful guise, whilst the Dervish turned away his face and said,
"I seek refuge with Allah! Have some shame, O my son![FN#391]
This is a forbidden thing I deem and I will not do it, no, not
even in dream." The boy pressed upon him, but the Dervish got
free from him and turning towards Meccah addressed himself to his
devotions. Now when the boy saw him praying, he left him till he
had prayed a two-bow prayer and saluted,[FN#392] when he would
have accosted him again; but the Dervish again repeated the
intent[FN#393] and prayed a second two-bow prayer, and thus he
did a third and a fourth and a fifth time. Quoth the lad, "What
prayers are these? Art thou minded to take flight upon the
clouds? Thou lettest slip our delight, whilst thou passest the
whole night in the prayer-niche." So saying, he threw himself
upon the Dervish and kissed him between the eyes; but the Shaykh
said, "O my son, put Satan away from thine estate and take upon
thee obedience of the Compassionate." Quoth the other, "An thou
do not with me that which I desire, I will call my sire and say
to him, The Dervish is minded to do lewdness with me. Whereupon
he will come in to thee and beat thee till thy bones be broken
upon thy flesh." All this while Abd al-Rahman was watching with
his eyes and hearkening with his ears, and he was certified that
there was no frowardness in the Dervish and he said to himself,
"Were he a lewd fellow, he had not stood out against all this
importunity." The boy continued to beguile the Dervish and every
time he expressed purpose of prayer, he interrupted him, till at
last he waxed wroth with passing wrath and was rough with him and
beat him. Kamar al-Zaman wept and his father came in and having
wiped away his tears and comforted him said to the Dervish, "O my
brother, since thou art in such case, why didst thou weep and
sigh when thou sawest my son? Say me, is there a reason for
this?" He replied, "There is;" and Abd al-Rahman pursued, "When I
saw thee weep at his sight, I deemed evil of thee and bade the
boy do with thee thus, that I might try thee, purposing in
myself, if I saw thee sue him for sin, to come in upon thee and
kill thee. But, when I saw what thou didst, I knew thee for one
of those who are virtuous to the end. Now Allah upon thee, tell
me the cause of thy weeping!" The Dervish sighed and said, "O my
lord, chafe not a closed[FN#394] wound." But the merchant said,
"There is no help but thou tell me;" and the other began, "Know
thou that I am a Dervish who wander in the lands and the
countries, and take warning by the display[FN#395] of the Creator
of Night and Day. It chanced that one Friday I entered the city
of Bassorah in the undurn."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Dervish said to the merchant, "Know, then, that I a wandering
mendicant chanced one Friday to enter the city of Bassorah in the
undurn and saw the shops open and full of all manner of wares and
meat and drink; but the place was deserted and therein was
neither man nor woman nor girl nor boy: nor in the markets and
the main streets was there dog or cat nor sounded sound nor
friend was found. I marvelled at this end and said to myself, 'I
wonder whither the people of the city be gone with their cats and
dogs and what hath Allah done with them?' Now I was anhungred so
I took hot bread from a baker's oven and going into the shop of
an oilman, spread the bread with clarified butter and honey and
ate. Then I entered the shop of a sherbet-seller and drank what I
would; after which, seeing a coffee-shop open, I went in and
found the pots on the fire, full of coffee;[FN#396] but there was
no one there. So I drank my fill and said, 'Verily, this is a
wondrous thing! It seemeth as though Death had stricken the
people of this city and they had all died this very hour, or as
if they had taken fright at something which befel them and fled,
without having time to shut their shops.' Now whilst pondering
this matter, lo! I heard a sound of a band of drums beating;
whereat I was afraid and hid myself for a while: then, looking
out through a crevice, I saw damsels, like moons, come walking
through the market, two by two, with uncovered heads and faces
displayed. They were in forty pairs, thus numbering fourscore and
in their midst a young lady, riding on a horse that could hardly
move his legs for that which was upon it of silvern trappings and
golden and jewelled housings. Her face was wholly unveiled, and
she was adorned with the costliest ornaments and clad in the
richest of raiment and about her neck she wore a collar of gems
and on her bosom were necklaces of gold; her wrists were clasped
with bracelets which sparkled like stars, and her ankles with
bangles of gold set with precious stones. The slave-girls walked
before her and behind and on her right and left and in front of
her was a damsel bearing in baldric a great sword, with grip of
emerald and tassels of jewel-encrusted gold. When that young lady
came to where I lay hid, she pulled up her horse and said, 'O
damsels, I hear a noise of somewhat within yonder shop: so do ye
search it, lest haply there be one hidden there, with intent to
enjoy a look at us, whilst we have our faces unveiled.' So they
searched the shop opposite the coffee-house[FN#397] wherein I lay
hid, whilst I abode in terror; and presently I saw them come
forth with a man and they said to her, 'O our lady, we found a
man there and here he is before thee.' Quoth she to the damsel
with the sword, 'Smite his neck.' So she went up to him and
struck off his head; then, leaving the dead man lying on the
ground, they passed on. When I saw this, I was affrighted; but my
heart was taken with love of the young lady. After an hour or so,
the people reappeared and every one who had a shop entered it;
whilst the folk began to come and go about the bazars and
gathered around the slain man, staring at him as a curiosity.
Then I crept forth from my hiding place by stealth, and none took
note of me, but love of that lady had gotten possession of my
heart, and I began to enquire of her privily. None, however, gave
me news of her; so I left Bassorah, with vitals yearning for her
love; and when I came upon this thy son, I saw him to be the
likest of all creatures to the young lady; wherefore he reminded
me of her and his sight revived the fire of passion in me and
kindled anew in my heart the flames of love-longing and
distraction. And such is the cause of my shedding tears!" Then he
wept with sore weeping till he could no more and said, "O my
lord, I conjure thee by Allah, open the door to me, so I may gang
my gait!" Accordingly Abd al-Rahman opened the door and he went
forth. Thus fared it with him; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman,
when he heard the Dervish's story, his heart was taken with love
of the lady and passion gat the mastery of him and raged in him
longing and distraction; so, on the morrow, he said to his sire,
"All the sons of the merchants wander about the world to attain
their desire, nor is there one of them but his father provideth
for him a stock-in-trade wherewithal he may travel and traffic
for gain. Why, then, O my father, dost thou not outfit me with
merchandise, so I may fare with it and find my luck?" He replied,
"O my son, such merchants lack money; so they send their sons to
foreign parts for the sake of profit and pecuniary gain and
provision of the goods of the world. But I have monies in plenty
nor do I covet more: why then should I exile thee? Indeed, I
cannot brook to be parted from thee an hour, more especially as
thou art unique in beauty and loveliness and perfect grace and I
fear for thee." But Kamar al-Zaman said, "O my father, nothing
will serve but thou must furnish me with merchandise wherewithal
to travel; else will I fly from thee at unawares though without
money or merchandise. So, an thou wish to solace my heart, make
ready for me a stock-in-trade, that I may travel and amuse myself
by viewing the countries of men." Abd al-Rahman, seeing his son
enamoured of travel, acquainted his wife with this, saying,
"Verily thy son would have me provide him with goods, so he may
fare therewith to far regions, albeit Travel is Travail."[FN#398]
Quoth she, "What is there to displease thee in this? Such is the
wont of the sons of the merchants and they all vie one with other
in glorifying globe-trotting and gain." Quoth he, "Most of the
merchants are poor and seek growth of good; but I have wealth
galore." She replied, "More of a good thing hurteth not; and, if
thou comply not with his wish, I will furnish him with goods of
my own monies." Quoth Abd al-Rahman, "I fear strangerhood for
him, inasmuch as travel is the worst of trouble;" but she said,
"There is no harm in strangerhood for him when it leadeth to
gaining good; and, if we consent not, our son will go away and we
shall seek him and not find him and be dishonoured among the
folk." The merchant accepted his wife's counsel and provided his
son with merchandise to the value of ninety thousand gold pieces,
whilst his mother gave him a purse containing forty bezel-stones,
jewels of price, the least of the value of one of which was five
hundred ducats, saying, "O my son, be careful of this jewellery
for 'twill be of service to thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman took
the jewels and set out for Bassorah,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar
al-Zaman took the jewels and set out for Bassorah after he had
laid them in a belt, which he buckled about his waist; and he
stayed not till there remained aught but a day's journey between
that city and himself; when the Arabs came out upon him and
stripped him naked and slew his men and servants; but he laid
himself down among the slain and wallowed in their blood, so that
the wildlings took him for dead and left him without even turning
him over and made off with their booty. When the Arabs had gone
their ways, Kamar al-Zaman arose, having naught left but the
jewels in his girdle, and fared on nor ceased faring till he came
to Bassorah. It chanced that his entry was on a Friday and the
town was void of folk, even as the Dervish had informed him. He
found the market-streets deserted and the shops wide open and
full of goods; so he ate and drank and looked about him.
Presently, he heard a band of drums beating and hid himself in a
shop, till the slave-girls came up, when he looked at them; and,
seeing the young lady riding amongst them, love and longing
overcame him and desire and distraction overpowered him, so that
he had no force to stand. After awhile, the people reappeared and
the bazars filled. Whereupon he went to the market and repairing
to a jeweller and pulling out one of his forty gems sold it for a
thousand dinars, wherewith he returned to his place and passed
the night there; and when morning morrowed he changed his clothes
and going to the Hamman came forth as he were the full moon. Then
he sold other four stones for four thousand dinars and sauntered
solacing himself about the main streets of Bassorah, clad in the
costliest of clothes; till he came to a market, where he saw a
barber's shop. So he went in to the barber who shaved his head;
and, clapping up an acquaintance with him, said to him, "O my
father, I am a stranger in these parts and yesterday I entered
this city and found it void of folk, nor was there in it any
living soul, man nor Jinni. Then I saw a troop of slave-girls and
amongst them a young lady riding in state:" and he went on to
tell him all he had seen. Said the barber, "O my son, hast thou
told any but me of this?"; and he said, "No." The other rejoined,
"Then, O my son, beware thou mention this before any but me; for
all folk cannot keep a secret and thou art but a little lad and I
fear lest the talk travel from man to man, till it reach those
whom it concerneth and they slay thee. For know, O my son, that
this thou hast seen, none ever kenned nor knew in other than this
city. As for the people of Bassorah they are dying of this annoy;
for every Friday forenoon they shut up the dogs and cats, to
hinder them from going about the market-streets, and all the
people of the city enter the cathedral-mosques, where they lock
the doors on them[FN#399] and not one of them can pass about the
bazar nor even look out of casement; nor knoweth any the cause of
this calamity. But, O my son, to-night I will question my wife
concerning the reason thereof, for she is a midwife and entereth
the houses of the notables and knoweth all the city news. So
Inshallah, do thou come to me to-morrow and I will tell thee what
she shall have told me." With this Kamar al-Zaman pulled out a
handful of gold and said to him, "O my father, take this gold and
give it to thy wife, for she is become my mother." Then he gave
him a second handful, saying, "Take this for thyself." Whereupon
quoth the barber, "O my son, sit thou in thy place, till I go to
my wife and ask her and bring the news of the true state of the
case." So saying, he left him in the shop and going home,
acquainted his wife with the young man's case, saying, "I would
have thee tell me the truth of this city-business, so I may
report it to this young merchant, for he hath set his heart on
weeting the reason why men and beasts are forbidden the
market-streets every Friday forenoon; and methinks he is a lover,
for he is openhanded and liberal, and if we tell him what he
would trow, we shall get great good of him." Quoth she, "Go back
and say to him, 'Come, speak with thy mother, my wife, who
sendeth her salam to thee and saith to thee, Thy wish is won.'"
Accordingly he returned to the shop, where he found Kamar
al-Zaman sitting awaiting him and repeated him the very words
spoken by his spouse. Then he carried him in to her and she
welcomed him and bade him sit down; whereupon he pulled out an
hundred ducats and gave them to her, saying, "O my mother, tell
me who this young lady may be." Said she, "Know, O my son, that
there came a gem to the Sultan of Bassorah from the King of Hind,
and he was minded to have it pierced. So he summoned all the
jewellers in a body and said to them, 'I wish you to drill me
this jewel. Whoso pierceth it, I will give him whatsoever he
shall ask; but if he break it, I will cut off his head.' At this
they were afraid and said, 'O King of the age, a jewel is soon
spoilt and there are few who can pierce them without injury, for
most of them have a flaw. So do not thou impose upon us a task to
which we are unable; for our hands cannot avail to drill this
jewel. However, our Shaykh[FN#400] is more experienced than we.'
Asked the King, 'And who is your Shaykh?'; and they answered,
'Master Obayd: he is more versed than we in this art and hath
wealth galore and of skill great store. Therefore do thou send
for him to the presence and bid him pierce thee this jewel.'
Accordingly the King sent for Obayd and bade him pierce the
jewel, imposing on him the condition aforesaid. He took it and
pierced it to the liking of the King who said to him, 'Ask a boon
of me, O master'; and said he, 'O King of the age, allow me delay
till to-morrow.' Now the reason of this was that he wished to
take counsel with his wife, who is the young lady thou sawest
riding in procession; for he loveth her with exceeding love, and
of the greatness of his affection for her, he doth naught without
consulting her; wherefore he put off asking till the morrow. When
he went home, he said to her, 'I have pierced the King a jewel
and he hath granted me a boon which I deferred asking till
to-morrow, that I might consult thee. Now what dost thou wish,
that I may ask it?' Quoth she, 'We have riches such as fires may
not consume; but, an thou love me, ask of the King to make
proclamation in the streets of Bassorah that all the townsfolk
shall every Friday enter the mosques, two hours before the hour
of prayer, so none may abide in the town at all great or small
except they be in the mosques or in the houses and the doors be
locked upon them, and that every shop of the town be left open.
Then will I ride with my slave-women through the heart of the
city and none shall look on me from window or lattice; and every
one whom I find abroad I will kill.'[FN#401] So he went in to the
King and begged of him this boon, which he granted him and caused
proclamation to be made amongst the Bassorites,"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When is was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
barber's wife said, "When the Jeweller begged his boon, the King
bade proclamation be made amongst the Bassorites, but the people
objected that they feared for their goods from the cats and dogs;
wherefore he commanded to shut the animals up till the folk
should come forth from the Friday prayers. So the jeweller's wife
fell to sallying forth every Friday, two hours before the time of
congregational prayer, and riding in state through the city with
her women; during which time none dareth pass through the
market-place nor look out of casement or lattice. This, then, is
what thou wouldest know and I have told thee who she is; but, O
my son, was it thy desire only to have news of her or hast thou a
mind to meet her?" Answered he, "O my mother, 'tis my wish to
foregather with her." Quoth she, "Tell me what valuables thou
hast with thee"; and quoth he, "O my mother, I have with me
precious stones of four sorts, the first worth five hundred
dinars each, the second seven hundred, the third eight hundred
and the fourth a thousand ducats." She asked, "Art thou willing
to spend four of these?"; and he answered, "I am ready to spend
all of them." She rejoined, "Then, arise, O my son, and go
straight to thy lodging and take a bezel-gem of those worth five
hundred sequins, with which do thou repair to the jewel market
and ask for the shop of Master Obayd, the Shaykh of the
Jewellers. Go thither and thou wilt find him seated in his shop,
clad in rich clothes, with workmen under his hand. Salute him and
sit down on the front shelf of his shop;[FN#402] then pull out
the jewel and give it to him, saying, 'O master, take this stone
and fashion it into a seal-ring for me with gold. Make it not
large, a Miskál[FN#403] in weight and no more; but let the
fashion of it be thy fairest.' Then give him twenty dinars and to
each of his prentices a dinar. Sit with him awhile and talk with
him and if a beggar approach thee, show thy generosity by giving
him a dinar, to the intent that he may affect thee, and after
this, leave him and return to thy place. Pass the night there,
and next morning, take an hundred dinars and bring them and give
them to thy father the barber, for he is poor." Quoth Kamar
al-Zaman, "Be it so," and returning to his caravanserai, took a
jewel worth five hundred gold pieces and went with it to the
jewel-bazar. There he enquired for the shop of Master Obayd,
Shaykh of the Jewellers, and they directed him thereto. So he
went thither and saw the Shaykh, a man of austere aspect and
robed in sumptuous raiment with four journeymen under his hand.
He addressed him with "Peace be upon you!" and the jeweller
returned his greeting and welcoming him, made him sit down. Then
he brought out the jewel and said, "O master, I wish thee to make
me this jewel into a seal-ring with gold. Let it be the weight of
a Miskal and no more, but fashion it excellently." Then he pulled
out twenty dinars and gave them to him, saying, "This is the fee
for chasing and the price of the ring shall remain."[FN#404] And
he gave each of the apprentices a gold piece, wherefore they
loved him, and so did Master Obayd. Then he sat talking with the
jeweller and whenever a beggar came up to him, he gave him a gold
piece and they all marvelled at his generosity. Now Master Obayd
had tools at home, like those he had in the shop, and whenever he
was minded to do any unusual piece of work, it was his custom to
carry it home and do it there, that his journeymen might not
learn the secrets of his wonderful workmanship.[FN#405] His wife
used to sit before him, and when she was sitting thus and he
looking upon her,[FN#406] he would fashion all manner of
marvellously wroughten trinkets, such as were fit for none but
kings. So he went home and sat down to mould the ring with
admirable workmanship. When his wife saw him thus engaged, she
asked him, "What wilt thou do with this bezel-gem?"; and he
answered, "I mean to make it into a ring with gold, for 'tis
worth five hundred dinars." She enquired, "For whom?"; and he
answered, "For a young merchant, who is fair of face, with eyes
that wound with desire, and cheeks that strike fire and mouth
like the seal of Sulaymán and cheeks like the bloom of Nu'mán and
lips red as coralline and neck like the antelope's long and fine.
His complexion is white dashed with red and he is well-bred,
pleasant and generous and doth thus and thus." And he went on to
describe to her now his beauty and loveliness and then his
perfection and bounty and ceased not to vaunt his charms and the
generosity of his disposition, till he had made her in love with
him; for there is no sillier cuckold than he who vaunteth to his
wife another man's handsome looks and unusual liberality in money
matters. So, when desire rose high in her, she said to him, "Is
aught of my charms found in him?" Said he, "He hath all thy
beauties; and he is thy counterpart in qualities. Meseemeth his
age is even as thine and but that I fear to hurt thy feelings, I
would say that he is a thousand times handsomer than thou art."
She was silent, yet the fire of fondness was kindled in her
heart. And the jeweller ceased not to talk with her and to set
out Kamar al-Zaman's charms before her till he had made an end of
moulding the ring; when he gave it to her and she put it on her
finger, which it fitted exactly. Quoth she, "O my lord, my heart
loveth this ring and I long for it to be mine and will not take
it from my finger." Quoth he, "Have patience! The owner of it is
generous, and I will seek to buy it of him, and if he will sell
it, I will bring it to thee. Or if he have another such stone, I
will buy it and fashion it for thee into a ring like this."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
jeweller said to his wife, "Have patience! The owner of it is
generous and I will seek to buy it of him; and, if he will sell
it, I will bring it to thee; or, if he have another such stone I
will buy it and fashion it for thee into a ring like this." On
this wise it fared with the jeweller and his wife; but as regards
Kamar al-Zaman, he passed the night in his lodging and on the
morrow he took an hundred dinars and carried them to the old
woman, the barber's wife, saying to her, "Accept these gold
pieces," and she replied, "Give them to thy father." So he gave
them to the barber and she asked, "Hast thou done as I bade
thee?" He answered, "Yes," and she said, "Go now to the Shaykh,
the jeweller, and if he give thee the ring, put it on the tip of
thy finger and pull it off in haste and say to him, 'O master,
thou hast made a mistake; the ring is too tight.' He will say, 'O
merchant, shall I break it and mould it again larger?' And do
thou say, 'It booteth not to break it and fashion it anew. Take
it and give it to one of thy slave-women.' Then pull out another
stone worth seven hundred dinars and say to him, 'Take this stone
and set it for me, for 'tis handsomer than the other.' Give him
thirty dinars and to each of the prentices two, saying, 'These
gold pieces are for the chasing and the price of the ring shall
remain.' Then return to thy lodging for the night and on the
morrow bring me two hundred ducats, and I will complete thee the
rest of the device." So the youth went to the jeweller, who
welcomed him and made him sit down in his shop; and he asked him,
"Hast thou done my need?" "Yes," answered Obayd and brought out
to him the seal-ring; whereupon he set it on his finger-tip and
pulling it off in haste, cried, "Thou hast made a mistake, O
master;" and threw it to him, saying, "'Tis too strait for my
finger." Asked the jeweller, "O merchant, shall I make it
larger?" But he answered, "Not so; take it as a gift and give it
to one of thy slave-girls. Its worth is trifling, some five
hundred dinars; so it booteth not to fashion it over again." Then
he brought out to him another stone worth seven hundred sequins
and said to him, "Set this for me: 'tis a finer gem." Moreover he
gave him thirty dinars and to each of his workmen two. Quoth
Obayd, "O my lord we will take the price of the ring when we have
made it."[FN#407] But Kamar al-Zaman said, "This is for the
chasing, and the price of the ring remains over." So saying, he
went away home, leaving the jeweller and his men amazed at the
excess of his generosity. Presently the jeweller returned to his
wife and said, "O Halimah,[FN#408] never did I set eyes on a more
generous than this young man, and as for thee, thy luck is good,
for he hath given me the ring without price, saying, 'Give it to
one of thy slave-women.'" And he told her what had passed,
adding, "Methinks this youth is none of the sons of the
merchants, but that he is of the sons of the Kings and Sultans."
Now the more he praised him, the more she waxed in love-longing,
passion and distraction for him. So she took the ring and put it
on her finger, whilst the jeweller made another one, a little
larger than the first. When he had finished moulding it, she put
it on her finger, under the first, and said, "Look, O my lord,
how well the two rings show on my finger! I wish they were both
mine." Said he, "Patience! It may be I shall buy thee this second
one." Then he lay that night and on the morrow he took the ring
and went to his shop. As for Kamar al-Zaman, as soon as it was
day, he repaired to the barber's wife and gave her two hundred
dinars. Quoth she, "Go to the jeweller and when he giveth thee
the ring, put it on thy finger and pull it off again in haste,
saying, 'Thou hast made a mistake, O master! This ring is too
large. A master like thee, when the like of me cometh to him with
a piece of work, it behoveth him to take right measure; and if
thou hadst measured my finger, thou hadst not erred.' Then pull
out another stone worth a thousand dinars and say to him, 'Take
this and set it, and give this ring to one of thy slave-women.'
Give him forty ducats and to each of his journeymen three,
saying, "This is for the chasing, and for the cost of the ring,
that shall remain.' And see what he will say. Then bring three
hundred diners and give them to thy father the barber that he may
mend his fortune withal, for he is a poor man." Answered Kamar
al-Zaman, "I hear and obey," and betook himself to the jeweller,
who welcomed him and making him sit down, gave him the ring. He
took it and put it on his finger; then pulled it off in haste and
said, "It behoveth a master like thee, when the like of me
bringeth him a piece of work, to take his measure. Hadst thou
measured my finger, thou hadst not erred but take it and give it
to one of thy slave women." Then he brought out to him a stone
worth a thousand sequins and said to him, "Take this and set it
in a signet-ring for me after the measure of my finger." Quoth
Obayd, "Thou hast spoken sooth and art in the right;" and took
his measure, whereupon he pulled out forty gold pieces and gave
them to him, saying, "Take these for the chasing and the price of
the ring shall remain." Cried the jeweller, "O my lord, how much
hire have we taken of thee' Verily, thy bounty to us is great!"
"No harm," replied Kamar al-Zaman and sat talking with him awhile
and giving a diner to every beggar who passed by the shop. Then
he left him and went away, whilst the jeweller returned home and
said to his wife, 'How generous is this young merchant! Never did
I set eyes on a more open handed or a comelier than he, no, nor a
sweeter of speech. And he went on to recount to her his charms
and generosity and was loud in his praise. Cried she, "O thou
lack tact,[FN#409] since thou notest these qualities in him, and
indeed he hath given thee two seal rings of price, it behoveth
thee to invite him and make him an entertainment and entreat him
lovingly. When he seest that thou affectest him and cometh to our
place, we shall surely get great good of him; and if thou grudge
him the banquet do thou bid him and I will entertain him of my
monies." Quoth he, "Dost thou know me to be niggardly, that thou
sayest this Say?; and quoth she, "Thou art no niggard, but thou
lackest tact. Invite him this very night and come not without
him. An he refuse, conjure him by the divorce oath and be
persistent with him "On my head and eyes," answered he and
moulded the ring till he had finished it, after which he passed
the night and went forth on the morrow to his shop and sat there.
On this wise it was with him, but as for Kamar al-Zaman, he took
three hundred diners and carrying them to the old wife, gave them
to her for the barber, her husband. Said she, "Most like he will
invite thee to his house this day; and if he do this and thou
pass the night there, tell me in the morning what befalleth thee
and bring with thee four hundred diners and give them to thy
father." Answered he, "Hearing and obeying;" and as often as he
ran out of money, he would sell some of his stones. So he
repaired to the jeweller, who rose to him and received him with
open arms, greeted him heartily and clapped up companionship with
him. Then he gave him the ring, and he found it after the measure
of his finger and said to the jeweller, "Allah bless thee, O
prince of artists! The setting is conformable but the stone is
not to my liking." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say,

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar
al-Zaman said to the jeweller, "The setting is conformable to my
wishes, but the stone is not to my liking. I have a handsomer
than this: so take the seal-ring and give it to one of thy slave
women." Then he gave him a fourth stone and an hundred diners,
saying, "Take thy hire and excuse the trouble we have given
thee." Obayd replied, "O merchant, all the trouble thou hast
given us thou hast requited us and hast over whelmed us with thy
great bounties: and indeed my heart is taken with love of thee
and I cannot brook parting from thee. So, Allah upon thee, be
thou my guest this night and heal my heart." He rejoined, "So be
it; but needs must I go to my Khan, that I may give a charge to
my domestics and tell them that I shall sleep abroad to night, so
they may not expect me." "Where dost thou lodge?" asked the
jeweller; and he answered, "In such a Khan." Quoth Obayd, "I will
come for thee there;" and quoth the other "'Tis well." So the
jeweller repaired to the Khan before sundown, fearing lest his
wife should be anangered with him, if he returned home without
his guest; and, carrying Kamar al-Zaman to his house, seated him
in a saloon that had not its match, Halimah saw him, as he
entered, and was ravished with him. They talked till supper was
served when they ate and drank; after which appeared coffee and
sherbets, and the jeweller ceased not to entertain him with talk
till eventide, when they prayed the obligatory prayers. Then
entered a handmaid with two cups[FN#410] of night drink, which
when they had drunk, drowsiness overcame them and they slept.
Presently in came the jeweller's wife and seeing them asleep,
looked upon Kamar al-Zaman's face and her wit was confounded at
his beauty. Said she, "How can he sleep who loveth the fair?"
and, turning him over on his back, sat astraddle upon his breast.
Then, in the mania of her passion for him, she rained down kisses
on his cheeks, till she left a mark upon them and they became
exceeding red and his cheek bones shone; and, she sucked his
lips, till the blood ran out into her mouth; but with all this,
her fire was not quenched nor her thirst assuaged. She ceased not
to kiss and clip him and twine leg with leg, till the forebrow of
Morn grew white and the dawn broke forth in light; when she put
in his pocket four cockals[FN#411] and went away. Then she sent
her maid with something like snuff, which she applied to their
nostrils and they sneezed and awoke, when the slave-girl said, "O
my lords, prayer is a duty; so rise ye and pray the dawn-prayer."
And she brought them basin and ewer.[FN#412] Quoth Kaman al-Zamar
"O master, 'tis late and we have overslept ourselves;" and quoth
the jeweller, "O my friend verily the air of this room is heavy;
for, whenever I sleep in it, this happens to me." Rejoined Kamar
al-Zaman, "True," and proceeded to make the Wuzu ablution; but,
when he put the water to his face, his cheeks and lips burned
him. Cried he, "Prodigious! If the air of the room be heavy and
we have been drowned in sleep, what aileth my cheeks and lips
that they burn me?" And he said to the jeweller, "O master, my
cheeks and lips burn me." The other replied, "I guess this cometh
of the mosquito bites." "Strange!" said Kamar al-Zaman. "Hath
this thing happened to thee?" Replied Obayd, "No! But whenever I
have by me a guest like thee, he complaineth in the morning of
the mosquito bites, and this happeneth only when he is like thee
beardless. If he be bearded the mosquitoes sting him not, and
naught hindereth them from me but my beard. It seems mosquitoes
love not bearded men."[FN#413] Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "True."
Then the maid brought them early breakfast and they broke their
fast and went out. Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to the old
woman, who exclaimed, when she saw him, "I see the marks of
joyance on thy face: tell me what thou hast seen." Said he, "I
have seen nothing. Only I supped with the house master in a
saloon and prayed the night prayer, after which we fell asleep
and woke not till morning." She laughed and said, "What be those
marks on thy cheeks and lips?" He answered, "'Twas the mosquitoes
of the saloon that did this with me;" and she rejoined, "'Tis
well. But did the same thing betide the house master?" He
retorted, "Nay; but he told me that the mosquitoes of that saloon
molest not bearded men, but sting those only who have no hair on
face, and that whenever he hath for guest one who is beard less,
the stranger awaketh complaining of the mosquito bites; whereas
an he have a beard, there befalleth him naught of this." Said
she, "Sooth thou speakest: but say me, sawest thou aught save
this?" And he answered, "I found four cockals in my pocket."
Quoth she, "Show them to me." So he gave them to her and she
laughed and said, "Thy mistress laid these in thy pocket." He
asked, "How so?" And she answered, " 'Tis as if she said to thee,
in the language of signs,[FN#414] 'An thou wert in love, thou
wouldst not sleep, for a lover sleepeth not: but thou hast not
ceased to be a child and fit for nothing but to play with these
cockals. So what crave thee to fall in love with the fair?' Now
she came to thee by night and finding thee asleep, scored thy
cheeks with her kisses and left thee this sign. But that will not
suffice her of thee and she will certainly send her husband to
invite thee again to night; so, when thou goest home with him,
hasten not to fall asleep, and on the morrow bring me five
hundred diners and come and acquaint me with what hath passed,
and I will perfect for thee the device." Answered he, "I hear and
obey," and went back to the Khan. Thus it befel him; but as
regards the jeweller's wife, she said to her husband, "Is the
guest gone?" Answered he, "Yes, but, O Halimah,[FN#415]the
mosquitoes plagued him last night and scarified his cheeks and
lips, and indeed I was abashed before him." She rejoined, "This
is the wont of the mosquitoes of our saloon; for they love none
save the beardless. But do thou invite him again to night." So he
repaired to the Khan where the youth abode, and bidding him,
carried him to his house, where they ate and drank and prayed the
night prayer in the saloon, after which the slave-girl entered
and gave each of them a cup of night drink, And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-
girl went in to the twain and gave each of them a cup of night
drink, and they drank and fell asleep. Presently, in came Halimah
and said, "O good for nothing, how canst thou sleep and call thy
self a lover? A lover sleepeth not!" Then she mounted on his
breast and ceased not to come down upon him with kisses and
caresses, biting and sucking his lips and so forth, till the
morning. when she put in his pocket a knife and sent her handmaid
to arouse them. And when the youth awoke, his cheeks were on
fire, for excess of redness, and his lips like coral, for dint of
sucking and kissing. Quoth the jeweller, "Did the mosquitoes
plague thee last night?"; and quoth the other, "Nay!"; for he now
knew the conceit and left complaining. Then he felt the knife in
his pocket and was silent; but when he had broken his fast and
drunk coffee, he left the jeweller and going to the Khan; took
five hundred diners of gold and carried them to the old woman, to
whom he related what had passed, saying, "I slept despite myself,
and when I woke at dawn I found nothing but a knife in my
pocket." Exclaimed the old trot, "May Allah protect thee from her
this next night! For she saith to thee by this sign, 'An thou
sleep again, I will cut thy throat.' Thou wilt once more be
bidden to the jeweller's house to night,[FN#416] and if thou
sleep, she will slay thee." Said he, "What is to be done?"; and
said she, "Tell me what thou atest and drankest before sleeping."
Quoth he, "We supped as was our wont and prayed the night prayer,
after which there came in to us a maid, who gave each of us a cup
of night drink, which when I had drunk, I fell asleep and awoke
not till the morning." Quoth the old woman, "The mischief is in
the cup: so, when the maid giveth it to thee, take it from her,
but drink not and wait till the master of the house have drunken
and fallen asleep; then say to her, 'Give me a draught of water,'
and she will go to fetch thee the gugglet. Then do thou empty the
cup behind the pillow and lie down and feign sleep. So when she
cometh back with the gugglet, she will deem that thou hast fallen
asleep, after having drunk off the cup, and will leave thee; and
presently the case will appear to thee; but beware of disobeying
my bidding." Answered he, "I hear and I obey," and returned to
the Khan. Meanwhile the jeweller's wife said to her husband, "A
guest's due honour is three nights' entertainment: so do thou
invite him a third time." Whereupon he betook himself to the
youth and inviting him, carried him home and sat down with him in
the saloon. When they had supped and prayed the night prayer,
behold, in came the handmaid and gave each of them a cup. Her
master drank and fell asleep; but Kamar al-Zaman forbore to
drink, whereupon quoth the maid, "Wilt thou not drink, O my
lord?" Answered he, "I am athirst, bring me the gugglet."
Accordingly she went to fetch it, and he emptied the cup behind
the pillow and lay down. When the slave-girl returned, she saw
him lying down and going to her mistress said, "He hath drunk off
the cup and fallen asleep;" whereupon quoth Halimah to herself,
"Verily, his death is better than his life." Then, taking a sharp
knife, she went in to him, saying, "Three times, and thou notedst
not the sign, O fool![FN#417] So now I will rip up thy maw." When
he saw her making for him knife in hand, he opened his eyes and
rose, laughing; whereupon said she, "'Twas not of thine own wit,
that thou camest at the meaning of the sign, but by the help of
some wily cheat; so tell me whence thou hadst this knowledge."
"From an old woman," replied he, "between whom and me befel such
and such;" and he told her all that had passed. Quoth she, "To
morrow go thou forth from us and seek her and say, 'Hast thou any
further device in store?' And if she answer, 'I have,' do thou
rejoin, 'Then do thy best that I may enjoy her publicly.' But, if
she say, 'I have no means of doing that, and this is the last of
my devices,' put her away from thy thought, and to morrow night
my husband will come to thee and invite thee. Do thou come with
him and tell me and I will consider what remaineth to be done."
Answered he, "There is no harm in that!" Then he spent the rest
of the night with her in embracing and clipping, plying the
particle of copulation in concert[FN#418] and joining the
conjunctive with the conjoined,[FN#419] whilst her husband was as
a cast-out nunnation of construction.[FN#420] And they ceased not
to be thus till morning, when she said to him, "'Tis not a night
of thee that will content me, nor a day; no, nor yet a month nor
a year; but it's my intent to abide with thee the rest of my
life. Wait, however, till I play my husband a trick which would
baffle the keenest witted and win for us our wishes. I will cause
doubt to enter into him, so that he shall divorce me, whereupon I
will marry thee and go with thee to thine own country; I will
also transport all his monies and hoards to thy lodging and will
contrive thee the ruin of his dwelling place and the blotting out
of his traces. But do thou hearken to my speech and obey me in
that I shall say to thee and gainsay me not." He replied, "I hear
and I obey: in me there is none opposition." Then said she, "Go
to the Khan and, when my husband cometh to thee and inviteth
thee, say to him, 'O my brother, a son of Adam is apt to be
burdensome, and when his visits grow over frequent, both generous
and niggard loathe him.[FN#421] How then shall I go with thee
every night and lie I and thee, on the saloon? An thou wax not
chagrined with me, thy Harim will bear me grudge, for that I
hinder thee from thine. Therefore if thou have a mind to my
company, take me a house beside thine own and we will abide thus,
now I sitting with thee till the time of sleep, and now with me
thou. Then I will go to my place and thou to thy Harim and this
will be a better rede than that I hinder thee from thy Harim
every night.' Then will he come to me and take counsel with me,
and I will advise him to turn out our neighbour, for the house
wherein he liveth is our house and he renteth it of us; and once
thou art in the house, Allah will make easy to us the rest of our
scheme." And presently she added, "Go now and do as I bid thee."
Answered he, "I hear and obey;" whereupon she left him and went
away, whilst he lay down and feigned to be asleep. Presently, the
handmaid came and aroused them; and when the jeweller awoke, he
said to his guest, "O merchant have the mosquitoes worried thee?"
He replied, "No," and Obayd said, "Belike thou art grown used to
them." Then they broke their fast and drank coffee, after which
they fared forth to their affairs, and Kamar al-Zaman betook
himself to the old crone, and related to her what had passed, And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Kamar al-Zaman betook himself to the old crone, he related to her
what had passed, saying, "She spake to me this and that, and I
answered her thus and thus. Now say me, hast thou any farther
device for bringing me to enjoy her publicly?" Quoth she, "O my
son, here endeth my contrivance, and now I am at the term of my
devices." Upon this he left her and returned to the Khan where,
as eventide evened, the jeweller came to him and invited him. He
said, "I cannot go with thee." Asked the merchant, "Why so? I
love thee and cannot brook separation from thee. Allah upon thee
come with me!" The other replied, "An it be thy wish to continue
our comradeship and keep up the friendship betwixt thee and me,
take me a house by the side of thine own and when thou wilt, thou
shalt pass the evening with me and I with thee; but, as soon as
the time of sleep cometh, each of us shall hie him to his own
home and lie there." Quoth Obayd, "I have a house adjoining mine,
which is my own property: so go thou with me to night and to-
morrow I will have the house untenanted for thee." Accordingly he
went with him and they supped and prayed the night prayer, after
which the jeweller drank the cup of drugged[FN#422] liquor and
fell asleep: but in Kamar al-Zaman's cup there was no trick; so
he drank it and slept not. Then came the jeweller's wife and sat
chatting with him through the dark hours, whilst her husband lay
like a corpse. When he awoke in the morning as of wont, he sent
for his tenant and said to him, "O man, quit me the house, for I
have need of it." "On my head and eyes," answered the other and
voided the house to him, whereupon Kamar al-Zaman took up his
abode therein and transported thither all his baggage. The
jeweller passed that evening with him, then went to his own
house. On the next day, his wife sent for a cunning builder and
bribed him with money to make her an underground-way[FN#423] from
her chamber to Kamar al-Zaman's house, with a trap-door under the
earth. So, before the youth was ware, she came in to him with two
bags of money and he said to her, "Whence comest thou?" She
showed him the tunnel and said to him, "Take these two bags of
his money." Then she sat with him, the twain toying and tumbling
together till the morning, when she said, "Wait for me, till I go
to him and wake him, so he may go to his shop, and I return to
thee." He sat expecting her, whilst she went away and awoke her
husband, who made the Wuzu ablution and prayed and went to his
shop. As soon as he was gone, she took four bags and, carrying
them through the Souterrain to Kamar al-Zaman, said to him,
"Store these up;" then she sat with him awhile, after which she
retired to her home and he betook himself to the bazar. When he
returned at sundown, he found in his house ten purses and jewels
and much besides. Presently the jeweller came to him and carried
him to his own house, where they passed the evening in the
saloon, till the handmaid came in according to custom, and
brought them the drink. Her master drank and fell asleep, whilst
naught betided Kamar al-Zaman for that his cup was wholesome and
there was no trick therein. Then came Halimah who sat down
atoying with him, whilst the slave-girl transported the
jeweller's goods to Kamar al-Zaman's house by the secret passage.
Thus they did till morning, when the handmaid awoke her lord and
gave them to drink coffee, after which they went each his own
way. On the third day the wife brought out to him a knife of her
husband's, which he had chased and wrought with his own hand, and
which he priced at five hundred diners. But there was no knife
like it and because of the eagerness with which folk sought it of
him, he had laid it up in a chest and could not bring himself to
sell it to any one in creation. Quoth she, "Take this knife and
set it in thy waist shawl and go to my husband and sit with him.
Then pull out the knife and say to him, 'O master, look at this
knife I bought to day and tell me if I have the worst or the best
of the bargain.' He will know it, but will be ashamed to say to
thee, 'This is my knife;' so he will ask thee, 'Whence didst thou
buy it and for how much?'; and do thou make answer, 'I saw two
Levantines[FN#424] disputing and one said to the other, 'Where
hast thou been?' Quoth his companion, 'I have been with my
mistress, and whenever I foregather with her, she giveth me ten
dirhams; but this day she said to me, 'My hand is empty of silver
for thee to day, but take this knife of my husband's.' So I took
it and intend to sell it.' The knife pleased me and hearing his
tale I said to him, 'Wilt thou sell it to me?' when he replied,
'Buy.' So I got it of him for three hundred gold pieces and I
wonder whether it was cheap or dear.' And note what he will say
to thee. Then talk with him awhile and rise and come back to me
in haste. Thou wilt find me awaiting thee at the tunnel mouth,
and do thou give me the knife." Replied Kamar al-Zaman, "I hear
and I obey," and taking the knife set it in his waist-shawl. Then
he went to the shop of the jeweller, who saluted him with the
salam and welcomed him and made him sit down. He spied the knife
in his waist shawl, at which he wondered and said to himself,
"That is my knife: who can have conveyed it to this merchant?"
And he fell a musing and saying in his mind, "I wonder an it be
my knife or a knife like it!" Presently Kamar al-Zaman pulled it
out and said to him, "Harkye, master; take this knife and look at
it." Obayd took it and knew it right well, but was ashamed to
say, "This is my knife;" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
jeweller took the knife from Kamar al-Zaman, he knew it, but was
ashamed to say, "This is my knife." So he asked, "Where didst
thou buy it?" Kamar al-Zaman answered as Halimah had charged him,
and the jeweller said, "The knife was cheap at that price, for it
is worth five hundred diners." But fire flamed in his heart and
his hands were tied from working at his craft. Kamar al-Zaman
continued to talk with him, whilst he was drowned in the sea of
solicitudes, and for fifty words wherewith the youth bespoke him,
he answered him but one; for his heart ached and his frame was
racked and his thoughts were troubled and he was even as saith
the poet,

"I have no words though folk would have me talk * And who bespeak
     me find me thought waylaid:
Plunged in the Care-sea's undiscovered depths, * Nor aught of
     difference see 'twixt man and maid!"

When Kamar al-Zaman saw his case thus changed, he said to him
"Belike thou art busy at this present," and leaving him, returned
in hottest haste to his own house, where he found Halimah
standing at the passage door awaiting him. Quoth she "Hast thou
done as I bade thee?"; and quoth he, "Yes." She asked, "What said
he to thee?"; and he answered, "He told me that the knife was
cheap at that price, for that it was worth five hundred diners:
but I could see that he was troubled; so I left him and know not
what befel him after that." Cried she, "Give me the knife and
reck thou not of him." Then she took the knife and restoring it
to its place, sat down. Now after Kamar al-Zaman's departure fire
flamed in the jeweller's heart and suspicion was sore upon him
and he said to himself, "Needs must I get up and go look for the
knife and cut down doubt with certainty." So he rose and repaired
to his house and went in to his wife, snorting like a
dragon;[FN#425] and she said to him, "What mattereth thee, O my
lord?" He asked, "Where is my knife?" and she answered, "In the
chest," and smote hand upon breast, saying, "O my grief! Belike
thou hast fallen out with some one and art come to fetch the
knife to smite him withal." Said he, "Give me the knife. Let me
see it." But said she, "Not till thou swear to me that thou wilt
not smite any one therewith." So he swore this to her and she
opened the chest and brought out to him the knife and he fell to
turning it over, saying, "Verily, this is a wondrous thing!" Then
quoth he to her, "Take it and lay it back in its place;" and she,
"Tell me the meaning of all this." He answered, "I saw with our
friend a knife like this," and told her all that had passed
between himself and the youth, adding, "But, when I saw it in the
chest, my suspicion ended in certainty." Said she, "Haply thou
misdoubtedest of me and deemedst that I was the Levantine's
mistress and had given him the knife." He replied, "Yes, I had my
doubts of this; but, when I saw the knife, suspicion was lifted
from my heart." Rejoined she, "O man, there is now no good in
thee!" And he fell to excusing himself to her, till he appeased
her; after which he fared forth and returned to his shop. Next
day, she gave Kamar al-Zaman her husband's watch, which he had
made with his own hand and whereof none had the like, saying, "Go
to his shop and sit by his side and say to him, 'I saw again to-
day him whom I saw yesterday. He had a watch in his hand and said
to me, 'Wilt thou buy this watch?' Quoth I, 'Whence hadst thou
it?'; and quoth he, 'I was with my mistress and she gave me this
watch.' So I bought it of him for eight-and-fifty gold pieces.
Look at it: is it cheap at that price or dear?' Note what he
shall say to thee; then return to me in haste and give me the
watch." So Kamar al-Zaman repaired to the jeweller and did with
him as she had charged him. When Obayd saw the watch, he said,
"This is worth seven hundred ducats;" and suspicion entered into
him. Then the youth left him and returning to the wife, gave her
back the watch. Presently, her husband suddenly came in snorting,
and said to her, "Where is my watch?" Said she, "Here it is;" and
he cried, "Give it to me." So she brought it to him and he
exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and she too exclaimed, "O man,
there is something the matter with thee. Tell me what it is." He
replied, "What shall I say? Verily, I am bewildered by these
chances!" And he recited these couplets,[FN#426]

"Although the Merciful be doubtless with me,
Yet am I sore bewildered, for new griefs
Have compassed me about, or ere I knew it
I have endured till Patience self became
Impatient of my patience.--I have endured
Waiting till Heaven fulfil my destiny.--
I have endured till e'en endurance owned
How I bore up with her; (a thing more bitter
Than bitter aloes) yet though a bitterer thing
Is not, than is that drug it were more bitter
To me should Patience leave me unsustained."

Then said he to his wife, "O woman, I saw with the merchant our
friend, first my knife, which I knew, for that its fashion was a
device of my own wit, nor cloth its like exist; and he told me of
it a story that troubled the heart: so I came back and found it
at home. Again to day I see him with the watch, whose fashion
also is of my own device, nor is there the fellow of it in
Bassorah, and of this also he told me a story that saddened my
heart. Wherefore I am bewildered in my wit and know not what is
to come to me." Quoth she, "The purport of thy speech is that
thou suspectedst me of being the friend of that merchant and his
leman, and eke of giving him thy good; so thou camest to question
me and make proof of my perfidy; and, had I not shown thee the
knife and the watch, thou hadst been certified of my treason. But
since, O man, thou deemest me this ill deme, henceforth I will
never again break with thee bread nor drain with thee drink, for
I loathe thee with the loathing of prohibition.[FN#427]" So he
gentled her and excused himself till he had appeased her and
returned, repenting him of having bespoken her thus, to his shop,
where he sat, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
jeweller quitted his wife, he repented having bespoken her thus
and, returning to his shop, he sat there in disquiet sore and
anxiety galore, between belief and unbelief. About eventide he
went home alone, not bringing Kamar al-Zaman with him: whereupon
quoth his wife, "Where is the merchant?"; and quoth he, "In his
lodgings." She asked, "Is the friendship between thee and him
grown cold?" and he answered, "By Allah, I have taken a dislike
to him, because of that which hath betided me from him."[FN#428]
Quoth she, "Go fetch him, to please me." So he arose and went in
to Kamar al-Zaman in his house; where he saw his own goods strewn
about and knew them. At this sight, fire was kindled in his heart
and he fell asighing. Quoth the youth, "How is it that I see thee
melancholy?" Obayd was ashamed to say, "Here are my goods in thy
house: who brought them hither?"; so he replied only, "A vexation
hath betided me; but come thou with me to my house, that we may
solace ourselves there." The other rejoined, "Let me be in my
place: I will not go with thee." But the jeweller conjured him to
come and took him to his house, where they supped and passed the
evening together, Kamar al-Zaman talking with the jeweller, who
was drowned in the sea of solicitude and for a hundred words,
wherewith the guest bespoke him, answered him only one word.
Presently, the handmaid brought them two cups of drink, as usual,
and they drank; whereupon the jeweller fell asleep, but the youth
abode on wake, because his cup was not drugged. Then came Halimah
and said to her lover, "How deemest thou of yonder cornuted, who
is drunken in his heedlessness and weeteth not the wiles of
women? There is no help for it but that I cozen him into
divorcing me. To-morrow, I will disguise myself as a slave-girl
and walk after thee to his shop, where do thou say to him, 'O
master, I went to-day into the Khan of Al-Yasirjiyah, where I saw
this damsel and bought her for a thousand diners. Look at her for
me and tell me whether she was cheap at that price or dear.' Then
uncover to him my face and breasts and show all of me to him;
after which do thou carry me back to thy house, whence I will go
to my chamber by the secret passage, so I may see the issue of
our affair with him." Then the twain passed the night in mirth
and merriment, converse and good cheer, dalliance and delight
till dawn, when she returned to her own place and sent the
handmaid to arouse her lawful lord and her lover. Accordingly
they arose and prayed the dawn-prayer and brake their fast and
drank coffee, after which Obayd repaired to his shop and Kamar
al-Zaman betook himself to his own house. Presently, in came
Halimah to him by the tunnel, in the guise of a slave-girl, and
indeed she was by birth a slave-girl.[FN#429] Then he went out
and she walked behind him, till he came to the jeweller's shop
and saluting him, sat down and said, "O master, I went into the
Khan of Al-Yasirjiyah to-day, to look about me, and saw this
damsel in the broker's hands. She pleased me; so I bought her for
a thousand diners and I would have thee look upon her and see if
she be cheap at that price or no." So saying, he uncovered her
face and the jeweller saw her to be his own wife. clad in her
costliest clothes, tricked out in her finest trinkets and kohl'd
and henna'd, even as she was wont to adorn herself before him in
the house. He knew with full knowledge her face and dress and
trinkets, for those he had wrought with his own hand, and he saw
on her fingers the seal rings he had newly made for Kamar al-
Zaman, whereby he was certified with entire assurance that she
was indeed his very wife. So he asked her, "What is thy name, O
slave-girl?"; and she answered, "Halimah," naming to him her own
name; whereat he was amazed and said to the youth, "For how much
didst thou buy her?" He replied, "For a thousand diners"; and the
jeweller rejoined, "Thou hast gotten her gratis; for her rings
and clothes and trinkets are worth more than that." Said Kamar
al-Zaman, "May Allah rejoice thee with good news! Since she
pleaseth thee, I will carry her to my house;" and Obayd said, "Do
thy will." So he took her off to his house, whence she passed
through the secret passage to her own apartment and sat there.
Meanwhile, fire flamed in the jeweller's heart and he said to
himself, "I will go see my wife. If she be at home, this slave-
girl must be her counterpart, and glory be to Him who alone hath
no counterpart! But, if she be not at home, 'tis she herself
without a doubt." Then he set off running, and coming to his
house, found his wife sitting in the same clothes and ornaments
he had seen upon her in the shop; whereupon he beat hand upon
hand, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" "O man," asked she, "art thou
mad or what aileth thee? 'Tis not thy wont to do thus, and needs
must it be that something hath befallen thee." Answered he, "If
thou wilt have me tell thee be not vexed." Quoth she, "Say on";
so he said, "Our friend the merchant hath bought a slave-girl,
whose shape is as thy shape and her height as thy height; more-
over, her name is even as thy name and her apparel is the like of
thine apparel. Brief, she resembleth thee in all her attributes,
and on her fingers are seal rings like thy seal rings and her
trinkets are as thy trinkets. So, when he displayed her to me,
methought it was thyself and I was perplexed concerning my case.
Would we had never seen this merchant nor companied with him; and
would he had never left his own country and we had not known him,
for he hath troubled my life which before was serene, causing ill
feeling to succeed good faith and making doubt to enter into my
heart." Said she, "Look in my face, belike I am she who was with
him and he is my lover and I disguised myself as a slave-girl and
agreed with him that he should display me to thee, so he might
lay a snare for thee." He replied, "What words are these? Indeed,
I never suspected that thou wouldst do the like of this deed."
Now this jeweller was unversed in the wiles of women and knew not
how they deal with men, nor had he heard the saying of him who

"A heart bore thee off in chase of the fair, * As fled Youth and
     came Age wi' his hoary hair:
Laylá troubles me and love joys are far; * And rival and risks
     brings us cark and care.
An would'st ask me of woman, behold I am * In physic of womankind
     wise and ware:
When grizzleth man's head and his monies fail, * His lot in their
     love is a poor affair."

Nor that of another,[FN#430]

"Gainsay women; he obeyeth Allah best, who saith them nay And he
     prospers not who giveth them his bridle rein to sway
For they'll hinder him from winning to perfection in his gifts,
     Though a thousand years he study, seeking after wisdom's

And a third,

"Women Satans are, made for woe of man: * To Allah I fly from
     such Satanesses!
Whom they lure by their love he to grief shall come * And lose
     bliss of world and the Faith that blesses."

Said she, "Here am I sitting in my chamber; so go thou to him
forthright and knock at the door and contrive to go in to him
quickly. An thou see the damsel with him 'tis a slave-girl of his
who resembleth me (and Glory be to Him who hath no
resemblance[FN#431]) But, an thou see no slave-girl with him,
then am I myself she whom thou sawest with him in the shop, and
thine ill thought of me will be stablished." "True," answered
Obayd, and went out leaving her, whereupon she passed through the
hidden passage and seating herself by Kamar al-Zaman, told him
what had passed, saying, "Open the door quickly and show me to
him." Now, as they were talking, behold, there came a knocking at
the door. Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "Who is at the door?"; and quoth
the jeweller, "I, thy friend; thou displayedst to me thy slave-
girl in the bazar, and I rejoiced for thee in her, but my joy in
her was not completed; so open the door and let me look at her
again." Rejoined he, "So be it," and opened the door to him,
whereupon he saw his wife sitting by him. She rose and kissed
their hands; and he looked at her; then she talked with him
awhile and he saw her not to be distinguished from his wife in
aught and said, "Allah createth whatso He will." Then he went
away more disheartened than before and returned to his own house
where he saw his wife sitting, for she had foregone him thither
by the souterrain. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
lady forewent her spouse by the souterrain as he fared through
the door and sat down in her upper chamber;[FN#432] so as soon as
he entered she asked him, "What hast thou seen?" and he answered,
"I found her with her master; and she resembleth thee." Then said
she, "Off to thy shop and let this suffice thee of ignoble
suspicion and never again deem ill of me." Said he, "So be it:
accord me pardon for what is past." And she, "Allah grant thee
grace!"[FN#433] whereupon he kissed her right and left and went
back to his shop. Then she again betook herself to Kamar al-Zaman
through the underground passage, with four bags of money, and
said to him, "Equip thyself at once for the road and be ready to
carry off the money without delay, against I devise for thee the
device I have in mind." So he went out and purchased mules and
loaded them and made ready a travelling litter, he also bought
Mamelukes and eunuchs and sending, without let or hindrance, the
whole without the city, returned to Halimah and said to her, "I
have made an end of my affairs." Quoth she, "And I on my side am
ready; for I have transported to thy house all the rest of his
monies and treasures and have left him nor little nor much,
whereof he may avail himself. All this is of my love for thee, O
dearling of my heart, for I would sacrifice my husband to thee a
thousand times. But now it behoveth, thou go to him and farewell
him, saying, 'I purpose to depart after three days and am come to
bid thee adieu; so do thou reckon what I owe thee for the hire of
the house that I may send it to thee and acquit my conscience.'
Note his reply and return to me and tell me; for I can no more; I
have done my best, by cozening him, to anger him with me and
cause him to put me away, but I find him none the less infatuated
with me. So nothing will serve us but to depart to thine own
country." And quoth he, "O rare! an but swevens prove
true!"[FN#434] Then he went to the jeweller's shop and sitting
down by him, said to him, "O master, I set out for home in three
days' time, and am come to farewell thee. So I would have thee
reckon what I owe thee for the hire of the house, that I may pay
it to thee and acquit my conscience." Answered Obayd, "What talk
is this? Verily, 'tis I who am indebted to thee. By Allah, I will
take nothing from thee for the rent of the house, for thou hast
brought down blessings upon us! However, thou desolatest me by
thy departure, and but that it is forbidden to me, I would
certainly oppose thee and hinder thee from returning to thy
country and kinsfolk." Then he took leave of him, whilst they
both wept with sore weeping and the jeweller went with him, and
when they entered Kamar al-Zaman's house, there they found
Halimah who stood before them and served them; but when Obayd
returned home, he found her sitting there; nor did he cease to
see her thus in each house in turn, for the space of three days,
when she said to Kamar al-Zaman, "Now have I transported to thee
all that he hath of monies and hoards and carpets and things of
price, and there remaineth with him naught save the slave-girl,
who used to come in to you with the night drink: but I cannot
part with her, for that she is my kinswoman and she is dear to me
as a confidante. So I will beat her and be wroth with her and
when my spouse cometh home, I will say to him, 'I can no longer
put up with this slave-girl nor stay in the house with her; so
take her and sell her.' Accordingly he will sell her and do thou
buy her, that we may carry her with us." Answered he, "No harm in
that." So she beat the girl and when the jeweller came in, he
found her weeping and asked her why she wept. Quoth she, "My
mistress hath beaten me." He then went in to his wife and said to
her, "What hath that accursed girl done, that thou hast beaten
her?" She replied, "O man, I have but one word to say to thee,
and 'tis that I can no longer bear the sight of this girl; so
take her and sell her, or else divorce me." Quoth he, "I will
sell her that I may not cross thee in aught;" and when he went
out to go to the shop he took her and passed with her by Kamar
al-Zaman. No sooner had he gone out than his wife slipped through
the under ground passage to Kamar al-Zaman, who placed her in the
litter, before the Shaykh her husband reached him. When the
jeweller came up and the lover saw the slave-girl with him, he
asked him, "What girl is this?"; and the other answered, "'Tis my
slave-girl who used to serve us with the night drink; she hath
disobeyed her mistress who is wroth with her and hath bidden me
sell her." Quoth the youth, "An her mistress have taken an
aversion to her, there is for her no abiding with her; but sell
her to me, that I may smell your scent in her, and I will make
her handmaid to my slave Halimah." "Good," answered Obayd: "take
her." Asked Kamar al-Zaman, "What is her price?"; but the
jeweller said, "I will take nothing from thee, for thou hast been
bountiful to us." So he accepted her from him and said to
Halimah, "Kiss thy lord's hand." Accordingly, she came out from
the litter and kissing Obayd's hand, remounted, whilst he looked
hard at her. Then said Kamar al-Zaman, "I commend thee to Allah,
O Master Obayd! Acquit my conscience of responsibility.[FN#435]"
Answered the jeweller, "Allah acquit thee! and carry thee safe to
thy family!" Then he bade him farewell and went to his shop
weeping, and indeed it was grievous to him to part from Kamar al-
Zaman, for that he had been friend and friendship hath its
debtorship; yet he rejoiced in the dispelling of the doubts which
had befallen him anent his wife, since the young man was now gone
and his suspicions had not been stablished. Such was his case;
but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, the young lady said to him, "An
thou wish for safety, travel with me by other than the wonted
way." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Halimah said to Kamar al-Zaman, "An thou wish for safety travel
with me by other than the wonted way," he replied, "Hearing and
obeying;" and, taking a road other than that used by folk, fared
on without ceasing from region to region till he reached the
confines of Egypt-land[FN#436] and sent his sire a letter by a
runner. Now his father the merchant Abd al-Rahman was sitting in
the market among the merchants, with a heart on fire for
separation from his son, because no news of the youth had reached
him since the day of his departure; and while he was in such case
the runner came up and cried, "O my lords, which of you is called
the merchant Abd al-Rahman?" They said, "What wouldst thou of
him?"; and he said, "I have a letter for him from his son Kamar
al-Zaman, whom I left at Al-Arísh."[FN#437] At this Abd al-Rahman
rejoiced and his breast was broadened and the merchants rejoiced
for him and gave him joy of his son's safety. Then he opened the
letter and read as follows, "From Kamar al-Zaman to the merchant
Abd al-Rahman. And after Peace be upon thee and upon all the
merchants! An ye ask concerning us, to Allah be the praise and
the thanks. Indeed we have sold and bought and gained and are
come back in health, wealth and weal." Whereupon Abd al-Rahman
opened the door[FN#438] of rejoicing and made banquets and gave
feasts and entertainments galore, sending for instruments of
music and addressing himself to festivities after rarest fashion.
When Kamar al-Zaman came to Al-Sálihiyah,[FN#439] his father and
all the merchants went forth to meet him, and Abd al-Rahman
embraced him and strained him to his bosom and sobbed till he
swooned away. When he came to himself he said, "Oh, 'tis a boon
day O my son, whereon the Omnipotent Protector hath reunited us
with thee!" And he repeated the words of the bard,

"The return of the friend is the best of all boons, * And the joy
     cup circles o' morns and noons:
So well come, welcome, fair welcome to thee, * The light of the
     time and the moon o' full moons."

Then, for excess of joy, he poured forth a flood of tears from
his eyes and he recited also these two couplets,

"The Moon o' the Time,[FN#440] shows unveilèd light; * And, his
     journey done, at our door cloth alight:
His locks as the nights of his absence are black * And the sun
     upstands from his collar's[FN#441] white."

Then the merchants came up to him and saluting him, saw with him
many loads and servants and a travelling litter enclosed in a
spacious circle.[FN#442] So they took him and carried him home;
and when Halimah came forth from the litter, his father held her
a seduction to all who beheld her. So they opened her an upper
chamber, as it were a treasure from which the talismans had been
loosed;[FN#443] and when his mother saw her, she was ravished
with her and deemed her a Queen of the wives of the Kings. So she
rejoiced in her and questioned her; and she answered, "I am wife
to thy son;" and the mother rejoined, "Since he is wedded to thee
we must make thee a splendid marriage feast, that we may rejoice
in thee and in my son." On this wise it befel her; but as regards
the merchant Abd al-Rahman, when the folk had dispersed and each
had wended his way, he foregathered with his son and said to him,
"O my son, what is this slave-girl thou hast brought with thee
and for how much didst thou buy her?"[FN#444] Kamar al-Zaman
said, "O my father, she is no slave-girl; but 'tis she who was
the cause of my going abroad." Asked his sire, "How so?"; and he
answered, "'Tis she whom the Dervish described to us the night he
lay with us; for indeed my hopes crave to her from that moment
and I sought not to travel save on account of her. The Arabs came
out upon me by the way and stripped me and took my money and
goods, so that I entered Bassorah alone and there befel me there
such and such things;" and he went on to relate to his parent all
that had befallen him from commencement to conclusion. Now when
he had made an end of his story, his father said to him, "O my
son, and after all this didst thou marry her?" "No; but I have
promised her marriage." "Is it thine intent to marry her?" "An
thou bid me marry her, I will do so; otherwise I will not marry
her." Thereupon quoth his father, "An thou marry her, I am quit
of thee in this world and in the next, and I shall be incensed
against thee with sore indignation. How canst thou wed her,
seeing that she hath dealt thus with her husband? For, even as
she did with her spouse for thy sake, so will she do the like
with thee for another's sake, because she is a traitress and in a
traitor there is no trusting. Wherefore an thou disobey me, I
shall be wroth with thee; but, an thou give ear to my word, I
will seek thee out a girl handsomer than she, who shall be pure
and pious, and marry thee to her, though I spend all my substance
upon her; and I will make thee a wedding without equal and will
glory in thee and in her; for 'tis better that folk should say,
Such an one hath married such an one's daughter, than that they
say, He hath wedded a slave-girl sans birth or worth." And he
went on to persuade his son to give up marrying her, by citing in
support of his say, proofs, stories, examples, verses and moral
instances, till Kamar al-Zaman exclaimed, "O my father, since the
case is thus, 'tis not right and proper that I marry her." And
when his father heard him speak on such wise, he kissed him
between the eyes, saying, "Thou art my very son, and as I live, O
my son, I will assuredly marry thee to a girl who hath not her
equal!" Then the merchant set Obayd's wife and her handmaid in a
chamber high up in the house and, before locking the door upon
the twain, he appointed a black slave-girl to carry them their
meat and drink and he said to Halimah, "Ye shall abide imprisoned
in this chamber, thou and thy maid, till I find one who will buy
you, when I will sell you to him. An ye resist, I will slay ye
both, for thou art a traitress, and there is no good in thee."
Answered she, "Do thy will: I deserve all thou canst do with me."
Then he locked the door upon them and gave his Harim a charge
respecting them, saying, "Let none go up to them nor speak with
them, save the black slave-girl who shall give them their meat
and drink through the casement of the upper chamber." So she
abode with her maid, weeping and repenting her of that which she
had done with her spouse. Meanwhile Abd al-Rahman sent out the
marriage brokers to look out a maid of birth and worth for his
son, and the women ceased not to make search, and as often as
they saw one girl, they heard of a fairer than she, till they
came to the house of the Shaykh al-Islam[FN#445] and saw his
daughter. In her they found a virgin whose equal was not in Cairo
for beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, and she
was a thousand fold handsomer than the wife of Obayd. So they
told Abd al-Rahman of her and he and the notables repaired to her
father and sought her in wedlock of him. Then they wrote out the
marriage contract and made her a splendid wedding; after which
Abd al-Rahman gave bride feasts and held open house forty days.
On the first day, he invited the doctors of the law and they held
a splendid nativity[FN#446]: and on the morrow, he invited all
the merchants, and so on during the rest of the forty days,
making a banquet every day to one or other class of folk, till he
had bidden all the Olema and Emirs and Antients[FN#447] and
Magistrates, whilst the kettle drums were drummed and the pipes
were piped and the merchant sat to greet the guests, with his son
by his side, that he might solace himself by gazing on the folk,
as they ate from the trays. Each night Abd al-Rahman illuminated
the street and the quarter with lamps and there came every one of
the mimes and jugglers and mountebanks and played all manner
play; and indeed it was a peerless wedding. On the last day he
invited the Fakirs, the poor and the needy, far and near, and
they flocked in troops and ate, whilst the merchant sat, with his
son by his side.[FN#448] And among the paupers, behold, entered
Shaykh Obayd the jeweller and he was naked and weary and bare on
his face the marks of wayfare. When Kamar al-Zaman saw him, he
knew him and said to his sire, "Look, O my father, at yonder poor
man who is but now come in by the door." So he looked and saw him
clad in worn clothes and on him a patched gown[FN#449] worth two
dirhams: his face was yellow and he was covered with dust and was
as he were an offcast of the pilgrims.[FN#450] He was groaning as
groaneth a sick man in need, walking with a tottering gait and
swaying now to the right and then to the left, and in him was
realized his saying who said,[FN#451]

"Lack-gold abaseth man and cloth his worth away, Even as the
     setting sun that pales with ended day.
He passeth 'mongst the folk and fain would hide his head; And
     when alone, he weeps with tears that never stay.
Absent, none taketh heed to him or his concerns; Present, he hath
     no part in life or pleasance aye.
By Allah, whenas men with poverty are cursed, But strangers midst
     their kin and countrymen are they!"

And the saying of another,

"The poor man fares by everything opposed: * On him to shut the
     door Earth ne'er shall fail:
Thou seest men abhor him sans a sin, * And foes he finds tho none
     the cause can tell:
The very dogs, when sighting wealthy man, * Fawn at his feet and
     wag the flattering tail;
Yet, an some day a pauper loon they sight, * All at him bark and,
     gnashing fangs, assail."

And how well quoth a third,

"If generous youth be blessed with luck and wealth, *
     Displeasures fly his path and perils fleet:
His enviers pimp for him and par'site-wise * E'en without tryst
     his mistress hastes to meet.
When loud he farts they say 'How well he sings!' * And when he
     fizzles[FN#452] cry they, 'Oh, how sweet!'"

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

    When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when his
son said to Abd al-Rahman, "Look at yonder pauper!" he asked, "O
my son, who is this?" And Kamar al-Zaman answered, "This is
Master Obayd the jeweller, husband of the woman who is imprisoned
with us." Quoth Abd al-Rahman, "Is this he of whom thou toldest
me?"; and quoth his son, "Yes; and indeed I wot him right well."
Now the manner of Obayd's coming thither was on this wise. When
he had farewelled Kamar al-Zaman, he went to his shop and thence
going home, laid his hand on the door whereupon it opened and he
entered and found neither his wife nor the slave-girl, but saw
the house in sorriest plight, quoting in mute speech his saying
who said,[FN#453]

"The chambers were like a bee hive well stocked: * When their
bees quitted it, they became empty."

When he saw the house void, he turned right and left and
presently went round about the place, like a madman, but came
upon no one. Then he opened the door of his treasure closet, but
found therein naught of his money nor his hoards; whereupon he
recovered from the intoxication of fancy and shook off his
infatuation and knew that it was his wife herself who had turned
the tables upon him and outwitted him with her wiles. He wept for
that which had befallen him, but kept his affair secret, so none
of his foes might exult over him nor any of his friends be
troubled, knowing that, if he disclosed his secret, it would
bring him naught but dishonour and contumely from the folk;
wherefore he said in him self, "O Obayd, hide that which hath
betided thee of affliction and ruination; it behoveth thee to do
in accordance with his saying who said,

'If a man's breast with bane he hides be straitenèd, * The breast
that tells its hidden bale is straiter still.' "

Then he locked up his house and, making for his shop, gave it in
charge of one of his apprentices to whom said he, "My friend the
young merchant hath invited me to accompany him to Cairo, for
solacing ourselves with the sight of the city, and sweareth that
he will not march except he carry us with him, me and my wife.
So, O my son, I make thee my steward in the shop, and if the King
ask for me, say thou to him, 'He is gone with his Harim to the
Holy House of Allah.'"[FN#454] Then he sold some of his effects
and bought camels and mules and Mamelukes, together with a slave-
girl,[FN#455] and placing her in a litter, set out from Bassorah
after ten days. His friends farewelled him and none doubted but
that he had taken his wife and gone on the Pilgrimage, and the
folk rejoiced in this, for that Allah had delivered them from
being shut up in the mosques and houses every Friday. Quoth some
of them, "Allah grant he may never return to Bassorah, so we may
no more be boxed up in the mosques and houses every Friday!"; for
that this usage had caused the people of Bassorah exceeding
vexation. Quoth another, "Methinks he will not return from this
journey, by reason of the much praying of the people of Bassorah
against him."[FN#456] And yet another, "An he return, 'twill not
be but in reversed case."[FN#457] So the folk rejoiced with
exceeding joy in the jeweller's departure, after they had been in
mighty great chagrin, and even their cats and dogs were
comforted. When Friday came round, however, the crier proclaimed
as usual that the people should repair to the mosques two hours
before prayer time or else hide themselves in their houses,
together with their cats and dogs; whereat their breasts were
straitened and they assembled in general assembly and betaking
themselves to the King's divan, stood between his hands and said,
"O King of the age, the jeweller hath taken his Harim and
departed on the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah: so the
cause of our restrains hath ceased to be, and why therefore are
we now shut up?" Quoth the King, "How came this traitor to depart
without telling me? But, when he cometh back from his journey,
all will not be save well[FN#458]: so go ye to your shops and
sell and buy, for this vexation is removed from you." Thus far
concerning the King and the Bassorites; but as for the jeweller,
he fared on ten days' journey, and as he drew near Baghdad, there
befel him that which had befallen Kamar al-Zaman, before his
entering Bassorah; for the Arabs[FN#459] came out upon him and
stripped him and took all he had and he escaped only by feigning
himself dead. As soon as they were gone, he rose and fared on,
naked as he was, till he came to a village, where Allah inclined
to him the hearts of certain kindly folk, who covered his shame
with some old clothes; and he asked his way, begging from town to
town, till he reached the city of Cairo the God guarded. There,
burning with hunger, he went about alms seeking in the market
streets, till one of the townsfolk said to him, "O poor man, off
with thee to the house of the wedding festival and eat and drink;
for to day there is open table for paupers and strangers." Quoth
he, "I know not the way thither": and quoth the other, "Follow me
and I will show it to thee." He followed him, till he brought him
to the house of Abd al-Rahman and said to him, "This is the house
of the wedding; enter and fear not, for there is no doorkeeper at
the door of the festival." Accordingly he entered and Kamar al-
Zaman knew him and told his sire who said, "O my son, leave him
at this present: belike he is anhungered: so let him eat his
sufficiency and recover himself and after we will send for him."
So they waited till Obayd had eaten his fill and washed his hands
and drunk coffee and sherbets of sugar flavoured with musk and
ambergris and was about to go out, when Abd al-Rahman sent after
him a page who said to him, "Come, O stranger, and speak with the
merchant Abd al-Rahman." "Who is he?" asked Obayd; and the man
answered, "He is the master of the feast." Thereupon the jeweller
turned back, thinking that he meant to give him a gift, and
coming up to Abd al-Rahman, saw his friend Kamar al-Zaman and
went nigh to lose his senses for shame before him. But Kamar al-
Zaman rose to him and embracing him, saluted him with the salam,
and they both wept with sore weeping. Then he seated him by his
side and Abd al-Rahman said to his son, "O destitute of good
taste, this is no way to receive friends! Send him first to the
Hammam and despatch after him a suit of clothes of the choicest,
worth a thousand dinars."[FN#460] Accordingly they carried him to
the bath, where they washed his body and clad him in a costly
suit, and he became as he were Consul of the Merchants. Meanwhile
the bystanders questioned Kamar al-Zaman of him, saying, "Who is
this and whence knowest thou him?" Quoth he, "This is my friend,
who lodged me in his house and to whom I am indebted for favours
without number, for that he entreated me with exceeding kindness.
He is a man of competence and condition and by trade a jeweller,
in which craft he hath no equal. The King of Bassorah loveth him
dearly and holdeth him in high honour and his word is law with
him." And he went on to enlarge before them on his praises,
saying, "Verily, he did with me thus and thus and I have shame of
him and know not how to requite him his generous dealing with
me." Nor did he leave to extol him, till his worth was magnified
to the bystanders and he became venerable in their eyes; so they
said, "We will all do him his due and honour him for thy sake.
But we would fain know the reason why he hath departed his native
land and the cause of his coming hither and what Allah hath done
with him, that he is reduced to this plight?" Replied Kamar al-
Zaman, "O folk, marvel not, for a son of Adam is still subject to
Fate and Fortune, and what while he abideth in this world, he is
not safe from calamities. Indeed he spake truly who said these

The world tears man to shreds, so be thou not * Of those whom
     lure of rank and title draws:
Nay; 'ware of slips and turn from sin aside * And ken that bane
     and bale are worldly laws:
How oft high Fortune falls by least mishap * And all things bear
     inbred of change a cause!'

Know that I entered Bassorah in yet iller case and worse distress
than this man, for that he entered Cairo with his shame hidden by
rags; but I indeed came into his town with my nakedness
uncovered, one hand behind and another before; and none availed
me but Allah and this dear man. Now the reason of this was that
the Arabs stripped me and took my camels and mules and loads and
slaughtered my pages and serving men; but I lay down among the
slain and they thought that I was dead, so they went away and
left me. Then I arose and walked on, mother naked, till I came to
Bassorah where this man met me and clothed me and lodged me in
his house, he also furnished me with money, and all I have
brought back with me I owe to none save to Allah's goodness and
his goodness. When I departed, he gave me great store of wealth
and I returned to the city of my birth with a heart at ease. I
left him in competence and condition, and haply there hath
befallen him some bale of the banes of Time, that hath forced him
to quit his kinsfolk and country, and there happened to him by
the way the like of what happened to me. There is nothing strange
in this; but now it behoveth me to requite him his noble dealing
with me and do according to the saying of him who saith,

'O who praises" Time with the fairest appraise, * Knowest thou
     what Time hath made and unmade?
What thou dost at least be it kindly done,[FN#461] * For with pay
     he pays shall man be repaid.'"

As they were talking and telling the tale, behold, up came Obayd
as he were Consul[FN#462] of the Merchants; whereupon they all
rose to salute him and seated him in the place of honour. Then
said Kamar al-Zaman to him, "O my friend, verily, thy day[FN#463]
is blessed and fortunate! There is no need to relate to me a
thing that befel me before thee. If the Arabs have stripped thee
and robbed thee of thy wealth, verily our money is the ransom of
our bodies, so let not thy soul be troubled; for I entered thy
city naked and thou clothedst me and entreatedst me generously,
and I owe thee many a kindness. But I will requite thee."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say,

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar
al-Zaman said to Master Obayd the jeweller, "Verily I entered thy
city naked and thou clothedst me and I owe thee many a kindness.
But I will requite thee and do with thee even as thou didst with
me; nay, more: so be of good cheer and eyes clear of tear." And
he went on to soothe him and hinder him from speech, lest he
should name his wife and what she had done with him nor did he
cease to ply him with saws and moral instances and verses and
conceits and stories and legends and console him, till the
jeweller saw his drift and took the hint and kept silence
concerning the past, diverting himself with the tales and rare
anecdotes he heard and repeating in himself these lines,

"On the brow of the World is a writ; an thereon thou look, * Its
     contents will compel thine eyes tears of blood to rain:
For the World never handed to humans a cup with its right, * But
     with left it compelled them a beaker of ruin to drain."

Then Kamar al-Zaman and his father took Obayd and carrying him
into the saloon of the Harim, shut themselves up with him; and
Abd al-Rahman said to him, "We did not hinder thee from speaking
before the folk, but for fear of dishonour to thee and to us: but
now we are private; so tell me all that hath passed between thee
and thy wife and my son." So he told him all, from beginning to
end, and when he had made an end of his story, Abd al-Rahman
asked him, "Was the fault with my son or with thy wife?" He
answered, "By Allah, thy son was not to blame, for men must needs
lust after women, and 'tis the bounder duty of women to defend
themselves from men. So the sin lieth with my wife, who played me
false and did with me these deeds."[FN#464] Then Abd al-Rahman
arose and taking his son aside, said to him, "O my son, we have
proved his wife and know her to be a traitress; and now I mean to
prove him and see if he be a man of honour and manliness, or a
wittol."[FN#465] "How so?" asked Kamar al-Zaman; and Abd al-
Rahman answered, "I mean to urge him to make peace with his wife,
and if he consent thereto and forgive her, I will smite him with
a sword and slay him and kill her after, her and her maid, for
there is no good in the life of a cuckold and a queen;[FN#466]
but, if he turn from her with aversion I will marry him to thy
sister and give him more of wealth than that thou tookest from
him." Then he went back to Obayd and said to him, "O master,
verily, the commerce of women requireth patience and magnanimity
and whoso loveth them hath need of fortitude, for that they order
themselves viper wise towards men and evilly entreat them, by
reason of their superiority over them in beauty and loveliness:
wherefore they magnify themselves and belittle men. This is
notably the case when their husbands show them affection; for
then they requite them with hauteur and coquetry and harsh
dealing of all kinds. But, if a man be wroth whenever he seeth in
his wife aught that offendeth him, there can be no fellowship
between them; nor can any hit it off with them who is not
magnanimous and long suffering; and unless a man bear with his
wife and requite her foul doing with forgiveness, he shall get no
good of her conversation. Indeed, it hath been said of them,
'Were they in the sky, the necks of men would incline themwards';
and he who hath the power and pardoneth, his reward is with
Allah. Now this woman is thy wife and thy companion and she hath
long consorted with thee; wherefore it behoveth that thou entreat
her with indulgence which in fellowship is of the essentials of
success. Furthermore, women fail in wit and Faith,[FN#467] and if
she have sinned, she repenteth and Inshallah she will not again
return to that which she whilome did. So 'tis my rede that thou
make peace with her and I will restore thee more than the good
she took; and if it please thee to abide with me, thou art
welcome, thou and she, and ye shall see naught but what shall joy
you both; but, an thou seek to, return to thine own land. For
that which falleth out between a man and his wife is manifold,
and it behoveth thee to be indulgent and not take the way of the
violent." Said the jeweller, "O my lord, and where is my wife?"
and said Abd al-Rahman, "She is in that upper chamber, go up to
her and be easy with her, for my sake, and trouble her not; for,
when my son brought her hither, he would have married her, but I
forbade him from her and shut her up in yonder room, and locked
the door upon her saying in myself, 'Haply her husband will come
and I will hand her over to him safe; for she is fair of favour,
and when a woman is like unto this one, it may not be that her
husband will let her go.' What I counted on is come about and
praised be Allah Almighty for thy reunion with thy wife! As for
my son, I have sought him another woman in marriage and have
married him to her: these banquets and rejoicings are for his
wedding, and to-night I bring him to his bride. So here is the
key of the chamber where thy wife is: take it and open the door
and go in to her and her handmaid and be buxom with her. There
shall be brought you meat and drink and thou shalt not come down
from her till thou have had thy fill of her." Cried Obayd, "May
Allah requite thee for me with all good, O my lord!" and taking
the key, went up, rejoicing. The other thought his words had
pleased him and that he consented thereto; so he took the sword
and following him unseen, stood to espy what should happen
between him and his wife. This is how it fared with the merchant
Abd al-Rahman; but as for the jeweller, when he came to the
chamber door, he heard his wife weeping with sore weeping for
that Kamar al-Zaman had married another than her, and the
handmaid saying to her, "O my lady, how often have I warned thee
and said, 'Thou wilt get no good of this youth: so do thou leave
his company.' But thou heededst not my words and spoiledst thy
husband of all his goods and gayest them to him. After the which
thou forsookest thy place, of thine fondness and infatuation for
him, and camest with him to this country. And now he hath cast
thee out from his thought and married another and hath made the
issue of thy foolish fancy for him to be durance vile." Cried
Halimah, "Be silent, O accursed! Though he be married to another,
yet some day needs must I occur to his thought. I cannot forget
the nights I have spent in his company and in any case I console
myself with his saying who said,

'O my lords, shall he to your mind occur * Who recurs to you only
     sans other mate?
Grant Heaven you ne'er shall forget his state * Who for state of
     you forgot own estate!'

It cannot be but he will bethink him of my affect and converse
and ask for me, wherefore I will not turn from loving him nor
change from passion for him, though I perish in prison; for he is
my love and my leach[FN#468] and my reliance is on him that he
will yet return to me and deal fondly with me." When the jeweller
heard his wife's words, he went in to her and said to her, "O
traitress, thy hope in him is as the hope of Iblis[FN#469] in
Heaven. All these vices were in thee and I knew not thereof; for,
had I been ware of one single vice, I had not kept thee with me
an hour. But now I am certified of this in thee, it behoveth me
to do thee die although they put me to death for thee, O
traitress!" and he clutched her with both hands and repeated
these two couplets,

"O fair ones forth ye cast my faithful love * With sin, nor had
     ye aught regard for right:
How long I fondly clung to you, but now * My love is loathing and
     I hate your sight."

Then he pressed hardly upon her windpipe and brake her neck,
whereupon her handmaid cried out "Alas, my mistress!" Said he, "O
harlot, 'tis thou who art to blame for all this, for that thou
knewest this evil inclination to be in her and toldest me
not."[FN#470] Then he seized upon her and strangled her. All this
happened while Abd al-Rahman stood, brand in hand, behind the
door espying with his eyes and hearing with his ears. Now when
Obayd the ]eweller had done this, apprehension came upon him and
he feared the issue of his affair and said to himself, "As soon
as the merchant learneth that I have killed them in his house, he
will surely slay me; yet I beseech Allah that He appoint the
taking of my life to be while I am in the True Belief!" And he
abode bewildered about his case and knew not what to do, but, as
he was thus behold, in came Abd al-Rahman from his lurking place
without the door and said to him, "No harm shall befal thee, for
indeed thou deserves" safety. See this sword in my hand. 'Twas in
my mind to slay thee, hadst thou made peace with her and restored
her to favour, and I would also have slain her and the maid. But
since thou hast done this deed, welcome to thee and again
welcome! And I will reward thee by marrying thee to my daughter,
Kamar al-Zaman's sister." Then he carried him down and sent for
the woman who washed the dead: whereupon it was bruited abroad
that Kamar al-Zaman had brought with him two slave-girls from
Bassorah and that both had deceased. So the people began to
condole with him saying, "May thy head live!" and "May Allah
compensate thee!" And they washed and shrouded them and buried
them, and none knew the truth of the matter. Then Abd al-Rahman
sent for the Shaykh al-Islam and all the notables and said, "O
Shaykh, draw up the contract of marriage between my daughter
Kaukab al-Salah[FN#471] and Master Obayd the jeweller and set
down that her dowry hath been paid to me in full." So he wrote
out the contract and Abd al-Rahman gave the company to drink of
sherbets, and they made one wedding festival for the two brides
the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islam and Kamar al-Zaman's sister;
and paraded them in one litter on one and the same night; after
which they carried Kamar al-Zaman and Obayd in procession
together and brought them in to their brides.[FN#472] When the
jeweller went in to Abd al-Rahman's daughter, he found her
handsomer than Halimah and a thousand fold lovelier. So he took
her maidenhead and on the morrow, he went to the Hammam with
Kamar al-Zaman. Then he abode with them awhile in pleasance and
joyance, after which he began to yearn for his native land; so he
went in to Abd al-Rahman and said to him, "O uncle, I long for my
own country, for I have there estates and effects, which I left
in charge of one of my prentices; and I am minded to journey
thither that I may sell my properties and return to thee. So wilt
thou give me leave to go to my country for that purpose?"
Answered the merchant, "O my son, I give thee leave to do this
and there be no fault in thee or blame to thee for these words,
for 'Love of mother land is a part of Religion'; and he who hath
not good in his own country hath none in other folks' country.
But, haply, an thou depart without thy wife, when thou art once
come to thy native place, it may seem good to thee to settle
there, and thou wilt be perplexed between returning to thy wife
and sojourning in thine own home; so it were the righter rede
that thou carry thy wife with thee; and after, an thou desire to
return to us, return and welcome to you both; for we are folk who
know not divorce and no woman of us marrieth twice, nor do we
lightly discard a man."[FN#473] Quoth Obayd, "Uncle, I fear me
thy daughter will not consent to journey with me to my own
country." Replied Abd al-Rahman, "O my son, we have no women
amongst us who gainsay their spouses, nor know we a wife who is
wroth with her man." The jeweller cried, "Allah bless you and
your women!" and going in to his wife, said to her, "I am minded
to go to my country: what sayst thou?" Quoth she, "Indeed, my
sire had the ordering of me, whilst I was a maid, and when I
married, the ordering all passed into the hands of my lord and
master, nor will I gainsay him." Quoth Obayd, "Allah bless thee
and thy father, and have mercy on the womb that bare thee and the
loins that begat thee!" Then he cut his thongs[FN#474] and
applied himself to making ready for his journey. His father-in-
law gave him much good and they took leave each of other, after
which tile jeweller and his wife journeyed on without ceasing,
till they reached Bassorah where his kinsmen and comrades came
out to meet him, doubting not but that he had been in Al-Hijaz.
Some rejoiced at his return, whilst others were vexed, and the
folk said one to another, "Now will he straiten us again every
Friday, as before, and we shall be shut up in the mosques and
houses, even to our cats and our dogs." On such wise it fared
with him; but as regards the King of Bassorah, when he heard of
his return, he was wroth with him; and sending for him, upbraided
him and said to him, "Why didst thou depart, without letting me
know of thy departure? Was I unable to give thee somewhat
wherewith thou mightest have succoured thyself in thy pilgrimage
to the Holy House of Allah?" Replied the jeweller, "Pardon, O my
lord! By Allah, I went not on the pilgrimage! but there have
befallen me such and such things." Then he told him all that had
befallen him with his wife and with Abd al-Rahman of Cairo and
how the merchant had given him his daughter to wife, ending with
these words, "And I have brought her to Bassorah." Said the King,
"By the Lord, did I not fear Allah the Most High, I would slay
thee and marry this noble lady after thy death, though I spent on
her mints of money, because she befitteth none but Kings. But
Allah hath appointed her of thy portion and may He bless thee in
her! So look thou use her well." Then he bestowed largesse on the
jeweller, who went out from before him and abode with his wife
five years, after which he was admitted to the mercy of the
Almighty. Presently the King sought his widow in wedlock; but she
refused, saying, "O King, never among my kindred was a woman who
married again after her husband's death; wherefore I will never
take another husband, nor will I marry thee, no, though thou kill
me." Then he sent to her one who said, "Dost thou seek to go to
thy native land?" And she answered, "An thou do good, thou shalt
be requited therewith." So he collected for her all the
jeweller's wealth and added unto her of his own, after the
measure of his degree. Lastly he sent with her one of his Wazirs,
a man famous for goodness and piety, and an escort of five
hundred horse, who journeyed with her, till they brought her to
her father; and in his home she abode, without marrying again,
till she died and they died all. So, if this woman would not
consent to replace her dead husband with a Sultan, how shall she
be compared with one who replaced her husband, whilst he was yet
alive, with a youth of unknown extraction and condition, and
especially when this was in lewd carriage and not by way of
lawful marriage? So he who deemeth all women alike,[FN#475] there
is no remedy for the disease of his insanity. And glory be to Him
to whom belongeth the empire of the Seen and the Unseen and He is
the Living, who dieth not! And among the tales they tell, O
auspicious King, is one of


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was one day examining the tributes of
his various provinces and viceroyalties, when he observed that
the contributions of all the countries and regions had come into
the treasury, except that of Bassorah which had not arrived that
year. So he held a Divan because of this and said, "Hither to me
with the Wazir Ja'afar;" and when they brought him into the
presence he thus bespoke him, "The tributes of all the provinces
have come into the treasury, save that of Bassorah, no part
whereof hath arrived." Ja'afar replied, "O Commander of the
Faithful, belike there hath befallen the governor of Bassorah
something that hath diverted him from sending the tribute." Quoth
the Caliph, "The time of the coming of the tribute was twenty
days ago; what then, can be his excuse for that, in this time, he
hath neither sent it nor sent to show cause for not doing so?"
And quoth the Minister, "O Commander of the Faithful, if it
please thee, we will send him a messenger. Rejoined the Caliph,
"Send him Abu Ishak al-Mausili,[FN#477] the boon companion," and
Ja'afar, "Hearkening and obedience to Allah and to thee, O Prince
of True Believers!" Then he returned to his house and summoning
Abu Ishak, wrote him a royal writ and said to him, Go to Abdullah
bin Fazil, Viceroy of Bassorah, and see what hath diverted him
from sending the tribute. If it be ready, do thou receive it from
him in full and bring it to me in haste, for the Caliph hath
examined the tributes of the provinces and findeth that they are
all come in, except that of Bassorah: but an thou see that it is
not ready and he make an excuse to thee, bring him back with
thee, that he may report his excuse to the Caliph with his own
tongue." Answered Abu Ishak, "I hear and I obey;" and taking with
him five thousand horse of Ja'afar's host set out for Bassorah.
Now when Abdullah bin Fazil heard of his approach, he went out to
meet him with his troops, and led him into the city and carried
him to his palace, whilst the escort encamped without the city
walls, where he appointed to them all whereof they stood in need.
So Abu Ishak entered the audience-chamber and sitting down on the
throne, seated the governor beside himself, whilst the notables
sat round him, according to their several degrees. After
salutation with the salam Abdullah bin Fazil said to him "O my
lord, is there for thy coming to us any cause?;" and said Abu
Ishak, "Yes, I come to seek the tribute; for the Caliph enquireth
of it and the time of its coming is gone by." Rejoined Abdullah
bin Fazil, "O my lord, would Heaven thou hadst not wearied
thyself nor taken upon thyself the hardships of the journey! For
the tribute is ready in full tale and complete, and I purpose to
despatch it to-morrow. But, since thou art come, I will entrust
it to thee, after I have entertained thee three days; and on the
fourth day I will set the tribute between thine hands. But it
behoveth us now to offer thee a present in part requital of thy
kindness and the goodness of the Commander of the Faithful."
"There is no harm in that," said Abu Ishak. So Abdullah bin Fazil
dismissed the Divan and carrying him into a saloon that had not
its match, bade set a tray of food before him and his companions.
They ate and drank and made merry and enjoyed themselves; after
which the tray was removed and there came coffee and sherbets.
They sat conversing till a third part of the night was past, when
they spread for Abu Ishak bedding on an ivory couch inlaid with
gold glittering sheeny. So he lay down and the viceroy lay down
beside him on another couch; but wakefulness possessed Abu Ishak
and he fell to meditating on the metres of prosody and poetical
composition, for that he was one of the primest of the Caliph's
boon-companions and he had a mighty fine fore-arm[FN#478] in
producing verses and pleasant stories; nor did he leave to lie
awake improvising poetry till half the night was past. Presently,
behold, Abdullah bin Fazil arose, and girding his middle, opened
a locker,[FN#479] whence he brought out a whip; then, taking a
lighted waxen taper, he went forth by the door of the saloon.--
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Abdullah bin Fazil went forth by the door of the saloon deeming
Abu Ishak asleep, the Caliph's cup-companion, seeing this,
marvelled and said in himself, "Whither wendeth Abdullah bin
Fazil with that whip? Perhaps he is minded to punish some body.
But needs must I follow him and see what he will do this night."
So he arose and went out after him softly, very softly, that he
might not be seen and presently saw him open a closet and take
thence a tray containing four dishes of meat and bread and a
gugglet of water. Then he went on, carrying the tray and secretly
followed by Abu Ishak, till he came to another saloon and
entered, whilst the cup-companion stood behind the door and,
looking through the chink, saw a spacious saloon, furnished with
the richest furniture and having in its midst a couch of ivory
plated with gold glittering sheeny, to which two dogs were made
fast with chains of gold. Then Abdullah set down the tray in a
comer and tucking up his sleeves, loosed the first dog, which
began to struggle in his hands and put its muzzle to the floor,
as it would kiss the ground before him, whining the while in a
weak voice. Abdullah tied its paws behind its back and throwing
it on the ground, drew forth the whip and beat it with a painful
beating and a pitiless. The dog struggled, but could not get
free, and Abdullah ceased not to beat it with the same whip till
it left groaning and lay without consciousness. Then he took it
and tied it up in its place, and unbinding the second dog, did
with him as he had done with the first; after which he pulled out
a kerchief and fell to wiping away their tears and comforting
them, saying, "Bear me not malice; for by Allah, this is not of
my will, nor is it easy to me! But it may be Allah will grant you
relief from this strait and issue from your affliction." And he
prayed for the twain what while Abu Ishak the cup-companion stood
hearkening with his ears and espying with his eyes, and indeed he
marvelled at his case. Then Abdullah brought the dogs the tray of
food and fell to morselling them with his own hand, till they had
enough, when he wiped their muzzles and lifting up the gugglet,
gave them to drink; after which he took up the tray, gugglet and
candle and made for the door. But Abu Ishak forewent him and
making his way back to his couch, lay down; so that he saw him
not; neither knew that he had walked behind him and watched him.
Then the governor replaced the tray and the gugglet in the closet
and returning to the saloon, opened the locker and laid the whip
in its place; after which he doffed his clothes and lay down. But
Abu Ishak passed the rest of that night pondering this affair
neither did sleep visit him for excess of wonderment, and he
ceased not to say in himself, "I wonder what can be the meaning
of this!" Nor did he leave wondering till day break, when they
arose and prayed the dawn-prayer. Then they set the
breakfast[FN#480] before them and they ate and drank coffee,
after which they went out to the divan. Now Abu Ishak's thought
was occupied with this mystery all day long but he concealed the
matter and questioned not Abdullah thereof. Next night, he again
followed the governor and saw him do with the two dogs as on the
previous night, first beating them and then making his peace with
them and giving them to eat and to drink; and so also he did the
third night. On the fourth day he brought the tribute to Abu
Ishak who took it and departed, without opening the matter to
him. He fared on, without ceasing, till he came to Baghdad, where
he delivered the tribute to the Caliph, who questioned him of the
cause of its delay. Replied he, "O Commander of the Faithful, I
found that the governor of Bassorah had made ready the tribute
and was about to despatch it; and I delayed a day, it would have
met me on the road. But, O Prince of True Believers, I had a
wondrous adventure with Abdullah bin Fazil; never in my life saw
I its like." "And what was it, O Abu Ishak?" asked the Caliph. So
he replied, "I saw such and such;" and, brief, acquainted him
with that which the governor had done with the two dogs, adding,
"After such fashion, I saw him do three successive nights, first
beating the dogs, then making his peace with them and comforting
them and giving them to eat and drink, I watching him, and he
seeing me not." Asked the Caliph, "Didst thou question him of the
cause of this?"; and the other answered, "No, as thy head liveth,
O Commander of the Faithful." Then said Al-Rashid, "O Abu Ishak,
I command thee to return to Bassorah and bring me Abdullah bin
Fazil and the two dogs." Quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful,
excuse me from this; for indeed Abdullah entertained me with
exceedingly hospitable entertainment and I became ware of this
case with chance undesigned and acquainted thee therewith. So how
can I go back to him and bring him to thee? Verily, if I return
to him, I shall find me no face for shame of him; wherefore
'twere meet that thou send him another than myself, with a letter
under thine own hand, and he shall bring him to thee, him and the
two dogs." But quoth the Caliph, "If I send him other than
thyself, peradventure he will deny the whole affair and say,
'I've no dogs.' But if I send thee and thou say to him, 'I saw
them with mine own eyes,' he will not be able to deny that.
Wherefore nothing will serve but that thou go and fetch him and
the two dogs; otherwise I will surely slay thee."[FN#481]--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

       When it was the Nine Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid said to Abu Ishak, "Nothing will serve but
that thou go and fetch him and the two dogs; otherwise I will
surely slay thee." Abu Ishak replied, "Hearing and obeying, O
Commander of the Faithful: Allah is our aidance and good is the
Agent. He spake sooth who said, 'Man's wrong is from the
tongue;'[FN#482] and 'tis I who sinned against myself in telling
thee. But write me a royal rescript[FN#483] and I will go to him
and bring him back to thee." So the Caliph gave him an autograph
and he took it and repaired to Bassorah. Seeing him come in the
governor said, "Allah forfend us from the mischief of thy return,
O Abu Ishak! How cometh it I see thee return in haste?
Peradventure the tribute is deficient and the Caliph will not
accept it?" Answered Abu Ishak, "O Emir Abdullah, my return is
not on account of the deficiency of the tribute, for 'tis full
measure and the Caliph accepteth it; but I hope that thou wilt
excuse me, for that I have failed in my duty as thy guest and
indeed this lapse of mine was decreed of Allah Almighty."
Abdullah enquired, "And what may be the lapse?" and he replied,
"Know that when I was with thee, I followed thee three following
nights and saw thee rise at midnight and beat the dogs and
return; whereat I marvelled, but was ashamed to question thee
thereof. When I came back to Baghdad, I told the Caliph of thine
affair, casually and without design, whereupon he charged me to
return to thee, and here is a letter under his hand. Had I known
that the affair would lead to this, I had not told him, but
Destiny foreordained thus." And he went on to excuse himself to
him; whereupon said Abdullah, "Since thou hast told him this, I
will bear out thy report with him, lest he deem thee a liar, for
thou art my friend. Were it other than thou, I had denied the
affair and given him the lie. But now I will go with thee and
carry the two dogs with me, though this be to me ruin-rife and
the ending of my term of life." Rejoined the other, "Allah will
veil[FN#484] thee, even as thou hast veiled my face with the
Caliph!" Then Abdullah took a present beseeming the Commander of
the Faithful and mounting the dogs with him, each on a camel,
bound with chains[FN#485] of gold, journeyed with Abu Ishak to
Baghdad, where he went in to the Caliph and kissed ground before
him. He deigned bid him sit; so he sat down and brought the two
dogs before Al-Rashid, who said to him "What be these dogs, O
Emir Abdullah?" Whereupon they fell to kissing the floor between
his hands and wagging their tails and weeping, as if complaining
to him. The Caliph marvelled at this and said to the governor,
"Tell me the history of these two dogs and the reason of thy
beating them and after entreating them with honour." He replied,
"O Vicar of Allah, these be no dogs, but two young men, endowed
with beauty and seemliness, symmetry and shapeliness, and they
are my brothers and the sons of my father and mother." Asked the
Caliph "How is it that they were men and are become dogs?"; and
he answered, "An thou give me leave, O Prince of True Believers,
I will acquaint thee with the truth of the circumstance." Said
Al-Rashid, "Tell me and 'ware of leasing, for 'tis of the fashion
of the hypocrites, and look thou tell truth, for that is the
Ark[FN#486] of safety and the mark of virtuous men." Rejoined
Abdullah, "Know then, O vice-regent of Allah, when I tell thee
the story of these dogs, they will both bear witness against me:
an I speak sooth they will certify it and if I lie they will give
me the lie." Cried the Caliph, "These are of the dogs; they
cannot speak nor answer; so how can they testify for thee or
against thee?" But Abdullah said to them, "O my brothers, if I
speak a lying word, do ye lift your heads and stare with your
eyes; but, if I say sooth hang down your heads and lower your
eyes." Then said he to the Caliph, "Know, O Commander of the
Faithful, that we are three brothers by one mother and the same
father. Our sire's name was Fazil and he was so named because his
mother bare two sons at one birth, one of whom died forthright
and the other twin remained alive, wherefore his sire named him
Fazil--the Remainder. His father brought him up and reared him
well, till he grew to manhood when he married him to our mother
and died. Our mother conceived a first time and bare this my
first brother, whom our sire named Mansúr; then she conceived
again and bare this my second brother, whom he named
Násir[FN#487]; after which she conceived a third time and bare
me, whom he named Abdullah. My father reared us all three till we
came to man's estate, when he died, leaving us a house and a shop
full of coloured stuffs of all kinds, Indian and Greek and
Khorásáni and what not, besides sixty thousand dinars. We washed
him and buried him to the ruth of his Lord, after which we built
him a splendid monument and let pray for him prayers for the
deliverance of his soul from the fire and held perlections of the
Koran and gave alms on his behalf, till the forty days[FN#488]
were past; when I called together the merchants and nobles of the
folk and made them a sumptuous entertainment. As soon as they had
eaten, I said to them, 'O merchants, verily this world is
ephemeral, but the next world is eternal, and extolled be the
perfection of Him who endureth always after His creatures have
passed away! Know ye why I have called you together this blessed
day?' And they answered, 'Extolled be Allah sole Scient of the
hidden things.[FN#489]' Quoth I, 'My father died, leaving much of
money, and I fear lest any have a claim against him for a debt or
a pledge[FN#490] or what not else, and I desire to discharge my
father's obligations towards the folk. So whoso hath any demand
on him, let him say, 'He oweth me so and so,' and I will satisfy
it to him, that I may acquit the responsibility of my
sire.[FN#491]' The merchants replied, 'O Abdullah, verily the
goods of this world stand not in stead of those of the world to
come, and we are no fraudful folk, but all of us know the lawful
from the unlawful and fear Almighty Allah and abstain from
devouring the substance of the orphan. We know that thy father
(Allah have mercy on him!) still let his money lie with the
folk,[FN#492] nor did he suffer any man's claim on him to go
unquitted, and we have ever heard him declare, 'I am fearful of
the people's substance.' He used always to say in his prayers, 'O
my God, Thou art my stay and my hope! Let me not die while in
debt.' And it was of his wont that, if he owed any one aught, he
would pay it to him, without being pressed, and if any owed him
aught he would not dun him, but would say to him, 'At thy
leisure.' If his debtor were poor, he would release him from his
liability and acquit him of responsibility; and if he were not
poor and died in his debt, he would say, 'Allah forgive him what
he owed me!' And we all testify that he owed no man aught.' Quoth
I, 'May Allah bless you!' Then I turned to these my brothers and
said, 'Our father owed no man aught and hath left us much money
and stuffs, besides the house and the shop. Now we are three and
each of us is entitled to one third part. So shall we agree to
waive division and wone copartners in our wealth and eat together
and drink together, or shall we apportion the stuffs and the
money and take each his part?' Said they, 'We will divide them
and take each his share.'" (Then Abdullah turned to the two dogs
and said to them, "Did it happen thus, O my brothers?". and they
bowed their heads and lowered their eyes, as to say, "Yes.")
Abdullah continued "I called in a departitor from the Kazi's
court, O Prince of True Believers, and he distributed amongst us
the money and the stuffs and all our father had left, allotting
the house and shop to me in exchange for a part of the coin and
clothes to which I was entitled. We were content with this; so
the house and shop fell to my share, whilst my brothers took
their portion in money and stuffs. I opened the shop and stocking
it with my stuffs bought others with the money apportioned to me,
over and above the house and shop, till the place was full, and I
sat selling and buying. As for my brothers, they purchased stuffs
and hiring a ship, set out on a voyage to the far abodes of folk.
Quoth I, 'Allah aid them both! As for me, my livelihood is ready
to my hand and peace is priceless.' I abode thus a whole year,
during which time Allah opened the door of fortune to me and I
gained great gains, till I became possessed of the like of that
which our father had left us. One day, as I sat in my shop, with
two fur pelisses on me, one of sable and the other of
meniver,[FN#493] for it was the season of winter and the time of
the excessive cold, behold, there came up to me my two brothers,
each clad in a ragged shirt and nothing more, and their lips were
white with cold, and they were shivering. When I saw them in this
plight, it was grievous to me and I mourned for them,"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
bin Fazil continued to the Caliph, "When I saw them in this
plight, it was grievous to me and I mourned for them and my
reason fled my head. So I rose and embraced them and wept over
their condition: then I put on one of them the pelisse of sable
and on the other the fur coat of meniver and, carrying them to
the Hammam, sent thither for each of them a suit of apparel such
as befitted a merchant worth a thousand.[FN#494] When they had
washed and donned each his suit, I carried them to my house
where, seeing them well nigh famished, I set a tray of food
before them and ate with them, caressing them and comforting
them." (Then he again turned to the two dogs and said to them
"Was this so, O my brothers?"; and they bent their heads and
lowered their eyes.) So Abdullah continued "When they had eaten,
O Vicar of Allah, quoth I to them, 'What hath befallen you and
where are your goods?'; and quoth they, 'We fared up the
river,[FN#495] till we came to a city called Cufa, where we sold
for ten dinars the piece of stuff that had cost half a ducat and
that which cost us a ducat for twenty. So we profited greatly and
bought Persian stuffs at the rate of ten sequins per piece of
silk worth forty in Bassorah. Thence we removed to a city called
Al-Karkh[FN#496] where we sold and bought and made gain galore
and amassed of wealth great store.' And they went on to set forth
to me the places and the profits. So I said to them, 'Since ye
had such good luck and lot, how cometh it that I see you return
naked?' They sighed and answered, 'O our brother, some one must
have evileyed us, and in travel there is no trusting. When we had
gotten together these monies and goods, we freighted a ship
therewith and set sail, intending for Bassorah. We fared on three
days and on the fourth day we saw the sea rise and fall and roar
and foam and swell and dash, whilst the waves clashed together
with a crash, striking out sparks like fire[FN#497] in the darks.
The winds blew contrary for us and our craft struck upon the
point of a bill-projected rock, where it brake up and plunged us
into the river, and all we had with us was lost in the waters. We
abode struggling on the surface a day and a night, till Allah
sent us another ship, whose crew picked us up and we begged our
way from town to town, suffering mighty sore hardships and
selling our body-clothes piecemeal, to buy us food, till we drew
near Bassorah; nor did we make the city till we had drained the
draught of a thousand miseries. But, had we come safely off with
that which was by us, we had brought back riches that might be
even with those of the King: but this was fore ordained to us of
Allah.' I said, 'O my brothers, let not your hearts be grieved,
for wealth is the ransom of bodies and safety is property. Since
Allah hath written you of the saved, this is the end of desire,
for want and wealth are but as it were illusions of dreams and
God-gifted is he who said,

'If a man from destruction can save his head * Let him hold his
wealth as a slice of nail.'

I continued, 'O my brothers we will suppose that our sire died
to-day and left us all this wealth that is with me, for I am
right willing to share it with you equally.' So I fetched a
departitor from the Kazi's court and brought out to him all my
money, which he distributed into three equal parts, and we each
took one. Then said I to them, 'O my brothers, Allah blesseth a
man in his daily bread, if he be in his own country: so let each
of you open him a shop and sit therein to get his living; and he
to whom aught is ordained in the Secret Purpose,[FN#498] needs
must he get it.' Accordingly, I helped each of them to open a
shop and filled it for him with goods, saying to them, 'Sell and
buy and keep your monies and spend naught thereof; for all ye
need of meat and drink and so forth I will furnish to you.' I
continued to entreat them generously, and they fell to selling
and buying by day and returning at even-tide to my house where
they lay the night; nor would I suffer them to expend aught of
their own substance. But, whenever I sat talking with them, they
would praise travel and proclaim its pleasures and vaunt the
gains they had made therein; and they ceased not to urge me to
accompany them in travelling over foreign parts." (Then he said
to the dogs, "Was this so, O my brothers?" and they again bowed
their heads and lowered their eyes in confirmation of his words.)
He continued, "On such wise, O Vicar of Allah, they continued to
urge me and tempt me to travel by vaunting the great gains and
profit to be obtained thereby till I said to them, 'Needs must I
fare with you for your sake!' Then I entered into a contract of
partnership with them and we chartered a ship and packing up all
manner of precious stuffs and merchandise of every kind,
freighted it therewith; after which we embarked in it all we
needed and, setting sail from Bassorah, launched out into the
dashing sea, swollen with clashing surge whereinto whoso entereth
is lone and lorn and whence whoso cometh forth is as a babe new-
born. We ceased not sailing on till we came to a city of the
cities, where we sold and bought and made great cheape. Thence we
went on to another place, and we ceased not to pass from land to
land and port to port, selling and buying and profiting, till we
had gotten us great wealth and much advantage. Presently, we came
to a mountain,[FN#499] where the captain cast anchor and said to
us, 'O passengers; go ye ashore; ye shall be saved from this
day,[FN#500] and make search; it may be ye shall find water.' So
all landed I amongst the crowd, and dispersed about the island in
search of water. As for me, I climbed to the top of the mountain,
and whilst I went along, lo and behold! I saw a white snake
fleeing and followed by a black dragon, foul of favour and
frightful of form, hotly pursuing her. Presently he overtook her
and clipping her, seized her by the head and wound his tail about
her tail, whereupon she cried out and I knew that he purposed to
rape her. So I was moved to ruth for her and taking up a lump of
granite,[FN#501] five pounds or more in weight, hurled it at the
dragon. It smote him on the head and crushed it, and ere I knew,
the white snake changed and became a young girl bright with
beauty and loveliness and brilliancy and perfect grace, as she
were the shining full moon, who came up to me and kissing my
hands, said to me, 'Allah veil thee with two-fold veils, one from
shame in this world and the other from the flame in the world to
come on the day of the Great Upstanding, the day when neither
wealth nor children shall avail save to him who shall come to
Allah with a sound heart!'[FN#502] And presently she continued,
'O mortal, thou hast saved my honour and I am indebted to thee
for kindness, wherefore it behoveth me to requite thee.' So
saying, she signed with her hand to the earth, which opened and
she descended thereinto: then it closed up again over her and by
this I knew that she was of the Jinn. As for the dragon, fire was
kindled in him and consumed him and he became ashes. I marvelled
at this and returned to my comrades, whom I acquainted with
whatso I had seen, and we passed the night in the island. On the
morrow the Captain weighed anchor and spread the sails and coiled
the ropes and we sailed till the shore faded from our gaze. We
fared on twenty days, without seeing or land or bird, till our
water came to an end and quoth the Rais to us, 'O folk, our fresh
water is spent.' Quoth we, 'Let us make for land; haply we shall
find water.' But he exclaimed, 'By Allah, I have lost my way and
I know not what course will bring me to the seaboard.' Thereupon
betided us sore chagrin and we wept and besought Almighty Allah
to guide us into the right course. We passed that night in the
sorriest case: but God-gifted is He who said,

'How many a night have I spent in woes * That would grizzle the
     suckling-babe with fear:
But morrowed not morn ere to me there came * 'Aidance from Allah
     and victory near.'[FN#503]

But when the day arose in its sheen and shone, we caught sight of
a high mountain and rejoiced therein. When we came to its skirts,
the Captain said to us, 'O folk, go ashore and seek for water.'
So we all landed and sought water but found none, whereat we were
sore afflicted because we were suffering for want of it. As for
me, I climbed up to the mountain-top and on the other side
thereof I saw a spacious circle[FN#504] distant from us an hour's
journey or more. Presently I called my companions and as soon as
they all rejoined me, said to them 'Look at yonder basin behind
this mountain; for I see therein a city high of base and a
strong-cornered place girt with sconce and rampartry, pasturage
and lea and doubtless it wanteth not water and good things. So
hie we thither and fetch drink therefrom and buy what we need of
provisions, meat and fruit, and return.' But they said, 'We fear
lest the city-folk be Kafirs ascribing to Allah partners and
enemies of The Faith and lay hand on us and take us captive or
else slay us; so should we cause the loss of our own lives,
having cast ourselves into destruction and evil emprise. Indeed,
the proud and presumptuous are never praiseworthy, for that they
ever fare in danger of calamities, even as saith of such an one a
certain poet,

'Long as earth is earth, long as sky is sky, * The o'erproud is
blamed tho' from risk he fly!'

So we will not expose ourselves to peril.' I replied, 'O folk, I
have no authority over you; so I will take my brothers and go to
yonder city.' But my brothers said to me, 'We also fear this
thing and will not go with thee.' Quoth I, 'As for me, I am
resolved to go thither, and I put my trust in Allah and accept
whatsoever He shall decree to me. Do ye therefore await me,
whilst I wend thither and return to you twain.'"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
said, "'Do ye twain await me whilst I wend thither and return to
you.'"--"So I left them and walked on till I came to the gate of
the place and saw it a city of building wondrous and projection
marvellous, with boulevards high-towering and towers strong-
builded and palaces high-soaring. Its portals were of Chinese
iron, rarely gilded and graven on such wise as confounded the
wit. I entered the gateway and saw there a stone bench, whereon
sat a man bearing on his forearm a chain of brass, whereto hung
fourteen keys; so I knew him to be the porter of the city and
that it had fourteen gates. I drew near him and said to him
'Peace be with thee!'; but he returned not my salam and I saluted
him a second and a third time; but he made me no reply. Then I
laid my hand on his shoulder and said to him, 'Ho thou, why dost
thou not return my salam? Art thou asleep or deaf or other than a
Moslem, that thou refrainest from exchanging the salutation?' But
he answered me not neither stirred; so I considered him and saw
that he was stone. Quoth I, 'Verily an admirable matter! This is
a stone wroughten in the semblance of a son of Adam and wanting
in naught save speech!' Then I left him and entering the city,
beheld a man standing in the road; so I went up to him and
scrutinised him and found him stone. Presently, as I walked adown
the broad-ways, and saw that this was every where the case, I met
an old woman bearing on her head a bundle of clothes ready for
washing; so I went up to her and examining her, saw that she was
stone, and the bundle of clothes on her head was stone
also.[FN#505] Then I fared for the market, where I saw an oilman
with his scales set up and fronted by various kinds of wares such
as cheese and so forth, all of stone. Moreover, I saw all manner
of tradesmen seated in their shops and men and women and
children, some standing and some sitting; but they were all
stone; and the stuffs were like spiders' webs. I amused myself
with looking upon them, and as often as I laid hold upon a piece
of stuff, it powdered in my hands like dust dispread. Presently I
saw some chests and opening one of them, found it full of gold in
bags; so I laid hold upon the bags, but they crumbled away in my
grasp, whilst the gold abode unchanged. I carried off of it what
I could carry and said to myself, 'Were my brothers with me, they
might take of this gold their fill and possess themselves of
these hoards which have no owner.' Then I entered another shop
and found therein more than this, but could bear away no more
than I had borne. I left this market and went on to another and
thence to another and another, much enjoying the sight of all
manner of creatures of various kinds, all several stones, even to
the dogs and the cats, till I came to the goldsmiths' bazar,
where I saw men sitting in their shops, with their stock-in-trade
about them, some in their hands and others in crates of wicker-
work. When I saw this, O Commander of the Faithful, I threw down
the gold and loaded myself with goldsmiths' ware, as much as I
could carry. Then I went on to the jewel-market and saw there the
jewellers seated in their shops, each with a tray before him,
full of all sorts of precious stones, jacinths and diamonds and
emeralds and balass rubies and so forth: but all the shop-keepers
were stones; whereupon I threw away the goldsmiths' ware and
carried off as many jewels as I could carry, regretting that my
brothers were not with me, so they might take what they would of
those costly gems. Then I left the jewel-market and went on till
I came to a great door, quaintly gilded and decorated after the
fairest fashion, within which were wooden benches and in the
porch sat eunuchs, and body-guards; horsemen, and footmen and
officers of police each and every robed in the richest of
raiment; but they were all stones. I touched one of them and his
clothes crumbled away from his body like cobwebs. Then I passed
through the door and saw a palace without equal for its building
and the goodliness of the works that were therein. Here I found
an audience-chamber, full of Grandees and Wazirs and Officers and
Emirs, seated upon chairs and every one of them stone. Moreover,
I saw a throne of red gold, crusted with pearls and gems, and
seated thereon a son of Adam arrayed in the most sumptuous
raiment and bearing on his head a Chosröan[FN#506] crown,
diademed with the finest stones that shed a light like the light
of day; but, when I came up to him, I found him stone. Then I
went on to the gate of the Harim and entering, found myself in
the Queen's presence-chamber, wherein I saw a throne of red gold,
inlaid with pearls and gems, and the Queen seated thereon. On her
head she wore a crown diademed with finest jewels, and round
about her were women like moons, seated upon chairs and clad in
the most sumptuous clothing of all colours. There also the
eunuchry, with their hands upon their breasts,[FN#507] were
standing in the attitude of service, and indeed this hall
confounded the beholder's wits with what was therein of quaint
gilding and rare painting and curious carving and fine furniture.
There hung the most brilliant lustres[FN#508] of limpid crystal,
and in every globe[FN#509] of the crystal was an unique jewel,
whose price money might not fulfil. So I threw down that which
was with me, O Prince of True Believers, and fell to taking of
these jewels what I could carry, bewildered as to what I should
bear away and what I should leave; for indeed I saw the place as
it were a treasure of the treasures of the cities. Presently I
espied a wicket[FN#510] standing open and within it a staircase:
so I entered and mounting forty steps, heard a human voice
reciting the Koran in a low tone. I walked towards that sound
till I came to the main door hung with a silken curtain, laced
with wires of gold whereon were strung pearls and coral and
rubies and cut emeralds which gave forth a light like the light
of stars. The voice came from behind the curtain: so I raised it
and discovered a gilded door, whose beauty amazed the mind. I
passed through the door and found myself in a saloon as it were a
hoard upon earth's surface[FN#511] and therein a girl as she were
the sun shining fullest sheen in the zenith of a sky serene. She
was robed in the costliest of raiment and decked with ornaments
the most precious that could be and withal she was of passing
beauty and loveliness, a model of symmetry and seemliness, of
elegance and perfect grace, with waist slender and hips heavy and
dewy lips such as heal the sick and eyelids lovely in their
languor, as it were she of whom the sayer spake when he said,

'My best salam to what that robe enrobes of symmetry, * And what
     that blooming garth of cheek enguards of rosy blee:
It seems as though the Pleiades depend upon her brow; * And other
     lights of Night in knots upon her breast we see:
Did she but don a garment weft of Rose's softest leaf, * The leaf
     of Rose would draw her blood[FN#512] when pluckt that fruit
     from tree:
And did she crache in Ocean's face, next Morn would see a change
     * To sweeter than the honeycomb of what was briny sea:
And did she deign her favours grant to grey-beard staff-enpropped
     * He'd wake and rend the lion's limbs for might and

Then Abdullah continued, "O Prince of True Believers, as soon as
I saw that girl I fell passionately in love with her and going
straight up to her, found her seated on a high couch, reciting by
heart and in grateful memory the Book of Allah, to whom belong
honour and glory! Her voice was like the harmony of the gates of
Heaven, when Rizwan openeth them, and the words came from her
lips like a shower of gems; whilst her face was with beauty
dight, bright and blossom-white, even as saith the poet of a
similar sight,

'O thou who gladdenest man by speech and rarest quality; * Grow
     longing and repine for thee and grow beyond degree!
In thee two things consume and melt the votaries of Love; * The
     dulcet song of David joined with Joseph's brilliancy.'

When I heard her voice of melody reciting the sublime Koran, my
heart quoted from her killing glances, 'Peace, a word from a
compassionating Lord;'[FN#513] but I stammered[FN#514] in my
speech and could not say the salam-salutation aright, for my mind
and sight were confounded and I was become as saith the bard,

'Love-longing urged me not except to trip in speech o'er free; *
     Nor, save to shed my blood I passed the campment's boundary:
I ne'er will hear a word from those who love to rail, but I *
     Will testify to love of him with every word of me.'

Then I hardened myself against the horrors of repine and said to
her, 'Peace be with thee, O noble Lady, and treasured jewel!
Allah grant endurance to the foundation of thy fortune fair and
upraise the pillars of thy glory rare!' Said she, 'And on thee
from me be peace and salutation and high honour, O Abdullah, O
son of Fazil! Well come and welcome and fair welcome to thee, O
dearling mine and coolth of mine eyne!' Rejoined I, 'O my lady,
whence wottest thou my name and who art thou and what case befel
the people of this city, that they are become stones? I would
have thee tell me the truth of the matter, for indeed I am
admiring at this city and its citizens and that I have found none
alive therein save thyself. So, Allah upon thee, tell me the
cause of all this, according to the truth!' Quoth she, 'Sit, O
Abdullah, and Inshallah, I will talk with thee and acquaint thee
in full with the facts of my case and of this place and its
people; and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!' So I sat me down by her side and
she said to me, 'Know, O Abdullah, (may Allah have mercy on
thee!) that I am the daughter of the King of this city and that
it is my sire whom thou sawest seated on the high stead in the
Divan, and those who are round about him were the Lords of his
land and the Guards of his empery. He was a King of exceeding
prowess and had under his hand a thousand thousand and sixty
thousand troopers. The number of the Emirs of his Empire was
four-and-twenty thousand, all of them Governors and Dignitaries.
He was obeyed by a thousand cities, besides towns, hamlets and
villages; and sconces and citadels, and the Emirs[FN#515] of the
wild Arabs under his hand were a thousand in number, each
commanding twenty thousand horse. Moreover, he had monies and
treasures and precious stones and jewels and things of price,
such as eye never saw nor of which ear ever heard.'"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Eight-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Princess, daughter to the King of the Stone-city, thus continued,
"Verily, O Abdullah my father had monies and hoards, such as eye
never saw and of which ear never heard. He used to debel Kings
and do to death champions and braves in battle and in the field
of fight, so that the Conquerors feared him and the
Chosroës[FN#516] humbled themselves to him. For all this, he was
a miscreant in creed ascribing to Allah partnership and adoring
idols, instead of the Lord of worship; and all his troops were of
images fain in lieu of the All-knowing Sovereign. One day of the
days as he sat on the throne of his Kingship, compassed about
with the Grandees of his realm, suddenly there came in to him a
Personage, whose face illumined the whole Divan with its light.
My father looked at him and saw him clad in a garb of
green,[FN#517] tall of stature and with hands that reached
beneath his knees. He was of reverend aspect and awesome and the
light[FN#518] shone from his face. Said he to my sire, 'O rebel,
O idolater, how long wilt thou take pride in worshipping idols
and abandoning the service of the All-knowing King? Say, 'I
testify that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is His
servant and His messenger.' And embrace Al-Islam, thou and thy
tribe; and put away from you the worship of idols, for they
neither suffice man's need nor intercede. None is worshipful save
Allah alone, who raised up the heavens without columns and spread
out the earths like carpets in mercy to His creatures.'[FN#519]
Quoth my father, 'Who art thou, O man who rejectest the worship
of idols, that thou sayst thus? Fearest thou not that the idols
will be wroth with thee?' He replied, 'The idols are stones;
their anger cannot prejudice me nor their favour profit me. So do
thou set in my presence thine idol which thou adorest and bid all
thy folk bring each his image: and when they are all present, do
ye pray them to be wroth with me and I will pray my Lord to be
wroth with them, and ye shall descry the difference between the
anger of the creature and that of the Creator. For your idols, ye
fashioned them yourselves and the Satans clad themselves
therewith as with clothing, and they it is who spake to you from
within the bellies of the images,[FN#520] for your idols are made
and the maker is my God to whom naught is impossible. An the True
appear to you, do ye follow it, and if the False appear to you do
ye leave it.' Cried they, 'Give us a proof of thy god, that we
may see it;' and quoth he, 'Give me proof of your gods.' So the
King bade every one who worshipped his lord in image-form to
bring it, and all the armies brought their idols to the Divan.
Thus fared it with them; but as for me, I was sitting behind a
curtain, whence I could look upon my father's Divan, and I had an
idol of emerald whose bigness was as the bigness of a son of
Adam. My father demanded it, so I sent it to the Divan, where
they set it down beside that of my sire, which was of jacinth,
whilst the Wazir's idol was of diamond.[FN#521] As for those of
the Grandees and Notables, some were of balass-ruby and some of
carnelian, others of coral or Comorin aloes-wood and yet others
of ebony or silver or gold; and each had his own idol, after the
measure of his competence; whilst the idols of the common
soldiers and of the people were some of granite, some of wood,
some of pottery and some of mud; and all were of various hues
yellow and red; green, black and white. Then said the Personage
to my sire, 'Pray your idol and these idols to be wroth with me.'
So they aligned the idols in a Divan,[FN#522] setting my father's
idol on a chair of gold at the upper end, with mine by its side,
and ranking the others each according to the condition of him who
owned it and worshipped it. Then my father arose and prostrating
himself to his own idol, said to it, 'O my god, thou art the
Bountiful Lord, nor is there among the idols a greater than
thyself. Thou knowest that this person cometh to me, attacking
thy divinity and making mock of thee; yea, he avoucheth that he
hath a god stronger than thou and ordereth us leave adoring thee
and adore his god. So be thou wrath with him, O my god!' And he
went on to supplicate the idol; but the idol returned him no
reply neither bespoke him with aught of speech; whereupon quoth
he, 'O my god, this is not of thy wont, for thou usedst to answer
me, when I addressed thee. How cometh it that I see thee silent
and speaking not? Art thou unheeding or asleep?[FN#523] Awake;
succour me and speak to me!' And he shook it with his hand; but
it spake not neither stirred from its stead. Thereupon quoth the
Personage, 'What aileth thine idol that it speaketh not?'; and
quoth the King, 'Methinks he is absent-minded or asleep.'
Exclaimed the other, 'O enemy of Allah, how canst thou worship a
god that speaketh not nor availeth unto aught and not worship my
God, who to prayers deigns assent and who is ever present and
never absent, neither unheeding nor sleeping, whom conjecture may
not ween, who seeth and is not seen and who over all things
terrene is omnipotent? Thy god is powerless and cannot guard
itself from harm; and indeed a stoned Satan had clothed himself
therewith as with a coat that he might debauch thee and delude
thee. But now hath its devil departed; so do thou worship Allah
and testify that there is no god but He and that none is
worshipful nor worshipworth but Himself; neither is there any
good but His good. As for this thy god, it cannot ward off hurt
from it; so how shall it ward off harm from thee? See with thine
own eyes its impotence.' So saying, he went up to the idol and
dealt it a cuff on the neck, that it fell to the ground;
whereupon the King waxed wroth and cried to the bystanders, 'This
froward atheist hath smitten my god. Slay him!' So they would
have arisen to smite him, but none of them could stir from his
place. Then he propounded to them Al-Islam; but they refused to
become Moslems and he said, 'I will show you the wroth of my
Lord.' Quoth they, 'Let us see it!' So he spread out his hands
and said, 'O my God and my Lord, Thou art my stay and my hope;
answer Thou my prayer against these lewd folk, who eat of Thy
good and worship other gods. O Thou the Truth, O Thou of All-
might, O Creator of Day and Night, I beseech Thee to turn these
people into stones, for Thou art the Puissant nor is aught
impossible to Thee, and Thou over all things are omnipotent!' And
Allah transformed the people of this city into stones; but, as
for me, when I saw the manifest proof of His deity, I submitted
myself to Him and was saved from that which befel the rest. Then
the Personage drew near me and said 'Felicity[FN#524] was fore-
ordained of Allah to thee and in this a purpose had He.' And he
went on to instruct me and I took unto him the oath and
covenant.[FN#525] I was then seven years of age and am now thirty
years old. Then said I to him, 'O my lord, all that is in the
city and all its citizens are become stones by thine effectual
prayer, and I am saved, for that I embraced Al-Islam at thy
hands. Wherefore thou art become my Shaykh; so do thou tell me
thy name and succour me with thy security and provide me with
provision whereon I may subsist.' Quoth he, 'My name is Abu al-
'Abbás al-Khizr'; and he planted me a pomegranate-tree, which
forthright grew up and foliaged, flowered and fruited, and bare
one pomegranate; whereupon quoth he, 'Eat of that wherewith Allah
the Almighty provideth thee and worship Him with the worship
which is His due.' Then he taught me the tenets of Al-Islam and
the canons of prayer and the way of worship, together with the
recital of the Koran, and I have now worshipped Allah in this
place three-and-twenty years. Each day the tree yieldeth me a
pomegranate which I eat and it sustaineth me from tide to tide;
and every Friday, Al-Khizr (on whom be peace!) cometh to me and
'tis he who acquainted me with thy name and gave me the glad
tidings of thy soon coming hither, saying to me, 'When he shall
come to thee, entreat him with honour and obey his bidding and
gainsay him not; but be thou to him wife and he shall be to thee
man, and wend with him whitherso he will.' So, when I saw thee, I
knew thee and such is the story of this city and of its people,
and the Peace!'"--"Then she showed me the pomegranate-tree,
whereon was one granado, which she took and eating one-half
thereof herself, gave me the other to eat, and never did I taste
aught sweeter or more savoury or more satisfying than that
pomegranate. After this, I said to her, 'Art thou content, even
as the Shaykh Al-Khizr charged thee, to be my wife and take me to
mate; and art thou ready to go with me to my own country and
abide with me in the city of Bassorah?' She replied, 'Yes,
Inshallah: an it please Almighty Allah. I hearken to thy word and
obey thy hest without gainsaying.' Then I made a binding covenant
with her and she carried me into her father's treasury, whence we
took what we could carry and going forth that city, walked on
till we came to my brothers, whom I found searching for me. They
asked, 'Where hast thou been? Indeed thou hast tarried long from
us, and our hearts were troubled for thee.' And the captain of
the ship said to me, 'O merchant Abdullah, the wind hath been
fair for us this great while, and thou hast hindered us from
setting sail.' And I answered, 'There is no harm in that;
ofttimes slow[FN#526] is sure and my absence hath wrought us
naught but advantage, for indeed, there hath betided me therein
the attainment of our hopes and God-gifted is he who said,

'I weet not, whenas to a land I fare * In quest of good, what I
     shall there obtain;
Or gain I fare with sole desire to seek; * Or loss that seeketh
     me when seek I gain.'

Then said I to them, 'See what hath fallen to me in this mine
absence;' and displayed to them all that was with me of treasures
and told them what I had beheld in the City of Stone, adding,
'Had ye hearkened to me and gone with me, ye had gotten of these
things great gain.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that
Abdullah bin Fazil said to his shipmates and to his two brothers,
"Had ye gone with me, ye had gotten of these things great gain."
But they said, "By Allah, had we gone, we had not dared to go in
to the King of the city!"--"Then I said to my brothers, 'No harm
shall befal you; for that which I have will suffice us all and
this is our lot.'[FN#527] So I divided my booty into four parts
according to our number and gave one to each of my brothers and
to the Captain, taking the fourth for myself, setting aside
somewhat for the servants and sailors, who rejoiced and blessed
me: and all were content with what I gave them, save my brothers
who changed countenance and rolled their eyes. I perceived that
lust of lucre had gotten hold of them both; so I said to them, 'O
my brothers, methinketh what I have given you doth not satisfy
you; but we are brothers and there is no difference between us.
My good and yours are one and the same thing, and if I die none
will inherit of me but you.' And I went on to soothe them. Then I
bore the Princess on board the galleon and lodged her in the
cabin, where I sent her somewhat to eat and we sat talking, I and
my brothers. Said they, 'O our brother, what wilt thou do with
that damsel of surpassing beauty?' And I replied, 'I mean to
contract marriage with her, as soon as I reach Bassorah and make
a splendid wedding and go in to her there.' Exclaimed one of
them, 'O my brother, verily, this young lady excelleth in beauty
and loveliness and the love of her is fallen on my heart;
wherefore I desire that thou give her to me and I will espouse
her.' And the other cried, 'I too desire this: give her to me,
that I may espouse her.' 'O my brothers,' answered I, 'indeed she
took of me an oath and a covenant that I would marry her myself;
so, if I give her to one of you, I shall be false to my oath and
to the covenant between me and her, and haply she will be broken-
hearted, for she came not with me but on condition that I marry
her. So how can I wed her to other than myself? As for your both
loving her, I love her more than you twain, for she is my
treasure-trove, and as for my giving her to one of you, that is a
thing which may not be. But, if we reach Bassorah in safety, I
will look you out two girls of the best of the damsels of
Bassorah and demand them for you in marriage and pay the dower of
my own monies and make one wedding and we will all three go into
our brides on the same night. But leave ye this damsel, for she
is of my portion.' They held their peace, and I thought they were
content with that which I had said. Then we fared onwards for
Bassorah, and every day I sent her meat and drink; but she came
not forth of the cabin, whilst I slept between my brothers on
deck. We sailed thus forty days, till we sighted Bassorah city
and rejoiced that we were come near it. Now I trusted in my
brothers and was at my ease with them, for none knoweth the
hidden future save Allah the Most High; so I lay down to sleep
that night; but, as I abode drowned in slumber, I suddenly found
myself caught up by these my brothers, one seizing me by the legs
and the other by the arms, for they had taken counsel together to
drown me in the sea for the sake of the damsel. When I saw myself
in their hands, I said to them, 'O my brothers, why do ye this
with me?' And they replied, 'Ill-bred that thou art, wilt thou
barter our affection for a girl?; we will cast thee into the sea,
because of this.' So saying, they threw me overboard." (Here
Abdullah turned to the dogs and said to them, "Is this that I
have said true O my brothers or not?"; and they bowed their heads
and fell a-whining, as if confirming his speech; whereat the
Caliph wondered). Then Abdullah resumed, "O Commander of the
Faithful, when they threw me into the sea, I sank to the bottom;
but the water bore me up again to the surface, and before I could
think, behold a great bird, the bigness of a man, swooped down
upon me and snatching me up, flew up with me into upper air. I
fainted and when I opened my eyes, I found myself in a strong-
pillared place, a high-builded palace, adorned with magnificent
paintings and pendants of gems of all shapes and hues. Therein
were damsels standing with their hands crossed over their breasts
and, behold in their midst was a lady seated on a throne of red
gold, set with pearls and gems, and clad in apparel whereon no
mortal might open his eyes, for the lustre of the jewels
wherewith they were decked. About her waist she wore a girdle of
jewels no money could pay their worth and on her head a three-
fold tiara dazing thought and wit and dazzling heart and sight.
Then the bird which had carried me thither shook and became a
young lady bright as sun raying light. I fixed my eyes on her and
behold, it was she whom I had seen, in snake form on the mountain
and had rescued from the dragon which had wound his tail around
her. Then said to her the lady who sat upon the throne, 'Why hast
thou brought hither this mortal?'; and she replied, 'O my mother,
this is he who was the means of veiling my honour[FN#528] among
the maidens of the Jinn.' Then quoth she to me, 'Knowest thou who
I am?'; and quoth I, 'No.' Said she, 'I am she who was on such a
mountain, where the black dragon strave with me and would have
forced my honour, but thou slewest him.' And I said, 'I saw but a
white snake with the dragon.' She rejoined, "Tis I who was the
white snake; but I am the daughter of the Red King, Sovran of the
Jann and my name is Sa'ídah.[FN#529] She who sitteth there is my
mother and her name is Mubárakah, wife of the Red King. The black
dragon who attacked me and would have done away my honour was
Wazir to the Black King, Darfíl by name, and he was foul of
favour. It chanced that he saw me and fell in love with me; so he
sought me in marriage of my sire, who sent to him to say, 'Who
art thou, O scum of Wazirs, that thou shouldst wed with Kings'
daughters?' Whereupon he was wroth and sware an oath that he
would assuredly do away my honour, to spite my father. Then he
fell to tracking my steps and following me whithersoever I went,
designing to ravish me; wherefore there befel between him and my
parent mighty fierce wars and bloody jars, but my sire could not
prevail against him, for that he was fierce as fraudful and as
often as my father pressed hard upon him and seemed like to
conquer he would escape from him, till my sire was at his wits'
end. Every day I was forced to take new form and hue; for, as
often as I assumed a shape, he would assume its contrary, and to
whatsoever land I fled he would snuff my fragrance and follow me
thither, so that I suffered sore affliction of him. At last I
took the form of a snake and betook myself to the mountain where
thou sawest me; whereupon he changed himself to a dragon and
pursued me, till I fell into his hands, when he strove with me
and I struggled with him, till he wearied me and mounted me,
meaning to have his lustful will of me; but thou camest and smote
him with the stone and slewest him. Then I returned to my own
shape and showed myself to thee, saying, 'I am indebted to thee
for a service such as is not lost save with the son of
adultery.'[FN#530] So, when I saw thy brothers do with thee this
treachery and throw thee into the sea, I hastened to thee and
saved thee from destruction, and now honour is due to thee from
my mother and my father.' Then she said to the Queen, 'O my
mother, do thou honour him as deserveth he who saved my virtue.'
So the Queen said to me, 'Welcome, O mortal! Indeed thou hast
done us a kindly deed which meriteth honour.' Presently she
ordered me a treasure-suit,[FN#531] worth a mint of money, and
store of gems and precious stones, and said, 'Take him and carry
him in to the King.' Accordingly, they carried me into the King
in his Divan, where I found him seated on his throne, with his
Marids and guards before him; and when I saw him my sight was
blent for that which was upon him of jewels; but when he saw me,
he rose to his feet and all his officers rose also, to do him
worship. Then he saluted me and welcomed me and entreated me with
the utmost honour, and gave me of that which was with him of good
things; after which he said to some of his followers, 'Take him
and carry him back to my daughter, that she may restore him to
the place whence she brought him.' So they carried me back to the
Lady Sa'idah, who took me up and flew away with me and my
treasures. On this wise fared it with me and the Princess; but as
regards the Captain of the galleon, he was aroused by the splash
of my fall, when my brothers cast me into the sea, and said,
'What is that which hath fallen overboard?' Whereupon my brothers
fell to weeping and beating of breasts and replied, 'Alas, for
our brother's loss! He thought to do his need over the ship's
side[FN#532] and fell into the water!' Then they laid their hands
on my good, but there befel dispute between them because of the
damsel, each saying, 'None shall have her but I.' And they abode
jangling and wrangling each with other and remembered not their
brother nor his drowning and their mourning for him ceased. As
they were thus, behold Sa'idah alighted with me in the midst of
the galleon,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
bin Fazil continued, "As they were thus, behold, Sa'idah alighted
with me in the midst of the galleon and when my brothers saw me,
they embraced me and rejoiced in me, saying, 'O our brother, how
hast thou fared in that which befel thee? Indeed our hearts have
been occupied with thee.' Quoth Sa'idah, 'Had ye any heart-
yearnings for him or had ye loved him, ye had not cast him into
the sea; but choose ye now what death ye will die.' Then she
seized on them and would have slain them; but they cried out,
saying, 'In thy safeguard, O our brother!' Thereupon I interceded
and said to her, 'I claim of thine honour not to kill my
brothers.' Quoth she, 'There is no help but that I slay them, for
they are traitors.' But I ceased not to speak her fair and
conciliate her till she said, 'To content thee, I will not kill
them, but I will enchant them.' So saying, she brought out a cup
and filling it with sea-water, pronounced over it words that
might not be understood; then saying, 'Quit this human shape for
the shape of a dog;' she sprinkled them with the water, and
immediately they were transmewed into dogs, as thou seest them, O
Vicar of Allah." Whereupon he turned to the dogs and said to
them, "Have I spoken the truth, O my brothers?" And they bowed
their heads, as they would say, "Thou hast spoken sooth." At this
he continued, "Then she said to those who were in the galleon,
'Know ye that Abdullah bin Fazil here present is become my
brother and I shall visit him once or twice every day: so, whoso
of you crosseth him or gainsayeth his bidding or doth him hurt
with hand or tongue, I will do with him even as I have done with
these two traitors and bespell him to a dog, and he shall end his
days in that form, nor shall he find deliverance.' And they all
said to her, 'O our lady, we are his slaves and his servants
every one of us and will not disobey him in aught.' Moreover, she
said to me, 'When thou comest to Bassorah, examine all thy
property and if there lack aught thereof, tell me and I will
bring it to thee, in whose hands and in what place soever it may
be, and will change him who took it into a dog. When thou hast
magazined thy goods, clap a collar[FN#533] of wood on the neck of
each of these two traitors and tie them to the leg of a couch and
shut them up by themselves. Moreover, every night, at midnight,
do thou go down to them and beat each of them a bout till he
swoon away; and if thou suffer a single night to pass without
beating them, I will come to thee and drub thee a sound drubbing,
after which I will drub them.' And I answered, 'To hear is to
obey.' Then said she, 'Tie them up with ropes till thou come to
Bassorah.' So I tied a rope about each dog's neck and lashed them
to the mast, and she went her way. On the morrow we entered
Bassorah and the merchants came out to meet me and saluted me,
and no one of them enquired of my brothers. But they looked at
the dogs and said to me, 'Ho, such and such,[FN#534] what wilt
thou do with these two dogs thou hast brought with thee?' Quoth
I, 'I reared them on this voyage and have brought them home with
me.' And they laughed at them, knowing not that they were my
brothers. When I reached my house, I put the twain in a closet
and busied myself all that night with the unpacking and
disposition of the bales of stuffs and jewels. Moreover, the
merchants were with me being minded to offer me the salam;
wherefore I was occupied with them and forgot to beat the dogs or
chain them up. Then without doing them aught of hurt, I lay down
to sleep, but suddenly and unexpectedly there came to me the Red
King's daughter Sa'idah and said to me, 'Did I not bid thee clap
chains on their necks and give each of them a bout of beating?'
So saying, she seized me and pulling out a whip, flogged me till
I fainted away, after which she went to the place where my
brothers were and with the same scourge beat them both till they
came nigh upon death. Then said she to me, 'Beat each of them a
like bout every night, and if thou let a night pass without doing
this, I will beat thee;' and I replied, 'O my lady, to-morrow I
will put chains on their necks, and next night I will beat them
nor will I leave them one night unbeaten.' And she charged me
strictly to beat them and disappeared. When the morning morrowed
it being no light matter for me to put fetters of iron on their
necks, I went to a goldsmith and bade him make them collars and
chains of gold. He did this and I put the collars on their necks
and chained them up, as she bade me; and next night I beat them
both in mine own despite. This befel in the Caliphate of Al-
Mahdi,[FN#535] third of the sons of Al-Abbas, and I commended
myself to him by sending him presents, so he invested me with the
government and made me viceroy of Bassorah. On this wise I abode
some time and after a while I said to myself, 'Haply her wrath is
grown cool;' and left them a night unbeaten, whereupon she came
to me and beat me a bout whose burning I shall never forget long
as I live. So, from that time to this, I have never left them a
single night unbeaten during the reign of Al-Mahdi; and when he
deceased and thou camest to the succession, thou sentest to me,
confirming me in the government of Bassorah. These twelve years
past have I beaten them every night, in mine own despite, and
after I have beaten them, I excuse myself to them and comfort
them and give them to eat and drink; and they have remained shut
up, nor did any of the creatures of Allah know of them, till thou
sentest to me Abu Ishak the boon-companion, on account of the
tribute, and he discovered my secret and returning to thee,
acquainted thee therewith. Then thou sentest him back to fetch me
and them; so I answered with 'Hearkening and obedience,' and
brought them before thee, whereupon thou questionedst me and I
told thee the truth of the case; and this is my history." The
Caliph marvelled at the case of the two dogs and said to
Abdullah, "Hast thou at this present forgiven thy two brothers
the wrong they did thee, yea or nay?" He replied, "O my lord, may
Allah forgive them and acquit them of responsibility in this
world and the next! Indeed, 'tis I who stand in need of their
forgiveness, for that these twelve years past I have beaten them
a grievous bout every night!" Rejoined the Caliph, "O Abdullah,
Inshallah, I will endeavour for their release and that they may
become men again, as they were before, and I will make peace
between thee and them; so shall you live the rest of your lives
as brothers loving one another; and like as thou hast forgiven
them, so shall they forgive thee. But now take them and go down
with them to thy lodging and this night beat them not, and to-
morrow there shall be naught save weal." Quoth Abdullah, "O my
lord, as thy head liveth, if I leave them one night unbeaten,
Sa'idah will come to me and beat me, and I have no body to brook
beating." Quoth the Caliph, "Fear not, for I will give thee a
writing under my hand.[FN#536] An she come to thee, do thou give
her the paper and if, when she has read it, she spare thee, the
favour will be hers; but, if she obey not my bidding, commit thy
business to Allah and let her beat thee a bout and suppose that
thou hast forgotten to beat them for one night and that she
beateth thee because of that: and if it fall out thus and she
thwart me, as sure as I am Commander of the Faithful, I will be
even with her." Then he wrote her a letter on a piece of paper,
two fingers broad, and sealing it with his signet-ring, gave it
to Abdullah, saying, "O Abdullah, if Sa'idah come, say to her,
'The Caliph, King of mankind, hath commanded me to leave beating
them and hath written me this letter for thee; and he saluteth
thee with the salam.' Then give her the warrant and fear no
harm." After which he exacted of him an oath and a solemn pledge
that he would not beat them. So Abdullah took the dogs and
carried them to his lodging, saying to himself, "I wonder what
the Caliph will do with the daughter of the Sovran of the Jinn,
if she cross him and trounce me to-night! But I will bear with a
bout of beating for once and leave my brothers at rest this
night, though for their sake I suffer torture." Then he bethought
himself awhile, and his reason said to him, "Did not the Caliph
rely on some great support, he had never forbidden me from
beating them." So he entered his lodging and doffed the collars
from the dogs' necks, saying, "I put my trust in Allah," and fell
to comforting them and saying, "No harm shall befal you; for the
Caliph, fifth[FN#537] of the sons of Al-Abbas, hath pledged
himself for your deliverance and I have forgiven you. An it
please Allah the Most High, the time is come and ye shall be
delivered this blessed night; so rejoice ye in the prospect of
peace and gladness." when they heard these words, they fell to
whining with the whining of dogs,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah
bin Fazil said to his brothers, "Rejoice ye in the prospect of
comfort and gladness." And when they heard his words they fell to
whining with the whining of dogs, and rubbed their jowls against
his feet, as if blessing him and humbling themselves before him.
He mourned over them and took to stroking their backs till supper
time; and when they set on the trays he bade the dogs sit. So
they sat down and ate with him from the tray, whilst his officers
stood gaping and marvelling at his eating with dogs and all said,
"Is he mad or are his wits gone wrong? How can the Viceroy of
Bassorah city, he who is greater than a Wazir, eat with dogs?
Knoweth he not that the dog is unclean?[FN#538]" And they stared
at the dogs, as they ate with him as servants eat with their
lords,[FN#539] knowing not that they were his brothers; nor did
they cease staring at them, till they had made an end of eating,
when Abdullah washed his hands and the dogs also put out their
paws and washed; whereupon all who were present began to laugh at
them and to marvel, saying, one to other, "Never in our lives saw
we dogs eat and wash their paws after eating!" Then the dogs sat
down on the divans beside Abdullah, nor dared any ask him of
this; and thus the case lasted till midnight, when he dismissed
the attendants and lay down to sleep and the dogs with him, each
on a couch; whereupon the servants said one to other, "Verily, he
hath lain down to sleep and the two dogs are lying with him."
Quoth another, "Since he hath eaten with the dogs from the same
tray, there is no harm in their sleeping with him; and this is
naught save the fashion of madmen." Moreover, they ate not
anything of the food which remained in the tray, saying, "'Tis
unclean." Such was their case; but as for Abdullah, ere he could
think, the earth clave asunder and out rose Sa'idah, who said to
him, "O Abdullah, why hast thou not beaten them this night and
why hast thou undone the collars from their necks? Hast thou
acted on this wise perversely and in mockery of my commandment?
But I will at once beat thee and spell thee into a dog like
them." He replied, "O my lady, I conjure thee by the graving upon
the seal-ring of Solomon David-son (on the twain be peace!) have
patience with me till I tell thee my cause and after do with me
what thou wilt." Quoth she, "Say on," and quoth he, "The reason
of my not punishing them is only this. The King of mankind, the
Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, ordered me
not to beat them this night and took of me oaths and covenants to
that effect; and he saluteth thee with the salam and hath
committed to me a mandate under his own hand, which he bade me
give thee. So I obeyed his order for to obey the Commander of the
Faithful is obligatory; and here is the mandate. Take it and read
it and after work thy will." She replied "Hither with it!" So he
gave her the letter and she opened it and read as follows, "In
the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! From
the King of mankind, Harun al-Rashid, to the daughter of the Red
King, Sa'idah! But, after. Verily, this man hath forgiven his
brothers and hath waived his claim against them, and we have
enjoined them to reconciliation. Now, when reconciliation ruleth,
retribution is remitted, and if you of the Jinn contradict us in
our commandments, we will contrary you in yours and traverse your
ordinances; but, an ye obey our bidding and further our orders,
we will indeed do the like with yours. Wherefore I bid thee hurt
them no hurt, and if thou believe in Allah and in His Apostle, it
behoveth thee to obey and us to command.[FN#540] So an thou spare
them, I will requite thee with that whereto my Lord shall enable
me; and the token of obedience is that thou remove thine
enchantment from these two men, so they may come before me to-
morrow, free. But an thou release them not, I will release them
in thy despite, by the aid of Almighty Allah." When she had read
the letter, she said, "O Abdullah, I will do nought till I go to
my sire and show him the mandate of the monarch of mankind and
return to thee with the answer in haste." So saying, she signed
with her hand to the earth, which clave open and she disappeared
therein, whilst Abdullah's heart was like to fly for joy and he
said, "Allah advance the Commander of the Faithful!" As for
Sa'idah, she went in to her father; and, acquainting him with
that which had passed, gave him the Caliph's letter, which he
kissed and laid on his head. Then he read it and understanding
its contents said, "O my daughter, verily, the ordinance of the
monarch of mankind obligeth us and his commandments are effectual
over us, nor can we disobey him: so go thou and release the two
men forth-with and say to them, 'Ye are freed by the intercession
of the monarch of mankind.' For, should he be wroth with us, he
would destroy us to the last of us; so do not thou impose on us
that which we are unable." Quoth she "O my father, if the monarch
of mankind were wroth with us, what could he do with us?"; and
quoth her sire, "He hath power over us for several reasons. In
the first place, he is a man and hath thus pre-eminence over
us[FN#541]; secondly he is the Vicar of Allah; and thirdly, he is
constant in praying the dawn-prayer of two bows[FN#542];
therefore were all the tribes of the Jinn assembled together
against him from the Seven Worlds they could do him no hurt. But
he, should he be wroth with us would pray the dawn-prayer of two
bows and cry out upon us one cry, when we should all present
ourselves before him obediently and be before him as sheep before
the butcher. If he would, he could command us to quit our
abiding-places for a desert country wherein we might not endure
to sojourn; and if he desired to destroy us, he would bid us
destroy ourselves, whereupon we should destroy one another.
wherefore we may not disobey his bidding for, if we did this, he
would consume us with fire nor could we flee from before him to
any asylum. Thus is it with every True Believer who is persistent
in praying the dawn-prayer of two bows; his commandment is
effectual over us: so be not thou the means of our destruction,
because of two mortals, but go forthright and release them, ere
the anger of the Commander of the Faithful fall upon us." So she
returned to Abdullah and acquainted him with her father's words,
saying, "Kiss for us the hands of the Prince of True Believers
and seek his approval for us." Then she brought out the tasse and
filling it with water, conjured over it and uttered words which
might not be understood; after which she sprinkled the dogs with
the water saying, "Quit the form of dogs and return to the shape
of men!" Whereupon they became men as before and the spell of the
enchantment was loosed from them. Quoth they, "I testify that
there is no god but the God and I testify that Mohammed is the
Apostle of God!" Then they fell on their brother's feet and
hands, kissing them and beseeching his forgiveness: but he said,
"Do ye forgive me;" and they both repented with sincere
repentance, saying, "Verily, the damned Devil lured us and
covetise deluded us: but our Lord hath requited us after our
deserts, and forgiveness is of the signs of the noble." And they
went on to supplicate their brother and weep and profess
repentance for that which had befallen him from them[FN#543].
Then quoth he to them, "What did ye with my wife whom I brought
from the City of Stone?" Quoth they, "When Satan tempted us and
we cast thee into the sea, there arose strife between us, each
saying, I will have her to wife. Now when she heard these words
and beheld our contention, she knew that we had thrown thee into
the sea; so she came up from the cabin and said to us, 'Contend
not because of me, for I will not belong to either of you. My
husband is gone into the sea and I will follow him.' So saying,
she cast herself overboard and died." Exclaimed Abdullah, "In
very sooth she died a martyr[FN#544]! But there is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Then
he wept for her with sore weeping and said to his brothers, "It
was not well of you to do this deed and bereave me of my wife."
They answered, "Indeed, we have sinned, but our Lord hath
requited us our misdeed and this was a thing which Allah decreed
unto us, ere He created us." And he accepted their excuse; but
Sa'idah said to him, "Have they done all these things to thee and
wilt thou forgive them?" He replied, "O my sister, whoso hath
power[FN#545] and spareth, for Allah's reward he prepareth." Then
said she, "Be on thy guard against them, for they are traitors;"
and fare-welled him and fared forth.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah,
when Sa'idah warned him and blessed him and went her ways, passed
the rest of the night with his brothers and on the morrow, he
sent them to the Hammam and clad each of them, on his coming
forth, in a suit worth a hoard of money. Then he called for the
tray of food and they set it before him and he ate, he and his
brothers. When his attendants saw the twain and knew them for his
brothers they saluted them and said to him, "O our lord, Allah
give thee joy of thy reunion with thy dear brothers! Where have
they been this while?" He replied, "It was they whom ye saw in
the guise of dogs; praise be to Allah who hath delivered them
from prison and grievous torment!" Then he carried them to the
Divan of the Caliph and kissing ground before Al-Rashid wished
him continuance of honour and fortune and surcease of evil and
enmity. Quoth the Caliph, "Welcome, O Emir Abdullah! Tell me what
hath befallen thee." And quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful
(whose power Allah increase!) when I carried my brothers home to
my lodging, my heart was at rest concerning them, because thou
hadst pledged thyself to their release and I said in myself,
'Kings fail not to attain aught for which they strain, inasmuch
as the divine favour aideth them.' So I took off the collars from
their necks, putting my trust in Allah, and ate with them from
the same tray, which when my suite saw, they made light of my wit
and said each to other, 'He is surely mad! How can the governor
of Bassorah who is greater than the Wazir, eat with dogs?' Then
they threw away what was in the tray, saying, 'We will not eat
the dogs' orts.' And they went on to befool my reason, whilst I
heard their words, but returned them no reply because of their
unknowing that the dogs were my brothers. When the hour of sleep
came, I sent them away and addressed myself to sleep; but, ere I
was ware, the earth clave in sunder and out came Sa'idah, the Red
King's daughter, enraged against me, with eyes like fire." And he
went on to relate to the Caliph all what had passed between him
and her and her father and how she had transmewed his brothers
from canine to human form, adding, "And here they are before
thee, O Commander of the Faithful!" The Caliph looked at them and
seeing two young men like moons, said, "Allah requite thee for me
with good, O Abdullah, for that thou hast acquainted me with an
advantage[FN#546] I knew not! Henceforth, Inshallah, I will never
leave to pray these two-bow orisons before the breaking of the
dawn, what while I live." Then he reproved Abdullah's brothers
for their past transgressions against him and they excused
themselves before the Caliph, who said, "Join hands[FN#547] and
forgive one another and Allah pardon what is past!" Upon which he
turned to Abdullah and said to him, "O Abdullah, make thy
brothers thine assistants and be careful of them." Then he
charged them to be obedient to their brother and bade them return
to Bassorah after he had bestowed on them abundant largesse. So
they went down from the Caliph's Divan whilst he rejoiced in this
advantage he had obtained by the action aforesaid, to wit,
persistence in praying two inclinations before dawn, and
exclaimed, "He spake truth who said, 'The misfortune of one tribe
fortuneth another tribe.'"[FN#548] On this wise befel it to them
from the Caliph; but as regards Abdullah, he left Baghdad
carrying with him his brothers in all honour and dignity and
increase of quality, and fared on till they drew near Bassorah,
when the notables and chief men of the place came out to meet
them and after decorating the city brought them thereinto with a
procession which had not its match and all the folk shouted out
blessings on Abdullah as he scattered amongst them silver and
gold. None, however, took heed to his brothers; wherefore
jealousy and envy entered their hearts, for all he entreated them
tenderly as one tenders an ophthalmic eye; but the more he
cherished them, the more they redoubled in hatred and envy of
him: and indeed it is said on the subject,

"I'd win good will of every one, but whoso envies me * Will not
     be won on any wise and makes mine office hard:
How gain the gree of envious wight who coveteth my good, * When
     naught will satisfy him save to see my good go marr'd?"

Then he gave each a concubine that had not her like, and eunuchs
and servants and slaves white and black, of each kind forty. He
also gave each of them fifty steeds all thoroughbreds and they
got them guards and followers; and he assigned to them revenues
and appointed them solde and stipends and made them his
assistants, saying to them, "O my brothers, I and you are equal
and there is no distinction between me and you twain,"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

     When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that
Abdullah assigned stipends to his brothers and made them his
assistants, saying, "O my brothers, I and you are equal and there
is no distinction between me and you twain, and after Allah and
the Caliph, the commandment is mine and yours. So rule you at
Bassorah in my absence and in my presence, and your commandments
shall be effectual; but look that ye fear Allah in your
ordinances and beware of oppression, which if it endure
depopulateth; and apply yourselves to justice, for justice, if it
be prolonged, peopleth a land. Oppress not the True Believers, or
they will curse you and ill report of you will reach the Caliph,
wherefore dishonour will betide both me and you. Go not therefore
about to violence any, but whatso ye greed for of the goods of
the folk, take it from my goods, over and above that whereof ye
have need; for 'tis not unknown to you what is handed down in the
Koran of prohibition versets on the subject of oppression and
Allah-gifted is he who said these couplets,

'Oppression ambusheth in sprite of man * Whom naught withholdeth
     save the lack of might:
The sage shall ne'er apply his wits to aught * Until befitting
     time direct his sight:
The tongue of wisdom woneth in the heart; * And in his mouth the
     tongue of foolish wight.
Who at occasion's call lacks power to rise * Is slain by feeblest
     who would glut his spite.
A man may hide his blood and breed, but aye * His deeds on
     darkest hiddens cast a light.
Wights of ill strain with ancestry as vile * Have lips which
     never spake one word aright:
And who committeth case to hands of fool * In folly proveth self
     as fond and light;
And who his secret tells to folk at large * Shall rouse his foes
     to work him worst despight.
Suffice the generous what regards his lot * Nor meddles he with
     aught regards him not'"

And he went on to admonish his brothers and bid them to equity
and forbid them from tyranny, doubting not but they would love
him the better for his boon of good counsel[FN#549] and he relied
upon them and honoured them with the utmost honour; but
notwithstanding all his generosity to them, they only waxed in
envy and hatred of him, till, one day, the two being together
alone, quoth Nasir to Mansur, "O my brother, how long shall we be
mere subjects of our brother Abdullah, and he in this estate of
lordship and worship? After being a merchant, he is become an
Emir, and from being little, he is grown great: but we, we grow
not great nor is there aught of respect or degree left us; for,
behold, he laugheth at us and maketh us his assistants! What is
the meaning of this? Is it not that we are his servants and under
his subjection? But, long as he abideth in good case, our rank
will never be raised nor shall we be aught of repute; wherefore
we shall not fulfil our wish, except we slay him and win to his
wealth, nor will it be possible to get his gear save after his
death. So, when we have slain him, we shall become lords and will
take all that is in his treasuries of gems and things of price
and divide them between us. Then will we send the Caliph a
present and demand of him the government of Cufah, and thou shalt
be governor of Cufah and I of Bassorah. Thus each of us shall
have formal estate and condition, but we shall never effect this,
except we put him out of the world!" Answered Mansur, "Thou
sayest sooth, but how shall we do to kill him?" Quoth Nasir, "We
will make an entertainment in the house of one of us and invite
him thereto and serve him with the uttermost service. Then will
we sit through the night with him in talk and tell him tales and
jests and rare stories till his heart melteth with sitting up
when we will spread him a bed, that he may lie down to sleep.
When he is asleep, we will kneel upon him and throttle him and
throw him into the river; and on the morrow, we will say, 'His
sister the Jinniyah came to him, as he sat chatting with us, and
said to him, 'O thou scum of mankind, who art thou that thou
shouldst complain of me to the Commander of the Faithful? Deemest
thou that we dread him? As he is a King, so we too are Kings, and
if he mend not his manners in our regard we will do him die by
the foulest of deaths. But meantime I will slay thee, that we may
see what the hand of the Prince of True Believers availeth to
do.' So saying, she caught him up and clave the earth and
disappeared with him which when we saw, we swooned away. Then we
revived and we reck not what is become of him.' And saying this
we will send to the Caliph and tell him the case and he will
invest us with the government in his room. After awhile, we will
send him a sumptuous present and seek of him the government of
Cufah, and one of us shall abide in Bassorah and the other in
Cufah. So shall the land be pleasant to us and we will be down
upon the True Believers and win our wishes." And quoth Mansur,
"Thou counsellest well, O my brother," and they agreed upon the
murther. So Nasir made an entertainment and said to Abdullah, "O
my brother, verily I am thy brother, and I would have thee
hearten my heart thou and my brother Mansur and eat of my banquet
in my house, so I may boast of thee and that it may be said, The
Emir Abdullah hath eaten of his brother Nasir's guest meal; when
my heart will be solaced by this best of boons." Abdullah
replied, "So be it, O my brother; there is no distinction between
me and thee and thy house is my house; but since thou invitest
me, none refuseth hospitality save the churl." Then he turned to
Mansur and said to him, "Wilt thou go with me to thy brother
Nasir's house and we will eat of his feast and heal his heart?"
Replied Mansur, "As thy head liveth, O my brother, I will not go
with thee, unless thou swear to me that, after thou comest forth
of brother Nasir's house, thou wilt enter my house and eat of my
banquet! Is Nasir thy brother and am not I thy brother? So, even
as thou heartenest his heart, do thou hearten mine." Answered
Abdullah, "There is no harm in that: with love and gladly gree!
When I come out from Nasir's house, I will enter thine, for thou
art my brother even as he." So he kissed his hand and going forth
of the Divan, made ready his feast. On the morrow, Abdullah took
horse and repaired, with his brother Mansur and a company of his
officers, to Nasir's house, where they sat down, he and Mansur
and his many. Then Nasir set the trays before them and welcomed
them; so they ate and drank and sat in mirth and merriment; after
which the trays and the platters were removed and they washed
their hands. They passed the day in feasting and wine-drinking
and diversion and delight till night-fall, when they supped and
prayed the sundown prayers, and the night orisons; after which
they sat conversing and carousing, and Nasir and Mansur fell to
telling stories whilst Abdullah hearkened. Now they three were
alone in the pavilion, the rest of the company being in another
place, and they ceased not to tell quips and tales and rare
adventures and anecdotes, till Abdullah's heart was dissolved
within him for watching and sleep overcame him.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Nine Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Abdullah was a-wearied with watching and wanted to sleep, they
also lay beside him on another couch and waited till he
wasdrowned in slumber and when they were certified thereof they
arose and knelt upon him: whereupon he awoke and seeing them
kneeling on his breast, said to them, "What is this, O my
brothers?" Cried they, "We are no brothers of thine, nor do we
know thee unmannerly that thou art! Thy death is become better
than thy life." Then they gripped him by the throat and throttled
him, till he lost his senses and abode without motion; so that
they deemed him dead. Now the pavilion wherein they were
overlooked the river; so they cast him into the water; but, when
he fell, Allah sent to his aid a dolphin[FN#550] who was
accustomed to come under that pavilion because the kitchen had a
window that gave upon the stream; and, as often as they
slaughtered any beast there, it was their wont to throw the
refuse into the river and the dolphin came and picked it up from
the surface of the water; wherefore he ever resorted to the
place. That day they had cast out much offal by reason of the
banquet; so the dolphin ate more than of wont and gained
strength. Hearing the splash of Abdullah's fall, he hastened to
the spot, where he saw a son of Adam and Allah guided him so that
he took the man on his back and crossing the current made with
him for the other bank, where he cast his burthen ashore. Now the
place where the dolphin cast up Abdullah was a well-beaten
highway, and presently up came a caravan and finding him lying on
the river bank, said, "Here is a drowned man, whom the river hath
cast up;" and the travellers gathered around to gaze at the
corpse. The Shaykh of the caravan was a man of worth, skilled in
all sciences and versed in the mystery of medicine and, withal,
sound of judgment: so he said to them, "O folk, what is the
news?" They answered, "Here is a drowned man;" whereupon he went
up to Abdullah and examining him, said to them, "O folk, there is
life yet in this young man, who is a person of condition and of
the sons of the great, bred in honour and fortune, and Inshallah
there is still hope of him." Then he took him and clothing him in
dry clothes warmed him before the fire; after which he nursed him
and tended him three days' march till he revived; but he was
passing feeble by reason of the shock, and the chief of the
caravan proceeded to medicine him with such simples as he knew,
what while they ceased not faring on till they had travelled
thirty days' journey from Bassorah and came to a city in the land
of the Persians, by name 'Aúj.[FN#551] Here they alighted at a
Khan and spread Abdullah a bed, where he lay groaning all night
and troubling the folk with his groans. And when morning morrowed
the concierge of the Khan came to the chief of the caravan and
said to him, "What is this sick man thou hast with thee? Verily,
he disturbeth us." Quoth the chief, "I found him by the way, on
the river-bank and well nigh drowned; and I have tended him, but
to no effect, for he recovereth not." Said the porter, "Show him
to the Shaykhah[FN#552] Rájihah." "Who is this Religious?" asked
the chief of the caravan, and the door-keeper answered, "There is
with us a holy woman, a clean maid and a comely, called Rajihah,
to whom they present whoso hath any ailment; and he passeth a
single night in her house and awaketh on the morrow, whole and
ailing nothing." Quoth the chief, "Direct me to her;" quoth the
porter, "Take up thy sick man." So he and took up Abdullah and
the doorkeeper forewent him, till he came to a hermitage, where
he saw folk entering with many an ex voto offering and other folk
coming forth, rejoicing. The porter went in, till he came to the
curtain,[FN#553] and said, "Permission, O Shaykhah Rajihah! Take
this sick man." Said she, "Bring him within the curtain;" and the
porter said to Abdullah, "Enter." So he entered and looking upon
the holy woman, saw her to be his wife whom he had brought from
the City of Stone. And when he knew her she also knew him and
saluted him and he returned her salam. Then said he, "Who brought
thee hither?"; and she answered, "When I saw that thy brothers
had cast thee away and were contending concerning me, I threw
myself into the sea; but my Shaykh Al-Khizr Abu al-'Abbás took me
up and brought me to this hermitage, where he gave me leave to
heal the sick and bade cry in the city, 'Whoso hath any ailment,
let him repair to the Shaykhah Rajihah;' and he also said to me,
'Tarry in this hermitage till the time betide, and thy husband
shall come to thee here.' So all the sick used to flock to me and
I rubbed them and shampoo'd them and they awoke on the morrow
whole and sound; whereby the report of me became noised abroad
among the folk, and they brought me votive gifts, so that I have
with me abundant wealth. And now I live here in high honour and
worship, and all the people of these parts seek my prayers." Then
she rubbed him and by the ordinance of Allah the Most High, he
became whole. Now Al-Khizr used to come to her every Friday
night, and it chanced that the day of Abdullah's coming was a
Thursday.[FN#554] Accordingly, when the night darkened he and she
sat, after a supper of the richest meats, awaiting the coming of
Al-Khizr, who made his appearance anon and carrying them forth of
the hermitage, set them down in Abdullah's palace at Bassorah,
where he left them and went his way. As soon as it was day,
Abdullah examined the palace and knew it for his own; then,
hearing the folk clamouring without, he looked forth of the
lattice and saw his brothers crucified, each on his own cross.
Now the reason of this was as ensueth. When they had thrown him
into the Tigris, the twain arose on the morrow, weeping and
saying, "Our brother! the Jinniyah hath carried off our brother!"
Then they made ready a present and sent it to the Caliph,
acquainting him with these tidings and suing from him the
government of Bassorah. He sent for them and questioned them and
they told him the false tale we have recounted, whereupon he was
exceeding wroth.[FN#555] So that night he prayed a two-bow prayer
before daybreak, as of his wont, and called upon the tribes of
the Jinn, who came before him subject-wise, and he questioned
them of Abdullah: when they sware to him that none of them had
done him aught of hurt and said, "We know not what is become of
him." Then came Sa'idah, daughter of the Red King, and acquainted
the Caliph with the truth of Abdullah's case, and he dismissed
the Jinn. On the morrow, he subjected Nasir and Mansur to the
bastinado till they confessed, one against other: whereupon the
Caliph was enraged with them and cried, "Carry them to Bassorah
and crucify them there before Abdullah's palace." Such was their
case; but as regards Abdullah, when he saw his brothers
crucified, he commanded to bury them, then took horse and
repairing to Baghdad, acquainted the Caliph with that which his
brothers had done with him, from first to last and told him how
he had recovered his wife; whereat Al-Rashid marvelled and
summoning the Kazi and the witnesses, bade draw up the marriage-
contract between Abdullah and the damsel whom he had brought from
the City of Stone. So he went in to her and woned with her at
Bassorah till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
the Severer of societies; and extolled be the perfection of the
Living, who dieth not! Moreover, O auspicious King, I have heard
a tale anent

End of Volume 9.

                    Arabian Nights, Volume 9

[FN#1] Arab. "Wa lá rajma ghaybin:" lit. = without stone-throwing
(conjecture) of one latent.

[FN#2] i.e. saying Bismillah, etc. See vol. v. 206.

[FN#3] Where he was to await her.

[FN#4] As a rule, amongst Moslems the rider salutes the man on
foot and the latter those who sit. The saying in the text
suggests the Christian byword anent Mohammed and the Mountain,
which is, I need hardly say, utterly unknown to Mahommedans.

[FN#5] The story-teller does not remember that "the city-folk
trust to the locking of the gates" (dccclxxxix.); and forgets to
tell us that the Princess took the keys from the Wazir whom she
had hocussed. In a carefully corrected Arabic Edition of The
Nights, a book much wanted, the texts which are now in a
mutilated state would be supplied with these details.

[FN#6] Which probably would not be the last administered to him
by the Amazonian young person, who after her mate feared to
approach the dead blackamoor must have known him to be cowardly
as Cairenes generally are. Moreover, he had no shame in his
poltroonery like the recreant Fellah-soldiers, in the wretched
Sawákin campaign against the noble Súdáni negroids, who excused
their running away by saying, "We are Egyptians" i.e. too good
men and Moslems to lose our lives as becomes you Franks and
dog-Christians. Yet under Mohammed Ali the Great, Fellah-soldiers
conquered the "colligated" Arabs (Pilgrimage iii. 48) of Al-Asir
(Ophir) at Bissel and in Wahhabi-land and put the Turks to flight
at the battle of Nazib, and the late General Johnmus assured me
that he saved his command, the Ottoman cavalry in Syria, by
always manoeuvring to refuse a pitched battle. But Mohammed Ali
knew his men. He never failed to shoot a runaway, and all his
officers, even the lieutenants, were Turks or Albanians. Sa'id
Pasha was the first to appoint Fellah-officers and under their
command the Egyptian soldier, one of the best in the East, at
once became the worst. We have at last found the right way to
make them fight, by officering them with Englishmen, but we must
not neglect the shooting process whenever they dare to turn tail.

[FN#7] "Al-walhán" (as it should be printed in previous places,
instead of Al-walahán) is certainly not a P.N. in this place.

[FN#8] Arab. "Kundur," Pers. and Arab. manna, mastich,
frankincense, the latter being here meant.

[FN#9] So Emma takes the lead and hides her lover under her cloak
during their flight to the place where they intended to lie
concealed. In both cases the women are the men.

[FN#10] Or "Bartút," in which we recognise the German Berthold.

[FN#11] i.e. Head of Killaut which makes, from the Muhít, "the
name of a son of the sons of the Jinn and the Satans."

[FN#12] i.e. attacked her after a new fashion: see vol. i. 136.

[FN#13] i.e. Weevil's dung; hence Suez = Suways the little
weevil, or "little Sus" from the Maroccan town: see The Mines of
Midian p. 74 for a note on the name. Near Gibraltar is a fuimara
called Guadalajara i.e. Wady al-Khara, of dung. "Bartús" is
evidently formed "on the weight" of "Bartút;" and his metonym is
a caricature, a chaff fit for Fellahe.

[FN#14] Arab. "Al-Din al-a'raj," the perverted or falsified
Faith, Christianity having been made obsolete and abolished by
the Mission of Mohammed, even as Christianity claims to have
superseded the Mosaic and Noachian dispensations. Moslems are
perfectly logical in their deductions, but logic and truth do not
always go together.

[FN#15] The "Breaker of Wind" (faswah - a fizzle, a silent
crepitus) "son of Children's dung."

[FN#16] Arab. "Ammá laka an 'alayk" lit. = either to thee (be the
gain) or upon thee (be the loss). This truly Arabic idiom is
varied in many ways.

[FN#17] In addition to what was noted in vol. iii. 100 and viii.
51, I may observe that in the "Masnavi" the "Baghdad of
Nulliquity" is opposed to the Ubiquity of the World. The popular
derivation is Bagh (the idol-god, the slav "Bog") and dád a gift,
he gave (Persian). It is also called Al-Zaurá = a bow, from the
bend of the Tigris where it was built.

[FN#18] Arab. "Jawásís" plur. of Jásús lit. the spies.

[FN#19] The Caliph could not "see" her "sweetness of speech"; so
we must understand that he addressed her and found out that she
was fluent of tongue. But this idiomatic use of the word "see" is
also found in the languages of Southern Europe: so Camoens (Lus.
1. ii.), "Ouvi * * * vereis" lit. = "hark, you shall see" which
sounds Hibernian.

[FN#20] Here "Farz" (Koranic obligation which it is mortal sin to
gainsay) follows whereas it should precede "Sunnat" (sayings and
doings of the Apostle) simply because "Farz" jingles with "Arz"

[FN#21] Moslems, like modern Agnostics, hold that Jesus of
Nazareth would be greatly scandalized by the claims to Godship
advanced for him by his followers.

[FN#22] Koran ix. 33: See also v. 85. In the passage above quoted
Mr. Rodwell makes the second "He" refer to the deity.

[FN#23] Koran xxvi. 88, 89. For a very indifferent version (and
abridgment) of this speech, see Saturday Review, July 9, 1881.

[FN#24] Koran iv. 140.

[FN#25] Arab. "Furát" from the Arab. "Faruta" = being sweet, as
applied to water. Al-Furátáni = the two sweet (rivers), are the
Tigris and Euphrates. The Greeks, who in etymology were satisfied
with Greek, derived the latter from {Greek} (to gladden,
laetificare, for which see Pliny and Strabo, although both are
correct in explaining "Tigris") and Selden remarks hereon,
"Talibus nugis nugantur Graeculi." But not only the "Graeculi";
e.g. Parkhurst's good old derivations from the Heb. "Farah" of
fero, fructus, Freya (the Goddess), frayer (to spawn), friand,
fry (of fish), etc., etc.

[FN#26] The great Caliph was a poet; and he spoke verses as did
all his contemporaries: his lament over his slave-girl Haylanah
(Helen) is quoted by Al-Suyuti, p. 305.

[FN#27] "The Brave of the Faith."

[FN#28] i.e., Saladin. See vol. iv. p. 116.

[FN#29] usually called the Horns of Hattin (classically Hittin)
North of Tiberias where Saladin by good strategy and the folly of
the Franks annihilated the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. For
details see the guide-books. In this action (June 23, 1187),
after three bishops were slain in its defence, the last fragment
of the True Cross (or rather the cross verified by Helena) fell
into Moslem hands. The Christians begged hard for it, but
Saladin, a conscientious believer, refused to return to them even
for ransom "the object of their iniquitous superstition." His
son, however, being of another turn, would have sold it to the
Franks who then lacked money to purchase. It presently
disappeared and I should not be surprised if it were still lying,
an unknown and inutile lignum in some Cairene mosque.

[FN#30] Akká (Acre) was taken by Saladin on July 29, 1187. The
Egyptian states that he was at Acre in 1184 or three years before
the affair of Hattin (Night dcccxcv.).

[FN#31] Famous Sufis and ascetics of the second and third
centuries A.H. For Bishr Barefoot, see vol. ii. p. 127. Al-Sakati
means "the old-clothes man;" and the names of the others are all
recorded in D'Herbelot.

[FN#32] i.e., captured, forced open their gates.

[FN#33] Arab. "Al-Sáhil" i.e. the seaboard of Syria; properly
Phoenicia or the coast-lands of Southern Palestine. So the
maritime lowlands of continental Zanzibar are called in the plur.
Sawáhil = "the shores" and the people Sawáhílí = Shore-men.

[FN#34] Arab. "Al-Khizánah" both in Mac. Edit. and Breslau x.
426. Mr. Payne has translated "tents" and says, "Saladin seems to
have been encamped without Damascus and the slave-merchant had
apparently come out and pitched his tent near the camp for the
purposes of his trade." But I can find no notice of tents till a
few lines below.

[FN#35] Bahá al-Dín ibn Shaddád, then Kázi al-Askar (of the Army)
or Judge-Advocate-General under Saladin.

[FN#36] i.e. "abide with" thy second husband, the Egyptian.

[FN#37] A descendant of Háshim, the Apostle's great-grandfather
from whom the Abbasides were directly descended. The Ommiades
were less directly akin to Mohammed, being the descendants of
Hashim's brother, Abd al-Shams. The Hashimis were famed for
liberality; and the quality seems to have been inherited. The
first Háshim got his name from crumbling bread into the Saríd or
brewis of the Meccan pilgrims during "The Ignorance." He was
buried at Ghazzah (Gaza) but his tomb was soon forgotten.

[FN#38] i.e. thy lover.

[FN#39] i.e. of those destined to hell; the especial home of
Moslem suicides.

[FN#40] Arab. "Ummál" (plur. of ‘Ámil) viceroys or governors of

[FN#41] A town of Irák Arabi (Mesopotamia) between Baghdad and
Bassorah built upon the Tigris and founded by Al-Hajjaj: it is so
called because the "Middle" or half-way town between Basrah and
Kufah. To this place were applied the famous lines:--

     In good sooth a right noble race are they;
     Whose men "yea" can't say nor their women "nay."

[FN#42] i.e. robed as thou art.

[FN#43] i.e. his kinsfolk of the Hashimis.

[FN#44] See vol. ii. 24. {Vol2, FN#49}

[FN#45] Arab. "Sur'itu" = I was possessed of a Jinn, the common
Eastern explanation of an epileptic fit long before the days of
the Evangel. See vol. iv. 89.

[FN#46] Arab. "Zí'ah," village, feof or farm.

[FN#47] Arab. "Taríkah."

[FN#48] "Most of the great Arab musicians had their own peculiar
fashion of tuning the lute, for the purpose of extending its
register or facilitating the accompaniment of songs composed in
uncommon keys and rhythms or possibly of increasing its sonority,
and it appears to have been a common test of the skill of a great
musician, such as Ishac el-Mausili or his father Ibrahim, to
require him to accompany a difficult song on a lute purposely
untuned. As a (partial) modern instance of the practice referred
to in the text, may be cited Paganini's custom of lowering or
raising the G string of the violin in playing certain of his own
compositions. According to the Kitab el-Aghani, Ishac el-Mausili
is said to have familiarized himself, by incessant practice, with
the exact sounds produced by each division of the strings of the
four course lute of his day, under every imaginable circumstance
of tuning." It is regrettable that Mr. Payne does not give us
more of such notes.

[FN#49] See vol. vii. 363 for the use of these fumigations.

[FN#50] In the Mac. Edit. "Aylah" for Ubullah: the latter is one
of the innumerable canals, leading from Bassorah to Ubullah-town
a distance of twelve miles. Its banks are the favourite pleasure-
resort of the townsfolk, being built over with villas and
pavilions (now no more) and the orchards seem to form one great
garden, all confined by one wall. See Jaubert's translation of
Al-Idrisi, vol. i. pp. 368-69. The Aylah, a tributary of the
Tigris, waters (I have noted) the Gardens of Bassorah.

[FN#51] Music having been forbidden by Mohammed who believed with
the vulgar that the Devil has something to do with it. Even
Paganini could not escape suspicion in the nineteenth century.

[FN#52] The "Mahr," or Arab dowry consists of two parts, one paid
down on consummation and the other agreed to be paid to the wife,
contingently upon her being divorced by her husband. If she
divorce him this portion, which is generally less than the half,
cannot be claimed by her; and I have related the Persian
abomination which compels the woman to sacrifice her rights. See
vol. iii. p. 304.

[FN#53] i.e. the cost of her maintenance during the four months
of single blessedness which must or ought to elapse before she
can legally marry again.

[FN#54] Lane translates most incompletely, "To Him, then, be
praise, first and last!"

[FN#55] Lane omits because it is "extremely puerile" this most
characteristic tale, one of the two oldest in The Nights which Al
Mas'udi mentions as belonging to the Hazár Afsáneh (See Terminal
Essay). Von Hammer (Preface in Trébutien's translation p. xxv )
refers the fables to an Indian (Egyptian ?) origin and remarks,
"sous le rapport de leur antiquité et de la morale qu'ils
renferment, elles méritent la plus grande attention, mais d'un
autre côté elles ne vent rien moins qu'amusantes."

[FN#56] Lane (iii. 579) writes the word "Shemmas": the Bresl.
Edit. (viii. 4) "Shímás."

[FN#57] i.e. When the tale begins.

[FN#58] Arab. "Khafz al-jináh" drooping the wing as a brooding
bird. In the Koran ([vii. 88) lowering the wing" = demeaning
oneself gently.

[FN#59] The Bresl. Edit. (viii. 3) writes "Kil'ád": Trébutien
(iii. 1) "le roi Djilia."

[FN#60] As the sequel shows the better title would be, '`The Cat
and the Mouse" as in the headings of the Mac. Edit. and "What
befel the Cat with the Mouse," as a punishment for tyranny. But
all three Edits. read as in the text and I have not cared to
change it. In our European adaptations the mouse becomes a rat.

[FN#61] So that I may not come to grief by thus daring to
foretell evil things.

[FN#62] Arab. "Af'á'" pl. Afá'í = {Greek}, both being derived
from 0. Egypt. Hfi, a worm, snake. Af'á is applied to many
species of the larger ophidia, all supposed to be venomous, and
synonymous with "Sall" (a malignant viper) in Al Mutalammis. See
Preston's Al Hariri, p. 101.

[FN#63] This apparently needless cruelty of all the feline race
is a strong weapon in the hand of the Eastern "Dahrí" who holds
that the world is God and is governed by its own laws, in
opposition to the religionists believing in a Personal Deity
whom, moreover, they style the Merciful, the Compassionate, etc.
Some Christians have opined that cruelty came into the world with
"original Sin," but how do they account for the hideous waste of
life and the fearful destructiveness of the fishes which
certainly never learned anything from man? The mystery of the
cruelty of things can be explained only by a Law without a

[FN#64] The three things not to be praised before death in
Southern Europe are a horse, a priest and a woman; and it has
become a popular saying that only fools prophesy before the

[FN#65] 'Arab. "Sawn" =butter melted and skimmed. See vol. i.

[FN#66] This is a mere rechauffé of the Barber's tale of his
Fifth Brother (vol. i. 335). In addition to the authorities there
cited I may mention the school reading-lesson in Addison's
Spectator derived from Galland's version of "Alnaschar and his
basket of Glass," the Persian version of the Hitopadesa or
"Anwár-i-Suhayli (Lights of Canopes) by Husayn Vá'iz; the Foolish
Sachali of "Indian Fairy Tales" (Miss Stokes); the allusion in
Rabelais to the fate of the "Shoemaker and his pitcher of milk"
and the "Dialogues of creatures moralised" (1516), whence
probably La Fontaine drew his fable, "La Laitière et le Pot au

[FN#67] Arab. ' 'Násik," a religious, a man of Allah from Nask,
devotion: somewhat like Sálik (Dabistan iii. 251)

[FN#68] The well-known Egyptian term for a peasant, a husbandman,
extending from the Nile to beyond Mount Atlas

[FN#69] This is again, I note, the slang sense of "'Azím," which
in classical Arabic means

[FN#70] Arab "Adab" ; see vol. i. 132. It also implies mental
discipline, the culture which leads to excellence, good manners
and good morals; and it is sometimes synonymous with literary
skill and scholarship. "Ilm al-Adab," says Haji Khalfah (Lane's
Lex.), " is the science whereby man guards against error in the
language of the Arabs spoken or written."

[FN#71] i.e. I esteem thee as thou deserves".

[FN#72] The style is intended to be worthy of the statesman. In
my "Mission to Dahome" the reader will find many a similar scene.

[FN#73] The Bresl. Edit. (vol. viii. 22) reads "Turks" or "The
Turk" in lieu of "many peoples."

[FN#74] i.e. the parents.

[FN#75] The humour of this euphuistic Wazirial speech, purposely
made somewhat pompous, is the contrast between the unhappy
Minister's praises and the result of his prognostication. I
cannot refrain from complimenting Mr. Payne upon the admirable
way in which he has attacked and mastered all the difficulties of
its abstruser passages.

[FN#76] 'Arab. "Halummú" plur. of "Halumma"=draw near! The latter
form is used by some tribes for all three numbers; others affect
a dual and a plural (as in the text). Preston ( Al Hariri, p.
210) derives it from Heb., but the geographers of Kufah and
Basrah (who were not etymologists) are divided about its origin.
He translates (p. 221) "Halumma Jarran = being the rest of the
tale in continuation with this, i.e. in accordance with it like
our "and so forth." And in p. 271, he makes Halumma=Hayya i.e.
hither' (to prayer, etc.).

[FN#77] This is precisely the semi-fatalistic and wholly
superstitious address which would find favour with Moslems of the
present day they still prefer "calling upon Hercules" to putting
their shoulders to the wheel. Mr. Redhouse had done good work in
his day but of late he has devoted himself, especially in the
"Mesnevi," to a rapprochement between Al-Islam and Christianity
which both would reject (see supra, vol. vii. p. 135). The
Calvinistic predestination as shown in the term "vessel of
wrath," is but a feeble reflection of Moslem fatalism. On this
subject I shall have more to say in a future volume.

[FN#78] The inhabitants of temperate climates have no idea what
ants can do in the tropics. The Kafirs of South Africa used to
stake down their prisoners (among them a poor friend of mine)
upon an ant-hill and they were eaten atom after atom in a few
hours. The death must be the slowest form of torture; but
probably the nervous system soon becomes insensible. The same has
happened to more than one hapless invalid, helplessly bedridden,
in Western Africa. I have described an invasion of ants in my
"Zanzibar," vol. ii. 169; and have suffered from such attacks in
many places between that and Dahomey.

[FN#79] Arab. "Sa'lab." See vol. iii 132, where it is a fox. I
render it jackal because that cousin of the fox figures as a
carnon-eater in Hindu folk-lore, the Hitopadesa, Panchopakhyan,
etc. This tale, I need hardly say, is a mere translation; as is
shown by the Kathá s.s. "Both jackal and fox are nicknamed Joseph
the Scribe (Tálib Yúsuf) in the same principle that lawyers are
called landsharks by sailors." (P. 65, Moorish Lotus Leaves,
etc., by George D. Cowan and R. L. N. Johnston, London, Tinsleys,

[FN#80] Arab. "Sahm mush'ab" not "barbed" (at the wings) but with
double front, much used for birding and at one time familiar in
the West as in the East. And yet "barbed" would make the fable
read much better.

[FN#81] Arab. "la'lla," usually = haply, belike; but used here
and elsewhere = forsure, certainly.

[FN#82] Arab. "Maghrib" (or in full Maghrib al Aksá) lit. =the
Land of the setting sun for whose relation to "Mauritania" see
vol. vii. 220. It is almost synonymous with "Al-Gharb"=the West
whence Portugal borrowed the two Algarves, one being in Southern
Europe and the other over the straits about Tangier Ceuta;
fronting Spanish Trafalgar, i.e. Taraf al Gharb, the edge of the
West. I have noted (Pilgrimage i. 9) the late Captain Peel's
mis-translation "Cape of Laurels" (Al-Ghár).

[FN#83] Even the poorest of Moslem wanderers tries to bear with
him a new suit of clothes for keeping the two festivals and
Friday service in the Mosque. See Pilgrimage i. 235; iii. 257,

[FN#84] Arab. "Sáyih" lit. a wanderer, subaudi for religious and
ascetic objects; and not to be confounded with the "pilgrim"

[FN#85] i.e. a Religious, a wandering beggar.

[FN#86] This was the custom of the whole Moslem world and still
is where uncorrupted by Christian uncharity and contempt for all
"men of God" save its own. But the change in such places as Egypt
is complete and irrevocable. Even in 1852 my Dervish's frock
brought me nothing but contempt in Alexandria and Cairo.

[FN#87] Arab. "Ya jáhil," lit. =O ignorant. The popular word is
Ahmak which, however, in the West means a maniac, a madman, a
Santon; "Bohlí" being= a fool.

[FN#88] The prison according to the practice of the East being in
the palace: so the Moorish 'Kasbah," which lodges the Governor
and his guard, always contains the jail.

[FN#89] Arab. "Tuwuffiya," lit.=was received (into the grace of
God), an euphemistic and more polite term than "máta"=he died.
The latter term is avoided by the Founder of Chnstianity; and our
Spiritualists now say "passed away to a higher life," a phrase
embodying a theory which, to say the least, is "not proven "

[FN#90] Arab. "Yá Abá al-Khayr"= our my good lord, sir, fellow,

[FN#91] Arab. "Háwi" from "Hayyah," a serpent. See vol. iii. 145.
Most of the Egyptian snake charmers are Gypsies, but they do not
like to be told of their origin. At Baroda in Guzerat I took
lessons in snake-catching, but found the sport too dangerous;
when the animal flees, the tail is caught by the left hand and
the right is slipped up to the neck, a delicate process, as a few
inches too far or not far enough would be followed by certain
death in catching a Cobra. At last certain of my messmates killed
one of the captives and the snake-charmer would have no more to
do with me.

[FN#92] Arab. "Sallah," also Pers., a basket of wickerwork. This
article is everywhere used for lodging snakes from Egypt to

[FN#93] Arab. "Mubarak." It is a favourite name for a slave in
Morocco, the slave-girl being called Mubárakah; and the proverb
being, "Blessed is the household which hath neither M'bárk nor
M'bárkah" (as they contract the words).

[FN#94] The Bresl. Edit. (viii. 48) instead of the Gate (Báb)
gives a Bádhanj=a Ventilator; for which latter rendering see vol.
i. 257. The spider's web is Koranic (lxxxi. 40) "Verily frailest
of all houses is the house of the spider."

[FN#95] Prob. from the Persian Wird=a pupil, a disciple.

[FN#96] And yet, as the next page shows the youth's education was
complete in his twelfth year.  But as all three texts agree, I do
not venture upon changing the number to six or seven, the age at
which royal education outside the Harem usually begins.

[FN#97] i.e. One for each day in the Moslem year. For these
object-lessons, somewhat in Kinder-garten style, see the Book of
Sindibad or The Malice of Women (vol. vi. 126).

[FN#98] Arab. "Jahábizah" plur. of "Jahbiz"=acute, intelligent
(from the Pers. Kahbad?)

[FN#99] Arab. "Nimr" in the Bresl. Edit. viii. 58. The Mac. Edit.
suggests that the leopard is the lion's Wazir.

[FN#100] Arab "Kaun" lit. =Being, existence. Trébutien (iii. 20)
has it "Qu'est-ce que l'être (God), I'existence (Creation),
l'être dans['existence (the world), et la duree de l'être dans
l'existence (the other world).

[FN#101] i.e for the purpose of requital. All the above is
orthodox Moslem doctrine, which utterly ignores the dictum "ex
nihilo nihil fit;" and which would look upon Creation by Law
(Darwinism) as opposed to Creation by miracle (e.g. the Mosaic
cosmogony) as rank blasphemy. On the other hand the Eternity of
Matter and its transcendental essence are tenets held by a host
of Gnostics, philosophers and Eastern Agnostics.

[FN#102] This is a Moslem lieu commun; usually man is likened to
one suspended in a bottomless well by a thin rope at which a
rodent is continually gnawing and who amuses himself in licking
a few drops of honey left by bees on the revetement.

[FN#103] A curious pendent to the Scriptural parable of the
Uniust Steward.

[FN#104] Arab. "Rúh" Heb. Ruach: lit. breath (spiritus) which in
the animal kingdom is the surest sign of life. See vol. v. 29.
Nothing can be more rigidly materialistic than the called Mosaic

[FN#105] Arab. "Al-Amr" which may also mean the business, the
matter, the affair.

[FN#106] Arab. "Ukáb al-kásir." lit. =the breaker eagle.

[FN#107] Arab "Lijám shadíd:" the ring-bit of the Arabs is
perhaps the severest form known: it is required by the Eastern
practice of pulling up the horse when going at full speed and it
is too well known to require description. As a rule the Arab
rides with a "lady's hand" and the barbarous habit of "hanging on
by the curb" is unknown to him. I never pass by Rotten Row or see
a regiment of English Cavalry without wishing to leave riders
nothing but their snaffles.

[FN#108] We find this orderly distribution of time (which no one
adopts) in many tongues and many forms. In the Life of Sir W.
Jones (vol. i. p. 193, Poetical Works etc.) the following occurs,
"written in India on a small piece of paper";--

                    Sir Edward Coke
          "Six hours to sleep, in law's grave study six!
          Four spend in prayer,--the rest on Heaven fix!"
          "Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven;
          Ten to the world allot, and all to Heaven!"

But this is not practical. I must prefer the Chartist

          Six hours sleep and six hours play:
          Six hours work and six shillings a day.

Mr Froude (Oceana) speaks of New Zealanders having attained that
ideal of operative felicity:--

          Eight to work, eight to play;
          Eight to sleep and eight shillings a day.

[FN#109] Arab. "Bahímah," mostly=black cattle: see vol. iv. 54.

[FN#110] As a rule when the felidæ wag their tails, it is a sign
of coming anger, the reverse with the canidæ.

[FN#111] In India it is popularly said that the Rajah can do
anything with the Ryots provided he respects their women and
their religion--not their property.

[FN#112] Arab. "Sunan" for which see vol. v. 36, 167. Here it
is=Rasm or usage, equivalent to our precedents, and held valid,
especially when dating from olden time, in all matters which are
not expressly provided for by Koranic command. For instance a
Hindí Moslem (who doubtless borrowed the customs from Hindús)
will refuse to eat with the Kafir, and when the latter objects
that there is no such prohibition in the Koran will reply, "No
but it is our Rasm." As a rule the Anglo-Indian is very ignorant
on this essential point.

[FN#113] Lit. "lowering the wings," see supra p. 33.

[FN#114] .i.e. friends  and acquaintances.

[FN#115] Arab. "Hamídah"=praiseworthy or satisfactory.

[FN#116] Not only alluding to the sperm of man and beast, but
also to the "Neptunist" doctrine held by the ancient Greeks and
Hindus and developed in Europe during the last century.

[FN#117] Arab. "Taksím" dividing into parts, analysis.

[FN#118] this is the usual illogical contention of all religions.
It is not the question whether an Almighty Being can do a given
thing: the question is whether He has or has not done it.

[FN#119] Upon the old simile of the potter I shall have something
to say in a coming volume.

[FN#120] A fine specimen of a peculiarity in the undeveloped mind
of man, the universal confusion between things objective as a
dead body and states of things as death. We begin by giving a
name, for facility of intercourse, to phases, phenomena and
conditions of matter; and, having created the word we proceed to
supply it with a fanciful entity, e.g. "The Mind (a useful term
to express the aggregate action of the brain, nervous system
etc.) of man is immortal." The next step is personification as
Time with his forelock, Death with his skull and Night (the
absence of light) with her starry mantle. For poetry this abuse
of language is a sine qua non, but it is deadly foe to all true

[FN#121] Christians would naturally understand this "One Word" to
be the {Greek} of the Platonists, adopted by St. John
(comparatively a late writer) and by the Alexandrian school,
Jewish (as Philo Judaeus) and Christian. But here the tale-teller
alludes to the Divine Word "Kun" (be!) whereby the worlds came
into existence.

[FN#122] Arab. "Ya bunayyí" a dim. form lit. "O my little son !"
an affectionate address frequent in Russian, whose "little
father" (under "Bog") is his Czar.

[FN#123] Thus in two texts. Mr. Payne has, "Verily God the Most
High created man after His own image, and likened him to Himself,
all of Him truth, without falsehood; then He gave him dominion
over himself and ordered him and forbade him, and it was man who
transgressed His commandment and erred in his obedience and
brought falsehood upon himself of his own will." Here he borrows
from the Bresl. Edit. viii. 84 (five first lines). But the
doctrine is rather Jewish and Christian than Moslem: Al-Mas'údi
(ii. 389) introduces a Copt in the presence of Ibn Tutún saying,
"Prince, these people (designing a Jew) pretend that Allah
Almighty created Adam (i.e. mankind) after His own image" ('Alá

[FN#124] Arab. "Istitá'ah"=ableness e.g. "Al hajj 'inda
'l-Istitá'ah"=Pilgrimage when a man is able thereto (by easy

[FN#125] Arab. "Al-Kasab," which phrenologists would translate
"acquisitiveness," The author is here attempting to reconcile
man's moral responsibility, that is Freewill, with Fate by which
all human actions are directed and controlled. I cannot see that
he fails to "apprehend the knotty point of doctrine involved";
but I find his inability to make two contraries agree as
pronounced as that of all others, Moslems and Christians, that
preceded him in the same path.

[FN#126] The order should be, "men, angels and Jinn," for which
see vol. i. p. 10. But "angels" here takes precedence because
Iblis was one of them.

[FN#127] Arab. "Wartah"=precipice, quagmire, quicksand and hence
sundry secondary and metaphorical significations, under which, as
in the "Semitic" (Arabic) tongues generally, the prosaical and
material sense of the word is clearly evident. I noted this in
Pilgrimage iii. 66 and was soundly abused for so saying by a host
of Sciolists.

[FN#128] i.e. Allowing the Devil to go about the world and seduce
mankind until Doomsday when "auld Sootie's" occupation will be
gone.  Surely "Providence" might have managed better.

[FN#129] i.e. to those who deserve His love.

[FN#130] Here "Istitá'ah" would mean capability of action, i.e.
freewill, which is a mere word like "free-trade."

[FN#131] Arab. "Bi al-taubah" which may also mean "for (on
account of his) penitence."  The reader will note how the learned
Shimas "dodges" the real question.  He is asked why the
"Omnipotent, Omniscient did not prevent (i.e. why He created)
sin?" He answers that He kindly permitted (i.e. created and
sanctioned) it that man might repent.  Proh pudor! If any one
thus reasoned of mundane matters he would be looked upon as the
merest fool.

[FN#132] Arab. "Mahall al-Zauk," lit.=seat of taste.

[FN#133] Mr. Payne translates "it" i.e. the Truth; but the
formula following the word shows that Allah is meant.

[FN#134] Moslems, who do their best to countermine the ascetic
idea inherent in Christianity, are not ashamed of the sensual
appetite; but rather the reverse. I have heard in Persia of a
Religious, highly esteemed for learning and saintly life who,
when lodged by a disciple at Shiraz, came out of his sleeping
room and aroused his host with the words "Shahwat dáram!"
equivalent to our "I want a woman." He was at once married to one
of the slave-girls and able to gratify the demands of the flesh.

[FN#135] Koran iv. 81, "Whatever good betideth thee is from God,
and whatever betideth thee Of evil is from thyself": rank
Manichæism, as pronounced as any in Christendom.

[FN#136] Arab. "Zukhruf" which Mr. Payne picturesquely renders
"painted gawds."

[FN#137] It is the innate craving in the "Aryan" (Iranian, not
the Turanian) mind, this longing to know what follows Death, or
if nothing follows it, which accounts for the marvellous
diffusion of the so-called Spiritualism which is only
Swedenborgianism systematised and earned out into action, amongst
nervous and impressionable races like the Anglo-American. In
England it is the reverse; the obtuse sensitiveness of a people
bred on beef and beer has made the "Religion of the Nineteenth
Century" a manner of harmless magic, whose miracles are
table-turning and ghost seeing whilst the prodigious rascality of
its prophets (the so-called Mediums) has brought it into
universal disrepute. It has been said that Catholicism must be
true to co-exist with the priest and it is the same with
Spiritualism proper, by which I understand the belief in a life
beyond the grave, a mere continuation of this life; it flourishes
(despite the Medium) chiefly because it has laid before man the
only possible and intelligible idea of a future state.

[FN#138] See vol. vi. p. 7. The only lie which degrades a man in
his own estimation and in that of others, is that told for fear
of telling the truth. Au reste, human society and civilised
intercourse are built upon a system of conventional lying. and
many droll stories illustrate the consequences of disregarding
the dictum, la verité n'est pas tonjours bonne à dire.

[FN#139] Arab. "Walí'ahd" which may mean heir-presumptive (whose
heirship is contingent) or heir-apparent.

[FN#140] Arab. "Yá abati"= my papa (which here would sound

[FN#141] All the texts give a decalogue; but Mr. Payne has
reduced it to a heptalogue.

[FN#142] The Arabs who had a variety of anæsthetics never seem to
have studied the subject of "euthanasia." They preferred seeing a
man expire in horrible agonies to relieving him by means of
soporifics and other drugs: so I have heard Christians exult in
saying that the sufferer "kept his senses to the last." Of course
superstition is at the bottom of this barbarity; the same which a
generation ago made the silly accoucheur refuse to give ether
because of the divine (?) saying "In sorrow shalt thou bring
forth children." (Gen iii. 16.) In the Bosnia-Herzegovina
campaign many of the Austrian officers carried with them doses of
poison to be used in case of being taken prisoners by the
ferocious savages against whom they were fighting. As many
anecdotes about "Easing off the poor dear" testify, the
Euthanasia-system is by no means unknown to the lower classes in
England. I shall have more to say on this subject.

[FN#143] See vol. iii. p. 253 for the consequences of royal
seclusion of which Europe in the present day can contribute
examples. The lesson which it teaches simply is that the world
can get on very well without royalties.

[FN#144] The grim Arab humour in the text is the sudden change
for the worse of the good young man. Easterns do not believe in
the Western saw, "Nemo repente fuit turpissimus." The spirited
conduct of the subjects finds many parallels in European history,
especially in Portugal: see my Life of Camoens p. 234.

[FN#145] Arab. "Muhárabah" lit.=doing battle; but is sometimes
used in the sense of gain-saying or disobeying.

[FN#146] Arab. "Duwámah" (from "duwám"=vertigo, giddiness) also
applied to a boy's whip ton.

[FN#147] Arab. "Khayr o (we) Áfiyah," a popular phrase much used
in salutations, &c.

[FN#148] Another instance, and true to life, of the democracy of
despotism in which the express and combined will of the people is
the only absolute law. Hence Russian autocracy is forced into
repeated wars for the possession of Constantinople which, in the
present condition of the Empire, would be an unmitigated evil to
her and would be only too glad to see a Principality of Byzantium
placed under the united protection of the European Powers. I have
treated of this in my paper on the "Partition of Turkey," which
first appeared, headed the "Future of Turkey," in the Daily
Telegraph, of March 7, 1880, and subsequently by its own name in
the Manchester Examiner, January 3, 1881. The main reason why the
project is not carried out appears to be that the "politicals"
would thereby find their occupation gone and they naturally
object to losing so fine a field of action. So Turkey still plays
the rôle of the pretty young lady being courted by a rabble of

[FN#149] Good Moslems are bound to abate such scandals; and in a
case of the kind even neighbours are expected to complain before
the Chief of Police. This practice forms "Viligance Committees"
all over the Mahommedan East: and we may take a leaf out of their
books if dynamite-outrages continue.

[FN#150] But a Hadis, attributed to Mohammed, says, "The Prince
of a people is their servant." See Matth. xx. 26-27.

[FN#151] Easterns are well aware of the value of this drug which
has become the base of so many of our modern medicines.

[FN#152] The strangest poison is mentioned by Sonnini who, as a
rule, is a trustworthy writer. Noticing the malignity of Egyptian
women he declares (p. 628, English trans.) that they prepare a
draught containing a quant. suff. of menstruous discharge at
certain phases of the moon, which produces symptoms of scurvy;
the gums decay, the teeth, beard and hair fall off, the body
dries, the limbs lose strength and death follows within a year.
He also asserts that no counterpoison is known and if this be
true he confers a boon upon the Locustæ and Brinvilliers of
modern Europe. In Morocco "Ta'am" is the vulgar name for a
mixture of dead men's bones, eyes, hair and similar ingredients
made by old wives and supposed to cause a wasting disease for
which the pharmacopoeia has no cure. Dogs are killed by needles
cunningly inserted into meat-balls; and this process is known
through out the Moslem world.

[FN#153] Which contained the Palace.

[FN#154] Arab. "Lá baas." See Night vol. iv. 164.

[FN#155] For Ta'lab (Sa'lab) see supra, p. 48. In Morocco it is
undoubtedly the red or common fox which, however, is not
gregarious as in the text.

[FN#156] See vol. iii. 146.

[FN#157] Arab. "Muunah" which in Morocco applies to the
provisions furnished gratis by the unfortunate village-people to
travellers who have a passport from the Sultan. its root is Maun
=supplying necessaries. "The name is supposed to have its origin
in that of Manna the miraculous provision bestowed by the bounty
of Heaven on the Israelites while wandering in the deserts of
Arabia." Such is the marvellous information we find in p. 40,
"Morocco and the Moors" by John Drummond Hay (Murray, 1861)

[FN#158] i.e. He resolved to do them justice and win a reward
from  Heaven.

[FN#159] Arab. ''Luss" = thief, robber, rogue, rascal, the
Persian "Luti" of popular usage. This is one of the many
''Simpleton stories" in which Eastern folk-lore abounds. I hear
that Mr. Clouston is preparing a collection, and look forward to
it with interest.

[FN#160] Arab. "Tibn" for which see vol. i 16.

[FN#161] A fanciful origin of "Díván" (here an audience-chamber)
which may mean demons (plural of Dív) is attributed to a King of
Persia. He gave a series of difficult documents and accounts to
his scribes and surprised at the quickness and cleverness with
which they were ordered exclaimed, "These men be Divs!" Hence a
host of secondary meanings as a book of Odes with distichs rhymed
in alphabetical order and so forth.

[FN#162] In both cases the word "Jabábirah" is used, the plur. of
Jabbár, the potent, especially applied to the Kings of the
Canaanites and giants like the mythical Og of Bashan. So the Heb.
Jabbúrah is a title of the Queens of Judah.

[FN#163] Arab. "Kitáb al-Kazá"= the Book of Judgments, such as
the Kazi would use when deciding cases in dispute, by legal
precedents and the Rasm or custom of the country.

[FN#164] i.e. sit before the King as referee, etc.

[FN#165] This massacre of refractory chiefs is one of the grand
moyens of Eastern state-craft, and it is almost always successful
because circumstances require it; popular opinion approves of it
and it is planned and carried out with discretion and secrecy.
The two familiar instances in our century are the massacre of the
Mamelukes by Mohammed Ali Pasha the Great and of the turbulent
chiefs of the Omani Arabs by our ancient ally Sayyid Sa'íd,
miscalled the "Imám of Maskat."

[FN#166] The metaphor (Sabaka) is from horse-racing, the Arabs
being, I have said, a horsey people.

[FN#167] Arab. "Kurdús" = A body of horse.

[FN#168] Arab. "Ibn 'Irs." See vol. iii. 147.

[FN#169] Arab. "Al Hind-al-Aksá." The Sanskrit Sindhu (lands on
the Indus River) became in Zend "Hendu" and hence in Arabic Sind
and Hind, which latter I wish we had preserved instead of the
classical "India" or the poetical "Ind."

[FN#170] i.e. by geomancy: see vol. iii. 269 for a note on
Al-Raml. The passage is not in the Mac. Edit.

[FN#171] This address gave the boy Wazirial rank. In many parts
of Europe, England included, if the Sovereign address a subject
with a title not belonging to him, it is a disputed point if the
latter can or cannot claim it.

[FN#172] Koran, chapter of Joseph xii. 28, spoken by Potiphar
after Joseph's innocence had been proved by a witness in
Potiphar's house or according to the Talmud (Sepher Hádjascher)
by an infant in the cradle. The texts should have printed this as
a quotation (with vowel points).

[FN#173] Arab. "Al-'Azíz," alluding to Joseph the Patriarch
entitled in Egypt "Azíz al-Misr"= Magnifico of Misraim (Koran
xii. 54). It is generally believed that Ismail Pasha, whose
unwise deposition has caused the English Government such a host
of troubles and load of obloquy, aspired to be named "'Azíz" by
the Porte; but was compelled to be satisfied with Khadív (vulg.
written Khedive, and pronounced even "Kédivé"), a Persian title,
which simply means prince or Rajah, as Khadív-i-Hind.

[FN#174] i.e. The Throne room.

[FN#175] For the "Dawát" or wooden inkcase containing reeds see
vol. v. 239 and viii. 178. I may remark that its origin is the
Egyptian "Pes," of which there is a specimen in the British
Museum inscribed, "Amásis the good god and Lord of the two

[FN#176] i.e. I am governed by the fear of Allah in my dealings
to thee and thy subjects.

[FN#177] Arabic has no single word for million although the
Maroccans have adopted "Milyún" from the Spaniards (see p. 100 of
the Rudimentos del Árabe vulgar que se habla en el imperio de
Marruccos por El P. Fr. Josè de Lerchundi, Madrid 1872): This
lack of the higher numerals, the reverse of the Hindu languages,
makes Arabic "arithmology" very primitive and almost as cumbrous
as the Chinese.

[FN#178] i.e. I am thy slave to slay or to pardon.

[FN#179] Arab. ''Matta'aka 'llah''=Allah permit thee to enjoy,
from the root mate', whence cometh the Maroccan Matá'i=my, mine,
which answers to Bitá'i in Egypt.

[FN#180] Arab. "Khitáb" = the exordium of a letter preceding its
business-matter and in which the writer displays all his art. It
ends with "Ammá ba'd," lit.=but after, equivalent to our "To
proceed." This "Khitáb" is mostly skipped over by modern
statesmen who will say, "Now after the nonsense let us come to
the sense"; but their secretaries carefully weigh every word of
it, and strongly resent all shortcomings.

[FN#181] Strongly suggesting that the King had forgotten how to
read and write. So not a few of the Amirs of Sind were
analphabetic and seemed rather proud of it: "a Baloch cannot
write, but he always carries a signet-ring." I heard of an old
English lady of the past generation in Northern Africa who openly
declared "A Warrington shall never learn to read or write."

[FN#182] Arab. "Ámin," of which the Heb. form is Amen from the
root Amn=stability, constancy. In both tongues it is a particle
of affirmation or consent=it is true! So be it! The Hebrew has
also "Amanah"=verily, truly.

[FN#183] To us this seems a case of "hard lines" for the unhappy
women; but Easterns then believed and still believe in the
divinity which cloth hedge in a King, in his reigning by the
"grace of God," and in his being the Viceregent of Allah upon
earth; briefly in the old faith of loyalty which great and
successful republics are fast making obsolete in the West and
nowhere faster than in England.

[FN#184] Abú Sír is a manifest corruption of the old Egyptian
Pousiri, the Busiris of our classics, and it gives a name to
sundry villages in modern Egypt where it is usually pronounced
"Búsír".  Abú Kír lit. = the Father of Pitch, is also corrupted
to Abou Kir (Bay); and the townlet now marks the site of jolly
old Canopus, the Chosen Land of Egyptian debauchery.

[FN#185] It is interesting to note the superior gusto with which
the Eastern, as well as the Western tale-teller describes his
scoundrels and villains whilst his good men and women are mostly
colourless and unpicturesque.  So Satan is the true hero of
Paradise-Lost and by his side God and man are very ordinary; and
Mephistopheles is much better society than Faust and Margaret.

[FN#186] Arab.  "Dukhán," lit. = smoke, here tobacco for the
Chibouk, "Timbák" or "Tumbák" being the stronger (Persian and
other) variety which must be washed before smoking in the Shíshah
or water pipe.  Tobacco is mentioned here only and is evidently
inserted by some scribe: the "weed" was not introduced into the
East before the end of the sixteenth century (about a hundred
years after coffee), when it radically changed the manners of

[FN#187] Which meant that the serjeant, after the manner of such
officials, would make him pay dearly before giving up the key.
Hence a very severe punishment in the East is to "call in a
policeman" who carefully fleeces all those who do not bribe him
to leave them in freedom.

[FN#188] Arab. "Má Dáhiyatak?" lit. "What is thy misfortune?"
The phrase is slighting if not insulting.

[FN#189] Amongst Moslems the plea of robbing to keep life and
body together would be accepted by a good man like Abu Sir, who
still consorted with a self-confessed thief.

[FN#190] To make their agreement religiously binding.  See vol.
iv. 36.

[FN#191] Arab. "Ghaliyún"; many of our names for craft seem
connected with Arabic: I have already noted "Carrack" = harrák:
to which add Uskuf in Marocco pronounced 'Skuff = skiff; Katírah
= a cutter; Bárijah = a barge; etc. etc.

[FN#192] The patient is usually lathered in a gib gasin of tinned
brass, "Mambrino's helmet" with a break in the rim to fit the
throat; but the poorer classes carry only a small cup with water
instead of soap and water ignoring the Italian proverb, "Barba
ben saponata mezza fatta" = well lathered is half shaved.  A
napkin fringed at either end is usually thrown over the Figaro's
shoulder and used to wipe the razor.

[FN#193] Arab. "Nusf." See vol. ii. 37.

[FN#194] Arab. "Batárikh" the roe (sperm or spawn) of the salted
Fasíkh (fish) and the Búrí (mugil cephalus) a salt-water fish
caught in the Nile and considered fair eating. Some write
Butárghá from the old Egyptian town Burát, now a ruin between
Tinnis and Damietta (Sonnini).

[FN#195] Arab. "Kaptán," see vol. iv. 85.

[FN#196] Arab.  "Anyáb," plur. of Náb applied to the grinder
teeth but mostly to the canines or eye teeth, tusks of animals,
etc. (See vol. vii. p. 339) opp. To Saniyah, one of the four
central incisors, a camel in the sixth year and horse, cow, sheep
and goat in fourth year.

[FN#197] The coffee (see also vol. viii. 274) like the tobacco is
probably due to the scribe; but the tale appears to be
comparatively modern.  In The Nights men eat, drink and wash
their hands but do not smoke and sip coffee like the moderns.
See my Terminal Essay §2.

[FN#198] Arab.  "Mi'lakah" (Bresl. Edit. x, 456).  The fork is
modern even in the East and the Moors borrow their term for it
from fourchette.  But the spoon, which may have begun with a
cockle-shell, dates from the remotest antiquity.

[FN#199] Arab.  "Sufrah" properly the cloth or leather upon which
food is placed.  See vol. i. 178.

[FN#200] i.e. gaining much one day and little another.

[FN#201] Lit. "Rest thyself" i.e. by changing posture.

[FN#202] Arab. "Unnábi" = between dark yellow and red.

[FN#203] Arab.  "Nílah" lit. = indigo, but here applied to all
the materials for dyeing.  The word is Sanskrit, and the growth
probably came from India, although during the Crusaders'
occupation of Jerusalem it was cultivated in the valley of the
lower Jordan.  I need hardly say that it has nothing to do with
the word "Nile" whose origin is still sub judice.  And yet I
lately met a sciolist who pompously announced to me this
philological absurdity as a discovery of his own.

[FN#204] Still a popular form of "bilking" in the Wakálahs or
Caravanserais of Cairo: but as a rule the Bawwáb (porter or
doorkeeper) keeps a sharp eye on those he suspects.  The evil is
increased when women are admitted into these places; so
periodical orders for their exclusion are given to the police.

[FN#205] Natives of Egypt always hold this diaphoresis a sign
that the disease has abated and they regard it rightly in the
case of bilious remittents to which they are subject, especially
after the hardships and sufferings of a sea-voyage with its
alternations of fasting and over-eating.

[FN#206] Not simply, "such and such events happened to him"
(Lane); but, "a curious chance befel him."

[FN#207] Arab. "Harámi," lit. = one who lives on unlawful gains;
popularly a thief.

[FN#208] i.e. he turned on the water, hot and cold.

[FN#209] Men are often seen doing this in the Hammam.  The idea
is that the skin when free from sebaceous exudation sounds louder
under the clapping.  Easterns judge much by the state of the
perspiration, especially in horse-training, which consists of
hand-gallops for many successive miles.  The sweat must not taste
over salt and when held between thumb and forefinger and the two
are drawn apart must not adhere in filaments.

[FN#210] Lit. "Aloes for making Nadd;" see vol. i. 310.
"Eagle-wood" (the Malay Aigla and Agallochum the Sansk. Agura)
gave rise to many corruptions as lignum aloes, the Portuguese Páo
d' Aguila etc.  "Calamba" or "Calambak" was the finest kind.  See
Colonel Yule in the "Voyage of Linschoten" (vol. i. 120 and 150).
Edited for the Hakluyt Soc. (1885) by my learned and most amiable
friend, the late Arthur Cooke Burnell.

[FN#211] The Hammam is one of those unpleasant things which are
left "Alà júdi-k" = to thy generosity; and the higher the
bather's rank the more he or she is expected to pay.  See
Pilgrimage i. 103.  In 1853 I paid at Cairo 3 piastres and twenty
paras, something more than sixpence, but now five shillings would
be asked.

[FN#212] This is something like the mythical duchess in England
who could not believe that the poor were starving when
sponge-cakes were so cheap.

[FN#213] This magnificent "Bakhshish" must bring water into the
mouths of all the bath-men in the coffee-house assembly.

[FN#214] i.e. the treasurer did not, as is the custom of such
gentry, demand and receive a large "Bakhshish" on the occasion.

[FN#215] A fair specimen of clever Fellah chaff.

[FN#216] In the first room of the Hammam, called the Maslakh or
stripping-place, the keeper sits by a large chest in which he
deposits the purses and valuables of his customers and also makes
it the caisse for the pay.  Something of the kind is now done in
the absurdly called "Turkish Baths" of London.

[FN#217] This is the rule in Egypt and Syria and a clout hung
over the door shows that women are bathing.  I have heard, but
only heard, that in times and places when eunuchs went in with
the women youths managed by long practice to retract the
testicles so as to pass for castratos.  It is hard to say what
perseverance may not effect in this line; witness Orsini and his
abnormal development of hearing, by exercising muscles which are
usually left idle.

[FN#218] This reference to Allah shows that Abu Sir did not
believe his dyer-friend.

[FN#219] Arab. "Dawá" (lit. remedy, medicine) the vulgar term:
see vol. iv. 256: also called Rasmah, Núrah and many other names.

[FN#220] Arab. "Má Kahara-ní" = or none hath overcome me.

[FN#221] Bresl. Edit. "The King of Isbániya." For the "Ishbán"
(Spaniards) an ancient people descended from Japhet son of Noah
and who now are no more, see Al-Mas'udi (Fr. Transl. I. 361). The
"Herodotus of the Arabs" recognises only the "Jalálikah" or
Gallicians, thus bearing witness to the antiquity and importance
of the Gallego race.

[FN#222] Arab. "Sha'r," properly, hair of body, pile, especially
the pecten. See Bruckhardt (Prov. No. 202), "grieving for lack of
a cow she made a whip of her bush," said of those who console
themselves by building Castles in Spain. The "parts below the
waist" is the decent Turkish term for the privities.

[FN#223] The drowning is a martyr's death, the burning is a
foretaste of Hell-fire.

[FN#224] Meaning that if the trick had been discovered the
Captain would have taken the barber's place. We have seen (vol.
i. 63) the Prime Minister superintending the royal kitchen and
here the Admiral fishes for the King's table. It is even more
naïve than the Court of Alcinous.

[FN#225] Bresl. Edit. xi. 32: i.e. save me from disgrace.

[FN#226] Arab. "Khinsir" or "Khinsar," the little finger or the
middle finger. In Arabic each has its own name or names which is
also that of the corresponding toe, e.g. Ibhám (thumb); Sabbábah,
Musabbah or Da'áah (fore-finger); Wastá (medius); Binsir
(annularis ring-finger) and Khinsar (minimus). There are also
names for the several spaces between the fingers. See the English
Arabic Dictionary (London, Kegan Paul an Co., 1881) by the Revd.
Dr. Badger, a work of immense labour and research but which I
fear has been so the learned author a labour of love not of

[FN#227] Meaning of course that the King signed towards the sack
in which he supposed the victim to be, but the ring fell off
before it could take effect. The Eastern story-teller often
balances his multiplicity of words and needless details by a
conciseness and an elliptical style which make his meaning a
matter of divination.

[FN#228] See vol. v. 111.

[FN#229] This couplet was quoted to me by my friend the Rev. Dr.
Badger when he heard that I was translating "The Nights":
needless to say that it is utterly inappropriate.

[FN#230] For a similar figure see vol i. 25.

[FN#231] Arab. "Hanzal": see vol. v. 19.

[FN#232]  The tale begins upon the model of "Júdar and his
Brethren," vi. 213.  Its hero's full name is Abdu'lláhi=Slave of
Allah, which vulgar Egyptians pronounce Abdallah and purer
speakers, Badawin and others, Abdullah: either form is therefore
admissible.  It is more common among Moslems but not unknown to
Christians especially Syrians who borrow it from the Syriac
Alloh.  Mohammed is said to have said, "The names most approved
by Allah are Abdu'llah, Abd al-Rahmán (Slave of the
Compassionate) and such like" (Pilgrimage i. 20).

[FN#233]  Arab. "Sírah" here probably used of the Nile-sprat
(Clupea Sprattus Linn.) or Sardine of which Forsk says, "Sardinn
in Al-Yaman is applied to a Red Sea fish of the same name."
Hasselquist the Swede notes that Egyptians stuff the Sardine with
marjoram and eat it fried even when half putrid.

[FN#234]  i.e. by declaring in the Koran (lxvii. 14; lxxiv. 39;
lxxviii. 69; lxxxviii. 17), that each creature hath its appointed
term and lot; especially "Thinketh man that he shall be left
uncared for?" (xl. 36).

[FN#235]  Arab. "Nusf," see vol. ii. 37.

[FN#236]  Arab. "Allah Karim" (which Turks pronounce Kyerím) a
consecrated formula used especially when a man would show himself
resigned to "small mercies."  The fisherman's wife was evidently
pious as she was poor; and the description of the pauper
household is simple and effective.

[FN#237]  This is repeated in the Mac. Edit. pp. 496-97; an
instance amongst many of most careless editing.

[FN#238]  Arab. "Alà mahlak" (vulg.), a popular phrase, often
corresponding with our "Take it coolly."

[FN#239]  For "He did not keep him waiting, as he did the rest of
the folk."  Lane prefers "nor neglected him as men generally
would have done."  But we are told supra that the baker "paid no
heed to the folk by reason of the dense crowd."

[FN#240]  Arab. "Ruh!" the most abrupt form, whose sound is
coarse and offensive as the Turkish yell, "Gyel!"=come here.

[FN#241]  Bresl. Edit. xi. 50-51.

[FN#242]  Arab. "Ádami"=an Adamite, one descended from the
mythical and typical Adam for whom see Philo Judæus.  We are told
in one place a few lines further on that the merman is of
humankind; and in another that he is a kind of fish (Night
dccccxlv).  This belief in mermen, possible originating with the
caricatures of the human face in the intelligent seal and stupid
manatee, is universal.  Al-Kazwini declares that a waterman with
a tail was dried and exhibited, and that in Syria one of them was
married to a woman and had by her a son "who understood the
languages of both his parents."  The fable was refined to perfect
beauty by the Greeks: the mer-folk of the Arabs, Hindus and
Northerners (Scandinavians, etc) are mere grotesques with green
hair, etc.  Art in its highest expression never left the shores
of the Mediterranean, and there is no sign that it ever will.

[FN#243]  Here Lane translates "Wajh" lit. "the desire of seeing
the face of God," and explains in a note that a "Muslim holds
this to be the greatest happiness that can be enjoyed in
Paradise."  But I have noted that the tenet of seeing the
countenance of the Creator, except by the eyes of spirit, is a
much disputed point amongst Moslems.

[FN#244]  Artful enough is this contrast between the squalid
condition of the starving fisherman and the gorgeous belongings
of the Merman.

[FN#245]  Lit. "Verily he laughed at me so that I set him free."
This is a fair specimen of obscure conciseness.

[FN#246]  Arab. "Mishannah," which Lane and Payne translate
basket: I have always heard it used of an old gunny-bag or bag of
plaited palm-leaves.

[FN#247]  Arab. "Kaff Shurayk" applied to a single bun.  The
Shurayk is a bun, an oblong cake about the size of a man's hand
(hence the term "Kaff"=palm) with two long cuts and sundry
oblique crosscuts, made of leavened dough, glazed with egg and
Samn (clarified butter) and flavoured with spices (cinnamon,
curcuma, artemisia and prunes mahalab) and with aromatic seeds,
(Rihat al-'ajin) of which Lane (iii. 641) specifies aniseed,
nigella, absinthium, (Artemisia arborescens) and Káfúrah (A.
camphorata Monspeliensis) etc.  The Shurayk is given to the poor
when visiting the tombs and on certain fêtes.

[FN#248]  "Mother of Prosperities."

[FN#249]  Tribes of pre-historic Arabs who were sent to Hell for
bad behaviour to Prophets Sálih and Húd.  See vol. iii. 294.

[FN#250]  "Too much for him to come by lawfully."

[FN#251]  To protect it.  The Arab. is "Jáh"=high station,

[FN#252]  The European reader, especially feminine, will think
this a hard fate for the pious first wife but the idea would not
occur to the Moslem mind.  After bearing ten children a woman
becomes "Umm al-banáti w'al-banín"=a mother of daughters and
sons, and should hold herself unfit for love-disport.  The seven
ages of womankind are thus described by the Arabs and I translate
the lines after a well-known (Irish) model:--

          From ten years to twenty--
          Of beauty there's plenty.
          From twenty to thirty--
          Fat, fair and alert t'ye.
          From thirty to forty--
          Lads and lasses she bore t'ye.
          From forty to fifty--
          An old'un and shifty.
          From fifty to sixty--
          A sorrow that sticks t'ye.
          From sixty to seventy--
          A curse of God sent t'ye.

For these and other sentiments upon the subject of women and
marriage see Pilgrimage ii. 285-87.

[FN#253]  Abdullah, as has been said, means "servant or rather
slave of Allah."

[FN#254]  Again the "Come to my arms, my slight acquaintance," of
the Anti-Jacobin.

[FN#255]  Arab. "Nukl," e.g. the quatre mendicants as opposed to
"Fákihah"=fresh fruit.  The Persians, a people who delight in
gross practical jokes, get the confectioner to coat with sugar
the droppings of sheep and goats and hand them to the bulk of the
party.  This pleasant confection is called "Nukl-i-peshkil"--

[FN#256]  The older name of Madínat al-Nabi, the city of the
Prophet; vulg. called Al-Medinah per excellentiam.  See vol. iv.
114.  In the Mac. and Bul. texts we have "Tayyibah"=the goodly,
one of the many titles of that Holy City: see Pilgrimage ii. 119.

[FN#257]  Not "visiting the tomb of," etc. but visiting the
Prophet himself, who is said to have declared that "Ziyárah"
(visitation) of his tomb was in religion the equivalent of a
personal call upon himself.

[FN#258]  Arab. "Nafakah"; for its conditions see Pigrimage iii.
224. I have again and again insisted upon the Anglo-Indian
Government enforcing the regulations of the Faith upon pauper
Hindi pilgrims who go to the Moslem Holy Land as beggars and die
of hunger in the streets. To an "Empire of Opinion" this is an
unmitigated evil (Pilgrimage iii. 256); and now, after some
thirty-four years, there are signs that the suggestions of common
sense are to be adopted.  England has heard of the extraordinary
recklessness and inconsequence of the British-Indian "fellow-

[FN#259]  The Ka'abah of Meccah.

[FN#260]  When Moslems apply "Nabí!" to Mohammed it is in the
peculiar sense of "prophet" ({Greek})=one who speaks before the
people, not one who predicts, as such foresight was adjured by
the Apostle. Dr. A. Neubauer (The Athenæum No. 3031) finds the
root of "Nabí!" in the Assyrian Nabu and Heb. Noob (occurring in
Exod. vii. 1. "Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." i.e.
orator, speaker before the people), and holds it to be a
Canaanite term which supplanted "Roeh" (the Seer) e.g. 1 Samuel
ix. 9.  The learned Hebraist traces the cult of Nebo, a secondary
deity in Assyria to Palestine and Phœnicia, Palmyra, Edessa (in
the Nebok of Abgar) and Hierapolis in Syria or Mabug (Nabog?).

[FN#261]  I cannot find "Dandán" even in Lib. Quintus de
Aquaticis Animalibus of the learned Sam. Bochart's "Hierozoïcon"
(London, 1663) and must conjecture that as "Dandán" in Persian
means a tooth (vol. ii. 83) the writer applied it to a sun-fish
or some such well-fanged monster of the deep.

[FN#262] A favourite proverb with the Fellah, when he alludes to
the Pasha and to himself.

[FN#263]  An euphemistic answer, unbernfen as the Germans say.

[FN#264]  It is a temptation to derive this word from bœuf à
l'eau, but I fear that the theory will not hold water.  The
"buffaloes" of Alexandria laughted it to scorn.

[FN#265]  Here the writer's zoological knowledge is at fault.
Animals, which never or very rarely see man, have no fear of him
whatever.  This is well-known to those who visit the Gull-fairs
at Ascension Island, Santos and many other isolated rocks; the
hen birds will peck at the intruder's ankles but they do not rise
from off their eggs.  For details concerning the "Gull-fair" of
the Summer Islands consult p. 4 "The History of the Bermudas,"
edited by Sir J. H. Lefroy for the Hakluyt Society, 1882.  I have
seen birds on Fernando Po peak quietly await a second shot; and
herds of antelopes, the most timed of animals, in the plains of
Somali-land only stared but were not startled by the report of
the gun.  But Arabs are not the only moralists who write
zoological nonsense: witness the notable verse,

          "Birds in their little nests agree,"

when the feathered tribes are the most pugnacious of breathing

[FN#266]  Lane finds these details "silly and tiresome or
otherwise objectionable," and omits them.

[FN#267]  Meaning, "Thou hast as yet seen little or nothing."  In
most Eastern tongues a question often expresses an emphatic
assertion. See vol. i. 37.

[FN#268]  Easterns wear as a rule little clothing but it suffices
for the essential purposes of decency and travellers will live
amongst them for years without once seeing an accidental
"exposure of the person." In some cases, as with the Nubian
thong-apron, this demand of modesty requires not a little
practice of the muscles; and we all know the difference in a
Scotch kilt worn by a Highlander and a cockney sportsman.

[FN#269]  Arab. "Shíraj"=oil extracted from rape seed but
especially from sesame.  The Persians pronounce it "Síraj"
(apparently unaware that it is their own word "Shírah"=juice in
Arabic garb) and have coined a participle "Musayrij" e.g., Bú-i-
musayrij, taint of sesame-oil applied especially to the Jews who
very wisely prefer, in Persia and elsewhere, oil which is
wholesome to butter which is not.  The Moslems, however, declare
that its immoderate use in cooking taints the exudations of the

[FN#270] Arab. "Nakkárún" probably congeners of the redoubtable

[FN#271]  Bresl. Edit. xi. 78.  The Mac. says "They are all fish"
(Kullu-hum) and the Bul. "Their food (aklu-hum) is fish."

[FN#272]  Arab. "Az'ar," usually=having thin hair.  The general
term for tailless is "abtar."  See Koran cviii. 3, when it means

[FN#273]  A common formula of politeness.

[FN#274]  Bresl. Edit. xi. 82; meaning, "You will probably keep
it for yourself."  Abdullah of the Sea is perfectly logical; but
grief is not. We weep over the deaths of friends mostly for our
own sake: theoretically we should rejoice that they are at rest;
but practically we are afflicted by the thought that we shall
never again see their pleasant faces.

[FN#275]  i.e. about rejoicing over the newborns and mourning
over the dead.

[FN#276] i.e. Ishak of Mosul, for whom see vol. iv. 119. The
Bresl. Edit. has Fazíl for Fazl.

[FN#277] Abu Dalaf al-Ijili, a well-known soldier equally famed
for liberality and culture.

[FN#278] Arab. "Takhmísh," alluding to the familiar practice of
tearing face and hair in grief for a loss, a death, etc.

[FN#279] i.e. When he is in the very prime of life and able to
administer fiers coups de canif.

          "For ladies e'en of most uneasy virtue
          Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty."
                                                  Don Juan 1. 62.

[FN#280] Arab. "Lázuward": see vol. iii. 33.

[FN#281] Arab. "Sidillah." The Bresl. Edit. (v. 99), has, "a
couch of ivory and ebony, whereon was that which befitted it of
mattresses and cushions * * * * and on it five damsels."

[FN#282] i.e. As she untunes the lute by "pinching" the strings
over-excitedly with her right, her other hand retunes it by
turning the pegs.

[FN#283] i.e. The slim cupbearer (Zephyr) and fair-faced girl
(Moon) handed round the bubbling bowl (star).

[FN#284] Arab. "Al-Sath" whence the Span. Azotea. The lines that
follow are from the Bresl. Edit. v. 110.

[FN#285] This "'Ar'ar" is probably the Callitris quadrivalvis
whose resin ("Sandarac") is imported as varnish from African
Mogador to England. Also called the Thuja, it is of cypress
shape, slow growing and finely veined in the lower part of the
base. Most travellers are agreed that it is the Citrus-tree of
Roman Mauritania, concerning which Pliny (xiii. 29) gives curious
details, a single table costing from a million sesterces (£900)
to 1,400,000.  For other details see p. 95, "Morocco and the
Moors," by my late friend Dr. Leared (London: Sampson Low, 1876).

[FN#286] i.e. Kings might sigh for her in vain.

[FN#287] These lines are in vol. viii. 279. I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#288] A most unsavoury comparison to a Persian who always
connects camphor with the idea of a corpse.

[FN#289] Arab. "Ilà má sháa' lláh" i.e. as long as you like.

[FN#290] i.e. of gramarye.

[FN#291] Arab. "Ta'wíz"=the Arab Tilasm, our Talisman, a charm,
an amulet; and in India mostly a magic square. The subject is
complicated and occupies in Herklots some sixty pages, 222-284.

[FN#292] The Bul. and Mac. Edits. give the Princess's malady, in
error, as Dáa al-Sudá' (megrims), instead of Dáa al-Sar'
(epilepsy) as in the Bresl. Edit. The latter would mean that she
is possessed by a demon, again the old Scriptural fancy (see vol.
v. 28). The subject is highly fitted for romance but not for a
"serious" book which ought to know better.

[FN#293] Arab. "Al-'Áriz"=the demon who possessed her.

[FN#294] i.e. He hath renounced his infamous traffic.

[FN#295] Alluding to the favourite Eastern saying, "The poor man
hath no life."

[FN#296] In this and the following lines some change is necessary
for the Bresl. and Mac. texts are very defective. The Arabic word
here translated "recess" is "Aywán," prop. a hall, an open

[FN#297] i.e. by selling it for thirty thousand gold pieces, when
he might have got a million for it.

[FN#298] The tale is not in the Bresl. Edit.

[FN#299] Al-Khasíb (= the fruitful) was the son of 'Abd al-Hamíd
and  intendant of the tribute of Egypt under Harun al-Rashid, but
neither Lord nor Sultan. Lane (iii. 669) quotes three couplets in
his honour by Abu Nowás from p. 119 of "Elmacini (Al-Makín)
Historia  Saracenica."

If our camel visit not the land of Al-Khasib,  what man after
Al-Khasib shall they visit?
For generosity is not his neighbour;  nor hath it sojourned near
him;  but generosity goeth wherever he goeth:
He is a man who purchaseth praise with his wealth,  and who
knoweth that the periods of Fortune revolve.

[FN#300] The old story "Alà júdi-k"= upon thy generosity, which
means  at least ten times the price.

[FN#301]i.e. The distance is enormous.

[FN#302] A gazelle but here the slave-girl's name.

[FN#303] See vol. ii. 104. Herklots (Pl. vii. fig. 2) illustrates
the cloth used in playing the Indian game, Pachísí. The "board"
is rather European than Oriental, but it has of late Years spread
far and wide, especially the backgammon board.

[FN#304] i.e. "Father of the Lion."

[FN#305] Or as we should say, "Thy blood will be on thine own

[FN#306] Called after the famous town in Persian Mesopotamia
which however is spelt with the lesser aspirate. See p. 144. The
Geographical works of Sádik-i-Ispaháni, London Oriental Transl.
Fund, 1882. Hamdan (with the greater aspirate) and Hamdun mean
only the member masculine, which may be a delicate piece of chaff
for the gallery

[FN#307] Arab. "Hulwán al-miftáh," for which see vol. vii. 212.
Mr. Payne compares it with the French denier à Dieu. given to the
concierge on like occasions.

[FN#308] Arab. "'Udm," a relish, the Scotch "kitchen," Lat.
Opsonium, Ital. Companatico and our "by-meat." See vol. iv. 128.

[FN#309] Arab. "Kabasa" = he shampoo'd. See vol. ii. 17.

[FN#310] Arab. "Nukl." See supra p. 177.

[FN#311] Arab. "Jannat al-Khuld" and "Firdaus," two of the
Heavens repeatedly noticed.

[FN#312] The naiveté is purely Horatian, that is South European
versus North European.

[FN#313] i.e. "Have some regard for thy life."

[FN#314] Arab. "Awák" plur. of Úkiyyah a word known throughout
the Moslem East. As an ounce it weighs differently in every
country and in Barbary (Mauritania) which we call Morocco, it is
a nominal coin containing twelve Flús (fulús) now about = a
penny. It is a direct descendant from the "Uk" or "Wuk" (ounce)
of the hieroglyphs (See Sharpe's Egypt or any other Manual) and
first appeared in Europe as the Greek {Greek}.

[FN#315] Arab. "Kárah" usually a large bag.

[FN#316] Arab. "Lúlúah," which may mean the Union-pearl; but here
used in the sense of wild cow, the bubalus antelope, alluding to
the farouche nature of Miss Jamilah. We are also told infrà that
the park was full of "Wuhúsh" = wild cattle

[FN#317] Arab. "Sákiyah," the venerable old Persian wheel, for
whos music see Pilgrimage ii. 198. But Sakiyah" is also applied,
as here, to the water-channel which turns the wheel.

[FN#318] Arab. "Kawádís," plur. of "Kádús," the pots round the
rim of the Persian wheel: usually they are of coarse pottery.

[FN#319] In the text "Sákiyah" a manifest error for "Kubbah."

[FN#320] Easterns greatly respect a belle fourchette, especially
when the eater is a lover.

[FN#321] Arab. "'Aríshah," a word of many meanings, tent, nest,
vine- trellis, etc.

[FN#322] To spit or blow the nose in good society is "vulgar."
Sneezing (Al-'Atsah) is a complicated affair. For Talmudic
traditions of death by sneezing see Lane (M. E. chaps. viii).
Amongst Hindus sneezing and yawning are caused by evil spirits
whom they drive away by snapping thumb and forefinger as loudly
as possible. The pagan Arabs held sneezing a bad omen, which
often stopped their journeys. Moslems believe that when Allah
placed the Soul (life ?) in Adam, the dry clay became flesh and
bone and the First Man, waking to life, sneezed and ejaculated
"Alhamdolillah;" whereto Gabriel replied, "Allah have mercy upon
thee, O Adam!" Mohammed, who liked sneezing because accompanied
by lightness of body and openness of pores, said of it, "If a man
sneeze or eructate and say 'Alhamdolillah' he averts seventy
diseases of which the least is leprosy" (Juzám); also "If one of
you sneeze, let him exclaim, 'Alhamdolillah,' and let those
around salute him in return with, 'Allah have mercy upon thee!'
and lastly let him say, 'Allah direct you and strengthen your
condition."' Moderns prefer, "Allah avert what may joy thy foe
!"= (our God bless you!) to which the answer is "Alhamdolillah!"
Mohammed disliked yawning (Suabá or Thuabá), because not
beneficial as a sneeze and said, "If one of you gape and over not
his mouth, a devil leaps into it. " This is still a popular
superstition from Baghdad to Morocco.

[FN#323] A duenna, nursery governess, etc. See vol. i. 231.

[FN#324] For this belief see the tale called "The Night of
Power," vol. vi. 180.

[FN#325] The Anglo-lndian "Kincob" (Kimkh'áb); brocade, silk
flowered with gold or silver.

[FN#326] Lane finds a needless difficulty in this sentence, which
is far-fetched only because Kuus (cups) requires Ruus (head-tops)
byway of jingle. It means only "'Twas merry in hall when beards
wag all."

[FN#327] The Mac. Edit. gives two couplets which have already
occurred from the Bull Edit i. 540.

[FN#328] The lines are half of four couplets in vol. iv. 192; so
I quote Lane.

[FN#329].i.e. none hath pleased me. I have quoted the popular
saying, "The son of the quarter filleth not the eye." i.e. women
prefer stranger faces.

[FN#330] Here after the favourite Oriental fashion, she tells the
truth but so enigmatically that it is more deceptive than an
untruth; a good Eastern quibble infinitely more dangerous than an
honest downright lie. The consciousness that the falsehood is
part fact applies a salve to conscience and supplies a force
lacking in the mere fib. When an Egyptian lies to you look
straight in his eyes and he will most often betray himself either
by boggling or by a look of injured innocence.

[FN#331] Another true lie.

[FN#332] Arab. `'Yastaghíbuní," lit. = they deem my absence too

[FN#333] An euphemistic form of questioning after absence: "Is
all right with thee?"

[FN#334] Arab. "Kallim al-Sultan!" the formula of summoning which
has often occurred in The Nights.

[FN#335] Lane translates "Almost died," Payne "Well-nigh died;"
but the text says "died." I would suggest to translators

          "Be bould, be bould and every where be bould!"

[FN#336] He is the usual poltroon contrasted with the manly and
masterful girl, a conjunction of the lioness and the lamb
sometimes seen in real life.

[FN#337] That he might see Jamilah as Ibrahim had promised.

[FN#338] A popular saying, i.e., les absents ont tonjours tort.

[FN#339] Who had a prior right to marry her, but not against her
consent after she was of age.

[FN#340] Arab "Sirwál." In Al-Hariri it is a singular form (see
No. ii. of the twelve riddles in Ass. xxiv.), but Mohammed said
to his followers "Tuakhkhizú" (adopt ye) "Saráwílát." The latter
is regularly declinable but the broken form Saráwíl is
imperfectly declinable on account of its "heaviness," as are all
plurals whose third letter is an Alif followed by i or í in the
next syllable.

[FN#341] Arab. "Matarik" from mitrak or mitrakah a small wooden
shield coated with hide This even in the present day is the
policeman's equipment in the outer parts of the East.

[FN#342] Arab. "Sabíyah" for which I prefer Mr. Payne's "young
lady" to Lane's "damsel" the latter should be confined to Járiyah
as both bear the double sense of girl and slave (or servant)
girl. "Bins" again is daughter, maid or simply girl.

[FN#343] The sense of them is found in vol. ii. 41.

[FN#344] Here the text is defective, but I hardly like to supply
the omission. Mr. Payne introduces from below, "for that his
charms were wasted and his favour changed by reason of the much
terror and affliction he had suffered." The next lines also are
very abrupt and unconnected.

[FN#345] Arab. "Yá Mauláya!" the term is still used throughout
Moslem lands; but in Barbary where it is pronounced "Mooláee"
Europeans have converted it to "Muley" as if it had some
connection with the mule. Even in Robinson Crusoe we find "muly"
or "Moly Ismael" (chaps. ii.); and we hear the high-sounding name
Maulá-i-Idrís, the patron saint of the Sunset Land, debased to
"Muley Drís."

[FN#346] Lane omits this tale because "it is very similar, but
inferior in interest, to the Story told by the Sultan's Steward."
See vol. i. 278.

[FN#347] Sixteenth Abbaside A.H. 279–289 (=A.D. 891–902). "He was
comely, intrepid, of grave exterior, majestic in presence, of
considerable intellectual power and the fiercest of the Caliphs
of the House of Abbas. He once had the courage to attack a lion"
(Al-Siyuti). I may add that he was a good soldier and an
excellent administrator, who was called Saffáh the Second because
he refounded the House of Abbas. He was exceedingly fanatic and
died of sensuality, having first kicked his doctor to death, and
he spent his last moments in versifying.

[FN#348] Hamdún bin Ismá'íl, called the Kátib or Scribe, was the
first of his family who followed the profession of a Nadím or
Cup-companion. His son Ahmad (who is in the text) was an oral
transmitter of poetry and history. Al-Siyúti (p. 390) and De
Slane I. Khall (ii. 304) notice him.

[FN#349] Probably the Caliph had attendants, but the text
afterwards speaks of them as two. Mac. Edit. iv. p. 558, line 2;
and a few lines below, "the Caliph and the man with him."

[FN#350] Arab. "Naysábúr," the famous town in Khorasan where
Omar-i-Khayyám (whom our people will call Omar Khayyám) was
buried and where his tomb is still a place of pious visitation. A
sketch of it has lately appeared in the illustrated papers. For
an affecting tale concerning the astronomer-poet's tomb, borrowed
from the Nigáristán see the Preface by the late Mr. Fitzgerald
whose admirable excerpts from the Rubaiyat (101 out of 820
quatrains) have made the poem popular among all the
English-speaking races.

[FN#351] Arab. "A-Sharíf anta?" (with the Hamzah-sign of
interrogation)=Art thou a Sharíf (or descendant of the Apostle)?

[FN#352] Tenth Abbaside (A.H. 234–247=848–861), grandson of
Al-Rashid and born of a slave-concubine. He was famous for his
hatred of the Alides (he destroyed the tomb of Al-Husayn) and
claimed the pardon of Allah for having revised orthodox
traditionary doctrines. He compelled the Christians to wear
collars of wood or leather and was assassinated by five Turks.

[FN#353] His father was Al-Mu'tasim bi 'llah (A.H.
218–227=833–842) the son of Al-Rashid by Máridah a
slave-concubine of foreign origin. He was brave and of high
spirit, but destitute of education; and his personal strength was
such that he could break a man's elbow between his fingers. He
imitated the apparatus of Persian kings; and he was called the
"Octonary" because he was the 8th Abbaside; the 8th in descent
from Abbas; the 8th son of Al-Rashid; he began his reign in A.H.
218; lived 48 years; was born under Scorpio (8th Zodiacal sign);
was victorious in 8 expeditions; slew 8 important foes and left 8
male and 8 female children. For his introducing Turks see vol.
iii, 81.

[FN#354] i.e. as if it were given away in charity.

[FN#355] Arab. "Shukkah," a word much used in the Zanzibar trade
where it means a piece of long-cloth one fathom long. See my
"Lake Regions of Central Africa," vol. i. 147, etc.

[FN#356] He is afterwards called in two places "Khádim"=eunuch.

[FN#357] A courteous way of saying, "Never mind my name: I wish
to keep it hidden." The formula is still popular.

[FN#358] Arab. "Bakhkharaní" i.e. fumigated me with burning
aloes-wood, Calumba or similar material.

[FN#359] In sign of honour. The threshold is important amongst
Moslems: in one of the Mameluke Soldans' sepulchres near Cairo I
found a granite slab bearing the "cartouche" (shield) of Khufu
(Cheops) with the four hieroglyphs hardly effaced.

[FN#360] i.e. One of the concubines by whose door he had passed.

[FN#361] Epistasis without the prostasis, "An she ordered thee so
to do:" the situation justifies the rhetorical figure.

[FN#362] Arab. "Sardáb" see vol. i, 340.

[FN#363] Thirteenth Abbaside A.H. 252–255 (=866–869). His mother
was a Greek slave called Kabíhah (Al-Mas'udi and Al-Siyuti); for
which "Banjah" is probably a clerical error. He was exceedingly
beautiful and was the first to ride out with ornaments of gold.
But he was impotent in the hands of the Turks who caused the mob
to depose him and kill him—his death being related in various

[FN#364] i.e. The reward from Allah for thy good deed.

[FN#365] Arab. "Nusk" abstinence from women, a part of the
Zahid's asceticism.

[FN#366] Arab. "Munázirah" the verbal noun of which, "Munázarah,"
may also mean "dispute." The student will distinguish between
"Munazarah" and Munafarah=a contention for precedence in presence
of an umpire.

[FN#367] The Mac. Edit. gives by mistake "Abú Dáúd": the Bul.
correctly "Abú Duwád," He was Kázi al-Kuzát (High Chancellor)
under Al-Mu'tasim, Al-Wasik bi'llah (Vathek) and Al-Mutawakkil.

[FN#368] Arab. "Zaffú"=they led the bride to the bridegroom's
house; but here used in the sense of displaying her as both were
in the palace.

[FN#369] i.e. renounce the craft which though not sinful (harám)
is makrúh or religiously unpraiseworthy; Mohammed having objected
to music and indeed to the arts in general.

[FN#370] Arab. "Lá tankati'í;" do not be too often absent from
us. I have noticed the whimsical resemblance of "Kat'" and our
"cut"; and here the metaphorical sense is almost identical.

[FN#371] See Ibn Khallikan ii. 455.

[FN#372] The Turkish body-guard. See vol. iii. 81.

[FN#373] Twelfth Abbaside (A.H. 248-252=862-866) the son of a
slave-concubine Mukhárik. He was virtuous and accomplished,
comely, fair-skinned, pock-marked and famed for defective
pronunciation; and he first set the fashion of shortening men's
capes and widening the sleeves.  After may troubles with the
Turks, who were now the Prætorian guard of Baghdad, he was
murdered at the instigation of Al-Mu' tazz, who succeeded him, by
his Chamberlain Sa'id bin Salíh.

[FN#374] Arab. "Usúl," his forbears, his ancestors.

[FN#375] Lane rejects this tale because it is "extremely
objectionable; far more so than the title might lead me to
expect." But he quotes the following marginal note by his Shaykh:
--"Many persons (women) reckon marrying a second time amongst the
most disgraceful of actions. This opinion is commonest in the
country-towns and villages; and my mother's relations are thus
distinguished; so that a woman of them, when her husband dieth or
divorceth her while she is young, passeth in widowhood her life,
however long it may be, and disdaineth to marry a second time." I
fear that this state of things belongs to the good old days now
utterly gone by; and the loose rule of the stranger, especially
the English, in Egypt will renew the scenes which characterised
Sind when Sir Charles Napier hanged every husband who cut down an
adulterous wife. I have elsewhere noticed the ignorant idea that
Moslems deny to women souls and seats in Paradise, whilst
Mohammed canonised two women in his own family. The theory arose
with the "Fathers" of the Christian Church who simply exaggerated
the misogyny of St. Paul. St. Ambrose commenting on Corinthians
i. ii., boldly says:--"Feminas ad imaginem Dei factas non esse."
St. Thomas Aquinas and his school adopted the Aristotelian view,
"Mulier est erratum naturae, et mas occasionatus, et per accidens
generatur; atque ideo est monstrum." For other instances see
Bayle s. v. Gediacus (Revd. Simon of Brandebourg) who in 1695
published a "Defensio Sexus muliebris," a refutation of an
anti-Socinian satire or squib, "Disputatio perjucunda, Mulieres
homines non esse," Parisiis, 1693. But when Islam arose in the
seventh century, the Christian learned cleverly affixed the
stigma of their own misogyny upon the Moslems ad captandas
foeminas and in Southern Europe the calumny still bears fruit.
Mohammed (Koran, chapt. xxiv.) commands for the first time, in
the sixth year of his mission, the veiling and, by inference, the
seclusion of women, which was apparently unknown to the Badawin
and, if practised in the cities was probably of the laxest. Nor
can one but confess that such modified separation of the sexes,
which it would be impossible to introduce into European manners,
has great and notable advantages. It promotes the freest
intercourse between man and man, and thus civilises what we call
the "lower orders": in no Moslem land, from Morocco to China, do
we find the brutals without manners or morals which are bred by
European and especially by English civilisation. For the same
reason it enables women to enjoy fullest intimacy and friendship
with one another, and we know that the best of both sexes are
those who prefer the society of their own as opposed to "quite
the lady's man" and "quite the gentleman's woman." It also adds
an important item to social decorum by abolishing e.g. such
indecencies as the "ball-room flirtation"--a word which must be
borrowed from us, not translated by foreigners. And especially it
gives to religious meetings, a tone which the presence of women
modifies and not for the better. Perhaps, the best form is that
semiseclusion of the sex, which prevailed in the heroic ages of
Greece, Rome, and India (before the Moslem invasion), and which
is perpetuated in Christian Armenia and in modern Hellas. It is a
something between the conventual strictness of Al-Islam and the
liberty, or rather licence, of the "Anglo-Saxon" and the
"Anglo-American." And when England shall have cast off that
peculiar insularity which makes her differ from all civilised
peoples, she will probably abolish three gross abuses,
time-honoured scandals, which bear very heavily on women and
children. The first is the Briton's right to will property away
from his wife and offspring. The second is the action for "breach
of promise," salving the broken heart with pounds, shillings, and
pence: it should be treated simply as an exaggerated breach of
contract. The third is the procedure popularly called "Crim.
Con.," and this is the most scandalous of all: the offence is
against the rights of property, like robbery or burglary, and it
ought to be treated criminally with fine, imprisonment and in
cases with corporal punishment after the sensible procedure of
Moslem law.

[FN#376] "Moon of the age," a name which has before occurred.

[FN#377] The Malocchio or gettatura, so often noticed.

[FN#378] The crescent of the month Zu 'l-Ka'dah when the
Ramazan-fast is broken. This allusion is common. Comp. vol. i.

[FN#379] This line contains one of the Yes, Yes and No, No
trifles alluded to in vol. ii, 60. Captain Lockett (M. A. 103)
renders it "I saw a fawn upon a hillock whose beauty eclipsed the
full moon. I said, What is thy name? she answered Deer. What my
Dear said I, but she replied, no, no!" To preserve the sound I
have sacrificed sense: Lulu is a pearl, Li? li? (= for me, for
me?) and La! La! = no! no! See vol. i, 217. I should have
explained a line which has puzzled some readers,

   "A sun (face) on wand (neck) in knoll of sand (hips) she
        showed" etc,

[FN#380] Arab. "Al-huwayna," a rare term.

[FN#381] Bright in the eyes of the famishing who is allowed to
break his fast.

[FN#382] Mr. Payne reads "Maghrabi" = a Mauritanian, Maroccan,
the Moors (not the Moorish Jews or Arabs) being a race of
Sodomites from highest to lowest. But the Mac. and Bul. Edit.
have "Ajami."

[FN#383] For "Ishk uzri" = platonic love see vol. i. 232; ii.

[FN#384] Zaynab (Zenobia) and Zayd are generic names for women
and men.

[FN#385] i.e. He wrote "Kasidahs" (= odes, elegies) after the
fashion of the "Suspended Poems" which mostly open with the lover
gazing upon the traces of the camp where his beloved had dwelt.
The exaggerated conventionalism of such exordium shows that these
early poems had been preceded by a host of earlier pieces which
had been adopted as canons of poetry.

[FN#386] The verses are very mal-a-propos, like many occurring in
The Nights, for the maligned Shaykh is proof against all the
seductions of the pretty boy and falls in love with a woman after
the fashion of Don Quixote. Mr. Payne complains of the obscurity
of the original owing to abuse of the figure enallage; but I find
them explicit enough, referring to some debauched elder after the
type of Abu Nowas.

[FN#387] Arab. "'Irk" = a root which must here mean a sprig, a
twig. The basil grows to a comparatively large size in the East.

[FN#388] Arab. "Lait "= one connected with the tribe of Lot, see
vol. v. 161.

[FN#389] For the play upon "Saki" (oblique case of sak, leg-calf)
and Saki a cupbearer see vol. ii. 327.

[FN#390] "On a certain day the leg shall be bared and men shall
be called upon to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able"
(Koran, lxviii. 42). "Baring the leg" implies a grievous
calamity, probably borrowed from the notion of tucking up the
skirts and stripping for flight. On the dangerous San Francisco
River one of the rapids is called "Tira-calcoens" = take off your
trousers (Highlands of the Brazil, ii. 35). But here the allusion
is simply ludicrous and to a Moslem blasphemous.

[FN#391] Arab. "Istahi," a word of every day use in reproof. So
the Hindost. "Kuchh sharm nahin?" hast thou no shame? Shame is a
passion with Orientals and very little known to the West.

[FN#392] i.e. Angels and men saying, "The Peace (of God) be on us
and on all righteous servants of Allah!" This ends every prayer.

[FN#393] Arab. "Al-Niyah," the ceremonial purpose or intent to
pray, without which prayer is null and void. See vol. v. 163. The
words would be "I purpose to pray a two-bow prayer in this hour
of deadly danger to my soul." Concerning such prayer see vol. i.

[FN#394] Arab. "Sakin" = quiescent, Let a sleeping hound lie.

[FN#395] Arab. "Asar" lit. traces i.e. the works, the mighty
signs and marvels.

[FN#396] The mention of coffee now frequently occurs in this tale
and in that which follows: the familiar use of it showing a
comparatively late date, and not suggesting the copyist's hand.

[FN#397] Arab. "Al-Kahwah," the place being called from its
produce. See Pilgrimage i. 317-18.

[FN#398] Arab. "Al-Ghurbah Kurbah:" the translation in the text
is taken from my late friend Edward Eastwick, translator of the
Gulistan and author of a host of works which show him to have
been a ripe Oriental scholar.

[FN#399] The fiction may have been suggested by the fact that in
all Moslem cities from India to Barbary the inner and outer gates
are carefully shut during the noontide devotions, not "because
Friday is the day on which creation was finished and Mohammed
entered Al-Medinah;" but because there is a popular idea that in
times now approaching the Christians will rise up against the
Moslems during prayers and will repeat the "Sicilian Vespers."

[FN#400] i.e. the syndic of the Guild of Jewellers.

[FN#401] This is an Arab Lady Godiva of the wrong sort.

[FN#402] This is explained in my Pilgrimage i. 99 et seq.

[FN#403] About three pennyweights. It varies, however, everywhere
and in Morocco the "Mezkal" as they call it is an imaginary
value, no such coin existing.

[FN#404] i.e. over and above the value of the gold, etc.

[FN#405] This was the custom of contemporary Europe and more than
one master cutler has put to death an apprentice playing Peeping
Tom to detect the secret of sword-making.

[FN#406] Among Moslems husbands are divided into three species;
(1) of "Bahr" who is married for love; (2) of "Dahr," for defence
against the world, and (3) of "Mahr" for marriage-settlements
(money). Master Obayd was an unhappy compound of the two latter;
but he did not cease to be a man of honour.

[FN#407]The Mac. Edit. here is a mass of blunders and misprints.

[FN#408] The Mac. Edit. everywhere calls her "Sabiyah" = the
young lady and does not mention her name Halimah = the Mild, the
Gentle till the cmlxxivth Night. I follow Mr. Payne's example by
introducing it earlier into the story, as it avoids vagueness and
repetition of the indefinite.

[FN#409]  Arab "Adím al-Zauk,"=without savour. applied to an
insipid mannerless man as "bárid" (cold) is to a fool. "Ahl Zauk"
is a man of pleasure, a voluptuary, a hedonist.

[FN#410]  Arab. "Finján" the egg-shell cups from which the
Easterns still drink coffee.

[FN#411]  Arab. "Awáshik" a rare word, which Dozy translates
"osselet" (or osselle) and Mr. Payne, "hucklebones," concerning
which he has obliged me with this note. Chambaud renders osselet
by "petit os avec lequel les enfants jouent." Hucklebone is the
hip-bone but in the plural it applies to our cockals or cockles:
Latham gives "hucklebone," (or cockal), one of the small vertebræ
of the coccygis, and Littleton translates "Talus," a hucklebone,
a bone to play with like a dye, a play called cockal. (So also in
Rider.) Hucklebones and knucklebones are syn.: but the latter is
modern and liable to give a false idea, besides being
tautological. It has nothing to do with the knuckles and derives
from the German "Knochel" (dialectically Knochelein) a bonelet.

[FN#412]  For ablution after sleep and before prayer. The address
of the slave-girl is perfectly natural: in a Moslem house we
should hear it this day, nor does it show the least sign of
"frowardness. "

[FN#413]  The perfect stupidity of the old wittol is told with
the driest Arab humour.

[FN#414]  This is a rechauffé of the Language of Signs in "Azíz
and Azízah" vol. ii. 302.

[FN#415]  In the Mac. Edit. "Yá Fulánah"=O certain person.

[FN#416]  Arab. "Laylat al-Kábilah," lit.=the coming night, our
to-night; for which see vol. iii. 349.

[FN#417]  Arab. "Ya Ahmak!" which in Marocco means a madman, a
maniac, a Santon.

[FN#418]  The whole passage has a grammatical double entendre
whose application is palpable. Harf al-Jarr=a particle governing
the noun in the genitive or a mode of thrusting and tumbling.

[FN#419]  Arab. "Al-Silah" =conjunctive (sentence), also coition;
Al-Mausúl= the conjoined, a grammatical term for relative pronoun
or particle.

[FN#420] Arab. "Tanwin al-Izafah ma'zul" = the nunnation in
construction cast out. "Tanwin" (nunnation) is pronouncing the
vowels of the case-endings of a noun with n un for u
(nominative) in for i (genitive) and an for a (accusative). This
nunnation expresses indefiniteness, e.g. "Malikun"=a king, any
king. When the noun is made definite by the Ma'rifah or article
(al), the Tanwin must be dropped, e.g. Al-Maliku = the King; Al-
Malikun being a grammatical absurdity. In construction or regimen
(izafah) the nunnation must also disappear, as Maliku 'I-Hind) =
the King of Hind (a King of Hind would be Malikun min Muluki
'I-Hind) = a King from amongst the Kings of Hind). Thus whilst
the wife and the lover were conjoined as much as might be, the
hocussed and sleeping husband was dismissed (ma'zul=degraded)
like a nunnation dropped in construction. I may add that the
terminal syllables are invariably dropped in popular parlance and
none but Mr. G. Palgrave (who afterwards ignored his own
assertion) ever found an Arab tribe actually using them in
conversation although they are always pronounced when reading the
Koran and poetry.

[FN#421]  This was a saying of Mohammed about overfrequency of
visits, "Zur ghibban, tazid hubban"=call rarely that friendship
last fairly. So the verse of Al-Mutanabbi,

          "How oft familiarity breeds dislike."

Preston quotes Jesus ben Sirach, {Greek}. Also Al-Hariri (Ass.
xv. of "The Legal"; De Sacy p. 478 1. 2.) "Visit not your friend
more than one day in a month, nor stop longer than that with
him!" Also Ass. xvi. 487, 8. "Multiply not visits to thy friend."
"None so disliked as one visiting too often." (Preston p. 352).
In the Cent nouvelles (52) Nouvelles (No. lii.) the dying father
says to his son:--"Jamais ne vous hantez tent en l'ostel de votre
voisin que lion vous y serve de pain bis." In these matters
Moslems follow the preaching and practice of the Apostle, who was
about as hearty and genial as the "Great Washington." But the
Arab had a fund of dry humour which the Anglo-American lacked

[FN#422]  Arab. "'Amal"--action, operation. In Hindostani it is
used (often with an Alif for an Ayn) as intoxication e.g. Amal
pání strong waters and applied to Sharáb (wine), Bozah (Beer),
Tádí (toddy or the fermented juice of the Tád, Borassus
flabelliformis), Naryáli (juice of the cocoa-nut tree) Saynddi
(of the wild date, Elate Sylvestris), Afyún (opium an its
preparations as post=poppy seeds) and various forms of Cannabis
Sativa, as Ganja, Charas, Madad, Sahzi etc. for which see
Herklots' Glossary.

[FN#423] Arab "Sardáb," mostly an underground room (vol. i. 340)
but here a tunnel.

[FN#424]  Arab. "Al-Láwandiyah": this and the frequent mention of
coffee and presently of a watch (sa'ah) show that the tale in its
present state, cannot be older than the end of the sixteenth

[FN#425]  Arab. "Su'bán," vol. i. 172.

[FN#426]  The lines have occurred in vol. i. 238, where I have
noted the punning "Sabr"= patience or aloes. I quote Torrens: the
Templar, however, utterly abolishes the pun in the last couplet:-

"The case is not at my command, but in fair Patience hand
I'm set by Him who order'th all and cloth such case command."

"Amr" here=case (circumstance) or command (order) with a
suspicion of reference to Murr=myrrh, bitterness. The reader will
note the resignation to Fate's decrees which here and in host of
places elevates the tone of the book.

[FN#427]  i.e. as one loathes that which is prohibited, and with
a loathing which makes it unlawful for me to cohabit with thee.

[FN#428]  This is quite natural to the sensitive Eastern.

[FN#429]  Hence, according to Moslem and Eastern theory generally
her lewd and treasonable conduct. But in Egypt not a few freeborn
women and those too of the noblest, would beat her hollow at her
own little game. See for instance the booklet attributed to Jalál
al-Siyútí and entitled Kitáh al-Ízáh (Book of Explanation) fí
‘Ilm al-Nikáh (in the Science of Carnal Copulation). There is a
copy of it in the British Museum; and a friend kindly suppl~ed me
with a lithograph from Cairo; warning me that there are doubts
about the authorship.

[FN#430]  These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 214: I quote Mr.

[FN#431] This ejaculation, as the waw shows, is parenthetic;
spoken either by Halimah, by Shahrazad or by the writer.

[FN#432]  Arab. "Kasr" here meaning an upper room.

[FN#433]  To avoid saying, I pardon thee.

[FN#434]  A proverbial saying which here means I could only dream
of such good luck.

[FN#435]  A good old custom amongst Moslems who have had business
transactions with each other: such acquittance of all possible
claims will be quoted on "Judgment-Day," when debts will be
severely enquired into.

[FN#436]  Arab. "Kutr (tract or quarter) Misr," vulgarly
pronounced "Masr." I may remind the reader that the Assyrians
called the Nile-valley "Musur" whence probably the Heb. Misraim a
dual form denoting Upper and Lower Egypt which are still
distinguished by the Arabs into Sa'id and Misr. The hieroglyphic
term is Ta-mera=Land of the Flood; and the Greek Aigyptos is
probably derived from Kahi-Ptah (region of the great God Ptah) or
Ma Ka Ptah (House of the soul of Ptah). The word "Cops" or
"Kopt," in Egyptian "Kubti" and pronounced "Gubti," contains the
same consonants

[FN#437]  Now an unimportant frontier fort and village dividing
Syria-Palestine from Egypt and famed for the French battle with
the Mamelukes (Feb. 19, 1799) and the convention for evacuating
Egypt. In the old times it was an important site built upon the
"River of Egypt" now a dried up Wady; and it was the chief port
of the then populous Najab or South Country. According to
Abulfeda it derived its name (the "boothy," the nest) from a hut
built there by the brothers of Joseph when stopped at the
frontier by the guards of Pharaoh. But this is usual Jewish
infection of history.

[FN#438]  Arab. "Báb." which may also="Chapter" or category. See
vol. i., 136 and elsewhere (index). In Egypt "Báb" sometimes
means a sepulchral cave hewn in a rock (plur. Bíbán) from the
Coptic "Bíb."

[FN#439]  i.e. "The Holy," a town some three marches (60 miles)
N. East of Cairo; thus showing the honour done to our unheroic
hero. There is also a Sálihlyah quarter or suburb of Damascus
famous for its cemetery of holy men, but the facetious Cits
change the name to Zálliniyah=causing to stray; in allusion to
its Kurdish population. Baron von Hammer reads "le faubourg
Adelieh" built by Al-Malik Al-Adil and founded a chronological
argument on a clerical error.

[FN#440]  Kamar al-Zaman; the normal pun on the name; a practice
as popular in the East as in the West, and worthy only of a
pickpocket in either place.

[FN#441]  Arab. "Azrár" plur. of "Zirr" and lit. = 'buttons,"
i.e. of his robe collar from which his white neck and face appear
shining as the sun.

[FN#442]  Arab. "Dáirah" the usual inclosure of Kanáts or
tent-flaps pitched for privacy during the halt.

[FN#443]  i.e. it was so richly ornamented that it resembled an
enchanted hoard whose spells, hiding it from sight, had been
broken by some happy treasure seeker.

[FN#444]  The merchant who is a "stern parent" and exceedingly
ticklish on the Pundonor saw at first sight her servile origin
which had escaped the mother. Usually it is the other way.

[FN#445]  Not the head of the Church, or Chief Pontiff, but the
Chief of the Olema and Fukahá (Fákihs or D.D.'s.) men learned in
the Law (divinity). The order is peculiarly Moslem, in fact the
succedaneum for the Christian "hierarchy " an institution never
contemplated by the Founder of Christianity. This title shows the
modern date of the tale.

[FN#446]  Arab. "Maulid," prop. applied to the Birth-feast of
Mohammed which begins on the 3rd day of Rabí al-Awwal (third
Moslem month) and lasts a week or ten days (according to local
custom), usually ending on the 12th and celebrated with salutes
of cannon, circumcision feasts. marriage banquets. Zikr-litanies,
perfections of the Koran and all manner of solemn festivities
including the "powder-play" (Láb al-Bárút) in the wilder corners
of Al-Islam. It is also applied to the birth-festivals of great
Santons (as Ahmad al- Badawi) for which see Lane M. E. chaps.
xxiv. In the text it is used like the Span. "Funcion" or the Hind
"Tamáshá," any great occasion of merry-making.

[FN#447]  Arab. "Sanájik" Plur. of Sanjak (Turk.) = a banner,
also applied to the bearer (ensign or cornet) and to a military
rank mostly corresponding with Bey or Colonel.

[FN#448] I have followed Mr. Payne's ordering of the text which,
both in the Mac. and Bull. Edits., is wholly inconsequent and has
not the excuse of rhyme.

[FN#449]  Arab. "Jilbáb," a long coarse veil or gown which in
Barbary becomes a "Jallábiyah," in a striped and hooded cloak of
woollen stuff.

[FN#450]  i.e. a broken down pilgrim left to die on the road.

[FN#451]  These lines have occurred in vol. i. 272. I quote Mr.

[FN#452]  Note the difference between "Zirt," the loud crepitus
and "Faswah" the susurrus which Captain Grose in his quaint
"Lexicum Balatronicum," calls a "fice" or a "foyse" (from the
Arabic Fas, faswah ?).

[FN#453] These lines have occurred in Night dcxix, vol. vi. 246;
where the pun on Khaliyah is explained. I quote Lane.

[FN#454]  The usual pretext of "God bizness," as the Comoro men
call it. For the title of the Ka'abah see my Pilgrimage vol. iii.

[FN#455]  This was in order to travel as a respectable man, he
could also send the girl as a spy into the different Harims to
learn news of the lady who had eloped.

[FN#456]  A polite form of alluding to their cursing him.

[FN#457]  i.e. on account of the King taking offence at his
unceremonious departure.

[FN#458]  i.e. It will be the worse for him.

[FN#459]  I would here remind the reader that "'Arabiyyun" pl.
'Urb is a man of pure Arab race, whether of the Ahl al-Madar
(=people of mortar, i.e. citizens) or Ahl al-Wabar (=tents of
goat or camel's hair); whereas "A'rábiyyun" pl. A'ráb is one who
dwells in the Desert whether Arab or not. Hence the verse:--

          "They name us Al-A'ráb but Al-'Urb is our name."

[FN#460]  I would remind the reader that the Dinár is the golden
denarius (or solidus) of Eastern Rome while the Dirham is the
silver denarius, whence denier, danaro, dínheiro, etc., etc. The
oldest diners date from A.H. 91-92 (=714-15) and we find the
following description of one struck in A.H. 96 by Al-Walid the
VI. Ommiade:--

     Area.     "There is no iláh but Allah: He is one: He hath no
     Circle.   "Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah who hath sent
               him with the true Guidance and Religion that he
               manifest it above all other Creeds."

     Area.     "Allah is one: Allah is Eternal: He begetteth not,
               nor is He begot."
     Circle.   "Bismillah: This Dinar was struck anno 96."

See "'Ilâm-en-Nas" (warnings for Folk) a pleasant little volume
by Mr. Godfrey Clarke (London, King and Co., 1873), mostly
consisting of the minor tales from The Nights especially this
group between Nights ccxlvii. and cdlxi.; but rendered valuable
by the annotations of my old friend, the late Frederick Ayrton.

[FN#461]  The reader will note the persistency with which the
duty of universal benevolence is preached.

[FN#462]  Arab. from Pers. "Shah-bander": see vol. iv. 29.

[FN#463]  i.e. of thy coming, a popular compliment.

[FN#464]  This is the doctrine of the universal East; and it is
true concerning wives and widows, not girls when innocent or
rather ignorant. According to Western ideas Kamar al-Zaman was a
young scoundrel of the darkest dye whose only excuses were his
age, his inexperience and his passions.

[FN#465]  Arab. "Dayyús" prop. = a man who pimps for his own wife
and in this sense constantly occurring in conversation.

[FN#466]  This is taking the law into one's own hands with a
witness, yet amongst races who preserve the Pundonor in full and
pristine force, e.g. the Afghans and the Persian Iliyat, the
killing so far from being considered murder or even justifiable
homicide would be highly commended by public opinion.

[FN#467]  Arab. "Nákisátu'aklin wa dín": the words are attributed
to the Prophet whom we find saying, "Verily in your wives and
children ye have an enemy, wherefore beware of them" (Koran lxiv.
14): compare 1 Cor. vii. 28, 32. But Maître Jehan de Meung went

          "Toutes êtez, serez ou fûses
           De faict ou de volonté, putes."

[FN#468]  Arab. "Habíbí wa tabíbí," the common jingle.

[FN#469]  Iblis and his connection with Diabolos has been noticed
in vol. i. 13. The word is foreign as well as a P.N. and
therefore is imperfectly declined, although some authorities
deduce it from "ablasa"=he despaired (of Allah's mercy). Others
call him Al-Háris (the Lion) hence Eve's first-born was named in
his honour Abd al-Harts. His angelic name was Azázíl before he
sinned by refusing to prostrate himself to Adam, as Allah had
commanded the heavenly host for a trial of faith, not to worship
the first man, but to make him a Keblah or direction of prayer
addressed to the Almighty. Hence he was ejected from Heaven and
became the arch enemy of mankind (Koran xviii. 48). He was an
angel but related to the Jinn: Al-Bayzáwi, however (on Koran ii.
82), opines that angelic by nature he became a Jinn by act. Ibn
Abbas held that he belonged to an order of angels who are called
Jinn and begot issue as do the nasnás, the Ghúl and the Kutrub
which, however are male and female, like the pre-Adamite manwoman
of Genesis, the "bi-une" of our modern days. For this subject see
Terminal Essay.

[FN#470]  As usual in the East and in the West the husband was
the last to hear of his wife's ill conduct. But even Othello did
not kill Emilia.

[FN#471]  i.e. Star of the Morning: the first word occurs in Bar
Cokba Barchocheba=Son of the Star, i.e., which was to come out of
Jacob (Numbers xxiv. 17). The root, which does not occur in Heb.,
is Kaukab to thine. This Rabbi Akilah was also called Bar Cozla=
Son of the Lie.

[FN#472]  Here some excision has been judged advisable as the
names of the bridegrooms and the brides recur with damnable

[FN#473]  See the note by Lane's Shaykh at the beginning of the
tale. The contrast between the vicious wife of servile origin and
the virtuous wife of noble birth is fondly dwelt upon but not

[FN#474]  i.e. those of his water skins for the journey, which as
usual required patching and supplying with fresh handles after
long lying dry.

[FN#475]  A popular saying also applied to men. It is usually
accompanied with showing the open hand and a reference to the
size of the fingers. I find this story most interesting from an
anthropological point of view; suggesting how differently various
races regard the subject of adultery. In Northern Europe the
burden is thrown most unjustly upon the man, the woman who tempts
him being a secondary consideration; and in England he is
absurdly termed "a seducer." In former times he was "paraded" or
"called out," now he is called up for damages, a truly ignoble
and shopkeeper-like mode of treating a high offence against
private property and public morality. In Anglo-America, where
English feeling is exaggerated, the lover is revolver'd and the
woman is left unpunished. On the other hand, amongst Eastern and
especially Moslem peoples, the woman is cut down and scant
reckoning is taken from the man. This more sensible procedure has
struck firm root amongst the nations of Southern Europe where the
husband kills the lover only when he still loves his wife and
lover like is furious at her affection being alienated.

Practically throughout the civilised world there are only two
ways of treating women, Moslems keep them close, defend them from
all kinds of temptations and if they go wrong kill them.
Christians place them upon a pedestal, the observed of all
observers, expose them to every danger and if they fall, accuse
and abuse them instead of themselves.  And England is so grandly
logical that her law, under certain circumstances, holds that
Mrs. A. has committed adultery with Mr. B. but Mr. B. has not
committed adultery with Mrs. A. Can any absurdity be more absurd?
Only "summum jus, summa injuria." See my Terminal Essay. I shall
have more to say upon this curious subject, the treatment of
women who can be thoroughly guarded only by two things, firstly
their hearts and secondly by the "Spanish Padlock."

[FN#476] Lane owns that this is "one of the most entertaining tales
in the work," but he omits it "because its chief and best portion
is essentially the same as the story of the First of the Three
Ladies of Baghdad." The truth is he was straitened for space by
his publisher and thus compelled to cut out some of the best
stories in The Nights.

[FN#477] i.e. Ibrahim of Mosul, the musician poet often mentioned
in The Nights. I must again warn the reader that the name is
pronounced Is-hák (like Isaac with a central aspirate) not Ishák.
This is not unnecessary when we hear Tait-shill for Tait's hill
and "Frederick-shall" for Friedrich, shall.

[FN#478] i.e. He was a proficient, an adept.

[FN#479] Arab. from Pers. Dúláb=a waterwheel, a buttery, a

[FN#480] Arab. "Futúr," the chhotí házirí of Anglo-India or
breakfast proper, eaten by Moslems immediately after the dawn-
prayer except in Ramázán. Amongst sensible people it is a
substantial meal of bread and boiled beans, eggs, cheese, curded
milk and the pastry called fatírah, followed by coffee and a
pipe. See Lane M. E. chapt. v. and my Pilgrimage ii. 48.

[FN#481] This "off-with-his-head" style must not be understood
literally. As I have noted, it is intended by the writer to show
the Kingship and the majesty of the "Vicar of Allah."

[FN#482] Lit. "the calamity of man (insán) is from the tongue"

[FN#483] For Khatt Sharíf, lit.=a noble letter, see vol. ii. 39.

[FN#484] Arab. "Allah yastura-k"=protect thee by hiding what had
better be hidden.

[FN#485] Arab. "Janázír"=chains, an Arabised plural of the Pers.
Zanjír with the metathesis or transposition of letters peculiar
to the vulgar; "Janázír" for "Zanájír."

[FN#486] Arab. "Safínah"=(Noah's) Ark, a myth derived from the
Baris of Egypt with subsequent embellishments from the Babylonian
deluge-legends: the latter may have been survivals of the days
when the waters of the Persian Gulf extended to the mountains of
Eastern Syria. Hence I would explain the existence of extinct
volcanoes within sight of Damascus (see Unexplored Syria i. p.
159) visited, I believe, for the first time by my late friend
Charles F. Tyrwhitt-Drake and myself in May, 1871.

[FN#487] Mansur and Násir are passive and active participles from
the same root, Nasr=victory; the former means triumphant and the
latter triumphing.

[FN#488] The normal term of Moslem mourning, which Mohammed
greatly reduced disliking the abuse of it by the Jews who even in
the present day are the strictest in its observance.

[FN#489] An euphuistic and euphemistic style of saying, "No, we
don't know."

[FN#490] Arab. "Rahan," an article placed with him in pawn.

[FN#491] A Moslem is bound, not only by honour but by religion,
to discharge the debts of his dead father and mother and so save
them from punishment on Judgment-day. Mohammed who enjoined mercy
to debtors while in the flesh (chapt. ii. 280, etc.) said "Allah
covereth all faults except debt; that is to say, there will be
punishment therefor." Also "A martyr shall be pardoned every
fault but debt." On one occasion he refused to pray for a Moslem
who died insolvent. Such harshness is a curious contrast with the
leniency which advised the creditor to remit debts by way of
alms. And practically this mild view of indebtedness renders it
highly unadvisable to oblige a Moslem friend with a loan.

[FN#492] i.e. he did not press them for payment; and, it must be
remembered, he received no interest upon his monies, this being
forbidden in the Koran.

[FN#493] Al-Mas'údi (chap. xvii.) alludes to furs of Sable
(Samúr), hermelline (Al-Farwah) and Bortás (Turkish) furs of
black and red foxes. For Samúr see vol. iv. 57. Sinjáb is Persian
for the skin of the grey squirrel (Mu. lemmus, the lemming), the
meniver, erroneously miniver, (menu vair) as opposed to the
ermine=(Mus Armenius, or mustela erminia.) I never visit England
without being surprised at the vile furs worn by the rich, and
the folly of the poor in not adopting the sheepskin with the wool
inside and the leather well tanned which keeps the peasant warm
and comfortable between Croatia and Afghanistan.

[FN#494] Arab. "Tájir Alfí" which may mean a thousand dinars
(£500) or a thousand purses (=£5,000). "Alfí" is not an uncommon
P.N., meaning that the bearer (Pasha or pauper) had been bought
for a thousand left indefinite.

[FN#495] Tigris-Euphrates.

[FN#496] Possibly the quarter of Baghdad so called and mentioned
in The Nights more than once.

[FN#497] For this fiery sea see Sind Revisited i. 19.

[FN#498] Arab. "Al-Ghayb" which may also mean "in the future"
(unknown to man).

[FN#499] Arab. "Jabal"; here a mountainous island: see vol. i.

[FN#500] i.e. ye shall be spared this day's miseries. See my
Pilgrimage vol. i. 314, and the delight with which we glided into
Marsá Damghah.

[FN#501] Arab. "Súwán"="Syenite" (-granite) also used for flint
and other hard stones. See vol. i. 238.

[FN#502] Koran xxiv. Male children are to the Arab as much prized
an object of possession as riches, since without them wealth is
of no value to him. Mohammed, therefore, couples wealth with
children as the two things wherewith one wards off the ills of
this world, though they are powerless against those of the world
to come.

[FN#503] An exclamation derived from the Surat Nasr (cx. 1) one
of the most affecting in the Koran. It gave Mohammed warning of
his death and caused Al-Abbás to shed tears; the Prophet sings a
song of victory in the ixth year of the Hijrah (he died on the
xth) and implores the pardon of his Lord.

[FN#504] Arab. "Dáirah," a basin surrounded by hills. The words
which follow may mean, "An hour's journey or more in breadth.

[FN#505] These petrified folk have occurred in the "Eldest Lady's
Tale" (vol. i. 165), where they are of "black stone."

[FN#506] Arab. "Táj Kisrawi," such as was worn by the Chosroes
Kings. See vol. i. 75.

[FN#507] The familiar and far-famed Napoleonic pose, with the
arms crossed over the breast, is throughout the East the attitude
assumed by slave and servant in presence of his master. Those who
send statues to Anglo-India should remember this.

[FN#508] Arab. "Tá álík"=hanging lamps, often in lantern shape
with coloured glass and profuse ornamentation; the Maroccan are
now familiar to England.

[FN#509] Arab. "Kidrah," lit.=a pot, kettle; it can hardly mean
"an interval."

[FN#510] The wicket or small doorway, especially by the side of a
gate or portal, is called "the eye of the needle" and explains
Matt. xix. 24, and Koran vii. 38. In the Rabbinic form of the
proverb the camel becomes an elephant. Some have preferred to
change the Koranic Jamal (camel) for Habl (cable) and much
ingenuity has been wasted by Christian commentators on Mark x.
25, and Luke xviii. 25.

[FN#511] i.e. A "Kanz" (enchanted treasury) usually hidden
underground but opened by a counter-spell and transferred to
earth's face. The reader will note the gorgeousness of the

[FN#512] Oriental writers, Indian and Persian, as well as Arab,
lay great stress upon the extreme delicacy of the skin of the
fair ones celebrated in their works, constantly attributing to
their heroines bodies so sensitive as to brook with difficulty
the contact of the finest shift. Several instances of this will
be found in the present collection and we may fairly assume that
the skin of an Eastern beauty, under the influence of constant
seclusion and the unremitting use of cosmetics and the bath,
would in time attain a pitch of delicacy and sensitiveness such
as would in some measure justify the seemingly extravagant
statements of their poetical admirers, of which the following
anecdote (quoted by Ibn Khellikan from the historian Et Teberi)
is a fair specimen. Ardeshir ibn Babek (Artaxerxes I.), the first
Sassanian King of Persia (A.D. 226-242), having long
unsuccessfully besieged El Hedr, a strong city of Mesopotamia
belonging to the petty King Es Satiroun, at last obtained
possession of it by the treachery of the owner's daughter Nezireh
and married the latter, this having been the price stipulated by
her for the betrayal to him of the place. "It happened afterwards
that, one night, as she was unable to sleep and turned from side
to side in the bed, Ardeshir asked her what prevented her from
sleeping. She replied, 'I never yet slept on a rougher bed than
this; I feel something irk me.' He ordered the bed to be changed,
but she was still unable to sleep. Next morning, she complained
of her side, and on examination, a myrtle-leaf was found adhering
to a fold of the skin, from which it had drawn blood. Astonished
at this circumstance, Ardeshir asked her if it was this that had
kept her awake and she replied in the affirmative. 'How then,'
asked he, 'did your father bring you up?' She answered, 'He
spread me a bed of satin and clad me in silk and fed me with
marrow and cream and the honey of virgin bees and gave me pure
wine to drink.' Quoth Ardeshir, 'The same return which you made
your father for his kindness would be made much more readily to
me'; and bade bind her by the hair to the tail of a horse, which
galloped off with her and killed her." It will be remembered that
the true princess, in the well-known German popular tale, is
discovered by a similar incident to that of the myrtle-leaf. I
quote this excellent note from Mr. Payne (ix. 148), only
regretting that annotation did not enter into his plan of
producing The Nights. Amongst Hindu story-tellers a phenomenal
softness of the skin is a lieu commun: see Vikram and the Vampire
(p.285, "Of the marvellous delicacy of their Queens"); and the
Tale of the Sybarite might be referred to in the lines given

"(55) Indeed joyous on that day are the people of Paradise in
their employ;
 (56) In shades, on bridal couches reclining they and their
 (57) Fruits have they therein and whatso they desire.
 (58) 'Peace!' shall be a word from a compassionating Lord."
Koran xxxvi. 55-58, the famous Chapt. "Yá Sín;" which most
educated Moslems learn by heart. See vol. iii. 19. In addition to
the proofs there offered that the Moslem Paradise is not wholly
sensual I may quote, "No soul wotteth what coolth of the eyes is
reserved (for the good) in recompense of their works" (Koran lxx.
17). The Paradise of eating, drinking, and copulating which Mr.
Palgrave (Arabia, i. 368) calls "an everlasting brothel between
forty celestial concubines" was preached solely to the baser sort
of humanity which can understand and appreciate only the
pleasures of the flesh. To talk of spiritual joys before the
Badawin would have been a non-sens, even as it would be to the
roughs of our great cities.

[FN#514] Arab. "Lajlaj" lit.=rolling anything round the mouth
when eating; hence speaking inarticulately, being tongue-tied,
stuttering, etc.

[FN#515] The classical "Phylarchs," who had charge of the

[FN#516] "The Jabábirah" (giant-rulers of Syria) and the
"Akásirah" (Chosroës-Kings of Persia).

[FN#517] This shows (and we are presently told) that the intruder
was Al-Khizr, the "Green Prophet," for whom see vol. iv. 175.

[FN#518] i.e. of salvation supposed to radiate from all Prophets,
esp. from Mohammed.

[FN#519] This formula which has occurred from the beginning
(vol.i.1) is essentially Koranic: See Chapt. li. 18-19 and

[FN#520] This trick of the priest hidden within the image may
date from the days of the vocal Memnon, and was a favourite in
India, especially at the shrine of Somnauth (Soma-náth), the
Moon-god, Atergatis Aphrodite, etc.

[FN#521] Arab. "Almás"=Gr. Adamas. In opposition to the learned
ex-Professor Maskelyne I hold that the cutting of the diamond is
of very ancient date. Mr. W. M. Flinders Patrie (The Pyramids and
Temples of Gizah, London: Field and Tuer, 1884) whose studies
have thoroughly demolished the freaks and unfacts, the fads and
fancies of the "Pyramidists," and who may be said to have raised
measurement to the rank of a fine art, believes that the Euritic
statues of old Egypt such as that of Khufu (Cheops) in the Bulak
Museum were drilled by means of diamonds. AthenFus tells us (lib.
v.) that the Indians brought pearls and diamonds to the
procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus; and this suggests cutting, as
nothing can be less ornamental than the uncut stone.

[FN#522] i.e. as if they were holding a "Durbar"; the King's idol
in the Sadr or place of honour and the others ranged about it in
their several ranks.

[FN#523] These words are probably borrowed from the taunts of
Elijah to the priests of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 27). Both Jews and
Moslems wilfully ignored the proper use of the image or idol
which was to serve as a Keblah or direction of prayer and an
object upon which to concentrate thought and looked only to the
abuse of the ignoble vulgus who believe in its intrinsic powers.
Christendom has perpetuated the dispute: Romanism affects statues
and pictures: Greek orthodoxy pictures and not statues and the
so-called Protestantism ousts both.

[FN#524] Arab. "Sa'ádah"=worldly prosperity and future happiness.

[FN#525] Arab. "Al-Ahd wa al-Mísák" the troth pledged between the
Muríd or apprentice-Darwaysh and the Shaykh or Master-Darwaysh
binding the former to implicit obedience etc.

[FN#526] Arab. "Taakhír" lit. postponement and meaning acting
with deliberation as opposed to "Ajal" (haste), precipitate
action condemned in the Koran lxv. 38.

[FN#527] i.e. I have been lucky enough to get this and we will
share it amongst us.

[FN#528] i.e. of saving me from being ravished.

[FN#529] Sa'ídah=the auspicious (fem.): Mubárakah,=the blessed;
both names showing that the bearers were Moslemahs.

[FN#530] i.e. the base-born from whom base deeds may be expected.

[FN#531] Arab. "Badlat Kunúzíyah=such a dress as would be found
in enchanted hoards (Kunúz): .g. Prince Esterhazy's diamond

[FN#532] The lieu d'aisance in Eastern crafts is usually a wooden
cage or framework fastened outside the gunwale very cleanly but
in foul weather very uncomfortable and even dangerous.

[FN#533] Arab. "Ghull," a collar of iron or other metal,
sometimes made to resemble the Chinese Kza or Cangue, a kind of
ambulant pillory, serving like the old stocks which still show in
England the veteris vestigia ruris. See Davis, "The Chinese," i.
241. According to Al-Siyúti (p. 362) the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil
ordered the Christians to wear these Ghulls round the neck,
yellow head-gear and girdles, to use wooden stirrups and to place
figures of devils before their houses. The writer of The Nights
presently changes Ghull to "chains" and "fetters of iron."

[FN#534] Arab. "Yá fulán," O certain person! See vol. iii. 191.

[FN#535] Father of Harun al-Rashid A.H. 158-169 (=775-785) third
Abbaside who both in the Mac. and the Bul. Edits. is called "the
fifth of the sons of Al-Abbas." He was a good poet and a man of
letters, also a fierce persecutor of the "Zindiks" (Al-Siyuti
278), a term especially applied to those who read the Zend books
and adhered to Zoroastrianism, although afterwards applied to any
heretic or atheist. He made many changes at Meccah and was the
first who had a train of camels laden with snow for his
refreshment along a measured road of 700 miles (Gibbon, chapt.
lii.). He died of an accident when hunting: others say he was
poisoned after leaving his throne to his sons Musa al-Hadi and
Harun al-Rashid. The name means "Heaven-directed" and must not be
confounded with the title of the twelfth Shi'ah Imám Mohammed Abu
al-Kásim born at Sarramanrai A.H. 255 whom Sale (sect. iv.) calls
"Mahdi or Director" and whose expected return has caused and will
cause so much trouble in Al-Islam.

[FN#536] This speciosum miraculum must not be held a proof that
the tale was written many years after the days of Al-Rashid.
Miracles grow apace in the East and a few years suffice to mature
them. The invasion of Abraha the Abyssinia took place during the
year of Mohammed's birth; and yet in an early chapter of the
Koran (No. cv.) written perhaps forty-five years afterwards, the
small-pox is turned into a puerile and extravagant miracle. I
myself became the subject of a miracle in Sind which is duly
chronicled in the family-annals of a certain Pir or religious
teacher. See History of Sindh (p. 23O) and Sind Revisited (i.

[FN#537] In the texts, "Sixth."

[FN#538] Arab. "Najis"=ceremonially impure especially the dog's
month like the cow's month amongst the Hindus; and requiring
after contact the Wuzu-ablution before the Moslem can pray.

[FN#539] Arab. "Akl al-hashamah" (hashamah=retinue;
hishmah=reverence, bashfulness) which may also mean "decorously
and respectfully," according to the vowel-points.

[FN#540] i.e. as the Vice-regent of Allah and Vicar of the

[FN#541] For the superiority of mankind to the Jinn see vol.
viii. 5;44.

[FN#542] According to Al-Siyuti, Harun al-Rashid prayed every day
a hundred bows.

[FN#543] As the sad end of his betrothed was still to be
accounted for.

[FN#544] For the martyrdom of the drowned see vol. i, 171, to
quote no other places.

[FN#545] i.e. if he have the power to revenge himself. The
sentiment is Christian rather than Moslem.

[FN#546] i.e. the power acquired (as we afterwards learn) by the
regular praying of the dawn-prayer. It is not often that The
Nights condescend to point a moral or inculcate a lesson as here;
and we are truly thankful for the immunity.

[FN#547] Arab. "Musáfahah" which, I have said, serves for our
shaking hands: and extends over wide regions. They apply the
palms of the right hands flat to each other without squeezing the
fingers and then raise the latter to the forehead. Pilgrimage ii.
332, has also been quoted.

[FN#548] Equivalent to our saying about an ill wind, etc.

[FN#549] A proof of his extreme simplicity and bonhomie.

[FN#550] Arab. "Dárfíl"=the Gr. {Greek} later {Greek}, suggesting
that the writer had read of Arion in Herodotus i. 23.

[FN#551] 'Aúj; I can only suggest, with due diffidence, that this
is intended for Kúch the well-known Baloch city in Persian
Carmania (Kirmán) and meant by Richardson's "Koch ü buloch." But
as the writer borrows so much from Al-Mas'udi it may possibly be
Aúk in Sístán where stood the heretical city "Shádrak," chapt.

[FN#552] i.e. The excellent (or surpassing) Religious. Shaykhah,
the fem. of Shaykh, is a she-chief, even the head of the dancing-
girls will be entitled "Shaykhah."

[FN#553] The curtain would screen her from the sight of men-
invalids and probably hung across the single room of the
"Záwiyah" or hermit's cell. The curtain is noticed in the tales
of two other reverend women; vols. iv. 155 and v. 257.

[FN#554] Abdullah met his wife on Thursday, the night of which
would amongst Moslems be Friday night.

[FN#555] i.e. with Sa'idah.

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